Amazon Significant Seven, April 2007: Thomas Craughwell exhumes a fascinating and bizarre Lincoln tale that you didn't hear in school: The plot hatched by a group of Chicago counterfeiters to steal Honest Abe's remains and ransom them for $200,000 and the release of an imprisoned cohort. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the brazen scheme launched The First Cadaver on a peripatetic 25-year journey to its final, concrete-encased resting place. Along the way, Stealing Lincoln's Body detours into the story of rampant counterfeiting prior to and through the Civil War that nearly bankrupted the U.S. treasury, the scoundrelly origins of the Secret Service, and some of the stranger embalming techniques of 19th-century America. --Jon Foro
Craughwell (Saints Behaving Badly) provides an intriguing glimpse at a macabre but interesting footnote to the story of Abraham Lincoln: the tale of how, on election night of 1876, several Chicago counterfeiters attempted to abduct and hold for ransom the 16th president's corpse. As Craughwell demonstrates, authorities received advance warning, and Lincoln's bones never, in the end, left his Springfield, Ill., tomb—even though the would-be abductors did succeed in wresting the casket from its sarcophagus. In telling this story, Craughwell also provides something of a biography of Lincoln's cadaver, chronicling its long voyage to final rest. After the 1876 attempt, the "sacred remains" spent 11 years half-buried in a subbasement of the tomb, covered with boards, as a security measure, while thousands of pious citizens paid their respects to the empty sarcophagus above. Then, from 1887 through 1889, the dead president's body lingered in a specially constructed catacomb immediately beneath the sarcophagus room (again, secretly). Not until 1901—after several prominent Springfieldians opened the casket and verified the identity of its occupant—was Lincoln's corpse permanently installed within his monument beneath several feet of poured cement, never again to be disturbed. Craughwell offers an entertaining account of one of the stranger incidents in American history. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Surprising facts that few people know about how many times Lincoln's body was moved after his death and how close grave-robbers came to stealing his body after his burial. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
excellent read , a little hard to follow at times but still a good read.Published 7 months ago by jimele
An intriguing and well-told account of an interesting and little-known bit of history. Though the main story's absorbing enough, I like a writer who's not afraid to go off-road and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by J. R. Sanders
Thoams Craughwell has done his homework around the assassination of our beloved President. Fascinating read with the moment by moment details at Lincoln's tomb. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tom Harvey
If you're a fan of Abraham Lincoln, and thought you knew his life and times well, this book will supply information that is rarely mentioned. Read morePublished 16 months ago by SirGeorge
Read this book is two sittings, a day apart, and found it fascinating, captivating, and at times; unbelievable. That a gang of weirdos would even THINK of ransoming Mr. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ralph DeMattia
AOK-As ordered....and keep em coming.good stuff
making you type all of these words sucks....fix same...
what else can I say...
I hadn't heard these stories before but find myself thinking about them nearly six months after finishing the book. Great story, great writing. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Good Mom