Caption: Thomas Hart Benton in 1830, then a U.S. senator from Missouri. Benton was born in North Carolina and served during the War of 1812 as an aide to Gen. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. During a tavern brawl in Nashville, Tenn., Benton wounded the general, who had fired first. Benton moved to St. Louis, where he established a law practice and became editor of the St. Louis Examiner, promoting statehood for Missouri. In 1820, the territorial legislature elected him and David Barton as Missouri's first two senators. (One of the other candidates was Judge J.B.C. Lucas, father of Charles Lucas). The judge frequently referred to Benton as a "rascal" for having killed his son in the duel on Sept. 27, 1817. Benton served in the senate for 30 years, but the Missouri Legislature retired him in 1850, largely over his insufficient sympathy to slavery. (Benton had been attacking the rising secessionist fervor of Sen. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina). Benton later returned to Washington as the congressman from the St. Louis area and died in 1858. (Missouri History Museum)
Album ID: 1082758
Photo ID: 31712991
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