The Civil War in Missouri

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Letter to Amos Stoddard from J. Rankin [As Translated from the Original in French]

1804
MHM Archives

The Committee of the Town of St. Louis petitioned Amos Stoddard, the first U.S. civil commandant of Upper Louisiana after the Louisiana Purchase, to re-establish the Black Code that had been eliminated when the United States took control of the area in 1803. The citizens had become alarmed at the conduct of the slaves, citing “that there exist among the Blacks a fermentation which may Become dangerous.” Slave laws became increasingly restrictive in Missouri under U.S. control as it changed from a territory to a state.