President Ford restoring Lee's citizenship rights - 1975

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#1
GRF.jpg

1975, August 5 – Custis Lee Mansion – Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington, Virginia – Gerald R. Ford, Gov. Godwin, Sen. Harry Byrd, Linwwod Holton, Colgate Darden; Reps. Caldwell, Harris Satterfield, Downing; Robert E. Lee (IV, V), Hundley, Elmer Parker, Conger, Robert & William DeButts, Mary Custis Lee & Mary Richardson Spencer, Others – GRF seated at table, signing document; others standing behind; mansion pillars in background – Joint Resolution 23, Restoration of the Citizenship Rights to the Late Robert E. Lee Signing Ceremony - Arlington, Virginia

Whit House Photographic Office

http://research.archives.gov/description/7462033

related threads:
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/general-lees-citizenship-restored.17667/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/pardon-of-robert-e-lee.91427/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/general-robert-e-lees-parole-and-citizenship.89426/
 

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Northern Light

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Is that Herb Tarleck, with the hat, standing by the pillar on the far right? And is that his Dad in the white shoes? And doesn't everyone remember the lady with the purse and the "expression" from their youth?
 

cash

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#4
*moderator edit***

***Edit***Lee, after all, is still a magical figure in the south. ***Edit***

It wasn't needed--not because Lee was long dead, but because Lee had all his rights restored when he was included in Andrew Johnson's Christmas pardon of all confederates with no exceptions.

***Edit***
 
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#6
Looks like the legendary Senator Harry Byrd is standing behind President Ford's right shoulder. Nice picture!
Looks like the legendary Senator Harry Byrd is standing behind President Ford's right shoulder. Nice picture!
Yes, from wikipedia, "On January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, A joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee was introduced into the Senate by Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr."
 

War Horse

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Today in Military History: August 5, 1975
On April 9, 1865, Union Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia near Appomattox Court House from its longtime commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee. The next day Grant signed a parole paper, allowing Lee and his staff officers to return to their homes without legal repercussions.
On May 29, 1865 President Andrew Johnson – who succeeded the assassinated Abraham Lincoln – issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to those former Confederates who participated in the "late Rebellion." This document was a general pardon, but did contain fourteen classes of persons who were barred from the general pardon. These persons, including Lee, were required to make a special application directly to the President.
Lee wrote to President Johnson on June 13, saying in part:
"Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Va. 9 April '65."
Consequently, Lee was provided with an Amnesty Oath form, which he filled out, dated October 2, 1865 – the same day he was sworn in as president of Washington College in Lexington, VA – and sent the signed document to the nation's capital [see below].
Expired Image Removed
Unfortunately, Lee was not fully pardoned, nor was his U.S. citizenship restored. He died 5 years later, still in a kind of limbo. He was buried in the chapel that bears his name at what is today Washington and Lee University.
In 1970, a worker in the National Archives was going through some State Department files from the post-Civil War era. In those files he discovered Lee's Amnesty Oath. Apparently, then-Secretary of State William Seward, having no intention of approving Lee's request for restoring his citizenship, gave Lee's original application to a friend. The agency then pigeonholed Lee's Amnesty Oath, and so matters rested for 100 years.
Five years later, U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (VA) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 23, a bill to restore Lee's U.S. citizenship. Passed by both chambers, the measure was signed by President Gerald Ford on August 5, in a ceremony at Arlington House – formerly the Custis-Lee Mansion – on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to a number of congressional members, about a dozen of Lee's descendants attended the ceremony, including Robert E. Lee V, the general's great-great grandson.
President Ford's remarks at the ceremony included these words:
Lee's dedication to his native State of Virginia charted his course for the bitter Civil War years, causing him to reluctantly resign from a distinguished career in the United States Army and to serve as General of the Army of Northern Virginia. He, thus, forfeited his rights to U.S. citizenship.
Once the war was over, he firmly felt the wounds of the North and South must be bound up. He sought to show by example that the citizens of the South must dedicate their efforts to rebuilding that region of the country as a strong and vital part of the American Union.
In 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote to a former Confederate soldier concerning his signing the Oath of Allegiance, and I quote: "This war, being at an end, the Southern States having laid down their arms, and the questions at issue between them and the Northern States having been decided, I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony....
As a soldier, General Lee left his mark on military strategy. As a man, he stood as the symbol of valor and of duty. As an educator, he appealed to reason and learning to achieve understanding and to build a stronger nation. The course he chose after the war became a symbol to all those who had marched with him in the bitter years towards Appomattox.
General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.

