ILLINOIS HISTORICAL SURVEY
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HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
L. E. ROBINSON. A.M.
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, MONMOUTH COLLEGE
NEW YORK : CINCINNATI : CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, LONDON
E. P. I
\ c \o c \
It is important that every American citizen should
know the history of his state as well as the history of his
country. This knowledge of state history can best be ac-
quired in the public schools, and it is primarily to furnish a
convenient and comprehensive text for the schools of the
Prairie State that the authors have prepared this History of
It is believed that teachers who use the book will be
able to make the study of Illinois history more interesting
and instructive if they correlate it with the history of
the United States, using the history of the nation as a
background for the study of state history. It will be easy
to show pupils how the state history fits into the story
of the nation, especially in chapters of state history on
such subjects as Joliet and Marquette, La Salle, George
Rogers Clark, The French and Indian War, Slavery in
Illinois, Railroads, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and Outbreak
of the Civil War.
If the school library contains books treating of the par-
ticular topics where the state history and national history
meet, the plan of correlating the two subjects should in-
clude references for outside reading. There are many such
books, among which the following will be found particu-
larly helpful: Parkman's La Salle, and The Jesuits in
North America, Baldwin's Discovery of the Old Northwest, and
The Conquest of the Old Northwest (for young people), Hins-
dale's The Old Northwest, Thwaites's How George Rogers
Clark Won the Northwest, Wilson's The Slave Power in Amer-
ica, Linn's Story of the Mormons, Warman's Story of the
Railroad, Johnson's Life of Douglas, Nicolay's or Tarbell's
Life of Lincoln, Baldwin's Abraham Lincoln (for young
people), Grant's Memoirs, Macy's or Woodburn's History of
Political Parties, Johnston's History of American Politics,
Fiske's The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War, and Hosmer's
History of the Mississippi Valley. The bibliography found
in the Appendix is intended for those who wish to pursue
the study of Illinois history further than is provided for in
the text. It would be well if the school libraries were pro-
vided with copies of the more important state publications,
such as the Blue Book, the reports of the State Historical
Society, the session laws of the general assembly, and the
annual reports of the Farmers' Institute, the Geological
Survey, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and other
In the preparation of this book the authors have en-
deavored to keep in mind not only the needs of teachers
and pupils, but those of the general reader as well. As a
convenient book of reference, also, they venture to hope
that the History of Illinois may commend itself to librarians.
The thanks of the authors are due to Mrs. Jessie Palmer
Weber, Secretary of the State Historical Society, and to
Mr. Hugh R. Moffet and Mr. Rufus H. Scott of Monmouth,
for use of illustrative material.
I. INTRODUCTION 7
II. MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 13
III. JOLIET AND MARQUETTE 18
IV. LA SALLE 25
V. THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS 31
VI. THE FRENCH IN ILLINOIS 35
VII. THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR (1754-1763) 39
VIII. ILLINOIS UNDER THE BRITISH (1765-1778) 45
IX. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 49
X. ILLINOIS A COUNTY OF VIRGINIA (1778-1784). . . 58
XI. THE ORDINANCE OF 1787 61
XII. NORTHWEST TERRITORY, AND INDIANA TERRITORY 64
XIII. THE TERRITORY OF ILLINOIS 68
XIV. THE FORT DEARBORN MASSACRE 70
XV. ILLINOIS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NINETEENTH
XVI. ADMISSION TO THE UNION; THE FIRST CONSTITU-
XVII. SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS 83
XVIII. ADMINISTRATION OF NINIAN EDWARDS (1826-
XIX. THE BLACK HAWK WAR 92
XX. ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840 99
XXI. STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI 104
XXII. THE ANIMALS OF ILLINOIS 109
XXIII. ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838) 112
XXIV. HARD TIMES 118
XXV. THE MORMONS 121
XXVI. CONSTITUTION OF 1848; FRENCH'S ADMINISTRA-
TION (1846-1853) 126
6 CONTENTS '
XXVII. THE COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM 129
XXVIII. RAILROADS 132
XXIX. THE ABOLITIONISTS 135
XXX. STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS AND THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA
XXXI. THE BEGINNING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN
XXXII. LiNCOLN-DbuGLAS DEBATES 148
XXXIII. THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LINCOLN. . . . 154
XXXIV. ILLINOIS IN 1860 , 160
XXXV. OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 162
XXXVI. ILLINOIS'S SHARE IN THE STRUGGLE 168
XXXVII. AT HOME DURING THE WAR 170
XXXVIII. CHICAGO 177
XXXIX. UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870 188
XL. STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 195
XLI. SCHOOLS 211
XLII. ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 215
1. CHRONOLOGY 227
2. REFERENCE BOOKS 229
3. ORIGIN OF CERTAIN ILLINOIS NAMES 230
4. LIST OF COUNTIES 237
5. UNITED STATES SENATORS FROM ILLINOIS 239
6. LIST OF GOVERNORS OF ILLINOIS 240
7. CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS. 241
GENERAL MAP OF ILLINOIS . . Frontispiece
ILLINOIS IN 1834 . . 100
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Illinois embraces an area of 56,650 square miles just
about the average size of the states in our country. Of
this area 650 square miles are made up of water surface,
principally rivers. Illinois is 218 miles wide at its widest
part. Its extreme length is 385 miles, reaching as far
north as Boston, Mass., and as far south as Richmond, Va.
It is very fortunate in its boundaries. Its entire western
side is washed by the Mississippi, while its southern end
reaches to the Ohio. It is bounded on the north by Wis-
consin, and on the east by Lake Michigan, Indiana, and
the Wabash River. Thus more than two thirds of its
boundary is made up of navigable water. This fact has
been of great importance in the settlement and commercial
growth of the state. The Illinois River, also, has facili-
tated the development of the interior. The rivers of the
state are so well distributed that no extensive section is
without an outlet for its surplus rainfall.
The surrounding states are all of a higher altitude than
Illinois. Its average height above the sea level is about
600 feet. The highest point is Charles Mound, in Jo
Daviess County, which is 1,257 feet above the sea and 600
8 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
feet above the Mississippi. The surface of the state, as
a whole, slopes gently southward ; about 50 miles from the
south end, however, it is crossed by the Ozark Ridge, the
highest point of which is 985 feet above the sea. Beyond
this ridge the slope continues southward to Cairo, the low-
est point in the state, about 300 feet above the sea.
The great length of the state gives it a somewhat vary-
ing climate. A summer temperature of 105 degrees is not
uncommon in the southern part, while in the northern
counties a winter temperature of 35 degrees below zero
has been registered. The average temperature is about
58 degrees. The average rainfall is about 34 inches a year
in the northern part and 41 inches at Cairo. About 35
inches is desirable for the best yield of corn. Although
corn and other cereals can be grown in every part of the
state, yet the great corn belt is in the central part. The
southern portion of the state is adapted to wheat, while in
the northern counties much attention is given to dairying.
The state is for the most part composed of a wonderfully
rich and level prairie land. The French word prairie,
meaning meadow, was used by Hennepin and other French
explorers in the seventeenth century to describe the vast
plains they found in this region. At that time these
great plains were covered with a thick growth of tall blue-
stem and other varieties of wild grass. Many flowers of
brilliant hues were scattered everywhere it was a land of
flowers. It is uncertain how the prairies are to be ac-
counted for. The Indians were accustomed to set fire to
the prairie grass in the fall in order to provide tender pas-
turage in the spring for their game; and some think that
these prairie fires prevented the spread of trees. When the
first white men came to Illinois they found about three
fourths of its area treeless. What forests there were con-
sisted of walnut, ash, elm, maple, honey locust, buckeye,
cottonwood, pecan, hickory, oak, poplar, sycamore, some
wild fruit trees such as papaw, plum, crab apple, and such
undergrowth as grapevines, redbud, and hazel. Trees were
more abundant in the southern counties and for some years
supported an important lumber industry there. But north-
ward the trees have always been limited, so far as we
know, to the margins of streams.
The settlers were spared the necessity of clearing off an
overgrowth of heavy vegetation, as had been necessary in
the states from which they came. The soil of the older
states when cleared of timber was mellow and easily broken
by a wooden plow with a sharp iron sheath in front. But
in Illinois the deep, thickset roots of the prairie grass did
not yield easily to these frail half-wooden plows. This was
the first state where the settlers had to face the problems
of prairie tillage in a large way, and the demand for more
effective machinery stimulated invention. The first steel
plow in America was invented in 1837 by Harvey May, a
citizen of Knox County. This was the beginning of nu-
merous Illinois inventions which have contributed to make
the state rank first in the manufacture of agricultural
New York and Pennsylvania are the only states that
have a greater population than Illinois. By the census of
10 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
1900, Illinois had 4,821,550 inhabitants. Since then the
population has grown considerably beyond the five million
mark. There are 102 counties and about 1,000 incorpo-
rated towns and cities in the state. More than half of the
people live in towns and cities of over 4,000 inhabitants
each. The chief city, Chicago, is the second largest city in
the New World. The capital of Illinois, Springfield, is an
inland city of over 36,000.
The state ranks first in the Union in the total value of
farm lands and improvements; and first in the total value
of all cereals produced. Illinois likewise holds first place
in the slaughtering and meat-packing industry, with a pro-
duction valued at more than one third of the total of that
industry in the United States. In an important sense,
Chicago is the meat market of the nation. Illinois is the
third manufacturing state in the Union, and Chicago is the
second manufacturing city. Illinois manufactures more
agricultural implements than any other state, and there is
scarcely a place in the civilized world where the imple-
ments made here are not used. It ranks first also in the
manufacture of watches and of distilled liquors; and second
in the manufacture of furniture, musical instruments, soap,
and men's clothing. While there are no forests to speak
of in Illinois, yet it has the lumber industries of Michigan,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada to draw upon. The
furniture industry of Illinois owes much of its prosperity to
the central location of the state and its excellent transpor-
Illinois manufactures more railway cars than any other
state, and has the greatest steam railway mileage. The
20,000 miles of railway in operation furnish abundant
transportation facilities to all parts of the commonwealth.
Chicago is the greatest railroad center in the world. There
are more than 1,200 banking institutions in the state, with a
grand total of more than $150,000,000, capital and surplus.
Illinois ranks second among the states of the Union in print-
ing and publishing. More than 1,700 periodicals of all
kinds are published in the state. Among the states of the
Mississippi valley, Illinois expends the most money for ed-
ucational purposes, and publishes the largest number of
books, newspapers, and periodicals.
This is a remarkable development for a state less than a
century old. Among the causes that have brought about
this rapid growth are her large area of fertile soil underlain
with great stores of mineral wealth, and her fortunate
position in the heart of two of the greatest river valleys of
the continent. Geographically, Illinois is the natural cen-
ter of trade and exchange for the eastern and western halves
of the United States; and the position of Chicago on the
shore of Lake Michigan gives the state a focal point for
this trade. By the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and Lake
Michigan, Illinois has deep-water communication with the
About 40,000 square miles, or two thirds of the surface
of the state, is underlain with a fine quality of soft or
bituminous coal, the largest coal area possessed by a
single state in the country. The first coal discovered in
America was found in Illinois by a French priest, Father
12 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Hennepin, in 1679, near the present site of Ottawa. Coal
was first mined in the state in 1810, in Jackson County.
The abundance of coal is a source of great wealth and is an
important factor in making Illinois a manufacturing state.
Oil was for some years found in small quantities only. In
1905 important discoveries were made in a number of coun-
ties in the southern part of the state, and now the state
ranks high in the production of petroleum.
Illinois has another source of wealth in her widely dis-
tributed clay deposits. More than 500 Illinois firms are
engaged in the manufacture of commercial, paving, and
pressed brick, draintile, roofing tile, sewer pipe, and vari-
ous kinds of pottery.
Limestone is found in large quantities. More than 160
quarries in thirty different counties are in operation. The
harder kinds of stone are used for building; the softer, for
making lime and cement. The quarries of the state have
furnished stone for many of the important buildings in Chi-
cago and elsewhere in the state.
Lead and zinc ores have been found in paying quantities
in Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties. Lead was first
mined in Illinois about 1826, and zinc was first marketed
in 1860. The mines in the region about Galena produced
the largest amounts of ore between 1840 and 1850.
Fluorspar was discovered near Shawneetown in 1819.
This mineral was first mined in Hardin County, and this
county still has one of the largest mines of fluorspar in the
United States. It is used in making enamel and glassw r are,
in steel making, and in other foundry work.
II. MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS
Illinois was once the home of a people whom we call the
Mound Builders, from the strange earthen mounds which
they built throughout the Mississippi valley. But who
they were, whence they came, and whither they went, no
one knows, not even the Indians whom the first white men
found here. Perhaps they were the ancestors of the Az-
tecs or the Incas, or perhaps they were exterminated or as-
similated by the Indians of the Mississippi valley. The
most recent view is that they were simply the ancestors of
the Indians of this region.
The mounds they made vary in size and shape, represent-
RELICS FOUND IN MOUNDS
ing in some instances birds, beasts, reptiles, also pyramids
and other geometric figures which indicate that the Mound
Builders were somewhat removed from savagery. Some of
these earthworks were built for war, some for burial, some
for religious purposes; but it is impossible to say to what use
others were put. In them along with the bones of the build-
ers are found their tools and weapons of stone and copper,
14 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
fragments of the cloth they wove, and pottery they made.
For instance, chopping axes made of grooved stone and
weighing sometimes as much as twenty-three pounds,
grooved stone hammers, battle-axes, various agricultural
implements, stone trays, pipes of numerous designs, and
small stone idols have been taken from these mounds. One
of the most remarkable things found there was an image of
human form made from a large piece of -fluorspar.
These mounds are found in different parts of the state,
especially along the Rock and Illinois rivers. In Craw-
ford County there is a group of fifty
mounds. But the chief dwelling of
this people seems to have been in the
"Great American BottomJ' that is,
the low fertile tract about 75 miles
long and from five to ten miles wide
along the Mississippi River south of
East St. Louis. At the old site of
Cahokia, across from St.
Louis, there are about
one hundred mounds.
One of this group is the \
largest earthwork in the
United States. Shaped some- ^
what like a pyramid, it rises in
four terraces to a height of one WIGWAM
hundred feet; its base covers fourteen acres, an area larger
than that covered by the largest Egyptian pyramid.
The Indians of Illinois were very little different from the
MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 15
other Indians of North America. They lived in lodges or
wigwams, and clothed themselves in skins of animals. The
forest, prairie, and stream abundantly supplied them with
meat, and the squaws raised small patches of corn and vege-
tables. Their learning was confined to the ways of the for-
est, and their religion was but a superstition. Hence they
made but little progress and lived on in the same way from
generation to generation.
The densest Indian population of the West was along
the Illinois River, where there were several large Indian
towns. And no wonder, for Illinois, with its broad prairies
where fed the buffalo and deer, and its streams and forests
full of all manner of fish and fowl, was a very congenial
home for the red man. The different nations within its
bounds were often at war with one another for its posses-
sion, and it is not surprising that so beautiful and produc-
tive a country should be coveted by other tribes as well.
Its fame spread even to the Iroquois in New York, who
desired it very much for a hunting ground, and who, in
the latter part of the seventeenth century, made a great
raid down the Illinois River. Five hundred picked Iro-
quois attacked the Illinois Indians and put them to rout.
Thereafter the Long House, as the Iroquois Indians were
called, laid claim to the country, although they never came
here to live.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century the state was
inhabited by several different tribes. The most numerous
of these were the Illinois, who had returned after their de-
feat by the Iroquois. They were a confederation composed
of the| Kaskaskias, Peorias, Tamaroas, Cahokias, and Miche-
gameas.) Their largest villages were on the Illinois River,
and their favorite hunting ground was in central Illinois,
but they claimed all the country westward from the Illi-
nois to the Mississippi, and southward to the Ohio. Father
Membre, one of La Salle's exploring party, tells us that
they were "tall of stature, strong and robust, the swiftest
runners in the world, and good archers, proud yet affa-
ble . . . idle, revengeful, jealous, cunning, dissolute,
The combined tribes of Sacs and Foxes lived near Rock
Island; the Miamis near the eastern boundary of the state;
the Pottawatomies in the region between Lake Michigan
and the Illinois River. The Kickapoos, the most ambi-
MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 17
tious and the most bitter against the white man, built
their wigwams on the prairies around the present sites of
Springfield and Bloomington. There were also remnants
of several other tribes in the state. As their places of
abode were constantly changing, the boundaries of the
different tribes were not well defined; and as they became
fewer in numbers several tribes would often unite and form
a new tribe or confederation.
In many cases the white settlers were to blame for the
trouble the Indians caused them. The whites often
treated the red man as if he were a brute instead of a
human being. They cheated him, took his land even
when they did not need it, and violated many of his rights.
The savages were thus often stirred up to revenge in the
form of pillage, fire, and murder.
The Indians were not altogether a hindrance. In some
ways they were an aid to the exploration and settlement of
the state. They acted as guides for the explorer, and be-
ing on good terms with the French, sold them furs and often
furnished them with food. Their trade led to the settle-
ment of the country. Although the red men have van-
ished they have a lasting monument in the names they
have left on our map the name of the state itself, the
names of its largest rivers, of some of its counties, and of
many of its towns and cities.
III. JOLIET AND MARQUETTE
The first white man to visit the Illinois country of whom
there is any record was a Frenchman by the name of _ Jean
Nipfllrt. He discovered Lake Michigan in 1634, and at
the same time perhaps visited the region about Fox
River and the northern villages of the Illinois Indians.
Following him came the French coureurs de bois and voya-
geurs, the fur traders and the trappers, who in all probabil-
ity roamed over Illinois before the coming of Joliet or La
Salle, but left no written account of their adventures.
The French in Canada had long heard from the Indians
stories of the far away Mississippi and the land of the Illi-
nois. Bold and restless, they wished very much to see
this region for themselves and claim it for their king. So
Louis Joliet (1645-1700), who had visited the copper.mines
of Lake Superior, and who was perhaps the first white man
to sail on Lake Erie, obtained from Frontenac, the governor
of Canada, a commission to find the Mississippi and ex-
plore the regions roundabout. He secured as a companion
Father Jacques Marquette, and a better qualified man for
the undertaking he could not have found, for this Jesuit
priest had a knowledge of half a dozen Indian dialects and a
singular faculty for gaining the good will of the savages.
Joliet joined Marquette on the festival of the Immacu-
late Conception. The good father, having long desired to
JOLIET AND MARQUETTE
undertake the expedition, was so full of joy that he resolved
to name the first mission that he should establish in the un-
known country the Mission of the Immaculate Conception.
And so he did. To the Indians who tried to turn him from
the venture by picturing the dangers of the way and the
JOLIET AND MARQUETTE ON THEIR JOURNEY
wildness of the men, he replied in these brave words: "I
shall gladly lay down my life for the salvation of men."
On the 17th of May, 1673, accompanied by five men,
Joliet and Marquette started on their perilous journey,
with two birchbark canoes, a bag of corn 'meal, some
smoked meat, a blanket apiece, and beads and crosses.
They ascended to the head of Fox River, carried their
20 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
canoes across the narrow portage to the Wisconsin River,
and sailed down the Wisconsin until their frail birchbarks
floated on the mighty waters of the Mississippi. They were
the first white men to view the upper waters of the river.
As they floated down the Mississippi they came upon a
path on the west bank of the river. Following this,
Marquette and Joliet came in sight of an Indian village.
Four men came to meet them, offered them the peace
pipe, and escorted them to the village, where the whole
tribe gathered to welcome them with much ceremony.
The old chief addressed them in words something like these:
"I thank thee, black gown, and thee, Frenchman, for
taking so much pains to come and visit us. Never has the
earth been so beautiful, nor the sun so bright as to-day.
Never has our river been so calm nor so free from rocks
and sandbars which your canoes have removed in passing;
never has our tobacco had so fine a flavor, nor our corn
appeared so beautiful. I pray thee to take pity upon me
and on all my nation. Thou knowest the Great Spirit
who made us all. Thou speakest to him and hearest his
words. Ask him to give me life and health, and come and
dwell with us that we may know him."
Marquette and Joliet floated down the Mississippi until,
it is supposed, they came to the Arkansas. Satisfied that
the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico and fearing
to descend farther on account of the Spaniards, who held
control of the lower river, they turned back and began the
laborious journey upstream. When they came to the mouth
of the Illinois, being assured by the Indians that it of-
JOLIET AND MARQUETTE 21
fered an easier and shorter route home to Canada, they
As they passed up the Illinois they were enchanted by
the beauty of the country. Prairies, dotted with the
brightest flowers, stretched out beyond the reach of vision.
Great herds of buffalo and deer grazed on the rich pas-
tures, and wild fruit, fish, and fowl abounded on every
hand. No wonder they spoke of it as a terrestrial para-
dise. They visited the villages of the Peoria Indians, and
Marquette preached at the Indian town called Kaskaskia
and promised to visit it again and establish a mission there.
"Had this voyage," wrote he, "caused but the salvation of
a single soul, I should deem all my fatigue well repaid."
They made their way to Lake Michigan, and to Green Bay,
where Marquette remained to recruit his strength, while
Joliet returned to Quebec.
On the 25th of October, 1674, Marquette, with two
Frenchmen and a number of Indians, set out for Kaskas-
kia to fulfill his promise. But on the way, when he had
reached the Chicago River, he was taken with a sickness
brought on by privation and exposure, and it was neces-
sary to build a hut and wait until the opening of spring.
During the winter the Frenchmen lived on the game they
shot, and the neighboring Indians furnished them with
corn and greatly cheered them by kindly attentions.
When again in the spring Marquette came among the
Illinois he was received with great respect and reverence.
As he moved among them in their rude wigwams, with his
quiet and gentle manners, he must have seemed to them
22 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
indeed like an angel of light. A great number gathered
on the plains to hear him preach, and here at Kaskaskia
on the Illinois River, near the present site of Tjj.if.fl. he
established the first mission in Illinois.
/But ill health compelled him to leave again. On his
way north with his two French companions he grew
weaker and died, May 18, 1675, in the vast wilderness
he had given his life to redeem. He was buried on the
east shore of Lake Michigan, and a great cross was raised
over his grave. A year and a half later, some Ottawa In-
dians to whom he had preached repaired to his grave,
reverently disinterred the remains, placed them in a box
of birchbark, and with an escort of thirty canoes removed
them to the nearest Catholic church, at Mackinac, where
they laid them in their final resting place.
Illinois may well be proud that the name of such a man,
greater than prince or potentate, appears in her annals.
He was the most successful of all the missionaries to the
Indians. Through the peace, purity, and humility of his
own life he softened their savage natures and developed their
higher and better feelings. His hold upon the affections of
all was wonderful. His participation in the expedition
with Joliet won him a place in history; but his cheerful,
self-sacrificing, lofty character has gained him a more en-
viable place in the hearts of men.
Through Marquette and others the early history of the
state becomes connected with that remarkable religious
order, the Jesuits. Their work in the wilderness of Amer-
ica calls for much approval. They seem to have been
JOL1ET AND MARQUETTE
peculiarly fitted to gain the confidence of the Indians.
Wherever the savages pitched their wigwams, there they
penetrated, erected the
cross, preached to the
wandering braves, and
dwelt with them until
they w r on them. Neither
winter's cold nor sum-
mer's heat, nor pesti-
lence nor scalping knife,
could deter them. With
no weapons but the cru-
cifix and breviary, with
no aids but the compass
and savage guides, with
no earthly comforts to
cheer them and no
earthly gains to lure
them, they paddled their
frail canoes up unknown
and hazardous streams,
carried them over tedious and difficult portages, made their
way across trackless prairies and through pathless woods,
braved hostile tribes, courted cruel punishment and death,
all for their church and their king.
IV. LA SALLE
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, was the greatest of
the French explorers, though both man and nature seemed
leagued against his undertakings and made his life a
tragedy. Through his efforts the Mississippi valley was
secured to the French crown. Long before his contempo-
raries he saw the value of this region, and tried to colonize
it and make it a part of New France, secure against the
molestation of its enemies.
f La Salle came to Canada at an early age, explored Lakes
Ontario and Erie, and it is claimed that he discovered the
Ohio River. At any rate, he came to see the greatness of
the country and determined that it should belong to
France. So in 1677 he returned to France and interested
the court of Louis XIV. in the Mississippi valley. He pro-
posed to connect it with Canada by a line of military posts,
and returned to America with funds to carry out his plans.
With him came one whose name will ever be linked with
his, Henry de Tonty, an Italian soldier of fortune, who,
with devotion and faithfulness that balked at no labor or
danger, was to follow him through almost intolerable toils
and sufferings. Tonty had lost a hand in the Sicilian wars,
in place of which he carried a hand of copper which he
used with good effect against his enemies, so that the In-
dians called him the Man with the Iron Hand.
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
In 1679, with the aid of Tonty, La Salle built on the
shores of Lake Erie a ship, which he called the Griffin.
This was to assist him in his explorations, to furnish him
with easy communication with Canada, to carry back furs
and supply him with provisions. In this same year, with
a party of thirty-three, among whom were Tonty, Father
Hennepin, and Father Membre, he set out to find the Mis-
sissippi. He ascended the St. Joseph River, transported
the canoes across the short portage to the Kankakee, and
descended it until he came to the Illinois.
Og January 5th, 1680, he passed through Lake Peoria,
and came upon a vil-
lage of the Illinois In-
dians. Fearing that
they might be hostile,
he arranged his canoes
in warlike order and
bore down upon them.
The Indians were
frightened and many
of them fled at his
approach. The others
offered overtures of peace and showed him many courte-
sies. However, a Frenchman who was unfriendly to him
sent word to the Indians that La Salle was a spy of their
dreaded enemies the Iroquois, and they became sullen and
tried to dissuade him from the journey by magnifying the
dangers. Many of his men, hearing these stories from the
Indians, and already dissatisfied with following him on so
LA SALLE 27
wild an undertaking, resolved to return home before going
too far, and so deserted him. An attempt was made to
poison him. To add to his troubles he could not hear from
the Griffin, which was to furnish him with provisions. He
feared that it was lost and that consequently the expedition
would have to be abandoned,.
For the protection of his party he built a fort on the
eastern bank of the Illinois River, and because of his many
^nisfortunes, called it Crevecoeur (broken-hearted). Here
he began to build another ship, in which to descend the
river. Not hearing from the Griffin, and needing supplies,
in March, 1680, he left Tonty in command at the fort, and
with four Frenchmen and an Indian guide, set out for Can-
ada. With only a blanket and a few skins from which to
make moccasins, with no food but what the gun afforded, he
traveled twelve hundred miles by canoe and on foot through
forests, marshes, and melting snows, only to find that his
ship had been destroyed and his goods stolen.
No better fortune awaited Tonty at Fort Crevecoeur.
His men mutinied, took possession of the ammunition and
supplies, destroyed the fort, and deserted him. He retired
to the Indian villages, where a worse thing befell him. It
was just then that the Iroquois made their great attack
upon the Illinois (p. 16), and in his efforts to make peace
between the warring tribes, he was wounded, and was sus-
pected by both sides, and he barely escaped with his life.
After many wanderings and hardships he found his way
to a village of the Pottawatomies, where he spent the fol-
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Becoming anxious for Tonty, upon whom he relied so
much, La Salle, in August, 1680, set out for the Indian
villages near Peoria. 'But he found them deserted and
destroyed, and Tonty and he did not meet until the next
spring. Although his enemies were plotting against him
and striving to seize his goods to satisfy the debts incurred
in the former expedition, yet he set out again in December,
1681, to explore the Mississippi to its mouth. He went by
way of the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers to the Illinois.
LA SALLE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
He passed down that stream, and down the Mississippi,
and at length on April 7, 1682, after years of toil, danger,'
and disappointment, he was rewarded by the sight of the
Gulf of Mexico, where the great river ended. At one of
its mouths he erected a column bearing the arms of France,
LA SALLE 29
and after chanting the Te Deum, amid volleys of musketry
and shouts of Vive le Roi, he took possession of the country,
which he called Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV., his king.
Returning to Illinois, he proceeded to carry out his plans
by establishing a colony at Starved Rock a naturally for-
tified place on the Illinois River near the present site of
Utica. The space was cleared of trees and underbrush, a
blockhouse, storehouse, and dwelling were built, outworks
thrown up, and palisades erected. Father Membre offered
the dedicatory prayer, and the place was named Fort St.
Louis of the Rock. The Indians gathered around the fort
for protection and trade. Frenchmen came in numbers to
assist in the building of the colony, and many of them
remained, built themselves homes, and planted large fields
of corn. La Salle spent the summer here, and Tonty re-
mained several years. But Frontenac was succeeded as
governor of Canada by one who from selfish motives op-
posed La Salle's scheme, and the surrounding Indian tribes
were driven south and west by the Iroquois, so that the
colony of Fort St. Louis of the Rock the first in Illinois
declined and was finally abandoned.
In 1684 La Salle was again in France and again found
favor at court. He returned with four ships and a large
number of all sorts and conditions of men to establish a
fort at the mouth of the Mississippi and colonize its valley.
But by mistake the mouth of the river was passed, and the
commander of the ships refused to turn back in search of
it. A landing was made and a fort built on the Texas
coast. La Salle set out on foot to find the Mississippi, but
30 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
his men became mutinous, deserted him, and finally assas-
sinated him, March 19, 1687. The Texas colony soon
In spite of La Salle's unheard-of labors and his fearful
journeys, in spite of faithless countrymen and treacherous
savages, he persevered to the end against obstacles that
would have stopped forever one less bold and hardy.
Brave men were these early explorers. Their thirst for
adventure together with their sense of the strategic and
commercial importance of particular localities, and of the
Mississippi valley in general, was marvelous. But none
of them was wiser or braver than the great La Salle.
V. THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS
It will be remembered that just before Marquette's
death, he established a mission at the Indian village of
Kaskaskia on the Illinois River. His work was not aban-
doned. In 1677, Father Allouez (al-loo-a) erected a cross
twenty-five feet high in the village, celebrated mass, and
administered the sacrament of baptism: from that time on
the village was not without a priest. In all probability
other Frenchmen were there besides the priest, for the erec-
tion of the mission house and the presence of a priest al-
ways formed the nucleus for a settlement of traders and
trappers. Not infrequently these hardy adventurers took
to themselves Indian wives, built houses, and cultivated
small pieces of ground. In some such way began the
French settlements in Illinois.
But through fear of the Iroquois, and perhaps to gain
the trade of the trappers who were coming down the Mis-
sissippi by way of the Fox and the Wisconsin rivers, in-
stead of by the Illinois as at first, the Indians around the
Mission of the Immaculate Conception left their village
and pitched their wigwams where the Kaskaskia flows into
the Mississippi. They gave their new town the name of
the old one. The mission moved with the Indians. Thus
was begun the present town of Kaskaskia. This was
about 1700. Perhaps a little earlier than this occurred the
32 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
founding of the settlement at Cahokia. For it appears
that in the same year there were three French mission-
aries and a number of traders at that place.
Both settlements grew rapidly; for they were favorably
located on the highway of the trapper and trader, the cli-
mate and soil were favorable to production, and the forest
and river abounded with game and fish. At Cahokia the
priests lived on a large farm, and built mills to grind corn
and cut lumber/ At Kaskaskia they built a monastery
in 1721 ; at the same place they had a stone church and
chapel, an extensive brewery and storehouses, and a well
stocked farm of more than two hundred acres. Both
French and Indians would gather in the little chapels for
religious instruction. The priests were not idle, and from
their letters we learn of their attempts to christianize the
savages, which they found to be a very discouraging task.
Soon other villages arose near by Prairie du Rocher, and
Prairie du Pont. In 1717 there were about 300 white people
in the Illinois country.
Prior to 1712 Illinois was a part of Canada, but in that
year it was joined with the settlements of the lower Mis-
sissippi under the name of Louisiana. Even then it is
probable that the only government was the authority and
restraining power of the priests. A rumor became current
in France that the new territory was rich in gold and silver.
The French king, thinking to enrich his treasury, issued a
royal grant to one of his favorites, Crozat, giving him the
exclusive right to mine precious metals and to trade in the
territory of Louisiana. But no gold or silver was found,
THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS 33
and Crozat, failing to make himself rich, surrendered the
charter to the crown, 1717.
The failure of Crozat did not dispel from the French
mind the idea that the Mississippi valley was rich in the
precious metals, so a company was formed, called the Com-
pany of the West, to have control of Louisiana its mines,
commerce, colonization, and government. At its head
was the notorious John Law, -who was seconded in his
schemes by the regent of France. It promised great
returns for all money invested, and many people, in their
haste to get rich, put into it all they had. ' A frenzy for
gambling and speculation seized France, and all moderate
and honest gains became despised. Even princes, nobles,
prelates, and women of position, as well as the dregs of
society, entered into the wild scramble to get rich by buy-
ing and selling shares in this and other companies. Paris
swarmed with nearly half a million strangers, so that even
granaries had to be turned into sleeping apartments. But
in time the price of shares went down suddenly: the "Mis-
sissippi Bubble" burst, and the people awoke to their
Although the company was very disastrous to France,
yet it was a help to Illinois, for many who came to mine gold
remained to till the soil. Artisans were added to the popu-
lation. Flourishing settlements sprang up on the lower
Mississippi, and the agents of the company opened a mar-
ket for the surplus agricultural products of Illinois and for
the peltries gathered in trade with the Indians. The Com-
pany of the West exercised jurisdiction over Illinois from
34 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
1717 to 1732, and gave the country the first local govern-
ment it ever had. The director-general of the mines estab-
lished his headquarters in Illinois. He brought with him
250 soldiers and miners, and a large number of slaves from
Santo Domingo to work the mines. Indians had sometimes
been enslaved , and this practice was the beginning of slav-
ery in Illinois.
To protect the colonies and its own interests as well, the
Company of the West decided to erect a fort in the Illinois
country. In 1718 a place was chosen between Kaskaskia
and Cahokia, about a mile back from the east bank of the
Mississippi. The soldiers of France cut down trees, cleared
away the branches, hewed out timbers, and brought stone
from the quarries along the river. When the fort was
completed it was called Fort Chartres, in honor of Due de
Chartres, who was the son of the regent of France. Here
the Company of the West built its warehouses, and here
it was that Boisbriant, the first local governor, established
his headquarters. The fort was a boon to Illinois, for,
offering protection as it did to the settlements, it assured
their permanence and invited newcomers. As the center
of authority in the West, it speedily came into prominence,
and it was a saying that "all roads lead to Fort Chartres."
Near by, the village of New Chartres sprang up. Life was
merry in both the village and the fort, and the fashions of far
away Paris were copied here on the lonely Mississippi.
VI. THE FRENCH IN ILLINOIS
Away from the struggle for wealth and power, the life
of the French in Illinois was comparatively quiet and un-
eventful. The Indians were their friends and companions.
The fertile land, the prolific waters, the successful chase
supplied all their wants. A missionary writing from Fort
Chartres in 1750, says: "Most of the French till the soil;
they raise wheat, cattle, pigs, and horses, and live like
princes. Three times as much is produced as can be con-
sumed, and great quantities of grain and flour are sent to
New Orleans." The settlers also raised oats, rye, hops, and
tobacco. Indian corn they used chiefly for fattening their
swine. Their farming implements were of the rudest kind
wooden plows, hand flails to thrash the grain, and
wooden carts without a particle of iron. The common
churn being unknown, butter was made by shaking the
cream in a bottle. No spinning wheels or looms were to
be seen. Most of the men were engaged in fur hunting
and trading and farming. There w r ere a few carpenters,
stonemasons, boatbuildcrs, and blacksmiths, who went
from place to place in quest of work. Barges and flatboats,
^manned by excellent boatmen, carried flour, bacon, and
hides down to New Orleans, and brought back sugar, rice,
cotton cloth, and other dress goods.
The men wore shirts and waistcoats of cotton, and blue
36 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
cloth or deerskin trousers; in winter they wore a long
woolen coat with a blue hood attached, which, in wet or
cold weather, was drawn up over the head. Among the
traders and voyageurs the head was often covered with a
blue cotton handkerchief folded in the shape of a turban.
The dress of the women was very plain, and blue was their
favorite color. Both men and women wore moccasins of
All lived in towns and villages where the houses were
built in a row and were very much alike. The houses were
one story high and were protected on all sides by porches.
They were built by setting the timbers of the framework
firmly in the ground, and filling the spaces between the
timbers with walls made of clay and straw. The walls
were whitewashed \vithin and without. The rooms were
airy and neat, with but little furniture and that homemade.
To every village was attached two tracts of land the
common field and the commons. The former contained
several hundred acres set apart for agricultural purposes,
and in it each family had a plat to cultivate, fenced off
from the rest. The commons was a still larger tract al-
lowed the villagers for wood and pasturage, to which all
had a general right.
In every village rose the spire of the little church where
the sacrament of baptism was administered, the marriage
ceremony spoken, and the last sad rites and masses for the
dead were held.
These have been called the halcyon days of Illinois, when
a virtuous and honest people needed no government. Al-
THE FRENCH IN ILLINOIS
though the commandant at the fort was the representative
of the king, yet the real authority was the priest, who acted
as judge between man and man, and who was their com-
panion and teacher as well as their spiritual adviser.
The French of Illinois were a merry people, with plenty
of leisure and amuse-
ments in which both
young and old, and
even the Indian and
the slave, joined.
Yet there is a darker
side to the picture.
It has been said that
they were not only
Some of them cared
for nothing beyond
a merry time. There
were no schools ex-
cept those taught by the priest, and most of the people
were ignorant, illiterate, and altogether unfitted for the
duties and privileges of citizenship. They were lacking in
many of the higher qualities of heart and head, and in
many ways stooped to the habits and morals of the In-
dians instead of bringing the Indians up to a higher way
The French had a genius for exploration, and yet failed
to utilize the results of their explorations. They were not
A FRENCH DANCE
38 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
a colonizing people as were the English, but were hunters
and traders, and only in a few localities confined themselves
to agricultural pursuits. While the French in North
America were enjoying the hunt with the Indians and were
roaming the country over, the English stuck to the soil,
established schools and printing presses, and zealously held
to their rights and privileges. For reasons such as these the
English colonies grew stronger than the French, as was
proved in the final struggle between them, of which we shall
read in the next chapter.
VII. THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR (1754-1763)
England and France had been at war for several years,
and the bitterness was carried to their colonies in the New
World. No fixed boundary lines had been established be-
tween these colonies, and a struggle over the Ohio and
WASHINGTON'S JOURNEY TO THE OHIO VALLEY
Mississippi valleys was inevitable. Both nations were ag-
gressive. The English were rapidly pushing their way
westward, and often their traders would penetrate hun-
dreds of miles beyond the frontiers. The French in turn
built a line of forts to stay these encroachments, and some
40 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
of these forts were within the territory claimed by the
English. Hearing of this, the governor of Virginia sent a
young surveyor, George Washington, to look into the mat-
ter. He brought back such a report of the activity of the
French that Virginia at once took measures to build a fort
at the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers.
But while the colonists were building the fort, the French
suddenly appeared on the scene, drove them away, finished
the fort for themselves and called it Fort Duquesne. This
was in 1754. Then the struggle was on for the mastery of
Foreseeing the struggle, the French had rebuilt Fort
Chartres in the Illinois country, enlarging and strengthen-
ing it at the cost of much labor and money. Where it had
been wood they made it stone. Skilled workmen were
brought from France, as was the iron that entered into the
fort. The walls were eighteen feet high, and inclosed forty
acres. Within were the great storehouses, the govern-
ment house, magazines, guardhouse, and barracks, all of
stone. The fort, under Chevalier Macarty, was re enforced
with a sufficient number of companies to form a regiment
of grenadiers. When it was completed in 1754 it was called
"the most convenient and best-built fort in America."
A few years later a fort on the Ohio River, about forty
miles from its mouth, was also strengthened. It had been
established on a small scale as a fort and mission house by
the French in 1711. Later on almost all of the garrison were
massacred by the Indians, who decoyed the soldiers from
the fort by appearing on the Kentucky side of the river,
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR (1754-1763)
dressed in bearskins and creeping about like so many bears.
Some of the soldiers crossed the river to kill the bears and
the others went to the water's edge to see the sport. A band
of Indians crept up behind the latter, who were defenseless
and at their mercy. The fort was burned by the savages,
but it was later rebuilt by the French and christened Fort
Massacre. Now in 1758 a force from Fort Duquesne came
down the river, again rebuilt the fort, and named it after
SITE OF FORT MASSAC
their commander, Massac. At the beginning of the nine-
teenth century it was occupied for a time by two companies
of United States troops. The site is owned by the state, and
has been turned into a public park.
The brave Ma'carty led the soldiers o f Fort Chartres out
to take part in the war, and they fought on many battle-
fields. They helped to force the surrender of George
42 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Washington at Fort Necessity in July, 1754. They were
present at Braddock's defeat (1755), and they were among
the last to leave Fort Duquesne when it was abandoned
on Washington's approach in 1758. The French villages
in Illinois were called upon to furnish provisions for the
war. A large number of volunteers from Illinois were hi
the French ranks, especially at the fall of Fort Niagara,
in 1759. The bulletin of that siege said of them: "Of the
French from Illinois many were killed and many more
were taken prisoners." Despair settled upon Fort Char-
tres. Macarty wrote: "The defeat at Niagara has cost
me the flower of my men. My garrison is weaker than
When the French were worsted and the war was over, it
was generally supposed that France would give up Canada,
but would still retain Illinois and the rest of Louisiana.
Consequently many French left Canada and came to Illi-
nois, thinking to find here a home under the flag of France
and a rallying point from which they could retake Canada.
