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Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
10-14-2017, 02:06 PM
Post: #196
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(10-14-2017 04:28 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(10-13-2017 11:17 PM)SSlater Wrote:  Why can't we accept Gen. E. G. Lee's statements that he sent Surratt to Elmira, on a spy mission, and that Surratt was in Elmira on April 14, 1865? It seems that we accept the word of known liars and "unsure" egotists without hesitation. There must be additional information that I can't find. Help!

John, do you have Michael Shein's book on John Surratt? If so, please see pp. 276-277. The major point (as I see it) of what Shein writes is that, in the John Surratt trial, Judge George P. Fisher made the decision to exclude Lee's testimony "that Surratt was in Elmira to surveil the prison."

I asked this once before - why did Judge Fisher reject the admission of Lee's orders into the trial record? Was there something suspicious about them that the judge deemed inadmissible? Was the judge skeptical of the Elmira story?

There must be some reason why Lee was never allowed to substantiate in court that Surratt was in Elmira.

Could Judge Fisher have wanted Surratt convicted, so he did not want official orders that would have declared Surratt was in Elmira on April 14 to be admitted into testimony?

Remember the animosity that went on between the judge and Surratt's lawyer? Geez, guys, stop chewing on a rancid bone!
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10-14-2017, 03:02 PM (This post was last modified: 10-14-2017 03:05 PM by Steve.)
Post: #197
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(10-14-2017 02:06 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Could Judge Fisher have wanted Surratt convicted, so he did not want official orders that would have declared Surratt was in Elmira on April 14 to be admitted into testimony?

Remember the animosity that went on between the judge and Surratt's lawyer? Geez, guys, stop chewing on a rancid bone!
Judge Fisher definitely was not siding with Surratt and his defense team, but I find it doubtful that Gen. E. G. Lee's testimony would be admissible in a criminal trial anyway since it doesn't establish that Surratt was in Elmira on April 14th or testify to the authenticity of documents or objects that would help establish that fact. But just because something would be inadmissible in a criminal trial doesn't mean one should discount that in any historical investigation.

Laurie, I guess I might have restarted the chewing of this bone with my comment/question about defense witness Dr. Augustus Bissell:
(10-10-2017 02:08 AM)Steve Wrote:  
(03-22-2017 05:26 AM)loetar44 Wrote:  And how reliable is the testimony of Augustus Bissell, who also did not know Surratt but saw him on April 14th in the Brainard House in Elmira.
I thought the prosecution was able to impeach Dr. Bissell's testimony by showing that he wasn't in Elmira on the 14th and brought some of his neighbors to the stand who claimed he wasn't trustworthy. Or is my memory wrong on this point?
Muwahh Hahh Hahh! (Evil laugh!)Big Grin

Also, I'm still interested in finding out more biographical information on Dr. Augustus Bissell besides what's in the trial transcript, if anybody out there has more information!
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10-14-2017, 03:30 PM
Post: #198
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(10-14-2017 02:06 PM)L Verge Wrote:  
(10-14-2017 04:28 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(10-13-2017 11:17 PM)SSlater Wrote:  Why can't we accept Gen. E. G. Lee's statements that he sent Surratt to Elmira, on a spy mission, and that Surratt was in Elmira on April 14, 1865? It seems that we accept the word of known liars and "unsure" egotists without hesitation. There must be additional information that I can't find. Help!

John, do you have Michael Shein's book on John Surratt? If so, please see pp. 276-277. The major point (as I see it) of what Shein writes is that, in the John Surratt trial, Judge George P. Fisher made the decision to exclude Lee's testimony "that Surratt was in Elmira to surveil the prison."

I asked this once before - why did Judge Fisher reject the admission of Lee's orders into the trial record? Was there something suspicious about them that the judge deemed inadmissible? Was the judge skeptical of the Elmira story?

There must be some reason why Lee was never allowed to substantiate in court that Surratt was in Elmira.

Could Judge Fisher have wanted Surratt convicted, so he did not want official orders that would have declared Surratt was in Elmira on April 14 to be admitted into testimony?

Remember the animosity that went on between the judge and Surratt's lawyer? Geez, guys, stop chewing on a rancid bone!

Thanks Laurie, I didn't realize that Judge Fisher was still controlling some of the Public's Thinking. This information would have cleared Surratt, so he would not allow it to be presented in his Court. But that should not influence our analysis of the facts.
Can we now accept that Surratt was in Elmira and find a new Bone to chew?

As a suggestion, can we "chew the bone" on whether Surratt had any real assignment in the Assassination Plot? I think he "knew" what was up, but did not (could not!) participate. It is very possible that he did know about Harney's participation, and knew about Harney's capture.
But, all that developed between April 10+/- and April 14 was NEWS to him. He never abandoned his Mother at this time - he never knew.

