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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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Appendix. Errata.

(1) page 240. There are a dozen instances in the Archives and Livre Terrein where the founder of St. Louis has signed his name Pierre Laclede Liguest. Why he was known by the name of Laclede by the old inhabitants, is very easily accounted for. In the first stages of society there is no caste, no ceremony; every person is on the most familiar footing, and it was rare that any one was called but by one name; and that is as seldom the patronymic. The Christian or middle names are generally used. The inhabitants called the founder of the village Laclede in their daily familiar intercourse, but when it was signed by himself in legal instruments, it was written Laclede Liguest, or Pierre Laclede Liguest.

(2) page 242. There is a statement made by Jean Baptiste Rivière dit Baccané, and recorded in Hunt's Minutes, that Laclede remained some time in Kaskaskia, previous to his visit to St. Louis, after he had sent Auguste Chouteau to take possession of the spot. In another portion of the same record it is related that the warehouse of the company was built on the public square — the block now occupied by the Merchants' Exchange, between Market and Walnut, and Main and Front streets.

(3) page 250. The hunters and traders of those days were a graceless set of scamps, take them as a whole. They were a jovial, ignorant, and immoral set, though possessing honesty, courage, and self-reliance. If a true history could be made of some of their adventures, it would present hair-breadth escapes, feats of daring intrepidity, and suffering in all its phases, more plentifully than adorn the works of Spanish romance.

(4) page 250. Third street was not opened until after 1800; for at the change of government it was only opened south of Market street.

(5) page 261. "In the year 1774, the 27th of December, I the undersigned have buried the body of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, Captain of the Swiss Battalion of Louisiana, in the cemetery of this sacristy, and have administered the sacraments of the church.

From Register of Catholic Church.

(6) page 265. There was a female who became afterward the school-mistress of the village, who when the savage made the attack, put on a coat, and buttoning it well up to her chin, and armed with a pistol in one hand and with a knife in the other, took her station at one of the gates, encouraged the men to make a valiant defence, and fearlessly exposed her person to the fire of the savages. This feat of courage dubbed her as a female warrior, and ever after she had the reputation of a heroine.

(7) page 268.

(8) 273. It was during the administration of Perez, in the year 1792,

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that the honey-bee, that ever hums upon the track of civilization, appeared in the neighborhood of St. Louis. The first swarm settled in the garden of Madame Chouteau, and was a source of much interest to the inhabitants. Nine years after the advent of the honey-bee, the inhabitants of St. Louis were visited by that dreadful malady, the small-pox. It was brought from New-Orleans by some of the voyayeurs, and proved very fatal to the inhabitants, as its proper treatment was little understood. The year of the visitation was called l'année de la picoté (the year of the Small-pox).

(9) page 277. There were three men, commandants in Upper Louisiana at the time of the transfer, who were deputy commandants, Don Francis Vallé, commandant at St. Genevieve; Don Louis Lorimer, commandant at Cape Girardeau, and Don Juan Lavallée, commandant at New Madrid.

The governor-general of Louisiana was for many years vested with all the powers of intendant-general, until the appointment of Morales.

Delassus in 1803 received the following document from New Orleans, which rendered it illegal for him to grant lands after its reception. His not obeying strictly the order, opened the door to much dispute concerning land claims:

"On account of the death of the assessor of this intendancy, and there not being in the Province a learned man who can supply his place, I have closed the tribunal of affairs and causes relating to grants and compositions of royal lands, and the 81st article of the royal ordinance for the intendants of New Spain provides that, for conducting that tribunal and substantiating its acts, the concurrence of that officer shall be necessary. I make this communication to apprise you of this providence, and that you may not receive or transmit memorials for the grant of lands, until further orders. God preserve you, &c.

"NEW ORLEANS, December 1st, 1802."

(10) page 278. There were a great many inhabitants, it is true, who looked upon the transfer even at first with disfavor, but it was confined principally to that class whose possessions were meagre, and consequently who had but little to hope for in the rise of property. The couriers des bois and the voyageurs, doubtless regretted the change, as it gave possession of the country to a people who would throw some trammels over the wild liberties of their vagabondish life; and as we have in another part of this narrative given some description of the power of this half-civilized race, we will give some description of the latter.

The voyageurs were principally French Canadians, brought up from their infancy to follow the navigation of the watercourses for a livelihood. They were a hardy, reckless race of men, whose ambition consisted in braving danger, and performing feats of personal prowess. Those who plied the oar on the eddying currents of the Father of Waters had in a greater degree that hardihood, recklessness, courage, love of danger, and strife, which characterized these demi-savages of the Caucasian race.

It was the custom, for one who had been victor in many contests, and was considered a champion, on going ashore to place in his cap a scarlet feather, or a piece of red flannel representing a kind of flag, as a challenge to any one who dared dispute his title of precedence to personal strength

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and prowess. The banks of the Mississippi were the scene of many a bloody encounter between the desperate set of men who lived upon its waters.

The voyageurs among the people in those early days, were looked upon with much respect, and especially by the young girls were viewed with special favor; and those who, still young, could boast of making the most trips to New Orleans, and victorious in the most encounters, received the most significant attention. These hardy men had to pass a term of probation, before they received the appellation of voyageurs. During the first year of their plying the oar they were in derision termed mangeurs à lard (pork eaters), and were the subjects of many jests until their term of probation had expired, and they were dubbed with the degree of voyageurs.

These voyageurs were the precursors of what were afterward known on the Ohio, Mississippi and other Western rivers as flat-boatmen, who had all their characteristics. These flatboat-men in great numbers, some years after the change of government, plied between St. Louis and New Orleans, and were as desperate a set of vagabonds as ever bore the seal of humanity. Among the number was Mike Fink, who has been made the hero of a popular novel. This dare-devil had his home in St. Louis, and there are still living some few old citizens who have seen and known him. We will relate one of his atrocious deeds, which was ultimately the cause of death.

One of the feats of Mike Fink was to shoot an apple with his rifle from the hand of a man by the name of Carpenter, which he had done over and over again for a gallon of whiskey, halving it on all occasions with Carpenter, who jeoparded his life so fearfully on these occasions.

The friendship which had so long subsisted between these brave and lawless men, was interrupted by a quarrel, and before the rancor had entirely passed, some one offered Carpenter a gallon of whiskey if he would let some one shoot an apple from his hand. The temptation was irresistible to Carpenter, and he was unwilling that any one perform the feat but Mike Fink. Mike Fink was sent for, and, arrived at the spot, professed his willingness to do what he had so frequently done before successfully. Carpenter took his station at eighty yards, and as Mike Fink raised his rifle, his countenance changed to a demon's hue, black and fearful. In an instant his experienced eye ranged the lead with the sights, and then when every muscle was still and unmoved as a rock, the rifle was fired, and, to the horror of all, Carpenter fell dead upon the spot, the ball having perforated his forehead. Mike Fink pretended that the rifle hung fire, and the death was entirely accidental. However, in one of his drunken orgies he confessed to have done it designedly, and being threatened with arrest went far up the Missouri to escape from the meshes of the law. Pirate vengeance is more searching for life than public justice, and one of the boon companions of Carpenter followed the murderer to his wild haunts and stabbed him to the heart.

While we are giving a sketch of some of the desperate men who lived in early times, we will give a short space in placing upon record, as illustrations of an epoch that was remarkable for the lowness of its morality, some of the achievements of Dick or Ned Pierce. This man was powerfully built, an idle, loafing fellow, but brave as a lion and the bully of the

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place. He had numberless contests in the rough and tumble manner, and had always been the victor. He had fought with the strongest and most experienced fighters in the country, and their sledge-like blows had no more effect upon the head of Pierce than on an anvil. Pierce began to have great faith in the hardness of his skull, and offered on one occasion to fight a ram which was running in the common, and was remarkable for his viciousness. The fight was to be à la mode the ram butting. If successful he was to have a gallon of whiskey.

The announcement created quite a sensation in the village, and numbers went to see the contest between Pierce and the ram. Pierce teased and aggravated the ram to the fighting point, and the animal, frenzied by rage, ran backward, according to his fashion of combat, and, with all his speed, his tremendous bound, he ran toward Pierce, who, upon his hands and knees, awaited him, and as the animal, with a terrible dash, aimed at his head, Pierce escaped the shock by lowering his head, and raising it with all of his force, in time to strike the lower jaw of the ram, when the animal fell lifeless — his neck was broken. He obtained two or three victories in this way, and was at last killed by a large ram owned by Colonel Chouteau. When the ram made a dash at him, Pierce, according to custom, suddenly attempted to lower his head, but a stubble sticking in his nostril, caused him, from the pain, quickly to elevate it, and he received upon his forehead the full blow of the ram, and his brains were spattered upon the soil.

(11) page 279. Some of the old inhabitants contend that the origin of the name was in this wise. Frequently the inhabitants of St. Louis would go to Carondelet upon excursions of pleasure, and it was remarked that they always returned with an empty pocket — their money being generally lost in gaming, to which some of the inhabitants were addicted. Hence all returning from the village with an empty pocket (vide poche), it became afterward known by that name.

(12) page 291. General William Harrison was governor at that time of the Territory of Indiana, and visited St. Louis so as to see the condition of the District of Louisiana, and perform properly the responsible duties vesting in him. After examining into the condition of things, he returned to Indiana, and, in connection with the judges of that territory, passed some laws relative to the government of the new district. They were passed October 1st, 1804, and the acts were as follows: concerning crimes and punishments, justices' courts, slaves, taxes, militia, recorders office, attorneys, constables, boatmen, defalcation, court rules, establishment of probate court, courts of judicature, oath of office, appointment of sheriffs, and regulation of marriages. The last act is dated April 24th, 1805, which was after the passage of the act of Congress changing the name of the District of Louisiana to that of "The Territory of Louisiana, but before the news of the act by the general government had reached Indiana.

