A Negotiated Peace with the Confederacy Is Possible

Illinois State Register editorial

September 09, 1864

The abolition journals and talkers all declare that Jeff. Davis will not consent to honorable terms of peace, upon the basis of the Union of these states. We have every reason to believe the contrary, and that if a democratic president were in power, peace and the Union would be restored on terms honorable and satisfactory to every American citizen. We form this opinion from what the rebels have done to obtain peace; from what their leading journals say in regard to the peace question, and from well–known and universal principles of human nature which always govern human action.

But suppose the abolitionists tell the truth, and that Jeff. Davis should refuse to make peace on other terms than recognition of southern independence. We know that Lincoln has refused to listen to overtures of peace because they did not include the

abandonment of slavery,

and says he will receive no propositions which do not make this the first and leading feature. And for this very reason,
the people are going to put him out of office, and put in a man who will agree to make peace so soon as we can have the Union in its original integrity. And as the people of the south are Jeff. Davis’ masters in the same sense that we of the north are Lincoln’s, if Davis stands between them and honorable peace, they will drive him from his place at the earliest opportunity.…

The people at the south… must be as anxious for peace; they know that… the American people will never again commit the great blunder of placing an abolitionist and a buffoon in the presidential chair, and will be willing and anxious to return to the Union as it was, under the constitution as it is.

…We know, for we have Lincoln’s official assurance, that we can have no honorable peace while he reigns, and the work before us, therefore, is to replace him by a man who will place the constitution and the Union before abolition and anarchy, and make the rights and liberties of the white race paramount to the freedom of the negro.

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