Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Mosby, John S. (1833-1916) to Sam Chapman

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
or
subscribe to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03293 Author/Creator: Mosby, John S. (1833-1916) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 May 1907 Pagination: 2 p.

Summary of Content: Written on stationery of the Department of Justice. Discusses Grant's endorsement of Lee's pardon after the war, and Johnson's refusal to grant it. He discusses politics during the Reconstruction era. He comments "there was more vindictiveness shown to me by the Virginia people for my voting for Grant than the North showed to me for fighting four years against him." Various politicians and judges mentioned.

Background Information: Notes: Mosby discusses Jefferson Davis's treason trial in GLC 3921, #30. He answers criticism of his book, Stuart's Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign in GLC 3921, #22. The disability clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (...section 3), ratified in 1868, prevented Confederate civil and military leaders who had previously sworn to support the Federal Constitution from voting and holding office. The disability could be removed with a two-thirds vote from both houses of Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment's restrictions on Confederate leaders did not apply to Mosby because he had never sworn an oath to the federal government.See More

Full Transcript: Sept: 5th 1907
Dear Sam: The schoolmistress is all wrong: In June 1865 (see War records) Gen. Lee applied for pardon - Grant endorsed - Andy Johnson refused it. [struck: Either]. On ...Dec: 25th 1868 Johnson issued a proclamation of universal Amnesty & pardon, a Christmas gift. - Grant had just been Elected & he wanted to deprive Grant of that pleasure. Mr. Davis trial began that month but the proclamation of Pardon ended it [See U.S. Statutes at Large & Chases Circuit Court Decisions reported by Bradly Johnson.) Soon after Grant came in he recommended Congress to pass one [inserted: act] relieving every body of the disability of the 14th Amendment - a different thing from a pardon for treason. When I came out for Grant in 1872 I told him that if he wd. get Congress to pass one act relieving our leading public men of political disability - not from voting only from holding office - I thought we could carry Virginia for him. He said he wd. try - In a few days Ben Butler introduced [inserted: & passed] a bill that relieved nearly every body - including Gen. Hunton - [struck: He] Hunton immediately announced himself a candidate for Congress & was elected. I could have had no selfish motive in this as I was never under the disability of the 14th Amendment. I did incur the disability under the [inserted: Va.] anti dueling Con[vention] either to vote or to hold office. In 1877 Wm. F. Gordon of Louisa (uncle of Armistead) introduced a bill to relieve Jim Barbour of the disability of the anti-duelling Con - Matherds of London proposed an amendment to include me. Gov. Smith ("Extra") was a member of the House - He made a bitter [inserted: speech] against including me. the bill passed. In 1875 [2] the Democrats elected Andy Johnson Senator. Judge Caldwell had a glowing eulogy of him in the Index. I wrote a letter to the Index wh. Moore Blackwell signed, inquiring if that was the same Johnson who made a speech [struck: at] to a crowd at the front door of the White House saying that treason must be made odious by hanging traitors - & who offered a reward of $100,000 for Jefferson Davis under the [inserted: charge] of procuring the assassination [sic] of Lincoln. Mr. Gordon can show you in the Statutes at Large (1868) the Amnesty Proclamation & Grant's message on Amnesty in the President's Messages: -
I sent my MS - Stuart's Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign - to the Macmillan Co. last week. Have not heard from them. - There was more vindictiveness shown to me by the Virginia people for [inserted: my] voting for Grant than the North showed to me for fighting four years against him. I was in Warrenton last week - talked with Judge Keith - he is now in Staunton. I wish you wd ask him the reason why I was not [struck: selected] [inserted: invited] to deliver the address at the unveiling of Stuart's Statue. I am the only Virginian who followed Stuart who named a child after him, & I am the only Virginian who [struck: has] [inserted: ever] published a word in defense of him. The man selected was one of Stuart's couriers. Then write me what Kieth says.
Yours Truly
Jno: S. Mosby
[inserted at the top of first page, probably after finishing the letter]
I have no objection to your letting Hugh & Mr. Gordon read this. Referring to George Christians Eulogy of Slavery because it was a patriarchal Institution I reminded you that Polygamy & Circumcision were patriarchal institutions. I I [sic] forgot to say that Eunuchs were also a patriarchal institution. Ask Hugh if I am not right.



Notes: Written on Justice Department Stationery.
See More

People: Mosby, John Singleton, 1833-1916

Historical Era: Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesConfederate General or LeaderPardonPresidentPoliticsReconstructionElectionGovernment and CivicsUnion General

Sub Era:

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources