Chairman, Presidential Clemency Board;
Washington Attorney and Lobbyist


Extensive materials on President Ford's clemency program for Vietnam War draft evaders and military absence offenders, including minutes of meetings, case summaries, report drafts and internal memoranda. Also included are materials on Goodell's activities as a lawyer/lobbyist with a company called DGA International working on such issues as privacy legislation, Concorde landing rights, automobile emissions, and other personal interests and activities.

9.2 linear feet (ca. 18,400 pages)

Charles E. Goodell (accession number 83-8)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Charles E. Goodell donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by William McNitt, December 1990
[s:\bin\findaid\goodell, charles - papers.doc]


Charles E. Goodell

March 16, 1926 - Born, Jamestown, NY

World War II - Seaman, U.S. Naval Reserve

1948 - A.B., Williams College

1951 - LL.B., Yale University

1952 - M.A., Yale University Graduate School of Government

Korean War - 1st Lieutenant, Air Force

1954-55 - Congressional liaison assistant, U.S. Department of Justice

1955-59 - Partner, law firm of Van Vlack, Goodell & McKee, Jamestown, NY

1959-68 - U.S. Representative from New York; chairman, House Republican Planning and Research Committee

1968-71 - U.S. Senator from New York

1971-72 - Partner, law firm of Roth, Carlson, Kwit, Spengler & Goodell, New York City

1973 - Author of book - Political Prisoners in America

1973-87 - Partner, law firm of Hydeman, Mason & Goodell, Washington, DC; also board chairman, DGA International Inc. and counsel, Life Companies of New York

1974-75 - Chairman, Presidential Clemency Board

Jan. 21, 1987 - Died, Washington, DC


Charles Goodell first reached prominence as a Republican U.S. Representative, Senator, and Vietnam War critic from the state of New York between 1959 and 1971. None of his papers from that phase of his career are included in his Ford Library collection, however. Goodell donated his congressional papers to the New York Public Library in 1974.

Of the Goodell papers at the Ford Library, approximately two-thirds concern his service as chairman of the Presidential Clemency Board, which carried out President Ford's plan for clemency for Vietnamese War draft evaders and military absence offenders in 1974 and 1975. The remainder consists of materials derived from his work with the lobbying firm of DGA International and other personal interests, 1973-77.

The Presidential Clemency Board
Shortly after assuming office, President Ford created a clemency program to allow the young men who were "convicted, charged, investigated or still sought for violations of the Military Selective Service Act or of the Uniform Code of Military Justice" to contribute a "share to the rebuilding of peace among ourselves and with all nations." On September 16, 1974, Ford issued a proclamation and executive order establishing the Presidential Clemency Board (PCB) to oversee this program and announced the appointment of the nine members of the Board. The President selected his old friend and former congressional colleague Charles Goodell as chairman.

The PCB handled applications for clemency on a case-by-case basis. As the number of applications went from 850 in early 1975 to 21,500 by the deadline at the end of March, it became apparent that the original board of nine members and less than 100 staff members was inadequate to complete the task in the specified time. In May 1975 the President authorized nine additional board members and a dramatic increase in staff to keep the work on schedule. The PCB finished its work in September 1975 and turned over all incomplete cases to the Justice Department.

During the year of its existence, the PCB disposed of 14,514 cases. For each case, they determined whether or not the individual deserved clemency and, if so, whether he should be required to complete a period of alternative service. Alternative service involved working for a non-profit organization in a job promoting the national health, safety, or interest. Of the civilian clemency applicants, more than four out of every five received outright pardons, only a few were denied clemency, and the remainder were assigned to alternative service before receiving their pardons. Only slightly more than one-third of military applicants received outright pardons, 7 percent were denied clemency, and the remainder participated in the alternative service program.

While the PCB claimed to have succeeded in its assigned task, many people disputed this statement. Only about 19 percent of the eligible people even applied for the program. Many draft evaders and deserters attacked the program for not going far enough and demanded an unconditional amnesty. At the same time many people in the military and in veterans organizations were unhappy with any form of amnesty or clemency.

The Goodell Papers
The Goodell papers at the Ford Library concern both his service as chairman of the Presidential Clemency Board and a variety of other business and personal interests.

Many PCB materials concern administrative matters such as the appointment of Board members, budgetary matters, interactions with the White House and the Justice Department, personnel questions, press relations, the operation of the alternative service program, and the drafting of the final report. Other documents relate to the applicants and the disposition of cases. Of particular note are approximately 4,000 pages of case summaries giving detailed information about the cases the Board considered.

While the Goodell papers contain important materials on the PCB, they are not a complete record of the Board's work. They include only those materials which Goodell used or created in completing several of his responsibilities. At the end of its existence the Board turned its official records over to the National Archives (see pages 205-208 of the Presidential Clemency Board Report to the President for a description of these materials).

