Guide The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

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David Allen , S94 Lincoln and his admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U. W47 Mr. W74 Lincoln's sword: the presidency and the power of words Wilson, Douglas L. K86 Twenty days: narrative in text and pictures of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the twenty days and nights that followed--the nation in mourning, the long trip home to Springfield Kunhardt, Dorothy, P58 They have killed Papa dead! L73 The Lincoln assassination conspirators: their confinement and execution, as recorded in the letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft Steers, Edward, Jr.

S99 Lincoln's assassins: their trial and execution : an illustrated history Swanson, James L. L Abraham Lincoln's autobiography, with an account of its origin and history, and additional biographical material, by Robert Dale Richardson Lincoln, Abraham, In order to make the package convincing, Felton would recall, he and Pinkerton assembled a formidable-looking parcel done up with an impressive wax seal. Inside was a stack of useless old railroad reports. Lincoln would have to cover more than miles in a single night, running in darkness for most of the route, with two changes of train.

In addition, Lincoln would make his approach to the city on a different rail line, and arrive at a different station.

Captain Rea Andrew Redd,

In order to travel anonymously, Lincoln would have to ride on regular passenger trains, gambling that the privacy of an ordinary sleeping compartment would be sufficient to conceal his presence. Having charted this route, Pinkerton now confronted a scheduling problem. The train carrying Lincoln from Harrisburg would likely not reach Philadelphia in time to connect with the second segment of the journey, the 11 p. If all went according to plan, Lincoln would arrive in Baltimore in the dead of night.

His sleeper car would be unhitched and drawn by horse to Camden Street Station, where it would be coupled to a Washington-bound train. The task of getting Lincoln safely aboard the Baltimore-bound passenger train would be especially delicate, as it would have to be done in plain view of passengers and crew. For this, Pinkerton needed a second decoy, and he counted on Kate Warne to supply it. In Philadelphia, Warne made arrangements to reserve four double berths on the sleeper car at the back of the train. Once aboard that night, Warne flagged down a conductor and pressed some money into his hand.

A group of spaces, she implored, must be held at the back of the train, to ensure his comfort and privacy. Franciscus, a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad. As he finished, he looked out to see engineer Edward Black running along the track at full speed, having been ordered by Franciscus to report for emergency duty. Black hopped up into the cab and scrambled to make ready, apparently under the impression that a private train was needed to carry a group of railroad executives to Philadelphia.

They ran the two-car special a mile south toward Front Street, as instructed, and idled at a track crossing to wait for their passengers. Franciscus, meanwhile, had circled back to the Jones House in a carriage, pulling up just as Governor Curtin, Lamon and Lincoln himself—his appearance masked by his unfamiliar hat and shawl—emerged from the side entrance of the hotel.

As the door closed behind the passengers, Franciscus flicked his whip and started off in the direction of the railroad tracks. At the Front Street crossing, Black and Garman looked on as a tall figure, escorted by Franciscus, quietly alighted from a carriage and made his way down the tracks to the saloon car. Even as the train vanished into the darkness, a lineman directed by Pinkerton was climbing a wooden utility pole two miles south of town, cutting off telegraph communication between Harrisburg and Baltimore.

Governor Curtin, meanwhile, returned to the Executive Mansion and spent the evening turning away callers, so as to give the impression that Lincoln was resting inside. On board the train, Black and Garman were making the best time of their lives. All trains had been shunted off the main line to allow the special an unimpeded run. In the passenger coach, Lincoln and his fellow travelers sat in the dark, so as to reduce the chance that the president-elect would be spotted during watering stops.

At one of the stops, as Garman bent to connect a hose pipe, he caught sight of Lincoln in the moonlight streaming through the door of the coach. Climbing into the cab alongside Black, Garman could not entirely contain his excitement. He cautiously asked his colleague if he had any idea what was going on in the saloon car.

Baltimore Plot - Wikiwand

In Philadelphia, Pinkerton readied himself for the next phase of the operation. He was joined by H. Just after 10, the squeal of brake blocks and hiss of steam announced the arrival of the two-car special from Harrisburg, well ahead of schedule. As he stepped forward and exchanged hushed greetings with Lincoln, Pinkerton realized that the early arrival of the Harrisburg train left him with too much time.

Pinkerton decided that Lincoln would be safest inside a moving carriage. As Franciscus withdrew, Pinkerton, Lamon and Lincoln, his features partly masked by his shawl, took their seats in the carriage. Lincoln was sandwiched between the small, wiry Pinkerton and the tall, stocky Lamon. Lincoln enter the car, and no one on the train, except his own immediate party—not even the conductor—knew of his presence. The journey from Philadelphia to Baltimore was expected to take four and a half hours.


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Warne had managed to secure the rear half of the car, four pairs of berths in all, but there was little privacy. Only a curtain separated them from the strangers in the forward half, so the travelers were at pains to avoid drawing attention. Lincoln remained out of sight behind hanging drapes, but he would not be getting much rest that night. As the train pressed on toward Baltimore, Pinkerton, Lamon and Warne settled into their berths.

At regular intervals he stepped through the rear door of the car and kept watch from the back platform, scanning the track. Pinkerton listened intently as rail workers uncoupled the sleeper and hitched it to a team of horses. With a sudden lurch, the car began its slow, creaking progress through the streets of Baltimore toward Camden Street Station, just over a mile away. Pinkerton had calculated that Lincoln would spend only 45 minutes in Baltimore.

Arriving at Camden Street Station, however, he found that they would have to endure an unexpected delay, owing to a late-arriving train. For Pinkerton, who feared that even the smallest variable could upset his entire plan, the wait was agonizing. Lincoln, at least, seemed perfectly sanguine about the situation. As the skies began to brighten, Pinkerton peered through the blinds for a sign of the late-arriving train that would carry them the rest of the way to Washington.

Unless it came soon, all advantage would be swept away by the rising sun. If Lincoln were to be discovered now, pinned to the spot at Camden Street and cut off from any assistance or reinforcements, he would have only Lamon and Pinkerton to defend him. If a mob should assemble, Pinkerton realized, the prospects would be very bleak indeed. As the detective weighed his limited options, he caught the sound of a familiar commotion outside.

Later that morning, in Baltimore, as Davies accompanied Hillard to the appointed assassination site, rumors swept the city that Lincoln had arrived in Washington. Decades later, in , Pinkerton would quietly sum up his exploits.

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Kate Warne succumbed to a lingering illness in at age She was buried in the Pinkerton family plot. He would accompany the funeral train to Springfield. Copyright c With the permission of the publisher, Minotaur Books. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Science Age of Humans.

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Captain Rea Andrew Redd,

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The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

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