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EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

Follow the Evidence: The Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators

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John Surratt

John Surratt | Evidence | Prosecution | Defense | 
April 14, 1865 | The Conspirators


Being a member of the jury you have to look at the evidence closer, it will be harder to come to a unanimous verdict in a jury case rather than the military trial. Looking at the evidence, do you feel John Surratt is guilty or innocent?




















Four other jurors agree with you that John Surratt is guilty.

Lincoln CSI


George Purnell Fisher, c 1870
Dickinson College
Fisher served as judge
in the John Surratt Trial


























Lincoln CSIAfter hearing from 170 witnesses the jury could not come to a unanimous decision resulting in a hung jury. The charges against John Surratt were dropped making him a free man. Three years after the trial, Surratt began a lecture tour describing the plan to kidnap the president, his trial and his adventures running from the law. Most of what Surratt told was already known to the public and the fact that he didn't defend his mother left most people feeling he was a coward who left his mother to die.



J.H. Surratt
Lecture Washington D.C.
University of Missouri Kansas City




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