Hotty from History #37 - Lewis Thornton Powell (22nd April 1844 – 7th July, 1865)
I’ve been putting off writing this entry for the longest time, because quite frankly I don’t like the man. I’m also a little unfamiliar with some of the events surrounding him because he is a rarity among HFH’s chosen - an American. However it is my duty as a historian and an aesthete to bring him to your notice.
- Born the son of an Alabama Baptist minister, Powell grew up in rural Georgia as the youngest of nine siblings. He spent his formative years caring for various stray animals on the family’s land and reading, gaining reputation among his peers as introverted, and the nickname ‘Doc’. However, when he was 13 he received a kick to the face from the family donkey, breaking his already prominent jaw and making it even more chiselled.
*note - HFH in no way condones angering farm animals as a method of plastic surgery
- After moving to Florida, Lewis Powell enlisted in the 2nd Florida Infantry, Company 1, aged just 17. He served for two years before being injured at the Battle of Gettysburg and taken as a POW.
- A week later, with the help of a young nurse he’d charmed Powell escaped, becoming first a member of the confederate cavalry and later a spy. He broke his cover, showing his *ahem* less liberal side, by beating up a black woman when working in Baltimore.
- While in prison, Powell met John Surratt, who introduced him to the men who would become the conspirators in the Lincoln assassination.
- As Wilkes-Booth created history, simultaneously Powell turned out to be a bit of a rubbish assassin however, and failed to take out the Secretary of State, William Seward. At the same time George Atzerodt did what any sane person would do under the circumstances, and instead of killing Vice-President Andrew Johnson, he got drunk.
- After escaping and hiding out for three days, Powell was arrested, tried and hanged. Reports say he kicked and struggled for over five minutes before finally succumbing to death. He was 21 years old.
I find this image so evocative and almost eerie, how he is staring right into the lens.
A hottie, but a wrong’un.