A Fire Bell in the Past

February 2019 Conference on the Missouri Crisis of 1818-1821


On February 15-16, 2019, as near as possible to the 200th anniversary of the Tallmadge Amendment that tried to ban slavery in Missouri, the University of Missouri’s Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, a partner in the Missouri Bicentennial Alliance, will convene the first-ever national conference reassessing the Missouri Crisis. The best papers presented at the conference will be selected for development into chapters of a multi-authored book to be published in conjunction with the bicentennial commemorations in 2021. While the Missouri Crisis shows up in nearly every American history textbook, it has rarely received its due as the multi-faceted, watershed event it was, or been fully analyzed in light of modern historical scholarship. Missouri’s bicentennial seems the right occasion to fill this gap.

This post will be updated with information about the conference as it continues to take shape, with a full conference schedule set to be announced on October 1. Any questions can be directed to Kinder Institute Associate Director and Professor of History Jeff Pasley, the conference’s convener, at In addition, keep up with us as we live-tweet the Missouri Crisis at @MO_Crisis200