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[180] their property. My recollection on this point is very clear, and it is supported by the official report signed by all three of the commissioners, the message of President Davis communicating that report to the Confederate Senate and House of Representatives, the message of President Lincoln to the House of Representatives of the United States, when he returned to Washington, and by a published statement made within the last few years by Hon. John H. Reagan, of Texas, who was a member of the Confederate Cabinet. They all show conclusively, in my judgment, that the United States authorities refused to enter into negotiations with the Confederate States, or any of them separately, and that no truce or armistice would be granted without a satisfactory assurance in advance of the complete restoration of the authority of the United States. In other words, nothing would be accepted but an unconditional surrender on the part of the Confederate authorities. It is true that in the course of the conference the subject of slavery was discussed informally. Mr. Lincoln said that as an individual, he would be in favor of paying a fair indemnity to the owners for the loss of their slaves, but on this subject he declared emphatically that he could give no assurance and enter into no stipulation.

Perhaps it may be of interest to the Camp to reproduce here the following article prepared by myself and published in the Forum several years ago.

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