Boman, Dennis K.
About the author: Dennis Boman received his PhD in American history from the University of Missouri – Columbia, focusing on the antebellum and Civil War periods. Currently he is teaching history at Eastern Michigan University.2002 0-7734-7266-5
This study details the career of a prominent 19th century Missouri lawyer and Whig politician. As a lawyer, Leonard tried thousands of cases before county circuit courts, the Missouri Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Leonard’s legal career furnishes insight into the daily lives, special difficulties, and duties of frontier lawyers, circuit attorneys, and supreme court justices. The biography also illuminates the political culture of Missouri from the beginning of the Age of Jackson into the Civil War period. Elected to the House of Representatives, Leonard’s efforts demonstrate how politicians participated in their caucuses, developed legislative strategies, and built consensus. Finally, it furnishes greater understanding of the complex emotional, cultural, political and economic factors that led to sharp divisions over the issues of secession and civil war in a border state. Leonard and his family experienced many of war’s hardships. Despite being a slaveholder, Leonard supported emancipation as a necessary measure to hasten Union victory.