JOHN SURRATT, the next in rank to Booth among the conspirators -- at least he was so considered by the authorities -- had escaped to Canada. No great efforts appear to have been made by Stanton's various departments to intercept his flight. At 9:40 on the morning of April 15, the provost marshal's office in Washington wired the following circular to the border stations:1
It is believed that the assassins of the President and Secretary Seward are attempting to escape to Canada.
You will make a careful and thorough examination of all persons attempting to cross from the United States into Canada, and will arrest all suspicious persons. The most vigilant scrutiny on your part, and the force at your disposal, is demanded.
A description of the parties supposed to be implicated in the murder will be telegraphed you to-day. But in the meantime be active in preventing the crossing of any suspicious persons.
By orders of the Secretary of War N. L. JEFFERS, Brevet Brigadier-General.
Booth's description could have been sent out immediately, but it was not. In fact, so far as the Official Records show, it was never sent out at all. To E. G. Spaulding at Buffalo, a former congressman, C. A. Dana sent a wire at 8:40 in the evening, picturing Booth as "five feet six inches tall; of a slight graceful figure; black hair, and eyes rather close together, and pale complexion;____________________