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Author Topic: Was Mike O'Laughlin guilty?  (Read 90 times)
Joe Gleason
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« on: November 14, 2017, 06:22:43 AM »

"I am acquainted with a couple of men who have been in this city for some time. They came from Baltimore recently, and their names are Samuel Arnold and Michael O'Laughlin They said they were in the coal oil business with J. Wilkes Booth. Was introduced to Booth by them. Michael, or "Mike" as he was called..  lived on D Street between 6th & 7th. He was in the feed business at the place of business at the corner of 7th & E Streets. He used to take his meals at the corner of 8th & D at the old Franklin House.
          
           
On Friday morning ( day of the assassination) I saw him at the Lichau House and in the afternoon I saw him , I should think about six o'clock. That is the only place I saw him. He remained at the Lichau House all night Friday night. He was there before and after the occurrence. I know because I was there. He was in the barroom and on the pavement."
                                                                                                     George S. Grillet
                                                                                                      213 C Street
                                                                                                      April 23, 1865

" O'Laughlin was at the Lichau House the Thursday night before the assassination, not to stop there but he would take a walk out and come back again. On the night of the assassination, he was at the bar drinking when a soldier came in and said the President had been shot at Ford's Theatre. I did not believe it at first, thought it was a catch. The soldier said " No, it is not a catch, the President is murdered and Boothis the man who did it!"

                                                                                                             John C. Giles
                                                                                                             April 20,1865

What say you?  Huh
                                                                                                                                                        
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 06:28:34 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 08:34:23 AM »

I'd say, if that testimony was accurate, then maybe Mike didn't know what was going on or going down. Seems to me, he would had skedaddled like Atzerodt !
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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 08:52:04 AM »

I agree. As I read statements by those who were near him in the days leading up to the assassination, it seems like O'Laughlin was oblivious about Booth's plan. Like you say, if he knew he would have run. I"ll post more statements from
the LAS. An awful lot of people saw O' Laughlin in those last few days.
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Randal
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 02:22:33 PM »

Sure, if he knew beforehand, he would have made himself scarce, days before the assassination, i.e., not being seen anywhere around Washington City. Which of course, opens up another question; "when DID JWB decide to murder on that fateful night? This has been long debated. I think I know when, but I'll leave  it open for discussion.
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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 02:39:14 PM »

First instinct would lead me to say that when Booth saw Rathbone sitting in the box he knew the kidnapping
wasn't going to happen. There was only one option left. The President's carriage was parked in front of the theater so the maybe the "carriage-jacking" was still an option up to that point. That's my hunch anyway.

...did Booth know that Rathbone would be there?  Huh
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Randal
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 03:13:27 PM »

No, Booth didn't know Rathbone would be there. Rathbone was a last minute invitee after The Grants and others turned down Mary Todd's invites. I thought the kidding plan was off anyway, when Sam Arnold scoffed at how preposterous the idea was in the first place. Really, tying him up in the box and lowering him down by rope to the stage? I think Booth made up his mind that morning to kill when he went to Fords earlier that day to retrieve his mail, when he heard the Lincolns would be appearing that night IMO
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 03:27:24 PM by Joe Gleason » Logged

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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 03:56:35 PM »

I don't think the idea of lowering Lincoln to the stage is anything short of ridiculous. Was there any other way
out of the theatre besides the front stairs? There were men with Booth in front of the theatre, and given their suspicious behavior, it makes me think it could have gone either way. If Rathbone wasn't there and Booth came
to the door of the box, I think he could greet Lincoln with that Booth charm, then quietly stick a gun in his face.

Getting him out of the theatre was the hard part. Booth really hated Lincoln, so he may have had murder on his mind when he went into to the theatre.  Or, like you say, some time earlier in the day.

Henry Clay Ford
Washington ,DC.
April, 20,1865

                                                                                                                                                                                                 { Poore II;548 Pitman 99}

It was not the custom when the President or other distinguished men came there to place a sentry at the door or a man to keep the public peace. I guess the President has been to our theater about eight times. Booth never invited me to ask the president to come there. He ask me repeatedly if the President was not coming some night with some language as this;  " Why don't the old bugger come here sometimes". Two months ago I used to associate with Booth a great deal, until I had a controversy with him in Mrs. Petersen's house in the room
that Mr. Matthews and Warwick had, (where the President died). I had been drinking and expressed myself rather freely, Union statements, and never associated with him much after that

 He sat down in Mr. Potentine's saloon and said that something would happen in two weeks that would astonish the world. This was about two months ago.

Mr. Brady remarked, " What are you going to do, kill Jeff Davis, take Richmond, or play Hamlet a hundred nights?"  Brady is a very decided Unionist.

Guns, alcohol, anger and arguments. A recipe for disaster. Sad

[/i]

« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 05:56:03 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 07:37:01 PM »

Mike  O'Laughlen, in my opinion, was an add-on, as a conspirator in the trial of the conspirators to bolster the Governments claim that this was a far reaching conspiracy, to murder the President.   He and Sam Arnold, if I recall, were summoned by Booth to meet and discuss a kidnap plot that would take Lincoln to Richmond, Va.  This was 1864. Both he and Arnold seemed amendable to helping Booth, as they were long time friends. Three days after the assassination, authorities were looking for both Arnold and O'Laughlen.

