The next morning, I left early for my dad's near DC. We got up even earlier on Saturday to do a tour that focused on a different type of hanging. The Surratt Society and some great historians and Civil War enthusiasts organize a bus tour a few times a year that follows the trail of John Wilkes Booth from his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on the evening of April 14th until his capture and death on a tobacco farm outside of Port Royal, Virginia on April 26th.
|The President's box at Ford's Theater. Booth leapt from the railing, twelve feet, |
and broke his leg when he landed, but the theatrical Booth still managed to blazon
his bloody dagger and shout "Sic simper tyrannis!" or something very like it.
|The Surratt Tavern in Clinton, Maryland, where Booth and an accomplice stopped first that fateful night. Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed (by hanging) by the U.S. government.|
|One of the wonderful interpreters at the Dr. Samuel Mudd House in Waldorf, Maryland.|
|Dr. Mudd's house-Booth had his broken leg set here before being force to continue his southward odyssey.|
|Cleydael in King George County, Virginia. Booth was turned away here, as he was many places. The new owners are doing a careful restoration that you can see here on their website!|
|And the final act...|
|This was the site of a tobacco farm. Booth was cornered in a barn where he held off a cavalry unit until finally being shot. He died from the wound a few hours later. This is now a median on a highway.|
To keep with the theme of hanging, we went to Harper's Ferry, the site of John Brown's October 1859 raid on the arsenal there.
|Called John Brown's Fort, this was where Brown and his "raiders" holed up before finally being captured by the Marines under Robert E. Lee.|
|The site of the "Fort" on the edge of picturesque and historic Harper's Ferry|
|The Charles Town, West Virginia courthouse (still in use) where John Brown was tried.|
|And finally, the site in Charles Town where John Brown was hanged. The interpretive panel in the rear of the picture states "Many Northerners viewed Brown as a martyr."|
|And finally, back to Providence, where the Taco Camper is back on Parade Street. Summer must be close!|