According to Charles Chiniquy (1809-1899) they did. Today marks the death of the ex-priest who spent forty years on the anti-Catholic lecture circuit. Ordained in his native Quebec, he made his way to Illinois, where he became a Protestant. His books and lectures exposed both priestly corruption and Vatican plans to rule America. His bestseller Fifty Years in the Church of Rome proposed the conspiracy theory (which still has adherents) that the Jesuits planned Lincoln’s assassination:
Read the history of the assassination of Admiral Coligny, Henry III and Henry IV, and William the Taciturn, by the hired assassins of the Jesuits; compare them with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and you will find that one resembles the others as one drop of water resembles another. You will understand that they all come from the same source, Rome! In all those murders, you will find that the murderers, selected and trained by the Jesuits, were of the most exalted Roman Catholic piety, living in the company of priests, going to confess very often, receiving the communion the day before, if not the very day of the murder. You will see in all those horrible deeds of hell, prepared behind the dark walls of the holy inquisition, that the assassins were considering themselves as the chosen instruments of God, to save the nations by striking its tyrant; that they firmly believed that there was no sin in killing the enemy of the people of the holy church, and of the infallible Pope!