ASSASSINATION Of ABRAHAM LINCOLN
and Compiled by
BURKE McCARTY, Ex-Romanist
ASSEMBLING THE CHOSEN ASSASSINS
One Sunday morning, during November, 1864, as the congregation of the little Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary's, Charles County, Maryland, was filing out after high mass and stood about in groups on the lawn talking in subdued voices about the news from the "front" which was not far distant, a handsome young man with dark, glowing eyes, jet black curling hair, a swinging, graceful carriage, with the grooming of a city man of culture and refinement, sauntered out from the church and stood a moment scanning the crowd; he finally made his way to a group, the center of which was a Dr. Queen, a leading physician of that locality, and member of one of the prominent families. The stranger presented a card and the physician on glancing at it extended his hand and gave the gentleman a most cordial welcome. The contents of the card must have borne a magic password which admitted him to the confidence and homes of these Romish devotees, every one of whom was a strong secessionist. The doctor introduced the stranger, who was none other than John Wilkes Booth, son of the distinguished actor, Junius Brutus Booth. John Wilkes Booth was the most eminent young tragedian at the time in the country, by far the most talented of the Booth brothers. He had accumulated by his profession some $25,000 which was quite a fortune in those days for a young man still in his twenties to accumulate.
Booth was what is known as a "traveling star," having with great success played most of the big cities in this country and Canada. He was exceedingly popular with the members of his profession and up until he was caught in the Jesuit web, his whole thought and ambition was devoted to his art.
John Booth had chosen to work under the name of Wilkes until he gained recognition independent of the family name, desiring to win on his own merits his theatrical laurels. This in itself showed a principle somewhat out of the ordinary. After a pronounced success under the name of John Wilkes, he allowed himself to he starred under his own name. He assumed no airs, nor was he given to egotism as members of this profession of lesser distinction and talent are prone to be. There is no better way of estimating a man or woman's disposition more surely than from the opinion of those with whom he comes in daily contact in his vocation. I give the tribute paid to Booth before he fell under the spell of the Jesuit psychology, at least before it had taken a fatal hold of him. The witness is none other than that queen of tragedy of two decades ago, Clara Morris. She is quoted thus:
"In glancing back over two crowded and busy seasons, one figure stands out in clearness and beauty. In this case so far as my personal knowledge goes, there is nothing derogatory to dignity and manhood in being called `beautiful' for he was that bud of splendid promise blasted to the core before its full triumphant blooming, known to the world as a madman and assassin, but to the profession as `that unhappy boy, John Wilkes Booth.' He was so young, so bright, so kind.
"I could not have known him well? Of course, too, there are two or three different people in every man's skin. Yet when we remember that stars are not in the habit of showing their brightest, best side at rehearsals, we cannot help feeling both respect and liking for the one who does.
"There are not many men who can receive a gash over the eye at a scene at night without at least a momentary outburst of temper, but when the combat between Richard and Richmond was being rehearsed, John Wilkes Booth had again and again, urged McCullomthat six foot tall and handsome man who used to entrust me with the care of his watch during such encounters, `Come on hard, come on hot, old fellow! Harder, faster!' That he would take the chances of a blow if only they could make a hot fight of it. Mr. McCullom, who was a cold man at night, became nervous in his efforts to act like a fiery one. He forgot that he had struck the full number of hard blows and when Booth was expecting a thrust, McCullom wielding his sword with both hands brought it down with an awful force fair across Booth's forehead. A cry of horror arose, for in one moment his face was marked in blood, one eyebrow was cut through. Then came simultaneously one deep groan from Richard (Booth) and an exclamation of `Oh good God, good God!' from Richmond (McCullom) who stood trembling like a leaf and staring at his work. Booth, flinging the blood from his eyes with his left hand, said as gently as a man could speak: `That is all right, old man. Never mind me, only come on hard, and save the fight,' which he resumed at once. And although he was perceptibly weakened, it required a sharp order from Mr. Ellsler to ring the first curtain bell to force him to bring the fight to a close a single blow shorter than usual. There was a running to and fro with ice and vinegar, raw steak and raw oysters, and when the doctor placed a few stitches where they were most required, Booth laughingly declared that there were provisions enough to start a restaurant.
"McCullom came to try to apologize, to explain, but Booth would have none of it. He held out his hand saying, `Why, old fellow, you look as if you lost the blood. Don't worrynow, if my eye had gone, that would have been bad.' So, with light words he turned to set the unfortunate man at ease, and though he must have suffered much mortification and pain from the eye, he never made a sign showing it.
"John Wilkes Booth, like his next elder brother, was rather lacking in height, but his head and throat and the manner of their rising from his shoulders were truly beautiful. His coloring was unusual, the ivory pallor of his skin, the inky blackness of dusky curly hair, the heavy lids of his glowing eyes, were all oriental, and they gave a touch of mystery to his face when it fell into gravity, but there was generally a flash of white teeth behind his black silky mustache.
"Now it is scarcely exaggerating to say that the fair sex was in love with John Wilkes Booth, or John Booth as he was called, the name Wilkes apparently being unknown to his family and close friends. I played with John Wilkes to my great joy, playing `Player Queen' in the `Marble Heart' I was one of the group of three statues in the first act, then a girl in my teens.
"With all my admiration for the person and genius of John Wilkes Booth, his crime I cannot condone. The killing of that homely, tender-hearted father, Abraham Lincoln, a rare combination of courage, justice, and humanity, whose death at the hands of an actor will he a grief of horror and shame to the profession forever. And I cannot believe that John Wilkes Booth was the leader of a band of bloody conspirators.
"Who shall draw the line and say, `Here genius ends, and madness begins? There was that touch of strangeness, in Edwin it was a profound melancholy; in John it was an exaggeration of spirit, almost a madness. There was the natural vanity of the actor too who craves a dramatic selection in real life. There was also his passionate love and sympathy for the South, which was easier to play upon than a pipe.
"Undoubtedly he conspired to kidnap the President; that would appeal to him. But after that I truly believe he was a tool; certainly he was no leader. Those who led him knew his courage, his belief in fate, his loyalty to his friends, and because they knew these things he drew the lot as it was meant he should from the first.Then, half mad, he accepted the part fate cast him for and committed the murderous crime.
"God moves in a mysterious way And His wonders to perform."
`And God shutteth not up his mercies forever in displeasure.'
"We can only shiver and turn our thoughts away from the bright light that went out in such utter darkness; poor guilty, unhappy, John Wilkes Booth."
John Wilkes was the only member of the Booth family whose sympathy was with the Confederacy. According to the Great Conspiracy a book published in 1866 by Barclay Co.. in Philadelphia, Pa., John Wilkes Booth had been initiated into the Knights of the Golden Circle in Baltimore in the fall of 1860, "in a residence opposite the Cathedral."
The same writer is authority for the following oath of the Knights of the Golden Circle taken by John Wilkes Booth:
I............................, do swear by the blood of Jesus Christ, by the wounds of the most Sacred Body; by the Dolors of His immaculate Mother, and in the name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, that I will solemnly keep all secrets of the Golden Circle; that I will faithfully perform whatever I may be commanded, and that I shall always hold myself in readiness to obey the mandates of the said Circle whether at bed, or board, at the festive circle, or at the grave, and if I shall hesitate or divulge the secret may I incur the severest penalties to which flesh is heir.
"May I be cursed in all the relation of my life, in mind, body, and state, and may the pangs of hell be my eternal portion.
"I feel honored fellow knights and companions of the Golden Circle that you have deigned to admit me. No efforts shall be wanting on my part to advance the interests of the organization
"A distinguished Latin Author has justly remarked, that it is sweet and profitable to die for one's country. I have but one life and am ready to give it should it be necessary. The President rises and says:
"Sir Knight you have just taken a most solemn adjuration and believe me that you are known to all members in every part of the country. The Order is extensive and though the government is zealous and would freely spend thousands to unveil our designs, all efforts have hitherto been fruitless. No traitor has yet appeared among us, and inevitable ruin awaits the individual who would play the part of a Benedict Arnold. No public steps would be taken. He would disappear and I leave it to you to judge his fate. `Dead men tell no tales.' Ponder well on these things, and remember you cannot escape us.
`Members give the hand of fellowship to our new Knight (The Great Conspiracy published by Barclay 1865.)"
The pass-word to this organization was "Rome. Beware of the Negroes."
That the author of the book, The Great Conspiracy, was thoroughly informed upon the details which could scarcely have come from anything short of actual membership in the organization is plainly evident. Also that he had knowledge of the assassination of the former Presidents Harrison, and Taylor, we gather. The incident occurred just after the re-election of President Lincoln.
Booth, sitting in a hotel lobby one day, appeared very dejected; he was aroused by the following remark, which evidently was part of the secret phraseology of the K. O. Cs.:
"It would be a queer thing were Lincoln to die and Andy Johnson be President after all.
What makes you think so?
Why, you know that Harrison and Taylor and that Fillmore and Tyler were Presidents. Lincoln may take it into his head to follow their example.
Perhaps, said the the stranger at Booth's elbow and regarding him steadfastly, neither Lincoln nor Johnson will serve their terms out.
Do you mean that the President and the Vice President both will die? Such a thing has never happened before in the United States.
But it may occur nevertheless Lincoln and Johnson are both mortals I feel certain that ere another month Lincoln will die. Yes, he may die of some disease.
Booth's suspicions were aroused and he turned suddenly around and asked: "You said I believe, sir, that the President might die of some disease?"
"Yes sir, of such diseases as commonly prevail in Rome."
"What diseases are they ?" asked Booth.
"All to which flesh is heir, the malaria from the Pontine marshes carries off hundreds; the plague of its day almost decimated the capitol of the Caesars...........but I tell you again that the President will die of a disease from Rome."
Booth "Sir, as you are well versed in history perhaps you can answer me one question, which one of all the sovereigns of all Italy had the most fickle wife ?"
"I am an indifferent guesser of conundrums, but I suppose the Doge."
Ques. "Which Doge, he of Venice or Genoa?"
Ans. "He of Venice, because he wedded the sea with a golden circlet. You remember Byron's beautiful lines ?" After this "test" Booth was invited to the gentleman's room where they conferred privately.
That John Wilkes Booth was initiated in this Order as early as 1860, the same authority states. The following letter is quoted from Booth to a brother Sir Knight:
"Dear Sir: The K. O. C. had a meeting; I was initiated. `The die is cast and I have crossed the Rubicon' and can never return. They tell me that Lincoln, the damn chickenhearted nigger lover, will perhaps he inaugurated, but I most heartily wish, `That never shall sun that morrow see.' I am devoted to the South, mind and body, so that she gains her independence, I don't care what becomes of me. If I am sacrificed, I know that my country will grant me immortality; if I escape, so much the better. I can serve her in other ways. One thing is very clear to my mind, the South must take some decisive step. She must throw a bombshell into the enemy's hand that shall spread terror and consternation wherever it goes. You know what I mean, so don't be surprised. Sincerely yours, John Wilkes Booth." (See Page 26, The Great Conspiracy.)
The same authority gives a letter signed "Veritas" (truth) to Booth, which one would be strongly inclined to believe might have been written by a priest judging by the style and Latin quotationspossibly his ecclesiastical sponsor.
"My dear Booth: Since you left us, the Circle has held another meeting. The members are all exceedingly dissatisfied and if something be not speedily done, the southern cause is lost forever. Important dispatches have been received from Canada. They spoke out almost too plainly to be sent by mail, but as there was no signature and addressed to a feigned name, I do not suppose there was any danger. There is to be a ball or party at the White House and the Ape I suppose will be there in all his glory retailing his filthy anecdotes and pointless jests till they fall on the ear, usque ad naseum. Did you see what is the determination of the Lincoln Cabinet about confiscation? There is a clerk by the name of Charles Morton, who is employed in one of the government offices. He is gentlemanly but vain and exceedingly soft. I am told he drinks. Anyhow, make his acquaintance and see what can be got out of him. Handle him tenderly and you will be sure to catch your fish. Should you want any more money you will know where to send for it. An idea has struck me; you know in the correspondence between Sir Henry Clinton Arnold and Andre the whole matter was treated in a mercantile way. We, for the sake of safety and to make assurance doubly sure, must do the same. I will not detain you any longer, but give you an opportunity to read about our friends in Canada. Whatever be the results, rely on me. Sincerely your friend, Veritas."
The statements made by his professional friend, John McCullough of a visit he paid Booth at the National Hotel, showed the deadly influence when he said:
"At another time I came over suddenly from New York, and being in the habit of going right into Booth's room without knocking, I turned the knob and pushed right in. At the first wink I saw Booth sitting behind a table on which was a map, knife and a pistol. He had gauntlets on his hands and spurs on his boots, and a military hat of a slouch character on his head. As the door opened he seized the knife and came for me.
Said I, `John, what in the name of sense is the matter with youare you crazy?'
"He heard my voice and arrested himself, and placed his hand before his eyes like a man dissipating a dream, and then said: `Why, Johnny, how are you?' When I heard that it was he who killed Lincoln, I thought that he had been at the time I describe ready to carry out his purpose.
In answer to a request by the writer for a statement of his acquaintance with John Booth from Rear Admiral George W. Baird, U. S. N. retired, 33rd degree Mason, of Washington, D. C., who is probably the only living witness who helped to identify the body of John Booth, who was shot to death in the tobacco barn on the Garrett plantation, near Port Royal, Va., April 26, 1864, I received the following:
1505 Rhode Island Avenue,
Washington, D. C., November 29, 1921. Miss Burke McCarty,
Grace Dodge Hotel,
Washington, D. C.
