Mark McGwire, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock. These famous Cardinals are known by baseball fans around the world. But who and what were the predecessors of these modern-day players and their team? In Before They Were Cardinals, Jon David Cash examines the infancy of major-league baseball in St. Louis during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His in-depth analysis begins with an exploration of the factors that motivated civic leaders to form the city's first major-league ball club. Cash delves into the economic trade rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis and examines how St. Louis's attempt to compete with Chicago led to the formation of the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1875. He then explains why, three years later, despite its initial success, St. Louis baseball quickly vanished from the big-league map.
St. Louis baseball was revived with the arrival of German immigrant saloon owner Chris Von der Ahe. Cash explains how Von der Ahe, originally only interested in concession rights, purchased a controlling interest in the Brown Stockings. His riveting account follows the team after Von der Ahe's purchase, from the formation of the American Association, to its merger in 1891 with the rival National League. He chronicles Von der Ahe's monetary downturn, and the club's decline as well, following the merger.
Before They Were Cardinals provides vivid portraits of the ball players and the participants involved in the baseball war between the National League and the American Association. Cash points out significant differences, such as Sunday games and beer sales, between the two Leagues. In addition, excerpts taken from Chicago and St. Louis newspapers make the on-field contests and off-field rivalries come alive. Cash concludes this lively historical narrative with an appendix that traces the issue of race in baseball during this period.
The excesses of modern-day baseball—players jumping contracts or holding out for more money, gambling on games, and drinking to excess; owners stealing players and breaking agreements—were all present in the nineteenth-century sport. Players were seen then, as they are now, as an embodiment of their community. This timely treatment of a fascinating period in St. Louis baseball history will appeal to both baseball aficionados and those who want to understand the history of baseball itself.
Written in a unique biographical format, Robert Willoughby interweaves the stories of six brothers who shaped the American trans-Mississippi West during the first five decades of the nineteenth century. After migrating from French Canada to St. Louis, the brothers Robidoux—Joseph, Francois, Antoine, Louis, Michel, and Isadore—and their father, Joseph, became significant members in the business, fur trading, and land speculation communities, frequently interacting with upper-class members of the French society.
Upon coming of age, the brothers followed their father into the fur business and American Indian trade. The oldest of the six, Joseph, led the group on an expedition up the Missouri River as Lewis and Clark had once done, designating a path of trade sites along their journey until they reached their destination at present-day Omaha, Nebraska. Eventually the younger brothers set out on their own westward expedition in the mid 1820s, reaching both Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joseph eventually became a town founder in northwest Missouri near Blacksnake Creek. Antoine and Louis traveled as far as California, finally settling in Santa Fe where they became prominent citizens. As a trapper and trader, Michel endured many hardships and close calls during his journey across the West. Francois and Isadore made their home in New Mexico, maintaining a close relationship with Joseph in Missouri.
Though frequently under contract by others, the brothers did their best work when allowed to freelance and make their own rules. The brothers would ultimately pass on their prosperous legacy of ranging, exploring, trading, and town-building to a new generation of settlers. As the nature of the fur trade changed, so did the brothers’ business model. They began focusing on outfitting western migrants, town folk, and farmers. Their practices made each of them wealthy; however, they all died poor.
To understand the opening of the American West, one must first know about men like the brothers Robidoux. Their lives are the framework for stories about the American frontier. By using primary sources located at the Missouri Historical Society, the Mexican Archives of New Mexico, and the Huntington Library, as well as contemporary accounts written by those who knew them, Willoughby has now told the Robidouxs’ story.
On July 4th, 1842, Caroline Quarlls left family, friends, and the only life she'd known behind in St. Louis, Missouri. As the child of a slave mother and a slave-owner father, her young life was one of drudgery and obedience until that fateful Independence Day when she illegally took a steamboat across the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Alton, Illinois, in the hope of reaching freedom.
With the help of abolitionists, the 16-year-old traveled through Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan on the Underground Railroad, enduring long, bumpy rides in the bottom of a wagon and taking cover in everything from barrels to potato chutes. Each step of the way, Quarlls was pursued by lawyers paid to retrieve her and bounty hunters greedy for the reward money. Finally, she crossed from Detroit into Sandwich, Canada, where created a new life as a free woman, an exciting but also frightening, experience. Quarlls' story gives young readers a personal snapshot of the tension-filled journey of a runaway slave while illuminating a segment of the complicated history of race in our nation.
