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PRESIDENT LINCOLN IN PERIL.
to bring Mr. Judd, Mr. Lincoln's intimate friend, to my room in season to arrange the journey to Washington that night. One of our sub-detectives made three efforts to communicate with Mr. Judd while passing through the streets in the procession, and was three times arrested and carried out of the crowd by the police. The fourth time he succeeded, and brought Mr. Judd to my room, where he met the detective-in-chief and myself.
“We lost no time in making known to him all the facts which had come to our knowledge in reference to the conspiracy, and I most earnestly advised that Mr. Lincoln should go to Washington that night in the sleeping-car. Mr. Judd fully entered into the plan, and said he would urge Mr. Lincoln to adopt it. On his communicating with Mr. Lincoln, after the services of the evening were over, he answered that he had engaged to go to Harrisburg and speak the next day, and he would not break his engagement even in the face of such peril, but that after he had fulfilled the engagement he would follow such advice as we might give him in reference to his journey to Washington. It was then arranged that he would go to Harrisburg the next day and make his address, after which he was to apparently return to Governor Curtin's house for the night, but in reality to go to a point about two miles out of Harrisburg, where an extra car and engine awaited to take him to Philadelphia. At the time of his returning, the telegraph lines, east, west, north, and south, were cut, so that no message as to his movements could be sent off in any direction. Mr. Lincoln could not possibly arrive in season for our regular train that left at eleven P. M., and I did not dare to send him by an extra for fear of its being found out or suspected that he was on the road; so it became necessary for me to devise some excuse for the detention of the train. But three or four on the road besides myself knew the plan. One of these I sent by an earlier train, to say to the people of the Washington branch road that I had an important package I was getting ready for the eleven P.M. train ; that it was necessary that I should have this package delivered in Washington early the next morning, without fail ; that I was straining every nerve to get it ready by eleven o'clock, but, in case I did not succeed, I should delay the train until it was ready, probably not more than half an hour, and I wished as a personal favor that the Washington train should await the coming of ours from Philadelphia before leaving. This request was willingly complied with by the managers of the Washington branch, and the man whom I had sent to Baltimore so informed me by telegraph in cipher. The second person in the secret I sent to West Philadelphia with a carriage, to await the coming of Mr. Lincoln. I gave him a package of old railroad reports, done up with great care, with a great seal attached to it, and directed, in a fair, round hand, to a person at Willard's. I marked it “Very important. To be delivered, without fail, by eleven o'clock train,' indorsing my own name upon the package. Mr. Lincoln arrived in West Philadelphia, and was immediately taken into the carriage and driven to within a square of our station, where my man with the package jumped off, and waited till he saw the carriage drive up to the door and Mr. Lincoln and the detective get out and go into the station. He then came up and gave the package to the conductor, who was waiting at the door to receive it, in company with a police officer. Tickets had been bought beforehand for Mr. Lincoln and party to Washington, including a tier of berths in the sleeping-car. He passed between the conductor and the police officer at the door, and neither suspected who he was. The conductor remarked as he passed, 'Well, old fellow, it was lucky for you that our president detained the train to send a package by it, or you would have been left.' Mr. Lincoln and the detective safely ensconced in the sleeping-car, and my package safe in the hands of the conductor, the train started for Baltimore nearly fifteen minutes behind time. Our man No. 3, George
started with the train to go to Baltimore, and hand it over with its contents to man No. 1, who awaited its arrival in Baltimore. Before the train reached Gray's Ferry bridge, and before Mr. Lincoln had resigned himself to slumber, the conductor came to our man George, and said, 'George, I thought you and I were old friends; and why did you not tell me we had Old Abe on board ?' George, thinking the conductor had in some way become possessed of the secret, answered, “John, we are friends; and, as you have found it out, Old Abe is on board; and we will still be friends, and see him safely through.' John answered, “Yes, if it costs me my life he shall have a safe passage.' And so George stuck to one end of the car and the conductor to the other, every mo
