Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators Book Update 29-Dec-2010

Barry Cauchon: December 29, 2010:

Hi all: I want to update you on the progress of John Elliott and my book “Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators”, but first, a little business to attend to.

First of all, thanks to everyone who has complimented me about my blog. Although I haven’t had much opportunity to write recently, it is very rewarding to know that you are enjoying the content that is here.  And thank you for understanding why I’ve restricted access to the 15-chapters on the Lincoln Conspirators Execution Photos: A Study in Detail. This is the precursor to our book and some of the content no longer is valid. So for now, I need to keep it inaccessible until the book is released and the content updated.

Secondly, thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Inside the Walls Book Update List. The list grows everyday and we are so happy that you are anxiously, and patiently, waiting for it. If you want to be on the list and have not signed up yet, please email me at outreach@awesometalks.com, write “BOOK” in the subject line and leave your email (and name if you like). I will add you to the list. The last update was sent out in October, 2010 so if you are on the list already and haven’t heard from us, you have not missed anything.

Finally, thanks to the folks who have visited and joined us as friends on our Facebook page “Inside the Walls”.  We love hearing from you. To get there easily, go to the top of my home page and click on the Facebook link at the upper right hand side.

QUICK UPDATE TO END OUT THE YEAR (2010)

1. When will the book be released? John and I had hoped to have it ready and published by March, 2011 but that is not going to happen. We both have run into busy ‘real work’ situations and our paying jobs have taken center stage. Our new anticipated release date is now sometime this summer 2011. We are going to self-publish the first edition and then see how it goes after that.

2. Are you planning on releasing any of your research before the book comes out? As a matter of fact, YES! John and I have been invited to speak on March 19, 2011 at the Surratt Society & Surratt House Museum’s 2011 Conference – Lincoln Assassination: New Perspectives. We will present our research publicly for the first time on that date. For more information on the conference, please follow this link: http://www.surratt.org/conference/2011/conf2011.html

3. Is there anything we can see regarding your presentation or the book’s content? As part of our conference offering, we are planning to produce a printed supplement (specifically made for the conference) which will both highlight our live presentation and give a very good synopsis of the content in our upcoming book. Although details are not completed yet, it is very likely that we will offer it to the public after the conference. Costs and other details are still pending.

4. Have you had good support from the Lincoln Assassination Research community regarding your book? John and I are overwhelmed by the great support we’ve had from fellow researchers, authors, supporters, friends and others. The book will not only include our own research but will have written articles by Steven G. Miller and Dr. Blaine Houmes (who are both speaking at the Surratt Society Conference this year). As well, we have been given some amazing photographs and research specifically related to our subject. I won’t name names at this time for fear that I will forget someone, but there have been many and we can’t thank them enough (but certainly will in the book).

5. Have you received any endorsements yet? Yes we have. I believe we have 5 or 6 to date. I can also confirm that our Forward has been written by Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice (Ret.) of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island; Former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Military Commission Review for Appeals for those detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and the Chairman of the Lincoln Forum. Not bad, eh!

6. Who designed the cover? John and I worked through numerous versions of the cover design until we decided upon the one above. The initial concept was John’s and I did the final graphic layout for it. The photo on the cover shows a brick wall with a ghosted image of a prisoner’s wrists restrained in Lilly Irons (sometimes called Lilly Bars). The photograph of the bricks is from the wall that surrounds Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington D.C.  Fort McNair is the site of the former Arsenal Penitentiary where the conspirators were incarcerated, tried and for some, hanged. When the penitentiary was demolished in 1867, these bricks were stored and later reused to build the wall that currently surrounds the site.

The image of the Lilly Irons is taken from an Alexander Gardner photograph of conspirator Edman Spangler, who was held at the penitentiary.

The main idea of the cover design was to give you a sense that something ominous was occurring behind, or Inside the Walls, inducing the reader to investigate further.

7. How is the book laid out? Assuming we don’t change our direction at this late date, the book is broken up into several parts. Part I is the back story. Part II covers an in-depth look at the Arsenal Penitentiary and some of the events that occurred there right up to the morning of the executions on July 7, 1865. It will also feature the events and stories (some surprising) told by the people who witnessed them. As well, the chapters in Part II will analyze the architecture, the cells and prisoner locations, and some of the people themselves. Part III will cover the executions of the four condemned conspirators including a detailed forensic analysis of the Alexander Gardner execution photographs. The book will end with the stories of the fates of the remaining four conspirators and other ‘persons of interest’.

