Missouri History X

I’ve decided on the topic of the paper I need to write for my Civil War and Reconstruction class. It’s grown out of an in-joke between me and my roommate, of all things.

The topic of the paper will be the conflict over control of the state between Claiborne Fox Jackson, the governor of Missouri at the beginning of the Civil War, and the Federal authorities stationed in St. Louis. Jackson had strong sympathies for the Confederacy and planned to have Missouri secede from the Union. But to avoid retaliation from the Federal government, he tried to act as though he were keeping Missouri neutral while secretly preparing to join the Confederacy. Union authorities suspected Jackson of backing the South but couldn’t immediately take action because Jackson had taken no overt action against the Union.

Some notable events will include Jackson calling forth the Missouri State Convention (i.e., the state secession convention) (which voted not to secede not because of loyalty to the Union but fear that the state would be crushed by the Federal government if it did so), Jackson refusing to comply with Lincoln’s call for troops while simultaneously mustering the state militia, Jackson putting the St. Louis police into state and not city control, the capture of Camp Jackson and its threat to the Federal Arsenal, and possibly Jackson’s escape from Jefferson City into Arkansas.

So far my research for the paper has only extended to reading through Civil War St. Louis to look for any topics that jumped out at me as being interesting, and the aforementioned struggle seemed like a good topic. In the next few days I’ll take a bunch of notes and go through some books and journal articles to prepare for writing the paper.

The idea to write about something to do with Missouri’s role in the Civil War came from a sort of in-joke my roommate and I have. I don’t remember how it started, but the jist of the joke is that Missouri seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. (Of course, anyone who knows anything about American History knows that Missouri, although a slave state, remained in the Union; however it was an honorary member of the Confederacy, along with Kentucky.) I’ve joked with him that I’ll title my paper along the lines of “How Missouri Joined the Confederacy”. Although, the Civil War St. Louis book mentioned in passing that Jackson and a few of his supporters announced Missouri’s joining of the Confederacy, so if I focus my paper on Jackson, I might actually be able to get away with a title like that.

6 Responses

  1. Ha now that is something never covered in general us history. I saw that is very interesting holding one view yet not acting on it due to tthe concern of being obliteratedl.

  2. Another interesting thing about this whole affair was the Harney-Price agreement, which was essentially a nonaggression pact between the leader of the Federal forces in the state and the leader of the state militia. It said that the state militia would be allowed to maintain order in the state, and the Federal forces wouldn’t do anything that might aggravate things in the state (i.e., that would threaten the pro-secession governor or his militia).

    Needless to say, the other Federal officers in St. Louis didn’t care for this very much, and Harney was replaced. But considering how Missouri was full of guerilla warfare and lawlessness during the war, trying to keep the peace was certainly a tall order.

  3. I never knew that there was something even REMOTELY interesting about St. Louis during the Civil War…who knew? All I know that’s of any interest to me is the World’s Fair, Lindbergh’s Flight, and all that good stuff…

    I didn’t even read your post because you told me about it before in one of your e-mails. It’s good to know that you writing a paper about where you came from…or some sort of stuff like that.

    Talk to ya later BB!

    Love, Amy
    (the lil sis)

  4. Yeah and here I am just nodding my head, since i think this knowledge is as valuable as who is dating who in hollywood.

  5. Amy: You know, I *did* go into a bit more detail than whatever I told you earlier, since before I just had some vague notion of “something to do with St. Louis.” It could be a dangerous habit to comment on posts you haven’t read. <g>

  6. I can’t help if what you write is boring…write some more stuff about shoelace problems or you’re stupidity…it makes me feel smarter. See…you already know this (at least you should), but the Civil War doesn’t interest me at all really. I’m more into the Middle Ages, Greek and Rome, Egypt, WWII, etc….

    Have fun writing that paper Paul….sounds…interesting…yea…

    You’ll do good on it…you do well on any other paper.

    Kisses. Love Amy

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