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A Collection of the Important and Interest-
WITH NOTES AND ANNOTATIONS
JOHN D. LAWSON, LL.D.
TO THE HONORABLE JOSEPH WINGATE FOLK WHOSE VICTORIOUS BATTLE AGAINST CIVIC CORRUPTION IS RECORDED IN THESE PAGES AND WHOSE SUCCESSFUL CAREER AS GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI HAS NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN BY THE NATION THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.
PREFACE TO VOLUME NINE.
The trial of John H. Surratt (p. 1) was the closing act of that great tragedy, the assassination of the illustrious Lincoln. Its result proved nothing except that when political passion is strong in a community the only way to convict for a political crime in a civil court is to have a jury of the right political faith. Robespierre understood this during the French Terror and so did the Republicans in the Southern States in Reconstruction days. The case is, nevertheless, one of the American causes celebres and the report of the trial is worth preserving for the masterly speech to the jury of the government prosecutor, Edwards Pierrepont.
The history of nearly every American city has a dark page on which is recorded the betrayal of official trusts, the embezzlement of public funds, the theft of valuable franchises. Perhaps the city of St. Louis has been no worse than others in these things, but certainly no picture of civic corruption has ever been shown so clearly as that which Joseph W. Folk, Prosecuting Attorney, exposed to the world in the trials in the Missouri courts, of which five are reported in this volume. St. Louis is one of the oldest, the largest and the wealthiest of the cities of the West; it boasts of its manufactures, its commerce, its colleges and public schools, its churches and newspapers, its great parks and avenues, its art and its literature, and yet at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and when it was inviting the nations of the world to its magnificent Louisiana Purchase Exposition, this is how its citizens