New Gallery – Fake Conspirators

As you probably could have guessed, I have been on spring break from school during this last week.  During this time off, I entertained my parents who flew in from Illinois.  I’ve been living in Maryland for eight months now and this was the first time that they have been able to come out and see my place.  I gave them a poor man’s Booth Escape Route Tour, and we spent some days doing Southern Maryland things before heading into D.C.  When they departed, I was able to spend a day researching the files at Ford’s Theatre which I have never done before but thoroughly enjoyed. Since then, I’ve been doing my best to update this site.

Alas, today is the last day of my spring break.  Still I was able to create and put up one more Picture Gallery, albeit a smaller one from the Davy Herold gallery from yesterday.  While these galleries do not contain much in the way of new research, it still takes a considerable amount of time to find appropriate pictures, locate the highest quality versions of them, perform any minor picture editing needed in Photoshop, upload them to this site, write descriptions and citations for them, and then post about them.  I hope that you all are enjoying the galleries as they have been added, as it is my hope, above all else, for this site to be a resource.

The newest Picture Gallery is one that features images from the two Fake Conspirators who were photographed by Alexander Gardner aboard the iron clad monitors: Ernest Hartman Richter and Joao Celestino (aka John M. Celeste).

Ernest Hartman Richter was arrested in his home in Germantown, MD when detectives found his cousin, conspirator George Atzerodt, sleeping there.  Richter, who went by his middle name, Hartman, made the mistake of trying to protect his cousin and originally told invstigators that Atzerodt wasn’t there.  He was brought back to Washington, imprisoned aboard the U.S.S. Saugus, and photographed by Alexander Gardner on April 25th.  After that, he was sent to the Arsenal Penitentiary, transferred to the Old Capitol Prison, and eventually released.

Joao M. Celestino was a Portuguese ship captain who had his schooner and valuables confiscated by the U.S. government in 1864 for running the blockade.  He held a strong hatred for Secretary of State William Seward, whom he blamed for his losses.  The night of the assassination, he was heard to say he wanted to kill Secretary Seward.  After Lewis Powell attempted to do just so later that evening, people remembered his remarks, and Celestino was arrested and placed aboard the Saugus before being moved to the U.S.S. Montauk.  He had his photographs taken on April 27th with conspirator David Herold, who had just been captured.  Celestino was transferred to the Arsenal as well, before being released, himself.

These are the Fake Conspirators – the men whose faces are preserved alongside those of John Wilkes Booth’s inner circle.  They are a farmer protecting his cousin and ship captain with a justifiable grudge against William Seward.  Click here to see the new Fake Conspirators Picture Gallery!

Inside the Walls – 13 Days Aboard the Monitors by John Elliott and Barry Cauchon
Conspiracy: The Portuguese Arressted in Connection with Lincoln’s Assassination by Pedro Jorge Castro

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “New Gallery – Fake Conspirators

  1. I hope you realize how much we in the blog community appreciate your very demanding work to maintain this site! It is a wonderful asset.

  2. I most certainly agree! Dave, your site is a wonderful and pertinent addition to the field of Lincoln Assassination research!

  3. John C. Fazio


    No argument on the value of your blog, but you already know that. You have, however, omitted from your gallery of fake conspirators Edman Spangler. I state categorically that he was innocent. There is an entire chapter devoted to his innocence in my book.


    • John,

      Spangler has his very own gallery but I understand your contention that he was innocent. I’m prone to agree with you but, historically Spangler was considered a conspirator and since he was tried as such I feel the need to identify him as a conspirator.

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