Lincoln's Last Trial by Dan Abrams

Lincoln's Last Trial

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 trial...

Details Lincoln's Last Trial

TitleLincoln's Last Trial
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherHanover Square Press
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Historical, North American Hi..., American History, Biography, Crime, True Crime

Reviews Lincoln's Last Trial

  • 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 LincolnThere are many levels of biography and history. There are academic books, published by small academic presses. There are popular biographies, written by journalists, etc., that tend to follow a more narrative-style. Obviously, Dan Abram's short history...
  • 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 sensational case that Lincoln handled as an attorney before his nomination for the presidency, he had a few smaller cases after this one finished in the summer of 1859.  Also, it is a bit of a stretch to say that this case propelled him to the presidency, al...
  • 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 great good fortune of a transcript of the trial being found in the 1980’s, we are able to follow the trial almost verbatim from that hot summer so long ago.Before the development of stenography, verbatim transcripts of trials simply didn’t exist. We ...
  • 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 into Abraham Lincoln pre-presidency. I was quickly caught up in the case and kept reading out of a real desire to know how it would end. The authors balance the account of the trial with interesting asides about the history of the U.S. legal system, s...
  • 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 case that was set for failure from the beginning.For those who do not know the case, Peachy Quinn Harrison had stabbed Greek Crafton during a fight. Days earlier the two had another clash during town's gathering and both made treats against each oth...
  • 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 listed are internet versions of things, some of which are merely online versions of books, but others are articles which, themselves, would have to be checked for veracity.In any case, what the two authors have done is take the facts of a real murde...
  • 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 Illinois that had a trial transcript. It wasn’t complete in our sense of modern court transcripts – the closing arguments weren’t captured – but the trial, with teams of lawyers on both sides, was captured in detail. The authors then researched t...
  • 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 President. The story tries to work like a novel and uses transcriptions from the trial in an attempt to do that.The trial itself is a self-defense/murder trail so there is never any mystery other than whether or not the accused will be found not-guilty by re...
  • 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.” (Hitt was the equivalent of the court reporter.)
  • Mudkip
    Best Non Fiction Book of 2018 (for me)
  • Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
    I received a free digital copy of this text via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Fantastic read, full review to come.+++++++++++++See my full review here:https://allthebookblognamesaretaken.b...
  • Robert Gelms
    The Only Honest Man in IllinoisBy Bob Gelms Abraham Lincoln is THE towering figure in American history. Nobody else comes close. Everyone in America knows him as a politician, and a pretty good one at that. Everyone in American also knows that Abe Lincoln was a lawyer but most don’t know what he did as an attorney. For all they know, Mr. Lincoln wrote wills and handled divorces. Uh…well…he did do wills and divorces along with adoptions, tru...
  • Kristen
    Lincoln's Last Trial is an account of the 1859 trial of Simeon Quinn "Peachy" Harrison whom Lincoln successfully defended against the charge of murder in the stabbing death of Greek Crafton. While this was not technically Lincoln's last trial, it was his last murder trial. An although it is a stretch to say that the trial propelled him to the presidency, it is fair to say that it was a very high profile trial and the visibility and winning the ca...
  • Kathy
    Lincoln's Last Trial is a well-written, compelling telling of Lincoln's last major case (a murder trial) prior to his election as the 16th President. Told through the point of view of Robert Hitt, scribe to the trial, whose handwritten manuscript of the trial discovered in 1989 is the basis of the book, we learn how well-respected Lincoln was as a lawyer and a man. His decades long law practice had spread his reputation far and wide in Illinois, ...
  • 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, written mostly like a novel, and can be read in just a few sittings. Lincoln tried 27 murder trials, mostly as a defense lawyer, and this book focuses on his last murder case, which he tried less than one year before being nominated as the Republican ...
  • Matt Chester
    The decision to pick up this book and read it was 100% influenced by the fact that I'm currently sitting on the jury of a trial that's been going on for weeks, so all of a sudden I find myself more interested in the legal process and where some of the courtroom norms come from. That said, reading about Lincoln's days as a lawyer and how it was that career that launched his eventual Presidency, rather than an extensive career in politics, was real...
  • Keith
    This book was so much fun to read that I zipped through it in a day. The story of Abraham Lincoln's last major trial before securing the nomination for president and the office itself, it not only brings Lincoln's skill as a criminal trial lawyer to life, it's also an interesting story in and of itself of a terribly poignant fight and killing between two young Springfield area men who were often friends. To make it all the more fascinating, the d...
  • Barbara Heerman
