Thomas Clement Fletcher (1827-1899) Letter (KC220)
Thomas Clement Fletcher was born at Herculaneum, Missouri, the son of Clement B. and Margaret (Byrd) Fletcher. Having received his education in Herculaneum, he began working at the age of seventeen in the circuit clerk's office. A few years later, after an appointment as deputy clerk, he was elected to the office of circuit clerk. In 1856, Fletcher was admitted to the Missouri Bar.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, General Nathaniel Lyons appointed Fletcher, a strong opponent of slavery, to the post of Assistant Provost-Marshal-General with headquarters at St. Louis. Fletcher participated in a number of important battles during the war, receiving recognition and a promotion to brevet Brigadier-General by President Lincoln. He was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1864 and was elected by a large majority. He served one additional term, serving as governor during the difficult period of Reconstruction when the state was confronted by numerous economic and social problems, including amnesty for those who fought against the United States, the reorganization of public education, and the distribution of railroad company lands which came to the state through foreclosure. After his term as Missouri Governor, Fletcher returned to St. Louis to practice law. He later moved to Washington, DC, where he continued in his profession until his death.
This collection consists of one letter, written on the Governor's letterhead, dated March 19, 1866 and addressed to an unnamed Colonel (presumably Col. A.F. Denny, commander of the post at Glasglow, Missouri). In the letter, Fletcher introduces a Mr. M.N. Lone (or Love), "a good union man and a clever gentleman." His major concern is the need to capture or kill Jim Anderson, a former member of William Clark Quantrill's bushwhackers, who is now located near Franklin in Howard County, Missouri. Governor Fletcher authorizes a platoon of men to be called to active service, asserting that if Anderson is captured or killed "it would be the best thing for the state I know of." Anderson escaped from Missouri to Texas, where he died on the state capitol lawn at Austin with his throat cut. 1866
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updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
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