Alias “Paine”

Lewis Thornton Powell, the Mystery Man of the Lincoln Conspiracy, 2d ed.

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About the Book

The most enigmatic of the associates of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, Confederate soldier Lewis Thornton Powell, using the alias Lewis Paine, was a key player in the postwar attempt to undermine the Federal government. On the night Lincoln was shot, 20-year-old Powell burst into the house of William Seward and attempted to assassinate the secretary of state. Captured shortly after the assassination, Powell stood trial for his crime and was hanged three months later. Powell and his role in the conspiracy has been the subject of debate for many years. Who was this man? This biography attempts to unveil his true character.

About the Author(s)

Betty J. Ownsbey is an independent historian and researcher. She lives in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Betty J. Ownsbey
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7623-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1437-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

1. Youth and Family: The Pieces of the Puzzle 3

2. In the Beginning: War 10

3. Captured: The Turning Point 14

4. Part-Time Partisan 19

5. The Baltimore Connection 30

6. Scandal and Skullduggery 37

7. “The Nest That Hatched the Egg” 43

8. The Road to Ruin 49

9. Countdown to Tragedy 54

10. April 14, 1865 58

11. Blood on the Moon 63

12. “How the Game Was Bagged” 73

13. In the Belly of the Whale 82

14. Blind Justice 89

15. “Hero Villainy”: A Field Day for the Media 97

16. In the Shadow of Death 104

17. The Last Mile 111

18. Afterword 122

Appendices 127

Chapter Notes 193

Bibliography 202

Index 205


Book Reviews & Awards

“It contains fascinating accounts of Powell written by his family and others who knew him. An excellent number of black-and-white photos of objects connected with Powell’s final assignment support the text. Ownsbey has crafted a book well worth reading”—Civil War News; Reviews of the first edition: “a solid piece of research”—Booklist; “a thoroughly credible job”—Lincoln Herald; “outstanding job of research…well-written and informative…highly recommend[ed]…excellent”—The Civil War Courier; “fills a significant gap in the Lincoln assassination…well researched…will be a welcome addition to Lincolnalia, and represents a true gem in the ever-growing mound of assassination literature”—The Reviewers Consortium.