“The greatest concentration of American political and economic power outside the U.S. in the 19th century took place in Montreal in the summer and fall of 1864…not London, not Paris, not Rome, but Montreal. Why? And why was it covered up after the Civil War?”

-Barry Sheehy, Author of Montreal: City of Secrets.


“If there is anything left to be revealed about the Lincoln assassination, it will be discovered in Montreal. It has received too little attention from historians…until now.”

-Edward Steers, Abraham Lincoln historian.


“Barry Sheehy has made an important ontribution to our                                                               understanding of the American Civil War. Montreal emerges as a magnet that attracted schemers, opportunists,  and assassins.”

-John Boyko, Canadian historian


City of Spies is a premium documentary series that investigates one of the greatest mysteries in Canadian history with shocking revelations that will unravel mainstream ideas about the American Civil War and Canada’s involvement. The series is based on the pioneering book Montral: City of Secrets by historian Barry Sheehy, whose forensic research has unearthed a story of incredible scope involving espionage, political intrigue, guerilla warfare, kidnapping, assassination, and more…..

April 26, 1865: John Wilkes Booth is killed trying to flee authorities after assassinationg President Lincoln. In Booth's pocket is a document fom a bank in Montral dated "October 1864." It is linked to the account he opened there. What was Booth doing in Montreal before he killed President Abraham Lincoln? This one iece of evidence sets us loose on a re-investigation of Lincoln's assassination. An investigation that will show how the American Civil War was almost won by the Confederacy, and that Montreal - and Canada - was at the center of it all.


Confederate Operations in Montreal during the                                                                                               American Civil War

By Barry Sheehy with photography by Cindy Wallace

Baraka Books, 2017

297 pages


Reviewed by Sandra Stock

Originally published in Quebec Heritage News, Spring 2018

"The main theme of this book is the little-known                                                                                 role that Montreal, and to a lesser degree,                                                                                               the Niagara area,  played  as spying posts for the                                                                                 Confederacy  in the Civil War  years of the 1860s.                                                                                                                                                            

Even the assassination of President Lincoln may have been plotted here. Only recently, in fact, an obscure plaque on the wall of The Bay store on St. Catherine Street was finally consigned to the dustbin of politically incorrect monuments as it commemorated the location of Jefferson Davis’ house when the former president of the Confederacy lived in exile in Montreal. Very little has ever been mentioned about Montreal – and Canada’s – involvement in American affairs at this time.“

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Review: Montreal, City of Secrets

A Reveiw by Mark Colin Reid - March 19, 2018


 "When the United States of America went to war against itself in 1861, it sparked a conflict of catastrophic proportions. The northern states fielded more than 2.1 million soldiers in the American Civil War, roughly double the number of Confederate troops. The combined death toll stands at approximately 620,000, but some estimates place it as high as 850,000. As for Canada, while it was far from the battlefields geographically, it was on the front lines when it came to the machinations that went on behind the scenes. The nexus of this activity was Montreal, which played host to Confederate spies as well as to millions of dollars in hard currency or gold — much of it used to bankroll clandestine activities against the U.S. North."

Note: The lavish inclusion and excellent reproduction of many Notman photographs from the McCord Museum Collection are in themselves worth the acquisition of this outstandingly researched and clearly-written history. The many shady and not-so-shady characters who lurked in the St. Lawrence Hall Hotel on St. James Street (now Rue Saint-Jacques) were obviously keen to have their pictures taken at the fashionable Notman Studio on Bleury Street. Notman appeared to be the preferred photographer of Confederate agents, commissioners, raiders, soldiers and spies visiting Montreal.

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Opinion: A haven for escaped slaves and Confederate operatives

The Underground Railroad was only part of the story: History is often more complicated and contradictory than our national lore might suggest.

Barry Sheehy, Special to Montreal Gazette

Published on: February 27, 2018

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National Post cites author Barry Sheehy's comments on Canada role in American Civil War

Canadians love to virtue signal about Civil War, but Confederates had Canada's support.

Confederates operated with the tacit approval of Canadian authorities, who saw a divided U.S. as being in Canada's best interestsSpecial to National Post.

November 7, 2017

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Montreal Gazette looks at link to America's Confederacy and Sheehy's City of Secrets

Montreal has a strong historical link to America's Confederate past

Rene Bruemmer, Montreal Gazette

August 17, 2017

Author Barry Sheehy's new book, Montreal: City of Secrets, is referenced amidst controversy surrounding commemorative plaque.

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Confederates in Niagara Falls

By Barry Sheehy

Author of Montreal, City of Secrets

As published in "Niagara Falls Museums"

"The handwritten ledgers from Barnett’s Niagara Falls Museum, 59 books in all, cover more than a century and a half of Canadian history from the 1830's to well into the 20th century. This is a priceless font of historical information and the recent acquisition of the collection by the Niagara Falls History Museum is a boon to historians everywhere. In completing my next book, City of Secrets, about Confederate operations in Montreal during the American Civil War, I have used the ledgers for June through November 1864 to identify historical characters who appear to be in both Montreal and Niagara. In some cases, the Barnett register helped confirm the presence in Canada of important historical figures such as super-banker Jay Cooke and Edwin Stanton’s telegraph operator and confidant, Thomas T. Eckert. These were important finds."

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