Mary was a Catholic and a Marylander, educated at a young ladies' boarding school in Virginia. She married a much older man and they raised a family, ran a tobacco plantation, with a tavern and a grist-mill on the side. Although Maryland was nominally part of the Union, many Marylanders were sympathetic to the Confederacy.
Mary was arrested in April, 1865 and imprisoned in inhumane conditions. She was guarded at all hours by four men who kept her heavily manacled, with a canvas bag over her head. Even if she was guilty beyond all doubt, she should not have been treated that way. She never ceased to protest her innocence and after being condemned to death by hanging she spent the last few hours of her life in the company of a priest. Anti-Catholic sentiment being strong, it was thought by many that Lincoln's murder was the result of a papal conspiracy; Mary, a devout Catholic, was an obvious scapegoat. Her last words as she died were "Don't let me fall!" She was 42 years old. Share