Francis Preston Blair, Jr

Francis Preston Blair, Jr

Birth
Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, USA
Death 8 Jul 1875 (aged 54)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Plot Block 13, Lot 298
Memorial ID 18442 · View Source
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United States Senator, United States Congressman, Civil War Union Army Major General. Francis Preston Blair, Jr. receives a place in United States history for the role he played in the American Civil War. Born the youngest of five children, his father was Francis Preston Blair, Sr., a man having an active voice in Washington D.C politics while serving as a member of President Andrew Jackson's unofficial “Kitchen Cabinet.” In the wake of being expelled from the University of North Carolina and Yale University for misconduct, Princeton University held his diploma for a year for the same reason. After receiving his diploma from Princeton University and graduating from his father's alma mater, Transylvania University Law School in 1842, he entered into his brother’s St Louis, Missouri law practice. During the Mexican War, he served as a private before being appointed the first Attorney General of the New Mexico Territory in 1846, but returned to Missouri by 1847 when he married Appoline Alexander. The couple had eight children, and his wife was co-founder of the Children's Hospital in St. Louis. Although his family had owned slaves, he became involved in the newspaper business opposing slavery. In 1852, voters elected Blair to a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives, where he served for four years. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives serving in the 35th Congress as a Republican representative from March 4, 1857, to March 3, 1859. In 1858 with challenged election results, he was re-elected but resigned seventeen days later. In 1860 he was subsequently re-elected to the 37th Congress but resigned in July of 1861. After he organized the Unconditional Union Political Party in Missouri, he was active in the opposition to Governor Claiborne Jackson and other radial southern sympathizers, and with his family's long-time political influence, he was instrumental in holding Missouri for the union in August of 1861. He successfully organized seven Union regiment with thousands of Missouri men. After his 1861 resignation from Congress, he was quickly promoted from Colonel, to Brigadier General, to Major General by November of 1862. By the end of his military career, he had led both the XV and XVII Corps of General William T. Sherman's army in Georgia and the Carolinas, which was involved in the burning of Atlanta and using hard war tactics in the Marched to the Sea. He spent his entire fortune in support of the Union and then reentered Missouri politics after the war ended with limited success. Like his father, he changed political parties leaving the Republican Party to return to the Democrat Party for an unsuccessful bid for Vice President of the United States in 1868. In 1870, Blair won a seat in the Missouri State Legislature. In 1871, he was appointed to serve as U.S. Senator from Missouri in an unexpired term. In the fall of 1872, he had a stroke leaving him with right-sided paralysis and unable to write with his right hand, thus the next year, he was not re-elected as a full-term Senator. To have an income, he was appointed by the governor to the post of state superintendent of insurance until his death, which was from head injuries as the result of a fall. United States President Ulysses Grant wrote in his memoirs about Frank Blair, "There was no man braver than he, nor was there any who obeyed all orders of his superior in rank with more unquestioning alacrity. He was one man as a soldier, another as a politician". William T. Sherman, proclaimed, “I always regarded him as one of the truest patriots, most honest and honorable men, and one of the most courageous soldiers this country ever produced.”

Bio by: Linda Davis



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 16 Nov 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 18442
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Preston Blair, Jr (19 Feb 1821–8 Jul 1875), Find a Grave Memorial no. 18442, citing Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .