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Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
07-31-2015, 08:23 AM
Post: #46
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-26-2015 11:18 AM)L Verge Wrote:  
(07-26-2015 07:20 AM)John Fazio Wrote:  
(07-25-2015 03:59 PM)BettyO Wrote:  Hey, John !

I believe what Steers believed. Mudd ( like all the guys ) was more involved with the Confederate underground than was led to be believed. Sure, he knew JWB , knew him well, but when Booth and Herold came on that Saturday morning, he didn't know JWB had shot Lincoln.



Betty:

That may be true, but if it is true, one has to discount or ignore the statements of Brigadier General Levi Axtell Dodd and Assistant Paymaster William F. Keeler (both of whom were aboard the Florida, which took the prisoners to Ft. Jefferson) that Dr. Mudd had admitted that he had recognized Booth immediately and that he knew he had murdered Lincoln. One also has to ignore Keeler's letter to his Congressman in which he said "In conversation with myself, & I think with others on our passage down he (Dr. Mudd) admitted what I believe the prosecution failed to prove at his trial ---viz---that he knew who Booth was when he set his leg & what crime he was guilty (of)." Add to these statements the testimony of Daniel J. Thomas, who said that Dr. Mudd had said to him, among other inflammatory things, that "the President, Cabinet and other Union men in the State of Maryland would be killed in six or seen weeks", and we have a fairly strong case that Dr. Mudd knew what was coming and who was likely to be the agent to accomplish at least part of it.

Further, if we accept the theory that Dr. Mudd was ignorant of the crime, we have to ask ourselves: What did Dr. Mudd suppose had happened to Booth and Herold, the famous actor and dandy whom he knew quite well, to cause them to show up on his doorstep at 4:00 am in a bedraggled state, in terrible condition, and, in Booth's case, with a broken leg? Common sense dictates that he must have realized that only some very extraordinary circumstance would put them there at that time and in that condition. That he does not appear to have inquired or made an issue of it suggests that he already knew or at least had a very good idea of what brought them there at that time. In other words, if we accept as fact Dr. Mudd's recognition of one of his callers as Booth (and the case for it is clear and convincing), then we are almost compelled to accept his knowledge of Booth's crime.

Further, if we accept the theory of ignorance, then we must suppose that all the help Booth and Herold received from the mail line operatives (Dr. Mudd, Cox, Jones, Hughes, Harbin, Baden, Bryant, Quesenberry, et al.) was spontaneous rather that prearranged. Does that seem likely? I think not,

Further, if we accept the theory of ignorance, we are almost forced to conclude that Dr. Mudd really and truly believed that Booth's conspiracy had kidnapping the President as its goal, rather than assassination, which, in my opinion, is absurd.

John

I'm going to ignore your last sentence, John, because right now I'm too worn out to have another battle on this forum.

However, as to your views on Dr. Mudd knowing ahead of time that Booth was up to something, they reinforce my theory that Herold was in Southern Maryland on April 13 (and maybe the 12th) to contact the underground to be ready for something big. Herold may not have explicitly said "assassination," but I bet Dr. Mudd found that out as soon as the fugitives arrived at his doorstep - just like Lloyd found out in Surrattsville. Since Mudd had been in with Booth since the beginning, he would certainly be one who would be glad to hear that Lincoln was dead!

Follow the timeline: Lee surrenders on the 9th, and celebrations begin in D.C. Those upset Booth tremendously. Booth snaps when he hears Lincoln's speech on the 11th, wheels begin to race on the 12th and 13th, and the assassination happens on the 14th. Booth and Herold show up at Mudd's early on April 15th. Mudd first asks his wife to go to the door in her nightclothes (which I wouldn't do, even today) although he later claims they were afraid of guerrilla Boyle in the neighborhood. So send the wife to the door? I think not - grab your pistol or shotgun to greet whomever is at the door.