Mary Surratt was not guilty of the plot that resulted in Lincoln's death.
She was totally uninformed of that plot. Everyone kept their mouth shut about Harney -forever. It was years later before the public ever heard of Harney - too late! (I'm passing the BONE, someone else tell me what they think - If you please.[/size]
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10-14-2017, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 10-14-2017 06:27 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #199
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(10-14-2017 03:30 PM)SSlater Wrote:  Mary Surratt was not guilty of the plot that resulted in Lincoln's death.
She was totally uninformed of that plot. Everyone kept their mouth shut about Harney -forever. It was years later before the public ever heard of Harney - too late! (I'm passing the BONE, someone else tell me what they think - If you please.[/size]

Mary went to the Surratt Tavern and met Booth at her home in Washington the day of the assassination, is enough to convince me (along with other factors) that she knew about the plot to kill Lincoln. And knew about it early enough that she could have tried to stop it. In my mind that makes her guilty of the plot.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-15-2017, 12:49 PM
Post: #200
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Gene is working under the same premise as the military court in determining that it was all one big conspiracy from kidnapping to murder and, since Mrs. Surratt was doing Booth's bidding up to within hours of the assassination, she was guilty of that conspiracy. On the other hand, her defenders would say that doing his bidding did not mean that she knew what he intended to finally do.

That's always been a sticking point with me - did she know that the plan had changed, and could she have been able to stop it? If one takes the laws of conspiracy as they existed with the military court proceedings in 1865, it makes no difference (IMO). As I have ended some of my talks on the subject -- In for one, in for all.
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10-16-2017, 09:00 AM
Post: #201
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Remember, Smoot said she told him the boat would be used that night. Was it a lie or evidence that she didn't know the plot had changed? Impossible to know for certain.
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01-15-2018, 07:45 PM
Post: #202
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Since Susan Jackson is mentioned on this thread, I thought it would be of interest to post this comment about her in John E. Washington's "They Knew Lincoln" (the new edition of which just came out): "Old Aunt Vina knew Susie Jackson and everybody in the county could never understand why Susie let Lincoln be killed when she knew that in Mrs. Surratt's house, where she worked, all the plans had been made. When this news got out every colored person for miles around felt it a disgrace to their race that she didn't tell about what was going on, because the war was over and nobody was going to hurt her."
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Yesterday, 05:37 AM
Post: #203
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Susan, that is fascinating! Thank you for posting.

In all fairness to Susan Jackson, wasn't she a new employee, and John Surratt would not have been staying at the boardinghouse during her time there? Or was there some overlap between her hiring and John being there?

Offhand, I do not recall ever reading there were ever any plot-related discussions within earshot
of Susan Jackson.
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Yesterday, 10:29 AM
Post: #204
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Yes, the accusations against her seem ill-founded. She seems to have seen John Surratt only briefly, on the evening of his return from Richmond.
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Today, 03:11 AM (This post was last modified: Today 03:27 AM by John Fazio.)
Post: #205
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(10-16-2017 09:00 AM)JMadonna Wrote:  Remember, Smoot said she told him the boat would be used that night. Was it a lie or evidence that she didn't know the plot had changed? Impossible to know for certain.


Jerry:

Those who continue to talk about the plot changing are "missing the boat". It is not necessary for Lincoln to be in the boat for it to be used that night. Recall that three assassins were to make their way across the river and that two actually did. If you stop thinking about a changed plot, you will get closer to the truth. Remember that the Holcombe, Clay and Thompson meetings with Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn and Godfrey Hyams in Canada prove that the post Wistar and Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Confederate leadership was trying to murder Lincoln as early as the summer of 1864. Recall, too, Surratt's admission to Ste. Marie in Italy, namely "We killed Lincoln, the n____r's friend". (My emphasis.) Recall, also, that Surratt was Benjamin's official courier, meeting with him almost weekly in Richmond, per Ste. Marie. Recall, also, that Booth met Harbin before and after the assassination, after which Harbin left the country for 5 years, and that upon his return, he admitted, in his writings, that he reported directly to Davis. How much evidence do you need?

See pp. 60-68 of my book for the evidence that sent Mrs. Surratt to the gallows.

As for Surratt's whereabouts on April 14, it is still a mystery, but see pp. 45-48 of the book for evidence that he was in Washington.

John

(Yesterday 10:29 AM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  Yes, the accusations against her seem ill-founded. She seems to have seen John Surratt only briefly, on the evening of his return from Richmond.


Susan:

My information is that Susan Jackson stated that while she feigned sleep on the floor of the boardinghouse, she overheard three men, who had come to the house late on the night of the assassination, tell Mrs. Surratt that her son had been in the theater that night with Booth. What evidence do you have that she actually saw John Surratt in Washington? See p. 544 of The Lincoln Assassination (Edwards and Steers, Jr.). See also p. 46 of Decapitating the Union.

John
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Today, 07:15 AM
Post: #206
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
John, with all the info available today, it is easy to get confused about who said what, and under what circumstances.

We know that some of the witnesses were hopeful to be rewarded in some way for their testimony, some were intimidated, and some were just inconsistent and unreliable, either on purpose or because they just couldn't keep their stories straight.

For me, Ste. Marie is unreliable and Susan Jackson quite possibly was intimidated.
John, can you share with us why you believe that Ste. Marie's testimony is reliable?
(you may need/want to start a separate thread on Ste. Marie)

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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