Tom Booth

Tom Booth

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Thomas Booth was born in Ardwick, Manchester, on 25th April 1874. He played local football for Hooley Hill and Ashton North End. A centre-half, Booth signed for Blackburn Rovers in 1896.

Booth joined the club at a time when it had an outstanding group of young players. This included Bob Crompton, Kelly Houlker, Sam McClure, Tommy Briercliffe, Arnie Whittaker and Fred Blackburn.

Blackburn Rovers had experienced a great deal of success under Tom Mitchell, Blackburn's club secretary/manager. However, in October, 1896, Mitchell resigned. His replacement was Joseph Walmsley, a local cotton mill manager. It seemed Blackburn missed Mitchell as they slumped to 14th place in the First Division of the Football League in the 1896-97 season.

In the 1897-98 season Blackburn Rovers finished second from bottom. Only a decision to increase the size of the First Division of the Football League to 18 clubs saved Blackburn from relegation. The following season saw a revival with the team finishing in a respectable 6th place.

Tom Booth won his first international cap for England in 1898. England beat Wales 3-0. It was another five years before Booth played for his country again.

Blackburn found itself in another relegation struggle in the 1899-1900 season. The club had to win one of its last two games against Notts County and Preston North End in order to avoid the drop to the Second Division. Blackburn lost to Preston but managed to beat Notts County 2-0.

The Blackburn Times criticized the performance of the Blackburn team arguing: "There can be no such thing as standing still in the football world as in many other things, and as the Rovers have not made headway they must have been going backwards. Alas, this is only too plain. The rovers of today are not the Rovers of yore, when their fame spread far and wide".

In 1900 Tom Booth joined Everton. In his time at Blackburn Rovers he had scored 10 goals in 111 games. Booth helped his new club to do well in the First Division of the Football League: 1901-02 (2nd), 1903-04 (3rd) and 1904-05 (2nd). In 1903 Booth played for England against Scotland.

After playing 175 games for Everton Booth joined Preston North End in 1908.

Tom Booth died in 1939.

The John Wilkes Booth Mummy That Toured America

In 1877, a young Granbury, Texas, lawyer was summoned to the bedside of a dying acquaintance. As Finis L. Bates entered the room, he saw a doctor holding the wrist of John St. Helen and timing the man’s fading pulse. “St. Helen is dying and wishes to speak to you alone,” the doctor said before leaving behind the lawyer and patient. Weak and barely conscious, St. Helen whispered, “I am dying. My name is John Wilkes Booth, and I am the assassin of President Lincoln.”

St. Helen lived through the night𠅊s well as the next one and many more after that. According to Bates, St. Helen told him that Vice President Andrew Johnson had masterminded the assassination plot and had given him a password that allowed him to escape the massive manhunt. The man claiming to be Booth said that someone else had been killed in Richard Garrett’s tobacco barn on April 26, 1865, and passed off as the assassin to allow the pursuing posse to collect the sizable reward. St. Helen said that while an innocent man rested in peace in the Booth family plot in Baltimore, he drifted across the Wild West under various aliases.

Soon after St. Helen shared his story, he skipped town. More than a quarter-century later, Bates read a story in a Memphis newspaper that awoke old memories. In January 1903, a drifter named David E. George had locked himself in an Enid, Oklahoma, hotel room and committed suicide by ingesting a lethal quantity of arsenic. According to the news report, the wife of a local Methodist minister said that George had botched an earlier suicide attempt nine months earlier and, believing he was dying, confessed: “I am not David Elihu George. I am the one who killed the best man that ever lived. I am J. Wilkes Booth.” Side-by-side illustrations of Booth and George that ran in newspapers revealed a striking resemblance between the two mustachioed men. Newspapermen jumped on reports that Junius Brutus Booth III, nephew of the assassin, said that George resembled his uncle—without mentioning that Junius was born in 1868, three years after Lincoln’s murder, and had never set eyes on his uncle.

The body of David E. George shortly after his death in 1903

Bates, the grandfather of award-winning actress Kathy Bates, also recognized the man in the newspaper. It was John St. Helen. Bates hastened to Enid and found the embalmed body of the mysterious man at W.B. Penniman’s mortuary and furniture store. Bates tried to gain custody of George’s unclaimed body, but for years it became a local tourist attraction. Dressed in a respectable suit, the embalmed body sat a chair in Penniman’s front parlor with its glass eyes staring out blankly at the open newspaper on its lap. Thanks to the arsenic Penniman used in the embalming as well as the arsenic swallowed by George, according to newspaper reports, the body became a well-preserved mummy.

Around 1907 when Bates published “The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth: Written for the Correction of History,” a 309-page book in which he detailed St. Helen’s account of how he escaped the manhunt, the lawyer gained custody of the cadaver. Bates rented out the corpse to carnivals, state fairs and midways, and the supposed mummy of John Wilkes Booth became a freak-show mirror image to the solemn funeral train procession taken by Lincoln’s embalmed body in the weeks after the assassination.

If the body was indeed that of Booth, the former actor was much less of a box-office draw in his post-mortem career. The mummy “scattered ill-luck around almost as freely as Tutankhamen is supposed to have done,” reported the Saturday Evening Post in 1938. The magazine reported that nearly every showman who had exhibited the specimen had been financially ruined. In 1920 a circus train carrying the mummy wrecked en route to San Diego and killed eight people. Soon after, the mummy was kidnapped and held for ransom. Union veterans even threatened to lynch it𠅊pparently in a desire to kill Booth twice.

