Available from Kindle, Nook, and iBook

by Fred Saberhagen
Published by JSS Literary Productions
Copyright (c) 1988 by Fred Saberhagen

ASSASSINATION PLOT: Once again Fred Saberhagen's remarkable new series character, Pilgrim, is at the center of strange and mysterious affairs. When last heard from, the Flying Dutchman of Spacetime was busy robbing the Pyramids so that he might fuel his spaceship cum time machine -- but that is as nothing compared to his latest scheme: to reach back in time and save President Abraham Lincoln from assassination -- From paperback cover blurb


With some comments on how these related to Fred Saberhagen.

A great site to learn about Lincoln and the events of the historical assassination is the Abraham Lincoln Research Site http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln2.html

Fred did his research from historical texts, not by way of the internet. If we come across a bibliography of the works he used, we‚will post it. We doubt the biblio exists, as making biblios wasn't Fred's usual way of attacking research.


Chicago -----

TMU ----- St. Thomas More University‚(fictional)    Jerry is going to school at TMU.  This University is also mentioned in Fred's other Pilgrim novel, PYRAMIDS. Fred was born in Chicago and spent much of his early life there.  Many of Fred's works reference Chicago or use Chicago as part of the setting.

USC-- University of Southern California,  Jan Chen's alma mater

New Salem, Il

         Onstot cabin --- next to Onstot Cooper    This is the only original building in the historically recreated New Salem village

         Rutledge Tavern --- Lincoln was a boarder here

         Sangamon River --- where Lincoln poled his flatboat

         http://www.lincolnsnewsalem.com --- a map of New Salem village with locations Fred mentions

         Fred and Joan visited New Salem and Springfield in the summer of 1968.  They have a photo of Fred at the entrance to the cabin. Return visits were made to Springfield, New Salem, and locations related to Lincoln and the Civil War.

Springfield, IL

         Old State Capitol  Illinois -- http://www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/old_capitol.htm

         Lincoln's Springfield home --http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/liho/

         Foundation's offices --- (fictional)

Illinois State Route 97 --- east west highway near Springfield

Lombard, Illinois -- Lilac Festivals   Fred's family lived in Lombard for a short time when Fred was a young child. He attended Lilac Festivals. Fred and Joan almost bought their first home there. The house is featured in Fred's novel SPECIMENS. The lilacs of Lombard are quite famous in the Chicago area

Vicksburg, Mississippi --- the location where Colleen's brother was killed in battle. The Union army under General Grant drove the Confederates across the Mississippi to a defense position in the city of Vicksburg.  The city was under siege from May 25 to July 4, 1863. The surrender of the city gave The Union control of the Mississippi River.http://www.nps.gov/vick/

Fred visited the battlefield memorial at Vicksburg more than once. He found the aura both mystical and moving, as was the aura at the Gettysburg battlefield.

Georgia - Colleen has another brother who served with General Sherman in Georgia. Grant ordered Sherman to go into Georgia and cause devastation to all resources beneficial to the enemy. Sherman's force was in Georgia from May 1864 to December 1864 when it marched north through South Carolina into North Carolina.We have relatives in Atlanta.

Washington City --- in 1865 a city of 200,000 people.  Fred has relatives in DC and visited frequently. He sought out the spots important in Lincoln's life.

Missouri - where James Lockwood was to have been working for Stanton.  Lockwood is dead and Jerry has assumed his identity.

Capitol --- renovations taking place the time of Lincoln's presidency


White House -- Executive Mansion  Renovated since Lincoln's day. In Fred's library is a reference book for the White House, THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE vol 1 & 2 , William Seale, White House Historical Assoc.1986.   Fred has placed one of his page markers on photo #41 between pages 394-395. The photo is the Second-floor plan in Lincoln's time. Fred probably had more books on Lincoln and the Civil War than any other single area. Russian history and literature was a close second.

Pennsylvania Avenue --- the most well known street in Washington City

Washington Monument -- under construction during the Civil War

The Armory

Willard's Hotel-- on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from the Armory, most prestigious hotel in the city during the Civil War era

Richmond -- capitol of the Confederacy

Treasury Department building

Disneyland --- On a vacation Fred saw the Lincoln automaton. He was quite fascinated.

