Missouri

As it is in 1867
An Illustrated Historical Gazetteer of Missouri
By Nathan H. Parker


“The man who is ignorant of the transactions of former times is condemned to a perpetual state of childhood.”---Cicero

The valley of the Mississippi was first discovered by Hernando De Soto, appointed by the Emperor Charles V of Spain, as Governor of the Island of Cuba, and President of Florida. He explored the Lower Mississippi, as far north as the mouth of the Arkansas, in 1539, and passed up White River, crossed the Ozark ridge, and spent the winter of 1541-42 on the plains (or prairies) beyond—probably in the western part of this State. (See Vernon County) He named the country “Florida.”

After describing the Ozark hills in Missouri, Schoolcraft says: “Through these Alpine ranges De Soto roved with his chivalrous and untiring army, making an outward and inward expedition into regions which must have presented untoward hardships and discouragements to the march of troops. To add to these natural obstacles, he found himself opposed by fierce savage tribes, who rushed upon him from every glen and defile, and met him in the open grounds with the most savage energy. His own health finally sunk under these fatigues; and it is certain that, after his death, his successor in the command, Moscoso, once more marched entirely through the southern Ozarks, and reached the Buffalo plains beyond them. Such energy and feats of daring had never before been displayed in North America; and the wonder is at its highest, after beholding the wild and rough mountains, cliffs, glens, and torrents, over which the actual marches must have laid. Some of the names of the Indian tribes encountered by him furnish conclusive evidence that the principal tribes of the country, although they have changed their particular locations since the year 15421, still occupy the region. Thus, the Kapahas, who then lived on the Mississippi, above the St. François, are identical with the Quappas, the Cayas with the Kanzas, and the Quipana with the Pawnees.”

In 1673, the Mississippi valley was further explored by FATHER MAREQUETTE and M. JOLIET, from New France, (Canada) who entered the Mississippi river at the mouth of the Wisconsin, and continued down the stream to the mouth of the Arkansas River, which point they reached in 1673. Thus it will be seen that that portion of the Mississippi forming the eastern boundary of this State was discovered by the last-named French explorers, who were the first white men that had floated upon the Mississippi for a period of 130 years---or since the disastrous voyage of Louis de Moscoso, with the remains of De Soto’s expedition, in the year 1543. Returning from the mouth of the Arkansas, they passed up the Illinois River, and discovered all that country in July, 1674.

In 1680, ROBERT CAVALIER DE LA SALLE fitted out an exploring expedition, consisting of FATHER LOUIS HENNEPIN and M. DUGAY, with six others, to advance to the head waters of the Mississippi. Hennepin went no farther north than Saint Anthony’s Falls, which name he gave them in honor of his patron saint, St. Anthony, of Padua. Thence they descended the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas, and from there returned to Green Bay. *

In 1682, La Salle made a tour of exploration through the valley of the Mississippi, and to the “great river” he gave the name of St. Louis, and the country traversed by it Louisiana, both in honor of the King of France; and to the Missouri River he gave the name of Saint Philip. Continuing down the “St. Louis,” on the 7th of April, 1682, he planted the colors of France near the Gulf of Mexico, and formally and solemnly claimed the Territory for France, giving it the name of Louisiana; he soon after returned to France, to make arrangements for colonizing Louisiana, which he had accomplished by July, 1684, when his fleet of four vessels left Rochelle, France; failing to recognize the mouth of the Mississippi, as they passed it, the fleet landed at the Bay of the Matagorda. His subsequent history is full of melancholy interest.

The discovery of the Mississippi by the Canadian French gave to France a conventional claim to navigate the great river and its principal tributaries, and to occupy and settle in the country traversed by them.

The further exploration of the Lower Mississippi was interrupted by the war between the Iroquois Indians and the British Colonies, against the Province of Canada, from 1689 to 1696. But the settlements formed in the Illinois country (east of the Mississippi) by Father La Salle were annually on the increase, by the accession of Canadian adventurers, who had heard of the fertile lands and the more temperate climate. Before the close of the seventeenth century “Old Kaskaskia” was known through not only all the Illinois country, (of which it was for several years the capital,) but throughout Canada; and the Catholic Mission posts established by La Salle had grown into parishes, so great was the tide of emigration and so fair the fame of the country.

