of the South, a bill establishing a Freedmen's Bureau, and other measures looking to a new construction of relations between the black and white populations of the country. The report of the conference and its results was made in the following message from President Davis, sent in to the Confederate Congress on the 5th February:
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America:Having recently received a written notification which satisfied me that the President of the United States was disposed to confer informally with unofficial agents that might be sent by me with a view to the restoration of peace, I requested Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, and Hon. John A. Campbell, to proceed through our lines to hold a conference with Mr. Lincoln, or such persons as he might depute to represent him. I herewith submit, for the information of Congress, the report of the eminent citizens above named, showing that the enemy refuse to enter into negotiations with the Confederate States, or any one of them separately, or to give our people any other terms or guarantees than those which a conqueror may grant, or permit us to have peace on any other basis than our unconditional submission to their rule, coupled with the acceptance of their recent legislation, including an amendment to the Constitution for the emancipation of negro slaves, and with the right on the part of the Federal Congress to legislate on the subject of the relations between the white and black population of each State. Such is, as I understand, the effect of the amendment to the Constitution which has been adopted by the Congress of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, upon the subject mentioned in your letter. The conference was granted, and took place on the 3d inst., on board a steamer anchored in Hampton Roads, where we met President Lincoln and Hon. Mr. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States. It continued for several hours, and was both full and explicit. We learned from them that the message of President Lincoln to the Congress of the United States, in December last, explains clearly and distinctly his sentiments as to terms, conditions, and method of proceeding by which peace can be secured to the people, and we were not informed that they would be modified or altered to obtain that end. We understood from him that no terms or proposals of any treaty or agreement looking to an ultimate settlement would be entertained or made by him with the authorities of the Confederate States, because that would be a recognition of their existence as a separate power, which under no circumstances would be done; and for like reasons, that no such terms would be entertained by him from States separately; that no extended truce or armistice, as at present advised, would be granted or allowed without satisfactory assurances in advance of complete restoration of the authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States over all places within the States of the Confederacy; that whatever