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Handkerchief

Handkerchief

Helen Palmes Moss has a fascinating connection to both Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. She carried this handkerchief at Lincoln's second inaugural ball on March 4, 1865. On April 14, 1865, she and her sister-in-law were visiting Grover's Theatre in Washington, D.C., where they ran into and shook hands with Booth. Later that day, they visited the White House to see the conservatory. The women met Lincoln and shook his hand as well. That evening, when Booth shot Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, Moss was watching a play at Grover's. Lincoln's son Tad was also in the audience. By 1880, she was living in St. Paul with her second husband, Albert Moss. In 1909, she wrote a recollection of that momentous day: "Lincoln and Wilkes Booth as Seen on the Day of the Assassination."