Posts Tagged With: News

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 8

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

Part 8 of my series “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” is now complete and available for viewing.

In this part I discuss Booth’s comfort and the ways he could have passed the hours of waiting.

To watch the video, you can either click on the image above and scroll down, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube, or play the embedded video below.

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 7

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

Part 7 of my series “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” is now complete and available for viewing. In this part, I practice walking with a crutch and experience my second night sleeping in the woods.

To watch the video, you can either click on the image above and scroll down, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube, or play the embedded video below.

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 6

I just completed Part 6 of my series “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods“. In this part, I discuss the fate of John Wilkes Booth and David Herold’s horses while the pair hid in the pine thicket.

To watch the video, click on the image below and scroll down, or click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 5

Part 5 of my series John Wilkes Booth in the Woods is edited and uploaded!  To watch it, click on the image below and scroll down, or, to watch the video right on YouTube, click HERE.

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

I apologize for the delay between the previous installments and this one.  I was having computer issues which prevented me from editing and rendering videos.  Now, thanks to my brother, my computer is fixed and the rest of the videos should be completed and shared in a more timely manner.  Thank you for understanding.

 

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Part 4

Part 4 of my series, John Wilkes Booth in the Woods, is now edited and uploaded!

 

In an effort to keep all the videos together and in one easily accessible place, I’ve created a new page here on BoothieBarn for the series.

You can access the John Wilkes Booth in the Woods page a few different ways:

1. I’ve added a link to the page on the menu bar at the very top of the site:

JWB Woods top Menu

2.  You can find a link to it listed on the side of the site under the “Pages” header:

JWB Woods Pages

3. Easiest of all, clicking the following picture will take you right to the page.  I’ll be sure to include this image in future posts about the series:

John Wilkes Booth in the Woods

As more videos are completed I’ll add them to the John Wilkes Booth in the Woods page and write a quick post to let you all know a new video is up. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

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John Wilkes Booth in the Woods: Parts 1 – 3

For about four and a half days between April 16 – April 21, 1865, John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice, David E. Herold, hid from federal troops in the southern Maryland woods.  Near the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, I undertook a project to reenact, as accurately as possible, this often forgotten part of the assassin’s escape route. My hope was to gain a better understanding of Booth’s conditions and the impact those days in the woods had on his state of mind.  The follow videos are parts of a series I’m calling “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” which documents my endeavor.

I’m very pleased to present the first three parts of the “John Wilkes Booth in the Woods” project for your viewing pleasure:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

 

As editing of the footage continues, new parts will be uploaded and released here on BoothieBarn.  Stay tuned for much, much more!

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Teaser: In the Pines

Rain and thunderstorms have cut my planned four and a half day reenactment of John Wilkes Booth’s time in the pine thicket to only three days and two nights.  Though I was not able to recreate the duration of Booth’s concealment, I believe that I got a great sense of Booth’s conditions and the mindset that overcame him during this time.  I’m currently going through the over 300 video clips that I shot during my excursion and I will be editing them together to create a documentary of the experience.

While a finished video is a ways off, I did want to share with you some still photos that I have of the camp out.  In addition to my video camera, I brought along a trail camera to take still shots.  Usually tied to trees and used by hunters to track their game, the trail camera I had took one picture per minute when activated by motion.  Sadly, there is no way to see the pictures as they are being taken so I just had to tie the camera to the tree and hope that the angle would capture me when activated.

Therefore, as a teaser to my pine thicket video, here are some of the pictures captured by the trail camera during my time in the woods.  Just ignore the time and date stamps at the bottom as I neglected to set this up before turning on the camera:

Thinking about my first hours in the woods as the sun sets.

Thinking about my first hours in the woods as the sun sets.

Armed to the teeth as I go to bed for the first night.

Armed to the teeth as I go to bed for the first night.

Good morning sunshine

Good morning sunshine

Passing the time writing in my Booth diary

Passing the time writing in my Booth diary

Always on the look out for federal troops

Always on the look out for federal troops

Enjoying the bread my Thomas Jones brought me to eat

Enjoying the bread my Thomas Jones brought me to eat

I was about to bed down for the second night and found a toad on my blanket.  Here I'm coaxing him away with my crutch.

