The artist portrays a President tormented by nightmares of defeat in the election of 1864. The print probably appeared late in the campaign. (The Library’s copy was deposited for copyright on September 22.) Lincoln was said to have believed in the prophetic importance of dreams. The President lies on a bed under a sheet embroidered with stars. In his dream Columbia or Liberty, wielding the severed head of a black man, stands at the door of the White House. She sends a frightened Lincoln away with a kick. Lincoln, wearing a Scotsman’s plaid cap and a cape and carrying a valise, flees to the left, saying, “This don’t remind me of any joke!!” The cap and cloak allude to an incident in 1861 before Lincoln’s first inauguration. On being informed that an attempt would be made to assassinate him on his way to Washington, Lincoln took a night train and disguised himself in a large overcoat and Kossuth hat. The press made the most of Lincoln’s timidity, and it was widely reported that Lincoln was seen wearing a Scotch plaid cap and a very long military cloak. Lincoln also carries a rolled piece of paper “To whom it may concern.” At right General McClellan, in uniform, ascends the steps to the White House, carrying a valise with his initials on it.
Abraham Lincoln was murdered as the result of at least one conspiracy – there were probably several operating at the same time, possibly without knowledge of one another but more likely they were onion like in their layers and attached opportunistically to one another. If John Wilkes Booth had not shot him he may have well been dead within weeks anyway. Pitch’s book accepts that Booth and his conspirators – more accurately the conspirators who used Booth – are the primary actors in the plot and assassination and he builds his case from that premise. While his evidence is neatly arranged we feel the story is incomplete and that the complete story would strip the mantle of martyrdom and show Lincoln for the political opportunist that he was who may have tempted Providence once too often by going to the theatre on Good Friday!
An unusual, three-part wood engraving attributing John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the influence of the proslavery secret society, the Knights of the Golden Circle. Lincoln was shot by Booth on April 14, 1865, while attending Ford’s Theatre in Washington. In the first panel (left) is a three-quarter length portrait of George W. L. Bickley, the “Head of the Knights of the Golden Circle.” Above him is the word “Theory.” The central panel–“Practice”–shows John Wilkes Booth in profile holding a dagger behind his back. The “Effect” is the death of President Lincoln, whose profile portrait at right is framed by swags of black drapery. Beneath the portrait are Lincoln’s initials and olive branches.
They have killed Papa dead! : the road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s murder, and the rage for vengeance Anthony S. Pitch Hanover, N.H. : Steerforth Press, c 2008 Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. xviii, 493 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. -482) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Washington, D.C. Execution of the conspirators: scaffold in use and crowd in the yard, seen from the roof of the Arsenal
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a central drama of the American experience. Its impact is felt to this day, and the basic story is known to all. Anthony Pitch’s account of the Lincoln conspiracy and its aftermath transcends the mere facts of that awful night during which dashing actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head and would-be assassin Lewis Payne butchered Secretary of State William Seward in the bed of his own home.
Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold.
“They Have Killed Papa Dead!” transports the reader to one of the most breathtaking moments in history, and reveals much that is new about the stories, passions, and times of those who shaped this great tragedy.
Issued in the wake of Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, the print conveys some of the Northern hostility toward the conspirators, whom the public associated with former president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis. Uncle Sam or Brother Jonathan stands before a cage in which a hyena with the bonneted head of Jefferson Davis claws at a skull. Davis’s neck is in a noose, which will begin to tighten as a man at right turns the crank of a gallows. Below, a man grinds out the song “Yankee Doodle” on a hand organ. Above, the Lincoln conspirators are portrayed as “Gallow’s Bird’s,” with their heads in nooses. From left to right they are: Michael O’Laughlin, David Herold, George Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Mary Elizabeth Surratt, Samuel Arnold, Edman Spangler, and Dr. Samuel Mudd. Uncle Sam points his stick at a skull “Booth,” on which sits a black crow.
Virtually every word of Anthony Pitch’s account is based on primary source material: new quotes from previously unpublished diaries, letters and journals – authentic contemporary voices writing with freshness and clarity as eyewitnesses or intimate participants – new images, a new vision and understanding of one of America’s defining moments.
One of the numerous patriotic apotheosis scenes produced in the months following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. (The Library’s impression of “National Picture” was deposited for copyright on July 18, 1865–three months after Lincoln’s death.) As in many of these prints, the artist eulogizes the martyr Lincoln by comparison with George Washington. Here the two men stand on a miniaturized continent of North America over which ominous dark clouds part and give way to the divine light of Providence. The words “Under Providence Washington Made and Lincoln Saved Our Country” appear in the sky. The two figures flank a shield of stars and stripes, which they support and which rests on the symbols of war: a cannon, sword, cannonballs, and shells. Washington holds in his hand the Constitution, and Lincoln his Proclamation of Emancipation.
Pitch provides new confirmation of threats against the president-elect’s life as he traveled to Washington by train for his first inauguration, and a vivid personal account of John Wilkes Booth being physically restrained from approaching Lincoln at his second inauguration.
Lincoln’s assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, is goaded by a hideous Mephistophelian figure to shoot the unsuspecting President, who is visible in a theater box beyond. Booth stands erect, his left arm behind his back and a small pistol in his right hand. He stares straight ahead, seemingly mesmerized by Satan, who stands close behind him, pointing with one hand at the pistol and with the other at Lincoln. Rays of light issue from the demon’s eyes, mouth, and ears. He wears a peacock feather on his head and is clad in a tassled medieval tunic.
Perhaps most chillingly, new details come to light about conditions in the special prison where the civilian conspirators accused of participating in the Lincoln assassination endured tortuous conditions in extreme isolation and deprivation, hooded and shackled, before and even during their military trial.
A sentimentalized allegory “Dedicated to the Memory of our most lamented late President Abraham Lincoln” of the reconciliation of the North and South after the Civil War. Kimmel and Forster also produced two similar exercises in mythologizing recent history: “The Outbreak of the Rebellion” and “The End of the Rebellion” (nos. 1865-19 and 1866-1). Here the recently assassinated President extends his hand in peace toward Jefferson Davis, while pointing toward a small temple where Liberty sits enthroned. Davis also extends his hand, but palm downward, seeming to spurn Lincoln’s grasp. Liberty takes the form of a maiden holding a shield and staff with Phrygian cap and wears a crown toward which she gestures proudly. Her temple is set upon a raised platform. On five of its six columns appear the names of the American states. Union general William T. Sherman, assisted by Ulysses S. Grant (on horseback, at left), nails a ribbon with the names of the seceded states onto the sixth column. Attending Lincoln are (from left to right) two bearded Union soldiers, secretary of war Gideon Welles, and secretary of state William H. Seward. In the left distance a fortress flying an American flag overlooks a bucolic scene–with a small cottage, a farmer ploughing his field, and sailboats on the water. On the right, with Jefferson Davis, are (left to right) a mustachioed gentleman (possibly John Wilkes Booth), Confederate general Robert E. Lee, a slave in chains, and a young man holding his hat in his hands. Behind them are crowds of civilians and, in the distance, violent scenes: an army in battle and a house in flaming ruins. The picture is framed with an ornamental border that reinforces the contrast between the right and left portions of the scene. On the left (Lincoln’s side) branches of fruit grow in the picture’s borders, but on the right are only thorns. In the upper border are olive branches and on the bottom sprigs of oak. Small vignettes also appear in the borders. At top a slave is flogged in an interior; at right a soldier attacks a fallen enemy; at bottom farmers harvest grain; and at left a man sits on a riverbank fishing.
Pitch synthesizes the findings of his research into a narrative that adds his insights to our national story.