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Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
IN September, 1806, St. Louis was excited by the return of Lewis and Clark, who had traced the Missouri to its source, passed through a defile of the Rocky Mountains, and followed the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. They had been absent two years and a half, and their arrival at St. Louis, on their return to Washington, was an important event. The Indian chiefs who accompanied them were fêted by the chief inhabitants of the city, and so well were Lewis and Clark pleased with the people that they both became residents of St. Louis, and filled high public offices.
The first execution that ever took place in the Territory of Louisiana was on Sept. 16, 1808, when a young man was hung for the murder of his stepfather. At that time hanging was very simple. Two posts were planted a short distance apart, with a fork at the uppermost ends, and on the forks a stout beam rested, over which was swung a rope. The convict was driven to the gallows in a cart, seated in a chair, upon which he stood when the rope was adjusted to his neck. When all was ready the cart was driven away, and the condemned was left to die by strangulation.
In the Missouri Gazette mention is made of a Fourth of July celebration at St. Charles in 1808. Timothy Kirby was president of the day, and Francis Saucier vice-president. In the following year (1809) a similar celebration was held at Harrisonville, St. Clair Co., at the house of Capt. Tabor Washburn. Shadrack Bond presided, and Abijah Ward was vice-president. Peter Darling and other citizens fired a salute at daybreak, and at one o'clock "Mr. Murphy sang a hymn and delivered an appropriate prayer," after which Jacob Boyes made an address. A dinner followed with seventeen regular toasts and "a number of volunteer sentiments, beginning with the ladies." Among the latter who were toasted were Mrs. McClure, Miss Jane McClure, Mrs. Coats, and Mrs. Blair. Jabez Warner, afterwards constable of St. Louis, was at this celebration. He lost an arm (presumably by an explosion) on a similar occasion. At St. Louis, in the same year, the Fourth of July was celebrated by a dinner given by Capt. Webster in Lee's orchard (block No. 37), and a ball at night in the Masons' Hall.
1810. The Fourth of July was observed with a dinner at Maj. Christy's tavern. On Monday, the 24th of September, a public dinner was given by the citizens of St. Louis to Governor Howard. There was a ball in the evening at the Assembly Room.
1811. Fourth of July dinner at Christy's tavern, Governor Howard presiding. August 3d, William H. Ashley's presence in Ste. Genevieve is mentioned. On the 19th of September announcement was made of the reappointment of Gen. William Clark as brigadier-general of the Territorial militia.
On the 14th of December mention is made of the arrival in St. Louis of "Governor Howard and lady in good health." On the following Monday, December 16th, St. Louis and the surrounding country were visited by a violent earthquake. The first shock was felt about 2.30 A. M., and lasted about one and three-fourths minutes. Windows, doors, and furniture were in tremulous motion, and there was a distant rumbling noise resembling that made by "a number of carriages passing over a pavement." The sky was obscured by a thick fog, and there was not a breath of air. The temperature was about thirty-five or forty degrees Fahrenheit. At 2.47 A. M. another shock occurred, unaccompanied by any rumbling noise and much less violent than the first. It lasted about two minutes. At 3.34 A. M. a third shock, nearly as violent as the first, but without as much noise, was felt. It lasted about fifty seconds, and a slight trembling continued for some time afterwards. There was a fourth shock shortly after daylight, less violent than any of the others, and lasting nearly one minute, and about eight o'clock there was a fifth shock, almost as violent as the first. It was accompanied by the usual noise, and lasted about half a minute. The morning was very hazy, and unusually warm for the season. "The houses and fences were covered with a white froth, but on examination it was found to be vapor, not possessing the chilling cold of frost. Indeed, the moon was enshrouded in awful gloom." At 11:30 A. M. another slight shock was observed, and about the same hour on the following day "a smart shock" occurred. No lives were lost, and the houses did not sustain much injury. A few chimneys were thrown down and a few stone houses split. The earthquake appears to have covered an extensive area in Southeast Missouri, "seaming the face of the country with yawning gulfs and submerging it with new lakes." The destruction was especially severe at New Madrid. There was a volcanic eruption, and gulfs or fissures from four to ten feet deep, and running north and south parallel with one another, were opened for miles, in some instances for five of them. On the night of Jan. 7, 1812, there was another earthquake, which inflicted much greater damage. Until the 17th of February slight shocks were felt from time to time. On the 17th occurred another terrible convulsion, which exceeded in fury all the previous ones. Gulfs and fissures broader and deeper were opened, "until high land was sunk into hollows, hollows made high land," lakes emptied into the fissures, and where there had previously been dry land "broad, sheeted lakes" created. The residents were panic-stricken, and, abandoning nearly all their cattle and household property, fled from the scene of desolation. "Wreckers" flocked to the deserted town and surrounding country, and carrying off the abandoned property in flat-boats, conveyed it to Natchez and New Orleans and sold it. The extent of country visited by the earthquake embraced a circumference of about one hundred and fifty miles, taking the Indian town of Little Prairie, near Carruthersville, as the centre. The loss of human life was small. A Mrs. Lafont died from fright, and a Mrs. Jarvis was crushed by a falling log. Flat-boats on the river were found wrecked for miles and their cargoes ruined. It is believed that some members of their crews were drowned. There were no indications of any previous earthquake in this section, and no tradition of any such visitation existed among the Shawnees, Cherokees, or Delawares. Since 1812 there have been no violent shocks of earthquake, but at intervals slight commotions have been experienced.
In May, 1812, the chiefs of the Great and Little
Osage, the Sacs, Renards, the Shawnees, and Delawares met at St. Louis to accompany Gen. William Clark to Washington City.
On the Fourth of July, Capt. McNair's troop of horse and Col. Musick's company of rifles paraded. The Declaration of Independence was read by Edward Hempstead, and an oration was delivered by James T. Hull, after which dinner was served by Maj. Christy. Silas Bent presided, and Bernard Pratte was vice-president.
1813. A Fourth of July celebration took place as usual, but no account of it has been preserved.
1814. June 18th, a large number of citizens of St. Louis assembled at the Missouri Hotel to greet the return of Governor Clark "to the bosom of his friends and family."
1817. February 22d, the first celebration of Washington's birthday took place. A dinner was given at T. Kibby's "new boarding-house," at the southwest corner of Main and the present Pine Streets, preceded by a public meeting held at Washington Hall, at which Governor William Clark presided, and Col. Alexander McNair was vice-president. At the dinner a number of appropriate toasts were drunk, and "volunteer sentiments" were proposed by the president and vice-president, Majs. Morgan, Graham, and Dorman, Capts. H. S. Geyer and N. Moore, L. W. Boggs, and Thomas Hanly.
This year was an eventful one for St. Louis. Among the more conspicuous occurrences were two duels between Thomas H. Benton and Charles Lucas. The first meeting took place on the 12th of August, when Lucas was slightly wounded in the neck, and the second on the 27th of September, resulting in the death of Lucas. On the evening of the following day, Sunday, September 28th, an affray occurred in front of Kibby's boarding-house, between William Smith, a prominent merchant, and William Thorp, which resulted in the death of Smith. During the year St. Louis made a sudden advance in improvements. In the old section of the town, on Main Street, four or five brick houses were erected by Dr. Simpson and Messrs. Pratte, Bird, Douglass, and Thomas McKnight. About a dozen frame structures were also built. On the hill, in Chouteau and Lucas' addition, laid off during the previous year, frame dwellings were erected by M. Tesson, James Sawyer, Moses Scott, and William Scott, and a small brick building, the first on the hill, for his law-office, by Matthias McGirk, on the west side of Fourth Street, above Walnut. In the same year was commenced the erection of the stone jail at the southeast corner of Sixth and the present Chestnut Streets. William Christy laid off his addition to the old town, northwest of the present Broadway and Christy Avenue, and Lisa, Bates, and Smith their addition along the river north of Biddle Street.
The Fourth of July celebration of this year took place at Mr. Didier's orchard (afterwards Block 54). A dinner, prepared by Mr. Mills, was served, at which Col. Samuel Hammond presided, with Silas Bent, vice-president.
September 13th, return announced of Auguste P. Chouteau, Jules de Mun, Robert McKnight, James Baird, J. Harro, and others, after forty-eight days' imprisonment at Santa Fe.
In the latter part of December two soldiers named Milner and Goodwin were drowned while attempting to cross the Mississippi, which was very rough at the time, in a small boat. A Mr. Criswell, "formerly residing at the mouth of the Missouri," was also drowned about the same time.
1818. On the 9th of February an Irish Emigrant and Corresponding Society was formed. At the preliminary meeting, held at the house of Jeremiah Conner, Thomas Brady was chairman, and Thomas Hanly secretary. The initiation fee was fixed at five dollars, and Jeremiah Conner, John Mullanphy, James McGunnigle, Alexander Blackwell, and Arthur McGinniss were appointed a committee on resolutions.
On the 1st of April, 1818, the first sale of lots of the town of Hannibal, which had been just laid out, took place in St. Louis. The proprietors of the town were Stephen Rector, Thompson Baird, Thomas Rector, William V. Rector, Richard Gentry, and M. D. Bates. The location was well suited for a town, and Hannibal is now one of the most thriving cities in Northeastern Missouri.
July 4th, the St. Louis Mechanics' Benevolent Society, together with other citizens, celebrated Independence-day. Joseph Charless presided, and Charles W. Hunter was vice-president. Col. Thomas F. Riddick read the Declaration of Independence. Dinner was then served by Mr. Horrocks. In the evening, "in honor of the day," Edward Hook's "very celebrated melodrama, called ‘Tekeli, or the Siege of Mongatz,’" was performed at the theatre.
1819. June 9th, meeting of citizens at Col. Riddick's auction-house to prepare for the reception of President James Monroe, then on a Western tour, and expected to visit St. Louis. After reaching Nashville, Tenn., however, he was recalled to Washington.
Fourth of July celebration in Pierre Didier's orchard. Col. Auguste Chouteau presided at dinner;
William C. Carr, Dr. Pryor Quarles, and Col. Miller, vice-presidents. There was a portrait of Washington over the president's chair, surmounted by a live eagle.
Another celebration took place at Lucas' Spring, where dinner was provided. James Loper presided; David B. Hill, vice-president.
July 28th, William H. Reno and wife were killed by lightning on the Sunday preceding this date, near the house of James Berry, about five miles from St. Louis. They had taken shelter under a tree to avoid the rain.
1820. March 17th, first celebration of St. Patrick's day in St. Louis. There was an elaborate dinner, but no public display.
1825. On the 29th of April, Gen. Lafayette was publicly received by the citizens of St. Louis, on the occasion of his visit to the United States. The announcement of the proposed visit of this distinguished hero to this country was received by the citizens of St. Louis as early as the previous September. On the evening of Friday, the 10th of that month, pursuant to notice, a number of the inhabitants of the city of St. Louis assembled at the office of the register "for the purpose of making arrangements for some public demonstration of their feelings upon the arrival in the United States of Gen. Lafayette." Gen. Bernard Pratte was appointed chairman, and Thompson Douglass secretary. It was resolved that Daniel Bissell, William Christy, Auguste Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau, Sr., Bernard Pratte, Stephen Hempstead, Sr., Alexander McNair, William Rector, William Carr Lane, Henry S. Geyer, and Archibald Gamble "be a committee to superintend and direct all arrangements for the reception and accommodation of Gen. Lafayette should he determine to visit this city, and that they be authorized to call such future meetings as they may deem proper." On the Wednesday evening following, "in pursuance of above resolution, a national salute was fired, and a display of fireworks and a general illumination took place in the evening." On the 20th of September, 1824, Daniel Bissell, chairman of the committee of arrangements, wrote Gen. Lafayette at Philadelphia, tendering a welcome on behalf of the citizens, "with an earnest hope that a visit by you to this most western city of the United States will not be incompatible with either your time or your inclination." To this Gen. Lafayette replied from Washington, under date of Feb. 5, 1825:
"The resolutions which the citizens of St. Louis and of the State of Missouri have been pleased to take in my behalf could not but excite the most lively and deep feelings of gratitude. It has ever been my intention to visit the Southern and Western States, and to be a happy witness of the wonders produced by the spirit of republican freedom and virtuous industry in your part of the Union. Obliged as I am not to leave this city before the 24th of February, and to be in Boston for the anniversary day of the battle of Bunker's Hill, where the corner-stone of a monument is to be laid, my journey must be more rapid than I would wish; but I hope to have it in my power to present the citizens of Missouri, St. Louis, and particularly you, sir, and the gentlemen of the committee, with my affectionate and respectful acknowledgments." Gen. Lafayette, about midnight on April 25, 1825, withdrew from a brilliant ball that was being given in his honor at Natchez by citizens of Mississippi, and departed for St. Louis. On the evening of the 28th the steamboat "Natchez," with Lafayette on board, arrived at Carondelet, five miles below St. Louis, and remained there overnight. On the following morning, about nine o'clock, the "Natchez" arrived at Market Street with the distinguished visitor on board. Intelligence of Lafayette's arrival at Carondelet having reached the city the night before, almost the entire population, with large numbers of inhabitants from the surrounding country, were congregated on and about the wharf. Lafayette, accompanied by his son, George Washington Lafayette, Mr. Levasseur, his secretary, and Mr. De Lyon; Col. Morse, Col. Ducros, Mr. Prieur, recorder of New Orleans, and Mr. Caire, secretary to the Governor of Louisiana, from New Orleans; Col. Scott, from the State of Mississippi; and Gen. Gibbs, Col. Stewart, Maj. Rutledge, and Mr. Balch, from the State of Tennessee, left the steamboat and was formally received by Mayor William Carr Lane and the citizens' reception committee. After an address of welcome by Mayor Lane, and a response by Lafayette, the visitors were escorted to the mansion of Major Pierre Chouteau, where a public reception was held. Gen. Lafayette was transferred from the steamer in an open barouche drawn by four white horses belonging to Major Thomas Biddle and Judge James H. Peck. Mayor Lane, Stephen Hempstead, an old Revolutionary soldier, and Col. Auguste Chouteau occupied the barouche with him. The populace followed on foot and were most enthusiastic, as they were not only at the time of the arrival, but during the period of Lafayette's stay. Capt. Archibald Gamble's horse troop was also present at the reception. After greeting those who desired to see him, Gen. Lafayette visited Gen. William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs, and inspected his museum of Indian curiosities. Then he was conducted around
the city, and visited the lodge of Freemasons, of which he and his son were made honorary members. He was dined at four o'clock in the afternoon. At night a ball was given in his honor, from which he retired about twelve o'clock and returned to the steamer "Natchez," where he slept. The steamer lay at the wharf during the night, and at an early hour the next morning steamed off down the Mississippi for Kaskaskia en route to Nashville. After the visit of Lafayette to St. Louis we are told that there was a "general propensity to bestow his name upon everything. There were Lafayette hats and Lafayette dresses, etc. It happened that a couple of men who had been celebrating the occasion undertook in the evening to settle a dispute in a summary way with the fist. It was at once a Lafayette fight" 325
1826. May 4th, news received of the loss of a keel-boat during a heavy gale a few miles above St. Louis. Lewis Musick and wife and one of the men were drowned.
July 28th. Proclamation by the mayor of St. Louis, W. Carr Lane, announcing the death of ex-Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and calling a public meeting to take action thereon. At this meeting it was decided to honor the deceased by firing minute-guns from twelve to one o'clock P. M. on the following Monday. It was also decided to hold a funeral service "in the new Presbyterian meeting-house" on Sunday, and that the service should be commenced by the Rev. Mr. Horrell, to be followed by a discourse by the Rev. Mr. Giddings, and to be concluded by the Rev. Mr. Monroe. Hon. James H. Peck, Henry S. Geyer, Edward Bates, Edward Tracy, and Joseph C. Laveille were appointed a committee to carry the decisions of the meeting into effect.
In September the jail was broken open by the prisoners, and among the number who escaped was John Brewer, who was to have been hanged the day following for perjury. He was never recaptured.
In 1826 an act was passed by Congress for the erection of an arsenal somewhere near St. Louis. Some time in the following year it was commenced, but it was many years after before the buildings connected with it were completed in South St. Louis, where it still stands.
In 1830 a bridge was erected across Mill Creek, at the intersection of Fourth and Fifth Streets, and St. Louis at that time gave indications of rapid advancement.
1832. In July, 1832, on the reception of the news that President Jackson had vetoed the bill providing for the recharter of the Bank of the United States, there was an indignation meeting of the citizens of the county and city of St. Louis held at the court-house. Dr. William Carr Lane presided, and James L. Murray was secretary. Resolutions were drafted strongly expressive of indignation by a committee consisting of Messrs. Edward Bates, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., George Collier, Thornton Grimsley, Henry S. Geyer, and Nathan Ranney. Dr. George W. Call and Messrs. Frederick Hyatt, Matthew Kerr, Asa Wilgus, Thomas Cohen, and R. H. McGill also took an active part in the meeting.
1835. In this year the citizens opened an active campaign on the gamblers, idlers, and other characters whose influence was pernicious to society. An ordinance was secured from the City Council, and several of the leading offenders were imprisoned. This proved effectual, and the city was soon freed of the dissolute class.
In the same year a meeting of the citizens was called, in pursuance of a proclamation by John F. Darby, the mayor, for the purpose of memorializing Congress to let the Great National road, which was then being built, cross the Mississippi at St. Louis in its extension to Jefferson City. The mayor presided, and George K. McGunnegle was secretary. A committee was appointed to draft the memorial.
Immediately following the railroad convention in 1835 a murder was committed in St. Louis which aroused the citizens to such a degree that the offender was burned at the stake. The murderer was a powerful mulatto named McIntosh, who had been arrested for interference with officers while in the discharge of their duty. On the way to the jail, in charge of Deputy Sheriff George Hammond and Deputy Constable William Mull, the negro released himself, and drawing a long knife, stabbed Mull; Hammond, on attempting to assist his brother-officer, was also attacked by the prisoner, who at a single blow cut the officer's throat, killing him instantly. McIntosh then fled, pursued by Mull, and citizens joining in the chase he was soon recaptured and imprisoned. The news of the murder spread throughout the city and created intense excitement and indignation, which was increased by the wailings of the wife and children of the murdered man, who gathered about his corpse as it lay in the street. Citizens to the number of a thousand soon collected and proceeded to the jail for the purpose of hanging the murderer, but deeming
that the crime justified a greater requital, the sentiment changed in favor of burning. The negro was accordingly dragged to the bank of the river, where he was tied to a tree, and a pile of dry, resinous wood was arranged about him. This was ignited, and thus the negro expiated his atrocious crime by being burned alive. The place where the negro was burned is now Tenth and Market Streets, then a common.
1833. June 27th, a destructive storm passed over the city about 8.30 P. M. Houses were blown down and unroofed, walls demolished, trees uprooted, etc. The damage was confined to the Middle and North Wards. The cupola of the Episcopal Church was blown off, and the North Ward market-house was leveled with the ground. A portion of the Methodist Church was also carried away. One colored woman was killed by lightning and several persons were injured.
1837. August 9th, J. Sylvester's jewelry store was robbed of from fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars' worth of jewelry while the proprietor was absent at dinner.
October 12th, Mrs. Hamilton, widow of Alexander Hamilton, arrived in St. Louis on her way East from a visit to her son, Col. William S. Hamilton, of Wisconsin.
1838. February 22d, subscriptions asked for a dinner to be given to Gen. Gaines at the City Hotel on the following day. The committee of arrangements were William Glasgow, Col. William Chambers, Aug. Kennerly, F. W. Risque, J. C. Dennis, T. L. Fontaine, John R. Scott, Henry Smith, J. W. Folger, Col. J. W. Johnson, Col. J. C. Laveille, G. K. McGunnegle, S. W. Wilson. At the dinner, which is described as having been a brilliant affair, Mayor William Carr Lane presided, assisted by Gen. John O'Fallon. Gen. Gaines responded to a toast in his honor.
October 12th, a ball was given by the citizens of St. Louis at the City Hotel in honor of Governor Boggs.
1838. In the summer of 1838, Judge Thomas M. Dougherty, of the County Court, accompanied by Linton Sappington, was coming to St. Louis, but the latter stopped at the grocery store of Mr. Bussel, immediately upon the road. A few moments later, when Mr. Sappington rode onward, about a quarter of a mile from the store, he discovered Judge Dougherty weltering in his blood a little distance from the roadside. He was breathing heavily, and died before he could be removed. There was much excitement regarding the murder, and although a thousand dollars was offered for the discovery and conviction of the murderer, he was never apprehended.
1840. In this year, Andrew J. Davis, proprietor of the Argus, was assaulted with an iron cane by William P. Darnes, in consequence of a personal attack made on the latter in the columns of the paper. Mr. Davis died from the effects of these wounds. Mr. Darnes was tried, convicted of manslaughter in the fourth degree, and was fined five hundred dollars.
1841. August 14th, Mr. Hobart ascended in "a balloon of mammoth dimensions" from an inclosure in the upper portion of the city.
November 8th, a meeting of "the friends of Ireland" was held at the court-house for the purpose of organizing an association. Hon. Luke E. Lawless presided. The following officers were elected: Col. John O'Fallon, president; L. E. Lawless, James Clemens, Jr., vice-presidents; Julius D. Johnston, corresponding secretary; John P. McNeal, recording secretary; Edward Walsh, treasurer.
A constitution and by-laws were adopted, and the following committee to solicit subscriptions was appointed: First Ward, D. Carton, John Corcoran; Second Ward, J. G. Barry, P. M. Dillon; Third Ward, William Tighe, Michael Kelly; Fourth Ward, John Donald, John Rice; Fifth Ward, Hugh O'Brien, Mathew Hogan.
In November of this year the Prince de Joinville and suite arrived in the city from the upper Mississippi, and left five days later on board the steamboat "Boston" for Louisville and Pittsburgh. During his short sojourn he was waited upon by many of the citizens, especially the French.
1842. In June ex-President Martin Van Buren visited St. Louis and was accorded a public reception, incident to which there was a civic and military parade.
1843. March 29th, a meeting held at Concert Hall to explain and defend the doctrines of Millerism was broken up by a riotous assemblage, which pelted the speaker with eggs. June 3d, Dr. Lardner, the scientist, arrived in St. Louis.
On the 8th of May, Col. R. M. Johnson, the popular Kentucky veteran, reached St. Louis and was received with a popular demonstration, in which the military were most conspicuous. Col. Johnson remained until the 12th, and was fêted constantly during his stay. The committee on reception were Messrs. N. Ranney, C. Mullikin, T. H. Holt, A. Wetmore, William Palin, John O'Fallon, William Milburn, John M. Wimer, J. B. Col. J. C. Lawless, Hardage Lane, O. D. Filley, J. B. Bowlin, F. Kennett, John M. Krum. In May other distinguished
visitors were in the city, among the number Hon. John J. Crittenden, senator, and William J. Graves, member of Congress from Kentucky, the Hon. J. Philips Phoenix, member of Congress elect for the city of New York, Professor Silliman, the eminent scientist, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and Charles F. Adams, of Massachusetts.
1845. December 22d, the two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock was celebrated at the Second Presbyterian Church.
1847. In 1847 a meeting of "the friends of Ireland" was called, at which Col. John O'Fallon presided and Christopher Garvey was secretary. The meeting was for the relief of the sufferers in Ireland, and to carry out its object the following were chosen as committee: Col. J. O'Fallon, Col. Joshua B. Brant, George Collier, Judge Bryan Mullanphy, Capt. John Simonds, Edward Walsh, John Finney, Col. Robert Campbell, Eugene Kelley, William Lindsay, Col. T. Grimsley, H. Von Phul, R. M. Rennick, A. Elliott, George Buchanan, George K. McGunnegle, A. Vinton, J. E. Yeatman, A. Piggott, P. Slevin, and Capt. William Rowe.
There were meetings held also of Scotch citizens and those of Scotch descent to relieve the destitution of that country. Taking the lead for the relief of Scotland was Kenneth Mackenzie, Col. A. D. Stuart, H. Ogden, T. M. Taylor, T. S. Rutherfurd, Thomas Webster, John S. Thompson, W. B. Barber, James Moffat, Thomas Primrose, N. E. Janney, William Strachan, Judge Ferguson, and D. A. Marshall.
Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of St. Louis. On the evening of 22d of January, 1847, a large meeting of citizens was held at the Planters' House to consider the expediency of celebrating the anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, Feb. 15, 1764. On motion of L. V. Bogy, Archibald Gamble was appointed chairman, and Judge A. W. Manning secretary. Col. Bogy explained the object in view, and the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, That we will celebrate the approaching anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, on the 15th of February, by a public oration, dinner, and ball."
On motion of Col. T. Grimsley, the following committee of arrangements was appointed: Col. Thornton Grimsley, Hon. B. Pratte, Ed. Walsh, Ed. Tracy, P. M. Dillon, Archibald E. Orme, Martin Thomas, Asa Wilgus, Samuel Treat, Robert Campbell, William Risley, Peter Ferguson, Sullivan Blood, James J. Purdy, John F. Darby, John Finney, Louis A. Lebeaume, H. F. Christy, Wilson Primm, D. B. Hill, Pascal Cerré, George Collier, Henry Von Phul, John B. Sarpy, Thomas Andrews, Charles Keemle, J. M. Field, A. B. Chambers, L. V. Bogy, David Tatum, Henry S. Geyer, John Shade, Edward Bates, James Clemens, Jr., Nathan Ranney, Edward Charless, John O'Fallon, Fred. R. Conway, Capt. Gregory Byrne, C. O. Cady, J. D. Learned, William C. Lane, P. G. Camden, Ferdinand Kennett.
A committee was also appointed to wait on the venerable Pierre Chouteau, Sr., brother of Auguste Chouteau, who assisted Laclede in laying out the town, and invite him to participate in the celebration. The committee consisted of John O'Fallon, William C. Carr, and William Milburn. A motion was adopted that the city newspapers be requested to publish the proceedings of the meeting. At a meeting of the committee appointed to take charge of the necessary preparations, held at the Planters' House, subsequent to the meeting above mentioned, Col. Thornton Grimsley in the chair, and J. M. Field acting as secretary, it was "Resolved, That a meeting of the committee be held at the Planters' House the following evening, to take action on the subjects confided to their charge." At a meeting of the same committee, held several days later, definitive action was taken on all the propositions submitted except the dinner, and consideration of that subject was postponed. The announcement was made that Wilson Primm, a descendant of one of the founders of St. Louis, and himself a distinguished lawyer, had accepted the appointment of orator of the day, and it was determined that there should be a procession through the principal streets to the rotunda of the court-house, where the oration was to be delivered. Col. Thornton Grimsley was appointed chief marshal, and it was agreed that there should be a ball in the evening at the Planters' House.