We are excited to share our work and are working hard to complete it for you.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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Inside the Walls (ITW) Book Update issued (Oct 11, 2010)

October 12, 2010: Barry Cauchon

Hi all: This is just a quick note to everyone who signed up for our ITW Book Update. Yesterday, we issued the update by email from outreach@awesometalks.com with the PDF attachment. It was sent out to everyone who had signed up for our Update Mailing List. Some emails were rejected as they are outdated or no longer valid. If you did not receive this mailing or wish to be added to our mailing list, please send me a quick note at outreach@awesometalks.com with BOOK in the subject title and I’ll send the update to you as soon as possible.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Inside the Walls Book Update Announcement

October 7:  Barry Cauchon.

By Monday, October 11, John Elliott and I will be emailing out a long awaited update on our book called Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators. Over the past year, many of my great followers from here, and from our Facebook page, have signed up for these updates. We have collected quite a large list and are now ready to share our progress with you. 

There is a lot of new stuff to report. Least of which is that John has created a new website (yet to be built) dedicated to Inside the Walls. We both have new email addresses which we will share with you in the update letter. My current blog email at outreach@awesometalks.com will still remain active however. 

It has been a few months since our last update so you haven’t missed anything recently. These detailed updates are only shared with those who have requested them by email. If you are not on our ITW Book Update List and wish to receive updates, please send an email at outreach@awesometalks.com with “BOOK” in the subject line. Leave your email address, and name if you like, and I’ll be sure to include you. This list is strictly used for our own purposes and will not be shared with others.

If you believe you are already on the list but don’t receive the update by October 11, please write me again so I can forward it to you.

John and I are both humbled and grateful for the tremendous interest shown in our book. As well, we cannot begin to thank the numerous members of the Lincoln Research Community who have shared parts of their own research and knowledge with us. Their encouragement and involvement with this project have been nothing short of amazing. They have given us the material needed to bring the content of our book to a level we never imagined a year ago. I can assure you that our dedication page will be a lengthy one.

We look forward to updating you.

Have a great day.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

THANK YOU TO MY 300,000+ VISITORS TO ‘A LITTLE TOUCH OF HISTORY’

Feb 16, 2010: Barry Cauchon

A LITTLE TOUCH OF HISTORY breaks the 300,000 visitor mark!

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank everyone who has visited my site over the past two years.  Since May, 2008, A Little Touch of History has had a steady following of wonderful viewers. As of sometime last night we just went over 300,000 visitors to this site. That honestly blows me away and I’ve very grateful to all of you.

I’ve met some great people thanks to this little blog of mine and made some long lasting friendships.

So to my friends, colleagues, research buddies and most importantly, my readers who find this information interesting, I say thank you for your tremendous support. You’ve applauded, challenged and even respectfully criticized my work, and that has made this a better blog… and me, a better person.

I hope 2010 allows me to share more interesting history with you and that we reach 500,000 visitors in no time at all.

Here’s hoping!

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Published in: on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at '7:16 pm'  Comments (2)  
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MR. P’s PHOTOGRAPH IS AN ORIGINAL!!!!

November 22, 2009: Barry Cauchon

Hi all: On Friday, November 19, I had the honor to Mr. Harold Holzer at his office in NYC. We have corresponded and spoken on the phone for over a year and it was great to finally meet him face-to-face. Although the main reason for our meeting is not the subject of this posting, we resolved a puzzle that has been on my mind for over a year. As some of my dedicated readers may remember, in August of 2008, I posted a photograph on my blog from a person I referred to as Mr. P. 

Mr. P. owns a photograph in a Victorian frame which he believed was one of Lincoln in death. I posted it on the blog asking anyone who might want to comment on it. In less than a week, I received an email from Harold Holzer stating that the photograph was not one of Lincoln in death. Instead it was an existing image considered to be a fake or spurious one. It had been previously published in books in the early 1960’s. And that was that. I published Mr. Holzer’s findings on August 21, 2008 and informed Mr. P. about the results.  But we still wondered about the Victorian framed photograph and how Mr. P’s family came to have this piece. Who was this man? What type of photographic process was used? Was it a printed copy or an original? We just didn’t know and didn’t dare open it without help.

