On this Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm eastern time, the Surratt Society will be presenting their 2023 Virtual Conference on the Lincoln assassination. After a short business meeting to elect officers, the Society will host talks by two authors of Lincoln assassination related books.
The first speaker should be well known to students of the Lincoln assassination. In 2008, Kate Clifford Larson joined the ranks of esteemed assassination experts with the release of her book, The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln. This biography about the only woman tried and executed as an conspirator in Lincoln’s death helped to bring the life of Mary Surratt back into the limelight, leading to the release of the 2010 film The Conspirator. Dr. Larson worked as a historical consultant on that film which saw Robin Wright in the role of Mary Surratt and James McAvoy as her attorney Frederick Aiken. Since the release of the book, Dr. Larson has been featured on several documentaries about Mary Surratt and the Lincoln assassination. In addition to her work in the Lincoln field, Dr. Larson is a noted expert on the life of Harriet Tubman. She was among the founders of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State and National Park. She has also released biographies on Rosemary Kennedy and most recently on activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
Dr. Larson’s speech for the virtual conference is entitled, “Civil War Memory and the Reimagining of Mary Surratt.”
The second speaker will be Julian Sher, the author of the soon to be released book, The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln. Mr. Sher is an award winning investigative journalist and author based in Canada. His 2001 book, Until You Are Dead: The Wrongful Conviction of Steven Truscott dealt with one of Canada’s most famous murder trials. The new evidence Sher publicized led to an official re-opening the 40-year-old case and, ultimately, the exoneration of Truscott. Mr. Sher has written books and produced documentaries about a number of hard hitting subjects including biker gangs, terrorism, drug trafficking, and the history of the KKK in Canada.
Mr. Sher’s talk will be on his upcoming book. The North Star tells the stories of several Canadians who took part in the American Civil War. His subjects consist of heroes like Edward Doherty who led the cavalry that hunted down John Wilkes Booth to the more clandestine agents in Montreal who may have contributed to Lincoln’s death. I was given an advance copy of Mr. Sher’s work and found it to be an excellent read with a truly varied cast of characters. You will definitely want to pick up a copy of The North Star when it is released on April 25.
With this line up, the conference on Saturday is shaping up to be a great one. Best of all, this virtual conference is open (and FREE) to all, regardless if you’re a member of the Surratt Society or not. Everyone is welcome to log on and watch the presentations. However, you must pre-register in order to receive the Zoom link to join the event on Saturday. In order to pre-register, visit the Surratt Society’s 2023 conference event page here or click on the image below.
I know this is a bit of a late notice. I only learned about the conference today, too! Still, I’ll definitely be clearing my schedule to watch these wonderful authors give their talks. I hope you’ll be able to join me and other members of the Surratt Society this Saturday to hear from Dr. Larson and Mr. Sher. I know it’s going to be very informative.
See you Saturday!