St. Louis in 1804 by Frances H. Stadler
Transfer of upper Louisiana Territory to the United States at St. Louis, Mar. 9, 1804.
Ford P. Kaiser
Library of Congress
Photogravure of painting used as illustration in: J.W. Buel, Louisiana and the Fair, (Saint Louis: World's Progress Publishing Co.,1904-05), III, 896–897.
The St. Louis of 1804 is a dead city, as completely vanished from sight as ancient Troy. Not one building remains which was here in 1804, and nothing marks the original site of Laclède's village. To reconstruct the life of St. Louis when Lewis and Clark arrived to prepare for their momentous expedition, we must turn to all of three sources—first, records kept by those who lived here; second, the recorded impressions in letters, diaries, and published travel accounts of visitors; and third, histories compiled after the time from the recollections of old-timers, archives, and physical remnants of the local culture such as clothing, furniture, silver, and other objects used and preserved.