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Author Topic: Sunday Survey for April 29th., 2012  (Read 2340 times)
JS Banning
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« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2012, 07:21:30 AM »

I think the answer is C with some qualification. I think Booth told Mudd what he did. Booth became more reticent to tell people what he did with the passage of time. He was anything but a mere 6 hours after the assassination. However I don't think Mudd willingly helped Booth escape. Mudd's aim, in my opinion, was to get Booth on his way as soon as possible (who wouldn't want that?). Booth placed Mudd between a rock and a hard place Mudd's options were limited and he really had no good choices.

Joe
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Jim Page
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2012, 07:38:21 AM »

Hi, All--

JS Banning touches upon two points that I had originally written upon at length in my post, and then modified or excised. First, that the Southern Maryland area was almost uniformly Southern in its feelings.

The second point was that Laurie, being one who is naturally observant and also being from the area under consideration, carries great weight with me when she expresses her opinions. I'm from the South and I know how feelings were strong where I grew up. I suspect that Mudd would indeed be a pariah if folks had suspected that he'd turned in Booth and Herold. Remember the fellow near the ferry who told the Federal detectives that he'd assist them but please make a show of arresting him?

I suspect that Booth, especially at first, wanted to let his associates-- and Mudd was surely one of those-- know what he had done. Booth probably felt that he had given new life to the Confederate cause. And he'd want to crow about it.

That just seems to be in his character. And we must remember that he was still a very young man at the time of the assassination, and a strongly opinionated one at that. So prudence might not have been his most likely response to a situation.

--Jim
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jonathan
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2012, 11:32:02 AM »

Okay, I see I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I believe the answer is "C". The fake beard/Mudd didn't know who Booth was story is just not believable at all to me. With the right evidence I could be convinced of "B", that Booth did not tell Mudd what he had done. But my gut just tells me that there's no way Booth would have passed up the opportunity to brag a bit. Booth wasn't exactly a shrinking violet, and hours after he shot Lincoln, with the adrenaline still flowing, I find it nearly impossible to believe that he wouldn't have confessed to Mudd.

Here's the thing that I keep going back to, though, that it seems I don't see mentioned a lot.  I don't really think Mudd was a bad guy. You say he was a racist? Okay, well no kidding. So were a lot of other people during that time and at that place. In most cases, it's unfair to judge a historical figure based on contemporary values/ethics/laws, etc. Dr. Mudd was just one of many who wanted slavery to continue, wanted the South to survive independently, and who believed that Lincoln needed to be dealt with to achieve that end. I believe Mudd knew about the kidnap plot, and that he was involved in all kinds of Confederate shenanigans, Lincoln Conspiracy included. I tend to doubt that he knew the plan had changed to murder, but I'm very open to the possibility that he did. But as I just said, in my eyes, that doesn't automatically make him a bad guy. He was doing what he thought was best for the well being of himself and his family. I can live with that. We all do it. He went to extremes that I'd like to think I wouldn't, but who am I to say? Until I'm in his spot, I expect I'll just lay low on that.

The bottom line, to me, is that Mudd knew about the kidnap plot. He knew who Booth was that night. He knew very soon what Booth had done. He knew he had a big problem, and everything he said and did was a simple attempt to save himself and his family. I think that's why he went to town the next day. Yes, it was a scouting mission to assist Booth and Herold, but only because that would benefit Dr. Mudd himself also. He knew he was involved with the kidnap scheme, and that it was in his best interest for Booth and Herold to escape to the Deep South. He then thought it through and decided he better put the word out that some strangers had been at his house, after allowing them a proper head start, of course. After all, he had been seen with Booth a few times, and what if word leaked out that he had visitors that night and never said anything about it? He played everything wrong, but he knew what the deal was, and I believe  he deserved what he got.
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Jim Page
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2012, 12:20:27 PM »

Hey, Jonathan--

Well-worded summation and in alignment with what I suspect was the situation.

--Jim
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2012, 03:31:07 AM »

I'll be honest - this discussion has been a big surprise to me. When I originally read Joe's question I felt "B" would be a slam dunk.  I never imagined "C" would get so much support. My guess is if this had been posted 50 years ago "A" and "B" would have received most, if not all, the votes. I was a solid "B" when the discussion started, and perhaps now I am a "B-."  But, I don't yet think I'm to a "C" at this point.

I am curious if anyone thinks Cox's statement might be true.

