A dispatch from Harrisburg, Pa.
, to the N. Y. Times, dated Feb. 23, 8 A. M., says:--
, the President-elect
of the United
States, is safe in the capital of the nation.
By the admirable arrangement of General Scott
the country has been spared the lasting disgrace, which would have been fastened indelibly upon it, had Mr. Lincoln
been murdered upon his journey thither, as he would have been, had he followed the programme as announced in papers, and gone by the Northern Central railroad to Baltimore
On Thursday night after he had retired, Mr. Lincoln
was aroused and informed that a stranger desired to see him on a matter of life or death.
He declined to admit him unless he gave his name, which he at once did. Such prestige did the name carry that while Mr. Lincoln
was yet disrobed, he granted an interview to the caller.
A prolonged conversation elicited the fact, that an organized body of men had determined that Mr. Lincoln
should not be inaugurated, and that he should never leave the city of Baltimore
alive, if, indeed, he ever entered it.
The list of the names of the conspirators presented a most astonishing array of persons high in Southern confidence, and some whose fame is not confined to this country alone.
Statesmen laid the plan, bankers indorsed it, and adventurers were to carry it into effect.
They understood Mr. Lincoln
was to leave Harrisburg
at 9 o'clock this morning by special train, and the idea was, if possible, to throw the cars from the road at some point where they would rush down a steep embankment and destroy in a moment the lives of all on board.
In case of the failure of this project their plan was to surround the carriage on the way from depot to depot in Baltimore
, and assassinate him with dagger or pistol shot.
So authentic was the source from which the information was obtained, that Mr. Lincoln
, after counselling his friends, was compelled to make arrangements which would enable him to subvert the plans of his enemies.
Greatly to the annoyance of the thousands who desired to call on him last night, he declined giving a reception.
The final council was held at 8 o'clock.
did not want to yield, and Col. Sumner
actually cried with indignation; but Mrs. Lincoln
, seconded by Mr. Judd
and Mr. Lincoln
's original informant, insisted upon it, and at 9 o'clock Mr. Lincoln
left on a special train.
He wore a Scotch plaid cap and a very long military cloak, so that he was entirely unrecognizable.
Accompanied by Superintendent Lewis
and one friend, he started, while all the town, with the exception of Mrs. Lincoln, Col. Sumner
, Mr. Judd
, and two reporters, who were sworn to secrecy, supposed him to be asleep.
The telegraph wires were put beyond reach of any one who might desire to use them.
At one o'clock the fact was whispered from one to another, and it soon became the theme of the most excited conversation.
Many thought it a very injudicious move, while others regarded it as a stroke of great merit.
The prevailing feeling excited by Mr. Lincoln
's quiet passage through Baltimore
, was one of relief and of gratification, though expressions of disappointed curiosity were frequently heard.
The injudicious determination of certain political friends of the President-elect
in this city to mark his arrival with a public demonstration, had excited a spirit of stern opposition, which it was feared would manifest itself in acts which, though designed directly to rebuke the ill-advised zeal of the parties referred to, might yet have been misconstrued into a personal affront to the President-elect
, and so have reflected discreditably upon the good repute of Baltimore
The action, therefore, of Mr. Lincoln
, in disappointing alike the purposes of his political friends and the public curiosity, was a simple and practical avoidance of what might have been an occasion of disorder and of mortification to all interested in the preservation of the good name of our city.
Ample precautions were adopted to guard against any violation of the public peace.
A large police force was detailed for duty at the depot, and to protect the President
and his suite on their passage through the streets, against the turbulent pressure of the crowds which he experienced in other cities on his route hither; and these measures of Marshal Kane
, even if they had failed to restrain any expression of disapprobation, would certainly have secured Mr. Lincoln
from insult, had such been intended.
On the arrival of the cars and the appearance on the platform of the Baltimore Republican committee, they were received with groans and hootings.
A rush was made at William E. Beale
and Francis S. Corkran
, but they were protected by the police, and neither of them were injured further than knocking their hats over their eyes.
The following was the committee: William G. Snethen
, chairman; Judge William L. Marshall
, L. Blumenberg
, of Gaystreet; William E. Beale
. Hon. Judge Palmer
, of Frederick
, was with the party.
and her three sons proceeded to the residence of Col. John S. Gittings
, president of the Northern Central railway, at Mount Vernon Square, leaving accepted an invitation tendered to them on their way to this city, so as to relieve them from the crowd and excitement.
They left the cars, we learn, at the junction of Charles-street, where Mr. Gittings
's carriage was in waiting for them, and were in a few minutes enjoying the quiet of his spacious mansion, while crowds were gaping for a sight of them at the depot.
