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What's Your Passion & Why
10-19-2013, 02:49 PM
Post: #1
What's Your Passion & Why
We are all very fortunate to have this symposium. It allows a free exchange with some of the best minds in the business. In the last twenty years or so, more minutia of the assassination has been expertly studued. For example, Betty Ownsbey on Lewis Powell, Rich Smyth on the graves, Dave Taylor on what color socks JWB was wearing.

So here's my question: What's your passionate interest and why?
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10-19-2013, 05:53 PM
Post: #2
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
I have to admit for me it isn't the assassination. It's a part of his life and obviously deserves study, but to focus on it has never been a strong desire of mine. I seem to find myself more and more drawn to those who studied him, whether it's Tarbell, Sandburg or Randall. In many ways, how someone approached their study of him tells us something about him, i.e., what others found to be important and what each generation emphasizes (and doesn't emphasize).

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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10-19-2013, 10:59 PM
Post: #3
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
I'm sure, my passion will not be a surprise to anyone - it's spies.
I'm working on about 13 individuals, that you may have heard of only 2 or 3. The rest are unknown. One worked in the front office of the U. S. Secret Service, for the entire war.
I don't have the full story of their activities - that's my goal.

It became my main interest, when I asked about them, and no one could answer me. Including, Hall, Tidwell and Gaddy. They used some of my info in CR (Pg 312). I can offer "corrections" to current authors for the sole purpose of being Correct, but they don't care. I DO! I'll let you all know, when I have the "whole story".
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10-20-2013, 05:00 AM
Post: #4
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
One thing that fascinates me about the assassination is exactly when Booth decided to shoot the president. Many historians point to Lincoln's April 11th speech as the trigger for Booth's action. This may well be true, but could it have been earlier (or even later...on the 14th itself)? Several books I have quote Booth as saying as early as 1863, "What a glorious opportunity there is for a man to immortalize himself by killing Lincoln!" Was assassinating the president in the back of his mind for several years? So I guess I wonder if others might have thoughts on the point in time when Booth decided to do what he did.
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10-20-2013, 05:09 AM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013 05:22 AM by Jim Garrett.)
Post: #5
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
(10-19-2013 05:53 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  I have to admit for me it isn't the assassination. It's a part of his life and obviously deserves study, but to focus on it has never been a strong desire of mine. I seem to find myself more and more drawn to those who studied him, whether it's Tarbell, Sandburg or Randall. In many ways, how someone approached their study of him tells us something about him, i.e., what others found to be important and what each generation emphasizes (and doesn't emphasize).

Best
Rob
Rob, the story of AL, the man, the politician, the leader, etc is one of the greatest stories of our history. That is a great observation of what or how scholars and biographers have viewed him from different perspectives. That is a study all unto itself.

(10-19-2013 10:59 PM)SSlater Wrote:  I'm sure, my passion will not be a surprise to anyone - it's spies.
I'm working on about 13 individuals, that you may have heard of only 2 or 3. The rest are unknown. One worked in the front office of the U. S. Secret Service, for the entire war.
I don't have the full story of their activities - that's my goal.

It became my main interest, when I asked about them, and no one could answer me. Including, Hall, Tidwell and Gaddy. They used some of my info in CR (Pg 312). I can offer "corrections" to current authors for the sole purpose of being Correct, but they don't care. I DO! I'll let you all know, when I have the "whole story".

The best clandestine operators are the ones we will never know.

(10-20-2013 05:00 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  One thing that fascinates me about the assassination is exactly when Booth decided to shoot the president. Many historians point to Lincoln's April 11th speech as the trigger for Booth's action. This may well be true, but could it have been earlier (or even later...on the 14th itself)? Several books I have quote Booth as saying as early as 1863, "What a glorious opportunity there is for a man to immortalize himself by killing Lincoln!" Was assassinating the president in the back of his mind for several years? So I guess I wonder if others might have thoughts on the point in time when Booth decided to do what he did.

Good point Roger. Even if Booth was executing plan A, the abduction, was plan B, assassination ever far off in his mind?
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10-20-2013, 06:19 AM
Post: #6
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
Besides all things Lincoln, I have a strong interest in Zachariah Chandler. He lived here in Detroit and is buried a few miles from where I live. His influence in Michigan is still with us today- streets, parks, and schools are named for him. As an abolitionist, he worked tirelessly to have slavery ended. Although he and Lincoln butted heads at times- they struggled for the same cause. Someday I would like to write a book about him- there are only a couple volumes or so about him.

Bill Nash
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10-20-2013, 07:35 AM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013 01:56 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #7
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
It's like with the entire "Lincoln" story and topic - you start reading very innocent, just a little bit, and the more you read the more you want to learn and know in all directions...it pulls you. Or: "way leads on to way".
I admit, before I joined the forum, my interest in the assassination did not surpass the very basics. A. Lincoln's life, his politics and era were much more fascinating (and still are my main focus), it was sad enough that the tragedy happened, and JWB was not the only one who wished him dead, so it was not an unexpected deed at all.
What I've always found fascinating was the private tragedy of the Rathbones' that was triggered by the assassination.
When I joined the forum I began to think more about the assassination, and my imagination became somewhat more visual. I realized what a theatrical deed it was - a real (tragic) performance. And I think the sad "success" depended - despite all preparations - a lot on chance. Many things could have gone wrong (Maj. Rathbone could have overpowered JWB, the jump could have ended differently, someone of the actors could have stopped JWB..., there were so many people).
And may I say, Mike's (brtmchl) book fueld my interest in the escape.