I was about to bed down for the second night and found a toad on my blanket. Here I’m coaxing him away with my crutch.

About to go to sleep for the second night.

About to go to sleep for the second night.

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

My favorite shot of them all.  This shows me right after trying my first drink of bourbon whiskey.  I am not a fan.

My favorite picture of them all. This shows me right after trying my first drink of bourbon whiskey. I am not a fan.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  There’s much more to come!

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Give Ford’s Theatre YOUR Opinion!

fords-150-remembering-lincolnA couple weeks ago, Lindsey and I were invited by the Ford’s Theatre Society to take part in a focus group for Lincoln enthusiasts.  The purpose of the focus group was to gauge our interest and experience using websites as educational tools.  The Ford’s Theatre Society is preparing to launch an exciting new project which will coincide with the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination next year.  It is entitled the “Remembering Lincoln” project and will involve a website geared around the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination and the national reaction towards his death.  As part of their preparation for this project, the Ford’s Theatre Society would love to hear your input about what interests you about the Lincoln assassination and what ideas you might have for the “Remembering Lincoln” site.  They asked me if I would be willing to spread the word about a survey that they will be conducting over the next few days, which I am more than happy to do.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RL-enthusiasts-survey

 

Please, as soon as possible, take the short survey created by the Ford’s Theatre Society linked above and provide your thoughts on a new website to teach about Lincoln’s assassination.  If you complete the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win a new book about the history of Ford’s Theatre.  Even if you don’t win the book, however, you’ll still be helping an important institution in the Lincoln assassination saga develop their programming and strengthen their mission of educating the public about Lincoln’s last day.  The survey will only stay up for a few days, so please let your voice be heard soon.  They would love to get as many responses as they can in that time in order to help them craft the “Remembering Lincoln” website in a way that would be useful and enjoyable to you.

You can read a little bit more about the “Remembering Lincoln” project by clicking HERE or HERE

 

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A Preface to a Reenactment

This coming week will mark the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. In previous years the National Park Service and the Ford’s Theatre Society have commemorated this moment in history with a wreath laying ceremony at the Petersen House.  If the tradition is repeated (and I dearly hope that it is) I will, sadly, not be around to witness it.  Instead, I will be about 40 miles south, sharing in the moment of silence surrounded by nothing but trees and birds.  I feel that the log cabin born President wouldn’t mind.

Starting this Saturday, April 12, I will be isolating myself into a forested area in Southern Maryland for a little over four and a half days.  I will not have a tent.  I will not have access to running water.  I will not have a change of clothing.  The purpose for this self imposed isolation is my desire to reenact a moment of history.  Those of you who follow this blog, my Twitter account, or are part of the discussions over at Roger Norton’s excellent Lincoln Discussion Symposium, already know the period of time that I am trying to reenact.  149 years ago, from about midnight on April 16th through dusk on April 20th, John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold found themselves hiding from Federal troops in a pine thicket in Southern Maryland.  Their caretaker was a man by the name of Thomas Jones.  During those dangerous times, Jones kept the two men hidden and fed while he waited for a chance to get them across the Potomac River.  For almost five days, Booth and Herold hid in the pines worried that the snap of every twig was the cavalry about to pounce on them.

I want to duplicate that experience.  Prior to his spell in the woods, Booth was a braggart regarding his deed and expected his act to be celebrated by his countrymen.  A distinct shift in thinking occurred during those long days and nights in the woods.  Booth read about how his crime was perceived in the newspapers that Jones brought him and he was dismayed.  Rather than finding the doors of Confederate sympathizers opening wide for him, he found himself sleeping on the cold ground dependent on a single soul for his basic needs.  The Booth who emerge from those woods, was a transformed man, a beaten man.  The glorious dream that Booth hoped for faded into a wooded nightmare before his very eyes.

