ROBERT M. STEWART was born in Truxton, New York on March 12, 1815. His early education was attained in the public schools of New York. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1836, and then established a successful legal career in St. Joseph, Missouri. Stewart first entered politics as a delegate to the 1845 Missouri Constitutional Convention. He also served as a member of the Missouri State Senate from 1846 to 1857. Stewart next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor during a special election on August 3, 1857. He was inaugurated on October 22, 1857. During his tenure, internal improvements were initiated, a state banking system was established, and the office of state bank commissioner was created. Also, a border conflict between Missouri and Kansas was dealt with, as were issues dealing with the approaching Civil War. After completing his term, Stewart left office on January 3, 1861. He remained politically active, serving as a delegate to the Missouri State Convention from 1861 to 1863. Stewart also entered into military service during the Civil War, but was relieved of his duties, due to his declining health. Governor Robert M. Stewart passed away on September 21, 1871, and was buried in the Mt. Mora Cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.