Mrs. Quesenberry’s Statement

On May 16th, 1865, Elizabeth Quesenberry gave the following statement to authorities:

“The day that the person I now supposed to be Herold came to my house was on Sunday, the 23rd of April, about one o’clock P.M. He asked my daughter to see the lady of the house, and on being informed that I was absent asked whether I could be sent for. She told him that if he could wait she thought I could. He then remarked to my daughter ‘I suppose you ladies pleasure of good deal on the river.’ my daughter answered ‘No, as we have no boat’. He said that he had crossed the river the night before and had left a very nice little boat by the river bank, which the young ladies could have if they wished. I returned very shortly, and he on seeing me asked if I could not furnish him with a conveyance to take him up the country. I told him no, and asked why he could not walk. She said that he could walk, but his brother was setting down by the river could not, for his horse had fallen and broken his leg; from the way in which he said this, I got the impression that they had both been riding the same horse. He said they were both escaped prisoners, and asked if I could not sell them a horse. I said no, that if I was inclined to assist them I could give them a horse, but that I was not inclined to assist them. He seemed surprised that I was not willing to assist him. I told him that he must go away. He went off very much put out. He went across the field in the direction where I supposed his brother was. I then called to him and asked him if he had anything to eat. He said no and I told him I would go to the house and send him something to eat. I went to the house and after my dinner was over I sent by Thomas Harbin, whom I supposed was a soldier, something to eat. Mr. Harbin, and a Mr. Baden, whom I also suppose was a soldier, came to my house. They had been there before; they had come to my house immediately after the fall of Richmond and they remained there until Mr. Baden was brought to Washington, and Mr. Harbin was there when I left. Harbin returned in about half an hour, and said that she had seen the party the food was for, going on horseback towards Dr. Stewart’s house, and that they told him they were going there. I understood that the horses were furnished by an old man named Bryan never saw the parties afterwards. I became alarmed and suspecting that something was wrong, determined for my own protection to signal to the gunboats, and did hoist a signal and remained there three hours, but they did not come to me. I did not report it to any officer of the government has I had no opportunity to do so and in the meantime I had heard that after they left Dr. Stewart’s they had crossed the Rappahannock at Port Royal and that the soldiers were in pursuit.
E. R. Quesenberry”

Mrs. Quesenberry’s home then:

20121016-224107.jpg

Mrs. Quesenberry’s home today:

20121016-224130.jpg

References:
American Brutus by Michael Kauffman
The Evidence by Edwards and Steers

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Mrs. Quesenberry’s Statement

  1. I have received some unique emails since I began my Lincoln website in 1996. I received this one on July 5, 2009:

    ————————————————————————

    “I read your website concerning different conspiracy theories.

    I know what happened to Lincoln.

    He wasn’t shot.

    He was stabbed through the right eye by a dagger.

    Those who stood in the shadows of Booth were the Vatican.

    I know where this dagger is hid.

    He (Booth) gave it to Elizabeth Quesenberry.

    The dagger ended up in Ohio.

    It is buried beside a house 6 ft down in a clay pot.

    The dagger has 3 Jewels. A red one at the end of the handle and 2 blue ones off the grips extensions.”

    • Now that is a whole bunch of detailed crazy right there. Quick, let’s dig up every house in Ohio!

      Those doctors at Lincoln’s deathbed were a bunch of quacks not to notice Lincoln was missing an eye.

      Thanks for sharing this, Roger.

  2. Rich Smyth

    A local (Virginia) historian once told me that the only original part of the house remaining is the front porch.

    • That could be true, Rich. I’ve been told to look at chimneys when trying to compare houses, as the placement of chimneys usually don’t change no matter how drastic the renovations to a house are. If the chimney stayed still, then even the porch was moved and re-centered on the extended house. I question if anything of that house is still original.

  3. Steve Lohrmann

    Very interesting. Thanks for ALWAYS having something interesting!!

  4. Steve is absolutely correct – BoothieBarn is terrific. Dave, several years ago I received another message that mentioned Mrs. Quesenberry. I tried to find it, but I cannot. So I am just going by memory. This one was about the missing pages from JWB’s diary, and I think the message said they were given to Mrs. Quesenberry. My memory is hazy, but I think the message might have said the missing pages were buried on her property or some such thing.

  5. This has nothing to do with this topic, but I would like to know out of all the conspirators who had their picture taken from Alexander Gardner, how come there was no photo of Mary Surratt taken?

  6. Laurie Verge

    Something that I just learned recently: Percy Martin of Baltimore is the one who correctly identified Mrs. Quesenberry’s house back in the 1970s. Other researchers, including James O. Hall, had decided that her house was inside the nearby Dahlgren Naval Base. Mr. Martin (Pep to friends) tracked down land records and even a great grandson who had grown up very nearby. That great-grandson was the one who verified that it was “The Cottage” of the Quesenberrys, but greatly enlarged over time. Pep was invited into the house and shown original rafters, where the additions had been made, etc. Hall, Tidwell, and Gaddy verified his findings and were delighted.

    The photo shown here is the reverse of what we usually see in books, but the story-and-a-half portion with chimney is original – just remodeled. Somewhere in the files, I have seen an architectural drawing done by either Pep or the descendant showing the stages of growth of the house. I doubt that the front porch is original because of the raising of the roofline and the entirely different look of the one there now compared against the original photo.

    And Roger, the stories of the dagger and missing pages have been combined into one story now, I believe. About a year ago, I was informed that someone knew where the clay pot (or bottle) was buried. I think they are now claiming that it is all back in Virginia.

  7. Jim Garrett

    Hey Dave, great picture! When did you take it?

  8. Jim Garrett

    BTW GREAT Jack-o-lanterns. I’m envious

  9. Anonymous

    My wife (who passed away in January) was a Quesenberry descendent, and spent a great deal of time staying in the house during her childhood on visits to her Quesenberry grandmother and relations. It was then still the home of her Quesenberry grandmother. Dahlgren was small enough then, and the Q family so well-known, that as a young child my wife would write to her grandmother from out of state simply addressing her letters to: “Grandma Rose, Dahlgren, Virginia” and her letters were always correctly delivered and received. My wife’s father and his many siblings had all grown up in the house. Everyone in the large Q and Q-related family knew details about the Wilkes episode; I laughed when I read the post above that someone (non-Q-family-member, obviously!) “discovered” the house to be “the” house in the 1970s! The episode was only a very few generations ago, and the descendents/heirs of “Mrs Elizabeth Q” of the events were in continuous residence in the house throughout that time: the inter-generational “living memory” of the whole matter was very lively indeed within the family, and I suspect the entire local area, at least within any older families still living there–I imagine that many many folks beyond the immediate large family knew the identity of the Q house as relates to the Wilkes episode. The Q family has played an important role in VA affairs since the arrival of the first immigrant members during the early colonial days of the commonwealth.
    I just discovered your site tonight. My wife would have enjoyed reading the postings, seeing the photos of the house, etc. I’m enjoying it on her behalf, as it were. I will send along word to some of her relations.

    • Sir, my condolences to you on your departed wife. I’m sure she was a remarkable lady who clearly had a strong sense of family.

      I love connecting with descendants of these historical figures. Please feel free to post any family lore or versions of the Wilkes episode that have been told to you.

      Perhaps you could help me solve one issue I have, how do you pronounce the name Quesenberry? Cue-senberry, Kwe-senberry, or Kwes-enberry? I’ve heard people pronounce it each way.

  10. Pingback: New Gallery: Mrs. Quesenberry’s Home | BoothieBarn

  11. Rousby Quesenberry

    Dave,

    Thank you so much for your information presented on Mrs. Quesenberry. She was my great grandmother and the 2 year old child mentioned in some of the accounts was my grandfather.
    I have read as must info as I can locate and have been an avid listener to the family stories (most of which i believe to be true).

    Please keep up the good work.

    I will be happy to provide any info that I have for your research.

    Feel free to contact me offline.

    Rousby Quesenberry

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