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“ [315] rejections, without any intervening overtures from the other indicating a — more conciliatory spirit, would rather have made prominent the fact that it was the assurance of one coming directly from President Lincoln which led to the appointment at that time of the Commission.”

If I ever knew of that assurance through Mr. Blair I had forgotten it when I wrote the article for the Philadelphia Times, and it seems I was not so far wrong when I said Mr. Davis' desire for peace, great as it was, began about the time of Mir. Blair's visit to Richmond. I was not so far wrong, because Mr. Davis himself says that the mission was sent because of a message from AMr. Lincoln through Mr. Blair, and he thinks no true-hearted Confederate would have represented the mission as proceeding from any other cause until the demands of etiquette had been complied with as in this case. Such, at least, I understand to be his ground of offence. Now, I leave it to any impartial person to say if I did not suppose a far more creditable cause of action when I referred to the terrible condition of the country as creating in his mind a desire for peace than he did for himself in assigning this “red-tape” reason for his action? Would he have regarded more this question of etiquette than the suffering of a great and gallant people who had trusted him to lead them? In other words, would he have beheld that sad condition with insensibility and indifference and refused to treat even for relief until the demands of his dignity had been satisfied? What could have been more sacred than his duty when that people had nearly reached the point where they could no longer resist than to obtain for them some relief by treaty, if possible, from the ruin and penalties likely to befall them if forced to surrender at discretion? With my conception of a President's duty in such a case, I place him in far better position than he puts himself in regard to this conference.

In Mr. Davis' opinion, as a “true-hearted Confederate,” I ought to have preferred to think that he sent the mission because of Mr. Lincoln's message rather than from a consideration of the sufferings of the country. In my opinion, I should have been no truehearted man if I preferred that he should have been influenced by Mr. Lincoln's message more than by a desire to mitigate the miseries by a treaty, if possible, inevitably about to fall on the country unless averted in that manner. On the contrary, I should


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A. Lincoln (4)
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