Mary Surratt

1823 - Jul 7, 1865

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt was an American boarding house owner in Washington, D.C., in 1865 who was convicted of taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Sentenced to death, she was hanged and became the first woman executed by the US federal government. She maintained her innocence until her death, and the case against her was and is controversial. Surratt was the mother of John Surratt, who was later tried, but due to statute of limitations, was not convicted.
Born in Maryland in the 1820s, Surratt converted to Catholicism at a young age and remained a practicing Catholic for the rest of her life. She wed John Harrison Surratt in 1840 and had three children with him. An entrepreneur, John became the owner of a tavern, an inn, and a hotel. The Surratts were sympathetic to the Confederate States of America and often hosted fellow Confederate sympathizers at their tavern.
Upon her husband's death in 1862, Surratt had to manage his estate. Tired of doing so without help, Surratt moved to her townhouse in Washington, D.C., which she then ran as a boardinghouse. There, she was introduced to John Wilkes Booth.
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