Soon after the termination of the war above alluded to, Count de Frontenac, then Governor-General of New France, proceeded to occupy the valley of the Mississippi, and in 1697 located colonies at several points, both north and south. Up to the beginning of the eighteenth century, settlements in New France were confined entirely to the eastern side of the Mississippi; but the reports made by a few wandering explorers, that both gold and silver were abundant in what is now Missouri and Arkansas, induced the French to turn their attention to the country to the west. Accordingly, early in the eighteenth century, Count de Frontenac prepared an expedition to visit the mines of Upper Louisiana. A fort was erected and settlements commenced, but the prejudices of the savages were soon excited, and their demonstrations of hostility induced the French to abandon this part of the country without making any permanent settlements.

The Missouri River next claimed their attention, and in 1705 they ascended to the mouth of Kansas River, and met with kind and hospitable treatment from the Indians, whose kindness on this occasion soon obliterated from their minds the remembrance of the opposition offered by the savages on the Mississippi.

The war in Europe at this time demanded all the resources of France, and required all the attention of her principal men, both in France and “New France;” and unable to keep up the usual advances, the king had allowed the colony of Louisiana to become reduced almost to starvation; and although unable to contribute either men or money to its support, the king was intent upon keeping from the hands of his enemies this country, which was believed to contain inexhaustible mines of gold and silver, which, when opened, would not only place the colony upon a permanent basis, but be sufficient to remove the debt of France, which during the reign of Louis XIV, had increased to upwards of two thousand millions of livres. “Mutual friendship and confidence” had been established between the French and all the Western tribes of Indians; and emigrants from the St. Lawrence continued to advance to the Illinois country, which was then settling up rapidly, and Old Kaskaskia had become the capital of the country, and the authorities during 1712 issued land titles for a “common field,” and deeds and titles to aid the people in the pursuit of important public and private enterprise. In view of the prosperous present, and the promising future of the Illinois country, (then looked upon as the “terrestrial paradise,”) and the mines of precious ores believed to exist on either side of the great river, the king granted the exclusive privilege in all the trade and commerce of the province to Anthony Crozat, a wealthy and influential merchant of France, “who had prospered in opulence to the astonishment of all the world.” His charter embraced sixteen years, from the 26th of September, 1712. Louisiana, as then held by France, embraced the entire Mississippi valley, from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and north to the lakes in Canada. At this time there were less than 380 Europeans in the lower half of the district described, yet Crozat entered upon his projects with an energy which exhibited his confidence in his gigantic and hazardous undertaking. Crozat adopted for the government of the country the laws, usages, and customs of Paris, which were the first laws of civilized society that were ever in existence between the Gulf of Mexico and the Falls of St. Anthony, and were principally copied from the Roman civil law.

In 1712 M. de la Motte Cadillac was appointed royal governor of Louisiana by Louis XIV, and arrived in Louisiana in 1713. In order to enlist him in the commerce of the colony Crozat associated him as a partner in his operations. La Motte was a self-important, egotistical, proud man, whose elevation from obscurity in France to the position of “royal governor of Louisiana” rendered him almost unfit for the association of even his superiors. When he was ordered by the ministry to assist the agents of Crozat in establishing trading posts on the Wabash and Illinois, he at once got into bad humor, and had the hardihood to write back to the ministry: “I have seen Crozat’s instructions to his agents. I thought they issued from a lunatic asylum, and there appeared to me to be no more sense in them than in the Apocalypse. What! Is it expected that for any commercial or profitable purposes boats will ever be able to run up the Mississippi into the Wabash, the Missouri or the Red River? One might as well try to bite a slice off the moon! Not only are those rivers as rapid as the Rhone, but in their crooked course they imitate to perfection a snake’s undulations. Hence, for instance, on every turn of the Mississippi it would be necessary to wait for a change of wind, if wind could be had; because this river is so lined up with thick woods that very little wind has access to its bed.”**

M. de la Motte was the first governor under the new grant, and arrived in the Illinois country (comprising Missouri) in 1713, and took possession of his government. Anticipating an astonishing profit from the mines, which they hourly expected to find, no attention was given to agriculture except by a few individuals, and large investments were therefore necessary to purchase provisions, which with the other expenses of the colony, greatly exceeded the profits of its trade; and, in 1717, after a trial of five years, having failed in all his plans, Crozat resigned his charter and returned to France.

