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Drawing of Booth Body
03-12-2014, 04:01 PM
Post: #16
RE: Drawing of Booth Body
John - Out of the 140 attendees at the conference, only about a quarter of them are members of this forum. I suspect that you will have a captive audience for your talk -- and you are our lead-off speaker, so I expect you to set high standards for those who follow. The Q&A session should be very interesting... After all, the purpose of our conferences and the devotees of the Lincoln assassination studies is to educate people to the ups, downs, riddles, and controversies related to the event.

Without good debates, the field would be less interesting. I was so happy when I joined the volunteers at Surratt House back in 1975, and found that there were other people that I could discuss (and argue) things with. For about twenty years, I had lived with the impression that I was the only nut in the world addicted to the story! Even my college professors were not well-versed on the subject. Meeting people like Hall, Brennan, Keesler, Ownsbey, Hanchett, Steers, Turner, and others who could hit me with facts to prove their points was a wonderful awakening for me.
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03-12-2014, 05:07 PM
Post: #17
RE: Drawing of Booth Body
Thanks Laurie, I'm really looking forward to the conference and meeting some new kindred spirits.

For the record, I too had hoped one day to see the Booth autopsy photo. My research led me to different conclusions and I expressed my views to many people in this forum.

When I found the Gardner article - which solidified what I had theorized - the Wardell letter was fake, O'Sullivan's supposed role as Gardner's assistant that day or at the executions may not have been true - I was thrilled.

The excitement of the discovery outweighed my disappointment. At least I could contribute something of value to the community. The bigger picture here is that a 148 year old mystery has most likely been solved.
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03-13-2014, 12:36 PM
Post: #18
RE: Drawing of Booth Body
Why would Lawrence Gardiner lie? Seriously? Why do so many of these people lie as they relate themselves to this trajic epic event that will forever be studied? Posterity. Fame--however fleeting it may be. It was then and still is a powreful motive to do most anything.

Perhaps Lawrence didn't think he was making enough of his life and inserts himself into his famous father's life and into his father's most famous period. And the best way to do this may have been to refute widely held beliefs and make news.

I'm not saying that is what happened but it is certainly plausible.

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03-13-2014, 04:26 PM (This post was last modified: 03-13-2014 04:27 PM by John E..)
Post: #19
RE: Drawing of Booth Body
(03-13-2014 12:36 PM)wsanto Wrote:  Perhaps Lawrence didn't think he was making enough of his life and inserts himself into his famous father's life and into his father's most famous period. And the best way to do this may have been to refute widely held beliefs and make news.

I'm not saying that is what happened but it is certainly plausible.

Wsanto, you make a great point. One of the most frustrating things about researching is having to wade through the numerous and obvious fabrications made by people who were looking for a little slice of notoriety or fame and were willing to lie to get it. That was definitely not the case. By the time Lawrence Gardner died at the age of 51, he had carved out a very public, successful and prominent life for himself.

I don't think its much of a stretch to state that to Washingtonians, he may have been more popular than his father.

Honestly, when I read the Lawrence Gardner article for the first time, I didn't know who he was. I knew Alexander had a son and a brother who worked with him, but I didn't know much else. After I did my homework, I came away very impressed by the man's life. We would have been hard pressed to have found a more reliable and credible source.

Will you be attending the conference this year? I will be dedicating a portion of my speech to Lawrence Gardner's life. Incidentally, Lawrence's name was in the papers quite often due to his work with the Democratic party. He didn't need to seek out newspapers to satisfy a need for fame. He had it.
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03-20-2014, 08:41 AM
Post: #20
RE: Drawing of Booth Body
One of the statements I've often heard regarding the Booth autopsy engraving that appeared in Harper's Weekly is that it looks too detailed not to have been based on a photograph.

During the Conference I didn't address this but would like to do so now. Some of the sketch artists of the Civil War period were absolutely fantastic. Books have been written about their impressive work, relationships with other "artists" (including photographers and newsmen), and how they brought the war to the home front.

Here's a sketch that was done at one of Lincoln's inaugurations, that was not lifted from or based on a photograph. To assume that engravings filled with detail must have been copied from a photograph is not accurate.

[Image: lincoln-inaugural-capitol-1861.jpg]
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