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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheikin

Lincoln's Grave RobbersA true story about a crime that was almost committed in our state - the theft of Abraham Lincoln's body from his burial site in Oak Ridge Cemetery located in Springfield, Illinois. It's the year 1875, when the counterfeiting currency is big business. The job of the Secret Service during this time was to find and stop counterfeiting rings, not protect the President like they do now. The master counterfeiter during that time is Ben Boyd, who the Secret Service agents arrest in Fulton, Illinois. Members of his ring come up with a plan to gain his release from prison. The plan is concocted in a smoky Chicago saloon to steal Lincoln's body from its tomb, bury it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan and demand the release of Ben Boyd along with $200,000 in cash.

The tale takes the reader through the inner workings of the counterfeiting ring, the big business of grave robbing, undercover double agents, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Services. Find out if the conspirators are caught and if Lincoln's body remained in its final resting place.

This title included a bit of trivia about our state and the Lincoln family that I had not known before reading this book.  You get a glimpse of how politics worked during this part of our nation's history with a presidential election taking place and the men who worked to clean up the crime that seemed to be abundant during this period.

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