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[417] governments subverted by an absolute and direct usurpation on the part of the government of the United States.

The country was filled with horror during 1865 by two trials held before a military commission in the city of Washington. The first commenced on May 13th, and ended on June 29th. The specification was—

That David E. Harold, Edward Spangler, Lewis Payne, John H. Surratt, Michael O'Loughlin, Samuel Arnold, George A. Atzerott, Samuel A. Mudd, and Mary E. Surratt, did on April 15, 1865, combine, confederate, and conspire together to murder President Abraham Lincoln, Vice-President Andrew Johnson, Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, and Secretary of State William H. Seward.

President Lincoln had been shot, and Secretary Seward was badly wounded with a knife. The others were uninjured.

The sentence of the commission was that David E. Harold, G. A. Atzerott, Lewis Payne, and Mary E. Surratt be hanged by the proper military authority, under the direction of the Secretary of War, on July 7, 1865. The others were sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for a term of years or for life. With only one day's delay, the sentences were carried into execution. John H. Surratt escaped before trial. He was sought for by spies of the War Department half ‘round the world, and after a long time was found serving as a soldier in the corps of Papal Zouaves at Rome. He was brought back to Washington, tried, and acquitted.

The insertion of my name with those others, honorable gentlemen, as ‘inciting and encouraging’ these acts, served as an exhibition of the malignant spirit with which justice was administered by the authorities in Washington at that time. The case of Mrs. Surratt, at whose house some of these persons had boarded, awakened much sympathy. She was spoken of by her counsel, Reverdy Johnson of Maryland, as ‘a devout Christian, ever kind, affectionate, and charitable,’ which was confirmed by evidence and uncontradicted. On the day of the execution her daughter, who was quite a devoted and affectionate person, sought to obtain an audience with President Johnson to implore at least a brief suspension of the sentence of her mother. She was obstructed and prevented from seeing the President by ex-Senator Preston King of New York and Senator James H. Lane of Kansas, who were reported to have been at the Executive Mansion to keep guard over President Johnson. Each of these senators at a later period committed suicide.

The trial of Major Henry Wirz was the next in importance which came before a military commission. In April, 1865, President Johnson issued a proclamation stating that, from evidence in possession of the

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