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Because of your ill health, Bishop Lee of Delaware will be asked to go in your place (see 64-12-27) if you can still go - telegraph me immediately. Invite to attend Annual Meeting of General Commission; if your health prohibits this, Chief Justice Chase will represent your church.




letter, Stuart, McIlvaine, travel, illness


Strictly confidential.

Philadelphia, 10. January 1865.

Rt Rev. C. P. McIlvaine D.D.

My Dear Brother,

The position of the matter about which we have been in correspondence - is, at present this. - It appears - upon further communication with the government - that it will not be necessary for the Commission to address a letter to the Confederate authorities, inasmuch as any letter, to be received by them must, in measure, “recognize” them - and, if sanctions by our government, would be an implicated “recognition” which the government would not allow. Our generals however are in constant correspondence with the Rebel generals, and in this manner all communication is carried on - indirectly - between the two governments. Secretary Stanton sent down the names to General Grant, for his approval, and he, at once, replied accepting the names, and requested the gentlemen appointed on the mission to report to His Headquarters, when, he will send them forward, with a letter from himself, under a flag of truce, for acceptance or rejection by the Rebel authorities.

This brings the matter to a point at once; and necessitates immediate action. Under the circumstances, and carefully considering your correspondence with me on the subject, regretting most fully, your decision about your health, the Committee to-day decided to send a messenger to wait upon Bishop Lee of Delaware, and ascertain whether it would be practicable for him to undertake the mission in your place. His name has been under consideration, from the first, and it had been decided, that, in the last event if you could not go, he should be applied to. I regret that the mission cannot have the benefit of your matured counsel, and humbly trust that on their errand they may be greatly prospered of God. It is not quite decided what day they will leave, but if will be in a week at the furthest. If you can still go, telegraph me, and I shall have the matter open for you still.

On behalf of our Executive Committee, I have great pleasure in inviting you to attend the Annual Meeting of the General Commission, of which you are a member, to convene in the city of Washington on Thursday morning, 26. January, to be attended by delegates from all parts of the country, representing the Commission's work. I trust that your engagement will be of such a character as to admit of your attendance when all the sessions, and especially that your health may allow of it. It is after my privilege to invite you to address a public meeting, on the evening of Sabbath 29, January, in the Hall of the House of Representatives at Washington, to be presided over by the Secretary of State, and to be addressed by prominent gentlemen from all sections of the country.

If you decide that you can make it convenient to be present, will you be good enough to telegraph me, on the receipt of this, as if you cannot accept, I have thought of Chief Justice Chase’s representing your church. But I am very anxious that you should, if at all practicable.

With wishes for your health and mindset, regards truly your

George H. Stuart


To Charles Petit McIlvaine



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