Claiborne Fox Jackson, one of ten children of Dempsey Carroll and Mary Orea "Molly" (Pickett) Jackson, was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, where his father was a wealthy tobacco farmer and slaveholder.
|Fleming County Courthouse|
|Howard County, Missouri|
|Dr. John Sappington, |
|Grave of Jane Sappington Jackson|
In 1832, with the outbreak of hostilities in the Black Hawk War, Jackson organized, and was elected captain of, a unit of Howard County volunteers for the conflict.
Returning from the war, Jackson chose not to resume his business partnership with his brothers, instead deciding to try his fortune in nearby Saline County.
|Grave of Louisa Jackson|
|Eliza Sappington Jackson, Third Wife|
In 1840, Jackson very nearly found himself involved in a duel over politics. Writing anonymously to a Fayette newspaper, he made accusations that the Whig candidate for Missouri Governor that year, John B. Clark, was guilty of election fraud. More harsh words were exchanged and eventually Clark challenged Jackson to a duel before cooler heads prevailed and the matter was settled without gunplay.
|John B. Clark|
|Senator Thomas Hart Benton|
On February 18, Missourians elected a special state convention to decide on secession and other matters. The convention voted 98-1 against secession, despite lobbying by Jackson. Jackson announced that he would continue the policy of his predecessor, whereby Missouri would be an "armed neutral," refusing to give arms or men to either side in the approaching Civil War. Jackson was carrying on secret correspondence with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, making plans to carry Missouri out of the Union by a military coup. The key point was the U.S. Arsenal in St. Louis, which contained large stocks of arms and ammunition. Jackson plotted to seize the Arsenal, and asked Davis to send artillery to breach the Arsenal's walls.
|St. Louis Arsenal|
|Jackson's Letter to Cameron|
Lyon responded to the perceived threat with force. On May 10, 1861, Lyon surrounded Camp Jackson with pro-Union volunteer "Home Guards" (mostly drawn from the German immigrants of St. Louis), and took the Militia captive. The prisoners were marched to the Arsenal, and during the march a riot broke out. During two days of rioting, several soldiers, prisoners, and bystanders were killed.
On June 11, 1861, Jackson met with Lyon, hoping to extend the truce, but Lyon refused. Lyon marched on Jefferson City, the Missouri state capitol, with his forces, entering on June 13.
|Battle of Boonville|
|John Sappington Marmaduke|
|Cartoon published after the battle of Boonville|
|Battle of Pea Ridge|
|Clairborne Jackson at the time of the Civil War|