    The murder trial described in the book is an interesting case. We don't learn much about the accused; we learn a lot about the victim. The writing style is stilted, lessening this reader's interest. Although a long bibliography is presented, and they assert that every fact is checked, I am wondering how the authors knew that the judge wore only his undergarments under his robe. They do a lot to discuss the state of jurisprudence in IL and nation ...
  • Carolyn
    *Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book after winning a free giveaway here on Goodreads.* As someone who is deeply fascinated by and interested in Abraham Lincoln, I was so excited to read this book. Lincoln's law career has been the subject of relatively little scholarly examination, at least in comparison to his presidency. And while this discrepancy is certainly understandable, I was thrilled to read an in-depth look at his last trial. Ov...
  • Chaim Shapiro
    This book is well written and it is an enjoyable read. Abrams chose to tell the story from the perspective of the trail stenographer, Rober Hitt, which brought an interesting perspective.At one point in the book, Abrams noted that the stenographers were taught to be careful not to falsely attribute quotations in their notes. Abrams should have followed that advice himself. For some reason, Abrams created dialogue and quotations throughout the boo...
  • Jan Taylor
    This book intrigued me because of it's sincere attempt at accuracy, rather than just another attempt at what some call historical fiction. Transcripts of the trial were used, when available, and the parties to the trial/crime were fleshed out very well. I enjoyed the in-depth description of the crime, and got a good feel for the personalities of the actors. Also fascinating was the way trial were conducted during that time period, 1859, just prio...
  • Gordon
    A competent and interesting history that does a good job with the legal concepts involved. The writing is adequate, but fails to deliver on portraying the brilliance of Lincoln in the courtroom or the importance of the case in Lincoln's political career. Lincoln's courtroom brilliance is legendary, but none of the anecdotes recounted reflect that brilliance. As a veteran of criminal jury trials, I can say that many of of tactics, questions, and a...
  • Carolyn Leshyn
    What an interesting and fascinating read..It dealt with Abraham Lincoln's "performance" in the courtroom during his last big trial before he went on to become president. He knew all the people involved in the trial personally and was able to put together the facts and present a reasonable case. His closing presentation, was sometimes filled with great emotion, always truthful, eloquent and riveting, as though be were speaking directly to every ju...
  • Jo Wilkinson
    Let me preface this by saying I'm a stenographer or court reporter, and this book is told from the perspective of Lincoln's "steno man," Robert Roberts Hitt. This profiles Lincoln's last trial, a murder trial in Springfield, Illinois. By this time, there's presidential interest in Abe, so there's that pressure. Plus he's well acquainted with both the victim and the defendant. I thoroughly enjoyed the trial strategy and the realization that Lincol...
  • Christie
    As an attorney, I enjoy reading about cases (as long as they're not in textbooks), especially those few that find their way to jury trials. Because I don't see that sort of action myself, it opens up a whole new world to me. And this book certainly did that in an interesting way, by highlighting the ways in which trials worked differently in the past than they do now. While the subject matter was engaging, the style just wasn't for me. The imagin...
  • Valerie
    This was a fascinating read about a little known chapter in Lincoln's life. Abrams and Fisher created a thrilling drama involving what should have been an open and shut murder case and a two great legal teams.. It was interesting to see how the trial unfolded from both the steno's and the lawyer's point of view. You got to see the evolution of the trial process unfold over time. At the time of the trial, the American legal system was still quite ...
  • Roger Taylor
    An extremely enjoyable study of the last trial of Abe Lincoln's legal career in which he defended Quincy Harrison, who was charged with murdering Greek Crafton after a bitter conflict. The skills and great intelligence which Lincoln demonstrated as President were fully on display in his brilliant defense in a case where the prosecution seemed to have an air tight case. What is so remarkable about this book is that much of the information was obta...
  • Donnie
    I really enjoyed this book because I was looking for some insight into the background of our 16th president and this book was helpful. It was also interesting in that it gave a perspective on what life back in those days was like--particularly in the courthouse. Heat waves in hot stuffy courtrooms can be a problem. And sitting in on a case like this one was better than TV--which wasn't in existence. The actual case itself wasn't particularly thri...
  • Ashley Davidson
    I don’t read a lot of non fiction but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lincoln’s life as an attorney. The book used the trial transcripts and notes from a court reporter, which was a new concept in 1859. This specific steno-man also transcribed the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates in the months prior to the trial, which helped shine a spotlight on the eloquent Springfield attorney in the years prior to his run for President. Keep in mind this...
  • Kt
    Awesome book about my favorite President!!!! This book really focuses on how determined and passionate Lincoln was in everything he did and I am just an awe at how amazing and fascinating he was. We need more presidents like him and Washington! On a recent visit at Washington's Mount Vernon, one of the speakers asked, "Do you know why Washington is a favorite president? Because he never lied to the people." Powerful sentence and I believe that al...