In February 1861, on the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as president, an audacious assassination plot was taking shape in Baltimore. Over a period of 13 days, as the president-elect traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration, America’s top lawman, Allan Pinkerton of the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency, raced to uncover hard evidence of the looming murder conspiracy before time ran out.
The “Baltimore Plot,” as it came to be known, would prove to be a defining and controversial chapter in the march toward Civil War, testing Lincoln with a grim preview of the challenges he would face as president. It also presented Pinkerton with the most daunting case of his storied career—and one on which he worked with America’s first female private eye.
Author Daniel Stashower and actor Scott Sedar present a fascinating evening of history, conspiracies, and intrigue. Stashower’s book The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War (Minotaur) is available for signing.
Read an article in Smithsonian Magazine by Stashower about the plot.
Learn more about the Civil War, listen to clips from Smithsonian Folkways recordings>>