J. Wilkes Booth: An Account of His Sojourn in Southern Maryland after the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, His Passage Across the Potomac, and His Death in Virginia
J. Wilkes Booth: An Account of His Sojourn in Southern Maryland after the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, His Passage Across the Potomac, and His Death in Virginia - Thomas A. Jones. Southern Maryland was strongly sympathetic towards the Confederacy during the Civil War, which was very convenient for the government in Richmond. The Confederate Secret Service established a corps of agents there who facilitated the movement of mail, supplies, and personnel between Washington City and elsewhere in the North, and Richmond. The author of this volume, Thomas A. Jones, was one of those agents. John Wilkes Booth was also involved in secret transactions for the Confederacy, as evidenced by his associations and actions, although no document has ever been found showing his “appointment” as an agent. In 1865 a plot to capture President Lincoln and carry him to Richmond as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a peace on terms acceptable to the South was orchestrated by Booth, who assembled a colorful band of co-conspirators. The plan called for transporting the captive Lincoln down the Southern Maryland “mail route” across the Potomac and on to Richmond. At least one attempt to capture Lincoln was made, but failed. After Lee surrendered, Booth changed the plan from a simple capture of Lincoln to the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln and key cabinet members which, if it had succeeded, would have paralyzed the government in the North. The outcome of Booth’s effort is well known--Lincoln was assassinated, Secretary Seward was gravely injured, and Booth fled down the Southern Maryland “mail route,” leaving the balance of the plan unfulfilled. Enter Thomas A. Jones and his account of what followed. A most engaging bit of history. Ironically, Jones, who was clearly involved in Booth’s escape in a very significant way, was never charged or tried. (1893, 1990), 2016, 5½x8½, paper, 130 pp.