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bob mills for richard
"she kept the nest where the plot was hatched"
Sat Jan 20, 2018 15:48

Richard, it was (President) Andrew Johnson who described the Surratt boardinghouse as "the nest where the egg was hatched." This was his rationale for refusing the clemency importunities of Anna Surratt and allowing Mary's hanging.

As you correctly point out, the boardinghouse meetings were planning sessions for the abduction of Lincoln, the idea being to haul him off to Richmond in a carriage, thence to use him as a bargaining chip for the resumption of prisoner exchanges (Grant had suspended all exchanges). It's probable that Mary Surratt knew her son John, Booth, and others were planning the abduction. But at that time the war was still extant, and abducting the commander-in-chief of an army, as a war strategy, is not illegal, provided only that the abductee (Lincoln) isn't harmed.

Mary Surratt was a devout Catholic who would never have aided a murder conspiracy. It's probable that on April 14, 1865, she assumed that the "shooting irons" Booth allegedly told her to make ready were to be used to fend off pursuit following another kidnap effort. The shooting irons had been stashed at the Surratt Tavern in preparation for a previous abduction, and Mary had no reason to assume that the purpose had changed. Booth the con artist could easily have fooled her.

I liked your Orrin Hatch wordplay about the hatched egg. I always like a good yolk.

  • Mrs. Surratt and beer gardenRichard E Sloan, Sat Jan 20 09:56
    I forgot to mention Mrs. S in my last post, Sue. That's a cute comparing her boardinghouse to the beer garden. I got a kick out of it. I have to correct you, tho, about it being where the... more
    • "she kept the nest where the plot was hatched" — bob mills for richard, Sat Jan 20 15:48
      • Mrs. SRichard E Sloan, Sat Jan 20 22:25
        I agree with you 100%.
    • The Nest Where the Egg Was HatchedSue for Richard, Sat Jan 20 13:46
      I haven't looked at the Lincoln assassination in quite a while, but I just wanted to get the IDEA out there about the Surratt boarding house possibly being analogous to Hans' Bavarian Beer Garden! I... more
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