Friday, March 20, 2009
Former John Wilkes Booth Monument in Alabama
I recently became curious about the story of a monument to John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, that was erected in 1906 by a citizen of Troy, Alabama. It was removed in 1921, but I was surprised to find that the stone shaft actually still exists.
Joseph Pinkney "Pink" Parker commissioned the carving of the monument in hopes of placing it in front of the courthouse in Troy. A police officer, teacher, Baptist church member and Confederate veteran, Parker absolutely hated Abraham Lincoln. He had returned home from the war in 1865 to find that his family had been brutally treated by Federal soldiers and Unionists and never forgave nor forgot.
Even before he commissioned his monument to Booth, he would observe the anniversary of Lincoln's death each year by dressing in his finest clothes and holding a one man celebration.
He took his tribute to Booth to a whole new level in 1906 when he paid for the carving of a monument in his honor. Community leaders declined to allow the placement of the monument at the courthouse, so Parker erected it facing the street in his front yard in Troy. It stood there for 16 years, despite a growing national media frenzy over its existence.
To learn more and see what became of the monument, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/boothmonument.