Posts Tagged With: News

#Todayin1865 and #Surratt15 on Twitter


It has been just over a year since I joined Twitter with the username, @BoothieBarn.  I will be honest and say that, at first, I questioned whether this “social media” site would truly benefit me or my blog in anyway.  The Lincoln assassination is hardly a common topic in typical social media interactions.  As opposed to animations of cats or angry rantings about politics, celebrities, sports, etc., I wanted to hold my Twitter account to the same standard as this site.  My goal was to provide educational and informative tweets about Lincoln assassination topics, articles, and events.  So, uncertain if I would sink or swim, I decided to test the waters and see what this Twitter thing was truly like.

I’m happy to say that, time and time again, my decision to join Twitter has proved to be a wonderful choice.  Through Twitter, I have discovered a brand new world of connected history.  Devoted historians, both professional and amateur, use Twitter to share their discoveries and new thinking about the past.  I have used this “social media” site to connect with individuals, organizations, and museums around the country in meaningful and collaborative ways.  I’ve learned so much about a huge range of topics far beyond the Lincoln assassination.

Here's a small sample of the different people/organizations I follow on Twitter.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the different people/organizations I follow using Twitter.

The reason I state all of this is twofold.  First, I say all of this to slightly motivate you, my blog readers, into thinking about joining Twitter yourself.  Trust me when I say that Twitter is far more than inane, juvenile chatter about TV shows and celebrities.  If you follow the right people and groups, Twitter can be as educational as a text book.  It’s completely free to join and you don’t even have to tweet anything yourself.  You can just register, select or search for people to follow, and watch as your Twitter feed provides you with updates when those people tweet something.  The more you explore the more you’ll find that many of your favorite museums or groups are on Twitter providing great material to the masses.

The second reason I am saying all of this is to make you aware that Twitter is a great resource for Lincoln assassination content.  Between Ford’s Theatre (@fordstheatre), the Spirits of Tudor Hall (@SpiritsTH), and me (@BoothieBarn), I can promise you consistent updates about things going on in the field.  This is particularly true now thanks to a wonderful initiative started by the Ford’s Theatre Society.


A couple weeks back, Ford’s Theatre started a hashtag called #Todayin1865.  By putting a hashtag (#) in front of a word or phrase in Twitter, you create a searchable link for other tweets with the same phrase.  Therefore, by clicking the hashtagged phrase, #Todayin1865, you can quickly find all other tweets that contain that phrase.  Ford’s Theatre has been using that hashtag to tweet about Lincoln’s final days before his assassination.  I have jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and I have also started using the #Todayin1865 hashtag to discuss the activities of John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators during this time 150 years ago.  While real life events have kept me from tweeting with this hashtag everyday, I am making a strong effort to keep up at least until Booth’s death on April 26th.


Another hashtag that I will be using soon is #Surratt15.  This hashtag is in connection with the 2015 Surratt Society Lincoln Assassination Conference happening this weekend in Clinton, Maryland.  For those of you who can’t make it, I will be tweeting quotes from the different speakers and events during the weekend conference.  Check my Twitter account often this weekend and follow what occurs at this annual Boothie get together.

The best way to keep apprised of what I (and others) tweet is to join Twitter and follow me, but here are all three ways you can stay connected.

1.  Bookmark my Twitter page

You can bookmark my Twitter profile page on your computer or phone and manually check it for new tweets.  My profile page is:

2. Check my Twitter feed on the side of this page

You can always catch up on my tweets when you’re visiting this site.  There is a Twitter widget on the main page.  My most recent tweets should show up on the right underneath the most recent comments here on BoothieBarn.

Twitter widget 2


3. Join Twitter and Follow @BoothieBarn

This is the best way to go.  Even if you don’t want to make tweets, having an account allows you to get notifications every time I tweet a tweet.  Setting up an account is quick, easy, and free.  Sign up at and start connecting with others.

