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Author Topic: Sunday Survey for April 29th., 2012  (Read 2451 times)
BoothBuff
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« on: April 28, 2012, 10:33:26 PM »

     Welcome to the Sunday Survey for April 29th., 2012
     Randal has asked me to fill in for him.

     The few times I've filled in here, Randal has told me to post a question that is controversial and will inspire some debate and differing opinions. In the Lincoln assassination story, few characters are as controversial as Dr. Samuel Mudd. Questions about Dr. Mudd and Mary Surratt center around what they knew and when they knew it.

     There is no question Dr. Mudd knew Booth. He was an overnight guest in Mudd's home in Nov., 1864 - a mere 5 months before the assassination. He also met Booth in Washington in Dec., 1864 and was in the National Hotel in Booth's room. Dr. Mudd may have also been a minor participant in Booth's kidnap plans.

     So, on April 15th., 1865, what did Dr. Mudd know?

     A. Was he completely duped by Booth with his false beard, shawl and fake name and thinking that he was only treating an injured
         traveler?
     B.  Did he know it was Booth, but was unaware of the President's assassination?
     C. Was he was told by Booth what he did, willingly assisted him and took a ride the next morning with Herold to check 
         the climate before the fugitives headed south on their escape?

     Or is it a combination of these?   
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Steven G. Miller
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 06:33:30 AM »

The guilt or innocence of Dr. Mudd is not one of my areas of strong interest, but I've always thought along the lines of choice B.
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Randal
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 06:58:26 AM »

B.
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 07:14:04 AM »

Why, Randal?
     I'm not very well read on Dr. Mudd, but what I find troubling is that a few miles up the road he told John Lloyd he had murdered the President. I don't think he knew Lloyd well at all.  A short distance later, he's at Mudd's - a man of southern feeling he trusted and he doesn't tell him what he did? It's the biggest question I have about Mudd and would really clear the air if the truth was known.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 07:15:54 AM by BoothBuff » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 07:39:22 AM »

Because it was Lloyd who alleged that Booth said "I will tell you some news, if you want to hear it"-"I am pretty certain we have assassinated the President" or something along those lines, The wording isn't correct, as I don't have access to the trial transcripts at this moment, but you get the gist.
 IF Booth told Lloyd that (and we only have Lloyds word on it), maybe Booth really said that and as they were continuing on to Mudd's, he might have thought, "I need to keep my mouth shut" or Herold may have admonished him for making that grand statement, so therefore upon their arrival at Mudd's, they didn't make that BIG annoucement, and Herold's and Mudd's statements were consistant that they gave false names at Mudd's.

But what do I know? I'm jes' a snake wrangler Wink
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Dan
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 08:23:13 AM »

I'm going to go with B as well with this caveat. I suspect when Booth first hobbled into Mudd's home Booth did not make him aware of what he had just done. As the night passed and he was tended to, Booth or Herold probably intimated that they had done something big and it involved the President. Mudd was probably able to connect the dots that Lincoln was not being held somewhere locally, and knowing Booth's hatred for Lincoln... just a thought. Who knows.
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BoothBuff
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 08:25:17 AM »

     That makes sense Randal, given Mudd and Herold's corroborating statements, but there are others on his flight he told he'd shot Lincoln. He supposedly discussed it at Stuart's with Major Hunter and also told Jett and his crew. Something's fishy.
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Randal
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 09:02:16 AM »

True, but maybe he had his reasons for not telling Mudd, maybe he didn't want to implicate him in the kidnap venture or a grander scheme. Maybe Booth was protecting Mudd for that reason. As for as Booth telling Hunter, Jett, Ruggles, Bainbridge, he probably figured he'd never see those yokels again, so why would it matter? He didn't personally know them like he knew Mudd.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 09:07:57 AM by Randal » Logged

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BoothBuff
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 09:07:37 AM »

     I never thought of that. Good point.
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Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 10:26:06 AM »

   The answer is C.  
    I do not believe the fake beard nonsense which no one else on the escape route noted.  We have multiple sources who were told by Mudd that JWB told him about the assassination.  JWB was not one to hide his light under a bushel.   He aided Booth in his escape.  
    BTW, the audio commentary to "The Prisoner Of Shark Island" DVD says that an early screenplay has Dr  Mudd reproaching JWB for killing Lincoln which of course is completely different in the actual film.
     Tom
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 10:30:45 AM by Thomas Thorne » Logged
BoothBuff
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 12:20:40 PM »

     Tom - as I said before, I'm not well read on Dr. Mudd. Who are the people who Mudd told that Booth confessed to him that he shot Lincoln? I've never heard that before. I'm on the fence, but I'm leaning toward "C" also.

     Laurie - Damn, you're smart! But now I'm confused. From what I've read lately, I was leaning toward the theory that Booth only stopped at Mudd's house because of his broken leg. Why would he have to stop there (if he hadn't broken his leg) if he had just stopped at the Surratt Tavern 15 miles before? If I'm not mistaken, it also took him off course.
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Randal
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 12:35:37 PM »

I know EXACTLY what Laurie is going to say, and I still disagree with her on it. I spell it out clearly in my book. Accept no imitations!
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 12:50:03 PM »

We have multiple sources who were told by Mudd that JWB told him about the assassination.   

Like Joe, I am curious about this...who are the multiple sources?
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Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 01:14:43 PM »

     Tom - as I said before, I'm not well read on Dr. Mudd. Who are the people who Mudd told that Booth confessed to him that he shot Lincoln? I've never heard that before. I'm on the fence, but I'm leaning toward "C" also.
      Please read Steers' "Blood on the Moon" paperback edition pp 234-236.  William Burton Benham,the biographer of Osborn Oldroyd said that Oldroyd was told the story  by Mrs Mudd.  Capt. George Dutton, Gen Levi Dodd and Asst. Paymaster William Keeler, who were on the ship that transported the conspirators to Florida separately reported the story.  Samuel Cox Jr also wrote that while traveling with Mudd while  both were campaigning for public office in 1877,Mudd told him  that Booth had confessed to killing Lincoln and that he, Mudd had castigated JWB for endangering Mudd's family.   
      Tom
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 01:42:46 PM »

Tom, this is what I have from Dutton. Are you seeing in this that Mudd specifically was told by Booth that he had assassinated President Lincoln? Or are you talking about something else Dutton said. Maybe it's just me, but I am not seeing here a specific statement by Mudd where he tells Dutton that Booth came right out and told him he shot the president.

----------------------------------------------------------

Camp Fry, Washington, D.C.
August 22,1865.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Holt,
Judge Advocate General, U. S. A.:

Sir - I am in receipt of your communication of this date, in which you request information as regards the truthfulness of certain statements and confessions reported to have been made by Dr. Mudd while under my charge, en route to the Dry Tortugas.

In reply, I have the honor to state that my duties required me to be constantly with the prisoners, and during a conversation with Dr. Mudd, on the 22nd of July, he confessed that he knew Booth when he came to his house with Herold, on the morning after the assassination of the President; that he had known Booth for some time but was afraid to tell of his having been at his house on the 15th of April fearing that his own and the lives of his family would be endangered thereby. He also confessed that he was with Booth at the National Hotel on the evening referred to by Weichmann in his testimony; and that he came to Washington on that occasion to meet Booth by appointment, who wished to be introduced to John Surratt; that when he and Booth were going to Mrs. Surratt's house to see John Surratt, they met, on Seventh street, John Surratt, who was introduced to Booth, and they had a conversation of a private nature. I will here add that Dr. Mudd had with him a printed copy of the testimony pertaining to his trial, and I had, upon a number of occasions, referred to the same. I will also state that this confession was voluntary, and made without solicitation, threat or promise, and was made after the destination of the prisoners was communicated to them, which communication affected Dr. Mudd more than the rest; and he frequently exclaimed, ‘Oh, there is now no hope for me.’ ‘Oh, I can not live in such a place.’

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.
I am General, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
George W. Dutton
Capt. Co. C, 10th Reg't. V. R. C., Com'dg. Guard.

--------------------------------------------

I checked Keeler's statement, and I agree with you. Same with Cox. (Bob's website)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 03:20:17 PM by Roger Norton » Logged
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