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Price-Harney Agreement (Transcript)

May 21, 1861

Concluded on May 21, 1861, the Price-Harney Agreement was an unsuccessful attempt to maintain peace in Missouri at the onset of the American Civil War.

SAINT LOUIS, May 21, 1861.

The undersigned, officers of the United States Government and of the government of the State of Missouri, for the purpose of removing misapprehensions and allaying public excitement, deem it proper to declare publicly that they have this day had a personal interview in this city, in which it has been mutually understood, without the semblance of dissent on either part, that each of them has no other than a common object equably interesting and important to every citizen of Missouri-that of restoring peace and good order to the people of the State in subordination to the laws of the General and State Governments. It being thus understood, there seems no reason why every citizen should not confide in the proper officers of the General and State Governments to restore quiet, and, as among the best means of offering no counter influences, we mutually recommend to all persons to respect each other’s rights throughout the State, making no attempt to exercise unauthorized powers, as it is the determination of the proper authorities to suppress all unlawful proceedings, which can only disturb the public peace.

General Price, having by commission full authority over the militia of the State of Missouri, undertakes, with the sanction over the militia of the State, already declared, to direct the whole power of the State officers to maintain order within the State among the people thereof, and General Harney publicly declares that, this object being thus assured, he can have no occasion, as he has no wish, to make military movements, which might otherwise create excitements and jealousies which he most earnestly desires to avoid.

We, the undersigned, do therefore mutually enjoin upon the people of the State to attend to their civil business of whatsoever sort it may be, and it is to be hoped that the unquiet elements which have threatened so seriously to disturb the public peace may soon subside and be remembered only to be deplored.

Major-General Missouri State Guard.

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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