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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
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Hon. Francis P. Blair, Jr.

FRANCIS P. BLAIR was born in Lexington, Kentucky, February 19th, 1821. His father was a native of Washington county, Virginia, was a gentleman of fine scholastic attainments, being a graduate of Transylvania University, and as a journalist and politician, was well known throughout the whole Union. He was the first editor of "The Globe" at Washington City, and continued to preside over that acknowledged organ of the Democratic party until the advent of Mr. Polk in the "White House," when, not going the whole length prescribed by the Democratic platform, he was required to dispose of the journal to Mr. Ritchie, who was the Nestor of journalists, and was the unswerving advocate of Democratic principles, as established by conclave. He has now retired from the turbid currents of political life, and devotes his time to the independent and ennobling pursuit of agriculture, though, previous to retiring from the political field, when Martin Van Buren advocated the Free-soil doctrine, and drew off large numbers from the Democratic ranks, Mr. Blair became a Free-soiler, and warmly supported the new political doctrine.

Francis P. Blair, jr., the subject of this sketch, was brought up in Kentucky until nine years of age, when his father's family removed to Washington, his father having been invited there the preceding year to edit The Globe. He was sent early to school, and, passing through the first gradations of education, he was sent to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and enjoyed for a short time all the advantages of mental culture afforded by that justly-popular institution. His father being a scholar, and estimating properly scholastic attainments, then sent him to Princeton, and at the age of twenty he obtained his diploma of graduation at Nassau Hall.

After graduation at Princeton, he returned to Kentucky, and commenced the study of law under the instruction of Lewis Marshall, an eminent lawyer, and brother of Chief-Justice Marshall, one of the most distinguished jurists of our country. He, however, remained but a short time prosecuting his studies, for his health was at that time feeble, and came to St. Louis on a visit to his uncle, Judge Blair, and then returning to Kentucky, he went to the Law School at Transylvania, where he continued until he completed his legal studies.

Young Blair, when he visited St. Louis to see his brother, had marked the vitality everywhere apparent in business, and believing, from its splendid location, in its great future, he had then determined to make it his home when he commenced his profession. After leaving Transylvania, he put this design in execution, and returned to St. Louis in 1843, for the purpose of practising his profession. He commenced his practice under favorable auspices; but his health was so feeble, it was much feared by his friends that the stamina of his constitution were prematurely declined. He was advised by his physician, so as effectually to stop the

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progress of decline, to alter entirely his habits and pursuits, and, following the advice, he made a trip to the Rocky Mountains in company with some traders and trappers, and, at the breaking out of the Mexican war, joined the command of General Kearney in Mexico, serving as a private soldier. He returned to St. Louis in 1847, and resumed his profession.

Mr. Blair had his health entirely re-established from the active, wild, and exposed life which he led for several years, and even enjoyed the deprivations to which he was subjected, owing probably to hereditary predisposition for that kind of life, as his mother was a descendant of the well-known pioneer Gist, one of the companions of Daniel Boone, when the "Bloody Ground" received its sanguinary baptism in the early annals of Kentucky.

In 1848, Mr. Blair, following in the political footprints of his father, advocated the tenets advocated by the Van Buren or Free-soil party, and took an active part in that campaign. He became a leader of the party at that time, and in 1852 was elected to the legislature, and was re-elected for the second year. In 1856, he was elected to Congress, and while in the House of Representatives fearlessly advocated his doctrines, contending against the extension of slavery in the territories. He is no believer in the unholy and disgusting tenets advocated by Abolition fanaticism, but advocates the gradual abolition of slavery in the Union, and the colonization of the slaves emancipated in Central America, which climate appears to be happily adapted to their constitutional idiosyncracies.

In September 8th, 1847, Mr. Blair was joined in wedlock to Miss Apolline Alexander, daughter of Andrew Alexander, of Woodford county, Kentucky. He is the acknowledged leader of the Free-soil party, not only in the state of Missouri, but of the Union; and has ever been the friend and supporter of the system of internal improvements, which is so rapidly developing the mineral and agricultural wealth of Missouri.

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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
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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