Woodman Speaker Series: “J.W. Booth and the Women Who Loved Him”

The Woodman Museum is to welcome author Ernest L. Abel for the continuation of its monthly Speaker Series, in which he will discuss his book John Wilkes Booth and the Women Who Loved Him, on May 29 at 7pm.

The book, released in 2018, recounts the history of the various and sometimes sordid romances of the quintessential American villain and assassin John Wilkes Booth. The author states that the narrative, rather than simply recounting Booth’s life, is about “the women whose lives took wild turns before and after Lincoln’s assassination—women whom have been condemned to the footnotes of history.” It is available for sale at the Woodman Museum’s giftshop.

The Woodman Museum’s connection to John Wilkes Booth has intrigued guests since its opening in 1916. The Museum campus, which includes the Woodman House (1818), the William Damm Garrison (1675), and the Keefe House (1825), also is home to the Hale House (1813). Senator John Parker Hale, the first openly abolitionist politician elected to Congress, was a native of Dover, NH and resided with his family on what is now Central Ave in the home that now belongs to the Museum. When the then senator lived in Washington, D.C., his daughter, Lucy Hale, entered into an interesting courtship with the young actor and southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Booth, who came from a family of actors, would win the heart of the senator’s daughter, shortly before he committed his heinous assassination of President Lincoln.

Author Ernest Lawrence Able is a distinguished faculty professor and an emeritus professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He is a member of the Michigan Civil War Round Table, the Surratt Society, and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Able is also the author of more than forty scholarly and trade books and more than two hundred peer-reviewed articles and trade magazine articles.

The event, which is to be held at the Woodman House (182 Central Ave., Dover, NH 03820) is free to members and $5 for non-members.