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    "Ms. Suratt is very sick in Prison"

    [Abraham Lincoln]. Four Lincoln Assassination Letters written by William Clark (husband of Pheebe Clark) living in Washington. All letters are written from Washington and dated between April 21, 1865, and June 28, 1865. In them, Clark writes from the "U.S. Arsenal Hospital, Washington D.C.," where he was serving out the end of his enlistment, about the recent events regarding the assassination and burial of President Lincoln. Interestingly, he reports on the health of Mary Surratt.

    On April 21, he informs his family about "all the particulars as far as I know about the Assassination of our Chief Magistrate on the Night of the 14th at Fords Theatre." Clark mistakenly informs his family that "Aladin and his magic lamp" was playing that night (Our American Cousin was actually playing). "The President and wife also Miss Harris and one of her companions and a Major were sitting in one of the Boxes when at 10.30 as they were in the last part of the play there was a man entered the box from the back way and sayed in lattin Death to the tirant drawed a Pistol and shot the President in the back part of the head as near as i can tell you it was just where the Scull fastens on to the neck. . . . after he shot he drew a dirk and struck at the Major and then jumped onto the stage and run out the back way there he had a horse waiting for him jumped on and rode away." Clark also shares the details about the attempt on William Seward's life ("the man has been caught") before speculating about the arrest of Lincoln's assassin. Offering more details about the president's death, he writes, "The President Died just 8 hours and 52 minutes after he was shot. He was unconcious from the time he was shot untill his death. i have been with Pheebe to the Captial to see the Body." Included with this letter is the transmittal envelope. In his letter dated June 16, Clark writes about those arrested in connection with the assassination: "12 is the number one or more of them are very sick the trial is near to a close and i think they will all swing." Twelve days later on June 28, Clark writes of Mary Surratt, "Ms. Suratt is very sick in Prison here and is not expected to live."

    Five days before the actual hanging of the accused, which included Mary Surratt and three others, Clark writes, "Now to the Prisoners they have been tried and several have been sentanced to be hung by the neck until they are dead dead dead and in short time the rest will follow the same Road this is the penalty of trying to kill the Cheaf Majistrate of the nation after he was lawfully elected by the people therefore let traitors take warning." In the final letter (n. d., [April 21, 1865]), William reports on the final procession of President Lincoln's body through the streets of Washington. "The Body left this City at 8 OClock A.M. on a special train for Baltimore. . . . The body of the Child [Willie Lincoln] that died some time since is to be sent with the Body of the Father for Burial at Springfield." On the end of the Civil War: "Joe Johnson has surrendered but i cannot say how true it is one thing certain the war is about played out." This collection has been well preserved; toned with folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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