Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 16)(The Conspirator Part 10, Mary Surratt part A)

Here is clip from the new movie “The Conspirator” by Robert Redford about Mary Surratt. More on the movie below.

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself at 7am CST on April 21, 2011.

In my past posts I could have been accused of giving just general ideas of where to cut. Now I am starting in with specifics that are taken from the article “How to cut $343 Billion from the federal budget,” by Brian Riedl, Heritage Foundation, October 28, 2010(Spending cuts in millions of dollars:     

Income Security 


Better enforce eligibility requirements for food stamps.
Implementing the $343 billion in recommended cuts listed in Table 1 would reduce the deficit by somewhat less than $343 billion because some recommendations would also reduce tax revenues. For example, devolving the federal highway program to states would also mean devolving the gas tax, and repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)[6] would repeal its tax increases.
Release Date: 15 April 2011
Genre: Drama
Cast: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson
Directors: Robert Redford
Writer: James D. Solomon,
Studio: Roadside Attractions

Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.

Mary Surratt part A

The film “The Conspirator” is an excellent film and I have been studying up on Mary Surratt ever since then:

Surratt House Museum Photograph

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt was born in May or June of 1823 near Waterloo, Maryland. Her birthplace now lies within the grounds of Andrews Air Force Base, home of Air Force One. In 1840, at age 17, she married 28-year-old John H. Surratt. The couple went to live on lands that John had inherited from his foster parents, the Neales, in what is now a section of Washington known as Congress Heights. John and Mary had three children.  Isaac was born on June 2, 1841. Anna was born on January 1, 1843, and John Jr. was born on April 13, 1844.

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Mary’s children: Isaac, Anna, and John Jr.In 1851 fire destroyed the Surratt home. John Surratt decided not to rebuild the home at that location. He chose to build a combination home/tavern, and the couple bought a farm not far from Mary’s place of birth and near where her family still lived. They established a tavern and later a post office. The tavern was in operation by the fall of 1852, and by 1853 the family was living in the newly constructed Surratt House and Tavern. On December 6, 1853, John Surratt Sr. bought the Washington D.C. property on H Street that would later become Mary’s ill-fated boardinghouse. The price was $4000. Mr. Surratt was appointed postmaster on October 6, 1854, and the surrounding area was henceforth called Surrattsville, Maryland. When John Sr. died in 1862 John Jr. briefly served as Surrattsville’s postmaster. (On May 3, 1865, the Post Office Department changed the town’s name to Robeystown, after the postmaster Andrew V. Robey, and subsequently to Clinton on October 10, 1878.)

On October 1, 1864, along with her daughter, Anna, Mary moved to the Washington D.C. property previously purchased by her husband. She rented the Surrattsville tavern to a man named John Minchin Lloyd.

To make money, Mary started renting rooms in her Washington, D.C. residence located at 541 H Street. (The photo to the left is a Library of Congress photograph of Mary Surratt’s boardinghouse taken during the nineteenth century.)  During the Civil War, Mary’s son, John, became a Confederate spy and messenger. John Jr. met John Wilkes Booth, and early in 1865, Booth became a frequent visitor to the boardinghouse. Other people, later identified as co-conspirators, also frequented the boardinghouse. It is unclear if Mary Surratt knew what all the “activity” was about.

Booth originally planned to kidnap Abraham Lincoln. In connection with that plot some of Booth’s co-conspirators hid two Spencer carbines in the joists of an unfinished loft in John Lloyd’s leased tavern. Apparently Lloyd had misgivings over the hiding of weapons in the building, but he allowed it to happen.

On April 11, 1865, Mrs. Surratt made a trip to Surrattsville. She traveled with Louis J. Weichmann, one of her boarders (pictured to the right). During the trip, they met John Lloyd on the road at Uniontown. According to Lloyd, Mrs. Surratt told him the “shooting irons” would be needed soon. This was a reference to the rifles which had been hidden in the tavern by Booth’s co-conspirators.

Three days later, on the day of the assassination, Mrs. Surratt made another trip to Surrattsville. Again Weichmann accompanied her in a hired buggy. This time, according to Lloyd, she delivered Booth’s French field glasses and reminded him to ready the weapons hidden at the tavern he leased from her. Lloyd testified Mary “told me to have those shooting-irons ready that night, there would be some parties who would call for them.”It was likely that Lloyd, a heavy drinker, was drunk during this conversation with Mary Surratt. At midnight, after the assassination, Booth and David Herold stopped at the tavern to collect these items.

Nowadays the boardinghouse is the Wok and Roll Restaurant (left), and the tavern (pictured below) is the Surratt House Museum. TheSurratt House Museum complex is owned and operated by a government agency, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, Natural and Historical Resources Division. The volunteerSurratt Society, among many wonderful things, assists with the interpretation of the site. It has been a very productive joint effort between public and private support for over 30 years.

Within hours of President Lincoln’s assassination detectives arrived at the Surratt boardinghouse. They searched the house and questioned all 13 people they found. On the night of April 17, 1865, officers arrested Mrs. Surratt. She was charged with conspiracy and with aiding the assassins and assisting their escape. The fact that Lewis Powell (alias Paine or Payne), a definite conspirator, had come to her boardinghouse just as she was being arrested didn’t help her cause.
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