President Ford restoring Lee's citizenship rights - 1975

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18thVirginia

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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.
We seem to be venturing into Modern Politics, which was not my intent in noting what was going on at the time of the photo.

When I used to write grants, I always kept a wish list with catalogs and prices of things our agency needed in my bottom desk drawer, so that I'd be prepared in case we had a quick turnaround request. I don't think it's modern politics to wonder if legislators don't do something of the same thing, have some bill or resolution that they want and wait until the opportune moment when they pull it out and offer it, which is what Harry Byrd Jr. may have done with this resolution.

I only offer that because it seems important to look at different pieces of historical legislation with a more critical eye than it seems from some discussions, whether here or in a book. Was this resolution about healing a giant rift that had opened in the nation during the 1970s or was it just a vanity resolution to satisfy Virginians? So, when we're looking at some piece of legislation from the 1860s, what kind of assumptions do we make that maybe we need to look more critically at.
 
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Northern Light

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We seem to be venturing into Modern Politics, which was not my intent in noting what was going on at the time of the photo.

When I used to write grants, I always kept a wish list with catalogs and prices of things our agency needed in my bottom desk drawer, so that I'd be prepared in case we had a quick turnaround request. I don't think it's modern politics to wonder if legislators don't do something of the same thing, have some bill or resolution that they want and wait until the opportune moment when they pull it out and offer it, which is what Harry Byrd Jr. may have done with this resolution.

I only offer that because it seems important to look at different pieces of historical legislation with a more critical eye than it seems from some discussions, whether here or in a book. Was this resolution about healing a giant rift that had opened in the nation during the 1970s or was it just a vanity resolution to satisfy Virginians? So, when we're looking at some piece of legislation from the 1860s, what kind of assumptions do we make that maybe we need to look more critically at.
Sorry about that. I will delete my comment.
 

diane

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This is where being an old buzzard comes in handy! :smile: Sen Byrd was a relation of Robert E Lee's, coming from the Carter family as did Lee. In the 70s, he was the first independent candidate to win office, breaking from the Democrat party - helped get Ford elected. Might be nice to pay back a favor!
 
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diane

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Perhaps I'm older, since I remember that Gerald Ford was never elected to the presidency.
Sorry! What I didn't say and meant to, was Byrd was helpful to Ford's election - which wasn't an election but an appointment. Still dealing with Watergate and Vietnam and numerous other critical problems, Ford needed all the boosters he could get. Ford later lost to Carter, who I think restored Davis' citizenship.
 
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18thVirginia

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Here's a journal article about the pardoning of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and how it was related to the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate. Although this might be considered "modern," the author talks about the Civil War and how leaders of the Ford-Carter period looked back at the Civil War era for answers. The article also goes into detail about the technicalities surrounding Lee and Davis and the general pardons as well as each of them specifically.

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/civil_war_history/v040/40.2.macdonnell.pdf

The above shows that you can only access one page, but somehow I was able to view the entire article.
 
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ole

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Here's a journal article about the pardoning of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and how it was related to the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate. Although this might be considered "modern," the author talks about the Civil War and how leaders of the Ford-Carter period looked back at the Civil War era for answers. The article also goes into detail about the technicalities surrounding Lee and Davis and the general pardons as well as each of them specifically.

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/civil_war_history/v040/40.2.macdonnell.pdf

The above shows that you can only access one page, but somehow I was able to view the entire article.
True, Ford was not elected, but I'll bet he'd have liked to have been in the next presidential election. He did have a dog in the fight, and pleasing Senator Byrd couldn't hurt.

I would say it's all gone downhill from there, but I won't.
 

tdstepen

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View attachment 50230
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/
Mike,
Thanks for posting the picture of President Gerald Ford restoring the citizenship of Robert E. Lee at the top. My interest is the name of Elmer Parker under the picture. I believe he is the man with the glasses on the right next to the young boy. It was Elmer Parker who found the application of Robert E. Lee in a box in the archives,which led to the restoration of Robert E. Lee' citizenship. My debt to Elmer Parker was that I had traced my Samuel Stephenson b. 1796,b. South Carolina to Giles County,TN in 1850. Fortunately for me, I received a letter from Elmer Parker who had a Samuel Stephenson b. 1796 in York County,South Carolina on his family chart. As a result,I learned from him my Stephenson history going back to 1764. I hope that Robert E. Lee appreciates what Elmer Parker did for him.
This is a story I found describing how Elmer Parker found Robert E.Lee's application:
http://coastalcourier.com/archives/28845/
Here is another picture I know is Elmer Parker
elmer-oris-parker-jpeg.jpg
 

Mike Serpa

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Mike,
Thanks for posting the picture of President Gerald Ford restoring the citizenship of Robert E. Lee at the top. My interest is the name of Elmer Parker under the picture. I believe he is the man with the glasses on the right next to the young boy. It was Elmer Parker who found the application of Robert E. Lee in a box in the archives,which led to the restoration of Robert E. Lee' citizenship. My debt to Elmer Parker was that I had traced my Samuel Stephenson b. 1796,b. South Carolina to Giles County,TN in 1850. Fortunately for me, I received a letter from Elmer Parker who had a Samuel Stephenson b. 1796 in York County,South Carolina on his family chart. As a result,I learned from him my Stephenson history going back to 1764. I hope that Robert E. Lee appreciates what Elmer Parker did for him.
This is a story I found describing how Elmer Parker found Robert E.Lee's application:
http://coastalcourier.com/archives/28845/
Here is another picture I know is Elmer Parker
elmer-oris-parker-jpeg.jpg
Very interesting. Thanks for posting this! I believe you have identified Parker in the photo. He looks the man in your newspaper photo.
 
