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John Surratt
08-12-2013, 08:26 AM
Post: #126
RE: John Surratt
(08-11-2013 11:49 AM)L Verge Wrote:  The comment that John II made about books on this subject needing 1200 pages or more to adequately tell the story is so true. About 35 years ago, I was told by James O. Hall that his manuscript (Murder At Ford's Theatre) was over 1200 pages in length, and that Knopf & Sons was interested in it if he would chop out at least 400 pages. He never completed the task because he began sharing so much of his work with future writers in the field.

He also became heavily involved with Bill Tidwell and Dave Gaddy in that tremendous work entitled Come Retribution. That was published by a University Press, but they even had problems there. A young editor, fresh with diploma and red pen in hand, was assigned to "assist" them. It turned out to be one of the most frustrating experiences of their lives. She changed data and context as well as erasing necessary sections. From that point on, I could see Mr. Hall's attitude change. He remained very generous in sharing his research, but he no longer seemed interested in authoring another book.

Before he died, the research librarian at Surratt House had begun working with him in sorting out his files, etc. He had signed a letter of intent to the museum years before to assure that his estate would agree to his research coming to us. He had stopped talking about his Murder At Ford's Theatre, and I knew that much of his research had gone into Come Retribution, so I didn't ask about it. However, when all of his files were transferred to us, there was no manuscript.

His wife had pre-deceased him, and they had no children. Two young nieces on his wife's side of the family were administrators to the estate. They knew nothing about the ms. I asked authors whom he had helped, and they knew nothing about it. For nearly a year before his death, he lost his ability to speak, so it was very difficult to communicate. And frankly, I was too chicken to ask what had become of his manuscript.

It has always been my suspicion that his trials with editors and publishers did him in, that he shared all of the good stuff with authors that he trusted to do a good job with his work (without their knowledge that he was doing so), and went to his grave letting Come Retribution - one of the most controversial (and overlooked) pieces of work in our field - be his signature piece.

One of the worst days of my life came when a member of the Surratt Society, who had moved to Florida upon retirement (no, it's not Roger), announced that he had written a book on the assassination. It was already published before anyone knew about it. Its title is Murder At Ford's Theatre... And yes, I cried that day.

It was definitely not the work of my friend and mentor, James O. Hall, but you cannot copyright a title. This man knew exactly what he was doing.


Laurie:

Thank you for this history of James O., whom I often refer to in the book as "the dean of assassination historians". It appears that the only saving grace in the story is that he did help so many others and that his signature piece, Come Retribution, is a seminal work of the greatest importance and influence. He, Tidwell and Gaddy single-handedly overturned almost 125 years of error made by people who were put to sleep by Sanders, Dunham, Montgomery and Merritt. In retrospect, it is astonishing that more people did not see through their artifice sooner, because if Davis, et al., were innocent and they knew it to be so, they would simply have said so. The fact that they alleged them to be guilty, therefore, proves that they did not know them to be innocent and that their testimony was given for a nefarious purpose. All roads, therefore, lead to complicity.

