On June 14th, 2012, the Surratt Society dedicated a new grave marker for Frederick A. Aiken.
Mr. Aiken was part of Mary Surratt’s legal consul during the Conspiracy trial. The production and release of Robert Redford’s film about Mary Surratt and Frederick Aiken entitled The Conspirator, led to the discovery by researcher Christine Christensen that Mr. Aiken was buried in an unmarked grave in Washington D.C.’s Oak Hill Cemetery.
The Surratt Society, having previously taken up funds to mark the graves of Edman Spangler and Elizabeth Keckly, started a fundraising campaign to mark his grave. The dedication service was attended by members of the Surratt Society and Museum, a group of Honor Guard reinactors, and even some descendants of the Aiken and Clampitt family (Aiken’s legal partner in Mary Surratt’s case). Short speeches were given based on the biographical details gained from Christine Christensen’s impressive research (Her 29 page document about Aiken can be read on the Surratt Society’s website by clicking here). The Aiken descendant gave a nice speech while playing a recording he had made of the chimes of a grandfather clock. That grandfather clock was in an Aiken house that Frederick spent time in as a child. You can hear a short recording of them by clicking here. At the close of the ceremony, as the group was dispersing, the cemetery was visited by a doe and her fawn. The following are just a few images of that day sent to me by Betty Ownsbey, Lewis Powell’s biographer: