The Assassinator: The Trial and Hanging of John Wilkes Booth


William L. Richter received his PhD at Louisiana State University. After teaching at a four-year college in Oklahoma, he went back to his Arizona home and opened his own business as a professional farrier for thirty years. He has published eleven books and over two dozen historical articles, including The Historical Dictionary of the Civil War and Reconstruction; The Last Confederate Heroes: The Final Struggle for Southern Independence & the Lincoln Assassination; and Sic Semper Tyrannis: Why John Wilkes Booth Shot Abraham Lincoln.

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What if John Wilkes Booth were tried for assassinating Abraham Lincoln?

Fleeing south after shooting President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was cornered in a barn in Virginia and mortally wounded when he refused to surrender to pursuing federal cavalrymen. His death some hours later denied the nation a trial that might have revealed his motives and possible links to the Confederate government.

In this riveting tale, historian William L. Richter continues his study of what Booth believed he was accomplishing in figuratively firing the last shot of what the South called the War for Southern Independence. The reader is taken through a trial where Booth is prevented from testifying on his own behalf under the rules of law in that time. Never one to take second billing, the actor turned avenger manages to smuggle his version of events out of the Washington Arsenal prison and into the pages of the national press before the trap on the scaffold drops to put an end to this “what if” episode in American History.


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