Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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Seward in St. Louis.


September/October 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, October 1, 1860.

Seward in St. Louis.

Gov. Seward, Gen. Nye, and the ladies and gentlemen who accompany them, arrived here Saturday night from St. Joseph by railroad.  Their advent was unexpected  until a late hour—too late altogether for making any adequate preparations for a public reception.  It was the particular wish of Mr. Seward to come to St. Louis unheralded and unannounced, so that his entrance and exit might be as private as possible.  He must, however, be aware that it is next to impossible for a person of his position and reputation to go through the country as a mere private citizen.  This will partly explain why several gentlemen and a train of carriages were in waiting at the depot of the North Missouri railroad to receive the distinguished party.  The representatives of the Republican press of St. Louis; of the Wide Awakes, and of the Free Democratic Central Committee were there.  So also were the representatives of the city authorities in the person of Major Rawlings, the chief of police, and a detachment of his men.  The cortege had come but a short distance down town when it was met by an enthusiastic body of Wide Awakes, with music and torches.  The greeting which they gave Mr. Seward and his friends was exceedingly cordial.  The Wide Awakes marched as an escort on each side of the carriages, and the band continued to play appropriate airs almost without intermission.  Though it was nearly, or perhaps quite twelve o’clock, when the procession reached Barnum’s Hotel, where Mr. Seward is stopping, he was compelled to hold a levee for the gratification of a number of gentlemen who were desirous of an introduction to him.  Subsequently he was serenaded, when he made a brief speech from the balcony of the hotel.  He laid strong emphasis on the transcendant [sic] value of freedom of speech.  He also observed that if Missouri had renounced slavery on her admission to the Union, her population to-day would be four millions instead of one million.  Her destiny is to be Germanized into freedom.  It might have been thought from the tones of his remarks that he is not aware that we enjoy freedom of speech to the fullest extent in St. Louis, but the truth is, he was tacitly referring to some obsolete laws of the State.  Equal rights for men of all nationalities and creeds, for Germans and Irish as well as natives, for Catholics as well as Protestants, and the securing to each unrestricted freedom of expression, is among the inherent qualities of Republicanism—any other kind of Republicanism he pronounces spurious.

After the speech, he conversed freely in the reading room.  One of his interlocutors introduced himself as a farmer from Callaway county.  This individual at first was in a very indignant mood, and very denunciatory of Black Republicans, but the address with which Seward answered him, together with the good humor of Gen. Nye, had the effect of mollifying him completely.  Here, as in all other cases, contact with “Black Republicans” resulted in the allaying of pro-slavery prejudice.

We regret that Mr. Seward is unable, by reason of his engagements, to make a speech here.  Citizens of all parties have the greatest desire to hear him.  He leaves this morning for Chicago, where he speaks at the great Republican meeting to be held there to-morrow.  He was urged in vain, to return to St. Louis.  It is pertinent to add that he is certain of Lincoln’s election, and that the Democratic party has ceased to exist.