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Full text of "The Centennial of Illinois Statehood 1818-1918 : Commemorated by the Chicago Historical Society, Orchestra Hall, April 19, 1918. Address : Illinois in history"

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MR. PIKE: Members of the Chicago Historical 
Society, War Governor Lowden, and Distinguished 
Guests : On behalf of the Centennial Committee of the 
Society, I desire to thank all of those who have assisted 
the Committee in the arrangements for this celebration. 
The Chicago Historical Society, during the sixty- 
two years of its existence, has held many meetings, but 
it has never held one at such a momentous time in the 
world's history. Recognizing this fact, and in order to 
visualize and bring vividly to mind the wondrous story 
of our State during the past one hundred years, the 
Society for the first time has permitted the removal of 
some of the precious memorials of the early days from 
the building of the Society to this hall, so that you are 
in the very presence of the objects which were loved and 
handled by the pioneers and by the brave soldiers of 
this State ; and you are to sing, and you are to listen to, 
the old music which gladdened their hearts. 

I now have the honor of introducing to you a man 
whose father was one of the early settlers in this City, 
having come to Chicago in 1837, and he, inheriting the 
past traditions of this City and of this State, will speak 
to you concerning the great events of the history of this 

Ladies and gentlemen Clarence A. Burley, the 
President of the Chicago Historical Society. 



Address of Welcome 

MR. BURLEY: Guests, Friends, Fellow Members of 
the Society: In behalf of the Chicago Historical 
Society, I welcome you all. 

I cannot permit myself to be mentioned as a son of 
one of the earliest citizens of Chicago, without calling 
to your attention that there are others more worthy of 
that appellation. There are many here, and we have 
tried to have represented here the old families. 

There are descendants of the Ryerson family, the 
Ogden family, the Goodrich family, the Mason family. 
I see a descendant of the Stephen F. Gale, who came 
here in 1831. I cannot name them all or I should take 
up too much time. I must not be classed with the really 
old families my father did not come here until 1837. 

We have here, also, or we were to have had, the 
daughter of Shadrach Bond, the first Governor of 
Illinois, in 1818 and that is some time back. We have 
also with us Mrs. Tyler, the daughter of Mr. William 
H. Brown, who was the first president of the Chicago 
Historical Society. 

One hundred years ago, in 1818, Illinois was ad- 
mitted as a state. It was not done all at once. There 
was first an Enabling Act. That was on the i8th day 
of April; and they have been celebrating that yester- 
day, and the day before, at Springfield. 

Then there were other Acts ; and finally the State was 
admitted in December of the year 1818. 

The Centennial Commission, appointed by the Gov- 
ernor, thought it fitting, and it does seem proper, to 
have various ceremonies throughout the State, celebra- 
tions of this great event at different times through this 


The Historical Society has thought it fitting, and it 
seems eminently proper, that it should celebrate this 
event, great in our history. The Chicago Historical 
Society is the repository of the records of courageous 
acts and brave deeds done here and hereabouts, in the 
Illinois country and elsewhere. It is not only a reposi- 
tory of the records. We have gathered together a num- 
ber of objects to vivify its history, to make clear to the 
people what our forefathers, the early settlers, did, how 
they lived, what they suffered, what inconveniences 
there were, and how they overcame them. For this 
purpose we have collected these things, and we are still 
collecting various objects, and they are in our museum. 
Many of them are on view here tonight. This museum, 
and our library, are at all times open to the public. 

Much has been said lately and written about the 
necessity of educating our citizens in their duties as 
citizens, in patriotism. The Chicago Historical 
Society has done something in that way. For some 
years it has been giving illustrated lectures to the school 
children of Chicago, lectures upon the history of this 
State, and the Northwest, giving them an idea that there 
are things here that are worthy of emulation, teaching 
these foreigners, many of whom know nothing but their 
own national traditions, that there is history in this 
country, that there were men whose deeds are worthy 
of emulation, and that there were men who have done 
things to bring about the liberty which they enjoy. 

There is much in the history of the past of this State 
that incites to patriotism. It is full of deeds of heroism, 
of self sacrifice, and of devotion to the cause of freedom. 

The written history goes farther back than most 
people think, and farther back, beyond that, are various 
tales and stories; but the authentic written history be- 
gins in 1673, with Pere Marquette, who was here with 

his comrade Joliet. He spent the winter here, on our 
Chicago River, in 1674, and he called the river the 
"Chicagou." That name has been said to be variously 
derived. It has been thought to have come from the 
name of the wild onion, which grew here in profusion, 
on the banks of our river. But there is another deriva- 

Marquette came here, with some Pottawatomie 
Indians, and that tribe had an expression or term, 
"Chicagou," which meant various things. Among 
other things, it meant "no use," or "no use to go 
farther." For instance, in 1832 or 1833, two boys 
started out with baskets to gather wild plums. One of 
those boys was afterwards Judge of the United States 
District Court here, the Honorable Henry W. Blodgett. 
They met an Indian. He asked them where they were 
going. They told him. He said, "Chicagou," no 
use to go any farther. And it was not, the plums 
were all picked. 

