Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dr. Mudd House

On Saturday, I braved the elements and visited the Dr. Mudd House in Waldorf, Maryland.  Dr. Samuel A. Mudd is a controversial figure in American history, his role in the Lincoln assassination has sparked debate for over 150 years.  He has been portrayed as everything from a simple country doctor innocently brought into the Lincoln assassination conspiracy to an arch fiend in league with John Wilkes Booth to kidnap and then murder President Abraham Lincoln.  Like most things in this world, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

The exterior of the house looks similar to how it appeared on April 15, 1865.

The road that John Wilkes Booth and David Herold took on the afternoon of April 15, 1865 towards Zekiah Swamp.

Dr. Mudd's bedroom widow was the bottom left. David Herold tapped on that window to wake Dr. Mudd in the early morning hours of April 15, 1865.

Dr. Mudd's first headstone erected in 1883, it has a typo, Dr. Mudd was 49 not 48. It was replaced following the death of his wife Sarah Frances "Frank" Mudd in 1911.

The original 1865 wellhouse.

The Mudd family lived in the house from 1857 until 1982. They were the houses only private owner.

The family parlor, John Wilkes Booth laid on the sofa while Dr. Mudd treated him for his broken leg.

Another view of the parlor and sofa.

The family dining room.

This sideboard belonged to the Mudd family. Sarah Frances Mudd was forced to sell the piece to pay the bills while Dr. Mudd was imprisoned.

Dr. Mudd made this desk will in prison at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida.

Portrait of Dr. Samuel Mudd over the mantel.

The Mudd's bedroom, the crucifix was on the wall in 1865.

Painting of Dr. Mudd in the front entry hall.

The bedroom John Wilkes Booth stayed in on April 15, 1865. Dr. Mudd used this room to treat patients.

Sarah Frances Mudd drew this drawing in school. It is called "Sleeping Beauty" and was in the Booth Room in 1865.

This dresser and mirror was in the Booth Room in 1865.

The bed is not original to the room, but legend holds that staff will straighten the blankets, only to return to find an imprint of a person in bed. Is it the spirit of John Wilkes Booth?

John Wilkes Booth kept a watch for pursuing Federal authorities from this window.

Lovely 1860s dress in the Mudd children's room. The Mudds' had nine children.

The Mudd children's room. Following Dr. Mudd's arrest, Sarah Frances Mudd and her four children were placed under house arrest until John Wilkes Booth was killed.

Dr. Mudd's medical office.

Guns that belonged to Dr. Mudd and his son.

Some of Dr. Mudd's medical equipment.

Items Dr. Mudd made while in prison. Dr. Mudd was received a pardon in 1869.

I highly recommend a visit to the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House.  I left the museum questioning my original opinion of Dr. Mudd.  

For more information please visit The Dr. Mudd House Museum.



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