History of Northeast Missouri
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

The Story of the Pioneer
by John L Robards, Hannibal


Ancestry of the Pioneer

Who were the pioneers of Northeast Missouri, and who were eligible to that distinction!

We affirm that the pioneers were not prehistoric men, nor men evoluted from protoplasm, nor men of spontaneous growth, but men living within the past century, who left lasting memorials of their potential existence; men of democratic sympathies and high ideals of the true principles and purposes of constitutional government.

Alfred the Great, King of England in the ninth century, incorporated the Ten Commandments into the law of the land.

King James the First issued Letters Patent, dated April 10, 1606, to Sir Thomas Gates, and others, for the Colony of Virginia in North America : "In propagating the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge of the worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages living in those parts to human civility, and to a settled and quiet government, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities within as if abiding and born within the realm of England," etc.

It is thus manifest that one aim of the Virginia settlers was the extension in missionary spirit, of the Divine Redeemer's kingdom.

In virtue of that kingly prerogative, the first permanent English settlement established at Jamestown, Virginia, on May 13, 1607, the world known Christian civilization of the United States. That leading event was of the utmost significance. The Church of England sent with that expedition of three ships, a missionary preacher, the Bev. Robert Hunt, a Holy Bible, library, etc. A church edifice was soon built with materials for that purpose shipped from England and formally dedicated for the worship therein of the Christian religion. Other European immigrants mostly English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish, German, and French Huguenots of the best blood of Europe came and made homes in Virginia and in other colonies. They populated the eastern ocean belt of North America and formed the original thirteen colonies all subjects of Great Britain. The Virginia colony rapidly increased in population and elected, by popular vote in 1619, a legislature which made laws suitable for their new environment, and adopted, as far as applicable to the times and conditions, the common law of England to govern the people.

The Beginnings of Slavery

A Dutch merchant ship sold some Negro slaves to the planters on the James River in 1619.

The Plymouth pioneers of the Massachusetts colony of 1620 and others, built a ship in 1638, and exported and sold their enslaved Indians to the planters of the West India islands. They also built ships and engaged in the slave trade in importing Negroes from Africa for market sale in Massachusetts and the various colonies, and prohibited in 1638 the marriage of white persons with Negroes; but the legislature of Massachusetts repealed that law in 1838.

The Royal African Company composed of the nobility of England, also engaged largely in the slave traffic at the same time.

England persistently imposed many unjust and oppressive laws on the colonies; transported colonists accused of crime across the ocean for trial; incited insurrection; prompted Negroes, whom Virginia desired to exclude by law, to rise in arms against the colonists.

The War of the Revolution

In September, 1774, the battle of Point Pleasant, between Virginia troops of Gen. Andrew Lewis, and the army of Indian allies of the British under Cornstalk, the noted chief and warrior, was fiercely fought with heavy loss of many hundreds killed and wounded on both sides, resulting in a decisive victory of the Virginia army of patriots. That battle was in the history of Virginia, by John Esten Cooke, described, "As the first bloodshed in the American Revolution." John G. Saxe, the noted historian, wrote, "Formal defiance came first from Virginia."

In June, 1775, Gen. George Washington, of Virginia, the richest man of all the colonies, was by John Adams, of Massachusetts, in the colonial congress, nominated commander in chief of the continental army of the united colonies, and unanimously elected. He voluntarily stipulated that he would not accept pay for his services. His first military strategy was to drive the British army under General Howe, ten thousand strong, from Boston, and save Massachusetts from British tyranny, a wonderful deliverance for New England. The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, at Philadelphia, in the congress of the colonists, written by Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, renounced all allegiance to the crown of Great Britain.

Gen. George Rogers Clark of Virginia, in 1779, with troops and arms solely of that colony, conquered the immense Northwest Territory, comprising now the five states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, from the English army and its Indian allies under General Hamilton, who was captured and imprisoned at Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia. After eight years of varying success and disaster, with unparalleled privation, struggle, and patriotic valor, under Divine providence, victory perched forever upon the American flag of stars and stripes. The war triumphantly closed with the final defeat of the British army under Lord Cornwallis, by the allied armies of America and Prance under Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781. The treaty of peace was signed in Paris in 1783.

The eight years of bloody war, begun for American independence in Virginia, were gloriously terminated by a decisive victory won by a native Virginia general, on the soil of the Old Dominion, the first colony and mother of states. Also, General Washington was the president of the convention who adopted, "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven," the incomparable original Constitution of the United States, and who was the first president, and his own successor, without competition or compensation.

The visits of Lief Erickson in 1001, and of other Northmen prior to that period, to the northern part of America, were valueless to the civilized world. It remained for Columbus, who was returned to Spain in chains, to discover in 1492, southward the grandest country ever trod by the foot of mortal man. Likewise the vicissitudes of the Spanish and French governments failed of large beneficial results. The opportunity for grand achievement arose for Thomas Jefferson, president of the United States, when that great Virginian acquired for his country, by purchase from the French empire, through the friendly statesmanship of Emperor Napoleon in 1803, the grand domain between the Mississippi river and the Pacific Ocean.

The State of Missouri derives her name from the tribe of Indians who lived at the mouth of the river now of that name.

Imperial Missouri, organized by the United States as a territory, a century ago, in 1812, and admitted with a population of sixty thousand into the Union as a state in 1821, is conspicuous as the prominent central state on the map of North America. The northeast part has the following boundaries: The Des Moines River for sixty miles is part of its north boundary line, eastward. Its east boundary line has a full front of two hundred miles on the Mississippi river. Its southwest boundary has a front of two hundred miles on the Missouri river. The west boundary is the west line of Chariton County, extended north to Iowa. Both, by nature, are navigable rivers. Combined, those river fronts are twice the navigable length, from the sea to the falls, of the celebrated Rhine river of Germany.

Boone and the First Settlers

The most celebrated typical frontier hunter, soldier and surveyor of Virginia and Kentucky was Col. Daniel Boone. He removed to Northeast Missouri when it was a Spanish possession, and remained through the changes of government. He possessed remarkable force of character and some eccentricities. He led to Northeast Missouri an important movement of hundreds of immigrants from Virginia, Kentucky and the Carolinas, the children of the conquerors of the British army.

That daring Boone band of pioneers, men, women and children, were the forlorn hope in the march of western Christian civilization. Multitudes followed that expedition as the years passed by. Some came on horseback, or in wagons, overland across the states of Indiana and Illinois, bringing what was necessary to begin pioneer life, others came in steamboats down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. John Randolph facetiously said, in congress, ''The Ohio River is frozen one half of the year, and dry the other half." Those pioneers of sterling characters, with their brave wives and hearty children, overcame the terrors of the wilderness, and resisted the drought of the sun and the rigors of the winter. With strong arms and high purpose they cut and felled the big trees; and versed in woodcraft, stood by the trunk, and stepped from the direction of its fall, a secret they observed for their safety, instead of running out and being caught in its wide-spreading branches.

The pioneer style of architecture was the log cabin, with clapboard roof and stone chimneys, smooth puncheon floors, solid sliding windows, wide oak doors on wooden hinges with latch string of warm hospitality - ever swinging outward. Rooms were built as the family needs multiplied.

Better buildings and increased comforts were added as population and wealth enlarged. The soil was virgin, fertile and fruitful, game meat wag plentiful, but bread was hard to get. Corn was planted but the growth was slow. Roasting ears were a jubilee and when the grain matured, then Johnny cake was a feast, and pone and hominy were staples. The truck patch was an indispensable part of the living and furnished the pumpkins, beans, etc. They generally slept with their feet to the fire, possibly to prevent, or happily to cure the rheumatism. It was a salutary habit, comfortable if not efficacious.

Timber and prairie land abounded, land was cheap. On the cleared timber lands and bottom land were cultivated, a misapprehension was common respecting the productive quality of the prairie lands to respond to cultivation.

