Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: Meredith Miles Marmaduke, 1844

Missouri State Archives
Meredith Miles Marmaduke, 1844

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Meredith Miles Marmaduke


Meredith Miles Marmaduke was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia on August 28, 1791 to Vincent and Sarah Porter Marmaduke. Educated in public schools, Marmaduke was a civil engineer before the outbreak of the War of 1812 where he served as a colonel of a Virginia frontier defense regiment. President James Madison appointed him a U.S. marshal for the Tidewater District of Virginia. Following a term as Westmoreland County Circuit Clerk, Marmaduke relocated to Franklin, Missouri in 1823. On January 4, 1826, Marmaduke married Lavinia Sappington, the daughter of Dr. John S. Sappington of Arrow Rock. Partnering with other businessmen in Saline County, Missouri, he made the first of numerous trips on the Santa Fe Trail and maintained his interest in the trading venture until the mid-1830s. Appointed surveyor of Saline County, Marmaduke platted the site for Arrow Rock in 1829. He purchased a farm west of Arrow Rock around 1835. Active in Missouri's Democratic Party, Marmaduke was elected Lieutenant Governor on the ticket headed by Governor Thomas Reynolds. Governor Reynolds committed suicide while in office on February 9, 1844, and Marmaduke became the eighth governor of Missouri. During his tenure, Marmaduke advocated vigorously on behalf of mental health reforms. He refused to pardon three abolitionists who had assisted in the escape of a slave; and as a consequence, the Democratic Party chose another candidate to run for a full gubernatorial term. In 1845, Marmaduke was elected as Saline County's delegate to the upcoming Missouri Constitutional Convention. He again sought the nomination for governor in 1848 but lost to Austin A. King. A slave owner, Marmaduke openly condemned secession and remained a strong Unionist throughout the Civil War. He died on March 26, 1864 at his Saline County farm and is interred at the Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site near Arrow Rock.

The Collection

Routine correspondence comprises the Records (1843-1844) of Governor Meredith Miles Marmaduke (1844). Subjects include the annexation of Texas, the Missouri border dispute with Iowa, the operation of the Bank of Missouri, the establishment of the Bureau of Statistics, U. S. Congressional interference in state disputes, and the repudiation of state debts. The collection also contains a loyalty oath and commission for future Congressman William Van Ness Bay.

Rights and Reproductions

Copyright is in the public domain. Preferred Citation: [Item description], [date]; Meredith Miles Marmaduke, 1844; Office of the Governor, Record Group 3.8; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

How to Use This Collection

The official title lists dates of service from inauguration to end of term. Records (1843-1844) 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. All images are the best available.

Additional Resources

The collection finding aid describes additional Marmaduke material held by the Godfrey Memorial Library, Middletown, Connecticut; Missouri History Museum in St. Louis; the Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library; the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia; and Washington University, St. Louis.

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