Here's some feedback from my Beta Readers on FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM:
"I LOVE IT! I feel like I can comletely see the characters and where they are, I can feel their wrestling emotions, I know them. I can't wait to see what happens. I can't put it down. It's my new favorite, again. YOU ARE AWESOME!!! What a gifted writer you truly are. I even enjoy the history in it, and I have hated history my entire life. It's just phenomenal!"
"You know how to put together a very interesting story. Jolly good read! You always amaze me with such excellent writing and research. You're such a good storyteller! I loved it!"
"It kept my interest on every page. You certainly laid out the most important issues of the time and produced several thoughtful discussions. You presented the case for both sides well. Your research is thorough."
"I enjoyed your novel very much! You have an interesting way of writing and use plenty of adjectives in your sentences. I have learned a lot about the time period, and it's obvious that you have done a great deal of research."
FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM is currently in the final stages of preparation for publication and should be available for purchase very soon!
2. Just a few days before delivering the Gettysburg Address in 1863, Lincoln went to the theater to see a play called "The Marble Heart" - a translated French production in which Booth played the villain.
During the play, Booth would direct many of his villainous speeches directly toward the presidential box, prompting a theater companion to tell Lincoln: "He almost seems to be reciting these lines to you."
Lincoln is said to have replied: "He does talk very sharp at me, doesn't he?"
4. President Theodore Roosevelt wore a ring containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair when he was inaugurated in 1905. The hair had been cut by Dr. Charles C. Taft, one of the attending physicians the night of the assassination, at Mary Todd’s request.
The hair was purchased by John Hay on February 9, 1905, and was given to Roosevelt less than a month later. In his Autobiography, Roosevelt wrote, "When I was inaugurated on March 4, 1905, I wore a ring he (John Hay) sent me the night before, containing the hair of Abraham Lincoln. This ring was on my finger when the Chief Justice administered to me the oath of allegiance to the United States."
Blanche Booth, his niece, claimed that Booth had secretly met with her mother a year after the assassination and had lived on for another 37 years.
And there is an individual who confessed to being John Wilkes Booth in 1872. He went by the name of John St. Helen, and had befriended an attorney, Finis Langdon Bates, in Texas. St. John was the owner of a store. But he showed no interest in the business he bought, letting his assistant do all the work, and his ignorance of such trade essentials as liquor licenses led him to Bates. Bates found St. Helen, with his luxuriant black hair and moustache, “indescribably handsome” and noted that his poise, dress, and education set him apart from the more uncouth characters who inhabited the region. While others bellowed out bawdy drinking songs in the town tavern, St. Helen would recite Macbeth.
One day, thinking he was dying, St. Helen summoned Bates and gave him a photograph of himself with a curious instruction. If he died, Bates was to deliver the picture of St. Helen to Edwin Booth in Baltimore, and tell the famous actor how he had acquired it. St. Helen, however, survived his illness and in a lengthy and emotional confession that Bates transcribed, St. Helen — or Booth — described in detail the murder of Lincoln and his own getaway.
Bates was convinced his client had confessed the truth. Apparently deciding that this was a secret that should not be kept, he wrote to the army and urged them to reopen the case. To his dismay he received only a terse reply: The killer of Abraham Lincoln had been captured and shot by the U.S. Army and the case was closed.
In the meantime, the mysterious storekeeper named John St. Helen left town one day — and never returned.
Then, in 1903, a seemingly insignificant tragedy happened in Oklahoma: An itinerant house painter calling himself David E. George committed suicide in the small town of Enid. George was an odd, friendless old man, without the slightest talent for painting houses. In fact, he botched the one painting job he got during his brief stay in Enid. He much preferred to sit in the lobby of his boarding house and read old copies of theatrical journals. When he was drunk, which was often, he would quote Shakespeare and once lamented to his landlady, “I’m not an ordinary painter. You don’t know who I am. I killed the best man that ever lived.”
One night, George went up to his dreary room and swallowed a fatal dose of poison. Such a death would have rated only a few lines on the obituary page of the Enid paper, but for one element. On his deathbed, George told the minister that he was John Wilkes Booth.The minister passed that information on to the local undertaker, who took special pains to preserve the body.
Newspapers had carried the strange tale of David George as far as Memphis, and Bates hoped this was the missing link he had long needed. When he finally arrived in Enid, he was ushered into the rear of a furniture store where the body was kept. He lifted the cloth from the dead man’s face and cried out, “My old friend! My old friend John St. Helen!”
No one claimed the body, and in 1904, Finis Bates took the mummy to Memphis, where he carefully stored it in a coffin-like box in his home. Bates felt compelled to tell the truth of the matter, and wrote a 300 page book professing that the mummy was the real John Wilkes Booth. It made good reading, but the “Washington officials” never came for the assassin’s body, and the mummy lingered in Bates’ garage.
Experts who examined the mummy found a shriveled old man with long white hair and dried skin like parchment paper. They noted a similarity between this creature and John Wilkes Booth, and scars that Booth carried matched vague marks on the mummy. The left leg was shorter, as if it had once been broken, and the mummy’s right thumb was deformed (Booth had crushed his thumb in a stage curtain gear earlier in his career). The size of the mummy’s foot matched a boot left behind by Booth during his flight. And Chicago doctors who X-rayed the body in 1931 discovered a corroded signet ring in the mummy’s stomach — with the initial “B.”
Twenty years later, Bates’ widow sold it to a carnival for $1,000. Over the next few years it changed hands several times, always bringing bad luck to its owners, so the story goes. At one point, the mummy was displayed on an Idaho farm under the homemade banner, “See the Man Who Murdered Lincoln.”
Attempts were made to have the body of the deceased assassin in Baltimore exhumed so scientists could confirm its identity (by matching its DNA with surviving family members). After all, if Booth escaped, then who is buried in the family plot in Baltimore? The Booth family never agreed to the exhumation.
And so, the mystery remains unsolved.