After Bates died in 1923, his widow sold the mummy to William Evans, the �rnival King of the Southwest.” After Evans quit the carnival business, he took the oddity back to his Idaho potato farm and opened his doors to curious tourists who drove by the sign posted outside: “SEE THE MAN WHO MURDERED LINCOLN.” A Lincoln assassination buff convinced Evans to resume the mummy’s tour of America, but the re-launch fizzled. The Saturday Evening Post reported that Evans was ordered out of Salt Lake City for “teaching false history,” and fined $50 in Big Spring, Texas, for transporting a corpse without a license.

Side-by-side comparison photos of John Wilkes Booth and David E. George

In spite of the mummy’s checkered history, carnival man John Harkin and his wife bought it for $5,000 around 1930. The Harkins traveled the country in a battered truck with the leathered, hollowed-eyed mummy occupying a berth on the floor as they slept on adjacent bunks. Harkin promised $1,000 to anyone who could prove that the mummy was not Booth, and he boasted that he never paid out a dime. In 1931, a group of Chicago doctors, including the city’s health commissioner, X-rayed and examined the corpse and claimed that the body’s fractured leg, broken thumb and neck scar were consistent with injuries attributed to Booth. (Never mind that the fracture was found on the mummy’s right leg, while the injured bones set by Dr. Samuel Mudd were on Booth’s left leg.)

Beginning in 1937 and continuing into the 1950s, the mummy was part of Jay Gould’s Million Dollar Circus traveling with trained elephants, acrobats and a high-diving dog act. According to a PBS report, the mummy was last seen in public in the late 1970s and may be in the hands of a private collector. While some family members have voiced support for exhuming the body buried in Booth’s grave for DNA testing to determine if it’s truly his, courts have so far denied the requests.

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What did your Booth ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Booth. 14% of Booth men worked as a Laborer and 8% of Booth women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Booth were Clerk and Housekeeper .

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

Top Female Occupations in 1940

Ancient DNA shows migrants introduced farming to Britain from Europe

Farming was brought to Britain by migrants from continental Europe, and not adopted by pre-existing hunter-gatherers, indicates a new ancient DNA study led by UCL and the Natural History Museum, in collaboration with Harvard University.

The study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, examines the DNA from 47 Neolithic (‘New Stone Age’) farmer skeletons dating from 6000 to 4500 years ago, and six Mesolithic (‘Middle Stone Age’) hunter-gatherer skeletons from the preceding period (11,600-6000 years ago), including Cheddar Man the oldest near-complete human skeleton found in Britain.

Professor Mark Thomas ( UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) , an author of the study, said, “The transition to farming marks one of the most important technological innovations in human evolution. It first appeared in Britain around 6000 years ago prior to that people survived by hunting, fishing and gathering. For over 100 years archaeologists have debated if it was brought to Britain by immigrant continental farmers, or if was adopted by local hunter-gatherers.

“Our study strongly supports the view that immigrant farmers introduced agriculture into Britain and largely replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers populations.”

In continental Europe it is now known that farming was spread by migrating farmer populations who ultimately originated in regions around the Aegean Sea, albeit with some mixing with indigenous hunter-gatherers. Starting around 8000 years ago, they expanded throughout continental Europe along two main corridors: the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhine-Danube axis of Central Europe.

“But Britain is a strange case,” said Dr Tom Booth, archaeologist at the Natural History Museum (NHM) and co-author of the study. “Firstly, farming was practiced for up to 1000 years on the other side of the English Channel before it came to Britain, providing plenty of time for British hunter-gatherers to have adopted agriculture through interactions with their continental neighbours a view that many archaeologists hold today. And secondly, prior to our study, nobody had read the DNA of those British hunter-gatherers, to see if they had persisted and adopted farming practices themselves.”

Dr Selina Brace, ancient DNA researcher at the NHM and lead author of the study said, “After extracting DNA from Cheddar Man’s inner ear bone, we were delighted at the preservation of his DNA. It’s likely that the cool dry burial conditions in Gough’s Cave were a key factor in keeping his DNA preserved.”

“We found that British Mesolithic hunter-gatherers were closely related to other hunter-gatherers living previously in Western Europe, and shared some aspects of their appearance,” said co-author, Dr Yoan Diekmann ( UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) . “Like their Mesolithic continental relatives, they had typically dark skin but light eye pigmentation”.

Professor Thomas added: “After 6000 years ago we only see farmers in Britain, and their ancestry is different. Not only do they have predominantly the same Aegean ancestry as other continental farmers, but our data suggest that ancestry came to Britain via the Mediterranean corridor”.

Professor Ian Barnes, ancient DNA expert at the NHM and co-author of the study, said: “Because continental farmer populations had mixed to some extent with local hunter-gatherers as they expanded along both the Mediterranean and Rhine-Danube corridors, as well as later, we expected to see some mixing in Britain as well.”

