Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln assassination’

Lincoln’s Death

April 15, 2015

A hundred-fifty years ago today, the first American President was murdered for personal reasons.

The reasons may never be known nor even be researched for the imagery of his death has come to mean so very much more than the man meant while alive.

His life, his presidency, and most especially his death are political slogans, metaphors, leverage, and – most importantly – political capital to be spent over and over and…

Yes, and this is a “capitalism” is it not?

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Booth and the Lincoln Assassination

April 9, 2012

I’ve mentioned this event several times in previous posts but this time I am mentioning it to highlight my new book, Eighteen Pages.

It’s a little “different” than the run-of-the-mill stories about the Assassination in that it presents a completely radical interpretation of the events. Two parallel themes constitute the follow. One follows Booth in the week after that fateful Good Friday, escaping and hiding out in the brush of Southern Maryland trying to avoid capture before escaping into Virginia. The other follows a reporter in Washington who witnessed the Assassination and tries to get to the bottom of the story.

Many facets of the case are revealed as they were revealed day after day in the first days following the horrific event. Conflicting stories, events, and evidence make the reporter’s task an impossibility. It seems that someone is trying to cover up the details faster than he can uncover them.

The changing account of the events surrounding the assassination may confuse many but imagine what sort of confusion it may have been to someone at the time, without our perspective many years after the event, when the story has firmly been created in our national psyche.

The book is available on Kindle as a download to be read on the computer, a Kindle reader, or another hand-held device. And, no, it does not have a lot of illustrations. Perhaps if I do a young readers version…

And the sequel, Eighteen Pages More is nearing completion.

Another non-fiction volume about Booth and the Assassination is being prepared for publication. The Plot to Kill John Wilkes Booth should be ready for release soon.

And, I will let you know when it is released.

Marcus P. Norton? – You’re Kidding, Right?

January 9, 2012

I looked over my blog stats for this first week of the new year and saw that the #1 search string that brought visitors to my blog as “Marcus P. Norton”.

What? Really!?! Surely you’ve got to be kidding!

Who was this Marcus P. Norton, you ask?

I have mentioned him in four of my previous posts:
7/3/2009 – the Earliest Case of Going Postal on Record
5/15/2011- Yes, His Name is Still Mudd
5/16/2011- Still Mudd II
5/23/2011-Still Mudd… III

Other than my rather curious interest in this very obscure character from American history, I had no idea someone would actually be interested enough to search for the guy!

But, since the searcher left no note mentioning their interest in the guy, one can only wonder what the heck was going through their minds?! What were they thinking? Better yet, what were they smoking?

If you missed the earlier postings (or don’t want to bother looking for them) Norton is the person who implicated Dr. Mudd in the Lincoln Assassination case. And it is only his testimony that performed this act. Others saw Mudd elsewhere on the day in question and – though the defense attorneys attempted to have his testimony impeached – his testimony was allowed to override the others’ sworn word. And this even though the guy had been impeached in previous trials and was proven to have mis-remembered the day in question by none other than the Clerk of the Supreme Court!

And this does not even take into account his presence at Ford’s Theater in the week before the assassination, when the manager of the theater was forced to break the lock on the box adjacent to the one in which Lincoln would be killed in a few short days.

What has that to do with the death of Lincoln? What has his perjuring before the tribunal really covering up?

Marcus P. Norton did not tell anyone what was really going on but it is enough questions to open some sort of investigation, I should think. Especially when we are talking about the “crime of the century”.

Scott’s Standard Catalog of U. S. Stamps still lists Norton as the inventor of the first postal cancellation machine… and this even in the face of the Patent Office throwing out his patent in 1871 because he could produce no evidence to reapply for patents on that invention or any of the many other inventions he had patented.

And why did they throw it out? Norton was a patent attorney and he (and others) had been accused of stealing the inventions rather than patenting them for the rightful inventors. Since Norton had no data on any of these patents other than the original (purportedly stolen) documents, he lost all the patents.

Really?! No one thought it odd that a patent attorney was also an engineer and a machinist in his spare time!!

What were they thinking??

Anyway, we will probably never know who really invented the canceling device. Or why he perjured himself at the trial of the century.

Still Mudd… II

May 16, 2011

Marcus P. Norton was seemingly a very minor player at the Assassination trial but his name just keeps popping up.

I mentioned his connection with the Mudd conviction but he had other connections as well. He plyed his canceling machine first in Troy, NY (yes, that place again), under the direction of Assistant Postmaster General Horatio King, another witness for the prosecution at the trial.

