The Lincoln Conspiracy (book)

The Lincoln Conspiracy (book)

Infobox Book
name = The Lincoln Conspiracy
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of paperback edition
author = David W. Balsiger, Charles E. Sellier
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country =
language = English
series =
subject = Abraham Lincoln
genre =
publisher = Schick Sun Classic Books
release_date = 1977
english_release_date =
media_type =
pages =
isbn = ISBN 978-0917214035
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Lincoln Conspiracy" is a book by David W. Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr. promoting certain conspiracy theories concerning the 1865 assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Major themes and arguments

Cover-up of the plan to kidnap Lincoln

The central premise of the book is that "traditional" historians have perpetuated a cover-up, originally orchestrated by Lincoln's Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and some Radical Republican allies in 1865, by over-reliance on false documentation produced by Stanton and his conspirators. According to the authors, this was done to disguise the fact that Stanton, Union spy Lafayette C. Baker, Senator Benjamin F. Wade, Senator John Conness, other congressional Radical Republicans, and a group of Northern bankers and speculators were all involved in a plot to kidnap Lincoln. Lincoln was then intended to be hidden for a time while bogus articles of impeachment were drafted to remove him as President. The primary motivations for this plot were strong opposition to Lincoln's liberal Reconstruction plans and the loss of profits due to Lincoln's restrictions on the cotton trade during the U.S. Civil War.

Kidnapping changes to assassination

The book further claims that in late 1864, Baker uncovered the plans of Lincoln's future assassin, John Wilkes Booth, to kidnap Lincoln with the help of a different group of conspirators with different motives. The Stanton group, through Baker and Conness, provided Booth with money and information on Lincoln's movements. After several abortive attempts, Booth was ordered to halt his efforts in March, 1865. Mr. Booth made no further attempts to kidnap Lincoln, but secretly resolved to murder him instead.

Booth's "incriminating" diary

Lincoln's assassination by Booth on April 14 is said to have thrown Stanton and his allies into a panic, fearing that their involvement in the kidnap plots would be exposed. A frantic search soon turned up Booth's coat, which contained a highly incriminating diary documenting meetings with several members of the Stanton group. A few days later on April 26, a Confederate double agent (James William Boyd), mistakenly indentified as Booth, was shot and killed in Virginia. Stanton, who was aware of the mistake of identity, saw to it that the autopsy records were altered to remove or obscure descriptions of the body not consistent with Booth. Booth's diary, now in Stanton's personal possession, had 18 pages of incriminating references removed. Baker quietly pursued the hunt for Booth as far as Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where the trail went cold.

At the military trials of Booth's conspirators (who were not members of the Stanton group), held in May and June 1865, the proceedings were rushed, the government produced paid witnesses against the defendants, and even the trial records were altered. Four of Booth's co-conspirators were hanged on July 7, 1865, others received long prison sentences, but Booth himself eventually escaped to England. However, Booth's whereabouts after that are uncertain.

Cold reception by historians

Unsurprisingly, "The Lincoln Conspiracy" was greeted with hostility and derision from academic historians. Many objections were raised against the book's sensational theories and the authors' use (and misuse) of source materials.

"The Lincoln Conspiracy" was the basis of the 1977 film of the same name.

ee also

* Abraham Lincoln assassination
* John Wilkes Booth
* Conspiracy theory
* "The Lincoln Conspiracy" (film based on the book)
* "" (2007 film with similar plot)
* Edwin M. Stanton

External links

* [ An etext summary of "The Lincoln Conspiracy"]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Lincoln Conspiracy (film) — The Lincoln Conspiracy is a 1977 film released by Sunn Classic Pictures which depicts certain conspiracy theories concerning the 1865 assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, based on the 1977 book of the same name by David W. Balsiger… …   Wikipedia

  • The Lincoln Conspiracy — refers to a conspiracy theory about Abraham Lincoln, which was a topic in:* The Lincoln Conspiracy (book), a 1977 book by David W. Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr. ** The Lincoln Conspiracy (film), a 1977 film released by Sunn Classic… …   Wikipedia

  • We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial — Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the We Are One concert event We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial was a public celebration of the then forthcoming inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United… …   Wikipedia

  • The Company (Prison Break) — The Company is a fictional covert organization featured in the American television drama/thriller series Prison Break. It is a secret group of multinationals known almost exclusively by those who work for them (with the exception of those… …   Wikipedia

  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — ( Protocols of the wise men of Zion , Library of Congress s Uniform Title; ru. Протоколы сионских мудрецов , or Сионские протоколы ; see also other titles) is an antisemitic tract alleging a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. It …   Wikipedia

  • The Obama Nation — The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality   …   Wikipedia

  • The Imperial Presidency — by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was written in 1973. Also see thephrase Imperial Presidency .This book details the history of the Presidency of the United States from its conception by the Constitutional Founders, through the late twentieth century …   Wikipedia

  • The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail — Infobox Book name = The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail title orig = translator = image caption = Cover of the 2005 illustrated hardcover edition author = Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln illustrator = cover artist = country = UK… …   Wikipedia

  • The Da Vinci Code — This article is about the novel. For other uses, see The Da Vinci Code (disambiguation). The Da Vinci Code …   Wikipedia

  • Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 — [ thumb|right|200px|Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846] The Lincoln Douglas debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate, and the incumbent Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat, for an Illinois seat in… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”