by Michael Thomas Barry
On July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt is executed by the U.S. government for her role as a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Surratt, who owned a tavern in Surrattsville, Maryland, had to convert her row house in Washington, D.C., into a boardinghouse as a result of financial difficulties. Located a few blocks from Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was murdered, this house served as the place where a group of Confederate supporters, including John Wilkes Booth, conspired to assassinate the president. It was Surratt's association with Booth that ultimately led to her conviction, though debate continues as to the extent of her involvement and whether it really warranted so harsh a sentence.