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Mary Surratt

Convicted conspirator in Lincoln assassination

  • Name Mary Surratt
  • Birth May 1820
    Waterloo, Maryland, U.S.
  • Death: 7 July 1865
    Washington, D.C., U.S.

Life Sketch

Mary Surratt has the dubious distinction of being the first woman executed by the United States government. She was convicted of treason as part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865, just four short weeks after Lee surrendered to Grant, effectively ending the U.S. Civil War.

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Surratt was the owner and operator of a boarding house in Washington D.C. about a half mile from Ford's Theater, the site of Lincoln's assassination. The boarding house served as the principal meeting place of a small group of Confederate sympathizers that banded together under the leadership of the charismatic actor John Wilkes Booth to plan first a failed abduction of Lincoln and later his successful assassination.

Counter to the prevailing notion that she would receive a pardon, Surratt was hanged on 7 July 1865, along with three others convicted of conspiring to kill the president.

Records

1860 U.S. Federal Census—Listed on line 3 with husband and children.

Report of execution in Daily National Republican, 7 July 1865.

Map of courtroom showing where defendants, including Mary Surratt, sat.