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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

[ Edited ]
James Swanson wrote

But what do readers think about people like Thomas Jones and Lucinda Holloway? Jones refused to sell out Booth for money – but was it honorable to save the hunted assassin? Holloway gave comfort to the dying Booth, but she did not seek, as Laura Keene did, fame or reward for her act. Is Lucinda, therefore, more deserving of our admiration than Laura?





I think Lucinda is more deserving of our admiration than Laura Keene. Laura was taking advantage of the situation for fame and glory. Lucinda was being compassionate to a dying man. Even the cavalry was gentle with Booth as he was dying--trying to put him in the most comfortable position, etc.
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Message Edited by Librarian on 03-14-200708:40 PM

Message Edited by Librarian on 03-14-200708:41 PM

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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson/ if not Stanton then who?

James, I agree with you about Stanton, just reading all he had to do in chapter 6 was incredible what he had to do to hold it all together, given what was going on all over the nation and what needed to be done. He stepped up from the first moments. As I read that chapter, I wondered, had he not been there, and given that Johnson was not really great "presidential" material, in your research and knowledge of the time, if Stanton had not been there, is there anyone you feel could have done what he did or been as good at it? Also if he hadnt been there, who would it have fallen to in any case?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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katknit
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson



BookClubEditor wrote:
Do you have a question for James, not related to any of the discussion topics? Reply to this message to start the conversation.




First, I want to say that you have written a 5 star history. I've read most of what's out there on the assassination and your account adds so much new detail. Thanks for writing it.
My question: I'm wondering how you unearthed the details about Dr. Mudd's association with JWB prior to the fateful night.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

James, on the thread about Dr Mudd, was he guilty and of what, I had thought that a very long time ago, I had seen a movie with Dennis Weaver in it as Dr Mudd and tho i cant remember much about it at all, thought it portrayed Mudd as an innocent country Dr. I searched Hastings Entertainment movie and book stores and found this. After reading the facts of the case, I would love to find this again to rent if its still available somewhere and see it again. This is what it says about it. I was wondering, have you ever seen this???? Interesting huh?

THE ORDEAL OF DR MUDD
2. Dennis Weaver stars in this made-for-television film chronicling a little-known figure in American history. In 1865, Maryland physician Samuel Mudd (Weaver) became inadvertently linked to the murder of President Abraham Lincoln when he treated the broken leg of assassin John Wilkes Booth. Framed as Booth's co-conspirator, Mudd was sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor and suffered years of cruelty and hardship at a notorious penal colony. Mudd's wife Frances (Susan Sullivan) continued to maintain her husband's innocence throughout his ordeal until he was finally pardoned by President Andrew Johnson for acts of bravery during a yellow fever epidemic.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

James,
Of all the people Booth and Harold came into contact with on their run and were aided by (other than Lucas who was forced to help), the Garretts are the only ones that I do not see as coconspirators. That they really didnt have any idea of who they had. But later, I thought i read something that said the old man Garrett did meet Booth before and knew him. Am I confusing him with someone else? Or did any of the Garretts know who Booth was?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

[ Edited ]

vivico1 wrote: James, Of all the people Booth and Harold came into contact with on their run and were aided by (other than Lucas who was forced to help), the Garretts are the only ones that I do not see as coconspirators. That they really didnt have any idea of who they had. But later, I thought i read something that said the old man Garrett did meet Booth before and knew him. Am I confusing him with someone else? Or did any of the Garretts know who Booth was?
Vivico1----After reading this comment about old man Richard Garrett, I went back to that part of the book. I didn't find any indication that he knew or had met Booth before. Booth wsa directed to the Garrett farm after being refused by the spinster sisters at the home of Randolph Peyton. ---p.280--"His father(old man Garrett) introduced him (son John) to James Boyd(Booth). Neither father nor son suspected that Boyd(Booth) was anyone other than who he said he was--a simple Confederate veteran, making his way home." Librarian

Message Edited by Librarian on 03-16-200703:01 PM

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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

