The Nation: Clearing Dr. Mudd

At 4 a.m. on April 15, 1865, just six hours after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and an accomplice rode up to the Maryland farmhouse of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd. Booth needed treatment for the broken leg he had sustained in his leap from Lincoln's box to the stage of Ford's Theater, and, as the familiar story goes, he gave Mudd a fictitious name and kept his face hidden behind a muffler and false beard. Still, Mudd was convicted as a conspirator in the assassination plot and sentenced to life imprisonment. Though he was...

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