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[157] themselves, overrun all the Northwestern States and establish a Northwestern Confederacy? Really, this “Story of the war” requires a vast deal of credulity and entire ignorance of the events of the war on the part of any one who accepts it as the truth.

The idea of introducing Mr. Jacob Thompson on board of a United States man-of-war as a “country aunt” is funny, to say the least of it. And the statement that “the Confederacy (in 1864) had plenty of money in its secret service fund,” and that “there was something like $86,000,000 to the credit of the Confederate Commissioner and his colleague, Jacob Thompson, most of which was deposited at a bank in Toronto,” is not excelled in its romanticism by that other story of Mr. Davis's carrying off over $2,000,000 in specie about his person when he was made a prisoner at the close of the war.

If there was any such secret fund, that is, a fund that would have been available in Canada, it must have been a very profound secret indeed, and such it will ever remain until that final day when all secrets shall be given up.

In regard to the mission of Mr. Jacob Thompson and his colleagues in Canada, the following statement is to be found in “The rise and fall of the Confederate Government,” by President Davis, vol. 2, pp. 611-12:

The opening of the spring campaign of 1864 was a favorable conjuncture for the employment of the resources of diplomacy. To approach the Government of the United States directly would have been in vain. Repeated efforts had already demonstrated its inflexible purpose — not to negotiate with the Confederate authorities. Political developments at the North, however, favored the adoption of some action that might influence popular sentiment in the hostile section. The aspect of the peace party was quite encouraging, and it seemed that the real issue to be decided in the Presidential election of that year was the continuance or cessation of the war. A commission of three persons, eminent in position and intelligence, was accordingly appointed to visit Canada, with a view to negotiation with such persons in the North as might be relied upon to aid the attainment of peace. The commission was designed to facilitate such preliminary conditions as might lead to formal negotiations between the two governments, and they were expected to make judicious use of any political opportunity that might be presented.

The commissioners--Messrs. Clay, of Alabama. Holcombe, of Virginia, and Thompson, of Mississippi--established themselves at Niagara Falls in July, and on the 12th commenced a correspondence with Horace


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