Memorandum on Clement C. Clay

Executive Mansion,
Washington, [c. July 25], 1864

Hon. Clement C. Clay, one of the Confederate gentlemen who recently, at Niagara Falls, in a letter to Mr. Greeley, declared that they were not empowered to negotiate for peace, but that they were, however, in the confidential employment of their government, has prepared a Platform and an Address to be adopted by the Democracy at the Chicago Convention, the preparing of these, and conferring with the democratic leaders in regard to the same, being the confidential employment of their government, in which he, and his confreres are engaged. The following planks are in the Platform—

5. The war to be further prossecuted only to restore the Union as it was, and only in such manner, that no further detriment to slave property shall be effected.

6. All negro soldiers and seamen to be at once disarmed and degraded to menial service in the Army and Navy; and no additional negroes to be, on any pretence whatever, taken from their masters.

7 All negroes not having enjoyed actual freedom during the war to be held permanently as slaves; and whether those who shall have enjoyed actual freedom during the war, shall be free to be a legal question.

The following paragraphs are in the Address—

“Let all who are in favor of peace; of arresting the slaughter of our countrymen, of saving the country from bankruptcy & ruin, of securing food & raiment & good wages for the laboring classes; of disappointing the enemies of Democratic & Republican Government who are rejoicing in the overthrow of their proudest monuments; of vindicating our capacity for self-government, arouse and maintain these principles, and elect these candidates.”

“The stupid tyrant who now disgraces the Chair of Washington and Jackson could, any day, have peace and restoration of the Union; and would have them, only that he persists in the war merely to free the slaves.”

The convention may not litterally adopt Mr. Clay’s Platform and Address, but we predict it will do so substantially. We shall see.

Mr. Clay confesses to his Democratic friends that he is for peace and disunion; but, he says “You can not elect without a cry of war for the union; but, once elected, we are friends, and can adjust matters somehow.” He also says “You will find some difficulty in proving that Lincoln could, if he would, have peace and re-union, because Davis has not said so, and will not say so; but you must assert it, and re-assert it, and stick to it, and it will pass as at least half proved.”

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