General Wilkinson was appointed governor at the passage of the act, March 3d, 1805, but was ordered in 1806 by the general government to watch and report the suspected movements of Burr, and Merrywether Lewis was appointed in his place; who remained governor till 1809, when, committing suicide, Benjamin Howard was appointed, and served till the appointment of General William Clark in 1813; and General Clark remained

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governor until Missouri became a state, in 1820, when Alexander McNair was elected to the executive office. Mrs. Alexander McNair is still living, at a very advanced age, in St. Louis.

(13) page 292. The first postmaster in St. Louis was Rufus Easton, who came at the close of 1804 to St. Louis, and as a member of the bar, directed his energies to the investigation of real estate titles, and became a high authority in that channel of legal business. He was a gentleman of known integrity, and had the confidence of the community.

(14) page 308. Colonel Leistendorfer settled in Carondelet, and raised a large family. Some of his sons became extensive traders, and were most respectable citizens. The general government recognized the services of Colonel Leistendorfer in Africa, by ordering him a pension.

There is an anecdote told of the Colonel's expertness in sleight-of-hand necromancy, which would do honor to a professed Indian juggler, and, as it is somewhat illustrative of the history of the city, we will give it, as it smacks of interest and amusement.

One evening, Colonel Leistendorfer was performing in the house of old Joseph Robidoux, an Indian trader, living at the corner of Main and Elm streets, and a large attendance of the villagers were present. He announced to the company that he would raise a chicken from an egg, and, after it was full-grown, would cook and serve it up to the company. The audience were highly pleased with the announcement of this favorite trick, and watched the proceedings with much interest. The egg was first shown to the company, placed in a little box that was emptied, then the box was closed, and straightway was heard the complaining notes of a young chicken; and, on opening the box, lo! a young chicken was found. It was transferred to another box, closed up, and immediately reopened, and the chicken had become enough to make a good broil for breakfast. It underwent quite a number of changes, growing larger each time, until it had reached the size of a full-grown chicken. Then the head was cut off before the company, and the body, head and all placed on a dish, and, after being transferred to a box, from which it was taken a few minutes afterward, cooked to a beautiful brown, and swimming in gravy, from which a most inviting flavor emanated. The magician invited one of the company to carve the chicken, as he intended that the audience should partake of the fowl, and judge of the merits of the cooking. Judge Wm. C. Carr, then a young attorney, took the knife and fork that was handed to him, and was on the point of using the latter in transfixing the breast of the chicken, when, to the utter astonishment of all, there was a convulsive movement in the dish, and a live chicken flew from it on the sort of a stage that had been erected, causing the gravy to splash considerably over the young lawyer.

(14) page 309. Before the establishment of a bank in St. Louis, there was but little money afloat, the business being carried on through trade in lead, and all kinds of peltry were given in exchange for groceries and dry goods.

(15) page 340. The first bricklayer who lived and followed his vocation in St. Louis was named John Lee. Mr. Pierre Berthold, Sen., saw him in Marietta, in Ohio, and persuaded him to accompany him to St. Louis, and carry on his business. Lee consented; and the first brick house that was erected was of the brick he manufactured. The house was built

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on Main street, between Chesnut and Market streets, and was built for Berthold & Chouteau. There have been many disputes concerning who owned the first brick house in St. Louis; and, as we have given much attention to the matter, we are prepared to give authentic information Christian Wilt owned the second, Judge Carr the third, Manuel Lisa the fourth, and John Smith the fifth.

Mr. John Lee, the first bricklayer who came to St. Louis, for some years had a monopoly in his business. He raised a large family, and some of his grandchildren have intermarried with some of the princely merchants of St. Louis.

"The Missouri Trapper" from the Port Folio.

The following is from the Port Folio:


"The varied fortunes of those who bear the above cognomen, whatever may be their virtues or demerits, must, upon the common principles of humanity, claim our sympathy, while they cannot fail to awaken admiration. The hardships voluntarily encountered, and the privations manfully endured, by this hardy race, in the exercise of their perilous calling, present abundant proofs of those peculiar characteristics which distinguish the American woodsmen. The trackless deserts of Missouri, the fastnesses of the Rocky Mountains, have all been explored by these bold adventurers; and the great and increasing importance of the Missouri fur-trade is an evidence as well of their numbers as of their skill and perseverance.

"The ingenious author of Robinson Crusoe has shown, by an agreeable fiction, that man may exist in a desert, without the society or aid of his fellow-creatures, and unassisted by those contrivances of art which are deemed indispensable in a state of civilized society; that nature will supply all his absolute wants, and that his own ingenuity will suggest ways and means of living, which are not dreamt of in the philosophy of polished circles. That which the novelist deemed barely possible, and which a large portion of his readers have always considered as marvellously incredible, is now daily and hourly reduced to practice in our western forests. Here may be found many a Crusoe clad in skins, and contentedly keeping ‘bachelor's hall,’ in the wild woods, unblessed by the smiles of beauty, uncheered by the voice of humanity — without even a ‘man Friday’ for company, and ignorant of the busy world, its cares, its pleasures, or its comforts.

