Dear Colonel — I received your letter when I was too ill to reply to it, and have been since so fluctuating between convalescence and sickness as to be unable to prepare the statement of our conversation when I had the pleasure to see you at my house in Richmond, which will, I hope, excuse my delay.
In that conversation I advanced the opinion that slavery was not the cause of the late war between the North and the South; that the real cause of the war was the reduction of the tariff by the compromise measures which were introduced by Mr. Clay, the love of power and the desire of aggrandizement being the real motives.
In support of this view which I have always entertained, I repeated the statement made to me by my friend James M. Mason.
He told me in Washington, soon after the passage of the compromise bill, that Mr. Seward said to
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