Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008

Citizens of the Confederate States, 1865

The 17th President, Andrew Johnson, took office the day that Lincoln died from gunshot wounds. Johnson had a mixed reputation, having stayed in the Senate as his home state of Tennessee seceded in 1861; he was popular in the North, but considered a traitor by those in the South. After becoming President in 1865, he moved forward on reconstruction. While Congress was not in session, he pardoned Southerners in the Confederate States on the condition that they would take an oath of loyalty to the Union. But Johnson, who grew up poor and had a dislike of the rich and privileged, wouldn't grant blanket amnesty to several classes of Southerners, requiring leaders and wealthy men to obtain their own special Presidential pardons.