Chinese St. Louis offers the first empirical study of a Midwestern Chinese American community from its nineteenth-century origins to the present. As in many cities, Chinese newcomers were soon segregated in an enclave; in St. Louis the enclave was called "Hop Alley." Huping Ling shows how, over time, the community grew and dispersed until it was no longer marked by physical boundaries. She argues that the St. Louis experience departs from the standard models of Chinese settlement in urban areas, which are based on studies of coastal cities. Developing the concept of a cultural community, Ling shows how Chinese Americans in St. Louis have formed and maintained cultural institutions and organizations for social and political purposes throughout the city, which serve as the community's infrastructure. Thus the history of Chinese Americans in St. Louis more closely parallels that of other urban ethnic groups and offers new insight into the range of adaptation and assimilation experience in the United States.
The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited nationwide protests and brought widespread attention police brutality and institutional racism. But Ferguson was no aberration. As Colin Gordon shows in this urgent and timely book, the events in Ferguson exposed not only the deep racism of the local police department but also the ways in which decades of public policy effectively segregated people and curtailed citizenship not just in Ferguson but across the St. Louis suburbs.
Citizen Brown uncovers half a century of private practices and public policies that resulted in bitter inequality and sustained segregation in Ferguson and beyond. Gordon shows how municipal and school district boundaries were pointedly drawn to contain or exclude African Americans and how local policies and services—especially policing, education, and urban renewal—were weaponized to maintain civic separation. He also makes it clear that the outcry that arose in Ferguson was no impulsive outburst but rather an explosion of pent-up rage against long-standing systems of segregation and inequality—of which a police force that viewed citizens not as subjects to serve and protect but as sources of revenue was only the most immediate example. Worse, Citizen Brown illustrates the fact that though the greater St. Louis area provides some extraordinarily clear examples of fraught racial dynamics, in this it is hardly alone among American cities and regions.
Interactive maps and other companion resources to Citizen Brown are available at the book website.
The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis
Cyprian Clamorgan, Edited with an Introduction by Julie Winch University of Missouri Press, 1999 Library of Congress F474.S29N424 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.89607307866
In 1858, Cyprian Clamorgan wrote a brief but immensely readable book entitled The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis. The grandson of a white voyageur and a mulatto woman, he was himself a member of the "colored aristocracy." In a setting where the vast majority of African Americans were slaves, and where those who were free generally lived in abject poverty, Clamorgan's "aristocrats" were exceptional people. Wealthy, educated, and articulate, these men and women occupied a "middle ground." Their material advantages removed them from the mass of African Americans, but their race barred them from membership in white society.
The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is both a serious analysis of the social and legal disabilities under which African Americans of all classes labored and a settling of old scores. Somewhat malicious, Clamorgan enjoyed pointing out the foibles of his friends and enemies, but his book had a serious message as well. "He endeavored to convince white Americans that race was not an absolute, that the black community was not a monolith, that class, education, and especially wealth, should count for something."
Despite its fascinating insights into antebellum St. Louis, Clamorgan's book has been virtually ignored since its initial publication. Using deeds, church records, court cases, and other primary sources, Winch reacquaints readers with this important book and establishes its place in the context of African American history. This annotated edition of The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis includes an introductory essay on African Americans in St. Louis before the Civil War, as well as an account of the lives of the author and the members of his remarkable family—a family that was truly at the heart of the city's "colored aristocracy" for four generations.
A witty and perceptive commentary on race and class, The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is a remarkable story about a largely forgotten segment of nineteenth-century society. Scholars and general readers alike will appreciate Clamorgan's insights into one of antebellum America's most important communities.
Joe Garagiola remembers playing baseball with stolen balls and bats while growing up on the Hill. Chuck Berry had run-ins with police before channeling his energy into rock and roll. But not all the boys growing up on the rough streets of St. Louis had loving families or managed to find success. This book reviews a century of history to tell the story of the “lost” boys who struggled to survive on the city’s streets as it evolved from a booming late-nineteenth-century industrial center to a troubled mid-twentieth-century metropolis.
To the eyes of impressionable boys without parents to shield them, St. Louis presented an ever-changing spectacle of violence. Small, loosely organized bands from the tenement districts wandered the city looking for trouble, and they often found it. The geology of St. Louis also provided for unique accommodations—sometimes gangs of boys found shelter in the extensive system of interconnected caves underneath the city. Boys could hide in these secret lairs for weeks or even months at a stretch.
Bonnie Stepenoff gives voice to the harrowing experiences of destitute and homeless boys and young men who struggled to grow up, with little or no adult supervision, on streets filled with excitement but also teeming with sharpsters ready to teach these youngsters things they would never learn in school. Well-intentioned efforts of private philanthropists and public officials sometimes went cruelly astray, and sometimes were ineffective, but sometimes had positive effects on young lives.
Stepenoff traces the history of several efforts aimed at assisting the city’s homeless boys. She discusses the prison-like St. Louis House of Refuge, where more than 80 percent of the resident children were boys, and Father Dunne's News Boys' Home and Protectorate, which stressed education and training for more than a century after its founding. She charts the growth of Skid Row and details how historical events such as industrialization, economic depression, and wars affected this vulnerable urban population.
