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News of 150 Years Ago–May 1861


May 1861

Tensions continued to rise in St. Louis, as Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and his allies in Jefferson City pursued policies that Unionist observers felt were tending towards secession.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, May 1, 1861.

The Home Guards

Under the proclamation of the Police Commissioners, of April 24th, the organization of companies of Home Guards has taken place in several Wards in the city. A company was formed in the Sixth Ward an evening or two since, and yesterday a dirty secession flag was run out from a window of their headquarters, the St. Louis Engine House. We learn that other of these organizations are composed almost entirely of secessionists. We mention this matter to put true Union men on their guard.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, May 1, 1861.

Armed Neutrality

It is evident from the givings out of the Governor and his organs, that an attempt will be made to carry Missouri out of the Union. Taking advantage of the temporary lull in the popular excitement, the Republican speciously seeks to reconcile the loyal and peaceful citizens of the State to an attitude of armed neutrality. Under the guise of peace and loyalty, it insidiously tries to place the means in the hands of the State authorities to destroy that peace and abandon that loyalty. It is playing the part of panderer, to enable the State to borrow money wherewith our shameless Governor and Legislature may take arms against the government….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, May 2, 1861.


[Special Dispatch to Missouri Democrat.]

Only about forty or fifty members have arrived as yet. There will be no quorum in the morning in either house, in all probability. They will meet and adjourn to wait a quorum, which is expected to-morrow afternoon. The negligence or slowness of the members to attend, has thrown a damper on the friends of secession here. The cause of the Union will be strongly, earnestly, and eloquently maintained in the House, and no doubt is entertained but that the schemes of the secessionists will be defeated.’

There is a scheme on their part to go into secret session, and an effort will be made to carry it out….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, May 3, 1861.

Governor’s Message to Extra Session.


Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

I had no reason to anticipate when you adjourned, that circumstances would soon arise which would render it my imperative duty to call you together again. It is deeply to be regretted that such a step has to be taken at a season of the year when time is so pressing, and the loss of it in your private affairs must occasion such serious inconvenience. I am confident, however, that you have not reluctantly responded to the call, and that the objects for which you have assembled can be promptly and unanimously accomplished in a very few days. Since your adjournment, events affecting the peace and safety of the country have been transpiring with almost the rapidity of a thought, and of a nature well calculated to awaken in the bosom of every patriot the most gloomy apprehensions. Manifestations from every quarter, and of a character neither to be overlooked or disregarded indicate but too plainly that our whole country, its Constitution and laws in imminent danger of disorder and destruction….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 6, 1861.

AT THE ARSENAL.―One of the busiest and most suggestive scenes in the country, and one which can scarcely ever fade from the mind of the thoughtful spectator, is that to be withnessed each day within the walls of the St. Louis Arsenal. Nature and art appear to have consecrated the spot to peace rather than designed it as a battle ground. A broad and verdant plane [sic] beautifully rising from the river, lavishly adorned with thick clusters of shade trees, and tastefully laid out in quiet walks, it is not only no fort but scarcely a site for a fortress. Its residences and gardens, workshops, and buildings for the storage of munitions of war, are disposed on the lower part of the slope, near the river, with little further defences than the ingenuity and energy of the present commandant has created. The encompassing wall might prove even an injury to the defenders, and would probably have at once to be destroyed by their own cannon in case of an attack….

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Not only were tensions rising in St. Louis, but in other parts of Missouri as well. A prominent Unionist named James Lindsay in the Ironton area of southeast Missouri, the terminus of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, found himself attacked in the local press. Since the story was spread as far as St. Louis, Lindsay wrote a rebuttal for publication in the DEMOCRAT. Lindsay later led the 68th Enrolled Missouri Militia regiment, engaging rebel guerrillas in the region surrounding Ironton and Fredericktown.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 6, 1861.



IRONTON, MO., May 4, 1861.

