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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
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Chapter VI.

St. Louis in 1837. — Act to incorporate the Bank of the State of Missouri. — Its commissioners. — Its first directors. — The Bar vs. the Bench. — Daniel Webster and family visit St. Louis. — Their reception. — Speech of Webster. — The great financial crisis of 1837. — Suspension of the Bank of the State of Missouri. — Ruin of business. — Death of David Barton. — Murder of Thomas M. Dougherty. — Whig Vigilance Committee. — Death of General William Clark. — Kemper College built. — Meeting of the principal mechanics. — Establishment of a Criminal Court. — Building of Christ Church. — Incorporation of the St. Louis Hotel Company, who built the Planters' House. — Morus Multicaulis fever. — Missouri Silk Company incorporated. — Extent of St. Louis. — Incorporation of a Gas-Light Company. — Boundary question between Missouri and Iowa. — Difficulty with Illinois concerning removal of a sand bar. — Laying cornerstone of an addition to Court-house. — Bank of the State of Missouri throws out all the notes of the bank not paying specie. — Distress in business. — Corner-stone of St. Louis College laid. — Proprietor of the Argus beaten — Dies. — Trial of William P. Darnes. — Number of insurance offices in St. Louis. — Murder, fire, and arson. — The discovery of the murderers, their trial, and conviction. — Their attempt to escape. — Their execution. — Synopsis of the business statistics of St. Louis.

1837. — This year commenced propitiously for St. Louis. Most of the merchants had long wished for a hank in the city, and for several years had been trying to effect that object, which was steadily opposed by many, who dreaded the great influx of paper money which is incidental to bank creation, and which, under improper and depraved management, gives a momentary and intoxicating spirit to business, and then leaves it in a prostrate and deranged condition. The act of the incorporation of "The Bank of the State of Missouri" was approved on the first day of February.

In the first bill presented to the legislature, the proposed bank was titled "The Union Bank of Missouri," which was amended and changed before its passage to "The Bank of the State of Missouri." T. L. Price, Thomas Miller, Henry Dixon, and M. S. Bolton, were appointed commissioners to receive subscriptions of stock at Jefferson City; Hugh O Neill, Henry Walton, John B. Sarpy, George K. McGunnegle, and John O'Fallon at St. Louis; William H. Duncan, Moss Prewitt, Moses U. Payne. Oliver Parker, and Sinclair Kirtley at Columbia; Felix Vallé, Eloe Lecompe, Auguste St. Gemmer, and Peter Dufur at St. Genevieve; James P. Shropshire, Sidney P. Haynes, Thomas L. Anderson, William Blackey, and William Campbell at Palmyra; James Erickson, John J. Lowery, Hampton L. Boone, William L. Ward, junior, and Roland Hughes at Fayette; Cornelius Davy, Oliver Caldwell, Samuel D. L. Lucas, Richard Fristoe, and W. W. Kavanagh at Independence; E. M. Samuel, W. J. Moss, J. M. Hughes, Greenup Bird, E. Fitzgerald, and Samuel Tillery at Liberty; James M. White, Israel M. Gready, Peter Smith, John C. Reed, and Firman Disloge at Potosi; John Juden, junior, Thomas Johnson, John Martin, A. H. Brevard, and Walton O. Bannon at Jackson; Jacob Wyon, Robert P. Clark, Henry W. Crowther, Charles Johnson, and N. W. Mack

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at Booneville; and Emanuel Block, David Bailey, G. W. Houston, John W. McKee, and Valentine J. Peers at —

The capital stock of the bank was five millions of dollars, and on the evening of the incorporation, at the election for president and directors, the following-named gentlemen were chosen; John Smith, of St. Louis, president of the parent bank; and its directors were Hugh O'Neill, Samuel S. Rayburn, Edward Walsh, Edward Dolyns, William L. Sublette, and John O'Fallon. Of the branch at Lafayette, J. J. Lowry was appointed president, and W. H. Duncan, J. Villey, Wade M. Jackson, and James Erickson, directors. The Chouteau House was purchased for its accommodation, and it is still at the spot where it was first located — on Main near Vine street. [60]

Nearly at the time of the passage of the charter of the Bank of the State of Missouri, a bill passed the House for the expulsion of all agencies of foreign banking institutions from the state. The Cincinnati Commercial Agency had been established some years in St. Louis, and gained the perfect confidence, not only of the citizens of St. Louis, but of the general government, which had deputized it its fiscal agent. It had assumed the business of the Branch Bank of the United States in St. Louis, and its capital had lent new vigor and extent to business which had otherwise languished for want of pecuniary support. After the creation of the new bank, the general government was bound by a legal provision to do its business through it, and the Commercial Agency, after a little disquietude and murmuring at the interference of the swimming profits it had been garnering during the past years, when it had control of the funds of the general government, and the money-market of St. Louis, agreed to transfer the debts of the citizens of St. Louis to the Bank of the State of Missouri upon rather stringent conditions, which were at first refused, and, after a little modification of the terms, finally accepted, and the Bank of the State of Missouri, with its large capital, became the chief fountain source of business prosperity. [61]

It was blessed in its birth by being born in the favor and confidence of the people, and did much in imposing a chock upon the rapacity of many of the money-brokers, who, taking advantage of a deranged currency, did all they could to bring into disrepute the foreign bills which alone were in circulation, and then shaved them at ruinous discounts. Its notes were looked upon with the same confidence as if they had been the genuine coin which they represented.

Nearly at the time of the passage of the act to incorporate the Bank of the State of Missouri was a rupture between the bench and the bar of the judicial circuit court held in St. Louis. The Honorable Luke E. Lawless was the presiding judge — the same who was imprisoned by Judge Peck on a former occasion for contempt of court, and at the same time suspended from practice in the court over which he administered.

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A meeting was held by some of the members of the bar, and they who were present were — Henry S. Geyer, Hamilton E. Gamble, Beverly Allen, Gustavus A. Bird, John F. Darby, James L. English, Harris L. Sproat, Charles F. Lowry, Wilson Primm, Charles D. Drake, Ferdinand W. Risque, Alexander Hamilton, William F. Chase, Thomas B. Hudson, John Bent, and Singleton W. Wilson. Henry S. Geyer was called to the chair, and Thomas B. Hudson appointed secretary. The object of the meeting was to get an expression of the opinion of the chief members of the bar concerning the judicial qualifications of Judge Lawless, and apply to the governor of the state, through a series of resolutions, to prevent his renomination to office. The charges against him were as follows:

"Whereas, it is feared that the executive of the state will nominate to the Senate Luke E. Lawless, Esq., the present judge of the third judicial circuit, composed of the counties of St. Louis and St. Charles, to be judge of said circuit, unless existing valid objections be communicated, and we, members of the bar of St. Louis, believing that valid objections do exist, see proper, and deem it our duty, to express the same, and do hereby declare our full belief in the truth of the following allegations:

"1. That the said Luke E. Lawless, Esq., is too much under the influence of impulse and first impressions, to give to each case submitted to his judgment a deliberate consideration.

