The Nation: To Remove a Blot

In 1852 a man named John Surratt built a two-story clapboard house in the Maryland countryside about ten miles from Washington, D.C. Soon it served as a tavern, polling place, post of fice and home for the Surratt family, and the area became known as Surrattsville. After Surratt died in 1862, his widow Mary leased the building and moved to Washington, where she opened a boardinghouse. It was there, in 1865, that John Wilkes Booth plotted the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. One of Booth's associates, John Lloyd, turned state's evidence and implicated Mrs....

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