previous next


The following letter was given by me to Blair:

Sir: I have deemed it proper and probably desirable to you to give you in this form the substance of remarks made by me to be repeated by you to President Lincoln, etc., etc.

I have no disposition to find obstacles in forms, and am willing now, as heretofore, to enter into negotiations for the restoration of peace, am ready to send a commission whenever I have reason to suppose it will be received, or to receive a commission if the United States Government shall choose to send one. That, notwithstanding the rejection of our former offers, I would, if you could promise that a commissioner, minister, or other agent would be received, appoint one immediately, and renew the effort to enter into conference with a view to secure peace to the two countries. Yours, etc.,

Washington, January 18, 1865.
F. P. Blair, Esq.
Sir: You having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the 12th instant, you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and shall continue ready to receive any agent whom he or any other influential person now resisting the national authority may informally send to me with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common country.

Yours, etc.,

When Blair returned and gave me this letter of Lincoln of January 18th, it being a response to my note to Blair of the 12th, he said it had been a fortunate thing that I gave him that note, as it had created greater confidence in Lincoln regarding his efforts at Richmond. Further reflection, he said, had modified the views he formerly presented to me, and that he wanted to have my attention for a different mode of procedure.

He had, as he told Lincoln, held friendly relations with me for many years; they began as far back as when I was a schoolboy at Lexington, Kentucky, and he a resident of that place. In later years we had belonged to the same political party, and our views had generally coincided. There was much, therefore, to facilitate our conference. He then unfolded to me the embarrassment of Lincoln on account of the extreme men in Congress and elsewhere who wished to drive him into harsher measures than he was inclined to adopt, whence it would not be feasible for him to enter into any arrangement with us by the use of political agencies; that, if anything beneficial could be effected, it must be done without the intervention of the politicians. He therefore suggested that Generals Lee and Grant might enter into an arrangement by which hostilities would be suspended, and a way paved for the restoration of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)
Lexington (Kentucky, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
A. Lincoln (4)
F. P. Blair (3)
Abraham Lincoln (2)
Jefferson Davis (2)
Francis P. Blair (2)
R. E. Lee (1)
U. S. Grant (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 18th, 1865 AD (1)
January 12th, 1865 AD (1)
January 18th (1)
12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: