The Marking of Frederick Aiken’s Grave

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.

Aiken’s resting place when it was unmarked

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 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:

Members of the Surratt Society and Museum pose with the Honor Guard in front of the new marker

A descendant of the Aiken family (left) and Clampitt family (right). Sadly, Frederick Aiken had no children of his own and so he has no direct line.

The Honor Guard at Aiken’s Grave

Visitors at the Cemetery

References:
Finding Frederick by Christine Christensen
Betty Ownsbey

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “The Marking of Frederick Aiken’s Grave

  1. J. Beckert

    Very nice and a job well done by Christine. Kudos, gal!

  2. rsmyth

    Grea job to all involved. I can attest that when you come across a marker like this in a cemetery, you want to find out more about the person resting there.

  3. Thanks for posting, Dave! Very, very impressive – and we’re all grateful to Christine for all of her dedication and hard work!

    • I am very impressed and happy to see these photos. I know how much work, research, and effort went into this. I commend everyone involved. Many, many kudos to all involved.

  4. Just today I edited the Wikipedia article on Frederick Aiken, and I added the gravestone photo.

  5. Dave, just to let you know…..today a Wikipedia editor very slightly edited what I wrote about the gravestone, and the article now has a footnote to your site. Kudos, Dave. I hope it’s one of many to come in the future.

    • Thanks for letting me know, Roger. I do enjoy being a footnote.

      My real desire is for Wikipedia to change their picture of “Booth” on the page for Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address. I pointed out their error in highlighting the wrong man on the talk page for the article but nothing has changed yet.

  6. Judy Aiken

    The grandfathers clock was not owned by Frederick Aiken but was in the Aiken home that he lived in for part of his growing up.

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