BoothieBarn is creating articles on the Lincoln assassination
14

patrons

$87
per month
"Why did he do it?”
This was the question I had while observing the magnificent tomb of our 16th President during my eighth grade class trip to Springfield, Illinois. For the past two days my class and our chaperones had toured what felt like all of the historic sites the Springfield region had to offer; New Salem, the Old State Capitol, the Illinois State Museum, the New State Capitol, and Lincoln’s home. All of these sites taught us about my home state and Abraham Lincoln’s important place in its history. Our final stop before heading back to our Chicagoland home was this, the Lincoln Tomb. After days of hearing all about Abraham Lincoln’s beginnings, rise, and presidency, the tomb marked a fitting end that demonstrated how a grateful country memorializes its greatest leader.


And yet, after walking through the near silent tomb and emerging out the other side, my thoughts had shifted from Lincoln to the actor who had ended his life. Abraham Lincoln’s death was not the result of illness or old age. He was the first President to be killed. How could anyone do such a thing to a man so well loved today? How was it possible that a single man could bring down our country’s greatest president? What were his motives? Why did he do it?

In school, I found the answers to my questions less than helpful. “The assassin,” textbooks told me, “was a crazed Southern actor who was upset that the Confederacy had lost the Civil War.” All it took was a sentence to explain that Lincoln’s death was an act of mad vengeance. With sentences like that, textbooks could wrap up the end of the Civil War section and move on. But that wasn’t enough for me. Such a statement couldn’t bookend the immensity of Lincoln’s life and the national mourning following his death. It was then that I started my own education into the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Throughout high school and college I read about Lincoln’s death, still trying to understand the motivations of a man who brought grief to a nation with a single shot derringer pistol. I graduated from college with a degree in elementary education and began my career as a teacher. As I continued to study the Lincoln assassination in my free time however, I found that the more I read, the more questions I had. I started reaching out to notable experts in the field and, eventually, I joined an online community of others who studied the Lincoln assassination.

Starting a Blog 
In 2012, I decided to start my own Lincoln assassination blog, a medium I had very little experience with. Not expecting anyone other than myself and some of my close friends to read it, I gave it the somewhat silly name of BoothieBarn. The word “Boothie” is a term used by some of us who study the Lincoln assassination (it was once used derogatorily by Lincoln scholars who looked down on those who studied Lincoln’s death). And the “barn” part? Well the assassin of Lincoln was shot in a burning barn and I guess I liked the alliteration of it. Again, I really didn’t expect much out of the blog and wasn’t even sure it would last. In retrospect I wish I had given it a better name but it has since become my brand, for better or for worse. Shortly after starting my blog I moved to Maryland which brought me closer to the history I studied.

In the beginning my blog was very much what you would expect from a novice blogger. My posts were short and contained little more than tidbits of trivia I had learned during my study of the Lincoln assassination. Over time I expanded and developed the site to include picture galleries, videos, and maps. My posts got longer and took more time to research and write. As my number of blog followers increased, I felt compelled to hold myself to higher and higher standards. In the early days I could whip out a blog post in under an hour with very little effort. Today, my wife, Kate, can attest to the fact that even the most basic of posts take hours of research to make sure each detail is backed up by evidence.

The devotion and detail I have demonstrated in my work has provided me with some unique opportunities. I have been interviewed on live TV twice. In 2015, I was chosen to become one of the narrators for the John Wilkes Booth escape route bus tour put on by the Surratt House Museum. And, in what has been the highlight of my “career” thus far, this Illinois native turned Marylander has twice been invited to speak at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library on the subject of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.


Why Patreon?
Since my blog started in 2012, my site has had almost 1,000,000 views and has gained over 700 followers. As a blog dedicated to a niche part of history, I am very proud of those numbers and feel that I provide those visitors with quality, educational content about a turbulent time in our nation’s history. I will continue to research, write, and publish new and unique stories connected with the events of April 14, 1865.

