By George R. Dekle Sr.

Even after the legendary components are got rid of, the genuine tale of Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial is a compelling story of court drama that comprises subject matters of friendship and loyalty. Abraham Lincoln's most renowned Case: The Almanac Trial units the checklist directly: it examines how the twin myths of the dramatic cross-examination and the solid almanac got here to be, describes how Lincoln really received the case, and establishes how Lincoln's habit on the trial was once above reproach.

The booklet outlines 3 conflicting models of ways Lincoln gained the Almanac Trial—with a dramatic cross-examination; with an impassioned ultimate argument; or with a cast almanac—and then lines the transformation of those 3 tales over the many years as they have been retold within the varieties of crusade rhetoric, biography, background, and criminal research. After the writer exposes the inaccuracies of earlier makes an attempt to inform the tale of the trial, he refers to basic resources to reconstruct the possible process the trial and tackle questions concerning how Lincoln accomplished his victory—and no matter if he freed a murderer.

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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln's Most Famous Case: The Almanac Trial

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We thus have three competing versions of Lincoln’s performance in the Almanac Trial. In the first version he wins the case with a brilliant crossexamination of the state’s star witness. In the second he wins by using his skill as an orator to deliver an impassioned final argument that moves the courtroom to tears. In the third he subverts justice by counterfeiting an almanac and then carousing in a saloon while the jury deliberates the fate of his client. These three pictures of Lincoln do not necessarily conflict and may all be true, but the various stories give widely divergent details of the trial.

Q: What was its position in the sky? A: It was just about the position of the sun at ten o’clock in the forenoon. Q: You say that the moon was nearly full, and shining so bright that you could see Bill strike the blow? A: Yes. [Lincoln produces an almanac from his pocket and shows it to the jury]. By Mr. Lincoln: Gentlemen, either this witness is wrong or this almanac is wrong, for it says there was no moon that night. 32 Except for Coffin and Donovan, the early sources seem to unanimously agree that Lincoln first produced the almanac during final argument.

21 Isaac N. Arnold (1885), who gave his first sketchy account of the Almanac Trial in 1866, returned to the story almost two decades later, giving much more detail. 22 Arnold then describes the final argument by quoting Lincoln’s co-counsel, William Walker: At first he spoke slowly and carefully, reviewed the testimony, and pointed out its contradictions, discrepancies, and impossibilities. When he had thus prepared the way, he called for the almanac, and showed that, at the hour at which the principal witness swore he had seen, by the light of the full moon, the mortal blow given, there was no moon at all.

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