Author Series – Dan Abrams

Dan Abrams Lincolns Last Trial at Morgan LibraryTUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018
TIME: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Hilton Fort Collins, 425 W. Prospect Road, Fort Collins

DAN ABRAMS, author of Lincoln’s Last Trial will speak as part of the author evening series sponsored by the Friends of the CSU Libraries and the Poudre River Friends of the Library.

Tickets for the event are $5 per person. Tickets can be used as a $5 off coupon for a copy of Lincoln’s Last Trial. Tickets go on sale May 22nd and can be purchased from Old Firehouse Books online, over the phone, or in the store. Tickets are available the night of the event.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. A book sale and signing will follow the program.

It is difficult  to claim to bring something truly new to the massive bibliography that’s been written already about Abraham Lincoln’s life, but Dan Abrams has done it thanks to a heretofore unknown transcript of People v. Harrison, a landmark self-defense case argued in the sweltering summer of 1859, just two years before his election to the nation’s highest office.

The stakes were truly high—the defense’s case, which Lincoln argued, was by no means a sure thing. Just six months prior, Lincoln had been launched to national prominence with his daring performance in the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The debates also introduced Lincoln to Robert Hitt, the “steno man” charged with recording the debates verbatim, a fairly new practice. When Lincoln decided to take Harrison’s case, Hitt was on hand to transcribe the trial.

A loss at this stage could have crippled his political career. The case posed painful personal challenges for Lincoln. The victim had trained for the law in his office, and Lincoln had been his friend and mentor. The accused killer was the son of a close friend and loyal supporter.

The result is one of the most colorful portrayals of Lincoln’s monumental skill as a litigator that exists, illuminating verbatim Lincoln’s interactions with witnesses, cross-examinations, and even courtroom downtime. Lincoln’s Last Trial connects the events of the trial and the complex web of relationships between those in the courtroom to known elements of Lincoln’s life outside the courtroom (his troubled marriage, brutal training as a self-taught, traveling new lawyer, and his time in the Black Hawk War) to create the fullest picture possible of one of the most examined men in American history. It is a moment in history that shines a light on our legal system that remains incredibly relevant today.


Dan Abrams is the CEO and Founder of Abrams Media and the Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News. He is also the host of both Sixty Days In and Live PD on the A&E network. He is a legal commentator and former anchor of Nightline.  A graduate of Columbia University Law School, he has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among many others.

This program is part of a series of free author programs presented by and sponsored by the Friends of Morgan Library and the Poudre River Friends of the Library, and supported by the Liggett Family Endowment, KUNC Radio and the Hilton Fort Collins. Book sales in Fort Collins are by Old Firehouse Books.