The Insane, Little-Known Story Of The Man Who Killed Abraham Lincoln’s Assassin

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Images: Mathew Brady / Alexander Gardner / Alexander Gardner

A wanted man is lying low on a farm in Virginia, trying to evade the law. However, flames begin to consume his hiding place and a band of soldiers are closing in. Among them is the troubled Boston Corbett – and he has his eye on the prize. Against orders, he fires his weapon. Little does he know it, but it will send his life onto a truly bizarre path.

Image: via Library of Congress

Thomas Corbett was born on January 29, 1832, in London, England. When he was just a boy, Corbett’s parents decided to relocate the family to the United States. After moving around for a time in America, they eventually settled down in Troy, a city in the east of New York state.

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Image: via Library of Congress

There, Corbett began training for a career as a hatter. And at first, his career seemed to be going well. But after moving to New York City and getting married, he experienced a terrible tragedy. In fact, his wife and his first child – a daughter – both died during childbirth. Despondent, Corbett turned to drink.

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