SMF - Just Installed!
Username  
Password
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: John Surratt and Frederick Aiken  (Read 2000 times)
Nan
Full Member
***
Posts: 129



View Profile
« on: September 22, 2012, 02:32:23 PM »

I'm currently reading Elizabeth Leonard's excellent book, "Lincoln's Avengers" and on page 188 she states (I paraphrase) that there is evidence that during the trial of the conspirators (including Mary), John Surratt (from hiding) contacted Fred Aiken to offer to return to Washington, only on the condition that he would not be called to testify at any trial of Jeff Davis.  The footnote does not contain the evidence but cites Weichmann, in his book, that this offer did not occur.  I have never read this before, but it is intriguing.  I was always under the impression that John stayed well-hidden and was silent during the entire proceeding which seems callous given his mother's fate.  Does anyone have any additional information or thoughts about this?  Did Aiken or Holt leave any papers that may have included correspondence from Surratt regarding an offer to return? 
Logged

Nan
Steven G. Miller
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 751


Thanks, Bob!


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 07:52:24 AM »

I'd love to know more about the methods of communication between Surratt and the lawyers. Likely he (John Surratt) was able to keep up partially through the newspapers, but there had to be another channel, too. Anyone have evidence of this?
Logged
Nan
Full Member
***
Posts: 129



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 10:04:54 AM »

In Lincoln's Avengers, Ms. Leonard cites Lou Weichmann's book (True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln) as the source of this information.  On pg 326-327 of his book, Weichmann attributes the story to Father Walter's (Mrs. Surratt's confessor) May 1891 written statement in which he asserts that John Surratt sent an emissary/friend to Washington to inform her lawyers that he "was ready to give himself up in the defense of his mother" but her counsel instructed the friend to tell John that his mother was in no danger of being convicted and that John should remain in hiding.  Weichmann believed Father Walter's tale and even asked Fred Aiken about it.  Mr. Aiken confirmed the story, although Judge Holt denied ever hearing about such an offer.  In later years, did John Surratt ever confirm or deny this story?
Logged

Nan
Randal
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3365



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 10:29:13 AM »

I'll check later today Nan. I have Steven Wright's book with all of the telegram info on Surratt while he was on the run, plus I'll scan the Hanson Hiss interview and see if anythings "telling" Wink
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: