True Crime

The Would-Be Assassin and the Camera

S.K. Epperson:

After watching ‘The Conspirator’ I learned more about Powell than ever before, but now we get to see his face. Chilling.

Originally posted on The Frailest Thing:

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that they were haunted by an image, often an old photograph. It is a figurative and evocative expression. To say that an image is haunting is to say that the image has lodged itself in the mind like a ghost might stubbornly take up residence in a house, or that it has somehow gotten a hold of the imagination and in the imagination lives on as a spectral after-image. When we speak of images of the deceased, of course, the language of haunting approaches its literal meaning. In these photographs, the dead enjoy an afterlife in the imagination.

Lewis Powell

I’ve lately been haunted myself by one such photograph. It is a well-known image of Lewis Powell, the man hung for his failed attempt to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward. On the same night that John Wilkes Booth murdered the president, Powell was to…

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2 thoughts on “The Would-Be Assassin and the Camera

  1. I’d seen black and white photos of Powell before, but the color image is like a slap in the face. And I agree–this could have been taken yesterday. Talk about history coming alive.

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