My reason for joining Patreon is the hope that some of you might consider becoming a patron of BoothieBarn and help provide some financial support towards the work I do. All the work and research I do is a labor of love but there are real costs associated with the production of content. Here’s a little bit of the breakdown.
  • Web hosting: My website is hosted through Wordpress, a blogging and website design site. I pay $99 a year for webhosting, which is Wordpress’ middle of the road package. This package gives me the direct web address of www.BoothieBarn.com rather than the cumbersome boothiebarn.wordpress.com. In addition, this package removes any outside advertisements from the site that Wordpress would otherwise include. This makes the site cleaner and more user friendly.
  • Genealogy resources: Much of the research on the blog requires finding out basic biographical information about some of the smaller known characters in the Lincoln assassination. In order to help find individuals in censuses, marriage records, city listings, death certificates, etc., I subscribe to Ancestry.com. As of this writing I have created 42 different family trees using Ancestry with only one of those being for my own family. It is an integral part of my research process. My subscription to Ancestry costs me $189 a year.
  • Newspaper archives: While the Library of Congress has some newspapers digitized and available to view for free on their Chronicling America site, modern research really requires the use of a subscription based newspaper archive. There are many different archives available with some overlap in content. For my newspaper research, I subscribe to GenealogyBank.com. This allows me to search through newspapers for relevant articles and content. My subscription to GenealogyBank costs $69.95 per year.
  • Military records: When researching members of the military and the official records of the War Department regarding Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, access to digitized military records is a must. The entire Lincoln Assassination Evidence file (all of the material collected by investigators about Lincoln’s death) is housed in the National Archives. The website Fold3.com provides digital scans of all of these documents and a bulk of the National Archives’ military records. My subscription to Fold3 costs me $79.95 per year.
Looking at the costs of web hosting and the three research resources I subscribe to, it can be determined that I spend at least $437.90 a year in order to create content for BoothieBarn. This, of course, also fails to take into account the likely thousands of dollars I have spent over the years buying books and assembling a personal Lincoln assassination library. Suffice it to say, I have spent, and continue to spend, a lot of money to do what I love.


How you can help
I am not expecting that I will ever be able to break even regarding the costs of my work. What Patreon provides, however, is a system of allowing fans of a content creator to set up recurring donations to support their work. Patreon operates a bit like those infomercials you see on TV where you make a pledge to donate a certain amount each month. You choose whatever amount you would like to give and, once a month, Patreon will charge your credit card that amount. It’s a very painless and simple process. 90% of the money you give goes straight to the creator while 10% goes to Patreon as transaction fees. It’s a way of matching creators with patrons who enjoy their work and want to support them in whatever way they can. It’s almost like a virtual tip jar but gives creators more long term support.

I, myself, have been a patron of a wonderful artist named Jackie Roche, who creates historical comics, for several months now and I have never had any problems with the Patreon system. On the first day of each month Patreon automatically deducts my pledge from my credit card and sends it her way. I am free to increase, reduce, or even stop my monthly donation at anytime. It's a very user friendly system that connects creators to the people who want to support their work.

By creating a Patreon account and setting up a monthly pledge, you would help support the work and research that I do on BoothieBarn. Your donation would work to help offset the costs of web hosting, research resources, and other expenses associated with creating new articles on the Lincoln assassination. Your donation doesn’t have to be much to help make a difference and you are free to cancel your monthly pledge at any time.

What you will receive
In many cases, becoming a creator’s patron entitles you to special perks. Some creators give their patrons early access to something or produce exclusive “patron only” material. These examples walk the line, in my opinion, between becoming a supportive patron and just outright paying for goods and services. Since the goal of BoothieBarn is to be an educational site that is accessible to all, I would not feel comfortable in producing researched pieces here on Patreon that would only be available to patrons.

However, I do understand the need to reward and thank patrons for their support. In this way, becoming a patron with a recurring pledge of any amount will grant you access to The Vault. Kate and I have been to many different museums, libraries and archives over the years in our ongoing research into the Lincoln assassination. As such we have seen firsthand many interesting artifacts and relics connected with the event. In The Vault, I will highlight some of the items we have seen in our travels and where they are located today. The Vault will only be accessible and viewable by patrons here on Patreon as a thank you for your support. Wouldn’t you like a peek inside The Vault?

In conclusion
Whether you have the means to become a patron of BoothieBarn or not, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this and consider it. BoothieBarn is a true labor of love for me and any amount of support would be graciously appreciated. There are often times when the commitments of my real life career as an elementary school teacher prevent me from researching and writing, but the call to seek out answers is just as strong now as when I was a student myself. I will strive to continue to produce intriguing and educational pieces about one of the most traumatic events in our national history.

Thank you,
Dave Taylor

P.S. All of the stated goals are 10% higher than their actual cost in order to counteract Patreon's transaction fees.
Tiers
BoothieBarn Patron
$1 or more per month 11 patrons
By pledging a dollar or more a month, you are supporting historical research and writing on the Lincoln assassination story.


While the main work will still be found over on BoothieBarn.com, as an official patron you will have access to The Vault, a showcase of different Lincoln assassination artifacts, documents, and relics here on the Posts page of this Patreon. The Vault gives you a taste of the many things that lay hidden in museums around the nation. 


Thank you for becoming a patron!

