Frederick Argyle Aiken (Frederick Argyle Aiken)

Frederick Argyle Aiken

Lincoln Assassination Trial Attorney. A Massachusetts native he moved with his parents to Hardwick, Vermont when he was ten years old. As a young man he studied at Middlebury College from 1855 to 1857. Drawn to journalism he became the editor of the “Burlington Sentinel”. After he married Sarah Olivia Weston (1846-1900), daughter of Judge Edmund Weston in Randolph, Vermont, he began the study of law. In 1859 he was admitted to the Orange County, Vermont bar, moving to Washington, D.C. in 1860. When the Civil War began he joined the volunteers, becoming an aide with the rank of Captain on the staff of General Winfield S. Hancock. He returned to the law in 1863 when admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States and in the District of Columbia Courts. He was best known for his defense of Mary Surratt, accused of conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. His speech in her defense was included in the “The World’s Best Orations” in 1899. In 1868 he returned to the practice of journalism. In 1877 he became the City Editor of “The Washington Post”, a position he held until his death after an illness of two days. He is buried in the North Hill lot containing the grave of Tennessee United States Senator and Secretary of War, John H. Eaton. “The Conspirator” is a movie about Aiken and his client, Mrs. Surratt. Aiken is played by James McAvoy. (bio by: SLGMSD)  Family links:  Parents:  Solomon S Aiken (1791 – 1870)  Susan Rice Aiken (1804 – 1882)


  • September, 20, 1832
  • USA


  • December, 12, 1878
  • USA


  • Oak Hill Cemetery
  • USA

3041 profile views