The Program on Negotiation is pleased to present:
Negotiation in a Time of War:
Abraham Lincoln and the 1865 Hampton Roads Peace Conference
James B. Conroy,
Author of Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Harvard Law School Campus
Please bring your lunch; drinks and dessert will be served.
Free and open to the public
About the talk:
Join the Program on Negotiation for a talk by Boston lawyer James B. Conroy, author of Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865.
On February 3, 1865, on a steamboat moored under Union guns at Hampton Roads, Virginia, President Lincoln and his Secretary of State William Seward met with three senior Confederate officials, led by Jefferson Davis’s eccentric Vice President Alexander Stephens, in an effort to find a compromise that would end the Civil War. With the war all but won for the North, Lincoln rejected any notion of Southern independence, but tendered the possibility of a gradual, compensated emancipation of the slaves, and a plenary presidential pardon of all Confederate leaders if the Southern states returned to the Union peacefully and promptly. With Lincoln’s acquiescence, Secretary of State Seward went so far as to suggest that the 11 Confederate states could block ratification of the 13th Amendment banning slavery if they returned immediately with their Constitutional rights restored.
Conroy will discuss this negotiation – unique in the history of the United States – and will provide insight into what derailed these peace talks.
About the speaker:
James B. Conroy is a founding partner of the Boston law firm of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, established in 1991. He was formerly a litigation partner at the Boston law firm, Nutter, McClennen & Fish, and served as its litigation training partner. Mr. Conroy earned his J. D. degree, magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center, and he earned his B.A. degree in political science at the University of Connecticut, minoring in history, and a master’s degree in international affairs at George Washington University. He has served as an adjunct member of the faculty at the Suffolk University School of Law, teaching a civil litigation seminar.
Before joining the bar, Mr. Conroy served as Press Secretary for the United States Senate Committee on the Budget and wrote speeches delivered by its successive Chairmen, Senator Edmund S. Muskie (D. Me.) and Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D. S. C.) to the Senate, the National Press Club, and many other distinguished audiences. Mr. Conroy subsequently served as Administrative Assistant (chief of staff) to Congressman James Scheuer (D. N. Y.).
Mr. Conroy is the author of Our One Common Country: The Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865, the first book ever written about its subject. Published by Lyons Press in 2014, it prompted his election as a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.