The Trial of the Century in Six Volumes
When beginning to write the six novels covering the Abraham Lincoln Assassination Trial of the Century in 1865, I learned more about “history” than I could ever have imagined. In one of my novels written in 2017, The Rose of Brays Bayou, a story about how brave Sam Houston was on the battlefield and how Texas won their independence is written in textbooks by the victors, the Texians. You might ask yourself, what history did my story come from…from the writings of Dilue Rose Harris and the Runaway Scrape, of course. The Texians won, so history was written by the victors. Can you read or speak Spanish? If so, pick up the history books written by historians from Mexico City. It tells an entirely different story, but, of course, there is no truth to what they say, right?
In the Lincoln Assassination, the history we have been taught is that which was written by the Northern newspapers…ones such as Harper’s Weekly, The New York Tribune or the Washington Evening Star. Their narratives of events and how the North either won or lost various battles have a completely different version from those written by Southern newspapers. Look in textbooks, and you will find most of what the Northern journalists wrote got transitioned into these books of education.
During World War II, Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “History is written by the victors!”
I have been told that the North’s only real claim to victory is that, because the North won, might tell fewer lies about their adversaries, the South. The North has put its stake in the ground and claims to control the past as well as the future. Take a look at President Jimmy Carter and President Gerald Ford…they gave amnesty to General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis, but it was over 125 years after the War Between the States. Can you believe that?
Now, take Book 2, The Pursuit and Capture of John Wilkes Booth and the Trial of David Herold. The Northern newspapers and the Northern generals and colonels decided the fate of eight individuals. You tell me this was a fair trial! You explain to me David Herold, with the mind of an eleven-year-old, should have died on the gallows!
This novel, as well as the next three in the series, will take the reader through the capture and killing of John Wilkes Booth. You will have front row seats to all of the witnesses and testimony, including circumstantial evidence and material evidence in the trial. You will be able to determine if the Northern officers of the military tribune made the right choice when it came time to vote on the death penalty for the four conspirators being tried.
In the writing of this novel, every effort has been presented by actual trial transcripts, just the way it happened in 1865. As the author, no decision was made on the truth or falsity of any statements, they were only presented word for word from the transcripts. You decide!
I leave you from my era in history, the Vietnam War. Although this can be considered an example of history written by the losers and not the victors, its accounts in history books can be debatable whether the United States lost the war, but surely we did not win it? But, still, the majority of historical documentation for the War comes from us right here in America.
Following up on Book Two is the third in the series which will cover another conspirator, Lewis Thornton Powell, or some may call him Paine, Woods, or even Mosby?
George Orwell said once while writing 1984… “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts to show that we were right.”