From there, the leg is set, Booth is allowed to remain in the house for over twelve hours, and Mudd tries to get his father's buggy for easy transport. Would he do that for some stranger? Then he is too chicken to go to the authorities and sends his Union supporting first cousin to report the strangers who were now on the run.

Bill Richter drives me crazy when he quotes one of his professors to me: "If it didn't happen that way, it should have." In the case of Dr. Mudd, however, I think it applies to my theory.

I have a question. Why did Booth and Herold waste 12 hours at Dr Mudd's when they must have known that speed and getting away was of the essence?

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07-31-2015, 09:16 AM
Post: #47
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-31-2015 08:23 AM)MaddieM Wrote:  
(07-26-2015 11:18 AM)L Verge Wrote:  
(07-26-2015 07:20 AM)John Fazio Wrote:  
(07-25-2015 03:59 PM)BettyO Wrote:  Hey, John !

I believe what Steers believed. Mudd ( like all the guys ) was more involved with the Confederate underground than was led to be believed. Sure, he knew JWB , knew him well, but when Booth and Herold came on that Saturday morning, he didn't know JWB had shot Lincoln.



Betty:

That may be true, but if it is true, one has to discount or ignore the statements of Brigadier General Levi Axtell Dodd and Assistant Paymaster William F. Keeler (both of whom were aboard the Florida, which took the prisoners to Ft. Jefferson) that Dr. Mudd had admitted that he had recognized Booth immediately and that he knew he had murdered Lincoln. One also has to ignore Keeler's letter to his Congressman in which he said "In conversation with myself, & I think with others on our passage down he (Dr. Mudd) admitted what I believe the prosecution failed to prove at his trial ---viz---that he knew who Booth was when he set his leg & what crime he was guilty (of)." Add to these statements the testimony of Daniel J. Thomas, who said that Dr. Mudd had said to him, among other inflammatory things, that "the President, Cabinet and other Union men in the State of Maryland would be killed in six or seen weeks", and we have a fairly strong case that Dr. Mudd knew what was coming and who was likely to be the agent to accomplish at least part of it.

Further, if we accept the theory that Dr. Mudd was ignorant of the crime, we have to ask ourselves: What did Dr. Mudd suppose had happened to Booth and Herold, the famous actor and dandy whom he knew quite well, to cause them to show up on his doorstep at 4:00 am in a bedraggled state, in terrible condition, and, in Booth's case, with a broken leg? Common sense dictates that he must have realized that only some very extraordinary circumstance would put them there at that time and in that condition. That he does not appear to have inquired or made an issue of it suggests that he already knew or at least had a very good idea of what brought them there at that time. In other words, if we accept as fact Dr. Mudd's recognition of one of his callers as Booth (and the case for it is clear and convincing), then we are almost compelled to accept his knowledge of Booth's crime.

Further, if we accept the theory of ignorance, then we must suppose that all the help Booth and Herold received from the mail line operatives (Dr. Mudd, Cox, Jones, Hughes, Harbin, Baden, Bryant, Quesenberry, et al.) was spontaneous rather that prearranged. Does that seem likely? I think not,

Further, if we accept the theory of ignorance, we are almost forced to conclude that Dr. Mudd really and truly believed that Booth's conspiracy had kidnapping the President as its goal, rather than assassination, which, in my opinion, is absurd.

John

I'm going to ignore your last sentence, John, because right now I'm too worn out to have another battle on this forum.

However, as to your views on Dr. Mudd knowing ahead of time that Booth was up to something, they reinforce my theory that Herold was in Southern Maryland on April 13 (and maybe the 12th) to contact the underground to be ready for something big. Herold may not have explicitly said "assassination," but I bet Dr. Mudd found that out as soon as the fugitives arrived at his doorstep - just like Lloyd found out in Surrattsville. Since Mudd had been in with Booth since the beginning, he would certainly be one who would be glad to hear that Lincoln was dead!

