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Washington Times Herald Article - 1956

The following is an April 28, 1952 article from the Washington Times Herald.
"Mary Surratt's Verdict Likened to Russia Today.  Although she's not around to enjoy the news, Mary Surratt has won further vindication as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination 92 years ago next Sunday.  Her latest champion is Domestic Relations court Judge Godfrey L. Munter.
In a talk before the Kiwanis Club at the Mayflower Hotel yesterday, Judge Munter asserted that Mrs. Surratt was held illegally and ordered hanged by the military commission which also doomed Atzerodt, Paine and Herold in the plot.  "The commission lacked jurisdiction to try these civilians," the judge asserted.  "It was just like Russia today."
As accused civilians tried at a time when martial law was not in effect, all the defendants were entitled to trial in open courts, he said.  Of course, he noted, the Supreme Court ruling which affirmed that point did not come through until two years ago -- 90 years too late for Mary and her co-defendants.
[There are some Clinton residents] who still adhere to Confederate ideals, cling to the old name of Surrattsville and much of the mail received at the Clinton post office, located in Mary Surratt's husband's old stone building, is addressed "Surrattsville, MD."
For some reason the school has always been Surrattsville school, and there seems to be no inclination on the part of anyone to change it.  Opened in 1904, the school soon burst its seams and blossomed, in 1910, into a larger frame building -- with six classrooms.  In 1915, a furnace room was added and one of the school's most famous figures -- James T. (Uncle Jimmy) Hawkins -- was hired as school custodian.  Uncle Jimmy remained a part of the school and friend of practically every pupil until his death two years ago.
The school, in keeping with its then dormant neighbor, Clinton, rested until 1925, when changes began to take place at a more rapid pace."
[Ed. Note: As previously reported in Foundation e-Notices, recent scholarship suggests that Mary Surratt may not have been as blameless as previously believed!]





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