Missouri State Archives
Thomas Clement Fletcher, 1865-1869
The first native Missourian to serve as governor, Thomas Clement Fletcher, was born in Herculaneum on January 17, 1827. During the Civil War, he served as assistant provost marshal general in St. Louis before receiving his commission as colonel of the 31st Missouri Volunteers in October of 1862. Colonel Fletcher later commanded the 47th Missouri Volunteers under General Thomas C. Ewing at the Battle of Pilot Knob.
Fletcher was sworn in as Missouri’s 18th governor on January 2, 1865. He dealt with amnesty for Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, emancipation of Missouri slaves, railroad bond defaults, and the reorganization of the public education system. Governor Fletcher supported the establishment of Lincoln Institute (Lincoln University) in Jefferson City, and also established the Missouri State Board of Immigration. This board helped rebuild the state’s population, diminished during the Civil War years.
After his term expired in 1869, Governor Fletcher returned to the practice of law in St. Louis until 1890. Fletcher died on March 25, 1899 after suffering an apparent stroke. He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.
The Records of Governor Thomas Clement Fletcher (1827-1899) contain 1.4 cubic feet of material dating from 1863 to 1876. The collection include affidavits, testimonies, and other court materials; appointment requests; certifications of vacancies and gubernatorial orders of elections; commissions; correspondence; minutes; oaths of loyalty; petitions; and proclamations.
Rights and Reproductions
Copyright is in the public domain. Preferred Citation: (Item description), (date); Thomas Clement Fletcher, 1865-1869; Office of Governor, Record Group 3.18; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.
How to Use This Collection:
The official title lists dates of service from inauguration to end of term. Records (1863-1876) refer to the date range of materials included within the collection. The dates may not match. All references to places are within the state of Missouri unless indicated, and county is specified when known. The spelling of proper names varies greatly. When correct spelling could not be determined the original spelling was retained. Officeholders are Missouri officials unless noted (U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Supreme Court, etc). State Representatives are referred to as Representative. U.S. Representatives are noted with the title Congressman.
The collection finding aid provides information pertaining to additional Fletcher material held by the following institutions: Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections; Missouri History Museum, St. Louis; Missouri State Archives, Reference Library, Jefferson City; State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia; University of Missouri, Elmer Ellis Library, Special Collections, Columbia; State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri, Columbia; and the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City, University of Missouri-Kansas City.