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an old press and types, and started, in the last week of November, 1833, a paper called “ The Farmer's and Mechanic's Advocate,” which became the foundation of a permanent Democratic journal. The nerve and talent with which he conducted that concern, at a time when both these qualities were pecul. iarly demanded, are highly spoken of. His probation was marked by several of those personal collisions and encounters which, in early times, were the common incidents of a residence in frontier towns.
In November, 1834, he was elected chief clerk of the House of Representatives of Missouri, but continued to write for his paper until it changed hands, in January, 1835, and became the “Missouri Argus.” In the spring of that year he returned from the seat of government, and devoted himself, with unusual success, to the practice of his profession. In the spring of the following year he was nominated to the Legislature by the Democratic party. Out of six representatives and two sena. tors, he was the only Democratic candidate elected from the county, leading his own ticket. His course in the Legislature was distinguished by energy, industry, and devotion to the great principles of public liberty. In the same year he was married to Margaret Virginia Colburn, daughter of a widow lady of St. Louis. In the spring of 1837, without any solicitation on his part, he was appointed district attorney for St. Louis; but, finding that the office interfered too much with his practice, he resigned it in about six weeks. In the same year he was elected attorney for the Bank of Missouri, which office he held for sev. eral years. In 1838 he was again nominated by his party for the Legislature, and, after one of the fiercest political contests ever witnessed in that county, the whole ticket was defeated.
In February, 1839, he was elected, by both branches of the Legislature, judge of the Criminal Court of the city and county of St. Louis. At the period of his election to the bench, St. Louis, as our readers will recollect, had become somewhat notorious for its mobs, and for a manifest disposition among many to take the law into their own hands. In his first charge to the grand jury, he made an earnest and eloquent appeal to that body in regard to this evil, demanding that the supremacy of the làws should be fearlessly maintained against those self-constituted tribunals familiarly known as “Lynch Courts.”