“John’s body”

“The box was taken into Harvey and Marr’s workshop by assistants, among whom was a volunteer, James Croggon, reporter for the Star. Harvey had said to Croggon: ‘Don’t ask any questions, but be at our place at six o’clock this evening as one of my assistants, and you will get a good item.’ Croggon was there, helped to lay the box on trestles, and watched as the body was identified for the third time. He saw Weaver lift the head and examine it- it still had the ‘fine suit of hair,’ distinctive as in life. He saw a man enter from the office and intently study the teeth, heard him  announce with emphasis: ‘This is Wilkes Booth, for this is some of my work.’ It was a dentist from Baltimore, whose opinion had been sought in the case. The reporter also saw a high boot on one  leg and on one a rough shoe which he mistakenly thought had been improvised by cutting away the other boot’s long top. He understood that a brother of John’s was in Harvey and Marr’s front room. It was not Edwin, as he supposed, but ‘Doc’ Booth, awaiting the reports of Weaver and the dentist.

Shifted to a plain deal coffin, the body was conveyed to the train leaving Washington at seven-thirty and reaching Baltimore at nine. From the train it was removed to Weaver’s on Fayette Street, and that night John T. Ford, who had been keeping general oversight of the matter, sent a telegram marked ‘Deliver tonight sure.’ It read (as delivered):

Balto Md Feb 15 1869

Edwin Booth
Booths Theatre N Y

Successful and in our possession here —

J T Ford

Edwin saved this message in his files, and on the reverse of the blank he penciled: ‘John’s body.'”

John Ford's Telegram to Edwin

The Great American Myth by George Bryan

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on ““John’s body”

  1. Steve Lohrmann

    Thanks Dave . I never knew about the shoe,I always thought Booth only had a spint on his leg.

  2. Great post!

  3. Eleanor Ford

    Too many things just don’t add up.

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