Extremely rare ink signature, “J. Wilkes Booth”, clipped from a document printed on blue paper, with tape discoloration to left and right ends, measures 3.75×1. Authentic Booth signatures do not become available often with this being a dark, clean example.
Booth was a member of the well-known Booth family of Shakespearean actors and a somewhat erratic, if popular, performer. A supporter of slavery and the South, he participated in the arrest and execution of abolitionist John Brown in 1859. In the fall of 1864, he hatched a plan to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln but the scheme failed. He then concocted the plot to assassinate Lincoln, which he did in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Booth was located and killed twelve days later.