The Lincoln Assassination, Part 2
Indeed, it didn’t look like he had anything to fear that way for when it came to dying a violent death in office, the President seemed to live a charmed life.
How many examples there were!
For starters, there was the very real threat in Baltimore toward the end of the President-elect's train ride from Springfield to Washington a million years earlier in 1861. The threat to Lincoln’s life was real enough, at least to the satisfaction of a very young Alan Pinkerton who convinced his superiors that Lincoln, in disguise and with his self-appointed body guard Ward Hill Lamon at his side [and armed to the teeth] should slip into the nation's capital on a different train ahead of schedule.
There is some evidence that poison had been tried as well - at one point the castor oil that had been ordered from a pharmacy had arrived at the Executive Mansion deadly with poison, but had had too odd a smell to be swallowed. Another story had it that a trunk of old clothes taken from yellow fever victims in Cuba had been delivered to the Executive Mansion in the hope that Lincoln would come down with that deadly disease.
Then one summer’s day, while riding alone one humid summer night to the Soldiers Home [the 19th century’s answer to Camp David] a hidden marksman had fired at him, the bullet whizzing through his top hat – while he was wearing it! He asked that no mention be made of it. "It was probably an accident,” he said, “and might worry my family."
And only a few days before his fatal trip to Ford's Theater Lincoln had walked through the still-burning streets of Richmond, the gutted capital of the Confederacy. The city had only just fallen to Union troops and Lincoln wanted to see it. Needless to say, he would have made an inviting target indeed for some John Wilkes Booth lookalike, some hater of all things Yankee, say, in an upstairs window with a rifle. "I was not scared about myself one bit," Lincoln commented afterward.
Yes, God Himself seemed to have marked this man for the completion of some special task…