St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as city, 1822. Population in 1820 about 4,900; in 1830 about 5,900; in 1840 about 16,000; and in 1849 about 63,000. Because of location on Mississippi River, St. Louis quickly became a hub of trade for continental interior. Joseph Smith traveled through St. Louis, June 1831 and 1832. Place of refuge for Saints expelled from western Missouri. During Latter-day Saint expulsion from western Missouri, St. Louis newspapers defended Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and condemned Governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Hundreds of Latter-day Saints emigrated from England through city en route to Nauvoo. Official branch of church formed in city, early 1844. Brigham Young and others campaigned in city for Joseph Smith’s candidacy for U.S. president, May 1844. St. Louis press strongly condemned Smith’s murder, June 1844. Designated by Brigham Young as gathering place for refugees from Nauvoo and for arriving European converts, 1847. Latter Day Saints’ Emigrants’ Guide printed in city, Feb. 1848. Latter-day Saint population by 1849 at least 3,000.

Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.