For purchase of slaves.
The story that he offered payment for the slaves, so often affirmed and denied, is in either case but a quibble with the actual facts. He could not have made such an offer, except tentatively, lacking the means to carry it out. He was not given the opportunity to make it, because the Confederate Commissioners were under instructions to treat solely on the basis of the recognition of the independence of the Confederacy. The conference came to naught. It ended where it began. But there is ample evidence that he went to Hampton Roads resolved to commit himself to that proposition. He did, according to the official reports, refer to it in specific terms, having already formulated a plan of procedure. This plan required no verification. It exists and may be seen in his own handwriting.The final toast of the evening was to ‘The Silent Brigade,’ all rising, and a bugler sounding ‘taps.’