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Chapter 3:

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The Confederate States Commissioners—Messrs. John Forsyth of Alabama, M. J. Crawford of Georgia, and A. B. Roman of Louisiana—with proposals from their government, were sent to Washington after the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln as President. They were instructed ‘to make to the government of the United States overtures for the opening of negotiations, assuring that government that the President, Congress, and people of the Confederate States earnestly desire a peaceful solution of these great questions, and that it is neither their interest nor their wish to make any demand that is not founded in strictest justice, nor to do any act to injure their late confederates.’1

It was hoped that these commissioners, representing an organized government, perfect in all its parts, and clothed with powers by seven sovereign States, would be deemed entitled to greater consideration, and might accomplish more than the commissioners sent by South Carolina alone had been able to do.

But Mr. Lincoln and his advisers assumed very formal ground, and declined all official intercourse with representatives of ‘rebellious States.’ They would have nothing to do with ‘irregular ’

1 See letter of Southern Commissioners to Mr. Lincoln, ‘Rebellion Record,’ vol. i. p. 42.

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