No sooner was Abraham Lincoln elected, than much of the South prepared to leave the Union - but even as John Tyler’s granddaughter was ceremoniously hoisting the flag at the Montgomery Convention, where a provisional government for the Confederacy was being created, Tyler himself was presiding over the first day of the Washington Peace Conference, the last ditch effort to end the growing conflict peaceably.
Called the "old gentlemen's convention" because its members included six former cabinet members, nineteen ex-governors, fourteen former senators, fifty former representatives, twelve state supreme court justices, and a former president, it was politely regarded as a well-meaning gathering of venerable fossils.
The Conference, of course, failed to have any effect, and Tyler gave up all hope of saving the Union. Instead, he would soon come to advocate the secession of the Southern States – and even while serving at the last session of the Washington Convention in December 1861, was already a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy.
Lucius Eugene Chittenden was one of five Vermont delegates appointed by Vermont’s Governor Fairbanks to attend the Conference. Selected recorder of the Conference, he published its records in 1864.
Document Signed, partially printed and accomplished in manuscript, 1 page, octavo, Washington City, February 4, 1861. Stained.
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