The Trial Today: June 21

Here’s a sample of what occurred on this day in the Lincoln conspiracy trial:

  • William Doster presented his closing arguments for Lewis Powell, portraying him as having been indoctrinated by slavery, the Confederacy, and John Wilkes Booth
  • The other conspirators listened in rapt attention at the narrative of Powell’s life and even Powell’s eyes teared up for a bit at mention of his distant family
  • Doster presented his closing arguments for George Atzerodt, including his confession that he had joined a plot to abduct, not kill, the President
  • Frederick Aiken presented his closing argument for Mary Surratt, thoroughly attacking the credibility of the chief prosecution witnesses against her, Louis Weichmann and John M. Lloyd
  • Gen. Kautz, of the commissioners, described Aiken’s argument as “flowery” but “neither legal or logical”

The June 21, 1865 entry for the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators is now released and has more information. Please click here to access it. You can also access it through The Trial homepage.


Throughout May and June of 2020, I am publishing a day by day chronology of the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. This includes almost daily posts announcing the release of what happened at the conspiracy trial 155 years ago. For more information about the creation of this project please click here.

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