Join the new online reading club, brought to you by the WilmU Library!
Participating is easy!
Feel free to participate in any, or all, of the
Current Book Selection
The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln
By: Katie Clifford Larson
On an unassuming night in spring of 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot the 16th President of the United States in Ford’s Theater, and he later succumbed to his injuries. April 14th 2020 marks the 155th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death. The events that occurred after the brutal murder gripped the nation; a manhunt for the killers and a federal investigation into the conspiracy plot to assassinate the president ensued. At its conclusion Mary Surratt, the sole female accomplice, would become the first woman executed by U.S. federal government.
Set against the backdrop of the end of the Civil War, The Assassin’s Accomplice tells the gripping story of espionage and murder through experiences of Confederate sympathizer Mary Surratt. She ran a boarding house in Washington, and the depth of her complicity in the murder of President Lincoln has been debated since she was arrested on April 17, 1865. Calling upon long-lost interviews, confessions, and court testimony, historian Kate Clifford Larson magnificently captures how Surratt’s actions defied nineteenth-century norms of piety and allegiance.
Larson’s book served as the source work for the Robert Redford directed film “The Conspirator” that stared Robin Wright as Surratt, which debuted it, theaters in 2010.
Watch The Conspirator on Hulu!
About the Author
Kate Clifford Larson is a well-known Harriet Tubman scholar, and her book about Mary Surratt was used as the source work for the Robert Redford directed film “The Conspirator”. In 2009 Larson was invited by the US National Archives to speak about her research and the source material for the book at “The Lincoln Lectures”. This book also tells the story of the Lincoln assassination from a unique female perspective, and includes eye witness accounts of the death of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by U.S. federal government. Katie Clifford Larson, pictured above, with her most recent publication “Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter” which profiles the tragic life of JFK’s older sister Rose Marie.
A still from the film, The Conspirator directed by Robert Redford. Pictured is Robin Wright, playing the role of Mary Surratt, doomed to gallows for her role in the plot to assassinate the president. Watch The Conspirator on Hulu!