U.S. district attorney for the state of MO. Joshua Barton, was the son of Rev. Isaac Barton (1746-1831) and Keziah Murphy (1752-1845), of E. TN., and a brother of Sen. David Barton (1783-1837), the first U.S. Senator from MO. Like his elder brother, he was prominent in the early history of his adopted state; neither of the two brothers was ever married. It is said that his law partner and friend Edward Bates regarded Joshua as the finest legal mind in MO at that time. (Brother David was considered to be one of the greatest orators.) Joshua died on Bloody Island, E. St. Louis, IL, on 30 Jun. 1823. He was killed in a duel by Thos. C. Rector, who challenged Barton after the latter published a letter to the editor, under a pseudonym, accusing Rector's brother Wm., a government surveyor, of public corruption. It was Bates who buried the slain Joshua after the ill-fated Bloody Island duel and who served as the executor of his friend's estate. When Rector returned to MO, Gov. Edward Coles, of IL, forwarded a murder indictment against him to the governor of MO, demanding his extradition.
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