Program on Lincoln�s Assassination to be Held at Montco
An all day program examining the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln will take place Saturday October 25, 2008 at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Featured topics will range from the 1865 murder of the President at Ford�s Theatre and the simultaneous attack on Secretary of State Seward at his home to the medical care given to Lincoln. Special attention will also be given to members of the conspiracy who perpetrated the crime, in particular assassin John Wilkes Booth, Mary Surratt, and Dr. Samuel Mudd. The guilt or innocence of Mrs. Surratt, who was the first woman ever hanged by the United States government, and of Dr. Mudd, who treated Booth�s broken leg as he fled through Maryland, has been questioned by students of the assassination for more than 140 years.
Titled �Conspiracy to Kill a President: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln�, the program is sponsored jointly by the Civil War Round Table of Montgomery County, the Historical Society of Montgomery County, and the Montgomery County Department of Parks & Heritage Services. It is part of a series of Civil War symposiums that have been held annually since 1995 by AMART, the Association of Mid-Atlantic Round Tables.
Speaking at the symposium will be Michael Kauffman, author of the 2004 book American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, Mary Mudd McHale, great-granddaughter of Dr. Mudd, Joan Chaconas of the Surratt Society, and local area Civil War historians Roger Arthur, Hugh Boyle, and Steven Wright.
Registration must be made in advance, no later than October 10, 2008. A Registration Form can be downloaded and symposium information can be found at www.cwrtmontcopa.org (link AMART). Information is also available through the Historical Society of Montgomery County, 1654 Dekalb St. in Norristown, phone 610-272-0297.
Registration is open to anyone interested. There is a $50.00 per person registration fee. It includes the entire day (9 AM to 5PM) of quality speakers, exhibits, lunch and refreshments, and chances to win door prizes. There will also be a raffle with signed Civil War prints and a replica Underground Railroad quilt as prizes.
Montgomery County has a direct connection to events in the Lincoln assassination. Immediately after Lincoln�s death General Winfiled Scott Hancock of Norristown was appointed by President Johnson to be Military Governor of Washington, D.C. to keep the peace during the trial and execution of the conspirators. Fellow Norristown native General John Frederick Hartranft was appointed Provost Marshall General of Washington. He was in charge of the imprisonment and execution of the conspirators. Major Valentine Stone, whose wife was from Norristown, was in command of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas at the time four of the conspirators were jailed there. Both he and his wife Julia were yellow fever victims at the fort, and are mentioned in Dr. Mudd�s journals. The graves of Generals Hancock, Hartranft, three more Civil War generals and many other Civil War veterans can be found in Montgomery Cemetery, adjacent to Norristown. There is a grave marker for Major Stone there as
well. Proceeds collected above expenses will be donated to the restoration of Montgomery Cemetery.
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