Saturday, May 22, 2021

The two Harrys

Mark Cannon has published a new book about magician and Civil War veteran Harry Cooke called Lincoln's Scout: The Diary of Horatio Cooke Soldier, Spy, Escape Artist

Houdini greatly admired Cooke and the two men became friends in 1919. The book covers their friendship and includes images of Houdini's letters to Cooke, Cooke's inscribed copy of A Magician Among the Spirits, Cooke's presentation padlock and case constructed for Houdini, photos of Houdini and Cooke together at Cooke's home in Los Angeles and more.

You can purchase Lincoln's Scout: The Diary of Horatio Cooke Soldier, Spy, Escape Artist at and

Houdini and Cooke pic from The Magic Detective.


  1. There has been speculation that Cooke bent the truth a bit about his Civil War era exploits. I'm curious to read Cannon's book. I'd also love to get my hands on Mike Perovich's article on Cooke from the Ye Old Magic journal.

  2. Leo, you can order a digital copy of the YOMM issue with Mike's fine article here:

  3. Thanks Mr. Hatch, but I'm not a fan of purchasing digital downloads. I prefer a hard copy in my hands, and the people running that journal are sold out of hard copies.

  4. Where are Houdinis Lincoln collectibles today?

    1. I'm pretty sure they went to the Library of Congress.

  5. Mark Cannon told me along with the important task of sharing the contents Cooke's diary and scrapbook, for others to see, he has researched and notes indepentent sources that show where Cooke's story can be verified and where if not disproven, at least cannot be verified.

  6. The Harry Ransom Center in Texas removed the Booth items from their Houdini collection and integrated it into their Booth collection. If the LoC did get the Houdini Lincoln items from 278, they might have already integrated those into their Lincoln collection.