Soon after the relinquishment by Crozat, the colony of Louisiana was granted by a patent, containing similar privileges and restrictions, to the “Mississippi Company.” or “Company of the West,” with authority to monopolize all the trade and commerce of Louisiana and New France, to declare and prosecute wars, appoint officers, etc. This company was under the direction of the notorious John Law, and soon established a post in the Illinois country, where they built Fort Chartres, about sixty-five miles below the mouth of the Missouri, in 1720-21, which, at the time of its completion, was one of the strongest fortresses on the continent. Under this company, Philippe Francis Renault, who had been appointed “Director General of the mines of Louisiana,” with two hundred miners and skillful assayers, arrived in the Illinois country in 1719, and the miners were soon dispatched in different directions to explore the country on both sides of the Mississippi. During the year 1719 and 1720, Sieur de Lochen, M. de la Motte, and a number of others engaged in exploring the country lying between the Missouri and the swamps east of the Ozark hills; and in 1719 the former commenced digging on the Maramec, where he raised several hundred pounds of lead, from which, after tedious experiments, he produced two drachms of silver, and left the lead as worthless. They were in search of gold and silver; hence lead had but slight value in their estimation.

Those who have compiled the History of the Mississippi Valley make no mention of M. de la Motte after he was succeeded by M. de l”Espinay, as governor and chief commander of Louisiana; but we believe he was one of de Bienville’s expedition when he discovered the mines in Madison County, which still perpetuate his name. Schoolcraft dates the discovery of these mines by him in 1720; but other circumstances go to prove that that section of country was explored, and lead ore found abundant, as early as 1718.

The miners and assayers sent out by the “Company of the West” were required to carefully observe and report the presence of any rich ores which might be discovered in their explorations, and to mark the localities. These excursion parties were either headed by Renault or M. la Motte, and in one of their earliest excursions la Motte discovered the lead mines which bear his name, near Fredericktown, and soon afterward Renault discovered the mines north of Potosi, which are named in remembrance of him. Failing to find either gold or silver, Renault and his miners turned their attention to working the lead mines, which was continued till 1742, when he returned to France; and from the number of ancient diggings and other indications, it is probable large amounts of ore were taken out and manufactured---principally shipped to France.

In 1720 the Spanish determined to take the country from the control of the French, in order to accomplish which they thought it necessary to destroy the nation of the Missouris, then situated on the Missouri River, and who were in alliance with the French, and espoused their interests. Their plan was to excite the Osages to war with the Missouris, and then take part in the contest. For this purpose and expedition was fitted out from Santa Fe for the Missouri in 1720. It was a moving caravan of the desert---armed men, horses, mules, families, women, priests, with herds of cattle and swine to serve for food on the route and to serve for increase in the new colony. In their march they lost the proper route, the guides became bewildered, and led them to the Missouri tribes instead of the Osages. Unconscious of their mistake, as both tribes spoke the same language, they believed themselves among the Osages instead of their enemies, and without reserve disclosed their designs against the Missouris, and supplied them with arms and ammunition to aid in their extermination. The great chief, concealing his real thoughts and intentions, evinced the greatest joy, and promised, after they should have rested three days from their march, to join the expedition with them, and in the mean time the chief would assemble his warriors and hold a council with the old men of the tribe. Just before the dawn of the day upon which the company had arranged to march, the Missouris fell upon their treacherous enemies and dispatched them with indiscriminate slaughter, sparing only the priest, whose dress convinced them he was a man of peace rather than a warrior. They kept him some time as a prisoner; but he finally made his escape, and was the only messenger to bear to the Spanish authorities the just return upon their own heads of the treachery they had intended to practice upon others.***

To arrest any further attempt of the Spaniards to advance into Upper Louisiana, a French post was designed for the Missouri, and M. Burgmont was dispatched from Mobile to the Missouri River. He took possession of an island in the river, above the mouth of the Osage, upon which he built a fort, which he named “Fort Orleans.” The war between the French and Spaniards continued, and the Indians who had been leagued in with the interests of the respective colonies (Louisiana and Florida) carried on their marauding excursions against the enemies of their respective friends. About the same time “Fort Chartres” was constructed on the Mississippi, under the instructions of the king, by M. Boisbriant, and a fort and trading post for the company at the mouth of Blue Earth River, on the St. Peter’s erected by Lesueur, who was accompanied by a detachment of ninety men.

