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Doc. 55.-re-organization of Arkansas.

The following are the instructions of President Lincoln to General Steele in reference to the reorganization of Arkansas:

Executive mansion, Washington, Jan. 20, 1864.
Major-General Steele:
Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas petition me that an election may be held in that State, at which to elect a Governor; that it be assumed at that election, and thenceforward, that the Constitution and laws of the State, as before the rebellion, are in full force, except that the Constitution is so modified as to declare that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; that the General Assembly may make such provisions for the freed people as shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom and provide for their education, and which may yet be construed as a temporary arrangement, suitable to their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless class; that said election shall be held on the twenty-eighth day of March, 1864, at all the usual places of the State, for all such voters as may attend for that purpose; that the voters attending at each place at eight o'clock in the morning of said day may choose judges and clerks of election for that purpose; that all persons qualified by said Constitution and laws and taking the oath presented in the President's proclamation of December eighth, 1864, either before or at the election, and none others, may be voters; that each set of judges and clerks may make returns directly to you, on or before the — day of — next; that, in all other respects, said election may be conducted according to said modified Constitution and laws; that, on the receipt of said returns, when five thousand four hundred and six votes shall have been cast, you can receive said votes, and ascertain all who shall thereby appear to have been elected; that, on the — of — next, all persons so appearing to have been elected, who shall appear before you at Little Rock, and take the oath, to be by you severally administered, to support the Constitution of the United States and modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas, and be declared by you qualified and empowered to immediately enter upon the duties of the offices to which they shall have been respectively elected.

You will please order an election to take place on the twenty-eighth of March, 1864, and returns to be made in fifteen days thereafter.

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