Oaths of Loyalty to the United States of America, May 31 – June 17, 1865

From: State Library of Florida, Manuscript Collection, MS-106

Oaths of Loyalty to the United States of America, May 31 – June 17, 1865

About This Document

Restoring the Union following the destruction of the Civil War proved to be an enormous task. Several questions emerged in the wake of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865; namely, the pace and scope of reintegrating former rebels and Confederate states back into the Union, rebuilding the southern economy, and the futures of millions of newly freed slaves.

President Abraham Lincoln’s desire to enact swift Reconstruction clashed with the so-called Radical Republicans in Congress who wanted to punish the South. President Andrew Johnson, who took office after Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865, tried to follow Lincoln’s general approach to Reconstruction and was eventually impeached for it.

The following documents represent artifacts from the early period of what historians call Presidential Reconstruction. Part of the plan implemented by Johnson included granting amnesty to some former Confederates who pledged an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Below are oaths of allegiance entered in Leon County between May 31 and June 17, 1865. The signees, although primarily from Northern Florida, represented several Florida counties and a few different states. These rosters include information otherwise available in census or service records, such as date, name, residence and occupation. Of particular interest are Pages 5 and 6, which also include columns for complexion, hair and eye color, and height.

Transcript

I hereby solemnly swear that I will bear full faith and true allegiance to the United States of America. That I will support and maintain her against all her enemies. That I hereby renounce all allegiance to all other or foreign powers or governments. That I will support the Constitution of the United States so help me God.

Name Residence Occupation
May 31, 1865
Thomas T. Long Lake City Attorney at Law
Edw M. West Tallahassee Attorney at Law
T.G. Rawls Tallahassee Mechanic
John Cardy Tallahassee Mechanic
J.B. Galbraith Tallahassee Attorney at Law
D.P. Hogan Tallahassee Attorney at Law
Andrew J. Woldridge Tallahassee Minister of Gospel
Miles Nash Tallahassee Physician
Geo H. Meginness Tallahassee Merchant
Jno H. Sasser Tallahassee Machinist and Engineer
Tho J. Bond Tallahassee Physician
R.W. Fisher Leon County Physician
Hugh A. Corley Tallahassee Attorney at Law
M. Lively Tallahassee Apothecary
D. Cameron Tallahassee Asst. Postmaster
R.C. Williams Frankfort Ky Planter
M.M. Bunker Tallahassee Apothecary
Josiah Ferris Tampa Fla Merchant
C.H. Austin Tallahassee State Treasurer
G.C. Townsend Tallahassee City Tax Collector
 
June 1, 1865
Wm. F. Robertson Tallahassee Physician
M.D. Papy Tallahassee Attorney at Law
J.E. Purdy Tallahassee Merchant
D.F. Hoger Leon County Farmer
W.W. Davis Leon County Farmer
D.L. Wilson Leon County Farmer
T.J. Bassett Tallahassee Merchant
Richard Willkins Jefferson Co. Farmer
 
May 31, 1865
W.E. Danelly Tallahassee Lawyer
Wm. J. Ellis Tallahassee Minister P.E. Chr
 
June 1, 1865
R.C. Frier Jacksonville Citizen
Wm. H. Turner Tallahassee Merchant
L.B. Hatch Newport Machinist
Isaac Demond Newport Machinist
G.O. West New Port Pilot
Nicholas Michael Tallahassee Merchant
William J. McCrea Tallahassee Carpenter
F.W. Bowen Tallahassee Carpenter
H.B. Fitts Tallahassee Blacksmith
Elijah B. Clark Tallahassee Carriage Maker
F.H. Rutledge Tallahassee Clergyman
H. Leopold Tallahassee Merchant
Thos. J. Perkins Tallahassee Merchant
Leon C. DeMilly Tallahassee Tax Collector Leon County
D.B. Meginnis Tallahassee Planter
John L. DeMilly Tallahassee Clerk
Jos. A. Edmundson Tallahassee House Carpenter
Geo. W. Betton Tallahassee Physician
Wm. J. Roberts Leon County Farmer
James A. Billingsly Leon County Farmer
James J. Harley Leon County Teacher
William Billingsly Leon County Farmer
John D. Branch Leon County Farmer
P. Pendergast Leon County Farmer
J.B. Sander Leon County Farmer
Allen Stroler Leon County Farmer