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the Confederacy were as anxious for peace as those who were constantly professing their devotion to this end. But they considered that the honor and self-respect of their countrymen had been lowered by devious and unworthy attempts at negotiation. Having once announced the terms of peace sufficiently, they judged they would do right, while awaiting the overtures of the enemy, not to betray their anxiety, or open any unnecessary discussions on the subject. And there could be no doubt of the sufficiency of these announcements.

A few weeks before the Jacques-Gilmore "mission" the Confederate Congress had published a manifesto naming the terms of peace, sufficiently explaining to the enemy the demands of the Richmond Government, and certainly leaving no occasion for discussing the matter with Yankee intermeddlers, who might choose to visit the Confederate capital on the errands of curiosity, or perhaps in the office of spies. The principles, sentiments, and purposes by which these States had been actuated, were set forth in that paper with all the authority due to the solemn declaration of the legislative and executive departments of the Government, and with a clearness which left no room for comment or explanation. In a few sentences it was pointed out that all we asked was immunity from interference with our internal peace and prosperity, "and to be left in the undisturbed enjoyment of those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which our common ancestors declared to be the equal heritage of all parties to the social compact. Let them forbear aggressions upon us, and the war is at an end. If there be questions which require adjustment by negotiation, we have ever been willing, and are still willing, to enter into communication with our adversaries, in a spirit of peace, of equity, and manly frankness."

President Davis himself had even more explicitly indicated the methods of peace, excluded special efforts at negotiation with the enemy, and taken a position to which his conduct a few months subsequently was absurdly and inexplicably opposite.

Governor Vance of North Carolina had written to him, referring to certain political discontent in that State, and proposing an effort at negotiation with the enemy, which would

appease the malcontents, and, if unsuccessful, would strengthen and intensify the war feeling.

On the 8th of January, 1864, President Davis wrote a long letter in reply. Some passages of this letter are of sufficient interest to be reproduced by the side of the events of the summer of the same year. The President wrote:

"We have made three distinct efforts to communicate with the authorities at Washington, and have been invariably unsuccessful. Commissioners were sent before hostilities were begun, and the Washington Government refused to receive them or hear what they had to say. A second time I sent a military officer with a communication addressed by myself to President Lincoln. The letter was received by General Scott, who did not permit the officer to see Mr. Lincoln, but promised that an answer would be sent. No answer has ever been received. The third time, a few months ago, a gentleman was sent, whose position, character, and reputation were such as to insure his reception, if the enemy were not determined to receive no proposals whatever from the Government. VicePresident Stephens made a patriotic tender of his services, in the hope of being able to promote the cause of humanity; and although little belief was entertained of his success, I cheerfully yielded to his suggestion, that the experiment should be tried. The enemy refused to let him pass through their lines or to hold any conference with them. He was stopped before he reached Fortress Monroe, on his way to Washington. To attempt again (in the face of these repeated rejections of all conference with us) to send commissioners or agents to propose peace, is to invite insult and contumely, and to subject ourselves to indignity without the slightest chance of being listened to.

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"I cannot recall at this time one instance in which I have failed to announce that our only desire was peace, and the only terms which formed a sine qua non were precisely those that you suggested, namely, 'a demand only to be let alone.' But suppose it were practicable to obtain a conference through commissioners with the Government of President Lincoln, is it at this moment that we are to consider it desirable, or even at all admissible? Have we not just been apprized by that despot that we can only expect his gracious pardon by emancipating all our slaves, swearing allegiance and obedience to

him and his proclamation, and becoming in point of fact the slaves of our own negroes ?""

But the peace movements in the North, to which we have referred, were to take a more practical direction, in view of the approaching Presidential election in that country.


The Democratic National Convention met at Chicago on the 29th of August. The Convention was called to order by Mr. August Belmont, who said that "four years of misrule by a sectional, fanatical, and corrupt party had brought our country to the verge of ruin. The past and present are sufficient warnings of the disastrous consequences which would befall us if Mr. Lincoln's re-election should be made possible by our want of patriotism and unity."

