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[186]

Chapter 22: some Abolition leaders

The references that have been made to General Frank P. Blair of Missouri have not been complimentary to that individual. They would indicate on the part of the writer no very exalted admiration for or estimate of the man. In that particular they are not altogether just. The stormy period of the Rebellion brought out few more picturesque figures than his, or in some respects more admirable characters. There is no question that, but for the efforts of Blair, the Rebels would have effected the capture of St. Louis at the beginning of the war, to be followed by the at least temporary control of the entire State of Missouri, and possibly of Kansas as well. To that end preparations had been carefully and skillfully made. The leader in the movement was none other than Missouri's Governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, who was justly looked upon as one of the most consummate and accomplished schemers of the time. He was a Rebel from head to foot. He had taken office with the deliberate purpose of swinging his State into the Confederate column, and without regard to the wishes of the majority of the people whom he officially represented. He was supported by a sympathetic corps

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