An Analysis Of Dr. Samuel Mudd

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Mud is a slimy sticky mixture of solid material with a liquid, the most common is soft wet earth. Mud is also known as an abusive and malicious remark or accusation; frequently in the political game, contestants will sling “mud” at each other to damage their opponent’s reputation and gain the favor of supporters. These political contestants may go as far to say “One’s name is mud”, which is used to express a strong dislike for a person implying their reputation is no better than the slimy sticky dirt one walks on. This phrase may have been coined from the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician that treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after his assassination of President Lincoln, who was convicted of conspiracy and later pardoned after three year served. The events that befell Dr. Mudd are true but his name did not coin the term “one’s name is mud” even though it may be the perfect parable correlating to the expression. The truth behind the phase is that it originates from the Oxford English Dictionary which documented its meaning four decades before the assassination along with a book from Britain, A Dictionary of Turf by John Bee, using the connotation of this expression long before the assassination. This type of misconception is the pitfall of history. A historian must be ever mindful of where they gather the information that will form their opinions of past events. The story of Dr. Mudd is like another tale still shrouded in the mists of time. The story is one of

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