JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
What did the voice of John Wilkes Booth sound like? There are certainly a number of testimonies to what his voice was like, but since he died a dozen years before it was possible, really, to have his voice recorded, nothing exists for us to listen to of him. One could though stretch credulity a bit and say that he perhaps sounded similar to his brother Edwin--another actor--and there are recordings of him speaking. So, by long extension, this may be what John Wilkes sounded like.
Somewhat related is this, a 1956 appearance on the television program "I've Got a Secret" by Mr. Samuel J. Seymour, who's secret was that he was a witness to John Wilkes Booth assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He was five years old at the time and his abiding memory was being concerned for the man who fell onto the stage from the balcony. Seymour evidently died two months later from complications of a fall he took while traveling to appear on the show.
In another vaguely related historical bit, the last person to see Abraham Lincoln did so in 1902. There had been a number of attempts to steal the body of the president--one of which came very close to completion--and so in the final move of Lincoln's body to a burglar-proof resting place on 20 September 1902 his coffin was opened. John Bowlus was there, and he related what he remembered as a nine-year-old boy viewing Lincoln 37 years after his death.
"I can see his face as if it were yesterday," Bowlus recalled. "Even in death he was an awe-inspiring figure." A boy of 14 at the time, Bowlus said he had stood on tiptoe and gazed, awestruck, on the majestic features of Lincoln, almost too afraid to peer into the glass-topped casket. "The body was almost perfectly preserved," Bowlus remembered. "The face was darker... he lay with his head and shoulders and tips of his hands visible where they were crossed on his chest." It was awe-inspiring, almost frightening," he said. "The beard appeared to have grown longer, but the dignity of the great man could almost be felt through the air-tight casket which had preserved his body," Bowlus said. --"The Last Man to See Lincoln", by Lance J. Herdegen, [source].
I looked for a recording of Robert Todd Lincoln (who died in 1926) but could not find none.
And just for the sake of it, a list of early recordings of U.S. Presidents: