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people? At that same time on the other side of Washington, Lewis Powell broke into Secretary Seward’s house and left him and four others bleeding from their wounds. David Herold took off before the mayhem ended. George Atzerodt got cold feet and never even tried to kill Vice President Johnson. (This has led some to believe, without any justification, that Johnson was involved in the conspiracy.) Booth and Herold then found refuge at a Maryland tavern run by Mary Surratt, who as an accomplice later became the first woman ever executed by the federal government. Her son, John Surratt, had also been part of the kidnapping plot. Which brings us to the story of Dr. Mudd. In recent times, President Carter and President Reagan came under some pressure from Mudd’s descendants and both all but declared Mudd innocent of any complicity.12 Sorry, gang, but your ancestor got off easy. Remember, Booth had a broken leg from the moment he landed on the stage. He bypassed three other doctors along his escape route, to make straight for Mudd’s house. Later the doctor claimed he’d never seen Booth before, and so was innocently providing medical care to an injured stranger who needed help. But I highly doubt Mudd was caught completely unaware when Booth rode up to his house. At the least, he certainly had knowledge of what was happening. The truth that came out later was this: Mudd had introduced Booth to John Surratt the previous December of 1864. In fact, Mudd was “responsible for two key figures being added to Booth’s team of conspirators.”13 Booth had earlier been a guest at the doctor’s home. For the kidnap plot, Atzerodt claimed, Booth “sent provisions and liquor to Dr. Mudd’s for the supply of the party on their way to Richmond with the president.”14 Even if Booth hadn’t stopped off at Mudd’s, there was plenty of evidence to have hauled in the physician as one of his cohorts in the Confederate underground. After hiding Booth out, Mudd then bought him two full days head start by withholding information from the Union soldiers who were tracking Lincoln’s killer. But Mudd and his wife couldn’t get their stories straight, and ten days after the assassination, he was taken into custody. At the conspirators’ trial, five witnesses (including the doctor’s own wife) testified that Mudd had admitted knowing Booth’s identity. Mudd escaped the gallows by a single juror’s no vote. After an epidemic of yellow fever struck the Florida Keys prison where he was sent, Mudd jumped in to provide medical service and ended up receiving

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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