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RobertP

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To further illustrate the bipartisan nature of the Joint Resolution to grant Robert E. Lee full amnesty here is the language that passed unanimously (100-0) in the Senate and with only 10 dissenting (407-10) votes in the House:


89 STAT. 38© PUBLIC LAW 94-67—AUG. 5, 1975

Public Law 94-67
94th Congress
Joint Resolution
Aug- 5, 1975 To restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee.
[S.J. Res. 23]

Whereas this entire Nation has long recognized the outstanding virtues of courage, patriotism, and selfless devotion to duty of General E. Lee, and has recognized the contribution of General Lee in healing
the wounds of the War Between the States, and

Whereas, in order to further the goal of reunion of this country, General Lee, on June 13, 1865, applied to the President for amnesty and pardon and restoration of his rights as a citizen, and

Whereas this request was favorably endorsed by General Ulysses S. Grant on June 16,1865, and

Whereas, General Lee's full citizenship was not restored to him subsequent to his request of June 13, 1865, for the reason that no accompanying oath of allegiance was submitted, and

Whereas, on October 12, 1870, General Lee died, still denied the right
to hold any office and other rights of citizenship, and

Whereas a recent discovery has revealed that General Lee did in fact on October 2, 1865, swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to the Union, and

Whereas it appears that General Lee thus fulfilled all of the legal as well as moral requirements incumbent upon him for restoration of his citizenship: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That, in accordance with Citizenship section 3 of amendment 14 of the United States Constitution, the legal restored post-disabilities placed upon General Lee as a result of his service as General of the Army of Northern Virginia are removed, and that General R. E. Lee is posthumously restored to the full rights of citizenship, effective June 13, 1865.

Approved August 5, 1975.




LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
HOUSE REPORT No. 94-324 (Coram, on the Judiciary).
SENATE REPORT No. 94-44 (Coram, on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 121 (1975):
Apr. 10, considered and passed Senate.
July 22, considered and passed House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 11, No. 32:
Aug. 5, Presidential statement.
_________________________
Edited.
 
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To further illustrate the bipartisan nature of the Joint Resolution to grant Robert E. Lee full amnesty here is the language that passed unanimously (100-0) in the Senate and with only 10 dissenting (407-10) votes in the House:


89 STAT. 38© PUBLIC LAW 94-67—AUG. 5, 1975

Public Law 94-67
94th Congress
Joint Resolution
Aug- 5, 1975 To restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee.
[S.J. Res. 23]

Whereas this entire Nation has long recognized the outstanding virtues of courage, patriotism, and selfless devotion to duty of General E. Lee, and has recognized the contribution of General Lee in healing
the wounds of the War Between the States, and

Whereas, in order to further the goal of reunion of this country, General Lee, on June 13, 1865, applied to the President for amnesty and pardon and restoration of his rights as a citizen, and

Whereas this request was favorably endorsed by General Ulysses S. Grant on June 16,1865, and

Whereas, General Lee's full citizenship was not restored to him subsequent to his request of June 13, 1865, for the reason that no accompanying oath of allegiance was submitted, and

Whereas, on October 12, 1870, General Lee died, still denied the right
to hold any office and other rights of citizenship, and

Whereas a recent discovery has revealed that General Lee did in fact on October 2, 1865, swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to the Union, and

Whereas it appears that General Lee thus fulfilled all of the legal as well as moral requirements incumbent upon him for restoration of his citizenship: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That, in accordance with Citizenship section 3 of amendment 14 of the United States Constitution, the legal restored post-disabilities placed upon General Lee as a result of his service as General of the Army of Northern Virginia are removed, and that General R. E. Lee is posthumously restored to the full rights of citizenship, effective June 13, 1865.

Approved August 5, 1975.




LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
HOUSE REPORT No. 94-324 (Coram, on the Judiciary).
SENATE REPORT No. 94-44 (Coram, on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 121 (1975):
Apr. 10, considered and passed Senate.
July 22, considered and passed House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 11, No. 32:
Aug. 5, Presidential statement.
_________________________
Edited.
That's all nice and such but 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 all rights to all former rebels including Lee, thus making the action of President Ford and Congress redundant and a waste of money.
 
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[Act of June 6, 1898, ch. 389, 30 Stat. L. 432.]

An Act To remove the disability imposed by section three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

[Disability imposed for engaging in rebellion, removed.] That the disability imposed by section three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States heretofore incurred is hereby removed. [30 Stat. L. 432.]

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to which reference is made in the text is as follows: "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."
 
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RobertP

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That's all nice and such but 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 all rights to all former rebels including Lee, thus making the action of President Ford and Congress redundant and a waste of money.
So why was it nearly unanimous? One member suggested it was done for their electibility next time around.
Edited.
 
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