Article From The Daily Missouri Republican, March 11, 1860 About the Missouri Republican State Convention

Transcribed, and placed in Doron Zeilberger's website, Feb. 24, 2003.

Baits for Missourians

Black Republican Pow Wow








The Black Republican meeting chaired by B. GRATZ BROWN, "Chairman Republican State Committee", and dignified by the name of State Convention, assembled yesterday in the Mercantile Library (small) Hall. It was not a Convention in the ordinary sense of that term. No primary meeting had been held, nor delegates selected. It was therefore open to all who chose to consider themselves qualified to expound the sentiments of the Black Republican faction of Missouri and its elements therefore were divergent and chaotic. It was nothing more nor less than a caucus drawn together by those adroit gentlemen who anxious to remove the stigma of sectionalism from their party by having a slave State "represented" in the Chicago convention, have thought proper to try and create some enthusiasm in Missouri by the use of the name of EDWARD BATES. The secret thoughts of these tricksters are appropriately characterized in five lines from SHAKESPEARE's Julius Caesar:

"And though we lay these honours on this man,
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;"

As it was known that there is deep-seated opposition to Mr. BATES among the Germans, which constitute the most numerous element of the Black Republican party, the Convention was called to take place at 12 o'clock, meridian, at time when the working classes cannot well be present at political gatherings. Indeed the Germans seem to have paid very little attention to the Convention, and did not exhibit any very great desire to take part in the proceedings.

At half past 12 o'clock, there being just 134 persons present, Mr. Brown ascended the rostrum and called the conclave to order. On doing so he took from his pocket four pages of foolscap, from which he proceeded to read an address, as though, accustomed as he has been to public oratory, he could not trust himself on such an occasion to extemporaneous speech. It devolved on Mr. B., he went on, as Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Missouri, to call to order the first Republican Convention ever assembled in a slave State; which announcement was received with loud cheers. A party, said Mr. Brown, that has inscribed on its banner Freedom- Divine Freedom-in thus taking to itself an organization is vindicated in advance. The individuals before him, dwelling in the very presence of the evils they deprecated, had experience in education, social life, religious worship, in the toil of the field and shop, to know that it was a practical and not a theoretical reform that it was sought to compass. They knew, he said, that the conflict between the yeoman and the serf, between free labor and slave labor, is an "irrepressible conflict." In this manner he went on to define the principles of the Republican party as we see it daily expounded by the newspapers in the faith, and as we hear it enunciated from the stump and forum. He then read the call for a National Republican Convention, and the call for the present assemblage, after which he announced as the first business, in order of appointment of a committee on Permanent Organization.

Frank H. MANTER moved the appointment by the chair of a committee of ten, to report officers. The committee being this raised, retired, and the convention took a recess of twenty minutes to await their return.

On reassembling, the committee reported the following:

President-- B. Gratz Brown of St. Louis.

Vice-Presidents--Dr. G. W. H. Landon of Buchanan, Dr. J. O. Sitton of Gasconade, A.A. Wilson of Iron, Allen Hammer of Pulaski, Wm. Gilpin of Jackson, E. G. Evans of Crawford, C. H. Ashby of St. Louis, Benj. Farrar of St. Louis, Arnold Krekel of St. Charles, Fredk. Muench of Warren, Jas. B. Gardenhire of Cole, John M. Richardson of Greene, Dr. A. Hamer of St. Louis, George Crist of Dent, M. Pinner of Jackson, R. C. Dougherty of Scotland, M.W. Moore of Miller.

Secretaries--Theophile Papin of St. Louis, Maj. G. R. Kidd of Osage, Chas. Borg of St. Louis, N. T. Doane of Grundy.

Col. BRANCH of Buchanan, moved the appointment of a committee of fifteen to report a series of resolutions laying down the platform of the party. He hoped that the Convention would come square out and announce their sentiments boldly. "We have now," said he, "been whipping the devil round the stump long enough." He had preferences of men, but thought that Republican principles were stronger than any man in the State. He claimed that the Convention was inaugurating the greatest event that has ever transpired on the western bank of the Mississippi - a movement destined to swell the volume of that tide which shall restore the government to the aims had in view by its founders, &c., &c. Col. B.'s motion prevailed, and the Chair appointed the following on the committee:

Harrison B. Branch, of Buchanan, P.L. Foy of St. Louis, Henry T. Blow of Carondelet, James Lindsay of Iron, Chas. L. Bernays of St. Louis, Franklin A. Dick of St. Louis, John H. Lightner of St. Louis, Frank H. Manter of St. Louis, R. H. Bonner of St. Louis, Madison Miller of St. Louis, B. Hornsby of Johnson, George Kyler of St. Louis, Frederick Muench of Warren, Asa Joness of St. Louis, Thos. S. Nelson of St. Louis.