On his arrival at the mouth of the Osage, Burgmont found the different tribes engaged in a sanguinary warfare, which prostrated all trade and rendered all intercourse extremely hazardous; hence his attention was at once turned toward bringing about a reconciliation, which he effected in 1724. In the mean time “Fort Orleans” had been completed and occupied; but soon after the declaration of peace between the contending tribes, “Fort Orleans” was attacked, totally destroyed, and all the French massacred.* Nor is it yet known by whom this bloody work was performed.

During the following sixteen years, the French seemed to be fated to disappointment and disaster. Their trouble with the Indians increased; the Bank of France under John Law, which promised so fairly, had proved worse than a bubble; several of their expeditions had resulted in the loss of large numbers of valiant and learned men, valuable treasure and stock; and the Directory, in view of the disasters they had experienced, determined to surrender the charter into the hands of the crown and retire from the American wilderness. The petition was readily granted, and by proclamation, dated April 10, 1732, the king declared the province of Louisiana free to all his subjects, with equal privileges as to trade and commerce. ****

From this time to 1762, when the whole territory west of the Mississippi was ceded to Spain, no events transpired worthy of record in so brief a sketch as our limited space permits us to give.

Up to 1751 there were but six settlements within a hundred miles of the present site of St. Louis, to wit:
1. Kaskaskia, situated upon the Kaskaskia River, upon a peninsula, five miles above the mouth of that stream, and two miles by land from the Mississippi.
2. Fort Chartres, twelve miles above Kaskaskia.
3. Prairie du Rochter, near Fort Chartres.
4. St. Philip, or Little Village, four miles above Fort Chartres.
5. Cahokia, near the mouth of Cahokia Creek, about five miles below the center of the present City of St. Louis.
6. St. Genevieve, upon Gabouri Creek, west of the Mississippi, and about one mile from its western shore.
Kaskaskia was once the capital of the Illinois country, and in its palmy days contained about 3000 inhabitants; but after the country passed under the dominion of the King of Spain the population decreased, and at the time St. Louis was founded, in 1764, contained but about 425 inhabitants.

The territory known as Louisiana was ceded to Spain November 3, 1762, but nothing was known of this cession by the inhabitants for nearly three years afterward; hence the mistake made by La Clede, in February, 1764, in naming St. Louis in honor of Louis XV, whose subject he expected to remain for a number of years, when he was then really a subject of the King of Spain. The territory was not taken possession of by the Spanish until 1770. (See Early History of St. Louis, St. Charles, Howard, St. Genevieve, and Washington Counties.) In 1762 Louisiana was ceded to Spain by France, and taken possession of by the Spanish in 1770. In 1780 an expedition was fitted out by the British commandant at Michillimackinac, upon his own responsibility, in order to conquer the towns on the right bank of the Mississippi, in consequence of the part the King of Spain had taken in favor of the independence of the United States in the then late war. His expedition consisted of 140 regular British troops and Canadian Frenchmen, and 1400 Indian warriors. After reconnoitering several days from the opposite shore, and by scouts lurking in ambush along the western bank of the river, they made the grand attack upon S. Louis, on the 6th of May, 1780, and were repulsed by Colonel Clark from Kaskaskia, who came to the relief of the St. Louisians, with a company of 500 men.*

During the year (1762) the first village was established upon the Missouri River, and named Village du Cole, now St. Charles. In 1787, New Madrid was laid out under the direction of General Morgan, from New Jersey, who had received a large grant of land. There had been a settlement of hunters and traders at this point for sometime previous to his location here.

