Missouri Drake Constitution Ratified

Tuesday, June 6, 1865

Charles D. Drake. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Missouri voters ratify the "Drake Constitution," which passes after several weeks of vote counting. It is named after a Radical Republican, Charles D. Drake, and conservative opponents call it the "Draconian Constitution." The new constitution formalizes emancipation of the state's slaves, establishes a formal government to replace the provisional Union government, and controversially requires Missouri's male citizens to take an "Iron-Clad Test Oath" to prove their loyalty to the Union before voting in elections. The constitution takes effect on July 4, 1865 but is replaced in 1875.


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