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Missouri Digital Heritage :: Divided Loyalties Opening Exhibit :: Divided Loyalties Audio Tour :: Panel 21 - Missouri's 1865 Constitution - (The Drake Constitution)
Although Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865, fighting continued on some fronts for weeks afterward. In Missouri, a convention was called in St. Louis to legalize the abolition of slavery. Charles Drake, one of the convention delegates, convinced his fellow delegates that the entire Missouri Constitution needed to be rewritten in order to help Missouri make slavery a thing of the past. This so –called Drake Constitution included a requirement that all Missourians who wished to vote, hold public office, teach, or be the trustee of a corporation must take an oath of loyalty, swearing that they had never supported the Southern cause in any way or had even spoken in favor of it. As you might imagine, this "iron clad oath" disenfranchised large numbers of people.
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