Benjamin Howard (Missouri politician)

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Benjamin Howard
Personal details
Born1760 (1760)
Lexington, Kentucky
DiedSeptember 18, 1814(1814-09-18) (aged 53–54)
Alma materCollege of William & Mary(1797)

Benjamin Howard (1760 – September 18, 1814) was a Congressman from Kentucky, the first governor of the Missouri Territory and a brigadier general in the War of 1812.

Howard was born in Lexington, Kentucky (then part of Virginia) and graduated in 1797 from the College of William & Mary. He was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 1800.

Continuing in politics, he was elected to the 10th and 11th Congresses (D-R-KY), serving from 1807 until April 10, 1810. One week later, on April 17, 1810, President James Madison appointed him as Governor of the Louisiana Territory (the Louisiana Purchase district north of modern-day Louisiana). It was later renamed as the Missouri Territory in June 1812.

During the War of 1812 Howard resigned his post and was commissioned as a brigadier general of the Eighth Military Department. During the conflict he and Nathan Boone (Daniel Boone's youngest son) attacked Sac and Fox positions in Illinois, as they were allies of the British. The pair established Fort Clark by Peoria, Illinois.

Howard fell ill while returning to St. Louis and died in the city. His original burial location is unknown, although likely somewhere in downtown St. Louis. Sometime between 1817 and 1844, his remains were reinterred at the Old Grace Church Graveyard just north of downtown St. Louis (11th and Warren streets). He was reportedly transferred to Bellefontaine Cemetery sometime after 1851, but the cemetery has no record of Howard's interment. The true location of his body is unknown.


Fort Howard in Green Bay, Wisconsin was named after him in 1816.

Benjamin Howard is the namesake of Howard County, Missouri.[1]


  1. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 174.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Fowler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William T. Barry
Political offices
Preceded by
Meriwether Lewis
Governor of Louisiana and Missouri Territory
Succeeded by
William Clark