Considerable opposition to the proposed ball was developed, and it found expression in a meeting called "to consider the propriety of striking out that part of the programme (relating to the dinner and ball) and adding such other measures as will give all an opportunity of participating." In pursuance of this call, a meeting was held at the Planters' House on the 28th of January, George Knapp presiding, and A. P. Ladew acting as secretary. Resolutions were adopted to the effect that the programme as originally agreed upon, embracing an ovation, a public dinner, and a ball, was "the most appropriate and fitting for the occasion." It was also agreed that those present should use every means in their power to render the festival worthy of the occasion and the city. This seems to have finally disposed of the objections raised, as we hear of no further opposition. In order to provide against the contingency of unfavorable weather, it was decided that should the day prove inclement the place for the delivery of the oration should be changed from the rotunda of the court-house to the theatre. The precaution, however, proved unnecessary,
as the day of the celebration, according to contemporary chroniclers, was mild and clear. 326
At eight o'clock, Col. Thornton Grimsley, grand marshal, accompanied by the aids and assistant marshals, all on horseback, the volunteer artillery company, Lieut. Holzscheiter commanding; a portion of the Phoenix Fire Company, under the direction of Henry Pilkington and bearing the banner of the company, on which was a representation of the landing of Laclede; the Washington Brass Band, directed by Mr. Barkley, and a fife and drum corps, under the command of Drum-Major Roques, assembled on Water Street, about midway of the block between Market and Chestnut, on the spot where Laclede landed on his return from Fort de Chartres in 1764. At the same hour a national salute of twenty-nine guns was fired, and was followed by salutes in honor of Laclede, Thomas Jefferson (two guns), and the cession of Louisiana to the United States (three guns). These salutes were responded to by salvos from the boatyards in the upper part of the city. After the national salute the Washington Band played the "St. Louis Imperial March," composed for the occasion. About nine o'clock the following officers of the celebration had assembled at the Planters' House:
Committee of Arrangements. Col. T. Grimsley, B. Pratte, Edward Walsh, Edward Tracy, P. M. Dillon, A. E. Orme, Martin Thomas, Asa Wilgus, S. Treat, Col. R. Campbell, William Risley, P. Ferguson, S. Blood, J. J. Purdy, J. F. Darby, J. Finney, L. A. Lebeaume, Edward Charless, H. F. Christy, W. Primm, D. B. Hill, Pascal Cerré, George Collier, Henry Von Phul, John B. Sarpy, Thomas Andrews, Charles Keemle, J. M. Field, A. B. Chambers, L. V. Bogy, D. Tatum, Henry S. Geyer, John Shade, Edward Bates, James Clemens, Jr., Nathan Ranney, John O'Fallon, Fred. R. Conway, Capt. Gregory Byrne, C. C. Cady, Gen. J. D. Learned, Dr. William C. Lane, P. G. Camden, Ferdinand Kennett, J. A. Sire.
Grand Marshal, Aids, and Assistants. Col. Thornton Grimsley, grand marshal; Aids, Col. Charles Keemle, Hon. David Chambers; Assistant Marshals, First Ward, B. A. Soulard, Allison Merrill, E. W. Paul, D. B. Hill, John Fulton, Henry C. Lynch, F. W. Beckwith, Samuel H. Pilkington, John Dunn: Second Ward, G. G. Presbury, M. L. Cerré, Henry Almsted, A. Lemp, Adolphe Paul, Wm. Cozzens, Richard Dowling, C. A. Schnabel, Fred. Kretchsmar, Dr. John Shore; Third Ward, Thomas Campbell, Daniel Finch, John Hanson, Thomas Gray, C. L. Hunt, John J. Anderson, A. Brewster, Y. Staley, George A. Colton; Fourth Ward, Dr. B. B. Brown, H. J. Clayton, David Tatam, Robert Earth, Nathaniel Coleman, J. B. Gerard, Wm. A. Lynch, Charles Walton. Charles H. Peck, William C. Essex; Fifth Ward, James M. Allen, H. M. Snyder, J. G. Shands, A. H. Glasby, Charles E. Loving, Daniel E. Garrison, J. E. D. Cozens, Charles P. Pond, George A. Gannett, Wm. O. Shands; Sixth Ward, R. B. Austin, S. V. Farnsworth, W. G. Clark, C. W. Lightner, N. Aldrich, Peter Brooks, C. W. Schaumburg, C. R. Anderson, Gregory Byrne, John R. Hammond.
In addition to the above were the following invited guests, men who were residents of St. Louis or the surrounding country at a very early day, some of them before the transfer of the Territory to the United States:
Pierre Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., Paul L. Chouteau, Simon Sanguinet, R. Dufrene, Vincent Guion, H. Sappington, J. Baptiste Hovtiz, G. S. Chouteau, J. Baptiste Belcour, John Perry, Antoine Schmidt, L. S. Martin, Louis Lemonde.
A number of other gentlemen, including the Governor, State officers, and judges of the Supreme Court, were unable, owing to ill health and other causes, to be present. The various organizations which were to take part in the procession appeared at the points of formation at an early hour, and the spectacle, as they marched through the streets, was very enlivening. Flags and festoons were suspended from the windows of many buildings, and the decorations along the route of the procession were especially handsome and profuse. Business was almost entirely suspended, and the streets were thronged with interested spectators. The assemblage in front of the court-house, where the oration was delivered, was immense. The formation of the line commenced at ten o'clock, and the procession moved half an hour later in the following order:
Following the military came the Apprentices' Library Association, Joseph F. Schiefer, marshal. This association carried the banner of the committee of arrangements. In the front of the line it bore the national flag with a streamer, on which was the name of the association, and in the rear the banner presented to the committee of arrangements by the ladies of St. Louis, through S. Rimmer. This banner was of satin, with the name "Laclede" embroidered on one side, and the words "Our City" on the other. Next in order after the Apprentices came the committee of arrangements, two and two, wearing red badges, and following them the invited guests. In an open carriage was seated the aged Pierre Chouteau, president of the day. Mr. Chouteau was then considerably over ninety years of age. He was accompanied by
his sons, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Paul Ligueste Chouteau, and by Gabriel S. Chouteau. Four Indians mounted on horses acted as a guard of honor to Mr. Chouteau. In the next carriage were the Hon. William C. Carr, Col. J. O'Pallon, and Gen. William Milburn, the committee of invitation to Mr. Chouteau. Then followed in another carriage other invited guests. The next feature of the procession was a representation of the "General Pike," the first steamboat that arrived at St. Louis. 327
In the wake of the "General Pike" marched a long procession of boatmen and boys, after whom followed a model, drawn on wheels, of the steamer "Laclede," then considered to be one of the finest vessels on the Mississippi River. The "Laclede" was named for the founder of St. Louis, and was built in that city. After this model came the mayor and city officers, two and two, followed by the various companies of the fire department in uniform and in the order of their incorporation, which was as follows:
1st. The Central Hose Company, preceded by their officers, with flags; next their engine, drawn by four black horses.
2d. The Union, No. 2, Hose Company, their hose dressed in blue, corresponding with the uniform of the men, and their engine, drawn by the company.
3d. The Washington Hose Company, and the engine, drawn by four gray horses, bearing a banner, on which was the likeness of General Washington; dress, yellow.
4th. Tiger Hose Company, which was attached to the St. Louis Engine Company, in scarlet uniform. They carried with them a triangle and gong, "with which they saluted the public as they passed."
5th. The Missouri, preceded by their banner. Following this were a number of Indians in full costume; then the hose company, and the engine, drawn by four gray horses.
6th. The Liberty, preceded by their banner. The carriage was dressed with flowers, and the men wore handsome uniforms. The engine was drawn by six dun horses.
7th. The Phoenix, preceded by a banner provided for the occasion. On the front was represented the landing of Laclede. He occupied the foreground. To his left was a surveyor, who had drawn a plot of the town, and was exhibiting it on the ground. Behind him stood a number of hunters and trappers, and in the rear was the rocky bluff that once showed itself along the shore. On the left the disembarkation of the goods and effects of the pioneers was going on, and in the rear an interpreter was endeavoring to make friends with the Indians. In a scroll above was the name of Laclede, and below the date of his landing. On the reverse of the banner was a phoenix rising from its ashes, with the name of the company and the date of its incorporation.
8th. The Franklin, preceded by a banner with the portrait of Franklin upon it. The hose company and members made a fine appearance, their yellow fire-hats and black capes with gilt letters making them very conspicuous. Their engine was drawn by four bay horses.
Next in order was the Hunting Club, all the members being in full hunters' costume, and provided with horns, buck-tails, and double-barreled shot-guns. Capt. Macdouough's horse supported on his head a large pair of buck's horns. The club was headed by the president and vice-president, Capt. Cohen and Green Erskine, respectively. Following the Hunting Club came the Hibernian Society, preceded by a band of music, and wearing green sashes, and carrying their banner, the harp of Erin. To this organization succeeded a procession of maskers, in carriages and on horseback, wearing grotesque costumes. Next came an omnibus drawn by four horses and filled with citizens. The omnibus was followed by Henry Dolde's car, heavily laden with bread, and next in order were the public schools. School No. 3, under D. Armstrong, headed the line. It was followed by the Sixth Ward school, and the rear was brought up by School No. 1.
In the line was borne a banner prepared for the occasion, and presented to the schools by the Board of School Directors. It was decorated with a painting of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, and appropriate emblems and inscriptions. After the schools came the lodges of Masons and Odd-Fellows, both orders being in full regalia, and bearing a number of handsome banners. The Odd-Fellows numbered three hundred, and were under the command of their chief
marshal, C. M. Valleau. The city lodges marched in the order of seniority, as follows: Excelsior, No. 18; Missouri, No. 11; St. Louis, No. 5; Germania, No. 3; Wildey, No. 2; and Travelers' Rest, No. 1. Next came the encampment, under the immediate control of the Most Worthy Grand Chief Patriarch, Gerard B. Allen. Lastly came the Right Worthy Grand Lodge. The Most Worthy Grand Master, Isaac M. Veitch, brought up the rear.
The Odd-Fellows were followed by a deputation of brewers, the firms of Lemp, McHose & English, G. Snyder and Winckelmeier being represented. At the head of the procession was a mammoth cask, drawn by four gray horses, on which was seated a representation of the king of Flanders and Brabant, the reputed inventor of beer, bearing a pitcher of the foaming beverage. There were also three large casks surrounded by the implements of brewing. Behind the brewers marched the coopers. At the head of their line was an immense cask on a car drawn by four horses. Seated on the cask was a master-cooper, and several coopers walked on either side holding ribbons attached to the cask. After them marched along line of coopers, bearing implements of their trade. Next followed a wagon belonging to D. Colver's brewery, and behind it came the free school of St. Louis University, numbering seven hundred pupils, which, in turn, was succeeded by the students of the university. Following these was Mr. Wyman's High School, numbering one hundred and seventy-five scholars, and bearing several handsome banners, one of which had been presented by the pupils of "Edgewater Seminary." Then followed the Evangelical German Lutheran School, and a printing-press in a car, with several boys engaged in printing and distributing an ode composed for the occasion on behalf of the Typographical Association by John P. Shannon. Following the press came a long line of printers, including the St. Louis Typographical Association, after whom marched the Society of Saddle, Harness, and Trunk-Makers, Oscar F. A. Scruggs, marshal. They were followed by the St. Cecilia Society in carriages, and by citizens in carriages and on horseback.
The procession moved from Fourth, along Market, into Fifth Street, down Fifth to Carondelet Avenue, where it wheeled into Second Street; up Second Street to Spruce, along Spruce to Fourth, up Fourth to Washington Avenue, along Washington Avenue to Fifth, up Fifth to Franklin Avenue, along Franklin Avenue to Sixth, down Sixth to Washington Avenue, along Washington Avenue to Fifth, down Fifth to Chestnut, along Chestnut to Fourth, where the line was countermarched. When the head of the procession, on its way down Fifth Street, reached the centre of the block between Chestnut and Pine, the rear was at the hospital, corner of Fourth and Spruce Streets. After marching as far as practicable, for it was soon evident that the width of the street did not admit of the whole line making this evolution, the procession was dismissed.
The Washington Band then played the "Marseillaise," after which the pupils of School No. 3, who had occupied a position in front of the speakers' stand, sang an ode written for the occasion and set to the tune of "The Old Granite State." The band then rendered a march specially composed for the celebration.
A stand had been erected on the sidewalk on the east side of Fourth Street, fronting the court-house. An immense assemblage filled the street from Market to Chestnut Streets, and back to the court-house and the court-house yard. On the platform were seated among others the four Indians who constituted Mr. Chouteau's body-guard. When the music had ceased, the grand marshal, Col. Thornton Grimsley, introduced Wilson Primm as the orator of the day.
Mr. Primm began his address with a historical review of French conquest and colonization in the valley of the Mississippi, and then proceeded to describe the cession of that country's territory in the valley to Spain, and subsequently to the United States, the surrender of Fort de Chartres to England, and the settlement of St. Louis, and narrated at length the political and economic history of the city.
After the oration the committee of arrangements, the invited guests, the marshal and his aids and assistants, and a number of citizens assembled at the Planters' House, where a collation had been prepared. At the table the following officers presided:
John F. Darby.
H. Von Phul.
F. B. Conway.
Dr. B. G. Farrar.
Dr. Robert Simpson.
Col. John O'Fallon.
Col. J. B. Brant.
Col. Charles Keemle, Toast-master.
The sub-committee on the dinner consisted of Col. F. Kennett, Joseph M. Field, Edward Walsh, Henry S. Geyer, John F. Darby, Samuel Treat.
Pierre Chouteau, president of the day, was seated immediately on the right of Gen. Ruland. The vice-presidents presided at the different tables. Preparations had been made to seat twelve hundred persons, but owing to the belief that there would be too great an assemblage for comfort, many were deterred
from attending, and there were not more than four hundred persons present. John F. Darby, first vice-president, called the meeting to order. After dinner was over, the first toast, "The Founders of St. Louis," was read by Col. Charles Keemle, toast-master, and repeated by D. Armstrong. It was responded to by L. V. Bogy, on behalf of Mr. Chouteau, and Mr. Bogy proposed, in the name of Mr. Chouteau, a toast to the memory of Pierre Ligueste Laclede, the founder of St. Louis. After the toast had been drunk in silence and standing, Mr. Chouteau rose, and in a few remarks in the French language bore testimony to the purity, simplicity, and honesty of the early inhabitants of St. Louis. The band then played the "Laclede March," composed for the celebration.
The toast "Missouri" was not responded to, owing to the absence of Governor Edwards, and Col. Campbell, the Governor's aid, proposed the sentiment "The City of St. Louis, one of the many instances in which we are indebted to the sagacity of Indian traders for the selection of the site of a commercial city." G. W. Jones, of Iowa, responded to the toast "The Union," after which a letter was read from the Hon. R. W. Wells, regretting his inability to be present. Another toast to St. Louis was responded to by William C. Carr and Mayor P. G. Camden. The following toasts were also drunk: "The Orator of the Day," responded to by Wilson Primm; "The Western Hunter and Trapper," responded to by Hon. Thomas Allen and Mr. Crockett; "Our Army, the Volunteers and Regulars," responded to by Col. Ferdinand Kennett; and "The Press," responded to by A. B. Chambers. After the toast to "Law and Medicine," Mr. Chouteau, the guest of the evening, who was in feeble health, rose to retire, and was greeted with three cheers twice repeated. As he withdrew the band played "Hail to the Chief," and the company remained standing. Edward Bates replied to the toast "Law and Medicine," and the remaining toasts and those who responded were the following:
Between eight and nine o'clock in the evening the ball, with which the celebration closed, commenced at the Planters' House. There was a very large attendance, and the entertainment is described as having been of a most brilliant and successful character.
The managers of the ball were
Joseph A. Sire, Bernard Pratte, Charles Chouteau, Frederic L. Billon, Amedee Vallé, Michael L. Cerré, Charles Cabanne, William L. Ewing, Joseph Boujou, Henry Von Phul, S. B. Churchill, James Clemens, Jr., H. S. Geyer, G. W. Goode, Jefferson E. Clarke, Charles F. Tracy, N. Berthoud, W. H. Belcher, D. B. Morehouse, John H. Ferguson, Richard Brewster, Gen. Milburn, Thomas Andrews, John G. Shelton, David D. Hill, John Withnell, R. M. Parks, John S. Watson, A. B. Chambers.
The sub-committees were
Sub-Committee of the Committee on Arrangements, having special charge of the preparations for the ball, George Collier, John B. Sarpy, Gen. B. Pratte, B. Charless, J. Clemens, Jr., C. C. Cady, Col. T. Grimsley.
Sub-Committee on Invitations, A. B. Chambers, F. R. Conway, J. B. Sarpy, H. Von Phul.
Sub-Committee on Finance, Col. R. Campbell, Capt. S. Blood, William Risley, Capt. J. A. Sire.
Sub-Committee on Procession and Oration, Col. Lewis V. Bogy, Asa Wilgus, Col. Charles Keemle, Gen. N. Ranney, Capt. G. Byrne, David Tatum.
1847. In August, Gen. Phil Kearney arrived in the city and received his friends at the Planters' House.
1848. January 21st, a mass-meeting of Germans, for the organization of a society for the furtherance of the republican cause in Germany, was held at the court-house. William Palm was elected chairman, and William D'Oench, Charles Huth, John Kern, L. Braun, Louis Bach, Joseph Pfeiffer, George A. Krug, Dr. Wiebe, and Charles Muegge, vice-presidents,
and Arthur Olshausen, secretary. At a previous meeting, held Dec. 27, 1847, an address had been delivered by Frederick Hecker. Subsequently an address to the German nation was prepared and forwarded to Germany. The following officers were elected: President, William Palm; Vice-President, Col. Waldemar Fischer; Recording Secretary, O. Beckendorff; Corresponding Secretary, Dr. A. Hammer; Treasurer, John Kern.
1852. July 12th, many houses draped in mourning for Henry Clay, who died June 29th. At night there was an immense torchlight procession. The officers were: Grand Marshal, Thornton Grimsley; Aids, Col. A. B. Chambers, C. Kribben; Assistant Marshals, Henry N. Hart, Isaac H. Sturgeon, Basil Duke, Frederick Kretschmar, Augustus H. Linn, Leo D. Walker, D. T. Wright, J. C. Edgar, Lucien Carr, J. T. Camp, Dr. John Shore.
The procession moved down Fifth Street to the intersection of Fourth and Fifth Streets, up Fourth to Locust, up Locust to Fifth, up Fifth to Washington Avenue, up Washington Avenue to Eighth, down Eighth to Olive, up Olive to the Lucas Place.
The following was the order of procession:
Then came the pall-bearers in twenty carriages. They were Col. Thomas H. Benton, John D. Daggett, Thomas Andrews, Matthew Kerr, Robert Simpson, Gabriel Chouteau, Edward Tracy, F. Dent, P. Chouteau, Jr., J. B. Sarpy, Henry Von Phul, Peter Lindell, Jesse G. Lindell, Beriah Cleland, Maj. Richard Graham, Sullivan Blood, John Smith, Thornton Grimsley, V. J. Peers, George H. Kennerly, Gen. William Milburn, William Waddingham, David B. Hill, John Finney, Col. John O'Fallon, William Finney, Lewis Bissell, Edward Walsh, J. Clemens, Jr., Archibald Gamble, John K. Walker, Peter Ferguson, Hamilton R. Gamble, Phineas Bartlett, H. G. Renard, Charles Chambers, Robert Wash, John Goodfellow, James J. Purdy, Emanuel Block, Isaac A. Letcher, Andrew Elliott, James C. Sntton, Marshall Brotherton, Louis A. Lebeaume, Bernard Pratte, L. A. Benoist, John H. Gay, James H. Lucas, Henry Shurlds, P. D. Papin, John Simonds, William Glasgow, William Renshaw, Jr., William G. Pettus, Joseph A. Sire, Nathaniel Paschall, Charles Keemle, Elkanah English, Michael S. Cerre, Henry Chouteau, John Rice, Samuel Hawken.
Immediately behind the hearse was the American flag, furled and shrouded in crape, and borne by three members of the United Order of American Mechanics, viz.: State Councilor, M. B. Laughlin; Vice State Councilor, J. L. Faucett; Secretary, I. L. Bailey. Afterwards followed the
Besides these were the association of German Gymnastics, the students of St. Louis University, the society of steamboat engineers, and various other bodies. A number of transparencies were borne in the procession, among them one by the "St. Louis Printers' Union," T. G. Forster, marshal. Several of the engines and carriages of the fire department were handsomely decorated. On the 13th a large assemblage gathered in the space in front of Yeatman's Row to listen to a eulogy upon the character of the dead statesman, delivered by Maj. Wright.
In 1848, at a time when excitement ran high over the victories of the American army in Mexico, the intelligence of the revolution in Paris was received with great enthusiasm, and there was a large meeting held on April 19th; Judge John M. Krum was chosen president, and Alexander Kayser, David Chambers, Judge Bryan Mullanphy, and John F. Darby, vice-presidents, and C. E. Lebeaume, Lewis Cortambert, and Alexander J. P. Garesch&eagrave;, secretaries. The meeting was largely attended, but it was only preliminary to a general mass-meeting that was in contemplation, for which a committee was appointed to prepare an address and suitable resolutions, consisting of R. S. Blennerhassett, James Lemen, Daniel H. Donovan, John F. Darby, Wilson Primm, James G. Barry, Col. L. V. Bogy, Capt. Deegan, D. A. Magehan, Lewis Bach, Robert Cathcart, J. S. Hall, Reuben B. Austin, P. G. Camden, Judge Schaumburg, Judge Mullanphy, and William Weber. The address at the mass-meeting was delivered by Pierce C. Grace. About the same time the French citizens also held a meeting, at which Dr. John Rivereau presided, and Wilson Primm was secretary.
1852. In March, Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian
patriot, visited St. Louis, and not only obtained very substantial contributions in aid of the cause which he represented, but was received with popular and distinguished honors. He was accompanied by Madame Kossuth and a suite of thirteen persons. He was received on March 9th, on landing from the steamer "Emperor," by a citizens' committee of one hundred, of which Mayor Kennett was chairman, and was escorted by the military and populace to the Planters' House, where he held a reception. On March 12th there was a grand military and civic parade in his honor. During his stay Kossuth was the object of marked attention, and was visited by delegations from the cities of Missouri and other Western States, and invited to visit them also.
1854. In March a prominent event occurred in the history of St. Louis in the reception and entertainment by the city authorities and commercial bodies of the Governor, judiciary, and Legislature of Illinois. The banquet was given March 2d in the Mercantile Library Hall, Mayor John How, of St. Louis, presiding. On June 12th, ex-President Millard Fillmore visited St. Louis, and received a grand ovation from its citizens. The intelligence of his coming was received on Sunday, the previous day, and preparations were at once made for his reception. A committee on reception, escorted by two companies of military, proceeded on a steamboat up the Mississippi to meet the distinguished guest. On the arrival at the city, Mr. Fillmore was received by Mayor How and the city authorities, and was escorted by a procession of military and citizens to the Planters' House, where he was formally received and made a speech. The next day he gave a public reception, and was the city's guest until Wednesday, 14th.
April 27th, a terrific hail-storm swept over the city and inflicted considerable damage. A local account asserts that the streets looked as though they had been "paved with crystallized pebbles." The storm was even more severe at Jefferson Barracks, and the destruction of property was considerable. In Bonhomme township fences and out-houses were prostrated in every direction, and at Carondelet some twenty or thirty houses were unroofed or injured in some other way. No lives were lost.
May 14th, the death was announced of the "Soap Grease Man," a local celebrity who earned his livelihood by going from house to house and purchasing grease for soap. He went about in a wagon, and wore a cockade in his hat and a sword at his side.
1857. In April of this year George Peabody, the banker and philanthropist, visited St. Louis, and was received by the Chamber of Commerce.
1858. May 4th, a number of United States officers arrived in St. Louis on their way to Utah to suppress the rebellion there. Among them were Gen. W. S. Barney, Gen. P. F. Smith, Col. J. E. Johnston, Maj. N. C. Macrea, Maj. J. W. W. Chapman, Capt. A. A. Humphreys, and Capt. A. Pleasonton.
1859. May 10th, a prize-fight took place near the Abbey Race-Course, between James Smith, alias "Bendigo," of Philadelphia, and Pat Curley, of St. Louis, for twenty-five dollars a side. Eighty-six rounds were fought, and Curley, who was badly punished, threw up the sponge, and the victory was awarded to Smith.
July 1st, Professor John Wise, the famous balloonist, accompanied by John Lamountain, aeronaut, of Troy, N. Y.; O. H. Gager, of Bennington,Vt., who defrayed the cost of the experiment, and William Hyde, local editor of the St. Louis Republican, started from St. Louis in the balloon "Atlantic," with the view of making an aerial voyage to the Atlantic seaboard. The "Atlantic" adventurers were accompanied part of the way by S. M. Brooks, of St. Louis, in the balloon "Comet." The "Atlantic" landed on the afternoon of the following day near the residence of T. O. Whitney, at Henderson, Jefferson Co., N. Y., having made the trip, eleven hundred miles, in nineteen hours and forty minutes. The balloon therefore traveled at the average rate of fifty-six miles an hour. It crossed Lake Erie, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles, in three hours, making eighty-three and a half miles an hour. The ascension was made at five minutes before seven P. M., from Washington Square, corner of Clark Avenue and Twelfth Street, St. Louis, and was witnessed by an immense concourse of spectators.
July 30th, Professor Wise and his son Charles made another ascension from Washington Square, St. Louis, in the balloon "Jupiter."
November 30th, the south end of Lucas Market was blown down by a tornado. Many houses were unroofed, and other damage done.
November 10th, the centennial anniversary of the birth of Frederick von Schiller, the German author, was celebrated. A salute of one hundred guns was fired at sunrise, and the firing was kept up at intervals throughout the day. The German military companies, benevolent societies, Saengerbund, and other associations paraded, and in the evening (commencing at five o'clock) there was an enjoyable entertainment at the Mercantile Library Hall. Many houses and other buildings were brilliantly illuminated, and there was a handsome display of fireworks.
1860. August 11th, the Chicago Zouaves visited St. Louis.
1861. In September of this year Prince Napoleon and suite visited St. Louis. During his visit he called upon Gen. Fremont, and, accompanied by Mayor Taylor, made a trip to the mouth of the Missouri, and along the river front.
1864. January 1st, intensely cold in St. Louis. Before daylight the thermometer indicated 22° below zero, and at seven o'clock 19.5° below; such a degree of cold was without a parallel in St. Louis for at least thirty-one years. For twenty-two winters during that period the mercury had sunk to or below zero. In seven of those winters it fell below ten degrees, viz., in January, 1834; February, 1835; January, 1841; January, 1852; February, 1856; January, 1857; and January, 1864; but at no time before 1864 had it indicated so intense a degree of cold as on the 1st of January.
On the 29th of January a dinner was given to Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant at the Lindell Hotel, at which there were three hundred guests. Judge Samuel Treat, of the United States Court, presided, assisted by Messrs. John O'Fallon, Wayman Crow, Adolphus Meier, Judge Samuel Rebor, James Archer, George R. Taylor, and Barton Able as vice-presidents. Among the military guests were Maj.-Gen. Schofield, and Brig.-Gens. James Totten, John B. Gray, John McNeil, E. B. Brown, Clinton B. Fisk, and A. G. Edwards.
1865. April 15th, the news of the assassination of President Lincoln reached the city. As soon as the official confirmation of the President's death was received the entire city was draped in mourning. At the Levee many of the steamboats displayed flags dressed in crape. Public notice had before been given that different congregations of various Christian denominations would unite together on April 16th for a thanksgiving celebration of victories in certain churches which were named. The decorations in these churches were bordered in crape, and the buildings put into mourning. The exercises were also of the most solemn character. April 17th a meeting of merchants and business men was held on 'Change. There was a large attendance, and the meeting was called to order by Barton Able, who stated the object of the assembly in a brief but suitable manner. He was followed and seconded in addresses by Hon. Henry T. Blow, William M. McPherson, and Brig.-Gen. Clinton B. Fisk.
The following preamble and resolutions introduced by George Partridge, were then read and unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, The people of the United States have been suddenly called upon, in the midst of their rejoicing for victories won and coming peace, to deeply mourn the loss of their Chief Magistrate by an untimely and cruel death by assassination; therefore be it
"Resolved, That in the death of Abraham Lincoln, President of these United States, the nation has lost a noble patriot, a wise statesman, a just and honest man.
"Resolved, That our heartfelt sympathies are tendered to his family in this hour of their deepest affliction.
"Resolved, That although an attempt has been made to destroy the life of this nation by the assassination of its chief officers, yet we confidently believe that Divine Providence will more fully establish, preserve, and perpetuate the integrity, honor, and glory of this nation, by the enforcement of law, liberty, and freedom among this people, than ever before.
"Resolved, That it is the duty of every loyal man to stand pledged to uphold and strengthen the hands of Andrew Johnson, upon whom the Presidential office now devolves, and to ask God to give him wisdom, discretion, and counsel in the discharge of his official duties.
"Resolved, That the Union Merchants' Exchange of St. Louis will, by their delegates, unite with such others as may be appointed by the County Court, the Common Council, and the military authorities of this city in attending the funeral at Springfield in honor of the late Chief Magistrate of the nation.
"Resolved, That this hall be draped in mourning for thirty days."
