Weston Arthur Goodspeed.

The province and the states, a history of the province of Louisiana under France and Spain, and of the territories and states of the United States formed therefrom (Volume 4) online

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of its members in the border sla\e states began to call themselves
Americans, or Know Nothings, while the great body of the
Whigs in the slave states farther south joined the Democratic
party either then or soon afterward. Most of the men whom
JNIissouri elected to congress in 1854 called themselves Americans.

Atchison's term in the senate exi)ired in Alarch, 1855, and not-
withstantling his |)rominence both in Washington and in the
home affairs of his state, he failed of re-election, nor did the legis-
lature, after repeated attempts, succeeil in electing anybody in
1855, '^'''*^1 foi" ^^'^'^ years Missouri had only one representative in
the senate, Henry S. Geyer, \\hose term was to end in 1857.
After a service of twelve years in the senate, during which he
was the most powerful man in Missouri next to Benton, and in
the latter part of which time he led Benton in influence, Atchison
stepped down into private life in 1855. He retired to his farm
in Platte county, continued his interest in the Kansas raids until
the free slate men in the territory gained the uji])er hand perma-
nently, was in .sympathy with the confeileracy during the civil
war, and died in l^^8^).

The election cjf 1856 was of peculiar interest in Missouri, as it
was in many ol the other states. The llenton schism cut off many
votes from the Missomi Democracy, but not enough to emlanger
its supreni.icy in the .slate. l'\)r presiilent the contest in Missouri
^\as between lUichanan, the national Democratic cantlidate, and
Ex-President iMllmore, the former W^hig, who was now the can-
didate of the American party. That organization had dropped
the designation Know Nothing by this time all over the country.
A new national party, the Republican, which had its rise in the
repeal of the Missouri compromise in 1854, appeared in the can-
vass of 1856, with John C bTemont, the pathllnder, as its presi-
dential candidate. Ftjr two reasons the Republican party had
attractions for the Benton section of the Democrats. The cardinal
principle of its creed was the Benton doctrine of the exclusion
of slavery from the territories. Its candidate, I'^remont, \vas Ben-
ton's son in law, having married )essir I'unton a dozen years
earlier.

Ne', nhrless IVnlon. allhoii!;h he h.id been out of harniouv witii
(•ver\ ,)Mii,MTalu piv.sideiil mikt \ an lUiien, and was decidedly
iiostic. to I'ierce, the president of lb;il day, p.irtienl.irly on aeioinit



?H



< ':• MISSiU'RI'S STRUGGLE FOR KAMS.IS. \2J

of Iiis leaning toward the pro-slavery faction of his i)arty in the
Kansas struggle, refused to support the Repuhlicans. lie tlid this
cliielly because he believed — and truly, of course, as the Lincoln
ekctiiMi of i860 proved— that the success of the Republicans
would send the South into- secession, and Centon's first regard was
to save tlie Union whatever else might be lost.

Moreover, the Rei)ublican party had not effected an organiza-
tion in Missoiu-i in 1856. Dlair, Benjaniin Gratz Ijrown, Arnold
Krekel and many others of the Benton section of the Democracy,
were in thorough sympathy uilh the Repu])licaus, and joined the
party in 1857, when a regular organization was formed in the
slate. Restricted to a choice between Buchanan and h'illmore,
many of Benton's friends, particularly the German element of
St. Louis and vicinity, threw their support to the latter. Said
Henry Wilson of Massaciuiselts, in a s])eech in \\\<t senate at
Washington un Deceml)er k;, 1856: "In the city of St. Louis
nearly three thousand Germans, to show their devotion to liberty,
went to the ballot boxes, when they could get up no state ticket
for iMcniont, and voted for Millard Fillmore, the Know Nothing
candiflale, with liie wonl ' Protest' ijrinted on their ballots." Gam-
aliel Bailey, an old abolitionist. Free Soiler and original Rei)ub-
lican, early in 1856 pro])oscd Benton for president by the Repub-
Heans in that year and Seward for vice-president.

Missouri cast a heavy vote for ]M-esident in 1856, Buchanan's
poll bring 58,i(')|, <ir 20,000 greater than Pierce's four years
e.ulier, and i''illniore leceixin;;' |S,5- 1, or 1(),(hh) umre than ScoU,
I'leiCi'V. W 111;; oppoiu'iil, oiil.iinrd. I '.neh.ni.Mi's m.ijoiil\- in Mis-
souri was <),(>.|o.

