Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police
Civil War Begins - Today's Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police are Created - Homestead Act - President Lincoln Assassinated -
1861 was probably one of the most active and structure building year for the city of Washington. The country was on edge with the start of our Civil War and no one really knew who could be trusted. With so many sympothisers to the south on the current group of Policeman Washington decided it was time to revamp their police. With the stroke of a pen on August 6th, 1861 by President Lincoln today's District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department was born.
M.P.D.'s First Police Chief William Webb
Possibly the first Officer for the M.P.D. at the start their were no uniforms issued. It took several months for the issue of a uniform
Another nice photo of an early M.P.D. Officer
One of D.C.'s first officers from their 1861 reforming is L.B. Anderson shown here in several views. The drawing was done by a local newspaper in the late 1800's. The photo below is one of Private Anderson and another member of the M.P.D. in the early 1900's. Private Anderson was the longest living original member of the 1861 group.
This member of the M.P.D. is William Crook. Officer Crook was assigned to the White House to protect several Presidents including President Lincoln. Crook was not on duty the night Lincoln was shot but was one of Lincoln's favorites. Crook has written several pieces on his feelings towards that night and the M.P.D.
Ford theate where President Lincoln was shot. Attached and to the right where the "X" is, is the STAR SALOON where Lincolns M.P.D. bodyguard John Parker is believed to have been when Lincoln was shot
1862 - The first accident (negligent) discharge occurred in the Second Precinct (Georgetown), when patrolman Levi Boose dropped his service pistol and shot patrolman William Andrews, seriously wounding him, (MPD).
1862 - Officer John Leach, the first Metropolitan Policeman to die after the organization of the new force, was stabbed to death in Marble Alley (site of the east wing of the National Gallery), in a dispute over a young lady on November 30th 1862. (M.P.D.)
BlackSheep Productions 2009
The first women executed by the United States Government, Mary Surratt, was hanged on the grounds of the old arsenal (present day Fort McNair), for participating in the conspiracy of President Lincoln's assassination. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
"The Civil War Years"
" The 1861 Originals of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police "
Signed in on August 6th, 1861 – Sworn in September 11th, 1861 (Several Officers were not appointed until the 12th of September they will be noted with a single “* “ next to their name. Within a few weeks it was complete, those hired after the 11th/12th were assigned with double “** “)
1st Precinct: 1861
Sergeant-* Charles Barker
Patrolman- *L.B. Anderson(photos above), *Isaac Cline, **David Cole, **R.J. McClellan, **James Mulloy, **E .Simpson, & **G.W. Duvall.
Sergeant- *David Miller
Patrolman- Thomas R. Benson, Nathan Burnham, **Jos. T. Morgan, **Jno.W.King, **L.O.Boose, **Jno.W.Pool, & **Tobias Talbert
Sergeant- John H. Newman;
Patrolman- R.T. Chick, C.Sebastian, Jno. Drill, Augustine Brown, George B. Lipscomb, J.N.W. Davis, Jefferson Robinson, Sam’l Fearson, R.B. White, Jno. T Findley, C.L. Boarman, Chas. E. Cameron, T.F. Evans, J.W. Harry, Jno. T. Essex, G.W. Hurdle, Wm. T. Riley and R.S.Jones, *W.T. Robinson, *Randall Colburn & Martin Donohue
Sergeant- W.S. Hurley;
Patrolman- S. L. Calhoun, Simeon Garrett, Michael Roche, Jno.Borland, J.J.Calvert, Alexander Clements, J.C. Mansfield, Napoleon Bouvet, Geo. Chism, J.H. Godfrey, W.H. Forrest , *Daniel Crump, & **A.D. Barron.
5th Precinct: 1861
Sergeant- Richard M. Dower;
Patrolman- B.M. Reed, Alexander Tait, G.H. Walker, Joseph Sessford, Jas. T. Ferry, Wm. H. Gibson, Thos. Shaksphere, Robt. Bunton, P.M. Keating, W.H. Troxell, Jas. Sullivan, J.W. Mattingly, T.W. Belt, M.O’Connor, **A.P. Harriman, **Michael Healy, & **Thomas Brit
Sergeant- Jedediah Gittings
Patrolman- W.B. Downing, C.M. Skippen, J.W. Glover, J.T. Shield, Cornelius Noonan, W.M. Kelly, Jas. Lewis, Alexander A. Greer, C.J. Cook, (J.F. Parker), Thomas J. Steele, Henry Botoner, Jno. C. Heise, G.W.G. Elsin, **H.B. Curtis, **A.W. Johnson, **Albert Brewer, **Eneas Reynolds, **Robt. Johnson & **John Hammond
Sergeant- **A.T. Donn and **Fred Depro
Patrolman- Jno. R. Cronin, W.B. Turner, E.M. Boteler, Jacob Shearer, Peter McGrath, S.T.Crown, Jas. Handley, Josiah Essex,Jr., John F. Kelly, Alodph Eckloff, J.B. Walling, R.M.A. Fenwick, T.F. Pendel, Daniel Hannan, Jno.Leach Jr., *William Drane, **A.R. Allen, **Jno. F. Lynch, **Jas. McColgan, **B.F. Morris, **C.W. Thompson, & **W.W. Grant
Sergeant- James V. Bryan
Patrolman- J.H. Richards, Wm. Middleton, Goodwin Pierce, Hugh Copeland, R.A. Miller, Robert Brown, R.A. Milstead, M. Meridith, John Wilson, **J.B. Conway, & **F.H. Sage
Sergeant- Edward Wayson
Patrolman- C.C. Clark, R. Pumphrey, J.O. Lusby, J.F. Speiser, Wm. Hutchinson, George Atchenson, C.H. Krause, **P.W. Harbin, **W.H. Fuss, & **S.E. Arnold
Sergeant- H.C. Hepburn
Patrolman- W.G. Brock, J.D. Hutton, Wm. Weedon, H.A. Garrett, F.A. Boswell, Robert Campbell, C.R. Vernon, J.W. Gessford, B.T. De Vaughn, James Monahan, Wm.M.McCauley, B.F. Barker, S.T. Larcomb, J.A.W. Clarvoe, **Charles Ashton, **C.W. Harman, **Wm Gibson, **J.R. Harrover, **T.A. Clements, **W.S. Kneas, and **M.B. Gorman
Interesting facts related to the birth of the new 1861 Police Force...
Under the provision for the appointment of Special Policeman, W.S. Kneas was the first person commissioned.
Mounted men were allowed $250 a year for forage
The uniforms adopted in the early days were not as gorgeous as those that have since taken their place. The Superintendent wore a frock coat with police buttons, the Sergeants double-breasted frock coat and blue pants, while the Patrolman were attired in navy blue coats with rolling collars and nine buttons, two fastened at the hips and two on the skirt, blue waistcoats, and pants with white cords down the seams. Coats were to be buttoned at all times when officers were on duty, and hats were the official headgear for all members of the force.
One of the first instances of breach of discipline which was called to the attention of the board was that of a sergeant, who was arraigned for accepting twenty dollars for the arrest and return to his master of a fugitive slave.
When the current force was originally put into action on September 11th, 1861 they had no uniforms. The only way they were seen apart from your everyday man was by a ribbon they were given to wear around their hats. The ribbon simply said, " METROPOLITAN POLICE".
On the 23rd of September, 1861 , the capitol of the United States was selected as the device for the Patrolman's shields, and the Superintendent was adorned with a shield of guilt or gold, surmounted with an eagle, while for the Sergeants was chosen a silver plate with an eagle and number thereon, (D of C Police)
The next few years would be challenging for the M.P.D. On average the M.P.D. lost almost 50 men a year either to being fired or leaving on their own. Being a policeman isn’t what it seems to be, even for the 1860’s….(CpG)
An 1865 panoramic view of Washington D.C.
Another 1865 view of Ford Theatre
The Mystery Man of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police
This is possibly John F. Parker but it is not confirmed
Who is John F. Parker ? Well we know he was the Police Officer assigned to guard President Lincoln the night he was assassinated. We know that he wasn't guarding President Lincol and we know he was fired for abandoning his post that night. All of his records related to his charges have mysteriously disappeared, hmmm. No one really knows why he was assigned to the white house in the first place with a spotty record and, Parker was not removed from the white house after Lincoln was murdered.
Do you have information about Private Parker? If so please forward it to us at: email@example.com
The First MPD Uniform:
150 years ago this week, to start 1862 off on the right foot, Washington's finest debuted new uniforms. The new uniforms were described with effusive praise in the December 31, 1861 edition of the Washington Evening Star: "The Metropolitan Police will appear in full uniform on the 1st of January. The cap is of blue cloth, of a very small pattern, and apparently well adapted to the service for which it is intended. The coast is of dark blue cloth, made as an over-coat, double-breasted, with two rows of handsome gilt buttons, upon which within a handsome wrought wreath appears the initial letter 'P' in the old English character. The coats for the sergeants and patrolmen differ only in the fact that upon the back skirt of the coast the former have six of these buttons, and the patrolmen have four. The pants are of the same colored cloth, with a neat white worsted coast in the sideseams. The staffs intended for use upon special occasions are similar in form to the one in common use, but are more handsomely turned, of rosewood and polished. The entire outfit is a very great improvement upon the uniform of the police.
On the evening of April 14, 1865, a Metropolitan Police detective recorded into the record what probably remains the most infamous case in the Department's history: "At this hour the melancholy intelligence of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln President of the U.S. at Fords Theatre was brought into this office and information obtained ... goes to show the assassin is a man named J Wilks Boothe." Just a month earlier, 119 Metropolitan Police officers had headed up the presidents second inaugural procession. (National Archives)n the evening of April 14, 1865, a Metropolitan Police detective recorded into the record what probably remains the most infamous case in the Department's history: "At this hour the melancholy intelligence of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln President of the U.S. at Fords Theatre was brought into this office and information obtained ... goes to show the assassin is a man named J Wilks Boothe." Just a month earlier, 119 Metropolitan Police officers had headed up the presidents second inaugural procession. (National Archives)
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A bit of a tough read but this MPD log book speaks of the MPD and President Lincolns assassination.
The Changing of The Guard..
The National Republican Newspaper