Imprisoned at the Old Capitol Prison

Right now, 148 years ago, John Wilkes Booth and Davy Herold are hiding in the pine thicket not far from Samuel Cox’s plantation, Rich Hill. They are being aided by Thomas Jones, who is providing them with food, water, and newspapers. Eventually, Thomas Jones will help send the pair across the Potomac river into Virginia. Though unable to prove anything against him, Jones would be arrested and imprisoned into the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. Here, he will be joined by several other individuals who had run ins with Booth and Herold during their escape. Some will become witnesses at the trial. One, Dr. Mudd, will become a conspirator. Some others, like Jones and Cox, will eventually be released with their true involvement unknown to the military commission. Here’s a list of people related to Booth and Herold’s escape who were imprisoned at the Old Capitol Prison.

Old Capitol Prison 1

Name Date Committed Age Occupation Residence Date Captured Where Captured Charges Notes
Bryant, William May 3 Farmer King George County, VA May 1 Mathias Point Held as witness by order of Secretary of War Released June 7 order General Baker
Cox, Samuel April 26 46 Farmer Charles County, MD April 24 Charles County, MD By order Col. Foster’s investigating committee Released June 3 on oath – order General Augur
Davis, Thomas April 24 18 Farmer[Dr. Mudd’s farmhand] Charles County, MD April 24 Charles County, MD For Major Turner’s investigation Released May 18 by order General Augur
Garrett, John May 6 24 Clerk Caroline County, VA April 26 Caroline County, VA Committed by order Col. Burnett orders Released May 8, order Secretary of War thru Col. Baker
Garrett, William May 6 20 Farmer Caroline County, VA April 26 Caroline County, VA Committed by order Col. Burnett orders Released May 8, order Secretary of War thru Col. Baker
Jones, Thomas A. April 27 45 Farmer Charles County, MD April 23 Charles County, MD Col Foster’s orders Released May 29 on parole to appear and answer charges when requested
Lloyd, John M April 23 41 Tavern keeper Surrattsville, MD April 23 Near T.B., MD For Major Turner’s investigation. Released June 30 order of Secretary of War on file
Lucas, William May 3 65 Farmer King George County, VA May 1 Mathias Point, VA Held as witness Released June 7, General Augur
Mudd, Samuel A. April 24 30 Dr. Charles County, MD April 21? Charles County, MD For M. I. Comm. Transfer to custody of Col. Baker, Agt. War Department
Rollins, William May 4 46 Farmer King George County, VA May 1 Mathias Point, VA Held as witness Released June 7. Delivered to Col. Baker to be returned over to civil authorities
Swan, Oswell (colored) April 27 30 Farmer Near Bryantown April 24 (or 21?) Near Bryantown Col. Foster Released May 18 Gen. Augur
Stewart [sic], Richard H. May 5 59 Physician King George County, VA May 6 King George County, VA Order Col. Baker Released June 7 by order Gen. Parke
Washington, Frank (colored) April 24 53 [Dr. Mudd’s farmhand] Charles County, MD April 24 Charles County, MD For investigation of Commission Released Gen Augur May 18

Old Capitol Prison Map

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Imprisoned at the Old Capitol Prison

  1. Jim Garrett

    Good work Dave: The list goes on and on. I had not seen the plans before.

    • I had the image of the plans in my files, but I honestly have no idea where I got it from. I only wish it was bigger.

  2. Laurie Verge

    Don’t forget that Mrs. Surratt was imprisoned there for two weeks also.

    • You are quite correct, Lauire. Edman Spangler was also imprisoned here for a time. I kept my list to only those Booth and Herold made contact with during their escape, though. There were MANY more people arrested in connection with the assassination placed here.

  3. Steve Lohrmann

    I’m surprised at the ages of the prisoners, they’re so young!. I truely enjoy the site! It amazes me how much info you find and share. Great job!!! Thanks

    • I thought the same thing Steve. I was surprised by both the youth of Thomas Davis, the farmhand who noticed the damage to Booth’s horse, and the age of William Lucas, the free black who was ousted from his home by Booth and Herold.

  4. I’m going to Washington next week. Anything anyone wants?

  5. Dave, if you had just bought that place in 1928 and made it into a bed and breakfast, it would still be around today. But noooooooooooooooooo . . .

    –Jim

    • That was quite insensitive of me, wasn’t it. But come now, I’m sure you regret some of your own actions and inactions when you were -60 years old.

      • Let’s see. Minus sixty years, eh? Well, I won’t say what year that was, but on January 20th
        I could have witnessed the first basketball game. We may have invented something here: “What were you doing sixty years prior to your birth?!??!”

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