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People - Notable Kansans - Corbett, Boston, b. 1832

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Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett
Creator: Reid, Albert Turner, 1873-1955
Date: July 1929
Three sketches of Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett published in Scribner's July 1929 issue. Corbett was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett, who homesteaded near Concordia, Kansas in the late 1870s, was hired as a doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka, Kansas. On February 15, 1887, while performing his doorkeeper duties, Corbett pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum in Topeka. He escaped a year later.


Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett
Creator: Reid, Albert Turner, 1873-1955
Date: 1929
Sketch of Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, who was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett, who homesteaded near Concordia, Kansas in the late 1870s, was hired as a doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka, Kansas. On February 15, 1887, while performing his doorkeeper duties, Corbett pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum in Topeka. He escaped a year later.


Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett
Date: 1876
A ticket for the Centennial International Exhibition held in Philadelphia with a photograph of Boston Corbett in the middle. Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett, who homesteaded near Concordia, Kansas in the late 1870s, was hired as a doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka, Kansas. On February 15, 1887, while performing his doorkeeper duties, Corbett pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum in Topeka. He escaped a year later.


Boston Corbett's dugout in Cloud County, Kansas

Boston Corbett's dugout in Cloud County, Kansas
Date: Between 1878 and 1889
This black and white photograph shows a sketch of Boston Corbett's dugout in Cloud County, Kansas.


Boston Corbett's military documents

Boston Corbett's military documents
Date: 1861-1865
Military documents belonging to Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett enlisted as a Union soldier in New York during the Civil War. These documents include Corbett's promotion to sergeant following five months spent at Andersonville Prison in 1864. Also included is a subpoena for the trial of Henry Wirz, commander of the Andersonville Prison, who was later executed for conspiracy and murder, and a subpeona for the trial of David E. Herold, an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth, who was also later executed. Copies of muster rolls for Company I of the 12th New York State Militia and Company L of the 16th Regiment of the New York Cavalry were included with the documents.


Boston Corbett's pension documents

Boston Corbett's pension documents
Date: 1880-1886
Pension documents belonging to Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett moved to Kansas in 1878 and lived in a dugout near Concordia, Kansas. In 1887, Corbett was given the position of assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. However, when he brandished his pistol during a session of the legislative that same year, he was arrested and sent to an insane asylum. In 1888, he escaped and his whereabouts remained unknown until his presumed death. The pension certificate, dated September 30, 1882, cited "chronic diarrhea, scurvy, and rheumatism" as the reason for his disability which he contracted while imprisoned during the Civil War.


Boston Corbett's personal documents

Boston Corbett's personal documents
Date: 1855-1886
Personal documents belonging to Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett moved to Kansas in 1878 and lived in a dugout near Concordia, Kansas. In 1887, Corbett was given the position of assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. However, when he brandished his pistol during a session of the legislative that same year, he was arrested and sent to an insane asylum. In 1888, he escaped and his whereabouts remained unknown until his presumed death. Documents include his Y.M.C.A. membership cards, signed checks, baptism certificate, a hatmaker's traveling card, and his naturalization certificate dated June 19, 1855.


Boston Corbett correspondence

Boston Corbett correspondence
Date: 1866-1888
Letters received by Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, known by most as the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett moved to Kansas in 1878 and lived in a dugout near Concordia, Kansas. In 1887, Corbett was given the position of assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. However, when he brandished his pistol during a session of the legislative that same year, he was arrested and sent to the Topeka Asylum for the Insane.


Clergyman's pocket diary and visiting book belonging to Boston Corbett

Clergyman's pocket diary and visiting book belonging to Boston Corbett
Date: 1870-1877
Pocket diary belonging to Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Before moving to Cloud County, Kansas in 1878, Corbett was pastor of the Siloam (Methodist) Mission Church located at 328 Pine Street in Camden, New Jersey. The book contains a list of members, records of funerals and baptisms, and diary entries.


