Mary Surratt: An American Tragedy

Front Cover
Pelican Publishing, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
7 Reviews
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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Review: Mary Surratt: An American Tragedy

User Review  - Mary Liebetrau - Goodreads

This book was given to me by a friend. I knew very little about Mary prior to reading this book. It was difficult to read due to the style of writing. I missed some of the details but understood the ... Read full review

Review: Mary Surratt: An American Tragedy

User Review  - Laverne - Goodreads

I enjoyed this book even though it was written in the older way of history books. In other words, gave lots of fact; only time people "talked" was when the author had something that documented their ... Read full review

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Contents

Preface
9
Mary Elizabeth JenkinsHer Beginnings
13
Her Early Marriage to John SurrattTheir Children
19
St Ignatius Church
27
The Fire
33
Surratt House and Tavern
41
The South Secedes
45
War Comes to Maryland and Virginia
53
The Days of Infamy Begin
113
The Curtain Descends
123
Incarceration
129
The Trial Commences
143
The Trial Continues
159
A Ray of Hope
171
The Trial Ends
185
Verdict and Sentencing
201

Mary Surratt Becomes a Widow
61
The War and the Widow
67
A Change of Scene
75
The Boardinghouse
85
Strange People
93
A Plot Takes Form
103
Finis
215
Epilogue
227
Notes
235
Index
296
Copyright

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