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[190]

Virginias efforts for peace.

We can only briefly allude to the noble efforts made by Virginia, through the ‘Peace Congress,’ to avert the conflict, and how these efforts were rejected almost with contempt by the North. Mr. Lunt, speaking of this noble action on the part of the ‘Mother of Presidents,’ as he calls Virginia, says:

It was like a firebrand suddenly presented at the portals of the Republican Magazine, and the whole energy of the radicals was at once enlisted to make it of no effect.

Several of the Northern States sent no Commissioners to this Congress at all; others, like Massachusetts, only sent them at the last moment, and then sent only such as were known to be opposed to any compromise or conciliation.

The following letter of Senator Chandler, of Michigan, indicates too clearly the feelings of the Republican party at that time to require comment. It is dated February 11th, 1861, a week after the Congress assembled, and addressed to the Governor of his State. He says:

Governor Bingham (the other Senator from Michigan) and myself telegraphed to you on Saturday, at the request of Massachusetts and New York, to send delegates to the Peace Compromise Congress. They admit that we were right and they were wrong, that no Republican State should have sent delegates, but they are here and can't get away. Ohio, Indiana and Rhode Island are caving in, and there is some danger of Illinois; and now they beg us, for God's sake to come to their rescue and save the Republican party from rupture. I hope you will send stiff-backed men or none. The whole thing was gotten up against my judgment and advice, and will end in thin smoke. Still I hope as a matter of courtesy to some of our erring brethren, that you will send the delegates.

Truly your friend,

P. S.—Some of the Manufacturing States think that a fight would be awful. Without a little blood-letting, this Union will not, in my estimation, be worth a curse.


Mr. Lunt says:


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