MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1865 (Journal of the Confederate Congress, Vol. 7, p. 545)
The Chair laid before the House a message from the President; which was read as follows, viz:
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America:
Having recently received written notification which satisfied me that the President of the United States was disposed to confer informally with unofficial agents that might be sent by me with a view to the restoration of peace, I requested the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, and the Hon. John A. Campbell to proceed through our lines and to hold a conference with Mr. Lincoln, or such persons as he might depute to represent him.
I herewith submit for the information of Congress the report of the eminent citizens above named, showing that the enemy refused to enter into negotiations with the Confederate States, or any one of them separately, or to give to our people any other terms or guarantees than those which a conqueror may grant, or to permit us to have peace on any other basis than unconditional submission to their rule, coupled with the acceptance of their recent legislation, including an amendment to the Constitution for the emancipation of all the negro slaves, and with the right on the part of the Federal Congress to legislate on the subject of the relations between the white and black population of each State.
Such is, as I understand, the effect of the amendment to the Constitution which has been adopted by the Congress of the United States.
On motion of Mr. [John] Perkins, the message and accompanying documents were referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed.
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