My dear Miss McCarty:
Your letter of the 25th was received last night; I will try to answer it categorically, and, to avoid errors, I must go back to my diary
My acquaintance with John Wilkes Booth was not at all intimate. I met him in New Orleans in the winter of `63 and `64, when he was playing in the theatre there in "Marble Hearts" and he was splendid in his part. My acquaintance was what may be called a barroom acquaintance. Was introduced to him by a young officer of my ship the "Pensacola" whose name was Fitch and who afterwards married the eldest daughter of General Sherman. Booth seemed to be a congenial fellow with a sense of humor and I thought was very temperate in his habits, not like his father in that respect. The War was at its height and was freely discussed, but Booth did not seem to be much interested in it. He was from Maryland, whose population was divided, though men as a rule believed it proper to side with their state. My ship went north in the spring of 1864 and I was assigned to my duty in the navy department.
In 1850 when I was seven years of age, I went to school in Washington to two reverend gentlemen Cox and Marlot, who taught in the lower story of the Masonic Hall, Virginia Avenue and Fourth Street East. The boy who sat by me about my own age was David Herold a little round headed, round eyed, round bodied boy, whose general rotundity was completed by a voice that rolled his R's. I envied David his disposition in that he got along with the big boys so well. When a big boy imposed on David, he would escape with a funny remark which was called witty, which generally got a laugh, and David was called popular. When a big boy imposed on me, I hated him; I hate him yet. David's father, Mr. George Herold, and my father were members of Naval Lodge of Masons. The Herolds were members of Christ Church Episcopal. My people were members of the Baptist Church.
When I left that school about a year later, I lost sight of David. I heard he became a drug clerk.
Now I [Rear Admiral George W. Baird] quote from my records:
On the night of the 14th of April, 1865 I went to call on a young lady and about 10:30 her brother came in and said Abe Lincoln is dead. He had been to the theatre to see Laura Keene in "Our American Cousin" and during the play a man had got into the box where the President was, and had shot the President, jumped out of the box on to the stage, and escaped from the back of the stage. I left at once; saw policeman at the corner whom I interrogated and he confirmed the story. I inquired as to the appearance of the assassin and he not only gave a description that fitted but said he resembled me, and I thought that I had better hurry to my boarding house. On arriving at my boarding house Dr. Ludlarn and Mr. Fitch inquired if I had heard the news and suggested that we go clown town and get the latest "bricks" but nothing could induce me to appear on the streets again that night.
The people were wild with excitement. I never heard such threats of vengeance. Before 10:00 o'clock the next morning almost every house was draped in mourning. People had exhausted the stores here and wired Baltimore for black crepe and cambric. Dan Ballauf, the model maker was standing leaning on the lower box in the theatre and saw it all. He denied the report that Booth had uttered the words "sic semper tyrannis," but the newspapers had printed it. The newspapers had the story very early, that John Wilkes Booth was the assassin and David Herold was the accomplice.
Though never intimate with John Wilkes Booth, I admired him, his voice, power of declaiming. I took drinks with him at the Franklin House, Custom House Street, a place frequented by army and navy officers. He seemed to me to have no interest in the war. It was hard to understand. I had not seen him but once in Washington and that about three weeks before the murder of the President. It was on Sunday when he was coming out of Saint Aloysius Catholic Church Vesper Servicegreat crowds of various creeds used to go to that vespers where the music was good. I think Mme. Kretzmayer was the attractive soprano.
A large reward was offered for Booth's arrest and conviction. The War had practically ended and our troops were at liberty to travel in any state without molestation
I was detailed to make a series of experiments in the Navy Yard, and after Booth's body was brought to the Navy Yard and lay on board the "Montauk" this happened:
I was called on board the Montauk by Lient. W. W. Crowninshield, to identify the body of John Wilkes Booth, which I did. I noticed a piece of cord about the size of a cod line on his (Booth's) neck and invited Crowninshield's attention to it, who pulled it out and on it was a small Roman Catholic medal. Surgeon General Barnes arrived at that moment and probed the wound in Booth's neck.
I got a horse and buggy and drove down to Surrattville the following day. The house they said belonged to Mrs. Surratt and had been leased to John M. Lloyd whom I knew. He was a policeman at Washington during all of Buchanan's administration and bore an excellent reputation. I inquired of some boys whom I found very communicative. One boy said that Mr. Jenkins, brother of Mrs. Surratt, and Mr. Griffith and Mr. Wylie (or Wyville) and Mr. Lloyd were all out that night listening for the horses coming, that when the two men came, fresh horses were brought out of the stable, saddles transferred from the tired horses to the fresh, and the men rode on.
On May 22, 1865, I went to Baltimore on duty in connection with the "Pensacola."
The Washington Star of May 12, 1865 gives Lloyd's testimony as follows:
"Sometime ago two carbines and some pistols were left at my house. The Friday before the assassination Mrs. Surratt came to my house and told me to have the carbines and pistols ready as two men would call for them. On the night of the assassination Booth and Herold rode up to the house; Herold dismounted, went in, and took a carbine and the pistols. Booth would not take his carbine on account of his lame ankle."
The Washington Star of the 15th said:
Lloyd testified that it was John Surratt who brought the carbines. Watchman saw Mrs. Surratt, Booth, John Surratt, and Dr. Mudd together on Seventh Street, and that Booth was a frequent visitor at the house of Mrs. Surratt, and their interviews were always apart.
...............I was retired from active duty by law in 1905 but continued on duty until 1906. The next year I passed some days at Poland Springs, Maine. Among other Washingtonians was Mr. Crosby Noyes, principal editor of the Washington Star, who told me he was the reporter for the Star at the trial of the conspirators, and he was satisfied that Mrs. Surratt and all the rest of them were guilty.
I was at sea when John was tried. My information on that trial was that printed in the Washington Star. Surratt was poor, but Mr. R. T. Merrick a Roman Catholic lawyer, was his principal counsel and it was commonly reported that he paid the entire expense of the trial. His associate counsel was Mr. Jos. Bradley, a famous criminal lawyer, who rarely, if ever, lost a case, and to whom the bad cases usually came.
Quoting from the Evening Star of September 23, 1868:
Judge Wylie on the bench, Messrs. Merrick and Bradley argued on a demur to the plea of the amnesty proclamation which had been issued by the government in favor of the Confederates who had been in arms against the government. Their purpose was to make it apply to the case of John Surratt who had been tried for conspiracy to murder the President, and in whose case a year ago the jury had hung.1
Merrick said the court was not technically a Court of the United States, wherein the judge held that the Court held that the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia was not on the same footing as the United States District Courts, though the judges of such Courts were vested with the same power.
He would submit in view of the double character of the Court that to except a person of some felony he must be indicted for felony in some Circuit Court of the United States. He referred to the Bankrupt Act.
Mr. Bradley referred the Court to several authorities. The Court suffered counsel to amend the plea.
From the Evening Star of September 24, 1868, Page 4, Column 2, viz:
"A NEW MOVE BY THE DEFENSE, STATUTE OF LIMITATION, DISCHARGE OF THE PRISONER.
