Sent to Governor Faubus of Arkansas
Seeking to Annex McDonald Territory
This letter was printed in entirety in several newspapers, and appears to have went out on the AP wire. It appeared in the Northwest Arkansas Times on Monday, April 10, 1961 and noted that Burleson had sent the letter to Faubus last weekend, which places the actual date around April 8th, unless it referred to the previous weekend, which would have been around the first of April. Burleson, who was from Fayetteville, said "If residents of McDonald County in Missouri really want to secede from the "Show-Me State," Arkansas will happy to have them join
"The Land of Opportunity".
Dear Governor Faubus:
Since it appears that a substantial number of the residents of McDonald County, Missouri are dissatisfied with their status as a part of State of Missouri, and since that County is contiguous to the Northern boundary of the State of Arkansas, I suggest that the State of Arkansas extend a warm invitation to the resident of McDonald County, Missouri to join with the people of Arkansas in annexation, proceedings whereby the State of Arkansas might annex that County of Missouri as a part of Arkansas. A press report of last Saturday indicated that some of the area residents had asked that legal steps be taken to secede from the State of Missouri.
In support of my suggestion, I point out the fact that there is substantial evidence that the State of Missouri has indicated a lack of interest in the affairs, problems and welfare of the residents of McDonald County, and there is a close bond, by reason of community of interests, between the residents of Northwest Arkansas and the residents of McDonald County, Missouri.
It is interesting to note that should Arkansas annex this Missouri county, it would to some extent equalize, or offset, the Missouri "boot-heel" in Southeast Missouri, which extends into Arkansas, by giving Arkansas a remarkably similar "boot-heel" in Northwest Arkansas which would extend into Missouri.
It would appear that annexation of this Missouri County by Arkansas would be of obvious benefit to the State of Arkansas, to the residents of the County, annexed, and to the State of Missouri. It seems that the State of Missouri considers this area "too commercial" for the extension of the State services, and I feel certain that Arkansas would be willing to cooperate with the people of that area in assisting its development just as it assists every other Arkansas County in healthy development.
Should Missouri continue to indicate its lack of interest in that area, it may well be possible to effectuate the annexation proceedings smoothly and quickly. And, who knows? -- perhaps some of the other contiguous counties might decide to join us.
Yours very truly,
David J. Burleson
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