Ford's Theater


Fred visited the theater on one of his DC excursions.

Ford's Theater Box 7 and Box 8 --- presidential box. Site of Lincoln's assassination

National Hotel -- Booth's residence April 1865

541 H. Street --- a boarding house. Residence of Booth's co-conspirators in the Lincoln assassination

Patent Office -- on route between 541 H Street and the brothel on Ohio Street

Smithsonian Institute --- The whole current complex was one of Fred's favorite haunts.

brothel on Ohio Street --- quite likely no longer there

Fourteenth Street Bridge over the canal -- probably no longer there

Taltavul's -- tavern next to Ford's frequented during intermissions.

Oak Ridge Cemetery --- Lincoln's Tomb, others of Lincoln's family also buried in this cemetery.

Literary references

Banana Republic --- Fred owned more than one Banana Republic photographer's vest. Banana Republic has since been taken over by The Gap.

Time flies like an arrow --- A common saying ‚ don't believe this is a quote. The saying is a semantic ambiguity, that is there are multiple ways to define a word within a sentence. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.--Groucho Marx

Gettysburg Address --- 1863.For text see Lincoln On Line http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Lincoln/gettysburg.html. And of course, visit Wikipedia

When Lilacs Last in DoorYard Bloomed --- Walt Whitman

First stanza Full text at http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_182.html

Like Pilgrim, Fred frequently quoted poetry.

WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,

And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,

I mourn'd‚ and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;

 Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,

And thought of him I love.

---An elegy written on the death of Lincoln 1865

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps on this petty pace to the last syllable of recorded time

---Macbeth:Act 5 : Scene 5 : Line19 - 20

Poem by J E Flecker:

"We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go

Always a little further: it may be

Beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow,

Across that angry or that glimmering sea ..."


Watson --- Sherlock Holmes' companion and fellow investigator Doctor Watson. Fred was a great fan of Holmes. See Fred's dracula series.

Lincoln's speech from the White House balcony April 11, 1865. Lincoln's last public address

Full text at http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/P/al16/speeches/last.htm

Quoted by Fred:

     "Unlike the case of a war between independent nations, there is no authorized organ for us to treat with. No one man has the authority to give up the rebellion for any other man. We simply must begin with, and mold from, disorganized and discordant elements. Nor is it a small embarrassment that we, the loyal people, differ among ourselves as to the mode, manner, and means of Reconstruction."

         Now he was talking about Louisiana . "Some twelve thousand voters in the heretofore slave state of Louisiana have sworn allegiance to the Union, assumed to be the rightful political power of the state, held elections, organized a state government, adopted a free-state constitution, giving the benefit of public schools equally to black and white and empowering the Legislature to confer the elective franchise upon the colored man. Their Legislature has already voted to ratify the Constitutional amendment recently passed by Congress, abolishing slavery throughout the nation. These twelve thousand persons are thus fully committed to the Union, and to perpetual freedom in the state ‚Äî committed to the very things, and nearly all the things, the nation wants ‚Äî and they ask the nation's recognition and its assistance to make good their committal."

OUR AMERICAN COUSIN --- play at Ford's Theater when Lincoln assassination takes place.

Project Gutenberg has the text for download at: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3158

THE APOSTATE--- a play that John Wilkes Booth had the starring role of the villain Duke Pescara. Booth's brother, Edwin also played Duke Pescara. No luck finding the author of the play, or a copy.



Historic and Fictional

Facts for the historical characters are easily accessible on the web

Tom Scheffler (fictional) – a major character in Fred’s other Pilgrim novel PYRAMIDS.

Jerry Flint /James Lockwood aka John James aka Paul Pilgrim (fictional) --- Lockwood is a family name from Fred's fraternal side.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) -- visit Abraham Lincoln on Line at        http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln.html   Many references for Lincoln's life with special attention to activities of the bi centennial celebration of Lincoln's birth

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818 - 1882) Lincoln's wife

Edward (Eddie) Baker Lincoln (1846 - 1850) -- Lincoln's son

William (Willie) Wallace Lincoln (1850 - 1862) -- Lincoln's son. Willie's remains were moved from the Washington area and traveled with Lincoln's on the presidential funeral train back to Illinois.

Thomas (Tad) Lincoln (1853 -1871) -- Lincoln's son.

