Bruce Campbell Adamson PO Box 1003 Aptos,
In the early 1800s Mary (Easton) Sibley, Rufus's daughter,
mesmerized the Osage Indians, when she traveled up river with
her piano on a raft to Fort Osage. Mary Easton would play beautiful
music to the Osage Indians in the wilderness at Fort Osage.
Portrait of Mary Easton Sibley who founded with her husband the
first college west of the Mississippi River, Lindenwood College
in St. Charles Missouri. The Osage Indian nation simply adored
Mary and her beautiful music which then seemed to be from Heaven.
Mary was born in 1800 and was a good friend of Susan B. Anthony.
In 1837 Mary and her husband George Sibley saved the abolitionist-publisher
Elijah P. Lovejoy's life when an angry mob came to lynch him.
They loaned him a horse and Lovejoy escaped from St. Charles.
Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in Alton in November 1837 after
his murderers had destroyed three of Lovejoy's printing presses
as the publisher of the Alton Observer an abolitionist newspaper.
Lovejoy's death was more than just a blow to the fight against
slavery: it was simultaneously a blow to the freedom of the press.
Lovejoy's murder angered much of the nation and in the 1830s
his death "was the shot which rang louder than Fort Sumter."
The brother of Elijah, Owen Lovejoy, became Lincoln's strongest
supporter in Congress and abolished slavery in the District of
Long before the Civil War, in 1805 Rufus Easton made U.S.
history as judge of the Louisiana Territory when he gave a decision
which temporarily set the Scypion Family Slaves free.
On several occasions Adamson has petitioned the U.S. Postal
Stamp Advisory Board to consider Rufus Easton for a U.S. Postage
Stamp. They have sent out the same form letter in 2001 as they
did in 1985. If you would like to write to the Stamp Advisory
Board their address is: 475 L'nFant SW, East Building, room 4477,
Washington D.C., 20260. Keep in mind that Adamson has been trying
to get Easton on a postage stamp since 1985, yet Adamson learned
in 2003 that Easton was already honored in 1982 on a 13 cent
U.S. postcard. Sometimes rewards are realized after a long fight.
In 1972 the
City of St. Louis changed one of their main thorough fares from
Easton Drive to Martin Luther King Highway. It was done without
intentionally trying to harm the memory of Rufus Easton. Easton
would have had nothing but respect for King and vice-versa. An
injustice has been unintentionally served upon Easton, who was
unknowingly extremely helpful in the cause to abolish slavery
and played an important role in early Postal and American history.
As a retired Postal Employee I went through the zip-code directory
for St. Louis and found an estimated 40 streets named after slaveowners
and even a park and post office named after the largest slaveowner
family "The Chouteau's". In 1987 I wrote to the Mayor
and Board of Alderman on suggesting the possibility of renaming
another street or renaming a park to Rufus Easton in honor of
Easton because of his dedicated service to our country. Just
kidding. On Oct. 6, 2004 I visited Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue
and found a ghetto. I thought it was truly disrespectful. One
will find Edward Jones, Inc.'s stadium where the St. Louis Rams
plays their games at the end of King Drive and further on the
Martin Luther King Bridge. Apparently the Jones company has the
funds to pay for such an honor. After all, no one can take it
away from Rufus Easton that he was the man who helped name most
of the streets in St. Louis as postmaster. After reading the
biographical sketch in this web page, if you agree, please feel
free to express your views by signing the online petition!
For Which We Stand; the Life and Papers
of Rufus Easton
It is odd
that the importance of the United States Postal Service should
have been so much ignored by those experts who have appointed
themselves as historic writers. Throughout the history of the
United States there are many individuals who were dedicated and
served this great institution and other branches of our government.
The U.S. Postal Service is the web that holds this great country
together. Next to Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Rufus Easton was one
of the most colorful in the Postal history at the dawn of these
United States. For Easton was first postmaster of St. Louis while
simultaneously judge of the largest territory ever in North America.
The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton is a 300 page manuscript
containing all of the above chapters sells for $25.00. This book
weighs 30 ounces and is on 8 + x 11 format.