Sunday, February 17, 2013

by Daniel Stashower

What is truly amazing is that Abraham Lincoln received enough electoral votes to become President of the United States in 1861. The amount of hostilities towards him from the southern states was monumental. Maryland was considering seceding from the Union (seven other states had already done so) which would cut off Washington from the North. Warnings of danger grew daily and cash was being offered to anyone who would assassinate Lincoln before he took the oath of office.  It was within this maelstrom that famed detective Allan Pinkerton, over thirteen days, would attempt to thwart the "Baltimore Plot" along with his other operatives.
The Hour of Peril is one fantastic read. It's most definitely a page-turner. This is another one of those untold tales from the Civil War that makes you shake your head in disbelief.
The characters involved, the controversies, the secrecy that was needed, the disguises and false names that were used, the conflicts that could have disrupted everything, keeps you glued to your seat.
If you have any doubts as to how much Lincoln was despised, here's an interesting tidbit. James Ryder Randall, who was from Baltimore, wrote a poem called "Maryland, My Maryland." It depicts Lincoln as being a tyrant and for Maryland to stand with the Confederacy. The poem was soon set to music (the tune of "O Tannenbaum"), became hugely popular and was adopted as the official state song and still is to this day.
Author, Daniel Stashower, is a superb writer (check out his other books) and if you are a history buff and are a fan of Abraham Lincoln, grab this one. You won't be disappointed.
Very highly recommended.