The committee retired, and began cries for speeches. Of this article, usually so abundant in congregations of the kind, there seemed to be a very "plentiful lack". By dint of much persuasion, T.C. FLETCHER of Jefferson, and lately a member of the St. Louis bar, was induced to speak. He alluded to the banner of the Republican party being now unfurled to the breeze, and got off a number of other common-places, but failed to create any enthusiasm.

JAMES PECKHAM. late of the Evening Bulletin, was prevailed upon to try to exhort the meeting to a little enthusiasm, but all his eloquence failed.

CHARLES JOHNSON, another beardless devotee of Freedom, essayed the same thing, and said a good deal about Banks, Railroads, and the Free Negro Bill.

Several other boys were called upon, but did not respond, and it then became more apparent that there was little or nor ardor in any part of the Hall. It was a perfect "stage wait." In this dilemma the Chairman suggested to a member to move an adjournment for twenty minutes. The motion was put and lost, those present evidently expecting every moment the Committee on Resolutions to make their appearance. An hour passed on, "but no Committee yet."

Judge Hart, who has not long been a resident of the State, received a call for a speech, and accordingly mounted the rostrum. He talked for a long time, but enunciated nothing novel, startling, or inspiring.

Still the committee did not come.

Dr. Hammer was appealed to for an address, and the Doctor responded. Though, he said, he could not talk well in the English language, he laid great stress on this: that he was as good an American as any in the room. He had witnessed a great change within the last four years. Four years ago in this city he boldly avowed himself a Republican, and was then almost alone. Now he witnessed the cheering spectacle of a Republican State Convention in the slave State of Missouri. He was a conservative man, and believed in expediency. If he couldn't get turkey for dinner, he was content to satisfy himself with beef. He always accommodated himself to circumstances, which means if he couldn't get a chance to vote for FREMONT or SEWARD, he would put up with BATES.

Still the committee lingered in retirement.

The case was getting desperate. Messengers were sent after the committee, to find out what they were doing all this time. The Chairman bobbed in and out of the committee room, and returned each time with a look of anxiety on his countenance, that seemed to cast gloom over the whole assemblage. What could be the matter.?

Wm. C. Jones arose, and in a few remarks, called upon a Mr. FERREE, of St. Clair county, Illinois, who, he was informed, was in the house, to make a speech, and Mr. F. obediently came forward.

Mr. FERREE launched in at once on the subject of slavery, and for a long time talked about "property in man,", "liberty better than life," and the ends and aims of the Republican party. He wound up by assuring his hearers that if Mr. BATES was nominated at Chicago he would work very hard for him in Egypt.

At last, after an absence of three hours, the Committee on Resolutions made their appearance, and were greeted with cheers. They had been squabbling most of the time on a resolution relative to pledging the delegates to be appointed to the Chicago Convention to the support of Mr. BATES.

P.L. FOY, of the Democrat, on the part of the committee, reported the following platform of resolutions:

[ Note from (DZ): Here came the 10 "resolutions", in smaller print, that I omit, since they are even harder to decipher, in my extremely poor copy, than the rest of the text. The most important resolution, for the sequel was the fifth, that proposed to nominate EDWARD BATES.]

BART. ABLE moved that the report be accepted and the resolutions adopted as a whole.

Mr. PINNER, editor of a German newspaper in Kansas City, objected on the adoption of the resolutions as a whole. He desired them to be read seriatim that a vote might be taken upon them separately. He took it for granted that there were some which none would oppose, but there were others to which he, for one, and he knew of others in the Convention like him, could not subscribe.

Mr. DAENZER, editor of the Westliche Post, took the same ground with Mr. PINNER. He called the attention of the convention to the 5th resolution. [The one nominating Edward Bates, DZ].

