The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A Novel

I had to visit the Library the other day because I did not have anything to read.  I finished Medusa by Michael Dibdin recently.  It started off kind of slow because it was culturally a little foreign to me.  I had to translate various Italian phrases.  The novel involved the discovery of a body some thirty years after the individual met a tragic end.  His fate was intertwined with a number of the characters in the book's fates.  I returned a few CD's also before the late fees hit.  Thank goodness for e-mail alerts.

I wanted to pick up a book by James Patterson but I am in the habit of finishing those in two days or less.  The Quickie was an intriguing read with murder and mayhem and a number of interesting plot twists.  It was more layers to it than the title implies.  I was looking for something recent by Eric Jerome Dickey but he must be in the middle of something intense.  A Wanted Woman made me want to pass out.  Hence, I am trying to finish The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter.  Mr. Carter is an African American Author who has penned a very intriguing novel with a number of interesting historical reference points.

One of the main characters in the book is Abigail Conner.  She is a young African American female who has finished undergraduate studies at Oberlin College in Ohio.  Oberlin is notable for having been the first American institution of higher learning to admit female and black students in addition to white males.  George Vashon was its first black graduate.  He became one of the founding professors of Howard University and was the first black lawyer admitted to the bar in New York state.  Ms. Conner received a less than friendly reception upon her arrival at work.  Even with her credentials and sharp intellect, she is relegated to housekeeping duties upon her arrival at Dennard & McShane law firm.  Perish the thought to think that in 1867, ninety-six years before I was born, a 'negress' as she is referred to, dares to prepare for the bar.



One of the twists of the book is that President Lincoln actually survived the assassination attempt by John Wilkes Booth.  I thought it was a corny concept before I picked up the book.  There was another novel by David Baldacci just staring at me.  For whatever reason, I perused the pages and began my present journey.  President Lincoln is being bought up on impeachment charges for a number of reasons.  Many sitting senators feel that he has overstepped his bounds by utilizing the military to advance his objectives.  Also, many Radical Republicans feel that he is not being tough enough on the Southern states that dared to secede from the Union.  His wife has died in the novel and he seems to be a shell of his former self.  Danger and intrigue lurks at every turn.

One of the partners of the law firm was murdered with what was supposedly an African American prostitute early on in the novel.  Abigail has begun her own investigation and she seems to notice some inconsistencies with the investigation by Inspector Varak.  Eventually, the brothel of Madame Sophie is burned to the ground in the novel.  I am at the point in the novel now where the trial has begun.  I understand historically that the end of the Civil War was not the end of the troubles for former slaves and for what really happened to President Lincoln.  It is interesting to read this Author's take on an alternate reality to our History.  I will report back on my opinion as to the conclusion of this novel.

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