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
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.
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.