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

Introduction.  Lou Hough (Orville Louis Hough) and I (George Langford Jr.) have worked together since 1974, researching the details of 6.Benjamin Franklin Massey's several careers and his personal life history.  We have combed the Public records; we have found a few publications of his political life, but our most productive sources have been contemporary records:
A large collection of personal letters written by B.F. Massey to Dr. John F. Snyder (Massey Appendix XLVII and Massey Appendix LVIII.)
44.Benjamin Ulpian Massey's Recollections of the burned Autobiography of B.F. Massey (Massey Appendix XXIX.)
44.Benjamin Ulpian Massey's own autobiographical recollections of his association with his father during the Civil War (Massey Appendix XXXII)
43.Nina Massey Hough's recollections of her father and his life history  (Massey Appendix XXXI.)
With all this valuable information to help us, Lou and I feel that we know our great-grandfather almost as well as if we had been his contemporaries.  We have rejoiced with him, suffered with him, and we have unabashedly become very fond of him.  So, as I author his Biography, I take great pains to avoid getting overly sentimental about Benjamin Franklin Massey.

Biographical Records.  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 the War.
Autobiographical Records.  B.F. Massey's 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 NarrativeI 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.
Documentation. In 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.