The Lincoln conspiracy : the secret plot to kill America's 16th president--and why it failed

by Meltzer, Brad,

Format: Print Book 2020
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Summary

Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, the bestselling authors of The First Conspiracy, which covers the secret plot against George Washington, now turn their attention to a little-known, but true story about a failed assassination attempt on the sixteenth president in The Lincoln Conspiracy .

Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865, but few are aware of the original conspiracy to kill him four years earlier in 1861, literally on his way to Washington, D.C., for his first inauguration.

The conspirators were part of a white supremacist secret society that didn't want an abolitionist in the White House. They planned an elaborate scheme to assassinate the President-elect in Baltimore as Lincoln's inauguration train passed through, en route to the nation's capital. The plot was investigated by famed detective Allan Pinkerton, who infiltrated the group with undercover agents, including Kate Warne, one of the first female private detectives in America.

Had the assassination succeeded, there would have been no Lincoln Presidency and the course of the Civil War and American history would have forever been altered.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Best-selling novelist and television host Meltzer and documentarian Mensch return to the winning formula of The First Conspiracy (2019) in this account of a conspiracy against President Abraham Lincoln, whose 1860 election became a flashpoint for southern opposition. As Lincoln traveled from Illinois to Washington, DC, for his 1861 inauguration, well-founded fears developed that Lincoln would be attacked in Baltimore, a choke point on the railroad routes between the northern U.S. and DC and a city with strong southern sympathies. The conspiracy failed, with Lincoln spirited through town to catch his DC train, but it allows a fascinating look at the conspirators and the investigators who thwarted them. Meltzer and Mensch introduce a constellation of pro-slavery militias and secret societies, with names like the Knights of the Golden Circle, which worked with the local police on plans to ensnare Lincoln, while their discussion of how the newly founded Pinkerton National Detective Agency infiltrated the conspiracy includes unexpected details of undercover work, 1860s-style--including by pathbreaking women detectives. A delightful addition to popular literature on the Civil War era."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Meltzer and Mensch (The First Conspiracy) deliver a solid recounting of the conspiracy to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln during his February 1861 railroad trip from Springfield, Ill., to Washington, D.C., and the successful efforts to foil it. Opening in dramatic fashion ("There's a secret on this train"), the authors describe how "America's first private detective," Allan Pinkerton, and two undercover agents--a man and a woman--snuck Lincoln, who was disguised as the woman's invalid brother and concealed in a sleeper berth, into Baltimore, Md., in the middle of the night, where he changed trains and immediately departed, thwarting "an underground network of secessionists" who expected him to arrive a day-and-a-half later. Flashbacks to Lincoln's presidential campaign illuminate the tensions between pro- and anti-slavery activists, and the authors briskly detail the backgrounds of conspirators Cypriano Ferrandini, Baltimore's "most powerful barber," and 28-year-old socialite Otis K. Hillard, as well as the efforts of Pinkerton Agency detectives to gather intelligence on the white supremacist societies allegedly behind the plot. Meltzer and Mensch maintain suspense despite the known outcome of the story, and convincingly counter claims that Pinkerton made the whole thing up for publicity purposes. Readers new to the "Baltimore Plot" will appreciate this comprehensive and well-written overview. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Lincoln, Abraham, -- 1809-1865 -- Assassination attempt, 1861.
Presidents -- Assassination attempts -- United States.
Baltimore (Md.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Edition First edition.
Contributors Mensch, Josh, author.
Language English
Description 432 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 419-424) and index.
ISBN 9781250317476
1250317479
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