In general, the "why" makes such questions rather difficult! There are so many reasons, but in the very end...I find it difficult to define and fix fascination. It's intrinsic.
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10-20-2013, 08:24 AM
Post: #8
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
The Civil War has always held much fascination with me - especially hearing my grandmother and mother's stories regarding my great-great grandmother's recollections of the burning of Richmond and of my great-great grandfather's service in the Confederate Army.

My life-long interest in Colonel John Singleton Mosby and the exploits of his men reached a peak when I read Risvold's edited version of Weichmann's book in 1975. It was then that I first heard of Powell and his tenure with Mosby and became facinated with Powell and the assassination as a whole. I had never heard of Mary Surratt before I read that book - of course I had heard the name "Surratt" from my grandmother who was a friend of Philip Whitlock's daughter. Whitlock had known Booth in the Richmond Grays and gone up to the Surratt Tavern where he participated in target practice with John Surratt and others - facinating stuff!

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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10-20-2013, 09:38 AM
Post: #9
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
(10-20-2013 08:24 AM)BettyO Wrote:  The Civil War has always held much fascination with me - especially hearing my grandmother and mother's stories regarding my great-great grandmother's recollections of the burning of Richmond and of my great-great grandfather's service in the Confederate Army.

My life-long interest in Colonel John Singleton Mosby and the exploits of his men reached a peak when I read Risvold's edited version of Weichmann's book in 1975. It was then that I first heard of Powell and his tenure with Mosby and became facinated with Powell and the assassination as a whole. I had never heard of Mary Surratt before I read that book - of course I had heard the name "Surratt" from my grandmother who was a friend of Philip Whitlock's daughter. Whitlock had known Booth in the Richmond Grays and gone up to the Surratt Tavern where he participated in target practice with John Surratt and others - facinating stuff!
The family accounts always make it real.
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10-20-2013, 01:00 PM
Post: #10
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
For me it is the little known facts about the people involved in historic events, what they did after their 15-minutes of fame and where they ended up and are buried. Hence my interest in their final resting places. Books like Thomas Bogar's "Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination" will be of great interest to me when it comes out. BTW - Tom has been very generous in sharing his research. When searching out graves, there is a lot of history and interesting stories uncovered. I am sure many of you have heard of Nick Beef and his association with Lee Harvey Oswald. If you have seen Parkland, you know that when Oswald died, no cemetery wanted the body. One of the detectives pulled strings for his mother and got a plot donated. For years the cemetery (Rose Hill Cemetery in Fort Worth, TX) would not acknowledge that he was interred there. Through the JFJ assassination underground, it became known that the plot next to Oswald's had been purchased by a comedian who had a marker placed on it with the name Nick Beef. All you had to do was go to the cemetery and ask for directions to Nick Beef's grave. This plot is still empty today.
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Oswald's mother is buried some 75 feet directly behind Lee Harvey. I took this picture about a decade ago.
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10-20-2013, 09:04 PM
Post: #11
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's a "passionate" interest, but I'm completely fascinated by the more or less everyday people who found themselves in the middle of the assassination/manhunt. I've mentioned this before. The Mary Jane Anderson's, Oswell Swan's, and Lucinda Holloway's are my favorite people of the assassination story. And how about James Tanner or Charles Leale, Peanut John or the brothers who came downstairs and took the picture of the death room after everyone had cleared out. These people were just going about their lives and found themselves with a front row seat to one of the greatest tragedies in American history. I'm utterly fascinated by this, for some reason.

"The interment of John Booth was without trickery or stealth, but no barriers of evidence, no limits of reason ever halted the Great American Myth." - George S. Bryan, The Great American Myth
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10-21-2013, 03:58 AM
Post: #12
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
(10-20-2013 01:00 PM)Rsmyth Wrote:  Books like Thomas Bogar's "Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination" will be of great interest to me when it comes out.

Yesterday I received notification from Amazon that Tom's book will be released about two weeks earlier than originally scheduled.
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10-21-2013, 06:18 AM
Post: #13
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
It was supposed to be released on November 4....

So I guess that this means it's available now?

Thanks, Roger! I'm ordering....

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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10-21-2013, 07:48 AM
Post: #14
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
We will be carrying it in the Surratt gift shop. I'll let you know the price as soon as they come in.
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10-21-2013, 08:06 AM
Post: #15
RE: What's Your Passion & Why
(10-21-2013 03:58 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(10-20-2013 01:00 PM)Rsmyth Wrote:  Books like Thomas Bogar's "Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination" will be of great interest to me when it comes out.

Yesterday I received notification from Amazon that Tom's book will be released about two weeks earlier than originally scheduled.

I got the same notice Saturday!!
Can't wait to read this book!!
I've been hooked on Lincoln's assassination since I was about 12.
It never gets tired, and you fine folks have shown me so much that I've never thought about or read about.
That's why a book like Mr Bogar's has me psyched-more assassination info that I've never known about!!!!Big Grin
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