70 Southern Historical Society Papers.
third, no cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war, and the disbanding of all the forces hostile to the government."
The reference in the second of the above propositions, was to Mr. Lincoln's annual message to Congress, of December, 1864, and his reference to documents, is to his emancipation proclamations of Sep- tember 22, 1862, and of January 1,1863.
It was the policy indicated in these proclamations and in this mes- sage, which he informed the Confederate commissioners he would not recede from.
And are not these two authorities conclusive proof, independently of all the other proofs presented in my letter of July 7th, that no proposition was made by Mr. Lincoln to the Confederate commis- sioners to pay $400,000,000 for the slaves to secure peace and union ?
Now I will add that of all the persons who met in that conference, no one of them has ever said that such an offer was made; but all of them show a state of facts absolutely inconsistent with the making of such an offer. Henceforward, any one who may assume that such an offer was made, must do so in the face of, and in defiance of, all the facts connected with that conference. The only interest I feel in this matter is to see to it that the historic facts connected with that conference shall not be perverted and misrepresented, so as to throw on President Davis and the Confederate authorities the responsibility of having rejected such a proposition.
The Hon. Henry Watterson, editor of the Courier- Journal \ gave to the public in that paper, on the i2th of July, under the display- heading, "The Truth of History," over four columns' criticism and reply to my letter of the yth of July.
I cannot descend from the consideration of an important historical question to a reply to what he says about my "vehemence" and "volubility" and a number of other merely ill-natured and ungra- cious personal flings at me. I am only concerned in the settlement of the historical question.
Replying to my denial that President Lincoln, at the Hampton Roads conference, offered to the Confederate commissioners $400,- 000,000 to pay for the slaves, to secure peace and the return of the Southern States to the Union, Mr. Watterson says:
" Since no one that we have ever heard of has intimated that Mr. Lincoln did, it is difficult to understand just why Judge Reagan should be so inconsistent."