Boston Corbett

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Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett (1832 – presumed dead 1894) was the Union Army soldier who was said to have shot and killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. He disappeared after 1888, but circumstantial evidence suggests that he died in the Great Hinckley Fire in 1894, although this remains impossible to substantiate.


Early life

Corbett was born in London, England. His family emigrated to New York City . He became a hatter in Troy, New York. It has been suggested that the fumes of mercury used in the hatter's trade caused Corbett's later mental problems.[1]

Family and "rebirth"

Corbett married, but his wife died in childbirth. Following her death, he moved to Boston, and continued working as a hatter. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and changed his name to Boston, the name of the city where he was converted.[2] In an attempt to imitate Jesus, he began to wear his hair very long.[3] On July 16, 1858, in order to avoid the temptation of prostitutes, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors.[4] Afterward, he ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting, before going for medical treatment.[4]

Military career

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