Mary Surratt
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On July 7, 1865 at 13.02 p.m. a terrified Mary Surratt was led into the courtyard ahead of the 3 other Lincoln conspirators. The 42 years old brunette wore a long-sleeved black alpaca dress and a black veil that concealed her face completely. Her dress fell to the top of her high black shoes. Mary could barely walkand needed soldiers and her priest to support her. Walking over the courtyard to the gallows Mary's dark eyes firmly fixed to the toes of her shoes.
She tried not to set her eyes on the cheerful crowd, the especially constructed wooden gallows, large enough to hang all four simultaneously or at the four crude coffins, adapted from gun boxes, that were placed near the gallows. Above all she avoided to look at the looped and knotted rope that was waiting for her.
It was an extremely hot day. Mary, heavily seducted had to sit down on a chair while waiting on the platform. A parasol was also held over her head. Finally standing - assisted - on the platform, her hands, calves and feet bound, she was asked if she had any last words. Tears slipped down her pale cheeks as she whispered softly, "
Please don't let me fall".
A white hanging cap was pulled down over her head and the noose was tightened around her neck. At 1.23 p.m. the supporting posts was knocked away from underneath the gallows. The trap doors swung down, dropping her body 5 to 6 feet. As she reached the end of the rope, she jerked upward like a shudder, then settled into a slow swaying motion. Mary made no other motion except a nerveous twiching of her hands.
Mary were allowed to hang for nearly 25 minutes before she was cut down. At the time the rope was cut, Mary's head fell forward upon her breast. This made someone standing by make the heartless remark,
"She makes a good bow".
She was placed on on top of the coffin. She was examined by a doctor and declared dead. Her neck was not broken, instead she had strangled to death hanging suspended from the rope. She was laid in the coffin wearing her dress as well as the hood. Only the rope was removed and sold.
Left: Mary's lifeless body. Her contours of her face is almost visible under the hood, and clearly her breasts lacked support. Her neck was not broken, but after a few seconds of initial spasms Mary showed no further signs of life.
In 1865 the press described Mary as: "Fair, Fat and Forty". However, her hair was still brown and shiny.