answer would be sent. No answer has ever been received. The third time, a few months ago, a gentleman was sent whose position, character, and reputation were such as to insure his reception if the enemy were not determined to receive no porposal whatever from this Government. Vice-President Stephens made a patriotic tender of his services, in the hope of being able to promote the cause of humanity, and although little belief was entertained of his success, I cheerfully yielded to his suggestion that the experiment should be tried. The enemy refused to let him pass through their lines or to hold any conference with them. He was stopped before he even reached Fortress Monroe, on his way to Washington. To attempt again, in the face of these repeated rejections of all conference with us, to send commissioners or agents to propose peace, is to invite insult and contumely, and to subject ourselves to indignity without the slightest chance of being listened to. No true citizen, no man who has our cause at heart, can desire this, and the good people of North Carolina would be the last to approve of such an attempt if aware of all the facts. So far from removing "sources of discontent," such a cours would receive, as it would merit, the condemnation of those true patriots who have given their blood and their treasure to maintain the freedom, equality, and independence which descends to them from the immortal heroes of King's Mountain and other battle-fields of the Revolution.
If, then, proposals cannot be made through envouys, because the enemy would not receive them, how is it possible to communicate our desire for peace otherwise than by the public announcements contained in almost every message I ever sent to Congress? I cannot recall at this time on einstance in which I have failed to announce that our only desire was peace, and the only terms which found a sine qua non were precisely those that you suggest, namely, "a demand only to be let alone." But suppose it were practicable to obtain a conference through commissioners with the Government of President Lincoln, is it at this moment that we are to consider it desirable, or even all all admissible? Have we not just been apprised by that despot that we can only expect his gracious pardon by emancipating all our slaves, swearing allegiance and obedience to him and his proclamations, and becoming, in point of fact, the slaves of our own negroes? Can there be one citizen in North Carolina so fallen beneath the dignity of his ancestors as to accept or to enter into conference on the basis of these terms? That there are a few traitors in the State who would be willing to betray their fellowcitizens to such a degraded condition, in hope of beig rewarded for their treachery by an escepe from the comon doom, may be true; but I don not believe that the vilest wretch would acept such terms for himself. I cannot conceive how the people of your State, than which none has sent nobler or more gallant solders to the field of battle (one of whom it is your honor to be), can have been deceived by anything to which you refer in "the recent action of the Federal House of Representatives." I have seen no action of that House that does not indicate by a very decided majority the purposes of the enemy to refuse all terms to the South except unconditional subjugation or extermination. But if it were otherwise, how are we to treat the House of Representatives? It is with Lincoln alone that we ever could confer,tisans at the North avow unequivocally that his purpose in his message and proclamation was to shut out all hope that he would ever treat with us on any terms. If we will break up our Government, dissolve the Confederacy, disband our armies, emancipate our slaves,