Charles D. Drake

Charles Daniel Drake
United States Senator
from Missouri
In office
March 4, 1867  December 19, 1870
Preceded by Benjamin G. Brown
Succeeded by Daniel T. Jewett
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1811-04-11)April 11, 1811
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died April 1, 1892(1892-04-01) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican

Charles Daniel Drake (April 11, 1811  April 1, 1892) was a United States Senator from Missouri.

Early life

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he attended St. Joseph's College (Bardstown, Kentucky) in 1823 and 1824, and Patridge's Military Academy (Middletown, Connecticut) in 1824 and 1825; he was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy in 1825 and served four years, when he resigned. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in Cincinnati in 1833 and moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1834 and continued the practice of law.


Drake was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives in 1859-1860 as a Democrat.

During the Civil War, he became a fierce opponent of slavery, and a leader of the Radical Republicans. In 1861 to 1863 He proposed without success the immediate and uncompensated emancipation of slaves. He was defeated by the conservative Republicans led by Governor Hamilton Gamble and supported by Lincoln. 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. He served as vice president of the 1865 state constitutional convention, where he stood out as the most active leader. Missouri German leader Carl Schurz commented about him, "in politics he was inexorable ... most of the members of his party, especially in the country districts, stood much in awe of him."[1] The new Constitution was adopted and became known as the "Drake constitution." The Radicals maintained absolute control of the state from 1865 to 1871, with Drake as their leader. To maintain power, Drake and the Radical Republicans disfranchised every man who had supported the Confederacy, even indirectly. They made an 81-point checklists of actions and imposed this difficult. United States Supreme Court reversed the imposition of the oath on ministers, and became a highly controversial political issue across the state. The German Republicans in particular were angry.[2] To further bolster his voting base, he secured the franchise for all black men in Missouri, despite qualms held by many Republicans. He was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1867 to 1870. Meanwhile, the Radical faction increasingly lost support inside Missouri to the Liberal Republicans.


On December 19, 1870 he resigned from the Senate to become chief justice of the United States Court of Claims and held that position from 1870 to 1885, when he retired.


Drake, Charles D. (1891). Treatise on the Law of Suits by Attachment in the United States (7th ed.). Boston: Little, Brown and Co. LCCN 14016517. 

Drake, Charles D. (1864). Union and Anti-Slavery Speeches. Cincinnati: Applegate & Co. LCCN 77083961. 


Charles D. Drake's father, Daniel Drake (1785–1852), was an American physician and author. His uncle, Benjamin Drake (1795–1841), was an American historian, editor, and writer.


  1. Carl Schurz (1909). The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz. p. 294.
  2. Martha Kohl, "Enforcing a Vision of Community: The Role of the Test Oath in Missouri's Reconstruction." Civil War History 40.4 (1994): 292-307.

Further reading

United States Senate
Preceded by
B. Gratz Brown
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Missouri
Served alongside: John B. Henderson, Carl Schurz
Succeeded by
Daniel T. Jewett
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