William Howell - petition for amnesty and pardon for a Confederate

William Howell - petition for amnesty and pardon for a Confederate


The text of a petition for amnesty and pardon for William Howell of Perry County, Alabama, directed to Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. After the Civil War, many Southerners were granted amnesty by Acts of Congress. Some Southerners were not covered by the Acts, and were required to petition for amnesty.

Text of the petition

  • Marion, Perry County, Alabama

Marion, Perry County, Alabama

August 18, 1865

To His Excellency Andrew Johnson

President of the United States

Your petitioner William Howell an applicant for special pardon under your Excellency’s amnesty proclamation of May 29 1865 begs leave to submit the following statements of facts on which he bases an application for special pardon and amnesty.


Your petitioner is a resident of Perry County, Ala. where he has resided for many years. He was born in the year 1810 in Wayne County North Carolina and is fifty five years of age. He began life as a mechanic and worked at his trade for several years. He never sought or held any political office of any kind. He began life very poor and by industry & economy he had acquired a competency before the war but much the larger portion has been swept away from him by the results of the rebellion, without any agency on his part as he was opposed to war.


Your petitioner never bore arms against the United States, he never held any office under the Confederate States or any one of them, except that of Post Master, which office he held until the surrender of the Confederate Army. He never held any agency under the Confederate States or any one of them. He only contributed to aid the Confederate States by giving of his means to aid in support of the suffering families of indigent soldiers which was decreased by the cause of humanity, and paying the taxes levied on him of which they had the power to compel the payment.


It is his desire and purpose to be a peaceable faithful and loyal citizen of the United States during the remainder of his life.


He has recognized the emancipation of the slaves by hiring as freedmen at liberal compensation those he formerly held as slaves.


He has a large family to be maintained and educated, and which is wholly dependent on him.


He bases this application for special pardon on the ground of having been Post Master.

Your petitioner also submits the following answers to interrogations propounded by his Excellency, L. E. Parsons Provincial Gov. of Alabama.


I am not under arrest.


I did not order the taking of Fort Morgan or Mt. Vernon Arsenal, nor aid in nor advise the taking of either of them.


I never served in any vigilance committee during the war before which persons charged with disloyalty to the Confederate States were examined or tried.


No person has been shot or hung by my order for real or supposed disloyalty to the Confederate States.


I have not shot or hung nor aided in shooting or hanging any person for real or supposed disloyalty to the Confederate States.


I have not ordered nor engaged in hunting with dogs any one who was disloyal to the Confederate States or supposed to be.


I was in favor of the so called ordinance of secession when it was passed on the 11th of January 1861.


I will be a peaceable and loyal citizen in the future.


No proceedings have been instituted against my property under the Confiscation Act.


Some of my property is in possession of the United States authorities as abandoned property or otherwise.

In consideration of the forgoing statement of facts your petitioner humbly begs that your Excellency Andrew Johnson President of the United States grant him special pardon and amnesty and restore him to all the rights and privileges of a legal citizen and as in duty bound he will ever pray so.

Wm. Howell

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 19th day of August 1865.


Judge of Probate

Sworn to and subrcribed before me on the 21st day of August 1865.

William ? Smith

M.S. District Court conv. for the Middle District of Alabama.

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