Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} By Ryan Reed

During the next four years, hopefully, Rolla Preservation Alliance will document daily events occurring in Rolla and the surrounding region during the Civil War.  The day to day activities documented through primary resources such as newspapers, correspondence, journals, military ordinances, etc will paint a picture of the effects of national and statewide events on our community.

This week in 1860, a national election was held that placed an Illinois lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, at the helm of our nation.  This event served as the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the Civil War.  During the 1850s, the nation became divided over questions surrounding the expansion of slavery and the rights of slave owners.  These issues broke the Democratic Party into two factions during the 1860 Democratic National Convention held in South Carolina.  Extreme pro-slavery delegates, known as Fire-Eaters, demanded the adoption of an explicitly pro-slavery platform. However, Northern Democrats refused to acquiesce. Southern delegates including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas left the hall and formed the Constitutional Democrats. These Southern Democrats nominated pro-slavery incumbent Vice President, John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky. The National Democratic Party nominated Stephen Douglas of Illinois.
A year prior to the Democratic division, ideologies and sectional antipathies created the Constitutional Union Party.  The party was formed by former Whigs, who supported supremacy of the Congress, and members of the Know-Nothing Party, the outgrowth of a strong anti-immigrant sentiment.  The party attempted to ignore the slavery issues which appealed to Border States such as Missouri.  The Constitutional Unionist nominated John Bell of Tennessee for president during the Spring of 1860.
The final contender in the race for the presidency was Abraham Lincoln, nominated by the Republicans.  Founded in the 1854, the Republican Party was the main opposition to the Southern Democratic Party.  The main cause was the opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska act which appealed the Missouri Compromise.  The latter was passed by Congress in 1820 to regulate the western spread of slavery.  The compromise prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory except within the boundaries of Missouri.  The compromise was appealed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act, submitted by Stephen Douglas, became law.  The act determined the expansion of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska Territories through popular sovereignty.  To be admitted as a slave state, white male settlers in the territory would vote to either deny or allow slavery.
L to R - John Breckenridge, John Bell, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.
Just three months prior to the election, Missouri’s gubernatorial election mirrored the national fracture of political ideologies.  Claiborne Jackson, a Democratic senator from Howard County, declared his support for Stephen Douglas.  After the election Claiborne Jackson would reveal his true sentiments as a fire eating democrat.  Southern Democrats loyal to Breckenridge renounced Claiborne Jackson as their candidate and named Hancock Jackson, a former governor from Randolph County, as their choice.  Some moderate democrats, former Whigs and Know-Nothings rallied behind Sample Orr as the Opposition Party and made common cause with the Constitutional Unionist.  Lastly, James Gardenhire of Cole County was the Republican nominee.

