SMF - Just Installed!
Username  
Password
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12
  Print  
Author Topic: Miscellaneous details regarding Powell's attack on Seward  (Read 13375 times)
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2011, 06:54:03 PM »

Mark, you can order my book from the Surratt House as well.
Logged
Mark
Full Member
***
Posts: 108


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2011, 07:00:35 PM »

Thanks Randal!

So to stay on topic, I noticed in the John Surratt trial transcript that Powell was quoted as saying "I am mad"  not "I'm mad" in my version which as I said is fraught with scanning errors. It makes me wonder about the general use of contractions which I note in the transcript conspicuously missing.  I wonder when Y'all became common from You all!

An English question for the teacher.  Ok, maybe its off topic.
Logged
historynut1123
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 333


A modern-day Lew!


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2011, 08:36:50 AM »



Back to our original discussion of Lew after he left Seward's house.  Here is the confession which he gave to Gillette after he left Seward's.  Smiley

Poor kid. It's like he probably felt a monster took over him while he was doing it, and it was a surreal moment. That's maybe where the "I'm mad" came in, and the reality set in after the deed was done.

Logged

"But hark! The doorbell rings and Mr.J.W. Booth is announced. And listen to the scamperings. Such brushing and fixing."-letter of John Surratt, observing sister Anna
angels0618
Guest
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2011, 08:43:09 AM »

Hi Betty-great article on Lewis. What a sad and devastating scenario. I agree with you and Laurie about how Lewis was not a killer. He was definetly a circumstance of the war. I think he was like a robot. He was so trained from the army, that when someone gave him a command, he just automatically went into soldier mode and did what he and all the men were trained to do. It is very sad to read that article on Lewis. It showed that he was a young man who had a heart and realized he made some very wrong choices. I would think differently about Lewis if he didn't have remorse and didn't cry about what he had done.
Logged
Linda Anderson
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 277


Fanny Seward


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2011, 01:08:24 PM »

John E, your post was very informative. When Powell climbed the winding staircase to the top of the third floor, he would have been facing the front of the house and Secy Seward's room would have been to Powell's left.  Fred in his testimony and Gideon Welles in his diary mention that Fred's room adjoined Secy Seward's room.  I'm not sure if they mean near by, or that the rooms had a common wall.

I am trying to figure out who was where in the Seward house at the time of Powell's attack.

Secy Seward had his own bedroom on the southwest corner of the house, facing Lafayette Square.  Fred testified at the Surratt trial that there were only two bedrooms at the front of the house, one that he shared with Anna, (northwest corner) and his father's. He also testified that his mother's bedroom was a back room on the same side and floor of the house as his father's room. That would be the southeast corner of the house. It may be the southeast bedroom was also Fanny's bedroom as Mrs. Seward did not visit Washington often. When Mrs. Seward did visit, I think that Fanny slept in the same room with her mother. Although Fanny refers in her diary to "my" room and to "Mother's" room, I think it is the same room as Fanny also mentions going into "our" bedroom on April 14 before the attack occurred.

After the attack Fanny writes that she went to Fred's room then to Gus' room where she found Gus and Robinson. Then she went across the hall to her room where she found "poor" Hansell on the bed after being stabbed in the back. Dr. Verdi testified (Poore) that he found Hansell in a bedroom on the southeast corner on the same floor as Secy Seward, i.e. Mrs. Seward's/Fanny's room.

It would seem that Gus had the bedroom on the northeast corner of the house. If Fanny went across the hall to her own room from Gus's room, does that mean that the hallway ran front to back? It would be great to have a floor plan!
Logged
Dave Taylor
Guest
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2011, 04:02:34 PM »

Linda, I would love a floor plan of the old Seward house as well.  I had a really hard time picturing the inside of the house when doing my own research.  Perhaps one is archived somewhere...
Logged
Wesley Harris
Full Member
***
Posts: 185



View Profile
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2011, 06:09:28 PM »

Some of the newspaper articles I've seen refer to the home as "Commodore Rodgers' house" rather than the "Seward house."
Logged
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3367



View Profile
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2011, 07:00:15 PM »

What happened to Mr. Sickles?
Logged
Dave Taylor
Guest
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2011, 09:18:00 PM »

The house itself was built in 1831 for Stephen Decatur's friend, Naval Officer John Rodgers.  The Polks stayed in this house in 1845 while renovations were being done on the executive mansion.  In 1894 the Roger's house was demolished to make way for the Lafayette Square Opera House.  The Court of Claims building was built behind the Opera House before the opera house (then the Belasco Theater) was demolished in 1964.

