Monday, February 05, 2007

The Nest That Hatched the Egg

Picture credit: The spirit Ariel takes the form of a harpy and confronts conspirators in Shakespeare's Tempest (See Ariel's speech here)

Picture credit and information about the Lincoln assassination conspiracy trial.
The people who conspired in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln were tried by a military commission.
Attorney General James Speed gave his opinion that an attack on the commander-in-chief prior to the complete end of of the rebellion was an act of war against the United States, so the War Department should control the trial.This interesting site describes the trial and includes the document that set up this military commission:
"WHEREAS, the Attorney-General of the United States hath given his opinion:
That the persons implicated in the murder of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, and the attempted assassination of the Honorable William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate other officers of the Federal Government at Washington City, and their aiders and abettors, are subject to the jurisdiction of, and lawfully triable before, a Military Commission..."[full text]
A woman who owned a boardinghouse, Mary Surratt, was tried and executed for conspiring with the assassin John Wilkes Booth. Her boarding house was the center of the conspiracy. President Andrew Johnson said that Surratt "kept the nest that hatched the egg."

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