-- Final Orders --

Thursday April 4, 1861

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Lincoln Meets with John B. Baldwin

On the morning of April 4, Lincoln met at the White House with a Virginia unionist leader, John B. Baldwin, a member of the Virginia convention called to consider the state's course on secession. The meeting had been arranged sometime before by Secretary of State Seward, who hoped that Lincoln would give up Sumter in exchange for assurances that the Virginia convention would adjourn, thereby keeping that pivotal state in the Union.

By April 4, however, Lincoln had already ordered preparations for expeditions to both Pickens and Sumter. Lincoln now explained to Baldwin that the situation had changed since their meeting had been arranged. He still urged Baldwin to adjourn the Virginia convention. Baldwin dismissed Lincoln's request, and then insisted on a number of demands, such as the government's withdrawal from both Pickens and Sumter. The interview soon, abruptly came to an end.


Bibliography: Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 3: 423-28; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 94-96; Fox, Confidential Correspondence, 1: 39.

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