“To our surprise, and with the exception of a few individuals in Scotland, we see little genetic evidence of ancestry from Cheddar Man and British Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in early British farmers, or indeed later. It is difficult to say why this is, but it may be that those last British hunter-gatherers were relatively few in number. Even if these two populations had mixed completely, the ability of adept continental farmers and their descendants to maintain larger population sizes would produce a significant diminishing of hunter-gatherer ancestry over time”.

Co-author Professor David Reich, a Harvard geneticist added: “By studying ancient DNA, we see that 90% of Britain’s population was replaced about 4,500 years ago by large-scale population movement from the continent, and this new study shows a more dramatic 99% replacement a millennium-and-a-half earlier. This means that Briton’s derive only about a thousandth of their ancestry from the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the island

6,000 years ago, highlighting how people living in any one place today are rarely the primary descendants of the people who lived in the same place in the deep past.”

While the new study answers the old question of whether farming was brought to Britain by continental farmers, it does not answer the question of why it took so long for farming populations to move into Britain after arriving in northwest continental Europe.

The researchers say it may be to do with climate, technology, or perhaps social factors. The megalith-building cultures to which the British Neolithic belongs have a peculiarly maritime focus and emerge out of western France just before the beginning of the Neolithic in Britain.

Dr Brace added: “We see evidence for at least two populations of farmers entering Britain from different parts of continental Europe around the same time. After a thousand years of gazing across the Channel, it is curious to wonder what changed in the circumstances of these farmers which meant that Britain was suddenly seen to be worth the hassle.”

Ancient DNA shows migrants introduced farming to Britain from Europe

Farming was brought to Britain by migrants from continental Europe, and not adopted by pre-existing hunter-gatherers, indicates a new ancient DNA study led by the Natural History Museum and UCL, in collaboration with Harvard University.

Scientists investigating the origins of farming in Britain examined DNA from 47 Neolithic (‘New Stone Age’) farmer skeletons dating from 6000 to 4500 years ago and six Mesolithic (‘Middle Stone Age’) hunter-gatherer skeletons from the preceding period (11,600-6000 years ago). The skeletons examined included that of Cheddar Man the oldest near-complete human skeleton found in Britain

Dr Selina Brace, ancient DNA researcher at the Natural History Museum and lead author of the study explained why the remains of Cheddar man have continued to provide exciting scientific information: 'After extracting DNA from Cheddar Man’s inner ear bone, we were delighted at the preservation of his DNA. It’s likely that the cool dry burial conditions in Gough’s Cave were a key factor in keeping his DNA preserved.'

Natural History Museum postdoctoral researcher Dr Tom Booth says: 'We looked at the genetic ancestry of human remains from both before and after 6,000 years ago - so some dating to the Mesolithic and some to the Neolithic - to see if we can characterise any changes, as soon as these Neolithic cultures start to arrive, we see a big change in the ancestry of the British population. It looks like the development of farming and these Neolithic cultures was mainly driven by the migration of people from mainland Europe.'

From the DNA analysis the researchers were able to reveal that most of the hunter-gatherer population of Britain were replaced by those carrying ancestry originating in the Aegean, where farming cultures are thought to have spread from after beginning in the Near East.

Professor Ian Barnes, ancient DNA expert at the Natural History Museum and co-author of the study, said: ‘Because continental farmer populations had mixed to some extent with local hunter-gatherers as they expanded along both the Mediterranean and Rhine-Danube corridors, as well as later, we expected to see some mixing in Britain as well.’

Indeed it is now understood that populations of early Neolithic cultures would have travelled from the Aegean coast in Turkey bringing farming and the specific cultures that went with it, such as new funerary rites and pottery, and spread them across much of Western Europe along the two main corridors of the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhine-Danube axis of Central Europe.

Whilst this new research has now confirmed that farming was brought to Britain by these continental farmers, it does not explain why it took another 1000 years to establish in Britain after they arrived in northwest continental Europe. The current leading theory suggests that hunter-gatherer people from Britain were making forays to the continent and gradually coming around to the idea of farming before taking it up wholesale 6,000 years ago, whilst another argues that there was a widespread influx of Neolithic farmers at this time.

Tom explains that DNA analysis doesn't necessarily give the full picture: ‘The best explanation now is that the hunter-gatherer Mesolithic population of Britain just wasn't very high. So the newly arrived farmers could have mixed entirely with the native population but because this was quite small, the hunter-gatherers left little genetic legacy overall.'

Professor Mark Thomas (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment), an author of the study, added: ‘The transition to farming marks one of the most important technological innovations in human evolution. It first appeared in Britain around 6000 years ago prior to that people survived by hunting, fishing and gathering. For over 100 years archaeologists have debated if it was brought to Britain by immigrant continental farmers, or if was adopted by local hunter-gatherers.

Our study strongly supports the view that immigrant farmers introduced agriculture into Britain and largely replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers populations.’

The study Neolithic transition in Britain is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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The spread of farming

Farming is thought to have originated in the Near East and made its way to the Aegean coast in Turkey. From there, farming and the specific culture that came with it (such as new funerary rites and pottery) spread across much of Western Europe.

How this spread occurred has been debated for the last century, but new analysis techniques are revealing more clues than ever before.

'There has been a big debate in archaeology about whether these new cultures appearing in Europe represent the arrival of new people or just the spread of ideas,' explains Tom. 'With the revolution in ancient DNA in the last few years, it means that we can actually address these questions.'

