Lincoln's Grave Robbers

by Steve Sheinkin

By the end of the Civil War, fifty percent of the paper money in circulation was... read more

By the end of the Civil War, fifty percent of the paper money in circulation was counterfeit, and much of it could be traced to one extremely gifted engraver, Ben Boyd. When Boyd was finally caught and sent to prison in 1876, the Secret Service, originally a division of the U.S. Treasury, considered it a major victory. Members of Boyd's gang hatched an elaborate plot to break into Abraham Lincoln's crypt in Springfield, Illinois, steal his body, and hold it for ransom, hoping to trade it for Ben Boyd's freedom. They did extensive background research, hired trustworthy criminal specialists and body snatchers, and had the plan worked out down to the last detail. What they hadn't counted on was Patrick Tyrrell, the head of Secret Service operations in Chicago. Tyrrell was on to their plot, and he had his own intricate plan to catch them in the act, which involved other Secret Service agents, private detectives, and a criminal informant who was a trusted member of Boyd's team. Only readers know every detail as both sides of the story unfold through the actions of the con men and the Secret Service agents tracking them. Author Steve Sheinkin's gripping story is reconstructed from historical documents, newspaper accounts, court records, and eye witness reports, in an account that will keep both history and thriller fans on the edge of their seat. (Ages 11-16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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