April 14, 2015
The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.
Guest Speaker: Michael Kauffman
Michael Kauffman, author of the best seller “American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies” will speak to the Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable about the Booth conspiracy and how it was built largely around Southern Maryland politics. Booth was often described as a Southerner, but in fact, he was a Marylander — and so were almost all of the people who were drawn into his plot. The people of Southern Maryland lived on the fault line of national politics, in a Border State, where politics had grown intensely personal through the war, and where the phrase “Brother vs. Brother” was literally true for many local families. Its geographical position — nearly surrounding the nation’s capital — gave it a strategic importance far beyond that of any other state that remained in the Union.
In the fall of 1864, John Wilkes Booth set out to recruit a band of conspirators for his plot against the president. Booth knew little about the area, but he knew how the people here felt about Lincoln. He was a master of manipulation, and he took full advantage of the political climate to build his plot. When he looked for cohorts, a sympathetic ear, and a secure route of escape, he knew where he would find friendly territory. Southern Maryland was his only option.
MICHAEL W. KAUFFMAN is a political historian and graduate of the University of Virginia who has studied the Lincoln assassination for more than thirty years.
Taking a full-immersion approach to his research, he has rowed across the Potomac where Booth rowed, leaped to the stage in Ford’s Theatre, and for a time he even took up residence in Tudor Hall, the Booth family home in Maryland.
Kauffman has written for Civil War Times, the Washington Post, American Heritage, Blue and Gray, and the Lincoln Herald, among others. He has lectured throughout the United States, and has appeared in more than twenty television and radio documentaries, including programs on A& E, The Learning Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the Discovery Channel.
His works include a modern edition of Samuel B. Arnold’s Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator, as well as American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, which was named as one of the best non-fiction books of 2004.His latest book, “In the Footsteps of An Assassin” is a 161-page book which guides the reader with maps, rare photos and an accompanying CD through the sites Booth encountered on his flight from Washington to the Garrett Farm, the site of Booth’s death.