Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, on 1st July, 1828. He worked as a clerk in a hotel and as a school teacher before studying law.

Rogers was admitted to the bar in 1852 and worked as a lawyer in La Fayette and Newton, in New Jersey. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the 38th Congress and took his seat on 4th March, 1863.

In 1865 Rogers was chosen as the only Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Committee that looked into the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Only the chairman, George Boutwell was allowed to look at all the relevant papers and afterwards Rogers accused him of being involved in an attempt to cover-up the role of Edwin M. Stanton in the handling of the case.

Rogers failed to be elected to the 40th Congress and returned to his work as a lawyer. In 1867 he moved to New York City to become counsel for the city in important litigation.

In 1892 Rogers became police commissioner of the city of Denver. Andrew Rogers died in New York City on 22nd May, 1900.

Primary Sources

(1) Andrew J. Rogers, House of Representatives Report into the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (1865)

For some reason or reasons not fully stated, the majority of the committee determined to throw in my way every possible impediment. The papers were put away from me, locked in boxes, hidden; and when I asked to see them, I was told that I could not. It was said the interests of the Government required that none should see these papers save and only Mr. Boutwell who was preparing the majority report. Secrecy has surrounded and shrouded, not to say protected every step of these examinations, and even in the committee-room I seemed to be acting with a sort of secret council of inquisition, itself directed by an absent vice-inquisitor, and grand inquisitor too.

(2) Andrew J. Rogers, the only Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Committee that looked into the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, issued his own minority report (1865)

I do not say that Judge Holt did himself originate the charges or organize the plot of the perjurers, because I do not know that he did; I merely say that a plot based on the assassination was formed against Davis, Clay, and others, and that the plotters did, and even yet, operate through the Bureau of Military Justice, and that the argument forwarded by Mr. Holt to the Committee of the Judiciary looked to me like a shield extended over the plotters may be, with a desire to save certain officers of the government from the charge of having been betrayed into the blunders of an excitement, which it was their province to allay or control, not to increase. I believe this was done to hide the disgraceful fact that the assassination of Mr. Lincoln was seized upon as a pretext to hatch charges against a number of historical personages, to blacken their private character, and afford excuse for their trial.