Hugh L. Dennard pardon and loyalty oath
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Hugh L. Dennard pardon and loyalty oath

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Dennard, Hugh L.
Title: Hugh L. Dennard pardon and loyalty oath
Dates: 1865-1867
Extent: 0.09 cubic feet (2 oversize folders)
Identification: MS 1999

Biographical/Historical Note

Andrew Johnson became president shortly after Lincoln's assassination. He intended on following through with Reconstruction with the same lenient policies that Lincoln had established prior to his death. It was originally intended by Lincoln that all willing to take an oath of allegiance would be pardoned. President Johnson held to this, but required that all men of wealth and leadership apply for a special Personal Pardon from the President, himself. On 29 May, 1865, Johnson issued a General Amnesty, pardoning all Confederate State citizens that had not been pardoned in the previous years of Lincoln's Reconstruction. With this, a letter of acceptance was required to be mailed back from the recipient of the pardon. Because this General Amnesty did not pertain to men of wealth and leadership, over half of the applications for the Personal Pardon came shortly thereafter. Surprisingly, most pardons dating from 1865 to 1867 were not to soldiers of the Confederacy, but to those who supported the Confederate cause. Finally, on Christmas of 1868, President Johnson made an Unconditional Amnesty for all Confederates.

Due to the dates on the pardon and oath, it is understood that Hugh L. Dennard received a General Amnesty. He sent his letter of confirmation and acceptance to Johnson's Secretary of State William Seward on 5 February, 1867. Dennard lived in Perry, Houston County, Georgia in the 1860s and because he qualified for the General Amnesty, he would have owned less than $20,000 worth of land.

Hugh L. Dennard was born circa 1800 and died in the 1880s. He was married to Frances Sarah Crocker and had three children: Ervin Dennard, Josephine Dennard, and Mary Frances Dennard. Mary Frances went on to marry the future U.S. Congressman, Dudley Mays Hughes.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains an official presidential pardon dated 29 May 1865 to Hugh L. Dennard of Houston County, Georgia from President Andrew Johnson and a loyalty oath dated 5 February 1867 sent from Dennard to Secretary of State William H. Seward.

Index Terms

Dennard, Hugh L.
Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875.
Loyalty oaths.
Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Hugh L. Dennard pardon and loyalty oath, MS 1999, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kinney Christopher Schepis, 2009.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and as the owner of copyright in items created by the donor. Although copyright was transferred by the donor, copyright in some items in the collection may still be held by their respective creator(s). For further information contact the Division of Library and Archives.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Pardon from President Andrew Johnson to Hugh L. Dennard, 1865, May 29 View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items


2Loyalty oath of Hugh L. Dennard to President Andrew Johnson, 1867, February 5