Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln’s Assassination

Who was John Wilkes Booth?

Born in Maryland on May 10, 1838, Booth was the son of Junius Brutus Booth and Mary Ann Booth. Their story, and that of his siblings, is every bit as colorful as his own.

Early in the 1820s, Junius Brutus Booth and his wife Mary Ann arrived from England. He had been a very successful stage actor in London, and he now took up his vocation in America, which suffered from a dearth of native-born actors (some historians believe there were almost no native-born Americans performing on the American stage till about 1815). Junius Brutus Booth became a true sensation; he eventually gave over 2,800 performances in sixty-eight American cities and towns. But at the same time, there was tragedy, which seemed to surround his family.


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