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Publisher's Summary

Before the night of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth was one of the most famous actors of his time, and President Abraham Lincoln had even watched him perform, but his most significant performance at a theater did not take place on the stage. That night, Booth became one of history’s most infamous assassins when he shot President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Perhaps not surprisingly, the actor’s flair for the dramatic came at a cost to the plot. It took almost no time for the shocked public and the federal government to begin unraveling Booth’s conspiracy, which had mostly faltered from the beginning. 

Following the shooting, America’s most famous manhunt commenced, and it was a pursuit that lasted 12 days and became the stuff of legends and controversy itself. Eight others were eventually tried and convicted for their alleged involvement in the plot, and four were hanged shortly thereafter as a result of some of the nation’s most famous trials. Though the conspiracy and the other conspirators as a whole are often forgotten, the most well known among them today is probably Mary Surratt, whose boarding house was used by the conspirators (including her son) to hatch and plan out the conspiracy that ultimately culminated with Lincoln's assassination. However, while the cases against the other conspirators were strong, the ties between Surratt, who professed innocence, were more tenuous, and it mostly fell on the military tribunal to insinuate that Surratt was aware of the planning going on in the house. 

©2015 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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