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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■was to figure in the Mexican war afterward, the rangers being
part of an independent force organized in the disturbed region to
fight against the Mormons. ]Most of the I\Iormons immediately
fled into a log blacksmith shop in the town, but this provetl to be
a trap instead of a fortress. Tn the bailie which ensued an assault
was made ui)on the shop, and many of the rangers pushed their
rifles through the cracks between the logs and killed or wounded
their enemies on the inside, without the loss of a man by them-
selves. No prisoners were taken. All were killed or so badly
wounded that they were supposed to be dead, and both wounded
and dead were thrown into a well near b\ . Uuports as to the
number of dead range between eighteen and thirty-fhree.

Meanwhile, on November 1, Gen. S. D. Lucas, with a large
military force in advance of General Clark, who had the main
body of the troops, reached l-^ir West, the MiMMUons' cai)ital.
Smith, seeing the iioitelessness of further struggle, accepted the
terms offered by Lucas. The Mormons gave up thrir .irm.s, sur-
renderi (1 their leaders for trial, including Smith, and promised
to leave Ihc stair. I'.righam Voiiiig, who had joined the Mor-
mons in 1S3-', who had advanced swiftly in the church, and who



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MORMON TROUBLES IN MISSOURI. 69

was one of its leading- dignitaries at tiic time, left Missouri in
1838 just lief(^rc the general collapse came, going to Quincy, 111.,
where many Mormons had already gathered.

Smith and most of the other prisoners were taken to Richmond,
Ray county, from which Smith and a few of his C(jmix'inions were
transferred to Liberty, Clay county. Indictments f(ir treason,
murder, robbery, arson and a few other offences wrre brought
against most of them. A few of the prisoners in Ijoth Richmond
anil LiJjerty escaped, others were acquitted, and Smith and those
left with him were being taken from Libert)' to Roc^ne county on
a change of venue when, on April 15, 1839, '^'^•-'y 8'*^*^ away frum
their guards (it was charged that the guards were bribed to let
them escape) and fled across the river (o Quincy. Several
;ittempts were iu;ide in the next few 3-ears by the Missoiun author-
ities to have Smith extradited, but all failed.

During all this time the rank and fde of the Mormons were dis-
posing of their pro|K-ily as best they could, usually at a ruinous
loss, and leaving ihe stale, some going lo biwa 'iVrrilory and oth-
ers to dilterenl parts of Illinois. On AprU 20, i83<), live days after
Smith's escape, the last of tb.e Mormons left I'ar West and
abandoned tlu' state. The number of Aformons in Missouri at
tlu' end of l8j8, at the lime the decree of banishment was ])assed
against llirm, was placed by their own authorities at about fifteen
thousand. On the site of the i'ar West of the Mormons' days
is built the present town of Kerr.

In his reiiorl to (iovernor I'^oggs soon after the surrender of
Smilh an. I (he rest ol the leaders al I'ar West, Cieneral Clark
1. laced llie losses in the campaign at forty .\b.rmons killed and
se\eral wounded, and lifteen citizens Ijadly wounded and one
killed. In a memorial sent by the Mormons to congress while
they were in Nauvoo asking for pecuniary redress, the
losses from their expulsion from Jack'son cc)unty were placed
at one bundrt-d and seventy live thousand dollars,, and two million
tk)llars wert' the damages they sustaineil in tlu' whole state. Con-
gress took no action.

As the M(jrmons had about the same feeling for iioggs that
the Jews who escajied the massacre at [erusalcm had for Titus,
thealtempl on his life in 18.1J, in which he was shot while silting
near the window of his residence at Independence, was naturally
laid to Ibciii. This was two years afhr Rog^s rctin.(l from the
govenioi-ship, .and while the Mormons \vci"e domiciled at Nanvoo.
Il was learned .iflerwaid thai O. R. K'oekwill, a Mormon, went
from Nanvoo to Independence, worked in the Latter place until



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^O THE PROVINCR AND llIE STATES. '

lie i^ot \vli;it hr supposed was a favorable op|)ortuiiity to carry out
his (lesion, when he made his way in the nit^ht to I'Ogi^s' house,
fired at him through the window, inflicting a serious wound, from
which, however, he recovered. Rockwell was arrested, liut tlie
evidence against him was deemed to be defective at certain points,
and lie was acquitted.