"But the solitary wight whose cabin is pitched in the deepest recess of the forest, whose gun supplies his table, and whose dog is his only comrade, enjoys ease and comfort, in comparison with the trapper, whose erratic steps lead him continually into new toils and dangers. Being compelled to procure his subsistence by very precarious means from day to day, in those immense regions of wilderness into which he fearlessly penetrates, he is sometimes known to live for a considerable period upon food over which the hungry wolf would pause for a polite interval before carving. The ordinary food of a trapper is corn and buffalo tallow, and, although his rifle frequently procures more dainty viands, he is

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often, on the other hand, forced to devour his peltry, and gnaw his moccasins.

"An old man arrived at Fort Atkinson in June last, from the Upper Missouri, who was instantly recognized by some of the officers of the garrison as an individual supposed some time since to have been devoured by a white bear, but more recently reported to have been slain by the Arickara Indians. His name is Hugh Glass. Whether old Ireland or Scotch-Irish Pennsylvania claims the honor of his nativity. I have not ascertained with precision, nor do I suppose that the humble fortunes of the hardy adventurer will excite a rivalry on the subject similar to that respecting the birthplace of Homer. The following is his own account of himself for the last ten months of his perilous career:

"He was employed by Major Henry as a trapper, and was attached to his command before the Arickara towns. After the flight of these Indians, the major and party set out for the Yellowstone River. Their route lay up the Grand River, and through a prairie country, occasionally interspersed with thickets of brushwood, dwarf-plum trees, and other shrubs, indigenous to a sandy soil. As these adventurers usually draw their food, as well as their raiment, from Nature's spacious warehouse, it is usual for one or two hunters to precede the party in search of game, that the whole may not be forced, at night, to lie down supperless. The rifle of Hugh Glass being esteemed as among the most unerring, he was on one occasion detached for supplies. He was a short distance in advance of the party, and forcing his way through a thicket, when a white bear that had imbedded herself in the sand, arose within three yards of him, and before he could ‘set his triggers,’ or turn to retreat, he was seized by the throat, and raised from the ground. Casting him again upon the, earth, his grim adversary tore out a mouthful of the cannibal food which had excited her appetite, and retired to submit the sample to her yearling cubs, which were near at hand. The sufferer now made an effort to escape, but the bear immediately returned with a reinforcement, and seized him again at the shoulder; she also lacerated his left arm very much, and inflicted a severe wound on the back of his head. In this second attack the cubs were prevented from participating by one of the party, who had rushed forward to the relief of his comrade. One of the cubs however, forced the new comer to retreat into the river, where, standing to the middle in water, he gave his foe a mortal shot, or, to use his own language — ‘I burst the varment.’ Meantime, the main body of trappers having arrived, advanced to the relief of Glass, and delivered seven or eight shots with such unerring aim as to terminate hostilities, by dispatching the bear as she stood over her victim.

"Glass was thus snatched from the grasp of the ferocious animal, yet his condition was far from being enviable. He had received several dangerous wounds, his whole body was bruised and mangled, and he lay weltering in his blood, in exquisite torment. To procure surgical aid, now so desirable, was impossible; and to remove the sufferer was equally so. The safety of the whole party — being now in the country of hostile Indians — depended on the celerity of their movements. To remove the lacerated and helpless Glass, seemed certain death to him; and to the rest of the party such a measure would have been fraught with danger. Under these circumstances, Major Henry, by offering an extravagant reward,

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induced two of his party to remain with the wounded man until he should expire, or until he could so far recover as to bear removal to some of the trading establishments in that country. They remained with their patient five days, and supposing his recovery no longer possible they cruelly abandoned him, taking with them his rifle, shot-pouch, &c. and leaving him no means of either making fire or procuring food. These unprincipled wretches proceeded on the trail of their employer, and when they overtook him, reported that Glass had died of his wounds, and that they had interred him in the best manner possible. They produced his effects in confirmation of their assertions, and readily obtained credence.

"Meanwhile, poor Glass, retaining a slight hold upon life, when he found himself abandoned, crawled with great difficulty to a spring which was within a few yards, where he lay ten days.

"During this period he subsisted upon cherries that hung over the spring, and grains desboeufs, or buffalo berries, that were within his reach. Acquiring, by slow degrees, a little strength, he now set off for Fort Kiawa, a trading establishment on the Missouri River, about three hundred and fifty miles distant. It required no ordinary portion of fortitude to crawl to the end of such a journey, through a hostile country, without fire-arms, with scarcely strength to drag one limb after another, and with almost no other subsistence than wild berries. He had, however, the good fortune one day to be ‘in at the death of a buffalo calf’ which was overtaken and slain by a pack of wolves. He permitted the assailants to carry on the war until no signs of life remained in their victim, and then interfered and took possession of the ‘failed calf’ but as he had no means of striking fire, we may infer that he did not make a very prodigal use of the veal thus obtained. With indefatigable industry, he continued to crawl until he reached Fort Kiawa.

"Before his wounds were entirely healed, the chivalry of Glass was awakened, and he joined a party of five engages, who were bound, in a pirogue, to Yellowstone River. The primary object of this voyage was declared to be the recovery of his arms, and vengeance on the recreant who had robbed and abandoned him in the hour of his peril.

