John Wilkes Booth was starring at the Boston Museum when he met 16-year-old Isabel Sumner in 1864.
Booth wrote Sumner letters and bought her a pearl ring with their initials engraved inside. Her gave her an autographed photo she secretly kept all of her life.
The actor’s letters were not addressed to Sumner’s parents’ home; she picked them up at the general delivery window at the post office.
They met in New York City once.
The letters Miss Sumner wrote to Booth have never surfaced, but she preserved the letters he wrote to her until the day she died. They later disappeared.
Isabel married a Boston trader in 1877. The couple had two daughters. Isabel Sumner Dunbar died of stomach cancer in 1927.
Her granddaughter Bobbie Makepiece was 14 when Dunbar died. In a 1989 interview with author Louise Taper, Makepiece remembered her grandmother as a small, pretty, blue-eyed old woman who never spoke of John Wilkes Booth.
Source: “Right or Wrong, God Judge Me: The Writings of John Wilkes Booth,” edited by John Rhodehamel and Louise Taper