S. J. Res. 23



Ninety-fourth Congress of the United States of America


Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the fourteenth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five



Joint Resolution

To restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee.


Whereas this entire Nation has long recognized the outstanding virtues of courage, patriotism, and selfless devotion to duty of General R. E. Lee, and has recognized the contribution of General Lee in healing the wounds of the War Between the States, and

Whereas, in order to further the goal of reunion of this country, General Lee, on June 13, 1865, applied to the President for amnesty and pardon and restoration of his rights as a citizen, and

Whereas this request was favorably endorsed by General Ulysses S. Grant on June 16, 1865 and

Whereas, General Lee’s full citizenship was not restored to him subsequent to his request of June 13, 1865, for the reason that no accompanying oath of allegiance was submitted, and

Whereas, on October 12, 1870, General Lee died, still denied the right to hold any office and other rights of citizenship, and

Whereas a recent discovery has revealed that General Lee did in fact on October 2, 1865, swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to the Union, and

Whereas it appears that General Lee thus fulfilled all of the legal as well as moral requirements incumbent upon him for restoration of his citizenship : Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in accordance with section 3 of amendment 14 of the United States Constitution, the legal disabilities placed upon General Lee as a result of his service as General of the Army of Northern Virginia are removed, and that General R. E. Lee is posthumously restored to the full rights of citizenship, effective June 13, 1865.

Carl Albert

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Nelson Rockefeller

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.


AUG – 5 1975

Gerald R. Ford





Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Oversize Box, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall



Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 April 13