My family grew up in Port Tobacco, Maryland — a small town on Port Tobacco Creek, which fed into the lower Potomac River — on 20 acres of quiet farm country about 40 miles from Washington, D.C.

I remember my father relating to me that John Wiles Booth crossed this land in his effort to cross the Potomac River and meet up with supporters on the Virginia side. My father got my attention when he explained that Booth has assassinated the president of our country. John Wilkes Booth shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theatre in downtown DC. Lincoln was the first Republican president of our country and hated by the southern half of our country, which was solidly Democratic.

Booth and another accomplice mounted waiting horses behind the theater and proceeded south toward Port Tobacco. My father continued the story. The pair galloped south down 11th Street to the 11th Street bridge that crossed the Potomac and entered the town of Anacostia. They then proceeded up Good Hope Road into southern Maryland. Booth had broken his leg and stopped at a Dr. Mudd’s home for help.

As I remember my father’s story, Booth and his partner arrived at the woods on the edge of our family land in preparation to find a boat and best crossing area.

Now you readers of this note, I bring to you the reason I’m writing an 83-year-old story my father told his 7-year-old son: 169 years ago, Confederates executed the sitting first Republican president. I’m a struggling carpet tile manufacturer most of my life. I could care less about politics since keeping a business solvent requires all of none’s time. But I can’t get out of my mind the thought: Is impeachment similar to my father’s story?

P.S. Booth was shot and killed in a burning barn. The other accomplices were all hung.

Charles G. Hack


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