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[518] he (Mr. Blair) had for many years held friendly relations with myself. Mr. Lincoln stopped him, though he afterward gave him permission to visit me. He stated, in explanation of his position, that he, being a man of Southern blood, felt very desirous to see the war between the States terminated, and hoped by an interview with me to be able to effect something to that end; that, after receiving the pass which had been sent to him by my direction, he sought before returning to have a conversation with Mr. Lincoln; had two appointments for that purpose, but on each occasion was disappointed, and, from the circumstances, concluded that Mr. Lincoln avoided the interview, and therefore came not only without credentials but without such instructions from Lincoln as enabled him to speak for him. His views, therefore, were to be regarded merely as his own, and said they were perhaps merely the dreams of an old man, etc. He said, despairing of being able to see me, he had determined to write to me, and had the rough draft of a letter which he had prepared, and asked permission to read it. Soon after commencing to do so, he said (pleasantly) that he found his style was marked by his old pursuit, and that the paper appeared too much like an editorial. He omitted, therefore, portions of it, reading what he considered the main points of his proposition. He had recognized the difference of our positions as not entitling him to a response from me to the arguments and suggestions which he desired to offer. I therefore allowed him to read without comment on my part. When he had finished, I inquired as to his main proposition, the cessation of hostilities and the union of the military forces for the common purpose of maintaining the ‘Monroe doctrine’—how that object was to be reached. He said that both the political parties of the United States asserted the Monroe doctrine as a cardinal point of their creed; that there was a general desire to apply it to the case of Mexico. For that purpose a secret treaty might be made, etc. I called his attention to my past efforts for negotiation, and my inability to see—unless Mr. Lincoln's course in that regard should be changed— how we were to take the first step. He expressed the belief that Mr. Lincoln would now receive commissioners, but subsequently said he could not give any assurance on that point, and proposed to return to Washington to explain his project to Mr. Lincoln, and notify me, if his hope proved well founded, that Mr. Lincoln would now agree to a conference for the purpose of entering into negotiations. He affirmed that Mr. Lincoln did not sympathize with the radical men who desired the devastation and subjugation of the Southern States, but that he was unable to control the extreme party, which now had great power in the Congress, and would at the next session have still more; referred to the existence of two parties in the Cabinet, to the reluctant nomination of Mr. Chase to be Chief-Justice, etc. For himself, he avowed an earnest desire to stop the further effusion of blood, as one every drop of whose blood was Southern. He expressed the hope that the pride, the power, and the honor of the Southern States should suffer no shock; looked to the extension of Southern territory even to the Isthmus of Darien, and hoped, if his views found favor, that his wishes would be realized; reiterated the idea of State sovereignty, with illustrations, and accepted the reference I made to explanation given in the ‘Globe,’ when he edited it, of the proclamation of General Jackson.

When his attention was called to the brutal atrocities of their armies, especially the fiendish cruelty shown to helpless women and children, as the cause of a


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