This is the Lincoln assassination co-conspirator Lewis Payne being held in federal custody prior to his execution in 1865. As Lincoln was being killed at the Ford Theater, Payne, an Alabama native and Confederate veteran, entered the bedroom of Secretary of State William H. Seward and began to attack him with a large knife.
Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, convicted as conspirators in John Wilkes Booth’s plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln and other members of his administration, were executed by hanging on July 7, 1865 in Washington, DC. Booth himself was found hiding in a barn in Virginia by a New York Cavalry platoon and shot on April 26, 1865.
“Dear Sir, It is with regret I am forced again to intrude on your valuable time. I know you have but little to devote to individuals. After long weary weeks watching and waiting I have just received a letter from my husband, Doctor Mudd, he says he is very weak and nervous and general health yielding to long and close confinement and improper food. The chains were taken off in December. Since the he has been kept under close guard…”
In this letter to President Andrew Johnson, Sarah F. Mudd, wife of Dr. Samuel Mudd, pleads for clemency for her husband and reports on his living conditions while he is imprisoned.
The day after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated,Dr. Samuel Mudd set the leg of President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth, allowing Booth and his accomplice David Herold to sleep at his house on April 15, 1865. Dr. Mudd was convicted of conspiring to help Booth escape because he did not alert the authorities to Booth’s presence at his farm. He was given a life sentence, but was eventually pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on February 8, 1869 following his efforts during a yellow fever epidemic at Fort Jefferson where he was imprisoned.