The true story of Abraham Lincoln's last murder trial, a strange case in which he had a deep personal involvement--and which was played out in the nation's newspapers as he began his presidential campaign.At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases--including more than twenty-five murder trials--during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln's debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office--and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an "infidel...too lacking in faith" to be elected.Lincoln's Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful's dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client--but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today....
|Title||:||Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency|
|Number of Pages||:||368 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Lincolns » Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency|
Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency Reviews
Lincoln's Last Trial is an account of the 1859 trial of Simeon Quinn "Peachy" Harrison whom Lincoln successfully defended against the charge of murder in the stabbing death of Greek Crafton. While this was not technically Lincoln's last trial, it was his last murder trial. An although it is a stretch to say that the trial propelled him to the presidency, it is fair to say that it was a very high profile trial and the visibility and winning the case did not hurt his public standing.
Author Dan Abr ...more
The murder trial described in the book is an interesting case. We don't learn much about the accused; we learn a lot about the victim. The writing style is stilted, lessening this reader's interest. Although a long bibliography is presented, and they assert that every fact is checked, I am wondering how the authors knew that the judge wore only his undergarments under his robe. They do a lot to discuss the state of jurisprudence in IL and nation in the 1850s, but some of the discussions seem lik ...more
This book is well written and it is an enjoyable read. Abrams chose to tell the story from the perspective of the trail stenographer, Rober Hitt, which brought an interesting perspective.
At one point in the book, Abrams noted that the stenographers were taught to be careful not to falsely attribute quotations in their notes. Abrams should have followed that advice himself.
For some reason, Abrams created dialogue and quotations throughout the book. That was completely unnecessary and made me que ...more
I read this from an ARC from the publisher, not the final sales edition.
This work of narrative non-fiction is very readable, but has a bibliography that made me wonder a bit. About half of the sources listed are internet versions of things, some of which are merely online versions of books, but others are articles which, themselves, would have to be checked for veracity.
In any case, what the two authors have done is take the facts of a real murder trial, and using various sources, turn it into a ...more
Let me preface this by saying I'm a stenographer or court reporter, and this book is told from the perspective of Lincoln's "steno man," Robert Roberts Hitt. This profiles Lincoln's last trial, a murder trial in Springfield, Illinois. By this time, there's presidential interest in Abe, so there's that pressure. Plus he's well acquainted with both the victim and the defendant. I thoroughly enjoyed the trial strategy and the realization that Lincoln was such a gifted lawyer, able to move the juror ...more
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Edelweiss/Hanover Square. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
The title of this book is not entirely accurate. While this was the last sensational case that Lincoln handled as an attorney before his nomination for the presidency, he had a few smaller cases after this one finished in the summer of 1859. Also, it is a bit of a stretch to say that this case propelled him to the presidency, although it could have done a lot of harm had he lost th ...more
I received a free digital copy of this text via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Fantastic read, full review to come.
See my full review here:
A most satisfying and intriguing book. I can not believe a NETFLIX series has not been created to focus on all of Lincoln's work as a lawyer. We so think of him as our 16th President and are clueless about the 20 years he spent as a lawyer. Hundreds of cases, many surprising arguments at the US Supreme Court as well as 20+ murder cases. And the case in this book is fascinating as it is his last. In addition it is told through the eyes of a "court reporter" which was a fledgling career at the tim ...more