The Plot to Steal Abraham Lincoln

Jul 19 2018 - 7:00pm
Chautauqua County History Lecture Series

FREE General Admission (Donations Accepted)

Chautauqua County Historian Michelle Henry presents a program detailing local and national research on Patrick Tyrrell, a Dunkirk resident later hailed as a national hero.

Tyrrell was appointed deputy sheriff  in Chautauqua County in 1868, and later became an agent for the Secret Service.  His investigations and arrests of several notorious counterfeiting rings led to his eventual involvement in thwarting a plot to steal Abraham Lincoln's body in 1876. He is credited with preventing the theft; and histories published in the Chicago area depict him as a shining character.  However, records held in the County Archive in Mayville suggest that Tyrrell's personal and professional life were marred by accusations of corruption and abuse.

Was he a hero or a scoundrel, or perhaps a bit of both? In her presentation, Henry will discuss the records used to piece together the story of Tyrrell and his family.

Michelle HenryMichelle HenryHenry was appointed County Historian in March 2000, and also serves as the county’s Records Management Coordinator. She was one of the first historians in New York State to be certified as a Registered Public Historian.  A past director of the Chautauqua County Historical Society, she has written several articles for local and state publications, including the New York State Archives Partnership Trust's Archives magazine and the Chautauqua County Historical Society's Timelines magazine.

Henry is well-respected by historical societies in Chautauqua County, for which she has spearheaded numerous workshops to teach dedicated volunteers.  She holds a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Penn State University and a Masters degree in Anthropology and a Museum Studies Graduate Certificate from Arizona State University.