"2. That he is too passionate and impatient while on the bench, to admit a calm and full examination of cases.

"3. That on the trial of issues of fact before juries, his mind receives an early bias, plainly perceivable by the jury, to the prejudice of parties.

"4. That he invades the rights of juries, by assuming the decision of questions of fact exclusively within their province.

"5. That his impatience and arbitrariness lead him to interrupt counsel unnecessarily, and frequently to preclude argument.

"6. That he is wanting in punctuality in attending to the duties of the office.

"7. That he is imperious, overbearing, and disrespectful in his manner to the members of the bar.

"8. That he is indifferent to the faithful recording of the acts of the court wherein he is judge.

"Believing the above allegations to be well founded, therefore,

"Resolved, That it is our full conviction that Luke E. Lawless, Esq., is unfit, by the constitution of his mind, by the intemperance of his feelings, by his impatience in the discharge of official duties, by his invasion of the province of juries, by his want of official punctuality, by his deportment to the members of the bar, and by his indifference to a careful record of the acts of the court wherein he sits, to hold the office of judge of the third judicial circuit of this state."

The allegations made against Judge Lawless, although they might have had some foundation as regarded an impulsive temperament, an imperious disposition, and a hauteur of manner which drew a chilling line of demarkation between the bench and the bar, and gave to the ermine an air of superiority which was disagreeable to the attorneys of the court, still were groundless in many particulars. These were infirmities of human nature — weaknesses of but little magnitude, and though objectionable, were not sufficient to form the basis of disqualification and a public expression

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of opinions. The other charges all arose principally from a difference of political opinion, and the prejudice which the distant bearing of Judge Lawless would necessarily create. Concerning his competency and integrity, even envy could not question them.

The application to the executive failed in its effect. Judge Lawless was nominated by Governor Boggs to the Senate, and was again elected to his judicial office, which, some years afterward, he voluntarily resigned.

In the early part of the summer of this year St. Louis was honored by a visit from one of the most able and popular statesmen of the Union. The worth and fame of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay had given their names an ambrosial significance, and they were regarded with an affection bordering upon adoration. It was thought that both would visit the city at the same time.

When it became known that these distinguished statesmen designed visiting St. Louis, the principal inhabitants of the city convened for the purpose of making proper arrangements for the reception of the distinguished guests. The Honorable Robert Walsh was called to the chair, and resolutions adopted, so that due honors should be paid the distinguished statesmen.

Agreeably to the resolutions of the meeting, when it became known that Mr. Webster was on board the Robert Morris, and approaching the city, the committee embarked on board the H. L. Kenney, and proceeded to meet him. A little below Jefferson Barracks, the Kenney came alongside of the Robert Morris, and the committee was put on board. Immediately the boat was seen with her streaming banner, the national flag was displayed from the court-house, and from the town-house, and on the steamboats could be seen the star-spangled banner in all the variety of size, shape, and value.

Some days before, the people had been led to expect that Mr. Clay would accompany Mr. Webster, and had expressed some disappointment when it became known that the pressure of public business compelled him to decline visiting Missouri at this time; but when they saw the great "Expounder of the Constitution," accompanied by his wife and daughter, land at the Market street wharf, there was but one wish among the thousands of spectators who were present — to give an applauding and becoming welcome to the august guests who had come among them.

Before landing, that Mr. Webster might form a proper estimate of the magnitude of the town and the business that was done on its levee, the Robert Morris plied some distance up the river, and then returned. The spectacle was interesting to the great statesman. St. Louis had already commenced giving significant signs of her future greatness. There was a mile's length of steamers, some receiving and others discharging their freight. The levee was crowded with barrels, boxes, and produce; drays and carts by the legion loading and unloading; and every thing wearing the appearance of thrift and business.

After Mr. Webster and his family landed, they were conducted to the National Hotel, situated on the corner of Third and Market streets, where a suit of rooms had been prepared for their accommodation. They remained several days, and were waited upon by the most respectable citizens.

So as still further to manifest their regard, the citizens had made preparations

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to give a public festival in honor of their distinguished guests. The festival was in the true liberality of Western style. It was summer, and, that all could have a sight of the great patriot and statesman, a grove on the land of Judge Lucas, situated west of Ninth street, was selected as the spot for the barbecue, as the festival was termed. General William H. Ashley presided, assisted by the vice-presidents, Messrs. Richard Graham, William Carr Lane, John B. Sarpy, John Perry, James Clemens, junior, and James Russell.

A large number of citizens were marshalled in procession by Charles Keemle, Esq., marshal of the day, assisted by a large number of deputy marshals, and a splendid band of music, who escorted Mr. Webster to the grove.

There were some six thousand persons altogether at the grove, a great many of them being strangers from the country and the adjoining states. A sumptuous dinner, plentifully supplied with choice liquors, soon put the whole company on the most sociable footing, and speeches and complimentary toasts were made and drank with all the zest of happy feeling and festive enjoyment.

A speech was expected from the great orator, nor was the great mass of people disappointed. Mr. Webster made a speech of more than an hour's duration. It was rather a political speech, but delivered with that happy and massive eloquence for which he was so remarkable, and elicited bursts of applause. The dinner was well gotten up, and all enjoyed it.

The year 1837 is a year remarkable in financial annals. The few previous years had borne the impress of apparent prosperity. There was a general confidence throughout the Union, and, as has always been the case, the banks issued their paper with profusion. Then the fever of speculation commenced to rage throughout the Union, property and products increased in value, and there was universal prosperity. It was of short duration. One bank in the east failed, and that was the first speck in the business horizon. The failure of that bank spread abroad throughout the land, and public confidence became alarmed. Something like suspicion became attached to the paper purporting to represent specie, and it commenced to return to the institutions from whence it emanated. The specie began to be drained from the vaults of the banks, and soon another, and then another of those institutions closed. The panic then became universal, and the moneyed institutions became besieged by the holders of the bills, demanding their redemption in specie. The banks failed rapidly one after another, and there would have been a general rupture, but that the leading banks in the city of New York, to save themselves from ruin, suspended specie payment, which convenient shift, though in direct violation of their charters, was followed by all the banks in the Union. The Bank of the State of Missouri also suspended.

