On this date in 1861, military leader John Charles Frémont declared martial law in Missouri and issued a variety of proclamations, including a declaration that aimed to free enslaved people held by Missouri’s Confederate sympathizers. President Abraham Lincoln, seeking to keep a tenuous peace with Missouri as a neutral state, later removed Frémont from his position, according to the Kansas City Public Library’s Civil War on the Western Border website.

Photo credit: John C. Fremont / Lith. by Crehan after Saintin. , ca. 1856. New York: publd. by W. Schaus ; Boston: print ed by J.H. Bufford. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/93503777/.