George Atzerodt

George Atzerodt

George Andreas Atzerodt (June 12, 1835 – July 7, 1865) [] [] was a conspirator with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Early life

Atzerodt immigrated from Germany in 1843. As an adult, he opened his own carriage repair business in Port Tobacco, Maryland.

The conspiracy

Some years after opening his carriage repair business, Atzerodt met John Wilkes Booth in Washington D.C. Atzerodt was willing to join in a conspiracy to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln, as he later admitted in his trial which took place May 1, 1865. According to the prosecution, Booth instructed Atzerodt to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson on April 14, 1865. On that morning, Atzerodt booked room 126 at the Kirkwood House in Washington, where Johnson was staying. However, he could not muster the courage to kill Johnson, so he began drinking at the hotel bar. He presumably got drunk, and spent the night perambulating the streets of Washington.

During his stay at the hotel, Atzerodt had asked the bartender about Johnson's whereabouts. This aroused suspicion the next day, after Lincoln was assassinated. An employee of the hotel contacted the police regarding a "suspicious looking man in a gray coat". The military police then conducted a search of Atzerodt's room on April 15 and found that he did not sleep in it the night before. Additionally, he had a loaded revolver concealed under his pillow, as well as a concealed bowie knife. Furthermore, the police also found a bank book belonging to Booth in the room. Atzerodt was arrested on April 20. He was found at his cousin Hartman Richter's house in Germantown, Maryland.

Trial and execution

Atzerodt's attorney, Captain William Doster, stated to the court that he intended "to show that George Atzerodt was a constitutional coward; that if he had been assigned the duty of assassinating the Vice President, he could never have done it; and that, from his known cowardice, Booth probably did not assign to him any such duty." However, this was to no avail. Atzerodt, as well as three other convicted conspirators (Mary Surratt, Lewis Payne and David Herold) were hanged in Washington, DC on July 7, 1865. George Atzerodt's last words were: "May we all meet in the other world. God take me now." He is interred in Old Saint Paul's Cemetery.


The conspiracy

* [ Biography and Images of George Atzerodt, Assassination Conspirator] . University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. Accessed December 9, 2004.

External links

* [ George Atzerodt]
* [ George Atzerodt's Lost Confession]
* [ George Atzerodt] at Find-A-Grave
* []

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