Sunday Survey, 17, June 2012

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(Some) assert that the change from kidnapping President Lincoln, tilted in favor of murder due to Lincoln's impromptu "speech" at the White House April 11th.
The Civil War had ended two days earlier, so the "assumed" reason for kidnapping the President, (to force the release of confederate prisoners) was now out of the equation.
The question is:
1. Was Booth's deed, a "One Mad Act", as early historians have speculated?
2. Did Booth murder the President to "save face" after some of his "team" of conspirators bailed out on him at their final meeting on March 15th., at Gaultiers Eating Saloon?
3. The "speech"?
4. "other"? (your opinion)
Choose 1 through 3, or post your thoughts on 4.
Tough one, I know!

Mr Hess:
I go with 3.
Booth was burning up inside about the end of the war, and when he heard Lincoln's speech and the President's post-war plans, that finally set him off.
I always thought that was the main reason Booth shot him.

     I really think Lincoln's speech set him off. His thoughts as to what the assassination would allow to happen are another story. Booth argued with Harry Ford after Lee's surrender that there was still time for something great to be done. With Richmond in shambles and the CSA leaders on the run, what he hoped would or could happen shows how detached he was from what the reality of the military situation of the war actually was. It was, for all intents and purposes, over. With Davis on the run, the fact that Booth thought his act would accomplish something is bizarre. If he did succeed in creating the chaos he desired, who was left to make progress for the CSA? No one. I think with his previous contacts with the Confederate Gov't. and his plan to deliver Lincoln to them and turn the tide of the war all blasted now, his was the act of a loose cannon. 

Although there is no way to prove it I have always believed that Booth had it in the back of his mind to kill Lincoln. Booth sought publicity and wanted to be remembered throughout history. He got what he wanted! Here we are talking about him 147 years after the fact. I believe that there were and are today a lot of admirers of Booth even if they do not want to admit it. Perhaps not for the act he committed,but for the dramatic way that he went about it along with the solid convictions that he held. I guess that these comments would fall under category 4.


I vote #4 also.  I think Booth was fixated on Lincoln and determined to murder him if the opportunity presented itself.


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