Publisher: Acclaim Press (August 15, 2009)
From Amazon.Com: One of the state s highest-ranking national figures, the story of Judge Joseph Holt and his remarkable life has remained untold...until now. Susan Dyer has dove in with both hands, uncovering a brilliant legal mind who had been appointed cabinet posts under several presidents in such diverse positions as Commissioner of Patents, Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and finally, our nation s first-ever Judge Advocate General, where he had the tremendous responsibility of prosecuting the conspirators who had slain the very president who had appointed him to that office, President Abraham Lincoln. Similarly fascinating, this book tells the story of Holt Mansion, its many mysteries, legends and historic events and the immense project to acquire and restore it to its antebellum splendor that is underway today. No Kentucky s collection or library will be complete without this amazing account. When President Abraham Lincoln appointed fellow Kentuckian Joseph Holt as America s first-ever Judge Advocate General, he could never have imagined that this very talented gentleman s greatest role in their divided nation s history would be that crucial position which he would play in the prosecution of Lincoln s own assassins. Thus, America s Advocate became Lincoln s Advocate.
This book reads like a work of lyrical prose as we are taken on a historic journey through the early childhood and legal career of Joseph Holt. Holt had an excelling legal mind and had been appointed cabinet positions under several presidents, including Commissioner of Patents, Postmaster General and Secretary of War. He is most noted as our nation’s first Judge Advocate General appointed by President Abraham Lincoln and he was later in charge of prosecuting the conspirators who assassinated President Lincoln. It was heartwarming to see the loving relationship between Holt’s parents and the strong sense of self-pride and character development Holt learned from them.
A Kentucky native, Dryer lives in Breckinridge County with her family and in addition to this book, she has been actively involved in restoring Holt’s boyhood home, Holt Manor, as part of the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration.
Saving the Joseph Holt House and its marvelous story are among the most significant legacy projects of the entire Lincoln Bicentennial! Our congratulations and deepest thanks go to Susan Dyer for championing this most important cause. --Kent Witworth Director, Kentucky Historical Society