Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2019
This book by lawyer Dan Abrams focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s last major trial as a working lawyer in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln’s client, “Peachy” Quinn Harrison, was accused of killing Greek Crafton in a fracas at a local Splringfield store. The story centers on the self defense laws at the time. The protagonist, strangely enough, is really not the two litigants in the trial; it’s the court reporter, Robert Roberts Hitt. Hitt, who went on to an illustrious career including several terms in Congress, proves to be a dogged recorder of the trial’s testimony. Hitt got the job based on his transcription of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, which happened shortly before the trial. It’s easy to forget how import the role of the court reporter was in this age of audio and video recording devices, but in the 19th Century, these people were crucial to the recording of historical events. This book is essentially based on that record which was discovered in Hitt’s great grandson’s garage in 1989. The story will give any reader not only a respect for this man, but it will show a side of Honest Abe we really haven’t seen much of, that of talented attorney.
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