It was a year of terror, ruin, and desolation, caused by a financial tempest, which swept from one end of the Union to the other. Contracts which had been entered into in good faith, notes, due-bills, bonds, mortgages, from the ruin of so many banks, and the curtailment in the issue of the others, became impossible to be met, and all the business channels which depended upon their successful termination became disordered and languishing. Business firms by the hundred tottered, and were wiped

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from existence; families who had lived in affluence were reduced to penury; and even they whose affairs had been conducted with the utmost prudence and foresight, were shaken, and suffered by the storm. St. Louis gave evidences of the shock. Many of the leading firms of the city were prostrated, and business, which in a few weeks before was gliding in a thousand channels, was checked with fearful suddenness, and almost exsiccated. Having gotten in most of their circulations, after some months of careful preparation, the banks commenced to resume specie payment, and for a few years conducted their business with a worthy caution, which soon inspired general confidence, and then again, tempted by cupidity, they flooded the country with their paper, and some years afterward they were compelled to resort to their disgraceful shift of suspending specie payment. When this crisis took place we will hereafter explain.

On September 26th of this year David Barton, Esq., who was in conjunction with Thomas H. Benton, the first United States senators from Missouri when she was admitted into the Union as a state, died at the residence of Mr. Gibson, near Booneville. He was an eminent lawyer and statesman. He presided over the convention which formed the constitution of Missouri; was twice elected United States Senator, and served in the State Senate of Missouri during 1834-5, where he efficiently aided in the compilation of the Revised Statutes, which was ordered at that time. He was a man of undoubted integrity, distinguished for his learning and profound legal acquirements, and owed his eminence wholly to his own efforts.

1838. — In the summer of this year there was a mysterious murder committed on the road between St. Louis and Carondelet. Thomas. M. Dougherty, one of the judges of the county, accompanied by Mr. Linton Sappington, was coming to St. Louis, when the latter stopped at the grocery store of Mr. Bussel, immediately upon the road. When, in departing, as he was in the act of mounting his horse, a black boy came up and told him that Judge Dougherty was awaiting him. Mr. Sappington rode onward, and at about a quarter of a mile from the store he discovered his companion weltering in his blood at a little distance from the roadside. He was breathing heavily, and died before he could be removed to any habitation. There was much excitement regarding the murder, and though a thousand dollars were offered by his friends for the discovery and conviction of the murderer, it was never found out who committed the atrocious deed.

This year party feeling was as rampant as ever. The issue made between the Whig and Democratic party was the sub-treasury scheme, and the United States Bank. The Whig party were advocates of the latter institution, and the Democratic party of the former. There was also an association formed, who were designated "The Whig Vigilance Committee," who were extremely active in all primary meetings, and who, like scouts, were ever on the look-out for their political enemies, and ready to apprise of danger. The following were "the braves" of the party who enrolled themselves a "Vigilance Committee": — Samuel Gaty, E. T. Christy, John Goodfellow, J. A. Sire, George Sproule, L. A. Cerre, John Lee, I. A. Letcher, John Calvert, Asa Wilgus, William G. Pettus, Stuart Matthews, O. Paddock, Bernard Pratte, John R. Shaw,

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August Kerr, A. Gamble, H. N. Davis, J. T. Sweringen, B. Cleland, C. Rhodes, C. P. Billon, William Whitehill, Edward Brooks, George Morton, John Finney, John Leach, S. M. Strother, Charles Collins, John Barclay, J. B. Sarpy, J. S. Pease, J. H. McMillen, D. Tilden, George Corwin, D. B. Hill, William Martin, J. B. Lesperance, James F. Comstock, L. Dumaine, N. E. Janney, William A. Lynch, A. G. Edwards, T. H. West, Edward H. Beebe, Benjamin Ames, T. S. Wilson, George Trask, John Barnes, John Simonds, jr., Henry Maxwell, William Morrison, Alfred Tracy, Dennis Marks, John Ford, J. W. Padding, P. A. Berthold, C. D. Burrus, M. Stitz, William Hayward, Jotham Bigelow, L. B. Shaw, J. B. Girard, J. J. Anderson, Lewis Bissel, M. L. Clark, W. S. Randolph, Noah Ridgely, Lewis Clark, George Knapp, Hiram McKee, Edward Chouteau, L. Farwell, William Risley, Dalzell Smith, J. Christy, John Young, John Bingham, H. A. Carstens, H. Papin, George W. Lewis, John P. Morris, Samuel Daniels, Jonas Moore, Henry Phillips, P. Bartlett, John D. Dagget, Conrad Foulk, Richard B. Dallam, John Lux, Lewis Newell, William Andrews, J. Pritchett, John McDonald, Robert S. Freeland, N. C. Studley, George H. Callender, John Bobb, and D. H. Chapman.

It was the first day of autumn, and it became hinted that Governor William Clark, the great pioneer through the western wilds to the Pacific, was dead. He was then the oldest American resident in St. Louis; he was the first governor of the territory of Missouri when it was changed from Louisiana Territory to Missouri Territory, and subsequently the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Western Division, which office he held to his death. He was known to the wild tribes of Indians from the Mississippi to the Pacific, and they regarded him with a confidence and love which bordered upon idolatry. They even knew his signature, and during the stormy excitement of their savage natures, when ready for the war-path, either against the United States or some hostile tribe, would readily yield to his counsels. He was sixty-eight years of age at the time of his death, and had collected a museum of Indian curiosities, which was of much interest, and was visited by the distinguished strangers who came to the city. His first residence was at the corner of Vine and Main streets, and afterward on the corner of Pine and Main streets. He died universally regretted.

The month after the decease of General Clark, Kemper College, which had been built principally through the exertions of Bishop Kemper, of the Protestant Episcopal church, was opened under favorable auspices, under the superintendence of the Rev. P. R. Minard. The following gentlemen were the first trustees of the institution, which, in its university and medical departments, has been of so much utility to St. Louis: Right Rev. Jackson Kemper, Robert Wash, William P. Clark, J. L. English, Charles Jaline, Rev. P. R. Minard, Colonel J. C. Laveille, Augustus Kerr, N. P. Taylor, Edward Tracy, J. P. Doane, W. P. Hunt, H. L. Hoffman, J. Spalding, Daniel Hough, Henry Von Phul, H. S. Coxe, and Captain J. Symington.

