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Edward Hempstead (June 3, 1780 – August 10, 1817) was an American lawyer, pioneer, and one of the early settlers in the new Louisiana Purchase in 1805. Born in New London, Connecticut, Hempstead was the delegate in the U.S. House for the Missouri Territory from 1812 to 1814.



Bust of Edward Hempstead in the former 1874 Hempstead County Courthouse in Washington, Arkansas

Hempstead died after an accident when he was thrown from his horse on August 4, 1817. He died of his injuries six days later at his home in St. Louis, Missouri, and is buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery there. Hempstead County, Arkansas, is named in his honor.

Hempstead was friends with Thomas Hart Benton (senator). Benton was to say later that he thought Hempstead would have become Missouri's first senator had he lived. Benton was with Hempstead when he died and spent the wake with his body. When Benton came home from the wake Benton received a duel challenge with Charles Lucas (Missouri) following a dispute over a court case. Benton replied he would meet Lucas as soon as Hempstead was buried. The two were to fight two duels with Benton ultimately killing Lucas.[1]

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