Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

On the evening of April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head at Ford's theater in Washington D.C.  He was with his wife and they were celebrating the end of the Civil War.  It was Good Friday.

Chasing Lincoln's Killer details the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination as well as the conspiracy plot to kill Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State, William Seward.  The book follows Lincoln's killer, actor James Wilkes Booth and his conspirators as they led the authorities on a 12 day manhunt from Washington D.C to Maryland to Virginia.

President Lincoln died early the next day in a boarding house room across the street from Ford's theater.   As the nation learned the fate of their President, Easter Sunday became known as Black Easter, the day the nation mourned.  Twelve days later Booth was dead and almost all conspirators caught.

Chasing Lincoln's Killer is the young adult version of James Swanson's book Manhunt.  Chasing Lincoln's Killer is engaging and has photos, newspaper articles and announcements as well as a detailed map of the places where Booth sought shelter.  It is easy to read and understand and would be of interest to anyone who loves to history.

I'm a big history geek and I have visited Ford's Theater and the death bed of President Lincoln as well as the jail on Tortuga Island in Florida where they kept Doctor Samuel Mudd and other conspirators.  I read the book in two days and enjoyed learning all the facts from that fateful night in History.  Reading about a historical event and then visiting there makes history come alive.  Thank goodness for authors like James Swanson.  I might just need to read Manhunt!