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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 10:30am

    The Private Life of Mary Surratt

    Yes, we know for sure that John Surratt, Sr., and then his son John Jr., used the post master position, or rather the postal service in their tavern in service of the Confederacy. When John... More

    from The Conspirator
  • Commented on this discussion on February 15, 2011 at 8:27pm

    The Private Life of Mary Surratt

    Thank you! This is an interesting question. Though Lloyd would play a very significant role in providing damaging testimony against Mary - some would argue the most damaging - little is known about... More

    from The Conspirator
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