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0100_005E The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth George Alfred Townsend

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A singular feature of this execution was the arrest of General Hancock this morning, who appeared in court, to answer a writ of habeas corpus, with a full staff. It is well to notice that this execution by military order has not, therefore, passed without civil protest. President Johnson extended to General Hancock the right conferred upon the President by Congress of setting aside the habeas corpus.

As usual in such executions as this, there were many stirring outside episodes, and much shrewd mixture of tragedy and business. A photographer took note of the scene in all its phases, from a window of a portion of the jail. Six artists were present, and thirty seven special correspondents, who came to Washington only for this occasion.

The passes to the execution were written not printed, and, excepting the bungling mechanism of the scaffold, the sorrowful event went off with more than usual good order. Every body feels relieved to night, because half of the crime is buried.

On Monday, Mudd, Arnold, O'Laughlin, and Spangler, will go northward to prison. The three former for life, the last for six years.

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Applications for pardon were made yesterday and to-day to President Johnson, by Mrs. Samuel Mudd, who is quite woe-begone and disappointed, in behalf of her husband, by the sisters of Harold, and by Miss Ann Surratt. Harold's sisters, dressed in full mourning and heavily veiled, made their appearance at the White House, for the purpose of interceding with the President in behalf of their brother. Failing to see the President, they addressed a note to Mrs. Johnson, and expressed a hope that she would not turn a deaf ear to their pleadings. Mrs. Johnson being quite sick, it was deemed expedient by the ushers not to deliver the note, when, as a last expedient, the ladies asked permission to forward a note to Mrs. Patterson, the President's daughter, which privilege was not granted, as Mrs. Patterson is also quite indisposed to-day. The poor girls went away with their last hope shattered.

The misery of the pretty and heart-broken daughter of Mrs. Surratt is the talk of the city. This girl appears to have loved her mother with all the petulant passion of a child. She visited her constantly, and to-day made so stirring an effort to obtain her life that her devotion takes half the disgrace from the mother. She got the priests to speak in her behalf. Early to-day she knelt in the cell at her mother's feet, and sobbed, with now and then a pitiful scream till the gloomy corridors rang. She endeavored to win from Payne a statement that her mother was not accessory, and, as a last resort, flung herself upon the steps of the White-House, and made that portal memorable by her filial tears. About half-past 8 o'clock this morning, Miss Surratt, accompanied by a female friend, again visited the White-House, for the purpose of obtaining an interview with the President. The latter having given orders that he would receive no one to-day, the door-keeper stopped Miss Surratt at the foot of the steps leading up to the President's office, and would not permit her to proceed further. She then asked permission to see General Muzzy, the president's military secretary, who promptly answered the summons, and came down stairs where Miss Surratt was standing. As soon as the general made his appearance, Miss Surratt threw herself upon her knees before him, and catching him by the coat, with loud sobs and streaming eyes, implored him to assist her in obtaining a hearing with the President. General Muzzy, in as tender a manner as possible, informed Miss Surratt that he could not comply with her request, as President Johnson's orders were imperative, and he would receive no one. Upon General Muzzy returning to his office, Miss Surratt threw herself upon the stair steps, where she remained a considerable length of time, sobbing aloud in the greatest anguish, protesting her mother's innocence, and imploring every one who came near her to intercede in her mother's behalf.

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The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth
George Alfred Townsend

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