Great was their dismay when they learned that their king
had deserted them and by the treaty of 1763 ceded to
England all the territory (save New Orleans) east of the
Mississippi. And still later it was learned that the territory
west of the river had been given to Spain.
It was agreed that the French should hold the forts in
the territory ceded to England, until English officers came
to take command. St. Ange, who had formerly been com-
mandant at Vincennes, was left to guard Fort Chart res
with a small garrison. One by one all the other forts were
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR (1754-1763) 43
turned over to the English, but when they came to take
charge of Fort Chartres the Indian chief, Pontiac, stood
in the way.
Pontiac combined the best and worst traits of his race,
and his great abilities gained him almost absolute control
over the Indians of the Northwest. The Indians from the
first were the friends of the French. They had sided with
them against the English and were not willing to abide by
the treaty of peace. Pontiac gathered them around him, and
disputed the possession of the English for over two years.
His league included the Illinois Indians, and Illinois was a
hotbed of resistance against English occupation. At one
time Pontiac ordered some of the Illinois who were camp-
ing near Fort Chartres to join him in the war, but they
were little disposed to do so. He said to them: "Hesi-
tate not, or I destroy you as fire does the prairie grass.
Listen and recollect these are the words of Pontiac." And
immediately they changed their minds.
In hope of persuading the French to take up arms again
and resist the common foe, he marched under the high
stone archway of Chartres to where St. Ange was sitting in
the government house, and saM to him: "Father, I have
long wished to see you, to recall the battles which we fought
together against the misguided Indians and the English
dogs. I love the French, and have come here with my
warriors to avenge their wrongs." But St. Ange told him
that all was over, that the French could no longer aid
their red brothers, and that the Indians must make peace
with the English.
44 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Pontiac finally ceased his struggle, and allowed Captain
Stirling with a detachment of the 42nd Highlanders, the
famous Black Watch, to come from Fort Pitt to the Illi-
nois country. And in October, 1765, St. Ange surrendered
Fort Chartres to him, and the flag of Great Britain floated
St. Ange, his garrison, and many other French, withdrew
to St. Louis, where St. Ange became head of the military
post. Soon after, it is said, the English commander at Fort
Chartres suddenly died, and as there was no one competent
to take his place, government came to an end. When St.
Ange heard this at St. Louis, he came back to his old post,
assumed control, restored order, and held the place until
another English officer could arrive. For more than fifty
years he was connected with the history of this state,
as scout, officer, and commandant. All who knew him,
friends and foes alike, were impressed by the courage, up-
rightness, and nobility of Louis St. Ange de Belle Rive,
the last French commander of Illinois.
VIII. ILLINOIS UNDER THE BRITISH (1765-1778)
The short rule of the British brought little change to
Illinois. At the close of the French and Indian war the
population could not have exceeded 3,000, and when it
passed from the control of Great Britain it was still about
the same. The few newcomers were mostly English traders
and land speculators. And although many of the French
removed from the territory yet the settlements remained
French in character. When the English took possession
it was proclaimed to the French: " That his majesty grants
to the inhabitants of Illinois the liberty of the Catholic
religion as it has been granted to his subjects in Can-
ada. . . . That his majesty moreover agrees that the
French inhabitants and others who have been the subjects
of the most Christian king [of France] may retire in full
safety and freedom wherever they please. . . . That
those who choose to retain their lands and become subjects
of his majesty, shall enjoy the same rights and privileges,
the same security for their persons and 'effects and liberties
as the old subjects of the king."
The government at London desired to make the terri-
tory a hunting ground where only English agents could buy
furs and trade with the Indians. To this end colonists
were to be prohibited from settling in Illinois. Such a
policy would have kept it a vast wilderness. But the
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
royal governors in America violated their king's command
and granted large tracts to their friends and permitted
companies to buy the land from the Indians. Happily the
i king was not to rule long over Illinois
Among the British commanders of Illinois was Colonel
flans, who in 1768 attempted to establish a court and
by jury, but the French did not take kindly to the
^nghsh judicial customs and preferred to settle their
disputes by the aid of the priests.
In 1772 Fort Chartres was abandoned by the English
RUJNS OF FORT CHARTRES
garrison, for the Mississippi, which for several years had
eon changing its course toward the eastern bank, washed
ILLINOIS UNDER THE BRITISH (1765-1778) 47
away a part of the walls of the fort. It was never after-
wards used. Sonic of its ruins still are to be seen, including
the old stone powder magazine. It is to be regretted that
some action has not been taken by the people of the
state to preserve the only monument of French sway in
Illinois. The English stores and the garrison were removed
to a fort near Kaskaskia, which was called Fort Gage, after
the commander of King George's troops in America. Kas-
kaskia became the seat of government.
Although the French in Illinois had been reared under an
absolute monarchy, and although they were far distant
from the English colonies on the Atlantic seaboard and
had been prejudiced against the Americans by British
officers and agents, yet not a few of them were in full
sympathy with the thirteen colonies in their struggle for
liberty. In 1771 these liberty-loving French gathered at
Kaskaskia and sent a request to London for a charter
like that of Connecticut, which was the most liberal of all.
The London government treated the request as absurd,
and instead gave them a government in which all the officers
were appointed by the crown instead of being elected by
the people. The indignant settlers under Daniel Blouin
protested against such government "as oppressive and ab-
surd, much worse than that of any French or even Spanish
colonies," and they boldly declared that "should a govern-
ment so evidently tyrannical be established it could be of
no long duration." Doubtless the British would have
taken steps to subdue the unruly Frenchmen had not the
demand for troops elsewhere been imperative.
48 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
At the beginning of the Revolution the British garrison
was withdrawn from Illinois to serve in the field against
the Americans, and its place was taken by local militia
under British officers. In spite of this garrison some
mpathizers with the American cause began to plan
expeditions against English military posts in the West
In 1777 an Irishman, Tom Brady, gathered a band of six-
i volunteers and crossed the prairies to Fort St. Joseph
in Michigan, which was considered an important point but
was guarded by only a small garrison. Brady's party
came upon it in the night, defeated and paroled the troops
captured a large amount of merchandise, set fire to the
palisades and buildings, and started for home. But during
the night they were overpowered near the Chicago River
by the British, who had called the Indians to their assist-
ce. Fort St. Joseph was then rebuilt, To avenge Brady
a French Canadian, Paulette Meillet, the founder of Peoria'
captured Fort St. Joseph in 1778, with a force of 300 French
and Indians, and sent the prisoners to Canada.
IX. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK
During the Revolutionary War the scattered settlers
on the American frontier suffered considerably from
Indian raids. Kentucky was then the western county of
Virginia, and Virginia laid claim also to the whole country
north of the Ohio. George Rogers Clark, a young Virginian
at the head of the Ken-
tucky militia, found that
the British agents in the
Northwest, especially at
Detroit, Vincennes, and
Kaskaskia, were the
cause of the trouble,
inasmuch as they were
supplying the Indians
with arms and ammuni-
tion and inciting them
against the Americans.
Clark saw that if these
British posts could be
taken, the whole terri-
tory would fall to the Americans by right of conquest, the
Indian raids would be checked, and possibly the French,
who were but lukewarm in their allegiance to England and
were most influential with the savages, might be gained
Illinois 4 49
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK
60 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
over to the American cause. From two spies whom he
sent to Kaskaskia, Clark learned that, though it would be
a laborious and hazardous undertaking, requiring the ut-
most secrecy, yet only a comparatively small force would
be needed to conquer the territory; and so he determined
to attempt it. He laid his plan before Patrick Henry, the
governor of Virginia, who was much pleased with the idea,
and who, after conferring with Thomas Jefferson and other
prominent Virginians, authorized him to raise troops and
march against Illinois.
Clark was given a sum of money and orders for ammuni-
tion, while the Virginia legislature was to be persuaded
to grant 300 acres of land to each one who participated.
He was to recruit his men from the frontiers so as not to
weaken the resistance at home against King George. The
whole burden was laid upon Clark, who with the utmost
difficulty gathered from the clearings and scattered hunters'
camps four small companies that amounted to about 200
men. The destination and purpose of the expedition were
kept a secret until they came near Louisville, Kentucky.
There Clark made the men acquainted with the object of
the enterprise, and w r hile many of them were eager for so
dangerous a task, yet some were not, and deserted at the
Coming down the Ohio until near Fort Massac, where
he landed, Clark began the terrible journey northwest
on foot through the wilderness to Kaskaskia. He fell in
with a party of hunters, who went along with him as
guides. He had weeded out those unable to stand fatigue
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 51
and hardship, and his equipment was as light as that of
an Indian war party. As Reynolds says in his history:
"Clark's warriors had no wagons, pack horses, or other
means of conveyance of their munitions of war or baggage
other than their own robust and hardy selves. " Scouts
were sent ahead to kill game for the sustenance of the
little army and to capture any straggling French or In-
The first fifty miles led through tangled and pathless
forests. The way was less difficult when they got out on
the prairies, but the danger of being seen was increased
many fold, and their only chance for success lay in secrecy
and noiseless speed. Once the guide lost his way and
Clark feared that he was a traitor, but the trail was soon
found, and on the evening of July 4th, 1778, they were
within three miles of Kaskaskia. .
So far their advance had been unobserved. Clark hid
his men until nightfall. From' several farmers they took
captive they learned that the garrison was not looking for
an attack, and that but few Indians were then in Kaskaskia,
which was fortunate. Clark then divided his men into two
parties, one of which was to surround the town to prevent
any one from escaping, while he led the other band to take
It is said that a ball was in progress at the fort, to w r hich
the young people of the village had been invited. As an
attack was not expected no sentinels were on duty. As the
little band of Americans approached the fort, lights were
streaming from the windows and the sound of music and
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
merriment floated on the breeze. They were led into the
fort either by some captive or by some one friendly to their
cause. The commander, a Frenchman, was captured in
bed. Clark, it is said, going to the hall where the revel was
on, leaned silently
with folded arms
against the door-
post, looking at the
dancers. After a
while, an Indian saw
him and sprang to
his feet with a terri-
ble war whoop. The
dance ended, the
and the soldiers ran
to their quarters.
But Clark, standing
to them to go on
with their fun; and
told them that they
were now dancing
under the flag of Virginia instead of Great Britain. At
the same time his men rushed in and captured all the
officers and men.
j^ The other band, hearing the shout of victory, hurried
into the town, secured every street, and drove the terrified
people into their homes. Runners were sent through the
CLARK AT KASKASKIA
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 55
town ordering all to keep close within doors on pain of
death. For should any escape, Clark feared that they would
spread alarm throughout the country and bring down on
him a large force of French and Indians. All through the
night the backwoodsmen patrolled the streets in little
squads and kept up their whooping in the most approved
Indian fashion. The panic-stricken people cowered in
their low-roofed houses. By daylight they were all dis-
armed and the place was won without spilling a drop of
To strengthen their hold on the French settlers the
British agents and officers had told them horrible tales
of the brutality and ferocity of the Americans, especially
the Long Knives, as the Kentuckians were called from
the long knives they carried. The Long Knives were repre-
sented as the most inhuman wretches that ever lived. So
nothing could have filled the French with greater dismay
than to hear their neighbors crying that the Long Knives
were upon them. The unlooked for and sudden onset of
these wild and uncouth backwoodsmen, and the ominous
silence of their commander filled them with fearful fore-
bodings. They passed a dreadful night. Even should their
lives be spared they expected nothing less than separation
and exile from their families. And Clark, understanding
the nature of the French, was well pleased to see the horror
with which they regarded his men, for in this frame of
mind they would not offer resistance and would be all the
more grateful when they found the Americans meant them
well and not ill.
54 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
The next day the people were allowed to walk the streets,
but as soon as they were seen congregating some of them
were arrested and put in chains. The village priest, Father
Gibault, and five or six elderly men obtained leave to speak
to Clark, but when they came into his presence they did
not know whom to address as commander until he was
pointed out, because of the ragged and unkempt appear-
ance of all the men. Saying that they expected to be
separated never to meet again, they begged his permission
to assemble in the church to take final leave of one another.
Clark told them that they might hold such a meeting if
they wished, but that on no account must any person
leave the town.
After the service a second deputation waited on Clark
to express their thanks. They assured him that they did
not understand the nature of the conflict between England
and America, that some of their number had expressed
themselves in favor of the Americans, and others would have
done so had they dared, but that their conduct had been
influenced by the British at the fort. "We are sensible,"
said the priest, "that our present situation is the fate of
war. We can submit to the loss of property, but we beg
that the men may not be separated from their wives and
children, and that they be permitted to obtain some clothes
and provisions for their future support."
Clark judged that it was now time to reveal his intentions
to them. He therefore addressed them: " What do you take
us to be? Do you think we are savages that we intend
to massacre you all? Do you think Americans will strip
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 55
women and children and take bread out of their mouths?
My countrymen disdain to make war on the helpless and
innocent. It was to protect our wives and children from
Indian barbarity and cruelty that we have penetrated
the wilderness. We do not make war against Frenchmen.
The king of France, your former master, is our ally. His
ships and soldiers are fighting for the Americans. Go and
enjoy your religion and worship where you please. Any
insult to it will be immediately punished. Your friends
in confinement will be released. Your fellow-citizens may
dismiss all apprehensions and are at liberty to conduct
themselves as usual. No man's property shall be molested.
We are convinced that you have been misinformed and
have been prejudiced against America by British agents.
We are your friends and have come to deliver you from
British authority and usurpation." ' The French went wild
with joy. The Te Deum was sung, cannon roared, and
the air resounded with huzzas for freedom and America.
A small detachment of Americans was sent to Cahokia,
accompanied by a volunteer company of French, who eas-
ily persuaded their countrymen at that place to take the
oath of allegiance to America as the Kaskaskians had done.
Clark determined to march next against Vincennes, but
the French begged him not to do so, as many of their
friends and relatives lived there; and the priest, Father
Gibault, volunteered to go to Vincennes and persuade them
to transfer their allegiance. With but two companions he
set out on his mission, and at his suggestion the people of
Vincennes marched to the fort, where there were but a few
56 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
soldiers, hauled down the English flag, and hoisted the
American instead. Later on the British from Detroit re-
took the fort, but when Clark heard of it, he marched
across Illinois through swamp and swollen stream and com-
pelled the British to surrender it again.
The British garrisons had been captured and the French
won over, yet there remained the difficult task of either
subduing or gaining the good will of the Indians who
were allies of the British. A meeting of the savages was
called at Cahokia and the streets of the little town swarmed
with warriors from almost every tribe of the West, anxious
to learn what had happened. Happily Clark knew how to
deal with them. Instead of appearing eager to gain their
friendship, he acted very independently and compelled
them to make the first advances. The French did much
to bring the Indians over to the Americans by telling them
that their old master, the king of France, was angry with
them for siding with the English.
"Shortly after Clark's occupation of Illinois, there ap-
peared in Illinois a French officer of education and refine-
ment, LaBalme, who began to recruit a force to take
Detroit, one of the most important British forts in the West.
His appearance in the Illinois villages created a deep im-
pression. One who saw him said: "The people run after
him as if he were the very Messiah himself." With a com-
pany of young men from Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vin-
cennes, he attacked an English trading post near Fort
Wayne, Indiana, and captured it. Flushed with success
and laden with booty, his party kept no watch at night,
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 57
and like Brady's men, they were surprised and overpow-
ered by the traders and Indians. LaBalme was slain and
many of his men were killed.
In 1779 Spain declared war against Great Britain. At
this time the Spaniards held all the territory west of the
Mississippi. They claimed the region east of the Missis-
sippi as far north as the Ohio, and they desired to add to
their dominion the territory north of the Ohio as well.
This they could do only by conquering it, and to this end,
in January, 1781, about 150 armed men left St. Louis, the
Spanish headquarters, crossed the Mississippi on the ice,
marched across the prairies of Illinois to Fort St. Joseph,
Michigan, captured the fort, and hoisted the Spanish stand-
ard to the flagstaff. A trace of this expedition, consisting
of a small piece of artillery and three cannon balls of Eu-
ropean make, was found some years ago near Danville.
"They suffered," says a contemporary account, "in so ex-
tensive a march, and so rigorous a season, the greatest incon-
venience from cold and hunger." But nothing ever came
of this pretended Spanish conquest of the Illinois country.
The annals of the Revolution contain no more daring,
brilliant, or important achievement than George Rogers
Clark's winning of Illinois. When the treaty of peace was
made, the fact that the Northwest was in the hands of the
Americans decided its fate and added to our nation the
territory now comprising Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan,
Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. Clark remained in con-
trol of the militia of the territory until 1783. He finally died
in poverty and bitterness.
X. ILLINOIS A COUNTY OF VIRGINIA (1778-1784)
Claiming Illinois by virtue of ancient charters and
Clark's conquest, the Virginia Assembly in October, 1778,
erected the Illinois country into a county of Virginia,
granting to its inhabitants all the rights and privileges
enjoyed by the people of the state. Patrick Henry, gov-
ernor of Virginia, and thus the first American governor
of Illinois, appointed Col. John Todd lieutenant governor
of Illinois, and George Rogers Clark head of the militia.
Todd was instructed by Patrick Henry to gain the con-
fidence of the French and Indians, and on all occasions to
impress upon the people the value and duties of citizenship.
There was certainly need of the latter injunction. Todd
upon his arrival ordered an election of civil officers, includ-
ing members of the courts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia.
This was perhaps the first exercise of the elective franchise
in Illinois. Those elected were all Frenchmen with one ex-
ception, and so little did they appreciate their position that
Todd had to remonstrate with them for adjourning their
courts from time to time without trying any cases. Todd
had land speculators also to deal with. And his old
record book, now in the Library of the Chicago Historical
Society, mentions the condemnation of a negro slave, who,
for witchcraft, was to be chained to a post at the waterside,
burned alive, and ( his ashes scattered.
ILLINOIS A COUNTY OF VIRGINIA (1778-1784) 59
At this time the French along the Mississippi and a few
scattered settlers on the Illinois and Wabash rivers were
about all the white people in Illinois. But in 1779-80
westward migration from the Atlantic states began. Ow-
ing to Clark's conquest, many families from Virginia and
Maryland and a number of Clark's men descended the Ohio
and went up the Mississippi to Kaskaskia. Among them
was John Doyle, the first schoolmaster to settle in the state.
When the thirteen colonies came to form a united gov-
ernment, among the obstacles to the ratification of the
Articles of Confederation were the claims that several of
the states made to the same Western lands. Moreover,
the smaller states protested against any one state holding
as much territory, and consequently as much power, as
some of the larger states held. Both Virginia and New
York claimed the Northwest Virginia by right of ancient
charters and Clark's conquest, and New York through her
treaties with the Iroquois, who contended that it was theirs
by right of conquest. Massachusetts and Connecticut
also, by virtue of charters, claimed each a strip across the
territory, including what is now northern Illinois.
But in 1780, to hasten the confederation, New York
ceded its claims to the Federal government. Then Congress
earnestly recommended those states that had claims to the
Western country to surrender them and thus remove the
only obstacle to confederation, proposing that these West-
ern lands be formed into distinct states which should be-
come members of the Federal Union, with the same rights
as the other states. Accordingly, on December 20, 1783,
60 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Virginia passed an act ceding to Congress her lands north-
west of the Ohio River on condition that the United States
meet the expenses incurred in Clark's expedition, that the
land titles of the settlers be confirmed to them, and that
150,000 acres of land be given to Colonel Clark and his
men. On March 1, 1784, the deed of cession, signed by
Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James
Monroe, was formally executed and accepted. Massachu-
setts ceded her claim in 1785, and Connecticut most of
hers in 1786. Thus Illinois passed under the jurisdiction
of the Federal government.
XL THE ORDINANCE OF 1787
It appears that for several years prior to 1786 there had
been little or no government in Illinois. In August of that
year the inhabitants of .Illinois petitioned Congress to pro-
vide means by which they could form a good government.
In the spring of the next year a number of New England-
ers, Dr. Manasseh Cutler among them, formed the Ohio
Company, whose object was to purchase a large tract of
land on the Ohio River and establish a settlement. Many
of the members of the company had been in the Revolu-
tion and all of them desired that a suitable government
should be erected in the territory where they were to settle.
They laid the matter before the Continental Congress. Ac-
cording to their wish, Congress, on July 13, 1787, passed
the famous Northwest Ordinance, which with slight changes
has proved adequate to the needs of territorial government
in our country up to the present time, and of which Daniel
Webster said: "I doubt whether one single law, ancient or
modern, has produced effects of more distinct and lasting
character than the Ordinance of 1787."
The Ordinance of 1787 molded the destiny of our com-
monwealth; in large measure, it determined the nature of
our social, political, and educational institutions.
It provided that all civil government in the Northwest
Territory should be vested in a governor, appointed by the
62 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
President, and three judges, until such a time as there were
5,000 free male inhabitants of legal age in the territory,
when a general assembly was to be elected with a repre-
sentative for every 500 voters. The upper house, or coun-
cil, was to be composed of five men chosen by the lower
house and approved by Congress. Among other things,
the ordinance ordained and declared that
"No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly
manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of
worship or religious sentiments in the said Territory.
