St. George Hotel in Weston (1846)
One of three hotels in Weston in its heyday, where many meetings were held. The St. George is the only hotel building remaining.
George Galloway (1791-1858) was a farmer living north of Weston and a "lively politician, confirmed in his Democratic principles, a stickler for States Rights, and fond of discussion." [Paxton, Annals, 261]
The Platte County Self-Defensive Association at its formative meeting on July 29, 1854, elected Galloway President and Benjamin F. Stringfellow Secretary. Galloway opened the meeting by stating the object of the gathering was to adopt measures to protect the citizenry from Kansas Abolitionists. These men, Galloway said, were enticing Negroes from their homes and inciting them to violence and insurrection. The Emigrant Aid Societies were sending large forces to colonize Kansas to make it a free State, in defiance of the will of the real (pro-slavery) settlers in the territory.
"These hired adventurers," drawn from the "worst elements of the North," were sent to Kansas and sustained there by the contributions of others. They came " breathing vengeance against slaveholders and friends of slaveholders;" and "the evil influence of their presence" was felt in Missouri. Unless vigorous action was taken, "no man's fireside will be safe, no property secure." Not only would the Abolitionists take possession of Kansas; they would make slavery impossible in Missouri, taking the lives of all Missourians opposed to them and destroying and carrying off property of others.
Platte County citizens must protect themselves, and not with half-way measures. The "time for dallying" had passed; the "time for action" had come. They should not wait until they saw their "homes go down in ashes," nor permit their "friends and brothers who have gone across the river to make their homes in good faith," to be driven out. Their Missouri friends should "protect them in the right to live there and their right to vote there." If the Aid Societies "expected to capture Kansas by colonizing voters" they would be disappointed. Missouri was nearer the territory than they were, and could send three bona fide settlers for every one the Yankees sent. Galloway said he respected free-state men who came west to make their homes, but Platte County people would not tolerate those who came only to steal Negroes, destroy property and stir up strife and insurrection. [National Historical Company, Clay and Platte Counties, 663]