Editors of the Missouri Democrat:

GENTLEMEN: About two weeks ago a paragraph appeared in a sheet called the De Soto Herald, falsely, wilfully [sic], and maliciously alleging that I had been ordered off from this town. While at St. Louis I was asked if it was so, by several friends, from different parts of the State, but at that time I had no idea that the paragraph had been copied generally over the State, and I treated the inquiry very lightly. Since my return home, on looking over the “exchanges” of the Furnace, I find that the press generally copied the villainous, lying paragraph; hence the necessity of writing this article in order that the public may properly understand it.

For a long time, the Jesuit in Arcadia, who edits the Prospect, in order that he might monopolize the printing business in this valley, has been concocting schemes and organizing secret mobs in surrounding neighborhoods for the purpose of attacking and destroying the Furnace office. He thought he had his triggers all set, and accordingly found a willing tool in the editor of the De Soto Herald, who had resided only a few months in this part of Missouri, and who is a total stranger to me, never having seen him, and caused him to make the lying paragraph which was evidently dictated to him by Jesuit Faber, editor of the Arcadia Prospect, and promptly copied and accompanied with a preconcerted editorial article commencing with a lie, embodied with lies, and ending with a lie….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 7, 1861.

Encampment of the State Regiments.

In accordance with published orders, the State troops, of the First Military District, went into encampment yesterday, at Lindell’s Grove, on the Olive street road. The commands assembled at their respective armories, and thence proceeded to Washington avenue, where at about eleven A. M., the brigade line was formed, fronting south, the right resting on Eleventh street. A very large concourse of people, men, women and children, gathered to witness the parade. The troops formed in two regiments, together comprising some nine hundred men—we enumerated eight hundred and ninety two—and marched out the avenue, across to the Olive street road, and thence a few hundred yards southward to the place of encampment. The day was propitious, with the drawback of a high west wind and dense clouds of dust. A very large number of spectators followed in cars and on foot to the place of encampment, which had been christened after the Governor of the State, Camp Jackson….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 7, 1861.

The Military Exhibition Yesterday—A Glance at the Opposing Forces.

Strange as it may seem, the military demonstration of yesterday has had a singularly tranquilizing effect on the public mind. A feeling had prevailed for some time that the occasion which has passed away so quietly might result in a collision between the Militia and the Federal troops. It was supposed that the Governor might be rash enough to precipitate the soldiers that acknowledge obedience to him on the Arsenal. That supposition has been effectually dissipated. Notwithstanding the prodigious efforts made for the last two months to swell the ranks of the militia, Gen. Frost’s command, all told, when drawn up yesterday on Washington avenue, was less than a thousand. It will be increased to-morrow or next day by the addition of the Southwest division, which has been withdrawn from the frontier at the very time the frontier is in most danger. But the force at Camp Jackson will not number at any time two thousand, one half of which would never draw a sword or pull a trigger against the STARS AND STRIPES. Nobody knows this better than Jackson and Frost. There is, therefore, no danger of an assault upon the Arsenal; and hence the tranquility referred to above….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 7, 1861.

A Pretext for Revolution.

The Police Commissioners of this city have formally demanded of Capt. Lyon, the officer in command at the Arsenal, the removal of United States troops from all places and buildings occupied by them outside the arsenal grounds. The Captain, as was doubtless expected, declined compliance with the demand, and the Commissioners have referred the matter to the Governor and Legislature. The Commissioners allege that such occupancy is in derogation of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and in rejoinder Capt. Lyon replies, inquiring what provisions of the Constitution and laws were thus violated. The Commissioners in support of their position say that originally “Missouri had sovereign and exclusive jurisdiction over her whole territory,” and had delegated a portion of her sovereignty to the United States, over certain tracts of land for military purposes, such as arsenals, parks, &c.; and the conclusion implied, but not stated, is, that this is the extreme limit of the right of the United States government to occupy or touch the soil of the sovereign State of Missouri. This argument rests upon the assumed fact, that originally the State of Missouri had exclusive jurisdiction over her whole territory. We affirm that originally the territory of the sovereign State of Missouri all belonged to the United States, which had exclusive jurisdiction over it. The United States created her territorial government, and after due probation she was admitted as a State on the 10th of August, 1821. By admitting her as a State certain power and authority were conferred upon her, but subordinate, however, to the supreme authority of the constitution and laws of the United States….

