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self at a conference held by him with Hon. Salmon P. Chase and that it had the approval of that distinguished statesman. "Visionary” indeed must have been the plan thus prepared and approved! The report of the interview with Davis, which in the above quoted paragraph is spoken of so disparagingly, was published at the suggestion of the President and Senator Charles Sumner, who was with Mr. Lincoln at the White House when that report was presented by Mr. Gilmore. And at Mr. Lincoln's request the proof pages of that report were submitted to him for revision before publication.
“History” speaks slightingly of Mr. Gilmore as a “novelist." True, Mr. Gilmore wrote some very attractive and instructive books of fiction, but he was none the less a great statesman. So did John Hay; but John Hay was none the less a very efficient private secretary for President Lincoln, and became a great historian and one of the ablest and most effective diplomats in the history of the nation.
It should be remembered that when on the 6th day of July, 1864, Mr. Lincoln decided to permit the embassy to go to Richmond to seek to "draw Davis' fire,” he realized that it would require great ability and adaptability, together with wide political experience, to accomplish that result. He therefore insisted that Mr. Gilmore should be the man to whom that difficult work should be entrusted. This ought to be a sufficient testimonial to Mr. Gilmore's measurements and to his high standing in the President's estimation.
On the 25th of July, 1864, only a few days after the return of Jaquess and Gilmore, just after the declarations of Davis had been given nation-wide publicity, President Lincoln in a letter to Abram Wakeman, Postmaster of the city of New York, referred to the Confederate Commissioners at Niagara Falls as follows: "Who could have given them this confidential employment but he who only a week since declared to Jaquess and Gilmore that he had no terms of peace but the independence of the South—the dissolution of the Union.”16 This reference by Mr. Lincoln to the Davis declarations indicates his full confidence in the disclosures made in Gilmore's report of the interview with the Confederate chieftain.
16 Complete Works of Abraham Lincola, Vol. X., p. 171.
Furthermore, the authors of "History,” in the chapter of that work devoted to the Jaquess-Gilmore mission in showing Mr. Lincoln's views of the Niagara Falls commission, quoted the foregoing passage from his letter to Abram Wakeman. How those authors, knowing President Lincoln's confidence in the disclosures of that mission, could have written as they did respecting this matter must forever remain a mystery.
"History' says: “The President would not even give the Colonel a personal interview.” It was, as the reader understands, only to avoid publicity that Mr. Lincoln refused to have Colonel Jaquess call at the White House. But when he sent these two volunteer envoys out upon their dangerous trip he said to Mr. Gilmore: “Tell Colonel Jaquess that I omit his name from the pass on account of the talk about his previous trip; and I wish you would explain to him my refusal to see him. I want him to feel kindly to me.”
A CONCLUSIVE CONFESSION
At the close of the chapter devoted to the Jaquess-Gilmore mission, "History” says: “On the whole this volunteer embassy was of service to the Union. In the pending Presidential campaign the mouths of the peace factionists were to a great extent stopped by the renewed declaration of the chief rebel that he would fight for separation to the bitter end."'17
And that is precisely the purpose for which Mr. Gilmore joined this embassy, and it was to accomplish that result that President Lincoln gave these envoys the permission and assistance which enabled them to pass the army lines and visit Richmond. This was fully stated and understood at the time Mr. Lincoln, on July 6th, 1864, consented to the mission and insisted that Gilmore and not Jaquess was the one to get from Davis the declarations that would stop the mouths of those who were claiming that the Confederates were willing to accept peace without disunion.
17 Abraham Lincoln, A History, Vol. IX., p. 213.
When that declaration was secured by this mission all that was hoped for by President Lincoln and Mr. Gilmore was accomplished. The admission in “History" that “on the whole this volunteer embassy was of service to the Union," by silencing the clamors of the advocates of a Confederatefavoring peace is unwittingly a confession that the mission was a success and is a testimonial to the wisdom and courage of the men who conducted it.
