In Post-War Bollinger County, Republicans Weren’t Welcome

One account of Bollinger County, Missouri during the Civil War called it a “hotbed of secession”, Historian Glen Bishop, (whose speech at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History was covered in the September 4, 2011 Southeast Missourian Newspaper) stated that 6 out of 10 men in Bollinger County sided with the South during the war.

Not surprisingly, many of these men either fled the state or lost their property during the war. A common practice was to claim back taxes owned on the land that were not paid during the hostilities. When the land owners couldn’t pay, they county took the land. In other instances during the war men who were charged with being Southern sympathizers would have to take an “Oath of Allegiance” and put up a bond. If the accused did not have the cash for the bond, they were allowed to use their property. In the event they were accused of disloyalty again, the property was forfeited and often time the accused sent to prison.

It is important to remember that during and after the War most Southerners were Democrats and most Unionists were Republican, of course most Southerners could not hold office or vote until the Drake Constitution (which served as the basis for Missouri Reconstruction) was abolished in 1875.

By 1872 land in Bollinger County could be found advertised in papers throughout the United States but as some would find out, the land was not much of a bargain. Evidence of this can be found in the August 5, 1872 Inter Ocean newspaper (Chicago, Illinois) and the August 8, 1872 Boston Globe (both articles being republished from the St. Louis Globe).

Republicans intimidated in Bollinger CountyRepublicans intimidated in Bollinger County Mon, Aug 5, 1872 – Page 6 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com KKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, MissouriKKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, Missouri Thu, Aug 8, 1872 – 4 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com

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