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 10 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, her husband and she emigrated to England, where they remained.

Asia became the poet and writer in the family, and through her work, some insight was 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 Lincoln assassination co-conspirators' trials, because of his family connection.[clarification needed][1]:23–24

The memoir was published in 1938, by G.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,[3] in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]:23 Her brother, John Wilkes Booth, is also buried in the family plot, but separately, with an unmarked headstone.[4]

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.
  3. ^
    Clark's family monument
  4. ^ Booth family burial plot

External links[edit]