Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Pub Date: June 05, 2018
The true story of Abraham Lincoln's last murder trial, a case in which he had a deep personal involvement--and which played out in the nation's newspapers as he began his presidential campaign
At the end of the summer of 1859, twenty-two-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than three thousand cases--including more than twenty-five murder trials--during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.
"[The case] cemented Lincoln's image as a courtroom star-and Abrams and Fisher have made the most of their material, polishing a musty transcript into an entertaining slice of life."
"Dan Abrams and David Fisher write the heart-pounding pulse of history. Abraham Lincoln: the dusty shoes, the weary eyes, the Jedi mastery of a jury in a true case of life and death. So pull up a chair. This book not only brings a rare transcript to life, it makes you feel as if you are watching a live camera riveted on a courtroom more than 150 years ago."
"You didn't know that Abraham Lincoln was the defense lawyer in a notorious murder case on the eve of his presidency? Neither did I. But Dan Abrams and David Fisher tell the remarkable tale in Lincoln's Last Trial, and the story is both compelling on its own terms and a lesson about some eternal truths about criminal justice."
--Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress
"Captivating... If you love legal thrillers, this is your book!"
"Dan Abrams tells the story of Lincoln's last trial as an immersive true crime and courtroom drama experience, with impeccable research and highly entertaining digressions on such topics as 19th century jury selection."
"The authors give readers a moment-by-moment account of the murder trial, which featured a well-liked young victim, a claim of self-defense, [and] a deathbed admission... Lincoln enthusiasts will find the illumination of his preternatural legal skills a worthy subject; casual readers will find the centerpiece murder trial an engrossing legal thriller."
"Legal affairs journalist Abrams and coauthor Fisher illuminate a key marker on Abraham Lincoln's path to the White House... The transcripts reveal Lincoln at his best, fighting for a cause he believed in with brilliance and passion-qualities that would serve him so well as president."
"Abrams and Fisher quote generously from Hitt's transcript to bring into sharp focus the witness-by-witness testimony and courtroom proceedings."
"We all know the story of Abraham Lincoln the wartime president, the defender of the Union, and the emancipator of the slaves. But Abraham Lincoln, the defense lawyer? Dan Abrams and David Fisher recount the engaging story of Lincoln's last trial, occurring on the cusp of the Civil War. An entertaining book filled with twists and turns and tailor-made for Civil War buffs."
--Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and 1944