- Subjugation the object of the government of the United States -- the only terms of peace offered to us -- rejection of all proposals -- efforts of the enemy -- appearance of Jacques and Gilmore at Richmond -- proposals -- answer -- commissioners sent to Canada -- the object -- proceedings -- note of President Lincoln -- permission to visit Richmond granted to Francis P. Blair -- statement of my interview with him -- my letter to him -- response of President Lincoln -- three persons sent by me to an informal conference -- their report -- remarks of Judge Campbell -- oath of President Lincoln -- the provision of the Constitution and his proclamation compared -- reserved powers spoken of in the Constitution -- what are they, and where do they exist? -- terms of surrender offered to our soldiers.
That it was the purpose of the government of the United States to subjugate the Southern states and the Southern people, under the pretext of a restoration of the Union, is established by the terms and conditions offered to us in all the conferences relative to a settlement of differences. All were comprehended in one word, and that was subjugation. If the purpose had been an honorable and fraternal restoration of the Union as was avowed, methods for the adjustment of difficulties would have been presented and discussed; propositions for reconciliation with concessions and modifications for grievances would have been kindly offered and treated; a way would have been opened for a mutual and friendly intercourse. How unlike this were all the propositions offered to us, will be seen in the proceedings which took place in the conferences, and in the terms of surrender offered to our soldiers. It should be remembered that mankind composes one uniform order of beings, and thus the language of arbitrary power has the same signification in all ages. When Major Pitcairn marched the British soldiers upon the common at Lexington in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, and, drawing his sword, rushed upon the little line of Continentals, exclaiming: ‘Disperse, ye rebels! throw down your arms and disperse!’ he expressed the same conditions which were offered to us in all our negotiations with the President of the United States and his generals. Does any one doubt that Major Pitcairn meant subjugation, or that Great Britain meant