Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Connie Atkinson

Second Advisor

Robert L Dupont

Third Advisor

John D. Fitzmorris III


In 1974, President Ford began the arduous task of healing the wounds sustained by the United States during the Vietnam War. His controversial clemency plan gave those who had either deserted the military or those who evaded the draft the chance to earn their way back into American society. President Ford was willing to face this opposition to move the country closer to resolving an issue that was tearing the nation apart. In the applications to Ford’s Presidential Clemency Board, thousands of deserters and evaders reveal their motivations, and in doing so present a large body of evidence that contradicts the usual perception of the Vietnam “draft-dodger” and deserter. In the transition between the hardline anti-clemency position of President Nixon, and the full clemency position of President Carter, Ford took strong measures to achieve resolution, and the evidence herein could suggest a reappraisal of the Ford presidency.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.