1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 25, 2018 2:39 PM by Legislative Archives

    Research on Richard B. Garrett's claim against the U.S. Government


      I am searching for the record of a congressional hearing into the matter of Richard P. Garrett's alleged involvement in aiding and abetting presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, and specifically why the government of the United States denied his claim.  The hearing reportedly was held, but I have so far been unable to determine when, where and by which committee of Congress.  The Library of Congress refers me to the National Archives, but without a date, it would be difficult to construct a starting place for determining where the record of the hearing would be.  I am also interested in any military tribunal records that may have examined Richard B. Garrett's alleged involvement with Booth.  Garrett was eventually cleared, but the government refused steadfastly to reimburse his family any money for the barn Booth was hiding in that was set ablaze. 

        • Re: Research on Richard B. Garrett's claim against the U.S. Government
          Legislative Archives Scout

          Dear Mark -- thank you for contacting History Hub!


          I searched the CIS congressional committee hearing indexes for both published and unpublished hearings, but unfortunately I don't see anything to indicate that Richard Garrett ever testified before Congress.


          Next I checked in the private claims indexes of the House and the Senate and found that Garrett submitted a variety of petitions in the 42nd and 43rd Congresses. These were referred to the Senate Committee on Claims, the House Committee on Claims and the House Committee on War Claims.


          The House Committee on War Claims finally reported adversely on the claim in 1874. More detail can be found in House Report 743, published in the 43rd Congress [8 pages]. The report can be found via ProQuest Congressional, a subscription database available at National Archives research locations.


          I checked our holdings and found Garrett petitions in the records of the House Accompanying Paper Files in the 43rd Congress (HR43A-D1 Box #16) and in the records of the Senate Committee on Claims in the 42nd Congress (SEN42A-H3 Box #104). We also have several minute and docket volumes from the House Committee on Claims and the Committee on War Claims in the 42nd and 43rd Congresses.


          You are welcome to view this material in the research room at the National Archives building in Washington, DC. To arrange a visit, please contact legislative.archives@nara.gov.


          If you're interested in the papers of the Military Commission established to investigate the Lincoln assassination, the records are part of Record Group 153 -- Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army). I would invite you to first search in the National Archives Catalog, and then for more information, please contact archives1reference@nara.gov.




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