State Historical Society of Missouri
Dr. John Sappington:
Southern Patriarch in the New West
BY LYNN MORROW*
Dr. John Sappington earned a distinguished reputation as a physician
and a promoter of quinine in Missouri's Boon's Lick region. His influence
transcended Missouri in long-distance trade managed by relatives who all
became wealthy in the profits. Much more than a country doctor,
Sappington was a frontier merchant, a land speculator, a progressive agriculturalist, a moneylender, and a political confidant in Jacksonian politics.
He entered Missouri prior to statehood with an anxious spirit of gain.
*Lynn Morrow is the director of the Local Records Preservation Program for the
Missouri Office of the Secretary of State. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from
Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield.