An Explanation from Forney.
, writing about politics from Washington
to the Philadelphia Press
on the 25th ultimo, says:
Hon. Henry J. Raymond
, the chairman of the National Union Committee, reached Washington
this morning, and has been in consultation all day with the President
, the different members of his Cabinet, and the other friends of the Administration of the Federal Government
is a statesman of enlarged comprehension and thorough experience.
He has not only been educated in the legislative school, but is a graduate of that most trying of all trials, the editorial chair, and, therefore, brings to the task of conducting a presidential campaign in the vortex of an unparalleled civil war the best and most useful qualities.
In these days — when independent journalists must take vast responsibilities, when they must be cowards in their own esteem if they fear to speak on great issues, and, doing so, must be assailed by suspicious and ignorant partisans — such a man as Henry J. Raymond
is a treasure which the friends of Union and honorable peace cannot too highly prize.
And in this allusion I refer to the narrow misconstruction placed in some cases upon the article under the title of "The Road
to Lasting Peace," which appeared in the Washington Morning Chronicle
of the 16th of August, and the Philadelphia Press
of the 17th of the same month.
What everybody thinks about, it would be folly to refuse to speak about.
North and South, the humblest and the highest are discussing the problem of the easiest road to peace.
All desire it, and, when I wrote the article which appeared in the Chronicle
and the Press,
above referred to, I did no more than to print something of what the loyal mind was thinking at that very moment.
It is so easy to misunderstand a public man who desires to save his country, that I was not surprised to see that article misunderstood on the one hand and misinterpreted on the other.
will be found, I think, on a higher plane and a bolder platform than that which I assumed.
Indeed, his articles in the New York Times
have been more thoroughly in favor of peace, on the ground of national unity, than anything I have written.
Because he has looked over the whole field and has perceived that we, the stronger party, and the conquering party, and the party that is sure to win in the end, can afford to offer generous and magnanimous terms to the people of the South
, who, however erring, are still our brethren — bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.
himself, the great anti- slavery leader, who commanded and demanded the emancipation proclamation, is now, I believe, willing to take any ground consistent with the national dignity to secure a reconciliation between the two contending sections.--Nay, it is not a violent presumption that Mr. Greeley
would be willing to ignore that proclamation in order to secure such a reconciliation.
We are not fighting a foreign foe. The blood poured out in this war for liberty mingles with the blood that is poured out, not for slavery, but for an ideal Southern independence, and if we can change this latter sentiment into the belief that Southern independence can be better maintained in the old Union, why should not all the issues, except that only of national unity, be entrusted to a National Convention ? Southern independence has already bravely asserted itself in the field of battle.
So, indeed, has Northern independence.
Each has shown its ability to defend itself, and yet the South
has been unable to tear itself away from the old Union.
We may be independent of everything except God and our country — independent in our counties and in our States, but not independent of the Constitution
nor of that great indissoluble bond that holds us forever together.