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[23] the house on the 23d. It authorized the governor, with the consent of the senate, to appoint four commissioners who, with the mayor, should have absolute control of the police force of the city, the sheriff's officers in the county, and of all other conservators of the peace in the city and county. It was aimed at Blair's Wide-awakes, who had become, since the refusal of the legislature to authorize the governor to call out the militia to hold them in check, more arrogant and overbearing than ever, and were a constant menace to the peace, property and lives of the citizens. Under the law the governor appointed Basil W. Duke, James H. Carlyle, Charles McLaren and John A. Brownlee commissioners. The first three were Southern men, and the last, though a Northern man, was opposed to the coercion of the Southern States. But before the commissioners entered upon the performance of their duties, the election for municipal officers was held in the city, and to the surprise of everybody Daniel G. Taylor, a Democrat, was elected mayor by 2,500 majority.

Blair foresaw the passage of the St. Louis police bill some time before it passed the house, and adopted measures to counteract its effect. He began reorganiz-ing his Wide-awakes, nominally a political formation, into Home Guards, openly a military organization, and arming and equipping them for active service. In doing this he was plainly violating and defying the laws of the State. He was organizing a military force within the limits of the State, over which the State authorities had no control, and which was intended to be used to overthrow the government of the State and make war on its people. The State had not seceded, and there was no evidence it would secede. The evidence, in fact, was strongly the other way. Blair deliberately put himself in the position of a revolutionist. He was backed by a self-constituted committee of safety, of which Oliver D. Filley, mayor of the city, was chairman. The first

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Frank Blair (3)
Daniel G. Taylor (1)
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Basil W. Duke (1)
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