AD, DLC-RTL. The peaceable conclusion of the matter seemed unlikely when Whiteside refused to convey Lincoln's condition of withdrawal of the first letter written by Shields. Under threat of impending arrest all parties proceeded to Alton. At this point John J. Hardin and Revel W. English intervened as mutual friends of Shields and Lincoln, in a letter addressed to Whiteside and Merryman, proposing that ``the whole difficulty be submitted to four or more gentlemen, toPage 302
be selected by yourselves, who shall consider the affair, and report thereupon for your consideration.''
In spite of further disagreement and recrimination among the ``friends'' of the two principals in the duel, Shields finally accepted Lincoln's ``explanation,'' through the arbitrament of seconds and mutual friends.
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