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Author Terry Alford : In the houses of their dead : the Lincolns, the Booths, and the spirits
Author Terry Alford will discuss his latest book, In the houses of their dead : the Lincolns, the Booths, and the spirits, which talks about the spiritual beliefs of both Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth.
"The story of Abraham Lincoln as it has never been told before: through the strange, even otherworldly, points of contact between his family and that of the man who killed him, John Wilkes Booth.
In the 1820s, two families, unknown to each other, worked on farms in the American wilderness. It seemed unlikely that the families would ever meet—and yet, they did. The son of one family, the famed actor John Wilkes Booth, killed the son of the other, President Abraham Lincoln, in the most significant assassination in American history. The murder, however, did not come without warning—in fact, it had been foretold.
In the Houses of Their Dead is the first book of the many thousands written about Lincoln to focus on the president’s fascination with Spiritualism, and to demonstrate how it linked him, uncannily, to the man who would kill him. Abraham Lincoln is usually seen as a rational, empirically-minded man, yet as acclaimed scholar and biographer Terry Alford reveals, he was also deeply superstitious and drawn to the irrational. Like millions of other Americans, including the Booths, Lincoln and his wife, Mary, suffered repeated personal tragedies, and turned for solace to Spiritualism, a new practice sweeping the nation that held that the dead were nearby and could be contacted by the living. Remarkably, the Lincolns and the Booths even used the same mediums, including Charles Colchester, a specialist in “blood writing” whom Mary first brought to her husband, and who warned the president after listening to the ravings of another of his clients, John Wilkes Booth."
Books available for sale and signing. Adults.
- Monday, September 18, 2023
- 7:00pm - 8:30pm
- Patrick Henry Meeting Room
- Library Branch:
- Patrick Henry Library
- Author Event
SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD-OF-HEARING
Please contact Patrick Henry Library for signed language interpretation or assistive listening devices. Two weeks advance notice is recommended.