February 3, 2009 Author of New Book on Lincoln's Assassination to Discuss His Work

Author Anthony Pitch on “‘They Have Killed Papa Dead!’”

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

The assassination of the 16th president is one of the singular events in American history. Historian Anthony Pitch will discuss and sign his new book, “‘They Have Killed Papa Dead!’: The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder and the Rage of Vengeance,” during a Books & Beyond program on Friday, Feb. 20, at noon in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Pitch, using primary source materials mainly from the Library of Congress, documents and reveals previously unknown facts about Lincoln’s death; the murder of his secretary of state, William Seward; and the events that led to the torturous incarceration of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators.

According to Pitch, Lincoln was under threat of assassination from the time of his first inauguration, in 1861. Gen. Winfield Scott, in charge of military defenses in Washington, feared secessionists would kill Lincoln even before his inauguration. Six weeks before shooting Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, Booth was forcibly restrained from approaching the president as he walked through the rotunda of the Capitol to be sworn in for his second term. Pitch details the murder plots that were unsuccessful, as well as the one leading to Lincoln’s death, by referencing hundreds of sources.

“‘They Have Killed Papa Dead!’: The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder and the Rage for Vengeance” (Steerforth Press, 2008) will be available for sale and signing during this event. Pitch is also the author of “The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814.”

Sponsored by the Center for the Book, this Books & Beyond program is part of the Library of Congress’ celebration of the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. A major exhibition, “With Malice Toward None,” opens at the Library on Feb. 12, offering the public the opportunity to view rarely seen treasures from the Library’s collections, including the Lincoln Bible on which President Barack Obama took the oath of office.

The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its programs, publications and national reading-promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.


PR 09-021
ISSN 0731-3527