Tag Archives: Nathan Boone

Original Plat of Saint Charles

The Story of an Old Map

Everyone loves old maps. They do a lot more than give directions. Historic maps can share what a place looked like at a certain point in time and transport us back to another era. There are some maps can do more – they can share a story as well. This is the story of a map that takes people back in time, to the City of St. Charles historic past, all the way back to its’ original plat.

A few years ago, while working at the St. Charles County Historical Society in 2010, a crinkled and faded was found. The secretary at that time, Cleta Flynn, was introducing me to some of the more reclusive collections tucked away in corners of the historic building, the City’s original Market House. Saying “if you like old maps, this large map case has a lot of interesting old ones.” I found one that was taped, creased, folded and flattened (something us archivists hate) that appeared to have not seen daylight in a hundred years – which was good for the map – but rather sad.

Keeping the old map handy for the next few years, it would be used for study from time to time. Trying to unlock its secrets, mapthe map did not appear to have any date on it, nor did it have a signature to recognize who had drawn this treasure trove of information. Realizing it was a map of St. Charles, and that it was old (which could be recognized by its ink and paper) we became determined to learn more. It was old, but just how old? And who had drawn it? And why? What was its’ purpose and who was the information for? This wasn’t a map for directions.

The map clearly laid out St. Charles as a grid of streets and cross streets, giving their names. The street names were old and historic – Barbour, Chauncey, Pike and Clay. Over the years we would pull the map out whenever a researcher needed information about early St. Charles. The names of the owners in each of these blocks became very important. It became obvious that if we were to know just when the map was made, perhaps knowing when the owners should be found on such a map, we could possibly discern a date. And so every time we were able, we used the map, taking great care.

Finally we were able to pin the map down to the era of circa 1817, give or take a few years. That is when knowing its importance and wanting to make certain of its preservation, the map was sent off for conservation by Lisa Fox, Head Conservator at the Missouri State Archives. She and her wonderful team worked their magic, carefully removing the old tape, creases, and dirt to reveal an even more magical piece of history. The map, approximately fourteen by seventy-two inches was then digitized in order to enable everyone to delve into its history.

Because of this great work, the map is carefully preserved, yet made available to everyone. Since then, I wanted to know more of the maps other great mysteries. Who was its’ creator and why? Sometimes, when trying to discover the stories found in old documents and maps, you have to travel to the time in which the people lived. So I went to the City’s Record Book A and on Page 8 found this:

Authorizing and ordering the limits of the Town of St. Charles to be estendd [sic] according to the original plan of said town and providing for and ordering a certain proportion of the town commons to be surveyed and divided into lots and regularly numbered which saw lots so surveyed and numbered, together with the Town lots as Extended surveyed & numbered were ordered to be Leased at public sale by the Clerk of the board on the 10th day of September 1821.

City Council Book A Page 8
City of St. Charles Minutes, Book A, Page 8 Microfilm Reel 977.839 Kathryn Linnemann Library


Up until 1818, they had been working with a map drawn by Soulard, according to their Minutes. Then there is a bit of a gap,  and then is the above entry. As they immediately start selling and leasing these additional lots, which are NOT shown on this map, this indicates that this map is perhaps the one they started with. During this same time period, they have also employed the surveyors Prospect K. Robbins and Nathan Boone. Five pages later, Prospect K. Robbins is paid $20 for surveying completed on the 18th of  September 1821. Both Robbins and Boone had worked together before, as a 3 man team was needed – Chain man, Link Man and Surveyor. The third team member may have been James Findley who had settled in Troy when it was founded, as early deeds for this same time period refer to a map made by Findley.

And as you begin to understand the history, the next question becomes “why?” The old map that I was using told me a)the layout of the streets and gave a name and a survey number of the owners of the land. It told me about people who owned land in St. Charles. St. Charles had just become the temporary State Capitol and people were flooding in. The names of the streets running parallel to the Missouri River are Main, Second, High and Fourth. The cross streets run from Barbour, which is the original southern city limits to Tecumseh Street on the north. Buildings are not shown, and the land measurement used is the old French foot. The name of the owner, if the lot is owned by someone other than the City, is referred to as a survey number in a personal Surveyor’s book.

