Section II - Benjamin Franklin Massey, 1811-1879:
Missouri Career as Merchant-Trader; Politics; 1856-1864 Secretary of State of Secessionist Missouri Administration.
One Maryland Massey Family by George Langford, Jr. 1901-1996
©Cullen G. Langford and George Langford, III, 2010

A Biographical Narrative of his Life and Career
B.F. Massey Enters a New Field - The Arena of Missouri Politics
During this period, aware that his financial castle was tumbling about his ears, 6.Benjamin Franklin Massey entered a new field - the arena of Missouri politics.  He ran for and was elected a Missouri State Senator, serving in the Twelfth General Assembly, held in 1842.  He was then age 31.
1843 was a financially bad year for B.F. Massey.  Although his Senatorial post provided income, it was inadequate.  For example, he had rented a slave from an older brother, who was forced to file a Power of Attorney to collect the wages earned by the slave.  Another example: Massey had to sell two slaves at auction; the Powells bought the slaves but permitted Massey to keep them in his possession as a loan.
This generous act by the Powells is interesting evidence that the long-time cordial relationship between them and Massey had not deteriorated.
The year 1844 was even worse, financially, than 1843.  On the favorable side, Massey's political career was doing well; he had been re-elected a State Senator and was serving in the Thirteenth General Assembly. But, back in Sarcoxie, things were very bad indeed.
The Circuit Court decided the lawsuit in favor of the Powells and entered a judgement against Tingle & Massey.  Tingle & Massey lacked the means to pay this $5,147 Judgement, and the Court ordered the Tingle & Massey land holdings sold at auction.  This was done; the Powells were the high bidder, and took over Tingle & Massey's 408 acres, including the Sarcoxie town site.  Thus ended the Tingle & Massey joint venture in real estate and merchandising in total disaster.  B.F. Massey was age 33.
Massey's political career progressed well.  In 1845 he was elected a member of the Missouri Constitutional Convention.  In 1846 he was elected Chief Clerk of the  Missouri House of Representatives and was re-elected in 1848.  Then came a setback.
In 1849, he ran for a seat in the Missouri State Senate but met defeat.  He then sought the post of Missouri Secretary of State, then an appointed office, but he lost out.
All this time, in fact from 1838, Massey had maintained his Spring River Valley farm, and was classified as "Farmer" in both the 1840 and 1850 Census enumerations.
In 1850, still seeking financial security, he joined the California Gold Rush.  This quest was unsuccessful, and in addition he suffered a disabling attack of rheumatism and had to be invalided home via the Isthmus of Panama in 1851.
In 1852, he, or perhaps William Tingle, found the means to pay $1,000 "in full satisfaction" of the Powell court judgment against them.
In 1854, Massey ran again for the Missouri State Senate, and, as in 1849, met defeat.  This was a very low point in Massey's financial life; he was 43 years old, had a wife and eight children, with only the farm for support.  But he rallied.
He ran again for the office of Missouri Secretary of State and this time was elected to serve the four-year term, from 1856 to 1860.  In 1857, Warwick Hough, his son-in-law to-be, was appointed his Chief clerk.
During his first term as Secretary of State, he wrote many letters to his friend and political ally, Dr. John F. Snyder, which Dr. Snyder fortunately preserved.  These letters covered the many subjects that concerned these two men:- day-to-day practical politicking, political advice to Dr. Snyder, the Missouri railroad situation, Missouri's banking problems, and the like.  And a small amount of personal news.
Massey was now a seasoned, experienced, practical, political figure.  He was satisfied that he had attained his political goals.  In a 10 Dec.1858 letter to Dr. Snyder, he wrote:
"You ask me what I want; do I want the same office I have, or do I want to succeed Stewart [then Governor] or Phelps [then Senator].  If my circumstances shell render it accept any political peace at all, and I expect they will, I should prefer to keep the place I have. ... If you had the power by a word, without any act on my part, to give me a seat in Congress, I should not accept it.  I am too domestic to fancy being separated from my family. ... As far as any personal considerations go, I would rather be Secretary than governor."
In 1860, B.F. Massey ran for, and was elected, Secretary of State for a second four-year term.  During this second term, his letters to Dr. Snyder continue to express his worry about the State railway subsidies and the proliferation of State banks draining away great amounts from the State Treasury.  He was also concerned about the Negro problem, arming Missouri, and, of course, secession.
At this point in his career, Massey's financial security seemed assured.  He had pursued a political career for eighteen years, had attained the highest political post that he aspired to, and had every reason to believe that he could continue in his post of Secretary of State.  He was 49 years old and the future looked secure and bright.  But it was not to be.