" The inhabitants of the said Territory shall always be
entitled to the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus, and of
trial by jury; of a proportionate representation of the
people in the legislature, and of judicial proceedings accord-
ing to the course of the common law. All persons shall be
bailable unless for capital offenses, where the proof shall be
evident or the presumption great. All fines shall be mod-
erate, and no cruel or unusual punishments shall be inflicted.
No man shall be deprived of his liberty or property but by
the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; and
should the public exigencies make it necessary for the
common preservation to take any person's property, or to
demand his particular services, full compensation shall be
made for the same. . . .
" Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary
to good government and the happiness of mankind,
schools and the means of education shall forever be
encouraged. . . .
"The said Territory, and the States which may be
THE ORDINANCE OF 1787 63
formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this confed-
eracy of the United States of America, subject to the
Articles of Confederation, and to such alteration therein,
as shall be constitutionally made ; and to all the acts and
ordinances of the United States, in Congress assembled,
conformable thereto. . . .
" There shall be formed in the said Territory not less
than three, nor more than five States; . . .
" There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi-
tude in the said Territory, otherwise than in the punish-
ment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly
XII. NORTHWEST TERRITORY, AND INDIANA
President Washington appointed as first governor of the
Northwest Territory, General Arthur St. Clair, who had
fought in the Revolutionary War and had given much
of his private means to the cause. It was part of his duty
as governor to provide wholesome laws for the white set-
tlers, to treat with the Indians, who far outnumbered the
whites, and to settle land disputes that had arisen from
conflicting grants. He was arbitrary and quarrelsome,
and his administration was not wholly successful.
It was in 1790 that St. Clair first visited Illinois. The
Illinois settlements were organized into a county with
Cahokia as county seat, and named, in his honor, St. Clair
County. This county extended from the Ohio to the
Illinois River and from the Mississippi to a line drawn from
near Fort Massac to the mouth of the Mackinaw River on
the Illinois. A court of common pleas was established
and three judges were appointed to hold court at Kaskaskia,
Cahokia, and Prairie du Rocher. The governor had diffi-
culty in finding officers for the court, as not one man in
fifty was able to read or write. The same year the first
lawyer, John Rice Jones, came to Illinois. St. Clair found
the French settlers very poor. They had given beyond their
means to the support of Clark's men and had never been
repaid, and their crops either had been poor or had been
destroyed by the high waters of the Mississippi.
During St. Glair's administration the Indians were very
troublesome. After the Revolutionary War the pioneers
began to pour over the Appalachian Mountains into the
Northwest Territory. Naturally the Indian determined
that he would not be
crowded out of his
best hunting ground,
and to secure his 'rJJ^-3
. / ' cw-^SSSr l< 2^
rights resolved to <-'^^^4-.
wage a war of ex-
the whites. In this
movement the In-
dians of Illinois were
foremost, and the sit-
uation of the settlers
perilous. Many were
killed and all were
in constant alarm. They were obliged to carry their guns
with them while at work in the fields, and to guard their
houses by night. Finally, it became necessary for them to
retire into blockhouses.
These blockhouses were built of heavy logs and were
generally two stories high. The lower story was provided
with portholes through which to shoot; the second story
projected three or four feet over the first, and the floor
66 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
of this projection was perforated with similar holes. Several
families could take shelter in one blockhouse.
Sometimes four such houses would be built on the corners
of a square piece of ground, which was fenced in by pali-
sades. These palisades were about fifteen feet high, and
were made by setting heavy timbers lengthwise in the
ground close together. Within the inclosure were cabins
for the families. A well was dug, the trees around the
inclosure were cut down to guard against ambush, and
when danger was imminent the stock was driven within the
Actual warfare was waged against the savages in Ohio
and Indiana. General St. Clair took the field against them,
but was defeated. Then " Mad Anthony " Wayne marched
against them, routed them, and brought the war to a close
by the treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795.
Peace was hailed with great joy throughout the West.
The danger from Indians past, immigration revived and
large numbers came to Illinois. In 1795, St. Clair County
was divided and Randolph County was established. 1 When
it was ascertained that the Northwest Territory contained
5,000 voters, it was advanced to a territory of the second
grade, and in 1799 its first general assembly met at Cincin-
nati. Shadrach Bond, of St. Clair County, and John Edgar,
from Randolph County, were elected representatives from
1 The boundaries of these counties were enlarged and altered from
time to time, till in 1809 Randolph included the southeastern fifth of
the present state, and St. Clair all the rest.
INDIANA TERRITORY 67
The large extent of the Northwest Territory rendered the
operations of government, especially the administration of
justice, very uncertain and burdensome. To mend this
difficulty, on May 7, 1800, Congress passed an act dividing
the territory into two separate territories. The western
part was called Indiana and included the present states of
Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, part of Minnesota, and part
(later all) of Michigan. The capital was at Vincennes, and
General William Henry Harrison was appointed governor.
In July, 1805, the first general assembly of Indiana Terri-
tory was held. In the same year Michigan was erected
into a separate territory.
Through the efforts of Harrison, most of the land in Illi-
nois and southern Indiana was ceded to the United States
by the resident Indians. His name appears on a dozen or
more treaties with them, and he became known as the
Great Treaty Maker. But when the Shawnees under Te-
cumseh and the Prophet saw the land being signed away
to the whites by the Indians of Illinois and Indiana they
became very angry. The Pottawatomies and the Kicka-
poos, always ready to fight the Americans, joined them, as
did other tribes, until a strong combination was formed.
Harrison, however, routed these Indians at the battle of
Tippecanoe, November 11, 1811. This famous battle ter-
minated the trouble and brought Harrison into great
and lasting popularity. When he was nominated for Presi-
dent, nearly thirty years later, he was elected by a large
XIII. THE TERRITORY OF ILLINOIS
The name Illinois was revived by the act of Congress,
February 3, 1809, which cut off the western part of Indiana
territory to form a separate government. The new terri-
tory of Illinois included the present state and all the
land north of it to Canada. Kaskaskia was made the
capital. Ninian Edwards, chief justice of Kentucky, was
appointed governor by President Madison; he remained
governor as long as Illinois was a territory.
At first the governor and three appointed judges formed
themselves into a legislative body and enacted laws
mostly copies of old ones for the new territory. But in
1812 Illinois became a territory of the second grade. The
first election was held in October, 1812. Shadrach Bond
was elected as the first delegate to Congress from the ter-
ritory of Illinois. The first general assembly of the ter-
ritory met in November, 1812.
The defeat at Tippecanoe only intensified the hatred of
the Indians against the whites, and Tecumseh again went
on the warpath. Urged on by British agents, the Indians
in 1811 became very bold and committed many depreda-
tions. This was a foretaste of the War of 1812 with Eng-
land. Reynolds says: "It is strange that the pioneers
on the frontiers could discover sooner the movements of
THE TERRITORY OF ILLINOIS 69
the British government through the Indians than our
government could by its ministers in Europe."
Anticipating the struggle with England, Governor Ed-
wards without delay began to make such preparations for
the defense of the territory as his own means permitted, ad-
vancing large sums of money to buy arms and build stock-
ades. The militia was called out, companies of rangers
organized, and mounted men chosen to guard the frontier.
In 1812 Fort Russell was built near the town of Edwards-
ville. It was the strongest fort in the territory and was the
headquarters of the militia. In September, 1812, a force of
350 men marched from Fort Russell against the Indians at
Peoria Lake, and at Peoria built a fort which they called
Fort Clark, in honor of George Rogers Clark. Zachary Tay-
lor, afterwards President, engaged the Indians near Rock
Island, but finding his force insufficient to cope with the
enemy, withdrew and left the Indians and British in con-
trol of all the country north of the Illinois River. Mean-
while, on August 15, 1812, occurred the massacre of the
garrison of Fort Dearborn the bloodiest collision that had
occurred between the whites and Indians in Illinois.
XIV. THE FORT DEARBORN MASSACRE
As early as 1675 the name Chicago was applied by ex-
plorers to lakes, ports, and routes. A French trading post
and mission existed under that name prior to 1700, but its
exact location cannot be ascertained. It is certain, how-
ever, that the present site of Chicago was from early times
a favorite resort and trading point with trapper and In-
dian. The name Chicago was the title of a long line of
Indian chiefs who resided in the community. The first
official mention of the name occurs in the treaty of Green-
ville, 1795, by which treaty the Pottawatomies ceded to
the government six square miles of territory at the mouth
of the Chicago River.
This place became so important and so much frequented
by traders that in 1803 General Dearborn, the Secretary of
War under President Jefferson, ordered a company of sol-
diers to proceed from the post at Detroit to the mouth of
the Chicago River, and there to construct a fort for the
protection of the traders and, no doubt, the interests of
the Federal government. The fort consisted of two block-
houses, a parade ground, and sally port, and was sur-
rounded by a stockade. It was named Fort Dearborn. A
few French and Canadians had settled in the vicinity.
At the beginning of the War of 1812 the Americans at-
tempted to invade Canada, but failed. To retaliate, the
THE FORT DEARBORN MASSACRE 71
British laid siege to Detroit and captured it. By this they
came into control of all the American posts in Michigan,
and with the loss of Michigan the Americans lost control
of the Indian tribes of the Northwest, who scattered them-
selves on the frontiers and began their horrible atrocities.
With the British army before Detroit and the animosity of
the Indians growing fiercer day by day, it was judged fool-
hardy to attempt to hold Fort Dearborn. Captain Nathan
Heald was therefore ordered to evacuate it and march his
garrison to Fort Wayne, if he thought such a course wise.
The order was brought to him by a friendly Pottawato-
mie chief, who, knowing the intentions of the Indians and
knowing that the fort was in good condition to withstand
a siege, urged the captain to disregard the order; or if he
should evacuate the fort, to do it at once, before the In-
dians could gather for an attack. But blindly ignoring
the red man's suggestion, as well as the wishes of his sub-
ordinates, Captain Heald notified the surrounding tribes of
his intention to abandon the fort and to distribute the pro-
visions among them as a peace offering. Immediately
they became surly and insulting.
On August 14 supplies of broadcloth, calico, and paint
were distributed among the Indians, but no liquor or am-
munition, which they wanted most of all. And when they
discovered broken muskets here and there and found broken
casks from which the liquor had been emptied upon the
ground, they became very angry and claimed that the
Americans had broken faith with them. So threatening
were they that the garrison decided to leave on the morrow.
72 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
On the fatal morning of the 15th, the troops left the fort
with martial music and with flags flying. Captain Wells,
who understood Indian warfare very well, and who had
come to escort them to Fort Wayne, with his face painted
like a savage's, led the advance guard at the head of some
friendly Miamis. The garrison followed with loaded arms,
then the baggage wagons with the sick and the women and
children. About 500 Pottawatomies, pledged to escort
them in safety, brought up the rear.
The caravan took the road along the lake shore and had
gone but a mile or so when it was discovered that the Potta-
watomies had surrounded the whites. Then began a most
savage massacre. In fifteen minutes the Indians had pos-
session of the baggage wagons and were slaying women and
children. When it was all over the captain was wounded
and half his men were killed. He had marched from the
fort with a party of 93 white persons; of these, 38 soldiers,
two women, and twelve children were killed. This most
dreadful crime was avenged when these Pottawatomies
later on met General Harrison at Fort Wayne, and at the
battle of the Thames, where many of them met their death.
XV. ILLINOIS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
So full of privation and danger was the life of the back-
woodsman that it appealed only to the most hardy. Re-
moved from the influence of civilized communities, much
in the company of friendly Indians, and frequently in peril
from hostile ones, it happened that
the backwoodsman came to resemble
the red man in disposition and man-
ner of life. A fur cap, a loose hunt-
ing shirt, buckskin pantaloons, and
leggings of deerskin, ornamented in
Indian fashion, constituted his dress,
with moccasins on his feet, knife and
tomahawk in his belt, and his rifle
on his shoulder, His home was a
log cabin in which the logs were held
together by wooden pegs, and oiled
paper served for window glass.
Even the hinges of the door were
wooden, as was the latch also, which
was lifted from without by a thong run through a hole.
If "the latchstring was out" friends were at liberty to
enter. Within, the furniture was of the rudest sort. Uten-
sils of metal were very rare. Huge fireplaces that burned
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
great logs served in place of stoves. Skins and furs com-
posed the bed.
Like the Indians, the backwoodsmen were hunters rather
than farmers, and depended on their guns for most of
their food. They raised a little corn, and a few pota-
toes and other vegetables. Nearly all of them had served
in the border wars against the Indians. They resembled
A TRAIN OF SETTLERS' WAGONS
the Indians also in their dislike of thickly settled commu-
nities and near neighbors, and in their laziness and lack of
ambition. At home in the forest, rough, hardy, illiterate,
such were the pioneers of the mighty West.
But soon another and better class began to settle in Illi-
nois. They came from the Atlantic states; the majority of
them were from the South Virginia, Maryland, and South
BEGINNING OF NINETEENTH CENTURY 75
Carolina. A fair proportion of them had received a rudi-
mentary education, and among them were men who after-
wards served the state in places of trust and honor. Some
of them came to Kaskaskia by the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers; but most of them came overland in covered wag-
ons drawn by horses or oxen. The men would walk before
the caravan to hunt for food and ward off danger, and at
night would lie down, wrapped in blankets, around the
BUILDING A LOG HOUSE
camp fire. The women and children spent most of the time
in the wagons. The journey was not free from peril, and
sometimes it occupied three or four months.
These people often settled in or near the old French vil-
lages. They took to the hill country along rivers and
streams. They shunned the open prairies because of the
absence of water, shade, and fuel, because of green-headed
76 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
flies that swarmed there, and because of their idea that the
prairies were unhealthful and the soil unproductive. Thus
they left unoccupied some of the best portions of the state
and chose the river bottoms where crops were unreliable
and sickness common.
They had few of the comforts and not always all the ne-
cessities of life as we see it now. Books were very scarce
and schools were scarcer still. Sometimes the schoolmas-
ter held school in his own house. The work of the men
w T as very arduous clearing lands, splitting rails, planting,
and harvesting with only the rudest implements. The
winters were very severe, and the houses were far from
comfortable. The Indians were always ready to make
trouble in one way or another. Fever and ague afflicted
all. Great rainfalls and heavy snows were common, and
the constant high winds were very disagreeable.
Yet the settlers had much leisure and many merrymak-
ings. Story-telling was an art much cultivated. Dancing,
logrolling, house raising, husking bees, and apple parings
were popular amusements, but horse racing was the most
popular of all. The whole population would turn out for a
race. It gave a good opportunity for the men to visit and
trade horses with one another. Much whisky was used by
both men and women, and a race generally ended in a fight.
The first Protestant religious service in Illinois was held
by a Baptist minister, the Reverend James Smith, who
visited New Design in 1787, five years after that place was
founded by Clark's men on the highlands overlooking the
Kaskaskia and the Mississippi. v/At this place the first
BEGINNING OF NINETEENTH CENTURY 77
Protestant church in the state was built in 1796. The first
circuit rider appeared in 1804. The restraining influence
of these early ministers upon the habits and manners of the
people was wholesome and much needed.
By and by the immigrants from Europe began to find
their way to Illinois. The first were a few Irish families
who settled along the Ohio River about 1805. Moses
Birkbeck brought a large colony from England in which
there was much refinement and wealth, and located in
Edwards County. After 1815 Germans came in large
The four years that followed the close of the War of 1812
were years of unprecedented growth. Many new towns
were laid out, and the number of counties in Illinois grew
to fifteen. In 1820 the population amounted to 55,211.
The new settlements, for the most part, were still found
along the rivers and in the southern part of the state. Of
the population scarcely one twentieth were of French de-
scent; the rest were Americans. With the exception of a
few Pennsylvanians, they were mostly from the Southern
states, and they stamped the manners and customs of the
South upon all southern Illinois. In 1821 all the state
north and west of the Kankakee and Illinois rivers was es-
tablished into one large county, called Pike. South of
these rivers, in 1821, the state was divided into twenty-five
As fear of the Indians decreased, farms became larger
and settlements grew into little villages. Herds of sheep
were pastured on the hills and in the woods, and clothing
78 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
made of cotton, flax, and wool came to take the place
of that made from furs and skins. In 1805 a mail route
was established from Vincennes to Cahokia, and in 1810
routes were 'established by act of Congress from Vincennes
to St. Louis by way of Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, and
Cahokia. The first newspaper in Illinois, The Illinois Her-
ald, was established at Kaskaskia about 1814; the second,
The Illinois Emigrant, at Shawneetown, 1818; the third, The
Spectator, at Edwardsville, 1819. The first steamboat on
the upper Mississippi reached St. Louis in 1817. The people
gradually began to live more like their countrymen in the
East, and as time crept slowly on signs became visible of
the mighty civilization that was soon to flourish on the
prairies of Illinois.
XVI. ADMISSION TO THE UNION; THE FIRST
The population had so much increased that the Illinois
territorial legislature, in January, 1818, asked the Con-
gressional delegate, Nathaniel Pope, to petition Congress to
admit Illinois into the Union. A bill for that purpose was
soon introduced in Congress. It fixed the boundary lines
as they are at present with the exception of the northern
line, which was run farther south, at 41 39'. But Pope
asked that it be made at 42 30', as it is now and no man
ever rendered the state a greater service. He argued that
if 41 39' were made the boundary, the commerce of Illi-
nois, which he said was destined to become a populous
state, would be confined to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers,
and so be mostly with the Southern states, and should the
slave states. ever attempt to withdraw from the Union,
Illinois would naturally cast her lot with them. But on
the other hand, to fix the boundary at 42 30' would give
a northern outlet to her commerce by way of Lake Michi-
gan, which would unite her interests with those of Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and New York. And, declared Pope, by
the adoption of such a line Illinois might become at some
future time the keystone to the perpetuity of the Union,
as indeed it did in less than fifty years. The fourteen
counties erected out of the strip of territory sixty miles
80 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
wide which he secured to Illinois, elected the republican
state ticket in 1856, secured the state to that party, and
made more certain the nomination and election of Lincoln
to the Presidency four years later.
Pope further argued that if the port of Chicago were
included in Illinois, the state would become interested in
the proposed canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Illi-
nois River, as that water way would then be altogether
within its limits. Such a canal, besides developing the
country, would open up a new channel of trade between
the East and West and bind them closer together. Had
not Chicago been included in the state, perhaps it would
not have grown so rapidly, for the Illinois and Michigan
Canal and the Illinois Central Railroad, which contributed
so largely to its development, were the outcome of Illi-
nois enterprise and statesmanship, and might never have
been built, had their terminus, Chicago, been outside the
Pope's request having been granted, the "Enabling
Act" was passed and became law, April 18. Under its
provisions, Illinois was declared a state by resolution of
Congress, December 3, 1818.
Pope secured the admission of Illinois on a smaller popu-
lation than was usually required, only 40,000; and it is
doubtful if the territory had even 40,000, for so eager were
the people for statehood that many were counted twice,
and even emigrants were counted as they passed through
The constitutional convention met at Kaskaskia, and
THE FIRST CONSTITUTION 81
the first constitution of Illinois was signed and established
August 26, 1818. It was largely copied from the constitu-
tions of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
The governor, lieutenant governor, sheriffs, coroners,
county commissioners, and the delegates to the general as-
sembly were elected by the people, but other officers named
in the constitution were to be appointed, some by the gov-
ernor and some by the legislature. Frequent clashes be-
tween the governor and the assembly were caused by the
fact that the constitution did not make clear whether the
executive or the legislature was to appoint to additional
offices later created by the legislature.
The constitution of Illinois was one of the first constitu-
tions to prohibit imprisonment for debt. It granted the
right to vote to all white males over twenty-one years of
age, who had resided six months in the state.
Shadrach Bond was the most popular man in the state
and was elected governor without opposition. He was jo-
vial, thoroughly honest, and unostentatious. A French-
man, Pierre Menard, who could speak but little English,
but who was of sound judgment, hospitable and benevolent
to all, was the first lieutenant governor. Elias Kent Kane
was appointed secretary of state. Ninian Edwards and
Jesse B. Thomas were the first United States senators from
The first legislature was made up of fourteen senators
and twenty-eight representatives. The first message of
the governor recommended more lenient punishments for
crimes, the leasing of the school lands for the sake of edu-
82 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
cation, and the construction at an early date of the Illinois
and Michigan Canal. At the second session of the legisla-
ture a commission was appointed to lay out a town and
erect a temporary statehouse. Vandalia was the site
chosen for the new capitol.
XVII. SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS
The Ordinance of 1787 plainly prohibited slavery, yet
there was a clause in the ordinance that was interpreted
without much show of reason to allow the French in Illinois
still to hold their slaves and their slaves' descendants in
servitude, as they had done since 1722 under, the successive
rule of France, England, and Virginia. The Northwest
Ordinance was further violated in 1807 when the territorial
legislature of Indiana (which then included Illinois) passed
an act making indentured servitude legal.