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At the Governor’s call, the Missouri State Militia went into encampment at Lindell’s Grove, now the site of Saint Louis University at Olive and Grand, which was then just outside the city limits. Congressman Frank Blair and Union Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, recently transferred to the St. Louis Arsenal from Fort Scott, Kansas, believed the militia constituted a threat to the Arsenal and its stand of arms and ammunition. The U.S. Arsenal at Liberty, Missouri, had already been seized, and reliable reports stated that the militia was receiving arms from the Confederate government that had been taken from the U.S. Arsenal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Lyon assembled a force of about 6,000, comprised of U.S. Regulars from the Arsenal and Jefferson Barracks, five regiments of U.S. Volunteers, largely recruited from the pro-Union German population, plus Home Guards. In a coordinated march from the Arsenal over four separate routes, Lyon surrounded Camp Jackson and its 700 militiamen and demanded its surrender. Gen. Daniel Frost, commanding the militia, complied, and the militia stacked arms and fell in between columns of Union volunteers to be marched back to the Arsenal for parole. The Union columns had been followed to the camp by curious crowds of onlookers, many of which were pro-secession. These members of the crowd began to hurl insults and epithets, then rocks and bricks, and then a shot came from the crowd. A company of German militia leveled their muskets and fired into the crowd. Twenty-eight people were killed.

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, May 11, 1861.


We reserve comment on the events of yesterday until our next issue. In another place will be found as full and impartial a relation of the particulars as our reporters were able, in the midst of so much excitement, to present.

The action of Gen. Lyons [sic] was, under the circumstances, highly necessary and proper, and by his admirable tactics our city was saved the horrors of a fearful conflict. The unfortunate shooting of so many innocent spectators is a sad and most deplorable feature of the day’s proceedings. The affair will undoubtedly be thoroughly investigated, and the blame laid where it rightfully belongs.



The events of yesterday will excite profound reflection in the minds of our fellow citizens. It is already well known to them that Camp Jackson was yesterday afternoon surrounded by the United States forces under Commandant Lyon, and was captured, with all its munitions and troops. The indisputably sufficient grounds on which the step was taken, can only be intimated in our columns to-day, but will soon be officially and satisfactorily made public….

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The DEMOCRAT, being the staunchest pro-Union newspaper in St. Louis, strongly supported the action against Camp Jackson.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.


The effort of the Republican and other secession organs has been to create the impression that Camp Jackson was merely a harmless display of the city military, and as such did not deserve the extreme treatment prescribed by Gen. Lyons [sic] and the forces under his command.

The note of Gen. Lyons to Gen. Frost seems to us to set forth the grounds of his proceeding in a very clear and forcible manner, and every unprejudiced mind must recognize in those reasons a full justification of the action which the government has ordered in reference to Camp Jackson….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.

The Events of Friday.



Further Details of the Affair at Camp Jackson.



A Fresh Outrage and Tragedy on Saturday.


Explanatory Correspondence.

St. Louis Arsenal has become a place of wonderful attraction of late, as everybody knows; but since the fall of Camp Jackson still greater interest surrounds that centre of Uncle Sam’s army in Missouri. Many are attracted there from motives of curiosity, such as used to call crowds of people together at a New York general muster; but something more than mere idle curiosity attaches to the place where is concentrated the hopes of loyalty and the defenses of life, liberty, and prosperity of the citizens of St. Louis. We need not stop to detail the events which preceded the surrender of General Frost’s command last Friday afternoon, or describe the military movements which resulted in that surrender. Suffice it to say, that the plan for the reduction of Camp Jackson was laid with great military precision, and executed with consummate skill and promptness—demonstrating the fact that secession had no mean enemy to contend against in St. Louis. The correspondence between Gen. Lyon and Gen. Frost, as printed elsewhere, will show the reader the grounds for the attack; and a description of what was captured, proved the correctness of Gen. Lyon’s position….