The analysis of ancient human DNA has shown that every time the Neolithic culture arrived in a region of Europe, it appeared alongside new genetic ancestry that came from areas around the Aegean Sea. This suggests that it was not just farming cultures that swept across the continent, but farmers too.

Importantly, this DNA evidence also shows that as these new farmers were moving through the unfamiliar forests and grasslands of Europe, they were also mixing with the local hunter-gatherers who had already made a living there.

'As this Neolithic population moved west, we can track cumulatively increasing levels of the local hunter-gatherer signatures in the genetics,' says Tom. 'So this wasn't just one population wiping the other out. Instead, they were mixing.

'The Aegean ancestry nearly always dominated because farming allowed these people to maintain much larger population sizes.

'This means that even though they were mixing continuously, the hunter-gatherers were always a more minor component in the overall genetics.'

As the farmers moved east to west, by the time they reached Iberia these accumulations mean that about 40% of their ancestry could be traced back to the original European hunter-gatherer populations that they mixed with as they moved across the continent.

The Insane Story of the Guy Who Killed the Guy Who Killed Lincoln

The fire in the tobacco barn was starting to rage, and inside was the most wanted man in America: John Wilkes Booth, the traitor who had shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford&rsquos Theatre 12 days earlier.

Nursing a broken leg, Booth had made it 73 miles to Port Royal, Virginia, with federal troops in pursuit. Now the last of his accomplices had deserted him and he was cornered in the barn, surrounded by Union Army veterans hungry for vengeance. He had two choices: shoot his way out or surrender and face his crime.

A soldier by the name of Boston Corbett would decide the matter for him.

Corbett was watching Booth intently from his unit&rsquos formation around the barn. Through the cracks in the wall, he could see the fugitive shift in and out of view, a gun in hand. As the flames rose, Corbett trained his pistol on the image, even though the word from Washington was clear&mdashBooth was to be taken alive.

Corbett, you see, wasn&rsquot the kind of soldier who followed orders easily, unless they came from God. He was a fervent Christian, and his faith had seen him through four years of battle, not to mention a punishing stint in one of the harshest Civil War prisons. He was ready for the fight to end.

He walked closer to the fire, which a comrade had lit in an attempt to shake the fugitive loose, and stopped just paces away from the barn. Then he watched as Booth appeared to make up his mind by pointing his gun outside toward the Union troops, as if to fight his way out.

That was all Corbett needed to see. He defied Washington&rsquos orders and pulled the trigger. Booth fell to the ground, and hours later he was dead. Boston Corbett thus became Lincoln&rsquos Avenger: the man who killed the man who killed the President.

As positions of historical prominence go, it&rsquos a rarefied one. Three US Presidents were murdered after Lincoln, but only one of the assassinations&mdashJohn F. Kennedy&rsquos&mdashwas followed by a similar (and much more storied) reprisal. Two days after Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963, Jack Ruby killed Oswald with a .38 snub-nosed revolver on live television.

Ruby was a loosely mobbed-up nightclub owner who claimed he&rsquod done it to save Jacqueline Kennedy from having to endure the pain of a long murder trial. Corbett had a less shady but still unorthodox past&mdashhe was a hat maker with a strong religious streak who claimed God had commanded him to bring Lincoln&rsquos killer to justice. Ruby went to prison Corbett didn&rsquot.

But a peek at the pages of history&mdashinto old newspaper clippings, correspondence, and records held at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka&mdashreveals how much the assassins&rsquo assassins had in common. Like Ruby, Corbett ended up vilified after his unilateral action denied the public the chance to learn the full truth about the plot to kill the President. And Corbett, too, became fodder for conspiracy theories that followed him to his own strange end.

Boston Corbett&rsquos curious life began ordinarily enough. As a young man named Thomas Corbett, smallish with black hair and black eyes, he toiled in the hat trade in the Northeast, an honorable profession for a first-generation American in the mid-19th century. But the arc of Corbett&rsquos future shifted dramatically when his wife and first child died during the girl&rsquos birth.

Corbett became unhinged, seeking solace in the bottle. He staggered up and down New England, until one night in the late 1850s when he happened upon an animated scene on a Boston corner. A street evangelist was holding court, and Corbett was mesmerized by the message of God. He became a regular at sidewalk churches around the city, peppering street preachers&rsquo prayers with boisterous refrains of &ldquoGlory to God!&rdquo and &ldquoCome to Christ!&rdquo

The ministers eventually encouraged him to stake out a corner of his own, not so much because the young man had potential but to keep his annoying chorus at a distance. Corbett, now 26, took the advice. He would swear off liquor and grow his beard and hair long, styling himself in the image of Jesus. He also surrendered himself to a baptism by a Methodist minister&mdashand was born again as Boston, in recognition of the town that saved him from the drink.

His rash tendencies exhibited themselves in strange ways. One day while he was ministering in the summer of 1858, Corbett was ogled by a pair of prostitutes, and the lower half of his body responded invitingly. He went home, took a pair of scissors, snipped an incision under his scrotum, and removed his testicles, then headed out to a prayer meeting.

