The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence

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Overview

On April 22, 1865, Brevet Colonel H. L. Burnett was assigned to head the investigation into the murder of President Abraham Lincoln and the attempted murder of Secretary of State William H. Seward. Burnett orchestrated the collection of thousands of documents for the Military Commission’s trial of the conspirators. This deep archive of documentary evidence—consisting of letters, depositions, eyewitness accounts, investigative reports, and other documents—provides invaluable insight into the historical, cultural, ...

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The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence

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Overview

On April 22, 1865, Brevet Colonel H. L. Burnett was assigned to head the investigation into the murder of President Abraham Lincoln and the attempted murder of Secretary of State William H. Seward. Burnett orchestrated the collection of thousands of documents for the Military Commission’s trial of the conspirators. This deep archive of documentary evidence—consisting of letters, depositions, eyewitness accounts, investigative reports, and other documents—provides invaluable insight into the historical, cultural, and judicial context of the investigation. Only a fraction of the information presented in these documents ever made its way into the trial, and most of it has never been readily accessible. By presenting an annotated and indexed transcription of these documents, this volume offers significant new access to information on the events surrounding the assassination and a vast new store of social and political history of the Civil War era.

“With tears in my eyes I think it your duty to hang every rebel caught. I feel as bad as if was my own mother or father & will be one to volunteer to try & shoot every Southern man. May God have mercy on the man’s soul that done such a deed.
With much Respect for our Country,
I remain Weeping”
—Anonymous letter, New York, April 15, 1865

“I know Booth. He was in the habit of coming to my place to shoot. . . . He shot well, and practiced to shoot with accuracy in every possible position. . . . He was a quick shot; always silent, reticent.”
—Deposition of Benjamin Barker, Pistol Gallery proprietor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252033681
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2009
  • Pages: 1488
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 2.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William C. Edwards is a business analyst who spent years meticulously transcribing the documents surrounding the Lincoln assassination trial. Edward Steers Jr. is the author or editor of numerous books about Lincoln and his assassination, including Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The Trial: The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspirators. He is a retired research scientist with the National Institute of Health.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Editorial Note

The Documents 1

Documents are listed alphabetically by the addresser (or; where none exists, the subject of the document) and chronologically within the same addresser's file

Letters written by investigator H. L. Burnett are segregated and begin on page 239

Index 1405

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lincoln Assassination

    This is a collection of the evidence convicting the Lincoln conspirators. Now all the speculation and myths can be buried a little bit deeper as we can see what the trial arbirators saw as the evidence against the people accused in the conspiracy. Thank you to the editors/

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