The Grand Conspiracy:
The conspiracy that the confederacy was behind the assassination was immediately
brought upon the moment Lincoln was killed. Behind the assassination were the
heads of the Confederacy such as President Jefferson Davis. It was believed
that booth had informants from Canada and other parts of the states and all
were "pitching in" to the dirty work, such as supplying booth with
the necessary weapons. During the trials of the conspirators, some union spies
claimed they had earned the respect of the confederacy and had been given some
of their most treasured secrets. They claimed to have known ahead of time some
of the preparations of the assassination plot, such as a kidnapping scheme.
Conspiracy: Otto Eisenschiml, a chemical engineer and successful
businessman, hypothesized that secretary of war Edwin c. Stanton was the true
mastermind behind the assassination plot. Eisenschiml proposed a great deal of
evidence. Supposedly, Stanton did not support Lincoln’s reconstruction policies
and Stanton needed him gone in order for more extreme policies to be
established. Eisenschiml evidence included the denying of extra protection for Lincoln
by Stanton when Lincoln attended "Our American Cousin" at ford's
theatre. He proposed that the denying of Lincoln’s invitation to the theatre by
general Ulysses s. grant was set-up by Stanton. He also attacked the idea that Stanton
did not alarm the Navy yard Bridge, or the place where booth would eventually
escape, during the massive search party for booth. This along with other suspicious
behavior by Stanton such as taking booth's diary and later returning it with
pages missing all gave Eisenschiml a great deal to argue about.
More evidence would soon come later when Ray Neff, a
colleague of Eisenschiml, supposedly found and deciphered a note from Lafayette
c. baker, a member of the secret service during the civil war. The letter said
that baker knew the assassination plot ahead of time and brought the evidence
to Stanton. Stanton said that baker, "was now in this too." it would
later say in the letter that baker feared for his life while knowing this
information. Baker would later die but it was no until later 1900's that
examination of baker's hair should traces of arsenic in his hair. This was
evidence that he was murdered.
Roman Catholic Church
Theory: prior to his political career, Lincoln served as an attorney in Illinois.
a catholic priest, Charles Chiniquy was on trial by the catholic church for
slander. Lincoln successfully defended him, which led to an out of court
settlement. The loss in court infuriated the Catholic Church, and from then on,
Lincoln was the subject of much scorn and distaste among Catholic Church goers.
According to Chiniquy, Jefferson Davis had offered anyone a million dollars for
the Lincoln’s death. and so "...the Jesuits alone could select the
assassins, train them, and show them a crown of glory in heaven..." the
catholic church had created the plot to kill Lincoln and many other political
figures during this time all written in his book, "fifty years in the
church of Rome," which was published in 1886.
The Confederate Plot conspiracy Theory: During a Union raid of
the Confederate town of Richmond, Virginia, the confederates killed Colonel
Ulrich Dahlgren, and found a letter on his body from Lincoln himself stating, “"The
men must be kept together, and well in hand, and once in the city, it must be
destroyed and Jeff Davis and his cabinet killed." The Confederacy now saw
Lincoln as a wartime target. In a detailed plot to kill the president,
explosives expert Thomas F. Harney was ordered by Confederate Secretary of
State Judah Benjamin, to lead an expedition to blow up the White House.
Evidence of this was made by an uncovered testimony found in the late 1970’s by
conspirator George Atzerodt stating that Booth knew of a plan to blow up the
However, Harney was captured before he could complete his
mission on April 10. In a rebellious rage, Booth would take matters into his
own hand and lead a small band of men to assassinate Lincoln.
Benjamin would later evacuate Richmond after eyewitnesses would
report him burning documents. He would move to Europe and never to
Conspiracy Theory: Prior to the assassination, according to eyewitnesses,
Booth would go to the Washington Hotel (the place where Vice-President Johnson
was staying at the time), and leave a note in his box saying, “Don't wish to
disturb you Are you at home? J. Wilkes Booth." Furthermore, Johnson was
also supposedly previously acquainted with Booth when he attended one of his
plays in February of 1864. It is said that Booth and Johnson were friends and
kept mistresses together. It is said that he talked like a radical republican and supported many "Southern values." after the trials, johnson would support the "Black Codes" of the South. He would also pardon conspirators such as dr. samuel a. mudd from prison.