“Booth himself stated that he had attended Lincoln’s second inaugural on March 4, 1865: ‘What an elegant chance I had to kill the President on Inauguration Day if I wished.’ Some scholars find the other conspirators there, too.” Above (if the link hasn’t expired) is a photo purporting to discern John Wilkes Booth present during the second inaugural speech given by Abraham Lincoln. A much better photo is found in A True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, by Louis J. Weichmann, published in 1975. Besides Booth, the presences of David Herold, George Atzerodt, Edmund Spangler, Louis Payne, and John Surratt are discerned. 
The New Yorker magazine (online) calls a eulogy given by President Barack Obama on June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina “Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural in Charleston”, and compares it with Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.  After a little searching, I found a transcript of Lincoln’s second inaugural speech and compared it with a transcript of the Obama June 26th speech. In both speeches the sacred is intermixed with the profane of politics – but there the similarity ends. The Lincoln speech is brief and to the point. Furthermore the Lincoln speech is far more poetic. So, “close but no cigar” for the eulogy given by President Obama.
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan…
“With malice toward none; with charity for all” – but a faction in Lincoln’s party did not see things that way. Theirs was not a spirit of forgiveness, and Lincoln stood in their way.
A book published in 1977, The Lincoln Conspiracy (by David Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr.), was a bestseller in its time. That book stunned this blogger with its assertion that a hidden hand had manipulated and controlled John Wilkes Booth and his “usual suspects” group of co-conspirators. Thereafter, ever since 1977, I have off-and-on explored further the mystery of the Lincoln assassination. Some key books which have been most helpful in this quest include…
- Why was Lincoln Murdered?, by Otto Eisenschiml. Published in 1937, the book proposed that a senior member of Lincoln’s Cabinet orchestrated the plot to kill the president. 
- Books by Ray A. Neff, one of which discovered coded messages written by Colonel Lafayette Baker which, when deciphered, revealed for example, “In new Rome there walked three men, a Judas, a Brutus and a spy. Each planned that he should be the king when Abraham should die.”  Dark Union, by Leonard F. Guttridge and Ray A. Neff, which connects the Lincoln assassination with a complex scheme to pay for and profit from the Union war effort by trading in Confederate cotton.
- Murdering Mr. Lincoln, by Charles Higham. The background role played by the Knights of the Golden Circle and secret connections with Europe are explored. Victor Hugo belonged to the Central Democratic Committee (CDC). So did Giuseppe Mazzini. CDC was like the later Permindex, which linked Clay Shaw to the CIA and to European fascists.
- Mask For Treason, by Vaughan Shelton. Louis Payne was a fall guy who took the rap for a different person, his cousin Lewis Powell, who was the actual knife-wielding assassin who tried to murder William Seward. Vaughan Shelton, in a later article published by the Idaho State Journal newspaper, claimed that Colonel Lafayette Baker had faked his death and did not in fact die on July 3, 1868. 
- Blood Money: The Civil War and the Federal Reserve, by John Remington Graham. Follow the money. A dying Republic was secretly stabbed in the back by those bent on making money out of its demise.
Over the years I had returned to the puzzle of the Lincoln assassination. Yet always a final satisfactory solution eluded me. Then, around 2012, I chanced to discover an addenda to Otto Eisenschiml’s 1937 book, Why was Lincoln Murdered? This addenda had been published around 1950. By the hand of fate, early in 1948 a copy of the May 2, 1868 issue of a rare magazine, The People’s Weekly, had been found by Eisenschiml. What Eisenschiml called the “outstanding piece of interest” in the magazine was an editorial entitled, “That Wicked Old Man.” It was Thaddeus Stevens, leader of the “Radical” faction of the Republican Party, who had “warmed into life the brutal instincts of [Edwin] Stanton, [Joseph] Holt and [Lafayette] Baker, to have Lincoln assassinated.” 
The Eisenschiml addenda clinched it for me. Here at last was the solution: a faction of Lincoln’s own party had managed his assassination.
On June 9, 2015 one Don Thomas commented to Ersjdamoo’s Blog on the entry of December 1, 2012, Who Spoliated That Book? “Who was this Don Thomas?”, I wondered. It turned out that Don Thomas is the author of a book, The Reason Lincoln Had to Die, published in 2013. And that book agrees with what I had earlier concluded a year earlier. At the book’s web site, Thomas describes, “With a logical, forensic treatment of evidence, testimonies and correspondence”, the “one and only faction that ever had a motive, the means and the opportunity to kill President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward on the night of April 14, 1865.”
“Most astonishing of all is that dozens of documents and artifacts proving Lincoln’s murder was an inside job have not been hidden, they simply have not been highlighted by historians. In 1977, a document was discovered that removes all doubt that Booth was the unwitting pawn of the U.S. War Department, doing the bidding of a faction within Lincoln’s own party.” 
——- Sources ——-
 A True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, by Louis J. Weichmann. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975.
 “Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural in Charleston”, by Allyson Hobbs. The New Yorker (online), June 29, 2015.
 “Otto Eisenschiml”, Wikipedia, July 4, 2015.
 “Ray Neff Discovers Coded Messages”, by Brian Redman. Freedom Network. http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~wbova/fn/history/lincoln_02.htm
 Notorious Colonel Faked His Death?, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, March 4, 2013. https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/notorious-colonel-faked-his-death/
 Addenda To Lincoln’s Assassination, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, November 24, 2012. https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/addenda-to-lincolns-assassination/
 From web site for The Reason Lincoln Had to Die, by Don Thomas. http://www.reasonlincoln.com/