The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 18, 2013

Letter: History is the judge


Enid News & Eagle

— The Sunday edition of the News & Eagle added the annual chapter to the myth that John Wilkes Booth died in what is now the Garfield Furniture Store. This Garfield County myth has actually become an incredible fairy tale.

This entire mirage is based on a book written by Finis Bates. I have repeatedly proclaimed it is one of the worst pieces of literary rambling I have ever read. It provides no research and no documentation whatsoever. The main source of this meaningless book is the so-called words of a guy allegedly named John St. Helen. According to Bates, this exchange of information took place while he and St. Helen were sitting on a pile of rocks down in Texas.

I taught the Lincoln assassination for years, and I find that no honorable historian has recognized David George as John Wilkes Booth. According to Sunday’s article, Nate Orlowek said he is 85 percent sure the man shot in the Garrett Farm barn was not John Wilkes Booth. Wow! I am 100 percent certain that John Wilkes Booth died on the front porch of the Garrett Farm. I see no reason to glorify this wayward coward. Frankly, sports fans, it just ain’t so.

In his inaugural address, the late President John F. Kennedy said, “History is the final judge of our deeds.” Check it out. None of the real historians think David George was really John Wilkes Booth. If the DNA is ever done, I hope the News & Eagle will give a full page to present the “real truth.” History has said George was not Booth.

Jack C. Garrison

Enid