May 25, 1865 - Testimony of Mary Simms
MARY SIMMS, a witness called for the prosecution, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE BINGHAM:
Q. State if you know any of these persons in the dock here, the prisoners.
A. I know that one yonder, Dr. Sam. Mudd [pointing to the prisoner, Samuel A. Mudd].
Q. State whether you lived with him.
A. I lived with him.
Q. State whether you were his slave.
A. Yes, sir: I was his slave.
Q. State how long you lived with him, and when you left him.
A. I lived with him, I think, four years, and left him about a month before this Christmas gone.
Q. When you were with him, did you hear Dr. Mudd, the prisoner, say any thing about President Lincoln?
A. Yes, sir: I heard him say that, when he came in here, he stole here in the night, dressed in woman’s clothes, and they lay in watch for him; and, if he had come right, they would have killed him.
Q. State if he said anything about “shooting” when he was speaking of Mr. Lincoln, and what he said about shooting.
A. He never said any thing about shooting, but said he would have killed him if he had come in right: but he could not; he was dressed in woman’s clothes.
Q. Did he say whether any were watching for him, and who?
A. He never said who was watching.
Q. What did he call the people, who, he stated, would have shot him if they could have caught him?
A. He said, “Those men:” he never mentioned names.
Q. State whether there was any man who visited his house often last summer.
A. There was a man visited there last summer by the name of Surratt,—John Surratt; and another one by the name of Walter Bowie.
Q. Who called him Surratt?
A. I heard them all call him Mr. Surratt.
Q. Who called him that?
A. Dr. Sam. Mudd, and Dr. Sam. Mudd’s wife, called him Mr. Surratt.
Q. What sort of a looking man was Mr. Surratt,—young or old?
A. He was a young-looking man.
Q. State whether he was tall or short.
A. He was a slim-made man, not very tall, and not very short.
Q. What was the color of his hair?
A. His hair was sort of light: it was not black.
Q. State whether he came very often or not.
A. Yes, sir: he was there from almost every Saturday night to Monday night. When he would go to Virginia, or come back from there, he would stop.
Q. Where did he sleep when at Dr. Mudd’s?
A. He slept out in the woods. All of them slept in the woods.
Q. How many were with them at times in the woods?
A. Captain White, from Tennessee (I heard them say he was from Tennessee);then there was a Captain Perry, and Lieutenant Perry, and Andrew Gwynn, and Ben. Gwynn, and George Gwynn.
Q. How did they get victuals, if they got any, when they were at his house?
A. When they came into his house to eat, they put us all out to watch.
Q. Who put you out to watch?
A. Dr. Sam. Mudd, to see if anybody would come; and, when we told them anybody was coming, they would run out, and go off to the woods again; and he would make me take the victuals out to them. I would set their victuals down, and I would stand and watch; and the rebels would come out and get the victuals, while I stood behind a tree and watched them.
Q. State to the Court whether this man Surratt ever came to get victuals in that way?
A. Yes. Surratt and Andrew Gwynn were the only two I saw come out for the victuals.
Q. When you were set to watch that door if anybody came while they were eating in the house, did you at any time give notice to Dr. Mudd that some person was coming to the house?
A. Yes, sir. One time I was standing at the door watching, and a gentleman came up,—by the name of Mudd also,—a next-door neighbor. I told them he was coming, and the men ran out.
Q. What men ran out?
A. Ben. Gwynn, Captain Perry, Captain White, and Andrew Gwynn.
Q. Did you ever see Surratt in the house of Dr. Mudd at any other time than when he was eating?
A. Yes, sir. I have seen him in the house, up stairs with him, and in the parlor.
Q. State whether they went apart and talked, or whether they were present with the family.
A. They never talked very often in the presence of the family: they always went off by themselves to talk.
Q. Where did they go?
A. They went up stairs in a room.
Q. State now to the Court how you knew that persons came there from Virginia, as you have stated.
A. They brought letters from Virginia.
Q. To whom did they bring letters?
A. To Dr. Sam. Mudd.
Q. Now state to the Court whether he would give them any letters to take back.
A. Yes: he gave them letters to take back, and clothes and socks.
Q. What sort of clothing were these men dressed in that brought letters from Virginia?
A. Some, that they called lieutenants and officers, had epaulets on their shoulders, and gray breeches with yellow stripes down the legs.
Q. What was the color of the coat?
A. The coat was the same color as the breeches,—gray, trimmed up with yellow.
Q. Did you hear Samuel A. Mudd say anything at any time about sending anybody to Richmond?
A. When he shot my brother, he talked about sending him to Richmond. He said he had a place in Richmond for him.
Q. What did he say he would have him do in Richmond?
A. Building batteries, I understood.
Q. Was your brother his slave?
A. Yes, sir: my brother was, and I was too.
Q. What is your brother’s name?
A. Elzee Eglen.
Cross-examined by MR. EWING:
Q. It was about four years ago when he said to you, that, when Mr. Lincoln came into Washington, he came dressed in woman’s clothes?
A. Yes, sir, that was about four years ago. He never said it to me: he said it at the table.
Q. You spoke of their sleeping in the woods. Do you mean that he slept in the woods?
A. No: he never slept in the woods. The men who used to come to his house slept in the woods. The bedclothes were carried out into the woods for them to sleep on.
Q. Are you sure that you saw Mr. Surratt at that house more than once?
A. Yes, sir: I saw him at that house a dozen times or more.
Q. Do you mean last year, or the year before?
A. I mean last summer.
Q. You say you saw him a dozen times last summer?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many times did Surratt sleep in the house last summer?
A. I do not think he slept in the house any time. None of them ever slept in the house but Watt Bowie.
Q. What was the last time you saw Surratt there?
A. I do not know what the month was when I last saw him. Apples and peaches were all ripe the last time I saw him. He went away then, and said he was coming here to Washington.
Q. How long was that before you left Dr. Mudd’s?
A. I left him just about a month before Christmas. I was free then: he whipped me, and I ran away.
Q. You left Dr. Mudd’s house because he whipped you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. I suppose, when Mr. Surratt was there, all the other servants around the house saw him, besides you?
A. All did not; but the one that lived in the kitchen saw him, besides me.
Q. What is her name?
A. Rachel Spencer.
Q. Did she see him every time he was there?
A. I do not know whether she saw him every time. She was not in the house, but in the kitchen: I was in the house, attending to the children.
Q. Were there not some other servants in the house besides you?
A. There were some more little children in the house,—two little orphan children.
Q. Were there no other servants?
A. One named Letty, and one named Lou.
Q. Was there not one in the house named Julia Ann?
A. She never staid in the house: she staid out in the field.
Q. Did she ever see Mr. Surratt there or not?
A. I do not know. She did not stay in the house, but in the field.
Q. Did Mr. Surratt never take dinner at the house when he was there?
A. Yes, sir; he has taken dinner in the house, but never slept there.
Q. How many times did he take dinner there last summer?
A. About six or seven times. All the rest of the time, when men from here were going after them, they got scared, and ate out in the woods.
Q. Did not the white men working on the place take dinner at the same time?
A. There was no white men working there but old Mr. Best, and he never ate with them.
Q. Was he not up at the house at dinner-time?
A. No: he never came to the house until they were done eating; and then they would blow the horn for his dinner.
Q. Did not the colored men who worked in the field eat dinner at the house?
A. No, not until the white folks were done; and then the horn was blown, and they all came in.
Q. Did not some of the colored men who worked in the field see Surratt when he came there?
A. I do not know whether they did or not.
Q. Whereabouts did Surratt and those who were with him leave their horses on those occasions?
A. They left their horses out, and the boy would carry them to the stable.
Q. What boy?
A. My little brother; he is here: he carried the horses to the stable.
Q. What is his name?
A. Milo Simms in his name.
Q. You spoke of a woman named Rachel: where is she now?
A. In the room yonder.
Q. Were there no neighbors who were in the house when Mr. Surratt was there, and saw him there?
A. I should think Mr. William Mudd, and Vincent Mudd, and Albert Mudd, might have seen him.
Q. They all of them saw him several times there last summer?
A. They all saw him; they all visited the house while the “rebs” were about.
Q. Any other neighbors?
A. Not any others that I know of.
Q. You never saw him, then, in company with any of the other neighbors?
A. No, sir: when any of them came, they would not let them see these men. When Sylvester Mudd and some others came, they would run out of the way.
Q. Was there not a man by the name of Albion Brooke there when Surratt was there?
A. Yes: Albion Brooke was there.
Q. Did he see Surratt there several times?
A. Yes, sir: he was getting ready then to go to school, and he would come in sometimes. Albion Brooke went off to school directly after.
Q. How many times did he see Surratt there?
A. I do not know how many times he saw him there. He worked too; but he came in sometimes.
Q. He saw him several times last summer?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What was the first time last summer you saw Surratt there? How early was it?
A. The first time he commenced coming there was in winter, and he kept coming on and off until summer was out, and after that I did not see him.
Q. About how many times did he come?
A. About a dozen times. He used to go to Virginia and come back, and go to Washington and come back; and every time he would come he would fetch the news.
Q. Would he be there about once a week?
A. Some weeks he would come once a week, and then again he might not come for two weeks. Sometimes he would go to Virginia, and stay two weeks.
Q. Then he must have been there more than a dozen times altogether last year?
A. Yes: I reckon he was more than a dozen times. I cannot tell you how many times, there were so many of them, and he would keep coming and coming.
By ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE BINGHAM:
Q. You have been asked whether Albion Brooke was there: was he a colored man, or a white man?
A. A white man. Dr. Samuel Mudd’s wife was his aunt.
Q. Do you say he worked there in the field?
A. Yes: he worked out in the field where the colored people were.
Q. Do you know any thing about his meeting Surratt? or do you only think he may have seen him?
A. I do not know whether he saw him or not; but I think he may have seen him. He was in the house, and I think he saw him; but I do not know.