The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Collection Reference Number GLC05256
From Archive Folder Unassociated Civil War Documents 1864 
Title Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley re: correspondence on Greeley's peace mission, Stephens
Date 9 August 1864
Author Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865)  
Recipient Greeley, Horace  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description Concerning Greeley's peace mission and his dealings with Alexander Stephens.
Subjects Confederate States of America  Confederate General or Leader  Civil War  Military History  Diplomacy  Peace  President    
People Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865)  Greeley, Horace (1811-1872)  
Place written Washington
Theme The American Civil War; The Presidency
Sub-collection Papers and Images of the American Civil War
Additional Information Notes: Basler 7: 489-90, from a retained clerical copy at the Library of Congress. In 1864, newspaper editor Horace Greeley was approached by Confederate agents to discuss peace proposals. Perhaps afraid to offend Greeley, who published the New York Herald Tribune, Lincoln gave him permission to meet the agents. Greeley did and learned to his disgust that they had no authority. Lincoln, uncertain of the fall-out from Greeley's behavior, sought to protect himself by preparing to publish all his correspondence on the matter. Lincoln here asks for Greeley to censor his derogatory editorial comments. Alexander H. Stephens, Confederate Vice President, had sought to negotiate peace but without the support of President Jefferson Davis. He would eventually meet Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia in 1865. Basler 490n quotes the passages from the printed pamphlet which Lincoln wanted struck (quoting Basler's note): Greeley to Lincoln, July 7… (1) 'And thereupon I venture to remind you that our bleeding, bankrupt, almost dying country also longs for peace; shudders at the prospect of fresh conscriptions, of further wholesale devastations, and of new rivers of human blood. And'; (2) 'now, and is morally certain, unless removed, to do far greater in the approaching elections.';
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945
Transcript Show/hide