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James Baughn

St. Louis versus Chicago (Part 2)

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 9:49 AM


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  • At least we have the Cardinals, and they have the


    -- Posted by Hugh M Bean on Wed, Jul 27, 2011, at 11:24 AM
  • This is a nice recap of the old story -- but newer histories can correct the record:

    --the key moment in the St. Louis vs Chicago railroad rivalry was the Gasconade disaster of 1855, then followed by Chicago's successes at Rock Island and Omaha. Earlier successes would have quelled "Bleeding Kansas" and, supporters hoped, prevented civil war.

    --the Rock Island Bridge was taken down because it was in the currents, and St. Louis steam interests were among those that got it moved.

    --St. Louis was not really bigger than Chicago in 1867-1870 -- though it was a goal of boosters like Reavis not to let that be known until Eads's Bridge was done, and their real goal, bringing the national capital to St. Louis, was achieved.

    --the general collapse of 1877 was about the general strike, bad pricing by the railroad bridge, and national politics; at least St. Louis got Forest Park out of it.

    Learn more about all these new perspectives and the overturning of old myths in my book:

    Adam Arenson, The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War (Harvard University Press, 2011).


    -- Posted by AdamArenson on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 12:58 PM