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Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth Kessinger Publishing LLC Finis L. Bates


31st August 2011 History Books 18 Comments

Or the first true account of Lincoln’s assassination, containing a complete confession by Booth many years after the crime. Giving in full detail the plans, plot and intrigue of the conspirators, and the treachery of Andrew Johnson, then Vice-President of the United States. This work was written for the correction of history. Illustrated.

Texas lawyer Finis L. Bates was hired by one John St. Helen in the 1870s to handle his legal matters. Eventually, Bates asserts, his client revealed his true identity as Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Bates believed that Booth was not killed by Federal authorities shortly after Lincoln’s murder, but instead escaped, lived under assumed identities for another 38 years, and committed suicide in an Oklahoma hotel while living under the name David E. George in 1903. The remains of David George were mummified and displayed by the Oklahoma undertaker for a period of time. Finis Bates ended up purchasing the mummy and showed it on the circus side show circuit. –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth










  • 18 responses to "Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth Kessinger Publishing LLC Finis L. Bates"

  • cjinsd
    11:02 on August 31st, 2011
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    There is compelling evidence that John Wilkes Booth did indeed commit suicide in 1903 in Enid, Oklahoma. No only was the body identified by his kinfolks, but the body’s condition coupled completely with the known problems that JWB inherited after his jump.

    Those that believe he was killed on the Garrett farm, do not realize the efforts the government took to hide the body so those that knew him, in fact one doctor who knew Booth did view the body and told those around him that this was not John Wilkes Booth. And yes, the family did “identify” the dead body’s skeleton, but they wanted the investigation to end, they knew JWB was alive.

    Those that believe that JWB died at the garrett farm, probably believe that Oswald killed Kennedy, which he did not.

  • PaulTheZombie
    12:11 on August 31st, 2011
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    This book is a fabulous photographic piece on the Lincoln assasination, covering the events and the people involved. The artifacts that are pictured are truly excellent examples. The quality of the photographs make for a wonderful book with great content. Many of the photos included have never been seen before. Swanson and Weinberg have put together a wonderful book that should be on every Lincoln bookshelf! I hope that the authors consider producing other fine books about President Lincoln that follow the same format. This is a great companion book to “Blood on the Moon” by Edward Steers, Jr..

  • Ripel
    14:04 on August 31st, 2011
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    When I saw a this book reviewed many years ago,(in the 60′s) I was very skeptical of its theories, but once I saw the movie: THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACYin 1977, It all of the sudden made so much sense, and I have been a cospiracy believer ever since! It’s a bit pricy, but once you get into the first chapter, you’ll wonder why you ever believed a liar like Edwin M. Stanton and any fool who thinks John Wilkes Booth 1. Acted alone and 2. was killed at Garrette’s farm. I’m seriously considering getting another copy to seal up and keep if this one ever gets damaged or wears out — it’s THAT good!!!

  • Markoc
    16:31 on August 31st, 2011
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    All Lincoln scholars will find this book of interest particularly for when and how it was written. Had to have been a “bestseller” in 1908!

  • Jim Levitt
    22:17 on August 31st, 2011
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    What Weinberg and Swanson give us here is a journey back in time to the Spring and Summer of 1865. For some reason, Lincoln assassination scholarship has been gaining interest of late with Swanson’s other book entitled “Manhunt.” No doubt, interest is also gaining momentum with the proposed Harrison Ford movie about the assassination. Nevertheless, Swanson’s book is destined to be a classic illustrated compendium of the events around Lincoln’s death. It is equal or maybe even better to Kunhardt’s “Twenty Days” which was published during the 1960′s.

    The stories behind the photographs are well worth mentioning. In particular, there is a very poignant story of a soldier leaning on the scaffolding for the gallows during the execution. That soldier is right below Mary Surratt, and in one of Gardner’s pictures (which were beautifully restored for this book) you can see this soldier puking as the death warrant is read aloud. Another story which Weinberg and Swanson relate is how the 4 hooded prisoners could hear, the night before their execution, the gallows being constructed. Overall, a great companion piece to either Swanson’s “Manhunt” or any other book on the Assassination.

  • Karla Shelton
    3:39 on September 1st, 2011
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    This is more of a picture book than a text-laden history book, but it’s the appeal of the many photos, pictures, illustrations, and even cartoons that make this book a fascinating one to read. The book includes photos of all the conspirators, in life as well as death, along with other interesting details such as a letter Booth wrote as a teenager. Today few remember that John Wilkes Booth was the teenage heart-throb of his day, making it all the more shocking when he was involved in the assassination.

    The details of the trial sound like something from some fantastic kangaroo court, not the U.S. For example, the defense had no time to marshall their case, interview or call witnesses, or even to meet much with their clients. The jury was composed of generals and military men, not civilians, and their decision would be final, with no right of appeal.There were indeed judges in the courtroom, but they were watching from the audience.