Early Saturday morning after the assassination, Detectives searched Booth's room at the National Hotel, and in Booth's trunk, were several letters, but what stood out to the police was, one signed by "Sam", which of course we know now, was the infamous "Sam" Letter, which also indicted O'Laughlen. When proven at the trial of the conspirators that it was indeed Sam Arnold and Mike O'Laughlen in the "Sam" letter, they were both convicted and sentenced in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln.

Sadly Mike  died from the Yellow Fever outbreak.

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Randal
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 07:39:35 PM »

I am remembering this, off the top of my head, as my computer is not in the Library Room. (where I can look up and verify things)  Grin

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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 06:14:29 AM »

I see what you mean, Randal. The "Sam" letter is incriminating.

Dear John:  Was business so important that you could not remain in Balto. till I saw you?  I came in as soon as I could, but found you had gone to Wn.  I called also to see Mike, but learned from his mother he had gone out with you, and had not returned.  I concluded, therefore, he had gone with you.  How inconsiderate you have been!  When I left you, you stated we would not meet in a month or so.  Therefore, I made application for employment, an answer to which I shall receive during the week.  I told my parents I had ceased with you.  Can I, then, under existing circumstances, come as you request?  You know full well that the Gt suspicions something is going on there; therefore, the undertaking is becoming more complicated.  Why not, for the present, desist, for various reasons, which, if you look into, you can readily see, without my making any mention thereof.  You, nor any one, can censure me for my present course.  You have been its cause, for how can I now come after telling them I had left you?  Suspicion rests upon me now from my whole family, and even parties in the county.  I will be compelled to leave home any how, and how soon I care not.  None, no not one, were more in favor of the enterprise than myself, and to-day would be there, had you not done as you haveby this I mean, manner of proceeding.  I am, as you well know, in need.  I am, you may say, in rags, whereas to-day I ought to be well clothed.  I do not feel right stalking about with means, and more from appearances a beggar.  I feel my dependence; but even all this would and was forgotten, for I was one with you.  Time more propitious will arrive yet.  Do not act rashly or in haste.  I would prefer your first query, go and see how it will be taken at R----d, and ere long I shall be better prepared to again be with you.  I dislike writing,; would sooner verbally make known my views; yet your non-writing causes me thus to proceed.
 
Do not in anger peruse this.  Weigh all I have said, and, as a rational man and a friend, you can not censure or upbraid my conduct.  I sincerely trust this, nor aught else that shall or may occur, will ever be an obstacle to obliterate our former friendship and attachment.  Write me to Balto., as I expect to be in about Wednesday or Thursday, or, if you can possibly come on, I will Tuesday meet you, in Balto., at B----.  Ever I subscribe myself,
Your friend,
SAM


Additional evidence from the LAS;

A letter from H.H. Wells to Gen. Augur, dated may 11, 1865,

I have examined Mrs. Anderson and taken her statement. It is somewhat indefinite but it seems that Mrs. Rosin and her family who live at No. 134 Fayette Street, Baltimore, are strong secessionist, and on Saturday after the assassination of the President, were rejoicing over his murder. Her son, George Rosin, left home sometime during the prior week- came to Washington and returned and returned on Saturday after the murder. Ned Small, who is an associate of Rosin's, was also in Washington at the time of the assassination., and said on the Saturday following it, that he was in the theatre at the time the President was shot. It also appears from her statement that
Rosin and Small were both associates of Booth


Mrs.. Mary Van Tyne
May 5, 11865
I reside at 420 D Street ; am a widow, am a dressmaker and rent rooms. As nearly as I can recollect, on the 10th of February two gentlemen came and rented a room of me stating that they were from Baltimore. One was named Sam Arnold and until other McLaughlin or O'laughlin; he was called by both names. They were in almost constant association with Booth.

Booth would call for them several times a day. They frequently went to Baltimore on a Saturday, and stay until Monday, Tuesday, or even Wednesday.

I never noticed any arms in their room excepting once; a small pistol, it was in a small case somewhat resembling a shut- up pipe case. Booth used to drive around and get Arnold & O'Laughlin, and they would go out riding with him.

When they went away they did not leave any address, but two or three days afterwards a gentleman called and asked  if any letters had been left for Mr. O'Laughlin or Mr. Arnold. He said he was Mr. O'Laughlin's brother and that they could always be found at 57 Exeter Street, Baltimore.


John T. Ford

                         Q.   Where ere you on the night of the murder?
                          A. I had been in Richmond, left here Friday; left City Point in the morning boat.
                          Q. Who were  his ( Booth's ) asscociates here?
                          A. I never knew any except about the company of the theatre. I didn't know anyone he  
                              associated with in the city.

                           ... one last, and rather odd, statement by John Ford;
                            I was on the boat with Arnold; Thought it was his brother, but it was not. His brother
                            was a bad boy, would get drunk about the theatre.


Does anyone know about Samuel Arnold's brother? Huh
                        
                            
  
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 06:24:07 AM by Joe Gleason » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 10:02:07 AM »

If you can find the student "roster" of St. Timothy's Hall school in Cantonsville, MD, in the early 1850's, you could see if another Arnold was on there besides Sam. My guess it would be his brother.
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Randal
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 09:24:53 PM »

Sam Arnold had two brothers, William and Frank. I don't know which one  though.
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