Post Reply 
Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
03-26-2017, 05:39 PM (This post was last modified: 03-26-2017 05:40 PM by loetar44.)
Post: #136
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(03-24-2017 02:07 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Read page 91 of Assassin's Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson for a more detailed description of that midnight visit to the boardinghouse. There were more than just McDevitt at the door. When Weichmann answered the bell, McDevitt and four other associates came in (Skippon, Clarvoe, Bigley, and Kelley). They spread out in the house, so Susan Jackson (feigning sleep) may have seen only three men, but there were more. Holohan tagged along only after they searched his family's rooms.

Susan actually did see three men (only) at the house later that morning when Weichmann and Holohan came back from police headquarters with McDevitt accompanying them.

The next visit by authorities came on April 17 and included six military men inside and guards posted outside under the orders of Col. Wells. By that time, Holohan, Weichmann, and McDevitt were on their own hunt for Surratt in Baltimore, New York, and eventually Canada.

I am also trying to find the reference, but somewhere there is mention of someone outside the theater giving a tip to check out the Surratt boardinghouse. A.C. Richards said that there were quite a few tips that Booth knew Surratt. Those things led to the quick trip to H Street on April 15.

Is it true that after McDevitt, Skippon, Clarvoe, Bigley, and Kelley left Surratt's boardinghouse on April 15th Louis Weichmann could not sleep and left at 5 am the boarding house to go to Howard's Stable at G-street to discuss the situation with Brooke Stabler. John Surratt had here two bay horses to be taken care of—to be fed and watered. Was it to convince himself that John Surratt had indeed left town?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 07:39 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 07:40 AM by loetar44.)
Post: #137
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Just found where I read the "Stabler story". It was in Roy Z. Chamlee's "Lincoln's Assassins: A Complete Account of Their Capture, Trial, and Punishment", p. 24

   
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 08:47 AM
Post: #138
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
Kees, Stabler verifies that he met with Weichmann early on Saturday morning (p. 1181 of Edwards and Steers, The Evidence).

https://books.google.com/books?id=GvYpUe...22&f=false
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 09:42 AM
Post: #139
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Yesterday 08:47 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Kees, Stabler verifies that he met with Weichmann early on Saturday morning (p. 1181 of Edwards and Steers, The Evidence).

https://books.google.com/books?id=GvYpUe...22&f=false

Am I the only one who noticed this little piece of information given by Stabler in this statement? "He...[Weichmann] hunted me up because this young man was around there frequently and rode out with Booth often, the one who came to see me last Saturday morning."

Does that indicate that Louis Weichmann was on closer terms with Booth than what he said? If they did ride together, I wonder what their conversations were about.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 11:02 AM
Post: #140
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Yesterday 09:42 AM)L Verge Wrote:  Does that indicate that Louis Weichmann was on closer terms with Booth than what he said? If they did ride together, I wonder what their conversations were about.

It's very interesting that you caught that, Laurie. We have discussed exactly where Weichmann stood (regarding Booth, Surratt, etc.) in previous discussions, and folks have a variety of opinions on his veracity. But I do not recall anyone ever mentioning this statement of Stabler's in previous discussions.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 04:10 PM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 04:10 PM by loetar44.)
Post: #141
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(03-20-2017 03:53 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  I finally found what I had vaguely remembered from years ago regarding Susan Jackson's testimony. It was in Father Jacob Ambrose Walter's May 25, 1891, statement.

Father Walter wrote:

"He (John Surratt) came to Washington on the 4th of April, took supper at home, changed his clothes and left for Elmira the next morning. The testimony of Susan Jackson, Mrs. Surratt's servant, was correct as to facts, but she mistook the date, saying it was April 14th. It was ten days previous to the 14th of April."

We have discussed the testimony of Susan Jackson before, that she saw Surratt in the evening of April 14th, Mary saying: "That's my son".

Conventional wisdom is that John Wilkes Booth visited Surratt's boardinghouse on April 14th THREE TIMES, the last time ca. 9 pm. According to Weichmann Mary was "very nervous, agitated and restless" after this last visit.