By the treaty of St. Ildefonso, made in 1800, Spain retroceded Louisiana to France, by whom in 1803, it was ceded to the United States, and taken possession of by American authorities on the 20th of December, 1803. “The settlements upon the Upper Mississippi, including the post at New Madrid, (which was just settled in 1786?) had been attached to the government of Upper Louisiana; and the census, as taken by order of the Lieutenant Governor Delassus, at the close of the year 1799, presented the entire population at more than 6000 souls, including 880 slaves and 197 free persons of color,” ***** This population was distributed as follows: St. Louis, 925; Carondelet, 184; St. Charles, 875; St. Fernando, 276; Marias des Liards, 376; Maramec, 115; St. Andrew, 393; St. Genevieve, 949; New Bourbon, 560; Cape Girardeau, 521; New Madrid, 7821; and Little Prairie, 49. Total, 6028.

At different periods previous to 1811, a number of Delaware, Shawanese, and Cherokee Indians had built villages along the banks of the St. François and White Rivers, by a privilege granted them by the Spanish authorities, and up to 1812 they had conducted themselves to the satisfaction of all the white settlers. About the same time a few Creeks, Choctaws, and Chicasaws located upon the same waters, and were considered as outlaws by their respective nations, and their depredations amount the whites were serious and frequent.

The name of Louisiana Territory was changed to that of “Missouri Territory, “ which was then advanced to the second grade of government, by an act of Congress, approved June 4, 1812. The first Council consisted of nine members, and the House of thirteen.

On the 1st of October, 1816, Governor Howard, by proclamation, reorganized the “districts, “ as heretofore called, into counties: St. Charles, St. Louis, St. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, and New Madrid. The district of Arkansas formed a portion of New Madrid County.

The House commenced their first session on the 7th of December, 1812. The first representatives were:
St. Charles---John Pitman and Robert Spencer;
St. Louis---David Music, Bernard G. Farrar, William C. Carr, and Richard Caulk;
St. Genevieve---Geo. Bullett, Richard S. Thomas, and Isaac McGready;
Cape Girardeau---Geo. F. Bollinger and Stephen Byrd;
New Madrid---John Shrader and Samuel Phillips.
William C. Carr was electged Speaker, and Andrew Scott, Clerk.

The members of the first Council were: Jas. Flaugherty and Benjamin Emmons, of St. Charles; Auguste Chouteau, Sr., and Samuel Hammond, of St. Louis; John Scott and James Maxwell, of St. Genevieve; William Neely and Geo. Cavener, of Cape Girardeau, and Joseph Hunter, of New Madrid Counties.

In 1818, the people of the territory petitioned Congress for authority to form a State government. A bill was accordingly introduced during the session of 1818-19, and contained, among other provisions, that of prohibiting slavery or involuntary servitude. It passed the House, but was rejected in the Senate. The bill was again brought up the ensuing session, and after an animated discussion which lasted several weeks, a compromise was entered into by the advocates and opposers of the “slavery restriction.” The terms adopted were that slavery should be tolerated in Missouri, but in no other part of Louisiana as ceded by France to the United States, north of 36° 30’ north latitude. Accordingly the people of Missouri Territory were authorized to form a constitution, under which, when approved by Congress, Missouri should be admitted into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States.

The election for members of the Convention was held on the first Monday in May, 1820, and resulted in the choice of the following persons:---
Cape Girardeau.---Stephen Byrd, Richard S. Thomas, James Evans, Alexander Buckner, and Joseph McFerron.
Cooper.---Robert P. Clark, Robert Wallace, and William Lillard.
Franklin.---John G. Heath.
Howard.---Nicholas S. Buckhart, Duff Green, John Ray, Jonathan S. Findlay, and Benjamin H. Reeves.
Jefferson.---Samuel Hammond.
Lincoln.---Malcolm Henry.
Montgomery.---Jonathan Rumsey and James Talbott.
Madison.---Nathaniel Cook.
New Madrid.---Robert D. Dawson, Chris. C. Houts.
Pike.---Stephen Cleaver.
St. Charles.---Hiram H. Baber, Nathan Boone, and Benj. Emmons.
St. Genevieve.---Jno. D. Cooke, Henry Dodge, John Scott, and R. T. Brown.
St. Louis.---David Barton, Edward Bates, Alexander McNair, William Rector, Jno. C. Sullivan, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., Bernard Pratte, and Thos. F. Riddick.
Washington.---John Rice Jones, Samuel Perry, and John Hutchings.
Wayne.---Elijah Bates.

