A Chronology of St. Louis and the Nation

Text of the dedicatory plaque, Freedom's Memorial, Washington, D.C., dedicated 1876, crediting William Greenleaf Eliot's Western Sanitary Commission and ex-slave Charlotte Scott's "foundation $5"
Text of the dedicatory plaque, Freedom's Memorial, Washington, D.C., dedicated 1876, crediting William Greenleaf Eliot's Western Sanitary Commission and ex-slave Charlotte Scott's "foundation $5"

NOTE: This is a highly selective chronology of events that piqued my interest while researching and writing The Great Heart of the Republic. Hence, it is a “work product” more than a footnoted, annotated, triple-checked publication. Corrections and additions welcomed.

For an extensive timeline focused on the national story of the Civil War, see the New York Times‘ Disunion feature.

1764 February 15    Pierre Laclède, Auguste Chouteau, and others arrive from New Orleans to found a city and trading fort

1778 June 20            Pierre Laclède dies in Poste des Arkansas on the Arkansas River

1803 April 30            Louisiana Purchase treaty signed

1804 March 9           Official transfer of St. Louis from Spain to France

1804 March 10         Official transfer of St. Louis from France to the United States

1806 September 23             Return of Lewis and Clark from their expedition to the Pacific

1811                           New Madrid earthquake

1814 August 14        Madame Chouteau dies

1815                           Thomas Hart Benton arrives in St. Louis from Tennessee

1817 August 2          Arrival of the Zebulon M Pike from Louisville, the first steamer north of the Ohio River, ending the era <br>             of keelboats and voyageurs

1817 September 27             Thomas Hart Benton kills Charles Lucas in a second duel

1819 May                  Henry Shaw arrives in St. Louis

1820                           Missouri constitutional convention meets in St. Louis

1821                           Missouri state legislature petitions Congress to remove all Indians from the state

1821 August 10        President James Monroe declares Missouri admission complete

1823                           William Carr Lane defeats Auguste Chouteau in the city’s first mayoral contest

1824 April 29            Arrival of the Marquis de Lafayette, welcomed by William Carr Lane, Auguste Chouteau, Stephen Hempstead, and others; taken to the museum of William Clark

1825                           Missouri Republican succeeds the Gazette

1826 July 3                Ordinance to renumbered and rename St. Louis streets in the style of Philadelphia

1829                           Duden’s Narrative published in Rhineland, encouraging German immigration to Missouri

1829 August 20        Opening of Bank of the United States branch in St. Louis

1829 August 29        Death of Auguste Chouteau in the house he had built for Laclède

1831 January            William Lloyd Garrison founds The Liberator in Boston

1831                           Wilson Primm offers the first English-language history of St. Louis at the Lyceum

1832                           United States negotiates last treaty to remove all Indians from Missouri

1832                           Cholera epidemic strikes St. Louis

1832 September 12             Washington Irving visits St. Louis, entertained by William Clark with Native American dances

1832 December 28 St. Louis University receives its charter as the first university west of the Mississippi

1834 January            First German Evangelical church opens and first German-language Catholic sermon given in St. Louis

1834 November 27 William Greenleaf Eliot arrives in St. Louis

1835 January 26      First Congregational Society of St. Louis organized by William Greenleaf Eliot; later renamed Church of the Messiah

1835 April 20            County delegates meet to discuss railroad construction at unfinished St. Louis courthouse

1835 October 31      First edition of of the St. Louis German newspaper Anzeiger des Westens

1836 February 6      John Francis Darby calls a town hall meeting for urging a national road constructed to St. Louis

1836 April 28            Lynching of Francis McIntosh in St. Louis

1836 May 24             New St. Louis Theater, 3rd and Olive, designed by Meriwether Lewis Clark, opens.

1836 July 21             Elijah Lovejoy announces he will move his press to Alton, Illinois, after St. Louis pressroom is invaded by rioters following an editorial that denounced the judgment that the McIntosh lynching could not be pinned on individuals

1836 October 4         St. Louis Medical College established by Medical Society of Missouri, attached to St. Louis University with William Greenleaf Eliot on the board