"Mr. Merrick stated that he had presented a new plea. He claimed the indictment defective in that it did not aver that Surratt had not fled from Justice."
The paper stated that he walked out of the court unmolested.
I saw the medal when it was taken off Booth's neck and I saw it afterwards in the War Department. It was kept in a safe of the Judge Adovcate General. It was in a little tin box which also contained a newspaper scrap referring to it with the bullet from Booth's neck, and I think the derringer also.
When I became superintendent of the S. W. and Navy Department in 1895, I asked the messenger at the Judge Advocate General's door if the relics were still on exhibition as I wanted to show them to some friends, and he said that they were all there but the medal, that the Secretary of War, (Mr. Lamont) had sent for them to show some friends and forgot to return them and they remained on his desk four months, and when returned the medal was missing.
John M. Lloyd, the Washington policeman in 1857- 9-60 bore a good reputation. I think the claim that he was intemperate or a sot as Mr. Brophy called him was all propaganda. A policeman knows how to testify and he knows the penalty. I was reluctant to believe Lloyd a conspirator until the boys at Surrattville told me of the story of Lloyd, Jenkins, Wylie, et al listening for the coming of Booth that night and his testimony confirmed it. One of the propaganda writers says that Lloyd had to be awakened from a drunken stupor that night when Booth arrived, when the boys, who had no purpose to serve, told me that Lloyd was wide awake on the road listening for horses. They said that when the horses were plainly heard, that Lloyd et al, went into the stable and brought out the fresh horses as if in a hurry. Lloyd and his wife (whom I also knew) were Roman Catholics and I believe members of St. Dominic's Congregation. The testimony shows Lloyd drunk but once it was when he met Mrs. Surratt in Uniontown now called Anacostia, and that was on the eve of the frightful tragedy and he might have needed "Dutch courage". My impression was that the effort to damage Lloyd's character was for the sole purpose of impeaching his testimony. I always thought he found himself in serious trouble and told the truth to save his neck.
G. W. BAIRD. [Rear Admiral]
After an intensified pursuit of thirteen days south of Washington from along the Bryantown Road, John Wilkes Booth and David Herold were traced to the Garrett tobacco plantation near Port Royal, Virginia by government troops under Colonel Conger. A squad commanded by Lieutenant Baker surrounded the tobacco barn on the Garrett farm and ordered Booth to surrender, which he refused to do. "Davy" Herold, however, asked to surrender and was allowed to come out. He was handcuffed and placed in charge of a squad of cavalrymen. The barn was finally fired by Colonel Conger.
Booth, who could be now plainly seen by the light of the flames,. was peering out, when a bullet from the revolver of Sergt. Boston Corbett whizzed by and Booth crumpled up on the barn floor. He was dragged out by the soldiers and lay on the grass, apparently dead, but was revived by a dash of cold water in the face. The bullet had entered almost at the same spot in which his own bullet had pierced President Lincoln's head. He was carried and laid upon the porch in front of the Garrett house where he suffered several hours of the most intense agony. Noting his lips moving, an officer stooped down and heard him whisper: "Tell mother - tell my mother - I died for my country - and did what I thought best." Indicating a desire that his paralyzed arms be held up, which was done, contemplating them, he murmured, "useless, useless." These were his last words.
The body was taken by wagon to the river and placed on board the Gunboat Montauk and brought to Washington, and Admiral Baird was one of the men who made positive identification.
From Adm. Baird's letter one would gather that as late as the winter of `64, only a few months previous to Booth's coming to Washington, he was indifferent on the subject of the war The fact that he was in New Orleans where he would have been very safe in expressing his opinion in favor of the South would seem to indicate he had no great feeling on the subject.
There is no doubt in the writer's mind but that Clara Morris was perfectly right in her statement that John Wilkes Booth was the victim chosen from the beginning and that he "Drew the lot" after his New Orleans engagement where Adm. Baird had seen him. From the tune he registered at the National Hotel in November, 1864, it is plainly evident that he became obsessed with the idea, and the working of the virus is traceable in his every act from that time on. He lost all interest in his professiona thing in itself most remarkable, for which we can only account in the one way.
John H. Surratt, Arch Conspirator
John Harrison Surratt, the nineteen-year-old son of Mrs. Mary E. Surratt, who was chosen by the Jesuits as the arch conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, had studied three years in preparation for the Roman priesthood at the Sulpician Fathers monastery, at Charles County, Maryland, previous to the breaking out of the Civil war. The Sulpician Fathers is a branch of the Jesuit order. At this Sulpician monastery Surratt was introduced to another theological student, Louis J. Weichmann of Philadelphia with whom he formed a close friendship, when in 1862 young Surratt was called to his home in Surrattville, a crossroads village 13 miles south of Washington, by the death of his father. The elder Surratt had been a railroad contractor, and had accumulated some money which was partly invested in slaves and a plantation and tavern at Surrattville where he served as postmaster at the time of his demise.
The family consisted of Isaac, the eldest son, a civil engineer, who enlisted in the Southern Cause at the very beginning of the war and who the last heard of him had joined Maximillian's forces in Mexico; Anna, the only daughter, a girl in her early twenties, and John H., the youngest.
The Surratts were all ardent secessionists and fanatical Roman Catholics. Mrs. Surratt was, early in life, perverted to Romanism from the Protestant faith. Her children were Romanists from birth.
That John Harrison Surratt, was cool, clever, calculating and crafty, far in advance of his years, is shown by the fact that at the very beginning of the Rebellion he was selected to do important work in the Southern secret service, bearing the most important dispatches from Jefferson Davis at Richmond to his agents at Washington and to the members of his "kitchen cabinet" in Montreal, Canada.
On his return home from the monastery near Baltimore, John Surratt was sworn in as postmaster in his father's place at Surrattville. His Jesuit training enabled him to lift his hand and swear undivided allegiance to the United States. So much for a Jesuit's oath. To get a complete estimate of John Surratt's part in the diabolical conspiracy to murder President Lincoln and other heads of this government we must fully consider the preliminary training he received.
This boy, (for we must remember that he was but in his teens, at his entrance into this plot) was never tree from the espionage and evil influence of the Romish church from his baptism in infancy to the day of his death at the age of seventy-two years: When he was but twelve years old he was placed in Gonzaga College, Washington, D. C., a Catholic preparatory school, tinder the tutorage of Priest Wiget, who was the confessor for years of both himself and his mother. After leaving Gonzaga College he spent two years at Georgetown in the Jesuit College before leaving for the Sulpician Fathers monastery. I am calling the attention of the reader to thisfact when you come to pass judgment on this young man, that you may place the blame for his conduct where it belongson the Jesuit psychology inculcated by the priests of the Roman Church:
That he was a leader and a dependable one, in this conspiracy of wholesale assassination, is shown by the fact that the object of John Wilkes Booth's first visit to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Howard County, Maryland, was to learn the whereabouts in Washington of John Surratt.
