Franklin - Old Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 59.236 W 092° 45.319
15S E 521191 N 4315392
Quick Description: Franklin, now referred to as "Old Franklin" was washed down the river after making an indelible mark on history.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 10/30/2021 6:11:31 AM
Waymark Code: WM157A6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Geo Ferret
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of marker: Howard County
Location of marker: State Hwy 87, roadside turnout, about ½ mile NW of Boonville
Marker Erected By: Santa Fe National Trail, National Park Service, Department of the Interior; Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks

Marker Text:

"The Town of Franklin ... seems truly to have been the cradle of our trade; and in
  conjunction with several neighboring towns, continued for many years to furnish
  the greater number of these adventurous traders."

      Josiah Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, 1844

Seat of Howard County
The settlement of Franklin, Missouri Territory, was established as the seat of Howard County in 1816. As the largest town west of St. Louis, it was the hub of a large region along the Missouri River called the "Boonslick country." The Missouri River and the Boone's Lick Road linked Franklin with the towns of St. Charles and St. louis

Legal Trade with Mexico
In 1821, William Becknell organized a party from the Franklin area to trade "to the westward." They arrived in Santa Fe shortly after Mexico achieved independence from Span and dropped Spanish trade restrictions, thus becoming the first Americans to engage in legal trade with Mexico. The Mexicans, Becknell said, "expressed a desire that the Americans would keep up an intercourse with the country [Mexico]." Becknell returned to Franklin in January 1822told his story, and began organizing a second expedition. Encouraged by this new opportunity, other trade parties were formed. A new era began as a burgeoning commercial enterprise linked Missouri and New Mexico. Franklin flourished as an outfitting point for west bound traders.

Floods Effect the Town
The unpredictable Missouri River was the cause of the town's demise. After the 1826 flood, the newspaper and other businesses moved to Fayette. Two years later, another flood caused the residents to establish a new community - New Franklin - on nearby high ground. The river reclaimed Franklin, "the commercial emporium of Boonslick country." You now stand amid the once thriving settlement, near the corner of Boone and Ash streets, just two blocks from the town square.

[Newspaper page]
Historians still debate Becknell's intent. In this advertisement and his later journals, Becknell did not say whether he intended to trade in Santa Fe, or with Indian tribes. Such mysteries add to the excitement and challenges of studying the Santa Fe trail.

Up to 1846, the Santa Fe Trail was an international road of commerce, with many American and Mexican trade caravans crossing the plains between Santa Fe and Missouri. New Mexico was taken by the United States in the Mexican War (1846-48). The Trail remained in use as a freight, stagecoach and mail route until the railroad arrived at Santa Fe in 1880.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"In 1821, William Becknell and his party left Franklin, MO westbound toward Santa Fe. Though they did not know it at the time, their journey would be the first successful, legal trade on the Trail between the US and Mexico. They returned to Franklin with substantial profits, signaling the opening of the Santa Fe Trail as a profitable commercial route." ~ National Park Service

Additional point: Not Listed

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