John Wilkes Booth

The Lowest Rogue of all Time.

Newly revealed photos of John Wilkes Booth from the RJ Pastore Collection are featured below. The first item is of Junius and John Wilkes Booth taken on Broadway in New York City. The brothers were quite close and shared the stigma of being illegitimate, as they we born to their father’s mistress.

Junius and John Wilkes Booth, on Broadway, NYC

Junius and John Wilkes Booth, on Broadway, NYC / RJ Pastore Collection


John, Edwin and Junius Booth

Junius, John and Edmond Booth.

The next photo below was taken at Bailey & Cramer’s Fine Art Gallery, 618 Washington St., San Francisco, CA. The studio is next door to Maguire’s Opera House where the Booth family had a reputation of performing, going back to 1852. So it is easy to place John Wilkes Booth at Maguire’s visiting his brother’s performance. The studio stamp on the back of this photo corroborates the facts.

More about Maguire’s:

Coincidentally, the KGC was heavily organizing throughout California at the time. Jesse James’ father went to see his brother in the San Francisco area in 1851. Some Methodist Church ministers were involved in covert KGC activity, as was the case with the Rev. Robert Sallee James.

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth, Age 20 / RJ Pastore Collection

The photo is a perfect match for John Wilkes Booth. The Booth’s performed next door to the photo studio. Therefore, this image documents Booth’s visit to San Francisco. 

Booth served as a private in the Union Army, Virginia 2nd Infantry. He was one of the security detail at John Brown’s treason execution. Booth was present on the Capital steps while Lincoln was inaugurated. To the opposite extreme of Brown, Booth would commit the greatest crime of treason of all at Ford’s Theater in 1865.

John Wilkes Booth / RJ Pastore Collection

John Wilkes Booth / RJ Pastore Collection

Even though John Wilkes Booth was acting as a Confederate secret agent in the Knights of the Golden Circle, he had gone rogue when he shot President Lincoln. His orders from Richmond were to kidnap the President, Vice-President and Secretary of State, holding them ransom for the release of Confederate prisoners of war.

J. Frank Dalton claimed that Booth was safely escorted out of the the Capitol by the KGC on April 14, 1865.

Booth's Escape Route

Booth’s Escape Route

It is important to note the considerable evidence that John Wilkes Booth had a patsy murdered in Garrett’s barn as a body double. Many conspiracy theories abound surrounding the assassination. Read more:

Postmortem photo of John Wilkes Booth

Postmortem photo of John Wilkes Booth. Circa 1865

The official inquiry into Booth’s death states that the detectives did not believe it was him because the corpse’s reddish hair and mustache didn’t match Booth. Even the medical examiner expressed grave doubts that it was Booth.

Specifics of the assassination are explored in detail in the book, The Lincoln Conspiracy.  More info:

The body double was James W. Boyd, a look alike double agent pulled out of the Andersonville prison. More on this was revealed in the book, Jesse James Was One of his Names, Schrader.

The corpse that was taken for Booth at the Garrett’s barn capture had a smaller nose and ears, more like James W. Boyd.

James W. Boyd

James W. Boyd

Post-mortem photo of John Wilkes Booth, shot in the neck at Garrett's barn standoff.

Postmortem photo of John Wilkes Booth, shot in the neck at Garrett’s barn standoff.







Lincoln conspirators standing on the gallows floor. Maria Suratt on the far left.

Lincoln conspirators standing on the gallows floor. Maria Surat on the far left.

The manhunt lasted 11 days, but the ongoing investigation lead to 2000 arrests, nine people went to the gallows, one of them a woman, tavern owner Marie Surratt.

John Wilkes Booth is said to have assumed a new identity under the name of John St. Helen, pictured below. Another alias attributed to the reincarnated Booth by Albert Pike was that Booth was using the name, David E. George while in Texas in 1882. Yet another alias was James St. George in Grandbury, Texas.

John St. Helen Circa 1875 - Age 40

John St. Helen
Circa 1875 – Age 40

According to J. Frank Dalton, many years later Booth became a drunkard and would break his cover, revealing his secret past. In 1903, Dalton paid a visit to Booth’s hotel room and poisoned his lemonade to shut him up. The dose was so strong that the body didn’t need embalming.

John St. Helen

John Saint-Helen on the left, alleged alias of John Wilkes Booth on the right.

The corpse of the real John Wilkes Booth was lost from history. Somehow, decades later it came into the possession of the former Tennessee Attorney General, Finis L. Bates. He claimed to have invested $100,000.00 attempting to validate the remains.

Finis Bates

Finis Bates

It surfaced again decades later totally mummified from the poison and went on exhibit in county fair side shows.

A promoter exhibiting the mummy of John Wilkes Booth.

A promoter exhibiting the mummy of John Wilkes Booth.

The corpse ultimately disappeared into obscurity, never to surface again. No doubt locked away in a secret archive, private collection or perhaps, it was all just another Piltdown man fabrication.

Did Booth fake his death in 1865 and live out his life under an assumed identity? As an actor he certainly had the skills to play out his role as John St. Helen.  While he may have been able to live the incognito life, he missed the attention and fame of his prior life. What are the implications if Booth pulled it off with the help and lifelong support of the KGC. As usual, there is much more to the story than what is stated in traditional history.

John Wilkes Booth San Francisco, CA

John Wilkes Booth
San Francisco, CA Circa 1855, age 20+

John Wilkes Booth - Public Image - Circa 1864 - Age 30

John Wilkes Booth – Public Image – Circa 1864 – Age 30













No matter the outcome of his later life, the newly revealed images of Booth in his younger years are a significant addition to the historical record.