The climactic scene of The First Assassin takes place on April 26, 1861–i.e., 149 years ago today. So today’s book excerpt, drawn from the final chapter, is the last. Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled programming. (There’s also a short epilogue, but it doesn’t occur on the next consecutive day.)
The most recent excerpts have been tough to select because I’ve wanted to avoid spoilers. I almost skipped today’s entirely for this reason. Then I found the short passage in which we see Lincoln the wisecracker–an aspect of his personality that I try to highlight in the novel.
Each chapter of the book chronicles a single day. I didn’t get started with these “149th anniversary” excerpts until the fifth chapter, so the first few are missing. Or maybe only the third and the fourth. The entire first chapter and the start of the second (February 23 and February 25, 1861) have been available since the book was published. Anyway, here’s your one-stop-shopping guide to the excerpts: