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[338] We have a difficult role to play, and must be judged with charity until heard on our own defence.

I am much indebted to Mr. Holcombe, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Tucker for the earnest and active aid they have given me in promoting the objects of Mr. Thompson's and my mission.

Mr. Thompson is at Toronto, and Mr. Holcombe is at the Falls. If here, or if I could delay the transmission of this communication, I should submit it to them for some expression of their opinions.

As I expect this to reach the Confederate States by a safe hand I do not take the time and labor necessary to put it in cipher — if, indeed, there is anything worth concealing from our enemies.

I have the honor to be, &c., &c.,


Saint Catherine's, C. W., September 12, 1864.
Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State, Richmond, Va., C. S. A.:
Sir — I addressed you on the 11th August last in explanation of the circumstances inducing, attending and following the correspondence of Mr. Holcombe and myself with the Hon. Horace Greeley. Subsequent events have confirmed my opinion that we lost nothing and gained much by that correspondence. It has, at least, formed an issue between Lincoln and the South, in which all her people should join with all their might and means. Even his Northern opponents believed, up to the meeting of the Chicago Convention, that the same issue would be decided against him by the people of the United States in November next. All of the many intelligent men from the United States with whom I conversed, agreed in declaring that it had given a stronger impetus to the peace party of the North than all other causes combined, and had greatly reduced the strength of the war party. They thought that not even a majority of the Republicans would sustain Lincoln's ultimatum, laid down as his rescript “To whom it may concern.” Indeed, Judge Black stated to us that Stanton admitted to him that it was a grave blunder, and would defeat Lincoln unless he could countervail it by some demonstration of his willingness to accept other terms — in other words, to restore the Union as it was. Judge Black wished to know if Mr. Thompson would go to Washington to discuss the terms of peace, and proceed thence to Richmond; saying that Mr. Stanton desired him to do so, and would send him a safe conduct for that purpose. I doubt not that Judge Black came at the instance of Mr. Stanton.


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