Frederic Louis Billon.

Annals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period online

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Online LibraryFrederic Louis BillonAnnals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period → online text (page 1 of 24)
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in ils TERRI'POIlmiL DHP

F= L. Billon;











Cornell University

The original of tiiis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.



521 Market Street^ ST. LOUIS,
50.CX)0 Vels. Standard Books,


Fred'o L. Billon, at the age of 45.

Takbn at Philadelphia, 1846.



FROM 1804 TO 1821









4 74


'Press of Nixon-Jones Printinq Co,

912 Pine St., St. Louis Mo.


By an act of Congress of May 7, 1800, the
Z' ]!^orth west Territory " was divided into two sep-
arate governments.

That portion immediately west and adjoining
Pennsylvania, became the territory of Ohio, and the
balance of the country, extending west to the Missis-
sippi river, was formed into the new territory of In-

On May 13, G-en. "Wm. Henry Harrison, of Vir-
ginia, was appointed the Governor, and John Gibson,
of Pennsylvania, Secretary of the new territory —
and shortly afterwards Wm. Clark, Henry Vander-
berg and John Griffin, Territorial Judges, who held
the first term of their court at Vincennes, on March
3, 1801.

The population of the new Territory, embracing all
the country now Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wis-
consin was 4,875, about one-half in the settlements
in the American bottom on the Mississippi, and the
balance on the Ohio, Illinois, Wabash and other

The Second census of the United States (that of

1800) , had been taken only the year previously, ex-



hibiting a population of 5,305,366 souls in the thert
sixteen States and three territories of the Union, of
which over 40,000 were included within the bound-
aries of that portion of the Northwest Territory, which
became the State of Ohio, leaving, as aforesaid,
4,875 in the new territory of Indiana.

At the date of our purchase of Louisiana from
France in 1803, Ohio had just adopted a State con-
stitution, and been admitted into the Federal Union
as the seventeenth State.

The large mass of the American people, at that
day, occupying the old States on the Atlantic borders
knew but little of the country west of the Alleghany
Mountains. Up to this period there had been no in-
tercourse between the peoples of the two sections.
Separated by a wilderness of hundreds of miles, un-
inhabited except by a few roving tribes of savages,
an occasional straggler from the east in search of
adventure, had found his way to the shores of the
Mississippi, but very few, if any, had ever retraced
his steps. But under the change of ownership, a
new era was now to commence, destined in but a
few brief years, to transform this wilderness into a
vast garden, teeming with a busy hive of humanity >
and abounding in all the essentials that conduce to-
the happiness and pleasure of mankind.



After the transfer of Upper Louisiana to Captain
Stoddard on March 10, 1804, he remained in tempo-
rary command as Governor until Sept. 30, 1804,
with instructions to make little, if any, change in
the modus operandi of administering the govern-
ment, until Congress would pass the laws necessary
for its future government.

Congress then attached it temporarily to the Ter-
ritory of Indiana, which then extended to the east
bank of the Mississippi River, with authority and in-
structions to the Governor and Judges of said
Territory, to enact such laws for. its immediate gov-
ernment as they might find necessary.

Wm. Henry Harrison, then Governor, and
Thomas Terry Davis, Henry Yanderberg and John
GriflSn, Judges of Indiana, enacted at Yincennes,
the seat of government of Indiana, a number of
laws for the district of Louisiana — 1804, Oct. 1.
Five districts were established, St. Charles, St.
Louis, St. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and New



Courts of Quarter Sessions were established for
each district, the terms for the St. Louis district to
be held in St. Louis on the third Tuesdays of June,
September, December and March.

A Sheriff for each of the five distiicts of Louisi-
ana, and also a Recorder for each, to be appointed
by the Governor.


1806, May 6, by James Wilkinson, Governor, and
John B. C. Lucas and Return J. Meigs, Jr.,

"An act for an Attorney-General for the Territory
" to be appointed by the Governor."

1806, June 27. "Arkansas district cut off from the
" southwest part of New Madrid, and a general
" court established, to set twice a year in St.
"Louis, in May and October."

By Joseph Browne, Secretary of the Territory,
and John B. C. Lucas and Otho Strader, two of the
1806, Oct. 28. "An act for the appointment of a

" Clerk of the General Court." *

* This was a Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, which sat in St.
Louis twice a year.


By Frederick Bates, Secretary of the Territory,
and Jno. B. C. Lucas and Otho Strader, Judges.
1807, July 3. "An act establishing courts," etc.

