he history of the St. Louis area spans centuries of American history, including the French presence, well before the English settled at Jamestown, Virginia. As the gateway to the West, St. Louis greeted pioneers like Daniel Boone, explorers Lewis and Clark, and thousands of immigrants from Germany and other European countries. The city was the key to holding Missouri in the Union for Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and became the recruiting and supply depot for troops fighting in the trans-Mississippi theatre of the Civil War. Join historian Bill Potter as we discuss the providences that made this city and surrounding area so vital to the American story. We will explore three museums, two cemeteries, and two important historical sites in two days, learning about the lives of chiefs, generals in blue or gray, explorers, pioneers, slaves, guerrilla fighters, bank robbers and immigrants, without having to bow to the professional sports gods or breweries that many believe solely define the historic importance of the city of St. Louis.
Missouri History Museum
We will review the entire history of Missouri through the most important artifacts of the state’s history and gain perspective on the providential role of the “show me” state in American history.
Jefferson Barracks and Museum
One of the most important military posts in the United States for many years, the Barracks was established in 1826, the year Thomas Jefferson died, and became the home to the 1st Dragoons and 2nd U.S. Cavalry two decades later. Through these gates came the likes of Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor, Jefferson Davis, William T. Sherman, and many other famous generals—about 220 who served in the Civil War. Today, the post houses the Missouri Civil War Museum.