Correspondence of George Huron concerning Boston Corbett

Correspondence of George Huron concerning Boston Corbett
Date: 1887-1913
Correspondence of George A. Huron who was appointed guardian of Boston Corbett after he was committed to an insane asylum in Topeka, Kansas. Corbett is known as the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett escaped from the asylum in May 1888. This correspondence relates to Huron's guardianship of Corbett and matters of his estate following his disappearance and presumed death.


Insane man escaped

Insane man escaped
Creator: Huron, George A.
Date: May 26, 1888
A poster titled "Insane Man Escaped" announces the escape of Boston Corbett from the Insane Asylum at Topeka, Kansas. Corbett, a former Union soldier, is famous for killing John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln's assassin. In 1878, he establish a homestead near Concordia, Kansas. Corbett, who occasionally displayed erratic behavior, was hired as doorkeeper for the 1887 Kansas House of Representatives. While performing his duties, he pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum. On May 26, 1888, Corbett escaped on a stolen horse and after a brief stay in Neodesha, Kansas, disappeared.


Papers relating to the impersonation of Boston Corbett by John Corbit

Papers relating to the impersonation of Boston Corbett by John Corbit
Date: 1898-1905
Correspondence and legal documents relating to the impersonation of Boston Corbett by John Corbit. Boston Corbett was the man who killed John Wilkes Booth following President Lincoln's assassination. Corbett moved to Kansas in 1878 and lived in a dugout near Concordia, Kansas. In 1887, Corbett was given the position of assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. However, when he brandished his pistol during a session of the legislative that same year, he was arrested and sent to the insane asylum in Topeka. In 1888, he escaped and his whereabouts remained unknown until his presumed death. John Corbit was operating as a sales agent in Texas for the W. W. Gavitt's Medical Company in Topeka after having convinced them that he was Boston Corbett. A marriage license for Mr. John Corbit and Miss Effie Britz, dated October 2, 1899 in Wichita Falls, Texas, is also included. On August 20, 1904, John Corbit testified before a U. S. pension examiner that he was Boston Corbett. The distrist court in San Angelo, Texas found John Corbit guilty of perjury and sentenced him to three years hard labor in an Atlanta, Georgia penitentiary.


Reminiscences of Boston Corbett

Reminiscences of Boston Corbett
Date: Between 1900 and 1972
Two reminiscences of Boston Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The first was written by a fellow Union soldier, Edward Kirk, who was in the 12th New York Militia under Colonel Daniel Butterfield. Boston Corbett enlisted in Company I of the 12th Regiment in April 1861. Kirk recalls Corbett's stature and appearance, as well as his "peculiarities". The second reminiscence was written by Helen DeFord Bush. She recalls that Boston Corbett hid in her father's barn following his escape from the insane asylum in Topeka, Kansas.


The real Boston Corbett and the imposter

The real Boston Corbett and the imposter
Creator: Snyder, C. J.
Date: 1900-1905
Side-by-side sketches of the real Boston Corbett and the imposter. Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, who was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. The imposter shown in this photograph could be John Corbit. See Kansas Memory unit 307443 for documents relating to his impersonation of Boston Corbett.


Thomas 'Boston' Corbett

Thomas 'Boston' Corbett
Date: Between 1850s and 1870s
Tintype portrait purported to be Boston Corbett. Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett, who homesteaded near Concordia, Kansas in the late 1870s, was hired as a doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka, Kansas. On February 15, 1887, while performing his doorkeeper duties, Corbett pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum in Topeka. He escaped a year later.


Thomas "Boston" Corbett

Thomas "Boston" Corbett
Date: 1865
A portrait of Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett, who was the Union Army soldier who killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett, who homesteaded near Concordia, Kansas in the late 1870s, was hired as a doorkeeper for the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka, Kansas. On February 15, 1887, while performing his doorkeeper duties, Corbett pulled a pistol and unofficially adjourned the House. He was disarmed by local police, declared insane, and committed to the State Insane Asylum in Topeka. He escaped a year later.


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