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In the aftermath of Camp Jackson, newspapers supporting the Republican Party were targeted by pro-secessionist groups seeking revenge.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.


How Narrowly It Escaped an Infuriated Mob.

The excitement on Friday, over the capture of Camp Jackson, increased as night approached, and by eight o’clock the citizens were collected in immense numbers around the Planters’ House, listening to the violent language of several mob orators. “To the DEMOCRAT office,” “Down with the DEMOCRAT,” “Down with the Anzeiger office,” “To hell with the Black Republicans,” were frequent responses of the swaying and excited masses….

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For days after the capture of Camp Jackson, St. Louis was in turmoil. On May 11, a civilian mob attacked a regiment of the U.S. Reserve Corps at what is now Broadway and Walnut Streets in downtown St. Louis, resulting in six dead. Rumors of threatened retribution by the German citizens of St. Louis caused panic, especially among those with pro-Southern sympathies.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.



Men, Women, and Children Fleeing the City by Thousands.

“The Dutch are Going to Burn and Sack the City.”

Extraordinary and Unjustifiable Alarm.

The conflict on Saturday evening, along Walnut street, between the “Home Guards” of the 9th and 10th Wards served to alarm the citizens of the middle Wards of the city more than the occurrence of Friday evening at camp Jackson. The return of the prisoners from the Arsenal with their tales of suffering and mortification and their threats of revenge added to the flame of excitement. Saturday night was a period of sore unrest and troubled dreams to thousands. Yesterday morning came with multiplied reports of the ungovernable fury and rage of the Dutch soldiery, their officers, it was reported, having lost all control of them and that they were breathing threats of vengeance against all American citizens. These reports gathered strength and magnitude as they flew through the city, until about noon, when a panic seized upon the residents along Locust, Olive, Pine and Chestnut streets. Gen. Harney, it was cried, had lost all control of the Dutch, and Frank Blair had superseded him in command of the troops, and now Frank Blair and Boernstein could not manage them. The Dutch were coming to burn the city. Persons actually flew along the streets, ringing the door bells, and crying in to the occupants to save themselves from the Dutch….

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Union General William S. Harney, the Department Commander, was away from St. Louis during Camp Jackson but returned immediately thereafter. He issued a proclamation in an attempt to calm the situation.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.


ST. LOUIS, May 12th, 1861.

To the People of the State of Missouri and city of St. Louis:

I have just returned to this post, and have assumed the Military Command of this Department. No one can more deeply regret the deplorable state of things existing here than myself. The past cannot be recalled, I can only deal with the present and the future.

I most anxiously desire to discharge the delicate and onerous duties devolved upon me, so as to preserve the public peace. I shall carefully abstain from the exercise of any unnecessary powers, and from all interference with the proper functions of the public officers of the State and city. I therefore call upon the public authorities and the people to aid me in preserving the public peace….

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The DEMOCRAT expressed support for Gen. Harney’s statement.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.


Great efforts have been made in various quarters to convey the impression that Gen. Harney disapproves of the action of Gen. Lyon in reference to the capture of Camp Jackson. A bulletin was issued from the Republican office on Saturday afternoon to this effect, and it was common talk all over the city, the secessionists deriving special comfort from the circumstance.

We are desired to state this morning, by authority, that Gen. Harney approves in every particular of the proceedings of Gen. Lyon against Camp Jackson, and compliments that officer upon the very prompt and admirable manner in which he executed the orders entrusted to him by the government….

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Nathaniel Lyon, the Union commander at Camp Jackson, issued an official statement about the incident.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.



