Accused No. 9: Son of Mrs. MARY E. (JENKINS) SURRATT, was alleged involved in the Plot-to-Capture, but escaped punishment. JOHN H. SURRATT claimed he was in Canada on Friday, April 14, 1865 and thus could not have taken part in the plot. He stayed in Canada and was kept in hiding by a Catholic Priest, all during the Trial; Later went to Europe, was captured escaped, went to Egypt was recaptured and brought back to America in 1866; Was on trial for 2 months June - August, 1867; was reprieved by a Hung Jury, was not released from prison until June 1868. Later married and had Seven Children. See Biographical Profile on JOHN H. SURRATT, Sr. for Continuation of this Family. At LINCOLN's second inauguration, that took place March 4, 1865, on the steps of the Capitol building, the famous Washington photographer ALEXANDER GARDNER made several exposures of the great spectacle. One of his exposures did not show President LINCOLN at all because a careless fingerprint on the emulsion of the still wet negative blotted him out as he stood at the speaker's stand. What this picture does show, was something that none of the other exposures did. Up behind the railing of the right-hand buttress, peering almost directly down on Mr. LINCOLN is the handsome, inscrutable face of JOHN WILKES BOOTH and equally astonishing, just beneath the speaker's stand, only a few feet from the President, are five of the men who were part of the assassination plot. POWELL/PAINE, ATZERODT, HEROLD, SPANGLER and JOHN H. SURRATT. [REF: #5. pg35 In the War Department, April 20, 1865 REWARD POSTER for the MURDERER of President LINCOLN identified BOOTH, HEROLD & JOHN H. SURRATT, list a $25,000 Reward for John as "one of BOOTH's Accomplices." [REF: #5.pg106 This same Poster gives the following Description: "JOHN H. SURRATT, is about 5 feet 9 inches. Hair rather thin (this is a Sarrett family characteristic ..prs) and dark; eyes rather light; no beard. Would weigh 145 or 150 pounds. Complexion rather pale and clear, with color in his cheeks. Wore light clothes of fine quality. Shoulders square; cheek bones rather prominent; chin narrow; ears projecting at the top; forehead rather low and square. but broad. Parts his hair on the right side; neck rather long. His lips are firmly set. A slim man." In REF: # 8. list "It is believed that he was supposed to kill General GRANT at the same time that JOHN WILKES BOOTH assassinated LINCOLN"; This writer can find No record to indicate that JOHN H. SURRATT was supposed to kill GRANT ..prs In REF: # 1. pg14 reports that JOHN H. SURRATT, Jr.'s second Cousin WILLIAM M. SEAMAN, supplied them (Date and Location Not listed ..prs with the following facts: LINCOLN was shot shortly after 10:00 P.M. on 14 April 1865 [REF: #5. A few hours later authorities visited SURRATT's residence at 541 H Street to question the occupants. In REF: # 5, page 189 indicates the authorities, did not come to the house until late Monday, 11:30 P.M., April 17th ..prs On the 17th they arrested all those in the house. On one of these raids they (authorities) seized papers and personal items from the house, including letters written by Aunt BELL SEAMAN, age 21 to second cousin JOHN H. SURRATT, Jr. and his sister Miss ANNIE SURRATT. On April 20, 1865 the Provost Marshall (Named Unknown) for the 24th District of Pennsylvania came to the home of my Grandfather THOMAS SEAMAN and confiscated at least two letters of cousin JOHN H. SURRATT, Jr. to my Aunt BELL SEAMAN. One of these letters was from Post Marked from Montreal, Canada, signed "John Harrison". the SEAMAN family admitted that it was in cousin JOHN HARRISON SURRATT's handwriting. On this same day of April 20th my Aunt BELL SEAMAN wrote to cousin Miss ANNIE SURRATT saying that the authorities had seized the letter, which she said was written on the 10th April, in Montreal, Canada, mailed the 11th, and delivered to her on the 17th April. This she wrote, was sufficient proof the cousin JOHN H. SURRATT could not have been the attacker of Secretary SEWARD as he was accused. This writer can NOT find any record where JOHN H. SURRATT, Jr. was accused for the attack on Secretary SEWARD. All records found indicate POWELL/PAINE was the attacker and he was hanged for it. In REF: # 1. page 14 list the April 20th letter from BELL SEAMAN to Miss ANNIE SURRATT was never delivered. This letter ended up in the War Department Files. On the envelope is written, over the postmark, "Taken from the P. O.", apparently in Washington Co., PA. or Washington D.C. This letter was never introduced as evidence that JOHN H. SURRATT, Jr. could hardly have been in Washington, D.C. at the time of President LINCOLN'S murder on April 14, 186 [REF: #5. Some of the correspondence between BELL SEAMEN and her cousins JOHN H., Jr. and ANNIE SURRATT are to be found on National Archives microfilm. Two other letters from JOHN to BELL are recorded in BAKER'S "History of the United States Secret Service." Another letter from BELL SEAMAN in Wheeling, West VA. to ANNIE SURRATT dated 19 March 1865 has a curious page, perhaps a bit of doodling, that says, "ANNA SURRATT presents MARY BELL SEAMAN to JOHN WILKES BOOTH, National Hotel, Washington, D.C." End of Chapter 07.
E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., Auburn CA.
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