Daniel Boone Cabin, St. Charles County

The pioneers were of the highest type and purest blood of the white American Anglo-Saxon race. They came with indomitable energy and fortitude, bringing their Negroes, stock, guns and tools, for permanent occupation against the Indians and marauders. They penetrated the vast regions of prairie and forest to build homes, inheritances, school and churches for themselves and posterity. They were honest in principles and sound in morals. An instance is recalled, illustrating the common danger when the war whoop often disturbed the sleeping babe in the cradle. In the early settlement period in the west part, forts were built for the general protection, while some plowed the fields, others stood guard with loaded guns to defend against Indian attack. The Indians lurked in the wilderness eager to murder, scalp, and burn.

St. Charles was the first capital of the state, from 1820 to 1826, where the legislature assembled, and the Supreme Court held its terms.

The Pioneer Preachers

As a distinct class, of the pioneer evangelists, the itinerant Methodist preachers led the van of the churches in extending Christian civilization. They were occasionally on foot, but generally on a good horse, with leather saddle bags filled with Bibles, hymn books and tracts; the Evangel of the Cross sowing the good seed of eternal life. Methodist camp meetings were attractive religious occasions. Large numbers assembled in groves with tents, booths, etc. Under the fervent preaching of the gospel, the praise of God in hymn and songs, prayers and penitential exclamations often religiously produced through the moving of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of the sinners, wonderful conversions, manifested occasionally by singular physical demonstrations. Some came for spiritual uplift, some to enjoy the feast of good things of which there was generous abundance, and some who came to mock remained to pray. Undoubtedly multitudes were genuinely converted by faith and repentance, transforming the wicked into the righteous, and manifesting the power of God unto salvation, too such as believed. Spiritual life was preached to be the best gift for this world, and the only hope for the world to come.

The Life Social

The children of the pioneers developed minds and bodies suited to the times in which they lived. The girls adapted themselves to household duties making home life comfortable and attractive. The boys were bold and energetic, skillful and familiar in the use of firearms, strong of muscle and fleet of foot.

The social life of the pioneer younger set was not all one way, either of amusement or of Puritanic self-denial. The sons and daughters were healthy and robust. They would enter with animation and zest into the enjoyment of festive occasions, such as the singing schools, the going and coming; cornhusking parties, quilting bees, the fruit parties, when the delicious strawberries, blackberries, plums, cherries, apples, peaches, abounded, with walnuts and pecans. The wedding and infare parties were very popular, where the clergyman always officiated. It was not considered in good form to have a justice of the peace perform the marriage ceremony. The dances were frequent, when the innocent fiddle made music that stirred the hearts and moved the feet to harmless harmonious measure, when the old tunes, and virtuous people, and the limited hours, quickened the pulse and afforded rational delight and merriment. The familiar tunes, money musk, leather breeches, Virginia reel, cotillion, etc., played chiefly on the violin, delighted all and toned the amusements in a pure atmosphere.

The forests were a means of education and closely read with the various variety of trees, soil and vegetation. Shadow cast by the sun was a familiar method of telling the hours of the day. Game was plentiful, consisting of buffalo, bear, wolf, deer, squirrel, turkey, etc. The fox chase and deer drive afforded much pleasure to the hunters with their dogs, horses and guns.

The population had rapidly increased, the danger lessened, and from territorial beginning, the people demanded state government.

Political Institutions

The United States judged it to be a wise and righteous principle, in harmony with natural law and the superiority of the people to restrict citizenship in the United States and territories exclusively to the white race.

Therefore the following fundamental law was enacted as the established basis of citizenship in Missouri:

Naturalization of Aliens

Abstract of Laws of the United States in relation to the naturalization of aliens.

Section 1. Any alien being a free white person, may be admitted to be a citizen of the United States, or any of them on the following conditions and not otherwise:

Section 4. Any alien, being a free white person, and a minor under the age of twenty-one years, etc.

Section 10. Any alien, being a free white person, who was a resident within the limits, etc.

Section 11. Nothing in the foregoing section 10, contained shall be construed to exclude from citizenship, any free white person who living within the limits, etc. Act of March 3, 1813.