http://burnpit.us/2011/08/president-ford-restores-robert-e-lees-citizenship-after-100-years
 

cash

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#9
Today in Military History: August 5, 1975
On April 9, 1865, Union Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia near Appomattox Court House from its longtime commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee. The next day Grant signed a parole paper, allowing Lee and his staff officers to return to their homes without legal repercussions.
On May 29, 1865 President Andrew Johnson – who succeeded the assassinated Abraham Lincoln – issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to those former Confederates who participated in the "late Rebellion." This document was a general pardon, but did contain fourteen classes of persons who were barred from the general pardon. These persons, including Lee, were required to make a special application directly to the President.
Lee wrote to President Johnson on June 13, saying in part:
"Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Va. 9 April '65."
Consequently, Lee was provided with an Amnesty Oath form, which he filled out, dated October 2, 1865 – the same day he was sworn in as president of Washington College in Lexington, VA – and sent the signed document to the nation's capital [see below].
Expired Image Removed
Unfortunately, Lee was not fully pardoned, nor was his U.S. citizenship restored. He died 5 years later, still in a kind of limbo. He was buried in the chapel that bears his name at what is today Washington and Lee University.
In 1970, a worker in the National Archives was going through some State Department files from the post-Civil War era. In those files he discovered Lee's Amnesty Oath. Apparently, then-Secretary of State William Seward, having no intention of approving Lee's request for restoring his citizenship, gave Lee's original application to a friend. The agency then pigeonholed Lee's Amnesty Oath, and so matters rested for 100 years.
Five years later, U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (VA) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 23, a bill to restore Lee's U.S. citizenship. Passed by both chambers, the measure was signed by President Gerald Ford on August 5, in a ceremony at Arlington House – formerly the Custis-Lee Mansion – on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to a number of congressional members, about a dozen of Lee's descendants attended the ceremony, including Robert E. Lee V, the general's great-great grandson.
President Ford's remarks at the ceremony included these words:
Lee's dedication to his native State of Virginia charted his course for the bitter Civil War years, causing him to reluctantly resign from a distinguished career in the United States Army and to serve as General of the Army of Northern Virginia. He, thus, forfeited his rights to U.S. citizenship.
Once the war was over, he firmly felt the wounds of the North and South must be bound up. He sought to show by example that the citizens of the South must dedicate their efforts to rebuilding that region of the country as a strong and vital part of the American Union.
In 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote to a former Confederate soldier concerning his signing the Oath of Allegiance, and I quote: "This war, being at an end, the Southern States having laid down their arms, and the questions at issue between them and the Northern States having been decided, I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony....
As a soldier, General Lee left his mark on military strategy. As a man, he stood as the symbol of valor and of duty. As an educator, he appealed to reason and learning to achieve understanding and to build a stronger nation. The course he chose after the war became a symbol to all those who had marched with him in the bitter years towards Appomattox.
General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.

http://burnpit.us/2011/08/president-ford-restores-robert-e-lees-citizenship-after-100-years

Completely unneeded, as Lee was given a full pardon on December 25, 1868 by Andrew Johnson.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=015/llsl015.db&recNum=744

Pardon.jpg
 
#10
I believe the congressional Act of June 6, 1898, 30 Stat. 432, ch. 389, removed all remaining disabilities under the 14th Amendment -- if any still applied to R.E. Lee -- and restored complete rights and citizenship to all former rebels including Lee, thus making the action of President Ford redundant and a waste of money.
 

War Horse

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Doesn't make much sense then? What was the purpose. I guess a direct response to R.E Lee's request rather than a general pardon which was impersonal. I agree a waste of time. Thanks Cash
 

cash

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It was possibly part of setting up pardons for the Vietnam era draft evaders. That would happen in Jimmy Carter's presidency a couple of years later--Carter also pardoned Jeff Davis.
I remember my father (a WWII vet) being angry at that. He said when the Vietnam draft dodgers had been dead as long as Robert E. Lee then they could have a pardon.
 
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Seems to me that refusal to fight in what they considered a wrongful war was different from committing treason against the government, but that is just my opinion.
Perhaps. His opinion, not mine. I was just a kid at the time but I do remember that vividly because he rarely got that upset over anything.
 



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