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The LINCOLN Conspirators & Assassination - 1865

Mrs. MARY E. (JENKINS) SURRATT,
(1817-1865)
Chapter 12.

 Accused No. 8:
Mother of John H. Surratt, Jr.; Arrested for Conspiring to Kill President LINCOLN; She was alleged to have provided BOOTH and HEROLD Carbines, a Rope and Whiskey on Friday, Friday, April 14, 1865, at about 11:00 A.M. at her Surrattville Tavern. (1 & 1/2 Hour after the shooting of President LINCOLN) [REF: #5. pg187]

In REF # 8. page 186] states that Mrs. SURRATT was "accused of having thought of the original scheme to abduct LINCOLN and his top Cabnit members. However, the plot thickened, and progressed to kidnapping to murder."
This is incorrect, this writer can find No substance of record that Mrs. SURRATT was the Master Mind of the Plot to Capture or the Assassiantion Plot. Records indicate from BOOTHS's on Diary that he had Not decided to switch from Kidnaping to Killing until the very day of the assassination on April 14, Friday. [REF: #5. pg178]
It is unfortunate that Secretary STANTON, hid BOOTH's diary for 2 years, and destroyed some 18 pages, which the world may never know the real story ..prs

Mrs. SURRATT was captured Monday evening, April 17, 1865, at about 11:30 P.M. a representative of the War Department and 4 or 5 officers arrived at Mrs. SURRATT's Boarding house to arrest her, her sister, and her daughter ANNIE SURRATT, and one young women boarder, who were the only persons left under Mrs. SURRATT's roof. Just as they were about to go out the door and into carriages, from the dark shadows outside stepped POWELL/PAINE, very dirty, carrying a large pickax over his shoulder. He was wearing a tight skull cap made from the leg of a pair of underdrawers. He said he had come to ask Mrs. SURRATT what time she wanted him to dig for her in the morning. Mrs. SURRATT was asked if she knew this man and her answer, which counted heavily against her all during the trial to come was "Before God, I never saw him before!" [REF: #5. pg189]

Mrs. SURRATT's supporters would say as the trial progressed how could she recognize POWELL/PAINE masquerading as a laborer, when at her Boarding House in the past he alternately had been a Baptist Minister (Reverend WOOD) and a gentlemen invalid, so frail that he had to have his meals in his room, and who had used a false mustache to confuse her further. Also, they pointed out, her eyesight was very bad indeed - she had not been able to thread a needle for years. [REF: #5. pg188]

Mrs. SURRATT was taken to the Old Capitol and although daughter Miss ANNIE SURRATT begged tearfully to be imprisoned with her mother, she and her Aunt and other woman were taken to Carroll Prison. [REF: #5. pg190]

 Brought to Trial:
Mrs. MARY E. (JENKINS) SURRATT, age 48, the number two Star (after LEWIS POWELL/PAINE ..prs) of the occasion, muffled in black, striving to hide her person behind a palm leaf fan, her heavy black veil, her black mitted hands, was said to be a well- preserved person, pink cheeked, pretty women of 45, ( other records indicate age 48 ..prs) who fascinated the public because she had been known to be a upright kindly Christian woman whose only sin was that she thought the Confederacy was right in its demands. She occupied a position a little apart from the others on the docket and seemed to gaze interestedly by the hour at the new straw matting that covered the courtroom floor. When her attractive daughter Miss ANNIE SURRATT, age 22 testified, searching desperately to catch sight of her mother beyond a group of Officers which hid her from view, crying out "Where is Mother? ! Where is Mother? ! Mrs. SURRATT made no sounds from behind her veil and fan. But back in the cell mother and daughter embraced and wept constantly.

 Trial Sentence:
The Military Commission met secretly on the June 28 and voted the Death by Hanging penalty for "Conspiring to Murder"; Was not read the sentence until July 6, was hanged the next day at 1:00 o'clock p.m., July 7, 1865;
Buried in the yard of the Old Penitentiary, Washington D.C.

End of Chapter 12.


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E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., Auburn CA.

  The Conspirators Index (Click on "Chap." for more info. ..prs
 Chap.  F.Name  L.Name  b. d.  Subject
 01.  Abraham  Lincoln  1809-1865  Profile
 02.  John W.  Booth  1838-1865  Profile
 03.  John W.  Booth  1838-1865  Pursuit, Death & Burial
 04.  The  Conspirators     Trial of the Assassins
 05.  Samuel B.  Arnold  1834-1906  Profile
 06.  George T.  Atzerodt  1832-1865  Profile
 07.  David  Herold  1844-1865  Profile
 08.  Samuel A.  Mudd  1833-1933  Profile
 09.  Michael  O'Laughlin  1840-1867  Profile
 10.  Lewis T.  Powell  18??-1865  Profile
 11.  Edward "Ned"  Spangler  18??-18??  Profile
 12.  Mary E. (Jenkins)  SURRATT  1817-1865  Profile
 12.b  Mary E. (Jenkins)  SURRATT  1817-1865  Genealogy FGS
 12.c  E.S. Anna  SURRATT  1843-1904  Genealogy FGS
 13.  John H., Jr.  SURRATT  1844-1916  Profile
 13.1  John H., Jr.  SURRATT  1844-1916  1870 Lecture
 13.2  John H., Jr.  SURRATT  1844-1916  Genealogy FGS
 14.  The Conspirators       End of Nightmare for the Doomed!
 15.  The Conspirators       Source Notes & Reference

Text - Copyright © 1996-2007 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Jul. 16, 2004;  Feb. 25, 2005;  Jun. 06, 2007;