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

"Following is the text of the notes written by Samuel Cox, Jr. on August 7, 1893, recording his recollection of a conversation between himself and Dr. Mudd in 1877, eight years after Dr. Mudd was released from prison at Fort Jefferson. The conversation took place while Cox and Dr. Mudd were campaigning together for election to separate seats in the Maryland Legislature. Cox won, but Dr. Mudd lost.

Cox wrote these notes to himself 16 years after his conversation with Dr. Mudd took place, but assuming his recollection was accurate after all those years, the notes tend to confirm that Dr. Mudd had no knowledge of Lincoln's assassination until he learned of it in Bryantown after treating Booth, and that he then returned home, upbraided Booth for his treachery, and told Booth to leave his farm. If Dr. Mudd had followed his initial impulse to surrender Booth to the authorities, he wouldn't have gotten into trouble later on, and would have shared in the reward money offered for Booth's capture." (source: Bob Summers' website)

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

To me this option would be somewhere in between "B" and "C." In other words Booth did not tell Mudd he had shot Lincoln BEFORE Mudd's trip to Bryantown.  But after Mudd returned, and Mudd confronted him with the information he had learned in town, Booth then admitted what he had done as Mudd was chewing him out for endangering his family.

I suppose I am sort of "redefining" the "C" category into two parts:

A.  Booth told Mudd he had shot the president BEFORE his trip to Bryantown.

OR
                                                            
B.  Booth told Mudd that he shot the president AFTER his trip to Byrantown.

Any opinions? Mostly I am curious about what the "C" people feel, but anyone with an opinion hopefully will also post.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 04:46:36 AM by Roger Norton » Logged
Randal
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2012, 04:53:49 AM »

I don't think Mudd knew of Booth's deed BEFORE he went to Bryantown, if he did, why did he take his time riding back? He had heard that Lt. Dana and his cronies were already in town, (while in town) and surely Mudd heard why they were in town. Yet he still had shopped for a few items, after learning of the assassination. He stopped on the way back home to chat with farmers and then probably put two and two together, (about the 2 men at his house) and went back and confronted Booth, who "then" confessed.
I agree with Roger's last summation.

I'm still stuck on "B' though  Wink
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 05:19:55 AM by Randal » Logged
Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2012, 05:25:51 AM »

I don't think Mudd knew of Booth's deed BEFORE he went to Bryantown, if he did, why did he take his time riding back?I'm still stuck on "B' though  Wink
   I think Mudd's taking his time riding back is an indication that he knew about the L.A. before he went to Bryantown. If SM found out for the first time in Bryantown that he had a hot potato under his roof with all the the attendant dangers to himself and his family,he would not have delayed rushing home to tell JWB off and get rid of him ASAP.
        Tom
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Mr Hess
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2012, 05:30:07 AM »

I go with C

And as always Laurie gives us something to really think about

And the false beard tale has always seemed bogus to me.
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Randal
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2012, 05:35:56 AM »

My belief is, IF Mudd knew about the assassination before he went to Bryantown to run errands, he would haven't even gone into town.

Of course I just left the door open for someone to say he went into town to gauge the reaction of the people or actually wittness the troops there and to gleem information to what they already know about the assassins, or there possible whereabouts, but I ain't buying that because only soldiers of fortune and mercenaries behave like that, and Mudd was neither.
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Thomas Thorne
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2012, 06:04:42 AM »

      Randal gave excellent reasons why Mudd went into town.  I don't think Mudd had to be a soldier of fortune or mercenary to do so.  It was less dangerous than harboring Confederate irregulars or being part of a kidnapping conspiracy -activities that Mudd was accused of. No one has argued that only soldiers of fortune or mercenaries were involved with the L.A with the possible exception of Atzerodt.
        Tom 
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jonathan
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2012, 08:20:51 AM »

The Cox Jr. notes that Roger mentioned have, in the past, caused some garden variety flip-flopping on my part concerning this topic. But when I think it through, I really don't believe it happened the way he describes. So much time had passed…Mudd is convicted and jailed in '65, released in '69, then 8 years later has the alleged conversation with Cox Jr., then another 16 years and Cox Jr. writes it down. So many years have passed, so many opportunities to misremember. Then throw in the very real possibility that Mudd simply lied to Cox Jr. We already know that Mudd had no problem telling a tall tale. Then throw in the possibility that Cox Jr. thought Mudd was a good guy and wanted to help preserve his name so he lied. There are simply too many stops along the way for me personally to really believe Cox Jr. on that one, though it does make it all that much more interesting.

I also think Tom brings up a great point that Mudd's casual manner on Saturday points more towards him already knowing what Booth had done. As Tom pointed out, it seems more likely that, if Mudd had first found out in Bryantown what had happened, he would have made a beeline back home. I know I would have. I think if I was in that spot, and I found out in Bryantown that the men in my house had committed that crime, I would have a) told union cavalry (if I was not involved in the kidnap plot), or b) rushed home and told the men to leave (if I was involved in the kidnap plot). Mudd did neither, indicating that he was involved in the kidnap plot and that he already knew Booth had shot Lincoln. He was calmly going about his regular business while assessing the situation.

Yet another thing that leads me to believe Booth told Mudd what he had done, is that I believe it was simply in Booth's best interest. It has been suggested that Booth was trying to protect Mudd by not telling him what had happened. First of all, I don't believe Booth gave a damn who got caught up in the wake of what he had done. But even if he did, his  primary goal at that point would have been to save his own neck. And that being the case, I believe it would have been in his best interest to tell Mudd everything. Booth and Herold show up at Mudd's a couple of hours before dawn. Within a few hours, the news of what has happened and who did it will no longer be confined to Washington. What reason would Booth have for not just telling Mudd right away? Mudd is likely going to find out fairly soon anyway. Furthermore, we know that Booth and Mudd knew each other. We can assume that Booth trusted Mudd. Booth had to have known Union cavalry would be swarming the countryside by morning. It would have been foolish to not tell Mudd what happened. If he didn't tell Mudd, Mudd might have unknowingly given Booth and Herold up. One can imagine a scenario where Mudd goes about his morning business and runs up on some Union cavalry. A soldier asks if Mudd has seen any strangers….Mudd says "well a couple of guys came up last night, but it's okay, I know one of them". The soldier says, "let's have a look at them anyway". When I think about it this way, Booth had to tell Mudd what happened. It was the most logical step to further his escape.

So, as we can see, I am still comfortably aboard the "C" train. Wink
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2012, 08:44:44 AM »

I once read a kid's paper and could not decide if I wanted to give it a "B-" or a "C+."
I ended up giving him a "B-/C+."

Last Sunday I was a "B" on this topic. 

Early this morning I was a "B-." 

Now I am "B-/C+."

You "C" folks make good arguments; so do you Randal. I am hanging on this one. Just like with the kid's paper I cannot decide.

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jonathan
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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2012, 09:32:17 AM »

Laurie, I agree that Mudd probably didn't expect the troops to be there in force that soon. Booth likely did not either. But from Booth's point of view, surely he recognized the possibility that troops would be making their way into the country by Saturday afternoon. To me, this makes it more likely that Booth told Mudd right away. He knew that troops would be showing up at some point in the near future, and Booth needed for Mudd to have that information. To me, this scenario makes the most sense to save Booth's neck, which would have been his primary goal as I said before.

Also, to your point about Steers' argument on why Mudd was in no rush to get home…as Tom mentioned before, this seems to point towards Mudd knowing ahead of time. I just have a very hard time believing that, if Mudd first learned of the shooting while he was in Bryantown, he wouldn't have rushed straight home. He would have been, very understandable, very upset with Booth. I believe that anger would have taken him straight home. Also, regardless of which side of the fence one is on, we have to assume that Mudd wanted Booth off of his property. If Mudd didn't know ahead of time, that means nobody else at the Mudd household knew, other than Booth and Herold of course. Mudd would have wanted to hurry home and deal with the situation. If he did know ahead of time, that means that his wife likely knew also, and she would have been well aware of how to handle the situation, making it less risky for Mudd to take his time getting home.

The more I think about this, the more convinced I become that Booth told Mudd right away when he showed up on the doorstep. It's just the most logical answer to me.
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Randal
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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2012, 05:00:09 PM »

I think we all agree here that Ed Steers is an expert on Mudd, and while Roger earlier mentioned that it's rare for Steers and Kauffman to agree, they both agreed that Booth didn't tell Mudd what he had done before he went to Bryantown. Sorry, but theories are just that, theories. I defer to these two experts.
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StevieG
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2012, 12:25:43 AM »

Love the discussion.
I'm a solid "C".
All my reasons have been stated.
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