Boston Corbett, the army sergeant who shot John Wilkes Booth, was a small, sober-looking man who parted his dark hair down the middle so severely that a swath of his white scalp was always visible.
A New York City hat maker until his wife died in childbirth, after her burial Corbett moved to Boston. He drank heavily until a street preacher brought him to God.
Corbett became a Methodist, grew his hair long like Jesus and renamed himself in honor of the city where he found religion. But that wasn’t the end of it.
What happened next might be explained by the effects of mercury used in hat making – delusions, mood swings and aggressiveness.
When Corbett was approached by two prostitutes who inspired lust in his heart, he went home and read Mark 19:12, a Bible passage that mentions eunuchs.
Taking the passage literally, Corbett cut open his own scrotum, pulled out his testicles and cut them off.
That night, he attended a prayer meeting, ate an ample meal and took a walk. He sought medical help only after his scrotum turned black and swollen.