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Fifty Years' 



Observations and Reflections 




Eminent Citizens —Their Lives and Public Services. 

By Jeriah Bonham, 

Foumkrly Editor and Publisher of the " Illinois Gazette,' 
"Farmers' Advocate," and "Rural Messenger." 

J, VV. FRANKS & sons, printers and publishers. 


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Prefaces are generally written as the authors' apologies 
for writing a book. We do not write ours for any such 
purpose, but to give reasons why we are writing a second 

We have written a book of over five hundred pages, 
every chapter, and every paragraph in the chapter, truth- 
fully historical, with a fullness of dates that in the outset 
we did not expect to obtain ; in fact, we are agreeably 
surprised at our good fortune in being able to remember 
dates so well, or to find so many people who could refresh 
our recollections of the past: to whom we shall ever feel 

In the preparation of the matter for this work we have 
been our own most severe critic ; have used no superfluity 
of language in order to make high rounding sentences or 
glowing periods. The matter is submitted for the careful 
perusal of the historical student, and those also who " know 
it all" and can give an intelligent judgment on the merits 
of the work. To the earnest and patient seeker and toiler 
up the rugged path that leads to the heights of knowledge, 
much encouragement is extended to give this work a peru- 
sal, for the record we give of men and women who have 
made life a grand success by persistent effort in overcoming 
obstacles. We have yet to continue this record in the 


second volume, and to add much historical matter that the 
limits of this volume prevent our giving now. 

The next volume will contain much of eventful history 
that the details of, as yet, are only partially collected, and 
we need to go over the ground again to make them more 
perfect. Some of the most thrilling events of our fifty 
years' residence in the state are yet to assume shape and 
form, by our again visiting the localities and scenes of their 
enactment, conferring with surviving actors, getting the aid 
of their recollections to add to our own to make them com- 
plete. We intended, in this volume, to give a full history 
in detail of the operations and final banishment from the 
state of the combination of horse thieves, robbers, mur- 
derers, counterfeiters and those who committed other crimes, 
supposing we could obtain the data, dates, names, etc., 
that we wished by writing to participants in the events with 
ourselves. In almost every case that we have written the 
reply is, "come and see us then' we can tell you, but must 
have your aid to help us remember." The events we refer 
to are the driving out the Kock River gang in 1841, and 
the expulsion and banishment of the Reeves family from 
Marshall county in 1843. 

We have much of this history indelibly fixed on our 
mind, but from length of time the little details, dates, names 
of participants, all the names of the most noted outlaws, 
can only be revived again by visiting the scenes on which 
these great events happened. 

Then there is an army of the old pioneers, some yet liv- 
ing, but most of them passed to the beyond, with the ma- 
jority, that the author has perfect recollections of in all parts 
of the state. There are the pioneer preachers, Cartwright, 
Solomon and Jacob Knapp, Zadok Hall, Henry D. Palmer 


Jolm Brown, David Blackwell; Thomas Powell, Fathers 
Cummings, Silliman, Root and Chenoweth, their names, 
such a host, precludes a mention here, all in their and our 
day that we have enjoyed their acquaintance. Then the 
pioneers that these " fifty years " have brought us together 
with. There are the four Strawns, Jabez Capps, the 
Hodgsons, of Tazewell county, that sterling old patriot 
Isaac Funk, of McLean, that we tried to find room for in 
this volume, and then the long line of representative men 
that deserve recognition on the historic page — such an array 
as Owen Lovejoy, the Bryants, Wm. H. Henderson, John 
Hamlin, Charles Ballance, Sr., all, all we have known, and 
that sterling old pioneer educator, B. G. Roots, of Perry 
■county, can bring out points that other historians have not 
yet given. The advantage the next volume will have over 
the present will be, the author will have more time to 
deVote to its preparation. It will be a more finished pro- 
duction than the present volume. 

Some readers will note the absence of some of the great 
names of the state from the present volume, and ask why 
is it? Where are they? Such names as Grant, Logan, 
and hosts of others, names that are household words. Such 
inquiries can be answered by calling attention to the title 
of our book, then bearing in mind that we are only giving 
our own recollections and others that we have been in im- 
mediate connection with in the last fifty years ; that while 
we have enjoyed a casual acquaintance with most of these 
great men, all that we could note has found its way into 
history, and not necessary for us to repeat. The author, 
supposed to know the truth of what he relates from personal 
knowledge, and from those who directly communicated 
with bim, known to be reliable, must ask for a liberal 


allowance of charity in criticism. Remember, ye critics, 
that the work of collecting this widely different and varied 
class of matter was only entered upon in October last,, 
the first three months spent in visiting different parts of the 
state to enlist the aid of others with whom we had been 
acquainted, to get data and dates, and the past three 
months spent in laboriously arranging the matter for the 
press, in which we have spent from sixteen to eighteen 
of out every twenty-four hours. The work has been 
greatly enlarged from the first plan, which was for a book 
of four hundred pages, but which has grown on our hands 
to almost five hundred and forty pages reading matter,, 
which, with the illustrations, make it about five hundred 
and seventy. 



1. Shadrach Bond 17 

2. Edward Coles, . 21 

3. Ninian Edwards, . . . " 27 

4. John Reynolds, The " Old Ranger " 33 

5. Joseph Duncan 40 

6. Thomas Carlin, 49 

7. Thomas Eord, 59 

8. Augustus C. French, .... 66 
Joel A. Matteson 76 

10. William H. Bissell, 82 

11. John Wood, 96 

12. Richard Yates, . . . ' . • ■ 100 

13. Richard J. Oglesby 113 

14. John M. Palmer 121 

15. John L. Beveridge, 134 

16. Shelby M. Cullom, 146, 

17. John M. Hamilton, 152 

Abraham Lincoln, . 158 

Stephen A. Douglas, 186 



Mrs. Frances A. Wood Shimer, 201 

Mrs. Hannah M. C. T. Cutler, 222 

Mrs. Belva A. Lockwpod, 248 

Miss Mary A. West, 262 

Mrs. Katherine James Dougherty, 327 


Dr. Kobert Boal 268 

Hon. Alson J. Streeter, 281 

Hon. Edward A,. Giller, 291 

Hon. Cornwall Kirkpatrick, 302 

Hon. Lorenzo D. Whiting, 307 

flon. Samuel L. Eichmond, 311 

Hon. Augustus Adams, 315 

Hon. George E. Merchant, 320 

Hon. John Dougherty, 323 

Gen. William H. Powell, 330 

Hon. Harry D. Cook, . . . ■ 335 

Hon. George C. Bestor, 339 

Hon. Joseph J. Cassell, . . 344 

Hon. Levi North, 347 

-George W. Brown, 354 

John Carroll Power, 358 

Hon. David McCulloch, 3 65 

Hon. George E. Warren, 3 7 

Col. John Bryner, 373 

Hon. Orson Bingham Galusha, .378 


Gen. John C. Smith, 383 

Moses Pettengill, 386 

Isaac Snedeker, ■ • 393 

Hon. Greenberry L. Port 400 

•Captain William H. Mann, 412 

Hon. James McCartney 418 

Prof. H. A. Weber 420 

Prof. M. A. Scoville, 421 

Hon. George H. Harlow, 438 

Hon. John Page, 441 

■Captain Eric Johnson, 446 

Captain John D. Hatfield, 449 

Hon. .Elbert Easterly 453 

Hon. Joseph Gillespie, . . . . ^ . ■ . . .456 


Hon. Sterling P. Bounds, 463 

Hon. Enoch Emery, 471 

Mark M. Aiken, 478 

Hon. Andrew Shuman, 481 

Hon. Welker Given, 484 

Hon. Paul Selby, 496 

Charles M. Eames, 501 

Enoch P. Sloan ■ , • ■ ■ 503 

George Burt. Jr -506 

Henry A. Ford 50T 

Cadet Taylor, 531 

Capt. Joseph E. Osborn, 533 

Mrs. Lucinda Harrison, 535 



Hon. Robert T. Cassell, 488 

Hon. Alson S. Sherman 490 

Dr. Henry Shimer, A.M., M. D., 493 

Williamson Durley, 509 

Nehemiah West, 521 

Rev. John M. Faris, . - 525. 


Election of 1858, . 527 

One of Illinois' Great Industries, 420 

Sorghum Sugar Industry 421 

Railroad Legislation, 459- 

Bishop Hill Colony, 514 


To the Reading Public : — It is now rounding into the 
last days of the half century since, as an active lad of six- 
teen, full of the usual htfpes of youth, I came to this portion 
of Illinois, as one of the members of a rather numerous 
family, in which the boys, at that time, counted the most 
by a large majority. 

I was lithe, active and happy, disposed to look on the 
bright side of everything, as I do in commencing to write 
this book, for dear friend and reader, I write this book with 
brightest anticipations, and hope that sales will reach into 
the thousands, and that through its reading I can again 
renew acquaintances all over the country with the many 
readers that in former years I had through the columns of 
the Illinois Gazette, Farmer's Advocate and Rural Messen- 
ger, been instrumental in furnishing an infinite variety of 
literature, political, agriculture, horticultural, pomological, 
and on almost all other general subjects. 

Then, Hope- — that anchor to man's bright anticipations 
— leads the author to believe that the reading of his "Fifty 
Years' Recollections" will make for him many new friends 
and acquaintances. Why shouldn't it? Let the reader 
take in the scope of this half century in his mind's eye, 
look at the title of the book, then with an active imagina- 
tion, travel with the author over these busy fifty years, and 


realize what could be seen and noted in that time of the 
men that have live'd and events that have happened. 

The object of the author is to illustrate personal char- 
acter, and throw light on specially interesting phases of the 
career, either public or private, of the persons he writes 
about ; to condense, in briefest space, much of the history 
of individuals whose acquaintance the author has enjoyed 
during that time. 

It is evident that a work of this kind can be made one 
of the educating influences, both to old and young — pleas- 
ant, instructive, and inspiring to &l\ — and the perusal of 
these " Recollections " be as much of a pleasure to the 
reader as the writing of them has been to the author? 
Mutual pleasure, profit, and acquaintance has been the pre- 
vailing motive in the preparation of the volume. The book 
is in no sense a biography of the persons noticed, but recol- 
lections as now remembered. These have been written 
without personal bias or partiality. In short, it is giving 
truthful history of the occurrences related, and the work 
can be preserved as a reference to the times noted and the 
individuals mentioned. 

Fifty years in our Country's and State's history ! What 
eventful years, too. No fifty years in the world's history 
can show such progress. 

Birth, childhood, mature age — a useful life — has come 
and gone to many during the cycles of these years. The 
glorious memories of the godly and patriotic men and de- 
voted women who have worked out the grand destinies of 
our State and Nation should be perpetuated. What have 
they done for us in establishing free schools, free gospel, 
and a free press? Along with, but dependent on these, 
have been introduced all the other educating influences. 


They have given us rich legacies to live for, vote for, and 
fight for. They have developed a Lincoln, a Douglas, a 
Garfield, and a host of other compeers to live and die for 
their country. These portionless sons became the chief in- 
tellectual pillars in the temple of our liberties. 

In these years interminable forests have fallen before 
the axe of the woodman ; the broad expanse of prairie is 
upturned by the plow, and the fields appear in cultivated 
beauty ; and where not one mile of railroad was built fifty 
years ago now there are more miles operated than in any 
other state in the Union. 

In all these years the author has been a humble but busy 
actor, doing quiet, but he hopes effective work, in advanc- 
ing the great interests of the State in all these fields of 
labor. He has been farmer, merchant, journalist, and now 
I am doing what Job so earnestly prayed that his enemy 
would do, " writing a book," hoping the public will give it 
a careful reading and impartial criticism. 

Jbeiah Bonham. 




Preliminaries for admission as a state— Nathaniel Pope — What 
he did for Illinois — Proceedings in committee — The twenty- 
seventh of February, 1818 — Committee's favorable report — 
Bill passed eighteenth of April, 1818 — Shadrach Bond — His 
popularity— Elected without opposition — Hon. H. S. Baker 
tells about Bond — Formerly delegate in Congress — Register 
Land Office— Dies April 11, 1830. 

April 18th, 1818, was the auroral day that broke on 
Illinois, opening up, in the near prospective, the opportu- 
nity inviting her to the dignity of statehood with the other 
states of the American Union. The preliminarie for an 
enabling act were concluded in January previous by the 
territorial legislature, in session at Kaskaskia, preparing 
and forwarding to Hon. Nathaniel Pope, the territorial del- 
egate in Congress, their petition, praying for the admission 
of Illinois into the Union on an equal footing with the 
original states. Congress most graciously, through their 
committee on territories, reported a bill for the admission 
of the state with a population of forty thousand. Delegate 
Pope was very vigilant in watching the progress of the bill 
at its various stages. One of his watchful foresights gave 


this state the present site of Chicago, which, but for him, 
would have been left in the territory of Wisconsin. The 
original design, " north of an east and west line drawn 
through the southerly bend of Lake Michigan," would cut 
this state off from fourteen of her present rich counties and 
from the then rich lead mines of Galena. But to his vigi- 
lance the line between the embryo state, just knocking for 
admission, was made forty degrees, thirty minutes, or fifty 
miles farther north. This gave us the terminus — Chicago 
— of the Illinois and Michigan Cana*l which came with 
that extension, and other untold blessings that we have en- 
joyed as a state that we would have been deprived of had 
the line been made as originally intended. By this change 
of lines Illinois acquired a lake coast, giving an outlet to 
the east and north and the site for the second city in the 

We have not the exact date when these weighty pro- 
visions and amendments were discussed in committee, to 
which Mr. Pope was admitted by courtesy as well as right, 
but there is a traditian that the favorable action, or agree- 
ment to incorporate all his propositions into the bill, was 
reached February 27th of that year, but the formality of 
reaching a final vote, by a report of the bill from committee 
on territories, its first, second, and third readings in the 
House and Senate, was not reached until April 18, 1818, 
as noted in the opening of this chapter. But really the 
work in committee is the effective work in legislation, and 
Illinois can positively date its birth as a state from the day 
the proposition received favorable action and recommenda- 
tion from the committee on territories. The constitutional 
convention to formulate that great instrument, in pursuance 
of the enabling act, was called to meet at Kaskaskia in 


July, and completed its labors, by its members signing the 
constitution, August 26, 1818, just six months, lacking a 
day, from the time the bill was favorably reported from the 

The first election for governor, lieutenant-governor, and 
members of the General Assembly, under the constitution, 
was held the third Thursday and the two succeeding days 
of September, 1818. Shadrach Bond, of Randolph county, 
was elected governor, and Pierre Menard, lieutenant gov- 
ernor, neither of them having any opposition. Their term 
of service was for four years. 

Shadrach Bond, on whom the distinguished honor of 
being elected the first governor of Illinois was conferred, 
was born in Frederick county, Maryland, in 1773; was 
raised a farmer, and came to Illinois in 1794. He was a 
jolly, benevolent kind of a man, rollicking, and at times 
very convivial. In youth he had received but a plain 
English education ; this had been nourished by home cul- 
ture, until he became a man noted for his correct and 
shrewd observation, giving him a clear appreciation of 
events. In person he was commanding, of erect bearing, 
standing six feet in height. His complexion was dark, 
clear hazel eyes, the outline of his features angular, with 
jet black hair. He was a courtly man, as described to us 
by Hon. H. S. Baker, of Alton, who, when a boy, went 
with his father on a visit to the governor. He said the 
governor took the occasion to give him some lessons on 
etiquette that he always remembered. Eeynolds, in his 
"Life and Times," says that Gov. Bond was a great favo- 
rite with the ladies, which we well may suppose of a man 
of his jovial disposition and courtly manners, His thorough 
honesty, unostentatious bearing, his ministrations of benev- 


olence made him the most popular man in the state, and it 
need not be wondered at that his candidacy was a " regular 
walk-away," no other man having the temerity to oppose 
him. He was a "man of state affairs;" had been a mem- 
ber of the territorial legislature and a delegate to Congress 
from the Indiana Territory in 1812, when the two were 
one. It was he that procured the right of pre-emption to 
the public lands. In 1814 he was appointed by President 
Madison receiver of public lands at Kaskaskia. He was a 
great favorite at Washington, particularly at the presiden- 
tial mansion, where the c»urtly Mrs. Madison presided. 

After serving his term, his friends urged him to make 
the race for Congress, which he did; but he was getting 
old, " and full of years and honors." He did not make an 
active canvass, and Daniel P. Cook was popular with the 
people, and the governor retired to private life. He was 
appointed, in 1825, register of land office at Kaskaskia, by 
President Adams, and held the office until he died, April 
11, 1830, aged fifty-seven years. In his honor the county 
of Bond was named as a tribute to his memory. 



Exciting contest on slavery — Tour-cornered contest — Good re- 
sults from a divided house — Coles elected — Nativity, birth, 
and education — His public services — Sent on a Russian 
mission — Tour of Europe— Returns home— Comes to Illinois 
— Emancipates his slaves — He is persecuted for righteous- 
ness sake — Unscrupulous measures of slavery — Bitter 
wrangling and excitement among the people — Go v.. Coles 
gives his entire salary to the cause — " Friends of Freedom " 
— Election day — Long distances traveled to cast a vote — 
"William Blanchard — Victory for the Right— "All's well 
that ends well" — Gov. Coles' term expires — Removes to 
Philadelphia — Gets married — Age and death. 

There was a state of anarchy in the new state in the 
canvass of 1822. The question of slavery has always made 
trouble to the state and to the citizen. Raising its hydra- 
head means discord, confusion and distraction. The elec- 
tion for governor that year was four-cornered ; four candi- 
dates contesting for the honor, for as yet there was not 
much national politics entering into any of the contests. 
Monroe had been re-elected president in 1820 by almost 
general consent, and history informs us that personal rival- 
ries had quite as much to do in deciding who would be 
governor, or any other officer, as the principles advocated. 
But before the gubernatorial and legislative contest of 1822, 
there was a state question that would not down. The year 

22 FIFTY years' recollections. 

before Missouri had been admitted with slavery after a 
fierce contest: a compromise plaster being applied, the 
then potent Clay of Kentucky applied it, add it brought 
healing in its application to Missouri, but the contest was 
transferred to Illinois, where two-thirds of the people were 
from the Southern States, and a large portion of these 
believed that the proper condition in life of a colored man 
was servitude. 

Of the four men who were candidates for governor, 
Coles and Moore were known to be anti-slaveryites and 
Phillips and Brown to favor it. When the election returns 
were received, Coles had 2,810, Moore 522, Phillips 2,760, 
and Brown 2,543. Coles was elected by small plurality, 
which probably saved the state to freedom, for in that 
year if the line had been strictly drawn, a pro-slavery 
man on one side, and anti-slavery on the other, slavery 
would have prevailed. But, before the next year, when it 
was submitted, a largely increased immigration came to 
the central and northern counties, and the anti-slavery 
vote was increased. This, with the executive influence in 
its favor, turned the tide in favor of leaving the constitu- 
tion as it was, and the governor's position was sustained. 

Edward Coles, the new governor, was born in Virginia, 
December 15, 1786, and the youngest of ten children. He 
was impressed with the injustice and iniquity of slavery in 
early life, while attending college. His father was a plan- 
ter owning many slaves. Young Coles formed a resolution 
that when his apportionment of his father's estate was allotted 
the slave part of it he would emancipate. Upon the death 
of his father his share of land was one thousand acres and 
twenty-five slaves. He was the private secretary of Presi- 
dent Madison, a courtly, refined young man, of brilliant 


conversational powers. His talents were employed diplo- 
matically, and he was sent on a special mission to Russia 
with private dispatches. While on this mission he made 
the tour of Europe, greatly increasing his fund of informa- 
tion. After his arrival home he concluded to come to 
Illinois, and came out on a prospecting tour, and was at 
Kaskaskia when the convention was in session that formed 
the first state constitution. In the following spring, having 
returned to Maryland, he arranged to move his slaves to 
Illinois, and on the way told them that they were free. He 
gave to each head of a family one hundred acres of land 
in the neighborhood of Edwardsville, aided them with 
some money, and exercised special care for their welfare. 
That was his record, and the partisans who favored slavery, 
,beaten by a division in their two ranks, had a majority in 
both branches of the legislature. They " made it hot" for 
the governor, but he was firm, and directed attention to the 
subject of slavery in clear and forcible language. This was 
enough to fan into a flame the repressed elements of the 
last y.ear, and an effort to introduce slavery by amending 
the constitution was resolved upon. It required a two- 
thirds vote in both houses to pass the proposition submit- 
ting it to the people. 

By force and intimidation, and the unseating of a mem- 
ber, the slaveryites secured the required two-thirds, and its 
passage was regarded as securing its triumph at the polls. 
They were so elated that they insulted the governor by 
marching a drunken mob to his residence with discordant 
music, bells, horns, and unearthly yells of an ignorant 
crowd. These demonstrations were kept up during the 
canvass to such an exteat that they reacted against the 
slavery movement. The very violence of the movement 

24 FIFTY years' recollections. 

disgusted the better element who were in favor of slavery, 
and from this the anti-slavery element took courage. Never 
was such a contest waged in the state before. Davison and 
Stuve's History says : " The young and the old, without 
regard to sex, entered the arena of party strife ; families and 
neighborhoods became divided and surrendered themselves 
up to bitter warfare. Detraction and personal abuse reigned 
supreme, while combats were not infrequent. The whole 
country seemed to be on the verge of a resort to physical 
force to settle the angry question." 

The press teemed with angry incendiary articles, breath- 
ing out direct vengeance on the anti-slavery advocates. 
New papers were established. Our long-time old friend 
and neighbor of after years, Hooper Warren, was then in 
the heat of the fight, editing the " Spectator" at Edwards- 
ville, and some papers at Shawneetown and Vandalia were 
conducted in opposition to the convention scheme. The 
governor, by this time fairly aroused, gave his entire salary 
for his term, four thousand dollars, to aid the cause of anti- 
slavery. The ablest talent in the new state was arrayed 
either on one side or the other. Through efforts of Rev. 
J. M. Peck, anti-slavery societies were formed, and organ- 
izations to get out the anti-slavery vote in all parts of the 
state. They were called " Friends of Freedom," and they 
were active in the cause. The ministers were active in 
the cause, and they met together from long distances to de- 
vise ways to arrest the impending evil. All the means 
known to civilization to impart ideas of the enormity of 
slavery were made available. Meetings were called, the 
rank and file of the people, excited to the highest pitch, 
wrangled and argued with each other wherever they met, — 
the excitement was so great that industry was at a stand. 


" When the day of election came, the utmost exertions 
at the polls throughout the state were used by both sides to 
bring out a full vote. The aged, the crippled, the chronic- 
invalids, all that could be conveyed, with their bodily in- 
firmities, were brought and cast their votes either for or 
against the call. People sacrificed weeks of time, traversed 
hundreds of miles across boundless prairies, for the sacred 
right to cast their votes for freedom. The old pioneer, 
William Blanchard, now nearly ninety years old, then liv- 
( , ing on Farm Creek, two miles east of Peoria, went, with 
several of his neighbors, all the way to Springfield, near 
one hundred and fifty miles, to cast their votes against the 
calling of a convention, to vote for keeping slavery out." 
Noble old man, the only one now living of the noble band. 
He still resides on his farm near Fon Du Lac, Tazewell 

Election over, it was at least a month before the result 
was fully known, but good news came at last, Illinois was 
saved from the curse of slavery, the good Governor Coles 
and his noble co-workers were triumphant ; — Illinois was 
a free state. 

Many of our present well informed citizens are not stu- 
dents of history, or have not sufficiently studied the history 
of their state to be aware that such a fierce contest for free- 
dom was ever waged in Illinois. Slavery was defeated by 
some one thousand seven hundred majority. The aggregate 
vote was eleven thousand six hundred and twelve ; of this, 
four thousand nine hundred and seventy-two was for a con- 
vention, or slavery, and six thousand six hundred and forty 
against, making one thousand six hundred and sixty-eight 
majority for freedom. And thus ended the most important, 
exciting and angry election that took place at that early day 


in Illinois. All feeling of animosity soon subsided, and it 
is said by the historian of that time, that a politician who- 
favored slavery could not be found. 

Gov. Coles' administration went out in a blaze of glory. 
He had served his state well, given his term and all his 
salary for the public weal, not only for that time but for us 
now, and for future generations yet unborn. "The victory 
was decisive of the question for all time." 

He retired from office December 1826, at the age of forty, 
and we believe did not accept office again. In the year , 
1833, fifty years ago, at the age of forty-seven, he removed 
to Philadelphia, and was married to Miss Sallie. Logan 
Roberts, having in after years, one daughter and two sons. 
He died July 6, 1868, aged eighty-two years, having lived 
to see the total extinction of slavery. 



Nativity, education and family connections —Removes to Ken- 
tucky — Rapid advancement in official position — He is 
appointed Governor of Illinois Territory —His long service — 
Becomes a candidate for Governor in 1826 — After a heated 
canvass is elected — His prominent characteristics — His. 
contests with the banks — Characteristics of the people — 
Contests not political, but personal — The pioneer of sixty- 
years ago and later — Gov. Edwards' independence of action — 
Would not descend to the arts of the demagogue — Brief ret- 
rospective view and close cf his administration. 

Ninian Edwards was born in Montgomery county, 
Maryland in 1775. His education was such as ample 
means can secure when aroused by a desire to excel and suc- 
ceed on the part of the student. His family stood among' 
the most prominent in Maryland, admitted to the highest 
social circles, having great influence both iu their native 
state and at the National Capital. He was a fellow school 
mate with William Wirt, afterward Attorney General of 
the United States. From being a student, Wirt was ad- 
vanced to being a teacher, and young Edwards attended his 
school as a student. When sufficiently advanced to attend 
college he was sent to Carlisle college, Pennsylvania. There 
he commenced the study of law. When his legal and busi- 
ness acquirements were attained, he went to Kentucky, and 

28 FIFTY years' recollections. 

being a young man of engaging manners and courtly ad- 
dress, soon ranked among the popular young men of the stf.te, 
and was elected to the legislature. When his term expired 
he removed to Russelville, and more resolutely than ever 
devoted himself to study, and rose to eminence in his pro- 
fession, and was promoted rapidly from one success to 
another until he had successively filled the offices of Presi- 
ding Judge of the General Court, Circuit Court, Judge of 
Court of Appeals, and before he was thirty-two years old 
was selected as Chief Justice, the highest judicial position 
in the state. 

From this position, in 1809, he was appointed by Mr. 
Madison as territorial governor of Illinois, and served until 
the state was admitted into the Union. His great legal 
abilities, ability as a writer, and fluency of speech as an ora- 
tor, made him a formidable competitor to his opponents in 
1826. Party lines were not tightly drawn, both candidates 
professing to be Jackson men, but Thomas C. Sloe, his 
chief competitor, enjoyed the advantage of being the regu- 
lar Jackson nominee, while Edwards was making his can- 
vass on his personal popularity, and on the principles of 
state policy he proposed adopting. Another candidate, 
miking the contest a three cornered one, was Adolphus 
Frederick Hubbard, who, from ponderous length and 
weight of name, thought he should be elected governor. 
He was the outgoing lieutenant-governor, and claimed the 
oiBce by promotion. Intellectually he was inferior to 
both Edwards and Sloe, admitting in his speeches that he 
was " not as great a man as my opponent, Gov. Edwards." 

We can define this tri-square fight no more clearly, per- 
haps, than by giving each man the status he claimed — Sloe 
as a Jackson man, Edwards on the state policy and personal 


popularity, and Hubbard from the fact that he was Lieu- 
tenant-governor, and as he said in some of his speeches, " I 
do not think it will require a very extraordinary smart 
man to govern you; for to tell you the truth, fellow-citi- 
zens, I do not think you will be very hard to govern, no 

Edwards leaving national politics to the future, made 
the burden of his speeches relate to state affairs. He at- 
tacked the wretched banking system, characterizing it as 
" humiliating to our pride and disreputable to our character," 
"affording speculators the opportunity to riot on the neces- 
sities of the people," " taking the honest earnings of the 
sweat of your brows." He fought his battle and made his 
canvass solely on the ground of financial reform, irrespective 
of party affiliations. His forcible and instructive addresses 
gained the ear of the people, produced a good effect, and 
they sustaining him, he was elected. But the legislature 
was against him, and almost all the important measures he 
advocated were opposed in the legislature and by the differ- 
ent rings of speculators who had controlled the banks, most 
of them having became defunct. Thus was illustrated the 
want of cordiality between the executive and the legislative 
branches, and it continued through the legislative term of 

But the governor's persistence in fighting the specula- 
tors was to have its triumphs. By the election of 1828 a 
new legislature was elected, and it was more favorable to 
the governor's views, and we find much of the legislation at 
that time to be in accord with his views. He was constantly 
active to produce this state of public opinion. He wrote 
with great facility, and his productions show a high degree 
of literary merit. 


The varied composition of the homogeneous citizenship 
of Illinois in the " Life and Times" of Edwards and Rey- 
nolds, is aptly illustrated by historical quotations from the 
literature of that period. It is said, ,: But little thought 
was bestowed on governmental affairs by the masses." The 
elective franchise was given by the voter, because he was a 
personal friend to the candidate. This indifference, so un- 
worthy of the citizen, was taken advantage of by the office- 
hunter. Politics were personal, and the vote was bestowed, 
not with regard to public welfare, but as a matter of per- 
sonal favor. At this time, from 1818 to 1831, the people 
voted by ballot, as it was thought it gave the voter greater 
independence of action. But it also gave them the oppor- 
tunity to exercise double dealing and dissimulation, both on 
the part of the voter and the candidate, by mutual decep- 
tion of every grade and character. Sometimes the most 
adroit intriguer met with the most success. The voter 
would make promises, then violate them if a greater induce- 
ment was offered him. " To cure this evil, the legislature, 
at its session 1829, adopted the open vote system, making 
it imperative on the voter to call out the name of the can- 
didate he voted for." 

Then, as now, with a certain class of politicians,- " treat- 
ing" during a political canvass was thought to be necessary 
to success. Candidates for office would give orders to liquor 
saloons to " treat" freely to whoever would drink at their 
expense, for weeks before the day of election. Saturdays, 
more commonly than other days, was " treating day," the 
voters congregating from all parts of the country, coming 
long distances to hear the news and " fill up," frequently 
getting drunk and engaging in rough and tumble fights. 
The candidates would make it a point to be there and 


harangue "the boys" on the " ishoos" of the campaign, and 
the most particular one in it, their own success. Meeting 
in the shady groves, the orators would thunder forth their 
•claims, mounted on convenient wagons, logs or stumps. 
From this grew the phrase " Stumping it." Men were dis- 
cussed, not measures. The most bitter personal arraign- 
ment of the other candidate was the stock in trade of these 
loud-mouthed statesmen. 

The shades of evening would give warning, and the 
■crowd would mount their horses, get in their ox carts, or 
on foot wend their way home, hurrahing or yelling for their 
favorite candidate, and cursing his opponent. 

The pioneers, — all honor to their memories — though 
•of rough exterior, a majority of them were well meaning, 
.and it was not their fault that in a majority of cases they were 
ignorant, sometimes persuading themselves it was a virtue 
to be so. They were, for this reason, more easily duped, im- 
bibing passionate and unreasonable prejudices, opposing as 
innovations any public policy that promised the elevation or 
•education of the people, and unfortunately their descend- 
ants at an early day were no improvement on the paternal 
stock. In many cases their isolated life made them more 
reckless when they came from their homes and met their 
fellow-citizens on public occasions. They were brave, and 
to show it, many of them courted personal combats. Ar- 
rayed in red hunting shirts, over buckskin breeches, home- 
made skin cap, sometimes carrying a huge knife belted 
round their waist, they were a walking challenge against all 
-comers, — an invitation to "pitch in boys, if you doubt it" 
kind, that led to many brawls. Candidates courted this 
■class, and their influence sometimes turned the scale. 


Governor Edwards, in making his canvass of the state, 
strove to pierce this armor of ignorance, violence, and spe- 
cies of intimidation, putting his canvass above personal 
considerations, and for the future advancement of the state's 
great interests. He brought great legal research and acu- 
men to his aid, never condescending to the low arts of 
electioneering, such as wearing poorer clothes, or assuming 
to be ignorant when he was not, as his successor, Reynolds, 
would do ; but whenever he went out among the people to 
address them, he wore the best clothes he had, traveled in 
the same style as when not a candidate, in his own carriage, 
driven by a colored coachman. His enemies tried to prej- 
udice the people against him by charging him with being an 
" aristocrat, living in this pomp and style," when he was 
only pursuing the even tenor of his home-life for years, not 
changing it to catch the applause of the multitude when he 
became a candidate for their suffrages. As before. intimated 
in the recollections of our historical readings, Governor 
Edward's official term was a contest with the banks to com- 
pel them to keep within the limits prescribed in their charters, 
and to advance the credit of the state, so that, when he re- 
tired from office in December, 1830, it would be found that 
the state was in a healthy condition as to its fiscal affairs. 
That it was so when he turned over the executive office to 
his successor, history most conclusively shows. 

He retired from official position as governor in the fifty- 
fifth year of his age, leaving the state, as a legacy, the 
records of his best efforts for its prosperity since his appoint- 
ment as territorial governor in 1809, both in his official and 
private life. 



What was said about the " Guvnor" — Nativity, parentage and 
educational advantages— Studies the classics — Slight evi- 
dence of the fact — Characteristics of the population — He 
readily adopts them —His linguistic powers of adaptation — 
His competitor, "William Kinney — How the canvass was con- 
ducted between them — Reynolds elected — The Black Hawk 
"War — The soldier's friend — "Would made every man a Cap- 
tain or General — Appoints Charley Henderson a "volunteer 
aid" — Goes the rounds of the three month service — Elected 
to Congress — His story of the rise of the waters without any 
rain falling — Closing political career — Opposes Douglas in 
1858 — Pro-slavery views — Sympathies with the South — 
His death in 1865. 

Our " Recollections" of the " Old Ranger" are not very 
extensive. His most expressive " happenings" occurred be- 
fore our time. He was just on his " last legs" as governor 
when we came to the state, but had made himself so 
renowned that everybody had something to say about the 
"Guvnor." He was born in Pennsylvania in 1778, of 
Irish parentage ; removed to Tennessee in 1790, and stop- 
ping there for ten years, came to Illinois in 1800. Edu- 
cational advantages were limited at that time in the territory, 
and he returned to Tennessee to have the bright edges of 
his intellect furbished up, and he tells us in his " Life and 
Times," that he there acquired a " classical education," but 


no one would suspect this feet from " his life and conversa- 
tion," " his expositions of the classics," his writings and 
official papers. It is said of him that he would affect igno- 
rance where he possessed ample knowledge, in order not to 
appear " too knowing." In the portion of the state where 
he " had his range," largely in St. Clair, Randolph, Madi- 
son and surrounding counties, the population was largely 
made up of Kentuckians, Tennesseeans, Virginians and 
adjoining southern states, a large sprinkling of French, a 
few from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and occasionally a stray 
Yankee, whose presence was scarcely tolerated. 

A large portion of this heterogenous mass was rude, 
rough, and very ignorant, — " poor white trash," whose ances- 
tors not being rich enough to own slaves, were not respected 
as much as their chattels, the slaves, among slave owners. 
This floating, listless and thriftless population, composed a 
portion of the emigration from those states at the time, but 
the men among them had votes, and among this class it was 
a crime for a candidate to know too much. John Reynolds 
being a politician, must come down to the tastes, habits of 
life, language, expletives and jargon of "]We-uns." He 
" imbibed" their characteristics as he did their favorite bev- 
erage, adopted their manners, customs and speech, drank in 
their " Shibboleth ;" he disliked polish, for their sakes con- 
temned fashion, and in short was, to please the crowd, 
addicted to " licker" and profanity. The historian records 
of him, that his mind was " garnished by his various read- 
ing, a native shrewdness, and a wonderful faculty of garrul- 
ity, making him one of the public oddities in the annals of 
Illinois." Most fertile was his imagination, wonderous bis 
powers to express his ideas, not connected with logical de- 
ductions, as this would been lost on his hearers. He could 


" dialect" the Gaelic, the Milesian, adopt the linguistic pe- 
culiarities of the Kentucky hunter, the Tennessee Ranger, 
the patois of the kind of French then spoken around Kas- 
kaskia, Cahokia or St. Louis. He was kindness personi- 
fied, always ready to do a favor, and to forgive " those that 
persecuted him." He was angular, walked with a swinging 
gait, tall of stature, bony, and deeply furrowed face, and 
under his high, narrow forehead, his eyes rolled round, 
showing kindness. His nose " Romanized well down 
towards his ample mouth," from which issued almost a con- 
stant stream of volubility. He possessed the " Democratic" 
manners of his time, a sociable and talkative disposition, 
and his delight was to mingle with the people. At that time 
Reynolds was not " a whole hog " Jackson man, so he ran 
independently for governor against William Kinney, the 
regular Jackson candidate. The Whigs, or Adams' men, 
did not run a candidate, but generally voted for Reynolds 
because he was the independent candidate. Kinney was 
lieutenant-governor under Gov. Edwards, the retiring gov- 
ernor. History tells of Kinney, that he was " remarkable for 
intelligence and business capacity." He was a "Hardshell 
Baptist" preacher. He was of social disposition, could re- 
late pithy anecdotes, which served him a good purpose in 
electioneering, was regarded one of the best political can- 
vassers in the state, possessing unbounding energy and great 
ambition. He was, along with his pulpit capacity, endowed 
with a jovial turn and witty pleasantry. It was the prac- 
tice in those days for candidates to " treat," and Mr. Kin- 
ney would so far forget his clerical calling as to " set 'em 
up" for the boys. But Reynolds could discount him and 
" go one better ;" he could not only " set 'em up," but "go 
in and have a time " with the boys and indulge in profanity. 

36 FIFTY years' recollections. 

These two last political virtues of the times Kinney would 
not indulge in, so he was " badly left" when the votes were 
counted. Kinney preached on Sundays while making the 
canvass of the state, while Reynolds would gather a large 
circle of choice spirits and " gi'n a treat," and so the can- 
vass went on between the men. Both candidates were 
"down on the Yankees." Kinney opposed the canal 
project, giving as a reason for it that it would open up a 
floodtide of "Yankee" emigration to the state, which he 
and his ultra partizans could not brook the thought of. 

Reynolds professed great admiration for Jackson, though 
not ultra, and the " whole hog" Jackson men denounced 
him as an "outsider," and party excitement ran high ; per- 
sonalities were indulged in, and bitter reproaches were 
heaped on the candidates by the friends of the other by cir- 
culating all kinds of scandalous charges. But the " una- 
dulterated Jackson man, and the Whisky Baptist," who 
claimed that he " fought with the sword of the Lord and 
the spirit," was defeated, and after a wearisome campaign 
of eighteen months Reynolds was elected. The animosities 
engendered in the campaign followed him in his official life. 
The majority in the legislature was against him, and an- 
noyed him by rejecting his nominations. 

In 1832 occurred the Black Hawk war, and in it the 
" Old Ranger " merged all his political difficulties". He was 
more of a " ranger " than a fighter, but he had good fighting 
stock around him, among the most famous being Gen. James 
D. Henry, who would have succeeded him as governor had 
he lived. Reynolds left his military affairs entirely to 'his 
generals. He mixed up with the men, and if he could have 
done so, every man would have been promoted, he was so 
kind. Illustrative of this, the author will relate a case in 


point. Our good, kind and scholarly school teacher, Charles 
Henderson, who had taught our country school for three 
winters in Ohio,, emigrated to Illinois in the spring of 1832. 
He came on horseback, arrived just at the time when enlist- 
ments were" being made and men were being hurried forward 
to the place of rendezvous. He became a "camp follower," 
came up with the army at Beardstown, was presented to^the 
governor, told him that he came to see the country, and if 
there was any service he could render, himself and horse 
were at the service of the state. " Yes," said the governor, 
" I can take you as volunteer aid, we want a good many of 
that kind now." " Well, governor, that will suit me," said 
Charley, " what are the duties of the position ? " " Well, " 
said the governor, " go along, feed your horse from the sub- 
sistence department, yourself at my quarters,. assist me some 
with my writing, help the quartermaster and commissary 
when they call on you, and when we get where there is any 
fighting to be done pitch in and fight like h — 1." 

Our old school teacher accepted the conditions, went 
along, made his services so acceptable in the department 
assigned him, that the governor did not call on him to " fight 
the Indians like h — 1," made the rounds of the three 
months' service, returned to Jacksonville where a brother 
was residing, settled himself, married a Miss McDonald, 
raised a large family and died there about 1876. 

The reader will pardon this digression. Many anec- 
dotes are told of the governor's military career, but we are 
admonished that since the half century ago there has been 
other governors of whom our "recollections" are more 
fresh, so must proceed with our history. 

At the close of his gubernatorial term Reynolds was 
elected to Congress, serving three terms, taking in the Jack- 

38 FIFTY years' recollections. 

son and Van Buren administrations. In the negotiations 
to raise funds to build the canal he was appointed financial 
agent to England, but his service was not a success for the 

In his congressional canvass among his constituents he 
would plead to the utmost simplicity and ignorance, to 
bring himself down on a level with their intelligence and 

On one occasion he was making a speech telling what he 
had seen at Washington. He and President Jackson were 
very great friends and often rode out together. On one 
occasion they passed along the banks of the Potomac. The 
day was fine, a bright clear sky overhead. They rode on 
and out on the Bladensburg road. In two or three hours 
they returned by the same route. It was high tide, and 
the waters from the bay were flowing in. The governor 
told his audience that he was alarmed. He said to the 
president, " Mr. President, where the h — 1 does this flood 
come from; there has not been a G — d d — d bit of rain 
fell in a month," ignoring the fact to his audience that 
he knew anything about the flowing or ebbing of the tide. 

Passing over his further legislative experience, we notice 
his change of sentiment in 1857-58. " He always claimed 
the staunchest adhesion to the Democratic party." He 
quarreled with Douglas, and sided with Buchanan in trying 
to fasten slavery on Kansas by the Lecompton Constitution. 
He was the administration standard bearer in 1858, as the 
candidate of the Buchanan faction for Superintendent of 
Public Instruction. The author met him while making the 
canvass of the state. He came to the State Fair at Cen- 
tralia that year, and was "breathing out threatening and 
slaughter" against Douglas. He made a speech in the 


afternoon, mingled with some profanity. Some of his old 
anecdotes were listened to and laughed at, but he had lost 
his power over the people. 

In 1860 he attended the Charleston convention as a dele- 
gate, and voted for Breckenridge, doing all he could against 

Owing to his proslavery views no man received greater 
attention from southern delegates than he. He was talka- 
tive and vehement, and aided in " firing the southern 
heart" to stick to Breckenridge. After the presidential 
canvass was decided in 1860 he was open in maintaining 
secession principles, going to the extent of urging the 
Buchanan officials to seize the treasure and arms in the cus- 
tom house and arsenal at St. Louis. He died at Belleville 
in May, 1865, living just long enough to see the rebellion 
crushed. His wife survived him but a few months. He 
left no children. 



Reminiscence of the author — ^Nativity, early life, and military 
services — Comes to Jackson County at an early day — Ap- 
pointed Major-General — Services as senator — Elected to 
Congress — Supports General Jackson — Appointed Brigadier 
General — Campaign at Rock Island— His difference with 
Jackson's policy — Candidacy for governor — Elected — In- 
augural address — State bank and branches chartered — Con- 
ditions of the charter — Distrust, want of harmony and mis- 
representation — Division and strife — Wild internal im- 
provement legislation — Council of Revision — Their opin- 
ion— Influence of lobbyists — End of term —Again a candi- 
date in 1842. 

From 1830 to 1840 embraces two full gubernatorial 
terms and a part of another, of which the author retains a 
very vivid general recollection, although at the opening of 
Gov. Duncan's administration he was just "sweet sixteen," 
engaged every day at laborious work on the farm, and ex- 
pecting at that time to make it a life business. If, there- 
fore, there are some mistakes in the dates on which events 
happened, let it be attributed to the then youth of the au- 
thor and the difficulty of obtaining the most correct infor- 

Joseph Duncan was born at Paris, Kentucky, February 
23, 1794. Of his parentage we find nothing in our reading, 
nor of his earlier education. However, we know the latter 


was limited, and that he enlisted in the war of 1812, when 
only eighteen years old. He was an ensign, and under 
Croghan at Fort Stephenson, Lower Sandusky, acquitted 
himself with credit. Coming to Illinois after the war he 
settled in Jackson County, and soon, from his military ex- 
perience, was elected as Major-General of militia. Soon 
after he was elected state senator from Jackson County, and 
is honorably mentioned as being the first member that in- 
troduced a bill providing for a free school system. He was 
elected to Congress in 1826, and re-elected each succeeding 
term from that time until he was elected governor. 

In 1831 he received from Gov. Reynolds the appoint- 
ment of Brigadier-General for service in the field, that year 
being the first demonstration made by Black Hawk, but it 
was not attended by massacre or bloodshed. Duncan con- 
ducted his brigade to Rock Island, the difficulties with the 
Indians were temporarily adjusted, and the troops mustered 
out. His long service of eight years in Congress, previous 
service in the state, and his military record, eminently fitted 
him for any service to which the state would call him. 
With his naturally fine abilities, the store of knowledge re- 
garding affairs' of state, added to his clear judgment, decis- 
ion, moral courage and personal deportment, all pointed to 
him as the representative man to inaugurate the grand sys- 
tem of internal improvements that previous legislation had 

On the financial questions of the day in national legisla- 
tion, Gen. Duncan had become estranged from the admin- 
istration of President Jackson, whom in former years, in 
1824, 1828 and 1832, had received his hearty support for 
the presidency, the two last being successful. Jackson, ar- 
bitrarily as he thought, had suspended the functions of the 

42 FIFTY years' recollections. 

United States Bank as the financial agent of the govern- 
ment; he had vetoed bills appropriating money for im- 
provements of the great rivers, Mississippi, Illinois, and 
Wabash, and for the harbor at Chicago, Duncan having the 
interests of his constituents at heart, was obliged to break 
with the administration, and in manly addresses sent 
through circulars to the people of Illinois, advised them of 
the reasons why he could not support the administration. 
He did not canvass the state in person when a candidate for 
governor. The public interests demanded that he should 
remain at his post as member of Congress. The medium 
he employed to reach the people was through the press. 

Gen. Duncan was opposed in his candidacy for governor 
by ex-Lieut. Governor Kinney, who had twice before been 
beaten, but who hoped this time, in consequence of Duncan's 
break with the administration, to rally the Jaeksonian 
strength to his aid and be elected. There were also two 
other independent candidates; Robert McLaughlin and 
James Adams. On what issues they were presented as can- 
dinates, further than the general wish of themselves and 
their friends that they should be elected governor, we are . 
not at present advised. 

The vote stood, Duncan, 17,330; Kinney, 10,224; Mc- 
Laughlin, 4,320; and Adams, 887, showing that Duncan 
received 1,899 votes more than the combined opposition to 
him,; — the total vote of the state cast at that election being 
32,761 votes, proving that Duncan had lost none of his old 
time popularity by his difference with the administration, 
the people not choosing to guage him by a party standard 
in respect to what they expected from him in the manage- 
ments of the state's interests in conducting the grand sys- 
tem of internal improvements that he had paved the way 


for in his eight years congressional career. In entering on 
the duties of his office, in December, 1834, he defined his 
state policy, and although ihe legislature was opposed to 
him in his new departure from the Jacksonian faith, " his 
recommendations relating to state affairs were' most fully 
seconded and carried out." One of the measures he had 
differed with President Jackson about, was in the banking 
system, the other on improvements of navigable rivers and 
harbors; the last, more particularly relating to Chicago 

In regard to the first, he now had an opportunity of im- 
pressing his views of banking on the people of the state. 
In his inaugural message he says : "Banks may be made 
exceedingly useful in society, not only by affording an op- 
portunity to the widow, the orphan and aged, who possess- 
capital without the capacity of employing it in ordinary 
business, to invest in such stocks ; but by its use the young 
and enterprising mechanic, merchant and tradesman may 
be enabled more successfully to carry on his business and 
improve the country." 

The legislature were not elected with reference to the 
creation of a new bank, but taking the responsibility, they 
created a new state bank, capital $1,500,000, privileged to 
increase the stock to $1,000,000 more, and authorized six 
branches. The suspended territorial bank at Shawneetown 
was resucitated with a capital of $300,000. 

The chartering of these banks was but the entering upon 
a wild system of speculation, sanctioned by legislation, 
which followed in the next few years, and which over- 
whelmed the state in debt and almost financial ruin. The 
governor, no doubt, was honest in recommending the system,, 
not knowing the class of greedy speculators that would 

44 FIFTY years' recollections. 

swarm around to control the bank. His view of it was, 
that there would be an inadequate supply of currency, as 

the charter of the old United States bank was about to ex- 


pire, and that the organization of these banks at this oppor- 
tune time would, with their circulation, take the place of 
the retiring currency of the national institution. It was 
also given out, that in order to satisfy the people, and the 
more readily obtain their acquiescence in the Jacksonian 
policy of hostility to rechartering the United States bank, 
that the secretary of the treasury " had encouraged the 
state and local banks liberally," by depositing the public 
moneys in their vaults, thus favoring the multiplying of 
state and local banks. We well remember the arguments 
used in these years of 1835-36 and 1837, and the issues of 
those banks at the time were regarded as good as gold and 
silver. The people, without regard to party, favored the 
circulation of their notes, showing that originally they were 
not party measures. "The bank had the usual power to 
receive deposits, deal in bills, gold and silver, but was pro- 
hibited from dealing in real estate or personal property, 
other than to dispose of such as it might be compelled to 
buy or bid in at sales upon judgments; but it had power to 
borrow a million dollars to loan out on real estate mort- 
gages for five years." 

This provision was to give all classes who could com- 
mand the collaterals the chance to obtain loans on long 
time. It commended the bank legislation to farmers, who 
could borrow money to buy additional land, or to add im- 
provements to that already purchased. " The principal 
bank was located at Springfield, with branch at Vandalia ; 
other branches might be established and discontinued as 
the officers should determine." 


" The circulation was not to exceed two and a half 
times the paid up capital stock. If the bank refused to re- 
deem for ten days after demand, it was to be closed and 
wound up." This was not so bad, if the provisions had 
been rigidly carried out. At the extra session of Decem- 
ber and January, 1835-6, the $100,000 of the capital stock 
reserved for the state was authorized to be sold; addi- 
tional branches of discount and deposit, not more than 
three, were authorized ; and fifty days in addition to ten 
were allowed for the redemption of notes. By act of same 
date the bank paper was authorized to be received in pay- 
ment of the revenue of the state, the college, school and 
seminary debts. 

But the jealousy of capitalists, the strife for the con- 
trol of the institutions chartered, engendered, in malicious, 
but influential citizens, intense hostility to the banks. 
These individuals made representations that influenced the 
treasury department at Washington to withhold the deposit 
of government funds with the new banks, thus creating 
"distrust and doubt as to their solvency. This caused any 
government funds that may have been deposited with these 
banks to be withdrawn. Party malice and private resent- 
ments were made to outweigh the public good ; vengeful 
machinations of disappointed partizans formed combina- 
tions to draw specie from the vaults of the banks, and 
through misrepresentations, to prevent any to be again de- 
posited. ■ Scarcely were the banks in operation with their 
enormously augmented capital stocks when the disastrous 
financial revulsion of 1837 occurred. 

Parties then became divided upon the subject of bank- 
ing, although they were authorized and their capital stock 
increased, irrespective of party. In May, 1837, the banks 

46 FIFTY years' recollections. 

suspended specie payment. They were solvent, but the 
drain of specie at that time could not be borne. They 
were the fiscal agents of the state, and their suspension 
would involve the state and all its internal improvements 
in common ruin. A special session of the legislature was 
called July 10, and the bank suspensions legalized. 

In his special message to this legislature Gov. Dun- 
can urgently appealed to the members to repeal the per- 
nicious system of internal improvements by the State, and 
let it be assumed and controlled by private enterprise. To 
this the legislature turned a deaf ear. He made patriotic 
appeals to the people to save the state credit by ceasing to 
war on the financial institutions of their own creation ; 
that the credit of the banks was the credit of the state; to 
make war on the currency was to oppose enterprise and 
impede the growth of the state. Even at this time, had 
there been a union of interests in behalf of the state's 
credit, there would have been but little loss and disaster to 
the state, compared to the millions that followed, in the 
persistent adherence to the wild schemes adopted by the 
two previous legislatures. Gov. Duncan tried to save the 
credit of the state by at once stopping the wild and reck- 
less system of internal improvements, noted more at length 
in another chapter of this volume, and to. take the manage- 
ment of the banks from the control of speculators, who 
directly or indirectly gave directions to their financial op- 

But his efforts to stem the tide of expanding ideas and 
wild schemes of visionary speculators, were overborne by 
the wildest legislation of the legislature last met preceding 
his retirement from office. The council of revision in 
their objections to one of these stupendous internal im- 


provement bills that had passed the legislature, assigned 
as a reason why they could not approve it, " that such 
works can only be made safely and" economically in a free 
government by-citizens, or by corporations aided or au- 
thorized by government." The legislature, when the bill 
was returned to them with these and further objections, 
said that such vast public works would exercise an undue 
influence over legislation when carried on by the state. 
This was only too self-evident alread}', as combination and 
ring legislation were masters of the situation, and on the 
bill being returned to the legislature, it was passed, not- 
withstanding the objections of the council of revision. 
" There was a powerful lobby present, busily engaged apr 
plying the pressure to pliant members." These lobbyists 
were generally large contractors, or those that expected to 
be when the improvements were authorized by the legisla- 
ture. If these parties could not attend in person, a paid 
attorney, glib of tongue, charged with the arguments to 
be used, was kept at the capital to interview and cajole the 
members. Their schemes were portrayed in glowing colors, 
and their success driven home by oratorical efforts that, 
from their earnestness, seemed both truthful and logical 
arguments. Gov. Duncan's efforts to stem the tide of this 
wild infatuation were fruitless. The schemers were bold, 
.unscrupulous and persevering; Their wildest imaginings 
were argued into fact. Every art of reasoning that the 
teeming brain of man could suggest was brought into requi- 
sition to further the success of their schemes. Doubts re- 
garding the advantages of the system were scouted, the re- 
sources of the State magnified, and the advantages of the 
works set forth with a positiveness that seemed born of ac- 
tual knowledge or the inspiration of prohhecy. 

48 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Bat the welcome time came to him at last; the expira- 
tion of his term of office approached, and the election of 
his successor was at hand. Gov. Duncan retired from 
office enjoying the respect and esteem of the people of the 
State that he had served so faithfully in earlier days in the 
State Legislature, from 1826 to 1834 in Congress, and from 
1834 to 1838 as governor. 

The Whig party, with whom he acted, in 1842 again 
nominated him for governor, but the democrats were so 
largely in the ascendant in the state at that time that it was 
almost a forlorn hope for that party to make a nomination. 
This, with the popularity of Judge Ford, the democratic 
candidate, gave not a ray of hope that he would be elected. 



The People still having great expectations — Gov. Carlin's na- 
tivity—Educational advantages — His father moves to Mis- 
souri — Thomas returns to Illinois — Enters the military 
service as a Hanger — Gets married — Locates at Carrolton — 
Enters the Black Hawk war and commands a spy battalion 

— In 1834 appointed receiver of public moneys — Receives 
democratic nomination for governor — Elected — His charac- 
teristics — Fully endorses the internal improvement system 

— Appoints Gov. Reynolds and Senator Young fund commis- 
sioners — Legislative reproof of the acts of the commis- 
sioners — Calls an extra session — Recommends a change — 
Calls a halt — The legislature abolish two boards — One com- 
missioner in their place — Illinois history — Historical remi- 
niscences of first railroad completed in the Mississippi Valley 

— Who rode on first train — The first engineer — First rail- 
road built in United States in 1826 — First railroad from Chi- 
cago — The author's first railroad ride — Historical narrative 
resumed — Hard times of 1842 — Author's experience of them 

— Gov. Carlin's term expires — Returns to his farm — Elected 
to legislature— His death. 

Following out conclusions from results we may safely 
state that the people, at the election of 1838, still cherished 
"great expectations" for the future of their grand system 
of internal improvements. Most of the old members of the 
legislature were re-elected, showing that the people, their 
constituents, endorsed their action. Both candidates for 
governor were supposed to be favorable to the system, as 


one openly avowed and the other tacitly admitted it. To 
the successful candidate we propose to devote this chapter. 

Thomas Carlin was born near Frankfort, Ky., July 18, 
1789, of Irish extraction. His educational advantages were 
limited. To make up for this deficiency when he attained 
manhood he became a student, closely applying all his 
leisure time — himself being his own tutor. 

In 1803 his father removed to Missouri, where he died 
in 1810. In 1812, when twenty-three years old, he came 
to Illinois, volunteered his service as a ranger, and, as the 
old military records of the state show, was engaged in vari- 
ous branches of the service, making a good record as a sol- 
dier. He married, in 1814, Rebecca Huitt, and resided on 
the Mississippi, opposite the mouth of the Missouri, four 
years, when he removed to Greene county. He was one of 
the pioneers of that county, laid out Carrollton, and when 
the county seat was located there, made liberal donations of 
land for the county buildings. He was the first sheriff of 
Greene county, and afterwards served two terms in the legis- 
lature. In the Black Hawk war his former effective ser- 
vices as a " ranger" were remembered, and he was given 
command of a spy battalion, and acquitted himself gal- 
lantly at his post of danger. In 1834 President Jackson 
appointed him receiver of public moneys at Quincy, and he 
removed there. He was attending to the duties of this 
office when, in 1838, the shafts of a democratic nomination 
for governor struck him like a lightning stroke, unexpect- 
edly, he having no aspirations or expectations in that 

He is described in history as a " democrat of the 
straightest sect," " unyielding, if not obstinate in disposi- 
tion, and possessed, in private life, an unblemished reputa- 


tion." " Above the medium height, light complexion, spare 
looking face, high forehead, long nose, thin lips, giving his 
mouth a compressed appearance, indicating firmness." As 
we indicated, he did not aspire to official position, but when 
the summons came he was not unmindful of the call of the 
people, believing " that the voice of the people was the voice 
of God." He was elected, and upon assuming the duties 
of his office he very unmistakably advocated a vigorous 
prosecution of the system of internal improvements that 
had been inaugurated. He says " The signal success which 
has attended our sister states in the construction of their 
extensive systems of improvements can leave no doubt of 
the wise policy and utility of such works. They furnish 
the farmer the means of transporting the products of his 
labor to market." He thought they tended to " stimulate 
the enterprise and industry of the people." " In the prin- 
ciples and policy of this plan, contrasted with that of joint 
stock companies and private corporations, I fully concur," 
concluding the sentence by saying "that the character and 
credit of the State forbid its abandonment." 

The new legislature seconded the recommendation of 
the executive, made further appropriations and authorized 
additional works, involving an outlay of near one million 
dollars. The governor was also authorized to negotiate a 
loan of $4,000,000 to prosecute the work on the canal. 

The legislature, in their every act, held firmly to the 
policy of the state owning all the public works. This was 
in accordance with the recommendation of the governor, 
and promised unity of action. The governor, thus en- 
couraged, proceeded to appoint ex-Gov. Reynolds as special 
agent to e«fiect a loan in the interest of the prosecution of 
the public works. He, with Senator Young, whom Rey- 

52 FIFTY years' recollections. 

nolds requested to be associated with him, in their anxiety 
to raise money to carry on the state works, made some very 
ill-advised' and bungling loans, their conditions subjecting 
the state to heavy losses. 

Of these transactions the house judiciary committee, 
reporting Jan. 29, 1840, says: "The anxiety of the agents 
to procure money for the state, or their eagerness to suc- 
ceed in effecting sales where others had failed, induced 
them to enter into contracts injurious to the best interests 
of the state, derogatory to her dignity, and in every way 
calculated to depreciate her securities." 

Here was a legislative rebuke to the commissioners 
who made these reckless and wasteful loans. It showed 
that the infatuation of the people's representatives began to 
be enlightened by the rays of financial light, and that the 
people were beginning to clamor at all points. These 
echoes from the people showed that in one short year's 
time a total revolution had been effected in the minds of 
legislature and people. 

Gov. Carlin felt the force of this change in public sen- 
timent. The magnitude of the system became appalling 
to him, and the legislature was convened Dec. 9, 1839, 
in extra session. On their convening, the governor 
invoked the exercise of careful and calm consideration of 
the entire field, by wisdom and in unity of action, in the 
adoption of such reforms as would promote the welfare of 
the state. This was the ,<-ame body of men, — the same 
legislators, who but a short year before endorsed the whole 
stupendous system, and added new works costing one 
million dollars, now met, and asked to place the seal of 
condemnation upon measures they had so exultingly 
adopted. This was humiliating; they hesitated, doubtful 


what course to pursue. It was " bad medicine " to ask the 
assembled wisdom of the state to take. We cannot say 
they " came up smiling" to the work, but they did it. The 
disagreeable task was performed, and the work of disman- 
tling the towering edifice that stood a monument of the 
ruined hopes and ambitions of the members and the specu- 
lating lobby and contractors, was commenced. The board 
of fund commissioners and commissioners of public works 
were abolished. By a new act, one fund commissioner was 
provided to perform the same duties, " except that he shall 
not be authorized to sell state bonds or borrow money on 
behalf of the state." In short, the duties of this commis- 
sioner were to gather up the remnants of the wrecked sys- 
tem that was imposing a debt, if pursued to the end of the 
year, of $21,746,444, at an annual interest of $1,310,776. 
His duties were to receive and take charge of the railroad 
iron purchased in Europe, pay the duty on it; receive back 
all bonds from parties failing to comply with their contracts, 
register and burn the same ; audit and settle the accounts of 
the late board of fund commissioners and the late board of 
public works, and bring suit against each member in ar- 
rears, if any such should be. This was a regular wrecker's 
business that he was to be employed at, gathering up the 
debris. It would be called a receivership at this day. 
Thus these memorials of supreme legislative folly were to 
be gathered in, "that the ability and resources of the 
state" had been pledged for. We have said what the debt 
of the state would have been if this wild system had been 
continued to the end of the year. By stopping at once, as 
was done, the debt was actually confined to $14,237,348. 
The history continues : " In' 1840, after a short but event- 
ful life of less than three years, fell, by the hands of its 

54 FIFTY years' recollections. 

creator, the most stupendous, extravagant, and almost ruin- 
ous folly of a grand system of internal improvements that 
any community ever engaged in. While great disappoint- 
ment pervaded the people at the failure of the splendid 
scheme, they were not surprised nor crushed at the news of 
its repeal. Indeed, their sobered senses had for some time 
taught them that to this extremity it must come at last, and 
they felt that sort of relief a man feels at the loss of half his 
fortune — he has learned his fate and is thankful it is no 
worse; possibly he learns a profitable lesson at the same 
time. While the people felt chagrined there was no one 
to blame in great part but themselves, for in many cases 
their representatives had but obeyed the voice of the people. 
Many names, since prominent, honored and great, are re- 
corded in favor of the. original passage of the measure, as 
may be seen by reference to the Journal of 1837 : Stuve's 
and Daveson's History of Illinois, Page 44-8. The work 
on the canal still continued, of which mention is made in 
another part of this work. A portion of what was styled 
at that time in magniloquent language, when giving 
titles, and to ornament the headlines of the statutes of the 
state and the journals of legislative proceedings, "The 
Northern. Cross Railroad," described a? running from 
Meredosia to Springfield, was finished at a cost to the state 
of $1,000,000. Of this we wish to record our "recollec- 
tion," as it was the first completed portion, part or parcel, 
of a railroad in the Mississippi Valley. We make special 
mention of it. We were not there, but we read the pro- 
ceedings in the papers at the time. Eight miles of this 
"Northern Cross" was completed in 1838, the first rail be- 
ing laid May 9th. On the 8th of November following, the 
first locomotive that ever turned a wheel in the great valley 


of the Mississippi was put on the track of this road at 
Meredosia. George W. Plant, of St. Louis, was the en- 
gineer-in-chief. The practical man at the throttle .valve, 
however, was- William H. Delph, who continued in the 
service of the road after the inauguration. The locomo- 
tive ran over the track eight miles and back, carrying Gov. 
Duncan, Murray McConnell, one of the commissioners of 
the Public Works, James Dunlap and Thomas I. January, 
contractors, Charles Collins and Myrom Leslie, of St. 
Louis, and the chief engineer, Mr. Plant. 

Of some of the participants in the inauguration and 
operation of the first railroad in the Mississippi Valley see- 
sketch of Gov. Duncan in this volume. Hon. Murray 
McConnell, member of the house, and afterward of the 
state senate in the legislature of this state, was mysteri- 
ously murdered in his private office, attached to his resi- 
dence at Jacksonville, several years ago. Mr. Plant became 
a prominent business man of St. Louis. Col. Dunlap, a 
prominent man of Jacksonville, was enterprising in build- 
ing up the interests of that city, and the founder of the 
Dunlap House. Mr. Delph, when he quit railroad engi- 
neering, removed to Woodford county, in this state, where 
for some years he operated an engine in a saw mill. He 
was appointed postmaster at Metamora in 1861, by Mr. 
Lincoln, and held the office sixteen years, resigning in 1877, 
owing to old age, his daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Gaynor, 
being appointed to succeed him. Of the other notables 
mentioned we have not traced their history. Mr. Delph's 
description of the first propelling engine is humorous, any- 
thing the imagination can conceive of except the perfect 
locomotive now in use. The engine would sometimes 


break down or give out, and after a while finally was thrown 
aside as a failure and mules substituted in its place. 

In passing, to keep in mind historical data, we remem- 
ber that only twelve years before this, in 1826, the first 
railroad in the United States was built, connecting Albany, 
Troy and Schenectady, in New York. We remember rid- 
ding over this same road in 1866, but not the primitive flat 
strap rail, and the coach-carriage-like looking cars of 1826, 
when the railroad system of the United States was first inaug- 
urated. Illinois, in the crash of the internal improvement 
system of 1838-39-40, received a set back — a check in rail- 
road building for eleven years, before another railroad was 
built in 1849 from Chicago to Cottage Grove, a distance of 
twenty miles, as the author remembers taking his first 
railroad ride between these two points in September of 
that year. This track was completed to Elgin in 1850, 
-then called the " Galena & Chicago Railroad," but now, a 
part of the grand system of the Chicago & Northwestern 

Historians sometimes make a digression to keep in view 
prominent facts, and our readers will pardon this lengthy 
one for the same reason. It, at one glance, brings to 
view the beginnings and advance made in railroad build- 
ing in our state. Resuming the historical thread of events 
in Governor Carlin's administration brings us to 1841, 
when, by various arrangements and financial schemes the 
interest on the canal debt was paid, but not on the gen- 
eral internal improvement fund debt. Much difference of 
opinion existed among the financiers in regard to the best 
means of preserving the financial credit of the state. Some 
thought the irregular and illegal loans and hypothecation of 
bonds made by state agents Reynolds and Young, should 


not draw interest further than actual cash received, while 
others contended that interest was due on their full face. 
It was during this year that Fund-Commissioner Whiteside 
hypothecated eight hundred and four thousand dollars worth 
of bonds, receiving therefor only two hundred and sixty-one 
thousand four hundred and sixty dollars, less than one-third 
their face, and the transaction gave rise to the endless 
discussions that came in each succeeding legislature for 
many years afterwards in regard to the payment of same. 
This year, and the year 1842, were the gloomiest times, per- 
haps, in the history of Illinois finances, the state bonds 
going down to fourteen cents on the dollar. 

In February, 1842, from causes already stated, the state 
bank, with a circulation of $3,000,000, went down; in June 
the Illinois bank at Shawneetown, with a circulation of 
over $1,500,000, broke, thus rendering worthless the only 
money there was in the country, making the pressure 
of the times so great that it is difficult, at this day, to make 
people realize the hardship of home living expenses, and to 
raise money to pay taxes. The products were only saleable 
for " store pay," and at small prices at that. The author, 
at that time farming, remembers that when a St. Louis 
dealer in corn passed up the Illinois river on a steamboat, 
leaving word at the towns as he passed that for all the corn 
the farmers would have ready to ship by time the boat re- 
turned he would pay ten cents per bushel — in cash — there 
was a hustling to and fro amongst the farmers to get all 
they could to Henry before the return of the boat, we 
among the number, delivered two wagon loads, about fifty 
bushels, receiving five dollars for it. The fall thereafter 
we employed a neighbor, Mr. Henry W. Lowry, to haul 
two loads of the choicest winter wheat to Chicago, paying 

58 FIFTY years' recollections. 

him twenty cents a bushel for the service. He sold the 
wheat for forty-one cents per bushel, paying us on his 
return twenty-one cents per bushel, cash, for our part. We 
only note these personal recollections because they were 
home truths at the time, so impressed on our memory from 
the hardness of the times that we cannot forget them. 

This year of hard' times brings our history up to the 
close of Governor Carlin's administration. He was a kind,, 
well meaning man, " did the best he could " with the war- 
ring financial elements around him, who were " a-pulling 
and a-hauling"to maintain their ascendancy, and get all 
they could from the bankrupt treasury of the state. At the 
close of his term of office, in December, 1842, he gladly 
gave place to Gov. Ford, whose career we will trace in the 
next chapter. He retired to his farm at Carrollton, only 
emerging from private life to serve out an unexpired term 
of J. D. Fry, in 1849, in the House of Representatives. 
He died February 14, 1852, in his sixty-third year, leaving 
a wife and seven children, out of thirteen born to them. 
Some of his sons have attained distinction in both military 
and civil life, whom we may have occasion to notice in this, 
or a succeeding volume. 



Dreary outlook when elected — His birth — Early death of his 
father — His mother moves west — Her poverty — Thomas' 
limited educational facilities — U-oes to Transylvania Univer- 
sity — Returns and studies law — Admitted to practice — la 
successful — Elected prosecuting attorney — Election as- 
judge — Personal mention — Judge of Chicago courts — 
Elected supreme judge — Nomination and election as gov- 
ernor — Official characteristics — Defines his state policy- 
Approved by the people— Builds up the state credit— Mor- 
man and Mexican wars — What was accomplished in four 
years — A brief recapitulation — Personal appearance — His 
ability as a writer — Did not care for money — Extract from 
last message — His death. 

Perhaps no man was ever called to the gubernatorial 
chair at a more important epoch in the financial history of 
our state than the subject of our sketch. It was at a time 
when, from the effects of the reckless financial legislation of 
the two previous state administrations, our credit was- 
a wreck, and its fragments were floating on the sea of bank- 
ruptcy and ruin. It was the culmination of a saturnalia of 
eight years of the most wild and visionary schemes of 
finance and state improvement ever devised since the days- 
of John Law and his system of aggrandizement in the 
palmy days of the Mississippi bubble. 

In other places in our work these schemes and systems- 
are more fully dwelt upon, and it is not our purpose to in- 
dulge to a great extent in recapitulation. 


Thomas Ford was a Pennsylvanian, born at Uniontown 
in 1800. His father, Robert Ford, was killed by the In- 
dians in 1802, when Thomas was an infant, leaving his 
mother with very limited means and a large family, mostly 
girls. She had been married twice, her first husband's 
name was Forquer, and the greater part of the children 
bore that name. With this large family she emigrated to 
Missouri in 1804, going to St. Louis where the family re- 
mained fcr a year or two, having much sickness. She then 
removed to Monroe county, this state, settling near Water- 
loo, but after a year or two removed closer to the Missis- 
sippi river. 

At this place Thomas, with his step-brother George 
Forquer, received their first schooling, their teacher being 
a Mr. Humphrey. Their mother was a good manager, en- 
ergetic, and determined to give the boys as good an educa- 
tion as strict economy and industrious application would 
provide. She taught them to be upright and strictly truth- 
ful, and as they grew older inculcated integrity of purpose 
as the ruling principle when they should enter on a business 
career. Thomas received rather an irregular education ; 
sometimes he had opportunities of attending, and then again 
the necessities of laboring for the support of the family 
would compel him to quit the school for a time. But 
though limited, he improved his opportunities when he 
could, and became quite proficient in arithmetic, was known 
for his correctness in the science of numbers, and was a fair 
penman. At this time his older brother, who had set up in 
the mercantile business, sent Thomas to Transylvania Uni- 
versity, where he spent one term, his means not being suffi- 
cient to take a full course. He soon after entered the law 
■office of Daniel P. Cook, at that time a member of Con- 


gress. In his legal studies he gave early promise of the 
future eminence he attained. His patron and friend, Cook, 
encouraged him, placing his library at his disposal. 

He taught school a portion of his time, and then re- 
turned to his law books until his attainments procured him 
an admittance to practice. He soon commanded a remu- 
nerative class of clients and attracted considerable attention, 
and such was his lame that in 1829 Gov. Edwards ap- 
pointed him prosecuting attorney, and in 1831 he was re- 
appointed by Gov. Reynolds, serving out his second term. 
He was afterwards elected judge by the legislature. 

It was after his accession to the bench that he became a 
frequent visitor at father's cabin, thirty miles from Peoria, 
on the road to Hennepin. He would hold court till the 
business was finished, then mount his horse and ride tow- 
ards Hennepin, Putnam county, his next appointment, 
spending the night at father's place. Very frequently he 
would arrive on Saturday evening, stay over Sunday, and 
ride on to Hennepin on Monday morning in time to open 

Judge Ford was very plain and unassuming. His 
clothes were not strictly after the latest style, nor his lan- 
guage the most ornate. 

He was sociable, free and easy with all the household, 
so his visits of two or three times a year were looked for- 
ward to with considerable pleasure. 

Although he was an uncompromising Jackson democrat, 
and father equally so as a whig, they were personally strong 
friends, arguing their differences, if at all, very pleasantly, 
and this friendship continued while Judge Ford remained 
on the circuit. 

The judicial positions he held were two terms as circuit 


judge, one term as judge of the city court at Chicago, and 
one term as supreme judge, with circuit duties attached, 
altogether occupying near ten years on the bench. ' 

As a jurist he was sound. He was imperturbable on the 
bench, keeping the members of the bar and the court offi- 
oials well in hand. His decisions on points of law were 
given in few words, and attorneys acquiesced, receiving 
them as conclusive. He possessed a quiet, sanguine, deter- 
minate decision that eminently fitted him to sit in judgment 
on matters of difference between men. He was always a 
student, and the traits of his mind fitted him fpr close 
thought. He had not the insinuating and moving power of 
eloquence of the professional advocate, but as a writer on 
law, as shown in his opinions, he was able, easily understood 
from his plainness of language, lucid and sound argument. 
Such was Thomas Ford to our miud when he was called 
from the bench to govern the future great State of Illinois 
in 1842. 

As we have intimated in the outset, the financial status 
of the state was desperate. Just for the ordinary expenses 
of the government (not to mention the canal debt, bank 
debt, and internal improvement debt) the state. was in debt 
one-third of a million dollars. Auditors' warrants were 
worth only fifty per cent., and not enough money in the 
treasury to pay postage on official correspondence. The 
people were unable, if ever s» willing, to pay high taxes. 
The state had borrowed itself out of all credit. The 
currency of the state had been annihilated ; the whole' 
people were indebted to the merchants, the merchants to the 

banks, the banks owed everybody, — none able to pay, 

what could be more discouraging. 

But it is not our intention to follow out in detail all 


these financial sinuosities. Those that are curious for such 
details are referred to the official records. They are only- 
mentioned in this connection to show what a burden his 
predecessor laid down in his path for the new governor to 
take up, and he approached the task with a manful spirit. 
In his first utterance — his message — he says : " We must 
convince our creditors and the world that the disgrace of 
repudiation is not countenanced among us — that we are 
honest and mean to pay as soon as we are able." 

This honest declaration had its effect. The creditors of 
the state now understood that there was an honest man at 
the helm ; that a fertile brain was at work to devise ways to 
lift the state out of the embarrassing circumstances with 
which it was encumbered, and they were willing to watch 
and wait to hear propositions and discuss them. 

During his administration the Mormon war occurred, 
with the exit of a large portion of that deluded people from 
<the state, after their prophet Joe Smith had suffered death 
by a mob. 

During the latter part of his administration the Mexican 
war was inaugurated, and vigorous measures were taken to 
furnish Illinois' quota of men "to conquer a peace," and 
some important battles were fought during the summer, fall 
and fore part of the winter of 1846, and the forces on the 
border were marching towards the interior of Mexico when 
he delivered over the reins of government to his successor 
in December of that year. 

To give a hasty resume of the " now and then," the 
J< Alpha and Omega" of his administration, comparing the 
opening view with the closing, shows the,financial status of 
the state to be in December, 1846, as follows : Instead of 
the domestic debt for the ordinary expenses of the state, 

64 FIFTY years' recollections. 

which was, as we have stated, near a third of a million dol- 
lars, we find it reduced to $31,212. When he came into 
office there was no money to pay postage on necessary offi- 
cial correspondence — he leaves on retiring $9,260 in the 
treasury ; then, auditor's warrants were worth only fifty 
per cent. ; when he retired they were worth ninety per cent. 
Then, the people were hopelessly in debt; when he retired 
they were mostly free from debt. Then, the bank currency 
had been annihilated ; when he retired the banks had been 
put in liquidation, their depreciated currency retired, and 
replaced by a reasonable abundance of specie and the issue 
of solvent banks from other states. By exchanging bank 
stock of the state for bonds, and the sale of public property, 
about $3,000,000 had been extinguished, and by the canal, 
to be completed the next year, $5,000,000 more was effect- 
ually provided for in the enhanced value of the canal prop- 
erty ; being a reduction of some $8,000,000, extinguished 
and provided for, thus showing that the state — which was 
on the brink of repudiation, and discredited throughout the 
civilized world — had, during his administration, its credit 
greatly restored, and enabled to borrow $1,600,000 to com- 
plete the canal. 

This is but a brief recapitulation of what his firmness 
and honesty of purpose wrought out for the state in the four 
years he stood at the helm.' 

Gov. Ford, in his personality, .was short in stature, 
slender, dark complexioned, heavy dark hair, deep set eyes, 
sharp nose and small mouth. 

His writings very forcibly expressed his thoughts, show- 
ing that he was an accurate observer of his own times, and 
related events truly, describing them correctly from his just 
convictions and the standpoint from which he viewed them. 


Soft veins of clay he may have had running through the 
iron composition of his nature — few men that do not have 
them — but taking him all in all, he was the best man for 
the time and for the state during the time he held execu- 
tive sway that could have been selected. It can truly be said 
of him that in his care for the state he totally neglected his 
own financial interests. " For money getting he cared for 
little more than would afford him a decent support and 
scarcely that; He accumulated no wealth, and on his re- 
tirement from office he resumed the practice of law."* 

He says in his valedictory message : " Without having 
indulged in wasteful or extravagant habits of living, I re- 
tire from office poorer than I came in, and go to private 
life with a full determination not to seek again any place in. 
the government." He died at Peoria, Nov. 2, 1850, in 
very indigent circumstances. 

*Davidson and Stuve's History of Illinois, 1873. 



Introductory reflection — Nativity, parentage, birth and educa- 
tional advantages — Death of parents — Care of brothers and 
sister — His self-sacrifice — Attends college — Beads law — 
Removes to Illinois —Admitted to practice law — Elected to 
the legislature — Receiver of public moneys — Elected gov- 
ernor in 1846 — Assumes the helm of state — Constitutional 
convention — His characteristics — Funding the state debt — 
Recommendations adopted — Sale of railroad — What the con- 
vention did — Low salaries — Most rigid economy— Consti- 
tution adopted by the people — Change in time of holding 
election — Large donations of land to the state — Emigration 
increasing — Mexican soldiers' bounty lands — Gov. .French 
retires from office — Public positions held afterwards — Mem- 
ber constitutional convention in 1862. 

We have now arrived at a period in the history of the 
state when the citizen could proudly hold up his head and 
point to honest endeavor on the part of state officers to 
exalt the financial credit, and provide the means for paying 
indebtedness, though recklessly incurred and the proceeds 
squandered in unprofitable projects. 

Augustus C. French, whose administration opened in 
December, 1846, was born in the town of Hill, New Hamp- 
shire, August 2, 1808. He was descended from Nathaniel 
French, who emigrated from England in 1687 and settled 
in Saybury, Mass. While yet a child he lost his father, 
when the entire care of the family, their education and 


support, devolved on the mother, an excellent woman of 
rare christian patience and fortitude, who added to these 
virtues rare business qualities, good sense and judgment. 
Augustus was taught by his exemplary, industrious, and in- 
telligent mother the rudiments of a fair education. His 
exertions were necessary in earning a portion of the living, 
so that he could not go from home to school. When he 
was nineteen years old his mother died, leaving to his care 
four younger brothers and one sister. He was both a 
parent and a brother to the orphans. His education came 
to him by piece meal. He attended a common school ir- 
regularly, and when sufficiently advanced, went for a brief 
period to Dartmouth College. For the reason that his 
pecuniary means were absorbed by the care of his brothers 
and sister, he could not graduate, but his brief attendance 
was a great help to him, giving him an idea of his capabili- 

With his other reading he read law, and discov- 
ered his genius and adaptability to that profession. He 
was admitted to practice, and like a great many other 
young men, thinking that an entirely new field was the best 
to develope his powers, came to Illinois and opened an 
office first at Albion, Edwards county. Desiring a more 
extensive field, the following year he removed to Paris, 
Edgar county, and at once stepped into a lucrative practice 
and eminence in his profession. He entered public life 
by his election to the legislature. Here he met Stephen 
A. Douglas, and a strong attachment sprang up between 
them. In 1839 he was appointed receiver of public 
■moneys at Palestine, Crawford county, and resided there 
when he was elected as governor. 

He was the Polk and Dallas elector in 1844. His can- 


didacy for governor, in 1846, was just at the opening of 
the Mexican war. It was popular and he was favorable to 
it, and it bore him into office by a large majority. His 
predecessor, Gov. Ford, had organized order out of chaos, 
financially, and prepared the way for the completion of the 
canal, which followed in May, 1848, and the state was set- 
tling up with unprecedented rapidity. It was just the 
time to expand a man's ideas of statesmanship, both state 
and national. Our state was just emerging from the throes 
of bankruptcy and planting herself on the solid basis of 
financial credit, and the nation was extending its domain 
by the acquisitions made by the Mexican war, of California, 
with all of its mineral wealth of gold and silver, and its 
lands, the finest wheat and fruit producing in the world. 
There was a bedrock solidity for future foundations on 
which to build up a permanent prosperity. It was under 
this administration that a new constitution, the fundamental 
law of the land, was to be formulated by the assembling of 
a State Constitutional Convention, composed of the ablest, 
wisest, and, thought to be at the time, the most honest 
men of the State. 

At such a time, December, 1846, we introduce Augustus 
C. French as governor of the future great state of Illinois, 
just in his prime, thirty-eight years old, of medium height, 
well-proportioned, light complexioned, ruddy face and 
pleasant countenance, plain of manner, "agreeable, of easy 
approach by the most humble, neither office nor position 
changed him in his bearing towards those he had met while 
in the more humble walks of life." He was of a modest, 
retiring disposition, at times it might almost be called diffi- 
dence and timidity, yet when the occasion demanded, he was 
out-spoken and firm to convictions of duty on all public 


questions. He was chaste, earnest and persuasive as a 
speaker, not seeking to make a display in the higher arts 
of oratory, in business he had proved himself accurate 
and methodical, and, as the executive of the state, was yet 
to prove himself a man of affairs, a prudent and discreet 
economist, honest and conscientious. It was fortunate, at 
this peculiar juncture of affairs, that a man of his peculiar 
genius, common sense, vigilance, and conscientious convic- 
tions of duty, was placed at the helm. We have said that 
the pecuniary embarrassments entailed ten years previous 
were put in shape to be gradually extinguished, the credit 
of the state had been in a measure restored, but it still re- 
quired a clear, careful, executive brain to bring order out 
of the confusion, and a steady hand at the helm of state. 

To commence, on, he recommended the registration and 
funding of the debts. The exact amount could only be 
fixed to a certainty by calling on those holding indebted- 
ness to make an exhibit of it, arrange the rate of interest 
and the time of future payments, then legislate to provide 
the fund to meet it. The canal debt having been provided 
for, the residue of all bonds or scrip should be converted 
into uniform transferable stock. The legislature agreed 
to these views, passed two funding acts, one authorizing the 
funding of the state bonds, and the other funding the state 
scrip, with accrued interest on the debt. By this process, 
by 1850, the entire state debt, excluding canal debt, was 
refunded in uniform securities, which greatly simplified the 
debt. This was satisfactory to the state and the holders of 
the indebtedness. 

In 1847 Gov. French recommended the sale of the 
Northern Cross Eailroad, from Springfield to Meredosia, 
(now the Wabash) the purchaser paying $100,000 for it in 


state indebtedness. When built it cost the state $1,000,000, 
a loss to the state of ninety per cent. The opening of this, 
nine years previous, we gave an account of in a former chap- 
ter. The salt wells and canal lands granted by the gen- 
eral government to the state were sold, and state indebt- 
edness paid with proceeds. 

We have mentioned that early in the administration of 
Gov. French, a constitutional convention met. The mem- 
bers to this convention were elected on the third Monday 
of- April, 1847, and when elected, met at Springfield on the 
first Monday of June following. The membership of the 
convention was not strongly partizan, the members taking 
a practical view of the matter, that in framing the new 
organic law, affecting not only the present but future gen- 
erations, when present political questions would be obsolete, 
that the provisions of the constitution should be made irre- 
spective of party predilections. 

Without naming them, we can say that among our 
acquaintances in that convention there were some of the 
purest and best men in the state, belonging to both of the 
great political parties of that day; men who would not 
sway from what was right for any consideration of party 
advantage. Up to that time a foreigner could vote after a 
six month's residence, the same as a native-born citizen. 
This was changed by requiring them to be naturalized, 
and all citizens to reside in the state one year before 
being entitled to vote. Under the old constitution the 
judges of the Supreme and Circuit Courts were elected by 
the legislature, as was the states attorney ; under the new 
they were made elective by the people. 

These were the days of economy and reform. People 
had become accustomed to do a great deal of work for a 


little pay, to sell their produce for a small price, and they 
exacted of their servants — the men whom they elected to 
office — to do the same thing; to work for the honor of 
holding the offices and serving their country. 

The elective principle was engrafted so that every office 
must be elective. This took -"log rolling" and party 
wrangling from the legislature. 

Profiting by the lessons of experience that had saddled 
millions of debt upon the people, now pressing so heavily on 
them, it was provided that no debt was allowed to be con- 
tracted by the legislature exceeding fifty thousand dollars, 
and that only to meet casual deficits or failure in revenue ; 
nor was the credit of the state to be extended to any indi- 
vidual, association, or corporation. Article fourteen, separ- 
ately submitted, provided for " the , yearly collection of a 
tax of two mills upon the dollar in addition to all other 
taxes, the proceeds of which were to be paid out in the ex- 
tinguishment of the public debt other than the canal and 
school indebtedness, pro rata to such holders as might pre- 
sent their evidences." 

This debt provision shows that the members of the 
convention were honest debt payers, and that they believed 
the people were. " The Judges of the Supreme and Circuit 
Courts were made ineligible to any other office of profit or 
public trust in this state, of the United States, during the 
terms for which they were elected." 

We have spoken of the economical features of the new 
constitution, showing that the new members had become 
accustomed to the diminished prices of the times. The 
salary of the Governor was fixed at $1,500 per annum, 
Supreme Judges, $1,200, each, Circuit Judges, $1,000 each, 
State Auditor, $1,000, Secretary of State and Treasurer, 

72 FIFTY years' recollections. 

each $800, members of the General Assembly, $2 per day 
for forty two days attendance, then $1 per day if they 
remained in session longer. 

Our further remarks in regard to the new constitution 
will be general. The members had succeeded in stamping 
the result of their labors, — the new constitution — with 
principles that both parties could adopt. The elective 
principle, as applied to every important office, was a thor- 
oughly democratic idea. " The people had ample time to 
consider its provisions and they did not fail to see its great 
superiority over the old organic law." 

If there were a few minor points that did not fully ac- 
cord with their views, it was so far superior to the old they 
could not afford to throw away the many safe and excellent 
limitations for the protection of the public interests against 
the chances of a wild, reckless and extravagant legislature 
to involve them in ruin. Taking into consideration that 
the advanced ideas of the present day did not then prevail, 
the labors of the constitutional convention of 1847 was a 
great advance from the year 1818. The vote on ics ratifi- 
cation or rejection was taken on the first Monday in March, 
1848, and the new constitution went into operation the first 
day of April following. 

The vote stood for its adoption 59,887 ; against adop- 
tion 15,859 — making the majority in its favor 44,028. 
For adoption of Article XV, — 2 mill tax, 41,017; 
against it, 30,586, making the majority in its favor 10,431 . 
The first election under the new constitution took place the 
first Tuesday of November, 1848. This was the year that 
Taylor and Fillmore were elected President and Vice-Pres- 
ident. Gov. French was re-elected. By the new consti- 
■ution the time for holding the annual election was changed 


from first Monday in August to first Tuesday in November, 
each year. 

The time of the meeting of the legislature was changed 
from first Wednesday in December to first Wednesday in 
January, each biennial year, the first legislature meeting in 
January, 1849. 

Thus a year of happy coincidences was inaugurated! 
The new constitution was adopted in March, 1848. The 
Illinois and Michigan canal was opened the latter part of 
April, bringing prosperity and a healthy advance in the 
markets for produce. Canal boats, laden at Chicago, 
brought their cargoes to every port on the Illinois river and 
St. Louis, and when their cargoes were discharged, they 
loaded up at the same point with corn, wheat, oats or some 
other class of produce, and were taken by swift tow boats 
to LaSalle, from there by horse power through to Chicago"! 
Farmers, merchants, mechanics and professional men felt 
the impetus, and that brighter days were in store for Illi- 
nois. The author well remembers this buoyancy of hope 
so long deferred, but now a fixed fact. Then engaged in 
the produce and lumber business atLacon, our recollections 
revert to the voyages made on the "raging canal," the car- 
goes to Chicago being wheat and corn, and from Chicago 
to Lacon, lumber, furniture, and other articles then being 
dealt in. 

But to resume events transpiring during Gov. French's 
administration. "In the fall of 1850 a new legislature 
was elected, fresh from a new people — NEw'in great acces- 
sions, and also in that they had cast off their garments of 
despondency and were full of hope." These state Solons 
met in January, 1851, and performed a great deal of labor, 
giving life and vigor to measures which, with proper addi- 


tions since, have unfolded into great advantages to the 
people of the state. State indebtedness was nearly at par, 
auditor's warrants were ninety-five cents on the hundred. 
Such was our improved condition now as compared to the 
close of 1842 — eight years of an anxious interregnum 
when state bonds were only worth fourteen ceuts on the 
dollar. Surely an upward and onward advance almost un- 
paralleled. This improved condition was brought about 
by rigid economy, a thorough system of retrenchment 
under the new constitution, and a wise administration of 
affairs under Gov. French. 

One progress was followed by another, and the close of 
1850 and the opening of 1851 brought with it the magnifi- 
cent grant from congress of 3,000,000 acres of land to the 
state to aid in building the Illinois Central Railroad, and 
the further donation at the same session of all the swamp 
lands in her limits, estimated at 1,500,000 acres. It was a 
liberal congress to Illinois, but our great state has amply 
repaid it by the service of her gallant sons since that day. 
The same congress also granted bounty land to the brave 
men who had periled their lives on the bloody fields of 
Mexico, which brought a home to many a deserving family. 
These were encouraging and hopeful aids, that with the 
other advantages that our state offered, brought a thronging 
emigration, filling up our broad prairies and aiding in the 
march to empire. 

