The Assassin's Accomplice, movie tie-in: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln

The Assassin's Accomplice, movie tie-in: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln

by Kate Clifford Larson

Paperback(Media tie-in)

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In The Assassin's Accomplice, historian Kate Clifford Larson tells the gripping story of Mary Surratt, a little-known participant in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln, and the first woman ever to be executed by the federal government of the United States. Surratt, a Confederate sympathizer, ran the boarding house in Washington where the conspirators-including her rebel son, John Surratt-met to plan the assassination. When a military tribunal convicted her for her crimes and sentenced her to death, five of the nine commissioners petitioned President Andrew Johnson to show mercy on Surratt because of her sex and age. Unmoved, Johnson refused-Surratt, he said, “kept the nest that hatched the egg.” Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, The Assassin's Accomplice tells the intricate story of the Lincoln conspiracy through the eyes of its only female participant. Based on long-lost interviews, confessions, and court testimony, the text explores how Mary's actions defied nineteenth-century norms of femininity, piety, and motherhood, leaving her vulnerable to deadly punishment historically reserved for men. A riveting narrative account of sex, espionage, and murder cloaked in the enchantments of Southern womanhood, The Assassin's Accomplice offers a fresh perspective on America's most famous murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465024414
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Edition description: Media tie-in
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Kate Clifford Larson teaches history at Simmons College. Her first book, Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, was described as “brilliant” (Smithsonian Magazine), “astonishingly good, a better debut than any author has the right to wish for” (Dallas Morning News), and “an extraordinary achievement” (Baltimore Sun). Larson lives in Winchester, Massachusetts.

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From the Publisher

“Larson captures brilliantly the atmosphere of Mary Surratt’s trial in a crowded court room — murder trials attract morbid spectators — during the sweltering heat of a Washington summer. Her description of the drama of Mary’s last hours, when she was broken by a death sentence that neither she nor her lawyers had believed possible, makes compelling reading.”

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The Assassin's Accomplice, movie tie-in: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
katekf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book due to the movie tie-in and ended up pleasantly surprised. It covers the lead up to Lincoln's assassination and the complex world of Southern Maryland and Washington D.C. before, during and just after the Civil War. The trial of the conspirators provides a gateway into the minds of those who worked against the Union and shows how painful the Civil War was for all Americans. A book that moves along quickly without cutting out any details and presents a thoughtful look at what happened around Lincoln's assassination. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in federal law, the Civil War and who's interested in women who have played a part in all of them.
WritermomHB More than 1 year ago
Was Justice Served? Was Mary Surratt, a Southern-sympathizing, Catholic widow, one of the participants in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln? She was hanged for it. Was that justice? The author went into this book, she says, with the idea that Mrs. Surratt was not nearly as involved in this event as the charges she faced in the military tribunal where she was tried. However, she says, the research she did indicated that Mrs. Surratt was much more involved than even the charges covered. The author did a great deal of research to write this book. I found it difficult to read and not very enjoyable. Many phrases used indicated the author’s belief in Mrs. Surratt’s guilt. The many sources used were listed at the end of the book. She did a very good job of explaining the physical conditions in the courtroom and in the jail cells, as well as the newspapers’ reporting and crowds. I found the writing seemed to be from a Northern point of view. Due to the difficult reading and point of view, I would be careful in recommending this book to anyone. As with any supposed book of historical truth, I would check sources, also.