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.
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.
Anyone looking for a detailed account of Lincoln’s failed assassination attempt, this is it! Thorough, edge-of-your-seat story definitely brings more stellar and amazing history to Lincoln’s life.
The Lincoln Conspiracy
Clearly one of the best books I’ve ever read. Extremely well written. Great suspense, even though you know the outcome.
The Lincoln conspiracy