Opposition to the reelection of Thomas Hart Benton in 1844
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In February, 1850, Thomas Hart Benton was defeated for reelection to the Senate of the United States. This defeat of Benton marked the culmination of one of the most exciting senatorial campaigns ever waged in the state. The Missouri legislature, March 7, 1849, had passed some resolutions of instructions known, from C. F. Jackson who introduced them, as the Jackson resolutions, instructing the senators from Missouri to vote for the Calhoun resolutions on the slavery questions then pending in the United States Senate. Benton refused to follow these instructions and appealed from the legislative instructions to the people of the state in speech of great length delivered at Jefferson City, May 26, 1849, in which he denounced the Jackson resolutions as designed for electioneering and disunion purposes and as a mere copy of the Calhoun' resolutions. This speech was followed by an exciting campaign which resulted in the election of a legislature composed of almost equal proportions of Whigs, Benton Democrats, and Anti-Benton Democrats. After a deadlock of several weeks the Anti-Benton Democrats went over to the Whig candidate Henry S. Geyer, of St. Louis, and he was elected to succeed Benton.
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