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 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2007 07:14 am
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Rev. Thomas Starr King



When Thomas Starr King first walked to the pulpit of the San Francisco Unitarian Church in 1860, the eyes of the congregation turned to this small, frail man. Many asked, "Could this youthful person with his beardless, boyish face be the celebrated preacher from Boston?"
King laughed. "Though I weigh only 120 pounds," he said, "when I’m mad, I weigh a ton."

That fiery passion would be King’s stock in trade during his years in California, from 1860 to 1864. Abraham Lincoln said he believed the Rev. Thomas Starr King was the person most responsible for keeping California in the Union during the early days of the Civil War.

California was headed into a crisis. At hand was a showdown between the free states of the Union and the slave states. California’s governor and most members of the state legislature were sympathetic to the Confederacy. The only effective voice against slavery, Sen. David C. Broderick, had been killed in a duel the year before.

Southern states soon abandoned the Union. The crucial question on the minds of many Americans was: Would California join them and deliver the state’s immense natural resources into the hands of Confederate President Jefferson Davis? Support for secession was strong in southern California, where the Confederate flag had flown over Los Angeles’s main plaza on the Fourth of July.

At that time the U.S. Congress was so convinced of a secessionist plot that it required Easterners to secure passports for travel to California. Justifying Congress’ fears was a secret paramilitary California secessionist organization of about 16,000 members, called the Knights of the Golden Circle.

On George Washington’s birthday in 1861, King fired an opening salvo in support of his country. He spoke for two hours to over a thousand people about how they should remember Washington by preserving the Union.

"I pitched into Secession, Concession and (John C.) Calhoun (former U.S. vice president), right and left, and made the Southerners applaud," King recalled. "I pledged California to a Northern Republic and to a flag that should have no treacherous threads of cotton in its warp, and the audience came down in thunder. At the close it was announced that I would repeat it the next night, and they gave me three rounds of cheers."

Speaking up and down the state, King visited rugged mining camps and said he never knew the exhilaration of public oratory until he faced a front row of men armed with Bowie knives and revolvers. His friend, Edward Everett Hale, who made a similar contribution to saving the Union through his moving story, "The Man Without a Country," said, "Starr King was an orator no one could silence and no one could answer."

King covered his pulpit with an American flag and ended all his sermons with "God bless the president of the United States and all who serve with him the cause of a common country." At one mass rally in San Francisco, 40,000 turned out to hear him speak. A group of Americans living in Victoria, B.C., sent him $1,000 for his work to preserve the Union. King was beginning to turn the tide.

In 1861, he threw himself into the gubernatorial campaign of his parishioner, Leland Stanford. King and author Bret Harte often accompanied Stanford on speaking tours. Stanford won an overwhelming victory and King sighed with relief.

Starr King immediately pitched in to help. Out of $4.8 million the commission raised throughout the U.S., King raised $1.25 million in California. About $200,000 came from San Francisco, a figure all the more impressive because of a series of natural disasters in the state, including a massive flood that turned the Sacramento-San Joaquín Valley into a vast lake and a drought that wiped out the wheat crop.

But King’s Herculean efforts had taken a toll. Only devotion to what he considered God’s will and "being mad" kept him going. On Feb. 28, 1864, he came down with diphtheria, then pneumonia. A few days later his doctor told him he had only a half-hour to live. King glanced at a calendar.

"Today is the fourth of March," he said. "Sad news will go over the wire today."

Across San Francisco, flags dropped to half-mast. The state legislature in Sacramento adjourned for three days of mourning after passing a resolution stating that King had been a "tower of strength to the cause of his country."

As King lay in state, wrapped in an American flag, a military honor guard stood by his casket. Twenty thousand people came to his church to pay tribute. Cannons boomed a memorial tribute and Bret Harte composed a eulogy, "Relieving Guard."

A Star? There’s nothing strange in that.
No, nothing; but above the thicket
Somehow it seemed to me that God
Somewhere had just relieved a picket.
King’s body was buried in the front lawn of his newly completed church, where it remains today.

In 1913, the state legislature voted Thomas Starr King and Father Junipero Serra, the Catholic missionary, as California’s two greatest heroes and appropriated funds for King’s statue at the U.S. Capitol. In the 1960s, the state designated King’s church and tomb as a historical monument.

Adapted from an article written by William H. Wingfield for Real West Magazine, August 1972.

This week end the state legislature here in California decided Starr King was not important any more and has voted to replace his statue with that of Ronald Reagan .  I really think they thought nobody would care.  I care as do several of my Civil War community friends here in L.A. Orange County area.  Ronald Reagan has other monuments .   They should have left this one alone .  I hate to think one day Father Serra might be replaced with Arnold. 

 



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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 03:54 am
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JDC I will never tell a soul.  Your secret is safe with me . 



 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 04:32 pm
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Susan, thanks for a most informative post about yet another famous person I've never heard of.

The California legislature evidently doesn't know the significance of Rev. King's contributions.  Just think, without his efforts, California might have left the Union as an independent republic or joined the Confederacy.

What would have happened then?  Our country divided two or three ways?

You're right about all the monuments and memorials to RR.  Heck, our airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.  We oldtimers still call it plain old "National."  We see a lot of presidents here, ho hum.

double chin-grin ---> ((:

Patty



 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 11:53 pm
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Susan,

I moved from Simi Valley, California recently.  High atop a hill there, overlooking the Simi and Thousand Oaks Valleys, sits a multi million dollar library and memorial for the former President Ronald Reagan.  I have visited on many occasions.  Some visits were to see artifacts and collectibles of his he had collected over the years, other times to view an exhibit that happened to be there.  And also other times just to enjoy the view.  His burial spot is on prime California soil.  A chunk of the Berlin Wall sits directly north of where he is buried.  There are many statues of him on site.  A beautiful bronze of him in his Hollywood glory days greets you at the entrance.  The library in my mind represents so much of him.  He loved California.  And he is remembered there fondly.  In a long winded sort of way...I am fully agreeing with your concerns.  There is absolutly no reason to tear the statue down.  And thank you for bringing this person to light.

Fuller   

Last edited on Thu Jan 4th, 2007 11:55 pm by Fuller



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 12:43 am
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Fuller thanks for your lovely reply.  I have not made it to the Simi Valley yet to see the Reagan Library.  I was at the Nixon today to see the train exhibit.  That is my thought , these men have libraries dedicated to them.  Others deserve this one statue in Washington .  Seems after someone dies they go crazy naming everything after them lately.  Mainly it seems Regan and Martin Luther King.  They were both great men, but how many statues and streets do we need named after them.  Spread the wealth is what I am saying . 



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 02:08 pm
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As Widow said, who had ever heard of him even in the company of CW buffs (well I had but he is still a minor historical character).  Reagan's legacy will have a much greater impact on history than King's and if someone comes along who tops Serra's accomplishments (who is now politically incorrect BTW), than he should be replaced too.  The monuments in the hall of stautary should not be stagnant.

Last edited on Fri Jan 5th, 2007 02:08 pm by David White



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 02:44 pm
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Samuel Adams
Massachusetts
Anne Whitney
Crypt
1876

Ethan Allen
Vermont
Larkin G. Mead
National Statuary Hall
1876

William Allen
Ohio
Charles H. Niehaus
National Statuary Hall
1887

Stephen Austin
Texas
Elisabet Ney
small House rotunda
1905

Charles Brantley Aycock
North Carolina
Charles Keck
Senate connecting corridor, 1st floor
1932

Edward Lewis Bartlett
Alaska
Felix W. de Weldon
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1971

William Henry Harrison Beadle
South Dakota
H. Daniel Webster
National Statuary Hall
1938

Thomas Hart Benton
Missouri
Alexander Doyle
National Statuary Hall
1899

Francis Preston Blair
Missouri
Alexander Doyle
Hall of Columns
1899

William Edgar Borah
Idaho
Bryant Baker
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1947