At the very least, I hope you’ll try checking out my Twitter feed in the coming months.  I will be very busy for the foreseeable future with different activities and events relating to the 150th of Lincoln’s assassination.  This will severely limit the time I have to write full posts for this blog, which generally take me awhile to do.  To make up for it, I’ll be doing a lot of tweeting about the things I’m up to and John Wilkes Booth’s activities #Todayin1865.

It’s an exciting time to be a Boothie, and I hope you’ll join me in using Twitter to expand awareness and knowledge about this pivotal point in American history.


Dave @BoothieBarn

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winner of the Assassination Editions of Smithsonian Magazine

It’s been over a week since the contest ended for a free copies of the Assassination Editions of Smithsonian Magazine.  It was great to read the plethora of responses regarding everyone’s favorite Lincoln assassination book.   I want to thank each and every person who commented and joined in on the conversations.

Lincoln assassination Smithsonian Magazines 2015

To select a winner, all of the eligible comments were assigned a sequential number based on when they were posted.  Then an online random number generator was used to select the winning comment.  I’m pleased to announce the winner of a free copy of the above pictures Smithsonian magazines is…

Steve Williams!

Steve posted the following comment about his favorite Lincoln assassination book:

If I were to choose a favorite book about the subject, I guess it would be Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers. My parents mailed it to me as either a birthday or Christmas present right before I deployed to Iraq when I was in the Army. Reading it made me want to research more about Booth and the assassination. And a desire to examine all of the bits of evidence from different perspectives.

Thank you so much for commenting, Steve, and congratulations on winning.  Your free magazines should be arriving in a couple of days.

To everyone else out there, be sure to pick up your own copies of these magazines at your local book store or newsstand.  I was surprised to see copies of both of these magazines at my local supermarket, so you never know where they might turn up.  But get your copies soon before next month’s issue is released.

Again, I want to thank everyone who commented and took part in the contest.  I’m hoping to have another exciting contest soon with a highly coveted prize.  Stay tuned.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

Assassination Editions of Smithsonian Magazine

Lincoln assassination Smithsonian Magazines 2015

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Smithsonian has published two different editions of their magazine with articles relating to the event.

The normal, March 2015, subscriber issue of Smithsonian Magazine features the image of Booth’s derringer on the cover.  Contained in this issue are four articles about different aspects of the assassination.  These articles can be read online through the Smithsonian website:

The second magazine is a special collector’s edition devoted entirely to the assassination story.  This is a stand alone issue featuring images of Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth on the cover.  It contains articles by noted authors Michael Kauffman, Edward Steers, Jr., James Swanson, Asia Booth Clarke, Lloyd Lewis, Jay Winik, Doris Kearns Goodwin and more.  Many of the articles are edited excerpts from the books by the different authors, but the magazine still provides a multifaceted look at the story and impact of Lincoln’s assassination.  The edition is thoroughly illustrated with period images and with the work of several modern artists.  One of my favorite illustrations in the magazine is this “assemblage” image of the conspirators by artist Polly Becker.  It is somewhat reminiscent of the original “Ring of Conspirators” image from Benn Pitman’s edition of the trial:

Conspirators by Polly Becker

Conspirators by Polly Becker

Sadly, the articles contained in this special collector’s edition of the Smithsonian Magazine are not available to read online.

Both of these magazines are currently on sale at newsstands and bookstores.  Attendees of this year’s Surratt Conference on March 21st, will also be able to purchase copies of these magazine there.  Time, of course, is limited to acquire both of these magazines.  The normal March issue featuring Booth’s derringer will be replaced by the April issue in less than a month’s time, and the special collector’s edition has a note to newsstands to only display it until May 17th.

In the spirit of my previous giveaway of the book, John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day by Art Loux, I am offering a free copy of both of these magazines to one lucky commenter on this blog.  Given the many authors involved in producing these magazines, I thought it would be fun to have you all discuss your favorite Lincoln assassination book.

