Friday, May 8, 2009

Newsletter Review--The Surratt Courier

The Surratt Courier. Volume XXXIV No. 5 May 2009.

The Surratt Courier is a monthly publication of The Surratt Society .The Surratt Society has the goal of preserving and interpreting the Surratt House and the role it played in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The monthly issued Courier is available as a benefit of membership in the Society. Memberships run as low as $7 which is quite a bargain.

The May issue begins with the President's Message which includes notice of the recent death of historian Steven Lee Carson. The front page also has a listing of upcoming and ongoing events at the Surratt House. Also included is a listing of new items available through the society bookstore. Included are three new titles dealing with assassination and those implicated. Also included is a brief article titled "Music About Abraham Lincoln" written by Charles Becker.

The feature article this month is titled "A Response to the Kate Thompson Theory" written by Carman Cumming. Cumming is noted for his work on Confederate operations in Canada during the Civil War. Cumming argues that it is highly unlikely that Jacob Thompson, a Confederate commissioner in Canada during the war, traveled to Washington under the guise of Kate Thompson. While it is possible that Jacob did receive an invitation to Washington it appears that he did not meet with anyone of importance and possibly did not go at all. The alleged purporse of the visit was to try and end the war with a program of continental expansion with the Union taking over Canada and other British areas while the Confederacy would move on Mexico and/or the Caribbean. While it is possible the Seward and Stanton MIGHT have had an interest in expansion there appears to be no evidence that any real discussions on such a plan took place. As Cumming himself says this whole thing probably doesn't much matter except to show the importance of the Confederate Canadian operations.

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