COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Lindenwood continues to monitor the COVID-19 campus and make decisions in the best interest of the community. Students and employees demonstrating symptoms should complete the Initial Assessment Survey. COVID-19 Response and Resources.

Academics

Fall /
Winter 2010

Fall /
Winter 2010

Academics NAVIGATION

The third issue of The Confluence. A regional studies journal published by Lindenwood University Press.

 

From the Editor

A friend read the last issue of The Confluence and remarked that it was “eclectic.” Well, yes it was, I said. And it’s on purpose. We work on the premise that people are interested in a wide range of issues and topics that surround the region—old and new, past and present—and see them as somehow connected. All of us are eclectic in our tastes and preferences; just think of the variety of books you read, films you watched, or events you attended just this year alone. Perhaps our slogan ought to be “Eclectic By Design.”

And yet, there are themes that still tie every issue—and our region—together. One such connection is that it features momentous personalities. Tom Danisi writes about the oil-and-water combination of the dubious Rodolphe Tillier and his diligent assistant George Sibley at Fort Bellefontaine. Tillier was connected to one of the most prominent families of the era, the Biddles of Philadelphia, which made him a shirttail relative by marriage to General James Wilkinson (arguably among the most unethical figures in American military and political history—which is quite a distinction), Nicholas Biddle (later president of the Second Bank of the United States), and Thomas Biddle (who died in a duel in St. Louis, as recounted in this issue); Sibley went on to found the institution that became Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

Steve Gietschier’s examination of a 1910 court case over a fired baseball manager features larger-than-life figures like Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb (who once pummeled a heckler in the stands during a game), American League founder Ban Johnson, and the hard-hitting second baseman Napoleon Lajoie of Cleveland (the one baseball team whose mention I never pass up).

Mark Neels’ look at dueling—the “honorable” fashion of settling disputes among gentlemen at one time—by definition includes the pinnacle of society. Notable names run throughout the article on famous (or should it be infamous?) duelists like Thomas Hart Benton and Andrew Jackson. The final blow to dueling in St. Louis came when Bloody Island disappeared, Neels suggests, thanks the engineering design of a young Robert E. Lee.

Jessica McCulley’s examination of African American responses to the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 examines the impact of profound national events on local people. The Brown decision, overturning the separate-but-equal doctrine (which was always separate and almost never equal) of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, was argued before the Supreme Court by Thurgood Marshall before the Warren Court. After Brown, Dwight Eisenhower said privately that appointing Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the United States was “the biggest damn fool decision” he’d ever made. Ike was wrong, by the way.

Duelists, ballplayers, teachers, and dubious dealers join James Buchanan Eads and his bridge and the pervasive air pollution of the early twentieth century in this issue. We start when the Louisiana Purchase was new and end just a half century ago. “Eclectic By Design.”

Jeffrey Smith, PhD
Editor

 

Articles

The Strange Case of the Courts, a Car, and the 1910 Batting Title

Ty Cobb and Napoleon Lajoie were fighting for the 1910 American League batting title right down to the end of the season. Who won was under dispute, and it landed the St. Louis Browns in court. Gietschier looks at the case files involving the Browns manager who was fired over accusations that he tried to let Lajoie win the title—and a new car.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

“Barbarous Custom of Dueling”: Death and Honor on St. Louis’ Bloody Island

Neels argues that the Army Corps of Engineers inadvertently dealt the final death blow to dueling in the region when it eliminated “Bloody Island,” a sandbar in the Mississippi River which became a favorite venue for duels.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

Black Resistance to School Desegregation in St. Louis During the Brown Era

McCulley discusses opposition to school integration by African American educators in St. Louis at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

George Champlain Sibley: Shady Dealings on the Early Frontier

Danisi offers an analysis of Sibley’s time as assistant factor at Fort Bellefontaine under factor Rodolphe Tillier, a man of strong political connections and elastic ethics. Tillier fired Sibley, Danisi argues, because he discovered and revealed Tillier’s shady business dealings while a government official; ultimately, Sibley was exonerated and even promoted to factor of the newly formed Fort Osage.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

The Illinois & St. Louis Bridge: An Engineering Marvel

This reprint of an 1871 article from Scribner’s Magazine extols the new Illinois and St. Louis Bridge (Eads Bridge today) as an engineering marvel—which, incidentally, it was.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

“It Don’t Look Natural”: St. Louis Smoke Abatement in 1906

In this regular feature about postal history, Straight examines efforts at reducing smog—smoke abatement, at the time—using a 1906 card and coal company letterhead as a springboard.

More Info Full Article (PDF)

Beyond the Classroom