John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day

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About the Book

By 1865, at the age of 26, Booth had much to lose: a loving family, hosts of friends, adoring women, professional success as one of America’s foremost actors, and the promise of yet more fame and fortune. Yet he formed a daring conspiracy to abduct Lincoln and barter him for Confederate prisoners of war. The Civil War ended before Booth could carry out his plan, so he assassinated the president, believing him to be a tyrant who had turned the once-proud Union into an engine of oppression that had devastated the South.
This book gives a day-by-day account of Booth’s complex life—from his birth May 10, 1838, to his death April 26, 1865, and the aftermath—and offers a new understanding of the crime that shocked a nation.

About the Author(s)

The late Arthur F. Loux lived in Stilwell, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

Arthur F. Loux
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9527-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1709-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

1. Youth: 1838–1857 3

2. Philadelphia: 1857–1858 16

3. Richmond: 1858–1860 31

4. Novice: 1860–1861 61

5. Rising Star: 1861–1862 80

6. Success: 1862–1863 106

7. Career End: 1863–1864 136

8. Preparations: 1864 164

9. Action: 1865 183

10. Useless: 1865–1869 210

Chapter Notes 231

Bibliography 267

Index 279

Book Reviews & Awards

“This is an intriguing account of a man who had everything to lose when he decided to kill the president, yet still went through with the deed. This is an interesting take that mixes historical explanation with actual pieces of Booth’s diary…. This book is an in-depth chart of the first presidential murderer’s descent from fame and his fall from grace”—Against the Grain; “meticulously researched”—ProtoView; “Art Loux has created something special. Using a variety of sources including old newspapers and eyewitness accounts of John Wilkes Booth’s acquaintances, he has put together the most thorough account of the assassin’s daily activities ever written. Loux’s effort will provide not only an invaluable resource for researchers and Lincoln assassination buffs, but it will also appeal to a more general audience curious about the intricacies of Booth’s life. Congratulations to Art Loux, this book is the crowning achievement of a lifetime of research by an outstanding historian.”—Roger Norton, founder, the Abraham Lincoln Research Site and the Lincoln Discussion Symposium; “What sort of a man was John Wilkes Booth? Historians have shown him to have been a very complex individual who knew how to use people to his advantage. But was he insane? How could someone so disturbed have been so popular and have such an illustrious acting career? Was he a lone assassin, or did he act on orders from the Confederacy to first kidnap and then kill Lincoln? There are still many haunting and unanswered questions. Thanks to Art Loux, we can now find Booth at almost any time during his brief twenty-six year life. Although historians are still divided over what really drove him to kill the Great Emancipator, John Wilkes Booth: Day By Day offers a unique perspective of this enigmatic figure by tracing his whereabouts in chronological order. Previously available only to a select few, McFarland now presents this unique and valuable research tool to everyone!”—Richard Sloan, former president, The Lincoln Group of New York; “During the last twelve days of his life, the entire nation was looking for John Wilkes Booth. Following his assassination of Abraham Lincoln, even suspicions of his movements became national headlines. After Booth’s death on April 26th, 1865, the nation stopped looking at his movements. Luckily for us, historian Art Loux did not. John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day represents the life’s work of Mr. Loux as he traced the movements of Lincoln’s 26-year-old assassin. From his birth near Bel Air, Maryland, to his touring schedule as one of the nation’s premiere actors, to his death at the hands of Union troops, never before has the life of John Wilkes booth been so accurately chronicled. Art Loux provides an unparalleled view of the long path that ultimately led John Wilkes Booth to the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre.”—David J. Taylor, Lincoln assassination researcher and writer; “It is a monumental bit of work and no [Lincoln assassination] historian of sense can do without it.”—(the late) James O. Hall, co-author of Come Retribution: The Confederate Secret Service and the Assassination of Lincoln.