"We might mention other advances made by the state in 
keeping abreast of the times during the six years from 1846 
to 1852, but the niche in our "Recollections" is filled, which 
brings us to January, 1853, when Governor French gave 
place to his successor, with the proud consciousness that the 
credit of the state was fully restored, and her indebtedness, 


which had for years been an incubus pressing her down, 
would be faithfully and honestly paid. Gov. Ford had 
opened the way and let the light in, showing a path to his 
successor, who, Joshua-like, had accepted the trust, and in 
1853 the state was making giant strides towards wealth, 
greatness and empire, he enjoying the proud cousoiousness of 
having borne a faithful, just and honest part. He retired 
with the confidence of the people, they believing he had 
acted for the public good without regard to personal inter- 
ests. After the expiration of of his term, he occupied for 
some years the professor's chair of the law department of 
McKendree College at Lebanon, and served as a member of 
the constitutional convention of 1862, where he gave the 
benefit of his great legal abilities to again remodeling the 
organic and fundamental law of the state. 



Retrospective — Nativity, youth and education — Enters on 
a commercial life — Returns to farming — Attends and 
teaches school— Visits the larger cities during vacation — 
Journeys to the south — Engages in building railroads — 
Takes an ocean voyage — Storm tossed — Returns through 
Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri — Prospecting in Illinois — 
Returns east — Gets married — Sells his farm — Comes to Illi- 
nois — Improves a farm — Sells out and moves to Joliet — 
Builds a woolen mill —Takes contracts on canal— Elected to 
state senate — Chairman finance committee — Elected gov- 
ernor — His recommendations — New school law — N. W. 
Edwards — Conclusion. 

Closing our last chapter with the prospective advance- 
ment of the state's great interests beingdeveloped on every 
hand, the building of the great network of railroads being 
commenced in earnest, we come to the inauguration of 
new men to assume the grave responsibilities of giving the 
right direction to affairs for the next four years. 

Joel A. Matteson, the new governor, was born August 
8, 1808, in Jefferson county, New York. His father and 
mother were Vermonters, and characterized by the indus- 
trious, thrifty habits of New England life at that day ; were 
in good circumstances, and on settling in New York opened 
out farming on quite an extensive scale. Joel was their 
only son, and his services were so much in request in as- 
sisting in the varied labors of the farm that he was only 


sent to the neighboring schools during the winter months ; 
but these opportunities were improved, and he acquired a 
fair rudimental education. 

Having an ambition to enter on a commercial life he 
opened a store at Prescott, Canada, before he attained his 
twenty-first year, but sold out after a year's experience, and 
returned home, and feeling the need of further education, 
entered the village academy, and after a course that greatly 
improved him intellectually, he taught school for one or 
two terms, traveling in the vacations, visiting the larger 
cities, observing the methods of commerce, and the success- 
ful operations of mercantile life. 

Returning, he did not resume teaching, his father giv- 
ing him a farm. He spent one year improving it, and feel- 
ing the necessity of more general knowledge of the business 
of this country, he traveled in the south, and having the 
means, engaged while there in railroad building by taking 
contracts. When these were completed he took a sea voy- 
age, during which he experienced a great storm in the Gulf 
of Mexico. Returning from his ocean voyaging he visited 
Georgia, looking in upon the gold mines of that state, com- 
ing north through Nashville, then via the river route to St. 
Louis, staying there a while, concluded to return east, but 
before doing so, took a prospecting tour through Illinois, 
reaching his eastern home the latter part of the year 1831. 
Shortly after his return he married and settled down to 
further improve his farm, which occupied his time during 
1832 and part of the next year. He had not forgotten the 
broad prairies of Illinois, and he sold his farm, taking his 
wife and child, and came to Illinois and settled on gov- 
ernment land in what is now the limits of Kendall 
county. He had only two neighbors within ten miles, and 

78 FIFTY years' recollections. 

there was not a half dozen houses between his place and 
Chicago. He opened a farming business on an extensive 
scale, his family boarding about twelve miles away while 
he erected a house on his claim, sleeping at night under a 
pole shed. He used to tell about a rattlesnake sharing his 
bed with him, but the reptile was peaceable, so no harm 
resulted from it. Getting his cabin ready his wife and 
child came to the farm to live. In 1835 he bought largely 
at the land sales at Chicago. During the speculative mania 
in 1836, that spread all over the country, he sold his lands 
and removed to Joliet, engaged in trade until contracts 
were let in 1838 for building the canal, when he became a 
large contractor, and prosecuted his work with energy. 

He completed his job in 1841 ; hard times was the rule, 
general prostration prevailing, contracts being paid in state 
scrip. The state offered for sale several hundred tons of 
railroad iron, and Matteson became the purchaser at a great 
bargain. He shipped it to market, realizing a handsome 
profit,— enough to pay off all his debts and leave him sev- 
eral thousand dollars. Full of enterprise he built a large 
woolen mill at Joliet, that for many years enjoyed a wide 
reputation for the good work done. It prospered greatly 
and was enlarged. In 1842 he first entered politics and was 
elected Lo the state senate. From his well-known capacity 
as a business man he was made chairman of the committee 
on finance. He was re-elected for the two following terms, 
and held his chairmanship, discharging his duties with 
ability and faithfulness. Upon the resumption of work on 
the canal, in 1845, he again became a heavy contractor, and 
largely aided in pushing the work to completion. He 
showed himself in all his public and private business an 
energetic and thorough business man. 


Summing up the strong points in Gov. Matteson's busi- 
ness and statesmanship qualities, Stuve, in his history, says : 
" Matteson's forte was not on the stump. His qualities of 
head took rather the direction of effective executive ability ; 
his turn consisted not so much in the adroit management of 
party, or the powerful advocacy of great governmental 
principles, as in the more solid and enduring operations 
which cause the physical development and advancement of 
a state, of commerce and business enterprise, into which he 
labored to lead the people. As a politician he was just and 
liberal in his views, and both in official and private life he 
then stood untainted and without a blemish. As a man, in 
active benevolence, social virtues, and all the amiable quali- 
ties of neighbor or citizen, he had few superiors. His mes- 
sages present a perspicuous array of facts as to the condition 
of the state, and are often couched in forcible and elegant 
diction. The helm of state was confided to no unskillful 

Most truly may it be said of him that he was a master 
of finance, and could estimate the wants of the people with 
■a correctness not many men could obtain. lie saw that 
Illinois was in the track of empire, so urged upon the legis- 
lature the importance of granting new railroad charters, and 
afford proper encouragement to bring new fields of labor in 
the market. 

He recommended the adoption of a free school system, 
.and with it also the election of a superintendent of schools 
for the state — a measure adopted before the end of his term, 
as was also the law to maintain a system of free schools, an 
act fraught with great good to the youth of our state. Be- 
fore the passage of this act the secretary of state performed 
£he duties of superintendent of public instruction. But 


now this responsible and important office was made a dis- 
tinct department of the state government, the incumbent to 
receive a salary of $1,500. To test his qualifications and 
call them into requisition, he was required to draft a bill 
embodying a system of free education for all the children of 
the state, and report it to the next general assembly. 

" This most important office at this juncture was by 
Gov. Matteson bestowed upon Hon. N. W". Edwards, on ac- 
count of his long experience in public life, and from the 
conviction that he would carry into effect the hopes of the 
people and the designs of the legislature in creating the 
office. In January following he submitted a full report 
upon the condition ef the public schools throughout the 
state, ably urged the education of the children at the public 
expense, and presented a well-drawn bill for a system of free 
schools, which, with some alterations, became a law." 

To derive all the benefits and advantages of the law 
certain pre-requisites were necessary. " A free school was 
obliged to be maintained for at least six months in the year, 
and it was made imperative on the directors of every organ- 
ized school district to levy such a tax annually as, if added 
to the public fund, would be sufficient for that purpose ; and 
it was made collectable the same as the state and county 
tax. The local tax thus made obligatory, is the main 
resource of our free school system. Such was the leading 
and sagacious combination of the scheme to bring educa- 
tion nearer to the people, and induce them to partake of it. 
This is the course resorted to by the government to render 
the system efficient; in fact, giving premiums to maintain a 
free school for its youth." 

The cause of education thus at once received an impetus 
which has since not only been well maintained but has gained 


force, until to-day the free school system of Illinois is among 
the very best in the Union, the proudest and noblest monu- 
ment which she has erected along the highway of her career 
toward greatness. The ordinance of 1787 declared " knowl- 
edge, in connection with religion and morality, to be neces- 
sary to the good government and happiness of mankind," 
enjoining that " schools and the means of education shall 
forever be encouraged." Congress, in the Enabling Act for 
this state, April 18, 1818, appropriated three per cent, of 
the net proceeds of the sales of the public lands lying within 
her limits for the encouragement of education, one-sixteenth 
part thereof to be exclusively for a college or university. 

Railroad building greatly flourished from 1852 to 1856. 
During this time the Illinois Central R. R. was completed 
the entire length of the state from south to north — from 
Cairo to Dunleith, with a Chicago branch from Centralia 
to Chicago. The Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, with 
its branches ; the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy ; the Chi- 
cago, Alton & St. Louis, and Chicago & Galena Union, 
were all fully completed, some of them having commenced 
their construction in 1850 and 1852, under Gov. French's 

It was a time of general advancement of the material 
interests of the state, and emigration flowed with a steady 
volume to the state to fill up the new lands made accessible 
by the completion of these roads. Great political revolu- 
tions were being effected in the minds of the people. New 
combinations were made on new issues. Men were aban- 
doning old principles and making new party affiliations. 
But of the men who were prominent in these "new depart- 
ures" we will have occasion to speak more at length in 
other pages of these " Recollections." 



Introductory — Birth, parentage and early education — Studies 
medicine — Removes to Illinois — Commences practice — 
Abandons the medical profession — Studies law — Elected to 
the legislature — Admitted to practice — Elected prosecuting 
attorney — Volunteers for Mexico, elected captain — Mustered 
in and elected colonel — Embarks for the seat of war — 
Arrives — Is joined by First Regiment — Their long marches 

— Battle of Buena Vista — Honorable mention — Mustered 
out — Elected to Congress — Offends the chivalry — Is chal- 
lenged by Jeff Davis — Accepts, and means fight — Amicably 
arranged by friends —Is again elected to Congress — Opposes 
the Kansas-Nebraska movement — Nominated for governor 

— Is elected — The legislature opposes his measures — Party 
strife on the apportionment bills — High-handed proceedings 

— Supreme court decides the governor right — Same action 
1859 — Governor's secretary treated with contempt — Gover- 
nor again vetoes the bill — Slander still follows him — 
Triumphantly vindicates himself — His death. 

Boisterous and acrimonious were the throes of party- 
strife in the canvass of 1856. Political combinations never 
dreamed of had been formed from the heterogenous mass 
that was now opposing the administration of President 
Pierce and the election of James Buchanan to succeed him. 
The Kansas and Nebraska question absorbed every other, 
and public sentiment was rapidly crystalizing against it, not 
only in Illinois, but in all the northern states. The men 
who were candidates were only a secondary consideration. 


It was the principles they represented that were voted for. 
William H. Bissell, the standard-bearer on the state ticket 
for the newly organized republican party, was born April 
25th, 1811, near Painted Post, Yates county, New York. 
His parentage was humble, each member of the family, 
when they attained strength, being required to labor for the 
benefit of the family fund. 

The labor of all, wisely husbanded, created a family 
■" educational fund," that was devoted to giving the 
children a fair education. With only this young Bissell 
attained manhood, and chose for his profession the healing 
art, and accordingly made arrangements to study medicine, 
and in the regular course graduated, came to Illinois and 
settled in Monroe county, and from his little office was 
subject to calls from the sick and afflicted. 

His versatile powers were early remarked, for at that 
day, in the part of Illinois where he located, very few were 
gifted with varied literary attainments. Without scarcely 
knowing it himself, it was discovered that he possessed 
these, and all combining gave him a singular facility and 
charm of speech, and he was called on to exercise it so fre- 
quently that it seriously interfered with his professional 
duties. He was not slow to discover this, and he deter- 
mined to change his profession. He commenced the study 
of law, and almost simultaneously with his studies 
commenced his practice, with such easy facility did he 
learn his new profession. While fully fitting himself 
for his new duties he was elected to the legislature in 
1840, and in the performance of the duties of his new posi- 
tion he was perfectly in his element, he being ready in de- 
bate, industrious and efficient. When the session closed 
he returned home, finished bis law studies, was admitted to 


the bar, and soon rose to the front rank. "His powers of 
oratory were captivating. With pure diction, charming 
and inimitable gestures, clearness of statement, and a re- 
markable vein of sly humor running through the whole, 
his efforts before court and jury told with almost irresis- 
tible force." 

He rose rapidly to prominence, was elected prosecuting 
attorney for the circuit, which position he so successfully 
filled that he always succeeded in convicting the offender. 
He gave all his cases a searching investigation. If he 
found a man wrongfully accused he was ready to admit the 
fact, and the case was not prosecuted, but for the guilty 
there was no compromise with him. By his fairness he 
gained the esteem of his brother members of the bar and 
the confidence of the court and jury. He was tall and 
slender in stature, of erect military bearing, which added 
dignity to his pleasant manner and winning address. He 
passed from one success to another in his professional and 
public career until the breaking out of the Mexican war 
in May, 1846. His impetuous and patriotic impulses 
prompted him to be among the first to offer his services on 
the call of Gov. Ford for volunteers. The Illinois quota 
was for thirty full companies, eighty men to each company, 
to serve for twelve months unless sooner discharged. The 
war fever raged, and within ten days thirty-five full com- 
panies had organized and reported. Such was the patriotic 
furore that before the place of rendezvous was selected there 
were seventy-five companies reported, all clamoring to be 
accepted. Gov. Ford was compelled to make a choice of 
-thirty, thus leaving forty-five companies doomed to disap- 
pointment and to return to their homes. 

Bissell's military bearing and his popularity caused his 


unanimous call to lead his company as captain, and he 
reported at Alton, June 17, and the Second Regiment of 
Illinois Foot Volunteers was organized. Upon the elec- 
tion of regimental officers at Alton, June 30th, he was 
elected colonel of the regiment by an almost unanimous 
vote: Bissell 807, Don Morrison 6. The Second Regi- 
ment took steamer at Alton for New Orleans, was there trans- 
ferred to ocean steamers and sent across the Gulf, and on 
August 1st arrived at Camp Erwin, Texas. At this place 
they were joined by the First Regiment, Col. John J. 
Hardin, and thence went forward to the great battle of Buena 
Vista. They marched to San Antonio, Texas, and joined 
General Wool's army of the center. They left that city 
Sept, 26th, marching steadily, entering Santa Rosa Oct. 
24th without opposition. Thence to Monclova, marching 
forward to Parras, where an order for a change of the plan 
of the campaign was received by Gen. Wool. After 
remaining at Parras twelve days, Gen. Wool was ordered 
to intercept Santa Anna and prevent his attack on Mon- 
terey. December 21st he occupied Agua Nueva, thus 
completing a six weeks' march of over one thousand miles 
without, as yet, meeting an enemy. In January, Gen. 
Taylor and Gen. Wool formed a junction. From this on 
till the battle of Buena Vista the- two armies were making 
various strategic movements, that culminated in the great 
victory to the American arms on the 22d and 23d of Feb- 
ruary. Of the conduct of the Illinois troops at Buena 
Vista, Major-General Zachary Taylor, in his report of 
March 6th, 1847, speaking of the First and Second Regi- 
ments, in connection with the Second Kentucky, says: 
"Col. Bissell, the only surviving colonel of these regiments, 
merits notice for his coolness and bravery on this occasion." 

86 FIFTY years' recollections. 

These regiments (First and Second Illinois) remained at 
Buena Vista, doing some foraging duty, until the latter 
part of May, when, in a general order from Gen. Wool, 
they were mustered out. In this order Gen. Wool says: 
" In taking leave of these regiments, the General cannot 
omit to express his admiration of the conduct and gallant 
bearing of all, and especially of Cols. Bissell and Weather- 
ford and their officers and men, who have on all occasions 
done honor to themselves, and heroically sustained the 
cause of their country in the battle of Buena Vista." Col. 
Weatherford succeeded the gallant Hardin in command of 
the First Illinois Regiment. From Buena Vista these 
regiments marched for Camargo, Texas, where they were 
mustered out June 17th, 1847. Returning home they 
were everywhere welcomed by their countrymen as the 
heroes of the day. 

In 1848 Col. Bissell was elected to Congress; was 
re-elected in 1850, and immediately was recognized as one 
of the leading members. His working abilities were 
brought into full play. He was an ardent politician. It 
was during his first congressional term that his high sense 
of gallantry was shown in defending his adopted state from 
imputations sought to be fastened on her troops by Mr. 
Seddon, of Virginia, who claimed the victory on the field 
of Buena Vista as solely due to southern troops, and par- 
ticularly claimed for the Mississippi Rifles, a regiment com- 
manded by Jefferson Davis, the credit of turning the for- 
tunes of that day, when '" victory was snatched from the 
jaws of defeat," as due solely to southern valor. The dis- 
cussions growing out of the slavery question, " adjusting 
it." were often seized on by these southern " fire-eaters " as 
the occasion to menace and insult northern members and 


intimidate them. These insults were submitted to by some 
of the members with a meekness to cause one even now to 
blush with shame. Bissell's ardent nature could not brook 
it, and the vile slanders of Seddon were repelled in a 
speech so replete with facts, stinging rebuke and unsur- 
passed eloquence, as to bring to him at once national fame, 
and a just pride from his state and from the north gen- 
erally. Utterances so bold, oratory so accomplished, the 
chivalry could not bear. Davis challenged him by the 
rules of the code. Bissell accepted the challenge with the 
deliberate intention to fight, which won him the admiration 
of the country. 

Bissell says, in his correspondence with Jeff. Davis on 
that occasion, "My only object was to do justice to the 
character of others, living and dead, whose conduct fell 
under my own observation on that occasion, — a duty 
imposed upon me by remarks made in the course of the 
same debate." But the friends of Jeff. Davis, as soon as 
they found that Bissell would fight, set about to arrange 
the matter before the meeting was to come off. President 
Taylor, Davis' father-in-law, as soon as he was informed 
that the challenge was accepted, knew that it meant fight, 
and set about stopping the meeting by instituting legal pro- 
ceedings to prevent it, but the friends of the parties, Maj. 
Cross, W. A. Richardson and Gen. Shields, on the part of 
Bissell, and Maj. S. W. Inge and Judge Dawson on the 
part of Davis, settled it without recourse to the dreadful 

In 1854, when the repeal of the Missouri compromise 
was effected, he opposed it, and upon its consummation 
became identified with the republican party. 

On account of exposure in the army, disease gained 

88 FIFTY years' recollections. 

entrance to his system, developing paralysis in his lower 
extremities, leaving his body in good health, but depriving 
him of locomotion except by the aid of crutches. This 
disability, it was thought, would be a serious drawback to 
his making the canvass in 1856, which it seemed to be the 
determination of the anti-Nebraska, or republican party, to 
confer on him. A republican state convention met at 
Bloomington, May 29, 1856, John M. Palmer presiding. 
It was a harmonious meeting. Bissell was unanimously 
nominated for governor. A letter was read from him, stat- 
ing that his "general health was good; thought that he 
was recovering from his infirmity, and hoped for entire 
restoration ; that his capacity for business was as good as 
ever, and while he might not be able to engage in au active 
canvass, he would not decline the nomination if tendered 
him." Hon. John Wood, of Quhcy, was nominated for 
lieutenant-governor ; O. M. Hatch, for secretary of state ; 
Jesse K. DuBois, for auditor, and James Miller, for treas- 
urer. W. H. Powell was nominated for superintendent of 
public instruction. A strong ticket, as was proved by their 
election the following November by a handsome majority, 
thus cementing all the various elements of opposition into 
the great radical republican party of the future. The 
union was made on the great central idea advanced by Mr. 
Lincoln in closing a speech at the republican banquet in 
Chicago after this election, Dec. 17, 1856 : " Let by-gones 
be by-gones, let past differences as nothing be, and with 
steady eye on the real issue, let us re-inaugurate the good 
old 'central ideas' of the republic. We can do it. The 
human heart is with us,— God is with us. We shall again 
be able, not to declare that all states, as states, are equal, 
nor yet, that all citizens, as citizens, are equal, but to renew 


the broader declaration, including both these and much 
more, that all men ake cheated equal." 

This contest of 1856 was more than ordinarily bitter, 
acrimonious and personal. Richardson, the democratic 
candidate for governor, canvassed the state thoroughly, but 
Bissell, owing to his physical ailment, was unable to do so, 
and made but one speech, which was to his old neighbors 
at Belleville. 

Bissell's character was the target of vindictive assaults, 
and he took occasion to repel these charges in the Belleville 
speech, which was widely published, and was so clear a vin- 
dication from all the charges that it did him a great deal of 
good. Bissell was elected by a plurality of four thousand 
seven hundred and twenty-nine votes over Richardson, but 
the legislature was politically opposed to the governor elect. 
On January 13, 1857, before the assembled joint meeting 
of the legislature and a large concourse of citizens, he was 
inaugurated. His inaugural address was short. It gave a 
cursory view of the all-absorbing slavery question, as con- 
nected with Kansas. He paid a glowing tribute to the 
growth of our great state, its wide extent of public improve- 
ment, the business of the railroads, the canal, and the 
financial condition of the state, and extinction of the public 

But turbulence and disorder ran riot. We have said 
that the legislature was politically opposed to the governor. 
Much vituperation and personality was indulged in between 
members, that shocked the better sense of all considerate 
men not wholly devoured by partisan malignity. Bissell's 
sensitive feelings were deeply wounded ; his high strung 
nature, that only had the interests of the state at heart, was 
trifled with by personal abuse. Attacks on the private 


character of the governor continued throughout the session ; 
every device to embarrass him was resorted to. The courte- 
sies and amenities due from the legislature to the executive 
department were denied him. The dignity of official posi- 
tion was sunk from view. Amid such turbulence and! 
party strife the public interests and the good of the state 
went for naught. The violent organization of the house 
was not improved upon during the session. A new appor- 
tionment of the state was one of the requirements to be 
made at this session. Both parties presented a plan divid- 
ing the state to suit their interests and promote their future 
ascendency. Towards the end of the session the democrats 
passed their bill. It was sent to the governor for his sig- 
nature. It was near the close of the session, a great-many 
bills were receiving executive consideration, and in the 
hurry and pressure brought to bear on him, he affixed his 
name approving the bill, thinking it was some other, 
delivered it to his secretary, and -it was sent back to the 
house where it originated. Great was the surprise of the 
republicans whea the approval was read. It was known 
that he intended to veto it, and when it was made known to 
him he sent to the house to recall it. An informal note 
explanatory of the circumstances was followed by a veto of 
the bill. The democrats, who one hour before were so 
exultant, were now the disappointed party. The house, 
where It originated, refused to receive back the bill or allow 
the veto message to be read or entered upon the journal. 
It was held that after the governor had announced his 
approval of the bill it became a law and passed from his 
control. The republican members signed a protest, which 
was spread upon the minutes, but now that party feeling 
was perfectly aroused the protest was not allowed to stand. 


On motion, it was expunged from the journal. With these 
partisan acts, and amidst the greatest uproar, this delibera- 
tive body adjourned sine die almost in a riotous manner. 
The act was by mandamus carried to the Supreme Court 
to test its validity. Judge Caton, delivering the opinion 
of the court, held " that while a bill is in the possession 
of and control of the executive within the period limi- 
ted by the constitution, it has not the force of law, and he 
may exercise a veto power, and so return it to the house 
where it originated, with his name erased, notwithstanding 
he had once announced his approval of it." So ended the 
tumultuous session of 1857. At the legislative session of 
1859 very nearly the same proceedings were enacted. An 
apportionment bill was passed, which, if permitted to become 
a law, would result in giving the minority on the popular 
vote the majority of the members of the legislature. The 
governor held it for several days under advisement. Finally 
his veto came by the hands of his private secretary. He 
commenced reading it, and a violent tumult ensued. The 
speaker rapped with his gavel, crying, "silence, order;, 
there is no quorum present. No communication can be 
made to the house in the absence of a quorum. Doorkeeper, 
put that man out," meaning the secretary. Others shouted 
" Knock him down," — " Kick him out," etc., with violent 
demonstrations, but by this time the secretary had read the 
veto message, and delivering it and the bill to a page, turned 
to depart. The speaker ordered the papers to be returned 
to the secretary. A member snatched them from the boy's- 
hand, went after the secretary into the lobby and thrust 
them at him. Mr. Church gathered them up, folded them 
together, walked leisurely up the aisle, and laid them on the 
speaker's desk. That official contemptously brushed them off. 

92 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Finally they were pocketed by a member, the wildest dis- 
order prevailing. When quiet was restored a call of the 
house showed only forty two members present, less than a 
quorum, and the house adjourned. 

In Stuve's History of Illinois, p. 677, the grounds 
which made it necessary to veto the bill are given, which, 
as we remember them, are correct, we having part of the time 
during the session been "a looker on in Venice," and can 
vouch for its historical correctness. " The objections of the 
governor to the apportionment bill were, that its effect 
would be to continue the control of the general assembly in 
the hands of a minority of the people; that the new county 
of Ford was placed wholly within both the ninth and tenth 
senatorial districts; that in the matter of giving excess, the 
tenth section of the tenth article of the constitution was dis- 
regarded ; that there was an unnecessary departure from 
single districts — a glaring instance being the Thirty-second, 
-composed of the counties of Champaign, Piatt, DeWitt, 
Macon, Moultrie, Shelby and Effingham, to which these 
•representatives were given, when the census showed that 
the seven counties would divide neatly into three separate 
districts." Thus the legislature of 1859, like that of 1857, 
broke up in a rout, and exactly on the same question, — 
the apportionment, and its re-passage over the governor's 
veto prevented. 

Party rancor and madness seems to have ruled the 
hour. The very acts that in former years had been com- 
mended in Col. Bissell by these partisans when himself a 
•democrat, were now paraded against him since his connec- 
tion with the republican party and election as governor. 
Col. Bissell, before his election as governor, had differed 
with Pierce and Douglas in regard to their policy or prin- 


— - - 

ciple in regard to the Kansas and Nebraska question. On 
this difference with the administration and with Mr. Doug- 
las, the leading spirit in the repeal of the Missouri compro- 
mise, he was selected as the candidate of the opposition 
(afterwards the republican party) as their candidate for gov- 

This independent course on the part of Bissell made him 
the target for detraction, defamation, malice and abuse from 
the old party ler.ders with whom he formerly affiliated. 
With many it was personal pique and jealousy; with oth- 
ers it was to crush him because his personal popularity pro- 
moted the growth and success of the new party. This vitu- 
peration followed him through his entire official career, 
embittering his last days, which, with his bodily affliction, 
made life a burden. They charged him with corruption, 
combining with financial sharpers to get old and rejected 
claims presented and funded, making them legal indebtedness 
against the state. A direct charge of this kind was made 
against him in regard to a portion of the bonds held by the 
representatives or assigns of McAllister & Stebbins, and 
perhaps of other past financial transactions of the state. 
These charges were not directly made, but by conjecture, 
innuendo and deductions from far fetched conclusions, pro- 
fessing to have their foundation in extracts taken from the 
governor's correspondence and official acts. 

The closing year of his official life (and, as it proved to 
be, of his natural life), he was under many afflictions ; but 
these repeated charges roused him to his wonted intellectual 
energy, and in the Illinois State Journal of January 11, 
I860, he published a complete vindication of himself, evinc- 
ing the rekindling of his old flame of scathing invective, 
exposing the key to all this malice to be envy and jealousy, 

■94 FIFTY years' recollections. 

showing up its animus in detail. He pronounced the 
charges "a tissue of vile assumptions, inferences, deductions 
and downright lies — pitiful cobwebs." He denied receiv- 
ing one cent during his long official career that did not 
properly and legally belong to him. 

This vindication properly rounded up an active official 
life of over twenty years, during which, in the state legisla- 
ture, as prosecuting attorney, as a gallant soldier, member 
of Congress for several terms, and last as governor of the 
state, he had shed lustre on every position, vindicating his 
state's military fame, and governing with official fidelity. 

On March 18, 1860, nearly ten months before the expir- 
ation of his term of office, he died at the early age of forty- 
eight years, leaving Lieutenant-Governor Wood to fill the 
high position to the end of his term. 

His death was mourned as a national loss; appropriate 
honors were rendered him by funeral orations in different 
parts of the state, by bar and other associations; all giving 
greatest honors to his memory and eulogistic in his praise. 

Thuspassed away a man who started in life poor, without 
educational advantages, but by persistent effort mastered 
the science of medicine, then quitting its dull and laborious 
routine for a profession more suitable for developing his 
rare genius and master powers of mind, affording him a 
wider field for his active imagination and aspiring ambition, 
speedily attained eminence as an irresistible advocate; dis- 
tinguished himself as a soldier; as an accomplished orator 
took front rank in the halls of national legislation, in which 
he was called to vindicate the honor of his companions in 
arms; then as the standard bearer, in his own state, of the 
new party marching towards national freedom, was elevated 
to the highest office of his state by the partiality of a great- 


ful and confiding people, closing his life a brilliant success. 
Yet in the annals of this state, as seen in chronicling his 
wonderful history, no public man was ever subjected to 
■contumely so gross, abuse more harrowing, or pursued with 
malice more vindictive; these cruelties causing him many 
a pang, casting a shadow over his exalted position and 
embittering the closing days of his life. • Such are fame's 
penalties. Such is envy's revenge, and the envenomed 
shaft of partisan spite and hate. Gov. Bissell was quite 
happy in his domestic relations. He was twice married. 
His first wife was Miss James, of Monroe county, by whom 
he had two children, both daughters.- She died in 1842. 
His second wife was a daughter of Elias K. Kane, formerly 
United States senator. She survived him but a short time, 
leaving no children. 



Nativity and patriotic ancestry — His educational advantages — 
Gomes west — Locates the city of Quincy — Names Adams 
county — A lone bachelor — Marriage — A city father indeed 
— Elected senator — Lieutenant-governor — Succeeds to the 
governorship — Appointed peace commissioner — Quarter- 
master-general — Enlists and commands a regiment — His 
varied duties — Returns to private life—A long and honored 

Unswerving principle for the right, a sincere heart, 
a patriotism that admitted of no compromise with expedi- 
ents, a resolute determination in the performance of duty, 
all these virtues combined characterized the subject of our 
present sketch. 

John Wood, born at Moravia, Cayuga county, New 
York, December 20, 1798, was second child and only son 
of Dr. Daniel Wood and Catherine Wood. Dr. Wood was 
a surgeon and captain during the revolution, a man of great 
attainments as a scholar and master of languages. This 
aged veteran died in 1850 at Quincy, aged ninety-two years, 
and is said to be the only soldier of the revolution who is 
buried in Adams county. The mother (Mrs. Catherine 
"Wood) of the subject of this notice died when he was only 
five years old. 

In his boyhood he enjoyed the advantages of a fair 
common school education, and at the age of twenty set out 


to explore the southern states, getting back and spending 
his first winter in Cincinnati, came to Shawneetown the 
summer of 1819, and following down the Ohio and up the 
Mississippi he reached Calhoun county in the winter of 
1819-20, locating the following spring in Pike county, 
where he farmed it for two years. The fall of 1821 he 
visited the present site of Quincy, was pleased with the loca- 
tion, bought a quarter section of land near by, and the fol- 
lowing year built the first log cabin near the river — the 
first building in the city — and thus became the pioneer of 
Quincy and of Adams county, leading a hermit life for 
several months, as he was a bachelor. 

In 1824 he sent a petition to the Illinois legislature for 
the establishment of a new county, and being an enthusi- 
astic Adams man, suggested the name for the county, and 
when organized and the county seat located, the name 
Quincy for the county seat, thus having Quincy Adams his 
own choice for county seat and county. At the time when 
the county seat was located Quincy contained only four 
adult men and two women. 

In January, 1826, he married Miss Ann M. Streetor, 
daughter of Joshua Streetor, one of the new settlers from 
Washington county, New York, and thus broke his bach- 
elor life in his 28th year. This estimable woman was the 
mother of eight children, four only surviving, three sons, 
and one daughter, all residing in Quincy; the sons named 
Daniel C, John Jr<, and Joshua S., and the daughter Ann 
E., wife of John Tillson. Mr. Wood was a continued 
resident of Quincy, the home of his early adoption, during 
all these years, identified with every measure of its progress 
and history, and the recipient of every office in the gift of 
the people of Adams county that he would accept. 

98 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Before its organization as a city he was one of the vil- 
lage trustees, then afterwards member of the city council, 
many times elected mayor, in 1850 was elected to the 
state senate, and in 1856 elected lieutenant governor on the 
ticket with Gov. Bissell. On Bissell's death in 1860 he 
became governor, holding for near one year, until succeeded 
by Gov. Yates in 1861, and was immediately appointed by 
Gov. Yates as one of the five delegates from Illinois to the 
peace convention at Washington that met in February 1861, 
but which resulted in no substantial benefit — in fact, was a 
failure. On his return, the rebellion breaking out, he was 
appointed quartermaster-general of the state, and held the 
position during the war. 

In 1864, then in his 66th year, he took command, as 
colonel, of the 137th Regiment 111. Vol. Infantry, with 
which he served until the end of the war. 

Mrs. Wood died October 8th, 1863, and in June, 1865, 
Gov. Wood married Mrs. Mary A. Holmes, widow of Rev. 
Joseph T. Holmes. 

Gov. Wood was the presiding officer of the senate from 
1857 to 1859, during the sessions of two turbulent legisla- 
tures, and that body was opposed to him politically, but 
such was their respect for his strict impartiality and integ- 
rity that on the adjournment of each session a vote of thanks 
was tendered him for the ability displayed in his parliamen- 
tary rulings, and on his assuming the gubernatorial office, 
no man ever holding that high position enjoyed the respect 
and confidence of the people of the state more than he did. 
During all the trying times from 1856 to 1866 he was firm 
and true to duty, the friend and counsellor of Abraham 
Lincoln until the president-elect left Springfield to assume 
the reins of government, and as quartermaster-general, 


often at Washington during the war, he was a man full of 
duties and active in the performance of them. 

He resided from 1821, when he built the first log cabin, 
his bachelor home, to the close of his life on the site of his 
old home. 

Politically, up to the organization of the republican 
party, he was a whig. He passed through all the mutations 
and changes from being the hermit settler to the proud posi- 
tion of governor of the state, afterwards becoming an active 
soldier, looking aftet- and caring for the bodily wants of the 
soldier by forwarding supplies to the front, and then taking 
command of a regiment. Sixty-two years ago a solitary 
settler, with no neighbor within a score of miles, the world 
of civilization away behind him, the strolling Indians 
almost his only visitants, he lived to see growing around him, 
by his directing hand, a thriving city, surpassed nowhere 
in beauty. Its prosperity has been his, and its citizens 
unite in single voice to honor the liberality, virtue and 
sterling integrity that attach to the name and lengthened 
life of Adams county's first pioneer settler — quincy's 


He died full of years and honors June 4, 1880. 



Words giving expression to history — Brief family genealogy — 
Nativity and education— Visits Lincoln at New Salem — 
Studies law — Admitted to practice — Is successful — Enters 
the political arena — Elected to the legislature three terms — 
Elected to Congress in 1850 — Re-elected — Defeated in 1854 — 
Takes an active part in the canvass of 1858 — Nomination 
and election as governor —Incidents and pleasantries of the 
convention — Presentation of rails — Lincoln's speech — In- 
auguration as governor— Subjects discussed — Beginning of 
the war — First call for troops — More offered than called for 

— Other calls made — Extracts from messages and letters — 
Letter to Lincoln — Another call— The legislature of 1863 

— Proclamation — Prorogation — His last message — Four 
years' lessons learned — The ministry — The force in the 
field — Elected senator. 

Our book — the "Recollections" — giving a sketch of 
Illinois' great war governor, will perhaps be regarded by 
many as only a repetition of former histories of the man, 
and of the times when he was' making his impress on the 
state and national legislation, and afterwards as governor of 
the state during the war of the rebellion. 

We cannot hope to present very much that is new. 
History is only a recapitulation of the past, perhaps pre- 
senting some new facts, and relating others in words deemed 
by the author most fitting to give expression and point to 
the information he is imparting. This is all we can hope to 


do in presenting .1 sketch of Governor and the late Senator 

His father, Henry Yates, was descended from Dr. 
Michael Yates, who emigrated to America before the revolu- 
tion, settling in Virginia. 

He married Martha Marshall, a sister of John Marshall, 
afterwards chief justice of the United States. To them was 
born a son, Abner, who married Miss Mollie Hawes, and to 
them was born two children, Henry and Martha. 

Henry Yates moved with his parents, in 1788, to 
Fayette county, Ky., where his father died. The family, 
after two or three removals, settled in Gallatin county in 
1804. Here, in after years, grew up Warsaw, and it became 
the county seat. 

Henry Yates married, July 11, 1809, his cousin Milli- 
cent Yates. The union was a happy one, and eleven 
children were born to them, five dying young. Six were 
living when they removed to Sangamon county in 1831, 
residing at Springfield for a time, then removing to Island 
Grove, same county. 

Richard was born January 18, 1818, at Warsaw, and 
when he attained the proper age was sent to the schools of 
the place, making encouraging progress in his rudimental 
studies, and was in his thirteenth year when his father came 
to the state. At this time, haviDg made such gratifying 
progress in his studies, he was left behind at Miami Univer- 
sity, Oxford, Ohio, and from there transferred to George- 
town College, Kentucky, and when he had finished his 
course there he joined his father's family at Island Grove. 
On the opening of Illinois College at Jacksonville he was 
among the first students that entered, and the first graduate 
o the institution. 


It was during one of the vacations that he went with 
some of his fellow students to their homes in the vicinity 
of Salem, where he first made the acquaintance of Abraham 
Lincoln. The college students were rigged out in " store 
clothes," and the future great emancipator received them in 
his home spun, and soon made them feel at home by telling 
some of his droll and inimitable stories. 

After graduating he entered the law office of John J. 
Hardin as a student and made rapid progress in his law 
studies, finishing them by taking a course of lectures at 
Transylvania Law School, Lexington, Kentucky, then 
returned to Jacksonville and commenced practice. He 
entered at once on a successful career. He studied his 
cases carefully, presenting them fully, and being gifted with 
ready speech, logical in argument, and his oratory graced 
with gems of thought, he rose rapidly to distinction. He 
was an active campaigner in the canvass of 1840, advo- 
cating " Tippecanoe and Tyler too " in the exciting cam- 
paign of that year. In 1842 he was elected to the legisla- 
ture, and afterwards re-elected for three terms. 

This successful legislative experience paved the way for 
his nomination for a seat in Congress in 1850. The 
counties comprising the district were the same that Hardin, 
Baker, and Lincoln had represented from 1842 to 1848, and 
he made a personal canvass as they had done. The demo- 
cratic candidate was Major Thomas L. Harris, the sitting 

They made the canvass of the district in company, speak- 
ing alternately, and each arousing the enthusiasm of their 
friends. Both were good speakers, but Yates was the most 
fascinating and persuasive, and was elected over his military 


He entered Congress, made a reputation in discussing 
the great questions of the day, was nominated under the 
new apportionment in 1852, when the democrats ungener- 
ously threw Harris overboard and nominated John Calhoun, 
one of their most eloquent champions in the state. The 
canvass was a brilliant one, as we remember it, the candi- 
dates traveling together and speaking from the same stand. 
Yates again succeeded, and during his second term took a 
very active part in the discussion on the repeal of the Mis- 
souri Compromise, which he opposed with all his accus- 
tomed arguments and eloquence. During this term was the 
formative period of the republican party, which he pro- 
moted by taking advanced anti-slavery ground in more 
than one speech of great power and rare oratory, gaining a 
national reputation. In 1854 the democrats again nomi- 
nated Major Harris, and a majority of the people sustaining 
Douglas in his effort to repeal that act, Mr. Yates was 
defeated by a small majority. 

The interim after closing his congressional career March 
4, 1855 and 1860, was occupied in close application to pro- 
fessional pursuits, except making some 'speeches in the 
Fremont campaign of 1856, and Lincoln and Douglas con- 
test of 1858, when he was called on to take a part in reduc- 
ing or overcoming democratic majorities in Central Illinois. 

In the gubernatorial contest of 1860 there were three 
competitors for the honor of the nomination : Senator Nor- 
man B. Judd, of Cook, Senator Leonard Swett, of McLean, 
and Richard Yates, of Morgan, with nearly an equal follow- 
ing when the convention met. Judd led in the first ballot- 
ing, presenting his full strength at the outset. Swett's 
came from Middle-Northern Illinois and the eastern and 
western part of the state, with a few from Southeastern UK- 


nois — a support that was sure to go for Yates if they 
failed to secure their first choice. After several ballotings 
it was discovered that the choice was between Yates and 
Judd, when nearly all of Swett's friends voted for Yates 
and he was nominated, and before the vote was announced 
both Judd aud Swett were withdrawn and Yates' nomina- 
tion made unanimous. Then a call came for speeches from 
the gentlemen whose claims had just been decided before 
the convention. Yates came first, and was greeted with 
an uprising of the convention, with cheering and applause, 
showing that he had a deep hold on the affections of the 
people. His address was brief and eloquent, expressing his 
faith in republican principles, and the great future that 
opened out to the country in the success of the national 
and state tickets that would be presented, concluding by 
thanking the convention for the honor conferred on him, 
and pledging himself, if elected, to be true to the trust 
reposed in him. Mr. Judd and Mr. Swett made eloquent 
but brief speeches, expressing confidence in the nominee 
and their cordial acquiescence in the result. 

Then followed in quick succession the nomination of a 
full state ticket, and the presentation to the convention, by 
John Hanks, of some of the rails made by Abraham 
Lincoln the first year after he came to the state. Mr. 
Lincoln was in the city, but not just at that time in the 
hall; he was immediately called for, and in a short 
time made his appearance. He entered the hall and took 
his seat, the delegates and audience rising to cheer him. 
Hon. Richard J. Oglesby rose when quiet was restored, and 
addressing the presiding officer, said: "An old citizen of 
Macon county wishes to make a presentation to the conven- 
tion." On this announcement two old fence rails were borne 


forward to the stand, inscribed "Abraham Lincoln, the 
Rail Splitter's candidate for the Presidency in 1860. Two 
rails from a lot of three thousand, made in 1830 by Thomas 
Hanks and Abe Lincoln, whose father was the first pion- 
eer of Macon county." 

Prolonged cheers greeted this presentation, when Mr. 
Lincoln arose, and with a serio-comical expression told 
the circumstances attending the making the rails used in 
fencing a field and helping to build a cabin for his father, 
the first work he did in Illinois. 

This was only one of the pleasant and humorous little 
episodes that transpired at the convention. It showed that 
the people, while attending to grave matters of state, could 
with zest join in the indulgence of a half hour's season 
of jollity and pleasantry. 

After Mr. Yates' nomination, came in a few weeks 
the national convention at Chicago to nominate a candidate 
for the presidency. He attended that convention and 
contributed as much as any other man to the nomination of 
Abraham Lincoln. . He then entered the canvass, and by 
his great industry was instrumental in carrying the state 
the following November by an immense majority for 
the republican ticket; Lincoln receiving twelve thousand 
eight hundred and fifty-two over Douglas, and Yates 
receiving twelve thousand nine hundred and forty-three 
majority over Allen, leading Lincoln's majorityjust ninety- 
one, and the largest vote of any other candidate on the 
republican ticket. 

January 14, 1861, he entered on his duties as governor, 
delivering his inaugural address. In discussing national 
affairs his words had the true ring of the patriot and ardent 
devotion to the Union, showing that in the approaching 


trying period he would perform his whole duty with patri- 
otic fidelity to the cause of the nation. 

His theme was, with many other topics discussed, " the 
perpetuity of the Constitution and the government organized 
under it." "A Union of intelligence, of freedom, of just- 
ice, of religion, of science and art," founded on the " loyalty 
of the American people," and gave assurance "that the 
whole material of the government, moral, political and 
physical, if need be, must be employed to preserve, protect 
'and defend the Constitution of the United States." April 
15th following, his active duties as " War Governor" com- 
menced. The first call for troops was made by the Presi- 
dent, and reiterated to the people and the legislature by 
Gov. Yates. The country was in commotion, the people 
flew to arms in such numbers that all could not be received 
into the service. The governor in his message to the legis- 
lature convened April 23, 1861, says, " Party distinctions 
vanished as a mist in a night as if by magic, and party and 
party platforms were swept as a morning dream from the 
minds of men, and now, men of all parties by thousands are 
begging for places in the ranks." 

Within ten days after the proclamation of the governor 
more than ten thousand men had offered their services, 
twice as many as the quota called for from the state. 
Strong men, who at an hour's notice, perhaps, had left their 
homes to enter the service of their country, wept at the 
disappointment of being refused admission on mustering- 
in-day. On the recommendation of the governor liberal 
appropriations were made to place the state on a war foot- 
ing. As soon as arms could be furnished the regiments 
were to go into camp for drill and instruction. 

Under the different calls made before Jan. 1, 1862, 


there were over 60,000 men received into the service, but 
over 100,000 had been offered, Gov. Yates urging the 
government to accept them, to spare no expense, to shun 
no sacrifice, and relax no effort, but with a strengthened 
purpose to uphold the majesty and integrity of the Union 
by these men, sternly and terribly in earnest in the work. 

The 16th of February gave us Donelson, with 10,000 
prisoners, sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, and Camp 
Butler at Springfield. This victory and glorious capture 
was accomplished mainly by Illinois regiments urged on 
the acceptance of the government by Gov. Yates. 

We have not space to detail minor events. On the 6th 
of July, 1862, came the welcome call for " 300,000 more," 
Illinois' quota of this to be nine regiments, and the gov- 
ernor issued his proclamation announcing the series of 
successes that had crowned our army : " The Mississippi 
had been opened from Cairo to the Gulf; the Potomac had 
"been opened from Washington to the Chesapeake. Beaten, 
broken, demoralized, bankrupt and scattered, the insurgents 
have fled before our victorious legions, leaving us a large 
area of conquered territory, and almost innumerable posts 
in the enemy's country to garrissn with our troops." He 
urged promptness in filling the call, quoting Douglas, " the 
shortest road to peace is the most stupendous preparation 
for war." " Illinoisans, look at ihe issue and do not falter; 
your all is at stake." " The coming of the brave boys of 
Illinois will be hailed on the banks of the Potomac and 
James rivers with shouts of welcome. You will be hailed 
as the brothers of the men who have faced the storm of 
battle and gloriously triumphed at Donelson, Pea Ridge, 
Shiloh, and other memorable fields." Gov. Yates' appeal 
abounded "in acknowledgements to the " noble women of 


the state for their assistance to our soldiers in the field." In 
the tent of the soldier, far from his home, are found the 
bright traces of woman's enduring love and benevolence. 
Let all loyal men and women persevere in the good work." 
Closing, he writes : " Then rally once again for the old flag, 
for our country,- union and liberty." 

These calls kindled the old enthusiasm, and soon it was 
announced to the country that the enlistment rolls were 
full, the demands of the country met, the quotas filled. 

July 11, 1862, Gov. Yates wrote to President Lincoln: 
" The time has come for more decisive measures ; greater 
vigor and earnestness must be infused into our military 
movements; blows must be struck at the vital part of the 
rebellion. Summon to the standard of the republic all 
men willing to fight for the union. Our armies should be 
directed to forage off the enemy. Mr. Lincoln, the crisis 
demands greater and sterner measures. Accept the services 
of all loyal men. Shall we refuse aid from that class of 
men who are at least worthy foes of traitors ? Loyal blacks 
who offer us their labor and seek shelter beneath our flag?" 
Our war governor was warming up to the demands of the 
occasion. Concluding, he said : " Illinois will respond to 
your call. Adopt this policy and she will leap like a flam- 
ing giant into the fight. It will bring the conflict to a 
speedy close, and secure peace on a permanent basis." Such 
are a few extracts from this patriotic letter, and the almost 
prophetic advice was soon after adopted. 

Within two years after the first call Illinois placed one 
hundred and thirty-five thousand four hundred and forty 
men in the field, and they had been heard from in the roar 
•of battle. 

Coming to the year of 1863, that year of recreancy of 


the majority of the legislators chosen, owing to the absence 
in the field of over 100,000 loyal voters, taken from all the 
senatorial and representative districts, the anti-war and 
southern sympathizing element of the state succeeded in 
securing a majority in the legislature that was opposed to an 
energetic prosecution of the war. They were obstruction- 
ists. The plans submitted to them by the governor in his 
message were ignored — even to the extent of treasonable 
utterances in the legislative halls. 

To his recommendations of " an enactment, making 
provision for taking the votes of the volunteers of the state 
in actual service," they gave no heed. He also asked their 
aid " for the erection of a hospital or soldiers' home." He 
also asked their recommendation to Congress to " increase 
the pay of the private soldier." But other topics engrossed 
the majority of the legislature. Parliamentary stratagems 
were obliged to be resorted to to prevent legislation that 
would cripple the military operations of the forces in the 

Our loyal governor was equal to the emergency. He 
gave the disloyal majority to understand that the state could 
dispense with their services, and by virtue of authority 
vested in him by the constitution he prorogued the legisla- 
ture until the 31st of December, 1864, the end of the term 
for which they were elected. 

The obstructionists were sent adrift, and he, with the 
constitution to guide him, conducted the war operations of 
the state until the election of a loyal legislature in 1864. 

In a proclamation addressed " To the people of Illinois," 
dated February 14th, 1864, giving general information as 
to the conduct of the war and his plans for the care and 
comfort of the soldier, he says, " Then fill up the ranks,— 


reinforce the column still advancing, — and by strength of 
strong arms in the field and patriotic sentiment at home, fill 
every village and hamlet claimed by traitors with the old 
flag and anthems of victory, freedom and national 

We have now, as seen by the last quotation, entered 
upon the eventful year of 1864, an epoch, as shown by facts 
of history, when the people spoke by their votes, — the gov- 
ernment by its official acts. Adverse legislation, which 
trifled with destiny, was baffled by the decision, firmness 
and stern promptness of the executive, thwarting schemes 
which threatened mischief, and the people that year rose in 
their majesty, putting the seal of their approbation on his 
act of prorogation of June, 1863. It was a grand year in 
the history of the state and of the republic, and traitors 
who had raised their disloyal heads in 1863 with a brazen 
front, seeking to tarnish the state's fair escutcheon, were in 
1864 overwhelmed by the uprising of the people, covered 
by the rocks and mountains of public opinion, and sunk 
in ignominy and disgrace. 

The result endorsed every recommendation of Gov. 
Yates given in his letter to President Lincoln, from which 
we have quoted, viz. : Military emancipation and the arm- 
ing of the freedmen, Lincoln being elected by over 30,000 
majority, and Oglesby elected to succeed our gallant " War 
-Governor" by near the same majority. 

In the final message of Governor Yates, January 3, 
1865, he says : " In support of the government at home, 
and in response to calls for troops, the state stands pre-emi- 
nently in the lead among her loyal sisters. Every click of 
the telegraph heralds the perseverance of Illinois' generals 
and the indomitable courage and bravery of Illinois' sons 


in every engagement of the war. One gallant Illinois boy 
is mentioned as being the first to plant the stars and stripes 
at Donelson ; another, at a critical moment, anticipates the 
commands of his superior officer in hurrying forward an 
ammunition train, and supervising hand grenades by cutting 
short the fuses of heavy shells, and hurling them with his 
own hands in front of an assaulting column ; and the files 
of my office and those of the adjutant general are full of 
letters mentioning for promotion hundreds of private sol- 
diers who have on every field distinguished themselves by 
personal gallantry at trying and critical periods." 

And now, at the close of his administration, the 
" Recollections" will note the progress made in the educa- 
tion of public sentiment in the state and nation : 

1. Principle is mightier than passion. It is founded 
on eight. It has exploded the policy of " expediency " 
and " compromise." 

2. The churches have made a noble record ; the minis- 
try clothed with new eloquence, church councils giving 
patriotic utterances very different from the apologetic tones 
when scripture was quoted to justify slavery. They have 
presented the claims of the country and denounced treason 
as a deadly sin, and are giving their prayers " without ceas- 
ing" for their imperilled country. 

3. New forms of organized benevolence sprang 
into existence. " The Sanitary Commission " was the 
almoner of the gifts of the people. The " Christian Com- 
mission," to supply the spiritual wants of the soldier. The 
" Freedman's Aid Commission," working steadily for the 
relief of those made free, supplying stores of food, clothing 
and medicines. " Soldier's Homes " and " Soldier's Rests" 
at the principal centers of travel. " Soldier's Aid Socie- 


ties," mostly auxiliary to the Sanitary Commission. The 
women of the land were foremost in these good works, and 
the boys and girls caught the inspiration. The ways of 
Providence, thought at times " to be past finding out," 
stood revealed, and when the administration of Gov. Yates 
closed in January, 1865, nearly two hundred thousand 
soldiers had been by his agency placed at the service of 
the general government, all of whom but three thousand 
and sixty-two, were volunteers. 

In grateful recognition of his services the legislature 
elected him to the United States Senate for a term of six 
years from the 4th of March, 1865, his term expiring March 
4, 1871. 



Tribute to Patriotism — Nativity and early education— Studies 
law— Enlists in the Mexican War— Goes to California — 
Engages in mining— Beturns to Illinois — Again engages in 
the practice of law — Travels in Foreign Lands — Returns in 
1857 — Candidate for Congress in 1858 — Elected to State Sen- 
ate in 1860 — Elected Colonel and goes to the front — Promo- 
ted to Brigadier General — In command at Cairo and Bird's 
Point —Services in Missouri — At Fort Henry — Leads the 
attack at Fort Donelson — The Second Division at Corinth 
— Desperate fighting — Is wounded — Slowly recovers — Great 
war speech at Springfield — Reports for duty — Resigns, but 
not accepted — Granted leave of absence — Resigns in 1864 — 
Nominated for Governor— Elected— Inaugural Address- 
Legislative Measures — End of term — Again elected Gover- 
nor in 1872 — Resigned and elected United States Senator — 
Retires to private life in 1879. 

The sage, the statesman, the minister in the sacred desk, 
the citizen of every profession, occupation or avocation, all 
recognize love of country — patriotism, as the chief, the 
cardinal virtue of a people. So it ever was, so may it ever 
be. The good and wise of the past and present, all nations, 
tongues and people, pagan as well as christian, teach as the 
crowning virtue of the citizen — love of country. The sub- 
ject of our present chapter, distinguished in civil and mili- 
tary life, will be recognized as embodying in an eminent 
degree this noblest quality of the human heart. 


Richard James Oglesby was born in Oldham county, 
Kentucky, July 25, 1824. His father was in very moder- 
ate circumstances, and his mother dying when Richard was 
only eight years old, he was left to the care of friends, who, 
from want of opportunities, could not give him early edu- 
cational advantages. However, such as were offered he 
improved, and before coming to Illinois in 1836 he had 
attended school more than one year. He came to Decatur 
with an uncle and did such work as was required of him, his 
facilities for attending school being still very limited. 

He lived at Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1838, when he 
returned to Illinois, remaining till 1840, then went to 
Oldham county, Ky., to learn the carpenter's trade. After 
remaining two years in Kentucky, he returned to Illinois 
in 1842, worked at his trade and farming until the spring 
of 1844, when he commenced the study of law at Spring- 
field. During his apprenticeship he spent about three 
months of the time in attending school. He was admitted 
to the bar in 1845, and commenced practice in Sullivan, 
Moultrie county. 

When the tocsin of war was sounded from the Texas 
border in May, 1846, he was among the first to volunteer. 
He assisted in the organization of the Fourth Illinois Reg- 
iment, Col. E. D. Baker, and in the election of officers was 
elected First Lieutenant Co. C, marching with that gal- 
lant regiment to Mexico, participating in the siege of Vera 
Cruz, and commanding his company at the battle of Cerro 
■Gordo, where it lost twelve in killed and wounded out of 
forty-one engaged. He served out his term of enlistment, 
was honorably discharged, and returning to Decatur re- 
sumed the practice of law for over one year, when feeling 
the necessity of a " higher education," he went to the Louis- 


ville law school, studied most of one year and received a 
diploma from that institution. On returning to Decatur in 
the spring of 1849, with others he joined to swell the tide 
of gold seekers in California, providing an outfit with a six 
mule Jteam, taking the overland route from St. Joe, Mo., 
to Sacramento, California, He mined in California for 
over two years, meeting with fair success, when he returned 
to Decatur the latter part of 1851 and resumed the practice 
of law, continuing it successfully for the next five years. In 
the spring of 1856, having a desire to see foreign countries, 
he visited Europe, the land of the Pharaohs and the Holy 
Land, and returned in 1857. In his journeyings he trav- 
eled leisurely, learning much of the history, lore and tradi- 
tions of the Orient, and the topography of ancient Syria 
and Judea, with their history ancient and modern. Meet- 
ing him in the summer of 1858, at Decatur, when he was 
making the canvass for Congress against Robinson, he related 
many incidents and adventures of his foreign trip that were 
both instructive and entertaining. In his race for Congress 
he reduced the democratic majority in that district from 
four thousand to nineteen hundred, over one-half — a very 
satisfactory result, — showing his popularity in that demo- 
cratic stronghold. In 1860 he was nominated by the 
republicans for the state senate, and was elected in a district 
that was largely democratic, his election being the turning 
point in making a republican majority in the state senate, — 
the first time it was so since the organization of the party. 
On the first call for troops, in April, 1861, he resigned his 
seat in the senate, and was elected colonel of the Eighth 
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, April 25, 1861. 
His regiment was stationed at Cairo until July, when he 
was assigned to the command at Bird's Point, where he 


remained six months in command of two brigades of infan- 
try, and a portion of the time was also in command of the 
forces at Cairo. He commanded a force of four thousand 
men sent from Bird's Point to Bloomfield, Mo., a movement 
in connection with one made by General Grant against the 
rebel forces at Belmont. In February, 1862, he was given- 
command of First Brigade, First Division, Army of West 
Tennessee, under command of General Grant. The brig- 
ade consisted of his old regiment, the Eighteenth, Twenty- 
ninth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first regiments infantry. 

His brigade moved at the head of the. forces, and had 
the honor of being the first to enter Fort Henry. After 
leading the advance to Fort Donelson, doing all the skir- 
mishing, it occupied the right of the army in the investment 
of Fort Donelson, and was constantly under fire the twelfth, 
thirteenth and fourteenth of February. 

His command was the firsf. to be attacked by the rebels 
on the 15th of February, maintaining the unequal contest 
for four hours, losing five hundred killed and wounded. It 
bore an active and gallant part in the battle, reaping great 
honors in the victory. 

After the evacuation of Corinth he was assigned to 
the command of the Second Division of the Army of the 
Tennessee during the absence of Brigadier-General Davis. 
He then resumed command of his old brigade, leading 
them through the terrible battle of Corinth, October 3d, 
1862. Oglesby and Hackleman's brigade, of the Second 
Division, kept the entire rebel army at bay, saving Corinth 
to the union arms. These brigades charged the rebels. 
Hackleman was killed, and Oglesby was carried from the 
field, supposed to be dying from a wound received in the 
lungs. He rallied, but for a long time wavered between 


life and death. He was taken to his home in Decatur, and 
it was not till the middle of the following January that he 
gained strength enough to leave that city and visit Spring- 
field, where he had been invited to make a speech in the 
hall of the house of representatives by leading citizens of 
the state, upon the war for the union. 

He appeared in the hall, his form emaciated and his 
face pale^ from long suffering and confinement. His voice 
trembled until warmed up by the intensity of his feelings, 
when he gave one of the most thrillingly eloquent speeches 
we ever listened to. It was during the session of the anti- 
war legislature, and many of the members were in attend- 
ance to hear him. He denounced their opposition as 
treason, their professions of love for the union as hypocrisy, 
and their plan of raising men and means to carry on the 
war as an obstruction. . He warned them of the indigna- 
tion of the people, the wrath of a patriotic soldiery, whose 
efforts to obtain a peace they were trying to cripple. 
He described the terrors of Donelson, the carnage of 
Corinth, in both his brigade leading the attack. We heard 
that speech, and we lack words to describe its effect. It 
encouraged the patriotic, denounced " the fire in the rear " 
members of the legislature, who that session composed a 
majority, the same that Gov. Yates prorogued the follow- 
ing June. This speech made Gen. Oglesby the hero of the 
hour, pointing him out unmistakably as the successor of 
Gov. Yates in 1864. 

For gallantry and bravery at Corinth he was promoted 
to major-general, his commission bearing date Nov. 29, 
1862. On the 1st of April, 1863, he had so far recovered 
that he reported for duty, and was assigned to the command 
of the left wing of the Sixteenth Army Corps, consisting 


of two divisions of infantry and one division of cavalry, 
to occupy West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. His 
wound did not heal and was very painful, compelling him 
to tender his resignation in June, 1863. Gen. Grant re- 
fused to accept it, but gave him a leave of absence for six 
months. He again urged the acceptance of his resignation 
May 24, 1864, and the next day the republican state con- 
vention, meeting at Springfield, nominated him for gov- 
ernor, and on the 8th of November following he was elected 
over James C. Robinson (his former competitor for con- 
gress in 1858,) by over 32,000 majority, at that time the 
largest majority ever given to any candidate in this state. 
He was inaugurated governor Jan. 16, 1865. In his 
inaugural address he said : " The state of Illinois, true to 
instincts of loyalty and constitutional liberty, will remain 
faithful to her allegiance and true to the union, an humble 
participant in the proud history and pure glory of the holy 
sisterhood of states, sharing their experience and abiding 
their fortune to the end of time. We say the republic 


the rebellion shall not prevail, traitors shall not con- 
quer." Speaking prophetically he said : " Although the 
war is not over, the end approacheth. However formidable 
the rebellion at first, we have seen the worst of it. We . 
have measured its breadth, sounded its depths and ascended 
to its height, and are bearing down on it and crushing it 

The important legislation of the session of 1865 was 
marked by the ratification of the thirteenth amendment to 
the constitution, abolishing slavery. Its passage .in con- 
gress was announced by telegraph, and both houses were 
prompt to ratify it, so as to give Illinois the proud distinc- 


tion of being the first state in the union to place her seal 
on the good work. An Illinois president urged it, an 
Illinois general closed the war, making it possible to 
abolish slavery, and an Illinois legislature the first to 
ratify it, — a record to be proud of. This legislature also 
signalized itself by repealing the " black laws " that had 
disgraced our statutes since the organization of the state. 
The law requiring the registration of voters was enacted at 
this session. 

The war being over, "the piping times of peace," plenty 
of money and high prices for all classes of produce, made 
1866 a prosperous year. The last of the troops were with- 
drawn from the states lately in rebellion, the people 
resumed their peaceful occupations, and trade and com- 
merce flourished. A new legislature was elected in 
November and ushered in the following January by assem- 
bling in regular session at Springfield. It was a session 
fruitful of many plans to promote education and educa- 
tional institutions, public enterprises, improvements of 
channels of transportation, a new penal institution for 
Southern Illinois, and over these were contests for loca- 
tions, an active lobby presenting every conceivable scheme, 
some of them receiving favorable consideration. The act 
establishing the state board of equalization was recom- 
mended by Governor Oglesby, arid enacted into law. 
After a heated contest, great competition in bids, and 
much spirited disputation, the Industrial University was 
located at Champaign. There was not much party discus- 
sion at either the session of 1864 or 1865, one party being 
so largely in the ascendancy the minority quietly conceded 
the lead. Hon. Lyman Trumbull was re-elected United 
States senator, and the adoption of the fourteenth amend-" 


ment, conferring citizenship upon the blacks, and an agita- 
tion of the question removing the capital of the state, took 
place at this time. 

The four years of Gov. Oglesby's administration passed. 
The relations existing between the executive and legislative 
branch were harmonious, and he delivered over the reins 
of authority to his successor, one of the most popular retir- 
ing governors of the state ever holding the high position, 
if we may judge of his election to the same position in 
November, 1872, from which he was soon transferred to the 
senate of the United States, by being chosen by the legisla- 
ture. On the 4th of March, 1873, he took his seat in that 
august body, a,nd served the state most faithfully for six 
years, his term expiring March 4, 1879, since which time 
he has devoted his time to his private business, but is hale, 
hearty and robust, willing to serve the state in the same 
exalted position if the people, through their representatives, 
should make a demand for his services. 



Encouragement to youthful endeavor— Nativity and humble be- 
ginning — Limited educational facilities — Comes to Illinois 
in 1841 — Assists in improving a farm — Death of his mother 

— Attends manual labor college at Alton — Then teaches 
school — Mercantile traveler — Meets Douglas — Is encour- 
aged to study law — Admitted to the bar — Not at first suc- 
cessful — Gets married — Elected county judge — Elected 
member of constitutional convention — Elected to state sen- 
ate — Anti-Nebraska principles — Attends Bloomington con- 
vention of 1856 — Takes active part in canvass of 1858 and 
1860 — Appointed peace commissioner — Volunteers for the 
war — Elected colonel — Appointed brigadier-general — Major 
general — Engaged in many battles — Marches with Sherman 
— Assigned to command in Kentucky — Difficult position — 
Military orders — Makes a speech to Kentuckians — Defines 
their position — Privileges of the colored man and brother — 
Mustered out — Eesumes his profession — Nominated for 
governor — State ticket — All elected — His characteristics — 
Meeting of the legislature —Inaugural — Lobbyists at work 

— The governor closely scrutinises each bill — Exercises the 
veto power — Constitutional convention — The good work 
performed — Minority representation — Gov. Palmer at pro- 
fessional work — "What might be — Author visits Springfield. 

Noble impulses and high ambitions are stimulated by 
success, and the pages of our country's history are, to him 
who reads to be instructed, beacon lights, encouraging 
efforts to overcome obstacles that poverty and privation 
interpose to discourage the youth of our country from ac- 

122 FIFTY years' recollections. 

quiring knowledge and attaining distinction. As an en- 
couragement that will thrill the current of thought, stir the 
blood, and quicken the pulses of the readers of this work, 
we shall devote this chapter to one who rose to distinction 
by perseverance, pluck and brawn. 

John McAuley Palmer was born at Eagle Creek, Scott 
county, Kentucky, September 13, 1817. His father, an old 
soldier of the war of 1812, while John was yet a small 
child, removed to Christian county in the western part of 
the state, where lands were cheap. Here, as he grew in 
years and stature, he was engaged in assisting his father in 
opening a new farm, receiving the benefit of such schooling 
as the sparsely settled country enabled his parents to give 
him. He was self educating, a student even in their rude 
home. He read all the books that his father's scanty 
library afforded, then borrowed from the neighbors such 
books as they possessed that imparted the knowledge he 
was seeking. His father was a man possessed of good 
judgment, governed by- principle, and early impressed on 
the minds of his children anti-slavery sentiments, which 
they did not forget in after years. 

The family removed to Madison county, Illinois, in 1831, 
and engaged in improving a farm, John, as he did in Ken- 
tucky, assisting. During this time he was devoting all his 
spare time in overcoming the disadvantages of his meager 
education by reading, and by his application fitted himself 
for entering the first department of a manual labor college 
at Alton. In 1833 his mother died, which made it neces- 
sary for his father to close housekeeping, and John, with 
his elder brother Elihu, entered the college at Alton and 
remained eighteen months. He advanced rapidly in his 
studies, and at the end of this time, finding it necessary to 


replenish his exchequer, he left school and engaged in coop- 
ering in summer, teaching in winter and as a pedestrian sales- 
man during vacations. The year 1838 he attained his ma- 
jority, and. while making some of his mercantile trips over 
the country fell in with Douglas, then making his first 
canvass for Congress. They became fast friends, were in 
political accord, and Douglas' eloquence fired his imagina- 
tion to the effort of rising to like eminence. Douglas 
encouraged him to study law. The following winter, while 
teaching, he obtained the use of some law books, devoted 
his spare time to reading law, and when his school closed 
in the spring he entered a law office at Carlinville, making 
his home at the house of his brother, Rev. Elihu J. Palmer, 
who was pastor of the Baptist church in that city. Al the 
meeting of the supreme court in 1840 he was admitted to 
the bar, his friend Douglas, who was much interested in his 
behalf, being present as one of the examiners. He was not 
immediately successful, and would have located elsewhere 
but had not the means to travel and seek a new location. 
This proved a blessing in disguise, and while awaiting busi- 
ness he the more energetically applied himself to his read- 
ing. He was poor, but industrious and honest, and his 
reward came afterwards. 

He took an active interest in public affairs, was popular, 
and in 1842 was married to Miss Neely, one of the popular 
young ladies of the place. 

In 1843 he was elected county judge, and at the end of 
his term in 1847 was elected to the state constitutional 
convention, in which he took a leading part. "When the 
deliberations of that august body closed he devoted himself 
closely to the practice of his profession, which was now be- 
coming lucrative. In 1852 he was elected to the state 


senate for two sessions, or four years. In 1854, not forget- 
ting the teachings of his father, he took a firm stand in 
opposition to the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and 
on this he and his old friend Douglas separated politically. 

He was again a candidate for the senate, this time on the 
anti-Nebraska issue; and was elected. It was at the session 
following that Lyman Trumbull was elected to the United 
States senate, the whigs in the legislature coming to his 
support. In 1856 he joined his fortunes to the republican 
party. In 1861 he was appointed one of the delegates to 
the peace convention at Washington, but the object of- the 
commission was a failure. The south was bent on war and 
precipitated it. 

The war being inaugurated, he tendered his services to 
the government, and was chosen colonel of the 14th regi- 
ment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. 

In the campaign of 1861 he was assigned to duty in 
Missouri. In December of that year he was promoted to 
brigadier general, and assigned to duty at Commerce, Mo., 
under orders from Gen. Pope. His forces participated in 
the capture of New Madrid, Island No. 10, and in the 
march to Corinth. 

He commanded the First Brigade of the First Division 
of the Army of the Mississippi at the battle of Farming- 
ton. His division at Stone River, on the 31st day of 
December, 1862, stood like a rock. For his gallantry here 
he was made a major-general. His soldierly qualities were 
of a high order. He was shrewd, prompt, decisive and 
unfaltering in execution, and his promotion to a higher rank 
■came no sooner than the army and country felt it was de- 
served. At Chickamauga his and VanCleves' divisions 
maintained their positions against fearful odds. He com- 


manded the 14th army corps in the Atlanta campaign, and 
fought with distinction at Kenesaw and Peach Tree Cieek, 
receiving praise and encomiums in the official reports of 
Gen. Sherman. 

Through some question of rank as to the succession to 
Gen. McPherson's command after his death, Gen. Palmer 
asked to be relieved, and some time after was assigned to 
new duty. 

In February, 1865, he was assigned to the command of 
the Union forces in Kentucky, made military and civil 
governor, as well as commanding general. It was a. delicate" 
post. There was much restlessness. About half the people 
were professedly unionists, the other half sympathizing with 
the rebellion. The slaves of the unionists would escape to 
the union lines, and then it was expected that the com- 
mandants of posts would return them. Guerrillas were 
active; the question of emancipation was unsettled, and 
society was restless, troubled, and in a state of anarchy. It 
took decision and firmness to govern this seething mass. 
Professed union men were often found aiding the guerrillas, 
and it was the duty of the military governor to provide a 
tribunal to punish them. 

Kentucky was again " the dark and bloody ground." 
White and black were in commotion ; the status of the negro 
was yet unsettled in Kentucky, and their oppression was 
greater than ever. Both the slaves of unionists and rebels 
were anxious to get within the union lines, — in fact to get 
north of the Ohio river. 

Gen. Palmer moved deliberately, but it was his impera- 
tive duty to move strongly. Crafty men could not manage 
him. April 29th he issued his first order. It instructed 
military officers as to their duty in making arrests. People 


were not to be siezed for trivial words, uttered perhaps 
unguardedly. There was supposed to be no armed enemy to 
the government within his department, and all persons 
patrolling the state in violation of law were to be treated 
as robbers and guerrillas, and not permitted to surrender for 
trial. We give extracts from the order : — 

" The people of this department are to be protected 
without regard to color. All such persons are under the 
protection of the government. Colored people, within the 
laws, resolutions, proclamations and orders referred to, are 
free; and whether free or not, are to be protected from 
cruelty and oppression in all cases. When the state of the 
country and organization and rules of civil tribunals will 
permit them to enforce justice, offenders against the local 
laws will be handed over to them for trial." 

Here was firmness toned with justice and mercy. The 
order was right in spirit and conservative in tone. 

At the union convention, held at Frankfort, Gen. 
Palmer delivered an address, and pledged the whole power 
of the government to protect union men and free speech, 
adding, in the hearing of some ex-rebels, " The time has 
passed in this country when free speech is to be understood 
as the liberty of mouthing treason. Free speech does not 
imply that the traducer of the government, and the defamer 
of the principles upon which it is founded, shall be pro- 
jected in his lying utterances. My idea is, that no man has 
a right to utter treason not believing it, or to utter treason 
believing it. In the one case he is simply a liar, in the 
other he is a traitor." 

The approach of the annual election called out order 
No. 51, declaring the continued existence of martial law, 
and forbidding the exercise of suffrage to all guerrillas, all 


rebel scouts and spies, and persons who by act or word 
gave aid or comfort to persons in rebellion ; all deserters 
from the service of the United States, " all persons who 
were or have been, directly or indirectly, engaged in the 
civil service »f the so-called Confederate government, or 
so-called Provisional government of Kentucky." 

To assist colored people to go where they could find 
employment, the general set aside the statutes forbidding 
them transportation on lines of transit, and informed muni- 
cipal authorities that they could not and should not molest 
persons made free by authority of the government. The 
president was besought to remove Gen. Palmer, but the 
administration sustained him. A suit was brought against 
him for aiding slaves to escape, but Judge Johnston dis- 
missed it on the ground that the requisite number of states 
had adopted the constitutional amendment before the 
indictment was found, and that therefore all criminal and 
penal acts of the legislature of Kentucky relating to slavery 
were of no avail. Thus a Kentucky court gave the first 
judicial recognition of the amendment. A general order 
■ followed, proclaiming the abolition of slavery and advising 
people of color to claim their right to travel at the bar of 
the courts. Treason and half-confirmed loyalty was again 
baffled. Gen. Palmer's administration in Kentucky will 
stand approved in history. When, in 1866, Kentucky was 
fully tranquilized, he was honorably mustered out, and 
returned to the peaceful duties of his profession. Malicious 
prosecutions followed him, but the loyal people of Illinois 
and a restored union sustained him, and it is now conceded 
that he blended respect for the state and municipal laws of • 
Kentucky in every particular consistent with his functions 
as a military commander. Gen. Palmer was nominated for 

128 FIFTY years' recollections. 

governor of Illinois in 1868, against his own protests The 
republican state convention was held at Peoria, May 6, 
Hon. Franklin Oorwin, of LaSalle, presiding. Gen. 
Palmer did not attend the convention, and it seemed that 
none of his many friends were authorized to speak for him. 
All the most ardent could say was that " if the nomination 
was pressed upon him he would regard the voice of the 
convention as a summons to duty." There were other 
aspirants for the place, but they all knew that if Palmer 
would accept he would be nominated ; so that none had the 
temerity to press their claims till the matter of his accept- 
ance was settled. He telegraphed to Gen. Rowett while 
the convention was in session : " Do not permit me to be 
nominated, I cannot accept." This was read to the con- 
vention, and that body at once, in its perversity, nominated 
him. They now placed the responsibility on him of refus- 
ing to accept after the nomination was made. He was 
telegraphed at once and urged to accept, and finally, con- 
sidering it to be the duty of the hour, the voice of the 
people having placed him within the Jeffersonian rule, 
"neither to seek nor refuse office," he tacitly consented. 
The other candidates on the state .ticket were John 
Dougherty, for lieutenant-governor; Edward Rummel, 
for secretary of state; Chas. E. Lippincott, for auditor; 
E. N. Bates, for treasurer; Washington Bushnell, for 
attorney general ; Newton Bateman, for superintendent of 
public instruction. Andrew Shuman, Robert E. Logan 
and John Reid were nominated for re-election for peniten- 
tiary commissioners, and Gen. John A. Logan for congress- 

The author's acquaintance with Gov. Palmer has not 
been one of intimacy, but of observation while attending 


the sessions of the legislature from 1852 to 1860, during 
the sessions when he was a membefoi" the.sstfate, and visit- 
ing Springfield while he was governor. We fowadlhim <4n 
legislative work a logical and cogent feasoner-; his- language, 
which he never aims to make^bisilli'ant, but while present- 
ing his array of facts and ideas^so fofcibl^an'diconvin'cing, 
that it almost approached brilliancy/ His '.authorities ace 
always at hand, which he marshals in'Sb.lid> array ^-showing 
the full scope and sweep of the' - subject udder-discussion i 
He studies his subjects well, and^wheriunderstanding them 
has a rare capacity of presenting; thent T <to the -understands 
ing of others. He has business T as. we'll as eMct- methods 
in the practice of the law. Thfefiwith his long experience 
in public affairs, both civil and- ' military*/ makes i him <■ a 
statesman of the highest order. ' His ;mentali -develop- 
ments establish the phrenologieallheery; A& has -a robust 
frame, standing above the medium height; •.] no. iosteutatnmy 
social to everybody, of correct habits, fliberalvarnddbeneiVD^- 
lent to such an extent that, althbxrgfc'die 'has >a competence^ 
he is not wealthy. ■'•;>-• '-'-' '- -" u ''■■ '' o; '-*-' 

The session of 1869 was characterizeAbygresrt industry^ 
not only among the members, but among the i members! ©£ 
the "third house" — the lobby. (".{This ''.latter ointerest ywas 
never more bold in urging legislation' in; ihe^intesestsjof 
rings. They were reckless, audacious, oiprodigal kutheic 
professions, and perhaps it can be'said with 'truth* they were 
well supplied with "the sinews oft war " =in the' shape of 
funds, to impress on members the'exoeeding importance ~<si 
the measures they were advocating.^- Their methods wser-s 
varied. A leading member of the senate, describing' their 
manner of approach to the author, ^aid,"^ they 'seldanx 
offered money outright, but would* ask <;an audience orf .a 



member to explain the measure they were advocating, 
going into it fully, in general and particular details, grow- 
ing very enthusiastic over it, and trying to get the member 
warmed up in its favor. If he succeeded in making an 
impression he would then ask the member to investigate 
the matter for himself. The member by this time would 
say to the lobbyist that his other legislative duties required 
his whole time and would not permit him to further inves- 
tigate. Then the lobbyist would say, ' he was aware that 
the time of members was fully taken up, but that his 
measure was of public interest and one that members 
would but be engaged in their duty to the people in giving 
attention to, but he did not want them to give their time 
for nothing, it would perhaps be asking too much to do so, 
but if the member would give it attention he would 
fully compensate him for all the time taken.' When he 
arrived at this point he began to draw his pocketbook, and 
unless the member turned away he would hand over fifty 
or a hundred dollars, according as he valued the influence 
or vote of the member, saying, in his blandest tone, ' I do 
not wish to trespass on yonr- valuable time, but I am 
anxious to have you investigate the matter, and do not 
expect you to give your time for nothing.' If the member 
accepted the money he was sure of his support of the 
measure; if he did not, the member could not say that the 
money was offered as a bribe." * 

This was one of " the ways that were dark " in which 
members were approached. Of course there were other 
methods besides regular bargain and sale of votes and influ- 
ence, but this is given to show what a $50 or $100 bill or 
frequently larger amounts, will do as a conscience plaster 
to smooth the way for the support of measures that were 


special in their nature, and in which the people had no 

Gov. Palmer, in his message, characterized special leg- 
islation as anti-republican and dangerous to the liberties of 
the people. Notwithstanding this warning, bills were in- 
troduced covering every conceivable object for corporate 
purposes, nearly all of which sought some advantage over 
the general law of the state or the people. 

The governor, it was soon found, had the industry and 
will to examine each bill after it was passed, when sub- 
mitted to him for his approval, and the courage to exercise 
the restraining power of a veto, when, in his judgment, the 
public interest was not consulted in the passage of laws. 
Of the nearly 1,700 bills that were passed at that session, 
none escaped his patient scrutiny. A large number of these 
he deemed unconstitutional, contrary to public policy, and 
at great expense of time reduced his objections to writing, 
in terms that were respectful, and showing forcible reason- 
ing and the judicial bearing of the case. 

So many of these bills, requiring much time to examine 
their immense mass of dry legal verbiage, were pressed on 
the governor, that the legislature concluded its labors before 
he could examine them, so took a recess from March 8th to 
April 7th, one month, to give him time to examine care- 
fully all the bills before the final adjournment. An import- 
ant event, indicating the advance of liberal principles, was 
the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the consti- 
tution of the United States, giving suffrage to colored 
people. This ratification "covered a multitude of sins" 
committed by that legislature in the passage of hasty, 
imprudent, and pernicious, as well as unconstitutional 

132 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Other important matters occurred during Gov. Palmer's 
administration with which we will close this sketch. 

At the same election that he was chosen, in 1868, the 
people voted in favor of the call for a constitutional con- 
vention. The legislature that we have been discussing" 
authorized the election of delegates, who were to meet at 
Springfield, December 13, 1869. This convention, com- 
posed of learned jurists, experienced statesmen, men coming 
from all the professions, avocations, industries and honor- 
able callings of the state, met and prepared with much care 
a constitution, pronounced the best and wisest in its limita- 
tions and restrictions of any of the states of the union. 
Time, now thirteen years since, seems to endorse this con- 
clusion, as the question of changing any of the provisions 
of that constitution has never been seriously proposed by 
any authority entitled to respect. 

Space will permit but a reference to a few of the reforms 
introduced. Special legislation, which the governor so 
deprecated in his message, is greatly circumscribed, and 
irrevocable private franchises and immunities are prohibited. 
This provision destroys, in a measure, legislative rings, and 
the professional lobbyist's " occupation is gone." The gov- 
ernor is given a qualified veto, for the first time in the his- 
tory of the state, with good results so far as exercised. Be- 
fore this a bare majority of the legislature was practically 
the supreme power in the state. Minority representation 
in the legislature by means of cumulative voting has proven 
a satisfactory feature of this constitution, and the more 
noted from the fact of its being first adopted in this state. 
No other state in the Union has yet adopted it. It is a 
subject to which we have given some attention, and believe 
from its first adoption that it has exactly corresponded to 


the ratio of representation to which the popular vote of the 
state entitled the different parties. Its just features are, 
that each senatorial and representative district can elect 
one member of the opposite political sentiment. No part 
of the state can present a solid front for either political 
party, and every voter in the state has at least one repre- 
sentative at the state capitol to whom he can appeal to pre- 
sent his views and sentiments. Another good feature, it- 
promotes fraternal feeling between the different sections of 
our great state. 

Our limits will not permit further mention of Governor 
Palmer's administration of state affairs. 

Since his retirement to private life he has devoted him- 
self to professional business. He has received honorable 
mention at the presidential conventions of his party for the 
nomination as their candidate for the presidency. That 
party always fails to nominate their " best man " when they 
leave John M. Palmer off their ticket. The republicans 
will always continue to feel thankful to them for doing so. 
He will not seek the nomination. He invites no ( ' light- 
ning stroke " of that kind ; no more than he did when he 
was nominated for governor. The democracy would honor 
themselves more than they would him by choosing him as 
their standard bearer. While at Springfield to look in 
upon the organization of the legislature in January, 1883, 
we called on Gov. Palmer at his office to remind him that 
we intended to cherish him in our " Recollections." We 
found him surrounded by clients, and more waiting an 
audience. A pleasant salutation, a friendly grasp of the 
hand, and a bid to " call again," was all the time he could 
give us. 



Nativity — early Education — Studies law — Admitted to practice 
— Removes to Chicago — Enlists in the Army — Elected Cap- 
tain—Appointed Major — His services in the Army of the 
Potomac — Eeeruits and organizes the Seventeenth Illinois 
Cavalry— Elected Colonel — Long term of service in Missouri 
—Regiment engages in many battles — Promoted to Brigadier 
General — Assigned to duty in military court— Other officers 
of the regiment —Regiment receives the last surrender of the 
rebellion — Mustered out — Returns to Chicago — Elected 
Sheriff — State Senator — Lieutenant-Governor — Governor — 
Term expires — Appointed Sub-Treasurer — Money bags by 
the cord — " Millions in it." 

Faithfulness and devotion to principle should be recog- 
nized, and when it involves the sacrifice of business, of 
home and its pleasures, and places in jeopardy life, health 
and limb for the love of country, it deserves to be chroni- 
cled on historic page and held in remembrance by a 
grateful people. 

John L. Beveridge was born at Greenwich, Washington 
county, New York, July 6, 1824. His father was a farmer 
in fair circumstances and John enjoyed fair educational 
privileges until his father's family removed to Illinois in the 
spring of 1842, when he was in his eighteenth year. They 
settled on a farm in DeKalb county, and all the working 
force of the family was busily engaged in opening up and 
improving the farm. 


He was a great reader and early developed an aptitude 
for the law, and as the opportunities presented, improved 
them, and in due time was admitted to practice. Such 
was his success that he attained considerable prominence in 
the practice of his profession in his own and adjoining 

In 1844, wishing a wider field and scope for his varied 
specialties of practice, he opened an office in Chicago, and 
soon secured a good practice, which he increased until the 
breaking out of the rebellion in 1861, when, August 27, 
1861, he enlisted, and commenced recruiting for the Eighth 
Illinois cavalry. 

On the organization of the company he was elected cap- 
tain of Co. F., September 17th. The next day he was 
selected by the line officers as one of the majors of the 
regiment. In October the regiment was ordered to Wash- 
ington, and remained there during the winter of 1861—2. 
In the inclement .weather and deep mud of Maryland and 
Virginia they were schooled to the privations and severe 
duties of camp life, hard marching and severe fighting. He 
was an apt student, and quickly acquired skill in drill and 
the discipline of army movements and the maneuvering of 
the cavalry soldier. 

His was no holiday soldiering. He shared in all the 
long and weary marches, toils, dangers and battles of that 
gallant regiment, and the checkered and varied success and 
defeats of the Army of the Potomac. The regiment partic- 
ipated in the battle of Williamsburg, led the advance 
under Gen. Stoneman upon Richmond, taking part in the 
battle of Fair Oaks, in the memorable seven days fight 
around Richmond, and the long and weary nights on picket 
and scout duty round that city, and ranging in their sweep, 

136 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Harrison's Landing. But this "On to Richmond" move- 
ment did not succeed, the connections were not made at all 
the points to prove it a success, and the Eighth Cavalry, 
with the rest of that large and disappointed army, were 
forced to retreat. Upon this retreat from James River the 
Eighth formed the rear guard, and the battalion commanded 
by Major Beveridge the extreme rear, beating back and 
fighting the rebel hosts. 

In the fall of 1862, in the campaigns that ended in the 
battle of Fredericksburg, the " avenging hosts " .of the 
Eighth Illinois Cavalry were always hovering on the flanks 
or pitching into the wings of the rebel army. Major Bev- 
eridge fought the enemy, in command of his regiment, 
under that great cavalry leader, General Pleasanton, at 
Purcellville, Uniontown, Aldie, Barber's Cross Roads and 
Amesville, and covered the rear and right flank of the army 
while swinging round under General Burnside to Fred- 

The Eighth were the flying couriers, we might almost 
-say the winged messengers, at the battle of Fredericksburg, 
Major Beveridge's battalion being the only cavalry force 
that crossed the river on that day. This force might with 
propriety be called the " Avengers," they followed in such 
quick succession in the battles of Chancellorsville, leading 
his regiment at Gettsyburg, Williamsport, Boonsboro, 
Funkstown, Falling Waters, and five times over the 
ground between the Rappahanock and Culpepper, either 
chasing the enemy or beating off their attack. Such was 
life with Major Beveridge in the Array of the Potomac. 
Sometimes the regiment was altogether, at other times 
divided up into battalions, making the Eighth almost 
omnipresent in all the operations at that stirring period of 


the war. In this manner he served until the fall of 1863, 
when it was determined to organize another cavalry regi- 
ment from Illinois, and through Mr. Lincoln's recommen- 
dation to the War Department, permission was obtained to 
raise and organize another regiment, and by consent of 
Gov. Yates Major Beveridge resigned his commission 
Nov. 3, 1863, and returned to Illinois to recruit and organ- 
ize the Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry. He was successful, 
and January 28, 1864, he was mustered in commissioned 
as colonel, and was in command of twelve companies, with 
Lieut. Col. Dennis J. Hynes, Major Hiram Hilliard, Second 
Major Lucius C. Matlack, Third Major Philip E. Fisher. 

The first duty of the new regiment was to take charge 
of the rebel prisoners at Alton, during which time they 
engaged in active drill. February 16, 1864, he received 
orders to cross the river into Missouri, and there did duty. 
during the spring and summer. They engaged in pursuit 
of the rebel army in October, 1864, afterwards dividing 
into squadrons and engaged in the scouting service in Mis- 
souri. During 1865 the regiment was re-united in Kansas. 
The second battalion, Major Matlack commanding, was 
sent to Glasgow, Mo., in the midst of guerilla strongholds. 
On landing at midnight dispatches were handed the Major 
advising him of the approach of a large rebel force. 

The guerrillas dreaded the 17th, and did not attack. 
Orders came the next day from Gen. Eosencrans, directing 
the major with one hundred and fifty of the 17th, a squad- 
ron of the 9th Missouri cavalry, and several hundred Mis- 
souri militia, to move out in search of the rebel Thornton, 
who was in North Missouri with one thousand five hundred 
men. Thornton retreated. Matlack pursued, but could 
not catch him. Thus was inaugurated a short, vigorous 

138 FIFTY years' recollections. 

campaign, requiring, for two months afterwards, scouting 
parties, who engaged in severe skirmishing in which the 
boys from Illinois distinguished themselves. 

The main part of the regiment under command of Col. 
Beveridge reported to Gen. McNiell, at Rolla, Mo. On 
September 28th Price attacked Pilot Knob and was re- 
pulsed. The rebel army was approaching Rolla, and the 
same night they burned Cuba, twenty-four miles distant. 
To check the enemy Col. Beveridge was ordered to move 
out with the 17th on the 20th. At night the regiment 
reached Cuba, and the rebel column of cavalry was driven 
before them. This relieved Gen. Ewing, who, with eight 
hundred men was expecting an attack, and fearful of cap- 
ture. Col. Fletcher (since governor of Missouri) hailed 
with delight their deliverance by the timely arrival of the 
• Seventeenth. 

The rebels under Price, 20,000 strong, were now be- 
tween Rolla and St. Louis, on their way to capture Jefferson 
City. They had seized the railroads and destroyed the 
telegraph lines. No orders or positive information could 
be obtained. Sanborn's and McNiell's brigades moved out 
at a venture towards Jefferson City, on a race to reach there 
before Price,if possible. Scouts reported rebel forces mov- 
ing on a parallel line only five miles away. Federal ibrces 
reached the city a few hours before Price, and preparations 
were hastily made for a vigorous defence. The men worked 
with a will, for the rebels outnumbered them three to one. 
Col. Beveridge, with the invincible 17th, was given the post 
of honor on the extreme right. Here an approach in force 
of the enemy, from the nature of the ground, was thought 
to be where they would make their attack. Gen. Fisk was 
in chief command. All the commanders of the brigades 


were encouraging their men, and a bloody struggle was ex- 
pected on the right. The artillery of the enemy opened on 
the center, and finding the federal forces well posted for 
defense, moved by in the night, heading for Booneville. 
Early on the morning of the 5th Col. Beveridge discovered 
the retreat of the foe, and soon was following them in pur- 
suit. Major General Pleasanton having assumed chief 
command, Col. Beveridge was placed in command of the 
Second Brigade, the command of the Seventeenth devolving 
on Major Matlack. 

The enemy was found in force at Booneville. October 
11th Gen. Sanborn directed Col. Beveridge to attack with 
his brigade next morning at daybreak. The order of battle 
was arranged. The Fifth Missouri cavalry was followed by 
the Seventeenth Illinois. A vigilant foe was encountered, 
who was driven more than a mile, the Seventeenth follow- 
ing, moving to the front as the Fifth retired, carrying back 
its wounded. The Seventeenth was posted to await the 
attack of the enemy, who had been reinforced. Every de- 
sired end was gained. The rebels' attention was diverted 
to the front. The Seventeenth moved back in good order r 
unobserved, over the bridge where the fight first began, 
Major Matlack being the last man over, and with twa 
orderlies, tearing up the plank floor so as to prevent artil- 
lery following. Every plan was carried out, the rebels were 
nonplussed, and they evacuated Booneville, the federals not 
knowing exactly where to find them. The Seventeenth was- 
ordered to move out in advance and attack any rebel force 
it could whip on the road to Lexington. The rebels did 
not stop at Lexington. The brigades of McNiell, Brown,. 
Sanborn and Winslow, all under command of Pleasanton, 
moved forward rapidly, overtaking the rebels near Inde- 


pendence. Col. Beveridge, now again at the head of the 
Seventeenth, was dismounted and deployed on the left, 
moving forward, while the Thirteenth Missouri cavalry, 
supported by the Seventh Kansas cavalry, charged on the 
enemy, capturing their cannon. At midnight on the 22nd 
the whole force was again in motion, and during the day 
the Seventeenth was ordered to attack the left flank of the 
enemy, and proceeding cautiously, were just on the point of 
charging and capturing the rebel wagon train when they 
were recalled by Gen. McNiell, and its best opportunity for 
distinction was lost for that day. 

Pushing on through mud and rain they again joined 
the main command under Pleasanton, and the enemy was 
again overtaken, and at early dawn, October 26th, at the 
battle of Mine Creek, Marmaduke and Cabell were cap- 
tured with over a thousand prisoners, their arms and ten 
pieces of artillery. The prisoners were passed to the rear. 
The tired troopers, without stopping to rest, pursued the 
main body under Price, trying again to get up with them. 
Once they thought they had them. Gen. McNiell ordered a 
sabre charge, but the rebels fled and the federals pursued. 
Charging ahead on their jaded horses, a few miles brought 
them out on a broad rolling prairie, and there suddenly 
appeared in front the whole main army of Price in three 
lines of battle with supporting columns. It was a grand 
and imposing scene — the very picture and poetry of war, 
every man of that fifteen thousand being in view. The fed- 
erals hastened to form in line of battle and advanced boldly. 
Every movement was seen. Our right attacked the rebel 
lines. The rebels massed for a charge, moving forward 
■with screams of fury on the federal right wing, and were 
greeted with shouts of defiance. The Seventeenth was 


ordered from the extreme left to strengthen the right of the 
center. The rebel right then hurried forward to flank the 
federal left. Col. Beveridge rode along the front of his 
regiment to give the last directions : " Be firm now. 
"When they are in short range empty your carbines, give 
them your pistols next, then draw your sabres, and let every 
man show how Illinois serves traitors.". Just then the 
music of the federal cannon burst in full chorus from the 
rear of the beleagured brigade, throwing shells most oppor- 
tunely over into the charging mass of rebels, checking and 
demoralizing it. This check permitted the Seventeenth to 
return to its former position, when the rebel right retired 
speedily and their whole line fell back. 

Near sunset Pleasanton sent an order to charge the 
whole line. McNiell rode up to Col. Beveridge saying : 
" I cannot move the whole line with my voice. My aids 
are nowhere to be found, give me a lieutenant, and do you, 
Colonel, move forward the Seventeenth any how." Lieu- 
tenant Pollock was detailed to convey orders to the right, 
and away went the Seventeenth alone, half a mile in 
advance of the center or right. With only about three 
hundred men it pushed up in the face of the enemy, who 
retired as it approached. The brigade encamped on the 
enemy's ground, and the rebels fled scattering. The Sev- 
enteenth returned to Kolla. They had left there a month 
previous, over five hundred strong, another squadron join- 
ing at Jefferson City. Less than one. hundred and fifty 
mounted men came back, so destructive to the animals had 
that continuous pursuit, been, extending over forty days. 
The Seventeenth had carried off the honors, and the cam- 
paign was ended. Col. Beveridge was breveted brigadier 
general, and given a command in the department of Missouri. 

142 fifty year's recollections. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Hynes was made chief of cavalry of 
North Missouri, on General Fisk's staff, but was soon after 
given a sub-military district, with headquarters at Pilot 
Knob. Major Hilliard was put in command of the regi- 
ment. Major Matlaok was detailed as provost marshal, 
district of St. Louis. Major Fisher was made chief of cav- 
alry for district of Bolla. Honors followed those who had 
followed the fortunes of the glorious Seventeenth. The 
regiment was under command of Col. Hynes at Cape Girar- 
deau in the spring of 1865. The rebellion was crushed 
east of the Mississippi. Jeff Thompson still held out in 
Arkansas, with a reported force of 60,000. Gen. Dodge, 
in command of that district, sent Capt. Bennett of his staff, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, to offer Thompson terms of 
surrender. The Seventeenth was chosen as an escort, Col. 
Hynes commanding, Maj. Hilliard taking part of the regi- 
ment, each having four companies. These marched to 
Chalk Bluffs, Arkansas, and the " peace commissioners," 
with an escort of sixty men, went forward, and on May 9th, 
returned with Jeff Thompson, who arranged for the sur- 
render of his forces. The total was just 6,000. They were 
permitted to retire to their homes. This was the last armed 
force of the rebellion. The Seventeenth was in at the death, 
was the last regiment to confront a rebel force, and finis 
was written at the end of the Confederate chapter of events. 
After this, squadrons, companies and battalions of the 
regiment were sent to departments of the service ; some to 
the plains of Kansas, bordering on the Indian nations; 
some to Fort Smith to aid by their presence the authorities 
in concluding treaties with the Indians who had aided the 
rebellion, thus again acting as peace commissioners in 
another department of the rebellion. 

JOHN L. BEVEftlDGB. 143 

The regiment was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, 
February 6, 1866. 

General Beveridge, after his promotion, March 7, 1865, 
was ordered to St. Louis to preside over a military commis- 
sion for the trial of military offenders, and was finally 
mustered out of service February 6, 1866, the date of 
muster out of his old regiment. 

Returning to his home he devoted his time to private 
business and some law practice until the November elec- 
tion of 1866, when he was elected sheriff of Cook county 
for the next two years When his term expired, in 1868, 
he was elected to the state senate, for a term of two years, 
ending in 1870, then was elected to Congress for one term, 
when he was nominated on the state republican ticket as 
candidate for lieutenant-governor, with Governor Oglesby 
at the head of the ticket. 

The ticket was .elected by a large majority, and the fol- 
lowing January he was installed into the office and held the 
position as presiding officer of the senate, when Governor 
Oglesby being elected to the United States senate, General 
Beveridge succeeded him as governor, and was duly inau- 
gurated, serving four years, until succeeded by Hon. Shelby 
M. Cullom in January, 1877. 

Gov. Beveridge's administration of affairs was vigorous, 
just.and impartial, showing statesmanship of a high order. 
We have no space to devote to mention special measures 
that were promoted during his term. They were all in the 
interest of the state, and he will be accorded in history a 
place among the ablest executives of our great state. 

In 1878 he was appointed by President Hayes sub- 
treasurer at Chicago, where he is keeper of the keys to the 
vaults that hold the millions of the government treasure 

144 FIFTY years' recollections. 

that is deposited there. In October last, while in Chicago 
on business connected with our present work, we called on 
him at his cozy quarters in the government buildings in 
Chicago. We had met him but once since his retire- 
ment from his duties as governor, and did not know that 
he could recognize old friends when so many faces are pass- 
ing before him every day. Taking on the air of a stranger 
we presented ourself in front of the strong door of his 
castle — Lhe treasure box, — asked to be admitted, and was 
shown in by the attendant to the governor's inner sanctum. 
We didn't have to introduce ourself; not a bit of it. As 
we entered he was on his feet in a moment, greeted us by 
name, a chair was handed, and we sat down to talk over old 
times, business or other matters that were presented. Soon 
another caller was announced and was admitted, proving to 
be Postmaster Kendall, of Geneseo, and an old friend of 
the governor's. Soon he said to us, " Come with me to' see 
where Uncle Sam's millions are kept," and leading the 
way, we entered. Well, the " stacks and cords " of money 
that are piled up there, $13,000,000 in all,— $1,000. bags of 
silver, $5,000 bags of gold, cords of it. Then, turning to 
another part of the vaults, he handed us four packages of 
notes, bills — silver certificates, that is what they were, 
$1,000 each note — $1,000,000 in each package. We 
handled them, put them in our overcoat pocket, then didn't 
feel a bit rich ; we wasn't a millionaire yet, but these mil- 
lions, by any one who in time would be entitled to them, 
could be, all four of them, put into a side pocket and carried 
away. Such is the argument in favor of paper money, 
based on specie; while right along side there laid the 
wagon-loads of bags of silver, of which a $1,000 bag was 
a heavy load to carry, and a $5,000 bag of gold, though 


not so heavy, would, in time become cumbersome, and 
weary a man to carry it round. So much for the half- 
hour spent in Uncle Sam's strong box with the faithful 
custodian in charge, — our old friend, Captain, Major r 
.Colonel, General, Senator, Member of Congress, Gov- 
ernor, — and now Sub-Treasurer of the United States — 
John L. Beveridge, the gentleman, the soldier and states- 
man, whom we wish many added years of life to enjoy the= 
trust and confidence reposed in him. 




Tribute to the genius of our government — Place of nativity — 
Parents remove to Illinois — Hard work and meager educa- 
tion — Earns money to attend Mount Morris Seminary — 111 
health from hard study — Returns home and resumes farm 
labor — Recovers his health — U-oes to Springfield to study 
law — Admitted to practice — Elected city attorney — Mem- 
ber of legislature — Again in 1860, and elected speaker — 
Appointed government commissioner — elected to congress 

— Serves three terms — Elected to legislature and again 
speaker — Elected governor in 1876— Again in 1880— Eriendly 
contest for the United States senatorship — His competitors 

— Is elected — Resigns his office. 

Our country, with its broad and yet expanding bound- 
aries, noble institutions, its freedom of government, a 
liberty-inherited boon from our fathers ; its people, so pros- 
perous and happy, from the wise and- discreet management 
of trusted public servants selected for executive positions 
after serving their state faithfully in other branches of the 
public service,— this regular advancement is nowhere so 
fully exemplified as in the sketches we have given of the 
men called to govern the state in the past sixty-five years. 
Without an exception each rose to their high position by 
their own efforts, through toil, privation and discourage- 
ments, thai, but for indomitable perseverance, would have 
been insurmountable. The subject of our present sketch is 
no exception to this rule. 


Shelby M. Cullom was born Nov. 22, 1829, at Monti- 
eello, Wayne county, Kentucky. His father and mother, 
Richard Northcraft Cullom and Elizabeth Cullom, moved 
from Kentucky to Tazewell county, Illinois, with their 
family in 1830, and settled in the vicinity where Grove- 
land now is. Young Cullom, when he attained age and 
youthful vigor sufficient, assisted his father in working the 
farm in summer and autumn, and feeding stock mornings 
and evenings in winter, attending the country school dur- 
ing the'day time. This he followed till nineteen years old, 
when he left home and entered Mount Morris Seminary, 
remaining there for two years, when he returned home on 
account of poor health. 

Before going to Mount Morris he drove his father's ox 
team in breaking prairie for several months, and thereby 
earned sufficient money to pay his school expenses. After 
leaving the seminary he worked on his father's farm until 
he recovered his health, when he entered the law office of 
Stuart & Edwards at Springfield, and began the study of 
law. He made rapid progress in his studies, and soon after 
his admission to the bar was elected city attorney. The 
presidential campaign of 1856 coming on, Mr. Cullom was 
placed on the Fillmore electoral ticket, and during the same 
canvass was nominated as the Union candidate of the 
Fillmore and republican parties as a candidate for repre- 
sentative to the state legislature, was elected, and at the 
opening of the session, January 1857, was voted for as 
speaker by his wing of the opposition party in the legisla- 

The legislature of 1856-7 was an exceedingly strong 
one. Gen. John A. Logan was the Ajax of the democracy, 
leading them in their onslaught on Gov. Bissell, and Isaac 

148 FIFTY years' recollections. 

N. Arnold, of Cook, and others championed the republicans. 
It was a continuous field day from the opening to the clos- 
ing of the session, and our young member, among others, 
was distinguished by his industry in promoting legislation. 

In 1860 he was again elected to the legislature, and 
upon the opening of the session in January 1861, was 
elected Speaker of the house, and presided during the session 
with marked ability and impartiality. Before the conclu- 
sion of this session it was very evident that the Southern 
States would inaugurate a rebellion, and when the legisla- 
ture adjourned in March all understood that there would 
be a call for an extraordinary session at an early day, to 
provide for the emergency in raising troops to resist and 
conquer the rebels. This extra session was called by Gov. 
Yates, by proclamation April 15th, and met April 23d, re- 
maining in session ten days, their work being chiefly de- 
voted to placing the state in a position of defense, and to 
meet the requisitions of the general government to repel 
invasion, suppress rebellion, and prepare for the exigencies 
of war. In this hasty, but necessary, legislation, Speaker 
Cullom rendered very efficient service, and Illinois was 
placed on a martial footing that was maintained through- 
out the war. 

In 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln on a 
commission with Gov. Boutwell of Massachusetts, and 
Charles A. Dana of New York, to go to Cairo, Illinois, and 
examine into the accounts of quartermasters and commis- 
sary officers, and settle claims against the government. In 
this adjustment of the state's account with the general 
government, he rendered valuable service. 

In 1864 Mr. Cullom was nominated by the republicans 
of his district as their candidate for Congress, and although 
the district had given eighteen hundred democratic major- 


ity two years before, he carried it by nearly the same 
majority, defeating John T. Stuart, his old law preceptor. 

He was elected to Congress for three successive terms, 
from 1864 to 1870, leaving his seat March 4, 1871. In the 
convention of 1870 the republicans of the district became 
involved in the sectional contest between Springfield and 
Bloomington, their respective champions being General 
McNulta of Bloomington, and Mr. Cullom of Springfield. 
The contest in the convention was long and acrimonious, a 
recess was taken, and when the convention again met, after 
the first ballots showing same result, McNulta withdrew, 
and Col. Jonathan Merriam was presented and nominated. 
Owing to the unpleasant feeling rising from this long and 
bitter contest the republicans were beaten in the district, 
and the democrats have retained the ascendancy in the 
Springfield congressional district ever sinco. 

On his return from Congress in 1871 the State Na- 
tional Bank of Springfield was organized, and he was elected 
its president. In 1872 the republicans of the Sangamon 
district again demanded that he should go back to the legis- 
lature as a member of the house, and he was again returned 
to that body, and by the unanimous call of the republican 
members was re-elected speaker, and served with great 
acceptability during the session of 1873. 

He was again elected to the house in 1874, and presented 
by the republicans as their candidate for speaker, but the 
democrats and independents formed a combination and 
elected their candidate, Mr. Cullom being defeated by only 
a few votes majority for the coalition candidate. Mr. Cullom 
proved a very efficient member of the house for the session 
of 1875, commending himself by his attention to the interests 
of the state. 


At the Republican State Convention of 1876 he was 
nominated for governor over Governor Beveridge, who 
again sought the honor. His democratic-independent 
combination competitor was Hon. Lewis Steward, who 
bringing to his support the opposition to the republicans 
from all sources was defeated by Cullom by near seven 
thousand majority. 

Governor Cullom was inaugurated in January 1877, and 
his executive duties were so well performed during the four 
succeeding years that on the assembling of the Republican 
State Convention of 1880, although his competitors were 
among the ablest and best men in the state, he was nomi- 
nated for re-election, and again elected over Hon. Lyman 
Trumbull, the democratic candidate, by near 38,000 major- 
ity, thus showing that the people of the staite endorsed his 
previous four years administration by a largely increased 
majority. During both these canvasses Gov. Cullom was 
actively engaged in behalf of the principles he represented, 
and visited almost every county in the state, speaking to 
the people in advocacy of his state policy, which showed 
every debt paid, a large balance in the state treasury, and 
the people enjoying general prosperity. In 1882 it was 
clearly manifest that a large section of the republican party 
would ask Gov. Cullom to submit his name to the legisla- 
ture as a candidate for the United States Senate to succeed 
Hon. David Davis, whose term would expire March 4, 1883, 
thus expressing renewed confidence in his ability to repre- 
sent the state in the most august and imposing legislative 
body in the world. 

It was early understood that his chief competitor would 
be Gen. Green B. Rauni, the able and efficient commissioner 
of internal revenue since 1877, and that gentleman during 


the canvass of 1882 traversed the state, making many able 
speeches, " building well his political fences," making his 
impress on the constituency of the republican members to 
be elected, and enlisted considerable enthusiasm in his favor, 
and it was thought that his chances were exceedingly good. 
Ex-Gov. Oglesby also did some very effective work in the 
campaign, evincing unabated vigor as a speaker, and aroused 
considerable enthusiasm wherever he addressed an audience. 
He was also understood to have senatorial aspirations again, 
" his eye to the weather gage, and his sails hoisted " to 
catch favoring breezes by securing a republican majority in 
the legislature, and the largest number of that majority 
favorable to himself as senator. A republican majority was 
secured, and then a friendly contest among the competing 
statesmen and their friends for the legislative nomination 
was inaugurated, and when the legislature met at Springfield 
in January last, another " Richmond " appeared in the field in 
the person of Hon. Thomas J. Henderson, and for some two 
weeks quite an animated canvass among the members of the 
legislature was carried forward by the gentlemen themselves, 
and the friends who interested themselves in their behalf, 
in the corridors, rooms and halls of the Leland House. It 
was quite evident from the outset that Gov. Cullom's star 
was in the ascendent, and when the republican legislative 
senatorial caucus convened he was nominated and his elec- 
tion followed on the day set apart, and on the 6th day of 
February following he resigned the office of governor and 
was succeeded, under the constitution, by Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Hamilton. 

He was sworn in as senator of the United States from 
Illinois, March 4th, 1883, for six years, and his previous 
official career promises a brilliant legislative success in 
serving the interests of the state and nation. 



^Nativity and parentage — Youthful home in Illinois — Aptitude 
in learning — Volunteers in the service — Experience with 
guerillas and bushwhackers — Returns from the army- 
Teaches school — Enters Ohio Wesleyan University — Grad- 
uates — Teaches an academy at Henry — Goes to Blooming- 
ton — Commences study of law — Occupies chair of professor 
of languages — Admitted to the bar — Law partnership — 
Very successful — Elected to state senate — His methods in 
the canvass — Takes a leading part in legislation — Procures 
the passage of important laws— Elected president of the 
senate —Nominated and elected lieutenant-governor — Gives 
general satisfaction — United States senatorship contest — 
Gov. Cullom elected — Hamilton succeeds as governor. 

It is in the light of history and fact that we have tried 
to present the leading characteristics of the men that the 
voice of the people have called to stand at the helm of state, 
for each consecutive term, as constitutionally provided for, 
in the past sixty-five years. 

John Marshall Hamilton was born at Richwood, Union 
county, Ohio, May 28th, 1847. His parents were Samuel 
Hamilton and Nancy, formerly Miss Nancy McMorris, of 

He came to Illinois with his parents in 1854, residing 
with them at their home farm near "Wenona, Marshall 
county. As a boy and youth he was studious, attending 
country school, and at Wenona, when his school studies 


•did not occupy his time, he assisted at the farm work just 
as persistently and perseveringly as he did at his studies in 
school. At fifteen years of age, when strength and stature 
scarce fitted him for enduring the hardships of a soldier, he 
enlisted in the 77th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
but being so young was rejected by the officers, and after 
remaining awhile with the regiment he returned to his 
father's home, and in the spring of 1864 enlisted in the 
141st Illinois Infantry, Co. I, and served with that regi- 
ment in Kentucky and Tennessee, chiefly in guerilla war- 
fare, until the regiment was mustered out in the fall of 
1864. This was a more dangerous service than meeting an 
■enemy in the open field, as these guerillas and bushwhackers 
were to be sought in the mountain fastnesses, very fre- 
quently ambushing the troops, employing treacherous de- 
coys to lead the troops into dangerous places. 

Returning from the army, bronzed by camp life, and 
still ambitious to climb the rugged heights of knowledge 
and science, he made his arrangements to pursue his studies, 
the war having interrupted and broke in upon them just at 
the time when he began to be interested in them. He 
taught district school six months and then entered the 
Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, where he grad- 
uated with honor in 1868, in his twenty-first year. From 
1868 to 1869 he taught an academy at Henry, Marshall 
county, 111. In 1869 he located at Bloomington, commenc- 
ing the study of law. 

While thus engaged he varied the tedium of his law 
studies by filling the chair of professor of languages in the 
Wesleyan college at Bloomington. With close application 
to his law studies, when his duties at the college permitted, 
he was admitted to the bar in 1870, and soon after formed 

154 FIFTY years' recollections. 

a partnership with Captain J. H. Howell (recently elected 
to Congress), which connection continued until the official 
duties of each sundered their legal business relations 
(one entered Congress, the other the executive chair, at the 
same tirtte). They built up an extensive practice in the 
twelve years from 1870 to 1882, which is in itself the best 
evidence of the ability and energy of both members of the 

In 1876, when in his twenty-eighth year, he was elected 
to the state senate, showing the great partiality of the peo- 
ple of McLean county for their almost youthful citizen. 
He was an indomitable worker in that canvass, as in every 
other since, and was elected over the combined opposition 
by near 2,000 majority distancing all other candidates. It 
was the author's pleasure to meet him while engaged in thia 
canvass. He had not forgotten any of his farmer-boy days, 
in his methods, while out among the boys in the " rooral 
deestricks." John could talk agriculture, act it, illustrate 
it by going into the fields and taking a hand, or at least, 
showing how it was done. The farmers of that county have 
stood by him ever since. 

On taking his seat in the senate, in January, 1877, he 
addressed himself to his duties with earnestness and indus- 
try. His influence was soon felt in directing and guiding 
legislation, that won for him the confidence and respect of 
his fellow members, and his influence was so great that he 
was generally selected to introduce important bills that 
required tact and management in securing their passage. 

The State Bar Association, through their committee, of 
which Hamilton was a member, prepared a bill for the 
establishment of the appellate court, and selected Mr. 
Hamilton to introduce and procure its passage through the 


senate. This division of judicial labor was absolutely nec- 
essary to relieve the supreme court of the vast amount of 
business that was accumulating each succeeding year. The 
establishment of this court gave the state one third more 
circuit judges than before, with three judges elected in each 
district, and one of these was to be selected and set apart for 
appellate duty, and was at the same time to perform such 
circuit duty as his terms in the appellate court would per- 
mit, thus facilitating the legal business of the state. 

He was also the champion and introducer of the bill 
proposed by the State Medical Society, establishing the 
state board of health, which like the other measure, has 
proven a great benefit to the state. 

In fact, during his senatorial term, scarcely a great 
measure was passed through the senate without bearing the 
impress of his directing and shaping hand. In the great 
fight over the reorganization of the state militia, his genius 
as a tactician and parliamentarian was eminently displayed. 

Upon the assembling of the Thirty-First General As- 
sembly he was the recipient of a compliment seldom ac- 
corded to any but old members after, years of faithful ser- 
vice. He was unanimously chosen by the republicans as 
their choice for president pro tern, of the senate. In this 
position he displayed rare qualifications as a presiding 
officer by his wide and extensive knowledge of parliament- 
ary law. He was strictly impartial in his rulings, cour- 
teous, winning, the commendation of his fellow senators 
without regard to political differences. As a public speaker 
and efficient legislative manager few were more successful 
in facilitating business. 

By this great ability he rose rapidly in the good opinion 
of the people, foreshadowing the advancement that has 

156 FIFTY years' recollections. 

since been accorded him. No man has risen more rapidly 
in the general estimation by, reason of ability, weight of 
influence, and fearlessness. 

Need we wonder then, that in casting about for a suit- 
able and able man to be placed on the state ticket in 1880 by 
the republicans as their candidate for lieutenant-governor, 
that the name of John M. Hamilton would be one of the 
most prominent. There were men of ability that contested 
with him for the honor of the nomination, but on the as- 
sembling of the republican convention May 21, 1880, he 
was selected by a large majority on the first ballot, Hon. 
Shelby M. Cullom heading the state ticket for governor. 

He rendered efficient service in the campaign of 1880, 
taking the whole state for his field of labor, resulting in 
the success of the entire state ticket, a republican legisla- 
ture, and the legislature of the following winter, as will be 
seen, has advanced the interests of the state. As president 
of the senate he won and commanded the entire respect of 
senators for firmness and rapid dispatch of business. 

He again entered the canvass of 1882, speaking about 
thirty times from the stump in all parts of the state with 
success, and was often named as a candidate for the United 
States senate, but when consulted in regard to presenting 
his name always peremptorily refused, being content to 
serve the state where the suffrages of the people under the 
constitution had placed him. 

During the canvass of 1882 it early became apparent 
that Governor Cullom's prospect for being chosen United 
States senator was bright, if not positively certain. Sev- 
eral gentlemen were more active in canvassing the state 
than Gov. Cullom, but he had made such a good record in 
the six years that he had exercised the functions of his 


high office that the large majority of republicans of the 
state were heartily and enthusiastically in his favor for 
United States senator. 

Upon the assembling of the legislature in January, 
1883, the senatorial contest was renewed. The several 
aspirants had warm friends among the members and also 
from the third estate — the lobby, — and for some days the 
contest was animated, but conducted with the greatest' good 
feeling between the competitors and their friends, until 
the time of the party canvass, when Gov. Cullom was 
nominated, and subsequently, at the joint meeting of the 
legislature held for that purpose, was elected. 

Gov. Hamilton assumed the gubernatorial office Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1883, enjoying the respect of the people of the 
state. It is too early in his official career to outline the 
future, but judging from his brief, brilliant and successful 
career, we may safely take a horoscopic view of the near 
political future, and find outlined a satisfactory official 
career in fulfilling the duties of his high position to the 
satisfaction of the people of our great state. 


Early History.— Whig State Convention at Peoria, 1844.— Grand 
Array of Talent —Congressional Canvass, 1846 — The Senato- 
rial Canvass of 1858 — His Springfield Speech — At Chicago 
— At Peoria — Henry. ' 

There is not much in the early life of Abraham Lincoln 
to stir the imagination of the reader. There is nothing to 
rouse up wonderful enthusiasm in the humble processes of 
his education; his experiences of hardships; his early 
struggles with the rough forces of nature among which he 
was born. Indeed, we would be trespassing on the domain 
of history written by others if we attempted to give even a 
brief history of his early life, which has been so well and 
ably written by others, among them the campaign biogra- 
phies of Scripps, Raymond and Barrett, the writings of 
Ward H. Lamon, Esq., and Hon. Isaac N. Arnold ; also, 
" Life of Abraham Lincoln," by J. G. Holland ; Carpenter's 
" Reminiscences," and later, the " Life and Public Services 
of Abraham Lincoln," by J. Carroll Power, to the excel- 
lence of all these we bear cheerful testimony. 

Our " Recollections " of Mr. Lincoln must be confined 
in the main, to our personal acquaintance with him, which 
commenced at the Mass Whig State Convention, held at 
Peoria, in June, 1844. Mr. Lincoln was among the "big 
guns " in the grand array of eminent statesmen and eloquent 


speakers present on that occasion ; a galaxy of bright par- 
ticular stars in the constellation of talent and patriotism, 
numbering among them Gen. John J. Hardin, who after- 
wards fell at Buena Vista, Colonel Edward D. Baker, 
who gave up his life at Ball's Bluff during the Rebellion, 
John T. Stuart, Stephen T. Logan, Jesse K. Dubois, U. F. 
Linder, O. H. Browning, Joseph Gillespie, Archie Williams, 
Jackson Griinshaw, T. Lisle Smith, Martin P. Sweet, Ben. 
Bond, Richard Yates, T. Lyle Dickey, Lincoln B. Knowl- 
ton, D. M. Woodson, Wm. H. Henderson, and a host of 
others who came up to this grand council in the interests of 
Clay and Erelinghuysen, the Whig standard bearers in 
that memorable campaign. In addition to these there 
were present Caleb B. Smith, Henry S. Lane, and several 
other Indiana orators, then and since known to fame, and 
from Missouri there were the renowned and eloquent Dr. 
E. C. McDowell, Don Morrison, and many others. 

Among all this brilliant array called to address the con- 
vention during the two days' sessions, none attracted greater 
and more marked attention than Mr. Lincoln. Dr. Mc- 
Dowell, Caleb B. Smith, Edward D. Baker and Gen. 
Hardin made their speeches before him. All made grand 
speeches and were loudly applauded. Gen. Hardin was 
then the member of Congress from this district, and Col. 
Baker the candidate for the succession. 

It is among the brightest recollections of that day when 
Mr. Lincoln took the stand. He did not, on rising, show 
his full height, stood rather in a stooping posture, his long- 
tailed coat hanging loosely round his body, descending 
round and over an ill-fitting pair of pantaloons that cov- 
ered his not very symmetrical legs. He commenced his 
speech in a rather diffident manner, even seemed for a while 


at a loss for words, his voice was irregular, a little tremu- 
lous, as at first he began his argument by laying down his 
propositions. As he proceeded he seemed to gain more 
confidence, his body straightened up, his countenance 
brightened, his language became free and animated, as, 
during this time he had illustrated his argument by two or 
three well- told stories, that drew the attention of the 
thousands of his audience to every word he uttered. Then 
he became eloquent, carrying the swaying crowd at his will, 
who, at every point he made in his forcible argument, 
were tumultuous in their applause. His subject wasj the 
exposition of the protective system, — the tariff", — the 
method of raising a revenue by a system of duties levied 
on foreign importations, which at the same time would 
afford protection to American industries. Mr. Lincoln 
spoke a little over an hour. His arguments were unan- 
swerable. This speech raised him to the proudest height 
to which he had ever before attained. He had greatly 
strengthened the Whig organization in the state and estab- 
lished his reputation as one of the most powerful political 
debaters in the country. 

This speech showed to the people that he had thoroughly 
mastered all the great questions of the day, and brought to 
their discussion closeness and soundness of logic, with 
numerous facts, clinched by the most elaborate and pow- 
erful arguments. This conclusion, it is among my recol- 
lections, we arrived at after enjoying this grand field 
day, hearing the most gifted of Illinois statesmen discuss 
all the great questions of the day, and we left with the 
thousands of others, for their homes, with the firm belief 
and conviction that Abraham Lincoln was the foremost 
statesman in Illinois, and would, at that time, have been 


willing to vote for him for any position from Congressman 
to President of the United States, both of which privileges 
were enjoyed in after years. 

We have said before that Gen. John J. Hardin, of Jack- 
sonville, was the Whig member of Congress in this district 
in 1844, and Col. Ed. D. Baker was now the candidate to 
succeed Hardin. He was elected and served his term, 
which brings our " Recollections" up to the Congressional 
canvass of 1846, when Mr. Lincoln received the nomina- 
tion under an arrangement or understanding between the 
friends of the three gentlemen, that neither should antago- 
nize the nomination of the other, and that each in turn 
should be elected for two years, from 1842 to 1848. The 
district being whig by a large majority, it was perfectly 
safe to make that arrangement. 

After his nomination in 1846 he entered on his canvass, 
the custom then as it is now. There being no railroads 
at that time the candidates traveled in their own convey- 
ances. He came to Marshall county, where at that time we 
resided on the farm in Henry precinct, near the boundary 
line of LaFayette precinct. Being the central location, a 
grove of fine trees near father's house was selected as the 
meeting place of the citizens of the two precincts located 
on the west side of the river. 

He came after dinner, accompanied by Dr. Robert Boal, 
now of Peoria, Ira I. Fenn, Henry L. Crane, D. D. 
Dickinson, and many other citizens of Lacon, at which 
place he had spoken the day previous. Mr. Lincoln and 
his friends were in high spirits. He had abundant mate- 
rial for discussion. During the winter of 1845 Texas was 
admitted to the Union, and the war with Mexico had 
commenced. Mr. Lincoln opposed this war, believing it was 

162 . fifty year's recollections. 

waged in the interest and for the spread of slavery. The 
tariff that he had so eloquently defended in 1844 had been 
repealed by the democrats when Polk came into power, and 
one that did not give protection to the free industries was 
enacted in its place ; that favored the cotton and sugar 
planters of the south, the products of slave labor, to the 
subversion of the industrial interests and protective policy. 
The issues between the two parties then in the political 
field were positive and well defined. There was a large 
audience out to hear him, almost the entire voting popula- 
tion of the two precincts, and Mr. Lincoln was particularly 
happy and felicitous in his arguments on the points at issue, 
taking nearly two hours, discussing every question to the 
eminent satisfaction of his audience. 

It is no part of these brief " Recollections " to give 
extracts of speeches or a synopsis of the arguments used, 
or a biography of the life of individuals, but to confine 
these sketches to a relation of facts and incidents coming 
under our own observation when we met the persons that 
they most intimately relate to. Mr. Lincoln went to con- 
gress, served his constituents well, returned and resumed 
his law practice. In the stirring political scenes of 1854 
and Fremont campaign of 1856 he took an active part. 
But we hasten to the more important years of our history. 

The republican state convention met at Springfield 
June 16, 1858. We, with a number of others, attended as 
delegates from Marshall county. Political excitement ran 
high. The state, from east to west, from north to south, 
was thoroughly aroused, and the issues of the day had been 
so thoroughly discussed that counties away down in Egypt 
that never before he.d sent delegates to a republican or whig 
■convention, now appeared with a full representation of live 


wide-awake republicans, and every county in the state was 
represented. Men had actually made great sacrifices of 
time and money to reach the state capital from the remote 
southeastern counties of the state lying between the Illi- 
nois Central Railroad the Wabash and the Ohio rivers. 
There were over six hundred delegates ; these, with their 
alternates and the spectators, over one thousand earnest men, 
made a peaceful invasion of Springfield, intent only on 
their country's good by effecting a change of men and 

Two months before the democratic convention had met 
and endorsed Douglas and his Kansas-Nebraska policy. 
The senatorial succession to Mr. Douglas absorbed every 
other question, and no one was thought of or spoken of 
but Mr. Lincoln. Cook, with its large delegation, bore 
aloft a banner inscribed "Cook county, for Abraham 
Lincoln," that was hailed and cheered on every hand, and 
when it was borne in the members of the convention rose 
to their feet and gave three cheers for their candidate. As 
soon as quiet was restored the following resolution was 
read, its adoption moved and seconded, and unanimously 
adopted by a rising vote and prolonged cheers : " Resolved, 
That Hon. Abraham Lincoln is our first and only choice 
for United States senator, to fill the vacancy about to be 
created by the expiration of Mr. Douglas' term of office." 
The anxiety of the delegates to see and hear their chosen 
leader and champion was intense. After the business of 
the convention was concluded it was announced that he 
would address the members and citizens at the state house 
in the evening. 

The speech was prepared with unusual care, every para- 
graph and sentence carefully weighed. The firm bed-rock 

164 FIFTY years' recollections. 

foundation of his principles, the issues of the campaign on 
which he proposed to stand and fight his battles, were well 
considered and his arguments incontrovertible. That was 
a memorable speech, in which were culminated all the 
grand thoughts and ideas he had ever uttered, embody- 
ing divinity, statesmanship, law and morals, and even 
fraught with prophecy. On his way to the hall he said to 
a friend, " It is truth, and the nation is entitled to it." 

The hall of the house of representatives was crowded 
to its utmost capacity when Mr. Lincoln arrived, and he- 
was received with a prolonged shout, waving of handker- 
chiefs and swinging of hats. He bowed his acknowledge- 
ments from the speaker's desk, and was introduced by the 
president of the convention, Hon. Gustavus A. Koerner r 
and rising to his full height he surveyed the vast audience, 
and commenced slowly and deliberately at first, his voice 
increasing in force and power as he advanced. 

We wish we had space right here to give that speech. 
Every gesture had meaning, backed by the appropriate 
words to enforce it. The logic was irresistible, the analysis- 
so keen, so condensed, yet so profoundly impressive con- 
cerning the politics of the day, so plainly and intelligently 
expressed in every part, that no proper idea can be given 
of it through any description of ours. We would advise 
the readers of these " Recollections " to procure it, read it r 
and they that have read it read it again. " A house 
divided against itself cannot stand," was uttered with all 
the impressiveness of gospel truth. 

As he advanced in his argument he towered to his full 
height, forgetting himself entirely as he grew warm at his- 
work. His audience applauded, and such was the enthusi- 
asm that at times the speaker could hardly proceed, the- 
people were so wonderfully wrought up in their feelings. 


Men and women who heard that speech will remember 
the wonderful transformation wrought in Mr. Lincoln's 
appearance. The plain, homely man towered up majesti- 
cally, his face warmed as with angelic fire, the long, bent, 
angular figure, like the strong oak of the forest, stood erect, 
and his eyes flashed with inspiration. 

Coming to the conclusion of this grand speech, in the 
closing paragraph he concentrated advice, admonition, a 
retrospect of the past, a forecaste of the future, a prophecy 
of what has since been fulfilled. We cannot do it justice 
by any description, and the reader of these " Recollections" 
will thank us for giving it place right here : 

" Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted 
by, its own undoubted friends — those whose hands are free, 
whose hearts are in the work — who do care for the result. 
Two years ago the republicans of the nation (referring to 
the Fremont campaign of 1856) mustered over thirteen 
hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single 
impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every 
external circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant 
and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, 
and formed and fought the battle through, under the con- 
stant hot fire of a disciplined, proud and pampered enemy. 
Did we brave all then to falter now — now, when that same 
enemy is wavering, dissevered and beligerent? The 


stand firm. We shall not fail. Wise counsels may 
accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later, the 


The last sentence was uttered with all the positive im- 
pressiveness of an inspired oracle. There was not in the 
entire speech a single appeal to partisan prejudice, nothing 
to merely catch the applause of his hearers, but he appeared 
before them as an honest, patriotic man, discussing the 


gravest questions of the day, and enforcing them by facta 
drawn from the past, with a grand future in prospect. 

The members of the convention, and the vast concourse 
of other citizens, carried with them to their homes some- 
thing to think about — some inspiration to work for the 
cause. Every man was a worker, many were orators, and 
soon the land resounded with eloquent appeals to the people 
to rouse and set right the political wrongs that the 
Buchanan administration were fastening on the country. 

Invitations to speak came from every part of the state, 
and Mr. Lincoln set about arranging his appointments for 
the campaign. Mr. Douglas was to speak at Chicago, July 
9th, and Mr. Lincoln was urged to be present and reply to 
him, and when the time arrived, he sat near Mr. Douglas 
on the platform, and took notes of the speech and of the 
line of argument advanced. He patiently listened while 
the gur-r-eat pur-r-rinciple of " popular sov'reiguty " was 
eloquently expounded. In arguing his side of the question, 
Mr. Douglas misrepresented the republicans and their plat- 
form, and particularly the high ground taken and main^ 
tained by Mr. Lincoln in his Springfield speech. 

On the conclusion of this three-hour speech it was an- 
nounced that Mr. Lincoln would reply to it on the follow- 
ing evening. 

He spoke from the same platform that Mr. Douglas did 
the evening before, The distinguished speaker was given 
a grand ovation. He was introduced to the audience by 
Chas. L. Wilson, Esq., of the Chicago Daily Journal. Mr. 
Lincoln came forward amid a storm of long continued, 
applause. It was some time before silence could be restored, 
the people were so enthusiastic. He was feeling well, in 
the best mood for illustrating his argument by a good story 


to offset Douglas' positions, and getting all his points before 
his hearers, he treated them fully and fairly. Douglas had 
accused him of trying to array the north against the south, 
in the declaration made at Springfield, " I believe this gov- 
ernment cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half 
free." Mr. Douglas had made what he thought was his 
strongest point, by insisting that our government had en- 
dured eighty-two years " half slave and half free," and that 
the chances were equally favorable for its perpetuity in the 
future. Mr. Lincoln in reply said : 

" I am not unaware that this government has endured 
eighty-two years, half slave and half free. I know that I 
am tolerably well acquainted with the history of the 
country, and I know that it has endured eighty-two years, 
half slave and half free, I believe — and that is what I 
meant to allude to there — I believe it has endured, because, 
during all that time, until the introduction of the Nebraska 
bill, the public mind did rest in the belief that slavery was 
in the course of ultimate extinction. That was what gave 
us the rest we had through that period of eighty-two years ; 
at least, so I believe. I have always hated slavery, I 
think, as much as any abolitionist — I am an old line whig 

— I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet 
about it until this new era of the introduction of the Ne- 
braska bill began. I always believed that everybody was 
against it, and that it was in the course of ultimate extinc- 
tion. History led the people to believe so; and such was 
the belief, of the framers of the constitution itself, else why 
did these old men, about the time of the adoption of the 
constitution, decree that slavery should not go into new 
territory, where it had not already gone? Why declare 
that within twenty years the African slave trade, by which 
slaves are supplied, might be cut off by congress? Why 
were ALL these acts ? I might enumerate more of them 

— but enough. What were they but a clear indication 
that the framers of the constitution intended and expected 


the ultimate extinction of the institution. I said in the 
speech that Judge Douglas has quoted from, that I think 
the opponents of slavery will resist the further spread of it, 
and place it where our fathers originally placed it. I have 
said a hundred times, and I have now no inclination to take 
it back, that I believe there is no right, and ought to be no 
inclination in the people of the free states, to enter into the 
slave states and interfere with the question of slavery at all. 
I have said that always ; Judge Douglas has heard me say 
it, and when it is said that I am in favor of interfering 
with slavery where it exists, I know it is unwarranted by 
anything I ever have intended, and, I believe by anything 
I have ever said." . 

We have given several paragraphs of this great speech 
to show the range of thought and argument of these two 
chieftains who led the opposing political hosts in the con- 
test of 1858. Many young men and women, who have 
grown up since that eventful contest, will read these " Rec- 
ollections," and these brief expositions will enlighten them 
in regard to the political issues before the war, and the 
reasons given by the south for secession. 

Mr. Lincoln comprehended the questions in their full 
compass — their far-reaching consequences, and closed his 
address by reiterating the charge made in his Springfield 
speech, that Mr. Douglas was a party to the conspiracy for 
deceiving the people with the idea that the settlers could 
exclude slavery from their limits. Mr. Douglas had passed 
the charge in silence, and Mr. Lincoln said, "On his own 
tacit admission I renew the charge." 

Mr. Douglas went from Chicago to Bloomington, mak- 
ing much as usual of his great doctrme of " popular sover- 
eignty." Mr. Lincoln was on hand, in " pursuit of knowl- 
edge under difficulties," determined to find out the exact 
position taken by his competitor, so that he might hear the 


arguments and meet them in the canvass he had deter- 
mined upon. 

Mr. Lincoln wanted closer work than Mr. Douglas had 
given him, and July # 24, 1858, addressed to him the follow- 
, ing brief letter : 

" Hon. S. A. Douglas — My Dear Sir : Will it be 
agreeable to you to make an arrangement for you and my- 
self to divide the time and address the same audiences the 
present canvass? Mr. Judd, who will hand you this, is 
authorized to receive your answer ; and, if agreeable to you, 
to enter into terms of such arrangement. 

Your obedient servant, A. Lincoln." 

Mr. Douglas replied, declining the arrangement Mr. 
Lincoln proposed, but intimated his readiness to meet his 
•challenger at Ottawa, LaSalle county, August 21st, 1858 ; 
at Freeport, Stephenson county, August 27th ; Jonesboro, 
Union county, September 15th; Charleston, Coles county, 
September 18th; Galesburg, Knox county, October 7th; 
Quincy, Adams county, October 13th, and Alton, Madison 
county, October 15th, thus proposing seven joint discus- 
sions at leading points in the state, which were accepted by 
Mr. Lincoln. The terms proposed in this letter and 
accepted by Mr. Lincoln, were that at Ottawa Mr. Douglas 
should speak an hour, then Mr. Lincoln should speak an 
hour and a-half, leaving Mr. Douglas the closing speech of 
half an hour. At Freeport Mr. Lincoln should have the 
•opening and closing, and Mr. Douglas speak one hour and 
a-half, and so on alternately till the conclusion of the 

From the time this arrangement for joint meetings was 
made to the first meeting at Ottawa was near three weeks. 
During this time the two great men, — Illinois' gifted 
intellectual gladiators, kept themselves in training by play- 


ing practice games in the cities in different parts of the 
state, — they engaged zealously in independent work. 

Mr. Lincoln began his work at Beardstown, the place 
celebrated twenty-five years before by his leading his com- 
pany to the seat of the Black Hawk War, on Bock Biver. 
From here he went to Bath and Havana, in Mason county, 
then to Lewistown and Canton in Fulton county, then to 
Peoria and on northeast to Henry, Marshall county, making 
speeches at all these places, immense audiences being 
attracted to listen to his utterances upon the gijeat questions 
of the day. Mr. Douglas was equally busy and active, 
whetting up his popular sovereignty blade and waxed mighty 
in the fight. 

At Peoria Mr. Lincoln met with the citizens of the 
adjoining county of Tazewell in large numbers, and a large 
delegation from Lacon and other points of Marshall 
county. The author was at that time the senior editor of 
the Illinois Gazette at Lacon, and in company with Dr. 
Boal, Judge Fort, John A. McCall, Charles G. Gapen, 
Judge Boice and many others, met Mr. Lincoln at the 
Peoria House previous to the hour of speaking. The dele- 
gation found him quite anxious as to the prospect of carrying 
our legislative districts, both senatorial and representa- 

There had been a very few de'fections in the republican 
party, the most notable being Hon. John T. Lindsay, 
formerly a citizen of Marshall, but now a prominent citizen 
of Peoria. He had been a life-long whig, came into the 
republican party when it organized, and had been one of its 
most trusted members. His sudden somersault into the 
democratic party created great surprise. But his loss was- 
made good by many coming out from among the democrats 


and joining their political fortunes with the republicans,. 
and we could give Mr. Lincoln the assurance that both 
our senator and Marshall and Putnam's representative 
would be elected. 

There were a number of old-time whigs in Tazewell 
county, strong personal friends of Mr. Lincoln, but from 
southern birth and association rather prejudiced against 
taking the advanced ground enunciated in Mr. Lincoln's 
speeches. The most prominent among these was John 
Durham, Esq., now a citizen of Peoria. Mr. Lincoln was 
anxious that these old friends of his should be present and 
hear him, and made inquiry soon after his arrival whether 
Mr. Durham was in the city. J He spoke in the afternoon in 
the court house to an audience that filled every seat, and 
standing room was at a premium. Hon. William Kellogg, 
at that time member of Congress, and the republican candi- 
date for re-election, and Hon. Robert G. Ingersoll, his 
democratic competitor, were present as listeners, as were all 
the leading republicans and democrats of Peoria and vicin- 
ity. Mr. Lincoln felt from assurances given him from 
this part of the political field that all was going well for 
him. He was in a capital humor for telling stories to illus- 
trate his arguments, and told one on a former moss-back, 
rock-rooted democratic member from Wabash county, who 
was a fellow-member with him when in the legislature. He 
was a man inflated with the idea of his own importance, his 
mind was a store-house of " g-r-e-a-t p-r-inciples," and he 
was a member of the judiciary committee, a " strict con- 
structionist" of the old antedeluvian type, and held himself 
up to his fellow members as the " constitutional adviser " 
of the house. In short he found something " unconstitu- 
tional" in every measure that was brought forward for 

172 FIFTY years' kecollections. 

discussion, and for that reason would move its reference to 
his committee, so that its unconstitutionality could be 
eliminated. A measure was brought forward in which Mr. 
Lincoln's constituents were interested. The member from 
Wabash rose, arranged his legal and constitutional batteries 
and discharged them, as he thought, with annihilating effect 
upon its unconstitutional points. Mr. Lincoln told the 
story to illustrate the little quibbling points made by Mr. 
Douglas in arguing the " Dred Scott decision " in regard to 
the rights and power of citizens of a territory voting slavery 
■" up or down." But to the story : 

Mr. Lincoln, assuming that quizzicd expression of 
features at all times so easy for him to simulate, a mirthful 
twinkle in his gray eyes, said : " Mr. Douglas reminds me 
of the point I made on the member from Wabash. An old 
friend of mine, a peculiar looking old fellow, with shaggy, 
overhanging eyebrows and a pair of spectacles under them 
(a personal description of the member), which enabled him 
to scan closely the most minute objects. One morning, 
just after the old man got up, he imagined, on looking out 
of his door, that he saw a squirrel on a tree near his house. 
So he took down his rifle and fired at the squirrel, but the 
squirrel paid no attention to the shot. He loaded and fired 
again and again, until, at the thirteenth shot, he set his gun 
down impatiently and said to his boy, who was looking on, 
' Boy, there is something wrong about that rifle.' ' Rifle's 
all right, I know 'tis,' responded the boy, 'but where's 
your squirrel?' 'Don't you see him, humped up about 
half way up the tree?' inquired the old man, peering over 
his spectacles and looking mystified. ' No, I don't,' 
responded the boy ; and then, turning and looking into his 
father's face, he exclaimed, ' I see your squirrel ; you've 


been firing at a louse on your eyebrow.'" The story 
needed neither application nor explanation. The audience • 
.roared with laughter and cheered in its appreciation of its 
points and his power of adapting them to the case in hand. 
This set at rest the little quibbles that Douglas was making 
against his arguments, in trying to raise discordant points. 
Then proceeding with his truths and combination of truths, 
he proceeded to show where Douglas had " left a niche in 
the Nebraska bill to receive the Dred Scott decision," 
which declared in effect that a territorial legislature could 
not abolish slavery. We have no further space to quote from 
the Peoria speech. His arguments were a reiteration of 
the grand truths enunciated in his Springfield speech, with 
perhaps some change of terms and language, with new 
illustrations to enforce them. Many of our old citizens 
will still remember that speech. It convinced the doubt- 
ing, confirmed the wavering, and converted many from the 
democratic faith that were open to receive the truths so 
plainly told. 

The next day Mr. Lincoln spoke at Henry, and the 
republicans of Marshall, Putnam, Stark and a portion of 
Bureau were out in force, and along with them came many 
democrats, both of the Douglas and Buchanan school, who 
were willing to listen to republican truths. Judge Boice, 
of Henry, presided, and Mr. Lincoln, on being introduced, 
was soon in the midst of his argument, with an audience 
more largely in accordance with his principles than greeted 
him at many other points which he visited, as Marshall, 
Putnam and Bureau counties were largely composed of 
people who came from the east fully imbued with anti- 
slavery sentiments and from the first, even away back in 
old whig times, were restive under the slavery platform 


imposed on them by party conventions. Mr. Lincoln's 
presence among them was the occasion of a great ovation 
to him. He was met at the depot by thousands, and to the 
strains of music was escorted to the hotel. 

He talked for the enlightenment of the democratic por- 
tion of his audience as follows : 

"I say to you, gentlemen, that it would be more to the 
purpose for Judge Douglas to say that he did not repeal 
the Missouri Compromise ; that he did not make slavery 
1 possible where it was impossible before ; that he did not 
leave a niche in the Nebraska bill for the Dred Scott 
decision to rest in; that he did not vote down a clause giv- 
ing the people the right to exclude slavery if they wanted 
to; that he did not refuse to give his individual opinion 
whether a territorial legislature could exclude slavery; 
that he did not make a report to the senate in which he 
said that the rights of the people in this regard were held 
in abeyance and could not be immediately exercised ; that 
he did not make a hasty endorsement of the Dred , Scott 
decision over at Springfield ; that he does not now endorse 
that decision ; that the decision does not take away from 
the territorial legislature the power to exclude slavery, and 
that he did not, in the original Nebraska bill, so couple the 
words ' state ' and ' territory ' together that what the 
supreme court has done in forcing open all the territories 
for slavery, it might yet do in forcing open all the states ; 
— I say it would be vastly more to the point for Judge 
Douglas to say he did not do some of these things, did not 
forge some of these links of overwhelming testimony, than 
to go to vociferating about the country that possibly he 
may be obliged to hint that somebody is a liar." 

The Henry meeting was a great success. The people 
gave a hearty reception to the principles of the platform, 
set the ball rolling, which showed in the result at the 
polls in November. The republican senator, Hon. George 
C. Bestor, the member of the legislature, Hon. J. A. McCall, 


and the entire republican county ticket in Marshall county 
— every candidate was elected, which the republicans 
thought was glory enough to repay them for the hard fight 
they had made. 

Mr. Lincoln went from Henry to his Ottawa joint dis- 
cussion. This we did not attend, and only know particu- 
lars in regard to it by results at the polls in November, the 
republicans carrying their ticket, state, congressional, legis- 
lative and county, in the LaSalle district. 

The next speech delivered when the author was 
present was at Alton, Oct. 15, 1858, the last speech the 
two made together, — closing the joint addresses. 

Mr. Douglas opened by speaking one hour, in which he 
displayed considerable irritability. The campaign was 
wearing on him, as no doubt by this time he began to see 
that the political scepter he had so long held over the peo- 
ple of the state was about to depart from him. As it was 
the last joint discussion of the campaign, he took occasion 
to review the arguments of Mr. Lincoln at each place, 
Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg and 
Quincy, in the order they occurred, trying to show that Mr. 
Lincoln's arguments were not the same at Freeport as they 
were at Jonesboro, in the south part of the state. His 
whole hour was taken up in this recapitulation. 

Mr. Lincoln sat taking in the speech with seeming im- 
mobility, and when Mr. Douglas concluded, he rose, his 
time being one hour and a half. He, as in the opening of 
all of his speeches, spoke slow but distinct, did not, rise to 
his full height, leaning forward in a stooping posture at 
first, his person displaying all the angularities of limb and 
face; for the first five or ten minutes he was both awkward 
and diffident, as in almost monotonous tones he commenced 

176 FIFTY years' recollections. 

to untangle the meshes of Douglas' sophistry. Proceeding, 
he gained confidence gradually, his voice rang out in clear- 
ness, rose in strength, his tall form towered to its full 
height, his face assumed almost angelic brightness, and such 
an outburst of inspiring eloquence and argument without 
a break in its force or power for the whole time allotted 
him to speak. He could be heard to the outskirts of the 
vast throng. As he proceeded the people became enthusi- 
astic, but. his voice could be heard above their cheers. 
Frequently throughout the speech he would turn towards 
Douglas and very emphatically say, "You know these things 
to be so, Mr. Douglas," if they were affirmative proposi- 
tions, or, " You know these things are not so, Mr. Douglas," 
if they were negative propositions. At one time in his ad- 
dress he bent his tall form over Douglas, pouring in his elo- 
quent remonstrance so sharply that Douglas rose to explain, 
but Lincoln would none of it. He said, "sit down Mr. 
Douglas ; I did not interrupt you and will not be inter- 
rupted. You can reply to me, if you can, in your closing 
speech," and his solid, argumentative and logical statement 
of facts rang out, his audience becoming more enthusiastic 
as he proceeded. He warned the people against being 
diverted from the great question at issue by sophistical con- 
trivances, as were trying to be impressed on them by the 
" gur-reat pur-rinciple " fantastically called " popular sov- 

We remember his line or argument throughout that 
great ninety-minute speech, the closing one he made in the 
seven joint discussions. Could give an outline of it, but it 
is not necessary as the speeches of both these great states- 
men have been published and are accessible to the student 
of history in the libraries of the state. 


Time passed on, the election of November 7, 1858,. 
came, chronicled elsewhere in this work, and its results had 
a wider influence in shaping the country's history than, 
probably any election since the formation of the govern- 

We could give our recollection of a great many connect- 
ing political events to bridge over the time, bringing the 
opening events of 1860. Mr. Lincoln, after the close of 
the canvass in early November, retired to his home at 
Springfield, his mind absorbed in the future of the great 
questions that the people of Illinois had for themselves as 
a state decided at the election, but which were to be con- 
sidered and voted on in the other states in 1859. 

He gave the questions more close attention than ever, 
as he was receiving hundreds of letters from eastern, mid- 
dle, western, northern and some from southern states, in 
regard to the political contests in their states for 1859-60. 
He knew he would be called on to aid by his argumentative 
powers in the canvass of several of these states, and he set 
about to prepare himself. 

The state legislature met in January, and the formality 
of electing a United States senator was enacted in a joint 
legislative meeting. The press of the country was dis- 
cussing, prospectively, the probabilities of the presidential 
question for 1860. As a " star in the east," one of the re- 
publican papers at Augusta, Maine, wrote an article in Feb- 
ruary, 1859, suggesting Mr. Lincoln's name in connection 
with the nomination for the presidency in 1860. Soon after 
this, a paper published in Washington county, "Pennsyl- 
vania, threw out some " advance thoughts " on the subject, 
and at different times during the spring and summer of 
1859, " lines of thought" were written in other papers east 


and west, showing that popular sentiment was " doing its 
perfect work " in preparing the way for Mr. Lincoln's nom- 

Of individual effort through personal influence, and 
combinations of individuals in consultation caucuses, we 
have not much record for the next few months after the 
election of 1858. Hon. R. W. Miles, of Knox county, 
gives an account of a meeting held in the library room of 
the capitol at Springfield, in January, 1859, when Mr. 
Lincoln's name was discussed as One of the probable states- 
men whose names would be presented. A gentleman pres- 
ent, making a short speech, said : " We are going to bring 
out Abraham Lincoln as a candidate- for president," Mr. 
Lincoln protested against it. This shows that he did not 
seek but rather held in check those of his friends who so 
early sought to present his name. We also believe that our 
friend Beatty, of the Republican- Register, Galesburg, pre- 
sented the name of Mr. Lincoln at a very early date after 
the election in 1858. 

Sometime in the autumn of 1859 the Chicago Tribune, 
began to discuss presidential "possibilities and probabili- 
ties," and very frequently after that mentioned Mr. Lincoln's 
name as the most fitting and also the most available candi- 
date to present for the campaign of 1860. 

We remember in discussing this question, shortly after 
the election, with several leading republicans of Marshall 
county and personally strong friends of Mr. Lincoln, in 
arguing the reasons given in the Gazette for Mr. Lincoln's 
candidacy, they thought his time " was not yet," that the 
most that could be expected for him in 1860 was to elect 
him governor of the state, and through that he would 
eventually reach the United States senate, making his 


record for the presidency, if ever, some ten to fourteen 
years ahead — either for 1868 or 1872. 

In January, 1860, the author bought out the office outfit, 
type, good will and subscription of the Farmer's Advo- 
cate at Chicago, and from that time was engaged in the 
interests of agriculture and all the productive industries of 
the country. In our rural ramblings we paid attention 
to the " speech of the people," who began thus early to 
express their preferences on the presidential question, and 
in Illinois there was only two men the people felt much 
interest in. These were Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham 
Lincoln, and the indications were that on the National field 
they would create as much enthusiasm as they did two 
years before over the prairies of Illinois, and from the 
indications, all the "political pointers" gave positive assur- 
ance that these two men would be placed in front of the 
two great political columns to lead on their hosts in the 

The newspapers of the land were pretty generally warm- 
ing up. The great speeches of Lincoln at Leavenworth, 
Cincinnati, Columbus, Cooper Institute, New York, Hart- 
ford, Meriden and New Haven, Conn., Woonsocket.'R. I., 
and several other places in the east were copied into the 
leading papers in the east, and now his name was the prop- 
erty of the Nation, and gaining force, momentum and 
power. So when he returned to his home in the west no 
man in the United States seemed to fill the public mind 
as much as he. 

He was not unmindful of these particular demonstra- 
tions. Certain it is, they made a deep impression on his 
mind. Spring came on apace. April had come and gone. 
The democratic national convention had been held at 


Charleston. It had split on Douglas. Its sessions had 
been " unfriendly " to him, and his adherents had adjourned 
to meet at Baltimore. The southern division adjourned to 
meet at Richmond. 

The republican convention was announced to meet at 
Chicago June 16th, and the great " Wigwam," half a square 
long and a third of a square wide, was erected to accommo- 
date the delegates with seats on the main floor, and so far 
as possible the crowd in the galleries. The time came apace. 
The people and their representatives were there, from Cali- 
fornia's " Golden Gate" to Maine — all the loyal states and 
fragmentary delegations from Virginia, Tennessee, and two 
or three other southern states. The " hosts of freedom " 
made a descent on Chicago, and right heartily were they 
received. Their mission was a friendly one, "the healing 
of the nation " the eud in view. It was estimated that 
there was twenty-five thousand strangers in the city. The 
"Suckers," the "Hoosiers," the "Hawkeyes" and the 
" Badgers," were there in force, and " they came to stay " 
for Lincoln. 

Joshua R. Giddings was there testing the kind of tim- 
ber that the platform was to be built from. The committee 
on Platform came very near rejecting the words the old 
Apostle of Freedom proposed to insert in the " Articles of 
Faith " of the party, and the old veteran was thinking the 
convention would not insert and adopt principles that were 
dear to him, that he had contended for in Congress for 
years; but good counsels prevailed and his "plank" went 
in, and " Uncle Joshua " remained a delegate of the con- 
vention. When the platform was adopted it was hailed 
with demonstrations of wildest enthusiasm. Then came 
the nominations, and after that the ballotings. The bal- 


loting went on, and on the third ballot Abraham Lincoln 
being nominated, a storm of wild uncontrollable enthu- 
sium descended. It was prolonged, repeated, everybody 
was on their feet, throwing hats and cheering. Immedi- 
ately a life size portrait of Lincoln was held up to the sight 
of the audience, and the roar of artillery was heard outside, 
and each discharge was echoed back by those on the inside. 
It fell to Mr. Evarts, of New York, to do the graceful act 
of moving that the nomination of Abraham Lincoln be 
made unanimous. While doing this he shed tears, and 
when he closed, Gov. Andrew, of Massachusetts, and Carl 
Schurz, of Wisconsin, seconded the motion, and then fol- 
lowed another outburst of enthusiasm. 

There was among the Illinoisans, both from the city 
and country, but one continuous outburst of enthusiasm and 
congratulation. Mr. Lincoln was their favorite — the 
people's idol. It was not thought strange if a man said and 
did some foolish things — the day was given up to congrat- 
ulations. Shouting and singing, and one hundred guns 
were fired from the top of the Tremont House. Ribboned 
and festooned rails were carried round. If such an expres- 
sion is admissible, we could say truthfully that the people 
were frenzied with delight. The click of the telegraph car- 
ried the news north, south, east, west, and the outgoing 
trains found bonfires surrounded by excited crowds at every 
village, to welcome and say " well done" to the returning 
delegates. That day, the days, weeks and months follow- 
ing, are, and long will be remembered. The author was 
on the outgoing train on the Chicago & Eock Island rail- 
road the next morning, and sat with Governor Kirk- 
wood, of Iowa, who was a returning delegate from the 
convention. On the same train was Thurlow "Weed, of 


New York, with other delegates, who, while as far west 
as Chicago, concluded to go and see further into the width 
and breadth of our broad prairie states of Illinois and Iowa. 
Mr. "Weed said he wanted to see the country " where 
candidates for president grew, expanded and developed 
without the polishing aid of eastern refinemenL, and the aid 
of the educating influence of her colleges." He was 
referred to the derivation of the name of the state, " Mini," 
— the country of men — and accepted the authority as con- 
clusive. The trip was pleasant, the prairie breeze gentle as 
a zephyr that 20th day of June, 1860, the green prairie and 
broad cultivated fields spread out for miles on either side 
of the railroad. It was a grand day for the distinguished 
strangers to look out upon the wide expanse from Chicago 
to Rock Island. The trip had its pleasant episodes. At 
"every station were large crowds assembled and the inquiry 
would be made " who's aboard?" When told " Sam Kirk- 
wood," or "Thurlow Weed," they would call them out if 
but for a word, or to see them, and the train would go on 
its way leaving a cheering crowd. 

Abraham Lincoln was thus placed before the people — 
the nation, — for the highest official trust in their gift to 
bestow. He was in his fifty-second year, — at his prime in 
manhood, clear in intellect, his great powers cultivated in 
the school of a rough experience, his acquisitions of knowl- 
edge gathered from the scantiest sources, their develop- 
ment at times almost a revelation to himself; raising himself 
by the excellence of his manly qualities of head and heart, 
forcing recognition when really not seeking it. In starting 
in life, from earliest childhood to full manhood, his years 
had been spent in the wilderness, subjected to hardest toil 
and darkest obscurity, and living almost in penury. 


From this lowly estate he had raised himself without, 
powerful influence or wealthy patrons, despising the tricks 
of the demagogue, without the aid of social or high official 
position, into national recognition and to the affectionate- 
regard of the nation, and of good people throughout the 
civilized world. 

During the following August the author was at Spring- 
field and called at Mr. Lincoln's room at the state house, 
and found him quite alone for once, two of his children- 
only being in, "Tad" being one of them. It was in the 
" heated term," and Mr. Lincoln, always accommodating 
himself to circumstances, was dressed to suit the weather, 
with shirt, linen pants, without vest, with a long-tailed 
linen coat overshadowing the whole. He was not " putting 
on style," no attendant was at the door to carry in our 
card. The door was open and we walked right in, was at 
once recognized and seated, the boys still continuing their 
play round the floor. " Tad " was spinning a top, and Mr. 
Lincoln, as we came in, had just finished adjusting the 
string for him so it would give the top greater force when 
it was whirled off on the floor. He said he was having a 
little season of relaxation with the boys, which he could 
not always enjoy now, as so many callers and so much 
correspondence occupied his time. Then the political 
situation was referred to, the prospects, and we found him 
much encouraged, — pleased with the situation. The 
Douglas-Breckenridge division of the democracy was dis- 
cussed, with its bearings on the canvass. Altogether we 
found the great man well pleased with the outlook, content 
to wait the November outcome. As ours was a social call 
only at Springfield, in the interest of the Advocate, a 
half-hour finished our interview, and we did not meet Mr. 


Lincoln again until the next January at the opening of 
the session of the legislature. He bided his time at his 
home; a wise candidate. He was quiet under the most 
flagrant abuse and misrepresentation. He could afford to 
be; his cause was just; the platform of the party and his 
record was before the country ; both were true. 

The November election was only a formal record of the 
will of the people. A remembrance of all the incidents that 
came under the observation of the author in that campaign 
would fill a volume. 

The meeting of the legislature in January, 1861, brought 
to the capital a large number of people. Many distin- 
guished men from all parts of the loyal states came to see 
the new president, some by his invitation, others because 
they wanted to see Mr. Lincoln, and also look in on the 
legislature. Over half the gentlemen selected by Mr. 
Lincoln for his cabinet visited him at his home for con- 
sultation. Calling at his house on the. first Thursday in 
January, we found Hon. Gideon Welles there, whom he 
selected as secretary of the navy; Edward Bates, of St. 
Louis, his attorney-general, visited him ; Hon. George 
Ashmun, president, of the convention that nominated him, 
visited him for consultation, as he was an old personal 
friend, they having served in congress together from 1846 
to 1848. There was a constant stream of visitors, and it 
was necessary for him to have regular hours of meeting 
them. The author, attending the sessions of the legisla- 
ture, met Mr. Lincoln frequently, and was at the depot on 
that dreary morning, February 11, 1861, when he took his 
departure from Springfield, never to look upon it again. 
Notwithstanding the unpleasantness of the morning a large 
-crowd of people gathered at the depot, many crowding for- 


ward to get a shake of his hand. When the time for 
departure came he took a position on the rear platform of 
the car and delivered a farewell address to his neighbors 
and friends that for genuine feeling, pathos, friendship for 
his neighbors, sympathy and deepfelt sorrow at parting, 
and reliance on a Supreme Power in the trying scenes on 
which he was entering, has not its equal for forcible expres- 
sion in the English language. 

This was the last time we met Abraham Lincoln in life. 
Our busy editorial life, with its incessant toil, prevented 
our going to Washington during the war. The damning 
deed of the assassin had been done, taking the life of the 
Nation's Chief, and the sacred remains were returned to 
the state of his adoption. When the mourning retinue 
arrived at Chicago, and the body laid in state for two days 
in the City Hall, we were one of the humble mourners 
among the thousands that passed by to view all that was 
mortal of the Nation's Defender, the Great Emancipator 
being returned to his home for sepulchure. 


Historical Reflections — Birth and Early Life— Education — He 
comes West — Teaches School — Admitted to Practice Law 

— Chosen Attorney General— Elected to the Legislature- 
Appointed Register of Land Offlce— Candidate for Congress 

— His Canvass with Judge Brown — Humors of the canvass 

— "Divil ava discint" — Is beaten — Is again a Candidate 
Succeeds — Elected to U. S. Senate — His Senatorial canvass 
with Lincoln — His Death. 

The lives of great men require careful study. The 
events connected therewith closely identify them, in all 
their leading incidents, with the people who forced great- 
ness on them. A faithful portraiture of so prominent a 
man as the subject of our notice cannot be without great 
interest, absorbing beyond that excited by events connected 
with men less actively engaged than he was in the stirring 
scenes of his public career. 

Stephen A. Douglas was born at Brandon, Vermont, 
April 23, 1813. His father died when Stephen was only 
three months old, leaving a sufficient competence, so that 
the child and youth was comfortably cared for and given a 
fair rudimental education in the common schools of the 
country. In these he was noted for readiness, diligence, 
and ' retentive memory. He was kind and amiable, and 
won the love and esteem of his teachers. In temper he 
was lively and vivacious. 


At the age of fifteen he wished to prepare himself for 
college, but on "sitting down to count the cost," in a 
friendly council with his mother, it was decided, much to 
his disappointment, that the family treasury could not 
honor the draft. " That 's the state of the exchequer, then, 
is it?" said Stephen; then thinking a moment, he said: 
" I'll learn a trade so I can earn my own living," and the 
same day started out to find a situation as an apprentice, 
which he succeeded in doing in a furniture manufactory. 
Here he ingeniously wrought for eighteen months, making 
good progress, when sufficient means were acquired to give 
him the necessary "preparation," and he entered "the acad- 
emy at Brandon. He made rapid progress in the class of 
studies to which he directed his attention. He attended 
one year, when his mother removed to Canandaigua, N.Y., 
and Stephen entered the academy there as a student. Stay- 
ing there another year he was prepared to enter on other 
studies, and deciding on the law for a profession, he entered 
the office of one of the leading attorneys there, Mr. Hub- 
bell, and studied until 1833. 

Then, fully equipped mentally, "as the law directs," the 
mighty West, with all its vast opportunities, opened out on 
his vision. On his journey he stopped at Cincinnati, Louis- 
ville, St. Louis, and on to Jacksonville. Casting about, he 
" received a call " to teach a school at Winchester, obtain- 
ing forty pupils for a three months' tutelage, at $3.00 for 
the quarter, which, he says, " was the first quarterage I ever 
received." He devoted his evenings and spare time to 
perfecting his law studies, and at the close of his school he 
was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court and opened 
an office at Jacksonville. 

In 1834, while not yet twenty -two years of age, he was- 

188 FIFTY years' recollections. 

elected by the legislature Attorney General of the State. 
In 1836 he was elected to the legislature from Morgan 
County, and first met Abraham Lincoln at the opening of 
the session, at Vandalia, in December of that year. 

After the adjournment of the legislature in 1837, he was 
appointed by President Van Buren register of the Land 
Office at Springfield, and removing there, he and Mr. Lin- 
coln became neighbors. In 1838 the democrats nominated 
him for Congress from the Springfield district, against 
Major John T. Stuart, the whig candidate, the district 
taking in the whole of Northern Illinois from Sangamon 
and Morgan counties, including Chicago, Galena, and all 
the country from the Mississippi to the eastern boundary of 
the State. Really a "from Dan to Beersheba" district. 
Both candidates entered the canvass to traverse this vast 
territory. It was while Mr. Douglas was "looking after 
his political fences" in this campaign that we first met him. 
He was accompanied on his canvass by Hon. Thomas C. 
Brown, of Galena, one of the associate judges of the Su- 
preme Court of this state. 

It was near sunset that two horsemencame up the road 
from toward Peoria, approaching father's cabin. One was 
a tall man, of commanding presence, sitting upon his horse 
erect, and the other astride of a powerful horse, but appear- 
ing, as they came up the road, to be a youth of sixteen. 
They approached our fourteen-feet square log cabin. Fa- 
ther, mother, self and other members of the family were 
sitting in the shed stoop that fronted the road, and had ob- 
served the travelers coming some minutes before they came 
in front. Judge Brown asked father if they could stay all 
night, at the same time mentioning his own and Mr. Doug- 
las' name. They were told they could stay if they would 


accept such accommodation as the cabin afforded. So the 
great notables were our guests — a big judge and a pros- 
pective congressman. Their horses were bountifully pro- 
vided for, and in a very short time the big and little great 
men were invited around our plentiful board, for we have 
said in another page of this book that father was an old 
hotel (they called it tavern at that day) keeper, and mother 
preserved the reputation of the house by her rare skill in 
cooking, every eatable and drinkable being set up in the 
most appetizing style, her motto being, that cooking could 
be done just as well in a log cabin as in the best-appointed 
hotels. Our "distinguished guests" were pleased; they 
said so, and the family were all pleased because our guests 
were. It made no difference if they were democrats and 
father and the boys were whigs (the latter not then voters). 
The stories went round about even between the Judge, 
Douglas, and my father, while we boys listened, unless we 
were spoken to, and the big men were sociable with all the 

One story we remember, Douglas told about himself, of his 
campaigning experience. He had been up at Joliet, where 
there were hundreds of men working on the canal. Most 
of them were the broadest kind of Erin-go-braa;h fellows, 
just from the " ould sod," and, of course, in those days, all 
these were democrats. Douglas said : " I had an apprecia- 
tive audience ; they cheered me ; in fact, they were too 
friendly. I was extolling the patriotism of Ireland, the 
virtues of her people, the bravery of her sons, and beauty 
of her daughters; I even referred to myself as being 
descended from a long line of patriotic sires of Irish de- 
scent. When I had said that," continued Mr. Douglas, 
" a great, big, burly Irishman, over six foot high, rose and 


said : " Do you say Mr. Dooglas, that you discinded from 
the- great McDooglases of Ireland ?" Mr. Douglas assented. 
" Coming forward where I was talking the big man patron- 
izingly leaned over me, spreading out his brawny arms, " 
said, " What a divil of a discint," which closed his speech, 
but said Mr. Douglas, " I expect to get all their votes." 

Douglas and his friend Judge Brown remained as guests 
until next day, when they departed on their mission. Soon 
the election came off. Douglas received the votes of the 
" canal ring " as the thousands of laborers on the canal were 
at that time called, but there were not quite enough of them 
to elect him. He was beaten by just five majority for 
Major Stuart, was urged to contest the election, and did 
go into the investigation, having for its objects to prove 
illegal voting for Stuart, but the more he investigated he 
found that it was likely to increase Stuart's majority, and 
he was disappointed in his congressional aspirations for 
that time. 

But with the politician's hopefulness ever rising to 
cheer the young aspirant, with the expressed hope of " bet- 
ter luck next time," he devoted himself more assiduously 
than ever to his law practice. His tact and skill gave him 
a wide professional reputation, and the fact of his having 
been a member of the legislature, attorney-general, register 
of the land office, and an almost successful candidate for 
congress over half the territorial limits of the state, made 
him the best known man in the state. He largely increased 
this acquaintance by making a thorough canvass of the 
state in the presidential campaign of 1840. • It was called 
the " Log Cabin and Hard Cider campaign," he addressing 
two hundred and seven meetings from the beginning to the 
close of the canvass. 


Gov. Carlin appointed him secretary of state in Decem- 
ber, 1840, and during that session the supreme court of the 
state was reorganized by adding four additional members, 
and Douglas was elected to a seat and assigned to the 
Quincy circuit. 

He was so social and so anxious to stand well with the 
boys, that when a suit was pending he would keep track of 
all the proceedings, decide all points of law, leave the bench, 
go back among the bystanders recognizing Tom, or Jack, 
or Bill, distribute or take a cigar, enjoy a social smoke with 
them, sit down familiarly with them, often in their laps, at 
the same time keeping track of what all the members of the 
bar were doing. A judge with this elasticity of talent 
could not fail to be popular. He was preparing his way 
for his congressional career, which, when commenced 
never was broken until the time of his death. He was 
elected to congress in 1 843, after serving nearly three years 
on the bench. He served three terms in the house of rep- 
resentatives and was a studious toiler, unceasing in his at- 
tention to business, and his knowledge of public affairs be- 
came vast, complete and accurate. 

When he entered Congress, the question which had for 
years in one shape or another been brought up for consid- 
eration, was to refund to General Jackson the fine imposed 
upon him by Judge Hall for placing New Orleans under 
martial law at the time he was making preparation to 
defend that city from the British in January 1815. Douglas 
studied all the legal points involved, both in civil and mili- 
tary law, brought the batteries qf his legal arsenal to bear 
on the question, and made such a masterly exposition of the 
" military necessity " that compelled General Jackson to 
declare martial law, that it attracted the attention of mili- 

192 FIFTY years' recollections. 

tary and civil officials all over the United States and 
Europe. Jackson himself, in thanking Douglas for this 
effort and the success attending it, said to him, " I knew 
when I proclaimed and enforced martial law that I was 
doing right, but never until I read your speech could I 
express the reason which actuated my conduct." In 1847 
Douglas entered the senate of the United States, the goal 
of his ambition — except being president. To this he bent 
every other interest, as it was a noble ambition and worthy 
of any man. To promote the interest of the people was to 
promote his own, and after his successful labor in securing 
the grant of land to aid in building the Illinois Central 
railroad, and the large degree of popularity awarded to 
him for his agency and great influence, he cast about for 
other measures that would impress them still more favora- 
bly. He aided in the compromise measures of 1850-51, 
that he was sure would hold the South to his support, and 
not drive away any from the border or northern states. 

To his mind the question would commend itself to the 
whole country, and having that fixed, his fertile genius 
commenced to evolve other problems that he would have 
the credit of originating — almost claim as his own by right 
of discovery, that he could present to the country as the 
original inventor, claiming copyright, and, as patent, bearing 
the great seal of approval by the people. It must have a 
high sounding and patriotic title,— hence Popular Sover- 
eignty — the rule or government of the masses, to suit the 
North and not be objectionable at the South. This was the 
process of reasoning that, brought to his mind the repeal 
of the Missouri compromise, removing the statutory line, 
taking down the bars, and giving free access to first comers 
in sufficient numbers to impress their policy or institutions 


on the new territories before admission as states. The 
time, too, was well chosen to accomplish this patriotic and 
popular idea. The presidential election of 1852 was passed 
and there was a state of quietude, on the surface at least,, 
of the political waters, but in Douglas' case " still waters 
run deep," and he prepared to launch his " popular sover- 
eignty " barque to navigate them, with the probabilities 
strongly in favor that his port of entry would be the presi- 
dential mansion on the 4th of March 1857, and failing 
that, to sail the same craft for a positive successful landing 
in 1861. . 

Here is the programme, as gathered from Douglas him- 
self in various brief conversations from 1854 to 1860, 
which our recollection enables us to give in substance, 
which history will verify. After various preliminary propo- 
sitions and discussions, which it is not here necessary to 
introduce, Mr. Douglas introduced, January 23, 1854, the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill, which, in unexpected and ultimate 
consequences to him, was then beyond his political ken. 
The bill divided the territory from latitude 37 degrees to 
latitude 43 degrees and 30 minutes into two territories, the 
southern to be called Kansas, and the northern Nebraska ; 
the territory between latitude 36 degrees and 30 minutes, 
and 37 degrees was now left to the Indians. It was de- 
clared to be the purpose of the act to carry out propositions 
and principles embracing all questions as to slavery in the 
territories, or the states to be formed from them, these to be 
left to the people or their representatives residing therein. 

Here was where the " squatter sovereignty " wedge was 

introduced, and further explaining that " it being the true 

intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into 

any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to 


194 FIFTY years' recollections. 

leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate 
their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only 
to the constitution of the United States." To this there 
was an amendment offered by Chase, of Ohio, " allowing 
the people to prohibit slavery therein, if they saw fit." 
This was voted down 36 to 10. March 3, 1854, the bill 
passed the senate by a vote of 37 to 14, and was not taken 
up in the house until May 8th, and was passed May 24th, 
the vote being 113 for to 100 against. May 30 President 
Pierce approved it, and Mr. Douglas' pet bill became a law, 
and thus were these two territories thrown open" to settle- 
ment on equal terms, leaving the settlers at liberty to intro- 
duce or exclude slavery as they should think proper. 

This we believe was the gist of the law as Mr. Douglas 
expounded and defended it before the people from 1854 to 
1860. Its ultimate and unexpected consequences were fatal 
to his political prospects. 

In 1856, the south finding that they could not make 
Mr. Douglas the supple and pliant instrument to carry out 
their designs, nominated Buchanan, whom they could use 
the ultra southern wing gradually drawing away, although 
the Kansas-Nebraska mil was endorsed by the Cincinnati 
convention of 1856 as a kind of plaster, so that Douglas 
would not feel his defeat so keenly. Buchanan, in his letter 
of acceptance, endorsed it, saying " that the people of a 
territory, like those of a state, shall decide for themselves 
whether slavery shall not exist within their limits" 

After using Douglas' popularity to carry him into the 
presidential chair he basely deserted the platform on which 
he was nominated, adopted ultra southern views, and on the 
meeting of congress he boldly and in shameless defiance of 
his previous pledges to the country, urged the admission of 


Kansas under the Lecompton constitution. Buchanan said, 
in answer to a deputation that called on him to remonstrate 
against this measure, " slavery exists in Kansas under the 
constitution of the United States. This point has at last 
been decided by the highest tribunal known to our laws. 
How it could be seriously doubted is a mystery." 

Douglas tells the circumstances of his disagreement 
with the president in a speech at Chicago, to which we 
listened in the canvass of 1860. It was at the great mass 
meeting held on the then vacant block west of Elizabeth 
street, between Madison and Washington, near the closing 
of the campaign. Douglas shall tell it himself: 

" If you look into the Lecompton constitution you will 
find that the original document made Kansas a slave state, 
and then the schedule submitted another clause to the peo- 
ple to vote for or against ; if they voted for it, Kansas was 
a slave state, and if they voted against it still it was a slave 
state. When I reached Washington, three days before the 
meeting of Congress, I went directly to the president, and 
had a talk with him upon this subject, in which I implored 
him as a friend not to send the constitution into Congress 
for acceptance. 

" I told him that it was a violation of every pledge we 
had ever made to the people ; a violation of the fundamen- 
tal principles of the democratic party, and a violation of 
the principles of all parties in all republican governments ; 
because it Was an attempt to force a constitution upon an 
unwilling people. He begged me not to s$y anything upon 
the subject until we should hear the news' as to how the 
vote stood on the slavery clause. The vote, you remem- 
ber, was to be taken on the slavery clause on the 21st of 
December, three or four weeks subsequent to this conven- 
tion. I told the president that if he would withhold his 
recommendation until the vote was taken on that clause I 
would withhold my speech against the measure. He said 

196 FIFTY years' recollections. 

he-must recommend it in his message, and I replied that if 
he did I would denounce it the moment his message was 
read. At last the President became somewhat excited 
upon the subject, and arose and said to me : ' Mr. Doug- 
las, I desire you to remember that no democrat ever 
yet differed from an administration of bis own choice with- 
out being crushed.' Then he added, ' Beware of the fate of 
Talmadge and Rives.' I arose and said, ' Mr. President, 
I wish you to remember that General Jackson is dead, sir.' 
From that day to this he and I have been trying the ques- 
tion whether General Jackson is dead. And one thing is 
certain, — the people of Illinois decided in 1858 that James 
Buchanan was not General Jackson." 

That is the history of the Buchanan-Douglas political 
leave-taking just before the assembling of congress in 
1857. Douglas fully felt the gravity of the situation on 
his own future prospects. It meant that he had two fights 
on his hands instead of one — he must fight the adminis- 
tration and the steadily growing republican party. 

At the opening of congress the Lecomptonites, assured 
of the aid of the administration, demanded that Kansas 
should be admitted under that constitution, threatening dis- 
union if not unconditionally complied with. Douglas, the 
champion of popular sovereignty, determined to be true to 
his pledges, promptly stepped forward and fought the 
battle of freedom for Kansas, single-handed, from his own 
party in the senate, the Illinois delegation sustaining him, 
and popular-sovereignty democrats standing side by side 
with republicans. Thus the recreant president and his 
allies were defeated in their attempt to force slavery on 
Kansas. Douglas delivered his celebrated anti-Lecompton 
speech March 22d, 1858, listened to with great interest by 
the dignitaries and representatives of foreign courts in 
Washington, and was congratulated by all parties. He 


spoke for three hours, warming up by degrees, expounding 
the meaning and intenL of the law. He referred to himself 
personally, not vain-gloriously taking credit for what he 
had done, but for the purpose of vindicating himself from 
the aspersions cast on him by his former political asso- 
ciates. He went through his public course. He showed 
what his acts had been ; echoed his own words ; said he 
was proud of what he had done ; called attention to his 
acts, and defied his fault-finding democratic brethren to 
show that every public act of his- life had not been recog- 
nized as the policy and principles of the democratic party. 
He defined his position in the present crisis, — what the 
duty of. a senator from a sovereign state was, and the 
responsibility he owed to the people whose voice he repre- 
sented. He lifted the head and heart of the audience with 
him. He held the multitude chained with that peculiar 
eloquence which, based on common sense, and the rights of 
man, reaches its destination without the aid of rhetorical 
flourishes. Such eloquence does not dazzle, it convinces; 
it does not stretch the fancy, but solidifies the head ; it does 
not hold the breath, but makes one breathe freer, for it 
cheers the heart. The applause which broke from the 
galleries and rolled from side to side of the chamber was a 
noble testimony to the principles enunciated. He was 
there as the defender of the people, the representative of the 
state, not the vassal of the executive to do its bidding, but 
consulting the interests of the people. He stood forth as 
the champion of state sovereignty. He grew in enthusiasm 
with the progress of his speech, and the effect was electrical. 
Time wore on after this triumphant speech, bringing 
the canvass of 1858 between him and Mr. Lincoln, to 
which we have given considerable space. We have seen 


that their principal subject of discussion was slavery and 
the territories, one insisting that Congress for the Ameri- 
can people had. the right to exclude it, and should do so ; 
Mr. Douglas insisting that each territory should be left to 
settle its own domestic institutions in its own way subject 
only to the constitution of the United States. Both these 
men were working better than they knew. Both were 
teaching and making more prominent, and more than ever 
sacred, the majesty of majorities. This discussion has aptly 
been called " The battle of the giants," Mr. Lincoln secur- 
ing the presidency, and Mr. Douglas his re-election to the 

But with a page or two more our recollections of these 
two great patriotic Hercules must close. The limits of 
these sketches have been drawn out at greater length than 
at first intended. They were both patriots. Douglas wished 
to be president because in that exalted station he could 
best serve the country, and he bent all his great powers of 
head and heart to achieve his noble ambition. Lincoln was 
made president because he had no ambition in that direct- 
ion. He had no claims on the people, but the people had 
on him, and the spontaneous demand went up from the 
loyal majorities that he should be president. He was not 
disobedient to the call of his country. Both men fulfilled 
their destiny, well rounded up" their years and honors. Mr. 
Douglas at the close of the extra session of Congress in 
April, 1861, hastened to Springfield where the legislature was 
in session, to assure the assembled representatives of the 
people of the aid of his powerful influence to rouse the people 
to meet the emergency promptly. Before leaving Washing- 
ton he had called on Mr. Lincoln to assure him of his 
earnest co-operation in measures taken to raise forces to 
put down the rebellion. 


He gave Gov. Yates the same assurance when he arrived' 
at Springfield, and was invited by the legislature and lead- 
ing citizens to address a meeting at Representative HalL 
He denounced the rebellion as a " wide-spread conspiracy to 
overthrow the best government the sun ever shown upon," 
urged all " as one man to rush to the defense of that we 
hold most dear," giving, the reason why he urged the people 
to quick action, he continued : " I have plead and implored 
for compromise. Now that all else has failed, there is but 
one course left, and that is to rally as one man under the 
flag. What single act has been done to justify this attempt 
to overthrow the Republic?" "The will of the majority 
constitutionally expressed, should govern." " It is a crime 
against the freedom of the world to attempt to blot the 
United States out of the map of Christendom." " Gentle- 
men, it is our duty to defend our constitution and protect 
our flag." " Let me say to my old friends you will be false 
and unworthy of your principles if you allow political 
defeat to convert you into traitors to your national flag. 
The shortest way to peace is the most stupendous and 
unanimous preparation for war." 

From Springfield he hastened to Chicago. Men of all 
parties hailed his coming. He spoke this time, and the 
last, in the "Wigwam," then consecrated to patriotic meet- 
ings. It was an effort worthy the last of the patriot states- 
man's life. It was oracular, prophetic, commanding, 
beseeching and persuading. Its arguments were unan- 
swerable. It was like the words of the prophets of old, 
appealing to conscience, the heart, and love of country. 
The words of these speeches rang out all over the country, 
were read in all families, and the united country heard 
it passed from lip to lip, " Douglas sustains Lincoln," and 

200 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the voice of treason was shamed into silence. We give, in 
closing, some of these last words. " The present secession 
movement is the result of an enormous conspiracy, formed 
more than a year ago. The conspiracy is now known." 
" There are only two sides to the question. Every man 
must be for the United States or against it. There can be 
no neutrals in this war; only patriots — or traitors. 
Thank God, Illinois is not divided on this question. I 
know the rebels expected to present a united South against 
a divided North." We give the closing paragraph of this 
greatest and last speech : " I express it as my con- 
viction before God that it is the duty of every American 
citizen to rally round the flag of his country. Illinois has 
a proud position, united, firm, determined never to permit 
the government to be destroyed." 

These words were the seal of his usefulness here on 
earth. When he closed he returned to his rooms at the 
Tremont House. He had been laboring and suffering from 
the effects of a severe cold, was hoarse, spoke with diffi- 
culty, and the effort was too much for him. His hoarseness 
increased. He laid down to die, while the loyal millions 
at home and in the field were reading his patriotic utter- 
ances he was wrestling with the throes of death. 

; IcS* ■ J : StNX 




Introductory — Student of history — Great results from small be- 
ginnings — Two determined women — One improvement fol- 
lows another — More land bought — Miss Wood married — 
Dissolution of partnership — Miss Ada C. Joy — Dr. Henry 
Shimer — Ornithological collection — Scientific attainments — 
Library — Different departments — The faculty — Present 
board of instruction— Description of buildings — Internal 
arrangements — Water supply — Plumbing — Ventilation — 
Ruttan system — Sewerage — Gas making — Student's pas- 
times — Promenades — Architectural lecture — Well arranged 
grounds — What one woman has done — Encouragement for 
others to do likewise. 

The author of these " Recollections " need not offer an 
apology for the introduction into the work of so many 
pages, yes, whole chapters, to educational institutions, 
their controling force, the master minds of the educators of 
this state, the Archimedean levers that give power to all 
other industries, professions and callings of our great 

We have no partiality for one institution over another, 
but are acquainted with the system and educational plans 
of some of the institutions of this state more than we are 

202 fifty years' recollections. 

with others, which enables us to write understanding^ 
of their merits. In the course of our newspaper and edi- 
torial work since 1858, education, educators and their 
work, has been part of our study, in fact we have been 
a student all these years, not in these institutions but out 
of them, noting the good they do, and the wide-spreading 
influence they command, by the better class of men and 
women that are trained by their teachings to enter upon 
life's duties with clearer and better defined purposes be- 
cause of this teaching. 

Of one of these great institutions that has been built up 
within thirty years we propose to speak, — Mount Carroll 
Seminary, built, controlled, managed architecturally, educa- 
tionally and financially by the genius of women. It has 
been a progressive institution, coming up through these 
years from small beginnings to one completed whole, among 
the best in the land. 

In the year 1853 two young ladies, Miss Frances A. 
Wood and Miss Cinderella M. Gregory, graduates of the 
Normal school at Albany, New York, came to Mt. Carroll, 
seeking an opening in the educational field in the west.. 
They arranged for a room, their first term commencing May 
11, 1853, with eleven pupils, but increased to forty before 
the close of the term. This select school continued in these 
quarters for over one year, still growing in popularity,. 
Misses "Wood and Gregory working together as educators, 
while Miss Wood financiered the embryo seminary. 

A charter for the " Mount Carroll Seminary" had been, 
obtained by the citizens at the session of the state legisla- 
ture in 1852. The success that marked the labors of Misses 
Wood and Gregory led the board of corporators to pro- 
pose to them to organize formally under their charter, sub- 


ject to the management of the board. To this the ladies 
consented, on conditions that a suitable building should be 
erected for the accommodation of the school. The board at 
once organized a stock company and opened the books for 
subscriptions. About three thousand dollars worth of stock 
was subscribed and the corporators proceeded with the 
work, purchasing five acres of ground at a cost of five 
hundred dollars, and during the summer of 1854 erected a 
building forty-two by forty-six feet, two and a half stories 
and basement. In October, 1854, the school was removed 
to this building and duly organized under the charter, the 
board of trustees assuming control, and Misses Wood and 
Gregory taking charge as salaried teachers. The success in 
increasing the stock and making collections of that already 
subscribed came short of the expectations of the board, and 
as the spring opened, the time for enclosing the grounds, 
with the finishing of many needed improvements, found 
them without the funds for' the work. As only about one 
thousand dollars of the stock subscribed had been paid in, 
it will be seen the building and furnishing thus far had 
been done mainly on borrowed capital. The creditors were 
getting uneasy. Something must be done. The board 
was disheartened and wanted to get the property off their 
hands. They offered it to Misses Wood and Gregory at the 
cost of the work done, and as an inducement offered to donate 
the five acres of ground and furniture, in consideration of 
which the ladies were to obligate themselves to continue 
the school ten years. The conditions were accepted and 
the property, with the charter, transferred by the board to 
Misses Wood and Gregory. 

After a year or two the ladies assumed the debt made 
for the purchase of the furniture also, as a condition for 

204 FIFTY years' recollections. 

release from the obligation entered into to continue the 
school a given time. Thus the only money-value aid re- 
ceived by Misses Wood and Gregory from the citizens or 
public, was in the five acres of ground donated by two 
prominent members of the board, Messrs. Rinewalt and 
Halderman, the original owners of the land, which they 
bought of the government at $1.25 per acre, occupied as 
farm land at $7.50 per acre till the site was in demand for 
the seminary grounds, when it advanced in value to $100 
per acre. Thus, after an experience of six months under 
the management of a board of trustees, the school was again 
in the hands of its founders, with a debt of $4,500 for the 
building, and later, the debt for the furniture assumed. 
Fortunately Miss Wood had a small patrimony coming 
from her father's estate, and some responsible friends east 
as backers ; yet what a task was before these young women ! 
As it was now regarded as a " private enterprise," no board 
of trustees to give it a promise of success or permanency, 
•of course nothing was to be expected from the public in the 
payment of stock subscribed or other pecuniary aid. Pat- 
ronage, however, was given as far as the conduct of the 
school proved to ment it, and it came only thus, as it was 
the determined policy of the founders not to solicit pupils, or 
■" beg funds," but to lend all their energies to the making of 
a school that should merit confidence, and thus be cer- 
tain of a liberal patronage. Thus has this school been 
throughout all these thirty years, an exception to nearly, 
and so far as the author knows, quite all the schools in 
the country, in that its managers have never asked any 
man, woman or child for his or her patronage — have never 
employed an agent in any capacity to solicit pupils or funds 
for the support of the school. Nevertheless, the seminary 


grew in reputation, a large increase of students, as the 
years came and went, until 1857, when more room was 
needed, an addition to their building demanded — Miss 
Wood prepared the plans and specifications for an addition 
twenty-two by sixty feet on the southeast part of the 
original building. Mechanics were employed and paid by 
the day, and the closest economy exercised in every partic- 
ular. This addition was raised two and a-half stories above 
the basement, added twenty-three private rooms, and cost 
about the same as the first — $4,500. Every business man 
of those years (1857 aDd 1858) can recall the fearful 
"panic" that crushed so many and embarrassed all. It 
came with almost crushing force upon the seminary enter- 
prise just in the midst of the building of this first addition. 
What ready money there was for the work was closely 
locked in bank, with no certainty of its ever being available. 
Collections that would have been ready at call and depended 
upon to be put into the work it was impossible to get. The 
rooms were in demand for the opening of the next school 
year. What was to be done? " Prudence," perhaps, would 
have said, " suspend the building work." These ladies 
said, the rooms must be ready. To this end Miss Wood 
(now Mrs. Shimer) spent the summer vacation in actual 
labor in every way possible to forward the work. She 
bought the material for painting the building, at wholesale, 
mixed her own paints and put upon this entire building 
(except the cornice, the building being of brick), painting 
every one of the twenty-three rooms herself, three coats of 
paint. The glass and putty she bought in the same way, 
and glazed, with her own hands, every window, ( forty of 
them). The wall paper she put upon every one of the 
twenty-three rooms herself alone. Thus she labored, not 

206 fifty year's recollections. 

from penuriousness, but what seemed to her necessity. The 
money was not at command to pay for this labor. She 
would not increase debts with a possibility of the laborer 
losing his earnings. The accommodations for pupils must 
be ready or the school would be seriously embarrassed in its 
next year's work. And they were ready, and the 
school opened. 

Just then came another crisis — the housekeeper was 
taken down with severe illness. Teachers were more 
easily obtained than competent housekeepers. Miss 
Wood placed a supply in the schoolroom, and took her 
post in the kitchen. For six weeks she did the cooking 
and administered the domestic affairs of the institution and 
at the same time filled the place of nurse to the sick house- 

Success and popularity attended the seminary. Pluck 
and determination had made it a success. Its patronage 
increased, the debts were paid, and new plans devised for 
further enlargement. Miss Wood planned and worked on 
the outside — in the schoolroom, in the kitchen when 
neoessary; painted and papered, contracted for material, 
managed everything with a skill commanding admiration 
and defied opposition. Miss Gregory was no less earnest 
among the students, and the good work went on. By 
enlargements and improvements in the years from 1857 to 
1864, the building and accessories had cost $14,000, and 1865 
opened with yet a larger demand for room. A second addi- 
tion was built southwest of the original building, and so 
joined the first addition as to give the two the appearance 
of one building, both being raised to the height of the 
original building, and covering an area of fifty by seventy 
feet, or altogether fifty-two by one hundred and sixteen 


feet. At the same time the rooms and internal arrange- 
ments of the first two buildings were materially changed, 
making them much more commodious and convenient. 
These improvements beginning in 1865, were completed in 
1867. In this work the same system was pursued, and 
under the same management as in the addition made in 
1857. Other lands were purchased, increasing the sem- 
inary domain proper to twenty-five acres. On the added 
grounds the work of hedging, tree planting and other 
agricultural improvements went on, as on the first five 
iicres, till the entire campus is almost a grove, with open 
spaces of beautiful, well-kept lawn, with fruit and flower 

During these busy years Miss Wood was married to Dr. 
Henry Shimer. 

In our visits to the seminary, which were frequent 
from 1870 to 1875, we found Dr. Shimer distributing his 
vast scientific acquirements as lecturer, hearing a class in 
mathematics, discoursing to students or visitors on ento- 
mology, ornithology, and the kindred science to the last, — 
taxidermy. An industrious student of natural history, he 
has collected a choice cabinet for the use of the seminary. 
Those critical and competent to judge in such matters have 
given it as their opinion that his ornithological collection is 
not equaled in any other educational institution in the 
northwest, perhaps not in the country. He, being in those 
years engrossed in scientific educational duties, and later 
in his practice as a physician, has no time to devote to the 
business details of the institution, but that is left in the 
hands of the one who has shaped, fashioned, guided and 
directed it in its present magnificent success, — Mrs. 
Francis A. Wood Shimer. 

208 FIFTY years' recollections. 

There is a library of over three thousand volumes, and 
being added to on each recurring year. It is the depository 
of all the public documents published at Washington, 
about forty volumes being added every session of Congress. 
To this feature of the institution it is indebted to Hon. E. 
B. Washburn, when in Congress many years ago, and it 
has been continued ever since. 

In 1870 the partnership between Mrs. Wood Shimer 
and Miss Gregory was dissolved, Mrs. Shimer becoming 
sole proprietor and manager of the institution. Soon after, 
Miss Ada C. Joy, of Maine, an accomplished and thorough 
educator, became associate principal. In addition to her 
accomplishments as teacher she has fine executive ability, 
and great tact and skill in the management of such a work. 
Up to the time of Miss Joy's engagement with her Mrs. 
Shimer had no assistance whatever in the financial part of 
the enterprise, which, with her large and increasing business, 
she now very much needed. In this Miss Joy proved her- 
self equal to the emergency, as she quickly acquired a 
knowledge of business details, and has become a valuable 
co-laborer in this sphere of work as in the duties more 
especially devolving upon her position. 

From 1870 the continued increasing wants of the school ' 
demanded more room, till in 1875 a third addition was pro- 
jected and completed in the fall of 1876. This is forty by 
one hundred feet, and joined to the northeast corner of the 
first or original building. It is five stories, including a 
sixteen-room attic devoted to practice rooms for the music 
conservatory. In all, this addition has seventy-one rooms. 
Mrs. Shimer was again in this, as in the previous buildings 
erected, the sole architect, contractor, builder and financier. 
The modern improvements introduced in this building, and 


its much greater size than any of the three previous struc- 
tures, together with the superior workmanship put upon it, 
made its cost to far exceed all the others. Then there were 
essential changes and improvements made in the other 
buildings, especially the first (original) one. As the family 
increased, the dining room was enlarged by the removal of 
one partition after another till now it occupies the|space of 
seven rooms — the entire first floor of the original building. 
Furnaces with the same system of ventilation as in the last 
addition were also placed in this. With the improvements 
in buildings and grounds came added improvements in 
the working methods of the school. 

The Normal Department is a valuable feature of 
the Seminary. The principal, a graduate of the New York 
Normal school, knowing full well the value of that system to 
those having teaching in view, has given prominence to 
this department. Hundreds of teachers have gone out from 
this seminary, now filling prominent positions in public and 
graded schools, seminaries, academies and colleges. Under 
Mrs. Shimer's liberal management of the seminary, provi- 
sion was early made to give free tuition to one teacher 
from each township in Carroll county, and one from each 
county in the state. Another valuable feature, showing the 
broad scope of the beneficent educational designs of its pro- 
jectors, is the labor department, affording the means to 
many of the most worthy young women of securing an 
education, fitting themselves for positions of usefulness. It 
gives opportunity to those who could not otherwise enjoy 
the advantages of a seminary to work their way — young 
women of energy and character earning their own education. 
There are at this writing many in this department doing a 
large part of the domestic labor of the institution. Thus 


are teachers provided and educational advantages dispensed 
to many young women who could not otherwise obtain it. 

At the head of the domestic departments as housekeeper, 
it is the aim to have a lady in the true sense of the word, 
one who can not only do, but direct and instruct the 
students in the best methods of housekeeping in all its 
details. To this end the present most competent and effi- 
cient incumbent, Mrs. Mary G. Nias, is laboring with en- 
ergy and zeal, and with most happy results, as may be seen 
in the well ordered house and the neat and bountifully 
furnished tables, on which is uniformly found, not only an 
abundance but a nice variety, and all most wholesome and 
healthful. In addition to the instruction given to the 
young ladies in the manual labor department, Mrs. Nias 
gives lessons to all in the best methods of making and 
caring for a home and family. 

The Mt. Carroll Seminary for the first fourteen years 
received both sexes, having as many young men in attend- 
ance as young women. As a " mixed school " it was an 
eminent suocess. The young men here " fitted for college," 
took a high rank in the different institutions they afterward 
entered and graduated from, doing credit to the seminary 
faculty, which at that time was made up almost exclusively 
of lady teachers. As an instance, one of the young men 
fitted here for college was admitted, on examination, to the 
senior year at one of the oldest eastern colleges, from which 
he graduated in one year. His preparation in mathematics 
had been entirely under the instruction of lady teachers. 

Thus the seminary ever maintained a high standard of 
instruction and scholarship, having an extended course in 
studying in which is required the greatest possible thorough- 


Young men were ultimately excluded from the seminary, 
much to the regret of all concerned, solely for the want of 
room to accommodate all. 

While this institution has won for itself an enviable 
reputation as A thoroughly practical school, in that its 
literary and scientific course is among the best, and that its 
students become thoroughly imbued with the idea of having 
a purpose and aim in life, and of gaining a thorough prepa- 
ration for some sphere of usefulness, the ornamental 
branches have by no means been neglected. The music 
and art departments are not excelled in any institution of 
the kind West or East. 

^ From a small beginning (the seminary having brought to 
this county the first new piano ever here), with three pupils 
in music, the music department has become so large as to 
employ five to seven teachers and professors of music, and 
furnished with nearly forty instruments — pianos, organs, 
guitars, etc. The success and popularity of the conserva- 
tory of music is largely due to Mrs. B. F. Dearborn Hazzen, 
who has been identified with it for the past fifteen years, 
and who deservedly ranks among the very best in the pro- 
fession, her specialty being voice building. Her " method " 
is of the best, her skill and tact in understanding the needs 
of different voices and so adapting her instruction as to 
safely develop them, are quite wonderful. Then as a lady, 
an educator, and one so closely identified with the institu- 
tion and its principal, especially through seasons of great 
trial, Mrs. Dearborn Hazzen may be regarded as almost one 
of the founders. Her husband, Prof. H. W. Hazzen, ex- 
cels also in his department, literature. There is probably 
no better scholar in literature in the state, if in the West,. 
and as a teacher and lecturer he is winning a high standing. 


Miss Kendall, for teu years at the head of the instrumental 
music, ranks with the best. The different assistants of the 
conservatory use the same methods as the heads of the de- 
partments, and all are subject to their supervision and 
direction, thus all students of music here enjoy directly or 
indirectly the benefit of the superior culture and experience 
of the principal of the vocal department and the director of 
the instrumental department. 

The instruments in use here are first class, nearly all 
the pianos being changed for new ones during the last year. 
The graduates of the conservatory are in demand for first 
class positions as teachers, church singers and organists. 

Thus we might fill pages in noticing the different 
features of interest and the many advantages this seminary 
offers to the young women of the country. Industry and 
economy were necessary in their accomplishment. These 
virtues have been exercised without stint. When likely to 
fail by the men-management invoked to its aid in its incep- 
tion, two women — both educators, but one combining 
financial skill, great head and iron will, stepped into the 
breach — put both soul and strength into the work, and 
have brought the seminary up to its present high position, 
an honor not only to the state in which it has been built 
up, but to the national government, which is based upon 
the intelligence and virtue of its citizens. 

Description of Buildings. — Four buildings, as else- 
where described, all so connected as to give the appearance 
of one, present a west and north front of two hundred 
and fifty-six feet. The original building gives a dining 
room forty-two by forty-six feet on the first floor. The 
second floor is used for library, office, reception room and 
music room. Third floor for society and reading room and 


private rooms. Fourth floor for private and trunk rooms. 
The second and third buildings give, on the first floor, 
school and recitation rooms, thirty-two by seventy feet, and 
four private rooms. The second and third floors are occu- 
pied for private rooms, and the fourth floor for studio and 
music practice rooms. 

The fourth building, completed in 1877, has on the 
first floor a kitchen, laundry, dry room, ironing room, 
furnace room, foul air room, workshop, private room for 
employes, six dry earth closets, slop closet and dry earth 
vault and closet, the whole ventilated by the same system 
as the entire building, and thus kept as perfectly free from 
offense as can be. The value of these arrangements in a 
sanitary point of view cannot be over-estimated. The 
second floor has conservatory, principal's rooms, sick and 
nurse rooms, bath rooms, water and slop closets, on one 
side of main hall ; on the opposite side, the entire length 
of the building (one hundred feet) is devoted to parlors 
and rooms for the musical conservatory, the space being 
divided into five rooms, each communicating by folding 
doors, making a most spacious music hall when thrown 
into one room. 

The third and fourth floors are devoted to private rooms 
for students, all of which are neatly furnished, carpeted 
throughout with Brussels and three-ply carpets, bed (all 
with best woven wire mattresses), and all with convenient 
drawers, closets, cupboards, etc. Bath rooms, water and 
slop closets on each floor. The fifth floor has fifteen prac- 
tice rooms for music, a sun-bath room, trunk rooms and 
tank rooms, furnished with a thirty-five barrel tank for hard 
or well water, and the same for soft cistern water. The 
water supply is complete, of the best, purest water. The 

214 FIFTY years' recollections. 

hard water is from a well one hundred and thirty feet deep, 
fifty feet being in solid rock, and the remaining eighty feet 
tubed with heavy galvanized iron. There is no possibility 
of surface water or any impurities getting into the well. 
The cistern water supplied to the soft-water tank is from 
nine very large cisterns, connected by pipes at the bottom. 
The two cisterns receiving the water from the different 
buildings are furnished with the most complete filters, built 
in with brick, covered with charcoal, gravel, sand, etc. 

Thus the purest water is secured for both tanks. The 
water, from both well and cisterns, is raised by pumps, 
operated by wind power. The wind mill, with a sixteen- 
feet wheel, is built immediately over the well, and near the 
line of the cisterns. The pumps are set so that the mill 
works both pumps at the same time, thus quickly forcing 
an abundant supply of water to the fifth floor. The wind- 
mill house is a neat octagon structure, all enclosed with sid- 
ing, painted and furnished with windows and blinds. It is 
separated into three stories, making convenient rooms for 
tools, etc. From the tanks in the attic, the water, both 
hard and soft, is carried to closets on each floor, and to the 
basement, where the soft water is heated in two eighty-gal- 
lon circulating boilers, connected with the kitchen range, 
and by its own pressure returned ( both the hot and cold 
soft water) to the bath rooms on each floor, and to the 
rooms of the first building erected. The different bath 
rooms are furnished with metalic and rubber tubes for 
plunge baths, wood and tin tubes for sitz baths, Brown's 
steam tub for electrical vapor baths, and a complete shower 
bath, hot or cold, as may be desired. 

The system of plumbing is complete^ no lead or galvan- 
ized pipes being allowed to convey impure water to poison 


stealthily, but surely, those using such water. The warm- 
ing, ventilation and sewerage are as complete and perfect 
in that line as far as discovered. The well water is also 
carried under ground to the gardens, supplying fountains 
and hydrants for all needed garden uses. The warming 
and ventilating is constructed on the Ruttan improved sys- 
tem. The furnaces are so constructed that it is impossible- 
to make the outer casing red-hot, and consequently the air 
is never " burned," thus obviating the objection urged, 
against heating the furnaces. The. supply of pure air from 
outside flues is abundant. This is amply warmed by contact 
with outer cases of furnaces, and from this goes to a sheet- 
iron reservoir, about seventy feet long by five feet wide, 
and two feet deep, and from this reservoir supplied to the 
nine stacks of brick flues, each stack having seven or eight 
independent flues, each of which supplies heat to a room. 
Every flue has a damper in the basement, which system of 
dampers, in connection with the registers in each room, 
gives almost perfect control of the heating of the building. 
Every room is furnished with a thermometer, which the 
occupants are expected to observe, and when the tempera- 
ture is seventy degrees Fahrenheit the register is to be 
closed. If it falls to sixty-five degrees with register open, 
the occupant can report to the fireman, and more heat will 
be supplied. Thus a very nearly equal temperature may, 
with very little care, be enjoyed at all times, which is con- 
ducive alike to health and comfort. 

The system of ventilation deserves special mention. 
All the floors throughout the building are hollow, as also 
the main partitions from attic to basement. Under every 
window is a space of perforated base, which gives an open- 
ing from every room and hall to the hollow under the 

216 FIFTY years' recollections. 

floor, which communicates with the hollows in the parti- 
tions and is thus carried down to the " foul air room " in 
the basement, which opens directly to a ventilating chim- 
ney, some three by six feet in capacity, out at the apex of 
the roof. The draft of this great chimney upon the entire 
volume of air in the building naturally tends to exhaust 
the same from the building. The ventilating openings 
being at the base of the room, where the coldest air and 
foulest air tends to accumulate, this is of course the first to 
be drawn off. The pure air from the outside, freshly 
warmed, is drawn in through the register to supply the air 
exhausted. As the rooms warm, which they do very 
rapidly, and warm air is drawn off by this great chimney 
draft and passes through the hollows under the floors and 
down the hollow partitions, the warmth is given out to the 
floors and partitions, till the entire building is of an equal 
temperature, the floors and ceilings of the rooms being 
within a degree or two of the same temperature — a great 
improvement on the old plan of stove-heated, unventilated 
rooms, where "the head is baked and the feet frozen." 
With this system of complete ventilation, capable of chang- 
ing the entire atmosphere of the building every thirty min- 
utes, it is apparent that there is no need of open windows, 
exposing to cold currents, but on the contrary the more 
closely the windows and doors are kept closed the more 
perfect will be the ventilation. Hence, every means are 
used to make the building close. The walls of brick are 
thick and hollow, and then furred and lathed to secure 
warmth and dryness. The windows are all furnished with 
double sash and outside blinds, all of which contribute to 
the warmth. This system of warming and ventilating can 
hardly be improved upon, and our " Recollections " should 
be read carefully in order to fully understand it. 


The sewerage, as well as closet arrangement, should be 
noticed, as the healthfulness of a large number together is 
so directly dependent on the successful arrangement of 
these details. The slops from kitchen, laundry, bath 
rooms and private rooms are all emptied into iron sinks in 
the different closets, and thence conveyed by iron pipes 
down from the building into cement sewer pipes, laid deep 
under ground, and thence to a ravine some fifty rods from 
the seminary. The waste-water pipes are all abundantly 
supplied with stench traps, and to make the whole more 
secure, ventilated by carrying a tin flue from the upper end 
of the waste pipe out by the chimney to the top of the 
building. Thus there is no offense, no poisoning the air 
or earth, to be conveyed into the water at some remote time 
to cause sickness and epidemics. 

With such complete sanitary arrangements Mt. Carroll 
Seminary will continue to enjoy the immunity from sick- 
ness that it is already noted for. An elevator conveys all 
baggage from basement to any floor required. Clothes flues 
and dirt flues convey all clothes to the laundry and all dirt 
to the dirt closet in the basement. With the added con- 
veniences of water and slop closets on every floor, very 
much of the running up and down stairs is avoided. The 
entire buildings are fitted for gas. The gas house, of brick, 
is about eight rods from the seminary, where the gas is 
manufactured for lighting (at present out of use, a new 
machine soon to be put in). 

For exercise, in addition to the ample grounds and the 
grapevine arbor, three hundred feet long, we will notice 
the piazzas running the length and width of the first build- 
ing and length end width of the last building, giving five 
hundred feet for promenade, which is thoroughly enjoyed 

218 FIFTY years' recollections. 

by the young ladies, as we ' recollect ' to remember witness- 
ing their one hundred yard races in the arbor, shaded by 
the luxuriant grape vines ; all the more enjoyable when 
they can stop at convenience and pluck the juicy clusters 
of grapes hanging through the latticed arbor, the vines 
being in full fruitage when we last visited the classical 
shades of the seminary. 

Since that time improvements have steadily gone on. 
Three greenhouses, each sixty feet long, twenty, twelve and 
ten feet respectively in width, now ornament the seminary 
grounds. Adjoining these is a two-story cottage with seven 
rooms, furnishing convenient quarters for gardener and 
laborers employed on the grounds and seminary farm, for 
now, in addition to the twenty-five acres connected with the 
buildings, there are about three hundred and fifty acres of 
farm, pasture and wood land, all of which are made tribu- 
tary to the support, comfort and pleasure of the seminary 
and its occupants. The vines and trees of various fruits on 
the farm and grounds are now numbered by thousands, the 
products of which are, in their season, furnished to teachers, 
students, and the entire household as free as water. Never, 
as yet, have any been sold, all being used by the seminary 
household. Thus an abundant supply of fresh fruits and 
vegetables, early and late, contribute largely to the health 
as well as the enjoyment of the students. Yet another 
valuable improvement is found in a refrigerator of the 
Birdsall & Baker patent. It is a building eighteen by 
twenty-four feet on the ground, and thirty-two feet high, 
giving two stories of cold storage space, and sixteen feet 
deep of ice room. The cold storage space is partitioned 
into eight rooms which are kept at an uniform temperature 
of about twenty-eight degrees summer and winter. These 


cold rooms are devoted to the storage of the various sup- 
plies of the house needing a low temperature, as fruits, 
meats, eggs, etc. There is stored during May and June 
(the two best months in the year for making butter), a sup- 
ply of six to eight thousand pounds of the best creamery 
butter. At the low and uniform temperature it is kept, 
no change takes place, and the last jar comes out as fresh 
and sweet as the first. Thus all the supplies for the tables 
can be kept any desired length of time in a wholesome and 
healthful condition. About three hundred tons of ice is 
stored in this refrigerator and an ice-house near it for the 
uses named. Cows are kept to supply milk for the house- 
hold. Beef is grown and fattened on Iowa lands, which 
will be shipped to the seminary farm and slaughtered as 
needed, and kept fresh in the refrigerator. But we forbear 
further details, as we think we have given some idea of the 
completeness of the appointments here. 

We have been thus minute in our description because 
we think our readers will thank us for this lecture on archi- 
tecture, and particularly from the fact that the architect is 
. a woman, in short, we most emphatically declare that the 
superstructure and architecture of Mount Carroll Seminary 
in all its parts, intellectually, financially and architecturally, 
has been woman's work, Mrs. Shimer being the moving 
spirit, the superintending power through which, and by 
which, the whole has culminated in a grand success^ from 
the quarrying of the rock for the foundation to the finish- 
ing stroke of the painter and the final furnishing of the 
vast educational pile. 

She has asked no board of trustees to advise with their 
counsel — • only to confound and distract. Let other women 
be self reliant and go and do likewise. 

220 FIFTY years' recollections. 

The completion of the building is not all that has been 
•done. Look at the pleasant surroundings — the grounds 
with their wealth of fruitful trees, shrubs and vines. 

Beginning with five acres of naked prairie, not a tree or 
shrub upon it, not even a fence to enclose it, she has 
added to it till now there are twenty-five acres enclosed 
with hedges and ornamental borders of evergreens and every 
variety of deciduous trees, planted with vineyards and 
orchards, embracing every variety of fruit grown in this 
latitude ; flower gardens laid out and planted, walks, play- 
grounds and game grounds provided for, macadamized and 
graveled drives laid, arbors and shady seats, fountains set 
in their midst, all projected, material procured, and work 
done under the immediate supervision of the same woman. 
Her own landscape gardener, orchardist and planter, every 
tree and shrub and plant passed through her hands, placing 
nearly every root in the ground herself, with, in most cases, 
inexperienced boys to do the digging, whom she was edu- 
cating for higher work. During these years of laying out 
grounds, and planting hedges and trees, being at all times 
financier, book-keeper, secretary, treasurer, steward and 
general overseer, this same woman carried on her im- 
provements out of doors through the day^ and attended to 
the duties of her other offices at night, thus, much of her 
life, taking only four or five hours sleep out of the twenty- 
four. If a change of cooks was necessary at any time 
she filled the vacancy for weeks, or till suited with a new 
one. If the cook was sick, as sometimes happened, she 
became cook and nurse. Such was the experience of many 
of the early years of this enterprise. 

Say not that women' are dependent. Every girl in the 


country should'be educated to be self-reliant and capable of 
being self-sustaining. Till this is the aim of every school 
for young" ladies, our institutions are sadly deficient. "We 
have visited'other educational institutions of the state, have 
taken observations of their systems, and will in the next 
volume, with equal pleasure, give space to what we know 
about other educators and the institutions they control. 




TRACY, Philanthropist, Counselor and Martyr. 

Among the early emancipators of the great West was 
John Martin Tracy, born at Bridgewater, Vermont, Sep- 
tember 16, 1809. The family were of Connecticut stock. 
The grandfather of Tracy died during the revolution and 
his father emigrated to Vermont. Only a year or two be- 
fore this his youngest son was born. Abel Tracy was. a 
deacon of the Presbyterian church, strict in observance o'f 
church duties, his house always open for the entertainment 
of the traveling ministers of the church. 

The son received a religious education. He was pre- 
cocious in his acquirement of knowledge, and his con- 
science became super-sensitive on moral questions. 

When Martin was ten years old his father removed to 
Orleans county, New York, where he resided for nine years, 
when he went to Peru, Huron county, Ohio, with Martin 
and two daughters, his wife having fallen a victim to the 
insalubrious climate of Western New York. 

John Martin Tracy was a reader on all subjects. What 
books his limited means prevented his buying he borrowed 
from his neighbors. His retentive memory was a recepta- 
cle in which knowledge was stored for future use. He read 
Hosea Ballou's liberal views and Alexander Campbell's 


profound teachings of " one faith and one baptism," with 
other great subjects that agitated the world at that time. 

He was particularly drawn to read the views of the 
great advocates of emancipation, and after preaching the 
bible doctrine of the Christian church for some time he 
•broke off his connection with them because the views of his 
great exemplar, Alexander Campbell, tolerated slavery. 
He gave up preaching as his life work. The circumstances 
attending the severing of his connection with the ministry 
of that church are these : He attended an association of 
leading members of the church at Mentor, where a brother- 
in-law and sister of Alexander Campbell resided. Among 
those in attendance was the venerable father of Mr. Camp- 
bell and a young Virginian by the name of Martin 
Slaughter. This young man had just made a profession of 
his faith, been baptised, was an ardent disciple, and deter- 
mined to do whatever was required of him. Taking an 
early opportunity, when the elders were gathered, to ask 
them in regard to his duty, he informed this eminent coun- 
cil of the church that his father had at his death left as a 
part of his legacy twenty -slaves. These constituted the 
bulk of his fortune. Now, he desired to know whether he 
•could keep these human beings as slaves and yet be a 
Christian; or ought he to set them free. 

He wanted to do his duty even at the cost of the right 
hand or the right eye. The ministers questioned him. 
Could he not be more useful to these poor negroes by keep- 
ing them, instructing them in the doctrines of the church, 
than by setting them free? They advised their young 
brother not to impoverish himself, to be a kind master to 
his slaves, to profit by their labor and do good by its pro- 


Mr. Tracy, being among the youngest of the ministers, 
listened to these sophistries with ill-concealed indignation, 
walking the floor with flashing eyes. When all had given 
their counsel he came to the front and addressing the breth- 
ren in clear ringing tones, said : '" Do you know that you 
are counseling this young brother to his destruction ? That 
is what you are doing. You know that he cannot hold 
slaves and be a true disciple of Christ. You are counsel- 
ing as though he could serve God and mammon. If he 
follows your suggestions he cannot be a righteous man." 
He was interrupted by the appealing voices of many of the 
elders : " Brother Tracy, you are too extreme, too severe." 
Tracy replied, " I am only as extreme as the truth and as 
severe as justice." The council soon broke up without 
coming to any satisfactory conclusion. 

How strangely these things sound to-day, when the 
veriest child understands this question so well. What came 
of this want of decision, or rather of a wrong decision of 
this church council? Martin Slaughter went forth, his 
conscience quieted. When the Kansas troubles broke out 
he was living on the borders of 'Missouri, had sold some of 
his slaves, bought land when it was cheap, raised hemp, sold 
it at a large profit, bought more slaves, gone on adding land 
and slaves till the great struggle for the extension of slavery 
began. Then he was Capt. Slaughter, known as one of the 
most active border ruffians, leading a company into Kansas 
to crush out the free state men. When the war of the re- 
bellion was inaugurated he was a most determined enemy 
of the government. This all followed from the pernicious 
counsel given under sanction of the church. This radical 
departure of Mr. Tracy " from the faith of the fathers" of 
the church made his pulpit labors less acceptable, and from 


this time his efforts as a lecturer were largely directed 
towards forming that sentiment oi justice that would event- 
ually lead to the overthrow of slavery by moral suasion. 
Some few years were passed in this labor of love, and with 
other faithful workers, he, on several occasions, was mobbed, 
because he did not keep his views on the vexed question of 
slavery to himself. 

In 1837-38 he spent a portion of his time in New York, 
there making the acquaintance of Gerritt Smith and other 
prominent workers and reformers. 

Returning to Ohio all his energies were bent in the 
direction of emancipation, lecturing on this subject while 
teaching school. The little leisure given him from his 
school labors was occupied in thoroughly informing him- 
self in regard to the first principles of government, to see 
if it really gave any sanction to slavery. While consider- 
ing this matter he found a book, " The Life of Granville 
Sharpe," one of the old anti-slavery men of England. This 
eminent man had studied law at an advanced age to know 
whether the constitution of England permitted slave-hold- 
ing, until he became fully satisfied that the sentiment of 
Cowper was true. It ran thus : " Slaves cannot breathe 
in England. If their lungs receive our air, that moment 
are they free. They touch our country and their shackles 

These investigations convinced Mr. Tracy that it would 
be of great moment to him to become thoroughly informed 
in reference to the laws and institutions, as well as the more 
intimate history of the formation of the government. To 
do this he must study law, so he entered as a student with 
Joel W. Wilson, a democratic lawyer, at Fitchville, who 
was for some years a member of the Ohio senate. _ 


226 FIFTY years' recollections. 

It was during these readings and daily discussions that 
his wife began to call his attention to the limitations of 
women under the English common law, which our courts 
retained and decided by wherever they were not set aside 
by actual enactment. Think of a law that permitted entire 
personal control on the part of the husband, and left the 
wife in entire subjection to his will. Where was the mercy 
of a law which permitted a man to " bind out " his children 
without the consent of the mother, and permitted him to 
will them from her at his decease ? Again and again these 
points were discussed, the wife always insisting that these 
laws had their origin in ages and countries where women 
were objects of traffic, and that the cause of injustice to 
women should be just as zealously opposed as the oppression 
of the slave. At this point the author will blend the life 
and actions of this well-mated pair into a harmonious whole 
— true helpmates of one another. 

Our subjects illustrate the power of industry, study, in- 
domitable perseverance, resulting in final success and the 
accomplishment of great good in every field of labor where 
they were called. 

Hannah M. Conant was born at Becket, Berkshire 
county, Mass., and with only a rudimental education, 
acquired in the country schools of that day, was married in 
1834 to Rev. John Martin Tracy, in Geauga county, Ohio. 
He was a close student, taught school and studied law 
at the same time, and preached on Sabbaths. In these 
studies he found a helpmeet indeed, his young wife joining 
him in his studies, and besides keeping the house in order, 
occasionally taking his place in the schoolroom when his 
duties as minister called him to preach on other days in the 


Between lecturing, teaching and studying law, they 
were called to reside at Fitchville, Sandusky, Oberlin, and 
Plymouth, Ohio. While residing at Sandusky Mr. Tracy 
was admitted to the bar. He studied in the office of F. D. 
Parrish. His keen incisive intellect soon made itself felt, 
and he could have taken a high stand at Sandusky, as he 
was offered a partnership with his preceptor, then the lead- 
ing attorney at Sandusky. But John M. Tracy had studied 
law only as a means to aid him in the philanthropic work 
to which he had determined to devote his life, in which 
resolve he was seconded by the hearty co-operation of his 
devoted wife. She had kept pace with him in all his studies ; 
in fact, they had been fellow-students from the time of 
their marriage, making rapid advances, whether their 
studies were law, divinity, or the classics. Mr. and Mrs. 
Tracy had, in the course of their varied reading, become 
thoroughly imbued with the principles, of the liberty party. 
When he moved from Sandusky to Oberlin he and his 
wife entered into the full spirit that animated that com- 
munity of emancipationists. There was but little law bus- 
iness at Oberlin, a very limited amount of conveyancing, 
so there was no field for the display of his legal abilities, 
but there were anti-slavery meetings to attend, and he was 
called to lecture at other places, altogether yielding but 
little recompense, but they both felt that they were just 
entering on their life-work — fulfilling their mission. They 
•did not forget their studies, that opened out to their vision 
yet wider fields of labor. To aid them financially they 
received into their house a few students to board. Their 
motto was " plain living and high thought," and the couple 
were doubtless richer in true enjoyment than many who 
were rolling in wealth. When at home from his lecturing 

228 FIFTY years' recollections. 

tours Mr. Tracy read law to his wife, and she was ready to 
listen and discuss principles while at the same time direct- 
ing household affairs. Part of his self-imposed duties were 
to teach the ignorant blacks who sought the projection of 
the friendly people of Oberlin in their flight from bondage. 
In the attic of the house they occupied they gave asylum 
to a poor colored man, Samuel Grey, an escaped slave. 
This man had been hired by his master, a Kentuckian, to 
do- a job of chopping. When the work was done some one 
whispered him that he was a free man. This friend had 
also told him of Oberlin, and he went there with the sub- 
lime purpose of obtaining an education that would fit him 
for usefulness. He did not know his letters when he 
reached Oberlin, but he knew how to chop, and the forest 
around the village invited the labor of the axeman. His 
services were in demand, and after a hard day's labor he 
sat down in his little attic and by firelight tried to learn. 
When Mr. Tracy found him he had already mastered the 
alphabet and was trying to spell out a few words of the 
New Testament. 

In the evenings when Mr. Tracy wanted a little relax- 
ation from reading Maddox's Chancery, he would go up to 
the poor man's room and assist him in mastering the diffi- 
culties of learning to read and write, and his student made 
good progress, and in after years fitted himself for mission- 
ary labor in Africa, where he fell a victim to his severe 
labors and to the unhealthy climate. 

The work done for such as Samuel Grey was not done 
without self denial. It was a severe test of self abnegation 
of christian humility, to sit down by this unwashed freed- 
man and teach him his first lesson. The following autumn 
they left Oberlin and again engaged in teaching. During 


the years of wedded life of this well mated pair they had 
been blessed with additions to their household of two 
daughters. The eldest daughter was now near six years 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Tracy engaged in teaching, Mrs. 
Conant, Mrs. Tracy's mother, keeping the youngest child, 
the eldest going to school to be taught by her mother. 
She taught the district school five days in the week, spend- 
ing Saturday and Sunday with her parents. Mr. Tracy 
taught in an adjoining town, performing missionary labor 
among the people to prepare them to work for emancipa- 
tion. When the winter term of each school expired they 
found an opening in the village of Plymouth, Huron county, 
where he felt that his services might be required in defend- 
ing free men of color who were sometimes arrested as 

Some time previous to this the Fugitive Slave Law of 
Ohio was enacted, so graphically depicted by Mrs. Stowe 
in Uncle Tom's Cabin in the escape of Eliza. This law, 
from which the national fugitive law was patterned, made 
it a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment to give shel- 
ter or aid to a fugitive slave. To protect the oppressed 
when arrested, and to shield those who set this inhuman 
law at defiance, was now the mission of these devoted phil- 
anthropists. Most of the people in the village and sur- 
rounding country were at this time pro-slavery in their 
politics, so that few sympathised with Mr. Tracy in his 
labors of love. However, a fair amount of legal business 
came to him, and his prospects were brightening. In the 
village was a Mr. Bly, noted for his enterprise in keeping 
one of the stations of the " Underground Railroad." His 
teams and himself were always at the service of the 

230 FIFTY years' recollections. 

oppressed to forward them to the land of freedom '■ — CaDada. 
One day near the middle of August Mr. Tracy received 
a call from a son-in-law of Mr. Bly with a message from 
that gentleman. He informed Mr. Tracy that Mr. Bly was 
sick, that there was three fugitives awaiting the cover of 
night, and wished him to forward them on to the next station. 
Mr. Tracy returned to his home, told his wife, remark- 
ing, " I will do as I would be done by if I were fleeing 
from such a bondage. " At sundown he procured a horse 
and went to Mr. Bly's. Soon as it was dark he started 
out with the slaves. About half past three in the morning 
he returned so much exhausted that his wife was alarmed. 
" What is the matter?" she asked. He replied : 

"I have just escaped with my life. I have been pur- 
sued by a mob headed by a slave hunter. I heard their 
shout and told the colored men to save themselves by flight. 
I had told them on the way how to find the next station. 
They sprang over the fence into a meadow and made for 
the woods that lay back of it, while I turned down a lane 
hoping to escape my pursuers. I went into a cabin that 
stood at the end of the lane and inquired in regard to the 
roads. Presently the mob came on and. surrounded the 
house. Some came in demanding the slaves. The occu- 
pants of the house denied any knowledge of them, the mob 
insisting that they were with Tracy and must be hidden 
there. The man became angry and finally ordered all out 
of the house. There I was alone with twelve brutal men, 
one of them armed with pistol and bowie-knife, threatening 
my life unless I told him where the slaves were concealed. 
I told him they were gone, they were fleeing for liberty and 
would not be taken. The men, most all of them, I knew 
were under the influence of liquor, in a condition of mind 
to be very unreasonable. They surrounded me, throwing 
dust and sand over me. I was nearly suffocated. Then 
they insisted I should go and show them the direction the 


slaves had taken. They proposed sending two who were- 
less drunk and brutal than the rest, and I consented to go, 
trusting I could escape from them and get home by another 
road. I went with them through the thick, tall grass,, 
drenched with dew till I could scarcely stand. Then the 
men said we had best return and they would assure the 
slaveholder that we had made all diligent search. I tried 
to mount my horse, but they made such a tumult that it 
frightened him so I could not ride. At this the two men 
took me into the buggy with them and we came back to 
New Haven where they all stopped, while I was permitted 
to get my horse and ride home." 

This was the experience of the early day abolitionists, 
those who were sowing the seed that in after years returned 
such abundant fruit. This experience proved the martyr- 
dom of John Martin Tracy 

For a day or two he kept up and tried to attend to 
business, but soon took to his bed, and August 30, 1843, 
gave up his life to the cause to which years before he had 
devoted it. His last words to his stricken wife were in 
answer to her question as to" their children : " Teach them to 
love the poor," and gave direction in regard to his funeral, 
which was to be plain and unostentatious. His wishes 
were observed, the reading consisting of appropriate pas- 
sages of scripture selected for the occasion by himself while 
living, and the remains were attended by the bereaved 
widow and a few faithful friends to their last resting place. 
Mrs. Tracy was now thrown upon her own knowledge of 
' business for providing for self and children, but being utterly 
without pecuniary means her lot must have been hard in- 
deed but for the kindly care and protection of her parents. 
Nothing could exceed their care and self denial. The father 
set about building a log cabin, as he had not yet built a 
frame house for himself. He felt that his daughter should 

232 FIFTY years' recollections. 

have a home for herself where she could use her own per- 
sonal authority and influence over her children without in- 
terference from others. How lovingly he wrought, how 
pleased he was to hew the logs and smoothe the chinks 
that the walls would not seem unsightly. The cabin was 
finished, the widow and two fatherless daughters installed 
in their plain but comfortable quarters, when four months 
after the death of Mr. Tracy " unto her a son was born, a 
child given." When the fatherless grandson saw the light 
in that comfortable log cabin, how fond and tender was 
grandfather Conant in watching over the feeble mother, 
whose existence for a long time seemed to hang balanced 
between life and death. He watched with more than 
fatherly care and fondness over the sick mother and helpless 
little ones. 

The son was named after his martyred father, John 
Martin Tracy, and we will have occasion to speak further 
of him before we close this chapter of our " Recollections." 

As soon as the mother's energies began to rally came 
the question of future business to provide for self and 
children. She must manage in some way to earn a com- 
petence to pay living expenses and doctor's bill. But how ? 
She could sew, but in that new settlement there was little 
to do. She had teaching talent, but could not then make 
it available, the home care of these three fatherless children 
cut off that resource. She had in the years gone by written 
some articles for Cassius M. Clay's paper under a pseudonym, 
but she had no claim upon the press, no thought of making 
her writings remuuerative. Still while the little girls slept 
and she sat with one foot on the rocker of the cradle in 
which slept her babe, she sometimes employed herself 
writing fugitive articles, sometime poems, sometimes remin- 


iscences, and at other times a phantasy. But she did it in 
haste ana resumed her sewing or knitting, feeling that she 
must not waste the precious moments. 

One day a friend called, and chancing to notice the well 
filled portifolio, he said, " By the way, what are you doing 
with your writings? I remember you were once very fond 
of your pen," and immediately he opened the literary recep- 
tacle and taking up a paper began to read. He said, 
" These papers are of value and will be a sure source of 
help if you will use them, and as I shall be passing through 
Cleveland, I will call on Mr. Harris, the editor of the 
Herald. Who knows what will come of it? " 

Mrs. Tracy called to mind that she had written some 
anonymous articles for the Herald in former years when he 
was a young editor of the country paper. She selected an 
article or two and sent them by this friend, which resulted 
in a life-long friendship with the editor and his family and 
opened up a moderate source of income, which enabled her 
to pay all the obligations that had so heavily weighed on her 
mind, besides giving her enough for the necessaries of life, 
which required money to provide. It was like the fountain 
which Hagar found in the desert, and she felt sure that ten- 
der guardians were still around her. The notice that fol- 
lowed these efforts was of more importance still, as other 
publishers requested contributions, for which they were 
willing to pay liberally. 

These openings also prepared the way for invitations to 
address public meetings on the great questions of the day. 
While residing at Rochester, Loraine county, she assisted in 
organizing the first women's temperance society. This was 
before the Martha Washington organization. 

At the same time and place she assisted in the organiza- 


tion of the Women's Anti-Slavery Society. At first there 
were only three women who dared avow their faith in the 
right of the slave to freedom. Many advised Mrs. Tracy 
to not agitate this question further, because it was unpopu- 
lar, and through it her husband had lost his life. But in 
spite of their well-meaning counsel the more did she speak 
in behalf of those poor oppressed men, who had not the 
right to even petition for their freedom. The fruit of this 
discussion of the subject was gathered in after years, the 
public sentiment became so strong that the anti-slavery 
candidates were elected to the legislature, that aided the 
election of a free soil United States senator from Ohio. In 
later years these principles became so popular in that town- 
ship that on the election of Buchanan in 1856 there was 
only one vote cast for him in the place. 

In the spring of 1848, without in any manner seeking 
the place, she was offered the position of matron in the 
Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Columbus. She had spent the 
previous summer at Oberlin reviewing her studies, expect- 
ing to teach, but this opening changed all her plans. She 
went to Columbus, and while there was able to do much in 
a quiet way towards the overthrow of the Fugitive Slave 
Law of the state, as well as towards the election of Salmon 
P. Chase to the United States senate, and Spaulding as 
supreme judge. So quietly, yet so efficiently she wielded 
influence, that few of those interested knew that they were 
indebted to her knowledge of the principles of law and 
constitutional history for the very opinions upon which 
they based their final action. 

As she could have but one of her children with her she 
resigned her position as matron after two years' service, 
. and accepted the principalship of the female department of 


the High School at Columbus, and for a year she had her 
children with her, keeping house, teaching and studying 
the movements of the times politically. This, in connec- 
tion with considerable editorial work for a magazine, so ex- 
hausted her energies that she was compelled to resign her 
position in school. 

In 1851 the great World's, Exposition in London was 
opened, and Col. Samuel Medary, wishing a special corres- 
pondent to represent his paper, engaged her services. Few 
lady correspondents were then sent abroad, but he trusted 
to her powers of observation and was not disappointed. 

During the year she spent abroad, quite unexpectedly,. 
and with almost no previous preparation, she came before a 
London audience as the advocate of Woman's Rights, giv- 
ing the first pronounced lecture on that subject ever given 
in England. Her knowledge of common law enabled her 
to bring the cause clearly and searchingly before many 
enlightened people, as many members of parliament, the 
nobility, the great authors and leading merchants of 
England attended the lecture. She feared that her words, 
before such an audience, would fall by the wayside; yet 
they bore fruit. Greater opportunities came to her by 
being invited to address colleges, schools, professions and 
labor organizations representing many avocations. She- 
also lectured on physiology and temperance in many places. 
She had carried with her credentials as a delegate to the 
World's Peace Convention, but she arrived a day too late 
to participate in its deliberations, but heard some of the 
closing proceedings. 

This convention gave rise to the organization of many 
Olive Branch societies, and she attended many of these 
meetings, where she met Joseph Sturges and his excellent 

236 FIFTY years' recollections. 

family, Mr. Gladstone, since the Premier of England, and 
many other known leaders of English reform. But Anna 
Knight, one of the band of earnest workers in West India 
emancipation, interested her more than all others. Miss 
Knight had known Clarkson and Wilberforce, and during 
the struggle for that great work she had gone from house to 
house to secure signatures tp petitions. Her experience 
then had aroused her to a keen sense of woman's subject 
condition, and she had for some time endeavored to bear 
testimony in the Society of Friends on this subject, but the 
elders had shirked it and her friends had tried to dissuade 
her from her efforts. Her sister said to her: " When thy 
views become popular, Anna, I doubt not we will then be 
proud of thy advocacy." With characteristic readiness 
Anna replied, " Truth demands singleness of heart and eye. 
When all men praise, thy advocacy will be of small 
moment." But set aside and baffled as she so often found 
herself, some opportunities came which she never lost, and 
in season and out of season she urged justice for women. 

When Mrs. Tracy suggested that as a beginning it 
might be wise to first insist on higher education her reply 
was, " I tell thee, get the vote. Get the vote, and then 
thee can help thyself to all that it implies." This true 
friend greatly encouraged Mrs. Tracy in her work, and the 
strong, clear convictions have often helped to strengthen 
her purposes since. 

The spirit of criticism that so filled the minds of many 
of the anti-slavery people of England was often hard to 
bear, and when our nation disgraced itself by the passage 
of the Fugitive Slave Bill, the feeling of humiliation was, 
indeed, painful, and it led her on one public occason to tell 
the people the story of Queen Elizabeth and Sir John 


Hawkins : how by royal permit he went to Africa and 
bought slaves and brought them to and sold them in the 
colonies, thus beginning the great iniquity in the profits of 
which the crown shared. She also told the poor disfran- 
chised voters, who stood thrilling with wonder at such bold 
utterances, that the time was coming when the right of suf- 
frage would be theirs, and by it they could say whether 
bread should be cheap or high priced for them and their 
families, and whether the bread of knowledge should be for 
them as well as for the rich. Such outspoken utterances 
were not likely to bring any great amount of wealth or 
fame. One theatrical manager thought he saw in her im- 
passioned manner the elements of a great actress, and en- 
deavored to secure her to the stage. This offer was almost 
indignantly refused, feeling that her life was dedicated to. 
higher aims. She returned to America just in time to 
attend the great Free Soil Convention held at Pittsburg in 
1852, and by urgent invitation spoke of " Human Rights 
and their guaranties," showing how America was pledged 
to stand before the world a clear and consistent Republic, a 
light for all the nations. On her return home she was mar- 
ried to Col. Samuel Cutler, a nephew of Pliny Cutler, of 
Boston, an acknowledged pillar of the South Church. Im- 
mediately after their marriage they removed to Dwight, 
Illinois, purchasing land near the recently surveyed route 
of the Chicago and St. Louis railroad, where, with little 
experience in farm life, they began improving a new prairie 
farm. But as Mrs. Cutler had never, during her married 
life, been led to consider money getting as an end, only a 
means, she had stipulated that she should not be restricted 
from pursuing any course that her own conscience might 
approve or dictate. Her first care was for the education 

238 FIFTY years' recollections. 

of their children, and as there were no schools near she 
taught them herself, insisting on their being ready to give 
their evenings entirely to this object. The children were 
bright and active, and they advanced more rapidly than 
most scholars in regular schools, adding to their studies a 
weekly or semi-weekly paper, which was read on Saturday 
evening by the editor. With no more than the ordinary 
privations of new settlers time sped on with cheerfulness 
and some genius with which to overcome them. 

Mrs. Cutler, becoming acquainted, was invited to lec- 
ture on temperance and physiology, and sometimes on other 
topics, and felt that more good could be done in this way 
than any other in establishing a high moral standard in the 
neighborhood while yet in the formative state of its 
.society. At the breaking out of the Kansas troubles her 
her old enthusiasm was enlisted to prevent the fastening of 
the institution of slavery on that territory, soon to be a 

She had been invited to preside over a Woman's Tem- 
perance Convention at Chicago, and on her way there 
met with a messenger from Kansas going to Washington 
with dispatches. He was relating the story of the burning 
of Lawrence, the murder of free state men and the suffer- 
ing of their families. She listened and questioned. She 
felt that unless these wrongs were redressed the nation was 
virtually a ruin. 

The temperance convention was a success, but during 
the deliberations Mrs. Cutler was thinking and planning 
for the preservation of Kansas as a free state.- She feared 
that the men of the North were not sufficiently awake to 
the imminence of the crisis, and she accordingly, after 
counseling with some few earnest women, engaged Metro- 


politan . Hall for a Woman's Kansas Aid Convention two 
weeks from that time. During this time all the papers in 
Chicago gave the meeting a wide notice, some ridiculing, 
some approving the same. 

The convention was held, committees appointed, and 
Mrs. Frances D. Gage, Mrs. Josephine Griffing, Mrs. Cut- 
ler and others were enlisted in the work of gathering sup- 
plies and forwarding them to the needy sufferers in Kansas. 
Two weeks later a National Kansas Aid Convention 
was held at Buffalo, and an organization effected headed by 
Gerritt Smith, Thurlow Weed and other men of national 
fame. Mr. Amy, late governor of New Mexico, was the 
receiving agent stationed at Chicago, and the Women's 
Society was soon consolidated with the National Aid . 
Society. Generous contributions were secured by these 
-efforts for- the present relief of Kansas, pending the action 
•of the government, and it may have been that this action 
was indeed the pivot of, and in the end made possible,- the 
salvation of the nation as a republic. 

During the progress of these great national events Mrs. 
Cutler saw more and more clearly the importance of secur- 
ing political rights to woman, as only by this could they 
possess the moral influence so essential to the integrity of 
the nation by securing right and wholesome laws affecting 
temperance and kindred reforms. With the aid and 
co-operation of Mrs. F. D. Gage she canvassed the state, 
obtaining petitions for changes in the law giving to women 
personal and property rights, and by these efforts some 
important changes were effected. She also aided in similar 
movements in the states of Ohio and New York, attended 
many conventions, went home and worked faithfully to 
pick up all the dropped stitches, set the machinery in 

240 FIFTY years' recollections. 

order, and then for a brief time engaged again in this work 
and the temperance efforts which the times demanded. 

By pen and speech she contributed to the success at the 
polls, in 1858 and 1860, of the great party that she deemed 
most loyal to the old flag and to the Union. She attended 
the session of the Illinois legislature of 1861, held frequent 
consultations with Mr. Lincoln previous to his departure 
for "Washington, was at the depot to wish him God-speed 
and a safe journey, and heard the last farewell address of 
Mr. Lincoln to his fellow-citizens from the rear platform of 
the ear before entering to take his departure. She went 
from thence to her home, watching with eager interest the 
movements at the national capital and the secession move- 
ments at the South. When at last the blow was struck at 
the old flag she felt that all must now be consecrated to 
save the nation's life. 

Her young son, whose birth was noted a short time 
after his father's death, now a youth of near eighteen years 
of age, was at the North Western University making rapid 
progress in his studies. 

The students had many of them responded to the first 
call of the president for troops. The boy wrote to his 
mother asking permission to enlist in the Nineteenth Illi- 
nois Volunteer Infantry, Col. Turchin's regiment, and 
quoting from Schiller, '' He has not died young who has 
lived long enough to die for his country." Her answer was 
worthy a Roman matron or one of the revolutionary 
mothers : " I have nothing too sacred for God and my coun- 
try ; I consent, you may go," and John Martin Tracy, a 
worthy son of a martyr father, enlisted for the war. Col. 
Cutler's sons also soon enlisted, showipg that every one in 
the family fit for military duty was off for the war. Col. 


Cutler was in feeble health, age beginning to tell on his 

Mrs. Conant, the aged mother, now a widow, was with 
them, and when the sore need came, often took care of the 
house while Mrs. Cutler went out to other places to raise 
sanitary supplies for the state hospital at Springfield. 

Finding much to do in connection with the Freedman's 
Aid movement, she learned that there was a large number 
of refugees coming to Chicago for whom there had been no 
provision made. This led to the formation of the Western 
Union Aid Commission, of which she was president, and 
Mrs. Mary Cobb, secretary, their operations extending to 
the close of the war. This commission became auxiliary 
to the eastern society under the presidency of General O. 
O. Howard, and did much for the relief of the refugees, 
both white and black, who came north after Gen. Sherman's 
order on leaving Atlanta. 

To show how impersonal was her zeal for the cause of 
freedom, let it be here stated that many thousand dollars 
worth of supplies were sent to the Southwest, which were 
equally distributed among unionists and rebels. While 
prosecuting this work she met Rev. Dr. Eddy, then of the 
Baptist church at Bloomington, 111. He related an inter- 
view with Mr. Lincoln and several of the old anti-slavery 
men. Mr. Lincoln said, " What are you old abolitionists 
doing, I expected you to be punching me up with petitions 
for immediate emancipation, but I get not even a protest." 

" Mr. President," said the spokesman, " We have feared 
to embarrass you with our importunities, feeling that you 
best knew the situation of matters." 

" Hurry me up ; hurry me up, I want to say that I 
am unable to resist the pressure. Now, if there was an 

242 FIFTY years' recollections. 

immense petition presented to Congress asking for eman- 
cipation as a war measure, I would see that it was made 
a principal plank in the Baltimore platform — but a little 
petition would damn the whole thing." 

The report of this conversation caused Mrs. Cutler to go 
to work in the west, and Mrs. Lucy Stone, Miss Anthony, 
Mrs. .Stanton and others in the east, and with zealous aid 
from patriotic men and women in all the loyal states they 
obtained the desired petitions, which Cbas. Sumner presented 
to the senate. Mrs. Cutler had gone to Washington on 
this and some other business, and met with the great Massa- 
chusetts statesman just after the presentation. With face 
perfectly irradiated, he said to her: "I have jusl pre- 
sented that great petition. It took four men to carry it to 
the presiding officer's desk, it was so immense. It was 
respectfully received and properly referred. It is the great- 
est thing yet." 

While at Washington Mrs. Cutler met an old friend, 
Ex-Gov. Bebb, formerly of Ohio (then of Illinois). He 
asked her to address the Union League that evening, as the 
regular speaker had been summoned home on account of 
sickness in his family. She consented and spoke before a 
most distinguished audience, taking for her subject the pre- 
vailing catchwords of the democratic party at that time, 
" The Union as it was, the Constitution as it is." Taking 
up the history of the first Union, a loose confederacy of 
states, she followed the history of " the more perfect union," 
by which a great nation had grown out of these minor 
organizations, still preserving to the state?* their rights with 
natural limits, but conforming all to the great purposes laid 
down in the Declaration -of Independence, which had been 
accepted and endorsed as the first national document. 


From this she showed the original intent to establish a 
government based on such natural rights as all theoretically 
conceded, and hence the existence of slavery under the con- 
stitution had been from the first in violation of the very 
objects that had led to its formation. This was confirmed 
by article eighth of the amendment, which denounced slave 
trading as piracy, and under which one man out of the 
many so engaged had been executed — the slaver Gordon. 
This case had shown that the courts recognized this as law. 
Slavery was an old colonial institution forced upon the un- 
willing colonies, and it was said that in Jefferson's first 
draft of the Declaration he had instanced it as one of the 
grievances of the colonies. But individual interest was at 
first so strong that the early statesmen thought but to grant 
time and opportunity for adjustment, and so left it with the 
expectation that after 1808 it would soon expire of itself. 
But like an old pirate in the hold of a ship, spared because 
he was already dying of consumption, he had recovered and 
now sought to overthrow the crew and sail the ship of state 
in the interest of piracy. 

She denied that our forefathers were a set of insincere 
compromisers. They sincerely organized a government for 
the equal protection of all, and it was now the duty, as it 
was the opportunity, of their children to accomplish what 
they had begun. She cited the opinion of John Quincy 
Adams, that the president, as commander in chief of the 
army, had the right to proclaim unconditional emancipa- 
tion when the public safety should in his opinion demand 
it. This is but a brief summary of an address, which at a 
dinner given on the following day, by one of the senators, 
was discussed by Preston King, Judge Holt and other 
jurists, as the most able and conclusive argument that they 


had ever listened to upon that subject. Gov. Bebb assured 
her that though he had for twenty years considered himself 
a constitutional lawyer, he had never heard the question 
handled with such ability. She was by no means moved 
by this commendation, further than to thankfulness that 
the knowledge gained in earlier years had not been buried 
in the grave of the martyr, but might yet avail to direct the 
policy of the government, so that it might accept the mani- 
fest destiny of Providence, and not rush blindly ' upon its- 
destruction by refusing to make the nation a nation of free- 
men. While in Washington in company with Dorothea 
A. Dix, she called at the surgeon general's office, and rep- 
resented to the acting official the importance of having the 
examining surgeon in the various states empowered to 
continue sick furloughs, so that the hopeless invalids should 
not be marked as deserters, or in extreme cases to grant 
discharges. The request, or advice, was acted upon, and 
thus many a poor soldier was permitted to remain at 
home till sufficiently recovered to safely return to duty. 

These things accomplished, she quietly returned to the 
performance of domestic duty in her humble home. 

In former years she had, among other studies, given 
some attention to medicine as well as law and divinity. 
So in all the places she had resided, more particularly since 
coming to Illinois, she had been called to minister to sick 
neighbors, who insisted on calling her in preference to the 
regular physicians, so her life was full of activity and use- 

In all this there is nothing remarkable, only the out- 
growth of the times called for the highest activity of both 
body and mind. Finding at the close of the war that the 
people of the southwest were in need of seed-corn, the 


Union Aid Society set about raising a supply, and for- 
warded about six thousand bushels to be distributed by 
faithful agents to avert the famine impending if seed was 
not furnished. This closed the immediate demands of the 

At the taking of Fort Wagner one of Col. Cutler's 
sons was killed. This so shocked and unnerved his father 
(who was in feeble health, and gradually declined until 
the spring of 1865, when he was stricken with paralysis), 
that it was found inexpedient to remain on the farm near 
Dwight, and they removed to Cobden, Union county, Illi- 
nois. Here his health was improved, and Mrs. Cutler was 
soon called to practice medicine by some of her old neigh- 
bors and friends who had preceded her to that region and 
were building up the great horticultural interests that have 
made that county so famous. 

Of the soldier boy, J. Martin Tracy, these " Recollec- 
tions " will record that he served his country well, was 
employed by his commanding officer as a confidential 
bearer of dispatches, was sent on secret and dangerous ser- 
vice, requiring great discretion and prudence, in discovering 
the enemy's positions, at times entering their lines dis- 
guised in butternut suit and slouched wool hat, where he 
used the vernacular of " we uns," talking the broadest 
southern dialect, obtaining useful information, folding his 
butternut suit and like " the Arabs, quietly stealing away." 

After the war he completed his studies, made the tour 
of Europe, studied portrait painting, became an eminent 
artist, returned to the United States, settling down by 
marrying the girl of his choice, organizing a family " as the 
law directs " by regularly increasing the census report. No 
young man of the author's acquaintance can show a better 
record, well worthy a martyr father and heroic mother. 

246 FIFTY years' recollections. 

In addition to practicing medicine Mrs. Cutler man- 
aged a small fruit farm, but finding her medical practice 
increasing so fast she gave up fruit culture, and for some 
time devoted herself entirely to her professional duties. 
Finding this was to be her life work, she said, " I must be 
as thoroughly prepared for it as men are," and went to 
Cleveland, attended lectures, read medicine, and graduated 
from the Women's Homcepathic College of Medicine and 
Surgery when past fifty years of age. 

Since her graduation, with only occasional vacations of 
travel, study, visiting friends, of which she has hosts in all 
parts of the Union and Europe, she has devoted herself to 
professional duties with gratifying success. Her devotion 
to the cause of human advancement is not in the least 
abated by professional success. She is still ardently 
enlisted by pen and speech in the promotion and final adop- 
tion of woman suffrage, with all the reforms that it implies, 
as in former years. Her children are not among those who 
have had cause to comj)lain that their mother has forgotten 
or neglected their welfare in her wider interest in affairs of 
state, but their education was provided for, and as they 
attained man and woman's estate they have taken their 
several places in a manner which proves that a mother can 
do her duty to her children, to her country and her race, 
and not neglect either. Our own acquaintance with Mrs. 
Cutler commenced when Col. Cutler moved to Illinois. 
Our business and journalistic duties often called us to 
Dwight, as hers called her to Chicago. When the author 
purchased and assumed charge of the Farmer's Advocate 
in 1860, Mrs. Cutler was enlisted as a contributor, giving 
varied and entertaining letters from all the fields of labor 
in which she was engaged. She was frequently at Chicago, 
and while there was a welcome visitor in our family. 


She was also one of the valued correspondents of the 
Rural Messenger after the publication of that paper 
commenced, in 1868, and while the relation of editor, pub- 
lisher and contributor existed, we had the most ample 
opportunity of storing our mind with these " Recollections," 
and when concluding them can say the half has not been- 
told, as we have been compelled to abbreviate, leave un- 
written and only give a brief synopsis of the long and 
useful career of the subjects of these chapters. We could 
diversify the relation of our " Recollections " by anecdote, 
reminiscence ami incident, but our space precludes the pos- 
sibility of giving them place, much as they deserve to be 
recorded. We do not know that Mrs. Dr. Cutler would 
take kindly to the suggestion, but we do know that if she 
would " write a book," giving a full history of the life of 
her illustrious, devoted and martyred husband, and her 
own checkered and useful one, it would be a valuable and 
interesting contribution to the literature of the day. 



Place and humble condition of birth — Studious habits — Teaches 
school — Married — Death of her husband — Her thrift as a 
farmer — Again attends school — Her father's opinion of 
women's sphere — Contributes to the press — Graduates with 
high honors — Teaches school again — Patriotic and good to 
the poor — Purchases seminary — "Work for the Union — 
Goes to Washington — Spends a year in observation and 
travel — Continues her studies in other branches — Masters 
all the sciences — Teaches select school in Union League 
Hall — Marries Dr. E. Lockwood — Daughter born — Devotes 
her attention to advancing wages of women — Important 
legislation — Studies law — Making the tour of the southern 
states — Takes measures to secure her diploma — Practices 
law — Magruder says she can not — Called to practice in 
other states — Admitted to practice in supreme court. 

Among the proud galaxy of American women now in 
the prime of life, filling the full measure of a well-earned 
distinction that she has wrought out by her own unaided 
-efforts, is the subject of our chapter — Mrs. Belva A. 
Lockwood, of Washington, D. C. It can be truthfully 
said of her that she stands between the past and present, — 
the past, the age of prejudice against women occupying 
positions of usefulness in the various professions of life, 
the same as men — the present, when that right is every- 
where accorded (although in some cases grudgingly), and 


women take their places in every sphere their qualifications 
fit them to fill. 

While at Washington during the winter of 1878-9, it 
was our good fortune to make the acquaintance of this ex- 
cellent woman, and it affords us pleasure to transmit to our 
pages the impressions and knowledge there obtained of 
woman's capacity for business in any field in which she can 
usefully employ her talents. 

Belva A. Lockwood was born at Royalton, Niagara 
county, N. Y., October 29, 1830. Her parents' name was 
Bennett, and she was the second of five children, all raised 
on the farm. She attended the district school, was attentive 
and studious, and as a matter of course with industrious 
scholars, she always stood at the head of her class, and at 
twelve years of age she had mastered grammer, geography, 
arithmetic, algebra and philosophy. 

She was contemplative, read the Old and New Testa- 
ments, thought a great deal of the miraculous interpositions 
therein revealed and wondered if the same faith there 
taught would not be attended with blessing and happy 
results. She studied nature in the solitudes of the forest, 
along the limpid streams, running over the hills, some- 
times jotting down her thoughts and observations in her 
note book. She was always the leader among her young 
companions, championing their cause, or if obstacles were 
presented, she set about to remove them. 

Her teachers always remembered her as being the most 
daring and generous girl of the school. Before she was 
fifteen she was called to teach in her own district, and dis- 
charged her duties so faithfully that her services were con- 
tinued. The remuneration for the first term of teaching 
was five dollars, the second six, the third seven, and the 

250 FIFTY years' recollections. 

fourth eight dollars per month. She had now arrived at the 
age of eighteen, with powers matured by observation and 
the practical duties of life over those of most women of 

A thrifty young farmer of the neighborhood named 
Uriah McNall, paid his addresses to her, and he being agree- 
able to her a^d to her parents, they were married. She 
entered immediately on her household duties, taking the 
whole responsibility upon herself from the start. But mis- 
fortune came. The active young husband met with a serious 
accident while operating a saw mill, which enfeebled his sys- 
tem and finally resulted in consumption. While harassed 
with the care of an invalid husband she became the mother 
of a daughter, which increased her cares. Mr. McNall 
growing more feeble, she was aroused to fears that he would 
not recover, which were only too well founded, for after 
lingering for two years he died, leaving her a widow before 
she was twenty-two. 

Most women under these circumstances give up busi- 
ness; if on a farm they rent it or sell it. Not so with Mrs. 
McNall. She entered with wonderful energy on her busi- 
ness, was well acquainted with all the details of trade, 
selling and buying stock, measuring the lumber she sold, • 
weighing grain, writing her own orders or receipts in a 
business manner, then going the rounds of her domestic 
duties, making a dress or bonnet as well as any modiste, 
cooking meals, and all the usual routine. She astonished 
all by the easy facility with which she managed the wildest 
young horses, "breaking" them into harness or mounting 
them on saddle and ridiug fearlessly. She was full of 
energy, but after one year's management of the farm she 
sold off her stock, farm tools and utensils, and determined 


to complete her education. She entered the academy at 
Gosport, studied geometry, German, anatomy, physiology, 
bookkeeping and other studies, kept her own house, board- 
ing five other persons, all students, at the same time. 

When these studies were mastered she received a press- 
ing invitation to teach from her old neighbors, they offering 
her twelve dollars per mouth and board for herself and 
child. The little girl was a great favorite, going to school 
with her mother every day. Mrs. McNall taught two years. 
Then she determined on a course at college, and entered 
Genesee Wesleyan College at Lima, New York, thus putting 
in force the dream of her childhood — a thorough education. 

She was now in her proper element, and vividly did she 
recall her girlhood school days, when she had had a longing 
to pursue an academic or collegiate course, and her father 
had said to her in answer to her repeated requests concern- 
ing the same, " Girls should attend to household duties and 
get married ; only boys should go to college." 

She now had the means to continue her studies. She 
diversified her toil up the hill of science by writing for the 
village papers and Moore's Rural New Yorker, the popular 
exponent of the agricultural classes in the East. 

When teaching her first terms of school, from fifteen to 
eighteen, she had contributed both prose and poetry to the 
Western Literary Messenger, Boston Olive Branch, Ladies' 
Repository, and other papers, only in a few instances signing 
her name. 

In her young days of " sweet sixteen," she had read 
essays at school exhibitions, and on one occasion Judge 
Baker, after listening to her at Middleport, said, " That 
effort is worthy of a man." The young girl orator did not 
then see the force of the compliment. She had always been- 

252 FIFTY years' recollections. 

far ahead of all the young men in her classes and had yet to 
learn its full import. But let us return to her college life. 
She was now becoming widely known as an author, and 
while at Lima she was elected president of the Women's 
Literary Society, one of the college institutions. 

She was also invited to prepare a history of Christian 
Missions, which was read in the college chapel to a crowded 
house. Absorbed as she was in her studies, she yet found 
time to teach a bible class and to visit sick companions and 
minister to them. 

As the college commencement approached she prepared 
-to present herself for her degrees. The Wesleyan was the 
.second college that had admitted women to its sacred pre- 
cincts, and many earnest thinkers were not yet prepared to 
believe that woman was capable of comprehending all that 
man could master. 

The faculty, on her examination, were surprised at her 
accomplishments, for instead of being placed in the sopho- 
more class, to her surprise aud gratification she was placed 
in the list of juniors. This so encouraged her that she de- 
nied herself to all society, and in due course entered the sen- 
ior class, and graduated with honor June 27, 1857. 

Scarcely had she left college when, without her knowl- 
edge, she was elected preceptress of Lockport Union School, 
in which position she remained for four years, educating 
her sister and daughter at the same time. 

In this school the same energy, unflagging industry, 
executive ability and commanding talent characterized her, 
and she filled the position to the entire satisfaction of the 
official board, the patrons and students. She was, at the 
same time foremost in prompt and efficient work in the 
missions and Sunday schools and benevolent socities, keep- 


ing up a " ragged school " at her own expense all these 
years. ' 

At the time of the Kansas troubles she was president of 
a relief society, and spent much time and money in the 
cause. She resigned her position at Lockport and accepted 
•one as preceptress in the Gainsville Seminary, but after one 
year's service the edifice burned, and she built up a school 
at Hornellsville, Steuben county, New York. 

After this she purchased the seminary building at 
Oswego, New York, and sustained a flourishing school for 
young ladies, and some time after sold the institution for 
twice as much as it cost her, and placed her daughter at the 
Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, where she had herself taught 
eleven years before. 

These were the years of the war of the rebellion, and 
Mrs. McNall had during the whole time been president of 
the Aid Society that equipped for service the Twenty- 
Eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, and throughout 
the war her sympathies were ever with the armies of the 

After the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865 
Mrs. McNall closed up her business in New York, and in 
the spring of 1866 went to Washington, remaining several 
months, visiting every place of interest in and about Wash- 
ington, Georgetown and the surrounding suburbs, taking a 
trip down the Potomac, stopping at all the principal places. 

She then visited Richmond, finally sailing to New York, 
going from there to Chicago, returning through Ohio, stop- 
ping at Harper's Ferry. Her sister accompanied her on her 
western trip and to Washington. In 1867 she hired Union 
League Hall and commenced a select school. She rented 
three halls, using one for school purposes, and rented the 

254 FIFTY years' recollections. 

others to temperance, religious and political organizations. 
Mrs. McNall had always been a student, and whatever 
she was engaged in, she always found time to study instead 
of reading romances, and it is wonderful how much she 
accomplished. At this time she studied and mastered 
International Law, studied Spanish and read several German 

She was now proficient in history, astronomy, botany, 
zoology, mineralogy, physiology, algebra, trigonometry, 
surveying, differentia, integral calculation, mechanics, 
acoustics, optics, mathematics, astronomy, rhetoric, logic, 
evidences of Christianity, political economy, mental philos- 
ophy, moral philosophy, Kame's elements of criticism, 
Butler's analogy, Latin, French and German. 

After her school was opened and in a flourishing condi- 
tion, her daughter Lura came to Washington, having com- 
pleted her education. She immediately entered the school 
and took charge of the French and Latin classes 

Ou March 11, 1868, Mrs. McNall married Dr. 
Ezekial Lockwood, and this, like her first marriage, was a 
happy one. One daughter was born of this marriage in 
1869, a bright but fragile flower that drooped and died 
in July 1871. 

So absorbed was Mrs. Lockwood in her labors of use- 
fulness and charity that she neglected to a great degree 
the calls of society and ceremony. Time seemed too short 
to be frittered away in follies that narrow the mind, and 
she could not lead that aimless life. 

She was, with other benevolent women, engaged in 
reformatory work. The temperance cause received atten- 
tion, and through her efforts seven hundred names were 
obtained favorable to restrictive legislation. 


The women in the government department were paid 
much less than men for the same work performed, and 
seeing that a special effort to right this wrong was needed, 
she was one of the most prominent workers in securing 
signers to a petition to secure equal pay. 

To Mrs. Lockwood, more than any other person, is due 
the success of the Universal Franchise Association which 
awakened so much thought on the subject of justice to 
women. The course of lectures favorable to that great 
object was managed almost entirely by her. The " moral 
and constitutional argument" for the enfranchisement of 
women that was presented to Congress with the Territorial 
Bill, was written entirely by her, and is considered the best 
that has ever been presented to that body. 

In 1870 she commenced the study of law, having 
received the degree of A. M. from the University of Syra- 
cuse, New York. 

She studied law at the National University at Wash- 
ington, after being refused admission to the law school of 
Columbian College. Fifteen women were admitted, but 
only two, Belva A. Lockwood and Lydia S. Hall, com- 
pleted the cours~e. 

The ensuing summer Mrs. Lockwood made a tour of 
the southern states, contributing, on the prevailing ques- 
tions of the day, to the Golden Age. Her articles were 
largely devoted to dispelling the prejudices that still existed 
against northern people and convincing them that northern 
capital, directed by skilled labor and Yankee ingenuity, 
was what was needed to build up the waste places of the 
south ; a course since adopted by them and followed by 
results promised in her communications. 

The faculty of the National University, where she had 

256 FIFTY years' recollections. 

studied, in the last quarter of the term denied these ladies 
the privilege of attending lectures, and finally refused to 
award them their justly earned diplomas — a piece of 
stupidity and injustice they had occasion to regret in after 

This injustice Mrs. Lockwood brought to the attention 
of President Grant, then ex-officio president of the National 
University Law School, in a letter remarkable alike for its 
pungency, brevity and bravery : 

Washington, D. C, Sept. 3, 1873. 
To the President : 

Dear Sir — You are ostensibly president of the Na- 
tional University Law School of this District. If you are 
its president I desire to say that I have passed through the 
curriculum of study of this school and am entitled to and 
demand my diploma. If you are not its president then I 
demand that you take your name from its papers and cease 
to be what you are not. Yours respectfully, 

Belva A. Lockwood. 

On the following week, on Sept. 23, 1873, she was 
rewarded by receiving her diploma, and on motion of W. 
B. Wedgewood, made to the district court, she was 
admitted to the bar. She immediately began active prac- 
tice, and for five years was recognized by the courts of the 
District of Columbia as a leading and successful prac- 

In 1878 she was called upon to defend a client before 
the circuit court of Prince George county, Maryland, pre- 
sided over by a Judge Magruder, whose extreme conserva- 
tism marked him as a rare old relic of prejudice of the 
by-gone days— since designated by the bar " Past Century 
Magruder," an apt designation that our own talented 


stateswoman, Mrs. Myra Bradwell, of the Chicago Legal 
News, has the honor of prefixing to this specimen — pre- 
historic judge. Mrs. Lockwood presented her brief and 
asked for permission to practice before that court, which 
the learned judge would not permit to be read, except 
through counsel. This profound jurist, in giving his 
opinion on which he based her rejection, gave a medley of 
natural, physiological, astronomical and scriptural knowl- 
edge, too profound for comprehension. We give it below : 

" There are certain immutable laws of nature which 
cannot be controverted. The waters of the earth have 
their bounds, and the eternal rocks are immovable. 
Woman was made after man, out of a rib from his side. 
She was intended as a help-meet for him ; her physical 
formation is sufficient argument against her appearing in 
public. The woman is the weaker sex, home is her appro- 
priate sphere ; she should not seek to go beyond her fire- 
side. Woman was a star in her orbit. One star differed 
from another ; there was one glory of the stars, one glory 
of the sun. The true mission of woman is to nurse the 
sick, administer consolation to the afflicted." The judge 
closed with a prayer that the day would never come when 
women would be admitted to practice in Maryland. This 
was erudition and legal wisdom that the good citizens of 
that judicial district in Maryland could not see the force 
of, and at the next judicial election Judge Magruder was 
relegated to private life, and Mrs. Lockwood is now a 
recognized practitioner before that court. 

Since then Mrs. Lockwood has been called to conduct 
important law cases in the federal court of the western dis- 
trict of Texas, and also of the federal court, Baltimore, Md., 
involving some |j>50,000. 

258 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Mrs. Lockwood was denied recognition at the bar of the 
supreme court, and determined to scale the last round in the 
ladder of success and secure recognition at that bar. She 
prepared a bill providing for the admission of women to 
practice before that court. It was presented to the house 
by Hon. J. M. Glover, of Missouri, and was referred to the 
committee on judiciary. The committee, through their 
chairman, Hon. Proctor Knott, invited her to appear at 
their meeting when they were discussing and considering 
the bill. She appeared and m'ade one of the most memora- 
ble and convincing arguments on the justness of the meas- 
ure, which is now passed into history. -Bluff Ben Butler 
arrived just as she was concluding her address, and when 
she was through he arose and characteristically remarked, 
" If there is a man on this committee who does not believe 
that this woman has as good a right to practice law as he 
has let him say so now, or forever after hold his peace." 
Hon. Geo. F. Hoar the same day presented the bill to the 
house, and it was passed by a two-thirds majority. A simi- 
lar bill was passed in the senate. Like the house bill it 
was referred to the judiciary committee. The senate com- 
mittee thought that no special legislation was necessary. 
This passed the matter over until the next session. Senator 
McDonald, backed by Mr. Hoar, enlisted in its favor and 
made a great speech. Two petitions in its behalf were pre- 
sented, one from the bar of the District of Columbia and 
one from the State of New York. The bill was still op- 
posed by many senators, but Senators Sargent and Mc- 
Creery joining their efforts with those of the gentlemen 
named it was put upon its passage on the 15th of February, 
J 879, and became a law by a majority of twenty-one. 

On March 3, 1879, Hon. A. G. Riddle made a motion 


before the supreme court for her admission to practice, and 
the court granted the request. On the 6th of the same 
mouth she was, on motion of Hon. Thomas J. Durant, ad- 
mitted to the bar of the United States Court of Claims. 

Mrs. Lockwood's heroic struggles were finally crowned 
with success, and she was now the peer of the greatest law- 
yer in the land, all judicial barriers were broken down. 
Upon this achievement she received many congratulatory 
letters from all parts of the United States. Among others 
who wrote were Matilda Joslyn Gage, Clemence S. Lozier, 
M. D., Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and her 
friend and pastor, Rev. A. F. Mason. Mrs. Lockwood has 
been interested in and taken an active part in the thorough 
mental, moral and physical training of the young women. 
From a very early age up to the date of her admission to 
the bar, of the supreme court in September, 1873, she was a 
teacher, and as such was accustomed to give daily practical 
instructions in calisthenics and gymnastics. She owes much 
■of her strong, vigorous health and suppleness of limb to 
•this daily exercise and a practice of daily walking. In 1868, 
while employed as a teacher at Union League Hall, she be- 
•came interested in the " Women's Rights Movement," and 
since that time has done what she could for the advance- 
ment of women in the arts, sciences and professions. 

She has spoken on " "Woman's right to the ballot " in 
all the great commercial and literary centers of the country, 
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Indianapolis 
and Chicago. Her last address on that question, " The dis- 
franchisement of the women of Utah," was made at Lincoln 
Hall, January 23, 1883, and the day following, before the 
judiciary committee of the House of Representatives. 

She is a member of the " Universal Peace Union," an 

260 FIFTY years' recollections. 

organization composed mainly from the Society of Friends, 
and a kindred society to this in the interest of universal 
peace, the " National Arbitration League," which has for 
its objects the settlement of all international questions by 
arbitration, thus avoiding war between nations. 

Her lecture on this subject, delivered first in Washing- 
ton, has been repeated in Providence and in many of the 
interior cities of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. 

During President Hayes' administration a memorial on 
this question was prepared and presented to the president, 
asking him to appoint a commission to negotiate with 
foreign nations, and a bill was introduced in Congress for 
an appropriation to pay the expenses of such a commission. 

This effort was followed by her through the Arbitra- 
tion League, by strenuous efforts to have President Arthur, 
and later through Congress, confirm the calling of the 
Peace Convention of the American States, as recommended 
by Hon. James G. Blaine. 

Her letter on this subject was first published in the New 
York Tribune and copied into many other leading papers 
of the country. It sets forth that war is a relic of barbar- 
ism that must pass away before enlightened civilization, and 
that the day is not far distant when all difficulties between 
nations will be settled by reason and justice and not by the 

For nearly two years past Mrs. Lockwood has, in dis^ 
patching her business, and for the healthful exercise afforded, 
been riding a trycicle. She believes the bicycle and try. 
cicle will largely take the place of horses in the large cities 
and in the country where the roads will admit of their use, 
and that horseback riding will go out of use. 

For the last ten years, and since overcoming the preju- 


dices of judges, law universities and the bar, she has enjoyed 
an extensive practice of law in all the courts, civil and 
criminal. She also has an extensive practice before the de- 
partments of the government, the court of claims and 
supreme court of the United States. 

Her law labors have been engrossing and absorbing, 
and she has calls to go to distant cities. She recently ap- 
peared in the United States court at Boston in the cele- 
brated case of Burgess vs. Graffamel, et al. Her appear- 
ance before the courts there was the first made by a woman 
attorney in staid New England, and was heralded widely 
through the press of the country. 

To make the event notable a reception was given her by 
the ladies and gentlemen of Providence, Rhode Island, on 
the evening following. Since that time both Massachusetts 
and Connecticut have admitted women to the bar. 

When we were in Washington, some four years ago, 
there were two young ladies and one gentleman studying 
law in her office, they assisting her greatly in the prepa- 
ration of papers for the courts. The receptacles for legal 
papers were alphabetically arranged, and a quiet and orderly 
dispatch of business was going forward all the time. 




Various gifts and talents, natural and acquired, and the 
application and industry to use them for the advancement 
of the mental and moral culture of our race, are the 
distinguishing traits illustrating and exemplifying the char- 
acter of the subject of this sketch. 

Mary Allen West was born July 31, 1837, in the 
vicinity of the present city of Galesburg, Knox county, 
Illinois. Her parents were Nehemiah and Catherine West, 
members of the colony of advance settlers that came to 
that county in the spring of 1836, and the pioneers in the 
laying out and building up of the interests of Galesburg. 
Mr. West soon after removed to Galesburg, and was among 
the foremost men in the formative period of what soon 
became a great educational center. At an early age Mary 
commenced attending the district school, and soon 
developed an aptitude for acquiring knowledge that seemed 
almost phenomenal — the desire for study was almost a 
passion with her. While yet a child, her extensive knowl- 
edge in regard to general history, as well as some of the 
sciences, was remarked upon by all who were acquainted 
with the family. Her spcial qualities were cultivated, and 
the girls of her own age were never so well pleased as when 
they could visit Mary, or be visited by her, as they were 


always sure to learn something new and useful, and be 
well entertained at the same time. She grew to woman- 
hood, educated entirely in the common school at Gales- 
burg and Knox Seminary. 

The moral and intellectual atmosphere of her child- 
hood's home undoubtedly had much to do with the forma- 
tion of her character. The home band, the father and 
mother, were conscientious Christians, of great intellec- 
tual force, and the children drank in from this fountain 
solid precepts to govern their youthful action, that followed 
them when grown to maturer years. As all parents should' 
do, they made the home for their children bright and 
pleasant, — the morals and the family education were para- 
mount to everything else. To illustrate this, several years 
ago the author was visiting at the family home of Miss 
West while her aged mother was still living, and the con- 
versation reverted to the subject of youthful education. 
Mrs. West said that when Mary was yet a small girl, when 
visited by girls of her own age Mary would read to them, 
or form them into groups, school fashion, and thus enter- 
tain her company, and at the same time there would be no 
break in her own studies, her girl friends, when leaving, 
having probably learned something useful, and at the same 
time been highly entertained. Thus passed the childhood 
years of Mary Allen West. 

When Miss West was only thirteen she presented her- 
self for the required examination to enter Knox Seminary, 
and it was satisfactory, but the rules of that institution 
admitted no student under the age of fifteen. She was 
obliged to wait, but while doing so engaged in teaching for 
the most part of the time until the advanced age of fifteen 
would admit her to its charmed intellectual circle, and 

264 FIFTY years' recollections. 

she graduated with all the honors at seventeen, immediately 
entering upon the great work of her life — teaching. As a 
teacher she is pre-eminent, whether in the social circle, the 
schoolroom, at her desk swaying the sceptre, as director- 
general of the educational interests of Knox county as 
superintendent of schools, or since she gave up that respon- 
sible position. She has assumed part of the business and 
editorial management of the Union Signal, of Chicago, 
the exponent of the State Women's Christian Temperance 
Union of Illinois. This is more particularly her recent 
work. To follow out all the departments of her varied 
useful labors would fill more space than the limits of our 
work will permit. 

With her duties as a teacher she has contributed 
much to the educational, religious, temperance and secular 
press. Although residing at Galesburg, she edited " Our 
Home Monthly," of Philadelphia, for two years. The 
u Christian Union " has been favored by her with many 
rare gems on many subjects, — but all in the interests of 
education. A great many of these able contributions she 
has given as a free offering to promote the interest in 
which they were written. She was for some time the 
Illinois correspondent of the New England Journal of 
Education, Boston, and has been offered positions on various 
editorial staffs. Besides these many labors of love and 
duty she is engaged in literary work not yet given to the 
world, which we can promise, when it does appear, will be 
the most full and complete yet given of that class, being a 
historical work. 

At the session of the legislature, April, 1873, a law was 
enacted making women eligible to all school offices in the 
state. Immediately leading citizens of Knox county, hav- 


ing at heart the educational interest, asked permission to 
present her name as a candidate. She declined the honor, 
but notwithstanding this refusal she was brought forward 
as a candidate and elected over two opposing candidates by 
a good round majority for four years, and so well did she 
perform her duties that at the end of her first term, in 
1877, she was again elected by acclamation, none appearing 
to contest the honor against her. She served her last term 
and then positively declined to serve longer, her other work 
in the great moral educational world was so pressing that it 
called her to broader fields; but before recording the 
present, the reader will permit a retrospective of the busy 
life of Mary Allen West. Her educational work is found 
in the records of the State Teachers' Institute, the State 
Association of County Superintendents, she is a member 
of the examining committee of the State Teachers' Asso- 
ciation, also a member of the International Council of 
Education of the Permanent Exposition in Philadelphia. 
During the war she did a noble work. She was, during 
the entire existence of the Soldier's Aid Society, either the 
recording or corresponding secretary. Knox county boys, 
wherever they were, particularly the sick and wounded, 
were followed by her inquiries as to their welfare. She has 
represented her <»ty, county and state, at state, national and 
international conventions ; was a member of the Centennial 
•Commission ; has been, and still is interested in the Social 
Science movement, and at one time a vice-president. This 
has been her work of years outside of Knox county. Her 
home labors have been most arduous, but cheerfully 
taken up and performed. As characteristic, in her teaching 
experience to the ignorant and down trodden, was her con- 
nection with the colored school. The first years of the war 

266 FIFTY years' recollections. 

a great many contrabands came to Galesburg. She taught 
them, seeking them out, giving them much time, working 
under many difficulties. Her colored school numbered 
more than one hundred of all ages. 

