Who is Eligible to Office
Confederates, public office, politics
Virginia's Attorney General Thomas R. Bowden, a Unionist Republican, published his opinion during July 1865 in response to questions about who was eligible to hold office in the state. He specified that any person who had held office under the "so-called Confederate or any rebellious State Government," was not eligible to hold a constitutional office, which included any county offices that had been created by the state constitution. Men who had served as local magistrates and other municipal officers during the war, however, were eligible to run for any office. Governor Francis H. Pierpont hoped to resume peaceable civilian government quickly and endorsed applications of former Confederates who applied for a presidential pardon, which enabled them to hold local office.
Thomas R. Bowden
Executive Papers of Governor Francis H. Pierpont, 1865-1868, Accession 37024, State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia.
July 14, 1865
Library of Virginia
Finding aid to Executive Papers of Governor Francis H. Pierpont