Joseph R. Anderson Amnesty File, M1003, National Archives

The Commonwealth of Virginia
Richmond Sept. 16 1865

To His Excellency
The President U. S.
Washington D. C.


          This will introduce to you Gen. Joseph R. Anderson of this city. He visits you to procure his pardon. He will explain. You know him by character. I know him personally. He happened to own the Tredegar Iron Works, in part, at the commence of the rebellion. He made cannon while thousands of others made wheat corn and pork. Others fought in the field. Anderson is not a politician. I believe never aspired to anything in that line beyond a seat in the House of Delegates in Va.; then to forward some work of improvement. But he is a man of great energy and has done much to develop the mechanical and manufacturing interest of the State. He had the force of character to engage in man [page break] ufactury pursuits in the State when labor among the first circles was not very honorable. He has lost from his mills perhaps what was worth to him or his farm one hundred thousand dollars most of it seized by the government and carried away. I have thought much about this case, and it strikes me under all the circumstances, it is not policy to strike down men of great energy like Anderson where his skill and talents are engaged in developing the country. It is such we now want. The petty amt of his property is of no consideration in a national point of view when compared with the great benefit he may render the state. Perhaps I have a false estimate of this class of men, if I have it is because they are scarce. I would not give one of them for as many politicians as will fill an acre field. It is on their ground I ask for a pardon.

I am very Respy yours &c
F. H. Pierpoint

P. S. Gen. Anderson has thrown his whole influence since I arrived here in favor of state and federal government and has I have no doubt acted sincerely and his influence has been potent for good.

F. H. P.

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