Troy Cowan Topic: Lincoln’s assassin lives to write a will in 1883.

Lincoln’s assassin lives to write a will in 1883.

This article presents proof that Booth did not die at the Garrett barn.


Important dates.

April 14, 1865—John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln in the back of the head.

April 15, 1865—Booth shaved off his mustache at Dr. Mudds.

April 25, 1865—after midnight, Union troops shot and killed a man resembling John Wilkes Booth. From pictures, the man with a mustache looked like Booth. The real Booth didn't have a mustache at the time.

April 26, 1865—at 9 a.m. the body was sewed up inside a blanket and taken by wagon to Washington.

April 26, 1865—the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, gave out a press release saying that Booth had been killed.

April 27, 1865—Body delivered to Washington at 3 a.m.

April 27, 1865 — at 1 p.m. the government began an autopsy and declared the body to be that of John Wilkes Booth. No family members or friends were called in to identify the body. After Edwin Stanton declared Booth dead, no one at the autopsy would dare contradict him.

September 12, 1883— John Wilkes Booth writes his last will and testament in Bombay India.


John Wilkes Booth

Booth was a dashing young actor who used the stage name John Wilkes. At a dance, John met a woman by the name of Lola Alexander. Booth introduced himself to her as John Wilkes. Lola found this interesting because she knew another man named John Wilkes. He was John Byron Wilkes. He lived in Terre Haute, Indiana, with his wife Elizabeth and their two daughters. When John Byron Wilkes was a child, his parents immigrated to the U.S. from England.

At this time in his life, John Wilkes Booth wasn’t making much money from acting. From time to time, Booth would travel through Terra Haute on his way to theatrical engagements. To help the struggling actor, Lola introduced Booth to John Byron Wilkes and she was able to arrange for the struggling actor to stay in the home of John Byron Wilkes when he was passing through Terra Haute.

Years later Booth became a successful actor. He was making $20,000 per year at a time when many men were making a dollar per day. He could have continued to live in comfort, but he wanted to help avenge the South for the acts of terror cause by the Radical Republicans.

Northerners like John Brown would take a gang of armed men into the South to burn crops, kill cattle, and destroy homes. These horrendous acts deeply upset Booth. When the war started, he came to the aid of the South by smuggling in medical supplies. Later, Booth was motivated into assassinating Lincoln.

Six months after the government announced Booth’s death, Kate Scott received a letter whose handwriting she recognized as that of John Wilkes Booth’s. The letter asked her to retrieve some papers a lawyer was holding for Booth. The writer of the letter said he would come to her farm to get the papers on September 15, 1865. The letter was signed John Byron Wilkes.

On September 15, John Wilkes Booth came to the farm and retrieved the letter. Because of this letter, we know that Booth was using the name John Byron Wilkes six months after Lincoln’s assassination.

People that believe Boston Corbett shot Booth at the Garrett barn may need some convincing that the man killed was not Booth. Because Booth did not want to be located, proof is hard to find. I would like to present evidence that Booth lived long after the incident at the Garrett barn.

1. It is a fact that John Wilkes Booth used the name John Wilkes as a stage name and in his business dealings.

2. It is a fact that in 1867, someone in San Francisco applied for a British passport to India using the stolen identity an emigrant named John Byron Wilkes.

3. It is a fact that someone in India wrote a will giving a great deal of money to Booth’s heirs.

4. It is a fact that this person, in India, knew about Booth’s wife, lovers, children, and friends.

5. It is a fact that this person, in India, knew about John Byron Wilkes’ emigration to the U.S. and he knew that his wife was married before and had two daughters.

6. It is a fact that Ulysses S. Grant had the will investigated and approved.

7. It is a fact that John Wilkes Booth’s heirs received Booth’s money.

Booth travels to India.

John Wilkes Booth had his investments under his stage name, John Wilkes. John Wilkes Booth also had a friend named John Byron Wilkes. John Byron Wilkes was born in England and immigrated to the United States.

John Stevenson was in love with Izola while she was married to Booth. After Stevenson heard the news that Booth died at the Garrett barn, Stevenson decided to ask Izola to marry him. When he asked her to run away with him, she informed him that Booth was alive and living in San Francisco. She told Stevenson that she was planning to reunite with Booth in San Francisco.

In 1867, someone in San Francisco used the stolen identity of John Byron Wilkes to apply for a British passport. This impostor successfully obtained a British passport allowing him and his wife to enter India. That imposter was John Wilkes Booth. Before John Wilkes Booth could leave for India, he had to wait for his wife, Izola. She was traveling from Baltimore to San Francisco.

In John Stevenson’s diary, he told about Izola meeting Booth and they set sail on April 21, 1868. John Scott was the captain and the ship was a Civil War blockade runner called the Indian Queen. The voyage to India would take a little over a month.

Living in India was uncomfortable for Izola. She couldn’t visualize raising happy well-adjusted children there. She returned to Baltimore and discovered that she was pregnant with Booth’s baby. Stevenson again asked Izola to marry him. This time she accepted.

In 1883, the man claiming to be John Byron Wilkes wrote a will in Bombay, India, leaving John Wilkes’ money to John Wilkes Booth’s friends, lovers, and children. Someone calling himself John Byron Wilkes wrote the will, but John Byron Wilkes and his wife, Elizabeth, were in Terra Haute at the time. This will gave the assets of John Wilkes (Booth’s stage name) to John Wilkes Booth’s heirs.

In 1883, the will arrived in the United States. Ulysses S. Grant ordered an investigation. In 1886, after the investigation and the heirs were located, the money was paid.

The people named in the will and received Booth’s money are as follows:

Ogarita Bellows—Booth’s daughter (Unfortunately, she died before the money was paid).
Harry Jerome Stevenson—Booth’s son.
Sarah Scott—Booth’s daughter.
Mary Louise Tuner—Booth’s daughter.
Izola Mills—Booth’s wife, Mother of Ogarita and Harry Jerome (Unfortunately, she died before the money was paid.)
Ella Turner—Booth’s lover and mother of Mary Louise.
Kate Scott—Booth’s lover and mother of Sarah.
Henry Johnson—Booth’s black valet.
Sarah Johnson—Booth’s children’s caretaker and mother to Henry.
Elizabeth Marshall Wilkes and her two daughters—Booth included in his will the wife and daughters of the man whose identity he took.

It should be clear that John Wilkes Booth did not die at the Garrett barn and he figured out a way to get his money to his beneficiaries.

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