In Chains, who was trying to kill George Washington? Why?

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Mr. Lockton, the mayor, and several other conspirators are trying to have George Washington assassinated.  They believe that the Patriot rebellion will collapse with Washington's death. 

In chapter nine, Lockton and three other men planned to bribe members of the Patriot army with money and land for joining the British....

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Mr. Lockton, the mayor, and several other conspirators are trying to have George Washington assassinated.  They believe that the Patriot rebellion will collapse with Washington's death. 

In chapter nine, Lockton and three other men planned to bribe members of the Patriot army with money and land for joining the British.  That plan failed miserably.  

"They turn down the offer of hundreds of acres?" Lockton said.

"The land offered by the King is distant from their farms." Goldbuttons buttered a piece of bread. "My fellow reports they simply want peace and the chance to get in a good crop of wheat."  

"Idiots," said Lockton.

The mayor proposes a more drastic plan to win the war for the British.  He is afraid that anti-British sentiment is growing too far and too fast.  He suggests that killing George Washington will stop the Patriots immediately.  

"With Washington gone, the revolution will collapse," predicted the mayor.  "War will be averted and countless lives saved.  Our world will return to the former state of tranquility we enjoyed before all this nonsense."  

Lockton is hesitant to take such a drastic measure, but by the end of the chapter, he has been convinced that killing Washington is necessary.  Lockton goes so far as to agree to begin bankrolling the plan, and he hands the mayor a large stack of paper currency.  

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