At the meeting of the Common Council, April 18th, the following resolutions, introduced by Mr. Stagg immediately before adjournment, were read by the clerk and unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, In the midst of rejoicing over the splendid victory of the Union against armed rebels, and traitors, the sad intelligence of the death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by the hand of a brutal assassin, has reached us; therefore be it
"Resolved, By the Common Council of the city of St. Louis, that we deeply mourn the irreparable loss to the Union of its most worthy Chief Magistrate, and mingle our tears of sorrow with those of the nation upon the death of so great and good a man.
"Resolved, That in the death of Abraham Lincoln the nation is deprived of the eminent services of one whose wisdom, prudence, and statesmanship have guided successfully the ship of State through the most gigantic and causeless rebellion the world has ever known.
"Resolved, That in the acts of our late Chief Magistrate we recognize the highest virtues that belong to the Christian patriot and sage.
"Resolved, That highest on the roll of fame, history will write the name of Abraham Lincoln, the friend of human liberty and preserver of the American Union.
"Resolved, That as a token of our heartfelt grief, the hall of the Common Council be appropriately draped in mourning for the space of thirty days, and that the American flag be raised half-mast.
"Resolved, That our heartfelt sympathies are tendered to his family in this the hour of their deepest affliction.
"Resolved, That a committee of five, in conjunction with the mayor, be appointed to make all proper arrangements for the funeral obsequies of our lamented Chief Magistrate and that the Common Council as a body, in conjunction with the mayor and heads of departments, attend the funeral of President Lincoln at Springfield, Ill.
"Resolved, That all the bells of the city he tolled at the hour of twelve o'clock M. on Wednesday, during the assembling of the citizens at the different places of worship.
"Resolved, That it is the duty of the authorities at Washington to ferret out the authors of the brutal assassination of President Lincoln and Secretary Seward, and if it be found that any of the leaders of the Rebellion are responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the act, they cause them to be summarily executed when caught."
On the 18th Mayor Thomas also issued the following proclamation:
"MAYOR'S OFFICE, ST. LOUIS, April 18, 1865.
"WHEREAS, The Hon. William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State, has announced to the people of the United States that the funeral ceremonies of the lamented Chief Magistrate will take place at the Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., at twelve o'clock noon on Wednesday, the 19th inst., and has invited the various religious denominations throughout the country to meet in their respective places of worship at that hour, for the purpose of solemnizing the occasion with appropriate services;
"AND WHEREAS, After waiting until one o'clock P. M. for answer to a telegram without receiving any;
"Now, therefore, I, James S. Thomas, mayor of the city of St. Louis, request that due observance be given by all citizens to the wishes of the Secretary of State as set forth in said proclamation, and for the purpose of more fully carrying out his wishes and showing due respect to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States, request,
"1st, That on said day (Wednesday, the 19th inst.) all business be suspended.
"2d, That all saloons and drinking-houses be closed from nine A. M. to nine P. M. on said day.
"3d, That all theatres and other places of amusement be closed, and remain so until Monday, the 24th inst.
"I am gratified to state that the managers of all the theatres have already acquiesced in this request, and hope that all other places of amusement will do the same.
"JAMES S. THOMAS, Mayor.
"Attest: J. W. HEATH, Register."
The Episcopal Bishop of Missouri also issued an address to the Episcopal Churches. On the 19th, the day of the burial of the remains of President Lincoln at Springfield, religious exercises were held in the churches designated, and the bells were tolled.
An order was issued by the County Court for the erection of a cenotaph in the court-house rotunda. This was done by Mr. Rumbold, the county architect. It was a canopied octagonal pedestal, with appropriate architectural decorations, upon which a coffin remained during the period of mourning, to symbolize the remains of the President lying in state.
1866. March 11th, the following correspondence, which passed between a committee of prominent citizens and Maj.-Gen. Sherman, was made public through the Missouri Republican:
"ST. LOUIS, Aug. 15, 1865.
"Dear Sir, Your friends, citizens of St. Louis, have appointed us a committee to express their gratification in having you, after four years' absence, once more among them as a fellow-citizen, and, in token of their appreciation of your great service tendered to the Union, ask you to receive from them the sum of thirty thousand dollars, now in the hands of their treasurer, John E. Yore, Esq., and subject to your order, with the wish that you will with it purchase a home in our midst.
"Believe us, general, no pleasanter duty has ever been before given us.
"John J. Roe, William M. McPherson, O. Garrison, John How, Barton Able, John E. Yore."
"HEADQUARTERS MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
"ST. LOUIS, MO., Aug. 15, 1865.
"MESSRS. JOHN HOW, BARTON ABLE, JOHN J. ROE, W. M. MCPHERSON, O. GARRISON, and JOHN E. YORE, ST. LOUIS, MO.:
"Gentlemen, I am this morning in receipt of your kind note, in which you inform me that you have placed the sum of thirty thousand dollars to my credit with which to enable me to procure a home in your midst. I can hardly find words adequate to convey to you my sense of obligation, both for the subject matter and the manner in which it is done. This sum of money exceeds all that I have received from the government of the United States for four years of labor in the midst of danger and trouble, and I can hardly suppose I merit so valuable a reward from personal friends. But I confess it comes to me in such a shape as to encourage a belief that it will provide me with what I most need, a home for my family, and will therefore increase my usefulness in the future. I therefore accept it with grateful thanks, and shall proceed to invest the amount in the purchase of a good house and lot, and will furnish it to the extent of every cent, when I will report to you the exact result. The property thus acquired shall be the ‘home’ of myself and family as long as I possibly can command my time, which I hope will be for life.
"Again thanking you most kindly, and through you the friends who have made up this sum,
"I am, with great respect, your friend and servant,
"WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
"Maj.-Gen. United States Army."
Gen. Sherman subsequently notified the committee that he had personally examined a great many places that were held for sale, and gave preference to a house on Garrison Avenue, near the corner of Franklin, the property of David Nicholson, it fronting eighty-four feet on Garrison Avenue, with a depth of one hundred and fifty feet, and held at twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars, whereupon the committee made the purchase and handed Gen. Sherman the deed, and placed the balance, four thousand five hundred dollars, to his credit in the Union National Bank of St. Louis. Gen. Sherman subsequently reported that he had completely and comfortably furnished his house in all respects, at a cost but little exceeding the sum thus provided.
On September 8th, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, reached St. Louis, in response to an invitation from the city authorities and citizens. After a week of preparation a fleet of thirty-six steamboats laden with citizens of St. Louis steamed up to Alton, Ill., and receiving the Chief Executive escorted him to St. Louis, where he became the
guest of the city. President Johnson was accompanied by Secretary Seward and Secretary Welles of his cabinet, Admiral Farragut and Gen. Grant.
1869. April 20th, St. Louis was visited by a fearful hail-storm. It is asserted that hail-stones an inch in diameter descended. Over twenty thousand dollars' worth of glass was destroyed, and funerals were dispersed and hearses overturned.
1871. March 8th, East St. Louis and the eastern shore of the Mississippi River were devastated by a tornado. The storm, which did not last more than three minutes, seemed to come from the south-southwest, and swept eastward of the city proper. It touched the Illinois shore first at the elevator, and passed along the river bank, inclining to the eastward, and terminating at the track of the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railroad, nearly at the head of Bloody Island. Its velocity is estimated to have been from sixty to seventy miles an hour, and its destructive force was almost irresistible. Seven men were killed and more than fifty persons wounded. A portion of the elevator was demolished, and the steamer "Mollie Able," the ferry-boats "Edwardsville," "Milwaukee," and "America," the ram "Vindicator," the Vandalia Railroad freight-house, and the St. Louis and Southeastern Railroad freight-house and depot were badly wrecked. A locomotive and a Pullman car and nine ordinary passenger-cars were hurled from the track, and many buildings in East St. Louis were demolished. The handsome passenger depot of the Chicago and Alton Railroad and two freight-houses and other buildings suffered great damage. Three freight-houses belonging to the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad were blown from their foundations and demolished.
Gen. Ranney, the general freight agent of the Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company, was standing on the wharf-boat looking at the cable chains which held the head of the boat. The wind lifted him suddenly from his feet, and carried him some little distance and dropped him into the river. He succeeded, however, in reaching land in safety. Between sixty and seventy dwellings in East St. Louis were destroyed, and the loss thus caused amounted to about seventy-five thousand dollars. The destruction of other property was enormous. Considerable damage was inflicted at Alma, Brooklyn, Nameoka, and other towns and at various points in St. Clair County.
1871. June 25th, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the elevation of Pope Pius IX. to the pontificate was celebrated in St. Louis with imposing ceremonies. There was a parade of the Catholic societies four miles in length, and a general illumination of the city at night. Wreaths of evergreen with portraits of the pope were conspicuously displayed from many private dwellings. Pyrotechnic displays and bonfires were also features of the demonstration. Maj. Henry S. Turner was the grand marshal of the procession. The aids to the grand marshal were Maj. John P. McGrath, John H. Tracy, Capt. William Albright, William H. Lee, Theodore Hunt, and James L. Patterson. The assistant marshals were John Fletcher, William L. Ewing, B. M. Chambers, Richard Ennis, J. J. Fitzwilliam, Augustus Lamping, Henry Rechtien, George Kaufhold, James Gorman, J. F. Grefenkamp, Charles W. Hogan, J. F. Conroy, Patrick Ahearn, Julius S. Walsh, Col. C. Maguire, Hon. John Finn, William Henry, Capt. Henry Hannibal, Col. Arnold Beck, F. Arendes, Patrick Monahan, John Busby, Hon. P. J. Pauley, Richard Walsh, Thomas P. Gleason, and Dr. James C. Cogan.
1872. On the night of January 5th the Russian Grand Duke Alexis and suite reached St. Louis from Chicago, and remained in the city several days. He occupied a suite of rooms at the Southern Hotel, where a ball was given in his honor on the night of January 8th.
1873. October 12th, a joint Catholic celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Father Mathew, the famous temperance orator, took place, on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the Carmelite Convent, at Second Carondelet Avenue and Victor Street. The anniversary occurred on the 10th, but the 12th was chosen, as it was a more convenient day.
1874. May 28th, a tornado struck St. Louis, and inflicted great damage upon buildings and the vessels along the river front.
On the afternoon of Feb. 25, 1844, some boys were playing ball on the common in the immediate vicinity of the Medical College building of the St. Louis University. This building is still standing on Washington Avenue, near Eleventh Street, a two-story brick structure, dingy with age, the front entrance of which has been walled up for years, effectually precluding any access to it from the street. The boys in their play knocked their ball over the fence into the grounds of the university, and in their search for it stumbled upon the opening into the vault, where were thrown the remains of several bodies that had been used for the purpose of dissection. They ran away and reported to other boys and to their parents the discovery which they had made. Others came and looked, and soon
the wildest stories were in circulation. Crowds began to assemble about the building, until by three o'clock over one thousand people were gathered together. The greatest excitement prevailed, and efforts were repeatedly made by the ringleaders to excite the people to violent action, and to tear down the building. By six o'clock the crowd had increased to three thousand or four thousand, and the mayor ordered out the militia. The mayor and city marshal and other officers and prominent citizens were on the grounds the whole afternoon, making every endeavor to quell the disturbance and prevent it from becoming more serious. Several of the leaders were arrested and placed in the calaboose. Up to that time no damage had been done to the building except that the windows had been broken by throwing bricks and fragments of rock. Speeches were made to the crowd by Messrs. A. Kayser, James Mahon, and Blennerhassett, and Judge Mullanphy, urging them to refrain from any violent demonstrations. Finally, as the result of a conference between the mayor and a committee appointed from the crowd, it was arranged that the militia should be withdrawn, and the men who had been arrested should be released, and the crowd should disperse. A committee of twelve was appointed to guard the college building, and the mob adjourned to the court-house.
Later, however, the rioters reassembled at the college more enraged than ever, and excited by their leaders to a perfect frenzy. Bones and fragments of bodies were brought up from the pit into which they had been thrown. The sight of these soon inflamed the passions of the mob to such a degree that they were prepared for any deeds of violence. They broke down the doors, made their way into all the rooms of the college building, tore down and destroyed all the furniture, demolished all the valuable material that had been prepared with much care and at great expense for the museum, and in fact left nothing of the equipment of the institution save only the bare walls and roof.
The shout then was raised to go to the other college, the Missouri School. Here the demonstrator of anatomy and some of the professors and students had made preparations to receive such a visit. The dissecting-room was cleared out, every trace of blood or other indication of the purposes to which it was applied was removed with care from the floor and tables. The opening into the vault, which was arranged in the side of the room like an old-fashioned fireplace, with an opening downward instead of a chimney-flue upward, was closed up with a sheet-iron fender, and a cooking-stove was moved in and set before it, as if it were really a fireplace and chimney. By dint of hard work this was all accomplished before the rioters arrived there. On their approach the doors were thrown open, and they were invited to come in and see for themselves that all was right. Some of the number went all through the building, and as they did not think to look behind the sheet-iron fireboard that filled up the supposed chimney-place, they discovered nothing to find fault with, and so reported to the rest. Accordingly the mob left without doing any damage there.
In April, 1844, a city election was held, which was signalized by a disturbance and riot in the Fifth Ward. In the afternoon a fight occurred between some members of the opposing parties, which led to the collection, at a later hour, of a large number of the friends of both, when a much more serious disturbance took place. Several well-known citizens who had no part in the affair were seriously injured. As Joseph Jones was passing T. Maher's tavern, he was fired upon and shot in the shoulder, it was said, by some one in the house. When this was reported to the assemblage that had gathered upon Franklin Avenue, it immediately started for the tavern, broke in the doors and windows, and threw the furniture, liquor, beds, and all the contents into the street. This terminated the disturbance. Mr. Jones died April 5th from the effects of his wound.
On Sunday morning, July 29, 1849, a fire broke out in the engine-room of the steamer "Algoma," which had arrived the evening before from the Missouri River with a large cargo. The origin of the fire is unknown. From the "Algoma" it quickly communicated to the "Mary," the "Phoenix," the "Dubuque," and the "San Francisco," all of which were destroyed. The "San Francisco" was cut loose and floated out into the stream, but was carried by the force of the current against the stern of the "Mary," where she hung until she took fire and was consumed. The boats lay above the foot of Vine Street, and below Morgan. While the firemen were still at work upon the fire, and about half-past five A. M., a difficulty took place between a bystander and a member of one of the fire companies, which in the beginning amounted to nothing more than a blow or two. It was, however, the signal for a general fight, in which every possible kind of missile was used. The bystanders retreated, closely followed by the firemen of several companies, and took refuge in a coffeehouse kept by J. O'Brien, 89 Levee. When the firemen and their friends attempted to enter by forcing the doors of the house, they were assailed with firearms from the windows above, and two or three of their number were slightly wounded. It was now
their turn to fall back, and while doing so some fifteen or twenty men issued from O'Brien's door and fired upon the retreating mass. A few shots were returned by the firemen, and then a rush was made and the Levee soon cleared. The men who had issued from O'Brien's, with their friends, forming a mob, which was largely composed of river boatmen, retreated up Morgan Street, taking refuge in houses farther up the Levee. The firemen and their friends now numbered several hundred, many of them under arms.
The mayor and the police succeeded after great difficulty in arresting a number of the rioters upon both sides and conducting them to the calaboose, but the work of destruction soon commenced. In a few minutes O'Brien's house was carried by assault; everything it contained was broken into pieces and thrown into the streets, and the windows and doors were torn out. Almost simultaneously with the attack upon O'Brien's, the coffee- and boarding-houses of Dennis Murphy, No. 104 Battle Row, and B. Shannon, No. 14 Green Street, were attacked and their contents destroyed. Shortly after the destruction of the houses on the Levee a large detachment marched up Cherry Street to the coffee-house of James Gilligan, which was also completely demolished. It next proceeded to the corner of Fifth and Morgan Streets, and destroyed everything in the coffee-house occupied by Terrence Brady. After the destruction of the last-named house the rioters began to disperse and several further arrests were made by the police. The mayor appointed an additional police force, and fifty citizens were detailed to preserve order during the night. The St. Louis Grays also, at the mayor's request, held themselves in readiness. Nothing of a serious nature occurred during the afternoon. About nine o'clock in the evening a large party of excited firemen and their friends, to the number of two or three hundred, proceeded to the wharf at the foot of Morgan Street with a howitzer, which was placed so as to rake Battle Row, in which were the sailor boarding-houses, in the event of an outbreak. Some of the party had contrived to get possession of an old six-inch howitzer belonging to the steamboat "Missouri," which was lying in the yard attached to the foundry of Gaty, McCune & Glasby. It was loaded with slugs and boiler-iron punchings, and was said to have been in good order to do execution. The mob remained on the wharf with the howitzer for some time, and the mayor and police made several ineffectual attempts to get possession of it. Those who had control did not evince much disposition to use it, and when rain commenced to fall, about half-past ten o'clock, the mob started with the gun for the Missouri Engine-House, where it was deposited under guard. Afterwards the gun was removed from the engine-house and the doors closed. The police made a descent upon it in its new position, captured the cannon and those who had it in charge, and placed the gun in the jail-yard and the prisoners in the calaboose.
The Missouri Fire Company authorized, as a body, a disclaimer of any participation in the events of the night, and particularly in relation to the cannon.
About ten o'clock on the night of the 25th of May, 1850, a mob of about five hundred persons assembled in the neighborhood of Third and Almond Streets, and proceeded to make an attack upon several houses of ill-fame in the vicinity. They succeeded in destroying entirely all the furniture and contents of four of these houses and slightly injuring one other before the efforts of the mayor and police could disperse the mob. Several of the ringleaders were arrested.
On Monday, April 5, 1852, St. Louis was again the scene of a serious election riot. The election was for mayor and city officers, and after a heated and angry campaign, in which the feelings of both parties were wrought up to a high pitch, the day of election arrived. Early in the forenoon, while the voting was progressing quietly in the five upper wards of the city, a disposition was strongly evinced among those surrounding the ballot-boxes of the First Ward to throw impediments in the way of the Whig voters. Later these persons, who were sufficiently numerous to overawe the more respectable and better-disposed citizens, abused and maltreated a number of persons, some barely escaping with their lives. Mayor Kennett, in company with other gentlemen, repaired to the polls, and was received with repeated groans and hisses. Finally, Mr. Kennett and his friends retired. Joseph Jecko, the Democratic candidate for the office of city attorney, then addressed the rioters and warned them against the consequences of their violence. His speech was effective in preventing an immediate repetition of their acts.
The report that the Germans had taken possession of the polls in the First Ward reached the other wards about two o'clock. Accounts followed each other rapidly of the outrages which were being perpetrated. About three o'clock large numbers of American citizens, Whigs and Democrats, the greater portion, however, being composed of the former, began to move towards Soulard's Market, where the First Ward polls were held. In that vicinity, the sidewalks of Seventh and Fifth Streets, and Park Avenue were densely crowded with Germans. Numerous attacks were made on the Americans as they passed
down; stones and other missiles were thrown, and occasionally shots were fired from the houses. A squad of Americans numbering about two hundred at last arrived opposite the market-house, and, led by a few men who were well armed, marched with a shout for "free suffrages" to the building, and took possession of the polls without resistance. The Germans dispersed, and took refuge in the coffee-houses along the street above and below. The Americans continued to flock down from the upper wards until their force amounted to some thousands. Nearly as large a number of Germans was gathered here and there, as spectators or participants, in knots on adjacent streets.
As soon as the Americans had permanent possession of the Soulard Market building, Mr. McDonough, a Whig, addressed the assemblage, and invited all citizens of the First Ward who had not voted, Whig or Democrat, German, American, or Irish, to come forward and deposit their votes. He explained that the reason of the presence of so many Americans from other portions of the city was to secure them their free suffrages. Mr. Abeles, one of the judges of the election, followed Mr. McDonough. He spoke in German, and repeated in substance what Mr. McDonough had said. On this a number of persons approached the polls and deposited their ballots.
Personal collisions, in the mean time, were occurring among those who were congregated in the vicinity, and several persons were wounded by fire-arms discharged from the windows and doors of the houses. At last a portion of the mob began to demolish the beer-houses, whose tenants had been most active in the assault.
The Soulard Market-House was riddled, as also a house at the corner of Park Avenue and Fifth Street, and the tavern of Mr. Neumeyer, at the corner of Park Avenue and Seventh Street. Some persons had at an early stage of the proceedings taken refuge in this house, and through the windows occasionally pelted the passers-by with stones. The mob besieged the tavern, and having broken a panel of the door, was about to enter when a gun was placed through the aperture and fired, the contents lodging in the breast of a young man named Joseph Stevens, a member of the St. Louis Fire Company. Stevens staggered a short distance across the street and fell dead. His death infuriated the mob. The house was immediately entered, the furniture, bar fixtures, etc., demolished, and the building fired. The flames spread rapidly and the house was soon destroyed.
The firing and fighting with stones continued until after dark. It having become known that the cannon of Capt. Almstedt's artillery were in an armory near by, the mob started to procure them, and soon returned with two brass six-pounders. These were carefully charged and rolled to the corner of Park and Carondelet Avenues, where they were placed so as to sweep with murderous certainty either side of Second Street, on the sidewalks of which were immense crowds of Germans. The fight was still kept up with pistols and stones, and the party having possession of the cannon were awaiting the proper provocation to use them. Affairs were in this alarming state when Marshal Phelps, accompanied by Capt. Almstedt, arrived, and by dint of argument and persuasion prevailed on the belligerents to desist. Mr. Phelps happened, fortunately, to be acquainted with many of the parties, and his personal influence effected what no official authority could have accomplished. The crowd dwindled away gradually, and by midnight that portion of the city had resumed its wonted quiet.
About ten o'clock at night, however, a demonstration was made against the Anzeiger des Westens printing-office by a mob numbering from fifteen hundred to two thousand, the provocation being the publication of certain articles in that paper. By nightfall, however, by direction of the mayor, the company of Grays and the Riflemen had been gotten together and were drawn up in two lines to prevent access to the building. The rioters made no attempt to break the ranks of the military, and late at night they dispersed. Eight or ten persons were severely and about twenty-five slightly wounded.
The most serious riot that had yet occurred in St. Louis took place on Monday, Aug. 7, 1854, and as usual arose out of an election contest. Many persons, principally foreign-born, upon presenting themselves at the polls to vote, were declared disqualified. This enraged them, and as they increased in numbers they gathered in knots and vented their anger in various ways. At length at the Fifth Ward polls a boy was stabbed by an Irishman, who immediately fled towards Morgan Street. A portion of the crowd rushed after him and followed him into the Mechanics' Boarding-House, Second and Morgan Streets, which was immediately assailed with stones and bricks. Several other houses in the vicinity were attacked, their windows riddled and furniture broken. Firing commenced here, there having been none at the polls. Guns and pistols were fired by unseen hands from windows, and some firing was returned from the street. In half an hour after the riot commenced the crowd at the scene of disturbance probably reached five thousand persons. As the forces increased the inmates of the houses attacked were all routed. From Second and Morgan Streets the mob proceeded to
Cherry Street, and on Second Street above Cherry about a dozen houses were stripped of their contents. There was scarcely a house in this neighborhood inhabited by Irishmen that was not assailed by the crowd.
Finally the mob returned to Morgan Street. Here the firing was renewed, and a large body of levee-men was stationed at the foot of Morgan Street to prevent the rioters from passing to the Levee, which it was their evident intention to do. The levee-men had collected a quantity of arms, and held their ground with determination. The attacking party was several times driven back, and two men were killed and several wounded. At length a solid column was formed and a charge made, each man with two stones in his hand, which were used with some effect. The blockade gave way, and the whole mob poured down the Levee. The residents of Battle Row scattered in every direction panic-stricken, but finally rallied. A considerable number took refuge in their houses, and a continuous firing was kept up from the windows, while the thousands in the streets were pelting their houses with stones and bricks. The residents at length were forced to retire and leave their houses to the mercy of the mob.
Every Irish establishment between Morgan and Locust Street, a distance of three squares, was attacked, and the windows and furniture broken and destroyed. About five o'clock a boatman, who was not engaged in the fight, but was standing with some of his companions looking on, was killed by a shot fired from one of the houses in Battle Row.
The work of destruction continued in the neighborhood of Battle Row until dusk. The mob then proceeded on its way, destroying houses on Cherry, Morgan, Fifth, and Green Streets. About ten o'clock it had reached the corner of Franklin Avenue and Eighth Street, where, after destroying Drayman's Hall, it separated into small companies and attacked every drinking-house it could find on Green, Seventh, and Morgan Streets, and Franklin Avenue. About this time the mayor with a posse of police arrived on the ground and endeavored to restore order, but in vain. The mayor then ordered out the military. The National Guards and Continentals and St. Louis Grays were soon in readiness, and through their efforts the larger bodies of the rioters were dispersed without bloodshed. Small bodies of men, however, roamed through the streets of the Fifth Ward all night. About noon of the following day, a large crowd of Irishmen from the Levee collected about the corner of Morgan Street and Levee. There was considerable noise in the vicinity all day, but the police preserved order. A rumor got afloat that two large bodies of Irishmen were on their way to the city to reinforce their countrymen, and on the strength of this rumor the mayor ordered the military organizations to hold themselves in readiness. Assemblages gathered upon the street corners in various sections of the city during the day, and as night fell the excitement and tumult were intensified. About ten o'clock heavy firing was heard from some quarter up-town, and the military moved in that direction. They marched up Green Street, and at the corner of Fifth and Green came upon a mob which was engaged in conflict with a similar mob at the corner of Sixth and Green Streets. The street was entirely blockaded at both corners. The crowd at Fifth Street opened and permitted the Continental company to pass through. The Grays were just in the rear. About midway the square the Continentals were fired into by the mob at Sixth Street and from the houses around. The Continentals returned the fire, scattering the mob, and the police succeeded in making some arrests. Two of the Continentals, Messrs. Spore and Holliday, were wounded, as were several of the mob. The Grays also fired into a mob in an alley between Sixth and Seventh Streets and wounded several. At midnight this quarter was comparatively quiet, but the riot still raged in other sections. At the corner of Seventh and Biddle Streets, and near St. Patrick's Church, a man was flourishing a pistol and making free use of it, when an attempt was made to disarm him by several of the bystanders, among whom was E. R. Violett, of the firm of E. R. Violett & Co. In the struggle, or directly after, Mr. Violett received three shots in the shoulder. He died instantly.
Soon after this an affray occurred at the corner of Broadway and Ashley Streets, in front of the Humboldt House, kept by a man named Snyder. Three persons were dangerously wounded, and Snyder was instantly killed by a shot through the head.
In this way collisions were occurring constantly in all quarters of the city, but especially in the Fifth Ward, and so continued the entire night. At daylight on Wednesday morning the streets were full of men, some in companies of fifteen or twenty, shouting and calling on Americans to protect their lives and homes. During the night the mayor issued a proclamation calling a meeting of the citizens at twelve o'clock on Wednesday, to take measures to restore peace and quiet to the city. At eleven o'clock the merchants met at the Exchange, and devoted the business hour to the consideration of the existing riots and their suppression. The meeting was organized by calling James H. Lucas to the chair, and appointing
Hudson E. Bridge secretary. After brief addresses by Messrs. Lucas, Blennerhasset, and P. G. Camden, on motion of Walter B. Carr, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, That the mayor be requested to issue his proclamation, calling upon all citizens of the city to abstain from assembling at any of the places where disturbances have recently taken place, and to remain at their homes at night during the existing excitement.
"Resolved, That the mayor be requested to suspend for the present the existing police, and to detail a temporary patrol force from among the citizens, to be composed of discreet and reputable men, and that they be authorized to use such authority as may be vested by the laws to arrest offenders against the peace and quiet of the city."
The meeting immediately adjourned to the courthouse, where another meeting was held, at which Mayor How and the Hon. Edward Bates addressed the people. Joseph Charless, after a few remarks, offered the following resolutions:
"Resolved, That it is the duty of every good citizen in a crisis like the present to support the mayor in preserving the peace and quiet of the city, and that, in the opinion of this meeting, the object can be most effectually accomplished by the selection by the mayor, from the ranks of the oldest and best-known citizens, of one thousand persons to act as a special police and committee for the restoration of order, whose duty it shall be to patrol the city, and disperse all assemblages of persons manifesting a disposition, as well by moral suasion as the exercise of force where it may be found necessary.
