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John Wilkes Booth Home

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, died on the porch of a farmhouse near Port Royal, Virginia, only 100 miles from Bel Air, Maryland where he had spent the first 21 years of his life.

The Booth family came to live on The Farm, as Junius Brutus Booth called his home, in 1822. In 1847, on the site of the original log cabin, Junius build Tudor Hall, a two story home, modeled upon the country manors of England.

John Wilkes was his father's favorite child and he fostered in him a high spirit, lavishing upon the boy such gifts as a diamond ring. Johnny, as he was known, scratched his initials in a front inside window of Tudor Hall to test the stone's legitimacy.

That window pane remains in the home today, the initials clearly legible.

Like his father and his older brother Edwin, Johnny had considerable acting talent. His dark good looks and handsome features caused many to say that he was the most handsome man the American stage has ever known.

John Wilkes Booth left Tudor Hall in 1859, taking with him Southern sentimentalities and attitudes. Maryland was, after all, a Southern state and he embraced "preserved traditions" and states' rights. It was as a Southerner that, shortly after the close of the Civil War, he made his way to Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. where he shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln on April 14th 1865.

Two weeks later, he was dead, shot by Federal soldiers at a farm just across the Rappahanock River from Port Royal, Virginia, just 100 miles from Tudor Hall.

Today, Tudor Hall is a Registered National Historic Place. No longer open to the public, it has undergone some repairs, including the removal of some of the original floors and walls which had become unsafe. This is a piece of Tudor Hall, the home of John Wilkes Booth.

Site Design: Harris Media. 2009