Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adjusting the Ropes: Execution of the Lincoln Conspirators

July 7, 1865: Adjusting the ropes before hanging the conspirators,
fltr Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and Georg Atzerodt
A detail from one of the photographs of the execution by Alexander Gardner.

Today in 1865 the four main conspirators of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln were executed (John Wilkes Booth was already killed by Boston Corbett). The execution was supervised by General Winfield Scott (more about him later this week). The famous photographer Alexander Gardner and his assistant Timothy O’Sullivan took a series of ten photographs using a large format camera using collodion glass-plate negatives (more about that later this month).

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12 comments:

  1. OOh how gruesome, but morbidly fascinating.

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  2. Gruesome; but not as bad as it would be later.
    Was this a public hanging? (I should know but I don't)

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    1. The execution took place in the courtyard of the Washington D.C. Arsenal Penitentiary. It was not open for public, a signed pass was required for admittance.

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  3. Interesting bit of American history. Thanks Rob!

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  4. Did you see that 2010 film, The Conspirator? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0968264/

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    1. I've read about it. It looks interesting, also because Robert Redford is the director. But according to the reviews it is a rather dull legal drama. So I'm not sure if I'm going to watch it.

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  5. Such a disturbing picture. I located a news article written the day of the hanging. Mary Surratt's attorney made an attempt to stay the execution the day before, but it was rejected.

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  6. It is fascinating. There is something both gruesome and barbaric about executions like this, but at least there weren't cheering crowds.

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  7. That would be 1865, not 1867 !!!!!!

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  8. When I heard about Abraham Lincoln and all he did for USA I've understood that he was the greatest president. Follow the link to read more about him.

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  9. It is difficult to watch these photos, but I think these conspirators got what they've deserved and that's all, end of the story.

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