Book Review: Dr. Mudd and the Lincoln Assassination: The Case Reopened


by edited by John Paul Jones

Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1995. xiii, 280 pp. Map, append., notes, index. 24.95. ISBN:0-938289-50-0

This work embodies the proceedings of a moot court that reviewed the case of Samuel A. Mudd, one of those convicted of participating in the Lincoln Assassination. Mudd, the physician who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after the assassination, was tried as one of the secondary conspirators, and sentenced to a long prison term. Subsequently released, he was never formally exonerated. As a result, his family – which includes T.V. journalist Roger Mudd – regularly urges politicians to "clear" his name, and has been trying to secure a formal invalidation of all charges.

The popular tendency has been to view Dr. Mudd’s conviction as a travesty of justice. However, the proceedings of the moot court, in which F. Lee Bailey and several other noted attorneys took part, strongly suggest that, although his original conviction was seriously flawed, there is more than enough evidence that was overlooked at the time to suggest not only that Dr. Mudd was involved, but that the conspiracy may have reached high into the councils of the Confederate cabinet.

Worth reading, particularly in the light of recent evidence that the Confederate government was indeed aware of Booth’s machinations.<

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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