were almost as much at Blair
's disposal as those he was actively but secretly organizing in Missouri
Both sides were waiting.
The Southern leaders did not know what they wanted to do, and consequently were not doing anything.
As politicians they were shirking the responsibility of action, and waiting for some overt act on the part of the Federal
Their attitude and policy suited Blair
He was waiting, too, but at the same time he was working with a definite idea and aim. He was exerting to the utmost his great powers as a political intriguer to cause misunderstandings and dissensions among his opponents throughout the State
, and organizing, arming and drilling his forces in St. Louis
In fact, he was getting them ready to commit the overt act for which his opponents were waiting.
All he wanted was time, and they were giving him time.
At that period St. Louis
was not only the commercial but the financial and political center of the State
The banks, the great commercial houses and the manufacturing establishments were located there.
The railroads centered there.
The newspapers that most strongly influenced the thought of the people and most nearly controlled their action were published there.
All of these agencies were combined and were used openly or covertly against the integrity of the State
and the Southern
The Democrat, the old Benton
organ, which was established in the first place through the influence of Blair
, and was still controlled by him, was unreservedly for the Republican party and the Union
was ultra-Southern, but it was newly established, of limited circulation and influence, and was short-lived.
The Republican, the oldest paper in the State
and probably the leading paper of the Mississippi valley
, was the organ of the bankers, the merchants, the manufacturers, the property owners and business men of the city, and, to a great extent, of the State
The position of the Democrat