    The public and the press constantly talked about their favorite conspirators, of which the young, handsome and dashing looking Lewis Powell was the favorite, who attempted to kill secretary of state William Seward with a Bowie knife on the night of the assassination, rather than the president, but was foiled. Even the decision of who to prosecute left many questions unanswered, as several suspects with far more incriminating evidence weren’t even brought to trial, whereas others with less evidence were tried and executed. The authors suggest that this might have had more to do with who actually plotted the murder vs. who was involved with post-assassination attempts to shelter Booth.

    However, it’s the stunning visual presentation here rather than the now well known history that is the star here. This book will be enjoyed by any history or Americana buffs or anyone interested in a well done presentation of a unique event in our history.

  • Dagmar Naguin
    13:58 on September 1st, 2011
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    This is a wonderful addition to the book collection of any reader of Lincoln or civil war history. I have studied the story of the Lincoln conspirators for nearly 20 years, and have read a lot of fine material on the subject, but this book contains amazing photos I did not know existed. Where one may have seen a single picture of the conspirators or their July 1865 hanging…….this book contains pages and pages of photos of them, taken shortly before their execution, often from the original glass negatives. Of course, it also contains a vivid narrative of their trial and last moments. Others have written superb accounts of these events. This book is “worth it just for the photos.”

  • webdiva
    23:29 on September 1st, 2011
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    This has to be one of the most fascinating ,interesting ,and probably the most factual treatment of the trial and execution of the assassins of President Lincoln.
    There are several reasons that this book is so outstanding.It’s large size,9 1/2 X 12 inches is required to do the photographs justice.The paper, quality,printing ,color reproduction and overall construction are supurb.The two authors are outstanding in their knowledge and long time interest in the subject.It has a selected bibliography that must be as good as one will find on the subject.The organization of the book makes it a clear ,concise and easily absorbed chronology of events that was probably even more captivating in its day than the period after the Assassination of President Kennedy.
    The book also shows, as a besides, the difference in the art of photography in 1865 compared to what we have come to take for granted today or in the time of Kennedy’s assassination. The fact that newspapers did not even have the ability to print a photograph. Photographs were not even available until several days after taken,and forget about color photography then. Come the advances in 100 years and we watched events live and in our living rooms with the assassination of JFK.
    Compare this advancement in recording and speedy dissipating of information with the regression of and the drawn out, convoluting that takes place in the legal and justice that has become the norm today. Absolutely amazing in both cases.A few weeks and negligable expense in the case of Lincoln and years and untold millions with Kennedy.There has been great advances in the information processes and just the opposite in the legal and justice process.
    Getting back to how the assassination is covered in this book. The authors have been able to make the reader feel that they were living at the time the event took place and convey what it might have felt to witness those great events taking place.There have been many books on the subject,and it was complicated;but the authors have boiled it down to the essentials.The hundreds of photographs,illustrations,reproductions and illustrations are a real treasure trove that have been collected and assembled in a way that obviously must have talen taken lot of time ,knowledge and contacts.
    If you want a book that details the capture,trial and execution of President Lincoln,in a clear,concise way;look no further –this is the book you are looking for.

  • pop frame
    2:20 on September 2nd, 2011
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    “They are forgotten now, long buried in their graves.” So begins this compelling pictorial book on the trial and execution of Lincoln’s assassins. The photographs are excellent and have a way to drawing the reader back into the 19th century. People who were relatively unknown jump off the pages as flesh and blood who plotted one of the most evil deeds in our nation’s history. Take time to read the copies of handwritten letters that Swanson has included. Written in cursive (a style that is almost lost in the 21st century), the letters bring the characters to life. Swanson and Weinberg’s work is an important piece of our national history.

  • youandmeoutside
    17:07 on September 2nd, 2011
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    In this fascinating book, an accomplished author teams up with an avid Lincoln-ologist to produce an excellent work. This book has a fascinating account of the capture, trial and (in some cases) execution of John Wilkes Booth’s fellow “conspirators,” and an excellent collection of pictures and reproductions of important documents.

    Overall, I found this to be an excellent book. It has just enough text to be highly informative on the conspirators, without getting bogged down in minutiae. Also, it keeps a level-headed approach to the assassination throughout, eschewing the kind of theorizing that marks too many books on the subject. Yep, I highly enjoyed this colorful and highly readable book, and give it my highest recommendations!

  • John Baxter
    20:02 on September 2nd, 2011
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    This text dovetails nicely with Swanson’s recent effort “Manhunt”, but more from an artifact perspective than a written one. Many of the pictures are one-of-a-kind, especially Alexander Gardner’s entire collection from the courtyard at the D.C. prison where the conspirators were hung. Again, this is not a complete text (nor does it aspire to be), but a great addition to any historical collection regarding the Lincoln assasination.

