Begging President Lincoln's pardon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011; B02

The National Archives has accused Thomas Lowry of Woodbridge of altering the date of a pardon that Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1864 to save a Union soldier from execution. Lowry allegedly changed the date to the day of Lincoln's assassination to increase the document's historical significance. He denies wrongdoing and says he was pressured to sign a confession; his wife says Archives officials are covering up for a former staffer.

rottrtesq: I think Abe would laugh at the idea that a date he wrote was worth anything. He saved the Union - that was more than enough for him.

wcasey1: Don't federal agents knock on your door every day and convince you to confess to crimes you didn't commit? Happens all the time with me. So long as they say those magical words - "Don't worry, we'll never tell anyone" - I'll sign away.

MarilynManson: The story of the date being changed is more interesting then the story about the pardon. I'm sure it will work its way into a Dan Brown book if it hasn't already.

Jihm: It is well to remember anyway that history is just a set of lies agreed upon.

ajanus: Suddenly, I'm a bit suspicious of the "Lincoln pardons Richard Nixon" document I recently purchased.

edwardallen54: If this happened once, it happened several times. Some dodgy material now has made itself into the history books because of this bending of history. It is an outrage and casts questions over the Archives agency as much as anything.

gigigirl2: I did a better job changing a "C" to a "B" on my 7th-grade report card.

ahashburn: Why would anyone confess to something that they didn't do just to have people leave them alone?

backward: I never before cared about the exact date when Lincoln was assassinated, but now I'm unlikely to forget it.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company