Mr. Bigler, formerly Governor of Pennsylvania, and Senator in Congress, was chosen as temporary chairman. He said: "The termination of democratic rule in this country was the end of the peaceful relations between the States and the people. The men now in authority, through a feud which they have long maintained with violent and unwise men at the South, because of a blind fanaticism about an institution in some of the States, in relation to which they have no duties to perform and no responsibilities to bear, are utterly incapable of adopting the proper means to rescue our country from its present lamentable condition."

The Convention was permanently organized by appointing as chairman, Horatio Seymour, the Governor of New York. In his speech, upon assuming the chair, he inveighed bitterly against the Lincoln Administration and the party in power. "They were," he said, "animated by intolerance and fanaticism, and blinded by an ignorance of the spirit of our institutions, the character of our people, and the condition of our land. Step by step they have marched on to results from which at the onset they would have shrunk with horror; and even now, when war has desolated our land, has laid its heavy burdens upon labor, and, when bankruptcy and ruin overhang us, they will not have the Union restored unless upon condi

tions unknown to the Constitution. They will not let the shedding of blood cease, even for a little time, to see if Christian charity, or the wisdom of statesmanship, may not work out a method to save our country. They will not even listen to a proposal for peace which does not offer what this Government has no right to ask. This Administration cannot now save the country if it would. It has placed obstacles in its pathway which it cannot overcome. It has hampered its own freedom of action by unconstitutionalities." "The failure of the policy of the Administration," he said, "was not due to any want of courage or devotion on the part of the soldiers: they had done all that arms could do; and had wise statesmanship secured the fruits of their victories, there would to-day have been peace in the land." "This Administration," he continued, "cannot save the Union. We can. We demand no conditions for the restoration of the Union. We are shackled with no hates, no prejudices, no passions. for fraternal relations with the people of the South. We demand for them what we demand for ourselves, the full recognition of the rights of the States."

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The platform of the Convention consisted of a series of six resolutions drawn up by a committee appointed for that purpose, consisting of one member from each State, chosen by the respective delegations. The two most important resolutions. were as follows:

"Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity, or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of all the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the federal Union of the States."

"Resolved, That the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired, and they hereby declare that they consider the administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers not granted by the Constitution, the subversion of the civil by military law in States not in insurrection, the arbitrary military arrest, imprisonment, trial, and sentence of American citizens in States where civil law exists in full force, the suppression of freedom of speech and of the press, the

denial of the right of asylum, the open and avowed disregard of State rights, the employment of unusual test-oaths, and the interference with and denial of the right of the people to bear arms, as calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union, and the perpetuation of a government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed."

The platform was adopted with but four dissenting votes. On the 31st the Convention proceeded to ballot for candidates. Governor Seymour, of New York, peremptorily refused to allow his name to be used. The vote at first stood one hundred and sixty-two for McClellan, and sixty-four for all others. Several delegations then changed their votes, and the result was two hundred and two and a half for George B. McClellan, and twenty-three and a half for Thomas H. Seymour. Delaware and Maryland voted for Seymour, who also received nearly half the votes of Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. The remaining eighteen States voted unanimously for McClellan, whose nomination, on motion of Mr. Vallandigham, was made unanimous.

Despite the protestations of attachment to the Union by the Chicago Convention, there is but little doubt that the real programme of its operations had, for its final conclusion, the acknowledgment of the independence of the Confederate States.

It was proposed, perhaps, to get to this conclusion by distinct and successive steps, so as not to alarm too much the Union sentiment of the country. The first step was to be the proposition of the "Union as it was," in a convention of the States; if that was voted down, then the proposition of a new principle of federation, limited to the foreign relations and to the revenue; if that was rejected, then the proposition of an InterConfederate Union, to preserve, as far as possible, by an extraordinary league, the American prestige; and, if all these propositions, intended as successive tests of the spirit of the South, were to fail, then, at last, the independence of the Confederate States, made the sine qua non, was to be conceded by the Democratic party of the North, as the last resort of pacification, and the one of two alternatives where their choice could no longer hesitate. In short, it appeared to be the design of the Democratic party to get the North on the naked issue of war and separation.

Why this programme broke down is explained almost in a

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