Lincoln's Grave Robbers Book Review

Discussion
Jun 4, 2014
by: 18kimj

During the Civil War, the United States Treasury began for the first time to print paper money in large quantities, and counterfeiting became a big business since dollars were so easy to copy and print. By the end of the war, fifty percent of the paper money in circulation was counterfeit, and much of it could be traced to one extremely gifted engraver, Ben Boyd. The government responded to the problem by creating the Secret Service, a division of the Treasury originally charged solely with hunting down counterfeiters (coney men, for short) and closing down their operations. When Ben Boyd was finally caught and sent to prison in 1876, the Secret Service considered it a major victory. His absence did indeed significantly cut down on the amount of counterfeit currency in circulation.

Members of Boyd’s gang couldn’t operate without him, so they hatched an elaborate plot to break into Lincoln’s crypt in Springfield, Illinois, steal his body and hold it for ransom, hoping to trade it for Ben Boyd’s freedom. They did extensive background research, hired trustworthy criminal specialists and body snatchers, and had the plan worked out down to the last detail. What they hadn't counted on was Patrick Tyrrell, the head of Secret Service operations in Chicago. Tyrrell was on to their plot, and he had his own intricate plan to catch them in the act which involved other Secret Service agents, private detectives, and a criminal informant named Lewis C. Swegles, who was also a trusted member of Boyd’s team.

Comments

Dear 18kij, Is there

Submitted by Morphe on Thu, 2014-06-05 12:08.

Dear 18kij,

Is there historical truth to the tale?

Morphe

Dear 18kij, Is there

Submitted by Morphe on Thu, 2014-06-05 12:08.

Dear 18kij,

Is there historical truth to the tale?

Morphe