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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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General Nathan Ranney.

GENERAL NATHAN RANNEY was born in Bethlehem, a little village in the state of Connecticut, on the 27th of April, 1797. Reared in respectable circumstances, his early life was devoted to the cultivation of his mind, and to the inculcation of those business habits which have since made him so successful in life.

In 1812, when England sent to our shores her veteran armies, just victorious over the able marshals of Napoleon in Spain, young Ranney, then only sixteen years of age, animated by the patriotic fire which burned so vividly at that time in American bosoms, enlisted in the army contrary to the remonstrance of his friends, and refused to accept of a discharge which was procured for him by his paternal uncle, who was a colonel in the army; he had enlisted to fight for his country, and he was determined to do it.

This desire of serving his country in battle was soon gratified; for he was one of three hundred Americans who cut their way through a greatly superior British force near Plattsburgh, and was one of the forlorn hope who crossed the Saranac river right under the range of a British battery to a thick underbrush of dry pine. He was severely wounded in this gallant exploit; but in a little while after, wishing to distinguish himself by an act still more daring, he took twenty choice men, and in the dead hour of the night successfully surprised a town in possession of a large British force, and carried off three prisoners of rank, without the loss of a single man.

The gallant bearing of young Ranney soon won for him the respect of his commanding officers, and he was quickly promoted, first as a sergeant, and afterward as a provost marshal; and his conduct throughout the whole war showed that patriotism alone influenced his services, and not a love of military promotion. A few years after leaving the army, desirous of making for himself a name and fortune, he came to St. Louis in 1819, and commenced commercial pursuits.

In the year 1827, two important events occurred in his life, and which have greatly administered to his happiness — he married in that year Miss Amelia J. Shackford — and became likewise wedded to the Presbyterian church. His marriage has been blessed with a large family of children, and in the church of which he is such an efficient member, he has long been an elder. One of his daughters married Charles Hale, of St. Louis.

Though born in an Eastern state, and under a cold clime, General Ranney is neither a Northern nor a Southern maniac, but a conservative man, and his heart is as warm as a summer's sun. In 1836, General Ranney was appointed by Governor Dunklin, Brigadier-General in the Missouri Militia. In 1842, he was President pro tempore of the Board of Aldermen, and for years President of the Board of Public Schools. In 1851, he delivered an eloquent address at Burlington, Iowa, declaring himself a Union man. In 1855, he addressed the convention of the soldiers of 1812 at

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Philadelphia. In 1856, he spoke at a large American meeting in St. Louis; and there are very few his equal in a stump speech. In 1857, when the financial panic caused the money of other states to be refused, he called a meeting of merchants, and restored confidence in foreign currency, and thereby saved many frightened individuals from falling a prey to the money sharks, who, on such occasions, are always ready to make a glorious feast.

In his military career, General Ranney showed himself ready and fearless in action, patriotic in his aims, and kind and sympathizing as a soldier and as an officer. In political life he is never violent, but while he is firm and frank in the expression of his principles, he is, at all times, courteous to all holding opinions different from his own. In the civil positions which he has filled, he has been marked for his attention, his industry, and his clear and discriminating judgment; and any office he holds, he never makes it a sinecure, but holds it as a responsible trust, and attends, with the most scrupulous exactness, to its minutest details. As a friend, he is confiding and generous; and as a merchant, his present affluence, gathered amid the uncertain fluctuations of commercial life, is an evidence of the possession of the requisites adapted to that respectable but precarious pursuit.

With the exception of Mr. Henry Von Phul, senior, General Ranney is the oldest merchant in St. Louis now living, and the store and warehouse of Shackford and Ranney were, for a long time, the only buildings of the kind on the levee, consequently, he has been a resident of St. Louis from its infancy, and his exertions and example have helped its growth and assisted its advance. Though upward of threescore years of age, from his regular life he is still hale and vigorous, and is now the cashier and general agent of the St. Louis, Cairo, and New Orleans Railroad line of steamers, and is always to be found, during business hours, giving his attention to the important position he knows so well how to fill. He is President of the Missouri Bible Society, and in all of the relations of his diversified life there is not a stain resting upon his character.

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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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