and good taste, he uttered no word of boasting, and indulged, in no syllable of acrimony; on the contrary, in terms of fatherly kindness he again offered the rebellious States the generous conditions he had previously tendered them.
“The national resources, then, are unexhausted, and, as we believe, inexhaustible.
The public purpose to reestablish and maintain the national authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable.
The manner of continuing the effort remains to choose.
On careful consideration of all the evidence accessible, it seems to me that no attempt at negotiation with the insurgent leader could result in any good.
He would accept nothing short of severance of the Union-precisely what we will not and cannot give.
His declarations to this effect are explicit and oft-repeated.
... What is true, however, of him who heads the insurgent cause is not necessarily true of those who follow.
Although he cannot reaccept the Union
, they can. Some of them, we know, already desire peace and reunion.
The number of such may increase.
They can, at any moment, have peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the national authority under the Constitution
After so much, the government could not, if it would, maintain war against them.
The loyal people would not sustain or allow it. If questions should remain, we would adjust them by the peaceful means of legislation, conference, courts, and votes, operating only in constitutional and lawful channels .... In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the national authority, on the part of the insurgents, as the only indispensable condition to ending the war on the part of the government, I retract nothing heretofore said as to slavery.
I repeat the declaration made a year ”