For two years Missouri had only one U.S. Senator. He was Henry S. Geyer who served while the legislature was unable to select a companion. But that’s nonot the most unusual occurrence. A few years later Missouri went 46 days with no senators in Washington because Congress had accused them of disloyalty and kicked them out.Their names were Waldo Porter Johnson and Trusten Polk.Waldo Porter Johnson became a United States Senator on the 15th ballot of voting in the legislature. Back in those days the legislature picked our Senators, not the public. Johnson became a Senator four years after his colleague, Trusten Polk, had resigned as Governor to become a member of the U.S. Senate. Both men favored slavery. A resolution passed by the Missouri Legislature in 1861 which stated that freeing slaves would be “impracticable, inexpedient, impolitic, unwise, and unjust,” was acceptable to them.

AOWM January 10, 2005