Mary Surratt's Boardinghouse Analysis

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Everyone knows the name and deeds of John Wilkes Booth, who became the first person to successfully assassinate a United States president, as well as one of the most memorable names in American history. Fewer know of Booth’s several conspirators, eight to be exact, who provided the former actor with the supplies and support necessary to commit the heinous crime. Even fewer still know the name of Mary Surratt, a Southern loyalist who, on July 7, 1865, joined Booth on the list of infamous American historical figures by becoming the first woman to be hanged in the still-juvenile country. Surratt ran a boardinghouse in Washington D.C. where the majority of the conspiratory meetings were held in 1865, leading President Johnson to declare Mary Surratt had “kept the nest that hatched the egg” (Norton, 1996). Surratt’s role as the primary supplier and facilitator of the assassination plot has led many to declare her hanging as entirely justified, while other say mercy should have been take for a variety of reasons. Those who advocate mercy argue Surratt’s boardinghouse was public,…show more content…
The court overseeing the Lincoln assassination case sentenced any conspirator to death who was believed to have remained involved in the plot until April 14th, 1865, the date of the assassination. Mary Surratt’s meetings with John Lloyd incriminated her heavily. Lloyd’s testimony suggested Surratt had not only been aware of the plot’s true nature, but had remained an active supporter of Booth for the duration of the plot. Circumstantial and unproven evidence may have led to her sentence, but can anyone say she didn’t deserve. The court’s rule was clear, anyone who was still involved on the day of the assassination received a death sentence. Why should Mary Surratt be vindicated on the same crimes receivers of the death
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