After being driven from Missouri the Mormons established
themselves in Nauvoo, III., in 1840, prospered for a few years,
and then tribulation came as in Ohio and Missouri. Joseph the
prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith, imprisoned on a charge
of levying war against the state of Illinois, were assassinated while
in a jail in Carthage in 1844 '^Y '^ 'i^^'^ composed of disguised
members of a militia regiment. In 1846 the Mormons under
Brigham Young, who succeeded the i)ro|)het Joseph, fled from
Nauvoo, crossed the plains, established themselves on the borders
of Great Salt Lake, built uj) Ttrdi, expanded along the great
Cordilk-ran mountain s\sleiii through stales and terrilnries dt)vvn
into Mexico and up into Canada, and have e\ol\-ed one of the
most ni.'irvelous social organi/ation which the world has seen.

Nevertheless, through all their mutations of fortune, the Mor-
mons still berieve that they will one ilay return to Jackson county,
set u]) the kingdom of the Lord on the spot near Independence
from which they were driven wiien Dunklin was governor of
Missouri and Jackson was president of the United States, bring
in the millenium, and spread their sway over all the peoples oi
the earth.



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M/SSOURI'S PERMANENT BOUNDARIES.



71






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CHAPTKR VII



Fixing the Permanent Boundaries



TifF. ciiahliiio- act of con^^rcss of i8-?o uiidcr wliicli Missouri
(.•nlnrd iIk- Ifiiloii ill iS_'i lixcl ila- .slate's hoiiiularics ()u_
most of its west end and oil all of il.s cast and soiilli sides'
as they arc to-day. On the northwest corner, however, and along
the north Hne the state's limits have been altered since those days.
In the first case, which was an expansion of the state's area, the
chang-e came through tlie so-called "Platte i)urchase," which was
made in 1837. In the second instance, in which the state gave
up some territory which it claimed, the alteration was a rebuilt of
the dispute between Missouri and Iowa, which was settled finally
by and act of congress which was in line with a decision of the
supreme court previously rendered. In each of these instances
the question of the Indian occupation of the state was involved.

After Governor Clark's great council at Portage des Sioux,
near the conlluencc of the Missouri with the Mississippi, in 1815,
at the end of the war with luigland, Missouri was not seriously
disturbed by the Indians until illack llawk'^s rising in 1832.
r.lack Hawk, one of the chiefs of (he Sacs and lM).\es, who was
born in Kaskaskia in 1767, four years after lV)ntiac's revolt, who
became a noted warrior at an early age, and who, with Tecumseh,
fought for the Ikitish in 1812, was sixty-five years of age at the
time his own rebellion took place in 1832.

In 1804 most of the chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes signed a
treaty at St. Louis with William Henry Harrison, governor of
Indiana Territory, which comprised the present states of Illinois,
Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Indiana, and to which upper
Louisiana was for a short time attaclied for achninistrative pur-
poses by which, for the sum of one thousand dollars a year, they



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72 ""■ Tim PROV INC n A\'f) run STATES.

W'.w, ai;-i\c-(l to tran>l\T to tlic ITnilcl States i^-ovrn uncut ci.Tt;iin hinds

- ■. on (,'ach side of the iM ississii)])!, prinriiially on tlic cast side, and

f..;-o in the in-esent states of Illinois and Wisconsin. I'.laclv- flawk did

not siL^n this compact, decl;n-ed tliat the si;_;ners were drunk, and

'■; npiuliated it. Tims lie \va^ in the ni.ood to join tlie i!riti.>ii when

'■ . Tccumseh's war helts were hein;^- sent anion;;- tlie Indians just

!'i ■• before and after d'ipiiecanoe, fou;.;ht a few Isallles on their side,

M; . fnitcrnized with them for a time afterward, and held aloof from

'■ i\ the sul)se(|Uent treaties of his and other trihes coniinnin;^' or

u'or, extending the sco|)e of the a,!.;reenient of 1804, allhou<4h he is

v"./! said to have signed one of th.em. When most of the .Sacs and

i »'. Foxes, under the lead of Keokuk, nK)ved to the west side of the

Mississijipi in 1823 Pdack Hawk and his hand stuck to their old

•'' lands. As they refused to mo\ e even after the treaty of Prairie

\'':.'i du Chien in 1830 by which all the Indian lands east of the river

.'. • were finally ceded t(_> the Tnited States, a force of rei^ulars and

• eu Illinois militia moved against them in 1831, hut they returned in

•1' 1832, allaclced the white setllmenls, and the war heuan.

