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
His Second Trading Mission to Santa Fe
Collier and the Powells had informally worked out the details of a second Santa Fe trading mission, and on 14 Apr.1834, together with a mutually acceptable lawyer, wrote out a formal contract, which had such an important effect on the plan of B.F. Massey's major adventures, that I include the entire formal contract as written in Massey Appendix LIV
The Second Trail Trip: 1834  The trip West was no doubt made in standard fashion over the trail, but because of subsequent events, it appears likely that Massey started west in the Spring, later than usual.
The return trip east was highly unusual; he made the trip, "on horseback and alone," over the Spanish Trail from Santa Fe to Vera Cruz.  Apparently he had completed his trading in Santa Fe too late in the Fall to permit him to take a wagon train back East over the Trail.  Such a trip, with wagons heavily laden with buffalo hides, beaver skins and other bulky Spanish goods, plus a herd of horses, cattle and mules was impossible in Winter.
He could have exercised the option of remaining in Santa Fe over the Winter, returning with a wagon train in the Spring.
However, he elected to travel overland, over the long established Spanish Trail, 1,500 miles to Vera Cruz; thence by steamer to New Orleans; then up-river, back to St. Louis.  Although long-established, this Spanish trail led through mountainous and desert country; the Indians were largely hostile; and the trip was very long.
As he is recorded as having made this long return trip, "on horseback and alone," he no doubt returned with the profits of the venture in gold and silver specie, loaded on his pack horse.  Although this option seems excessively risky, it was apparently not considered then as dangerous as we moderns would have it; it has been noted that it  was not unusual for traders to travel with specie valued upwards of $100,000 without requiring special precautions or guards.(5)
A mission as this seemingly required a rough, tough John Wayne type, but to quote his son:
"My father was never a vigorous, robust man; he was small of stature, only about five feet seven inches in height, and never weighing over 137 pounds."
He successfully completed the rugged trip to Vera Cruz, took a steamer to New Orleans, then a boat up-river, back to St. Louis.
He returned home to Kent County in 1835, but while there was stricken with rheumatism and remained there for about two years.  Rheumatism was a recurrent affliction that plagued him all his life.
He came back to Missouri in 1837.  The Powells, appreciative of his ability, offered to set him up in the mercantile business in a location of his own choosing.  He chose Fayette, Howard County, Missouri; a town about 15 miles North of Boonville, then the head of Missouri River traffic.  So, at age 26, with a stock of goods provided by the Powells, he commenced trading south and west of  Fayette, as far as the site of Sarcoxie, Missouri.
On these trading trips, he met William Tingle, who had traded in this Sarcoxie area before him.  In 1837-1838, with Tingle as senior partner, they became Tingle & Massey, Merchant Traders.
About 1838, Massey established himself on a farm site in the Spring River Valley, a few miles north and east of the site of Sarcoxie.
On his periodic trips between Fayette and Boonville, Massey had met Maria Hawkins Withers and courted her.  On 11 Jun.1839, they were married at Boonville, setting up housekeeping on the Spring River Valley farm.  He was age 28, she was 18.
Tingle & Massey had prospered as Merchant Traders.  Energetic and experienced in the Merchandising field, they saw an opportunity to use their talents to rapidly attain financial security engaging in activities in a new field; Tingle was age 29, Massey a year younger.
Missouri was opening up State land for purchase at $1.25 an acre.  Tingle & Massey commenced to acquire land in the attractive Sarcoxie area, where they were already established as traders.
During the 1839-1840 period they put together about 600 acres in the Land Entry method.  They also bought a mill from its original builder, Thacker Vivian.  Vivian had laid out a town he called Centerville and had sold several building lots.  Tingle & Massey took over this platted town, re-platted it, re-named to Sarcoxie, and continued to sell building lots.  They increased the capacity of their mill and sold it.
So, in August 1840, they not only had assembled a substantial land empire, they had set up a mercantile establishment in the town of Sarcoxie itself, stocked, as usual, by the brothers Powell.  Came trouble.
The combined Tingle & Massey real estate venture and merchandising venture had stretched their financial capabilities too far; the cash flow was inadequate to support both.  They had run up a debt for goods supplied by the Powells totalling $5,147, and they were unable to pay.
This debt dragged on for two years.  Tingle and Massey had failed to work out a payment arrangement, and the Powells felt that they had to act to collect it.
In mid-1842, the Powells filed suit against Tingle and Massey to collect their money.  There is no evidence of any rancor on the part of the Powells against Massey and Tingle; they simply did what they felt they had to do to protect their interests.