(see page 5), repeating four different times, in a variety of forms of expression, that late in January and early in February, 1865, and every day in the month of February, he held conversations with Hon. Jacob Thompson
at the St. Lawrence hotel
, in Montreal
, touching the assassination.
Let me quote in full his statement of the alleged conversation:
Q.--“State, if you please, what was said at that time by Mr. Thompson
on that subject, in your presence?”
A.--“I had called on Mr. Thompson
to make some inquiry about a raid which had been contemplated on Ogdensburg, N. Y.
, which had failed because the United States Government had received some intimation of the rebels there, and were prepared for it, and I called to hear what was to be done next, and being supposed by Mr. Thompson
to be a good rebel, he said: ‘We would have to drop it for a time, but we will catch them asleep yet,’ and then he observed: ‘ There is a better opportunity, a. better chance to immortalize yourself and save your country.’
I told him that I was ready to do anything to save the country, and asked him what was to be done.
He said: ‘Some of our boys are going to play a grand joke on Abe and Andy.’
That was his expression.
This led to explanations, when he informed me it was to kill them, or rather remove them from office.
To use his own expression, he said: ‘It was only removing them from office; that the killing of a tyrant was no murder.’
Q.--“State whether anything was said at that time on the subject of commissions from the rebel authorities in his hand, in blank?”
A.--“He had commissions, and conferred one on Booth
I am not so positive whether he had conferred it on Booth
then or not; but he told me, either then or subsequently, that Booth
had been commissioned, and that everybody engaged in the enterprise would be commissioned; and if it succeeded or failed, and they escaped to Canada
, they could.
not be successfully claimed under the Extradition Treaty
The fact is fully shown in the testimony herewith: First, that Mr. Thompson
was not in Montreal
at any time from the 1st of January to the 14th of February, being in the city of Toronto
, nearly 350 miles distant; and second, by referring to page 27, it will be seen from the letter of this man Conover
, certified to be genuine by United States
Counsel, General John F. Potter
, that up to the 20th of March
after, he did not even know Mr. Thompson
, and was then seeking his acquaintance, as himself the originator
of a proposition to destroy the Croton
Water-works, etc. This letter was sent by Mr. John Cameron
, of Montreal
, who testifies that, after Mr. Thompson
had read the letter,