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17, March 2015

The Louisiana Purchase and the Constitutionalism of Thomas Jefferson

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was officially announced to the people of the United States on July 4, 1803. That day, subscribers to the National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser saw the following announcement: Read more »

22, October 2014

The Louisiana Purchase and the Changes It Wrought

When I was a kid learning about the Louisiana Purchase in school, I learned the basic framework of the story—in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France, nearly doubling the size of the United States. And, from what I learned, the Louisiana Purchase was undoubtedly a good thing: It gave the United States access to the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, granted the United States control of the Missouri, and gave Americans millions of acres of land to settle. Read more »

8, October 2014

The Louisiana Purchase and the Rise of Dueling in St. Louis

If you’ve lived in St. Louis long enough, you’ve probably heard a little bit about the history of dueling in this city. More than likely, you’ve heard the story of Thomas Hart Benton, the Missouri senator who killed a man during a duel in 1817. You’ve probably also heard of Bloody Island, a sandbar in the Mississippi River where duelists traveled to draw pistols, take their paces, and fire at one another. By 1826, dueling was such a defining feature of St. Louis that the Reverend Timothy Flint wrote dueling was “one species of barbarism that is but too common [in St. Read more »

24, September 2014

A New Look at the Louisiana Purchase

Just a few short months ago, the Missouri History Museum got the official word: The National Archives would be lending us pages from the Treaty of Cession, one of three documents that make up the Louisiana Purchase, for display. This is a huge honor. The Treaty of Cession is not on display often, and institutions have to meet a rigorous set of guidelines to be able to show the Louisiana Purchase. Read more »