John Wilkes Booth
| The civil war "docudrama" the Cosgrove Report, asserts that
the missing diary pages of John Wilkes
Booth, were hidden in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel during April,
1865- as the assassin escaped to Europe and then India.
Sound far fetched? Maybe not. Lets look at the actual history, as
reported in Brooklyn Daily Eagle articles from that era.
First, its a known fact, that J. Wilkes Booth was a Confederate spy, in
addition to being a "matinée idol" actor. Lets make a simple, and
logical assumption: that Booth used his "theatrical touring circuit",
as a method of meeting with other Confederate agents, operatives and
Southern sympathizers in the North, known as "Copperheads".
Its known that Booth played the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October
24- 26, 1863 *,**. BAM was originally located on Montague Street,
between Court & Clinton Streets. Oddly enough, Booth's performance
was very poorly attended ***.
than where and what he was playing, I'd instead like to focus on where he was
staying - Manhattan hotel rooms that were well known for housing Confederate
agents. In fact, Fernando Wood, then Mayor of New York City (then
Manhattan) attempted to secede Manhattan from New York State and the
Union, and join the South. Manhattan's economy and banking industry
were highly dependent on southern cotton exports. Confederate agents
later tried to "burn down New York City" by starting simultaneous fires
in several Manhattan hotel rooms.
The dates of Booth's appearances at BAM are highly interesting, when
placed in historical perspective: On Sept 19, 1863, the battle of
Chickamauga, TN, was the last great victory of Confederate forces.
However, the tide was again turned against the Confederacy only two
months later, at the battle of Chattanooga, TN. on Nov 23- 25, 1863
****. According to the National Park Service website,
Chickamauga/Chattanooga were "the gateway to the deep South”-
particularly Georgia and the Carolinas. Booth's Brooklyn appearance was
right in between those two pivotal battles. What was this Confederate
spy really doing here?
Booth's trip to Brooklyn a coincidence? I don't think so. I submit
Booth's true purpose in visiting Brooklyn, was to meet with other
Southern operatives, who may have had information on the Northern
Army's pending troop movements in Tennessee. This is also when Booth
could have learned about "the sealed up" Atlantic Avenue tunnel.
According to another circa 1865 Brooklyn Eagle article *****, the City
of Brooklyn paid a contractor $25 "to repair the manhole into the
Atlantic Avenue tunnel between Henry Street and Hicks Street". Seems
the tunnel wasn't completely sealed up at that time (1865). However,
current visual observation shows there was never any "manhole" into the
tunnel at that location. I submit this manhole was in fact located on
Atlantic Avenue between Hicks Street and Columbia Street- in the
section of tunnel now "behind the wall" under Hicks Street.
As for Booth's complete escape after murdering Abraham Lincoln, this
isn't at all a new theory. In fact, it goes all the way back to the
post Civil War era. On September 6, 1867, an article appeared in the
Brooklyn Eagle entitled "Is Wilkes Booth Alive?" ******. According to
this writing, in the hours after the assassination, Booth disguised
himself as a beggar (recall Booth was an actor), boarded a train to
Baltimore, and eluded capture.
This writing further purports that "But certain is that he [Secretary
of War, Edwin Stanton] took effective measures to prevent the
identification of Booth's alleged body. Not only were all of Booth's
old associates excluded, and the public prevented from seeing the
corpse, but the latter [the corpse] was destroyed by a chemical
process, so that no vestige of it now remains".
One of Booth's many former lovers, a Ms. Louise Worcester of Alabama,
purportedly revealed in the year 1890, after 23 years, that she had
received a letter from Booth circa 1867, stating that he was alive and
well, and that the person "captured" in a Virginia tobacco barn, was
really another Confederate conspirator, who somewhat resembled Booth
Finally, lets look at the author of the Cosgrove Report, G.J.A. O'Tool.
According to his publisher's website (W.W. Norton), O'Tool was " in
charge of special problem solutions at the CIA". Further, on the CIA's
own website, O'Tool is cited as "one of the CIA's in-house US Civil War
espionage experts". Maybe the Cosgrove Report wasn't entirely a work of
"docudrama" after all. Judge for yourself.
Source * Brooklyn Eagle, October 23, 1863, pg 1
Source ** Brooklyn Eagle, October 26, 1863, pg 1
Source *** Brooklyn Eagle, October 26, 1863, pg 2
Source **** AmericanCivilWar.com
Source ***** Brooklyn Eagle, March 9, 1865, pg 2
Source ****** Brooklyn Eagle, September 6, 1867, pg 2
Source ******* Brooklyn Eagle, April 21, 1890, pg 6