Revealing a little-known chapter of American history that continues to have an impact on our lives today, this is the first book to chronicle the trial and execution of the only man in American history to face conviction for the largely unprosecuted and unpunished crime of slave trading. On a frosty day in late February 1862, hundreds gathered to watch the execution of Nathaniel Gordon. Hanging Captain Gordon explores the many compelling issues and circumstances that came together for this one man to pay the price for a crime committed by many; it also portrays the government that turned a blind eye to the horrific enterprise of human trafficking that had been a black mark on our country from its very inception. When Gordon had sailed two years earlier to take Africans in chains from the Congo, he had no reason to fear hanging. Although his crime had been a hanging offense for more than forty years, no one had ever bothered to enforce it. But Gordon didn't realize that a sea change was taking place in our nation -- embroiled in a civil war with a new president at the helm. Abraham Lincoln needed to preserve the Union, and Captain Gordon, in the wrong place at the wrong time, got caught up in the wave of change. This important and profound history is filled with drama and sharply drawn characters, includ-ing the young and aggressive prosecutor who made Gordon his personal demon, the U.S. marshal who did everything in his power to ensure Gordon's death, the corrupt officials who tried to help him evade punishment, and the old-guard justices who would bend the law to spare a slave trader.