My future camp site

My future camp site

In literature about the assassination, the time in which Booth was in the pine thicket is given little space.  This is not the blame of the historian of author, however.  The lack of interpretation of Booth’s time in the pine thicket is due to the lack of resource material regarding this very private time for the assassin.  Therefore, I decided that understanding this period of time on the escape of John Wilkes Booth would require more than just consulting texts and resources.  To attempt to get into the mindset of John Wilkes Booth, I decided to recreate the conditions that he faced.

Over the past couple of months and with the help of so many generous colleagues, I have assembled the clothing and supplies that Booth would have had with him during his time in the pine thicket.  My reenactment will feature one major anachronism: a video camera.  With this modern tool, I will record my experiences and my thoughts throughout the endeavor.  After returning to modern times, I will edit and share the footage of my primitive camp out here on the blog.

I hope this endeavor explains my more recent silence on BoothieBarn.  The preparation for this undertaking has been massive and has precluded me from engaging in my normal research.

When the 149th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination rolls around in a few days and this blog appears to be silent on the matter, just read one of the previous posts (like this one or this one) and think of this crazy researcher who is at that moment laying out in the woods trying to get into the mindset of the assassin … and trying to remember how many leaves there are on poison ivy.

P.S. Some of my friends and family have expressed their concern for my safety during this excursion.  In order to provide “proof of life” to those caring souls I will be asking Lindsey (my own Thomas Jones) to post pictures of me on my Twitter account when she comes to bring me supplies.  So keep an eye on @BoothieBarn over the next week to see how I’m getting along.

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“Lincoln’s Assassin” on NatGeo’s “Diggers”

Those of you who get the National Geographic channel will want to be tuning in next Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST.  On that date and time a new episode of the metal detecting show “Diggers” will be premiering.  The name of the episode is called “Lincoln’s Assassin” and the show will highlight the exploits of metal detecting duo “King” George Wyant and Tim “Ringy” Saylor as they search for long lost artifacts in places related to John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln's Assassin Diggers

Over the course of the production, the Diggers dug for Booth relics at his childhood home of Tudor Hall, Bryantown Tavern, Thomas Jones’ Huckleberry, down by the edge of the Potomac, and at Mrs. Quesenberry’s house in Virginia.  “KG” and “Ringy” are unique treasure hunters, making jokes all along the way and making bets over who can uncover the best “nectar” (find).  At the end of the episode the pair will show their “nectar” to an archaeologist and assassination author Michael Kauffman to see if they found a Booth artifact that will change our understanding of history.

This episode will not only be an entertaining look at metal detecting, but also highlight several sites related to the life and escape of John Wilkes Booth.

On a personal note, I had the good fortune of being present at Huckleberry back in August on the day that the crew was shooting there.  I had unknowingly shown up at the Loyola Retreat House to take some pictures of the water’s edge, when I saw a large number of vehicles outside of Huckleberry.  After approaching the Diggers group and learning that they were shooting an episode about Booth, I was graciously invited to remain and watch the production.  It was an entertaining afternoon to say the least.  “KG” and “Ringy” are quite funny and Michael Kauffman was an excellent foil to their exuberant declarations of finding Booth’s “this” or “that”.  Here are a few pictures I took while the guys were shooting their scenes:

Diggers set 1

Diggers set 2

Diggers set 4

Here’s a shot of Michael Kauffman providing some background information about the different places the Diggers visited and Booth’s escape route:

Diggers set 5

 

I was also allowed inside of Huckleberry where some of the production assistants were working.  Huckleberry is used to house visiting priests to Loyola and is therefore furnished like a typical house today.  Nevertheless here is a short video I shot from inside the house.  Michael Kauffman makes a brief appearance to answer a couple of my questions:

In the midst of shooting there was a huge down pouring of rain and so there was a mad dash to protect the cameras and other equipment.  I helped the best I could by grabbing hold of the tent awning they had set up to prevent it from blowing away in the strong winds.  Michael Kauffman made the wiser choice of rushing into Huckleberry with his camera and microphone.  Within a half an hour the rain had stopped and there was only one more scene to shoot.  After they shot the scene I took this picture of Mike Kauffman and the guys:

Diggers set 6

Why is “Ringy” covered in mud?  You’ll just have to watch Diggers on Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST to find out!

 

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