The chair offered to put the question to vote whether the resolutions should be adopted separately or together.

Great confusion ensued, persons rising to their feet in all parts of the room, amid cries of "order", "order", from every side.

HENRY T. BLOW called the President to order. He insisted that Mr. ABLE's motion should be put, and that no other could be entertained.

SAMUEL SIMMONS saw a storm brewing. He hoped the convention would be harmonious in its action.

FRANK H. MANTER desired to say one word. He thought it was apparent that there were members there who wished to express dissent from certain sentiments contained in the resolutions. He trusted they would be allowed to do so, if they chose; common fairness dictated such a course.

Col. BRANCH supposed there was no objection except to the fifth resolution. He hoped that would be passed over for the present, and the other resolves adopted together as a whole.

Dr. SITTON of Gasconade, said that any member had a right to call for a division of the questions, when the question is susceptible of division. It was a parliamentary right.

Mr. PINNER insisted on his motion. He didn't believe in gag law.

The Chair decided that any member could call for the question on the resolutions one by one.

The resolutions were then read separately, and the question taken on each. There was no dissenting voice to any of them till the fifth was read.

Mr. PINNER offered the following as an amendment to the fifth resolution:

Resolved, that the delegates of the Republican party of Missouri have no preferred candidate for President of the United States, and that our delegates to Chicago shall not cast their vote for any candidate who does not stand fairly and square upon the Philadelphia platform of 1856.

Mr. PINNER in support of his amendment, said he believed gentlemen had gone there to effect a great purpose, not only for the present, but also for future time. That Convention was not got up for a Bates demonstration if he correctly understood its purposes. He paid all respect to Mr. Bates. As a man, he liked him. But he thought that as yet the Republicans of Missouri were too low in number to attempt to dictate to the whole North and West, who should be selected as a candidate for President. And since the delegates to Chicago are not likely to exercise any considerable influence in the National Republican Convention, and inasmuch it would be utterly impossible to carry this State even with Mr. BATES as the nominee, he thought it best for the Republicans of Missouri to demean themselves with becoming modesty, and not arrogate too much for themselves. Mr. Bates has not declared himself upon the Republican platform, and his views upon the measures advocated by Republicans are not definitely known. While the past life of the man is an ample voucher for the honesty and integrity of his future career, he has not shown himself to be an advocate of Republican principles. And what, therefore, asked the speaker, shall we gain by the nomination of EDWARD BATES? Does anybody really suppose that being put forward by the Republican party, he could carry this State? [Here there were several cries of "yes", "yes,"]. The Republican party of Missouri, continued the speaker, is almost altogether confined to the city of St. Louis. It is of no use trying to blind ourselves to this too apparent fact. He had traveled extensively throughout the State, and could tell gentlemen that however flattering it is to believe that there is a growing ardor in Missouri favorable to the spread of Republican principles, it is worse than idle to ignore the fact that there is an overwhelming vote in the State against these doctrines. He would like to see the Republican party triumph at the approaching general election, but would not express a preference for any individual who had been named in connection with the Presidency. He thought it wrong for those who could not pledge their State to the candidate they wished to be selected, to try to dictate. The stronghold of the Republican party is in the Northern and New England States.

Here several persons attempted to drown the speaker out by coughs, hisses, &c. Mr. PINNER, however, would not be bitten down in that way. He thought this was a gathering called for an interchange of views on a subject of vast importance to the party, to a membership in which no one present could dispute its title. He claimed to be a true friend of the Republican party and intended to assert his right to express his sentiments, whether they were liked or not.

The Republican party, we all know, continued the speaker, has sprung up in opposition to slavery-hostility to slavery in the abstract and not merely to the extension of slavery. He wanted the next President to stand firmly on the Philadelphia platform. Delegates should go to the Chicago Convention unpledged and untrammeled, and they should be allowed a fair chance to weigh all the circumstances that might there occur. There are undoubtedly many good Republicans in this State opposed to Mr. BATES, even individually, to say nothing of the principles he may advocate. Gentlemen were not there to hold a Whig or Know-Nothing Convention.

