Sunday, February 27, 2011

Peace Conference ends, Lincoln unmoved

Peace Conference, Washington
  • In Washington at the Willard Hotel, the Peace Conference ends by offering six proposed Constitutional amendments, but none of them have any chance of acceptance. The Senate rejects the Peace Conference proposals, and the House does not even consider them. With a pre-inauguration climate of a President who talks peace publicly and prepares for war privately, it seems politics is turning toward conflict. The US Congress strikes down a proposal for a constitutional convention, votes down Constitutional amendments to interfere with slavery, and votes down again the Crittenden Compromise./1861

  • Meanwhile, Washington, D. C. Mayor James G. Berret extends an official welcome to President-elect Lincoln, who resides at the Willard Hotel. Mayor Berret expresses the hope that Lincoln will "restore peace and harmony to our now distracted country." Lincoln acknowledges the "ill feeling that has existed and still exists between the people of the section from whence I came and the people here." He declares, "I have not now any purpose to withhold from you any of the benefits of the constitution . . . that I would not feel myself constrained to withhold from my own neighbors." Later, Lincoln talks with Sen. Stephen Douglas (Illinois) who stays late to make impassioned plea for the conciliation of the South. At 9 PM, a group of border statesmen, including former Sec. of Treasury James Guthrie of Kentucky and Alexander W. Doniphan of Missouri, calls on Lincoln to talk compromise. Despite these pleas and many others, Lincoln is unmoved in his absolute recalcitrance when it comes to compromise./1861
  • P. Gustave T. Beauregard becomes Brigadier General of the Confederate States Army./1861
  • South Carolina Governor Pickens requests from President Davis that the Confederacy assume command of the situation at Fort Sumter to preserve “honor and safety.”/1861
  • President Davis writes President-elect Lincoln, commending “Martin J. Crawford, John Forsyth, and A. B. Roman, [as] appointed special commissioners of the Confederate States to the United States” with “an earnest desire to unite and bind together our respective countries by friendly ties,” asking Lincoln to receive and treat with them in formal negotiations for peace and friendship. Lincoln, disinterested in peace, will never acknowledge them./1861

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