Even after the mythical elements are removed, the true story of Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial is a compelling tale of courtroom drama that involves themes of friendship and loyalty. Abraham Lincoln’s Most Famous Case: The Almanac Trial sets the record straight: it examines how the dual myths of the dramatic cross-examination and the forged almanac came to be, describes how Lincoln actually won the case, and establishes how Lincoln’s behavior at the trial was above reproach.
The book outlines three conflicting versions of how Lincoln won the Almanac Trial—with a dramatic cross-examination; with an impassioned final argument; or with a forged almanac—and then traces the transformation of these three stories over the decades as they were retold in the forms of campaign rhetoric, biography, history, and legal analysis. After the author exposes the inaccuracies of previous attempts to tell the story of the trial, he refers to primary sources to reconstruct the probable course of the trial and address questions regarding how Lincoln achieved his victory—and whether he freed a murderer.
- Written from the highly informed and experienced perspective of a veteran criminal trial lawyer who has investigated, prosecuted, and defended hundreds of murder cases
- Presents accurate information gathered from the most significant letters, statements, and interviews of the participants in the trial and cites the actual court record, allowing readers to distinguish fact from myth and lore
- Explains how a fictional account of the trial came to be believed as fact and proves that the myth of the forged almanac was a libel invented by those who sought to profit from the lie
- Appeals to Lincoln scholars and trial lawyers as well as any reader with an interest in American history or true crime