The medical department was erected soon afterward, and owes its existence to Dr. Joseph N. McDowell, one of the most accomplished physicians of the age, who is still living. [62]

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The year 1839 was pregnant with prosperity for St. Louis. The leading mechanics of the city, so that there might be a unity to their efforts, and that they might properly co-operate together, called a meeting for the purpose of forming a Mechanic's Exchange, where they could meet in counsel. At this meeting Captain David H. Hill presided, and Louis Dubreuil was appointed secretary. Five gentlemen were chosen to select a committee from the different departments of business, one person to be selected from each branch, and they to draft a constitution, by-laws, &c. The five gentlemen who received the appointment were, R. N. Moore, J. M. Paulding, Asa Wilgus, William A. Lynch, and John H. Ferguson. These gentlemen, after consultation, submitted the following names: — Joseph C. Laveille, carpenter; Daniel D. Page, baker; Asa Wilgus, painter; Isaac Chadwick, plasterer; Samuel Gaty, founder; Thomas Andrews, coppersmith; George Trask, cabinet-maker; John M. Paulding, hatter; James Barry, chandler; James Love, blacksmith; Joseph Laiden, chairmaker; Wooster Goodyear, cordwainer; William Shipp, silversmith; John Young, saddler; B. Townsend, wire and sieve manufacturer; J. Todd, burr millstone manufacturer; Thomas Gambal, cooper; Francis Raborg, tanner; S. C. Coleman, turner; N. Paschal, printer; John G. Shelton, tailor; B. L. Turnbull, bookbinder; Charles Coates, stonecutter; Anthony Bennett, stone-mason; David Shepard, bricklayer; I. A. Letcher, brick maker; William Thomas, shipbuilder; Samuel Hawkins, gunsmith; Samuel Shawk, locksmith; A. Oakford, combmaker; N. Tiernan, wheel wright; J. B. Gerard, carriage-maker; Moses Stout, plane-maker; James Robinson, upholsterer; and J. Bemis, machinist.

From this meeting resulted a union of the mechanics, and ultimately the formation of their Exchange.

Early in the year the legislature established the Criminal Court in the city, Christ Church was built and dedicated, and an act applied for the incorporation of a Savings Institution. The bill to incorporate the St. Louis Hotel Company was also passed, and afterward an act supplementary was made, changing the name to the Planters' House and Insurance Company of St. Louis. The company were vested with very extensive powers, and possessed all of the prerogatives now vested in fire, life, and marine insurance companies; however, they never exercised these prerogatives, and confined themseves, in their corporate capacity, strictly to building the hotel.

The years 1838-9 were years in which the morus multicaulis fever raged throughout the Union, and the contagion spread to the west bank of the Mississippi. The theory was a beautiful one. One acre planted in mulberry-tree would feed worms sufficient to produce thousands of dollars of silk — wealth could not be garnered sooner from a Potosi's mine.

With such dazzling prospects of wealth, the agriculturists in the neighborhood of St. Louis, and throughout the contiguous counties, to the almost total neglect of their usual crops, commenced raising, in the greatest abundance, that tree so associated with classic reminiscences — the tragic love of Pyramus and Thisbe. Won by the easy way and novel idea of realizing a fortune, the fair sex took the matter in hand, and by their colloquial speculations, contributed still more to swell the current of public opinion in the direction in which it already flowed. At this juncture, a bill was presented to the legislature of the state for the incorporation

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of a silk company, to be established in St. Louis, and the Missouri Silk Company was quickly incorporated.

Storms do not long brew over the face of nature, and a nation's monomania is of but short continuance. The morus multicaulis was a delusion; and when this apparition of wealth became manifest, and its nothingness apparent, thousands who had been pursuing a shadow were ruined in their fortunes. The visions of home-made silk, that would rival in beauty that of China and France, all departed, and the Missouri Silk Company that had been incorporated by the legislature quietly died without entering upon any practical duties of life.

The extent of the city of St. Louis at this time (1839) was not comparable to what it is at the present time. Then the city proper only extended westward as far as Seventh street. Beyond that line there were some scattering residences, gutters, and prairie. In the neighborhood of Washington avenue, there was, west of the boundary of Seventh street for a little distance around, more buildings than in any other quarter in that direction, as the St. Louis College was situated in that neighborhood; but in Chesnut and Market streets, and all South B were gutters and ponds — and then broken ridges and prairie beyond Seventh street to the west. To the north the city extended to Middle street, and to the south, just below the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Outside of these limits, north and south, the residences were scattering, and the population inconsiderable. The population of the city was 16,187.

The inhabitants of St. Louis possessed always a large amount of enterprise, and a portion of its spirited citizens applied to the legislature for the incorporation of a gas-light company. A charter was obtained without any difficulty, and the new company first opened their office on Chesnut street, two doors above Main street. The following gentlemen were its first directors: Theodore L. McGill, M. L. Clark, R. S. Tilden, P. R. McCrary, N. E. Janney, H. B. Shaw, J. D. Daggett, and N. Paschal. It was many years afterward, however, before St. Louis was lighted with gas.

It was in this year that the mayor's court was instituted, and in this year also arose the controversy between the state of Missouri and the territory of Iowa concerning the boundary between them. It was a question which could have easily been deferred for a few months without any public agitation, until Congress should determine the proper boundary, as the whole matter was then before them for a decision; but the political demagogues of the day, ever on the alert to arouse popular feeling, and become leaders in some factional enterprise, seized an opportunity to embroil the authorities of the state and territory. Some person was arrested on the soil claimed by Missouri by a process issued from a court in Iowa, and then came the clash of jurisdiction. The governor of Iowa issued a belligerent message, which was followed by one from the governor of Missouri, calling upon all the civil officers of the state to maintain the jurisdiction to the territory claimed by Missouri.

The inhabitants of St. Louis were much excited upon the occasion, and were unwilling, let the consequences be what they might, to relinquish to the claim of Iowa one acre of the territory which they knew belonged to Missouri.

The constitution of Missouri called for the northern boundary at the

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Des Moines Rapids, at the Big Bend of the Des Moines river. Iowa contended that the rapids alluded to were further south in the Mississippi, which were sometimes called the Des Moines Rapids. There was no collision, however, and when the line was established by Congress, the decision was in favor of Missouri.

Just at the time that the difficulty was subsisting between Missouri and Iowa, the popular mind in St. Louis became still further excited by one of the courts in Illinois laying an injunction on the works that were progressing for the improvement of the harbor.

In a previous portion of this work, it may be remembered, we alluded to the fact of a sand-bar having been formed in the Mississippi, in front of the town, which had commenced to impede navigation, and had excited the fears of the inhabitants by its constant increase. A large appropriation of $115,000 had been made by Congress so that means could be taken to throw the channel of the Mississippi closer to the western shore. To effect this, a large dyke had to be constructed, a portion of which had to rest upon the Illinois shore, and thinking that the interest of a contemplated town just laid out would be affected in some manner, the proprietors applied for an injunction to one of the state courts of Illinois, and obtained it. The work, which was then under the efficient management of Major Lee, was suspended, greatly to the chagrin of the people of St. Louis.

