Lincoln Conspiracy, the Evidence For

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#1
So I've read a number of books on the assassination and the conspirators. But a lot of what I read debunks any potential conspiracy involving others, but they never seem to mention exactly what the evidence is/was that others were involved or why others were suspected.

In this thread, what I hope to see is what some consider evidence that it wasn't just Booth and his immediate cronies involved. If you are going to post only to say there was not a conspiracy, then please do so by stating what part you are debunking and the evidence supporting it. I'm more interested in seeing why the thought of a larger conspiracy gained some traction and held by some over 150 years later.
 

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Bob171

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#2
It was my understanding that there was a conspiracy: "Booth and his Cronies". The question that I think you are posing is that the conspiracy may have been larger in scope. That being said: what evidence do you have that other's participated in the assassination and subsequently escaped justice?
 
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#3
While I think there was a conspiracy involving Lincoln's assassination, was it a simple conspiracy involving Booth and his know fellows, or was it on a grander or lesser scale. I think a lot of the evidence was destroyed by others long ago. The missing pages of Booth's diary, Booth's quick death, the speed of the conspirator's trial and their hanging. Was this a deliberate attempt to eliminate new potential sources of information or something else entirely. If there is evidence I would like to see it. If I read much on the subject, it was a long ago. Are there really an good sources that can be easily obtained or other online sources. I would like to know more myself.
 
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#4
It was my understanding that there was a conspiracy: "Booth and his Cronies". The question that I think you are posing is that the conspiracy may have been larger in scope. That being said: what evidence do you have that other's participated in the assassination and subsequently escaped justice?
Yes, I'm seeking information on what others have used to say others (Seward, Jefferson Davis, Stanton, etc.) were involved other than those who faced trial.
 

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#5
others (Seward, Jefferson Davis, Stanton, etc.) were involved other than those who faced trial.
Weirdest thing ever...a totally random thought crossed my mind today that maybe there were conspirators on the Union side who sought Lincoln's demise for their own reasons (e.g. Lincoln was going to go too soft on the South at the end of the CW). I hadn't come across the idea prior to seeing this thread . I'll be very interested to see if others have anything to contribute.
 
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Weirdest thing ever...a totally random thought crossed my mind today that maybe there were conspirators on the Union side who sought Lincoln's demise for their own reasons (e.g. Lincoln was going to go too soft on the South at the end of the CW). I hadn't come across the idea prior to seeing this thread . I'll be very interested to see if others have anything to contribute.
I've run across this idea before, but don't know a lot about it. I don't have a lot of time for conspiracy theories as a rule, but Booth's missing diary pages are admittedly intriguing.

https://kentuckypress.wordpress.com...he-missing-pages-of-john-wilkes-booths-diary/

Mystery surrounds Booth’s diary. The little book was taken off Booth’s body by Colonel Everton Conger. He took it to Washington and gave it to Lafayette C. Baker, chief of the War Department’s National Detective Police. Baker in turn gave it to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Despite its obvious interest to the case, the book was not produced as evidence in the 1865 Conspiracy Trial.

In 1867 the diary was re-discovered in a forgotten War Department file with more than a dozen pages missing. Conspiracy theorists became convinced that the missing pages contained the key to who really was behind Lincoln’s assassination, and several fingers pointed toward Stanton. Support for this theory came about in 1975 when Joseph Lynch, a rare books dealer, claimed to have found the missing pages through one of Stanton’s descendants.

Despite the apparent authenticity of Lynch’s claim, his story contained a few missing pages of its own. Over the years there has been endless speculation on those missing pages including rumors that they had surfaced. Nevertheless, they remain officially missing.

Was Lincoln’s death part of a larger conspiracy, or was Booth acting alone? Were the missing pages torn out deliberately by Stanton, or was it someone else who had something to hide? Whether or not the pages contain answers about Lincoln’s assassination, Steers has little doubt that conspiracy theorists will give up on their quest.​
 
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#7
Washington, D.C. was full of spies during the Civil War. Some of these spies had contacts within the White House.
Booth's contacts within the Confederate government, and his contacts with United States agents are unknowable and unknown.
 
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I've run across this idea before, but don't know a lot about it. I don't have a lot of time for conspiracy theories as a rule, but Booth's missing diary pages are admittedly intriguing.

https://kentuckypress.wordpress.com...he-missing-pages-of-john-wilkes-booths-diary/

Mystery surrounds Booth’s diary. The little book was taken off Booth’s body by Colonel Everton Conger. He took it to Washington and gave it to Lafayette C. Baker, chief of the War Department’s National Detective Police. Baker in turn gave it to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Despite its obvious interest to the case, the book was not produced as evidence in the 1865 Conspiracy Trial.

