Touche Mr Lincoln, President Trump, Alexander Stevens Xia discussed on History That Doesn't Suck
States get to work ratifying the thirteenth amendment. Lincoln moves on other pressing business a fresh round of peace negotiations. So I mentioned these peace talks a few minutes ago but let me give you a few more details. Last December Francis Blair senior pushed for and finally got authorization to try to open peace talks with the say again, sure the attempt to July eighteen, sixty, four that you heard about an episode, sixty six was a total bust but Lincoln went along with Francis his idea figuring there was no harm in trying again, the rail splitter permits Francis to travel to Richmond. But not to speak on behalf of the United States government. Well that was good enough for Francis. Francis and Jeff meet on January eleventh and Twelfth Eighteen, sixty five we can't be sure what they discussed but jeff ended up asking Francis to deliver a note directly to Lincoln it read. I am willing to enter into negotiations for the restoration of peace and I'm ready to send a commission whenever I have a reason to suppose it will be received or to receive a commission if the United States government should choose send one. That notwithstanding the rejection of our former office I would if you could promise that a commissioner minister, other agent would be received a point one immediately and renew the effort to enter into conference with a view to secure apiece for the two countries. Did you catch that subtle last line the two countries yell Lincoln. saw that too. So the wordsmith president always deft with found pen responded with a note offering to negotiate with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common country. Yeah are one common country, Touche Mr Lincoln. It's pretty clear that neither Jeff nor Lincoln believe any peace talks can be productive citizens both want fundamentally different things but they agreed to send agents to try anyway. On January twenty, ninth three, CSI commissioners arrived under flag of truce at Fort Monroe, Virginia Secretary of State William Henry seward soon, joined them but the talks are almost stillborn on February second one day after signing the thirteenth amendment proposal. Lincoln here's that the confederate agents might not be trustworthy and considers calling the whole thing off. General Ulysses Grant Steps in euless telegraphs his boss and explains their intentions are good and their going back without any expression from anyone in authority will have a bad influence. Leeann trusts ulysses. The general's endorsement of CSI agents keeps the talks live. So. The rail splitter replies to General in chief say to the gentleman I will meet them personally at fortress Monroe as soon as I can get there. Two hours later, the president stands a train platform in Washington. DC trying to look casual his valet stands yards away holding Lincoln's overnight bag. A doubt very many people believe that the gangly lined war-wary president is taking a casual train ride through the countryside though it's obvious, he could use one. No He's headed to a war zone. Lincoln will take a train and then esteem at Fort Monroe mere miles from the battle. Lines Petersburg. Takes all afternoon and evening, but the president arrived safely. The next morning Lincoln boards the River Queen Steamer anchored a few miles from Fort Monroe near Hampton roads, the president and his Secretary of State William Henry. seward sit down on the saloon there soon, joined by the confederate commission Siyassa vp Alexander Stevens Xia. Say of State Robert Hunter and former US Supreme Court justice John Campbell who. Chaff is bringing up the heavy hitters for this meeting. The Hampton Roads Conference gets underway. Now, these guys all go away back. So they spend the first little while reminiscing catching up without reporters no takers and political advisors intervening Alexander brings the meeting back to its original purpose. He turns to Lincoln and asks well, Mr. President is there no way of putting an end to the present trouble and bring about a restoration of the general good feeling and harmony then existing between the different states and sections of the country? Lincoln doesn't beat around the Bush. He responds to the confederate VP. There is but one that I know of, and that is for those who are resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance. That opens the floodgates of discussion. Over whisky and cigars the foreman talk seriously about slavery the newly pass thirteenth. amendment. The possibility of federal compensation of slave owners and the restoration of Union. Lincoln suggests that southern states could ratify the proposed amendment as soon as they chose to restore their quote practical relations to the Union close quote. CSI agents are surprised to hear this. They don't believe that Congress will behave with such benevolence towards seated states but discussion moves Then Alexander suggests that the civil war could be put on hold to deal with the recent French invasion of Mexico. Lincoln doesn't think that's a good idea to put it mildly the only way Lincoln. We'll consider a ceasefire as reunification the restoration of the Union as a CNA quay non with me I will listen to no proposal that does not include an immediate restoration of the national thority? We can tone his harsh. Genial country lawyer always ready with the mood lightning antidote Robert Hunter sees it the conversation has hit an impasse but Alexander continues to press the idea that confederate and federal armies put their differences aside and join up to fight the invading French. Robert Watches with a combination of horror and amusement has Alexander tries to convince Lincoln. His scheme will lead to Mexico's liberation and eventual reunification. The former confederate secretary of state reports extent to which he carried. These opinions was strange made. Lincoln refuses to agree to Alexander's plants. His three firm demands of the confederacy. Lincoln and William Henry Seward won't budge on reunification the abolition of slavery and a ceasefire in the war Jeff Davis is agents can't agree to any of those terms. Both sides understand they cannot give into what the other wants. A four hour meeting comes close without making any agreements. The reports of the Hampton Roads Conference become public north, and south have strong reactions. Harper's weekly gushes praise for Lincoln. Quote if there is any man in the country who comprehends the scope of the war more fully than the president who is he? We venture to say that there is no man in our history who has shown a more felicitous combination of temperament conviction and ability to grapple with a complication like that in which the country is involved than. Abraham Lincoln. Jeff Davis takes the opportunity of more failed peace talks to bolster the confederacies will to win. I can have no common country with the Yankees. My life is bound up in the confederacy, and if any man's opposes that under any circumstances, I can be an agent of reconstruction of the Union. He has mistaken every element of my nature..