The Dr. Mudd House Museum Waldorf Reviews
In Search of Dr. Mudd Jun 07, 2015
The Dr. Mudd House Museum presents the rural Maryland home of Dr. Samuel Mudd (1833-1883). Dr. Mudd was the physician who treated John Wilkes Booth after Booth had shot Abraham Lincoln.
A most interesting story is presented by this house museum. The house, formally known as St. Catherine, would have remained unremarked had not John Wilkes Booth arrived here in the early morning of 15 April 1865. Booth had broken his leg jumping from the Presidential Box to the stage at Ford's Theatre. He remembered meeting Dr. Mudd at one time and sought him out to set his broken leg as he made his escape. Booth remained at the house for several hours before moving on. Dr. Mudd had gone into town where he heard news of the assassination, but apparently did not make the connection with his patient. The authorities accused Dr. Mudd of allowing Booth to escape. Whether or not Dr. Mudd knew Booth's identity and purposefully misled law enforcement remains a matter of debate. In any event, Dr. Mudd was sent to prison at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, a sort of American Devil's Island of the period. Mudd was pardoned in 1869 for his help in controlling an outbreak of Yellow Fever at the prison. He returned to Maryland and his family and medical practice.
The frame farmhouse was built in 1857 on land that had been in the Mudd family since the 1690s. The house remained in the Mudd family until it became a house museum. Thus, it is furnished with many Mudd family pieces. The sofa on which John Wilkes Booth sat to be treated is in the parlor. Dr. Mudd's medical office is stocked with period instruments and medicines. Not a grand plantation house, St. Catherine represents the house and furnishings of a middle-class professional family of the era. Also on the grounds is a small Ciivl War museum. It is an interesting story.
Admission and house tour is $7. Photography is permitted throughout.
Part of the Maryland Meanderings travel blog
Part of the list Civil War Historic Sites
Part of the list Historic Houses
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