Jackson Becomes Missouri Governor

Thursday, January 3, 1861

Illustration of Claiborne Fox Jackson. Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri - Columbia.

Claiborne Fox Jackson, a former Missouri banking commissioner, becomes the governor of Missouri after campaigning on an anti-secessionist platform. During the secession crisis, however, Jackson switches sides and promotes the secessionist cause. Failing to convince a special state convention to vote for secession, Jackson attempts to declare "armed neutrality," but places the Missouri State Guard militia under secessionist control and lobbies the Confederate States of America for an invasion of Missouri. Deposed by federal forces and the state legislature on July 23, 1861, Jackson remains a governor-in-exile until his death from stomach cancer on December 6, 1862.

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