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 21 of 24)
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In 1795-6, General Wilkinson passing up the Ohio
river with his family, at the request of young Brack-
enridge's father, took him home in his own boat, to
Pittsburgh, he being then in his tenth year.

Here he remained at home with his step-mother,
who was very kind to him, for about three years,
taking lessons from his father at home until he was
thirteen years old.

In 1799 he went to the Town Academy for the
next two years, until 1801, when fifteen years old;
in 1803 commenced the study of Law in his father's
office, at 17 years, and then went to Jefferson Col-
lege, Philadelphia, for six months, boarding at Mrs.
Earl's with several young men attending the


In 1805-6 he was admitted to the bar, about
twenty years of age. After trying for a time
Baltimore, Bedford, Somerset, etc., he finally left
Pittsburgh for St. Louis in April, 1810, and arrived
at I^ew Madrid in May, and went by land to
Ste. Grenevieve.

He became acquainted with Messrs. Bradbury
and I^uttal, two English naturalists. Traveled
over much of the 'New Louisiana Territory,
ascended the Missouri River to Fort Mandan,
1700 miles, and wrote those essays for the Repub-
lican in 1810. In November he left for IS^ew
Orleans, where he arrived about the first of
January, 1811.

He spent two years in traveling over the new
States, part of the time as Deputy Attorney (gen-
eral, and part of the time as a District Judge. His
health becoming somewhat impaired, he resigned
and went north again in 1812-13.

He was in Baltimore in June 1816 and 17, en-
gaged in the publication of some of his works. In
1817-18 he made a voyage to South America by
order of the American government, in the U. S.
Frigate Congress, visiting Cuba and Mexico.

He came again to St. Louis about 1820 and was
here for several years at the time and after we
became a State.

He was a great friend of Pres't Jackson,
who appointed him U. S. Judge for the Dis-
trict of Florida. Subsequently he settled himself
on a seat named Tarentum, on the Alleghany


river, 21 miles above Pittsburgh. Here he ended
his days, after serving his constituents in the lower
house of Congress.


Three miles from the Mississippi River, at the
western end of Laclede Avenue, a prolongation of
Market Street, a little northwest of the Rock Spring
addition, and just east of the old Rock Spring
Catholic Cemetery, a large spring gushes out from
beneath the rocks, which underlie the rising ground
to the west.

This is the well-known "Rock Spring" of the
early days of St. Louis, which in the olden time
when far out in the country removed from the
Town, was celebrated for the beauty of its surround-
ings, and was for some years the most attractive
resort in our neighborhood, when beautifully shaded
by large native forest trees, and the scene of many
gay and happy occasions of the young people of the

This Spring was the principal source of the little
stream called in the French days of St. Louis,
" la petite riviere,'''' and which after meandering
through the valley of the Cul de Sac in a direction
a little south of east, fed by a few other smaller
ones, entered the Mississippi just below the gas
works at the foot of Convent Street.

This little stream, which in the early, days of the
village was clear and limpid furnishing the largest


portion of the water that then formed the beautiful
lake, known in its day as "Chouteau's pond," no
longer exists, its bed being superseded by the great
Mill Creek sewer, now completed from the river to
beyond Grand Avenue, to be continued eventually
to its source.


"Feanklin, Tennessee, Sept. 10, 1813.

" A difference which had been for some months
' brewing between General Jackson and myself,
' produced on Saturday, the 4th inst., in the Town
' of Nashville, the most outrageous affray ever wit-
' nessed in a civilized country.

" In communicating this affair to my friends and
' fellow- citizens, I limit myself to the statement of
' a few leading facts, the truth of which I am ready
' to establish by judicial proofs.

" 1st. That myself and my brother, Jesse Benton,
' arriving in ISTashville on the morning of the affray,
' and knowing of Genl. Jackson's threats, went
' and took our lodgings in a different house from
' the one in which he stayed, on purpose to avoid
' him.