In the Bible, Matthew 19:12 quotes Christ as saying &ldquothere are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.&rdquo Corbett made himself a eunuch and didn&rsquot check himself into Massachusetts General Hospital until he&rsquod finished his prayers, had a full dinner, and taken a light stroll through the city that evening.

Weeks after healing, the castrated hat maker moved to New York City and resumed his trade. He remained a zealot, often attending the lunchtime prayers of the YMCA&rsquos Fulton Street meetings. Corbett&rsquos pious impulses were also what drew him into uniform. In 1861, amid the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, Corbett enlisted in the Northern army, telling the women at his church that when he came eye to eye with his gray-suited enemies, &ldquoI will say to them, &lsquoGod have mercy on your souls&rsquo&mdashthen pop them off.&rdquo

His Jesus locks shorn, Corbett managed to conform to the military&rsquos uniform and grooming standards and was by most accounts a decent shot. But he never put country before God&mdashand his religious rebelliousness was no match for even the hardest of commanders. During a drill in New York&rsquos Franklin Square, Colonel Daniel Butterfield (famous for composing the military taps) was livid at his troops&rsquo improper formations and gave them a tongue lashing laced with profanities. Corbett, who had yet to see a second of fighting, barked back: &ldquoColonel, don&rsquot you know you are breaking God&rsquos law?&rdquo

Astonished, Butterfield sent Corbett to the guardhouse jail, where the soldier proceeded to one-up his commanding officer by singing hymns at the top of his lungs. Butterfield sent a messenger to warn the impetuous prisoner to stop it or else. Corbett kept on singing.

When Butterfield finally offered to release Corbett in exchange for an apology, Corbett responded, &ldquoNo, I have only offended the colonel, while the colonel has offended God, and I shall never ask the colonel&rsquos pardon until he himself has asked pardon of God.&rdquo

Exasperated, Butterfield sent his last order: Release Corbett from jail.

Four years of war later, as the North was celebrating the South&rsquos surrender, a stage actor and Rebel sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth snuck into Lincoln&rsquos box in the balcony of Ford&rsquos Theatre in Washington. The President and his wife were watching a comedy, Our American Cousin. Booth grabbed his .44-caliber derringer pistol and shot Lincoln in the back of the head.

&ldquoSic semper tyrannis!&rdquo&mdashThus ever to tyrants!&mdashBooth shouted in Latin as he stole for the exit. After an overnight vigil, the President died early in the morning. By then, Booth had escaped into the night.

Even half crippled&mdashhe had leapt from the balcony to the stage, caught his spur on the bunting, and broken his leg&mdashLincoln&rsquos killer eluded capture. Ten days after the assassination, the assailant was still nowhere to be found. To hunt the traitor, the government turned to the 16th New York Cavalry, the men who&rsquod battled the infamous Confederate colonel John Mosby&rsquos raiders. It was Boston Corbett&rsquos unit.

Corbett was by now a hardened combat soldier. He had reenlisted three times, surviving traumatic events that had felled other men. Back in June 1864, while hunting Mosby&rsquos men, Corbett had found himself cornered by the so-called Gray Ghost&rsquos troops near Centreville, Virginia. His fellow soldiers were &ldquonearly all compelled to surrender,&rdquo according to Harper&rsquos Weekly, but not Corbett. He &ldquostood out manfully, and fired his revolver and 12 shots from his breech-loading rifle before surrendering. . . . Mosby, in admiration of the bravery displayed by Corbett, ordered his men not to shoot him.&rdquo Instead, Corbett was sent to Andersonville, the most notorious Civil War prison.

Andersonville, in south-central Georgia, was built for 10,000 captives but held some 32,000 at its peak&mdashalmost a third of the men who ended up in the disease-ridden prison never made it out. When he was paroled in November of 1864, Corbett and another Union fighter were the only POWs from their unit to survive the ordeal. And barely so. Corbett left with scurvy and intermittent fever, rheumatism, and &ldquobloody flux,&rdquo otherwise known as dysentery, a wartime ailment deadlier than combat.

Corbett spent some time recuperating at a hospital in Annapolis, then rejoined his regiment. Within a few months, the war was over. Lincoln was dead, his killer on the loose, and officials in Washington were apoplectic. During a church service several days into the dragnet, the head of the congregation asked Corbett to lead the flock in a blessing. &ldquoO Lord, lay not innocent blood to our charge,&rdquo the 33-year-old sergeant prayed, &ldquobut bring the guilty speedily to punishment.&rdquo

Not long afterward, volunteers from the 16th Cavalry regiment, led by Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty, prepared to go south into Virginia and hunt down John Wilkes Booth. Corbett was one of them.

The detachment left Washington via steamer on April 24 and headed about 50 miles down the Potomac to a landing at Belle Plain, Virginia. After a day of fruitless searching, the volunteers received a tip from a fisherman and his wife that men fitting Booth&rsquos and his accomplice David Herold&rsquos descriptions had crossed the Rappahannock River and were headed toward Bowling Green in Virginia&rsquos Caroline County. The same informants suggested that the men were aided by a soldier named Willie Jett, who happened to be sweet on the daughter of a certain innkeeper in Bowling Green.

