Good Society & The Sockdologizing Old Man Trap

John Wilkes Booth - Thespian, Confederate sympathizer, mustachioed jerkface.  

John Wilkes Booth - Thespian, Confederate sympathizer, mustachioed jerkface.  

Researching this Presidential Assassination series is turning out to be as enjoyable as painting the devices these dudes used to act out their schemes - Right now I'm learning whole piles of things about John Wilkes Booth and his scheme to get rid of Lincoln.  Fun stuff indeed...

Little Johnny had it in for Lincoln when he was re-elected in 1864.  Booth first plotted to kidnap and barter Old Abe to free Confederate prisoners and convince the Union to recognize the Confederacy as legit.  After Robert E. Lee threw his hands up (apparently he just didn't care anymore) and surrendered to Grant in 1865, Booth decided that kidnapping the Great Emancipator was a bad idea, so he changed his plan to assassinate Lincoln instead.  

Booth acted on his plan when he learned that Lincoln would be attending "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington.  The play was a farce (not unlike our current little shut down) about a rough, unrefined American who finds himself in the midst of his aristocratic family in gentrified England in order to claim the family estate.       

Booth shot Lincoln at the end of a scene where Asa Trenchard (the main character in the play) - says to a woman "Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal - you sockdologizing old man-trap."   Booth mistakenly assumed the laughter of the audience would cover up the sound of the gun going off.  

What is a sockdologizing old man-trap?  My guess is it's a succubus, but more likely it's a phrase made up by thespians to make them look smart.  Funny shit nonetheless, and Lincoln had to have been laughing as Booth put that bullet in him from behind.  Booth ironically, had himself known the manners of good society, might have gotten into politics, pulled a  Boehner and taken a shot at Lincoln from behind a platform, rather than from behind with a pocket pistol in the middle of a British Rom-com.