She has counseled with all the women's organizations 
for promoting missionary work, was president of the 
" Prairie Gleaners," a home mission band, has ever been a 
devoted Sunday school worker, conducting a large bible 
class for young ladies, and making Sunday visitations to the 
jail when criminals where confined there. Added to these, 
and perhaps crowning the whole of them, has been her 
devotion to the temperance cause. She organized and 
superintended the central division of the Band of Hope, 
and the local Women's Christian Temperance Union, and was 
vice-president of the Ninth Congressional District, (now the 
tenth). Has delivered many temperance addresses, and 
very often, when the gentlemen thought it too stormy or 
inclement to fill their appointments in a country neighbor- 
hood, she would brave rain, cold and Knox county mud 
when there was work to be done for temperance. 

Many men owe their reformation to the thoughtful 
advice, and sometimes, more substantial aid, given them by 
Miss West. She has been helpful to the young of her own 
sex — many young girls acknowledging that her sustaining 
hand and noble encouragement to endeavor, has helped 
them to attain a higher education and lead a nobler life. 

At the last annual meeting of the Illinois State 
Women's Christian Temperance Union she was elected 
president, and to her other active duties she is now giving 
her attention to the organization and building up of the 
temperance cause throughout the state. 

We met her at the meeting of the State Educational 


Society at Springfield, early in January, where she displayed 
the same earnestness in this field of labor as in the. temper- 
ance work. 

As soon as the society adjourned she engaged in the 
work of getting material from the ample resources of the 
state library to aid her in the preparation of the great work 
in which she is now engaged, that will appear within the 
next two or three years. 

Miss West is an exception to many women of great liter- 
ary fame. She posesses in an eminent degree, great house- 
keeping abilities, of this the author being the judge. She 
handles the pallet and brush with considerable skill, and 
in her spare hours, has perfected some paintings, showing 
taste and critical judgment in matters of art. That she has 
accomplished so much in life she ascribes largely to the 
fact that she never let a moment go to waste. Of her edu- 
cational — her school-house labors, both as teacher and 
superintendent of schools, we could greatly enlarge, be- 
cause we have been in positions to know. But the limits 
of our work, the vast amount of other matter that yet 
awaits our preparation for this and succeeding volumes, 
precludes further mention. 




Nativity — Education — First practice — Moves to Illinois — His 
large practice — His interest in public affairs — Oratorical 
efforts — Deep interest in politics — Elected to state senate — 
Services to the state — Elected to legislature 1854-56 — Long 
services to the state — Trustee of Deaf and Dumb Asylum — 
Enrolling Surgeon Fifth Congressional District — Removes 
to Peoria — Organization of Illinois State Medical Society — 
Elected president — Author's recollections — Their object — 
Advances in medical science — Opinion of eminent physi- 
cias-^The past and present • — Now and then — Synopsis of 
Dr. Boal's address — A contribution to science. 

Robert Boal was born Nov. 15, 1806, in Dauphin county, 
near Harrisburg, Pennyslvania. He was the son of Thomas 
and Elizabeth Crain Boal. His father was a farmer, resi- 
ding there till 1810, when he moved to Cincinnati. When 
Robert attained the proper age he was sent to r the city 
schools and made fair progress in the primary and rudimen- 
tal studies until the age of fifteen, when he entered -Cincin- 
nati College, taking only such studies as would fit him for 
entering on his medical course. In 1824 he entered Ohio 
Medical College, having the full benefit of medical lectures 
during his course of studies, and graduating in 1828, he 


immediately commenced the practice of medicine at Reading, 
Ohio, ten miles north of Cincinnati, continuing there until 
1834, when he removed to Cincinnati, continuing his prac- 
tice there till 1836. 

In the fall of 1834 he came to Illinois on a prospecting 
tour, and some of his Cincinnati friends having become in- 
terested in the new city of Lacon he concluded, after visit- 
ing the place, to identify himself with the interests of the 
embryo city, and returning to Cincinnati early in the spring 
of 1836, made his preparations to remove to his new field 
of labor, that in after years became the scene of his success- 
ful practice, and he was not long in securing the esteem and 
confidence of the people among whom he had formed a 
wide acquaintance. He was gifted with unusual oratorical 
talent and took a deep interest in public affairs as they 
related to the advancement of the interests of the new city, 
and as well in state, and national affairs. 

In the movement to organize the new county of Mar- 
shall in 1838, he lent, the influence of his voice and pen to 
promote it, and through his and others' efforts the new 
county was organized early in 1839, resulting in making 
Lacon the county seat. He also took an active part in the 
political campaign of 1840, that resulted in the election of 
William H. Harrison to the presidency. He was an ardent 
whig and outspoken in the advocacy of his principles, and 
throughout the surrounding counties his services on the 
stump were in great request to promote the success of local 
objects and the interests of the state and nation. His prac- 
tice was not neglected, and in seasons of unusual sickness 
every other consideration was merged in alleviating the suf- 
ferings and pains of the sick and afflicted. His professional 
services were alike commanded by the poor as well as those 

270 FIFTY years' recollections. 

in better circumstances. The contents of his medicine case 
were open to all, no matter what the prospect was for future 
remuneration. His time, together with the services of Dr. 
Wilcox, his partner, was fully occupied in attending the 
calls made on them for medical services. 

Outside of professional services he had many calls to 
speak in aid of the benevolent organizations and reforms of 
the day, and no man gave his money or time more freely. 

In obedience to the call of the people in 1844 he was 
nominated and elected to the state senate on the whig ticket, 
a great many of the opposite political party voting for him. 
He co-operated with the best men of the state of both par- 
ties in building up the ruined credit of the state, and aiding 
legislation that resulted in finishing the Illinois and Michi- 
gan Canal. Although keeping fully abreast of all the politi- 
cal movements of the day, he did not enter official life 
again until 1854, when he was elected «to the house of repre- 
sentatives, and re-elected in 1856, serving four years, giving 
much time in the Kansas-Nebraska agitation to enlighten- 
ing the people, resulting in the organization of the republi- 
can party. At the end of his legislative service in 1857 he 
was appointed by Gov. Bissell one of the trustees of the Deaf 
and Dumb Institution at Jacksonville, and was successively 
re-appointed by Gov. Yates in 1861, by. Gov. Oglesby in 
1865, Gov. Palmer in 1869, and Gov. Beveridge in 1873; a 
continuous service of over seventeen years that he gave to 
this benevolence and charity. Most of this time he was 
president of the board of trustees. Abounding in good • 
works, he was never idle. 

In 1863 he was appointed surgeon of the board of en- 
listment of the Fifth Illinois Congressional District, com- 
posed of the counties of Peoria, Knox, Marshall, Putnam, 


Bureau, Henry and Stark, with headquarters at Peoria. 
New regiments were being constantly organized and 
mustered in, and his duties were arduous, and he gave to 
them unremitting attention. 

He was one of the charter members in organizing the 
Illinois State Medical Society, and its president in 1882, 
and before the conclusion of this chapter will be found a 
synopsis of his address, which we give in connection with 
crur own and others' observations on the advances of medi- 
cal science in the last half century. 

In these "Recollections" we propose to present the 
foremost representative men of the state from every indus- 
try, avocation and profession. For near the full half cen- 
tury spent in this state it has been our pleasure, to which 
we refer with no little pride, to know as friend, neighbor, 
companion, business adviser and physician, Dr. Robert 
Boal, the oldest, ablest, and for length of years, the most 
successful physician in the state. His is a history that a 
whole volume could with profit be given to its relation. 
He is a man of most intelligent and broad views, and of 
long and honorable fame in a profession noted all over the 
state for men distinguished for intelligence and earnestness, 
who entered on their professional career with the heroic 
purpose of alleviating human suffering and prolonging 
human life; — to what higher ambition can a life be devoted 
than advancing medical science by observation and experi- 
ence, observing, studying and minutely recording develop- 
ments that occur in their practice. 

Medical culture in the last fifty years has made an 
indelible impress upon the whole world of science, letters 
and religion — in a word, upon humanity. It would not be 
amiss in the presentation of our representative to note some 
of the advances made. 

272 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Great progress and improvement has been made in 

An eminent American authority says : " The contrast 
between the surgery of former times and that of the present 
day forms one of the brightest pages in the history of 
human progress. Redeemed and purified by the genius of 
modern discovery, it is no longer a handicraft, but science 
and art reduced, if not to perfection, to principles as accu- 
rate as any that have been introduced into the study of the 
natural sciences, of which it forms one of the most inter- 
esting and useful branches. Surgery can no longer be sep- 
arated from medicine. No surgeon can practice his pro- 
fession with credit to himself or benefit to his fellow-creat- 
ures if he is not an enlightened physician, deeply grounded 
in the doctrine of disease and its cure." 

Another eminent physician, Dr. J. D. Hills, of New 
York, says : " By the aid of anaesthetics, an American con- 
tribution to science and humanity, surgical operations have 
become painless, and many are now performed successfully 
which without anaesthetics would have been impossible, 
from the fatal shock to the system. 

"Operations are successfully made in cases of railroad 
injuries and gun-shot wounds, which could not have been 
accomplished without the aid of anaesthesia. By the com- 
bined use of anaesthetics and the elastic bandage, amputa- 
tions, exsections, resections and operations in many cases 
of aneurism, are rendered not only painless but bloodless. 

"The exploring.trochar and aspirator enables us to pene- 
trate the viscera of the thorax and abdomen with compara- 
tive safety, and remove pathological secretions and deposits 
not unfrequently occurring in the pleura, lungs, liver, kid- 
neys or ovaries. The suffering, pain and diseases which the 


progress made in obstetrics and gynecology enables us to 
mitigate, if not entirely relieve, should entitle the depart- 
ment of medicine to be numbered among the greatest bene- 
factors to suffering humanity." 

In his annual address as president of the Illinois State 
Medical Society, delivered at Quincy, May 16, 1882, Dr. 
Boal gave some interesting reminiscences of the past, pre- 
senting his subject, " Past and Present ; Then and Now." 
He says : 

" Fifty years ago the agencies and facilities for obtain- 
ing a professional education were few and far between. 
Then but two medical colleges were in existence west of 
the Alleghany mountains — the medical department of 
Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky, and the 
Medical College of Ohio, founded by that giant in the pro- 
fession, the late Dr. Dan Drake — now towns of fifteen or 
twenty thousand inhabitants boast of at least one medical 
college. Then a faculty composed of five or six professors 
was deemed a large and imposing one, in numbers at least, 
whatever else might be said as to its qualifications in other 
respects; now, in every medical school, however obscure, 
a long list of professors of every conceivable subject in the 
profession is published, and the doctrine of division of labor 
has been carried out to an extent hitherto unknown. 

"If, half a century ago, our educational facilities were 
meagre and inadequate, now, on the other extreme, our 
colleges are multiplied until the supply is greater than the 
demand. In many cases these institutions have lowered 
the standard of professional qualifications to such a degree 
as to send forth illiterate and incompetent men, thereby 
imposing on the public and bringing reproach upon the 
profession.' The remedy rests mainly with the profession. 
Let it discountenance, as far as practicable, the establish- 
ment of colleges where they are not needed. Let it, in the 
name of humanity, demand such regulations and enactments 
as will deprive these small, obscure, and numerous institu- 

274 FIFTY years' recollections. 

tions of the power of conferring degrees in medicine, and 
accrediting the illiterate and incompetent to the community. 
It is to be hoped that the progress of the age and its re- 
quirements will wake up the public to the fact that for its 
protection and safety such reform is needed. 

" Then the practice of medicine in all its departments 
was pursued by the same individual ; now we have special- 
ists for every branch of the science and art of medicine. 
Then every practitioner was physician, surgeon, obstetri- 
cian, gynecologist, opthalmogist, and dentist ; now all these 
are special subjects of study and practice, and as a result, 
wonderful advances have been made in these branches of 
the profession, and life has been rendered more tolerable 
and happy through the skill thus acquired. 

"Then calomel, antimony, and venesection were the 
common and indispensable remedies ; that they were useful 
and potent remedial agents, and, in their day, did much 
good, is true ; but it is equally true that their lavish and in- 
discriminate employment did great harm. Where is the 
physician of the present day who would have the temerity 
to repeatedly bleed a patient and keep him nauseated' for 
days upon tartar emetic to cut short a Gase of pneumonia or 
jpleuritis? Where is one to be found who would admin- 
ister scruple or half-drachm doses of calomel, or a corres- 
pondingly large amount of antimony, every three or four 
hours ? Now we have a better knowledge of disease and a 
better practice founded on it. Then every practitioner 
was his own druggist and pharmacist, made his own pills 
and tinctures, compounded all his own medicines, and gen- 
erally carried all he required, as, with saddle-bags on his 
arm or astride his horse, he wended his way from house to- 
house, administering to the sick and ailing, always welcome, 
regartied as an angel of mercy, although his homely garb 
and rough appearance looked anything but angelic. 

"The life of a doctor of that day was one of peril, toil and 
privation; now it is one of comparative safety, ease and 
comfort; then the country was thinly settled and his 
rides were long and solitary ; now it is populous, the doc- 


tor's excursions are short and he seldom lacks companion- 
ship ; then his patients were scattered over a wide extent 
of territory, and his travel was mostly performed on horse- 
back, and its extent and duration was measured only by 
the power of endurance of himself and horse ; now the area 
over which even the country physician travels is limited to 
a few square miles, and he jogs along in his buggy or car- 
riage without discomfort or fatigue ; then, often on his 
errands of mercy he swam his horse over swollen streams, 
or made long detours to enable him to cross or avoid the 
still more treacherous sloughs, sometimes following for 
miles a trail" or path which he was liable to lose at any 
moment, with no living thing around him ; now the swollen 
streams are bridged, the sloughs have been drained, the 
broad highway has succeeded the trail and bridle path ; 
then, often whole days and nights were spent in the saddle 
without rest except a few snatches of sleep, sometimes taken 
on horse-back, sometimes in the lonely cabin of the settler; 
now in the abundance of the material with which the pro- 
fession is supplied, no such sacrifice of ease and comfort is 
required ; then at the call of sickness or pain he promptly 
responded, whether in sunshine or storm, in summer's heat, 
or winter's cold, traversing in his long jourtieys great 
stretches of prairie, blackened by the annual fires which 
swept over it, his vision resting on ncH^ng ^ave the black 
and cheerless plain spread out before him. The country 
was ?new, the doctors young and few in number, and no 
deroffnd for services could be refused on any pretext save 
ilrom absolute inabilty to mount a horse. Necessity made 
hjm self-r^iant an«l courageous. 

"Now, cultivated fields, neat and opanfortable farm 
ho"Us«3 have taken the place -otf burnt prairies, doctors are 
plenty, and many of tbjgm are no longer young. Then the 
doctor was poor in purse, for his services were often paid 
for in promises — very seldom money,— greenbacks were 
uaknow%, fees were small. The best and most reliable 
circulating medium was the products of the 'country, and 
with this th£ doctor wa= generally paid. Now, while few 

276 FIFTY years' recollections. 

physicians are rich, nearly all make a comfortable living, 
their services command fair prices, and when paid, the 
money is good. 

" Then, the dependence on each other, and the kindly 
life of a new country, gave the doctor a strong hold on the 
affections of the people where he lived and labored. They 
loved him while living, mourned for him when dead. The 
doctor did not know as much as we do now, yet, perhaps, 
knew some things of which we were ignorant, and which it 
would be profitable to learn. 

" Then the practice consisted mainly in the adminis- 
tration of calomel and jalap in a large dose when first 
called to a case, and then continuing the use of calomel 
alone in small and repeated doses, followed by nitrate of 
potash and James' powder or tartrate of antimony as a 
febrifuge. Many doctors of that day labored under the 
delusion that when their patient's salivary glands were 
swollen, his mouth sore and running a stream, then the 
disease was subdued and convalescence followed. So 
deeply rooted was this belief in the minds of most of the 
practitioners of that day that the death of a patient treated 
to a profuse salivating was a mystery they could not 

" Quinine was sparingly used. The people had a preju- 
dice against it, and its remedial powers, as we now know 
them, were little understood; now, instead of large and 
nauseous doses, clumsy pharmacy and crude substances of 
that day, we have their active principles, and our pills, ex- 
tracts and various other preparations are so elegant in form 
and disguised in taste as to be acceptable to the most fas- 
tidious stomach. Then the doctor, next to the minister, 
was the trusted friend and counselor of every family to 
whom he ministered. His advice was sought, not only 
professionally, but upon almost every other matter. He 
shared their joys, soothed their sorrows, and every pass- 
ing year added to and cemented the attachment between 
them; now, the doctor is regarded more in the light of a 
tradesman or mechanic, and is employed from the same 


consideration that a grocer, tailor or shoemaker is. The 
strong ties of gratitude and affection which then bound 
physician and patient together have almost ceased to exist. 
Their relation is now placed on a mere commercial basis, 
and for this the profession is more to blame than the public. 
"Then, woman was not known or recognized as a 
' practitioner of medicine; now, the profession numbers in 
its ranks many intelligent, educated and able physicians of 
the other sex. Then they were not admitted to any med- 
ical college in the land ; now, schools have been estab- 
lished for their instruction, and the barriers which custom 
and education erected have been broken down, and the 
tendency of the times is to enlarge and widen their sphere 
of labor. As teachers and practitioners some are the peers, 
and others will compare favorably in qualifications with 
those of the sterner sex. In some branches of medicine 
they are excelled by few of their male associates. And 
here let it'be said to the credit of the Illinois State Medi- 
cal Society, that it was among the first to recognize the 
professional equality of the sexes by admitting women as 
members and selecting fr-om their number one of its vice- 
presidents. By this act it honored women, honored 
itself, and set an example worthy of imitation by others. 

" In the department of surgery what wonderful ad- 
vances have been made. Then, disease and pain rested 
like a dark shadow over its victims, irradiated by no gleam 
of hope. Then the surgeon required a keen eye, a steady 
hand and a stout heart to pursue his cruel task, — amid the 
groans and anguish of the gagged and bound sufferer 
writhing in unutterable pain; now, thanks to advanced 
knowledge and the skill thus acquired, but above all to 
that greatest of modern discoveries, ansesthetics, human 
suffering has been alleviated, — the knife has lost its terror, 
for the pain it inflicts is no longer felt, and the most 
formidable diseases and injuries which fifty years ago 
were left to end in death, are in many cases amenable to 
cure. Then the removal of any of the internal organs, or 
of tumors or growths upon external parts of the body, was 

278 FIFTY years' recollections. 

never undertaken or even thought of by the wildest 
imagination ; now many of the organs formerly regarded 
as essential to life have been removed wholly or in part 
with surprisingly successful results, and the lives of thous- 
ands in all parts of the world have been prolonged. Then 
the sufferer endured unmitigated anguish; NOW it is no 
longer felt ; every part of the human body is explored, and 
organs are exposed which it was then thought could not be 
done without causing death. All morbid growths, both 
internal and external, which were then regarded as incur- 
able, are now either arrested in their development or 
removed. Electricity in its several forms has been brought 
into use, not only for this, but many other purposes, with 
wonderful success, and the limit of its' power and employ- 
ment has not yet been reached. Then the surgery of the 
eye and ear was confined to a few simple operations, with • 
uncertain results; now these wonderful and delicate organs 
are treated with so much skill and success that cure of 
disease and restoration of function is the rule, accidents 
and organic disease the exception. Then surgical instru- 
ments and appliances were comparatively few, and often 
clumsily constructed ; now they are wonderful examples of 
artistic skill and ingenious invention. Our ophthalmoscopes, 
laryngoscopes, spectoscopes and other ingenious inventions 
now light many of the dark caverns of the human body, 
and reveal to sight hidden organs and their morbid condi- 
tions, thus rendering their treatment or removal more cer- 
tain and practicable. 

Then little was known of that branch of medicine and 
surgery that bears the hard Greek name, gynecology. The 
revelations of the speculum and other improved modes of 
examination and exploration were unknown; now every 
medical college, however small or obscure, has its professor 
of gynecology, and the medical and surgical diseases of 
women are made a special study, and thanks to the knowl- 
edge and skill thus acquired, suffering women all over the 
civilized world have been rescued from pain and disease, 
and given a new hold upon life. No department of the pro- 


fesslon has made greater progress than this, and no labors 
and investigations have been attended with more beneficial 
results. For what it has done it deserves commendation. 
Then, in chemistry, pharmacy, the collateral sciences and 
their applications to medicines, to arts, to the alleviation of 
suffering and the prolongation of human life, our knowledge 
was comparatively meagre and unsatisfactory ; now, chem- 
istry has given us that greatest of all modern discoveries as 
applied to medicine, anaesthetics. It has given us disin- 
fectants and antiseptics, by which noxious gases and other 
germs of disease are neutralized or destroyed, health pro- 
moted and life saved. 

Pharmacy now furnishes the palatable and elegant prep- 
arations we daily prescribe instead of the nauseous ones 
then in use. Little attention was then paid to that 
department of medicine ; now, colleges are established for 
the education of pharmacists, and instead of ignorant dis- 
pensers and compounders of medical agents, we have an 
intelligent body of men thoroughly educated for their 
work. Then, of hygiene, or the laws which promote 
individual and public health little was known or under- 
stood ; now, we know the influence which foul air and bad 
sewerage has in causing and disseminating disease. Then 
little attention was paid to the prevention, introduction and 
spread of epidemic and contagious disease ; now, a more 
effective quarantine rigidly enforced, a more complete isola- 
tion of the infected, and other prophylactic measures which 
a better knowledge of the laws of health have caused to be 
adopted, have deprived them of much of their terror and 
added greatly to the sum of human life. 

" In many other particulars the past and present, the 
then and now, might be drawn. The advances in physi- 
ology, pathology and the wonderful revelations of the mi- 
croscope are of themselves fruitful themes for consideration. 
But I am admonished to refrain from trespassing upon your 
time or exhausting your patience by continuing the subject. 
Let me say in conclusion, that judging from the past thus 
imperfectly sketched, the future for the profession of medi- 

280 FIFTY years' recollections. 

cine is full of promise. It is not, perhaps, too much to say 
that we may hopefully look forward to the time when one 
obstacle after another will be overcome, one new and useful 
discovery after another be made, until no physical evil but 
death will be beyond the reach of human skill. 

" Ladies and gentlemen of the society, indebted to your 
kindness for the position I occupy to-day, appearing before 
you as one of the only two now living who aided in the 
formation of this society, with the memories of half a 
century thronging around me, worn and weary with the 
journey of a long life now near its end, I heartily thank 
you for this, the last earthly honor I shall probably ever 
receive. I trust that our present session may be interesting 
and profitable, and that during the coming years, and long 
before another generation passes away, the Illinois State 
Medical Society will have achieved a reputation and exerted 
an influence in the profession worthy of the great state 
whose name it bears. For yourselves, individually, let me 
express the hope that each and all will prove loyal to the 
profession, and by neither word nor act bring disgrace upon 
it, but strive to elevate and make it what it is and ought to 
be, the highest and noblest of human pursuits." 

Only a small part of this eloquent address can be given, 
but it is sufficient to show the vigorous and comprehensive 
grasp of mind he possessed of the practical principles of 
his profession. 

Dr. Boal, now in the seventy-seventh year of his age, 
enjoys robust health, has a large practice, and a competence 
although not wealthy, respected and honored by his profes- 
sional brethren in this and other states, "full of years and 
honors," bidding fair to enjoy yet other years of usefulness 
and the respect and esteem of people in all conditions of 
life, for whose health he has practiced his profession to 
promote for fifty years past — the oldest practicing physician 
in the state. 

i/»7 & Arft^C^Ct^ 



In attending public meetings in different parts of the 
state, and county and state conventions in the last fifteen 
years, we have had occasion to note the men who seemed 
"to be the controlling power to whom their fellow workers 
in the cause looked for direction, counsel and leadership. 
Among these, the most prominent in labor and financial 
reform for which he is the advocate, was always found the 
subject of our present sketch. 

Alson Jenness Streeter was born in Rensalear county, 
New York, in January 1823, his father, Roswell Streeter, 
in Windham county, Massachusetts, where the Streeter 
family have lived for many generations. His mother, Eli- 
nor Kynson Streeter, was a native of Rhode Island. There 
were six sons and two daughters, Alson J. being the eldest. 
His father moved to Alleghany county, New York, when he 
was four years old, where h'e resided for eight years. This 
was a rough, mountainous country, poor soil, where the 
principal crop raised was potatoes on the hillsides, where 
the little soil had to be preserved by walling it about with 
stones, then planting the potatoes in the enclosure. This 
was the only method of getting soil enough together to cover 
up the seed potatoes. 

The principal occupation of the citizens was making 
shingles from pine blocks with froe and drawing knife, at 

282 FIFTY years' recollections. 

which young Streeter became very expert, and as we shall 
see, did him good service in after years. 

There was a school house three or four miles distant, 
and to this, when a school was kept, he attended one to 
three months in the year. When he wa*s twelve years old 
his father moved to Lee county, Illinois, settling twelve 
miles east of Dixon. The family came to Peoria by water, 
the first stages of the journey by raft down the Alleghany 
river, into the Ohio to Cairo, young Streeter pulling an oar 
aiding his father. From Pittsburg came round to Peoria 
by steamer, and from there across the prairies in midwinter, 
arriving at their destination early in 1834. The Indians 
were still in the Rock River country, the government sur- 
vey of the land not completed, and the few settlers then 
there sought shelter in the scattering groves. The prairies 
were like the wide sea, the groves like small islands in the 
boundless expanse. The people believed the prairies would 
never be settled. Very little money was then in circula- 
tion, and furs and pelts were from necessity used as a 
substitute. Alson, adjusting himself to the circumstances, 
was soon the possessor of a few steel traps, a fish spear, a gun 
and canoe, and became a youthful Nimrod and fisherman. 
Helped his father in putting in the crops, " tending them," 
then he pursued the chase after the animals for the skins 
and furs, and sought the finny tribes beneath the waters of 
the swift running Rock River. He brought down the wild 
geese and ducks, and sand-hill cranes, and the bounding 
deer were not safe when within the range of his rifle. In 
the summer season he drove the oxen to the breaking plow, 
as other future governors were then doing. His " noon- 
ings," and when the oxen were resting, he read what few 
books he could obtain. While yet in his minority he 


attended three months for two winters at Inlet Grove, in a 
rude log school house, such as described in other sketches. 
He tried to excel in his scholarship and was fairly success- 
ful. His father was poor, could neither read nor write. He 
died in 1850. After Alson became of age he began to 
" skirmish" for himself and thought over the question 
what should be done, concluding from his readings that 
every man was the architect of his own fortune, and he had 
two willing hands to wield the tools, a good constitution 
and energy to do, that have since moved things. 

He felt the need of education, but he was poor, and 
his language of the rough frontier vernacular. He heard 
of Knox College, then just opened at Galesburg, and 
was told there was a manual labor department, giving 
young men the advantage of " working out " their educa- 
tion. Believing in improving opportunities, and gathering 
up his scanty wardrobe, he started across the wide unin- 
habited prairies for his educational Mecca — -Galesburg, one 
hundred miles distant. He reached there, possessing 
thirteen dollars upon his arrival. He found the manual 
labor part of the institution was not in " working order." 
What was he to do? To buy his books would take near all 
his money, then he would have nothing to pay board. But 
he was fruitful in expedients. He boarded himself in a 
garrett, studied hard, chopped wood Saturdays, and morn- 
ings and evenings did odd jobs. When the summer vaca- 
tion came, as he was an expert with a grain cradle and 
scythe, he found steady employment until the fall term com- 
menced. This was in the hard times of the '40's ; the 
building material was hand-made, "scored and hewed" for 
the frame work, sawed at the rude saw mills for the siding, 
and the shingles split by the froe and shaved to proper 


thickness. Young Streeter's knowledge of making shingles 
here came in place, and there was plenty of good shingle 
timber within four or five miles. He bought trees in the 
timber, cut them down, sawed them into blocks on Satur- 
days, and hired them hauled to town. He then had work 
for every spare hour. His shingles were in demand, he was 
a "building contractor" as far as shipping shingles was 
concerned. In this way he earned the means to attend 
Knox College for about three years. 

In January, 1849, he quit school, joined the great emi- 
gration to California, buying one-third of an outfit drawn 
by an ox team. The company started in March, arriving 
in California the following September. On this long route 
he turned Nimrod again, his early hunting experience gave 
him position in supplying the commissary department of the 
expedition. He remained in California until January, 
1851, mining and trading, coming back to Galesburg via 

In 1853 he drove a herd of young cattle from Galesburg 
to California for a market, and sold them as soon as he 
arrived there, and returned by steamer in the winter of 
1853. In 1854 he bought another drove, went through 
and sold them, and returned in 1855, making a profitable 
venture in both his California trips. 

On his return he bought two hundred and forty acres of 
land, where he has since lived, two miles northwest of New 
Windsor, in Mercer county. This purchase at that time 
"was surrounded by a wide range of grazing lands, and he 
bought with a view of making a stock farm. He stocked 
up the farm and has been raising stock ever since, adding to 
his farm and grazing land until now he owns near 4,000 
acres, and another farm in Missouri of 1,600 acres. The 


farm is mostly grazing land and is stocked to its full 
capacity. His herds are now almost as numerous as Abra- 
ham's on the plains of Mamre, comprising seventy-five head 
of full-blooded Short Horns and five hundred head of high 
grade cattle, eighty horses, four hundred stock hogs, and 
other live stock, managed by his son Frank, a young man 
of wonderful executive ability, who now has sole charge and 
gives direction to the farm and stock matters. He is con- 
tinually preparing stock for market, and his sales off the 
farm last year were over $25,000. A model farmer — a 
successful stock grower indeed. 

When attending school Mr. Streeter possessed a fertile 
imagination, was a ready speaker in the college discussions, 
but for many years afterwards, being so absorbed in trade 
and the improvement of his farm, did not cultivate his talent 
much. He was an extensive reader, well advised in regard 
to the questions of the day, and commenced his public life 
by serving several terms on the county board of supervisors. 

Before the war he was a democrat, and during the war a 
Avar democrat. He took an active part in the raising of 
troops and was in demand to speak at war meetings. He 
was an active "Home Guard," aiding by his voice and sub- 
stance in forwarding men to the front, and he bent all his 
energies to the work. The days were too short for him, 
and he often worked half the night. Labor could with 
difficulty be obtained, and the more necessary it was for 
him to exert himself. The war passed, he had done his 
duty in time and means, and his farm work engrossed his 

In 1872 he was elected to the legislature. On taking 
his seat he was placed on the committee on education and 
agriculture, and took an active part in shaping the railroad 

286 FIFTY years' recollections. 

legislation at that session, especially the law "to prevent 
extortion and unjust discrimination." That legislature 
also authorized the revision of our statutes. 

About this time the " Granger Movement " was sweep- 
ing over the land, and he joined it. He has been a granger 
in principle since childhood. 

In 1873-74 he severed all his old party affilliations, 
thinking the best interest of the country, and especially of 
the industrial classes, was in organizing a new political 
party — a party of positive convictions on the labor ques- 
tion, and a protection against the aggressions of organized 
capital. He has always been with the minority party, and 
remained there when the inducement to come over was 
-held out by the majority. Perhaps he may always be in 
the minority, but be that as it may, an active and vigilant 
minority is one of the best safe-guai'ds the people can have. 
The grange movement prepared the way for the National 
party, since called the Greenback party. Mr. Streeter was 
earnestly engaged in the formative period of that move- 
ment, attended the National Convention at Indianapolis, 
in 1876, that nominated Peter Cooper, and since then has 
attended the conventions of that party, both state and 
national. In 1878 he wajs the greenback candidate for 
congress in the tenth congressional district; Hon. D. P. 
Phelps, of "Warren county, was the democratic caiididate, 
and Hon. B. F. Marsh, of Hancock, the republican candi- 
date. The only ijpn issue in the district was the financial 
Issiw He prepared for the canvass, threw Ihe glove, 
punched his gauntlet at both his competitors, but neither 
would join issue, both claiming to be genuine greenbackars, 
even better than Streeter was, thus " out Heroding Herod 
himself," claiming to discount him in presenting his own 


principles. This gave the anomaly of three candidates in 
the same district all professing to be greenbackers. Mr. 
Streeter received 3,600 votes and the others near 7,000 
each, Marsh receiving a small plurality. Mr. Streeter's 
able canvass gave him prominence, and in 1880 he was pre- 
sented at the Greenback State Convention as the candidate 
for governor, and spent four months in canvassing the 
state, speaking once, sometimes twice every day. He 
received 28,808 votes, 3,000 more than was given to Gen. 
Weaver for president the same year on the same ticket, the 
largest vote ever polled by that organization in the state. 

Since 1880 he has spent considerable time in addressing 
public meetings, mostly in Illinois and Iowa, on the subject 
of finance and transportation. He has given his services 
freely, never asking pay, but in some cases his expenses 
have been paid when he was not a candidate himself, and 
has been liberal in his means in aid of advancing and pro- 
moting the principles of the National party. Ever since 
1874 he has been actife in the political field, both state and 
national, and when not in active campaign work has written 
many articles for the* press in advocacy of his principles, 
and if life and health continues, hfe work in this direction, 
is not done. 

By birth, education and prinfcipias his sympathies are 
all with the- masses — the laboring men, and although a 
majority of the people have nfft yet appreciated his efforts, 
still he will work on, even if not rewarded by success. 

fr. Streeter puts the matter rather te*feely and to the 
in itom-e of his public addresses, to which we have 
listened and given a synoj^is to the press : " If I had 
taken the other side, and in time of the war, instead of put- 
ting money into lands on which to raise cattle and grain, 

288 FIFTY years' recollections. 

meat and bread, for the army, I had put my money into 
bonds and started a national bank, and thereby drawn 
double interest on my money invested, and then obtained 
one or two railroad charters and then fooled the people 
along the line into the belief that I was their friend, desir- 
ing to build a railroad for their special benefit, and by 
this deception persuaded them into the belief that it was 
for the advancement of their interests and not mine, that 
they give the right of way, and take stock enough to 
build half or two-thirds of the whole road, and when 
they had done it, cheat them out of the whole, take 
the road to myself and then claim the right to fix the 
rates for transportation at what the traffic would bear, 
I say if I had taken this course there is no telling 
what I now would be rated at financially, possibly a 
millionaire. In 1878, when contraction of the currency had 
forced prices down to the ragged edge of despair, when farm- 
ers were making nothing because corn was selling at twenty 
and twenty-five cents per bushel, and hogs at two or two 
and a quarter cents per pound, when the land was filled 
with tramps, and labor was a drug in the market, when 
able bodied men were a nuisance that some said should be 
abated by bullets, I then saw in the railroad commissioners' 
reports that the railroads of Illinois were then making 
more money than they ever did when times were good. 
We were making nothing, the railroads were setting the 
lawful rates at defiance everywhere and making all the 

I made complaint to the commission, made specific 
charges, others joined with me, charging that the C, B. & 
Q,., on which we resided, and over which we shipped our 
stock and produce, were overcharging us on everything. This 
correspondence ran on for six months ; the commission found 
the charges true, but finally refused to prosecute, and the 
robbery went on. Since then I have made my complaints 
from time to time for overcharge, but in no case did the 
commissioners enter proceedings according to law." 


Several of these complaints were made in the past year, 
and the correspondence with the Railroad Commission is 
found in the Western Rural. Mr. Streeter continues :. "If 
any one thinks I am unfriendly to railroads they are mis- 
taken. I have helped, by influence and with my means, to 
build the roads, and would do it again ; and should any 
means be adopted that would in the least cripple their effi- 
ciency I would be the first to. propose relief." 

There is nothing brilliant in Mr. Streeter's style of ora- 
tory. He uses common language to give force to his argu- 
ments, and the audience always understand that he is in 
earnest and means just what he says. This forcefulness is 
the key to the fact that when he is a candidate himself he 
always polls more votes than any other name on the ticket. 
In energy there is always the pressure of a steam engine to 
do just what he undertakes, and it has been the ruling 
principle of his life. When a boy, as a trapper, hunter or 
fisherman, he did with his might what he could to develop 
the business and turn the proceeds into the family excheq- 
uer. As an ox-driver, turning over the tough sod of the 
Illinois prairies, he was content to stand in his lot. When 
the few months' attendance at school was doled .out to him 
in the Inlet log school house, "he improved each shining 
hour." Then when attaining his majority, the age of free- 
dom from parental control, higher aspirations seized him, 
he took his way across the boundless prairie to seek the 
classic shades of Knox college, arriving there only to find 
that he could not exercise his brawn and strength to pay 
his way. He bravely entered, "took his chances" on 
getting employment to earn money to pay the rent of his 
garret and for his scant store of provisions, and when vaca- 
tion came, boldly going ^o the harvest fields to swing the 

290 FIFTY years' recollections. 

cradle and scythe to earn, at good wages, a store of wealth 
to pay expenses through the next term ; then the discov- 
ery that an old art, a skill learned when he was a mere 
child — a handicraft as a shingle-maker — would earn him 
ample means to pay his way through college, shows the 
indomitable perseverance that has since characterized him 
as a man. His California ventures were all attended with 
a measure of success and the proceeds carefully saved 
and when sufficient accumulations were earned carefully 
and with great prudence invested in lands and as suc- 
cess has attended him since from year to year, the same 
judgment and prudence has guided him. The balance 
sheet has been kept in his favor both financially and mor- 
ally, he standing among the elders in the church, aiding all 
the moral reforms of the age, and a member of several be- 
nevolent organizations, having in one attained the degree of 
Royal Arch Mason. In his three long tedious and perilous 
trips to California are woven many incidents and reminis- 
cences, of dangers encountered, escapes from Indians, pri- 
vations, hardships, and his return by the Panama or 
isthmus route, full of perils to health and life, all would fill 
a volume that would read like romance, yet true in every 

We present him as the representative, recognized as such 
by the organization, of the National Greenback party of the 
state, and also as one of the leading farmers and stock- 
growers, whose accumulations have been so wisely invested 
in land, giving him one of the finest and most improved 
domains in the state. 





Near fifteen years ago a movement, sustained by many 
prominent and influential farmers of this state, was organ- 
ized for social, educational and business purposes. Like a 
great many other movements that grew into national im- 
portance the Grange organization was at first only local in 
its benefits pecuniarily, socially, and in a business point of 
view, but soon the advantages of united action were recog- 
nized and made so evident that larger and greater efforts 
were made to make the organization since known as the 
"Patrons of Husbandry," the combined membership under 
one head called " The Grange," and a single member called 
a " Granger " and collectively called " Grangers." 

It was thought on its first inception that it was the 
popular movement of the day, and meant in the near future 
the political ascendency of those who could commend them- 
selves to the masses by their activity for the " good of the 
Order," and thousands came into the movement, hoping that 
this flood-tide of popular favor would carry them forward 
to preferment, place, power, positions of trust, political pat- 
ronage- and " spoils and plunder." A few did get official 
positions, and it was found that they were no better than 
the professed party-spoils men. This result did not give 
assurance that the farmers' movement could be used as a 
political factor, and soon the office-hunting hangers-on were 

292 FIFTY years' recollections. 

not found in tfieir accustomed places, and " the places that 
knew them knew them no more forever." 

In the course of three or four years the Grange move- 
ment was happily rid of this brawling class of office-hunt- 
ing political dead-beats, and men of stability and character 
came to the front in their organization. Among that num- 
ber is the subject of our sketch, Edward A. Giller, master 
of the Illinois State Grange of the "Patrons. of Hus-* 
bandry," who was born at Manchester, England, September 
11th, 1821, who came to Illinois in his twenty-first year, 
having served an apprenticeship to the carriage-painting, 
business in his father's manufactory, besides being a very 
good worker in wood at the same business. His educa- 
tional opportunities were limited to reading, writing and 
a slight acquaintance with mathematics. 

After arriving in New York he came to Pittsburg and 
visited some cousins there, then took passage on a steamer 
for St. Louis, and from there found his way to Greene 
county, this state, hired out to a farmer at five dollars per 
month, and to " do his own washing and mending." He says 
he did not get rich at this, but saved money enough so that 
in the spring of 1844 he went to the Galena lead mines. 
Again "he did not strike it rich," and in the following fall 
went to New Orleans, was unsuccessful in finding employ- 
ment, and came back to Natchez and spent the winter, took 
a job of cutting cord wood at seventy-five cents per cord, 
and had just five dollars — a family souvenir — in his pocket 
when he struck the job, and saved enough to not be under 
the necessity of spending his pocket piece, and in the spring 
of 1845 came back to Whitehall. Here he resumed the 
business he had learned when a boy ; painted signs and 
any other work of that kind that came to his hand, 


worked at wagon and carriage making, was in fact a "gen- 
eral utility man," until the Mexican war broke out in May, 
1846. By this time he had become thoroughly " Yankee- 
ized;" the sound of "Yankee Doodle" fired his patriotic 
blood and he volunteered for the war, as he expresses it, 
"thinking that I was just the right kind of material to be 
shot at." 

He enlisted in the First Regiment Illinois Foot Vol- 
unteers, commanded by the gallant John J. Hardin, and 
mustered into service at Alton, June 23d of that year. He 
was elected sergeant-major of the regiment, and gave to 
the duties of that position the attention and industry 
necessary to a faithful performance of its duties. In this 
regiment we remember also the names of Wm. A. Richard- 
son, afterwards United States senator ; T. Lyle Dickey, Col. 
Fourth Regiment Cavalry, in 1861 ; W. H. L. Wallace, 
who fell gallantly fighting at Pittsburg Landing in the late 
war, and Benj. M. Prentiss, also holding important com- 
mand in the rebellion. He participated in the hardships of 
the voyage down the Mississippi by steamboat to New Or- 
leans, and from there across the gulf to Camp Erwin, near 
Victoria, Texas. From thence the regiment marched across 
the country to San Antonio, under the rays of a tropical 
sun, and joined Gen. Wool's army of the center. Septem- 
ber 26th they left that city, marching steadily forward, 
reaching Santa Rosa on the 24th of October, with no 
opposition. Thence the regiment marched to Monclova, 
and from there to Parras, Mexico. After remaining at 
this place twelve days, General Wool started to intercept 
Santa Anna, to divert or prevent his attack on Monterey, 
and on the 21st of December occupied Agua Nueva, thus 
completing a six weeks' march of one thousand miles. 

294 FIFTY years' recollections. 

They rested here till in January, 1847, when Gen. Taylor 
formed a junction with Gen. Wool. The united forces of 
Taylor and Wool marched in search of the Mexicans, and 
the usual maneuvering of both armies, either to bring on 
or prevent a battle, was performed until the 22d day of 
February, when the battle of Buena Vista was commenced 
by the Mexicans with a force of 20,000 men, the American 
force being about 7,000. The battle was ended on the 23d 
in a complete but dearly won victory for the Americans, 
Hardin's and Bissell's regiments covering themselves with 
glory. Mr. Giller was engaged in this battle, his duties 
calling him to the side of Col. Hardin, " that warm-hearted, 
generous, impulsive man, — nature's nobleman, and the 
bravest of the brave." In describing the incidents in the 
battle, as it progressed, Major Giller says : 

" Well do I remember his last words to me, — they are 
engraved indelibly on the tablets of my memory. It was 
just after the left battalion of our regiment had charged 
and routed a body of Mexicans who had opened fire upon us 
as we were moving by the flank to assist the Second Illi- 
nois, who were so sorely beset after the Indiana regiment 
fell back. He called me to his side just as we were 
starting from the hill we had been guarding, which was 
really the key to the position. At the foot of this hill was 
Washington's battery. He said to me: 'Major, you just 
keep right by me, so that if I have any orders to transmit 
you can attend to it." We had scattered the Mexicans by 
a bayonet charge, and down the hill they went pell-mell 
with our boys after them, and the first thing we knew our 
boys were badly scattered, and each man or squad of men 
had more or less Mexican prisoners. Col. Hardin took in 
the situation at a glance. I had remained at his side. He 
said to me, ' Major, go and order Capt. Zabriskie to gather 
the troops together and report here immediately; then 
detail a guard of two men and take these prisoners to 


camp.' These were the last words I heard the brave man 
utter. I obeyed the order at once, detailed Corporals 
Flynn and Fisher, and after breaking the stocks of the guns 
of the prisoners, I formed them in line,, placing Fisher 
near the head, Flynn near the center, I bringing up the 
rear, and we marched them to camp. That order from the 
colonel saved my life. But for this order I would have 
been with him in that disastrous charge, which proved so 
fatal and took from us Hardin, Clay, McKee, Fletcher, and 
hosts of other gallant men and brave soldiers. The Mexi- 
can prisoners we had in charge were a cowardly set. When 
delivering up their arms they would fall down on their 
knees and beg for their lives, — they evidently thought we 
were going to kill them* (perhaps they thought of the 
Alamo and Goliad). My fellow-soldier, Corporal Flynn, 
was the father of the gallant Col. Flynn, now one of Scott 
county's most honored sons." 

Like most old soldiers Major Giller is fond of fighting 
his battles o'er again. He tells of a circumstance that 
came near terminating his life and usefulness the day before 
the battle : 

" I had been unwell some time before, and Huey, our 
hospital steward, gave me by mistake two grains of mor- 
phine, instead of a half grain, as directed by Surgeon Pey- 
ton. But the mistake was discovered in time to take a 
neutralizing medicine; this saved me from 'taking the 
sleep that knows no waking ' — the only bad result being 
that I was very sore and tender about my waist, so than on 
the days of the battle I could not wear my sword, but car- 
ried a rifle and discharged my duty as a soldier, though 
sore from the effects of the opiate." 

With the exception of sending out an occasional 
foraging party his regiment performed no further service 
during the war. They remained at Buena Vista till the 
latter part of May, when they marched for Camargo and 
mustered out at that place June 17, 1847. 


He returned to Whitehall " safe and sound," he was 
popular, a Mexican war hero, had won the title of " Major," 
which sticks to him to this day. He was installed soon 
after his return as assistant postmaster at Whitehall, the 
postmaster, Judge Worcester, having been elected to the 
Constitutional Convention of 1847. When the judge 
returned Major Giller went to work at his trade, received 
three hundred dollars per year and his board, he was pru- 
dent and economical, and saved from this two hundred and 
seventy-six dollars. This was a credit mark from which to 
start on life's journey, and March 1, 1848, was married to 
Miss Ladd, a daughter of Timothy Ladd, who was born on 
the farm now owned by Major Giller, March 3, 1830. 

He bought one hundred and twenty acres of land, went 
in debt one thousand dollars, improved his farm by day 
and worked in the shop till late every night and on rainy 
days. His wife was a farmer's daughter, and in the Major's 
concise way of putting things, " both worked like heroes — 
result, got out of debt, kept buying more land," until now 
his home, the original one hundred and twenty acres, has 
enlarged, swelled out by " accretions " honestly bought and 
paid for, to five hundred acres in a high state of cultivation, 
tile drained throughout, and worth one hundred dollars per 
acre, is stocked with finest improved breeds of horses, mules, 
cattle, sheep, and swine. In addition to it owns another 
large farm of near five hundred acres, two aud one-half 
miles from Roodhouse and three miles from Whitehall 
and occupied by one of his sons, and equally well improved 
by tiling, well stocked and worth one hundred dollars per 
acre. His and Mrs. Giller's married life has been blessed, 
by " increasing and multiplying" in accordance with Divine 
injunction, with eleven children. Three died young, and 


the oldest son, Marcus Robert, died three years ago aged 
thirty years, has seven still living, four boys and three girls. 
Oldest daughter married, resides in Morris county, Kansas, 
with her husband, have twelve hundred and eighty acres of 
land, making stock growing their business. They have 
two children. Major Giller's oldest son, George Alfred, 
resides near Kirksville, Missouri, owns five hundred and 
sixty acres, and rents three hundred acres more ; engaged 
in the stock and dairy business. This son has three children. 
Next son, Charles H. resides on the Roodhouse farm 
mentioned, and has one child. The next son, William M., 
is " climbing the hill of science," attending school at Ann 
Arbor, Michigan, and bids fair to turn his various attain- 
ments to good account. One son, Edward A., aged ten, " a 
chip of the old block," and two daughters, aged fourteen 
and eighteen are at home, all bright, healthy children. None 
of the masculine- portion of this healthy and muscular fam- 
ily use any beverage that will intoxicate, or tobacco in any 
form, thus assisting to bring the beer and tobacco trade to 
an end. None of the members of this model family are 
connected by membership with a church organization, yet 
they are strictly moral, profanity being strictly inhibited 
from early youth. In communicating with Major Giller 
he informs the author that : 

" When the farmer's movement was first inaugurated I 
took an active part in it, but as you are aware, it went by 
the board, too many men had axes to grind — political and 
personal. With others I then went to work and organized 
a grange, and have never regretted it. I was elected the 
first master of "Social Grange No. 1,308," have served on 
the most important committees of the state grange for a 
number of years, and in January, 1882, was elected Master 
of the State Grange of Illinois. 

298 FIFTY years' recollections. 

" I was opposed to keeping such men as you, editors, 
authors, ministers, school teachers, and representative men 
from other industrial pursuits out of our organization ; but 
the line had to be drawn somewhere. If we were going to 
get our farmers and their wives to come into the grange and 
' tell what they knew about farming/ they would not do 
it if persons so much better qualified with the gift of 
speech than themselves were present, and the result proves 
that the founders of our order ' builded better than they 
knew.' The subject is a theme that opens up such a wide 
field for thought and discussion it would take a chapter to 
give it." 

Major Giller has enjoyed the confidence of his fellow- 
citizens in an eminent degree. Has been treasurer of his 
township lor over thirty years, has made life a grand suc- 
cess, and ascribes the greater credit of it to his excellent 
wife, whose benevolent countenance sheds the beams of its 
benignant rays over the home in resplendent love and care 
for all present. His farming operations have been con- 
ducted systematically, the best implements, the best system 
of drainage and tiling, the best improved stock and the best 
grains. He says in describing his success in raising corn, 
" I have not failed in raising a crop of corn in thirty-three 
years. I have land that has cleared me one hundred dol- 
lars per acre above all expenses in three years. No guess 
work about it; mark you, I speak from the book." A 
granger, truly " in whom there is no guile," a representa- 
tive man of his class in this state. It is not wonderful 
that the grangers are showing an increased membership, 
having added six hundred during the last year. 

We make short extracts from his annual address deliv- 
ered at the meeting of the State Grange at Decatur, in Jan- 
uary : 


'' During the past year I have visited different portions 
of the state and in every instance have received a most 
cordial welcome. From careful observation I am led to the 
conclusion that the organization in this state is on a much 
firmer foundation than ever before, and the work it is ac- 
complishing is of such a character that it is making an im- 
pression for good in every neighborhood where there is a 
prosperous grange. The novelty of the grange movement 
has passed away. Those who become members now do so 
from principle, and become earnest workers in the cause. 
They are composed of earnest men and women who are de- 
sirous of educating themselves and elevating their calling, 
so that those now entering upon the stage of action will not 
be ashamed to own that they are the sons and daughters of 
American farmers. 

" The great question of transportation is one that ought 
to call forth our most earnest thought. Rivers, canals and 
railroads are to the nation what the arteries are to the 
human body — the channels through which the life-blood 
courses — and we ought to do everything in our power to pro- 
tect them. We have been unjustly charged with being 
enemies to railroads, when in truth we are their greatest 
friends. Time will show that the legislation brought about 
by our efforts will prove to them a blessing in disguise. 
The American people will tolerate no masters. They, and 
they alone must be the sovereigns, and the question had to 
be solved as to whether the creator or the creature 
should be supreme. If the decision of the courts are only 
followed by wise legislation all will be well. It was well for 
these huge corporations that it was so settled. We are desir- 
ous that capital shall have its fair share of the profits, but 
there we stop. The grange is not opposed to railroads, 
but is opposed to all extortions and monopolies. On this 
question you are expected to speak in no uncertain tones. 
The best thought of the members should be given to this 
as well as all other important matters. 

" Progression is the order of the day. After the farm- 
ers' boy or girl leaves school they need some place of meet- 

300 FIFTY years' recollections. 

ing where they cau use the lessons they have learned, and 
what place more appropriate than the Grange. Here they 
can train themselves to preside over any deliberative body, 
and educate themselves to vote intelligently on the different 
questions that arise; and here, too, the sisters get that train- 
ing which enables them to teach the rising generation cor- 
rectly. Every farmer's wife and daughter in the land,, if 
alive to their best interests, ought, if possible, to be a live, 
active member of the Grange. No other organization treats 
her so fairly and justly, and in it she is a tower of strength, 
if for educational purposes only. No neighborhood that 
wishes to keep Up with the times can afford to be without 
an active Grange organization." 

Major Giller is a poet. His effusions are clear cut, as 
natural and original as the products springing from the soil 
of his fertile farms. They grace the periodicals of the day 
that are fortunate enough to secure him as a contributor, 
and are always sought for as desirable contributions to 
the literature of the day. We give two verses that close 
■very appropriately his annual address : 

" Step to the front, then, ye men who have nerve, 
Step to the front, then, ye women so true; 
For brave men and women there always is work, 
If we only are willing our duty to do. 

"The giants of old were as naught when compared 
AVith the foes who at present the toilers must fight: 
Then 'up guards and at them,' ere yet 'tis too late, 
In the van let the Patrons strive for the right;" 

At the last state fair at Peoria, through Major Giller's 
industrious efforts, a large tent pavilion was erected at a 
central and convenient locality on the fair, grounds, as the 
headquarters of the organization, and there the author had 
the pleasure of meeting representative members of the 
Order from all parts of the state. It is to be hoped that 


this feature will be continued at the fairs hereafter. Let 
the pavilion be spread larger and broader. The needs of 
the organization will justify it, and the " good of the 
order" throughout the state demand it. 

The following list of prominent farmers throughout the 
state compose the Deputy Masters of the State Grange of 
Illinois, appointed by Hon. Edward A. Giller, Master: 

Henry Burner, Robinson, Crawford Co. ; W. C. Trott, 
Bloomington, McLean Co.;. T. J. Baldwin, Whitehall, 
Greene Co. ; James Knight, Harrisburg, Saline Co. ; Sam- 
uel Gordon, Duhlap, Peoria Co. ; H. G. W. Whittenberg, 
Richview, Washington Co. ; A. J. Sweezy, Rockford, 
Winnebago Co.; E. G. Patterson, Mattoon, Coles Co.; 
L. J. Nifong, Girard, Macoupin Co.; Geo. W.English, 
New Salem, Pike Co. ; A. T. Strange, Walshville, Mont- 
gomery Co. ;' George Ball, Girard, Macoupin Co. ; G. M. 
Curtiss, Nora, Jo Daviess Co.; Horace Wells, "Virden, 
Macoupin Co.; Wm. H. H. Holdridge, Tonica, LaSalle 
Co. ; J. E. Bradley, Hammond, Moultrie Co. ; Oliver 
Wilson, Magnolia, Putnam Co.; Silas Andrus, Mount 
Carmel, Wabash Co. ; M. M. Stookey, Birkner, St. Clair 
Co.; Thomas Buckle, Villa Ridge, • Pulaski Co.; S. J. 
Davis, DuQuoin, Perry Co. ; Thos. Hawes, Downs, McLean 
Co. ; C. H. Frost, Gaff, Douglas Co. ; H. Vanderhoff, New- 
ton, Jasper Co. ; James McGrew, Xenia, Wayne Co. 



" As clay in the hands of the potter," is impressed on 
our minds when called to contemplate the skill required, 
the scientific knowledge to properly blend the material, the 
component parts in the formation of the many articles, use- 
ful and ornamental, that are fashioned into shape and 
comeliness by the ingenuity of those skilled in the potter's 
art. It requires a genius for conception rarely concentrated 
in one mind, a fertility of imagination to create and direct all 
the fantastic shapes required in modeling the porcelain and 
stoneware clays of Illinois. But this combination of skill 
in this — one of the great industries of the country — is 
found fully developed in one of the leading manufacturers 
of this state — a man whom from his enterprise and public 
spirit is a public benefactor, not only of his own part of the 
state, but of the whole country. 

Cornwall Kirkpatrick was born at Frederickton, Knox 
county, Ohio, December 23rd, 1814, his parents soon after 
removing to Urbana in that state. He had few educational 
advantages, leaving home and school at twelve years of age 
to learn the business that he has through much labor and 
constant application finally made such a great success. 

He was married January 1, 1839, to the eldest daughter 
of Capt. Alexander Vance, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and soon 


after built a pottery at Covington, Ky., and remained there 
until 1848, when he sold out. While at Covington he 
served two terms in the city council. He then moved to 
Point Pleasant, Ohio, bought a large pottery, and as a resi- 
dence bought the historical house of that place, in which 
Gen. Grant was born. His establishment was burned by 
an incendiary fire November 30, 1851, and he immediately 
set about rebuilding, and by the first of February following 
commenced business in his new place, which he had built 
most substantially of stone, immediately on the banks of the 
Ohio river. 

In the fall of 1853 he sold out and removed to Cincin- 
nati, engaged in manufacturing ware in the Fulton pottery 
for the following four years, and served two terms in the 
city council from the Seventeenth ward. He sold out at 
Cincinnati in December, 1857, and removed to Mound City, 
Illinois, and built and operated the Mound City Pottery, 
managed by a manufacturing company that, through finan- 
cial mismanagement of parties who handled the funds, 
proved an unfortunate venture. 

On the first of November, 1859, in company with his 
brother Wallace Kirkpatrick, he removed to Anna, Union 
county, and built pottery works, and has since been making 
grand success in manufacturing stoneware in all its depart- 

In selecting Anna as the point for their future extensive 
operations, the inducements were the faith they had in the 
reports of the state geologist and their own practical experi- 
ence, that they could be fortunate enough to discover the 
range of the choice porcelain, potter's and fire clays 
believed to exist in unlimited quantities in portions of 
Union county. While they were investigating, testing and 

304 FIFTY years' recollections. 

making their experiments during the first year's operations 
at Anna, they brought their clay from Grand Chain, on the 
Ohio river, to Cairo by boat, then re-loading it on the cars 
of the Illinois Central, brought it to Anna. This was ex- 
pensive, and quickened their investigations, and in the 
second year of their operations they discovered the exten- 
sive beds of porcelain and fire clays about four miles from 
Anna, and since the St. Louis and Cairo Narrow Guage R. 
E,. has been completed, Kaolin Station is located near their 
clay banks. On making this advantageous discovery they 
secured, by purchase or lease, the entire control of this 
valuable product, and besides what they use in their own 
manufactory they ship large quantities to Cincinnati for the 
manufacture of the white granite and C. C. wares, and to 
the iron and steel works of Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, 
and to the copper works at Detroit, for fire clays, and to 
other places for paper making, for paints, and for improving 
the quality and the weights of candies and confectionaries. 

These clay banks range from twenty-five to seventy feet 
in thickness, and are found at different places within a radi- 
us of two miles,, the .finer qualities lying north and the 
coarser qualities south, taking the depot at Kaolin as the 
center ; one of the principal pits being within a few hundred 
feet of the depot. It can thus be seen at a glance the in- 
numerable uses that these fine clays are adapted to. They 
enter into the composition of our iron and steel, they com- 
pose part of the amalgam in the composition when smelt- 
ing copper, add material, weight and quality to our confec- 
tionary, and enter into the ingredients from which our paper 
is made. A great deal of our finest crockery (fine plates, 
cups and saucers, Chinaized, but a long way. from China), 
is manufactured from this product. The transmutations we 


read of in the " Arabian Nights " are as nothing compared 
to the varied transformation of this wonderful clay. Messrs. 
Kirkpatrick are transforming it into gold, silver, bank notes 
and greenbacks in their business transactions every day by 
the same honest methods that farmers turn their labor into 
money, or as any other of the professions, occupations and 
industries honestly pursued will produce wealth — by hard 
work and close attention to business. 

It is like visiting an art studio to go through their ex- 
tensive works, both of the brothers being finished artists in 
the accomplishment of modeling the Kaolin product into 
all kinds of beautiful and fantastic shapes. Seemingly a 
great many of their products are the result of a free fancy, 
take form and shape for their own amusement when first 
conceived, but result very advantageously in discovering 
new forms of beauty — or may be, grotesqueness. . It was 
in Mr. Kirkpatrick' s fertile fancy that the celebrated Rail- 
road and River Guide originated, in the form of a stone pig 
bottle, with the map of the Illinois Central Railroad en- 
graved on one side. It was only a momentary inspiration 
of his, and the clay took the ' form and shape of a pig. 
Then the railroad map was obtained, and the design was so 
unique, so apropos, that thousands of them were manufac- 
tured and sent all over the country, east, west, north and 

. No man in Union county is more liberal and public 
spirited than Mr. Kirkpatrick. He gives time and atten- 
tion to public interests. Soon after making Anna his home 
he was called into the city council, and afterwards three 
times in succession elected mayor. In 1873 he was ap- 
pointed by Gov. Beveridge one of the trustees of the 
Southern Illinois Insane Asylum, located at Anna, and at 

306 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the organization of the board was elected secretary, and he 
still holds the position. In him the institution has found 
one of its most faithful guardians. The benevolent orders 
make him the almoner of their bounties. He is treasurer 
and conductor of the Odd Fellows' lodge, and secretary of 
the Encampment of Masonic lodges. 

Since the organization of the Southern Illinois Fair As- 
sociation at Anna he has had the leading direction of its 
affairs in the arrangement of the grounds, and his rare 
judgment and taste will at no distant day make the fair 
grounds the most attractive park in the county. The artifi- 
cial lake is a very fine conception, and useful as well as 
ornamental, as it has furnished the citizens with clear, pure 
ice in great abundance for summer use. 

Mr. Kirkpatrick frequently represents Anna Lodge No, 
520, Masons, and Egyptian chapter No. 45, R. A. Masons, 
in the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter at Springfield and 
Chicago, and for the last fifteen years has been on the com- 
mittee of chartered lodges in the Grand Lodge of Masons. 

In educational matters he has always been among the 
foremost, and in no enterprise that will advance the inter- 
ests of the people is he backward. He is now in his sixty- 
ninth year, but his business vigor is not abated. His regu- 
larity in life, his equanimity of temperament, his abstemi- 
ous and plain habits of living, using the good things of life 
to add bodily vigor, but abstaining from everything that 
would abuse or injure the natural powers he is endowed 
with, will no doubt bring him to the enjoyment of many 
more years of life. 



If long service in public life be taken by a legislator as 
an approval of the representative's acts while serving his 
constituents, then the subject of our sketch stands forth as 
the most thoroughly endorsed amongst our many able 
statesmen and lawmakers. 

Lorenzo Dow Whiting was born at Arcadia, Wayne 
county, New York, November 19, 1819, son of Samuel and 
Zilpha Whiting, his mother being a lineal descendent of 
Cotton Mather. His grand-father, Samuel Whiting, was a 
soldier in the revolution. 

When a boy, Lorenzo enjoyed the benefits of the schools 
as they were conducted at that time, and when sufficiently 
advanced in the rudimentary departments he was sent to 
Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, where so many of our great 
men and noble women have received their education. He 
came to Bureau county, 111., in 1849, and has since resided 
on a farm near Tiskilwa, and engaged in teaching at that 
place for several terms. He had taught several terms of 
school and been elected justice of the peace and superin- 
tendent of public instruction before coming to Illinois, and 
was, for five terms in succession, elected supervisor of the 
township, and took an active and leading part in the drain- 
age of the Winnebago Swamps, a work so largely done 
by Bureau county. 

308 FIFTY years' recollections. 

In 1868 he was elected to the legislature, taking his 
seat in the house January, 1869. He served his constitu- 
ency so well that when the members of the constitutional 
convention were elected in 1869, and met in 1870, he was 
one of the returned members, and so satisfactorily did his 
services prove that he was elected to the state senate 
at the election of November, 1870, and at the expiration of 
each succeeding term since he has been re-elected in dis- 
tricts that have been three times changed, thus numbering 
in all five elections to the state Senate. 

Mr. Whiting is gifted with that virtue in well doing, 
patience and endurance (we will not say long suffering), 
which always, when backed by perseverance, as Lincoln 
says, " pegging away," is always crowned with success in 
the end. In the last political campaign of Owen Lovejoy 
he edited the Bureau County Republican, and is a prolific 
writer on all subjects that tend to promote the advance of 
the country to greatness, wealth and power. What he does 
is done with a will and with the determination to suc- 
ceed. He is almost the pioneer in the movement to build 
the Hennepin canal, and has probably, with perhaps one or 
two exceptions, attended more meetings and written more- 
articles in the papers, made more speeches, written more 
memorials and reports, than any other man in the state tc- 
promote this enterprise. The same care and time has been 
given to the improvements of the Illinois river. Coming 
to his legislative action and his acts in the convention, 
we find that he was the first to assert the doctrine — in 
the constitutional convention — that the state should control 
the railroads, and supported it in a speech (see page 147 r 
1st volume debates). Practically he is an anti-monopo- 
list, and at the time of the great Granger agitation, from 


1872 to 1875, attended many of the meetings, but was not 
in favor of organizing a separate party, so did not lose his 
identity with the republican-party. He was active in pass- 
ing and sustaining present railroad laws relating to " extor- 
tion and unjust discrimination," and was opposed to the 
so-called "grab law" of 1869, and "Lake Front" act of 
the same session. The present drainage laws owe a great 
many of their best provisions to his formative hand, and 
he has always given his influence to the passage of acts 
promoting the interests of farmers. The movement that 
has been agitated, and that will probably culminate in 
the passage of a law to inaugurate a road system for the 
entire state, that will operate to give the country better 
roads, meets his approbation and support, his own elaborate 
but well arranged road-law at this writing being just ready 
to pass to its third reading in the senate. He is in favor 
of a declaratory statute "that where the outlet of drainage 
is in a drainage depression, on a man's own land, he may 
drain and it will be no trespass on his lower neighbor — 
or lands below," and has a bill pending declaratory of this 
principle. He is also in favor of amendments, or a new 
revenue law, to reach all values once, and to relieve encum- 
bered lands from double taxation. He is also in favor of 
authorizing county boards to maintain their ditches, made 
under Swamp Land Act, by special assessment on lands 
benefited, and his bill for this purpose has just passed the 
senate unanimously. He, at this writing, has a bill pending 
for the state to survey certain inland streams, so as to show 
to land owners their interest in straightening and clearing 
the channels, preparatory to a new law enabling them to 
combine for this purpose. He is in favor of "compulsory 
education ;" has always favored temperance legislation that 


can be executed. When we last met Senator Whiting and 
a number of others of our Solon's, — men of practical wis- 
dom, discretion, versed in affairs of state, we proposed to 
him the advocacy of our measure for the correction and 
reformation of all the abuses and evils the body politic is 
now heir to, — " compulsory voting " — which is no less than 
compelling every citizen of the state to vote at all elections. 
This was only a suggestion, a subject for thoughtful study, 
that has a great many good reasons in its favor, which we 
do not propose giving in this place. 

Our acquaintance with Senator Whiting dates back to 
near 1850, but was not intimate till the winter of 1860, 
since which time we have been somewhat familiar with his 
" goings to and fro." He has been married twice ; his 
first marriage at Clayville, N. Y., to Miss Lucretia 
C. Clement, to whom were born three children, now living; 
his second marriage to Miss Eriphy C. Robinson, formerly 
of Brooklyn, New York. His daughter, Miss Lilian 
Whiting, educated at Galesburg aTnd Mt. Carroll Seminary, 
is one of the editorial staff of the Boston Traveller, and 
eastern correspondent of the Inter- Ocean and several other 
western papers and magazines. She has already achieved 
quite a literary reputation, and bids fair to take rank 
among the rising authors of the future. 



The memory of an upright judge is a legacy that should 
be transmitted down through the annals of time and blazon 
the historical page. It is a mournful pleasure for the author, 
who was an early friend and neighbor of this departed 
jurist, to bear testimony to his worth, warm friendship and 
faithful service. 

Samuel Lee Richmond was born at Poultney, Vermont, 
June 15, 1824. When eight years old his family moved to 
Ohio, and Samuel assisted in the labors of the farm, attend- 
ing the country schools in winter, attaining a fair rudimen- 
tal education. His ambition being stimulated by reading 
he determined to teach and study law, and in 1845 he went 
to Kentucky, taught school during the day and studied law 
in the evenings in the office of Hon. Garrett Davis, of that 
state, was admitted to practice in Kentucky, then returned 
to Ohio and entered the study of law to more fully qualify 
himself, and was admitted to the bar of that state. He thus 
spent three years in teaching and studying law in Kentucky 
and Ohio, and in the twenty-fourth year of his age was- 
married. May 23, 1848, to Miss Susan, daughter of Elijah. 
Hunt, of Licking county, Ohio. After his marriage he- 
practiced law in the office of Lieutenant-Governor Ford, at 
Burton, Geauga county, Ohio. 

312 FIFTY years' recollections. 

He came to Illinois in 1848 and settled at Princeton as 
partner of Joseph L. Taylor, staying there two years. 
He came to Lacon in 1850, where a broader and wider field 
for his varied talents opened out before him. Some im- 
portant legal cases were pending in both the county and 
circuit courts, and he was retained in several of them. He 
displayed such ability in their management that he at once 
stepped into a good practice, and soon removing his family 
to that city, commenced what, in after years, proved a suc- 
cessful career as counsel and jurist. He was industrious, 
careful and painstaking in the preparation of his cases, and 
when his cause and case was right and just always was suc- 
cessful, and as must always be the case when employed on 
the wrong side, he made pleas and arguments that almost 
made the wrong appear the better side. He was honest 
with his clients, canvassed their cases closely, and if he 
found they were not strong and well founded, and the evi- 
dence to be presented was not strong enough, he would ad- 
vise them to settle the suit before going into a trial. If he 
could not effect an arrangement or settlement between the 
litigants, and the cause came to trial, he used all the force, 
ingenuity and tact at command to gain his client's cause. 

As the years passed on his fame grew, and soon he eon- 
troled as much of the legal business as any other attorney 
on the circuit. In 1855-56 he had made accumulations 
sufficient to induce him with others to seek investments in 
real estate, and in connection with Hon. John Burns and 
others, real estate was purchased at St. Paul, and additions 
added to that city that it was supposed would greatly ad- 
vance in value in the near future. To manage the invest- 
ment in person he removed to St. Paul in 1856, and their 
real estate seemed to promise well, but the financial crash 


of 1857 came, and with it the bright prospects of realizing 
any advance on their investments ended. Like thousands 
of others that had made purchases of real estate in all 
of the "future great" cities at that time — not even 
excepting Chicago, — the bright visions of the investors 
vanished; a shrinkage of value so sweeping that it in- 
volved the loss of the payments already made — and at 
the end of 1857 and beginning of 1858 the purchasers 
found it to their interest to give up the real estate 
trade at the sacrifice of payments first made. Mr. Rich- 
mond was not disheartened, although the accumulations 
of years had been sacrificed, but bravely took up the 
task of retrieving his losses by returning to the practice of 
law. He came from St. Paul to Galena, practicing there 
one year, then returned to Lacon — among the people who 
knew him so well — to again recover a practice and a foot- 
hold among them. lie resumed practice and soon recovered 
his old professional standing at the bar and among the liti- 
gants on the circuit. In 1861 he was elected to the judge- 
ship of the twenty-third judicial circuit, and held the office 
by re-election for nearly twelve years. In February, 1873, 
he went to Champaign county by invitation of Judge 
Gallagher and the members of the bar of that circuit, to 
hold a special term of court. He opened court at the time 
appointed, February 10th, and held until the following Fri- 
day, when feeling unwell, at the suggestion of the members 
of the bar he adjourned court until Monday following, 
taking Saturday and Sunday for rest. Monday came, but 
not the expected recuperation and health, and court stood 
adjourned until Tuesday, which brought no relief. On 
Tuesday evening about ten o'clock he had a spasm, result- 
ing from rheumatism of the heart. He was from this time 

314 FIFTY years' recollections. 

unconscious, and his family and friends were telegraphed 
for. On Wednesday morning he seemed to be easier, and 
reason and consciousness returning he expressed a wish 
to see his family, and was informed that they had been noti- 
fied. He expressed himself that he did not " want to 
put them to the trouble to come," and this was his last 
intelligent utterance. After a few moments he relapsed 
into a spasm and it was followed by almost instant death. 
Thus died, away from home and family, Samuel L. Rich- 
mond, the upright judge of unsullied honor and integrity. 
Mrs. Richmond had left their home at the same time 
he did to go to the bedside of a dying father in Ohio,, 
and strange coincidence, just the day previous to Judge 
Richmond's death his father-iu-law, Elijah Hunt, Esq. 
departed this life, and when the message to the stricken 
wife came to her she was bending over the grave of her 
father. The remains were taken charge of by members of 
the bar and a committee appointed to attend them to Lacon. 
At Peoria a committee of the Marshall county bar met 
them, and the sorrowing cavalcade conveyed the remains 
to the late residence before the arrival of the sorrowing 
widow or the eldest son, who was at the time in one of 
the western territories. 

Thus passed from earth, at the zenith of his great powers 
of mind, at the age of forty-eight, a man whose services on 
the bench had been eminently satisfactory to the people, 
ranking among the ablest judges in the state, leaving to 
his family his unsullied honor and integrity never ques- 
tioned, his ermine unblemished, and it is at this shrine of 
friendship we bear mournful testimony to the worth and 
air judicial fame of an old neighbor. 


Hon. Augustus 'Adams 

Marseilles, 111. 



With resources inexhaustible, its latitude extending- 
from the semi-tropical climate of our southern border to 
the severe winters of northern Dakota and Minnesota, its 
products varied and distributed to suit the peculiar latitude 
required by each kind of fruit or grain, its subterranean depths 
containing the coal, the iron and other more precious mine- 
rals, with oil spontaneously flowing from the rocks, its 
timber forests' and its grainery-filling prairie regions that 
are almost limitless — our country has embodied from its 
earliest infancy the necessary requisites for the development 
of the genius of the inventor and the enterprising manufac- 

It is one of the missions of our work to introduce these 
pioneer benefactors by whose lives and genius many are made 
wealthy, enjoy greater immunity from the labor drudgery 
of the earlier years of our nation's history, and who have 
conduced to make business a pleasure in these modern days 
instead of a burdensome exaction of bodily strength' as it 
was twenty-five and fifty years ago. 

Among this class of pioneers — prominent in Illinois for 
forty-five years past, and for near sixty years a worker and 
inventor, — we introduce one whom all will recognize as- 
standing in the front rank. 

316 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Augustus Adams was born at Genoa, Cayuga county, 
New York, May 10, 1806, where during his boyhood he at- 
tended the public schools of that early day until eleven 
years old. 

His father dying at this time he was obliged to depend 
upon his own resources for support. But as a boy he was 
diligent, it might almost be said "in season and out of 
season;" he possessed an inquiring turn of mind — powers 
of investigation that he improved, and this was his founda- 
tion for future growth. His summers were spent on the 
farm, as hired help, but all his spare time was devoted to 
study by which he acquired a rich store of general informa- 
tion. By this incessant application, when arrived at 
maturer years, he had attained the necessary qualifications 
for teaching school, and his winters for several years were 
so employed. 

While thus laudably engaged he discovered that he pos- 
sessed an inventive genius, and with that excellent judg- 
ment and foresight which has characterized his life, he recog- 
nized that no field of labor offered greater inducements for 
the exercise of his inventive faculties than manufacturing, 
and closely following the developments of the agricultural 
resources of the west, he discovered that labor-saving 
machinery must play an important part in handling the 
enormous crops. With the accumulations saved from his 
years of toil he was enabled in 1829 to start a foundry and 
machine shop at Pine Valley, Chemung county, New York, 
which he continued to operate until the autumn of 1837. 

But the West, with its boundless field for development, 
had been his objective point in these years of successful 
endeavor, and in the fall of 1838 he came to Elgin, Illinois, 
his family following him in 1840, and in 1841, with 


James T. Gifford as a partner, he established the first 
foundry and machine shop west of Lake Michigan. This 
establishment, though operated in a crude way as compared 
with the improved methods of the present, continued in 
successful operation until 1859. For use in this foundry 
he purchased the first pig-iron and hard coal ever brought 
to Chicago for foundry purposes. Thus Elgin, Illinois, 
may be justly styled "the cradle" of western manufacto- 
ries, and "Augustus Adams "The Pioneer Inventor and 

There he invented and manufactured the first harvester 
on which grain was -bound and carried together, the 
"Hinge Sickle Bar," now used on mowing machines of all 
classes, and commenced the manufacture of the Adams Corn 
Shellers, which, with the improvements of following years, 
have made his name a household word wherever corn is 

In 1857 he moved to Sandwich, Illinois, where he com- 
menced the manufacture of " The Adams Patent Self-feed- 
ing Corn Shellers" under the firm name of A. Adams & 
Sons. In 1867, owing to the ready acceptance of these 
machines, it became necessary to largely increase the 
facilities for manufacturing them. Additional capital was 
secured, and the business reorganized under the state laws 
with Augustus Adams as president of the company. A 
few years later, recognizing the superior advantages of the 
Illinois river at Marseilles, Illinois, and its greater economy 
for manufacturing purposes as compared with steam power, 
he, in 1870, established his younger sons there, organizing 
and incorporating under the state laws as The Marseilles 
Manufacturing Company, with Mr. Adams as its president, 
which position he still holds. Having resigned the presi- 

318 FIFTY years' recollections. 

deney of the Sandwich company, his interests are now cen- 
tered in the Marseilles Manufacturing Company, their pro- 
ducts having acquired a national reputation. 

It was while Mr. Adams was engaged in these enter- 
prises that the author's pleasant acquaintance with him 
commenced. Until weight of years prevented we always 
found him at the state fairs, where his genial greeting made 
him popular with the '' press gang," the reporters always in 
their line of duty called to note the blue ribbons that 
adorned the displays of machinery that he exhibited. He 
was liberal with the representatives of the press, knowing 
it was the lever that moved the world forward in favor of 
the improvements of the age. We have also met him at 
Springfield when engaged in the weightier duties of the 
state, sitting in his place among the law makers of the land. 
As we have noted his close application to business, even 
when a youth, the same earnestness governed him while a 
legislator in modeling the laws in the interest of the people. 
Among the positions that his fellow-citizens have honored 
him with, we mention his election in 1847 as a delegate to 
the Constitutional Convention of Illinois, that engrafted so 
many good and wise provisions into our organic law. In 
1850 he was elected a member of the house of representa- 
tives of Illinois, and in 1854 was elected to the senate. 
When the Northern Insane Asylum was authorized by an 
act of the legislature he was appointed by Gov. Palmer as 
one of the commissioners to locate the institution. 

In his political views he was always a staunch republi- 
can, orthodox in religion, and a member of the Congrega- 
tional church. 

He was married October 21, 1833, to Lydia A. Phelps, 
by whom he has had eight sons and one daughter. Mrs. 


Adams died December 14, 1867. He was again married, 
January 13, 1869, to Mrs. L. M. Mosher. 

This sage, patriot and pioneer in western enterprise has 
now retired from active business, full of years and honors, 
where in a quiet home, in ease and comfort, he can review a 
long and useful life. 

His oldest son, Darius, died April 16, 1872. All the 
others are engaged in the business originally planned and 
established by himself, and the old veteran is enabled to re- 
view with pleasure the development of the great manufac- 
turing interests of the west, wherein he, as much as any 
other man, has acted a very conspicuous part, particularly 
in the establishment of the thriving manufacturing industries 
at Sandwich and Marseilles, not forgetting the almost half 
century ago when he founded manufacturing in embryo at 
Elgin, from which sprang the two flourishing manufactur- 
ing companies with whose history the prime of his life has 
been identified. 



Rapid advancement made from one responsible position 
to another that requires a higher order of talent, shows 
natural and acquired aptness of adaptation to the new duties 
required. In our considerable experience with railroads 
and the men who manage them we have very pleasant re- 
membrances of the progress made to position and fame in 
their management by the subject of our sketch. 

George E. Merchant was born at Worcester, Mass., 
November 25, 1842. His father, William Merchant, was 
engaged in mercantile business, and died in 1849. In the 
spring of 1850, when George was in his eighth year, his 
mother, with his younger brother William, came to the 
west and located at Fort Madison, Iowa, where the winter 
months were spent at school, making fair progress in the 
primary studies. In 1851 they removed to Mount Palatine, 
Putnam county, Illinois, remaining there four years, George 
attending the seminary at that place, at that time a very 
flourishing institution of learning. They resided here four 
years and then removed to Tonica, LaSalle county, in 1859, 
•where he continued to attend school. In 1859, being then 
seventeen years old, he obtained a situation as clerk in the 
store of John Wadleigh, then, as at present, one of the 
leading merchants at New Rutland, same county, where he 
served faithfully until 1865. 


In 1865 his railroad experience commenced, and also- 
our acquaintance with him. He was appointed agent for 
the Illinois Central Railroad at that place, and served the 
company with great acceptability until January, 1872 r 
when he resigned to enter the service of the Chicago and 
.Rock River Railroad as agent at Rock Falls, Illinois, the 
principal station on that road. He held that position until 
February, 1872, when he resigned to accept the position of 
General Freight and Ticket Agent of the Dakota Southern 
Railroad, with headquarters at Sioux City, Iowa. This 
position he held until Feb. 1, 1875, when he resigned to 
accept the position of Traffic and Traveling Freight Agent 
for the Illinois Central Railroad, with headquarters at Du- 
buque, Iowa. After faithfully serving this road for one year 
he received a pressing call to take charge of the Dakota 
Southern Railroad as General Superintendent, with head- 
quarters again at Sioux City, showing the estimation of his 
services by being advanced to the management of that road. 
In March, 1880, this road was sold to the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee and St. Paul Railroad, he retaining his position of 
General Superintendent until Feb. 1, 1881, when he was 
called to his present responsible position as General Mana- 
ger of the Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad, one of the 
most prosperous short-line railroads in the country. It 
employs his varied talents to great advantage, as he super- 
intends in person every detail in the business of the road 
that it is possible for one man to do. He possesses rare 
executive ability, and from the time he entered the service 
of the Illinois Central in 1865 he has at no time been un- 
employed, but has been promoted from one position of trust 
and honor to another, always giving the best satisfaction to 



the patrons of the roads and to the great corporations 

Mr. Merchant has been very happy in his family rela- 
tions. In 1864 he married Miss Fannie E. Sherburne, of 
Lacon, Illinois, and they have been blessed with three 
children : Maude L., now in her fifteenth year, Nellie S., 
twelve years old, and Gerald E., aged five years. Mrs. 
Merchant is the sister of the enterprising merchant, Milton 
M. Sherburne, of Sullivan,, Illinois, formerly of Sparland, 
and yet has pleasant recollections of her girlhood days 
spent on the prairies of Illinois. 



The subject of this sketch is noted for the full space of 
time of half a century of service to the state, a period marked 
by eras, epochs and stages in the developement of our state 
from infancy to robust manhood, that for length of years 
few of our statesmen were blessed with. 

John Dougherty was born at Duck Creek, near Mari- 
etta, Ohio, May 6, 1806. He was the youngest son of 
Charles Dougherty, a native of Ireland, who left that coun- 
try in 1798, and Elizabeth Wolf, a resident of Lancaster 
county, Pennsylvania. Charles Dougherty, a fine classical 
scholar, was educated for the priesthood. His love of 
country led his too ardent nature into the political compli- 
cations and revolutionary movements of that year, into 
which so many brave Irishmen were drawn, which failing, 
many were banished from their country or suffered mar- 
tyrdom on the scaffold. Coming to the United States his 
course of reading led him to renounce his former religious 
views, in which he was educated, and he became an ardent 
and devoted Methodist. 

In 1808 he left Ohio and settled at Cape Girardeau, 
Mo., and soon fell a victim to malarial fever, leaving three 
sons and one daughter. His widow remained there until 
1812, leaving there after the disastrous earthquakes that 

324 FIFTY years' recollections. 

occurred in 1811-12. She removed to Union county, Illi- 
nois, with her children. 

John Dougherty, when old enough to attend school, was 
afforded such limited means of education as the country 
schools at that day affurded. 

After leaving school he worked a year at the lead mines- 
in Washington county, Missouri, and after this taught 
school for two and a half years at Fredericktown, Missouri. 
He then returned to Illinois, and on March 5th, 1829, was 
married to Miss Katharine James, second daughter of 
George and Elizabeth James, of Union county. 

Looking around for a vocation he became acquainted 
with Col. Alexander P. Field, who invited him to read law 
in his office, which occupied his time and earnest attention 
for the next two years. Under such a competent instructor 
he made rapid advance and progress in his studies and 
was admitted to the bar in 1831, and soon became recog- 
nized as one of the rising young lawyers of the state. He 
was employed in the most difficult and intricate cases in the 
courts, as he was always employed by one side or the other 
in important criminal cases. He early entered political life, 
and in 1832 was elected to the legislature, re-elected in 
1834 and 1836, and participated in the stirring times of 
those years in the internal improvement, banking and canal 
legislation so graphically described in another chapter of 
this work. Like other good men at that day he may have 
made mistakes in choosing sides on the questions that were 
presented, as most of the statesmen of that day did who 
voted money lavishly for improvements, believing they 
were promoting the interests of their constituents. 

In 1840 he was again elected to the house, which ses- 
sion was the darkest period in the financial history of the 


state, the banks all suspended or broken, work on the canal 
stopped, and the extensive railroad system that had been 
planned, all a wreck, and general financial desolation pre- 

From 1842 to 1850 he served continuously in the state 
senate, and aided very much by his long legislative experi- 
ence the effort of Gov. Ford to re-establish the credit of the 
state, and adopting measures to secure the completion of the 
canal, which he happily saw consumated in 1847. In re- 
viewing his legislative action for the sixteen years he was 
a member of the legislature (eight in the house eight in the 
senate), from 1832 to 1850, we find that he was the most 
active, strong aud persistent advocates of the system of 
free schools, since adopted, which has been for years the 
pride and glory of our state. 

We can also note in a general way, without going into 
general detail as to date, that even in his earlier legislative, 
action he exerted his influence to engraft into the statutes 
of the state a law that would give equal advantages to women 
in protecting her interests. 

He was again elected to the house in 1856, at this time- 
sustaining the administration of Mr. Buchanan, but the latter 
part of 1860 and opening of 1861, when secession raised its 
hydra head, before Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, he took a 
bold and outspoken stand for the Union, cutting loose 
from a great many of his former political friends, many of 
whom who were his close neighbors, but who at that time 
sympathised with the South. 

On many occasions he periled his life by his loyalty, 
traveling night and day giving his counsel, encouragement, 
and making loyal speeches, and it was largely through his 
influence that enlistments for the Union army were made 

326 FIFTY years' recollections. 

possible in Southern Illinois. In his section of the state 
fully half of the people were disloyal at the opening of the 
war, and Union men were marked for their vengeance, and 
some were assassinated. In 1864 he was chosen one of 
the electors on the republican ticket and canvassed the 
state. He was elected lieutenant-governor in 1868, and 
again on the electoral ticket in 1872. 

When retiring from the office of lieutenant-governor 
the senate unanimously gave expression to its sense of his 
ability, impartiality and fine sense of honor, in a series of 
resolutions which were sent to him at his home. Encomi- 
ums were written by the press of the state praising his 
ability as a presiding officer, and no man ever retiring from 
official position carried with him the regards of the people 
without respect to party as did Gov. Dougherty. 

In the words of one who knew him well, "He was one 
of the noblest old Romans of the state. He was kind 
hearted, a lover of justice, the friend of the poor, the enemy 
of the oppressor. He performed every duty conscien- 
tiously." Another paper says of him, " He belonged to the 
olden school of gentlemen who are fast passing away." 
" The members of the senate looked to him as to a father. 
The life and character of the governor was such that there 
can be no question but he was revered and honored for his 
virtues of firmness and honesty." 

In the reorganization of judiciary and the judicial dist- 
ricts in 1877, he w^s elected circuit judge, his term expiring 
a short time before his death, which occurred September 
7, 1879, in the seventy -fourth year of his age, rendering up 
a long and useful life with faculties unimpaired. In the 
eulogy given him it is said, " From his character as a judge 


there can be no question but he has gone to the shining 
shore — the land beyond, where all is peace and rest." 

In our frequent visits to Southern Illinois after the com- 
pletion of the Illinois Central Railroad we met Governor 
Dougherty frequently, and also at Springfield when he was 
presiding officer of the senate, and have from this acquaint- 
ance given our estimate of him as a man, a legislator and a 
patriot. But he shone more resplendently in his family cir- 
cle — his home. There, with his aged wife, his daughter 
and grandchildren, his genial, hospitable home-nature shone 
most resplendently. In the abandon of his enjoyment he 
was almost child-like, no stiffness or formality, visitors 
were made to feel that while they stayed it was their privi- 
lege to be sociable — " one of the family." Gov. Dougherty 
was not accumulative in the matter of acquiring a large store 
of this world's possessions. Competence and contentment 
seemed all he desired, and beyond a comfortable home we 
believe he left no large estate, personal or in realty. His 
life, official and private, for its lofty patriotism and virtues, 
should be emulated. 


One of the mothers in Israel in the shaping and mould- 
ing of society in the early times of Southern Illinois, and a 
true helpmeet to her husband, Hon. John Dougherty, in 
his long and eventful career, was this wifely woman, of 
Martha Washington virtues and Spartan fortitude. Martha 
James, the daughter of George and Elizabeth James, born 
near Bowling Green, Kentucky, March 4, 1808. Her 
father came to Illinois in 1811 and made a home, until 
warned by some friendly Indians to move his family to a 

328 FIFTY years' recollections. 

place of safety, as there was a plot to massacre all the white 
settlers. He returned to Kentucky and remained until the 
conclusion of peace in 1814-15, when he returned to Illi- 
nois. He was a large stockgrower, the range of the rich 
bottoms and glades of Illinois was invitingly tempting to 
him, and presented business reasons why he should return 
to Illinois. On his return he settled in Union county, on 
the rich alluvial bottoms of the Mississippi that presented so 
many attractions to him in a business point of view. Here 
he was very fortunate, his herds increasing and multiplying 
as they did to Abraham and Lot in patriarchal times. He 
lived twelve years after his return to Illinois, and died in 
1826, leaving his widow, with family, four sons and two 

Katharine, the youngest, his favorite child, was married 
March 5. 1829, to John Dougherty, and the young couple 
set out to make their way in the world with a fund of en- 
ergy and industry, supplemented with mutual love and re- 
spect, which grew more endearing as the years advanced 
and children were given to bless them. To them were born 
ten children, three of whom died in infancy, leaving five 
sons and two daughters to grow to man and woman's estate. 

