All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

How to get amnesty or pardon following The Civil War

Micajah Clack Rogers (1795-1873) asked for amnesty following the Civil War. He was my father's great great grandfather.

This is how it was required to be done.
WASHINGTON, May 29,1865
By the President of the United States of America:

Whereas, The President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26th day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons, who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and
Whereas, Many persons, who had so engaged in said rebellion, have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and
Whereas, Many persons, who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty or pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation, directly or by implication, in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the Government of the United States since the date of said proclamations, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon;
To the end, therefore, that the authority of the Government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion have been instituted; but on the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate, and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear or affirm, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder. And that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves, so help me God."

The following classes of persons are excepted from the benefits of this proclamation:
First -- All who are or shall have been pretended civil or diplomatic officers, or otherwise domestic or foreign agents of the pretended Confederate Government.
Second -- All who left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion.
Third -- All who shall have been military or naval officers of said pretended Confederate Government above the rank of Colonel in the army or Lieutenant in the navy.
Fourth -- All who left seats in the Congress of the United States to aid the rebellion.
Fifth -- All who resigned or tendered resignations of their commissions in the army or navy of the United States, to evade duty in resisting the rebellion.
Sixth -- All who have engaged in any way in treating otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war persons found in the United States service, as officers, soldiers, seamen, or in other capacities.
Seventh -- All persons who have been or are absentees from the United States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion.
Eighth -- All military and naval officers in the rebel service who were educated by the government in the Military Academy at West Point, or the United States Naval Academy.
Ninth -- All persons who held the pretended offices of Governors of States in insurrection against the United States.
Tenth -- All persons who left their homes within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States and passed beyond the Federal military lines into the so-called Confederate States, for the purpose of aiding the rebellion.
Eleventh -- All parties who have been engaged in the destruction of the commerce of the United States upon the high seas, and all persons who have made raids into the United States from Canada, or been engaged in destroying the commerce of the United States upon the lakes and rivers that separate the British Provinces from the United States.
Twelfth -- All persons who at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits hereof by taking the oath herein prescribed, are in military naval, or civil confinement, or custody, or under bonds of the civil, military or naval authorities or agents of the United States, as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offences of any kind either before or after conviction.
Thirteenth -- All persons who have voluntarily participated in said rebellion, and the estimated value of whoso taxable property is over twenty thousand dollars.
Fourteenth -- All persons who have taken the oath of amnesty as prescribed in the President's Proclamation of December 8, A.D., 1863, or an oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States since the dates of said proclamation, and who have not thenceforward kept and maintained the same inviolate -- provided that special application may be made to the President for pardon by any person belonging to the excepted classes, and such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the peace and dignity of the United States.
The Secretary of State will establish rules and regulations for administering and recording the said amnesty oath so as to insure its benefit to the people and guard the government against fraud.
[L.S.] In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington the Twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
By the President: ANDREW JOHNSON. WM.H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Brenda Wineapple in "Estatic Nation" speaks of the way President Andrew Johnson would accept these petitions for pardon. The Secretary of State reported that over 7000 men had petitioned and regained their citizen's rights in this way within the year.

I have a copy of the letter which Micajah Rogers wrote following these guidelines.

Unfortunately it's only available as a PDF format, and I can't read all of it enough to transcribe it, and it doesn't copy into blogger.  It seemed this elderly gentleman wanted to comment at great length upon the conflict.  He was 70 the year of 1865.  But he did finally state his allegiance to the USA.

This would supposedly allow him to vote again, and perhaps hold public office.

He had only been a post master of Huntsville, Texas, and a Justice of the Peace prior to the war, for a short time.   In the 1860 Census, Micajah Clack Rogers was listed as financial agent for the state penitentiary in Huntsville.

History of my family has stated that he was the warden of the state penitentiary.  And during the civil war when there were no resources from the Confederacy for the prisoners, apparently he provided food for them from his own pockets.  There is also a history which said he died of a heart attack while still working. (age 88).

I do not know if Micajah won his citizenship back. I also would imagine he never received reparation for his helping prisoners during the war.  I have records that he fought in the War of 1812, when he was very young.  He never mentioned that in his letter to the President.

The years of reconstruction had many difficulties, not the least of which was a government in Washington led by Johnson, who had little affection for the south.

Today's quote:

“Don’t treat others the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they want to be treated.” — Chris Voss, Writer / Former FBI hostage negotiator.

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