When the map was restored and processed by the State Archives conservator in 2013, the dates I had suggested of circa 1820 were also confirmed in their examination of the paper and ink used. Lynn Morrow, with the Missouri State Archives had examined the map before retiring that year. He also suggested that a friend of his in St. Charles, Robert Myers, might be able to shed more light on the mysteries of the old map. When Robert and I met, I took along a copy of “the map”. When the map had been returned to the Archives, I had obtained a print copy for my own research at the same time I had had one made for the Society. Theirs hangs on the wall in the archives. Mine has become well traveled.

Seeing “the old map” Myers asked “if I had ever seen the map in the City offices?” to which I responded no. Formerly Myers had worked for the City of St. Charles and presently works for St. Charles County. He graciously set up an appointment for me to see this other map, and where I would also meet Chuck Lovelace. Not knowing what to expect, I was totally shocked when I was shown a framed copy of another very old map that was almost identical! And it had a seal that attested to being a true and authentic hand drawn (in 1871) copy of “The Original Plat of the City of St. Charles”.While this new map discovered is wonderful with much darker ink, and even more information, it was further confirmation of the first map’s identity. The information on this map, matched exactly, block by block. This was the Original Plat, perhaps a working copy for the surveyor, although which one drew it we don’t know yet.

Working to compare the handwriting of Auguste Chouteau, Antoine Soulard, Nathan Boone, Prospect Robbins and Joseph Evans (who did receive $50 from the City on July 13, 1822 for surveying) has not yet provided an “aha!” moment yet. The closest so far are Nathan Boone and Prospect Robbins.

This map transports us back to town of St. Charles that has emerged from the early settlement founded by Louis Blanchette in 1769. It has grown past its territorial days as a fur traders outpost, and reached a new glory as important State figures walk these same streets we do today. These people were important in that day as the street names affirm: Barbour, Pike, Clay, Madison and Jefferson. There is so much to yet be learned.


Peace and Friendship Treaties

The Summer of the 1815 Peace and Friendship Treaties

1815 – Just as residents of Saint Charles were the last to know of the beginning of the War of 1812, news of its end would come just as slow. Too slow to prevent the horrible incidents that would occur during the spring of 1815. By late that summer, the Nation’s history would converge and collide at a small settlement called Portage des Sioux. There the Peace and Friendship Treaties between the Kings, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Tribes or Nations, in behalf of their said Tribes or Nations, on the one part; and the American representatives William Clark and Ninian Edwards of the other part; were signed. A turning point in American history. The beginning of westward expansion; and the end of the American Indians way of life. 


On the frontier in the St. Charles District of the Louisiana Territory, Daniel Boone’s grandson James Callaway, had taken command of Nathan Boone’s company of Rangers at Fort Clemson on Loutre Island. They were about to mount another campaign, so Callaway had sent many of his men home to prepare, when the Sauk and Fox stole several horses. The alarm sounded, and Callaway gathered several of his men still at the Fort and took off in a westward pursuit. Following the trail up the dry fork of the Loutre creek, they discovered an abandoned Indian camp, with their horses and a few Indian women. They retrieved their horses, and turned towards home. Some of the men believed that to return the same way they had come would take them into a trap. It did. As they forded the creek, they were fired upon and Daniel Boone’s son, Capt. James Callaway was shot. He and five other soldiers lost their lives that day.

In May, atrocities against the settlers continued, unknowingly and despite the events in the East. Bands of the Sauk and Fox  attacked the Ramsey family, murdering and scalping the entire family, except a two year old and an infant. The final battle in  the St. Charles Territory would come May 24, 1815, called the Battle of the Sinkhole. Black Hawk and a band of Sauk Indians attacked Fort Howard (City of Troy) north of the Cuivre River. That ambush on a group of American Rangers led to a prolonged siege in which seven Rangers were killed. This is considered by many to be the last battle of the War of 1812 in America. Finally, word had reached the frontier about the Treaty of Ghent signed five months before.

The United States assembled all Chiefs of any Nation that touched the waters of the great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, to treaty with them. These treaties, at the conclusion of the War of 1812, were to bring Peace and Friendship between the residents of Missouri and Illinois and the Native Americans. This was the opening of the United States westward expansion. This was the beginning of the end for way of life that the Native Americans had known for centuries.