"Resolved, That the supremacy of the law shall be sustained and the spirit of disorder quelled at whatever cost, that the fair name of our city may no longer be disgraced by bloodshed and murder, and to that end we pledge ourselves to sustain the mayor in maintaining the public peace as proposed in the above resolution."
These resolutions were unanimously carried.
Gen. Banney proposed that N. J. Eaton be appointed captain of the new police force. It was also proposed that the proprietors of the drinking establishments should close their doors at dark, and that parents, guardians, and masters should restrain the boys under their control from roaming the streets at night.
Mr. Bates then asked the citizens before him to volunteer one thousand efficient men, and the meeting adjourned to the City Hall to carry these practical suggestions into effect. The regular police organization was temporarily suspended by order of the mayor, and Capt. Eaton was appointed to take charge of the special police. A meeting of persons who had enrolled their names during the afternoon was called at five o'clock at the court-house, and about seven hundred met at the appointed time. Capt. Eaton read the names of thirty-three well-known citizens who were requested to act as captains. He then assigned to each of the captains twenty men, from whom he was to select his lieutenants; the captains and lieutenants all to be mounted. The military were also ordered to hold themselves in readiness, if additional force should be required. Capt. Eaton appointed Maj. M. L. Clark to take charge of the outdoor operations, and made such other disposition of his force as was necessary. These timely and vigorous efforts completely crushed the riots, and at midnight the city was quiet.
As nearly as could be ascertained, about ten persons were killed and about thirty wounded.
The mayor, after an informal consultation with the Board of Aldermen, appointed Messrs. Poster, Knott, and Moore, all competent builders, to examine into the nature and report the amount of damage sustained. This duty they performed, and reported the names of those whose property was injured by the rioters as numbering about ninety-three, and assessed the total amount of damages at $4250.80. Some of the assessments were as low as two dollars, and the highest about four hundred dollars.
The mayor, in a communication to the City Council on October 10th, said,
"Anxious as I am to erase from my memory all recollection of a time so discreditable to the fair fame of our city, I still cannot depart from this subject without, in a becoming manner, alluding to some of those whose assistance was so cheerfully given in sustaining the laws, and in particular to the military organizations under command of Cols. Renick and Knapp. To these gentlemen, and the members of their respective commands, I am deeply indebted. It became my unpleasant duty to order the Continentals, under Capt. Blackburn, and the Washington Guards, under Lieut. Deegan, to fire upon the mob; and the promptness with which they discharged their disagreeable task showed that they were fully alive to the duties and responsibilities of the citizen-soldier, and were determined to perform their duties at any hazard. In this case five of these brave men, members of the Continentals, were wounded, some of them severely. I am also under many obligations to the companies of Capts. Pritchard, Prosser, Byrne, Morrow, English, Suebott, Allen, and Steife, for the valuable and efficient aid rendered me in those the most anxious hours of my life. If the mob was not suppressed at once, it was not for want of assistance from these gallant men, but owing to the continually changing scene of their operations, hardly quelled at one point before disturbances would burst forth at another and a more distant one, and not until a general meeting of the citizens authorized me to enroll a volunteer police force of one thousand men, under command of Capt. N. J. Baton, was the public peace restored. This large force, a portion of which was mounted, was distributed in various parts of the riotous district, and completely put an end to the existing disturbance. In alluding to them, I can only say that they were worthy of their gallant commander, whose cool judgment and promptness of action well qualified him as a valuable auxiliary in a time of doubt and danger."
On a Sunday morning in May, 1853, a riot occurred which resulted in the death of two men. A member of Franklin Fire Company interfered in a dog-fight which was going on under the patronage respectively of the residents of Green and Cherry Streets. His
interference was resented by the owner of the dog and resulted in a fight. Being reinforced by some of his fellow-members and others, an attack was made upon the dog-owner and his friends. They drove their opponents through their houses and up into the city. Some of the houses in which the rioters had taken refuge were partly demolished, and the refugees when caught were severely beaten. One man was killed outright, and another so badly beaten that he died a few days afterwards.
The neighborhood of Almond and Poplar Streets, between Main and Fourth, previous to July, 1860, had been inhabited by a number of degraded men and women, whose habits excited the popular indignation to such a pitch that, on the night of July 25th, a general assault was made upon their dwellings. When the attack upon the first place was begun there were some two or three hundred men and boys engaged in it, which number was rapidly increased to a thousand. Bricks and stones were hurled at the windows, on the roof, and against the walls, driving the occupants into the back yard, and from thence to whatever shelter they could find. The commotion soon brought a dozen or more policemen to the scene, who endeavored, without any plan or system, to quell the disturbance, but their efforts were wholly ineffectual.
After breaking all the windows, doors, furniture, etc., at this place, the mob continued on its course, driving out the occupants and destroying and burning beds, furniture, garments, etc. It attacked simultaneously eleven houses, and heaped all their furniture in the street and set fire to them. The work of demolition went on until more than twenty houses had been robbed of their contents, after which the mob dispersed. Policeman Kennedy, on returning to his beat from the scene of excitement, fell down opposite Wyman's Hall and died in a short time from exhaustion.
Railroad Riot of 1877. The period of inflation and factitious prosperity that immediately succeeded the war was followed, as all painfully know, by a long term of depression. The burden naturally fell heaviest on the working classes, among whom privation begot discontent and distress.
The great lines of railroad, of course, suffered with the rest in the general stagnation. To afford all the facilities in their power to the manufacturers and producers, they reduced their freight charges to so low a point as scarcely to cover the cost of transportation. The force of hands employed at this time by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was about three times as large as was necessary for the business of the road, and with the greatly reduced revenue of the line it was absolutely necessary to make some reduction in this branch of expense. This could easily have been done by discharging the superfluous hands, but in view of the great suffering that such a step would cause it was thought better to keep on as large a force as possible and reduce the wages, and it was hoped that the men themselves would see it in that light.
On July 11, 1877, a circular was issued by the road (after the other great competing lines had taken the same action) giving notice that the wages of all hands earning more than a dollar a day would be reduced ten per cent, from July 16th. At this the brakemen and firemen of the freight-trains began to make preparations to resist, and on the appointed day they refused to work along the whole line. At once applications were made in Baltimore by men out of work to take their places, and though a disposition was shown to drive off these men, they were protected by the police, and the freight trains were moved out of Baltimore. The passenger-trains were not interfered with on that day.
Martinsburg, W. Va., was one of the company's principal relay-stations, where the hands and engines of the freight-trains were changed. The population was to a large extent composed of employés and dependants of the road, and in sympathy with the strikers. When the trains from Baltimore reached this point all the firemen abandoned them. Others offered to take their places, but these were forced from the engines by the strikers, who openly declared that no more freight-trains should be run until the former scale of wages was restored.
As the Martinsburg authorities were powerless, Vice-President King, of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, telegraphed to Governor Matthews, of West Virginia, asking his assistance to suppress the riot. The Governor ordered his aid, Col. Faulkner, to take the necessary steps; but the latter soon found that the Berkeley Guards, whom he had called out, were too much in sympathy with the rioters to be depended on for any efficient service. Governor Matthews then telegraphed to President Hayes for the assistance of the United States forces. The President at first hesitated, doubting whether the emergency justified Federal interference; but on receiving a dispatch from President Garrett, of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, showing the serious character of the disturbance and the rapidly-increasing danger, he issued a proclamation commanding the rioters to disperse, which was printed in hand-bill form and distributed all along the line. At the same time he ordered eight companies of artillery, serving as infantry, under the command of Gen. French, to proceed
from Fort McHenry and Washington to Martinsburg, where they arrived on the morning of the 19th. The presence of the military overawed the strikers and prevented violence. The trains might now have been sent on had not the threats of the strikers so intimidated those who would have served that they were afraid to come forward, and only two trains were moved that day, one eastward, which reached Baltimore in safety, and one westward, which was stopped at Keyser.
By this time the strike had extended to the Ohio Division of the road, and alarming reports were received as to the intentions of the men on the Pittsburgh and other Western roads, among the rest the Fort Wayne and Chicago, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Ohio and Mississippi, etc. The Western Division of the Pennsylvania was blocked, and there was trouble on the Erie. Troops were called out in both Pennsylvania and New York. The apparently vast extent of the combination caused extreme alarm, and there was an almost total paralysis of trade in Baltimore and towns along the road. The direct loss was also very great, many of the cars detained being loaded with perishable goods, and others with live-stock that were dying with hunger and thirst.
Thus far no act of malicious violence had been done, and it is probable that, beyond the stopping of the trains, none was originally intended, and even this design was confined to a part of the whole force. But, as is always the case, the turbulent and unruly, the vicious and idle gathered around the strikers, swelled their forces, and could not be restrained from violence and outrage.
In St. Louis, while there was no bloodshed, there were many violent demonstrations, and for several days the situation was threatening in the extreme. The first symptoms of trouble were manifest on the morning of July 21st, when it was announced that the brakemen on the Ohio and Mississippi Railway had determined to strike on the following Monday (July 23d), in consequence of a reduction in wages on the 16th of that month. This movement was anticipated on July 21st by a strike on the Central Division of the Ohio and Mississippi Road at Vincennes. East St. Louis being the real western terminus of the roads centring in St. Louis from the East, and their several freight-yards and depots being there, the strike began there in a meeting on the night of July 21st, which adjourned to meet the following day. On the latter date day and night meetings were held, and the strike was formally inaugurated by the employés of the Ohio and Mississippi, Indianapolis and St. Louis, St. Louis and Southeastern, Vandalia Line, Rockford and Rock Island, Cairo Short Line, and the Cairo and St. Louis Railroad Companies, and the Union Transit and Railway Company, which controlled the traffic over the bridge. An executive committee was appointed, consisting of one representative from the employés of each road, with power to appoint sub-committees from the different branches of railroad service represented in the strike. A resolution was adopted cautioning all of the men against the use of intoxicating liquors. On this day also meetings of working-men in St. Louis and Carondelet were held, and resolutions sustaining the Eastern strikers were adopted. The St. Louis meeting adjourned in a body, and attended one of the meetings of the disaffected railroad men in East St. Louis.
On July 23d the strikers' executive committee had complete control of all the railroad property on the east side of the river, and compelled or persuaded the employés of the railroad shops and stock-yards to join them. They placed sub-committees in the various depots and yards, and guarded the railroad property at all such points. On this day the committee issued, under date of July 22d, its "General Order No. 1": "Freight-trains are forbidden to leave any of the yards after twelve M. to-night, and employés are cautioned against interfering with express-, mail-, or passenger-trains."
In conformity with this order all freight traffic was stopped, and the strikers seized two yard engines for use in frustrating any attempt to get freight-trains away. On this day also the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company acceded to the demands of its employés for the restoration of wages to the old figures, and there was a large demonstration of laboring men.
On July 24th the cigar-makers, coopers, and one or two other branches of trade went on a strike, and paraded the public streets of St. Louis. Delegations of railroad strikers visited the city from East St. Louis, and compelled the employés of the Missouri Pacific and the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railroads, who had resumed work on an increase of pay, to stop, as did also the Harrison wire-workers. Six companies of the Twenty-third United States Infantry, with two Gatling guns, under command of Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, reached St. Louis for the purpose of protecting government property. The Vandalia, Indianapolis and St. Louis, Chicago and Alton, Ohio and Mississippi, Cairo Short Line, and St. Louis and Southeastern Railroad suspended passenger traffic. In East St. Louis everything was quiet and orderly, and the saloons were closed. The executive committee of the strikers issued "General Order No. 2," as follows:
"No person or persons are empowered to settle with any road, except the executive committee. ‘All or none’ of the employés on the strike to go to work. We, the strikers, will maintain order at all hazards."
Up to this time the demonstrations in St. Louis had been confined to public mass-meetings and parades, in which a few labor agitators, styling themselves the "International Executive Committee of the Workingmen," were the ruling and directing spirits. They had worked on the sympathies of some working-men, and incendiary and inflammatory speeches, added to the startling events attending the riots in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and other points in the East, had resulted in the enlistment of many mechanics and laborers. But there were very few, if any, railway men identified with the agitation in St. Louis proper, although these had at times given their moral support; the mass of the disaffected in St. Louis were tramps and irresponsible persons, idlers and curiosity-seekers. On Wednesday, July 25th, however, the demonstrations culminated in open violence. The beginning of the outbreak occurred at a meeting called for eight A. M., to be followed by a labor procession. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Internationalists' Executive Committee, which had prepared a list of industrial institutions at which the procession was expected to call and compel the employés to stop work. The procession, which subsequently degenerated into a mob, started from the Lucas Market, after hearing speeches from several of the executive committee. Prominent in the ranks were a number of colored roustabouts from the Levee, who had been invited by the executive committee to join in the demonstration. This they had done after compelling the captains of such steamboats as were lying along the Levee to advance the wages of their colored workmen.
After marching up and down Lucas Market Place, the procession passed down Locust Street to Fifth, to Poplar, to Twelfth, to the Four Courts. At the corner of Twelfth and Spruce Streets a stop was made at the Phoenix Planing-Mills, and the proprietor was allowed fifteen minutes to close up, which he did. The demand was made by a committee of spokesmen previously appointed from the ranks. While at this point the rank of the procession was broken and was not reformed. The St. Louis Bagging-Factory, at Twelfth and Austin Streets, was the next place visited. The crowd dashed over the Twelfth Street bridge in great confusion, shouting and yelling and alarming the employés of the bagging-factory, who hastened to close the doors and windows before the mob arrived. The spokesmen were met at the entrance by Henry Odell, the superintendent, who at once acceded to a demand for instant stoppage of the works. Before he had had an opportunity to do this the mob clambered over the fences, and yelling and hooting, created a scene of confusion as the employés, one hundred of whom were females, were being dismissed.
While at this place the negro roustabouts forced themselves to the front, and during the remainder of the day they were most conspicuous in the scenes of disorder and riot which ensued. All of the places on the programme having received previous notice from the executive committee to close, the mob regarded it as an insult when they were found open, and was apparently greatly incensed thereat. At the foundry of Shickle, Harrison & Co., a square farther west, similar scenes were enacted, and the rioters took possession of the works and compelled the engineer to shut off steam. At the Douglass Bagging Company's works, 1030 Stoddard Avenue, the disorder was even greater. Windows were broken, the door of the engine-room was burst in, and the engineer, under threats against his life, was compelled by the negroes to shut off steam. There were a great many females employed here, and they were peremptorily ordered to quit work, and in some instances received rude treatment at the hands of the negroes. Samuel Wainwright's malt-house, south of the Bagging Company's works, was visited by a crowd of negroes, who finding only a few carpenters at work, compelled them to leave. A heavy shower of rain now drenched the mob, but did not check its progress in the least. The employés of the Park Foundry of Christopher, Simpson & Co., on Park Avenue, were next driven away, and a number of rioters directed their attention to a small grocery kept by a man named Kaemper, which the negro element were only prevented from sacking by the threats of a committee-man to place them under arrest. The mills of the Southern Bagging Company, at Decatur and Barry Streets, were closed by a committee of rioters, who drew the fires in the engine-room and forced the employés to leave. The St. Louis Trunk-Factory was next closed, and the main body of the mob then desisted and started on the return. The negroes, however, attended by a few disorderly white characters, continued east on Lombard Street as an independent mob. They closed the Saxony Mills and the Southern White-Lead and Color Works, with threats of burning if operations were resumed. Thence the mob, ripe for any disorder, swept on to the Plum Street Depot, where the negroes attempted to stop a passenger-train which was on the eve of departure,
and grossly insulted the passengers, but were finally induced to leave by two or three speeches from their white colleagues. The Atlantic Mills next received a visit, and George Bain, who was in the engine room, being insulted by a negro, knocked him down, whereupon another negro assaulted Mr. Bain with a hatchet, and the latter only escaped by flight. After stopping a few bricklayers, at work on a new building, the mob raided a small cooper-shop on Third Street, where they sawed a number of hoop-poles into clubs, and, with threats of murder and arson, influenced the employés to leave. At Third and Poplar Streets the little shop of a poor widow was raided by negroes, who were about to sack it when compelled to leave by others in the mob. Page & Kraus' zinc-works were next closed, and the rioters, many of them fired with drink, continued northward, their passage being marked by similar outrages. At Garneau's bakery, at Seventeenth and Morgan Streets, and the Great bakery, on Morgan, between Sixth and Seventh Streets, they carried off whatever they desired and destroyed a quantity of stock.
At Ninth Street and Franklin Avenue a store was raided, and dry-goods, soap, etc., were thrown into the street, "so that poor people might pick them up." The Park Mills, at Thirteenth and Market Streets, and Halteman & Co.'s millwright-shop were also closed. The scenes of disorder and outrage continued until late in the day. While these two mobs were committing their acts of violence, a small contingent of the rabble attended a member of the International Executive Committee to the steam bakery of Dozier, Weyl & Co., at Sixth and Pine Streets, where there were about thirty employés, male and female. The bakery was closed, and the retail portion was broken into and its contents appropriated by the mob.
Meanwhile the authorities were not idle, but being supported only by the city police, which, while efficient, was unable to cope with the law-breakers, they could not take any effective measures at this time. In this emergency the city authorities called upon the law-abiding citizens for their co-operation in preventing destruction of life and property. The response was prompt, and Mayor Overstolz found himself supported at once by two or three score of the most prominent citizens, among whom were Gen. Marmaduke, Gen. Cavender, Gen. A. J. Smith, Gen. Noble, Maj. H. S. Turner, Walter C. Carr, and others equally well known. These counselors advised that a meeting of the better class of citizens be called for organization and defense. The proposed meeting was held at the Four Courts, and Mayor Overstolz presided. The following report of the executive committee, previously appointed, was unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, That there is hereby appointed the following-named persons to recruit and organize the citizens in their respective wards to aid the mayor, as a posse comitatus, for the preservation of life and property and the due and prompt enforcement of the law and the rights of all the people.
"First Ward [headquarters], court-house, north door. Gen. John S. Marmaduke, Gen. Oliver P. Gooding, Maj. Eugene Weigel, Joseph Lawrence, J. R. Harding, A. C. L. Haase.
"Second Ward, Fourth and Morgan Streets. Joseph Crawshaw, Gen. Fullerton, Col. T. W. Hemm, George Mills.
"Third Ward, Convent Market. Capt. Charles Stressmeyer, Capt. Adolph Knipper, Capt. Frank Conway, C. A. Stifel, Charles A. Pratt.
"Fourth Ward, Ninth and South Cass Avenue. Capt. Henry Bishop, John McManus, F. A. Churchill, Thomas Foley.
"Fifth Ward, Soulard Market. Capt. Charles Ploesser, David Murphy, J. H. Amelung.
"Sixth Ward, Broadway and North Market. Christ. Winkelmeyer, George Hannibal, John G. Rubelman, W. C. Van Dillen, Thomas Foley.
"Seventh Ward, C. H. Reighmann.
"Eighth Ward, Broadway and Saulsbury. Capt. E. D. Meier, P. Gundlach, S. B. Stannard.
"Ninth Ward, Maj. De Gress, E. Vortriede.
"Tenth Ward, Col. T. T. Gantt, Frank Backof, R. H. Spencer.
"Eleventh Ward, Capt. Charles C. Soule, A. N. De Menil.
"Twelfth Ward, Capt. John I. Martin, John J. O'Brien, Patrick Sullivan, James Collins, Sr., Thomas Morrison, Richard Brown.
"Thirteenth Ward, C. H. Albers, John Williams, C. N. McDowell, Christ. Staehlin, F. Mansfield.
"Fourteenth Ward, Conrad Beck, Henry Brockman, H. C. Meyer.
"Fifteenth Ward, corner Mississippi and Park Avenues Gen. John S. Cavender, Col. F. Burnham, Capt. John Woods, Dr. Frank Porter, Given Campbell, S. D. Barlow, A. W. Kelsey, George Bain, W. B. Ryder.
"Sixteenth Ward, Col. L. S. Metcalf, Otto Kulage.
"Seventeenth Ward, Rink. Col. T. A. Meysenburg, Alfred W. Henry, Patrick McGrath, Robert McIlvaine.
"Eighteenth Ward, Garrison Avenue and Olive Street. Gen. John W. Noble, Moses Fraley, Gen. John W. Turner, Preston Player, J. P. Krieger, Sr., Maj. Cabell Breckenridge, George Updike, P. C. Bulkley, John J. Sutler.
"Nineteenth Ward, Governor Thomas Fletcher, Capt. J. Butler, William H. Clopton, Conrad Rose, George Brunaugh, Joseph Gafford.
"Twentieth Ward, B. Gratz Brown, R. G. Frost, W. F. Cozens, John Finn.
"Twenty-first Ward, Joseph T. Tatum, W. L. Swing, Jr.
"Twenty-second Ward, D. K. Ferguson, R. L. Jones, Henry W. Williams, Capt. Bart. Guion, John R. McDonough, Matthew Brennan, James Morgan.
"Twenty-third Ward, Lewis Nolte.
"Twenty-fourth Ward, P. O'Brien, A. L. Bergfeld.
"Twenty-fifth Ward, Richard Merkle.
"Twenty-sixth Ward, Maj. Philip Bamberger, A. P. Barbec.
"Twenty-seventh Ward, Jacob Thorp, G. W. Parker.
"Twenty-eighth Ward, Christ. Conrades, John A. Scudder, C. O. Dutcher, Miles Sells, W. H. Scudder.
"Resolved, That all well-disposed citizens who wish to preserve the supremacy of law, and the lives and property of our people, are requested to assemble at nine o'clock to-morrow
morning at their several voting precincts to enroll themselves under the direction and command of the aforesaid officers of their wards, and such aids as they may appoint.
"Resolved, That Gen. A. J. Smith, elected by the Committee of Safety, be and is hereby appointed commander of the citizens under the direction of the mayor.
"Resolved, That any company or body now organized, or which may hereafter be organized, report through its commanding officer forthwith to Gen. A. J. Smith, at Police Commissioners' room, in Four Courts building."
After this meeting another was called for immediate organization, at which Gen. A. J. Smith was elected chairman. The following persons were then elected to take charge of companies under the direction of Gen. Smith: A. W. Kelsey, H. S. Turner, W. H. Clark, John E. Bloomfield, Thomas C. Fletcher, Capt. McMurtry, J. T. Butler, C. E. Salomon, C. C. Slag, J. K. Claiborne. The persons designated proceeded at once to the work of organization, and their efforts were assisted in a great measure by the following proclamation of Mayor Overstolz, under date of July 24th:
"In the present distressed condition of affairs in this city, it becomes my duty as mayor to warn all persons against the commission of acts calculated to excite disturbances and violate the public peace, and to invite the co-operation of all good citizens in the maintenance of law and order. With the points in dispute between the railroad managers and their employés the city government has neither the right nor the desire to interfere; but the scenes of violence and plunder recently enacted in the city of Pittsburgh and elsewhere illustrate the terrible consequence that may result from such difficulties. We do not regard the railroad employés and workmen of St. Louis as encouraging or countenancing these disorders, but it is a fact that cannot be denied that, taking advantage of these complications and of the opportunity afforded by prevailing confusion and excitement, a mob of reckless and lawless men have perpetrated the most outrageous depredations.
"The government of the city of St. Louis is determined to spare no effort to promptly suppress riot, to protect life and property, to vindicate our fame as a law-abiding and self-reliant people. With this object in view, I deem it necessary to invite to the aid of the government the volunteer services of all citizens in favor of law and order within their respective wards for such police duty as may hereafter be assigned to them. In order to make such assistance available, and to promote a proper organization, the following citizens have been selected as a Committee on Public Safety, viz.:
"Gen. A. J. Smith, Judge Thomas T. Gantt, Gen. James S. Marmaduke, Gen. John S. Cavender, Gen. John D. Stevenson, Gen. John W. Noble. This committee has designated Gen. A. J. Smith as commanding officer of all organizations of citizens formed under this proclamation. In order to avoid causes of disturbance, all unnecessary assemblages of citizens are forbidden. Parents are requested to keep minors under their personal control. The headquarters of Gen. A. J. Smith will be at the Four Courts, where all reports will be directed."
On the following day, at the request of the Merchants' Exchange, Mayor Overstolz issued another proclamation, calling upon merchants to suspend business temporarily, and directing the closing of all places where intoxicating liquors were sold. On the same day Sheriff Finn, at the instance of the Board of Police Commissioners, issued summonses for a posse comitatus of five thousand men. The responses for volunteers to the committee's call were very liberal. Meetings were held in the various wards, and as fast as companies were enrolled they were armed at the Four Courts, where the mayor had also established his headquarters, and which was transformed into a huge barrack for the citizen soldiery. On Thursday, the 26th of July, the plans for the defense and protection of the city had been so far systematized that Mayor Overstolz issued the following proclamation:
"WHEREAS, The general suspension of the business of the city on July 25, 1877, has afforded ample opportunity to all citizens to perfect their organizations in aid of the city authorities in suppressing the riotous and unlawful action of evil-disposed persons which still prevails throughout the city; and
"WHEREAS, I am now fully prepared to effectually end all further opposition to the peace and good order of this community,
"Now, therefore, I, Henry Overstolz, mayor of the city of St. Louis, do direct and order as follows:
"First, That business and laboring men of all classes, except such as are enrolled among the forces at my disposal, do at once resume their lawful occupations, and refrain as far as practicable from traversing or congregating upon the public streets of the city.
"Second, All persons are prohibited from interference by intimidation or otherwise with the employés or employers of any mill, factory, business or business establishment, or railway. Any such interference is hereby declared to be at the peril of the person or persons offering it, and will be promptly resisted with all the force at my disposal. All offenders in this behalf will be at once arrested and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
"Third, Citizens of all occupations and pursuits are ordered to abstain from any conduct calculated to disturb the peace and good order of the city. It is earnestly desired to avoid the necessity of resort to force, but the majesty of the law will be asserted, the honor and peace of the city maintained, and the property and lives of the citizens preserved. Laboring men, of whatever occupation, dissatisfied with the wages paid them, have the right to abandon their employment, but they have no legal right to interfere, nor can they justify such interference, with those who are content with their wages and desire to continue their employment. To do so is to degrade the dignity of labor and destroy the freedom of the laborer himself. The city government, sustained by all good citizens, has determined that such interference cannot and shall not be tolerated. The responsibility for any collision which may result from the dispassionate but firm execution of this determination must rest upon those who force it upon the public authorities by their violation of the law."
On the same day that the mayor issued the above proclamation, Governor Phelps and Lieutenant-Governor Brockemyer arrived in the city, and the Governor issued the following proclamation:
"WHEREAS, A large number of men have for several days been unlawfully and riotously assembled in the city of St. Louis; and
"WHEREAS, It has been represented to me that said men have unlawfully compelled other men to quit and abandon the pursuits by which they supported themselves and their families, thus to give up against their wish their usual employment; and
"WHEREAS, Said men have impeded the prosecution of the internal commerce of the country by assembling in force and preventing the transportation of the products of the agriculturist, the artisan, and the manufacturer, thereby materially enhancing the cost of the support of all persons in a time of financial distress; and
"WHEREAS, Other disturbances and disorders are threatened in this city and elsewhere in this State,
"Now, therefore, I, John S. Phelps, Governor of the State of Missouri, do hereby require said bands of men so unlawfully assembled to disband and return to their usual pursuits and avocations, and not further to molest the good citizens of this State, or to interfere with their industrial pursuits. And I do assure the people of Missouri, and especially of this city, that I am here for the purpose of seeing that the laws are faithfully executed and enforced, and that the rights of all shall be respected; that order shall be maintained; that all assemblages of evil men shall be dispersed, and that quiet and tranquillity in future shall be preserved; and with the aid of the good people of this State, I do solemnly declare these pledges shall be redeemed, so far as in me lies as their Chief Executive, not only for the peace and welfare of this city, but for every part of this Commonwealth."
