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EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

Follow the Evidence: The Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators

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John Surratt

Evidence | Prosecution | Defense | Verdict  |
April 14, 1865 | The Conspirators


Lincoln CSIJohn Surratt, son of conspirator Mary Surratt, participated in meetings with John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators pertaining to the kidnapping plot of President Lincoln. On April 14, 1865, Surratt claimed to be in Elmira, New York, conducting a spy mission for General Edwin Lee but there was no one to back up his story. After Surratt heard of President Lincoln's assassination he fled to Canada and later to Europe. He was identified in Egypt in late 1866 as the wanted Lincoln conspirator. He was returned to the United States where he faced a civil trial not a military commission like the rest of the conspirators. He was charged with conspiracy.

John Surratt
Library of Congress
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