By order of the County Court, it was resolved that a considerable addition should be made to the court-house, which had been built during 1825-6. The corner-stone of the new addition was laid with much ceremony, and in the presence of a large gathering of the citizens. Beneath the stone was placed a sealed glass, containing a parchment roll, on which the following was written:

"The corner-stone of the new court-house of the county of St. Louis, state of Missouri, being an addition to that erected A. D. 1825-6, laid on the twenty-first day of October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. — Martin Van Buren, president of the United States; Richard M. Johnson, vice-president of the United States; Lilburn W. Boggs, governor of Missouri; Franklin Cannon, lieutenant-governor; Matthias McGirk, present judge of the Supreme Court; George Tompkins, associate judge of same; William B. Napton, associate judge of same; Luke E. Lawless, judge of St. Louis Circuit Court; John Ruland, clerk and recorder of same; James B. Bowlin, judge of St. Louis Criminal Court; Julius D. Johnson, clerk of the same; Mary Philip Leduc, Henry Walton, and Joseph Le Blond, justices of the County Court; Henry Chouteau, clerk of same; Marshal Brotherton, sheriff of St. Louis county; John Bent, circuit attorney; Henry Singleton, architect: Joseph Foster, builder; William Carr Lane, mayor of the city of St. Louis; Elliott Lee, marshal of same. A specimen of all the coins of the United States; a copy of all the newspapers printed in the city; and copies of the programmes of the proceedings of the day."

From its first institution, banking appeared to have been a source of disquietude to the people of St. Louis. In 1839, the banks in most of states of the Union had again suspended specie payment, and the directors of the Bank of Missouri very wisely and justly adopted a resolution "that the bank will, in future, receive from, and pay only to, individuals

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her own notes and specie, on the notes of specie-paying banks." When this resolution became known, the excitement in the mercantile community was immense. The notes of the banks of the other states formed principally the currency of the state, and by this act of the Bank of the State of Missouri, all the notes of banks which had suspended specie payment lost their character as representing funds for the payment even of existing contracts. There had been a drain of specie from the East, and the issues of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and of other specie-paying banks, together with the specie available in the financial market, did not furnish one tithe of the money required for the payment of daily-maturing obligations. The merchants were in a most distressing situation. They had a commercial honor to preserve, and to do this, it was incumbent upon them that their notes should not go to protest; and there was not sufficient specie and bankable funds in circulation to redeem their paper. In this crisis, a meeting was called so as to adopt the most feasible measures to relieve them of their difficulties. A proposition was made to Mr. John Smith, president of the bank, that the collection paper discounted by the bank up to that time should be paid in the same description of funds heretofore received by the bank, and that the business paper discounted by the bank up to that time should, as far as possible, be placed on the footing of accommodation paper, the curtailment and discount being paid in specie or the notes of specie-paying banks.

The president promised to confer with the board of directors, and after the due deliberation of that body, there was an objection to the proposition, on the ground that there would be necessarily some depreciation of the funds, which loss the bank was unwilling to sustain. So great was the emergency at this particular juncture in financial affairs, that this objection was met on the part of the most wealthy of the citizens, by an offer to legally bind themselves to indemnify the bank against any loss they might sustain by a depreciation of the notes of the banks heretofore received. The gentlemen who obligated themselves to be thus responsible were Mr. Collier, E. Tracy, Pierre Chouteau, John Walsh, William Glascow, John Perry, H. Von Phul, John Kerr, G. K. McGunnegle, Jos. C. Laveille, and John O'Fallon. There was a consultation had by the directors of the bank regarding that proposition, and it was determined that the bank should adhere to their original resolution.

The business part of the community had calculated that the bank, thus insured against loss, would consent to the proposition made it, and when the refusal was made known, an indignation-meeting was called, strongly condemning the conduct of the bank, and resolutions passed to withdraw deposits, and patronize some other institutions. Many of the large depositors consequently withdrew their funds, and deposited them in the insurance offices, and with the Gas-Light Company, who, at that time, did a partial banking business.

The bank, thus deprived of the support of its most wealthy and influential patrons, still pursued the cautious policy it had adopted, and by thus severing itself from tottering moneyed institutions, and refusing their notes, eventually saved itself from being linked with their fall, which took place in a short time, and vindicated the wisdom and farsightedness of the position which the directors of the bank had assumed.

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As it will be of interest to the reader, we here give the number of arrivals and departures of steamboats for each month of the year 1839:

  Arrivals. Departures.
January 47 44
February 49 57
March 659 145
April 210 210
May 191 194
June 190 183
July 178 173
August 119 177
September 142 142
October 138 150
November 96 96
December 76 74
Total 2,095 1,645

1840. — In the spring of this year, the Catholic church, which is attached to the St. Louis University, and called the College, was commenced. The corner-stone was laid on a Sabbath afternoon, with all the ceremonial observances of the church, and in the presence of an interested multitude. There was a parchment deposited in the stone, on which was the following inscription:

Pridie Idus Aprilis,
Anno reparatse salutis MDCCCXL,
Americanae Independentiae assertae et vindicatae
Gregorio XVI Pontifice Maximo,
Martino Van Buren Foederatae Americas Praeside,
Admodum Rev. Patre Joanne Roothaan Proposito
General! Societatis Jesu
Lilburn W. Boggs Missouri Gubernatore,
Gulielmo Carr Lane Urbis Sancti Ludovici Profecto,
Rev. Patre P. J. Verhaegen Vice-Provinciae
Missourianae Societatis Jesu Vice-Provinciali,
Rev. Patre J. A. Elet Sancti Ludovici Universitatis
Reverendissimus D. Joseph Rosati Episcopus Sti.
Ludovici, Lapidem hunc angularem Ecclesiae,
Deo Opt. Max.
Sub invocatione
Sancti Francisci Haverii,
Sancti Aloysii
Studiosae Inventuti patroni,
In Urbe Sancti Ludovici aedificandae
Assistentibus Sancti Ludovici Universitatis Rectore,
Professoribus, Auditoribus ac Alumnis,
Necnon D'no Georgio Barnett et D'no Stuart Matthews

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Ac D'no Carolo Cutts muratorum Praefecto,
Solemni ritu benedixit et in fundamentis posuit,
Coram magna populi

In politics there was a universal enthusiasm pervading the Whig party in St. Louis. General Harrison was the nominee of the Whig convention for the presidency, and it was fondly hoped that the worship which had been paid to General Jackson a few years before, and which still clung to his political principles, he having gone into retirement, would be transferred to the veteran soldier of Tippecanoe and the Thames; and the predisposition to hero-worship gave that ascendency to the party which for years it had strived vainly to attain. There was much feeling manifested at the election for mayor, as it was thought a suitable occasion for feeling the political pulse of the people. There were three popular candidates for the responsible municipal office — J. F. Darby, J. J. Purdy, and A. Wetmore. J. F. Darby, the Whig candidate, was elected. The election for county officers in August was favorable to the same party, and the Whig party became generally triumphant.