President James Madison called for a Treaty to be made with the Indians, and selected Portage des Sioux for the location. He appointed Gov. Wm Clark, Illinois Gov.  Ninian Edwards, and Col. Auguste Choteau to handle the affair. With the U.S. showing their strength with Col. John Miller and his Third Infantry, and almost the entire force under Gen. Daniel Bissell stationed at Ft. Bellefontaine in one place, the drums began to roll. The tribes began arriving July 1st and negotiations lasted for months, with Black Hawk never signing. But the War of 1812, our Indian War, was finally over.

Its location made Saint Charles a passageway for all the Indian nations to the north, who had hunted this area for years prior to the arrival of the white man. Settlement was scattered. St. Louis and St. Charles (the oldest city north of the Missouri River) had begun as trading posts for French Canadians fur traders, whose lives had melded with the Native American Indians by the time of the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase gave America a place  to push all of the displaced tribes east of the Mississippi. It wasn’t long before the settlers followed. By 1804, there were already over 100 homes and 450 residents in St. Charles.

ON MARCH 11, 1815, President James Madison appointed William Clark, governor of Missouri Territory and Ninian Edwards, governor of Illinois Territory to extend invitations to the Chiefs of all Indian Nations of both territories to treaty following the end of the War of 1812.

The treaty signings at Portage des Sioux were to occur between July 18 and September 16, 1815, with the Osage signing their Treaty on September 12, 1815. These events were a turning point in our Nation’s history. While it was the opening of America’s west for expansion, it was the beginning of the end for the American Indian’s way of life. This  series of treaties officially marked the end of conflicts between the U.S. and the Native Americans in the west, at the conclusion of the War of 1812, with a purpose to “restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 1811″.

The treaties formed the legal basis in which tribes were relocated west of Missouri into Indian Territory, clearing the way for Missouri to enter the Union. President James Madison appointed Gov. Wm. Clark, Governor Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau to arrange the treaty, by extending 37 invitations to the Chiefs. The tribes signing (in order of dates) were the Potawatomi, Piankeshaw, Teton, Sioux, Makah, Kickapoo, Wyandot, Osage, Fox, Iowa, and composed the largest gathering of tribes ever seen in Missouri, or west of the Mississippi.

The Treaty read  

A treaty of peace and friendship, made and concluded between William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau,  Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said States, of the one part; and the undersigned King, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Tribes or Nations, on the part and behalf of their said Tribes or Nations, of the other part.

THE parties being desirous of re-establishing peace and friendship between the United States and the said tribes or nations, and of being placed in all things, and in every respect, on the same footing upon which they stood before the war, have agreed to the following articles:

ARTICLE 1  Every injury, or act of hostility, by one or either of the contracting parties against the other, shall be mutually forgiven and forgot.

ARTICLE 2.  There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between all the citizens of the United States of America and all the individuals composing the said  tribes or nations.

ARTICLE 3.The contracting parties, in the sincerity of mutual friendship recognize, re-establish, and confirm, all and every treaty, contract, and agreement, heretofore concluded between the United States and the said  tribes or nations.In witness whereof, the said William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau, commissioners as aforesaid, and the king, chiefs, and warriors of the said tribes or nations have hereunto subscribed their names and affixed their seals, this twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and of the independence of the United States the fortieth.
Wm. Clark, [L. S.]
Ninian Edwards, [L. S.]
Auguste Chouteau, [L. S.]
Done at Portage des Sioux,  in the presence of—
R. Wash, secretary of the commission,
Thomas Levers, lieutenant colonel, commanding First Regiment, I. T.,
P. Chouteau, agent Osages,
T. Paul, C. C. T.,
James B. Moore, captain.
Samuel Whiteside, captain.
Jno. W. Johnson, United States, factor and Indian agent, 
Maurice Blondeaux.
Samuel Solomon,
Noel Mograine,
P. L. Chouteau,
Daniel Converse, third lieutenant. 

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. the City of Portage des Sioux invites the public to join us for a ceremony to commemorate the signing of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. Our special guests will be the Principal Chief of the Osage Nation,  Geoffrey Standing Bear; State Representative Anne Zerr; St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann; and Bud Clark, 3rd Great Grandson of William Clark. The ceremony will be located in the original location called “the pecan grove” where the treaties were signed in 1815. 

 It is suggested that the public bring lawnchairs and blankets. Portage des Sioux is on Hwy 94, and approximately 14 miles north of its intersection with Hwy 370. There will be signs with directions  that day.