And Norton and King had arranged all this through Postmaster General Holt, who just happened to be the Head of the Tribunal that was the Trial of the Conspirators. Yes, interesting, and he also happened to come from the little place called Troy, NY.

Maybe it’s just me but when I see a bunch of names and places keep popping up in an investigation, a bell goes off and I start digging a little deeper.

I do not know for certain that there was some sort of conspiracy surrounding the Post Office Department, Marcus P. Norton, or any of his crowd or how it was involved in the death of Lincoln but it certainly does make one wonder.

Oh, and one last note about Troy, NY. Another very pleasant part of the story also called the place his home.

And that would be Boston Corbett, the man who supposedly shot Booth at Garrett’s farm.

I wonder what else might be found that connects to all of this!

Yes, His Name is Still Mudd… and Yours?

May 15, 2011

Edward Steers really got his dander up when the descendants of Dr. Mudd were trying to have his conviction overturned. Presidents Carter and Reagan were sympathetic but that was years ago.

I only bring this up because I happen to disagree with Steers.

It seems to me that the most compelling evidence against Mudd was that of Marcus P. Norton who allegedly bumped into Mudd and Booth together in a Washington Hotel. He claimed he remembered the date so well because he was working on a particular case before the Supreme Court.

Later, the Clerk of the Supreme Court said, yes, Norton was working on that case but it was the year before the date in question.

Norton had gotten the year wrong… was it conceivable that he had gotten other “facts” wrong as well?

Though they tried to impeach his testimony – there were other cases where his testimony was also questionable – it seems to have stood up.

Another interesting note, the desk clerk at the National Hotel had taken a guest to Ford’s Theater a short time before the assassination and they were to have sat in the box adjacent to where the President would be shot. Apparently, the door was locked and Mr. Ford could not locate the key, so they busted the lock to allow entry. The door was still in that condition on the night of the assassination. I do not know that this actually plays into the tale or not, but the guest that evening was the same Marcus P. Norton.

But Mr. Norton’s claim to fame, according to the Scott’s Standard Postage Stamp Catalog, is as the inventor of the stamp canceling device. Yes, he held the patent for such a device as well as certain other diverse inventions – he was a patent attorney – but an investigation in 1870 stripped him of the patent for certain “irregularities” and disbarred him as a patent attorney.

A very minor character in the story begins to gain a little prominence…

One of My Favorite Booth Books

May 14, 2011

Years ago, like 1976, I came across a new book on Booth, Wilkes Booth Came to Washington by Larry Starkey. It was one of the better books I have read over the years about the time of the event.

So, I was a little disheartened to hear that Mr. Starkey passed away last month. On Easter Sunday, no less. The same day that in 1865, Lincoln lay in state.

At the time, he was working on a volume about John Adams but I do not know if he finished it.

A nice thumbnail of Mr. Starkey can be found at the site of one of his colleagues: http://www.robynbradley.com/goodbye-larry-starkey-1942-2011/.

The book took a slightly different view of the time and place of the event and is one of the very few books to mention any sort of affairs Lincoln had been having. Most the writers that mention his sexuality today seem to think Abe was gay.

I cannot say one way or the other and I don’t think it really matters.

I always wondered if he was going to do another book on the same subject but I guess the answer to that is “no”.

Still, I am grateful he gave us the one book.

the Booth and Nothing but the Booth

May 13, 2011

I have been busy for the past few months on a couple of volumes concerning the Lincoln murder conspiracies.

Not like in the book The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies by William Hanchett, which intrigued me at first until I realized he mis-titled the book. There were conspiracies but they were for kidnapping… the only murder conspiracy was the one that killed Lincoln.

I had thought maybe someone had actually done some amazing research… But I see that work still needs to be done.

My first volume, finished seven score and four years after the assassination, was entitled Eighteen Pages and has yet to be picked up by a publisher. The sequel, Eighteen Pages More is nearly complete, but I paused in its creation to research another volume: The Plot to Kill John Wilkes Booth, which is wandering around New York at present in search of a publisher.

It does not detail what I really think happened, as that is covered in the novels, but looks at the evidence brought forward by Eisenschimyl. He’s the fellow who was convinced Stanton was behind the murder.

My volume shows that Stanton was only in charge of the cover-up and knew absolutely nothing about the assassination.

So why would he bother with the cover-up?

Stanton was in charge of the intelligence service for the Union and knew all about Booth’s kidnapping plans (because John Surratt had already been subverted). For his own reasons, Stanton was willing for that plot to go forward without hindrance.

When it suddenly turned to murder, Stanton was back-pedaling like crazy to make sure all traces of his interactions with the Booth group were erased. It seems he did not mind being part of a kidnapping, but killing Lincoln was more than he wanted to be involved with.