Therefore, if you would like to win a free copy of both, the March 2015 issue and the special 150th anniversary issue of Smithsonian Magazine, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post describing what book on the Lincoln assassination is your favorite and why.  In one week’s time, on March 7th, I will pick one of the commenters at random to receive a free copy of these two magazines.

So get commenting below for your chance to win a free copy of these assassination editions of Smithsonian Magazine courtesy of The contest is now over. You may continue to comment, but any new comments will not be entered into any drawing.  Thank you all for participating.

Contest Rules: To win a copy of a.) the March 2015 issue of Smithsonian Magazine and b.) the “Special 150th Anniversary Issue” of Smithsonian Magazine, you must write one (1) comment on this post describing your favorite book on the Lincoln assassination and why it is your favorite. A valid email address must be attached to the comment in order to win. Multiple comments from the same person will be counted as one entry.  Contest will end on March 7, 2015 at 20:00 EST.  The winner will be notified via email.  If no response is received within three (3) days, a new winner will be chosen.  In the event that the winner chooses to forfeit the prize, another winner will be selected.  Winners agree to have their name and comment used in a future post.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 31 Comments

Calendar: March 2015

As we near the beginning of March, I thought it would be prudent to highlight some of the Lincoln assassination events that are planned for this month.  Remember that you can view these and other, smaller events that might be occurring, by visiting the Calendar section of this site.

fords-150-remembering-lincolnMarch 3rd:

Tickets go on sale for Ford’s Theatre 150th events: Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration, Behind the Scenes Tour with Brian Anderson, and Midnight Tour with James Swanson

Though not an event itself, at 10 am on March 3rd tickets will go on sale to the general public for these three events scheduled during the Ford’s Theatre 150th program.

  • Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration is a one time performance taking place inside Ford’s Theatre at 9 pm on April 14th.  This event will also be streamed live online.
  • A series of three, Behind the Scenes Tours with Brain Anderson are planned over April 14th and 15th.  Mr. Anderson is the author of Ford’s Theatre’s newest book, Images of America: Ford’s Theatre.  I took his backstage tour back in 2014 and it was very well done.
  • At midnight on April 15th, author of Manhunt, James Swanson, will provide his own, insightful  tour of Ford’s Theatre.

Ticket sales are already open to members of the Ford’s Theatre Society, and the events will therefore sell out quickly when sales to the general public open on March 3rd.

March 13th:

The musical, Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, starts its run at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Ford’s Theatre operates as a working theater as well as a National Historic Site.  They have several productions a year.  Their spring musical for 2015 is the show Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  I’m thinking this is a slightly modified version of Frank Wildhorn’s previous musical The Civil War, which I saw at Ford’s Theatre a few seasons back.  If I am correct, it is definitely a show to see.  It’s not a traditional musical with a concrete narrative but is more of a series of vignettes highlighting different groups and events that occurred during the Civil War.  The music is a wonderful mix of genres and is accompanied by voice overs of the words of famous Civil War era figures.  Trust me, when a quote from Lincoln comes on and they bring up a solidarity light from inside of the President’s box, it gives you chills.  Freedom’s Song runs until May 20th.

March 20 – 22nd:

2015 Surratt Conference logo

The Surratt Society’s 16th Annual Lincoln Assassination Conference in Clinton, MD

The Surratt Conference is the Lincoln assassination buff’s “Comic-Con”.  Held every year, the weekend conference consists of a special bus tour and welcome reception on Friday, speakers presenting on a multitude of topics on Saturday, and another special bus tour on Sunday.  This year’s conference is already close to being sold out due to space constraints.  If you haven’t already registered, call the Surratt House Museum at 301-868-1121 to check on availability.

Even if you are not able to join us for this year’s conference, I will be live tweeting the weekend event on my Twitter account (@BoothieBarn) with the hashtag #Surratt15.

