Is Simon Wolf a key to the Lincoln assassination?

Michael W. Kauffman is widely recognized as THE authority on the Lincoln assassination, and he’s a regular consultant to the History Channel and other media giants. Ten years ago, Kauffman published American Brutus, the most in-depth analysis of the movements of John Wilkes Booth just prior to and after the assassination.

Kauffman did an exhaustive amount of research, and was careful to deal only with primary sources from the period. The biggest stumbling blocks to an investigation are the many conflicting and contradictory elements. Any historian can pick a thesis and collect a book’s worth of material to support it, provided contradictions from more reliable sources are ignored.

Kauffman makes it clear from the outset he trusts Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and quotes liberally from newspaper reports that could have been sculpted by Stanton. He also dismisses the “conspiracy theories.”

The first theory to emerge involved Vice President Johnson, and Stanton may have encouraged that suspicion before promoting Jefferson Davis as the true instigator. Little known today is that Davis was declared guilty before the military tribunal even took place. And that tribunal did find Davis guilty at a time Davis was being held incommunicado in a jail in Virginia.

Strange Stanton did not wish Davis to attend his own trial, despite so much of the testimony being directed against him and his operatives in Canada. Plots to burn down New York City and spread Yellow Fever to civilians were unveiled, although much of the testimony was proven false and had been paid for. This revelation was something of an accident and occurred because some trial testimony was leaked to the press. Had they been able to keep the tribunal testimony secret, as Stanton wanted, the innocence of Mary Surratt would not have come to light so quickly. Her death destroyed Stanton’s political career and made him the most unpopular man in the country after it was exposed he engineered the first female execution in American history. And wouldn’t you know it, she was innocent. That left a really sour taste all across America, so much so that President Grant denied Stanton a position in his cabinet and refused to sign his elevation to the Supreme Court, sitting on it for weeks.

I have some questions for Kauffman after speed-reading his book, which I admit contains a wealth of insight and never-before-published details. And the first question is: Where is Simon Wolf?

Wolf admits meeting Booth the morning of the assassination, and apparently Booth told him (and no one else) that his proposal of marriage to the daughter of a United States Senator had been rebuffed. Wolf speculated this rejection drove him to murder Lincoln.

Strange no mention of this unexpected rejection appears in his notebook, which Booth composed while on the run. Also, the fiance reported no such announcement, although their engagement was a secret.

Booth’s secret fiance was also being courted by Lincoln’s son, a detail strangely left out of many history books. If the deed were done over remorse of Lucy Lambert “Bessie” Hale’s rejection, it would seem a duel with Robert Todd Lincoln, Booth’s rival for Hale’s affections, might have been a more appropriate response. Breaking up an engagement was certainly a dueling matter for a Southern gentleman like Booth.

A more accurate version, however, is that Bessie was being moved with her family to Spain, where her father was being posted as ambassador, and she promised to return to marry Booth in one year, so there was not a breaking-off of the secret engagement, unless Booth did it on his own initiative. And keep in mind, Booth is a spook and Bessie’s dad inside the Radical Republican cabal running Washington, so his affections for her could have all been part of his spook activities. Perhaps her father sensed this, or, of course, he could have been told this very fact by his friend Stanton. When did Senator Hale discover the man courting his daughter was a notorious Southern spy? Because this information was known inside the War Department for weeks prior to the assassination. I suspect Hale’s sudden appointment to Spain might have been triggered by a desire to get his daughter out-of-town so she’d not be implicated in the nasty business to follow.

But why is the connection between Booth and Wolf ignored by almost every historian?

Edwin Stanton was a devoted Freemason of the elite Scottish Rite, which means on Tuesday nights he was likely found doing ceremonies with his fellow masters of the craft at the glorious temple in Washington. I suspect Stanton was not a very spiritual person, however, but someone who recognized Masonry as a means to advance his career.

I also suspect Simon Wolf may have been a Mason, although his identity as the head of B’nai B’rith in Washington DC is well-documented. Like the Knights of the Golden Circle, the Ku Klux Klan and The Church of Latter Day Saints, the International Order of B’nai B’rith has some masonic elements in its origins, and was likely founded by Jewish masons. Masonry is an incredibly complex world, with many subsets and splinter groups. But the fact that Christians, Jews and Muslims were all welcome and everything spoken inside the temple was confidential made masonry an ideal venue for conducting conspiracy, which is why lodges were so often penetrated by spooks from various secret societies. Also, keep in mind that most researchers today consider B’nai B’rith’s ADL little more than a spook-infested propaganda arm for the Mossad, so you can see how these intelligence connections were wired into the secret society systems from their origins.

Lafayette C. Baker may have been corrupt and ruthless, but he was also good at his job, and he arrested Wolf in Philadelphia, where he’d traveled to meet with a Southern refuge who’d hired his services as a lawyer. Wolf did many similar missions in the service of fellow Jews. But Baker charged him as an enemy agent because of his leadership in B’nai B’rith, which Baker considered, “a disloyal organization which has its ramifications in the South, and…helping traitors.” The fact remains many Jews during this period sympathized with the South and found employment as blockade runners and black-market profiteers, and Wolf was their primary attorney of choice. In fact, General Grant at one point declared his own pogrom against all Jews, an order quickly rescinded by Lincoln, no doubt after a visit from the young Simon Wolf, who seemed to have some powerful connections.

But before those connections were known, Baker had Wolf tossed in Carroll Street Prison, where he could have remained for the war’s duration, except Wolf convinced another official Stanton would exonerate him. Stanton went into a rage when told Wolf had been placed into prison, and lashed out at Baker. Even though Baker worked for Stanton, the two obviously never trusted each other, and Baker would soon be demoted for spying on Stanton and shipped out-of-town, only to be recalled immediately after Lincoln’s assassination to head the investigation. It appears he was moved out-of-town so as not to bump into the operation.

