Liberty in Clay County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Early border town, prominent trading and outfitting center, and one of the farthest northwest of U. S. towns to be based on southern culture and economy. Settled about 1820, mainly by southern pioneers, the town became the seat of justice for Clay County, 1822.
Many settlers of northwest Missouri and the far West outfitted here, as did caravans during the '49 Gold Rush. Liberty Landing, 4 miles south, was an important Missouri River port. Nearby is Liberty Bridge.
The Mexican War, 1846-1848, with promise of southwest territory and trade, was popular in Missouri and the State raised 1358 troops. Alexander W. Doniphan of Liberty led the First Regiment of Missouri Volunteers on a brilliant expedition covering 3,600 land and 2,000 water miles in 12 months, highlighted with victory at Battle of Sacramento, 1847. Doniphan's grave is in Fairview Cemetery.
William Jewell College was chartered, 1849, under Baptist sponsorship. On the school's "Campus of Achievement" is Jewell Hall, a fine example of Classic - Revival architecture. The College maintains a museum.
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The site of the U. S. Arsenal at Liberty Landing, raided in 1855 by pro-slavery men, recalls the Kansas-Missouri border disputes over the extension
Jesse James (1847-1882), America's most fabulous outlaw, was born near Kearney, 10 miles northeast. Jesse and his brother Frank were members of Quantrill's Confederate guerrilla band.
Excelsior Springs, founded in 1880, famous spa of the Midwest, with its unusual Hall of Waters, is 15 miles northeast. North Kansas City, an industrial expansion, founded, 1912, by a development company, is 12 miles southwest. Near Excelsior Springs is the pre-Civil War Watkins Woolen Mill, and near Liberty is "Multnomah" home of Indian agent Major John Dougherty (1791-1860).
In Liberty is the site of the jail where Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith was held, 1838.
Erected 1953 by State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Missouri, State Historical Society of marker series.
Location. 39° 14.789′ N, 94° 25.175′ W. Marker is in Liberty, Missouri, in Clay County. Marker is on Water Street north of Kansas Street, on the left when Click for map. Marker is on the east grounds of the county courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 East Kansas Street, Liberty MO 64068, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Clay County African American Pioneers (a few steps from this marker); Clay County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); World War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); 17 East Kansas Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of First Daylight Bank Hold Up in United States (within shouting distance of this marker); 15 East Kansas Street (within shouting distance of this marker); 11 East Kansas Street (within shouting distance of this marker); 9 East Kansas Street (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Liberty.
Also see . . .
1. Liberty, Missouri, Official Website. (Submitted on August 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Clay County, Missouri, Official Website. (Submitted on August 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers • War, Mexican-American • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 279 times since then and 62 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.