This historical marker on the corner of Moreau and Fairmount commemorates the event on Oct. 7, 1864, when Jefferson City was saved from destruction. This Remembrance Marker was built in 1933 as a great reminder Gen. Sterling Price refused to attack Jefferson City as ordered, sparing many lives and the city from devastation.
To remove the rock is to destroy history, contrary to the opposition claims that the "anti-historical rock destroys." Instead of rewriting history to fit a political narrative, history should be kept to pass on to subsequent generations. If this historical peace marker was not there, we would not be having this conversation bringing to light our beautiful city's history. It is also causing us to pass on the fact that Price refused to attack Jefferson City, sparing lives and the city's annihilation. Many of us are much better informed of our state's history because of this marker.
The opposition claims the memorial stone symbolizes white supremacy. This is typical of the extreme left counter-culture Democratic Party that wants to destroy and tear down the establishment and anything getting in the way of its progressive agenda. The memorial stone simply stating, "Deciding against attack, the confederate army turned from Jefferson City under General Sterling Price" has nothing to do with racial discrimination. Ironically, let it be known it was the leftist Democratic Party that endorsed the KKK, not the Republican Party.
Only God can judge the hearts and intents of man. Contrary to the claims by the opposition, that Price turned away because he was outnumbered, which is definitely debatable, research and facts lead to the conclusion Price turned away from destroying the city, sparing innocent lives because he had grown to love the state of Missouri and Jefferson City which he faithfully served as governor and president of the state convention. The opposition has attempted to sway, using emotional terms stirring up seeds of racism and division instead of reporting the simple facts about the history of that time in Missouri. Here are a few of the facts about Price:
A. Sterling Price served as governor of Missouri, 1853-57, living in Jefferson City.
B. In 1861, as president of the Missouri state convention, he led the vote that kept Missouri from succeeding from the Union.
C. He sought peace and signed a truce agreement attempting to keep Missouri out of the war, with federal commander William Harney pledging neutrality on both sides of unionists and confederates. Price did not favor secession, nor did he support the United States warring against the Confederacy.
D. The Price-Harney Truce Agreement reads, "General Price, having by commission full authority over the militia of the State of Missouri, undertakes, with the sanction of the governor of the State, already declared, to direct the whole power of the State officers to maintain order within the State among the people thereof, and General Harney publicly declares that, this object being thus assured, he can have no occasion, as he has no wish, to make military movements, which might otherwise create excitements and jealousies which he most earnestly desires to avoid."
E. Unfortunately, this agreement was dissolved by Unionists who wanted the St. Louis Arsenal. Unionist Captain Nathaniel Lyon and Montgomery Blair led the raid and massacre on St. Louis, on May 10, 1861, which eventually forced Missouri into the Civil War which is what Price tried to prevent.
Historical markers are simply markers to remember history both good and bad, so we can teach our children, honor the good decisions brave men and women made, and learn from mistakes they made. To remove the marker because we don't agree with what it stands for is still removing a piece of Missouri history. Instead of rewriting history to legitimize our political agenda or beliefs, we can learn from history and make decisions accordingly. The Holy Scriptures give specific directions and examples of remembering significant events with Markers of Remembrance, so that future generations can remember:
A. Joshua 4:1-9: As Joshua led the Israelites into the promise land, God told him to place stones as a memorial of crossing over into the promise land, so they could remember the miracles of what God had done and to remind future generations.
B. Proverbs 23:10: Do not remove ancient boundary stones.
C. 1 Sam 7:12: Samuel sets up an Ebenezer stone, to commemorate, the help of the Lord. After the Israelites committed to follow God, the Lord miraculously fought the battle for them against their enemies the Philistines, and brought them victory.
There are those seeking to divide our city today stirring up emotions of negativity, hatred, fear and racism. Gov. Sterling Price protected Jefferson City, kept Missouri from succeeding, had attempted to keep Missouri out of the war and spared Jefferson City. As we remember the battles of the Civil War, which divided the nation, and the victory through President Abraham Lincoln to emancipate the slaves, which Lincoln University is named after, let us not be moved backwards to the same divisive factions before the Civil War. We learned many lessons from the war upon which brave men and women on both sides sacrificed much. We turned from the evils of slavery, hatred, abuse and division. This day, we can choose as a city to overcome roots of racism, hatred, abuse and division and replace the negative emotions with forgiveness, love, harmony, peace and unity. It is right to remember the events, the hardships, and those who gave so much to eradicate evil and establish peace.
As evidenced on social media through comments and petition signatures, there is much support for keeping the marker. So many have eloquently expressed the need to keep this marker commemorating a very important moment in Missouri's history. This would not even be a conversation had the marker not been here, so that we can learn about Missouri's history. May the Lord continue to bless Jefferson City and the state of Missouri to not get caught up in the division and hysteria of tearing down established history, but instead choose to learn lessons from history and pass the lessons on to our children and to future generations.
Karen Leydens is a Realtor, former candidate for State Representative and a resident that loves Jefferson City and wants to preserve history so we know where to go from here.