Follow the timeline: Lee surrenders on the 9th, and celebrations begin in D.C. Those upset Booth tremendously. Booth snaps when he hears Lincoln's speech on the 11th, wheels begin to race on the 12th and 13th, and the assassination happens on the 14th. Booth and Herold show up at Mudd's early on April 15th. Mudd first asks his wife to go to the door in her nightclothes (which I wouldn't do, even today) although he later claims they were afraid of guerrilla Boyle in the neighborhood. So send the wife to the door? I think not - grab your pistol or shotgun to greet whomever is at the door.

From there, the leg is set, Booth is allowed to remain in the house for over twelve hours, and Mudd tries to get his father's buggy for easy transport. Would he do that for some stranger? Then he is too chicken to go to the authorities and sends his Union supporting first cousin to report the strangers who were now on the run.

Bill Richter drives me crazy when he quotes one of his professors to me: "If it didn't happen that way, it should have." In the case of Dr. Mudd, however, I think it applies to my theory.

I have a question. Why did Booth and Herold waste 12 hours at Dr Mudd's when they must have known that speed and getting away was of the essence?

My personal opinion is shared by Ed Steers, I believe. Their best escape would be under the cover of darkness. By arriving at Mudd's shortly before the sun came up on Saturday, this meant even a few hours' rest would put them out and about in broad daylight and when others were out and about also. Better to wait until sundown on Saturday, and the Mudd home was off the beaten path when it came to security issues.

They were also hoping to find a better mode of transportation for Booth, hence the visit to Dr. Mudd's father's home in late-morning.
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07-31-2015, 10:18 AM
Post: #48
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-30-2015 06:44 PM)L Verge Wrote:  A historian's work is always subject to review and criticism. That includes use and abuse of documented facts as well as personal styles of persuasion and writing; it is part of the test to see who can bring something new and worthwhile (and provable) to the table. Personally, I feel that many of John's responses to my theories, as well as others, have been delivered in a condescending manner to make me feel insecure. And, he has not responded with the critical ingredient - documented proof of his points.

I have been on the same page with John for about 2-3 years now, ever since I read his initial writings in a newsletter from the Cleveland CWRT. I want him to PROVE his central theme because I believe in it also. He asked me to review his manuscript last year before it went to the publisher, and I declined because of work and family responsibilities. I could kick myself for not doing that review, but I would probably have had the same problems then as I have now with his style. It is ingrained in him, I'm sure, and he would have fought me tooth and nail about any revision.

What is disappointing and unfortunate to me is that so much is theory written in a style that will convince the novice reader that Decapitating the Union has solved all the questions. It hasn't; it has only confused some of the issues.

Those of us who were trained in history and have spent the past sixty years immersed in the Lincoln assassination story want to avoid the Balsigers, Selliers, O'Reillys, Bateses, Eisenschimls, Sheltons, etc. of the future. John's research is so far superior to those scam artists that he should not denigrate it with so much continued supposition. I can remember the old days when publishers had historical editors that would point out weaknesses in style, content, and accuracy before a manuscript went to press. I wish we could get them back.

Laurie,

I am the novice reader of which you speak. I know less about these events than you and most of the others on this board have forgotten.

That being said, I agree with you about historians embellishing their otherwise well-researched publications with their own supposistions and then presenting those suppositions in a way that I, the novice reader, may believe is another well-established or well-sourced fact. I don't really check the footnotes nor do I judge the reliability of the sources. I am trusting the author and historian have done this and sorted through all the available information and discarded the junk evidence per some acedemic standard.

It can be very difficult to separate fact from theory and sourced material from supposition for someone like me, even when reading a great book like American Brutus or Blood On The Moon.

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07-31-2015, 11:13 AM
Post: #49
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
I feel your pain, Bill. After all these years, I still get frustrated (as you can tell). James O. Hall told me shortly after I met him in 1975, that a good guideline is to choose the path where you have the majority of sources saying basically the same thing. It doesn't have to be a huge majority, but even three out of five (preferably primary) sources can be a good indication of what probably occurred. Occasionally, someone is lucky enough to find a major discovery; but after 150 years with so many researchers in the field, that is pretty rare.
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07-31-2015, 03:34 PM
Post: #50
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-30-2015 06:15 PM)John Fazio Wrote:  Roger:

Sorry for not getting to this sooner. I'm quite busy.

