View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Wed Oct 30th, 2013 06:08 pm
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Hellcat
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Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
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Ok, so I was looking at one of my Civil War ghost story books looking for ideas for the Hauntings thread (hey, it's Halloween) and I came across something I didn't know. Major Henry Rathbone murdered his wife in 1883. Supposedly according to Daniel Cohen's Civil War Ghosts he also would have tried murdering their children only to be stopped by their made. He then attempted suicide, which he failed at. When the police arrived Rathbone was ranting about people hiding behind pictures in the wall. He was committed to an asylum for the criminally insane and died there in 1911.

And it wasn't only Major Rathbone that seems to have gone insane. What about the first lady herself? There are historians and physiologists today who argue Mary Todd Lincoln may have been show signs of bipolar disorder all her adult life. I'd argue that any signs of insanity may have begun before the assassination following the deaths of Eddie and Willie. Certainly we may think today of how she became after Lincoln's death and may say she was insane. It could be argued that as long as she had both Robert and Tad she was largely able to keep in some kind of non-institutional form (I do want to say I remember something that speaks contrary to this argument about her not wanting to leave the White House and even trying to stay in White House closets so she couldn't be removed). They moved to Chicago, but Robert soon moved out. Then in 1871 Tad died. Following Tad's death she really seems to have become unhinged. She would claim someone attempted to poison her, that her purse was stolen by a wandering Jew, walk around Chicago with $56,000 in government bonds in her petticoats, come close to jumping out a window to escape a fire that no one else knew a thing about. Robert had her institutionalized at Bellevue Place in Batavia where she would remain for three months before bad press and questions of his real motives forced him to declare she was well enough to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois. However, one must wonder if he wasn't right as she became so upset by the whole case that she tried overdosing on laudanum, it was only because the pharmacist supposedly realized what she was attending and issuing her a placebo that this suicide attempt failed.

What about other's in the box that night? Not just those in the box when Booth assassinated Lincoln but also those that entered the box after the assassination that night.

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