Samuel Arnold (conspirator)
|Samuel Bland Arnold|
Samuel Arnold after his arrest, 1865
September 6, 1834|
Georgetown, Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Died||September 21, 1906(aged 72)|
He and the other conspirators, John Wilkes Booth, David Herold, Lewis Powell, Michael O'Laughlen and John Surratt, were to kidnap Lincoln and hold him to exchange for the Confederate prisoners in Washington D.C.. This was attempted twice, but failed as Lincoln was not where they thought he would be.
Arnold and O'Laughlen dropped out of the conspiracy when the prisoner-exchange program started.
After Booth's April 14, 1865 assassination of Lincoln, Arnold was arrested on suspicion of complicity. He was actually relieved when he was arrested. During the trial, one of the chief witnesses was Louis J. Weichmann, a boarder at Mary Surratt's (John Surratt's mother).
Arnold was sentenced to life in prison at Fort Jefferson, along with Samuel Mudd, Michael O'Laughlen, and Edmund Spangler. In 1869 Arnold, Mudd, and Spangler were released after being pardoned by President Andrew Johnson (O'Laughlen had died in prison in 1867).
After Samuel Arnold returned home, he lived quietly out of the public eye for more than thirty years. In 1898 he returned to Fort Jefferson and took photographs of his old prison, but the photographs do not survive. In 1902 Arnold wrote a series of newspaper articles for the Baltimore American describing his imprisonment at Fort Jefferson.
- Booth, p. 138
- Booth, John Wilkes; John H. Rhodehamel and Louise Taper (1997). Right or wrong, God judge me : the writings of John Wilkes Booth. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-02347-7.