The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Gavel Used during Missouri State Convention when the Ordinance of Emancipation Passed

MHM Collections

This gavel was used by Chauncey I. Filley, mayor of St. Louis, on October 17, 1863, when presiding over a mass meeting at the St. Louis courthouse. At this meeting a call was made to adopt resolutions demanding a new state convention and denouncing the constitutional ordinance of April 15, 1863, that restricted the freedom of slaves. The gavel was again used on January 6, 1865, at the state convention when resolutions for the emancipation of slaves were adopted. Filley, a delegate to the convention, loaned the gavel to Arnold Krekel, president of the convention, who presided over the proposed ordinance that banned slavery. Filley treasured this item until his death in 1923 at the age of 93.