Goals
$87 of $105 per month
BoothieBarn Upgrade
I currently have the middle webhosting package for BoothieBarn. While I enjoy it, it only provides a limited amount of storage space and lacks the ability to add plugins to the site. Upgrading to the next package will provide me with unlimited storage space and allow me to add new features and functionality to the site.
7 of 7
"Why did he do it?”
This was the question I had while observing the magnificent tomb of our 16th President during my eighth grade class trip to Springfield, Illinois. For the past two days my class and our chaperones had toured what felt like all of the historic sites the Springfield region had to offer; New Salem, the Old State Capitol, the Illinois State Museum, the New State Capitol, and Lincoln’s home. All of these sites taught us about my home state and Abraham Lincoln’s important place in its history. Our final stop before heading back to our Chicagoland home was this, the Lincoln Tomb. After days of hearing all about Abraham Lincoln’s beginnings, rise, and presidency, the tomb marked a fitting end that demonstrated how a grateful country memorializes its greatest leader.


And yet, after walking through the near silent tomb and emerging out the other side, my thoughts had shifted from Lincoln to the actor who had ended his life. Abraham Lincoln’s death was not the result of illness or old age. He was the first President to be killed. How could anyone do such a thing to a man so well loved today? How was it possible that a single man could bring down our country’s greatest president? What were his motives? Why did he do it?

In school, I found the answers to my questions less than helpful. “The assassin,” textbooks told me, “was a crazed Southern actor who was upset that the Confederacy had lost the Civil War.” All it took was a sentence to explain that Lincoln’s death was an act of mad vengeance. With sentences like that, textbooks could wrap up the end of the Civil War section and move on. But that wasn’t enough for me. Such a statement couldn’t bookend the immensity of Lincoln’s life and the national mourning following his death. It was then that I started my own education into the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Throughout high school and college I read about Lincoln’s death, still trying to understand the motivations of a man who brought grief to a nation with a single shot derringer pistol. I graduated from college with a degree in elementary education and began my career as a teacher. As I continued to study the Lincoln assassination in my free time however, I found that the more I read, the more questions I had. I started reaching out to notable experts in the field and, eventually, I joined an online community of others who studied the Lincoln assassination.

Starting a Blog 
In 2012, I decided to start my own Lincoln assassination blog, a medium I had very little experience with. Not expecting anyone other than myself and some of my close friends to read it, I gave it the somewhat silly name of BoothieBarn. The word “Boothie” is a term used by some of us who study the Lincoln assassination (it was once used derogatorily by Lincoln scholars who looked down on those who studied Lincoln’s death). And the “barn” part? Well the assassin of Lincoln was shot in a burning barn and I guess I liked the alliteration of it. Again, I really didn’t expect much out of the blog and wasn’t even sure it would last. In retrospect I wish I had given it a better name but it has since become my brand, for better or for worse. Shortly after starting my blog I moved to Maryland which brought me closer to the history I studied.

In the beginning my blog was very much what you would expect from a novice blogger. My posts were short and contained little more than tidbits of trivia I had learned during my study of the Lincoln assassination. Over time I expanded and developed the site to include picture galleries, videos, and maps. My posts got longer and took more time to research and write. As my number of blog followers increased, I felt compelled to hold myself to higher and higher standards. In the early days I could whip out a blog post in under an hour with very little effort. Today, my wife, Kate, can attest to the fact that even the most basic of posts take hours of research to make sure each detail is backed up by evidence.

The devotion and detail I have demonstrated in my work has provided me with some unique opportunities. I have been interviewed on live TV twice. In 2015, I was chosen to become one of the narrators for the John Wilkes Booth escape route bus tour put on by the Surratt House Museum. And, in what has been the highlight of my “career” thus far, this Illinois native turned Marylander has twice been invited to speak at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library on the subject of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.


Why Patreon?
Since my blog started in 2012, my site has had almost 1,000,000 views and has gained over 700 followers. As a blog dedicated to a niche part of history, I am very proud of those numbers and feel that I provide those visitors with quality, educational content about a turbulent time in our nation’s history. I will continue to research, write, and publish new and unique stories connected with the events of April 14, 1865.