1837 October 27      William Greenleaf Eliot’s church at Fourth and Pine dedicated

1837                           Robert E. Lee posted to St. Louis, to work to deepening the Mississippi channel

1837 January            Missouri chartered 18 railroads for the state, without providing funds

1837 June 9              Daniel Webster visits St. Louis, honored at a barbeque that 6,000 attend

1837 November 7    Elijah Lovejoy is killed in Alton while defending his fourth press from proslavery mob

1838 April 2              First public school opens in St. Louis

1838 September 3   Funeral of William Clark

1840 May 23             Meeting advocating for ten-hour day by bricklayers in St. Louis

1841 February 15    The state approved annexation to increase the size of St. Louis sevenfold

1841 April 1              Planter’s Hotel opens in St. Louis

1841 October            The Chouteau Mansion, the first Euroamerican building in St. Louis, is torn down

1842                           J. N. Nicollet writes his history of St. Louis

1842 April 10-14      Visit of Charles Dickens and his wife to St. Louis

1843 February 1      Attempt made to remove the city from the county of St. Louis

1843 February 23    Act passed to jail free black steamboat employees while in St. Louis

1843 May 3               John James Audubon visits St. Louis

1843 September 11             Death of Joseph Nicolas Nicollet

1843 September 30             Arrival of Ulysses Grant to Jefferson Barracks

1844                           Bernard Pratte, first St. Louis-born mayor, elected

1844 February 29    Riot over cadavers at the St. Louis University Medical College

1844-1845                Carl Wimar and his family move to St. Louis from Germany

1845 February 20    Edward Bates lectures on St. Louis history

1845 December 30 Local businessmen discuss founding the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1846 January 12      Formal call is made to found the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1846 January 13      Open meeting to found the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1846                           George Caleb Bingham completes The Jolly Flatboatmen

1846                           Judge John M. Krum of St. Louis Circuit Court upholds the free-license law, denies claim that blacks are citizens

1846 April 5              Henry Clay arrives in St. Louis for a visit

1846 April 6              Dred and Harriet Scott file their first freedom suits in the St. Louis circuit court

1846 April 24            Start of the U.S. War with Mexico with skirmish in Texas

1846 May 13             U.S. War with Mexico begins

1846 August 6          Congressman David Wilmot proposes his Proviso

1847                           John Sidney Mount completes The Power of Music

1847                           Missouri nominally bans entry, education for free blacks and mulattos

1847 February 15    First celebration of city’s founding, attended by 90-plus-year-old Pierre Chouteau

1847 February 16    Missouri legislature incorporates the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1847 June 27            Steamboats return Missouri volunteers from the U.S. War with Mexico

1847 November 3    First night of gas street lights in St. Louis

1847 December 20 Telegraph from the East Coast first reaches East St. Louis, Illinois

1848                           Frank Blair founds the Free Soil newspaper the Missouri Barnburner, in St. Louis

1848                           Illinois and Michigan Canal completed

1848 February 2      Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed

1848 March               Direct telegraphic connection to the East Coast for St. Louis, via wires held by masts in the river, 175 feet high

1848 April                 Thomas Allen files a plat for land in South St. Louis

1848 August 22        Wedding of Ulysses Grant and Julia Dent in St. Louis; two of his groomsmen, Wilcox and Pratte, would surrender to him at Appamattox

1848 September 9   Missouri Republican carries an early warning about Chicago and its railroads taking away the lead trade at Galena

1849                           All St. Louis city ordinances translated into German

1849                           Severe cholera epidemic

1849 February 7      Thomas Hart Benton introduces a plan for government to fund and own a St. Louis-to-San Francisco railroad route

1849 March 6           Missouri Legislature passes the Claiborne Jackson Resolutions, declaring Congress has no power over slavery laws