Most of these boys grew up and lived decent, unheralded lives, but that doesn’t mean that their childhood experiences left them unscathed. Their lives offer a compelling glimpse into old St. Louis while reinforcing the idea that society has an obligation to create cities that will nurture and not endanger the young.
"Shall a man be dragged back to Slavery from our Free Soil, without an open trial of his right to Liberty?" —Handbill circulated in Milwaukee on March 11, 1854
In Finding Freedom, Ruby West Jackson and Walter T. McDonald provide readers with the first narrative account of the life of Joshua Glover, the runaway slave who was famously broken out of jail by thousands of Wisconsin abolitionists in 1854. Employing original research, the authors chronicle Glover's days as a slave in St. Louis, his violent capture and thrilling escape in Milwaukee, his journey on the Underground Railroad, and his 33 years of freedom in rural Canada.
While Jackson and McDonald demonstrate how the catalytic "Glover incident" captured national attention—pitting the proud state of Wisconsin against the Supreme Court and adding fuel to the pre-Civil War fire—their primary focus is on the ordinary citizens, both black and white, with whom Joshua Glover interacted. A bittersweet story of bravery and compassion, Finding Freedom provides the first full picture of the man for whom so many fought, and around whom so much history was made.
During star-pitcher Bob Gibson’s most brilliant season, the turbulent summer of 1968, he started thirty-four games and pitched every inning in twenty-eight of them, shutting out the opponents in almost half of those complete games. After their record-breaking season, Gibson and his teammates were stunned to lose the 1968 World Series to the Detroit Tigers. For the next six years, as Bob Gibson struggled to maintain his pitching excellence at the end of his career, changes in American culture ultimately changed the St. Louis Cardinals and the business and pastime of baseball itself.
Set against the backdrop of American history and popular culture, from the protests of the Vietnam War to the breakup of the Beatles, the story of the Cardinals takes on new meaning as another aspect of the changes happening at that time. In the late 1960s, exorbitant salaries and free agency was threatening to change America’s game forever and negatively impact the smaller-market teams in Major League Baseball. As the Cardinals’ owner August A. Busch Jr. and manager Albert “Red” Schoendienst attempted to reinvent the team, restore its cohesiveness, and bring new blood in to propel the team back to contention for the pennant, Gibson remained the one constant on the team.
In looking back on his career, Gibson mourned the end of the Golden Era of baseball and believed that the changes in the game would be partially blamed on him, as his pitching success caused team owners to believe that cash-paying customers only wanted base hits and home runs. Yet, he contended, the shrinking of the strike zone, the lowering of the mound, and the softening of the traditional rancor between the hitter and pitcher forever changed the role of the pitcher in the game and created a more politically correct version of the sport.
Throughout Gibson’s Last Stand, Doug Feldmann captivates readers with the action of the game, both on and off the field, and interjects interesting and detailed tidbits on players’ backgrounds that often tie them to famous players of the past, current stars, and well-known contemporary places. Feldmann also entwines the teams history with Missouri history: President Truman and the funeral procession for President Eisenhower through St. Louis; Missouri sports legends Dizzy Dean, Mark McGwire, and Stan “the Man” Musial; and legendary announcers Harry Caray and Jack Buck. Additionally, a helpful appendix provides National League East standings from 1969 to 1975.
Bob Gibson remains one of the most unique, complex, and beloved players in Cardinals history. In this story of one of the least examined parts of his career—his final years on the team—Feldmann takes readers into the heart of his complexity and the changes that swirled around him.
"This is a theoretically sophisticated and thoroughly documented historical case study of the movements for African American liberation in St. Louis. Through detailed analysis of black working class mobilization from the depression years to the advent of Black Power, award-winning historian Clarence Lang describes how the advances made in earlier decades were undermined by a black middle class agenda that focused on the narrow aims of black capitalists and politicians. The book is a major contribution to our understanding of the black working class insurgency that underpinned the civil rights and Black Power campaigns of the twentieth century."
---V. P. Franklin, University of California, Riverside
"A major work of scholarship that will transform historical understanding of the pivotal role that class politics played in both civil rights and Black Power activism in the United States. Clarence Lang's insightful, engagingly written, and well-researched study will prove indispensable to scholars and students of postwar American history."
---Peniel Joseph, Brandeis University
Breaking new ground in the field of Black Freedom Studies, Grassroots at the Gateway reveals how urban black working-class communities, cultures, and institutions propelled the major African American social movements in the period between the Great Depression and the end of the Great Society. Using the city of St. Louis in the border state of Missouri as a case study, author Clarence Lang undermines the notion that a unified "black community" engaged in the push for equality, justice, and respect. Instead, black social movements of the working class were distinct from---and at times in conflict with---those of the middle class. This richly researched book delves into African American oral histories, records of activist individuals and organizations, archives of the black advocacy press, and even the records of the St. Louis' economic power brokers whom local black freedom fighters challenged. Grassroots at the Gateway charts the development of this race-class divide, offering an uncommon reading of not only the civil rights movement but also the emergence and consolidation of a black working class.
