Lincoln’s assassination: Terrorist plot or crackpot conspiracy? - Salon.com.pdf

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Lincoln’s assassination: Terrorist plot or crackpotconspiracy?
source documents. We read Dr. Charles Leale’s account of rushing to the president’s aid after theshooting, examining his head, and “pass[ing] the little finger of my left hand through the perfectlysmooth opening made by the ball.” The “$100,000 REWARD!” poster — perhaps the first wantedposter ever to include photographs, Holzer says — announces, “Let the stain of innocent blood beremoved from the land by the arrest and punishment of the murderers.” A diary entry from JohnWilkes Booth reads, “After being hunted like a dog through swamps, woods…with every man’s handagainst me, I am here in despair.”The second half of the book plunges readers into the sea of speeches, editorials, poems, sermonsand other tributes that poured forth after Lincoln’s death, including that 1876 Douglass speech, acondolence letter from Queen Victoria to Mary Lincoln, and Walt Whitman’s immortal poem, “OCaptain! My Captain!”Taken together, these literary artifacts offer unrestricted access to what Holzer calls “the mostinfamous crime in American history.” We are sitting in the theater box when Lincoln is shot, standingby his side when he expires, and sharing the company of cultural luminaries (Ralph Waldo Emerson,Herman Melville, former President Franklin Pierce) and average citizens, alike, as they express theiranguish over the country’s first presidential assassination.Salon recently spoke with Holzer, who has published – count ‘em – 47 books on Lincoln and histimes, and who is the

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