Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him To The Presidency by Dan AbramsLincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him To The Presidency by Dan Abrams

Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him To The Presidency

byDan Abrams, David Fisher

Hardcover | June 5, 2018

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“Makes you feel as if you are watching a live camera riveted on a courtroom more than 150 years ago.” —Diane Sawyer

The true story of Abraham Lincoln’s last murder trial, a case in which he had a deep personal involvement—and which 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 trials—during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.

What normally would have been a local case took on momentous meaning. Lincoln’s debates with Senator Stephen Douglas the previous fall had gained him a national following, transforming the little-known, self-taught lawyer into a respected politician. He was being urged to make a dark-horse run for the presidency in 1860. Taking this case involved great risk. His reputation was untarnished, but should he lose this trial, should Harrison be convicted of murder, the spotlight now focused so brightly on him might be dimmed. He had won his most recent murder trial with a daring and dramatic maneuver that had become a local legend, but another had ended with his client dangling from the end of a rope.

The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The murder victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and his mentor. His accused killer, the young man Lincoln would defend, was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter. And to win this trial he would have to form an unholy allegiance with a longtime enemy, a revivalist preacher he had twice run against for political office—and who had bitterly slandered Lincoln as an “infidel…too lacking in faith” to be elected.

Lincoln’s Last Trial captures the presidential hopeful’s dramatic courtroom confrontations in vivid detail as he fights for his client—but also for his own blossoming political future. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system, as in this case Lincoln fought a legal battle that remains incredibly relevant today.
Dan Abrams is an American author, entrepreneur, news anchor, born in New York City in 1966. He earned his law degree at Columbia Law School. He is the chief legal affairs anchor of ABC News. At A&E network, he is the host of Live PD. His first book was published in 2011, Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better C...
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Title:Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him To The PresidencyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.27 × 6.22 × 1.11 inPublished:June 5, 2018Publisher:Hanover Square PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1335424695

ISBN - 13:9781335424693

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"[The case] cemented Lincoln's image as a courtroom star-and Abrams and Fisher have made the most of their material, polishing a musty transcript into an entertaining slice of life." -USA Today"Dan Abrams and David Fisher write the heart-pounding pulse of history. Abraham Lincoln: the dusty shoes, the weary eyes, the Jedi mastery of a jury in a true case of life and death. So pull up a chair. This book not only brings a rare transcript to life, it makes you feel as if you are watching a live camera riveted on a courtroom more than 150 years ago." -Diane Sawyer"You didn't know that Abraham Lincoln was the defense lawyer in a notorious murder case on the eve of his presidency? Neither did I. But Dan Abrams and David Fisher tell the remarkable tale in Lincoln's Last Trial, and the story is both compelling on its own terms and a lesson about some eternal truths about criminal justice." -Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress"Captivating... If you love legal thrillers, this is your book!" -Kimberly Guilfoyle"Dan Abrams tells the story of Lincoln's last trial as an immersive true crime and courtroom drama experience, with impeccable research and highly entertaining digressions on such topics as 19th century jury selection." -Crimereads"The authors give readers a moment-by-moment account of the murder trial, which featured a well-liked young victim, a claim of self-defense, [and] a deathbed admission… Lincoln enthusiasts will find the illumination of his preternatural legal skills a worthy subject; casual readers will find the centerpiece murder trial an engrossing legal thriller." -Publishers Weekly"Legal affairs journalist Abrams and coauthor Fisher illuminate a key marker on Abraham Lincoln's path to the White House… The transcripts reveal Lincoln at his best, fighting for a cause he believed in with brilliance and passion-qualities that would serve him so well as president." -Booklist"Abrams and Fisher quote generously from Hitt's transcript to bring into sharp focus the witness-by-witness testimony and courtroom proceedings." -Library Journal"We all know the story of Abraham Lincoln the wartime president, the defender of the Union, and the emancipator of the slaves. But Abraham Lincoln, the defense lawyer? Dan Abrams and David Fisher recount the engaging story of Lincoln's last trial, occurring on the cusp of the Civil War. An entertaining book filled with twists and turns and tailor-made for Civil War buffs." -Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and 1944"Lincoln's wartime leadership overshadows his life as a lawyer. But you can't understand one without the other. In this rich and previously unexplored corner of history, the authors take you inside the courtroom to watch Abraham Lincoln - at the height of his powers as a lawyer and on the edge of eternal fame - as he tries a thrilling murder trial to a jury." -Chris DeRose, New York Times bestselling author of The Presidents' War, Congressman Lincoln, and Founding Rivals