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This Week in History
April 13 - 19, 1865

New Light on the Murder of Abraham Lincoln, April 14, 1865:

Bulloch, Teddy Roosevelt’s Uncle and Mentor, Funded the Lincoln Assassination

by Anton Chaitkin
April 2014 

James Wilkes Booth shooting Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theater.

James D. Bulloch, stationed in Liverpool, England, transferred $31,507.97 to the Canadian-based action team planning the attack on U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Bulloch directed secret service operations within the British Empire for the slaveowners’ Confederacy at war with the United States. On or shortly after September 27, 1864, Bulloch sent the money payable to Patrick C. Martin in Montreal. The westward transatlantic crossing then took between 10 and 15 days. So the funds, worth perhaps millions of dollars in today’s terms, would have been ready for use by October 18, when assassin John Wilkes Booth arrived in Montreal.

James D. Bulloch was the maternal uncle, model and strategy-teacher to future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. He emerged from the shadows of the Civil War when his nephew Teddy helped him to organize his papers and to publish a sanitized version of events in his 1883 memoir, The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe.

Under the protection of imperial oligarchs such as Lord Salisbury and other Cecil family members, working in tandem with Britain’s military occupation of its then-colony Canada, Bulloch arranged English construction and crewing for Confederate warships that notoriously preyed upon American commerce.

But his payment for the Lincoln assassination was unnoticed by the public until the first Bulloch biography (James D. Bulloch: Secret Agent and Master Mind of the Confederate Navy, by Walter E. Wilson and Gary L. McKay) was published in 2012. That volume described the relevant Confederate correspondence, but offered scant details about the Canada-based operation.

We reprint here, for the first time, the August 27, 1864 letter from Confederate Secretary of State Stephen Mallory, officially requesting the payment to “Captain P.C. Martin,” and Bulloch’s September 29, 1864 reply.   [See images of original letters, with accompanying texts at bottom of page.] We will outline here the role of Bulloch’s partners in Lincoln’s murder, and then draw out the implications of Teddy Roosevelt’s own rise to the Presidency through the assassination of William McKinley. 

The Action Team

The attack on Lincoln that Bulloch paid for may be better understood by reference to four men in the British-Confederate group in Montreal:

Ship captain Patrick C. Martin was a blockade-runner and former Baltimore liquor dealer. 

George P. Kane, the former Baltimore police marshal or commissioner, lived with Patrick Martin in Montreal. Police chief Kane’s treasonous views had led Abraham Lincoln’s associates to send the President-elect through Baltimore in disguise, to avoid murder, en route to his inauguration

Colonel George St. Leger Grenfell was a longtime agent of Britain’s Prime minister Lord Palmerston. Grenfell was experienced at proxy warfare against the Empire's enemies by using natives in North Africa, Turkey, Argentina, and the southern United States. Col. Grenfell, Patrick Martin  and George Kane planned raids across the border into U.S. northern states, aiming at freeing Confederate prisoners and inciting insurrection. Grenfell and dozens of his terror infiltrators were later arrested in Illinois. Grenfell was saved from hanging on the plea of Britain’s ambassador in Washington. He was imprisoned alongside others who were tried for the Lincoln assassination plot but were not executed (four were hanged).

George N. Sanders was the chief American representative of the London-based terror strategist Giuseppi Mazzini. Sanders was widely known as an assassination organizer. He had been an official political agent of Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company which owned much of Canada until 1867. Sanders was on wanted posters as the U.S. government’s chief suspect immediately after the Lincoln assassination, but escaped to Canada and Europe.

What Bulloch Paid For 

James Dunwoody Bulloch was a Confederate Naval Officer and Agent in England, while his half-brother Irvine Stephens Bulloch was the youngest officer on the CSS Alabama during the American Civil War. They were the uncles of Theodore Roosevelt. Photo around 1865. James on the left.

In June, 1864, George Sanders had crossed to Canada from England, back from the latest of his trips to Europe to coordinate Confederate affairs with Bulloch’s circles. On June 26, 1864, Gen. Robert E. Lee had written to Jefferson Davis: "With relation to the project of Marshal Kane, if the matter can be kept secret, which I fear is impossible, should Gen. Early cross the Potomac, [Kane] might be sent to join him [Gen. Early].”

Later that summer, John Wilkes Booth in Baltimore and the Confederate War Department in Richmond began detailed planning of what was presented as a project to kidnap President Lincoln.

Booth arrived in Montreal on October 18, 1864. According to testimony at the trial of those Lincoln plotters who were later caught, Booth met extensively with two persons during his 10 days in Montreal, George Sanders – who moved into the St. Lawrence Hall Hotel down the corridor from Booth -- and Patrick Martin.