I just read that some believe that it was NOT Booth who was there at that time, but her SON (!?) What is your opinion about this? Just curious to know. Thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Yesterday, 07:29 PM
Post: #142
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Yesterday 04:10 PM)loetar44 Wrote:  
(03-20-2017 03:53 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  I finally found what I had vaguely remembered from years ago regarding Susan Jackson's testimony. It was in Father Jacob Ambrose Walter's May 25, 1891, statement.

Father Walter wrote:

"He (John Surratt) came to Washington on the 4th of April, took supper at home, changed his clothes and left for Elmira the next morning. The testimony of Susan Jackson, Mrs. Surratt's servant, was correct as to facts, but she mistook the date, saying it was April 14th. It was ten days previous to the 14th of April."

We have discussed the testimony of Susan Jackson before, that she saw Surratt in the evening of April 14th, Mary saying: "That's my son".

Conventional wisdom is that John Wilkes Booth visited Surratt's boardinghouse on April 14th THREE TIMES, the last time ca. 9 pm. According to Weichmann Mary was "very nervous, agitated and restless" after this last visit.

I just read that some believe that it was NOT Booth who was there at that time, but her SON (!?) What is your opinion about this? Just curious to know. Thanks.

Frankly, I don't believe that "conventional" wisdom is unanimous in believing that Booth visited the boardinghouse ca. 9 pm. Even Weichmann guessed at who that was, and there is evidence that it was someone else bringing things to Olivia Jenkins. Susan H filled us in on that one months ago.

Likewise, my personal opinion is that we are overstretching in trying to say that her son visited that night -- or that he was even in DC that night. I'll stand firm on his being in Elmira.

If Mrs. Surratt was agitated, it was likely because she knew that something was going down that night (with or without her son being in DC).
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Today, 08:51 AM (This post was last modified: Today 09:52 AM by loetar44.)
Post: #143
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Yesterday 07:29 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Frankly, I don't believe that "conventional" wisdom is unanimous in believing that Booth visited the boardinghouse ca. 9 pm. Even Weichmann guessed at who that was, and there is evidence that it was someone else bringing things to Olivia Jenkins. Susan H filled us in on that one months ago.

Could it be Richard M. Smoot? Mary Surratt had two incriminating meetings with him, after Smoot sold on January 14, 1865 a boat to John Surratt. When the promised payments were not made Smoot went to Mary Surratt’s pension in H-street on April 12 and April 14.

Here are Smoot’s verbatim words as written in “The Unwritten History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln”, published in 1908 shortly after his death on May 8, 1906:

April 12:
"I went to the capital and called upon Mrs. Surratt at her home the Wednesday morning before the assassination. I was met at the door by Miss Annie Surratt, with whom I had a slight acquaintance, and she conducted me into the presence of her mother, who was seated in the parlor. I asked the old lady where I could see her son John. For a moment her face was a study. She really made me uneasy with her penetrating look of inquiry. She evidently was not satisfied with my appearance, for after a brief silence she informed me that she was unable to tell me of the exact whereabouts of her son, or when and where I could see him, I saw that I was under suspicion, and so told her the object of my visit. In an instant her whole demeanor changed. Her face brightened and she extended me a most cordial greeting. She eagerly inquired if the boat was in place and easily accessible, as it might be called into requisition that night. I informed her what disposition had been made of the boat, and that Bateman was in charge of it. Then she assumed an anxious expression and hurriedly and earnestly importuned me to leave the city at once. She did not vouchsafe me any explanation of her sudden change of disposition, but I inferred that she feared that I had been followed, and that my presence in her house would lead to her arrest as well as my own. She whispered to me that if I would return to the house on Friday I would most likely see John and the boys, and she showed me a letter written by John to a Miss Mitchell, in which he said that he would be in Washington on the following Friday if he possibly could. I never found out who Miss Mitchell was. Neither she nor the letter played any part in the subsequent happenings. I opined that Miss Mitchell was John's sweetheart, and that she had given the letter to Mrs. Surratt after having read it."

