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Author Topic: Doctor Stuart's guilt  (Read 1464 times)
rich smyth
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« on: April 07, 2012, 11:47:31 AM »

Does anyone think that Dr. Stuart was ignorant of the true identities of his two guests? They blurted out their deed to a drunken tavern keeper (Lloyd) and told three strangers at the ferry (Jett, Ruggles and Bainbridge). Why wouldn’t they tell the doctor and his household full of southern sympathizers what they had accomplished? One Confederate officer at the house later admitted that he discussed the assassination with Booth over dinner. Was this in private where no one else was aware of what was being discussed? It is hard for me to believe that this officer, a guest in Stuart's home, would not alert the Doctor to the true identities of the two and the risk he was taking in feeding them. I believe the two notes Booth wrote to Stuart were a deliberate attempt to exonerate their host from accusations of assisting the fugitives if he was arrested. Signing the note “stranger” seems very obvious and keeping one “copy” on him linked the two notes.
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 01:40:14 PM »

     It was Cox who gave them a meal in his kitchen and then had someone take them to the pine thicket, no?
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Randal
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 01:40:27 PM »

I didn't know Lloyd was drunk when Herold and Booth told them of the assassination. I thought he was sleeping off a binge after Mary left that afternoon?
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Linda Anderson
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 02:35:09 PM »

Rich, is the Confederate officer Major Robert Hunter?  Anthony Pitch writes in They Killed Papa Dead that Stuart had a change of heart and allowed Booth and Herold to eat but Stuart estimated that they stayed no longer than fifteen minutes. "Most likely they [Booth and Herold] ate and drank inelegantly in the kitchen while Stuart ran several hundred yards in the dark to recall Bryant so he could take them away." (p. 267)

In a footnote Pitch writes that one of the guests at Claydael that night was Major Robert Hunter who said that Booth told him the original plan was to kidnap the President and that the killing was planned in a night. Hunter said that Booth told him this in "neighboring Caroline or Essex counties, while the assassin was still on the run."  Claydael is in King George County.  Pitch cites the Grinnan Family Papers at the Virginia Historical Society.
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Randal
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 06:24:33 PM »

In AB, pg.250,   (Cox') "who heard the conversation, confirmed that.  (Cox had turned Herold and Booth away)  (Cox) "If it is the last word I have to say on earth,." said the captain, Booth "never entered my home, unless he came into the door and knocked before I got up."

 But as their guide Oswald Swan reported it, , the fugitives  did  go into the house  and they stayed inside for several hours  while Swan waited in the yard for the money promised him.

So, who know's?
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Joe Gleason
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 06:46:02 PM »

                            "I was right smart in liquer that afternoon, and after night I got more so."

                                                                                                 Statement of John Lloyd
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Randal
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 07:07:39 PM »

I can easily believe Swan's story. What would he gain by lying? Nothing. He told the truth. IMO.
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 07:18:42 PM »

     AB says Wm. Bryant and John Crismond had Booth and Herold doubled up on their horses when they arrived at Cleydael. Herold asked for accommodations for the night, which Stuart flatly refused. Booth attempted to identify himself, but Stuart cut him off saying "I don't want to know anything about you." "But if you will listen to the circumstances of the case, you will be able to do it." (Booth?) It says the most he would do was give them a meal and as Booth and Herold took their seats in the kitchen, he realized their rides took off. As Stuart chased them down, Booth and Herold ate in the presence of S. Turbeville Stuart and Maj. Robert Hunter. Hunter knew who they were and talked with them about the assassination. Booth volunteered it was planned in a single day. Stuart returned to the house with Crismond and Bryant and sent them on their way.  

     No mention of the Grinnan papers.
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Jim Page
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 07:31:23 PM »

This is all fascinating. As a certified newbie, I tried reading all the posts written and posted before my arrival, but I may have missed the one thread I was looking for.

My question is this: During the pine-thicket phase of Booth's escape, did they actually stay outdoors in a pine thicket, or in someone's home? It seems everything I read indicated the thicket as their hiding place, but I have a tough time seeing Booth spending that much time outdoors. Of course, whomever owned the home surely wouldn't want it known by the authorities.

If there's a thread discussing this aspect of Booth's escape, I'd like to read it.

--Jim
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 07:40:36 PM »

     Yes, ma'am. And I better get a good grade for this. In the chapter notes, he lists Hunter's comments in Grinnan Family Papers, MssI G8855a 179-86, Virginia Historical Society.
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Linda Anderson
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 07:41:55 PM »

Laurie,  Kaufman and Pitch differ on where and when Booth's conversation with Major Hunter took place. Pitch writes in Footnote 6, p. 446:

"There is supporting evidence that it would have been absurd for the unshaven, oderous Booth and/or Herold to have been invited to join the table guests. After the war, one of that night's guests at Claydael, Major Robert Hunter, said that Booth told him that the original plan had been to abduct Lincoln and that the killing had been planned in a night. But Hunter said that Booth told him this in neighboring Hunter or Essex Counties, while the assassin was still on the run, so the discussion could not have taken place at the dinner table or anywhere else in Stuart's King George family home.  See Grinnan Family Papers, MSS. 1, G8855A, 179, Virginia Historical Society."

Kaufmann seems to think that the discussion with Major Hunter took place in the Stuart's kitchen while Stuart was chasing Bryant.  Kaufmann cites Grinnan Family Papers, MSS1, G8855A, 179-186, Virginia Historical Society. Footnote 13, P. 459.
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Jim Page
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 07:45:16 PM »

Thanks, Laurie! I did searches a few days ago and could just find little mentions of that subject.

The hunt is on!

--Jim
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Jim Page
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 08:50:13 PM »

This forum is like a time machine in more ways than one. I start reading a thread, which leads me to another thread, and the next thing I know, two hours have gone by!

After reading about the possibility of snakes in Zekiah Swamp, I know I'll never visit that place. That's also what's kept me from checking out the site of the Garrett farm.

--Jim
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 01:26:25 PM »

     Thank you, Laurie! I'll hold you to that.

     It seems Stuart was very disgusted after his time on a prison barge and being constantly under the Yankee microscope. If AB is correct in how he treated Booth ("I don't want to know anything about you."), it seems to me he knew the war was over for all intents and had just about had it with bargaining his own freedom to extend himself to anyone for the sake of the cause. From what's written about Booth's stop there, if Stuart heard of the assassination, it was after Booth was gone. Not guilty, I guess.
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Jim Page
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 05:51:12 PM »

Good info, Laurie. Our internet acoustic guitar forum meets every spring at Westmoreland State Park in the Northern Neck, so I drive past that site twice each year. I used to stay in the cabins at Westmoreland until I discovered the wonderful accommodations at Stratford Hall just up the road.

I noticed in the photos of the Garrett Farm site on this forum that the site looked well maintained. Thanks, Rick! What a very classy thing for you to do. I can't imagine folks would steal the signage, but this is a zany and crass world sometimes.

--Jim
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