The first firing was some half-dozen shots near the head of the column composed of the First Regiment, which was guarding the prisoners. It occurred in this wise: The Artillery were stationed on the bluff northeast of Camp Jackson, with their pieces bearing on the camp. The men of this command were most insultingly treated by the mob with the foulest epithets, were pushed, struck, and pelted with stones and dirt. All this was patiently borne until one of the mob discharged a revolver at the men. At this they fired, but not more than six shots, which were sufficient to disperse that portion of the mob. How many wer killed by this fire is not known. None of the First Regiment (Col. Blair’s) fired, although continually and shamefully abused by both prisoners and the mob.

The second and most destructive firing was from the rear of the column guarding the prisoners….

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All the prisoners from Camp Jackson were paroled, except for one. Capt. Emmett MacDonald refused parole and demanded a trial.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.

MCDONALD STILL AT THE ARSENAL—HABEAS CORPUS MOVEMENT.—The indomitable Captain Emmet McDonald, late commanding the corps of Riflemen of the Southwest battalion, heroically remains the sole prisoner at the United States Arsenal. His brother officers have obtained their liberty by pledging their word of honor not to fight against the government of the United States. The private soldiers were dismissed upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. Capt. McDonald declines to give such pledge or take such oath, and in so doing acts far more honorably than he would by a compliance for the sake of regaining his freedom….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, May 15, 1861.

THE HABEAS CORPUS CASE OF CAPT. MCDONALD.—Captain Emmet Macdonald, later of Camp Jackson, and still later of the Arsenal, will probably command a large share of public attention. Alone, of all his comrades, he refused to accept of his liberty upon the terms offered, of taking anew the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. He was, therefore, as is well known, alone retained a prisoner. His friends, therefore, resorted—as stated by as yesterday—to an application for a writ of habeas corpus, and an examination before Judge Treat of the U. S. District Court. The Judge yesterday noon responded by causing an issue of the required writ, making it returnable by 11 o’clock this morning….

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Emmett MacDonald was released by order of the U.S. District Court on the writ of habeas corpus and left St. Louis to rejoin the Missouri State Guard and then the Confederate Army, fighting in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. He was later killed at the Battle of Hartville.


Meanwhile, the DEMOCRAT‘s correspondent in Jefferson City reported on the actions of the Missouri State Legislature which he considered in support of secessionism.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.


The Despotism of the Legislature.




Incontrovertible Proof of the Treachery of the State Authorities.



Burning of the Osage Bridge by Order of Gov. Jackson.


The Driving Out of Citizens from Many of the Counties.

[Special Correspondence Missouri Democrat.]

JEFFERSON CITY, May 11, 1861.

Your special reporter, authorized and instructed last Monday morning to proceed to Jefferson City and calmly and vigilantly watch events there, sends to you by express this, his report. I have not written to you before because of my inability to correctly ascertain facts—but during the excitement of last night and to-day members of the Legislature have let the cat out of the bag, and I can now give an approximation to the real truth of their proceedings. In some particulars I may err, but the main facts you can rely upon as being absolutely so, as stated.


During the week I made it my business to be around whenever I saw a crowd collect. Let me assure you that this locality is overwhelmingly for the Union and the American flag. Jackson manifests his knowledge of this by refusing to organize a corps out of Jefferson City citizens for the protection of the powder magazine, but called for troops to be sent him from among the St. Louis Minute Men. The Unionists, however, have no arms and are forced to suppress their sentiments. The least demonstration in favor of the Union would be put down by armed men imported from other places. A secession flag floats from a pole within yards of the Governor’s residence. Another secession rag is floating from the roof of a liquor and gambling shop, and a third from the house of a citizen. All those who are permitted to speak to the Governor are avowed secessionists, and cheers for Jeff. Davis and Claib. Jackson are frequently heard in the presence of his Excellency….

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A second correspondent filed a report describing a panicked reaction by State officials to the news of Camp Jackson.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, May 13, 1861.

Our Jefferson City Correspondence.

Terrible state of things in Jefferson City—Governor frightened to death by dispatches from St. Louis—Implores his friends to stand by him or he may be arrested for Treason in twenty-four hours, etc., etc.

JEFFERSON CITY, May 11, 1861.

Yesterday afternoon the city was thrown into a terrible state of excitement and the Governor into hysterics, and the Legislature into a perfect trembling in their boots, by sundry reported dispatched from St. Louis, delivered to the Governor. The first one was that Col. Blair was marching with 3,500 men on Camp Jackson. The next one was that one had been sent by the paid and fed pauper of the State, the editor of the State Journal, to his bosom friend the Governor, who recognizes him because he is a South Carolinian traitor, as his organ, that Col. Blair had taken Camp Jackson; that the brave Missourians under General Frost, were surrendered unconditionally without firing a gun, and marched prisoners to the U. S. arsenal and Jefferson Barracks, with all their munitions of war, secretly smuggled in by the steamer Swan [sic, J. C. Swon], from New Orleans; and that Col. Blair was marching on Jefferson City with four thousand men, to take the den of traitors as his prisoners, on charge of high treason; also, to capture the powder….

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In addition to detailed reports of the capture and the incidents that followed, the DEMOCRAT printed eyewitness accounts relating to some of the more controversial aspects of the tragedy.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.


Statement by an Eye-Witness.

The statement we have given of the fatal shooting at Lindell’s Grove, is that repeated daily by scores who were present and witnessed the scene. It stands a fact as clearly ascertained as any under heaven, that the troops were not only subjected to atrocious abuse and an accumulation of the most insulting personal indignities, and were fiercely assailed with rocks, but repeatedly fired into, wounded, and several of them shot down, before they fired upon their assailants. In further corroboration of this already thoroughly attested fact, we present the following account of the


I have read the articles in the Republican and State Journal, giving us an account of the conflict on the 10th inst., and as they are utterly at variance with the truth, I consider it my duty, as an eye witness of the sad occurrence, to make the following plain statement of facts…

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Amid the “excitement” and tension following Camp Jackson, the DEMOCRAT took issue with a basic premise of the secessionists, that a state could be invaded by the Federal Government.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.

“Invading Southern Soil.”

We hear a great amount of clamorous indignation from the Southern press and people about the troops in the service of the general government being about to “invade Southern soil.” This is all idle gammon. The forces of the general government cannot “invade” a State. They have a perfect right to go and come everywhere on every foot of soil covered by the jurisdiction of the Federal Union. The general government is not an alien or an intruder as to the States. Its sway extends over them all alike, and its laws, officers and armies are at home everywhere throughout the common domain. If it were not so, there would be no nation and no national government….

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Secessionist factions vilified Nathaniel Lyon after Camp Jackson. In this editorial, the DEMOCRAT defended him and his actions.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.

Gen. Namidian Lyon.

“This man Lyon,” alias “N. Lyon,” alias “Lyon murderer” as the Journal has it, or according to the Republican “Mr. Lyon,” alias plain “Capt. Lyon,” is a terrible fellow, since he so promptly and vigorously carried out the instructions of the War Department to take Camp Jackson. According to these authoritative journals this horrible man is, or ought to be prosecuted for murder or at least withdrawn from this post and disgraced….

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As those fearing civil unrest in St. Louis continued to flee the city, the DEMOCRAT attempted to project calm, attributing the unrest to a small minority.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.


The panic and exodus from our city which began on Saturday and was resumed with increased activity on Sunday was, we regret to say, continued yesterday. Hundreds, we fear thousands, of men, women and children, and scores of wagon loads of household furniture left yesterday. Every train and boat leaving the city was thronged with passengers. This movement springs principally from the timidity of the weaker and too imaginative portion of the community, who, unhappily, are by no means limited to the “weaker sex,” so called. It is also largely attributable to the awfully wicked misrepresentations that have been gravely and harrowingly set forth as facts, for the sake of a selfish partisan purpose, and in violation of the most sacred obligations that can ever rest upon public journalists. We confess that we are astonished, amazed, utterly amazed, in view of the conduct pursued by a large portion of the city press, while presenting or pretending to present to the public the events of the last few days….

