Description

    John Surratt/Henride St. Marie Manuscript Telegram, written and signed for William H. Seward in a clerical hand. One page, 8" x 3.5", 5 February [1867], to the U.S. Consul at Nice, who is directed to: "Buy tickets for Surratt [lined out; "St. Marie" inserted] and send him forward by first steamer for New York or Boston. Your account will be paid." The error naming "Surratt" is an interesting slip, since he was at this moment aboard the U.S.S. Swatara, soon to land in Washington. Surratt claimed to have been in Elmira, N.Y. when he learned that Booth had murdered Lincoln; he fled at once to Canada, thence Italy, where he joined the Papal Zouaves. There he was recognized by fellow soldier Henri de St. Marie, a French Canadian who had met him in Maryland (their introductory acquaintance, Louis Weichmann, claimed that St. Marie purposely trailed Surratt from Canada, lured by the $25,000 reward then on his head). For informing on Surratt, the American government secured St. Marie's release from the zouaves, paid him a reduced reward, and brought him to the United States to testify in Surratt's trial for the murder of Lincoln, which ended with a hung jury and the conspirator's release. Half inch tear at top; near fine.

    Provenance
    : Robert F. Batchelder, Ambler, PA, catalog 43, 1983.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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