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 2 of 24)
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acting Governor, appointing him Sheriff of St.
Louis County.

Thomas T. Crittenden, appointed by Governor
Howard, Attorney-General for the Territory.

Oyer and Terminer.

1811, Aug. 12. Special term.

Judges Lucas & Chouteau.

Trial of an Indian for the murder of a squaw ; he
was acquitted.


1811, I^ov. Term 4th.

Eobert Wash, Attorney-General.

Territory of Missouri.

1813, March, Monday 1st.

IS'ew court, William Christy presiding.

David V. Walker, Aug. P. Chouteau and George
Tompkins, associates.

Grand Jury — Horace Austin, foreman ; Julius
Demun, John McKnight, James Irwin, Francis M.
Benoit, Charles Davis, Peter Primm, Matthew


Kerr, Chas. Sanguinet, Joseph Bush, John A.
Bright, James Thomas, James Anderson, Benjamin
Quick, Saml. Solomon, Judathan Kendall — 16.

David Barton, Dep. Attorney-General.

Jno. W- Thompson, Sheriff.

July term ended 8th.

First Record Book, 322 pages, ended.


Presiding Justices. By whom appointed^

1. Charles Gratiot, Dec. 1804 Gov. Harrison,

2. Joseph Browne, March, 1806.. Gov. Wilkinson.

3. Silas Bent, June, 1807 Sec. Browne.

4. William Christy, March, 1813.Gov. Howard.

Prothonotaries .

1. Rufus Easton, Dec, 1804 Gov. Harrison.

2. Thos. F. Eiddick, March,1805.Gov. Harrison.

3. Andrew Steele, March, 1806. ..Gov. Wilkinson.

4. Wm. Christy, March, 1807.... Act. Go v. Browne.

5. Thos. F. Riddick, July, 1807.Act. Gov. Bates.


1. James Rankin, Dec, 1804 Gov. Harrison.

2. Josiah McLanahan, June, 1805. Gov. Harrison.

3. Jeremiah Connor, Sept., 1806.Gov. Wilkinson.

4. Alex. Mcl^air, I^ov.,1810 Act. Gov. Bates.

5. J. W. Thompson, July, 1813.. Gov. Clark.

6. Jos. C. Brown, April, 1819.... Gov. Clark.


Dep. Attorney- Gen' I. By whom appointed.

1. Bdw. Hempstead, Dec, 1804. .Gov. Harrison.

2. Rufus Easton, March, 1805.... Gov. Harrison.

3. Edw. Hempstead, June, 1805.Gov. Harrison.

4. Jas. L. Donaldson, Dec, 1805.Gov. Wilkinson.

5. Edw. Hempstead, May, 1809.. Gov. Lewis.

6. T. F. Crittenden, l*fov., 1810.Gov. Howard.

7. Eobert Wash, Nov., 1811 Act. Gov. Bates.

8. David Barton, March, 1813.... Act. Gov. Bates.

Coroner and Constable.

William Sullivan, Dec, 1804 Gov. Harrison.

The courts sat from Dec, 1804, to Dec, 1806, at
Yostis' tavern Main and Locust.
1806 to 18 on the hill.
In 1815, Sanguinet's on 2d Street.
In 1817, Mad. Dubreuil's house, 2d Street.


An act of the Territorial Legislature, June 18,
1808, " authorized the people of any village in the
" Territory, on petition of two-thirds of their inhab-
" itants to be incorporated into a Town on applica-
" tion to the proper court.''

On Saturday, July 28, 1808, they held an election
for five trustees for the Town, and elected the fol-
lowing gentlemen : Auguste Chouteau, Bernard
Pratte, Edward Hempstead, Peter Chouteau and
Alexander McNair.

In their eagerness to rank as a Town, they had
overlooked the fact that they had first to be incor-


f '

porated by the proper court, as the above election
took place but five weeks after the passage of the
act concerning Towns, doubtless supposing that
two-thirds of the inhabitants voting for Trustees
made them a town without any further steps ; at
any rate they discovered their mistake and rectified
it after the delay of a year.*

1809, Thursday, ISTov. 9. Common Pleas.

Petition of the inhabitants residing within the fol-
lowing limits, to be incorporated as the Town of St.
Louis : —

" Beginning at Antoine Roy's mill, on the bank
"of the Mississippi, thence running 60 arpents
" west, thence south on said line 60 arpents in the
' ' rear, until the same comes to the Barriere des
" Noyers, thence due south until it comes to the
" Sugar-loaf, thence due east to the Mississippi,
" thence by the Mississippi to the place of begin-
" ning."

The court having approved of the same, appointed
Wm. C. Carr and David Delaunay, commissioners,
to superintend the first election for Trustees, to take
place Monday, Dec. 4, 1809.


Notice to Travelers
of Ferry Rates at St. Louis to the east shore.

* Dec. 11th. A meeting held at Auguste Chouteau's of the Inhabi-
tants to correct their precipitancy in the matter.


One person, 25 cents ; a horse, 50 cents ; cattle,
each 50 cents ; a cart, 50 cents ; a wagon, |1.50 ;
lumber I2V2 cents a hundred.

1809, ISTov. 27. First Election of Town Trustees.

1810, Dec. 11. Auguste Chouteau, Town Treas-
urer's statement: —

Receipts from all sources $529.68

Total expenditures 399.15

Balance in Treasury . $130.53

1812, July 11. Receipt of the President's procla-
mation declaring war against England. A town
meeting held. Resolutions adopted declaring
their gratification thereat, and determination to
support the government.

Sept. 1. Completion of the new Market House on
the Place d'Armes with twelve stalls. A clerk
of the same appointed, to receive a salary of $104
per annum.

1818, June. First survey of the Town by Jos. C.
Brown, U. S. Deputy Surveyor.


In 1804 the river front presented a perpendicular
lime stone bluff, extending from the foot of what is
uow Poplar street, northwards to near Rocky
Branch, over two miles, on a level with Main street,
about forty feet above the ordinary stage of water
in the river. There was a narrow road on the sand
at the foot of the bluff, used as a tow path for cor-

ST. LOUIS IN 1804. 23

delling boats, which, m high stages of water, was
completely covered. The only road then and for
some years thereafter to get from our present Main
street to the river, was at our present Market street,
which had been roughly quarried out by the early
inhabitants to get to the river for water.

The principal road up from the Main street to the
hill in rear of the village, was our present Walnut
street, at that day called " Rue de la Tour," Tower
street, leading up from the Government Office, at
the southeast corner of Main and Walnut (now
Block 6), to the Fort and the soldiers' quarters on
the hill at Fourth street.

Main street was but 36 feet wide, and in some
places, where, in the early days, some of the lot
holders had not been very particular about a few
feet, and had built outside this line, there was not
more than 30 feet from house to house, and what
are now our cross streets, were then simply narrow
lanes left between the blocks, from 25 to, 30 feet
wide, upon which there were no houses until long
after our acquisition of the country.

Market street, going west from Main to the foot
of the hill, at 3rd, was but little used, it being low
at 2nd and 3rd, and in wet weather much water run-
ning down it, over the bare rock, which extended
for some distance west of Main street, the soil,
which originally covered it, having been washed off
in the course of years.

For the first few years after the transfer, there
was but little, if any, increase in either population
or houses, a few of the latter, generally log, were


now and then added to the place, as the gradual in-
crease of the population seemed to require.

Then came the war with England, in June, 1812,
which continued until the early part of the year
1815. During the three years' continuance of this
war, the General Government deemed it necessary
to keep up a pretty large force of men here, as a
protection to our frontier inhabitants, from inroads
on the part of the British and Indians, this post be-
ing then the westernmost military post of the United

These troops were cantoned at Belief ontaine, on
the Missouri, in this county, and the officers had
almost daily intercourse with the people of the place.
After the close of the war, and the consequent re-
duction of the army to the peace establishment,
many of these troops, both officers and men re-
mained in the west, and became permanent residents
of the country, thereby adding materially to the
population. Added to this was the revival of busi-
ness throughout the country, east and west, conse-
quent upon the peace, which gave an impetus to the
place, so that in the next few years, at the date of
my arrival here in 1818, the population was esti-
mated at three thousand souls.

During this period up to 1816, the Town was
confined to "the three original streets on the lower
plateau, but after the close of the war, the pros-
pective increase in the place induced Col. Chouteau
and Judge Lucas, who were the sole owners of the
land on the " MZ," back of the village, as it was
then called, in contradistinction to the old or lower

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Town, Col. C. owning south and Judge Lucas
north of Market street, their dividing line, to lay out
an addition to the Town, which was accordingly-
done in May, 1816, and the lots brought into mar-
ket. A number of them in the center near to Mar-
ket street were sold, and a few houses erected
thereon of brick and frame.

Prior to 1816, there were but two houses on the
" Hill," both stone ; one inside the old fortification,
completed in 1791, for the residence of the officers
of the few troops in the garrison — and the other,
built by Judge Lucas in 1812, for his residence, on
the ground now occupied by the Public School
Library, 7th and Chestnut.


built on the public square (Block 7) , was the first
one west of the Mississippi river. It was completed
and opened Sept. 1, 1812. Sixty-four feet long by
30 feet wide, with 12 stalls. Eent, from $10 to |30
per annum. A clerk of the Market appointed, to
be paid $104 per annum.

The first survey of the Town to ascertain the true
corners and fines of the blocks and streets, was
made in the year 1818, by Joseph C. Brown, U. S.
Deputy Surveyor, — previous to which period, every
person who inclosed his lot, or built a house, fixed
its location as best he could from the surroundings,
usually taking Laclede's Block as the initial point,
and as some of the early improvements were made a
long distance from this, and the place thickly cov-


ered with timber, it was almost impossible to be any-
way accurate. Mr. Brown found it a difficult and
tedious job, he was a long time at it, taking La-
clede's Block as his starting point, the lines of
which he first established, and then all the others
seriatim, driving cedar stakes in the precise center
of the intersections — making two plats of the same.


1812, June 4.

The territory heretofore called " Louisiana," shall
hereafter be called "Missouri."

The Governor shall be appointed by the Presi-
dent for 3 years, and must reside in the territory.

The Secretary for 4 years, also to reside in the

The General Assembly shall consist of the Gov-
ernor, Legislative Council and House of Represen-
tatives. The representatives to be elected by the
voters for two years, every 500 inhabitants to be en-
titled to one representative, until they number 25,
then the ratio to be regulated by the General As-
sembly. For the first election there shall be 13
elected, for which purpose the Governor shall divide
the territory into 13 precincts previous to October
1st next.

These first representatives will meet in St. Louis,
on the first Monday of December, 1812. They shall
nominate 18 persons to the President of the United
States, who will appoint nine of them as members
of the Legislative Council. And the Governor


shall convene the first General Assembly at St.
Louis, as soon as may be convenient after the ap-
pointment of the Legislative Council.

Afterwards the General Assembly shall meet
once iji each year at St. Louis, on the first Monday
of December.

A delegate to Congress shall be elected by the
people at the election for the Assembly.

This act to go into effect on the first Monday in
October, 1812.

Heistry Clay,
Speaker House of Sepresentatives.
Wm. H. CiiAwroRD,
PresH Senate pro tern.
Approved, James Madison,


1812, Dec. 5. The first meeting of the Territorial
House of Representatives, to select a Legislative
Council, was held at the house of Major Peter
Chouteau, Sr.

1813, July 3. Gen. Wm. Clark has accepted the
governorship of the territory. He arrived here
on Thursday last.

1813, July 17. Gov. Clark's proclamation for an

1814, Sept. 24. Gov. Clark's proclamation declar-
ing Eufus Baston elected delegate to Congress on
Sept. 17th. Easton 948, McIsTair 854, Hammond
744, Riddick 35. Total 2581 votes.


1816, Sept. 21. Gov. Clark's proclamation of re-
sult of election for delegate in Congress August
5th; for John Scott 1816, Eufus Easton 1801.
Scott's majority 15. Total votes 3617.
Easton contested Scott's right to the seat on the
score of fraud in the election. The committee on
elections in Congress, reported that " John Scott is
" not entitled to a seat in this house as delegate
"from the territory of Missouri," and "resolved
" that Eufus Easton is entitled to the seat." How-
ever the house decided that, " the election being
"illegally conducted, the seat of the delegate from
" that territory was vacant."

1817, Sept. 13. Election for delegate to Congress,
Aug. 4. John Scott 2406, Rufus Easton 2014.
Total 4420. Majority for Scott 392.

1819, Sept. 15. Proclamation of Frederick Bates,
Acting Governor, of the result of the election for
delegate to Congress August 6th.
John Scott 1824, Saml. Hammond 1105, Scatter-
ing 4. Total 2933. Scott's majority 715.


1813, July 28. First act regulating weights and

1813, July 29. A Sheriff to be appointed by the

Governor for each county for two years.


A census of the inhabitants to be taken October

1, 1813.

1813, Aug. 20. The old courts abolished, and three
judges ot' common pleas for each county, for four
years, three terms each year. For St. Louis, third
Mondays of February and September, and first
Monday in June, and a clerk for each court to be
Recorder, to take effect Sept. 1. Wm. Clark then

1813, Aug. 21. Bank of St. Louis incorporated.

1813, Aug. 21. County of Washingtoil established,
the 7th county.

1813, Dec. First Legislature in session.

1813, Dec. Boundaries of the seven counties de-

1814, Jan. 4. Elections to be held first Mondays of

1815, Jan. 4. A county court to be established for
each county except Arkansaw, to be composed of
the justices of the peace of said counties, four
terms each year, in St. Louis, second Monday of
March, June, September and January. A clerk
for each to be Recorder.

Two circuits established, St. Charles, St. Louis,
and Washington, the northern. Ste. Genevieve,
Cape Girardeau and IS'ew Madrid the southern,
three terms a year in St. Louis, the second Mondays
of April, July and October, a clerk in each county
of the circuit. The Superior Court hereafter but
one term a year in each county, in St. Louis first


Monday in February. Office of Attorney-General

abolished, and a circuit attorney for each circuit


1815, Jan. 21. An act for a survey of the town of

St. Louis and plat of the same.

Legislature sat in Sanguinet's old log house on
2nd street.
1815, Jan. 15. Lawrence County established.

1816, Jan. 21. Superior Court to hold two terms
annually in each circuit, in St. Louis, for Northern
Circuit, third Mondays March and September, a
clerk for each circuit to be appointed by the
judge. County courts abolished, their duties
transferred to the Circuit and Superior Courts.

1816, Jan. 23. Howard County established.

John Rice Jones, of Ste. Glenevieve, president of

the council.

1816, Jan. 25. An act for a jail in St. Louis

1816, April 29. Act of Congress, a member of the
Legislative council from each county for two
years, and the Legislature to meet once in two
years instead of annually.

1817, Feb. 1. Bank of Missouri incorporated, capi-
tal $250,000.
This Legislature sat in Madame Dubreuil's house

on Second Street.


1818, Dee . 17. The ratio for a representative was

increased to 700.
1818, Dec. 17. Eight new counties were organized

as follows : —

Jefferson, Franldin, Wayne, Lincoln, Madison,
Montgomery, Pike and Cooper, and Lawrence abol-
ished, increasing the counties to fifteen, and dividing
them into three circuits, as follows : —

Cooper, Howard, Montgomery, Lincoln and Pike,
the northwest ; St. Charles, Fi-anklin, "Washington,
Jefferson and St. Louis, the northern ; Ste. Gen-
evieve, Madison, "Wayne, T^ew Madrid and Cape
Girardeau, the southern.


Acts of Congress relating to Land claims, and
Public land in the district of Louisiana : —
1805, March 2. Provides for a Register or Re-
corder of Land titles, to commence his duties on
or before Sept. 1, 1805, and two Commissioners
to be appointed by the President, who, with the
Recorder, compose the Board of Land Commis-^
sioners, to commence on "or before Dec. 1, 1805 —
each to receive $2,000 in full, with a Clerk and
translator of the Spanish and French languages,.
to receive $600.

This Board was composed at first of Jno. B.C.
Lucas and Clement B. Penrose, commissioners, and
James Lowry Donaldson, Recorder, with Thos. F.
Riddick, Clerk. They entered upon their duties in
January, 1806, and in July, 1807, Donaldson re-


turned to Baltimore, and was succeeded as Recorder
by Frederick Bates.

They made report, from time to time, to the com-
missioner of the General Land Office, at Washing-
ton, of their confirmations, viz., from IS'o. 1, Dec.
S, 1808, to 'No. 1342, Jan. 15, 1812, accompanied by
a statement of all the claims rejected by the Board,
with the testimony and reasons in each case. Under
the act of March 3, 1811, the duties of the Board
ceased, and a "Register and Receiver were pro-
" vided for, when they should become necessary."
Congress extended the time to file claims, at differ-
ent periods, until June 13, 1812, when they passed
a final "Act" to allow "Actual Settlers^' to file
their claims with the Recorder until Dec. 1. He to
report to the General Land Ofiice, at Washington,
to be submitted to Congress.

April 29, 1816. Act of Congress to provide for a
Surveyor-General for Illinois and Missouri. Gen.
Wm. Rector was appointed, and in 1817, had St.
Louis County surveyed by a Wm. S. Pettus. In
1818, Alexander McN'air was appointed Register,
and Col. Samuel Hammond, Receiver, for the land
district of St. Louis.


1807. In the spring, Manuel Lisa, a trader, and
George Drouillard, who had crossed the Rocky
Mountains to the Pacific, with Lewis and Clark,
embarked in the Upper Missouri River fur trade
with the Indians, with an outfit of |16,000.


1808. Fort Osage was commenced early in this
year. Gen. Clark held a treaty with the Osages,
early in the summer, escorted to the JS^ation by
Capt. M. Wherry's troop of horse from St.
Charles, immediately after which Fort Osage was
built, and commanded in 1809, by Capt. Eli B,
Clemson, of the 1st Regiment, U. S. Infantry,
whose headquarters are at Bellefontaine under
Col. Bissell.

1808. In August, Gov. Lewis held a council in St.
Louis, with the Sacs and Foxes and lowas of the
upper Mississippi, when a tract of three miles
square, was ceded by them to the United States, at
the head of the lower rapids for the purpose, on
which Fort Madison was built the same fall, the
first fort built by the United States up the Miss-
issippi, Lieut. Kingsley in command.

1809. Early in this year, Wm. Clark, Manuel Lisa
and Silvestre Labadie formed a copartnership
under the title of the American Fur Company,
with a capital of $27,000 — |9,000 each, to trade
with the Indian tribes, in the upper Missouri to
the mountains.

1809, May 1. "Big swamp of Louisiana ! ! ! "
" What citizen is there, who is in the smallest de-
" gree alive to the prosperity of our happy country,.
" who does not feel indignant at the gross false-
" hoods and ignorant philippics published against
"the Jefferson administration, concerning the pur-
" chase of Louisiana? We would recommend these
" incendiary editors to the study of Geography, and
" they will discover that Louisiana possesses a soil


" equal to any other State or Territory in the Union,
" rich in minerals, numerous navigable rivers and
" many other advantages, place this desirable coun-
" try-far above the calumny of the miserable scrib-
" biers. Give us industrious planters, and in a
" short period Louisiana will become the bright star
" in the Federal constellation."

Prediction of Joseph Charless, Sr., in his Gazette
of above date.

Has it not been verified ?


1809, Aug. 16.

"Rogers, chief of the Meramec Shawnees, tells
"us that he received a summons from Waubeteth-
" theh, Delaware chief, and Thathaway, Shawanee
" chief, to attend a solemn council at their Town
" near Cape Girardeau, where the three Indians and
" a squaw were tried, she acquitted and the three
" men found guilty of murder. They were led out
"into a thick woods and tomahawked, then placed
" on an immense pile of wood and burnt to ashes,
" upwards of one hundred men assisting at the ex-
" ecution."

The Shawanees still occupied their village up the
Meramec, known to the whites as Rogers' Town,
after their then chief, they frequently visited St.
Louis, where they procured their supplies. They
were very friendly, many of them being partially
civilized. They were still there at the admis/sion in
1820. At same period other Shawanees and Dela-


wares had their village on the waters of the St.
Francis, in the district of ISTew Madrid.

South of these there are no others until you
reach the Choctaws and Cherokees from the east
side, Tennessee and Mississippi, in the White
river country.

Whole number of Indians in the Territory in.
1810 : Sacs, Foxes, Shawanees, Delawares, Chero-
kees and Choctaws, about 3,000 warriors, 15,000
souls. Osages of the Arkansas and Osage Rivers,
1,500 warriors, 5,000 souls.


"Died, in the island of Santa Margaretta, near
"the frontier of France, in Provence, ' Barnaba
" Chiaramonti ' (Pope Pius 7th), who was born
" in Cesene, Romania, April 14, 1742, created
"cardinal April, 1785, elected Pope at Venice,
"March 14, 1800, and crowned the 2l8t of the
"same month. Spanish papers say he was poi-
"soned, and that his successor as head of the
" church, is to be Cardinal Fesch, the uncle of
" Bonaparte."

GAZETTE, 1810.

1810. Carondelet, 218 souls. Florisant, 270.

Herculaneum, 200 souls ; 20 houses, 1 store, 1
blacksmith, 1 hatter, 2 shot towers, Maclot's
just below the Town, and Bates' just above
the Town. Several mills near the village.


1811, March 11. ''Wilson P. Hunt left St. Louis
" with 70 men in barges, on his expedition to the
"Columbia, where he is to meet the JNew York
"Fur Company's ship, which is now on its voyage
"around to the shores of the Pacific, accompa-
" nied by Messrs. Bradbury and I^uttall, Bnghsh
" Botanists, to gather new plants for that
" country."

To Mr. Joseph Charless, Editor of the Louisiana

Gazette :

Sir — I cannot but feel gratified by the flatter-
ing terms in which you speak of the hasty and im-
perfect essays of mine published in your paper, on
the topography of this territory; but I have read
with regret, in the same paragraph, a statement of
my having set out on a journey to the westward, with
the intention of visiting the city of Mexico, and of
publishing the result of my travels, on my return to
my own country. It is true, I have more than once
expressed an opinion that such a tour, in case of the
independence of the Mexican colonies, and of an
amicable intercourse between them and the United

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 2 of 24)