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Murdering Mr. Lincoln: A New Detection of the 19th Century's Most Famous… (2004)

by Charles Higham

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In this startling and original work, bestselling author Charles Higham addresses one of the greatest historical mysteries: did John Wilkes Booth act alone on the night of Good Friday, 1865, or was he part of a wide conspiracy? Using previously hidden documents, over 1,000 pages in all, drawing from letters, diaries, previously hidden official hearings, railway timetables and obscure shipping manifests, he has woven a spell-binding account of high level intrigue. He proves conclusively that very high level figures, including the richest banker in America, were involved in the murder plot, of which John Wilkes Booth was merely the puppet-like instrument. Higham shows for the first time that Lincoln was the unwitting instrument of his own doom. By allowing trading with the South in contradiction of his own laws, he enriched a circle of high ranking figures who, once he had outlived his usefulness, and handed over the arrangements to others, marked him very quickly for assassination. Booth himself was a trader with the enemy, able to mark out his escape route after the murder because he used that same route under presidential license to sell medications.… (more)



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Crush the despots of the world in their very dens!
- George Nicholas Sanders
Yes! We're coming Abraham Lincoln
With curses loud and deep,
That will haunt you in your waking,
And disturb you in your sleep.
- Battle Hymn of the Sons of Liberty, 1864
I long ago made up my mind that if anybody wants to kill me, he will do it. If I wore a shirt of mail and kept myself surrounded by a body-guard, it would be all the same. There are a thousand ways to getting at a man if it is desired he should be killed.
- Abraham Lincoln to the writer Noah Brooks, N.D. (spring 1863)
I really believe, it would have been a happier day for us now, and my idolized husband would now have been living, if those, en masse holding office would have abhorred and sternly treated those Copperheads as I would have done.
- Mary Todd Lincoln to Alexander Williamson, June 15, 1865
For Richard V. Palafox and Dorris Halsey
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Few Presidents have been as revered in memory as Abraham Lincoln; none, from his first inauguration, has been so continually threatened with death. (introduction)
In Richmond, Virginia, in the early months of 1864, almost three years from the inception of the Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, raised the colossal sum of five million dollars (equivalent to $57 million today) from the Confederate Congress for a Secret Service fund that would unofficially be operated by Judah P. Benjamin, his accomplished and ingenious Secretary of State.
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Higham claims that the conspirators against Lincoln led by John Wilkes Booth were connected to a vast network of interests: the Confederacy, Copperheads, Northern and Southern business interests and politicians, and even Union General George McClellan.
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