Today is the release of "The Conspirator," a Robert Redford movie about Mary Surratt and her involvement in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I'm particularly interested because I used to work at the Surratt House in Clinton, MD for the Park Historian of our county.
|Surratt House, Clinton, MD|
Briefly, Mary Surratt owned the home, which was a tavern, post office, and a place for weary travelers to stay overnight. Mary also had a boarding house in downtown Washington, DC not far from Ford's Theater, where the conspirators met. Her son, John Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and two others planned the assassination of the President. Mary was asked by her son to take guns to the Surratt House in Clinton and hide them. You think, "Surely she must have suspected something?" But the war was just over, marauders made the countryside unsafe ...
Following the assassination, John Surratt successfully escaped to Canada. John Wilkes Booth was chased to Clinton and points further south into Virginia ... but not before having Dr. Mudd set his leg ... hence the expression, "Your name will be Mudd."
Fr. Walter, an ancestor of my husband's, who was pastor of St. Patrick's Cathedral in DC, heard Mary's last confession, which he kept secret for 25 years after her hanging. She confessed her innocence to him. Mary was the last civilian to be tried by a military tribunal. She was the sacrificial lamb. I'm interested to see how her story is portrayed.