The Impeachment of Abraham LincolnStephen L. Carter What if Abraham Lincoln had survived Booth’s bullet?In
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln,
Stephen L. Carter, the best-selling author of
The Emperor of Ocean Park,
travels back to Washington, D. C. (then known as WashingtonCity) in April 1865 and imagines what might have happened had Lincoln survived theassassination attempt. The questions, discussion topics, and suggested reading in this guideare designed to enhance your group’s discussion of this fascinating work of alternativehistory.Incensed by Lincoln’s conciliatory policies in the South, radical Republicans in Congressare determined to impeach him. They charge him with misusing presidential power duringthe Civil War, failing to protect freedmen in the South, and, most seriously, with the intentto overthrow the authority of Congress. One month before the trial is scheduled to begin,Abigail Canner, a young black woman, appears at the offices of the President’s lawyers.She possesses a degree from Oberlin, a letter from one of the partners promising her employment, and the strong conviction that her gender and race will not prevent her fromrealizing her ambition to become a lawyer. As the case against Lincoln heats up, Abigail’scontributions to the defense are hardly noticed—until she uncovers a conspiracy that couldundermine the congressional case and destroy the reputations of prominent politicians andsome of America’s wealthiest families.Carter blends concrete facts, wholly credible fictional events, and beautifully realizedcharacters both real and invented into a tantalizing tale of what might have been.
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
offers fresh and provocative insights into anextraordinary time in American history and its enduring impact on our politics and society.