Bruce Campbell Adamson PO Box 1003 Aptos, CA 95001-1003--- EMAIL is bca@got.net

Click here for Poem written by John Kieft on Rufus Easton.

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The Spirit of Alton; Before, During and After the Civil War !

Click here for letter from the Abraham Lincoln Library.

 

Rufus Easton was honored on Oct. 1st, 2004 as the first postmaster and having built the first post office in St. Louis. Steven Austin was a letter carrier for Easton in St. Louis.

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For Which We Stand: The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton

Adamson has been working on this book for 27 years.

Book was reedited by J. Parecki April 10, 2004

 

Rufus was one of the first persons to propose Statehood for Missouri as Non-Slave State in 1816. As a former U.S. Postal Employee Adamson's proudest moment was when W. J. Maisch, Inspector in Charge of Los Angeles wrote a letter on Adamson's behalf dated February 27, 1986 on uncovering criminal activity. Three U.S. Postal Inspectors walked into the U.S. Post Office, and these men scared the heck out of me, before handing me a $1,000 U.S. Treasury check as a reward. This allowed Adamson to buy his very first computer. Two years later in November 1988, Postal Life a publication that was mailed out to every postal employee in the country (cir. 800,000) published the following article. Click here for 1988 article on Bruce Campbell Adamson progress in his book For Which We Stand, The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton. Adamson believed that these dedicated postal employees, are an army, hold this country together.

Another inspiration to Adamson is shown in The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton was accepted into the Postmaster General's Library, The New York Historical Society, several Missouri historical societies and libraries. This book could not have been completed without the expertise and cooperation of Author and Professor William F. Foley; The Missouri Historical Society, especially Martha Clevenger; and The Missouri Historical Review and it's editor Jim Goodrich. Easton is my favorite relative and project and I would personally like to see a movie on Easton rather than de Mohrenschildt. It must be the family pride.

William E. Foley is professor of History at Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, and recipient of the CMSU 1984 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award. He has the B.S. and M.A. degrees from CMSU and the Ph.D in American History from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Research for this study was supported by a CMSU summer study leave. There are many citations throughout the book which would have left a blank void had it not been for Professor Foley's dedicated work in recognizing Easton's importance in early American history. 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 being judge of the largest territory ever in North America. The Louisiana Territory.

This book contains a thorough analysis of letters from John C. Calhoun, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, Gideon Granger, Alexander Dallas (father of George who founded Dallas, Texas), Moses and Steven Austin (Steven was the founder of Austin, Texas after he had been a letter carrier for Rufus Easton), Henry Clay, Dewitt Clinton, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, James Monroe, Civil War Generals W.T. Sherman and U.S. Grant regarding Rufus Easton and family.

 
Portrait of Rufus Easton, courtesy of actor Robert Easton. Click here for Actor Robert Easton's filmography and biography.

Rufus was associated with John Jacob Astor, William Clark and Daniel Boone. Easton trained Edward Bates in his legal studies. In those days Bates was obliged to move into Easton's residence so that he could thoroughly study the law. Photo to right is Rufus, Mark Anderson, Robert Easton and B. Adamson under Red marks. I was very proud that Rufus Easton was honored by the post office.

Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War Bates ran against Abraham Lincoln for President and was defeated by honest Abe. But there were no hard feelings for Bates was Lincoln's first choice in his cabinet as Attorney General. During the Civil War, Bates wrote to Lincoln on Langdon Easton's behalf for the position of Brevet Brigadier General.

Shortly before Lincoln issued his emancipation proclamation in 1863, Edward Bates as the U.S. Attorney General had already declared that all Negroes were U.S. citizens. It was Bates who demanded equal pay for the Negro soldiers, whom fought so valiantly for the Union. Only a year after the Civil War, in July 1866 Edward Bates wrote of Rufus Easton:

In the painting, the president is testing his Cabinet's reactions to the idea of proclaiming freedom for slaves. From left to right, the men in the portrait are: Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (seated), Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, President Lincoln, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells, Secretary of the Interior Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of State William Seward, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, Attorney General Edward Bates.
 

