Andrew Johnson 1865 Document Signed as President – Civil War Confederate Pardon


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** SOLD – 11/16/17 **

17th President.  Two-page document signed (DS) “Andrew Johnson” AS PRESIDENT, August 12, 1865, partly-printed pardon for a confederate soldier, in part:

Whereas Lewis Marshall…by taking part in the late rebellion against the Government of the United States has made himself liable to heavy pains and penalties…I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, in consideration of the premises, divers other good and sufficient reasons me thereunto moving, do hereby grant to the said Lewis Marshall a full pardon and amnesty for all offences by him committed, arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion conditioned as follows, viz; this pardon to begin and take effect from the day on which the said Lewis Marshall shall take the oath prescribed in the Proclamation of the President, dated May 29th, 1865, and to be void and of no effect if the said Lewis Marshall shall hereafter, at any time, acquire an property whatsoever in slaves, or make use of slave labor…

The pardon has been countersigned “William H. Seward” as Secretary of State.  Seal of the United States of America remains firmly affixed to the second page.

The document is presented custom framed and matted with each page of the document (10.75×17.25 inches) mounted side-by-side together and framed to total dimensions of 31.5×26 inches. Accompanied by the rare mailing envelope from the Attorney General’s office.

There is a full Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA.

On May 29, 1865, following the end of the Civil War, President Johnson issued an amnesty proclamation. Under this proclamation former Confederates who had not already taken advantage of President Lincoln’s 1863 amnesty proclamation could receive amnesty upon their taking an oath to defend the Constitution and the Union and to obey all federal laws and proclamations in reference to slavery made during the rebellion. (President Lincoln’s 1863 amnesty proclamation had similar requirements.)

The proclamation excluded amnesty for the following individuals, except upon special application to the president:

  • individuals who had absented themselves from the U.S. in order to aid in the rebellion
  • graduates of West Point or Annapolis who served as Confederate officers
  • ex-Confederate governors
  • persons who left homes in territory under U.S. jurisdiction for purposes of aiding the rebellion
  • persons who engaged in destruction of commerce on the high seas or in raids from Canada
  • voluntary participants in the rebellion who had property valued at more than $20,000
  • persons who had broken the oath taken under the provisions of the proclamation of 1863
  • civil or diplomatic agents or officials of the Confederacy
  • persons who left judicial posts under the U.S. to aid the rebellion
  • confederate military officers above the rank of army colonel or navy lieutenant
  • members of the U.S. Congress who left to aid in the rebellion
  • persons who resigned commissions in the U.S. Army or Navy and afterwards aided in the rebellion
  • persons who treated unlawfully black prisoners of war and their white officers
  • persons in military or civilian confinement or custody

In September 1867, the president issued a second proclamation which reduced the number of exception categories from 14 to 3. The president received thousands of amnesty applications, and by late 1867 he had already granted 13,500 pardons. Later proclamations would extend amnesty to wider groups until Christmas Day of 1868, when President Johnson issued his final proclamation, which allowed for amnesty to all who had participated in the rebellion.