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Peabody, Selim Hobart 1829-

Scientist; born in Rockingham, Vt., Aug. 20, 1829; graduated at the University of Vermont in 1852; has been connected with a number of colleges as Professor of Physics, Mathematics, Civil Engineering, etc. He was the chief of the department of Liberal Arts in the World's Fair of 1893, and first editor-in-chief of the International Cyclopaedia.

peace conference of Peace Commission. In addition to the Hampton Roads Conference (peace conference of 1864) there were in the year 1864 two semi-official attempts to bring about peace between the North and the South. General Grant, under date of July 8, wrote a letter to Gen. Robert E. Lee, requesting that Col. James S. Jacques, 78th Illinois Infantry, and James R. Gilmour be allowed to meet Col. Robert Ould, Confederate commissioner for the exchange of prisoners. The reply was satisfactory, and the two Northern commissioners, after meeting Colonel Ould, had an interview with President Davis. The plan proposed by the Northern commissioners was declared by President Davis to be altogether impracticable.

Mr. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of State, in an official letter to James M. Mason, commissioner in Europe, states “it was proposed that there should be a general vote of all the people of both federations, the majority of the vote thus taken to determine all disputed questions. President Davis replied that as these proposals had been prefaced by the remark that the people of the North were in the majority, and that the majority ought to govern, the offer was in effect a proposal that the Confederate States should surrender at discretion, admit that they had been wrong from the beginning, submit to the mercy of their enemies, and avow themselves to be in need of pardon; that extermination was preferable to dishonor.”

Later in the year, Messrs. Clement C. Clay, of Alabama, Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, Prof. James P. Holcombe, of Virginia, and George N. Sanders, of Kentucky, arrived in Canada via the Bermudas, and opened communications with a view to a conference. Horace Greeley wrote President Lincoln urging him to invite the Confederate commissioners to Washington, there to submit their propositions. The President acquiesced in Mr. Greeley's request, but directed that Mr. Greeley should proceed to Niagara and accompany the Confederate commissioners to Washington.

In an exchange of letters between Mr. Greeley and Messrs. Clay and Holcombe, the latter stated that the safe conduct of the President of the United States had been tendered them under a misapprehension of the facts; that they were not [97] accredited by the Confederacy as bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of peace; that they were, however, in the confidential employ of their government, and entirely familiar with its wishes and opinions. Under the circumstances, Mr. Greeley declined to meet Messrs. Clay and Holcombe without further instructions from the President of the United States. July 20 Mr. Greeley and Major Hay, President Lincoln's private secretary, crossed the Niagara and met Messrs. Clay and Holcombe, to whom the following letter was handed:

executive mansion, Washington, July 18, 1864.
To Whom It May Concern:
Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer thereof shall have safe conduct both ways.

In the absence of any official authority on the part of Messrs. Clay, Holcombe, Sanders, and Thompson, all negotiations ceased.

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