This was the last portage on this side of the lake, to 
get to the Mississippi River. It was "Chicagou," no 
use to go any further. That may be the derivation of 
the name of our City. 

Our written history, then, begins with Marquette. It 
begins only sixty years after the first settlement in 
Virginia and fifty years after the founding of Plymouth 
Colony, and of New Amsterdam, and earlier than 
Pennsylvania. So you see that even here we date pretty 
well back. 

After Marquette came the great Frenchmen, La Salle 
and Tonty, and many other pioneers and settlers, so that 
by 1700 there was a settlement, a large settlement or 
town, at Cahokia, and also at Kaskaskia. There were 
numerous French settlers and explorers, though not 
about here; they were all farther south and v/est. 


When Quebec was captured by Wolfe, in 1759, the 
settlers in this part of the world passed under the 
British rule. The French settlers were quiet under it; 
but then began, before our revolution, right here in 
Illinois, a struggle for liberty. The French settlers 
applied to the British Crown for a charter, a liberal 
charter, such as the State of Connecticut had, which, 
as you remember, the King tried to annul, and which 
was hidden away in an old oak tree, to be produced in 
better times. Such a charter was denied them. They 
refused the one that they were tendered, and they con- 
tinued to strive for a free charter, until the time of 
the Revolution. 

We have chosen, for this celebration, a day that is 
noteworthy. On April 19, 1775, occurred the Battle 
of Lexington, when was fired the first shot in our 
Revolution, in our struggle for independence, that 
shot which has echoed around the world ever since. 

Illinois had its share in that Revolution. In 1778 
George Rogers Clark, a stalwart young Virginia 
frontiersman, and a man of wide views and great in- 
terests, organized an expedition, to take the Northwest 
from the British. He acted under the authority of 
Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia. With a party 
of about 130 men, hardy frontiersmen like himself, 
he marched across the intervening country, by rapid, 
difficult, hazardous marches, surprised these settle- 
ments, and captured them. There was little blood- 
shed. He just took the settlements, and the people 
welcomed him; the French settlers not only welcomed 
him, but they helped him, with men, money and 
supplies, without which he could not have maintained 
his expedition. 

George Rogers Clark, and those men who helped 
him, and those men who came with him, kept this part 

of the world for the United States of America. They 
had the reward of their virtue, and that is about all. 
Clark died in poverty. His name is not very well 
known. Some of our citizens remember that there is 
a street called Clark street, but why they do not know. 
It was named after George Rogers Clark. 

Who knows anything of Francois Vigo? I suppose 
hardly anyone. Yet he gave his fortune, and it was a 
large one for those times, to help Clark. He ruined 
himself, and died in poverty, and is forgotten. 

Who has ever heard of the French priest, Pierre 
Gibault, whose eloquence, enthusiasm, and great per- 
sonal ability helped Clark to maintain this great North- 
west? And he died in poverty. All honor to these men 
who gave their lives, virtually, and all their fortunes, 
for the cause of liberty! 

Illinois, though not then a state, thus had her part in 
the great Revolution and that was a struggle against 
king power. We are undergoing something of the 
same kind now. We were not fighting the English 
people. The best minds in England, Burke, Fox, and 
others, were with us; but we were fighting against 
kings, then. (Applause.) 

Our success lighted a torch which has not since gone 
out, the torch of liberty, which has so enlightened the 
world that Liberty is extending, and has extended. 
France has become free. England is no longer king 
controlled, but her Parliament controls the King. Not 
since our Revolution has England lost a colony by rea- 
son of any oppressive legislation. Today Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, with govern- 
ments as free as ours, are showing that free men, under 
free government, are willing to lay down their lives 
that others may be free. (Applause.) 

Since those early days, Illinois has never failed in 

her duty, in every struggle for freedom. We have 
here, as relics, several flags which went through the 
Civil War, from Illinois. One of them went through 
with Sherman, in his March to the Sea. This large 
flag was a flag under which were recruited many of 
the troops. There is another flag, that old white one, 
in the center of the group, that was carried all through 
the war, and Captain Lewis, who carried it, is here 
tonight. (Applause.) 

In that war for the freedom of the slaves, Illinois 
did her full duty. She did more than her duty. 

It is worth noting here that the event we are cele- 
brating came when there were ten southern states and 
ten northern states. Illinois was the twenty-first state, 
and Illinois threw the power of the states to the North, 
and against slavery. It is well depicted in our Centen- 
nial Banner which you can see up yonder, though 
perhaps the people in the gallery cannot, showing 
our star in between the others, and that is due to 
the poetic insight of the designer, Mr. Wallace Rice. 

In that great struggle, Illinois contributed, in men, 
over twenty per cent of the population she had at the 
outbreak of the war. That is more, by six per cent, 
than her sister state, Indiana, and is more by eight per 
cent than any of the states, even Massachusetts. 

Illinois not only contributed these men, but she con- 
tributed Grant, the great leader, and the immortal 
Lincoln. (Applause.) Illinois contributed her full 
measure of men in the war to free Cuba, and con- 
tributed to the navy more than any other state. 
Thirteen hundred men went from Illinois into the navy; 
they went into the battle ships and the cruisers and 
the torpedo boats, and elsewhere, and thirteen hundred 
men came back; there was not one of them sick, and 
not one of them hurt. (Applause.) 

