The National Archives has announced that an amateur Civil War historian has admitted to changing the date on a pardon issued by Abraham Lincoln:
Washington, DC…Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives. The pardon was for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion.
Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.
Lowry cannot be prosecuted since the statute of limitations has expired. They have permanently banned him from further “research” at their facilities, however. Lowry is now claiming he did not alter the record, despite signing a confession.
Ockham’s Razor applies. Who else would have a motive here? Lowry blames an Archives staffer, apparently. Lowry got momentarily famous for his “discovery”. What motive would a staffer have?