We zip ahead to last week. A lot has changed in one year. Mr. P. is now one of my closest friends. I’ve partnered with John Elliott to be my writing partner and are moving ahead with our book and other projects. So we all meet in NYC and descend upon the office of Harold Holzer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After our scheduled meeting with Mr. Holzer, Mr. P. brought out the photograph and we asked if Mr. Holzer would look at it. Since it was this photo that brought all of us together, we thought it was appropriate to have him be the one to look at it.

Yours truly, Abe, Harold Holzer and John Elliott

Yours truly, Abe, Harold Holzer and John Elliott

Upon inspection, Mr. Holzer opened the frame to expose the photograph. Once apart, we observed that the image was printed on a glass plate. Mr. Holzer indicated that it was an Ambrotype which was a photographic process used in the early 1800s. And as this was an Ambrotype it meant that the photograph was an original and not a reproduction. AMAZING! This photo, which has been published in numerous Lincoln books, is the original Ambrotype from which these reproduced photos were made.

We were all very excited about the confirmation. Thank you Mr. Holzer for a great meeting and the photographic identification. So even though the image is not that of Abraham Lincoln in death and is considered a fake, at least now we know that Mr. P. owns the original fake.

By the way, Mr. P. indicates that bidding can begin at $2,000,000.    : )

Below is part of the original article that was written over a year ago that started this whole train moving down the track.

HAROLD HOLZER COMMENTS ON “LINCOLN IN DEATH” PICTURES

August 21, 2008 – Barry Cauchon:

Hi all: My blog has had a flurry of activity recently concerning several articles that I had posted on questionable Lincoln Photos in Death. I was honored to be contacted by Mr. Harold Holzer, the Senior Vice President, External Affairs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Mr. Holzer is an historian and author, considered to be one of the leading Lincoln scholars in the world and he graciously offered to comment on the photos I have been debating here.

2. MR. P’s PHOTOGRAPH

This is the first time we are publishing this photograph here. We were going to wait until September 3, 2008 however the review by Mr. Holzer allows us to post it now.

Metal plate photo in hinged frame

Mr. P's photo in hinged frame

Close up of the picture 

 Close up of face.

Close up of beard Close up of beard
Close up of hands Close up of hands
RESOLVE: Mr. Holzer reviewed these images on Tuesday, August 19 and expressed the following observations:
  • The beard is too full (as previously mentioned above)
  • “Why would Secretary of War Stanton have allowed a photographer to make this intrusive shot when he confiscated the picture of Lincoln all dressed up and lying in state in NY City hall?”
  • The arms and chest are too narrow. When the doctors removed Lincoln’s shirt after he was shot, they notice his chest and arms were very muscular. He was ‘ripped’. The body in these photos is not.
  • Is this a Daguerreotype? “Unlikely, as it would be just way out of fashion by 1865 and too hard to take in a room with no lighting.”

All of these were valid points, but the best was still to come!

  • The photo is not a new image. Mr. Holzer pointed out that he had seen it before in Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf’s 1963 book, “Lincoln in Photographs: An Album of Every Known Pose”, 1st edition, on page 294. Mr. Holzer stated, “It seems to me they are one and the same shot with the alleged deathbed photo Lloyd Ostendorf and Charles Hamilton published as a spurious image in their 1963 “Lincoln in Photographs,” p 294.  I don’t disagree with their conclusions—the beard is simply wrong.  Lincoln may have had a sort of full beard for his February 1865 life mask, but as the March inaugural photos and the Henry Warren photos show the next day (not to mention the known photo of Lincoln in his coffin), his beard had been considerably trimmed down by the spring of that year”.  
  • END

After conversing with Mr. Holzer on several points for clarification, I was able to find the same photo (although reversed) in another book call “Twenty Days” by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt & Philip Kunhardt, Jr., Harper & Rowe Publishers, NY, 1965 (see photo and link below). It looks like the exact same photo!

Identical photo (in reverse) from book "Twenty Days" by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt, Jr. 

 Identical photo (in reverse) from book “Twenty Days” by Dorthy Meserve Kunhardt.

http://news.webshots.com/photo/1003168559000142258BBKqRGIYne
 
CONCLUSION: The image is unlikely that of Mr. Lincoln based on the information presented here. But it does raise several questions about who it really is and the origin of the image itself.