John
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John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 05-02-2013, 05:36 PM
RE: John Surratt - Jim Garrett - 05-02-2013, 05:50 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 05-02-2013, 06:00 PM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 05-02-2013, 06:36 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 05-02-2013, 06:49 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-02-2013, 07:43 PM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 05-02-2013, 08:51 PM
RE: John Surratt - Gene C - 05-02-2013, 10:02 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 05-03-2013, 06:40 AM
RE: John Surratt - Jim Garrett - 05-03-2013, 06:48 AM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 05-03-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: John Surratt - Gene C - 05-03-2013, 09:04 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 05-03-2013, 03:33 PM
RE: John Surratt - Bill Richter - 05-03-2013, 07:27 AM
RE: John Surratt - Laurie Verge - 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM
RE: John Surratt - Laurie Verge - 05-03-2013, 10:22 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-03-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: John Surratt - Laurie Verge - 05-03-2013, 03:31 PM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 05-03-2013, 03:49 PM
RE: John Surratt - Bill Richter - 05-03-2013, 04:11 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 05-03-2013, 04:24 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-05-2013, 01:04 PM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 05-05-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 05-05-2013, 05:42 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-05-2013, 06:59 PM
RE: John Surratt - Jane Singer - 05-06-2013, 06:25 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-07-2013, 06:15 AM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 05-06-2013, 04:52 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-06-2013, 06:54 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-06-2013, 08:28 PM
RE: John Surratt - J. Beckert - 05-07-2013, 06:43 AM
RE: John Surratt - Gene C - 05-07-2013, 07:00 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-08-2013, 12:02 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-08-2013, 06:15 AM
RE: John Surratt - Jane Singer - 05-08-2013, 11:24 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-08-2013, 02:34 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-08-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-17-2013, 07:26 PM
RE: John Surratt - Jim Garrett - 05-17-2013, 07:43 PM
RE: John Surratt - BettyO - 05-17-2013, 07:53 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-18-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Stanton - 05-18-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 05-18-2013, 03:53 PM
RE: John Surratt - Bill Richter - 05-18-2013, 03:14 PM
RE: John Surratt - BettyO - 05-19-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 05-19-2013, 12:06 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 07-30-2013, 02:40 AM
RE: John Surratt - Gene C - 07-30-2013, 09:24 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 07-30-2013, 06:41 PM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 07-30-2013, 07:13 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 07-31-2013, 12:32 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-02-2013, 12:53 PM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 08-02-2013, 04:51 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 08-01-2013, 11:12 AM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 07-31-2013, 04:31 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-01-2013, 11:50 AM
RE: John Surratt - Wild Bill - 07-31-2013, 08:21 AM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 07-31-2013, 12:31 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 07-31-2013, 10:30 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-01-2013, 04:22 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-01-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: John Surratt - Wild Bill - 08-01-2013, 08:54 AM
RE: John Surratt - Gene C - 08-01-2013, 11:27 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-02-2013, 01:27 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-01-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 08-01-2013, 03:09 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-01-2013, 06:10 PM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 08-02-2013, 07:09 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-02-2013, 08:13 AM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-03-2013, 04:03 AM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-03-2013, 08:09 PM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 08-04-2013, 07:30 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-04-2013, 01:42 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-04-2013, 09:00 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-05-2013, 12:23 PM
RE: John Surratt - HerbS - 08-04-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-05-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-05-2013, 10:22 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-06-2013, 07:30 AM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 08-06-2013, 07:53 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-07-2013, 02:20 AM
RE: John Surratt - JB Banning - 08-07-2013, 08:10 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-05-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-06-2013, 04:07 AM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-06-2013, 11:31 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-06-2013, 12:23 PM
RE: Dr. Samuel Mudd - GARY POPOLO - 08-06-2013, 06:59 PM
RE: Dr. Samuel Mudd - Rhatkinson - 08-06-2013, 07:35 PM
RE: Dr. Samuel Mudd - John Fazio - 08-07-2013, 09:28 AM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-06-2013, 11:08 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-07-2013, 08:16 AM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 08-07-2013, 08:35 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-07-2013, 11:35 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-07-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-07-2013, 05:28 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-09-2013, 02:14 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-07-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-08-2013, 04:17 AM
RE: John Surratt - BettyO - 08-08-2013, 05:21 AM
RE: John Surratt - Jim Garrett - 08-08-2013, 06:06 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-08-2013, 07:42 AM
RE: John Surratt - Thomas Thorne - 08-08-2013, 08:53 AM
RE: John Surratt - J. Beckert - 08-08-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: John Surratt - GARY POPOLO - 08-08-2013, 03:06 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-09-2013, 03:53 AM
RE: John Surratt - Jim Garrett - 08-08-2013, 06:19 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-08-2013, 06:50 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-08-2013, 09:36 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-09-2013, 11:27 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-09-2013, 01:06 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-09-2013, 05:00 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-09-2013, 07:50 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-09-2013, 04:09 PM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-11-2013, 02:21 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-10-2013, 10:52 AM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 08-10-2013, 12:01 PM
RE: John Surratt - BettyO - 08-10-2013, 12:04 PM
RE: Booth's broken leg - Troy Cowan - 08-10-2013, 12:17 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-10-2013, 04:58 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-10-2013, 07:00 PM
RE: John Surratt - Troy Cowan - 08-10-2013, 08:25 PM
RE: John Surratt - Rhatkinson - 08-10-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: John Surratt - Troy Cowan - 08-10-2013, 11:08 PM
RE: John Surratt - RJNorton - 08-11-2013, 03:50 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-11-2013, 11:49 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-12-2013 08:26 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-12-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: John Surratt - John Fazio - 08-12-2013, 11:19 AM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-12-2013, 05:09 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 08-12-2013, 05:26 PM
RE: John Surratt - SSlater - 08-12-2013, 07:32 PM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 10-20-2013, 08:29 AM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 10-20-2013, 10:00 AM
RE: John Surratt - JMadonna - 10-20-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: John Surratt - L Verge - 10-21-2013, 10:52 AM

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