March 21st:

Lincoln Symposium at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Ford’s Theatre will be hosting their own Lincoln Symposium on Saturday, March 21st.  The event is free, but requires tickets available on a first come first served basis on the day of the event.  The day consists of speakers presenting on many topics relating to Lincoln’s life and death.  Can’t make it to the Surratt Conference? Well, you’re in luck. Terry Alford, author of a highly anticipated biography of John Wilkes Booth, will be pulling double duty that day.  After presenting at the Surratt Conference in the morning, Dr. Alford will make his way to Ford’s and will be presenting at their Lincoln Symposium in the afternoon.  This promises to be a wonderful event and I only wish I could duplicate myself in order to attend both conferences at the same time.

March 23rd:

A new exhibit, Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination, opens at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

This special exhibit reunites several assassination artifacts from collections around the country.  The exhibit runs from March 23rd until May 25th and will be located on the second floor of Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership.

March 28th:

The Lincoln Group of New York presents its Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy and New York Funeral in New York City, NY

Register by March 20th for this half day symposium put on by the The Lincoln Group of New York.  After lunch and a tour of the historic Great Hall of the Cooper Union where Lincoln presented his famous Cooper Union speech, the attendees will retire across the street at the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium at 41 Cooper Square (Third Ave. bet. 6th & 7thSt.) for a series of speeches relating to Lincoln’s life and death.  Speakers include Harold Holzer, Frank J Williams, Richard Sloan, Kate Clifford Larson, Michael Kauffman, and ME (Dave Taylor)!  Check out this agenda for more information.

Ongoing Events/Exhibits:

Undying Words: Lincoln 1858 – 1865 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL
Remembering Lincoln at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL
A Nation in Tears: 150 Years after Lincoln’s Death at the University of Illinois’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Champaign-Urbana, IL
So Costly a Sacrifice: Lincoln and Loss at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, IN
President Lincoln Is Dead: The New York Herald Reports the Assassination at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Section: Calendar

2015 is going to be very busy for those interested in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. While the actual 150th anniversary of the tragedy will occur on April 14th, many groups are planning commemorative events throughout the year.


In an effort to provide a resource for those who may be looking to attend a Lincoln assassination remembrance this year, I have created a custom Google calendar of events.

Some events are multi-month exhibits at various museums, while others are single day speeches or activities. While most events are centered around the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, this calendar is not confined to that region. Clicking on any event will give you more information about it.  In addition, all of the information contained in this calendar has been translated into a list located on the side of this blog, allowing you to see upcoming events at a glance while reading any page here on BoothieBarn.  The code translating the calendar into list form isn’t perfect however, resulting in small errors and no clickable hyperlinks for more information.  If you want to learn more about an upcoming event, view the calendar below or on its own Calendar page, and the hyperlinks should function properly.

This calendar is a work in progress with new events being continually added.  If you know of an upcoming Lincoln assassination event or exhibit, please comment on the Calendar page and let us know about it so that it can be included.

A future post will highlight some of the really big events planned for this year (The Surratt Society Conference, Ford’s Theatre’s Lincoln Tribute, Charles County’s Lincoln 150, Caroline County’s Capture of John Wilkes Booth, and the Junius Brutus Booth Society’s first ever Tudor Hall and Booth Family Symposium), but until then you can check out the events for yourself in the new Calendar section!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Assassination Maps Update

DC, MD, VA Assassination map thumb

I just wanted to publish a quick post highlighting a big update to the Maps section of BoothieBarn.  First, I have added about 30 more sites to the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia map, bringing the total up to over 120 sites on this map alone.  Maps for other regions of the U.S. are planned, but, since most of the action occurred in the Maryland area, I have been focusing on adding to and improving that map first.  To that end, I have gone through and added a new aspect to the map which should make it even easier to locate and visit these sites, especially “on the go”.