Ann Rutledge --- alleged romantic interest of young Lincoln from the New Salem days.

Pilgrim (fictional) --- the Flying Dutchman of Spacetime. Wish Fred had done more with this character. He's one of my favorites among Fred's creations.

Jan Chen (fictional) -- her only appearance among Fred's works is in this story

Mr. Helpman (fictional) -- one of Pilgrim's backers, a representative from the 23 century. I believe this story is his only appearance.


Olivia (fictional) -- one of Pilgrim's backers from the future who is helping Pilgrim return to his rightful time. Olivia also appears in Fred's book PYRAMIDS.


Unnamed diminutive figure (fictional)-- appearance of a masked and somewhat deformed child--Pilgrim's assistant and shipmate also appears in PYRAMIDS

Winthrop Johnson (fictional ??) 19th century man who takes Jerry into Springfield in a horse drawn buggy A land agent for the railroad.  Not sure if Fred based this character on a historical figure or not.

Colleen Monahan aka Sarah James (fictional) -- one of Stanton's agents, a war widow, her husband Steven not mentioned except as a name called out in a dream. Monahan is a family name from Fred's maternal side.

Lafe Baker --- Colonel Lafayette C. Baker, head of the War Department's Secret Service. He has a reputation of corruption and brutality.

Edwin McMasters Stanton -- Lincoln's Secretary of War

Peter Watson --- high level assistant at the War Department (real or fictional?)

Sam (fictional) --- met at rail station in Chicago. Serves as personal servant for Jim and Colleen in their private car on the train.

General Grant --- leading general of Union forces

Robert E. Lee --- leading general of Confederate forces.

General Sherman --- Union general - mentioned as the General who Colleen's brother is serving with in Georgia.

Royal Dano --- 20th century actor, does voice of Lincoln at Disneyland, as remembered by Jerry Flint.

Andrew Johnson --- Lincoln's Vice-President almost impeached, drunk at Lincoln's second inauguration, hails from Tennessee.

Ward Lamon --- Lincoln's bodyguard and friend

John Wilkes Booth --- Lincoln's assassin -- many web entries on Booth's life. - Here's one:      http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln72.html

Laura Keene --- star of Our American Cousin at Ford's

John Ford -- owner of the theater

Tom Raybold -- (historical ?) --assistant to John Ford at the theater

Pinkerton -- in New Orleans, according to Fred, out of business for more than a year

Mrs. Surrat - - proprietor of boarding house.

Anna Surrat -- daughter of Mrs. Surrat

Lewis Paine -- associate of Wilkes Booth

Ned Spangler -- associate of Wilkes Booth, sceneshifter at Ford's

Weichman -- a boarder at Mrs. Surrat's, but not a Booth conspirator. A War Department clerk.

General Johnston -- Confederate general, Carolina,

Mosby -- Lewis Paine rode with Mosby in the valley. Mosby a Confederate guerrilla leader.

O'Laughlin, Michael (1840-1867) -- part of Booth's conspiracy group

Bella -- madame at the whore house on Ohio (fictional ? probably not)

Ella -- special whore of Booth's.  She's Bella's sister. (fictional ? probably not)

Rose and Lilly -- black whores (twins?) at the house on Ohio Street (fictional?)

Mose and Ben  (fictional) -- ride with Colleen when she picks up Jerry at Bella's

Scarlett O'Hara's Mammy (fictional) -- only referred to, she's from the novel GONE WITH THE WIND

Asa Trenchard, Mrs Mountchessington, Lord Dundreary, Florence Trenchard, Harry Hawk  (fictional) -- characters in the play Our American Cousins.

Clara Harris (1845-1883)  -- a senator's daughter, accompanies Lincolns to the theater.  She was a friend of Mrs. Lincoln.

Major Henry Rathbone (1837-1911) -- Clara Harris's escort and financee.  An interesting and tragic character.

Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852) -- John Wilkes Booth's father.

A brief excerpt:



A burst of audio and visual static reduced reception to unintelligible noise. Then the paradox-generated interference was gone again, as suddenly as it had come.

" . . . Fourteenth of April at Ford's Theater --" blast, crackle.

". . . you must be within two meters of the President . . . just before the bullet smashes into Lincoln's brain. Your total window of opportunity will be three seconds."