Edwin Booth called his family "afflicted" by the death of "our great, good and martyred president." To his fellow citizens, he offered "our deep, unutterable sympathy" and "abhorrence and detestation for this most foul and atrocious of crimes." He hoped that the public would remember his family's name, personally and professionally, based on "the record of the past." He signed the letter, "Your afflicted friend."
John Wilkes Booth's manuscript is not mentioned in the latest historical study, "Assassin on Stage: Brutus, Hamlet and the Death of Lincoln," by Albert Furtwangler (University of Illinois Press, 1991).
But Mr. Furtwangler, a professor of English at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, theorizes that Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and "Hamlet" -- plays in which John Wilkes Booth often starred -- influenced his thoughts and actions on the fateful night.