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Thaddeus Stevens (search for this): chapter 6.38
, because when he promised the evacuation, he designed and thought himself able to fulfil it; but between the making and breaking of the pledge, a total change of policy had been forced upon the administration, against Mr. Seward's advice, by Thad. Stevens and the radical governors. Seward, abolitionist, and knave as he was, still retained enough of the statesman-like traditions of the better days of the republic, to know that coercion was unlawful, and that a war between the States was, of co as we please, and aggrandize ourselves and our section! These, Mr. Seward's apologist declared to me, were the reasons which, together with their predictions and threats of popular rage, converted Lincoln from the policy of Seward to that of Stevens. Hence the former was compelled to break his promise through Judge Campbell, and to assist in the malignant stratagem by which the South Carolinians were constrained to fire on the flag. The diabolical success of the artifice is well known.
William B. Preston (search for this): chapter 6.38
Lincoln's Government, who should communicate the views of Virginia, and demand those of Mr. Lincoln. [That commission consisted of Wm. B. Preston, Alex. H. H. Stuart and Geo. W. Randolph. We will refer to its history in the sequel.] Meantime Mr. Preston, with other original Union men, were feeling thus: If our voices and votes are to be exerted farther to hold Virginia in the Union, we must know what the nature of that Union is to be. We have valued Union, but we are also Virginians, and we l invade the rights of States and of the people, we would support the Federal Government no farther. And now that the attitude of that Government was so ominous of usurpation, we must know whither it is going, or we can go with it no farther. Mr. Preston especially declared that if he were to become an agent for holding Virginia in the Union to the destruction of her honor, and of the liberty of her people and her sister States, he would rather die than exert that agency. Meantime Mr. Sewar
C. T. Crittenden (search for this): chapter 6.38
opinion, and that they gained no accessions, until they were given them by the usurpations of the Lincoln party. The Convention assembled with a fixed determination to preserve the Union, if forbearance and prudence could do it consistently with the rights of the States. Such, as is well known, were, in the main, Colonel Baldwin's views and purposes. But Mr. Lincoln's inaugural, with its hints of coercion and usurpation, the utter failure of the Peace-Congress, and the rejection of Mr. Crittenden's overtures, the refusal to hear the commissioners. from Mr. Davis' Government at Montgomery, and the secret arming of the Federal Government for attack, had now produced feverish apprehensions in and out of the Convention. Colonel Baldwin considered Mr. Wm. Ballard Preston, of Montgomery county, as deservedly one of the most influential members of that body. This statesman now began to feel those sentiments, which, soon after, prompted him to move and secure the passage of the resolu
sented his note of credential or introduction, which Lincoln read, sitting upon the edge of the bed, and spitting from time to time on the carpet. He then, looking inquiringly at Colonel Baldwin, intimated that he understood he was authorized to state for his friends in the Virginia Convention the real state of opinion and purpose there. Upon Colonel Baldwin's portraying the sentiments which prevailed among the majority there, Lincoln said querulously: Yes! your Virginia people are good Unionists, but it is always with an if! I don't like that sort of Unionism. Colonel Baldwin firmly and respectfully explained, that in one sense no freeman could be more than a conditional Union man, for the value of the Union was in that equitable and beneficent Constitution on which it was founded, and if this were lost, Union might become but another name for mischievous oppression. He also gave Mr. Lincoln assurances, that the description which he was making of the state of opinion in Virginia
Samuel P. Bates (search for this): chapter 6.38
spoke freely and at large, urging forbearance and the evacuation of the forts, &c. Lincoln made the objection that all the goods would be imported through the ports of Charleston, &c., and the sources of revenue dried up. I remember, says Mr. Stuart, that he used this homely expression: If I do that, what will become of my revenue? I might as well shut up house-keeping at once! But his declarations were distinctly pacific, and he expressly disclaimed all purpose of war. Mr. Seward and Mr. Bates, Attorney General, also gave Mr. Stuart the same assurances of peace. The next day the commissioners returned to Richmond, and the very train on which they traveled carried Lincoln's proclamation, calling for the seventy-five thousand men to wage a war of coercion. This proclamation, says Mr. Stuart, was carefully withheld from us, although it was in print; and we knew nothing of it until Monday morning, when it appeared in the Richmond papers. When I saw it at breakfast, I thought it m
L. Q. Washington (search for this): chapter 6.38
