The Lincoln Conspiracy
The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President--and Why It Failed
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, the bestselling authors of The First Conspiracy, which covers the secret plot against George Washington, now turn their attention to a little-known, but true story about a failed assassination attempt on the sixteenth president in The Lincoln Conspiracy.
Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, but few are aware of the original conspiracy to kill him four years earlier in 1861, literally on his way to Washington, D.C., for his first inauguration.
The conspirators were part of a white supremacist secret society that didn’t want an abolitionist in the White House. They planned an elaborate scheme to assassinate the President-elect in Baltimore as Lincoln’s inauguration train passed through, en route to the nation's capital. The plot was investigated by famed detective Allan Pinkerton, who infiltrated the group with undercover agents, including Kate Warne, one of the first female private detectives in America.
Had the assassination succeeded, there would have been no Lincoln Presidency and the course of the Civil War and American history would have forever been altered.
Praise For The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President--and Why It Failed…
"Takes a little-known true story about the FIRST plot to kill Abraham Lincoln and turns it into a first-rate nonfiction thriller. Filled with amazing American history, secret societies, incredible research, and a shocking conspiracy to murder Abraham Lincoln at the dawn of his presidency. A brilliant combination of edge-of-your-seat history and superb storytelling." - James L. Swanson, bestselling author of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer
"Think you know everything about Abraham Lincoln? Well, think again. The Lincoln Conspiracy not only revitalizes history, it transforms it, turning its principal player into a flesh and blood defender of everything the republic stands for, and the target of a malevolent cabal that went awry long before the ill-fated night at Ford's Theatre. Fantastic. You’ll never look at Abraham Lincoln the same way again." - Les Standiford, bestselling author of Last Train to Paradise & Meet You in Hell
“Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch have found and rescued the harrowing story of Abraham Lincoln under assault by lurking would-be assassins (long before John Wilkes Booth). Every page is mesmerizing and eye-opening. A must-read!” - Douglas Brinkley, the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University and author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.
“Abraham Lincoln. Secret Societies. A deadly plot. And it all really happened! You won’t be getting any sleep tonight. This book is dynamite. Meltzer does it again. History at its very best.” - Brian Kilmeade, bestselling author of Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers
"A delightful addition to popular literature on the Civil War era." - Booklist
"Meltzer and Mensch maintain suspense despite the known outcome of the story, and convincingly counter claims that Pinkerton made the whole thing up for publicity purposes. Readers new to the “Baltimore Plot” will appreciate this comprehensive and well-written overview." - Publishers Weekly
“Energetic....A brisk political thriller centered on a nefarious plot to murder Lincoln before his inauguration.... A sharply drawn episode.” - Kirkus
"The Lincoln Conspiracy is...relentlessly fun to read. Meltzer and Mensch are refreshingly unpretentious authors who prove gifted at providing essential context to the main storyline — they deftly paint a picture of 19th-century America, taking deep dives into Lincoln's life and the prevailing attitudes toward race and politics at the time. It's an expertly crafted book that seems sure to delight readers with an interest in lesser-known episodes of American history." - NPR
Flatiron Books, 9781250805898, 448pp.
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
About the Author
JOSH MENSCH is a New York Times bestselling author and documentary television producer with a focus on American history and culture. He is coauthor with Brad Meltzer of The First Conspiracy: the Secret Plot to Kill George Washington. For television he has written, directed, and been a showrunner on nonfiction series for PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic, and many other networks. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and children.