What Baker didn’t know was that when Wolf had arrived from Ohio, he’d gone straight to Stanton’s office, where he presented a letter of introduction written by Stanton’s former business partner, Colonel George W. McCook. According to Wolf, “After reading the letter, the Secretary, looking over his glasses with a look as determined as all of his acts were, said to me, ‘Young man, if what Colonel McCook says is true, you have no business in the Department; get outside; and if it isn’t true, I have no use for imbeciles.'” (Presidents I Have Known by Simon Wolf, 1918, http://archive.org/stream/presidentsihavek00wolfrich/presidentsihavek00wolfrich_djvu.txt).

After arriving in Washington, Wolf swiftly became president of the Literary and Dramatic Society, which held meetings in a rented hall at 481 Ninth Street. This society also staged a production of Hamlet at Carusi’s to celebrate Shakespeare’s 300th birthday and Lincoln, Lord Lyons and Sir Edward Malet were specifically invited. Back when Wolf lived in Cleveland, he’d been involved in theatrical productions with both B.F. Peixotto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Booth. Cleveland was a stronghold for the Knights of the Golden Circle, a terrorist militia devoted to supporting the Southern cause who were the real muscle behind the Copperhead movement that opposed Lincoln in the North. Their numbers, however, were undoubtedly greatly exaggerated.
“I knew Booth well,” writes Wolf. “We had played on the amateur stage together in Cleveland, Ohio, and I had met him that very morning in front of the Metropolitan Hotel. He asked me to take a drink. He seemed very excited, and rather than decline and incur his enmity I went with him. It was the last time I ever saw Booth.”

You cannot understand history without a study of the secret societies operating at any given time. Since every known detail of that day is examined in Kauffman’s book in intricate detail, I have to wonder why Wolf never makes an appearance.

Who was John Wilkes Booth?

John Wilkes Booth was only 27 years old when he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. History has portrayed him as a lunatic, and not the talented artist and super spook he obviously was. I think of him more like Johnny Depp meets James Bond.

Booth had been a dedicated spook working for the Confederate Secret Service since the start of the war, and undoubtedly fomented many missions in the service of the South, most involving life-saving quinine. Because he was a famous actor and well-off financially, Booth moved easily through the upper levels of society, which made him an ideal undercover agent.

Booth’s biggest operation, the one that was going to make him famous as a spook, was his involvement in Major John S. Mosby’s plot to kidnap Lincoln so he could be ransomed. The North had ceased all prisoner swaps because former prisoners were immediately returning to the front to continue the fight. Kidnapping Lincoln had been seen as the best means of forcing those swaps to re-start.

But as “total war” on civilians was being waged by General Sherman, secret documents were discovered of a Union plot to assassinate Jefferson Davis. That and the recent hanging of Booth’s friend, super spook John Yates Beall, were all it took to move Booth to murder. That plus all the brandy he was drinking at the time.

Dozens of people knew about Mosby’s kidnap plot well in advance, although President Jefferson Davis was on record opposing it. Davis was not a vicious man and believed the chances of Lincoln resisting a kidnapping were too great, and Davis worried Lincoln might be killed during such an event, something he obviously was opposed to.

The kidnap plan failed not because the President of the Confederacy was opposed to it, however, but because the Union War Department got wind and changed Lincoln’s itinerary to avoid the trap. This was typical of Confederate operations as double agents were everywhere, which is why projects of this magnitude were nearly impossible to conceal. The informant who revealed the plot was Louis Weichmann.

However, around the time General Robert E. Lee surrendered, signaling the end of the war was at hand, Booth switched the kidnap plot to murder. Not only was Lincoln marked for death, but so was his closest Cabinet member, Secretary of State William H. Seward, one of his few true friends in the Cabinet. You might think Vice President Andrew Johnson, General Ulysses S. Grant, and even Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton were supposed to be assassinated that night, as that is the official cover story. However, a little research reveals those three supposed plots were invented during the trial, and the evidence produced manufactured by witnesses later exposed as perjurers. Booth had been trying to get a pass to travel to Richmond from Vice President Johnson. There was no attempt on the Vice President or anyone else other than Seward and Lincoln, the duo who were united on the idea of forgiveness for the South in hopes of binding the nation back together. And it’s somewhat suspicious neither Salmon Chase nor Thaddeus Stevens made any effort to visit Lincoln during his final hours.

At the same time Booth began contemplating the assassination, he began recording his inner thoughts in a leather-bound 1864 diary. It was an obsolete diary, leading me to believe Booth’s documentation of the events was not done casually, but was his attempt in his final days to hand down the truth of what had happened. Booth was not a murderer at heart and took no pleasure from the killing, although he did believe the South would honor him as a hero, a misjudgment on his part, at least for the majority, who were horrified by this pointless violence.

Consider Booth carried a one-shot derringer into Ford’s theater. Obviously, he was not expecting armed resistance. How did Booth know Lincoln would be left unguarded? After discharging his weapon, he jumped to the stage to make a getaway through back of the theater where his horse was waiting. But his spur snagged on the bunting of the Presidential box, causing Booth to fall and lose a spur in the process. According to his diary, he broke his leg, in a horse fall later during the escape. That broken leg is the only reason he got caught because he was awarded a massive head-start for unknown reasons. And the hunt for him was regularly impeded when it could have been accelerated.

All roads out of Washington were closed after the assassination except one, which just happened to be the route Booth took, and when he crossed the bridge out of Washington, he gave the guard his real name and was allowed to pass even though bridges were supposed to be closed to traffic at night as a security measure. Booth’s name and description would not go out for many hours, and the local telegraph line went strangely dead. But even the next day, the War Department acted like they didn’t know who the assassin was, when dozens of witnesses had already named him at police headquarters. When Booth’s picture was finally circulated, it may have been a photo of his brother Edwin because that misidentified photo later appeared in War Department files as Booth.

