What was Abraham Lincoln’s finest moment as a leader? One historian suggests it was at a dark moment in 1863 when the president told Republican Party chairman Henry J. Raymond that he doubted he would be re-elected.

Raymond suggested that Lincoln write a letter to Jefferson Davis and send a commission to offer peace without regard to slavery. Lincoln drafted such a letter. He never sent it. Nor did he appoint a commission to make the offer.

Lincoln decided it would alienate the anti-slavery Republicans. Worse, it would be morally wrong because it would violate the “solemn promise of the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Source: The Workshop of Democracy by James Mac Gregor Burns