1849 March               Pacific Rail Road Company chartered

1849 April 2              St. Louis approves a bill for railroad funding

1849 May 17-18       St. Louis Great Fire

1849 July 3                Quarantine begins amidst worsening cholera epidemic

1849 August 3          National day of prayer declared by President Taylor for cholera victims

1849 October 15-16            National railroad conference at St. Louis, Stephen Douglas presiding, and Thomas Hart Benton delivers his “There is the East!” speech

1850 January 29      Henry Clay proposes a series of laws that later known as the Compromise of 1850

1850 February          Missouri grants railroad loan guarantees

1850 June 3-11        Nashville Convention; delegates from nine slaveholding states (not including Missouri) consider a possible course of action if Congress had banned slavery in the new territories

1850 July                   Henry Clay gives up on Omnibus Bill compromise; Zachary Taylor dies in office

1850 September       Separate elements of the Compromise/“Armistice” of 1850 pass

1850 November 14 Thomas Hart Bention delivers “The Progress of the Age” at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1850 November 21 William Greenleaf Eliot lectures on St. Peter’s and the Coliseum at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1851                           Thomas Hart Benton loses his Senate seat

1851 March 18         St. Louis concert of Jenny Lind, as arranged by P.T. Barnum

1851 April 9              City of Carondelet incorporated

1851 June 20            Last day of the serial publication of Mysteries of the City in the Anzeiger des Westens; author Heinrich Boernstein charges that a coming civil war will be a Roman Catholic plot

1851 July 4                Groundbreaking parade and ceremony in St. Louis for a railroad to the West

1851 November        Groundbreaking for the St. Joseph and Hannibal Railroad

1851 November 12 St. Louis creates Lafayette Park

1851 December 7     William Greenleaf Eliot’s Church of the Messiah at Ninth Street dedicated

1851-1852                Chouteau’s Pond drained

1852                           Missouri Supreme Court rules against Dred and Harriet Scott

1852                           Carl Wimar goes to Germany to study

1852                           Thomas Hart Bingham completes The County Election

1852                           Thomas Hart Benton rebuffs attempts by northern wing of Democratic party to make him a Free Soil nominee

1852 March 9           Arrival of Louis Kossuth in St. Louis

1852 June 10            Congress grants the combined Missouri railroads land to build west from St. Louis

1852 July 12-13Procession on the death of Henry Clay (he died June 29, 1852)

1852 August              Bloody election-day rioting between Germans and nativists, Ned Buntline involved; Thomas Hart Benton wins seat in the House of Representatives Benton wins US House seat

1852 December 9     First train reaches from St. Louis to Cheltenham

1852 December 27  Ralph Waldo Emerson arrives in St. Louis

1853                           Dred and Harrier Scott refile in federal court

1853                           Completion of the railroad link from New York to Chicago

1853 February 2      Letter from Wayman Crow to William Greenleaf Eliot on a Seminary being established

1853 February 7      First high school west of Mississippi established

1853 February 18    Josiah Dent lectures on the Mississippi River’s centrality to the United States at the Mercantile Library

1853 February 22    Charter from Wayman Crow for the Eliot Seminary signed by Governor Sterling Price

1853 March               Congress orders a survey of five possible transcontinental railroad routes

1853 June 19            First Pacific Rail Road run outside of city, from St. Louis to Franklin (now Pacific), Missouri

1853 September 23             Secretary of War Jefferson Davis rejects a permit for the Iron Mountain Railroad to cross the grounds of the St. Louis Arsenal

1853-1854                George Caleb Bingham completes The Verdict of the People

1854 January 19      Hostler Polk and others set up a bowling alley and bar in the middle of the ice of the Mississippi River

1854 February 22    William Greenleaf Eliot, at inaugural meeting, suggests renaming the Seminar after Washington instead

1854 February 25    St. Louis Mercantile Library opens new building

1854 April and May Profitable run for an anti-abolitionist version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in St. Louis

1854 May 4               Incorporation of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society in Boston

1854 May 26             Kansas-Nebraska Act passes Congress

1854 July 6                Republican Party is born in Jackson, Michigan

1854 July 28             First organized band of Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company  settlers arrives in Kansas Territory and soon founds the city of Lawrence

