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Bates Letter, 1902

By Finis L. Bates


F. L. Bates was an author on the Lincoln assassination and a lawyer. He believed Booth escaped the Garrett Farm barn. In the bulk of this letter Bates explains, at least to his satisfaction, that he has a tintype of a man he believes to be Booth, which can prove his belief about Booth's escape to others.As a young man in Granbury, Texas, Bates met local barkeep John St. Helen, who claimed to be John Wilkes Booth, long a fugitive following his murder of Abraham Lincoln. Bates believed St. Helen's story. Years later when another would-be Booth, David George, committed suicide in Oklahoma, Bates viewed the body and decided it was that of his old acquaintance St. Helen. Bates acquired the corpse and for years he and his heirs exhibited the mummified remains throughout the South. Bates promoted his contention in "Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth," published in 1907, which included a purported confession

Topics: Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination; Bates, Finis L. (Finis Langdon)
Publisher: Indiana Historical Society
Year: 1902
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