Their eldest son, "William La Fayette, was at one time 
United States marshal, and died in 1864 from the effects of 
a fall from his carriage. Another son, Alexander N., 
studied law and attained some prominence at the bar, died 
at Jonesboro, May, 1879. The eldest surviving son resides 
at Jonesboro, serving the city as police magistrate. George 
M., formerly editor and publisher of the Jonesboro Adver- 
tiser, is now in the employ of the Illinois Central railroad 
company at Cairo, and John J., the youngest child, is now 
a lieutenant in the United States army, stationed at Brook- 


lyn, New York. The daughters, the eldest is the wife of 
Wm. Fountain, Esq., DuQuoin, Illinois, and the youngest, 
Mrs. Helen Schuchardt, occupies the home residence of her 
late father and mother at Jonesboro. 

From those who knew Katharine James in the pristine 
days of her girlhood and as the mature woman when mar- 
ried, who remember her kindly ways, social disposition, her 
goodness of heart, we gather that she was a girl of more 
than average beauty of face and form, and of peculiarly 
lovely and gentle disposition. Throughout all the tnore 
than half century of wedded life she was her husband's 
confidential adviser, encouraging him in his duties and in 
the employment of his great talents to advance the interests 
of the state. She was her children's guide to all that is best 
in life, and a friend to all who knew her. To her the sweet 
scriptural benison can be truthfully applied : " Her children 
rise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he prais- 
eth her." She died March 28, 1882, at the family residence 
at Jonesboro, which had been her husband's residence since 
their marriage, fifty-three years and twenty-three days, aged 
seventy-two years and twenty-four days. 



The development of the industries of the country is 
the glory of the state, and the enterprise that prompts the 
pioneers to invest their earnings and accumulations of for- 
mer years should be recognized by the people. One of this 
class of citizens we present in this sketch. 

William H. Powell was born in New South Wales, 
May 10, 1825, and came to America with his parents in 
1832, stopping one year near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 
when they removed to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was 
given very limited educational privileges for a short time, 
and at a very early age was placed in a rolling mill and 
nail factory at Nashville to learn the business, and remained 
there until his eighteenth year, learning the height and 
depth and length and breadth of the manufacture of iron 
and nail making, that has, in the years since then, placed 
him in the front rank- in both these departments as a man- 

When in his eighteenth year, in 1843, he removed to 
Wheeling, West Virginia, and engaged in the same busi- 
ness, still applying himself to studying every detail of the 
business, and all the processes of iron-making for the next 
four years. When but twenty-two years old he built the 
Benwood Nail Works, and was superintendent, very suc- 
cessfully managing the business until 1853, when he severed 


his connection with the Benwood works, and removed to 
Ironton, Ohio, and built the Bellfonte Nail Works, and 
operated them until August, 1861, when he entered the 
service as captain of a company in the Second Regiment 
West Virginia Cavalry, a regiment organized in Ohio, but 
from the fact that so many more men were offering than 
could be accepted from Ohio, the regiment was tendered as 
part of the quota from West Virginia. He performed very 
arduous services during the war that our space prevents 
enumerating in detail, was promoted, passing through all 
the grades of promotion for meritorious conduct up to 
major-general, commanding the Second Division Cavalry 
under Sheridan in all the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 
1864, continuing in the service until the close of the war. 

When he was mustered out in 1865 he returned to his 
business at Ironton and greatly increased the facilities of 
the Bellfonte works by his inventive genius Having 
sold out his interest at Ironton, he returned to West Vir- 
ginia in 1867, and built the Clifton Nail Works on the 
Ohio River, and was superintendent until 1870, when, by 
being thrown from a buggy, he received almost fatal inju- 
ries which incapacitated him from business, and from which 
he slowly recovered. He removed to Kansas City, Mo., 
and while regaining strength he engaged in the commission 
business, remaining there until 1875, when he removed to 
Belleville, Illinois, again engaging in the nail business, con- 
tinuing there ever since, aiding in developing that industry 
in connection with others. 

When General Powell returned to Ohio after the war 
a seat in the United States Senate was pressed upon him by 
the republicans of Ohio, but his private business demanded 
his attention and he declined it. Other official positions 

332 FIFTY years' recollections. 

were also declined, his manufacturing interests demanding 
his unremitting attention. 

Im March, 1882, the Western Nail Company of Belle- 
ville was organized with General Powell, President, Con- 
rad Rienecke, Vice-President and Treasurer, and Benjamin 
J. West, Jr., Secretar}'. The building of their extensive 
works was commenced April 15th, and pushed with such 
energy that they were completed, and they commenced 
making nails, Sept. 4, 1882, with a rolling-mill capacity of 
twenty-eight tons of nail plate per day, with fifty-six nail 
machines, having a capacity of three thousand kegs per 
week, with room to add one hundred and twenty-five 
nail machines. As the trade demands they will be added. 

As we have noted from his life-long experience, Gen. 
Powell, the president of the company, is a thoroughly 
practical man in the nail manufacturing business — has 
made it a study. C. Rienecke, the vice-president . and 
treasurer, is a thoroughly practical, self-made man, owning 
two large coal mines near Belleville. 

The nail works are located on the Louisville and Nash- 
ville Railway, within the corporate limits of Belleville, 
fourteen miles southeast of St. Louis, and are supplied with 
coal from a shaft three hundred feet from the works, and 
the best of water from a reservoir only a little over one 
hundred yards away. 

While at Belleville refreshing our remembrance of the 
olden time, calling on Gov. Koerner, Col. John Thomas, 
John Hay, Superintendent Raab, and many others posted in 
the annals of Southern Illinois, we visited this busy hive 
of industry, the Western Nail Company, and for nearly 
two hours was shown through these extensive works, with 
all their Plutonian grandeur, heated like the furnaces in 


which were cast the Hebrew children, with the sizzling of 
pig iron, bar iron, rolled iron, from the cutting of the rail- 
road iron by large shears. When it is put on hand-cars in 
packages of 750 pounds, new iron being added in proper 
quantities to restore the railroad iron to proper strength — 
to add new life, these amalgamated parcels are wheeled in 
front of the furnace, where it is melted into a mass at white 
heat and started on its journey through the slab roller, on 
to the hot shears, cut into ten blocks, and from this wheeled 
to the wash-heating furnace, remaining there about fifteen 
minutes, then taken from the -wash-heating furnace and 
rolled through seven or eight nail plate rollers, each one 
making it thinner until the proper thinness is reached for 
making nails, when they are cut into the proper width by 
passing through the nail plate shears, and from these are 
carted on hand trucks to the front of the nail machines. 
There is also a nail plate heating furnace for tempering the 
plate for large nails. We were also taken to a separate 
apartment which contained a ten-horse power electric 
machine, sufficient for ten lights, that serve to light the 
immense expanse of the building in all its parts. The 
average day's work per man (mostly boys) is two or three 
kegs a day for barrel nails; heaviest nails, from sixty-five 
to seventy kegs per day, and ten penny nails from twenty 
to twenty-two kegs a day — a fair day's work. When we 
were there the works were turning out some 3,000 kegs per 
week, with fifty-six machines. Other machines were being 
added, so that January 1, 3,500 kegs per week would be 
made, and now (April, 188H) there are one hundred nail 
machines in operation, turning out fully 5,000 kegs per 

It gives us pleasure to record this evidence of the 


growth of manufactures in the west, especially when man- 
aged by men who gained their knowledge in the dear school 
of experience. 

Superintendent Powell, a cousin of the general, has the 
general oversight of the whole works, and to his courtesy 
we are indebted for the pleasure of looking through the 
entire works. General Powell started the rounds with us, 
but a pressing business call requiring his attention the 
balance of the sight-seeing, illustrated by full explanation 
showing the operation of the machinery in cutting the 
nails, are due to the superintendent in charge. 

This large industry is due entirely to the enterprise 
of General Powell, who to-day, we presume, has more 
intimate practical knowledge of the nail business than any 
other man in the United States, and it is one of the mis- 
sions of our work to give prominence to the representative 
men of the country in every branch of industry. This 
•company, having their own coal and water from the subter- 
ranean depths beneath their works, are prepared to meet all 
demands on them for their products. Their advantages 
place them out of reach of all competition from any 
quarter at any time. 

The present value of their works, with new machines 
just added, is $150,000. Monthly pay-rolls, $11,000 to 
to $13,000 ; employes paid every two weeks. 



Few men are blessed with such pleasant memories from 
those who from association and acquaintance knew him, and 
from his sterling qualities of head and heart, learned to 
love him, than our our old friend whose well-rounded life it 
is a pleasure to record. 

Harry DeWitt Cook was born in Washington county, 
New York, March 6, 1817. When quite youthful his father 
removed to Oneida county, same state, and Harry received 
but the most common rudimental education. He learned 
the builder's and carpente'r's trade, and on attaining his 
twenty-first year he took charge of a canal boat on the 
Erie canal. He was married January 21, 1841, to Joanna 
Hall, and followed the building and carpenter business for 
the next ten years, making quite a reputation for the work 
he done. He removed to Illinois in the spring of 1851, 
and engaged in the construction department of the Illinois 
Central Railroad when it was put under contract. He- was 
employed in bridge building for that road, owning a farm 
in McLean county. 

On the completion of the Central Railroad he was ap- 
pointed station agent at Kappa, Woodford county, and 
while serving the interests of the road was engaged in the 
grain trade, in which he continued until 1860. During the 
years from 1851 to 1860 Mr. Cook became widely known 

336 FIFTY years' recollections. 

for his social qualities, his rare good hnmor, his strict integ- 
rity in business aud general intelligence on public matters. 
He contributed to the success of the republicans in 1856 
and 1858-60, and when an efficient and influential man was 
required to carry the legislative district, composed of the 
counties of Putnam, Marshall and Woodford, in 1860, he 
was nominated as the republican candidate for the legisla- 
ture, and thoroughly canvassed the district, was elected 
by a handsome majority, and the following January took 
his seat among the lawmakers. He brought to the per- 
formance of his duties rare industry and intelligence, no old 
member being so ready in discussing all the great ques- 
tions that came before the legislature at that session than 
he. At the extra session in April, 1861, called by Gov. 
Yates, he rendered most important service in making pro- 
vision for the troops then being organized and hurried to 
the front. He became thoroughly imbued with the military 
spirit and assisted in the organization of the Fourth Illi- 
nois Cavalry, and was elected captain of Company G, the 
members of the company being mainly composed of his 
neighbors who knew his worth, military genius and capacity 
for leadership. 

He served over three years, the greater part of the time 
in most dangerous service — scouting through Southwestern 
Tennessee and Northern Mississsippi, and such was his 
thoroughness that he was promoted to major. If we gave 
the history of his long service it would be the history of 
the regiment. He was mustered out in October, 1864, and 
in three days after his arrival at home he was, in Novem- 
ber, 1864, again elected a member of the house of represen- 
tatives from his old district, and when the legislature 
assembled he was made chairman of the ccmmittee on 


military affairs, and rendered efficient service in getting the 
military accounts of the state in good shape to settle with 
the general government. On the adjournment of the legis- 
lature he was appointed by Gov. Oglesby state military 
agent, with rank of colonel. After spending a few months 
until the war was fully closed in visiting hospitals, looking 
after Illinois soldiers, he was stationed at Washington, and 
took charge of the collection of soldiers' claims, settling 
several thousand claims without any expense to the claim- 
ants, the state paying him for the service. 

In 1869 he undertook the collection of the disallowed 
war claims of the state against the government, and col- 
lected nearly $600,000, a task that could be accomplished 
only by one having thorough knowledge of the history of 
these claims. In the same year he removed with his 
family to Normal, bought quite a little domain and erected 
a comfortable house. In 1873, having completed the 
settlement of the claims of the state with the government, 
his accounts were settled, he having spent four years in the 

In April, 1873, without any solicitation on his part, he 
was appointed by Gov. Beveridge one of the railroad and 
warehouse commissioners for the state. On the organiza- 
tion of the board he was made chairman. He served most 
efficiently for about eight months. The work was very 
laborious and exhausting on him ; so many details in pre- 
paring the schedules, organizing the railroad management 
or service to make it correspond to the new legislation 
enacted during the winter, that it overtaxed his powers of 
endurance and brought on ailments that were fastened on 
his system by exposure at the battle of Fort Donelson, and 
other exposure and hardships, and he died at his home in 


Normal, November 9th, 1873, leaving a wife and four 
•children, two sons and two daughters; also an adopted 
daughter, Mrs. W. H. McClellan, of El Paso. 

Thus passed away one of the most genial and com- 
panionable men that we ever numbered among the list of 
oat friends. We knew him as a business man, while in the 
service of the railroad, as a merchant and produce dealer, 
and watched his course with much pride as a legislator, as 
during his first term we stood in the relation of one of his 
constituents. In the army he was the soldiers' friend, they 
trusted him, and as the state agent at Washington he 
secured many a soldier's claim that but for his knowledge 
might have been lost. 

He was a model Christian gentleman, — acted it in his 
deportment. It was a principle that governed him in his 
business, in his politics, as a legislator, a soldier, and after 
the war as a faithful servant of the state. In every posi- 
tion of duty to family, fellowman or his country, he per- 
formed well his part. 



Of no mau whose memory is associated with the affairs 
•of Peoria can it be more truly said " He being dead yet 
sleepeth " than of the late George "C. Bestor. He was a 
man deservedly popular with all who knew him, and be- 
loved by all who were intimate enough with him to 
appreciate his worth. Geo. C. Bestor was born in Wash- 
ington, D. G., on the 16th of April, 1811. His father, 
Harvey Bestor, removed from Massachusetts and settled in 
Washington at an early day, and many of the family con- 
nections are residing there at the present time. His father 
was assistant postmaster general under Hon. Francis 
Granger, and was highly respected for his talents and 
virtues. George inherited his father's traits of character 
and gave early promise of the ability and integrity 
which marked his future career. As a boy he manifested 
-those noble and generous qualities which endeared him to 
so many friends, and that conscientiousness in the discharge 
of duties which inspired confidence in his honor and integ- 
rity. At the age of sixteen he was appointed assistant 
document clerk of the house of representatives upon the 
recommendation of many of the leading statesmen of that 
time in Washington, and held the position eight years, or 
until 1835, when he came to Illinois. 

340 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Being a young man of energy and enterprise, in the 
twenty-fifth year of his age he resolved to strike out into a 
new country where a better field was open for his ambition 
and his talents to achieve for himself a successful career. 
Peoria was then one of the most promising points in the 
West. It had begun to grow in population. The beauty 
and desirableness of the location were attracting emigration! 
from all parts of the country. Here was a desirable and 
promising field for a young man of talents and enterprise,, 
and here Mr. Bestor came to make his future home, arriv- 
ing in Peoria on the 3d of August, 1835. 

After settling here for many years iie was engaged in 
the real estate business, dealing in military lands, in which 
he accumulated a large property. From 1835 to 1840 a 
co-partnership existed between him and Mark M. Aiken, 
in the real estate business, during which time they made 
an abstract of the Edwardsville and Pike county records, a 
voluminous and carefully prepared work, showing the accu- 
racy, system and thoroughness of everything that passed 
under the hand of Mr. Bestor. On the 18th of February f 
1837, he was elected trustee of the town of Peoria, and re- 
elected on the 5th of November, 1839. On the 4th day of 
April, 1842, he was appointed postmaster of Peoria by 
President Tyler, and again on the 27th of March, 1861, by 
President Lincoln, lie was elected police justice in 1843. 
He was three times elected mayor of the city of Peoria, 
filling the seventh, ninth and tenth places in the list of 
mayors with credit to himself and satisfaction to his con- 

For several years Mr. Bestor was financial agent, and 
afterwards president, of the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad 
Company_(now the Peoria and Burlington branch of the 


Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad), and during the 
time he held that position succeeded in extricating the com- 
pany from its financial difficulties. He was also a director 
of the Toledo, Peoria and Warsaw Railroad at the time of 
his death. 

Before the organization of the republican party Mr. 
Bestor was an earnest and devoted whig. He fought the 
opposition with zeal and energy, and when defeated was 
always ready to renew the contest. He was a personal 
iriend of Henry Clay, to whom he was ardently and 
strongly attached. In 1852 he was a delegate to the Whig 
National Convention that nominated General Scott. In 
1858 he was elected to the state senate by a majority which 
at that time was entirely unexpected in a district so strongly 
democratic. That was the year of the Lincoln and Douglas 
joint campaign of Illinois for the United States senatorship. 
Mr. Bestor espoused the cause of Mr. Lincoln, and while in 
the senate had the opportunity of voting for him in opposi- 
tion to Judge Douglas for United States senator. In the 
campaign which followed in 1860 he did his share towards 
electing Mr. Lincoln to the presidency. During that four 
years in the senate he was on the committees on canal and 
canal lands, banks and corporations, penitentiary, swamp 
lands and military, and was chairman of the committees on 
internal navigation. 

The Springfield Journal of that date, speaking of Mr. 
Bestor in the senate, says : 

" Senator Bestor is a first-rate business man, and is one 
of the best tacticians in the senate. He does not inflict 
long speeches upon that body. He is universally popular, 
and his social qualities are such as to draw around him 
hosts of friends. He possesses a fund of anecdotes which 


he relates with inimitable grace. As a citizen he stands 
deservedly high. He is fond of his home and its surround- 
ings, and his hand and heart are open to his friends." 

Almost everybody in Illinois knew Mr. Bestor, and 
none knew him but to love and respect him. His name is 
identified with the early history of Peoria, and no man con- 
tributed more to its development. His genius and enter- 
prise are stamped upon its growth. At the commencement 
of the late civil war he was an ardent patriot, and his tal- 
ents, his energies and his means were devoted to the cause 
of the Union. He was widely known as an influential man 
in politics. Mr. Lincoln esteemed him highly, and Judge 
Douglas, whom he opposed, said of him, "There is no man 
in Illinois I respect more; what he is, he is." He was 
zealous in the support of the principles of his party, a warm 
and ardent friend and courteous and manly opponent. 

As a man George C. Bestor had few superiors. He 
was endowed with all the noble attributes of our nature. 
Genial, generous and affectionate. His manners were as 
soft and gentle as a woman, and his artlessness was that of 
childhood. His heart was always open to the demands of 
charity, and the poor will bless his memory. 

For several years before his death Mr. Bestor had spent 
much time in Washington, prosecuting a claim before Con- 
gress for one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, 
for gun-boats built for the government during the war. 
The construction of these boats had reduced him almost to 
poverty, and it is thought that the trouble and anxiety 
growing out of this, and what he believed to be the unjust 
delay of his country in meeting his reasonable demands, 
added to his feeble state of health, hastened his death. 

He died at the National Hotel in the City of Washing- 


ton, on the 14th day of May, 1872. None of his family 
were present at the time of his death except Mrs. Bestor. 

He was twice married. First on the 20th of October, 
1835, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Miss Mary Jane Thomas, 
and second on the 13th of September, 1848, to Miss Sarah 
E. Thomas, sister of his former wife. He left by his first 
wife four children, now living, and the same number by his 
second marriage. 

The death of Mr. Bestor was a great loss to the com- 
munity at large, but especially to Peoria, with whose inter- 
ests his life has been so long identified. 

Few men have been so long in public or have closed 
their career with a more honorable record. From sixteen 
years of age until the time of his death, a period of forty- 
five years, he was connected with public affairs, and in all 
the responsible offices he filled preserved his integrity un- 
sullied to the last. His example will long be remembered, 
and his noble qualities in the various stations of life will 
exert their influences on generations yet to come. He was 
a true man, a friend and benefactor to the poor, a generous, 
confiding, faithful friend, an ardent patriot, and an affec- 
tionate husband and father. 

His death is mourned by his friends everywhere, but 
most deeply at the hearthstone, where he was the adored 
idol of his wife and children. 

While his body lay in the parlor of the National Hotel, 
preparatory to being forwarded home, his friends from Illi- 
nois gathered around his remains. There were present of 
his old friends, Judge Merriman, Hon. E. C. Ingersoll and 
Col. A. C; Babcock, and Representatives Stevens, Snapp, 
Farwell and others. At five p. m. his remains were shipped 
forward to Peoria and interred in the family lot at Spring- 
dale Cemetery. 



The lawyer and jurist of to-day — the present time — to 
be competent to meet the requirements of his profession 
must be a thorough and diligent student — must keep pace 
with the advances made in his profession and its collateral 
branches. A legal and judicial light, bidding fair to attain 
the first magnitude, went out on a bleak November day of 

Joseph J. Cassell, to whose memory this sketch of a 
short but noble life is dedicated, was born in Wood- 
ford county, Illinois, October 7th, 1841. He was the 
son of Hon. Robert T. Cassell and Rebecca Perry Cassell. 
He was a close student, even while attending the common 
schools, and early read law in his father's office before 
attending schools where the higher branches were taught. 
He took a regular course of study and graduated at the 
Chicago University, and afterwards completed a regular 
legal course in the law department of that institution, 
was admitted to the bar in 1864, and for a time practiced as 
a member of the well-known legal firm of Ingersoll, Cas- 
sell & Harper. In the year 1867 he removed to El Paso 
and formed a law partnership with his brother-in-law, John 
T. Harper, which continued until 1873. He was married 
to Miss Mae A. McNeal July 23, 1868, and from this union 


was born four children, two of whom survive, both boys. 
This union was very pleasant and harmonious. 

Mr. Cassell possessed large elements of popularity, was 
genial in manner, sociable, related an anecdote well when 
surrounded by an appreciative circle, and when left to him- 
self was inclined to hard study, and was practical and earnest 
when roused to action, possessing powers of eloquence. He 
was twice elected judge of the recorder's court, which posi- 
tion he held at the time of his death. He was the candi- 
date for elector in 1876, on the republican ticket, for the 
Eighth Congressional district. In 1879 he was spoken of 
for the circuit judgeship in the Peoria, Putnam, Marshall, 
Stark and Woodford circuit, but yielded the precedence to 
Judge N. W. Laws. In 1880 he was nominated by the re- 
publicans of his senatorial district for senator. He was in 
feeble health, and gave to the canvass so much of his 
strength that the exertion was too much of a tax on his 
vital powers and he was forced to take to his bed before the 
election took place. He was devoted to his principles, 
assiduous for the success of his party, and where he lived 
he was considered its ablest champion, its Achilles — its 
strong arm. He did effective work; in his labor he was 
indefatigable. But it was in his social relations to his 
neighbors and friends that his character was most resplend- 
ent. He forgave injuries and never forsook a friend. He 
kept an open house for the destitute and showered favors 
on the needy. The community and county in which he was 
born will never cease to honor his integrity, admire his 
warm and liberal qualities, and remember him with fondest 
regrets and most tender recollections. No man ever lived 
more in and for his family than he. His love for them was 
unbounded. He was a play-fellow with his children, com- 

346 FIFTY years' recollections. 

ing down at his home to their childish pranks, becoming a 
real companion to them, and in their childish sorrow shared 
it with them. By his devoted wife he was loved with an 
affection that few experience, and that some cannot appre- 
ciate. His hearth and family circle looked gladness — his- 
home a perpetual summer. 

Such was Joseph J. Cassell, faithful to his clients as ai 
lawyer, just and incorruptible as a judge, for his chosen 
principles an outspoken advocate, a friend to his state and 
kind, and true to his family obligations as a youth dutiful 
to his parents, kind to his brothers, and shedding in his. 
career a gentle halo over all mankind. 



If a life spent in pursuits useful to others is worthy of 
respect and remembrance, then the following sketch 
deserves a place here. 

Levi North was born in Turin, Lewis county, N. Y., 
March 12, 1821. His father, about eight years after, 
moved to Highmarket, an adjoining town, where he 
remained till in the spring of 1834, when he settled near 
Mount "Vernon, Ohio. Here Levi completed his school 
education in a log schoolhouse, at the age of fourteen years, 
with the exception of a couple of months in Lowville 
(N. Y.) Academy, in 1837. His father was a farmer, and 
he learned to chop wood and do ordinary farm labor, but 
not being very robust he preferred mechanical labor, and 
engaged more or less in mechanical pursuits. 

At seventeen he discovered by accident that he had a 
marked ability for drawing, and through the friendly encour- 
agement of others he was led to practice it, and finally to 
undertake portrait painting. But there was no one near to 
teach him either drawing or painting, and he had no money 
to defray the expense of obtaining instruction abroad. He 
therefore read all he could find on the subject and pursued 
his studies without assistance. The next year he quit farm 
life and depended thenceforth upon his art. He studied 

348 FIFTY years' recollections. 

from life. He never even had the benefit of a good picture 
to look at until his twentieth year. 

With such a meagre education he had to rely upon such 
reading as an itinerant portrait painter could get from bor- 
rowed books in a country where books were scarce. But 
his occupation brought him into contact with the best 
educated and most intelligent as well as best class of people, 
and from them he imbibed a wide- range of ideas not 
accessible to young men in general. For these opportuni- 
ties he was duly grateful. He spent the winter of 1841-42 
in Columbus, where the legislature and the state and 
United States courts being in session, he saw much of the 
grand public men of those days. This awakened a new 
train of thought. He discovered new needs. He had 
already found time to read widely of anatomy, physiology 
and medicine — he wanted to know something of law. So, 
after teaching a village school in the winter of 1843, he 
entered the law office of Hon. E. W. Cotton, at Mt. Ver- 
non, and studied as he could find opportunity, working 
meanwhile at his art and teaching another winter, till, in 
October, 1845, he was admitted to the bar. He did not 
study law with a view to practicing that profession, but 
merely as an accomplishment well calculated to enlarge his 
mind and to better fit him to associate with his employers. 
His artist life had been spent to a great extent among pro- 
fessional men, and he came to, respect their intelligence and 
broad views. 

He remained in Ohio till May, 1847, when he came to 
Peoria, where he spent a year mostly in pursuit of his art. 
He then went to Princeton, where he spent the years in 
various kinds of business until 1853, when he became clerk 
for the late Judge Kelsey, who was a real estate dealer. 


He was shortly afterwards elected police magistrate, and 
served four years. This brought him again in contact with 
lawyers and legal business. He then drifted into law 
practice, and has ever since been a fairly successful lawyer. 
In 1860 he moved to Kewanee, and shortly after became 
the partner of Judge John H. Howe and continued with 
him till 1869, when Judge Howe was appointed Chief 
Justice of Wyoming Territory. 

Mr. North was always a vigorous hater of all shams,, 
whether in business, morals, religion or politics, and in a 
corresponding degree he loves honesty wherever it is found. 
Position, power, wealth, reputation, are to him nothing. 
Faithfulness and honesty — downright honesty — commands 
his most sincere respect. In religion, therefore, he believes 
that only is good which makes men live better lives. Good 
works is the only evidence he will receive to show that any 
man's religion is a good one for its possessor, or indeed, 
good for any one. It was natural that any person having 
such a mind, though brought up as Mr. North was, a dem- 
ocrat, should care little for his party as such. He faithfully 
believed in the fundamental principles of that party as pro- 
fessed at the time he became an interested spectator of 
political management, but in 1843 he became fully satisfied 
that, while those principles were true and wise, his party, 
as such, utterly disregarded them, as it has done ever since. 
He has no gala-day principles, none that were too nice for 
every-day use, none whose practice should be delayed, or 
whose application should not be to all men alike. His 
logical mind and strong love of justice could only see that 
all men were equal in their rights before the law, and that 
sex and color were not grounds for exception. He became 
an outspoken abolitionist, and as he could perceive no 

350 FIFTY years' recollections. 

action of either the Whig or Democratic parties looking 
toward the abolition of slavery, or in any manner restrain- 
ing its extension, he joined his fortunes with the Liberty 
Party, organized only the year before. Henceforth he was 
an active worker in the cause of the slave. In 1844 he 
delivered a score of speeches and voted for James G. 
Birney for president. Personal consequences of every kind 
calculated to influence so young a man were paraded be- 
fore him to induce him to unite again with each of the pro- 
slavery parties, but he was prepared for any sacrifice and 
remained firm to his convictions. He has never wavered 
in his adhesion to advanced principles of justice. 

Others before him had championed emancipation in 
Peoria, but none advocated it without meeting demonstra- 
tions of the mob spirit. Samuel Davis, Moses Pettingill, 
Mark M. Aiken, D. D. Irons, and a gentleman by the name 
of Adams, constitute about all of the outspoken friends of 
the slave in the city in 1847. In December of that year 
Mr. North met Rev. D. J. Suow, a traveling lecturer for the 
American Colonization Society, in debate, each defending 
his own party principles, objects and plans. Here, by skill- 
ful manceuvering, he arranged to have Mr. Snow speak last, 
and thereby he gained an opportunity to present his party's 
principles, objects and plans in a clear orderly manner, 
without interruption, and with good effect, thus using Mr. 
Snow to secure him an audience and the requisite good 
order. He was always proud of this as being the first 
abolition speech ever delivered in peace in Peoria. 

In September, 1848, while coming round the lakes on a 
steamer, Abraham Lincoln, then a member of Congress, 
with his family, including the present secretary of war. then 
a little boy, was aboard. A young man, the late D. D. 


Driscoll, from Stark county, also a passenger, proposed a 
political debate and made provision for it in the cabin. 
Mr. North was to defend the free soil party's cause and he 
supposed Mr. Driscoll was to defend the whig cause. 
But when the time arrived Mr. Driscoll introduced to him 
and the audience Hon. Abraham Lincoln. The debate 
was held in the afternoon of one day and the evening of the 
next. Mr. North always expressed a high opinion of Mr. 
Lincoln personally, and of his fairness and ability in that 
debate, but thinks he could then be entirely at home only 
in discussion with democrats. Democratic principles and 
practices Mr. Lincoln seemed to fully understand. The 
principles and history of the liberty party he had no knowl- 
edge of at the time, and he seemed not to comprehend the 
ideas of free soilers. Indeed, in Sangamon county, where ne 
lived, there was but one abolition voter until about the 
organization of the free soil party, and one could count 
them all in that part of the state on his fingers. 

From that time forward Mr. North wrote much for the 
press. He was fearless in the defence of what he deemed 
right, and in attacking bad measures and practices of all 
parties. He had no faculty for worshiping the political 
gods of his time. He believed the noblest statesmen of the 
last half century were Mr. Sumner and Mr. Chase. The 
most of the rest were fractional men, able and useful often 
in the advocacy of measures, but not steadily reliable in 
their judgement concerning what those measures should be. 
They were advocates, sometimes on the right side and some- 
times on the wrong, and geuerally looking only to present 
effects of great measures instead of probable future results. 
Such he considered the advocates of high protective tariffs 
and the loose railroad laws of the country to be. They 


served the selfish interests of the few rather than the highest 
interests of all, and this did not rise to the dignity of true 

In 1870 he was elected to the House of Representatives 
of the Illinois legislature. Here, during the winters of 
1871—72, he made himself useful in the revision and adop- 
tion of the statutes to the new constitution. He led the 
majority in the struggle against extreme high salaries for 
state officers. He maintained that while a reasonable com- 
pensation was due to our public servants, the extreme high 
salaries proposed for our officers (the question of judicial 
salaries was then under consideration) would tempt the 
worse class of aspirants to seek those places and furnish the 
means to purchase them through the aid of corruption. 
And he said that even a half of the salary he was now will- 
ing to pay had given us better judges and governors than 
he really had an expectation of obtaining in the future. He 
was not willing to compete for judges in the market with 
railroads, nor did he want the class of men they would em- 
ploy. The great advocate always found it difficult to be- 
come an unpartisan judge. 

He was an active worker for the license law passed in 
1872, requiring the keepers of saloons to give bond for the 
payment of damages in case of certain injuries caused by 
the sale of intoxicating liquors. He was an active and 
influential worker in favor of our present system of peni- 
tentiary management, and estimates with some pride that 
while it is more humane, it saves to the state nearly a hun- 
dred thousand dollars each year that would have been lost 
by the adoption of either of the three other proposed plans. 
But he lays no claim to having originated it. He gives the 
credit of this to Gov. Palmer and Senator Snapp, but it 
was voted for by republicans only. 


As a lawyer he always held that the duties of his pro- 
fession did not require him to do a dishonest act. He 
believed that professional life did not require him to belittle 
his manhood, and that a lawyer could never rightfully 
become a journeyman liar, for it was as dishonest and 
degrading, and everyway as deserving of censure to lie and 
cheat in the interest of a client as if done for himself. But 
he held that lawyers were fully as honest as their patrons 
desired them to be, and on the whole were far better men 
than the majority of the public who supported them. If 
the bar ever became better it would be the result of more 
correct and honest maxims of conduct among the people. 
Notwithstanding his low estimate of the bar in general, it 
always seemed to him that law was the noblest and most 
useful of the professions in the hands of high-minded men. 
In this estimate the author has drawn on his remembrance 
of Mr. North while residing at Peoria, Princeton and 
Kewanee, both as a citizen and professionally. There are 
other prominent citizens of Henry county deserving like 
recognition, sketches of whom are prepared, but for want 
of space deferred until the appearance of the next volume. 




It is remarkable how great a majority of the men who 
have risen to distinction and Conferred lasting benefits 
upon humanity, commenced life poor and with nothing but 
ability and pluck with which to work out success. Among 
those to whom we will call special attention is Mr. George 
W. Brown, of Galesburg, 111., the inventor and extensive 
manufacturer of corn planters. Mr. Brown commenced 
life in poverty. He was born in Clifton Park township, 
Saratoga county, New York, on the 29th day of October, 
1815. He remained on the farm where he was born until 
he was fourteen years of age, when he began to learn the 
trade of a carpenter, a trade which he followed for many 
years. He remembers the first boat that passed through 
the Erie canal, bearing DeWitt Clinton and other distin- 
guished persons. He assisted in building the railroad from 
Albany to Schenectady, sixteen miles, which was the only 
road in the United States, except a line of about the same 
length running out of Baltimore ; the cars run at that time 
were a little larger than a stage coach. The first train over 
the line carried several distinguished excursionists, among 
them the venerable Thurlow Weed. Mr. Brown was the 
first track-master of this road. Before he was of age Mr. 
Brown married Maria Turpening, who has been in a true 
sense a helpmate. Both were at the time of the union 

GEO. W. BROWN. 355 

Methodists, and have remained members of the same church 
until this day. Some near relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Brown 
having gone to Illinois and sent back glowing accounts of 
the new country, they determined to go there and'build up 
their fortunes. There being no railroads they bought a 
team and wagon, loaded all of their worldly effects and 
started out on their long journey. During almost the en- 
tire trip it rained and the roads were almost impassable, but 
in July, 1836; they located on a farm near what is now 
Tylerville, nine miles northwest from Galesburg. He 
traded his team for eighty acres of land, built a log house 
for himself and several of his neighbors by working at his 
trade while his wife conducted the farm. There are many 
houses now in the vicinity of Tylerville, Shanghai, and that 
section of the country, that were built by Mr. Brown when 
he was following the carpenter's trade. Being both a 
farmer and a mechanic Mr. Brown gave much thought to 
improving farm machinery. Crude as the cultivator of 
1848 was, he conceived the idea of remodeling it into a corn 
planter. His idea was to drop three rows at once, setting 
the shovels the required distance apart for the rows, while 
a man walking behind the planter should operate the slide 
which permitted the kernels of corn to drop into the furrow 
prepared by the shovel. The wheels that followed to do 
the covering were sections of logs sawed off and attached to 
the planter. In the spring of 1851 Mr. Brown completed 
the first corn planter of the present style, and planted corn 
with it in May of that year. 

In 1852 he planted about 25 acres of corn, and demon- 
strated that he had invented the principle which has been 
the foundation of subsequent planters. He was without 
means, had sold his property and about all his personal 


effects to complete one machine and get his patents, but 
with prophetic eye he saw that it must be used. It was the 
coming idea in machinery, and he sold his farm, went 
deeply into debt for more money, and took the chances of 
success. He had made a name for honesty and integrity, 
and his' creditors gave him more time and he persevered. 

He began manufacturing in Shanghai, a few miles from 
Galesburg, and in 1853 completed twelve machines, one of 
which planted that year three hundred acres of corn. In 
1854 he made one hundred machines, and in 1855 three 
hundred machines, after which he moved his shop to Gales- 
burg. Mr. Brown knew the machine would plant corn and 
do it well ; the few farmers who had planted with it and 
seen the growth from the planting, knew it would, but 
these were so few that the great army of farmers knew 
nothing about it and were skeptical. The planters were in- 
troduced by sending out agents with one on a wagon to 
demonstrate that it was practical. This made the expense of 
introducing them very great ; in fact, it is stated by those 
who claim to know, that it was more than ten years before 
Mr. Brown had made a dollar out of his invention. From 
that time forward success was waiting his nod, and the busi- 
ness increased with remarkable rapidity. With the increased 
popularity of his invention Mr. B. encountered new obsta- 
cles, other manufacturers appropriated his ideas and devices 
and began the manufacture. His only protection against 
these infringers was the courts, and to these he appealed 
and established the validity of his patents, which made 
those who had trespassed on his inventions pay him tribute. 

This business has steadily grown until now it is the 
largest, finest and best equipped corn planter manufactory 
in the world. In 1880 this business was incorporated 



under the name of George W. Brown & Co., with a paid up 
■capital of $300,000. Its officers are, George W. Brown, 
President; I. S. Perkins, Vice-President; L. Stevens, Sec- 
retary ; Jas. E. Brown, Treasurer ; M. T. Perrin, Supt. 

Of late years other implements have been added to this 
business, such as check-rowers, stalk-cutters, plow sulkies, 
listers and cultivators, of which many thousand are annually 
made and sold, many of which find a market outside of our 
own country. Russia, Japan, Germany, England, Aus- 
tralia, New Zealand, South America and Mexico, each have 
been benefited by this wonderful production. 


Brown's Corn Planter Works, Galesburq, Illinois. 

The above cut shows the present style of Brown's Corn 
Planter Works, which are wholly composed of brick and 
stone with slate roofs, making them nearly fire-proof. 
They are provided with steam heating, steam pump and 
water pipes throughout, for extinguishing fire, and they 
have all the modern machinery necessary for the success of 
this great manufacturing interest. Some idea of the growth 

358 FIFTY years' recollections. 

and magnitude of this business may be formed when it is 
known that over three hundred workmen are employed, re- 
ceiving in wages annually about $140,000, and consuming 
in material more than half a million feet of lumber, three 
thousand tons of coal, four hundred tons of castings, two 
hundred and fifty tons of wrought iron and steel, twenty 
tons of paint and oil, besides large quantities of bolts and 
screws, and numerous other articles not named. 

With Mr. Brown's successes have grown also a spirit of 
enterprise and benevolence. The evidence of his public 
spirit is found in many things about the city of his adop- 
tion. Brown's hotel, built by him, is an honor to its builder 
and the city. The Methodist church has received liberally 
from him, and no deserving charity is turned away from 
him without help. He is a conscientious manufacturer, a 
desirable citizen, a good neighbor, and a consistent Chris- 
tian gentlemen. 



A faithful chronicler of historic facts deserves to live in 
the memory of the people. Such a man, tried and true, we 
present in the person represented by our present sketch. 

John Carroll Power was born September 19, 1819, in 
Fleming county, Kentucky. His grandfather and six of 
his grand-uncles were soldiers in the revolution from Lou- 
don county, Virginia. They were a lucky seven and served 
their country to the end of the war, sometimes all being 
engaged at the same time. After the cruel war was over 
this branch of the family crossed the Alleghauies on pack 
horses, embarked on boats at Fort DuQuesne (Pitts- 
burg), and floated down the Ohio, landing at Limestone 
(Maysville), and settled on territory afterwards organized 
as Fleming county, and here the subject of our sketch was 

His father owned a few slaves, among them a woman 
and three children. His uncle owned her husband, the 
brothers agreeing not to make a sale that would separate 
the husband and wife. For some cause the woman and 
children were sold to a neighbor under pledge that they 
should not be sold, causing separation of husband, wife and 

This man dealer took advantage of the sympathetic 
feelings of the brothers to drive a close bargain, for he soon 
after sold them for double what he gave. They were 


bound, thrown into a wagon, drawn to the Ohio, placed on 
a boat, and never again heard from by the husband, who 
was more intelligent than the man who had sold his wife 
and children. This woman had cared for the children of 
the elder Power with the tenderness of a mother, and from 
the time of this legal abduction he abhorred slavery and 
always expected it would pass away with an almost Egyp- 
tian destruction in the redemption of the bondmen, but his 
powers of prescience were not sufficiently acute to penetrate 
the near future to know that it would be accomplished in 
his day. 

There was not such an institution as a public school in 
Kentucky at that time, and he left his native state in his 
twenty-second year with but the simplest rudiments of an 
education. Mr. Power takes pleasure in attributing to a 
great extent the measure of success he has attained, both 
morally and mentally, to his selection of a wife. 

He was married May 14, 1845, to Miss Sarah A. Harris, 
at Aurora, Indiana, a short distance below Cincinnati. 
Miss Harris was bom there October 1st, 1824, of English 
parentage. Her grandfather on the maternal side was 
rector of a simple parish church of England, near Man- 
chester, for more than a third of a century. Mrs. Power 
being a graduate, of a female college, her husband solicited 
her aid in mental culture, which was cheerfully rendered 
and " polished off our diamond in the rough," she teaching 
and he receiving instruction, both better than they knew, 
for he soon discovered a strong inclination to fix his 
thoughts on paper, and through the press became a teacher 
in turn ; " not hiding his light under a bushel," but letting 
his thoughts run fancy free. He thus was not long in dis- 
covering his vocation. He thus continued to cultivate 

/ /r-f / a £> 


habits of study, but he says without any thought of be- 
coming an author till well advanced in life. 

But finally the " divine afflatus " seized him and carried 
him a willing captive, leastwise he was not unmindful of 
the promptings of his genius, and his first effort in author- 
ship was a success. He wrote an essay on " Self-education," 
for which the Illinois State Agricultural Society awarded 
him a medal in 1858. This was revised and published in 
" Harkness' Magazine," the editor expressing the opinion 
that those who read it would find it " one of the most 
profitable, instructive, and mentally and morally invigorat- 
ing essays they ever read." This was high praise from a 
source competent to judge. 

His next effort, the " History of the Rise and 
Progress of Sunday Schools," published in 1864 by Sheldon 
& Co., of New York, was his first publication in. book 
form. After an additional study of twenty years he has it 
re-written and nearly ready for the press, under the title of 
" History of Sunday Schools and Life of William Fox, 
Founder of the First Sunday Society in the World." He 
has written several books and pamphlets on various sub- 
jects, also magazine articles on a variety of topics. An 
open letter by him to the postmaster-general on the subject 
of addressing mail matter, is a brief and interesting maga- 
zine article. 

After four years of incessant labor by him, and two 
years by his estimable wife, he brought out his " History 
of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County." It is a book 
of 800 octavo pages, a work well done, giving great satis- 

Thousands will remember him as the genial custodian 
of the National Lincoln Monument at Springfield, Illinois. 

362 FIFTY years' recollections. 

It has been said of Power that he can give a visitor more- 
information about Lincoln and the monument in twenty 
minutes than could possibly be obtained in any other way in 
as many hours. His position there is due to the fact that 
he has written a history of the monument combined with 
the life of Lincoln, which is now in its third edition. His 
nine years' service as custodian has enabled him to become 
conversant with every event in the history of the monu- 
ment, and almost every' incident in the life of Lincoln. 

Now that the monument is completed he is preparing 
to combine with the history a more elaborate life of Lin- 
coln than anything heretofore published. But good men 
are subject to criticism, and Mr. Power is no exception. 
Some people are determined not to be pleased with any- 
thing, so some people criticize his kind efforts to entertain 
them when they visit the monument. In a humorous reply 
to a censorious newspaper attack by a visitor at the monu- 
ment, Mr. Power relates in his book on Lincoln and the 
monument the best joke we remember to have seen about 
sleeping in church, and it is all the better for being at his 
own expense. He says : " One of my weaknesses from 
boyhood has been sleeping in church. I was compelled to 
do it in self-defense. Perhaps you ask, how ? For fifteen 
years or more I was required to attend services on Saturday 
and Sunday in each month at a genuine Simon-pure, old- 
fashioned, hard-shell Baptist church in Kentucky. Such a 
church was never known to exist north of the Ohio, and I 
doubt if it can exist in the south much longer. During all 
these fifteen years I sat under the same sermon, from the 

same man, Rev. Joel M. . It was full three hours 

long, all in that blessed tone so dear to the hearts of the 
elder sisters of the congregation. It made no difference 


whether his text was in Genesis or Revelations, the sermon, 
was all the same with the exception of a sentence or two at 
the opening and closing. The sermon abounded in the 
stereotyped phrases such as " mourning like a dove," and 
" chattering like a swallow," accompanied with tones and 
gestures as though he was trying to imitate the birds. 
These long sittings were more than my youthful flesh could 
endure, hence it became absolutely necessary as a means of 
self-defense, to wear away part of the time in sleep. I 
never realize so fully at any time that I am a monument of 
mercy as when I am thinking of that sermon and how I 
survived it. But it was not all evil. There was one re- 
deeming feature in it, the benefit of which I am enjoying at 
the present time. I used to preach that sermon on odd 
Sundays to congregations of boys and negroes assembled 
behind barns and under shade trees, and that is the way 
that I acquired that Demosthenian eloquence which you so 
much admire. Although the habit of sleeping in church 
was acquired* strictly in self-defense, it has proved to be 
sometimes quite annoying. After marriage myself and wife 
became members of a Presbyterian church, less than one 
hundred miles from Cincinnati, and at one time made our 
home in the family of the pastor, Rev. L. R. B. He could 
not fail to observe my weakness, and would occasionally 
remind me of it. I would retort by saying thai? it was his 
duty to preach such sermons as would keep me awake. He 
would usually speak my name as though it had a plural 
termination, which it has not. The seating in the church 
was promiscuous, consequently upon one very warm day I 
found myself under the necessity of occupying quite a con- 
spicuous place in front of the pulpit. It required unusual 
exertions to retain an upright position, but I did not be- 
come so sound asleep as to prevent my knowing when the 

364 FIFTY years' recollections. 

minister closed his sermon, opened his hymn book and read 

distinctly from one of Dr. Watts' good old hymns : — 

" My drowsy Powers, why sleep ye so. 
Awake my sluggish soul, 
Nothing has half thy work to do, 
Yet nothing half so dull. 

"By the time the reading of the first verse was done I was 
aroused and felt as though all eyes were upon me, but pre- 
served a respectful demeanor. We walked home together, 
but the events of the morning were not alluded to until all 
were seated at the dinner table. 

" Assuming a serious expression of countenance, for I 
really thought he had selected that hymn as applicable to 
my case, I said: Brother B. I think I have just cause to 
complain of you. 'Why so?' said he, with an inquiring 
look. Because, sir, you to-day took occasion to 'point a 
moral and adorn a tale' by pointing out my infirmity publicly 
when you could just as well have done it privately. With a 
puzzled expression of countenance he said, ' I do not under- 
stand you, please explain.' Well, sir, at the -close of your 
sermon this morning, seeing I had been asleep as usual, you 
could not wait until our arrival at home to reprove me, but 
under pretense of reading a hymn called aloud, ' My 
drowsy Powers, why sleep ye so?' I then found the 
selection of the hymn was entirely unpremeditated on his 
part, and therefore will not attempt to describe what en- 
sued, but any allusion to the subject after that was sure to 
provoke the most unbounded mirth." 

The accompanying portrait is an excellent likeness as 
he looked in 1876 when first engraved, and as it appears in 
his " Life of Lincoln." He now shows just a little more 
the advance of years, but intellectually just in his prime, 
and his plans for the future in his literary work take in a 
wide range, requiring energy to accomplish. 

hon. david Mcculloch. 


If official position could be assigned to those most cap- 
able of performing their duties from their natural and 
acquired abilities, and added to these the moral force of 
right and integrity as the ruling principle that governs the 
man, then we could write that David McCulloch would be 
entitled to fill the highest judicial positions in our state and 

He was born in Cumberland county, Penn., January 
25, 1832, graduated at Marshall College in that state 
before he attained his majority, and soon after came to Illi- 
nois, where he engaged in teaching at Peoria until the year 

1855, when he commenced the study of law in the office of 
Manning & Merriman, and was admitted to practice in 

1856. In November, 1855, he was elected as superintend- 
ent of the schools of Peoria county, and held the office till 
1861, being twice re-elected. During these years he made 
many suggestions in regard to necessary changes in the 
school law, and had the pleasure of seeing them adopted by 
the legislature. These suggestions became a part of the 
new free-school system of the state, and went into opera- 
tion during the latter term of his office, and it was his 
pleasant duty to give them the right direction in his own 
county, which he did, 'receiving the approval of the leading 
educators of the county and state, and among them none 

366 FIFTY years' recollections. 

were warmer in their commendation than Hon. Newton 
Jiateman, then state superintendent of public instruction. 

In 1860, having remained in the office of Manning & 
Merriman until that time, dividing the time between his 
law practice and his official duties, he opened an office of 
his own, but during the following year, Mr. Merriman hav- 
ing been elected to the circuit judgeship, he formed a 
partnership with Mr. Manning, which lasted till July 4, 
1862, when Mr. Manning died. He then formed a partner- 
ship with the late Charles P. Taggart, which continued 
until 1869, when it was dissolved owing to the failing 
health of Mr. Taggart, who went to California. 

During the last two years of this partnership Mr. 
McCulloch performed the duties of state's attorney, to 
which Mr. Taggart had been elected, as the bad health of 
the latter prevented him from performing its duties. 

After a partnership of short duration with Capt. J. M. 
Bice, Mr. McCulloch formed a partnership with John 
S. Stevens, Esq., which continued until Mr. Stevens' ap- 
pointment as postmaster in 1876. 

He was just as watchful and discriminating in regard to 
any defects in the general law as he was in the school laws, 
and through his suggestions to members of the legislature 
important changes were made from time to time. Some 
amendments were drawn by himself and are still part of the 

His active mind embraced a wide range, and he con- 
ferred with leading members of the bar from other parts of 
the state in regard to needed changes in laws, and additions 

As early as 1876, from his extensive practice, in the 
supreme court, he discovered the overcrowded condition of 


that branch of the judiciary ; that it was clogged, business 
delayed, suitors put off from term to term at great expense, 
in short, it in many cases retarded the administering of 
justice. It was found that legislation was imperatively de- 
manded to increase the judicial force of the state. An ap- 
pellate court was provided for by the constitution, to be 
composed of judges of the circuit courts. But the circuit 
courts" were generally behind in their business, so there 
were no judges to spare for this intermediate court. What 
was to be done to end this perplexity ? In this state of 
the question Mr. McCulloch, in 1876, addressed a commu- 
nication to the Legal News, of Chicago, proposing a remedy 
that would reach the case. This letter was published in 
October of that year, and elicited the attention of the bar 
in different parts of the state. 

At the same time came the proposition from Stephen V. 
Moore, of Kankakee, proposing the formation of a state 
bar association'. The result of these different presentations 
of the question was, that a meeting of the bar of the state 
was held at Springfield, January 1, 1876, and a state bar 
association was formed, and steps taken to reform the judi- 
cial system of the state, the legislature then being in session. 
A committee, of which Judges Puterbaugh, McCulloch and 
Thorntou were members, was appointed to draft the neces- 
sary bills. 

These bills provided for thirteen new judges, and most 
of the other features of the bills were adopted, and the 
appellate courts organized, all in accordance with the plan 
first suggested by McCulloch's letter. The result has been 
most satisfactory. 

The first election under this law was held August 6th, 
1877, when Judge McCulloch was [elected by a handsome 


majority. Id June, 1879, when there were three judges to- 
elect, he led all the rest, having the highest majority of the 
three. He was designated by the supreme court as one of 
the appellate judges, being assigned to the Third Appellate 
Court District, which position he has since held, having 
been re-appointed in 1882, also at times performing some 
circuit duties. He was chosen president of the State Bar 
Association in recognition of his services in bringing about 
these great reforms, which position he held for one year. 

In June, 1882, a supreme judge was to be chosen. The 
republican convention that met at Galva in May to select a 
candidate, after a number of ballots chose Judge McCul- 
loch as their candidate. From the numerical majority of 
that party in the district it was supposed that he would be 
elected, but issues foreign to the question of the fitness of 
the men presented as candidates were forced into the can- 
vass. Outside pressure was brought to bear against Judge 
McColloch, and thousands of dollars were distributed over 
the district to defeat him. This combination of all the dis- 
tracting and heterogeneous elements in and out of the dis- 
trict, together with the fact that the election occurred at 
the most busy season of the year among the farmers, so 
that in the agricultural districts there was a very meagre 
attendance at the polls, all conspired to defeat him, and the 
people of the state at large are deprived of the services of 
one of the most pure and upright jurists in her borders. 

Judge McCulloch is now in his fifty-second year, in the 
prime of manhood and mental strength, by nature a student,, 
the traits of his mind fitting him for close thought and a 
happy way of expressing just what is proper for the place 
or the occasion. As a writer his expositions of law are 

hon. john Mcculloch. 369 

sound, lucid and able, combining plainness, solidity and 
impregnability to criticism. 

Judge McCulloch's relations with the bench and bar of 
the state are most pleasant. His associates on the appellate 
bench are Judges C. L. Higbie, of Pittsfield, and Oliver L. 
Davis, of Danville. Their place of meeting is at Spring- 
field, and their official duties require their attention nearly 
one-half the time, either on the bench or in chambers, look- 
ing up authorities and writing out opinions. Their rulings 
and decisions are seldom reversed by the supreme court. 
The same can be said in regard to his associates on the 
circuit bench, Judges Laws and Burns, and the members of 
the bar throughout the circuit. Their personal and pro- 
fessional relations are most cordial and pleasant. 




If long and faithful citizenship in this state entitles a 
man to just recognition from his fellow-citizens, then the 
subject of our sketch should enjoy that mead of praise. 

George E. Warren was born at Worthington, Franklin 
county, Ohio, August 16, 1817. His father, Dr. Thomas 
Warren, was a native of New Hampshire ; moved to Bristol, 
R. I., in 1810, and married Miss Martha, daughter of 
Charles DeWolf, a wealthy merchant and ship owner of that 

In 1814 they removed to Ohio, and there resided till the 
spring of 1818, and then returned to Bristol, where Dr. 
Warren resided till the fall of 1835. His wife died in 1829, 
he with his family, then consisting of a daughter and two 
sons, of whom the subject of this sketch is the only survi- 
vor, again removed to the west in 1835, landing at Alton 
when that city was increasing in population very rapidly. 

Before coming to Illinois young Warren received the 
benefit of a good educational course at Brown University, 
Providence, R. I., entering that institution when he was 
fourteen years old and remaining there until his senior year. 
After removal to Illinois he commenced the study of law 
with Woodson & Hodge, at Carrolton, . and was also 
appointed deputy of the circuit and county courts, under 
M. O. Bledsoe, who held both these positions. His health 
having become seriously impaired, in order to recuperate it 


amid the scenes of youthful days, among friends in Rhode 
Island, in the spring of 1837, he returned to that state, 
and the following August was married to Miss Harriet S., 
■daughter of S. S. Allen, Esq., then collector of the port of 

He returned to the west in the autumn of that year, and 
in the spring of 1838 settled at Alton, where he completed 
his kw studies and was admitted to the bar in 1839. 

Owing to the financial depression then prevalent over 
the country the place offered but little encouragement to 
the young practitioner, and his father and guardian having 
purchased for him a large farm near Jerseyville with money 
bequeathed by his grandfather, Charles De Wolf, in the 
spring of 1840 he moved to this farm and commenced its 
improvement. In 1841 he was elected justice of the peace 
and held the position for eight years, when he was elected 
the first county judge of Jersey county under the new 
•state constitution. He performed the duties of that office 
to the entire satisfaction of the people for eight years, till 
the fall of 1857, full two terms, making a continuous 
official service of sixteen years as justice and judge. He 
then resumed his law practice, following it steadily alone 
till 1862. He then admitted his son-in-law, Hon. W. H. 
Pogue, as a partner, which business relation still exists. 

In March, 1875, he was elected mayor of Jerseyville 
on the anti-license ticket, and served very acceptably, the 
■city prospering under his administration. But his fellow- 
citizens still called for him to come up higher, and at the 
general election in November, 1878, he was elected to the 
state legislature from the fortieth representative district, 
and took his seat at the opening of the general assembly in 
January, 1879, and during the session acquitted himself 


with great ability and to the entire satisfaction of a large 
majority of his constituents. 

Judge Warren has always possessed' a competence, and 
never aimed at the acquisition of great wealth or political 
notoriety, his official positions coming to him unsought. 
He is domestic in his habits, and seeks and finds satisfac- 
tion in the enjoyment of a quiet home life, — the family 
circle and the society of congenial friends. He- is 
literary in his tastes, and has a fund of knowledge to 
" draw on at sight " that is a great satisfaction to him. In 
acquiring this he has always been a close student, and his 
mind is a rich storehouse of practical knowledge. He has 
always been a firm believer in the Christian religion, owing 
this strong faith largely to the training of a Christian 
mother. He appreciates the truths of the Bible as a divine 
revelation, and at the early age of sixteen united with the 
Protestant Episcopal church. There being no church of 
this faith at Jerseyville, he, with his wife, in March, 1852, 
united with the First Presbyterian church of that city, and 
has been one of the elders since 1866. In politics he was 
a whig, but on the disruption of that party he became a 
republican, yielding a conscientious approval to the prin- 
ciples of that party. 

In his worthy wife he finds a hearty coadjutor in- 
Christian and benevolent work, to which they are both 

He has four sons and four daughters, seven of them 
married and have children, and the judge, as one of the 
patriarchs in Israel, has a full score of grandchildren. One 
daughter resides at Washington, D. C. The others all 
reside at Jerseyville and in its immediate vicinity. 



AmoDg the active and efficient patriotic men in our state 
on the opening of the rebellion, none made their influence 
and usefulness more felt in the sphere in which they acted 
than the subject of our sketch. 

John Bryner was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, 
October 6, 1820, and came to Peoria in 1845. After serv- 
ing in several clerical capacities he, in 1847, entered into 
business with William McLean, under the firm name of 
McLean & Bryner, in the leather trade, which continued 
till 1861. During these years he was called to fill many 
important positions of trust and honor. He was elected 
sheriff of Peoria county, and served two terms with such 
acceptance as to meet the general approval of the people. 
On the organization of the "National Blues" in 1856 he 
was elected first lieutenant, in which capacity he acted till 
the year before the breaking out of the rebellion, when he 
was elected captain, and when the call was made for volun- 
teers he assisted in the organization and outfit of companies 
for other regiments, until the second call for 300,000 men, 
when he commenced the organization of the Forty-Seventh 
Volunteer Infantry. July 27, 1861, he was commissioned 
colonel of the regiment, and from that time to'the muster- 
ing in of the regiment, August 16th, he was continually 

374 FIFTY years' recollections. 

receiving and recruiting the companies that were to com- 
pose his regiment. 

From that date till September 23d the regiment was 
perfecting its drill and waiting orders. On this date march- 
ing orders were received and the men went by rail to 
St. Louis, going into quarters at Benton Barracks, receiv- 
ing their clothing and arms complete. 

His regiment remained here until October 9th, when it 
moved by rail' to Jefferson City, Mo., remaining there 
doing garrison duty until December 22d, then moving by 
rail to Otterville, there doing garrison duty until February 
2, 1862, then marching north to Missouri river, crossing at 
Boonville, marching down the north side of the river to 
St. Charles, where it' arrived February 18th, crossed the 
riveragain at St. Charles, and moved by rail to St. Louis, 
embarking on the steamer War Eagle for Cairo, arriving 
there Feb. 23d. 

Feb. 25th moved by steamer to Commerce, Mo., disem- 
barking, joined Pope's command, then organizing for a 
campaign against Island No. 10 and New Madrid. March 
2nd marched for New Madrid, settling down before the 
enemy's works at that place March 4th. Here was the first 
opportunity the regiment had been afforded of coming face 
to face with the enemy, but the time had been improved by 
Col. Bryner at all points where he had been doing garrison 
duty, to perfect his regiment by a thorough course of mili- 
tary drill which he was thoroughly qualified to give them. 

On the night of March 10th, the Forty-Seventh with 
the Eleventh Missouri Infantry, marched ten miles below 
New Madrid, taking along a battery of light artillery. 
Their objective point was Point Pleasant, to blockade 
the river, cutting off the enemy's communication by the 


river below New Madrid and Island No. 10. Here they 
were brigaded with the Eleventh Missouri and Twenty-^ 
Sixth Illinois Infantry, the Eighth Regiment Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, (the Eagle, or " Old Abe" regiment), 
and placed under the command of Brig. Gen. Joseph B. 
Plummer. Col. Bryner remained with the regiment at 
Point Pleasant until April 7th. During this time the ene- 
my were compelled to evacuate New Madrid, that place 
was occupied by the brigade, and on the 9th they were paid 
four month's services by Maj. Witherell, U. S. A. 

April 10th the regiment embarked on the 'Steamer 
Aleck Scott and dropped down the river nearly to Fort 
Pillow, returning on the morning of the 11th to. Tipton- 
ville, Tennessee, twenty miles below New Madrid. Re- 
maining here till the 12th, they moved up the river to 
Cairo, drew clothing, and steamer took on coal. On the 
20th they moved up the Tennessee River to Hamburg 
Landing, Tenn., arriving on the 22d, disembarking, en- 
camped near the river, and during the next fifteen days 
accompanied General Pope's army in their advance in the 
direction of Corinth, where the enemy were posted in 
strength. This march was very fatiguing, Col. Bryner's 
duties being to build a corduroy road through extensive 
swamps. May 9th they engaged the enemy at Farmington, 
Miss. In the fight Lieut. -Col. Daniel L. Miles was killed. 
May 28th the 47th participated in an engagement near 
Corinth. On the night of the 29th the enemy evacuated 
Corinth, and the regiment accompanied Gen. Pope's com-, 
mand in pursuit of the retreating forces as far as Boones- 
ville, Miss., returning to Camp Clear Creek, six miles 
south of Corinth, June 11th, 1862, where in a few days 
they received two months' pay from Major Etting, U. S. A. 

376 FIFTY years' recollections. 

July 3d the regiment marched to Rienzi, Miss., remaining 
there until the 18th of August. Here Col. Bryner, in 
consequence of his arduous and incessant duties, was com- 
pelled by ill health to leave the regiment. His resignation 
having been accepted, he reluctantly took leave of the regi- 
ment. Through his ability as a tactician, strictness as a 
disciplinarian, and constant regular drill when in camp, the 
47th became under his command one of the most efficient 
regiments in the service. The officers regarded him as a 
brother,, and for the men he had a fatherly regard, he was so 
careful of their comfort, health and. welfare. 

Although compelled to leave his chosen command, when 
he arrived at home such was his experience, his superior 
skill, that, though an invalid, he was called on to assist in 
the organization of new regiments. The 85th, 86th, 103d, 
108th and 112th were organized and fitted for the field 
under his careful and vigilant eye, he having charge of the 
camp at Peoria during the time they were filling up and 
getting ready to take the field. When the 139th — a hun- 
dred-day regiment, was organized, he accepted a commis- 
sion as first lieutenant, and was assigned as assistant 
quartermaster, and his health having in a measure im- 
proved he accompanied the 139th to Cairo and went into 
camp with them. 

While here he received a most pressing request from 
his old regiment, the 47th, then a battalion of four com- 
panies under command of Major Bonham, to return to 
them, every officer and man joining in the request. He 
accepted the tender, and obtaining leave of Gov. Oglesby, 
raised six new companies, going into camp at Springfield, 
the four veteran companies having been ordered to join 
Gen. A. J. Smith's forces, then in front of Fort Spanish at 


After the completion of the organization of the six 
companies he was taken suddenly ill at Springfield, where 
he died March 19th, 1865, thus rounding up a four years' 
service, faithful in health and sickness, as much a martyr to 
the cause of his country as if he had fallen in some of the 
battles in which he had participated while at the front. 

His remains were brought home to Peoria, where appro- 
priate civic and military ceremonies were rendered to them, 
then followed to their last resting place by a large cortege. 

Bryner Post, G. A. R., organized October 8th, 1879, 
was named in his honor. Col. Bryner was married to Miss 
Rebecca North, at Mififlinton, Pa., Sept. 15th, 1842, the 
marriage being solemnized by Rev. John Hutchinson of 
that place. There were eight children born to them, four 
sons and four daughters, only three of whom survive. B. 
C. Bryner, his son, who was but a youth during the war, 
enlisted in the 47th regiment and served one year in com- 
pany I. He was for several years assistant postmaster in 
this city under Postmasters Stevens and Cockle, but for 
more than a year past has occupied a responsible position 
in the insurance office of Callender & Co. 



Among the great productive interests of our rich, grand 
and patriotic state that have assumed importance in the last 
quarter of a century is that of horticulture, the " art which 
does mend nature," and like all other great industries that 
contribute wealth, luxury, comfort and pleasure to our 
people, there are among the prominent citizens of the state 
men who have given their time, means, talents, and all the 
great faculties with which they were endowed to the ad- 
vancement of this science, along with the more important 
one of agriculture. 

Conspicuous among the earnest workers we find Hon. 
Orson B. Galusha, of Morris, Grundy county, Illinois. He 
was born at Shaftsbury, Bennington county, Vermont, 
December 2nd, 1819. His father, Jonas Galusha, Jr., was 
the son of Governor Jonas Galusha, who served several 
terms as governor of that state, and at this time was serv- 
ing his second term. Jonas Galusha, Jr., resided on the^ 
estates of his father, the governor, and managed them for 
him, they being divided into several farms. Here he re- 
sided until Orson was sixteen years old, the lad assisting to 
some extent in the labor of the farm and attending district 
school, and one year attending Bennington Seminary. 

Jonas Galusha, Jr., then removed to Rochester, "N. Y., 
and his son Orson was placed under the tuition of Dr. 


Chester Dewey, at the Rochester Collegiate Institute, where 
he pursued his studies for three years. He also varied his 
student life by serving as assistant teacher at the Fitzhugh 
Street Seminary. 

In 1839 the family removed to Grand Rapids, Mich., 
where he was left at the age of twenty-two, his mother 
having died there and his father and brother returning to 
Rochester. In the summer season he worked on the farm, 
and in the winter taught school until 1843, when he mar- 
ried Miss Mary J. Hinsdale, third daughter of Judge 
Mitchell Hinsdale, of Kalamazoo, Mich., afterwards con- 
tinuing farming for five years. In 1849 he sold his farm 
in Michigan and removed to Lisbon, Grundy county, Illi- 
nois, and bought a small farm of 120 acres, and at once en- 
gaged in the nursery business and cultivating small fruits. 
Here he remained near twenty years, gaining rich experi- 
ence and practical knowledge of fruit growing and the 
nursery business. 

In 1868 he sold his Lisbon farm and bought another 
near Morris, the county seat, where his facilities for selling 
his fruits and nursery stock were much better. To this 
place he removed a large part of his nursery stock and 
established the " Eclectic Small Fruit Nursery," and his 
fruit farm is known as the " Evergreen Fruit Farm," on ac- 
count of the evergreen shelter-belts and evergreen timber 
plantation upon it. 

Here he has " practiced what he preached" on the fruit 
question, been very successful in both nursery business and 
fruit growing. Several years ago, on account of impaired 
health, he left his fruit farm for a short residence at Normal, 
in this state. After a few years residence at Normal he 
"returned to his first love," to the shades of his beautiful, 
evergreen home near Morris. 

380 FIFTY years' recollections. 

But we have only been giving the farm work and labor 
performed by Mr. Galusha. Along with this his has been 
a life-work in trying to advance the interest of the people 
in the chosen business in which he was laboring — the culti- 
vation of the soil; horticulture and agriculture fruit 
growing and farming. 

His life has been one of continuous service to the pub- 
lic, and often of so much gratuitous service as to seriously 
interfere with efforts to accumulate property. In Michigan, 
soon after attaining his majority, he was elected township 
clerk and school inspector, which positions he held during 
most of his residence in that state. While residing at 
Lisbon the question of agricultural education was agitated, 
in which he took a deep interest. He corresponded with 
agricultural papers east and west, he attended meetings 
and addressed them on the subject. He was one of the 
pioneers in the movement favoring a system of state 
agricultural colleges or industrial universities, and when 
the movement culminated in the establishment in each 
state of an agricultural institution, his interest increased in 
the work to see that it was founded on a permanent and 
independent basis, and in connection with such men as 
Prof. J. B. Turner, Smiley Shepherd, M. L. Dunlap and 
others, aided in defeating a scheme by the trustees of some 
existing colleges 1 to attach agricultural and mechanical 
departments to their waning institutions and thus establish 
them upon a permanent and popular basis. 

He was the first member of the board of trustees 
appointed by the governor in his district, which position he 
held for six years, until the board was reduced in numbers 
by act of the legislature. He was the first recording secre- 
tary of the board, and always active and influential in 


efforts to bring the institution into the special line of work 
for which the agricultural colleges were established. It 
was our duty as well as a great pleasure to lend the. aid of 
the columns of the Farmer's Advocate and Rural 
Messenger to Mr. Galusha and his co-workers when they 
were struggling for the establishment of the Industrial 
University. So we know whereof we write when we speak 
of their great labors. During this whole time there were 
other fields of labor, hardly less important, that were 
receiving the benefit of , his great capacity for organization. 

In 1856 he, with a few others, organized the Illinois 
State Horticultural Society at Decatur, with the late Dr. E. 
S. Hull, of Alton, as president, and Mr. Galusha as corres- 
ponding secretary. He continued to occupy this and other 
important positions in the society until 1861, when he was 
elected to the presidency of the society. 

Subsequent to this year, and until the year 1869, he was 
for the most part of the time giving gratuitious services to 
the society by serving on its ad-interim committee, travel- 
ing thousands of miles annually, collecting facts in horti- 
culture and making suggestions to growers of fruits and 
trees, formulating the information gained into reports which 
were published by the society. 

In 1869 he was again elected secretary of the society,, 
which position he held until December, 1882, with the 
exception of one year, when, on account of his severe ill- 
ness at the time of electing officers he refused to take the 

In December, 1882, he was at his own request, and in 
accordance to previous notice given to the society, excused 
from further services as secretary. But the society, unwill- 
ing to lose his services and counsel, elected him to the 


presidency by a unanimous vote. He also served the state 
as a member of the state board of agriculture from the 
year 1864 to 1868, and for several years before and subse- 
quent to this served the state agricultural society as super- 
intendent of the pomological and horticultural departments 
at the state fairs. 

In all these years of usefulness it has been our pleasant 
recollection of Mr. Galusha to find him an untiring worker 
in all the great organizations that he has been connected 
with. We have met him on fruit-growers' excursions in 
our own state and in Michigan, at state, county and horti- 
cultural fairs, always the same urbane gentleman, untiring 
in his industry, faithful to his numerous trusts, and of 
advanced ideas in educational and all great interests that 
would promote all the great industrial enterprises of the 

Mr. and Mrs. Galusha, in their married life, have had 
but two children, one son and one daughter. The eldest, a 
son, died at the age of four years, at Grand Rapids, Mich. 
The daughter is now the wife of Wm. Hawley Smith, one 
of the proprietors of the Saturday Evening Call, Peoria. 



Among the men that are selected to fill important offices 
of trust and responsibility in our state from year to year, 
none merited the recognition more than the able, efficient 
and honest incumbent of the office of state treasurer, who 
was installed in his present office in January, 1883, having 
been elected to that responsible position at the November 

John C. Smith was born at Philadelphia, Pa., February 
13, 1832. His early years were spent in his native state. 
His education was limited to the common schools, but he 
made fair progress until his seventeenth year, when he was 
apprenticed to the carpenter business until he was twenty- 
one years of age, when he set up for himself, proving him- 
self a master builder. He spent one year at his business at 
Cape May, then came to Chicago, resuming his occupation 
as builder and contractor, continuing until 1855, when he 
removed to Galena and engaged in erecting a number of 
large buildings, some of the finest in that city. 

His skill was so great that his services were sought 
where permanence and durability was required, and in 
1850-1 he went to Dubuque, Iowa, as assistant superinten- 
dent in the construction of the custom house at that place. 

At the outbreak of the rebellion he resigned this posi- 
tion and returned to Galena, taking an active part in 

384 FIFTY years' recollections. 

recruiting and encouraging enlistments. In 1862, on a call 
being made for additional troops, he recruited Company I, 
Ninety-Sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and was elected 
as captain. From this position he was successively promo- 
ted to major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel, taking part in 
the battles of the Cumberland, and was twice breveted for 
meritorious conduct on the field. 

In the desperate assault at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, 
June, 1864, he was severely wounded while leading his 
brigade, and while yet suffering from his wounds, returned 
in time to participate in the battle of Nashville just previ- 
ous to expiration of his term of service. He was mustered 
out and returned to his former home at Galena, remaining 
there several years, connected a considerable portion of the 
time in assisting in collecting the revenue. 

In 1874 he removed to Chicago, establishing himself in 
the commission business, and the following year he was 
appointed chief grain inspector by Gov. Beveridge, and 
served with great satisfaction in this very difficult position. 

In 1876 he was selected as one of the Centennial com- 
missioners for this state to represent our interests at the 
great Philadelphia exposition of 1876, filling the duties of 
his department with marked ability. 

In 1878 he was elected state treasurer by a vote of 
215,283, as opposed. to 169,965 cast for his competitor, 
Cronkite, making his majority 45,318, leading his ticket by . 
nearly 10,000 votes. His career from the time he first 
appeared in public life has recommended him to the people. 
He will always be found right, at whatever sacrifice to 

During his term as state treasurer one of his confiden- 
tial clerks, having charge of funds, was temporarily diverted 


from their oversight, and $15,000 of state funds were stolen. 
Gen. Smith at once borrowed the money and replaced it, 
before the loss was known to the public. It was duty with 
him, no matter how much he suffered financially himself. 

At the close of his official term he returned to Chicago^ 
and engaged in the commission business, and also organ- 
ized a merchant's delivery company, of which he was direc- 
tor and treasurer. 

Iu 1880 he was one of the most prominent aspirants for 
the gubernatorial nomination on the republican ticket, but, 
did not receive the nomination. In the canvass of 1882 he 
was again presented as a candidate for state treasurer, and 
again succeeded, leading his ticket several thousand votes. 
He numbers thousands of personal friends among his polit- 
ical opponents, who, when Gen. Smith is a candidate, 
always forego their political predilections and vote for 
him because of his honesty and capacity for business. 




If the prestige of a long and useful life, divided between 
business and doing good, blending profitable pursuits and 
the dispensing of the accumulations at the same time, re- 
ceiving and giving, dealing justly in business affairs, yet 
making commercial transactions a benificence to those with 
whom he had dealings, will commend a man to the grateful 
consideration of a large portion of the people of this state, 
then we have in the sketch we propose giving the charac- 
teristics blended in the subject of this chapter. 

Moses Pettengill was born in Salisbury, New Hamp- 
shire, April 16, 1802. His parents were Benjamin and 
Hannah Pettengill, and Moses is the seventh of thirteen 
children. His grand-father, Andrew Pettengill, was an 
officer in the war of the revolution, and received his death 
wound at the battle of Bennington, Vt. Mr. Pettengill's 
youthful days were spent in hard toil on his father's farm 
in the summers, and attending the village school through 
the winters. He also attained some knowledge of me- 
chanics from working at intervals in a machine shop, that 
was of great value to him through his long and successful 
career. From these incessant labors his health became im- 
paired, and for several years he was an invalid. When he 
recovered sufficient strength he entered the village academy, 
and when he attained a sufficient proficiency he taught in 


that institution, and in succession taught at Lowell, Mass., 
Saratoga Springs, and at Lewiston, New York. Outside of 
his teaching he was studying very closely the principles of 
mercantile life. 

Quitting teaching at the age of twenty-five he engaged 
in mercantile life at Rochester, New York. Following it 
one year he lost the accumulations of all his years of labor 
by fire in 1828. Not having the means to continue busi- 
ness he went on a prospecting tour to many leading cities 
of the middle states, then returning, and after teaching one 
term he opened a store at Brockport, New York, taking as 
a partner Mr. Little, and soon afterward admitting Col. 
Sanborn, his brother-in-law. Business prospered with the 
firm, and in 1833 Mr. Pettengill was married to Miss Lucy, 
daughter of Deacon Amos Pettengill, of Salisbury, New 

During these years of prosperous merchandising he 
heard frequent favorable reports from Illinois, and desiring 
to see for himself he left Brockport in November, 1833, for 
Peoria, and after a long and circuitous route by canal, lake, 
river, and by overland, horse-back and stage, they reached 
their destination on the last Saturday in December, 1833. 
Mr. Pettengill's observant eye soon took in the advantages 
of the new city, and he made some real estate investments 
that are now some of the best business lots in Peoria, and 
still owned by him. Peoria then contained not over two 
hundred inhabitants, and these resided or boarded in about 
thirty log cabins, only one or two buildings being dignified 
as " frame houses." 

Mr. Pettengill spent about two weeks in prospecting, 
getting acquainted with the people, then purchasing a horse 
took his departure homeward, going by Chicago across the 

388 FIFTY years' recollections. 

then almost wilderness country of Michigan, Indiana, and 
Northern Ohio, getting back to Brockport the latter part of 
February, and intent on an early removal, closed out his 
business at Brockport and within the next month settled 
up his affairs there. 

In April, 1834, he started with his wife in company 
with Jacob Gale, for Peoria, making the journey round the 
lakes to Chicago and across the country. They arrived at 
Peoria June 1, 1834. In company with Mr- Gale he began 
the erection of a store on the lot he had bought, and pur- 
chased another lot adjoining that had a log cabin on it, of 
the most primitive kind, in which to reside. In the follow- 
ing November, under the firm name of Pettengill & Gale, 
they opened the hardware and stove store in Peoria, 
and early in 1834 Mr. Pettengill bought Mr. Gale's interest, 
and added to the business the manufacture of sheet iron 
and copperware, the first industry of this kind in Central 
Illinois. Mr. Pettengill and his estimable wife, with nine 
others, organized the first church at Peoria in December, 
1834. It was a New School Presbyterian, or afterwards 
Congregational Church, and he has continued a member 
until this time Through his efforts, aided by others, the 
first church was erected and completed early in 1836. In 
the summer of 1836, in order to enlarge his business, he 
sold half his interest to A. P. Bartlett, which arrangement 
proved very satisfactory, lasting until 1844, when Mr. Pet- 
tengill again became sole owner. During these eight years 
the firm built the first three story brick store, corner Wash- 
ington and Main. In 1844 he built another large three 
story brick store on same site where his stone front hank 
building was built in 1872. In May, 1844, his store, with 
a large part of his goods, was burned, but was soon rebuilt 
and fresh goods added, business continuing to prosper. 


In November his son, Moses P., died, aged near five 
years. Mr. Pettengill continued his business alone for the 
next six years, and went east to buy goods each year, very 
frequently driving all the way through with his carriage, 
taking his wife along. From 1850 to 1854, Isaiah Bab- 
cock was a partner with him in business, and the business, 
from the close attention given it, was prosperous. He also 
during these four years branched out in the manufacture of 
agricultural implements with a Mr. Lazell, under the firm 
name of Pettengill & Lazell, which was the largest in- 
terest of this kind in that part of the state. During the 
latter part of this time he formed a partnership with several 
other "parties, the company going into the lumber business. 

All his enterprises seemed to prosper, he being fortunate 
in the selection of his partners; turning his profits each 
year into capital, and having unlimited credit, an unerring 
judgment of the different classes of business that would 
pay the best legitimate profits, all his manufacturing and 
commercial interests prospered. 

He made some very judicious purchases of real -estate 
during these years. One of these was a block of four acres 
on the West Bluff, on which, in 1862, he built a dwelling and 
improvements costing $5,000. In the spring of 1863, all 
of his enterprises requiring so much attention, he concluded 
to sell out his hardware, sheet iron and copper manufactur- 
ing business, established in 1834. 

His wife died Feb. 29, 1864, after over thirty years of 
domestic happiness, during which time she had been really 
a helpmate to him in his business, at home, and in the 
church and social circles. 

May 17, 1865, he was again married to Mrs. Hannah 
W. Tyner, of Hoyleton, Illinois, sister to Prof. J. A. Bent, 

390 FIFTY years' recollections. 

since of Wheaton college. Mrs. Tyner was a native of 
Middlebury, Vermont, a woman educated, given to benev- 
olence, good works, and a valuable assistant to her husband 
in all the christian and educational work that Mr. Pettengill 
has been engaged in. He ;was chosen a delegate to the 
National Congregational Council which met at Boston, 
Mass., in June, 1865, and Mrs. Pettengill accompanied 
him to that imposing Church Congress. While east they 
visited many parts of the. New England states, and returned 
at [..the end of the summer. On the night of December, 
13, 1865, his residence was destroyed by fire, a large por- 
tion of the furniture being consumed. On its site, three 
years afterwards, was completed his elegant brick dwelling 
costing $ 12,000. In 1870, he, with other parties, organized 
a company to manufacture soap for the wholesale trade, 
which continued for two years, when he, with his nephew, 
bought out the other parties and continued the business. 

For several years past Mr. Pettengill has retired from 
active participation in business, but he has considerable of 
his large capital invested in various paying enterprises and 
in real estate. The firm of Moses Pettengill & Co., com- 
posed of Mr. Pettengill as the senior partner, his adopted 
son, Blanchard T. Pettengill, and his nephew, J. A. Bent, 
Jr., as the other partners, control a large portion of the 
convict labor at the Jeffersonville penitentiary, Indiana, 
and utilize it in the manufacture of boots and shoes. 

The same firm control the labor of over one hundred 
and sixty convicts in the penitentiary at Chester, Illinois, at 
the same business. The products of both manufactories 
meet ready sale over the entire west, the goods being made 
of the best material, by the finest machinery, and under the 
immediate superintendence of Mr. Bent, aided by P. W. 


Forbish in the cutting department, T. P. King in the 
fitting and sewing department, G. D. Emerson in charge 
of upper-leather department, Thomas Barber in charge of 
sole-leather department, and J. A. Smith in charge of the 
machinery department, all operated by a twenty-five horse- 
power engine from Ide's machine works, Springfield, 111. 
This force manufactures forty cases per day, one-eighth 
of the product are shoes, and seven-eighths boots ; twelve 
pairs of boots in each case, and thirty-six pairs of shoes. 

Prom this hasty statement a good idea can be formed of 
the extent of the firm's business in "boots and shoes from 
the product manufactured at both prisons. 

The author, in his tour through southern Illinois re- 
freshing his '' recollections" in regard to the trades and 
industries of the state, devoted one day to looking through 
this vast establishment, and hopes that this relation of how 
the state employs its convict labor may be instructive and 
entertaining historical reading. 

It requires a vast capital to conduct these enterprises, 
which is furnished largely by Mr. Pettengill. His son and 
nephew conduct the large wholesale house at Peoria. No 
doubt the business is very profitable, and Mr. Pettengill 
finds a large field for the distribution of his wealth in 
educational and religious enterprises. The church which he 
assisted in founding in Peoria comes in for a large share of 
his benefactions. To its building fund on Thanksgiving 
Day, 1879, he gave $4,000, has since given more, and dur- 
ing the last year (1882) he built a Ladies' Female Semi- 
nary at Peoria costing nearly $25,000, a free offering to the 
cause of education. He is by nature benevolent, and has 
assisted a great many young men in business. 



From the substantial virtues, solid attainments and wide 
experience of the subject of our sketch, we can commend 
. his example as worthy to be practiced by others. 

Isaac Snedeker was born at Four Mile Ferry, near 
Trenton, New Jersey, November 22d, 1812, the youngest 
•of four sons of Isaac and Catharine Snedeker. "His youth- 
ful days were spent at home under the paternal roof, and 
when sufficiently grown aided in the work of the farm, and 
•each year attended the neighboring schools a portion of 
the time, making fair progress in his studies until his eight- 
eenth year, when a desire to do something for himself was 
developed by his leaving home and interesting himself 
in the public works, aiding in building the Trenton Water 
Works, and when these were finished engaging on the 
Delaware and Raritan Canal, and from this to the building 
of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, spending the earlier 
years of his manhood in the practical duties required of 
him. When these great works were completed he engaged 
in literary pursuits, and was employed in gathering the 
material and data for compiling the New Jersey Historical 
■Gazetteer and Map of the State, spending several years in 
this work until it was completed, when he settled on a farm 
in Monroe county, New York. He was early known for 
his public spirit, giving aid to the building up of churches 

394 FIFTY years' recollections. 

and educational institutions. He connected himself with 
the Methodist church, and with others established the 
Pennington church in his neighborhood and erected Penn- 
ington Chapel, which bore the impress of his architectural 
direction and was an ornament to the surrounding neigh- 
borhood, — a model for other church buildings to copy 
from. He was one of the stewards of that church until his 
removal from the state. 

He was active in the military organizations of New 
York, and was commissioned by Governor Marcy, August 
1, 1836, as one of the official staff of the Fifty-second 
Regiment, New York Infantry, Col. E. Sutherland com- 
manding, with rank from June 18, 1836, holding the office 
until July 17, 1841, when he resigned and was honorably 
mustered out by Brigadier-General Lathrop. He resided 
in New York until the spring of 1844, when he came to 
Jerseyville, Illinois, where, in connection with his brother 
Samuel, he engaged in farming, each taking charge of parts 
of the business that their peculiar genius best fitted them 
for, and for years their farming investments were very 
successfully managed. 

He early identified himself with the reformatory and 
educational interests of his new location, and particularly 
in promoting the temperance work — becoming identified 
with the Sons of Temperance and one of its most active 

He was also opposed to the institution of slavery while 
in New York, and was president of an Anti- slavery 
society. He believed it a wrong, and opposed it with might 
and power, and at an early day was instrumental in organ- 
izing an anti-slavery society in Jersey county, when it 
required nerve, firmness and pluck to dare to advocate their 


principles. He was frequently threatened, and even life 
endangered, because of his outspoken principles. 

In June, 1846, he was married to Miss Caroline Sunder- 
land, daughter to John Sunderland, of Trenton, New 
Jersey, and sister of his brother Samuel's wife. The union 
was a happy one all through the years of his useful life. 

In October, 1849, Joseph Crabb, a justice of the peace, 
committed three young men, all nearly as white as himself, 
to the county jail, under the authority of the black laws of 
Illinois. Mr. Snedeker had them taken out on a writ of 
Habeas Corpus and taken before the circuit court, and 
they were discharged. It is claimed that this was the first 
time that the Black Laws, under the new constitution of 
1848, had been tested, and the first time a negro had been 
released from a common jail by a writ of Habeas Corpus in 

Mr. Snedeker's first vote was cast for Henry Clay, and 
he voted twice for Abraham Lincoln, a warm personal 
friendship existing between them. 

At the opening and during the war there was a strong 
disloyal element in Jersey county, and it required pluck 
and courage to stand true to principle. Mr. Snedeker dared 
to come out boldly and advocate the cause' of the Union, 
and in him the soldier boys had a firm friend. The author 
recalls an incident that occurred during the war — the 
darkest days of the Rebellion, when _the Union Leagues- 
and the Knights of the Golden Circle were meeting nightly 
to learn of the advancement or discouragements for either 
side ; when several Union men's barns had been burned, and 
horse stealing from the Union men was a common occur- 
•rence ; when strange men were seen in the mid-hours of the 
night, gathered together in strange out-of-the-way places, and 

396 FIFTY years' recollections. 

a band of guerillas and bushwhackers were encamped about 
six miles northeast of Jersey ville on Phillis Creek, who had 
threatened to burn the city; when a leading citizen and 
politician had gone out to them with a flag of truce to im- 
portune them not to burn and destroy property. 

At this time, when general alarm prevailed, one night 
near midnight several pistol shots were heard near Mr. 
Suedeker's house. He rose quickly, not knowing but it 
was these guerrillas arrived to carry their threats into 
execution, as he was amongst the loyal citizens who had 
been threatened by the band of bushwhackers. When Mr. 
Suedeker went to the door to reconnoitre he heard the 
clashing of swords, the clatter of carbines and the hoofs of 
horses on the hard road, and a clear shout calling out the 
name of Isaac Snedeker to come out. He did not know 
whether it was friend or foe, his family was alarmed, all 
were greatly afraid, but he boldly called to the men in the 
dakness, asking " who was there." The men on the road 
again repeated " Come out doors." He stepped out in his 
shirt sleeves, walked towards the troopers, not yet knowing 
whether friends or foes were hailing him. The command 
immediately came in a clear, ringing tone, "come this way 
and not another word." He knew by this time that it was 
friendly voices, and he called out, " Advance friends." 
The troopers came towards the house, and he called to his 
wife and family that these were friends. The doors were 
opened and a hundred or more good loyal men entered, 
having been sent from Alton to disperse the camp on 
Phillis Creek, and had rode out in the night to be on hand 
for an early attack in the morning. The troopers were a 
company of the Seventeenth Cavalry, stationed at Alton ' 
for the double purpose of guarding rebel prisoners and pro- 


tecting union men from rebel sympathizers. The troopers — 
rough riders, the Boys in Blue — were welcome guests 
at the house of Isaac Snedeker. " Boys, come in, you must 
have your supper, your horses must be fed," and the con- 
tents of the pork and flour barrels, and all the substantials 
and luxuries were arrayed in order, made to do duty, and 
the soldier boys were fed, their horses had for once good 
clean oats or sound corn to eat — men and horses reveled 
in high feed. Many of these soldier boys, yet alive, will 
recall the pleasure as well as the adventures of the night 
at Farmer Snedeker's. Arrangements were made for an 
early attack on the guerrilla camp and a plan of attack de- 
vised, and early next morning the camp was surrounded ; 
some were captured and others put to flight. 

The close and results of the war rejoiced him much. 
His old-time abolition friends and neighbors were called in 
and a grand jollification enjoyed, participated in by large 
numbers. The day was passed in social enjoyment, a 
recital of the events and incidents of the underground rail- 
road experiences. It was a feast, a jollification, and it was 
estimated that there were near five hundred present — a 
happy, good time, "a feast of reason and flow of soul." 

Mr. Snedeker was one of the chief promoters of the 
objects of the Illinois State Horticultural Society, a regular 
attendant on its sessions, and in connection with O. B. 
Gajusha, Dr. E. S. Hull, Jonathan Huggins, A. Hilliand, 
W. H. Mann, Hon. A. M. Brown, D. B. Wier, Dr. A. G. 
Humphrey, H. G. Minkler, M. M. Hooton, Dr. J. Long, M. 
L. Dunlap and Hon. John M. Pearson, was instrumental in 
promoting the cultivation of fruit in all parts of the state. 
He never failed to attend the annual meeting of the 
society and take an active part in their deliberations, im- 

398 FIFTY years' recollections. 

pressing his practical knowledge and embodying it in 
their reports. His labors in this connection were not con- 
fined to this state, but he attended the Missouri State Horti- 
cultural Society's meetings, and took part in its delibera- 

The author's first acquaintance with Mr. Snedeker was 
at these annual re-unions of the state society and at the 
monthly meetings of the Alton Horticultural Society, 
which once or oftener each year met and were entertained 
at his house, he and Mrs. Snedeker making the large 
assemblage of lady and gentlemen fruit-growers as happy 
as they did the soldiers when they came to rout the guer- 
rillas from Jersey county. 

