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David Herold's unmarked grave.

Unmarked Grave of a Lincoln Conspirator

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

David Herold was 23 years old in April 1865. While John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, Herold accompanied co-conspirator Lewis Powell to the home of Secretary of State William Seward in a plot to kill him as well. When the murder attempt went awry, Herold fled. He met up with Booth and the two spent 12 days hiding in the Maryland and Virginia countryside before they were caught by Union soldiers. Booth was killed; Herold surrendered.

Eight people were put on trial as assassination conspirators. A military tribunal sentenced four of them, including Herold, to death. After he was hanged on July 7, 1865, Herold's body was buried next to the gallows at the Washington Arsenal. Four years later his family was given permission to claim his remains. They reburied Herold in Congressional Cemetery, in an unmarked grave in their family plot. Other family members are commemorated with tombstones, but David has been acknowledged only by intermittent historical signage. His is the "most visited unmarked grave in Washington," according to the Congressional Cemetery audio tour.

[Grave report by Kurt Deion]

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Also see: Congressional Cemetery

Unmarked Grave of a Lincoln Conspirator

Congressional Cemetery

Address:
1801 E St. SE, Washington, DC
Directions:
Walk into the cemetery at the intersection of Potomac Ave. SE and E St. SE. Once past the last building on the left (look for the flagpole) turn left and walk across the graveyard. You'll cross a path; the Herold family graves are a couple rows past it, slightly to the right of where you're walking.
Hours:
Daylight daily; gated after hours. Office M-F 9-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
202-543-0539
Admission:
Free
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In the region:
House of the Temple, Washington, DC - 4 mi.

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