Proclamation by President Andrew Johnson (Page 1 of 1)

Date: May 8, 1865

Series: (M92-1) Box 5, Folder 6, Item 6

Lincoln Letters

Lincoln Letters

Proclamation by President Andrew Johnson

Head-Quarters Cavalry Corps M.D.M.

Macon, May 8 th, 1865.

The following Proclamation is published for the information and government of the command:


Whereas it appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice, that the atrocious murder of the late President and the attempted murder of the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, was incited and concerted by and between Jeff. Davis, late of Richmond and Jacob Thompson, Clement C. Clay, Beverly Tucker, George N. Sanders, W. C. Cleary and others, rebels and traitors against the Government of the United States, harbored in Canada. Now, therefore, to the end that justice may be done.

I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do offer for the arrest of said persons, or either of them, within the limits of the United States, that they be brought to trial, the following reward: $100,000 for the arrest of Jeff. Davis: $100,000 for the arrest of Clement C. Clay; $100,000 for the arrest of Jacob Thompson, late of Mississippi; $25,000 for the arrest of Geo. N. Sanders; $25,000 for the arrest of Beverly Tucker; and $10,000 for the arrest of W. C. Cleary, late Clerk of C.C.

The Provest Marshal General of the United States is directed to cause a description of said persons, with notice of the above rewards, to be published.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, 2d day of May, in the year of our Lord, 1865, and of Independence of the United States of America 88 th.


W. Hunter, Acting Secretary of State.

In order to secure the arrest of the above named parties, the greatest activity and vigilance is enjoined upon the officers and men of the Cavalry Corps.

By command of Br’v’t Maj. Gen. Wilson.

E.B. Beaumont, Major & A.A. Gen. [1]



[1] In the days and weeks following Lincoln’s assassination, the Johnson administration believed that John Wilkes Booth had acted on the orders or with the support of the Confederate government. Jefferson Davis, who was captured two days after Johnson issued his proclamation, was an obvious target. The other men named as conspirators in the document were, with the exception of former U.S. and Confederate Senator Clement C. Clay, not well known. Clay, Thompson, Tucker, Sanders, and Cleary represented Confederate interests in Canada, where they encouraged the peace efforts of northern Democrats and supported the operations of Confederate agents. By the end of the war, Clay had returned to the Confederacy and was trying to make his way to Mexico when he heard about the presidential order for his arrest. Shocked by this charge, Clay determined to proclaim his innocence and surrendered to Federal authorities. Clay was imprisoned along with Jefferson Davis but gained his freedom in April 1866, when his wife’s and prominent Republicans’ efforts on his behalf convinced Johnson to parole him.