American History MysteryJohn Wilkes Booth

There are many theories on the burial spot of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. One says Booth was taken to England for burial after he was surrounded and killed while hiding out in a barn. Another theory is that he is buried in an unmarked grave in Baltimore, Maryland.

The third and most mysterious mystery is that Booth was not killed when he was trapped in the barn, but escaped and made his way to Utah. He died there and is allegedly buried in his family’s cemetery in Coalville.

Which theory is correct? Did the man who assassinated Lincoln get away with murder? Where is his grave? It’s possible we’ll never know. Booth’s life is public knowledge while his death is another mystery of American history.

Merriweather Lewis

Merriweather Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806, died under very mysterious circumstances. While on the Expedition that was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, Lewis found, sketched and described over 300 new species of animals and plants.

By 1809, Lewis was governor of Louisiana. At this time, Jefferson was no longer President. His predecessor was James Madison, who refused to honor the debt that had been created by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Creditors looked to Governor Lewis to pay that debt. Being in dire financial straits, Lewis decided to visit Jefferson at Monticello to establish that the US Government owed the debt. He left for Monticello in October 1809.

Merriweather Lewis died of gunshots wounds to the abdomen and head on October 11, 1809 at a hostelry on the Natchez Trace, about seventy miles from Nashville. Both Thomas Jefferson and William Clark assumed he had committed suicide. However, the forensic evidence shows that Lewis was probably the victim of an assassin’s bullets. Years later, William Clark came to the conclusion that his friend had been ambushed and killed.

Who could have wanted Merriweather Clark dead? Could Thomas Jefferson have ordered his assassination? He was also in dire financial straits and couldn’t afford to pay the debt for the Expedition that he had commissioned.

Could James Madison had wanted him dead to halt unfavorable publicity? Where was Lewis’ bodyguard when he was killed? How was the bodyguard chosen and who hired him? Why was Lewis traveling without adequate security?

Probably these questions will remain unanswered forever. To date, Lewis Merriweather’s death is a mystery of history.