ent that his duties to the other passengers would admit of it. It turned out, however, that the conductor was mistaken in his man. A man strongly resembling Mr. Lincoln had come down to the train, about half an hour before it left, and bought a ticket to Washington for the sleeping-car. The conductor had seen him, and concluded it was the veritable Old Abe. George delivered the sleepingcar and train over to William in Baltimore, as had been previously arranged, who took his place at the brake, and rode to Washington, where he arrived at six A.M., on time, and saw Mr. Lincoln in the hands of a friend, safely delivered at Willard's, where he secretly ejaculated, 'God be praised!' He also saw the package of railroad reports, marked 'important,' safely delivered into the hands for which it was intended. This being done, he performed his morning ablutions in peace and quiet, and enjoyed with unusual zest his breakfast. At eight o'clock, the time agreed upon, the telegraph wires were joined ; and the first message flashed across the line was, 'Your package has arrived safely, and has been delivered. Signed, William. Then there went up from the writer of this a shout of joy and a devout thanksgiving to Him from whom all blessings flow; and the few who were in the secret joined in a heartfelt amen. Thus began and ended a chapter in the history of the rebellion that has never before been written, but about which there have been many hints, entitled ' A Scotch Cap and Riding-cloak,' etc., neither of which had any foundation in truth, as Mr. Lincoln traveled in his ordinary dress. Mr. Lincoln was safely inaugurated, after which I discharged our detective force, and also the semi-military whitewashers, and all was quiet and serene again on our railroad. But the distant booming from Fort Sumter was soon heard, and aroused in earnest the whole population of the loyal States. The seventy-five thousand threemonths' men were called out, and again the plans for burning bridges and destroying the railroad were revived in all their force and intensity. Again I sent Mr. Trist to Washington to see General Scott, to beg for troops to garrison the road, as our forces were then scattered and could not be then got at. Mr. Trist telegraphed me that the forces would be supplied, but the crisis came on immediately, and all, and more than all, were required at Washington. At the last moment I obtained and sent down the road about two hundred men, armed with shotguns and revolvers—all the arms I could get hold of at that time. They were raw and undisciplined men, and not fit to cope with those brought against them-about one hundred and fifty men, fully armed, and commanded by the redoubtable rebel, J. R. Trimble.”
To confirm this careful statement of Mr. Felton, who is now living in honored retirement near Thurlow, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, I need only refer to subsequent events: To the attack upon the Massachusetts Sixth, to the after attempts of the rebels to burn the bridges across the Susquehanna, to the necessity of placing Baltimore under military rule, and to the authoritative admission of the Baltimore Sun of Monday, the 25th of February, 1861, proving that if President Lincoln had taken the Northern Central, and had reached Baltimore by the Calvert Street dépôt, he would undoubtedly have been mur
dered in cold blood, and the conspiracy foreshadowed and exposed by Mr. Felton carried out and consummated. I shall never forget the sensations of the Union men and the consternation of the rebels when Abraham Lincoln entered Washington on Saturday, the 23d of February. We all breathed freer and deeper. We felt that our leader had reached the citadel in safety. Few indeed anticipated what incredible effort and what incalculable loss of life would be necessary to maintain the capital, and none, perhaps, outside the few persons who had knowledge of the dark and dreadful plot herein revealed, believed that
among these sacrifices would be our beloved President, Abraham Lincoln.
[January 7, 1872.]
On the 19th of March, 1791, President Washington wrote from Philadelphia to General Lafayette as follows: “My health is now quite restored, and I flatter myself with the hope of a long exemption from sickness. On Monday next I shall enter upon your friendly prescription of exercise, intending at that time to begin a long journey to the southward.” He had been invited by many of the leading characters of the Southern States, who promised him every where the cordial and enthusiastic greeting which two years before marked his triumphal progress through New England. The carriage in which he traveled was that in which he usually appeared on public occasions in Philadelphia. This carriage was built by Mr. Clarke, of that city, and was carefully preserved in a house built especially for its reception, where it remained for half a century. It is described as а most satisfactory exhibition of the progress of American manufactures." It was drawn by six horses, carefully selected for