The day after Booth arrived, raiders organized by George Sanders robbed banks in St. Albans, Vermont, killed a citizen, failed to burn the town, and escaped back across the border. The British authorities in Canada refused the American request for their extradition.

A witness at the 1865 U.S. trial of Booth’s accomplices testified that Patrick Martin accompanied Booth, the destitute actor and failed investor, to the Montreal branch of the Ontario Bank, where Booth made a deposit and took a bill of exchange. Patrick Martin gave Booth letters of introduction to two southern Maryland physicians who were to help him escape after his crime, Dr. William Queen and Dr. Samuel Mudd. Finally Patrick Martin loaded on his own ship clothing, supplies and arms for delivery to Booth at a later date, and sailed away – but he died when his vessel foundered and sunk in the St. Lawrence River. (Booth’s Bulloch-financed wardrobe, swords and pistols were dredged up by salvagers after the Civil War.)

Returning to the U.S., John Wilkes Booth presented Patrick Martin’s letters of introduction to Dr. Queen and Dr. Mudd in November, 1864. Booth deposited $1,500 in the Cooke Bank in Washington. These funds he disbursed between January 7 and March 16, 1865, as he recruited and assembled his hit team.

On April 14, 1865, Booth shot President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater. He broke a leg jumping from the balcony, but escaped through southern Maryland, where Dr. Samuel Mudd set the leg and allowed Booth to move on, toward his death at the hands of Federal pursuers. Two years after the assassination, on the prison island off the Florida coast, Dr. Mudd nursed the feverish George St. Leger Grenfell back to health, prior to the British gentleman’s escape and disappearance.               

Bulloch and Teddy Roosevelt

The British-built raiding ships that James D. Bulloch put into Confederate action caused grievous harm to the Union. The American government maintained that the British and certain continental bankers, acting through Bulloch, had prolonged the Civil War to perhaps double the length it would otherwise have been, made it worst war in America's history. In 1872 Britain paid the U.S. $15.5 million in damages.

Theodore Roosevelt.

Bulloch and his nephew met many times during Teddy Roosevelt’s childhood and adult life, in the United States and in England. Wilson and McKay, the U.S. intelligence specialists who authored the Bulloch biography, wrote that he and Teddy were deeply bound together, that “Bulloch would become Teddy's oracle, and Teddy would become Bulloch's pride and joy, almost another son.” Those authors surmise that Bulloch’s involvement with the plotters against Lincoln is what caused him to become a British citizen. But inscribed on his Liverpool tombstone are the words, “An American by birth, an Englishman by choice.”

On an 1886 trip to England to be married, Teddy Roosevelt was introduced to

British Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury, whose "black nobility"

family had organized British political support for the destruction of the American Union in coordination with Uncle James Bulloch.

By 1900 the well-sponsored Teddy Roosevelt had risen politically so as to be elected U.S. Vice President with President William McKinley.

They were inaugurated March 4, 1901. The President was shot September 6 and died eight days later.

The anarchist who made Teddy Roosevelt President belonged to a movement based in London. Their leading newspaper was published in the home of a British government officer, the manager of a cult of feudal aristocrats who demanded the world be dragged back to the medieval Dark Ages.

Theodore Roosevelt imported the British imperil tradition to the U.S. Presidency.

Under his rule the Wall Street-London axis rose to absolute power over U.S. finance. He made their imperial interests in Latin America the U.S. policy – until his fifth cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt reversed course and rescued America’s good name.

Above all Theodore Roosevelt inherited from his revered uncle the British imperial notion that war, as mad and destructive as possible, was glorious; that foreign adventures, to subvert and overthrow regimes everywhere, was our racial destiny as Anglo-Saxons.

This is the bloody legacy of the Bush family, in particular.

Humanity now puzzles out the specter of Barack Obama, at war with the world, channeling Teddy Roosevelt as his role model.

Page 728:

[Excerpted text]


Navy Department, Richmond, August 27, 1864.

        SIR: The department has purchased of Captain P. C. Martin a cargo of provisions and ordnance stores, and has given orders upon you to pay for them as follows:

Provisions and clothing  $27,358.32
Ordnance                   4,149.65

You will please pay them and charge them to the proceeds of the cotton in the hands of Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., under the respective heads.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

Secretary of the Navy.
        Commander James D. Bulloch, C. S. N.,
Care Fraser, Trenholm & Co.

   --- --- ---

(To) Secretary of the Navy.
        (From) Commander JAMES D. BULLOCH, C. S. N.,
Care of Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co.,
Liverpool, Great Britain

LIVERPOOL, September 29, 1864.
        SIR: . . . . on the 27th instant [September] I received through Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., your letter of the 27th ultimo [August], advising me of the purchase by the department of a cargo of provisions and ordnance stores from Captain P. C. Martin, with instructions to pay for them and how to charge the separate items. . . .

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