It was on the first day of summer that a violent attack was made by one citizen upon another, which ultimately resulted in his death. The Argus was the Democratic organ, edited by William Gilpin, and owned by Andrew J. Davis. An article appeared in its columns, which reflected somewhat on the persons composing a meeting of which William P. Darnes, a respectable citizen, was appointed secretary. There had previously been some political feeling between Mr. Darnes and the Argus, and on the occasion of the pungent paragraphs in its columns, which Mr. Darnes construed to reflect directly upon him, he indicted a letter to Mr. Davis, its proprietor, asking him if certain offensive allusions in his columns were intended for him, and in the same letter using contemptuous language toward Mr. Gilpin, the editor. The reply of Mr. Davis was short, acrimonious, and scornful; and on the next issue of the Argus, Mr. Gilpin, who had been irritated by the humiliating allusions made to him in the letter of Darnes, publicly avowed that he alone was responsible for what appeared in the columns of the Argus, and went even beyond the wide range of editorial license in his abusive attack upon Mr. Darnes. The latter determined to hold Mr. Davis, the proprietor of the paper, responsible; and had before, in his letter to that gentleman, declared that it should be his course, if any thing offensive was said of him in the columns of the Argus.

Smarting under the effects of the galling epithets which had been publicly applied to him, Mr. Darnes purchased a small iron cane, and attacked Mr. Davis on Third street, close by the National Hotel, [63] and in a few moments brought his opponent to the ground. Mr. Davis was carried into the hotel, bleeding profusely from his wounds, which were principally in the head, and after his injuries were examined by a physician, it was deemed advisable that he should be removed to the hospital.

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After a consultation between three of the most respectable physicians, it was determined to trephine him. The operation was performed, and small portions of spicula were found upon the brain, showing that the vitreous table of the skull was broken, and that there was an urgent necessity for the operation. A few days afterward Mr. Davis died.

The trial of Darnes came off in November, and if the friends of Davis were naturally anxious for his prosecution, there were others who used every effort to justify him in the course he had taken, and to shield him from the consequences of his act. Able counsel were employed both upon the part of the state and the defence. Messrs. Engle and Gantt were for the prosecution, and Messrs. Geyer, Allen, and Crocket for the accused.

During the trial, the court-room was crowded to its utmost capacity, and by a finesse of argument, which is ever remarkable in the legal profession, the counsel for the defence contended that it was not certain whether Davis died from the effects of the blows of the cane, or from the surgical operation to which he had been subjected. To support them on this ground of their defence, the testimony of Drs. Knox, Wm. Carr Lane, and White was introduced during the trial, who thought that there were no symptoms requiring the trephine operation, which was at all times a dangerous one, and liable to a fatal termination.

Dr. Beaumont, a surgeon of the United States army, and the most accomplished writer on the gastric juice, performed the operation; and did it with the concurrence of Drs. Sykes and McMartin. Here was truly a disagreement of the doctors — three pro and three con. To enlighten the jury in this confliction of testimony produced by the medical examination, the lawyers took the matter in hand, and read portions of the productions of the great lights of the medical profession; discoursed learnedly of what constituted the symptoms of compression, the locality of the dura mater and the pia mater, and the danger of spicula remaining in the brain. The medical authorities were placed upon a Procrustean bed, there lopped and here stretched, to suit the views of counsel, until, after the stretches of meaning and mutilations, the authors themselves would not have known their productions.

After a tedious trial of two weeks, the case was given to the jury, who returned a verdict of guilty of manslaughter in the fourth degree, and the accused was fined $500. It was a time when the press stood ready to assail any character, it mattered not how unexceptionable, and any one who had the courage to oppose its political opinions, was certain to receive the poisonous shafts of ridicule or abuse. On this account the jury rendered a lighter verdict than they would have done had not these causes existed. [64]

1841. — This year there were in existence in St. Louis ten insurance companies; they were named as follows: Marine Insurance Company, St. Louis Insurance Company, Floating-Dock Insurance Company, Citizens Insurance Company, Union Insurance Company, Missouri Insurance Company, Farmers' and Mechanics' Insurance Company, Perpetual Insurance

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Company, Gas-Light Insurance Company, and Mutual Insurance Company. Many of these companies were engaged in a partial banking business, and at all times, and more especially during the cautious policy of the State Bank of Missouri, kept a large portion of money in circulation, which kept the currents of business from stagnation, infused vitality, and in many instances preserved some departments of trade from total cessation.

Early on Sunday morning, April 18th, there was an alarm of fire, which proceeded from a large stone building located on the corner of Pine and Water streets, occupied by Messrs. Simonds and Morrison, the rear of which was occupied by Mr. Pettus as a banking-house. The firemen and citizens were soon upon the ground, and, forcing open one of the rear doors, discovered the body of a young man by the name of Jacob Weaver, of exemplary habits, mutilated in a dreadful manner, with pools of his warm life-blood around him. The fire had not reached the body, and it was evident that a foul murder had been committed, and, as the fire proceeded from several distinct parts of the building, it was known that with the crime of murder was joined that of arson.

However intricate the mazes of mystery, when once a clue is obtained, a correct conclusion is soon arrived at; and when the body of young Weaver was found and recognized, the inquiry was at once set afloat, where was his room-mate, Mr. Jesse Baker? He was not to be found, and it was almost certain that he, too, was murdered, and his body amid the ruins of the destroyed building. On the next day it was discovered, on removing the rubbish, all charred and half consumed. Robbery was evidently the motive of the murderers, and as the two young men were in the way, they did not hesitate to dispatch them; and then thought that all evidence of the crime would be destroyed, if they succeeded in successfully firing the building; but Providence, in its just and mysterious ways, usually disappoints mischievous calculations, for the purposes of retribution; and in this case the body of one of the victims was discovered before the flames had reached it.