By this law a person bringing slaves into the territory
had to take them, within thirty days, before the clerk of the
court, and, if the slaves were willing, have an indenture or
contract between the slaves and himself entered upon
record, with the specified time the slaves were to serve.
This term of service was sometimes fixed at ninety-nine
years. The descendants of the slaves were also to serve
until they were about thirty years old. But if the slaves
refused to enter into such an agreement, their master had
to remove them from the state within sixty days. Under
this provision slavery increased.
The Illinois constitution of ISIS 'prohibited the future
introduction of slavery, but recognized indentured servi-
tude and left the slaves in their previous condition. The
children of indentured servants, however, were to be set
84 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
free at the age of twenty-one, if males, or eighteen if
The number of slaves was small, yet the first legislature
passed severe and stringent black laws such as were usu-
ally enacted in slave states to prevent a servile uprising.
For example, no negro could reside in the state without
showing a certificate of his freedom, and every black or
mulatto without such a certificate of his freedom was sub-
ject to arrest as a runaway slave and was to be advertised
and sold, if not claimed. Any slave or servant found ten
miles from home without permit was liable to arrest and
thirty-five stripes from the lash. There was a long list of
offenses punishable by the lash. To harbor a runaway
slave was made a felony.
Most of the settlers had come from Southern states, and
consequently many of them were in favor of slavery and
were anxious to make Illinois a slave state. Some of
them even went so far as to petition Congress to annul the
Ordinance of 1787 as unconstitutional. About this time,
1821, Missouri was admitted as a slave state and many
emigrants from Kentucky and Virginia were pouring
through Illinois into it. As they passed they pretended
to regret the short-sighted policy of Illinois that excluded
them from purchasing land and settling here with their
slaves. Many of those who had lands and farms to sell,
when they saw the rdads crowded with these lordly emi-
grants and their long lines of teams and slaves, began to
envy the good fortune of Missouri. And so it happened
that the sentiment in favor of slavery grew, and at the
SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS 85
second election for governor it became the silent though
The antislavery party nominated for governor a young
Virginian of polished manners and unimpeachable charac-
ter, Edward Col.es. For six years he had been the highly
esteemed private secretary of President Madison, and he
enjoyed the confidence of such men as Jefferson and Mon-
roe. As a special minister to Russia he had prevented an
open rupture with the Czar. Impressed with the advan-
tages of Illinois, he came hither and brought his slaves
with him, only to free them and give each family 160 acres
of Illinois land. Upon his coming here the President had
appointed him registrar of the land office at Edwardsville.
And when large numbers of people from all parts of the
state came to have their deeds made out and their titles
verified, his kind and agreeable manner made them all
Two proslavery candidates were run against him. One
of them had entered in the race for the sole object of divert-
ing votes from the popular registrar. But this served only
to divide the proslavery vote, and when the election was
over it was found that Coles had won. The proslavery
men elected all the rest of the ticket and had control of
both houses of the legislature.
In his inaugural address Coles gave slavery a prominent
place, and earnestly recommended its abolition from Illi-
nois. The committee to whom this portion of the address
was referred presented a majority and a minority report.
The minority recommended the abolition of slavery, while
SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS 87
the majority report recommended that the people of the
state at the next general election vote for or against a con-
vention to amend the constitution ; their purpose being to
make Illinois a slave state. One vote was lacking in the
house of representatives to pass the resolution recom-
mended by the majority report. The proslavery men
therefore expelled one member who was opposed to the
convention, gave his seat to another, and thus passed the
Reynolds says of this illegal step: "This proceeding in
the general assembly looked revolutionary and was con-'
demned by all honest and reflecting men. This outrage
was a deathblow to the convention. The night after the
passage of the resolution there was at the seat of govern-
ment a wild and indecorous procession by torchlight and
liquor, and that was also unpopular."
The abolitionists rightly opposed the convention, for
they saw that if it convened, slavery would be fastened on
the state. The campaign that followed was the most excit-
ing and bitter the state ever saw. The conflict assumed
national importance, for with Illinois a slave state the
preponderance of the slave party in national affairs was
assured. Addresses were issued to the people, public
meetings held, and the newspapers took a lively part in
the discussion. The rude pulpit thundered against slavery
as a crime. Personal combats were frequent. There was
an avalanche of personal abuse. The convention men,
certain of success, were arrogant, insulting, and defiant.
As Governor Ford in his history well says, if the people had
88 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
not made allowance for the exaggeration and falsehoods of
this campaign, the reputation of all men would have been
overwhelmed and consumed.
At the head of the abolitionists was Governor Coles,
whose efforts were untiring. His residence was mobbed,
yet neither violence nor abuse abated his zeal. He cheer-
fully gave his salary to the cause as well as his official
influence and personal ability. He was ably seconded by
Daniel P. Cook and Moses Birkbeck. The Reverend John
Mason Peck, a Baptist minister, fearlessly denounced
slavery in the log churches, schoolhouses and in private
houses, everywhere in the state.
On election day the aged and the cripples were carried to
the polls, and it is said men voted on that occasion who had
not seen a ballot box for twenty years. The eventful day,
August 2, 1824, showed a majority against the convention,
6,640 to 4,972, and slavery was dead in Illinois forever.
Only two other important events of Coles's administra-
tion need be mentioned. The statehouse at Vandalia was
burned in December, 1823; but a new one was soon built
there. In April, 1825, General Lafayette, the friend of
America, visited Kaskaskia, and Governor Coles, who had
made his acquaintance in France, welcomed him to Illi-
Coles's high character and polished manners, his great
influence and his hatred of slavery, made him very unpopu-
lar among certain classes of people. The legislature con-
stantly antagonized him and took every opportunity to
insult him. He nominated the cultured and worthy Moses
SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS 89
Birkbeck for secretary of state, but the legislature, to its dis-
grace, refused to confirm the nomination. While Coles was
absent from the state the lieutenant governor, Hubbard,
made himself a laughingstock by trying to steal his place.
Coles left Illinois in 1832 and went to Philadelphia. He
lived long enough to see the whole slavery question settled
by the Civil War. To him we are most indebted for saving
Illinois from the curse of African slavery, and thus placing
it in a position to maintain the Union some thirty years
XVIII. ADMINISTRATION OF NINIAN EDWARDS
The third governor was Ninian Edwards. He had been
governor of the territory of Illinois. Whenever he went
out among the people he arrayed himself in the style of a
gentleman of the olden times fine broadcloth coat, short
breeches, long stockings, and high-topped boots and was
drawn in a fine carriage driven by a negro. His speeches
were pompous and florid. When he was inaugurated gov-
ernor in 1826 he appeared before the general assembly in a
gold-laced cloak and with a sword.
Like Coles, Edwards was opposed by the legislature,
which had passed some very bad measures of finance.
Taxation was unpopular, and the legislators feared to tax
the people lest they should endanger their places. In order
to replenish the state treasury, which was always in debt,
in 1828-29 they began the very unwise policy of selling the
school lands and borrowing the school funds. Congress
had made a most munificent provision for public education
when it donated to Illinois the sixteenth section of every
township and three per cent, of the net proceeds from the
sale of public lands for the support of common schools,
together with two townships of land for a seminary of
learning. Some of these lands had been leased to settlers,
who clamored for a permanent title and prevailed upon the
ADMINISTRATION OF EDWARDS (1826-1830) 91
legislature to sell them these school lands at a very low
price. The people were shortsighted enough to permit the
sale of all. Had those lands been kept for the purpose for
which they were given, no taxation would now be necessary
to support public schools.
In 1826-27 hundreds of people from Illinois and Mis-
souri flocked to Galena to work in the lead mines that had
been opened there. The Winnebagoes objected to their
settling on Indian lands, and were joined in their resistance
by the Sacs and Foxes and the Sioux. A body of United
States regulars, reenforced by volunteers, soon routed the
National politics began to claim the attention of the
people about this time. Daniel P. Cook was a man of many
pleasing ways, kind and without guile. He had been a
member of Congress since 1819, and had secured from
Congress a donation of 225,000 acres of land for the con-
struction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Because of
this service Cook County was named for him. In the pre-
ceding presidential election, in 1824, neither Jackson nor
Adams nor Crawford being elected, it fell to the House of
Representatives to decide which one should be President.
The House voted by states, and the vote of thirteen states
was necessary to elect; Illinois, represented by Cook, was
one of the thirteen that voted for Adams and elected him.
The people of Illinois had given Jackson more votes than
Adams, and they were so fond of Jackson that they defeated
Cook for Congress and elected a young man named Joseph
XIX. THE BLACK HAWK WAR
The fourth governor, John Reynolds, was an odd charac-
ter. He was brought up among frontier people and like
them had a dislike for fashion and polish and was addicted
to profanity. He wrote two books on Illinois history that
are pleasant reading because they are full of his personal
observation and gossip. He began practice as a lawyer at
Cahokia, in 1814, and announced in the Illinois Herald of
Kaskaskia: "To the poor people of Illinois and Missouri
Territory : To the above class of mankind whose pecuniary
circumstances will not admit of feeing a lawyer, I tender my
professional services as a lawyer in all the courts I practice
in, without fee or reward. John Reynolds." He soon had
a large and remunerative practice.
The Black Hawk War was the chief event of interest in
Reynolds's administration. It is scarcely worthy of the
name of war. About 8,000 volunteers and 1,500 regulars
were called out to expel from the state some 500 warriors
and their women and children. The whole trouble might
have been averted by the payment of a few thousand
dollars to the Indians. As it was, it cost the state two mil-
lion dollars and the loss of about one thousand lives
mostly Indians, and so reckoned, at that time, of little con-
The early settlers thoroughly detested the Indian, fre-
THE BLACK HAWK WAR 93
quently maltreated him, and constantly demanded that he
should go. In such a state of mind as this, they needed
little or no provocation to declare war on him.
In 1804 a treaty had been made between the government
and certain representatives of the Sac and Fox Indians.
In consideration of the payment of $1,000 annually by
the government to the two tribes, the Indians ceded all
the land between the Wisconsin and Fox rivers on the
north, the Illinois River on the south, and the Mississippi
River on the west. There was a provision, however, that
as long as this territory remained the property of the govern-
ment the Indians should enjoy the privilege of living and
hunting on it. The main village of the two tribes was
Sankernunt, which was not far from Rock Island on the
Rock River. It was occupied by about 500 families and
was dear to the Indian heart, for here were the graves of
the Sac and Fox forefathers. In the rich soil of the neigh-
borhood they planted corn and a few vegetables. But un-
happily for the savage, the fame of this fertile spot came to
the ears of that restless class, the squatters, who continually
pushed their frontier over the line of the Indian preserves.
This was as early as 1823. Although the land of the Sac and
Fox was fifty miles in advance of the regular settlements
the farthest north were then at Monmouth and although
an abundance of land just as good was open to legal entry
and sale, yet from that time on these lands under cultiva-
tion by the Indians were squatted upon and continually
occupied without the least shadow of right.
The squatters often took advantage of the absence of
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
the Indians on their hunting expeditions and fenced in and
cultivated their cornfields, drove off the squaws and children
who ventured on the claims, and did not hesitate to burn
their lodges over their heads. Complaints and collisions
followed, until in 1829 President Jackson notified the
Indians that they would have to remove to the west bank
of the Mississippi. But when Black Hawk, one of the chiefs,
heard this he gathered
a part of the tribe
around him and deter-
mined not to abandon
his ancient village. He
claimed that those who
signed the land away
had no authority to do
so, and besides, that
the government had
already broken the
In 1831 came the first
actual outbreak. A se-
vere winter and an unsuccessful hunt had discouraged the
Indians, and when they came back to their village they
were defiantly ordered to be gone. Black Hawk replied
that if any withdrew it would be the invaders, and that
he would force them to go. The squatters about forty
in number frightened, or pretending to be, appealed to
Governor Reynolds for protection. Instead of leaving the
matter to the Federal government, the governor issued
THE BLACK HAWK WAR 95
a call for 700 volunteers to remove the Indians from Rock
This was a popular move. The many lawless adventur-
ers who infest frontier settlements were eager for a chance
to plunder. Money was scarce among the hardy pioneers,
and the war promised a large expenditure. Then many
of them had suffered in person and property from the
Indians. Hence the volunteers that gathered at Beards-
town were double the number called for. The combined
force of volunteers and six companies of regulars appeared
before the village of the Sacs; but Black Hawk, having
only about 300 warriors with him, successfully withdrew
to the west bank of the Mississippi. A treaty was signed to
the effect that he was not to recross the river, and that
the government was to furnish him and his band with pro-
visions to tide them over the hard times.
It was too late to raise a crop of corn, and the government
did not supply them with sufficient provisions, so the
Indians passed a miserable summer and winter. Black
Hawk regarded the treaty as already violated by the
government. On being assured of the sympathy of the
Winnebagoes and the Pottawatomies, he resolved to
reoccupy his village near Rock Island; or if he were not
permitted to do so, to proceed to Prophetstown and raise
a crop of corn with the Winnebagoes. To this end he
crossed the Mississippi at Yellow Banks (Oquawka) on
April 6, 1832, with a band of 500 warriors and their fam-
ilies, and made his way northward.
Then all was excitement. The governor issued a call
96 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
for a strong detachment of militia. One thousand regulars
and two thousand volunteers proceeded to Rock Island.
Governor Reynolds accompanied them. Zachary Taylor
and Jefferson Davis were officers in the regulars, and
Abraham Lincoln was a captain of a volunteer company.
Weary, wet, and hungry, they searched for the Indians, but
no Black Hawk could they find.
An k independent battalion of rangers under Major Still-
man, having great confidence in themselves, had separated
from the main army and had marched to a place called Old
Man's Creek to annihilate some Indians who were supposed
to be lurking there. Meanwhile Black Hawk, sadly dis-
appointed by the failure of the Winnebagoes and the
Pottawatomies to rally to his aid, had made up his mind
to cross the river never to return, and was preparing to
surrender when he \vas informed that a company of white
cavalry had encamped six miles away. This was Stillman
and his men, but Black Hawk supposed that it was the
main division of the army, and at once sent three braves
with a flag of truce to inform the commander that he was
ready to surrender. Five other braves were sent to watch
the result from a safe distance.
When the Indian messengers came in sight the rangers,
crazed by liquor, pursued them, and killed two of them in
spite of the white flag and in violation of all the rules of
war. The other Indians fled and told Black Hawk, who was
preparing to go to the interview, what had happened.
Great was his rage. He appealed to the forty men who were
with him to follow him, and they immediately set out to
THE BLACK HAWK WAR 97
avenge their slain. When the whites saw them coming
they ran wildly forward, a disorderly, undisciplined mob.
Black Hawk awaited them, and when they came up he
ordered his men to fire. Raising the war whoop, the sav-
ages rushed forward. Stillman's men did not wait for a
second volley, but turned and fled. They dashed through
their abandoned camp, and neither swamp nor swollen
stream checked their flight. Some then made a firm
stand, but the others continued their mad gallop forty or
fifty miles to their homes, spreading through all the country
the news that Black Hawk was coming with 2,000 braves.
Eleven white men and three Indians were killed. The
place was called, from the defeat, Stillman's Run now
Stillman Valley, in Ogle County.
Elated by the victory, Black Hawk advanced to the Rock
River. Winnebagoes and Pottawatomies joined him. More
volunteers were called. General Winfield Scott was ordered
from the East with 1,000 regulars. Again the army lost
track of the Indians. Finally they w r ere found retreating
toward the Mississippi, and were worsted at a skirmish at
Wisconsin Heights, a bluff on the Wisconsin River, not far
from the present city of Madison. That night the Indians
placed their women and children and old men upon a raft
and in canoes and sent them down to the Mississippi. But
the troops discovered these noncombatants and fired upon
them; and about 100 were killed or drowned. Those that
escaped took refuge in the woods, where death by starva-
tion and exposure awaited them.
Through swamps and water up to their armpits the
98 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
troops pursued the Indians. As they hunted them down
they saw evidences of the sufferings of the poor savages.
The bark had been stripped from the trees for food, and
here and there was found the lifeless body of a brave who
had fallen starved to death.
Black Hawk reached the Mississippi before his pursuers,
and with only a few canoes began the difficult task of ferry-
ing his half-starved band across the river. Suddenly a
military transport arrived with about twenty soldiers on
board; while Black Hawk was attempting to explain to
them his desire to surrender, they opened fire and killed a
score or more of his people. The next day the Indians
again attempted to cross to the west side of the river, when
both transport and army came upon them and renewed the
For three hours the dreadful carnage was kept up.
Resistance was useless, but the Indians perished like brave
men with their face to the foe. About 150 Indians were
killed in fight, about the same number were drowned, and
about 40 prisoners were taken. About 300 escaped across
the river, where they supposed they would be safe, but
there at the instigation of the whites a band of Sioux fell
upon them and left but few to escape. Nearly the whole
tribe was wiped out. Black Hawk was taken to Fort
Monroe, and later on was made a ward of his rival. Chief
XX. ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840
By 1830 fifty-one counties had been organized and the
population had grown to 157,445, yet a third of the state
was still virgin prairie inhabited only by Indians. In 1821-
23 attention had been directed to the Military Tract, and
there was a great rush of settlers into this rich region
which the government had given as bounty to the soldiers
of the War of 1812. Much of it had not been claimed by
those to whom it was given, and had to be sold for taxes.
The Black Hawk War did much to develop western and
northern Illinois. The sqldiers returning from the war
carried southward such favorable reports of the country
that many went north to settle; and in 1831 the counties
of La Salle, Cook, and Rock Island were organized. The
pay of the volunteers, amounting to half a million dollars,
was almost wholly used in paying for land already acquired
or for entering new claims.
The few who settled in the midst of the prairies broke up
the land with throe or four yoke of oxen and built fences of
rails or sod. When the prairie fires came, spreading with
terrific rapidity and driving all the wild game before them,
the farmer hastened to plow several furrows around his
home and barns in order to save them.
Settlers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New
England began to come to Illinois. Many of these Eastern-
ers settled in the towns, and there sprang up no little dis-
~*fe f^-l, *-V -.f.\ r/~
MAP OF ILLINOIS IN 1834. SHOWING STAGE ROUTES
ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840 101
trust between these Yankees and the many Southerners
in the state. By 1834 the center of population had shifted
from the vicinity of Kaskaskia, where it had remained so
long, to a point north of Vandalia. As the permanent
settlers came in greater numbers the careless squatter,
always chafing under the restraints of society, sold his
patch of corn and with the Indians moved westward.
*[/n At this time the only towns of any importance were
Chicago, Peoria, Quincy, and Alton. In 1827 the state
penitentiary was located at Alton. The town grew rapidly
and bade fair to become the metropolis of the Mississippi
valley. In 1837 it had a population of 2,500. Quincy in
the same year had a population of 1,500, a land office,
an expensive courthouse, three taverns, and twenty-five
stores. Peoria had about the same number of inhabitants,
one brewery, a newspaper, two free schools, five churches,
and twenty-five stores. Chicago in 1832 contained only
five small stores and 250 inhabitants; by 1837 it had be-
come the largest place in the state, with 4,179 inhabi-
tants, one hundred and twenty stores, twelve taverns,
three newspapers, nearly fifty lawyers, and thirty physi-
cians. In 1832 only four ships arrived at its port, while
in 1837 there were 456 arrivals.
Beginning about 1830, a marked change occurred in the
life of the people. They came together more frequently,
at church, at camp meeting, at court. The old dress of the
backwoodsmen gave place to that of the more tidy East-
erner. Ambition and industry followed. The desire for
knowledge manifested itself. The softening influences of
102 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
civilization began to be felt. Together with the school-
teacher and the circuit rider came the merchant, the lawyer,
the physician, the editor, and the singing master. Yet Il-
linois was still a vastly different state .from what it is now.
The country was overrun with well-organized gangs of
horse thieves, negro stealers, and counterfeiters. High-
way robbery and murder were frequent. Sometimes out-
laws would attack bands of immigrants, and sometimes they
would plunder the smaller towns. The whole state suffered
from them, although they particularly infested the river
bottoms and the southern part of the state. Nauvoo, under
the Mormons, was a very paradise for them. Sometimes
the officers of the law were in partnership with them.
Finally, the people organized themselves into companies
of " Regulators, " or Vigilance Committees, and by taking
the law into their own hands drove most of the marauders
out of the state, although in some places the gangs held
sway down almost to the Civil War. As late as 1831 a
noted band of outlaws built a fort in Pope County, and de-
fied the authorities until attacked by large numbers.
It was only in 1833 that the last Indian tribe, the Potta-
watomies, left the state.
People traveled by stagecoach; the fare was six cents
a mile. The first mail route from the central part of the
state to Chicago was established in 1826, starting from
Springfield. The first newspaper in Chicago, The Democrat,
was issued in 1833; and the first daily newspaper in the
state, The Daily American, was published in Chicago in
1839. The first school of higher learning was the theological
ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840 103
seminary and high school at Rock Springs, founded in 1827
and in 1831 transferred to Upper Alton, where it was later
reorganized under the name it still bears, Shurtleff College.
The Lebanon Seminary was established in 1828, and in
1830 was renamed McKendree College. Illinois College
was established at Jacksonville in 1829. The first railroad
in the state, the Northern Cross, was completed in 1839.
This was the heyday of the camp meeting and the circuit
rider. People would go for miles to attend camp meeting.
Excitement ran high, and many of those professing con-
version were seized with the "jerks," a peculiar nervous
disorder. Often bands of ruffians would attempt to break
up the meetings, but sometimes they were dealt with in no
gentle manner by the muscular preachers. For the circuit
rider, the pioneer of religion and education, was as hardy
and uncouth as those to whom he preached. Chief among
the circuit riders was Peter Cartright, who ran against
Lincoln for Congress in 1846. His Autobiography is an
amusing yet faithful picture of the religious life of those
days. After 1832 an increasing number of ministers from
New England came to Illinois. Among these early min-
isters was Philander Chase, Episcopal Bishop of Illinois
from 1835 to 1852. At first their ways and preaching,
so different from the circuit riders', were unpopular.
But they introduced a much higher plane of thinking.
The court room, where a sure but rude sort of justice was
administered, was a popular gathering place. The trial by
jury supplied the place of theater, lecture, and concert,
and was a valuable agency in the education of the people.
XXI. STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
From the first the water ways of the West attract atten-
tion as a factor in the discovery and development of the
country. For a while the French used the Indian birch-
bark canoe, but it was too frail a craft for the strong current
of the Mississippi. So they hewed boats out of solid logs.
These pirogues (pi-rdgs), as they were called, were of greater
width and capacity than the canoes, and in them the
French carried their furs down to New Orleans. As trade
increased still larger boats were demanded, and flatboats,
keel boats and barges took the place of lighter craft.
The flatboats were generally used only in descending the
STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
river, and the keel boats and barges also in ascending.
Sometimes they were propelled upstream by poles, some-
times they were rowed and towed like canal boats. Some-
times the "warp " was adopted; that is, a coil of rope would
be sent forward to some tree on shore or some snag in the
river and then all hands would pull the boat forward. Then
another tree or snag would be selected, and so on to the
end. It was row and tow, and pole and warp, for months,
before a cargo from New Orleans reached Kaskaskia.
Many perils from man and nature attended the journey.
Indians and pirates were a constant source of danger.
Forty or fifty men composed the crew of a barge. They
always went armed, were a reckless, pugnacious, lawless
set, yet always faithful in their care of the cargo intrusted
106 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
to them. The severe labor of propelling a boat upstream
developed extraordinary strength in the boatmen. The
fiddle and the winding horn were used to cheer them.
The following is a translation of part of a bill of lading
executed May 18, 1741, by Barois, a notary at Kaskaskia:
"And it has been further agreed that said Mettazer prom-
ises to deliver to said Bienvena, at the landing place at this
town Kaskaskia, at his own risk, the fortunes of war
excepted, an iron kettle, weighing about 290 pounds, used
for the manufacture of salt, and which said Bienvena owns
in New Orleans, and said Bienvena promises to pay to
said Mettazer for his salary and freight, after the delivery
of the said kettle, a steer in good order, three bushels of
salt, two hundred pounds of bacon, and twenty bushels of
It can be imagined what a boon the introduction of the
steamboat was. By 1830 steamboats were plentiful on
the upper Mississippi, and after 1826 they appeared on the
Illinois River. There is no more picturesque feature in our
history than life on the Mississippi. The arrival or de-
parture of a boat was an important event in the river towns
of the early day. A desire to race with other boats seemed
to possess all, from captain and pilot, down to deck hands.
Many are the stories told of the dangers faced in order to
forge ahead of other boats; many a boat went to the bottom
and many a life was lost. The responsibility of the pilot
was great in those days, for the river had not been im-
proved by the government as it is now, and there were
no beacon lights on shore to guide the boats. A mania for
STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
gambling was prevalent on the steamboats, passengers
sometimes staying up all night to play cards.
At first the commerce on the upper Mississippi was lim-
ited to carrying supplies to the miners at Galena and
bringing the lead down to St. Louis. Both freight and
passenger traffic increased until the Civil War broke out.
The railroads with their greater conveniences were danger-
EARLY STEAMBOAT ON THE MISSISSIPPI
ous competitors, and river traffic became of less and less
importance as railroads increased. Many rafts of logs are
still sent down the river. Much freight is still carried on
the lakes and rivers, and many people bent on pleasure
still take the steamboat.
It has been said that the introduction of the steamboat
108 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
upon the Western waters contributed more than any other
cause to the prosperity of the West and its rapid growth
in population. Travel became safer and easier. Commerce
came with the steamboat and the railroad, and mining and
agriculture received a great impetus.
XXII. THE ANIMALS OF ILLINOIS
In a description of the state in 1837 a writer of that
time says of the animals of Illinois: 1 "The principal and
most numerous are deer, wolves, raccoons, opossums.
Several species formerly common have become scarce,
and some are no longer found. The buffalo has entirely
left the limits of the state. This animal once roamed at
large over the plains of Illinois and so late as the commence-
ment of the present [nineteenth] century was found in
considerable numbers. . . .
" Deer are more abundant than at the first settlement of
the country. They increase to a certain extent with the
population. The reason of this appears to be that they
find protection in the neighborhood of man from the beasts
of prey that assail them in the wilderness and from whose
attacks their young particularly can with difficulty escape.
They suffer most from the wolves who hunt in packs like
hounds and who seldom give up the chase until the deer is
taken. Immense numbers of deer are killed every year by
the hunters, who take them for the hams and skins alone,
throwing away the rest of the carcass. Venison hams and
hides are important articles of export. Fresh hams usually
sell at from 75 cents to $1.50 a pair, and when properly
cured are a delicious article of food. Many of the frontier
1 Adapted from Mitchell's Illinois in 1837.
110 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
people dress deerskins and make them into pantaloons and
hunting shirts. . . . It is a novel and pleasant sight
for the stranger to see the deer in flocks feeding on the
prairies or bounding away at the sight of the traveler.
"The elk has [nearly] disappeared. A few have been
seen in late years and some have been taken. The bear is
seldom seen. This animal inhabits those parts of the
country that are thickly wooded and delights particularly
in the canebrakes, where it feeds in winter on the tender
shoots of the young corn. The meat is tender and finely
flavored and is esteemed a great delicacy.
" Wolves are numerous in most parts of the state. There
are two kinds, the common or black wolf, and the
prairie wolf. The former is a large, fierce animal, and very
destructive to sheep, pigs, calves, poultry, and even young
colts. They hunt in packs, and after using every strata-
gem to circumvent their prey they attack it with remark-
able ferocity. Like the Indian they always endeavor to
surprise their victim and strike the mortal blow without ex-
posing themselves to danger. They seldom attack man ex-
cept when he is asleep or wounded. . . . When tempted
by hunger they approach the farmhouses in the night, and
snatch their prey from under the very eye of the farmer,
and when the latter is absent with his dogs the Wolf is
sometimes seen by the females lurking about in midday,
as if aware of the unprotected state of the family.
"The prairie wolf is smaller, of a very light red. It
takes its name from its habit of residing entirely upon the
open plains. Even when hunted with dogs it will make
THE ANIMALS OF ILLINOIS 111
circuit after circuit round the prairie carefully avoiding the
forest, or only dashing into it occasionally when hard
pressed and then returning to the plain.
"The fox abounds in some places in great numbers,
though generally speaking is scarce. The panther and wild
cat are occasionally found in the forest, the open country
not being well suited to their shy habits. The beaver and
otter were once numerous but are now seldom seen except
on the frontiers. There are no rats except along the large
rivers where they have landed from the boats. "
Gray and fox squirrels, gophers, rabbits, prairie chickens,
and quail were very numerous. Quail were taken by nets,
hundreds in a day, Grouse and wild turkey were found.
The ponds, lakes, and rivers in the spring and autumn were
covered with swans, pelicans, cranes, geese, brants, and
ducks of all varieties. Rattlesnakes and other large snakes
XXIII. ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838)
In 1834 Joseph Duncan became governor. It will be re-
membered that he had been elected to Congress instead of
Daniel P. Cook, because he was a Jackson man. But like
Cook, he also came to oppose Jackson. The people did not
know this, since he was absent at Washington during the
campaign, or perhaps they would not have voted for him
It was during his administration that the State Internal
Improvement System was launched, which later on threat-
ened the state with financial ruin. There was a widespread
desire to have more people settle in Illinois, so as to develop
its resources, build up towns, and enhance the price of
property. It was thought that new settlers could be
attracted, and the interior brought within range of markets,
by a general system of internal improvements based on the
faith and credit of the state. This plan found favor with
the people, and the members of the general assembly vied
with one another to push it forward.
The legislature of 1837 voted over $10,000,000 in bonds
for the improvement of the state, and later on still more
bonds were authorized. It was planned to complete the
Illinois and Michigan Canal, connecting Lake Michigan
and the Illinois River. This project had been agitated
since 1818, and Congress had made liberal grants of land
ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838) 113
for the purpose. The legislature also planned a system,
almost a "network," of railroads for the state. Among
these were the Illinois Central, from the mouth of the
Ohio to Galena; the Southern Cross Railroad, from Alton
to Mount Carmel; and the Northern Cross, from Quincy
to the Indiana line. Then, too, the rivers were to be im-
proved and made more navigable; among others the Wa-
bash, the Little Wabash, the Illinois, the Rock, and the
Kaskaskia. And, as if to satisfy all, $200,000 was to be
distributed among those counties through which neither
railroads nor other improvements were to be projected.
The expenditure of these large sums started an era of
speculation the like of which the state has not known since.
People went wild with excitement. Towns sprang up in
a night and cities in a day, but they were all on paper.
Corner lots in cities destined to become metropolises were
sold at high prices. This craze proved a boon to Chicago,
and the subsequent hard times did not injure that city as
it did the rest of the state. Chicago grew very rapidly and
became the center of speculation and the market for land
in all the region roundabout. Many people in the East were
seized with the desire to speculate in Illinois lands. The
tide of immigration poured into the state like a torrent.
Every steamboat on the lakes and rivers was crowded
with passengers coming to settle here or to share in the
It was during Governor Duncan's term of office that
Elijah P. Lovejoy met his death at the hands of a mob
in Alton. From 1833 he had edited a religious newspaper
114 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
at St. Louis, but his editorials on the subject of slavery
created 'such a stir in that city that in order to save his
printing press from being demolished he found it necessary
to ship it to Alton. The press arrived in Alton July 21,
1836. That night a number of persons visited the wharf,
broke the press to pieces, and threw it into the river. The
next evening a meeting was held in one of the churches, and
as a result another press was sent for and Lovejoy started
the Alton Observer.
At this time Lovejoy was not an abolitionist; but, as
he said, he was opposed to slavery and hoped he always
should be. It was impossible for him to be silent on so
absorbing a question, and by and by he began to urge the
formation of an antislavery society for the state of Illinois.
In an editorial of July 4th, 1837, he called attention to
the fact that while the people were rejoicing in their free-
dom they were holding in bondage nearly three million
Alton at that time was a rival of St. Louis and was
striving to make itself the chief city of the West. Many
of its citizens were very angry with Lovejoy for coming to
Alton and publishing his antislavery doctrines there, for,
said they, he would give the place a bad name among
slavery men and would keep many of them from coming
there to live. Many Southern sympathizers, after reading
the editorial of Independence Day, met in the market
house and appointed a committee to inform Lovejoy that
he must cease agitating the question. But the editor
replied that he had the right of free speech, and at the
ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838) 115
same time tendered them the use of his paper to refute his
opinions if they were wrong. But they chose another way
of silencing him. On the night of August 25 a mob assaulted
the office of the Observer and completely demolished the
Another press was sent for, but it was thrown into the
river. Then his friends sent for a'fourth press and it was in
connection with this that he lost his life. When it arrived,
November 7, 1837, it was stored in a stone warehouse
where Lovejoy and his friends, under the authority of the
mayor, assembled in arms to guard it. No police protection
was afforded them. When night came a mob of drunken
ruffians attacked the building; Lovejoy and his companions
returned their fire and killed one of them.
The mob retired to strengthen their forces. The bells of
the city were rung, horns were blown, and soon an excited
multitude gathered about the warehouse, some trying to
restore order, others urging on the mob. Ladders were
placed against the building and several ascended to fire the
roof, but were driven away by the guns of those within.
Lovejoy and one or two friends, not seeing any one about
the south side of the building, stepped out to look after
the roof. Concealed assassins fired upon him and he fell
with five shots in his body.
When he expired his companions surrendered the press to
the mob, who broke it to pieces. The next day a grave was
dug on a high bluff and without any ceremony the body
was thrown in and covered up. But even death did not
silence this first martyr to the cause of abolition. His
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
death and the violation of the right of free speech attracted
much attention all over the country and aroused the people
to the evils of slavery as nothing had done before. The
limit of endurance had been reached. The tide turned.
Public opinion in New England began to change in favor
of abolition. A meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, Boston,
THE CAPITOL AT SPRINGFIELD
at which Wendell Phillips delivered his famous speech on
By this time there was need of a new statehouse, and of
course many places tried to secure the honor of being the
capital. Sangamon County, at that time the most populous
county in the state, was represented in the general assem-
ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838) 117
bly by nine members, called, because of their height, the
Long Nine. Abraham Lincoln was one of them. By
trading votes on other measures, particularly on the Inter-
nal Improvement System, in other words, by "logroll-
ing," this delegation secured the removal of the capital
from Vandalia to Springfield. On February 8, 1837, the
two houses met and chose Springfield as the seat of govern-
Springfield was at this time a town of about 1,000 popu-
lation. On July 4th, 1837, the corner stone of the new
capitol was laid. It was completed sixteen years after at
a total cost of $260,000. This building, now the courthouse
of Sangamon County, was at the time of its erection the
architectural wonder of the state, and was supposed to be
ample enough for a long time to come. But in less than
twenty-five years there was a demand for a new structure,
as a result of which the present magnificent capitol was
XXIV. HARD TIMES
Duncan's successor as governor was Thomas Carlin
(1838-42). After Carlin had been governor about a year
he saw the folly of the Internal Improvement System, and
with others realized that the state had attempted more
than it could accomplish. A special session of the same
legislature that passed the bill ordered work stopped on all
the improvements except the canal, which was continued
to completion. For years after, excavations and embank-
ments for railroads could be seen in various parts of the
state monuments of the Internal Improvement System.
Hard times followed. Crops were poor. Banks failed.
The people were badly in debt. Stagnation of business
prevailed. The state was nearly bankrupt it had bor-
rowed itself out of all credit. The name of Illinois became
associated with dishonesty. Emigrants gave it a wide
berth. The people here were anxious to sell out and leave.
The state debt amounted to over $14,000,000, and the
population was only about 476,000. The annual revenues
were no more than would meet the ordinary expenses of the
government. Finally, it came to pass that no attempt was
made to pay even the interest on the state debt. The people
were unable and unwilling to pay higher taxes, and many
were in favor of repudiating the debt.
But happily at this time Thomas Ford came to the
HARD TIMES 119
governor's chair (1842). In his inaugural message he
said: "Let it be known in the first place that no oppressive
and exterminating taxation is to be resorted to; in the
second, 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."
And he set about to pay off the debt. A heavier taxation
was voted, state lands were sold, the rate of interest was
lowered to six per cent., ordinary expenses of the govern-
ment were reduced, so that by these and other measures
the debt was reduced during his administration to about
$6,000,000. Confidence in the prospects of the state was
restored. The tide of immigration came in again, and the
year 1845 marks the beginning of Illinois 's unabated
The administration of Ford (1842-46) was a very stormy
one. It was while he was governor that the trouble with
the Mormons took place and the Mexican War began. He
left the executive office poorer than when he was elected,
and his last days were clouded by poverty. He was the
author of a history of Illinois from 1818 to 1847. The state
was very fortunate in having him for governor; for it was
largely due to his efforts that Illinois passed its financial
crisis without compromising its dignity and honor.
When the war with Mexico broke out, requisition was
made upon Illinois for three regiments of infantry, but so
prompt and overwhelming was the response to Governor
Ford's call that the Secretary of War gave permission for an
additional regiment from Illinois, The death rate among
120 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
the Illinois troops was exceptionally heavy, both from
disease and from hard service. The first and second regi-
ments participated in the hard-fought battle of Buena
Vista, which lasted the whole day, February 23, 1847, and
in which the American army of 5,400 was opposed by
20,000 Mexicans under Santa Anna. General Taylor said:
"The first and second Illinois and the Kentucky regiments
served under my eye, and I bear a willing testimony to their
excellent conduct throughout the day. The spirit and
gallantry with which the first Illinois and the second Ken-
tucky engaged the enemy in the morning restored confi-
dence to that part of the field, while the list of casualties
will show how much they suffered in sustaining the heavy
charge of the enemy in the afternoon." The third and
fourth Illinois were in the movement against Vera Cruz,
the battle of Cerro Gordo, and the campaign against the
City of Mexico. Illinois had no mean part in gaining the
victory from Mexico.
XXV. THE MORMONS
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, illiterate and
of doubtful reputation, about 1827 claimed that under the
direction of an angel he had discovered in New York state
some curious golden plates covered with symbols which
he was able to read by aid of two wonderful stones.
He published the Book of Mormon as his translation of
these symbols. Although without money, education, or
respectability, he was able to persuade a large number that
he was a prophet of God, and that the book, which was
entirely without literary or religious merit, was a divine
revelation. He and his followers went west to Missouri, but
their conduct brought them into so great disrepute that
they were driven from the state by the governor's orders.
Many of them now came to Illinois, where they found
sympathy as a persecuted people. The politicians also
looked upon them with a great deal of favor, for the Mor-
mons invariably voted in a body. Meeting with encourage-
ment, the Latter Day Saints, as they called themselves, in
1840 purchased a tract of land on the Mississippi where
there was a small town called Commerce, which they re-
named Nauvoo. On this picturesque site a costly temple,
a hotel, and 250 other buildings were soon in the course
In return for Smith's political support, the Whigs in the
122 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
legislature granted him a special charter for Nauvoo,
which gave the Mormons almost unlimited power and con-
trol in their new city. "The city council shall have power
and authority to make, establish, and execute, all such
ordinances, not repugnant to the constitution of the United
States or of this state, as they may deem necessary to the
peace, benefit, good order, regulation, convenience, and
cleanliness of said city."
So wide was this grant that the Mormons claimed they
could pass laws under it, in opposition to those of the
Illinois legislature. They even asked that the mayor of-the
city be given power to call in and use the United States
troops whenever he should feel the need of protection for
himself or his followers. Joseph Smith as mayor was at
once the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature, as
well as the head of the church and priest and prophet.
The Nauvoo Legion, or militia, was organized. It was to
do the bidding of Smith and was under no state control
except that of the governor. It was furnished with arms
and ammunition by the state, but had its own court-mar-
tial. "Thus it was proposed to reestablish for the Mor-
mons a government within a government, a legislature
with power to pass ordinances at war with the laws of the
state, courts to execute them with little dependence upon
the constitutional judiciary, and a military force at their
own command to be governed by its own laws and ordi-
nances. " l
In 1841 the governor of Missouri made a requisition upon
1 Ford : History of Illinois,
THE MORMONS 123
the governor of Illinois for the arrest and delivery of
Smith and several other prominent Mormons as fugitives
from justice. But Smith was twice released from arrest,
chiefly through the instrumentality of Judge Stephen A.
Douglas. The judge was a Democrat, and because of this
favor to them the Mormons decided to vote the Democratic
ticket in a body. Of course this angered the Whigs.
The Mormons were becoming unpopular in Illinois, and
were charged with all sorts of crimes. After the release of
Smith they became very bold and overbearing. There
were about 16,000 of them in Hancock County, and several
thousand more were scattered in other counties. Setting
the state at defiance, they were said to be contemplating
the overthrow of the government when they became strong
enough. In the winter of 1843-44 the council of Nauvoo
passed a law that no writ issued from any other place than
Nauvoo for any person in it should be executed without the
approval of the mayor. Any person by virtue of a foreign
writ, attempting to make an arrest in the city without the
approval of the mayor, should be subject to arrest and im-
prisonment for life; and the governor of the state should not
have the power of pardoning such an offender without the
consent of the mayor. The Mormons even went so far as
to petition Congress to establish a territorial government
for them at Nauvoo, although of course Congress had no
power to establish any such government within the limits
of a state.
In the spring of 1844 Smith announced himself a candi-
date for President of the United States, and his followers
124 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
went out over the country to preach his religion and to
"electioneer" for him as well. This brought them into
conflict with the political parties, and they had already
gained the enmity of the religious organizations. About
this time Smith conceived the idea of making himself a
temporal prince. He instituted a new order of priests who
were to be his nobles. He denounced the United States
government as utterly corrupt and about to pass away and
give place to his rule. The Danite Band, a bodyguard, was
to do his bidding, right or wrong, and his orders were to be
to them as the commands of God Himself.
About this time, also, Smith introduced the practice of
polygamy. To uphold it, he set forth the doctrine of spirit-
ual wives. According to this no woman could enter heaven
except as the wife of a Mormon elder. The elders were
allowed as many wives as they wished, and any woman
could be sealed to eternal life by uniting herself to the elder
of her choice. Of course this outraged the decency of the
commonwealth, and meetings were held to demand the
expulsion of the Mormons from the state.
Troubles within the Mormon camp itself brought matters
to a head. By his tyrannical measures Smith had alienated
several leading Mormons. To expose him they started a
newspaper and had issued one number when his followers
destroyed the press and the private property of the editors.
The editors went to Carthage and took out a warrant for
the arrest of Smith and his henchmen on the charge of riot.
Excitement ran high. Posses were summoned.
Governor Ford came to Carthage, where a large crowd had
THE MORMONS 125
assembled, eager to march against Nauvoo. Smith estab-
lished martial law at Nauvoo and called out the Legion.
The governor notified the Mormons that they had endan-
gered the liberty of the press, and demanded the surrender
of the guilty ones, threatening to call out the whole state
force to compel their submission to the law. Joseph and
Hyrum Smith came to Carthage and gave themselves up.
They were put in jail on a charge of treason.
A force of twelve or thirteen hundred men had gathered
at Carthage, and it was with difficulty that the governor
prevented them from beginning actual warfare upon the
Latter Day Saints. He himself with a guard of several
companies of militia went to Nauvoo and remonstrated
with the Mormons for their unlawful conduct. On his way
back to Carthage he was informed that the jail had been
mobbed and the Smiths killed, June 27, 1844.
Government came to an end in the surrounding country.
Bands of Mormons and anti-Mormons scoured the country
and came into frequent collisions. A mob burned a small
Mormon town, and to retaliate the Mormon sheriff with
several hundred men took possession of Carthage. Murder
was committed on both sides. The governor proclaimed
martial law; and as the people would never be satisfied until
the disturbers were gone, he finally prevailed upon the Mor-
mons to leave the state. In the spring of 1846 the majority
of them crossed the river and began their march to Great
Salt Lake. A band of their foes marched against those that
remained, and after a pitched battle drove them from Illi-
nois. Thus was closed a turbulent chapter of state history.
XXVI. CONSTITUTION OF 1848; FRENCH'S ADMIN-
Every year the need of a new constitution became more
evident. In 1844 the legislature passed a resolution recom-
mending that the people at the next general election, in
August, 1846, vote for or against a constitutional conven-
tion. The proposition was carried, and the convention
met June 7, 1847. No one was satisfied with the constitu-
tion it made, but all felt that the new instrument was
better than the old one. It went into effect in April, 1848.
The new constitution required that a person should
reside in the state for one year before he could vote. It
provided that all state and county offices should be filled
by popular election, and thus deprived the legislature of
filling about 200 offices.
Profiting by the bitter experience with the Internal
Improvement System and the enormous debt then pressing
heavily upon the people, the new constitution forbade the
legislature to contract any debt exceeding $50,000. Extra
taxation was provided for to pay off the state debt. The
legislature was required to encourage public improvements
by passing liberal incorporation laws. Negro immigration
But the chief peculiarity of the new constitution was its
principle of rigid economy. This it carried too far. The
CONSTITUTION OF 1848 . 127
salary of the governor was fixed at $1,500 a year; supreme
court judges, $1,200; circuit judges, $1,000; treasurer, and
secretary of state, $800 each; members of the general as-
sembly, $2 a day for the first 42 days' attendance, and $1 a
day thereafter. This economy in salaries was evaded later
on by special grants or gifts to these officers. For instance,
after 1861 the legislature yearly appropriated $4,500 to the
governor to be used or not as he saw fit in hiring a gardener
to take charge of the grounds surrounding the executive
mansion. Sometimes the pay of the legislators amounted to
$20 a day instead of $2, the increase being voted under the
head of traveling expenses, stationery, etc.
Augustus C. French was the first Yankee to fill the guber-
natorial chair, and the first person to serve as governor of
the state for two consecutive terms. His term was not half
out when the adoption of the constitution of 1848 made an
election necessary, and without much opposition he was re-
elected for four years. He conducted the affairs of the
state with great economy and honesty; he had much to do
with saving the credit of the state and bringing it out of its
bankrupt condition. He lived with much frugality on the
simple salary the constitution provided. Congress aided
Illinois in her pecuniary embarrassment by permitting the
government lands to be subject to taxation immediately
after their sale instead of five years after, as was customary.
In 1850, for the first time since 1839, the state revenue was
sufficient to meet the current demands upon the treasury.
At this time, 1850, Chicago had only 29,963 inhabitants;
Quincy, 6,902; and Galena and Peoria about the same as
128 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Quincy. There were but five daily newspapers in the state
and only two benevolent state institutions had been
established. The farmer still used the old-fashioned wooden
plows, planted his corn by hand, gathered his grain by
sickle or cradle, thrashed by flail or horse pow r er, and win-
nowed by hand.
XXVII. THE COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM
The Ordinance of 1787 had declared that since religion
and morality are necessary to the good government and
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education
should forever be encouraged in the Northwest Territory.
To this end Congress in the enabling act of Illinois, April
18, 1818, appropriated for the encouragement of learning
and school purposes the sixteenth section of every town-
ship, amounting to 998,448 acres in all. After January 1,
1819, three per cent, of the net proceeds from the sale of
public lands in Illinois was to be given to the state for
education, and a certain part thereof was to be devoted to
a college or university. Two townships besides were given
for the founding and support of a seminary of learning.
It will be 'remembered that this magnificent gift of the
nation for the highest of purposes was in great part squan-
dered. Fearing to tax the people even to pay the current
expenses of the state government, the legislature as early
as 1828 unfortunately authorized the sale of these school
lands at a very low price, and then borrowed the proceeds.
A public school law based on taxation was passed in
1825. But as the people chose rather to do without educa-
tion for their children than to submit to the necessary
taxation, the legislature of 1829 nullified the law. There
were repeated attempts to establish a public school system,
Illinois 9 129
130 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
but nothing could be accomplished without taxing the
people to support it.
A law was passed in 1849 requiring the secretary of state
to assume the additional duties of superintendent of public
instruction. The same year a law was passed requiring as
a qualification for teaching, a knowledge of reading, writing,
arithmetic, geography, English grammar, and American
history. But this proved so high a standard that it de-
prived many districts of teachers altogether, and the law
had to be repealed. Yet at this time schools in some of
the northern counties, Cook in particular, were in fair con-
It was a problem how to arouse the people to the impor-
tance of education. After a while the rapid increase in
population and wealth did away with the popular dislike of
taxation. In some parts of the state the question of public
schools began to be agitated, and the press began to discuss
the subject in earnest. In 1853 several conventions in
the interest of education were held in the state, and they
were not without results.
Governor Matteson (1853-57) in his inaugural message
recommended the adoption of a free school system, or if
that should be thought premature, the appointment of
a general superintendent of schools. The legislature which
met in 1854 established the office of superintendent of pub-
lic schools as a separate and distinct department. Governor
Matteson appointed Ninian W. Edwards the first superin-
Edwards drafted a bill, which became a law in 1855,
THE COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM 131
providing that the public schools of the state should be
supported by taxing the people. This law marked a turning
point in the history of education in Illinois. The present
school law is essentially that of 1855.
School attendance now grew rapidly. The wages of
teachers soo'n doubled. To educate teachers and to obtain
uniformity in modes of teaching, the legislature in 1857
established the State Normal School near Bloomington.
Its first principal was C. E. Hovey, later a distinguished
officer in the Union Army, and the father of Illinois's
greatest native poet, Richard Hovey.
Of all the railroads planned in 1836 only a portion of the
Northern Cross, from Meredosia to Springfield, was com-
pleted. When on November 8, 1838 only 12 years after
the first road in the United States was operated a
locomotive ran over this road, it was the first to turn a
wheel in the great Mississippi valley. But between 1838
and 1850 railroad building was practically at a standstill
This was due to a lack of money, and to what is known as
"the State Policy." For some years prior to 1850 the
people of Illinois would not permit the building of railroads
within the limits of the state unless the terminal points
were fixed within the state. The object of this narrow
policy was to build up the cities and commercial interests
of the state and to prevent the railroads from contributing
to the commerce and wealth of outside cities. This policy
was especially directed against St. Louis, and the influence
of Alton eager to prevent the growth of her rival had
much to do with causing the legislature to take this posi-
^Vlt was soon seen that the state policy was damaging the
; best interests of the state. 'The people whose best and
nearest market was St. Louis petitioned the legislature to
grant charters to railroads that would run across the state
and terminate at a point opposite St. Louis, but they were
refused. The press of the country began to ridicule the
position of Illinois as selfish. Finally, the people saw that
they were standing in their own light. Stephen A. Douglas
did much to break down the policy by advancing the
argument that the interests of large agricultural districts
ought not to suffer for the sake of a few towns. An extra
session of the legislature, in 1854, reversed the state policy
after it had greatly hindered and retarded the growth and
development of the southern portion of the state.
It had long been desired to connect Lake Michigan by
railroad with Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers. But the plan lacked vitality until an
Act of Congress, September, 1850, granted for such a rail-
road a right of way 200 feet wide through the public lands
of Illinois from the southern terminus of the Illinois and
Michigan Canal to Cairo, and also for branches to Chicago
and Galena. For the construction of the road the govern-
ment donated the alternate sections, designated by even
numbers, for six sections deep on either side of the trunk
and its branches in all about three million acres. Work
was to be commenced simultaneously at the northern and
southern terminuses; and if the road were not completed
in ten years, the lands or their equivalent in money was to
be returned to the Federal government. The passage of this
measure was hailed with great joy by the people of the
The building of this railroad the Illinois Central
immensely benefited the state by opening up its sparsely
134 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
settled interior to thronging immigrants, brought more of
its soil into cultivation, increased its population, and soon
augmented its resources and wealth by many millions of
dollars. It was one of the chief factors in the rapid growth
of Chicago. It was the beginning of the great railroad era
of the state. In 1850 there were only 111 miles of railroad
in Illinois: in the next decade Illinois did more railroad
building than any other state; and by 1870 it had come
to have a greater railroad mileage than any other state in
XXIX. THE ABOLITIONISTS
Although in 1824 the people of Illinois had voted against
its becoming a slave state, yet it must not be supposed that
even all of those who were most desirous of keeping it a
free state were in favor of the immediate abolition of
slavery in the United States. Many antislavery men
were in favor of the gradual extinction of the institution,
but opposed its immediate abolition as a pernicious policy
full of grave dangers. After Coles's administration discus-
sion of slavery ceased almost altogether in the state. The
majority of the people, especially in southern Illinois, were
opposed to any public discussion of it at all, preferring that
the whole question be left quietly alone. But the aboli-
tionists demanded its constant agitation until the slaves
should be freed.
The hatred against the abolitionists was as bitter in
Illinois as in any other Northern state, and persecution
was the lot of the few who, dared to express their opinions.
However, on October 28, 1837, an antislavery convention of
55 delegates met in Alton, and upheld Elijah P. Lovejoy
and his paper, the Observer, published in that city. The
subsequent murder of this man by an anti-abolition mob
and the destruction of his paper did more for the cause of
abolition than any number of speeches or books could have
done. In 1839 Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker, established
136 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
himself at Lowell, Illinois, for the purpose of printing an-
other abolition paper, called The Genius of Universal Eman-
cipation. Lundy soon died, but from this time on, with the
exception of short intervals, the state was not without an
The Illinois Antislavery Society held its first annual
< meeting at Farmington, in 1838, with 99 delegates present.
They appointed a traveling agent to proclaim their doc-
trine throughout the state and to organize societies. The
churches and schoolhouses were often closed to these agents,
and mobs often disturbed their meetings. In 1841 at Gales-
burg the first antislavery candidate was nominated for
Congress. The first real Liberty state convention met at
Chicago in 1842 with 100 delegates present. From that
time on Chicago was the chief center of the antislavery
party in Illinois, and abolition itself became a political
movement rather than a moral agitation. Under the
leadership of such men as Ichabod Codding, Owen Love-
joy, and Zebina Eastman, for over twenty years the abo-
litionists of Illinois denounced slavery as a sin and a
The abolitionists did not confine themselves to agitation
merely, but made it a business to befriend runaway slaves
and help them escape. This they did by means of the
"Underground Railroad," which was nothing more than a
series of communities where the runaway slaves were
reasonably sure of finding food and shelter in the homes
of abolitionists. Usually when a slave-reached one of these
"stations," as such homes were called, he was fed, housed
THE ABOLITIONISTS 137
for a short time, and assisted in one way or another to
reach the next station. The utmost secrecy as to the
location of these stations was necessary, both to facilitate
the escape of the negroes and to protect those who sheltered
them. It was a dangerous business to aid a slave to gain
his freedom. The laws attached a penalty of $500 to the
crime of harboring or secreting a negro. But the abolition-
ists did not hesitate to protect the fugitives even at the
risk of their own lives.
The objective point of the Underground Railroad was
Canada, of course, but many negroes did not go farther
than the northern part of Illinois. Among the starting
points of the system were Chester, Alton, and Quincy:
and there were a number of so-called lines or routes crossing
the state. When the slaves reached Chicago they were often
smuggled on shipboard and forwarded to English soil by
way of the lake.
XXX. STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS AND THE KANSAS-
From the adoption of the United States Constitution
slavery had been a disturbing element in the nation. In
1846, pending deliberations for securing territory from
Mexico, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced into Congress.
It declared that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude
shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for
crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted."
This Proviso passed the House, but failed in the Senate.
In the House the only names from free states registered
against it were those of Stephen A. Douglas and three
other Illinois representatives. Their action did not at all
please their constituents, and in 1849 the Illinois legislature
passed a joint resolution instructing our senators and
representatives in Congress to use all honorable means to
procure the enactment of such laws for the government of
the territory acquired by treaty of peace with Mexico as
should contain the express declaration that " there shall be
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said terri-
tories otherwise than in punishment for crime, whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted." In 1850 a mass
meeting in Chicago called upon Douglas to obey the reso-
lutions in their spirit as well as technical letter, or resign.
Douglas, Tiot wanting to resign, continued to denounce
the Proviso in severe terms; then in obedience to instruc-
STEPHEN A. DOTH! LAS
STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS
tions voted for it, knowing that it would not prevail even
with the vote of Illinois.
In 1844 a movement had been set on foot by the War
Department to form the country now included in Kansas,
Nebraska, North and South Dakota into a vast and perma-
nent Indian reservation. Mr. Douglas, who had just taken
140 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
his seat in Congress, argued that this would hinder the
westward growth and expansion of the United States,
and introduced a bill to organize it into a territory instead.
The bill was not voted on, but so long as it was before
Congress the War Department could do nothing toward
making this region an Indian reservation. At every session
for ten years Douglas introduced the same or a similar
bill. But the members of Congress did not feel much
interest in the matter, especially those from the South,
since slavery had been forever excluded from the territory
inqtiestion by the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
"^M'lri 1854, however, Senator Douglas introduced a new bill
that attracted their attention. It provided for two terri-
tories, Kansas and Nebraska; declared the Missouri Com-
promise of no effect; and provided that the people of each
territory should decide for themselves whether slavery
should be allowed there, and whether upon entering the
Union their state should be free or slave. Although
Douglas was from a free state, this bill was plainly designed
to serve the interest of the slaveholders. Many supposed
that he wished to be the next Democratic candidate for
President and took this way to gain the favor and win the
votes of the South. The passage of the bill produced
intense excitement throughout the North.
As soon as the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was introduced into
Congress a campaign against it began in Illinois. The
measure was looked upon by many as dangerous, and
brought upon Douglas, its author, much public resentment.
In February, 1854, a large mass meeting was held in Chi-
KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL 141
cago, made up largely of Douglas's former friends. By
resolution it declared: "That the passage of the bill for the
repeal or molestation of the Missouri Compromise will
destroy the harmony which now exists between the North
and South, create sectional disturbances and perpetuate
agitation of questions which have heretofore been regarded
as settled by the unanimous consent of the nation."
Even when Congress passed the bill the agitation against
it did not cease, nor did the indignation of the people abate.
All over the North Douglas was denounced as a traitor to
his section and to the cause of human liberty. The press
teemed with censure. One of the Chicago papers said:
"He has betrayed us; he has disregarded us; he has insulted
us; he has disgraced us; he has injured us in our reputation,
our fair fame, our honor, and our pecuniary interest."
Douglas was burned in effigy along his way home from
Washington. When he arrived in Chicago he announced that
he would address the people in vindication of the bill on the
evening of September 1st. Much excitement prevailed, and
rumors of violence were abroad . Shortly after noon the flags
on all shipping were displayed at half-mast, and a quarter
after six in the evening the bells of the city began to toll and
filled the air with their mournful tones for over an hour. The
vast space in front of the North Market Hall was thronged.
When the senator appeared on the balcony and attempted
to begin his speech he was greeted at once with hisses and
groans, followed by a wild tumult of shouting and noise.
Time and again he tried to speak, only to have his voice
drowned by the tumult. Finally he went home in disgust. '
142 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Not only in Chicago but on every hand Douglas saw
signs of the displeasure of the people, who denounced him
as selling himself to the slave power. His future depended
on regaining and holding the friendship of the people of
Illinois, so he spent the summer and fall in visiting the
most important towns of the state and making speeches in
explanation of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. And by skillful
reasoning he persuaded many of his hearers that it was not
so bad a thing after all. It gave the people of the territories
the right to decide for themselves whether they would
have slavery or not, and surely such "popular sovereignty"
was in strict accord with the fundamental principles of our
government. But his reception in northern and central
Illinois was rather cold.
In October, 1854, the second Illinois state agricultural
fair was held at Springfield. On the 3rd Douglas made a
great speech to the many farmers gathered there. The next
day Abraham Lincoln answered him in a well-framed and
well-delivered speech three hours long. This was the first
time these two had met in debate. Douglas spoke for sev-
eral minutes hi reply, but everybody could see that he felt
himself beaten. A few days later Douglas made another
speech at Peoria and Lincoln answered him again. At the
close Douglas proposed to Lincoln that both of them should
return home and make no more speeches. Lincoln con-
sented to do so, but later on, having heard that Douglas
had broken his agreement and made a speech, he again
entered the field.
XXXI. THE BEGINNING OF THE REPUBLICAN
PARTY IN ILLINOIS
Democrats, Whigs, Free Sellers men of all political
parties took part in the fight against the Kansas-
Nebraska Bill. Party lines were broken up. The Demo-
crats who opposed the extension of slavery left the
Democratic party and became known as Anti-Nebraska
Democrats, or Free Democrats. For a time the enemies
of the Bill drifted hither and thither, but as the contest
grew fiercer they gradually came closer together.
About August, 1854, a movement was started in Illinois
to nominate independent candidates for the approaching
congressional election on a distinct Anti-Nebraska plat-
form. The DuPage County Free Democratic convention
met at Wheaton on August 1st, and declared that a new
national party was needed to restore "the government to
its original basis of liberty." The delegates announced:
"We are willing to surrender our party. name and to be
known by the name of Republican, suggested by the friends
of freedom in Wisconsin, Vermont, and other states."
From that time on the call for a new party increased. On
August 30th the Republican party of the first Congres-
sional District was organized at Rockford, and E. B.
Washburne was nominated for Congress.
^A so-called Anti-Nebraska Republican state convention
144 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
was held at Springfield, October 4th, to nominate a state
treasurer. It was a gathering of the abolitionists and the
more radical antislavery men. The Anti-Nebraska Whigs
and Democrats refused to attend. Abraham Lincoln, who
was then a Whig, was asked to be present, but his friends
dissuaded him. His name was placed on the state central
committee, but he declined to serve. Thus the effort to
unite all the antislavery men in one party failed for the
time. Yet the Whigs, Democrats, and Ptepublicans stood
together in support of Anti-Nebraska candidates. Every-
where the campaign was pushed with vigor. When the
election was over it was found that the Anti-Nebraska men
controlled both houses of the state legislature.
A United States senator was to be chosen by the legisla-
ture. The three parties, Whigs, Democrats, and Free
Democrats, were about equal in strength and numbers in the
legislature, so that no candidate could receive a majority
vote unless some who did not belong to his party would
vote for him. The Democrats nominated for senator a
man who had never expressed himself as either for or
against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, thinking thus to win
votes from the other parties. Lyman Trumbull was the
candidate of the Anti-Nebraska Democrats, and Abraham
Lincoln of the Whigs.
