On Location Series #27-Historic Dr. Mudd House adventures (well sort of)…

On April 14, 1865, in the evening time, President Abraham Lincoln was at a play performance at the acclaimed Ford’s Theater in Washington DC.  Then John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate Sympathizer, murdered the president in cold blood.  Booth then hopped off a balcony and broke his leg in the fall.   During Booth’s escaped by horseback and made it to Maryland, as we know Waldorf, Maryland today.


Upon his arrival, he met with Dr. Samuel Mudd, who then worked on Booth’s broken leg.  According to historians, Dr. Mudd and Booth met several times prior to April 14th in discussions about real estate.  After President Lincoln’s assassination, the authorities believed that was not the case and that Dr. Mudd was part of an underground network of Confederate sympathizers in the north.  Dr. Mudd was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War, plus along with his medical practice, he owned several slaves to work the small tobacco farm on his property. Maryland was of separated loyalties during the Civil War, and Mudd’s position was not unusual among Marylanders.   While Marylanders’ common thoughts had commitments to the Union, the affluent and landowners who made up most of the state legislature spoke willingly of secession.  However, their votes to join the Confederacy during that time were suppressed by martial law from the federal government.


Any note, the authorities questioned Mudd, and he was charged and later convicted of being a co-conspirator in President Lincoln’s assassination.  He was then sent to prison in Fort Jefferson (Dry Tortugas, Florida) but was pardon in 1869 by President Johnson.  Historians say that the pardon’s reason was that Dr. Mudd aided with an outbreak of yellow fever inside the prison, essentially when the prison doctor fell ill and perished. Dr. Mudd, a free man, ultimately passed away at the age of 49 in 1883.


Today, Mudd’s house is privately owned but open to the public as a museum about Mudd—offering an opinion and history of favorable events to Mudd and his family’s position. Even though the museum’s emphasis is on Dr. Samuel Mudd, there are displays on the evolution of farming practices and equipment, including past accounts of Civil War actions in the nearby Zekiah Swamp…


Now, in the present day of March 27th, 2021—


I drove to Mudd’s house in the late morning, close to 11:30 am. It was a pleasant day as the season of Spring was in complete form.  I viewed leaf buddings on the local trees, even outside in my backyard.  I also saw cherry blossoms erupting along the drive to the historic landmark.  The nice weather was a great moment to continue the On Location Series, a lovely day, as the season of “new life givings” was upon me until—


I reached my destination.


Mudd’s house was still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The gate to the long driveway leading up to the household was closed and locked with no entryway.  Unless I wanted to unlawfully trespass with, of course, it was not an option for me.

So regrettably, I had to take pictures from the other side of the gate.  Positively, one day soon, I will get a chance to see the house and the farmland up close. There is also another reason I want to visit this property and not just of the Civil War history behind it.


There is also a haunted story that involves the Mudd family.  There were accounts told by folks throughout the years of ghostly figures walking the halls of this house. There were also tales of seeing a body impression on the bed to which the bed was unoccupied.  These accounts were disclosed from people who did the tour and others who managed the dwelling’s upkeep.  I read reports of a young child, supposedly the grandchild (I don’t know the actual relations, but these stories stated that the child was related to Dr. Mudd), who died suddenly in a room located upstairs.  Because of a child’s untimely death, witnesses said they saw the light shining in a window near dusk or when the sun settled for the day.  To add more to this odd occurrence, no one in the household, including people who work for the museum.  These revelations were a mystery that piqued my curiosity, and maybe, just maybe, I will drive by the household in the evening, from outside of the gates, and see if there is any truth to a mysterious upstairs light.


Well, for the time being, please enjoy the pictures I took throughout the blog along with my “under two-minute video” of me and my almost adventures at the Mudd family estate.

*Updated information as of 03/28/21 at 8:07pm–

I did get a chance make it back to the Mudd family homestead and took a few picture that revealed…


There was nothing out of the ordinary. Quick background; the grandson of Dr. Mudd passed away suddenly in his room that is located on the 2nd floor. It is one of the two windows, centered on the 2nd floor. I wanted to drive up closer from farm’s driveway but felt a uneasy feeling about it. Probably just nerves.

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