Mark Gray (attempted assassin)

Mark Gray (attempted assassin)

Mark Gray (attempted assassin) was a traveling salesman from Keokuk, Iowa who fired two shots from a pistol at actor Edwin Booth on April 23, 1879. Booth was playing the title role in Richard II (play) at McVickers Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, during the final act of the William Shakespeare tragedy. Gray gave as his motive a wrong done to a friend by Booth.

Gray's shots, which were fired from a distance of thirty-four feet, missed Booth, burying themselves in the stage floor. The would be assassin was jailed at Central Station in Chicago. Booth was not acquainted with Gray, who worked for a St. Louis, Missouridry goods firm. A letter to a woman in Ohio was found on Gray's person. The correspondence affirmed Gray's intent to murder Booth.[1] The attempted assassination occurred on Shakespeare's birthday[2] and came at a time when Booth was receiving numerous death threats by mail. [1]


References

  1. ^ a b A Startling Scene At M'Vickers Theatre, New York Times, April 24, 1879, pg. 1.
  2. ^ My Thoughts Be Bloody, Nora Titone, Free Press, 2010, pg. 377.

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