Librarian,
I thought I would ask here too, ask the Author himself,cause he would know if there was any connection. It wasnt something at the first of their meeting, but I thought something that was hinted at after the soldiers where there and that I could not find. James, if you could please clear this up for me, I would appreciate it. It may not be that he knew him from meeting him before, tho I thought so, but something he knew that he didnt share? Maybe something he learned while they were there? I may be way of track on this one but its bugging me lol. ty

____________________________________________________________________________-

Vivico1----After reading this comment about old man Richard Garrett, I went back to that part of the book. I didn't find any indication that he knew or had met Booth before. Booth wsa directed to the Garrett farm after being refused by the spinster sisters at the home of Randolph Peyton. ---p.280--"His father(old man Garrett) introduced him (son John) to James Boyd(Booth). Neither father nor son suspected that Boyd(Booth) was anyone other than who he said he was--a simple Confederate veteran, making his way home." Librarian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson/ Lincoln is here!

James,
Ironically enough, I just happened to look online at things going on here in Oklahoma City to do and saw this
"on loan from the National Consititution Center in Philadelphia, through an engaging blend of imagery, text, multimedia presentations, interactives and actual artifacts, including Lincoln's signature stovepipe hat and rare signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.

This is the first time this exhibit has been displayed outside a Lincoln institution."

Have you seen this? If so what did you think of it? I may have to try to get up to OKC to see it :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson/ if not Stanton then who?



vivico1 wrote:
James, I agree with you about Stanton, just reading all he had to do in chapter 6 was incredible what he had to do to hold it all together, given what was going on all over the nation and what needed to be done. He stepped up from the first moments. As I read that chapter, I wondered, had he not been there, and given that Johnson was not really great "presidential" material, in your research and knowledge of the time, if Stanton had not been there, is there anyone you feel could have done what he did or been as good at it? Also if he hadnt been there, who would it have fallen to in any case?




That’s a good question. If Stanton, along with Lincoln and Seward, had been one of Booth’s victims on the night of April 14th, who would have filled Stanton’s role at the Peterson House that night, and during the chase for the assassin? I can think of two possibilities. The first is Peter Watson, Stanton’s little known but superbly talented subordinate at the War Department. Lincoln knew Watson well and had great confidence in him. But it is more likely that Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, would have stepped up and led the murder investigation and the chase. Recall that he was quite active on the 14th and 15th sending telegrams to naval officers. He would have expanded his role to head the army’s chase too, I suspect.
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wburns_kh
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Booth and Jesus

One of the things I found startling in reading the climax of the book, the Union locating and killing Booth, was the drawing of parallels to the crucifixion--on page 312 Jett is referred to as "this Confederate Judas,' on page 336 Herold's actions are described as "In captivity, the assassin's disciple denied him thrice" and on page 341 Lucinda Holloway's succoring of the dying Booth is explicitly compared to those who succored Christ at Golgotha. This seems odd for an author who is clearly not Booth's admirer, and my question is what was the reason behind this choice you made as a writer?
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Re: Booth and Jesus


wburns_kh wrote:
One of the things I found startling in reading the climax of the book, the Union locating and killing Booth, was the drawing of parallels to the crucifixion--on page 312 Jett is referred to as "this Confederate Judas,' on page 336 Herold's actions are described as "In captivity, the assassin's disciple denied him thrice" and on page 341 Lucinda Holloway's succoring of the dying Booth is explicitly compared to those who succored Christ at Golgotha. This seems odd for an author who is clearly not Booth's admirer, and my question is what was the reason behind this choice you made as a writer?


I noticed that too and found it a bit unnerving. Hope he answers.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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James_Swanson
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Re: Booth and Jesus



wburns_kh wrote:
One of the things I found startling in reading the climax of the book, the Union locating and killing Booth, was the drawing of parallels to the crucifixion--on page 312 Jett is referred to as "this Confederate Judas,' on page 336 Herold's actions are described as "In captivity, the assassin's disciple denied him thrice" and on page 341 Lucinda Holloway's succoring of the dying Booth is explicitly compared to those who succored Christ at Golgotha. This seems odd for an author who is clearly not Booth's admirer, and my question is what was the reason behind this choice you made as a writer?




