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The Peace Negotiations

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In bis fii-st message to Congress, called to inect in extraordinary session on the 4th of July, 1,861, President Liueolu helü the folíbwiüg language : " Lest there bo some uneasiness iu the minds of candid men as to what is to be the couvse of tho govcrimient toward the Southeru States aftcr the rebellion shall have been suppressed, the esccutive deerns it proper to say it wil! be his purposc then, as ever, to be amded by the Constitución and the lates ; and that he probably v have no different onderstanding of the povers and duties of the federal goveniment relativcly to the rights of the states and the pcople, under the Constitution, than that expressed iu thu inaugural addreas. He desires to preserve the governmeut, that it niay be administcred for all, as it was administered by the men who made it. Loyal eitnens everyu:here have the viyht to claim ihis of the government, and tïte yovernment has no riyht to tcilhhold or ncylect it. It is not perceived that, in giving it, there is any coerción, anv conquest or any subjugation, in any just sense of those terina' On the" 28 of AuguPt, lSG2,in his well-known letter to Mr. Greeley, as originally published in our columns, the President wrote as follows : " My paramouut object is to save the Union, and uot either save or deUroy slavery. If I could save the Uuion without freeing any slavo, I would do it ; if T could save it by freeiug all the slaves, I would do it ; and if I could sr.vo it by freeing somo nnd leaving others alone, i would also do that. - What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do bccause I bolieve it helps to save tho Union ; aud what I forbear, 1 forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Uüion. f shall j do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause ; and I shall do more whenever I believe doing moro I will heln the causo." In tbc opening words üf tho prellaiiaary " Proclamation of Frecdom," issued on the 22tl of September, 18G2, the President, as if auxious to prccludc the infèrèfice that be nieant thoreby to ehange the ohject of the war, was eareful to declare "that hercaftcr as niretofore the war will be prosecutcd for tbc object of practically restoring the consliucimud ■ relations betwceu the United States and iach of tuk states and the people thereof n which states that kelation is or may j be suspended or disturbed." ïhis is 'the object" of the war as the President understands ït - to restore the comtitutional relation between the United States and each of tlie states in which the relation is now suspended or distvrbed. In rcply to a commuuication froni the Hon. Fernaudo Wood, of New York, who, in December, 18,2, bad imparted to the Fresideut some iuforuiation to the effect " that the Southern States would send represeutatives to the uext Coagress, provided that a full and general aninesty sbould peruiit them to do so," Mr. Lincoln, under date of December 12 of that year, held the fullowing explicit languíige : " I gtroDgly suspect your inforiiiatiou will prove to bo groundlcss ; ucvcrthulcss, I thank you for eoinmunicating it to ine. UuderstaudiDg tho phrase in thu puragraph above ijuotod - 'the Southern Statos would send representativos to thc next Uongress' - (o be substantially the same as that the 'people oí' th-e Souiheru States would ccase resistauce, aud would reiiifiugurate, submit to, and niaintai the uational authority vvithiu the limite of sueh states, under thc Constitution of the Uüited títates,' say that, in such case, the war should cease on the part of the United States, and that (f, within a j alle time, la fv.ll and general amnetty1 tcere neecssary to such end, it ivould not Ie withheld." Early ia the autumu of 1863, in his I celebrated letter addressed to the SpringfleU Kepublioaa Convention, the President wrote a? follows, as if to exclude the eavil or objeetion on tha pai't ! of politieal opponeats tüat he had auj i design to continue the war for tlie purpose of emaneipation after the deolared object of the war should have been reached in i restoratiop of the l'nion - Tb tbis effect thc Prosüleut said : " You say you will not fight to frce negroos. So:i;e of tlicra peem willing to fight for you. But no matter ; fight you thcn exclusively to save the Union. I issued tho proolamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall havo conquered all resistance to the Union, J I sliall urge you to continue, figh tin , it will be an apt time llien for you to declare you toni not fight lofree negroés" We have u-ranccd these declara tions of thu President iu the order of their chronology, for the purpose of showing that his deelared polioy uuder this head has been uniform, delibérate, definite, and determínate. In the mouth of July, 1861, he declaicd it his purpose to preserve thegoverpment that it uiigbt bo administered as it was administered by the nun who made it, and he added "loyal citinena evcrywhere have tho right to claim this of thejr governmeut, and tho govetnment has no right to withhold it." Iu Decembor, 1802, he said that f "the people of the Southern States would cease resistanee and would reinaugúrate, submit to, and mniptain the national authority within the limits of said staten, uüder the Constitution of the United States, in such case the war xcouhl cease on the part of the United States' In September, 1863, directing his reraarks to supposcd dissen! ienta from his negro policy, he said : " Fight you then exclusively i'oi' the Union." '-Whenever you shall have concjuerod all resistance to tho (jmon, ij I shall urge you to continue, fghting, ft will be an apt time for you to declare you will nol Jljld for the negroP It is in lbo liglit of these prosiJential declaratiocs that the reader is prepared properly to appreciate the latest tenns 0:1 wliich the war will cease, as far as the President is yoncenied, and without whieh he purposes to "continue tightmg." We allude, of course, to the stipulations announeed by him a few days ago as the necess:iry eonditionspreliminary to negotiatious with the Confedérate authori ties, as follows : Mansión, 'Wasdixotox. Ju'y 18. 7'o wlioiu it mtnj concern : Auy propdsitiou whieh embrueea the restoration of peaee, the iutegrity of tho whole Union, and the abandonment of slaveri, and uhich comes oij and with on aufhonty that can control the ai mies nbie at u-ar ayaïnst the United States, tcill be receiced and consukred by the executtve government of lic United Stiltes, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collatcral points, and the bearer or bearors thcreof shall bavo safe conduet both ways. ÁBKAUAM LlXCOhN. Tilia deolnraüon is important in many aspects. It shows, in the iirst place, thaf, according to tho principies propounded by the President in the year 1801, tho timehns passed when he proposes "to preservo the goverumeut tliat it way bo adniimstered as it was aduiiuistered by tl'.o men who made it ; " for nobody pretenda that the " men who made the governmctif' supposed that the President had any power to díctate emancipation as the condition of maintainiijg or restoring peaeeful relations bettveeu the states and the goverument. As comparad with tho terms of peacc proponnded to Mr. Wood iu tho year 1S62, it shows that the timo has passed wheii '!tho war will cease ou the part of the United States if tho people of the Southern States vvould cvase resistanee, índ would reinaugúrate, submit to, and maiutaiu the natioüal authorily ; " for the President uow n effect auuouncec that no proposition "will be received and considered by the executive goverutneut of the United States"' which does not embrace, iü udditijn to "tho restoration o'f peace and the integrity of the wholo Union," the ''abandonnicut of slavery." As compared with tht deelüratiou of 1863, it shows that the time has uow comawhön, according to tlu: Presiden t's own admission aüd consent, such of Lis country men as are "Gghting exclusifely I for the Union," and who conseientiously denv the right of the governmont to tight for any thiug else, may aptly say that the uew teiuis on which the Presi dent iusists aio sueh that if the negolia! tions wcre brokeu down by bis peisis tence on this point, thoy might fairly claim, accordiog to bis own theory of their duly, aü esemptioa from ''üghting to free negroes." It wil! tbus ba seou tnat, by applving to tho lato dcclaration of tho President, the principies announced by hini in the years iyGl 18G2, and 1S0Ü, we are ablc to measure the effect and purport of that declaratiou by ii is own staudurds. And when the President tiius becomes iiia own critie and coufatcf, it would bc idlo in us to add any words ou the subject. But this latest deelaration is iif})ortaut in aspucts. It serves to show Unit the l'rHulent has overeóme auy scruples lie may have reviously had on the subject of reeoguizing the confedérate military authoritica. Heuow inakes it a condition of receiving and consideriug auy propositioa that it shalloome"by :ind with an authority thai can control tho armies now at war againt the United States." On this poiut he paid littlo heed to thü resolution of the Ealtimero Conveution, wheu, iu renomiuutiug him, it deelared : "Resolved, That we approve the determination of tho anvernment of tho United States not to compromiso with rebels, or to offer any ternw of pcace except suoh as inay bc; based upon an unconditional surréuder of thcir hostility, and a returu to their first allegiancu u: tho Oopjititutiou uod laws of the United States ; aiid t!iat we ca'll upon tho govei'nment to muiutain their position, and to proseouto the war with tho utmost posBiblo vigor to the complete suppresmoö ot the reb'elliun, 'm fa 11 relianoé ü- on the self-sacrificing p-itriotism, the heroic valor, and the undyÍDg devotion of the American people to their country and its free