Recently, I’ve been working on an article for the Surratt Courier about the history of Rich Hill. Rich Hill was the home of Col. Samuel Cox and is located in modern day Bel Alton, Charles County, Maryland. After leaving Dr. Mudd’s house on the evening of April 15th, 1865 and getting partially lost, John Wilkes Booth and David Herold commissioned the help of a local Charles County man named Oswell Swann to guide them to Rich Hill. Col. Cox was a known Confederate sympathizer, and Booth and Herold knew they could rely on him for help. The arrived at Rich Hill in the early morning of April 16th, and woke the house. Cox listened to the men and their request for help but was unwilling to let them stay in his house for long. He had his overseer guide the fugitives into a nearby pine thicket and sent his adopted son, Samuel Cox, Jr., to fetch Thomas Jones. Jones cared for the men for the next five days before helping them cross the Potomac.
In my article for the Courier, I have been recounting the history of the Rich Hill property and house. While I have shared some interesting anecdotes about the house’s past owners, space precludes me from delving too much into their biographies.
When it comes to the history of Samuel Cox, the source I have been referencing the most is an article written by Norma L. Hurley in the October 1991 edition of The Record. The Record is the newsletter of the Charles County Historical Society, a wonderful organization devoted to the preservation of history. Ms. Hurley’s article about Samuel Cox is the best resource out there about this intriguing character in the Lincoln assassination story.
Click Here to read the excellent article, Samuel Cox of Charles County by Norma L. Hurley.
Also, keep your eyes peeled on the next few Surratt Couriers for my upcoming article about Rich Hill. As a sneak peek, here’s a floor plan I created to show what the interior of the house looks like today: