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great reforms of which he was the instrument in the hands of Providence, and to American youth the influence of his grand example.
THE FIRST PLOT TO ASSASSINATE PRESI
DENT LINCOLN. The murder of Mr. Lincoln, more than four years after his induction into the office of President of the United States, is not the fulfilment of a recent intention, nor is the guilt of it confined to the actual murderer and his present active accomplices. Soon after the first election of Mr. Lincoln, a plot was matured for his assassination, which was vaguely rumored at the time of its intended execution, but which was never exposed in any formal manner, and hence never obtained general credence. As we are in possession of its outlines, and the means by which it was defeated, the mention of the circumstances. may now be received with a degree of interest which they could not heretofore have excited. It is proper to say that we state them substantially as they were reported some time ago, by a gentleman who was chiefly instrumental in defeating the conspiracy. In the month of January, 1861, a gentleman, holding a position in this city, which made him a proper agent to act on the information, was waited upon by a lady, who stated to him her suspicions or knowledge-whence derived we are not able to say—of a plot to assassinate Mr. Lincoln when on his way from his home, in Illinois to Washington, to be inaugurated as President. The active parties, or some of them, in the business, were understood to be in Baltimore. At all events, the gentleman considered that the intelligence had sufficient foundation to rhake it his duty to satisfy himself whether it might be correct. He accordingly employed a detective officer, a man who had in his profession become notable for his sag;acity and success, to
go to Baltimore and adopt his own course to detect the parties to and plan of the conspiracy. The officer went to Baltimore, and opened an office as some sort of broker or agent, under an assumed name. Being supplied with needful funds, he made occasions to become acquainted with certain classes of secessionists, and by degrees was on free and easy terms with them. He took each man in his humor, dined and supped with some, gambled with others, "treated" and seconded dissipations in more ways than need be expressly stated, until he had secured enough of their confidence to be familiar with the particulars of their schemes. Meanwhile it had been ascertained that on the line of the Baltimore Railroad there were men engaged in military drilling. Several other detectives were employed by the chief to discover the purpose of those organizations; and, disguised as laborers or farm hands, they got themselves mustered in. One of the military companies proved to be loyal in its purpose; another, under pretence of being prepared to guard one or more of the bridges north of Baltimore, was designed for quite an opposite purpose. It will be remembered that some time before Mr. Lincoln set out from his home for Washington, bis intended route thither was published. A part of the programme was that he should visit Harrisburg and Philadelphia. We believe that Mr. Lincoln was not advised especially of any personal danger until he was about to go to Harrisburg, and then, at the instance of the gentleman referred to, he was urged to proceed without delay to Washington. He replied, however, that he had promised the people of Harrisburg to answer their invitation, and he would do so if it cost him his lise. He accordingly visited Harrisburg on the 22d of February, 1861. It was intended he should rest there that evening. But under the management of “the gentleman,” another arrangement was effected. The night train from Philadelphia to Baltimore and Washington left at half past ten o'clock in the evening. It was determined that Mr. Lincoln should go secretly by that train on the evening of the 23d; and to enable him to do so, a special train was provided to bring him secretly from Harrisburg to Philadelphia. After dark, in the former city, when it was presumed he had retired to his hotel, he accordingly took the special train, and came to Philadelphia. Meanwhile, in anticipation of bis coming, “the gentleman” had insured the detention of the Philadelphia and Baltimore train, under the pretence that a parcel of important documents for one of the departments in Washington must be dispatched by it, but which might not be ready until after the regular time of the starting of that train. By a similar representation, the connecting train from Baltimore to Washington was also detained. Owing to the late hour at which the special train left Harrisburg with Mr. Lincoln, it did not, as was anticipated, reach this city until after the usual Philadelphia and Baltimore time. Mr. Lincoln was accompanied by the officer who had been employed in Baltimore. A formidable bundle of old railroad reports had been made up in the office of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Company, which the officer, duly instructed, had charge of. On the arrival of the Harrisburg train, Mr. Lincoln took a carriage in waiting, and with his escort was driven to the depot at Broad and Prime streets. The officer made some ostentatious bustle, arriving with his parcel for which the train was detained, and passing through the depot entered the cars, Mr. Lincoln in his company. As Mr. Lincoln passed through the gate, the man attending it remarked: “Old fellow, it's well for you the train was detained to-night, or you wouldn't have gone in it.” No one aboard the train but the agent of the company and the officer knew of Mr. Lincoln's being in it. He was
conducted to a sleeping car, and thus was kept out of the way of observation. To guard against any possible communication by telegraph at this time, the circuit was broken, to be united when it would be safe to do so. The plan of the conspirators was to break or burn one of the bridges north of Baltimore, at the time of Mr. Lincoln's anticipated approach, on the following day; and in the confusion incident to the stoppage of the train, to assassinate him in the cars. Hence the extra precaution above mentioned, regarding the telegraph. In due time the train with Mr. Lincoln reached Washington, and he being safe there, the officer, as previously instructed, sent a dispatch to "the gentleman” that “the parcel of documents had been delivered." The public, and, above all, the conspirators, awoke on the morning of the 24th to be astonished with the intelligence that Mr. Lincoln had arrived in Washington. It may be well to mention here that the story of his disguise in a "Scotch cap" and cloak, was untrue. He wore his ordinary traveling cap, and was in no sense of the word disguised.
We give this narrative, assured that in no essential particular can it vary from the circumstantial account of “the gentlemen,” to whose precautions may be properly attributed the frustation of the first plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In confirmation of the view that this plot was within the knowledge of certain eminent secessionists in Washington, it may be stated that a gentleman, who was a member of the “ Peace Convention," then in session, heard one of the Southern members exclaim, when Mr. Lincoln's arrival in Washington was nientioned, "My God! how did he get here?” The surprise was too significant to be mistaken, when afterwards remembered and associated with other circumstances.
TRIBUTES TO THE MEMORY OF PRESIDENT
LINCOLN The history of Mr. LINCOLN's life would be incomplete, did we not introduce several of the eloquent tributes paid to his memory by some of the most distinguished of our public men and pulpit orators. The noble sentences uttered by SCHUYLER COLFAX, of Indiana, at Bryan Hall, Chicago, will be read with intense interest and satisfaction by the American people. No one knew the lamented dead better than he. There was a unity of heart between the two, and Mr. LINCOLN rarely took any step affecting the interests of the nation without making known his intentions to and consulting with Mr. COLFAX, in whose judgment he placed the utmost confidence. affection existed between them, each admiring and respecting the other, for the honesty, firmness, and integrity of character which have made the names of ABRAHAM LINCOLN and SCHUYLER COLFAX household words throughout the land.
GGORGE BANCROFT, the historian, also laid his tribute of respect upon the tomb of the martyr, in a eulogy remarkable for its eloquence and sententiousness; wbile
ENRY WARD BEECHER, the orator of the American pulpit, delivered in the Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, a sermon on the death of the President which has not been surpassed by any funeral oration called forth by the event which threw the country into mourning.
General HIRAM WALBRIDGE, of New York, one of the most prominent men in the North—a man who was politically opposed to the election of Mr. LINCOLN, but a man of undoubted patriotism--at an immense meeting held in memory of the deceased President, delivered an address worthy of the distinguished speaker and of the hallowed character of which he spoke.
The Orations are subjoined, and will be found complete.