May 10, 2007

The Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body

I never knew there was a plot to steal Lincoln's body and hold it for ransom back in 1876.

Stealing Lincoln's Body is a new book by Thomas Craughwell published by the Harvard University Press

On the night of the presidential election in 1876, a gang of counterfeiters out of Chicago attempted to steal the entombed embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. The custodian of the tomb was so shaken by the incident that he willingly dedicated the rest of his life to protecting the president's corpse.

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This rousing story of hapless con men, intrepid federal agents, and ordinary Springfield citizens who honored their native son by keeping a valuable, burdensome secret for decades offers a riveting glimpse into late-nineteenth-century America, and underscores that truth really is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Posted by Jill Fallon at May 10, 2007 8:59 AM | TrackBack | Permalink