Monday, August 06, 2007
Johnson, Ford and Robert E. Lee
As part of Reconstruction after the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson gave amnesty and pardon to most Confederates, although certain people were excluded and had to apply for a return to citizenship individually. As one of these “excepted” people, Robert E. Lee submitted just such an application in and wrote to President Johnson to be pardoned and receive his citizenship back. He even signed his Amnesty Oath in 1865 to comply with Johnson’s requirements. Yet President Johnson never pardoned Lee, nor was his citizenship restored in his lifetime and his oath buried and paperwork lost. In 1970, an archivist rediscovered the oath and in 1975 President Ford finally restored Lee’s citizenship!