"When the party had ascended to within a few miles of the old Mandan village, our trapper of hair-breadth 'scapes, landed, for the purpose of proceeding to Tilton's Fort at that place, by a nearer route than that of the river.

"On the following day, all the companions of his voyage were massacred by the Arickara Indians. Approaching the fort with some caution, he observed two squaws whom he recognized as Arickaras, and who, discovering him at the same time, turned and fled. This was the first intelligence which he obtained of the fact that the Arickaras had taken post at the Mandan village, and he at once perceived the danger of his situation. The squaws were not long in rallying the warriors of the tribe, who immediately commenced the pursuit. Suffering still under the severity of his recent wounds, the poor fugitive made a feeble essay at flight, and his enemies were within rifle-shot of him, when two Mandan mounted warriors rushed forward, and seized him. Instead of dispatching their prisoner, as he had anticipated, they mounted him on a fleet horse which they had brought out for that purpose, and carried him into Tilton's Fort without injury.

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"The same evening Glass crept out of the fort, and after travelling thirty-eight days alone, and through the country of hostile Indians, he arrived at Henry's establishment.

"Finding that the trappers he was in pursuit of had gone to Fort Atkinson, Glass readily consented to be the bearer of letters for that post, and accordingly left Henry's Fort, on the Big Horn River, on the 28th of February, 1824. Four men accompanied him. They travelled across to Powder River, which empties itself into the Yellowstone, below the mouth of the Horn. They pursued their route up the Powder to its source, and thence across to the Platte. Here they constructed skin-boats, and descended in them to the lower end of Les Cotes Noirs (the Black Hills), where they discovered thirty-eight lodges of Arickara Indians. This was the encampment of Grey Eyes' band. That chief had been killed in the attack of the American troops upon his village, and the tribe was now under the command of Langue de Riche (Elk's Tongue). This warrior came down and invited our little party ashore, and, by many professions of friendship, induced them to believe him to be sincere.

"Glass had once resided with this tonguey old politician, during a long winter, had joined him in the chase, and smoked his pipe, and cracked many a bottle by the genial fire of his wigwam; and when he landed, the savage chief embraced him with the cordiality of an old friend. The whites were thrown off their guard, and accepted an invitation to smoke in the Indian's lodge. While engaged in passing the hospitable pipe, a small child was heard to utter a suspicious scream. Glass looked toward the door of the lodge, and beheld the squaws of the tribe bearing off the arms and other effects of his party. This was the signal for a general movement; the guests sprang from their seats, and fled with precipitation, pursued by their treacherous entertainers — the whites ran for life, the red warriors for blood.

"Two of the party were overtaken and put to death, one of them within a few yards of Glass, who had gained a point of rocks unperceived, and lay concealed from the view of his pursuers. Versed in all the arts of border warfare, our adventurer was enabled to practise them in the present crisis with such success as to baffle his bloodthirsty enemies; and he remained in his lurking-place until the search was abandoned in despair. Breathing once more a free air, he sallied forth under cover of the night, and resumed his line of march toward Fort Kiawa. The buffalo calves, at that season of the year, were generally but a few days old; and as the country through which he travelled was abundantly stocked with them, he found it no difficult task to overtake one as often as his appetite admonished him to task his speed for that purpose. ‘Although,’ said he, ‘I had lost my rifle and all my plunder, I felt quite rich when I found my knife, flint and steel in my shot-pouch. These little fixons,’ he added, ‘make a man feel right peart, when he is three or four hundred miles from any body or any place — all alone among the painters and wild varments.’

"A journey of fifteen days brought him to Fort Kiawa. Thence he descended to Fort Atkinson, at the Council Bluffs, where he found his old traitorous acquaintance in the garb of a private soldier. This shielded the delinquent from chastisement. The commanding officer at the post ordered his rifle to be restored; and the veteran trapper was

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furnished with such other appliances, or fixens, as he would term them, as put him in a plight again to take the field. This appeased the wrath of Hugh Glass, whom my informant left astonishing, with his wonderful narration, the gaping rank and file of the garrison."

Succinct History of the Various Religious Sects in St. Louis.

THIS record of the various religious denominations in St. Louis can be depended upon as correct, as the information has been attained from the most authentic sources. The facts thus carefully garnered must be of much interest to a large portion of the community, and will furnish an era from which the various sects date their existence. Beyond giving the time of their organization, and a few other incidental facts, this history does not go, as a fuller description of them belongs to a book treating exclusively of them.


St. Louis was first settled by the Catholics, and the first record there is of a Catholic missionary was in 1766, two years after the founding of St. Louis. Father Meurin, at that time in a tent, performed the rites of baptism. When St. Louis was a little trading post, he used frequently to come from Kaskaskia, where he resided, to look after the spiritual welfare of the inhabitants. He died in 1770. After his death, Father Gibault succeeded him, and performed mass in the little log church which was erected that year. The founder of St. Louis laid off the square where the cathedral now stands, for a Catholic church, and on it was erected the first log church. On this square was buried St. Ange de Bellerive, the French commandant, and Fernando de Leyba, one of the Spanish commandants, and also his wife; and here likewise was interred one of the children of Cruzat, another of the Spanish governors.

The first prayer and first blessing were breathed by Catholic lips. Their hands reared the first altar; and they first sang the Exaudiat and De Profundis with jubilant voices, where now our great Metropolis stands. They first stood upon the heathen ground, and consecrated it to religion. There are seventeen churches.


The Unitarians organized in 1834, and service was held in the third story of a house situated on the corner of Locust and Main streets, where the Masons held their meetings. In 1837, the first church was built on the corner of Fourth and Pine streets, which was pulled down in 1850. The Rev. William G. Elliot was the first officiating clergyman. The sect have but one church, which supports the "City Mission," an eleemosynary institution.


In 1816, the Rev. Salmon Giddings was employed by the Connecticut Missionary Society to visit the state of Missouri, to effect an organization

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of the members of that sect who were in that state, and he arrived in St. Louis April 6th of that year. It was not until the following year that he attempted any thing like an organization of the sect in St. Louis, having gone first to another part of the then territory. It appears, however, that Mr. Giddings, in the summer of 1816, administered the Eucharist at the house of Mr. Stephen Hempstead, at which there were three or four communicants — Mr. Hempstead, his wife, and Mrs. Manuel Lisa, his daughter; and probably at the same time Mr. Thomas Osborne; concerning the latter there is some confliction of testimony. The church was completely organized November 17th, 1817, and the following persons united in a covenant to that effect: — Thomas Osborne, Susanna Osborne, Stephen Hempstead, Mary Hempstead, Britannia Brown, Chloe Reed, Mary Keeny, and Magdalen Scott.

In the same building where the circuit court was then held Mr. Giddings rented a small room, where he taught school and preached. It was in Market street, between Fourth and Fifth, and on that spot now stands Wyman's Hall. Service was held there until the first Presbyterian church was built in 1825, on Fourth street, between St. Charles and Washington avenues. When Mr. Giddings died, he was buried beneath the pulpit of the church.

At the conference in Philadelphia in 1837, there was some dispute on doctrinal observances, and from that grew the distinct branches of the Old and New School Presbyterians, and subsequently other subdivisions.


Organized April 2d, 1846. Church built in 1852, the Rev. Andrew C. Todd being then installed as minister. Previous to the building of the church, service was held on the corner of Third street and Washington avenue. One church in the city.


Organized in 1840, under the title of the "Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church." The building was commenced in 1841, and service was held in the basement during its erection. The Rev. H. H. Johnson was the first installed minister. One church.


Organized by the Rev. J. G. White, April 29th, 1849. The church edifice was erected in 1852. There is a German church of the same persuasion about being erected, which was organized December 13th, 1857. Two churches.


Organized in March, 1852, which was effected chiefly through the efforts of Rev. T. M. Post. The first sermon after organization was preached in the Third Presbyterian Church, between Washington and Franklin avenues, on Sixth street, and service was performed there until December, 1855, when it was transferred to the chapel which the sect erected near the spot where their beautiful church now stands. The church was commenced in the autumn of 1857.

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It was in September, 1819, that the first Episcopal service was held in an old frame building on Spruce street, between Third and Fourth streets, a portion of the ground being now occupied as the "Sisters' Hospital." The sermon was preached by the Rev. John Ward, and it is probable that an organization was effected in November of that year. He remained in St. Louis until 1821, when he removed to Lexington. Nearly all the time that he remained in St. Louis ho preached in the old Court-house, corner of Second and Walnut streets, and a temporary pulpit was erected in the old house, and it was termed the "Episcopal Church." The first communicants of this church were Mrs. Harrell and Mrs. Jourdan. The former was the wife of the Rev. Thomas Harrell, a zealous and exemplary divine, who came to St. Louis in 1825, and was the successor of Mr. Ward. Mrs. Jourdan is now Mrs. Mason, and resides in the state of Illinois. She is the sister of Henry Von Phul, senior. During Mr. Ward's time in St. Louis, there were no communicants. The first church was commenced in 1826, and completed in 1830. It stood on the corner of Third and Chesnut streets.

The Rev. Thomas Harrel married Mr. Giddings when the Presbyterian missionary took a wife, and preached his funeral oration.


The first church of this name was organized in 1835, and the first service preached in a Methodist church, corner of Washington avenue and Fourth street, by Rev. William Buettner, D. D. A church was soon after erected on Seventh street, and was called the Church of the Holy Ghost. In some years afterward there was a severance from the mother church, and there came into existence the Union Evangelical Church, being a union of the German Reformed and Lutheran doctrines. There are seven churches of the Evangelical order.


On February 18th, 1818, the first organization of the Baptists was effected in St. Louis, principally through the exertions of the Rev. John M. Peck and Rev. James E. Welch. There were then but seven Baptists in the town. They, however, with a praiseworthy zeal commenced erecting a church on the south-west corner of Market and Third streets, which became afterward the site of the National Hotel. In 1835, a fine church edifice was erected on the corner of Third and Chesnut streets. They have eight churches.