Five Judges of the Common Pleas and Quarter
Sessions to be appointed by the Governor for each
district for four years. Two to be a quorum to hold
court. Three terms annually in each district. In
St. Loviis on the first Mondays of March, July and

A court of Oyer and Terminer and general jail
delivery established, to consist of one of the Judges
of the General Court and the Common Pleas Judges
of the respective district. Quarter Sessions to have
jurisdiction of criminal eases, except those punish-
able by death, which can be tried only in the Oyer
and Terminer by one of the General Court Judges.

One clerk to be appointed by the Governor for
each district for the three courts of that district.

The Supreme Court of record, styled the " Gen-
eral Court," shall sit in St. Louis the first Monday
of May and October.
1807, July 4. An act to divide districts into

townships by commissioners, prior to September

1st next.

By Meriwether Lewis, Governor, and John B. C.
Lucas and Otho Strader, Judges, being the Legisla-

1808, June 18. "An act concerning Towns."
Two-thirds of the voters in any of the villages,
applying therefor, can be incorporated by the


Court of Common Pleas, the eom-t to appoint two

commissioners to superintend the first election of

five trustees to serve one year.

By the same.
1808, June 20. "An act to lay~ out a road froin St.

"Louis to St. Genevieve, thence to Cape Girar-

" dead, thence to ISTew Madrid." *

The laws of the Territory of ''Louisiana,'' were
first printed in the year 1808, by Mr. Charless, Sr.,
shortly after he had established his printing busi-
ness in St. Louis. It is a book of three hundred
and seventy-two pages, embracing all the laws of
the Territory to the close of the year 1808, and cer-
tified to by Frederick Bates, Secretary.

The first book printed in St. Louis.


1803, April 30. Treaty of cession at Paris.
1803, July 31. Eatification of the Treaty.
1803, Dec. 20. Transfer of the lower part of the

country at New Orleans to Gen. "Wilkinson and

Governor C. C. Claiborne.
1801, March 10. Transfer of the upper part of the

country at St. Louis to Capt. Amos Stoddard, U.

S. Army. Capt. -Stoddard was instructed by

President Jefferson to make no change in the

♦ Some ol the enactments of tMs period are signed by John Coburn,
the third Judge.


modus operandi, but to administer the govern-
ment, as his predecessors had done, under the
Spanish laws.

1803, March 26. An act of Congress, dividing
Louisiana by the 33rd degree of latitude, the
southern portion to be called the ' ' District of
N^ew Orleans," and the northern portion " Dis-
trict of Louisiana" — to be attached to Indiana
Territory, whose Judges shall hold two courts a
year at St. Louis, and enact such laws for its im-
mediate government as they may find necessary.
Accordingly —

Wm. Henry Harrison, Grovernor, and Thos.
Terry Davis, Henry Vanderburgh and John
Griffin, Judges of Indiana, at Vincennes, enacted
a number of laws for the government of upper
Louisiana, and on October 1, arrived at St. Louis,
and put them in operation. They established five
districts, St. Charles, St. Louis, St. Genevieve,
Cape Girardeau and New Madrid. A court of
Quarter Sessions, to hold four terms each year,
with a Sheriff and Recorder for each District.
The court at St. Louis, the 3rd Tuesdays of June,
September, December and March.

1805, March 3. An act of Congress changing the
name of " District of Louisiana" to "Louisi-
ana Territory," with a Governor for 3 years,
and Secretary for 4 years. The legislative power
to be the Governor and three Judges appointed
for four years, to go into effect July 4, 1805, on
which day Gen. James "WilWnson, Governor, and


Joseph Browne, first Secretary, entered upon the

discharge of theh' duties.
1806. By Jas. Wilkinson, Governor, and J, B. C.

Lucas and E. J. Meigs, Judges.
1806, May 6. "An act for an Attorney-General

" for the Territory."
1806, June 27. "An act establishing the district of

"Arkansaw from the southwest part of IS'ew

" Madrid, and for a General Court to sit twice a

"year in St. Louis, in May and October."

1806, Oct. 28. An act for a Clerk of the General

1807. By Frederick Bates, Secretary and acting
Governor, and Judges Lucas and Strader, the

1807, July 3. An act regulating the Courts.

' ' Judges of the Common Pleas to be appointed
" by the Governor for four years, two a quorum
" for business, three terms a year. In St. Louis
"the first Mondays of March, July and ]!^ovem-

"And a court of Oyer and Terminer (criminal),
"to consist of the Judges of the General Court,
' ' and the Common Pleas Judges of the respective
" districts, when the punishment involves life or
" death. Other criminal cases can be tried in the
" Quarter Sessions, with a clerk for each district."

A Supreme Court, called General Court, shall
sit in St. Louis the first Mondays of May and

Jos. V. Gamier was appointed this Clerk.


