Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Life Around Tudor Hall

John Wilkes Booth wrote a letter to his friend T. William O'Laughlen on June 18, 1855, describing his activities near Tudor Hall. I find it fascinating—it's a snapshot of the times, social life, and mindset of John as a teenager while living at Tudor Hall. I found this letter in Right or Wrong, God Judge Me—The Writings of John Wilkes Booth, edited by John Rhodehamel and Louise Taper.

My Dear Friend,
I have been so taken up with pastimes and various amusements that I can scarcely find time to sleep, and it is something new to me, being a very late riser[...] The first week in June I was taken up by a Fair [...] I spent more time than money on it [...] for I was there night and day and you must not think I was blowing when I say I cut quite a dash. I saw pretty girls home from the Fair at ten o'clock at night, some at a distance of four or five miles [...] I have visited the Travelers home, or home sweet home [...] The day after tomorrow I am invited to a strawberry eating and I promise you I will do my duty, and from then until teusday I will do nothing but gun, ride, and sleep and eat [...] Then comes the grand affair. A Pick nick party to be held on the rocks of Deer crick. Thirty-seven coupples to attend [...] it is also an old saying that a Lawyer can lie like the Devil. I think they are like the devil also in making women content. The devil tempted mother Eve with an apple. I dont know wether Lawyers use apples or no, but they all tempt the ladies [...] for they have the means of revenge. hurah. I have wrote a long letter at last. try to answer it with one having as meny words and I am satisfied. My Dear fellow I would finish this paper but my pen is so d—n bad, and by not writing for so long a time, I have forgotten how, but I will try and add I am your Faithful Friend, J. Wilkes Booth.