The Constitution of the United States (Amendment): Article 5 No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation March 4, 1789.

The Constitution of Missouri of 1820, expressly stipulated in Article 3, Section 10, that a qualified elector of all elective offices shall be a free white male citizen of the United States.

Section 3. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, who shall not be a free white male citizen of the United States.

Section 5. No person shall be a senator, who shall not be a free white male citizen of the United States.

Section 26. The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws.
(1st) for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of the owners or without paying them, before such emancipation, the full equivalent for such slaves emancipated.
The General Assembly was vested with power to pass laws.
(1st) to prevent Negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and settling in this state, under any pretext whatsoever.

Section 2. To oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity and to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb.

Section 27. In prosecutions for crime, slaves shall not be deprived of an impartial trial by jury, and a slave convicted of a capital offense shall suffer the same degree of punishment and no other, that would be inflicted on the free white person for a like offense: and courts of justice before whom slaves shall be tried, shall assign them counsel for their defense.

Section 28. Any person who shall deprive of life, or dismember a slave, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted for a like offense if it were committed on a free white person.

Article 13, Declaration of Rights.

Section 7. That courts of justice ought to be open to every person, and certain remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and that right and justice ought to be administered without sale, denial or delay; and that no private property ought to be taken or applied to public use, without just compensation.
The laws of a state set forth the manhood of its citizens.

Old Town Franklin

Map of the original town of Franklin, now known as Old Franklin, as it was laid off in 1816 and made the County Seat of Howard County on June 17th, 1616. The town began to be washed away in about 1828 and in 1844 was washed back to the line marked "North Bank of Missouri River." It then had a population of about 2,500. It was the seat of an "Institute of Learning," the first brick building in the Boon's Lick country, now the only building left standing of the once prosperous town of Franklin.

Pioneer Lawyers

The lawyers many of whom were learned and skillful and wise in the law, were the leaders in public matters of importance. They tilled generally the official positions giving direction and emphasis to subjects of vital concern. The various Supreme Court reports contain lucid expositions of the difficult phases of civil and criminal law creditable to the bench and bar of any state in the Union.

The pioneer lawyers were very familiar with a few books of general principles adequate to the litigation of the times. They framed the laws and were usually men of intellectual strength and public spirit. They rode the circuit from county to county, with law books in their saddle bags for authority adapted to the legal problems involved in contested cases. Professional practice was not very remunerative for either lawyers or doctors, a bare living was the customary average.

Their social life was usually with the best society and that prominence encouraged many despondent practitioner. The law first affecting Northeast Missouri was the appointment of the officers of the federal government. Postmasters were occasionally appointed.

It is told that an appointment of postmaster came to a villager, who at once swept the floor and rearranged the chairs. In the evening a letter came by mail. Next morning the postmaster and horse were missing, rumors were current, friends were anxious and his wife was almost distracted. A month later the postmaster returned on his jaded and hungry horse. "Hello, Tom, where have you been?" was asked. The postmaster replied, "The first letter came, and I went to see the president to learn what to do with it."

Provision for Schools

The education of the pioneer boys and girls was considered to be a cardinal duty. Provision was made by the state constitution of 1820.

Article 6, Section 1: "Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged in this state; and the general assembly shall take measures to preserve from waste or damage such lands as have, or here-after may be granted by the United States for the use of schools within each township in this state, and shall apply the funds which may arise from such lands with strict conformity with the grant. One school or more shall be established in each township as soon as practicable and necessary, where the poor shall be taught gratis." Section two provided for the permanent fund for the permanent support of the University for the Promotion of literature and of the arts and sciences, and effectual means for the permanent security of the funds and endowment of such institution.

The State University was established in Columbia in 1839. The people of the state are very proud of that noble institution of learning. In 1852, the state of Missouri enacted a law appropriating one-fourth of the revenue annually for the public schools, and organized a public school in every township.

Article 13, Section 7: Stipulated among other matters, for honest protection to the owners of property, viz, "No private property ought to be taken or applied to public use, without just compensation."

