Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GEYER, Henry Sheflie, jurist, born in Frederick-town, Maryland, 9 December 1790; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 5 March, 1859. He began to practise law in his native City in 1811, and on 20 May, 1813, became 1st lieutenant in the 38th infantry. He was made regimental paymaster on 25 December and served till June, 1815, when he was mustered out. He then removed to St. Louis, Missouri, at that time a frontier village, and was a member of the territorial legislature in 1818, and captain of the first militia company in the territory. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention of 1820, and was five times chosen to the legislature after the admission of Missouri to the Union, serving as speaker of the first three general assemblies of the state. In 1825 he was one of the revisers of the statutes, and contributed largely to the adoption of a code, which was at that time superior to that of any other western state. He declined the post of secretary of war, tendered him by President Fillmore in 1850, and was then elected United States senator over Thomas H. Benton, on the fortieth ballot, by a majority of five votes. He served from 1851 till 1857, and while in Washington was one of the counsel in the Dred Scott case. He was the oldest member of the St. Louis bar, both in years and in professional standing. He published " Statutes of Missouri" (St. Louis, 1817).
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