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  • RickS
    04/15/2011 at 12:11pm


    Colonel Borch

    I beg to differ with you, sir. The causes and effects of the Civil War had everything to do with John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I doubt Booth would have willingly thrown away his liberty, livelihood, and, in the very end, his life.

    After all, it was on the evening of December 1, 1860 that Booth stood on the stage, with actress Margaret Julia Mitchell [known affectionately though the Southern states as "Our Maggie"] of the newly opened Montgomery Theatre [on October 14, 1860], on the corner of Monroe and Perry Streets in Montgomery, Alabama, on the occasion of the Booth Benefit his then manager, Matthew Canning, had scheduled.

    It was indeed a special evening; Booth, previously billed as just "John Wilkes" up until that night, performed both "Rafaelle" and "Richard III" with Maggie Mitchell's comedic turn as "Katy O’Sheal" sandwiched in between them. [The "Daily Post", Montgomery's newspaper, would note the name change] In effect and in fact it was John Wilkes Booth's "coming out" party, as he spoke to a standing room only, adoring Alabama audience, itself reeling from the recent election of Abe Lincoln. It would be the first time and the first of many words he'd write and/or voice from a new script:

    “Thank you so very much, dear Margaret Julia, and you as well, citizens of Montgomery. Your down home Southern hospitality is without equal. This Complimentary Benefit has humbled me. Without your outpouring, during my all too brief stay, especially due to result of the recent election, I fear I might have been stricken speechless, or worse yet, useless. However, do not despair for me my friends, my anguish has been lifted being amongst you. I believe the South shall survive and succeed without Abraham Lincoln and Washington City. You all feel the fire of abolition now raging. It is a fire lighted and fanned by Republican fanaticism. A fire which only blood and justice can extinguish. Fierce civil war will follow. What then? Why God alone can tell the rest. So help me God, I dedicate this show tonight to you all. God bless my sweet second home, Alabama!”

    The sentiments of which would lead his soon-to-be-estranged elder brother, Edwin, to later state, after John Wilkes 1865 death: "He was a rattle-pated fellow, filled with Quixotic notions...a wild-brained boy...insane [about secession and Lincoln's election] which drove him beyond the limits of reason".

    In closing, Colonel, the die was already cast, 150 years ago. A damned Booth and a doomed Lincoln were both destined to add perpetual punctuation to a un-Civil War

    from Historians View the Assassination


Registered Member

  • Favorite figure in American History:

    George Washington, Abe Lincoln
  • If I could live in any period of American History:

    The Roarin' Twenties, The 40s, The Revolution
  • A bit about myself:

    I really have a passion for history! I'm thinking of majoring in history in college. I love an good historical movie and love to have a good heated debate about a historical event...kinda like Brad Meltzer's Decoded. I've officially decided that John Wilkes Booth lived for YEARS after the assassination! Check out the episode if you don't agree. It'll at least give you a different perspective. (:
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