views, that it was out of the power of the Confederate government to act on the subject of the domestic institutions of the several states, each state having exclusive jurisdiction on that point, still less to commit the decision of such a question to the vote of a foreign people.
Having no dispositions to discuss questions of state with such persons, especially as they bore no credentials, I terminated the interview, and they withdrew with Benjamin.
The opening of the spring campaign of 1864 was deemed a favorable conjuncture for the employment of the resources of diplomacy.
To approach the government of the United States directly would have been in vain.
Repeated efforts had already demonstrated its inflexible purpose—not to negotiate with the Confederate authorities.
Political developments at the North, however, favored the adoption of some action that might influence popular sentiment in the hostile section.
The aspect of the peace party was quite encouraging, and it seem