Okay, here’s a good trivia question for you Lincoln Assassination experts … How old were the Lincoln Conspirators at the time of the assassination on April 14, 1865?

  John Wilkes Booth – was age 26 (just 2 weeks from his 27th birthday) – (Born May 10, 1838). After shooting President Lincoln, he was on the run for 12 days until April 26, 1865 when he was cornered in a barn at the Garrett barn in Bowling Green, Virginia. He was shot by Sargeant Boston Corbett, a Union soldier, and died a short time later.

  Mary Surratt – was age 42 – (Born May/June, 1823). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Paine) – was age 21 – (Born April 22, 1844). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  David E. Herald – was age 23 – (Born June 16, 1842). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  George Atzerodt – was age 30 – (Born June 12 , 1835). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

   Dr. Samuel A. Mudd – was age 31 – (Born December 20, 1833). Sentenced to life in prison but paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Died at age 49 of pneumonia and pleurisy on January 10, 1883.

  Michael O’Laughlen – was age 25 – (Born June, 1840). Sentenced to life in prison and died of yellow fever two years later in 1867.

  Samuel Arnold – was age 30 – (Born September 6, 1834). Sentenced to life in prison but was paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Died at age 72 of pulmonary tuburculosis (at that time called ‘galloping consumption’) on September 21, 1906.

   Edman Spangler – Was age 39 – (Born August 10, 1825). Sentenced to six years in prison but was paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Due to an extended time of poor health, he died at age 49 on February 7, 1875.

  John Surratt (Mary’s son) – was age 21 – (Born April 13, 1844). Escaped to Canada and then Europe. Caught and returned for trial in June 1867 but was acquitted with a hung jury. He died at age 72 of pneumonia on April, 21, 1916.

Thanks for playing. If you notice any errors (or mistakes in the age calculations) blame me, laugh, and then feel free to comment with the correct information.




If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:


“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 


  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 



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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice article! Thanks for the info on their ages.

    But by the way, John Wilkes Booth was 26 when he was killed. He was shot in the neck, died 3 hours afterwards at 7:15 in the morning, and his reported last words were, “Useless… useless!” after he asked to have his hands lifted to his eyes (he was paralyzed from the neck down).

    • Hi Lisa: Thanks for writing. You are absolutely correct. I mistakenly noted JW Booth’s birthday as being in 1836 when in fact it was 1838. Therefore, he was indeed 26 years old at the time of his death (just 2 weeks shy of his 27th birthday).
      Thanks for catching this for me.

  2. Awesome information Barry, I was wondering if the Old Arsenal Penitentary still exsisted today?

    • Hi Sgt. Thank you for the nice compliment. The Old Arsenal Penitentiary no longer exists. However, there is one part of the original building that still exists. It’s called the Grant Building or Building 20 which still stands on the grounds of Fort Lesley McNair. It was the part of the building that held the trial. John Elliot is posting a 3-part series article on this blog that he and I worked on. The third part will show photos of how the building looks today and the plans to renovate it (including restoring the trial room on the 3rd floor). All very exciting stuff. Stay tuned.

  3. The only correction I offer is: people are “hanged” (sounds strange but it is correct grammar) not “hung” (items such as hats, pictures, coats, etc., are hung). 😏 I thoroughly enjoyed the article!

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