The Chicago Historical Society is preserving the 
records of the present conflict. So far as it can get at 
the facts, it is keeping a record of all those who go from 
here into the war. Many of you can help, by sending 
to the Society the names of those in your families who 
have gone in, and whom you wish to be known. The 
Society is keeping these records, not only for posterity, 
but for now, that we may be able to show that Illinois 
lives up to its great past. 

We are now in a great struggle for freedom. The 
greatest war in the world's history. We are righting 
shoulder to shoulder with England and France, and 
we are fighting for liberty. Again we of Illinois are 
called upon to do our utmost. Many thousands of our 
young men have gone, to give their lives to this cause. 
We at home must do our part. The Government must 
have money, more money, and more money. We can 
all buy bonds, to some extent, at least. Let us do our 
utmost, to be worthy of the great past of Illinois. 

Let us remember that in the war for our freedom 
and independence our forefathers dedicated their lives, 
their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Let us dedicate 
ourselves, and let us so act now, as in the past, that in 
the forefront of all that helps toward freedom, toward 
a government of the people, by the people, and for the 
people, stands Illinois. (Applause.) 

Let us all rise and sing "Illinois." 

THE CHAIRMAN: I am now going to introduce to 
you a speaker who will tell us a little something of 
what we at home can do. I will ask Mr. Hamill to 
say a few words to us. 

Address By Mr. Charles H. Hamitt 

On the plains of Flanders and the fields of Picardy 
is raging the bloodiest and perhaps the most fateful 
battle of all history. Valiant sons of France and brave 
men of England are pouring out their blood and giving 
up their lives in the Cause of Freedom, the while we 
are celebrating the Centennary of our State's birth. 
While we rejoice in the history of a hundred years of 
almost unbroken peace, blessed by the bounty of nature 
and made glorious by the institutions of Liberty, others 
are enduring the agony of battle and giving their lives 
that we may continue in our traditional prosperity and 
safety. Until now our part in the horrible struggle 
has been almost negligible, but at any moment we may 
hear the cry "Extra!" and, with quickened pulse and 
anxious eye, read that thousands and tens of thousands 
of our own boys are in the fray. 

A few days ago, I saw a letter from a young Amer- 
ican soldier to his mother, which tells something of 
the spirit with which those soldiers of ours will fight 
when their time comes. In it he said : 

"I have had an awakening since I came over here. If I were 
offered the best position in the United States, at a salary of $20,000 
a year, and were free to leave, I would not come. I hate fighting 
and I hate war, more than ever since I have seen here what they 
are, but this is the eternal fight between Right and Wrong and I 
will not leave until it is settled right, and then I shall be glad to 
come back home." 

One reading the letter, however persuaded one may 
be that war in itself is stupid, cruel and brutal and 
without redeeming feature, must yet recognize that, 
like every other great evil, it inspires countervailing 
virtues. By it the young men of our country have been 
so filled with a holy passion for righteousness that will- 
ingly, yea, gladly they lay down their lives in its cause; 
by it the young wife has been stirred to hold a stout 
heart as she says good-bye to her soldier husband, and 
by it the mother has been emboldened to wear a brave 

smile as she bids "God Speed" to her boy. But these 
virtues, though they command our admiration and 
wonder, are not adequate compensation for the horrors 
of war. Unless old men and children, as well as young 
men, unless in addition to wives and mothers, childless 
and husbandless women, who are not called upon to 
make the sacrifice of life or the even dearer sacrifice of 
those whom they cherish more than life unless these, 
too, are stirred to their depths and impelled to do their 
all for their country and the Cause of Civilization, the 
King of Evil has the better of the argument. May that 
shame never fall upon us! 

Our country now calls upon us to do our share. It 
asks us to buy bonds. They are good investments, but 
it makes no difference whether they are or not. (Ap- 
plause.) Through them or through taxation, one or 
the other, our country must and will raise the necessary 
funds to equip and maintain the necessary army, once 
and for all to put an end to the age-long threat of irre- 
sponsible force. We are summoned, not alone by the 
commanding shout of authority, but by the even more 
compelling whisper of conscience. Let us prove then 
that we, too, can feel a noble passion and express it in 
something more than words. As we rejoice, then, on 
this evening of celebration, may it be the rejoicing of 
a spirit at one with itself because it has resolved that, 
so far as in it lies, peace shall not perish from the earth, 
though war to the death be the only means to that happy 
end. (Applause.) 

MR. HERBERT GOULD: Let us all stand, and sing 
"The Star-Spangled Banner." You cannot help but 
sing it now. (Applause.) 

THE CHAIRMAN: I now take great pleasure in 
introducing to you the Right Reverend Charles P. 
Anderson, who will address us upon "Illinois in 
History." (Applause.) 12 


Illinois In History 


President Burley, Your Excellency, Ladies and 
Gentlemen : The theme of the evening encompasses a 
definite place and purpose and period of time. The 
place is Illinois. The purpose is to point out some of 
the contributions which Illinois has made to the 
permanent record of human events. The time is from 
1818, when Illinois became a State of the Union. 