('h.. The ii'jditini,' administration at \\''ashin<;tou — Jackson, presi-

.|,;;vv dent, and Pewis Cass, a veteran of 1812, secretary of war — took

: : prompt action. From Jefiferson Barrack's, a military ])ost estah-

■ y lished shortly before that time just south of St. Pouis, Gen. Henry

t-;; Atkinson, with a force of re!.;ulars, was sent u\^ the AIississip|)i.

Cn.-. The Illinois state troo|:)S were put in the field, (aiural Scott was

'.,Mt sent from the Fast with a large force, but was hampered by the

! cholera, which attacked his troo])s. Tin- hostiles were driven into

•M) the present slate cd' ^^'isconsin, were defeated by General Do.li;e

at tlu- Wisconsin ri\er on |ul\ _• 1 , 1832, and, on August 2, they

were struck hea\il\ b\' Atkinson at the jjoint where the Pad Axe

river flows into the Mississippi. Pilack Hawk and the last of his

men who were under arms surrendered on August ly. He was

taken to Jefi'erson Barracks and thence through the east, was

imi)ri.soned a short time in Fortress l\b)nroe, and died at his

camp on the Des l\1oini-s in i8;,8.

Among the men afterward famous who participated in the
Black Hawk war were Abraham Pincoln, who was one of the
Illinois voltmteers ; Roliert Anderson, who commanded the federal
troops ;il I'ort Sumter at (be outbreak c d' the w.ir of siresson,
and jelTerson Havis, the he.id of the conb-deracy. both Andei-
son and iJavis, then recent graduates of West Point, were sta-
tioned at Jefferson Barracks.

Whilr Alkiuson and his men from Missomi were lighting
I'dack Ibiwk on the east side of the Mississippi the Missouri stale



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. MISSOURI'S PERMANENT BOUNDARIES. 73

troops were busy in their own territory, guarding ac;ainst possible
invasion from bands of hostiles from Illinois, Wiseon.sin or Iowa.
General Clark, Ignited States suiierintcntlent of Indian affairs,
from his lookout in St. Louis, was more interested in the out-
break than any other person in the country, and his counsel was
sought at the capital of Missouri, at the capital of Illinois, and at
the capital of the nation. On General Clark's advice Governor
Miller, himself a soldier of the War of i8ij. ordered Maj. (kui.
Richard Gentry, of Columbia, Mo., in May, 1S32, to raise one
thousand mounted volunteers, to march at a moment's notice.
Gentry gave orders to I'.rig. C^mis. I'.enjamin Miens. Jonathan
Iviggs, and Jesse T. Wood to finiiish llieir (|nota,s, and they did it
promptly. Conii)anies were raised in r.i;one, Callaway, Clay,
St. Charles, Montgomery, Lincoln, I'ike, Marion, Monroe ami
Kalis counties. Two com])anies under Maj. Thomas W. Conycr,
accomix'inied by General Gentry, who had Jaines S. Rollins as
one of his aides, pu.sjied at once foi' the moulii of the Des Moines,
intending to range the country between that point and the main
Chariton. Other troops under Col. Austin A. King, afterward
governor of the state, marched up as far as Fort Pike, in the
present Clark county. As there were no demonstrations of any
consequence by the Indians the troops were recalletl in Sei)teni-
ber, were mustered tint of the service soon after the ca])ture of
the old chief on the east side of the river, and the Black Hawk
war was ended.

In the summer of 1836 a force of militia was again called out
on account of an allegeil Indian invasion of the present Mercer
and Gruntly counties, one com|)any of which was commanded by
David R. Atchison, who about this time began to figure as a
militia ce)mman(ler in the Mormon troubles, and who occasionally
acted as a ctnmsel for the MoruKMis. it was fjuickly learnecj,
however, that the culprits this time were not the Indians, but a
band of des|)crate characters, many of whom belonged to the
Iletherly family (which was related to the Kentucky bandits Big-
and Little Harp), living in that locality, who stole from whites
and Indians alike, as opportunity offered, and who often added
murder to robbery. They were arrested, some of them turned
stale's e\idenre, one of Ihem was .sentenced to ten )ears in the
penitentiary, and the gang was broken up. This affair figured
in the annals of the time as the '■Iletherly war."

A year later, 1837, i'^ that tempestuous era for Mi.ssouri
extending fn/ni the (.losing year of Governor Miller's service
through thai of Governor Dimklin and to near the end of that of



74



THE FROJ'INCE AND THE STATES.



