NPR

'The First Conspiracy' Details Foiled Hickey Plot To Assassinate George Washington

Thriller author Brad Meltzer and documentary producer Josh Mensch offer an intriguing look at a true-life, foiled plan that, had it succeeded, may have killed the American dream before it even began.
October 1789: American Gen. George Washington declining to accept terms, after the siege of Yorktown, from British Gen. Charles Cornwallis (left), whose subsequent surrender practically ended the American War of Independence. Source: Three Lions

In 1776, the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City conspired to assassinate George Washington. And it might have succeeded if it weren't for a would-be counterfeiter and an iron mill foreman.

It sounds like the plot of a mildly implausible historical thriller, but it actually happened — it's one of the more remarkable stories to come out of the American Revolution, even if it's not one you learned in history class.

The bizarre plot is, the fascinating new history book from thriller author Brad Meltzer and television documentary producer Josh Mensch. It's an intriguing look at the so-called "Hickey plot," the foiled conspiracy that, had it succeeded, might have killed the American dream before it even began.

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