Was there any hope that the Washington Peace Conference of 1861 could have stopped the Civil War? Seven states had already seceded and did not send representatives. We all know that in the end neither the remaining slave states nor the free states could come up with the needed compromises to avid the war. The free states were not going to allow slavery in all territories and make slavery legal without any future laws to end slavery. the remaining slave states had to have slavery in all territories and a ban on any federal laws ever ending slavery. There was really no possible compromise between the remaining slave states and the free states.