Saturday, August 15, 2009

Enoch Lewis's Tale of Intrigue

Enoch Lewis and his family moved to 3405 Powelton Ave. about 1885. He was a major figure in the Pennsylvania Railroad rising to the position of head purchasing agent. His children intermarried with other Powelton families and lived on Powelton Ave. and on 34th St. for many years.

Early in his career, he was involved with a secret plan to get President-elect Lincoln to Washington without risking a possible assassination attempt in Baltimore. Its best told in his own words:

"Philadelphia, Penn., November 7th, 1867.
"Allan Pinkerton, Esq., Chicago, 111.
"Dear Sir: ... [O]n the 21st of Feb., 1861, I was in Philadelphia in the way of business as General Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad, to arrange for the movement of Mr. Lincoln, then
President-elect of the United States, by special train from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, on the 226. inst. ; it being understood that he was to proceed on the 23d from Harrisburg, by the Northern Central Railroad to Baltimore and thence to Washington.... [I was informed] that in consequence of the apprehended danger of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln whilst passing through Baltimore, it was desired to change his route to the capitol, and to bring him back privately from Harrisburg to Philadelphia... and to take him by the regular night train from Philadelphia to Washington, through Baltimore.... I accompanied Mr. Lincoln in the special train from Philadelphia to Harrisburg; arrangements were quietly made for a special train, ostensibly to take Division Superintendent and myself back to the city.... Early in the evening Mr. Franciscus brought Mr. Lincoln... We started, and without interruption reached Philadelphia in time for the night train to Washington. The only persons on the train which was run from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, on the evening of the 22d, besides the engineer and fireman, were Messrs. Lincoln and Ward H. Lamon, G. C. Franciscus, Division Superintendent; John Pitcairn, Jr., in charge of telegraph instrument; T. E. Garrett. General Baggage Agent, and myself. When the train reached West Philadelphia you met us at the platform and escorted Messrs Lincoln and Lamon to a carriage into which I saw you three get, and drive rapidly away in the direction of the Baltimore Depot.
"Respectfully, ENOCH LEWIS,
Formerly Gen. Supt. Penn. R. R."

For the full story see the full report by Alan Pinkerton.

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