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

To John A. Campbell [1]

[April 5, 1865]

As to peace, I have said before, and now repeat, that three things are indispensable.

1. The restoration of the national authority throughout all the States.

2. 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 in preceding documents.

3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war, and the disbanding of all force hostile to the government.

That all propositions coming from those now in hostility to the government; and not inconsistent with the foregoing, will be respectfully considered, and passed upon in a spirit of sincere liberality.

I now add that it seems useless for me to be more specific with those who will not say they are ready for the indispensable terms, even on conditions to be named by themselves. If there be any who are ready for those indispensable terms, on any conditions whatever, let them say so, and state their conditions, so that such conditions can be distinctly known, and considered.

Page  387It is further added that, the remission of confiscations being within the executive power, if the war be now further persisted in, by those opposing the government, the making of confiscated property at the least to bear the additional cost, will be insisted on; but that confiscations (except in cases of third party intervening interests) will be remitted to the people of any State which shall now promptly, and in good faith, withdraw it's troops and other support, from further resistance to the government.

What is now said as to remission of confiscations has no reference to supposed property in slaves.


[1]   AD, DLC. This document is misdated April 13 in Hertz, II, 967. Charles A. Dana telegraphed Stanton at 4 P.M.: ``Judge Campbell . . . had an interview with the President here this morning to consider how Virginia can be brought back to the Union. All they ask is an amnesty and a military convention, to cover appearances. Slavery they admit to be defunct. General Weitzel, who was present, tells me that the President did not promise the amnesty, but told them he had the pardoning power, and would save any repentant sinner from hanging. They . . . are sure if amnesty could be offered the rebel army would dissolve and all the States return. The President went to City Point this morning, and I have not been able to see him.'' (OR, I, XLVI, III, 575).

On April 7, Dana telegraphed Stanton further: ``Meeting of five members of the Virginia legislature held here to-day upon the President's propositions to Judge Campbell. The President showed me the papers confidentially to-day. They are two in number, one without address [supra], the other . . . to General Weitzel [April 6, infra]. The one states sine qua non of reunion, and does not differ essentially from previous statements. The second authorizes Weitzel to allow members of the body claiming to be legislature of Virginia to meet here for purpose of recalling Virginia soldiers from rebel armies, with safe conduct to them, so long as they do and say nothing hostile to the United States. Judge Campbell laid these papers before the five men. . . . The President told me this morning that Sheridan seemed to be getting Virginia soldiers out of the war faster than this legislature could think. . . .'' (Ibid., p. 619).

See Lincoln to Grant, April 6, infra.