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[356] vote for the Presidency, had, when Hon. Jefferson Davis proposed to extend the Missouri compromise line to the Pacific ocean, met him by a counter proposition to repeal it, which was carried by Northern against Southern votes; and in a subsequent discussion with him before the people of Illinois, Mr. Lincoln was the first man who brought the abolition of slavery into the Presidential election by declaring that the country could not “be half free and half slave, but must be all free or all slave” ; and with this idea, and with Douglas' repeal of the Missouri compromise, “fired the Northern mind” with the belief that the Southern people and their allies intended to carry slavery into the North; and Mr. Lincoln afterwards declared war against the South in defiance of his own maxim just quoted — not because the Southern people were attempting or intending to extend slavery over the North, but because they proposed to extempt the North from all risk of such evil, and asked only to be let alone and have their evils confined to themselves. The war progressed, however, and we of the South were all denounced as traitors, because we would not do that very thing for the alleged contemplation of which we had been previously denounced as the enemies of the country and of humanity, to wit: propagate slavery in the Northern States; and ten Governors sat in judgement upon us and doomed us, unheard, to extermination, for since the war of Alyattes against the Milesians (and including it), five hundred years before the birth of Christ, so cruel and savage a war has never been waged by any nation, however barbarous, against another, as that waged upon us. Besides the employment of countless mercenaries to slaughter our people, many of whom were blood relations of the assailants, our slaves were made, or attempted to be made, our masters; private property was taken or destroyed, including our dwellings, wherever a Sherman, a Sheridan, or a Hunter appeared, in violation of the rules of civilized modern war, and all our archives and judicial records which were accessible were destroyed or removed, with a view, of course, to destroy the titles to our property and make it almost impossible to recover it where an invader or other wrong-doer had possession of it — an outrage previously unheard of in any country. Still, I repeat, that this infamous war was waged from no sympathy with or humanity for the negro, and from no love of country.

In proof of this, I will relate a conversation I had at my house, Laburnum, near Richmond, with Count Mercier, the French Minister, in the month of May or early part of June, 1862. He, it will

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