2008 Guest Speaker, THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL

About our Speaker:

Thomas J. Craughwell, author of Stealing Lincoln's Body (Harvard University Press, 2007), has written more than a dozen books on history, religion, and popular culture. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, The American Spectator, Emmy magazine, and Inside the Vatican. And he has been a guest on CNN, the BBC, The Discovery Channel, and the international Catholic cable network, EWTN. He writes out of his home in Bethel, Connecticut.


"[A] spirited narrative...Craughwell brings off the entire enterprise by making readers feel, hear and smell the atmosphere of the fetid Chicago taverns where the crooks hatched their demonic plot--not to mention the creepy interior of the shoddy Lincoln tomb, crumbling all around the family corpses as an aging guard of honor struggles both to conceal Lincoln's body in the dank cellar and to rescue the cheaply made temple for posterity...Summoning the raw spirit of crime novels and horror stories, as well as the forensic detail of a coroner's inquest, Thomas J. Craughwell has turned the eerie final chapter of the Lincoln story into a guilty pleasure." --Harold Holzer, Washington Post Book World

Mr. Craughwell will have copies of his book available for sale and signing:

Stealing Lincoln's Body

By Thomas J. Craughwell

Published 2007

Harvard University Press

About the Book:

On the night of the presidential election in 1876, a gang of counterfeiters out of Chicago attempted to steal the entombed embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. The custodian of the tomb was so shaken by the incident that he willingly dedicated the rest of his life to protecting the president's corpse. In a lively and dramatic narrative, Thomas J. Craughwell returns to this bizarre, and largely forgotten, event with the first book to place the grave robbery in historical context. He takes us through the planning and execution of the crime and the outcome of the investigation. He describes the reactions of Mary Todd Lincoln and Robert Todd Lincoln to the theft--and the peculiar silence of a nation. He follows the unlikely tale of what happened to Lincoln's remains after the attempted robbery, and details the plan devised by the Lincoln Guard of Honor to prevent a similar abominable recurrence. Along the way, Craughwell offers entertaining sidelights on the rise of counterfeiting in America and the establishment of the Secret Service to combat it; the prevalence of grave robberies; the art of nineteenth-century embalming; and the emergence among Irish immigrants of an ambitious middle class--and a criminal underclass. This rousing story of hapless con men, intrepid federal agents, and ordinary Springfield citizens who honored their native son by keeping a valuable, burdensome secret for decades offers a riveting glimpse into late-nineteenth-century America, and underscores that truth really is sometimes stranger than fiction.


"While the field of Lincoln studies appears to have been exhaustively mined, Thomas Craughwell has found a gold nugget in the bizarre story of Stealing Lincoln's Body. In a well-researched and beautifully written book, he takes readers through the intriguing Irish underworld of counterfeiting that led to the plot to hold Lincoln's body for ransom." --Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

"Thomas Craughwell offers the first full-length account of the aborted attempt to steal the body of the nation's icon. Ian Fleming could not have done better than this fast-paced, well-written thriller. The story demonstrates yet again how good intelligence and police work can be so effective in preventing a national catastrophe."  --Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court, and chairman of The Lincoln Forum

"Thomas Craughwell has written a definitive and fascinating book about the hapless gang of counterfeiters who attempted to snatch Lincoln's body and hold it for ransom. This is history writing at its best." --Wayne C. Temple, author of Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet

"With charm and authority, Thomas Craughwell offers an illuminating portrait of nineteenth-century America as he writes of the origins of the Secret Service, counterfeiting in America, the rambunctious growth of Chicago, and the assassination of the beloved president. At the heart of this book is the attempt to steal Old Abe's bones, a surprising story of ludicrous crooks, determined government agents, and loyal guardians devoted to the memory of their native son." --R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., founder and editor-in-chief, The American Spectator

Thomas Craughwell click here

Annual Dinner Dance, FEBRUARY 9, 2008

104th Anniversary Annual Dinner Meeting

Colonial Terrace

119 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor, New York

6:30 PM

PROGRAM: Stealing Lincoln's Body: Thomas J. Craughwell

Lincoln and Civil War Painting Art Exhibit, by

Paul R. Martin III

Lincoln Sculpture Exhibit, by

Richard Masloski

Open Bar all evening.

Cocktails 6:30 - 7:30

Dinner and dancing to follow.

$95.00 per guest,

Black tie invited

RSVP by February 3, 2008

ALL Funds will support the Lincoln Society in Peekskill!

Special pricing for Re-enactors attending the dinner dance in period clothing or uniforms. Please contact Paul Martin, 914-245-8903.

email Paul Martin

or CONTACT: Herb Schneider, 914-737-0139

email Herb Schneider

or, Carolyn Geisel, 914-739-8815

Click here for photos of Celebration 2007

PARADE 2006 Click here for photos of Parade 2006

CELEBRATION 2005 Click here for photos of Celebration 2005

104th Anniversary Parade and Celebration Schedule

2006 Parade (above).

Click here for photos of Celebration 2008

CONTACT: Herb Schneider, 914-737-0139
email Herb Schneider

or, Carolyn Geisel, 914-739-8815

Re-enactors, Please contact Paul Martin, 914-245-8903 for more information.
email Paul Martin

Click here for photos of Celebration 2008

Click here for photos of Celebration 2007

PARADE 2006 Click here for photos of Parade 2006

CELEBRATION 2005 Click here for photos of Celebration 2005

2007 Speaker, Debbie Applegate


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