1854 August 6-10    Thomas Hart Benton loses his House re-election to Luther Kennett; largest antebellum St. Louis riots, with ten dead

1854 October 17      Dedication of completed St. Louis Mercantile Library building

1854-1856                Political realignment creates deadlock that leaves Missouri with no second US senator

1855                           Auguste Chouteau narrative of early St. Louis history rediscovered

1855                           Edward William Johnston arrives in St. Louis to work on the St. Louis Intelligencer

1855 February          Page and Bacon, a private bank in St. Louis, fails

1855 March 30         Thousands of Missourians, including David Rice Atchison and Claiborne Fox Jackson, cross the border to vote in the Kansas territorial elections

1855 November 1    Gasconade Bridge disaster, with 31 killed

1855 December 4     Missouri commits another $3 million in bonds to rebuild railroad bridges

1856                           Carl Wimar returns from studying in Germany

1856                           Mississippi Valley Agricultural and Mechanical Fair established

1856                           Illinois Central Railroad opens as the longest in the world, paid for by federal money

1856 March 10         First issue of the St. Louis Leader, founded by Edward William Johnston and Charles L Hunt

1856 April 21            First train crosses the Rock Island Bridge to Davenport, Iowa

1856 May 4               The “Effie Afton” crashed into the Rock Island bridge

1856 May 18             Charles Sumner’s “The Crime Against Kansas” delivered in Congress

1856 May 21             Missourians enter Lawrence, Kansas, and fire on the Free State Hotel

1856 May 22             Caning of Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate by Preston Brooks

1856 May 24             John Brown and seven men kill five proslavery men along Pottawatomie Creek

1856 August 30        Battle at Osawatomie, Miami County, Kansas; Frederick Brown, the son of John Brown, among the dead

1856 Summer           Thomas Hart Benton supports Democratic candidate James Buchanan instead of Republican candidate John C. Frémont, his son-in-law

1856 August              Thomas Hart Benton loses the race for governorship, his last

1856 August 26        Duel of Benjamin Gratz Brown and Thomas Reynolds on an island near St. Louis

1856 September 8   Washington University building opens at 17th and Washington

1856 November 4    Democrat James Buchanan defeats John C. Frémont

1856 December 16  St. Louis Chamber of Commerce resolved to support the case against the Rock Island bridge

1856 December 16-18        Reargument of the Dred Scott case in the U.S. Supreme Court

1857 February 12    Benjamin Gratz Brown calls in state legislature for gradual end to slavery, in order to support white labor

1857 February 12    Governor Trusten Polk signs the amended charter to create Washington University

1857 March 6           Dred Scott decision from the U.S. Supreme Court handed down

1857 April 1              Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man is published

1857 April 22            Formal inauguration of Washington University

1857 May 26             Emancipation of Dred Scott, Harriet, Eliza, and Lizzy Scott by Taylor Blow

1857 June 15            St. Louis is connected to the East Coast via rail to Illinoistown

1857 June 27            Abraham Lincoln speaks on the Dred Scott decision

1857 August 4          Arrival in St. Louis of William Torrey Harris

1857 August 24        Panic of 1857 precipitated by failure of a New York financial institutions.

1858                           Cyprian Claymorgan publishes The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis

1858                           The rediscovered Auguste Chouteau narrative fragment was published

1858 April 10            Thomas Hart Benton dies

1858 May 4               Freedom bonds signed for Dred and Harriet Scott by Blow

1858 May 18             Leavenworth Constitution ratified by Kansas voters; rejected by U.S. Congress.

1858 June 16            Abraham Lincoln delivers the “House Divided” speech

1858 August 21        First Lincoln-Douglas debate in Ottawa

1858 August 27        Second Lincoln-Douglas debate in Freeport

1858 September 15 Third Lincoln-Douglas debate in Jonesboro

1858 September 16             Start of rail-to-coach mail service from St. Louis to California; takes three weeks

1858 September 17             Death of Dred Scott

1858 September 18 Fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate in Charleston

1858 October 7         Fifth Lincoln-Douglas debate in Galesburg

1858 October 13      Sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate in Quincy

1858 October 15      Seventh and last Lincoln-Douglas debate in Alton

1858 December        Edward William Johnston publishes St. Louis Mercantile Library catalogue with innovative classification system

