When I was taught American history throughout grade school, Abraham Lincoln was one of my favorite people to learn about. Since his birthday is around the corner, I think this is the perfect time to share what I have learned about situations surrounding the conspiracy that led to his assassination. I, like so many other Americans, was always told the conspiracy to assassinate one of our best Presidents was because of anger over the South losing the Civil War. However, my research shows Lincoln’s assassination was about much more than that.
This story begins with a Roman Catholic priest, a French Canadian named Charles Chiniquy. In October 1851, Chiniquy met with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Chicago named Vandeveld who commissioned him to found a colony of Canadian Roman Catholic immigrants south of Chicago. Their hope was to flood the state of Illinois with so many Roman Catholics that they could “rule the government of Illinois.”1 Accompanied by six citizens of Bourbonnais, Illinois, Chiniquy chose a site in southern Kankee County, Illinois. The settlement, christened St. Anne, was founded by Chiniquy and his immigrant followers in November 1851.
However, Chiniquy became the object of jealousy from some of his priestly peers and they unleashed several plots to hinder the progress of his settlement. The plots against him increased when his friend, Bishop Vandeveld of Chicago, resigned his post and was replaced as Bishop of Illinois by Bishop O’Regan. O’Regan saw how beautiful Chiniquy’s 11 acres of land in St. Anne were and decided that he should have them, arguing that all land owned by priests of Rome belonged to the Church and should therefore be the property of the regional bishops. Chiniquy refused O’Regan so O’Regan spread the word that he was looking to reassign Chiniquy to another area, but needed some justification for the move.
An evil land speculator named Peter Spink approached O’Regan in 1855 and told him he would gladly bring Chiniquy before a criminal court for fraud and theft if O’Regan would fund the suit. O’Regan agreed and the suit came before the Kankakee criminal court in May of that year, but Spink lost the suit. But refusing to be denied what he wanted, O’Regan encouraged Spink to bring another criminal suit against Chiniquy, and Spink lost again in November 1855. However, Spink filed an appeal to the court in Urbana, Illinois for May 1856.2
This appeal prompted a stranger to approach Chiniquy to urge him to acquire the services of Abraham Lincoln. The stranger told him “…I am a Catholic like you, and one who, like you, cannot bear any longer the tyranny of our American bishops. With many others, I look to you as our deliverer. …Abraham Lincoln is the best lawyer and the most honest man we have in Illinois.”3
Chiniquy asked Lincoln for his help and Lincoln agreed to work with Chiniquy’s lawyers. Along with Spink, O’Regan asked the priests Father Lebel and Father Carthuval from Chiniquy’s neighboring parishes to testify against Chiniquy because they too hated Chiniquy. In May 1856, the trial was held and Abraham Lincoln poked holes in the lies these men told in court. All the jurors, except one, wanted to find Chiniquy “not guilty” of all charges. That one juror was an Irish Catholic who was told to vote against Chiniquy. The jury was hung because of him and the jurors were dismissed. Spink then asked the court to continue the prosecution and the court granted another trial set for October 1856.
While awaiting that trial, O’Regan made several attempts to get Chiniquy to quit his post, but Chiniquy refused. And many Catholic parishioners throughout Illinois turned against O’Regan, signing petitions and writing letters to have him removed because of his greed and drunkenness. At the trial in October 1856, Spink and the priests Lebel and Carthuval gave every kind of damaging perjured testimony they could against Chiniquy. Lincoln was able to tear down many of their lies, but was doubtful the jury could easily dismiss enough of their testimony to find Chiniquy not guilty, so Lincoln urged Chiniquy, “The only way to be sure of a favorable verdict tomorrow is, that God Almighty would take our part and show your innocence! Go to him and pray, for He alone can save you.”4
So that night, Chiniquy prayed and cried out to God from 11 pm to 3 am. He got his breakthrough that night. Lincoln knocked on his door at 3 am and gave him good news. A witness came forward named Philomene Moffatt who related to Lincoln and gave sworn testimony that she witnessed firsthand the plot to destroy Chiniquy. After reading the Chicago newspapers which predicted Chiniquy would surely be found guilty, Miss Moffatt took a train from Chicago to Urbana to tell everything she knew when she saw Spink and the priests concocting their schemes.
Later that day Spink dropped his suit and Lincoln gave his comments in court on how evil and upsetting the plot against Chiniquy was. With the trial over, there was much rejoicing but it was soon overshadowed by another reality. Chiniquy knew that things would not go well for Lincoln’s future because there were several high ranking Jesuits from Chicago and St. Louis in the courtroom who were clearly enraged at the turn of events and at Lincoln putting them to open shame in a public courtroom. Chiniquy warned Lincoln to be careful and that he feared for Lincoln’s life, to which Lincoln replied, “I know that Jesuits never forget nor forsake. But man must not care how and where he dies, provided he dies at the post of honor and duty.”5
According to Chiniquy, papal Rome had always hated the U.S. because of our Constitution and the liberties that are guaranteed by it. These liberties stand in the way of their quest for unfettered power over the masses. So the destruction of America as a democratic republic has been one of its main goals. When Abraham Lincoln ran for President, Rome was enraged and flooded the American media with all of the negative views they could muster against their enemy Lincoln. Nevertheless, Lincoln became President in 1861.
The papacy then instituted a backup plan by urging the Southern states of the U.S. to secede and attack the North with devoted Catholic Jefferson Davis as their president. The Pope was the only world leader at the time to recognize Jefferson Davis as leader of a legitimate government. With the papacy promising to back their efforts, General Beauregard fired the first shot of America’s Civil War on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter. This was the papacy’s chance to rid the world of the United States, or so they thought.
Chiniquy, having connections to Rome in the 1860s even though he had surrendered his life to Christ and had become Protestant, was able to uncover several plots by the Jesuits against President Lincoln and was able to warn him. In the meantime, the Jesuits ran a campaign of misinformation in American newspapers by saying Lincoln was born Roman Catholic and was baptized by a priest. Lincoln, of course, was never Catholic, but Chiniquy revealed to Lincoln that the reason behind the stories was that the canons of the Roman Catholic Church stated it was perfectly fine for any Catholic to murder anyone who had defected from the Catholic Church. This was, in effect, a call for any Catholic fanatic to kill the President.
President Lincoln in his conversations with his friend Charles Chiniquy expressed how honored he was to be leader of the U.S., what a privilege it was to be able to free millions of slaves in the same way Moses led the Hebrews to freedom, how he loved the Lord Jesus and his word, and like Moses, how he knew he would not be able to see the Promised Land. In spite of what Lincoln knew would be his impending death, Chiniquy saw that Lincoln was at peace.
After Lincoln’s assassination, Chiniquy compiled facts from the trials of the conspirators and other information to show how the Jesuits put Lincoln in their cross-hairs. The Jesuits met often at the house of Mary Surratt and were the friends and confessors of the Surratts and John Wilkes Booth, who were all Catholic. Dr. Mudd who tended to Booth’s broken leg and Richard H. Garrett, who hid Booth in his barn, were also devout Catholics. At their trials, the conspirators admitted the Jesuits trained them not only to kill, but how to perjure themselves. It was also brought out that Jefferson Davis promised them a million dollars to kill Lincoln.
Before his death, Booth wrote: “I can never repent, though we hated to kill. Our country owed all our troubles to him [Lincoln], and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment.”6
Although the conspirators in their testimonies admitted religious reasons for their conspiracy, all mention of religion concerning the conspiracy has been erased from the history books in America.
…yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. [John 16:2]
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–
1. Chiniquy, Charles. Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. Abridged ed. Chick Publications, 1886, reprint 1985, p. 214.
2. Ibid., p. 261.
3. Ibid., p. 262.
4. Ibid., p. 275.
5. Ibid., p. 281.
6. Ibid., p. 309.