So, with Booth on the loose, Stanton needed to ensure that Booth did not live to talk… to anyone. Stanton was probably aware that the person they killed was not actually Booth, but he was certain it sent a very real message to Booth to stay disappeared.

Which is what happened. And he stayed disappeared for many years.

And that leads us to an investigation done on the corpse held by the War Department. It was disinterred some years later and viewed by several reputable persons. One mentioned that they were not certain until one of those present decided to examine the broken left leg of Booth.

When they tried removing the boot, the lower portion of the leg came off at the break and was still in the boot.

That proved to them it was actually the assassin.

Funny, to me it proves exactly the opposite!!

Why? For a very simple reason: In the testimony at the trial, Mudd had cut that particular boot off of Booth’s leg to work on it and gave him a shoe to wear instead.

The military investigators retrieved the cut-up boot when they searched Mudd’s place. So, if the corpse had a boot, it was not Booth!

Ah, it’s such little details that can really make my day.

What I Think

May 12, 2010

There has always been a lot of garbage written about some of the most famous happenings in the recent past. People sense something is terribly wrong with the “official” version and they all too quickly jump to erroneous conclusions.

Take the JFK Assassination, for instance. Someone mentioned that it could not have been a lone gunman because the type of rifle Oswald used could not fire three shots in such rapid succession. A lot of people were repeating this bit of supporting evidence until some experts fired off three shots in the appointed time frame.

This took the wind out of the sails of the conspiracy theorists and made them look foolish, as if their point had been defeated.

It is unfortunate that some supporters of the C.T. (conspiracy theory) had bought that one piece of evidence hook, line, and sinker as it had been PUT there by people who could easily disprove it – yes, it was a straw target. I have seen a lot of those over the years.

But just because that one item was dismissed does not mean the JFK assassination went down like the Warren Commission claimed. One has only to view the Zapruder film – at normal speed – to know better. When the President’s head whips backward and a spray of pink fills the air behind the car, it should be obvious to anyone that the kill shot had come from the front of the car, i.e. the grassy knoll, or thereabouts.

Unless one of their experts can show us how a shot from Oswald’s gun could have somehow reversed its course, this one fact shrivels the government case. I can see that a shot from the back might have caused the President’s head to jerk backward by reflex, but the splash of blood would have followed the bullet trajectory… to the front of the car.

The RFK Assassination was a similar event but with too many bullets. Sirhan was firing blindly over the people around the candidate but Kennedy was killed by a shot in the back. Obviously, someone else – the security guard? – fired the kill shot, not the “assassin”. Forensic people have accounted for all Sirhan’s shots and none of them found their way into RFK.

The MLK Assassination was also a case of misdirection. The people standing by the slain Civil Rights leader pointed to the location of the shooter… and it was not in the direction James Earl Ray was that day.

Places on the internet are filled with evidence from independent investigations that pretty much disprove the “official” version in each case. But there are a lot of wild claims out there as well to misguide the unwary into spouting straw claims that can be shot down.

Then, of course, there’s the 9/11 conspiracy. Alex Jones said we should not focus on the Twin Towers and all the wild claims made about it but bank on the attack on the Pentagon because that one can more easily be seen to be a conspiracy: no trace of a plane, all the video surveillance evidence sequestered by the Feds. It is like Stanton taking control of the Lincoln Assassination all over again – take charge of all the evidence and only release those portions that fit the “official” version.

I have heard people claim the planes that slammed into the Twin Towers were drones filled with explosives and NOT real domestic flights. Whoa! What happened to the people who were actually ON those flights? Or are they a part of the conspiracy? I think claims of that sort only set up more straw targets to be taken down too easily.

All four of these tragedies were created by the participants in the conspiracy to protect their interests and further their programs. In each we can see the same format that was used in the Lincoln Assassination: a rush to judgment in the face of problematic questions that remained unanswered and an official version that does not stand up to even the mildest form of intelligent scrutiny.

The conspiracy is alive and well and we live in an ever-growing fear.

What do you know? It worked!

a Variety of Paranoias

March 10, 2010

To show you the way my mind works, I will discuss a group of connections so abstruse, so tenuous, that no one in a million years would probably follow the chain in the same way.

John Wilkes Booth survived the chase after the Lincoln assassination to escape the country – according to many accounts – and wound up living in India, where he supposedly died. He had made a trip to America in the 1870’s to distribute some funds to his three children – daughters by three separate women – and used the law firm of U. S. Grant (yes, the former President of the U.S.) to handle the distribution. The lawyer at the firm who handled the case was none other than Lew Wallace, former Union General, judge at the trial of the Lincoln Conspirators, and governor of New Mexico territory (who treated with Billy the Kid while he was governor). Lew Wallace wrote a novel called Ben Hur around the time of his governorship and after meeting with Booth from India, wrote another novel called Prince of India.

