February 26, 2009

3 Interesting Civil War Era Titles

There are lots of titles on Footnote that don't get much attention. Today I was poking around in 3 from the Civil War Era.

This first one is from the Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims. During the Civil War, as the Union Army moved through the South, they commandeered and used supplies, food, transportation and other resources from local folks. After the war, a commission was established to allow people to claim redress for the items that were taken. To receive repayment, the claimants had to demonstrate that they were loyal to the Union and that the Army had taken and used, not just destroyed, the items. The vast majority of claims were refused, but this is a collection of claims that were approved. You can learn more here.

Here's an image from the case file of William Martin, a free African-American living in North Carolina who had two sons that fought for the Union. He was a boatman and also had a 1,ooo acre farm of "turpentine" trees from which he made rosin. The Union army took 51 barrels of rosin and used two boats belonging to Mr. Martin. This page of the file includes the commissions final decision about how much to pay out for the claim.
William Martin's Approved Claim for Redress

The next title you many not have heard of is the Confederate Amnesty Papers. In May of 1865, a proclamation by President Andrew Johnson gave amnesty to most people who fought for the Confederacy, but certain groups of people (for example, ex-confederate Governors) were not included in the general amnesty. People in those groups had to send a personal request to the president with an explanation of their situation and an oath of allegiance. You can learn more here.

This image is from the request of William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the son of General Robert E Lee, who was ineligible because he served as a general in the Confederate army.
William Henry Fitzhugh Lee's Request for Amensty

The third title is the Lincoln Assasination Papers, a collection of papers related to the investigation and trial of people suspected of being part of the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. You can learn more about the title here.

Here's an odd little piece of the collection: a copy of the oath of office taken by President Andrew Johnson and the certification of the that oath by Chief Justice Salmon Chase.
Andrew Johnson's Oath of Office with Salmon Chase's Certification

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