Mary Surratt: An American Tragedy

( 2 )

Overview

At 2:30 am on April 15, 1865, Mary Elizabeth Surratt was awakened by loud knocking at the door of her H Street boardinghouse in Washington D.C. Officers first inquired as to the whereabouts of her son, John Surratt. She was quickly told that her son was wanted in connection with the murder of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and acquaintance of the family! Three days later, Mary found herself under suspicion and under arrest for involvement in the ...
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Overview

At 2:30 am on April 15, 1865, Mary Elizabeth Surratt was awakened by loud knocking at the door of her H Street boardinghouse in Washington D.C. Officers first inquired as to the whereabouts of her son, John Surratt. She was quickly told that her son was wanted in connection with the murder of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and acquaintance of the family! Three days later, Mary found herself under suspicion and under arrest for involvement in the assassination of the president.
Elizabeth Steger Trindal worked fifteen years to chronicle the life of this little known but important figure in American history. Mary Surratt's son, John Surratt, was believed to have acted in a plot with John Wilkes Booth and others to not only murder the president but also kill Secretary of State Seward. John Surratt was out of the country, and Booth yet to be apprehended. But Mary and others were arrested in connection with the assassinationof the president.
Eventually they were brought to trial by a military commission.
Tried by a military tribunal despite protests by her defense lawyers that it was illegal to try a civilian before a military court, Mary and three others were tried for the crime of conspiring with Booth and found guilty. Many prominent citizens pleaded with President Andrew Johnson for a stay of Mary's execution. He steadfastly refused. On July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt along with the other accused assassins was hanged. In its grief over the death of President Lincoln did America condemn an innocent woman die?
This moving account will no doubt elicit new debate on the subject of the Civil War and reveal a new perspective on the events surrounding Lincoln's assassination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565541856
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,288,769
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Steger Trindal is a free-lance writer who lives in Edinburg, Virginia. She was awarded first place in nonfiction by the Shenandoah Valley Writers' Guild competition.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2000

    Booth KilledLincoln and Innocent Widow

    This well researched recently written book fills the gap of information previously provided regarding Mary Surratt's innocence. The first chapters could be passed. The final chapters relating to the widow's relationship to Booth and the other conspirators is filled with documented detail, inexcapable logic, and legal malpractice. It also reveals the weakness, incompetence and blind revenge of those responsible and affected by Lincoln's death. The author has made a legal and personal case for exculpation for Mary Surratt, her son John, who eventually was acquited in a trial two years later, and Dr. Mudd who was eventually paroled. An example of her meticulous research, the author indicts the over zealous politicians who placed the Military in charge of the prosecution of a civilian. The author also discovered that two US Senators who were responsible for witholding pleas for mercy from President Johnson, committed suicide within two years of Surratt's hanging. If your dislike capital punishment, this is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

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