I desire to bring on, to wit, a compromise; to put an end to the amnesty proclamation, which, being without limit, paralyzes all confiscation; to unite the North, to divide the South, and to justify ourselves to the severe of the confiscation and a relinquishment of the dominant men of the South, and to make certain that with the forfeiture of all their property by rejection of a proffered amnesty, which could never be recalled, and thus the emancipation of the slaves secured beyond all chance of being again put in issue; to make a case for the Supreme Court to stand upon to decide its validity on a not debatable ground, I propose-what?
An offer of amnesty and pardon so full, so fair, so just, except to ourselves, that all the world would cry out 'Shame!" if it were not accepted, and its rejection would bury the present organization so deep as to be beyond the peradventure of a resurrection, with, to them, no objectionable word in it. This, I know, would not be accepted, because "Queen Deus vult perdere prius dementat." In no event would the leaders have come into it. They will, in the event of our success, go to Mexico. They would do so in case of amnesty. You never will get one of them. Now, therefore, to gain this point, to make it certain hereafter no charge should be justly made that the radicals, of whom I hold myself a representative, were not willing to deal liberally and fairly with the South, I swallowed the abuse poured out so freely, submitted to the obloquy so lavishly bestowed by my Southern brethren, forgot the epithets of brute, beast, tyrant, thief robber, showered down in such delightful profusion, and made the offer only, as it seems, to be misunderstood by those who should have known me better. "Could ye not watch with me one hour?" Mark this, although it is perilous to predict: This offer, not made by us and rejected by them, when made by them will not be rejected by us. Let them, after a few more victories, come to us and say, "We will come back into the Union upon the old basis and submit to the laws," and your Congress will receive them, as we did Western Virginia and Eastern Virginia, without any guaranty on the subject of slavery. When they make it I will not agree to it, but you will need all your eloquence and I all the firmness I can muster to prevent its acceptance. The Nation tired of war; a specious offer looking to peace; 25,000 voters in three great States able to change the result of the late Presidential election; my word for it, when that is made by them you will wish that it had been earlier made by us and rejected by them, so as to have passed beyond the pale of negotiation. Look at y Two committees on the subject of reconstruction and receiving back loyal (?) States, and none on confiscation. An amnesty proclamation as full as anything I proposed indefinitely open. A confiscation bill emasculated by resolution. A loyal Virginia Legislature electing two Senators of the United States by a vote of nine to six, neither of whom is pledged to emancipation. A single disaster or a single victory, as did Atlanta, may turn your majority. Verily, is there no danger, not to be stayed by the Supreme Court, for did not Chase fail you in Ohio, and was not the girl Margaret sent back? Judas betrayed his Master, Peter denied Him in the hour of danger, but Paul, the lawyer, one of the persecutors, stood firm in bonds before Caesar, although to gain his point he complimented the people of Athens for being in all things very religious, which piece of diplomacy was so little comprehended by his translators as to render the phrase "too superstitious." The future will tell