should see Mr. Lincoln, it was equally important that the public should know nothing of the interview. These gentlemen held a conference, and determined that as each of them was well known in Washington by person, the required secrecy could not be preserved if either of them went. They therefore asked Colonel Baldwin to go, furnished with the necessary credentials to Mr. Lincoln. He at first demurred, saying that all his public services had been to Virginia, and that he knew nothing of Washington and the Federal politics, but they replied that this was precisely what qualified him, because his presence there would not excite remark or suspicion. Colonel Baldwin accordingly agreed to the mission, and went with Mr. Magruder the following night, reaching Washington the next morning by the Acquia Creek route a little after dawn, and driving direct to the house of Mr. Magruder's brother. [These gentlemen were brothers of General J. B. Magruder of Virginia]. These prefatory statements
R. L. Dabney (search for this): chapter 6.38
Memoir of a narrative received of Colonel John B. Baldwin, of Staunton, touching the Origin of the war. By Rev. R. L. Dabney, D. D. [The following paper from the able pen of Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney will be read with deep interest, and will be found to be a valuable contribution to the history of the origin of the war. It may be worth while in this connection to recall the fact that when soon after the capture of Fort Sumter and Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, a prominent Northern politicianRev. Dr. R. L. Dabney will be read with deep interest, and will be found to be a valuable contribution to the history of the origin of the war. It may be worth while in this connection to recall the fact that when soon after the capture of Fort Sumter and Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, a prominent Northern politician wrote Colonel Baldwin to ask: What will the Union men of Virginia do now? he immediately replied: There are now no Union men in Virginia. But those who were Union men will stand to their arms, and make a fight which shall go down in history as an illustration of what a brave people can do in defence of their liberties, after having exhausted every means of pacification. ] In March, 1865, being with the army in Petersburg, Virginia, I had the pleasure of meeting Colonel Baldwin at a small
Winfield Scott (search for this): chapter 6.38
oerce a State to remain in the Union. The whole people, even in the imperious North, knew and recognized this truth. The New York Tribune, even, admitted it, violent as it was, and deprecated a Union pinned together with bayonets. Even General Winfield Scott, the military Man Friday, of Federal power, advised that the Government should say: Erring Sisters, go in peace. So strong was the conviction, even in the Northern mind, that such journals as Harper's Weekly and Monthly, shrewdly mercenaonflict, and to pretend contempt for effeminate slavocrats; but he had sense enough to know that the South would make a desperate defence of her rights, and would be a most formidable adversary, if pushed to the wall. Hence, Mr. Seward, with General Scott, had advised a temporizing policy towards the Montgomery government, without violence, and Mr. Lincoln had acceded to their policy. Hence, the promises to Judge Campbell. Meantime, the radical governors came down, having great wrath, to ter
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 6.38
mly believing it was a forgery, I wrote a telegram, at the breakfast table of the Exchange Hotel, and sent it to Seward, asking him if it was genuine. Before Seward's reply was received, the Fredericksburg train came in, bringing the Washington papers, containing the proclamation. The other confirmation of Colonel Baldwin's hypothesis was presented a few weeks after the end of the war, in a curious interview with a personal friend and apologist of Seward. The first volume of my life of Jackson had been published in London, in which I characterized the shameless lie told by Seward to the commissioners from Montgomery, through Judge Campbell, touching the evacuation of Sumter. This friend and apologist of Seward said that I was unjust to him, because when he promised the evacuation, he designed and thought himself able to fulfil it; but between the making and breaking of the pledge, a total change of policy had been forced upon the administration, against Mr. Seward's advice, by T
Alexander H. H. Stuart (search for this): chapter 6.38
ntion to Lincoln's Government, who should communicate the views of Virginia, and demand those of Mr. Lincoln. [That commission consisted of Wm. B. Preston, Alex. H. H. Stuart and Geo. W. Randolph. We will refer to its history in the sequel.] Meantime Mr. Preston, with other original Union men, were feeling thus: If our voices an's Secretary of State, sent Allen B. Magruder, Esq., as a confidential messenger to Richmond, to hold an interview with Mr Janney (President of the Convention), Mr. Stuart, and other influential members, and to urge that one of them should come to Washington, as promptly as possible, to confer with Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Magruder stated confirmations. After the return of the former to Richmond, the Convention sent the commission, which has been described, composed of Messrs. Wm. B. Preston, A. H. H. Stuart, and Geo. W. Randolph. They were to ascertain definitely what the President's policy was to be. They endeavored to reach Washington in the early part of the
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