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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by

D. APPLETON & CO., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


€319 Al MAY 18 19 12


IF I had been guided by my judgment alone it is not probable that these notes of the debates in the Conference, held upon the invitation of Virginia, at Washington, in the month of February, 1861, would have been made public. From the commencement of its sessions, a portion of the members were in favor of the daily publication of the proceedings. I was disposed to go farther and have the sessions open to the public; but this proposition was opposed by a large majority. Strong reasons were urged for excluding the multitude which in the excitement of the time would have thronged the hall wherein the Conference held its sessions. But these reasons did not apply to the publication of the debates, and a considerable minority were strongly of opinion that the people should be informed daily, of the votes and remarks of their representatives in that body.

I commenced taking notes on the first day of the session. For the first few days, and until the reports were presented from the general committee, there was but little discussion, and that related to questions incidental to the general subject. On the 15th of February, and before the committee reported, Mr. ORTH offered a resolution authorizing the admission of reporters, which, after some discussion, by a close vote was laid upon the table. On the 18th, finding the labor of taking notes greater than I had anticipated, and desiring that a com

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