Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 11  Num. 37
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


The question arises: If Jesse James got $5 million from Emperor Maximilian, then why did he bother to rob trains? Supposedly, the answer is that James was working for the Confederate underground, adding to their treasury.

The question lingers: Who is "HH?" The anonymous author (CN 11.32) tells of the mysterious "88" and "88, Jr.," with those numbers said to signify the eighth letter of the alphabet, "H." The anonymous author claims that a Felix Monroe Hughes raped and impregnated an illegitimate daughter of Abraham Lincoln. The child therefrom was named "88." Shedding possible light on the mystery, one CN reader states:

Felix Monroe Hughes... the father of 88. 88 is HH is of course Howard Hughes... Howard Robard Hughes, Sr. 1869-1924
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. 1905-1976

In his book (Jesse James Was One Of His Names by Del Schrader, with Jesse James III. Arcadia, California: Santa Anita Press, 1975. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74-33962), Schrader claims that Jesse James took the $5 million (see above) and parlayed it into a huge fortune, partly through investments in the Texas oil boom. Schrader adds that "with capital to burn, Jesse was a backer of the Hughes Tool Company, which was founded by Howard Hughes' father."

But the anonymous author has indicated that, no, "HH" (88) is not "Howard Hughes." So who is "88?" Is it Herbert Hoover? Is it Hannibal Hamlin? The anonymous author won't say.

As noted in the previous issue (CN 11.36), the Confederate government went underground in 1865, and was headquartered in Nashville until about 1884. The South's spy network was very good. How did the Confederacy stave off defeat during "The War of Northern Aggression," four long years, 1861-1865? The answer in part, says Schrader, is that the South had a better spy network. And that spy network did not just go away in 1865.

Feeling in the South still simmered and boiled against the "damnyankees" after 1865. When those "damnyankees" increased their war upon the indian nations of the American West, many southerners strongly sympathized with the indians. To Jesse James, "Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and other chiefs were Confederate allies..." (Schrader) The underground Confederacy began smuggling guns to the indians. Furthermore, says Schrader, military training was provided. The indians "were trained to fight like Morgan's Raiders and Quantrill's Missouri guerrillas -- to split up on command, hit with force and devastation and then fade away before the enemy could recover." (ibid.)

Jesse James eventually rose to the position of "chief of the Inner Sanctum of The Knights of the Golden Circle." He was "one of the most powerful men in America. The Golden Circle had industrial as well as military spies on both sides of the Atlantic." (ibid.)

Unfortunately for our tale, The Knights of the Golden Circle are linked to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, an organization responsible for many hateful acts over the years. Schrader does consistently point out that James himself was not a racist. In fact, according to Schrader, some of James' gang were themselves blacks, including chief James lieutenant John Trammell, "the black cobra."

Reportedly belonging to a lesser-ranked Confederate secret society, The Knights of the White Camellias, was John Wilkes Booth. Booth worked for Confederate Intelligence, smuggling messages and contraband between North and South. In the final year of the Civil War, Booth reported that "a representative of the European Rothschilds called on President Lincoln and offered him money at 27.5 percent interest, but was thrown out of his office." (qtd. in Schrader) After Booth shot Lincoln, the Knights of the Golden Circle began to suspect that Booth had been recruited into the Rothschild organization. Booth had not been ordered by the South to kill Lincoln, so on whose orders had he acted? However, whatever the circumstances, Booth knew too many secrets and had to be smuggled to safety. The Confederate underground eventually moved him to the Free State of Van Zandt, Texas. (Schrader)

But Booth slowly developed a drinking problem and his tongue began to wag. Schrader notes that Booth, by about 1890, had hired a lawyer "to write a book about his secret life and how and why he shot President Lincoln." (This book may have been, Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth by Finis L. Bates. See CN 3.91) It was decided, according to Schrader, that Booth had to be found and silenced. He was eventually tracked to Enid, Oklahoma. One of Booth's assassins, reportedly, was William S. (Wild Bill) Lincoln, a distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln.

According to a sworn statement by "Wild Bill" Lincoln:

Our branch of the Lincoln family was never satisfied with what really happened to Booth, and I spent fourteen years of my life running down the true story. Strangely enough, I learned it from Jesse W. James, head of the Confederate underground. I was present at Booth's real death. (qtd. in Schrader)

Jesse James and "Wild Bill" Lincoln allegedly crept into Booth's room at the Grand Avenue Hotel in Enid, Oklahoma, then tricked the hungover Booth into drinking arsenic-laced lemonade. Booth is said to have died in their presence. Although commonly reported that Booth's corpse was mummified by direction of his lawyer, Finis Bates, Schrader claims it was the massive arsenic in Booth's system which caused the mummification. James reportedly arranged for Booth's body to be exhibited on tour, throughout the United States. According to Schrader, Booth's mummified remains eventually passed into the ownership of a Minnesota jeweler named Jay Gould, relative of the notorious banker. Today, the whereabouts of the Booth mummy are unknown.

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