SMF - Just Installed!
Username  
Password
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Richard Sloan Request  (Read 1373 times)
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« on: September 17, 2012, 02:07:16 PM »

Richard Sloan asked me to post this:



I seem to recall reading in an article by Maunsell Field that he raced up the steps of Fds Thea and encountered Laura Keene coming down the steps, her dress and face bloodied and a look of horror on her face.   Please cofirm for me, or correct me if it was someone else.      Well I just bought an orig. old copy (in VG shape) of Fields' "reminiscences of men and some women" and the final 8 or so pgs deal with the assassination and funeral of Lincoln.   It is incomprehensible to me that Fields did not mention the encounter in his 1875 book.     Anyone have any thoughts about it?
Logged
rich smyth
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 628


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 06:04:57 PM »

Richard, I think it was Seaton Munroe, Wahington lawyer who met Ms Keene outside Fords and ommentrd on her dress.
Logged
emma1231
Newbie
*
Posts: 29


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 07:52:25 PM »

AH, yes, you r right, Richard.  It was Seaton M.!   Thanx for correcting me.    I got them mixed up.  Does anyone doubt that Laura was in the box?   Some people say it was a lie, and cite Wm. J . Ferguson as a credible detractor.   (He was far from credible!!)   Critics also say  it was silly to think that she could have made it to the box from the stage with (Tom Gourlay's guidance).  Many years ago  Art Loux and I proved it was very possible, by a backstage route behind the box that led out back to an outer staircase behind the Star saloon building (above which the Ford boys had their offices).  From there it was a cinch to get to the level of the President's box.  Recently it dawned on me that Gourlay could have simply taken her through the same stage door through which Booth escaped and  gone over to that same outside staircase. Hope I have described it adequately.    (Today that outside staircase is an interior one, in the restored playhouse.)
Logged
rich smyth
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 628


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:34:39 AM »

I believe she was in the box. How would her dress have become covered in blood, even if it may have been Rathbones? E.A. Emerson, who was also on stage that night, recollected that she "was one of the first to reach the box, and when I saw her she was holding the president's head in her lap and the handsome yellow satin dress she wore in her part was stained all down the front with his blood." 
In addition to Emerson, other cast members including Helen Truman and Charles Francis Byrne claimed that they saw Keene cradling the President’s head. – Sources – The New York Times, February 14th 1926 – Kansas City Star, February 8th 1925 and the Philadelphia Bulletin, March 10th 1931
Doctor Leale, the first doctor to enter the box and begin treating a dying Lincoln never mentioned Keene in his accounts of that night but in a lecture 44 years later remembered Laura entering the box and asking permission to hold the President’s head in her lap. Leale said that “Laura Keene…appealed to me to allow her to hold the President’s head. I granted the request, and she sat on the floor of the box and held his head in her lap.” – Source, Leale, “Lincoln’s Last Hours,” Harpers Weekly
Thirty-one years after the assassination Seaton Munroe a prominent Washingtonian lawyer recalled the night. He was walking along Pennsylvania Avenue with a friend when he encountered a man running down Tenth Avenue shouting, the President has been shot at Ford’s Theatre. Hurrying towards the theater, he encountered Laura Keene.
“Her hair and dress were in disorder, and not only was her gown soaked in blood, but her hands, even her cheeks where her fingers had strayed were bedaubed with the sorry stains.”
William Kent who was present in the box and had lent Dr. Leale a penknife to cut Lincoln’s clothes stated that “Laura Keene came up in the meantime, and the President’s head was raised to rest in her lap. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 3rd 1891.
Clara Harris, who with her fiancé Major Rathbone were the Lincoln’s guests that night and present in the box at the time of the shooting was positive that "Laura Keene did not enter the box from first to last." - Clara Harris interview with Emily Edson Briggs published in the Philadelphia Weekly Times, December 29th 1878
Logged
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 11:14:45 AM »

I think, at best, it's a toss-up.
All of the accounts cited are years after the fact.
I'm leaning towards she wasn't in the box, only because Clara said she wasn't. Clara's statement was 13 years later, while the others range from (average), 66 years later. I tend to believe earliest accounts.

I understand things were chaotic in the box, and I assume Miss Harris was escorted out of the box right after help arrived, so that may account for Miss. Harris' statement,  and  Miss. Keene arrived after Miss. Harris was escorted out.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 06:10:33 PM by Randal » Logged
rich smyth
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 628


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 04:56:49 PM »

Very logical but how do you account for the bloody dress or are you saying there wasn't one?
Logged
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 05:52:38 PM »

I can't account for the bloody dress (if there actually was one) and I was just speculating because the accounts are so far removed from the actual timeline. Keene has everything to gain by attaching herself to the assassination, as I believe her career was waning after she gave up managing her own theatre in 1863. She again rebounded in 1869 and managed a theatre in Philadelphia. She was savvy in the theatrical business, so, that's why I think she attached herself to the assassination.
Thats why I think it's a toss-up.
But what do I know? I'm jes' a snake wrangler Wink
Logged
Wesley Harris
Full Member
***
Posts: 185



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 01:19:07 PM »

Having been in some very chaotic crime scenes just after the deed was done, I know it's very possible to be unable to identify everyone who was present.  Just because every person who entered the box did not name Keene doesn't mean she wasn't there. 
Logged
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 10:30:53 AM »

Very true.
Logged
jgarrett
Newbie
*
Posts: 39


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 03:47:11 PM »

Don't forget that Dr. Leale wrote that Ms. Keene was present.  The Smithsonian has the sleeve cuff from Ms. Keen's dress.  The provenance, if I remember correctly is that it came into the Smithsonian collection from Ms. Keene's "niece", who received it from Ms. Keene, I believe shortly after the assassination.  The cuff has several small stains that could very well be blood.  I saw the cuff this past March and spoke to Harry Rubenstein (curator of political history).  I mentioned it would be interesting to test the stains for blood and surprisingly, Harry was not opposed and even said that it could all be done in-house.  I might drop Harry an email and pursue it.

Rich and I have gone over the issue of "Keene in the box".  Dr Leale and several other's placed her in the box.  The only person I believe to state that she was not in the box was Clara Harris.  I think that I would take Dr. Leale (and others) over Clara Harris.
Logged
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 05:41:59 PM »

again, true.
As I stated earlier, Ms. Harris may have left the box prior to Ms. Keene's entrance, therefore her statement of not seeing her in the box.
Interesting statement from Rathbone on April 17th, that he said "several persons who represented themselves as surgeons were allowed in the box" and that Colonel A.M.S. Crawford was stationed outside the box to prevent anyone else from entering.
On May15th, at the trial, Rathbone repeated exactly the same thing.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 06:32:28 PM by Randal » Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: