At 1:22pm on July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt became the first woman ever to be executed by the United States government. Surratt, Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Payne), David Herold, and George Atzerodt were all involved in John Wilkes Booth’s elaborate plot to completely disrupt the Union government by killing President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward.
Around 1:00, Surratt, Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt were brought out to the gallows. Surratt walked out first and made her way to her assigned noose on the far right, as the right of the gallows was considered a more honorable spot to die. She was wearing a hat and veil to cover her face. Her “PRIEST” stood between her and her noose to block her view of it.