I'm weird. My favorite part of a book is sometimes the footnotes. For it's in the footnotes and endnotes that one can find leads to still more fascinating information
about the topic at hand, be it numismatics or anything else. In this CBS News review of a new book, following a footnote led the author to a counterfeiting scheme and a
plot to kill George Washington. Great reading here for colonial-era collectors, history buffs and true-crime fans. -Editor
Best-selling author Brad Meltzer found the story behind his latest book, "The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington," in a footnote. He
said he took the surprising information to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis.
"I went to him and I said, 'Did this really happen?' And it really happened. When it happened, George Washington rounded up those responsible. He took one of the
main conspirators and he hung him in front of 20,000 people – the largest public execution at that point in North American history," Meltzer said Tuesday on "CBS This
Morning." "He brought the hammer down, was like, 'I'm George Washington. Don't mess with me. I'm going to be on the money one day.'"
So how did the story of the plot get lost in history?
"Hanging happened on June 28, 1776. Guess what was happening in the world? The Declaration of Independence. The British were literally there and this gets lost to
it," Meltzer said.
The book details an effort to undermine the American Revolution just before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and with British troops about to invade New York
City. The plot connects counterfeiters, leading New York politicians and even the future president's own bodyguards. At the time, Washington had private bodyguards, Meltzer
said, who were the "best of the best" from his regiments.
To read the complete article, see:
How author Brad Meltzer uncovered the secret plot to kill George
To read a Wall Street Journal review (subscription required), see:
‘The First Conspiracy’ Review: The Skulduggery of King George
Wayne Homren, Editor
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