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Holt (Joseph) Papers
mssHolt  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers belonging to American lawyer, soldier, and politician Joseph Holt.
Background
Joseph Holt (1807-1894) was an American public official and judge advocate general of the U.S. Army from 1862 to 1875. A native of Kentucky, he became a well-known lawyer and prominent Democratic politician. In 1857, President Buchanan appointed him commissioner of patents, and in 1859 he became Postmaster General. In the beginning of 1861, before the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was Secretary of War. A staunch opponent of the secession movement, Holt was instrumental in preventing Kentucky from seceding. In September 1862, he was appointed to the newly created office of judge advocate general. In this capacity he presided over the trial and punishment of John Wilkes Booth's accomplices. A controversy over the trial that involved charges of misusing the power of a military tribunal and manipulation of the evidence resulted in a growing public demand for his resignation. He remained in office until 1875 and afterwards continued to try to disprove the charges. He died in Washington, D.C. in August 1894.
Extent
10 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.