(Melchizedek Communique, MC051511) On February 11, 1861, in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln boarded the Train of Death: Destination, Washington, DC by way of Baltimore, Maryland.
This meandering train journey would bring about the incident of Lincoln's Scotch cap and cloak. (Background: "Lincoln's Scotch Cap and Cloak", http://www.shout.net/~bigred/mc050911.html)
William Yancey, a "fire eater" (rabid secessionist) from Alabama, had tried back in 1848 to break up the Baltimore Democratic convention.  The idea was then to disunify the Dems and pave the way for an abolition-favoring president. This, in turn, might be sure to provoke the South into secession. It was indeed the anti-slavery Zachary Taylor who was elected. Taylor was murdered by a bunch of "fire eaters" and his Vice-President, Millard Fillmore, was handed a big mess. Fillmore had a great deal to do with actualizing the Compromise of 1850, thereby averting catastrophe. Except for the heroic efforts of Millard Fillmore, the Civil War might have begun in 1850. If it had, the North would have been weaker than it was in 1861, and the South might well have successfully left the Union.  (Fillmore, a fine American and a much under-appreciated president, is consistently ridiculed for some reason. The latest defamation of Millard Fillmore's memory is a sophomoric account of his life, by one Paul Finkelman. )
Later, in 1860, this same "fire eater" William Yancey wanted Abraham Lincoln to be elected, as a casus belli. Yancey may have helped split the Democrat Party in 1860 in order to guarantee Lincoln's election. There were two Dem Party presidential candidates: Stephen Douglas representing the Northern faction; and John C. Breckinridge representing the Southern faction. The Democrat Party in 1860 thereby became a "house divided" and paved the way for Old Abe (51 years old at the time). This inner division of the Democrat Party may have been intentionally maneuvered, to foment secession when "Black Republican" Lincoln was shoe-horned in. 
Michael J. Kline, author of apparently the only book yet to focus on the "Baltimore Plot," agrees with this editor's opinion of the dotard Buchanan, calling the James Buchanan administration a "pathetic caretaker presidency." (Background: "Dotard Buchanan Hobbles the Union", http://www.shout.net/~bigred/mc051111.html)
Some of the "leading actors" in the Baltimore Plot include:
* William Byrne, Baltimore businessman, who organized an armed militia called the National Volunteers. When Lincoln was elected, Byrne, an alleged member of the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC), shifted his efforts to actually preventing the upcoming inauguration of the Illinois rube. 
* Cypriano Ferrandini, Corsican immigrant and resident of Baltimore. Alleged member of the National Volunteers as well as a ranking officer of the KGC (Knights of the Golden Circle). Allan Pinkerton, disguised as "J.H. Hutcheson" of Charleston, snooped upon Cypriano Ferrandini. Even the tough-as-nails Pinkerton felt himself as if hypnotized by the influence of Ferrandini's "strange power." 
* New York City Police Superintendant John Kennedy. He assigned several New York City detectives to Baltimore to investigate dangerous rumors. The ironically-named John Kennedy and his effort to thwart the Baltimore Plot is inaccurately portrayed in a movie from 1951, "The Tall Target" (starring Dick Powell).
* Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye. His detectives worked undercover in Baltimore, as did John Kennedy's detectives. Unfortunately, neither the Pinkertons nor the New York City detectives were aware that each other was operating undercover in Baltimore. 
* John Wilkes Booth, already in 1860 a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). Booth had joined the Baltimore chapter of KGC, which links the famous actor early on with William Byrne and Cypriano Ferrandini, among others.
------- Notes -------  Kline, Michael J. The Baltimore Plot. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, LLC, 2008  Redman, Brian. What Would Millard Do?. 2009. Published by Lulu.com  Finkelman, Paul. Millard Fillmore. Times Books, 2011.
Opinion the book is sophomoric based upon preliminary review.  Mackay, James. Allan Pinkerton: The First Private Eye. Wiley & Sons, 1997
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