You raise a very important issue. My educated guess is that just as the invitation to the theatre was by design (per Susannah Hamm, p. 38 of DU), and just as Booth's prior knowledge of the Lincolns' attendance at the theatre for the April 14 performance came from sources inside the government (per Tidwell, Hall and Gaddy, p. 423 of CR), so too the publication in the afternoon newspapers of the attendance of the Lincolns and the Grants was by pre-arrangement by sources inside the government. That is not to say that everything was a lock; any part or all of the pre-arrangements might have failed. As it happened, however, they all worked as planned. See pp. 82, 83 of DU.

John

Thank you for answering my question, John.
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08-01-2015, 07:28 AM
Post: #51
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-31-2015 03:34 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(07-30-2015 06:15 PM)John Fazio Wrote:  Roger:

Sorry for not getting to this sooner. I'm quite busy.

You raise a very important issue. My educated guess is that just as the invitation to the theatre was by design (per Susannah Hamm, p. 38 of DU), and just as Booth's prior knowledge of the Lincolns' attendance at the theatre for the April 14 performance came from sources inside the government (per Tidwell, Hall and Gaddy, p. 423 of CR), so too the publication in the afternoon newspapers of the attendance of the Lincolns and the Grants was by pre-arrangement by sources inside the government. That is not to say that everything was a lock; any part or all of the pre-arrangements might have failed. As it happened, however, they all worked as planned. See pp. 82, 83 of DU.

John

Thank you for answering my question, John.


Roger:

You are quite welcome.

A careful reading of the literature reveals many signs of pre-arrangement. Steers, for example, makes the point that Booth's ordering Atzerodt to register at the Kirkwood (most historians say he registered on Friday morning, but Atzerodt says in one of his confessions that he registered on Thursday afternoon), before he allegedly learned of the Lincolns' attendance at Ford's (Friday at noon), suggests that he had prior knowledge of their attendance for Friday's performance. Tidwell, Hall and Gaddy also allege prior knowledge. As another example, Powell strolled past Seward's mansion in the morning on the 13th and again in the morning on the 14th, on both occasions chatting up Robinson and asking about the Secretary's health. Clearly he knew his assignment long before the 8:00 pm Friday meeting at the Herndon House, per the conventional wisdom, and prior, even, to Friday morning, which was the time he gave the Rev. Gillette. In my opinion, he knew his assignment from the moment he was dispatched from the Rangers to join Booth's action team, which he did on March 15, in time for the Gautier's Restaurant meeting. The great likelihood is that the real purpose of Booth's conspiracy was determined when he began to put his team together in August, 1864, though he of course concealed that real purpose from many of his team members.

John
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08-01-2015, 10:17 AM
Post: #52
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-30-2015 06:44 PM)L Verge Wrote:  A historian's work is always subject to review and criticism. That includes use and abuse of documented facts as well as personal styles of persuasion and writing; it is part of the test to see who can bring something new and worthwhile (and provable) to the table. Personally, I feel that many of John's responses to my theories, as well as others, have been delivered in a condescending manner to make me feel insecure. And, he has not responded with the critical ingredient - documented proof of his points.

I have been on the same page with John for about 2-3 years now, ever since I read his initial writings in a newsletter from the Cleveland CWRT. I want him to PROVE his central theme because I believe in it also. He asked me to review his manuscript last year before it went to the publisher, and I declined because of work and family responsibilities. I could kick myself for not doing that review, but I would probably have had the same problems then as I have now with his style. It is ingrained in him, I'm sure, and he would have fought me tooth and nail about any revision.

What is disappointing and unfortunate to me is that so much is theory written in a style that will convince the novice reader that Decapitating the Union has solved all the questions. It hasn't; it has only confused some of the issues.

