Blacksheep Monday – Phillip O. Koonce

(oops! Looks like the theme is actually Black Sheep Sunday, not Monday! I’ll get it right next time.)

Have you ever been pardoned by the President?  Phillip O. Koonce was

Washington, Nov. 3 – The President today granted pardons to three prisoners and refused them in the cases of two others convicted of violating the Federal statutes.  The fortunate others are: Belle Freeland, convicted of counterfeiting in Illinois and sentenced in March last to three years imprisonment in Joilet penitentiary; Clarence Woodruff, convicted in the District of Columbia of assault and sentenced in March last to 304? das in jail, and P.O.  Koonce, convicted in Idaho of embezzling a letter from the United States mail and sentenced to twelve months in the Boise penitentiary.  Woodruff was pardoned because subsequent evidence <…> his offense, and Koonce because he is a very young man and was made the tool of an older man.  In endorsing Belle Freeland’s application for pardon and denying that of her husband, S.J. Freeland, convicted of the same offensee and given a similar sentence, the President says:

Granted as to Belle Freeland.  On the facts presented in this case I am not clear that these convicts should be pardoned on the merits, but aside from any other consideration, I have determined to pardon Belle Freeland, the wife and mother, on account of the child born to her in prison and now less than three months old.

Source: “Pardoned by the President.” The Sun [New York, NY] 4 Nov. 1894. Chronicling America. Web. <>

Phillip would have been about 20 years old at this time.  He was the son of Kehlin S. Koonce, born around 1842 in North Carolina.  I have yet not been able to determine who Kehlin’s parents were.  The family lived in Surry County, NC in 1880 and migrated to Idaho to Blaine, Camas & Washington counties.