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Author Topic: Was Booth a coward?  (Read 5359 times)
Dan
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« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2012, 09:42:13 PM »

Excellent points Christine... I think Rob hit the nail on the head on his initial rebuttal for his reasoning. Rather than copy and paste it I'll leave it at that. So many acts of true courage throughout the war. The Confederate soldiers at Gettysburg (Picketts charge) or Union soldiers at Fredricksburg.   Walking up behind someone and putting a bullet in their head...  Just my opinion as well, but to me JWB was a coward among other things.

Randal I'll take my jacket when I buy you the first round at the Decoy Lounge  Grin

« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 10:02:40 PM by Dan » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2012, 01:24:58 AM »

The only Jacket I can afford are Yellow Jackets Cheesy I've gotta bunch in my backyard Grin
However, if you insist guy's/gals!
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #62 on: February 04, 2012, 04:38:27 AM »

Sadly, I'm not articulate enough to articulate why I agree.

My gosh, can I ever relate to that. I thank you for your sentence as it is the same as the way my brain works. I shared my feelings privately with another board member, but I wasn't able to articulate them here. In fact I got through high school, college, and grad school only because I had some teachers who gave objective tests. I am terrible at expressing myself in essays. My lowest grades by far were in classes where essays were required. There are many things in life that I have feelngs about, but I am either insecure or unable to express them in words.

I agree on someone sneaking up behind someone and shooting them in the back of the head, and turning now to Lewis Powell, the fact that he didn't kill anyone was not from lack of effort. He pointed his gun at Frederick Seward's head, but the gun misfired. If it hadn't misfired, what was next? Was he going into William Seward's room and shooting him in his bed? Would anyone else in the home have been shot? I don't know, but I think a minimum of 2 dead in that home is a reasonable guess. Betty, your knowledge of Lewis Powell is unsurpassed...was it ever determined if his gun was fully loaded?

Rob, it's 10-5.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 05:22:51 AM by Roger Norton » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2012, 06:26:31 AM »

We can agree to disagree. Powell wasn't in a uniform. Powell was "working" for Booth that night, after Booth laid out the scenario and when the attacks should occur.
That's interesting that Powell was reprimanded for not maintaining proper maintenance of his weapons though. Probably explains why his Whitney mis-fired.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 06:29:17 AM by Randal » Logged

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Randal
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« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2012, 06:40:42 AM »

I have a great question for the Sunday Survey that I glommed from this thread.
Stay tuned...
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2012, 07:59:11 AM »

     To Hell with the jacket - where's the Decoy Lounge?
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jonathan
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« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2012, 08:25:29 AM »

So, the spy vs. non-spy thing has been mentioned a few times. I'm not sure how that relates to courage vs. cowardice. It was also mentioned a while back how the U.S. (and other governments) employ spies and snipers and we've had defenseless people killed because it suits our needs. So, it's courageous to kill somebody if you're employed by the U.S. government as a spy, but it's cowardly to kill somebody if you're an unofficial spy for the Confederate government? That doesn't make sense to me. Having a uniform and/or drawing a paycheck from the government makes the difference? Presidential authority allows you to cross the line from coward to hero? I'm just not sure that's how it works. If so, then what if, Monday morning, somebody discovers indisputable evidence that Booth and the others were working as spies for the Confederate government, and that Jefferson Davis had asked Booth personally to assassinate Lincoln? Booth is now courageous instead of cowardly? Again, I'm not sure that's how it works. One might even argue that the spy/sniper is less courageous because he has the "I was just following orders…" line to fall back on. In this case, courage is something that's displayed when you know the risks, you know the consequences, and you still go through with it because you really believe it needs to be done, and that you are the one to do it (Boston Corbett anyone?? "It was not through fear at all that I shot him, but because it was my impression that it was time the man was shot…".  I think Booth and the U.S. soldier/sniper are each courageous, even though I may disagree morally with what they've done.

