Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Annotation

[1]   AD, DLC-RTL; DS, DNA RG 233, House Executive Document No. 59. On February 8, Schuyler Colfax wrote Lincoln: ``The Senate have been hesitating for two days about Mr. Sumner's resolution, asking for information as to the recent Conference at Hampton Roads. . . . I stated . . . to Mr. [Thaddeus] Stevens this morning that I understood from you that you had no objection to communicating the information, & a resolution has been passed unanimously, asking for it. . . . Under the circumstances, even if the Senate pass the resolution today, I hope you will reply to the House Resolution, in duplicate, if you feel required to answer the delayed Senate Resolution to that Body. I know the answer cannot fail to increase the confidence of the American people in you.'' (DLC-RTL).

The autograph manuscript of Lincoln's communication is composed of Lincoln's autograph letters, telegrams received, etc., which he collected for the purpose. In succeeding footnotes each document is described as it appears in Lincoln's manuscript. Peculiarities of punctuation and spelling follow Lincoln's original manuscript rather than the signed document sent to the House of Representatives.

[2]   ADS.

[3]   ALS.

[4]   ALS copy.

[5]   AES.

[6]   Received telegram endorsed in Stanton's autograph.

[7]   Copy.

[8]   Copy.

[9]   ALS copy and copy. The original autographs of these two documents, carried by Eckert, are described under their respective dates, supra.

[10]   Telegram received. An autograph copy in Lincoln's handwriting is in the Seward Papers, NAuE.

[11]   Copy.

[12]   Copy.

[13]   ALS copy.

Not included in Lincoln's report but important to the narrative is the following:

``Head Quarters Armies of the United States,

``January 31st 1865.

``Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, J. A Campbell, and R. M. T Hunter

``Gentlemen! Your communication of yesterday requesting an interview with myself and a safe conduct to Washington and return, is received. I will instruct the Commanding Officer of the forces near Petersburg to receive you, notifying you at what point of the line and the time when and where conveyance will be ready for you.

``Your letter to me has been telegraphed to Washington for instructions. I have no doubt but that before you arrive at my Headquarters an answer will be received directing me to comply with your request. Should a different reply be received I promise you a safe and immediate return within your own lines. I am, very respectfully (sgd) U. S. GRANT

``Official Lieutenant General.

``T. S. Bowers.

``Asst. Adjt. Gen'l.'' (Copy, owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California).

[14]   Copy.

[15]   Telegram received.

[16]   Copy.

[17]   Telegrams received.

[18]   The original note signed by Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, as well as the autograph draft of Eckert's telegram, is now owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California.

[19]   Telegram received. Not included by Lincoln in his report but important to the narrative is the following telegram:

``City Point Va Feby 1st. 1865

``Hon Edwin M Stanton. ``10.30 PM

``In reply to the letters delivered by me to Messrs Stephens, Campbell & Hunter, they give a copy of their instructions from Jefferson Davis, which I think is a verbatim copy of that now in the Presidents possession, am posative about the last two words, which differs from the ending of copy delivered by me & to which the President called my particular attention.

``After giving object of conference they add, 'Our instructions contemplate a personal interview with President L at Washington, but with this explanation we are ready to meet any person or persons that President L. may appoint at such place as he may designate. Our earnest desire is that a just & honorable peace may be agreed upon & we are prepared to receive or to submit propositions which may possibly lead to the attainment of that end. Signed Alex H Stephens, R M T Hunter & J A Campbell.' They say the ending of letter I delivered to them is the only objectionable point & one that, in their opinion, should be left out of both, the letter they bring as well as the one they receive, adding if they accept the latter & terms are not agreed upon, it would be an acknowledgement that might prejudice future interests of people they represent. THOS. T. ECKERT.'' (ALS, owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California).

[20]   Copies.

[21]   Telegram received.

[22]   Copy. The original manuscript of this letter is owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California.

[23]   Copy. The original manuscript of this letter is owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California.

[24]   Lincoln deleted four lines at this point: ``and that no one was to be committed by it. Perhaps a pledge of secrecy, as to particulars, was implied, though not expressed. I believe, however, there can be no impropriety in stating that.''

[25]   The autograph manuscript ends without the date and signature which appear on the signed copy sent to the House of Representatives.