Despite the biggest manhunt in history, Booth evaded capture for over a week, yet one afternoon, Lafayette C. Baker, recently reinstated head of the National Detective Police (NDP), sent a detail of soldiers after drawing a 10-mile diameter circle on a map of Virginia. Baker explained Booth could be found inside the circle and sent his cousin to fetch him with a squad of 25 soldiers. How he knew Booth’s precise location remains a mystery, but since there was the equivalent of a $2.25 million dead-or-alive reward at stake, few wanted to share credit for anything. At the last second, Everett Conger was attached to the unit, and carried instructions to bring back Booth’s diary. Conger ended up taking charge at the scene.

I suspect Stanton gave Everton Conger instructions to kill Booth, but that will never be known conclusively. It is somewhat strange he was awarded the lion’s share of the reward.

Despite being a key piece of evidence, Booth’s diary never appeared during the trial, or was even mentioned at all, though it would have exonerated some of the suspects who were hanged.

But  a year later, after Baker lost his cushy job at the War Department, he shopped an autobiography to some major publishers and found a ghost writer to pen the pot-boiler. This is when the country learned of Booth’s diary and pretty soon Congress was investigating. After Baker examined the diary in the presence of a Congressional committee, he claimed 18 leaves had been cut out, as if with a scissors.

Yet, even the pages left intact provided some interesting clues, the most important of which was probably:

“I am tempted to return to Washington to clear my name, which I am sure I can do.”

How was Booth intending to clear his name? Booth likely would not have committed murder for money, although he was carrying a large amount when he was captured, and it all disappeared naturally. However, he might have committed this deed if some powerful person(s) made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Or if that offer came from someone within the Confederate Secret Services. According to George Atzerodt’s original confession, the murder plot emanated from New York City. Since Major Thomas Eckert was the only person allowed to interrogate Atzerodt, one can assume he was involved. After the war, Jay Gould became recognized as the richest man in America, while the financial center moved from Philadelphia to New York City. Gould would soon appoint Eckert head of Western Union and the two men remained close for life.


The real reason Lincoln was assassinated

Guess whose picture graces the largest banknote in US history? Why Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War, who came from Ohio and didn’t own any shares of the powerful New York bank, but its executives were so happy with Chase’s policies they decided to re-name their corporation after him! Chase printed the first greenbacks and put his own image on those as well.

But before Chase Bank was born, it was known as The Bank of the Manhattan Company, and founded by Aaron Burr, the greatest British spy who never got caught. Although Burr was tried for treason, he escaped the gallows due to his advanced cipher technologies. His encryption of all his correspondence saved his life, for had his full relationship with England been revealed, Burr would have lost his life during the Revolutionary War. Washington wisely removed him from command sensing his duplicity and penchant for intrigue.

Here’s the Matthew Brady portrait of Chase, who supposedly had a “religious conversion” that turned him into the most rabid abolitionist in America.

Most Americans don’t realize it, but the overwhelming majority of Americans prior to the Civil War viewed John Brown as an insane terrorist and abolitionists were shunned as fanatics, yet by the war’s end almost every Northerner would be singing his battle hymn.

Chase created the Republican Party and led its radical abolitionist wing, a cabal that took over the country when the South seceded. But then he got into a tiff with Lincoln toward the end of the war and submitted his resignation in a huff, but was a bit blindsided when Lincoln accepted it. Lincoln tried to smooth over the insult by making him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but that job carried zero patronage, which meant Chase’s power base was shattered.

Chase would be the only member of the Cabinet who didn’t care to visit Lincoln’s bedside during his last night on earth, but he did pass by the Peterson house just as Lincoln was drawing his last breath. Upon hearing the news Lincoln still lived, Chase “kept walking, his eyes bloodshot and his features twisted in a strange contortion.” (Twenty Days by Dorothy M. Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr. Castle Books, 1965).

Yes, a small cabal of Radical Republicans fomented the Civil War and a possible reason some Northern banks funded their movement may have been a realization the Southern economy would eventually outpace the North due to the economic advantages of slavery. Cotton was King and it was growing cash in the South much faster than anything the North could produce. But without slaves, the South would lose hundreds of billions in assets and never out-compete the North. So while it’s really terrific we got rid of slavery, and it was the proper and humane thing to do, please don’t think all banksters did it for noble motives.

The reason the Civil War had to last so long and be so bloody was so the North would embrace the abolitionist cause and allow this cabal to punish the South as a conquered nation afterwards. Had General George B. McClellan been simply left alone, Richmond may have surrendered early, and the South welcomed back into Congress with slavery intact. For this reason, the Civil War was engineered to be long and bloody. McClellan never would have waged “total war” on civilians like General Sherman did.

And that’s why Secretary of War Edwin Stanton sabotaged his old pal McClellan, and ran him off his command, because McClellan believed slavery was legal under the Constitution, and while the South shouldn’t be allowed to secede, in his view, they should have been allowed to keep the slaves.

After General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox, President Lincoln and his Secretary of State began working on plans for total forgiveness, which meant the cabal of Radical Republicans who’d been running the country (and looting it six-ways-to-Sunday) were about to lose power once the Southerners were restored to vote with the moderate Republicans. Instead of plundering the South for patronage, bribes and booty, the Radicals were about to be left with the short end of every Congressional stick. And they knew it. And to give you an idea of the plan Thaddeus Stevens was proposing: they wanted to seize all property owned by the 70,000 richest Southerners. But Lincoln blocked the bill.

The obvious solution was to get rid of Lincoln, who’d just been re-elected for another four years, and that’s exactly what happened.

Just about everything you know about the assassination is wrong because it was a script carefully plotted out with no facts to support it, except ones that were obviously manufactured. You’ve been told there was an aborted attempt on Vice President Johnson that night, as well as assassinations planned on General Ulysses S. Grant and Secretary of War Stanton. But those allegations were concocted by perjurers, some of whom had been paid to lay down testimony implicating Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the ultimate scapegoat, just as Fidel Castro was initially designed to be the scapegoat for JFK’s assassination (hence Oswald’s alleged bus ride to Mexico City).

Forgotten today is the fact Davis was also convicted of the Lincoln assassination by Stanton’s illegal military tribunal, the same one that hanged poor Mary Surratt, but at the time, Davis was in Union custody in Virginia and he was eventually released without any trial. This was because a trial would have opened even more wormholes in tribunal’s parade of manufactured evidence, something exposed soon enough during Johnson’s impeachment hearings and the trial of Confederate spy John Surratt, Booth’s courier who was captured in Egypt. Surratt’s mother was a complete innocent in the murder plot, although she was an intelligence asset reporting to Col. John Mosby. No matter, she was swiftly hanged by Stanton’s military court as the primary scapegoat, while her son, a Confederate courier, walked free because there was no evidence linking him to the assassination.

The only people who benefited from Lincoln’s death were the leaders of his own party, who quickly reversed his pledge of forgiveness and began looting the South to enrich themselves, something Lincoln was blocking.

But the most overlooked aspect of this story was the shift in the financial center of power during Chase’s tenure. At the start of the Civil War, Philadelphia was the center of North American finance. Jay Cooke was a partner in E.W. Clark & Company during the Mexican War. By financing that war, the bank had risen to become one of the country’s most influential institutions. But in January 1861, Cooke and his brother-in-law created Jay Cooke & Company. By September of that year, the new firm was made the financial agent for all government loans and bonds, and the Civil War soon transformed it into the most powerful bank in the country. This was accomplished through the elevation of Cooke’s toadie Salmon Chase to the position of Secretary of Treasury.

Cooke’s bank established branches in New York City and Washington DC during the war and prospered greatly. Strangely enough, however, within a decade Cooke was bankrupted through an immense railroad deal gone sour. In early 1874, Cooke received a letter from one of his former European executives, George B. Sargent, explaining the cause of the downfall of his once-prosperous company. “The negotiation of the 50 millions by the Darmstadt Bank, Sol Oppenheim and Company and Bischoffsheim and Goldsmith, was a sure and entire success had Mr. Fahnestock been at Cologne on the day agreed upon for the ratification of the contract instead of delaying the time for two days…. The truth is, Mr. Cooke, that in the Northern Pacific business as well as in your regular business you were ruined and slaughtered by parties you believed to be your confidential friends….The second negotiation with the Union Bank of Vienna would have succeeded but for bad faith on the part of your London house.”

Top 4 Lincoln—9/11 connections

Deep political events follow similar trails, and with study you can read the footprints. I’m on a mission to blow open the Lincoln Conspiracy in time for the 150th anniversary this April, and I’m hoping to open some minds along the way.
1) Rush to Judgment
9/11: Within seconds of the first plane hitting the World Trade Tower, television commentators identified Osama bin Laden as the primary suspect.
Lincoln: Within 48 hours, eight are arrested and all will be quickly convicted to bring closure. How this entire gang was rounded up so quickly despite none testifying against the other remains a mystery.
2) Key witness eliminated
9/11: Instead of being rendered back to the USA for trial, Osama bin Laden is murdered in his bedroom in the presence of his family, and the corpse dumped into the ocean so identification can never be achieved with any satisfaction.
Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth is locked in a tobacco shed and surrounded by Federal troops who’d been dispatched from Washington to his exact location. A fire is started, but before it catches hold, a shot rings out. Booth is soon dead from a bullet in the back of the neck, and a former hatter with mental issues claims responsibility. There will be no photos, and DNA testing of the remains will be blocked endlessly, despite appeals from Booth’s descendents, some of whom believe a look-alike was substituted.
3) Military Justice
9/11: All suspects rendered to a prison off USA soil in order to deprive rights. Many will be tortured for over a decade. Eight will die in detention while the trial stalls endlessly on National Security concerns and defense teams are harassed by the FBI.
Lincoln: Suspects placed into solitary confinement with canvas bags permanently placed over their heads. The bags have two small holes for eating and breathing, but pads pressed against eyes and ears prevent any communication. They are allowed one day to organize a defense for the closed Military Tribunal held on an army base. None will be allowed to make any statements in their own defense, before during or after the trial, although by the time the trial commences some are showing signs of mental illness caused from the bags.
4) Evidence of Propaganda
9/11: No national news outlet will investigate the official story, yet all will ridicule any attempt to do so. A virtual cottage industry of disinfo sites appears instantly, all leading into rabbit holes.
Lincoln: An independent researcher gains access to official records in the late 1930s and claims evidence of a cover-up. He’ll soon be castigated in dozens of books, while his evidence ignored or ridiculed unfairly. Lack of scholarship on the assassination is scandalous because most books support the official story, something peppered with proven perjuries.

The Great Winnebago Chief

Simon Cameron got his start by swindling Native Americans in Pennsylvania, earning him the nickname: “The Great Winnebago Chief.”

Cameron founded the Bank of Middletown and went into politics. His most famous quote: “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, stays bought.”

He lusted for the job of Secretary of the Treasury (to be close to the money no doubt), but settled for Secretary of War. Known as “the Czar” in his home state, he controlled many political patronage jobs, all of which provided kick-backs in one form or another.