Those of us who were trained in history and have spent the past sixty years immersed in the Lincoln assassination story want to avoid the Balsigers, Selliers, O'Reillys, Bateses, Eisenschimls, Sheltons, etc. of the future. John's research is so far superior to those scam artists that he should not denigrate it with so much continued supposition. I can remember the old days when publishers had historical editors that would point out weaknesses in style, content, and accuracy before a manuscript went to press. I wish we could get them back.


Laurie:

Review and criticism, of course, but not intemperate screeds. And because intemperance always betrays weakness, those who encourage and applaud it are not doing the intemperate any favors.

Condescending? Please re-read all my posts in this current thread, as I have, and tell me where I speak as if descending from a superior position. Show me where I have stooped or deigned to say or do something. Why should I wish to make you feel insecure. What have I to gain by that? I assure you, I have no such wish. One does not wish to make friends feel insecure.

You want me to "prove" my central theme. You want documented proof of my points. Dave said it is impossible to ever prove our points. Shall I believe him, or shall I try to accommodate you? What are you looking for: a writing, in code or otherwise, in which Davis orders Booth to kill Lincoln, or in which Benjamin orders Powell to kill Seward? No one will ever find such a document, because it never existed. Confederate leaders were not so stupid as to commit such orders to paper. We thus have to find our "proof" elsewhere. Such as the fact that Davis and Benjamin knew all about Blackburn's attempt to assassinate Lincoln with "infected" shirts. Such as the fact that they also knew of Harney's attempt to assassinate as many Federal leaders as could be lured into a wing of the White House prior to blowing it up. Such as the fact that they knew all about Booth's conspiracy and did nothing to stop him even though they also knew that kidnapping could do them no good at all, as stated by Davis himself and Conrad. Such as the fact that virtually all the conversation between Confederate Secret Service agents in Canada related to assassination, not only of Lincoln, but of many other Federal officeholders as well. Such as the fact that by 1864, the mood in Richmond was described as "an assassination frenzy". And such as the fact that Surratt acknowledged to Ste. Marie that "we" killed Lincoln and that he had acted under the instructions of person's under Davis's immediate orders, and, further, refused to say whether or not Davis was involved in Lincoln's death, which is as good as an affirmative answer. These are only six documented items of proof of my central thesis; there are another 15 or so on pp. 371 and 372 of the book.

I never said or implied that DU "has solved all the questions", but as to confusing the issues, please tell me where you feel I have done so and I will attempt to clarify them, because I strove hard to do exactly the opposite, i.e. not to confuse, but to clarify. A reading of the book will demonstrate, clearly, that rather than purporting to solve all the questions, the book is replete with references to unknowns that remain (such as Surratt's location on 4-14), possibilities (such as O'Laughlen's presence at Stanton's home during the evening of 4-13), probabilities, such as the belief that it was indeed Booth who tried to crash the cordon and gain access to Lincoln on March 4, Inauguration Day, and conclusions based on the same simply because there isn't sufficient evidence to establish certainty, such as there is, for example, for the planted perjury by Montgomery, Dunham and Merritt and the Confederate government's knowledge of Booth and his action team and their activities. Supposition is always based on whatever evidence exists, on reason and on our understanding of human nature; it is not made in a vacuum, and it is OK as long as the writer does not represent it as fact, but makes it clear that it is only supposition. For example, I believe Booth was at Julia's luncheon, because she, Ulysses, Mathews and Lamon say so, directly or indirectly. In Day by Day, Art Loux also mentions Julia's recognition of Booth as the man who attended her luncheon and stared at her, etc. I invited those who reject that supposition to present evidence contradicting it. So far, I haven't been offered any. Similarly, I invited those who reject Demond's statement that Booth and Herold were at the bridge in the morning on the 14th to present evidence contradicting it. In response, I was told that Booth wrote a letter to his mother at 2:00 am on 4-14. But no one really knows where he wrote it, nor even what time he wrote it, nor where he spent the night. Art Loux wrote that Booth may have written the letter at 4:00 pm in the lobby of the National. Here are a few quotes that make my point:
1. "Nobody knows where Booth was that evening of the 13th, or that night." (Laughlin)
2. "Where (Booth) went (after he left Deery's place) is not clear." He didn't come to the desk of the National for his key. The maid opened the door to his room (228). The bed had not been touched. (Bryan)
3. "No evidence is available to chronicle the sequence of Booth's activities from Thursday evening until Friday morning..." (Pitch)
4. When Walter Burton, the desk clerk, opened the door to Booth's room in the morning of the 14th, he found that the room was empty and the bed was still made. (Loux)