1807, July 4. "An act to divide the districts into
"Townships by commissioners, by September

1808. By Meriwether Lewis, Governor, and Jno.
B. C. Lucas and Otho Strader, Judges, the

1808, June 18. " An act concerning Towns."

" Two-thirds of the voters in any village can be

" incorporated by the Court of Common Pleas,"

1808, June 20. "An act to lay out a road from St.

" Louis to Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and

" 'Ne-w Madrid" by the same, with John Coburn,

3rd Judge.
1808, Dec. The first book printed in St. Louis,

was " The Laws of the Territory of Louisiana," a

book of 372 pages, by Frederick Bates ; printed

by Joseph Charless, Sr.


1807, July. Gov. M. Lewis arrived and assumed
the government.

1808, Oct. 5. His proclamation dividing the [N'ew
Madrid District into two parts, it being too large ;
from the Mississippi river opposite the Second
Bluff, running west indefinitely, the south part to
the 33rd degree, to be called Arkansas.

1809, Oct. Office of Governor vacant by the sui-
cide of Gov. M. Lewis on his route to Washing
ton City.


1810, April 17. Appointment of Benjamin How-
ard, member of Congress from Lexington, to be
Governor of Louisiana Territory.

1810, Sept. 17. Arrival of the new Governor at St.

1810, Oct. 31. Thos. T. Crittenden, of St. Gene-
vieve, appointed Attorney-General of the Terri-
tory vice Hempstead resigned.

1811, Sept. 19. Gen. Wm. Clark re-appointed
Brigadier-General of the militia of the Territory.

1812, June 4. Act of Congress creating Missouri a
Territory of the second grade.

1812, Oct. 1. Governor Howard's proclamation
dividing the Territory into five counties.

St. Charles, north of the Missouri river, to have
two representatives in the assembly.

St. Louis county, from the Missouri to Platin,
four ; St. Genevieve, from the Platin to Apple
creek, three; Cape Girardeau to the old line of
]Srew Madrid, two ; JSTew Madrid to the 33rd de-
gree to have two. Total, 13. Election to be
held on the 2nd Monday of ISTovember. Assem-
bly to meet in St. Louis on the first Monday of
December, 1812.

1812, N'ov. 9. Edward Hempstead elected the first
delegate to Congress from Missouri Territory.

The first Courts held in Upper Louisiana from
a book labelled —

"Kecord of Oyer and Terminer, 1804 to 1813,"
322 pages.




"At a court of General Quarter Sessions of the
peace, began and holden at the house of Emilien
Yousti in the town of St. Louis, in and for the dis-
trict of St. Louis, in the district of Louisiana, on the
third Tuesday in December (18tli), one thousand
eight hundred and four, present : —

Auguste Chouteau, Jacques Glamorgan, David
Delaunay and James Mackay, Judges. James
RanMn, Sheriff of the said district, returned the fol-
lowing list of Grand Jurors, to wit, Antoine Soulard,
Bernard Pratte, Thos. F. Kiddick, Wilson Hunt,
Jacob Harry, Joseph Brasau, Antoine Vincent, Sil-
vestre Labbadie, Joseph M. Papin, Jean Baptiste
Trudeau, Francis M. Benoit, Boyd Denny, Pierre
Didier, Calvin Adams, Emilien Yousti, Benito
Basquez, Giome Hebert, Patrick Lee, Yacinte Eg-
lize, Andre Andreville, Hyacinthe St. Cyr, Joseph
Hortiz, Louis Brazeau and Joseph Perkins, 24, who
being severally called, there were absent four, Joseph
Brazeau, Jno. B. Trudeau, F. M. Benoit and Pat-
rick Lee — court adjourned.

Wednesday, Dec. 19th.
Present as yesterday, with others. Court ap-
pointed Edward Hempstead Deputy Attorney-Gen-
eral for the time, and for Constables, Wm. SulKvan,
St. Louis; John E. Allen, Coldwater; Gabriel


Long, St. Andrews; Matthew Lord, Merrimack,
and Charles Desjarlais, Florisant, who were sworn.

Thuesdat, Dec. 20th.

Hon. Charles Gratiot presiding, with same asso-

The four absent Grand Jurors were fined $5 each.

The court rented from Jacques Glamorgan a house
near his dwelling, for a prison, at $15 per month,
from ISTov. 20th last, and expended |133.40 in re-
pairs on the house.