There's a street view drawing of the house from 1857 and 1891 here

Source: Lafayette Square Historic Survey
Logged
Dave Taylor
Guest
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2011, 09:48:05 PM »

The Pennsylvania Historical Society has the John Rodgers Family Papers which includes, "the 1830 agreement between Rodgers and Jacob Swimley regarding the building of a house in Washington, D.C."  I wonder if that may have a floor plan?  Someone more experienced with real research check out "Box 1: 17"
Logged
Linda Anderson
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 277


Fanny Seward


View Profile
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2011, 10:12:15 PM »

I've read many accounts of Powell's attack that have him shouting "I'm mad! I'm mad" as he runs out of the house. I think it is much stranger that Gus testified that Powell told him in a low but intense voice, "I'm mad. I'm mad."  Perhaps Booth was thinking of Sickles' insanity defense and coached Powell to say that.

Fanny ran upstairs to get bedclothes for her father after the attack so we know there were bedrooms on the fourth floor. She also mentions a bathroom on the third floor.

I found through my library's website an article dated 7/27/2002 from The Washington Times on the history of the Old Clubhouse and what happened to it after Seward left. I don't know if the article can be reproduced here but it is fascinating and also very sad.  The tragedies did not stop with Seward.

It mentions the March 9, 1889, issue of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper about the "haunted" Clubhouse.  Would that article be available?
Logged
JohnE
Guest
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2011, 06:50:59 AM »

Back when I was researching the attack on Seward, I too wanted a floor plan to get an idea of what the interior of the home looked like.  I checked several different areas (including trying to find out who the architect was that built it) but I had no luck.

The house (which still stands) that most resembles the Seward House  is the Decatur house.  I took  a tour of it last year just to see the stair case.  They wouldn't let me go upstairs because they have offices up there.  Photos were also not allowed but I took one from outside looking in.  Here's how the stairs look:

« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 07:02:34 AM by JohnE » Logged
Dave Taylor
Guest
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2011, 07:00:20 AM »

John,

I believe Jacob Swimley was the architect who built the house.  That's why I think the Rodgers Papers might have what you're looking for.
Logged
JohnE
Guest
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2011, 07:06:29 AM »

Great sleuthing Dave !  I'll see what I can find out.
Logged
Linda Anderson
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 277


Fanny Seward


View Profile
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2011, 07:25:35 AM »

Good idea, Betty, about contacting the Seward House in Auburn.

I was able to go to the John Hay Library at Brown University to read Sensitivity and Civil War: The Selected Diaries and Papers, 1858-1866, of Francis Adeline (Fanny) Seward by Patricia Carley Johnson. This work is a dissertation and according to WorldCat is available at only a dozen libraries around the country. Johnson includes excerpts from four letters describing the Clubhouse. One letter, dated February 28, 1861 from Anna Seward to her mother-in-law Mrs. Seward, gives a general description of what rooms are on each floor but does not give a floor plan. I don't know how the copyright works but maybe the people in Auburn can provide you with a copy of this letter.

I even checked the time period in Fanny's diary when she first moved into the Clubhouse but Fanny, while being an astute observer of people, was not so interested in describing the house she just moved into.

John, when I wanted to see what the Seward house in Auburn looked like, I went to YouTube and found a virtual tour. So then I looked for Decatur House on YouTube and found a video about ghost hunters who go through the house!  They do go up the stairs which look a lot like the winding stairs that you describe as being in the Old Clubhouse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4hFDu653N8

Here is a link to "conjectural floor plans" of the Decatur House.

http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/19decatur/19visual2.htm

Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12
  Print  
 
Jump to: