David E George Wikipedia, Mummy
David E George Wikipedia, Mummy – A young lawyer from Granbury, Texas, was called to a dying friend’s bedside in 1877. A doctor was holding John St. Helen’s wrist and monitoring his diminishing pulse as Finis L. Bates entered the room. Before leaving the patient and lawyer behind, the doctor added, “St. Helen is dying and desires to speak to you alone. I’m dying, St. Helen muttered, weak and barely cognizant. I killed President Lincoln, and my name is John Wilkes Booth.
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St. Helen survived the entire night, as well as the following one and many more. Bates claims that St. Helen informed him that Vice President Andrew Johnson had planned the killing and had provided the assassin with a password that allowed him to elude the enormous manhunt.
The individual claiming to be Booth claimed that on April 26, 1865, another person had been killed in Richard Garrett’s tobacco barn and had pretended to be the assassin in order for the pursuing posse to obtain the substantial reward. While an innocent man slept in peace in the Booth family plot in Baltimore, according to St. Helen, he travelled across the Wild West using different aliases.
St. Helen told his tale, and soon after, he left town. Bates came upon a story in a Memphis newspaper that brought back memories more than 25 years later. David E. George, a vagrant, locked himself in a hotel room in Enid, Oklahoma, in January 1903 and killed himself by consuming a fatal dose of arsenic.
The wife of a Methodist preacher in the area said in a press report that George had failed a previous suicide attempt nine months previously and had admitted: “I am not David Elihu George.” The greatest man to ever live was murdered by me. J. Wilkes Booth is my name. Newspaper-published illustrations of Booth and George side by side showed how much they resembled one another.
Despite the fact that Junius Brutus Booth III was born in 1868, three years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and had never met his uncle, newspapermen leapt on rumors that Junius Brutus Booth III, the assassin’s nephew, had claimed that George resembled his uncle.
Bates, the renowned actress Kathy Bates’s grandfather, also recognized the individual in the article. John St. Helen answered. The embalmed body of the enigmatic guy was at W.B. Penniman’s mortuary and furnishings store when Bates hurried to Enid. Bates made an attempt to take custody of George’s unclaimed remains, but it spent years as a popular tourist destination.
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The embalmed body was seated in a chair in Penniman’s front parlor wearing a nice suit, its glass eyes gazing blankly out at the open newspaper on its lap. According to press accounts, the body was preserved as a mummy due to the arsenic Penniman employed in the embalming process as well as the arsenic George ingested.
The attorney obtained custody of the corpse about the time Bates published “The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth: Written for the Correction of History,” a 309-page book in which he outlined St. Helen’s version of how he evaded the manhunt.
In the weeks following the assassination, Bates rented out the body to fairs, carnivals, and midways, and the alleged mummy of John Wilkes Booth became into a freak show in contrast to the solemn burial train journey Lincoln’s embalmed body underwent.
If Booth’s body really was found, his post-mortem acting career was far less of a box office success. According to the Saturday Evening Post in 1938, the mummy “scattered bad luck around almost as freely as Tutankhamen is supposed to have done.” According to the magazine, almost every performer who displayed the specimen had suffered financial devastation. Eight people were murdered when a circus train transporting the mummies derailed while traveling to San Diego in 1920.
The mummy was then taken hostage and held for ransom shortly after. Veterans of the Union allegedly vowed to lynch it in an effort to kill Booth twice.
Following Bates’ passing in 1923, his widow sold the mummy to William Evans, known as the “Carnival King of the Southwest.” When Evans decided to leave the carnival industry, he brought the statue back to his potato farm in Idaho and invited inquisitive onlookers who passed by to “SEE THE MAN WHO MURDERED LINCOLN.”
Evans was persuaded to restart the mummy’s tour of America by a fan of the Lincoln assassination, but the initiative failed. Evans was expelled from Salt Lake City for “teaching false history,” according to The Saturday Evening Post, and fined $50 in Big Spring, Texas, for transporting a corpse.
Despite the mummy’s troubled past, carnival owner John Harkin and his wife purchased it for $5,000 in the early 1930s. The leathered, hollow-eyed mummy slept in a floor berth as the Harkins crossed the country in a dilapidated truck, while they slept on nearby bunks. Harkin stated that he had never paid out a dollar and offered a reward of $1,000 to anyone who could demonstrate that the mummy was not Booth.
The corpse was X-rayed and examined by a panel of Chicago doctors in 1931, including the city’s health commissioner, who declared that Booth-related injuries were consistent with the body’s shattered leg, broken thumb, and neck scar.
The mummy traveled with trained elephants, acrobats, and a high-diving dog performance as part of Jay Gould’s Million Dollar Circus from 1937 until the 1950s. The mummy was reportedly last seen in public in the late 1970s and may now be in the possession of a private collector, according to a PBS documentary. Courts have thus far rejected petitions from some family members to exhume the body buried in Booth’s grave so that DNA tests can be performed to determine whether it is actually his.