July 7, 1865
MRS. SURRATT & OTHER LINCOLN CONSPIRATORS HANGED
The woman who ran a boardinghouse where conspirators plotted the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln was hanged today along with 3 others implicated in the plot.
Mrs. Mary Surratt, 43 years old, becomes the 1st woman to be hanged by the government of the United States. The anticipated pardon that might have been granted by President Andrew Johnson never came.
Her son, John, also implicated in the plot, has thus far escaped capture.
Mrs. Surratt, along with George Atzerodt, David Herold & Lewis Powell were hanged this afternoon at the Washington Arsenal Penitentiary.
Mary Surratt wore a black dress, bonnet & veil.*
*Director Robert Redford’s new film: “The Conspirator” tells Mrs. Surratt’s story.
In a recent USA Today article by Maria Puente, historian Kate Clifford Larson of Simmons College in Boston, whose research supports Surratt’s guilt, is quoted as saying: “Mary was a smart woman who made choices & she paid for those choices…but her trial was a travesty.”
Larson, who approves of Redford’s treatment of Surratt in the film, is the author of “The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt & the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln”.
Surratt Boarding House
604 H Street NW
Photo by Brady/Handy (1890)
Library of Congress
July 7, 1797
SENATOR BLOUNT CHARGED WITH MISDEMEANOR IN BRITISH CONSPIRACY
The House of Representatives broke new ground today when they voted to charge Tennessee Senator William Blount with “a high misdemeanor”.
Senator Blount, former Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio River, has been implicated in a conspiracy with British officials to enlist American frontiersmen & Cherokees to assist in the conquest of Spanish Florida & Louisiana.*
*The next day, the US Senate voted to expel Blount but 2 months later, Vice President Thomas Jefferson, who presided over the impeachment of Blount, dismissed the charges based on the fact that the Senate does not have constitutional jurisdiction in the case.
After the Treaty of Holston established the capital of the Territory South of the Ohio River at Knoxville, Governor Blount moved here & built his home, called “Blount Mansion” in 1792.
Photo by Brian Stansberry (2008)
Note: A colorful geography professor I had for a class at UT insisted this should be called “Blount Shack”….it obviously did not impress him as a “mansion”.
July 7, 1957
FRENCH MINISTER CRITICAL OF JFK’S COMMENT
French Minister Robert Lacoste criticized Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts for his recent condemnation of French policy in Algeria.
Lacoste says that if French military troops leave the country, the US & USSR will compete for superiority in North Africa.
July 7, 1962
PRESIDENT’S DAD RELEASED FROM REHAB
Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., father of President John F. Kennedy, was released today from the Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in New York.
The elder Kennedy has undergone months of therapy to improve his speech & motor functions after suffering a stroke in December of last year.
July 7, 1961
JFK GIVES NOD FOR HOME LOANS TO VETS
President John F. Kennedy signed into law today a bill which authorizes the expenditure of more than $1 billion for home loans to veterans of World War II & the Korean War.