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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. Edward Bates.

THIS distinguished Jurist was born, September 4th, 1793, in Goochland county, Virginia. His ancestors were of English origin, and can be traced back even previously to their arrival in this country, in 1625, at the colony of Jamestown. They were of the denomination called the Quakers, and strictly lived up to the tenets of their church. In common with the early settlers of that clay, they doubtless had to endure the hardships incident to that early period, when the ambition of the pioneer extended no farther than to rear a little log cabin, to feed his family on the products of the chase, raise the maize of the country, and protect them from the scalp-knife of the Indian. It belongs not to the province of this work to follow the ancestors of Edward Bates through the trying and romantic variety of their chequered existence, when the state of Virginia was a wild, and the white men were so inferior in number to the sons of the forest.

T. F. Bates, the father of Edward Bates, though reared in the strict creed of the society of Friends, when the war-cry of the Revolution rung through the infant colonies, joined in the cry of resistance, and with all the ardor of the patriot seized his gun to defend his country's rights. It was then that he was excommunicated by the society of Friends, whose peace doctrines he had violated, and from that day he was no more a Quaker, and his family was reared out of the pale of that church.

Edward Bates, the subject of this memoir, was the seventh son of his parents, who had a large family of twelve children. He was sent early to school, but was often suffered to leave at interims, and from this irregularity, his attendance was almost wholly profitless. Fortunately for him, his father possessed a considerable amount of useful knowledge; and Edward Bates garnered much from the frequent conversations he had with his father, who always directed his mind to useful subjects. He had also the advantage of instruction for two years, from his kinsman, Benjamin Bates, of Hanover, Va., who was an able instructor, an accomplished scholar, and a pure and exemplary Christian. After leaving the instruction of his relation he was sent to the Charlotte Hall Academy, where he went through a regular academic course, and then his education was completed.

On leaving school Edward Bates, in selecting a pursuit to follow for a livelihood, was strongly predisposed to join the navy, but yielding to the entreaties of his mother, declined a midshipman's warrant, which had been procured in accordance with his wishes. However, to gratify a spirit for military glory, during the last war with Great Britain, he served six months in the army, at Norfolk, Va., as a volunteer in a militia regiment.

On reaching the age of twenty, Edward Bates removed to St. Louis under the auspices of his elder brother, who was then secretary of the territory, and who afterward became Governor of Missouri. He studied law under Rufus Easton, then eminent at the bar, and who afterward

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represented a portion of the state in the national Congress. After being admitted to the bar in 1816, he used all his industry, for which he is now remarkable, to qualify himself thoroughly in his profession. In 1819 he was appointed Circuit Attorney, which he held until 1820, when the state of Missouri was formed.

Edward Bates, by his talents, business abilities, and integrity of character, early won the confidence of the people of Missouri, and was elected a representative to the State Convention, which formed the Constitution in 1820, and the same year was appointed Attorney-General of the state.

From the popularity of Edward Bates he was, contrary to his wishes, nominated as a candidate for the legislature, and was elected several times as member to that honorable body, serving in both houses as a leader of the old whig party, to which he belonged. He was never a virulent factionist, and was popular even in the opposite faction, whose opinions he respected; and if he could not win them as proselytes, he conciliated their regard by his gentleness and respectful conduct.

In 1823 he was joined in wedlock to Miss Julia D. Carlton, and has had a large family of seventeen children, eight of whom still survive.

In 1824 he was appointed by President Monroe as United States Attorney for the Missouri district, which office he held until he was elected member of the Twentieth Congress in 1826.

In 1828 he was again a candidate for Congress, but the auspicious star of General Jackson had risen upon the political horizon, and all the great lights of the whig party grew "beautifully less." Edward Bates was defeated, and from that day to the present has never meddled in the turbulent current of politics; since that time he has earnestly been engaged in the arduous duties of his profession, excepting the three years he served as Judge in the St. Louis Land Court. As a member of the St. Louis bar, by the consent even of his professional brethren, he "stands proudly eminent," and the emolument arising from his practice is most considerable. He is profound as a lawyer, and as a speaker before court and jury, tries to convince the judgment, and never attempts sophistry to delude, nor adorns his argument with the weak and transient beauties of a prolific imagination.

At the time that the convention for internal improvement was held at Chicago, Judge Bates was called to the chair. In 1850 he was solicited by President Fillmore, to become a member of his cabinet, and was offered the honorable appointment of Secretary of War, but he declined acceptance.

Judge Bates is sixty-five years of age, and now with his mind matured by experience, with an influence second to no one in the Union, and with a character that is spotless, he is looked upon as a fitting candidate of the American people for the next presidency. We have only to say, that his name would add lustre to any party, and the highest gift in the power of the people in this great republic, would be nothing more than a fitting tribute to his excellence

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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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