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Lilburn Williams Boggs, 1837-1840


Lilburn Williams Boggs was born in Lexington, Kentucky on December 14, 1796 to John M. and Martha Oliver Boggs. He fought with Kentucky troops at the Battle of Tippecanoe during the War of 1812. After moving to St. Louis, Boggs married Julia Bent, the daughter of Judge Silas Bent and relocated to Franklin, Missouri. His mercantile business failed and he obtained a position as deputy factor at Fort Osage. After the death of his wife, Boggs remarried in 1823 to Panthea G. Boone, a granddaughter of Daniel Boone. He removed his growing family to a farm near Fort Osage in Jackson County and later to Independence. Boggs was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1826; to the Missouri Senate in 1830; and served as Lieutenant Governor from 1832 to 1836. When Governor Daniel Dunklin resigned in 1836, Boggs filled the remaining three months of Dunklin's term and then was elected in his own right. He was sworn in as the sixth Governor of Missouri on November 23, 1836. Escalating tensions between the increasing numbers of Mormons immigrating to Missouri and settlers already residing in the state marked Boggs' gubernatorial term. On October 27, 1838, after a series of clashes between Mormon and Anti-Mormon forces, Boggs ordered Mormons driven from the state. In 1842, Boggs was shot through an open window while reading a newspaper at his home in Independence. He survived the attempted assassination and in 1847 left Missouri for California. Boggs settled in Sonoma and operated a successful store during the California Gold Rush. He was a member of the first California Constitutional Convention. Boggs died on March 19, 1860 and is buried with his wife in Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California.

The Collection

The Records of Lilburn Williams Boggs (1837-1843) contain correspondence, commissions, resignations, resolutions, and state bonds. Topics covered include abolition of slavery, education of deaf mutes, election of Thomas Hart Benton to the United States Senate, cultural importance of the Mississippi River, and raising troops for the Second Seminole Indian War. Of particular note is a letter from General Matthew Arbuckle written from Fort Gibson, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in which he discusses the 1839 murders of Major Ridge and the Boudinot families and the escalating tensions within the Cherokee Nation.

Rights and Reproductions

Copyright is in the public domain. Preferred citation: [Item description], [date]; Lilburn Williams Boggs, 1836-1843; Office of Governor, Record Group 3.6; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

How to Use This Collection:

The official title lists dates of service from inauguration to end of term. Records (1837-1843) refer to the date range of materials included within the collection. All references to places are within the state of Missouri unless indicated, and county is specified when known. The spelling of proper names varies greatly. When correct spelling could not be determined the original spelling was retained. Officeholders are Missouri officials unless noted (U. S. Senator, U. S. Secretary of State). State Representatives are referred to as Representative. U. S. Representatives are noted with the title Congressman. Scanned images shown are the best available.

Related Sources:

The collection finding aid provides a detailed description of additional materials pertaining to Boggs held by the State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines and Iowa City; Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City; Missouri History Museum, St. Louis; State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia; and the Elmer Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia.

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