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[363] that time, September 22, 1862, Mr. Lincoln issuing a proclamation to free the slaves in most of the Southern States, an act which he had declared in his inaugural, he had neither any purpose, any inclination nor any lawful right to do.

When Lincoln came in, one of the earliest acts of his Secretary of State Seward was to assure the Confederates in the most positive and solemn manner that Fort Sumter would be evacuated, and to repeat and repeat those assurances. Yet, as we have seen, while the Confederates were waiting for the promises to be fulfilled a secret expedition was fitted out and sent there to reprovision the fort. We will add that there can be no mistake about what Mr. Seward promised the Confederates, for after each interview with him, Judge Campbell would put down in writing what he had been told by Mr. Seward, and then after reading the same to Judge Nelson, the other Supreme Court Justice, who was present at each interview, and obtaining his sanction as to the correctness of the communication, he would then transmit it to the Confederate Commissioners, and after so doing, would report in writing to Mr. Seward what he had transmitted. Mr. Seward was, therefore, kept posted as to exactly what communications were being sent to the Confederates. And to place the matter beyond all doubt, in the very last communication which passed between Mr. Seward and the Commissioners, and which was on April 7, Mr. Seward was addressed in writing over the signature of Judge Campbell, and asked if the assurances which had been given were well or ill-founded. And he answered in writing, ‘Faith as to Sumter fully kept; wait and see,’ though the relieving fleet was at that time on its way.

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