inslitutions." The President, it seems, is now willing to "corupromise with rebels," for he says that if they will accept tho tcrms prescribed they will bo iret by "liberal teruiíj ou otlier substantiul and eollutteral potnfs. Bilt Mr. Lincoln must havo boeu avvare thut the President of tlie so-called Confedérate 8tates (who is the "authori ty:' that controls "the anuies now at war against tho United Sutes'1) is iiot empowercd by any of liis prerogatives to stipulate for "the abandonuient of slavery" and therefore, in specifying this as ouo oí' the terms of a propobition to come "by and with" such an ''authpnty," he asked what General Jofferson 'Duvis, even with the fullest disposition to do so, had no right or power to grant - shiverv being, under the Coustiiution of tlie Confedérate States, as of the United StateF, exclusively an institution of the separate states, over which the central power has no rightful jurisdiction or control. We do nol doubt that the pcoplo of the Ijnited States will sec iu the imposiblo1 tiqoigiticii of the President as a condit-ion preliminar}' to [wace, only a new illustiatiou of tlie inextricable entanglerncnts into wbich tlie President lias suffered himself to be drtiwn by departiug from.thc or giual theory of the war. And if he desires to know thö universal impression that is likely to be produced by the attitude in whiuh he has placed himself, he may, we think, read it in sueh conniients as the following, from the only one of the New York jouruals which was originally in favov of lus re rjoin'matiou. We allude to the New York Times, whieh says : "The President made but two cotiditions to the reception and coosideralion of any proposition f'or the restoration of peace, whioh sliould come to him from competent authority: first, that it should embrace tlio intear iy of the whole L'mon; second, that it sliould embrace the alandoniiient of sluveri. We believe te might have gone still further than this ;. he might have omitted the se;ond ot these couditions aitogether, and reijuired the first alone, as essen tial to the reception and eousideration of proposals for peace. We do not mean to say that it will be cventually fouud possible to end the war and restore the Union without the 'abandoument of slavery ; ' but we do say tüat this abaüdonuient uecd not be actod by the President as a condition without which lie will not receivè or considcr proposals for peacc. The people do not require him to insist upon any such condition. Neither bis oath of office, nor conatitutional duty, nor Lis per sonal or official consisteney, rerjuires him to insist pon it. That is one of -the questions to be conaidered a:ul arrangcd wlien tho terras oí peace come to bc .discussed. It is not a subject on wliich terms can be imposod by tho goyennnent, without eonsultation, without agreement, or without equivalcnls. And we suppose that it was ii presago of the obstaeles likely to be laid iu tho way of peace by the theoretioal position whicl) the President had aasumed on these and olher subject?, that the New York Tribune was induue-d to bfpose Lis vcuiininatiou, and iu reiteratioü of which, even after his rcnoniiuution, it held the following language : " re cannot bul teel that it would have beeu wiser and safer to spike the mest serviceable guus of our adversarios by nominating another for President, and thus all motive, save that of nakcd disloyalty, for furthor warf'are upou tlus administration. Wc bejUuve the rcbellion would have kst somCtljing of its cohesión and venom from tlie hour in which it was known that a uew President would surely be inauguratod on tho l'ourth of March uext ; and that liostility in the loyal states to the imtioual causo must liavo sensibly abated or beeu deprived of its readiest, most dangerous weapons, frora the vnonient that all were brought to realize that the President, having no more to expect or hope, could hencetorth be inipelled by no coiieeivable ui;)tivc but a desire to servo and save his country, and Umi win for himself an cüviable and eiiduring faiue." It was a singular coini'idciicü thut the frieudly editor, wlio held tjiis frank lan guage aftcr the President's renominati 'ii, should have been callecl to act so promi rent :i part iu tho ncgotiatious whieh have just givcu the wholü country abnu dunt rensjü to ouseur with him iu his opinión. The President solemnly declarad iu tho ycar 1861, in hij message to the Congress of the Uuitcd States, thui ■lojTil eitizeus everywiitrc had tluu-iglK to elaim" that the govenmient should bt prehervcd "that it uiifjlit be actmiriïstërc for all as it was ad'rnuirtered by the inci who made it." As loyal citizetiB wü cd ter our "elaiiu" in these words. Am the President said at the eauje time that "tho governnient had 110 right to withhold or noglect" this cluim. Then wc ask that ho shall uot "wilhhuld or pegloot" what he has authori.fd the nution todemand.


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Michigan Argus