What did john wilkes booth have to do with boston, massachusetts?
The Deringer by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia
John Wilkes Booth prepared to be a Bostonian
John Wilkes Booth purchased property in the newly developed Back Bay area, at 115 Commonwealth Avenue in 1863. This was not a speculative financial purchase. His brother resided in Boston for 15 years. Instructions to thes real estate agent were clear that this would be his home.
“Dear Joe, Did you or Orlando send me that catalog of Back Bay lands to be sold April 9th. However, find out about them. For lots No. 5,6,7 or 9 (any one of them) on the north side of Commonwealth Avenue. I will bid as high as $2.70 per foot (their minimum value is $2.25). If you fail to get any one of the above, I will bid on corner lot (Commonwealth Avenue) No. 20. as high as $3.25 per foot. If you are not out bid and fail to get any of them, I will bid on any one (single lot) on south side of Marlborough Street as high as 20 percent above its minimum valuation (a corner lot preferred.) Attend to this, dear Joe. See Keach who said something about the auctioneer being sorry he did not know I wanted to buy last time. Let Orlando see this. Advise with him about it. He promised to buy from me, or to let me know about it. I don’t care about the lots on Marlborough St. If I buy one of them, it will be on spec. So if you miss Commonwealth Ave, strike light on the first….Yours truly, J. Wilkes Booth”[i]
Here are some financial comparisons of the property value then and now at 115 Commonwealth Avenue
The purchase price was $8,192
The land was recorded in his mother's name
Booth did not develop the property. It appears he subsequently suffered financial losses in the oil business
In 1876 Walter Hastings Jr. purchased the property and built a house on it that cost twenty-six thousand dollars
115 Commonwealth Avenue, sold for $10,600,000, on September 5, 2010[ii]
The sale price in 2010 was $1,012, a square foot, compared to the original lot sale price of $8,192
Yearly taxes today are three times the value of the house and land in 1876
Footprint of the Booths and Boston;
John Wilkes Booth stayed at the Parker House in April 1865
He practiced shooting with a pistol on School Street over the five-day stay in April 1865
He was killed by pursuing Union soldiers April 23rd, 1865
The Union soldier that shot and killed Booth at the Garrett barn in Port Royal, Virginia, was also a Bostonian; Sergeant Thomas P. “Boston” Corbett
His brother Edwin Booth was a long-term Boston resident
After the assassination, Boston was sympathetic to the burden Edwin endured
Edwin Booth's wife Mary was buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, in 1863[iii]
Edwin remarried in 1869
Edwin declared bankruptcy during the depression of 1873. His theatre folded
His second wife died in 1881
After two strokes Edwin Booth died June 6, 1893, and was interred next to his first wife, Mary
Asia Booth Clarke, younger sister to the two Shakespearean actors, died at age 52 on May 16, 1888, in England ending a lightly threaded marriage to John Sleeper Clarke of Boston comedial acting fame
Her body was returned to the Booth Family site in Barltimore, Maryland
John Wilkes Booth’s body was eventually returned to the Booth family sight, at Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore Maryland, joining his family in eternity[iv]
After the assassination, John Wilkes younger brother, Junius, managed for many years the "Boston Theatre", ran a retreat for actors at Manchester By The Sea and married in Boston and raised four children. He died in 1886.
Sources http://historyofmassachusetts.org/john-wilkes-booth-owned-property-in-boston/Rebecca Beatrice Brooks American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies; Michael W. Kauffman; 2005 Classic Realty; 115 Commonwealth Avenue Boston: www.classic-realty.com/115-commonwealth-avenue-boston/ http://www.bu.edu/bhr/2015/05/11/boston-the-booth-brothers-and-the-parker-house/By: Susan Wilson
8/13/2018 Great Work! So glad to see other walking guides whose research and use of primary sources is so thorough. DLa xxx (a.k.a. Mistress xxxxxxxxx de la xxx) #ocbground
Date: Fri, jun 22, 2018, 3:57 pm subject: re: walk boston history Tour to: n>
The tour of the freedom trail with the emphasis on Paul Revere was very informative. We started at the state house and learned about its architecture. We continued through Boston Commons and past the burial grounds. We then continued to the north end and Paul Revere’s house. At each stop Mitch had many interesting and little known facts to tell us. We were surprised by the number of occupations Paul Revere had. During our walk through the north end Mitch pointed out various restaurants to eat in. The tour was about 2 miles of walking and lasted about 1 hour 45 minutes and was most enjoyable. We would definitely take another tour with Mitch in the future. Betsy, florida
9/5/2017 Hi Sheila,
I just wanted to tell you and Mitch how very much I enjoyed today. Mitch is passion for history comes through loud and clear in his delivery.
I learned new facts about Paul Revere that I had never known before.
Mitch was so well-prepared including all of the pictures and it was obvious that heput a lot of time and effort into this tour and the presentation.
So thank you so much for the invitation He did a great job! leslie b, Natick
10/18/2017Hi Mitch, finally getting to say thank you for such an enjoyable day and tour of Paul Revere etc.. I truly learned so much and loved walking through so much of historic Boston! PHYLIS, nh
9/5/2017 Hi Beth, Thanks for asking us to go on your tour, Mitch, of Boston’s historic sites. Your enthusiasm and love of history is contagious. You made history come alive. Sorry I had to leave early. I bet the tour of the North End was equally exciting! You put your all into it. sarah r. Wellesley
6/15/2017 email@example.com Comment 6/1/2017, Your remarks about John Hancock really painted a historical image of the man. 6/1/2016 Hi Mitch, resume services reviews has just posted a comment on your blog post, Why Did Paul Revere Become a Coroner at the Age of Sixty-two? : This is a very interesting piece of historical information. I was never aware of this information before. I didn't even know how relevant Paul Revere is in the history of Boston. It seems that he is a very important figure on Boston's foundation. I'm definitely going to dwell further into matter and research more about him.Comment actions:
Irishman1987 I was there that day with members of Jerusalem lodge #104 Keene NH, I am so glad I had the chance to attend this event and pay my respects.
6/3/2017 GS, SNHU,edu, Mitch your remarks about John Hancock really painted an historical image of the man.
10/15/2016 Thank you so much for the Boston Massacre Tour. I never knew it was such a complicated affair. I particularly liked the incidental historical stops about Colonial Boston. I hadn't been downtown for years. You opened up so much for me. June, Natick Ma.
An association of tour guidES for educators, amateur historians, and the general public looking to walk beyond the Freedom Trail, concentrating on the legal, philosophical, emotional and political events of Boston.