It was now midnight on April 26. After knocking on several doors there, Doherty&rsquos men found Jett at a hotel and rousted him from bed. Jett wasn&rsquot about to give up Booth and Herold, but Doherty informed him that he &ldquoshould suffer&rdquo if he didn&rsquot do so. Jett agreed to lead them 12 miles to land near Port Royal owned by a farmer named Richard Garrett, where Jett had left the men two days earlier.

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&ldquoArriving at Garrett&rsquos Farm,&rdquo Corbett later wrote, &ldquothe lieutenant said to me, &lsquoMr. Booth is in that house, ride through the command, and see that every man&rsquos pistol is in readiness for use.&rsquo &rdquo

When Doherty asked after the fugitives, Garrett claimed they were in the woods. Doherty didn&rsquot buy it. So, as he later told the Washington brass, he &ldquoseized this man by the collar, and pulled him out of the door and down the steps, put my revolver to his head and told him to tell me at once where the two assassins were [Garrett] replied, &lsquoin the barn.&rsquo &rdquo

It was after 2 AM by now. Doherty&rsquos men descended on the tobacco barn and formed a ring around it, Corbett included. From inside, Booth was trying to talk himself out of the jam. &ldquoCaptain, draw off your men fifty yards!&rdquo Booth shouted, according to a soldier in the 16th Cavalry. &ldquoA cripple as I am with only one leg and cannot walk without a crutch. I would like a chance for my life.&rdquo Doherty refused.

It was dark, but there were cracks in the barn walls, and from his position, Corbett claimed to have eyes on their shifty target&mdashhe wanted to charge the barn himself. But when he asked for permission to try flushing the assassin out into the open, he was denied.

Meanwhile, the back-and-forth between Booth and Doherty continued for an hour, until Booth yelled that there was &ldquoa man here who wants to surrender awful bad.&rdquo Out came Herold, the accomplice. And Booth started talking again.

Concluding that their target was never coming out, a federal investigator named Everton Conger took a clutch of dry hay, lit it on fire, and stuck it through a crack in the barn. As the flames climbed toward the night sky, Corbett made his move toward the barn for a better look and pulled the trigger.

&ldquoWhat on earth did you shoot him for?&rdquo yelled Lafayette Baker, another government detective, as he rushed to yank Booth out of the burning barn.

The orders from Washington were not to take the fugitive dead or alive&mdashthe War Department wanted Booth in the flesh. His motives for killing Lincoln were still a mystery, and officials knew they had a conspiracy to root out&mdashpossibly even one orchestrated by Confederate president Jefferson Davis. They needed their target to talk.

Booth was carried to the front porch of the Garrett house and placed on a makeshift mattress. &ldquoKill me,&rdquo he whispered later. He asked to see his hands, so one of the soldiers lifted his paralyzed limbs. &ldquoUseless, useless,&rdquo Booth muttered. He died around 7 am.

The government detectives immediately cast aspersions on Corbett, the trigger-happy sergeant who had just deprived the nation of a trial for the President&rsquos murderer. All because, he said, &ldquoGod Almighty directed me to.&rdquo Instead of the assassin, it was Corbett who was sent back to Washington to be questioned.

In the end, Corbett was spared a court martial. Rather than punishing him, War Secretary Edwin Stanton declared him a patriot. &ldquoI did not fire the ball from fear,&rdquo Corbett testified at the trial for Booth&rsquos conspirators in May of 1865, &ldquobut because I was under the impression at the time that he had started to the door to fight his way through, and I thought he would do harm to my men if I did not.&rdquo

Corbett collected his small share&mdash $1,653.85&mdashof the $50,000 reward and asked to keep his horse. &ldquoHe isn&rsquot very valuable,&rdquo he told the New York Tribune. &ldquoBut I&rsquove got so attached to him that I would like to take him home.&rdquo

Corbett became a folk hero. He was photographed by Mathew Brady, the most famous photographer of the era, and the images of him in dress fatigues were duplicated on photograph cards. He even went on a publicity tour, telling his tale at meetinghouses and Sunday schools.

But before long, the country was eager to move on. Corbett went back to ply his trade as a silk-hat finisher. Later, he worked as a lay preacher, making $250 a year. As his notoriety and income diminished, he became erratic and moody. By 1874, he was increasingly tormented by conspiracy theories that Booth was actually still alive and by rumors that Southern sympathizers wanted to kill Corbett in the assassin&rsquos name.

In a letter appearing in the Cleveland Leader, a soldier named Private Dalzell, surmised to be a friend of Corbett&rsquos, claimed that Corbett was &ldquopursued by threatening letters every day&rdquo and received &ldquono less than a dozen&rdquo along the lines of one that read: &ldquoHELL, September 1, 1874. &mdashBoston Corbett, Nemesis is on your path. J. Wilkes Booth.&rdquo

Dalzell wrote that Corbett was &ldquoinsulted wherever he appears in public. . . . [H]e is hated by one-half of the American people and despised by the other half for the only crime ever yet alleged against him&mdashthat . . . he robbed the haughty officers of a play where they would all have been star actors.&rdquo

Having spent much of his life in the hat industry, Corbett could have been succumbing to mercury poisoning. The ill effects of the mercury vapors used in finishing, Corbett&rsquos specialty, had become public by this time, even part of folklore after Lewis Carroll introduced the country to the Mad Hatter in Alice&rsquos Adventures in Wonderland in 1865.

