Military history

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a "clear and fully-matured" threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America's first female private eye.

As Lincoln's train rolled inexorably toward "the seat of danger," Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln's life―and the future of the nation―on a "perilous feint" that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy―and, later, mired in controversy―the story of the "Baltimore Plot" is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2013
Winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime
Winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction
Winner of the 2014 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-fiction Work
Winner of the 2014 Macavity Award for Best Nonfiction

Introduction: Long, Narrow Boxes

PART ONE: THE COOPER AND THE RAIL-SPLITTER

Prologue: His Hour Had Not Yet Come

Chapter 1. The Apprentice

Chapter 2. How I Became a Detective

Chapter 3. Ardent Spirits

Chapter 4. Pink Lady

Chapter 5. Let Us Dare to Do Our Duty

Chapter 6. It’s Coming Yet

PART TWO: PLUMS AND NUTS

Chapter 7. A Pig-Tail Whistle

Chapter 8. Mobtown

Chapter 9. Suspicions of Danger

Chapter 10. Hostile Organizations

Chapter 11. The Man and the Hour

Chapter 12. If I Alone Must Do It

Chapter 13. A Postponed Rebellion

Chapter 14. A Rabid Rebel

Chapter 15. A Single Red Ballot

Chapter 16. Whitewash

Chapter 17. The Music Agent

Chapter 18. A Few Determined Men

Chapter 19. An Assault of Some Kind

Chapter 20. The Assassin’s Knife

PART THREE: THE MARTYR AND THE SCAPEGOAT

Chapter 21. The Flight of Abraham

Chapter 22. The Hour of Peril

Chapter 23. Some Very Tall Swearing

Epilogue: An Infamous Lie

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