Benjamin Howard (Missouri politician)

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Benjamin Howard
3rd Governor of Missouri Territory
In office
October 11, 1809 – July 1, 1813
Preceded byMeriwether Lewis
Succeeded byWilliam Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1807 – April 10, 1810
Preceded byJohn Fowler
Succeeded byWilliam T. Barry
Personal details
Born1760 (1760)
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedSeptember 18, 1814(1814-09-18) (aged 53–54)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
EducationCollege of William & Mary

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.

Early life and education[edit]

Howard was born in Lexington, Kentucky, (then part of Virginia) and graduated in 1797 from the College of William & Mary.[1]


Howard was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 1800. Continuing in politics, he was elected to the 10th and 11th Congresses (D-R-KY), 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 renamed 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 tribes' positions in Illinois, as they were allies of the British. The pair established Fort Clark near Peoria, Illinois.

Howard fell ill while returning to St. Louis and died in the city. His original burial location is unknown, although probably somewhere in downtown St. Louis. Some time 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 some time after 1851, but the cemetery has no record of his interment. The true location of his body is unknown.


Fort Howard in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was named after him in 1816. He is also the namesake of Howard County, Missouri.[2]

Benjamin Howard was the son of John Howard and the grandson of Allen Howard, born in 1685, was an elected justice to Albemarle county, Virginia. Benjamin’s father, uncles and grandfathers fought as Patriots in the Revolutionary War. West Cote and Howardsville, Virginia, were founded by his grandfather Allen Howard. Benjamin Howard was born in Virginia and moved to Kentucky and then Missouri, his father followed.


  1. ^ "HOWARD, Benjamin". History, Art & Archives. US House of Representatives. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 174.