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|Herold at the Washington Navy Yard after his arrest, 1865.|
|Birthday/Birthplace||David Edgar Herold
(1842-06-16)June 16, 1842
|Deceased||July 7, 1865(1865-07-07)
|Criminal penalty||Death by hanging|
|Parent(s)||Adam and Mary Porter Herold|
|Conviction(s)||Conspiracy to assassinate
Herold was born in Maryland, was the sixth of the ten children who fathered Adam and Maria Porter Herold. He grew up in a large brick house near a naval base in Washington, studied at the “Gónzaga College High School”, “Georgetown College”, and the Rittenhouse Academy. He worked in a pharmacy as an assistant to a doctor. He also became an avid hunter. Herold took courses at the “Charlotte Hall” academy, where he met John Surratt, who introduced him to John Wilkes Booth.
On the night of April 14, 1865, Herold led Lewis T. Powell (also known as Lewis Payne) to the home of Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward. Powell then tried to assassinate Seward inside his house, seriously injuring him as well as other members of his family. The commotion caused by this attack intimidated Herold, who left Powell and fled the scene. There are other versions about Herold that indicate that he conspired to murder Vice President Andrew Johnson, but if he planned such a murder, it never took place.
Shortly after the Seward attack on life, John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln inside the Ford theater. During the murder, Booth broke his leg, however, despite being injured he managed to escape from the city of Washington to Maryland, where he had arranged to meet with Herold. Herold attended Booth and took him to the home of the physician Samuel Mudd, who cured his leg. Herold remained with Booth helping him until the authorities caught them. Both were fenced on April 26, 1865, after they took refuge on a farm; Herold surrendered to the police, but Booth who did not lay down his guns died as a result of the shooting.
Herold was tried before a military court. Admitting to be part of the conspiracy for Lincoln’s murder, in his defense he said he acted under the influence of Booth. Herold was hanged in Washington D.C. and is buried in the cemetery of the United States Congress next to his sister Maria.
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