Young Surratt, had then never the slightest chance or desire to escape from the deadly virus. This virus stultified every noble aspiration, every natural affection, every personal ambition, even the strongest instinct in the human mindself preservation is thrust aside when the victim hears the call. of duty to "the holy mother church." Then, mother love, father love, brother love-all, all, must yield to this cursed thing. This complete mental control which Rome exercises over its dupes whom it permits to have no more will of their own, nor resistance, than that of a cadaver, "Perinda ac cadaver." as a corpse to be moved here, or there at the will of the manipulator. The Roman Catholic child is thus handicapped at birth, yes, there is a prenatal influence as the study of these two characters in this tragic drama will disclose The mother, Mary E. Surratt, the intimate associate of priests, her soul deadened by the fatal virus of the Jesuit training, passed on to her son the terrible inheritance which made him wax in the black hands of the Vatican intriguers, to mold as they would.
During Surratt's theological training he had studied St. Thomas Aquinas, who justifies the assassination of heretics, or any one who apostacises from the Romish church. It was a significant and eloquent fact that the Jesuits released from time to time during the war the report that President Lincoln had been, in his infancy, baptized by a Catholic priest. On one of his visits to the White House of the Rev. Charles Chiniquy to warn President Lincoln of his danger in assassination, Mr. Lincoln is quoted by Chiniquy in his book Fifty Years in the Church of Rome as follows:
"Father Chiniquy, I want your views about a thing which is exceedingly puzzling to me and you are the only one to whom I would like to speak on the subject A great number of Democratic newspapers have been sent me lately, evidently written by Roman Catholics, publishing that I was a Roman Catholic and baptized by a priest. They called me a renegade and apostate on account of that, and they heaped upon my head mountains of abuse. Now, no priest of Rome has ever laid his hand on my head. But the persistency of the Romish press2 to present this falsehood to their readers as gospel truth, must have a meaning. Please tell me, as briefly as possible, what you think about it."
This, Mr. Chiniquy answered, was done solely to incite and justify the act in the minds of some of their fanatics to assassinate the President. It was the equivalent to a command, as it afterward proved.
About November 1st, 1863, Mrs. Surratt and her family moved to their residence at 541 11 St., Washington, D. C., where she opened a select boarding house. Select to the extent that there were no "heretics" among her boarders The first to come was Louis J. Weichmann, who had been for three years a classmate of John Surratt's at the Sulpician Monastery where Weichmann also was preparing for the Roman priesthood.
Booth Meets Surratt
A few days before Christmas, 1864, young Weichmann invited Surratt to go with him over to Pennsylvania Avenue to select some Christmas gifts for his sisters in Philadelphia. As they were nearing the Avenue on 7th Street, Weichmann said, "John, someone is calling you," and Surratt, turning, saw Dr. Mudd of Bryantown and a younger man with him, whom he introduced as John Wilkes Booth. After the introductions were overBooth invited the party up to his room at the National Hotel, where he ordered wine and cigars for the group. From this meeting on John Booth was a constant visitor at the Surratt home on 11 Street, which was the rendezvous of the conspirators up to the very day of the assassination. It was also the mecca of various Roman Catholic priests among whom were the Reverends Walters and Wiget of St. Patrick's Church, 10th and G Streets, of which the Surratts were members.
From their first meeting Booth and Surratt busied themselves selecting their associates David Herold was undoubtedly the choice of John Surratt who had known him from his college days, evidently, at Georgetown University The testimony of Louis J. Weichmann college chum of Surratt and the State's chief witness at the trials of the conspirators shows that Surratt had introduced him to David Herod as one of the members of the Washington Marine Band which had serenaded the Surratt Tavern at midnight on one occasion when Weichmann was spending the weekend there. This was a year before Booth's appearance in Washington There is no doubt but that all the conspirators were members of the Knights of the Golden Circle; there is also no doubt that while some of them were nominal Protestants they were wholly papalized certainly they were not Protestants. All through the testimony we see that Booth and Asterodt were at "mass." It is morally certain that Booth himself had been secretly taken into, the Roman Church when he was given the "Agnus Dei" medal which was taken from his neck. The significance of this medial is The translation of "Agnus Dei" is "Lamb of God;" it indicates sacrifice shedding of blood. The writer is informed by an ex-Romanist who examined the medal that it was made in Rome, probably sent direct from the Pope as was Pius IXth's letter to Jeff Davis, a distinction which would tend too flatter the vanity of John Wilkes Booth.
Michael O'Laughlin, another conspirator, was from Baltimore and was, as his name would indicate, a Roman Catholic Irishman.
Sam Arnold, it appears, had attended the same school with John Wilkes Booth in their childhood and was a nominal Protestant.
George Atzerodt, was the "rough" man, that is the uneducated and uncultured one, who was probably an Austrian Catholic, but not over religious. He attended Mass with Louis Weichmann at the Piscataway Church and St. Patrick's church in Washington.
Lewis Payne, the athletic young giant who was delegated to murder Seward, Secretary of State and almost accomplished this deed, really showed more strength of character and less cowardice than any of the other conspirators. As far as is known he was the son of a Protestant minister. He refused to tell anything about himself, but when he went to his death he was courageous to a degree that astonished the newspaper correspondents and other spectators.
Edward Spangler, another conspirator, was a roustabout employee at Ford's Theatre, much given to drink. He had great admiration for John Booth and was a decided Southern sympathizer with a pronounced dislike for Abraham Lincoln, which he had often expressed.
Louis J. Weichmann, was born in Baltimore in 1843 and was the son of a merchant tailor who was a staunch Lutheran. The wife was a devout Roman Catholic. The family consisted of two boys and three girls, all of whom were brought up in the faith of their mother. Both boys, Louis, and the second boy, Frederick, were studying for the Roman priesthood.
With the breaking out of the Civil War Louis Weichmann's college studies were interrupted and he came to Washington where he obtained a position as Professor at Gonzaga College.
During the spring vacation of `63, young Weichmann proposed that he and Surratt pay a visit to their Alma Mater near Baltimore. They were received with warm cordiality by both professors and students who were eager to learn the progress of the war, etc. During this visit, according to documentary evidence to be introduced later on, both young men freely expressed their pro-Southern views. Before leaving the institution Louis Weichmann announced his intention of going to Little Texas, or Ellengown, where he had taught the parochial school for the Catholic priest there, before entering college. The Rev. Denis, prefect of the Sulpician Monastery, told him that the teacher at that time in Little Texas was Henri de St. Marie, who had been a former pupil of Denis in Montreal; that he was a fine young man who spoke French and Italian fluently. He asked Weichmann if he would hand him an Italian paper when he called upon him. On reaching Little Texas, Mr. Weichmann delivered the paper and introduced his friend Surratt to the young Canadian. This was the beginning of an acquaintance which was to end very disastrously for Surratt.
