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neither forgiven nor forgotten.

The editors were

never incarcerated, and the journals resumed publication after an interval of only two days, but the incident was vigorously employed during the entire summer as a means of attack upon the administration.

Violent opposition to Mr. Lincoln came also from those members of both Houses of Congress who disapproved his attitude on reconstruction. Though that part of his message of December 8, 1863, relating to the formation of loyal State governments in districts. which had been in rebellion at first received enthusiastic commendation from both conservatives and radicals, it was soon evident that the millennium had not yet arrived, and that in a Congress composed of men of such positive convictions and vehement character, there were many who would not submit permanently to the leadership of any man, least of all to that of one so reasonable, so devoid of malice, as the President.

Henry Winter Davis at once moved that that part of the message be referred to a special committee of which he was chairman, and on February 15 reported a bill whose preamble declared the Confederate States completely out of the Union; prescribing a totally different method of reëstablishing loyal State governments, one of the essentials being the prohibition of slavery. Congress rejected the preamble, but after extensive debate accepted the bill, which breathed the same spirit throughout. The measure was also finally acceded to in the Senate, and came to Mr. Lincoln for signature in the closing hours of the session. He laid it aside and went on with other business, despite the evident anxiety of several friends, who feared his failure to indorse it would lose the Republicans many votes in the Northwest. In stating his attitude to his cabinet, he said:

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"This bill and the position of these gentlemen seem to me, in asserting that the insurrectionary States are no longer in the Union, to make the fatal admission that States, whenever they please, may of their own motion dissolve their connection with the Union. Now we cannot survive that admission, I am convinced. If that be true, I am not President; these gentlemen are not Congress. I have laboriously endeavored to avoid that question ever since it first began to be mooted, and thus to avoid confusion and disturbance in our own councils. It was to obviate this question that I earnestly favored the movement for an amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery, which passed the Senate and failed in the House. I thought it much better, if it were possible, to restore the Union without the necessity of a violent quarrel among its friends as to whether certain States have been in or out of the Union during the war-a merely metaphysical question, and one unnecessary to be forced into discussion."

But though every member of the cabinet agreed with him, he foresaw the importance of the step he had resolved to take, and its possible disastrous consequences to himself. When some one said that the threats of the radicals were without foundation, and that the people would not bolt their ticket on a question of metaphysics, he answered:

"If they choose to make a point upon this, I do not doubt that they can do harm. They have never been friendly to me. At all events, I must keep some consciousness of being somewhere near right. must keep some standard or principle fixed within myself."

I

Convinced, after fullest deliberation, that the bill was too restrictive in its provisions, and yet unwilling to reject whatever of practical good might be accom

2

plished by it, he disregarded precedents, and acting on his lifelong rule of taking the people into his confidence, issued a proclamation on July 8, giving a copy of the bill of Congress, reciting the circumstances under which it was passed, and announcing that while he was unprepared by formal approval of the bill to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration, or to set aside the free-State governments already adopted in Arkansas and Louisiana, or to declare that Congress was competent to decree the abolishment of slavery; yet he was fully satisfied with the plan as one very proper method of reconstruction, and promised executive aid to any State that might see fit to adopt it.

The great mass of Republican voters, who cared little for the "metaphysics" of the case, accepted this proclamation, as they had accepted that issued six months before, as the wisest and most practicable method of handling the question; but among those already hostile to the President, and those whose devotion to the cause of freedom was so ardent as to make them look upon him as lukewarm, the exasperation which was already excited increased. The indignation of Mr. Davis and of Mr. Wade, who had called the bill up in the Senate, at seeing their work thus brought to nothing, could not be restrained; and together they signed and published in the New York "Tribune" of August 5 the most vigorous attack ever directed against the President from his own party; insinuating that only the lowest motives dictated his action, since by refusing to sign the bill he held the electoral votes of the rebel States at his personal dictation; calling his approval of the bill of Congress as a very proper plan for any State choosing to adopt it, a "studied outrage"; and admonishing the people to "consider the remedy of these

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usurpations, and, having found it," to "fearlessly execute it."

Congress had already repealed the fugitive-slave law, and to the voters at large, who joyfully accepted the emancipation proclamation, it mattered very little whether the "institution" came to its inevitable end, in the fragments of territory where it yet remained, by virtue of congressional act or executive decree. This tempest over the method of reconstruction had, therefore, little bearing on the presidential campaign, and appealed more to individual critics of the President than to the mass of the people.

Mr. Chase entered in his diary: "The President pocketed the great bill. He did not venture to veto, and so put it in his pocket. It was a condemnation of his amnesty proclamation and of his general policy of reconstruction, rejecting the idea of possible reconstruction with slavery, which neither the President nor his chief advisers have, in my opinion, abandoned." Mr. Chase was no longer one of the chief advisers. After his withdrawal from his hopeless contest for the presidency, his sentiments toward Mr. Lincoln took on a tinge of bitterness which increased until their friendly association in the public service became no longer possible; and on June 30 he sent the President his resignation, which was accepted. There is reason to believe that he did not expect such a prompt severing of their official relations, since more than once, in the months of friction which preceded this culmination, he had used a threat to resign as means to carry some point in controversy.

Mr. Lincoln, on accepting his resignation, sent the name of David Tod of Ohio to the Senate as his successor; but, receiving a telegram from Mr. Tod declining on the plea of ill health, substituted that of

William Pitt Fessenden, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, whose nomination was instantly confirmed and commanded general approval.

Horace Greeley, editor of the powerful New York "Tribune," had become one of those patriots whose discouragement and discontent led them, during the summer of 1864, to give ready hospitality to any suggestions to end the war. In July he wrote to the President, forwarding the letter of one "Wm. Cornell Jewett of Colorado," which announced the arrival in Canada of two ambassadors from Jefferson Davis with full powers to negotiate a peace. Mr. Greeley urged, in his over-fervid letter of transmittal, that the President make overtures on the following plan of adjustment: First. The Union to be restored and declared perpetual. Second. Slavery to be utterly and forever abolished. Third. A complete amnesty for all political offenses. Fourth. Payment of four hundred million dollars to the slave States, pro rata, for their slaves. Fifth. Slave States to be represented in proportion to their total population. Sixth. A national convention to be called at once.

Though Mr. Lincoln had no faith in Jewett's story, and doubted whether the embassy had any existence, he determined to take immediate action on this proposition. He felt the unreasonableness and injustice of Mr. Greeley's letter, which in effect charged his administration with a cruel disinclination to treat with the rebels, and resolved to convince him at least, and perhaps others, that there was no foundation for these reproaches. So he arranged that the witness of his willingness to listen to any overtures that might come from the South should be Mr. Greeley himself, and answering his letter at once on July 9, said:

"If you can find any person, anywhere, professing

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