William Jennings Bryan
Nebraska
Rudulph Evans
National Statuary Hall
1937

John Burke
North Dakota
Avard Fairbanks
National Statuary Hall
1963

John Caldwell Calhoun
South Carolina
Frederic W. Ruckstull
Crypt
1910

Charles Carroll
Maryland
Richard E. Brooks
Hall of Columns
1903

Lewis Cass
Michigan
Daniel Chester French
National Statuary Hall
1889

Zachariah Chandler
Michigan
Charles H. Niehaus
Hall of Columns
1913

Dennis Chavez
New Mexico
Felix W. de Weldon
vestibule north of Rotunda
1966

James Paul Clarke
Arkansas
Pompeo Coppini
vestibule north of Senate connecting corridor, 1st floor
1921

Henry Clay
Kentucky
Charles H. Niehaus
National Statuary Hall
1929

John Middleton Clayton
Delaware
Bryant Baker
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1934

George Clinton
New York
Henry Kirke Brown
small House rotunda
1873

Jacob Collamer
Vermont
Preston Powers
Hall of Columns
1881

Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry
Alabama
Dante Sodini
Hall of Columns
1908

Father Damien
Hawaii
Marisol Escobar
House connecting corridor, 1st floor
1969

Jefferson Davis
Mississippi
Augustus Lukeman
National Statuary Hall
1931

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Kansas
Jim Brothers
Rotunda
2003

Philo T. Farnsworth
Utah
James R. Avati
House connecting corridor, 1st floor
1990

Robert Fulton
Pennsylvania
Howard Roberts
National Statuary Hall
1889

James A. Garfield
Ohio
Charles H. Niehaus
Rotunda
1886

James Zachariah George
Mississippi
Augustus Lukeman
Hall of Columns
1931

George Washington Glick
Kansas
Charles H. Niehaus
Topeka at the Kansas State Historical Society
1914

John Gorrie
Florida
C. A. Pillars
National Statuary Hall
1914

Nathanael Greene
Rhode Island
Henry Kirke Brown
Hall of Columns
1870

John Campbell Greenway
Arizona
Gutzon Borglum
National Statuary Hall
1930

Ernest Gruening
Alaska
George Anthonisen
Hall of Columns
1977

Hannibal Hamlin
Maine
Charles E. Tefft
National Statuary Hall
1935

Wade Hampton
South Carolina
Frederic W. Ruckstull
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1929

John Hanson
Maryland
Richard E. Brooks
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1903

James Harlan
Iowa
Nellie V. Walker
Hall of Columns
1910

Sam Houston
Texas
Elisabet Ney
National Statuary Hall.
1905

Kamehameha I
Hawaii
Thomas R. Gould
National Statuary Hall
1969

John James Ingalls
Kansas
Charles H. Niehaus
National Statuary Hall
1905

Andrew Jackson
Tennessee
Belle Kinney and Leopold F. Scholz
Rotunda
1928

Mother Joseph
Washington
Felix W. de Weldon
Hall of Columns
1980

Philip Kearny
New Jersey
Henry Kirke Brown
Hall of Columns
1888

John E. Kenna
West Virginia
Alexander Doyle
Hall of Columns
1901

Thomas Starr King
California
Haig Patigian
Hall of Columns
1931

William King
Maine
Franklin Simmons
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1878

Eusebio Kino
Arizona
Suzanne Silvercruys
Hall of Columns
1965

Samuel Jordan Kirkwood
Iowa
Vinnie Ream
National Statuary Hall
1913

Robert M. La Follette
Wisconsin
Jo Davidson
National Statuary Hall
1929

Jason Lee
Oregon
Gifford MacG. Proctor
National Statuary Hall
1953

Robert E. Lee
Virginia
Edward V. Valentine
National Statuary Hall
1934

Robert R. Livingston
New York
Erastus Dow Palmer
Crypt
1875

Crawford W. Long
Georgia
J. Massey Rhind
Crypt
1926

Huey Pierce Long
Louisiana
Charles Keck
National Statuary Hall
1941

Jacques Marquette
Wisconsin
Gaetano Trentanove
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1896

Patrick Anthony McCarran
Nevada
Yolande Jacobson
National Statuary Hall
1960

Ephraim McDowell
Kentucky
Charles H. Niehaus
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1929

John McLoughlin
Oregon
Gifford MacG. Proctor
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1953

Esther Hobart Morris
Wyoming
Avard Fairbanks
National Statuary Hall vestibule.
1960

