February 17th 2020 Release Date

December 3, 2019 John Launius

The Life and Times of Missouri’s Charles Parsons: Between Art and War by John Launius and published by The History Press will release on February 17th 2020. Pre-orders may be made by emailing charlesparsonsbook@gmail.com.


This book details the life and times of Charles Parsons, one of St. Louis’s and the nation’s most influential yet little-known figures. As a U. S. Civil War quartermaster and advisor to generals, politicians, and presidents alike, he was instrumental to the Union cause. As a world-traveling art connoisseur, he helped found the first art museum west of the Mississippi and donated his remarkable collection of American and European paintings and Japanese and Chinese art. And to this day, his philanthropic work and dedication to education live on in some of the country’s grandest institutions. From his business failures in a riverside boomtown to his rise to national renown, this book tells his full story for the first time, with the attention and spirit the subject is due.

Institutional acknowledgements

  • Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
  • Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
  • Missouri Historical Society
  • Washington University in St. Louis Archive
  • Indiana Historical Society
  • Olivet College Library
  • The Missouri State Archive
  • The St. Charles Historical Society
  • The State History Historical Society of Missouri
  • The St. Louis Public Library
  • The Heinrich Schliemann Museum
  • The Missouri Humanities Council
  • St. Louis Art Museum
  • Missouri Civil War Museum
  • The American Bankers Associations (ABA)
  • Bonhams Auction Company
  • Bellefontaine Cemetery
  • The Carnegie Historical Museum
  • Parsons College Alumni
  • Watertown Free Public Library