The American Film Co. - Discussion Comments Feed - Historians View the Assassination The American Film Co. - Discussion Comments Feed - Historians View the Assassination en-us Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:10:41 -0400 Historians View the Assassination I am so happy to hear that a new film is in progress about the American Revolution. I sincerely hope that it is the first of many. I own and have watched the HBO series on John Adams many times and look forward to more quality films on that era of our history. I also wish that Ken Burns would put together an epic documentary on this part of our national story. If you haven't seen Ric Burns' doc on the history of New York City it is well worth a look... I love it. A list of other topics for future films ought to include Lewis and Clark, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR and the history of America's involvement in the procuring of Alaska and Hawaii. Sun, 11 Mar 2012 17:03:10 -0400 Historians View the Assassination A friend of mine is related to the man who brought John Surratt back from Egypt. Check out for more details. Or visit the attached link above. Warmly, Ellie Wed, 30 Nov 2011 20:11:13 -0500 Historians View the Assassination And yet when it all said and done, the North still won. Wed, 02 Nov 2011 15:11:51 -0400 Historians View the Assassination As Dr. Turner mentions, Ed Steers's review in North & South magazine is a very accurate one. First, I believe that I am correct that it took all of six months to write this book. That is a very short time period when most reputable authors take years to research, check and double-check, undergo peer review, etc. I read the book and immediately noted that it is a patchwork quilt constructed of pieces of historical fabric taken from other authors' works. No footnotes, no acceptable chapter notes, no endnotes -- and the closest thing to a bibliography are notes at the end of chapters recommending other books to read for more informationl. At least most of the recommendations are good books. Unfortunately, there are quite a few errors, misconceptions, and innuendoes about the supposed "Stanton did it theory" that has been studied to death over the past seventy years and declared erroneous by very skillful researchers and authors. The book is an easy read and somewhat enjoyable to me when I wasn't counting errors and rolling my eyeballs! When I first heard that he was doing the book, I laughingly said that he was riding the coattails of The Conspirator movie. Guess who's featured on the front with Booth and Lincoln. Yep, Mary Surratt... Some people just know how to milk the golden cow. Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:10:15 -0400 Historians View the Assassination If you want to read a review of O'Reilly's new book "Killing Lincoln," see Ed Steers critique in the November North and South Magazine. Ed points out a number of errors in names and facts which raises questions about the author's attention to detail. He also notes that there are many primary sources available including the archival record for an investment of around $200. There is no excuse not to be familiar with and utilize this primary material. O'Reilly, however, apparently simply uses seconday sources. The work is also riddled with a number of old conspiracy theories which no reputable historian believes to be true. These include the claims that Edwin Stanton was involved and Booth escaped Garrett's Barn. Given O'Reilly's large audience (an audience many times greater than any academic historian can hope to reach) and the fact that the book reads well, Ed laments a missed opportunity. There have been over 125 books written on the assassination but a new one can only be justified by presenting new information or a reinterpretation. "Killing Lincoln" misses the mark on both accounts. And by dredging up conspiracy theories that have been discredited it actually does more harm than good. Nonetheless "Killing Lincoln" was number one on the New York Times bestseller list this week so whatever critics might think the authors can ignore them all the way to the bank. Mon, 24 Oct 2011 14:10:33 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Perhaps this has already been addressed but I haven't seen it: At current time (10-23-11) the top-selling non-fiction best-seller is KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O'Reilly, who is famous (some might say infamous) for being an ultra-conservative Republican. Can anyone offer an unbaised opinion of the book? (I've heard that Mr. O'Reilly made quite a few historical errors in his narrative. True?) Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:10:47 -0400 Historians View the Assassination To Tom_turner, I'd like to thank you for the comment that you put to me, that made my day, I've already read the book "Chasing Lincoln's Killer", so when I saw "The Conspirator", I already had previous knowledge, in fact, the day Mary Sarratt was hung is also the same day as my birthday, and at first I thought she was guilty from what I read, but when I dug deeper in the story, I realized that she just might have been a mother protecting her family. Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:10:23 -0400 Historians View the Assassination First let me echo Dr. Turner's comment about being delighted that a young student has become interested in the Lincoln assassination story. We definitely need to keep a love of history alive in the future. Visit the Surratt website at for more history and items of interest. As for the civil jury's decision on John Surratt, Jr., bear in mind that the twelve jurors split their votes along "geographic sympathies" lines. The vote was eight to four for acquital with seven of those voting to acquit having Southern roots and the other having foreign origins. The four who voted to condemn were of Northern persuasion. Even in 1867, Washington City was of divided opinions. Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:10:11 -0400 Historians View the Assassination I AGREE THAT MOST LIKELY A JURY OF MRS. SURRATTS PEERS WOULD HAVE RULED THE SAME WAY AS THE MILITARY TRIBUNAL DID. SIMPLY BECAUSE EMOTIONS WERE RUNNING SO HIGH AT THE TIME SHORTLY AFTER THE TERRIBLE MANNER IN WHICH PRESIDENT LINCOLN WAS SLAIN. AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS IS WHY JOHN SURRATT WAS NOT CONVICTED. THE PUBLIC HAD COOLED OFF A BIT PERHAPS BY THE TIME MR. SURRATT WAS TRIED. IN MY OPINION JOHN SURRATT SHOULD HAVE BEEN JAILED FOR HIS ROLE IN THE CRIME. Tue, 11 Oct 2011 15:10:01 -0400 Historians View the Assassination teamsarratt77 We are always glad to hear from someone your age since we need young people who are interested in the assassination to eventually replace us oldtimers. "The Conspirator" definitely portrays Mary Surratt as a victim of vengeance and one of the film's consultants Fred Borch would agree that Aiken did the best he could under difficult circumstances. As to being innocent Mary admits knowledge of the kidnapping plan and Arnold and O'Laughlen were both sentenced to life in prison for their role in that plot (O'Laughlen died in prison but Arnold was pardoned by President Johnson in 1869.) The big issue is whether she should have been hanged for her alleged involvement. If you are interested in reading something about the assassination, as Laurie Verge notes "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" is a young adult version of his "Manhunt" that I think you would find is quite good on the topic and very readable. Tom Turner Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:10:02 -0400 Historians View the Assassination I'm young, so the things I know are what I've seen in the movie The Conspirator, I feel that Mary Sarratt was innocent, and should not have been hung, I also feel that Mary being hung was an act of vengance. I feel that Fredrick Aiken did an excellant job defending her, he did what he could to save her from her tragic fate. I'm only 12, but the story of Sarratt and Aiken fasinates me. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:10:32 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Sure hope I can answer this in 250 words - Booth's was the most identified body maybe in U.S. history! The troops in search of him were supplied with photographs of the actor; upon his being dragged out of the burning barn, even the Garrett family who owned the farm were shown those photos up against the living face. His leg was still in a sort of splint with a make-shift shoe. Upon being brought back to a monitor in the Washington Navy Yard, there was an autopsy (not of our standards) that confirmed the broken leg and also a scar on his neck from a carbuncle. This was identified by the surgeon who had removed the tumor. His initials that he "tattooed" on his hand as a child (attested to by his sister) were there. A cravat pin given and engraved by a fellow actor friend was found holding together a tear on his undershirt. Finally, his body was identified by fifty or more people - from the hotel clerk at the National where he stayed to members of the acting community, and probably even his fiancee. In 1869, when the remains were released to the family, his dental records were also produced by a brother and compared with those in the skull. Booth was wealthy enough to afford fillings in a day where most men just had bad teeth removed. His profession depended upon good hygiene. Americans love a good conspiracy - especially if it involves their government. Evidence be damned. Wed, 28 Sep 2011 19:09:52 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Can anyone shade some light on this? With so many conspiracy theories about Booth being captured and shot. Did anyone in that time check to see if the man shot at Garretts farm see if the leg was splint or broke? Just didn't seem like that would go unnoticed?! I can't wait for more I love this movie!!!!!! Wed, 28 Sep 2011 05:09:03 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Chasing Lincoln's Killer is actually a young adult edition of James Swanson's best selling Manhunt. It is also non-fiction, is a quick and tremendous read, and makes you feel like you are chasing Booth and Herold through the swamps and hills of Southern Maryland and the Northern Neck of Virginia. Check out for a long list of good books that are sold through the Surratt House Museum in Maryland. Beware, the story of the Lincoln assassination is addictive. Once you are infected, there is no known cure! Mon, 12 Sep 2011 19:09:08 -0400 Historians View the Assassination If you appreicated the history presented in this movie, then check out "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" by James Swanson. Not only does it contain a very detailed account of the assasination itself, but it also contains many pictures in the book of the participants. The book was absolutely fascinating!!! Sun, 11 Sep 2011 22:09:44 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Unfortunately, I have read The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth several times and have to discuss it quite frequently in my role as director of Surratt House Museum. Fortunately, however, it has been debunked by so many learned historians that only sensationalist media pick up on it occasionally. Tue, 06 Sep 2011 20:09:56 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Congratulations to the producers of "The Conspirator" for portraying the Union so accurately. The North was fired up over the war, over their victory, and over Lincoln's death. Each event seemed to add to their fervor to punish the South. In this year of commemoration of a national tragedy that almost tore the country apart, this is one aspect of what happened in the days and months following Lincoln's death that has finally been shown the light of day. Now, how about exposing Lincoln? He was a good man, but he was far from the hero people believe him to be. BTW, has anyone read "The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth?" Mon, 05 Sep 2011 20:09:21 -0400 Historians View the Assassination I thought the movie was great and I am looking forward to seeing alot more movies by this company. Mon, 05 Sep 2011 20:09:10 -0400 Historians View the Assassination I would love to see The American Film Company make a "sequel" to The Conspirator" about the escape, chase across Europe, and eventual capture of John Surratt in Egypt. It is a unique and fascinating story.. Judge Wylie, whom Aiken had awakened in the middle of the night to obtain a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Mary Surratt's trial was the presiding judge in John Surratt's trial. Many interesting connections to The Conspirator. Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:09:59 -0400 Historians View the Assassination Thank you, bbreit816, for your fine comment. Since the film's release in April, I have been begging the historical nit-pickers to look at the true message behind the film. You did just that. Sat, 03 Sep 2011 21:09:11 -0400