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Gallows crossbeam fragment - Page

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Fragment of the crossbeam from gallows scaffold. Long rectangular pine block. The beam was part of the scaffold used to execute the conspirators of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The following individuals were hanged from this scaffold on 7 July 1865: David E. Herold, George A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary Surratt. After the execution, the scaffold was disassembled and housed in the Washington (D.C.) Barracks. While pieces of lumber from the gallows were reused in other projects, the crossbeam was hidden to discourage souvenir hunters. In 1885, the secretary of the Kansas Historical Society wrote to the Quartermaster's Office at the Washington Barracks and requested a piece of the gallows for the Society's collections. Lieutenant Sebree Smith sent this fragment, along with a letter of authentication from a man who worked there when the pieces of the gallows were brought to the barracks.

Date: between 1860 and 1865

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Item Number: 223736
KSHS Identifier: 1885.3.1

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