Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/73

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$400,000,000 to pay for the loss of the slaves. I quoted what was said by the five members <>f the Hampton Roads Conference, the only pi Tsons who were present and knew what was said in that Con- nce; and 1>\ them showed that no such offer was made, and that no terms were offered the Confrdrratrs but unconditional submission to Federal authority. I will not go over that presentation of facts again, but will add to it two more statements one by President I )a\ is and one by President Lincoln.

PRESIDENT DAVIS'S STATEMENT.

In submitting to the Confederate Congress the report of our com- missioners to the Hampton Roads conference, President Davis said:

" I herewith transmit, for the information of Congress, the report of the eminent citizens above named (Stephens, Hunter, and Camp- bell), showing that the enemy refused to enter into negotiations with the Confederate States, or any one of them separately, or to give to our people any other terms or guarantees than those which the con- querer may grant, or to permit us to have peace on any other basis than our unconditional submission to their rule, coupled with the acceptance of their recent legislation on the subject of the relations between the white and black populations of each State. Such is, as I understand it, the effect of the amendment to the Constitution, which has been adopted by the Congress of the United States."

In response to a resolution adopted by the Congress of the United States, on the 8th of February, 1865, requesting information from President Lincoln in relation to what occurred in the conference held at Hampton Roads, Mr. Lincoln said:

" On my part, the whole substance af the instructions to the Sec- retary of State, hereinbefore recited, was stated and insisted upon, and nothing was said inconsistent therewith."

In the above, reference is made to the instructions given by Presi- dent Lincoln, to Secretary of State Seward, on the 315! of January, 1865, as to what he was authorized to do in the conference with the Confederate commissioners. Mr. Lincoln said:

" You will make known to them that three things are indispensible to-wit: First, the restoration of the national authority throughout all the States; second, no receding by the Executive of the United States on the slavery question, from the position assumed thereon in the late annual message to Congress, and the preceding documents;