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Dr. Mudd, Conspirator or Saint?: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of "Dr. Samuel A. Mudd," who treated Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth, in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who set Booth's broken leg, and his wife. April 21, 1915, The Washington Herald (Washington, DC), Image 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, a simple country doctor wrongly imprisoned for treating Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth? Or is he a confederate agent conspiring with Booth to shoot the President and aid in the assassin’s escape? Some consider Mudd an innocent man caught up in unfair circumstances, but his involvement in the assassination remains a point of controversy. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


April 26, 1865 Mudd is arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder President Abraham Lincoln.
June 29, 1865 Mudd sentenced to life in prison, sent to the Fort Jefferson military prison.
July 24, 1865 Mudd and three co-conspirators arrive at Fort Jefferson with three of the other convicted co-conspirators.
September 25, 1865 Mudd attempts to escape on a supply ship.
August 18, 1867 -
November 14, 1867
Mudd is lauded for treating fellow prisoners in yellow fever outbreak.
February 8, 1869 After Presidential pardon, Mudd returns to Maryland medical practice.
1877 Mudd runs as a democratic candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates.
January 10, 1883 Mudd dies of pneumonia at the age of 49.