Cameron brought one of the most talented lawyers in the country onto his staff, Edwin McMasters Stanton, who invented the temporary insanity defense to get a rich client off a murder charge, thus earning him the respect of rich people everywhere. Stanton convinced Cameron to publish a War Department edict seizing rebel property, including slaves. It was basically an emancipation proclamation and biggest forfeiture case in history rolled into one. Lincoln was furious about the edict and eventually fired Cameron for it, although Lincoln never learned Stanton had been the true instigator of the plan.

Lincoln asked fellow Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens about Cameron’s reputation. Stevens replied: “I do not think he would steal a red-hot stove.” After Cameron demanded a retraction, Stevens allegedly said: “I believe I said you would not steal a red-hot stove. I now take that back.”

With Cameron gone, Stanton was able to move into the top position at the War Department, and with war looming, his fortunes were about to explode as the War Department would soon be in charge of millions in government contracts.

Before being shipped to Russia as ambassador, Cameron advised Lincoln on how to become rich. Cameron was investing heavily in railroads knowing their stock would take off as soon as hostilities commenced. Railroad tycoons were going to control the future economy. Cameron suggested Lincoln give him $10,000 to invest so he could become independently wealthy too, but Lincoln declined the offer.

I believe Lincoln was murdered not because the South wanted revenge, but because after the war was over, Lincoln wanted to go easy on the South, but powerful business interests wanted to pillage and plunder. But the key man in the assassination plot had to be the notoriously conspiratorial Edwin Stanton.

The tracks of our fears

In the late 1930s, Otto Eisenschiml, a chemistry professor and Civil War buff with ancestral connections to the Lincoln administration, gained access to the long-buried War Department files on the assassination and surprise, surprise, uncovered evidence of a coverup! After much research, his suspicions centered on Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and he published a book, Why Was Lincoln Murdered?

Did you know that three days before the assassination, Lincoln began having nightly dreams of seeing himself in a coffin with mourners all around? Lincoln requested additional protection the night he was killed. He’d been expecting General Grant and his retinue to accompany him to Ford’s theater, but Stanton ordered Grant elsewhere and then refused additional protection beyond one bodyguard, who suspiciously left his post as soon as the play began. The President was left unprotected and the only person who could have engineered that was Stanton.

Stanton rounded up a nest of Confederate spies instantly who’d plotted to kidnap Lincoln back in March so he could be traded for Confederate prisoners of war. John W. Booth was the ringleader, and John Surratt, one of the most important couriers for the Confederate Secret Service, was also involved. This crew was penetrated by an informer inside the War Department named Louis Weichmann.

The abduction plot was foiled by a sudden shift in Lincoln’s itinerary, but that sort of thing happened with numerous Confederate Secret Service operations and it was almost impossible to conceal any significant plot because of all the double agents and informers, some of whom worked for political causes and others who worked for money to the highest bidder.

Stanton engineered a position in the War Department, and launched a plot that eliminated his boss, clearing his way to take charge. Allen Pinkerton was in charge of the Union Secret Service, and reported directly to Lincoln through Secretary of State Seward, but Stanton had that operation moved to the War Department, and quickly replaced Pinkerton with Lafayette Baker, who would soon gain the reputation as the most corrupt and ruthless official in Washington D.C.

Baker grabbed the lead of the Lincoln murder investigation, but was disappointed by the meager share of the reward he received from Stanton.

In reality there was no benefit for the South to kill Lincoln, and although he was despised by some as a tyrant responsible for many unnecessary deaths, his murder resulted in greater exploitation of the South, which had already lost 258,000 men and trillions in assets.

Even more suspicious, when John Surratt was captured in Egypt and brought back for a civil trial, he could not be convicted and hanged like his mother, but set free. Jefferson Davis was not subjected to a trial at all, even though a third of Stanton’s military tribunal had been devoted to exposing his evil plots. Stanton never found a shred of evidence, however, linking Davis with the assassination, except the evidence he manufactured through his double agents.

Some major players on Wall Street at the time would have been Fernando Wood, August Belmont, John Jacob Astor, Jay Gould and Archibald Gracie.

Stanton was a high-ranking Freemason and close with the leader of the Copperheads, the Northern movement against Lincoln who were working hand-in-glove with the Confederate Secret Service. In fact, Stanton owed his political career to the head of the Copperheads.

In terms of experience and expertise in law, Stanton was ahead of Lincoln and considered Lincoln an uncivilized “ape,” and inferior in everything but telling crude stories laced in profanities. In Spielberg’s film, Stanton shouts, “I can’t bear to hear another of your stories,” before storming out of the room, a scene that really happened. Stanton and Lincoln clashed constantly and Lincoln always had to go to the War Department because Stanton seldom came to the White House.

But the most suspicious thing is the landslide of books raining down on Eisenschiml, all filled with cheap shots and personal attacks. Eisneschiml’s book broke important ground, but was painted as a total fraud by many who must have known better.

When a sustained and well-funded attack on a legitimate conspiracy theory appears that contains cheap shots and personal insults, I immediately suspect someone’s propaganda at stake, which is not to say these historians are bought-and-paid for, only that the ones who hold suspicions against the powers-that-be may not be getting any of the fat book deals.

The message is clear: join the status quo or break your rice bowl.


A nest of spooks controlled the Lincoln investigation

Meet Joseph Holt, a lawyer educated in Bardstown, Kentucky, who moved into the upper echelons of power under President James Buchanan, along with fellow Democrat, Edwin Stanton.
Holt was Secretary of War under Buchanan, a position Stanton would hold under Lincoln. War, it should be noted, is the greatest profit producer known to man, and Secretary of War is the key man deciding who profits most.

Recently, I watched Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, a film that reveals how Mary Surratt was railroaded onto the gallows by a kangaroo court after Lincoln’s assassination. The film encouraged me to peer deeper into the case, and I’ve been astounded by what I’ve uncovered in one week assembling primary documents available free online. Thanks to hundreds of citizen researchers, this case is probably the most heavily documented murder trial in history. In the late 1930s, a professor in Chicago published a book suggesting Stanton was involved in the assassination, and marshaled considerable evidence to support this claim, some of which has been disputed. But after watching Redford’s film, I became sympathetic to this theory, because it certainly was a kangaroo court.

Little known today is the fact public sentiment turned against Stanton and his tribunal after its key witness, Sandford Conover, was unveiled as a chronic perjurer. In fact, much of the eyewitness testimony at the trial appears manufactured and the chief investigator, Lafayette Baker, was notorious for manufacturing evidence and accepting bribes, while his boss Stanton had become quite expert at arranging convictions.
Conover was eventually unmasked as Charles Durham, a New York lawyer and double or possible triple agent who had been posted inside the Confederate War Department briefly and had posed as a journalist writing simultaneously for both sides. Historians are still trying to unravel all the various identities he created during the war.
Forgotten today is the fact Jefferson Davis and the heads of the Confederate Secret Service were proclaimed guilty of fomenting the assassination by President Andrew Johnson before the trial commenced. In response, they accused Johnson as being the instigator, as Johnson seems to have benefited most, and Booth had left his calling card at Johnson’s hotel before the assassination, a detail that convinced Mary Todd Lincoln of Johnson’s guilt. That theory conflicts with the allegation Johnson was slated for assassination along with Secretary of State Seward that night. Although the military tribunal sold that story to the nation, there remains zero evidence anyone ever intended to assassinate the Vice President.

Check out the trial transcript and I think you’ll be amazed at the obvious manipulations. The first third of the trial involved crimes fomented by Davis and the Confederate Secret Service located in Canada, and had nothing to do with the people on trial. Those poor saps were all fringe characters who had the misfortune of knowing John Wilkes Booth and being Southern sympathizers. Booth was dead, so there was little hope of moving up the chain to discover who financed the complex operation, and Booth was discovered with a large amount of cash. And Booth’s acquaintances were held in solitary confinement with hoods permanently placed over the heads so anything they might have known wasn’t going to leak out.

But once Conover was unmasked as a serial liar, the credibility of Holt’s military tribunal was put in doubt, and the fact neither Jefferson nor any Confederate officials were put on trial only supported the conclusion the trial had been rigged to hang patsies so real criminals could walk free.

Secret societies were very popular during the Civil War. Some, like the Knights of the Golden Circle, were masonic spin-offs possibly created by high-ranking masons who wanted to launch operations without casting shadows on their primary lodges. Albert Pike was the most powerful mason in America at the time, and although he was from Boston, Pike became a Confederate General and organized Indian raids on civilians during the war.

One powerful secret society was located in New York City, the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, created to protest the arrival of Irish, Italian and German immigrants into North America, especially Catholics. This movement become national and launched the powerful “Know Nothing” political party, so named because of the response members were instructed to give when questioned about the society. Thaddeus Stevens became an important member of that society.

Many conspiracy theories were floated right after the assassination, possibly by Stanton himself as he controlled the press in Washington. The official story was that Jefferson Davis had masterminded the plot in revenge for losing the war, but many were led to believe it was a Catholic conspiracy based on John Surratt and his mother being Catholic. Many intelligent Americans, however, probably suspected Stanton, since he was cited as the most unpopular man in the country by some newspapers. This theory would not re-emerge until the late 1930s.

After the hanging of Mary Surratt, the country was left with a sour taste since she was the first woman executed in American history and now it looked like she was set-up and innocent of all charges.

Holt became so dishonored by public sentiment he eventually published a pamphlet to clear his name in which he accused Jefferson Davis of fomenting a campaign to destroy his credibility by planting the spy Conover in his case. That document is available here:

https://archive.org/details/vindicationofju3693holt
Later on, Holt would write another book about the assassination, but this one accused the Vatican of fomenting the plot.


Why the story of Lincoln’s assassination is all wrong

You don’t read much about Jacob Thompson these days, but during the Civil War he was in charge of the Confederate Secret Service in Canada. Thompson had been Secretary of the Interior prior to the South’s succession.

The real story you haven’t been told is that the plot to divide the U.S. into two warring countries may have emanated in England, and His Majesty’s Secret Service may have helped fund the abolitionist movement headquartered in Boston, as well as the Southern Rights movement. British agents were placed at the highest levels of American masonry and some worked hand-in-glove with Thompson, who had enormous assets placed at his disposal in a bank in Montreal. Despite all their pleas and constant efforts, the Confederacy was unable to make a military alliance with any European country, all of which officially refused to recognize this new nation.

When things got desperate towards the end of the war, Thompson and his superiors allegedly began fomenting some really nasty plots, like distributing disease-tainted blankets to civilians in the North. This plot may have been an invention of the super spook Charles Dunham (aka Sandford Conover). One thing we know: Stanton’s Military Tribunal spent almost a third of its case on unveiling Davis’ many sinister plots, most of which cannot be substantiated today and appear to be the invention of Dunham. But a very real plot involved the kidnapping of Abraham Lincoln, and strangely it was Dunham writing as Conover who first revealed this plot in the papers, but then Dunham also sent a letter to Lincoln requesting permission to kidnap Davis from his Richmond home. The idea of kidnapping and/or assassinating both Presidents seems to have originated with Dunham.

On October 19, 1864, Thompson sent 21 Confederate cavalrymen dressed in civilian clothes to hold up three banks in St. Albans, Vermont. The soldiers escaped into Canada with $208,000. During the robberies, bank workers were forced to swear allegiance to the Confederacy before opening the vaults, a scene captured in the newspaper lithograph below. The raid backfired, however, since most Canadians resented the use of their country to launch raids. Around $88,000 was recovered and returned to the banks, although Canada refused to extradite the 21 men involved. Immediately after the raid, Dunham appeared in Canada in a failed attempt to penetrate this conspiracy, but was eventually unmasked by the Confederate community in Canada.

