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By Finis L. Bates / J. L. Nichols & Company / 1907
Learn Finis Bates’ theory about the demise of one of history’s most notorious criminals, John Wilkes Booth. Bates argues that contrary to official reports, Booth successfully escaped from Union troops shortly after Lincoln’s assassination. In 1872, a man named John St. Helen visited Bates’ house and made the claim. Bates verified the claim with Booth’s closest living relatives and Booth’s stage counterpart Joe Jefferson. Though Bates did not believe St. Helen initially, he later came to accept his claim to be John Wilkes Booth and presents his case in this book.
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Finis L. Bates (1848–1923) was a lawyer from Memphis, Tennessee. His book The Escape and Suicide John Wilkes Booth proposed that Booth had not been killed by Union troops on April 26th, 1865, but had escaped and become David E. George who died in Enid, Oklahoma, on January 13, 1903.