Sunday, August 18, 2013

by W.C. Jameson

John Wilkes Booth is a name that is quite well-known. Although he was a thespian, few people associate him with the theater. He left his imprint on the world when he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. According to what is taught in school and textbooks, after escaping and a twelve-day pursuit, Booth was trapped on the Virginia farm of Richard Garrett. He was shot and then carried to the porch where he died.
When Booth was dragged out of the burning barn, the soldiers said that it was not him. Within the next two days, rumors began to unfold that Booth had escaped and somebody else had been killed.
W.C. Jameson presents three ideas: the government was inept and deceived the public concerning the capture and death of John Wilkes Booth, that Booth was never caught, and then that Booth lived several more decades in Europe, India and other places before returning to the United States.
Wow! I have read numerous books on Abraham Lincoln's murder but nothing like this before. A few years ago, what I thought was the definitive account of Lincoln's demise and the aftermath, written by James L. Swanson:  Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, ended all kinds of speculation. Nothing is further than the truth. W.C. Jameson's book really blew me away. Apparently there have been recent discoveries of very important documents. Information found in papers and diaries from private collectors plus reexamining the usual historical materials changes what has been regurgitated ad nauseum for the past one hundred forty-eight years. Jameson not only researches but he investigates and keeps digging until he is satisfied.
Any Civil War aficionado will want to get their hands on this book. It's quite an eye-opener and very believable.
Highly recommended.