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After the expulsion
of Native Americans, settlers from the South began
flooding into the state. Kentucky and Tennessee
produced the most settlers, followed by North Carolina
and Virginia. These settlers brought with them strong
Methodist and Baptist Southern cultures, creating
a strict Christian foundation in the state.
was mainly based on farming and lead mining. Most
of these mines were located in Washington County.
The mining industry brought in an average of $149,728
per year. Agriculture was a developing industry
in the early 1800s. In the territorial period, most
of Missouri's land was uncultivated, but crop acreage
grew along with population. The fur trading industry
swelled when the Santa Fe Trail was opened after
the Mexican War for Independence. The Santa Fe Trail
connected Missouri to the Southwest.
Violence was an unfortunate
aspect of Missouri life in the beginning of the
century. Many Missouri settlers were frontiersmen,
and some were fugitives, composing a rambunctious
group. Gambling was a popular form of entertainment;
duels, riots, brawls and other forms of assault
were not uncommon. Dueling was so commonplace on
one Mississippi River island that it became known
as "Bloody Island." In 1807, a Cape Girardeau merchant,
William Ogle, challenged Joseph McFerron, the clerk
of the district court, to a duel over an injury.
The dueled took place on Cypress Island, with McFerron
killing Ogle instantly with a single shot to the
head. McFerron then returned to his court post.
In another duel, Charles Lucas, the son of a judge,
survived one duel on Bloody Island only to die in
Mormons in Missouri
Joseph Smith founded
the Mormon church in New York in 1830. From New
York, Smith and his followers had a short stay in
Kirtland, Ohio before moving to Missouri. Smith
claimed to have a revelation that directed him to
create a Mormon metropolis in Missouri. Smith and
his followers moved to Independence, a rough frontier
village and river port for the Santa Fe Trail. Recruits
came from New York, and by 1833 about one third
of the town's 4,000 inhabitants were Mormon. Many
frontiersmen were hostile to the Mormon religion,
and on July 30, 1833 five hundred citizens of Jackson
County met at Independence courthouse to issue a
protest against the Mormon's settlement in western
Missouri. They accused the Mormons of blasphemy,
speaking in tongues, corrupting slaves, and claiming
they were going to take over the country. The group
demanded that the Mormons halt migration to the
area, cease publication of their newspaper, and
leave town. When the Mormons refused to comply,
the anti-Mormon protestors resorted to violence,
destroying their printing office, invading Mormon
stores, and tarring and feathering two Mormons.
The Mormons decided to stay despite the violence,
receiving support from the governor. The Mormons
were attacked again, this time striking at their
Big Blue Community, west of Independence. During
this attack, Missouri law enforcement took the side
of the mob, leaving the Mormons unprotected. Conflict
continued until Smith and his followers agreed to
leave the county. The Mormons then moved to the
town of Liberty in Clay County.
In their new settlement
at Liberty, the Mormon population grew to 3,000.
On July 4, 1838, at the building site of their new
temple, Sidney Rigdon preached his "Salt Sermon."
In this speech he spoke of his policy of violent
resistance to aggression against Mormons. He named
all non-Mormons Gentiles, and called for a war of
extermination against all who disturbed Mormon settlements.
This sermon upset the non-Mormons, and Governor
Boggs called up a militia force to protect the people
and drive the Mormon followers out of Missouri.
Six Mormon leaders were arrested, including Rigdon
and Smith, and were taken to Independence. The arrested
men were stripped of their weapons and forced to
leave town. Smith and four others were charged with
arson, larceny, murder, and treason. They obtained
a change of venue for their trial and escaped while
on the road. Crossing the border into Illinois,
they would occupy the town of Nauvoo. For awhile,
the group would be accepted in Nauvoo taking control
of the city government and erecting their own militia.
While in Nauvoo, the Mormons split into two factions;
those who believed in polygamy and those who did
not. Violence soon erupted, resulting in the killing
of Smith by an angry mob. After these events Brigham
Young would lead the remaining Mormons to Utah.
Germans and Irish
were the largest immigrant groups in Missouri during
the antebellum period. Germans comprised the largest
immigrant, non-English speaking group in Missouri.
Between 1830 and 1850 large numbers of Germans immigrated
to the Missouri and Mississippi River Valleys, as
well as the bordering uplands. There were four main
types of German immigrants who came to Missouri.
The educated men and women from the Jungdeutchland
movement, also known as the Jung Cult, those who
came to America to escape suppression of a reactionary
government. The German romanticists were looking
to escape a conventional society, and the religious
separatists wanted to escape the repression of the
established church. Many common people who simply
wanted to improve their economic position also immigrated.
German Catholics settled mainly in Westphalia, Taos,
Richfountain, Loose Creek, Lustown, and Frankenstein.
Protestant separatists settled in Wittenberg, Altonburg,
and Frohna. All of the German immigrants shared
one commonality. They were all attracted to Missouri
because of the low cost of land, accessibility by
rivers, and fertile soil. As of 1860, Jefferson
City was half German, and Boonville was one quarter
German. By 1870, people of German birth or parentage
composed more than twenty percent of Osage, Franklin,
Warren, St. Charles, and St. Louis Counties. These
counties made up the so-called "Missouri Rhineland."
The Irish immigrants
constitute the other main immigrant group in 18th
century Missouri. Irish were present in Missouri
dating back to the founding of St Louis. In 1764,
an Irish regiment of the British Army patrolled
the area around Cahokia and other villages of the
east bank. Irish began migrating to Missouri from
the east coast, and invited friends and family from
Ireland to join them. In the 1840s, the famine Irish
formed the next wave of immigrants to arrive at
St. Louis. These immigrants usually arrived in New
Orleans, taking a steamboat to St. Louis. They took
advantage of charitable organizations and found
work loading steamboats, working on the railroads,
and in the clay pits. Irish continued to arrive
throughout the century and often found work in the
burgeoning manufacturing industry.