Independent of the efforts of the authorities to organize a competent armed force, the merchants of the city held a meeting on Thursday, July 26th, at Armory Hall, to effect a similar organization. W. A. Hargadine, of Crow, Hargadine & Co., was elected chairman, and Goodman King, of Mermod, Jaccard & Co., was chosen secretary. As a result of the meeting a fund of twenty thousand dollars was raised, and a regiment of one thousand men, armed with rifles and navy revolvers, and officered by ex-soldiers, was recruited and placed under the direction of the mayor for guard duty in the business portion of the city. The general organization continued, and did not cease until the authorities had five fully-equipped regiments in the field, including two hundred cavalry from beyond the suburbs, whose services were tendered and accepted through Judge James S. Farrar and James C. Edwards, a company of marines, who did efficient service along the river front, and a company of artillery, in all about four or five thousand men. Several companies were composed of employés of the St. Louis and Southeastern, the Iron Mountain, and other railroads, who were particularly effective. In addition ward patrols were organized throughout the city and suburbs, but these confined themselves to special police duty. The citizen military were utilized for several days in guarding public and private property and protecting points threatened by especial danger.
Meantime the rioters, directed by an executive committee which made its headquarters at Schuler's Hall, at the intersection of Fifth and Biddle Streets, continued their reign of terror, accompanied by public mass-meetings and parades back and forth before the Four Courts, where the city authorities and citizens' committees had their headquarters. On Thursday, July 26th, the day following their most flagrant outrages, the mob visited the extreme northern section of the city, the majority being negroes, who were led by one of their number, a large man "on a yellow horse." They visited a number of industrial institutions, and were even more insulting and disorderly than on the preceding day. Finding Filley's foundry closed and under guard, they stoned the guards and left. Belcher's sugar-refining works being also closed, they broke open the gates, raked the fires, and broke some windows. After this they had several collisions with the police, but the latter, being armed with guns and bayonets, were uniformly successful. During the day a destructive fire occurred, and was attributed to the rioters. By this conflagration a vacant house at the northwest corner of Second and Madison Streets, belonging to Amos Page, was burned, and a lumberyard belonging to A. Boeckeler & Co. was partially destroyed. On this day the following extraordinary communications were issued by the executive committee:
"TO THE HON. J. S. PHELPS, Governor of the State of Missouri, and all Citizens:
"We request your speedy co-operation in convening the Legislature and calling for the immediate passage of the eight-hour law, its stringent enforcement, and penalty for all violations of the same.
"The non-employment of all children under fourteen years of age in factories, shops, or other uses calculated to injure them.
"Your attention is respectfully called to the fact that a prompt compliance with this our reasonable demand, and that living wages be paid to the railroad men, will at once bring peace and prosperity such as we have not seen for the last fifteen years. Nothing short of a compliance to the above just demand, made purely in the interest of our national welfare, will arrest this tidal-wave of revolution. Threats or organized armies will not turn the toilers of this nation from their earnest purpose, but rather serve to inflame the passions of the multitude and tend to acts of vandalism.
"Yours, in the nation's welfare,
"UNITED WORKINGMEN OF ST. LOUIS."
"TO THE HON. HENRY OVERSTOLTZ, Mayor of St. Louis:
"Sir, We, the authorized representatives of the industrial population of St. Louis, have called upon you to request your co-operation in devising means to procure food for those actually in a destitute condition.
"In order to save a useless waste of your time, it is necessary that we at once say that all offers of work during this national strike cannot be considered by us as a remedy under the present circumstances, for we are fully determined to hold out until the principles we are contending for are carried.
"It is the earnest desire of every honest toiler in St. Louis to
accomplish this their purpose in as orderly a way as this dire contingency will allow.
"The stringency of food is already being felt; therefore, to avoid plunder, arson, or violence by persons made desperate by destitution, we are ready to concur with Your Honor in taking timely measures to supply the immediate wants of the foodless, and respectfully offer the following suggestions, namely: if it is not in your power to relieve this distress, we request that a convention of merchants be called by Your Honor to meet and confer with us as to the best way to procure food for our distressed brothers and their families.
"Each member of all labor organizations will hold themselves individually and collectively responsible to pay for all food procured by their order.
"That we, the unfortunate, toiling citizens, desire to faithfully maintain the majesty of the law while we are contending for our inalienable rights.
"Therefore, we in good faith give you our earnest assurance to assist you in maintaining order and protecting property. Further, in order to avoid riot, we have determined to have no large processions until our organization is so complete as to positively assure the citizens of St. Louis of a perfect maintenance of order and full protection to life and property.
"In the name of all workingmen's associations, by the Executive Committee of the United Workingmen's party of St. Louis."
Another paper, signed by "the Executive Committee," notified physicians and surgeons that they would be "professionally regarded during the present strike by wearing a white badge four inches long and two inches broad, encircling the left upper arm, bearing a red cross, the bars of which to be one inch wide by three inches long, crossing each other at right angles, allowing the bars to extend one inch each way." A few hours after the issuing of these communications a mass-meeting was held at Lucas Market under the auspices of the committee which signed them, at which incendiary speeches were made, the rioters being urged to arm and organize themselves into small companies, and intimations were thrown out that the forces of the authorities were to be attacked. This, however, appeared to be the climax of the riotous proceedings in St. Louis. The news from the East of the cessation of the labor troubles, the judicious distribution of volunteer militia, the effective action of the police, the energetic movement of citizens, the failure of the agitators who were directing the rioters to inaugurate determined efforts, and the lack of substantial results all contributed to assist in the final and peaceful repression of the mob on the following day, Friday, July 27th. The enrollment of the citizen military had been prompt and effective, and in three days about four thousand had been recruited and equipped; some had been put into active service, and all were under arms and ready.
Such was the condition of things when the mayor and his counselors determined to make an attempt to arrest the ringleaders, otherwise the "Executive Committee," at Schuler's Hall. Accordingly, on July 27th, the following order was issued through the Board of Police: "Capt. William Lee is hereby assigned to the command of the police battalion detailed for the protection of life and property, and more particularly for the capture of the violators of the law now assembled in Schuler's Hall. In effecting the arrest of said unlawful assemblage you will use your best judgment, and should forcible resistance be offered, such as you cannot control without damage to your command, open fire on them. If arrested, files of soldiers will he in readiness to aid you in bringing them to these headquarters."
The raid on Schuler's Hall was made by a battalion of mounted police and patrolmen and soldiery with cannon, and attended by the mayor and prominent citizens. The mounted police led the procession, and on arriving at the hall cleared the street by charging the masses who had gathered there, effectually dispersing them. A number of rioters and idlers who were in the hall were arrested, but the executive committee, having been warned of the approach of the police and military, leaped from the third story of the building to the roof of an adjoining house and thence escaped, but were subsequently captured and punished. This action completely broke up the riot, and although the police prevented the holding of meetings, and the services of the soldiery were availed of a few days longer, there was no further disorder.
The railroad strike in East St. Louis during this period had remained in statu quo. The disaffected men were quiet and orderly, and at no time joined the St. Louis mob. On the contrary, they sent word to the St. Louis leaders to "leave them alone." They confined themselves to parades and meetings, and wisely kept the liquor saloons closed, but at the same time compelling the total suspension of business of all railroads terminating there. The beginning of the end in East St. Louis came with the rising of the sun on Saturday, July 28th, the day succeeding the raid on Schuler's Hall in St. Louis. At this hour twelve companies of the Twenty-third United States Infantry, regulars, under the command of Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, came up the river on the steamer "Elon G. Smith," which with an armament of guns had been in service along the river front during the St. Louis riots, and surrounded the Relay Depot, which they at once occupied, the few rioters who were there at that hour beating a hasty retreat. The surprise was complete, and in a short time eight of the companies were sent back to the arsenal. An hour or two after the capture, Governor Cullom, of Illinois, arrived from Springfield, accompanied by United States Marshal E. E. Roe, Col. Merriam, Col.
R. D. Lawrence, Capt. A. Orendorff, Judge William Prescott. Maj. James A. Connolly, Col. S. H. Jones, Major Ray, and a number of prominent citizens of Springfield. Subsequently the Governor issued the following proclamation:
"WHEREAS, Certain persons, active in violation of the law, have assumed to interfere and prevent the movement of railroad trains in this State, and have sought to intimidate honest workingmen, engaged in the avocations by which they earn their daily broad, and to compel them to cease their labor; and
"WHEREAS, This condition of affairs continues, and is intolerable, entailing as it does disastrous consequences, the nature and extent of which it is impossible to foresee,
"Therefore, I, Shelby M. Cullom, Governor of the State of Illinois, acting under and by authority of the laws of this State, do command all such riotous and disorderly persons to desist and return to their homes, and do call upon all sheriffs, mayors, and other officers charged with the execution of the laws to break up all conspiracies against the rights of property and persons, and to this end to employ every lawful means in their power, and to enjoin upon all citizens to assist in bringing about the restoration of order, resumption of business, moving of trains, and revival of manufactures.
"I further give notice that the entire military force at my disposal, as commander-in-chief of the military, will be employed for the support of the civil authorities in this endeavor, and that orders will be given to troops to use whatever amount of force may be necessary to compel obedience to the law."
As soon as Governor Cullom reached East St. Louis he telegraphed for the Belleville Guards, of Belleville, Ill., Capt. Andel commanding, who reached the scene of trouble early in the afternoon. Their arrival was supplemented by that of six or seven hundred more of the Illinois militia, who came in a body, as follows: Brig.-Gen. E. N. Bates, commanding; Lieut.-Col. J. N. Reece, assistant adjutant-general; Assistant Inspector, Maj. G. S. Dana. Fifth Regiment, Colonel, S. H. Barclay; Lieutenant-Colonel, Cornelius Rourke; Major, William C. Gilbreth; Adjutant, C. F. Mills; Surgeon, J. N. Dixon; Sergeant-Major, J. H. C. Irwin. Company C (Governor's Guards), of Springfield, Capt. G. S. Johnson; Company D (Cullom Guards), of Williamsville, Capt. I. F. Constant; Company I (Morgan Cadets), of Jacksonville, Capt. Harrison; Company K (Light Guards), of Jacksonville, Capt. J. N. Swails.
Eighth Regiment, Capt. E. B. Hamilton, commanding; W. L. Distin, adjutant; Francis Aid, quartermaster; R. W. McMahan, surgeon; William L. Ryan, sergeant-major. Quincy Guards, of Quincy, Lieut. R. A. Cox, commanding; Keokuk Junction Guards, Lieut. Wm. Hanna; Carthage City Guards, Capt. C. Long; Mount Sterling Guards, Capt. M. H. Lawler; Augusta Guards, Capt. E. Gillett; Quincy Veterans, Capt. L. Bort; Clayton Guards, Capt. H. A. Horn.
These troops found the city free from disorder and in the possession of the military, which had previously arrived, and beyond the ill-concealed disgust of the rioters at the march which had been stolen on them, and disappointment which found expression only in words and private discussions, there was little to indicate the situation of a few hours before.
On the arrival of the National Guards the following military order was issued:
"HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
FIRST DIVISION, ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD,
"EAST ST. LOUIS, ILL., July 28, 1877.
"General Order No. 6.
"Having, in compliance with orders from the Governor and commander-in-chief of the forces of the State, assumed command of the Illinois National Guard at East St. Louis, for the purpose of aiding the civil authorities of St. Glair County and the city of East St. Louis in preserving the peace and protecting property therein, to effectually execute this order, acting with the peace officers of said county and city, I hereby command all persons within the said county and city to observe the peace and aid in the execution of the laws. Riotous and other unlawful assemblages are hereby prohibited, and will be promptly dispersed. Private citizens in any considerable number, appearing in public armed with weapons of any kind, will be regarded as rioters and dealt with accordingly.
"The streets of the city and thoroughfares of the county will be kept free from crowds, and all boisterous and unruly persons will be arrested and punished as provided by law.
"Citizens and corporations with whose business any person interferes, by the use of violence or the intimidation of their employés, reporting the fact to these headquarters, will be protected by the forces of this command in the peaceful pursuit of their several avocations.
"By order of Brig.-Gen. E. N. BATES, commanding Illinois National Guards.
"J. N. REECE, A. A. G."
On the following day, Sunday, July 29th, the military was further reinforced by the Fourth Regiment, Illinois National Guard, a company from Peoria, and one from Henry, Stark, and Knox Counties. A number of gatherings of idlers and strikers were dispersed, and there were a great many arrests, individual and collective. There was no trouble in East St. Louis after this, and on the ensuing day a large majority of the strikers returned to work, the movement of freight became general, and all of the railroads resumed operations. The military remained in occupation of the city a few days longer, and with their assistance a number of ringleaders were apprehended and sent to Springfield for punishment.
On Tuesday, July 31st, the people of St. Louis witnessed a fitting finale to the labor troubles in a parade of all of the volunteer forces that had rallied to their protection a few days before, in which such companies as still remained in East St. Louis participated. The parade started at half-past four o'clock in the afternoon over a line of march embracing Twelfth
Street, from Clark Avenue to Pine Street, to Fourteenth, to Lucas Place, to Eighteenth Street, to Morgan, to Seventh, to Carr, to Fifth, to Clark Avenue, to the Four Courts, and was composed as follows:
Gen. A. J. Smith and staff: Col. Leigh O. Knapp, adjutant-general; Col. J. S. Fullerton, assistant adjutant-general; Col. R. H. Spencer, chief of ordnance; Cols. C. W. Thomas, David Murphy, Eugene F. Weigel, J. B. Gondolfo, R. H. Brown, T. W. Heman, Edgar Miller, aides-de-camp; Col. W. F. Melbourne, aide-de-camp and acting quartermaster; Col. Louis Dorsheimer, aide-de-camp and acting commissary subsistence.
Company A, Missouri National Guard, St. Louis, Capt. Chas. E. Pearce; Quincy Grays, Quincy, Ill., Capt. E. B. Hamilton; I Peoria Veteran Light Guards, Peoria, Ill., Capt. Thomas Cosgrove; Peoria National Blues, Peoria, Ill., Capt. James M. Price; Belleville Guards, Belleville, Ill., Capt. Casimir Andel.
Merchants' Regiment, St. Louis: Company A, Capt. H. Duncker; Company B, Capt. Fairbanks; Company C, Capt. J. D. Brutche; Company F, Capt. Robert McCuIloch; Company D, Capt. William Harrigan; Company E, Capt. Joshua Brown; Company G, Capt. Eobert Cunningham; Company H, Capt. Joseph K. Byers.
Gen. John W. Noble, commanding, and staff: Capts. Silas Bent, J. R. McBeth, W. M. McPherson, and J. R. Currie.
Eighteenth Ward Battalion, Capt. F. B. Davidson, commanding: Company A, Lieut. G. C. Castlernan; Company B, Capt. R. B. Hutchinson; Company C, Capt. J. D. Slocum; Court-House Guard, Capt. S. F. Adreon; Phelps Guard, Capt. C. L. White; Capt. William C. Marshall's company.
Bremen Battalion, Capt. E. D. Meier, commanding: First Company, Lieut. R. B. Stuart; Second Company, Capt. S. B. Stannard; Third Company, Capt. Buchanan.
Capt. Jefferson Clark's company.
Capt. Rothford's company.
Gen. W. U. R. Beall, commanding, and staff: Maj. W. F. Haines, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. George H. West, lieutenant-colonel; Maj. N. H. Clark and F. W. Molt, aides-de-camp.
Company A, Fifteenth Ward, Lieut. H. F. Messengale.
Squires' Battery, Col. Charles Squires commanding.
Excelsior Guards, Capt. H. W. Steirman.
Mayor's Guard, Capt. Wm. Bull.
Real Estate Guards, Capt. E. G. Obear.
Company A, Carondelet Militia, Capt. J. J. Frey.
Company D, Carondelet Militia, Capt. W. H. Fagley.
Capt. Thomas G. Fletcher's company.
Maj. Soule's battalion, Maj. Charles C. Soule, commanding: Adjutant, F. L. Shaw; Sergeant-Major, W. P. Minor; Commissary-Sergeant, Stephen D. Barlow, Jr.; Company A, Capt. W. S. Long; Company B, Capt. C. M. Woodward; Capt. C. H. Krum's company, Capt. W. P. Nelson's company, Capt. P. H. Cronin's company, Capt. Davenport's company, Capt. Schamitz's company, Capt. Berzey's company, Capt. Gondolpho's company, Capt. Stevens' company, Capt. George H. Shields' company, Capt. Kirk's company, Capt. Cunningham's company, Capt. Brownell's company, Capt. Hahn's company.
Gen. D. M. Frost, commanding, and staff: Col. H, J. McKellops, adjutant; Maj. N. Wall, quartermaster.
Detachment United States Artillery, Lieut. Bolton, commanding.
Marine Corps of St. Louis Volunteers, Capt. F. C, Moorehead.
Tenth Ward Guards, Lieut. C. H. Stone.
Iron Mountain Railway Guards, Capt. J. H. Woodward.
Southeastern Railway Guards, Capt. Harry M. Kenderdine.
Twelfth Ward Guards, Capt. A. B. Glove.
The parade consisted of the exigency militia of St. Louis, with the exception of Company A, Missouri National Guard, the Illinois State troops, and the United States artillery, and numbered about five thousand muskets. A number of other companies of citizen troops were absent on guard duty.
Thus ended the great riot of 1877 in St. Louis, and considering the fact that at the time of its inception there was only one company of State troops in Missouri, the State and city authorities and the citizens of St. Louis deserve great commendation for the prompt and pacific suppression of the disorder that reigned throughout the city.
One of the most celebrated dueling-grounds in the United States was the well-known "Bloody Island," in the Mississippi River, opposite St. Louis, which gained its name from three fatal encounters there in 1817, 1823, and 1831. The first duel near St. Louis that we have any record of occurred in December, 1810, between Mr. Farrar and Mr. Graham, but accounts are meagre, and it is uncertain when they met. Neither of the parties was injured. The duel that first gave Bloody Island its right to that incarnadined title was that between Col. Benton and Charles Lucas, in 1817, in which the latter was wounded, and at a second meeting killed. The entire record of this duel, which in some respects overrode the accepted laws of the code, and which seems to have been characterized by a bloodthirsty spirit on the part of one of the chief actors, can be found in the Missouri Gazette for that year, and in the letters of the principals on the subject.
An extended sketch of Charles Lucas, published Nov. 1, 1817, throws much light on his character and on the training young Western men had in those days. Born Sept. 25, 1792, near Pittsburgh, of Norman parents, who had settled there in 1784, he followed them to St. Louis in 1805, returned to Pennsylvania in 1806, and spent five years in study at Jefferson College. Young Lucas is said to have shown from his childhood penetration, judgment,
originality, independence, tempered in all things with a kindly regard for the rights and feelings of others. After completing his classical education he returned to St. Louis, entering the office of Col. Rufus Easton to study law. As soon as the war of 1812 was fairly begun he joined a company of volunteers raised at St. Louis, and served in a campaign up the Illinois River. The next winter he aided in forming a company of artillery, which tendered their services to the Governor, and were placed on an island near Portage des Sioux. Their captain was Robert Lucas, and when he resigned to enter the regular army, Charles Lucas was appointed in his place. The post was important, and an attack deemed probable. Lucas had displayed zeal, courage, and ability, but no encounter with the enemy occurred during the season. Later that summer he was sent to punish hostile Indians near St. Charles, but the report proved false, and he returned to St. Louis to resume his law studies, was admitted the following spring, and a few months after was elected representative from St. Louis County to the Assembly, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Emmons, of Bonhomme. He proved a useful and worthy member. In order to extend his knowledge he made a tour in the winter of 1816-17 through parts of the West, and visited the Atlantic States. In 1817 he was appointed United States attorney for Missouri, which office he held at the time of his death. All contemporary evidence goes to show that young Lucas was earnest, industrious, and worthy, both in public and in private life. The family then, as ever since, was one of great mark and power in St. Louis, and every member of it seemed gifted with more than ordinary courage, public spirit, and energy. It was a time when no man could refuse to fight a duel and escape social ostracism, and a faithful attorney often gave umbrage to men, whose reply was a challenge. In 1817, Congressman John Scott demurred at an article written by Charles Lucas, concerning the election at which the former had won, but the dispute was amicably settled.
The difficulty with the famous Thomas H. Benton grew out of political reasons, was, at least on one side, unrelenting, and through its fatal results colored and affected St. Louis politics for a third of a century after. It may justly be ranked as the great political duel of Missouri. We shall first give the account written by Charles Lucas on the night before his first meeting with Benton, and found among his papers:
"The causes of difference between T. H. Benton and me were as follows: At October court of last year (1816) Mr. Benton and I were employed on adverse sides in a cause. At the close of the evidence he stated that the evidence being so and so, he requested the court to instruct the jury to find accordingly. I stated, in reply, that there was no such evidence, to my remembrance. He replied, ‘I contradict you, sir.’ I answered, ‘I contradict you, sir.’ He then said, ‘If you deny that, you deny the truth.’ I replied, ‘If you assert that, you assert what is not true.’ He immediately sent me a challenge, which I declined accepting, for causes stated in my correspondence. The jury in a few minutes returned a verdict for me, and in opposition to his statement. He never even moved for a new trial. Since that time we have had no intercourse except on business. On the day of the election at St. Louis, 4th August, 1817, I inquired whether he had paid a tax in time to entitle him to vote; he was offering his vote at the time. He applied vehement, abusive, and ungentlemanly language to me, and I believe some of it behind my back, all of which he declined to recant, to give me any satisfaction other than by the greatest extremities. This is the state of the dispute between T. H. Benton and myself. I make this declaration that, let things eventuate as they may, it may be known how they originated."
The letter Lucas sent to Benton after the challenge in 1816 from Benton was as follows:
"ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15, 1816. T. H. Benton, present: SIR, Your note of this afternoon was received. On proper occasions, or for proper causes, I would give the kind of satisfaction you appear to want, but for such causes as the one you complain of, under all the existing circumstances, I would not feel justified in placing myself in such a situation as to be under the necessity of taking your life or jeopardizing my own. I will not suffer the free exercise of my rights or performance of my duties at the bar to be with me the subject of private disputes, nor will I allow it to others for doing my duty to my clients, more particularly to you.
"In this case, who made the first breach of decorum, if one was made? You complain of my having given you the lie direct, and have as much right to complain of the whole jury, who on their oaths found a verdict in direct contradiction to what you stated to be the evidence. My object was that no misstatement of the testimony should be made in hearing of the jury without being contradicted. This was my duty to my client and to myself. The verdict of the jury verifies the statement I made of the evidence, and I will not, for supporting that truth, be in any way bound to give the redress or satisfaction you ask for to any person who may feel wounded by such exposure of truth.
After the difficulty in August, 1817, at the polls, Benton refusing to listen to any mediator, Lucas arranged his affairs and sent his enemy a challenge, which was at once accepted. Under date of August 11th a letter found among his papers said,
"DEAR FATHER, Embarked as I am in a hazardous enterprise, the issue of which you will know before you see this, I am under the necessity of bidding you, my brothers, sisters, friends, adieu. May my brothers and sisters procure to you that consolation which I cannot render...I request my brothers, William and James, to pursue their studies with assiduity, preserving peace and good will with all good men. Father, sister, brothers, and friends, farewell.
(Signed) "CHARLES LUCAS."
On the following morning they met. Luke E. Lawless, the famous and pugnacious lawyer, and Maj.
Pilcher were Benton's seconds, and Dr. Farrar his surgeon. Joshua Barton, the eloquent and popular advocate and politician, and Col. Clemson acted as seconds for Lucas, and Dr. Quarles as surgeon. The moment the signal was given the two men fired simultaneously. Dr. Quarles, in his written statement to John B. C. Lucas, said,
"Mr. Lucas appeared to be, previous to and at the time of his taking the ground or distance, cool and collected. At the first fire your son was wounded; the ball struck obliquely on the left side of his windpipe, in the immediate neighborhood of what is called the thyroid cartilage; it buried itself, and having passed obliquely downward, came out at the distance of about an inch and a quarter from where it entered; in its passage it opened the external jugular vein. As it was my opinion that the wound which he had received disabled him from fighting with equal advantages, I dissuaded him from taking another fire. In this opinion I was afterwards confirmed, for he fainted soon after getting into the boat."
Joshua Barton, the second of Charles Lucas, made the following statement in a letter addressed to John B. C. Lucas:
"In answer to your last inquiry, I assure you that Charles at both interviews appeared perfectly cool and collected before and after taking his position to fire. At the first meeting, when Col. Benton demanded another fire or a second meeting, Charles told me to reload, that he could stand another fire. This I hesitated to do, under a belief, which I have never changed, that to let him shoot again would have been on my part a wanton exposure of the life of a man who, to judge from the profuse discharge of blood, had received a wound which might prove mortal. He requested me to propose shortening the distance, which I declined for the same reasons. It was at the solicitation of Dr. Quarles and myself that he consented to adjourn that meeting. We supported him to the boat, soon after getting into which he fainted."
Not until September 18th, or nine days before the second meeting, was any statement made by the Benton side, though rumors, charges, and countercharges were abundant. Col. Lawless then made a statement, which, after saying that Mr. Lucas was not satisfied, but found his wound more severe than he thought, concludes thus:
"I again demanded of Mr. Lucas if he was satisfied, and if he wished for another meeting with Col. Benton. To this question he replied that he was satisfied, and that he did not require a second meeting. Having reported this answer to Col. Benton, he declared aloud that he ‘was not satisfied, and required that Mr. Lucas should continue to fight or pledge himself to come out again as soon as his wound should be in a state to permit him.’ This promise was accordingly given, and the parties pledged themselves by their seconds to perform it."
This statement was confirmed by a letter from Joshua Barton. As the case now stood, Col. Benton had insulted Mr. Lucas; the latter had asked for redress and been refused. They met, and Lucas, the challenger, was wounded. He desired another meeting, but waived his rights under the so-called "Code of Honor," and said he did not wish another meeting. Then Col. Benton, who had every advantage on his side, declared with his famous energy and determination that "he was not satisfied," that is, he meant to try to kill Lucas, for there is no doubt but that Benton was known as the better shot, and the odds were all in his favor. It is a sad thing to say, but impartial history must write it thus: At the point when the demand for a second meeting was made, even the poor excuse of the duello was left behind.
Mr. Lucas recovered rapidly, though his wound was severe, and the heat of the season very unfavorable. When his friends came to see him, and asked of the talked-of second meeting, he said frankly that if he must meet Col. Benton again the distance must be shortened to better equalize their chances. August 22d he told Barton that he was ready to meet his foe. In a letter dated October 3d Barton says,
"On Friday, the 22d of August, about eight o'clock in the morning, I waited on Col. Lawless for that purpose. After conversing a while on different subjects, Col. Lawless inquired after Mr. Lucas' health and his state of convalescence, to which I replied that he was then sufficiently recovered to meet Col. Benton. Col. Lawless asked when he would be ready to go out, to which I answered the next morning, or at whatever time should be thought best. Col. Lawless then informed me that he was going that day to Herculaneum on important business of his own, and should not return before the next Sunday evening or Monday morning, and mentioned something of Col. Benton's calling on another friend in case the meeting should take place next morning. I professed my willingness to postpone it till his return, if Col. Benton was willing. Col. Lawless not seeming disposed to agree to anything without previous consultation, we conversed freely on everything connected with the affair, and particularly on the prospects of peace resulting from an attempt which had been made a few days before. Col. Lawless did not know at that time whether his friend would drop it in the way which had been proposed, but said ‘he (Mr. Lawless) would make another trial of him.’ We parted with an understanding, as I thought, that Col. Benton was to be informed of what had passed, who could then either withdraw his demand for a second meeting, call on another friend, or wait Col. Lawless' return. I was surprised at not hearing from them sooner, and afterwards asked Mr. Lawless if he had not informed his friend before going to Herculaneum, who told me he called for that purpose, but did not find him at home. I considered that a sufficient notice was given."
