Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 7.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  451

To Whom It May Concern [1]

Executive Mansion,
To Whom it may concern: Washington, July 18, 1864.

Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States will be received and considered by the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer, or bearers thereof shall have safe-conduct both ways.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS-P, ISLA; ADfS, DLC-RTL. The autograph draft in the Lincoln Papers bears Lincoln's endorsement, ``Copy of Doc, sent by John Hay.'' On July 18 Lincoln received the following telegram from Greeley:

``I have communicated with the Gentlemen in question & do not find them so empowered as I was previously assured they say that---

``We are however in the confidential employment of our Government & entirely familiar with its wishes & opinions on that subject & we feel authorized to declare if the circumstances disclosed in this correspondence were communicated to Richmond we would at once be invested with the authority to which your letter refers or other Gentlemen clothed with full power would immediately be sent to Washington with the view of hastening a consumation so much to be desired & terminating at the earliest possible moment the calamities of war We respectfully solicit through your intervention a safe conduct to Washington & thence by any route which may be designated to Richmond---

``Such is the more material portion of the Gentlemens letter. I will transmit the entire correspondence if desired. . . . Answer by Ind[ependent]. Telegh Line. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).

For a detailed account of Greeley's peace mission, see Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History, IX, 184-200.