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hebade farewell to his fellow-citizens at Springfield in these grave words:
"Mr Friends: No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century, here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except forthe aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him; and in the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support, and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again I bid you all an affectionate farewell."
This solemn leave-taking brought tears into his eyes and those of his fellow-citizens. He now commenced a triumphant journey toward Washington. Crowds of people, with civic deputations at their head, met and welcomed him on his passage through the large cities. His speeches, which were frequent, showed an amiable desire, though not always gracefully expressed, to conciliate his political opponents by yielding his partisanship to the general interests of the country, but evinced a resolute determination to uphold the Federal authority against the attacks of its ene
mies. His homely oratory was taken generally in good part by those who listened to it, and it occasionally, by an apt illustration, struck a chord of popular sympathy. "In their [the secessionists] view," he said happily at Indianapolis, "the Union, as a family relation, would seem to be no regular marriage, but rather a sort of free-love arrangement, to be maintained on passional attraction."
After passing through Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburg, Xew York, and Trenton, he finally reached Philadelphia. Here, to the usual programme of military parade, public reception, speech-making, and shaking of hands, was added that of raising the American flag upon Independence Hall, the ancient seat of Congress, on Friday, the 22d of February, the anniversary of Washington's birthday.
On the night previous, Mr. Lincoln, after having gone to bed in the hotel, was aroused and informed that a visitor desired to see him on "a matter of life and death." He was refused admission, unless he gave his name, which he did, and as it was one that carried with it an authority* that Mr. Lincoln was not disposed to pass unheeded, he, while "yet disrobed," received the visitor.
The object of this mysterious, nocturnal visit was to inform Mr. Lincoln of the organization of a body of men who had determined that he should not be inaugurated President, and to effect their purpose, were ready to capture
° The visitor was, it is believed, the son of the present
secretary of state.
LINCOLN SAFE IN WASHINGTON.
him or to take his life on his way to Washington. Some influential persons in the interests of the secessionists were l^b, supposed to be implicated in the 23. plot. The morning's telegraph came with this startling announcement:
"Statesmen laid the plan, bankers indorsed it, and adventurers were to carry it into effect. As they understood Mr. Lincoln was to leave Harrisbnrg at nine o'clock this morning by special train, the idea was, if possible, to throw the cars from the road at some point where they would rush down a steep embankment and destroy in a moment the lives of all on board. In case of the failure of this project, their plan was to surround the carriage on the way from depot to depot in Baltimore, and assassinate him with dagger or pistol-shot.''
Whatever may have been the exact nature of the revelation, it was sufficiently serious to induce his wife and friends to persuade the reluctant Mr. Lincoln to forego the continuance of his triumphal progress of public reception, flag-raising, speech-making, and handshaking.
"Mr. Lincoln did not want to yield," says the telegraph reporter, "and Col. Sumner actually cried with indignation; but Mrs. Lincoln, seconded by Mr. Judd Feh, and Mr. Lincoln's original inform23« ant, insisted upon it, and at nine o'clock Mr. Lincoln left on a special train. He wore a Scotch plaid cap and a very long military cloak, so that he was entirely unrecognizable. Accompanied by Superintendent Lewis and one friend, he started, while all the town, with the
exception of Mrs. Lincoln, Col. Sumner, Mr. Judd, and two reporters, who were sworn to secresy, supposed him to be asleep.
"The telegraph wires were put beyond the reach of auy one who might desire to use them."
At the same moment that the world was excited by this alarming intelligence, its agitation was composed by the welcome statement that Mr. Lincoln had arrived safe at Willard's Hotel, in Washington, and on the same day, "accompanied by Mr. Seward, had paid his respects to President Buchanan'" at the White House.
The press and people of Baltimore supposed to be friendly to secession expressed great disappointment and indignation that Lincoln and his friends should have manifested any distrust of their hospitality. Those, however, who were unquestionably loyal to the Union, confessed to a riotious intent on the part of some of the people of Baltimore, and declared that Lincoln's proceeding was "a simple and practical avoidance of what might have been an occasion of disorder and of mortification to all interested in the preservation of the good name of the city.'"*
A detailed, and apparently authentic exposition of the formation of the plot, the agents employed, and the means used to thwart it, appeared in one of the Northern journals.f
"Some of Mr. Lincoln's friends having heard that a consjiiracy existed to assassinate him on his way to Washington,
° Baltimore American. f Albany Evening Journal.
set on foot an investigation of the matter. For this purpose they employed a detective of great experience, who was engaged at Baltimore in the business some three weeks prior to Mr. Lincoln's expected arrival there, employing both men and women to assist him. Shortly after his coming to Baltimore, the detective discovered a combination of men banded together under a most solemn oath to assassinate the President-elect. The leader of the conspirators was an Italian refugee, a barber, well-known in Baltimore, who assumed the name of Orsini, as indicative of the part he was to perform. The assistants employed by the detective, who, like himself, were strangers in Baltimore city, by assuming to be secessionists from Louisiana and other seceding States, gained the confidence of some of the conspirators, and were intrusted with their plans. It was arranged in case Mr. Lincoln should pass safely over the railroad to Baltimore, that the conspirators should mingle with .the crowd which might surround his carriage, and hy pretending to be his friends, be enabled to approach his person, when, upon a signal from their leader, some of them would shoot at Mr. Lincoln with their pistols, and others would throw into his carriage hand-grenades filled with detonating powder, similar to those' used in the attempted assassination of the Emperor Louis Napoleon. It was intended that in the confusion which should result from this attack, the assailants should escape to a vessel which was waiting in
the harbor to receive them, and be. carried to Mobile, in the seceding State of Alabama.
