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the St. Louis Mercantile Library

The St. Louis Mercantile Library, at Broadway and Locust Street, scene of many important political events during the Civil War. A state convention in 1861 declined to secede from the Union. In Fall 1863, Gen. Frank Blair and U.S. Rep. Henry Blow gave major speeches for and against abolishing slavery during the war. Another state convention met there to free the slaves effective Jan. 11, 1865. Missouri History Museum image

When 6-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday • Where J.C. Penney Building, UMSL North Campus, 1 University Boulevard • How much $25-$50 for Friday preview party, with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and silent auction; free Saturday and Sunday • More info 314-516-7240 for Friday tickets;

Silent auction items such as original artwork, rare books and gift baskets kick off Friday’s preview party for the annual fine print auction to benefit the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Now counting its lucky 13th year, the fair draws local dealers as well as some from Maine, Maryland, New York and Arizona. It’s a chance to find something unusual that isn’t owned by everyone else. And don’t forget to visit the Mercantile itself, the oldest general library in continuous existence west of the Mississippi. By Jane Henderson