Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GAMBLE, Hamilton Rowan, governor of Missouri, born in Winchester, Virginia, 26 November, 1798; died in Jefferson City, Missouri, 31 January 1864. His education was received principally at Hampden Sidney, and when about eighteen years of age he was admitted to the bar of Virginia. In 1818 he went to Missouri, and resided several years in Franklin, Howard co. He was elected secretary of state in 1824, which office he held one year. He then became a successful lawyer in St. Louis, served on the bench from 1851 till 1855, and was presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. At one time he was a member of the state House of Representatives. In 1861 he was elected to the State constitutional convention, which body appointed him provisional governor of Missouri, the regular governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, having joined the secession party. He held this office until his death. In the State convention of 1861, as chairman of the committee on Federal relations, Governor Gamble made a report expressing a hope for an amicable adjustment of the existing difficulties without civil war. He pronounced the president's call for troops unconstitutional, and appealed to the legislature to unite for the preservation of the state. Later the governor was authorized to receive a loan of $500,000 and to purchase ammunition, and the state military was put under his command, On 12 June, 1861, he issued a proclamation calling into service 50,000 of the state militia "for the purpose of repelling invasion, and for the protection of the lives, liberty, and property of the citizens." On 12 June, 1862, the State convention passed a resolution expressing confidence in the integrity and patriotism of the governor arid state officers. On 13 June he submitted a message to the convention, declaring that he would furnish aid to any state that would adopt a measure of emancipation. On 22 July, Governor Gamble summoned the militia to defend the state against Confederate guerillas. He called the adjourned State convention to reassemble in June, 1863, to consult and act on the subject of emancipation, and, after expressing a desire for peace, offered his resignation, which was not accepted. Governor Gamble in 1838 organized the 2d Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.
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