James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
qua non with me. Judge Campbell inquired how restoration was to take place supposing that the Confederate States consented to it. Lincoln replied, by disbanding their armies and permitting the national authorities to resume their functions. Slavery was discussed; the President said that he never would change or modify the terms of the Proclamation in the slightest particular and Seward told the Southerners that the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery had just been passed by Congress.
If the Confederate States were to abandon the war, asked Stephens, would they be admitted to representation in Congress? Lincoln replied that he thought that they ought to be but he could not enter into any stipulation upon the subject. When Stephens pressed the point that there should be some understanding, Lincoln said that he could not treat with parties in arms against the government. Hunter said that this had been often done, especially by Charles I when at civil war with the British Parliament. Lincoln replied: I do not profess to be posted in history. On all such matters I will turn you over to Seward. All I distinctly recollect about the case of Charles I is that he lost his head in the end. After further discussion Lincoln burst out: Stephens, if I resided in Georgia with my present sentiments, Ill tell you what I would do if I were in your place: I would go home and get the Governor of the State to call the Legislature together and get them to recall all the State troops from the war; elect Senators and members to Congress and ratify this Constitutional Amendment [the Thirteenth] prospectively, so as to take effectsay in five years. Whatever may have been the views of your people before the war, they must be convinced now that slavery is doomed. It cannot last long in any event and the best course it seems