"Easton was a wiser man than he passed for, and a better man than his adversaries chose to admit. All acknowledged his professional ability as compared with his associates, but many failed to give him the credit he deserved for his personal virtues. He was certainly the best-read lawyer of the Missouri bar in his day, the regular training of his youth and the indefatigable industry of his riper years, made him always, a formidable adversary and generally a case - gaining advocate he still lives in my memory with respect and gratitude."

Mighty strong words when one considers that Rufus Easton had left his earth in 1834.

Rufus' seven daughters married some of the most distinguished men of the Louisiana Territory: 1). George C; Sibley, Commissioner of the Santa Fe Trail and business manager of the Osage Indian Nation, owned a slave or two , yet Sibley saved the life of the Reverend Elijah P. Lovejoy the first abolitionist murdered in the U.S.A; 2). Archibald Gamble, 9th postmaster of St. Louis and brother of Missouri's Civil War Governor Hamilton Gamble; 3). Henry S. Geyer, attorney before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case won case for slaveowning family; 4). James Watson; 5). Senator Thomas Anderson. 6). Abner Bartlett, of New York, who was in charge of William Waldorf Astor's estate from 1869-1894. You can read how there is good and bad in any family.

Lovejoy's murder was in November, 1937, in Alton, Illinois a decade after Rufus Easton founded Alton in 1837. Lovejoy's brother Owen ran the under ground railroad in Princeton, Illinois. In 1862, before the Emancipation Proclamation, it was Owen Lovejoy who would passed a bill making slavery illegal in Washington D.C. Upon Lovejoy's bill to prohibit slavery in D.C. the local church could be heard singing "Glory to Lovejoy" while the preacher was trying to speak "No, Glory to God." The Afro-American Church continued to praise "Glory to Lovejoy." President Abraham Lincoln thought so highly of Lovejoy that he purchased Lovejoy's headstone when he died two years later. Lincoln said "Owen, is my best friend in Congress." As a congressman Owen Lovejoy served his country and was made a Colonel in the U.S. Army. He would sleep and tell stories to the soldiers? See Owen Lovejoy in his US Army uniform in a rare Brady shot.

In 1805 Rufus Easton refused to partake in Burr's Conspiracy in which General James Wilkinson was a major player. In his lifetime Easton backed out of four separate duels. The most historic one was in 1805 when President Jefferson's favorite cabinet member, Postmaster General, Gideon Granger implored Easton not to participate in a duel with Aaron Burr. I would not be here today writing to you, had Easton entered a duel with Burr. Click here for page one of Granger to Easton 1806;

Click here for page two;

Click here for page three.

 
Had Gideon Granger not talked Easton out of it, the would be duel on Bloody Island between Burr and Easton may have looked this way. Artwork for this volume was prepared by Pam Kenny of Aptos, she is available for hire. Had Easton gone into a duel with Aaron Burr in 1806, Rufus' son Alton would never have been born nor would the town have been founded Alton, Illinois!

 

Besides being the first postmaster Easton was also appointed by President Thomas Jefferson, Judge of the Louisiana Territory. As Judge of the territory Rufus Easton held jurisdiction over the largest land mast ever throughout the continent including Canada and Central America. The territory was so immense that it stretched from the St. Louis to the Canada border and as one historian expressed it: "westward into seemingly infinity".

Yes, Rufus Easton was a civil rights leader. As a United States Attorney in 1808, Easton represented an Ioway Indian Chief White Cloud, and saved his life from angry St. Louis citizens who wanted to make an example by hanging him. In 1814 Easton retired as the postmaster of St. Louis and was elected into Congress. Easton was responsible for the passing of a Bill for Federal Aid in one of the First Natural Disaster within the United States, the New Madrid Earthquakes. In 1816 Easton would be on the first bill to terminate slavery West of the Mississippi. Easton was then a minority.Click here for New Madrid Earthquake history.

