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Chasing Lincoln's Killer

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April martinez

on 12 June 2014

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Transcript of Chasing Lincoln's Killer

Chasing Lincoln's Killer
By James L. Swanson

Author's Purpose
Intended Audience
Students interested in historical events related to the Civil War, the assassination of President Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth involvement in these events.
-Examples: History teachers, high school students, middle school students learning about the Civil War time period.
Portraits of Booth's co-conspirators during the manhunt.
This is a picture of the way Booth shot Abraham Lincoln from the back of the head in one shot with a Deringer pistol.
Author's Credibility
I believe the author is credible for many reasons:
He has degrees in history and law from the University of Chicago and UCLA.
He is an atttorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, etc.
He got his resources from reliable sources: The Smithsonian, Library of Congress, original letters, manuscripts, trial transcripts...
He's also a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
James L. Swanson
James L. Swanson had always been fascinated with the sixteenth president ever since he was ten years old. Along with
Chasing Lincoln's Killer
, he has written:
Manhunt:The 12 Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer
Bloody Crimes: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln
Bloody Times: The Sequel
The Chase For Jefferson Davis
April Martinez
Mrs. Ramirez
H. English 9/Period 2
9 June 2014

This book starts out with Booth's plan and success in his "greatest performance": the murder of Abraham Lincoln, and it ends wih Booth's final performance: his death.
The book takes place in 1865 in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia at the end of the Civil War.
This book focuses more on the twelve days it took the authorities to capture John W. Booth.
It talks about who helped keep Booth safe, the houses he stayed at, what routes he took, how he traveled, and his thoughts and feelings during his run from the government.
Major Henry Rathbone
Clara Harris
Mary T. Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
John Booth
The purpose of this story is to inform people about what really happened after John Wilkes Booth shot the president.
In the beginning of the book he also states that when he was a little boy he found a newspaper article about the assassination, but the end was cut off and he wanted to know what happened.
Quote: "The newspaper article described some aspects of the assassination, but was cut off before the end of the story. I knew I had to find the rest of the story. This book is my way of doing that."
Main Idea
#1: Although Booth fulfilled his desire to kill the president, he failed in every other way.
None of what Booth wanted took take after he killed Lincoln.
"John Wilkes Booth did not get what he wanted. Yes, he did kill Abraham Lincoln, but in every other way, Booth was a failure. He did not inspire the South to fight on, prolong the Civil War, or win the battles the Confederate armies had lost. He did not undo the Emancipaton Proclamation and revive slavery."
Main Idea Continued
While Booth was on the run, he read newspapers given to him by one of his accomplices, Thomas Jones.
Booth did not like how the newspapers portrayed him as a monster and murderer. So he "began writing his letter to history."
"He explained some of the reasons he had assassinated Lincoln: He longed for the South as it was and deplored the Union. He gave details about how he committed the act."
I thought this book proved to be factual and entertaining.
I would recommend this book to people interested in history, the Civil War, or the assassination of the president.
For those who wonder why Booth killed Lincoln, how he escaped, why it took us so long to capture him, and what was going on in Booth's mind during the 12 day manhunt.
Summary Continued
Booth was never taken back to Washington because he was shot in the neck while he was trapped in a tobacco cellar on Garrett Farm, the last place he would be alive, he died from a loss of blood.
At the end of the book, the authorities managed to capture several of Booth's accomplices.
Some were sent to prison for life, others were put on trial and executed, and some were released because no evidence linked them to Booth's plan.
Quote: "Not one person who helped Booth and Herold during their escape, except Dr. Mudd, was punished."
Full transcript