Actress’ bloody dress from President Lincoln’s assassination for sale

It’s a bloody piece of historical past.

A small part of a dress bearing a darkish blood stain from President Abraham Lincoln will probably be up for sale later this month when the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair involves the Park Avenue Armory on April 21.

The macabre artifact has a whopping $125,000 price ticket, and is being offered by exhibitor Daniel R. Weinberg, proprietor of Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago.

“In my 50 years at [the shop] I’ve handled five blood relics,” Weinberg advised The Post, including that “the book fair occurs a mere six days after the 157th anniversary of the assassination.”

The 1.625-inch by .5-inch swatch was a part of a dress worn by well-known actress Laura Keene. She was starring in “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, the place Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, on April 14, 1865.

Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in D.C.
Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in DC.
Heritage Images/Getty Images

“This particular costume fragment, though small, carries a great moment, actually having been at the scene of the crime,” Weinberg mentioned.

And it appears Keene was very a lot on the scene.

Actress Laura Keene cradled Lincoln's head in her lap, thus staining her dress with his blood
Actress Laura Keene cradled Lincoln’s head in her lap, staining her dress along with his blood.
Corbis by way of Getty Images

After Booth shot Lincoln, the English-born actress walked as much as his field carrying water and, in some unspecified time in the future, she cradled his head in her lap as Dr. Charles Leale appeared for the bullet. Keene later led the way in which because the wounded president was carried from the theater to the boardinghouse Petersen House throughout the road, the place he died the following morning.

According to Weinberg, many of the blood artifacts from that evening are items of towel or pillow coverings from Petersen House and do not need the identical deep coloring because the blood that fell onto Keene’s dress.

Accompanying the material within the sale is a observe from Keene, whose pal requested for the merchandise. It reads: “I accede to your request. Very truly yours / Laura Keene / New York / May 20th, 1865.” The weave and design match a bloody dress swatch that’s on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The portion of Keene's blood-soaked dress that is up for sale.
The portion of Keene’s blood-soaked dress that’s up for sale.

This wouldn’t be the primary specks of Lincoln’s very important matter to promote. In 2020, a lock of Lincoln’s hair and a blood-smeared telegram have been purchased for greater than $81,000 by Boston-based RR Auctions. And Weinberg famous {that a} bloody cuff with a lot fainter stains offered in 2008 for $93,000 by Heritage Auctions.

But this one is exclusive. Weinberg mentioned: “The blood is much darker than others, indicating that it was close to the wound.”

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