The American Film Co. - Discussion Comments Feed - Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? The American Film Co. - Discussion Comments Feed - Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? en-us Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:03:46 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? Judging from the things I see today, governments, even our own, can do anything they want. I have never been privy to Mary Surratt's mind and as such have no idea of her guilt or innocence. I do think the movie was well made. Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:11:45 -0500 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? But what is history without a commentary on social "messages" from the past designed to teach the present and future? Without comparing past events with present situations and contemplating impacts on the future, the study of history is reduced to nothing more than timelines... Thu, 03 May 2012 21:05:55 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? "The Conspirator" isn't a bad film...but the script "borrows" so heavily from "Breaker Morant" that I could tell what the next line would be in the courtroom scenes. Also, in Stanton's office, there was an electrical outlet cover plate visible in one shot. Not good. But just as obvious was the metaphorical aspect of the film: Catholic 1865 = Islamic 2011. Can Hollywood make a movie without "social commentary?" It's said that Samuel Goldwyn, when presented a script with a "message," remarked that "Messages are for Western Union." Good words that Hollywood would do well to live by, once again. Fri, 13 Apr 2012 23:04:40 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? LiverLovesNancy - Please contact me at the Surratt House Museum. I am the director of the museum and can give you some hints. First, try to locate a copy of An American Tragedy by Elizabeth Steger Trindal. It is very heavily in favor of Mrs. Surratt's innocence. I can also send you a copy of a speech that I have given over the years comparing both sides of the issue. Fri, 23 Mar 2012 20:03:36 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? Im 15 And my Class is doing a project on mary surratt and it has to do with her being inoccent but im not finding a lot of of her being evidence of her being inoccent just of her being guilty.. can anyone help me? Thu, 15 Mar 2012 15:03:02 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? Mary Surratt, like most mothers probably tolerated her son's foray's into political activism until things progressed well beyond just idle talk and passive observation. Mary played some role in the kidnapping conspiracy, however, I believe that the actual assassination decision was made by John Wilkes Booth and others as time had become critical and non action was no longer an option. Being a father, I believe that I would sacrifice my life for my son in similar circumstances and therefore, Mary Surratt did what most any other mother or father would do, die for our children no matter the current political current or firmly held beliefs at the time. She protected her children and I do believe that she was enamored with John Wilkes Booth and his status as an actor and celebrity. Wed, 14 Dec 2011 02:12:42 -0500 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? but I feel that she was involved in the conspiracy, but not in a big way, I sometimes wonder what she would've said if she was able to speak her mind during the trial, I'm a girl, I felt her pain and pressure when she was on and they should have not done the trial Mon, 31 Oct 2011 02:10:23 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? I think that Mary was innocent, but I feel that she was involved in the conspiracy, but not in a big way, I sometimes wonder what she would've said if she was able to speak her mind during the trial, I'm a girl, I felt her pain and pressure when she was on trial, but I'm only 12, so I didn't feel her pain and pressure as a mother. (I think that Robin Wright did an amazing job playing Sarratt.) Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:10:52 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? First, Mary Surratt was likely protecting her youngest child, John H. Surratt, Jr., who had been serving the Confederacy for at least two years as a courier, carrying secret dispatches between Richmond and the agents based in Montreal, Canada. At the time of the assassination, young Surratt was in Elmira, New York, spying under the command of Gen. Edwin Lee (not Robert E.). When hearing of the murder, he hightailed it into Canada. Some historians believe that the federal government intended to use his mother as a decoy to drive him out of hiding. Obviously, that didn't work. As others have stated here, however, if his mother was suspicious of what was going on, she should have reported it to the authorities. However, she would then be implicating her son. By not reporting it, she was tried under the laws of conspiracy (vicarious liability) and charged with treason (punishable by death) as well as knowledge of the assassination. BTW: In addition to John and Anna, the two children featured in the film, Mary also had her oldest child, Isaac, fighting in the Confederate Army. Her husband (before his death in 1862) was a known secessionist and ran a safe house for Confederate agents in their Maryland home. Confederate records dated in the last quarter of 1864 still list that home as a safe house - even though Mr. Surratt had been dead for two years. Sat, 01 Oct 2011 12:10:23 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? To an extent it matters. Mary Surratt knew Booth was up to no good. I think she knew about the assassination. She was probably the last to find out about it. I'm not sure which child she was protecting. Fri, 30 Sep 2011 20:09:26 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? Mary Surratt was one of John Booth's victims not another conspirator, she was guilty of many things but should not have hung for the murder of President Lincoln...not a moment the American goverment should be proud of but ashamed. Fear and revenge sealed her fate. Fri, 30 Sep 2011 17:09:10 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? I believe Mary was a shrewd woman who suspected rather than completely understood what was happening under her own roof. Thinking that the Goverment had more evidence on her son than on herself she portrayed herself as an innocent victim of circumstance in order to save him. She did not want to believe that they would hang her based on what evidence they thought they had. She realized too late that they had already tried, convicted and sentenced her to death before she ever went to trial. With the volatile state of the country Mary also chose the fatal mistake of displaying her Southern pride in public. In the end she might also have believed that her chosen God would save her. Reality, I do not think truly hit her until the trapdoor let go. Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:09:54 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? We will never know what Mary Surratt did and did not know. She left no diary or papers and made only two statements during her incarceration - both of which gave no clue about her knowledge of the plots. By today's standards, her fate would be at the hands of circumstantial evidence. Many historians today believe that she had to know about the kidnap plot, but stop at declaring that she knew that it had turned to assassination. Vicarious liability - an English common law - did her in. When one enters into a conspiracy, one is liable for what any member of that conspiracy might do. Col. Borch is better to address the issue of the Milligan case, which dealt with civilians being tried in military courts. I believe that I am correct in saying, however, that the Supreme Court still allowed a loophole in which "enemy belligerents" can be tried by the military, even today. Enemy belligerents do not have to be members of an armed force. There was a case during WWII involving German saboteurs who came ashore in New York (civilians executed by a military court) and another case in Quirin vs. ? It seems to me, if questions of the legality of such courts are still around 150 years after the Lincoln assassination, The American Film Company has done a legal service by bringing the situation to light again. I say that while understanding why the U.S. government handled the Lincoln assassination case the way it did. Mon, 26 Sep 2011 19:09:51 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? In the film The Conspirator Stanton stated that it did not matter to him if Mrs. Surratt was actually innocent. If he could not have the son, the mother would do just as well. Obviously, he was interested only in what appeared to be true and to appease the lust for revenge in the populous. Finding the truth would take more time than what the populous and the military wanted to spend for justice to be done. Yet, was that really true? The choices of others created a pathway leading to Mrs. Surratt's ultimate death. Yet, she should have reported the kidnapping plot. Is her reason for not doing so because she was trying to still keep her son close and protect him? Didn't she realize that by concealing information and activities in her home was treason and could lead to the death of her whole family? Since no woman had ever been executed by the government, she must have thought herself safe? Even her own son did not think they would execute her for his actions. When her sentence was changed from life in prison to execution, she became the first. A year later,the Supreme Court ruled, all citizens, whether in times of war or peace are entitled to a trial with a jury of their peers. It came too late for her but not for us. Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:09:46 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? I was a little disappointed that the film focused so much on Joseph Holt and said nothing about John Bingham. It's true that Holt was the lead prosecutor and, thus, more important at the trial, but Bingham is an important figure in American History because of his work in connection with the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment. Sat, 24 Sep 2011 00:09:08 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? The Surratts' connections with the Confederate underground courier route that ran from Richmond to Washington and on into Canada are well documented, including a CSA report from the third quarter of 1864 listing their tavern specifically as a safe house for agents -- this, two years after the death of Mary Surratt's husband. And, of course, her youngest son was a courier from 1863 on. However, to place Mary Surratt involved with Booth's kidnap/assassination plot for a long time is stretching it a bit. Booth was sent to Southern Maryland in November of 1864 to meet with Confederate supporters such as Dr. William Queen and Dr. Samuel Mudd. Mudd then took him to meet with Thomas Harbin, the chief Southern agent in the area. On December 23, 1864, Mudd met with Booth in Washington City and introduced him to John Surratt, Jr. The Surratts had just moved from their Maryland farm to the home they owned since 1853 on H Street in the city. It was at that time - just a little over four months before the assassination - that the Surratts became involved with the actor/assassin. A short period, but certainly enough time to do serious damage. BTW: thomasjones3, I wish they would have included more information on thomasjones1. He was an interesting man throughout the Civil War, and a Southern patriot to the last. Thu, 22 Sep 2011 20:09:07 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? From an investigation of the many contacts with the Confederate "underground" in Washington throughout the war by the Surratt family, it was not by accident that the plot centered around Mary Surratt's boarding house. The letters and documents from the Confederate spies located in Canada support a long and seasoned group of Confederate spies involved with Booth throughout the war. Washington was overrun by Confederate spies. It was the "nature of the beast" having the Yankee capital so far south. Mary was surely involved for a long time. Wed, 21 Sep 2011 11:09:56 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? I think it will always be a mystery of Mary Surrat's innocence or guilt in the efforts behind the conspiracy and assasinating of President Lincoln, however, what was no mystery was the meaning of the Constitution that should have allowed her a fair trial. The focus on the Constitution in this film really portrayed the importance of our Nations founding document. Constitution Week is coming up (September 17th - 23rd, 2011) and this will commemorate the 224th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. I will remember the struggle for her fair trial much during that week!! Sun, 11 Sep 2011 22:09:36 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? The military court that tried the Lincoln conspirators did not try them each individually except within the jurisdiction of that one court. They were tried as one group under the laws of conspiracy - since they all were being tried as joining as one to traitorously murder the President and throw the country into chaos. The hoods were a means of deterring the prisoners from speaking to one another while in their cells. Mrs. Surratt and Dr. Mudd did not wear hoods - the latter probably in deference to his position as a physician. At one point early on, the hoods were actually padded. However, prison doctors soon determined that that was leading to signs of psychosis and ordered them removed. The padded ones were a result of Lewis Powell, the attacker of Secretary Seward, trying to commit suicide by beating his head against the walls of the ironclad monitor that the men (except for Mudd) were first imprisoned on in the Washington Navy Yard - before being transferred to the old Penitentiary on the grounds of the Washington Arsenal. Sat, 10 Sep 2011 20:09:35 -0400 Mary Surratt - Guilty, Innocent, or does it matter? Can you tell me why, during Mary Suratt's trial, that the men involved in the conspiracy of the murders of the President, the VP, and Sec. of State were present during her trial? And why did those men have parital hoods over their faces while they were in the cells? Sat, 10 Sep 2011 14:09:54 -0400