Recommended Reading

The staff at Surratt House Museum recommends these books for more information about the Lincoln Assassination and the Surratt family. Many of these titles are available from our Surratt House Musem Gift Shop.

A. Lincoln: His Last 24 Hours by W. Emerson Reck. 

Abraham Lincoln Assassination Bibliography—A Compendium of Reference Materials by Blaine V. Houmes.

Alias “Paine”: Lewis Thornton Powell, The Mystery Man of the Lincoln Conspiracy by Betty J. Ownsbey. 

American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies by Michael W. Kauffman. 

American Gothic: The Story of America’s Legendary Theatrical Family — Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth by Gene Smith.

April '65: Confederate Covert Action in the American Civil War by William A. Tidwell. 

The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln by Kate Clifford Larson. 

Was Mary Surratt guilty? The author thinks so and outlines her reasons in this clear-cut, easy-to-read biography.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Osborn H. Oldroyd. (paperback reprint of 1901 classic).

Considered a classic. Author was instigator of the Lincoln Museum. The last chapter is a 1901 tour of the places where Booth stopped, including Surrattsville.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Thomas R. Turner. The Anvil Series.

Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers, Jr. The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. 

The Body in the Barn: The Controversy Over the Death of John Wilkes Booth published by the Surratt Society. 

The Catholics and Mrs. Mary Surratt by Kenneth J. Zanca .

This book gives an extensive overview of the Catholic Church in America during the crucial Civil War years as well as its reaction to the Lincoln assassination, the role of Mary Surratt, and the church’s — and the public’s — reaction to her execution.

Come Retribution by William A. Tidwell, James O. Hall and David W. Gaddy. 

The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy by Thomas Goodrich. 

Devil’s Game: The Civil War Intrigues of Charles Dunham by Carman Cumming. 

Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and the Lincoln Assassination by John E. McHale. For young readers. 

The Escape and Capture of John Wilkes Booth by Edward Steers, Jr. 

The Fall and Redemption of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd by Robert K. Summers. 

Freedom Rising: Washington in the Civil War by Ernest B. Furgurson. 

From War Department Files Surratt Society publication of statements made by the accused under examination. 

The Great American Myth by George Bryan (reprint). Excellent work which dispels many of the legends surrounding the assassination. 

His Name is Still Mudd: The Case Against Dr. Samuel A. Mudd by Edward Steers, Jr., with foreword by James O. Hall. 

In Pursuit of… Continuing Research in the Field of the Lincoln Assassination. From the pages of The Surratt Courier (1976-1986). Surratt Society publication in two volumes. Also see The Lincoln Assassination – From the Pages of The Surratt Courier (1986-1999)

John Wilkes Booth: A Sister’s Memoir by Asia Booth Clark, edited by Terry Alford. 

The Judicial Murder of Mary E. Surratt by David M. DeWitt. Examines the legal injustices of the case.

The Last Lincoln Conspirator: John Surratt’s Flight from the Gallows by Andrew Jampoler. 

The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft edited by Dr. Edward Steers, Jr. and Harold Holzer. 

Gen.Hartranft was assigned the task of caring for the accused conspirators and kept a detailed daily record during their imprisonment, trial, and execution. His original work was located decades ago by two Society members, Nancy Griffith and Betty Ownsbey, biographer of conspirator Lewis Powell, at Gettysburg College after researchers had assumed that it was lost to history. The original is now in a Philadelphia branch of the National Archives. Dr. Steers and Mr. Holzer have provided an overview as well as the original text in this edited work.

The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia by Dr. Edward Steers, Jr. 

The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence compiled by Bill Edwards and Dr. Edward Steers, Jr. 

This 1488-page volume contains all of the evidence from the first seven reels of M599 at the National Archives and Records Administration gathered by the government in preparation for the trial of the accused (5007 original pages of documents).

The Lincoln Assassination – From the pages of The Surratt Courier (1986-1999). Surratt Society publication in two volumes. Also see In Pursuit of… Continuing Research in the Field of the Lincoln Assassination 

Lincoln Day-by-Day, A Chronology 1809-1865 edited by Earl Schenck Miers and C. Percy Powell. 

The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies by William H. Hanchett. Examines the many assassination “theories.” 

The Mad Booths of Maryland by Stanley Kimmel. Excellent biography of this fascinating clan.

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. 

Mary Elizabeth Surratt: An American Tragedy by Elizabeth Steger Trindal. Pleads the case for innocence of Mrs. Surratt. 

Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator: Samuel Bland Arnold edited by Michael W. Kauffman. 

On the Way to Garrett’s Barn—John Wilkes Booth & David E. Herold in the Northern Neck of Virginia, April 22-26, 1865 by James O. Hall. 

Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leech. Pulitzer Prize winner on Washington City society of the time. Last chapters give a general survey of the assassination.

Right or Wrong, God Judge Me: The Writings of John Wilkes Booth edited by Louise Taper and John Rhodehamel. 

Shall We Gather at the River: The Unwritten History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Edited and annotated by Randal Berry. Reprint of 1906 issue by Richard Smoot who participated in the kidnap scheme. 

The Surratt Family and John Wilkes Booth by James O. Hall. 

They Have Killed Papa Dead! The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance by Anthony Pitch. 

The Trial: The Assassination of President Lincoln and Trial of the Conspirators. A special edition as arranged in 1865 by Benn Pitman. Edited by Edward Steers. 

Twenty Days by Dorothy and Philip Kunhardt. Good pictorial narrative of the dark days after the assassination.

We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts by Timothy S. Good. 

The Web of Conspiracy by Theodore Roscoe.