All very interesting, huh? Another fascinating thing was Grant’s trip to India after his Presidency where he met with the widow of Booth. Curious, huh? And John Singleton Mosby, former head of Mosby’s Rangers of the Confederate forces, was U.S. Consul in Hong Kong under President Grant.

Turning our attention back to New Mexico, we notice Billy the Kid was murdered by Pat Garrett – all right, killed if you will but as Billy was shot in the back, I still consider it a murder – the same Pat Garrett who was later involved in several land disputes with one Jesse Wayne Brazel – about, of all things, grazing goats on what was considered cattle land – the last of which resulted in Garrett being shot in the back himself.

It is interesting to note that J. W. Brazel later owned a ranch which he subsequently sold but his family still later held the Brazel Ranch, just outside of Roswell, where his nephew, William “Mac” Brazel encountered a UFO in 1947. Sound familiar?

By some weird logic, I have connected Booth with the alien crash at Roswell. How strange is that, huh?

But strange connections are what makes life and study so interesting!

the First Great American Tyrant

January 29, 2010

In case you do not know who it was, it was not George W. Bush.

The holder of the title would be America’s darling, Abraham Lincoln. Now, most people greatly revere “honest Abe” and probably cannot understand why I would call him a tyrant. Didn’t he save America, you ask, didn’t he free the slaves?

According to the history books, he did, but history has always been a spoil of war and re-written by the victors to make themselves “look good”. The truth is often as far removed from history as the Earth is from the Moon… ballpark, but not really close except when seen in comparison to something even further, like the Earth from the Sun.

First off, freeing the slaves was never Lincoln’s intent. Witness the creation of West Virginia, while he was president, as a slave state. The glorious Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the Confederacy – much like us passing a law that is only enforceable in Argentina. His idea of “freeing the slaves” was sending them “back to Africa” though most had been born and raised here. Most white Americans think the African-Americans revere Lincoln over all other US Presidents, but that is not the case. Most African-Americans see Lincoln for what he was: a political opportunist.

And Lincoln’s wonderful premise: the Union must be preserved! Well, that was good, you say. But what “union” was he talking about? Certainly NOT the union we call the United States formed by its Constitution. Lincoln claimed it was a contract between the states and therefore one could not break the contract without the express approval of the other party – the “other party” here being the Federal government. And his statement is good, sound contract law. However, the Constitution was not a contract but rather a compact. There is not anything in the Constitution against secession. What state would have agreed to the document if they were not allowed to leave if it did not work out. Such a concept would have been… well, SLAVERY.

So now you see the big lie. Lincoln did not “free” the slaves, he made slaves of all the states, and therefore of all the people. “End slavery”? Hell, no, he expanded it to include everyone!

During wartime, he claimed the President needed extraordinary powers (sound familiar) and so he did whatever he had to do to achieve his aims (again, sound familiar?). When it came Maryland’s turn to vote for secession, he sent troops to Annapolis and arrested the legally elected body and put in his own people to vote against secession! Newspapers and editors who spoke out against him and his war became political prisoners, or worse. He alone was the decider (Bush was a copycat) and chose what course the nation would take. Many will think that the ends justified the means and the country was restored because of his disregard for the Constitution. Like all those Northerners today who say, “The war is over. You lost. Get over it.” Well, everyone lost that war.

The Constitution was something Lincoln viewed as a pleasant document and a guideline as a starting point, not as a rigid set of rules that should guide his every step. And that damned precedent has brought us the previous illegal Bush administration, who used the Constitution as toilet paper. Bush and his group may have done illegal actions, but they are just following in the footsteps of one of the most revered leaders in history.

John Wilkes Booth supposedly yelled “death to the tyrant” or some such (there are several versions) when he supposedly killed Lincoln, and he was right in his assessment. Although history teaches us that Lincoln would have been much softer on the South during reconstruction that the radical republicans were. But that, as they say, is something we’ll never really know, will we? That is just the official history’s way of making us feel even sadder for the loss. From Lincoln’s earlier actions in regard for the rules governing the country, I cannot say for sure that things would have gone easier had he lived. His second term would probably have seen his continuing disregard for the Constitution and the furtherance of more illegal actions. But, who knows?

It is time to rethink Lincoln’s role in our country and brand him for the tyrant that he was.

And perhaps then we can see a clearer picture of where we went astray and lost the America of the Founding Fathers.