Monday, 1865 July 17, Toronto, Canada: “I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder”

[Loyalty oath by a former Confederate general in exile in Canada.]

U. S. Consulate
Toronto C. W. [Canada West]

I, John McCausland do solemnly swear or
affirm in the Presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth
faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and
the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner,
abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which
have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the
emancipation of slaves, so help me God.
Jon. McCausland [signed: John McCausland]

Sworn before me at the Consulate of the USA
at Toronto this 17 day of July 1865, & of the
Independence of the United States the
D. Thurston [signed: David Thurston]
U. S. Consul

Name            Rank
John McCausland    Brigadier General
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
D. Thurston
U. S. Consul

[Editor: John McCausland (1836-1927), born St. Louis, Missouri; graduate of Virginia Military Institute (1857) and the University of Virginia (1858); colonel of the 36th Virginia Infantry; promoted to brigadier general May 1864 and fought in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. He died at his “Grape Hill” farm near Point Pleasant, West Virginia, at age ninety-one and was buried in the Smith Cemetery, Henderson, Mason County. He was the next to last Confederate general to die. McCausland was apprehensive about returning to postwar America because of his July 1864 raid into Pennsylvania where, acting under orders of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, he burned the town of Chambersburg in retribution for destruction of homes and property in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley by Union Major General David Hunter. Although he refused to surrender with General Robert e. Lee at Appomattox, according to some published accounts he was paroled at Charleston, West Virginia, on May 22, 1865 but his Encyclopedia of Virginia biographical entry states “the prosecuting attorney of Franklin County, Pennsylvania . . . obtained a warrant against McCausland on the charge of arson.” Concerned about being tried and hanged for war crimes, McCausland fled to Canada, Mexico and Europe before returning to America in 1867 with personal assurances from Union General Ulysses G. Grant.  McCausland’s 1865 loyalty oath during his Canadian sojourn may have been part of his stratagem to avoid arrest and prosecution and a prerequisite for his return to the United States.
According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, David Thurston (1818-1889) of Massachusetts immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1851 and later settled in Toronto where he (still an American citizen) was appointed U. S. consular agent (1864), serving in that capacity until 1869; American Secretary of State William Seward valued Thurston’s service, and so also during this period he served as vice-consul at Quebec and vice-consul general at Montreal. In 1869 Thurston began careers in lumber and insurance but retained his American citizenship. In 1878 he was appointed vice-consul in Toronto and retired in 1882 due to poor health; his date of death and fate after 1889 is unknown. In the oath Thurston incorrectly identified American independence as ninety years when it was actually eighty-nine years (1776).]

MSS 13267

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