Jane Singer – Lincoln’s Secret Spy
American Presidents , Civil War / August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015 – “What is worse? A confederate con man claiming he was Lincoln’s spy throughout the Civil War, or the Union veteran who pursed his claim all the way to the Supreme Court?” That’s the central question of Jane Singer’s book, Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case that Changed the Future of Espionage. In it, she introduces us to William Alvin Lloyd. Con man, bigamist, charlatan, Lloyd hobbled out of the defeated Confederacy and into the capital of the newly re-United States with a claim that made people listen: The government owed him money for serving as Abraham Lincoln’s covert operative. John Wilkes Booth had shot down the Great Emancipator just a month earlier in April 1865, and couldn’t refute the story. So, armed with Lincoln’s signature on a travel pass and a skill for duping people — including no less than Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was at the president’s side when he died — Lloyd teamed up with lawyer Enoch Totten, who’d served in the Union Army during the conflict. The story of their conspiracy to defraud the American people is brought to us by my guest, Jane Singer, and her co-author, John Stewart….