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EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

Follow the Evidence: The Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators


Lincoln CSI Header


Lewis Powell (Payne)

Lewis Powell (Payne) | Prosecution | Defense |  Verdict |
April 14, 1865 The Conspirators


Evidence

Lewis Powell met with John Wilkes Booth about 8 pm on April 14, 1865, where Booth gave him weapons and a horse. Powell and Herold then traveled to Secretary Seward's home where at about 10 pm, Powell tried to Lincoln CSIgain entry into Seward's home claiming to have medicine that the secretary needed. Lewis Powell could be easily identified with at least four witnesses including Secretary Seward himself. Powell was arrested  at the home of Mary Surratt on April 17 at 11:00 p.m. He claimed he was hired to dig a gutter for Mrs. Surratt. Mary Surratt strongly denied knowing Powell. The evidence against Powell was overwhelming, he was identified by Seward's servant, found with blood splatters on his shirt, the boots he wore had the initials JWB (John Wilkes Booth) inside them. He was also identified by Louis Weichman as frequently engaging in private conversations with John Wilkes Booth and John Surratt at Mary Surratt's boardinghouse.Lincoln CSI

 

Evidence against Lincoln Conspirators
Picturehistory.com
Image shows Powell's handgun that he
broke when he used it to beat
Frederick Seward







Portrait of Secretary of State
William H. Seward, officer of the
United States Government
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs

 


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