"Upon Mr. Lincoln's arrival in Philadelphia upon Thursday, the 21st of February, the detective visited Philadelphia, and submitted to certain friends of the President-elect the information he had collected as to the conspirators and their plans. An interview was immediately arranged between Mr. Lincoln and the detective. The interview took place in Mr. Lincoln's room, in the Continental Hotel, where he was staying during his visit in Philadelphia.
"Mr. Lincoln, having heard the officer's statement, informed him that he had promised to raise the American flag on Independence Hall on the next morning —the morning of the anniversary of Washington's birthday—and that he had accepted the invitation of the Pennsylvania Legislature to be publicly received by that body in the afternoon of the same day. 'Both of these engagements,' said he, with emphasis, 'I will keep if it costs me my life. If, however, after I shall have concluded these engagements, you can take me in safety to Washington, I will place myself at your disposal, and authorize you to make such arrangements as you may deem proper for that purpose.
"On the next day, in the morning, Mr. Lincoln performed the ceremony of raising the American flag on Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, according to his promise, and arrived at Harrisburg on the afternoon of the same day, where he was formally welcomed by the Penn
sylvariia Legislature. After the reception, he retired to his hotel, the Jones House, and withdrew with a few confidential friends to a private apartment. Here he remained until nearly six o'clock in the evening, when, in company with Colonel Lamon, he quietly entered a carriage without observation, and was driven to the Pennsylvania Railroad, where a special train for Philadelphia was waiting for him. Simultaneously with his departure from Harrisburg, the telegraph wires were cut, so that his departure, if it should become known, might not be communicated at a distance.
"The special train arrived in Philadelphia at a quarter to eleven at night. Here he was met by the detective, who had a carriage in readiness into which the party entered, and were driven to the depot of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad.
"They did not reach the depot until a quarter past eleven; but, fortunately for them, the regular train, the hour of which for starting was eleven, had been delayed. The party then took berths in the sleeping car, and without change of cars passed directly through to Washington, where they arrived at the usual hour, half-past six o'clock, on the morning of Saturday the 23d. Mr. Lincoln wore no disguise whatever, but journeyed in an ordinary traveling dress.
"It is proper to state here that, prior to Mr. Lincoln's arrival in Philadelphia, General Scott and Senator Seward, in Washington, had been apprised, from
independent sources, that imminent danger threatened Mr. Lincoln in case he should publicly pass through Baltimore; and accordingly a special messenger, Mr. Frederick W. Seward, a son of Senator Seward, was dispatched to Philadelphia, to urge Mr. Lincoln to come direct to Washington, in a quiet manner. The messenger arrived in Philadelphia late on Thursday night, and had an interview with the President-elect, immediately subsequent to his interview with the detective. He was informed that Mr. Lincoln would arrive by the early train on Saturday morning, and, in accordance with this information, Mr. Washburn, member of Congress from Illinois, awaited the President-elect at the depot in Washington, whence he was taken in a carriage to Willard's Hotel, where Senator Seward stood ready to receive him.
"The detective traveled with Mr. Lincoln under the name of E.J. Allen, which name was registered with the Presidentelect's on the book at Willard's Hotel. Being a well-known individual, he was speedily recognized. and suspicion naturally arose that he had been instrumental in exposing the plot which caused Mr. Lincoln's hurried journey. It was deemed prudent that he should leave Washington two days after his arrival, although he had intended to remain and witness the ceremonies of inauguration.
"The friends of Mr. Lincoln do not question the loyalty and hospitality of the people of Maryland, but they were aware that a few disaffected citizens who sympathized warmly with the secessionists, were determined to frustrate, at all hazards, the inauguration of the President-elect, even at the cost of his life.
"The characters and pursuits of the conspirators were various. Some of them were impelled by a fanatical zeal which they termed patriotism, and they justified their acts by the' example of Brutus, in ridding his country of a tyrant. One of them was accustomed to recite passages put into the mouth of the character of Brutus, in Shakspeare's play of "Julius Caesar." Others were stimulated by the offer of pecuniary reward. These, it was observed, staid away from their usual places of work for several weeks prior to the intended assault. Although their circumstances had previously rendered them dependent on their daily labor for support, they were during this time abundantly supplied with money, which they squandered in bar-rooms and disreputable places.
"After the discovery of the plot, a strict watch was kept by the agents of detection over the movements of the conspirators, and efficient measures were adopted to guard against any attack which they might meditate upon the President-elect until he was installed in office.
"Mr. Lincoln's family left Harrisburg for Baltimore, on their way to Washington, in the special train intended for him. And as, before starting, a message announcing Mr. Lincoln's departure and arrival at Washington had been
telegraphed to Baltimore over the wires, which had been repaired that morning, the passage through Baltimore was safely effected.
"The remark of Mr. Lincoln, during the ceremony of raising the flag on Independence Hall on Friday morning, that he would assert his principles on his inauguration, although he were to be assassinated on the spot, had evident reference to the communication made to him by the detective on the night preceding.
"The names of the conspirators will not at present be divulged; but they are in possession of responsible parties, including the President.
"The number originally ascertained to be banded together for the assassination of Mr. Lincoln was twenty; but the number of those who were fully apprised of the details of the plot became daily smaller as the time for executing it drew near.
"Some of the women employed by the detective went to serve as waiters, seamstresses, etc., in the families of the conspirators, and a record was regularly kept of what was said and done to further their enterprise. A record was also kept by the detective of their deliberations in secret conclave, but, for sufficient reasons, it is withheld for the present from publication. The detective and his agents regularly contributed money to pay the expenses of the conspiracy."
In the mean time, while the triumphal progress of Mr. Lincoln was brought to so inglorious a close by his