Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A Lincoln Pardon Altered

Today's WaPo has this article on how a Lincoln document was altered; the date was changed on a pardon signed by Lincoln, from 1864, to 1865 (April 15), apparently to make it looked like it was the last thing he signed before he went off to Ford's theatre.  This was done about 13 years ago, when the document was first discovered, by one Thomas Lowry, now 78 years old.  Too bad.  I remember reading about this fellow (and his wife) in an Akron paper over ten years ago, and how these two amateur historians were digging up interesting slips of paper signed A. Lincoln, and most of them were notes of pardon; it turned out that he pardoned more people than we thought, even though we already knew that he was notoriously soft-hearted when it came to pardons.  The stories of their discoveries were deeply moving, and I would sometimes make note of this in class.  Sad that Mr. Lowry thought he had to change one, not sensing that Lincoln's great spirit, his liberality, were already carved in marble.  As one friend said about this sad revelation, this is what happens when you have a small man studying a great one, and the contrast between this man and a great one could not be clearer.
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