Everyone knows the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in April 1865. A lesser known story in history is that John’s older brother, Edwin Booth, once saved President Lincoln’s oldest son Robert Todd Lincoln from death or serious injury. Edwin was an actor, like his brother John, and is considered one of America’s great early Shakespearean actors.
The exact date is lost to history, but it happened in 1864 or 1865 before the assassination of the President. As the story goes, Robert Todd Lincoln was standing on a platform at a train station waiting in line to buy tickets, and he was pushed back towards the end of the platform and pressed up against a train because of the size of the large crowd . When the train suddenly began to move his feet got twisted and he fell in the narrow space between the platform and the train. Booth saw what happened and pulled Lincoln back on the platform by the collar. Lincoln recognized Booth and thanked him by name. Booth on the other hand was unaware of who he had saved until he received a letter several month later from Colonel Adam Badeau, who was a friend of Booth, and who had heard the story from Lincoln as they were both officers working on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant.