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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lilburn Boggs
Lilburn-Boggs.jpg
Official governor portrait in Missouri State Capitol
6th Governor of Missouri
In office
September 30, 1836 – November 16, 1840
LieutenantFranklin Cannon
Preceded byDaniel Dunklin
Succeeded byThomas Reynolds
4th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
In office
November 19, 1832 – September 30, 1836
GovernorDaniel Dunklin
Preceded byDaniel Dunklin
Succeeded byVacant
Member of the Missouri Senate
In office
1825–1832
1842–1846
Member of the California State Assembly
Personal details
Born
Lilburn Williams Boggs

(1796-12-14)December 14, 1796
Lexington, Kentucky
DiedMarch 14, 1860(1860-03-14) (aged 63)
Rancho Napa, Napa County, California
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
Military service
Allegiance United States
Battles/warsWar of 1812

Lilburn Williams Boggs (December 14, 1796 – March 14, 1860)[1] was the sixth Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840. He is now most widely remembered for his interactions with Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell, and Missouri Executive Order 44, known by Mormons as the "Extermination Order", issued in response to the ongoing conflict between members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other settlers of Missouri. Boggs was also a key player in the Honey War of 1837.

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I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.

Contents

Early life

Lilburn W. Boggs was born in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky on December 14, 1796, to John McKinley Boggs and Martha Oliver. Boggs served for 18 months with the Kentucky troops during the War of 1812. He moved in 1816 from Lexington, Kentucky to Missouri, which was then part of the Louisiana Territory. He was a member of the Smithton Company that would establish the Town of Smithton that would later grown into Columbia, Missouri.

In Greenup County, Kentucky, in 1817, Boggs married his first wife Julia Ann Bent (1801–1820), a sister of the Bent brothers of Bent's Fort fame, and daughter of Silas Bent, then a judge in the Missouri Supreme Court. She died on September 21, 1820 in St Louis, Missouri. They had two children, Angus and Henry.

In 1823, Boggs married Panthea Grant Boone (1801–1880), a granddaughter of Daniel Boone, in Callaway County, Missouri. They spent most of the following twenty-three years in Jackson County, Missouri, where all but two of their many children were born.

Boggs started out as a clerk, then entered politics. He served as a Missouri state senator in 1825 to 1832; as lieutenant governor from 1832 to 1836; governor from 1836 to 1840; and again as state senator from 1842 to 1846. He was a Democrat.

Extermination order

The handwritten extermination order.
The handwritten extermination order.

While governor of Missouri, Boggs issued Missouri Executive Order 44, a document known in Latter-day Saint history as the "Extermination Order." A response to the escalating threats and violence in what came to be known as the Missouri 1838 Mormon War, this executive order was issued on October 27, 1838 and called for Latter Day Saints (Mormons) to be driven from the state, by dint of what he termed their

...open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State ... the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description.

The order was rescinded on June 25, 1976, after nearly 138 years, by Missouri Governor Christopher Bond, who declared that the original order violated legal rights established by the U.S. Constitution. In rescinding the order, Bond offered his regrets on behalf of the state.[2]

Assassination attempt

Marker on the Mormon Walking Tour commemorating the spot where Boggs house was located. The marker is in a cleared patch of snow on the sidewalk (to the left of the blow up). The Independence Temple steeple can be seen in the trees at the top of the hill.
Marker on the Mormon Walking Tour commemorating the spot where Boggs house was located. The marker is in a cleared patch of snow on the sidewalk (to the left of the blow up). The Independence Temple steeple can be seen in the trees at the top of the hill.

Boggs, who was from Independence, moved to a house within the City of Zion plot in Independence after the Mormons were evicted from Missouri and after he left office. His home was three blocks east of Temple Lot.[3] On the rainy evening of May 6, 1842, Boggs was shot by an unknown party who fired at him through a window as he read a newspaper in his study. Boggs was hit by large buckshot in four places: two balls were lodged in his skull, another lodged in his neck, and a fourth entered his throat, whereupon Boggs swallowed it. Boggs was severely injured. Several doctors—Boggs' brother among them—pronounced Boggs as good as dead; at least one newspaper ran an obituary. To everyone's great surprise, Boggs not only survived, but gradually improved.

The crime was investigated by Sheriff J.H. Reynolds, who discovered a revolver at the scene, still loaded with buckshot. He surmised that the suspect had fired upon Boggs and lost his firearm in the dark rainy night when the weapon recoiled due to its unusually large shot. The gun had been stolen from a local shopkeeper, who identified "that hired man of Ward's" as the "most likely culprit". Reynolds, then acting on the testimony of the storekeeper, determined that the man in question was Orrin Porter Rockwell, a close associate of Joseph Smith. Reynolds eventually caught Orrin Porter Rockwell and held him for almost a year while he awaited trial.[citation needed] Reynolds could not produce any evidence that Rockwell was involved in any way and he was acquitted of all charges concerning Boggs, after prominent lawyer Alexander Doniphan agreed to defend him.

A few people saw the assassination attempt positively: an anonymous contributor to The Wasp, a pro-Mormon newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois that was not supported by the LDS Church, wrote on May 28 that "Boggs is undoubtedly killed according to report; but who did the noble deed remains to be found out."[4] Rockwell denied involvement in oblique terms, stating that he had "done nothing criminal". Also at about this time, John C. Bennett reported that Smith had offered a cash reward to anyone who would assassinate Boggs, and that Smith had admitted to him that Rockwell had done the deed. He went on to say that Rockwell had made a veiled threat against Bennett's life if he publicized the story. Joseph Smith vehemently denied Bennett's account, speculating that Boggs — no longer governor, but campaigning for state senate — was attacked by an election opponent. Mormon writer Monte B. McLaws, in the Missouri Historical Review, supported Smith, averring that while there was no clear finger pointing to anyone, Governor Boggs was running for election against several violent men, all capable of the deed, and that there was no particular reason to suspect Rockwell of the crime. This opinion was not shared[citation needed] by Rockwell's most noted biographer, Harold Schindler. Whatever the case, the following year Rockwell was arrested, tried, and acquitted of the attempted murder (Bushman, p. 468), although most of Boggs' contemporaries remained convinced of his guilt.[citation needed]

Western settlement

Boggs traveled overland to California in 1846 and is frequently mentioned among the notable emigrants of that year. His traveling companions widely believed that his move was rooted in his fear of the Mormons. When the train set out in early May, he campaigned to be elected its captain, but lost to William H. Russell; when Russell resigned on June 18, the group was thereafter led by Boggs. Among the Boggs Company were most of the emigrants who later separated from the group to form the Donner Party.

Boggs was accompanied by his second wife Panthea and his younger children as well as his son William and William's bride Sonora Hicklin. They arrived in Sonoma, California in November and were provided refuge by Mariano Vallejo at his Petaluma ranch house. There, on January 4, 1847, Mrs. William Boggs gave birth to a son, who was named Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo Boggs after their benefactor. Lilburn Boggs became alcalde of the Sonoma district in 1847. During the California Gold Rush, Boggs owned a store and did quite well. On November 8, 1849, Boggs resigned as alcalde and became the town's postmaster.

Boggs was elected to the California State Assembly from the Sonoma District in 1852.[5] In 1855 he retired to live at Rancho Napa in Napa County, California where he died on March 14, 1860.[1] His widow Panthea died in Napa County, California on September 23, 1880. They are buried in Tulocay Cemetery, Napa, California.[6]

His son, Theodore Boggs, would later found the town of Big Bug, Arizona where he fought Apaches during a small encounter at the Big Bug mine.

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Finding Aid 3.6" (PDF). Missouri State Archives. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Missouri Extermination Order from Quaqua.org
  3. ^ "MISSOURI MORMON WALKING TRAIL MAP – jwha.info – Retrieved February 15, 2010". Jwha.info. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Brodie, Fawn. No Man Knows My History. 323.
  5. ^ "Join California". Join California. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Photos: Historic monuments and mausoleums at Napa's Tulocay Cemetery". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. December 10, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.

References

External links

Media related to Lilburn Boggs at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Dunklin
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
1832–1836
Succeeded by
Franklin Cannon
Preceded by
Daniel Dunklin
Governor of Missouri
1836–1840
Succeeded by
Thomas Reynolds
This page was last edited on 28 January 2020, at 20:43
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