Tuesday, 1865 June 20, Washington, D. C: “. . . a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed, arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion . . .”

[A presidential pardon for a former Kentucky member of the Confederate Congress.]

Whereas, Eli M. Bruce
of Kentucky, taking part in the
late rebellion against the Government of the United States, has
made himself liable to heavy fines and penalties;
And whereas, the circumstances of his case render him a
proper object of Executive clemency;
Now, therefore, be in known, that I, Andrew Johnson
President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises,
divers other good and sufficient reasons therefore moving, do
hereby grant to the said E. M. Bruce,
a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed,
arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion,
conditioned as follows, viz: this pardon to being and take effect
from the day on which the said E. M. Bruce 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 E. M. Bruce shall hereafter,
at any time, acquire any property whatever in
slaves or make use of slave labor.
And upon the further condition that the said
E. M. Bruce
shall notify the Secretary of State, in writing, that he has
received and accepted the foregoing pardon.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused
the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this
Twentieth day of June,
A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the
United States the Eighty-ninth.
Andrew Johnson [signed]
By the President:
W. Hunter [signed: William Hunter Jr.]
Acting Secretary of State

[Editor: Eli Metcalfe Bruce (1828-1866) of Kentucky, member of the House Ways and Means Committee of the Confederate Congress. He died of heart disease at age 38 and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, Kenton County, Kentucky. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) of Tennessee, 17th President of the United States (1865-1869). William Hunter, Jr. (1805–1886) of  Rhode Island, Acting Secretary of State, 1865, and United States Second Assistant Secretary of State, 1866-1886. Hunter was serving in an acting capacity because Secretary of State William Seward (1801-1872) had been attacked in his home by Lewis Powell, a fellow conspirator of John Wilkes Booth, during the night of Lincoln’s assassination. Seward’s son, Assistant Secretary of State Frederick William Seward (1830-1915) was also seriously wounded while attempting to protect his father, and was assistant secretary of state 1861-1869 and 1877-1879. Despite Bruce’s pardon, martial law did not end in Kentucky until Johnson’s October 12, 1865 proclamation. On May 29, 1865, Johnson granted a presidential pardon to persons who directly or indirectly aided the Southern war effort and restored their property rights in the former Confederate South with the exception of slaves and upon swearing an oath of loyalty. Exempted taking the oath were fourteen ‘classes’ of individuals including Confederate civil or diplomatic officers and individuals who had conducted piracy against Union commerce; however, those in such ‘classes’ could apply directly to the president for a pardon.]

MSS 10719-D

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