A signed letter from John Wilkes Booth headlined a sale of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on January 24 with a final bid of $30,000.
The letter is addressed to close friend Joseph Simmons and dates to 1861, four years before Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC.
It reads in part: "I know you will forgive me for not answering yours of Sept. 13th till this distant date, but I am, at the best of times, the worst letter writer in the world, but for the last month I have been so closely occupied with so many business letters to answer, that I really had to forego the pleasure (and I assure you it is one,) of writing to you.
"However, my pen is now in hand to assure you that I have not forgotten you or any of my good friends in Boston."
Simmons served as Booth's business manager from 1861, a role he took on full time in 1864. He would later appear as a character witness during the 1865 trial.
After the trial an attempt was made to expunge Booth from history - including the destruction of much of his correspondence. This made specimens of his signature exceptionally rare.
A lock of Lincoln's hair taken after his death also sold well, achieving $25,000.
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