Despite the foregoing, Dave stated with absolute certainty that "He (Booth) was there!" (i.e. in his hotel room that night). Which one of us do you feel is unreasonable?

Enough for now.

John
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08-01-2015, 11:46 AM
Post: #53
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(07-30-2015 01:12 PM)Dave Taylor Wrote:  
(07-30-2015 12:06 PM)John Fazio Wrote:  Laurie:

As to where Booth spent the night, it has often been written that no one knows. It is known only that he did NOT spend it in his hotel room in the National. If he spent it in Washington, what was he doing at the Maryland side of the Navy Yard Bridge in the morning with Herold? Demond said that he recognized Booth as the actor and that when he said to Booth that he recognized him, he acknowledged that he was Booth and that his companion was Herold. He went on to say that Augur's aide had conversation with Booth, that Dana's orderly came and said they were "alright" and that the entire Maryland-side detail expressed surprise when they saw them again crossing from Washington that night inasmuch as they had seen them earlier that day. Sounds pretty solid to me. If Booth spent the night in Washington, he would have had to rise early and then cross the bridge to Maryland for a rendezvous with Herold. Seems unlikely.

John

John,

Allow me to quote you something that I read in a book by an intelligent man. I've made a few substitutions to it which I hope you'll permit me.

Quote:"Entirely too much emphasis is laid by [Fazio] on eyewitness statements that support [his] conclusion and entirely too little emphasis is placed on eyewitness statements that do[es] not support [his] conclusion and on Booth's own words..."

You, John, wrote this yourself in your book when discussing Kauffman and Timothy Good's theory that Booth may have broken his leg in a fall from his horse and not at Ford's Theatre. However, I think it is very obvious that you suffer from the same bias you accuse them of.

Demond's accounts were the products of Fins Bates' manipulation and were stated more than 30 years later!!!! Why, in the name of Pete, do you even attempt to defend them? They are the lowest form of evidence that exist and yet you cling to them as gospel truth, dismissing all logical, and far more supported, alternatives. The only truth we can possibly give to Demond is that he was one of the guards on duty on the Maryland side of the bridge and that he saw Booth pass over. That's all that can be truthfully believed in any of his accounts. Everything else comes from Bates' constant baiting and is entirely suspect.

So much evidence points to the fact that Booth WAS in Washington on the night of April 13th/14th. Heed your own words, John, and consult Booth's writings. On April 14th, at 2:00 AM Booth wrote a letter to his mother from his hotel room at the National. He was there! The letter is addressed from Washington. For your unnecessarily treacherous theory to hold true, then Booth would have had to have been in Washington at 2:00 am, left in the wee hours of the morning, and then returned with Herold later. If that is the convoluted route you want to follow then my question to you would be, how did Booth know the mythical password to cross on the night of the 13th/14th? Don't you see, by using Demond's accounts as your foundation, you have nothing but a house of cards, John. I understand you are a lawyer and a d****d persistent one at that, but even you have to concede that Demond is likely very wrong.