  • eliteuser
    2:02 on September 3rd, 2011
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    On April 13th I went on a John Wilkes Booth Escape Route tour in
    Clinton, Maryland, and just by sheer luck, Mr. Swanson was in attendance and though it was the 3rd time I’d been on the tour, it was the best. He is a most enthralling person and though I didn’t know who he was for almost an hour, he was obviously very knowlegeable on the subject of the assassination. He was kind enough to sign a copy of his book for me that I purchased in the Surratt Society bookstore and wrote a very lengthy and personal note in it-but I’m rambling- The book is simply fabulous-The text is extremely informative and the photos are the best I’ve ever seen-some are very rare and have never been published before-This book is a MUST for anyone interseted in either the Civil War or the Lincoln assassination- it’s definitley top drawer and well worth ever cent-I can’t recommend it highly enough!

  • cjinsd
    8:37 on September 3rd, 2011
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    This book is great and he did act on stage after the assassination. Why the other person wrote that this book is not worth reading I will never know. It shows two pictures of Booth after the assassination when he was living under an alias. It is filled with evidence. If you would like to know who was killed in the barn instead of Booth you should read “Return of the Assassin John Wilkes Booth”. It is filled with new evidence. Both of these books are must reads.

  • PaulTheZombie
    9:46 on September 3rd, 2011
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    This is a truly excllent monograpraph with some intriguing photographs and commentary not available before this account. This is a beautiful treatment of what happened to the almost mystical and undeniably lunaticical cadre of villains responsible for one of America’s most horrifying and haunting domestic events. Like everything else that this dark chapter in US history provokes, these pictures catapult the reader back onto the streets of Washington D.C. where you stand as witness to this shocking tale.

  • Jolynn Ordona
    14:12 on September 3rd, 2011
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    I am absolutely enthralled by this theory. I heard about it on unsolved mysteries (where they mentioned this book), and, after reading it, I am so sure that this is what really happened. I mean, the evidence both in this book and from other sources just keeps piling up! I don’t know how history leaders and teachers around the world can deny this compelling theory. Not only does the evidence convince me, it just makes more sense that it would happen this way, you know?

  • Anna Poelo
    18:31 on September 3rd, 2011
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    I saw James Swanson giving a speech about his other book “Manhunt” and found him fascinating to listen to. he knew facts that I had never heard before and could describe them with such detail I felt like I was watching it happen. I read “Manhunt” and was thrilled to have the details of those twelve days come to life. When I saw this book I snatched it up as quickly as I could. It is the perfect book for both the avid reader and for those who like to look at artifacts and photographs of the era. This is by far my new favorite Civil War book (and I have many). James and Daniel did an excellent job of laying out the story then showing artifacts and pictures from the event. I’ve looked at this book for hours and am only through the second chapter! Not that it’s hard to get through, just fun to look at and read.

  • German Fafian
    7:11 on September 4th, 2011
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    When Lincoln was killed he was an old man of 56, while Booth was only 27 at the time of the assassination. I really can’t figure why this fiction was written, as the travesty was done when John Wilkes Booth was gunned down from a slat in the barn. He had no way to escape!

    It’s just like the rumors which spun about Elvis Presley that he was an informant for the FBI and did not die of an overdose of drugs in his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, that he was relocated to Germany. Do you think that man could have spent all these years hiding and not singing. No Way!

    Just like the fiction that Booth lived to confess years later. Could he have gone on with his life without acting on the stage? Whyever would he confess and link the Vice President to the conspiracy. Andrew Johnson was supposed to have been abducted at the same time as Lincoln, only his assailant got too drunk to do the deed. Now, this little myth maker tries to make us think that he was in on the kill of Lincoln so that he could take over. He had his hands full of the reconstruction and other things which were continually going wrong. He was definitely not like Lincoln in any way, but a man from Tennessee who had been governor of this Volunteer State would never have done that. Now Texas is another matter altogether. Why this was written, I’ll never know! It’s just not worth the bother to look at, or read trash about an honorable assassin. He had health problems and perhaps though he was dying anyway. Who will ever know? No one who reads this volume in history.

  • Saner Rijet
    14:06 on September 4th, 2011
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    Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial And Execution is a cold, clear look at the aftermath of a crime that forever changed American history. President Lincoln’s assassination and the subsequent execution of his killer, John Wilkes Booth, is a well known event, but afterward, in the spring and summer of 1865, a military commission tried eight other people as conspirators in Booth’s plot to murder Lincoln and other officials. Filled with period photographs and historical records as well as comprehensive, detailed text, Lincoln’s Assassins is a fascinating and even disturbing close analysis of a time of turmoil and mourning across America. A welcome and invaluable addition to Lincoln historical studies and reference collections.

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