Replica Booth Diaries for Sale Again!

Looking for that special gift for the Lincoln assassination aficionado in your life? How about a replica of the diary John Wilkes Booth used during his 12 day escape?

A few years ago, I assisted a prop maker named Pasquale Marsella to create near perfect replicas of John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Using photographs of the diary that were taken during the 1970s, Mr. Marsella was able to reproduce the interior of the diary with amazing detail. The interior of these replicas contained Booth’s own handwriting and duplicated the number of missing and torn pages exactly. Mr. Marsella created only a limited number of diaries and quickly sold out of them. I was fortunate enough to purchase one of the diaries, as did the Surratt House Museum, which keeps the replica on display in their visitor center.

Replica Booth diary on display at the Surratt House Museum

In the years since Mr. Marsella’s first run of diaries, demand for the replicas has been high. In 2015, I was contacted by producers at the Smithsonian Channel who were hoping to get their own replica diary for use in a documentary. I had to inform them that Mr. Marsella had no more left. Instead, I agreed to lend them my replica diary for use in their documentary, Lincoln’s Last Day:

Over the last few years I’ve had several other folks contact me hoping they could purchase diaries, and I sadly also had to inform them that Mr. Marsella had no more left and wasn’t making them anymore. However, Mr. Marsella has recently decided to do another run of his diaries which are available for purchase!

In this second run of diaries, Mr. Marsella has made some improvements from his earlier design. The new replicas utilize a higher quality leather which is softer and gives the diary an older look and feel than previous models. Further, Mr. Marsella is including a more accurate piece of brass on the outer part of the diary. During the last few years, Mr. Marsella has improved his technique for aging paper, giving these new diaries a more authentic “old” look to them. Lastly, the interior pockets marked “Postage” and ” Tickets” are no longer just sewn on displays, but fully functioning pockets like on the real diary.

One of Pasquale Marsella’s new, second run of John Wilkes Booth diaries

This second run of replica John Wilkes Booth diaries consists of only 30 diaries, several of which have already been sold. The limited amount is due to the time consuming process of detailing and tooling the leather, which Mr. Marsella does himself.

Mr. Marsella is selling his limited number of John Wilkes Booth diary replicas for $375 each plus $30 shipping. Payment is accepted through PayPal. Due to the nature of his work, Mr. Marsella will need 25 days from receipt of payment to complete each diary. If you are interested in purchasing a replica diary, please email Mr. Marsella directly at and he will give you instructions on how to pay through PayPal.

If you have any questions about the diaries feel free to leave a comment below or email Mr. Marsella directly. As an owner of one of Mr. Marsella’s replica diaries, I can say that his workmanship is impeccable. I have used this diary as a prop during my own reenactments as John Wilkes Booth, I’ve brought it along with me to speeches, and I always carry it when I give the John Wilkes Booth escape route bus tour. You should see the interest in people’s faces when I pass around my handmade, Italian crafted (Mr. Marsella lives in Italy) replica John Wilkes Booth diary. Everyone on the bus enjoys leafing through the pages and seeing John Wilkes Booth’s handwriting duplicated exactly. They have no idea that the piece is so exactly duplicated that even the missing and torn pages in the replica match the real McCoy in the Ford’s Theatre museum. My diary has passed through many hands in the 4 years that I have had it and it’s holding up great.

Yours truly showing off his own replica Booth diary while presenting at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois

I truly enjoy giving Mr. Marsella some free advertising and assisting him in selling his diaries because he provides such a unique and well-crafted piece that you can’t get anywhere else. Get yours today before they’re gone once more.

Categories: History, News | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Replica Booth Diaries for Sale Again!

  1. Josh Atkinson

    These are amazing. I have Heath’s and would not trade it for anything. Beautiful craftsmanship!!

  2. He reached out to me thru the Spirits of Tudor Hall Facebook page. I was able to finally order my very own copy. Its already on its way! 🙂

  3. Dennis D. Urban

    Just placed my order with Mr. Marsella. Very easy process. Can’t wait to receive the finished product. Dave, your comments on the quality made the decision easier for me. Does the pencil come with the diary?


    Bryantown Tavern

    2 December 2017


    A word of THANKS from here re the renewal (by Signore Pasquale Marsella over in Italy) of his production of JWB Diary replicas.

    Unlike the last time – when I hemmed and hawed and dawdled until the copies of his first run were exhausted – I immediately ordered a copy of the artifact from his current production run and it is now On Order.

    Signore Marcella was very prompt – a matter of hours – in confirming my order and acknowledging his receipt of my $$$.

    Thanks again for your much-appreciated ALERT re this interesting collectible.


    Robert W. (Bob) Cook


  5. Sarednab

    All diaries are in progress! I’ll update you all soon! Many thanks to all!

  6. Sarednab

    Next week ALL Booth’s Diary will be ship 🙂

  7. Sarednab

    If anyone is still interested, I still have a few covers remained.

  8. Paul Fisher

    Posting this on all pages pertaining to the Booth diary replicas:
    Waiting on pins and needles for my Booth diary! Pasquale asked me to send folks to him if they want a diary and he can make them now. I thought I was out of luck to get one. Happy to be proven wrong!

  9. Ed

    Is there any chance at all this replica diary will be produced again? I would love a copy for my collection!

    • Paul Fisher

      The last time I checked, Pasquale indicated that he was willing to make more replicas for anyone interested in one.

      • Ed

        I would love one Paul, but every time I send an email to him it is returned as “undeliverable”. I thought he might have removed his email address for this reason. If anyone has any info that he will be reproducing it I would love to know how to make contact.

        • This is Pasquale’s website for his prop making. You might try to contact him through that:

          • Ed

            Thank you Dave, I will try. I have been very interested in this event it seems forever. I very much enjoy all your videos, talks and reenactments. From this, I have learned about this great copy of the diary and your website. The Surratt tour is not a must do for me it is a will do!

  10. Ed

    Thanks to this site I now have my copy of Pasquale Marsella’s diary reserved to be produced. Many thanks!

    • I’m so glad you were able to make contact, Ed. Enjoy the diary!

      • Paul Fisher

        Mine holds a place of honor on my book shelf! I had Pasquale leave mine unweathered as I wanted it to look more like it would have been new. We will let time weather it.

        • Ed

          That’s an interesting perspective Paul! So, I am guessing the Diary/Theater Program has all the pages in place and looks pristine? That would be a nice item too! Good Idea!

          • Paul Fisher

            It still has the pages missing that were missing in the original, but the cover is unweathered. I personally like that look better!

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