There was no organization effected in St. Louis until 1820, though, previous to that time, the Rev. John Scripps occasionally preached and held prayer-meetings. In 1820, the Rev. Jesse Walker came to St. Louis, and organized the church. The service was held in an old frame building, corner of Third street and Myrtle avenue. Through his exertions, soon afterward a frame church was erected on the corner of Fourth and Myrtle. Eighteen churches.

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There are also two Jewish churches, both in a thriving state, and one "Christian Church," and one Universalist church. There are in all seventy-seven churches.

Some years ago the Mormons had a church in the city, but it is not now in existence.

Revenue and Taxes.

It will be a matter of interesting information for the readers of this work to look over the following statistics, where they can see almost at a glance the gradations in the value of personal and real estate in St. Louis. Some of the record-books have been destroyed by fire, which accounts for the hiatus in the tables between the years 1812 and 1819. We have given the amount of taxes raised by assessment, with the percentage of each year, and, by careful calculation from that data, have arrived at the correct assessment of the real and personal estate.

Year. Names of Assessors. Taxes from Assessment. Value of Real and Personal Estate. Population.
1799. 925
1810. 1,400
1811 Wm. C. Carr, Auguste Chouteau, $672 58 (1/2 per cent.) $134,516 00
1812 Charles Sanguinet, Dr. Robert Simpson 447 71 (? of one per cent.) 134,313 00
1819 Jabez Warner 3,396 48 3/4 424,560 00
1820 M. P. Leduc 3,585 54 4,928
1821 " 3,823 80
1822 " 3,824 68
1823 Ferguson & Leduc 4,050 32 (1/2 of one percent.) 810,064 00
1824 " 5,062 29
1825 " 1,970 41 3/4 (1/4 of one per cent.) 1,013,167 00
1826 Peter Ferguson. 2,509 68 3/4 (1/4 of one percent.)
1827 Elliot Lee 2,933 45
1828 " 3,775 83 5,000
1829 Patrick Walsh 4,765 98
1830 L. A. Benoist 4,576 64 5,852
1831 " 3,466 77
1832 " 3,897 64
1833 " 2,745 84 6,397
1834 Joseph T. Garnier 2,579 61
1835 John McCauslaud 8,332 08 8,316
1836 26,615 41
1837 30,100 00 12,040
1839 39,055 00
1840 43,291 56 8,682,506 00 16,469
1842 45,088 61 12,101,028 00
1844 47,780 00 13,999,914 50 34,140
1846 15,055,720 99
1848 19,506,497 85
1850 29,676,649 24 74,439
1851 34,443,529 21
1852 38,281,668 96 94,000
1853 39,397,186 33
1855 42,991,812 00
1856 59,609,289 0
1858 82,609,449 31
1859 1,074,112 08 104,621,360 92 185,587

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These tables have been prepared with the greatest care, and are perfectly reliable. This statement is necessary, so that the community may know that we have gone to the records ourselves, and have drawn from no other sources. All of the reports which we have seen published in this connection, without a single exception, are full of inaccuracies.

When the Province of Louisiana was ceded to the United States, and Congress divided it into two districts, the governor and judges of Indiana, who had the executive control of the District of Louisiana, made some law relative to revenue, but the assessment was a general assessment, and St. Louis was only a part of a district. It was not until 1809 that it became a town, and the first assessment of which there is any record took place in 1811.

The highest valuation of property was assessed to Auguste Chouteau, the valuation of his property being $15,664, on which he paid a tax of seventy-eight and thirty-two cents. The estate of Francis M. Benoist, father of L. A. Benoist, the well-known banker of St. Louis, was assessed at $1,100.

Aususte Chouteau paid a tax of $268 10 on property assessed to $76,600, being the largest property-holder in the town. Judge J. B. C. Lucas paid a tax of $36 94 on property valued at $10,555. Colonel John O'Fallon paid a tax of $8 58 on property valued at $2,450. William Clark paid a tax of $69 76 on property valued at $19,930. William Christy paid a tax of $52 50 on property valued at $16,000. Henry Von Phul paid a tax of $28 61 on property assessed to $8,175 00.

Public Buildings.

[We are indebted to Mr. John E. Yore for the following history of the Merchants' Exchange building:]


The preliminary steps to form a company to build the Exchange building were taken in the early part of the winter of 1855-6. Several gentlemen, among whom may be mentioned the names of James H. Lucas, George R. Taylor, Edward J. Gay, George Knapp, Louis C. Garnier, Fils & Cort?, John G. Priest, L. A. Benois, L. Riggs, A. Mier, L. V. Bogy, and others, took a very active part in procuring the stock subscriptions and organizing the company. After the sum of seventy-five per cent. of the capital stock had been subscribed, a meeting of the stockholders was convened, at the Merchants' Exchange (at that time on the south-west corner of Olive and Main streets), on the 5th of January, 1856. At this meeting the sum or amount of $57,000 in subscriptions was represented and present. The object of this meeting was to elect by ballot, according to the articles of association, seven trustees to serve for one year as the first board of trustees of the St. Louis Merchants' Exchange Company. The result of this election was the choice of the following-named gentlemen: —

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George R. Taylor, Edward J. Gay, James H. Lucas, Lamason Riggs, Felix Cort?, Louis C. Garnier, and Neree Valle. At a subsequent meeting of the board, George R. Taylor was chosen president, J. H. Lucas treasurer, and John E. Yore secretary. The company was then duly organized, and proceeded at once to the purchase of the ground and the erection of the Exchange building.

The ground was purchased of the city of St. Louis, consisting of one hundred and twenty-five feet in block No. 7, fronting on Main and Commercial streets, and between Market and Walnut streets. Messrs. George R. Taylor, Lucas C. Gamier, and Felix Cort?, were appointed the building committee. A premium of $250 was offered for the best plan and $50 for the second best plan for an exchange building. Twelve different plans were received by the company. The plans offered by Messrs. Barnett & Weler were adopted by the board, and also by the stockholders, at a subsequent meeting held for that purpose. Mr. Oliver A. Hart was appointed superintendent, and Messrs. Barnett & Weler were awarded the contract for the building of the Exchange. The building was commenced in March, 1856, and finished in May, 1857. The front of the building on Main street is of stone, and on Commercial street of brick and stone. The front elevation on Main street, while it is not devoid of ornament, is yet sufficiently so to present an executive massiveness and grandeur. There are no expensive and meretricious ornaments to attract the fancy at the expense of the judgment, but all is simplicity, purity, and unostentation, and presents a very chaste and impressive effect. The height of the building from Main street to the cornice is seventy feet. The front is one hundred and twenty-five feet; depth about eighty-five feet. The exchange hall is one hundred and two feet by eighty-one in the clear, and is nearly as large as the great hall of the Mercantile Library, with twenty-six feet in the clear, surrounded with a deep cornice. Shown from the centre of the hall is an opening of nearly fifty feet, through which light is admitted from an elegant spandrel dome, forming the ceiling in the centre, and rising above the roof of the building. The reading-room is on the south side of the hall, and rests on fluted iron columns, and is eighteen by eighty-one feet in the clear, surmounted with a handsome iron railing. Above the exchange hall the space is subdivided into fourteen large offices. The cost of this building was about $75,000. The present value of the building and ground is $200,000.


On a portion of the site whereon stood the finest theatre in St. Louis is located the Custom House. It is but recently completed, having been several years in erection. It has been under the direction of the most distinguished architects in the West — first under the charge of Messrs. Barnett & Peck, and then Thomas Walsh.

The building has all that stamina and massiveness peculiar to Egyptian architecture, but, with all its strength manifest in its immense blocks of stone, it still preserves a graceful and beautiful appearance, the heaviness being relieved by tasteful columns and pillars, which, without diminishing

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its strength, lend to it the attraction of Gothic architecture. It is a model of strength and beauty. The foundation is of piles — huge pieces of wood sharpened and driven by the power of machinery twenty-two feet in the earth. There is a vault running the whole length of the building, and the immense structure is supported upon arches. It is a model of architectural beauty and strength, and probably is the cheapest building ever erected, for which the general government had to pay the whole cost, being but $356,000.

There are scores of buildings which deserve a mention in this history, but we have not space for the purpose, and have selected but these two as significant of the merits of the rest. One is the creation of public and the other of private enterprise. In a future number of the continuance of this publication we will give a full account of the public and business edifices of our great Metropolis.

Succession of the Mayors of St. Louis.

The first city charter bears date December 9th, 1822. The succession of mayors since that date has been as follows:

1823 to 1829 William Carr Lane 1846 Peter G. Camden.
1829 to 1833 Daniel D. Page. [78] 1847 Bryan Mullanphy.
1833 to 1835 John W. Johnson. 1848 John M. Krum.
1835 to 1838. John F. Darby. 1849 James G. Barry.
1838 to 1840 William Carr Lane. 1850 to 1853. Luther M. Kennett.
1840 John F. Darby. 1853 to 1855. John How.
1841 John D. Daggett. 1855 Washington King.
1842 George Maguire. 1856 John How.
1843 John M. Wimer. 1857 John M. Wimer.
1844 to 1840. Bernard Pratte. 1858-9 Oliver D. Filley.

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THIS highly instructive and useful work will immediately follow the publication of this book, and the following beautiful engravings which are inserted are given as specimens of the illustrations which will adorn it. It was at first the intention of the author to let the "Business and Business Men of St. Louis," make a portion of the present volume; but our readers will see at a glance, that this would be impossible. This book is already sufficiently voluminous, and the "Business and Business Men of St. Louis" will be sufficient in themselves to form a volume of equal magnitude.

The next volume, comprising the "Business and Business Men of St. Louis," will be gotten up in the same magnificent manner, which is a guarantee of its utility, its authenticity, and artistical beauty. It will contain the biographies and photographs of those of our citizens who stand at the head of their respective classes of business, and whose energy, success and examples, would teach useful lessons to posterity.

This work will give also in detail, the business of the great metropolis; the extent, variety, and wealth of its manufactures and commerce, which, already so great, in its colossal strides, bids fair to surpass any city of our Union. The illustrations will comprise the buildings of our prominent business firms, public edifices, and some physical features, among which will be an illustration of the "Big Mound," from which St. Louis derives its sobriquet of the "Mound City."


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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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