The various churches had their denominational seminaries and colleges through Northeast Missouri, so the cause of education and religion thrived wonderfully.

No Race Degeneration

Excerpts from Missouri Statutes of 1845, chapter 115. Marriages, section 3. All marriages of white persons with Negroes or mulattoes, are declared to be illegal and void. Section 4. Provided for violations of the foregoing by persons solemnizing any such marriages and persons violating the above, penalty of fine and imprisonment. There was no race degeneration during the pioneer period. Additional to the peril to life and property from lurking savage, the pioneer had to contend against insurrection and the robbery by the dishonest Abolitionist. One authentic instance from the circuit court records of Marion County, of 1841, exhibits how the guilty were detected, arrested, and punished. At Quincy, Illinois, the Mississippi river is about one mile wide to the bottom lands of Marion County, Missouri. Those low lands were overflowed annually, were uninhabited, and were not in cultivation. In 1841, George Thompson, a preacher and two others studying for the ministry, were living in Quincy and they formed a plot to ste, the slaves of the Missouri farmers. They came over and secretly induced a number of slaves of farmers living near Palmyra to agree to run away with them on a certain night. The Abolitionists and the slaves met at the appointed time, and went to the river bank opposite Quincy where a white man with skiffs was waiting to take them over the river. At that juncture the Missouri farmers captured the Abolitionists and slaves. A faithful slave had divulged the plot. The Abolitionists were placed in jail in Palmyra. In due course of law they were indicted, convicted of the crime and sentenced to imprisonment in the Missouri penitentiary for a term of years. The pretended, fabricated justification for the crime " is herein given, in the words of the leader of the gang, who wrote a book exploiting his criminal conduct: "Prison Life, by George Thompson, Oberlin, 1847. The Mission Institute being situated near the Mississippi River, and just across the river from a slave state (Missouri) we could, as it were, hear the crack of the overseer's whip the shrieks and groans of those who were suffering its cruel infliction, their earnest cries for help, their sighs for deliverance, their importunate entreaties, as they rehearsed to us their tales of woe, reached our ears, and our hearts melted with pity, while the resolution was formed to respond to their call; and if need be too, to risk our own liberty and lives to affect their rescue."

Pioneer Wheat Growers

The pioneers of Northeast Missouri can boast of the fertility of its soil and the enterprise of its citizens, because of the record success of the wheat harvested, and the flour manufactured in that desirable part of the state. In 1853, Hiram Glascock, a Ralls county pioneer from Virginia, raised on his farm the superior white wheat that was manufactured into superlatively choice flour, by a pioneer miller, Capt. A, S.

RoBards' Mill, Hannibal

RoBards, of Kentucky, at his mill in Hannibal. The flour was exhibited at the World's Fair of 1853 in New York, against the competition of all the nations. That Hannibal flour was awarded the highest premium for being the beat flour, over the competition of the world. The prestige thus fairly acquired for Hannibal flour, has been of incalculable financial benefit to the wheat and flour interests of the great Mississippi valley since that date of 1853.

The pioneers were men of energy and business tact in all the departments of business commerce. One instance will illustrate for all. The farmers of Northeast Missouri raised the hemp, the corn, the wheat, the fat hogs, the choice beef cattle, the big mules, the finest tobacco. They were marketed in Hannibal from the different interior localities. The mills ground the wheat and exported the flour. The meat packers killed the hogs and exported the various products.

The steamboats being then in their glory for freight and passengers, received and discharged their cargoes at the wharves. The manufacturers made the rope, the cigars, the plug tobacco, and pressed the leaf tobacco into immense hogsheads of several tons weight, and all that class of business flourished and prospered. Likewise at Hannibal were the boat yards, where steamboats were constructed, finished and launched.

In Honor of the Dead

The state of Missouri adopted the wise and considerate policy of erecting at its capital, in Woodlawn cemetery, in Jefferson City, appropriate memorials to distinguished state officials, whose merits and valued services entitled them to that distinction. Several are named of the many to indicate that the dead are not always forgotten:

Peter Q. Glover, secretary of state of Missouri, born in Virginia, 1792, died in Missouri, 1851.
James R, McDearmon, auditor of the state of Missouri, born in Virginia, 1805, died in Missouri, 1848.
Thomas Reynolds, governor of Missouri, born in Kentucky in 1796, died in Missouri, 1844.
William A. RoBards, attorney general of Missouri, born in Kentucky, 1817, died in Missouri, 1851.
William Scott, judge of the supreme court of Missouri, born in Virginia, 1804, died in Missouri, 1862.


In reviewing the railroad enterprises as expressed in the 147 lines of operating railways of Missouri, the fact should be known that Northeast Missouri boomed the first railway movement in Missouri in 1835.

The following from the History of Marion County, deserves wider observation for the reasons therein set forth:

"The first railroad ever surveyed and graded in Missouri was begun. Its initial point was Marion City, it was to run west wardly, through 'Railroad street,' to the city of Philadelphia, with a branch to Palmyra and Ely City, and from thence to New York in Shelby county, and as soon as possible, to the western boundary of the state, and ultimately to the Pacific ocean.'' This was in the fall of 1835.

At an early date when railroads, or when at that early date, "steam cars" as they were called, were hardly understood, when Nevada and California were not a part of the United States, Wm. Muldrow was wont to speak of the day that would come when a citizen of Marion county would step on a railroad car at Palmyra on Monday morning, and wash his face in the Pacific ocean on the following Saturday night. The following is an extract from a letter written by Wm. Muldrow to Major Moses D. Bates, dated St. Charles, December 26, 1835.

Speaking of Marion City, and a railroad across to the Missouri, Mr. Muldrow says: "Our plan is ultimately to strike the Pacific Ocean, with the railroad, thereby tapping the East India trade, the most important to us of any in the world. This will make a reduction of three-fourths of the present route, and more than half of the expense will be taken off. To complete this may require twenty years, though I believe it will be completed before that time; and all will admit, that our connection will be complete with New York before that time expires. And if this be admitted, I ask you to say what the size of our own city will be, and what the value of our own lots, when we have this extent of garden land drawing their products continually to us, together with the trade and products of the Indies. Coupled with this, the fact that the great Mississippi makes one part of the crossroad, which passes through an extent of country, which, for length and fertility, is unparalleled by any on the globe. Now, sir, I again ask you, what may we not expect our own city to come to! The man who could not see our just claims to a rivalship with any of our western cities must be blind."

That only some twenty miles of roadbed was actually built proved bow vain and visionary are, apparently, some men of most splendid intellect and indomitable energy, who are slow to concede that money builds railroads, and not balloon blaster.

At Boon's Lick, Howard County Marshall Gordon (standing)
and Judge John R. Hairston

When the Pioneer Went West

The California gold fever of 1849 led many enterprising men of the pioneers to travel across the vast plains in pursuit of gold on the Pacific slope. The Hannibal Company of fifteen was thoroughly equipped and provisioned by Capt. A. S. RoBards, who took his son, John L., and his horse, with him, and started on April 17, 1849. He had five covered wagons each drawn by five yoke of select oxen, a double spring wagon, drawn by two mules and his slave, Green. He established the Cross State California Trail, almost as straight as the bird files. Beginning on the Mississippi River, thence passed through Florida, Mark Twain's birthplace, on Salt River, to Paris, Monroe county, thence to Huntsville, Randolph county, thence to Keytesville in Chariton county, thence to Brunswick on the Missouri River, crossed Grand River, thence to Carrollton in Carroll county, thence to Richmond in Ray County, thence to Liberty in Clay county, thence to Platte City in Platte County, and crossed the Platte River, and went into camp for several days. Wm. Hubbard of Marion County, with eight men and two wagons, joined our company there.

