Mary Surratt’s Execution
On July 6 1865, Mary was informed that she would be hanged the following day. She then wept up until her final moments, and was joined by a priest and her daughter Anna. The night prior to her execution, Mary was up all night praying and refused breakfast the next morning. Her family and friends were ordered to leave her at 10am on July 7th. She spent her final hours with her priest.
As Mary walked up the thirteen steps to the gallows, she needed the support of two soldiers. The gallows themselves were on a ten foot high platform. Mary wore a long black dress and veil. In addition to those who were in charge of the execution and officials, one hundred additional spectators with tickets were present to watch the hanging. Mary Surratt’s last words were spoken to a guard as he placed the noose around her neck. She spoke, “please don’t let me fall”.
All four conspirators were dropped approximately 6 feet, but Herald and Powell did not die immediately as Surratt and Atzerodt did. Mary supposedly gagged as she died hanging in the noose. The bodies hanged for 25 minutes before they were examined and pronounced dead. Today, Mary Surratt’s body rests in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington DC. Her headstone simply reads, “Mrs. Surratt”, and the man who may have sealed her fate, John Lloyd, rests in the very same cemetery.