SMF - Just Installed!
Username  
Password
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Sunday Survey for June 24th., 2012  (Read 1289 times)
BoothBuff
Guest
« on: June 23, 2012, 10:03:22 PM »

     Welcome to the Sunday Survey for June 24th., 2012
     I'm filling in for Randal as he's on his way to Maryland for the weekend.

     John Surratt, Jr. was an integral part of Booth's plans and a trusted co-conspirator. After Booth returned from Canada with letters of introduction to Dr.'s Mudd and Queen, Surratt was probably the next Confederate operative he met as he formed his kidnap plans. They worked closely together for months.

     Most people will agree that Surratt was in N.Y. state on April 14th., 1865. If Booth changed his plans to murder between April 11th. and April 14th., Surratt may have never known of this.

     The question is - If Surratt was in Washington on April 14th., would he have participated in this new, drastic plan and what assignment would this trusted lieutenant been given?   

     
Logged
Thomas Thorne
Full Member
***
Posts: 216


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 01:08:45 PM »

       I think John Surratt would have been a willing participant in  any Boothian murder scheme.   I think JWB might well have assigned him to kill Johnson.
       Tom
Logged
BCorbett1865
Full Member
***
Posts: 137



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 06:15:58 PM »

Good question. I will have to say that I do not believe John Surratt would have taken part in a murder plot. I believe that once he found out that Booth planned to off Lincoln he would have skipped town like good ole George A.

Craig
Logged
BoothBuff
Guest
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 07:34:17 PM »

     That's interesting, Craig. That also entered my mind as Surratt had a mother, sister and a home in Washington. Something tells me he wouldn't have been so desperate to make a sacrifice to the cause so late in the game. I'll venture to say he, due to his involvement with the CSA hierarchy, was a bit more enlightened to the reality of the situation than the rest of the conspirators and may have abstained.
Logged
John Stanton
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 332


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 08:47:22 PM »

I agree that Surratt didn't want anything to do with the murder. I think he made a big show, to be seen elsewhere (Elmira), so that he would not be considered a participant. The prosecution thought they could bring in the liars, to prove their case. They were desperate. These were normally good people, honest and skilled - they knew that they had nothing on Surratt. John believed his Mother was safe.  No woman had ever been executed in the history of the U.S. So, he stayed away. But they punished John, by hanging his mother. Was she guilty?  That's another story for another time. You were very clever Johnny, but they got you anyhow. They got you good!
Logged
BCorbett1865
Full Member
***
Posts: 137



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 07:10:11 AM »

Joe and John, those are some good points. Surratt was too smart to go off half cocked and get caught up in some impetuous-rash-spur of the moment type thing. I believe that If he had got caught up in some assassination plot it would have been well thought out and rehearsed before hand. He was of a different breed than Powell or Herold.

Craig
Logged
wild bill
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 98



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 07:52:29 AM »

Great Sunday question. It is usually answered by historians (the latest is Jampoler) that John Surratt was in upstate New York on April 14. In my book, Confederate Freedom Fighter: The Story of John H. Surratt & the Plots against Lincoln, I put Surratt in Washington and have him consulting with Booth and sent after U.S. Grant. All of this is in the Surratt Trial manuscript and formed the basis of the federal prosecution. The "big show" was staged to give him plausible deniability by Confederate agents out of Canada. It also has a twist on John Stanton's Sarah Slater being in upstate New York and in Canada with Surratt. As with all of my writing and research, I believe that the Yankees had the whole story but lacked proof for a conviction in a civilian court, But not a military one, so John Surratt walked and his mother did not.
Logged
BoothBuff
Guest
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 07:56:33 AM »

     What's your spin on what he would have done, Bill? Do you think he would have been in on a plot to decapitate the Gov't so late in the war?
Logged
wild bill
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 98



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 10:30:59 AM »

What!? You want me to reveal the ending without you having to read the book?

I will give you a clue: Grant and retinue made it to New Jersey, and Surratt got to Sarah and Canada, and he gets to Europe. Never forget that Surratt was trained for the priesthood. . . . Not a shot was fired.

My stuff is often dismissed as fiction, but I assure you it is really not. Fiction by definition is any book with 10% made up material. I rarely run over 15% and I give you chapter notes so the reader can check it out for himself or herself the veracity of what I posit.

I'd say that you can buy it at the Surratt House Museum, but that would be a plug and is verboten by forum house rules. OMG, now Norton and I will have to write each other!
Logged
Gene C
Full Member
***
Posts: 200


Fido


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 11:50:59 AM »

Oh'dear.       I recently bought Randal Berry's book - "Shall We Gather at the River" and Samuel Arnold's - "Confessions of a Lincoln Conspirtor" from the Surratt House Museum. 
Should I not mention that? 

