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Barnburner History

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Antipathy to slavery was by no means confined to St. Louis newspaper men of northern birth. Francis P. Blair and B. Gratz Brown were Kentuckians. William McKee was from New York. He was a printer. He believed in emancipation so strongly that he published from his job office a paper which he called the Barnburner. Francis P. Blair supplied much of the editorial matter. The paper was too advanced for the time but it gave Blair a chance with his aggressive pen and it drew attention to Mr. McKee. The Barnburner has been treated by some writers as the predecessor of the Globe-Democrat. It was put forth to advocate the principles on which the Missouri Democrat was successfully founded three years later. Its supporters were the men who created the Democrat. There was, however, an hiatus between the Barnburner and the Democrat. William McKee published the Barnburner. Back of McKee, financially, were Oliver D. Filley, Hudson E. Bridge and some others who foresaw the coming issue of slavery and who were ready to make a stand for Free Soilism. Frank P. Blair, inclined to journalism by inheritance, for his father had been one of the great political editors of his day, was chief editorial writer of the Barnburner. The paper ran only about three months, through a campaign.
(From St. Louis, the Fourth City by William Barlow Stevens, 1909).
Followed by Signal.