I realize none of what I've said here will sway the Booth-was-a-coward crowd, just as their arguments haven't swayed me. But again, I do understand where they're coming from and respect their opinion completely. I had planned to bow out of this thread, but as it turns out, I'm stubborn and I like to talk a lot Wink
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Deb54
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« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2012, 08:30:52 AM »

Thank you Jonathan, my sentiments are similar and your words are more eloquent.   
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Randal
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« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2012, 08:34:05 AM »

     To Hell with the jacket - where's the Decoy Lounge?


It's the watering hole at the hotel where the Surratt conference is held!
I'll introduce you next yr Cheesy
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Randal
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« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2012, 08:37:55 AM »

Great post, Jonathan Wink
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2012, 08:44:48 AM »

     I have a newspaper clipping from the period I tried to post, but I can't make it big enough to read. I found it online and I can't remember where, but I saved it because it may pertain to this. Whether it's true on not, I can't say.  It reads:

     Davis and Booth. J. B. Van Dien, who says he was a clerk in the rebel War Department, writes to the Cincinnati Commercial that last February he was present at an interview between Davis and Booth in Richmond. Benjamin introduced Booth to Davis, and two other young men were in his company. Booth commenced by saying a plan was on foot, formed by parties in the Northern States and Canada to capture or assassinate Mr. Lincoln, and that all they desired was an official recognition by the Confederate authorities, when the project would certain.....(1 line unreadable)...Davis and Breckinridge, says this Van Dien, condemned the plot, and advised Booth to think no more of it. They were willing to leave Mr. Lincoln "to the Providence of a just God to suffer for his great crime." (What pious and conscientious scoundrels!) Benjamin said nothing. Booth's last words on retiring were, "He must die." After he had gone, Davis said "Those fellows came here merely to see the Richmond sights, and their assassination plot is a mere fudge." - Breckinridge and Benjamin laughed, the latter saying "I think so."

     Has anyone ever heard of Van Dien?

     * Thanks for the invite to the lounge next year, Randal. I want to do flaming shots with Laurie and Betty.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 08:48:26 AM by BoothBuff » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2012, 08:49:44 AM »

Be my guest! I ain't drinking with 'em, I'm skeered of them when there sober!
I want to clarify something,I'm not inferring that I have seen them un-sober!  Wink
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:07:10 AM by Randal » Logged

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Rob Wick
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« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2012, 08:50:16 AM »

Jonathan,

Your post is well-taken, but there are few points I want to address. The people that our government targets are rarely (if ever) innocents. Certainly Bin Laden wasn't. Where I see the difference (and I'm sure others would disagree) is that the people we are targeting have done something to us which if unanswered would set a terrible precedent. Is it Machiavellian? Yes, but the world is full of situations that would hardly pass the smell test where government action is concerned, but yet we press on.

And as for snipers, both sides employ them and no soldier is sent out without the knowledge that they are out there. As I stated before, a soldier has a weapon with which they are able to defend themselves. Lincoln and Seward did not.

And truthfully, I don't know that the hero/coward situation applies here. Again, the context makes the difference (and it is, admittedly, a small difference).

Best
Rob
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2012, 09:32:06 AM »

Lincoln did not.

Rob, I have had very little contact with Tom Schwartz since he moved to Iowa, but I still feel he will eventually publish his research on this topic. Tom feels his evidence that Lincoln was armed is solid. It should make for interesting reading, when and if his research becomes available to all of us. I believe Louise Taper may have information on this possibility as well. No matter what, however, it wouldn't have helped him at Ford's.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:41:22 AM by Roger Norton » Logged
Rob Wick
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« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2012, 09:38:43 AM »

Roger,

I had completely forgot about Tom's belief that Lincoln was armed at the theater. You are correct that if and when he publishes it, it will be of great interest, but I also agree that even if he was, it wouldn't have made a difference.

Best
Rob
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