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From the New York Herald, September 10th, 1875.

A short chapter of history.

Lexington, Ky., September 8, 1875.
Some years ago, when John C. Beckinridge, after the fall of the rebellion, was an exile in Europe, a story was put in circulation that his return to this country was due to an invitation from the late Horage Greeley. This story was never contradicted, although an attempt was made at the time to throw doubt upon it by the political friends of Mr. Greeley. Since the death of General Breckinridge, the true facts attending his return to America have come to light, and as both parties have departed, it seems due to history that they should be given to the world.

The letter written by Mr. Greeley concerning Mr. Breckinridge's return is addressed to Judge George Shea, of New York. This, and the letter inclosing it, written by Judge Shea to Mr. Breckinridge, are as follows: [253]

Office of the New York Tribune, New York, April 8, 1867.
My friend,—Since nearly all the military chiefs of the South in our late struggle-Generals Lee, Johnston, Beauregard, Longstreet, &c.—have stoutly advised their people to accept their situation unreservedly, and organize their respective States, in accordance with the dictates of Congress, it seems to me a pity that the presence and counsel of General Breckinridge are wanting. We need them not in the South proper, but in his own Kentucky, where a most unfortunate attempt to perpetuate class distinctions, which have no longer any national justification or solid basis, threaten to perpetuate a fued and a struggle, which can do no good and must work great mischief. I wish, therefore, that you would communicate to General Breckinridge my assurance that his presence in this country (which is still his country) is needed, and will not, I think, provoke any exhibition of ill-will.


54 William Street, New York, April 17, 1867.
My Dear Sir,—I enclose a letter which I have received from my friend, Mr. Horace Greeley, which I would have forwarded by the former mail had I then known your address. The letter will speak for itself, and I send you the original (with Mr. Greeley's cordial concurrence), so that, if you act upon the suggestion it contains, it may be in your power to make such public use of the letter as your own convenience and judgment may approve.

Last summer I thought it would be prudent under certain assurances, which I have reason to believe would be given to us at Washington, for you to come into the United States, and I designed to go to Canada and confer with you on the subject; but just as I was about to go there I heard that you were leaving for Europe to return this spring. I thought it better to delay. [254]

I have frequently spoken to Republican gentlemen in the United States Senate and House of Representatives as to yourself, and find no ill — will against you personally; indeed, they generally have the same thought and wish, so well and manfully expressed by Mr. Greeley in the enclosed letter, that your aid is needed by all interests here, especially in your own Kentucky.

I write briefly and in haste, as I wish this to leave by today's mail, which closes within the present hour.

I am, most faithfully yours,

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