Image: Alexander Gardner
The bodies of the executed hang limp as the spectators begin to leave.
“Please don’t let me fall.” So went the last words spoken by Mary Surratt. It was a desperate plea before she did indeed fall – to her death, at the end of a hangman’s noose. The demise of Surratt – and three of the other convicted conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln – marked the end of a trial and execution that remains controversial to this day, almost 150 years later.