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At the same time as the DEMOCRAT was trying to reduce tensions in the city, it forcefully denounced Missouri Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson and his allies in the state legislature for their secessionist proclivities.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 14, 1861.


The grand triumph of loyalty, and its accidental tragedies of which St. Louis has so recently been the theater, demand a less imperfect interpretation than any we have yet been able to render. It is still more requisite to define the situation resulting from that event. The malignant and thoroughly one-sided article in yesterday’s Republican warns us that the latter duty, at least, should be no longer delayed. The spirit in which that article was written will be appreciated when it is known that one of the officers made prisoners is one of the proprietors of the Republican.

There are few, we presume, who are not convinced that Gov. Jackson and the State authorities, his colleagues, are members of the conspiracy for destroying the Union and annexing Missouri to the Southern Confederacy. The Governor has publicly pledged himself to exert all his influence as a citizen, and as an official, to accomplish that two-fold design….

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Gen. William S. Harney, department commander, issued a letter to the people of Missouri supporting the capture of Camp Jackson and emphasizing that federal authority would be exercised to “suppress all unlawful combinations of men”.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, May 15, 1861.



ST. LOUIS, May 14, 1861.

On my return to the duties of the command of this department, I find, greatly to my astonishment and mortification, a most extraordinary state of things existing in this State, deeply affecting the stability of the Government of the United States, as well as the government and other interests of Missouri itself.

As a citizen of Missouri, owing allegiance to the United States, and having interests in common with you, I feel it is my duty as well as privilege, to extend a warning voice to my fellow citizens against the common dangers that threaten us, and to appeal to your moral power to avert them.

It is with regret that I feel it my duty to call your attention to the recent act of the General Assembly of Missouri, known as the Military bill, which is the result, no doubt, of the temporary excitement that now pervades the public mind. This bill cannot be regarded in any other light than an indirect secession ordinance, ignoring even the forms resorted to by other States….

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Despite the tension of the moment, the DEMOCRAT continued to report on other news, including important technological developments. Noted balloonist Thaddeus Lowe had recently completed a flight from Cincinnati to Unionville, South Carolina.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, May 2, 1861.


Prof. Lowe’s Account of his Ærial Trip From Cincinnati to Columbia, S. C.

April 28th. 1861.

By request of many people in all sections of the country that I have lately traveled, I take this opportunity to give through your columns a statement of the result of my late ærial voyage from this city to the Atlantic coast, which was undertaken for the purpose of giving more information of the air currents, and to test my improvement in constructing air vessels.

My preparations for such a voyage were all completed on Friday, the 19th inst., and as I was to use a comparatively small machine, I had determined to make the voyage alone, and to prevent landing at night, I concluded to sail at an early hour in the morning, thereby having the whole day before me. Accordingly at 12 0’clock at night the inflation was commenced. At that hour there was hardly a breath of air stirring, and the moon and stars shone brightly. Everything being arranged in perfect order, the inflation was not interrupted, and at 3 o’clock A. M. the work was completed; about three quarters of an hour more passed in making attachments, arranging the cordage and adjusting the various instruments, consisting of a fine mercurial barometer for measuring altitudes, a newly invented instrument called the altimetre, for getting latitude and longitude, an excellent telescope and thermometer, and a patent double polar line needle compass. These being properly adjusted, and having a large quantity of provisions, hot coffee, fruit, &c., with a number of warm blankets contributed by Deland & Gossage, for the purpose of keeping warm in the frosty regions above, and also having on board a large number of the morning papers, just from the press, and a good supply of ballast, and various other things too numerous to mention, the new air ship for the first time was allowed to rise slowly from the earth to the length of the ropes. Seeing that everything was right, I bid good-bye to the friends who had so generously denied themselves of rest to assist me, and in another moment all connection with earth was cut off, and the “Enterprise,” with her freight, was gracefully mounting upwards to the northwest….

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