Mary Surratt Testimony

The following table shows all of the testimony given at the Lincoln conspiracy trial concerning Mary Surratt. Clicking on any of the witnesses’ names will take you to their corresponding testimony in the chronological Trial project.

The default arrangement of the witnesses in the table is by Relevant Testimony. This organizes the witnesses based on what specific aspect of the conspirator’s case was discussed. In the case of Mary Surratt, I organized the testimony into seven categories, labeled A – G. Descriptions of what each category means can be found after the table. The tabs on the bottom of the table allow you to view the witnesses arranged by Date and Alphabetically by last name.

Mobile users: Due to the smaller screen size on mobile devices, you will likely have to scroll left and right on the table to see the Relevant Testimony column.

Relevant Testimony descriptions:

A. John Wilkes Booth and the other Conspirators’ Presence at Mrs. Surratt’s Boardinghouse

In establishing Mrs. Surratt’s connection to John Wilkes Booth’s plot, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Louis Weichmann, one of the lodgers at Surratt’s D.C. boardinghouse. Weichmann testified at length about the presence of Booth and some of the other conspirators at the boardinghouse and how Mrs. Surratt sometimes met with Booth when her son, John, was not at home. The defense tried to show that, as a boardinghouse owner and hospitable woman, Mrs. Surratt’s interactions with Booth and the others was nothing more than politeness.

B. Mrs. Surratt’s Trips to her Tavern in Surrattsville on April 11th and April 14th

The other key witness against Mary Surratt was the tenant of her tavern property in Maryland, John M. Lloyd. Lloyd testified about Mrs. Surratt traveling down to Southern Maryland on April 11th and telling him that weapons hidden at the tavern would be needed soon. On April 14th, the day of Lincoln’s assassination, Mary traveled to her tavern with a package she had been given by Booth. She gave that package to Lloyd and allegedly told him to, “have the shooting irons ready, a party will call for them tonight.” Mrs. Surratt’s defense brought evidence to show that Mrs. Surratt was attempting to settle some debts during this period of time and that was the reasons she made these journeys.

C. The Reputations of Louis Weichmann and John M. Lloyd

As the two key witnesses against Mrs. Surratt, the defense made a great effort to show the questionable reliability of Weichmann and Lloyd. Evidence was presented to suggest that Weichmann may have been disloyal (or even part of Booth’s plot), while Lloyd was portrayed as a drunk of dubious trustworthiness.

D. The Reputations of Defense Witnesses Joseph Knott and John Zadoc Jenkins

In the same way that the defense attacked the credibility of two prosecution witnesses, the prosecution spent a lot of time attacking the character and loyalty of two defense witnesses, one of whom was Mrs. Surratt’s brother.

E. Pictures of John Wilkes Booth and Confederate Generals Found in Mrs. Surratt’s Boardinghouse

During the manhunt for Booth, Mrs. Surratt’s house was searched multiple times and during one of these searches images of Confederate leaders and a hidden photograph of John Wilkes Booth was found in Mrs. Surratt’s room. The prosecution wanted to use this to show Mrs. Surratt’s disloyalty. The defense got Mrs. Surratt’s daughter, Anna, to testify that the photographs belonged to her.

F. The Arrest of Lewis Powell at the Surratt Boardinghouse

Conspirator Lewis Powell, who had attacked Secretary of State William Seward, had been arrested at the Surratt boardinghouse on April 17th, while detectives were there searching and making plans to take Mrs. Surratt and the rest of the household into custody. During this arrest, Mrs. Surratt denied ever having seen Powell before. It was later shown that Powell had stayed at the boardinghouse for a few days. The defense attempted to show that Mrs. Surratt suffered from bad eyesight in an attempt to explain her lack of identification.

G. Mrs. Surratt’s Loyalty and Christian Character

Mary Surratt’s defense called several individuals to testify about her reputation as a good, Christian woman and about times where she had demonstrated pro-Union attitudes. The purpose was to persuade the commissioners that Mrs. Surratt was not capable of being involved in such a plot as the assassination of Lincoln.

For the closing arguments in defense of Mary Surratt please click here.

Please remember that the Relevant Testimony descriptor is not meant to be definitive. In some instances, a witness might cover material from more than one category. For example, many of the witnesses were asked about Mary Surratt’s eyesight in the course of their other testimonies. Still, the attempt has been made to determine the most applicable category for each witness’s overall testimony.

Mary Surratt Testimony for Mr. Paul’s Class
Witness Name Date Type of Witness Relevant Testimony
Weichmann, Louis J 5/13 Prosecution A. Booth and the other conspirators calling at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Weichmann, Louis J 5/18 Prosecution A. Booth and the other conspirators calling at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Horner, Eaton G 5/18 Defense Cross-Examination A. Mrs. Surratt’s name not mentioned by Arnold
Weichmann, Louis J 5/19 Prosecution A. Lewis Powell having stayed at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Fitzpatrick, Honora 5/22 Prosecution A. Booth and the other conspirators calling at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Holohan, Eliza 5/25 Defense A. Booth and the other conspirators calling at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Evans, William B 6/5 Defense Cross-Examination A. Dr. Mudd at the Surratt boardinghouse
Holohan, John T 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal A. Booth and the other conspirators calling at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Jarboe, James J 6/7 Defense A. Was never at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse with Dr. Mudd
Weichmann, Louis J 5/13 Prosecution B. Mrs. Surratt’s trips to Surrattsville on April 11 & April 14
Lloyd, John M 5/13 Prosecution B. Mrs. Surratt’s trips to Surrattsville on April 11 & April 14
Weichmann, Louis J 5/15 Defense Cross-Examination B. Mrs. Surratt’s trip to Surrattsville on April 11
Lloyd, John M 5/15 Prosecution B. Mrs. Surratt’s trips to Surrattsville on April 11 & April 14
Offutt, Emma F 5/17 Prosecution B. Mrs. Surratt’s trips to Surrattsville on April 11 & April 14
Weichmann, Louis J 5/18 Defense Cross-Examination B. Mrs. Surratt’s trips to Surrattsville on April 11 & April 14
Calvert, George H 5/25 Defense B. Having written a letter to Mrs. Surratt requesting payment
Gwynn, Bennett F 5/25 Defense B. Mrs. Surratt gave him a letter about her debts on April 14th
Gwynn, Bennett F 5/26 Defense B. Mrs. Surratt gave him a letter about her debts on April 14th
Calvert, George H 5/26 Defense B. Having written a letter to Mrs. Surratt requesting payment
Nothey, John H 5/26 Defense B. Mrs. Surratt was trying to collect a debt on April 11 and 14
Jenkins, John Z 5/30 Defense B. Mrs. Surratt came to Surrattsville on April 14th to collect a debt
Lloyd, John M 6/13 Defense Cross-Examination B. Receiving Booth’s package from Mrs. Surratt on April 14th
Offutt, Emma F 6/13 Defense Cross-Examination B. Receiving Booth’s package from Mrs. Surratt on April 14th
Lovett, Alexander H 5/16 Defense C. Reputation of John M. Lloyd
Weichmann, Louis J 5/18 Defense Cross-Examination C. Reputation for loyalty of Louis Weichmann
Cottingham, George C 5/25 Defense (Hostile)
C. Interviewed John M Lloyd who told him about, “have the shooting irons ready”
Cottingham, George C 5/25 Defense (Hostile) C. Admitted to lying to Mrs. Surratt’s lawyer about John M. Lloyd
Howell, Augustus S 5/26 Defense C. Reputation for loyalty of Louis Weichmann
Knott, Joseph T 5/30 Defense C. Drunkenness of John M. Lloyd
Lusby, James T 6/2 Defense C. Drunkenness of John M. Lloyd
McCullough, John 6/5 Defense C. Louis Weichmann unreliable
Ryan, John 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal C. Upright reputation of Louis Weichmann
Stith, Francis J D 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal C. Upright reputation of Louis Weichmann
Young, James P 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal C. Upright reputation of Louis Weichmann
Ransford, Patrick T 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal C. Upright reputation of Louis Weichmann
Holohan, John T 6/7 Defense C. Arrest of Louis Weichmann
McDevitt, James A 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal C. Louis Weichmann aided in the manhunt for John Surratt
Sweeney, Richard H 6/12 Defense C. Drunkenness of John M. Lloyd
Kaldenbach, Andrew 6/16 Defense Cross-Examination C. Never heard John M. Lloyd condemn Mrs. Surratt
Knott, Joseph T 6/2 Prosecution Cross-Examination D. Witness unreliable due to possible knowledge of the plot
Smoot, Edward L 6/2 Prosecution Rebuttal D. Joseph Knott and John Jenkins’ disloyalty
Robey, Andrew V 6/2 Prosecution Rebuttal D. John Jenkins’ disloyalty
Robey, Townley B 6/5 Prosecution Rebuttal D. John Jenkins’ disloyalty
Thompson, John L 6/5 Prosecution Rebuttal D. John Jenkins’ disloyalty
Wood, William P 6/5 Defense D. John Jenkins was once a loyal Union man
Jenkins, John Z 6/7 Defense D. Was always a loyal Union man
Kaldenbach, Andrew 6/7 Prosecution Rebuttal D. John Jenkins threatened him
Thompson, John C 6/7 Defense D. John Jenkins was a loyal Union man
Blandford, Joseph H 6/7 Defense D. John Jenkins was a loyal Union man
Hoxton, William W 6/13 Defense D. John Jenkins was once a loyal Union man
Pyles, John V 6/13 Defense D. John Jenkins was a loyal Union man
Morgan, Richard C 5/19 Prosecution E. Confederate pictures found at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Dempsey, John W 5/19 Prosecution E. Finding a hidden picture of Booth at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Woods, George B 5/25 Defense E. Pictures of Confederate Generals were available for sale everywhere
Surratt, Anna E 5/30 Defense E. Pictures found at the Surratt boardinghouse were hers
Dempsey, John W 6/3 Prosecution E. Finding a hidden picture of Booth at Mrs. Surratt’s boardinghouse
Surratt, Anna E 6/7 Defense E. Pictures found at the Surratt boardinghouse were hers
Smith, Henry W 5/19 Prosecution F. Mrs. Surratt claiming not to know Lewis Powell during his arrest
Wermerskirch, William M 5/19 Prosecution F. Mrs. Surratt claiming not to know Lewis Powell during his arrest
Fitzpatrick, Honora 5/25 Defense F. Mrs. Surratt suffering from poor eyesight at night
Ward, Anna F 6/3 Defense F. Mrs. Surratt suffering from poor eyesight
Fitzpatrick, Honora 6/9 Defense F. Did not recognize Lewis Powell when first arrested
Wiget, Bernadin F 5/25 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Boyle, Francis E 5/25 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Stonestreet, Charles H 5/25 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Lanahan, Peter B 5/26 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Young, Nicholas D 5/26 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Hoyle, William L 5/26 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s loyalty to the Union
Hoxton, John T 6/13 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s upright Christian character
Hawkins, Henry 6/13 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s loyalty to the Union
Semus, Rachel 6/13 Defense G. Mrs. Surratt’s loyalty to the Union
8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Mary Surratt Testimony

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