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[397] of Virginia,1 and convened2 in Washington one month prior to Mr. Lincoln's inauguration. Thirteen Free States were represented, viz.: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa; and seven Slave States, viz.: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. Ex-President John Tyler, of Virginia, was called to the Chair. On motion of Mr. James Guthrie, of Kentucky, it was3
Resolved, That a Committee of one from each State be appointed by the Commissioners thereof, to be nominated to the President, and to be appointed by him, to whom shall be referred the resolutions of the State of Virginia, and the other States represented, and all propositions for the adjustment of existing difficulties between States; with authority to report what they may deem right, necessary, and proper, to restore harmony and preserve the Union; and that they report on or before Friday.

This Committee was composed as follows:

Maine, Lot M. Morrill; New Hampshire, Asa Fowler; Vermont, Hiland Hall; Massachusetts, Francis B. Crowninshield; Rhode Island, Samuel Ames; Connecticut, Roger S. Baldwin; New York, David Dudley Field; New Jersey, Peter D. Vroom; Pennsylvania, Thomas White; Ohio, Thomas Ewing; Indiana, Charles B. Smith; Illinois, Stephen F. Logan; Iowa, James Harlan; Delaware, Daniel M. Bates; North Carolina, Thomas Ruffin; Virginia, James A. Seddon; Kentucky, James Guthrie; Maryland, Reverdy Johnson; Tennessee, F. K. Zollicoffer; Missouri, A. W. Doniphan.

Mr. Guthrie, from the majority of said Committee, on the 15th, made a report, recommending several amendments to be ingrafted on the Federal Constitution; which amendments, as perfected and voted on by the Conference, will hereafter be given.

Gov. Roger S. Baldwin [Republican], of Connecticut, made a dissenting report; recommending that, instead of the aforesaid amendments, this body adopt and recommend the suggestion of the Legislature of Kentucky--that of a General Convention of the States. [His proposition will be given in full, in connection with its disposal by the Conference.]

Mr. James A. Seddon, of Virginia, made another minority report, wherein he affirms that the majority report would not be acceptable to Virginia,

1 Adopted January 19, 1861.

So early as Nov. 30, 1860, Gov. John Letcher, of Virginia, who, as a Douglas Democrat and former anti-Slavery man, was regarded as among the most moderate of Southern politicians, in answer to a Union letter from Rev. Lewis P. Clover, a Democrat of Springfield, Ill., had said:

I now consider the overthrow of the Union absolutely certain. South Carolina will secede; and the chain, once broken, is not very likely to be reunited. * * * Unless something shall be speedily done to quiet the apprehensions of the South, the Union is gone beyond all hope.

Mr. Clover replied, stating that he had shown Gov. L.'s letter to Mr. Lincoln (who asked Mr. C., whether it was just to hold him responsible for the Personal Liberty bills, etc., which he had never favored), and trusting that the President elect would “be found a friend to the South.” Gov. Letcher responded (Dec. 25, 1860), saying:

I regard the government as now doomed, beyond a contingency, to destruction. * * * I have lost all hope, as I see no disposition in the free States to adjust the controversy. We have just heard from Washington that the Republicans have presented their ultimatum; and I say to you, in sincerity and sorrow, that it will never be assented to. I believe ninety-nine men out of every hundred in Virginia will repudiate it with scorn. Conservative as I am, and laboring as I have been for months to secure an adjustment, before I will assent to that proposition, I will welcome civil war with all its horrors. It would be dishonorable in the South to accept it; and my motto is, “Death before dishonor.”

Such were the Southern Unionists whom the Republicans were expected to conciliate, and stigmatized as repelling.

2 February 4th.

3 On the 6th.

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