The story is a well known one: On April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. His death the next morning was viewed as the great sacrifice of the leader who had pulled the nation through a bloody civil war. Instantly, and appropriately, Lincoln became an American saint. He gave his last, full measure for the country and was struck down just after completing his goal. Abraham Lincoln’s actions and resolve have earned him the title of our country’s greatest president. His story is told all over this country and he is the most written about figure after Jesus Christ.
But, there is another part of this story. It is the story of a young actor driven to extremes. It is the story of that man and his conspirators who were determined to strike back against a government that destroyed the United States they had known and loved. It is the stories and facts about these individuals that this blog hopes to share. Not because we agree with their actions or because we share their values. We learn about them because the darker parts of history can shed the most light on the past. While the actions they took were abhorrent, the sentiments that motivated those actions were shared by many.
Many of us who study the Lincoln assassination refer to ourselves as “Boothies”. This does not mean we condone the actions of the assassin. Rather, our moniker states our commitment to studying, analyzing, and interpreting the actions of John Wilkes Booth and others involved in the great American drama that is the Lincoln assassination. Ignoring and dismissing the lives and actions of the men and women involved in the conspiracy does a great disservice to history and to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. We cannot truly honor and appreciate the man without understanding the complexity of his death.
As a Boothie, I hope that this blog will be a source of education as well as levity every once and awhile. It is my first time starting a blog, so who knows how it will turn out. Regardless, I invite you all to come back from time to time to see the man, and the conspiracy, in the barn.