This latter act was accomplished through two rather 
heroic processes first, by the special Enabling Act of 
Congress, skilfully engineered by Nathaniel Pope, 
under which a population of forty thousand was au- 
thorized to organize as a state; and, second, by a very 
generous census, which liberally estimated that there 
must have been forty thousand people in the State at 
that time. (Laughter.) 

Those very precise historians who attached more 
importance to dull facts than to brilliant ambitions, 
maintain that there were only 34,620 people in the State 
at that time ; but that owing to the migratory character 
of the immigrants who were seeking new homes, a con- 
siderable number was counted immediately upon arrival 
in Illinois; also, inadvertently, en route to their future 
place of residence; and also, quite inadvertently, on 
arrival at their destination. At any rate, Illinois be- 
came a state in 1818, with the smallest population of 
any state in the Union. 

Although the theme confines one within well defined 
limits, those limits are certainly not so narrow as to 
thwart any reasonable ambition on the part of the 
speaker, nor to cramp him on account of insufficient 
material. Indeed, the time is so long and the space is 


so big and the material is so bountiful, that the very 
best one can hope to do, is to rise to a very great height, 
in an imaginary aeroplane, and take a mental photo- 
graph, in which, unhappily, only very conspicuous ob- 
jects will appear. 

Let me begin by asking two very pertinent questions. 
What makes a state? What makes history? Mere 
acreage of land and mere aggregations of people do 
not make a state, although they are necessary to it. 
History is not the same as geography or ethnology, 
although these are contributory factors. 

Take this section of the earth which we call Illinois 
this great domain situated in the heart of the Mississippi 
Valley, three hundred and eighty-five miles long and 
two hundred and eighteen miles wide, lying at the foot 
of Lake Michigan. Give it an altitude of four hun- 
dred to twelve hundred feet above the level of the sea. 
Let it consist of undulating stretches of land and rich 
rolling prairie. Intersect it with running streams and 
navigable rivers, winding their ways through green 
fields and wooded hills to the great "Father of Waters." 
Endow its soil with the fertile capacity of producing 
food for millions. 

Store its sub-soil with great quantities of coal and 
an abundance of other mineral wealth. Beautify its 
landscape with rugged bluffs along the Mississippi 
River, with rare bits of picturesqueness on the Rock 
River, with precipitous rocks on the Illinois, and deep 
ravines on the Vermilion. Take all these natural en- 
dowments, and they do not create a state, nor do they 
write a line of history. All these original riches were 
here, in their primitive innocence, unknown and undis- 
covered, centuries ago, when old civilizations were 
already beginning to die of stale customs and of ancient 
sins. Clearly then, territory alone can only furnish the 

background of the picture; and be it ever so bounteous, 
has no human story to tell. 

Come down, therefore, several centuries nearer to 
history. People this territory with Indians with 
Algonquins, and their numerous derivative family 
groups, with Shawnees and Winnebagos and Miamis 
and Pottawatomies and Kaskaskias and Illini. Let 
them roam over the prairies and paddle their canoes 
noiselessly around the bends of the rivers and in the 
inlets of the lakes. Let them kill the wild game with 
their bows and arrows. Let them build their wigwams 
and their tepee cities. Let them circle around their 
tents in the weird worship of the Great Spirit, or in the 
weirder war dances. 

Let them fight their tribal battles. Let the story of 
the Indian occupation of Illinois be fully told, and, 
while it contains much of thrilling human interest, we 
have not yet arrived at the idea of a state. No histor- 
ical monuments are being erected. No permanent 
records are being written. 

One dislikes to dismiss the story of the long occupa- 
tion of this part of the world by the Indian tribes in 
this summary fashion, but it must be done. The Red 
Man has left to us certain inheritances. He has en- 
riched our mental possessions with a certain retrospec- 
tive romance, with a distant enchantment, with a 
reminiscent pathos, with tender recollections of savage 
joys and wild tragedies, with memories of bitter wrongs 
done and suffered, memories of massacres of the 
innocent and the guilty. 

The Red Man has left us some imperishable names, 
a Black Partridge, a Black Hawk. It was of Black 
Hawk that Victor Hugo said, with what seems like 
poetic hyperbole, that he was as much greater than 
Alexander, and Scipio, and Napoleon and such bar- 

barians, as the moon in its zenith is above the earth. 

The Red Man has left us an inheritance of a soft 
and mellow nomenclature, by which we designate many 
of our rivers and cities, a nomenclature that is full of 
the poetry of close contact with Mother Nature. Truth, 
however, compels one to say that his super-abundant 
use of the sound of the letter "K" has threatened sub- 
sequent generations with cleft palates in the bequest that 
he has left us of Kankakees, Kickapoos, Kahokias and 
Kaskaskias in our own State, and Kokimos, Keokuks, 
Kalamazoos and Oshkoshes near by. 

Yes, let the story of the Indian be told, with all that 
is in it of human interest, and we have not yet arrived 
at the idea of a state, nor at those social conditions 
which produce an indelible history. 

