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Petition of William G. Eliot to be signed by citizens of St. Louis to Abraham Lincoln, 1863-1864

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Identifier: D03876

Title: Petition of William G. Eliot to be signed by citizens of St. Louis to Abraham Lincoln, 1863-1864

Description: Describes the "deplorable state of affairs in Missouri with particular reference to its probable effect upon the approaching Presidential and State elections," explains that there are many Southern sympathizers and pro-slavery men in Missouri who are conducting guerrilla warfare against Union men to keep them from the polls, and requests a Presidential Order providing for the protection of Union voters.


To Hon. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America.

Mr. President. The undersigned, merchants and citizens of St. Louis, who are not office-seekers or politicians, but who feel the deepest interest in the welfare of the country, respectfully call your attention to the present deplorable state of affairs in Missouri, with particular reference to its probable effect upon the approaching Presidential & state elections. Although the Electoral vote of this state cannot affect the general result which is already assured to be favorable to the present administration, it is important in a moral & social point of view. The contest is not one between political parties so much as of principles & ideas. If the Elections of the Republican party are hosen, it will be the State’s verdict against Secession & in favor of Freedom. If otherwise, it will be declared as a proof that the state is in sympathy with the South & opposed to the Emancipation policy. In the former case, Missouri will be, by law & in fact, a free state before a year has passed, and when this cause of strife is removed we shall have social peace. In the latter case, slavery will have a new lease of life and the social conflict will be indefinitely prolonged.

This is well understood by the opposition party, many of whose leaders are Southern sympathizers and pro-slavery men, and they are sparing no pains to gain the state. If it were by usual & fair means only, we should have no fear of their success but there is abundant reason to believe that, in many some precincts, the union men have already been driven away by Guerrillas, and that , in many others, they will not be permitted to approach the polls in safety. The “raids” now in progress & the outrages committed by Guerrilla bands all over the State, are notoriously and successfully working for the same result. Unless immediate & energetic steps are taken, by the proper authorities, the time for prevention measures will soon have passed.

Your memorialists therefore respectfully ask that an Order be immediately issued, like that of Major Genl. Geo. B. McClellan issued in Maryland under somewhat similar circumstances, —providing for the pro-

[in pencil] Copy


tection of Union voters, for the preemptory challenge of all notorious disloyalists & rebels, and for securing the enforcement of the state laws with regard to elections, by a sufficient military force wherever required.

And your memorialists most respectfully remain,

Your Friends & obedient Servants:

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
St Louis

Dates: 1863-1864

Type(s): Petition

Maker/Creator: Eliot, William Greenleaf, 1811-1887

Subjects: Elections
Civil War, 1861-1865
Guerrilla warfare
Politics and government


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