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190 Southern Historical Society Papers.
tertain the proposition of a return to the Union, Mr. Lincoln re- peated that he could not enter into any agreement on that subject with parties in array against the government.
NOT POSTED ON HISTORY.
Mr. Hunter in illustrating the propriety of the Executive entering into agreements with persons in arms against the rightful public au- thority referred to instances of that character between Charles I, of England, and the people in arms against him. Mr. Lincoln said he did not profess to be posted in history, and would turn Mr. Hunter over to Mr. Seward on all such matters. " All I distinctly recollect," said he, *' about the case of Charles I, is that he lost his head in the end." Mr. Lincoln subsequently discussed fully his emancipation proclamation. He said it was not his intention in the beginning to interfere with slavery in the States; that he never would have done it if he had not been compelled by necessity to do it, to maintain the Union; that the subject presented many difficult and perplexing questions; that he had hesitated for some time, and had resorted to that measure only when driven to it by public necessity; that he had been in favor of the prohibition by the general government of the extension of slavery into the Territories, but did not think the gov- ernment possessed power over the subject in the States except as a war measure, and that he had always been in favor of gradual eman- cipation. Mr. Seward also spoke at length upon the progress of the anti-slavery sentiment of the country, and said that what he had thought would require forty or fifty years of agitation to accomplish would certainly be attained in a much shorter time. Other matters relating to the evils of immediate emancipation, especially the suf- ferings which would necessarily attend the old and infirm, as well as the women and children, were then referred to. These were fully admitted by Mr. Lincoln, but as to them he illustrated his position with an anecdote about the Illinois farmer and his hogs. An Illinois farmer was congratulating himself with a neighbor upon a great dis- covery he had made, by which he would economize much time and labor in gathering and taking care of the food crop for his hogs, as well as trouble in looking after and feeding them during the winter. " What is it ?" said the neighbor. " Why it is," said the farmer, "to plant plenty of potatoes, and when they are mature, without either digging or housing them, turn the hogs in the field and let them get their own food as they want it."