May 25, 1865 - Testimony of Melvina Washington about Dr. Samuel Mudd
MELVINA WASHINGTON, a witness called for the prosecution, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By ASSISTANT JUDGE ADVOCATE BINGHAM:
Q. State your name to the Court.
A. Melvina Washington.
Q. State if you have lived with the prisoner, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd.
A. Yes, sir: I have lived with Dr. Samuel Mudd.
Q. Do you see him here in this place?
A. Yes, sir: there he is [pointing to the prisoner, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd].
Q. State whether you were his slave.
A. Yes, sir: I was his slave.
Q. State when you left his house.
A. I left him this October coming two years.
Q. State whether, while you lived at Dr. Samuel Mudd’s, you heard him say any thing about President Lincoln.
A. I heard him say that he would not keep his seat long.
Q. When was it that you heard him say that?
A. I heard him say it the summer before I came away,—the summer before last.
Q. Was there anybody talking with him at the time he said that?
A. There was a heap of gentlemen in the house; but I don’t know who they were.
Q. How were the gentlemen that were in the house dressed? and where did they sleep?
A. Some had on gray clothes, and some had on little short jackets, with a little peak to them behind.
Q. Had they any uniform about their clothing?
A. They had black buttons. That was all the uniform they had about them.
Q. Where did they sleep?
A. Sometimes they staid in the house, and sometimes they slept in the pines.
Q. How far from Dr. Mudd’s home?
A. The pines were not far from his spring.
Q. State how they got their victuals.
A. Sometimes Dr. Mudd would carry them; and he sent them once by the girl, Mary Simms. Although I did not stay about the house, I happened to be there at one time when they were all sitting down to dinner, and they had two of the boys watching; and some one come in, and said there was somebody coming; and these men rushed from the table to the side-door, and went to the spring; but I do not know the gentlemen’s names.
Q. Was that about the same time last summer a year ago?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you hear him say any thing about sending a man to Richmond?
MR. EWING objected to the question on the ground heretofore stated by him with reference to similar questions.
The COMMISSION overruled the objection.
A. Yes, sir: he got mad at one of the men one day, and said he was going to send him to Richmond.
Q. What did he say he would send him to Richmond to do?
A. I did not hear him say what he would send him to do.
Cross-examined by MR. EWING:
Q. How many times did you notice these men who staid in the woods there?
A. I noticed them several times,—seven or eight times. They were there for a week or more, and then went away somewhere. I do not know where they went; but they were carried away in the night.
Q. Do you know any of the names of them?
A. No, sir: I think they called one of them, if I am not mistaken, Andrew Gwynn; but I did not know their names when I saw them.
Q. Is there any other name that you recollect?
A. No, sir: I do no recollect of any other name. I heard some of the names from the girl who staid in the house, who used to come out to us, and talk about the men that were in the house; and she gave their names; but I do not know them at all.
Q. They were there together a week?
A. Yes, sir, or more than that.
By the COURT:
Q. At one time?
A. Yes, sir.
By MR. EWING:
Q. Were they ever there at any other time, except during that week?
A. I did not see them at any other time.
Q. There were there at no other time except during that week?
A. No, sir; at no other time except during that week.
Q. When you speak of their having been there seven or eight times, you mean seven or eight times that week?
A. Yes, sir; night and day.
Q. What other people saw them there?
A. The other woman in there [the witness-room] saw them, and another woman out there saw them.
Q. Do you know what white persons saw them, except Dr. Mudd and his wife?
A. I do not know of any other white people that saw them, except Dr. Mudd and his wife.
Q. Did John Best see them?
A. No, sir. Best was not there when I came away: he did not stay there then.
Q. Did any of the field-hands see them?
A. I do not know that any of the rest saw them. The way I happened to see them was because I had to go up to the house on account of the milking when they had company there.
Q. What are the names of the women to whom you referred?
A. One is Rachel Spencer, and the other Mary Simms, who has been in here.
Q. Do you know of any other person who saw them?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did none of the neighbors see them there?
A. I do not know of any.
Q. Whereabouts were the horses kept?
A. They kept them in the stable. They had a boy by the name of Milo who took care of the horses, and another one by the name of Henry; but he is not here.
Q. What was his last name?
A. He went by the name of Henry Hall.
Q. What time in the summer was it?
A. I think near about August, as near as I can recollect.
Q. Last August a year ago?
A. Yes, sir.