QUESTIONS: Some of the questions raised are as follows:

  • Assuming that Mr. P. has an original Daguerreotype or tintype of this image, how did it end up in several books in the 1960s? Mr. P. found the photograph in a desk that his grandmother left to him when she died. This was about 25 years ago. The printed images have been in the public eye for at least 45 years!
  • Does Mr. P. have the original or is it a copy?
  • Was there more than one image made of the body at the time the photograph was shot?
  • Who is the man? Could it be one of Mr. P’s relatives? Mr. Holzer believes that the photo could be from the 1840s or 50s.
  • Where did Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf get the original photo for their book?
  • What is the history of the picture?

FOLLOW UP: Mr. P is not disappointed that his photo was not Mr. Lincoln. He is actually thrilled that he owns a genuine ‘fake’ now. And it has given him a new area of research to investigate. History can be exciting, even if it isn’t on the ‘main stage’. Keep hunting Mr. P!

THANK YOU: Finally, I want to personally thank Mr. Harold Holzer for his time and efforts in helping me assist Mr. P  in this project. As well, I’d like to also thank Kevin O. Johnson, Ph.D in Dallas, Christy and Tins (pardijoe) for offering their comments, direction and assistance in solving the puzzle as well. Many many many thanks to all of you.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

A LITTLE TOUCH OF HISTORY

June 25, 2008 Barry Cauchon

A Little Touch of History is not only the name of this history blog, but is the name of the live presentation that I give to high schools, colleges and professional associations.

Hi. My name is Barry Cauchon of Awesometalks and I want to share a little bit of myself with you today. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. I work in the museum and exhibit industry as a Senior Project Manager. I am also a professional speaker, bringing my history road show “A Little Touch of History” to high schools, colleges, universities and professional associations.

As many of you may already know, I was the Senior Project Manager on the current King Tut touring exhibit, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, “Diana: A Celebration” (the Princess Diana tour) and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. All were awesome experiences and I promise to tell you about them one day soon.

For those of you who have followed my blog for some time you can tell that my fondness for history has recently focused on Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and the Civil War. Although this subject matter is my current passion, I do have a wide range of other historical interests that I enjoy. As time goes on, I will post articles about some of these other subjects, but for now, I will continue to post mostly Lincoln info and offer these tidbits through my DID YOU KNOW series.

Here are a few of the other historical subjects that I enjoy (listed in no particular order): The Great Ocean Liners (from Titanic to Queen Mary II), the Great Rigid Airships (Zeppelins and other airships, Hindenburg, Graf Zeppelin, Akron, Shenandoah, Macon, R101, etc), the Wild West (late 1800s), Jack the Ripper (1888), Crime & Punishment, the History of Execution and the men who performed these deeds (harsh subject but the world has a great history on this subject), Presidential Assassinations and Attempts, NASA and space travel, German U-Boats and submarines, the Holocaust, Princess Diana, King Tut and the Egyptian Pharaohs, naval warfare and WW II. I guess this list makes me a generalist as I don’t specialize in any one subject, but it is what it is.

How did I get interested in some of these subjects?  I think my direct exposure to the subject matter contributed greatly. For instance, I grew up in Hampton, VA which overlooks the Hampton Roads/ Chesapeake Bay, opposite the Norfolk Naval Base. I developed my interest in submarine and naval history because there was a steady stream of battleships, destroyers, aircraft carriers and submarines on display at the end of my street. My interest in NASA and the space program came to be because my father worked as an NASA aeronautical engineer for 10 years at Langley Air Force Base. He worked on the Apollo program with regards to the space capsule re-entry heat shield. Growing up in Virginia certainly exposed me to Civil War history. As far as my good friend Abraham Lincoln, every school kid is taught about this great president. But I remember most vividly, a school trip to Washington DC which included a stop over at Ford’s Theatre and the Petersen House. That is when I really wanted to learn more about President Lincoln. Finally, my interest in the Holocaust, Princess Diana and King Tut all came from being directly involved in exhibits on each subject.

So the lesson learned here, and what I promote in my speeches and presentations to classes and professional organizations, is that you need to be ‘touched’ by history to make it important to you. My live presentation, A Little Touch of History” is my way of doing that. As part of my presentation, I bring artifacts from my own collection so that my audience can actually touch a piece from history. If my artifacts and speech help to spark them to investigate the subject further, I know I have done my job.

Please contact me and let me know some of your stories and interests in history. I’d love your input and look forward to some great discussions on various subjects. Especially tell me what local history you have around your location and what you have discovered so far. I’d love to post some of your ‘local stories’.

You can contact me at outreach@awesometalks.com or leave a comment on this blog. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Best. Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Published in: on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at '9:26 am'  Comments (4)  
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