We know, from studying an event that occurred 150 years ago, that landscapes have changed.  In many instances, places that were once isolated farms and open land are now housing developments or busy highways.  Old roads are lost to new roads and bypasses.  Due to this, it is important to mark historic sites with something more long term than a street address, which could change (or disappear) in a few short years.  Recording latitude and longitude coordinates based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) is, therefore, the best way to mark sites on an ever changing landscape.  Regardless of what transformation occurs on the site itself, the GPS coordinates will always mark what was once there.

With this in mind, I have gone through and added the GPS coordinates for every site marked on my map.  This is not only for posterity’s sake, but also serves to improve the functionality of the map itself.  Practically every “smart” cell phone built today has the capability of providing driving directions.  Now, with the GPS coordinates included in the description for every Lincoln assassination site, all you have to do is click the place you want to visit on my map, copy the GPS coordinates, and direct your phone or GPS device to give you directions there.

Assassination maps GPS coordinates example

For places like cemeteries, the GPS coordinates are even more helpful, as they direct you almost exactly to the grave you are looking for.  No more wandering around a huge cemetery hopelessly looking for that one grave.  My coordinates will put you right at it.  As I visit more graves in more cemeteries (using a wonderful book by Jim Garrett and Rich Smyth as my guide), I’ll be updating the map with even more grave GPSes.

Grave coordinates example

Me Surratt Grave Jan 2015

So, if you’re planning a trip to the area or, better yet, planning to drive John Wilkes Booth’s escape route on your own, be sure to check out my D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia Lincoln assassination map for all the GPS coordinates you’ll need.

Click here to view the updated Maps section of BoothieBarn, now with GPS coordinates!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Mapping the Assassination

I came out to Washington, D.C. for the very first time in 2009.  It was the summer between my junior and senior year of college and the trip was an early graduation gift from my parents.  My father and I had a great time exploring the many wonderful sites before returning back home to Illinois.

Two Illinois natives visiting an old friend.

Two Illinois natives visiting an old friend.

It was a whirlwind visit as we tried to do all the touristy things D.C. has to offer.  We visited the Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theatre, the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Library of Congress, the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial and the Newseum.  We paid our respects at the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials, as well as visited Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corps War Memorial.  We also went up into the Washington Monument, and viewed both the House of Representatives and the Senate in session.  It was a blast.

Admittedly though, my favorite part of the trip was the one day in which my father and I rented a car from Union Station and drove the escape route of John Wilkes Booth.  I had been learning about the assassination for years and I couldn’t wait to visit some of the places I had read so much about.  My father always appreciated Lincoln, so much so that he volunteered not once, but four times to chaperone groups of rowdy eighth graders on their annual class trip to Springfield, IL.  Though Dad doesn’t have the same interest in Lincoln’s assassination as I do, he definitely appreciates the importance of it.

In planning for our day trip, I spent hours tracking down the various locations we wanted to go and printing off directions on how to get there.  It was a difficult process.  I often had to consult many different websites just to figure out where exactly a certain place was.  It took awhile, but in the end, I managed to work up an itinerary.

Our condensed tour was great, except for one hitch.  On our way to the Mudd house I had planned for us to stop and visit the grave of Edman Spangler.  Dad and I pulled up at St. Peter’s Cemetery and spent about an hour looking at every single grave in the place to no avail.  We were almost late for the last tour of the day at the Mudd house due to our searching.  When we told the people at the Mudd house of our difficulty they informed us of our mistake.  “Spangler,” they said, “is buried in the Old St. Peter’s Cemetery.” Dad and I had spent an hour trampling through the wrong cemetery.

This completely understandable mistake has always stuck with me.  It makes me laugh to think of the time Dad and I wasted reading every grave in the new St. Peter’s Cemetery (which, by the way, is down the road from the old cemetery).  It shows how helpful and important it can be to have a guide.

Since moving to Maryland I have been lucky to have the guidance of many knowledgeable individuals.  As time has gone on, I’ve slowly become a guide myself and I am able to point out places relating to the assassination of Lincoln around D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.  Some time ago I started a project of recording the locations of various assassination places using a mapping app called Rego.  At first it was just for my own reference as I pinpointed places I had visited or places that I wanted to visit.  This summer I drove a circuitous route to Illinois and back so I could visit a few of those places on my list.

