Terrorism hit New York City-in 1864!

The Booth Brothers

September 11, 2001 in New York City will always be remembered for the terrorist attack that occurred there on that day. But did you know there was a prior attack attempt on New York City during the Civil War? Perhaps Osama Bin Laden knew it. The attempt took place on Friday, November 25, 1864. The plan was carried out to burn the city down. Bombs were placed in several major hotels. Also, a bomb was planted at P.T. Barnum’s Museum. Confederate operatives under the leadership of R. C. Kennedy executed the operation. Kennedy had obtained the service of a chemist who manufactured the incendiary bombs. As it turned out, none of the bombs worked as they were intended. There was no burning down of the city. Damage to the buildings was minimal. R. C. Kennedy was hanged for his deed.

Interestingly enough, on that very same night, the Booth brothers-Edwin, Junius Brutus Jr, and John Wilkes were playing together on stage in New York City at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway for a performance of Julius Caesar. It was a benefit show to help raise funds for a Shakespeare statue to be placed in Central Park. During the performance, a fire was set by the Confederate agents in a building next door to the theater. John Wilkes Booth didn’t have anything to do with the attack on New York that evening. But how ironic it was , that he was in a play about assassinating a “tyrant” (Caesar), in light of his eventual killing of President Lincoln (whom Booth thought of as a tyrant). At that time, however, he was plotting to merely capture Abraham Lincoln, not kill him.

Once, again fact is always stranger than fiction!

The above was gleaned from the book: 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Bracelen Flood

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One Response to “Terrorism hit New York City-in 1864!”

  1. Phil Carlisle says:

    I seem to remember that story except for the Booth connection.

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