The Convention met at St. Louis, June 12, 1820, elected David Barton President, and William G. Pettus Secretary, and formed a constitution which was laid before Congress early in the session of 1820-21. The constitution contained a provision by which it was made the duty of the Legislature to pass laws “to prevent free negroes or mulattoes from coming into and settling in this State, under any pretext whatever.” This was considered by some of the members as a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States, which they had sworn to support. Missouri, which had thus far contended for every inch of ground in her passage from a territory to a State government, was now again the subject of contention, of debate, and finally of compromise. The “restrictionists” and “anti-restrictionists” were again in hostile array, and the old contest was renewed, and carried on with a spirit which in many instances was quite unjustifiable, the effects of which are still perceptible in the enmity existing between even the descendants of the contending parties. After several months’ time and thousands of dollars had been squandered in debating and wrangling over the subject, a resolution was finally passed through both Houses of Congress, which provided that “no law shall be passed by which any citizen of either of the States of this Union shall be excluded from any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States.” In compliance with the specification of the act, the Legislature of Missouri, on the 21st of June, 1821, passed a solemn public act of assent to the fundamental provision contained in the above resolution, which was transmitted to the President, who, on the 10th of August, 1821, issued his proclamation, and gave Missouri her place, as the twenty-third State in the Union. *****

The following are the particulars respecting the location of the seat of government, and the erection of the Capitol Building:---

An act providing for the location of the permanent seat of government for the State of Missouri, (approved November 16, 1820.)

     Sec.1.---That John Thornton, from the County of Howard, Robert Gavy Watson, from the County of New Madrid, John B. White, from the County of Pike, James Logan, from the County of Wayne, and Jesse B. Boon, from the County of Montgomery, in the State of Missouri, shall be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners for the purpose of selecting a suitable place for the location of the permanent seat of government for said State, etc.

An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act providing for the location of the permanent seat of government for the State of Missouri, (approved 28th of June, 1821.)

     Sec. 1.---That Daniel Morgan Boon, of the County of Gasconade, be and he is hereby appointed a Commissioner for the purpose of selecting a suitable place for the location of the permanent seat of government of this State, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Jesse B. Boon, one of the Commissioners heretofore appointed, etc.

By the provisions of an act entitled “an act fixing the permanent seat of government, (approved 31st December, 1821,) the following described lands were selected for the permanent seat of government: “The fractional sections six, seven, and eight, the entire sections seventeen and eighteen, and so much of the north part of sections nineteen and twenty as will make four sections, all in fractional township 44 north and range 11 west of 5th principal meridian.” These lands had been previously selected by the Commissioners, and by a resolution approved 28th of June, 1821, the Governor was required to give notice to the Surveyor of Illinois, and Missouri, and Arkansas, and also to the Register of the proper land office, of said selection.

By the provisions of “an act supplementary to the act fixing the permanent seat of government, “ (approved 11th January, 1822,) the same Commissioners were required to lay off a town on said sections to be called “City of Jefferson.” And all the said lands were to be laid off into lots, large or small.

An act to provide for the building of a Capitol and for other purposes, (approved 2d February, 1837.)

     Sec. 1.---“The Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, Treasurer, and Attorney-General, or any three of them, shall be ex-officio Commissioners, whose duty it shall be to superintend the building of the Capitol,” etc.

Above the principal entrance to the Capitol is the following inscription:---

ERECTED A.D. 1838
L. W. BOGGS, Governor.
P. G. GLOVER Secretary of State.
H. H. BABER, Auditor Public Accounts.
W. B. NAPTON, Attorney-General
A. McCLELLAN, Treasurer.
S. Hill, Architect.

Published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1867

*Monette
**Louisiana, by Gayarre, p.137
***Monette’s Hist. Miss. Valley, vol. 4, chap. Vi.
****Stoddard
*****Monette, vol. ii.
****** Beck’s Gazetteer, edition of 1823




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