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Republicanism in Missouri.


September/October 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 12, 1860.



Speeches by Hon. F. P. Blair, Jr., W. V. N. Bay, Esq., J. C. G. Heinrich, Madison Miller, Esq., James Peckham and A. J. Masterson.


At an early hour Monday morning, six cars loaded with Wide Awakes and other Republicans left for Pilot Knob and Ironton.  Pilot Knob is at the terminus of the Iron Mountain Railroad, 89 miles south of this city, and Ironton is a thriving town, the county seat of Iron county, one mile south of Pilot Knob.  On arriving at the Knob, we were received by Messrs. Lindsay, Delano, and others, with three rousing cheers from a crowd of several hundred.  The crowd at once proceeded to Ironton where we had a fine dinner a the Hotel, kept by Mr. N. Aubuchon.  After dinner the Ironton Brass Band escorted the Wide Awakes and citizens to a grove in the edge of the town, where the meeting was held.


When all had arrived on the ground there was a crowd, something over one thousand, and had not the meeting been held in the day time, there would have been at least five hundred more who were engaged as employees at the mines and furnaces.  The political tenor of the crowd was much diversified, there being a large representation of Douglas and Bell men, as well as a few Breckinridge Democrats present.  The larger portion, however, were Republicans.  There was but little disturbance, and even that little cam from Douglas men—one of whom left in dismay under the scathing Mr. Blair gave his party; while another, and elderly gentleman, Mr. Reuben Thomas, seemed to take much pleasure in interrupting Mr. Blair with questions and comments.  He, however, seemed more than satisfied with the result.  A third desired Mr. Blair to bring his remarks to a close, when Mr. Blair replied, “I don’t ask you how long I shall speak, nor what I shall say.”  Which settled the matter for the day.



commenced his speech by comparing slave and free white labor, especially in the mechanical departments, and asked them finally how they would desire to have slave lawyers, doctors and merchants?  whether these kinds professions would sanction it?  and what distinction was there between the free labor of a mechanic and a professional?  [Cheers.]  He reviewed the course of the Democratic party against the Homestead, Pre-emption, Tariff and other bills; how they had deserted the landmarks of the Democratic party of old.  He told them how Benton had been defamed, belied, and defeated; how the present Representatives in Congress from this State worked against its best interests; how Senators Green and Polk voted against every measure of practical advantage to the West.  Mr. Blair, in answer to the queries of Mr. Thomas and others, gave them such prompt and explicit answers that they soon ceased their interrogatories, and the crowd was more than satisfied, as they evinced by their enthusiastic applause.

Mr. Blair spoke of the injustice of the persecution of the Republican party by the Democracy—of their efforts to drive out Republicans from Democratic communities by mob law and violence, and of their terror at free speech and free press.

While speaking of free territories, and eventually the freedom of Missouri and other slave States, a question was asked, what will you do with negroes?  Mr. Blair said he was in favor of an entire separation of the races.  He told how the government had for years spent millions of dollars on the Indians, buying them new lands for homes, and giving them most munificent bounties, and they had been continually warring against the whites.  He then showed how much more consistent it would be for the government to provide a portion of Central America, or some other tropical territory, for the negroes, and so provide them with a permanent home, where they could be sent as fast as the government could remunerate the owners thereof for them, or they might otherwise be set free.


W. V. W. BAY, ESQ.

Mr. Bay was introduced by Mr. Lindsay, and was received with cheers.  Mr. Bay said the Democratic party died with Pierce’s administration.  They now advocate no measure or policy harmony with Jackson or his co-laborers.  One of the cardinal points was economy; and he now referred to the course of extravagance in our own State, which is now $26,000,000 in debt.  The old Democratic party were in favor of hard money, and now see how the present Democracy of this State have flooded us with shinplasters—promises to pay—issued at the farthest point from which they are payable.  Mr. Bay then logically reviewed the present position of the several parties in the field, showing conclusively that the Republican party was the great conservative party of the day.  Sound on all the great questions which have ever been before the people, and free speech and a free press, with a clear, unprejudiced understanding, would make it the great party both North and South.  Mr. Bay referred to the Republican platform on slavery, and said if that was Abolitionism, all the old Democratic party were Abolitionists, and their numbers to-day were millions.  He then passed a thrilling eulogy upon Abraham Lincoln, who, he said, had been forced, being a non-slaveholder, to leave Kentucky to go where enterprise would more readily and healthily flourish, Mr. Bay concluded.

Mr. Lincoln’s name was received with immense applause.

After Mr. Bay concluded, Mr. Lindsay said the meeting would adjourn to Ironton, when a large portion of the meeting at once started for that place.



a Douglas Democrat, mounted the stand to reply to Messrs. Blair and Bay.  He said the Republicans were afraid to stay and hear him speak, whereupon several who had desired to go to Ironton at once stayed.

Mr. Pipkin is a lawyer and is apparently a very good citizen, but he probably knows more about law than political history.  With about one hundred hearers, he commenced by saying that it was a foul slander on Washington, Jackson, Jefferson and others, by Blair and Bay, to compare their record with Lincoln’s on the extension of slavery.  He denounced their whole speeches as a tissue of falsehood, etc., etc.  Whereupon, Mr. Bay, who had not left, (unknown to Mr. Pipkin) came forward and read extracts from the several men named, and many other Southern men and conventions, proving that they were all opposed to the extension of slavery, and desired at some future day its entire abolition.  The crowd, though mostly Douglas men, loudly cheered those revelations, and Mr. Pipkin was much chagrined.



On arriving at the “Knob” we found Mr. J. C. G. Heinrich, of Carondelet, addressing a large assemblage in German.  Madison Miller, Esq., was called for, and spoke with much force on the railroad question.  He was followed by Messrs. Peckham and Masterson, the latter speaking to the moment the cars were ready to start for home.  It was a glorious beginning, and speaks well for Missouri, that she is fast becoming in favor of free speech, and the result yesterday shows that such is the forerunner of success for the Republican party, for where their principles are understood, there will they have advocates, and several who had heretofore acted with the Democrats, proclaimed boldly that they were Republicans henceforth.  We returned to the city at an early hour Tuesday morning, the delay being occasioned by an accident to the freight train.