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Jackson and opposed the state-rights doctrines of John C. Calhoun; in congress he opposed the repeal of the "Missouri Compromise;" and during Gen. Jackson's presidency Col. Benton was so vigorous a champion of hard money, as against the old U. S. bank swindle, that he came to be famiharly known all over the United States as "Old Bullion." Col. Benton was born near Hillsborough, North Carolina, March 14,1782; studied law at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1810. In the war of 1812 he served as a Colonel under Gen. Jackson; settled at St. Louis in 1815. In 1820 he was elected as the first U. S. Senator from Missouri, and continued to be re-elected every term for thirty years; the longest period that any man in the nation has filled a senatorial seat. In 1852-3 he served one term as member of congress from the first district. In 1856 he was defeated in his candidacy for governor by the state-rights party, to whose doctrines he was strongly opposed, from the time of the nullification acts of South Carolina in 1832, up to the day of his death. In 1854 he published his great work, "Thirty Years in the United States Senate," in two large volumes, and these are held in high esteem as standard authority by politicians and statesmen of every class. Col. Benton died April 10, 1858, mourned by the whole nation as one of her worthiest sons.'
James B. Eads, a citizen of St. Louis. His marvelous achievements as a civil engineer have made his name familiar in all civilized countries on the face of the earth; and his last great work, the jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi river, has revolutionized the commerce of three continents. Mr. Eads was born at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, May 28, 1820; emigrated with his parents to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1829; and in 1833 settled at St. Louis. In July, 1861, the government advertised for seven gun-boats of about 600 tons burden, drawing not over six feet of water, plated with iron 2% inches thick, to steam nine miles an hour, and carry thirteen guns.'' Mr. Eads contracted to build those seven vessels in sixty-five days. At this time the timber for them stood uncut in the forest; the iron for their plating was still in the mines, and no machine yet in existence of capacity to roll such enormous plates; and not a pound of iron or steel yet wrought or cast for the construction of the twenty-one steam engines and thirtyfive boilers required to propel the fleet. But within twenty-four hours from the signing of the contract at Washington, he had all the iron works, foundries and machine shops of St. Louis, started on the work; and inside of two weeks he had more than 4,000 men working in alternate gangs by night and day, Sundays included, so that not an hour should be lost. The boats were built at St. Louis, but the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Missouri were all drawn upon for material, while large works in Cincinnati and Pittsburg were also whirling every
*See Major Boynton's "History of the United States Navy."
wheel to hasten forward the great undertaking, all being under the direction and control by telegraph or in person of this one man; and he filled the contract. The world's history shows no parallel to the wonderful mastery of resources and the tremendous vigor of executive and supervisory talent which this achievement involved. He projected, planned and built the magnificent railroad bridge across the Mississippi river at St Louis, which ranks among the greatest works of its kind on this round globe. He projected and built the jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi, which enable the largest sea-going vessels to pass in and out freely, thus making possible the barge system of shipping grain and other products from St. Louis and Kansas City direct to foreign countries, and which has within two years revolutionized the entire international commerce of the Mississippi and Missouri valley states. He is now engaged in developing a ship railway across the Isthmus of Panama, which will take the heaviest loaded ships into a dry-dock on wheels and trundle them from ocean to ocean, as easily and safely as they are now towed through the ship canal at Suez.
Carl Schurz. Born near Cologne, Prussia, March 2,1829; educated at the University of Bonn; took part in the revolutionary agitations of Europe in 1848 and following years, involving Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, etc.; and in which Kossuth in Hungary, and Garibaldi in Italy were prominent leaders, whose names are familiar to and honored by all Americans. Mr. Schurz came to the United States in 1852; settled as a lawyer at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1859; in 1861 was appointed minister to Spain; resigned and came home, and in 1862-3-4, was a major-general of volunteers in the Union army. In 1867 he settled at St. Louis as editor of the Westliche Post; was United States senator from Missouri from 1869 to 1875, and was secretary of the interior in President Hayes' cabinet. Mr. Schurz has thus won the highest positions ever held in the United States by any foreign-born citizen, and has reflected honor upon Missouri, his adopted state, by his masterful ability as a public speaker, and his strong, earnest, humanitarian efforts as an executive officer.
Prof. Charles V. Riley, was born in London, England, September 12, 1843; came to the United States in 1860. In 1868 established in St. Louis, in company with Benjamin D. Walsh, a scientific journal called the American Entomologist, and was the same year appointed state entomologist of Missouri; this position he filled to the great benefit and honor of the state for eight years; then he was called to come up higher, and took position as entomologist of the national department of agriculture at Washington. Prof. Riley's valuable investigations and discoveries with regard to the Colorado beetle (potato bug), the Rocky Mountain locust (grasshoppers), the cotton worm, and the phylloxera, or grape insect, have placed his name in the foremost ranks in the world of science, and among the greatest of benefactors to the agricultural and horticultural industries of the world. This he achieved while serving Missouri as state entomologist, and through the publication by the state of his annual reports. Hence, the name and good repute of our noble commonwealth is inseparably associated with his honor and fame, which has reached the farthest confines of every land where potatoes, cotton or grapes are cultivated.
MISSOURI IN THE CIVIL WAR.
Missouri was powerfully agitated by the controversy on the slavery question in 1818-19-20, which resulted in the "Missouri Compromise." This was a compact, mainly carried through congress by the eloquence and influence of the great senator, Henry Clay, of Kentucky, by which it was agreed that Missouri should be admitted to the Union as a slaveholding state; but that slavery should be forever excluded from any states which might thereafter be formed out of new territory west of the western boundary of Missouri, and north of the parallel of 36 degrees, 30 minutes of north latitude. This line practically corresponds with the southern boundary of Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Utah, as they now stand.
