Alexander William Doniphan, the Forgotten Man from Missouri
Brigham Young University
Few men on the Missouri frontier in the nineteenth century exemplified the quality of character, integrity, as well as did Alexander William Doniphan. Whether in his capacity as a lawyer, soldier, legislator or friend, he remained steadfast to his beliefs and principles, though often in the minority. Several books have been written about Doniphan's military experiences during the Mexican War. But surprisingly this is the only part of his life which so far has been reported in great detail. The other aspects of his career have been treated only in a sketchy manner. It is therefore the purpose of this paper to present in greater detail those segments of Doniphan's career which have been neglected for the most part. While the author realizes his limited ability at the present time to do complete justice to the history of Alexander W. Doniphan, this paper will bring together and integrate for the first time the commonly known and the little known facts about his life. Personal letters, newspapers, journals, public documents and public addresses have been searched carefully in an effort to extract the facts and character traits which best portrayed the man.