The building was entirely consumed, and one or two of the adjoining ones were partially burned. Nothing but the untiring exertions of the firemen for hours saved the whole row from conflagration. It was discovered, on examination, that an effort had been made to enter the vault of the banking-house of Mr. Pettus, which was unsuccessful.

Things produce like things in nature, and one misfortune is usually the parent of another. While Mr. Ansel S. Kemball, first-engineer of the Union Fire Company, was actively at work trying to stifle the flames, a portion of the wall of the building fell, and crushed him. He died — as many noble-hearted of his firemen brethren die — in nobly risking his life in the hour of danger, for the protection of the life and property of others. This unfortunate occurrence added still more to the excitement already so rife among the citizens. The most experienced of the police took the matter in hand to ferret out the murderers and incendiaries; and still further to stimulate their efforts, and put the whole country on the alert, a reward of five thousand dollars was offered by the municipal authorities. For several days all the efforts of the citizens and police were fruitless; but at length the disclosure was made by a journeyman barber by the name of Edward H. Ennis, to a mulatto man, who resided in Brooklyn, opposite St. Louis; and the mulatto, instigated by cupidity,

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communicated his information to the officials. Ennis was arrested, and then he communicated the following facts: that on a certain Saturday night he went to his boarding-house, kept by a mulatto woman named Leah, situated on Third street, between Market and Walnut; at a late hour a negro slave by the name of Madison, came to the house, and, after being admitted, declared he had done more murder that night than he had ever before, and had not been paid for it. Such language induced Ennis to question him further, when he learned that he and three other negroes had been engaged in the attempted robbery of Mr. Pettus's banking-house. The names of the other negroes were Seward, Warrick, and Brown. The manner of the murder is best related by giving the able charge of Judge Bowlin in passing sentence upon the accused, after a fair trial.

In passing sentence on the four negroes lately tried and convicted of the murders of the 17th April last.

"Madison, alias Blanchard, Charles Brown, James Seward, alias Sewell, and Alfred, alias Alpheus Warrick, you stand convicted of wilful, deliberate, and premeditated murder. Have you now, or either of you, any thing to say why the sentence of death should not be pronounced against you?"

The prisoners, with the exception of Madison, who merely said, "Nothing from me, sir," remaining mute, his honor proceeded —

"You have all been severally indicted by a grand jury of the county as follows: — you, Madison, for the murder of Jesse Baker, and the rest as confederates, aiding and abetting in said murder; and you, Charles Brown, for the murder of Jacob Weaver, and the rest as confederates, aiding and abetting in said murder. Upon which charges, so preferred by the grand jury, you have been put separately upon your trials, before traverse juries of the county — juries selected in each case with great caution, that they might be above all suspicion of bias or prejudice against you — and where you have been heard by your counsel — counsel amongst the ablest of the bar, in your defence. So that it is not a matter of form to tell you, that you have each had a fair and impartial trial before a jury of your countrymen, who have in their several verdicts, pronounced each of you guilty of murder in the first degree. You, Madison and Brown, as the persons who inflicted the fatal blows; and you, Seward and Warrick, as bring present aiding and abetting in the several murders.

"Upon these respective verdicts, it becomes the principal duty of the court to pronounce the sentence of the law. But, before doing so, as you were separately tried, and neither having heard the particular evidence given in the case of the other, it is but proper that there should be laid before you a history of the case as derived from the testimony.

"In doing this, it is not the object to awaken feelings by a recital of the horrid deed, or to bring unnecessarily to your minds painful recollections of the past; but it is solely with a view to place the nature of your crimes in such characters before you as to banish all hope of mercy from your fellow-men, whose laws you have so daringly violated; and the more strongly to rivet your attention to that source alone for consolation

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where it is never too late to find mercy and forgiveness. The court would not be discharging its duty to you with fidelity, in this last solemn act between you and it, if it would conceal from your knowledge any thing of your true situation. To leave you buoyed up with a false hope, would be to deceive you. Hence it is deemed proper that your crime should be placed before you, as it has made its impress upon the minds of men; that every false beacon of earthly hope may be destroyed, and you the more solemnly urged to seek for consolation at the throne of Divine Mercy.

"It, then, appears from the testimony in the case, that some three days before the ever-memorable night of the 17th of April, you had planned your scheme of robbing the storehouse of Messrs. Collier and Pettus. At which time, it appears, some compunctious visitings of nature operated upon you, and a difference arose about adding the crime of blood to the other contemplated offence; that the evil demon prevailed, and it was finally settled that even blood should not arrest you in the accomplishment of your crime. The next place you are traced to is at a meeting, by appointment, in the dusk of the evening of Saturday, the 17th of April, on board the steamer Missouri, under pretence of examining her machinery. This was the meeting preparatory to the accomplishment of the crime. You left the boat, and stood on Front street, opposite the house of Collier and Pettus, awaiting the arrival of the proper hour. That at, or about nine o'clock, in the evening, when a person might well have felt the most perfect security in his counting-room with open doors, on one of the "most populous streets in the city, you entered the counting-room, that is, you, Madison, first entered, and asked of the young gentleman in charge, Jesse Baker, the validity of a bank-note; and while, in the honesty of his heart, and with that kindness of feeling for which he was conspicuous among his fellow-men, he was performing an act of kindness for you, by examining the note, and he was thus placed off his guard, you struck the fatal blow that deprived him of life.

"At this particular point of time, there is some contrariety in the evidence; but the better opinion is, upon the whole, that the rest of you immediately entered, at the signal of the blow. You searched your victim for the keys; not finding them, you wrapped him in bed-clothes, and deposited him in bed; and then went to work upon the vault, after perhaps setting one or two sentinels. That you continued to work upon the vault until Jacob Weaver, the bed-companion of Baker, arrived, which was about the hour of eleven o'clock. That he knocked at the door, to awaken his friend, little dreaming that he was sleeping the sleep of death; when, it appears, a difficulty arose about who should be his murderer. That horrid duty fell upon you, Charles Brown, and the manner of its execution was awfully delineated in the appearance of the object. You took your station behind the door, the rest concealing themselves, and opened it for him; and as he entered you felled him to the floor, repeating the blows until he was dead — depriving of life, in one moment, a young man who never harmed you, who was at once the pride and hope of his friends, and an ornament to society.

"It appears, then, that despairing of success in your attempts upon the vault, you fired the building in five places, and left for your respective homes — you, Brown, being the last to leave, after closing the house and

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throwing away the key-hoping, doubtless, by this last act to bury in eternal oblivion all traces of the awful tragedy, and leave the world to hopeless conjecture as to the fate of its unhappy inmates. In the burning, you succeeded but too well: you destroyed the whole property, but not in time to conceal the traces of your dreadful crime.

