"The Day Lincoln Was Shot" by Jim Bishop

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James N.

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Donna, I think I read this back around the time I was in jr. high or high school ca. 1960, but if so and although it would certainly have been the first on the subject, I remember nothing about it! I do however remember that it, like the similar current title by Bill O'Riley, was one of a series by Bishop, the best-known of which was probably The Day Christ Died.
 

donna

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My Aunt was big on reading religious type books. I remember she had "The Day Christ Died". I did read that one. I read "The Robe", "The Silver Chalice" and "The Big Fisherman" at that time too. She was a Sunday School teacher, very active in Woman's group at church and in the church choir. I would go with her to choir and Sunday School when there for the summer. For three years when we lived in New York, I would go to Lexington, Ky. to my grandparent's house for the summer. My Aunt and Uncle lived with them. She had us, my 2 cousins (her daughters) and me reading books all the time. She helped me in my love of books. She was a wonderful lady and I miss her a lot.
 
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unionblue

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When I was young, my aunt had this book. I had wanted to read it but never did. Has anyone read it and is it worth getting?

It was originally published in 1955. It is a minute by minute account of the day Lincoln was shot.

Thanks.
@donna ,

I have the book. I read it a long time ago, but here is something you to consider, I NEVER throw away a book I like.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

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"...The people, by later standards, were adolescent and did much of their thinking with their hearts. They were emotional and gullible, and morbidly concerned with the imminence of death. The latest intelligence from abroad, which came aboard a packet boat just landed at Castle Garden in New York, was that the Duke of Northumberland had died and Cardinal Wiseman was not expected to live. Anyone who had consumption could hardly do better than to buy Dr. Wishart's Pine Tree Tar Cordial, and Dr. Morris advertised "a secret worth knowing to married females." Another reputable doctor offered to cure "Cancer for $2 a visit--no cure, no pay." A tooth could now be extracted "without pain, with nitrous gas, ether, or chloroform" for 50 cents. The Baltimore Lock Hospital advertised itself as a "refuge from quackery; the only place where a cure can be obtained." Among the ills corrected were "weakness in back or limb, involving discharges, impotency, confusion of ideas, trembling, timidity--those terrible disorders arising from solitary habits of youth." The hospital's boast was: "The doctor's diploma hangs in his office..."

Source: The Day Lincoln Was Shot, by Jim Bishop, Daybreak, 7 AM, pages 9-10.
 
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unionblue

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"Most grocery stores were really general stores. They sold groceries, meats, wines, liquor and hardware. Fresh geese and hares hung from barrels in the dorrway. Prices were a wartime outrage. Firkin butter was 30 cents a pound, coffee was hard to get at 21 cents, salt cost 50 cents a bushel, corsets cost $1.50 (extra strong ones $1.75). Hoop skirts wholesaled for $1 apiece and figured prints retailed for 15 cents a yard.

The anguish of housewives was met by the complacent shrugs of the merchants, who denied that outrageous profiteering was ruining the American dollar. They now had plenty of merchandise, the bins, barrels and jars were filled to brimming with flour, crushed meal, brown sugar, green and black tea, spices, sauces, jellies, starch and yeast, tobacco, cigars and snuff, oil of coal, sperm and ethereal, kerosene lamps, marble table tops and foot warmers. The favorite whiskeys were Baker 1851, Overholtz 1855, Ziegler 1855 and Finale 1853. Holland gin was sold loose from barrels. The highest-priced meats were ham, at 28 cents a pound, and turkey at 30. A barrel of Boston crackers, enough to last a season, cost $6.50."

Source: The Day Lincoln Was Shot, by Jim Bishop, chapter 7 a.m., page 10.
 

unionblue

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""Bricklayers were getting $2.50 for a day's work, and demanding $3.50. Freed slaves were paid $11 dollars a month and keep for field work. A stranger walking through Washington City would believe, from what he saw, that the main business of the town were livery stables and wood yards. There seemed to be one of each to each block, plus a tavern on the corner. The smell of wood smoke was the cologne of the streets. Ducks and chickens picked along Pennsylvania Avenue, edging without panic around the horses, and pigs wallowed and grunted in the street puddles.

The White House was big and shabby. Successive Congresses had refused to repair it. The rugs were patchy and thin from traffic and mud. The drapes were ornate, but souvenir hunters had cut swatches from them and had stolen silverware and even snuff boxes. In good weather, the odor from the canal 0n the south was sickening and the malarial mosquitoes were belligerent.

The building faced Pennsylvania Avenue, it's white columns glinting gold in the afternoon's sun. An iron paling fence kept the curious out, but paths to various government departments transversed the lawns. The south grounds, facing the Potomac River, had stables, outhouses and work buildings. Squatters tented on these grounds, and little Tad Lincoln kept goats. The building was flanked by the State Department, the Treasury Department, the War Department and the Navy Department, all on ground marked "The President's Park."

Source: The Day Lincoln Was Shot, by Jim Bishop, chapter 7 a.m., pages 10-11.
 

7thWisconsin

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Both "The Day Lincoln was Shot" and "The Day Christ Died" are excellent reads by a very competent journalist. I'm old enough to remember when Jim Bishop was still writing a weekly column. His books are well-researched and well-written. There is a distinct cadence to a Bishop writing: a carefully crafted pyramidal design that can become a little predictable and tiresome, but that's just how he wrote. I've read the Christ book more recently than the Lincoln, and found that by and large it would still be useful as a reference work today. I would recommend not only these books, but other essays and human interest pieces that Jim Bishop wrote. He was a man of letters who should not be forgotten.
 
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Peter Stines

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As others have said, start with this one. You'll also find "Beware the People Weeping" another good read. (Out of print but get it through inter-library loan or on Amazon.com) And find "Album of the Lincoln Murder" another out of print but worth it. Avoid the tome "It Didn't Happen The Way You Think". Written by an actor who does stage work but it's poorly documented. Now this will probably start WW3 but I wasn't impressed with O'Reilly's book. I'm not a fan of his. That being said, I've read "Killing Patton" and enjoyed it. Not a big WW2 scholar but Patton is so intriguing that I had to have a go at it. But with the Lincoln book, he left out details and he doesn't know much about firearms. This doesn't sink a book but it does detract somewhat. O'Reilly has Booth target practicing with his derringer which is pure rubbish. (A derringer is a close range pistol!) He got some names wrong and really he didn't add any new material or material that wasn't already well covered in earlier works. If you want to read it, go to the library. If you like video take a look at "Black Easter". Not bad.
 
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James N.

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As others have said, start with this one. You'll also find "Beware the People Weeping" another good read. (Out of print but get it through inter-library loan or on Amazon.com) And find "Album of the Lincoln Murder" another out of print but worth it. Avoid the tome "It Didn't Happen The Way You Think". Written by an actor who does stage work but it's poorly documented. Now this will probably start WW3 but I wasn't impressed with O'Reilly's book. I'm not a fan of his. That being said, I've read "Killing Patton" and enjoyed it. Not a big WW2 scholar but Patton is so intriguing that I had to have a go at it. But with the Lincoln book, he left out details and he doesn't know much about firearms. This doesn't sink a book but it does detract somewhat. O'Reilly has Booth target practicing with his derringer which is pure rubbish. (A derringer is a close range pistol!) He got some names wrong and really he didn't add any new material or material that wasn't already well covered in earlier works. If you want to read it, go to the library. If you like video take a look at "Black Easter". Not bad.
Kind of hard to miss when standing directly behind and maybe one or two feet away from the target!
 

unionblue

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"It was a city of handsome women too, and stout women were more admired. Congressmen' wives had more license in their behavior here than at home. They spent more for bonnets and gloves and they were equipped with cartes de visite and dropped them on trays in all manner of homes. They thronged the galleries of both Houses of Congress and, if a husband was busy, it was considered correct for the lady to choose an escort for the day. Even middle-aged women engaged in flirtations, or matters more serious than flirtations, and sometimes these ended tragically.

Dressed, the ladies looked like great Christmas bells, and their carriages, surreys, gigs and coaches were seen everywhere. They seemed always to be en route to or from a social call. From the moment that the season opened, on New Years Day, with eggnog and hot punch and a presidential handshake at the White House, until Congress adjourned in the late spring, every family had an at home night per week and spent all the other evenings visiting, or attending the opra or the plays. Un der cut glass chandeliers, they danced and drank and ate late suppers.

Their special pet was William, who made bonnets in an exclusive shop on Pennsylvania Avenue. He understood the exquisite agony of a lady who must have a narrow velvet ribbon of puce for a certain bonnet, and who desired that the remainder of the roll of that ribbon be destroyed."

Source: The Day Lincoln Was Shot, by Jim Bishop, chapter 7 a.m., pages 13-14.
 
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