To Frederick Steele, John S. Phelps and Others

Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 18. 1862.

Gen. Steele, Governor Phelps, and all having military and Naval authority, under the United States, within the State of Arkansas.

Mr. William M. McPherson goes to Arkansas, seeking to have such of the people thereof as desire to avoid the unsatisfactory prospect before them, and to have peace again upon the old terms under the Constitution of the United States, to manifest such desire by elections of members to the Congress of the United States particularly, and perhaps a legislature, State officers, and United States Senators friendly to their object. I shall be glad for you and each of you to aid him and all others acting for this object, as much as possible. In all available ways give the people a chance to express their wishes at these elections. Follow law & forms of law as far as convenient, but at all events get the expression of the largest number of the people possible. All see how such action will connect with and affect the proclamation of September 22d. Of course the men elected should be gentlemen of character, willing to swear support to the Constitution, as of old, and known to be above reasonable suspicion of duplicity. Yours very Respectfully

A. LINCOLN

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