On this day in 1821, Missouri becomes the 24th state in the Union, making it the first state located entirely west of the Mississippi River. Previously, Missouri became a U.S. possession as with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
This is the Preamble of the Missouri Constitution:
“We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the
Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this Constitution for the better
government of the state.”
Contained within the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, pictured below, is the motto “United We Stand Divided We Fall.”
From the Founders
First, Founding Father John Dickinson used the phrase in “The Liberty Song”, first published in the Boston Gazette in July 1768:
“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,
For heaven approves of each generous deed.”
Finally, Founding Father Patrick Henry, who famously said “Give me liberty, or give me death!,” also used the phrase his final speech on March 4, 1799:
“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”
Our Lost Founding suggests that their words are especially relevant in Our time as well.