Besides the PCB, the Goodell papers document his work for several clients of DGA International, which handled lobbying for several foreign and domestic firms interested in such issues as Concorde landing rights, privacy legislation, and automobile emissions. A partial record (mostly 1975) of his work as legal counsel to the Life Companies of New York appears, but there is little documenting his work as an attorney with Hydeman, Mason and Goodell. In addition, the papers concern such matters as his personal finances and his selection of an archival repository for his congressional papers.

Related Materials (November 1990)
The Charles Goodell papers at the New York Public Library document his congressional career. The Presidential Clemency Board records at the National Archives may contain additional materials on Goodell's activities.

Several related collections appear among the holdings of the Ford Library. White House Central Files categories FG 6-28 (Presidential Clemency Board) and JL 1 and its subdivisions (Amnesties - Clemencies - Pardons) include much on the Ford administration's clemency program. White House staff files containing significant documentation on that program include those of Counsel to the President Philip Buchen, Counsellor John Marsh, Domestic Council Associate Director Geoffrey Shepard, and Assistant to the President for Human Resources Theodore Marrs.


Presidential Clemency Board Subject File, 1974-75.  (Boxes 1-10, 4.0 linear feet)
Memoranda, correspondence, lists, minutes, notes, press releases, reports and clippings. The materials concern a wide range of administrative and policy matters handled by the Clemency Board, including case handling procedures, the operation of the alternative service program, interactions with the White House and Department of Justice, and the drafting of the Board's final report.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries, 1974-75.  (Boxes 11-15, 2.0 linear feet)
Case summaries covering many, but not all, of the cases heard by the Clemency Board. The summaries give detailed information about the background and alleged offenses of individual draft evaders and deserters. The summaries do not include the names of the applicants; the cases are identified by a case number only. This set of case summaries is relatively complete for the early applicants, but only scattered summaries appear for those who applied later.

Arranged numerically by case number.

View container list for this series

General Subject File, 1973-77. (Boxes 16-23, 3.2 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, bills, resumes, minutes, lists and news summaries. Some materials concern Goodell's work as a lawyer/lobbyist with the company DGA International Inc. handling clients interested in such issues as Concorde landing rights, privacy legislation, and automobile emissions. Other topics of note include the report of the Committee for the Study of Incarceration, efforts by the Magazine Publishers Association to reduce postal rates and gain an exemption from price controls, and Goodell's work as legal counsel to the Life Companies of New York. A number of folders concern personal matters such as Goodell's finances or his selection of an archival repository for his congressional papers. Little reflects his association with his law firm.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • ACLU Press Conference, 10/3/75
  • Administrative Matters
  • Alternative Service
  • Alternatives to Pardon
  • American Bar Association
  • Amnesty - General
  • Basic Documents
  • Board - Addresses
  • Board - Appointment of New Members (1)-(2)
  • Board - Finances
  • Board - Minutes
  • Camp David Docket
  • Case Disposition Sheets
  • Case Disposition Summary (1)-(3)
  • Case Processing

Box 2 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Clemency Law Reporter (1)-(5)
  • Committee on Selective Service
  • Congressional Mail
  • Controlling Discretion in Sentencing (Article in the Notre Dame Lawyer)
  • Correspondence (1)-(3)

Box 3 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Correspondence (4)-(8)
  • Correspondence With Agencies About Detailed Staff
  • Davis, Andrew - Case
  • Defense Department
  • Demographic Analysis of Applicants
  • Employment Applicants
  • Extra Worksheets
  • Felons
  • Final Report - Draft, Undated (1)-(2)

Box 4 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Final Report - Draft, Undated (3)-(6)
  • Final Report - Draft, 8/29/75 (1)-(8)

Box 5 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Final Report - Draft, 8/29/75 (9)-(12)
  • Final Report - Draft, 10/2-7/75 (1)-(3)
  • Final Report - Draft, 10/28/75 (1)-(4)

Box 6 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Final Report - Draft, 11/11/75 (1)-(3)
  • Final Report - Draft Outlines
  • Final Report - Draft Summary
  • Final Report - Goodell Statement
  • First Recommendations for Extension of Clemency (1)-(2)
  • Ford Foundation Information Paper on Veterans, Deserters, and Draft Evaders
  • Full Board Presentation Lists
  • Goodell - Designation of Panels
  • Goodell - Notes
  • Goodell - Press Conference, 11/29/74

Box 7 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Goodell - Statement Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 12/18/1974
  • Goodell - Trip to California
  • Goodell - Trip to Portland, OR: Briefing Book
  • Interagency Team Survey Report (1)-(2)
  • Legislation
  • Manual of Proclamations, Executive Orders and Messages Concerning the Clemency Program (1)-(2)
  • Meeting with Paul O'Neill (OMB), 4/7/75
  • Meeting with Paul O'Neill (OMB), 4/21/75
  • Meeting with Paul O'Neill (OMB), 5/7/75
  • Memoranda - Board Members
  • Memoranda - Buchen, Philip
  • Memoranda - Internal (1)-(3)