GovciiKM- ])Ogg-s, President Van Buren, knowing the martial fame
of tlie Missonrians, asked Senator Ik-nton if a force of mounted
volunteers could be raised in his state to assist in fighting the
Seminoles. P.enton answered that the IMissourians were ready
for any duty assigned them by the government, whereupon Secre-
tary of War Poinsett asked Governor Poggs for troops, the
governor issued a call for them, and a regiment of mounted men
was raised, of which Richard Gentr)-, mentioned in a preceding
paragrai)h, was elected colonel. The work of Gentry and his
men forms a very interesting episode in Missouri history.

By a treaty between the United States government and a
majority of the Seminoles, signed in 1832 and ratified by th",;-
ate in 1834, these Tmlians agreed to give up their Florida ..^a'ds
and move west of the Mississippi. Some of their chiefs, how-
ever, including Osceola, Micanony, Jumi)er, Alligator and oth-
ers, refused to sign the tn,al\- ur to be bound 1)V it. On Decem-
ber -'8, 1835, (k'U. W iley Tliouipson, the Indian ai;ent in b'lorida,
with 1 ieulenanl Sinilli, of the army, were kihed near b'ort King
by a parly of Indians luider (\sceola, and other whiles in the
vicinity were also nuu'dered. On the same day Major Dade, with
one hundred anil ten soldiers, on their \va\' to l'"orl King, were
ambusheil b)' Indians commanded b\' Alligator, Micanopy and
Jum|)er, and all except three privates were killed.

This was the beginning of the Seminole war, whicli lasted
seven years, and which was one of the most destructive of all the
Indian struggles in American history. Though the soldiers were
usually \ietorious tlu-ir lo.^ses largel)' exceeded those of the
Indians, who were generally able to hide themselves in the
swam])s, jungles and morasses of their localit\-, and who had
their families and their food sup])ly secure in their hidden fast-
nesses. Many generals who before or afterward were famous-
Clinch, (iaines. Gall, Jesup, Ta\lor, Armi:-tead and Worth — were
in comni.and in bdorida successi\el\' in the war. The Pulians'
losses in killed and captured, however, could not be rei)aired, and
at last, reduced to a reiunant, all tiiat were left alive surrendered
in 1842, and were shipped to the west side of the ^Mississippi artd
joined their brethren who h;id crossed the river earlier. The
descendants of those Seminoles constitute iMie of the five civili/ei,l
tribes now residing in the Indian Territory.

Thus only two of the seven years of the .Seminole war had
expired when tlu' Missouri volunteers entei-eil il. The counties
of Chariton, Kay, r.(.one, Ibnvard, Callaway, Marion and Jack-
son contributed lo Gentry's reidnient, and two com|)aiiies of Dela-



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MISSOURI'S PERMANENT BOUNDARIES.



75



^\■al■c and Osa<^c Indians were in it, cuniniandcd by wliite officers.
Jolin W. Price was lieutenant colonel and Harrison W. llug-lics
was major, both of Howard county. Colonel Gentry's men were
mustered into the service at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis,
by Gen. Henry Atkinson, the commander of the department, early
in October, 1837, they went down the ]\Iississi[)pi by boats to New
Orleans, from which ])oint they sailed to Morida, landing at
Tampa Bay on November 15. Ordered forward on December I
by Col. Zachary Ta)lor, the connnander in Florida at that time,
they advanced on Okeechobee Lake, one hundred miles from
Tampa, and there, on December 25, the Seminoles were encoun-
tered in larj^e force, and in a position of i;real natural strength

In the battle Colonel Taylor placeil the Missouri volunteers 'f.
the center and at the front, with the regulars on each Hank, all
the tr(Kj])s, by the nature of the ground, being comijelled to fight
on foot. After a fierce battle of several hours' duration the
Iiulians were gradually driven across a swam]) and at last
retreated precipitately. The killed and wounded in the battle of
Okeechobee was one liundred and thirty-eight, most of whom
were among the Missouri volunteers. Amijiig them was the
heroic Gentry, who, mortally wounded in tlie battle, died that
night.

As the campaign for the season ended with that fight, the
iMissouvi troops were sent home early in 1838, and were mustered
out of the service. The bodies of Colonel Gentry and of three
regular army oftkers— Captain \''an Swearingen and Lieutenants
r.rooke and Center — were interred at Jetlerson P.arracks, the
government erecting a monument over them.

Colonel Taylor's ofiicial report to Secretary of War Poinsett of
the battle of Okeechobee said that the Missouri volunteers fled
from the field early in the fight, and that his aides had been unable
to rally them. Indignant at this charge the Missouri legislature
appointed a special investigating committee, headed by David R.
Atchison, which summoned many of the officers of Gentry's regi-
ment befcjre it, all of whom swore that Ta) lor's accusation of
cowardise was grossly untruthful and unjust. The kgislature,
by a unanimous vole of both branches, passed a serii's of resolu-
tions denouncing Taylor's charges, and asking President Van
P.nren to order an official investigation of the c-diuhut of tlie Mis-
souri volunteers, but Van Puren took no action on it. Gentry
county, organized in 1841, was named in honor of the intrepid
Missouri commander.

I list befoii' Colonel (ieiitry's Missouri volunteeis marched to



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v6 THE PROVINCE AND THE STATES.

fight the Indians of Florida, a treat)- was made with some of the
reil men of Missouri, which added to the area of the slate the
locality in its present northwest corner then called the "I'latte
country." I'he law under which Missouri entered statehooil
fixed the state's westerly houndary on a north and south line
'■passing- through the middle of the mouth of the Kansas river
where the same enters into the Missouri river." That direct
north and south line ran from the state'^ southerly htjundary to
its northern horder. An agitation hegan in 1835 (C(d. William
F. Switzler, in his "History of Missouri," p. 230, says Gen.
Auilrew S. lluglies started it in a speech which he delivered at
a militia muster near l.iherty, in Clay county, in that year) to
anne.x to the state the triangle ncjrtliwe-'^ .(jf the present Kansas
City, the "Platte country," and extend th '^ '■ n.ndary of the state
in that corner out to the Missoiui river. '' the idea met with
immediate favor throughout the slate, mid a memorial asking the
aniiexalion was .sent to congress in 1830.

As r.enlon ("'Jliirty Years' \ iew." \til. 1, ]>. ()_'()) jioiut.-, out,
the ilifliculties in the way of this project were threefold. "1. 'J'o
make still larger a state which was already one of the largest in
the Union. 2. To remove Indians from a possession which had
just heen assigned to them in perpetuity. 3. To alter the Mis-
souri compromise line in relation to slave territory, and therehy
convert free soil into slave soil." The third of these obstacles
was rendered especially formidable at that moment by the excite-
ment throughout the country caused by the nglit in the house of
rei)ri-seutati\-es on the abolition petitions, by the agitation by
Garrison and other emancipationists, the organization of aboli-
tion societies throughout the country, and the transmission of
anti-slavery literature through the mails into the South against
the wishes of a large majority of that section's people. In the
house of re])rescntatives the free states had a heavy ])reponder-
ance. They had half of the senate, while a treaty which would
have to be got with the Indians before the lands in the coveted
district could be annexed would need a two-thirds vote for its
ratification.

Nevertheless, success came (|nickl\'. Henton introduced a bill
reciting that when the Indian title to that territory should be
extinguished the jurisdiction over said tract should be "ceded to
the state of Missouri." I5enton's vig(n% .Senator Linn's adroit-
ness and personal popularity and the enthusiastic aid of Mis-
souri's represt-nlalives in the other Ijranch of congress, Ashley
and ll.-nrison, to-etlur with the North's com|)lais;nice, did the



/■' MISSOURI'S PERMANENT BOUNDARIES. 77

work. No serious opi:)ositioii was ofkrcd in (.mIIkt liranch and
Jackson placed liis sij^naliirc on the bill on June 7, iS^-jf). J\1is-
s(nu"i's lc,L;islature assented ti; that act on Uecenilier i^, the Sacs
and Foxes as^reeing to the terms f(jr the relin(|uishnient of their
lands on Septeniber 17, and on March 28, i&j,y, President Van
P.urcn proclaimed that that territory had become part of the state
of Missouri.

Benton exultantly declaretl that the area of Missouri had thus
])een expanded "by an addition eijual in extent to such states as
l^elaware and Rhode Island, and by its fertility eciual to one of
the third class of states." The new territor)', which is one of
the richest parts of Missouri, comprises the counties of Andrew,
Atchison, 15uchanan, Holt, Nodaway and Platte. Weston, in
J^latte county, figured prominently in the raitls across the border
in 1854 and for a few years afterward when the free and the
slave states were fighting for the control of the Territory of Kan-
sas. 'J'he "Platte purchase" also contributed St. Josei)h, the tliini
city in Missouri in population and wealth.

Shortly after the annexation of the I'lattc region a dispute
with b)\va Territory in regard to Missouri's northerly boundary
threatened to result in something like war between the two com-
munities. F.ach had a small army of militia on its own side in
the disi)uted territory for a few weeks, but the absurdity of the



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 7 of 53)