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Robert E Lee Citizenship Restored - 1975 When General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General U.S. Grant on April 9, 1865 to effectively end the Civil War, one of the terms of surrender was that Confederate soldiers would have their U.S. citizenships automatically restored. When Andrew Johnson became president following Abraham Lincoln's assassination, he changed the rules slightly. Fourteen special cases had to apply directly to the President to have their citizenships restored. One such case was Robert E. Lee. 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. Lee's application was received by Secretary of State William Seward who had no intention of following through with Lee's request. Lee died in 1870 without really knowing his citizenship status. A century passed. In 1970 Lee's application was found by chance by a National Archives clerk who was looking through old State Department files. Since Lee had made the proper application to restore his citizenship, there was no reason to deny it. After Congress made Lee's old application something of a special cause, President Gerald Ford formally restored Lee's citizenship at a ceremony at his former mansion in Arlington, VA on August 5, 1975. Among those on hand for the occasion was Lee's great-great-grandson R.E. Lee V.
Tags: Robert  E  Lee  citizenship  Gerald  Ford 
Added: 28th March 2014
Views: 1627
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2014-03-28 
If the federal government can 'misplace' Robert E. Lee's citizenship application, I guess people should complain too much when a letter gets lost in the postal system.
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