DRY TORTGUAS NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) — About 80 descendants of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd are marking the 150th anniversary of Mudd's July 24, 1865, arrival at an isolated Gulf of Mexico fort where he was imprisoned after splinting the broken leg of Abraham Lincoln's assassin.
Wearing "Free Dr. Mudd" T-shirts on Friday, the group toured Fort Jefferson, a former Union military prison on an island 68 miles west of Key West in remote Dry Tortugas National Park. Most visited the cell where Mudd spent four years after being convicted as a co-conspirator in Lincoln's assassination.
Great-grandson Tom Mudd, who spearheaded the pilgrimage, believes the doctor was unaware of John Wilkes Booth's crime when he treated Booth.
Mudd was pardoned and released in 1869. Repeated attempts by family members to have his conviction expunged have failed.