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Grave of John Wilkes Booth
10-27-2017, 07:02 PM
Post: #1
Grave of John Wilkes Booth
There is a story in the October 27, 2017 New York Times titled "What We're Reading" with a subsection by Andrea Kannapell who reports a story in Atlas Obscura about the grave site of John Wilkes Booth:

First he was buried in the Old Penitentiary, along with his co-conspirators who were hanged there. Booth’s remains were exhumed and reburied in a warehouse of the Penitentiary in 1867. Finally in 1869, his remains were exhumed a third time and released to his family.

The assassin’s body was transported to Baltimore, the city of his youth, and buried in the Booth family plot in Green Mount Cemetery. The family plot is easy to find due to Junius Brutus Booth’s towering obelisk. But the Booth family, John Wilkes’ brother Edwin in particular, believed that an elaborate headstone for John Wilkes might attract unwanted attention and vandalism. Visitors today believe the small, plain, unmarked headstone denotes John Wilkes Booth’s final resting spot. Though some believe the white stone in the Booth family plot is actually that of Asia Booth Clarke, John Wilkes’ older sister. In lieu of flowers or stones, people leave pennies behind on the headstone, as if to give Lincoln the final word.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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10-28-2017, 04:43 AM
Post: #2
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
(10-27-2017 07:02 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  In lieu of flowers or stones, people leave pennies behind on the headstone, as if to give Lincoln the final word.

Leaving stones is a new one to me.
I've seen them on rare occasions, but never understood why they were there.
http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2012/...raves.html

A few other sites also indicate it is more of a Jewish custom

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-28-2017, 10:35 AM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2017 10:36 AM by L Verge.)
Post: #3
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/grav...lkes-booth

This site has almost the same text as what David posted, but it also includes some nice photos of the pennies on display at the grave site. On at least one occasion, I saw pennies placed in the large "O" reliefs of the name BOOTH on the main obelisk -- sort of like the pupils of huge eyes.

On my first adventure into Green Mount Cemetery, a group of us were under the tutelage of the legendary John C. Brennan, who seemed to know everything there was to know about cemeteries and the famous people who reside within. When we reached the obelisk, someone had left an empty whiskey bottle propped against it. Gently, Mr. Brennan picked it up and commented, "Well, old Junius always did have a drinking problem!"
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11-05-2017, 06:32 PM
Post: #4
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
a much more practical reason for leaving a stone atop a headstone is to make it easier to find on a follow-up visit. Particularly helpful in a military cemetery will most headstones are identical.
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12-31-2017, 07:35 AM
Post: #5
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
(10-28-2017 10:35 AM)L Verge Wrote:  https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/grav...lkes-booth

This site has almost the same text as what David posted, but it also includes some nice photos of the pennies on display at the grave site. On at least one occasion, I saw pennies placed in the large "O" reliefs of the name BOOTH on the main obelisk -- sort of like the pupils of huge eyes.

On my first adventure into Green Mount Cemetery, a group of us were under the tutelage of the legendary John C. Brennan, who seemed to know everything there was to know about cemeteries and the famous people who reside within. When we reached the obelisk, someone had left an empty whiskey bottle propped against it. Gently, Mr. Brennan picked it up and commented, "Well, old Junius always did have a drinking problem!"

Loved the story Laurie. Has me laughing!

Bill Nash
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01-01-2018, 06:01 PM
Post: #6
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
(10-28-2017 04:43 AM)Gene C Wrote:  
(10-27-2017 07:02 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  In lieu of flowers or stones, people leave pennies behind on the headstone, as if to give Lincoln the final word.

Leaving stones is a new one to me.
I've seen them on rare occasions, but never understood why they were there.
http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2012/...raves.html

A few other sites also indicate it is more of a Jewish custom
Jewish tradition to symbolize a visit, hence the deceased is still thought of, but Muslims are allowed to mark graves that way, too (as they aren't allowed to erect anything "structure" on graves).
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01-15-2018, 04:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
Visitors to the Fort Hill Cemetery (Auburn, NY) grave of the legendary former slave and Underground Railroad conductor, Harriet Tubman, leave pennies all over her headstone and on the ground. They also leave stones and seashells (an African custom.)

Kate Clifford Larson
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Yesterday, 11:37 AM
Post: #8
RE: Grave of John Wilkes Booth
(01-15-2018 04:16 PM)KLarson Wrote:  Visitors to the Fort Hill Cemetery (Auburn, NY) grave of the legendary former slave and Underground Railroad conductor, Harriet Tubman, leave pennies all over her headstone and on the ground. They also leave stones and seashells (an African custom.)

In August of 1864, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman met in Boston. In his book Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend, author Carlton Mabee writes, "Truth tried to persuade Tubman that (Abraham) Lincoln was a real friend to blacks, but Tubman insisted he was not because he allowed black soldiers to be paid less than white soldiers."

Frederick Douglass:

My first interview with [President Lincoln] was in the summer of 1863, soon after the Confederate States had declared their purpose not to treat any such soldiers as prisoners of war subject to exchange like other soldiers. My visit to Mr. Lincoln was in reference to this threat of the Confederate States. . . .

I said: “Mr. Lincoln, I am recruiting colored troops. I have assisted in fitting up two regiments in Massachusetts, and am now at work in the same way in Pennsylvania, and have come to say this to you, sir, if you wish to make this branch of the service successful you must do four things:

“First – You must give colored soldiers the same pay that you give white soldiers.” . . .
To this little speech Mr. Lincoln listened with earnest attention and with very apparent sympathy, and replied to each point in his own peculiar, forcible way. First, he spoke of his opposition generally to employing Negroes as soldiers at all, of the prejudice against the race, and of the advantage to colored people that would result from their being employed as soldiers in defense of their country. He regarded such an employment as an experiment, and spoke of the advantage it would be to the colored race if the experiment should succeed. He said that he had difficulty in getting colored men into the United States uniform; that when the purpose was fixed to employ them as soldiers, several different uniforms were proposed for them, and that it was something gained when it was finally determined to clothe them like other soldiers.

Now, as to the pay, we had to make some concession to prejudice. There were threats that if we made soldiers of them at all white men would not enlist, would not fight beside them. Besides, it was not believed that a Negro could make a good soldier, as good a soldier as a white man, and hence it was thought that he should not have the same pay as a white man. But said he, “I assure you, Mr. Douglass, that in the end they shall have the same pay as white soldiers.”

(Source: “Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time,” collected and edited by Allen Thorndike Rice, 1888, pages 185-88.)

It is unfortunate that neither Sojourner Truth nor Harriet Tubman had been aware when they met in August 1864 of the details of this conversation that had taken place in the White House between Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln one year earlier. Frederick Douglass’ details of his conversation with President Lincoln were not published until 1888. Undoubtedly, Harriet Tubman’s opinion of Abraham Lincoln would have been markedly different had she known. But I think now that many visitors to the grave site of Harriet Tubman believe that Harriet Tubman and President Abraham Lincoln were of one mind, as they really were.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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