January 5, 1869
A.H.H Stuart speaks to a audience concerned about the proclamation of amnesty. Congress doesn't seem to believe that the President can issue pardons to whoever he wishes and seeks to ban Presidential pardons.
Hon. A. H. H. Stuart desires us to give notice to the gentlemen who were appointed at the late conference held In this city a committee to go to Washington, that they are requested to assemble at the National Hotel, in Washington, on Friday the 8th instant at 8 o'clock P.M. Amnesty. There Is a difference of opinion amongst those who claim to know, as to what will be the effect of the proclamation of amnesty recently Issued by the President. So far as the Constitution and the laws which were in existence previous to the late war are concerned, there can be no doubt that all the penalties and punishments prescribed by them are removed. as to that, we suppose. The diversity of opinion goes only to the effect which, that proclamation will have upon the disfranchisements provided for by the new State constitutions And the disqualifications worked by the fourteenth amendment of the Federal Constitution. We have no objection to any delusion with which any disfranchised or disqualified person may deceive himself as to its effect upon these latter. We have heretofore candidly given our opinion, and some of the reasons for entertaining it ; and we do not propose to discuss the question again. As, however, all will agree that whatever may be our opinion as interested parties, and whatever ought to be, the effect of the proclamation, Congress will nevertheless settle the question in its own way, we quote a part of the reconstruction acts, which proves that that body does not understand that the President has power to relieve any person from the disfranchisements and disabilities aforesaid. It is as follows : "And such board shall also, during the same period, add to such registry the names of all persons who at that time possess the qualifications required by said act who have not been already registered, and no person shall at any time be entitled to be registered or to vote by reason of any Executive pardon or amnesty, for any act or thing which, without such pardon or amnesty, would disqualify him from registration or voting."
About this article
“Amnesty,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 23, 2019, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1232.