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St. Joseph artifacts selected for Missouri's Bicentennial digital exhibit

To celebrate Missouri's 200 years of history, historians throughout the state curated a virtual gallery to tell the story of Missouri and its people.

Posted: Sep 2, 2021 4:04 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2021 9:58 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Historians have selected a few St. Joseph artifacts to feature in a statewide digital exhibit for Missouri's bicentennial. 

To celebrate Missouri's 200 years of history, historians throughout the state curated a virtual gallery to tell the story of Missouri and its people.

The collection is called 'Show Me Missouri' which is made up of 200 objects highlighting different regions and eras. Three of those pieces selected are from the St. Joseph Museum. 

"It was important for us at the St. Joseph Museums to make sure that St. Joseph's history was told and that we are represented in the state," said Sara Wilson, Executive Director of the St. Joseph Museum. 

Executive Director of the St. Joseph Museum, Sara Wilson, said she was surprised at the items selected from her staff's submission, but was thrilled to see one of Wilson's favorite pieces, "Dueling Pistols." 

"A group of 14 Indians had traveled in 1844 to the courts of Europe and met with the King of France. The King of France gifted these pistols to their Chief, White Cloud, so we're really fortunate to have them in our collection," said Wilson. 

The pistols also tell a broader story of one man's path to freedom. 

“There was a gentleman who came to St. Joseph, his name was Jeffrey Deroine. He came to St. Joseph as a slave of the city’s founder, Joseph Robidoux. Jeffrey was fluent in many different languages: Spanish, English, French and several Native American dialects and was actually able to gain his freedom because of his skills as an interpreter. He then traveled with the 14 Indians to the courts of Europe where he met with the King of France,” said Wilson. 

The other two pieces selected from the St. Joseph Museum was an urban renewal map of the city of St. Joseph and a map of the 1951 flood and how it impacted the Missouri River. 

Now, Missourians can scroll through 200 years of history online to see how much life has changed and the artifacts cementing the state's path forward. 

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