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The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
07-24-2013, 02:22 PM
Post: #16
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
For those of you who have ordered it, does the author seem to be really serious about what he has written?

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-24-2013, 04:06 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2013 04:54 PM by IFWesley.)
Post: #17
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
(07-18-2013 05:08 PM)Thomas Thorne Wrote:  Stanton and Booth knowing he would not do, arranged for a pistol to be planted there in advance as only the presence of a firearm-I am not making this up-would convince people of Confederate complicity. [...] but the author's assertion they did not realize until the next day that Frederick Seward suffered severe injuries on 4/14/65 is laughable.

Hi Thomas. Thank you for reading the sample chapter. I couldn't help but notice that you may have only skimmed the chapter, because your comment misrepresents its contents. The chapter does not state that Booth was involved in planting the pistol at the Seward residence. Booth was not knowingly working for Stanton.

The chapter includes references for its contents. Booth and Powell, on the very day of the attack, were given instructions and the items required. The book provides five sources to substantiate this. Booth planned neither of the attacks. None of the eyewitnesses of Seward's assassination attempt (Sgt. Robinson, Augustus Seward, William Bell) reported seeing a pistol, and Bell referred to Powell as "the man with the knife" when talking to Augustus. Bell testified that it was investigators who told him Powell had a gun, and this gun did *not* match the description of the object Bell said was used to attack Frederick.

Furthermore, it was Augustus Seward's testimony that stated that the family didn't realize how severely injured Frederick was until the next day.

Thank you again for your brief attention to the book, but I invite you to look again and with a less critical bias. If you follow the logic and the sources I believe you will find much that is new and worth consideration.

Ian Wesley, editor

Hello, BettyO. I'm the editor of the book and the author of the article you just linked. You have stated the exact opposite of what the article states. The book(s) you identified as "references" for my book are described as not even being consulted, yet the article's purpose is to state how those books differ (greatly) from mine.

(07-18-2013 05:27 PM)BettyO Wrote:  Caveat emptor indeed !!!

Go to the web site and read what his "References" are - i.e. Dark Union ; Balsinger's The Lincoln Conspiracy and Why Was Lincoln Murdered?

Read this under "Related Articles"...... http://www.reasonlincoln.com/articles/yo...efore.html

[And your excerpt from Fanny's account]

Fanny: "Why is Fred slumped over in the hallway?"

Robinson: "He was too tired to go to his room. Just leave him until tomorrow morning....don't bother him!"

Fanny: "Why is he bleeding?"

Robinson: "He stubbed his toe in the dark and tripped. Must have hit his head. It's only a little flesh wound."

Did you intentionally misconstrue those sources as our references? I am glad you included a link to my article, so that those who read it will know what I actually said. However, your comment implies what they should expect to find, and I suspect most readers will take you at your word.

Also, your comment included an excerpt from Fanny's memoir, which indicates that she was not a witness to Powell's attack at all. It was 10:15 PM. Eyewitness testimonies given only a month after the attack state that the upstairs hallway was lit, but bedrooms were not. Powell argued with Frederick in full view of William Bell for more than five minutes before attacking. Powell then struck Frederick, knocking him into his sister's bedroom, then fought with two more men in the hallway and her father's bedroom. Her diary reveals that she thought Frederick was rendered incapacitated by the fall into her bedroom and not the crushing blow to his forehead by Powell that left his brain exposed, and therefore she didn't actually witness the attack.

Look again at your quotation, and please re-read the sample chapter (or at least the testimony of William Bell concerning Powell/Payne). Only Bell witnessed Powell striking Frederick (Robinson was in Seward's room, Fanny in hers). That night Robinson and Fanny didn't know what Bell saw, nor what happened to Frederick. Bell, however, had a most lucid and vivid recollection. Bell's account was both timely and corroborated by others, including Augustus. Fanny's account conflicts with Bell's, and by all indications (even her own statement "in the dark") she remained in her unlit bedroom until after Powell fled the house.

I do not know if you appreciate my feedback, but I do hope you are more careful in the future about making representations of people's work. It makes it harder for people seeking information if links to documents are prefaced with incorrect descriptions. I understand your bias as you first approached the article, because I too thought, "yet another 'not the Confederacy' Lincoln book," when first approached for this project. I, however, labored for months checking facts and sincerely believe this book illuminates much that biases have caused many to overlook.

Respectfully,

Ian F. Wesley
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07-24-2013, 05:30 PM
Post: #18
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
(07-24-2013 04:06 PM)IFWesley Wrote:  None of the eyewitnesses of Seward's assassination attempt (Sgt. Robinson, Augustus Seward, William Bell) reported seeing a pistol, and Bell referred to Powell as "the man with the knife" when talking to Augustus. Bell testified that it was investigators who told him Powell had a gun, and this gun did *not* match the description of the object Bell said was used to attack Frederick.

Furthermore, it was Augustus Seward's testimony that stated that the family didn't realize how severely injured Frederick was until the next day.

Ian Wesley, editor

Hi Ian, welcome to the forum.

Fanny wrote her first account of Powell's assault on her father three weeks after April 14. She most definitely was in Seward's room (corroborated by Robinson in newspaper interviews). She wrote she saw Powell enter her father's room with a gun in his left hand and a knife in his right hand.

"On Fred's right was the assassin - I do not remember how his face looked - his arms were both stretched out, and he seemed rushing forwards towards the bed. In the hand nearest me was a pistol. In the right hand a knife." She did not hide in her room but ran alongside Powell begging him to not kill her father. Seward gave an account the following year of seeing Fanny's terrified face looking down at him as he lay in bed.

The diary entry for April 14 that you can read online through the University of Rochester was written in May or June of 1865.

Also, Gus testified that he didn't know how bad Fred's wounds were. "I did not examine my brother's wounds; in fact, I went into his room but for a short time that night. I did not know how badly hurt he was." (Pittman)

Fred was unconscious with his brain exposed according to Dr. Verdi who was the first doctor on the scene that night. Fanny wrote that on the night of the assassination that her mother thought that Fred could not live. "By that time it had been ascertained that his injuries were very serious."
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07-24-2013, 07:15 PM
Post: #19
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
Ian,Have you been to the Seward House Museum in Auburn,NY?Perhaps you could have a two-way discussion with them and thier knowledge of what actually happened that night.
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07-24-2013, 07:35 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2013 07:37 PM by L Verge.)
Post: #20
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
First, Mr. Wesley, let me welcome you to this Forum. From your opening salvos, I can tell that things might heat up a tad -- and we welcome different opinions that can be fortified with documented evidence. As director of the Surratt House Museum, I have been interacting with beginners and scholars (and everything in between) for forty years. It can be a fun and educational experience -- most of the time.

In those forty years, I have had the pleasure to be friends with and mentored by 20th-century leaders in this field -- James O. Hall, John C. Brennan, Gen. William Tidwell, Michael Kauffman, Bill Hanchett, Ed Steers, Betty Ownsbey, Kate Larson, Elizabeth Leonard, Tom Turner, Terry Alford, and many others. The author, Don Thomas, has included many excellent books in his bibliography. If he actually read and absorbed each of those books and compared their facts with his facts, he deserves a good pat on the back.

Since the Surratt House has an excellent research center with many fine collections housed there, I have to ask if Mr. Thomas or you availed yourselves of that resource? If not, you would be amazed at the amount of time and research many of those who have gone before have expended and left very few leaves unturned -- and also did not turn a blind eye to certain "facts," letters, etc. as you suggest.

I just posted to some friends that I have Mr. Thomas's book sitting on my kitchen table with every good intention of reading it. However, as I said to them, I can't bring myself to start just yet. I have been a nut on the Lincoln assassination since I was about ten and have an impressive collection of books on the subject -- as do many of the contributors to this forum. I must admit that I have gone through the good, the bad, and the ugly with authors for so long -- and been disappointed so many times when their publicity hype did not match their research skill levels -- that I am very jaded.

I do hope that, as I read this book, something jumps off the page and makes me scream, "Now, that makes sense, and here's original documentation to support it!" When that happens, I will surely post on this site. I believe that I speak for most who are reading this: We do enjoy new and supported theories and positions and are ready to welcome this book to our shelves, if it passes the test.

P.S. I notice in several places that you refer to Atzerodt's "lost" confession as never being found until the 1970s. One of my staff members at the museum (and a good friend for forty years), Joan Chaconas, is the one who "found" the original in the Doster family holdings after a member of that family took a tour at our museum and mentioned the papers. However, that confession had appeared in newspapers at least once at the time of the trial, so it was not totally lost. People like Hall and Brennan had perused the news article for years before Joan visited with the Dosters. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Thomas has brought to light that others didn't see or preferred to "forget."
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07-25-2013, 01:38 AM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2013 01:42 AM by Thomas Thorne.)
Post: #21
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
I too welcome Ian Wesley's entering the lists on the Lincoln assassination. I fully intend to re-read Pittman but my prior readings on the subject always told me that eyewitnesses stated that LTP used a pistol that nite as well as a knife.

I am bothered by the idea that it would be necessary to plant a pistol at the crime scene instead of telling Powell to bring one on the grounds that no one would believe the Confederate government was behind the attacks unless a pistol was involved. People would link the attacks on Lincoln and Seward because of their similarity in time and not because the same weapons were employed. Why would Stanton risk exposure by instructing the doctors and the Seward family to lie about it? Elaborate conspiracy theories often violate the well known Army acronym of KISS-Keep it simple stupid. Any conspirator would want as few people involved as possible lest the conspiracy be betrayed. Remember the very act of recruitment increases that risk.

I also take issue with the idea that JWB was not fleeing after the assassination. Why was his abode various rural hiding places especially when he was in constant pain from his broken leg. I have seen no evidence that Booth believed Andrew Johnson who said "Treason is a crime and must be made odious" would be different than the hated
Lincoln.

There is a very puzzling aspect about the idea of Lincoln being killed by a Radical Republican conspiracy. Candidates for political office were chosen by their parties at political conventions or in the case of US Senators by state legislatures. Both Lincoln and Radical Republican politicians owed their election to the same type of people and very often by the same people.

