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Southeast Missouri had a key role in the road to Missouri statehood in 1817-1821. The events leading to statehood, and some of the events, people, and lifeways in the area may be unfamiliar to many modern-day Missourians. Currently, Missouri is celebrating its Bicentennial, and this program aims to summarize the events leading to statehood, some of the factors affecting Missouri’s entry into the Union, and how people lived and worked during that time 200 years ago.Every Friday morning at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m. and Saturday morning at 8:18 a.m., Bill Eddleman highlights the people, places, ways of life, and local events in Southeast Missouri in 1821.The theme music for the show ("The Missouri Waltz") is provided by Old-Time Missouri Fiddler Charlie Walden, host of the podcast "Possum’s Big Fiddle Show."

MO Bicentennial Minutes: Events Outside Missouri in 1821

Battle of Carabobo: Simón Bolívar wins Venezuela's independence from Spain Batalla de Carabobo, obra de w: Martin Tovar y Tovar, licencia vencida.
Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Battle of Carabobo: Simón Bolívar wins Venezuela's independence from Spain Batalla de Carabobo, obra de w: Martin Tovar y Tovar, licencia vencida.

The year 1821 was also an eventful year in world history. In the U. S., James Monroe began his second term as President. Spain sold and formally transferred Florida to the U. S. Russia proclaimed sovereignty over the northwestern part of North America, an area we know as Alaska. Finally, James Boyd of Boston received a patent for a workable fire engine hose, made of cotton web lined with rubber.

Notable births in the U. S. in 1821 included future businessmen Jay Cooke and William Henry Vanderbilt; the first American woman physician, Elizabeth Blackwell; Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science; and future Civil War generals Frank Blair, Nathan Bedford Forrest, James Longstreet, and W. H. L. Wallace; and Clara Barton, the first president of the American Red Cross. Among those who died in 1821 were Elizabeth Ann Seton, who became America’s first saint; British poet John Keats; Jacob Schweppe, who developed a process for producing carbonated mineral water; and, most notably, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The spark of independence that began with the United States flared in South and Central America in 1821. Proclaiming independence from Spain were Peru, Gran Colombia (present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador), the Dominican Republic, and the Central American counties of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. After a long struggle, Mexico overthrew the Spanish and proclaimed its independence.

Across the Atlantic, George IV became king of the United Kingdom. Greece began its war for independence from the Ottoman Empire. Finally, Egypt defeated the Ottomans in Sudan, and established control of the region.

Bill Eddleman was born in Cape Girardeau, and is an 8th-generation Cape Countian. His first Missouri ancestor came to the state in 1802. He attended SEMO for two years before transferring to the University of Missouri to study Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. He stayed at Mizzou to earn a master of science in Fisheries and Wildlife, and continued studies in Wildlife Ecology at Oklahoma State University.
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