Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency Review

The true story of Abraham Lincoln's last murder trial, a strange case in which he had a deep personal involvement--and which was 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.What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln's debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office--and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an "infidel...too lacking in faith" to be elected.Lincoln's Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful's dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client--but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today.

Title:Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Darwin8u

    "Talk to the jury as though your client's fate depends on every word you utter. Forget that you have any one to fall back upon, and you will do justice to yourself and your client."- Abraham LincolnTh...

  • Annmarie

    The 2 star rating is more of an average than anything. This book deserves at least 4.5 stars for presenting a legal case that is interesting enough on its own, let alone because it includes insights i...

  • Shoshana

    What a fascinating book this is. Reading like a novel, it reveals the history of a murder case in which Abraham Lincoln defended an accused young man in Springfield, Illinois, in 1859. Due to the grea...

  • Nathan Albright

    [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Edelweiss/Hanover Square.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]The title of this book is not entirely accurate.  While this was the last sensation...

  • Alina

    As a person who has never heard of Lincoln's last murder case, I found this book very informative. Not only Abe Lincoln was yet again proven to be a great leader but he had an amazing ability to win a...

  • Jay

    You can see how this book was put together. The author did a prodigious amount of research to put this together. He had a good place to start. The trial in focus was one of the first in downstate Illi...

  • Nick

    I read this from an ARC from the publisher, not the final sales edition.This work of narrative non-fiction is very readable, but has a bibliography that made me wonder a bit. About half of the sources...

  • Lee

    Lincoln's Last Trial was my third Lincoln book this year, but like the others had its own purpose that provided a focus and insight on Lincoln that made it a worthy read. It's also a very easy read, w...

  • Mike

    Just when you thought there was not another angle to find to write a new Lincoln book, here is a book that looks at the last major trial Lincoln was involved with as a lawyer before he became Presiden...

  • Eugenea Pollock

    Here is a very small part of why I enjoyed this book: “...Hitt’s original transcript of the trial was...discovered in 1989 in a shoebox stored in the garage of the... defendant’s great-grandson....