War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0857 CORRESPODENCE, ETC.- UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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what he thought about it replied that in his opinion the end would justify the means. Another circumstance going to show Clay's immediate personal association with the assassins is the striking testimony of the witness first referred to, to the effect that he himself saw in the possession of Clay, at his private house at Saint Catherine, and became familiar with, a secret cipher used among the rebels in Canada, which he identified as precisely the same with the cipher found among the effects of Booth after his capture and death. The fullest proof, however, of the direct complicity of Clay in the scheme of assassination is presented by the deposition obtained since the trial of the conpirators of a witness esteemed by this Bureau, before which he was personally examined, as entirely faithful and reliable. This witness* states that during the past year he made the acquaintance in Montreal of Robert C. Kennedy, who was afterward hung for his attempt, in concert with others, to destroy the city of New York by fire. Kennedy having enlisted, or pretended to enlist, this witness and a companion into the rebel military service, approached them in November, 1864, with a proposition to assist him in the assassination of President Lincoln, his Cabinet, and General Grant. He represented, to quote the words of the witness, that as their friend McClellan was beat, they had to put the whole damned Cabinet and Abe Lincoln out of the way, and that we would be rich men of we could do ti. Kennedy then conducted the two men to Clay, and the details of the interview which took place may best be presented in the precise language of the deposition, as follows:

He (Kennedy) fetched us into the Queen's Hotel, Toronto, where were McDonald, Cleary, and C. C. Clay. The four went into a separate room by themselves, where they satid probably three-quarters of an hour, leaving myself and my friend outside. When they came out Mr. C. C. Clay approached me and said (calling me by name): "How do you do?" He said he supposed we were going to assist in the Washington affair, addressing himself to me and my friend together. Captain Kennedy said to Clay: "He (alluding to me) is the man to lay Stanton out." Clay said: "Boys, it is a very risky job, and furthermore, if you undertake to do it you must take your lives in your own hands." He said to me (calling me by name): "Mr. Stanton is a very big man and if you cannot undertake to do the job you had better not try it." I told him I thought I could do anything in that way I was called upon to do. He said: "If you get back to Canada after the job is completed you will be a rich man. If you happen to fail in the attempt you will swing." Captain Kennedy had previously stated to us: "I am going to leave in a few days and I suppose you want a few dollars till you are ready to start." He then gave us $10 apiece.

The witness also, in answer to the question whether it was the understanding that he and others were to come on to Washington and engage in the assassination, adds:

Yes, sir; Clay gave us $10 apiece to wait until we would be ready to start. We made up our minds to consent to do everything they asked, provided they gave us what they promised, although really it was not our purpose to proceed finally in the assassination.

A few weeks later than this kennedy, having meanwhile gone to Washington and returned, instructed the witness that he was to have nothing to do with the project of assassination, inasmuch as it was in the hands of men more competent at Washington. The witness then gives the conclusion of his interviews with Kenneedy, as follows:

"But," said he, "I have got another scheme for you." We asked him what it was. He said, "To fire the city of New York." I thought in my own mind that New York was a pretty big place to burn. We finally came to the conclusion that we would not go, and when we were going away he said we were a pair of traitors.


* John McGill.