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Department 1

Civil War Institute


Lastly, we come upon perhaps the best known actor of the Civil War era, John Wilkes Booth. Of course, the reason memory allows us to recall the name is not because of the merits achieved through his profession, but rather because he murdered the elected executive official – United States President Abraham Lincoln. Booth, a product of a theater family, was a dramatic, eccentric, and impatient being. He wanted the leading roles, did not want to prepare the role, but to simply play the role. His brother, Edwin Booth, a talented poetical performer, one might deduce, did prepare for his roles, as he performed the role of Hamlet for one-hundred shows straight in New York City during his career. [excerpt]


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.