"During the heart-rending scenes just recounted, the testimony places you, Seward and Warrick, in a variety of positions — sometimes in the house, in the midst of the tragic scene, and then again on the look-out, as sentinels, to avoid surprise. In either situation, the law makes your offence just the same, in depravity and punishment, as though you had stricken the fatal blow. And justly so, for had you refused your co-operation, or had you made a timely retreat from it, the world might have been saved the recital of this awful tragedy, and you the consequence resulting from it.

"Shortly after, you all must have left the building — at about midnight, when the city was wrapped in profound repose, and men were dreaming in their fancied security — they were started from their beds, with the terrible cry of fire. The citizens, with their usual alacrity, and with nerves braced for a contest with the devouring element, repaired to the scene — burst open the doors, and, almost at the peril of their own lives, rushed in, and dragged forth the yet warm body of young Weaver, bearing upon it undeniable testimonials of the awful crime that had been committed — a crime which, for daringness of design and boldness of execution, is almost without a parallel in this country. At the awful contemplation of the reality before them, men instinctively shrunk with terror from each other. They thought of the daring boldness of the crime, and of its perpetrators abroad in the land, and an instinctive shudder seized them at the thought of their unprotected homes. Suspicion was abroad — and yet ordinary perpetrators of crime passed unscathed by its breath. The daring boldness of its execution was a shield against suspicion to common offenders. Man knew not how to trust his fellow-man. The bonds of society were well nigh sundered when, at a fortunate moment for the peace and security of persons and property, and the supremacy of the laws, a conscience overburdened with a catalogue of crime had to find vent, from the awful goading of nature, by an open betrayal of the secret — a secret which has since received a mournful but most undeniable confirmation.

"Thus, in a moment of ambition for unhallowed gain, you have stricken from existence two young men, just entering as it were upon the threshold of usefulness — in the spring-day of life — in the fulness of hope and future expectation — in that period just budding into manhood, when the heart beats responsive to the calls of sympathy and humanity; and that, without even the plea of passion for an excuse. Their only fault was, that in discharge of their duty they stood between you and your unholy covetings. By this stroke, you have done a deed which no power on earth can repair, no time obliterate. You have in an unhallowed moment stricken the bright cup of expectation from the lips of adoring friends, and rendered cheerless many an aching heart. No penitence you could offer, would repair the wrong; but your fate may be a negative example to others, to avoid the path that leads to danger and destruction.

"The details have been thus minutely recounted, from a solemn conviction that the court owes it to you, to point out your true condition in

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language not to be mistaken — to obliterate every false hope that might flatter and deceive you — to give you a true idea of the character of your offence, and the stern demands of public justice; and to urge upon you most solemnly to anchor your hopes before the Tribunal which is superior to all earthly tribunals, and seek alone for mercy at the Fountain of Mercy.

"You have time left you for penitence and prayer — for preparation for the end that awaits you. Not so with the victims of your great crime. They were hurried into the presence of their Maker unwarned of their impending fate. Crimes like yours cannot go unpunished. ‘Lay not the flattering unction to your souls’ that any hope awaits you this side the grave — your days are numbered — your sands of life are almost run. Let me, then, urge you to seek for consolation and forgiveness, in the few days you have yet to live, before the throne of Him who holds all our destinies in his hands. Let your first acts of penitence be a full and frank confession of your crimes. Lay bare your hearts — strip them of all falsehoods and guile — keep no black memorial harbored there, if you wish to render them acceptable before the God of Truth, Justice, and Mercy.

"One word, and this court is done. But that one word is the awful sentence of the law. It is, that you, Madison, alias Blanchard, Charles Brown, Alfred, alias Alpheus Warrick, James Seward, alias Sewell, you and each of you, will be returned to the jail whence you came, there to be confined until Friday the ninth day of July, and on that day you will be taken hence to the place of execution; there, between the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon of that day and four o'clock in the afternoon, to be hung by the neck until you are dead.

"May God grant you that mercy which, by your crime, you have forfeited from your fellow-men."

After sentence of death had been passed, a strict watch was kept upon the murderers, and they were heavily ironed; but the love of life will frequently put in play subtle schemes, and call into action the most desperate measures. A little knife had come in the possession of one of the murderers, and with this they succeeded in cutting their irons, and then, on a visit from the jailer, he was knocked down, and the guard, consisting of three or four men, were frightened or overpowered by the desperate villains, who, after running some distance, were captured by the citizens, and led back to the jail, from which they did not emerge until their execution, some months afterward. They were executed upon the island opposite the lower part of the city, and their confessions being published, the incidents of their vicious lives thus spread abroad in the community, ministered to morbid tastes, and probably brought young and guileless minds into too close an approximation with wicked actions, which can scarcely be known without defiling.

At this time (1841) there were in St. Louis, two foundries; twelve stone, grate, tin, and copper manufactories; twenty-seven blacksmiths and house-smiths; two white-lead, red-lead and litharge manufactories; one castor-oil factory; twenty cabinet and chair factories; two establishments for manufacturing linseed-oil; three factories for the making of lead-pipe; fifteen tobacco and cigar manufactories; eleven coopers and nine hatters; twelve saddle, harness and trunk manufactories; fifty-eight boot-and-shoe shops that manufacture; six grist-mills; six breweries; a glass-cutting establishment;

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a Britannia manufactory; a carpet manufactory, and an oil-cloth factory. There was also a sugar-refinery; a chemical and fancy soap manufactory; a pottery and stone-ware manufactory; an establishment for cutting and beautifying marble; two tanneries; and several manufactories of ploughs and other agricultural implements.

The city was divided into five wards; contained three markets; a workhouse; two colleges — the St. Louis University, a Catholic institution, and Kemper College, under the Episcopal charge; and the two medical colleges attached to these institutions. There was also a Female Seminary, under the charge of the nuns of the Sacred Heart. There was no lacking of churches. Within the city were two Catholic churches; two Presbyterian, two Methodist, one Baptist, one Associate Reformed Presbyterian, one Unitarian, one German Lutheran, and two African churches. There were also two orphan asylums — one for males, under the charge of the Sisters of Charity, and one presided over by an association of Protestant ladies. There was the Sisters' Hospital, and several hotels, the largest of which was the Planters' House, which had been just completed. The building of boats was commenced, and the Floating-Dock was in operation. Two boat-yards were also opened during the year, and to Captain Chase belongs the honor of starting the first boat-yard in St. Louis. Previous to this time, all the boats owned in St. Louis were built at some point on the Ohio River.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
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