" 2nd. That the General and some, of his friends
' came to the house where we had put up, and com-
' menced the attack by levelling a pistol at me,
' when I had no weapon drawn, and advancing
' upon me at a quick pace, without giving me time
' to draw one.

'^ 3rd. That seeing this, my brother fired upon


General Jackson, when he had got within eight or
ten feet of me.

'•'• 4:th. That four other pistols were fired in quick
succession, one by General Jackson at me, two by
me at the General, and one by Col. Coffee at me.
In the course of this firing General Jackson was
brought to the ground, but I received no hurt.
" 5tTi. That daggers were then drawn. Col.
Coffee and Mr. Alexander Donaldson made at me
and gave me five slight wounds. Captain Ham-
mond and Mr. Stockley Hays engaged my brother,
who being still weak from the effects of a severe
wound he had lately received in a duel, was not
able to resist two men. They got him down, and
while Capt. Hammond beat him on the head to
make him lay still, Mr. Hays attempted to stab
him, and wounded him in both arms as he lay ou
his back parrying the thrusts with his naked
hands. From this situation a generous-hearted
citizen of Nashville, Mr. Sumner, relieved him.
Before he came to the ground, my brother clapped
a pistol to the breast of Mr. Hays to blow him
through, but it missed fire.

" 6th. My own and my brother's pistols carried
two balls each; for it was our intention, if driven
to our arms, to have no child's play. The pistols
fired at me were so near, that the blaze of the
muzzle of one of them burnt the sleeve of my
coat, and the other aimed at my head at little
more than arm's length from it.
" 7th. Capt. Carroll was to have taken part in


"the affray, but was absent by the permission of
" General Jackson, as he has since proved by the
" General's certificate — a certificate which reflects
" I know not whether less honor upon the General
" or upon the Captain.

" StJi. That this attack was made upon me in the
" house where the Judge of the Disti'ict, Mr.
" Searcy, had his lodgings ! So little are the laws
"and its ministers respected! Nor has the civil
"authority yet taken cognizance of this horrible
" outrage.

' ' These facts are sufficient to fix the public
"opinion. For my own part I think it scandal-
" ous that such things should take place at
"any time, but particularly so at the present
' ' mornent, when the public service requires the aid
"of all its citizens. As for the name of courage,
' ' God forbid that I should ever attempt to gain
"it by becoming a bully.

"Those who know me know full well that I
"would give a thousand times more for the reput-
"ation of Croghan in defending his post, than I
"would for the reputation of all the duehsts
"and gladiators that ever appeared on the face
" of the earth. ,, Thomas Habt Benton,

" Lieut. Col. 39th 'Infantry.''


Daniel Boone born in Exeter Township, Philadel-
phia County,* Penn'a, in February, 1735, removed

* Afterwards in 1752 forming part of Berks County.


to North Carolina in 1759 when 24 years old, then
to Kentucky in 1774 at the age of 39, thence to
Upper Louisiana in 1797, when 62 years of age,
where he died on Sept. 26, 1820, immediately after
the organization of our State of Missouri, in his
eighty-sixth year.

Many Kentuckians came to St. Louis between the
years 1794 and 1803. Boone, in a manner having
been despoiled of his successive homes in Virginia
and Kentucky by the grasping disposition of man-
kind, and his own neglect to perfect his titles to the
improvements he had made, and being somewhat
disgusted with the cupidity of his fellowmen,
resolved, in his old agej to remove west of the
Mississippi, where his oldest living son, Dan'l M.
had established himself the year previously at
Femme Osage in the District of St. Charles, about
45 miles west of St. Louis. So in 1797, upon the
invitation of Lieut. Gov. Trudeau, who had prom-
ised him a grant of land, he came to St. Louis
where he was welcomed bv Grov'r Trudeau to Upper
Louisiana, and went to reside with his son Dan'l
M. at the village of Charette.

