James H. Hackett (1800-1871), whom Abraham Lincoln called his favorite actor, reposes at Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica, Queens, under a fallen monument. The Prospect Cemetery Association hopes to restore it soon.

Actor Peter Riegert (Animal House, Local Hero, Sopranos) has made a short Kickstarter film about the largely forgotten entertainment figure and the now-reviving cemetery in hopes of finding additional funding so restoration can continue.

ForgottenTour 51 swung through the cemetery in April 2012.

Categorized in: Cemeteries One Shots Tagged with:


  1. BB says:

    So he was the one that DIDN’T shoot Lincoln?

  2. Jeff says:

    Speaking of Edwin and the Lincolns, this reminded me of the story of Edwin saving Lincoln’s son. Here’s a link to the story: http://www.historynet.com/edwin-booth-saved-robert-todd-lincolns-life.htm

    Robert Todd Lincoln was his name, and it was a fall from a train. This is Robert’s account (from the article above):
    “The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.”

  3. roger_the_shrubber says:

    An ancestor of Buddy Hackett?

  4. Steve says:

    What I find interesting is the construction of the monument– gravity kept the obelisk on top of the base . No bracket or iron pins or anything to hold it better.

    • Bruce Hays says:

      There are several similar obelisks Upstate in Syracuse’s Rose Hill Cemetery, also held in place only by gravity – all toppled for as long as I could remember, until a recent renovation righted them.

  5. Angelo says:

    James H. Hackett had 2 sons: John K. Hackett who became recorder for NYC and died in 1879 and James K. Hackett who became an actor and died in 1912. Both sons are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. See the website “Find-A-Grave” at http://www.findagrave.com

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