If Lincoln were so detested by the Radicals that they would plot to kill him, it is strange that the Republicans renominated him in 1864. Renomination of a sitting President, Governor, Representative or US Senator was by no means as frequent at this time compared to today. In successive presidential elections sitting presidents Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce were repudiated by their parties. Lafayette Foster and Benjamin Wade failed to secure re-election to the US Senate by state legislatures controlled by their own parties. You would be astonished at the number of elected officials whose party selected someone else to run for their office at the next election. I include Congressman Lincoln in 1848. Theodore Roosevelt, the fifth VP to become president on the death of his predecessor, was the first person to be nominated for president by his party at the next election and was elected.
Tom
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07-25-2013, 07:37 AM
Post: #22
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
The Radicals tried to get rid of Lincoln in 1864--read about the Radical Democracy movement with John Charles Fremont as the font man. They just could not pull it off.

On Booth and Johnson, read Hamilton Gay Howard, Civil War Echoes. He speaks of Booth and Johnson running whores in Nashville. Makes that note in Browning's mailbox look a little different.
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07-25-2013, 07:48 AM
Post: #23
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
(07-25-2013 07:37 AM)Wild Bill Wrote:  The Radicals tried to get rid of Lincoln in 1864--read about the Radical Democracy movement with John Charles Fremont as the font man. They just could not pull it off.

On Booth and Johnson, read Hamilton Gay Howard, Civil War Echoes. He speaks of Booth and Johnson running whores in Nashville. Makes that note in Browning's mailbox look a little different.

Wild Bill, I've heard that before, but mostly put if off on anti-Johnson people or believers that Booth got away. I am unfamiliar with Hamilton Howard and that book. Could you elaborate a little more or is that discussed in your book?

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-25-2013, 08:12 AM
Post: #24
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
It is in my Last Confed Heroes
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07-25-2013, 08:36 AM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2013 08:37 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #25
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
(07-25-2013 08:12 AM)Wild Bill Wrote:  It is in my Last Confed Heroes

I should have known. Smile
(I looked Civil War Echoes up on Amazon books and Barnes & Noble. Originally published in 1907, it is available for around $3.57 on kindle or if you want a real book, its $20-25, paperback reprint.

I think I'l just get Last Confederate Heroes first/instead

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-25-2013, 09:40 AM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2013 12:28 PM by BettyO.)
Post: #26
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
I, too welcome Mr. Wesley and wish to explain that my previous post was simply levity in response to a previous post and hope that you realize that I was joking regarding the Fanny/Robinson exchange.

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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07-25-2013, 10:15 AM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2013 10:16 AM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #27
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
(07-25-2013 08:36 AM)Gene C Wrote:  
(07-25-2013 08:12 AM)Wild Bill Wrote:  It is in my Last Confed Heroes

I should have known. Smile
(I looked Civil War Echoes up on Amazon books and Barnes & Noble. Originally published in 1907, it is available for around $3.57 on kindle or if you want a real book, its $20-25, paperback reprint.

I think I'l just get Last Confederate Heroes first/instead

It's also available on Google Books or the Internet Archive for free, which is what I would pay for it (Howard's book, not Bill's) Smile

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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07-27-2013, 04:26 PM
Post: #28
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
I am probably not looking in the right place, but I cannot find a bio of Don Thomas, author of The Reason Lincoln Had To Die. His acknowledgements mention several people and gives me a clue that he must be in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Pumphouse Publishers is listed in Chesterfield, Virginia, in the book; but I could find no listing for them in either White Pages or on Google. It is especially curious to me that the book itself has not even a tiny bio on Mr. Thomas.

Since I'm known for being blunt, I'm going to come right out and ask Ian Wesley if he uses Don Thomas as a nom de plume and is really the author of The Reason Lincoln Had To Die. If the answer is no, will you please release some details about the author and his background?
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07-27-2013, 07:58 PM (This post was last modified: 07-29-2013 04:06 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #29
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
You're sharp Lauri. I remember reading something abut Mr. Thomas and Virginia, but I can't find it now. It is odd that there is more info on the book's web site about Mr. Wesley - the editor, than there is about the author - Mr Thomas.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-28-2013, 11:47 AM
Post: #30
RE: The Reason Lincoln Had to Die
In his Acknowledgments (which are not signed in any way by the author), "Mr. Thomas" credits help from a John Kerr who once lived behind "Mr. Thomas's" parents in Powhatan, Virginia, but now live in Glen Allen, Virginia. I checked Mr. Kerr out, and he exists. He also thanks the illustrator, Mary Firestone Foore, for her two sketches - one of which supposedly shows how Booth was dressed as he entered the Presidential Box, complete with his dagger belted around his waist OUTSIDE of his coat. I have not yet located Ms. Foore. The last half-page or so is commending Mr. Wesley for his wonderful work and support.

Other than his name on the cover and spine and inside on a reference to more upcoming books, I can find no other mention of Don Thomas. I always like to know something about an author when reading his work.
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