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Government and Politics

Emily Newell Blair (1877–1951)

Writer, suffragist, national Democratic Party political leader, and feminist, Emily Newell Blair was born in Joplin, Missouri, on January 9, 1877, the eldest daughter of James Patton and Ann Cynthia Gray Newell. After graduating from Carthage High School in 1894, she attended the Woman’s College of Baltimore (later Goucher College) and the University of Missouri. When her father died, she returned to her family’s home in Carthage, Missouri, to help support and care for her brother and three sisters.

Perl D. Decker (1876–1934)

Perl D. Decker was an attorney who served three terms from 1913 to 1919 as a US congressman from Jasper County, Missouri. A skilled orator, his talent in the courtroom and on the campaign trail propelled him to the national political stage. As a politician, Decker followed his conscience, voting against the United States’ entry in World War I when it was unpopular to do so. A firm Democrat, he initially supported Prohibition, but changed his political stance when he became convinced that it had failed.

Lafayette’s Visit to St. Louis in 1825

In 1824–1825, the Marquis de Lafayette, famous veteran of the Revolutionary War, returned to America to make a grand tour of the country he fought to create. The fifteen-month tour sparked nationwide festivities: parades, balls, and banquets. Everywhere Lafayette stopped he was hailed a hero. The western part of his journey across the United States ended in St. Louis, where city leaders threw a grand celebration in his honor.

Louisiana Purchase and Missouri

The Louisiana Purchase, an 1803 land deal between the United States and France, doubled the size of the United States and made the future state of Missouri a part of the American nation. The momentous acquisition, which encompassed the vast territorial expanses between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, altered the youthful republic’s future course and transformed the lives of Louisiana’s culturally diverse populace. At the time of its transfer to the United States, the Louisiana Territory was not an empty space.

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