Before closing this chapter in reference to the religion of John Wilkes Booth I might say that his family were members of the Episcopal church in Baltimore.
Edwin A. Sherman, Past Grand Registrar of the Grand Consistory of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the State of California, in his book entitled Engineer Corps of Hell on page 213, has this to say:
"It has been told to us, coming from what we believe to be true authority, that Booth, about three weeks before he committed the crime, was admitted to the Roman Catholic church, and privately received the sacraments from no less a personage than Archbishop Spaulding himself, which he did to silence any conscientious scruples that he might have in taking Abraham Lincoln's life, and that he might have the whole influence and sympathy of persons in that faith in protecting and concealing himself when the act was done, to aid him in it. He certainly had that aid and influence in planning and accomplishing his hellish Work and in making his escape, and it could not have been more cheerfully and faithfully rendered than it was, even if he had been a Jesuit priest himself. We believe the statement to be true; and it was but a short time after that Archbishop Spaulding received a donation of funds for the specific purpose which was to uniform and equip a military body in the same manner and style as the Papal Guard at Rome.
`The uniforms, muskets, cartridge boxes and belts all bearing the Papal coat of arms and consecrated by the Pope himself, were sent to Archbishop Spaulding at Baltimore; and when he died he was buried with military honors and his remains escorted by the same military bodyguard. The entire diocese of Archbishop Spaulding was rebel to the core and fierce in its hatred of Lincoln."
In a recent book written by one of Rome's apologists we find that John Wilkes Booth was by religion a Roman Catholic; by politics a Democrat."
by Dr. Ron Powell
1 The jury hung [could not come up with a clear decision, because it was a rigged jury full of Roman Catholics!
2 Do you think that the Catholic church has grown weaker by not buying newspapers or having her Catholic dupes buy up newspaper companies since Lincoln quoted these words more than 134 years ago? Of course the Catholic church has more power now than then and probably owns most, if not all, or at least controls most of the newspapers and Television companies in the world. In-other-words we only see or hear what the Catholic church wants to see and hear on the nightly news.
3 When you ignoramuses study European History in college you get the idea that all the "Christians" did was burn each other at the stake. The Catholic Church did all of he burning except for the Puritans [Anglicans] at the Salem witch trials in New England. The Catholic church burned, cut the tongues out of, even pulled the tongues out of, broiled, baked, boiled in oil, drown, flayed, gave death by the thousands cuts, minced, placed gunpowder in the mouths of, quartered, and had animals pull apart mostly Baptists or Baptistic believing type people. This evil political system masquerading as a church all did this, they claimed, in the name of Christ!
They also killed many Jews, but the Jews that were killed were small in number compared to this evil church's murder of men, women, and children who believed and held to the Bible.
This Satanic church backed Hitler in World War II. See my short work on the internet at: http://web.mountain.net/~morton/ Once here look under "Other Authors" and look at my work Philosophy, Evolution, Religion [Roman Catholicism], versus True Christianity. In this work I fully document what most older Europeans already know. Only the dumb Americans, who never read, do not know these things. Folks, the truth is out there on any subject all you have to do is go looking!
What the Salem witch trials in America show you is that an Anglican, like a Catholic will kill you for not believing the way that they do!
No where is it recorded in history that Baptists ever murdered someone of another religion who did not believe like the Baptists! How's that for straightening out the education you paid money for. The education that you paid for so they could brainwash you!
4 Sadly this is where all of America's diplomats are now trained and where President Clinton went to college. Yes, our diplomats and our leaders are being trained by the dreaded Jesuits!
ASSASSINATION Of ABRAHAM LINCOLN
and Compiled by
BURKE McCARTY, Ex-Romanist
THE BLACKEST DEED IN AMERICAN HISTORY
And now we come to that darkest day in the history of our Republic, April 14th, 1865. The Surrender of Lee, April 3rd, to the "Little Smoking General" Grant, came like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, and was a terrific blow to the hopes of the South, as well as unexpected victory to the North. The people were wild with enthusiastic joy. We can get some conception of that word after four years of the bitterest civil war, we, who have the news of the Armistice still fresh in our memories in the recent World War which was several thousand miles away.
The figure of Abraham Lincoln will ever stand out on the page of our history, never to be effaced, not only in the minds of the people of his own country, but in those of the Peoples of the World, as the savior of the New Concept of Government!
Lincoln, that great, sad-faced man, with his shoulders drooping under the terrible burdens which he had patiently carried for four long years, breathed a sigh of relief when he arose this bright balmy April morning and gazed at nature's gay spring garb.
During breakfast with his family he had suggested to his good wife Mary, that they two alone should take a long drive in the country which called so strongly to this heavy laden man. Accordingly, after a few preliminary office duties were gotten out of the way, the President returned to the White House, and he and Mrs. Lincoln got into their carriage and drove out through the city over the Potomac River bridge into the country. The fruit trees were white with blossoms, the roadsides green, and the very birds flitting in and out through the hedges seemed to surpass themselves with their songs.
President Lincoln began to talk of their future. He confessed to her that he would welcome the day when his administration would be over, and they could return to private life, never to leave it again. "I have managed, my dear, by strict economy, to save a little nest egg out of my salary, so we will go back to Springfield to live, and I hope not have to work quite so hard. We can visit with our friends and neighbors and enjoy life a bit. Then he unfolded to her his plans to take up his law practice again and the threads of life where he had left them when he came to Washington, a little over four years ago. After driving several hours, and being rested by the quiet of the country and sweet breath of spring, this great simple-hearted, plain man and his wife returned to the White House.
I cannot but contrast that last morning on earth of Abraham Lincoln and his modest plans, with the conduct of Woodrow Wilson and his dozens of trunks, which carried the elaborate wardrobes of himself and wife to Europe. The sinful extravagance of this pedagogical upstart! It seems almost sacrilegious to mention him in the same paragraph with Lincoln.
The day began for John Wilkes Booth with his usual trip to Graves Theatre where he received his mail. This morning he had several letters, and after chatting pleasantly with the members of the cast present for rehearsal, as was his custom, he sauntered away toward the Kirkwood house, now the Raleigh, where the Vice President was stopping. He sent up the following card to Mr. Johnson, which is still, and perhaps, always will remain a mystery:
"For Mr. Andrew Johnson:
Don't wish to disturb you; are you at home?
John Wilkes Booth."
After his call at the Kirkwood House, he went to the livery barn of J. Pumphreys on C. Street, back of the National Hotel. Here he engaged a horse to be ready that afternoon at four thirty o'clock. He had been in the habit lately of hiring his horses here after he had sold his own a few weeks previous. Upon this occasion he asked for a particular sorrel horse which he preferred, but was told it was out at that time, so he took instead a small bay mare. Booth was an expert horseman and fencer, and spent a great deal of his time in horseback riding and the latter amusement, when he found a man who was skillful enough to interest him. After his arrangement for the horse was completed, he spent a large part of the day conferring with the other conspirators, who were in the city, Mrs. Surratt, John Surratt, O'Laughlin, Herold, Spangler and Atzerodt.
