Ann to Franklyn Lenthall


Ann to Franklyn Lenthall


The last leaf of a six page letter by Ann to Franklyn Lenthall describes how she and husband Peter walked into an empty old house in Fishkill, New York, where they found in the only thing left in the house, a trunk in the basement, a piece of Booth memorabilia Ann does not describe the item in her letter but she states that they now pass it along to Mr. Lenthall. Lenthall and partner Jim Wilmot bought the Boothbay Playhouse in Boothbay, Maine, in 1957, and assembled 275,000 items in theatrical history, especially Boothiana, before auctioning it off in 1990.




Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum


late 1950s or 1960s, from paper and hand plus context


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation holds all rights and permissions.








-5- with them and if I was misleading it was only my own enthusiasm, you see I am not a good judge of valuables, but I treasure things like this the way one treasures poetry, it's mostly a personal response. - But we are still sending to you all that we have, with the exception of two fan letters which we had framed. Peter said these may mean little to your collection as they are not to Booth directly but of his family. But I do hope that you will find even part of the enjoyment which we have derived from them and I do hope they will add to your collection somehow. You asked how Peter found them? - Well, ahem, ahem - this may sound like we are terrible thieves and you may never allow us near your theatre - But in truth he found them in an old deserted house in Fishkill where the grandson and his wife must have

-6- provenance lived. They were in a musty old box in the cellar, the rest of the house was completely empty. Well, Peter and I have an incorrigible love for finding old houses and antiques and there's nothing more dramatic and exciting than to find a marvelous old, deserted house and to walk through it with remnants of the people here'n there (and spirits too!) And Peter did not really steal these - but they were there, unloved and unappreciated and he felt we should give them a home And now if they can add to your collection they'll truly be at home and belong there with you, much more than in a forgotten old musty box in a damp rain-filled cellar. So, dear Mr. Lenthal we are sending them on their way and hope that they will make you happy and that we shall meet one day in the near future. Most sincerely, Ann



Percent Completed




Original Format

paper, ink
2 p
24 x 16 cm


Ann, “Ann to Franklyn Lenthall,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed May 28, 2020,