My reason for joining Patreon is the hope that some of you might consider becoming a patron of BoothieBarn and help provide some financial support towards the work I do. All the work and research I do is a labor of love but there are real costs associated with the production of content. Here’s a little bit of the breakdown.
  • Web hosting: My website is hosted through Wordpress, a blogging and website design site. I pay $99 a year for webhosting, which is Wordpress’ middle of the road package. This package gives me the direct web address of www.BoothieBarn.com rather than the cumbersome boothiebarn.wordpress.com. In addition, this package removes any outside advertisements from the site that Wordpress would otherwise include. This makes the site cleaner and more user friendly.
  • Genealogy resources: Much of the research on the blog requires finding out basic biographical information about some of the smaller known characters in the Lincoln assassination. In order to help find individuals in censuses, marriage records, city listings, death certificates, etc., I subscribe to Ancestry.com. As of this writing I have created 42 different family trees using Ancestry with only one of those being for my own family. It is an integral part of my research process. My subscription to Ancestry costs me $189 a year.
  • Newspaper archives: While the Library of Congress has some newspapers digitized and available to view for free on their Chronicling America site, modern research really requires the use of a subscription based newspaper archive. There are many different archives available with some overlap in content. For my newspaper research, I subscribe to GenealogyBank.com. This allows me to search through newspapers for relevant articles and content. My subscription to GenealogyBank costs $69.95 per year.
  • Military records: When researching members of the military and the official records of the War Department regarding Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, access to digitized military records is a must. The entire Lincoln Assassination Evidence file (all of the material collected by investigators about Lincoln’s death) is housed in the National Archives. The website Fold3.com provides digital scans of all of these documents and a bulk of the National Archives’ military records. My subscription to Fold3 costs me $79.95 per year.
Looking at the costs of web hosting and the three research resources I subscribe to, it can be determined that I spend at least $437.90 a year in order to create content for BoothieBarn. This, of course, also fails to take into account the likely thousands of dollars I have spent over the years buying books and assembling a personal Lincoln assassination library. Suffice it to say, I have spent, and continue to spend, a lot of money to do what I love.


How you can help
I am not expecting that I will ever be able to break even regarding the costs of my work. What Patreon provides, however, is a system of allowing fans of a content creator to set up recurring donations to support their work. Patreon operates a bit like those infomercials you see on TV where you make a pledge to donate a certain amount each month. You choose whatever amount you would like to give and, once a month, Patreon will charge your credit card that amount. It’s a very painless and simple process. 90% of the money you give goes straight to the creator while 10% goes to Patreon as transaction fees. It’s a way of matching creators with patrons who enjoy their work and want to support them in whatever way they can. It’s almost like a virtual tip jar but gives creators more long term support.

I, myself, have been a patron of a wonderful artist named Jackie Roche, who creates historical comics, for several months now and I have never had any problems with the Patreon system. On the first day of each month Patreon automatically deducts my pledge from my credit card and sends it her way. I am free to increase, reduce, or even stop my monthly donation at anytime. It's a very user friendly system that connects creators to the people who want to support their work.

By creating a Patreon account and setting up a monthly pledge, you would help support the work and research that I do on BoothieBarn. Your donation would work to help offset the costs of web hosting, research resources, and other expenses associated with creating new articles on the Lincoln assassination. Your donation doesn’t have to be much to help make a difference and you are free to cancel your monthly pledge at any time.

What you will receive
In many cases, becoming a creator’s patron entitles you to special perks. Some creators give their patrons early access to something or produce exclusive “patron only” material. These examples walk the line, in my opinion, between becoming a supportive patron and just outright paying for goods and services. Since the goal of BoothieBarn is to be an educational site that is accessible to all, I would not feel comfortable in producing researched pieces here on Patreon that would only be available to patrons.

However, I do understand the need to reward and thank patrons for their support. In this way, becoming a patron with a recurring pledge of any amount will grant you access to The Vault. Kate and I have been to many different museums, libraries and archives over the years in our ongoing research into the Lincoln assassination. As such we have seen firsthand many interesting artifacts and relics connected with the event. In The Vault, I will highlight some of the items we have seen in our travels and where they are located today. The Vault will only be accessible and viewable by patrons here on Patreon as a thank you for your support. Wouldn’t you like a peek inside The Vault?

In conclusion
Whether you have the means to become a patron of BoothieBarn or not, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this and consider it. BoothieBarn is a true labor of love for me and any amount of support would be graciously appreciated. There are often times when the commitments of my real life career as an elementary school teacher prevent me from researching and writing, but the call to seek out answers is just as strong now as when I was a student myself. I will strive to continue to produce intriguing and educational pieces about one of the most traumatic events in our national history.

Thank you,
Dave Taylor

P.S. All of the stated goals are 10% higher than their actual cost in order to counteract Patreon's transaction fees.

Recent posts by BoothieBarn

Tiers
BoothieBarn Patron
$1 or more per month 11 patrons
By pledging a dollar or more a month, you are supporting historical research and writing on the Lincoln assassination story.


While the main work will still be found over on BoothieBarn.com, as an official patron you will have access to The Vault, a showcase of different Lincoln assassination artifacts, documents, and relics here on the Posts page of this Patreon. The Vault gives you a taste of the many things that lay hidden in museums around the nation. 


Thank you for becoming a patron!