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57. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on restrictions on Rev. Samuel B. McPheeters


57. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln on restrictions on Rev. Samuel B. McPheeters


Letter from General Samuel R. Curtis to Abraham Lincoln stating his reasons for opposing further release of restrictions on Rev. Samuel McPheeters, a St. Louis minister and suspected Southern sympathizer. April 3, 1863. Copy.




Becki Plunkett and Stephen Vincent


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Original scanned at 600 dpi w/ sRGB color space.


State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines

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Special Collections: Samuel R. Curtis Papers

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Head Quarters[,] Department of the Mo. [Missouri], St[.] Louis[,] April 3d 1863 Lincoln[,] His Exc[ellen]cy Pres[iden]t A. Your excellency has modified the banishment of Revd[.] Saml. B. McPheters [sic] so as to permit him to return to Missouri and invited my attention to a clause in the order of the Provost Marshall which seemed to imply that we took charge of the clerical functions of the church. The order was rescinded so far as to avoid any such inference and no action was taken by the committee to whom it was supposed the order dedicated such irreverent power. The Reverend Gentleman has been allowed to remain in the city suspended from the exercise of any public functions on the ground of disloyalty. Recently some of his friends appealed to me for a release from all restraints which I assure your Excellency it would be my wish to do if I believed him loyal. I transmit a correspondence which I had with him in relation in relation [sic] to the fact of his loyalty supposing your Excellency might desire to know my action in the premises. He declines to answer my questions for reasons which do not seem to me sufficient. He says he has refused to respond to similar questions asked by others. I certainly did not originate mine from such as he had previously declined to answer. As another reason for refusing to answer to express his fear of subverting "the peace the purity and the spiritual power of the church." Your Excellency will see that my questions only seek to ascertain his loyalty and the idea of an assault on the divinity of Chirist's Church, etc. [?] as he apprehends quite to [sic] refined for my intellectual comprehension. If your Exc[ellen]cy can perceive any reasonable grounds for further clemency towards this man who very politely evades answers to questions which would either convict him of disloyalty or remove my misgivings; it will afford me great pleasure to receive your further instructions in the premises. I have the honor to remain Mr[.] President Your Exc[ellen]cy's Ob[e]d[ien]t Serv[an]t[,] S. R. Curtis[,] Maj. Genl.