Many people think that Booth killed Lincoln to get revenge on the Union. But, the suspicious behavior of the secretary of war at the time, Edwin Stanton leads people to believe otherwise.
On the night of the assassination Booth sent Stanton a message at his hotel saying “I don’t wish to disturb you, but are you at home? J. Wilkes Booth.” People believe the reason he sent this may have been because Booth may have been having second thoughts about killing Lincoln.
The night of Lincoln’s assassination, the president requested Stanton if he could have Major Thomas T. Eckert as a bodyguard for the night of the play. Instead of granting the president’s wishes, Stanton sent him “an incompetent Washington police officer by the name of John Frederick Parker” because Eckert was too busy at the telegraph office.
Lincoln invited General Ulysses Grant to attend the play also. Grant denied the invitation, saying that it was because Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Lincoln “were not getting along at the time”. Grant would not have turned down Lincoln’s invitation, and the only other person he would take orders from is Stanton.
After Booth was apprehended, Colonel Everton J. Conger collected his possessions to give to Colonel Lafayette Baker. In these possessions were Booth’s diary. Baker had strict orders to bring the possessions to Stanton after they were discovered. Conger and Baker counted the number of pages the diary had in it before giving it to Stanton.
Two years later, Attorney General Henry Stanbery tried to make a case against John Surratt (a conspirator of Booth). When he asked Stanton for the diary, he said he would not return it. Finally Stanbery ordered him to give it back, but he found some torn out pages. Stanbery asked Baker and Conger if the diary had missing pages when they got it and they said no. What was in those 18 pages that Stanton ripped out?
Scientist Ray Neff found traces of arsenic in Baker’s hair. This means that Baker did not die from natural causes, he was murdered. Perhaps Baker thought about speaking out against Stanton, so Stanton killed him to keep him quiet.
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