The True Story Of The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

Weichmann, Louis J.

Published by Knopf, 1975
ISBN 10: 0394493192 / ISBN 13: 9780394493190
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New York. 1975. Knopf. 1st Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 30. 492 pages + index. hardcover. 0394493192. keywords:. inventory # 22371. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Published now for the first time, almost seventy-five years after the author's death, the extraordinary eye- witness account by the young friend of John Surratt who was a boarder at Mary Surratt's rooming house in Washington during the months when Mrs. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and the others shaped their plot. Weichmann, then twenty-two, saw the furtive meetings, the midnight rides, the strange happenings whose full and terrible meaning was to elude him until the fateful night at Ford's Theater. And in his astonishing manuscript. Weichmann tells his story and defends his role as the chief Government witness against the conspirators in a military trial whose legality was dubious and whose findings created intense controversy. After the trial, many in Washington doubted Weichmann's testimony, and some indeed believed that he may have gained immunity by turning state's evidence against fellow conspirators. ‘From the day I gave testimony,’ he writes, ‘I have been subjected to an infamous persecution’. Weichmann felt the public suspicion profoundly; his entire life came to be dominated by the accident of his sojourn in the Surratt house and by what he witnessed there. On the other hand, many distinguished people who were close to the events supported young Weichmann and years later commented enthusiastically on his then-unpublished manuscript. Although not a professional historian, Weichmann as storyteller is irresistible. In this book, answering his persecutors, he relates the entire story as he would have liked to have told it at the trial-and as, with his Victorian attitudes and his sense of mystery, melodrama, and self-justification, he was finally compelled to tell it. A fascinating account, whose extraordinary cast includes: JOHN WILKES BOOTH -actor, talented and temperamental scion of the great acting family, originator of the plot to kidnap later to assassinate, Abraham Lincoln. MARY E. SURRATT - staunch Southern sympathizer, whose tavern in Surrattsville, Maryland, was allegedly a stopover for blockade runners and spies and whose boardinghouse at 541 H Street in Washington, D.C. was the meeting place of Booth and his fellow conspirators. JOHN H. SURRATT -her son, who became Booth's creature ‘as completely as Doctor Faust belonged to Mephistopheles.’ MICHAEL O'LAUGHLIN - ex-Confederate soldier, one of the first conspirators recruited by Booth in Maryland in 1864, who was deputed by Booth to murder Ulysses S. Grant but failed. SAMUEL ARNOLD -who allegedly aided and abetted his co-conspirators and then, a month before the assassination, withdrew from the Conspiracy but remained silent. GEORGE A. ATZERODT -coach maker, secretly engaged in ferrying Confederate sympathizers across the Potomac, who was sent by Booth to murder Vice-President Johnson, lost his nerve, and did nothing. LEWIS PAYNE - (alias Wood, alias Lewis Thornton Powell), giant, half-mad, penniless drifter and ex-Confederate who attacked and wounded Secretary of State Seward in his bedchamber on the night of the assassination. DAVID E. HEROLD -the feeble-minded nineteen-year-old who guided Payne to Seward's house and and accompanied Booth on his escape. DR. SAMUEL A. MUDD - Confederate sympathizer, alleged conspirator and friend of John Wilkes Booth, who set Booth's broken leg. A classic eyewitness account of the plotting and carrying out of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: This extraordinary eyewitness account by the young friend of John Surratt who was a boarder at Mary Surrat's rooming house in Washington during the months when Mrs. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and the others shaped their plot. Weichmann, then 22, saw the furtive meetings, the midnight rides, the strange happenings whose full and terrible meaning was to elude him until the fateful night at Ford's Theater. And in his astonishing manuscript, Weichmann tells his story and defends his role as the chief Government witness against the conspirators in a military trial whose legality was dubious and whose findings created intense controversy. After the trial, many in Washington doubted Weichmann's testimony and some indeed believed that he may have gained immunity by turning state's evidence against fellow conspirators. Weichmann felt the public suspicion profoundly; his entire life came to be dominated by the accident of his sojourn in the Surratt House and by what he witnessed there. In this book, answering his persecutors, he relates the entire story as he would have like to have told it at the trial - and as, with his Victorian attitudes and his sense of mystery, melodrama, and self-justification, he was finally compelled to tell it. A fascinating account, whose extraordinary cast that includes John Wilkes Booth, Mary E. Surratt, John H. Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, Samuel Arnold, George A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, David E. Herold, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, Edward Spangler, and Louis Weichmann himself. Floyd E. Risvold has annotated this manuscript, which had been in Weichmann's family since his death in 1902, and has added an appendix of important, hitherto unpublished material. Weichmann's story now becomes part of the vast and accumulating historical data on one of the most dramatic and tragic episodes in American history.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The True Story Of The Assassination Of ...
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 1975
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Louis J Weichmann
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