The New Era, Fort Smith, Arkansas

November 10, 1863

At a Mass Meeting of the “Unconditional Union” Men of Western Arkansas, held at Fort Smith, on the 30th day of October, 1863, F H Wolfe, Esquire, was called to the Chair, and C G Foster appointed Secretary.

The Chairman stated the object of the meeting to be, the adoption of Resolutions expressing the sentiments of the People of Western Arkansas in the present crisis of uor affairs, and the inauguration of such measures as the exigences of the times demands.

On motion, it was voted that the Chair appoint a Committee of thirteen persons to draft resolutions.

Whereupon the following named gentlemen were appointed such Committee, to wit:

V Dell, R D Swindell, J Snider, J R Smoot, D W Williams, J Whiteford, V V Milor, H L Holloman, Zach Taylor, A J Singleton, M A East, J H Wier, H Pape.

During the absence of the Committee, the meeting was addressed by the Chairman, Judge Milor and Parson Wright, of Johnson County. The remarks of the venerable Parson brought tears to the eyes of many of his auditors.

Valentine Dell, Esq., Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, reported the following, which were received with tremendous applause, and which, after being eloquently discussed in a speech by Colonel W F Cloud, were unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That we are in favor of prosecuting the war as long as there is a rebel found in arms against the United States.

Resolved, That we will, to the full extent of our abilities, support the Administration in all of its measures, past and present, to suppress the existing rebellion.

Resolved, That we recommend that delegates be chosen to a State Convention to be holden at Little Rock, for the purpose of reorganizing the State Government.

And Whereas, The institution of Slavery is an incubus upon the welfare and material interest of the State, therefore be it

Resolved, That Arkansas should take her place in the Union as a Free State, and that all laws tending to establish to perpetuate the institution of Slavery, should be abolished.

Resolved, That none but “Unconditional Union” men, known as such, be allowed to vote at any election, and that we recommend the establishment of Union Associations in every County of our State.

Resolved, That we will co-operate with all “Unconditional Union” men in the establishment of Law and Order in the State of Arkansas.

Resolved, That the People of the different Counties of our State be cordially invited to cooperate with us, and to adopt similar Resolutions.

Resolved, That the voting at the coming election be done viva voce.

At this stage of the proceedings, the Chairman, being indisposed, retired; when, on motion, G W Sisson, Esq., was appointed to fill the vacancy.

The Chairman announced that the next business in order, was the nomination of a candidate to represent Western Arkansas in the United States Congress.

The names of the different Counties in the State were then called, and representatives from twenty of them responded to the call.

Captain John Whiteford, of Fort Smith, proposed the name of Colonel Johnson, of Madison County, as a candidate for Congress.

Whereupon, on motion, Colonel James M Johnson, of the 1st Arkansas Infantry, was unanimously nominated to represent the People of Western Arkansas in the Congress of the United States, at its next session.

A Committee of three were appointed to wait upon Colonel Johnson and inform him of his nomination.

The fourth Monday of November next was recommended as the day on which to hold the Election for Representatives and for Delegates to the State Convention.

On motion, the proceedings of this meeting were ordered to be published in handbill form, for general circulation.

On motion, the meeting adjourned sine die.

G W Sisson, Chairman, C G Foster, Secretary.

On the same day, after the adjournment of the Mass Meeting of the People of Western Arkansas, the “Unconditional Union” men of Sebastian County assembled in Mass Meeting, at the same place, for the purpose of nominating Delegates to the State Convention.

The officers of the first meeting being residents of Sebastian County, were requested to officiate for this meeting also.

On motion, Judge C Milor and Dr. R D Swindell were nominated to represent Sebastian County in the State Convention to be held at Little Rock.

On motion, the People of the different counties were requested to hold Mass Meetings, and nominate Delegates to the State Convention.

On motion, the meeting adjourned. G W Sisson, Chairman, C G Foster, Secretary.

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