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Hampton Roads Conference

Hampton Roads Conference

On today in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln meets with a delegation of Confederate officials at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to go over a feasible peace agreement. Lincoln refused to grant the delegation any concessions, so even, and the meeting ended inside hours.

New York Tribune editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley supplied the impetus for the conference when he contacted Francis Blair, a Maryland aristocrat and presidential adviser. Greeley suggested that Blair was the “right man” to open discussions with the Confederates to get rid of the war. Blair sought permission from Lincoln to meet up with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, anddid so twice in January 1865. Blair suggested to Davis an armistice be forged and both sides turn their consideration to removing the French-supported regime of Maximilian in Mexico. This strategy would aid cool tensions among North and South by delivering an average enemy, he believed.

Meanwhile, the circumstance was becoming progressively worse for the Confederates in the wintertime of 1864 and 1865. In January, Union troops captured Fort Fisher and effectively closed Wilmington, North Carolina, the final significant port available to blockade runners. Davis conferred along with his vice president, Alexander Stephens, who advisable a peace commission be appointed to find a possible armistice. Davis sent Stephens and two other folks to meet up with Lincoln at Hampton Roads.

The meeting convened on February 3. Stephens asked if there is any way to give up the war and Lincoln replied that the only path was “for those who were resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance.” The delegation underestimated Lincoln’s resolve to help make the end of slavery a needed situation for just about any peace. The president also insisted on quick reunification and the setting up of Confederate arms ahead of another thing was discussed. In short, the Union was such an advantageous position that Lincoln didn’t have to have to concede any concerns to the Confederates. Robert M.T. Hunter,a memberof the delegation, commented that Lincoln was offering tiny except the unconditional surrender of the South.

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After less than five hours, the conference ended and the delegation left without concessions. The war continued for a lot more than 8 weeks.

Source: History