Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: Willard Preble Hall, 1864-1865

Missouri State Archives
Willard Preble Hall, 1864-1865

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Willard Preble Hall


Willard Preble Hall was born May 9, 1820, in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. After graduating from Yale College in 1839, Hall relocated to Randolph County, Missouri to study law, eventually settling in St. Joseph. In 1844, Hall served as a presidential elector for Democratic candidate James K. Polk.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846 while serving in New Mexico with Alexander W. Doniphan and the 1st Missouri Volunteers during the Mexican War. Congressman Hall took his seat in 1847 and served two more terms before refusing further election. He advocated the expansion of U.S. territory and the improvement of railroads and schools in Missouri. In December 1851, Hall unsuccessfully introduced legislation to organize the Platte Territory and settle lands immediately west of Missouri. Stephen Douglas revised the legislation into what became known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act and consequently, the Kansas and Nebraska Territories were created.

When the state convention of July 1861 vacated statewide offices, Hall was chosen to serve as lieutenant governor. Governor Gamble died in office on January 31, 1864, and Lieutenant Governor Hall became the seventeenth governor of Missouri. He served until Thomas Clement Fletcher was sworn in on January 2, 1865 and then returned to his law practice in St. Joseph. He was elected the first president of the Missouri Bar Association in 1880. Willard Preble Hall died at his farm in St. Joseph on November 2, 1882 and is interred in Mount Mora Cemetery.

The Collection

Records (1862-1865) of Governor Willard Preble Hall (1820-1882) include commissions, correspondence, and petitions.

Rights and Reproductions

Copyright is in the public domain. Preferred Citation: [Item description], [date]; Willard Preble Hall, 1864-1865; Office of Governor, Record Group 3.17; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

How to Use This Collection

The official title lists dates of service from inauguration to end of term. Records (1862-1865) refer to the date range of materials included within the collection. The dates may not match. 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, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Supreme Court, and et cetera). State Representatives are referred to as Representative. U.S. Representatives are noted with the title Congressman.

Additional Resources

Hall, Willard Preble, "Speech on the Admission of California" delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives, March 5, 1850 [on-line] (Washington: Congressional Globe Office, 1850) pp. 3-13. Google Books.

Hughes, John T., Doniphanís Expedition (Cincinnati, Ohio, 1848). Reprinted by William Elsey Connelley, Doniphanís Expedition and the conquest of New Mexico and California (Topeka, Kansas, 1907), self published.

The collection finding aid contains additional material pertaining to Governor Hall held by the Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections; the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia; and the University of Missouri, Elmer Ellis Library, in Columbia.

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