The great thing about this case is many vital documents are available free online, and the internet is full of evidence. The trial transcript can be downloaded, as well as a the autobiography of the chief investigator, Lafayette Baker. But I also found a treasure trove of documents few books ever refer to, including a War Department expose on the Knights of the Golden Circle, and an alleged diary of John Surratt, which goes into elaborate detail regarding the rites of the K.G.C. But since that secret society did not admit Catholics, which Surratt was, the diary is a forgery, like so many other documents associated with this case.

Surratt was one of the primary couriers for the Confederate Secret Service, so any possible inductions into the K.G.C. or other secret societies could have been part of his spook activities. Considering the War Department had recently concluded an exhaustive report on the K.G.C. and some alleged Knights of that organization were at the center of Lincoln’s assassination, I have to wonder why the K.G.C. and their association with the Copperheads never came up during the trial, an omission of evidence pointing towards the possibility of a kangaroo court rushing to judgment, hanging some patsies to let real conspirators walk free.

Since most historians support Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s military tribunal, most of what you read about the Lincoln assassination follows his carefully constructed script, however bogus that appears today.

However, in the late 1930s, a chemistry professor in Chicago who was a Civil War buff declared Stanton (left) was part of the conspiracy and marshaled much evidence to support this claim. Of course, the professor was laughed out of the history game and sent back to tinker with test tubes. However, I believe that professor was correct. His name was Otto Eisenschiml and he deserves a place alongside Antony Sutton as one of the great conspiracy researchers in American history.

Stanton arrived at the scene of the assassination and took charge of the country for weeks, controlling the military, the press, the Washington police and the Secret Service. It’s never been explained why telegraph lines went dead for two hours right after the assassination, although Stanton’s telegraph at the War Department stayed operational throughout the night. It’s also never been explained why Booth arrived at the scene carrying only a one-shot derringer, or why Lincoln was left completely unguarded at the precise moment of his arrival.

History has given us the impression Stanton and Lincoln were friends, but this is not the story I’m turning up.

Gideon Welles (left) was the Secretary of the Navy during the Civil War and after he retired from politics, he published a diary, and here’s what Welles had to say on the subject of Stanton:

“His administration of the War Department has been wastefully extravagant and a great affliction to the country. Stanton has the executive ability, energy and bluster. He is imperious to inferiors and abject to superiors. Wanting in sincerity, given to duplicity, and with a taste for intrigue, he has been deep in the conspiracy and one of the chief instigators of the outrageous proceedings in Congress, a secret opponent of the President’s from the commencement of his administration…[Stanton’s] administration of the War Department cost the country unnecessary untold millions of money and the loss of thousands of lives.”
Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, published by H. Mifflin, 1911

At the time of the assassination, the Supreme Commander of the K.G.C. was the man who financed Stanton’s career in politics in Ohio and had been shipped to the South during the war by Lincoln as an enemy alien.


Why the Lincoln assassination matters

President Lincoln’s death was the first successful presidential assassination in United States history and as such deserves attention because many of the details mirror those found in later assassinations. The biggest missing piece from the officially sanctioned history are the names of the secret societies that manipulated events behind the scenes and the political operatives they often employed. If you saw Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, you saw that passage of the 13th Amendment was left to some professional political fixers who traded patronage jobs for votes.

John Wilkes Booth was an intelligence operative and possible member of a devious Southern rights secret society called the Knights of the Golden Circle, which had thousands of members sprinkled throughout the north. The network was uncovered by a Union War Department investigation shortly after the Civil War broke out and could have been set-up in anticipation of the war.

Prior to the assassination, Booth had made frequent trips to New York City and Canada (Montreal), and the reasons for these trips remain unknown, but since Booth was a spy working for the Confederacy, it’s safe to assume these were not vacations or family visits to his brother’s brownstone.

I believe Booth could have been meeting with Charles Dunham, a master spook based in New York who wrote under various names for a variety of New York papers. All his stories were immense fabrications.

The most likely candidate as Grand Poobah of the Lincoln hit would be Jay Gould, who made more money on Wall Street during the war than anyone else.

A few years ago, a researcher suggested Booth may have been meeting with Congressman and former Mayor of New York, Fernando Wood, who wanted New York City to secede from the Union in support of the South. Wood was a shipping merchant who rose to Grand Sachem of the Society of St. Tammany, the group that gained control over the city by uniting its just arriving immigrant population. Wood also apparently controlled a vicious Five Points gang known as the Dead Rabbits, whose totem was an impaled rabbit on a spike that was carried into street battles against the Bowery Boys on the Lower East Side.

But when Republicans got control of the New York State legislature, they attempted to disarm the Democrat Wood by eliminating his corrupt Municipal Police force, replacing it with a “Metropolitan” police force under their command. On June 16, 1857, Captain George W. Walling of the newly formed Metropolitan Police arrived at City Hall with an arrest warrant for Wood for the crime of selling the position of Street Commissioner to Charles Devlin for $50,000. However, 300 members of the Municipal Police (which refused to disband) were guarding the mayor, and tossed Walling and his warrant into the street, inciting an ensuing melee that lasted for days known today as the “New York City police riot.”

Since Wood represented Wall Street interests invested in the cotton industry, which involved both the South and Great Britain, he became an open supporter of the Southern cause, and was probably an equally active supporter of the Southern secret service. Spies were everywhere during the Civil War, and this landscape was dotted with double agents.

But one of the most ruthless and most effective secret services was being run by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, through his dirty tricks specialist Lafayette Curry Baker, a man famous for fabricating evidence and strong-arming bribes. It appears Stanton had a double agent planted inside Booth’s conspiracy, a man who worked as a clerk at the War Department named Louis Weichmann. Another possibility, of course, is that Stanton was fomenting the murder plot, and not just observing it from a distance.

