AKA Samuel Alexander Mudd
Birthplace: Bryantown, MD
Location of death: Waldorf, MD
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Remains: Buried, St. Mary's Catholic Church Cemetery, Bryantown, MD
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Physician who treated Lincoln's assassin
Dr Samuel Mudd was a tobacco farmer and physician who tended to the injured assassin John Wilkes Booth after Booth killed US President Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865. Booth had broken his leg as he escaped from Ford's Theater after the murder, and just before dawn the following morning he came to the house of Dr Mudd. The doctor put a splint on Booth's broken leg, arranged to have a carpenter make him a pair of crutches, and allowed Booth to rest at his home for several hours before leaving. Booth was identified and killed in Virginia, more than a week later.
Mudd was one of eight people arrested and charged as accomplices to Lincoln's killing, and his case was heard not by a jury but by a military commission. He admitted that he had met Booth once before the assassination, but maintained that Booth wore a disguise when he came to his home, so Mudd did not recognize him. Other witnesses testified that Booth and Mudd had been seen together on other occasions. All of the eight defendants were found guilty barely two months after Lincoln's murder -- four were hanged, and the other four, including Mudd, were given prison terms at Fort Jefferson, a military prison on a small island off the coast of Florida.
Though he was sentenced to life in prison, Mudd spent less than four years behind bars. Two years after his arrival the island's only doctor died in an outbreak of yellow fever on the island, and Mudd volunteered to act as doctor for the prison and fort. Assisted only by one retired physician brought in from nearby Key West, Mudd provided medical aid for hundreds of inmates, guards, and soldiers from the fort as the epidemic progressed, even after he himself contracted the disease. When the epidemic subsided, almost all of the surviving soldiers at the fort signed a petition asking President Andrew Johnson to forgive Mudd's crime on account of his heroics, and on 8 February 1869 the President granted him an unconditional pardon and immediate release. Mudd then returned to Maryland, where he resumed his career as a physician and farmer, and ran for the state House of Delegates, but lost.
The military guard who had delivered Mudd to prison claimed that during their trip he admitted having recognized Booth at his home, but said he had lied in court to protect his family from reprisals. Mudd had been a slave owner, an outspoken supporter of the Confederacy, and evidence suggests that he was involved with the Confederate underground during the Civil War. He had made no secret of his disdain for Lincoln, but most historians who have analyzed the case believe that Mudd was not an active participant in the conspiracy that led to Lincoln's assassination. Contrary to popular misconception, Mudd is not the namesake of the familiar insult, "His name is mud", a phrase that first appeared in print more than a decade before he was born.
The others convicted of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln were Samuel Arnold (sentenced to life in prison, but pardoned in 1869), George Atzerodt a.k.a. Gottlieb Taubert (hanged), David Herold (hanged), Michael O'Laughlen (sentenced to life, and died in the yellow fever epidemic at the prison), Lewis Powell (hanged), Edman Spangler (sentenced to six years in prison, but pardoned in 1869), and Mary Surratt (hanged). An ninth suspect, Mary Surratt's son John, escaped to Canada, but was eventually captured in Egypt and extradited to America, where his trial ended in a hung jury.
Father: Henry Lowe Mudd (plantation owner, b. 1-Sep-1798, d. 3-Sep-1877)
Mother: Sarah Ann Reeves Mudd ("Sallie", b. 1811, m. 21-Oct-1826, d. 31-Dec-1868)
Brother: James Anthony Mudd (b. 20-Jan-1828, d. 2-Jun-1903)
Sister: Jane Cecilia Mudd (b. 1829)
Sister: Mary Claire Mudd Dyer (b. 7-Oct-1834, d. 16-Feb-1882)
Sister: Anna Cecilia Mudd Blandford (b. 2-Feb-1838, d. 31-Jan-1913)
Sister: Sarah Francis Mudd Gardiner ("Fanny", b. 12-Oct-1840, d. 1-Mar-1910)
Brother: Henry Lowe Mudd (b. Sep-1844, d. 13-Jul-1903)
Brother: Francis Mudd (b. 11-Jul-1846)
Sister: Elizabeth Mudd ("Emma", b. 9-Oct-1848, d. 1853)
Wife: Sarah Dyer Mudd (b. 15-Mar-1835, m. 26-Nov-1857, d. 29-Nov-1911, nine children)
Son: Andrew Jerome Mudd (b. 28-Nov-1858, d. 25-Nov-1882)
Daughter: Lillian Augusta Mudd ("Sissie", b. 2-Jun-1860, d. 16-Jan-1940)
Son: Thomas Dyer Mudd (physician, b. 6-Jun-1861, d. 11-Feb-1929)
Son: Samuel Alexander Mudd, Jr. (b. 30-Jan-1864, d. 21-Jun-1930)
Son: Henry Mudd (b. Jan-1870, d. infancy)
Daughter: Stella Marie Mudd (nun, "Sister Rosamunda", b. 4-Jun-1871, d. 13-Dec-1952)
Son: Edward Joseph Mudd (b. 27-Jul-1873, d. 22-Dec-1946)
Daughter: Rose de Lima Mudd ("Emie", b. 8-Oct-1875, d. 15-Mar-1943)
Daughter: Mary Eleanor Mudd ("Nettie", author, b. 10-Jan-1878, d. 31-Dec-1943)
High School: St. John's College, Frederick, MD (1850)
University: Georgetown University (1854)
Medical School: MD, University of Maryland (1856)
Pardoned by President Andrew Johnson (8-Feb-1869)
Conspiracy convicted 30-Jun-1865
Inmate Fort Jefferson Prison, Dry Tortugas Island, FL:(1865-69)
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