1859                           Completion of Hannibal and St. Joseph RR to St. Joseph

1859                           Pacific Rail Road Company defaults on its interest payments

1859                           Opening of Henry Shaw’s Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

1859 March               George Caleb Bingham’s copies of portraits of George and Martha Washington given to the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1859 April 19            Edward William Johnston elected librarian of the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1859 October 16      John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry

1859 December 2     John Brown hanged for treason, Charlestown, Virginia

1860 January 2         Henry Raymond of the New York Times lectures at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1860 February 12    Kansas admission bill introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

1860 April 3              Pony Express begins operation out of St. Joseph.

1860 October 19      Stephen Douglas visits St. Louis on a campaign stop

1860 November 6    Abraham Lincoln elected President; Lincoln win St. Louis vote by a margin of 700 over Douglas

1860 December        Crittenden compromise fails in its vote in Congress

1860 December 20 South Carolina secedes

1861 January 4         Inauguration day for Governor Claiborne Jackson; calls a state convention to determine state’s status

1861 January 12      Meeting at St. Louis courthouse of conditional Unionists

1861 January 29      President James Buchanan signed Kansas admission bill.

1861 February 28    State convention meets in Jefferson City; agrees to move to St. Louis Mercantile Library Hall

1861 March 4           Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration day; secession convention reconvenes in the Mercantile Library Hall; Confederate flag hoisted over courthouse

1861 March 9           Missouri convention votes not to secede, 70-23

1861 April 1              St. Louis city elections turns out Republicans

1861 April 12            Firing on Fort Sumter; Civil War fighting begins

1861 May 10             Surrender of secessionist-leaning state militia at Camp Jackson to federal troops

1861 May 21             Price-Harney agreement

1861 June 11            Meeting of Lyon, Jackson, and Price fails; Gasconade Bridge exploded by retreating state officials

1861 July 25             John C. Frémont arrives in St. Louis to take command of new Western Department

1861 August 5          Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, still in flight from Union forces, declares Missouri a free republic and seeks admission to the Confederacy

1861 August 7          James B. Eads given Union contract for ironclad gunboats; the first, the St. Louis, is finished October 12

1861 August 9-10    Battle at Wilson’s Creek, death of General Nathaniel Lyon

1861 August              Frémont’s proclamation of martial law, including confiscation order to free slaves

1861 September 5   Frémont formally establishes Western Sanitary Commission with Eliot’s circle of as organizers

1861 October            Visit of Anna Ella Carroll to St. Louis, met with Edward William Johnston

1861 November 2    Frémont receives news that he is removed from command by President Lincoln

1861 November 28   Missouri is admitted to the Confederacy; both Union and Confederate governments claim its territory

1862 January            Split of St. Louis Merchants’ Exchange into North and South factions

1862 January 26      General Halleck’s Special Order No. 80 calls all officers of the Mercantile Library Association and the Chamber of Commerce to take the oath of allegiance to the Union

1862 January 28      Edward William Johnston refuses oath, submits resignation

1862 February 10    Willie Lincoln dies of typhoid

1862 May 19             Edward Everett delivers “The Origin and Character of the War” lecture at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1862 May 27             Sermon at St. Vincent’s church on… secession? (See Chapter 7.)