Great signs of uneasiness were manifested during the delivery of all this, but still Mr. PINNER, (and he showed himself a pinner most decidedly,) went on. He had said that Mr. BATES could not carry Missouri if he were nominated at Chicago, and he could adduce an argument or so which would seem to prove it. A call had been published for several weeks in all the Republican papers in the State for a Republican State Convention. Letters had been written to all parts urging attendance. It was known that a strong effort was making to declare EDWARD BATES the choice of the party for the Presidency. State pride, upon which so much reliance seems to be placed in favor of Mr. BATES, was duly invoked. The State Convention had met in a city which boasts of being governed by Republicans, and which therefore is supposed to contain a great number of men of that party. And now the State Convention has met. It has assembled in the Small Hall of the Mercantile Library, which no time during the deliberations of the Convention has been more than half full. It is customary to hold preliminary meetings to send delegates to a State Convention. One single county in the State (Gasconade) has done so.

Mr. PINNER was proceeding in this strain when, as if by concerted movement, the greatest confusion arose. The speaker was told to "dry up", "simmer down", "switch off," etc., etc., amidst stamping of feet and yells of order. The President in a mild manner admonished the speaker that it was getting late, and others might wish to speak, whereupon Mr. P. resumed his seat, saying "it is no use throwing sand into our own eyes."

While Mr. PINNER was speaking, some of the leaders of the party were darting around very nervously, and sending for recruits in anticipation of a fight on the 5th resolution.

Dr. SITTON arose and, handing to the secretary an amendment to the 5th resolution in the platform, said he offered it in good faith.

Resolved, That Edward Bates, of Missouri, is the first choice of the Republican party of Missouri for President of the United States, and that the delegates who shall be appointed by the Convention are hereby instructed to vote for him unanimously whilst his name is before the National Republican Convention.

BART. ABLE moved to lay the substitute offered by Mr. PINNER and the amendment offered by Dr. SITTON on the table. The vote was taken amidst much confusion, and the motion was decided carried.

A member then moved the previous question on the fifth resolution.

The motion was sustained, resolution read again and the vote taken upon it. The affirmative voice was quite vigorous, but between forty to fifty voted in the negative.

The fifth resolution having been declared passed, the proceeding ones were taken up and carried without opposition. On the announcement of the vote on the fifth resolution, a number of Germans arose and left the hall.

Mr. PINNER then offered a resolution declaring the free negro bill, which was lately passed by the legislature, unhuman, barbarous &c, which resolution was adopted.

RICHARD J. HOWARD offered a resolution complimentary to F. P. BLAIR, Jr., which was also adopted.

Mr. PECKHAM introduced a resolution looking to the appointment, by the Chair, of a committee of ten to select and report delegates to the Chicago Convention. Carried.

A question next arose as to the selection of an electoral ticket, which Col. BRANCH advocated with considerable warmth. He wanted an electoral ticket, whether Mr. Bates was nominated or not.

Mr. DAENZER was also in favor of the proposition. He referred to the late Opposition Convention in Jefferson City, saying it went on very harmoniously until the delegates came to the subject whether they should send delegates to Chicago or Baltimore. The meeting adjourned without doing anything, but afterwards a number of the delegates reassembled and decided to send delegates to Baltimore. It was not thought best by Dr. SITTON to await the action of the Baltimore Union Convention before putting up an electoral ticket. Mr. DAENZER hoped that the Republican party could do without the help of the Opposition party. He hoped the Chicago Convention would nominate a candidate that will not suit the Old Line Whigs and Know Nothings.

Mr. FOY jumped to his feet and interrogated Mr. Daenzer if he would support Edward Bates in the event of his nomination.

Mr. DAENZER had no hesitation whatsoever in answering the gentleman. He replied that he would not vote for or support Mr. Bates.

At this juncture the President announced the committee of ten under Mr. Peckham's resolution, as follows: F. A. Dick, H. A. Clover, H. B. Branch, J. B. Sitton, James Lindsay, Bart Able, R. Hornsby, Asa Jones, Samuel Simmons, Allen Hammer.

The inevitable Mr. PINNER arose indignantly, and appealed to the convention from the appointment of that committee. There was not a single German on it. He did not know what to think of this seemingly studied exclusion of his countrymen, who, it is well known form the bulk of the Republican party. His remarks created a tremendous fluster.

Mr. SIMMONS offered to resign his place on the committee to Mr. PINNER.

Several gentlemen cried out together that the omission was accidental.