In 1816 as the Congressional representative Easton was one of the first known persons to recommend statehood for the State of Missouri. Rufus could have brought Missouri into the Union as a non-slave state if he had won his congressional seat against John Scott, the pro-slavery candidate. Rufus Easton was appointed Attorney General for the State of Missouri by President James Monroe and served from 1821-1826.

Click here for list of men who fought with Alton Easton who elected unanimously Colonel to lead St. Legion of St. Louis in the 1846 Mexican-American War.

Colonel ALTON and Brevet Brig. General LANGDON EASTON - Brothers


1860 photograph of Colonel Alton Easton a year before being appointed Inspector General of Missouri's militia. Adamson found this rare photo because of his trip to see Rufus Easton honored. Adamson also found an ivory painted print by the St. Louis Bank Note company at the top of this page.
 
The Easton brother's were very close to Dr. Robert Simpson ( 2nd postmaster of St. Louis) and his wife who was the sister of Mrs. Rufus Easton. Abgail Smith. Dr. and Mrs. Simpson's daughter married one of the most respected General's of the Civil War in the Union Army. General Andrew Jackson Smith who won an important battle against one of the greatest Confederate Generals Forrest in 1864. When General A.J. Smith arrived to support Major General Thomas, he was greeted by Thomas with a great big hug! General Wm. T. Sherman also thought the world of A.J. Smith who was named after President Andrew Jackson for his father fought with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. Click here for General Andrew Jackson Smith's biography written by Ezra J. Warner from General's in Blue. and this connection in the family adds another 10,000 troops to the Easton side of the family. Photo to right is Major General Andrew Smith fought with General Thomas in Battle of Nashville. Thomas would not fight Hood until General A.J. Smith arrived. Between Smith and his kin Alton and Langdon Easton they were in charge of more than 165,000 Union troops during US Civil War.

In 1818 Easton founded the town of Alton, Illinois, which was named in honor of his son Colonel Alton Rufus Easton. Alton Easton in 1807 was allegedly the first white child born in the Louisiana Territory. Before the Civil War, Alton was Colonel of the St. Louis Grays, and St. Louis Legion, and fought in the Black Hawk war in 1831-32 and the Mexican War in 1846-48.

On the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Alton Easton was Governor Hamilton Gamble's first choice as Inspector-General for the Missouri's militia. Alton's brother, Brevet Brigadier General Langdon Easton was Chief Quartermaster under General Sherman and both played extremely prominent roles during the Civil War. Along with the support of Edward Bates Alton Easton convinced General U.S. Grant, whom in turn convince Abraham Lincoln to appoint Langdon Easton as Brevet Brigadier General. Together Alton and Langdon Easton combined, during the Civil War were in charge of 150,000 Union troops. 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.

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.
 

On January 23, 1823, Mary Easton wrote to Alton Easton: "Remember that in this country the advantages of rank and fortune are not required to make the hero or statesman. But more independently and more gloriously you rise in the estimation of the word solely by your own talents and merit. Let this idea my dear Alton stimulate you to depend on your own exertions to establish yourself an honorable character." Words from a lady who founded the first college west of the Mississippi and taught and entertained the Osage Indian Nation.

For more on Rufus Easton book click here to Next page >>>>

Click here for book is now on KINDLE.

The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton a 300 page manuscript containing all of the above chapters sells for $25.00 and $4.00 for postage and handling. This book weighs 30 ounces and is on 8 + x 11 format.

 

Click here for Rufus Easton Store

Click to read letter from Martha Clevenger Missouri Historical Society 1989

Click to read letter from Martha Clevenger Missouri Historical Soc. 1991.

Click to read letter from Ulysses S. Grant Assoc.

Click to read letter from State Missouri Historical Soc of Missouri

Click to read letter from author and Stanford Professor D. Fehrenbacher