HANDWRITTEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT ANDREW JOHNSON, TWO MONTHS AFTER LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION, FROM THE GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI REGARDING AN APPOINTMENT OF A MISSOURI JUDGE TO THE "SUPREME - BENCH"
Joseph Washington McClurg (1818-1900) Handwritten Letter Signed, "I have the honor to be Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, J. W. McClurg", 4 pgs., 7.75 x 10, on lined paper, 23 June 1865, Linn Creek, MO, In Part: " His Excellency A. Johnson, President of the United States...I have the honor to write with others in urging the Claims of the Hon. Charles D. Drake, of St. Louis, for a position on the Supreme - Bench...I need scarcely speak of his high reputation as a lawyer or of his eminent abilities - For his reputation has become national. There is no lawyer in Missouri more able...his distinguished services in the battles for the Union and freedom entitle him to more than ordinary consideration. His appointment would be most satisfactory to the legal men of Missouri - And especially to that branch of theirs which, in the late contest, triumphantly carried the New Constitution....", written by the 19th Governor of Missouri in the decade following the American Civil War. An avid unionist, he was a delegate to the historic Gamble Convention in March 1861, in which Missouri agreed to stay in the Union. The letter is docketed and stamped "RECEIVED BY THE PRESIDENT, JUN 30 1865" on page 4. In fine condition, with minor age toning and a few small stains.
Charles Daniel Drake (1811 – 1892) was a lawyer, United States Senator from Missouri (1867-70) and Chief Justice of the Court of Claims. During the American Civil War, Drake became a fierce opponent of slavery, and a leader of the Radical Republicans. From 1861 to 1863, he proposed without success the immediate and uncompensated emancipation of slaves. By 1863, Drake had organized his Radical faction and called for immediate emancipation, a new constitution, and a system of disfranchisement of all Confederate sympathizers in Missouri. To maintain power, Drake and the Radical Republicans disfranchised every man who had supported the Confederacy, even indirectly. To further bolster his voting base, he secured the franchise for all black men in Missouri, despite qualms held by many Republicans. Drake was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant on December 12, 1870, and confirmed by the Senate, to the Chief Justice seat on the Court of Claims (later the United States Court of Claims).