The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

by Michael J. Kline
     
 

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On February 11, 1861, the "Lincoln Special" - Abraham Lincoln's private train—began its journey from Springfield, Illinois, to the City of Washington, carrying the president-elect to his inauguration as the sixteenth president of the United States. As Lincoln made his way east, America's original private detective, Allan Pinkerton, and a separate

Overview

On February 11, 1861, the "Lincoln Special" - Abraham Lincoln's private train—began its journey from Springfield, Illinois, to the City of Washington, carrying the president-elect to his inauguration as the sixteenth president of the United States. As Lincoln made his way east, America's original private detective, Allan Pinkerton, and a separate operation by New York City detectives, uncovered startling evidence of a conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln during his next-to-last stop in Baltimore. In The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln, Michael J. Kline turns his legal expertise to evaluating primary sources in order to discover the extent of the conspiracy and culpability of the many suspects surrounding the case. Full of memorable characters, including Kate Warne, the first female undercover agent, and intriguing plot twists, the story is written as an unfolding criminal proceeding in which the author allows the reader to determine whether there was a true plot to kill Lincoln and if the perpetrators could have been brought to trial.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Corporate lawyer Kline details an alleged plot to which most Lincoln books only allude. President-elect Lincoln journeyed by private railway from Springfield, IL, through Maryland to his 1861 inauguration and, in Baltimore, escaped from what was probably the first conspiracy to assassinate him. The alleged plotters were never brought to trial. Kline contextualizes Baltimore as the largest city of a pro-secessionist border state, where previous tumults had earned it the sobriquet "Mobtown." Foiling the plot burnished the reputation of private detective Allan Pinkerton, among others. Lincoln's protectors saved his life but not his reputation. The press ridiculed Lincoln for resorting to disguise when moving between stations in Baltimore in the midst of his otherwise highly publicized "Lincoln Special" to Washington. Lincoln thereafter vowed never to hide. Kline translates legal concepts into comprehensible language, making readable an at times exhaustive examination of a scheme tied together through the "circumstantial evidence of motive, means, and opportunity." Kline invites his readers to serve as judge and jury and to conjecture how history would have been different had such a conspiracy succeeded. Comparing favorably with Harold Holzer's Lincoln President-Elect, this book demonstrates the use of archival sources beyond the usual standard and is recommended for libraries serving specialists and general readers.
—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594160714
Publisher:
Westholme Publishing
Publication date:
11/17/2008
Edition description:
1
Pages:
536
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Kline is a senior corporate attorney in Atlanta. He is the former editor of the Journal of Law and Commerce.

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