With reference to the attempts to bring about a reconciliation at this juncture, the evidence will be taken entirely from Col. Lawless' statements. His letter of September 18th, already quoted from, throws a flood of light on the proceedings. This was published at a time when Lawless thought harmony had been secured. His object was to justify his principal. He says,
"The earnest representations of Col. Benton's friends and his own generous disposition had considerably weakened those indignant feelings which on the ground had impelled him to
exact from his antagonist a promise of another interview. His cooler reflection informed him that, having wounded the man who had challenged him, and who, notwithstanding the wound, declared himself satisfied, in pursuing Mr. Lucas further his conduct would assume an aspect of vengeance foreign from his heart, and that the sympathies and opinions of his fellow-citizens would probably be roused against him. On these considerations he had almost determined to withdraw the demand of a second meeting, and did not conceal this feeling from those persons with whom he was in habits of intercourse. Col. Benton, in thus yielding to the entreaties of friendship and to the dictates of his conscience, did not imagine that he was furnishing a means of calumny to his enemies, or that the motives of his conduct could possibly be misunderstood. In this idea he found himself disappointed, and was in a very few days assailed by reports of the most offensive nature to his feelings and reputation. Col. Benton then saw the necessity of disproving those reports, either by another meeting or by the explanation of Mr. Lucas, from whom or from whose friends he supposed them to have proceeded. He accordingly determined to await the moment when Mr. Lucas should be sufficiently recovered to come to the field, and then to give him an opportunity of justifying or contradicting the reports in circulation. About this time Mr. Barton called on me, whether in the capacity of Mr. Lucas' second or not I cannot say, and in the course of conversation, in reply to a question of mine, informed me that Mr. Lucas was sufficiently recovered to meet Col. Benton."
Two days later Col. Lawless, having seen Col. Benton, called on Mr. Barton. His statement continues,
"As I was one of those who were of opinion that he should release Mr. Lucas from the pledge he had given, I felt considerable regret that the generous intentions of my friend should be affected by reports which might have been circulated without the knowledge of Mr. Lucas, and considered it, therefore, my duty to exert myself in every way consistent with the honor of Col. Benton to avert a result which would certainly prove more or less calamitous. With this view, I stated to Mr. Barton the motives that might have disposed Col. Benton to release Mr. Lucas from his promise to meet him and the causes that counteracted this disposition. I then proposed that Mr. Lucas should sign a declaration disavowing the reports in question. To this proposition Mr. Barton assented, and a declaration to the above effect was drawn up and agreed to by us. This declaration, which appeared to me sufficiently full, was submitted to Mr. Lucas, who consented to sign it. Col. Benton, however, did not consider it as sufficiently explicit, and rejected it. This decision appeared to leave no other alternative than a meeting, which was accordingly agreed upon between me and Mr. Barton."
The Lawless account proceeds as follows:
"In this situation matters remained for three or four days, during which my own reflection, and the opinion of several honorable and sensible men whom I consulted, convinced me that the cause of quarrel at present being perhaps ideal, I should omit no effort to prevent the fatal consequences of the intended meeting. In this opinion the personal safety of my friend was my least consideration as upon such occasions it ever has been. With this view I drew up a second declaration more explicit and full than the former, precluding all possibility of mistake as to the motives or conduct of either party, and, as it appeared to me, consistent with the honor of both, Mr. Barton having examined and approved of it, obtained from Mr. Lucas his consent to sign it. I, on my part, submitted it Col. Benton, and, supported by his other friends, succeeded in inducing him to accept it."
The terms of this declaration are as follows:
"In consequence of reports having reached Col. Benton of declarations coining from me respecting the shortness of the distance at which I intended to bring him at our next meeting, I hereby declare that I never said anything on that subject with a view to its becoming public, or of its coming to the knowledge of Col. Benton, and that I have never said or insinuated, or caused it to be said or insinuated, that Col. Benton was not disposed and ready to meet me at any distance, and at any time whatsoever.
(Signed) "CHARLES LUCAS."
The object of this publication was to show that with honor to both parties the entire matter had been closed. It proves beyond question that here the whole matter should have ended. It fixes the blame of subsequent events on Col. Benton. On this point J. B. C. Lucas said afterwards,
"My son thought he had attained his object, which was to silence his enemies, to convince the world that he dared to meet a renowned duelist, his superior in the art and mystery of killing men, and give him a full chance to shoot at him; but he dreaded nothing more than the idea of sliding into the character which he most abhorred, that of a common duelist. He apprehended that in pursuing that course any further he would soon forfeit the esteem and confidence of the sober and virtuous part of the community. He thought it was high time for him to retrace his steps, and consented, with the advice of his friends, to sign the declaration."
But there was a determination to force a second meeting. Whether Col. Benton was most to blame, or whether evil-minded friends, knowing his disposition, misrepresented the facts, cannot be easily decided. September 26th, on his return from Superior Court, Lucas, to his surprise, received a peremptory challenge dated three days before. It read as follows:
"SIR, When I released you from your engagement to return to the island, I yielded to a feeling of generosity in my own bosom and to a sentiment of deference to the judgment of others. From the reports which now fill the country it would seem that yourself and some of your friends have placed my conduct to very different motives. The object of this is to bring the calumnies to an end and to give you an opportunity of justifying the great expectation which has been excited. Col. Lawless will receive your terms, and I expect your distance not to exceed nine feet.
(Signed) "T. H. BENTON."
Young Lucas blazed with indignation, and responded as follows:
"Although I am conscious that a respectable man in society cannot be found who will say he has heard any of those reports from me, and that I think it more probable they have been fabricated by your own friends than circulated by any who call themselves mine, yet, without even knowing what reports you have heard, I shall give you an opportunity of gratifying your wishes and the wishes of your news-carriers. My friend, Mr. Barton, has full authority to act for me.
(Signed) "CHARLES LUCAS."
They met the next morning on Bloody Island. The distance was ten feet. Benton had a barely perceptible
advantage in quickness, and his bullet, passing through Lucas' arm, gave him a mortal wound in the region of the heart. He died in a few minutes. Col. Benton was unhurt.
Mr. Barton stated that "at the last interview Lucas appeared equally cool and deliberate; both of them presented and fired so nearly together that I. could not distinguish two reports." It was remarked that Lucas raised his pistol in a good direction, hence it is supposed that the ball of his adversary reached his arm before or at the time his pistol went off.
Col. Benton, as is customary in such cases, approached the fallen man and expressed his sorrow. Lucas replied, "Col. Benton, you have persecuted me and murdered me. I don't, or cannot, forgive you." And he repeated these words. Finding, however, that his end was fast approaching, he added, "I can forgive you, I do forgive you," and he gave Col. Benton his hand.
This is a plain account of a dreadful affair, which ought never to have been permitted. The seconds of both parties appear to have been much to blame. They should, after the first meeting, have declared that sufficient had been done to satisfy all concerned. The second meeting was forced in spite of reason and humanity, and thus a young man of high character and great promise was lost to the service of his State. A letter, printed in 1817, from Col. Rufus Easton, one of the most prominent lawyers in St. Louis at that time, throws further light on the affair. After saying that a report had been industriously circulated in St. Louis to the effect that he had instigated the challenge from Lucas, Col. Easton proceeds,
"A sense of justice and a respect for truth induce me to state that this report is utterly false. I attest that I traveled with Charles Lucas from the village of Prairie du Rocher to St. Louis, on his return from attending the Superior Court for the Southern Circuit; that we arrived together at St. Louis on the 26th of last month, at about eight o'clock in the morning; that on his arrival he expressed much astonishment at seeing in the Missouri Gazette, under the name of L. E. Lawless, a statement not only containing a long series of facts, but also what were pretended to be the thoughts, motives, and intentions of Col. Benton. Mr. Benton was represented in this statement in glowing colors and occupying a very high ground, and Charles Lucas was standing on a low one. Notwithstanding all these apparent advantages on the side of Col. Benton, something was still wanting, he was not satisfied, Charles Lucas was yet breathing."
The coolness and high courage of Mr. Lucas at both meetings was proved by irrefragable evidence. He was but twenty-five years old at the time of his death. After the fatal result the Missouri Gazette remarked,
"The infernal practice of dueling has taken off this morning one of the first characters in our county, Charles Lucas, Esq., attorney-at-law; his death has left a blank in society not easily filled up."
The party factions of 1817 are long ago forgotten and outgrown, except in the memory and record of such events as this Benton-Lucas duel.
In August, 1818, occurred the next duel of which any distinct account is preserved. It was that of Capt. Martin and Capt. Thomas Ramsay, of the First Regiment United States Rifles. It took place near St. Louis, the exact locality not being recorded, and at the first fire Capt. Ramsay was fatally wounded. He was buried with Masonic honors August 17th.
On the 30th of June, 1823, occurred the death of Hon. Joshua Barton, shot in a duel by Thomas C. Rector, brother of the surveyor-general of the Territorial district. Barton, second in the Benton-Lucas duel, and one of the ablest and best-loved men in the community, was at the time attorney-general for the district of Missouri, and his brother was United States senator. In the Missouri Republican of June 25, 1823, Joshua Barton, over the signature "Philo," criticised the official conduct of William Rector, the surveyor general. The editor said, in the same issue,
"We have inserted the communication signed ‘Philo’ on the principle that men in office are bound to answer to the people for the manner in which they discharge their public duties, and that if charges, are made against them from a respectable and responsible source, and are couched in decorous terms, the press would defeat the object of its institution if it refused to permit them to come before the public."
Barton's complaint was,
"That the surveyor-general indulged in the practice of giving out the largest and best contracts for surveying to his family connections and personal friends, who sub-let them, and, without incurring any particular labor, responsibility, or risk, were enabled to pocket considerable emoluments."
After the duel (July 16th), Edward Bates, one of the most distinguished men St. Louis has ever claimed as a citizen, gave his public pledge to substantiate this. He then showed that no less than twelve relatives and connections of Surveyor-General Rector had received from him appointments as deputy surveyors, and had sub-let contracts at enormous profits to themselves. In the year 1822 alone, out of two hundred and fifty-four townships surveyed, one hundred and ninety-five were given to his own kindred. Bates concluded his exposure in the following sensible manner: "If Gen. Rector should take offense at what I have written, the courts are open to him, and if I have wronged him, the laws will afford him a vindictive remedy. If he will venture to take this course, I will justify these statements and prove the facts upon him before a jury."
But the Rector blood was aroused when the members of the family read Barton's letter. The general was in Washington attending to his political interests, for his place was in jeopardy. Though expected to return in a few days, his brother Thomas could not wait, hut having secured the name of the writer he challenged him. The meeting took place at six P. M. June 30th. Both fired at the word, Barton dying in a few moments, and Rector escaping unhurt. On July 1st Gen. Rector returned, and issued a card requesting suspension of public judgment. He also, losing his temper, wrote angrily to the editor of the journal that had published "Philo's" communication. A week later he published a general denial of the charges against him. Public sentiment could, under these circumstances, have but one opinion, and the Rectors lost caste. Thomas was killed in a brawl some years later, and William died in poverty and misery in Illinois.
On the 17th of September, 1823, the Republican remarked, "Two more persons have been killed in duels near St. Louis. Their names are Messrs. Waddle and Crow. It must be a vicious state of society in which the pistol is the umpire in every controversy." Two of the three fatal duels fought in 1823 near St. Louis occurred on Bloody Island.
Undeterred by these tragical events, and yielding weakly to an evil public sentiment, fatal encounters continued. In 1831 the doubly disastrous Biddle-Pettis duel occurred. This also originated in political causes, and had its sources in the war against the United States Bank, at whose head was Nicholas Biddle, a conspicuous figure of the time. The conflict grew fierce and acrimonious. In St. Louis resided Maj. Thomas Biddle, a gallant officer of the war of 1812, brother of Nicholas, and Spencer Pettis, an ardent supporter of the Jacksonian policy. The former was paymaster of the army, and had recently been married. The latter, a lawyer and representative in Congress, desired re-election, and in his canvass was very severe in his criticisms of Nicholas Biddle. Maj. Biddle attacked Pettis in a newspaper article, and Pettis replied in strong terms. Maj. Biddle then resolved to cowhide his opponent, sought his lodgings early in the morning, was shown to his room, found him in his night-clothes and asleep, and proceeded to chastise him unmercifully. Outsiders rushed in and put a stop to the disgraceful scene. Mr. Pettis was in feeble health, and great sympathy was felt for him. He took no immediate steps towards redress; his friends and partisan newspapers said all they could, and at the election he was chosen by a large majority. But the night before the election, Pettis, thinking that Biddle might attack him upon the street, procured his arrest on a peace warrant, and Judge Ferguson, reasonably thinking that under the circumstances too much peace was better than too little, also bound Mr. Pettis over. This action has been variously criticised. Its causes were purely political. David Barton was Pettis' opponent, and a giant to contend against. Col. Benton himself took the matter in hand, and told Pettis that if they met and he was shot, there was no time to bring out another candidate. "Therefore," he said, "arrest Biddle, print the facts, and after the election vindicate your honor." After the election, for nearly a month, the parties were engaged in official business.
On August 21st or 22d the challenge was carried by Capt. Thomas to Maj. Biddle. They met at Bloody Island at five o'clock on Friday afternoon, August 27th. The intelligence of the duel spread through St. Louis, and an immense concourse of people lined the river shore to witness it. The windows and the tops of the houses were crowded with spectators. Owing to the nearsightedness of Maj. Biddle, the distance was fixed by him at five feet. Both parties behaved intrepidly. When they presented their pistols they overlapped. At the word Pettis suddenly stooped, with the evident purpose of, shooting in the abdomen of his adversary. In this he succeeded, but was himself hit in the side, the ball passing entirely through his body. Both were mortally wounded. When assured of this fact, they exchanged forgiveness, and were borne from the ground. Mr. Pettis died the next afternoon. Maj. Biddle survived until the following Tuesday, and was buried with the honors of war at Jefferson Barracks. His widow died in 1851. She was possessed of large wealth, and devoted herself and her fortune to public and private charities. In her will she left provision for a Widows' and Infants' Asylum, a noble benefaction, which stands at the corner of Tenth and Biddle Streets, in St. Louis. In the grounds of this institution the remains of herself and husband reposed for many years, and until their removal to the new Catholic cemetery in the vicinity of the city. On the old monument was this touching inscription,
The officers of Maj. Biddle's regiment passed a glowing tribute to his memory, and the associates of Spencer Pettis at the bar did the same. At the meeting to arrange for the latter's funeral Hon. Thomas H. Benton presided, and Augustin Kennerly was appointed secretary. The following gentlemen were chosen to compose the committee of arrangements:
Joseph C. Laveille, Edward Dobyns, T. Andrews, John Shade, Charles Keemle, Capt. J. Ruland, R. H. McGill, Daniel Miller. Mr. Pettis was buried on Sunday, August 29th, and old inhabitants still speak of the funeral as the largest they ever witnessed.
Some time passed before another duel occurred near St. Louis. The Republican of July 7, 1838, describes an affair which took place near Alton, Ill., August 4th, between a Mr. Le Lange and R. G. Tates, on account of some personal difficulty which occurred in St. Louis. They met by moonlight, eight yards distant, and at the first fire Mr. Le Lange was wounded in the arm. Here the matter ended.
The duels thus far described were fought with the traditional pistols, but during the last week in September, 1845, Bloody Island witnessed a broadsword duel between two German gentlemen. Mr. Heisterhogen wounded his adversary, Mr. Kibbe, in the face, and blood being drawn, the matter was brought to a close, much after the fashion in vogue at the German universities.
This brief record of some of the most interesting duels fought near St. Louis would be incomplete without reference to an amusing farce in which Francis P. Blair took part. The Missouri Republican of March 6, 1849, contained the following item, which explains the result of what most persons at the time supposed would be a tragic event: "We understand that F. P. Blair, Jr., yesterday evening, for the first time since the recent publications in the newspapers, met Mr. L. Pickering, editor of the Union, on Second Street, and gave him a personal chastisement. The meeting, we are told, was entirely accidental, and but for the system of non-resistance adopted by the latter might have been serious."
A full account of the causes which led to the bloodless affair would involve a history of Missouri politics at the time. Blair was a defender and ally of Benton. The Union, which Loring Pickering then edited, had long been somewhat hostile to the Benton party. The difficulty with Blair began in January, 1849. A letter published from him in the Republican of February 1st gives, as shown by the concurrent testimony of Col. George Knapp, of St. Louis, and Thomas T. Gantt, the noted lawyer, a fair account of "the duel that did not come off." Col. Blair says,
"I published a series of articles in the Republican, which were scrupulously demoted to a criticism upon political events, and couched in the most respectable phraseology when individuals were referred to. This is the testimony of men of all shades of political opinion who have read them. They have had, in some measure I believe, the effect I designed. The parties against whom they were directed soon, at least, became uncomfortable, and let off repeated explosions of wrath and ribaldry against the author. As I kept the even tenor of my way, however, something else must be done. To this end Mr. Pickering was put forward to demand my name from the editor of the Republican, on the pretense that I had made a personal attack on him. As a preliminary, however, to the surrender of my name, the editor of the Republican required Mr. Pickering to pledge himself that he desired my name because he considered the article a personal attack, and that he would hold me ‘personally responsible.’ This is the language of Mr. Pickering's note, which I subjoin; but that there might be no mistake as to the meaning of phrases, it was then explained and assented to that he would either prosecute me in a suit at law, or require satisfaction at my hands under the code of honor. Mr. Chambers (editor of the Republican) informed me by note of the demand, and I forthwith assented to its being complied with, and awaited a call from Mr. Pickering. But it seems that such was not his purpose. It was only a trick he had invented to get my name, that he might discharge his wrath upon me by name in his newspaper in a senseless string of epithets. This conduct sufficiently exhibited him both as a knave and poltroon, but in order to display him in still broader relief I asked my friend, Mr. Gantt, to take a note to him for me....I must prefix, however, one or two circumstances of unwritten history. Mr. Ladew, who brought Mr. Pickering's notes, told Mr. Gantt that Pickering had at first thought of making it a running fight with bowie-knives, but had settled, finally, on the place of meeting on the corner of Fourth and Pine Streets. I think, however, it will be obvious to all that the last was as clear an evasion of the meeting as the running fight would have been, for no man of true courage would appoint a place of combat so liable to interruption, and especially when the danger to other people would be so imminent as in one of the crowded streets of a city. In this light Mr. Gantt treated it, and replied that he was a contemptible poltroon. I do not make this publication vaingloriously, for I do confess I had felt very much ashamed whilst I put on a warlike aspect towards Pickering, and it has been a subject of mirth with me and my friends during the whole progress of the correspondence."
The entire correspondence on the subject is contained in a five-column article in the St. Louis Republican of Sept. 2, 1875. An incident known as the "umbrella affair" occurred a month later, and both parties published their versions, Pickering's being as follows:
"I recognized F. P. Blair, Jr., as the person who had jostled me, and asked him what he meant by the supposed insult. He said something in reply which I did not comprehend, and instantly struck at me with his umbrella, the point of which entered my left eye near the inner angle, partially blinding me. I immediately returned the blow with my umbrella, when the assailant retreated some ten steps and stopped, at the same time placing his right hand in his bosom as if to draw a weapon. I also, at that moment, seized the handle of my bowie-knife, but Judge Blair, exclaiming to his brother, ‘Come along,’ or words to that effect, the assailant turned and quickly walked off up the street."
On March 10th, after a political meeting, while returning home, Blair was hailed and fired at three times before he could unbutton his overcoat and secure his own weapon. His assailant was about ten feet distant, but as soon as Blair returned the fire the
former fled. Circumstances pointed to Pickering, and he was indicted before the grand jury, charged with an assault with intent to kill. Blair, on mature reflection, declined to prosecute.
St. Louis has been from the earliest period of its history the scene of great military activity at different epochs. Bellefontaine Cantonment and afterwards Jefferson Barracks was an important point for the concentration of troops, and the presence of United States officers and their active participation in the social life of St. Louis has greatly aided in keeping alive the military spirit. Among these officers none was more highly esteemed than Gen. Daniel Bissell, who built the cantonment at Bellefontaine.
Gen. Bissell was born in Connecticut about the year 1768. His ancestors, of English stock, were early settlers of Connecticut, and related to many of the oldest and best families of New England. His father was a Revolutionary veteran, who served with gallantry for eight years in the colonial army. Though barely old enough to shoulder a musket, Gen. Bissell ardently embraced the cause of the patriots, and rose by his bravery through the various grades of promotion from a private to the rank of brigadier-general. His five brothers served with distinction throughout the Revolutionary struggle, and four of them afterwards in the regular army. One of them died on board a prison-ship, and one, Maj. Russell Bissell, died at Fort Bellefontaine, near St. Louis, in 1807, where he had been stationed for many years. No finer record of service by a single family can be shown than that of his father, brothers, and himself, whose military service amounted in the aggregate to one hundred and twenty years.
Gen. Bissell, while a young officer of the Revolution, was once assigned the duty of carrying important dispatches from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. He made the journey on foot, unattended, and was often compelled to secrete himself from the hostile Indians, to go without food and endure bitter cold, to swim streams, etc. He delivered the dispatches safely, and won the hearty thanks and praise of the commanding officer, who could scarcely believe that he had made the perilous journey without an escort. His military career was an unusually active and brilliant one. As an officer of the regular army, he participated in many of the important battles on the Western frontier, and was with St. Clair in his memorable defeat. While he was in command of Fort Massac, an important military post on the Ohio River above Cairo, and during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, the province of Louisiana was ceded by France to the United States. He was immediately appointed military commander of that portion of the Territory now embraced in the States of Missouri and Illinois. As heretofore stated, he built by government order the "cantonment of Bellefontaine," and was afterwards for several years commandant of that post.
As military commander, he was intrusted with both military and civil functions, and he left the indelible impress of his strong and honest character upon the measures leading up to the organization of the great States of Missouri and Illinois. He was a warm personal friend of Daniel Boone, and as military commander extended to Lewis and Clark in their famous expedition the hospitality of the Territory, aiding them greatly by his ripe counsel and experience.
Gen. Bissell, after leaving Fort Bellefontaine, was commander of many important points in the South, among which were Mobile, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. He had the honor of commanding in the last battle, that of Lyon's Creek, of the war of 1812. He was mustered out of service in 1821 at Baton Rouge.
After his retirement from the army, he was strongly urged to accept prominent civil positions under the government, but declined to do so. He entered a large tract of land near St. Louis, on the Bellefontaine road, to which he added from time to time by purchase until his estate numbered two thousand three hundred acres.
He married about the year 1793, at Middletown, Conn., Deborah Seba, the daughter of Jacob Seba, who was a native of Holland and a prominent citizen of Middletown. Gen. Bissell's children were Eliza Seba, who married William Morrison, of Kaskaskia; Mary, who married Risdon H. Price, one of the pioneer merchants of St. Louis; Cornelia, who married Maj. Douglass, of the regular army; James, who died in infancy; and James R., now residing on the old homestead. Gen. Bissell died of pneumonia at his farm on the 15th of December, 1833. His wife died Nov. 15, 1843. Both are interred in the family burying-ground on the farm.
James Russell Bissell was born in Middletown, Conn., Sept. 12, 1808, and came to St. Louis while a child in 1810. He attended school at Mount Airy, near Philadelphia, and afterwards entered Transylvania University, at Lexington, Ky., from which he was graduated. He married March 7, 1849, Anna Haight Christopher, who was born July 10, 1824, and was the daughter of James Matthews Christopher and Elizabeth Lewis, a daughter of Elisha and Anna (née Haight) Lewis, both of Satterson, Dutchess Co., N. Y. Her father was born April 25, 1799, at Rochester,
N. Y. Mrs. Bissell is a cousin of Governor Haight, of California, and is connected with many of the old Revolutionary families of the East.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bissell are Daniel, born May 4, 1850; Elizabeth, born Aug. 14, 1852, married to Charles E. Ware, of St. Louis; Sextus Shearer, born Nov. 16, 1856; Anna Haight, born Jan. 29, 1855, died Jan. 1, 1856; Cornelia Douglass, born Jan. 7, 1859; French Rayburn, born March 30, 1861; Cora Mary, born May 10, 1863; Eloise Morrison, born Aug. 21, 1865.
Mr. Bissell has given his children the advantages of a liberal education, and has always been a strong advocate of education and public improvements. For twenty years he has been a leading member of the Bellefontaine Methodist Church. Politically he is a firm Democrat, but in local matters always supports those who in his opinion are best fitted for the positions sought. He is a large landholder and a successful farmer.
A complete history of the militia organizations of St. Louis would of itself fill a volume. Since the year 1808 until the present time the military organizations have borne an active and prominent part in local affairs, and on many occasions they have been called upon to render dangerous service in the interests of city or the State, always responding with true military zeal and promptitude. If it so happened that there was no organization at the time of the demand, companies and regiments were immediately formed, and did their duty like veterans. In 1808 some of the townspeople subscribed for the purpose of forming a volunteer company of infantry, and at a meeting held at Yosti's tavern on August 21st, Benjamin Wilkinson was elected captain; Risdon H. Price, lieutenant; John Voorhees, ensign; and Francois Vincent Bouis, quartermaster. At this time Capt. Pierre Chouteau commanded a troop of horse. In the same month Governor Merriwether Lewis issued general orders to the militia of the Territory to muster according to law. In November, Governor Lewis, in compliance with the requisition of the Secretary of War, ordered a uniform draft of the militia throughout the districts of the Territory of Louisiana to be made. The quota of the Territory of the one hundred thousand men ordered by the President of the United States was three hundred and seventy-seven, and of these the district of St. Louis was required to furnish ninety-eight men, seventy-seven infantry and nineteen riflemen. In April, 1809, the companies of Capts. Ellis and Bouis, of Cape Girardeau district, Capt. Otho Shrader, of Ste. Genevieve, Capt. Pierre Chouteau, of St. Louis, and Capt. Mackey Wherry, of St. Charles, were ordered to rendezvous at St. Louis. July 26, 1809, Governor Lewis issued his proclamation, discharging the militia of the Territory held under his requisition of Nov. 28, 1808, to be again enrolled as before with the ordinary militia. In 1812, Capt. Nathan Boone was commissioned by the President of the United States to raise a company of mounted rangers for service on the frontier. In the same year St. Louis boasted of five companies of militia, commanded respectively by Capts. Joseph Conway, Joseph H. Burkhart, James Musick, Charles Lucas, William Smith, and David Musick, comprising almost every man in the place. With the close of the war the necessity for their existence also passed away, and it was not until 1819 that any other efforts were made in that direction. In December of that year a company of light infantry, called the St. Louis Guards, was formed, with the following officers: Henry W. Conway, captain; George H. Kennerly, first lieutenant; Amos J. Bruce, second lieutenant; Josiah Bright, third lieutenant; John B. Sarpy, ensign; Charles Wahrendorff, orderly sergeant; Charles Keemle, second sergeant; William Renshaw, third sergeant; David B. Hoffman, first corporal; S. Rector, second corporal; Wilson MeGunnegle, third corporal; William Renshaw, treasurer. In 1823, Alexander Gamble commanded the St. Louis troop. In 1832 the St. Louis Grays were organized, with Martin Thomas as captain. He, however, did not serve actively, and First Lieut. A. R. Easton became captain. Frederic L. Billon and John P. Reilly were also lieutenants. Upon the death of the latter, James S. Thomas (afterwards mayor of the city) became lieutenant, as did also James Dougherty. In 1848 the Grays were reorganized, numbering about sixty members, and at an election held June 6th the following officers were chosen: Captain, George W. West; first lieutenant, George Knapp; second lieutenant, Alexander T. Drysdale. In 1843, Montgomery Blair commanded the Montgomery Guards, and in the same year an artillery company, under the command of Capt. Kretschmar, was organized. In 1844 the battalion known as the St. Louis Legion was formed. Of this command the Grays formed part, being then officered by Capt. L. O. Coleman, First Lieut. George W. West, Second Lieut. George Knapp. As elsewhere stated, a battalion was formed from this material, and volunteered for service in Mexico, with the following officers: A. R. Easton as colonel, Ferdinand Kennett (now deceased) as lieutenant-colonel, and F. Schoentellar, also dead, as major. Col. John Knapp was a company officer.
Upon the return from Mexico the St. Louis Grays
were reorganized, with George W. West as captain, and he so served three or four years. Upon resigning, he was succeeded as captain by George Knapp. After the disbandment of the Grays' battalion, of which George Knapp had become lieutenant-colonel, and John Knapp captain of a company, an organization was effected of the "First Regiment, National Guard of Missouri," and John Knapp became lieutenant-colonel, the command being still vested in Col. Easton. Martin Burke was a line captain. This organization Lieut.-Col. John Knapp being in command surrendered to Gen. Lyon, of the United States army forces, when Camp Jackson, commanded by Gen. Frost, was captured.
The old "St. Louis National Guard," which was the pride of every St. Louisan in the olden time, was organized in 1852. On the 16th of July of that year a few persons, actuated by the desire, as expressed in their resolutions, of improving themselves in military exercise and discipline, met at the office of the Lumbermen and Mechanics' Insurance Company, and effected a temporary organization by electing James H. Patterson chairman, and Frank H. Tucker secretary.
A committee, consisting of Messrs. Pritchard, Obear, Field, Cook, and West, was appointed to report a constitution and by-laws, upon the adoption of which the company, which had hitherto borne the name of "St. Louis City Guard," was, on the 29th of July, 1852, fully organized under the name and style of the "St. Louis National Guard," with the following elective officers: Davis Matlack, president; James H. Patterson, vice-president; Alexander J. P. Garesch&eagrave;, secretary; Frank H. Tucker, treasurer; and C. J. Jackson, Nathaniel M. Parker, Isaac Field, and George West, directors.
At a subsequent meeting, on the 12th of August, Robert M. Renick was chosen captain, John N. Pritchard first lieutenant, Frank H. Tucker second lieutenant, Edward S. Wheaton third lieutenant, and Josiah H. Obear fourth lieutenant. Organized under such favorable auspices, and animated with that esprit de corps which ever characterized the Guards, both officers and men vied with each other in their zeal to place the company upon a substantial basis by a careful selection of good men, the adoption of a company and a fatigue uniform, and such other requirements as were necessary for a perfect company. Upon the formation of the First Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, Capt. Renick was promoted to the colonelcy, and Lieut. Pritchard called to the command of the Guards, and subsequently, upon the organization of the brigade in the First Military District, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Frost, Capt. Pritchard was elected colonel of the infantry regiment, and Sergt. John B. Gray was chosen captain of the National Guards. The martial bearing and thorough drill of the corps was sufficient testimony of the soldierly qualities of Capt. Gray, and the high encomiums which the Guards received, both at home and abroad, were the surest evidence that the reputation and honor of the company were safe in his hands. It was the good fortune of the Guards, in their excursions to Lexington, Ky., to Cincinnati, and to Quincy, to be placed in line with the best volunteer companies in the country, and it is not too much to say that on every such occasion they sustained their good name and the honor of St. Louis.
The officers of the Guards in July, 1859, were William R. Biddlecome, president; John Decker, Jr., vice-president; E. B. Sayres, secretary; Henry Marston, assistant secretary; John L. Lewis, treasurer; and Messrs. Cabot, Hatch, Childs, Nolen, Senter, and Marsh, directors; with John B. Gray, captain; William B. Haseltine, first lieutenant; W. H. Finney, second lieutenant; and William S. Cuddy, third lieutenant.
As evidence of the military standing of the Guards, and of the estimation in which they were held at this time, it may be stated that in the brigade staff of the First Military District they numbered among their members Lieut.-Col. H. J. B. McKellops, assistant adjutant-general; Maj. William D. Wood, aide-de-camp; Maj. N. Wall, commissary; Maj. Cary Gratz, quartermaster; Maj. John J. Anderson, paymaster; Maj. W. R. Biddlecome, judge-advocate-general; and in the staff of the First Infantry, Col. J. N. Pritchard, Maj. E. S. Wheaton, Capt. W. R. Buchanan, adjutant; Capt. N. Hatch, commissary; Capt. Edgar Ames, paymaster; and Capt. H. W. Williams, quartermaster, being eleven superior officers in the brigade and regimental staffs.
The company uniform was greatly admired for its brilliancy and martial effect, and was almost identical with that of the Queen's Household Guards, which is reckoned the flower of the British army. They numbered seventy-eight active and one hundred and sixty honorary members. Their armory was on the corner of Third and Pine Streets.
Among the citizens of St. Louis who interested themselves in maintaining an efficient militia organization, Col. Thornton Grimsley was especially prominent. Col. Grimsley for forty years cultivated and promoted a military taste and spirit, and was at different times in command of the various military grades of the volunteer service of the city. He filled all of
the stations, from an orderly to division inspector. In 1832 he raised a volunteer company and tendered its services to the Governor of Illinois during the Black Hawk war, and in 1836 received from Gen. Jackson a captain's commission in the dragoons of the United States army, which he declined. In 1846, in less than twenty days, he enrolled a regiment of eight hundred men for the Mexican war, but as the government already had a sufficient number of troops in the field the services of the volunteers were declined.
Col. Grimsley, whose father, Nimrod Grimsley, came from Fauquier County, Va., to Kentucky, was born on the 20th of August, 1798, in Bourbon County of the latter State, and at seven years of age lost both parents. Three years afterwards he was apprenticed to the saddlery business, and served his master faithfully for eleven years, the only compensation he received being three months' schooling; yet, by diligent application to business, and possessing a superior mind, he soon won the respect and confidence of his master, and in 1816 was sent to St. Louis in charge of a valuable assortment of goods, where he completed his term of indenture. On reaching his majority the first act he performed was to return to Kentucky and expend his apprenticeship savings in six months' schooling; then receiving an invitation from his old employer in St. Louis he returned, and took charge of his business for some fourteen months, and in 1822 opened a store on his own account, associating with him William Stark. He married Miss Susan Stark, of Bourbon County, Ky., the same year. Several years of ill health, and the destruction by fire of his three years' accumulations left him in a distressed condition, but he did not waste time in idle regrets, but resolutely set to work to re-establish his business, and very shortly was again advancing prosperously.
The frankness of his disposition and natural goodness of heart made him hosts of friends, and in 1826 he was elected an alderman, and was the author of the movement to grade the wharf in front of the city, and strongly advocated that the western edge should be raised three feet higher. In 1828, Col. Grimsley was called to the Legislature of the State, where he was a useful and efficient member. He advocated the completion of the national road to Jefferson City, and urged other important measures. In 1835 he was again elected alderman, and did much towards settling satisfactorily the important claim of the St. Louis commons. From this tract was selected Lafayette Park and the spacious avenues about it, and from its liberal dimensions some of the short-sighted citizens called it "Grimsley's Folly;" now it is one of the chief ornaments of St. Louis. So useful was Col. Grimsley in his political life, that in 1838 he was sent to the State Senate, and used his influence in the passage of the bill for the construction of the Iron Mountain Railroad, and also for the establishment of a workhouse.
In 1839 he was tendered the nomination to Congress by the Whig party, when the election was throughout the State at large, and made his canvass with great credit to himself, running far ahead of his party at a time when the whole State was overwhelmingly Democratic. In all public measures affecting the improvement, the growth, the interests and prosperity of the city for forty years, Col. Grimsley took an active and conspicuous part. Generous, impulsive, active, and energetic, he was at all times in the front rank, taking a decided part in whatever was calculated to promote the public welfare, whether connected with the mechanical, commercial, or agricultural interest, or conducive to the public improvement and advancement of the State.
As a manufacturer of saddles, Col. Grimsley enjoyed an extensive reputation in the business world. He invented and had patented the military or dragoon saddle, which was universally approved by the officers of the United States army, and did more work at his manufactory for the government at that time than any other factory of the kind in the country.
He was a prominent member of the Masonic order, having been made a Mason in Missouri Lodge, No. 12, and elected Grand Treasurer in October, 1827, and again in 1828.
Col. Grimsley was well informed on all the political questions of the day, having read much and kept pace with the events of forty years. In early life he espoused and advocated the principles of the Whig party, and was the stanch friend of Henry Clay. He was also well acquainted with most of the prominent statesmen of his day, with many of whom he corresponded and held personal relations and intercourse. No man of his day sacrificed more of his time and money in behalf of the city of St. Louis than did Col. Grimsley. He died Dec. 22, 1861, leaving two married daughters, Mrs. Henry T. Blow and Mrs. George Stansbury, and a son, John Grimsley.
The Missouri Dragoons were organized by Matthias Steitz, Charles Muller, and others in 1846. On the 1st of December, 1852, a military parade took place. In the line were the Missouri Dragoons, Capt. Brinckman; the St. Louis Grays, Capt. George Knapp; the Missouri Jaegers, Capt. Laibold; the Union Riflemen, Capt. J. W. Crane; and the National Guards, Capt. Renick, the two last companies having been organized during the year. The Union Riflemen were
officered by Capt. J. W. Crane, First Lieut. James Gordon, Second Lieut. E. E. Allen, Third Lieut. E. Alcon, Fourth Lieut. J. G. Phillips, and Orderly Sergeant N. J. Roff. The National Guards were officered by Capt. R. N. Renick, First Lieut. J. N. Pritchard, Second Lieut. J. H. Tucker, Third Lieut. E. S. Wheaton, Fourth Lieut. J. Obear, First Sergeant W. G. Savage, Second Sergeant H. J. B. McKellops, Third Sergeant N. W. Parker, Fourth Sergeant George W. West, Fifth Sergeant Isaac N. Field.
During 1853-54 the "St. Louis Cadets," composed of the students of the St. Louis University, Capt. William Kenny, and Lieuts. John I. Ainslie, Victor Pujos, and Joseph Bienve; the "Light Guards," Capt. John C. Smith, Lieuts. Daniel Byrne, S. H. Smith, and Peter R. Cavanaugh; and the "Washington Guards," Capt. D. M. Frost, Lieuts. P. Deegan, Joseph Kelly, and Francis Burke, were organized.
There appeared on parade on the anniversary of Washington's birthday, 1854, the following companies:
Washington Guards, Capt. D. M. Frost.
National Guards, Capt. J. N. Pritchard.
Light Guards, Capt. J. C. Smith.
Continentals, Capt. E. C. Blackburn.
Missouri Riflemen, Capt. Bernhard Laibold.
Black-Plumed Riflemen, Capt. E. E. Allen.
Missouri Dragoons, Capt. F. Brinckman.
Lancers, Capt. Jackson.
St. Louis Grays, Company A, Capt. Henry Prosser.
St. Louis Grays, Company B, Capt. E. O. English.
St. Louis Grays, Company C, Capt. D. I. Morrow.
Missouri Artillery, Capt. Henry Almstead.
Union Riflemen, Capt. Louis Frey.
Mounted Riflemen, Capt. Frederic Walter.
The following were the regimental officers: Col. Renick, Lieut.-Col. George Knapp, Maj. Smith, Adjt. John Knapp.
In 1858 a new act of the Legislature reorganizing the militia was passed, and many of the old companies reorganized under it, and some new ones were formed, among which were the Washington Blues, Capt. Joseph Kelley, Lieuts. P. B. Burke, John R. Drew, and C. W. Hogan; the Washington Guards, Capt. D. M. Frost, and Lieuts. Patrick Gorman, Robert Tucker, and Patrick O'Connor; the Emmet Guards, Capt. J. C. Smith, and Lieuts. Edward Byrne, Philip Coyne, and Edward Mulholland; the St. Louis Grays, Capt. John Knapp, and Lieuts. Edward Cooper, Augustus Pasquier, and Martin Burke. The City Guard was also organized in this year, with George A. Schaeffer as captain, and A. G. Hequemberg, J. J. Morrison, and B. Davidson, lieutenants; also the Missouri Guards, with George W. West as captain, and Frank H. Tucker, Solomon Scott, and A. C. Bernondy as lieutenants; National Guard, B. E. Walker, captain; L. H. Garnett, John W. Amiss, and Thomas W. Bandon, lieutenants.
In 1860 the militia was ordered to proceed to the Kansas border to suppress Montgomery and his band. The order was received on Friday, November 23d, and everything was in readiness to move within twenty-four hours afterwards.
On Sunday morning, November 25th, the troops left St. Louis, and endured for three weeks all the rigors and hardships of a winter campaign with remarkable resolution and courage. The objects of the expedition were accomplished without bloodshed, but the troops showed such discipline and zeal as proved that they lacked only the name to become "regulars" in fact. The following is a list of the staff officers and the officers of the various companies:
Brig.-Gen. D. M. Frost, commanding; Lieut.-Col. J. S. Bowen; Maj. W. D. Wood, aide-de-camp; Maj. Carey Gratz, quartermaster; Maj. John J. Anderson, paymaster; Maj. N. Wall, commissary; Maj. R. S. Voorhis, judge-advocate-general; Maj. Florence M. Cornyn, surgeon.
Lieut.-Col. John Knapp, commanding.
Capt. H. W. Williams, quartermaster; Capt. Samuel Hatch, commissary; John R. Drew, Paymaster; Joseph T. Scott, Surgeon.
Lieut. McKellops, commanding, 100 men.
Martin Burke, captain; S. O. Coleman, first lieutenant; R. U. Leonori, second lieutenant, 36 men.
Charles L. Rogers, captain; Thomas Curley, first lieutenant; Hugh McDermot, second lieutenant; Felix A. McDonald, third lieutenant, 45 men.
P. Gorman, captain; R. Tucker, first lieutenant, 60 men.
William Wade, captain; E. Byrne, first lieutenant; M. Park, second lieutenant; Philip Coyne, third lieutenant, 44 men.
P. E. Burke, first lieutenant, commanding; Patrick Lanigan, second lieutenant; L. Phillibert, third lieutenant, 40 men.
G. W. West, captain; Sol. Scott, Jr., second lieutenant, 42 men.
J. J. Morrison, captain; H. W. Sandford, second lieutenant, 40 men.
Patrick Naughton, captain; John R. Carroll, second lieutenant; C. A. Ghio, third lieutenant, 30 men.
George A. Schaffer, captain; Charles H. Fredericks, first lieutenant, 36 men.
Maj. Schaffer, commanding; Lieut. W. Jackson, adjutant; A. Jaeger, sergeant-major, 40 men.
William Jackson, commandant; G. Reinhardt, first lieutenant; Henry Betz, second lieutenant; Joseph Snyder, third lieutenant, 36 men.
After the war there were various independent militia companies and some recognized by the State, but it was not until the labor riots of 1877 that the necessity for a well-organized militia force was popularly recognized. When danger threatened at that time, a mayor's guard, police reserves, and other volunteer forces were speedily organized, Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith commanding. This force, co-operating with a brigade of Illinois militia, Gen. E. N. Bates commanding, and stationed at East St. Louis, succeeded in preventing further disorder. There was no bloodshed, but much threatening, and on a hot Sunday afternoon the Illinois militia, led by a volunteer aid to Gen. Bates, Capt. J. H. C. Irwin (since a St. Louis journalist), captured seventy-nine railroad strikers who were ringleaders of a mob of thousands endeavoring to prevent the departure of the first trains.
After the riots the call for an effective militia force in St. Louis was so urgent that Gen. Squires and Col. J. L. Torrey, his chief of staff, met with much encouragement in their work of organization and discipline. So well sustained were they and others, that the present force has become a credit to the city and State.
The construction of a new armory at the corner of Pine and Seventeenth Streets was commenced in August, 1881, and in May, 1882, it was formally opened by a grand encampment arranged by the Ladies' Military Association. The building fronts two hundred feet on Pine Street, with a depth of one hundred and nine feet. There is a large arena, seventy-four by one hundred and thirty-five feet, designed for cavalry and artillery drill. The building is three stories high, and is admirably arranged for all its purposes. On the third floor is an immense hall, one hundred and four feet by one hundred and ninety-four feet, with a height at the side walls of twenty-three, and over sixty feet clear in the centre to the arched roof. In November, 1881, the First Regiment Police Reserves, which had been in existence about four years, under the command of Col. J. G. Butler, was mustered into the service of the State, and became the Third Regiment, National Guard of Missouri.
The following is a carefully corrected roster of the general, field, staff, and line officers of the St. Louis militia:
Governor Thomas T. Crittenden, commander-in-chief.
Brig.-Gen. John B. Waddill, adjutant-general.
Governor's Staff in St. Louis. Brig.-Gen. L. T. Pim, surgeon-general; Brig.-Gen. R. Graham Frost, judge-advocate-general; Col. Leigh O. Knapp, inspector-general; Lieut.-Col. Fergus McRee, aide-de-camp.
Eastern Military District of Missouri, Brig.-Gen. Charles W. Squires, commanding.
Brigade Staff. Lieut.-Col. Jay L. Torrey, assistant adjutant-general and chief of staff; Lieut.-Col. Thomas B. Holland, M. D., medical director; Maj. Edgar C. Lackland, quartermaster; Maj. Samuel Cupples, commissary; Maj. Robert Buchanan, assistant inspector-general; Capt. Jacob D. Goldman, aide-de-camp.
FIRST REGIMENT INFANTRY, N. G. M. Col. George J. Chapman, commanding; major, Leland F. Prince.
Staff. Maj. Joseph H. Leslie, M. D., surgeon; Capt. A. L. Shapleigh, adjutant; Capt. William C. Marshall, judge-advocate; Capt. James F. Coyle, quartermaster; Capt. W. G. Smyth, commissary; Capt. Ed. Batdof, ordnance officer.
Company A, Capt. William P. Hazard, First Lieut. D. Prince, Second Lieut. W. H. Scott.
Company C, Capt. E. W. Duncan, First Lieut. T. S. Slaughter.
Company D, First Lieut. William H. Gregg, Jr., commanding; Second Lieut. Walter Graham.
Company E, Capt. Jacob S. Beck, First Lieut. George A. Simmons.
Company F (at St. Charles, Mo.), Capt. Joseph W. Ruenzi, First Lieut. T. S. Cunningham, Second Lieut. J. B. Martin.
Company G, Capt. F. S. Lawrence, First Lieut. R. R. Tilley, Second Lieut. W. J. Marshall.
Company K, Capt. George H. Platt, First Lieut. Charles M. Monroe, Second Lieut. T. J. Brown.
ST. LOUIS LIGHT ARTILLERY, BATTERY A. Capt. Samuel D. Winter, First Lieut. P. H. Skipwith, First Lieut. R. B. Williams, Second Lieut. R. D. Saunders.
THIRD REGIMENT INFANTRY, N. G. M. Col. James G. Butler, commanding; Lieut.-Col. Edward D. Meier.
Staff. Maj. W. A. McCandless, M. D., surgeon; Capt. George C. Betts, chaplain; Capt. Pierre Chouteau, adjutant; Capt. Charles E. Slayback, commissary and quartermaster.
Company A (Lafayette Guard), Capt. Shepard Barclay, First Lieut. F. J. McMaster, Second Lieut. Frank Lowery.
Company B, Capt. Daniel C. Bordley, First Lieut. C. B. Bordley, Second Lieut. John G. Meara.
Company D, Capt. C. P. Walbridge, First Lieut. Charles D. Comfort, Second Lieut. L. M. Hall.
Company E (Mayor's Guard), Capt. William Bull, First Lieut. Walter Johnson, Second Lieut. L. C. Brandon.
Company F (Allen Guard), Capt. Fitz W. Guerin, First Lieut. Walter H. Martin.
Company G (Branch Guards), First Lieut. M. Fritz.
Company H (West End Guards), Capt. Huntington Smith, First Lieut. N. G. Edwards, Second Lieut. John S. J. Miller.
ST. LOUIS LIGHT GUARDS. Frank Halliday, first lieutenant, commanding; Theodore Hunt, second lieutenant.
BAIN ZOUAVES. Capt. Robert E. M. Bain, First Lieut. T. R. Roe, Second Lieut. Charles B. Gaunt.
ATTUCK GUARDS (Colored). Capt. W. H. Berzey, First Lieut. Louis Phillips, Second Lieut. Theodore Williams.
SUMNER GUARD (Colored). Capt. James G. Horton, Second Lieut. Peyton W. Randolph.
There are also two independent companies of Irish-American extraction, the Emmet and Montgomery Guards, and the aggregate of rank and file in the St. Louis district is thus brought up to about one thousand seven hundred and fifty, with promise of speedily filling the regiments and companies to the full legal limit.
Gen. George Poole Dorriss was born in Robinson County, Tenn., Oct. 16, 1807. His father was a well-to-do merchant, but the family being large, young Dorriss was soon taught the importance of making his own way in the world. He enjoyed the advantages of a course at Cumberland College, and while still a young man, being affected by the excitement which resulted from the discovery of the lead-mines at Galena, Ill., determined, with others, to try his luck at mining. His father having offered him a farm if he would cultivate it, he turned his attention to agriculture, but being late in getting in his crop, an early frost ruined it, and, disheartened, he concluded farming was not his forte. Soon after an opportunity offered for engaging in the mercantile business in Frankfort, Southern Illinois, and having obtained a stock of goods on credit in St. Louis, and at Louisville, Ky., he established himself in that town. In 1831, while engaged in business at Frankfort, he married Miss Sarah Henderson, in Todd County, Ky. Mr. Dorriss remained about two years in Frankfort, where his business was not very successful owing to the expensive stock of goods which he insisted on carrying. About that time the famous "Platte purchase" occurred, and Gen. Dorriss having pre-empted a valuable tract of land, removed with his wife and effects to Missouri, settling in Martinsville, now known as Platte City. He was among the first to locate there, and built the first brick house, which was considered at that time an important venture. Mr. Dorriss found full scope in the new country for his excellent business qualities. His indomitable energy and enterprise, combined with a sound judgment and keen foresight, won him a prominent place in the community, in which he was regarded as a leader. Being of an ambitious temperament, he took an active interest in public affairs, especially in politics, and was elected to the General Assembly, once as a member of the Lower House, and again to the State Senate.
Aside from his mercantile ventures he engaged in speculative enterprises, and invested largely in real estate, at one time owning thousands of acres. Included in the property he acquired was a large plantation, cultivated by hundreds of slaves. When the gold fever in California broke out, Mr. Dorriss fitted up a train of forty wagons and started overland for the Pacific slope. For two years he traded in the mining region near Sacramento, and was very successful, realizing handsome profits. He was among the first to ship goods to California via Cape Horn.
At the expiration of the period named he returned to Platte, where he remained until after the civil war broke out, and then removed to St. Louis. In 1863, Mr. Dorriss engaged in business in Montana Territory, and for four years was located at Helena. He conducted a highly lucrative trade with the miners, and made several business ventures which yielded handsome returns. After concluding his transactions in Montana he resumed his residence in St. Louis, retiring from active business pursuits, and devoting most of his time and attention to his real estate interests.
Eight years ago he purchased some fifty acres of fine land on the Olive Street road and King's Highway, upon which he erected the large dwelling that he and his family occupied. The Dorriss mansion is an imposing structure, and is considered one of the most palatial residences in or near St. Louis. The interior appointments are luxurious in the extreme, and the surroundings are in keeping. Beautiful drives and artistically laid out walks lead in every direction over the extensive and well-kept grounds, and the entire premises, with the lovely lawn in front, wooded knoll at the rear, and massive iron gates and porter's lodge, are a model of elegant taste and picturesque beauty.
Gen. Dorriss had in all five children, of whom three were living at the time of his death Mrs. Haiderman, Mrs. Whisker, and Thomas Dorriss, and seven grandchildren. Mrs. Whisker has since died, Jan. 17, 1883.
Gen. Dorriss, while never courting political honors, was several times elected to positions of trust and responsibility, and was a member of the Charleston Convention at the time when the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas to the Presidency was strongly urged. Socially he was very popular, being a pleasant companion and a generous entertainer and friend. In August, 1882, his health began to fail, and he went to Eureka Springs, but was afforded no relief. He was now in a feeble condition, but at his earnest entreaty that he might be permitted to end his days among familiar scenes, he was removed to his home.
His death occurred Nov. 29, 1882, and his remains are buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.
His daughter, Mrs. A. B. Halderman, who was the almost constant companion of her father for the last few years of his life, owns and occupies at present the Dorriss mansion. Her children now living are Sallie,
born in St. Louis Aug. 7, 1864; Georgie, born in Leavenworth Feb. 3, 1874; and Annie, born in Leavenworth July 26, 1875.
Owing to the fact that they have been identified with the history of St. Louis from an early period, the towns of Carondelet, or South St. Louis, and Illinoistown, or East St. Louis, are entitled to brief mention in this work.
The settlement of Carondelet 329 dates from 1767, in which year a Clement Delor de Treget, a native of Quercy, near Cahors, ancient province of Guienne and Perigord, France, of an old family of position, and an officer in the service of France, came up from Ste. Genevieve to establish himself near St. Louis, and selecting the location hereinafter described, built a stone house for his residence. The high limestone bluffs, commencing at a short distance below the arsenal grounds, bordering the western shore of the Mississippi for a couple of miles in a southwest direction, at an elevation of some two hundred feet above the river, terminate in an almost abrupt descent to the low grounds south, at a distance of five and one-half miles from the court-house. At this point the river in its southern course changes its direction to nearly due south, and the land along its shores is nearly level, with a very slight descent to the mouth of the River des Peres, which at this day is the southern extremity of the city of St. Louis, about seven miles from Market Street, the city's centre. Here, at the south foot of this rocky bluff, at the northern commencement of this level, Delor built his house, which became in time the nucleus of the little village, at first called the village of Catalan's Prairie, which slowly and gradually grew up around him, numbering not over twenty families in a period of the same number of years, and at the date of the transfer to the United States (1804), as we learn from Stoddard, containing some fifty houses and a population of about two hundred and fifty. The whole country along the water-courses being in its primitive state, heavily covered with timber, the few prairie spots on this side being back from the rivers, the first settlers had to clear their lots and lands for their habitations. The only street, or rather road, in the place for many years was the Main Street, running north and south, parallel to the river, at about a hundred yards' distance from it, it being the road from St. Louis to the country south. The houses were scattered along this road, most of them on the east side near the river, but a few on the west side.
As the little village grew in size and population it extended a few blocks farther south along the Main Street, and west. Towards the upper end of the hamlet a ravine crossed the road, down which the water from the high grounds emptied into the river.
The original village consisted of about a dozen blocks, from the present E or Elwood Street on the north to about L or Lafayette Street on the south, embracing the present blocks Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, lying east of Main Street, between it and the river, and blocks Nos. 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40, west side of the road, between it and Second Street. There were no houses south of L Street, north of E Street, nor west of Second Street for many years, and to this day the surface of the ground remains unchanged, no grading having ever been done in this primitive portion of the village, except the grading of the descent of the road from St. Louis down to the Main Street, which was only done after the incorporation of the town to avoid, as in the olden day, the circuitous descent to the village around by Second Street. Elwood Street, the former north line of the village, ascends a gradual plane from Main to Fourth Street. Second Street descends gradually from Elwood, going south to where G Street is marked down on the town plat, between blocks Nos. 38 and 39, where the surface-water drains to the river, this being the lowest cross street of the old village. Second then rises abruptly to Illinois Street. Blocks Nos. 34 and 35 were originally very high ground when purchased and built on by Louis G. Picot after 1850, but have been cut down some twenty-five to thirty feet to the grade of Main Street by the Iron Mountain Railroad Company, which needed the earth elsewhere. These two blocks are the only places where the natural soil has been disturbed in the old portion of the village. There is no G cross street, the ground not having been left for it, but where it appears on the plat the water drains to the river through a culvert under the Main Street. The land west of Second Street, in this hollow, commences to rise again very abruptly west and south to the high ground at Illinois and Third Streets, the site of the present brick Catholic Church, built about 1860, on block No. 57, where stood the first of upright timbers built in 1835. On block No. 58, next south between Kansas and Lafayette Streets, stands the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, established in the same year as the erection of the first log church (1835).
For many years after the first settlement of the village, the road down the hill on the north, owing
to the abrupt termination of the limestone bluffs at the present Dover Street, made a circuit around by Second Street, coming again into Main at Elwood.
