Otto Eisenschiml's Why Was Lincoln Murdered

3035 Words13 Pages
Abraham Lincoln once quoted, “I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views as fast as they shall appear to be true views.” To this day there are many conspiracies that have been hypothesized about the murder of our sixteenth president and hero to many, Abraham Lincoln. Because of his abolishment of slavery and pro-union policy, Lincoln had many enemies from the south. President Lincoln also received a lot of assassination threats from many southerners. A few of the myths that remain to this day are; ‘Did Booth simply shoot Lincoln out of pure hatred?’, ‘Was Andrew Johnson involved with Booth?’, ‘Was Lincoln’s assassination the result of a confederate plot?’, or ‘Was secretary of war, Edwin Stanton the…show more content…
In 1937 Otto Eisenschiml's Why Was Lincoln Murdered was published. The book espoused the hypothesis that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was directly involved in Lincoln's death. It alleged that Stanton was against Lincoln's mild Reconstruction policies and wanted him out of office so a more radical Reconstructionist policy could be employed. On the day of the assassination Ulysses S. Grant was expected to attend Our American Cousin with the Lincolns. Eisenschiml argued that had Grant attended, the military guards who protected him would never have allowed Booth to enter the State Box at Ford's Theatre. Eisenschiml further argued that Grant's refusal of the Lincolns' theater invitation was due to an order by Stanton to change his plans for the evening. Eisenschiml's theory was that Grant's absence left Lincoln vulnerable. Stanton was also alleged to have known that conspirators were meeting at the Surratt boardinghouse, and that he refused to release from duty the powerful Major Thomas T. Eckert after Lincoln asked for him as a bodyguard (falsely stating that Eckert had vital work to do at the War Department's Telegraph Office). Eisenschiml continued from there to make a case against Stanton by examining an entire series of events following Booth's shot. Nearly every move Stanton made is seen as suspicious and containing an ulterior motive. Among these behaviors…show more content…
Was it a simple conspiracy or a grand conspiracy? Numerous other Lincoln assassination conspiracy theories exist. Two of the most interesting, albeit incredible, involve Andrew Johnson and the papacy. Members of Congress tried to implicate Andrew Johnson in the assassination. They even called a special committee to investigate in 1867. The committee could not find any links between Johnson and the killing. It is interesting to note that Congress impeached Johnson that same year. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln has gone through many revisions during the past 136 years. Immediately following the tragedy, the Grand Conspiracy involving the Confederate leaders was the most widely accepted. Around the turn of the century, the Simple Conspiracy theory had gained a position of prominence. In the 1930's, Eisenschiml's Grand Conspiracy theory arose with the publication of Why Was Lincoln Murdered? In addition, the years have been sprinkled with other outlandish conspiracies to explain the assassination. As time has passed, one thing is true, Lincoln has become and will remain an American icon lauded with an impressive strength of will and given credit for saving our nation from division and moral

More about Otto Eisenschiml's Why Was Lincoln Murdered

Open Document