Manhunt Series on Apple TV+ Explores the Lincoln Assassination and 12-Day Pursuit

Manhunt Series on Apple TV+ Explores the Lincoln Assassination and 12-Day Pursuit

The recently released limited series, Manhunt, now streaming on Apple TV+, delves into the historic assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the subsequent 12-day manhunt that ensued. Based on James L. Swanson’s nonfiction book, the show meticulously adheres to the historical record while providing a gripping narrative. Created by Monica Beletsky, known for her work on Friday Night Lights and Fargo, the series offers a condensed yet accurate portrayal of the events.

The assassination occurred on April 14, 1865, when John Wilkes Booth, a Shakespearean actor and fervent Confederate sympathizer, shot Lincoln in the head with a 44 caliber derringer at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Booth’s escape prompted a nationwide manhunt, which concluded when Sgt. Boston Corbett shot Booth in a Virginia farmhouse. Booth succumbed to his injuries hours later.

The phrase “Sic semper tyrannis!” was reportedly shouted by Booth as he fled the scene. Witnesses heard variations, with some claiming he yelled only “Sic semper!” The full phrase translates to “Thus always to tyrants,” echoing the words of Brutus when he assassinated Julius Caesar.

Booth’s motivation for the assassination stemmed from his outrage over the abolition of slavery and his refusal to accept the end of the Civil War, even after Robert E. Lee’s surrender. He remained a staunch believer in the lost cause.

The series accurately portrays Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, who led the manhunt. Stanton, a chronic asthmatic, clashed with Lincoln initially but became a strong supporter of the Emancipation Proclamation. His asthma ultimately led to his death in 1869, shortly after being appointed to the Supreme Court.

During Booth’s escape, he and his accomplice David Herold encountered Oswell Swann, a member of the Wesorts, a group of Maryland Native Americans with Black, indigenous, and white ancestry. Swann guided the fugitives through treacherous swampland to Confederate sympathizers. Other individuals aided Booth and Herold in their escape from Maryland to Virginia via the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. Swann later claimed he was unaware he had assisted Lincoln’s assassin.

The series also explores the involvement of Montreal, then part of British North America, as a hub for Confederate Secret Service operations. Booth had visited Montreal six months prior to the assassination, and evidence of a $500 deposit he made to a Montreal bank is discovered by Stanton, leading the investigation northward.

The Lincoln assassination was not an isolated crime, as the series highlights. Lewis Powell, a former Confederate soldier, attacked Secretary of State William Seward, stabbing him in the face and neck. Seward survived the assault. Another Confederate sympathizer, George Atzerodt, was assigned to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson but failed to carry out the attempt.

Author: CrimeDoor

3 Responses

  1. This limited series, Manhunt, provides a captivating and detailed account of the historic assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the subsequent manhunt. The information discussed in this post can be applied to gain a deeper understanding of this significant event in American history.

    One real-world application of this information is its potential use in educational settings. Teachers can utilize this series as a valuable resource to engage students and enhance their understanding of the assassination and its aftermath. By incorporating the series into history lessons, students can gain a more

  2. For readers interested in further exploring the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the manhunt that followed, I recommend the book “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer” by James L. Swanson. This gripping non-fiction account provides a detailed and suspenseful narrative of the events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination and the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth. It offers a deeper understanding of the historical context and the individuals involved in this tragic chapter of American history.

  3. This sounds like such an intriguing series! I can’t wait to check it out on Apple TV+. I’m always fascinated by historical events, especially when they’re brought to life on screen. I’ll definitely be sharing this post on my social media accounts to help spread the word. Thanks for sharing!

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