By 1878, Corbett had had enough. He hitched a black pony to a wagon and headed west. Along the way, he stayed with a soldier from Company L, who later wrote that &ldquowherever [Corbett] goes he says Nemesis pursues him, and the troubled spirits of revenge will not let him rest. He is in constant fear of assassins.&rdquo

Corbett, then in his mid-forties, finally settled 1,500 miles from home, in Cloud County, Kansas, and homesteaded 80 acres. He built a one-room hovel with a wooden floor and rocked walls. Suspicious of anyone who ventured near his dugout&mdashfearing that someone, perhaps Booth&rsquos avenger, was out to get him&mdashCorbett presented his pistol to most who approached. He even shot at children who got too close.

On Sundays, he rode into town to attend church astride his only friend, a pony named Billy. At the end of the sermon, he&rsquod tell the preacher, &ldquoThe Lord wants me to say a few words.&rdquo Then he&rsquod remove a pistol from each boot, place the guns on either side of the Bible, and hold forth.

Corbett was deteriorating. &ldquoI have been very bad for the last six years,&rdquo he stated in 1882, pleading for more disability benefits he thought he was owed for serving in uniform: &ldquoI don&rsquot think I have been able to earn $20.00 during the whole time from 1877 to 1882 by manual labor.&rdquo At one point, he actually dug his own grave and told a neighbor that when he died, he should be buried in a new Army blanket.

In 1886, a veterans&rsquo organization took pity on the old codger and offered him the assistant doorkeeper&rsquos post at the Kansas State Legislature in Topeka. The job didn&rsquot last long. One day, after some kind of dispute&mdashaccounts of the day vary wildly&mdashCorbett brandished his gun inside the statehouse. That was it. Kansas officials shut him away in a mental asylum in Topeka.

But that wasn&rsquot the end of Boston Corbett. On May 26, 1888, as the inmates were exercising, Corbett spied a delivery boy tethering his horse in front of the asylum. He broke away from the group, jumped on the horse, and took off.

Corbett rode to Neodesha, Kansas, to the home of fellow Andersonville inmate Richard Thatcher. There he tied a note to his &ldquoborrowed&rdquo horse, explaining who its rightful owner was, and set it free. Then a relative of Thatcher&rsquos took him to Brooks station, a train stop on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. He said he was going to Mexico, but no witnesses remembered anyone matching Corbett&rsquos description boarding the train.

He was never heard from again.

Still, rumors trickled in: Corbett drowned in the Kansas River. One theory had him targeted by ruffians still bitter over the Bloody Kansas battles. Another had him moving to Hinckley, Minnesota, and later perishing in the Great Hinckley Fire of September 1, 1894. The best evidence of that hypothesis came from a survivor named Frank Haney, who in 1954 wrote an account of the conflagration and recalled an older Boston man named Tom Corbett, who was good with a rifle and was hired to hunt game for the crew at Gus Sexton&rsquos Minnesota logging camp in 1890. In this version of his demise, the real Corbett wasn&rsquot able to keep up with the younger men who escaped the flames by foot.

In the early 1900s, the federal pension bureau heard about a Boston Corbett who claimed he was alive and well and wanted his pension checks. But an investigation shed some doubt on the claim. The weathered old fellow, who went by the nickname Old Trapper, gave only vague details about Booth&rsquos killing, professing he couldn&rsquot think straight. It was also noted that the new Corbett stood six feet tall&mdasha full eight inches taller than the original. The imposter, a onetime patent-medicine salesman named John Corbett, was jailed.

And that was the last news of the mysterious Boston Corbett. As his friend Private Dalzell wrote to the Cleveland newspaper: &ldquoIn Greece and Rome, even in England and France, the avengers of their sovereign&rsquos death were loaded with gifts and public honors. Not so Corbett. He is reviled as a lunatic and laughed at as a rash religious fool.&rdquo

In fact, there is one memorial to Lincoln&rsquos avenger. A ramshackle fenced-in pen about 3½ miles from Concordia, Kansas, marks the man&rsquos last home. In 1958, a Boy Scout troop erected a stone plaque there to point out the &ldquoBoston Corbett Dugout.&rdquo Above the words are the sunken outlines of two revolvers: six-shooters embedded in the rock by the Scouts. Sometime between then and now, the guns were stolen by thieves.

Edwina Booth

Josephine Constance Woodruff was born in Provo, Utah, September 13, 1904, to James Lloyd and Josephine (Booth) Woodruff, the oldest of five children. According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune by Harold Schindler, she suffered from hypoglycemia, which often left her with little energy for normal childhood activities. She never finished a full year of school because of her illness. Her father contracted influenza during the epidemic of 1918-19 and moved to Venice, California, to recuperate. His family finally joined him there in 1921.

Shut out from normal activities, Josephine spent many hours watching movies as a young adult. In the 1920s she was watching a movie being filmed in Venice when the director invited her to Hollywood to make a screen test. This was followed by a few small parts in movies such as Manhattan Cocktail (1928) and Our Modern Maidens (1929). During this time she changed her name to Edwina Booth (Edwina after her favorite granduncle Edwin and Booth after her grandfather John Edge Booth). In 1929 Edwina Booth was offered the part of the white goddess in the motion picture Trader Horn. She at first refused the role, even with the encouragement of her family, but she was MGM’s first choice for the role and eventually signed a contract.

