to declare that if there is any invasion of the slaveholding States for the purpose of carrying such doctrine into effect, it is the opinion of this general assembly that the people of Missouri
will constantly rally on the side of their Southern brethren to resist the invader at all hazards and to the last extremity.’
The resolution was supported by Geo. G. Vest
, Thomas A. Harris
and J. F. Cunningham
in impassioned speeches, and opposed by Geo. Partridge
and James Peckham
, Unconditional Union men, with equal fervor.
It was adopted in the house by a vote of 89 to 14, and in the senate with only one dissenting vote.
The Secessionists were jubilant, for they considered that the State
was solemnly pledged, as far as the legislature could pledge it, to resist coercion and stand with the South
to the last extremity.
The act calling a State convention provided that the delegates should be elected on the 18th of February, and that the convention should meet and organize at Jefferson City
on the last day of February.
Men and parties at once addressed themselves to the work of electing delegates.
An alliance, the terms which no body but the leaders of the respective parties knew, was formed between the Conditional and Unconditional Union men. It was the work of Frank Blair
The more radical, or rather the more blatant of the Unconditional Union men opposed it. But they were speedily suppressed by Blair
and made to understand that their duty was to follow, without question, wherever he chose to lead.
The Unconditional Union leaders did most of the talking, and appeared most prominently before the public.
They were strong in wealth, in social position, and in reputation as conservative citizens.
Almost to a man they had been in times past representatives of Southern sentiment.
They now brought all the power of their wealth, respectability and social position to bear to control the election and determine the complexion of the convention.
They were good Union men in St. Louis
and the larger towns