Friday, March 26, 2010

Grant Grants a Pardon

The New York Times beat up on Ulysses S. Grant a bit for a pardon he signed in March of 1874. Ira Gladwin (alias George Gladwin, alias George Gladding) had been convicted of mail robbery and sentenced to a total of fifteen years in prison. But Grant commuted the sentence to seven years and eight months. The pardon was obtained by a woman who was impressed by a fancy writing desk that was hand made by Gladding and wound up in the office of a literary paper in New York. The woman learned the story of the prisoner and decided to personally lobby for a pardon.Eventually, it was said that "many prominent citizens" of Connecticut supported clemency for the unhealthy prisoner Gladwin.

Gladwin left prison and dramatically announced a new life, beyond reproach lay before him. But, on the very day of the announcement, he had passed a bad check. He also took up “George Case” as an alias and passed several more forged checks, for hundreds of dollars, before being caught and arrested once again. The forty-two year old told officials that he was led to crime by an “irresistible impulse.”

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