He was eminently a social man. Blessed with abund- 
ance, he was never so happy as when dispensing hospitality 
to his friends. In his family relations he was most happy. 
He has two sons living. Hon. Orville A. Snedeker, receiv- 
ing his education in the public schools of Jerseyville, 
entered ShurtlefF College, Upper Alton, and graduated, 
after which he spent two years in Chicago in mercantile 
life and reading law, then he returned to Jerseyville and 
spent a year in the law office of Judge R. A. King, after 
which he was admitted to practice law in the supreme 
court. He then opened a law office in his native town, 
where he is known as a business man and lawyer. No 
higher encomium need be bestowed on him than the esteem 
in which he is held by the citizens and neighbors. He was 
married in 1873 to Miss Emma A. Dalzell, of Philadelphia, 

The other son, Samuel J. Snedeker, is a typical farmer, 
and occupies the old homestead, just east of the city. It is 
a fine farm of several hundred broad acres, with the appli- 


cation, energy and industry to manage it successfully. He 
married, in 1875, Miss Ann E. Dalzell, of Philadelphia, a 
sister of his brother's wife. He has four children, and is 
a prosperous farmer. 

Isaac Snedeker departed this life July 4th, 1877, at his 
home, after a sickness of nearly one year, terminating in 
cancer of the stomach. He contained within himself all 
the good qualities of head and heart that ennobles a man, 
and should be emulated. Of him it can truly be said 
" Being dead, he yet speaketh," for he will live in the 
remembrance of a large circle of friends for many years. 
Mrs. Caroline Snedeker resides with her son Orville in 
Jerseyville, enjoying good health, the companionship of 
the families of old neighbors and relatives, enjoying the 
evening sunshine of life while awaiting the Master's 

Samuel Snedeker, brother of Isaac, and for so many 
years connected with him in their business and farming 
operations, both accumulating large estates, died at Jersey- 
ville several years ago. Jacob, another brother, is still 
living near Bunker Hill, Illinois. There are two sisters 
of these brothers : Catherine, married to Jacob J. Wells, 
of Egypt, Monroe county, New York, and Mary K., wife 
of Luman Curtiss, of Carrollton, Greene county, this state. 



Right pleasant it is to refer to one whom we have known 
since childhood days, and later as a companion and school- 
mate. We bring our personal recollections down through 
succeeding years when his matured mind, stored by acquire- 
ments, fitted him to fill responsible places of honor, and the 
laborious duties connected with the trust imposed on him. 
Such a sketch we present of the subject of this chapter. 

Greenberry Lafayette Fort was born Oct. 11, 1825, at 
French Grant, Sciota county, Ohio. He was the son of 
Benjamin and Margaret Fort, who in 1834 came to Round 
Prairie, Putnam county, (now Marshall) in this state. "They 
embarked on board a steamer and came down the Ohio and 
by way of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Peoria. 
Here they arranged with a keel boatman to transport them- 
selves and their goods a distance of nearly twenty-five miles 
up the river to Crow Creek landing near by where some 
of their old neighbors, Timothy and Roderick Owen, had 
settled. They made the trip in due time and found their 
friends waiting to receive them. When arrived, they soon 
made arrangements for the transportation of their goods to 
where Mrs. Fort's two brothers, the Messrs. Devers, were 
living. The Devers were also the brother-in-laws of Capt. 
Robert Barnes and Henry B. Barnes, having each married 


sisters of the Barnes, and all from the same neighborhood 
in Ohio. So the Owen's, Dever's, Barnes', and now Mr. 
Fort's family made an " Ohio settlement " in that neighbor- 
hood in Illinois. 

With this reference to the family connection, and 
they are all deserving of mention, we will confine our sketch 
to the name at the head of this chapter. 

The first business of the family was to build a house on 
the land the father had bought, then he enclosed it with 
a fence, and at the proper season, prepared to break the 
prairie and plant the crop. 

Greenberry was then too young to assist much in the 
heavier class of work, he '' did what he could " by dropping 
corn, driving the prairie team, and any work that a boy of 
his age could do. A school house of the most primitive 
kind was soon erected by the action and strength of the 
whole neighborhood, for farmers of the intelligence of those 
we have named would not remain long without a school- 
house for their children to attend. Young Greenberry 
attended the first term of school held at this union school- 
house, built after the prevailing fashion of that day, on 
the broad guage principle, the fireplace occupying the whole 
end of the house, with chimney at the top for the smoke to 
emerge, puncheon floor, benches made from small logs split 
in two, and the broad side hewed smooth, puncheon wri- 
ting desks extending along the whole of one side and end 
of the house, the wiudows just a log cut out the whole 
length, and a single row of eight by ten sash set with glass,, 
extending the whole length, the house being kept comfort- 
able by a huge log fire built at the chimney end of the 
house. This, in short, is a brief description of this school- 
house where several future congressmen, members of legis- 


402 FIFTY years' recollections. 

lature, circuit judges, county officials, editors, etc., received 
their first "send off" in the direction of their future 

It was at this " seat of learning " that young Green- 
berry made his first essays for an education, attending in 
the winter season, working on the farm in summer, and 
helping in the gathering of the crops in the autumn, pre- 
paratory to entering school again. Thus the years rolled 
on, and he grew strong and " nervy," helpful to others as 
well as himself, for it is said of him that when home-work 
was completed he always stood ready to help a neighbor. 
In 1845 he first attended Rock River Seminary at 
Mount Morris, Ogle county, and continued several terms 
until he graduated, and returning to Lacon he commenced 
the study of law in the office of Hon. Silas Ramsey, 
county judge, then a prominent lawyer and afterwards a 
member of the legislature, and in the war of the Rebellion 
major in the regular army. Greenberry L. Fort was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1849-50, and commenced practice. His 
first brief was made in the Woodford Circuit Court, Judge 
David Davis, late vice-president, being the presiding 
judge. His client was Dr. Harlow Barney, and his op- 
posing counsel Abraham Lincoln. Fort, having the right 
side, won the suit, it being the first acquaintance he had 
with Mr. Lincoln. They were always after that strong 
friends. His case being before such an eminent and able 
judge, his opposing counsel so distinguished, and he gaining 
his first case, it augured well for the young counselor, and 
his wide acquaintance gave promise of his stepping into a 
large practice at the outset. 

In 1850 the whig party was in a minority of some 200 
in Marshall county, but they sometimes succeeded by pre- 


senting the most popular man, and they were casting their 
horoscope over the political horizon to discern the "coming 
man " for sheriff, who could defeat the democratic cham- 
pion, Addison Ramsey, a former sheriff, who had some very 
strong and devoted friends in his own party, and some that 
were opposed to his again being elected. 

The whigs, after a long consultation, finally united in 
asking the popular young attorney to become their candi- 
date. From the fact of his having grown up in the county, 
his large connection by relationship with leading and in- 
fluential families, some of them being democrats, they in 
turn using their influence with others — and another added 
reason, that he had a large following among the young men 
of the county of both parties — all these reasons pointed to 
him as combining all the influences that would secure suc- 
cess. His name was announced, and a personal as well as 
political canvass was made, and when the votes were counted 
he was "counted in" by a majority of four votes — thus 
overcoming two hundred political majority against him in 
the county. 

He entered on the duties of his office, administered the 
duties faithfully, increasing his popularity with the people, 
and when his term of office expired, he was nominated in 
1852 as a candidate for circuit clerk, and this time elected 
by a large majority. His duties as sheriff had been per- 
formed so unexceptionally that his popularity was largely 

In 1854 his father died, at the age of 80 years, and the 
following year, his aged mother, both honored and respected 
by all who knew them. When his term expired in 
1856 he was nominated for county judge, a judicial position 
he was eminently qualified to fill from his long official ex- 


perience and his fine legal attainments. We need not say- 
that his four years' services as circuit clerk were performed 
with dispatch, increasing the regard and respect of the peo- 
ple for his honesty and fidelity. 

His candidacy with the people was popular and he was 
elected to the judgeship. It was during his term that the 
great senatorial canvass of 1858 between Abraham Lincoln 
and Stephen A. Douglas occurred. The contest was very 
animated, and Judge Fort entered the canvass, making 
many addresses in different parts of the senatorial and rep- 
resentative district, and his great influence was shown in 
the result. 

It was during this year that he was married to Miss 
Clara E., daughter of Dr. Robert Boal, the oldest and lead- 
ing physician of the place, now of Peoria. 

The presidential campaign of 1860 also brought it» 
duties and requirements. He had been the recipient of the 
official favors of the people for ten years without a break. 
His influence was greater than ever, and the demands of the 
campaign required patriotic endeavor, an unselfish giving 
of time and means to the cause. His eloquent voice and 
the arguments at his command were required, and he 
gave them. The canvass through, the victory won, the 
people's choice, Abraham Lincoln, elected, the winter of 
1860-61 was passed in closing his judicial career as judge. 
He had been no careless observer of passing events. 
Southern secession had raised its hydra head and only- 
waited the organization of its forces to show an armed 
front — a defiance of the law by force of arms. 

He had set his affairs in order, and w_hen Sumter was 
fired on he stepped into the ranks, and a company was 
organized, Company B, 11th Regiment Illinois Volunteer 


Infantry. Capt. Fred. W. Shaw, who so gallantly fell at 
the head of his company at Donelson, was elected captain, 
and Judge Fort was elected first lieutenant, and the regi- 
ment was mustered in at Springfield April 22d, in the 
three months' service. This term of service was the train- 
ing school of the regiment, and was spent in the vicinity 
of Cairo, at Villa Ridge and at Bird's Point. Returning, 
he recruited Company I for the same regiment for three 
years, and in order to get them forward promptly, furnished 
the funds to facilitate their equipment from his own means, 
and the Eleventh was again soon on the march, this 
time to the gory fields of Fort Henry, Donelson, Shiloh, 
Vicksburg, and numerous other battles of the war. 

His business qualifications were of such high order that 
after the battle of Fort Donelson President Lincoln selected 
him as quartermaster, and he was detached from his regi- 
ment to be sent wherever duty called, to look after the for- 
warding of supplies. His position was one of peculiar 
trust, often determining great movements. Added to this 
he was* made the custodian of rebel property captured, to 
dispose of it and turn the proceeds into the treasury. 
When the army was operating in the rear of Vicksburg a 
large amount of rebel cotton was captured. The sale of it 
was entrusted to him, and he realized over half a million 
dollars from it. At Holly Springs his papers, government 
vouchers and baggage were captured by the rebels, and 
without them his accounts would be confused and uncertain. 
At great labor and expense to himself he made out dupli- 
cates of everything. His care and oversight over a wide 
field of the army's operations were extensive and very often 
dangerous, as he passed from brigade to division and from 
division to army corps. The Army of the Tennessee was 


his charge until after the capture of Vicksburg, then he pre- 
pared for the Red River expedition. After that was pro- 
vided for, the various raiding expeditions in every direction 
claimed his attention. 

When Sherman's " March to the Sea " was determined 
on, he was appointed chief quartermaster of the Fifteenth 
Army Corps, commanded by Gen. J. A. Logan, giving 
his attention to details and fulfilling its duties. He 
staid "close up to the boys" throughout that memorable 
campaign, and witnessed the surrender of General Johnson 
at Greensboro, and joined in the triumphant march to 
Washington, witnessing the grand review. 

It was at this grand ovation to the Nation's soldiery 
that many thousands of officers and privates laid aside " the 
pomp and circumstance of glorious war " and departed 
•from Washington to their different states to the points 
assigned, to receive their pay and honorable discharge — 
and what was more gratifying to them, the grand welcome 
from their fellow-citizens. Not so with Col. Fort. The 
country had yet further need for his services and he was 
sent to Texas, to the " Southwestern Department," to close 
up the accounts of the government with all the regiments 
in that branch of the service. This duty required his ser- 
vices until late in the spring of 1866, when he settled his 
accounts with the government, and they were found correct. 
During his administration of the quartermaster's duties in 
the different departments to which he was called, millions 
of dollars passed through his hands, and every cent was re- 
ligiously accounted for. On his return to his home in the 
early summer of 1866 he resumed the practice of law at 
Lacon and giving attention to private business, which was 
large. But his respite from public service was short. The 


people of his senatorial district knew the man, and when 
the republican convention met in September following to 
select a candidate, Col. Fort was chosen without any effort 
on his part ; " the office sought the man," and at the No- 
vember election he was elected from the district composing 
the counties of Peoria, Marshall, Woodford and Putnam, 
and in January, 1867, he took his seat among the people's 

In this new field he took front rank among the "work- 
ing members, many of the laws then passed bearing the 
impress of his formative hand. He was a member of 
several of the most important committees. As chairman of 
the penitentiary committee he secured the passage of the 
law giving convicts credit for good behavior, to be placed 
to their credit on the time of their sentence. 

When his term expired he declined a re-election, and 
was succeeded by Hon. Mark Bangs, also a citizen of Lacon 
and a strong personal friend. He retired from public life 
and devoted himself to his law practice and the management 
of his large private business. Col. Fort was a man of 
business, careful and attentive in the management of his 
private affairs, as he was in his public life. He carefully 
applied his earnings at the outset of his official life to in- 
vestments in real estate, some at that time bought at gov- 
ernment price, and in after years made investments in Ne- 
braska and other western lands. So he found in 1870 that" 
he had a large estate to manage, and as he was improving 
his lands it was necessary for him to have some respite from 
official duties. 

In 1872, under the new apportionment, the counties of 
Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford, Livingston, Woodford and Mar- 
shall were formed into the Eighth Congressional District, 

408 FIFTY years' recollections. 

anil the people of the new district began to cast about for 
the man to represent their interests in Congress. Almost 
all of the counties had their " favorite sons." Kankakee 
presented her brilliant Starr, Iroquois her gleaming, sharp 
and shining Blades, Livington presented her Senatorial 
Ajax Strevell, and Marshall the impregnable, invulnera- 
ble and strong Fort. The other two counties held in re- 
serve as " dark horses," men who, Barkis-like, were 
" willin " to have a lightning stroke in the shape of a nomi- 
nation to Congress, our old friend Bayne, of Woodford, 
being on the tender hooks of expectancy. 

Such was the political situation when the Congressional 
Convention met at Fairbury in August, 1872. The 
aspirants with their friends were early on the ground. It 
was an animated but friendly contest. Each competitor, 
while making his best effort to succeed, was on the most 
•cordial terms with his opponents. After many ballotings 
-and consultations it was manifest that there would be a 
break. Livingston county was the vulnerable point. 
Strevell's friends were willing to yield, and from Col. 
Fort's general acquaintance in that county it was under- 
stood who would get the votes of that delegation. 

The Livingston aud Ford delegations came over to 
Fort, and the other aspirants, understanding what the 
result would be soon, withdrew, and he received the unan- 
imous nomination of the convention, thus showing that he 
still held his old place in the affections of the people. 

He was elected in the following November, and contin- 
ued to be re-elected to each succeding Congress until 1878, 
his last term ending March 4, 1881. His record in Con- 
gress was satisfactory to his entire constituency, even his 
political opponents conceded honesty of purpose, many of 


them at each recurring election casting their votes for him. 
In 1880 he absolutely declined a re-election. His am- 
bition for political preferment, never strong, was fully 
satisfied. A great many of his friends in many parts of the 
state, through the press and public meetings, presented his 
name as a candidate for governor in 1880, but he took no 
active part in the matter. At the Republican State Con- 
vention he received a very flattering vote, but the majority 
on the third ballot nominated Hon. S. M. Culloni. 

His record in Congress was most successful. He 
made his impress on the legislation of the country on all 
the important questions that were settled during the time 
he was in congress. The currency question, remonetization 
of silver, resumption and many others, as presented, received 
his careful attention. His methods were honest, open and 
frank. He was a man of business, careful and attentive, 
possessing wonderful judgment and a thorough knowledge 
of men. 

In summing up his qualities as a legislator a journalist 
says of him: " Without bluster or pretension he steadily 
pursued his way, and accomplished greater results than any 
congressman in the West. His manner was dignified but 
approachable and courteous, and his personal popularity 
absolutely unbounded." 

Although never seeking office no man ever had more 
official honors thrust upon him. When his name was pre- 
sented as a candidate from an authoritative body — a 
convention met for that purpose — then he entered the can- 
vass. He was always successful, from the time he was 
elected sheriff until his last election to Congress, he never 
knew or felt the sensation or feeling of disappointment 
supposed to attach to a defeated candidate. 


He went into the army from pure patriotism, volunteer- 
ing in the ranks, but the men knew " in whom to trust,"' 
and called him to direct affairs. It was no management on 
his part that he was taken from his company and appointed ■ 
a' quartermaster; the position came to him unsought, with- 
out his knowledge, and came directly from the man that 
knew him so well — Abraham Lincoln. 

The author speaks feelingly, having a knowledge of the 
matters whereof he writes, and speaks from facts learned in 
youthful days sitting on the same benches, writing at the- 
same desk, warming at the same broad fireplace at the old 
school house described at the beginning of this chapter, the 
author being seven years the senior, but all the same a 
boy. of that period, full of sympathy for boy-kind, and par- 
ticipating with the younger scholars in all their sports. 

Col. Fort died at Lacon January 13, 1883, from 
embolism, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. Death came 
suddenly, and after his prostration he never rallied to con- 
sciousness. When the stroke came he was engaged near 
his residence in his ordinary business, just at the moment 
training a young colt, when it was noticed that his head 
dropped, he threw up his arms and fell backward to the 
ground, living a few hours, but not conscious. Mrs. Fort 
and son Robert were absent on a visit to her two brothers 
in Chicago. The sad news was wired to her. She returned 
by special train furnished by President Blackstone of the 
Chicago & Alton railroad, but the honored husband was 
unconscious, and died soon after her and her son's arrival. 

Thus passed from life, in the zenith of his powers of 
mind and great usefulness, Greenberry L. Fort, the warm: 
friend, the useful citizen, the incorruptible official, — strick- 
en suddenly while supposed to be in robust health, his- 


death came to his old neighbors, to the people of the state 
and country suddenly, like a clap of thunder from a clear 
sky. All sorrowed for him. He was an intimate personal 
friend of thousands, and although the weather was very 
inclement there was a large attendance at his funeral. 
The services were short but impressive and appropriate,, 
and all that was mortal of the citizen, soldier, and the 
statesman was laid away, leaving pleasant memories long 
to be remembered by all who knew him. 



Away back in the fifties, when people of our then young 
state first commenced thinking of divesting themselves of 
the swaddling clothes of the frontier and launching out in 
improved methods of farming, and devising plans that 
would improve, and at the same time beautify, there 
came to this state a young man of plain habits, correct 
morals, endowed with good judgment, and of most indus- 
trious application to business. These qualities drew him to 
us, and since that time we have numbered him among our 
valued friends. 

William H. Mann was born in Adair county, Ken- 
tucky, April 21, 1827, and was the youngest of a family of 
five children. His mother died when he was but two 
years old. When he was four years old his father moved 
to Montgomery county, ^Illinois, and enlisted in the force 
then being organized to defend the settlers against Black 
Hawk and his murderous hordes in the northwest part of 
the state. His father inherited the old Daniel Boone hos- 
tility to the Indian, and whenever there was a chance he 
improved the opportunity to rid the community of them.. 
He was a brave soldier and a good man. When William 
was eight years old his father died, and with one of His 
brothers and only sister he returned to Kentucky, where 
part of the time he did such work as boys can do, attend- 


ing a few weeks each year such schools as that part of the 
state afforded. 

At twelve years old he went to Lewis county, Missouri, 
and worked on a farm for his board and clothing, going to 
school only six months during the six years he staid there. 
Then he returned again to Kentucky, where most of his 
friends resided. 

After visiting friends a short time he went to Texas, 
and soon after arriving there enlisted in a company of 
Texas Rangers, entered the United States service when the 
Mexican war was declared, participated in several engage- 
ments, and when his term of service expired he was hon- 
orably discharged. 

While in Texas he was induced to prepare and pack 
for market a few bushels of Osage Orange seed ; a tedious 
operation. When the seeds were packed he started north 
with them, landing in Peoria in February, 1848. This 
was the pioneer introduction of the Osage Orange to the 
Western prairies, and dates the commencement of that en- 
terprise. Mr. Mann failed to sell his seed, as nurserymen 
and farmers were not then acquainted with the value of the 
shrub, and did not know whether it could be acclimated. 
Here he became acquainted with Messrs. Harkness & 
Overman, then the most extensive nurserymen in that part 
of the state. 

They encouraged him to engage in the growing of 
hedge plants. He did so, and it was a success, and. the 
business has been successfully carried on ever since ; some 
years producing fifty million plants. He located near 
Bloomington on part of the land now occupied by the city 
of Normal, and in connection with Mr. Overman he en- 
gaged in the general nursery business, being a general 


benefactor to the whole country, supplying fruit trees, 
hedge plants, and trees for shade and ornament. 

In October, 1851, he married Miss Elizabeth Abraham, 
of Bloomington, a practical, industrious, intelligent young 
lady, to whom he ascribes a great part of the credit of his 
great success in the years since then. To them have been 
born nine sous, six of them still living. 

When the success of the Osage Orange was assured as 
a hedge shrub Mr. Mann engaged extensively in the Osage 
seed business, making almost annual trips to Texas to 
make his contracts. From his hundreds of bushels of seed 
he supplied growers of plants and nurserymen throughout 
the prairie portion of Illinois and some in other western 
states. He extended operations to other counties planting 
a nursery in Marshall county and another in LaSalle county. 

The years of the fifties rolled on, he enjoying the pros- 
perity due to incessant and laborious attention to business, 
his operations extending in proportion. The year 1860, that 
portentious year, big with events of the future, fore- 
shadowed by the result of the presidential election, stopped 
further communication with the south of a commercial 
character till the year after the war. It also suspended the 
trade in Osage Orange seed, but the stock of plants that he 
was growing advanced greatly in price, as did other nursery 
stock during the war. 

On the breaking out of the war Mr. Mann contributed 
his aid to fill up the first quotas of troops by time given 
and means furnished: Known in nearly every county of 
Central and Northern Illinois for his public spirit and in- 
fluence, it is nothing strange that when a company for a 
regiment then being organized was being raised in his 
neighborhood, the eyes of all should be directed towards 


him to command it, and Company I, Ninety-fourth Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry, Col. W. W. Orme commanding, chose 
him as captain, he never losing a day from duty during the 
two years he remained in the service. 

After serving thus faithfully he resigned his commission 
for the purpose of organizing a colored regiment, but at 
the time there were so many permissions granted for that 
purpose, the quota required in that branch of the service 
was filled, and his patriotic intention of furnishing the gov- 
ernment a regiment and commanding it cculd not be carried 
out. Captain Mann was a favorite with his superior 
officers, always at his post, and as he never used intoxica- 
ting liquors they knew he could be trusted. 

He returned from the war and resumed his place in 
conducting the business that his partner, the late C. R. 
Overman, had successfully carried forward during his ab- 
sence. When the war was over he resumed business rela- 
tions with Texas, and again visited that state, the scene of 
his first military experience. His old friends there who 
survived the war recognized that genial and honest face, 
covered by the great broad-brimmed hat. They knew that 
his advent among them meant honest trading, prompt pay 
in Yankee money — the much-desired and sought after 
greenbacks, and this " bridged over the bloody chasm," 
and again for years the trade was established so important 
to the farming interests in the prairie states. In 1868 he 
was attracted to the great artesian belt in Iroquois county, 
and made a large purchase of land adjoining the new city 
of Gilman, at the junction of the Illinois Central and 
Wabash railroads. 

He sold his property at Normal, removing his family to 
his new purchase, and inaugurated large improvements, 


planted out over two hundred acres in fruit-seeds of all 
kinds that are hardy in this climate, also many acres in 
Osage seed to supply the largely increasing demand. He 
commenced at once the erection of a large brick house on 
the most elevated portion of his land, immediately adjoin- 
ing the city and overlooking it and the surrounding country 
for miles. This house was fitted up with all the modern 
improvements, he intending it for his permanent home. In 
the fifteen years past he has prospered, and his sons have 
grown up around him. He has given each a good practical 
education, they inheriting from both father and mother 
business tact and industry. 

Several years ago he added the business of importing 
and breeding Norman horses to his enterprises, and to that, 
some four years ago, the importation of Holstein cattle. 
In all his business ventures he has been a successful man. 
His stud of horses and herd of Holsteins carry off large 
premiums at the fairs. 

In benevolent donations he has been liberal. His 
church connections since he arrived at man's estate have 
been with the Church of the Disciples, or Christian Church. 
In politics he is an unwavering republican. As in his 
army experiences offices of trust have been thrust upon 
him. Soon after his removal to Gilman he was, by unani- 
mous designation of his fellow-citizens, appointed postmas- 
ter, and held that office until he resigned it two years ago. 

In December, 1881, Mr. Mann visited Florida, and was 
so well pleased with it that in October last he removed 
there, leaving his extensive business at Gilman in charge 
of his sons. He will make that state his permanent home. 
He has purchased a large body of land, embracing several 
clear water lakes, on the line of the Florida Southern 


Railway, fifteen miles west of the St. Johns river, where he 
has laid out a town, a railroad station, established a post- 
office, Mannville, and will plant out two hundred acres of 
orange trees as soon as the work can be done, besides other 
fruits that his superior judgment will enable him to select 
that will succeed in that locality. 

It is the province of our work to recognize merit in 
individuals in their success in conducting great industries. 
In Capt. Mann we have one of this type. Without 
educational advantages, an orphan, an untutored boy, com- 
mencing life as a soldier boy, where the merit was in well 
performing his part, he entered upon a business life when 
scarcely attained to full manhood ; he filled a place in the 
advancement and improvement of the country that proba- 
bly no other man would have filled. He succeeded, and 
when the dark days of '61 came, that tried men's love of 
country — their patriotism — he stepped into the ranks. His 
early army experience pointed to him to lead the little 
band, and the soldier boys were not disappointed in their 


hon. james McCartney. 


James McCartney was born in Perry county, Pa., Feb. 
14, 1835. He was of Scotch ancestry, but his parents were- 
of North Ireland birth. 

When the subject of our sketch was only six years old 
his father moved to Lawrence county, Pa., and resided 
there for about five years, then moved to Trumbull county, 
Ohio, and engaged in farming. During the winter months 
James went to school, advanced rapidly in his studies, 
and entered the high school with the greatest energy 
and diligence and when winter terms of school offered an 
an opportunity he obtained a position as a teacher. When 
his term expired, he in turn became a student at the North 
Western Seminary, at Farmington, Ohio, and during his 
college life here he often visited Hiram College, Ohio, then 
presided over by Jas. A. Garfield. In 1856 he entered the 
law office of Matthew Birchard, at Warren, Ohio, and 
commenced the study of law, where he remained about one 
year, and in October, 1857, went to Monmouth, Illinois, 
in the office of Harding & Reed, where he finished 
reading, and was admitted to the bar in 1858, and immedi- 
ately entered into partnership with Mr. Reed. In 1859 
he removed to Galva, Henry county, Illinois, and success- 
fully practiced law until the war broke out. On the 19th 
-of April, 1861, he enlisted in a company raised at Galva, 

Hon. James McCartney, Attorney-General, 


and was elected first lieutenant. The company was mus- 
tered into service as Company D, Seventeenth Illinois 
Infantry. After serving faithfully until after the battle of 
Fort Donelson his health failed from exposure, and he was 
compelled to resign his commission. He visited the Lake 
Superior regions, and recovering his health, returned and 
again entered the service as first lieutenant in Company G. 
112th Illinois Infantry, Col. Thomas J. Henderson com- 
manding. He was soon after promoted to a captaincy and 
served through the war, and mustered out with the regi- 
ment at Camp Douglas in July, 1865. "While in the 
service he was engaged on special duty as judge-advocate 
of court martials, and for nearly a year as assistant adjutant 
general of the Third Brigade, Third Division Cavalry 
Corps, Army of the Ohio. After being mustered out of the 
service in 1865, he immediately went to Fairfield, Wayne" 
county, 111., and again commenced the practice of law, in 
which he has engaged ever since. 

At the Republican State Convention held at Springfield 
May 21, 1880, he was nominated for attorney -general and 
was elected, proving by the general satisfaction given that 
he is very acceptable to the people. 

He possesses great legal ability, competent in every 
respect to fill the position of chief legal adviser to the state. 
Personally we have enjoyed much pleasure in his company, 
and always found him deeply engaged in giving considera- 
tion to his official duties, which are very laborious. 

He has been called to Washington to argue cases before 
the supreme court in which the state was interested, and 
takes rank among the ablest lawyers of the state. 



In giving place to successful results from scientific re- 
search we deem it due to the pioneers in a new industry 
to give prominence and encouragement to their enterprise. 

As soon as the publication of our work was decided 
upon, we wrote to Professors Weber and Scovell to furnish 
for publication a full statement of the advancement made in 
perfecting the manufacture of sugar from the sorghum cane. 
They have cheerfully responded to our request, and before 
giving their very satisfactory article place, we will give a 
brief sketch of these eminent scientists. 

H. A. Weber, Ph. D., was born at Clinton ville, near 
Columbus, Ohio, July 12th, 1845. He attended Otterbien 
University at Westerville, Ohio, from 1861 to 1863, then 
went to Europe and entered the Polytechnic School at 
Kaiserstantern, in the Palatinate, from 1863 to 1866, and 
from these scientific schools was advanced in 1866 to the 
University of Munich, Bavaria; attended until 1868, where 
he studied chemistry under Baron Von Liebig and Dr. 
Reischauer, and mineralogy under Von Kobell, graduating 
at all these institutions with honors. Returning to the 
United States he engaged in the chemical department of the 
Geological Survey of Ohio from 1869 to 1874. In the 
latter year he accepted the chair of professor of chemistry 
and mineralogy at the Industrial University at Champaign,. 


•filling it acceptably until the fall of 1882, and during the 
autumn of last year was engaged in the manufacture of 
sugar. ' We give place to his able paper on the experi- 
ments in growing and manufacturing the sorghum product 
into sugar. 

M. A. Scovell, M. S., was born at Broadway, New 
Jersey, February 26, 1855, and entered the Illinois Indus- 
trial University in 1871, and graduated in the school of 
chemistry with the degree of B. S., in 1875, and at once 
occupied the position of First Assistant in the Chemical 
Department until 1878, then was offered and accepted the 
chair of Professor of Agricultural Chemistry from 1878 to 
1882, when with Prof. Weber he engaged in developing the 
sorghum sugar manufacturing interests. We give the suc- 
cessful results reached in the very able paper given below : 

By Prof. H. A. Weber, Ph. D. 

Through the results obtained in the manufacture of 
sugar on a commercial scale in the sugar works at Cham- 
paign, 111., and Rio Grande, N. J., in the season of 1882, a 
new impetus has been given to the sorghum industry. 
The production of good, marketable sugar by the process 
employed at the Champaign sugar works is no longer a 
matter of experiment, but an assured success. The high 
degree of interest with which the press and the public in 
general followed the development of these results, is the 
best proof of the great importance which is universally 
attached to this new industry. Sugar has long ceased to be 
regarded as a luxury, but is everywhere considered as one 
of the most necessary and indispensable articles of food. 
For the supply of this important substance the American 
people have hitherto been almost entirely dependent upon 
foreign countries, only about one-ninth of the demand 

422 FIFTY years' recollections. 

being produced at home. During the running season the 
works at Champaign were visited by persons from all parts 
of the country, as well as by representatives of foreign 
countries, and even the most skeptical minds, on observing 
the quantity and quality of the sugar and the ease and cer- 
tainty with which it was manufactured, were convinced 
that the enterprise was practicable, and that before many 
years the United States would produce its home demand 
for sugar and syrup. Any enterprise by which this desir- 
able end can be reached should receive the hearty support 
of all that are interested in public welfare. From the 
results already obtained, coupled with the proverbial enter- 
prise of the American people, it may be safely claimed that 
at no distant day the production of sugar from sorghum or 
northern cane will be one of the leading industries of the 
land, bestowing its wide-spread benefits upon the farmer, 
the laborer, the manufacturer and the public in general. 

The establishment of the sugar factory at Champaign 
was the result of the experiments with sorghum cane made 
by Professors Weber and Scovell in the seasons of 1880 
and 1881. The object of these investigations was to de- 
termine whether or not the production of sugar from 
sorghum was feasible in the great corn belt of the north- 
west, in which Champaign, where the experiments were 
made, is located. Up to this time the production of sugar 
from sorghum was an open question. In France the sub- 
ject had been investigated many years before, and was 
dropped in favor of the sugar beet. In our own country 
scientists as well as practical manufacturers of sorghum 
syrup were arrayed upon two sides. One class ignored 
entirely the idea of making sugar profitably, while the 
other claimed that it was feasible. The advocates of sugar 
production, however, had the great disadvantage in the 
controversy of not being able to uphold their theory by 
well-established facts and results. So also the opinions 
were divided on almost every important point in the treat- 
ment of the cane and juice. From the many conflicting 
reports in regard to the whole subject and its minor details 


no definite conclusions could be drawn, and it was found 
necessary, in order to prosecute the work in an intelligent 
manner, to treat it as an entirely new field of investigation. 

The work of Professors Weber and Scovell occupied 
two distinct fields : first, scientific researches in which the 
nature of sorghum cane was studied, and second, practical 
experiments in making sugar. The results of their labor- 
ious investigations have been given to the public in full 
and need not be referred to here in detail. 

From their reports the following conclusions may be 
drawn with reference to the manufacture of crystalizable 
sugar : v 

1. Seed should be planted as early as possible. 
Wherever late maturing varieties ripen about one-half of 
the land should be planted with early amber, and the other 
half with one or all of the following late varieties, the 
preference being in the order given : Link's Hybrid, Early 
Orange, Siberian. Kansas Orange is also a good late 
variety for making sugar, but is very liable to fall flat in a 
storm, and hence cannot be recommended for general plant- 

2. Sorghum requires hot summer weather for rapid 
and complete development, and whenever extremely hot 
summers prevail, as in the great corn-belt of the north- 
west, the development of the cane holds pace with the for- 
mation of the seed, and the maximum quantity of cane 
sugar is reached when the seed is in the hardening dough. 
After this stage is reached the quantity of cane sugar slowly 
diminishes. Hence under these conditions the proper time 
to begin harvesting is when the seed is in the hardening 
dough. In seasons like that of 1882 with its unprece- 
dented low summer temperature, and in such portions of 
the country where the average summer temperature is con- 
siderably lower than in this section, the amount of <" me 
sugar may increase for two or three weeks after the har- 
dening dough stage is reached. In these cases, the proper- 
time for harvesting the crop should be determined by peri- 
odic analyses of the cane. 

424 FIFTY years' recollections. 

3. After the cane is cut the cane sugar or crystalizable 
sugar is gradually changed into invert or uncrystalizable 
sugar, and in the course of time no trace of crystalizable 
sugar remains in the stalks. For this reason it is evident 
that the cane should be crushed as fast as it is cut. Cane 
which is cut iu the evening or afternoon may be kept until 
the next morning without any serious loss in sugar. 

4. If possible the leaves should be removed from the 
cane, as they tend to lessen the amount of sugar, and in- 
crease the amount of impurity in the juice, but if the 
necessary labor for stripping by hand can not be obtained, 
the cane may be crushed with the leaves on. In no case, 
however, should the stripping be done far in advance of 
the cutting. All cane should be cut on the same day on 
which it is stripped, especially if it is not thoroughly ripe. 
An example will explain the reason of this precaution. A 
plot of cane was analyzed when it was in the hardening 
dough, a portion of which had been stripped a week before. 
The specific gravity 6f the juice of the unstripped cane 
was 1.058, while that of the stripped cane was 1.037. The 
percentage of cane sugar in the former was 8.31, while in 
the latter it was only 4.11. A week later another analysis 
of stripped cane was made, which revealed almost the en- 
tire absence of cane sugar, and a still lower specific 

5. Topping the cane soon after the heads begin to 
appear, and before the seeds show any sign of becoming 
milky, not only hastens the maturity of the cane, but in- 
creases the specific gravity of the juice and the percentage 
of cane sugar. Sorghum seed contains over sixty-three per 
•cent, of starch, and it was supposed that by topping the cane 
at the proper time the material which was to produce this 
starch might be retained in the stalks in the form of sugar. 
The truth of this theory was strikingly shown by actual 

6. Sprouting the seed before planting does not hasten 
the maturity of the same. Six experiments were made in the 
season of 1882 at various times and with different varieties 


•of seed, in order to test this question, but in no case could 
the slightest advantage be noticed from sprouting the seed. 

7. The percentage of sugar in the juice from the lower 
half of the cane is about two per cent, higher than in that 
obtained from the upper half, but the upper part should not 
be discarded as unfit for making sugar. Not more than 
twelve to eighteen inches of the top should be removed. 

8. In order to study the effects of different varieties of 
soil upon the quality of the cane, a large nu'mber of analyses 
were made of fields of cane grown upon virgin prairie, 
prairie which had been under cultivation, timber land 
and Mississippi sand land. The average results did not show 
any greater discrepancies than might have been due to 
locality and mode of planting and cultivation, hence 
sorghum can be grown successfully upon all the varieties 
of soil specified. The co-efficient of purity was by far 
greater in the juice, from the sand land than from any of 
the other varieties of soil. 

9. Fresh barn-yard manure has a very deleterious 
effect upon the quality of sorghum cane. When liberally 
supplied it not only diminishes the percentage of sugar, but 
increases the amount of foreign matter (salts and albumi- 
noids) to such an extent as to make a good defecation of the 

juice impossible, and to render the sugar and molasses when 
made unfit for use. 

10. The application of superphosphate was found highly 
beneficial. Not only did the plat on which it was used 
mature about sixteen days earlier than one which was 
planted at the same time and the same seed for comparison, 
but the percentage of sugar was greatly increased. In a 
very few days after the seed was up this plat gave evi- 
dence of a most vigorous or rapid growth. The stalks were 
strong and firm, and the leaves broad and thrifty. This 
plat would have borne horse cultivation before the weeds 
would have gotten a start, and before the plat planted at 
the same time without the fertilizer would have permitted. 

426 FIFTY years' recollections. 


The object of these investigations was to determine 
■whether any method of the manufacture of the juice into 
syrup could be found which would insure the subsequent 
crystalization of the sugar. With this end in view, and in 
order to have as many data as possible for subsequent ex- 
perimentation another year, a large variety of methods 
were employed, without waiting for the final result of each, 
and without any reference to their practicability of being 
used on a large scale. The apparatus employed was a two- 
horse Victor mill, with three upright rollers, a Cook's evap- 
orator, a small Hedge's centrifugal, scales, tubs, pails, &c. 

1. Experiment with Early Amber, September 18. — The 
cane was quite ripe. Before crushing it was stripped and 
topped, and yielded 48 per cent, of juice, having a specific 
gravity of 1.066. The juice was evaporated without the 
addition of lime or other neutralizing agent and thoroughly 
skimmed, the syrup when cold weighing eleven pounds to 
the gallon. No crystalization of sugar occurred. 

2. Experiment with Early Amber, September 20. — In 
this experiment milk of lime was added to the juice in the 
cold as soon as it came from the mill, the addition being 
made gradually and with constant stirring until a piece of 
of reddened litmus paper was changed to purple when held 
in the juice. Then a solution of tannin and finally an 
equivalent amount of gelatine was added. The liquor was 
then boiled, thoroughly skimmed and concentrated to syrup. 
It being difficult to control the heat with the evaporator 
employed, the syrup was scorched and tasted like extract of 
licorice. The syrup .crystal i zed readily. 

3. Experiment with Early Amber, September 21. — As 
in experiment No. 1, the juice was evaporated in its natural 
state to a syrup, which, upon evolving, weighed eleven 
pounds to the gallon. No crystalization of the sugar took 
place. This syrup was afterwards concentrated farther, but 
still no crystalized sugar separated. Failing to make the 
sugar crystalize this syrup was subjected to an analysis, and 


it was found that the ratio of grape sugar to caue sugar was 
as 1 to 2.2, while in the juice from which the syrup was 
made the ratio of grape to cane sugar was as 1 to 4. This 
proves that a large portion of the cane sugar was changed 
to uncrystalizable sugar during the process of evaporation, 
which accounts for the failure of the sugar to crystalize. 

4. Experiment with Early Amber, September 22. — 
The juice was rendered alkaline with milk of lime and then 
neutralized with aluminum sulphate. On evaporation of 
the liquor to a syrup, which weighed 11 to 11J to the gal- 
lon, a good crystalization of sugar ensued. 

5. Experiment with Orange, September 23. — The- 
juice was neutralized with milk of lime, tannin and gelatine 
added, and evaporated to a syrup weighing twelve pounds to 
the gallon. The color of the syrup was very dark. In a 
day or two the sugar began to crystalize, and a melado was 
obtained which yielded 49.1 per ceut. by weight of brown 
sugar. The sugar was separated by the centrifugal machine. 

The products of this experiment, calculated for one acre 
of cane, were as follows : 

(jallons of juice 754 

Gallons of syrup 120.6 

Pounds of sugar 710.6 

6. Experiment with Orange, September 24. — The juice 
was neutralized with milk of lime, tannin, gelatine and 
aluminum sulphate added, and then evaporated to a syrup 
of eleven pounds to the gallon. The color of the syrup 
was very light, and the sugar began to crystalize in two 
days after the syrup was made. 

7. Experiment with Orange, September 27. — In this- 
experiment the juice was merely neutralized with lime and 
evaporated to a syrup weighing eleven to twelve pounds 
per gallon. The syrup obtained was of a dark color, but it 
began to granulate in a few days forming a very heavy 

8. Experiment with Orange, September 27. — The juice 
was treated with milk of lime, and then sulphurous acid 

428 FIFTY years' recollections. 

was used to neutralize any lime remaining uncombined in 
the juice. Ou evaporating to a heavy syrup the sugar 
began to crystalize while the syrup was cooling. 

9. Experiment with Orange, October 1. — The juice 
was treated with milk of lime and aluminum sulphate and 
evaporated to a heavy syrup. Granulation ensued in three 
days after the syrup was made. 

10. Experiment with Orange, October 1. — As in ex 
periment No. 3, with early Amber, here also the juice was 
evaporated in the usual manner employed for making 
sorghum syrup without the addition of lime or other neut- 
ralizing agents. After allowing the syrup to stand five 
weeks, only a few crystals of sugar were formed. An anal- 
ysis of the syrup was then made, and the percentage of cane 
sugar was found to be 38.90, while that .of the grape sugar 
was 26.91 per cent. Here, again, an undue proportion of 
cane sugar was found to be invested, which explains why 
no granulation took place. This same experiment was 
repeated later in the fall after the cane had been ripe for a 
long time, and a like result was obtained. 

11. A part of the Early Amber was saved for a final 
experiment at the close of the season when the juice had 
become quite acid. It was neutralized with milli of lime, 
and then treated with sulphate of aluminum. The syrup 
obtained was very dark, but a very good granulation was 


The object of the experiments in 1880 to determine a 
reliable method for producing granulation in sorghum 
syrup was more readily attained than was expected. By 
careful examination of the experiments as described, it will 
be seen that wherever the juice was neutralized with milk 
of lime, whether other re-agents were used or not, granulation 
ensued, providing a melado or mush sugar which yielded 
in some cases nearly fifty per cent, of dry sugar, but when 
the juice was evaporated in its natural coudition without 
neutralization, little or no crystalization of sugar occurred. 


The cause of this failure to granulate was shown to be due 
to the fact that in the latter case the cane sugar was largely 
converted into grape or uncrystalizable sugar. In those 
experiments in which other re-agents, as tannin, gelatine, 
sulphurous acid and aluminum sulphate were employed in 
connection with milk of lime, the results did not show any 
marked advantage over those in which lime was used alone, 
except where sulphurous acid or aluminum sulphate was 
added to counteract the evil effects of an excess of lime, the 
syrup and sugar obtained were of a lighter color, all of the 
melado was tough and gummy, and the sugar could be sep- 
arated in the centrifugal machine only with great difficulty. 
Besides, the sugar in all the experiments when purged, was 
of a gummy nature and had the characteristic sorghum 
taste and odor. 

One important point, however, was established by those 
experiments, namely, that the granulation of the syrup 
could not be relied upon unless the juice was neutralized 
before evaporation, and that when properly neutralized 
and defecated, the production of a melado rich enough in 
sugar to yield 710 pounds of dry sugar to the acre of ordi- 
nary cane was ensured. 

This result, in connection with the information imparted 
by the scientific investigations made, practically solved the 
problem of manufacturing sugar from sorghum. There was 
now nothing left to do but to make an improvement in the 
process of manufacturing the sugar by which the foreign 
matter in the juice, which is not eliminated by the ordinary 
method of defecation, should be removed. This improve- 
ment in the art of making sugar from sorghum was found in 
use of bone-black or its equivalent for the purification the 
of the juice. This subject will be referred to further on, 
when discussing the process of making sugar on a large 

Of the experiments in making sugar in 1881, only one 
need be cited here. In the year before an approximate 
analysis of cane was made, which revealed the fact that 
only a little more than one-third of the sugar actually 

430 FIFTY years' recollections. 

present in the cane was obtained in the form of dry sugar. 
The remainder was either lost in the bagasse, or was con- 
tained in the molasses drained from sugar. To recover a 
portion at least of this great waste of sugar was one of the 
objects of these further experiments. 

Experiment with Early Amber. — The cane selected for 
this experiment was grown upon virgin prairie, and the 
juice had the following composition: 

Specific gravity 1.072 

Cane sugar, per cent 13.66 

Grape sugar, per cent 3.00 

The cane was stripped and topped before crushing. 
The juice obtained was carefully neutralized with milk of 
lime in the cold, then heated to the boiling point and 
skimmed. The liquor was then evaporated to about one- 
half of its original volume, while any scum that arose was 
removed. It was next filtered through bone coal and then 
evaporated to crystalization. In order to recover the 
sugar left in the bagasse, this was packed into large barrels 
as it came from the mill and completely exhausted with 
water. The percolate thus obtained was treated like juice. 
The sugar began to crystalize while the syrup cooled. 
Two days afterwards it was separated from the molasses 
with the centrifugal machine. The results of this experi- 
ment are'here given in detail: 


Pounds of stripped cane with tops 18,535.3 

Pounds of stripped cane without tops 15,765.9 

Pounds of juice obtained 6,545.6 

Per cent, of juice of stripped and topped cane ' 41.5 

Pounds of melado from juice 1,298.7 

Pounds of melado from bagasse 253!9 

Total weight of melado ' \^r-,%6 

Pounds of sugar from juice '...'.' 504 

Pounds of sugar from bagasse 104 7 

Total weight of sugar 608 '7 

Pounds of molasses from j uice 794/7 

Pounds of molasses from bagasse '.." 1492 

, Total weight of molasses ' Q439 



Pounds of juice 830.4 

Pounds of sugar 77.2 

Pounds of molasses 119.7 

The sugar and molasses obtained were of good quality 
and entirely free from any unpleasant taste or odor. The 
same may be said of all of the products obtained from the 
various experiments made in the manner described above, 
with the single exception of that in which the cane was 
grown upon an abandoned barn-yard, containing large 
quantities of fresh manure. The quality of the sugar 
especially created an unusual degree of interest wherever 
it was shown, many persons doubting that it was made 
from sorghum. 

The next thing to be considered more in detail is the 
nature of sorghum juice and the method for making sugar 
employed in the experiments just described and shown in 
the season of 1882, to be perfectly adapted to the manu- 
facture of sugar on a large scale. 


Sorghum juice in its normal condition has an acid 
reaction and contains, according to the varieties of the 
plant and to different conditions of climate, cultivation, 
etc., from 8 to 14 per cent, of cane sugar, from 2 to 5 per 
cent, of glucose or grape sugar, and from 1 J to 3 per cent, 
of foreign matter, consisting of nitrogenous substances 
(albuminoid), gum, vegetable acids, mineral salts, chloro- 
phyl and starch, the last two ingredients being held in 

When this juice in its natural state is heated and evap- 
orated, as done in the ordinary way of making syrup, the 
following changes take place : As the temperature rises to 
the boiling point a portion of the nitrogenous matter co- 
agulates, carrying with it all of the bodies held in suspen- 
, sion exceptiug the starch. This substance is contained in 
the juice in the form of minute white grains, many times 

432 FIFTY years' recollections. 

smaller than the starch grains contained in sorghum seed. 
When the temperature of the liquid rises to 60 degrees 
centigrade, these grains swell and burst, forming what is 
known as starch paste. On continued boiling this starch 
paste becomes soluble and remains in the syrup in the form 
of the worst kind of gummy matter. The greater part of 
the nitrogenous matter, as well as the gum, mineral salts 
and vegetable acids also remain. Even if no other change 
had taken place it would be impossible under these condi- 
tions to make the production of sugar a success, as the 
melado obtained would be unmanageable and the sugar and 
molasses, if separated, would be unmarketable. But in 
addition to these difficulties comes the fact that the cane and 
grape sugar are no longer iu the same proportion in which 
they originally existed in the juice. It is well known to 
chemists that a solution of cane sugar acidulated with a 
mineral acid, as hydrochloric or sulphuric, is rapidly 
changed into inverted or grape sugar on the application of 
heat. The vegetable acids always present, even in fresh 
sorghum juice, act in a similar manner, the amount of inver- 
sion which they produce depending upon the acidity of the 
juice and the length of time employed in defecating and 
evaporating. These considerations lead to the first and 
most essential step in the treatment of sorghum juice for 
the production of sugar, namely the neutralization of the 
acids. A great many chemicals could be employed for this 
purpose, but milk of lime is the best and at the same time 
the cheapest. As the acidity of the juice varies in differ- 
ent kinds of sorghum and at different times in the same 
variety, no definite proportion of juice and lime can be es- 
tablished. The point of neutralization must be found by 
trial with the aid of litmus paper. This part of the pro- 
cess requires skill and care. That the acids should be neu- 
tralized has already been shown. On the other hand an 
undue excess of lime prevents thorough defecation by elimi- 
nating caustic alkalies, which dissolve up a portion of the 
coagulated albuminoids, and also cause too great a discolora- 
tion of the syrup. The best results are obtained when the 


juice is rendered as nearly neutral as possible. When thus 
neutralized no appreciable loss of cane occurs upon subse- 
quent defecation and evaporation. If, however, the juice 
were evaporated to crystalization without further purifica- 
tion, the other difficulties mentioned above would still ob- 
tain, excepting, that by the use of lime, a greater propor- 
tion of the nitrogenous matter would be precipitated in the 
process of defecation. 

The liquor, after defecation therefore, contains cane 
sugar, grape sugar, nitrogenous matter, gum, soluble starch 
and mineral salts. Upon the crystalization of the cane 
sugar, as well as its separation from the molasses, the other 
constituents have an injurious effect, and they exhibit this 
effect in the following order : First, nitrogenous matter; 
second, gum and soluble starch ; third, grape sugar and 
mineral salts. For further purification the liquor, after 
being concentrated to a density of 20 to 30 degrees Beaume, 
is filtered through bone-black. The nitrogenous matter, 
gum and soluble starch, which are by far the most injurious, 
belong to a class of bodies known as colloids. These sub- 
stances are tenaciously retained by bone-black when their 
solutions came in contact with it. The mineral salts are 
also to a great extent removed by filtration through bone- 
black. When thus filtered the liquor no longer presents 
any obstacle for the production of the very best marketable 
sugar in paying quantities and on a large scale. During 
the season of 1882 twenty-six strikes of melado were 
made in the vacuum pan, and in every case the granulation 
was effected in the pan itself. The crystals were started 
with part of a charge and built up as is done in sugar 
houses. The melado, as it leaves the vacuum pan, should 
either be purged by means of centrifugals as soon as it has 
cooled down to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or should be 
put into crystalizing wagons and kept in a room where 
temperature should be maintained at about the same point. 


434 FIFTY years' recollections. 


Sorghum has one great advantage over all other sugar 
producing plants in that it yields an abundant crop of ripe 
grain. As soon as the results in the production of sugar, 
as described, warranted the conclusion that the establish- 
ment of an immense industry based upon the cultivation of 
sorghum was feasible, the question , of the best use to be 
made of the seed became an important one. 

According to the analysis of Professors Weber and 
Scovell, sorghum seed has the following composition in 100 
parts : 

Starch 63.09 

Sugar , 0.56 

Fiber .* 6.35 

Albuminoid 7,35 

Oil 3.08 

Tannin 5.42 

Ash 0.64 

Water 12.51 

Total 99.00 

Although in its general composition sorghum seed 
resembles corn or other grain, as the analysis shows, yet it 
is a question whether the large amount of tannin contained 
in it would not prevent its liberal use as a food for animals. 
There is one use, however, to which the seed is eminently 
adapted, on account of the large percentage of starch and 
the comparatively small amount of albuminoids which it 
contains, namely, the manufacture of glucose. A number 
of experiments in this connection were tried, and it was 
found that glucose could be made directly from the seed, 
without the tedious and expensive process of producing 
starch first. In this manner the manufacture of glucose 
from the seed can be carried on in the same works and 
with the same machinery used in making sugar and 
molasses from the stalks, after the season for crushing the 
cane is over, thus giving employment to the works for 
nearly the whole year, and putting the sorghum sugar 
industry on a firmer basis. An average field of sorghum 


will yield about twenty bushels of seed per acre, arid the 
results of trials in making glucose show that four gallons 
per bushel can readily be obtained. 


In the fall of 1881 Professor Weber received an invita- 
tion to address a meeting of the Champaign Citizens' Asso- 
ciation, and lay before them the results of the investiga- 
tions which he and his colleague had been making. As a 
result of this meeting a number of enterprising citizens of 
Champaign organized the Champaign Sugar Company, in 
order to give the process of making sugar from sorghum a 
trial on a large scale. 

In the following spring a sugar plant was erected and 
land rented for the cultivation of cane. The season of 
1882 was the most unfavorable one known for the raising 
of cane. The unusual amount of rainfall, together with 
the low summer temperature, prevented the proper cultiva- 
tion of the crop and caused the cane to mature slowly and 
imperfectly. The average of a large number of analyses 
made this year showed a percentage of cane sugar in the 
juice of 8.20, as against 12.08 the year before. 

Harvesting the cane began September 21, and was 
finished on November 17. Owing to the lateness of the 
season, one field of Orange was worked up before it was 
ripe, and another field was cut and shocked. The former 
and a great portion of the latter was manufactured into 
•syrup only. 
" The method of manufacture was as follows : 

The cane was unloaded from the wagons directly on a 
cane carrier 60 feet in length," which brought it to the first 
mill, having 4-feet rollers 24 inches in diameter. The 
bagasse from this mill was carried by an intervening apron 
to the second mill of the same dimensions. In passing 
from the first to the second mill the bagasse was saturated 
with a spray of hot water, by which means a great saving 
of sugar was accomplished. The juice from the two mills 
ran into a common tank, from which it was pumped into 

436 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the juice tanks at the top of the main building. From 
these tanks the juice was drawn into defecators holding 
over 600 gallons each, where it was carefully neutralized 
with lime, heated to the boiling point, and skimmed. After 
settling for half an hour or more, the liquor was drawn off 
into evaporators made of copper, and concentrated to 20 to 
30 degrees Beaume. The heating of defecators and evapo- 
rators was done by means of copper coils. . From the 
evaporator the semi-syrup was run into settling tanks, and 
any sediment allowed to subside. It was next passed 
through the bone-coal filters. These were four in number, 
12 feet high and 2 feet in diameter. The liquor was next 
drawn into a vacuum pan and evaporated to meladoor mush 
sugar. The melado was drawn off into crystalizing wagons 
and swung out as soon as it could be done with one cen- 
trifugal machine. 

The results of the season's work are as follows: 

No. of acres of cane worked up 244}-£ 

No. of acres worked for sugar 185 

N o. of acres worked for syrup only 59 

No. of tons of stripped and topped cane 2,282 

No. of tons worked for sugar 1,724 

Average number of tons per acre 9% 

No. of pounds of sugar manufactured 86,600 

• No. of gallons of syrup and molasses 25,650 

No. of pounds of sugar per acre 465^ 

This statement includes all kinds of cane brought to 
the mill, some of which was quite poor. It also embraces 
the products for the whole season, in the latter part of 
which, on account of the cold weather and not having a 
suitable crystalizing room, a 'large amount of sugar was 
lost, since the melado had to be mixed with hot water in 
order to make it of a proper consistency to be run into the 
centrifugal machine. 

The best results were obtained from a field of Orange 
cane of 12 J acres. 


The products of this field were as follows : 

No. of tons stripped and topped cane 151 

No. of pounds of sugar made 9,600 

No. of gallons of molasses 1,450 

No. of pounds of sugar per acre 768 

No. of gallons of molasses per acre 116 

The average quality of sugar was that of extra yellow 
C. It polarized about 98 per cent, of cane sugar, sold at 
the works by the barrel at 8 to 8J cents per pound, and re- 
tailed at the groceries side by side with New Orleans sugar 
of the same grade, bringing the same prices. 



Few young men of twenty to twenty-five years ago 
entered with more head, heart and soul, into whatever they 
found to do, whether his own private business or of state 
or national concern, than the man we now present, whose 
name has been so identified with public affairs that it is 
almost a household word. 

George H. Harlow was born at Sackett's Harbor, New 
York, Sept. 5, 1830, the eldest son of David and Mercy 
Harlow. Received his education in the village schools, and 
at the age of seventeen commenced to learn the builder's 
trade, preparatory to advancing to a thorough, knowledge 
of architecture, which study he finished under O. L. 
Wheelock, the well known architect, then of Watertown, 
New York, but for many years past, of Chicago. Young 
Harlow came to Illinois in March, 1854; settled at Pekin, 
Tazewell county, intending to follow his profession as an 
architect and builder, but after one year's work went into 
the mercantile business, and followed it successfully until 
1860, when he was elected clerk of the circuit court of 
Tazewell county. He was always an active worker in poli- 
tics; his first vote was given for Gen. Winfield S. Scott for 
president. In 1856 he voted for Fremont and Bissell, 
warmly supporting Lincoln for senator in 1858, and for 
president in 1860. 


In 1860 he was nominated and elected clerk of the 
circuit court. His county was supposed to be hopelessly- 
democratic at that time, and the incumbent of the clerk's- 
office, M. C. Young, was very popular, and young Harlow 
was supposed to be leading a forlorn hope, but the result 
proved that work and pluck could win, and Harlow was 
elected by a good round majority. 

The war coming on, he took an active part in aiding 
the raising of volunteers. In 1862 when the cause of the- 
Union was apparently the most gloomy and disheartening,, 
and traitors and treason were rampant all over the North,, 
and the "Knights of the Golden Circle" and "Sons of 
Liberty" were active in sowing the seeds of disloyalty ii> 
the North and border states, crippling the efforts of loyal 
men, Harlow and a few other loyal men of Tazewell county, 
met and organized the first Council of the " Union League of 
America," an organization ■ that was destined to, and did 
exert a powerful influence in the political history of this 
country. Harlow was elected secretary of the first council, 
and afterwards the secretary of the state council, with head- 
quarters at Springfield. From this the order spread into 
every loyal state and territory, and was the means of giving 
aid, support, and incalculable benefit to the army, and 
through its influence Lincoln received his nomination for 
re-election in 1864. 

In 1864 Harlow was nominated for re-election, but 
owing to the large number of soldiers absent in the field 
the opposition to the republicans defeated him. In 1 865 
he was elected assistant secretary of the state senate, but in 
two weeks afterwards was appointed by Gov. Oglcsby as 
his private secretary and assistant inspector general of Illi- 
nois, with rank as colonel, and had special charge of Camp 

440 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Butler, and held this position during the war. In 1868 
he was a candidate for secretary of state, but for reasons 
that were deemed politic and advisable at the time, the 
place was given to Edward Rummel, and on his election 
Harlow was made assistant secretary of state, which position 
he held for over three years. In 1872 he was nominated 
and elected to the office of secretary of state, his term being 
for four years, and in 1876 he was re-elected, and his term 
of office expired in January, 1881, having held the office 
for eight years, and almost a continuous succession of 
official positions from 1860 until 1881. 

At the close of his second term he removed to Chicago, 
entered into the commission business, and became an active 
member of the board of trade, known for his energy in trade 
and efficiency in promoting the interest of those commit- 
ting their business to his charge, as he was in attending to 
the business of the state for so many years. 



From 1835 to 1855 no man probably in the limits of 
Woodford county made a deeper impress on the social, 
moral, business and political elevation of the county than 
John Page, whose career we will briefly sketch. 

He was born at Gilmanton, New Hampshire, October 
28, 1787, and came of an old and numerously connected 
family, tracing their family tree away back in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries, among the best Puritan stock of 
England. Owing to their religious privileges being 
abridged, the Pages came to America in 1630 with Gov. 
Winthrop, and it was a John Page that came at that time 
bringing a family of sons, and some were born to him after 
he came. He settled in Dedham, Mass. We will not 
trace the family genealogy by name, but say in passing 
that they furnished some good fighting stock in the revolu- 
tion and in the war of 1812, in Mexico, and the war of the 
rebellion. Of this family John Page, a grandson of the 
first-named, settled at Gilmanton, N. H., about 1720, one 
of the original founders of the town. He married Mary 
Winslow, and to them were born a goodly number of sons 
and daughters, their descendants scattering ,out and settling 
at different places in New Hampshire. We find one of the 
family representing New Hampshire in the United States 

442 FIFTY years' recollections. 

senate from 1828 to 1834, as mentioned in "Benton's 
Thirty Years in the United States Senate." 

John Page, the subject of our sketch, married Betsy 
"Wilson, April 15, 1811, and from his stern integrity and 
business capacity, became a man of note in his county. 
He was justice of the peace; public administrator, surveyor, 
and served three terms in the legislature of New Hamp- 

He came to Illinois as the agent of a newly organized 
colony " to spy out this goodly land," and on his report 
that it was " fair to look upon " the colony came to Wood- 
ford county in 1835, purchasing a large tract of land in 
what is now Metamora township. Mr. Page was a man 
noted for plainness of speech, a " Quaker in whom there 
was no guile." He early attracted attention for his capacity 
to transact business, " a man of affairs." He was one of 
" Nature's noblemen." In his new field in Illinois he was 
called to exercise his talents as a surveyor, settling estates 
and various other classes of business. We first met him 
when we were in attendance as a delegate to a whig sen- 
atorial convention at -Metamora in 1844. He was of the 
opposite politics, but attended the convention as a spectator, 
and seemed to be much interested. The contest was an 
animated one. It was Putnam, Marshall, Woodford and 
two or three delegates from Washington, Tazewell county, 
against Tremont, Pekin and the balance of Tazewell 
county. Several ballotings took place before a choice 
could be made, but finally the Putnam, Marshall and 
Woodford interest prevailed, and their candidate, Dr. Robt. 
Boal, then of Lacon, was nominated, and at the election 
afterwards was elected. 

The sectional interests of the citizens of Metamora were 


gratified in the choice, but some of them, through political 
predilection, opposed it. This was the year of the great 
floods in Illinois, "the wet year." and also of ''Polk and 
Dallas " and " Clay and Frelinghuysen." The country was 
new, the streams not bridged, and "ye delegates" from the 
north end of the district became water-bound, the raging 
Crow Creek laid between them and their homes, and the- 
rains were still desending ; but good friends took our dele- 
gation in "out of the wet," and we fared sumptuously until 
the raging streams subsided, and had an opportunity of be- 
coming better acquainted with " Uncle Johnny Page," the 

As the years advanced the people dfd too. In 1848 he 
was elected to the legislature, his opponent being Jesse 
Lynch, of Putnam county. "Jess" was a talker, a regular 
political " Boanerges," had the whole political exegesis at his 
tongue's end, could talk the " sights " off " Uncle Johnny," 
and entered the contest, confident of succeeding. He chal- 
lenged Mr. Page to canvass the district, but Mr. Page 
chose to conduct the canvass " Quaker fashion," in a more 
quiet way, " as the spirit moved him." 

On one occasion, it is recorded, when they met, " Jess " 
thought to lay the old Quaker in the shade by his much 
eloquence, and was argumentative, tantalizing, using invec- 
tive, every style of oratory in turn. When he closed 
"Uncle Johnny" rose, and looking at Lynch, said: "I 
am a candidate for the legislature ; perhaps thee is running 
for Congress from the way thee branches out." 

When election came round it was found that Lynch 
" was not heard for his much speaking," the people decided 
that Mr. Page "should go" by a large majority. Mr. 
Page was a " working member." It is not recorded that 


he made many speeches, but he accomplished more than 
those that did. He voted what he thought was right, if his 
was the only vote on that side. His sage .experience was 
such that he was consulted and advised with by both par- 
ties. His blunt honesty secured for him the friendship of 
Abraham Lincoln, although they were of opposite political 

After this session he declined any further official posi- 
tions, as the infirmities of old age was creeping on him, and 
after a well-spent and useful life he died at Metamora, 
October 1, 1855, in his sixty-eighth year. Mrs. Page sur- 
vived him some seventeen years. She died December 16, 

Jesse Lynch, the fiery and impetuous competitor of Mr. 
Page, still lives, residing at Chenoa. He has not lost a 
whit of his youthful fire and humor. We met him last 
September at the Pioneers' Barbacue at Mt. Pulaski, called 
him up to the stand, he was introduced to the large audi- 
ence and made them one of his wittiest and humorous 
speeches, abounding in pioneer stories that roused the 
echoes of the shady grove. He practices law but never 
went to the legislature. 

Mr. Page's family consisted of ten children, all born at 
Gilmanton, N. H. ; three daughters, seven sons. Of this 
large family, two sons, John W. and Adino, are engaged 
in the merchandising and banking business at Mettamora. 
Another son is engaged in business at Peoria, and his 
grandson, Hon. Samuel S. Page, formerly States Attorney 
of Woodford County, is now engaged in a lucrative law 
practice at Peoria — one of the firm of Worthington & 


His youngest son, Benjamin E., was a member of the 
108th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was 
killed at Fort Spanish, Mobile, March 28th, 1865, just a 
few days before the fall of that place and the close of the 
war. He had been a good soldier, passing through many of 
the most severe battles of the War. He was a young man 
of much strength of character, good sense and judgment 
— qualities inherited from his father, and was much la- 
mented by his fellow soldiers and by all who knew him at 


Captain Eric Johnson was born in the Province of 
Westmanland, Sweden, July 15, 1838. He came with his 
parents to Henry County in the summer of 1846, when 
eight years old. His childhood and youth were spent at 
home at the Bishop Hill Colony. Two winters' attendance 
at a country school was alt the educational advantages en- 

Upon the division or individualization of the colony in 
1860, the eleven acres that fell to his lot were 'located one 
mile west of Galva, and in the spring of 1861 he moved to 
Galva, and; renting some more land, he commenced life on 
his own account as a farmer. But his country's call for 
volunteers called him from his peaceful avocation of farm- 
ing into the ranks of the patriotic volunteers that went for 
the defense of pur imperiled country. On the 16th of 
September he entered as a private in Company D, 57th 
Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. 

At the subsequent organization of the company at Camp 
Bureau, Princeton, Illinois, he was elected first lieutenant, 
and after the battle of Shiloh was promoted to the cap- 
taincy. Severe sickness, contracted in the service, com- 
pelled him to resign before the close of the war. In 1864 
he became editor and publisher of the Galva Union. In 
1865 he retired from the newspaper business and was 


•engaged in merchandising until the summer of 1868, when 
he became editor and publisher of the Altona Mirror, at 
Altona, 'Knox county, and in the autumn following he 
again became proprietor of the Union at Galva. In 1871 
he retired from the newspaper business. 

In the campaign of 1870 he was unanimously nominated 
for representative to the state legislature. However, inter- 
preting too conscientiously the provisions in the new con- 
stitution requiring a two years' residence in the district, he 
withdrew his name from the ticket on his own motion. 
Several members-elect proved to be barred for the same 
reason, but their seats were not questioned, because it was 
held that the provision in the constitution could not affect 
the first legislature, as no district had been two years in 

Upon the convening of the legislature in 1871 he was 
elected journal clerk of the house, in which capacity he 
served during the regular, called and adjourned sessions of 
1871 and '72. • 

In 1872, having always l3een a great admirer of Horace 
Greeley, he supported him for president, and was the can- 
didate for elector in his district. 

In 1873 he followed Greeley's advice and went west, 
and made Kansas his home for two years, but the grass- 
hoppers and drouth convinced him that Illinois was a bad 
state to emigrate from, and in the spring of 1876 he 
returned to Illinois, settling again at Galva. In 1879-80 
he, in connection with C. F. Peterson, of Chicago, com- 
piled and published a history of the Swedish settlements in 
Illinois, a work of 500 pages, printed in the Swedish 
language. In 1880 lie warmly espoused the cause of Gar- 
field and Arthur. In November, 1880, commenced the 

448 FIFTY years' recollections. 

publication of the " Swedish Citizen," at Moline, Illinois, 
In July, 1881, Mr. Joseph E. Osborn became connected 
with him in the publication, and in June, 1882, Mr. Osborn 
purchased his interest in the Citizen, becoming sole pro- 
prietor. Captain Johnson possesses an active mind and 
industrious habits, and cannot retire from business, and so 
in August, 1882, he received an appointment as clerk in 
the war department at Washington. 

He was married January 31, 1863, to Miss Mary O. 
Trail, and now has a family of seven children. He is a 
member of the Congregational church, active in benevolent 
and temperance work, and ready at all times and places to- 
serve his country in civic or military life. 



'• Honor and merit from no condition rise, 
Act well your part and there the credit lies." 

John D. Hatfield was born July 4, 1834, in Park 
County, Indiana, and came to Illinois in 1845, with his 
father's family, settling in Radnor, Peoria County, and 
pursuing the occupation of a farmer and attending the 
country schools in winter, in this manner passing his life 
until reaching manhood. On arriving at manhood he went 
to Marshall County to reside, still working at farming until 
the war commenced. 

November 2nd, 1861, he enlisted in Company H 53d 
Volunteer Infantry, in the ranks, company commanded 
by Captain John W. McClanahan. The regiment was 
commanded by Colonel W. H. H. Cushman, and organized 
at Ottawa, laying there in camp and drilling until March 1, 
1862, then moved to Chicago, and from there was ordered 
to St. Louis, thence to Cairo, and as soon as transportation 
could be secured, was sent forward to join Buell at Savan- 
nah, Tenn., then on the march to join Grant. The regiment 
took part in the battle of Shiloh on the 6th and 7th of 
April, 1862, thence to Corinth, taking part in the siege 
and other operations of the army, the movements bringing 
the 53rd to Grand Junction, Tenn. 

450 FIFTT years' recollections. 

During the summer of 1862, the regiment were at 
Memphis, thence to Bolivar. October 5th, 1862, the regi- 
ment took part in the battle of Hatchie and Hatfield was 
wounded in the lower jaw with a ball and thirteen buck- 
shot, a very dangerous and painful wound. He was sent 
home and remained there until his recovery in February, 
1863, when he received his commission as First Lieutenant 
for meritorious conduct and returned to his regiment at 
Memphis, and in the movements approaching Vicksburg 
and until its final surrender July 4, 1862, was performing 
active duty with his company. After the fall of Vicksburg 
the regiment marched with other forces under command of 
Sherman to Jackson. Here, on July 12th, the regiment 
went into the fight 200 strong and came out with only 62. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Earl was killed. The carnage was fear- 
ful. Lieutenant Hatfield was taken prisoner, and through 
much privation and suffering was taken across the country 
and over the rough railroads to Libby Prison at Richmond, 
and with many other prisoners, was kept there, suffering 
much. A plan of escape was devised by the prisoners. A 
tunnel was dug and 109 of the prisoners escaped February 
9th, 1864, Captain Hatfield being one of the lucky ones. 
Among others that escaped at the same time were Captain 
Mark M. Bassett, Co. E, 53d Regiment, now of Peoria, 
and Lieutenant Henry P. Crawford, of the Second Illinois 
Cavalry. When they came out of the tunnel Hatfield and 
Bassett became separated. Bassett and Crawford stayed 
together, wandering around for four nights, when they 
were recaptured and again tHrust into prison, this time in a 
dungeon. They were afterwards taken to Columbus, South 
Carolina, where they again escaped, this time succeeding in 
.reaching the Union lines. After being almost starved for 


six days and nights, only getting one meal during the time, 
furnished him by a colored man, he succeeded in reaching 
the Union lines at "Williamsburg. From here he was sent 
to Washington. After rest and recuperation he was sent 
home for sixty days and rejoined his regiment at Ottawa, 
which was home on veteran furlough. At the expiration 
of the furlough the regiment, with Captain Hatfield, re- 
joined its command at Cairo, and took boat up the Tennessee 
river for Florence, joined Sherman at Rome, Georgia, and 
engaged in the Atlanta campaign. Captain Hatfield here 
received his final promotion to the captaincy of his com- 
pany, and with it bore his share of the toils and perils of 
the campaign, taking a prominent part in the desperate 
charges and assaults of the 20th, 21st and 22d of July, 
losing in the three-days' fight 101 men. 

After these bloody days they rested for a few days 
at Eastport, then going in pursuit of Hood northward, re- 
turning to Marietta November 6th. On the 16th he started 
with his regiment " On the march to the sea," from thence 
participated in the Carolina campaign, to Goldsboro, thence • 
to Raleigh and to Richmond, the scene of his imprison- 
ment in Libby, from Richmond " On to Washington," and 
he participated in the grand review of May 24th, thence 
proceeding to Louisville, Ky., where the regiment was 
mustered out of the service July 22nd, and sent to Camp 
Douglas, Chicago, for final payment and discharge on the 
29th, 1865. 

Capt. Hatfield came back to Marshall county and en- 
gaged in farming, and was quite successful. April 26, 1866, 
he was married to Miss Nellie M. Shepherdson, of War- 
wick, Massachusetts. 

In 1868 he commanded a company of "Tanners" in 

452 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the campaign of that summer and autumn, and has partici- 
pated in public affairs, always public spirited, urging 
measures which would contribute to the public interests. 

In 1876 he sold his large farm in Saratoga, Marshall 
county, and removed to Bradford, Stark county, and in 
1880 had the honor of commanding the "Wide Awakes" 
in the Garfield campaign. In 1882 his fellow-citizens 
elected him as one of the county board of supervisors for 
Stark county. He is largely engaged in the produce and 
stock trade at Bradford, enjoying among the business men 
a reputation for uprightness in his commercial transactions. 
He has a comfortable home, presided over by a regular 
" Warwick " of housekeepers, the woman from the " Old 
Bay State," chosen at the close of his eventful war experi- 
ence, and to this household have been added from time to 
time " olive branches," some three or four, making a very 
pleasant household in which to make a short visit, and it 
has been our privilege to enjoy his hospitality both while 
residing on his farm and since he moved to Bradford. 



If integrity and uprightness in a citizen long known 
and respected by his fellow-citizens should be recognized, 
then here we have a man indeed in whom there was no 
guile, and whose virtues should be transmitted down 
through history for the example and emulation of his fellow- 

Elbert Easterly was born near Greenville, Greene 
county, Tennessee, July 10th, 1828, and came to Illinois in 
May, 1847. His parents, Casper and Elizabeth Easterly, 
came to Jackson county from Greenville, Tenn., September 
1850. His father died October 3rd, 1863, and his mother 
died September 16, 1863. On the third day of March, 
1854, he married Miss. Ellen Hinchcliffe, whose parents, 
Joseph and Sarah Hinchcliffe, were natives of England, 
and settled in Jackson county in 1829. Both are now dead. 

Mr. Easterly settled on a farm four miles southeast of 
Murphysboro, and by his own exertions succeeded in mak- 
ing it one of the most productive in Jackson county. He 
was early entrusted by his fellow-citizens with important 
public trusts and official positions — justice of the peace, 
assessor, one of the associate judges of the county at an 
•early date when the county court was composed of three 
judges, one presiding and two associates. He held this 
position several terms. 

454 FIFTY years' recollections. 

In every public enterprise he was among the foremost, 
either in church or temporal matters. He took a more 
than ordinary interest in the advancement of his chosen 
calling — agriculture and horticulture, and after the county 
agricultural society was organized, served on its board of 
'management until the time of his death. 

At the inauguration of the farmer's ^movement in 1873 
he identified himself with those combined for the protection 
of the agricultural interests of the country. He was. presi- 
dent of the Jackson County Farmer's Club, and took an 
active part in promoting its objects in protesting against 
monopoly in all its forms. 

In 1874, when there was an effort made by designing 
men to merge the farmer's organization of the state into 
political clubs to promote the schemes of political wire- 
workers who wanted to ride into office by the influence of 
the farmer's clubs, he entered his protest, and through his 
influence at the meeting of the county club in April, 1874, 
a series of resolutions were adopted by the members 
that the farmers of Jackson county would not sym- 
pathize or countenance partizan political action outside of 
the old political organization. The action of the Jackson 
county farmers and these resolutions were published in the 
leading papers of both political parties of the state, and 
had great influence in checking the demagogical movement 
then being made to carry the farmer's movement into par- 
tisan politics. , 

In 1872, at an election held to fill the vacancy caused 
by the death of Hon. William Schwartz, as representative 
to the state legislature, the republicans nominated Mr. Eas- 
terly as their candidate, and he received many more votes 
than his party strength, yet failed of an election but twenty- 


seven majority against him, the county being more than 
one hundred democratic. 

Mr. Easterly was a devoted christian, holding a license 
as a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

After a protracted and painful illness he died February 
25, 1875, in the forty-seventh year of his age, respected by 
all who knew him. 

He was- peculiarly happy in his family relations, very 
social, and given to hospitality, and no man in his county 
numbered more or warmer friends. 

He was blessed with eleven children, seven boys and 
four daughters ; four sons died. Two of his sons have- 
been residents for three years past of the Pacific coast, before 
reaching there making the tour of the western states and 
territories. Two daughters are married, Jennie, eldest 
daughter, to Don Johnson, and they reside on a large farm 
near Carbondale. Second daughter, Alice, married to 
Samuel H. Coad, of Murphysboro, 111., who is engaged 
in the mercantile business. Two daughters and the young- 
est son, Elbert, are attending the Southern Illinois Normal 
University completing their education. 



Intending to give a full sketch of Judge Gillespie in 
volume II, we only produce a portion of his pioneer life as 
introductory to an article written by him on the early rail- 
road legislation of Illinois, resulting in the grant of land 
to aid the Illinois Central Railroad in building. We 
visited Edwardsville in December last, and were pleased to 
find this old Gamaliel of the Illinois Bar at leisure to give 
us an audience of two or three hours, which we devoted to 
refreshing our recollections of the early history of the 
state, and we know that the historical part of our work is 
more full and complete by reason of that interview. 

Judge Gillespie gave us some reminiscences of his early 
frontier experience in a trip he made in company with his 
brother Matthew from Edwardsville to the Galena Lead 
Mines in 1827. They left home Feb. 22d to seek their 
fortunes at the mines. The winter up to that time had 
been very open, raining a great deal of the time, the prai- 
ries were covered with water, the broad sloughs full and 
the streams overflowing, no bridges across the streams, they 
being compelled to swim nearly every stream on the route, 
and camp in open air at night. They reached Springfield 
at the end of the third day out, not entering a house on 
the route. They rested here, then struck across the 
broad prairie in the direction of Fort Clark (Peoria), 


not finding a house to lodge in on the route. Ar- 
rived at Peoria, found it filled by a conglomeration of 
Indians, French voyageurs, frontier adventurers and just a 
few people who "came to stay." Whisky was one 
essential part of the refreshments offered, and muscular 
Strength, either fighting or wrestling, was the chief pastime 
with a large portion of the population. 

He related that the hardest fight he ever witnessed be- 
tween two men, was between two boatmen on the night of 
their arrival at Fort Clark. It was to test which was the 
" better man," no other principle being involved. 

From Fort Clark they struck northward across the 
prairie to Boyd's Grove, then on past where Princeton now 
is, thence to Paw Paw Grove, and on to Dixon on Rock 
river, the ferry at that time being kept by a French Indian 
trader by the name of Ogee. Here he met Isaac Funk, 
with another man named Phelps, who were on a trading 
trip, going to Galena, and part of their " produce " was a 
barrel of whisky. Gillespie; from much exposure, was 
very sick. He went to Phelps for " sumthin' warmin' " to 
get the chills out of his system, internally and externally. 
Phelps said : " Yes, I've sumthin' hottern' brimstun." 
Gillespie told him that was just what he wanted, and was 
furnished with enough to set his yearning stomach all 
right. Dixon was occupied at the time by a band of 
Winnebago Indians, and the Gillespie boys bivouacked 
with them and made a bargain to be ferried over Rock 
River next morning. During the night' it turned very 
cold and the Indians would not or could. not ferry them 
over. As they had paid the Indians they determined they 
should fulfill their promise, so they took canoes and ferried 
themselves over. Getting north of Rock river they built a 

458 FIFTY years' recollections. 

large fire to keep warm by, and when the weather moder- 
ated a little they pushed out towards Galena, arriving there 
on the nineteenth day out. They remained in the lead 
mine district for three years; did not "strike it rich." His 
description of the miners' life, their huts, their methods of 
cookiog, the internal arrangement of their houses, the free 
and easy life they led, all was interesting. 

He tells about hard times. When he returned from th& 
lead mines in the fall of 1829, he came down the Missis- 
sippi from Galena in a skiff to Quincy, and crossed the 
country on foot to Phillips' Ferry, on the Illinois River, 
walking home about one hundred miles. He had but one 
dollar when he started, and offered to pay his way at every 
place at which he stopped over night or took a meal, and 
found no one that could change the dollar until he reached 
Carrollton, Green County. Nothing was produced in the 
settled part of the state in that day except beeswax and 
peltries. These would bear transportation, so could be 
turned into money. No sale in large quantities could 
be made of produce. The only ,way of turning that into 
money was to build flat boats and descend to New Orleans 
to market their surplus products. This made Lincoln a 
flat-boatman before he was grown to manhood, and Gil- 
lespie a famed. oarsman, so with a frail skiff he run the 
Mississippi from Galena to Quincy. A life of such rugged 
toil made them the self-reliant men they afterwards became. 

But we could give history that he furnished to fill 
more than a chapter. We defer it till the next volume 
and fill out balance of space with accounts of railroad 
legislation that inaugurated the building of the Illinois 
Central and other railroads, from which our readers can re- 
fresh their memories in regard to measures that introduced- 


the great system of railroads throughout the state. In 
the Black Hawk war Judge Gillespie was a member of 
Captain Erastus Wheeler's Company of Mounted Volun- 
teers in the regiment commanded by that famous Indian 
fighter, Col. Sam Whitesides ; has been a member of both 
branches of the state legislature for many sessions, been 
circuit judge, held many other responsible offices, and is a 
regular cyclopedia of state and national history. 

Edwaedsville, December 20, 1882. 
Jeeiah Bonham, Esq., 

Dear Sir: — I promised to give you my recollections 
touching some points in the history of railroad legislation 
in this state. In reference to the first system, I was 
hostile to that, for two reasons : first, the state was by no 
means prepared for it, and secondly, it was to be managed 
exclusively by politicians. That system broke down, leav- 
ing the state hopelessly encumbered with a debt of 
$17,000,000, and not a mile of railroad in running order. 
This banished all hopes of improvement in that line for a 
number of years. The bare mention of the word " railroad" 
would have the same effect upon our people that flaunting 
a red rag would have upon a turkey gobbler. After a 
while, however, applications for railroad charters began to 
be applied for, under which the roads were to be built and 
operated by private capital. I believe the Chicago and 
Galena proved to be a success, and a furore began to grow 
up. Everybody became willing to grant charters, so the 
roads were constructed with private means. From being 
hostile the people became first indifferent, and then enthus- 
iastic, almost frantic, for railroads. A man who was not 
for every project that was presented to the legislature in 
the precise shape it was asked for was regarded as a public 
enemy. A great many people in and out of the legislature 
were for exempting railroads from taxation entirely, and it 
became, as many of us thought, an imperative duty to see 
that no charter passed without the taxation feature fully 

460 FIFTY years' recollections. 

assured. It was when things were in this state that the 
question of chartering the Illinois Central road came up. 
Mr. Rantoul came out from Boston with a charter in his 
pocket, which proposed to exempt the company from taxa- 
tion, in consideration of which the state was to get a per- 
centage of the gross earning of the road, which was fixed 
at seven per cent., although it was stated that when Rantoul 
first came out he was willing to allow ten per cent. The 
bill, however, passed the house for the payment of seven 
per cent, and no taxation. The friends, par excellence, of 
the measure looked upon what were called the " state policy 
men " as enemies of the Central, and as intending to strangle 
it. When the bill came into the senate it was referred to a 
select committee. Rantoul declared that if it was altered 
in any respect whatever he would pick up his traps and 
return to Boston. The majority of the senate was not to 
be dragooned into measures. His threats had the effect, 
however, of putting the immense delegations from every 
county through which the road was to pass into a perfect 
fury. We were threatened and insulted on our way to our 
boarding houses and denounced in unmeasured terms. 
Next morning the committee reported, to strike out seven 
and insert five as the per centage to be paid; next, that the 
company should pay taxes at the rate of seventy-five cents 
on the hundred dollars, and if that was not equal to two 
per cent, ot the gross earnings it should be made up to 
that amount, so that the state was to receive seven per 
cent, in bonus and taxation together. The only difference 
between those propositions and the original bill was that 
the amendment retained the taxation feature. There was 
not a man among the thirteen who voted for this amend- 
ment who was not an ardent friend of the Central railroad 
scheme, but under no circumstances would they consent to 
allow a charter for a road to pass which exempted the com- 
pany from the payment of what was deemed its proper pro- 
portion of taxes. They considered that the building of a 
railroad along the back bone of the state in anticipation of 
the settlement of the country was compensated for by the 
2,600,000 acres of fertile lands. The men who favored 


this modification were classed as enemies of the Central 
railroad. Another step taken by the same set of men sub- 
jected them to the odium of being enemies to the building 
of railroads, and that was the controversy between the 
Michigan Central and the Michigan Southern and Northern 
Indiana. The Southern had applied to the legislature of 
Michigan for permission to cross a corner of that state, so 
as to get into Chicago, which was refused at the instance 
of the Michigan Central. The Central applied to our legis- 
lature to go to Chicago, which was refused until the legis- 
lature of Michigan should give the Southern the like per- 
mission, the result of which action was that both roads got 
into Chicago. This was likewise classed as illiberal on the 
part of our state. Another instance arose between the 
Terre Haute & Alton and what was called the Atlantic & 
Mississippi, since known as the Brough or Vandalia road. 
The T. H. & A. was chartered first and subscriptions of 
about $1,000,000 paid in and expended by counties, cities 
and citizens along the line, when the charter was applied 
for of the A. & M. to run virtually between the same 
termini. The latter being the shortest route, and backed 
by Indiana and Missouri, it became evident that if chartered 
it would take the wind out of the T. H. & A., and it was 
deemed to be the best policy to hold the A. & M. back 
until the T. H. & A. should be out of danger of total 
destruction. It was believed that you could build a 
straight road after you had built a crooked one, but never 
a crooked one after a straight one, between the same ter- 
mini. Indiana contended that she had the right to control 
the entrance of roads into our state, and Missouri claimed 
the right of determining their exit, which would leave 
nothing under the control of Illinois. 

As we were powerless so far as Indiana was concerned, 
and had to hitch to the roads just as she would send them 
to us, some were of opinion that we might try our hand in 
favoring commercial points on the western side of our state, 
for instance, Quincy and Alton, but this did not suit Mis- 
souri} she wanted to cast the benefit of roads crossing our 
state into the lap of St. Louis and Hannibal, and because we 

■462 FIFTY years' recollections. 

endeavored to pursue this policy we were denounced as 
dogs in the manger, barbarians and the like, both in the east 
and west. Illinois had just power enough to hold back the 
Hannibal project until a branch of the Great Western was 
built to Quincy, and the Brough road until the T. H. & A. 
was out of danger, then capital asserted its control. It was 
a blessed thing for Chicago that she was out of the way of 
rivals in Indiana and Missouri, and was left to grow up in 
peace. Illinois for a long time was about in the condition 
of a rabbit that had been seized by two dogs, each tugging 
away to get the most of it. We soon outgrew these compe- 
ting interests in railroad enterprises, and everything has 
,gone on swimmingly. Roads are constructed now without 
let or hindrance. It may be said to the credit of railroad 
legislation in Illinois that she has more miles in operation 
than any other state in the Union, and that she owes not one 
«ent on their account. On the contrary she is receiving 
what is accounted to be the one-seventh of the gross earn- 
ings of the Central road. The amount, however, does not 
seem to have kept pace with the growth of the country, nor 
with the increase in the earnings of other roads, and it is 
apprehended by many that the state has not been the gainer 
by the outside connections of that road. When the road 
was chartered the pooling process was unknown and unan- 
ticipated. The blending of the earnings of this road will 
account for the reason why, when the gross earnings of other 
roads are increasing with such rapidity, the Central should 
remain stationary, or rather be retrograding. I think there 
would be nothing unjust or illiberal in holding the Central 
to a strict account of its gross earnings. That road was the 
recipient from the state of what was equal to $26,000,000 
to aid in its construction, for it had the authority to dispose 
of its land, not only for agricultural purposes, but for town 
sites ; besides its lands were exempted from the burden of 
taxation, while they belonged to it, and its mode of selling 
by bond instead of a deed, kept the lands for many years 
exempt from taxation after they should have been subject 
to the common burdens. The course of the company in 
that regard deserves severe criticism. 

Hon. Sterling P. Rounds, Public Printer. 

Washington, D. C- 




Among the many men of great talent and business ca- 
pacity that have been employed by the government to 
superintend its great printing interests since the establish- 
ment of that department in 1820, perhaps no man that has 
been selected has combined more practical knowledge of the 
business than Sterling P. Rounds, born June 27, 1828, at 
Berkshire, Franklin county, Vermont. 

The founders of the family came early in colonial times 
to Rhode Island, removing in latter years to New Hamp- 
shire and finally to Vermont. In whatever place they 
located they were known as enterprising and patriotic citi- 
zens. In the revolution they were patriots, making hon- 
orable records, whether .in the ranks as private soldiers or 
winning their way to rank and position as officers. When 
the revolutionary stock, in years of honor and probity, were 
gathered to their fathers, their sons transmitted the hon- 
' orable record down to the present generation by active and 
gallant service in the war of 1812-13. They were a pro- 
lific stock, and we find some of them more enterprising 
than the others, joining the tide of western emigration and 
answering the roll calls in the Mexican war, and still later 

464 FIFTY years' recollections. 

in the Rebellion, sealing their patriotism with wounds and 
some of them with their lives. With this proven record, in 
whatever community they chose to establish themselves, 
they were soon known as " stalwarts among the stalwarts," 
unflinching in principle, their courage questioned by none^ 
willing at all times to sacrifice everything for national 
honor, freedom, justice, and a grander and brighter future 
for the country. 

When the subject of our sketch came west he was just 
entering his teens, had been kept well in hand at school,, 
where he had proven himself a painstaking and successful 
student, a little ahead of the average of his age. He came 
with his parents to Kenosha, Southern Wisconsin, in 1840,. 
at that time the residence of some of the future great men 
of the state. His parents' ambition was that Sterling 
should, when arrived at the proper age, study law. With 
this end in view he was given studies that lead in that 
direction, including the higher mathematics and languages,, 
under the tuition of the future Gov. Harvey. He readily 
mastered all the studies given him, but did not take kindly 
to the idea of becoming a disciple of Blackstone. For it 
he had neither inclination nor taste. While studying he 
had occasionally permitted his hands to handle type, had 
got the stain of printer's ink on his fingers, and he was 
almost irresistibly drawn to the "shooting stick," a 
" press "-ure was laid on him to adopt the " rule " that 
would make him a " type" of those whose " lever and ful- 
crum " moves the world. 

