This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Mystery From History: Why Was He Spared?

After Kristi graduated from high school (15 years ago!!!), she began exploring her passion for musical theatre.  She was in several high school productions (video to follow in the future!!!), some work at CSLB, and some community theatre (Golden West and OCC).  At OCC she was in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, probably one of the darkest but most fascinating shows in American musical theatre.

Anyway, last night as I was looking through my book of Civil War newspaper articles, I came across this amazing story out of the April 28, 1861 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (only 16 days after the War began).
John Wilkes Booth

Actor John Wilkes Booth
Stabbed But Recovers

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Mr. John Wilkes Booth, the Shakespearean actor, is recovering from face wounds suffered at the hands of an actress here Thursday night.

Miss Henrietta Irving, who has been appearing at the Gayety Theatre, as has Mr. Booth, rushed into his room at Stanwix Hall and cut his face with a dirk.  She then stabbed herself, but not fatally.

According to one account, the cause stems from unreturned affection.

This is the third time in a few months that Mr. Booth has narrowly escaped death. He was wounded in an accidental shooting while appearing in Columbus, GA, last fall and injured on stage by a dagger here in February.


Oddly, this scary, world-changing man came close to "being removed" from the flow of history. But he wasn't.  Unfortunately, he was convinced that the thing for which he is remembered was "doing God's work."  Two quotes of his certainly make your adrenalin level escalate:

"This country was formed for the white not for the black man.  And looking upon African slavery from the same stand-point, as held by those noble framers of our Constitution, I for one, have ever considered it, one of the greatest blessings (both for themselves and us) that God ever bestowed upon a favored nation."  (November 1864, in a letter to his brother-in-law.)

Regarding his assassination of President Lincoln:  "Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment."

Isn't that bizarre?  That's just one more of the crazy realities of life that fill us with questions like "Why?" and "What was God thinking in allowing this to happen?"

Well, that's just one more reason why I've appreciated reading William Young's THE SHACK.  It helps on the perspective of nasty junk like that.

(This really didn't start out as another SHACK commercial!  Honest!)


Diane Davis said...

ok, i just read this post. who knew that booth was an actor? your points are interesting about him, and it does tie in nicely with The Shack. What is the title of that book? I think Brian and my dad would enjoy it...

Don said...

Actually, it's not a book available to the public. (I don't think). It was a project by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution back in 1960. I suppose you could go online to inquire about it.

It was called AMERICA AT CIVIL WAR. (I checked online and can't find it, so I don't think it's accessible.)

Jon in HB said...

ASSASSINS ROCKS! Hunting lyrics..."Why should you be blue, When you've your little finger? Prove how just a little finger, Can change the world."

Jon in HB said...

BTY, your pic from Assassins album was of the 2004 recording...the 1991 recording is soooooo much better! It has Terrence Mann and Victor Garber.

Don said...

hahaha...Jon, did you MEAN "hunting" lyrics? Considering the show, it's appropriate. At first I thought you were misspelling "haunting" . . . of course, I'm sure that's not the case! :)

I just grabbed the first pic I could find from a Google search. I didn't THINK that picture looked right!!