The President, declining to receive Magoffin's Commissioners otherwise than as private citizens, returned this terse and pungent reply to their master's request:commonwealth of Kentucky, Executive Department, Frankfort, August 19, 1861.Sir: From the commencement of the unhappy hostilities now pending in this country, the people of Kentucky have indicated an earnest desire and purpose, as far as lay in their power, while maintaining their original political status, to do nothing by which to involve themselves in the war. Up to this time, they have succeeded in securing to themselves and to the State, peace and tranquillity as the fruits of the policy they adopted. My single object now is to promote the continuance of these blessings to the people of this State. Until within a brief period, the people of Kentucky were quiet and tranquil, free from domestic strife, and undisturbed by internal commotion. They have resisted no law, rebelled against no authority, engaged in no revolution; but constantly proclaimed their firm determination to pursue their peaceful avocations, earnestly hoping that their own soil would be spared the presence of armed troops, and that the scene of conflict would be kept removed beyond the border of their State. By thus avoiding all occasions for the introduction of bodies of armed soldiers, and offering no provocation for the presence of military force, the people of Kentucky have sincerely striven to preserve in their State domestic peace, and avert the calamities of sanguinary engagements. Recently, a large body of soldiers have been enlisted in the United States Army, and collected in military camps in the central portion of Kentucky. This movement was preceded by the active organization of companies, regiments, etc., consisting of men sworn into the United States service, under officers holding commissions from yourself. Ordnance, arms, munitions, and supplies of war, are being transported into the State, and placed in large quantities in these camps. In a word, an army is now being organized and quartered within the State, supplied with all the appliances of war, without the consent or advice of the authorities of the State, and without consultation with those most prominently known and recognized as loyal citizens. This movement now imperils that peace and tranquillity which, from the beginning of our present difficulties, have been the paramount desire of this people, and which, up to this time, they have secured to the State. Within Kentucky, there has been, and is likely to be, no occasion for the presence of military force. The people are quiet and tranquil, feeling no apprehension of any occasion arising to invoke protection from the Federal arm. They have asked that their territory be left free from military occupation, and the present tranquillity of their communications left uninvaded by soldiers. They do not desire that Kentucky shall be required to supply the battle-field for the contending armies, or become the theater of the war. Now, therefore, as Governor of the State of Kentucky, and in the name of the people I have the honor to represent, and with the single and earnest desire to avert from their peaceful homes the horrors of war, I urge the removal from the limits of Kentucky of the military force now organized and in camp within the State. If such action as is hereby urged be promptly taken, I firmly believe the peace of the people of Kentucky will be preserved, and the horrors of a bloody war will be averted from a people now peaceful and tranquil.
To His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States:
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I. Our country .
V. The Convention and the Constitution .
Vi. Slavery under the Constitution .
Xii. Texas and her Annexation.
Xiv. The Wilmot Proviso.
Xvi. The era of Slave-hunting.
Xxi. The Presidential canvass of 1860 .
Xxiii. peace efforts at the North .
Xxiv. conciliation in Congress.
Xxv. Peace Democracy��� peace Conference .
Xxvii. Ominous pause.
Xxxi. The forces in conflict.
Xxxii. West Virginia .
XXXIII . East Virginia ��� Bull Run .
 A determined Union Legislature having thus been elected but not yet assembled, Gov. Magoffin, feeling that his time was short, and that any further mischief to the Union cause at his hands must be done quickly, addressed to the President of the United States, by the hands of two “Commissioners,” the following cool epistle:
The President, declining to receive Magoffin's Commissioners otherwise than as private citizens, returned this terse and pungent reply to their master's request:
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