But Missouri took nuich more interest in its canvass for gov-
ernor than it did in that for president. There were three candi-
dates for that office. The regular Democrats nominated Trusten
Polk; the Americans, or Fillmore party, put up Robert C. Evving,
and P>enlon led the Independent Democrats. Benton, then
seventy-four years of age, but still wonderfully vig(;rous physi-
cally and mentally, was making his last battle for the nationalist
cause, and his canvass attracted the attention of the whole coun-
try. It was a canvass memorable for the excitement which it
aroused in the slate, for the great number of meetings which
were held by ihe op])osing partit'S, and for the uncertainty as to
the resnll in the triangular campaign. Ilcnton himself boasted
that he li:: rKd (A'er oiu- ihons.nid two hundred miles throughout
the stale, .;inl that he made forty spei'ches of an hour ox over in
duration besides man}' short ones. He was serenely confident to



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128 '/"///: J'ROl'INCR AND Tllli STATES.

the last, cxprcssiiii^- cou(ein|)t for I'olk and llic icst of his local
enemies, and predictini^' the overwhehning anil permanent over-
throw of the disunionist, or what he calkd the disnnionist, see-
i\(>\\ of the nenn)craey in Missonri. Idie rc-sull, however, showed
■ that of the three- elemrnts in tlie canvass, his Democratic enemies
^ were the first in the jxill, the Americans were the second, and he
' was the last.

As hetween Uenton and his Democratic enemies, the Americans

wonld have preferred Benton, lint lienlon had hecn tij^htini;

' that element nnder its old Whii;- name fur a (piarler uf a centnry.

The Ijilterness uf his assanlts had raised np ])ersonal foes to him

■- among inllnential men in all the state's ])olitical sects. lie ues-

'' pised the arts of conciliation in which his friend LJnn of the

olden days was a maslL-r. In dealin;^- with antagonists his aim

^ was not to placate hnt to crnsh. Then, too, the Americans of

'' 1856 had some hope, through the split in the Democracy, of

gaining a governor, as they, as Whigs, had won a senator, Geyer,

^ from the same cause, in 1S51. In the poll fur governor of 1856

' I'ulk, the rij'nlar Di'niucral, received ,|(>,m').5 voles; h'.wiiit^,

Amenian, ,|o.;i8.,; ,ind I'.enlun, I iidependenl, J7,(.|S; I'ulk's lead

' over luviiig, his principal compeliloi", hiini; ''.-I"!.

* That was the end. I'.enlun indulged in nu lepinings over his

' misfortune, and expix'ssed nu regret h^r his cunr.se, hut prumpllv

' finished the lilerar\- work which he slarletl immediately after

' retiring from the senate in 1851, and which ciimpri^ed, ehii'lly,

' the -ThiKv \\ars' \ iew" and "ihe - Ahrid-ement ul (he Dehales

.d' (■un;;re:,s;' ITi^ (ask .md :mi .ill.iek ui, I'.uiev m Ihe Dred

Scull case, he pruNeciited uilh lierce eiier-w his lifi' and the

last lines' of Ihe ".\hridgement" closing .^inudlaneonsly in 1858;

he passed away at the age of seventy-si.x.

His state, des])ite the passions which his later conflicts aroused,
has not neglected to do honor lu Benton's memory. This great-
est of all Missourians, with his distinguished disciple Francis P.
lUair, are I\iiss(nu-i's contrihutions to the galler\- of the celehrities
of the various states in Statuary Hall, at the natiijn's capital at
Washington.

The contest for senator heg.an to excite the state imnu'diately
after the \'oting for governor and pri'sident had taken place in
1856, and in 1857 the legiskanre Idled the vacancy which had
then exi.'Kvl for twu years, and chose James S. ( Ireen to succeed
Atchison \->\ lln' leiiii to en.l in i8()i. As (ie\er's (erni w;is lo
<lo:.e in I. / Ihe it i;i:.l.il Ul e lia<l I wo senator.', to name, and it put
I'oll;, the le \v I'overnor, in ( lever's place, for llie term whi< li was
to close Ml l.Soj.



.]jiss()i'Rrs sjiu\:oi.ii J'OR k.ixs.is. 12c)

I'olk- resit^nca tlio ^ovcrnorsliii), llic lieutenant oovernor, Han-
cock fackson, served as governor for a few months, and in a spe-
cial election in 1857 Roliert 1\I. Stewart, an anti-Benton Democrat,
defeated the okf W'hii;- leader James S. Rollins. Stewart, a
nati\e of New York, and a lawyer h)' profession, had resided in
Missouri from an earl\' age, served in the slate senate hefore
becoming- governor in 1857, was a staunch Ihiion man in 1S61-65,
and died in St. Joseidi in 1871, at the age of hfly-six.

The career of hoth I'olk and Green in the senate was cut sli(;rt
by expulsion. I'olk, a native of Delaware, an old resident of
Missouri, and a lawyer of great ability, held one or two local
offices in St. Louis before his election as governor in 1856, was
turned out of the senate on a charge of disloyalty to the govern-
ment in 1862, and died in St. Louis in 1876, aged sixty-five.
Green, who died in the same t.nvn in 1870, at the ag-e of fifty-three,
was horn in Virginia, was a man of eloquence and acuteness,
served in (be jxipular l>ranch of congress before going to the sen-
ate, and was e.\i)elled from that chamber early in i8()i, sluM'tly
before the close of the term, for talk in favor of secession.

I',y Ibc Ing.inning ol G(.vernor Stewart's service, in December,
1857, the raids from iMissomi into Kan.sas had ended. Geary,
the third governor which Kansas had in the territorial days of
1854 ()i V l'^ <-•«-'< Icr and Shannon preceding him and Walker, Den-
ver, i\ledary and Meebe following him), informed President
lhichan;m shortly before Stewart became governor of Missouri



(bat 01


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Leconi])ton pro slavery conslitution, which Buchanan was endeav-
oring to force on the peoi)le of ivansas, against the wishes of
what some of the pro-slavery men on the ground, like this ex-Mis-
sourian, knew to be a majority of the bona fide residents of the
territory. "To do so," said Stringfellow, "will break down the
Denntcratic party in the North, and seriously endanger the peace
and interests of Missouri and Kansas, if not of the whole Union.
The slavery question in Kansas is settled against the South by
emigration."

J5oth the Stringfellows, whose names occur oftener in the bor-
der troublrs of the time than any ollu^r Missourians, excepting
Atchison ;,M.i . If, ;iccei)led the silnalioi) cheerfully. I'.enjamin F.
who had b rii A member of tlie legislature and allorney general in
Missouri, iiiw\ed from Missouri to Atchison in 1858, returned to
'iV- .)



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•130 Tim PROVINCE AND TUB STATUS.

Missouri later on, resided in Kansas City for a time, became a
Republican after the Civil war, Iiel])ed to build up every town in
which he residetl, was attorney for the Kansas City, St. Joseph
and Council lUulTs l\ail\va_\- for a few years, and died in Chicai^o in
1891, at^-ed seventy-ii\e. Doctor Strinj^fellow, who was three }-ears
younj^er than his brother, was, like him, born in \'ir^inia, and
also, like him, ^vas a jtublic spirited and personally j)opular man.
He practical medicine in se\eral i)laces in Missouri before he
helped to found Atchison in 1854, m(jved to St. Joseidi, I\lo., in
his latter years, and is living- there still (1903).

But althougdi the raids for political purposes into Kansas had
ended by the beginning- of Governor Stewart's service, the
troubles on the frontier \vere far from being over. Lawless
bands — border ruffians from Missouri and jayliawkers from
Kansas, the designation border ruffian, however, being popularly
api)lied to the political raiders as well as to the predatory bands
of IMis.sourians of a later da)- — crossed the line in each direc-
tion and mm-deri-d, robbed and burned in a desultory way until
near the beginning of the Civil war, of which the Kansas struggle
was the opening skirmish. ( )\\v of these incursions into i\l iNSc.iuri
is historical!)- important from the fact Ihal John Krown was a
leader in il.

Ilrowii, who had been in Kansas must of the lime from Octo-
ber, 1855, ''ii'I \\1'*^ li^i'l partici|)ated in se\-eral denioUNtrations on
the fre>' state men's side, invaded \'ernon county, Mo., with a
few uk-n on December _'0, 185S, liberated ele\en skives belonging
lo llickkm, I als'ue and C nu;.e, .lU residing elo.se lo the I'llUe
C)s.i;;e. Crnrse was killed. Inil not |,\ the parly nndci Ibown's
immediate command. Ibown cariied the .slaves into Kansas, and,
baflling- his pursuers, eventually led them to Canada and freedom.
This was less than a year before his last and most sensational act,
the attack on Ilarix-r's bY-rry and his execution, ijrown's raid
into Missouri incited the passage of an act by the legislature,
approved by Cie)vernor Stewart on bY'bruar)' 24, 1859, ajjin-opri-
ating thirty thousand dollars b)r the suppression of the banditti
and the protection of the people of the frontier counties, and
empt)wering the governor t<j use his discretit)n in the way he
should put this statute in operation. Dronqjl and joint action by
Governor Stewart, Governor Medary of Kansas dirritoi v, and
by (be l"eder;d mililary aulliorilics in i8s<), Juvlad llie gi'ierrilla
warf.iu uii ihe fi,uitii-r, ;md a semblance of peace was had unhl
il W.I 'H'll.eii |i\ le.d wai ill 1801.



MISSOURI ON THE EVE OE THE CIl'IL IV AR. 131



CHAPTIUl XIV



Social and Political Situation in i860



THE year i860, whicli saw the most important political canvass
that the ciMuitry lias known, and which was the eve of the
country's f,n-catcst war, showed a poi)ulation of 1,182,012 in
Missouri, of which 114,031 were skives and 3,572 were free
negroes. In 1850 the state's aggregate population' was 682,044.
I'^rom the twenty-third place among the states in inhabitants in
l8_'(), (he year of the passage of its admission act, Missouri had
advanced to the thirteenth place in 1850 anil to the eighth in i860,
leading all the rest of the slave states excejjt A'irginia, which still,
of course, included West \''irginia.

In both pojiulation and wealth St. Louis had grown much more
rapidly than the rest of the state during the decade. I'roni 77,8()0
inhabitants in 1S50 her total had increased to 100,773 in i860.
St. L.ouis was the eightli on the list of the country's cities in
population in that year, being led, in this order, by New York,
Philadelphia, Brooklyn (which dropped ofif the roll in 1897 by its
absorption by New York), Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans and
Cincinnati. In that year Kansas City, St. Joseph, Hannibal,
Springfield, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Independence, Boonville, Cape
Girardieu, Lexington, Louisiana, St. Charles, Macon and Weston
were also thriving communities.

Though Missouri's growth in inhabitants in the ilecade had been
notably large, her expansion in wealth was much faster. While,
according to the national census returns, the valuation of her
proi)erty, \\ \\ and personal, was one luuuhx'd thirty-seven million
dollars in O'liud figures, in 1850, it was live hundred one million
dollars in i.'.'; o. This amount, which was e(|nivaKnt to two hun-
dred (MU- d. (liars for each man, woman and child in the state in



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132



Tim i'KOriNCE AND THE STATES.



1S50, readied a jxt capita of four huiKlred twenty-four dollars ten
)ears later.

Missouri had attaineil a 1ul;1i rank as an aL;rieullural state by
lS()0. The value of her lands (this, however, includini;- the unini-
prtjved lands as well as the improved) was put at two hundred
thirl) - one million dollars in that _\ear, and nine million dollars
additional represented farming- implements, and lifty-four mill-
ion dollars stood for the value of her live stuck. She had twenty
million dollars invested in manufactures, which worked u]) annu-
all)' alxnit twent)-four million dollars in raw material, employin^^
a little over 2,000 persons, and yielding a finished protluct of forty-
three million five hundred thousand dollars. The output of her
lead, coal and iron mines was also beginning to reach important
figures.

There were S17 miles of railroad in Missouri in i860, and the
cost of the railroad building in the state along to that time was put
at about forty-two million five hundred thousand dollars. The
most important of these roads were the Pacific (the present Mis-
souri Pacific, the construction of wdiich began in 1850, as men-
tioned in a previous chai^ter of this history, but which, in its
extensii)n westward from St. [-ouis, did nut reach Kansas City
nntil i8()5J, the Hannibal and St. Jci>eph, the N(jrth ^lissouri,
the Iron Mountain, and the Southwest Pranch of the Pacific,
afti'rward known as the St. Louis and San iMancisco.

The completion (d" the I'aeilie r;nlroad to Jellerson City, one
hundred an.l l\venlv li\e miles from St. Louis, in 1855, was
.iKended with a disaster which was one ol the memoralde occur-
rences of the time. An excursion train comprising nine crowded
coaclies went over the road to celebrate the event on November 4
of that year, and on crossing the Gasconade river a span of the
bridge gave way, and the locomotive and several of the cars
went down. Forty-three iiersons were killed and many more
were injured, while the locomotive and cars were a complete
wreck. Among the persons who lost their lives were Thomas S.
O'Sullivan, chief engineer of the road ; Mann Butler, author of a
history of Kentucky; ITenry Chouteau, a well known St. Louis
business man; Rev. John Teasdale and Rev. Dr. Pullard, also of
St. Louis ; and one or two members of the legislature.

To tb.- railroads which liave just been named and one or two
other-, ilu- slate, as was the custom of the time throughout the
wrsl, , ;Mi.uileed bonds i:,',U.d by tb-m, the extenl.ol the obliga-
tion b. in;; about twenlyb.ur nullion dollars. The Hannibal an<l
St. Jo::rpli was the only one of the roads which preserved its



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Missui'h'i ON Till- lira or riir. ciriL war.



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faith. All the other clcfaultod and were soUl hy the state soon
after the Civil war, the proceeds of which sales, hmvever, rearh-
iiit4' oiilv six million dullars, leaviiii;' a halanee, on itrinci])al and
interest, of tweiilv li\e million dollars dne h\ the roads, which
the state IkhI to assume.

Missouri j^ot direct railway communication with the Atlantic
sea'hoard in 1857 h)' the junction of the Baltimore and C)hio, the
Northwestern X'ir^inia, the Marietta and Cincinnati, and the
Ohio and Mi^sissipiii n)ads, the western terminus of the last
named line heing' at luist St. Louis, opposite St. Louis.

That was not the hrst point at which the Mississippi was
touched hy railroail from the l^ast. Rail connection ( from I'os-
ton as well as from Xew York) was opened from the I'.ast with
Chicago in I1S53. In 1S54 the Missi^sijjpi was reached at Rock
Island hy the complelion of the Chicaj;o and Rock Island road.
The Mississijipi was also touched at Memphis in March, 1857,
hy the opening of the (."harleston antl Memphis line. It was
June 5 of the latter war when the connections lietween Raltimore
and L.asl St. Louis were est.ahlished, and St. Louis received its
lirsl Ihrough eomnimiit alion hy r.iil with the All.mlic coasl. It
was US74, however, I.efore tlie Hrst hridge, (lie I'.ads, across the
Mississippi at St. Louis was linished.

The completion of the railroad comiectiou from the Atlantic
Cfjast to the Mississippi (opposite St. Louis had a larger recogni-
tion lh;m (lid an\- oilier r.ailro.ad event of (hal period e.\ce|)t the
opeuin;; ol llie kiir lo Dmil-.iik Mx ^ e.n s e.iilui. The (■xerci.ses
in Si. I onis. whivli were parileip.Ued in h\' 111. m\ u.ilional celeh-
lilies, as well ,is li\ Leal m.ignale, - from e\er\ imporlanl point on
or near the coiuiecLing lines, l)egaii on June 5, and lasted three
days. During that lime St. Louis was the gayest of the United
States' cities. The opening day of the world's fair in 1904 will
hardly he more ecstatic. Hundreds of visitors, some from points
as far distant as New York, Iloston, Philatlel|)hia and Baltimore,
were ])resent. Among them were cal)iuet oflicers, governors, con-
gressmen, mayors and other dignitaries. At midnight on Thurs-
day, Line -), the iirst train arrived, 'hhen starteil a round of
festivities, consisting of military and civic jiarades, haiupiets,
sijcechmaking, drives through tlu- city and its surroundings, and
sails up and down the Mississipj)!. The theaters were open each
iiighl li; llu- visilois, and sjuiial eiilei lainmeiils weic given in
Iheir h.,,ioi, Keeeplions wire also ex(ende<l lo IIkhi a! the resi-
dences ( 1 i,ian\ ol Ihe luomiiieni lili/eiis.

The i.idioads which t(Miclied the Mississipjii opposite St. Louis



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|I34*><'<-''''^' '^^^^ PROl'INCH AXD THE STATES.

connected three states (Maryland, Virginia and Missonri) techni-
cally belonging- to the Sonth with three (( )hi(., Indiana and Illi-
nois) belonging to the North. That eircunislanee, in that era of
secession threats which were soon to be put in practice, liad a



Online LibraryWeston Arthur GoodspeedThe province and the states, a history of the province of Louisiana under France and Spain, and of the territories and states of the United States formed therefrom (Volume 4) → online text (page 13 of 53)