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opposed the South as New England has opposed the South. It is you who are largely responsible for making blood flow as it has. You called for war until we had it. You called for emancipation, and I have given it to you. Whatever you have asked you have had. Now you come here begging to be let off from the call for men which I have made to carry out the war you have demanded. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I have a right to expect better things of you. Go home, and raise your 6000 extra men. Medill, you are acting like a coward. You and your Tribune have had more influence than any paper in the Northwest in making this war. You can influence great masses, and yet you cry to be spared at a moment when your cause is suffering. Go home and send us those men.'
“I couldn't say anything. It was the first time I ever was whipped, and I didn't have an answer. We all got up and went out, and when the door closed, one of my colleagues said: “Well, gentlemen, the old man is right. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Let us never say anything about this, but go home and raise the men.' —
And we did -- 6000 men -- making 28,000 in the war from a city of 156,000. But there might have been crape on every door almost in Chicago, for every family had lost a son or a husband. I lost two brothers. It was hard for the mothers.”
Politicians from all over the country begged Lincoln to suspend the draft until after the election. Sherman, on the contrary, telegraphed from the field that if the President modified it to the ex
tent of one man the army would vote against him. This was one of the cases where the right was clear, and Lincoln did not know a moment's hesitation.
Perfect dexterity was shown by him in his manipulation of the peace cranks. The schemes for reconciliation were as numerous as they were futile. Several came to a head during the most uncertain part of the campaign. One was initiated by a man named Jaques, who thought that if he could only see Davis everything would be all right. Lincoln refused to let him speak for the administration, but gave his ideas privately and allowed him to go as a citizen accompanied by a journalist friend named Gilmore, who has left in his memoirs a full account of what happened. Davis was perfectly firm that any peace proposals must proceed on the basis of recognizing the independence of the Confederacy. When Gilmore talked with Lincoln the President at once took control of the publication of the facts about Davis's attitude, which was just what he expected and desired. It was to be written up by Gilmore for the Atlantic, but as that periodical could not print the article for some time, and as immediate publication would have a good effect, it was proposed to put a card into a Boston paper giving the central demand of the Southern President. “ That is it,” said Lincoln, “put Davis's 'we are
not fighting for slavery, we are fighting for independence,' into the card, that is enough; and send me the proof of what goes into the Atlantic. Don't let it appear till I return the proof. Some day all this will come out, but just now we must use discretion." The President retained the Atlantic proofs seven days, and struck out a full page and a half, including a statement of the terms which he was willing to give the rebels and all references to compensation for slaves.
When Henry J. Raymond, chairman of the National Executive Committee of the Republican party, made similar proposals, Lincoln took the same method, offering to let him execute his own schemes, which treatment stopped Raymond. Horace Greeley had a few weeks before been impressed by the statements of some pretended Confederate emissaries, who said they were authorized to treat for peace, and the editor made a great noise about it. Lincoln easily saw through the sham, but Greeley was so busily proving to the public that the administration had no wish for peace that the President sent him to confer with these creatures, and, although the resulting fiasco did not enlighten his obstinate soul, it had its effect on the public. In the following year, when all considerations of reëlection had passed, and the end of the war was in sight, General Blair hatched another peace scheme. Lincoln
would not listen to it, but let him go South to talk with Davis, and his visit only showed that the Confederate president was determined to insist on recognition as an independent nation, one of the points on which Lincoln, of course, would not yield an inch. He decided finally to meet some Southern commissioners nominated by Davis, and to them he insisted that he could make no agreement with parties in arms against the government." R. M. T. Hunter, one of the commissioners, mentioned as precedents certain doings between Charles I. and his rebellious subjects. Lincoln replied that on historical matters he must refer to Seward. “All I distinctly recollect about the case of Charles I. is that he lost his head,” he remarked. During the conference he found occasion to say that the rebel leaders had forfeited all right to immunity from punishment for the highest crime known to the law. There was a pause.
At length Hunter said: “ Then, Mr. President, if we understand you correctly, you think that we of the Confederacy have committed treason; that we are traitors to your government; that we have forfeited our rights, and are proper subjects for the hangman. Is not that about what your words imply?"
· Yes,” said Lincoln, “you have stated the proposition better than I did. That is about the size of it."
There was another pause, after which Hunter, with a pleasant smile, replied: "Well, Mr. Lincoln, we have about concluded that we shall not be hanged as long as you are President, if we behave ourselves.”
One of the hardest attacks for Lincoln to parry, during the campaign of 1864, related to the negro question. The Democrats kept strenuously announcing that the war was now being conducted not for union but for emancipation. Lincoln had so often said the opposite that it was difficult to admit now, in the midst of a campaign, that negro freedom was a necessary condition of peace, although he knew it was. In April he had written: “To this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery.” He then told how events had finally forced him to emancipation and arming the negroes, in spite of all his efforts for compensation and all his interference with military emancipation by generals early in the war.
“In telling this tale I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years' struggle, the nation's condition is not what either party, or any man, devised or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North, as