On August 3rd, just days before the election, Sample Orr spoke to a large crowd in Rolla at a newly constructed barn owned by Edmund Ward Bishop.  The fact that this particular candidate spoke on Bishop’s property hints at the political leanings of our city founder.  The August 6thedition of the Rolla Express documented the event:
“An Opposition candidate for Governor was in Rolla on Friday last, and quite a company gathered at the new barn of E.W. Bishop to hear what the man had to say, as well as to listen to S.G. Williams, Esq our rail candidate for the legislature.”  The article continues, “ Mr. Orr… honestly affirms the opinion that the contest in the approaching Presidential canvass will be between Bell and Everett and Abe Lincoln*.   Of course, Claiborne F. Jackson is a scheming demagogue and the Democratic party has become so corrupt that Sample Orr’s nose tingles with the scent thereof, yet he is pushing on the great system of improvements which the Democratic party have inaugurated.”  A separate article in the Rolla Express claimed Orr’s speech had pushed many to the Claiborne Jackson ticket.
Claiborne JacksonThe gubernatorial election proved tight in Missouri.  Tensions ran high on election day, and for days thereafter, until state officials finally released the result.  Claiborne Jackson overwhelming won the Rolla Precinct with 78% of the vote.  Orr came in a distant second with 18% of the vote. Hancock Jackson, the Southern Democratic candidate received only six vote.  Not a single vote was cast for the Republican candidate in Rolla.  Claiborne Jackson also secured the Phelps County vote with 53% of the vote and Orr garnered 24% of ballots cast.  Statewide, Jackson carried Missouri with 47% of popular votes cast.
With the three month wait between the state’s election and the national election, many moderate Missourians became tense about the nation’s future.  The state election saw a plethora of Southern Democrats elected to the General Assembly.  The party claimed 15 of 33 seats in the Senate and 47 of 132 seats in the House.  The months before the presidential elections, public meetings were held in Rolla and across Phelps County.  Various speeches were made for the Southern Democratic candidate John Breckenridge and Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas.  The Rolla Express makes no mention of speeches in favor of Lincoln or John Bell.  William Pomeroy, a lawyer from Steelville, was noted speaking in favor of Breckenridge at a mass meeting at the Courthouse in Rolla.  The Rolla Express stated in the November 5, 1860 issue, “Mr. Pomeroy led off in his straight forward style and traced the history of the slavery agitation from Wm. Lloyd Garrison and his open, rabid and unreasonable assaults upon the Constitution.”  Garrison, the focus of Pomeroy’s speech, was a prominent American Abolitionist and social reformer.  He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and promoted “immediate emancipation” of slaves in the United States. 
The day prior to the national election the editor of the Rolla Express, Charles P. Walker, made his opinion known in an article in the newspaper.  Walker stated;
“We can but trust that the great principles of State Rights and State Equality will be indorsed by the election of the proud sons of Kentucky and Oregon (Breckenridge and Lane), but if otherwise we are compelled, under the Constitution to submit to the inauguration of Lincoln and a Black Republican administration, is there not hope that a sound Democratic Senate, aided by the Conservatives of the less radical  members of the House of Representatives will keep in check the aggressive policy of Northern fanaticism, until another four years, when the Democratic party having learned wisdom form the past shall have reunited its forces.”
Walker’s decidedly southern sympathizing statements were echoed by the citizens of Phelps County who overwhelmingly voted for Breckenridge on November 6, 1860.  Breckenridge received 47% of the popular vote while Stephen Douglas, the second runner up, received 28% of the vote.  Abraham Lincoln only received 37 votes.  The Rolla Express hints as the political leanings and likely disdain for the railroad workers who were constructing the southwest branch of the Pacific Railroad through the county.  The newspaper stated “In Phelps County the vote of the employees of the railroad has swelled the number who have supported the claims of the Squatter Giant else he had been no-whar!”  The Squatter Giant refers to Stephen Douglas who was known as the Little Giant and his support of popular sovereignty allowing territories to vote if slavery would allowed and denied. His position alienated Southern pro-slavery democrats.
Statewide, Douglas carried the election.  Breckenridge and Lincoln votes were sectional in Missouri.  Virtually all of Breckenridge’s votes came from the sparsely populated counties in south-central portion of the state, while most of Lincoln’s votes came from Germans in St. Louis and German communities along the Missouri River.  The election shows that while Missourians evinced sympathy for “southern rights,” they did so only as fellow slaveholders, not as secessionist.  Unlike southern “fire-eaters,” Missourians held that individual states could still protect themselves from the northern majority by invoking, rather than abandoning, the national Union.  Locally, it was a different story.  A vast majority of Phelps Countians and Rollites followed the creed of the extremist’s pro-slavery Southern politicians who urged a separation of southern states into a new nation.
Please continue to follow Rolla Preservation Alliance as we unfold the daily events  before and after the Civil War in Rolla, Phelps County and the surrounding region.



* John Bell was the Constitutional Union nominee for the Presidency and Edward Bell was his running mate.


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During the next four years, hopefully, Rolla Preservation Alliance will document daily events occurring in Rolla and the surrounding region during the Civil War.  The day to day activities documented through primary resources such as newspapers, correspondence, journals, military ordinances, etc will paint a picture of the effects of national and statewide events on our community.

This week in 1860, a national election was held that placed an Illinois lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, at the helm of our nation.  This event served as the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the Civil War.  During the 1850s, the nation became divided over questions surrounding the expansion of slavery and the rights of slave owners.  These issues broke the Democratic Party into two factions during the 1860 Democratic National Convention held in South Carolina.  Extreme pro-slavery delegates, known as Fire-Eaters, demanded the adoption of an explicitly pro-slavery platform. However, Northern Democrats refused to acquiesce. Southern delegates including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas left the hall and formed the Constitutional Democrats. These Southern Democrats nominated pro-slavery incumbent Vice President, John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky. The National Democratic Party nominated Stephen Douglas of Illinois.
A year prior to the Democratic division, ideologies and sectional antipathies created the Constitutional Union Party.  The party was formed by former Whigs, who supported supremacy of the Congress, and members of the Know-Nothing Party, the outgrowth of a strong anti-immigrant sentiment.  The party attempted to ignore the slavery issues which appealed to Border States such as Missouri.  The Constitutional Unionist nominated John Bell of Tennessee for president during the Spring of 1860.
The final contender in the race for the presidency was Abraham Lincoln, nominated by the Republicans.  Founded in the 1854, the Republican Party was the main opposition to the Southern Democratic Party.  The main cause was the opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska act which appealed the Missouri Compromise.  The latter was passed by Congress in 1820 to regulate the western spread of slavery.  The compromise prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory except within the boundaries of Missouri.  The compromise was appealed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act, submitted by Stephen Douglas, became law.  The act determined the expansion of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska Territories through popular sovereignty.  To be admitted as a slave state, white male settlers in the territory would vote to either deny or allow slavery.
L to R - John Breckenridge, John Bell, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.
Just three months prior to the election, Missouri’s gubernatorial election mirrored the national fracture of political ideologies.  Claiborne Jackson, a Democratic senator from Howard County, declared his support for Stephen Douglas.  After the election Claiborne Jackson would reveal his true sentiments as a fire eating democrat.  Southern Democrats loyal to Breckenridge renounced Claiborne Jackson as their candidate and named Hancock Jackson, a former governor from Randolph County, as their choice.  Some moderate democrats, former Whigs and Know-Nothings rallied behind Sample Orr as the Opposition Party and made common cause with the Constitutional Unionist.  Lastly, James Gardenhire of Cole County was the Republican nominee.

