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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Brown, A Henry (unknown) to David Murphy

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.600.019 Author/Creator: Brown, A Henry (unknown) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph note Date: 1783-1815 Pagination: 1 p. ; 6.7 x 19.1 cm. Order a Copy

David Murphy, the son of Reverend William Murphy and Susan Barton Murphy, was born around 1769. The family lived in the Territory of the United States of America, South of the River Ohio, a territory created by Congress after the American Revolution. William Blount, governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio, appointed David an ensign of the Jefferson County, Tennessee, militia in 1793. In 1798, David along with his father and two brothers made a claim for settlement in the French territory of Upper Louisiana. They were granted land in present-day St. Francois County, Missouri. In 1800, David and his brothers returned to settle the land. They established the Murphy Settlement in what was then Ste. Genevieve County. David established and operated a tavern. James Wilkinson, governor of the Territory of Louisiana, promoted David to captain of the militia of the district of Ste. Genevieve in 1806. David later served in the War of 1812. Murphy was elected to the Missouri General Assembly in 1820 as a representative of Ste. Genevieve County. In 1822, David donated 52 acres of his land for the establishment of a town to serve as the county seat of newly organized St. Francois County, thus creating the town of Farmington, Missouri. In 1826, Murphy ran for a seat representing St. Francois County in the Missouri General Assembly but was defeated by Henry Poston. Murphy challenged the election claiming irregularities in the voting process. Poston was eventually declared the winner. Murphy regained the seat in 1828 and served another two-year term. David Murphy died in 1844.

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