Young Rounds in 1840 entered the office of the Ameri- 
can, that Mr. Harvey had purchased, became an apprentice 
and for five years was " general utility" boy in all depart- 
ments, carried papers, was " devil in chief," became thor- 


oughly versed iu the " black art," and before the term of 
his apprenticeship had expired was promoted to the fore- 
manship of the office. 

His genius was great, he. was a good printer, his fame 
went abroad, and he was offered the foremanship of the 
official state paper at Madison, Wis., then owned by "W. 
W. Wynian, in the fall and winter of 1844, and accepted. 
Mr. Rounds journeyed to the Capital, having faith in his 
own powers. The management was surrendered into his- 
hands, and he filled the place with ability until the opening 
of a larger field of usefulness. Gen. Rufus King com- 
menced the publication of the Sentinel in the winter of 
1845-6, the first daily published in Wisconsin, and secured 
Mr. Rounds as a special compositor to set the editorials 
from the editorial manuscript, which required much greater 
skill than ordinary " copy." 

Here he staid until the establishment of a new paper at 
Racine, in the winter of 1846-47, during the Mexican war,, 
by Edward Bliss, who made him the offer of better pay. 
He assumed the formanship of this sheet, and for two years 
was at the head of the establishment, the typographical 
" director-general." 

Yet he was not content. This ambitious Alexander in 
the art typographical yet yearned for other fields to con- 
quer. "No pent up Utica confined his powers." He had 
learned all he could in an ordinary office, and desired to 
"know it all," to become an expert. His stalking am- 
bition would not be satisfied with anything short of being 
the head of the profession. " Upon what meat did this 
young disciple of Franklin feed," that no common position, 
would satisfy him. He cast his eye t,o the east, and was 
soon installed in the famous establishment of the Com- 

466 FIFTY years' recollections. 

mercial Advertiser, Buffalo, N. Y., controlled by Jewett, 
Thomas & Co., the then acknowledged head of the printing 
establishments in America. 

Here Mr. Rounds' ambition was gratified. He worked 
under the most critical instructions for two years — in fact a 
second apprenticeship — graduated and won a diploma, 
which pronounced him "a first-class and accomplished 
printer in the best sense of the word." 

Then " Westward Ho," again. His old friend Bliss 
visited him, and held out flattering inducements to him to 
return to Racine. Bliss had established a weekly literary 
and temperance paper, called the " Old Oaken Bucket," 
under the patronage of the Sons of Temperance, and 
wanted Rounds to share the pleasure — and the profits — 
in prospect of the publication with him. 

This was according to Mr. Rounds' principles, and the 
arrangement was made, and having purchased a large stock 
of material, newspaper and job type, he returned to Racine. 
Bliss wielded a trenchant pen, and dealt out to the liquor 
traffic powerful denunciations on the exceeding sinfulness 
of their calling, and was aided in the literary department 
by the powerful and scholastic editorials of Rev. A. C. 
Barry, making the paper a pronounced success, while the 
mechanical skill and taste of Mr. Rounds produced the 
best specimen of the " art typographical " ever seen west 
of Buffalo, ranking him as the head of the profession — 
acknowledged by all from the blue waters of Lake Michi- 
gan to the Pacific coast. 

This reputation deserved a wide field and the Racine 
office was removed to Milwaukee in 1849. The Commer- 
cial Advertiser was purchased and the two papers consoli- 
dated, and here, as elsewhere, Mr. Rounds maintained his 


reputation, but the financial part of the business was unfor- 
tunate, and he disposed of his interest and came to Chicago 
in December, 1851, then just beginning to bloom out as the 
commercial as well as the literary center of the northwest. 

At Chicago he formed a business arrangement with J. 
J. Langdon, then having the largest business facilities of 
the kind in the city, and under the skillful management of 
Rounds the business doubled within a year. Three or four 
years of marked prosperity and the office was sold to Isaac 
Cook in 1855-56, who established the Chicago Times, with 
J. W. Sheahan as editor. 

Mr. Rounds at once purchased a new and better ap- 
pointed office and entered upon its management as sole 
proprietor, soon culminating in the " Printer's Warehouse," 
the most extensive establishment in the west, with custom- 
ers from Ohio to the Pacific, which, under intelligent and 
liberal management was organized as the " Round's Type 
and Press Company," and enjoying an immense trade. 

It is the business of our " Recollections " to record his- 
tory, and we know whereof we write. Sterling P. Rounds 
was the organizer of the priating business in Chicago. His 
printing business doubled, and doubled again, until it 
became not only the widest known but the greatest in the 
Northwest. His stock kept pace with the demand, teach- 
ing what could be done with means and energy. 

His " Pioneer Electrotype Foundry " and " Printer's 
Cabinet " were established in 1856, they being now in their 
twenty-seventh year. The Cabinet is the acknowledged 
authority in all that pertains to printing. It combines the 
finest specimens of typography to be found, and to it more 
than any other publication can be ascribed the great im- 
provement in the printing business. Mr. Rounds controlled 

468 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the manufacture of the Chicago Taylor Press, which for 
cheapness, usefulness and reliability, filled a much and long 
needed want, to the great benefit of the printer and the 

In 1865 he established a bindery, and the vast business 
seemed to be complete. Mr. Rounds' house was the only 
one west of New York that could furnish everything, — 
type, press, material for the publication of book, and " set 
up," electrotype, print, fold, stitch, bind and finish, under 
the same roof, for circulation. The undertaking of so much 
enabled him to work off some of his superfluous energy.. 
The nerve and brain power was there, and the years came 
and went with ever increasing and extending business 
until the fatal hour when the riot of flame, October 9th, 
1871, reduced, by a cyclone of fire, $125,000 in stock and 
buildings to ashes, leaving nothing remaining of business 
except his manufactory of presses on the West Side, which 
the fire did not reach. With others, he felt the great blow 
that prostrated him. Only for a brief time he bowed 
before it. He had health, unimpaired credit, experience, 
and a true and devoted wife to sustain him. He buckled 
on his business armor, made a brave fight, and a hard 
struggle brought him through before the hard times ^of 
1873, '74 and '75 came around. Mr. Rounds mastered the 
situation then, and passed through the financial storm 

The flames destroyed every newspaper office in the city. 
Mr. Rounds had just completed seven presses, which, with 
the requisite type and material, were boxed and marked 
ready for shipment to customers. He ordered them 
unpacked and put in working order, and during the several * 
weeks necessary for publishers to procure new presses 


from the east he printed the Tribune, Times, Post, Journal, 
and some other publications without advancing prices, — 
an act of neighborly and fraternal kindness that was grace- 
fully acknowledged by the entire press of the city. 

Years have passed since the great fire and the financial 
collapse of the country of 1873, and Mr. Rounds has. held 
on his way. His business has largely increased, and when 
his name was mentioned in connection with the high posi- 
tion that he now fills the entire press of the Northwest, and 
most of the Eastern and Southern, received it with appro- 
bation and endorsement. 

He was not only backed by the solid united press of the 
country, but by the solid endorsement of the Illinois dele- 
gation in Congress, by the state officials, municipal author- 
ities of cities and business men all over the country who 
knew his unsullied reputation. His call to the place 
approached unanimity, and he has not disappointed the 
expectations of the country. TSfi is a most practical man, 
has the largest experience, the ripest judgment, the most 
sterling honesty, and a clear-headed decision of purpose. 

Mr. Rounds has held many positions of trust; has been 
president of the Illinois State Press Association, president 
of the Northwestern Type Foundry Association, and of the 
Employing Printers' Association, and everywhere has made 
his example and influence for good respected and felt. 

In social life he has won countless friends. He has 
ever been ready to give aid to the deserving poor. None 
ever appeared to him in vain, and many now flourishing 
publishers owe their start and success in life to him. He is 
genial, cordial and friendly to all, so much so, as in scrip- 
ture phrase, to " draw all men unto him." This feeling has 
grown with his growth, deepened and ripened as life ad- 


vanced, been the motive power that has brought him to his 
present high position of public printer of the United States, 
a post of imperative duties, responsibilities, perplexities and 
ceaseless demands upon nerve, muscle and brain, all neces- 
sary in the executive head of the largest printing, ruling, 
and binding establishment in the world. This, as all who 
know anything of the workings of the public printing 
office are aware, requires rare discrimination under the im- 
mense pressure brought to bear upon one at the head of a 

Our portrait of Mr. Rounds on adjoining page shows 
him to be of massive frame, a touch of the Websterian 
in head, brow and eyes, at his best in physical health 
and mental vigor, not likely to break down under any 
strain of business. 

Such are our personal remembrances of Mr. Rounds 
after years of acquaintance with him, and we record them 
among our pleasant recollections of residence, social and 
business relations while we lived in Chicago and engaged in 
the publishing business, that in some considerable degree 
fits us to make this public record of one so eminently de- 



The name of this eminent journalist gives rise to 
emotion of both pleasure and sadness; the first, from the 
many, very many occasions within the past twenty-five 
years that the author has met him while engaged in the 
same profession, and sadness, because our friend has passed 
from the scenes of former triumphs and usefulness to the 
beyond while yet in years of manhood's prime, whilst 
so much is yet to be accomplished. 

Enoch Emery was born at Canterbury, New Hamp- 
shire, August 31, 1822, the fifteenth child of a family of 
sixteen children born to Nathan Emery and wife, of that 
village. Enoch, from quite a lad, possessed the gift of a 
versatility of talent, and at an early age was thrown upon his 
own resources, which gave him a checkered experience at 
the outset of life, but were only those experienced by hun- 
dreds of others in entering on the realities that are to be 
encountered before success is accomplished. 

The record he hands down to us shows persistence in 
overcoming obstacles and difficulties. He was a canal boat- 
man, as Lincoln was a flat-boatman and Garfield a driver- 
boy on the canal. After this he went to Boston, gathering 
experience and ideas from the crowds that came and went 
at a restaurant. He then went to Lowell and was pro- 
moted to a clerkship in a hotel. His leisure was spent in 

472 FIFTY years' recollections. 

varied reading that early developed a literary talent, and 
he wrote some fugitive sketches for the papers that attracted 
attention. He wrote a story in competition for a prize — 
which was the best that was written, — but did not draw 
the money, it being understood in advance who would draw 
the prize. But the story was published and attracted 
marked attention. Finally he was employed on the 
editorial staff of the paper, but the field was not large 
enough for him, and he set up for himself, establishing the 
American Citizen. In this way he could best show his 
individuality. But finding the east to be too much of a 
"pent up Utica" for the expanding powers of his mind and 
genius, he came west in the spring of 1858, and wishing to 
show "what he knew about farming," he spent the summer 
of 1858 ou a farm in Macon county. That was the " wet 
year," and his labor was almost in vain; " the rains de- 
scended, the floods came," the farming land was a quag- 
mire, and the crop was scarcely worth the gathering. 

-It was while passing down the Illinois Central Railroad 
on the way to the State Fair at Centralia that the author 
first met Mr. Emery. It was the year big with events. 
■"There were giants in those days," — the year of the mem- 
orable canvass of Lincoln and Douglas so often referred 
to in these pages. Politicians were all agog, and the people 
of the state had almost all turned politicians. Mr. Emery 
was going to the fair with thousands of others. He was 
full of the subject that engrossed everybody — politics. So 
was every passenger on the train, — the author among the 
Test. Most naturally we fell into conversation, and " a 
fellow-feeling made us wondrous kind," and the political 
situation was talked over more than a failure of the crops. 
But arriving at the Fair, amid the exciting scenes of many 


thousand people, he took in the sights of a western agricul- 
tural show for the first time, heard the a Old Ranger " 
make a speech defending Buchanan and denouncing 
Douglas, — altogether it was quite an exciting time, and 
Emery probably for the first time took in this phase of 
western life. He returned to his farm, and shortly after 
" had a call" to join his brother in assisting to conduct the 
railroad hotel and eating house at Chenoa. While doing 
this he was corresponding, — writing for the papers, and 
was offered a position on the Chicago Tribune, but he did 
not' accept. Nathan Geer, then the publisher of the 
Transcript at Peoria, secured him as a local writer on 
that paper, and he filled the position with marked accept- 

In July, 1860, Mr. Emery and Edward A. Andrews 
became the proprietors of the Transcript, and new life was 
infused into it by the vigorous editorials of the new editor- 
in-chief. The war came on and the paper flourished 
because it advocated the cause of the loyal masses and the 
soldiers in the field. As we are writing general history it 
is not our province, nor have we the space to speak of all 
of Mr. Emery's business arrangements with others. It is 
his marked characteristics that we wish to record in these 
'" Recollections," so they can be transmitted down through 
these historical pages, not as the partisan but as the man — 
the patriot. 

A contemporary brings out some of the strong points 
in Mr. Emery's character. It says : 

" He put his whole soul in his work. It was a labor of 
love with him. A man of firm convictions, when he became 
convinced he was right there was no power to swerve him 
from what he believed to be his duty. He worked inces- 

474 FIFTY tears' recollections. 

santly for his political convictions. In the canvass he was- 
always busy, he had abounding and unfaltering faith, was 
unselfish, and eschewed all thoughts of pecuniary gain, 
lending every energy to the consumation of the end in view."" 

The Call, the leading literary paper of Illinois, gives 
this just estimate of Mr. Emery's leading characteristics. 

" His leading characteristic was that he had opinions of 
his own, and had the manhood to assert them, cost what it 
might. He took his position squarely upon an issue and 
fought it out on that line. Men knew always where to find' 
him. To his friends, and to principles in which he believed, 
he was as loyal as truth itself. To principles which seemed 
to him untrue, he was a vigorous opposer, and in all this 
there was a manner that one could but admire. He fought 
a square fight, and threw himself into the conflict with all 
his admirable power at high pressure. Politically, he was a 
great power, and many are the reminiscences of the able work 
he did. Socially, he was a host in himself. Possessed of 
a brilliant mind, drilled by long discipline in private study 
and social converse, he was a charming talker and the life of 
any circle in which he was thrown. Quick at repartee, apt, 
witty, and fond of a joke, few could equal him in passing a 
pleasant hour at table or in the parlor. He had a great 
fondness for literature, a quick judge of the merits of 
authors or of books. His literary tastes were of a high 
order, and the finest expressions of pathos or sentiment 
found in him an ardent admirer." 

Of Mr. Emery as a writer it can be said his claims rest 
on the solid basis of real excellence, with a delicate sense 
of just what was proper to say on the subject matter in 
hand, a style easy and familiar, making what he wrote a 
vehicle of instructicn, suited to correct error, throw light 
on ignorance, ridicule vice, augment and purify the moral 
feeling, refine the taste with his lively fancy, briefly and 
tersely expressed, by original ideas in appropriate words. 


He was eminently just with the men with whom he 
acted in political life. This justice was tempered with out- 
spoken candor, as it was some times necessary to criticise 
the action of his co-workers, which was always done 
frankly and fearlessly, they in almost every case acknowl- 
edging the justness of his motives in the exceptions taken 
to their course, even if they were not convinced of their 

In his editorial experience, taking in the contest of 
1860 and the whole period of the rebellion, with the after 
years of reconstruction, under the recalcitrancy of Johnson, 
the contests of 1868, '72, '76, and '80, he stood at the helm 
assisting to direct the ebb and flow of popular feeling, 
understanding the hidden mechanism by which parties are 
moved, these matters necessarily being the subject of con- 
stant thought and of familiar every-day conversation, fitting 
him more fully for the place he filled as editor-in-chief of 
the leading journal of Northern-Central Illinois.' In this- 
more than a score of years, he devoted time, talent, money, 
and reputation to political work, showing the practical 
working of ihe government in subordinating men and 
events to the advancement of principles that he believed, if 
carried out, would promote the best interests of the people. 
This long experience, cIosg study, and means of knowledge 
at his command, gave him an intimate knowledge of the 
complex relations, both state and federal, of our form of 
government, enabling him to have an inside view of public 
affairs and public men. The public only saw the outside, 
and many times, indeed, the two sides were very different. 
This whole time he was an active participant, saw the 
secret springs and hidden machinery by which men and 
parties were to be moved and measures promoted or 

476 FIFTY years' recollections. 

thwarted, as was dictated by lofty patriotism and honest 
ambition to promote the public good. 

His political opponents thought that at times he was 
unnecessarily harsh in his judgments and severe in his criti- 
cisms, but he wrote as he believed, in the spirit of truth, 
only, saying what was necessary to give a clear exposition 
of his views. 

His animosities were ever directed to bringing out the 
good points of those with whom he differed. To do this it 
was necessary for him to expose the points he deemed them 
wrong in. His editorial ambition was to be clear in state- 
ment, reliable as to facts, candid in conclusions, just in his 
views, frank with political friend or foe, in which judg- 
ment we believe his cotemporaries and posterity will con- 

He was favored by official appointments quite fre- 
quently. In 1865 he was appointed Postmaster of Peoria 
by Mr. Lincoln, and was removed by Johnson for refusing 
to endorse his policy. In 1869, he was appointed Collector 
of Internal Revenue by President Grant, and held the 
office two years. He was frequently a member of the City 
Council and of the County Board of Supervisors, always a 
vigorous worker and looking closely to the interests of the 

In 1880 he was supported by the Peoria County dele- 
gation and by some others for nomination as a candidate 
for Congress, but the Knox and Fulton delegation were 
more united, and finally Hon. John H. Lewis was nomi- 
nated, who was elected and served very acceptably. 

Mr. Emery was twice married. He first married Miss 
Mary Sargent Moon, who died after his removal to Peoria. 


In 1877, he married Miss Mary W. Whitesides, then 
County Superintendent of Schools, and one child is the 
result of this union, a bright, active boy, named Philip 
Enoch. He performed other literary work besides his edi- 
torial duties. He wrote three books, " Emery's Compen- 
dium of Facts " and " The Smugglers," afterwards drama- 
tized as " The Brotherhood of the Border" or, " Gipsy 
Secret," and " Myself." 



One of the noted and most respected citizens of Peoria, 
•devoted to the interests of the city and the promotion of 
sound principles in both religion and politics, the best 
known citizen of the county, and among the oldest surviv- 
ing, is Mark M. Aiken, born at Deering, Hillsboro county, 
N. H., June 21st, 1808. He is the son and eldest child of 
Nathaniel and Susanna Maria Aiken. ' He is from North 
of Ireland stock, his original emigrating to America in 
1719, settling at Londonderry, New Hampshire. Mr. Aiken 
is a second cousin of Horace Greeley and in his youthful 
days received a common school education at the same 
school where attended Parker Pillsbury, a man who has 
made his mark in the literary and religious world. 

Mark, possessing an enterprising disposition, a business 
turn of mind, turned his attention to business when yet 
only a youth. Armed with testimonials of his correct 
habits he went to New York at the age of sixteen. A ma- 
ternal uncle was so impressed with the boy's capacity for 
business that he introduced him to the Harper Bros., who 
were so well pleased with his spirit and pluck that they 
gave him an opportunity to learn the business. He stayed 
with them until his twenty -second year, boarding with John 
Harper, one of the members of that extraordinary firm. 
His health failing they fitted him out with a lot of books 


and sent him to Charleston, S. C. He sold the books at 
-satisfactory prices, his health was improved and he returned. 
In 1832 he started a job printing office in New York, and 
finding his remote relation, Horace Greeley, about this time, 
they went into a kind of limited partnership. Aiken did 
the office work and Greeley looked up the business outside. 
This business continued one year. They then divided the 
stock, Greeley taking part and S. D. Childs, Mark's brother- 
in-law, taking the other part. Then young Aiken tramped 
west. He took a lot of medical books from Prof. A. Sid- 
ney Doane, of the New York Medical College, and started 
■out, stopping at leading places and cities to sell the works. 
He came to Pittsburg, there taking a steamer came to St. 
Louis. He stopped but a short time there, but the fame of 
the Military Tract Country called him to wish to see it. 
He had acquired patents for two or three tracts of land in 
payment for work while running the job office, and he 
wanted to see what kind of land its was. Others had em- 
ployed him to look after their landed interests, and before 
he was aware of it he was a real estate dealer. He arrived 
by steamer at Peoria October 28, 1833, and has been a resi- 
dent and substantial citizen ever since. He engaged in 
business alone for the first three years, and in 1836 formed 
a co-partnership with the late Geo. C. Bestor. 

This arrangement continued for four years and proved 
satisfactory. After the expiration of his term with Mr. 
Bestor he always conducted his business alone. He has 
taken a deep interest in educational matters and the ad- 
vancement of the city's financial prosperity. He has been 
school inspector, commissioner for opening new streets, con- 
demning property for public purposes, assessor at an early 
•day, internal revenue inspector, and in recent years has 


filled the position as a member of the board of health. 
Ever since he came to the state and up to the war he was a 
radical anti-slavery man, acting with the abolitionists until 
the organization of the republican party. Mr. Aiken is 
now in his seventy-fifth year, and his mental faculties are 
unimpaired. Always a lover of liberty, he contributed to 
" aid the oppressed and let them go free," even before the 
war, and his benevolence is known far and wide. He aided 
early church building in Peoria by donations of lots on 
which to build them. He has always been willing to aid all 
who would help themselves. He has sage and wise coun- 
sels to give with financial aid to the deserving, and is 
known as guide, counselor and friend to multitudes since 
his advent in Peoria fifty years ago. 



The American people live in an atmosphere of intel- 
lectual freedom that gives play to choice of profession or 
occupation according to the capacity or inclination of its- 
citizens. Here is exhibited a wide field for inventive 
genius, whether the outgoing desires be in the direction of 
intellectual culture or for an active or sedentary life. This 
field for choice is well illustrated in the person and pro- 
fession of the subject of our sketch. 

Hon. Andrew Shuman, ex-Lieutenant Governor, was 
born November 8th, 1830, in Lancaster County, Penn. 
His father died when he was only seven years old and he 
was left to the care of an uncle, who could give him but 
limited educational advantages; but they were well im- 
proved, and when he had attained his fourteenth year he 
was placed in a drug store to learn the business, but seems 
not to have liked the business. It did not give scope to 
his literary desires, the yearnings of his young nature for 
books and newspapers for obtaining knowledge. So his 
term was short as a compounder of drugs. 

When he was fifteen years old he entered the office of 
the Lancaster Union and Sentinel, and here made rapid 
advances in word-making by the skillful manipulation of 
the type. ■■ In 1846 he went with his employer to Auburn, 
New York, and was engaged in the office of the Advertiser, 


and made such progress in acquiring a perfect knowledge of 
the business that on the attainment of his eighteenth year 
he established a small literary paper, the Auburnian, per- 
forming all the work himself. This seems to have been a 
very good school for the attainment of practical knowledge, 
which was impressed on him the more as he found out that 
financially it could not be made to pay. So at the end of 
the year the enterprise was given up, but he had gained 
useful knowledge, acquired some fame, lost some money, 
and valuable time, but the experience was a treasure to 
draw on for future business. At the age of nineteen he 
entered the office of the Cayuga Chief, at Auburn, as a part- 
ner, but soon withdrew, and finding that this, his chosen 
field of labor, would probably be his life work, and feeling 
the necessity of a more thorough preparation, he entered 
Hamilton College in his twenty-first year, earning the 
money to pay his tuition and other expenses by working at 
the printing business during vacation. During his junior 
year at college he accepted the editorial chair of the Daily 
Journal at Syracuse at the urgent request of the friends of 
the late Gov. Seward. Here he served for near four years, 
finishing his college studies, and feeling that he was now 
prepared for a wider field of labor. Obeying Greeley's 
injunction, " Go west, young man," he came to Chicago 
in 1856, and was at once given scope and play for his 
genius as assistant editor of the Chicago Daily Journal, 
where he is to-day, having served as probationary assis- 
tant for five years, during the exciting years of 1858 and 
1860, aiding in the great result of those years. He was 
promoted in 1861 to the chair of editor-in-chief, assuming 
the full direction of the paper. He was elected in 1864 
to the Commissionership of the Illinois Penitentiary at 


Joliet, and held the office till 1871, then declining to take 
the office longer, he gave his exclusive attention to his edi- 
torial duties for the next five years. 

In 1876, he was elected as Lieutenant Governor of the 
state on the Republican state ticket, receiving over 22,000 
majority. As presiding officer of the senate he was very 
popular, and on retiring received the unanimous thanks of 
the senate for his fairness and impartiality in the discharge 
of his duties. On retiring from office he became the part- 
ner of John R. Wilson in publishing the Journal, and has 
since bought a half interest, controlling the policy of the 
paper and adding much to its former circulation and use- 

Mr. Shuman, now in his 53d year, just in the full en- 
joyment of his brilliant mental powers, has the best of 
health, and bids fair to be the presiding genius in his 
chosen field of labor for many years to come. 



Welker Given,- who so successfully and satisfactorily 
filled the editorial chair of the Transcript during 1881, was 
born at Millersburg, Holmes county, Ohio, May 17th, 
1853, and came from a family somewhat prominent in public 
affairs, and was from his early youth familiar with matters 
of public interest. He was named for an uncle — Judge 
Welker, now United States District Judge in Ohio, who 
served six years in Congress and was lieutenant-governor of 
Ohio, elected on the same ticket with Salmon P. Chase. 
The father of Welker Given, Brig.-Gen. Given in the late 
war, is now circuit judge of the Des Moines District, Iowa. 

In early childhood Welker was in delicate health, so 
much so that he could not attend school as other boys at 
his age. Such education as he received at that early age 
was at home. He was early introduced to public affairs, 
and in the war accompanied his father to the front when he 
was a mere child, was under fire at Stone River when only 
ten years old, noticed the order and regularity of business 
in his father's quarters, and official etiquette and courtesies, 
the forms and rules of business in official papers, orders to 
officers, etc. 

At twelve years of age he served as page in the Ohio 
Senate, and became interested in politics and legislation, 
and at that early age did some reporting for the papers, 


principally paragraphical and sometimes personals on the 
members, laconic squibs and reflections on legislation, some 
of these appearing as editorial matter in the Ohio State 
Journal. After the war his father was appointed deputy 
commissioner of internal revenue at Washington, and 
Welker accompanied the family to that city, where he 
resided several years. During these years he was a student 
at Columbian College, and advanced rapidly in his studies, 
at leisure times contributed articles to the press, attended 
many of the famous debates in Congress, and became ac- 
quainted with many prominent men. This wide range of 
literary life gave him a varied experience with men, and the 
subjects that were brought to his attention embraced all the 
questions of the day, past, present, and prospective. 

In 1872 he removed with his father's family to Des 
Moines, Iowa. A trouble with the eyesight kept him out 
of active business for several years. With restored health 
he entered his chosen profession of journalism, beginning 
at the bottom of the ladder. 

He commenced as reporter on the Des Moines Register, 
and was advanced from one position to another until he had 
held every editorial position on the paper, including editor- 
in-chief when the regular chief was absent. His editorial 
labors had brought him before the people, and his services 
were required in the political field — on the stump. He 
made many speeches in the campaign qf 1876 that gave him 
a reputation which has increased with the years. He has 
engaged actively in nearly every important canvass since. 
His varied talent has procured him invitations to make ad- 
dresses before literary societies, decoration and Fourth of 
July patriotic occasions commemorative of past achieve- 
ment and patriotism and the future greatness of our country. 


He was also in request for social occasions and re-unions in 
response to sentiments. 

In 1879 he was appointed by the Republican State 
Committee as their secretary, and in 1880 was editor-in- 
chief of the Iowa City Daily Republican, and left that posi- 
tion to succeed the late Enoch Emery as editor-in-chief of 
the Transcript, and the people of this state know with what 
ability and faithfulness he gave his talents to that work. 
It was while he was engaged on that paper that the author 
became acquainted with Welker Given. In his sanctum, 
at his editorial labors, we remember with fresh distinctness, 
his quiet bearing and friendly greeting, his mild geniality, 
showing a delicate discrimination as to the subjects he chose 
to converse upon. He assumed no scholastic superiority, 
though he possessed it, and it was through the columns of 
the paper that he showed the depth, power, and broadness 
of sweep of the intellect that fulminated the trenchant 
editorials that appeared daily in the paper. 

Mr. Given was so unobtrusive and undemonstrative in 
his personal intercourse that he made but a limited-personal 
acquaintance in Peoria, but wherever the Transcript circu- 
lated and was read there he was appreciated for the manful- 
ness and nobleness of his sentiments. 

But his Iowa friends, among whom he had labored in 
the council and the field, pressed their claims on him so 
persistently to return that he concluded to do so at the end 
of the year. He left the Transcript against the most per- 
sistent urging of the manager to retain his place. He was 
called to the position of acting editor-in-chief of the Daily 
Register, Des Moines, the leading paper of the state. In 
the campaign of 1881 he wrote an editorial for the Register 
which was afterwards published separately and circulated as 


a campaign document. In January, 1882, on the accession 
of Gov. Sherman, he was appointed private secretary to the 
governor, without any knowledge that the appointment was 
to be made, and only accepted when strongly urged to do so. 
Mr. Given has studied law, but never with a view of prac- 
ticing, only as an adjunct to his editorial duties, these re- 
quiring that he discuss constitutional and law questions 
when they are presented. 

In the line of his editorial duties he has written legal 
arguments that have been accepted by counsel without 
changing a syllable, and which, on their application to the 
case argued, secured the reversal of important cases in the 
Supreme Court of Iowa. Outside of his editorial leaders 
he has published articles in Eastern magazines anonymously, 
that have attracted marked attention. 

He has always been a Republican, and his labors as a 
journalist have always been to unite and strengthen the 
party on the plane of its best sentiment and the moral ap- 
proval of the best class of people. This was his endeavor 
while in Peoria. 

Mr. Given has had advantages of position, but not of 
wealth, and his successful career as a journalist will assure 
other young men that equally strict application, closeness 
of study and observation, will assure as great success to 

Since the above was written Mr. Given has accepted an 
offer to return to the editoral chair of the Transcript under 
a permanent engagement. He entered upon his duties May 
1st, 1883. 



Among the early pioneers of Woodford county "that 
was known and read of all men," was a young Kentuckian 
that all the people delighted to honor as "Bob" Cassell, 
just as the pioneers of Sangamon county delighted to call 
the inimitable Lincoln " Abe." Young Cassell was known 
far and near, over ten counties; perhaps more for his jovial 
disposition, genial conversational powers, frankness of 
manner — at times approaching brusqueness. 

He was born at Lexington, Kentucky, October 26, 
1816, where he resided until the spring of 1831, when his 
father moved with his family to Jacksonville, this state, 
where Robert T. finished his common school education, he 
attending during the years until about twenty years old. 
" Bob," early in life, was quite a cavalier among the young 
ladies, inheriting the true Kentucky gallantry, and in 1835 
he was married to Miss Nancy Butler, of Sangamon 
county, a sister of Hon. William Butler, afterward elected 
State Treasurer on the Republican ticket in 1860. The 
fruit of this marriage, one son, William J. Cassell, born in 
1837, who stilj resides at Metamora. The same year his 
young wife died in Sangamon county, mourned by her 
youthful husband and many friends; dear to all for her 
gentle ways and many virtues. 

In 1835 his father died, leaving a large tract of land 
in the territory, now Woodford county (then Tazewell). 


Young Cassell, in settling his father's estate, visited that 
portion of the State frequently, and while here, as usual, 
he looked with favor on one with whom in future years he 
enjoyed rare connubial happiness. He was married again 
to Miss Rebecca A. Perry in 1839, and to them was born 
seven children, three boys and four girls, — his sons, Judge 
Joseph J. Cassell (see sketch), Frank Cassell and Martin 
H. Cassell, the latter now Postmaster at El Paso. 

Mr. Cassell read law in the office of Captain Edward 
Jones of Pekin, and was admitted to the bar in 1851, and 
has practiced law in Woodford and adjoining counties 
until the present time. In 1874 his wife died at Eureka. 
In 1866, he was elected to the House on the Republican 
ticket, the district composed of the counties of Woodford, 
Marshall, Bureau and Putnam, and made a good record as 
a legislator. In 1868 he was appointed United States 
Special Agent, making his home most of the time at 
Chicago and Philadelphia. After holding this office a lit- 
tle over two years he resigned. 

He formed a law partnership with Henry Grove of 
Peoria, who was a very successful practitioner. This con- 
nection lasted six years and was very successful. After it 
was closed Mr. Cassell formed a partnership with E. C. 
and R. G. Ingersoll, the firm known as Ingersoll, Cassell 
and Harper, and continued for six years. During the 
years before the war Mr. Cassell was busy looking after 
his real estate matters, and held some official positions, was 
Justice of the Peace from 1850 to 1860. He has resided 
in Metamora, Eureka and El Paso, and now resides with 
liis son William at Metamora, and still practices his pro- 
fession, and now, in the 67th year of his age, enjoying fair, 
good health. 



Alson Smith Sherman, born April 21, 1811, in Barre r 
Washington county, Vermont. His father, Nathaniel 
Sherman, and mother, Deborah Webster, were descended 
from the old New England stock of the Shermans and the 
Websters that were such stalwart patriots in the revolution. 
Alson grew up with but the ordinary means of education, 
and learned the architect and builder's trade for a business. 
He was married February 26, 1833, to Miss Aurora Abbott,. 
in Vermont, and removed to Chicago in November, 1836, 
where there was a wide field for the exercise of his energies 
and enterprising disposition. He immediately engaged in 
the business of supplying building material, stone and lime, 
and with this engaging in contracting. His powers of con- 
ducting and managing large enterprises gave him a wide 
acquaintance, which spread over the city and country as the 
people increased from the thousands of emigration each 
year. As his acquaintance enlarged so did his influence 

As soon as Chicago organized a city government he 
was called into her council, and was for some time chief 
of the fire department. Was elected mayor of the city two 
terms in succession, 1844-45, and after these terms expired, 
was elected the first water commissioner under the act of 
legislature authorizing the erection of water works. When 


the canal was building he did all he could to push it through 
to completion, and in anticipation of the event he built 
some canal boats to navigate it, and one of his boats was 
the first to enter the lock to take a departure down the 
" raging waters." He opened stone quarries at Lemont, 
and built the first boat 'to freight stone from the quarry into 
the city. His extensive stone quarries made it necessary 
for him to shape the stone for fitting into the building, and 
he built the first mill for sawing stone in the city, and also 
is supposed to be the first one in the state. He brought 
from his quarries the first boat-load of stone ever brought 
to the city of Chicago. In connection with his stone busi- 
ness he established the first marble works in the city, and 
made the first marble mantle ever manufactured in Chicago. 
Built the first patent lime kiln (called a draw kiln) ever 
erected in the city, and cut the first building front from the 
Lemont stone ever carved for a Chicago house of that 

In writing us in regard to the early progress of Chicago 
he says : " You will percieve that I am largely entitled to 
the name of Pioneer in many things." Mr. Sherman is a 
man of first principles, first in good works and good 
deeds, not a selfish streak about him. It was on one of his' 
canal boats that the author shipped his first load of wheat 
from Lacon*to Chicago, and for a return cargo the same 
boat brought back the piooeer load of lumber, when he es- 
tablished the lumber business there in 1848, soon after 
opening the canal. Accompanying that boat load of wheat 
through the canal was our first experience in canal naviga- 
tion, and our distinct recollection is that the atmosphere 
was cloudy, with musquitoes of "imj>roved variety" for size 
and capacity for blood sucking. But we* survived them, got 

492 FIFTY years' recollections. 

through safely, discharged our first boat load of wheat 
and loaded up our first load of lumber on one of Sher- 
man's boats, the first one built for use on the canal, a well 
connected string of coincidences throughout. And this was 
not all. He is to-day, after all these years, enjoying a 
green old age, and with his good wife Aurora, Feb. 26, 1883, 
enjoyed their first golden wedding at Waukegan, where 
he resides. Numerous old friends from Chicago and other 
parts of the state and at Waukegan calling to congratulate 
the old pioneer, who still holds first place in the affections 
of his family, his friends, and the younger generation now 
following after them. From the commencement of our ac- 
quaintance early in 1848, to the present time, we have 
known him in business, in his relations of friendship and in 
his family, and always found him first in all the virtues 
that enable and the friendships that hold like hooks of steel 
to those whom years of acquaintance have proved true. 

S~£~ fun D 1 J 

Mount Carroll Illinois. 



If devotion to science, pursued with all the ardor of an 
enthusiast scaling its rugged heights, following it in its sub- 
terranean depths, investigating the habits of animal and 
insect life, then patiently mastering the principles of two or 
more of the leading professions, giving attention to each, 
will give rank and position to the individual, then, indeed, 
has it been earned by the subject of our present sketch. 

Henry Shimer was born at West Vincent, Chester 
county Pa., Sept. 28, 1828, and experienced the usual rugged 
labor of farm life that attaches to the occupation, going 
to school in winters; when grown to sufficient strength, he 
varied his occupation by working at the mason trade. la 
this manner he grew up strong and self-reliant, studious 
when at school, constant in his labors on the farm or hand- 
ling the trowel. When arrived at the age of eighteen he 
engaged in teaching winters. In this manner his time past 
until his twenty-sixth year, when in March, 1854, he 
started west, and arrived at Mount Carroll, the scene of his 
future triumphs and successes. He possessed an investiga- 
ting turn of mind and there was ample field before him to 
gratify his love of study, and he found it by the wayside, 
in the hills and mountains, on the broad prairies, in the 
orchards and groves, among the animals and feathered 

494 FIFTY years' recollections. 

bribes, the fishes in the streams, and the minerals and rocks 
under and on the earth, — all these were his study, which he 
patiently pursued. 

His exploring trips extended from Minnesota to Texas, 
and to the western frontiers, on two different occasions 
traveling over one thousand miles on foot, taking his time, 
examining the country carefully. Besides these extended 
trips he has taken four others over three hundred miles 
each, all on foot, and numberless lesser excursions in the 
interest of science, in which he examined the country care- 
fully, stopping at times to ply his trade, wielding the 
plummet and trowel ; his travels altogether not being much 
short of 5,000 miles. 

After spending about four years in this practical way 
he returned to Mount Carroll and engaged in teaching in 
the seminary, pursuing his studies of mathematics, natural 
sciences and medicine, finally graduating at the Chicago 
Medical College, March 1, 1866, since which time he has 
been engaged in the study and practice of medicine, lectur- 
ing on and teaching natural sciences in the seminary, j 

The doctor is an enthusiast in all he undertakes, and a 
close student, devoting the time which most men less ardent 
would require for rest in reading, study and experiment. 
He has a large and growing practice. We have listened to 
his lectures before the Illinois State Horticultural Society 
at t'aeir meetings at Rockford and other places, on the sub- 
ject of entomology, and for some time he filled the position 
of State Entomologist. 

His favorite sciences, besides his chosen profession of 
medicine, are geology, mineralogy, ornithology, entomology 
and botany. He is an expert as a taxidermist, has over 
one thousand mounted specimens of birds found in Illinois 


and this climate, with quite a collection of rare ones from 
foreign lands and the southern and eastern states. 

His collection of geological, mineral, entomological and 
botanical specimens are very fine, which are all referred to 
in our descriptive sketch of Mount Carroll Seminary and 
of the labors and enterprise of Mrs. Francis A. Wood 
Shimer, its founder. 

He was married to Miss Francis A. Wood December 
22, 1857, and has since constituted one of the board of 
instruction in that institution, teaching classes in mathe- 
matics and lecturing on his favorite sciences. 



For leDgth of service in the editorial work, and the 
many and various fields of labor, the subject of our present 
sketch has enjoyed a rare experience. 

Paul Selby was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, July 
20, 1825, his father, Dr. William H. Selby, a native of 
Anne, Arundel county, Md., and mother, Mary Young 
Selby, of Fairfield county, Conn. Both of his parents 
were of English ancestry, and Mr. Selby is the fifth of 
six children, five sons and one daughter, who all reached 
years of maturity. He grew to the age of twelve years in 
the county of his nativity, attending the common district 
schools, and in 1837 his father removed to Iowa, settling 
in Van Bureu county, and in 1843 his father died, and in 
the following year, when nineteen years old, young Selby 
came to Jonesboro, Illinois, and thence to Washington 
county, and engaged in teaching in winter of 1844-45, ten 
miles east of Nashville, near the present city of Ashley, 
and next summer went to Madison county, receiving a cer- 
tificate from Hon. E. M. West. Commenced teaching 
near Edwardsville. Remained there over three years, 
teaching in different places, at the same time studying 
for college. 

In the fall of 1848 he went to Jacksonville and entered 
on a course of classical study at Illinois College in the 


preparatory department in the study of languages. Re- 
mained in Illinois College until March, 1852, and left as a 
junior, and afterwards favored with degree of A.M. from 
his Alma Mater. 

Entered the newspaper business in connection with A. 
0. Clayton, a fellow student, a practical printer, and pur- 
chased from Dr. E. C. Roe the Morgan Journal, a weekly 
newspaper, now the Daily Journal. The new publishers 
took possession of the paper March 1, 1852, and issued 
their first number. During the next few years the paper 
took an active part in the discussions of the interests of 
the State Institutions, located at Jacksonville. In 1854, 
the agitation of the slavery question, which had been par- 
tially composed by the adoption of the Compromise meas- 
ures of 1850, was renewed with greater bitterness than 
ever in consequence of Douglas introducing the propo- 
sition to repeal the Missouri Compromise. The Journal 
was in favor of maintaining the faith of the Nation and 
preserving the territories to freedom. It maintained that 
" Freedom should be the rule and slavery the exception." 
These views naturally brought the paper in harmony with 
the opponents of slavery extension, and as the elements ar- 
rayed against the measures of the Democratic party grad- 
ually took form and crystalized into the Republican party, 
the Journal found itself in full sympathy with the new 
organization. In 1855, during the State Fair, the new 
party, which had been gathering its adherents, held its first 
State Convention in Springfield for consultation. Only a 
small attendance, but included such names as Owen Love- 
joy and a great many men since famous in the state. Selby 
attended as a member of that Convention. During the 
next winter the Journal suggested a meeting of anti- 

498 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Nebraska editors of the state with a view to consultation 
and devising a general line of policy. 

The convention met February 21, 1856. Among those 
present were Dr. Charles H. Ray, of the Chicago Tribune; 
Ceo. Schneider, of Staats Zeitung, Chicago ; O. P. "Wharton, 
Rock Island Advertiser; T. J. Pickett, Peoria Republican; 
V. Y. Ralston, Quincy Whig; B. F. Shaw, Dixon Tele- 
graph; W. J. Usrey, Decatur Chronicle; A. N. Ford, Illinois 
Gazette, Lacon; Charles Faxon, Princeton Post. Paul 
Selby presided. Resolutions were adopted recommending 
the holding of a state convention at Bloomington, May 
29th, following,- for the purpose of state organization, and 
a state central committee to carry this recommendation 
into effect was appointed. 

The Bloomington convention was called, and put in 
nomination a full state ticket, led by Col. Bissell for gover- 
nor, which was elected the following November. 

In the spring of 1859 Mr. Selby removed to Springfield, 
where he spent the next summer, and prepared a review of 
the Matteson canal scrip fraud, which was published in 
pamphlet form and widely circulated throughout the state, 
exciting no small influence in the politics of the state in the 
next few years. 

In the fall of 1859 he accepted the invitation to teach a 
school for boys at Plaquemine, La., and removed south with 
his family, consisting of wife and daughters. Taught one 
year, then accepted the principalship of a collegiate insti- 
tution for boys and girls, at Amite, La. This year norther- 
ners in the south were subjected to suspicion, but although 
Mr. Selby was the object of some violent threats on accouut 
of his opinions, and anti-slavery sentiments, he was not 


Iii June, 1861, the term of his institution closed, being 
satisfied that he and his family could not remain much 
longer south in safety, he sold what property he could, and 
packing the remainder and shipping it to a friend at Plaque- 
mine, on the evening of July 3d, 1861, he left New Orleans 
for the north, via Canton, Miss., Jackson, Tenn., and 
Columbus, Ky., arriving at Springfield on the morning of 
July 6th. He met with no serious difficulty on the way, 
though many refugees were subjected to great trouble and 
loss. Going to Cairo soon after he took a position in con- 
nection with one of the military offices, which he retained 
until the next spring. 

He returned to Springfield July 1, 1862, and accepted 
the position of associate editor on the staff of the Illinois 
State Journal, which he retained until November, 1865, 
after the close of the war. 

> In November, 1865, his wife having died, he accepted 
an offer of a position in the custom house at New Orleans, 
and in June following returned north, and after a few 
weeks' vacation accepted a place as writing editor on the 
Chicago Evening Journal, which he soon relinquished to ac- 
cept one on the Republican, then under the management of 
Smith, Denslow & Ballantyne, and starting out with pros- 
pects very flattering. After remaining with the Republican 
some eighteen months he went to Quincy and accepted a 
position on the Whig, owned by Phillips & Bailache, and 
remained there until January 1, 1874. 

In 1874 he returned to Springfield and assumed his old 
place on the Journal, which he has ever since retained. In 
the summer of 1880 D. L. Phillips, Mr. Selby's former as- 
sociate on the Journal, and from 1877 postmaster at Spring- 

500 FIFTY years' recollections. 

field, died, and Mr. Selby was appointed postmaster, enter- 
tering upon his duties July 4th, 1880. 

Mr. Selby has been married twice, first in 1858, to Miss- 
Erra A. Post, of Jacksonville, who died in November, 
1865, then he married a second time in December, 1870, to 
Mrs. Mary J. Hitchcock, of Quincy. By his first wife two 
children were born to him, daughters, both of whom survive. 
By his second marriage he had two children, son and 
daughter, both dying in infancy. . 



Charles M. Eames was born at Jacksonville, November 
6th, 1845, son of T. D wight and A. M. Eames, of that city. 
He early entered the schools, but from the fact of having 
delicate health never completed his education fully. He 
entered the freshman class of the Illinois College in Sep- 
tember, 1863, and did his first journalistic work as a 
county fair reporter in October, 1866, and was the Jackson- 
ville reporter for the Chicago Republican and Springfield 
Journal in 1868, and later in the same year was city editor 
of the Quincy Whig for six months. After practicing the 
journalistic profession he for a while gave it up and en- 
gaged in the wholesale and retail book and stationery busi- . 
ness in Jacksonville for eight years. 

In 1876 he bought Horace Chapin's half interest in the 
Daily and Weekly Journal, and in 1878 bought the other 
half interest of M. F. Simmons, and filled succcessively 
the positions of city editor, news editor, political editor and 
business manager. At present he is sole proprietor and 
managing editor, devoting most of his time to the business. 
He was married November 14, 1876, to Carrie M. Hall, of 
"Wallingford, Conn., and three children have been the result 
of this marriage. 

Mr. Eames is active in sustaining the benevolent efforts 
of the following orders : He became an Odd Fellow in 


1868, a Good Templar in 1866, a Mason in 1871, a Knight 
Templar in 1881, and a Royal Templar of Temperance in 
1880. He gave his first presidential vote for Grant in 
1868, and voted for every republican candidate since. In 
1880 he was a member of the republican city, county, state 
and national conventions, and in the latter voted with the 
" 306." Mr. Eames is very active in all the religious and 
benevolent works of the churches ; was a delegate to the 
Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian church, with which denomination he has been since 
1863. He has been Ruling Elder since 1879, and Sunday 
School Superintendent since 1871, State Sunday School 
Statistician Secretary from 1880-82, and District Sunday 
School President for four years. 

For a man that does not enjoy first-class health Mr. 
Eames performs an immense amount of labor, so many 
duties requiring his attention that he is obliged to economize 
his time very closely to fill all the responsibilities he has 



Steadiness and consistency to principle is one of the 
cardinal virtues, and when exemplified practically in life 
will always command respect and attention. 

Enoch P. Sloan was born at Cambridge, Dorchester 
County, Maryland, January 22, 1822. His father died 
when he was but one year old, and his mother when he was 
but five years old, and he was left to the care of his oldest 
sister, who was married to John S. Zieber, who resided at 
Princess Ann, Somerset County. In this brother-in-law's 
family he was kindly cared for, and given an opportunity 
to attend the few terms of school that offered up to enter- 
ing his eleventh year. He then entered Mr. Zieber's 
printing office to learn the business, and when he came to 
Peoria in the fall of 1839, Mr. Sloan, then in his eighteenth 
year, came with him and continued work in Mr. Zieber's 
office, who had established the Democratic Press, until he 
was twenty-one years of age. He then arranged with Mr. 
Zieber to assist in conducting his paper, and continued to 
do so till 1846, when he sold to Thomas Phillips from 
Pittsburg, Pa., Mr. Sloan still continuing to assist the new 
proprietor. In 1849 Washington Cockle bought the 
paper, and Mr. Sloan continued his connection with the 
paper until 1851, when he bought the establishment of 
Mr. Cockle, and thus after twelve years' connection with 

504 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the paper became the proprietor, still continuing to ad- 
vocate the principles of the Democratic party, and the 
election of Franklin Pierce to the Presidency in 1852 over 
General Scott. He did faithful and efficient service to 
the party for the next five years, when they called him " to 
come up higher," and in the fall of 1856 he was elected 
'Circuit Clerk of the county, and again re-elected in 1860, 
his term of office expiring in December, 1864. 

In the war of the rebellion he was a Douglas democrat, 
sustaining the government in the efforts made to raise men 
and money for its vigorous prosecution. For this zeal he 
suffered political ostracism from many of the leading men 
of the democratic party in the county and state, but he was 
true to the Union, and sustained the policy of the govern- 
ment that ended the war in 1865. Mr. Sloan wrote much 
during the war in the advocacy of a vigorous policy to 
close it. 

On retiring from office Mr. Sloan was admitted to the 
bar, having given all his leisure time to the study of law 
during his term of office. The real estate laws of the state 
more particularly engaged his atteution, and while he was 
circuit clerk he found that a large part of the real estate 
litigation in Peoria county arose from the conflicting titles 
of claimants under the old French grants. This deter- 
mined him to give special attention to this branch of the 
legal business. He also compiled a most complete abstract 
of titles of all the lands in the city, which enables him to 
trace titles on the shortest notice, and almost his entire law 
business has been relating to real estate. 

He has also given a great deal of his time and talent to 
literary matters, not forgetting his old editorial experience. 
He was an active participant as a contributor to various 


publications in the interest of temperance and good morals, 
aiding by contributions T. H. Van Court in publishing the 
lempe? - ance Advocate. 

The interests and welfare of the city of his adoption has 
received his earnest attention ever since he was identified 
with her growth. He has served several terms in the city 
council, always, from his intimate knowledge of public 
affairs, being called to take a leading part. Educational 
matters have always received his careful attention. He has 
been elected to serve on the board of education for several 
terms, and the thorough course adopted bears the impress of 
his shaping genius. * 

In the last few years Mr. Sloan has given a great deal 
of time and thought to reformatory work in promoting the 
great temperance cause that has demanded the attention of 
philanthropists in reforming the inebriate, and preventing 
the spread of intemperance in our country. He has zeal- 
ously co-operated with all the organizations and individuals 
having these objects in view, and by speech and pen has 
sought to influence public opinion on this most important 
public question. He has delivered unanswerable argu- 
ments on the legal points involved in the question, main- 
taining the rights of the people to the full control of the 
question, and in the exercise of that power to prohibit the 
manufacture and traffic in all intoxicating beverages. i 

Mr. Sloan is now in his sixty -second year, is well pre- 
served in health, his intellectual powers equal in vigor to 
his palmiest days, gives his business earnest attention, but 
finds time to devote to his books and literary enjoyment, 
and bids fair to enjoy many years of usefulness to himself 
^nd the country. 



George Burt, Jr., was born March 29, 1836, at Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, and moved with his family to Henry in 
May, 1846. Learned the printer's art in the Free Trader's 
office, Ottawa, and Journal office, LaSalle, Illinois. After 
this he worked in the best newspaper and book offices in 
Peoria, Syracuse, New York, Rochester, New York City ;. 
Hartford, Connecticut; Springfield, Massachusetts; Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island. He located in Henry, purchased the 
Republican office in September, 1865, of which he has been 
sole proprietor and editor to the present time. He has a 
power press, owns his own buildings, has a complete office, 
newspaper and job presses, all propelled by steam. Mr. 
Burt is from regular Yankee stock, his father, George Burt, 
Sr., was long one of the leading citizens of Marshall 
county, and from the time he came to that portion of that 
county we were well acquainted with him until business- 
called us to duties elsewhere. 



Among the young workers and toilers in ascending the 
mount of literary fame at an early day, coming under our 
own observation, was the subject of our present sketch. 

Henry A. Ford was born in Ithica, New York, Sept. 25, 
1835, came to Illinois in his infancy, his father being the 
pioneer publisher and editor of the Lacon Herald, afterwards 
the Illinois Gazette. Henry was educated in the public 
schools at Lacon, afterwards attending the Henry Academy, 
Walnut Grove Academy, (now Eureka College) and finished 
his education at Amherst College, and afterward taking a 
law course at Michigan University, when he went to teach- 
ing as one of the Faculty in Kalamazoo Commercial Col- 
lege, and when his engagement ceased there, he removed to 
Niles, Berrien county, Michigan, and was at once elected 
superintendent of schools of that county. While engaged ' 
in educational work in Michigan, published the Michigan 
Teacher, and Northern Indiana Teacher. In 1866 he published 
Ford's History of Putnam and Marshall counties, Illinois, 
a work valued very highly by the old settlers of these two 
counties, and in the years since then has been engaged in 
general literary work over a wide field. We might say in 
passing that he was connected with one of the Michigan 
regiments in the war of the rebellion, we believe the cap- 
tain of a company. 

508 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Although raised and reared in Illinois, his early educa- 
tion and his first editorial labors done here, yet a large 
portion of his educational and literary work has been done 
in other states. He has been on the editorial staff of the 
Illinois Gazette, Kalamazoo Telegraph, South Bend (Ind.) 
Register, Cleveland Leader, and now engaged on the edi- 
torial staff of the Detroit Evening News, and in general, 
historical and literary work that will be given to the world 
when his labors are completed. For general historical 
knowledge Mr. Ford has few of any superiors. He and 
his wife, Mrs. Kate Brearley Ford, compiled the " History 
of Cincinnati and Hamilton County," " History of Louis- 
ville and Counties about the Falls of the Ohio," Kentucky; 
" History of Penobscott County," Maine, and edited a vol- 
ume of sermons, " In Memoriam," delivered by Rev. \V. 
T. Higgins, and a volume of sermons "To young men." 

He has just issued a volume, "' The Poems of History," 
a work of rare literary merit. In literary work Mr. Ford 
is a life toiler, and we only regret that his sketch came to 
hand so late that we cannot give the amount and extent of 
his labors a more extended and detailed notice, particularly 
his army experiences. He was as a youth, studious, and 
possessed a mature mind while yet a boy, assisting his 
father in the typographical labor of his printing office, and 
when very youthful wrote well, and was an excellent com- 





In visiting the scenes of former years, before entering 
on the preparation of this work, to compare recollections 
with the old pidneers, we enlisted the services of our and 
fathers' old friend, Williamson Durley, to write us a sketch 
of his eventful life, which will be all the more interesting 
because given in his own language. 

When at Hennepin we looked over some of the old 
tomes in the records of the past, now filed away in the 
musty receptacles of the circuit clerk's office. Capt. Jeff 
Durley, the present efficient circuit clerk, in charge, a 
younger brother of Williamson, the writer of our sketch. 
The Captain has a war record that will be given in volume 
II, is now about 60 years of age, and has quite a patriarchal 
head in its flowing whiteness. The first time we visited 
Hennepin was in April, 1836, when just past 18 years old, 
to testify in a suit pending between the Wauhob heirs and 
Virgil Lancaster. Thomas Ford was the presiding judge, 
Oaks Turner, circuit clerk. Judge John D. Caton was 
Wauhob's counsel, and Ira I. Fenn one of the counsel for 


Lancaster. On the way to court, staid all night at Hart's, 
ahout three miles south of Hennepin, one of the old pioneer 
families, the old people excellent folks, but some of the 
boys bore a very hard name at the time. But to Mr. 
Durley's history : 

" Williamson Durley was born in Caldwell County, 
Kentucky, in January, 1810. My father moved with his 
family from Kentucky to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 

'' The first settlements made by the whites had only 
been made two years before that time, and we had to under- 
go many privations in the early settlement of the country. 
The first year my father had te go seventy miles to mill. 
The first year after the settlement of the country the In- 
dians came among us to hunt in the fall and winter, but 
were friendly. I lived with my father and mother on the 
farm until I was twenty-one years old. My opportunities 
for getting an education were very limited, as we had no 
organized system of education in those times. Our school 
houses were built (when we had any) by the neighborhood 
joining together and cutting logs and hauling them together 
and building a log house, covering it with clapboards with 
poles laid on the boards to hold them to their place. The 
floor was made of split puncheons hewed on one side, and 
and the seats were made (without backs) out of a proper- 
sized tree, split in two pieces, with one side hewed and 
legs put in them. And when a man came along where 
there was a place to keep (the word keep being used instead 
of teach) school, (it was not thought then that women 
could keep school), he went around the neighborhood with 
a subscription paper to see how many scholars he could get 
signed to send to school, each scholar to pay a stipulated 
sum for a time named. The qualification required of the 
teacher was that he should be able to write his own sub- 
scription paper. The above described schools were the 
only kind we had in the early settlements of Illinois. I 
never went to any other kind "of schools. In the first set- 


tlement of Sangamon County people made their calculation 
•on having the fever and ague in the fall of the year. 

" In the winter of -1831 I left my father to work for 
myself, and got employment in a store in Springfield at 
ten dollars per month and board. I worked there six 
months and then volunteered as a soldier in the Black 
Hawk war of 1831, under the command of General Dun- 
can, rendezvoused at Rushville, Illinois. Sixteen hundred 
mounted riflemen marched from there to Rock Island 
through a country entirely uninhabited. We remained 
only a few days. During that time a treaty of peace was 
made with the Indians, and then we returned to Spring- 
field and were discharged in July, 1831. 

" I settled in Putnam County, Illinois, August 8th, 
1831, and opened a small variety store opposite the mouth 
of Bureau Creek in a log cabin, on the eighth day of 
August, 1831, in company with my uncle, James Durley. 

"The county seat having been established in May, 1831, 
at what is now called Hennepin, on congress land, the 
county court entered the land at $1.25 per acre and laido'ut 
the town. The first sale of lots was made in September 
1831, at which time James Durley and myself bought a 
town lot, and having built a house upon it moved our store 
there in November, 1831. In 1832 the Indian war broke 
out again, and we all had to gather into forts or block- 
houses, which caused great suffering among many families, 
some being killed by the Indians, others losing their crops. 
But peace was made in the fall of 1832, and the country 
commenced settling again. I was married to Elizabeth 
Winters, late of Miami county, Ohio, on the second day of 
December, 1834, and we have lived happily together since 
that time up to the writing of this, November, 1882. 

" In 1836 Putnam county embraced nearly all the ter- 
ritory now composing the counties of Putnam, Bureau, 
Stark and Marshall. At that early day there were schemes 
of dismemberment dividing the county, and this sectional 
question was paramount to everything else. State and 


national politics cut no figure when it came to be compared 
to a future county line or a prospective county seat. 

"To protect her interests in the legislature, Hennepin 
placed in nouiination Thomas Atwater, a leading lawyer of 
the place, and on general principles, other parts of this 
broad extent of territory placed in nomination Col. John 
Strawn, the largest farmer in the county, to represent their 
interests. Both were democrats, so the fight was purely sec- 
tional and persona], conducted in a friendly social way. The 
candidates treated 'the boys,' Col. Strawn making a personal 
canvass over the district, asking the people to come and see , 
him and 'eat peaches,' adding the 'spiritual influences' where 
' they would do the most good.' The colonel was the military 
commandant. It was his pride that year to 'call out the 
troops.' He commenced the canvass early. The latter part 
of March, 1836, by a military order he called the officers 
and men of the Fortieth Regiment, Fourth Brigade, First 
Division of Illinois Militia together for exercise and drill, 
to meet at Hennepin. They met, but there were more 
officers than privates present, and in the forenoon the colo- 
nel held officer's drill, dismissing them with the order to 
assemble again at 2 p. m., sharp, on the street in front of 
Burnham's grocery store for general parade and drill. At 
that time quite a crowd came together, the colonel in full 
regimentals and flowing spirits, ordered everybody to fall 
into line, (boys and old men included), complimented them 
on their soldierly appearance, with some reference to the 
black HAWK war, and other recitals of what they had 
done for their country. When he had reached this point 
two men came from the grocery store bearing pails of sweet- 
ened whisky; started along the lines distributing from tin 
cups, with patriotic exhortations from the colonel to ' drink 
and be merry,' with other encouraging assurances that the 
prospects for his election were good. 

In this year, 1836, I sold out my store, and in March, 
1837, moved on to my farm where I lived forty-five years, 
within two miles of Hennepin, engaged in farming. From 
1840 to 1846, I was also engaged in mercantile business. 


Since which time I have devoted more of my time to farm- 
ing. In 1841 I was elected one of the county commis- 
sioners of Putnam county, and served in succession eleven 

" In September, 1862, I was appointed United States 
Assistant Revenue Assessor for Putnam county, and served 
four years and resigned. I can say that in all my transac- 
tions with men I have tried to act honestly, and have a 
hope to live with the Lord when called from this existence." 

Williamson Durley. 




National characteristics — Moral and religious character — Ee- 
ligious persecution — Mr. Jansson killed — One common in- 
terest — Poverty and sickness — Cholera breaks out among 
them — Beginning of prosperity — Broom corn production — 
Great success — Olof Johnson — His skill as a business 
manager — Nativity, birth and marriage — Bapid growth and 
business prosperity of Calva — The commercial business of 
the colonists — Wild cat currency — Western Exchange bank 

— The bills printed but never issued — Financial crash of 
1857 — American Central Railway — Personal retrospection 

— The colonists' real and personal estate apportioned — Their 
individual prosperity — Extent of their former estate — 
Their loyalty — Their numbers in the state — Mr. Johnson 
dies — His family. 

In our social and business intercourse with communities 
and nationalities in this state, perhaps the most pleasurable 
to our remembrance comes up the settlement of the Swedish 
community in Henry county, known to the country as the 
"Bishop Hill Colony," and in justice to the wide influence 
that nationality has exercised on the morals, the politics, 
and the business and social relations of the state we propose 
to devote a chapter of our " Recollections " to this deserv- 
ing element in our prosperity. 

The easy facility with which the Scandinavian nation- 
alities conform themselves to the genius of our institutions, 
their moral and law-abiding training before coming to our 


shores, make them the most desirable people, next to native- 
born citizens, to claim permanent citizenship and identi- 
fying themselves with all our great interests, financial, 
moral, political and social. 

Statistically we find by referring to the best authority 
that prior to 1846 there was not more than twenty-five to 
fifty citizens of Swedish nationality scattered at different 
points over the state. The founders of this widely known 
and desirable foreign element came to Henry county in the 
fall of 1846, and like our own pilgrim fathers, had left their 
own native shores because they were denied the privilege of 
worshipping God according to the dictates of their own 
conscience. The colony numbered at first about eight hun- 
dred, aud were under the leadership of Eric Jansson 
{father of Capt. Eric Johnson, of Galva), who was mur- 
dered in 1850, by an adventurer by the name of Roof, who 
had found a temporary home in the colony, and had mar- 
ried a cousin of Miss Jansson. 

The religious tenets and beliefs of Mr. Jansson and his 
followers were not originally communistic, but when they 
faced the stern necessity of fleeing from religious persecu- 
tion they found but few of their number were possessed of 
worldly lucre, and the majority poor and without the means 
of defraying the expenses of the journey across the ocean 
and thence to their new home. It was then that a burning 
religious zeal and enthusiasm suggested the plan and induced 
those who possessed the wealth to place their individual 
means in a common fund, in order that all who were one in 
Christ, according to their religious belief, should be trans- 
ported to their place of refuge in the new world, where per- 
secution for conscience sake was unknown. 

After these religious emigrants had arrived and pitched 

516 FIFTY years' recollections. 

their tents on our fertile prairies, the same necessity com- 
pelled them to continue as one family, to provide for and 
assist each other, and it did not take many weeks before 
they were all on a common level so far as money and this 
world's goods are concerned. This common fund was ex- 
hausted, and it was only by united efforts, labor and toil 
that they could manage to exist, which at that day was not 
so easily done as now, because there were no convenient 
market for the products of their soil. 

Owing to lack of houses and the crowded condition in 
which they lived, unaccustomed to the climate and food, 
the colonists suffered severely from sickness, and their 
ranks were decimated by death. To add to the discourage- 
ment of climatic disease, and make their isolation and 
desolation more complete, the Asiatic cholera broke out 
among them in 1849, and its ravages took away one hund- 
red and forty-three during that year. In 1850 the colonists 
having become more acclimated, and built better houses, 
they enjoyed better health than any year since they settled, 
which greatly encouraged them. In 1851 they resolved on 
a mixed cultivation of products, something that was more 
light in weight and more valuable in the market. They 
decided to plant a great part of their farms to broom-corn, 
and become the pioneers of this industry in the state, that 
since then has brought them so much wealth, and not only 
them, but in every part of the west where this industry has 
been intelligently organized, it has enriched the farmers. 
This experiment proved so satisfactory that in 1852 a con- 
tract was entered into with Messrs. Dougal & Co., of Peoria, 
for the raising of broom corn a term of years at $50 per 
ton. A. M. Davenport was sent to instruct the colonists 
in the mystery of raising, curing and preparing the product 
for market. 


This new industry became the means of lifting the col- 
ony out of financial embarrassment, and placed them 
on the high road to wealth and affluence. The number of 
acres planted increased from year to year, and one year 
when the price was unusually high, the handsome sum of 
$30,000 was realized. 

The business manager for the colony was 


who in many respects was well suited for the responsible 
position. He was a man of more than average ability, a 
keeii zest for business was his natural bent of mind. Had 
he enjoyed the advantages of education and a disciplined 
business training, he would have been one of the most suc- 
cessful business men of his time, considering the financial 
backing and commercial credit the colony gave him. He 
was bold, self confident and shrewd, but too sanguine. 

Nothing pleased him more than to be engaged in busi- 
ness affairs on a large scale and of a speculative character. 
He was open-hearted and generous, and never could do too 
much for a friend^ but he demanded of his friends im- 
plicit acquiescence to his wishes, aud to acknowledge his 
superior judgment. 

Mr. Johnson was .born in the Parish of Sodesala, 
province of Helsingland, Sweden, June 30, 1820, and was 
amongst the first settlers at Bishop Hill. He was married 
in 1843 to a very estimable young woman of the same 
province, and they were well adapted intheir temperaments 
to enjoy life together. 

The early and rapid, growth of Galva was in a great 
measure due to the public enterprise and spirit of Olof 
Johnson. As business manager-of the colony, under his 
direction, were built the first substantial business houses of 

518 FIFTY years' recollections. 

Galva. The buying and shipping of grain and stock was 
entered into on an extensive scale, as was also pork pack- 
ing, the latter proving an unprofitable venture from lack 
of experience in properly curing the pork and was abandoned 
after the first season's trial. Galva became a desirable mar- 
ket for the surrounding country. A general merchandise 
store, lumber yard and bank, all under the management of 
Olof Johnson, came in rapid succession. Then came the 
era of " Wildcat Currency," The fertile mind of Johnson 
saw in this a hopeful bonanza. The " Western Exchange 
Bank " (Nebraska) charter was purchased. A new issue of 
bills were elaborately electrotyped, and signed with the 
Bishop Hill Colony as backers, ready to be issued when 
the financial crisis of 1857 came and cruelly exploded the 
bubble, and the new issue never made their appearance in 
commercial circles. 

A little before the bank scheme and preparatory to it 
was launched a grand railway project called the " American 
Central Railway." This was to be a trunk line between 
the east and west. Olof Johnson for the Bishop Hill 
Colony, took the contract to grade that part of the road 
from the Indiana State Line to the Mississippi River at 
New Boston, and as part payment $1,000,000 in stock was 
taken in the railway project. Considerable of the grading 
had been done when the cruel crisis came and crushed out 
this enterprise. Both the railway project and the banking 
enterprise was no doubt entered into with the best of inten- 
tions and the brightest hopes of a brilliant success, and had 
the times proved propitious, would, without doubt, made 
the colony immensely rich. As it unfortunately turned 
out, considerable loss followed, but not to the extent to 
ruinously embarrass the colony. 


During these years, from the time of the opening of the 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, while we were 
in business in Chicago, we had business relations with Mr. 
Johnson, and we outline his character by what is written as 
it was unfolded to us in our transactions for a term of 
years. His banking operations he thought perfectly legiti- 
mate at the time, as did a great many other bankers in 
Chicago and elsewhere. We sold a great deal of the broom 
corn raised by the colony, consigned to the Chicago market, 
also the flour made at " Bishop Hill Mills," corn and other 
produce. His gigantic railroad .operations were thought to 
be a great benefit to the country, and he was thought to be 
a public benefactor in the prosperous days of his enter- 
prises, but when the financial "cyclone" of 1857 came and 
these enterprises were forced to cease operations, there were 
those that impugned his integrity, but without cause. He 
was not "a cool, calculating and evil disposed person," as 
some charged on him when overtaken by financial misfor- 
tune. Although the colony lost money in the crash, it was 
only a shrinkage of values. Mr, Johnson surrendered his 
trust to them, leaving the property unincumbered and in 
good shape to be divided to each individual member. 

In 1860, community life, after a fourteen years' exist- 
ence, having served its purpose, outlived its usefulness and 
no longer a necessity, the colony was individualized, and 
its real and personal property equally and equitably divided 
among its members ; and now that portion of Henry county, 
that for years was known as the Swede settlement, " Bishop 
Hill Colony," is one of tht most flourishing portions of our 
grand state. The substantial and elegant farm houses, large, 
spacious and costly barns that mark the former domain of 
the discouraged and persecuted colonists, that embraced 


twelve thousand acres, denotes financial thrift, solidity and 
business success that always follow in the train of persever- 
ing industry and frugality. The village — city, it ought to 
be — of Bishop Hill, is one of the most beautifully located 
and attractive in Northwestern Illinois. The old, substan- 
tial brick buildings of "ye old colonial times," give the 
place an appearance quite different from that of any other 
town. With the exception of three or four families the 
entire population are Swedish and their descendants. The 
Swedes were intensely loyal in the rebellion, furnishing, in 
all the calls for volunteers, their full proportion of men for 
the suppression of the great rebellion. 

We have, in the commencement of this chapter, noted 
the small number of this nationality residing in the state in 
1846. Now, from the most reliable authority, it is placed 
at 100,000, including their descendants. 

Olof Johnson, to whom a large part of this chapter has 
been devoted as the then representative of the interests of 
the colony, died at Galva, Illinois, July 18, 1870. His 
widow survives him, as does also three daughters. He left 
his family in moderately comfortable circumstances, and 
they reside in the elegant family residence at Galva. One 
of his daughters married Peter Larson, Esq., of Galva, one 
of the successful merchants of that place. 



In September, 1839, just after we attained our majority, 
"a-foot and alone," land-excursion fever seized us, and we 
organized the strength of our forces and started on foot 
across the prairies and groves of Illinois, our objective point 
being Iowa, to view the native grandeur of that new terri- 
tory just opened up to settlement. We struck due west to 
Burlington, crossing the Mississippi at that point. In pass- 
ing west our route led past the newly laid out city of Gales- 
burg, which had only been located two or three years before, 
and the improvements were of the most primitive kind. 
We viewed " this city of the plains " in embryo, and passed 
on. We present a sketch of the earliest pioneer of the 
place, the man who bought the land on which the city now 
stands, as one of the locating committee appointed for that 

Nehemiah West was born in New York, Aug. 26, 1800, 
and there spent the first thirty-six years of his life. In 
1824 he was married to Catharine Neely, daughter of Capt. 
Abram Neely, who served his country during the entire 
Revolutionary War. For nearly a quarter of a century 
she was his loving helper in all his labors, for his family, 
for humanity, and for God, and survived him more than 
thirty years to train up the children he left to her care. 
She lived to see all of them who survived her grow to 
Christian manhood and womanhood, each filling an office of 

522 FIFTY years' recollections. 

trust to which elected by the votes of their fellow-citizens, 
then died, full of years and honor, March 31, 1880. 

In 1835, when the plan of founding a Christian college 
in the West took possession of the brain of Rev. G. W. 
Gale, of Utica, N. Y., Mr. West was one chosen to make 
this idea a fact. He, with two others, were commissioned 
to go West, explore the country, and fix upon a site for the 
proposed colony. They went, carefully examining the 
country from Cincinnati to Chicago, thence to St. Louis, 
and chose a location in Knox County, III., just on the 
divide between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Their 
report was accepted, aod Mr. West, with three others, were 
sent back in the fall to purchase, if possible, a township of 
land on the site. The purchase was made embracing 20,000 
acres, and preparations made for removing thither in the 
spring. In May, 1836, Mr. West with his family, including 
his brother, John G. West, and Abram Tyler, his brother- 
in-law, Mr. Hugh Conger, with his family, and Mr. .Barber 
Allen, twenty-two persons in all, started from New York 
for Illinois with their own teams, arriving at their promised 
land June 2, 1836. The terminus of their journey was 
Log City, five miles" from the present site of Galesburg. 
It then consisted of one log cabin purchased by Mr. West 
the fall previous. Other cabins soon sprang up around it 
as other colonists came to fill them. 

From this centre went out the grand influences and 
workers that made Knox College and Galesburg what it 
was and is. These were men of faith and prayer, as well 
as work. They laid the foundations deep and broad, and on 
them builded better than they knew. The plan of the col- 
lege had been made in New York, and its board of trustees 
elected, of whom Mr. West was one. The city that was to 
be, was platted and lots set apart in it for the college, semi- 
nary, church, public school and cemetery. 

It remained for our Log City friends to carry these 
plans into execution, and transform this city on paper to a 
village upon land. Houses were built " out on the prairie," 
as Galesburg was then called, farms fenced, winter wheat 
sown, and by spring many families moved out there. 


This winter was a season of beginnings in Log City, in 
all of which Mr. West was active. Here, in a log cabin, 
was started the school destined to grow into Knox College ; 
here also the old First Church had its birth, and Mr. West 
was elected one of its ruling elders, an office he held till his 
death. Here was organized an anti-slavery society, the 
first, we believe, in the state, and here temperance was dis- 
cussed in such a practical way that admission to the old 
First Church meant a total abstinence pledge, and a clause 
was inserted in all the deeds given by Knox College for 
ever prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic 
liquor on any land bought from it. As the title to all the 
colony lands was vested in Knox College, this made Gales- 
burg a prohibition town for the first twenty years of its 
existence, and would clean. liquor out of it to-day if the 
sons had half the back bone of their fathers. 

Early the next spring Mr. West and Mr. James Knox 
were sent to Vandalia, then the state capital, to secure a 
charter for Knox College. This being secured the Board 
of Trustees was organized, Mr. West being retained on it 
and made one of its executive committee. He performed 
the arduous duties connected with this office until his death, 
February 17, 1847. To his wise forethought and conse- 
crated common sense Galesburg and Knox College owe 
much of their success. For common sense was the pre- 
dominant characteristic of Nehemiah West, and early in 
life it was consecrated, with all his powers, to the cause of 
God and humanity. He was a man of strong convictions 
and moral back bone. He was a staunch temperance man 
before the days of the Washingtonians, and braved and 
bore the ridicule of his neighbors by having a barn raising 
without whisky, a thing before unheard of. 

He was an Old Line Abolitionist when that was a term 
of reproach, not a title of honor as it is now. His home 
was a station on the Underground Railroad and he was one 
of its most efficient conductors. Many a load of frightened 
fugitives did he carry to the next station, the home of 
Owen Lovejoy, in Princeton. The fall before he died he 

524 FIFTY years' recollections. 

was the anti-slavery candidate for the legislature, and then 
the acceptance of such a nomination meant ostracism and 
mob violence. He was secretary of the first anti-slavery 
convention known in this part of the state, held in an 
"upper chamber" over Curtenius & Griswold's store, in 
Peoria, while a pro-slavery mob raged through the streets. 
The house in which Mr. West and others of that Spartan 
band spent that night was attacked by the mob and his 
brother-in-law, Rev. Levi Spencer, seriously injured. Mr. 
West's little daughter, who witnessed these exciting scenes 
with her father, lived to see the leader of this mob, who 
then stood over her with a club, the captain of a "Wide 
Awake" company which paraded the streets of Galesburg 
in honor of Abraham Lincoln. 

Thus we see Mr. West was identified with the grand 
movements which so largely shaped the history of Illinois 
in its early days. He battled bravely " for free speech, free 
labor and free men." Freedom of the press was equally 
dear to him, and he was one of the supporters of the National 
Era, that first anti-slavery paper that dared live in the 
United States. During all its terrible struggle for life in 
Cincinnati he daily prayed for it as he knelt at the family 
altar, and on the very day of his death his dimming eyes 
unclosed and lighted up with much of their wonted fire 
when its first number, issued at Washington, was laid upon 
his bed. How he loved education and religion Knox Col- 
lege and the old First Church of Galesburg testify. What 
he was to his family only God and his loved ones know. 

"He stootl four square to every wind that blew." 



It is not the intention of this work to unduly eulogize 
personal efforts in advancing Christianity and morality, but 
to truthfully outline the faithful performance of duty as- 
sumed as a life-work when young in years, but having a 
perfect understanding of the responsibilities assumed. 

John M. Faris was born in Ohio county, Virginia, May 
23, 1818, and spent childhood and early youth at home 
with his parents, working on the farmland attending the 
country schools. He made such progress in the primary 
branches that at sixteen he entered the sophomore class of 
Washington College, Penn., and graduated with a share of 
first honors in 1837, when nineteen years of age. In No- 
vember of the same year he entered the Theological Semi- 
nary at Alleghany, Penn., and graduated in September, 
1840. Soon after graduating he married Miss Ann E. 
"Wallace, of Alleghany, and settled down to his life-work 
as a minister at the early age of twenty-two. He was 
called to the pastoral charge of'the Presbyterian church at 
Barlow, Ohio, in May, 1841, ministered to them until No- 
vember, 1844, when he received a call to Fredericktown, 
Ohio, where he labored successfully for eleven years, build- 
ing up and strengthening the church greatly. 

From here the educational interest of the church re- 
quired his services, and he accepted the Financial Agency 
for the Theological College of the Synod of Wheeling, to 
which he gave two years of hard and successful service. 

526 FIFTY years' recollections. 

This completed his seventeenth year in the ministry. 
Closing his engagement with the Wheeling Synod he came 
to Illinois, and was called to the First Presbyterian Church 
at Rockford, January 1, 1858. He made his labors very 
acceptable to this church for five years, when the educa- 
tional interests of his church again required the genius of 
his great financial skill, January 1, 1863, he was called to 
the aid of the Presbyterian Female Seminary at Chicago. 
It was while engaged industriously on this charge that the 
author's acquaintance commenced. He is possessed of 
that frank, candid and openness of manner that commends 
man to his fellowmen, and whiph so well fits him for raising 
funds for educational work, and his^ three years' labors 
were blessed with success that placed the institution on a 
permanent financial basis. In November, 1866, he re- 
moved to Union County, Illinois, purchasing a fruit farm 
some four miles from the city of Anna, where his family 
have since resided. 

In the spring of 1869 he again entered the service of 
the church, devoting his talents and energy to her financial 
interests, dividing his time between the Presbyterian Theo- 
logical Seminary at Chicago and the Westminster College, 
Missouri. The secret of Mr. Faris' great success, and the 
demand for his services, is his great plainness, his frank and 
open social qualities and his prompt business ways. He is 
still in the gospel harness, and when we were spending a 
half week in the interest of our work, gathering together 
the links of our remembrance, weaving the web of this 
.history, we met him, just returned from one of his monthly 
trips. He is now in the forty-third year of his ministry 
and bids fair to reach his semi-centennial. His vigor in 
the work is not the least abated, and no flagging in his zeal. 



Great Excitement— Great Triumph— First Editorial proposing 
Abraham Lincoln as a Candidate for President. 

It is probable that there never was a more exciting 
election held in the State of Illinois, or probably in the 
United States, than the November election of 1858. I 
believe every voter still living has yet a vivid recollection 
of the intense patriotic enthusiasm and excitement of that 
day. The day was foggy, misty and lowering, but it did 
not rain much. This forbidding state of the atmosphere 
made no difference with the people. They were abroad 
early, intent on voting themselves, and then to see to it 
that no other voter, who would vote "right," should neg- 
lect the glorious privilege. It was even said that some 
voters carried out the injunction "to vote early and often," 
but of this I will not affirm. There was " a hurrying to 
and fro," and every voter was sought out and urged to go 
to the polls. The sick, the halt, lame and blind, swelled 
the long lines of voters at the place of voting. They were 
sought out, made comfortable by wrappings and coverings, 
placed in carriages and vehicles, and kind arms supported 
them to and from the place of voting. 

What caused this great commotion the country through? 


the voters of to-day will inquire. The reply is, it was patri- 
otism; principles as high and holy and lofty as ever 
actuated and moved the human heart. It was as pure, 
noble, and self-sacrificing as moved many of the same 
voters to go to the battle field in 1862, and for four years 
following. Freedom was at stake in our territories, and 
that was the turning point. Men represented principle, and 
in our own glorious state Lincoln led on our conquering 

" They rallied from the hillside, 
Gathered from the plain, 

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom." 

and that day Illinois was redeemed and still maintains her 
proud position. 

With pride I can call to mind the humble part borne by 
myself in that great contest, and the exultation I felt when 
it was known that Illinois, by her popular vote, in the 
most closely contested election ever held within her borders, 
had elected the Republican state ticket. It was as good as 
a revelation from the Divinity that freedom was from 
henceforth safe, and slavery and oppression must recede in 
darkness. With many others I felt exultant. Though 
Lincoln could not go to the senate, I felt that there was 
yet future triumphs for him on another field — and that 
field the Nation. 

I felt prophetic ; the possibilities of the near future 
loomed up and flashed on me, when I took my pen to write 
the result. 

I had no plan, no form of set phrases of speech in which 
to announce the result. The Gazette was just waiting to go 
to press ; only lacked the announcement of the result of 
election. I wrote hastily ; it seemed to me carelessly, and 

THE ELECTION OF 1858. 529 

when completed, ready for the compositor, it ran, exactly 
without change since, as found below, the first editorial 
ever proposing that Abraham Lincoln should be nominated 
as the Republican candidate for the Presidency for the can- 
vass of 1860 : 


The contest just closed, and the glorious result of yes- 
terday's election, showing by the popular vote that Illinois 
is redeemed from Democratic domination by the election of 
the entire Republican state ticket, although the Legislature 
will be Democratic by reason of the unfair apportionment 
of the state in the Senatorial and Representative districts 
by a former Democratic Legislature, in gerrymandering the 
state, so that the counties where large Republican majorities 
prevail are massed together, while counties where there 
are but small Republican majorities are swallowed up by 
attaching them to counties that are largely Democratic, 
thus insuring the election of Democrats to the Legislature 
and thwarting the will of the people, by securing the re- 
election to the Senate of the United States of Stephen A. 
Douglas to misrepresent them for six years more from the 
4th of March next, instead of Abraham Lincoln, the orator 
and statesman, whom the popular voice has declared should 
be entitled to that high office. 

To him, the Republican standard-bearer, their chosen 
leader in the brilliant and glorious contest just closed, we 
are indebted for this glorious result. 

The masterly manner in which he conducted the canvass, 
both in the joint discussions with Douglas, and his grand 
speeches made to the people in all parts of the state, has 
attracted the attention of the whole country and the world 
to the man that gave utterance to the sublimest truths yet 
enunciated, as principles now adopted as the future plat- 
form of the Republican party, and marks him as the 
leading statesman of the age, possessing the confidence of 
the people in his inflexible honesty, and his fitness to lead 

530 FIFTY years' recollections. 

the people in yet other contests, in which the field will be 
the nation, and his leadership to conduct the hosts of free- 
dom to victory in 1860. What man now fills the full 
measure of public expectation as the statesman of to-day 
and of the near future, as does Abraham Lincoln ? And 
in writing our own preference for him, we believe we but 
express the wish of a large majority of the people that he 
should be the standard-bearer of the Republican party for 
the presidency in 1860. 

We know there are other great, names that will be pre- 
sented for this great honor — names that have a proud prom- 
inence before the American people — but in statesmanship 
Lincoln is the peer of the greatest of them. 

There are McLean, Seward, Chase, Bates, Cameron, and 
possibly others who will be presented before the convention 
meets, and their friends will urge their claims with all the 
pertinacity that devoted friendship and political interests 
may dictate, and their claims as available candidates will be 
fully canvassed. And possibly they possess all these in an 
eminent degree ; but Abraham Lincoln more so, both as to 
eminent statesmanship and also availability. 

The friends of all the statesmen named, if they fail in 
securing their choice, would rally on Lincoln as their next 
choice, thus showing his acceptability to all. 

In the next campaign of 1860 the issues are already 
sharply defined. These will be, as they have been in our 
state canvass, slavery and slavery extension on the one 
hand, and freedom and free territory on the other. 

Douglas will lead the cohorts of slavery. Lincoln 
should lead the hosts of freedom in this " irrepressible 
conflict." Who has earned the proud position as well as 
he? as he is in himself the embodiment and exponent of 
our free institutions. These two men have fought the 
battles over the plains of Illinois. What so proper as 
their being the champions of the two principles on the 
national field? — Illinois Gazette, Nov. 4, 1858. 



Almost every sketch we have given in our " Recollec- 
tions " has marked the career of a self-made man. The 
brief one given below is no exception to the rule. It shows 
patient toil, constant work, an ■"' upward and onward " de- 
termination to succeed. 

Cadet Taylor was born near Magnolia, Putnam county, 
Illinois, September 30, 1848. His father was a farmer, and 
his sons were inured to the hard toil of a farm life. 

In 1855 his father moved to Wenona, and Cadet at- 
tended the public schools, and when sufficiently advanced 
was sent to Dover University and State Normal. Between 
the times of his terms of attending school he was obliged 
to earn the money to pay the expenses of his course. He 
drove team from the Vermilion coal fields, a hard and la- 
borious work. He done this when only from twelve to 
fourteen years old. When advanced older he went into 
business, for himself in a small way, and in 1866-67 began 
his experience as a printer in the Wenona Index office, then 
owned by Capt. Wm. Parker, who was also postmaster, and 
young Taylor become his assistant. In 1868 he became a 
partner in the publishing of the paper, and in 1870 pur- 
chased the office, and assuming the editorial control of the 
paper when only twenty-two years old, began to carve 

532 FIFTY years' recollections. 

out his own successful career in the newspaper world. His 
work has borne some fruit. 

In 1871 he was appointed postmaster at Wenona by 
President Grant, and held the office through all the succeed- 
ing administrations until he resigned the office in 1882 to 
accept the office of chief clerk in the Government Printing 
Office, at Washington, D. C., tendered him by Hon. S. P. 
Rounds, the superintendent of public printing, whose career 
and success is chronicled in other pages of this work. 

Mr. Taylor was secretary of the Illinois Press Associa- 
tion for three terms, and then elected president for two 
terms, in all five years service that he was honored with this 
mark of their highest regard and esteem. He is devoted to 
his profession, proud of the fact that there is such a grand 
organization of men as the Illinois Press Association. He 
has been a hard toiler, has earned all his honors by persist- 
ent effort, and held them by deserving and manly effort to 
serve the public. 

His appointment to his present high position was un- 
sought. It was a call to " come up higher," which he ac- 
cepted. He is now in his thirty-fifth year, in the full vigor 
of manhood, bidding fair for as many more years of active 



Among the " Young America " push and pluck citizens 
of Swedish birth of our state the author has found none 
more determined to make name and fame among the people 
than the subject of the present sketch. 

Joseph E. Osborn was born in Gefle, Sweden, July 12, 
1843, and came to this country with his father's family in 
1849. He was fortunate in his educational aspirations, hav- 
ing received collegiate training in Columbus, Ohio, and 
Springfield, Illinois. His father was the first Swedish 
Lutheran minister to emigrate to America, and was the 
founder of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod, and 
the Augustana College at Rock Island, one of the flourish- 
ing educational institutions sustained by the Swedish 
nationality in Illinois. 

Young Osborn, when only eighteen years old, enlisted 
in Battery "G," Second Illinois Light Artillery, in Au- 
gust, 186L He served during the whole war; served on 
General Ord's staff as commandant of the United States 
Ordnance Depot at Columbus, Ky v for eight months, was 
transferred to Company G, United States Heavy Artillery, 
colored, as second lieutenant, and kept in the service for 
one year after the war closed. 

Captain Osborn learned the printing business in his 
youth, is now publisher and editor of The Qitizen, Moline, 


Illinois, and is a very efficient worker in all that will ad- 
vance the prosperity of the country. His paper, The Citi- 
zen, gives out no uncertain sound on any of the great re- 
formatory questions of the day, whether moral or political. 
He is a staunch republican, as are almost all his nation- 
ality. He is a fluent speaker, giving his aid to sustaining 
his principles on the rostrum in all the political campaigns. 
Educational matters connected with the success of Au- 
gustana College at Rock Island and Moline, receives much 
attention, both personal and editorial, and the institution is 
in the most flourishing condition. 



The lady whose name stands prominent among the suc- 
sessful bee culturists of the present time, is a native of Ohio, 
born in 1831, and came to Illinois with her parents, 
Alpheus Richardson and his wife, when a child, they being 
among the pioneer settlers of Peoria county. Her early 
advantages for an education were limited. She received a 
few month's tuition at a private school. This gave her all 
the scholastic training she received, but she was a close 
student, and commenced teaching as a means of livelihood 
and self culture. While busily engaged in teaching she 
made the acquaintance of a prosperous young farmer, Robt. 
Dodds, of Woodford county, and their minds and disposi- 
tions running in the same channel, they were married, and our 
successful school teacher was transferred to the home duties 
of a farmer's wife with all their laborious cares and responsi- 
bilities. Her labors were varied by the cultivation of small 
fruits, as the state of her health made it necessary for her to 
have outdoor occupation, air and sunshine. 

With the cultivation of small fruit she added bee cul- 
ture, and in this she has been eminently successful. She 
commenced her press contributions to Colman's Rural 
World, St. Louis, and to the Germantown Telegraph, at first 
in the pomological, horticultural and house-keeping depart- 
ments of those papers. 


But it is as a writer on bee culture that she has gained 
a national reputation. Her contributions to Gleanings in 
Bee Culture, and the American Bee Journal, have elicited 
high commendation from apiarists from all over the United 
States. She also contributes instructive papers and descrip- 
tive articles on the practical operations of conducting the 
apiary to the columns of the Prairie Farmer, and for several 
years past has had charge of the apiary department of that 
paper. This, combined with her eminent success in the 
practical management of the apiary, has given her a reputa- 
tion, and made her an authority on the management of bees 
that is second to none in the country. 

Her first husband dying, after engaging several years in 
happy farm life, in 1866 she was again married to Lovell 
Harrison, one of the substantial citizens of Peoria. 

Mrs. Harrison combines a thorough knowledge of the 
natural history and habits of the honey bee, combining 
familiarity with the minutest details in the management of 
the apiary, which has placed her in the front rank among 
lady bee keepers of our land. She is a member of the 
North American Bee Keeper's Association, and at the 
annual meeting of that organization held at Lexington, 
Kentucky, in October, 1881, was elected vice-president for 
the State of Illinois. 

Her apiary at present consists of over one hundred col- 
onies of Italian bees, and is considered one among the best 
managed in the state.