The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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S. and William Eaton, jr. Gov. S. aceompanied me home. I sent for his baggage, as he wishes to be more quiet than at the hotel. He, with Messrs. Eaton and Moore, are here, invited by the President to advise measures to restore North Carolina to the Union.

        "Sunday, 21st May.--Gov. S. accompanied me to churc. Dr. Pinckney preached.

        "In evening, at request of Gov. S. and Mr. Moore, I called on the President and made arrangements for their meeting at 2. p. m. to-morrow.

        "Monday, 22d May.--Gov. Swain engaged in writing, preparing for the conference with the President.

        "At 2 I went with him and Messrs. Moore and Eaton to the President's office and introduced them. Mr. Thomas and General Mussey, of Lewisburg, were with him.

        "After introducing them I arose to retire, when the President again desired me to remain. A conference deeply interesting in all its details occurred.

        "The President directed his Secretary to read a proclamation which he proposed to issue, and an amnesty to certain classes by which North Carolina was to be restored to the Union. He invited a frank, free, and open discussion.

        "Mr. Moore, with much decision, earnestness, and courage, denounced the plan, especially as to the classes who were to be exempted from pardon. The plan, he alleged, was illegal, and he denied the power of the President to issue it. He demanded of him where in the Constitution or Laws he found such power. The President replied 'that by IV Art., 4 Sec., the United States shall guarantee to every State a Republican form of Government, &c.' 'True,' replied Mr. Moore, 'but the President is not the United States.'

        "As to exempting from all pardon, or requiring all persons owning a certain amount of property to be pardoned, was simply ridiculous. You might as well say that every man who had bread and meat enough to feed his family was a traitor, and must be pardoned.' Mr. Moore continued in that same caustic manner, to examine other points of the proclamation, and specially the appointment of a Governor by the President, averring that the President had no such power. He finally suggested to the President to meddle as little as possible with the State, that she was able to take care of herself by aid of her own citizens; that his plan was to let the Legislature be called, which, as the Governor was a prisoner, the Speakers of the Legislature could do; then the Legislature would authorize the people to call a Convention, who could repeal the Secession Ordinance of the 20th of May, 1861, and thus restore good correspondence with the Union, with the rights of the State unimpaired and her dignity respected. The President listened with much attention, and bore with great dignity the fiery phillipies of Mr. Moore.

        "Governor Swain, in a long and temperate speech, but with much earnestness, advocated the plan of Mr. Moore. He detailed circumstances of much interest before unknown, illustrative of his course, and that of Governors Graham and Vance. He read several letters from Governor Graham.

        "The President stated 'that he appreciated the able views and the frank enunciations of his friends, but still thought that the Provisional Governor should be appointed by the United States; that the President was the Executive Officer of the United States, and therefore, the Governor, he thought, should be appointed by him. He did not seem much inclined to give any ground. As it was then half-past six o'clock he adjourned the Conference to meet again on Thursday next at 2 p. m.'"

        "Thursday, 25th May, 1865.

        "At 2 o'clock I went with Governor Swain to the President's house; we found Messrs. Moore and Eaton, and also W. W. Holden, R. P. Dick, Richard Mason, J. P. H. Russ, Richardson, Rev. Mr. Skinner, Dr. Robt. J. Powell, and Colonel Jones. The President laid before us the Amnesty Proclamation, by which he proposed to restore the State of North Carolina to the Union, a Military Governor to be appointed by the President, who should proceed forthwith to organize the State Government; direct the people to call a Convention, appoint Judges, officers, &c.

        "The President further stated that the name of the person as Governor was purposely left blank in the proclamation, and requested that we should select some name, and that whoever we selected he would appoint. The President then retired.

        "Governor Swain stated that it was a preferable mode to him, and more in accordance with the laws of North Carolina, that the Convention should be called by the Legislature, which could be summoned by the Speaker of the Senate, or they might meet of their own accord. But the President was unwilling to trust that body.

        "Mr. Eaton declared himself opposed to the
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