12-03-1867: Dr. Samuel Mudd's Statement to the Butler Commission.
Source: Benjamin F. Butler Papers, Library of Congress.
William H. Gleason was sent by the Congressional Butler Commission to Fort Jefferson in late 1867 to obtain statements from Dr. Mudd, Edman Spangler, and Samuel Arnold (O'Laughlen had died in the yellow fever epidemic) as part of the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. None of the statements by the three men produced any new information about the assassination of President Lincoln. Following is the brief December 3, 1867 statement Dr. Mudd gave Gleason:
Mr. William H. Gleason:
Considering my present situation, I doubt the propriety of making a detailed statement, but in answer to your request and the advice of Major Andrews our kind Commandant, I submit to the Committee whom you have the honor to represent the following brief declaration, which I believe covers every point of your inquiry, viz:
1st. I never heard at any time during the war or since a desire expressed favorable to the assassination of the President.
2nd. I never had the least knowledge or suspicion that the murder of the President was contemplated by any individual or band of men previous to the commission of the horrid deed.
3rd. I was not acquainted with Mrs. Surratt and to the best of my knowledge never in her company.
4th. I knew Booth and John Surratt, but not intimately.
5th. I did not know either Arnold, O'Laughlin, Spangler, Payne, alias Powell, Harold, or Atzerodt, and never heard their names mentioned in any connection whatever, previous to the assassination.
Samuel A. Mudd