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Dr Jon Kardaztke
Dr. Jon Kardatzke is Curator of the Museum of Ancient Treasures…an exhibition hall filled with 1,000's of rare antiquities, located in downtown Wichita. Dr Jon practiced medicine for more than 30 years in Wichita. His interest in history and archaeology began as a young boy and when he retired in 1997 he set out to fulfill a life long dream. To open a world-class museum right here in his own community. The museum's permanent collection is the result of 20 years of travel and explorations to exotic locations all over the world. The museum fills over 10,000 sq. ft. of exhibits in three halls: The Hall of the Ancients, The Hall of the Royals and The Hall of the Americas. The museum is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Special rates and guides for group tours. It is located at 250 W. Douglas, Wichita, in the lower level Kiva Mall in the Garvey Center, north of Century II. Free parking is available. To contact Dr. Kardatzke, call (316) 263-1311; or e-mail him at, treasures@intcon.net
2002-03-01 16:18:00
First woman executed
Answer:  Mary E. Surratt, a boarding house owner and was one of eight co-conspirators convicted in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She was one of four that ultimately made it to the gallows on July 7, 1865. The others languished in prison for life. The Civil War was a devastating epoch for our Country, and there was no clear line of right and wrong. The South was rebelling against an oppressive Federal government. The North was trying to end slavery and forced other reforms.  There were black slave owners in the South and white slave owners in the North.  Northerners with the sympathizers with the South were called Copperhead and many were in the federal government. John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor and respected in Washington political circles.  He attended Lincoln's inaugural, made frequent visits to the capital, and knew Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln's family was from the South and four of her brother's were members of the Confederate Army.  No doubt creating a stressful home environment for the Lincoln family. Booth was operating as an emissary between Lincoln and Davis in an attempt to secretly negotiate a peace treaty. The assassination plot to kill Lincoln was set in motion after a Union Captain was killed in a march on Richmond. In his pocket were orders directly from the White House to capture the Confederate President Jefferson Davis, his Vice President and Secretary of State. When Lincoln's capture orders were taken to Jefferson Davis he felt so betrayed that he approved a plan to kidnap Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Browning, and the Secretary of State.  They were to be held captive in the basement of a Washington D.C. mansion until the North agreed to free the Southern prisoners of war.  John Wilkes Booth was put in charge of the plan to abduct the president.  After several failed plans it was decided that Booth would shoot Lincoln at Ford's Theatre.There are many questions that linger yet today.  Why did so many of Lincoln's cabinet members fail to show up at the Theatre that night?  Who ordered the telegraph system to shut down for six hours that night?  Where was Lincoln's bodyguard?To the east of the Mississippi River the Civil War was a battle of Army's encounter intelligence agents.  But in the west, the rural towns were forced to form their own Home Guards and Militias. When Union soldiers raided Missouri farmers for supplies they were sometimes accused of supporting the South and killed.  Soon the farmers formed their own confederation to resist the north. The Rebels forces employed highly effective guerilla tactics for which the North was ill equipped and unprepared.Alan Pinkerton formed the first detective squad for the Chicago police department.  He was appointed to the White House to form the National Detective Police, which would later become the Secret Service.  Ironically, Pinkerton had become the nation's number one lawmen, a far cry from his anarchist roots that forced him to flee Ireland.  Now his job was to round up the anarchists that had killed his commander-in-chief.  The government rounded up over 2000 suspects and within two weeks tracked down John Wilkes Booth, killing him at Garret's barn.  In an era where President Lincoln had suspended the Constitution and invoked martial law it was impossible to get a fair trial.  He had suspended the writ of habeas corpus, taken over control of the railroads and telegraphs, and all major matters of trade had to cross his desk.  The witnesses who testified against the eight conspirators were paid hundreds of dollar for their testimony.  The accused were never allowed to testify in their own defense.  Mary Surratt and three of the man were convicted in a military court, sentenced to death and summarily executed the next day.  Later evidence showed that many of the paid government witnesses had lied under oath in order to frame the people the government had accused.The Civil War is a colorful and complex era of history in our not so distant past that is not well understood.  There are many wonderful books on the subject available at our local library and we are working on bringing a Civil War exhibit into the Museum of Ancient Treasures in the near future.
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