Come down a step further. People this same terri- 
tory with white men. Cut it up into rectangles. Call 
each rectangle a county. Put several thousand white 
men into each county. Assemble them into compact 
groups called cities. Dig sewers, build roads, erect 
houses, shops, factories, banks, theaters and churches. 
And, ladies and gentlemen, though you are ac- 
cumulating the material out of which civilization is 
made, though the state is beginning to take on em- 
bryonic form and shape, nevertheless all you have done 
so far is to substitute white men for red men. All that 
you have so far is an aggregation of people, a great 
mass of individuals, heterogeneous and detached, with- 
out that homogeneity and corporisty which are the 
soul and the body of the state. 

What then makes a state? Ladies and gentlemen, 
it is the state consciousness that makes the state, the 
state consciousness finding organic expression. It is 
the social consciousness, the corporate consciousness, 
the consciousness of a common need, a common life 


and a common purpose. As soon as that arrives, the 
state is born. It does not matter much about the date. 

History, after all, has very little to do with dates. 
History has to do with sequences, with human relation- 
ships, with cause and effect, with actions and con- 
sequences. It is an inconsequential thing that the 
Magna Charta was written in 1215. The thing of con- 
sequence was that it was written at all. It represented 
the birth of the corporate consciousness of liberty a 
consciousness which found social and political ex- 
pression. (Applause.) That birth was centuries in 
being accomplished. A world groaned and travailed 
in pain for ages before that child was brought to the 
birth. But, once born it never dies. (Applause.) 

It is an inconsequential thing that the Declaration of 
Independence was made at a certain date. The thing 
that is of consequence is that in the fullness of time, 
when the right place and purpose came together, the 
incalculable and irresistible power of democracy which 
had been slowly struggling under the surface for cen- 
turies, burst through the crust, and found outward and 
organic expression in a new world, a new national type 
and a new life. 

So it is with the State of Illinois. Say, if you will, 
that it was born back in 1787, when it was an unim- 
portant part of the great Northwest Territory. Say, 
if you will, that it was born in 1809, when it was set 
apart as a separate territory. Say that it was born in 
1818, when it became an organized state. It became 
a state, in reality, no sooner and no later than the arrival 
of the corporate political conscience. That is what 
makes a state. 

When men become as conscious of the fact that they 
are citizens, as they are conscious of being individuals; 
when they are as conscious of the state as they are 


of themselves, when they recognize the common good 
and the common need; when human wills and intelli- 
gences and resources are regarded as public forces for 
the accomplishment of the public good in which each 
one shares; when the community spirit and civic ideals 
and genuine patriotism arrive; when to the individual 
consciousness and the family consciousness there is 
added the state consciousness, that instinct which is 
willingness to struggle for the common weal, suffer in 
the common woe and rejoice in the common prosperty, 
then you have a state; then history is being written. 

Illinois inherited greatness. It added to its in- 
heritance and acquired new greatness. It was back in 
1787 that the foundations of her greatness were laid. 
The Ordinance of 1787, for the government of the 
territory of which Illinois was a part, contained those 
great principles around which democracy revolves. 
They were religious liberty, freedom of the conscience, 
the right of trial by one's peers, the protection of 
private property, the inculcation of education, and 
morality and the inhibition of slavery. 

On this Centennial, it is well worth our while to go 
back to the rock from whence we are hewn and read 
some of those principles around which the history of 
Illinois has been growing for a hundred years. 

"No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and 
orderly manner shall ever be molested on account of 
his mode of worship or his religious sentiments." So 
read the Ordinance of 1787. 

"All men have a natural and indefeasible right to 
worship Almighty God according to the dictates of 
their own consciences." So read the Constitution of 
Illinois, as it was adopted, in 1818. 

Those enactments may sound commonplace to you, 


and to me ; but, ladies and gentlemen, when one recalls 
the story of New England and Old England, and 
France and Spain, and Germany and other countries; 
when one's mind goes back to "Blue Laws," and 
religious prohibitions in America, and to Test Acts 
and Inquisitions and persecutions, in Europe one 
then gets a fresh realization of the progress that was 
registered in that somewhat crude Kaskaskia assembly, 
when religious liberty was enacted and proclaimed in 
the name of the people of Illinois. (Applause.) 

Again, "Religion, morality and knowledge being 
necessary to good government and the happiness of 
mankind, schools and the means of education shall for- 
ever be encouraged." So read the Ordinance of 1787. 
And in 1825, after a considerable contest, a public 
school system was established in the State of Illinois. 
The younger men and women who are here tonight per- 
haps take an educational system as a matter of course; 
but, if you will recall the fact that in this Twentieth 
Century, in several of the so-called civilized nations of 
the world, the majority of the people can neither read 
nor write; if you will recall the many evils and in- 
justices and social wrongs that follow in the train of 
ignorance and illiteracy, you will appreciate the 
magnitude of the contributions which Illinois made to 
human progress, where, in 1825, it inaugurated a 
public school system. (Applause.) 

Again, "There shall be neither slavery nor involun- 
tary servitude in said territory." So read the Ordi- 
nance of 1787. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servi- 
tude shall hereafter be introduced into this State," read 
the Illinois Constitution of 1818. 

That clause in the Constitution did not grow up 
there. It was not brought about by spontaneous genera- 
tion. It was not readily accomplished nor easily 


sustained. For six years the State was in turmoil and 
agitation while strenuous efforts were made to repeal 
this law. Controversies were long and bitter. Human 
passions broke loose. But at length the determination 
to legalize slavery in Illinois was defeated and the 
battle for human freedom was won for all time. 

Once more, the young men and women who are here 
tonight take existing conditions of freedom as a matter 
of course. But let your minds go back into an older 
world. Let your minds go back to Egypt, where men 
sweated and toiled in bonds and fetters; to ancient 
Greece and Rome, when moralists and philosophers 
calmly catalogued men with oxen; to Prussia in the 
Fourteenth Century, where men were given the choice 
of slavery, or conformity to the powers that be; to Eng- 
land, whose outlying possessions were so recently 
redeemed from slavery at such a great cost. Let your 
minds go back but a short time in American history, 
when white men shed their blood to make black men 
free. Let your minds, I say, sweep the horizon of the 
struggles of the human family onward and upward 
through the centuries towards freedom and brother- 
hood ; and that one sentence in the Kaskasia State Con- 
stitution will shine as an inextinguishable light illumi- 
nating the path of progress: 

"Neither slavery or involuntary servitude shall here- 
after be introduced into the State." (Applause.) 

You will not, of course, get the impression that Illi- 
nois was the only state in the Union that had these 
lofty passions or these spiritual experiences. She was 
one of many states, one of a brotherhood. Elsewhere 
the same battles were being fought. Elsewhere they 
were being won. But the point to be noted is that they 
were fought and they were won here in Illinois. 


"Not without thy wondrous story can be writ the 
Nation's glory, Illinois." 

But, ladies and gentlemen, great principles are merely 
academic things, unless they are embodied in living 
persons. It was Carlyle who said that the history of 
the world is simply the story of what good men and 
women do in the world. The greatest facts in the world 
are great personalities. Illinois has not been wanting 
in personalities and in leaders and teachers of men. 
On the occasion of this Centennial, it seems to me, 
ladies and gentlemen, that there are two professions, 
in particular, to whom we should pay our tribute of 
affection, to whom our debt of gratitude should be 
acknowledged, two professions which have rendered 
a maximum service for a minimum reward. They are 
the preachers and the teachers. (Applause.) 

In the category of preachers we include all those 
representatives and spokesmen of religion, by whatso- 
ever ecclesiastical or denominational titles they may 
have been designated. Amongst teachers we include 
all those representatives and practitioners of educa- 
tion, from the obscurest school mistress to the most re- 
nowned college president. These, more than others 
have been the pioneers in morality and culture, in high- 
mindedness and idealism, without which no people 
can be truly great. 

Consider for a moment the conditions under which 
they operated, and the environment in which they lived. 
There were no great cities in Illinois, in those days. 
The population was scattered or gathered in rural 
groups. The people lived in log houses, mostly with- 
out windows. The furniture was very scant. The 
family sat around rude wooden tables, on wooden 
benches. Their eating implements were made of wood 
or iron and pewter. Their food was the never failing 

pork and johnny-cake, with occasional supplies of 
venison and wild game. Their social life revolved 
largely around the wedding and the funeral. Those 
events were surrounded then, as they are now, to a great 
extent, with pagan customs and habits. (Laughter.) 
Apart from the wedding and the funeral, there were 
three great social institutions. They were the harvest 
bee, the husking bee, and the horse races. 

A harvest bee without whiskey was like a dance 
without a fiddle. They drank it out of a bottle, which 
was passed from mouth to mouth. Any other method 
of drinking it would have been regarded as betokening 
the dilettanteism of the tenderfoot. 

The husking bee took the form of a contest as to 
which man could husk first his allotment of corn. The 
man that was so lucky as to come across a red ear had 
the privilege of kissing all the girls. Let us hope for 
the girls' sake that there were not too many red ears. 

After the husking was over, came the bountiful sup- 
per. And then "they danced all night, till broad day- 
light, and went home with the girls in the morning." 
It was an enviable occupation, but it was a bad prepara- 
tion for the work of the next day. The dull reaction 
came on early in the morning. There was the usual 
resort to artificial stimulant, and fresh corks were 
pulled for fresh exhilaration. To make things worse, 
the fever and ague were very prevalent. They were 
not more prevalent however than the remedy; and the 
same remedy which would cool the fever down would 
warm the ague up. 

The horse race was the great social event. Now, 
horse racing is capable of being a gentleman's sport, 
in which thoroughbred men and thoroughbred horses 
can participate, without harm. I say it is possible. 
(Laughter.) But in Illinois the by-products were 

vicious. Gambling was popular, and the stakes were 
large. Whiskey flowed like water. Fist fights and 
"rough and tumble fights" were the order of the day. 

Schools and churches had not yet arrived, although 
these people had inherited some educational advantages 
and had retained a faint memory of Puritanism in the 
dim background of their consciences. "Book laming" 
was considered impracticable and unprofitable; and, 
as for the workings of Almighty God, it was the climax 
of awkwardness and unnaturalness. 

It was into that atmosphere that the preacher and 
the teacher came; and from the moment they came, 
morals, manners, ideals began to rise. 

No one can tell truly the story of Illinois, without 
putting church and school in the very foreground of 
the narrative. The gentle and courageous Marquette, 
the eloquent and ardent Father Allouez; the indefatig- 
able and courageous Peter Cartwright, amongst the 
Methodists; the Baptist John Mason Peck, who more 
than any other one man prevented slavery from getting 
official recognition on the statute books of Illinois; 
(Applause) ; the indomitable Philander Chase, who 
settled in Central Illinois, after having built a college 
down in Ohio, where the students still sing of him: 
"He climbed the hill, and said a prayer 
And founded Kenyon College there. 
He built the College, built the dam; 
He milked the cows, he smoked the ham; 
He taught the classes, rang the bell, 
And spanked the naughty freshmen well." 
These men, ladies and gentlemen, these men and 
others like them, in all the churches; these Apostolic 
missionaries, these itinerant preachers, these gospel 
circuit writers, these men of plain living and high 
thinking, these are the men that laid the foundation 


of all that is best in the civilization of Illinois. They 
exalted God in a materialistic age. They held aloft 
the banner of the world's Redeemer, in log houses and 
in camp meetings. They taught the Ten Command- 
ments, and the moral law to a people who in a new 
land were resisting and resenting the restraint of 
religion and morality. They preached temperance, 
righteousness and the judgments of God. They gave 
men a new grip on the dignity of life, and the glory 
of man's destiny. They led men to the Highest through 
the Highest by the Highest, as they taught people how 
to be good citizens of this world and at the same time 
citizens of another world, whose builder and whose 
maker is God. 

Ladies and gentlemen, will you permit me, as a 
representative of religion, on this occasion, to pay my 
tribute of praise and gratitude to those pioneers of 
religion and morality, at whose feet I am unworthy to 
sit. (Applause.) 

And what should be said about the school teachers? 
Bear in mind we are thinking about the makers of 
history in Illinois. What should be said about the 
school teachers in this connection? There is no so- 
called secular profession which has exerted such a far 
reaching influence in the direction of high mindedness, 
good morals, good manners, good taste, and good citi- 
zenship, as the profession of the school teacher. 

Let us pay our tribute of praise and gratitude to that 
long line of skilful and conscientious teachers who have 
guided and informed and inspired the minds of the 
boys and girls of Illinois. Hats off to John Seeley, the 
first school master of Illinois, as in our minds' eye we 
picture him sitting on a wooden bench, in his log school 
house, with its slab floor, with a little group of children 
in their homespun, sitting before him on wooden 


benches and learning the three R's and taking as his 
compensation a few deer skins, some fence rails, and 
some beeswax. Hats off to Stephen Forbes, the first 
school teacher in Chicago, as he taught in a little log 
school house not very far from the corner of Michigan 
avenue and Randolph street Hats off to Eliza 
Chappell, who had a school of twenty boys and girls 
over on South Water Street. To these, and all their 
clan, we offer, at the end of a hundred years, our grati- 
tude and our praise, (applause) from Stephen Forbes 
and Eliza Chappell, all the way down to William 
Rainey Harper and Ella Flagg Young. (Applause.) 

To select two professions for honorable mention is 
not to minimize the contributions that have been made 
to the tone and character of Illinois by representatives 
of other professions, by lawyers, who have brought 
fame and distinction within our borders, such as, to 
mention only one, our Melville Fuller, whom we gave 
as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court of the United 
States (applause) ; by doctors, who have not only 
adorned their profession, but enriched human life, such 
as (to mention but one) Dr. Henry B. Favill, who was 
recently taken from us; by railroad builders, who fur- 
nished arteries to the body politic, such as Timothy 
Blackstone (applause) ; by our song writers who 
inspired more generations than one, such as George 
Root, the author of the Battle Cry of Freedom, and 
Henry Clay Work, the author of Marching Through 
Georgia; by business men, who enriched our cultural 
life by their generosity to the arts; such men for 
example as Bryan Lathrop. 

Time does not permit one to record the names and 
the deeds that decorate the pages of a hundred years of 
history. They are not forgotten. In the words of the 


Son of Sirach we say "Let us praise famous men, and 
our fathers that begat us." 

One ought not to content oneself by mentioning 
simply individuals professions or vocations. The 
people of Illinois, in their corporate capacity, have 
made their own permanent contribution, to a higher 
civilization. All up and down this State there are the 
benevolences, the charities, and the philanthropies the 
homes, the hospitals, and the shelters, which stand as an 
outward and visible sign of their devotion to humanity 
and to justice. 

Illinois gave more than its quota of men to the 
Mexican War, and did it voluntarily. Illinois offered 
more than its quota for the Spanish War. Illinois 
gave more men to the War of the Union, relative to its 
population, than any state in the Union except Kansas. 
(Applause.) Illinoisans were always to be found 
where the fighting was fiercest. They were in the front 
ranks in the heavy attacks and they were the last to 
retire or surrender. (Applause.) Illinois gave to 
history a General John A. Logan, and other great 
generals. (Applause.) Illinois gave to America a great- 
General and a great President, all in one, Ulysses S. 
Grant. (Applause.) Illinois produced that brilliant 
orator Stephen A. Douglas. Illinois gave to America, 
and to the whole world, a greater than a Logan or a 
Grant or a Douglas, a greater than a George Wash- 
ington, the Father of his Country, one whose name 
always comes to one's lips as the world's immortals are 
being enumerated, Abraham Lincoln. (Applause.) 

