Missouri Digital Heritage :: Educational Resources :: Timeline of Missouri History : 1850-1859

Timeline of Missouri History: 1850-1859




1850 The town of Kansas (later Kansas City) was incorporated (Feb. 4)
1850 Poet Eugene Field was born in St. Louis (Sept. 3)
1851 Groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of the Pacific Railroad were held in St. Louis; the line was to go from St. Louis to Jefferson City and then to some point on the western boundary (Jul. 4) Botanical Gardens
Water Tower at Compton Hill Reservoir Park
1854 President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing the notion of "popular sovereignty" in determining if a territory would be a slave state or a free state. This act set the stage for the violent Kansas-Missouri border wars where the Missouri "Border Ruffians" and the Kansas "Jayhawkers" transformed a frontier quarrel over slavery’s borders into a national issue (May 30)
1857 The Dred Scott decision was handed down by U.S. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney; the case originated in St. Louis. Under Missouri statutes, in 1846 Scott was allowed to sue for his freedom from slavery based on the fact that he had previously lived in a free territory (Wisconsin) before his return to the slave state of Missouri (Mar. 6)
1857 Work began on the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, established by Henry Shaw