You are a good researcher, John and I commend your knowledge of sources for your points, however, you are blind to anything other than your theory. You suffer from the same confirmation bias that you project onto others. As a lawyer you would argue your points indefinitely, believing that if you can convince others of your way, that would, by default, make your points true. But history doesn't work that way. We need to be objective when assessing a source or evidence, particularly when they support our own beliefs. And, most of all, when reporting on evidence that we believe supports our beliefs, we must, as responsible historians, preface that it is impossible to ever "prove" our points. We can provide evidence to why we came to our conclusion, but to claim our own interpretation is the only possible interpretation is the mark of a fool.

I do not believe you to be a fool, John, but I tire of reading your posts and your inability to acknowledge that the interpretations of others are just as valid and possible as your own. I tire of watching you browbeat people into submission and portray everything you espouse in your book as gospel and iron clad proof. I worry that those who are unfamiliar with the topics you discuss are reading your interpretations as the only interpretation and are therefore believing theory to be fact.

History is, and always will be, theory. We were not there and even those who were there interpreted and recalled the events based on their own life experiences and beliefs. History will never be set in stone and no one person can claim to know exactly how historical events played out.

Dave:

As to the bias you speak of , we are all guilty of cherry-picking to a degree. Elephants rule. Ask Jonathan Haight. It is a matter of the degree. The object should be to avoid excess, to keep one's mind open and to have the decency to admit error.

Neither you nor anyone else really knows if Demond's accounts are a product of Bates's manipulations; he may have had more backbone than you give him credit for. Thirty years? They were actually given 46 and 51 years later, which probably accounts for some of their inconsistencies. "The lowest form of evidence that exists"? Hyperbole. I can think of many forms lower. "Dismissing all logical and far more supported alternatives". To begin with, I dismiss nothing; I ask only for evidence and reason. Secondly, which ones? I am still waiting for evidence contradicting Demond. I offered a "rough scenario" that would reconcile his accounts with what we know from other sources as to the activities of Booth and Herold on 4-14. I did not represent it to be fact, but only a "rough", i.e. a plausible scenario. Neither you nor anyone else has shown me why I should reject Demond outright, who, if I am to reject him, must be supposed to have written several letters and a comprehensive statement and lied from start to finish. He doesn't sound like he is lying. On the contrary, he sounds very sincere, offers much detail, acknowledges when he does not remember something or is uncertain of something and is therefore altogether persuasive. I might add that I find his accounts much more convincing that Surratt's claim that he escaped his captors in Italy by leaping into a 100-ft. ravine, miraculously landing on a 4-ft. outcropping of rock 35 feet below, lying stationary for a period, while his 6 captors fired at him from the rim of the ravine, all of whom missed their target, and then walked away to safety, a story I gather you accept as fact. And this despite the fact that we have an eyewitness who states flatly that it didn't happen that way, but that the escape was accomplished by nothing more romantic than Surratt's crawling through a sewer with the complicity of his 12 captors, not 6. So which one of us is the more gullible?

How do you know Booth was in his hotel room that night, stated with emphatic certainty? I just gave Laurie four sources (Laughlin, Bryan, Pitch and Loux) who say he wasn't. So which one of us is the less reasonable? Of course, it is always possible that he was there long enough to write the letter to his mother and then left. Or perhaps he wrote the letter elsewhere and at 4:00 pm rather than 2:00 am, per Art Loux. No one knows. In any case, even if he wrote the letter from his room, it would not preclude his being at the bridge in the morning. How did he cross the bridge, if he did cross the bridge? No mystery. There was no password in the morning. Demond is clear: the order for the same came late in the afternoon of the 14th.

I am not blind to anything, but I do ask for evidence and reason to support contrary views. you haven't given me any. You have only made naked allegations, such as: Booth wasn't at the luncheon. But I have 4 people who, directly or indirectly, say he was. Booth wasn't at the bridge. But I have an eyewitness who said he was. Booth spent the night in Washington. But I just referred you to 4 historians who said he did not spend the night in his hotel room and that no one knows where he spent the night, which at least leaves open the possibility that he spent it in Maryland, which would make sense because we know that that is where Herold spent the night. But Washington still remains a possibility, perhaps with one of his paramours. So which one of us is the more reasonable?

