[LINCOLN -- ASSASSINATION]. FORREST, Edwin, American actor. Autograph letter signed TO JOHN T. FORD, owner of Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated, New York, 30 April 1865. 1 page, 8o.
FORREST TO FORD: "...THAT DASTARDLY ASSASSINATION OF THE PRESIDENT..." Forrest, one of the most eminent tragedians of the era, had appeared on stage with Booth on many occasions. Here, not long after Lincoln's death, he writes to Ford, who had been held by the Federal government following the assassination in his theatre: "I duly received your note dated Old Capital... Prison, and trust by this time that you have been released from confinement...I have been quite ill for a whole month here, and have just been able with the utmost exertion to fulfil my engagement with Mr. Wheatley...How much of misery has that dastardly assassination of the President caused, even to the blameless". Ford had planned to reopen his theatre in June and wrote to actors hoping to engage a full company. The government refused to allow Ford to reopen and rented the theatre for $1500 per month, eventually purchasing it for $100,000. During the time it was used for government offices, 22 people were killed when three floors collapsed.