About 1837, Henry Abington of Henry County, Virginia (1767-1844) moved west to Missouri. The U.S. financial downturn had caused many of the old plantation owners to look west, to the new territory, the young state and its plentiful lands. The young State had come into the Union with the Missouri Compromise of 1821. Slavery was allowed. He and his wife, the former Elizabeth Johnson brought their huge clan, including their sons Henry (1793-1851) and William (1794-1840) and a large amount of family slaves.
The family would become one of St. Charles County’s largest slave owning families, and would fight, steal and bicker over them in the St. Charles County courts for years. To this day this provides a large amount of legal documents and records that share a story with the Union Army’s 56th Colored Troops and a monument that stands tall today in Jefferson Barracks two hundred years after Granville Abington’s death.