Asia Booth

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Asia Booth, 1850s

Asia Frigga Clarke née Booth (November 19, 1835, Bel Air, Maryland – May 16, 1888, Bournemouth, England) was the youngest daughter in the family of ten children born to Junius Brutus Booth and his wife Mary Ann Holmes. Her famous brothers were Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth.[1]:5, 22 Asia was named for the continent where her father thought the Garden of Eden had been located.[2]

On April 28, 1859, Booth married John Sleeper Clarke at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]:11 The couple had eight children, two of whom, Creston and Wilfred, became actors. Because of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 by her brother John Wilkes Booth and the effect this had upon the family, she and her husband emigrated to England, where they remained.

Asia became the poet and writer in the family, and it is through her work that some insight were gained into the lives of the Booths, particularly John Wilkes. The Unlocked Book: John Wilkes Booth, a Sister's Memoir was written in 1874, but she kept its existence secret, fearing it would upset her husband. He had been imprisoned and forced to testify at the trials of the co-conspirators because of his family connection.[1]:23–24

The memoir was published in 1938 by C.P. Putnam's Sons, when her heirs felt the public would be receptive. The book was re-edited and republished in 1996 as John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir.[1]:25–26

Asia Booth Clarke is buried in the Booth family plot at Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.[1]:23 her brother, John Wilkes Booth, is buried in the family plot and his grave is marked by a stone that has "J W Booth" engraved on it.

Clarke's grave in the Booth family plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore

Writings of Asia Booth[edit]

  • The Unlocked Book: John Wilkes Booth, a Sister's Memoir
  • Booth, The Elder and the Younger
  • Passages, Incidents, and Anecdotes in the Life of Junius Brutus Booth, (The Elder) - Booth Memorials, Carleton, Publisher, New York, 1866

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Asia Booth Clarke (Terry Alford, ed.) (1996). John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 0-87805-883-4. 
  2. ^ Giblin, James Cross (2005). Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth. Clarion Books. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-03-8.

External links[edit]