One fellow in the crowd at Calvert station, who was known as a violent Republican, had his hat knocked off a dozen time by the rowdies.--Baltimore American
At 15 minutes to one o'clock a mighty heaving and surging in the multitude at the north entrance of the depot, proclaimed some fresh excitement, and in a few moments the York
accommodation train entered the depot, followed by an excited crowd, which mistook it for the special train of the President-elect
As soon as the train stopped, the crowd leaped upon the platforms, and mounted to the tops of the cars like so many monkeys, until like a hive of bees they swarmed upon them-shouting, hallooing, and making all manner of noises.
The officers in charge of the train appeared, and the crowd, discovering their error, recoiled, a little chop-fallen, but prepared for another excitement.
After it became apparent to the multitude that the President-elect
had indeed escaped their attentions, they turned about to bestow them upon such of his humbler constituents as they recognized in their midst.
These attentions were exhibited in
a system of crowding and squeezing exceedingly unpleasant to those upon whose persons the “pressure” was brought to bear.
* * * * * * *
Had we any respect for Mr. Lincoln
, official or personal, as a man, or as President-elect
of the United States
, his career and speeches on his way to the seat of government would have cruelly impaired it; but the final escapade by which he reached the capital would have utterly demolished it, and overwhelmed us with mortification.
As it is, no sentiment of respect of whatever sort with regard to the man suffers violence on our part, at any thing he may do. He might have entered Willard's Hotel with a “head spring” and a “summersault,” and the clown's merry greeting to Gen. Scott
, “Here we are!”
and we should care nothing about it personally.
We do not believe the Presidency can ever be more degraded by any of his successors, than it has been by him, even before his inauguration; and so, for aught we care, he may go to the full extent of his wretched comicalities.
We have only too much cause to fear that such a man, and such advisers as he has, may prove capable of infinitely more mischief than folly when invested with power.
A lunatic is only dangerous when armed and turned loose; but only imagine a lunatic invested with authority over a sane people and armed with weapons of offense and defence.
What sort of a fate can we anticipate for a people so situated?
And when we reflect that fanaticism is infested with like fears, suspicions, impulses, follies, flights of daring and flights
of cowardice common to lunacy itself, and to which it is akin, what sort of a future can we anticipate under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln
Some of Mr. Lincoln
's friends having heard that a conspiracy existed to assassinate him on his way to Washington
, set on foot an investigation of the matter.
For this purpose they employed a detective of great experience, who was engaged at Baltimore
in the business some three weeks prior to Mr. Lincoln
's expected arrival there, employing both men and women to assist him. Shortly after coming to Baltimore
, the detective discovered a combination of men banded together under a solemn oath to assassinate the President elect
The leader of the conspirators was an Italian refugee, a barber, well known in Baltimore
, who assumed the name of Orsini
, as indicative of the part he was to perform.
The assistants employed by the detective, who, like himself, were strangers in Baltimore City
, by assuming to be secessionists from Louisiana
and other seceding States, gained the confidence of some of the conspirators, and were intrusted with their plans.
It was arranged in case Mr. Lincoln
should pass safely over the railroad to Baltimoro, that the conspirators should mingle with the crowd which might surround his carriage, and by pretending to be his friends, be enabled to approach his person, when, upon a signal from their leader, some of them would shoot at Mr. Lincoln
with their pistols, and others would throw into his carriage hand-grenades filled with detonating powder, similar to those used in the attempted assassination of the Emperor Louis Napoleon
It was intended that in the confusion which should result from this attack, the assailants should escape to a vessel which was waiting in the harbor to receive them, and be carried to Mobile
, in the seceding State of Alabama
Upon Mr. Lincoln
's arrival in Philadelphia
upon Thursday, the 21st of February, the detective visited Philadelphia
, and submitted to certain friends of the President-elect
, the information he had collected as to the conspirators and their plans.
An interview was immediately arranged between Mr. Lincoln
and the detective.
The interview took place in Mr. Lincoln
's room, in the Continental Hotel
, where he was staying during his visit in Philadelphia
, having heard the officer's statement, informed him that he had promised to raise the American
flag on Independence Hall on the next morning — the morning of the Anniversary of Washington
's Birthday — and that he had accepted the invitation of the Pennsylvania Legislature
to be publicly received by that body in the afternoon of the same day. “Both of these engagements,” said he, with emphasis, “I will keep if it costs me my life.
If, however, after I shall have concluded these engagements, you can take me in safety to Washington
, I will place myself at your disposal, and authorize you to make such arrangements as you may deem proper for that purpose.”
