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Kate Clifford Larson

Historian and Author

Kate Clifford Larson

Kate Clifford Larson, PhD., is an historian and author of "The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln" (Basic Books, June 2008). With degrees from Simmons College and Northeastern University, and a doctorate in history from the University of New Hampshire, Larson specializes in 19th and 20th century U.S. Women's and African American History.

Dr. Larson is also a leading Harriet Tubman scholar and the author of "Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero" (Ballantine/One World, 2004), one of the first non-juvenile Tubman biographies published in six decades. She has been working as a consultant and interpretive specialist for numerous museum, community, and public history initiatives related to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in Maryland and New York, and also served as the consulting historian for the National Park Service's Harriet Tubman Special Resource Study, resulting in the introduction of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park Act, now awaiting approval in Congress.

Dr. Larson has been a guest instructor at numerous professional development workshops for teachers, including National Endowment for the Humanities and Teaching American History programs, on the topics of American Slavery, the Underground Railroad, Abolition, and Harriet Tubman. She teaches at both Simmons College and Wheelock College in Boston. Her latest book, "Rosemary: An Interrupted Life," a biography of the profoundly disabled sister of President Kennedy, is due out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in late 2011.

Discussions by this Expert

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“Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter?”

Apr 20, 2011 at 9:41pm | Filed Under “The Conspirator

Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter?
Less than three months after her arrest at her boarding house on H Street in Washington City, Mary Surratt would be hanged for her role in John Wilkes Booth's murderous plot.
from The Conspirator 57 comments

“Frederick Aiken: A Rookie Defender”

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:53pm | Filed Under “The Conspirator

Frederick Aiken: A Rookie Defender
Historian Kate Larson suggests that Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) failed in his defense of Mary Surratt due to his general inexperience as a lawyer.
from The Conspirator 21 comments

“The Private Life of Mary Surratt”

Feb 14, 2011 at 8:36pm | Filed Under “The Conspirator

The Private Life of Mary Surratt
When audiences first meet Mary Surratt in the film THE CONSPIRATOR, the only thing they will know about her is that she is the mother of John Surratt, Jr., a Booth cohort...
from The Conspirator 27 comments
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Other Activity by this Expert

  • Commented on this discussion on February 21, 2011 at 12:40pm

    The Private Life of Mary Surratt

    As clarification for my last comment, I believe that if Mary and the other co-conspirators had been tried in a criminal court in Washington City at the time, the trial would have taken on a... More

    from The Conspirator
  • Commented on this discussion on February 21, 2011 at 11:10am

    The Private Life of Mary Surratt

    Thank you RoderWhitewalker! I deeply appreciate the help and cooperation of the folks at The American Film Company for letting me use images from the film for the cover. In the new edition of my... More

    from The Conspirator
  • Commented on this discussion on February 21, 2011 at 10:55am

    The Private Life of Mary Surratt

    That is a fascinating topic and there are some histories out there on Confederate spies and couriers, and their northern connections. There are also some very good books out there on United... More

    from The Conspirator
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