In 1863, Colonel Lafayette C.  Baker (later promoted to Brigadier
General) was in charge of Union counter-intelligence, heading the
National  Detective  Bureau.   In  1866,  when  President  Andrew
Johnson discovered that Baker's Detective Bureau  had  the  White
House  under  surveillance,  Baker  was  dismissed.  Baker feared
(with good  reason)  for  his  life,  and  died  under suspicious
circumstances  in  1868.   (Details  are  in   *Anatomy   of   an
Assassination*  by  John  Cottrell.   New York:  Funk & Wagnalls,
1966.)  An inventory of Baker's possessions showed he owned bound
volumes of "Colburn's U.S. Magazine"  for  the years 1860 to 1865
-- *with* *one* *exception*:  the volume for the  first  half  of
1864  is  not  listed in the inventory.  Read on, for why that is

Documented in Cottrell's book is the following sworn testimony by
one William Carter, who  knew  Baker  and  visited him a few days
before his death:

  [Baker] did say some things  which  made me wonder.  When I
  came into the room he had a stack of books by his  bed  and
  he  had  one  open and was making marks in it.  I asked him
  what he was doing and he said, "I'm writing my memoirs."  I
  asked him [again,] to make sure that I had heard him  right
  and  he  said  it  over again.  Then I said, "But, General,
  them books is already  wrote."   And  he said, "Right, they
  are going to have to get up early to get ahead of old  Lafe
  Baker."  And then he laughed.  I picked up one of the books
  and  looked  at it, and I saw that he was writing cipher in

Please note that when Ray Neff, a research chemist, came across a
bound volume of  "Colburn's  U.S.  Magazine"  at a used bookstore
92-years after  Abraham  Lincoln's  assassination,  none  of  the
information in the preceding paragraphs had yet come to light.

The bound volume of  Colburn's  magazine  which Neff chanced upon
was for the latter  half  of  1864.   Note  that,  as  mentioned,
Baker's  inventory  shows that he lacked the bound volume for the
first half of 1864.

Months  after  purchasing  the  volume,  Neff  was  idly thumbing
through it.  He noticed a series of numbers and  letters  written
in   the   margin.    Mr.   Leonard   Fousche   (a   professional
cryptographer) and Neff's wife helped him decipher the messages.

Ray Neff noticed that the  bound volume was discolored in several
places.  After spreading  tannic  acid  over  one  of  these,  it
revealed  a  signature;   Baker  had apparently used some sort of
"invisible ink" method  to  conceal  his  name,  "L.C. Baker."  A
handwriting expert later declared the signature to be genuine.

Here is what the de-ciphered messages said:

  I am constantly being followed.  They are professionals.  I
  cannot fool them.  In new Rome there walked  three  men,  a
  Judas,  a Brutus and a spy.  Each planned that he should be
  the king when  Abraham  should  die.   One  trusted not the
  other but they went on for that day, waiting for that final
  moment when, with pistol in his hand, one of  the  sons  of
  Brutus  could sneak behind that cursed man and put a bullet
  in his brain and lay his clumsey [sic] corpse away.  As the
  fallen man lay dying, Judas  came  and paid respects to one
  he hated, and when at last he saw him die,  he  said,  "Now
  the  ages  have him and the nation now have I."  But, alas,
  fate would have it Judas  slowly  fell from grace, and with
  him went Brutus down to their proper place.  But  lest  one
  is  left  to  wonder what happened to the spy, I can safely
  tell you this, it was I.
                                        -- Lafayette C. Baker

  It was on the tenth of April, sixty-five, when I first knew
  that the  plan  was  in  action.   Ecert  [Major  Thomas T.
  Eckert, in charge of military telegraph headquarters at the
  War Department] had made all the contacts, the deed  to  be
  done on the fourteenth.  I did not know the identity of the
  assassin,  but  I knew most all else when I approached E.S.
  [Edwin M. Stanton,  Lincoln's  Secretary  of War] about it.
  He at once acted  surprised  and  disbelieving.   Later  he
  said:   "You  are  a  party to it too.  Let us wait and see
  what comes of it and then we will know better how to act in
  the matter."  I soon discovered what  he meant that I was a
  party to it when the following day I was shown  a  document
  that I knew to be a forgery but a clever one, which made it
  appear  that  I  had been in charge of a plot to kidnap the
  President, the Vice-President being the instigator.  Then I
  became a party to that deed even though I did not care to.
     On the thirteenth he discovered that the  President  had
  ordered  that  the  Legislature  of  Virginia be allowed to
  assemble  to  withdraw  that  state's  troops  from  action
  against the U.S. He [Stanton] fermented immediately into an
  insane tyrade [sic].  Then  for  the  first time I realised
  his mental disunity and his insane and fanatical hatred for
  the President.  There are few in the  War  Department  that
  respect  the  President  or his strategy, but there are not
  many who would countermand an  order that the President had
  given.  However, during  that  insane  moment,  he  sent  a
  telegram  to  Gen.  Weitzel  countermanding the President's
  order of the  twelfth.   Then  he  laughed  in a most spine
  chilling manner  and  said:   "If  he  would  to  know  who
  recinded  [sic] his order we will let Lucifer tell him.  Be
  off, Tom, and see  to  the  arrangements.   There can be no
  mistakes."  This is the first that I knew that he  was  the
  one  responsible for the assassination plot.  Always before
  I thought that either he  did  not  trust me, for he really
  trusted no one, or he was protecting someone until  it  was
  to  his  benefit  to expose them.  But now I know the truth
  and it frightens me  no  end.   I  fear  that somehow I may
  become the sacrificial goat.
     There were at least eleven members of Congress  involved
  in the plot, no less than twelve Army officers, three Naval
  officers  and  at least twenty four civilians, of which one
  was a governor  of  a  loyal  state.   Five were bankers of
  great repute, three were nationally known newspapermen  and
  eleven  were  industrialists  of  great  repute and wealth.
  There were probably more that I know nothing of.
     The  names  of  these  known  conspirators  is presented
  without comment or notation in  Vol  one  of  this  series.
  Eighty-five  thousand  dollars was contributed by the named
  persons to pay for the  deed.   Only eight persons knew the
  details of the plot and the identity of the others.
     I fear for my life, L.C.B. [Lafayette C. Baker]

Ray Neff had come across the volume from the latter half of 1864.
De-ciphering Baker's message,  it's  learned  that the *names* of
the members of Congress, military officers, bankers, newspapermen
and others could be found in Volume One. But as  pointed  out  at
the  beginning of this issue of Conspiracy Nation, when Baker had
died an  inventory  of  his  possessions  showed  that particular
volume to be missing.

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