Re-Trial of Mary Surratt - Chicago, September 23, 2011


Mary Surratt was charged and convicted for co-conspiring the Abraham Lincoln assassination, and she was the first women to be executed by the United States federal government. Mary was born in 1832 in Maryland, and she was a deeply devout Catholic. After her husband died in 1862, Mary ran a boarding house in Washington D.C., which became the nest for the conspirators planning in the months before the assassination. The newspapers vilified and demonized her throughout the trial claiming she "sinned against the light more then any of her associates." President Andrew Johnson said "She kept the nest that hatched the egg."

She and the other charged conspirators were tried under a 12 member military tribunal. Based on questionable testimony, the tribunal found Mary Surratt guilty and sentenced her to be "hanged by the neck until she be dead." Mary claimed innocence throughout the entire trial. At 1:22 P.M. on July 7, 1865 Mary was executed at the Old Arsenal Prison. Was Mary Surratt convicted for playing a part in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, or was she tried out of revenge for the murder of a nation's beloved president?