John Boly licensed to keep a ferry across the
Merrimack for three years, and the court established
the following ferry rates : For a man 25 cents, horse
25 cents, cart and team 50 cents, wagon and team
fl, yoke of oxen 25 cents, cow and calf 25 cents,
and the following rates over the Mississippi and
Missouri, man 25 cents, man and horse 62 V2 cents,
wagon $1, each horse 50 cents, cart and horse $1.50,
first cow or ox 50 cents, additional ones 25 cents
each, hogs and sheep 12V2 each, merchandise 12 Vj
cents 100 lbs., marketing 6V4. Constables' fees,
serving a writ 37V2 cents, a summons 25 cents, an
execution 25 cents — end of the first term.

(Signed) Chaeles Gratiot.

RiiFUS Eastok, Prothonotary .

1805, March Term, Tuesday 19th.

Charles Gratiot presiding, and eight associates, in
addition to the former, Richard Caulk, James Eich-


ardson, and John Allen from the country, and Alex-
ander McNair from St. Louis.

Rufus Easton presented to the court his commis-
sion as Attorney-General for the district.

Jno. B. Belan was licensed to keep a ferry across
the Missouri at St. Charles, same ferry rates allowed
him as before established.
1805, April 15. A special session of the court to

regulate taxes and licenses.

Each ferry across the Mississippi to pay $10.
Across the Missouri at St. Charles $10, at Hens-
ley's, six miles above St. Charfes, $5. Billiard
tables, $100 each. Taverns $25. Taxes can be
paid in shaven deer-sldns, at the rate of three
pounds to the dollar (iJSVs cents) from October to
April, after that time in cash.

Monday, April 29th, special session.

Calvin Adams, Andre Andreville and "Wm. Sulli-
van, of St. Louis, were licensed to keep tavern.

James Rankin, Sheriff, was fined $6.33 for inso-
lence and contempt of court.

1805, June Term, Tuesday 18th.

Charles Gratiot, presiding, and associates.

Josiah McLanahan presented his commission as
Sheriff, and Edward Hempstead appointed Deputy

1805, Sept. Term, Tuesday, 17th.

Charles Gratiot and associates — nothing especial.


1806, March Term, Tuesday 18th.

Joseph Browne presiding, and associates.

A commission from his excellency, James Wilkin-
son, Governor, appointing Joseph Browne, Esq.,
first Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, in and
for the District of St. Louis, was read and ordered
to be filed.

Andrew Steele presented to the court a commis-
sion from Governor Wilkinson, appointing him Pro-
thonotary of the court of Common Pleas, in and for
the district of Louisiana, read and ordered to be

1806, Special Session, April 4.

Permission requested and obtained from Governor
Wilkinson, to use the military guard house in the
fort on the hill as a jail until one can be built.

1806, Aug. 29. Gauche Becquet died suddenly.
Wm. Sullivan, Coroner, held an inquest on his
body. Verdict, " died a natural death."

1806, Sept. Term, Tuesday 17th.

Present, Glamorgan, Christy and Pratte.

" Jeremiah Connor, Sheriff, presents to the court
" that the jail in its present condition is insufficient
" to secure the safety of prisoners confined in it, and
" prays the court to take such steps in the premises
" as the necessity of the case may require."

The court thereupon made an order " that the offi-
" cer commanding the militia of the district be re-


quested to furnish a guard for the security of the
prisoners until such time as the jail can be made

1806, December Term, Tuesday, 16th.

Court ordered the houses in the garrison to be re-
paired for the use of the courts, and a stove and
wood for the jail to be furnished.

1807, March Term, Tuesday 17th.'

Wm. Christy appointed clerk of the Court of
Quarter Sessions, by Joseph Browne, Secretary,
acting Governor.

1807, June Term, Tuesday 13th.

Silas Bent presented his commission from Frede-
rick Bates, Secretary and Acting Governor, ap-
pointing him first Justice of the Common Pleas.*
1807, July 1. The courts were reorganized. Silas
Bent, first Justice ; Chouteau, Pratte and La-
beaume, associates, were all newly commissioned,
and Thomas F. Kiddick, Clerk, and Jeremiah
Connor, Sheriff.

The commissioners of rates and levies for the dis-
trict of St. Louis, made their report August 6,
1807, of the division of the district into four Town-


* This is ttie first official act of P. Bates as Secretary on record.


ships and the number of taxable inhabitants in each
Township; St. Louis, 257; St. Ferdinand, 205;
Bonhomme, 126; and Joachim, 141. Total, 729.

Bee:nard Prattb, ) Qomrs.

Thos. F. Eibdiok, f

The sessions of the Court of Common Pleas were
now changed to three terms a year, on the first
Mondays of iN^ovember, March and July.

1807, IS'ovember term Monday 1st.

Silas Bent, Augustus Chouteau, Bernard Pratte
and Louis Labeaume presented their new commis-
sions from M. Lewis, the new Governor, and took
their seats.

1808. Nothing special occurred this year in the

Common Pleas.

In the Oyer and Terminer, Jno. B.C. Lucas pre-
sided, with Aug. Chouteau, associate.

1809. Common Pleas, March term, Monday 6th.

The Secretary of the Territory returned into court
a plat of the road ordered by the act for laying out a
road from St. Louis to Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girar-
deau and ISTew Madrid. The court approved the
same, and ordered the road to be cut out.


1809. Oyer and Terminer, special term, May 29.
Jno, B. C. Lncas, presiding, and Silas Bent,
associate. Edward Hempstead presented his
commission from Gov. Merriwether Lewis, ap-
pointing him Attorney-General of the Territory
of Louisiana.

1809. Special term, August 14th.

Jno. B.C. Lucas presiding, and Silas Bent and

Aug. Chouteau, associates.

" On Monday, June 26, 1809, at Long's Mill, in
"the Township of Bonhomme, in the County of
" St. Louie, John Long, Jr., shot, with a rifle, and
" killed one George Gordon, the stepfather of
" Long.

"At a special term of the ' Oyer and Terminer,'
"held at St. Louis, August 14, 1809, he was in-
" dieted by the Grand Jury for murder in the first
" degree, and on Monday, the 21st, he was tried for
"the murder, found guilty, and sentenced to be
" hanged until dead, on Saturday, September 16,
" 1809, between the hovirs of 11 o'clock a. m. and 3
" o'clock p. m., which sentence was duly executed."

The Jury that convicted him were : John Brown
(of Coldwater), foreman; Daniel Hodges, Alexis
Lalande,* Antoine Barada, James Glamorgan,
Michel Honore, Benjamin Wilkinson, Thomas R.
Musick, Joseph Moore, Henry M. Shreve, Peter
Primm and Joseph Philipson.

* Alexis. Lalande subsequently made oath that he neither spoke nor
understood a word of English.


1809, June 1. Oyer and Terminer.

Judsre Jno. B. C. Lucas and Silas Bent.

A case against one Samuel IS^ugent for assault,
came on for trial, but owing to the absence of one
IS'ancy West, an important witness, the trial was de-
ferred until the following day, and the Sheriff or-
dered to bring in the witness on an attachment. On
the next day the Sheriff had his witness in court to
purge herself of the contempt, when the following
colloquy took place between the court and the wit-
ness : —

Question. " What was your reason for disobeying
"the summons served on you yesterday? "

Answer. " I thought that having appeared once
" before the Grand Jury, and given in my testi-
" mony, that I needn't appear any more."

Ques. " Did you know, or did you not know, the
" contents of that summons? "

Ans. " I did not know the contents, and thought
" once appearing was enough."

Ques. "Did the Sheriff inform you of the con-
" tents of the summons? '''

Ans. " The Sheriff served a summons on me."

Ques. "Did any person advise you not to ap-
pear? "

Ans. "No person advised me. When I went
" away from Mr. Kinney's, Mrs. Kinney asked me
" where I was going. I said I was going to Mr.
" Webster's, but I didn't go to Mr. Webster's, but
" went away to some other place, and didn't return
" until evening."

Ques. " Did you, or did you not, hear that Sam-
" uel IS'ugent was to be tried on yesterday for a


" capital crime, and thcxt your testimony would be

Ans. " I did hear that Samuel Nugent was to be

Ques. " On what day did you hear that said ]S"u-
" gent was to be tried? "
Ans. " I don't know."

Ques. " Did you or did you not know that your
" testimony would be wanted when said Nugent
" should be tried? "

Ans. "I had given in my testimony once, and I
" thought that that was enough."

Ques. " Did you or did you not go away from
" Mr. Kinney's yesterday morning with an intention
" of avoiding the process of the court? "

Ans. " If I had had an intention of keeping out of
' ' the way I would not have come back in the evening. ' '
The court for the present postponed further ex-
amination, and ordered that Nancy West remain in
the custody of the Sheriff. The trial of Nugent
then proceeded, and he being found not guilty by
the jury was discharged.

Nancy West was then called up a second time,
and then saying, " she did not go away from Mr.
Kinney's to avoid the process, of the court, that
she intended to return this day if her testimony
should be wanted, that she had never been a wit-
ness before in a court of justice, and therefore felt
an embarrassment.''
Therefore the court discharged her from the at-

JiSro. B. C- LuoAS, Presiding Justice.



'1810, November 5. Common Pleas.

Alexander McKair presented to the court his
commission from Frederick Bates, Secretary and

Online LibraryFrederic Louis BillonAnnals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period → online text (page 1 of 24)