You are right that I consider Abraham Lincoln, not John Wilkes Booth, the hero of Manhunt. That said, I tried on occasion to show some of what Booth experienced from his point of view. Remember that he believed that he had done the right thing. Booth’s diary, in which he appeals to God, and the sermons of the northern clergy, which made frequent mention of the symbolic meaning of the assassination happening on Good Friday, led me to include this religious imagery in the scenes you mention. As Lincoln’s supporters viewed his death in religious terms, I wanted to suggest how Booth’s fans might have viewed his end in religious terms too.
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson



vivico1 wrote:
James,
Of all the people Booth and Harold came into contact with on their run and were aided by (other than Lucas who was forced to help), the Garretts are the only ones that I do not see as coconspirators. That they really didnt have any idea of who they had. But later, I thought i read something that said the old man Garrett did meet Booth before and knew him. Am I confusing him with someone else? Or did any of the Garretts know who Booth was?



James-----I've been going back and looking at all the insightful responses you made about the book. Thank you for the interesting comments and this pageturner of a book. I'm still not sure of the answer to Vivico's question about Old man Garrett having some previous connection to Booth . As I mentioned in my reply, I didn't see one in the book. Had old man Garrett known Booth from before?
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson



katknit wrote:
My question: I'm wondering how you unearthed the details about Dr. Mudd's association with JWB prior to the fateful night.




Thanks. First, I don’t claim the credit for exposing Dr. Mudd. Much of this important work was done by Ed Steers, and you can read about it in his books, including “Blood on the Moon” and “His Name is Still Mudd.” I cite and recommend these in “Manhunt.” That said, I also studied the documents based on the several interrogations of Dr. Mudd. I also consulted statements, affidavits, and trial testimony from the detectives and soldiers who had contact with Mudd. The easiest place to find these is in the several softbound publications of the Surratt Society that contain transcripts of the most important contemporary documents. I list these books in the bibliographical note in “Manhunt.” If you want to read more about Dr. Mudd I suggest you begin with the Steers books and the transcripts available in the Surratt Society books. Then you might look at the Poore and Pitman transcripts of testimony at the conspiracy trial.
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson

Librarian,
Guess we arent going to get an answer to that question, in the book or from the author.I would have liked to have known if he knew, regardless of even if it was or wasnt in the book. Good luck with your next book. This is the least amount of interaction from people i have ever seen. I did buy the book Cage of Stars for April, even tho I am not much of a novel reader, but I got to tell ya, after the first 40 pages, the next day i got up and read the whole book that day. Its very good. I enjoyed it and am going to see if there is any interaction on it coming up, hope so. Was good to see the posts from you and the few who did, but wow, this could have been a really great discussion group with some changes.
_________________________________________________________________________________

James-----I've been going back and looking at all the insightful responses you made about the book. Thank you for the interesting comments and this pageturner of a book. I'm still not sure of the answer to Vivico's question about Old man Garrett having some previous connection to Booth . As I mentioned in my reply, I didn't see one in the book. Had old man Garrett known Booth from before?
Librarian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Questions for James L. Swanson



vivico1 wrote:
Librarian,
Guess we arent going to get an answer to that question, in the book or from the author.I would have liked to have known if he knew, regardless of even if it was or wasnt in the book. Good luck with your next book. This is the least amount of interaction from people i have ever seen. I did buy the book Cage of Stars for April, even tho I am not much of a novel reader, but I got to tell ya, after the first 40 pages, the next day i got up and read the whole book that day. Its very good. I enjoyed it and am going to see if there is any interaction on it coming up, hope so. Was good to see the posts from you and the few who did, but wow, this could have been a really great discussion group with some changes.
_________________________________________________________________________________

James-----I've been going back and looking at all the insightful responses you made about the book. Thank you for the interesting comments and this pageturner of a book. I'm still not sure of the answer to Vivico's question about Old man Garrett having some previous connection to Booth . As I mentioned in my reply, I didn't see one in the book. Had old man Garrett known Booth from before?
Librarian



Thanks Vivico1------I just finished Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy for April. I'm also plodding my way through To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I say plodding because if I read it when I'm tired , I don't always make total sense of some of the thoughts but that's just me. I loved the movie "The Hours" based on her Mrs. Dalloway which I also read and enjoyed. Here's to lively discussions in your next group.
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