SouthBound lecture brings 'Lincoln and Speed' author to town

Jonathan Putnam /

The Southern Lit Alliance will host Jonathan Putnam, author, attorney and Abraham Lincoln scholar, for the next SouthBound lecture on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. in the Arts Building, 301 E. 11th St.

Putnam is known for his Lincoln and Speed mystery series. That series includes "Final Resting Place" (2018), "Perish from the Earth" (2017) and "These Honored Dead" (2016). The fourth book in the series, "A House Divided," will be published by Crooked Lane Books in July. The books have been optioned for the screen, and Variety magazine has reported that a major TV series is in the works.

At his appearance Saturday, Putnam will speak on "How the Young Lincoln Became Our Lincoln" as well as his book series.

In "A Final Resting Place," the tumultuous political season of summer 1838 has caused unrest in Springfield, Illinois. Community members are gathering for the Fourth of July when the celebration is suddenly halted due to the assassination of a local politician.

After his political enemy is arrested, young lawyer Lincoln and his friend, Joshua Speed, begin investigating.

The trial proves to be less than ordinary for Lincoln and Speed. Anonymous letters begin making their way into the papers, and Lincoln and his loved ones are threatened. Lincoln and Speed must identify the letter writer before Lincoln's past catches up with him.

Lincoln and Speed mystery series has been called "historical fiction at its finest" by Book Reporter, while Suspense Magazine wrote, "Putnam has done a great job of bringing the famous man alive in this truly cool series."

Putnam is a nationally known trial lawyer and equity partner at Kirkland & Ellis law firm in New York City. He specializes in representing companies and individuals in complex commercial litigation, often disputes involving intellectual property such as patents or trademarks.

Has given talks about Lincoln for civic groups, bookstores, libraries and legal groups across the country. He was chosen to narrate two episodes about young Lincoln for the "10 American Presidents" podcast series.

The attorney graduated from Harvard College with a degree in history and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992. At Harvard Law School, he served on the Harvard Law Review and graduated first in his class. After graduation, he worked as law clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., before joining Kirkland & Ellis.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 students with valid ID. Reservations are preferred, but walk-ups will be taken and may pay at the door as space allows.

Register and purchase tickets in advance at