On the next day, in the morning, Mr. Lincoln
performed to ceremony of raising the American
flag on Independence Hall, in Philadelphia
, according to his promise, and arrived at Harrisburg
on the afternoon of the same day, where he was formally welcomed by the Pennsylvania Legislature
After the reception, he retired to his hotel, the Jones House
, and withdrew with a few confidential friends to a private apartment.
Here he remained until nearly 6 o'clock in the evening, when, in company with Col. Lamon
, he quietly entered a carriage without observation, and was driven to the Pennsylvania Railroad, where a special train for Philadelphia
was waiting for him. Simultaneously with his departure from Harrisburg
, the telegraph wires were cut, so that his departure, if it should become known, might not be communicated at a distance.
The special train arrived in Philadelphia
at 10 3/4 o'clock at night.
Here he was met by the detective, who had a carriage in readiness into which the party entered, and were driven to the depot of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad.
They did not reach the depot until 11 1/4 o'clock; but, fortunately for them, the regular train, the hour of which for starting was eleven, had been delayed.
The party then took berths in the sleeping car, and without change of cars, passed directly through to Washington
, where they arrived at the usual hour, 6 1/2 o'clock, on the morning of Saturday the 23d. Mr. Lincoln
wore no disguise whatever, but journeyed in an ordinary travelling dress.
It is proper to state here that, prior to Mr. Lincoln
's arrival in Philadelphia
, Gen. Scott
and Senator Seward
, in Washington
, had been apprised, from independent sources, that imminent danger threatened Mr. Lincoln
in case he should publicly pass through Baltimore
; and accordingly a special messenger, Mr. Frederick W. Seward
, a son of Senator Seward
, was despatched to Philadelphia
, to urge Mr. Lincoln
to come direct to Washington
, in a quiet manner.
The messenger arrived in Philadelphia
late on Thursday night, and had an interview with
, immediately subsequent to his interview with the detective.
He was informed that Mr. Lincoln
would arrive by the early train on Saturday morning, and, in accordance with this information, Mr. Washburn
, member of Congress from Illinois
, awaited the President-elect
at the depot in Washington
, whence he was taken in a carriage to Willard's Hotel, where Senator Seward
stood ready to receive him.
The detective travelled with Mr. Lincoln
under the name of E. J. Allen
, which name was registered with the President-elect
's on the book at Willard's Hotel.
Being a well-known individual, he was speedily recognized, and suspicion naturally arose that he had been instrumental in exposing the plot which caused Mr. Lincoln
's hurried journey.
It was deemed prudent that he should leave Washington
two days after his arrival, although he had intended to remain and witness the ceremonies of inauguration.
The friends of Mr. Lincoln
do not question the loyalty and hospitality of the people of Maryland
, but they were aware that a few disaffected citizens who sympathized warmly with the Secessionists, were determined to frustrate, at all hazards, the inauguration of the President-elect
, even at the cost of his life.
The characters and pursuits of the conspirators were various.
Some of them were impelled by a fanatical zeal which they termed patriotism, and they justified their acts by the example of Brutus
, in ridding his country of a tyrant.
One of them was accustomed to recite passages put into the mouth of the character of Brutus
, in Shakspeare
's play of “Julius Caesar
Others were stimulated by the offer of pecuniary reward.
These, it was observed, staid away from their usual places of work for several weeks prior to the intended assault.
Although their circumstances had previously rendered them dependent on their daily labor for support, they were during this time abundantly supplied with money, which they squandered in bar-rooms and disreputable places.
After the discovery of the plot, a strict watch was kept by the agents of detection over the movements of the conspirators, and efficient measures were adopted to guard against any attack which they might meditate upon the President-elect
until he was installed in office.
's family left Harrisburg
, on their way to Washington
, in the special train intended for him. And as, before starting, a message announcing Mr. Lincoln
's departure and arrival at Washington
had been telegraphed to Baltimore over the wires, which had been repaired that morning, the passage through Baltimore
was safely effected.
The remark of Mr. Lincoln
, during the ceremony of raising the flag on Independence Hall on Friday morning, that he would assert his principles on his inauguration, although he were to be assassinated on the spot, had evident reference to the communication made to him by the detective on the night preceding.
The names of the conspirators will not at present be divulged.
But they are in possession of responsible parties, including the President
The number originally ascertained to be banded together for the assassination of Mr. Lincoln
was twenty; but the number of those who were fully apprised of the details of the plot became daily smaller as the time for executing it drew near.
Some of the women employed by the detective went to serve as waiters, seamstresses, &c., in the families of the conspirators, and a record was regularly kept of what was said and done to further their enterprise.
A record was also kept by the detective of their deliberations in secret conclave, but, for sufficient reasons, it is withheld for the present from publication.
The detective and his agents regularly contributed money to pay the expenses of the conspiracy.--Albany Evening Journal