June 3, 1865 - Testimony of Leonard S. Roby.
LEONARD S. ROBY, a witness called for the accused, Samuel A. Mudd, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By MR. EWING:
Q. Where do you live?
A. I live in the Fourth Election District of Charles County, Md.
Q. State whether or not you were in Bryantown on the day after the assassination of the President.
A. I was, on the afternoon of that day.
Q. What time did you go to the town?
A. I was there from about three o’clock that afternoon, I think.
Q. How long did you stay?
A. I staid till dusk; till night.
Q. State what you heard there about the assassination of the President.
A. Before I got there, I met a gentleman on the road who made the statement; but he professed not to believe it; and neither did I till I got near there, when I met some soldiers who were stationed on the road two or three hundred yards from the village, and I made inquiry of them, and they stated that such was the fact. I made inquiry of them whether it was ascertained who was the perpetrator, the assassin; and they said that it was somebody that belonged to the theatre.
Q. Did they give you the name?
A. No, sir: they spoke as if they did not know. Neither did I hear, though I conversed with several. There was a great deal of confusion, though, in reference to it. Nobody could give me the information, until, a few minutes before I left, I received the information from Dr. George Mudd, who said it was Booth.
Q. State whether or not you made any inquiries before you saw Dr. George Mudd, during the time you were in Bryantown, as to who the man was that had killed the President.
A. I did. I made inquiries of several persons; and all gave the same answer, that it was some person who belonged to the theatre, but without a specification of names. I did not hear the name until I received it from Dr. George Mudd.
Q. Did you ask those persons what the name of the man was?
A. I did; I asked several.
Q. Citizens, or soldiers?
A. Both, and particularly the soldiers I first met,—those who were on guard.
Q. Were you about Bean’s store during the time you were there?
A. I was not. I passed it. I was not in the store.
Q. Are you acquainted with Daniel J. Thomas, who has been a witness for the prosecution?
A. Yes, sir; I know Mr. Thomas.
Q. Do you know his reputation, in the neighborhood in which he lives, for veracity?
A. It is very bad.
Q. From your knowledge of his reputation for veracity, would you believe him under oath?
A. No, sir: I do not think I should, from that together with other circumstances.
Cross-examined by ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE BURNETT:
Q. How near do you live to Mr. Thomas?
A. Four or five miles.
Q. How intimately have you known him in the last four years?
A. I have known him from his boyhood.
Q. How frequently have you seen him?
A. Very frequently.
Q. State to the Court what your own attitude towards the Government during this Rebellion has been.
A. It is my belief that I have been a true loyal citizen.
Q. That is the fact?
A. That is the fact, and that is what I state under oath. I have done no overt act in any shape, way, or manner.
Q. Have you said any thing against the Government? given any counsel or assistance to the rebels?
A. No, sir: there are some of the acts of the Administration I may have spoken not so pleasantly of, but nothing else.
Q. Have you said any thing against any efforts of the Government in seeking to put down this Rebellion?
A. I do not think I have.
Q. Have you maintained the attitude of a friend of the Government, or a friend to the South, during this struggle?
A. Early after the commencement, I voluntarily took the oath of allegiance and fealty to the Government; and I have strictly adhered to that oath; have neither turned to the right or the left since that time.
Q. What has been your counsel, your words of comfort, to the rebels or to the Government?
A. I do not think I interfered with either.
Q. Have you talked against the Government?
A. No. I may have talked against some of the acts of the Administration.
Q. What acts?
A. Arbitrary arrests. I do not know of any thing else.
Q. Arbitrary arrests of rebels?
A. No, sir; of citizens.
Q. Were not those citizens that were arrested rebels?
A. They professed to be loyal citizens.
Q. Whom did you take the part of?
A. I do not recollect now; but there were several of our county men.
Q. What other acts of the Administration did you condemn and talk against?
A. I do not know now that there were any.
Q. You say you have never committed any overt act?
A. None that I am aware of. If I did, I did it unwittingly.
Q. Do you know a man by the name of Boyle?
A. I do.
Q. Do you know the man Boyle who murdered Captain Watkins?
A. I have seen him once, I believe; or perhaps a second time.
Q. Did you, or did you not, harbor and feed him at your house after that murder?
A. Never. He was never on my premises after that. He came to my house the morning after our general election, with some ten or a dozen or fifteen; I do not know how many. I live not far from the road, and many call after the election. After the general election, on their route homeward, a party called; and he was among them. I did not know him at that time. They staid but a short time. When I heard his name, I had a reason not to want him there, and I was not so particular in my treatment towards those with him; and they left after an hour or two.
Q. Was that before or after the murder?
A. That was after the general election last fall.
Q. Have you ever seen him since the murder?
A. No, sir; not since the murder. I saw him once on the road, about the time he was charged with taking a horse from a soldier.
Q. Have you seen him since the murder?
A. I have not.
Q. Not at all?
A. Not at all.
By MR. EWING:
Q. In your statement as to the reputation of Thomas for veracity, do you refer to his reputation before the war as well as since the war?
A. All the time.
Q. Ever since his youth?
A. Yes, sir. It appears to me he is this kind of a man, that he will imagine things, and then bring himself to believe they are facts, and then assert them, and stand to them to the last that they are facts and swear to them.
By ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE BURNETT:
Q. You do not mean to say that Mr. Thomas would say what he did not believe to be true?
A. I do not know; but the impression I have formed of him is, that he will say things are so which are not so, and will make himself believe that they are so.