150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Conspirator Trial Event at Fort McNair (May 08 & 09, 2015)

May 21, 2015: Barry Cauchon.

John, Mike, Barry, Betty, Kate (08May15)

John Elliott, Mike Kauffman, Barry Cauchon, Betty Ownsbey, Kate Clifford-Larson

The VIP tour inspecting the grave locations for the Lincoln conspirators and Henry Wirz.

The VIP tour inspecting the grave locations for the Lincoln conspirators and Henry Wirz.

Hi all: On May 8-9, 2015 I had the privilege of participating in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Lincoln Conspirator Military Tribunal held at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington D.C.  May 08 commemorated the first day the military commission met behind closed doors to organize their procedures and May 09 commemorated the first day of the actual trial when the prisoners were brought into the courtroom.

The two-day event began on Friday night with a VIP reception at the Fort McNair Officer’s Club hosted by Colonel Michael Henderson.  Guests included many military officials, historians, NDU specialists and staff, authors, descendants, benefactors, members of the Surratt House Museum and Surratt Society, several Civil War round table officials and some dear old friends.  I was one of four speakers presenting that night.  Joining me at the podium were Michael Kauffman, author of American Brutus and In the Footsteps of an Assassin; John Elliott (my research partner) and specialist in the courtroom stories as seen from the spectators’ points of view; and historian Betty Ownsbey (Lewis Powell’s biographer) and author of Alias Paine (2nd edition).

Following the presentations on Friday night, the attendees were invited to take tours of the restored courtroom and the exterior grounds where the executions took place in July of 1865. John, Betty and Mike led the tours in the courtroom whereas I toured the execution site and vicinity. Earlier that day, John and I painstakingly laid out the locations of the scaffold, the four conspirators’ graves, Henry Wirz’ (Commandant of Andersonville Prison) grave and John Wilkes Booth’s grave.  We also laid out the locations for the penitentiary’s 20′ high east wall, the door from which the prisoners exited the penitentiary to their executions and the Shoe Factory where Alexander Gardner took his famous series of photographs depicting the executions.

I am grateful and thankful to the folks at Fort McNair who asked me to lay out the locations of these elements (which had never been done before).  I have had the dimensions and calculations in both my head and on paper for several years now and was thrilled to finally get a chance to plot them in situ.  When you see them in their actual environment, the entire scale of the event is easier to envision.

On Saturday, May 09, there was a public open house with free tours to those who signed up.  For fire safety reasons, only about 45 people are allowed to occupy the courtroom at any one time so four sessions were planned. John Elliott and Mike Kauffman split the presentations in the courtroom and I did the walking tours outside.  It turned out to be a beautiful day and everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves.

I want to thank Leah Rubalcaba (Community Relations Officer) and Rob Joswiak (Public Affairs Specialist) and other members of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall team for pulling this event together.  I was excited to be a part of it and look forward to assisting again in the future.

To see a great article with photos about this event, go to Dave Taylor’s Boothie Barn blog.  The article called A Military Tribunal Observation  was written by Kate Ramirez and she did a great job in summarizing the two-day commemoration.  Thanks Kate and Dave.

http://boothiebarn.com/2015/05/21/5584/

Finally, I want to thank my wife, Christine for accompanying me to Washington and sharing her wonderful and never-ending support. I love you dearly.

Have a wonderful day.

Best

Barry

barryssentials@hotmail.com

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An Awesometalk With Kate Clifford Larson, PhD and Author

April 27, 2011: Barry Cauchon

Kate Clifford Larson, PhD

Click on the Link below:

Kate Clifford Larson INTERVIEW 5-Apr-11

Dr. Kate Clifford Larson is an historian, lecturer and award winning author who has written biographical books on two well known 19th century women. She earned a PhD in History from the University of New Hampshire and also holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Simmons College (1980); an M.B.A. from Northeastern University (1986); and an M.A. from Simmons College (1995).

“Bound For The Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of An American Hero” (Ballantine/One World 2004) is Kate’s first book and was the published version of her doctoral dissertation from the University of New Hampshire. It celebrates the life and memory of Harriet Tubman, American slave and Underground Railroad guide (actively participating in 13 trips to help free slaves from the south).

Kate hosts a great website on Harriet Tubman at: http://www.harriettubmanbiography.com/.

“The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln” (Basic Books, June 2008) is Kate’s second book covering the life of Mary E. Surratt and her involvement in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Where Mary Surratt is concerned, Kate is one of several experts who answer questions on a blog hosted by The American Film Company, the producer of the film The Conspirator (2011) directed by Robert Redford.

http://www.theamericanfilmcompany.com/talk/historian/kate-clifford-larson/

Currently, Kate is working on her third book, “Rosemary: An Interrupted Life,” a biography of Rosemary Kennedy, the severely mentally challenged sister of President John F. Kennedy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, release date late 2011). 

Kate and I first met at Logan Airport in Boston while I was traveling on my way to speak at the Surratt House Museum 2011 Conference in Maryland in mid-March 2011. What started out as a one hour lunch turned into almost a 3-1/2 hour discussion. We had a blast…and I almost missed my flight.

Kate has a warm, light-hearted and fun loving personality. You will truly enjoy our chat just as much as I did.

Enjoy.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Upcoming Interviews on An Awesometalk With…

March 9, 2011: Barry Cauchon

I am starting my spring preparations for new interviews for this season. Randal Berry did a great job in my last one.

Next week, I’ll be meeting with Kate Clifford Larson in Boston as I head down to Washington for the Surratt Society conference. Kate is an historian, Ph.D. and writer who teaches at  both Simmons College and Wheelock College in Boston. She is the author of  two books: The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln and Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.

I hope to do an interview with Kate sometime in late March/early April.

Beyond that, I’ll be speaking with numerous people at the Surratt Society Conference and am sure I will gather some great folks to interview while there. Stay tuned for a list of upcoming ‘interviewees’ after my return.

If you have a unique story to share, I’m always happy to hear from you as well.

OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

I am looking for students and teachers who would like to participate in An Awesometalk With. If you have an interesting story to tell or are involved in history (how do you teach it or do you know someone local who adds great value to your local history), I’d like to hear from you. As this blog is worldwide, I want to hear and share interesting history-based stories from around the world. You know your community better than anyone, so share it.

Suggested ideas: Teachers: Perhaps you have a unique way of teaching your students history or have a special class project that always works with your students. Perhaps you bring in guest speakers or take field trips. The idea here is to share your creative approaches with my readers (many of which are other teachers and students). Everyone has a story to tell. Let us hear yours.

Students: What interests you about history? What kind of class projects and teaching methods do you get the most enjoyment out of? How do you research? Do you have experts you can talk to?  What was the best project/historical subject you’ve ever studied? What is your favorite historical event or period to study? Tell me about a teacher or person that really inspires you and why.

Again, the key here is to share something different and unique with the followers of A Little Touch of History. If your story is chosen to be shared in An Awesometalk With, I will interview you in a recorded 5-10 minute segment and post it here for the world to see and hear.

Don’t be shy. Share your stories.

Please send your suggestions and stories to my email at outreach@awesometalks.com.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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