New Picture Gallery: Cleydael

Cleydael, the summer and wartime home of Dr.Richard Stuart in King George, Virginia, was a stop John Wilkes Booth and David Herold made during their escape South.  After crossing into VA, the pair made their way to the home of Elizabeth Quesenberry.  She contacted Confederate agent Thomas Harbin who, in turn, sent the fugitives with a nearby farmer, William Bryant, to Dr. Richard Stuart’s home, Cleydael.  Booth and Herold expected hospitality and probably some medical attention from Dr. Stuart.  Instead, Stuart already had a full house was very suspicious of the pair.  He refused them lodging and medical attention.  In the end he did give them a meal.  After they ate, Stuart sent the men off a short ways to the home of a family of free blacks, the Lucases.  Booth and Herold forced William Lucas and his family out of their own house and slept there.  The next morning the pair paid William’s son, Charley Lucas, to take them to Port Conway by wagon. Cleydael still exists today as a private residence.  In recent years the property had fallen into some disrepair.  In 2012, the house was purchased at auction by Renee and Charlie Parker.  The Parkers are in the process of restoring Cleydael to its former glory.  In addition, they are gracious enough to open up their house to the Surratt Society’s Booth Escape Route Tours that run in the spring and fall.  I just drove by Cleydael today, and I can tell you the Parkers are doing a wonderful job. Visit the Parker’s website to keep up to date with their successes:

In addition to this brand new picture gallery, I’ve also added a few new pictures to the other galleries.  There are also new videos to be seen in the Rich Hill and Pine Thicket galleries.  These videos were shot by Charles County native and fellow Boothie, Joe Gleason, and he has allowed me to put them up here.  Click around and see what’s new in the Picture Galleries.

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