Tidbits and Tips

The Trial and Hanging

During the trial of Mary Surratt, the most damning evidence against her came from Surrattsville tavern keeper, John Lloyd.  Lloyd told that John Surratt, David Herold and George Atzerodt came to Surrattsville to drop off at his tavern two carbines, ammunition, 20 feet of rope and a monkey wrench.  The men asked Lloyd to conceal them.

Lloyd testified that three days before the assassination, Mary Surratt told him that the shooting irons would be needed soon. Also, that she gave him something wrapped in a piece of paper, which he took upstairs and found it to be field-glass.  She told him to get two bottles of whiskey ready and these were to be called for that night.

Just about midnight on Friday, Herold came into the house for the items.  Lloyd got the carbines, supposing they were the parties Mrs. Surratt had referred to, though she didn't mention any names. Mrs. Surratt told me to give the carbines, whisky, and field glass. I did not give them the rope and monkey wrench. Booth didn't come in. I did not know him; he was a stranger to me. When police came to search her house on April 17th, they found in Mary’s room a picture of booth hidden behind another photograph.  Mary was arrested and the trial began May 9.  Not a civil court, but a military one, would decide her fate.

There were other witnesses against Mary and The Military Commission, relying heavily on the testimony of Lloyd, found Mary Surratt guilty of conspiracy and sentenced her to death.  Commission members recommended to President Johnson, life in prison due to her sex and age.  Johnson refused to change the sentence, describing Surratt as having “kept the nest that hatched the egg.”

Eight conspirators were tried simultaneously.  The two most noted conspirators were Booth and Mary.  The case against Surratt remains the most controversial trial ever. Some did not agree with her guilt or sentence.  From evidence and testimony it does appear she was conspiring either in a kidnapping plot or murder of Lincoln.

At noon on July 6th, Mary was informed she would be hanged.  She wept profusely.  On July 7, 1865 around noon, Mary was brought out of her cell and allowed to sit in a chair in the sun.    She was brought to the gallows wearing a black dress, black bonnet and black veil.  Mary was held up by each of her arms by two soldiers and her priest.  The four condemned, Samuel Arnold, Lewis Powell, David Herold and Mary were seated in chairs. Mary was seated to the right of the others, the traditional “seat of honor” in hangings.  White cloths were used to bind arms, ankles and thighs.  Mary Surratt’s legs were tied around her dress below the knees.  A white bag was placed over their heads after the noose was put in place. Mary’s last words were “Please don’t let me fall.”


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 12:27


World Nutella Day

Yes, that is correct, there is a day set aside, February 5th, to celebrate that chocolate nut butter, Nutella, made of hazel nuts and chocolate.  Nutella is the brand name of a hazelnut flavored sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963.  Nutella is sold in over 75 countries.

The spread is 50/50 product of hazelnut paste and chocolate.  It was developed in Piedmont, Italy, after taxes on cocoa beans and a shortage of chocolate during World War 11.

The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on April 20, 1964.  The product became an instant success and remains widely popular.  The estimated Italian Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year.

National Nutella Day History was started by American blogger, Sara Rosso, in 2007 while living in Italy.  Word spread and February 5th was chosen to celebrate the nut butter.  Nutella has a fan page on face book, twitter ‘tweets’ and website.

Nutella is great on bagels, croissants, fruit and vanilla wafers dipped into the sweet spread is ‘yummy’.  Go ahead and celebrate, buy a jar and see how fast it disappears.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Always break eggs into a separate bowl when cooking and baking to prevent eggshells in cooked food.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 16:05


The 'Never' Changing Potato

Something usually prompts me to write my column. Usually something I have read or sometime a reader will ask me to write about a subject.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 15:18

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Recently at a New Years celebration there was a piñata.  I thought it was only for birthdays and Christmas but found out that piñatas are for all happy events.   So that got me to thinking where did this tradition begin.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 15:30

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Tiger Talk

As the snow piles on, so do the snow days. There seems to be no end in sight, and while many students are considering this an early Christmas present, others are becoming bored with staying home and not seeing their friends. Seniors especially are getting annoyed at Mother Nature; Casey Hibbard complains, “I’m going to be able to graduate next August.” Rachel Fairchild mentions, “Never have I thought ‘I miss Mr. Strong’ before these insufferable snow days.”

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 December 2010 13:34

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