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[536] of the initiatory steps taken for peace, in consequence of the change made by the President in his instructions to convey the Commissioners to Washington, for negotiation unconditionally, and that Mr. Greeley will be pleased to receive any answer we may have to make through you. We avail ourselves of this offer to enclose a letter to Mr. Greeley, which you will oblige us by delivering. We cannot take leave of you without expressing our thanks for your courtesy and kind offices, as the intermediary through whom our correspondence with Mr. Greeley has been conducted, and assuring you that we are very respectfully, your obedient servants,

Southern view of the affair.

For the first time we have the pleasure of heartily approving a State paper of Abraham Lincoln. It is his letter addressed “To whom it May Concern.” It concerns Messrs. Holcomb, C. C. Clay and George N. Saunders, and we would fondly believe, no other person, or persons whomsoever. When officious individuals go creeping round by back doors, asking interviews with Lincoln for “a full interchange of sentiments,” it gives us sincere gratification to see them spurned, yes kicked, from the said back door. To Abraham, we deliberately say “Bravo,” or, if he likes it better, “Bully.” Think of an ex-Senator from Alabama, and a Virginian member of Congress — for we say nothing of the third “negotiator” --exposing themselves gratuitously, idly and unbidden, to receive such an ignominious rebuff at the hands of the truculent buffoon of Illinois.

It is suggested that perhaps the cunning device of Mr. Saunders was only a contrivance for helping the peace party in the enemy's country; that the answer of Mr. Lincoln was just the very kind of answer which the “many-counselled” George expected, and that it is to be used to show how ferociously and unrelentingly the present Yankee administration is bent on war, and repulses the slightest hint of peace. As usual with such excessively cunning schemes, this one not only defeats itself, but helps the cause which it was possibly intended to damage. To exhibit an ex-Senator and member of Congress of the rebel States thus timidly crawling by a roundabout way to the footstool of the Emperor of the Yahoos, whining and snivelling about peace and “liberal negotiations,” and haughtily refused even admittance to the sovereign presence, will serve, not the peace, but the war party, because it will be used to create the impression that the Confederacy must be in the agonies of death when two such distinguished legislators make so pitiful an attempt to reach the ear of offended majesty. If such was the idea, then, in this case, as in the other, “those whom it may concern” have got what they deserve.

Has any one seen the Reverend Colonel Jacques and one Edmund Kirke? What are the detectives about? Here have been two spies, manifestly spies, “at the Spottswood Hotel, Richmond, on a secret mission,” and now, instead of being in Castle Thunder, Kirke and the Reverend Colonel are again in their own country, giving mysterious hints to the Washington correspondents about their three days entertainment in Richmond, and about two “interviews” which they say they had with Mr. Davis. They cannot disclose “for the present” --those deep diplomats — what passed at these interviews, but “it is intimated” --and here is truly a startling fact--“that Mr. Davis would consent to nothing short of the recognition of the Southern Confederacy.” Of course, these two Yankees were spies, or else they wanted to sell something in Richmond which they had run through the lines; or probably they combined the two objects. Our passport system, we fear, is but little protection, and the detectives are not sufficiently vigilant.

Howsoever that may be, there is now certainly a renewal of these vague whisperings of peace which have several times before circulated through society. Many think that peace is in the air. Peace and rumors of peace float around us, and men dream of peace at night. We have seen here unauthorized persons, both Union and rebel, repair respectively North and South, about the same moment, as it were, snuffing peace, as horses snuff water in the desert. If gold declines a little in New York, even in the teeth of military disaster, the News says it is because there is a sort of instinctive feeling that we are on the eve of peace. This is not unnatural; the plain avowals of the enemy's press four months ago, that this year's campaign must be the final one, the near approach of Lincoln's bloody term, the imminent financial ruin of the United States, all combine to produce, not so much a conviction as a presentiment, that we are soon to have peace.

And it may be so. Peace may be nearer to us than we think, and may come suddenly, though one cannot see precisely how. One thing, however, is clear. So desirable an event cannot be hastened by amateur negotiators “exchanging sentiments” with Mr. Lincoln; nor by blockade runners thrusting “interviews” on Mr. Davis; nor by any possible or conceivable correspondence between George Saunders and Horace Greeley.

Statement of Horace Greeley.

Mr. Greeley in the Independent of July twenty-sixth, 1864, gives the following account of his negotiation:

* * * In the other effort for peace I was a participant, as follows:

Some time since it was announced by telegraph from Halifax that Messrs. C. C. Clay, of Alabama, Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi (ex-United States Senators), Professor J. P. Holcombe of the University of Virginia, and George N. Saunders of Kentucky, had reached that city

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