In the year 1817 a few persons commenced making improvements on this high ground north of the village, then thickly covered with timber, on both sides of this old road down the hill, which was then abandoned, and a new one of easier descent was made west of the old one, which intersected the Second or back street of the village at the brow of the hill.
After the incorporation of the town in 1832, it was surveyed for the first time, and the lines of the streets and blocks established. In laying off the plat of this north part from Dover Street, the then northern end of the village, Main Street was prolonged nearly on the line of the old road, which had been abandoned in 1817, running parallel with the river, at about eighty yards distant from it, and Second, Third, and Fourth Streets parallel to the First or Main Street, making the blocks three hundred French feet square, as they were in the old original village. This survey cut diagonally through the few places then newly made on this north hill, which had been settled on without other title than the taking possession, as had been the custom in the early Spanish days.
Carondelet, when incorporated as a borough town in 1832, had been a village for about sixty-five years from its first establishment by Delor de Treget in 1767, under its different appellations, first of "Prairie Catalan," from one Louis Catalan; afterwards, from about 1790, "Louisbourg;" and finally, from 1794, "Carondelet," after the Baron de Carondelet, Governor-General at New Orleans from that date. 330 No survey establishing the lots and street lines had ever been made. Until then it was an appendage of St. Louis. In the Spanish days its head was a syndic or deputy of the commandant at St. Louis; it had no archives or records distinct from those of St. Louis, and whatever papers and documents relate in any manner to its affairs are intermingled with those of St. Louis.
The village was incorporated by the County Court of St. Louis County, Judge M. P. Leduc presiding, on Monday, Aug. 20, 1832, and its first ordinance, "regulating dram-shops," was approved Sept. 3, 1832, by John Eugene Leitensdorfer, chairman of the board of trustees. The new town was surveyed for the first time by Laurentius M. Eiler, a deputy county surveyor, in November, 1832, and the first plat of the town was made by him, after which the cross streets were named by calling them after the letters of the alphabet, beginning with A at the north and V at the south end of the town. This plat and survey added to the old village five additional cross streets to the north end of the town, several south, and Third and Fourth to the west, being the east boundary line of the Spanish common field lots, and making the town about a mile and a half long, north and south, by a fourth of a mile wide, four rows of blocks of twenty-three each, numbered from one to ninety-two, and twelve at the southeast corner on the river, lettered from A to M. The additional cross streets at the north end of the town, A, B, C, and D, although laid down on the plat to extend to the river, were never opened east of the high-road between the same and the river, and were doubtless abandoned, as the land is occupied to this day with fine private residences, overlooking the country far and wide. The main road down the hill was in time graded to the head of the Main Street, and the roundabout descent by Second Street abandoned.
In the course of subsequent years several additional surveys of out-lots north, west, and south from the common fields were made at various times, and finally the common south of the Des Peres was sub-divided and sold or leased.
Carondelet, after it had existed for some twenty years as a borough town, its population having largely increased and many new houses having been erected, a number of them of brick (the first of this description in 1839), was incorporated by act of the Legislature, approved March 1, 1851, and divided into three wards, with a City Council of two members from each ward. James B. Walsh was the first mayor, and the first City Council assembled April 9, 1851. The names of the streets were changed from initials to full names in October, 1854. The act of incorporation, extending the northern boundary to the commons of St. Louis and the southern to the mouth of the River des Peres, gave Carondelet a river-front on the Mississippi of nearly three miles in extent, now embraced in the corporate limits of the city of St. Louis.
The main road from St. Louis down the hill, rough-graded while a town, was greatly improved after its incorporation as a city, but since the extension of the city southwardly to the River des Peres, over more favorable ground, this old portion of the village is in a great measure deserted, and at present is in a ruinous
and dilapidated condition. There are a few brick houses scattered among the lots north of Elwood Street, being of the oldest brick structures of the place, but they are almost hidden from the main road by the trees and shrubbery which has been permitted to grow up in this comparatively deserted part of the old town. There were no houses in the old village north of E Street in the French days.
Carondelet had no church nor parish priest for over half a century. Shortly after the commencement of the settlement, as already stated, in the year 1767, a piece of ground on the ascent of the hill, immediately back of the centre of the village, was set aside for a cemetery and the future church. When the village was surveyed for the first time after its incorporation as a town, and the blocks were numbered on the town plot, this one became No. 57. It is bounded by Second and Third and Illinois and Kansas Streets. The eastern half of this block was used for interments for about sixty years, but the village was so small and the inhabitants so few for many years that they could not support a resident priest, consequently the most devout of them attended mass in St. Louis.
Early in the year 1823 a parish named St. Mary and St. Joseph was established by the Right Rev. Bishop Louis William Dubourg, of the diocese of St. Louis, and a small temporary church of logs was put up at the northeast corner of the west half of the block which had been reserved for the church.
The first curate of the new parish was Father Jean Audissio, who was succeeded by Fathers L. De Neckere, Joseph A. Lutz, R. Loisel, S. P. Doutrelingue, and Condamine, with occasional visits at intervals from Father Edmond Saulnier from the Cathedral parish at St. Louis, who officiated at times until he became the permanent curate, about 1833-34.
In March, 1823, the inhabitants of the village, about a hundred families, raised by subscription the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars, with which they purchased a half-block of ground on the west side of Third Street, across from the church, with a small house of posts on it for the residence of the priest, which was used for that purpose for a number of years.
In the year 1835, Father Saulnier replaced the temporary log church of 1823 by a new and much larger one of hewed upright timbers, situated on the southwest corner of block No. 57, fronting on Third Street. This second church, after having served its purpose for some twenty-five to thirty years, was in turn replaced by the present one of brick, and very much larger, erected a little north of the other on the same block, where also stands the neat brick residence of the curate of the parish. An entry in the church register by Father Saulnier, dated March 12, 1840, states that five hundred bodies had been interred in the original cemetery to the date of its abandonment in 1839.
The academy and convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph at Carondelet occupies block No. 58, next south of the church block, and separated from it by Kansas Street. It originated and was established under the auspices of Bishop Rosatti, in 1837, by Sisters Marie Pomarel (afterwards styled Madame Celestine, the first Lady Superior), Antoinette Fontbonne, Marie Fontbonne, and Marguerite Bonté, all from France, who were the first to conduct its affairs in Wooden buildings, which in time made way for the large and commodious brick edifices that now cover the grounds.
When the United States established Jefferson Barracks, which is located on the southeast portion of the land claimed by the inhabitants of Carondelet as the commons of the French and Spanish period, the title to the land had not yet been definitely settled by the United States authorities, consequently the purchase by the United States from the people of Carondelet was only a conditional one, to be determined thereafter. A deed from the inhabitants of Carondelet to the United States, July 8, 1826, recited that for the sum of five dollars paid by Col. J. B. Brant, assistant quartermaster United States army, a certain tract of land lying in the county of St. Louis, bounded as follows: east by the Mississippi River, north by land of Julian Chouquette and Benjamin Patterson, west by the public road leading from Carondelet to Herculaneum
south partly by the south line of the Carondelet commons, and partly by the tract marked on the general plat as No. 3, quantity undetermined, had been conveyed to the United States. Should the United States cease to occupy it for military purposes at any time before the title to the same was definitely determined, it should revert to the parties of the first part, with the same rights they then possessed, the United States reserving the right of disposing of the improvements they might deem necessary to put on the land. This deed was signed by Samuel Solomon, George Schoultz, Antony Barada, Antony Motie, Hyacinthe Pigeon, St. Amant Michau, Louis Constant (his mark), Alexis Page (his mark), Joseph Menard (his mark), Aug'n Dube, John B. Shoultz, Dominique Fortneuf. M. P. Leduc, witness. Recorded Book No. 113.
The south line of the Barracks' tract is the south line of the Carondelet commons, and the north line of J. B. Martigny survey, No. 3779, in townships 43 and 44 north, ranges 6 and 7 east.
The most prominent of the early settlers of Carondelet, many of whose posterity still reside in the county, were:
Delor de Treget, original pioneer, Antoine Barada, John B. Boucher, Joseph Chartrand, Sr., Julian Chouquet, Sr., Gabriel Constant, Louis Courtois, Sr., Louis Catalan, J. M. B. Chatillon, Joseph and Louis Desnoyers, Augustin Dube, Louis Dubreuil, Francois Fournier, John B. Gamache, Sr., Nicholas Gais, dit Gravar, Amable Guion, Joseph Guienard, Toussaint Hunaud, Louis Tesson Honoré, Sr., Charles Hotte, Etienne Lalande, Pierre La Puente, Joseph Le May, Laurent Lefebvre, Alexis Loise, Joseph Loisel, Pierre Martin Ladouceur, Sr., Antoine Marechal, Alexis Michel Marie, John B. and Louis Menard, Joseph Moitier, dit Rondin, John B. Petit, Hyacinthe Pigeon, Sr., John P. Pourcelli, Sr., John B. Pujol, Antoine Rivi&eagrave;re, Charles and Paul Robert, Charles Roche, Charles and Francois Roy, Lambert Sallé, dit Lajoie, Christopher Schultz, Sr., Joseph Hubert Tabeau, Claude Tinon, Charles Vallé, John B. Vien.
In 1870 Carondelet was incorporated with and became part of the city of St. Louis. A contemporary account, under date of April 8, 1870, thus describes the act of taking formal possession:
"Yesterday morning Capt. Fuchs, city register, accompanied by City Engineer Bishop and his clerk, visited Carondelet for the purpose of taking formal possession of the books, records, archives, money, and other property of that ex-corporation, now a part of the city of St. Louis. Capt. Fuchs was armed with a written order from Mayor Cole, directing the officers of Carondelet to make a full delivery of all the documents, etc., connected with their respective offices. The delegation were absent nearly all day. Capt. Fuchs returned to St. Louis proper late yesterday evening. According to his statement, he found things in a singularly confused condition, and the ex-officials did not appear prepared to furnish precise information respecting their departments. At the office of Auguste William Gamache, city treasurer, Capt. Fuchs found that the cash assets of Carondelet consisted of one dollar, in two fifty-cent notes, of which he formally took possession. He also found a quantity of canceled city warrants, which he appropriated. Mr. Dougherty, ex-register, declined to give the key of the safe to Capt. Fuchs, but said he would keep it until a settlement was made. During the day some cupboards, containing papers and records, two old maps, and a few boxes and books were sent up to the court-house in a wagon and deposited in the city register's office to be examined. To-day Sergt. Prescott and four police officers of the Carondelet sub-district attended Capt. Fuchs and Mr. Bishop in their investigations, and remain in charge of the office, and will permit nothing to be moved until the transfer is completed to-day. Capt. Fuchs states that various claims to articles and documents were preferred by different parties, but that he took possession of everything he could find belonging to the city, leaving the claims of individuals to be settled by the proper authorities. The safe was left in charge of the police. The records of the city do not appear to have been very elaborately kept, and only one book was found at the city treasurer's office.
"Under the order of Mr. Bishop, all work on streets was suspended until further orders, as defects were apparent in the matter of breadth and grade."
HERCULANEUM. A history of early St. Louis would be incomplete without a brief notice of the now almost extinct town of Herculaneum, 331 Joachim township, the former county-seat of Jefferson County, and the present site of Crystal City, where extensive plate-glass works are now established. Some thirty miles below St. Louis, on the right bank of the Mississippi, an open space of about a mile in extent in the almost perpendicular limestone bluffs, which rise to the height of some two hundred feet above the stream, bordering the west bank of the river for miles above and below, affords an outlet through which the Joachim Creek, a considerable stream, having its sources in the southern part of the county, and following a north by east course, discharges itself into the Mississippi. In the early days of the settlements several of the old French inhabitants made selections and established themselves along the flat lands for some miles up this creek, followed after a few years by a few Americans. After the transfer of the country to the United States and the extensive development of lead mineral throughout all this region back from the river, two enterprising Americans. Col. Samuel Hammond, Sr., of St. Louis, and Moses Austin, of Ste. Genevieve, perceiving the advantages of this point for an extensive lead business from its nearer proximity to the mines than Ste. Genevieve, then the only point of shipment on the river, purchased from one Judathan Kendall, on Jan. 9, 1809, a tract of four hundred arpens of land at the mouth of the Joachim Creek, and immediately laid off their plat of the town of Herculaneum, which consequently was an American enterprise, and proceeded to the sale of a number of the lots.
Early in the year 1809, immediately after the new town was laid off, John N. Macklot, of St. Louis, a son-in-law of Charles Gratiot, Sr., commenced the erection of a shot-tower on the rocky bluff south of the mouth of the creek, at the south end of the town, and on its completion, in the fall of the year, entered extensively into the manufacture of lead and shot, the first establishment of the kind west of the Alleghenies.
In that and the two following years, 1810 and 1811, a number of lots were sold, and the place took a start by the erection of a goodly number of buildings; but the war with England of 1812-15 interfered materially with its progress, as it did with everything else in this region, and checked its further advance for a time.
On the restoration of peace in 1815 it again began to grow, and for a time improved quite briskly, so that in 1817 the brothers Elias and William Bates, who had become residents of the place, felt justified in erecting a second shot-tower and lead-works, which they established at the northeast angle of the village. These two establishments, as also some others erected subsequently at points on the Mississippi, did an extensive and flourishing business for some years, exporting from the country a large amount of shot and balls, and pig and bar lead.
Western Americans in those primitive days were so enthusiastically patriotic that they seldom permitted the national anniversary to pass over without its due observance. They had a Fourth of July celebration in 1816 at Ellis' tavern, Col. Samuel Hammond president, and Dr. John Finley vice-president, at which many from Harrisonville, on the Illinois side, came over and participated in the festivities of the day.
An evidence of the rising importance of the place in population and business, is the fact that a lodge of Freemasons was organized in 1818 under the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, with Wm. F. Roberts, W. M.; Seth Converse, S. W.; Wm. Bates, J. W.; Henry Cellinger, James S. Beaumont, and others. It was one of the three that participated in the organization of the Grand Lodge of Missouri in 1821, there being at that day but two others in the State.
In the Spanish days this region formed the southern portion of the "district" of St. Louis. After our acquisition of the country and the term "county" had been substituted for "district," it formed the township of Joachim, St. Louis Co., extending along the Mississippi from the mouth of the Meramec to the Platin Creek, six or eight miles below Herculaneum, about twenty miles of river-front, including all of what is now Jefferson County. Governor Trudeau made a number of grants of land to Americans from 1795 to 1799 in this township.
The county of Jefferson, taken from the southern portion of St. Louis County, was organized by act of the Territorial Legislature Dec. 8, 1818, and Herculaneum established as its county-seat. The first term of its Circuit Court was held here on March 25, 1819, by Nathaniel B. Tucker, judge of the Northern Circuit; Samuel Woodson, clerk; and Andrew Scott, sheriff.
The place reached its climax about the time that Missouri became a State, when rival points for the shipment of lead, its main business, springing up along the river, mainly Selma and Rush Tower, far more favorable sites, some six or eight miles below, it began to decline, and after the removal of the county-seat in 1836-37 to Monticello (subsequently called Hillsboro', its present name), a more central location in the interior of the county, it gradually ceased to exist, and was lost sight of until the recent establishment within a few years of the extensive plate-glass works, under its new cognomen of Crystal City, seems likely to again bring it into view. The population of Jefferson County in 1820 was eighteen hundred and thirty-five, and in 1830 two thousand five hundred and ninety-two.
Among the more noted residents of Herculaneum in early days, besides those already mentioned, were John W. Honey, Capt. R. P. Guyard, Mr. Ellis, C. C. Fletcher, and others. When in 1820, the first chapter of Royal Arch Masons in the Mississippi valley was established in St. Louis, so few of that degree were found in the country that, to procure the necessary nine to the petition, the Masons were compelled to make drafts on two or three points in the surrounding country. St. Louis furnished four or five, St. Charles and Edwardsville, Ill., a couple each, and from Herculaneum they had the name of Clement C. Fletcher. This veteran Mason rarely failed for several years to attend the stated monthly meetings of the chapter, riding up on horseback from Herculaneum, thirty miles over a broken country, crossing the Meramec, remaining in St. Louis a night, and returning home on the following day, devoting two days to his trip. This gentleman was the father of Governor Thomas C. Fletcher.
EAST ST. LOUIS, 332 situated on the Illinois shore opposite the city of St. Louis, had its origin in a settlement made by Capt. James Piggott, who in 1797
established a ferry at this point between the east and west banks of the river. 333
Previous to this Capt. Piggott had established, in 1783, a fort not far from the bluffs, in the American Bottom, west of the present town of Columbia, in Monroe County, which was called Piggott's Fort, or the fort of the Grande Risseau, or Great Run. This was the largest fortification erected by the Americans in Illinois at that day, and was well defended with cannon and small-arms. Upon the petition of Capt. Piggott and forty-five inhabitants of this fort, an act of Congress was passed granting to every one on the public land in Illinois four hundred acres, and a militia donation of one hundred acres to each man enrolled in the militia service of that year. Governor St. Clair, knowing the character of Capt. Piggott's services in the army of the Revolution, appointed him the presiding judge of the court of St. Clair County. The then county-seat was at Cahokia. 334
With regard to the topography of the country in the vicinity of the present East St. Louis, as it appeared in 1799, and the history of its settlement, Dr. Isaac N. Piggott says,
"Cahokia Creek, or the River L'Abbé, as it was formerly called, did not run into the Mississippi where it now does, but formed a junction south of Piggott's addition to Illinoistown with the Slough, which then ran at the head of an island, described in the ‘Western Annals’ as being opposite South St. Louis, and with said Slough ran past the village of Cahokia, below which the only ferry from Illinois to St. Louis could then be kept. By reference to the seventy-second page of Mr. Butler's ‘History of Kentucky’ it will be seen that Cahokia Creek was knee-deep in front of Col. Clark's camp at Cahokia, where he treated with the Indians, in September, 1778. But so great has been the change that neither Slough Creek nor island can now be properly recognized at that place. The late Auguste Chouteau, when speaking of the first settlement of St. Louis, says,
"‘At that time a skirt of tall timber lined the bank of the river, free from undergrowth, which extended back to a line about the range of Eighth Street. In the rear was an extensive prairie; the first cabins were erected near the river and market; no "Bloody Island" or "Duncan's Island" then existed. Directly opposite the old Market Square the river was narrow and deep, and until about the commencement of the present century persons would be distinctly heard from the opposite shore. Opposite Duncan's Island and South St. Louis was an island covered with heavy timber and separated from the Illinois shore by a slough. Many persons are now living (1850) who recollect the only ferry from Illinois to St. Louis was from Cahokia below the island, and landed on the Missouri shore near the site of the United States arsenal.’
"Although that description is correct as far as it goes, it does not attempt to describe the landscape at this place, nor when and how Duncan's Island and Bloody Island were formed, and why so named; nor why the only ferry from Illinois to St. Louis had to be from Cahokia below the island, opposite South St. Louis, and landed on the Missouri shore near the site of the United States arsenal; nor when and by whom the Wiggins Ferry at this point was first established. A ferry at this point at that date would have been worse than useless, because it could not have been reached by the inhabitants of Illinois until a road was made, and the River L'Abbé was bridged above its junction with the Slough, which then ran at the head of said island, and which is now known as Cahokia commons, south of East St. Louis. And all the space above the Slough, between the rivers Mississippi and L'Abbé, including the Ferry Division of East St, Louis and what is now known as Bloody Island, and the dike and ponds of water in that vicinity, was then bottom land, covered with majestic forest timber, interspersed with pea-vine, rushes, and winter-grass, upon which stock kept fat all the seasons of the year. The distance between the two rivers was then half a mile in width. This was also used as the common camping-ground for all the friendly Illinois Indians that traded at St. Louis, and sometimes by hostile Indians. Therefore to build the first bridge and make the first road was not only costly and laborious, but an extremely dangerous undertaking;
for although Col. Clark, in 1778, had taken all the Territory northwest of the river Ohio from the British Lion, yet that country's allies, the Indians, like tigers thirsting for blood, still claimed and occupied and, like lords of the forest, roamed through this vast region of wild country....Excepting a few French villages in this bottom, the whole country northwest of the Ohio River was the abode of ferocious beasts and wild men. Those first heroes of the West were without roads, bridges, newspapers, or mail-carriers. Many of them had assisted in the erection and defense of Fort Jefferson in 1780-81, and had come with their captain and had formed the first purely American settlement at the Great Run.
"When Governor St. Clair, in 1790. first organized civil government in Illinois, he held council with the people, and in view of the prospective importance of this place, he advised his newly-made judge (Piggott) to establish himself at this place. To look at the surroundings of the country, it had very much the appearance of a forlorn hope, but the Governor knew his man. The inhabitants of both sides of the Mississippi felt the great need of such a ferry and co-operated heartily in it. At that time there was no other man willing to take the risk. In the summer-time men could not work here. In the winters of 1792-93, while the River L'Abbé was frozen, Judge Piggott erected two log cabins at this point, and continued every winter to carry on his improvements till 1795. After Gen. Wayne had conquered and treated with the hostile Indians, he then removed his family from his fort at the Great Run to this point, among the friendly Indians.
"As soon as the judge had completed his road and bridge and established his ferry from the Illinois to the Missouri shore, he petitioned (15th day of August, 1797) for and obtained the exclusive right to collect ferriage in St. Louis (at that time a Spanish province)."
With regard to the changes in the course of the Mississippi and the Cahokia Creek, the same authority adds,
"The main channel of the Mississippi in 1800 ran nearly straight from the Chain of Rocks, supposed to be about nine miles above St. Louis, toward and close to the old western boundary of the Cabanné Island, and from thence striking the rocky shore of Missouri above St. Louis, near where the Sturgeon Market now is, thence running deepest against said rocky shore to Market Street, below which a sand-bar formed which grew into what is now called Duncan's Island, causing the current to deflect to Cahokia Island, and carried off a great part thereof. Meanwhile accretions accumulated on the west side of the Cabanné Island. This caused the current to carry off a great deal of the Missouri shore, and formed what was called the Sawyer Bend, above what is called Bissell's Point. In the fall of 1798 a sand-bar was formed in the Mississippi similar to the one now opposite this place and near the same locality. It increased rapidly, and soon became an island, covered with willow and cottonwood. In time this island received the prefix ‘Bloody,’ from the many bloody duels it was the theatre of.
"In the progress of time the main channel for steamboat navigation ran east of Bloody Island, and the current thus deflecting against the Illinois shore it was worn away rapidly. I believe the whole Mississippi River would ere now have been running east of this place had it not been prevented by diking. But before dikes proved a success the Mississippi had washed away all the land heretofore described as the Indian camping-ground, lying between the rivers, and filled up the bed of the old Miry Creek at the southwest corner of Illinoistown, and turned the channel thereof from its former route past Cahokia to opposite St. Louis. For some time the ferry-boats landed at Illinoistown about the northwest end of Main and Market Streets and a mile below it. Various and expensive efforts were made to force the Mississippi back to its old channel west of this island. After several dikes or rock piers had been made along the Illinois shore so far as to deflect the current towards the Missouri shore, and also Dike Avenue having stopped the current from running on the east of this place, the slough which had run there has been rapidly filling up.
"An examination of the old plat of Illinoistown shows that at the northwest end of Main and Market Streets is the place where the bridge and road made in 1795 crossed the River L'Abbé, which is now in the bed of the slough... The slough at the head of the island is already filled up. It is again attached to the mainland, and the other part of it is diked in several places and rapidly filling up. Properly speaking, this place is no longer Bloody Island, but the law-abiding Ferry Division of the city of East St. Louis."
After the establishment of the ferry by Capt. Piggott, various attempts were made to establish towns, some of which were laid out immediately on the shore of the river, and soon washed away. Among these were Washington and Jacksonville. The present city of East St. Louis is built in part on Cahokia common, which extended from the old village of Cahokia to the east bank of Cahokia Creek. Illinoistown, as East St. Louis was originally named, was laid out in the autumn of 1817, as is shown by the following advertisement in the Missouri Gazette of October 25th of that year:
"Illinois City, situate in the prairie near the mounds, opposite to the upper end of St. Louis, laid out on an extensive and liberal plan, the principal streets being ninety-nine and none less than seventy-one and a half feet wide; eight lots of one hundred and four and a half by one hundred and ninety-seven feet in a square, each square divided by an alley of twenty feet in width.
"There will be offered at public sale on Saturday, the lst day of November next, at Savage's tavern, sundry lots in the above-mentioned place. The terms will be made known on the day of sale, the sale to commence at eleven o'clock A. M.
"J. B. THOMAS,
The land belonged to John McKnight and Thomas Brady, merchants of St. Louis, and had formerly been owned by Etienne Pensonau, and occupied and possessed by one Yanorsdall. 335 The town was laid out by Col. Thomas F. Riddick, agent for McKnight & Brady. On Monday, Nov. 3, 1817, an auction sale of the lots advertised took place in St. Louis, but some of the lots were disposed of at private sale before and afterwards. The town thus provided for formed the southeast portion of what is now the city
of East St. Louis. Soon after this transaction Illinois City was platted and laid out on land once known as a part of Cahokia common. The whole area surveyed was about three hundred and sixty-nine acres, including streets and a public square. There were sixty-three squares and four hundred and ninety-six lots. The survey was located in what is now the northwestern portion of the city. The plot was recorded in 1825. In 1837 the town of St. Clair was platted by the county surveyor, John M. Messinger, in the employ of John L. St. John. The surveyor's certificate was dated April 13, 1837, and the record made by Mr. St. John, April 19, 1837. It comprised what is now the central part of the city.
In 1859 the town of East St. Louis was platted and entered of record (November 28th). It was a sub-division of lands belonging to Samuel L. Barlow, Henry Chauncey, William H. Aspinwall, and Samuel W. Comstock, lying within United States surveys No. 626, in the name of Richard McCarty; No. 625, in that of Jean F. Perry; Nos. 131 and 132, in that of A. Chouteau; No. 130, in the name of Jean St. Germain; and No. 129, in the name of Gregoire Sarpy. It extended from the central to the northern part of the city, and included a tract once owned by John Jacob Astor. In April, 1865, Henry Holbrook, St. Clair County surveyor, in the employ of the Wiggins Ferry Company, surveyed and laid out seven hundred and thirty-four town lots, under the name of the Ferry Division of East St. Louis. Other divisions have since been added. On the 20th of September, 1872, Oebike and Kase Addition of sixty-seven lots was platted and surveyed. The town was incorporated as Illinoistown Feb. 19, 1859, and at the first town election, April 4, 1859, W. J. Enfield, Samuel W. Toomer, Andrew Wettig, and Henry Jackeisch were elected trustees, and William Hamilton police magistrate and ex officio president of the board of trustees. George Johnson was appointed marshal by the trustees, who held their first meeting April 16, 1859. At an election held on the 1st of April, 1861, the citizens changed the name of the town from Illinoistown to that of East St. Louis. The following officers were elected: President of Town Council, Samuel W. Toomer; Town Council, Samuel B. Walker, Florence Sullivan, John Moneghan, and Francis Karle; Police Magistrate, John B. Bowman; Town Marshal, John Henessy.
On the 17th of January, 1865, the Council appointed a committee, consisting of the president, S. W. Toomer, and Messrs. Oebike, Bowman, Kase, and Millard, to draft a city charter. Subsequently the new charter was submitted and approved, and a motion to change the name of the city to St. Clair defeated. In the same year (April 3d), at the first election for mayor. J. B. Bowman was chosen.
In March, 1865, a St. Louis journal said,
"The people of East St. Louis have obtained from the Illinois Legislature charters for a gas company, water-works, and a grain elevator. A weekly newspaper is also about to be established there. Mr. James L. Fawcett, formerly well known as the proprietor of the St. Louis Herald, has moved his printing material across the river, and intends issuing in a short time the first number of the East St. Louis Weekly Herald."
Since then the city has attained a remarkable development, and being the centre of a vast railroad system, enjoys a steadily increasing prosperity. Connected with St. Louis by the great bridge, its interests are identical with those of the metropolis, to whose trade, commerce, and industries it is a most important contributor.
Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=scharf2.html