In August, I decided to make my map widely available.  I converted my Rego map into a custom Google map complete with a color coded key.  Without fanfare or announcement, the new page on BoothieBarn appeared called Lincoln Assassination Maps.

Maps Header Menu Maps Pages Menu

About a month after I created the page, I received a wonderful email from a man who took his grandson along the escape route and used my map to help them plot their course.  I emailed him back expressing how ecstatic I was that someone had not only found the map but used it as I had hoped.  Since then I’ve been slowly adding more places to the map expanding far beyond the escape route.  Using aerial views and my own knowledge, I’ve tried to pinpoint places as specifically as I can, even putting markers directly on top of where graves are in a cemetery in some cases.  Currently, the only map on the Lincoln Assassination Maps page is one that covers D.C., Maryland, and the Northern Neck of Virginia.  Though it already contains about 100 sites, it, by no means, is complete.  Future maps will highlight places in other regions such as the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and even an International map.

With a subject as vast as the assassination of Lincoln, a guide is much needed commodity.  I hope that these maps will serve as beneficial guides for those of you who want to explore the plethora of assassination related sites.

Click HERE to check out the BoothieBarn Lincoln Assassination Maps page!

DC, MD, VA Assassination map thumb

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Winner of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day

It’s been one week since the contest ended for a free copy of Art Loux‘s masterful book, John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day.  The contest was a terrific success with over 80 comments being posted by people expressing what facet of the assassination story interested them the most.  I want to thank each and every person who commented and joined in on the conversations.  It was all great fun.

Art Loux's JWB DBD

To select a winner, all of the eligible comments were assigned a sequential number based on when they were posted.  Then an online random number generator was used to select the winning comment.  I’m pleased to announce the winner of the free copy of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day is…

Herb Swingle!

Herb posted the following comment(s) about what he finds interesting in the Lincoln assassination story:

Booth, “jumped the gun” and took it upon himself to extinguish the flame of what America needed at that time of History!

What makes me, “Sit up and take interest”, is how easy Booth was able to do what he thought he could get away with!

I feel that John Surratt enjoyed Sarah Slater’s companionship while in Canada also.

Thank you so much for commenting, Herb, and congratulations on winning.  Your free book should be arriving in a couple of days.

To everyone else out there, please make sure you purchase your own copy of this wonderful book.  As I stated in the original contest page, this book is the perfect book for everyone with an interest in the Lincoln assassination.  It will easily prove to be one of the most consulted and respected texts on the subject of John Wilkes Booth and his deed.  Please take the time to purchase your own copy from an online retailer of books like Amazon or support the gateway to the Lincoln assassination story, the Surratt House Museum, by ordering your copy from them.  See the ordering information below for details.

Your purchase of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day will not only provide you with unmatched scholarship into John Wilkes’ life and movements, but it will also support the legacy of the late Art Loux.  It is one of the cruelest fates that Art is not here with us today to appreciate the acclaim he so justly deserves.  JWB: DBD was Art’s life’s work and through it, his generosity and passion live on.  If you have not already, please take a moment to read my short remembrances of this great man.

Again, I want to thank everyone who commented and took part in the contest.  It was wildly successful and so I may do another one in the future.  In the meantime, go out and purchase your own copy of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day by Art Loux.  I promise you won’t regret it.

John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day is available from the Surratt House gift shop for $50 (+6% Maryland tax if ordering from within the state).  The cost for shipping is $3.  Life members and/or volunteers of the Surratt Society receive a 15% discount.  Place your credit card order by calling the museum at (301) 868-1121, or send a check payable to Surratt House Gift Shop to 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735.  While you’re at it, take the time to peruse some of the other wonderful books they have for sale by clicking here.
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 361 other followers