Two Islands

Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis both died without a country.

In 1865 Lee applied for pardon and completed an amnesty oath, fulfilling terms required by Andrew Johnson. But the documents were never recognized, and Lee died without citizenship in 1870. A century later a worker discovered the oath in the National Archives, and Gerald Ford restored Lee’s citizenship posthumously in 1975.

After the fall of Richmond, Davis was imprisoned for treason. When he emerged two years later, his citizenship was denied — he could not run for office, and he could not vote. Like Lee, he passed the remainder of his life without a nation; Jimmy Carter finally restored his citizenship in 1978.