The evening of this same day, April 14, 1865, on which Mr. Lincoln and his wife went for their last drive in the country, the managers of Ford's Theatre featured the fact in the local press that President and General U. S. Grant would attend the performance of "Our American Cousin" at the theatre in the evening. This would have been the first public appearance of General Grant since the surrender of Lee, and the word that the people would have an opportunity to greet their hero that night at Ford's Theatre made a rush on the box office, and the performance opened with a packed house.
The Presidential party did not arrive until nine thirty. When the tall, gaunt figure of the tired-eyed President made it appearance in the flag-draped box the house went wild with delight, and the orchestra struck up "Hail to the Chief"; the house arose as one body, and enthusiasm was inspiring. For several minutes the cheering continued and the President bowed and bowed his acknowledgments, but this did not dampen the welcome for the great man who had sent out, but a few days previous, the most wonderfulthe most extraordinary message to a conquered enemy the world had ever heard, namely, for them to return to their homes, and help in the reconstruction of the Republic. No punishment, no criticisms, no bitterness, but just simply to return to their homes and set about rebuilding what they had tried to destroy, in a spirit of "With charity for all and malice toward none."
The President and Mrs. Lincoln, upon receiving the regrets of General Grant and wife, who had been called to the bedside of their daughter, Miss Nellie, who was ill at a private boarding school in New Jersey, had invited Major Rathbone, lately returned from the front, and his fiance, Miss Harris, daughter of Senator Harris, to accompany them. The party seated themselves after the long ovation given the President, and turned their whole attention to the pastoral comedy of which Mr. Lincoln was very fond.
Miss Laura Keene was playing the star lead that evening, assisted by a cast of prominent and capable actors, and the play went with a zest, the audience receiving it with a gale of laughter as one funny scene after another passed. The President chuckled quietly in his own peculiar quizzical manner. While this brilliant scene was taking place inside, a most unusual play was transpiring on the outside.
Sgt. Dye, a member of the government service, was sitting in front of the restaurant next door to the entrance of the theatre on Tenth Street, talking with some other men who were enjoying the warm evening and their cigars, when a tall young man well dressed, stepped to the front of the theatre on the sidewalk, and in clear tones called the time. This did not attract any particular attention until he had repeated it at an interval of every fifteen minutes for the third time, at ten fifteen. He disappeared and Sgt. Dye's curiosity was aroused by his strange conduct. He got up and started to walk in the direction the young stranger had taken, when wild cries and confusion within the theatre reached the street. "The President is shot," "The President is killed," finally was clearly heard. The entrance doors burst open, and men, insane with fright, bolted out giving the call to those on the pavement, then rushed back in. It all happened quicker than it takes to write it.
At a moment before the last call of the time in front of the theatre, John Wilkes Booth, the popular young tragedian, stepped out of the barroom attached to the theatre on Tenth Street, where he had called for several brandies, walked rapidly into the front lobby, passed the doorman at the center aisle with a genial nod, calling him familiarly by name, which was answered in the spirit which John Booth's greetings generally were. He passed over to the side aisle and started down when his passage was barred by the arm of the head usher, who happened to be talking with friends in the aisle. Booth put his arm across the shoulder of the man who had his back to him and peering into his face said, "Why you don't want to keep me out, do you, old boy?" This was in the melodious Booth voice, once heard, never to be forgotten. The usher, swinging around said, "No, indeed, Mr. Booth. Allow me to present you to my friends." Booth acknowledged the introduction graciously and turning, sauntered down the aisle toward the box occupied by the Presidential party, intent on the most cruel, cowardly murder in all the world's history.
He passed the man on guard, who for the moment left the door of the box and was watching the play from a seat nearby.
Booth entered the box, stealthily placing the board in the socket on the inside which had been made ready that day, by Spangler, the stage carpenter. Booth's entrance was so quiet that it attracted no attention from any of the party, all of whom had their eyes fixed upon the stage where only two people wereLaura Keene and Harry Hawks as Asa Trenchard. The lines and situation were exceedingly funny and the house was uproariously enjoying the comedy.
Booth, after securing the door from any interference from the outside, crept panther-like close to the back of the President's chair, whipped out his derringer with his right hand and a dagger with his left, placing the revolver just above the back of the chair. There was a muffled report a whiff of smoke, and the President's head dropped upon his breast. The intruder darted toward the railing in front of the box, but before he reached it, Major Rathbone, horror-stricken, but not really knowing just what had happened, bounded to his feet. He reached out to grab the assassin, who, dropping his revolver, slashed viciously at him, warding him off by an ugly stab which cut his sleeve from shoulder to wrist from which the blood spurted. With the agility of the skilled athlete that he was, Booth sprang over the balustrade of the box onto the stage twelve feet below, but his spur, for he was in riding habit, caught in the large American flag which had been draped around Stuart's Washington on the front of the box, and he fell to the stage, breaking a small bone in his leg. He bounded to his feet instantly and darted away from the stage past the petrified actors, out through the read door, where he mounted his horse which he had gotten the candy butcher, called "Peanuts" to hold for him just before he entered the front door a few moments previous. Jos. B. Stewart, a man from the audience, who had taken in the situation before others in the audience had recovered from their horror, scrambled to the stage yelling "Stop that man" and rushed after the assassin, but just as Booth darted through the alley door someone in the dark slammed it shut before Stewart reached it and before he could get it opened, the man mounted his horse and dashed madly away in the darkness.
Spangler, the stage carpenter, the testimony developed, was the man who had slammed the door. He had been heard to promise his assistance to Booth earlier in the evening when he had dismounted from his horse. For this and disloyal statements about the President which he had been heard to make, he received a sentence of six years at the Dry Tortugas prison.
The gaunt body of the dying President was tenderly carried out of the theatre on the door of the box, which had been hastily pressed into service as a stretcher, across the street to the three story brick house of a man by the name of Peterson, who let his rooms furnished to the business men employed at the stores and nearby theatres.
The stretcher-bearers carried him to the bedroom in the rear of the hall on the first floor and into a room occupied by a returned soldier, William Clark by name. The bed was a single bed and the body of the President had to be laid diagonally across on account of his great height.
The pitiful scene here can scarcely be portrayed by words. The hysterical sobs of Mrs. Lincoln and her constant cry of "Oh, why did they not take me. Why did they take him?" was heartbreaking.
Capt. Robert Lincoln just returned from the front a few days before, was immediately summoned from the White House, where he was entertaining a college classmate, to the bedside of his dying father. He spent the time alternately trying to comfort his mother in the front parlor and watching at the bedside of his dying father.