April 14:
"I returned to the capitol, reaching there about half past nine o'clock at night. I went direct to Mrs. Surratt's. As I approached the house I saw a woman standing on the porch. Her face was so hidden in the capacious depths of a huge sunbonnet that I could not see her features. As I started to ascend the steps the woman turned abruptly and went into the house, almost closing the door, and at the same time asking: 'Who is it?' I gave my name. The door was quickly reopened, and I was admitted into the presence of Mrs. Surratt. She was in a state of feverish excitement. I asked her if John had returned, and she replied that he had not. She then informed me that she was positive that the boat would be used that night, and that I would get my money in a day or two. She most earnestly besought me to leave the city and not be seen at her house again. Her manner caused me alarm. I felt that a crisis was at hand, and that I was facing some unseen danger. I left the house and went down town, feeling that it was imperative that I should get out of the city in the shortest possible time, I found that the only mode of conveyance out of the city was a stage which left the Long Bridge at ten o'clock. I hurried to the bridge only to find that the stage had gone. Impelled by the earnestness with which Mrs. Surratt had urged me to leave Washington, I determined to walk to Alexandria, eight miles distant, which I did, arriving there about eleven o'clock. I went to the City Hotel, engaged a room and went to bed …"

IMO we can learn at least four things out of this:

1. Richard Smoot was at 9:30 PM on April 14th. in Surratt's boardinghouse
2. Mary was in a state of feverish excitement at that moment
3. Maybe John Surratt was in the house or just had left (remember Susan Jackson) and Mary lied about that.
4. Mary is not as "saintly" as she is pictured by many later on (after her execution), she definitely knew (a lot) more.

Smoot also said shortly before his death: "John Surratt and myself are, perhaps, the only two persons living who were directly and indirectly connected with the killing of Abraham Lincoln, he directly and myself indirectly..."

And who was "Miss Mitchell"? Another "Anna Ward", i.e. another mail courier?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Today, 09:13 AM
Post: #144
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Yesterday 07:29 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Conventional wisdom is that John Wilkes Booth visited Surratt's boardinghouse on April 14th THREE TIMES, the last time ca. 9 pm. According to Weichmann Mary was "very nervous, agitated and restless" after this last visit.

I just read that some believe that it was NOT Booth who was there at that time, but her SON (!?) What is your opinion about this? Just curious to know. Thanks.

My opinion is that I agree with half of this. I do think Booth came, but I do not think John Surratt was there at that time. I think Susan Jackson was mistaken.

IMO Smoot visited, but so did Booth. Although I am sometimes wary of Weichmann's honesty, I tend to believe him this time (simply because I think it makes sense that Booth would want to check with Mary regarding her trip to the country).

About the visitor, Weichmann wrote that when the detectives had departed on the morning of April 15th Anna Surratt cried out, "Oh, Ma! Mr. Weichmann is right; just think of that man (John W. Booth) having been here an hour before the assassination. I am afraid it will bring suspicion upon us."

Certainly Weichmann could have "created" these words coming from Anna. I know some forum members believe this. But it's my personal tendency to believe him regarding Anna's reaction to the visitor.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Today, 09:39 AM (This post was last modified: Today 09:50 AM by loetar44.)
Post: #145
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
(Today 09:13 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  About the visitor, Weichmann wrote that when the detectives had departed on the morning of April 15th Anna Surratt cried out, "Oh, Ma! Mr. Weichmann is right; just think of that man (John W. Booth) having been here an hour before the assassination. I am afraid it will bring suspicion upon us."

Roger, Anna knew Booth very, very well, even had a photo of him hidden and was "very interested" in him. Why should she exclaim "just think of THAT man". Seems to me she was pointing to a stranger. Could it be Richard Smoot, who was at 9.30 pm (an hour before the assassination) in the boardinghouse?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Today, 10:08 AM
Post: #146
RE: Where was John Surratt on April 14, 1865 ?
I think it's hard to nail down. There were other possible visitors that night - one was named Kirby, one was named Scott. Weichmann is insistent in his book that this particular visitor was Booth. I lean that way, but I am open to other possibilities as well. I definitely agree that Smoot came, too.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 3 Guest(s)