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government to treat for peace. Permission was granted, with the understanding that the parties named were not to be allowed to land. This determination upon the part of the Federal authorities caused much annoyance to the robel agents, as they made no secret of their desire to visit Washington. Mr. Seward met the distinguished rebels named above, at Fortress Monroe. The Secretary of State telegraphed for the President, and Mr. Lincoln at once repaired to that point, where an interview was had on board the steamer River Queen.
The conference lasted four hours, and was perfectly friendly and good-tempered throughout. Not a word was said on either side indicating any but amicable sentiments. On our side the conversation was mainly conducted by the President; on theirs by Mr. Hunter, Mr. Stephens occasionally taking part. The rebel commissioners said nothing whatever of their personal views or wishes, but spoke solely and exclusively for their government, and, at the outset and throughout the conference, declared their entire lack of authority to make, receive, or consider any proposition whatever looking toward a close of the war, except on the basis of a recognition of the independence of the Confederate States as a preliminary condition. The President presented the subject to them in every conceivable form, suggesting the most liberal and considerate modification of whatever, in the existing legislation and action of the United States Government, might be regarded as specially hostile to the rights and interests, or wounding to the pride of the Southern people—but in no single particular could he induce them to swerve for a moment from their demand for recognition. They did not present this conspicuously as resting on their own convictions or wishes, but as the condition which their government had made absolutely indispensable to any negotiations or discussions wbatever concerning peace.
President Lincoln, on the other hand, informed them, at every point, that such recognition was utterly and totally out of the question ; that the United States could stop the war and arrest, even temporarily, the movement of its armies, only on the condition precedent, that the authority of the National Government should be recognized and obeyed over the whole territory of the United States. This point conceded, he assured them that upon every other matter of difference they would be treated with the utmost liberality; but without that recognition the war must and would go on.
All the conversation which took place between the respective parties came back to, and turned upon, this radical and irreconcilable difference. Neither side could be swerved a hair's breadth from its position. And, therefore, the attempt at negotiation was an utter failure. Upon separating, it was distinctly understood and explicitly stated that the attitude and action of each Government was to be precisely what it would have been if this interview had never taken place. So this negotiation went for nought, and President Lincoln and Mr. Seward returned to Washington; while the discomfited rebel commissioners made the best of their way back to Richmond.
IS INAUGURATED PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES FOR A SECOND TERM. On the fourth of March, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was re-inaugurated President of the United States for a second term of four years, the demonstrations on the occasion being of the most imposing description. Arriving at the East portico of the Capitol, the President, President-elect, took a seat provided for him, aud the other distinguished persons filling the whole vast platform had places assigned to them. The President, President-elect, then advanced to the front, and Chief Justice Chase administered the oath of office, which the President pronounced in a clear, solemn voice, as follows:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The President then delivered his Inaugural Address, as follows:
INAUGURAL ADDRESS. Fellow-Countrymen-At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energy of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all.
With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil
All dreaded it. All sought to avert it. While the Inaugural Address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to the saving of the Union without war, ivsurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war-seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation.
Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than perish-and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it.
These slaves constituted a peculiar and beneficial interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union eveu by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude nor the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the
conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should
Each looked for an easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces.
But let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered ; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty bas His own purposes,
“ Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come, but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.” JE we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from these Divine attributes which the believers in a loving God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue unti) all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the Nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and bis orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
PRESIDENT LINCOLN GOES TO “THE FRONT.”
On the 24th of March, 1865, Mr. Lincoln went to "the front,” just as the lines of General Grant were being drawn tighter and tighter around Richmond. He witnessed a part of the assault upon Petersburg, and was at City Point when Richmond fell into the possession of the Federal forces on the 2d of April, 1865. He pushed on to the rebel capital, held a levee in the mansion of the fugitive Jefferson Davis, and left the same evening for City Point, re. turning to Washington soon after.
GENERAL LEE SURRENDERS.
The fall of Richmond was followed speedily by the sur. render of Lee. The terms of capitulation determined upon are embraced in the following note from General Grant to General Lee :
“APPOMATTOX Court House, April 9th.--General Robert E. Lee, Army C. S.-In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender
I of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate, the officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage, This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their parole and the laws in force were they may reside. Very Respectfully,
“U. S. GRANT, “ Lieutenant-General."
These easy terms were accepted, and it is known that President Lincoln, in dictating them, was actuated by a kindly spirit of conciliation.
THE PRESIDENT RETURNS TO WASHINGTON.
On the 11th of April, 1865, there was high rejoicing at the National Capital. The public buildings were illuminated at night, in honor of the great victories of the Union arms, and the people were happy at the prospect of a speedy peace. President Lincoln was serenaded at the White House. The President made a responsive speech, in substance as follows: