October 23, 2018

Book Review: Killing Lincoln

I finished reading Killing Lincoln a few days ago. I recommend the book but with some suggestions.

Killing Lincoln, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC., covers many of the details about President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Depending upon your level of knowledge and the amount of research you have done in your lifetime, will depend very much on how much in O’Reilly’s book you would find “new” information and how much as rehashed and regurgitated.

I have read numerous books and writings on the killing of Lincoln, and I can say this one is well-written in the sense that it keeps your interest, even while constantly moving from one arena to another as the plot unfolds. However, no new information is revealed and the book falls short on any in-depth research into the vastness of the conspiracy.

Killing Lincoln spends much of the first 16 chapters setting the stage of Lincoln’s death by detailing battles and events that occur leading up to the ultimate surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Mostly leaving the Civil War battlefields, Killing Lincoln draws in the majority of the conspirators behind the plot to kill, not only Lincoln, but V.P. Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Seward, Sec. of War Edwin Stanton and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. O’Reilly provides enough background and information on those he and co-writer Dugard believe to be the main planners in the conspiracy.

As O’Reilly might call his “Back of the Book Segment”, the back of his book gives readers a glimpse as to what became of many of the key characters in his work. He even goes so far as to reproduce a copy of the April 29, 1865 edition of Harper’s Weekly. O’Reilly’s intent is to help readers get a better understanding of how the country was dealing with the killing of President Lincoln.

Over the years many theories have existed as to who was really behind the killing of Lincoln. While Killing Lincoln, the book, casually addresses some of those theories, it is my opinion that had the authors spent less time (16 chapters) recounting the Civil War battles leading up to the assassination and more time digging a bit deeper into the most readily recognized and easily proven conspiracy theory, they could have provided readers with more or a real jaw-dropping read.

The main hypothesis as to who or what was behind the killing of Lincoln points to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, led by the Jesuits and under the full direction of the Vatican.

Much discussion can be made as to the Vatican’s involvement or lack thereof in Lincoln’s death but if you consider the testimonies and actions that took place after the assassination, a different light is shed on the conspiracy theory; at least enough to pique the curiosities of some and give pause to others.

General Thomas M. Harris was a member of the military commission that tried and condemned the conspirators in Lincoln’s death. His accounts of those trials are quite revealing.

If we follow the trail on one conspirator, John H. Surratt, whose mother ran a boarding house of sorts near Washington, D.C., it was learned that at different times all the conspirators would meet to discuss plans to kill Lincoln. Shortly after Lincoln’s murder, John Surratt was among the missing.

O’Reilly, a catholic himself, mentions very little of John Surratt. In the Afterword, he tells how Surratt, the son of Mary Surratt who was hanged for her involvement, might have been saved if her son had returned to testify. The book states that John Surratt fled to Montreal and later ended up at the Vatican “where he served in the Papal Zouaves“. However, General Harris describes Surratt’s time at the Vatican as being confined to a room and protected from those searching for him in connection with the death of Lincoln.

The Pope is forced to arrest Surratt but arranges for his escape. He is eventually captured in Egypt and taken back to America to stand trial. Gen. Harris points out the work of the Jesuits in controlling and manipulating the trial that ends in a hung jury and the release of Surratt.

Gen Harris’s information is probably some, if not the most, credible of all those claiming theories on Lincoln’s death. His work is well worth the read I think.

While many books have been written about Lincoln’s murder, Killing Lincoln could have been an even bigger blockbuster if they had taken the time to research into the validity of some of these theories, particularly that of Gen. Harris. Should I create my own conspiracy theory by saying that perhaps O’Reilly purposely avoided this theory because he is Catholic?

All very interesting.

I recommend the reading of “Killing Lincoln” and then follow it up with “Rome’s Responsibility for the Assassination of Lincoln” by Gen. Thomas M. Harris and “Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” by Charles Paschal Telesphore Chiniquy.

An addendum to this story: Charles Chiniquy is key to the story of Lincoln as well as his testimony that members of the Catholic Church were telling people of Lincoln’s death hours before it even happened. Chiniquy, is a friend of President Lincoln and repeatedly warns the president that the Vatican wants him dead and that eventually he will be killed. Of course, even as is revealed in the book, Lincoln not only suspects he will someday be killed but he has recurring dreams about it.

Tom Remington

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Is Wind Energy About Clean, Alternative Energy or Greasing Palms and Crooked Politicking?

Hat tip to Richard Paradis for providing the information for this article.

Maine is like many states that have been bombarded with the construction of intrusive, environment-destructive wind turbines, all hiding behind the image of providing alternative energy, lowering energy costs and saving the planet. Those who have had the nasty turbines planted in their back yards are finding out that all the promises made about how quiet and unobtrusive they are were false. In addition, while the entire efforts were billed as a cost effective alternative to carbon polluting oil and coal, over time we are finding out that much of the goings on behind providing funds to promote more wind energy, is nothing more than political paybacks by the Obama Administration from the 2008 campaign. With a new election coming this year, what kind of palm greasing can we expect?

From the book, “Throw Them All Out”, by Peter Schweizer, on page 94 we discover that Obama gave $115 million in taxpayer money to a wind energy company First Wind. People of Maine, Utah and New York in particular are familiar with First Wind.

The chart below shows a listing of people who were large contributors and/or bundlers to the Obama presidential campaign in 2008. For Maine residents, take notice that former Gov. Angus King and now owner of Record Hill Wind, received $102 million in taxpayer money to build his wind farms.

The center column shows the energy companies, i.e. wind energy, these donors own. In the right hand column is the amount of tax dollars kicked back to these donors by the Obama Administration after the election. So it’s all about clean energy is it?

I would put into action exactly what the title of the referenced book says: Throw Them All Out!

Tom Remington

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Alaska – Cold and Snowy. More Than Normal?

Below are some photographs depicting some of the cold and snow in the Anchorage area. Last week I received one report that Valdez, Alaska, a coastal town of just over 4,000 people that sits east of Anchorage, currently has 321 inches of snow. Make no mistake about it, that’s a lot of snow. However, according to Valdez websites, the average annual snowfall is about 360 inches. It’s still early in the winter season though.

And, this morning I heard on the news that Nome, Alaska was having difficulty getting heating fuel into the town because of the cold. The report said Alaska was currently experiencing the coldest winter in 40 years. In parts of the winter, Nome’s average daily high is 5.7 degrees.


Photo by Al Remington


Photo by Al Remington


Photo by Al Remington

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Open Thread – January 17, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information concerning issues not directly related to articles published on this website. Thank you!

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Late Fall Snow Makes Backdrop For Bright Colored Leaves


Photo by Tom Remington

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Playing the Winning Hand With Always the Appropriate Trump Card in Maine Wildlife Management


Photo Editorial by Richard Paradis

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83 Less Deer Killers in Maine

COYOTES – Sent in by David Miller

Last year about this time five members of the Carrabassett Valley Trappers reported in an article that the five had trapped and tagged 70 some coyotes. They had taken the coyotes in the early canine season in late October of 2010. This effort helped to reduce damage to livestock and wildlife (deer in particular).

This last year’s (2011) take during the same time frame resulted in the five individuals tagging 83. The period trapped is the special canine season that runs two weeks before the general trapping season and deer hunting season. The five trappers in the photograph are left to right Dave Miller, Gordon Blauvelt, Matt Landry, Steve Rankin, and Jerry LeBeau.

With approximately 2000 licensed trappers in the state, if each caught just 5 apiece, the benefits to our deer herd would be tremendous. With the current condition of the deer herds in western, northern, and down east Maine recovery is about impossible with the current level of predators. These predators that prey on deer size mammals include bears, bobcats, and coyotes; with coyotes being the most prevalent and damaging. At present, the deer numbers are so low that with the level of current predation deer recovery is impossible. This is because the number born and surviving to adulthood is less than that taken annually by the predators.

Trappers, hounds men, and hunters together with effort can reduce the predation by coyotes to a level where recovery is possible along with proper deer wintering area management and the lack of back to back bad winters. The loss of our deer herd has resulted in a tremendous impact to our states economy and in particular that of rural Maine. Deer hunting alone was a multi-million dollar business to the state. In recent years we have seen a great reduction in the number of out of state hunters. The majority of those same hunters (at their own admission) now go to New York, Pennsylvania and other destinations to hunt. They say, why hunt in Maine when there are so few or in some areas no deer anymore.

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Open Thread – January 16, 2012

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Alaskan Snow Ropes


Photo by Al Remington


Photo by Al Remington

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Open Thread – January 14, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your comments, ideas and information about issues not directly related to articles published on this blog. Thank you!

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