(Disclaimer - I've only emailed Randal, and talked on the phone once - we've never met.  I was only in the Surrattt Museum once, and then for only an hour or two.  Unfortunately, me and Sam go way back ...
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 05:50:13 PM by Gene C » Logged

The more you know, the more you think the less you know, because you know that you don't know.  The less you know the more you think the more you know, because you don't know that you don't know. 
 (Not bad for an old dog)
Rick Smith
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 78



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 04:52:05 PM »

Hello All,

To see Bill's book about John Surratt, "Confederate Freedom Fighter," and his other works, including "Last Confederate Heroes," go here:

www.williamrichter.com

I hope I did this right.  Roger is the master of making links easy to access, I should have asked him for help.

Rick
Logged
BoothBuff
Guest
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 06:31:25 PM »

     I've always enjoyed your posts, Rick, so what's your spin on this?
Logged
Rick Smith
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 78



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 06:45:36 AM »

Joe,

Thanks for asking, I appreciate that.

John Surratt, Jr. was probably in NY on April 14, 1865.  After the botched kidnapping attempt, I think that Surratt was a little fed up with Booth, his theatrics and his lack of serious planning and that he disassociated himself from Booth and headed back to Richmond where he received orders from his chiefs to travel to Montreal.

In his book Last Confederate Heroes, Bill Richter shows Surratt taking the train leaving Washington on April 14 which was headed for Burlington.  On the same train were General Grant & his wife who were leaving town to escape attending the theater with the Lincolns and travelling north to be with their children.  Bill has Booth making a last minute change in his plans; directing Surratt to take the Grant's train and at some point during the journey, assassinate the general.  Grant being too well guarded, this is wisely seen as impossible by Surratt.

I do like Bill's theory; and who knows, this may be what happened.

If you haven't read LCH, you should.  It is a great read.

Take Care,

Rick
Logged
John Stanton
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 332


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 09:37:02 PM »

Everything that we read today, says, that Surratt was in Elmira on April 14th. EVERY OTHER CLAIM has been proven wrong. Any story that was almost acceptable, was provided by "eyewitnesses" that were discredited for perjury.

We know that Surratt left Booth after the abduction attempt, and never saw him again. Surratt left Richmond April 2, - in Washington April 4, - in Montreal April 8 and was sent to Elmira. (E. G. Lee never denied that assignment.) Surratt was seen and identified on his return to Montreal in St. Albans, (The Lost Hankerchief, etc.)

Is there any room to disbelieve this? The truthfullness of this is what saved Surratt's life. I don't have a speck of doubt, that there could have been any other possibilities for Surratt's where-abouts, and duties.
Logged
Joe Gleason
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 631



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 11:06:41 AM »

This by no means offers any proof of John Surratt's whereabouts, but it does give some insight to the rather strange behavior of Louis Wiechmann during the hours following the assassination.

Brooke Stabler; (livery stable mgr.)

                      "Another gentleman came to me on  Saturday morning in a state of great excitement, whose name I do not know but I know the man
                    and where he has been staying. He also was a college mate of Surratt's and has been boarding and staying with Mrs. Surratt on H Street
                    near the corner of 6th. I would know the man If I saw him. I have seen him for the last three months. He is a rather thickset man with a
                    florid complextion. He told me Saturday morning, which was the first time that I knew, that he had a position in the War Department. I do
                    not know what position. He was excited, tremulous, and he told me a number of things. He told me that John Surratt was not in this country
                    in the first place that I might be rest assured of that; That Booth had been suspected of the murder of the President; That the house had
                    been searched that morning, and that he opened the door to let the officers, or whoever they were, into that house; That he was not there ,
                    and that consequences unpleasant might arise therefrom.

                    He further asked me if there was any chance for him ( it was early in the morning between 5 & 6 o'clock ) to get a drink of whiskey. He
                    was nervous and excited. He evidently wanted to impress upon my mind that Surratt had left this country for Europe. And, that Booth was
                    suspected of the murder of the President.; That it was about the substance of his remarks, but he wanted this thing kept quiet; this very
                    fact about Surratt's being in Europe or on his way to Europe and my knowledge of Booth & Surratt. He did not want that disclosed. He would
                    not disclose it, and he did not want me to do it; and it was not a half an hour before I sat and wrote the whole thing out and directed it to
                    Gen. (or Major) Fry, which I suppose he has got. This conversation occurred about 5 or 6 in the morning. He hunted me up because this
                    young man was around frequently and rode out with Booth often, the one who came to see me last Saturday morning. I was up when he
                    came. It was an accidental meeting, though he came there to see me but did not have to send for me."





« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 12:02:50 PM by Joe Gleason » Logged
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to: