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Samuel Alexander Mudd
(1833-12-20)December 20, 1833
Charles County, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||January 10, 1883(1883-01-10) (aged 49)|
Waldorf, Maryland, U.S.
|Known for||Being John Wilkes Booth's doctor|
Sarah Frances Dyer
|Conviction(s)||Conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln|
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment with hard labor|
Mudd worked as a doctor and tobacco farmer in Southern Maryland. The Civil War seriously damaged his business, especially when Maryland abolished slavery in 1864. That year, he first met Booth, who was planning to kidnap Lincoln, and Mudd was seen in company with three of the conspirators. However, his part in the plot, if any, remains unclear.
Booth fatally shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865, but was injured during his escape from the scene. He subsequently rode with conspirator David Herold to Mudd's home in the early hours of April 15 for surgery on his fractured leg before he crossed into Virginia. Sometime that day, Mudd must have learned of the assassination but did not report Booth's visit to the authorities for another 24 hours. This fact appeared to link him to the crime, as did his various changes of story under interrogation. A military commission found Mudd guilty of aiding and conspiring in a murder, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, escaping execution by a single vote.