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How the Lincoln assassination affected the life Henry R. Rathbone, the man that wrestled with John Wilkes Booth on assassination night

Help me get Worst Seat in the House published!

About Henry 

The Lincoln assassination is where most people have heard the name Henry Rathbone, but very few know more than the main details his of life.
  • He was a soldier in the Civil War. 
  • He and his fiance, Clara Harris, sat next to Lincoln and Mary Todd when John Wilkes Booth killed the President. 
  • Booth then stabbed Rathbone, when Henry tried to stop him from escaping. 

That's about it. Right? 

No, there's so much more! 

For instance, did you know that eighteen years after the assassination, Henry killed his wife, Clara in a very horrific way?  

picture by Currier and Ives - Courtesy of Library of Congress
picture by Currier and Ives - Courtesy of Library of Congress

What About The Book?

Worst Seat in the House is nearly complete and will be sent to an editor for review as soon as the Kickstarter is complete.  After editing and re-writes, I have book designers and cover artwork ready to go.

The book is planned to be a hardcover 6 x 9 book with jacket.  As of right now, the book sits at 250 pages.  But after rewrites, the length could be adjusted.

I have filled the book with all sorts of visuals to explain the Rathbone story. Through my research, I've compiled photos, maps, certificates, original documents, handwritten notes, etc.  There is a plethora of historical information to guide you through Henry's life.

The expected publication date is November 2013.

Extra Companion Book

Also, I know a lot of you are History junkies.  So I thought I'd put together a companion piece to go along with Worst Seat in the House.  During my research, I've come across some wonderful information regarding the Lincoln Assassination and I thought I'd compile it into a book for all you researchers and history lovers.

One of the rewards you can get, is The Lincoln Assassination: Research Compilation.  This book includes the transcript of the trial for the murder of Abraham Lincoln, and it also includes a wonderful book written by John Gilmary Shea titled The Lincoln Memorial.  Shea was a noted historian of the 1800s and wrote the book in 1865, the same year of Lincoln's death.  The book will also include several other documents and articles that give insight into the Lincoln Assassination.

The research compilation will be compiled into a professional soft-cover book.

Hey, What's the Book About?!

Early Life and the Civil War

To learn the fully story of this victim turned killer, we need start at the beginning.  My book, Worst Seat in the House, starts by delving into his early life and asking the important questions that may explain his future.  What kind of childhood did Henry have in Albany, N.Y.?  How did the death of his father at age eight, mold the man he was to become? 

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Henry joined the military and moved up the ranks to Major.  His military career found him located at many of the major battles of the war.  But did this affect his mental stability?

Lincoln Assassination

There are over 15,000 books written about Abraham Lincoln, his life and the assassination, but there has never been a non-fiction book about Henry Rathbone.  The only man in the world with a front row seat to the most famous assassination in U.S. history, and he has never been given a true investigation.  Even the newspapers of the 1800s largely forgot about Henry and his wife.

Imagine dealing with the trauma and guilt of letting the man that saved the United States die in front of you.  Then letting his killer get away after having him in your grasp.  In Worst Seat in the House, I bring up some new points to the Lincoln Assassination and provide a new outlook on what may have happened.  There are some conflicting reports out there and I hope to shed some new light on the discussion.

Major Henry Rathbone - Courtesy of The Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Major Henry Rathbone - Courtesy of The Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Source: Harper’s Weekly-SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 1865. Page 260
Source: Harper’s Weekly-SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 1865. Page 260

What's The Money For?

So why am I asking for help? Editing, Printing and Promoting.

In order to get Rathbone's story out to the public it's going to cost some money.  

Editing- This is the first step (now that the book is written).  Even the best writers have editors to clean their work up.  I want to do this topic justice and have a professional editor help me tighten this book up.

Printing- I'm not printing a lot of copies, just enough to get me started and of course to get out to all the Kickstarter backers.

Promotion- Advertising and Marketing is not cheap unfortunately.  To promote the book and get the word out, it will cost a little bit of money.  There are some book fairs, events, and other locations I'd go to in person.  Then add in the normal advertising routes through magazines, newspapers and online... it starts to add up.

The cost for each one is approximately a third of the total goal I've set.  If we go over the goal, I'll put more money into the printing and promotion phases.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to review my project!!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The only risk I foresee, is possibly the re-write phase. This could take longer depending on the editing process. The book publication date right now is November 2013. I don't see going beyond that date. I will do everything necessary to ensure that date is met. But life has its challenges, so I'm going to say December is the cutoff, making sure everyone gets their books and rewards in time for holiday gifts.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    SUPPORTER: All backers of $5 and over will have their name added to a special supporters page in "Worst Seat in the House"

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    COMPANION BOOK: One copy of "The Lincoln Assassination: Research Compilation" A collection of the the conspiracy trial transcripts for the murder of President Lincoln and "The Lincoln Memorial"

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    SIGNED BOOK: One copy of "Worst Seat in the House", SIGNED by the author.

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    One copy of "Worst Seat in the House", SIGNED by the author. AND One copy of "The Lincoln Assassination: Research Compilation" A collection of the the conspiracy trial transcripts for the murder of President Lincoln and "The Lincoln Memorial"

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    Two copies of "Worst Seat in the House", signed by the author

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    One copy of "Worst Seat in the House", SIGNED by the author. AND One copy of "The Lincoln Assassination: Research Compilation" A collection of the the conspiracy trial transcripts for the murder of President Lincoln and "The Lincoln Memorial" AND photocopies of Rathbone's Military Pension Files, including medical documents from the German Insane Asylum he died in.

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    Two copies of "Worst Seat in the House", signed by the author. AND Two copies of "The Lincoln Assassination: Research Compilation" A collection of the the conspiracy trial transcripts for the murder of President Lincoln and "The Lincoln Memorial"

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    Speaking Engagement- 1 hour presentation on Henry Rathbone, his life and his involvement in the Lincoln Assassination. Presentation followed by book signing. Includes 2 Free Books. Travel expenses included (within US, Hawaii and Alaska excluded) Must be scheduled with author after publication of book.

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