The committee returned from St. Joseph and reported that the cholera was killing tens of thousands of gold seekers on the Salt Lake route. We concluded it was better to take the longer route, and get to California alive, than to try the northern route and be buried where the coyotes would feast on our dead bodies. The company crossed the Missouri River at Fort Leavenworth, thence southwest about twenty miles, and struck the Santa Fe Trail. We met with Col. Congreve Jackson's company from Howard County, of twenty men and five covered wagons, each drawn by four mules, and consolidated trains for mutual defense and convenience. Colonel Jackson was a hero with General Doniphan, in his celebrated victorious march and captures in Mexico, in the War of 1846, and had large frontier experience. He was appointed captain of the combination when together. Captain RoBards of the 2nd division when separate.

Near the Arkansas River several immense herds of buffalo were seen and chased and a number killed. Colonel Jackson rode his very fleet black mule, and took good care of John L., his special pet, whose horse was gentle, spirited and fast, who had his father's hair trigger ounce ball pistol belted to him, with which he shot several buffalo. They met with several roaming bands of Shawnee, Pawnee and Comanche Indians west of Tucson, Colonel Jackson passed through the Pemo Indian village several miles and camped. Captain RoBards' division halted before reaching the village, and formed corral for the night. A stranger with two horses rode up and asked to eat with us. A number of Indians recognized the stranger's pack horse, and told our interpreter, Pedro, that he was stolen by some Mexicans several months before. The stranger hotly refused to give up the horse. The chief came with several hundred armed warriors and surrounded our corral. They were angry and excited about the horse, and became very noisy and demonstrative. The crisis was urgent. Captain RoBards held up some trinkets, and said to the interpreter, tell the chief to take his choice. The pistol was in his face. The chief waved his men away, and accepted some of the beads and rings. The horse was taken away by the Indian owner. About ten o'clock our sentinel heard a rapid tramping of feet, as of horses running. Our company was aroused at once, when Colonel Jackson galloped in at the head of his men to our rescue. One of our men had slipped away when our lives appeared in jeopardy. He found Colonel Jackson's camp and told him of our danger. Forthwith through the night came Jackson and his men to our rescue. The danger had passed, but we had a joyful, hilarious time. We felt the prompt, fearless, friendly act was brave and noble, and we loved them for it.

We passed en route through Los Angeles on Christmas day. The mule teams went into Mariposa mines only one day before the ox teams, ten months and four days from Hannibal. Not a man had died from disease on the trip, while tens of thousands of emigrants died of cholera on the Salt Lake route. In Sacramento City, in the fall of 1850, Captain RoBards voluntarily gave his slave Green, his liberty, the first slave set free in California. A band of Digger Indians had elected Green their chief . His owner said. Green had been faithful in Kentucky, in Missouri, and for two thousand miles from Hannibal, Missouri, to Sacramento, and a chief of free men ought to be a free man.

The Pioneer in War Time

Our pioneer section of this state was troubled with war in various forms and against divers enemies. Black Hawk, the Indian insurgent, with his desperate braves was the object of a hurried call by the governor for several thousand militia. Black Hawk's famous defiance was, ''The white men do not scalp the head, but they do worse, they poison the heart." He and his band of bloodthirsty braves were exterminated by the military forces of Illinois.

The Mormon war was almost a bloodless affair. But it manifested the spirit of Missourians to drive polygamy from the state even though it paraded in ministerial uniform.

The Mexican war of 1846 was a brilliant historic reality. The pioneers of Northeast Missouri furnished about two thousand soldiers under General Doniphan. The length of the march, the hardship of the campaign, conferred great renown upon them. For they defeated the enemy in every battle. The pioneer military spirit was splendidly illustrated in their matchless achievements.

William H. Dulany, Pioneer

A prominent and wealthy citizen of Hannibal has the providential distinction of having lived more than ninety-four years, and all that period in the charming locality, Northeast Missouri. He is a native of the Louisiana Purchase territory, antedating the state of Missouri several years. William H. Dulany was born in what is now Howard County, Missouri, on January 9, 1818. He has three sets of great grandchildren. He is in fine health, and will probably yet live a full century. He is a member of the Christian church, and enjoys the blessings of a long prosperous and useful life.  

  Northeast Missouri| AHGP Missouri | Books on AHGP

Source: History of Northeast Missouri, edited by Walter Williams, Volume I, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913.


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