Soon the members of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet had gathered in the sick room and Dr. Gurley, Protestant minister, and Surgeon General Barnes, came as soon as possible from the bedside of he Secretary of State Seward, the Surgeon having been called there after Mr. Seward had been stabbed by Louis Payne. Mr. Seward was now hovering between life and death. General Stanton, the cold, severe, dignified man, who had never been known to show any emotion, dropped on his knees at the foot of the President's bed, buried his face in the covering and sobbed like a child. Charles Sumner, who, perhaps loved Lincoln with the deepest and most ardent love of them all, never stirred from his place at the bed, holding his hand, and aiding the physicians, and watching with bated breath for the slightest sign of returning consciousness. But the wounded man never for one instant recovered, and died without knowing what had occurred. From the moment the physicians first reached him and found the wound, they knew it was fatal.
The President died a few minutes after seven the next morning. Secretary Stanton as he watched the life of the great man go out, turned to those in the room and said: "And now, he belongs to the ages !"
At the same time that Booth assassinated the President Lewis I payne, known as the "Florida Boy," an athletic young giant, who some months before joined the Conspiracy, rode up to the front of the residence of the Secretary of State, William Seward and tied his horse to the hitching post.
Mr. Seward had been ill for three weeks, suffering from a fractured jaw, the result of the running away of his team, and was under the constant care of male nurses.
Payne rang the bell and it was answered by the colored Butler. He told the latter that he had been sent with some medicine which he must take to the sick room. The butler refused to allow him to enter, saying that he had orders to allow no one to go to Mr. Seward's room. The stranger, after a short struggle, knocked him down, and went bounding up the stairs. He rushed into the sick chamber, after felling each of the two sons of the Secretary, one of whom had been in the service, the blow fracturing the skull of the younger man from which he never fully recovered. He then sprang upon the sick man and seriously stabbed him three times. By a superhuman effort the latter struggled out of the bed with his assailant who left him in a heap on the floor, bleeding from the wounds he had inflicted. After his murderous assault on Secretary Seward, the ruffian rushed down the stairs, yelling at the top of his voice, "I am mad, I am mad," and he very probably was, He was entirely under the control of the hypnotic influences of the wicked people [the Catholic church leadership who planned this] in whose power he had allowed himself to be.
It was part of the plan that O'Laughlin one of the conspirators murdered General Grant that night. This was not possible, to the change in the General's plans.
To Atzerodt, it fell to assassinate Vice President Johnson, but he became frightened and spent the day riding into the country on a horse from the livery barn in Washington, where he was found several days after with relatives of his below Washington. He made a written confession before he was executed which confirmed the presence of Surratt in Washington that fatal day a fact, which nine reputable witnesses had sworn to. Booth familiarized himself with every road leading out of Washington to the south, and had studied and planned his escape with careful attention. It is not likely that he would ever have been caught, had he not broken the small bone in his left leg in his jump.
This was the providential handicap which hampered not only himself and Herold, but those of his friends who were ready to assist him. There is not the slightest doubt but that every mile of that wild ride had been planned in advanceweeks in advance.
The intense agony which Booth suffered every moment from the time he first met with the accident when jumping from the box doomed his chances of escape.
The little hay mare dashed madly along under the cruel urge of his spurs as he sped over the bridge which spanned the Potomac to the Bryantown road. He passed the soldier at the bridge, after having told him his name, and was swallowed up in the blackness of the night. The moon was veiled behind a huge bank of clouds. Presently the guard at the bridge heard the clatter of another horse's hoofs approaching and the horse and rider soon hove in sight onto the bridge. The guard stopped him and asked him to give an account of himself before allowing him to go on. This was Herold and in explanation he gave a false name saying that he had been in bad company which delayed him from returning home before sundown He was permitted to He cut his spurs into his horse and sped along, finally catching up to the first rider, Booth, before they reached Surrattville, whither they were expected by the tenant Lloyd who had been visited by Mrs. Surratt that afternoon who had instructed him (Lloyd) to "Have those shooting irons" and other things ready, that they would he needed that night.
Herold drew up to the tavern, sprang from his horse and dashed madly into the barroom, saying: "Lloyd, for God's sake, make haste and get those things."
Lloyd testified at the trials that he gave the carbines which had been left six weeks before with him to be called for later on; that Mrs. Surratt had been driven down from Washington on Friday (the 14th) to his house by Weichmann; that he met them on the road on his way to Washington; that he got out of his buggy and went over to the side of their buggy and after a few moments of conversation she told him to "Have those shooting irons ready; that they would be called for soon."
Weichmann also testified that he overheard this order by Mrs. Surratt.
Mrs. Surratt brought with her on this trip (the day of the assassination) a package containing Booth's field glass, to he handed out when called for. Herold took a bottle of whiskey out to Booth, who, owing to his suffering, did not come in. They only took one of the revolvers, so Lloyd testified. Herold turned as he was about to drive off and said: "I'm pretty sure that we have assassinated the President and Secretary Seward.
The two riders put their spurs into their horses and set off down the road to the little village of T. B. at full speed. The next stop was made at the residence of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, where they arrived at four o'clock on Saturday morning. This conspirator housed them and set the bone in Booth's leg. He bound it up in splints improvised from pieces of a cigar box, after which Booth was helped upstairs to bed where he remained until the afternoon of the same day.
O'Laughlin had come to Washington on Thursday, the day before the assassination, with three of his coreligionists who prepared to make a perfectly good bulletproof alibi for their friend O'Laughlin, which is the rule with Roman Catholic criminals. They were so solicitous in this intent that they overreached themselves and spoiled it.
The great grievance of the Catholic church is that Mary E. Surratt was brought before a Military tribunal, instead of a civil court. The real basis of this complaint, was however, that there could be no political influence brought to bear on a military court, which the hanging of four conspirators and life sentences of the three others bears out.
As it is not within the power of the writer to present the facts in any simpler or more readable language than that used in the closing argument of the special Judge Advocate, John A. Bingham, I shall rely on excerpts from that document to give the facts.
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ood, tears, prayers, lives, and spoils of our dearest relations. O, did we ever think to see so many hopeful instruments in the army, churches, and elsewhere, to be so fully gorged with the flesh of kings, captains, and nobles; with their lands, manors, estates, parks, and palaces, so as to sit at ease and comply with antichrist, the world, worldly church, and clergy!" [Declaration, &c. p. 4.]
When the protector found they could not be gained by favour, he was determined to crush them; and therefore, as we have heard, several of the ministers were imprisoned, and Major General Harrison was deprived of his commission. For several years the republicans attempted a revolution in the government; and at length, failing in their design, they agreed in 1658 to the number of three hundred to attempt it by force; and having killed the protector, to proclaim King Jesus. But Secretary Thurloe, who spared no cost to gain intelligence, had a spy among them who discovered their intentions, and seized their arms and ammunition in Shoreditch with their standard exhibiting a lion conchant, alluding to the lion of the tribe of Judah, with this motto, Who will rouse him up? The chief of the conspirators, as Venner, Grey, Hopkins, &c. were imprisoned in the gatehouse till the protectors death, with their accomplices, Major General Harrison, Colonel Rich, Colonel Danvers, and others.