In 1867 the diary was re-discovered in a forgotten War Department file with more than a dozen pages missing. Conspiracy theorists became convinced that the missing pages contained the key to who really was behind Lincoln’s assassination, and several fingers pointed toward Stanton. Support for this theory came about in 1975 when Joseph Lynch, a rare books dealer, claimed to have found the missing pages through one of Stanton’s descendants.

Despite the apparent authenticity of Lynch’s claim, his story contained a few missing pages of its own. Over the years there has been endless speculation on those missing pages including rumors that they had surfaced. Nevertheless, they remain officially missing.

Was Lincoln’s death part of a larger conspiracy, or was Booth acting alone? Were the missing pages torn out deliberately by Stanton, or was it someone else who had something to hide? Whether or not the pages contain answers about Lincoln’s assassination, Steers has little doubt that conspiracy theorists will give up on their quest.​
Thank you, @Andersonh1 This is exactly what I'm interested in. What was the cause of people suspecting a larger conspiracy and who may have been involved. The missing diary pages are indeed intriguing.
 

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Well, for starter, in explaining conspiracy theories, this clearly was a conspiracy. At least four people were involved in planning the assassination, Booth, Powell/Paine, Herold, and Atzerodt. Five others were also found guilty of involvement in the assassination. A four to nine person conspiracy is pretty large without some directing hand other than an actor. I think that anyone who has tried to get nine people to do anything would be suspicious.

There is also the fact that many of those convicted had been working together as a Confederate intelligence cell for months.
Would it have carried out such an act without approval from those in higher positions?

I actually tend to think that while the cell existed prior to the assassination, that the decision to kill Lincoln was made by Booth at the last minute.
 
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#12
It could also have been that the missing evidence would have shown that Mary Lincoln was incredibly indiscreet and used some of the conspirators as messengers.
It could have been that Grant was this intended target, due to inadvertent statements made by Mrs. Lincoln.
 
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#13
I do remember reading about the missing diary pages. I think they even had a few pages of it to see, when they were discovered. Did anyone ever publish them. I would think they did, but sometimes one never knows. I always heard the pages might have contained the names of some highly placed individuals in the government or in the north.
 

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Of course the widest aspect of conspiracy was Booth's part in a much larger plot or series of plots emanating from the Confederate Secret Service in Canada headed by shady characters like Jacob Thompson. The unfortunate Mary Surratt's son John served as a "courier" between Booth and other conspirators in Washington and Northern Virginia and Maryland and was gone on one of those trips at the time of the assassination, otherwise he likely would've been directly involved in it. The question has always been their degree of involvement and planning in the act as it played out: was the actual killing of Lincoln really only Booth's idea or part of a wider plot? This involvement is what Jefferson Davis denied while in captivity and later and has subsequently never been satisfactorily proven nor disproven.
 

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#16
I think that in order to speculate about others who were involved in a potential conspiracy, one needs to look at all people who benefited from Lincoln's assassination, whether or not they had motives, and whether or not they had documented or potential connections with the Booth & Co, and try to examine these connections...
 

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#17
I think that in order to speculate about others who were involved in a potential conspiracy, one needs to look at all people who benefited from Lincoln's assassination, whether or not they had motives, and whether or not they had documented or potential connections with the Booth & Co, and try to examine these connections...
The trouble with that scatter-shooting type approach, though, is that over the years it has grown into Kennedyesque proportions involving all sorts of dubious prospects!
 

E_just_E

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The trouble with that scatter-shooting type approach, though, is that over the years it has grown into Kennedyesque proportions involving all sorts of dubious prospects!
Absolutely :smile:

And that's the approach that the Warren Commission should have taken, to examine each and silence the prospects that there is no evidence of involvement.

I think that the potential list of Lincoln Conspirators is about as long as that of Kennedy's and it includes some entities, like "the Catholic Church" that borderline impossible, just like some of Kennedy's...
 

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... I think that the potential list of Lincoln Conspirators is about as long as that of Kennedy's and it includes some entities, like "the Catholic Church" that borderline impossible, just like some of Kennedy's...
I think the Confederate Government (Davis and his cabinet, the Canadian plotters, etc.); Stanton and other Radicals disliking and distrustful of Lincoln's Reconstruction policy; and Booth and his band of misfits make up the principal candidates for the usual suspects in this case.
 



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