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Junius Brutus Booth & Sam Houston

Author Nora Titone's Highlights from the Booth Collection at the Folger


Reminiscence about Junius Brutus Booth and Sam Houston. New York Sun 27 March 1897

Junius Brutus Booth’s liquor-soaked friendship with Texas hero Sam Houston was a surprising discovery. Houston, perhaps, may be blamed for introducing the youthful British actor to the hard-drinking culture of the American West, as this reminiscence, found in another Booth scrapbook, indicates:


“When in Washington Junius Brutus Booth and Gen. Sam Houston of Texas were great cronies. It was a picture worthy of Punch to see this eccentric pair take their afternoon promenade along Pennsylvania Avenue. Houston stood six feet four inches, and Booth about 5 feet 5 inches. As it was winter Houston’s ample shoulders were covered with a large gray blanket that reached to his heels; his grizzled head was mounted by a huge Mexican sombrero. Booth was fashionably attired in a brown, long-skirted overcoat with buttons high up in the small of his back, and his classic head held up a high-crowned silk hat; and thus they marched, little Booth clinging to the arm and with difficulty keeping pace with the sturdy strides of the hero of San Jacinto. They were on pleasure bent, and were soon lost to view of the amused pedestrians…”


Charles Pope, “The Eccentric Booths” 
    New York Sun

    March 27, 1897


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