In May, 1854, congress passed a bill organizing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, in which it was declared that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 did not apply to them. This was an indirect way of repealing or rendering nugatory the bargain made between the northern and the southern states in that compromise; and the floodgates of angry debate, contention and strife were at once opened. This became the issue upon which all elections turned. Instead of slavery being prohibited, as the compromise of 1820 had declared it should be, it was thrown open for the territorial legislature to decide whether it should be free or slave territory. In view of this, there was a rush and race of settlers from the free states and the slave states into Kansas, to see which party should get control of the first territorial legislature; and in this movement Missouri, as a slave state, took a prominent part. It was a border country conflict, and therewas illegality and violence on both sides, making a chapter in our state history the details of which might profitably be dropped out and forgotten. Suffice to say, the free state party carried the election; and this conflict was a precursor of the great civil war.
In 1860 C. F. Jackson was elected governor of Missouri. Abraham Lincoln had been elected President of the United States at the same time. Governor Jackson took his seat January 4, 1861; the question of secession was then already in warm discussion in some of the southern states, and Governor Jackson in his inaugural address maintained that "Missouri must stand by the other slave-holding states, whatever course they may pursue." The general assembly ordered an election to be held February 18th, for members of a state convention; the proposed object of this convention was "to consider the then existing relations between the United States, the people and government of the different states, and the government and people of the state of Missouri; and to adopt such measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the state and the protection of its institutions as shall appear to them to be demanded." This convention met, first at Jefferson City, and afterward at St. Louis, and had a decided majority of Unionists—that is, of men opposed to secession; some because they believed in the doctrine of "Federal Nationality," as against the doctrine called "State Rights;" others because, like A. H. Stevens, of Georgia, they saw with a clear eye that secession must inevitably result in the overthrow of slavery. And thus the Union men themselves were strongly divided into northern and southern sympathizers. The convention sat at St. Louis, without any important results, from March 9th to 22d, when it adjourned, subject to the call of its committee on federal relations.
National events rushed on rapidly to a crisis which would admit of no temporizing. In April, Fort Sumter was fired upon; President Lincoln called for 75,000 troops; and men must now take sides for or against the national sovereignty of the lawfully constituted Federal authorities. Our legislature was in session; its measures and discussions were almost entirely of the "State Rights" type; and in a message to the legislature on May 3, 1861, Governor Jackson said the President's call for troops "is unconstitutional and illegal, tending toward a consolidated despotism. * * Our interest and sympathies are identical with those of the slave-holding states, and necessarily unite our destiny with theirs." While these influences were working in the central and western parts of the state, and organizations of "state guards" were being rapidly formed to resist the federal authority, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and Col. F. P. Blair were actively enlisting men and organizing regiments in St. Louis and vicinity, to maintain the federal authority. The most intense alarm and consternation prevailed throughout the state. Several minor conflicts occurred between state militia or "guards" and Union troops, all hinging upon the question of which power had the right of paramount sovereignty. The state troops were mostly under command of General Sterling Price, subordinate only to the governor of the state; while the federal troops were under command of General Lyon, by authority of the President of the United States.*
Governor Jackson finally tried to make terms with Gen. Lyon, that no federal troops should be stationed in or allowed to pass through the state. This was refused; and the governor then immediately issued a formal call, June 12, for 50,000 state militia. About April 20th, nearly two months before this, the " state guards " had seized the United States arsenal at Liberty, in Clay county, and taken its stores and arms for their own use. This was several weeks before the celebrated "Camp Jackson" affair. The wager of battle was now fairly joined in Missouri between different parties of her own citizens, although volunteers from other states soon began to pour in. The following is a chronological list of the more important actions and events:
April 12, 1861.—Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter, which was yielded up and evacuated on the 14th.
April Ij.—President Lincoln's proclamation, calling for 75,000 volunteers to sustain the government, and calling a special session of congress.
X''"'SUCCEEDING EVENTS IN MISSOURI.f
April /p.—Gov. Jackson wrote to David Walker, President of the Arkansas Convention, thus: "I have been from the beginning in favor of decided and prompt action on the part of the southern states, but the majority of the people of Missouri, up to the present time, have differed with me."
April 20.—The U. S. arsenal, at Liberty, in Clay county, was seized and garrisoned by about a hundred "state guards," and the arms and cannon were distributed to their friends throughout the county, with the concurrence of the government
April 22.—Governor Jackson officially resented the president's call for troops, and called an extra session of the legislature, to arm and equip state troops. State militia ordered to go into encampment on May 3, for one week.
* It is not the purpose of this history to give a detailed narrative of events of the war time; neither to discuss the right or the wrong of the views of either party in the conflict. We only give a brief mention of some of the most important incidents and leading actors, to show how and wherein the people of Missouri were themselves divided in opinion, what motives moved them, and what events stand out as of chief historic celebrity. Indeed, we would gladly skip this period of our state history entirely, if it were permissible in such a work.
(The events here given, in their chronological order, have been collated from more than thirty different volumes containing different items or parts of Missouri's war history. The narratives, dates and statistics were found often conflicting; and we have endeavored to use those only which seemed to be the best authenticated, or the most probable under the circumstances—and to localize events as closely as possible by naming the towns, streams, counties, etc., where they occurred.
The governor had already (April 20th) seized the United States arsenal at Liberty, and had distributed among his friends the arms it contained. "—Draper's History of the Civil War, Vol. II, p. 228.