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[213] general as possible, so as to get at the views and sentiments of Mr. Lincoln and to test the reality of the peace intentions represented by Mr. Blair to actuate him. You feared that, under the purposely vague language which [ had proposed, it might be represented that you had impliedly assented to the import of the last sentence of Mr. Lincoln's letter-“peace to the people of our one common country” --and were unwilling to subject yourself to such misconstruction, as involving an apparent betrayal of the trust reposed in you as the President of the Confederate States. I could not but yield to an objection based on such a motive, and to .this extent, and no more, Mr. Hunter's statenlent is correct; but if the idea conveyed by his whole statement (which, unfortunately, you did not send me) is that I in any way dissented from or disapproved of a refusal to confer on the basis of our being “one country,” the rumor is entirely unfounded. You thought, from regard to your personal honor, that your language ought to be such as to render impossible any malignant comment on your actions. I did not anticipate the possibility of such a perversion of your motives, and was anxious to keep out of view any topic that might defeat the object of the proposed conference, but not at the risk of any assault on your character or honor. As soon as the possibility of such a result was pointed out by you, I at once abandoned all dissent from the proposed amendment.

The above is, I believe, a perfectly accurate statement of what occurred; but human memory is fallible, and after a lapse of twelve years of a very busy life it is just possible that I may have omitted, but I certainly have not misstated any thing.

Yours, ever faithfully,

(Signed) J. P. Benjamin.

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