showed it to his family and others, often discussing its portents in moments ofmelancholy in later years.
As recounted by Booth's sister,Asia Booth Clarke, in her memoirs written in1874, no one church was preeminent in the Booth household. Booth's motherwas Episcopalian and his father was described as a free spirit, preferring aSunday walk along the Baltimore waterfront with his children to attendingchurch. On January 23, 1853, the 14-year-old Booth was ﬁnallybaptizedat St.Timothy's Protestant Episcopal Church.
By the age of 16, Booth was interested in the theatre and in politics, becominga delegate from Bel Air to a rally by theKnow Nothing PartyforHenry Winter
Davis, theanti-immigrantparty's candidate for Congress in the 1854 elections.
Aspiring to follow in the footsteps of his father and his actor brothers,EdwinandJunius Brutus, Jr., Booth began practicing elocution daily in the
woods around Tudor Hall and studying Shakespeare.
The Richmond Theatre,Richmond, Virginia, in 1858, when Booth made his ﬁrst stageappearance there
At age 17, Booth made his stage debut on August 14, 1855, in thesupportingroleof the Earl of Richmond in
at Baltimore's Charles StreetTheatre.
The audience hissed at the inexperienced actor when hemissed some of his lines.
He also began acting at Baltimore's HollidayStreet Theater, owned byJohn T. Ford, where the Booths had performed