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Suspect Lincoln

A Booth Check Not Honored

November 18, 2019

An eBay vendor recently listed an intriguing, yet highly suspicious item with a starting bid of $1100. It was a receipt from the Confederate Treasury in Richmond, dated November 11, 1864, issued to John Wilkes booth, acknowledging the receipt of $5500 to be transferred to the bank account of Booth’s sister Asia Booth Clarke. The vendor claimed it was found within a wall of a Baltimore building that was undergoing renovation. He also offered a knife presented by Asia to John Wilkes (so-inscribed) from the same cache, with a “half-price” opening bid of $8500. Not surprisingly, neither item sold. Regarding the check, there were numerous red flags. Although John was quite successful, he had squandered his fortune in the Pennsylvania oil fields the prior year. So, there was no way he had $5500 available. Although he had contacts with Confederate agents, he did not travel to Richmond nor did he perform there. His sister resided in Baltimore and had not reason to maintain a bank account there. The handwriting on the receipt also does not look right, but that’s the least of its problems. We understand it’s been making the rounds lately and is a “known” piece.