But, said Mr. P., "the same kind of accident has happened five times since the Convention met."

There was no answering that, and several hasty consultations were held on the strength of it. At length BART ABLE moved the addition of the names of Mr. PINNER and Dr. BERNAYS to the committee, which motion prevailed.

STEPHEN RICE moved the addition of three Irishmen to the Committee, but subsequently withdrew the motion.

It was then moved that a recess of twenty minutes be taken while the committee retired to select delegates. Carried.

On reassembling the Convention, it was found that it had dwindled away amazingly, a few of the front benches only being occupied.

Mr. DICK announced the action of the committee raised to report the names of the delegates to Chicago, and submitted the following. The report, it is needless to say, was adopted:


F.P. Blair, B. Gratz Brown, Jas. O. Sitton. Alternates, Asa Jones, H. T. Blow, John Doyle, Dr. B. Bruns.


1st District- P. L. Foy, Dr. Bernays. Alternates, F. H. Manter, John C. Vogel.
2nd District- A. Krekel, M. Randolph. Alternates, ?. K. Dearmon, S. W. Martin.
3rd District- N. T. Doane, Charles Collins.
4th District- H. B. Branch, G. W. H. Landon. Alternates, Thos. J. Boynion, F. Wenzel.
5th District- M. Pinner, James H. Gardenhire. Alternates, Henry Keymer, William Gilpin.
6th District- J. K. Kidd, Allen Hammer. Alternates, John M. Richardson, James O. Matthews.
7th District- James Lindsay, Thos. C. Fletcher. Alternates, James F. St. James, Albert Jackson.

Col. Branch introduced the following resolution:

Resolved. That the President of this Convention appoints a committee of ten with power to select an electoral ticket for the State, and to appoint a State Central Committee of nine, and to report the nine at an early day thereof at the Republican papers of the State.

BARTON ABLE moved as a substitute the following:

Resolved. That the Convention now proceed to elect nine members of a Central Committee for the State, who shall have power to appoint an electoral ticket.

The substitute was adopted, and the "Convention", now numbering fifty-three persons, proceeded to vote for candidates. The following were selected: B. Gratz Brown, J. O. Sitton, F. A. Dick, Arnold Krekel, N. T. Doane, H. B. Branch, Jam. H. Gardenhire, John M. Richardson, James Lindsay.

Mr. FOY proposed to elect four additional members of the committee from St. Louis, and one from Herman. Julius Hunthoeser was unanimously elected from Herman.

Mr. PINNER proposed that in four from St. Louis to be elected, the German element be recognized, whereupon the President expressed the opinion sotto voce, that Mr. Pinner was being kind of a fool.

The following names were proposed, from which to elect four additional delegates: Peter L. Foy, Barton Able, A. Hammer, Rudolph Barcher, Mr. Cavender, Frank H. Manter, John C, Vogel, William D' Oench and Samuel Gardiner. Messers Hammer, Barcher, Vogel and D'Oench being Germans. The vote for these candidates stood as follows:

Able..................37   Manter............27
Cavender..............36   Barcher...........29
Hammer................23   Gardiner..........27
Foy...................26   D'Oench...........27

Mr. S. Gardiner(?) introduced a resolution instructing the delegates to Chicago to vote as a unit.

Mr. PINNER objected vehemently. It seemed to him that the minority of the delegates had rights which ought to be respected. If he went to Chicago, he would go there unfettered.

In spite of all remonstrances, however, the resolution passed.

Upon this Mr. PINNER stated that he should have to withdraw his name from the list of delegates.

Mr. MUENCH also withdrew, amidst the greatest confusion.

Before anything was done in relation to these withdrawals the convention adjourned sine die.

It would be useless for us to speculate upon the Presidential preference of the delegates appointed. It is understood, however, that they stand 12 Pro-Bates and 6 "Reprobates".

Altogether, this Convention was perhaps the sublimest fizzle ever known in the State of Missouri. Meagre in numbers, inconsiderable in point of the influence of the men who composed it, wanting in anything like enthusiasm, divided in sentiment, it cannot be regarded in any other light than as a most gigantic failure. Indeed, there has never been a Black Republican City Convention in St. Louis less numerously attended, nor none wherein more spirit and life have not been displayed.

Thus bursts the BATES bubble!

Back to Moritz Pinner.