On August 3rd, just days before the election, Sample Orr spoke to a large crowd in Rolla at a newly constructed barn owned by Edmund Ward Bishop.  The fact that this particular candidate spoke on Bishop’s property hints at the political leanings of our city founder.  The August 6thedition of the Rolla Express documented the event:
“An Opposition candidate for Governor was in Rolla on Friday last, and quite a company gathered at the new barn of E.W. Bishop to hear what the man had to say, as well as to listen to S.G. Williams, Esq our rail candidate for the legislature.”  The article continues, “ Mr. Orr… honestly affirms the opinion that the contest in the approaching Presidential canvass will be between Bell and Everett and Abe Lincoln*.   Of course, Claiborne F. Jackson is a scheming demagogue and the Democratic party has become so corrupt that Sample Orr’s nose tingles with the scent thereof, yet he is pushing on the great system of improvements which the Democratic party have inaugurated.”  A separate article in the Rolla Express claimed Orr’s speech had pushed many to the Claiborne Jackson ticket.
Claiborne JacksonThe gubernatorial election proved tight in Missouri.  Tensions ran high on election day, and for days thereafter, until state officials finally released the result.  Claiborne Jackson overwhelming won the Rolla Precinct with 78% of the vote.  Orr came in a distant second with 18% of the vote. Hancock Jackson, the Southern Democratic candidate received only six vote.  Not a single vote was cast for the Republican candidate in Rolla.  Claiborne Jackson also secured the Phelps County vote with 53% of the vote and Orr garnered 24% of ballots cast.  Statewide, Jackson carried Missouri with 47% of popular votes cast.
With the three month wait between the state’s election and the national election, many moderate Missourians became tense about the nation’s future.  The state election saw a plethora of Southern Democrats elected to the General Assembly.  The party claimed 15 of 33 seats in the Senate and 47 of 132 seats in the House.  The months before the presidential elections, public meetings were held in Rolla and across Phelps County.  Various speeches were made for the Southern Democratic candidate John Breckenridge and Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas.  The Rolla Express makes no mention of speeches in favor of Lincoln or John Bell.  William Pomeroy, a lawyer from Steelville, was noted speaking in favor of Breckenridge at a mass meeting at the Courthouse in Rolla.  The Rolla Express stated in the November 5, 1860 issue, “Mr. Pomeroy led off in his straight forward style and traced the history of the slavery agitation from Wm. Lloyd Garrison and his open, rabid and unreasonable assaults upon the Constitution.”  Garrison, the focus of Pomeroy’s speech, was a prominent American Abolitionist and social reformer.  He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and promoted “immediate emancipation” of slaves in the United States. 
The day prior to the national election the editor of the Rolla Express, Charles P. Walker, made his opinion known in an article in the newspaper.  Walker stated;
“We can but trust that the great principles of State Rights and State Equality will be indorsed by the election of the proud sons of Kentucky and Oregon (Breckenridge and Lane), but if otherwise we are compelled, under the Constitution to submit to the inauguration of Lincoln and a Black Republican administration, is there not hope that a sound Democratic Senate, aided by the Conservatives of the less radical  members of the House of Representatives will keep in check the aggressive policy of Northern fanaticism, until another four years, when the Democratic party having learned wisdom form the past shall have reunited its forces.”
Walker’s decidedly southern sympathizing statements were echoed by the citizens of Phelps County who overwhelmingly voted for Breckenridge on November 6, 1860.  Breckenridge received 47% of the popular vote while Stephen Douglas, the second runner up, received 28% of the vote.  Abraham Lincoln only received 37 votes.  The Rolla Express hints as the political leanings and likely disdain for the railroad workers who were constructing the southwest branch of the Pacific Railroad through the county.  The newspaper stated “In Phelps County the vote of the employees of the railroad has swelled the number who have supported the claims of the Squatter Giant else he had been no-whar!”  The Squatter Giant refers to Stephen Douglas who was known as the Little Giant and his support of popular sovereignty allowing territories to vote if slavery would allowed and denied. His position alienated Southern pro-slavery democrats.
Statewide, Douglas carried the election.  Breckenridge and Lincoln votes were sectional in Missouri.  Virtually all of Breckenridge’s votes came from the sparsely populated counties in south-central portion of the state, while most of Lincoln’s votes came from Germans in St. Louis and German communities along the Missouri River.  The election shows that while Missourians evinced sympathy for “southern rights,” they did so only as fellow slaveholders, not as secessionist.  Unlike southern “fire-eaters,” Missourians held that individual states could still protect themselves from the northern majority by invoking, rather than abandoning, the national Union.  Locally, it was a different story.  A vast majority of Phelps Countians and Rollites followed the creed of the extremist’s pro-slavery Southern politicians who urged a separation of southern states into a new nation.
Please continue to follow Rolla Preservation Alliance as we unfold the daily events  before and after the Civil War in Rolla, Phelps County and the surrounding region.



* John Bell was the Constitutional Union nominee for the Presidency and Edward Bell was his running mate.