In the book, “What Would Millard Do?”, this writer covered the attempted poisonings of President-elect James Buchanan, at the National Hotel in Washington, DC, early in 1857. New information on the National Hotel poisonings has been found, subsequent to publication of “What Would Millard Do?”
On the night of January 25, 1857, Buchanan and other guests suffered what was called the “National Hotel Disease.” Buchanan survived, but others were not so fortunate. Later, on the evening before Buchanan’s inauguration, “disease” again struck the National Hotel.
On June 5, 1857, the New York Times reported, “A feeling of intense dissatisfaction pervades the public mind in the manner in which the mystery of the National Hotel Disease has been treated by the authorities of the City of Washington.” The New York Times article concluded, “there is abundant ground for suspecting that the disease is the result of poison administered in the food of guests of the hotel.”
In her book, “My Imprisonment,” Mrs. Rose Greenhow, a Confederate spy who operated in Washington, DC during the Civil War, reveals that one of her private papers seized and examined dealt with “the appalling attempt of the Abolition [Republican] party to poison President Buchanan, and the chiefs of the Democratic party, in Washington, at the National Hotel, a few days prior to the  inauguration of President Buchanan.” 
Rose Greenhow, dubbed “America’s most beautiful spy,” was detected and unmasked by Allan Pinkerton and associates, including one Kate Warne, possibly the first female private detective. But the unmasking of Rose Greenhow proved extremely embarrassing to the Abraham Lincoln administration since she had been “in bed” with some high-ranking Union men. The scale of the Rose Greenhow spy ring “was staggering in its immensity. There was hardly a family in Washington and the vicinity which was not implicated.” 
Mrs. Greenhow dismisses one theory, that rats, having been poisoned, had fallen into the tanks which supplied the hotel with water. This was investigated. The “tanks were all emptied of water, and no rats could be found; the sewers under and leading to the town were also opened, to see if any poisonous exhalations could come from them…” Both theories, of poisoned rats and of poisonous exhalations, were found to be without merit. 
A suspicious trail led from a Philadelphia druggist, who reported to Attorney General Caleb Cushing that one of his employees had sold 30 pounds of arsenic, to be sent to Washington, DC. The arsenic had reached Washington, DC via Adams & Co. Express, and was picked up by an unknown person. 
Reportedly, President Buchanan eventually “obtained a clue to the whole plot” but “would not allow the affair to be pursued, because of the startling facts it would lay open to the world, and that he shrank from the terrible exposure.” 
“I considered it a great weakness,” opined Mrs. Greenhow, “on his [Buchanan’s] part to have forbidden the investigation, as it might have averted the John Brown raid, and many other acts of the ‘Irrepressible Conflict [Republican]’ party.” 
The “John Brown raid” mentioned by Mrs. Greenhow would be the raid on Harper’s Ferry of October 1859. Beneath the surface, John Brown (image above) was under the control of European interests. Earlier, Brown had participated in Bleeding Kansas (also called Bloody Kansas or the Border War), a series of violent events involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery “Border Ruffian” elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of the U.S. state of Missouri roughly between 1854 and 1858.
British and French bankers conspired to divide and weaken the adolescent American Union. Europe had imperialist designs upon the North American continent. John Brown was under the control of European interests: he was one of their agents provocateur. 
Giuseppe Mazzini, leader of Italian Grand Orient Freemasonry, sent lieutenant Adriano Lemmi and the Hungarian Masonic Magyar, Louis Kossuth, to the U.S. where they organized “Young America” lodges. “John Brown had joined Mazzini’s Young America during the [Franklin] Pierce administration, and was supported financially by the John Jacob Astor Masonic interest in Boston and New York. After receiving instructions from Caleb Cushing, John Brown deliberately set out to instigate civil war in America.” 
During the Bleeding Kansas “dress rehearsal” for the Civil War, John Brown and his bloody gang were responsible for “The Pottawatomie Massacre.” Unarmed men had their skulls cleaved by broadswords. Brown was never called to answer for this particular crime.  Today some consider John Brown to have been a hero, but others would say Brown was more of a terrorist.
(A version of the above first appeared at my Melchizedek Communique web site on February 14th and February 19th, 2010.)
——- Sources ——-
 My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington, by Mrs. Rose Greenhow. London: Richard Bentley (Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty), 1863
 Allan Pinkerton: The First Private Eye, by James Mackay. New York: Wiley & Sons, 1996
 What Would Millard Do?, by Brian Francis Redman. Available as a Kindle e-book and also from Lulu.com