Other cast members included Renaldo Duncan and Harry Carey. Up to this time only travel narratives had been filmed in Africa, and although the plot of the movie was thought to be quite thin, the novelty of shooting the movie in Africa was considered to be commercially appealing. The stars and movie crew set sail for Africa in 1929.

The film was originally planned as a silent movie, but The Jazz Singer, the first talking movie, had been made and studio executives wanted Trader Horn to be a “talkie” as well. After arriving in Africa, the crew faced one disaster after another, starting with one of the sound trucks falling from a broken crane. There was no set script everyone knew the basic story, and they made up the dialogue as they went along.

Physical conditions were extremely hard the cast and crew were constantly bothered by insects, snakes, and animals. Edwina suffered the most, as she was especially sensitive to the sun, was bitten and stung by insects, cut by elephant grass, and endured malaria. The other actors could wear hats and clothing to protect themselves, but her role called for a scant costume with no shoes.

Filming proceeded for several months before they returned to the United States, where more problems plagued the film. Trader Horn ended up being a success, however, and was nominated for an Academy Award for best motion picture. Edwina did not fare well, though. Unpleasant rumors followed the crew home and Edwina’s health was ruined.

She instituted a lawsuit against MGM for $1 million to compensate for her physical problems. During this time she appeared in three movie serials, The Vanishing Legion (1931), Trapped in Tijuana (1932), and The Last of the Mohicans (1932). By 1932 her health was so poor that she was confined to darkened rooms for the next six years. When the lawsuit dragged on for two years, she found herself deeply in debt. She received financial help from the Harry Careys. Edwina finally received a settlement for $35,000 upon the condition that she would seek medical help at a tropical-disease treatment center in Europe. She stayed in hospitals in London, Berlin, Vienna, and finally Paris, but received little help for her physical ailments. She finally returned to the United States in 1936.

On November 21, 1951, she married Urial Leo Higham, who died in 1957. On February 17, 1959, she married Reinhold L. Fehlberg. He died in 1984. Most of her later life revolved around her family and LDS church work. When she died on May 18, 1991, in a California nursing home, none of her former neighbors knew of her movie career. She had preferred to keep that part of her life a secret, not even discussing her experiences in Africa with her family. It was often reported in the news media that she had passed away, most recently in Katharine Hepburn’s book The Making of the African Queen, How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall, and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind (1990): “Edwina Booth was the first to film in Africa, but then ‘she died some years ago.'”

Thomas Wollmann

Thomas Wollmann is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Professor Wollmann studies industrial organization. His research interests include the interaction of product entry and pricing and the impact of this interaction on business and public policy the relationship between antitrust policy and firm behavior regulatory capture (i.e. the potential for subsequent, lucrative private-sector employment to bias the actions of government employees) and the impact of research investment on scientific progress. His work has been published in leading economics journals including the The American Economic Review and American Economic Review: Insights.

Prior to joining Chicago Booth, Wollmann worked as an investment banker and entrepreneur.

Wollmann holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University. His pre-doctoral studies were at the New York University Stern School of Business, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance.

Tim Booth

In the mid-'80s, James singer Tim Booth was often compared to Morrissey of the Smiths. While the folksy guitar pop of the Smiths and James exhibited similarities, Booth didn't wallow in Morrissey's anguished…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by Michael Sutton

In the mid-'80s, James singer Tim Booth was often compared to Morrissey of the Smiths. While the folksy guitar pop of the Smiths and James exhibited similarities, Booth didn't wallow in Morrissey's anguished observations about life and love. Booth formed James in 1982 with Paul Gilbertson (guitar), Jim Glennie (bass), and Gavan Whelan (drums). Throughout the '80s, the band received airplay on college stations, gradually developing a cult audience. In 1991, James re-recorded "Sit Down" the track was James' breakthrough hit on American alternative rock stations. With the uplifting "Sit Down," often the highlight of James concerts, the group distanced itself from criticisms of being a Smiths clone. Three years later, the song "Laid" became a smash on MTV and U.S. radio stations James even performed at Woodstock '94.

During the summer of 1994, Booth collaborated with composer Angelo Badalamenti on Booth and the Bad Angel, a project that was initially suggested in the early '90s. On the British TV series Friday Night at the Dome, Booth expressed interest in working with Badalamenti. However, Badalamenti was unfamiliar with Booth's work, and it wasn't until 1993, after a James gig in London, England, that they finally saw one another in person. Booth and the Bad Angel was released in 1996. After Booth and the Bad Angel, Booth began recording again with James, releasing Whiplash in 1997 and Millionaires in 1999.

As the new millennium dawned, Booth left James to pursue his own projects. He devoted time to dance and meditation, and then he returned to acting -- most notably appearing in Christopher Nolan's 2005 movie Batman Begins -- and released his solo debut, Bone, in 2004. Three years later, Booth joined James for a tour that later expanded into a full-fledged reunion beginning with 2008's Hey Ma. A pair of EPs by James followed in 2010, and then Booth released his second solo album, Love Life, in the spring of 2011.

Watch the video: I Will Choose Christ by Tom Booth acoustic guitar cover (December 2022).

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