Mary E. Surratt Boarding House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Mary Surratt House in Maryland, see Surratt House Museum.
Mary E. Surratt Boarding House
Mary E. Surratt House.JPG
Mary E. Surratt Boarding House is located in Washington, D.C.
Mary E. Surratt Boarding House
Location 604 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Coordinates 38°53′59.32″N 77°1′13.34″W / 38.8998111°N 77.0203722°W / 38.8998111; -77.0203722Coordinates: 38°53′59.32″N 77°1′13.34″W / 38.8998111°N 77.0203722°W / 38.8998111; -77.0203722
Area 2900 sq ft (268 sq m)[2]
Built 1843
Architectural style Early Republic, Federal
NRHP Reference # 04000118[1]
Added to NRHP August 11, 2009[1]

The Mary E. Surratt Boarding House in Washington, D.C. was the site of meetings of conspirators to kidnap and subsequently to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.[2] It was operated as a boarding house by Mary Surratt from September 1864 to April 1865.[2]

About the house[edit]

The building in 1890

The building, at 604 H Street NW, standing three-and-one-half stories tall, was constructed by Jonathan T. Walker in 1843.[3] It has been described as being in the Early Republic or Federal style or in "vernacular Greek Revival" style.[4] It stands on a lot measuring 29 by 100 feet (8.8 m × 30.5 m). The building is 23 feet (7.0 m) wide, facing directly onto the sidewalk on south side of the street, and has a depth of 36 feet (11 m). The building was altered in 1925 so that the first floor could be used as a commercial space.[2]

John Surratt purchased the house from Augustus A. Gibson on December 6, 1853, and operated it as a boarding house.[3] After her husband died in 1862, Mary Surratt chose to rent her tavern/residence in nearby Surrattsville, Maryland, to John M. Lloyd, a former Washington, D.C., policeman and Confederate sympathizer, and moved into the Washington boarding house.

In 1865, the military tribunal trying the conspirators of Lincoln's assassination heard testimony from residents at the boarding house that Surratt had regularly met with John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln conspirators at the house. Lloyd told the tribunal that he had been told by Surratt to provide field glasses and guns to Booth and co-conspirator David Herold. It was on the basis of this evidence that Surratt was convicted and sentenced to death. For her role as a member of the Abraham Lincoln assassination conspiracy plot, she became the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government. She was executed by hanging.[5]


The building was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 2009.[2][1] The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of August 28, 2009.[6]

In April, 2011 the house gained some attention with the release of a film about Mary Surratt, The Conspirator by director Robert Redford.[7] As of 2016, the commercial space is used as a restaurant, with karaoke rooms available.[3][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Announcements and actions on properties for the National Register of Historic Places". Weekly Listings. National Park Service. August 28, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Eli Pousson (May 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Mary E. Surratt Boarding House" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved October 19, 2009.  (31 pages, with eight photos from 2009)
  3. ^ a b c Kauffmann, p. 412.
  4. ^ Eli Pousson (May 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Mary E. Surratt Boarding House" (PDF). (section 7 vs. main text9). National Park Service. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ Farquhar, Michael. "The Haunting Tale of Mary Surratt; They Hanged Her in 1865. Did Her Ghost Escape the Gallows?", The Washington Post, October 31, 1991. Accessed October 22, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Site Of A D.C. Chinese Restaurant Has A Dark Past Art Silverman, National Public Radio, accessed April 19, 2011
  7. ^ . Accessed February 14, 2016.


  • Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus. New York: Random House, 2004.

External links[edit]