May 30, 2013
Barry Cauchon
Hi all: Well, here is the discovery that I alluded to in my posting from yesterday. It is creating a huge buzz in the Lincoln assassination research community. We hope you find it interesting as well.
The following was written by my research partner, John Elliott who discovered the information about the Booth Autopsy photo.
JWBooth Autopsy 13-May-65 (Harpers Weekly)
Every now and then a discovery gets made that can’t be suppressed or selfishly withheld from the public in order to help sell a book.
I’ve been across the country from Andersonville, GA to Harrisburg, PA and all the way to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in search of new discoveries that will help forward Lincoln assassination studies.  Most of the time, I’ve come up short but at least I know …I checked and can cross things off my list of unknowns.
Recently, the research Gods threw me a bone and practically rewarded me for my past efforts and time.  While searching for eyewitness accounts of John Wilkes Booth’s burial, I discovered a newspaper  article that has been hidden and/or overlooked by researchers for nearly 125 years.
The article definitively answers the question “Where is the John Wilkes Booth autopsy photo?”
In the following days, a press release  will be issued detailing this latest discovery but we’d like to share it with you here first.  We will also be selling a supplement, similar to our two others, that will provide more details, interesting tidbits and supporting evidence of our new find.
In 1891, a story was printed in a major newspaper stating that a Rev. Armstrong of Atlanta was believed by many to be John Wilkes Booth.  Not only did he look like the actor, Booth’s brother Edwin often visited and spent time with him.
In response to this article, an eyewitness to Booth’s autopsy stepped forward and denounced the silly claim by stating undeniably that John Wilkes Booth was dead.  The eyewitness was none other than Lawrence Gardner, the son of Alexander Gardner.
As an aside, Lawrence Gardner stated the following:
“The object of my father’s visit to the Monitor was photography, and the body in question was to be the subject.  Did we take a picture? No.  After everything had been prepared Gen. Eckert concluded that inasmuch as there was so little likeness in the remains to the photograph in existence of Booth, perhaps it would be best not to make the picture, and the plan was abandoned for that reason.”
Other than a statement made by Alexander Gardner himself, there can be no better source than his son, to definitively say what happened to the Booth autopsy photo.
Lawrence Gardner was only 17  when he assisted his father on the Montauk.  He would later go on to have a very successful career in politics and was a well respected, prominent citizen of Washington D.C.  At the time he made his statement regarding the Booth autopsy, he was 42 years old and of sound mind.
Among the other revelations in the article, Gardner claims that Booth’s tattoo was surrounded by a wreath of stars.   Lawrence’s involvement also challenges Osbon Oldroyd’s claim that Timothy O’Sullivan was Alex Gardner’s assistant at the Navy Yard.
I’ve been asked by a couple of people if I am disappointed  there is no photo to be found.   Truthfully, I was beginning to doubt that it ever existed and this article supported my beliefs.
For the past few months Barry and I had been looking further in to this area and we both started doubting and challenging quite a few things that supposedly occurred on the Montauk.
We will continue to look for amazing new discoveries to share with you all in the future.  For the time being, thanks again for all your support.  We sincerely appreciate it.
Published in: on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at '2:26 pm'  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very interesting and thank you for sharing it with us! Although I give absolutely no credence to those who say Booth escaped, I wonder if your revelation will fuel the conspiracy flames. Specifically, that there was a wreath of stars around the tattoo, and that Booth’s corpse did not resemble his photographs. What do you think?

  2. You have been nominated for the Sunshine Award. For details please go to Cheers !

  3. No photograph taken at all? That’s quite a difference. I wonder what led to the thought that there was. No wonder its never been found.

  4. I do not believe that there were no photographs taken.
    It was also stated that no pictures were taken of Lincoln in his casket but one was found.

    • Hi Alice: I absolutely respect your comment. Do you base your belief on any specific evidence or is it just your logical opinion that it just exists. I do not believe there is any wrong answer to this question. I currently subscribe to the belief that the photo was never taken based on the words from Alexander Gardner’s son, Lawrence, who claimed to have been there and explained why the photo session was cancelled. However, recently an article has been published from an 1868 periodical written by a marine with the pen-name Nemo who claimed he was on board the ship and witnessed the autopsy. He says a photo was taken. In a side-by-side comparison of the two articles, one could argue that more clout could be given to Lawrence Gardner’s version. I’ve read both versions and, as I always keep an open mind to all possibilities, I believe both have elements of truth to them. History is never 100% correct. We deal in varying versions of the truth and try our best to sort out the ‘most truthful’ from the ‘less truthful’. It is not an easy task. For now, I put my faith in the Lawrence Gardner version rather than Nemo’s version (but I also believe that, based on Nemo’s description, he was likely there although his details contained some errors. We may never know the real answer to this puzzle but the good thing is that people like yourself are still talking about this and that will keep the search for the final truth alive and well. Stay tuned.

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