The world has produced many great men, great phi- 
losophers, great scholars, great poets, great warriors. 
Lincoln does not come in that category, because he 
resists classification and cataloguing. 

The world has produced many great men. Now and 


then, with extreme rarity, it produces something 
greater than a great man, it produces a great nature. 
Abraham Lincoln was a great nature. He had the 
greatness of simple goodness, and the goodness of sim- 
ple greatness. Illinois' greatest contribution to America 
and to the world was Abraham Lincoln. (Applause.) 

And now we come to the year 1918. Our State, in 
Union with other States, is undergoing a great crisis 
and has entered into a great struggle. All those prin- 
ciples which we have been considering tonight are 
challenged. The principle of liberty, for which our 
forefathers fought, is being challenged. The principle 
of freedom, for which many of our forefathers died, 
is being imperiled, as a ruthless power deports civilian 
populations into slavery, indicative of what might 
happen to us if it were to win this War. 

Cur ideals of humanity are being outraged as mil- 
lions of innocent people, Armenians and others, have 
been butchered, murdered, slaughtered. Our ideals of 
gallantry and chivalry toward women, ideals which 
the pioneer population had back there in the days of 
the husking bee and the country dance, when domestic 
morality was of a high standard, I say our ideals of 
gallantry and chivalry toward women are being out- 
raged, as Belgium and French women are being rav- 
ished to death today. Our ideals of civilization, our 
ideals touching the exaltation of the individual con- 
science and its freedom from state stultification, our 
ideals of democracy and self-government for which 
Lincoln stood, every one of them is challenged. 

What is Illinois' answer to be to the high call of 
duty? How many soldiers will Illinois give to our 
Country? How many sailors and aviators and engi- 
neers? How many patriots in different fields of service? 
How many millions of dollars is Illinois going to give 


for welfare work and for works of mercy? How many 
Liberty Bonds is Illinois going to take? How much 
moral bulk and spiritual energy and ability to suffer 
hardship is Illinois going to contribute to the morale 
of the men at the front, and to the morale of the men 
and women at home? 

These questions cannot be answered now; but, if 
Illinois is true to her traditions, I doubt not that when 
the time comes to sum up the records, it will be found 
that Illinois now, as in the past, has done more than 
her share. 

May I conclude by paying a personal tribute to a 
man who is still living? Heretofore we have been 
praising the dead. May I pay my tribute and yours to 
a man who stands at the center of things in this State, 
a man who in 1918 is the successor of Shadrach Bond 
in 1818; my I pay my tribute and yours to the Gover- 
nor of Illinois, who has honored us by his presence 
here tonight? (Applause.) 

Ladies and gentlemen, when about a year ago, this 
country was making the great and solemn decision, and 
when there were representative men in high places who 
were speaking and acting somewhat uncertainly and 
not rising to the height of the loyal citizenship of Illi- 
nois; when there were men in exalted office who were 
not making their position quite clear at a time when 
every man ought to stand up and be counted ; in days 
such as these through which we have been passing, 
when we cannot be half loyal and half disloyal, it has 
been the pride and joy of the loyal citizenship of Illi- 
nois to have at the center of affairs a man who has 
looked face forward, without keeping his ear to the 
ground, without thinking what it was going to cost in 
direction of true blue Americanism, undiluted patriot- 
ism, and a just victory. (Applause.) 


Let us today register a new oath of allegiance. Let 
us march with the loyal Governor of this State, keep- 
ing step to but one tune. And let that tune be : 
"Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto, 'In God we will trust' ; 
For the Star Spangled Banner forever shall wave, 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave." 

THE CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen: We 
shall be very glad to see you all in the foyer, after the 
exercises. The Centennial Exhibition is there and is 
well worth seeing. The hour is not too late, perhaps, 
for you to see it tonight. It will remain there until 
Sunday night. The meeting is adjourned. 

The Old Songs The Early Records 

The Old Flags The Early Families 

Led by the members of the Civic Music Association, 
speakers and auditors joined in singing patriotic airs 
at intervals in the program and Miss Mina Hager, 
Soprano, in costume of the period, sang ballads popular 
at the outbreak of the Civil War: Rosalie the Prairie 
Flower, Hazel Dell, Just Before the Battle Mother, 
The Vacant Chair, and others. A program of early 
dance music was given by members of Hand's 
Orchestra in the foyer. 

The decorations of the stage and the boxes were the 
Historic Flags that have waved over Illinois: The 
Castles and Lions of Spain, the Lilies of France, The 
Crosses of Britain, The Stars and Stripes, The Battle 
Flags of Illinois and The Illinois Centennial Flag. 

The Reception in the Foyer that closed the evening 
brought many pleasant reunions of old friends, and the 
strains of the old war time music seemed to link the 
present with the past as tidings were exchanged of one 
and another son serving his country as his father and 
grandfather had done before him. 

Not without thy wondrous story 
Can be writ the Nation s glory