The time Lincoln and Booth crossed paths in Albany


Local historical oddity of the day: On February 18, 1861 Abraham Lincoln made a stop in Albany during his pre-inauguration tour. As Albany Archives points out, Lincoln stayed at the famous Delavan House on Broadway. And staying just down the street at the Stanwix Hotel on that very same night was... John Wilkes Booth.

The actor-not-yet-assassin Booth was in Albany performing at a local theater -- in a production that Lincoln saw that night. [Don Rittner]

By the way: AA also mentioned today that many people didn't recognize Lincoln when he arrived in Albany because in his photo he was clean shaven, but he showed up here with a beard. And the reason for the beard is a totally charming story.

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Not surprised JW Booth didn't see Lincoln's Facebook status or his Foursquare Check-in at the Delvan House. "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if this is tea, please bring me some coffee," Abe commented on an Instagram selfie with a cup of something he was served. Booth must have been suffering because the Stanwix was widely known to have shitty wifi access. I think he eventually caught up to Lincoln in DC.

This has to be one of our all-time favorite Albany stories. Not sure Lincoln actually saw Booth on stage that night though. He had dinner with Governor Morgan (among others) around 6 pm, and was back to the Delavan House by about 9 pm for another reception. He was on the train for NYC by 7:45 the next morning. The thing with Booth was he accidentally stabbed himself on stage a week earlier, just missing his heart. Imagine what all of American history would've been like if Booth died on that Albany stage and never went on to assassinate the President.

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