Most Americans are familiar with the fact that on April 14th 1865, one of the most famous and beloved president of our time, Abraham Lincoln, was shot in his box at Ford Theatre.
What many people don’t remember is that President and Mrs. Lincoln were entertaining an engaged couple in their theatre box; Clara Harris & Henry Rathbone. Not only did Rathbone witness one of the greatest American tragedies, but he was also stabbed by Lincoln’s murder, John Wilkes Booth. This book tells Henry’s story and what it was like carry the burden of not being able save the President of the United States. More than 10 years later, Henry becomes consumed by madness and commits an act that is eerily similar to what happened on the night of April 14th.
I thought this book had a great concept. Personally, I was unaware that the Lincoln’s shared their box with another couple. The author raises many great points, such as in today’s world of social media. Henry Rathbone would have become an instant celebrity. His story would have been all over the internet and TV in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, in 1865, very little information was gathered about Henry.
Due to this fact, the author does make a lot of speculation on what may have happened and what may have been going on through the mind of Rathbone.
It was a little disappointing that there were not more facts but I do give the author credit for giving alternate theories on various incidents. The author showing how Henry experienced symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, was very interesting and has shown how far we have come in medical advancements. This is an interesting read and a different view of one of the American’s most famous historical events.
By Alicia Kociuba