I regret the necessity of correcting as I have the unfortunate errors which from lack of full information were published in the inestimable Nicolay and Hay biography of Abraham Lincoln, but I have endeavored to do so in a spirit and manner consistent with the high esteem I cherish for that great work and for its able and worthy authors.
All the facts stated in this history of the Jaquess-Gilmore Mission are matters of authentic record and prove conclusively that under God the disclosures of that Mission respecting the purposes of the Confederate leaders accomplished the re-election of President Lincoln and the preservation of the Federal Union. And to the two God-fearing men-Colonel James F. Jaquess and James R. Gilmore—who with such manifest wisdom and skill conducted that mission to its successful issue, the nation owes a debt of gratitude which can only be fittingly paid by a true appreciation of their motives, efforts and achievements.
No event in our nation's history more clearly shows the special favor of God, and Abraham Lincoln's transcendent ability and religious faith than does this wonderful embassy of peace.
LINCOLN AND TEMPERANCE
N Mr. Lincoln's thought slavery and intemperance were
closely associated. He frequently referred to these two
great evils, and his attitude to intemperance, like his attitude to slavery, is worthy of universal imitation. As the hand that wrote the Emancipation Proclamation never held title to a slave, so the lips that pleaded eloquently for total abstinence were never polluted by any alcoholic beverage. No feature of Mr. Lincoln's life is more wonderful than
HIS LIFELONG ABSTINENCE
from the use of strong drink. During the early years of his life habitual liquor-drinking was almost universal on the frontier where he lived. Conditions as they existed are thus described by him in his address at Springfield, Illinois, under the auspices of the Washingtonian Society, February 22nd, 1842: "When all such of us, as have now reached the years of maturity, first opened our eyes upon the stage of existence, we found intoxicating liquor, recognized by everybody, used by everybody, and repudiated by nobody. It commonly entered into the first draught of the infant, and the last draught of the dying man. From the sideboard of the parson, down to the ragged pocket of the houseless loafer, it was constantly found. Physicians prescribed it in this, that, and the other disease. Government provided it for its soldiers and sailors; and to have a rolling or raising, a husking or hoedown anywhere without it was positively insufferable.
“So, too, it was everywhere a respectable article of manufacture and of merchandise. The making of it was regarded as an honorable livelihood; and he who could make most was the most enterprising and respectable. Large and small manufactories of it were everywhere created, in which all the earthly goods of their owners were invested. Wagons drew it from town to town-boats bore it from clime to clime, and the winds wafted it from nation to nation; and merchants bought and sold it, by wholesale and by retail, with precisely the same feelings, on the part of seller, buyer, and bystander, as are felt at the selling and buying of flour, beef, bacon, or any other of the real necessaries of life. Universal public opinion not only tolerated, but recognized and adopted its use.
"It is true, that even then, it was known and acknowledged that many were greatly injured by it; but none seemed to think that the injury arose from the use of a bad thing, but from the abuse of a very good thing. The victims to it were pitied, and compassionated, just as now are, heirs of consumption, and other hereditary diseases. Their failing was treated as a misfortune, and not as a crime, or even as a disgrace.”
Not only was strict sobriety almost unknown among those early pioneers with whom Mr. Lincoln's lot was cast, but to abstain from the use of liquor was to attract attention and invite severe criticism, if not ridicule. Sometimes the abstainer was subjected to insults and violence; and such indignities were not confined to the frontier sections. Rev. A. Bristol, a man of exceptional worth and one of the most beloved ministers upon the Pacific Coast, in “The Pioneer Preacher,” gives a graphic account of the violence with which he was treated by his fellow students in Oberlin College because of his total abstinence convictions and habits. And there was little effort to create a better state of public sentiment concerning the use of intoxicants. Many ministers and leading church people were habitual drinkers, and the attitude of the church towards intemperance was not such as to create a vigorous protest against the prevailing drinking customs.
Yet, even in childhood, Abraham Lincoln espoused the cause of total abstinence, and never deviated a hair's breadth