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The untold story of how one sensational trial propelled a self-taught lawyer and a future president into the national spotlight. In May of 1856, the steamboat Effie Afton barreled into a pillar of the Rock Island Bridge, unalterably changing the course of American transportation history. Within a year, long-simmering tensions between powerful steamboat interests and burgeoning railroads exploded, and the nation’s attention, absorbed by the Dred Scott case, was riveted by a new civil trial. Dramatically reenacting the Effie Afton case—from its unlikely inception, complete with a young Abraham Lincoln’s soaring oratory, to the controversial finale—this “masterful” (Christian Science Monitor) account gives us the previously untold story of how one sensational trial propelled a self-taught lawyer and a future president into the national spotlight.
Instant New York Times bestseller! A USA Today Top 10 Hot Book for Summer “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.
Nineteenth-century America witnessed some of the most important and fruitful areas of intersection between the law and humanities, as people began to realize that the law, formerly confined to courts and lawyers, might also find expression in a variety of ostensibly non-legal areas such as painting, poetry, fiction, and sculpture. Bringing together leading researchers from law schools and humanities departments, this Companion touches on regulatory, statutory, and common law in nineteenth-century America and encompasses judges, lawyers, legislators, litigants, and the institutions they inhabited (courts, firms, prisons). It will serve as a reference for specific information on a variety of law- and humanities-related topics as well as a guide to understanding how the two disciplines developed in tandem in the long nineteenth century.
A surprising work of narrative history and detection that illuminates one of the most daring—and long-forgotten—heroes of the Civil War. Independence Day, 1861. The schooner S. J. Waring sets sail from New York on a routine voyage to South America. Seventeen days later, it limps back into New York’s frenzied harbor with the ship's black steward, William Tillman, at the helm. While the story of that ill-fated voyage is one of the most harrowing tales of captivity and survival on the high seas, it has, almost unbelievably, been lost to history. Now reclaiming Tillman as the real American hero he was, historian Brian McGinty dramatically returns readers to that riotous, explosive summer of 1861, when the country was tearing apart at the seams and the Union army was in near shambles following a humiliating defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. Desperate for good news, the North was soon riveted by reports of an incident that occurred a few hundred miles off the coast of New York, where the Waring had been overtaken by a marauding crew of Confederate privateers. While the white sailors became chummy with their Southern captors, free black man William Tillman was perfectly aware of the fate that awaited him in the ruthless, slave-filled ports south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Stealthily biding his time until a moonlit night nine days after the capture, Tillman single-handedly killed three officers of the privateer crew, then took the wheel and pointed it home. Yet, with no experience as a navigator, only one other helper, and a war-torn Atlantic seaboard to contend with, his struggle had just begun. It took five perilous days at sea—all thrillingly recounted here—before the Waring returned to New York Harbor, where the story of Tillman's shipboard courage became such a tabloid sensation that he was not only put on the bill of Barnum’s American Museum but also proclaimed to be the "first hero" of the Civil War. As McGinty evocatively shows, however, in the horrors of the war then engulfing the nation, memories of his heroism—even of his identity—were all but lost to history. As such, The Rest I Will Kill becomes a thrilling and historically significant work, as well as an extraordinary journey that recounts how a free black man was able to defy efforts to make him a slave and become an unlikely glimmer of hope for a disheartened Union army in the war-battered North.
Who is a Yankee and where did the term come from? Join author Jim McNiven as he explores the emergence and influence of Yankee culture while traversing an old transcontinental highway reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific—US 20, which he nicknames "The Yankee Road." The Yankee Road: Tracing the Journey of the New England Tribe that Created Modern America combines fascinating history with a travel narrative, taking the reader on a journey through the places Yankees and their descendants settled as they expanded westward. Using a physical road to connect locations important to the Yankee cultural "road," McNiven takes us on side trips into individual stories, introducing readers to the origins of such large-scale and diverse ideas as conservation, public education, telegraphy, mass production, religion, and labor reform. This second volume of a projected trilogy, Domination, centers on the growth of industry around the Great Lakes in the mid-nineteenth century into the twentieth century, something that led to the Yankee victory in the Civil War and the emergence of the reunited country as a major world power. Erastus Corning, Ida Tarbell, John Brown, JD Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Kellogg brothers, the Wright brothers and Judge Gary, all make appearances.
Στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του ’50, σε μια μικρή πόλη της Ιρλανδίας, η Έιλις, ένα κορίτσι από φτωχή οικογένεια, όπως και οι περισσότεροι νέοι δυσκολεύεται να βρει δουλειά. Μόλις της προταθεί μια θέση στις ΗΠΑ καταλαβαίνει ότι δεν μπορεί να αρνηθεί, και αποφασίζει για πρώτη φορά να αφήσει πίσω την εύθραυστη μητέρα της και την αδερφή της.Η απόφασή της θα την οδηγήσει στο Μπρούκλιν όπου υπομονετικά θα χτίσει μια καινούργια ζωή γεμάτη όνειρα για το μέλλον της. Κι ενώ προσπαθεί να διαχειριστεί τη νοσταλγία που νιώθει για ό,τι άφησε πίσω της, θα γνωρίσει τον πρώτο της έρωτα και μαζί την υπόσχεση για μια καλύτερη ζωή. Το παρελθόν της όμως σύντομα θα την καλέσει ξανά, αναγκάζοντάς την να διαλέξει ανάμεσα στην πατρίδα, στην οικογένεια και στον έρωτα. Με εγκράτεια, δεξιοτεχνία και εξαιρετική συναισθηματική αντίληψη ο Colm Tóibín, ένας από τους καλύτερους Ιρλανδούς συγγραφείς της εποχής μας, συνέθεσε μια συγκλονιστική ιστορία για το πεπρωμένο. Το Μπρούκλιν τιμήθηκε με το Βραβείο Costa 2009, και ήταν υποψήφιο για το Διεθνές Λογοτεχνικό Βραβείο IMPAC Dublin 2011 και το βραβείο κοινού Goodreads 2009. Είχε επίσης συμπεριληφθεί στη μακρά λίστα για το βραβείο Man Booker το 2009.

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