1862 June 30            St. Louis courthouse completed

1862 July                   Schofield and Gamble reinstate assessments system

1862 July 4                St. Louis Courthouse holds opening gala

1862 July 22             Lincoln presents the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet

1862 August 18        Special Order No. 253 ordered the Mercantile Library Hall to be opened for troop drilling

1862 August 17-19 Wife of Edward Johnston captured, held at Gratiot Street prison, released

1862 September 22             Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at Antietam

1862 November 28 Carl Wimar dies of tuberculosis at 33, having finished the murals in the St. Louis courthouse dome

1862 December        McPheeters removed from his pulpit by Order #152

1862 December 15 Halleck formally reverses the duns, following recommendations of William Greenleaf Eliot

1863 January 1         Final Emancipation Proclamation

1863 January 20      War Department suspends all assessments in Missouri

1863 April                 General Order #100, Lieber’s code on martial law

1863 June                  First Missouri black regiment, the future 62nd US Regiment, organized at Schofield Barracks

1863 July 1                Gradual emancipation plan for Missouri approved

1863 August              Drafting of General Order #11 by Ewing and Lane to re-concentrate and have scorched-earth campaign in three western Missouri counties; many in St. Louis oppose

1863 November 10 Gettysburg Address

1863 November 25 Lindell Hotel opening ball

1864 February 4      St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company incorporated, Eads Bridge its later result

1864 May 9-June 8 Frémont nominated for President by Radicals; drops out after the fall of Atlanta

1864 May 18             Three-week Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair opens in specially built building at 12th and Olive

1864 September 19             Sterling Price invades Missouri, aiming to capture St. Louis

1864 September 25             Raid of Cheltenham post office brings the war closest to St. Louis since Wilson’s Creek

1864 October 11      Election day in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania

1864 November 4    Election Day in the rest of the United States

1865 January 6         Missouri constitutional convention convenes in Mercantile Library Hall

1865 January 11      Missouri slaves granted freedom

1865 January 31      13th Amendment passes

1865 February 2      St. Louis Public Library founded

1865 April 4              Abraham Lincoln goes to Richmond

1865 April 9              Lee surrenders at Appomattox

1865 April 14            Lincoln shot at Ford’s Theater; dies the next morning

1865 April 15            News of assassination reaches St. Louis

1865 April 26            John Wilkes Booth found and killed

1865 May 10             Jefferson Davis captured

1865 May 29             Lincoln cenotaph removed after 30 days from the St. Louis courthouse

1865 September       Railroad west reaches Kansas City

1865 October            First meeting of Missouri Equal Rights League, led by St. Louis leaders James Milton Turner and Moses Dickson

1865 November        Frank Blair Jr. challenges the test oath

1865 December 6     13th Amendment ratified

1866                           Cholera epidemic in St. Louis

1866                           Logan Reavis arrives in St. Louis from Illinois

1866                           St. Louis Philosophic Society founded by Henry Brokmeyer, William Torrey Harris, Denton Snider, Susan Blow, and others

1866 January 14      First meeting leading to what will become Lincoln University

1866 June 25                        Lincoln Institute incorporated

1866 August 11        Formation of the Missouri Historical Society, on centennial of the first land grant in city’s history

1866 September 8   Arrival of Andrew Johnson in St. Louis on his “swing around the circle,” accompanied by William Seward, Generals Farragut, Grant, and Hancock

1866 September 17             Lincoln Institute opens its doors in Jefferson City

1866 September 25Southern Relief Fair at the Mercantile Library Hall

1867                           Cummings case in U.S. Supreme Court rules against some uses of test oaths

1867 March 6           Ralph Waldo Emerson lectures on at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1867 March 25         Mark Twain lectures at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1867 March 30         Fire burns down the Lindell Hotel