Clarence Lang is Assistant Professor in African American Studies and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Photo courtesy Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri, St. Louis
Shortly after 5:00 P.M. On Wednesday, May 27, 1896, a Herculean tornado shattered the St. Louis Area. Within twenty minutes, 137 people had perished in St. Louis, with 118 dead across the river in East St. Louis. Along a ten-mile swath of devastation, the tornado destroyed 311 buildings, heavily damaged 7,200 others and caused significant harm to 1,300 more. Even today, that powerful cyclone of a century ago "remains the single deadliest incident to befall the St. Louis area," according to Tim O’ Neil of the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, who wrote the foreword for this historic reprint of a book originally published by the Cyclone Publishing Company.
Heavily illustrated by photographs of the damage, The Great Cyclone was compiled from stories in the city’ s daily newspapers— the Globe-Democrat, the Post-Dispatch, and, most notably, the old St. Louis Republic. O’ Neil points out that "the book’ s compilers are not identified, but their glowing praise of the ‘ superb descriptive composition’ in the Republic provides a good guess about where most of them worked."
Decades before the 1960s, social reformers began planting the seeds for the Modern Civil Rights era. During the period spanning World Wars I and II, St. Louis, Missouri, was home to a dynamic group of African American social welfare reformers. The city’s history and culture were shaped both by those who would construct it as a southern city and by the heirs of New England abolitionism. Allying with white liberals to promote the era’s new emphasis on “the common good,” black reformers confronted racial segregation and its consequences of inequality and, in doing so, helped to determine the gradual change in public policy that led to a more inclusive social order.
In Groping toward Democracy: African American Social Welfare Reform in St. Louis, 1910–1949, historian Priscilla A. Dowden-White presents an on-the-ground view of local institution building and community organizing campaigns initiated by African American social welfare reformers. Through extensive research, the author places African American social welfare reform efforts within the vanguard of interwar community and neighborhood organization, reaching beyond the “racial uplift” and “behavior” models of the studies preceding hers. She explores one of the era’s chief organizing principles, the “community as a whole” idea, and deliberates on its relationship to segregation and the St. Louis black community’s methods of reform. Groping toward Democracy depicts the dilemmas organizers faced in this segregated time, explaining how they pursued the goal of full, uncontested black citizenship while still seeking to maximize the benefits available to African Americans in segregated institutions. The book’s nuanced mapping of the terrain of social welfare offers an unparalleled view of the progress brought forth by the early-twentieth-century crusade for democracy and equality.
By delving into interrelated developments in health care, education, labor, and city planning, Dowden-White deftly examines St. Louis’s African American interwar history. Her in-depth archival research fills a void in the scholarship of St. Louis’s social development, and her compelling arguments will be of great interest to scholars and teachers of American urban studies and social welfare history.
One of Missouri's best-known leaders of the Progressive Era, Joseph W. Folk epitomized the moral reformer in politics. As a crusading district attorney in St. Louis, Folk won national acclaim for his investigations of wrongdoing in municipal government. With the help of muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, Folk revealed for the first time the extent of political corruption then plaguing America's cities and helped bring about a popular demand for the regeneration of municipal government nationwide.
A firm believer that the law was a weapon with which to check political corruption and restrain powerful special interests, Folk popularized the "Missouri Idea," the doctrine that public office is a public trust, not merely an opportunity for private gain. Elected as governor of Missouri in 1904, Folk orchestrated a remarkable record of legislative accomplishment. He established himself as one of Missouri's outstanding governors and one of the nation's leading progressive reformers.
In asserting that traditional moral values could be applied to politics, Folk became known among friends and enemies as Holy Joe. His refusal to make any distinction between public and private morality, however, alienated some Missourians, while his disregard for party organization angered politicians. His idealism cost him political advancement and ultimately a place in national politics.
Whereas some studies of the Progressive Era have minimized the moral dimension of Progressivism and downplayed the importance of reformers like Joseph W. Folk, Holy Joe establishes him as a major leader of the Progressive movement. This biography will be a welcome addition to the literature on the subject.
This book tells the story of Ivory Perry, a black worker and community activist who, for more than thirty years, has distributed the leaflets, carried the picket signs, and planned and participated in the confrontations that were essential to the success of protest movements. Using oral histories and extensive archival research, George Lipsitz examines the culture of opposition through the events of Perry’s life of commitment and illumines the social and political changes and conflicts that have convulsed the United States during the past fifty years.
