With Malice toward Some: Scholarship (Or Something Less) on the Lincoln Murder

By Harold M. Hyman | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

Maurice Maeterlinck in his Life of the Bee tells how the drone bee, after insuring the future of the colony, is attacked and destroyed by the rest of the bees. This story holds a morbid fascination.

Unfortunately, there is the same morbid fascination experienced by the general public when one of the great men or women of our past is attacked and their character destroyed. Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln were not spared those attacks after their deaths. More recently Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, has suffered the same fate in the publication and film The Lincoln Conspiracy.

This morbid fascination in the desecration of our heroes of the past appears so universal and lucrative that the motivation in the publication of these works must be suspect. When the historical accuracy of the work is as suspect as the motivation behind it, it is time to cry, "Enough!"

The officers of the Abraham Lincoln Association therefore invited Professor Harold M. Hyman of Rice University to address the Association on the charges made in The Lincoln Conspiracy. Professor Hyman, continuing the work started by our own late Ben Thomas, authored the most comprehensive biography of Edwin Stanton. In our opinion he is better acquainted with Stanton than is any scholar living today.

The Association is pleased to present Professor Harold Hyman's address, given on February 12, 1978.

FLOYD S. BARRINGER, President

ABRAHAM LINCOLN ASSOCIATION

Copyright, Abraham Lincoln Association, 1979

-1-

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