Julius Sterling Morton
Nebraska
Rudulph Evans
Hall of Columns
1937

Oliver Hazard Perry Morton
Indiana
Charles H. Niehaus
Senate connecting corridor, 1st floor
1900

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg
Pennsylvania
Blanche Nevin
small House rotunda
1889

Francis Harrison Pierpont
West Virginia
Franklin Simmons
National Statuary Hall
1910

Po'pay
New Mexico
Cliff Fragua
Rotunda, pending selection of a permanent location by the Joint Committee on the Library
2005

Jeanette Rankin
Montana
Terry Minmaugh
House connecting corridor, 1st floor
1985

Henry Mower Rice
Minnesota
Frederick E. Triebel
National Statuary Hall
1916

Caesar Rodney
Delaware
Bryant Baker
Crypt
1934

Will Rogers
Oklahoma
Jo Davidson
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1939

Uriah Milton Rose
Arkansas
Frederic W. Ruckstull
National Statuary Hall.
1917

Charles Marion Russell
Montana
John B. Weaver
National Statuary Hall
1959

Florence R. Sabin
Colorado
Joy Buba
National Statuary Hall
1959

Sakakawea
North Dakota
Leonard Crunelle
Crypt
2003

Maria L. Sanford
Minnesota
Evelyn Raymond
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1958

Sequoyah
Oklahoma
Vinnie Ream (completed by G. Julian Zolnay)
National Statuary Hall
1917

Father Junipero Serra
California
Ettore Cadorin
National Statuary Hall
1931

John Sevier
Tennessee
Belle Kinney and Leopold F. Scholz
National Statuary Hall
1931

Roger Sherman
Connecticut
Chauncey B. Ives
Senate north-south corridor, 1st floor
1872

James Shields
Illinois
Leonard W. Volk
Hall of Columns
1893

George Laird Shoup
Idaho
Frederick E. Triebel
National Statuary Hall
1910

Edmund Kirby Smith
Florida
C. Adrian Pillars
Hall of Columns
1922

John Stark
New Hampshire
Carl Conrads
vestibule north of Rotunda
1894

Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Georgia
Gutzon Borglum
National Statuary Hall
1927

Richard Stockton
New Jersey
Henry Kirke Brown (completed by H. K. Bush-Brown).
Vestibule north of Senate connecting corridor, 1st floor
1888

John L. Swigert
Colorado
George and Mark Lundeen
House connecting corridor, 1st floor
1997

Jonathan Trumbull
Connecticut
Chauncey B. Ives
House connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1872

Zebulon Baird Vance
North Carolina
Gutzon Borglum
National Statuary Hall
1916

Lewis Wallace
Indiana
Andrew O'Connor
National Statuary Hall
1910

Joseph Ward
South Dakota
Bruno Beghé
Hall of Columns
1963

Washakie
Wyoming
Dave McGary
House connecting corridor, 1st floor
2000

George Washington
Virginia
Jean Antoine Houdon
Rotunda
1934

Daniel Webster
New Hampshire
Carl Conrads (after Thomas Ball)
National Statuary Hall
1894

Joseph Wheeler
Alabama
Berthold Nebel
National Statuary Hall
1925

Edward Douglass White
Louisiana
Arthur C. Morgan
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1955

Marcus Whitman
Washington
Avard Fairbanks
National Statuary Hall
1953

Frances E. Willard
Illinois
Helen Farnsworth Mears
National Statuary Hall
1905

Roger Williams
Rhode Island
Franklin Simmons
Senate connecting corridor, 2nd floor
1872

Sarah Winnemucca
Nevada
Benjamin Victor
Hall of Columns
2005

John Winthrop
Massachusetts
Richard S. Greenough
Hall of Columns
1876

Brigham Young
Utah
Mahonri Young
National Statuary Hall
1950





 How many of these people can you name what they did to deserve to be honored in the Hall?  Then using your politically correct statement about Father Serra read the list again and see how many Confederates are honored in the Hall.  I have no problem with this myself being a member of the UDC . Then read the list again and see how many are religious leaders .  That is a surprising number.  Just throwing out some questions .  From what I have read the statues are of STATE importance as much or more than national.  We have aother ways to honor National famous figures. Geeze Reagan has a whole library just up the road a piece.  Okay stepping down off my soap box now. 







