Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Glaring Insult to the Convention–The Minute Men Provoking a Riot


March and April 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, March 5, 1861.

Glaring Insult to the Convention—The Minute Men Provoking a Riot.

The Minute Men of this city, baffled in all their traitorous and incendiary designs, took the poor revenge yesterday of insulting the State Convention by flaunting a Secession flag at the corner of Fifth and Pine streets—a flag in which the symbol of Mohammedanism was placed side by side with the cross. The occurrence produced a deep sensation throughout the whole community, as was evidenced by the numbers congregated all day in the vicinity of the odious ensign. We heartily rejoice that no attempt was made to remove it by force, or to demolish the Head Quarters of the Minute Men. Great as was the provocation, the masses assembled, true to the good reputation of St. Louis, forbore to tear down either the flag or the building. They acted right. The Minute Men are beneath contempt. They are a powerless, though malicious and theatrical little squad, and nothing would please them more than notoriety and mock martyrdom. To let them severely alone, and to despise their puerile antics, is the most mortifying punishment that can be inflicted on them. The incident of yesterday is the last spasm, the dying kick of the Minute Men organization. Gentlemen, why do you not take the Arsenal? Hanging out your banners on the outward walls is nothing, after all. Let us try and persuade you to take the Arsenal, where you will find (when you take it) a hundred thousand stands of arms. Such a cheap sensation as that of yesterday, may be called, in theatrical parlance, a hit, but it will not bear a repetition. If you would continue to draw, you must have something else on the bills to-morrow; and as you all belong to the flower of chivalry, an assault on the Arsenal is the best thing you can attempt. Of course you will have no difficulty in taking it.

It is well known that the most intimate relations subsist between the Governor and the traitors that meet at the corner of Fifth and Pine. We would not say that the latter were instigated by the former in making the demonstration of yesterday, but it is evident that the Convention commenced by Claib Jackson, in Jefferson City, and carried on in the House of Representatives, by his Ancient, Mr. Vest. After succeeding in getting a Convention assembled, the disunionists turn upon it—the work of the frown hands—with the fury of wild beasts. We regret the extravaganza performed by the Minute Men yesterday, because it was an insult to the members of the Convention, who should be regarded in no other light than as guests of the city. However, let no one be apprehensive of a riot to-day or the next day. There can be no riot unless the Minute Men resolve themselves into a mob, and sally out to slay and burn; even in that very improbable contingency, peace would be soon restored, for the police force is strong enough to quell all disturbance of the peace, and put every Minute Man in town in the calaboose. That is probably the reason why O’Neill, Churchill and Johnson are seeking to deprive St. Louis of the right of managing its own police. But even if the force were inadequate to the task of persuading the Minute Men into good conduct, the Union host in this city would furnish conservators of the peace in such numbers and with such potent credentials in their hands, that the most obdurate rebel would confess them to be irresistible. Therefore all may rest assured, and especially the members of the Convention, that we shall have a peaceable and pleasant time of it, now that Mr. Lincoln is inaugurated, and a real government established in Washington.