In 1938, at the age of sixty, Dr. Mudd’s youngest daughter Mary Eleanor, better known as “Nettie” made a special vocal appearance during the intermission of Lux Radio’s production of The Prisoner of Shark Island:
The Prisoner of Shark Island radio drama was based off of the 1936 film of the same name starring Warner Baxter. The film and radio shows are highly fictionalized versions of Dr. Mudd’s involvement in Lincoln’s assassination and life imprisoned on Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas. In these highly popular renditions, Dr. Mudd is portrayed as a completely innocent country doctor who knew nothing of the men who stopped at his house during the early morning hours of April 15th, 1865. While wholly inaccurate, these revisions to history and the efforts of Mudd descendants like Nettie and Dr. Richard Dyer Mudd helped to turn public sympathy to Dr. Mudd’s favor. To this day, historians still have to compete with this inaccurate “legend of Dr. Mudd” when trying to accurately explain Dr. Mudd’s relationship to John Wilkes Booth and the events that led to Lincoln’s death.
Nettie Mudd from the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Research Site
Kudos on finding this, Dave! It was fascinating to hear.