B.F. Massey's public career has been recorded in various Missouri
County histories, and in histories of Missouri. His eldest
daughter, Nina Massey Hough, dictated her recollections of her father
and his career for the benefit of her son. His eldest son,
Benjamin Ulpian Massey, recorded his recollections of the contents of
his father's autobiography in a letter to his father's long-time
friend, Dr. J. F. Snyder. B.U. Massey also wrote an
autobiographical record of the experiences he and his father shared
during the Civil War, when they were both members of the Missouri State
"Government-in-Exile" that was ousted by Union troops at the start of
Autobiography was destroyed by fire. A diary that
he is said to have kept has been lost. So we are denied these
primary sources of Massey's thoughts, plans and experiences, as
expressed directly in his own words. B.F. Massey Letters:
We have unsuccessfully searched for any letters that he wrote to
members of his family; they have apparently all been lost.
However, B.F. Massey wrote many letters to his friend, Dr. J.F.
Snyder, that Dr. Snyder valued and preserved. He saved 56 letters
written during the 1858-1861 period and eleven more letters
written from 1864 to 1875. He also saved a few letters from other
men concerning B.F. Massey. These Massey - Snyder letters
contain all that has survived concerning Massey's thoughts, viewpoints,
aspirations and emotional feelings, as expressed in his own words.
|How To Read the Narrative.
I have written it in a positive
style, as though every statement were a proven fact. In truth,
many of my statements are my personal interpretations of documented
events. To further this positive type of
expression, I have purposely omitted the usual qualifying phrases, such
as "it is believed," "it would appear," "evidence suggests," and the
like. So, as you read this narrative, read it with a small grain
of salt. Remember that I am writing about my own
great-grandfather. I have developed a sort of rapport with him
(if one can develop a rapport with one dead these hundred years); and I
am sure that I have biased some of my statements in his favor.
this narrative I have omitted all references to source records.
All of my documentation is
available in detail in the Historical and Genealogical record of B.F.
Massey's life which follows this narrative. The narratives which
follow are divided into sections in order to preserve the connection
between the source of the information and the actual information taken
from each source; thus there is duplication, but with small
differences, depending on the source.