NewsAbraham Lincoln's presidential pardon for Joe Biden's great-great-grandfather: A tale untold for 160 years

Abraham Lincoln's presidential pardon for Joe Biden's great-great-grandfather: A tale untold for 160 years

Abraham Lincoln pardoned Biden's great-great-grandfather. Americans provided details.
Abraham Lincoln pardoned Biden's great-great-grandfather. Americans provided details.
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/YURI GRIPAS / POOL
1:04 PM EST, February 19, 2024

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, served two terms. Besides his presidency, he was also a participant in the Black Hawk War and a representative in the House of Representatives. His life was abruptly ended in 1865 when he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., by John Wilkes Booth.

As reported by U.S. media, during his tenure, Abraham Lincoln pardoned Joe Biden's great-great-grandfather.

Military court records housed in the United States National Archives, which were recently published by The Washington Post, provide an in-depth account of the trial of Moses J. Robinette. Robinette was involved in a confrontation with another civilian army employee, John J. Alexander, on March 21, 1864.

Robinette was charged with attempted murder following a melee in the winter army camp. The dispute between the two men escalated, and Robinette produced a knife, inflicting several wounds upon Alexander.

The military court sentenced him to two years of hard labor. Nevertheless, three army officers presented a petition to Lincoln to overturn the sentence, contending that the punishment was excessively severe.

Lincoln concurred with their plea and granted the pardon on September 1 of the same year. As demonstrated in the Washington Post article penned by historian David J. Gerleman, this tale "has been waiting to be told for 160 years".

The circumstances surrounding Lincoln's death

On Good Friday, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre during a performance of "Our American Cousin." Despite preferring the comforts of home, he had been persuaded by his wife to attend the theatre that evening.

Accompanied by Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris, Lincoln and his wife occupied the upper box of the theatre. Around 10 PM, actor John Wilkes Booth entered the box, shooting the president in the back of the head and injuring Major Rathbone's arm with a dagger. The president passed away the following morning.

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