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

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While thus weeping she declared her mother was too good and kind to be guilty of the enormous crime of which she was convicted, and asserted that if her mother was put to death she wished to die also. She was finally allowed to sit in the east room, where she lay in wait for all who entered, hoping to make them efficacious in her behalf, all the while uttering her weary heart in a woman's touching cries: but at last, certain of disappointment, she drove again to the jail and lay in her mother's cell, with the heavy face of one who brings ill-news. The parting will consecrate those gloomy walls. The daughter saw the mother pinioned and kissed her wet face as she went shuddering to the scaffold. The last words of Mrs. Surratt, as she went out of the jail, were addressed to a gentleman whom she had known.

"Good-bye, take care of Annie."

To-night there is crape on the door of the Surratt's, and a lonely lamp shines at a single window, where the sad orphan is thinking of her bereavement.

The bodies of the dead have been applied for but at present will not given up.

Judge Holt was petitioned all last night for the lives and liberties of the condemned, but he was inexorable.

The soldiers who hung the condemned were appointed against their will. I forbear to give their names as they do not wish the repute of executioners. They all belonged to the Fourteenth Veteran Reserve Infantry.

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Here endeth the story of this tragedy upon a tragedy. All are glad that it is done. I am glad particularly. It has cost me how many journeying to Washington, how many hot midnights at the telegraph office, how many gallops into wild places, and how much revolting familiarity with blood.

The end has come. The slain, both good and evil, are in their graves, out of the reach of hangman and assassin. Only the correspondent never dies. He is the true Pantheist--going out of nature for a week, but bursting forth afresh in a day, and so insinuating himself into the history of our era that it is beginning to be hard to find out where the event ends and the writer begins.

Next week Ford's Theater opens with the "Octoroon." The gas will be pearly as ever; the scenes as rich. The blood-stained foot-lights will flash as of old upon merry and mimicking faces. So the world has its tragic ebullitions; but its real career is comedy. Over the graves of the good and the scaffolds of the evil, sits the leering Momus across whose face death sometimes brings sleep, but never a wrinkle.

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

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