Fate smiles on some folks at the strangest of times as this story shows. There is a lot of irony in this tale and in the history following it. Who would have ever guessed?
Less than a year before John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, Booth’s brother Edwin saved the life of Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert.
Unlike his now-notorious brother, Edwin Booth was a devoted supporter of the Union during the Civil War—but he also had a more personal connection to the martyred President Abraham Lincoln. In late 1864, Lincoln’s son Robert Todd was traveling via train from New York to Washington, D.C. During a stop in Jersey City, New Jersey, he stepped back on the crowded platform to let others pass by, pressing his back against a stopped train. When the train began to move, Lincoln fell onto the tracks and would have been gravely injured—or worse—if a stranger hadn’t caught him by the collar and hauled him back onto the platform. As he later wrote, Lincoln immediately recognized his savior as the famous stage actor Edwin Booth and thanked him. For his part, Booth only later learned the identity of the man he had rescued. His friend Adam Badeau, a colonel in the Union Army, wrote the actor to congratulate him for saving the president’s son, who by then was serving as Badeau’s fellow officer on General Ulysses S. Grant’s staff.
In nearly every story of history, there is a back story often as interesting. The parts of history we hear and read about today often only tell a small part of the whole. That's what makes history so interesting, if you ask me.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Nice and cool for a change!