The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

votes respectively.' The majority of Missourians, it seemed, wanted
the Union preserved but not at the cost of Federal interference
with the institutions of the South. Claiborne Fox Jackson, the
newly elected governor, held similar views, but it is doubtful that
his deepest convictions were completely in accord with the will
of the majority of the state's people. Although he was not an open
secessionist, his speeches and letters leave little doubt that in his
view Missouri must inevitably go with the other slave states.
Jackson's subsequent actions showed that for a time he favored
armed neutrality for Missouri, but in the final showdown he fol-
lowed the course of secession, which he had long urged as the
only course for Missouri in the event of complete national break-
down. The newly elected lieutenant governor, Thomas C. Reyn-
olds, showed himself a secessionist from the outset and as pres-
ident of the Missouri General Assembly worked to place those
with like views in key positions. In his inaugural address Gov-
ernor Jackson called for a reorganization of the state militia and
for a state convention to consider Missouri's position in the sec-
tional quarrel. In January, 1861, the legislature passed an act
authorizing an election of members for the convention, and in the
last days of February the ninety-nine newly elected members met
briefly for the purpose of organization, then adjourned until
March. The convention contained not a single openly avowed
secessionist, although among those who would finally "go South"
was its president, Sterling Price, later a Confederate major general.
Most of the members were "conditional union" men. They felt
the Union should be preserved but only to a point, and that point
was armed sectional domination by the North. They were opposed
to northern coercion, but they were also opposed to secession,
unless federal force made union absolutely intolerable. Subse-
quent events showed that for most of them that point was never
reached. In March their meeting was again brief, and they ad-
journed after having resolved that it was not then necessary for
Missouri to secede, but they professed in a resolution the strongest
feelings of blood and friendship for the seceded states.
Meanwhile Governor Jackson had been working for the pas-
sage of bills and appropriations for the reorganization of the state
militia and for the surrender of the United States Arsenal at St.

194

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed July 22, 2014.