1798, Jan'y 24. Gov'r T. made him a grant of
1000 arpents of land in Femme Osage District;
which was .surveyed for him Jan'y 9, 1800. He
was appointed by Gov'r JDelassus July 11, 1800,
Syndic (Civil magistrate) and commandant of that
settlement of Femme Osage, which office he held
at the date of the transfer to the U. S. March 10,
1804, and was glad to relinquish when the new


U. S. government was set in operation by Gen'l
Harrison in October of that year, he then verg-
ing on 70 years and much broken by a hfe of
privation and exposure.

In 1804 he removed to his youngest son's
N"athan, with whom he resided until 1810, and
then to his Son in Law's Flanders Calloway at the
village of Charette some miles further west.

His wife Mrs. B. whom he had married in Penn'a
when both were young, died in 1813 at the age of
76 years, after which he broke down rapidly. He
was visited in 1818 by the Eev'd Mr. John M.
Peck, at his Son in Law's house at Charette.

His portrait was taken in the summer of 1820, by
Chester Harding, who went from St. Louis ex-
pressly for the purpose, the Rev'd J. E. Welch
supporting him.

He died a couple of months after this, on the
26th Sept., 1820, at the residence of his youngest
Son Major ISTathan Boone, near St. Charles, in the
86th year of his age.

Boone was a rnan of 5 feet 10 inches in height
and spare, his two oldest sons James and Israel had
been killed by Indians — he left 3 sons, Dan'l
Morgan, Jesse and Il^athan — four daughters, Mrs.
Callaway and three others.


In the year 1820 there came to our Town of St.
Louis, Chester Harding from Kentucky an embryo
portrait painter. He had been originally a house


and sign painter, with a natural talent for painting
fancy picture signs, in imitation of the then famous
Woodside of Philadelphia. He remained with us
for some time, during which he took the portraits
of exceeding an hundred persons more or less prom-
inent in our community, historically and iu private
life, amongst them that of Col. Dan'l Boone, then
on his last bed, a few months prior to his death in
1820, at the residence of his son Kathan Boone in
St. Charles County.

Leaving here he painted at the east for some
years, acquiring money and reputation in his pro-
fession, went to Europe, studied the great masters
in Rome and Florence, then lived for some years in
London, with the reputation of an artist, acquired
wealth at 25 guineas a portrait ; finally returned to
the United States, and made his home at Boston,
where he ended his days not many years back, in
the enjoyment of an ample competence. One of
his daughters, the widow of the late Judge John
M. Krum, one of our former City Mayors, deceased
but a few months back, has resided here for forty-
five years.

Chester Harding during his sojourn with us in
1820-21 associated with him as an assistant in his
studio, a young man, John J. Douberman, from
Philadelphia, who had served his time with Reuben
Mears, a fancy chair-painter of that City. This D.
was qiiite an artist in that line of painting, with a
happy faculty for catching the likeness of persons,
even more so than Harding himself, under whose


instructions he soon became an expert portrait
painter, although not up to Harding in his coloring,
in which particular H. excelled. Harding would
touch up the first attempts of Douberman, and had
he remained longer with us, this young man might
have risen to become his equal in that profession.
He died in St. Louis about the year 1830.


was born in Washington City, Dist. of Columbia,
Novr. 29, 1808. His ancestors came from ISTorfolk
County, England, in 1662, and settled in Charles
County, Maryland, near Port Tobacco on the

He came out west to Louisville in 1822, and to
St. Louis in 1830, and established himself in
business, which he carried on successfully for
many years.

In January, 1845, Mr. Barnes was married to
Miss Louise, third daughter of the late Julius
Demun, Esq.

He was for over twenty years a Director and
President of the old State Bank of Missouri, char-
tered in 1837.

Having acquired considerable property, Mr. B.
retired from active pursuits some years back, with
an ample fortune.

He is now in his eighty-first year, living alone
with his wife, they having no children.




was born at Cape Francois, San Domingo, Feb'y
14, 1766, and educated in France, and studied
Theology at the Seminary of St. Sulpice.

The Revolution drove him from France in 1792,
and he fled to Spain, whence he went to Baltimore
in the U. S., where he arrived in December, 1794.

In 1795 he became a priest of St. Sulpice, and 'in
1796 President of St. Mary's Ecclesiastical Semi-
nary, Baltimore, which in January, 1805, he raised
to the rank of a University.

In 1809 he established the Sisters of Charity
in Baltimore, and in 1811 founded what is still the
mother house of the order for the United States
at Emmetsburg, Maryland.

In October, 1812, he was appointed Apostolic
administrator of the Territory of Louisiana, and
arrived in New Orleans at the close of the year. In
1815 he went to Home, and was there consecrated
Bishop of Upper and Lower Louisiana on Sept.
24, 1815. On his return he brought with him five
priests and twenty-six young men Lazarists. He
arrived in the United States Sept. 14, 1817, and
proceeded to St. Thomas' Seminary at Bardstown,
Kentucky. He reached Ste. Genevieve Deer. 27,
1817, accompanied by Bishop Flaget, to select the
site for the Bishop's Episcopal residence and
Seminary, and on January 5, 1818, the two Bishops
reached St. Louis.


Here he established his Episcopal residence, and
continued until 1824. On March 25th he conse-
erated Father Rosatti Coadjutor Bishop of St.
Louis, and then went to New Orleans to reside.

In 1815 Bishop Dubourg had founded the Society
for the " Propagation of the Faith," and in 1818
St. Mary's College and Seminary at the Barrens in
Perry County. While in Europe in 1817, he had
applied to the Superior General of the Order of the
Sacred Heart, for a colony of Ladies to establish a
house of the order in St. Louis. In August, 1818,
the Ladies of the order arrived, also Sisters of
Loretto, and organized their schools at Florisant.

In 1820 the College of St. Louis attached to
the Cathedral was established. He also established
Missionary Schools among the Indians.

In June, 1826, Bishop Dubourg left IsTew Orleans
for Montauban in the South of France, to which
See he had been appointed Bishop, and in February,
1833, he was made Archbishop of Besancon, in
Franche Comte.

He died in Deer., 1833, aged near 68 years. His
will, executed Deer. 5, 1833, at Besancon, is
recorded here, as he held property which he gave to
the Church. He was a liberal tolerant gentleman, of
expanded views, and of untiring zeal and energy.

In 1818 there were seven Chapels and but four
Priests or Curates in Upper Louisiana. The
Chapels were St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Florisant,
and IS'ew Madrid, on this side of theEiver, and
Cahokia, Kaskaskia and Prairie du Eocher in



Fathers Mel, Pratte, Saulnier, Dahmen, De-
Andreis, Cellini, Eosatti, DelSTeckere, Acqueroni,
Ferrari, Tichitoli, Days and Jean-Jean officiated
at the Cathedral in St. Louis during Bishop
Dubourg's time. Father DeAndreis was Vicar
General and died in 1820. Father DeNeckere
became Bishop of JSTew Orleans, and died of yel-
low fever in 1833.

Revd. Joseph Rosatti was consecrated Bishop of
Tenagre and Coadjutor Mar. 25, 1824, and was
transferred to St. Louis March 27, 1827.


The corner-fltone of the first brick church was
laid by E. Revd. Bishop Dubourg on March 29,
1818, and was inaugurated on Sunday, January
9th, 1820, (Epiphany falling on Thursday, Jany. 6,)
by the Right Revd. Bishop, who preached on the
occasion in French and English. It was com-
menced when everything looked bright and aus-
picious for the future, business brisk, and money,
such as it was, in abundance.

The Commissioners of the Congregation selected
to carry on the work, were August and Pierre
Chouteau, Srs., Bernard Pratte and others. By
the time the building was covered in, late in 1819,
a revulsion in business had occurred, money had
become scarce, the 50 Independent Banks of Ken-
tucky and other kindred institutions in the West,
Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, etc., that had furnished
nearly all of our circulating medium, to use an
expression of the day, had all "busted up.^^ The


building was never finished interiorly, and our com-
missioners, who had made themselves personally
liable, were compelled to apply to the State
authorities for rehef in the premises, or foot the
bills out of their own pockets.

Accordingly upon the application of the three
above named gentlemen,

"An Act of the Legislature," for the relief of
" Auguste Chouteau and others, commissioners of
"the Eoman Catholic Church, approved Deer. 17,
" 1822," authorized them to sell at public sale by the
Sheriff, so much of the Church Block in "St.
" Louis, as was not used for Church and Cemetery
"purposes, as would be necessary to indemnify
" them for the amount they had advanced and had
* ' become responsible for in the erection of the
"Brick Church to the extent of $4,500."

Accordingly, at the request in writing of the said
commissioners, Auguste Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau
and Bernard Pratte, Sheriff John K. Walker sold
at public sale, Sept. 16, 1823, the south part of
the Block, being the Walnut Street front, as per
plat of division, made by the parties interested.*

Lot No. 1, 97 by 131 feet, with barn,

stable, etc., for $301

Lot 1^0. 2, 75 by 131 feet, with the orchard. 201

Lot INTo. 3, 70 by 150 feet, with the Pres-
bytery, kitchen and new brick house . . 501

Lot l^o. 4, 48 by 180 feet, with the College. 201

Total $1,204

' Recorded in Book M, page 48.


Father Niel, the President of the College, was
the purchaser, and on May 25, 1824, conveyed to
the three above named parties the same, except
the College building, which he reserved with three
feet of ground around the same.*

Bernard Pratte, Auguste Chouteau and Pierre
Chouteau re-conveyed to Bishop Joseph Rosatti,
July 1, 1828, for $4,748.28 with 6 per cent,
interest, the foregoing Church property .f

The old brick Church continued to be occupied as
such, until the completion of the new Stone one on
the Walnut Street front of the Block, which was
opened for divine service in October, 1834, when the
old one was abandoned to the lessees of the ground
on which it stood. ' It was then used as a warehouse
for the next six months until it was destroyed by
fire, on the night of April 6, 1835.


After the R. Rev'd Bishop Dubourg had laid the
corner stone of the first Brick Church in 1818, and
during the progress of its erection, he, assisted by
his Yicar the Rev'd Francis JS'iel and other Catho-
lics, took the incipient steps to establish a College,
on a small scale at first, suitable to the times and
circumstances, to be extended at a future period, as
might be found expedient or necessary.

With that view, and to aid the undertaking, the

* Book M, 50.
t Book 0, 339.


following document was drawn up, and received the
approval and signature of all the Catholic house-
holders of St. Louis, including a few, who not
themselves " Catholics," were allied to Catholic

We the undersigned, inhabitants and property
holders of the Town and parish of St. Louis,
Territory of Missouri, members of the Roman
Catholic religion, being informed that the Reverend
Francis Kiel, Vicar of this parish, by the authority
of the right Rev'd Bishop Guillaume Dubourg, has
undertaken to erect at his own cost, on a lot form-
ing a part of the yard of the Presbytery, a house
to be used for lodging the Clergy of our Church,
and the keeping of a school for the education of
youth; considering the various useful purposes of
this enterprise, and desiring to protect it from all
claims or molestation on the part of persons badly
informed, or badly disposed, as far as necessary, we
hereby express our entire approbation of the build-
ing of such a house, and inasmuch as in our said
capacities we might have a right to dispose of the
lot forming part of the Presbytery, we warrant
the free use thereof for the purpose hereinabove
mentioned to the clergy of our communion by
the authority of our Bishop.

Made and executed at St. Louis, Territory of
Missouri, the 30th October, 1819.*

Auguste Chouteau. Antoine Chenie.

Bernard Pratte. Jules Demun.

* Book I, page 35.



Jeremiah Connor.
Victoire Gratiot.

Silvestre Labbadie.
Gregoire Sarpy.
M. P. Leduc.
Silvestre Y. Papin.
Hypolite Papin.
Charles Bosseron.
Rene Paul.
Pierre Chouteau.
Pierre Provenchere.
L. L. Lemonde.
Joseph Bissonnet.
Gabriel Paul.
Thomas Brady.
John Braud.
Michael Tesson.
Francis C. Tesson.
Antoine Dangen.
Pierre Didier.
Joseph Bouju.
Peter Primm.
"Veuve Pescay.
Veuve Vincent Bouis.
John B. D. Belcour.
Hubert Guion.
Francois Robidoux.
Joseph Robidoux.
Joseph X Salois.

Vincent Guion.
Charles Billon.
Joseph Charless.
Philip Eocheblave.
Manuel Alva^rez.
Veuve Eug'e Alvarez.
Hyacinth Eenard.
Mel'e A. St. Cyr.
C. De Hodiamont.
John Bap. Bouvet.
Joseph Labbadie.
Joseph X Lacroix.
Jno. B. X Molaire.
Francois Derouin.
Jno. B. X Dumoulin.
Louis Brazeau.
Joseph X Philibert.
Joseph Vasquez.
Antoine Vasquez.
Pierre X Sabourin.
Jean Louis X Provenche.
Hyacinthe X Lecompt.
Louis Tesson Honore.
Veuve X Ortes.
Veuve X Marli.
Pierre X Duchouquette.
Alexandre Bellisime.
Francois Valois.
Batiste X Duchouquete.
Pierre X Barribeau.
Auguste X Alvarez.



Louis X Desire.
Pierre X Grueret.
Alexis X Lalande,
Michel X Bertrand.
Auguste X Guibor.
Antoine x Crevier.
Yeuve Benito x Yasquez
Antoine x Rencontre.
Jno. Bap. X Gagnon.
Laurent X Lanodiere.
Francois Lebeau.
Charles Le Guerrier.
Antoine x Dutremble.
David Monestes.
Felix X Fontaine.
David De Launay.
Joseph X Montague.
Paul X Primo.
Paul X Desjardine.
"Vincent X Guitarre.
Louis X Guitarre.
Jean x Latresse.
Joseph X Jovial.
Francois X La Rivierre.
Pierre x Belleville.
Francois X Caillou.
John B. Hortiz.
Veuve Ant. X Morin.
Francois x Bouche.

Francois x Clement.
Jno. B. Truteau.
Joseph X Leblond.
Henry Gratiot.
Antoine x Bissonnet.
John Little.
.John B. Sarpy.
Joseph X Leberge.
Charles x Leberge.
Francois x Fouche.
Venve x Simoneau.
Barthtelemy >c Arnaud.
Veuve Laquaisse.
Joseph Papin.
Veuve Dubreuil.
Pierre x Detailly.
Vital x Beaugenou.
Lambert x Lajoie, Jr.
Michel X Marly.
Veuve X Charleville.
Pierre Chouteau, Sr.
Antoine Soulard.
James G. Soulard.
Chas. D. Delassus.
Thomas McGuire.
Louis De Thiers.
Jno. B. Mathurin.
Francois X Ride.



The United States having selected the place for
what was then contemplated to be the chief point
for the concentration of the U. S. Military in the
West, and having purchased the title to the land
from the people of Carondelet.

On Tuesday, July 4, 1826, Colonel Talbot Cham-
bers with his four companies of the First Regiment
U. S. Infantry, the last of the U. S. Military
occupants of the old Post of Bellefontaine, estab-
lished by General Wilkinson in 1807, abandoned
the old place forever, and went down to the new
site, then heavily timbered, where they pitched
their tents, naming it " Cantonment Adams, ^'' after

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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 21 of 24)