GDG- Killing Lincoln

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Wed Jan 18 15:43:15 CST 2012

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Batrinque at>
To: <gettysburg at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:48 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- Killing Lincoln

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> In a message dated 1/18/2012 10:01:06 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> jlawrence at writes:
> Like  redaing a book on book on Atlantis, Bigfoot,  UFO's, Area 51 etc.
> there is very limited primary material so the read what others have 
> written,
> Only in this case, there was a host of primary material  available.
> Indeed there is.  One of the most fascinating collections of primary
> material is to be found in "The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence" by 
> William
> Edwards and Ed Steer.  It's an expensive volume, but full of documents 
> from
> Government files collected at the time. Much of it is irrelevant (such as
> letters from crackpots) or trivial (memos of a wholly administrative 
> nature)
> but  there are a some gems, and it yields an excellent impression of how
> the  investigation was carried out.  I have just spent much of last 
> evening
> and  this morning plowing through the stuff in search of enlightenment on 
> a
> minor  point of the Booth escape story and now feel reasonably confident I
> have finally  figured out the right answer through using statements 
> obtained
> within days of  the events from secondary players.
> Bruce  Trinque
> Amston, CT

Really good points Bruce.

Baker's 'United States secret Service", Baker, a primary source if there 
ever was one, the protagagonist in the Dugard's book, addresses mostly 
liquor smuggling, Female spies, Canadian Activities, traitors and schemes, 
ad nauseum in his book.
When he gets around to how he singlehandedly ran down Booth, he starts off 
with, he starts off with Caesar, King James, Marat and Alexander, until he 
get's around to Lincoln. He starts this off by going back to a mass of 
anonymous threats against Lincoln in 1861 and continues to the 
assassination. There is no mention of the inauguration.

There is however, a nugget of information about the protection system 
surrounding Lincoln. In short, there is mostly the "irrelevant" information 
you cite above.

Multiply this dozens of times and one can see how a pop "history" novel 
would rather rely on a handful of sources, none primary.

As we all know, first tier history books are amalgams of primary and 
secondary sources with both interpretative and narrative themes.

Codington and Pfanz come to mind.

(Laino uses primary sources and period maps with no inerpretation, the 
finest pureest of first tier in my mind).

Second tier books rely on first tier sources and third tier books 
reinterpret second tier sources.

Third tier history books speak for themselves.

A member recently mentioned a book on WWI, with "The Backs To The  Wall
Victory And defeat In 1918.

this book cites many secondary sources, but ir also incorporates much 
information based on studies by the belligerents after the war.
It cites, aong other things, an analysis of the peacefull use of nitrates 
for fertilizer as opposed to ammonition. As a better way to continue the war 

As it did,

It will take me weeks to digest this book, but to me this is an example of a 
history book that reduces the Dugard/O'Reilly to third tier ?(pap).



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