their leaders were determined to accomplish at the risk of their lives.
The Conditional Union men were an unknown quantity.
They sometimes acted with the Secessionists and sometimes with the Unconditional Union men, but were not true to either for any considerable length of time.
They represented the wealth and the commercial and manufacturing interests of St. Louis
and the larger towns of the State
, and changed their tactics constantly to suit their interests.
On account of the wealth and high character of their leaders, their Southern birth and associations, and the weak and hesitating policy of the Southern
leaders, they had great influence, which a majority of them used to do the Southern
cause all the harm they could.
In no quarter were they more active and successful than in the demoralizing influence they brought to bear on the legislature.
A week after the legislature met it passed the bill to call a convention to consider the question of secession and the adoption of measures to vindicate the sovereignty of the State
The bill passed both houses by a large majority.
In the senate there were only two votes against it. In the house 105 members voted for it and 18 against it. It was considered that the vote against it represented the full strength of the Unconditional Union men, and its passage by such a large majority was regarded as a triumph for the Southern Rights
men. After this the legislature did not do anything of importance for nearly three weeks, when George G. Vest
introduced a resolution in the house in the nature of a reply to resolutions adopted by the legislatures of New York and other Northern States tendering men and money to the President
for the purpose of coercing the seceding States.
's resolution said: ‘We regard with the utmost abhorrence the doctrine of coercion as indicated by the action of the States aforesaid, believing that the same would end in civil war and forever destroy the hope of reconstructing the Federal Union.
So believing, we deem it our duty ’