You do not have to give me lessons in objectivity. I have been on this planet many more years than you have and I have spent almost all of those years striving to be objective. The great majority of the cases I have handled in 50 years were settled because I was able to objectively see the other party's point of view. When have I ever claimed that my interpretation is the only possible interpretation? When have I ever refused to acknowledge the possibility that the interpretations of others are as valid as my own? Show me. That is pure calumny, unbecoming of a professional, indeed disgraceful.

If you are tired of reading my posts, there is a simple remedy: Don't read them. "I tire of watching you browbeat people and portray everything you espouse in your book as gospel and iron-clad proof".
Kid stuff. Childish hokum. Since when did calmly and civilly expressing belief and supporting it with evidence and reason become "browbeating". The word is defined as "to intimidate by overbearing looks or words". Only a man with an agenda would so characterize my posts. I quite openly and freely acknowledge my ignorance when I am ignorant of something, and my uncertainty about many issues and conclusions, and endeavor always to take account of opposing views, as I did, for example, with the issue of Mary's Surratt's guilt, setting forth all the exculpatory evidence as well as all the inculpatory evidence.

Dave, your unseemly and mean-spirited rant has all the earmarks of an agenda, rather than an honest and sincere quest for truth. What that agenda is, only you know, though it is possible that it is buried in your unconscious and that even you, therefore, do not know.

I previously asked you to review my book in BoothieBarn. I am now asking you not to review it. You may, however, keep the complimentary copy I sent you if you wish. If you don't want to keep it, please give it to Laurie for sale in the Society's bookstore.

If you do not like the tenor of this exchange, rest assured that I do not like it either. But recall how it started. You asked me to make copies of Demond's material available to you. I responded by saying that I would post it if I could (Linda is working on it), but that if I couldn't, I would send you hard copy at no cost. Your response to this gracious offer was your personally offensive diatribe. Thus this reply.

John
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08-01-2015, 01:21 PM
Post: #54
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
"I could kick myself for not doing that review, but I would probably have had the same problems then as I have now with his style. It is ingrained in him, I'm sure, and he would have fought me tooth and nail about any revision." QUOTE: Laurie Verge, 7/30/2015.

Rest my case.
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08-01-2015, 04:45 PM
Post: #55
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
I, for one, truly appreciate John's approach and legal style of looking at these historical events. I also appreciate Laurie and Dave's commitment and passion for these topics.
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08-02-2015, 11:51 AM
Post: #56
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
And freedom of expression and opinion is a two-way street.
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08-02-2015, 06:51 PM
Post: #57
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
Dave T. - thank you for your post.

"Right or wrong, God judge me, not man."
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08-02-2015, 08:38 PM
Post: #58
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(08-02-2015 07:09 PM)Rosieo Wrote:  
(08-02-2015 06:51 PM)Jenny Wrote:  Dave T. - thank you for your post.

Really?

Yep.

"Right or wrong, God judge me, not man."
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08-03-2015, 09:30 AM
Post: #59
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
I agree Rosieo.
I've enjoyed the discussion and respect those who have participated in it and their views, but remember what Mom taught us years ago Heart-
"It's not so much what you say, but how you say it."

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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08-03-2015, 09:56 AM
Post: #60
RE: Mudd Descendants visit Fort Jefferson NP
(08-03-2015 08:13 AM)Rosieo Wrote:  Please forgive large font - bad eyes.[/size][/font]

Rosemary, I have this problem, too (bad eyes). If you are running Microsoft Windows there are ways to increase the size of the fonts in your browser. (I am only familiar with Microsoft products.) I am using Internet Explorer 11, and I have the Zoom level set at 170% of normal. This greatly enlarges the text on the screen. The big negative of this setting is that I often have to adjust the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom to read the right side of a web page. This is just one idea - there are other ways to increase the text size on your screen.
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