1867 November 25 Susan B. Anthony speaks at the St. Louis Mercantile Library in Library Hall

1867 December 9     Edward William Johnston dies of throat cancer

1867 December 10 Edward William Johnston’s wife Margaret A. dies at age 46

1868- 1875               Eads bridge construction

1868                           Opening of Tower Grove Park

1868 January 14      St. Louis newspaper claim to have the only functioning typewriter in the U.S.

1868 May 27             Unveiling of Harriet Hosmer’s statue of Thomas Hart Benton in Lafayette Park

1868 July 9                14th Amendment ratified

1868 November        Missouri constitutional amendment for black voting rights defeated

1869 May 10             Promontory Point Golden Spike Ceremony for the transcontinental railroad

1869 October 20-22            Convention at the Mercantile Library Hall to urge moving the national capital to St. Louis

1870 February 3      15th Amendment ratified

1870 March 26         Lemma Barkeloo is the first woman admitted to the bar in Missouri

1870 July 5                “Social evil” law legalizing the license of prostitution in St. Louis

1870 July                   Logan Reavis publishes St. Louis, The Future Great City of the World to promote capital move

1870 November        Benjamin Gratz Brown wins as Liberal Republican governor, with support of Democrat Frank Blair Jr.

1871                           St. Louis annexes city of Carondelet

1871 January 13      St. Louis Mercantile Mercantile Library 25th anniversary celebration

1871 March 1           James Milton Turner named minister to Liberia

1871 May 8               Mercantile Library passes resolutions to create a German branch

1871 June 6              St. Louis Mercantile Library sets up committee to consider relocation

1871 October 8         Great Fire in Chicago

1872                           Democrats win city offices

1872                           First year of Susan Blow’s kindergarten

1872 June 29            Preliminary opening of Forest Park

1872 October 9         Stabbing of James Milton Turner by George Wedley

1872 November 20 American National Women Suffrage Association meets in St. Louis, Virginia Minor presiding

1873 February 25    Lecture by Henry Ward Beecher at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

1873 October 15      Lecture by Harriet Beecher Stowe at the Mercantile Library

1874 January 31      First Jesse James Gang raid

1874 Spring              Social evil rule repealed by removing regulation authority

1874 July 4                Formal opening of the St. Louis Bridge (now called Eads Bridge)

1875                           Whiskey Ring convictions

1875 January 16-20            Visit of King Kalakaua of Hawaii to St. Louis, on return from Washington, DC

1875                            Newly elected mayor Arthur B. Barrett dies

1875 May 5               Missouri constitutional convention convenes in Jefferson City

1875 May 6                 St. Louis Brown Stockings beat the Chicago White Stockings

1875 August 2          Missouri state convention approves the constitution and adjourns

1875 October 30      Election to approve new state constitution, including home rule option for St. Louis

1875 November        Southern Railroad Convention in St. Louis

1875 December 20 St. Louis mayor and city/county joint session formally begin separation proceedings

1876 April 4              Freeholders elected to form Scheme of Separation

1876 April 14            Unveiling of Freedom’s Memorial statue in Washington

1876 June 17            Harriet Scott dies

1876 June 24            Forest Park formally opens

1876 June 25-26      George Armstrong Custer and many of his troops die at Little Bighorn

1876 June 26            St. Louis approves boundary extension

1876 June 28            Tilden nominated at Democratic convention in St. Louis

1876 July 4                Nation’s Centennial; scheme of separation formally announced

1876 August 22        Election on the scheme of separation; seems to fail.

1876 October 13      Motion for vote to be certified as winning for separation

1876 December        Recertification with new vote total approved

1877 March               Inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes as President

1877 April 26            Missouri Supreme Court rules on Forest Park election and city charter, allegations of fraud, declares many of the “no” votes invalid

1877 July 22             Nation’s first national strike begins with freight seizure in St. Louis

1878 October 8         First visit of the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan to St. Louis, timed to coincide with Agricultural and Mechanical Fair

1879 October 13      Visit of Walt Whitman to his brother, Thomas Jefferson Whitman, St. Louis water commissioner

1887 January 23      Death of William Greenleaf Eliot

1892                           Failed attempt to get the Columbian Exposition, which goes to Chicago

1896                           Pierre Chouteau proposes plan for Louisiana Purchase centennial

1896 June 16            Republican National Convention opens in St. Louis, nominating William McKinley

1899 January            St. Louis chosen over New Orleans for the Louisiana Purchase celebration

1899 November        William Reedy publishes essay “What the matter with St. Louis?”

1903 April 30-May 2 Dedication of the World’s Fair grounds, with Theodore Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland among the speakers

1904 April 30            St. Louis World’s Fair opens

1906 October 4         Statue of St. Louis on Art Hill dedicated

1914 May 28-June 1            St. Louis Pageant and Masque

1917 July 2                Racial violence in severe riot in East St. Louis