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On this day, Dec. 8, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan to pardon those who had been in the Confederacy. He wrote: “Whereas it is … desired by some persons heretofore engaged in said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States … I, Abraham Lincoln … proclaim … a full pardon … upon the condition that every such person … take … an oath … to wit: ‘I … do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution … and that I will … faithfully support all proclamations of the president made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves. … So help me God.’”

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