Box 8 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Memoranda - Internal (4)
  • Memoranda - Justice Department
  • Memoranda - Office of Management and Budget
  • Memoranda - President and White House Staff
  • Miscellaneous
  • News Clippings (1)-(4)
  • Newsletter
  • Notes on Clemency Board Regulations
  • Panel A Dispositions
  • Panel Counsel Meetings
  • Pardons for Those with Undesirable Discharges

Box 9 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Personnel Matters (1)-(2)
  • Photographs
  • Press Relations
  • Procedures and Substantive Standards - ACLU Comments
  • Questions and Answers (1)-(2)
  • Reconciliation Service - Letters
  • Reconciliation Service - Manual (1)-(2)
  • Reconciliation Service - Program Reports
  • Reconciliation Service - Program Terminations
  • Referrals to Full Board
  • San Diego City Club Speech

Box 10 - Presidential Clemency Board Subject File

  • Senate Hearings on Clemency Board Practices and Procedures (Published Report)
  • Statistical Summaries
  • Status Reports on Presidential Packages
  • Training Handbook (1)-(3)
  • Transition Memoranda
  • Truman Amnesty Board
  • Work Sheets (1)-(6)

Box 11 - Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries

  • 1-275

Box 12 - Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries

  • 276-950

Box 13 - Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries

  • 951-3100

Box 14 - Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries

  • 3101-11000

Box 15 - Presidential Clemency Board Case Summaries

  • 11001-18000

Box 16 - General Subject File

  • Aerospatiale - Concorde (1)-(6)
  • Agency for Consumer Advocacy (1)-(2)
  • Airbus (1)-(2)
  • Bagley, William (Candidate for State Controller in California)
  • Button, Daniel
  • Ceres - Letters to Congress
  • Ceres - Soviet Visit
  • Chronological File, Jan.-June 1977

Box 17 - General Subject File

  • Chronological File, July-Dec. 1977
  • Committee for the Study of Incarceration - Draft Final Report (1)-(5)
  • Correspondence - General (1)-(2)
  • Courtesy Copies
  • Cunningham, Waymon R. (Appeal for Commutation of Sentence)
  • Department of Justice Management Report (1)-(2)
  • Disaster Relief Loans - John G. O'Leary (1)-(2)

Box 18 - General Subject File

  • Disputed Bills
  • Domestic Council
  • Dun and Bradstreet - Privacy Legislation (1)-(6)
  • Ellsberg, Daniel
  • Employment Applications (1)-(5)

Box 19 - General Subject File

  • Employment Applications (6)-(7)
  • Energy Policy Task Force
  • Engelhard Minerals and Chemicals Corporation
    - Background on Air Quality and Auto Emissions (1)-(3)
    - Correspondence and Notes (1)-(2)
    - Legislative Digests
    - Letters to Members of Congress (1)-(2)

Box 20 - General Subject File

  • Engelhard Minerals and Chemicals Corporation
    - Report of the Committee on Motor Vehicle Emissions
  • Ford Administration
    - General
    - Personnel
    - Telephone Directories
  • Foreign Flag Tax Exemption
  • Gepard AA Tank
  • Goodell - Personal
  • Grumman Aerospace Corporation
  • Gurian
  • Hospital for Joint Diseases (Alfred Rice)
  • Housing Assistance Council
  • Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Published Article)
  • Lazarus, Len - Book "Republican Renaissance" - Draft 1 (1)-(2)
  • Lazarus, Len - Book "Republican Renaissance" - Draft 2 (1)-(2)

Box 21 - General Subject File

  • Lazarus, Len - Book "Republican Renaissance" - Draft 3 (1)-(4)
  • Life Companies of New York
    - By-laws
    - Meeting, 1/7/75
    - Meeting, 2/4/75
    - Meeting, 3/4/75
    - Meeting, 4/1/75
    - Meeting, 5/6/75
    - Meeting, 6/3/75
    - Meeting, 7/1/75
    - Meeting, 8/5/75
    - Meeting, 9/9/75
    - Meeting, 10/7/75
    - Meeting, 11/11/75
    - Meeting, 12/2/75
  • Magazine Publishers Association (1)-(2)

Box 22 - General Subject File

  • Magazine Publishers Association (3)
  • Mailing Lists
  • Mailing Lists - Book
  • Miscellaneous
  • Model Income Supplement Bill - Publications
  • National Health and Welfare Retirement Board Trustees Meeting, 2/27/76 (1)-(3)

Box 23 - General Subject File

  • National Visitors Center
  • New York Public Library (Re donation of Goodell's Congressional Papers)
  • Nixon Impeachment
  • Padiermos, Justino
  • Puerto Rico
  • Random House
  • Ripon Society
  • Rumsfeld, Donald
  • State of Illinois - HEW Dispute
  • University of Wyoming (Re Possible Donation of His Papers)
  • Warner Communications
  • White House News Summaries (1)-(4)
  • Who's Who