When St. Louis homemaker Pearl Curran began writing fiction and poetry at a Ouija board in 1913, she attributed the work to the “discarnate entity” Patience Worth, a seventeenth-century Puritan. Though now virtually forgotten, her writing garnered both critical praise and public popularity at the time. The Patience of Pearl uncovers more of Curran’s (and thus Patience Worth’s) biography than has been known before; Daniel B. Shea provides close readings of the Patience-dictated writings and explores the historical and local context, applying current cognitive and neuro-psychology research.
Though Pearl Curran had only a ninth-grade education, Patience Worth was able to dictate a biblical novel and a Victorian novel. Echoes of Dickens and the Potters, a circle of St. Louis women writers, make clear that Patience Worth reflects literary debts that go as far back as Curran being read to as a child. Shea argues that the workings of implicit memory suggest the medium’s creative achievements were her own body’s property. Curran also had musical training, and recent developments in the field of psychology regarding the overlap between musical and linguistic rhythms of regularity, anticipation, and surprise supply a firm foundation for attributing skills both automatic and creative to Curran. Her reflections on her doubleness in her self-study anticipate the many-personed Ouija board writing of poet James Merrill.
Shea approaches Curran/Worth as a summary figure for the Victorian-era woman writer’s buried voice at the point of its transition into modernism. He investigates many lingering questions about Curran’s fluent productivity at the Ouija board, including the “smart” versus “dumb” unconscious. Shea links unconscious memory, dissociation, and automatic writing and reconsiders problematic assumptions about individual identity and claims of personal agency. The Curran/Worth Puritan/writer figure also allows scrutiny of gendered assumptions about the dangers of female speech and the idealization of women’s passive reception of divine, or husbandly, revelation.
Novelistic in its own way, Curran’s life included three husbands and a child adopted on command from Patience Worth. Pearl Curran enjoyed a brief period of celebrity in Los Angeles before her death in 1937. The Patience of Pearl once again brings her the attention she deserves—for her life, her writing, and her place in women’s literary history.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, type for newspapers and books was set one letter at a time, and the manufacturers of the metal type used in the printing trade were called typefounders. This prominent yet rarely documented industry was essential to the development of modern American publishing and was particularly prevalent in St. Louis. In Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization, Robert A. Mullen recognizes the city’s significant contributions to typefounding and details how the craft fundamentally changed through mechanization, growth, and the creation of a large conglomerate.
Like many trades of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that were eventually lost to industrialization, the typefoundries of St. Louis grew from small shops to factories with organized labor. Mullen describes three distinct periods of the industry that emerged in St. Louis’s typefounding trade: the early struggles in establishing the industry there, the period of intense competition and creative enterprise, and the proliferation of new companies that appealed to those customers who felt alienated by the monopolizing older companies.
Mullen discusses at length the technological, social, and demographic foundations of the immense growth of the trade in the nineteenth century, identifying the changes in typographical design and the demand for it in the new era of advertising. He also profiles the workers, working conditions, and labor issues—such as the failed industry-wide strike of 1903—that emerged as the craft of typefounding entered the industrial age. More than two hundred type designs that originated with the St. Louis firms are listed in an appendix with examples of each face. The volume also contains a list of the catalogs of the St. Louis typefoundries known to exist in the public and academic libraries of the United States.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, thousands of former slaves made their way from the South to the Kansas plains. Called “Exodusters,” they were searching for their own promised land. Bryan Jack now tells the story of this American exodus as it played out in St. Louis, a key stop in the journey west.
Many of the Exodusters landed on the St. Louis levee destitute, appearing more as refugees than as homesteaders, and city officials refused aid for fear of encouraging more migrants. To the stranded Exodusters, St. Louis became a barrier as formidable as the Red Sea, and Jack tells how the city’s African American community organized relief in response to this crisis and provided the migrants with funds to continue their journey.
The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters tells of former slaves such as George Rogers and Jacob Stevens, who fled violence and intimidation in Louisiana and Mississippi. It documents the efforts of individuals in St. Louis, such as Charlton Tandy, Moses Dickson, and Rev. John Turner, who reached out to help them. But it also shows that black aid to the Exodusters was more than charity. Jack argues that community support was a form of collective resistance to white supremacy and segregation as well as a statement for freedom and self-direction—reflecting an understanding that if the Exodusters’ right to freedom of movement was limited, so would be the rights of all African Americans. He also discusses divisions within the African American community and among its leaders regarding the nature of aid and even whether it should be provided.
In telling of the community’s efforts—a commitment to civil rights that had started well before the Civil War—Jack provides a more complete picture of St. Louis as a city, of Missouri as a state, and of African American life in an era of dramatic change. Blending African American, southern, western, and labor history, The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters offers an important new lens for exploring the complex racial relationships that existed within post-Reconstruction America.
The St. Louis Baseball Reader
Richard Peterson University of Missouri Press, 2006 Library of Congress GV863.M82S7 2006 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640977866
The St. Louis Baseball Reader is a tale of two teams: one the city’s lovable losers, the other a formidable dynasty.
The St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful franchise in National League history, while the St. Louis Browns were one of the least successful, yet most colorful, American League teams. Now Richard Peterson has collected the writings of some of baseball’s greatest storytellers to pay tribute to both these teams. His book, the first anthology devoted exclusively to the Cardinals and Browns, covers the rich history of St. Louis baseball from its late-nineteenth-century origins to the modern era.
The St. Louis Baseball Reader is a celebration of the many legendary stars and colorful characters who wore St. Louis uniforms and the writers who told their stories, including Alfred Spink, Roger Angell, George Will, and Baseball Hall of Fame writers Bob Broeg, J. Roy Stockton, Red Smith, and Fred Lieb. Here, too, are John Grisham, who grew up a Redbirds fan in Mississippi, and Jack Buck, the most identifiable voice in Cardinal history. Great players—Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Marty Marion, and Satchel Paige—tell their own stories, while Bill Veeck offers an account of his wild ride as the last Browns owner and Whitey Herzog shares regrets about the play that cost the Cardinals the 1985 World Series.
From the days of the Gas House Gang to the 1944 “Streetcar Series,” from Bill Veeck’s legendary stunts to Mark McGwire’s pursuit of Roger Maris’s home-run record, the Reader will bring back memories for every fan. It takes in all of the magic of the ballpark—whether recounting the unhittable pitching of Bob Gibson, the slugging prowess of Stan “The Man” Musial, or the sterling glove-work of Ozzie Smith—along with reflective commentaries that tell how Jackie Robinson confronted racism and Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause.
St. Louis is a city blessed with a memorable baseball history, and The St. Louis Baseball Reader perfectly captures the joy and heartbreak of its winning and losing teams. It’s a book that will delight current fans of the Cardinals and old-timers who fondly recall the Browns.
St. Louis's story stands for the story of all those cities whose ambitions and civic self-image, forged from the growth of the mercantile and industrial eras, have been dramatically altered over time. More dramatically, perhaps, than most -- but in a manner shared by all -- St. Louis's changing economic base, shifting population and altered landscape have forced scholars, policymakers, and residents alike to acknowledge the transciency of what once seemed inexorable metropolitan trends: concentration, growth, accumulated wealth, and generally improved well-being.
In this book, Eric Sandweiss scrutinizes the everyday landscape -- streets, houses, neighborhoods, and public buildings -- as it evolved in a classic American city. Bringing to life the spaces that most of us pass without noticing, he reveals how the processes of dividing, trading, improving, and dwelling upon land are acts that reflect and shape social relations. From its origins as a French colonial settlement in the eighteenth century to the present day, St. Louis offers a story not just about how our past is diagrammed in brick and asphalt, but also about the American city's continuing viability as a place where the balance of individual rights and collective responsibilities can be debated, demonstrated and adjusted for generations to come.
The standard story of St. Louis's founding tells of fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau hacking a city out of wilderness. St. Louis Rising overturns such gauzy myths with the contrarian thesis that French government officials and institutions shaped and structured early city society. Of the former, none did more than Louis St. Ange de Bellerive. His commitment to the Bourbon monarchy and to civil tranquility made him the prime mover as St. Louis emerged during the tumult following the French and Indian War.
Drawing on new source materials, the authors delve into the complexities of politics, Indian affairs, slavery, and material culture that defined the city's founding period. Their alternative version of the oft-told tale uncovers the imperial realities--as personified by St. Ange--that truly governed in the Illinois Country of the time, and provide a trove of new information on everything from the fur trade to the arrival of the British and Spanish after the Seven Years' War.
The Veiled Prophet organization has been a vital institution in St. Louis for more than a century. Founded in March 1878 by a group of prominent St. Louis businessmen, the organization was fashioned after the New Orleans Carnival society the Mystick Krewe of Comus. In The St. Louis Veiled Prophet Celebration, Thomas Spencer explores the social and cultural functions of the organization's annual celebration—the Veiled Prophet parade and ball—and traces the shifts that occurred over the years in its cultural meaning and importance. Although scholars have researched the more pluralistic parades of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, very little has been done to examine the elite-dominated parades of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This study shows how pluralistic parades ceased to exist in St. Louis and why the upper echelon felt it was so important to end them.
Spencer shows that the celebration originated as the business elite's response to the St. Louis general strike of 1877. Symbolically gaining control of the streets, the elites presented St. Louis history and American history by tracing the triumphs of great men—men who happened to be the Veiled Prophet members' ancestors. The parade, therefore, was intended to awe the masses toward passivity with its symbolic show of power. The members believed that they were helping to boost St. Louis economically and culturally by enticing visitors from the surrounding communities. They also felt that the parades provided the spectators with advice on morals and social issues and distracted them from less desirable behavior like drinking and carousing.
From 1900 to 1965 the celebration continued to include educational and historical elements; thereafter, it began to resemble the commercialized leisure that was increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. The biggest change occurred in the period from 1965 to 1980, when the protests of civil rights groups led many St. Louisans to view the parade and ball as wasteful conspicuous consumption that was often subsidized with taxpayers' money. With membership dropping and the news media giving the organization little notice, it soon began to wither. In response, the leaders of the Veiled Prophet organization decided to have a "VP Fair" over the Fourth of July weekend. The 1990s brought even more changes, and the members began to view the celebration as a way to unite the St. Louis community, with all of its diversity, rather than as a chance to boost the city or teach cultural values. The St. Louis Veiled Prophet Celebration is a valuable addition not only to the cultural history of Missouri and St. Louis but also to recent scholarship on urban culture, city politics, and the history of public celebrations in America.
In the autumn of 1972, Lucy Ferriss, then a college student in California, was preparing for the Veiled Prophet Ball at which she was to be presented to St. Louis society. Once the largest cotillion in the country, the invitation-only ball was unique among society events not only for the legend and mystery surrounding its namesake but also for its setting in a public, taxpayer-funded arena and for its accompanying parade.
In the late sixties and early seventies, with racial tensions at a boiling point and urban renewal failing, the exclusively white male Christian membership of the Veiled Prophet Society and the Veiled Prophet’s costume—eerily reminiscent of a Klansman’s—attracted the ire of ACTION, a militant civil rights group. Before the 1972 ball, ACTION founder Percy Green, himself a native St. Louisan, sent letters inviting all of the debutantes to join in the protest: “ACTION understands that you hate being part of this upcoming white racist Veiled Prophet Ball as we hate you being forced to participate by your parents.” The letter didn’t persuade Ferriss, who felt she owed it to her father to participate. She wrote back: “Don’t you have bigger fish to fry? This is just a stupid party. We are slaughtering people in Southeast Asia. Let this one go. It will fall of its own weight.”
But ACTION did not let this one go. On the night of the ball, as Ferriss bowed in obeisance to the crowd and took her place on the stage, a woman swooped down onto the stage and knocked off the Veiled Prophet’s hat and veil, revealing his identity. In the era of monumental Vietnam War protests, unmasking a wealthy and powerful old man might have seemed a feeble act of revolution, but this act forever changed the Veiled Prophet Ball in St. Louis.
Ferriss’s memoir blends regional history, national history, and her own personal history to create a fast-paced narrative that follows two time lines. One is the dramatic and often funny story of her attending the exclusive ball, having eaten half a pan of marijuana brownies beforehand, with a Jewish hippie who smelled of “unwashed beard.” The other story takes place thirty years later as Ferriss returns to St. Louis from her home on the East Coast to track down some of ACTION’s principal activists as well as key figures in the Veiled Prophet Society.
Over the course of this engaging story, Ferriss undergoes her own unveiling, as she discusses and comes to terms with her family; the past, present, and future of St. Louis; and the cultural politics that frame young women’s entrance into society.
Winner, Missouri Conference on History Book Award, 2001
Victory without Violence is the story of a small, integrated group of St. Louisans who carried out sustained campaigns from 1947 to 1957 that were among the earliest in the nation to end racial segregation in public accommodations. Guided by Gandhian principles of nonviolent direct action, the St. Louis Committee of Racial Equality (CORE) conducted negotiations, demonstrations, and sit-ins to secure full rights for the African American residents of St. Louis.
The book opens with an overview of post-World War II racial injustice in the United States and in St. Louis. After recounting the genesis of St. Louis CORE, the writers vividly relate activities at lunch counters, cafeterias, and restaurants, demonstrating CORE's remarkable success in winning over initially hostile owners, manager, and service employees. A detailed review of its sixteen-month campaign at a major St. Louis department store, Stix, Baer & Fuller, illustrates the groups' patient persistence. Kimbrough and Dagen show after the passage of a public accommodations ordinance in 1961, CORE's goal of equal access was realized throughout the city of St. Louis.
On the scene reports drawn from CORE newsletters (1951-1955) and reminiscences by members appear throughout the text. In a closing chapter, the authors trace the lasting effects of the CORE experience on the lives of its members. Victory without Violence casts light on a previously obscured decade in St. Louis civil rights history.
“Business during the Week was very dull. The great Plague of the Year Cholera is driving every Country [person] and Merchants from Surrounding Cities away. The City looks like a desert Compared to its usual animated appearance. Last week ending the 6th there were 78 deaths from it, altogether 173. This week ending yesterday 278 deaths 189 from Cholera. People parting for a day or so, bid farewell to each other. My Partners family are fortunately in the Country. I and Clemens sleep in the Same bed, in Case of a Sudden attack to be within groaning distance. . .”
—Diary entry for Sunday, May 13th, 1849
Joseph J. Mersman was a liquor merchant, a German American immigrant who aspired—with success—to become a self-made man. The diary he kept from 1847 to 1864 provides an intriguing account of life in Cincinnati and St. Louis—America’s emerging frontier.
Outside of Gold Rush diaries and emigration journals, few narrative records of the antebellum period have been published. As a record of both the man and the time in which he lived, The Whiskey Merchant’s Diary is a valuable resource for social historians, providing significant details about bachelorhood, whiskey making, ballroom dancing, circus history, card games, steamboat transportation, gender roles, theater history, and Victorian etiquette. The diary is also the story of a man who confronted serious disease, and his descriptions of cholera and syphilis are exceptional.
Complemented by photographs, maps, and period advertisements, the diary reveals how a German American businessman worked to establish himself in his newly adopted country during an era that was rife with opportunity. Linda A. Fisher’s professional training as a physician makes the public health aspect of this project particularly valuable, and her annotations throughout serve to emphasize the significance of Mersman’s firsthand observations.
The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was a major event in early-twentieth-century America. Attracting millions of tourists, it exemplified the Victorian predilection for public spectacle. The Fair has long served as a touchstone for historians interested in American culture prior to World War I and has endured in the memories of generations of St. Louis residents and visitors. In Whose Fair? James Gilbert asks: what can we learn about the lived experience of fairgoers when we compare historical accounts, individual and collective memories, and artifacts from the event?
Exploring these differing, at times competing, versions of history and memory prompts Gilbert to dig through a rich trove of archival material. He examines the papers of David Francis, the Fair’s president and subsequent chief archivist; guidebooks and other official publications; the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis; diaries, oral histories, and other personal accounts; and a collection of striking photographs. From this dazzling array of sources, Gilbert paints a lively picture of how fairgoers spent their time, while also probing the ways history and memory can complement each other.
Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life.
Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life.
Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.
St. Louis contains one of the largest Jewish communities in the interior of the United States. Yet, despite the important contributions of St. Louis Jews to the city's cultural and economic growth and to national and international Jewry, no history of their accomplishments has heretofore been written.
In this masterful book, Walter Ehrlich shows how the St. Louis Jewish community grew in two separate yet intricately related milieux. One was the internal socioreligious community, which centered on relations of Jews with fellow Jews. The other was the broader secular environment, in which Jews individually and collectively interacted with the non-Jewish population, assuming significant roles in the political, economic, social, and religious developments of one of the country's most important urban centers.
Employing many previously unused primary materials--especially congregational archives, organizational and business records, contemporary newspapers, and vivid personal memoirs--Ehrlich presents a fascinating description of how individuals and groups contributed to the growth and development of a major American urban area. He clarifies significant aspects of social and economic structure, mobility, and philanthropy within the Jewish community and integrates them within the broader framework of American society. In the process, Ehrlich provides a unique perspective on St. Louis history, as well as on American urban, ethnic, and immigration history.
Zion in the Valley is an invaluable contribution to the field of Jewish studies. It will appeal to scholars and students of Jewish, urban, and ethnic history, as well as to members of the broader St. Louis community.
The second volume of a two-volume history of the Jewish community of St. Louis, Zionin the Valley, Volume II covers the St. Louis Jewish population during the twentieth century, continuing where Volume I concluded. Published in 1997, Volume I deals primarily with the achievements of the German Jewish immigrants who dominated the St. Louis Jewish community during the nineteenth century. In the latter part of that century, a second large wave of Jewish immigrants, this time from Eastern Europe, began to arrive in St. Louis. Because the new immigrants differed in so many ways from their German precursors, two separate and decidedly hostile Jewish communities developed: the German/Reform community and the Eastern European/Orthodox community.
The most important development of the twentieth century, and the basic theme of this volume, was how the deep chasm between the two communities was bridged and a new, unified “American Jewish” community free from the earlier hostilities was born. This volume examines in insightful detail how that happened. It looks at Jewish religious and educational institutions; Jewish participation in local political, economic, and civic activities; Jewish cultural, philanthropic, and recreational life; and especially Jewish demographics within the larger St. Louis–area community.
Existing histories of St. Louis barely even allude to its Jewish population. This narrative is based almost entirely upon unused primary sources: archival records, newspapers, reminiscences, interviews, and organizational records. The two volumes together are not only important components of St. Louis history but also a vital part of American urban, ethnic, and immigration history.