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Mary Surratt
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    (circa May 1823-July 7, 1865)
    Born in Waterloo, Maryland
    With her husband, operated a plantation, a tavern, a general store and a post office
    After his death, ran a boarding house
    John Wilkes Booth and other conspirators met frequently at her boarding house
    First woman executed by the federal government
    She and her husband were slave owners.
    Weapons and cash for Confederate agents were stored at the tavern she and her husband owned.
    Her son John was a Confederate spy and plotted with Booth to kidnap Abraham Lincoln.
    When Andrew Johnson signed her death warrant, he said she had ‘kept the nest that hatched the egg.’
    Her husband was a physically abusive alcoholic.
    Whether she knew about Booth’s plans to kill Lincoln remains a matter of debate.
    When she was hanged, it took several minutes for her to die.
    The executioner later admitted he had not prepared a proper hangman’s knot for her noose because he thought the government would never execute a woman.

Credit: C. Fishel

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