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PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT - PRESIDENTIAL WARRANT SIGNED 07/30/1870 - HFSID 4895

ULYSSES S. GRANT Warrant directing Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to put the seal of the United States to a presidential pardon for John Hart. Presidential warrant signed "U. S. Grant". 1 page, 7¾x9¾. Washington, DC, 1870 July 30.

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ULYSSES S. GRANT
Warrant directing Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to put the seal of the United States to a presidential pardon for John Hart.
Presidential warrant signed "U. S. Grant". 1 page, 7¾x9¾. Washington, DC, 1870 July 30. In full: "I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State [Hamilton Fish at this time] to affix the Seal of the United States to a Warrant for the pardon of John Hart, dated this day, and signed by me, and for so doing this shall be his warrant." Article II Section 2 of the United States Constitution gives the President the "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States". Prisoners must wait at least five years after conviction to apply for a pardon, which clears a person's name. Since a presidential pardon is an official U.S. government document, the President granting the pardon must order the Secretary of State to affix the seal of the U.S. to it. The Great Seal, kept by the Secretary of State, validated such official government documents. Prior to 1952, the Seal was only applied by the Secretary upon the signed order of the President; since that time, the volume of papers requiring authentication has resulted in an executive order that permits the Secretary of State to use the Seal on certain official documents without a presidential warrant. Grant signed more pardons than any other 19th century president: 1,332, an average of 166 or so a year, over his entire eight-year administration. His successor, Rutherford B. Hayes, is the only president from that century with a higher annual output, if you can call it that, of pardons: just over 223 pardons signed a year for a total of 893 presidential pardons during his four-year administration. West Point graduate Grant (1822-1885, born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio) had little success in civilian life but was one of the greatest military leaders the United States has produced. After winning many victories on the Mississippi during the American Civil War, culminating in the capture of Vicksburg (1863), he was brought to the Virginia theatre to face the forces of Robert E. Lee which had bested a long series of former Union generals. He finally compelled Lee's surrender (April, 1865) on generous terms. Grant's two terms as Republican President (1869-1877) were less successful. The personally honest Grant proved unable to prevent graft by subordinates. Folds, vertical touches "S". Lightly creased.

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