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The Story of John Wilkes Booth By Corbyn Jarvis (Age: 13)

First, I had a great teacher, Ms. Allison Bruning. Ms. Bruning taught me most of what I know now. Also, I was given the opportunity to interview Mr. Nate Orlowek, I will talk about him a little later. The story generally told in the history books goes like this: John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln. After, he jumped off the box seat he shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” which means, ‘Long live the South,’ in Latin. When he jumped, he caught a flag on his spurs which twisted him weirdly so he could not land right. When he hit the stage, he broke his leg. Yet he was still able to make it to his horse and get out of the city.

He used the password ‘TB, TB road’ that supposedly was given to him by vice president Andrew Johnson, but that was only a theory. He rode his horse to Surratt tavern to pick up weapons, then went to Samuel A. Mudd to get his leg set. After that, he went to the home of Samuel Cox for a night. After staying with Cox, Booth lived in the woods waiting for a ferry to cross the Potomac River. When Booth boarded the ferry heading to Garrett’s Barn, he was being loud with the captain of the ferry and bragging that he just killed President Lincoln. They were having such a good time the captain turned in the wrong direction at first causing him to have to make a course correction.

Booth stayed the night at Luca’s farm after crossing the river, and then went to Garrett’s Barn the next day. While this was all happening, it was said that some of the US Army interviewed the ferry boat captain, who said that John Wilkes Booth went to Garrett’s Barn. Two days later the US Army arrived at Garrett’s Barn where Booth supposedly was shot. However, the man that was shot had red hair, no mustache, and freckles. John Wilkes Booth’s description states that he had a big burly mustache, black hair, and no freckles. One of the only reasons that the US Army got away with shooting this man was because he was carrying John Wilkes Booth’s note book. They used that to hide that they most likely shot the wrong man.


Nate Orlowek`s Theory of John Wilkes Booth

When Booth was on the ferry and being loud with the captain, saying he is going to Garrett’s Barn I think he was lying, because why would a smart man like John Wilkes Booth be telling a total stranger his master plan? Was he trying to lure the US Army in a different direction for just enough time to escape?

The researcher Nate Orlowek said, “it is 90% likely that he [John Wilkes Booth] did escape to Granbury Texas.” I found this information on one of Nate Orlowek’s YouTube videos. There is a way to find out who is the real John Wilkes Booth. A DNA test can be performed on the body in an unmarked grave presumed to be Booth. The Smithsonian Institute supported Nate Orlowek`s team, but the morning of the test, the president of the graveyard received a call from historians that convinced the president to block the exhumation. Nate Orlowek couldn't run DNA tests.

Undeterred, Orlowek thought of testing a vertebra at the National Museum of Health and Medicine that was collected from the man shot at Garrett’s Barn presumed to be Booth. However, the Department of the Army did not want the bone tested because it requires damaging the bone.

Nate Orlowek is motivated to continue his research despite the setbacks because of an account of a man named John St Helen. John St Helen became extremely ill, thinking he was going to die, John contacted his best friend Finis L. Bates confessing, “I'm not John St Helen, I'm John Wilkes Booth, the man that killed Lincoln, please inform my brother if I die.” Finis thought John was hallucinating but when John got better a few weeks later John said, “Remember when said I was John Wilkes Booth, I was telling the truth.” To convince Finis, John went into great detail, telling Finis how he killed Lincoln.

The story most often shared about Lincoln’s assassination is that Booth shoots Lincoln, flees to Garrett’s Barn, and then gets shot two days later. However, a different story is what I, Corbyn Jarvis now believe. Booth shoots Lincoln, flees to Garrett’s Barn where Booth is warned by some of his co-conspirators, and then flees to Granbury Texas taking on the name John St Helen. Two years later Booth, as John St Helen, commits suicide at a boarding house while drinking a glass of wine that contained poison.

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