Both Wood and Stanton have major parts in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, and many of their lines are real, like when Stanton erupts at Lincoln, “I am not going to listen to another one of your stories!” Wood is portrayed as a charming Southerner with a biting wit, and does not convey the ruthless gangster he actually was.

Strangely, Baker was demoted and shipped off to New York City just prior to the assassination. I believe this was to prevent him from stumbling across the plot, as he soon came to suspect Stanton’s complicity, but dared not shared these feelings with anyone.

The night of the assassination General Grant was scheduled to sit beside Lincoln during the play at Ford’s Theater, but apparently the Secretary of War ordered Grant elsewhere, which meant Grant’s entourage and body guards were not at the theater. Meanwhile, Stanton assigned a notorious drunk as the only guard for Lincoln, a man who left his post to have a drink at the tavern across the street as soon as the play started. Booth was having a drink in that same tavern and probably witnessed the guard arrive at the bar, signaling his coast was clear. Ask yourself why Booth carried only a one-shot derringer. Obviously, he was not expecting interference.

Once Lincoln was shot, Stanton should have become a suspect, but he was able to completely control the investigation by quickly rounding up all the suspects except Booth within 48 hours. Baker published a book titled The Secret Service in the Late War (John Potter & Co., 1874) and revealed the existence of Booth’s diary. This revelation prompted a Congressional investigation, and when Stanton was forced to produce the diary in Congress during President Johnson’s impeachment trial, Baker announced 18 leaves were missing.

Read Baker’s book here:
http://archive.org/stream/secretserviceinl00bakeiala/secretserviceinl00bakeiala_djvu.txt

Inside the Lincoln Conspiracy

Lafayette Curry Baker deserves a larger place in the history books because he played a key role in the Great Lincoln Conspiracy. Baker was considered one of the most corrupt and ruthless officials in Washington D.C., and owed all his power and prestige to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

Baker bounced around the country from New York to California before becoming a mercenary and bounty-hunting-hired-gun. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he volunteered to spy on the Richmond defenses for General Winfield Scott by posing as a photographer, and soon came to the attention of Stanton, an Ohio lawyer who’d suddenly been placed into the Cabinet position of Secretary of War at the war’s outbreak, an extremely fortuitous appointment since Stanton had no military experience and had just switched political parties because he sensed the winds of change were blowing and the Republicans were about to take control of the executive branch.

Quoting Nathaniel Weyl’s The Battle Against Disloyalty: “During the war years, General La Fayette Curry Baker was chief of the military Secret Service…Promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, Baker was clothed with almost limitless powers as special provost marshal of the War Department. In Washington, he used the methods that had proved so successful in his vigilante days, disregarding the process of law, habeas corpus, or any of the other constitutional frills…” Of Stanton, Weyl concluded: “The ultimate plans of Stanton cannot be fathomed, but the trend was totalitarian.”

Baker routinely made false arrests, planted fake evidence and solicited bribes. He was placed in charge of insuring the War Department got its full share of the war profiteering, and when he caught merchants cheating, demanded a slice of the action to allow them to stay in business. A Treasury Department official accused Baker of orchestrating “a reign of terror.”

Suddenly, however, Baker was accused of tapping Stanton’s military telegraph lines, was demoted and moved to New York City, and posted under an Assistant Secretary of War there. This all seems weird because Baker was accused of “spying” on Stanton, yet there was no hearing nor trial, just this sudden demotion.

Delivering the Gettysburgh address.

But then just as suddenly, immediately after Lincoln was assassinated, Stanton ordered Baker to return to Washington to take charge of the investigation. Stanton himself was a suspect since he was in charge of the President’s protection and had personally placed a drunk on guard duty that night. Almost instantly suspects were rounded up and thrown into solitary with canvas hoods placed permanently over their heads to prevent any communication. At least one of them lost his mind after a week of wearing the hood. This runs against normal investigative technique, which is to isolate suspects and place double agents near them to draw information while posing as confidants.
After 11 days of the biggest manhunt in history, Baker suddenly dispatched a unit of the 16th Calvary to Virginia. The War Department was flooded with hundreds of reports of sightings in every state on the Eastern Coast, yet Baker somehow selected one particular lead to follow.

Booth’s diary never appeared at the trial, but much later when Baker wrote his book to cash in on his fame after being dismissed by Stanton, he mentioned the diary and was called before a Congressional committee, at which point Stanton was ordered to bring the diary to Congress. Baker examined the diary and claimed 18 leaves had been removed (at least 36 pages, if not 72). The diary had been shredded. Stanton claims to have removed nothing. But then much of the essential evidence of this case disappeared over time.

All this goes to show how deep the coverup runs because you won’t find many of these facts on the History Channel. In the 1930s, a chemistry professor tried to expose Stanton, but was dismissed although the serious questions he raised have never been adequately answered. A book was recently published about the case, American Brutus by Michael Kauffman, and it’s considered the “definitive last word” but strangely glosses over the conspiracy and refuses to peer deeply into the climate of corruption running through the War Department.

There was one fact on the History channel’s recent expose I found particularly intriguing. Kauffman admits Booth made several mysterious trips to New York City prior to the assassination, and no one has discovered any evidence of what those trips were about. (Sort of like Oswald’s bus ride into Mexico.)

Mary Surratt was painted as the only living mastermind of the plot during the trial, even though she was only guilty of having a son who served as a Confederate courier. The only evidence against her was given by a clerk who worked for Stanton, and after the trial, this clerk was exposed as a Union double agent posing as a Confederate spy.

Other important facts never mentioned by the History Channel is that Booth was a Captain in the Confederate Secret Service, and that Edwin Stanton’s mentor, the man who funded his rise in politics, was the leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle.