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and business increased rapidly. When the United States took possession of this district or territory it was reputed to contain nine thousand white inhabitants and about three thousand negroes. The first census of St. Louis was taken in 1799, and it then had 897 inhabitants. This is presumed to have included the village of Carondelet also, which was started as a rival town soon after the founding of St. Louis.
In June, 1812, Congress passed another act with regard to this new country, and this time it was named the Territory of Missouri, instead of Louisiana. The President was to appoint a governor; the people were to elect representatives in the ratio of one for every five hundred white male inhabitants; this legislative body or lower house, was to nominate to the President eighteen of their own citizens, and from those he was to select and commission nine to form a senate or legislative council. The house of representatives was to consist of thirteen members at first; they were to hold their office two years, and must hold at least one legislative session at Saint Louis each year. The territory was also authorized to send one delegate to Congress.
In October, 1812, the first territorial election was held, and these people experienced for the first time in their lives the American privilege of choosing their own law-makers. There were four candidates for Congress, and Edward Hempstead was elected. He served two years from December 7th, 1812; then Rufus Easton served two years; then John Scott two years; Mr. Easton was one of the four candidates at the first election; and Mr. Scott was one of the members from St. Genevieve of the first legislative council. The first body of representatives met at the house of Joseph Robidoux, in St. Louis, on December 7th, and consisted of the following members:
From St. Charles —John Pitman, Robert Spencer.
St. Louis—David Musick, B. J. Farrar, Wm. C. Carr, Richard Caulk.
St. Genevieve — George Bullet, R. S. Thomas, Isaac McGready.
Cape Girardeau—G. F. Ballinger, Spencer Byrd.
New Madrid—John Shrader, Samuel Phillips.
They were sworn into office by Judge Lucas. Wm. C. Carr of St. Louis, was elected speaker. The principal business of this assembly was to nominate the eighteen men from whom the President and U. S. Senate should select nine to constitute the legislative council; they made their nominations and sent them on to Washington, but it was not known until the next June who were selected. June 3d, 1813, the secretary and acting governor, Frederick Bates, issued a proclamation declaring who had been chosen by the President as the council of nine, and they were—
From St. Charles—James Flaugherty, Benj. Emmons.
St. Louis—Auguste Chouteau, Sr., Samuel Hammond.
St. Genevieve—John Scott, James Maxwell.
Cape Girardeau—Wm. Neely, Joseph Cavener.
In July of this year the newly appointed governor, Wm. Clarke, took his seat, and held it until Missouri became a State in 1820.*
December, 1813, the second session of the territorial legislature was convened in St. Louis, and continued until January 19, 1814. This year the second territorial election occurred, and the new general assembly met December 5, this being the third sitting of the territorial legislature. The fourth commenced in November, 1815, and continued until about the last of January, 1816. And it was during this session that the common law of England, and her general statutes passed prior to the fourth year of James I, were adopted as the laws of Missouri, except such changes as were necessary to phrase them for the United States and its system of government, instead of England.
April 29, 1816, Congress again legislated for this territory, and provided that the legislative council or senate should be elected by the people instead of being appointed by the President; that the legislature should meet biennially instead of annually; and that the U. S. judges should be required to hold regular terms of circuit court in each county. The fifth legislative session (being the first under this act) met the first week in December of this year, and continued until February 1, 1817. Then there was no further legislation until the regular biennial session which met about December first, 1818. But during 1817, Henry S. Gayer, Esq., compiled a digest of all the laws, including those of French, Spanish, English and American origin, which were still in force in this territory. This was a very important work, in view of the fact that there were land titles and instances of property inheritance deriving their legal verity from these different sources; and it was now desirable to get all titles and vestitures clearly set upon an American basis of law and equity. The next or sixth session of the legislature continued through December, 1818, and January, 1819; and the most important thing done was applying to Congress for Missouri to be admitted as a State. John Scott, of St. Genevieve county, was then the territorial delegate in Congress, and presented the application. A bill was introduced to authorize the people of Missouri to elect delegates to a convention which should frame a State constitution. The population of Missouri territory at this time (or when the first census was taken, in 1821,) consisted of 59,393 free white inhabitants and 11,254 slaves. A member of Congress from New York, Mr. Talmadge, offered an amendment to the proposed bill, providing that slavery should be excluded from the proposed new State. This gave rise to hot and angry debate for nearly two
* Gov. Clarke died Sept. 31,1838, at St. Louis.
years, and which at times seemed to threaten an immediate dissolution of the National Union. But the strife was finally quieted by the adoption in Congress on March 6, 1820, of what is famous in history as the " Missouri Compromise," by which it was agreed that Missouri might come into the Union as a slave-holding State; but that slavery should never be established in any State which might thereafter be formed from lands lying north of latitude 36 deg. 30 min. The elections were held for delegates, the constitutional convention met at St. Louis, accepted the terms of admission prescribed by Congress, and on July 19th, 1820, Missouri took her place as one of the sovereign States of the National Union.
MISSOURI AS A STATE.
July 19, 1820, Missouri laid off the vestments of territorial tutelage and put on the matronly robes of mature statehood, as the constitutional conven- tion was authorized to frame the organic law and give it immediate force without submitting it to a vote of the people, and this constitution stood in force without any material change until the free State constitution of 1865 was adopted. The first general election under the constitution was held in August, 1820, at which time Alexander McNair was chosed governor and John Scott representative in Congress. Members of legislature had been chosen at the same time, comprising fourteen senators and forty three representatives; and this first general assembly of the State convened in St. Louis in the latter part of September. The principal thing of historic interest done by this assembly was the election to the United States Senate of Thomas H. Benton, who continued there uninterruptedly until 1851, a period of thirty years, and was then elected in 1852 as representative in Congress from the St. Louis district. The other senator elected at this time was David Barton, who drew the "short term," and was re-elected in 1824.
EPITOMIZED SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND DATES.
Application made to Congress for a state government March 16, 1818, and December 18, 1818.— A bill to admit was defeated in Congress, which was introduced February 15,1819.— Application made to Congress for an enabling act, December 29, 1819.— Enabling act (known as the Missouri Compromise) passed by Congress March 6, 1820.— First state constitution formed July 19, 1820.— Resolution to admit as a state passed Senate December 12, 1820; rejected by the House February 14j 1821.— Conditional resolution to admit approved March 2, 1821.— Condition accepted by the legislature of Missouri and approved by governor, June 26, 1821.—By proclamation of the President, admitted as a state August 10,1821.
The State capital was first at St. Louis; then at St. Charles about five years; but on October 1st, 1826, it was moved to Jefferson City, and has remained there ever since.
COUNTIES AND POPULATION.
The first census of the State was taken in September, 1821, and showed the population by counties as follows:
Boone county 3,692
Cape Girardeau 7,852
Jefferson , 1,838
Lillard (afterward called Lafayette) 1,340
New Madrid 2,444
St. Charles 4,058
St. Genevieve 3,181
St. Louis 8,190
The total was 70,647, of which mumber 11,254 were negro slaves. The area of the State at this time comprised 62,182 square miles; but in 1837 the western boundary was extended by authority of Congress, to include what was called the "Platte Purchase," an additional area of 3,168 square miles, which is now divided into the counties of Platte, Buchanan, Andrew, Holt, Nodaway and Atchison. This territory was an Indian reservation until 1836.
The last census was taken in June, 1880, when the state had an area of 65,350 square miles, divided into one hundred and fourteen counties, with populations as follows: