Manhunt: The Exhibit

In 2001, James Swanson and Daniel Weinberg released their book, Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution.  This coffee table sized book by Swanson, a D.C. attorney, and Weinberg, owner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago, contains both men’s impressive collection of artifacts, documents, and images involving Lincoln’s assassination.  In addition, the pair found other noteworthy items in other private collection and museums to include in this visual tour of the assassination.  It is a truly wonderful picture book that should be in every assassination library.  In 2006, James Swanson once again entered the spotlight when he released his assassination book, Manhunt: The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer.  The book became a New York Times bestseller due to its appealing, fiction-like writing style.  The book’s popularity led to a temporary exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  In this exhibit, many of Swanson’s artifacts were on display.  The exhibit has since closed, but I was able to visit it in May of 2009.  For those of you who were not able to see it, here are some of the highlights:

Click the images to enlarge them

Advertising for the exhibit outside the Newseum.

The "Jumbotron" inside the Newseum cycled through a taped message about the exhibit.

The room containing the Manhunt exhibit.

The room had wonderfully bright displays of each of the conspirators...

...and the events.

Some of the artifacts displayed included the last photograph of Lincoln.

Prints and photographs of Booth.

A key and brick from the Old Capitol prison which housed Mary Surratt along with many other witnesses and suspects.

A broadside about Booth's death.

A photograph and brick from Booth's favorite hotel, The National. The Newseum now occupies the same site where the National once stood.

An original (not a later reprint, I confirmed) playbill from Our American Cousin.

A period map showing D.C. and Booth's escape route.

While a little small for my liking (we could always use more assassination artifacts, after all), the exhibit did a great job showcasing Swanson’s book and collection.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Manhunt: The Exhibit

  1. Pingback: “President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination” at the Newseum | BoothieBarn

  2. Kathy Canavan

    I haven’t seen the exhibit, but this is the next best thing. Thank you.

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