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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:03 pm
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Fuller
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At some point, enough people thought King was important enough to be displayed as a statue.  Time has worn and probably so has the statue.  How many people have passed that statue not giving it a glance?  Many passed by it and probably thought "Hmmm, he must be someone important but I don't know who the heck he is"  And I can guarantee there are others who pass by and want to find out more about him.  I had never heard of him.  Susan educated me on that one.  I agree the wealth needs to be spread.  This is preservation and education at work. 

Fuller



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:20 pm
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Fuller , King was a very young Unitian minster that came to California in 1860 to preach in San Francisco  He took up the cause of the Union in California.  He was said to be an impassioned speaker , that would hold people captive with his voice. 

California was a very divided state right before the war.  It actually was going to be two states , North and South Caliornia .  The state had actually voted to divide in half but Washington D.C. put a stop to it  Southern California would have gone Confederate most likely as there was very strong support for the southern cause.  Many that lived in the southern part of California were from the South.  Abraham Lincoln said he believed the Rev. Thomas Starr King was the person most responsible for keeping California in the Union during the early days of the Civil War.


King traveled up and down the state speaking for the Union and his given credit for helping to keep the state in the Union. 

He also covered the state speaking on behave of his good friend Leland Stanford for Governor of California 

he also helped organize and raise funds for the Sanitary Commision.  This took a toll on his frail body .  He became ill and died 1864 .  His funeral service was huge.  He also was a great naturalist.  A peak in the Sierras is named for him .  There are several schools in California named for him.   I just think it is a shame to delete him from the hall .especially after reading what some of the other state selections have done to be placed in the hall.  BUT it is each state's choice. 

A friend decided that statue should be returned to California and placed on the state legislators desk that introduced the bill and he be required to learn all he can about King.  The guy stated he introduced the bill as he didn't know anything about King . When offered information he didn't want any.  Just the kind of guy I want making decisions for me. 

I do like the idea of the statue on the guys desk.  Poetic justice. 

 



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:26 pm
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Fuller
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That would be some paper weight!  Thank you for all your info.

Fuller



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:28 pm
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Fuller I just love the visual image I have of it .  tee hee



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:35 pm
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Fuller
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Susan,

I would demand a photo of that one!!!:D 

I would like to retract a statement of mine...After seeing a photo of the statue, it most certainly is in good condition.  Time has worn on, but the statue has been taken care of.  As far as now that is.

Fuller



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 05:32 pm
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Susan

I fear the whole deal is a PC thing , the man represented in the statue believed in GOD and worst yet was a priest (gasp) and in todays world of seperation between church and state is a no no.  Had he had nothing to do with the church I would guess that the statue would stand for years to come. Welcome to the political climate of our age.

Just my 2 cents

Michael



 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 05:46 pm
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Going to be more purges then read the list and count how many ministers and priest are on the list and have statues in the hall .  Then to be PC all the Confederates would need to go.  Jefferson Davis represents Mississippi.  ( I am not encouraging this being a UDC member myself)  actually both UDC and DUV.  Many of the men have civil war or revolutionary connections .  Was interesting to read about the people from vairous states and why they are there . 

I remember when I was in Washington how excited I was to see California's statues.  I also loved wandering around the statues and seeing who was there.  That was back in the 70's .  That's when I learned about Thomas  Starr King first .  IJo wanted to know about the man who represented our state.  No doubt about who Father Serra was. 

There are other Californians that had a big impact on the state that I would rather see than Reagan,  Any of the Big Four or a combination statue of all of them would do .  Crocker , Huntington ,Stanford and Hopkins would be nice.  Earl Warren  John Muir , Sutter,  John Steinbeck,Eugene O Neil , Jack London,  even William Randoph Hearst.  So many to choose from .  Nixon and Reagan have their Library's  . 



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 Posted: Mon Jan 8th, 2007 05:47 pm
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Susan

Just give the ACU and all the other groups time , they want to wipe out the existance of God in all Public places, these folks preach (a tongue and check pun) but really are intolerant.  I am totally with you Reagan has his libary so he has his recognition. fight em keep our history Alive.

 



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