Lincoln was popular, but was not yet pronounced
enough in his views to suit the more radical abolitionists,
and five of the Anti-Nebraska Democrats refused to vote
for him or any other Whig. Fearing that some friend of
slavery would be elected, Lincoln withdrew in favor of
146 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Trumbull. By this unselfish act he gained many friends
and secured the election of Trumbull. The latter's election
was regarded as a rebuke to Douglas, and to emphasize
the rebuke the legislature passed a resolution instructing
the senators from Illinois to oppose the admission of slave
states formed out of Kansas-Nebraska territory, and to
advocate the restoration of the Missouri Compromise.
At length the time seemed ripe for the foes of the
Kansas-Nebraska Bill to withdraw from their old parties
and form a state party which should unite all the anti-
slavery elements in the state into one powerful whole.
The preliminary step to such an organization was taken
at a convention of Anti-Nebraska newspaper editors held
at Decatur, February 22, 1856. They asked all who were
in favor of the restoration of the Missouri Compromise to
drop all party differences upon other issues and unite in
a state convention to be held at Bloomington, May 29,
the chief object of the convention being the nomination
of state officers on an Anti-Nebraska platform.
The call met a hearty response. Seventy-one counties out
of one hundred were represented, and men of all parties were
present, Whigs, Democrats, Free Democrats, Abolitionists,
Republicans. While the name Republican was not applied
to the convention at the time, yet this is considered the first
real Republican state convention of Illinois. John M. Pal-
mer was chosen permanent chairman. William H. Bissell,
a Democrat, was unanimously nominated for governor.
The platform declared that the repeal of the Missouri Com-
promise was unwise, unjust, and injurious; "that we are
BEGINNING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY 147
devoted to the Union and will to the last extremity defend
it against the efforts now being made by the disunionists of
this administration to compass its dissolution ; and that we
will support the Constitution of the United States in all
its provisions, regarding it as the sacred bond of our Union
and the only safeguard for the preservation of the rights of
ourselves and our posterity." The course of Senator
Trurnbull was approved and that of Senator Douglas was
Abraham Lincoln was chairman of the nominating
committee. He made the most telling speech of the con-
vention, in which he defined his position on the slavery
question fearlessly. The abolitionists hesitated no longer
but hastened to give him their support, and all the Anti-
Nebraska advocates began to rally about him as the
undoubted leader of the new party in Illinois.
The contest of 1856 was a noteworthy one in Illinois.
The Republicans were completely successful in electing
the state officials, including the governor, William H.
Bissell. The triumph gave the new party great prestige
within the state and welded all the antislavery elements
more firmly together.
XXXII. LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES
Immediately after the formation of the Republican
party in Illinois events came thick and fast that aroused
all the latent opposition to the spread of slavery and made
it the one issue of the hour.
Douglas's term as United States senator expired in
1859. His successor was to be chosen by the legislature
elected in 1858. Douglas was nominated by his party for
reelection. At the Republican state convention held at
Springfield, June 16, 1858, it was unanimously resolved,
amid great enthusiasm, "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's term of office." The platform of the convention
declared against the further spread of slavery, for non-
intervention with the institution in those states where it
then existed, and condemned the judges of the Supreme
Court for their decision in the Dred Scott case.
When the business of the convention was over Lincoln
made a speech which contained the now famous words:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe
this government cannot endure permanently half slave
and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved
I do not expect the house to fall but I do expect it will
cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the
LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES 149
other." This was the beginning of the most remarkable
campaign in the annals of Illinois. His contest with
Douglas for a seat in the United States Senate attracted
the attention of the whole country, and out of it grew results
the most momentous to the nation since its foundation.
On July 9th, Douglas opened his campaign with a speech
in Chicago. The next day Lincoln answered him. A corre-
spondence ensued in which Lincoln challenged him to
discuss the issues in a series of joint debates. Douglas
finally agreed to meet him in debate at the following
places: beginning at Ottawa, August 21, then Freeport,
Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and closing at
Alton, October 15.
The meetings were attended by enormous crowda.
People came from miles around. Business was suspended.
The two parties vied with each other in processions, music,
bonfires, and fireworks. Douglas traveled in a special
train and his coming was announced by salutes from can-
non. Lincoln came without any display, and he often had
to make his way to the place of debate as best he could.
Never, perhaps, were debaters so well matched in ability
and yet so different in methods and personality. Douglas
was small of stature, graceful, and had regular and attract-
ive features; while Lincoln was tall and gaunt, his eye-
brows were shaggy, and his homely, wrinkled countenance
wore an habitual expression of sadness. Douglas was one
of the acknowledged leaders of his party and was looking
forward to the Presidency; but Lincoln was scarcely
known outside of Illinois. Eloquent, confident, alert,
150 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
clever in repartee, Douglas was master of the art of debate.
On the other hand, Lincoln's power lay in his straightfor-
wardness, his commanding logic, his deep earnestness, and
his ready wit. While not always graceful yet he was an
impressive and majestic speaker. While deeply realizing
the importance of the contest, and while he spoke to
convince rather than to amuse, yet he was always ready
with some story, some humorous sally, to irritate his
opponent and delight his audience. And it is said that
although Douglas charmed his hearers with his eloquence,
yet Lincoln's originality, his illustrations, and his simplic-
ity won him most of the applause.
Lincoln was strongly opposed to slavery on moral,
social, and political grounds. Douglas looked upon the
institution either with indifference or with approval, and
had publicly said that he did not care whether slavery
was voted up or voted down. Their speeches during this
debate may be summed up as follows: Douglas did not
believe in the natural equality of the negro; he held that
the people of every territory had a right to decide what
their institutions should be, but at the same time he
bowed to the Dred Scott decision, which declared that they
had no right to abolish slavery. Lincoln declared that all
men are endowed with certain inalienable rights such as
life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness; he held that the Dred
Scott decision and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise
were outrages, and saw in them and in the actions of the
national administration an attempt to nationalize and
LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES 151
The crisis of the debates came at Freeport, August 27,
when the direct antagonism that existed between the Dred
Scott decision and Douglas's pet theory of popular sover-
eignty was set forth in the following questions which
Lincoln asked of Douglas: "Can the people of a United
States territory in any lawful way, against the wish of any
citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from its
limits prior to the formation of a state convention? If
the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide that
states cannot exclude slavery from their limits, are you in
favor of acquiescing in, adopting, and following such
decision, as a rule of political action? Are you in favor
of acquiring additional territory in disregard of how such
acquisition may affect the nation on the slavery question?"
Douglas answered the first question by saying: "It
matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter
decide on the abstract question whether slavery may or
may not go into a territory under the constitution; the
people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it
as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a
day or an hour anywhere unless it is supported by local
police regulations. Those police regulations can only be
established by the local legislature, and if the people are
opposed to slavery they will elect representatives to that
body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent
the introduction of it into their midst." He evaded the
negt question, and answered the last in the affirmative.
Lincoln showed the questions to his friends before he
asked them of Douglas. Seeing that "the Little Giant"
152 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
would answer them in such a way as to gain votes among
the people of Illinois, and trust to good fortune to make
himself right with the people of the South later on, Lincoln's
friends remonstrated with him: " If you put those questions*
to him he will perceive that an answer giving practical
force and effect to the Dred Scott decision in the territories
inevitably loses him the battle, and he will therefore reply
by offering the decision as an abstract principle but denying
its practical application."
"But," said Lincoln, "if he does that he can never be
His friends replied: "That is not your lookout. You are
after the senatorship."
"No, gentlemen," said Lincoln, "I am killing larger
game. The battle of 1860 is worth a hundred of this."
Lincoln was right. Douglas's reply deprived the South
of all the advantages of the Dred Scott decision, and
the Southerners looked upon him as having deliberately
deserted a principle he was pledged to support. By thus
disregarding the famous decision he lost his hold on the
South and was thereby prevented from becoming Presi-
These joint debates were but a part of the Illinois cam-
paign of 1858, which has been called the most brilliant ever
made in the country. For a period of about a hundred
days Lincoln and Douglas traveled over most of the state
making speeches everywhere. John M. Palmer, Judge
Trumbull, Richard Oglesby, Richard Yates, Carl Schurz,
Governor Chase, and others were kept busy addressing
LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES 153
the people. The Republicans polled 4,000 more votes than
the Democrats, but the latter elected Douglas to the senate
by a vote of 54 to 46 on the joint ballot of the legislature.
This was due to the fact that the existing apportionment
had been framed by the Democrats and was greatly in their
favor. Although Lincoln lost the senatorship, he now
found himself one of the foremost antislavery leaders and
orators in the country, and the debates made possible his
nomination for the Presidency by the Republican party
in May, 1860, at Chicago.
XXXIII. THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF
The nomination of Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency
was brought about largely through the efforts of Illinois
men. Prior to 1859 a few admirers had mentioned him for
President, and all through that year a few prominent men
of the state worked for him quietly but persistently. The
Republican state committee followed the plan of having
the newspapers in the country towns take up his name
first, then afterwards the city papers were to urge his
nomination. In December, 1859, Joseph Medill of the
Chicago Tribune went to Washington to work up his nomi-
nation among the politicians in that city. Early in 1860
the Tribune came out openly for him. Meanwhile Norman
A. Judd of the Republican state committee brought it
about that the Republican national convention for 1860
should meet in Chicago a very important political
The Republican state convention met at Decatur, May
9-10, 1860. Lincoln was present as a visitor, and here an
incident happened that colored all the rest of the canvass.
Richard Oglesby asked that an old Democrat of Macon
County be allowed to offer a contribution to the convention,
and Thomas Hanks entered the hall carrying two weather-
worn fence-rails decorated with flags and bearing the
THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LINCOLN 155
inscription: " Abraham Lincoln, The Rail Candidate for
President in 1860. Two rails from a lot of 3,000 made in
1830 by Thomas Hanks and Abe Lincoln whose father
was the first pioneer of Macon County."
A storm of applause followed. John M. Palmer brought
forward the resolution, which was adopted, that " Abraham
Lincoln is the choice of the Republican party of Illinois for
3>' S T
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THE WIGWAM, WHERE LINCOLN WAS NOMINATED
the Presidency, and the delegates from this state are
instructed to use all honorable means to secure his nomina-
tion by the Chicago convention, and to vote for him as a
unit." While this was going on in Illinois the Republicans
of the Eastern states hardly realized that Lincoln was a
On May 16 the Republican national convention met
at Chicago. It held its sessions in a large building called
the Wigwam, erected for the purpose. Some say there were
156 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
40,000 strangers in the city during the convention. There
were the delegates, the professional politicians, the news-
paper men, the friends of the different candidates, and the
mere spectators. Some of the delegations brought famous
bands with them, and some brought crowds of men hired to
march and cheer for particular candidates. Processions
marched up and down the streets, and often some one
would address the multitude on the street corners. Horace
Greeley was everywhere in evidence. True to Lincoln,
Chicago decorated her carriages, buildings, and streets
with his emblems.
When the convention first assembled it was taken for
granted by most people that William H. Seward, governor
of New York, would receive the nomination for the Presi-
dency, but it soon became evident that he had a formidable
rival in Lincoln. New York had sent 2,000 applaud ers
to create enthusiasm for Seward. When the friends of
Lincoln saw this they succeeded in calling to Chicago
thousands of men from Illinois and Indiana who were
ready "to march, shout, or fight," for Lincoln. The
Illinois delegation had their headquarters at the Tremont
House, and here were gathered together the friends of
"the railsplitter." No Lincoln man was allowed to be
idle. They worked day and night. There were nine other
candidates besides Seward, and it was the task of the
Illinois delegates to unite all those opposed to Seward and
persuade them to vote for Lincoln.
On the third day when the balloting began the Wigwam
was filled to overflowing and thousands waited on the
THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LINCOLN 157
outside. The friends of Lincoln had gathered into the
Wigwam every powerful voice in the city to shout for the
man from Illinois. When Norman A. Judd placed Lincoln's
name in nomination and when the nomination was seconded
the people leaped from their seats, and the wild yell that
followed showed that he was the favorite with the multi-
tude. On the first ballot Seward led with 173J votes and
Lincoln followed with 102; 233 votes being necessary to a
choice. On the second ballot Seward gained 11, while
Lincoln gained 79.
Then came the third ballot. Before the result was an-
nounced it was whispered by those who had 'kept count
that Lincoln lacked only one and a half votes of being nom-
inated. In a moment the chairman of the Ohio delega-
tion sprang to his feet and said: " I rise to change four votes
from Mr. Chase to Mr. Lincoln." Immediately other
changes were made and when the result was announced
Lincoln had 354 votes. As soon as it was realized that
he had received the nomination a man on the platform
shouted to a man stationed on the roof: " Hallelujah!
Abe Lincoln is nominated!" A cannon boomed the news
to the multitude below and they took up the cry. The city
went wild with delight. For twenty-four hours the clamor
kept up, whistles, and bells, and guns. The outgoing trains
that night found bonfires blazing at every village and the
whole state astir with excitement.
Meanwhile the Democratic national convention had met
at Charleston, South Carolina, April 23, I860. The Demo-
crats of the Southern states were determined that a platform
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
should be adopted stating that slaves could be carried into
the territories and that neither Congressional nor territo-
rial legislation could interfere, but the Democrats of the
North adhered to Douglas's doctrine of popular sovereignty.
The South had distrusted Douglas since the day of the
Freeport debate, and was determined to prevent him from
securing the nomination for the Presidency. So when a
Douglas platform was adopted the Southern members
withdrew from the convention. Both factions held con-
ventions at Baltimore in June. The Democrats of the
THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LINCOLN 159
North nominated Douglas, and the Southerners named
Breckinridge. This split in the Democratic party insured
the election of Lincoln.
The Republicans of Illinois were completely successful
at the polls. Richard Yates was elected governor, and
during this most critical time it was very fortunate that
the state had a governor so loyal to the Union. In Illinois,
Lincoln received 172,161 votes, and Douglas 160,215.
XXXIV. ILLINOIS IN 1860
The decade between 1850 and 1860 saw a wonderful
advance in the Prairie State. The yield of corn and wheat
doubled. The value of taxable property increased three-
fold. The railroad mileage grew from 111 in 1850 to
2,790 in 1860. The cultivated farms expanded from five
million acres to thirteen million acres. The population
increased from 851,470 to 1,711,951. The population of
Chicago grew from 29,963 to 109,260. The last two of our
102 counties were organized in 1859. The state debt was
reduced from $15,500,000 to $11,804,000; while the revenue
from all sources increased from $593,142 to $2,091,326.
When the Civil War began Illinois ranked fourth among
the states in population and wealth.
Great also had been the improvements in other direc-
tions. The farmers were now using reapers, mowers, corn
cultivators, and improved vehicles of every kind. The
sewing machine had become a household convenience, and
greatly facilitated the task of making clothing for the
soldiers on the battlefield. Stock raising had already be-
come an important source of wealth. The manufactured
products of the state had risen in value from $2,000,000 in
1850 to over $57,000,000 in 1860. Log houses were disap-
pearing, and comfortable frame and brick structures were
ILLINOIS IN 1860 161
The public school system established under the law of
1855 was doing much to increase popular intelligence.
Public high schools had been established in four cities of
the state: Chicago (1856), Springfield and Rockford (1857),
and Peoria (1858). Higher education was afforded to the
young men and women by several colleges established upon
private foundations. Among these were Illinois College
(1829), McKendree (1830), Shurtleff College (1835), Knox
(1837), Monticello Female Seminary (1840), Illinois
Wesleyan (1850), Northwestern University (1851), Chicago
Theological Seminary, Garrett Biblical Institute, and
Eureka (1855), Monmouth (1856), Blackburn, Lake Forest,
and the State Normal near Bloomington (1857), McCormick
Theological Institute (1859), and Wheaton (1860).
The leading railroad of the state, the Illinois Central,
which was incorporated in 1851, was completed from Cairo
to Chicago, and from Centralia to East Dubuque, in 1856.
At that time its total mileage in the state was 705 miles.
Its service to the nation as a means of transporting troops
and supplies during the war can hardly be overestimated.
Tllinois 1 1
XXXV. OUTBREAK OF THE WAR
On the 9th of February, 1861, the seceded states organ-
ized under a Confederacy, with a capital, president, and
congress of their own. Two days later Abraham Lincoln
left for Washington to take the oath of office on March 4th.
A large company of his friends and neighbors gathered at
the railway station at Springfield to bid him good-by.
Touched by their good will and deeply sensible of the
great task before him, he addressed them: "My Friends:
No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I
feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am.
Here I have lived for more than a quarter of a century;
here my children were born, and here one of them lies
buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A
duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that
which has devolved upon any other man since the days of
Washington. He never would have succeeded except for
the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times
relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the Divine aid
which sustained him; on the same Almighty Being I place
my reliance for support, and I hope you, my friends, will
all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without
which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain.
Again, I bid you all an affectionate farewell."
No President ever took the oath of office under more
OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 163
trying circumstances. The Union on the verge of disso-
lution, his own life in danger, he himself an untried man
distrusted by many of his own party no wonder he was
humble, no wonder he was anxious. His old-time competi-
tor, Judge Douglas, held his hat during the inaugural
ceremony and showed him every courtesy.
The Civil War began with an attack on the Federal
garrison of Fort Sumter, April 12. On the 15th, President
Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to subdue
"combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the
ordinary course of judicial proceedings, and to cause the
laws to be duly executed." On the same day Governor
Yates received a telegram from the Secretary of War
asking for six regiments for immediate service.
The governor's call for troops thrilled the people of
Illinois with the spirit of war. Meetings were held in every
town and city. Volunteers offered themselves faster than
they could be accepted. The governor convened a special
session of the legislature. Men of all parties hastened
to uphold the Union.
Judge Douglas was among the first to tender his support
to the President. In an address before a joint session of the
state legislature he said that the first duty of an American
citizen is obedience to the constitution and laws. "It is a
duty we owe to ourselves and our children and our God to
protect this government and that flag from every assailant,
be he who he may." Coming from one so well known and
honored, such words were worth more to the Union at that
time than similar words from any other living man. He
164 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
made several speeches in the state in which he declared
that " the shortest way now to peace is the most stupendous
and unanimous preparations for war." After a brief illness
he died in Chicago, June 3, 1861; and in his death, it has
been said, the cause of the Union sustained a loss greater
than that which followed any mere reverse of arms.
On April 19th the Secretary of War telegraphed Governor
Yates to take possession of Cairo as an important strategic
point. General R. K. Swift of Chicago was at once ordered
by the governor to proceed to Cairo as speedily as possible
with such forces as he could muster. There were few
military organizations in the state, and few guns to equip
volunteers. General Swift took possession of Cairo with
about 1,000 men and a few cannon. Slugs were hastily
molded to take the place of shot and shell. Cairo, at the
mouth of the Ohio, was very important as the key to the
navigation of the Ohio and the Mississippi. Located as far
south as Richmond, the Confederate capital, and very near
the seat of war, it was valuable as a depot of supplies.
Then, too, had the Confederates been able to seize it they
could have controlled the Illinois Central Railroad and its
The outbreak of war wrought a great change at the
state capital. It became a very busy place. The governor
was besieged with those offering their services some
moved by patriotism, some whose only aim was personal
gain. Among those who found their way to Springfield
was Captain Ulysses S. Grant, late of the regular army.
Since 1860 he had been engaged in the leather trade at
166 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Galena with his father and brothers. He brought with
him a letter of recommendation from Hon. E. B. Wash-
burne, who represented Illinois in Congress from 1853 to
1869 and who later on was minister to France. When
he tendered his services to the governor, Grant said "that
he had been the recipient of a military education at West
Point and that now when the country was involved in a
war for its preservation and safety he thought it was his
duty to offer his services in defense of the Union, and that he
would esteem it a privilege to serve in any position where
he could be useful."
Grant was set to work in the adjutant general's office,
copying, arranging, and filing papers. In a few days he
was installed as commandant at Camp Yates, a rendezvous
camp, where he was needed to perfect organizations and
discipline. He also served the state by mustering in regi-
ments at various places. So efficient was he that on June
16 he was put in command of the 21st Illinois regiment.
He soon distinguished himself, and on August 23, 1861,
was made brigadier general and stationed at Cairo. He
gained control of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers
and saved the Ohio for the Union. In the hands of Grant,
Cairo became the entering wedge by which the eastern and
western divisions of the Confederacy were eventually split
in two along the line of the Mississippi.
The story of Forts Henry and Donelson, however, as well
as of Shiloh, and Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, and Appo-
mattox belongs rather to the history of the nation than
to the history of Illinois. Characterized by a thorough
OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 167
knowledge of military measures and men, persistent, cool
and courageous in danger, careful of the wants of the
humblest soldier, plain, quiet, modest, yet inspiring con-
fidence, Grant came to be the head of all the armies of the
United States, and more than any other general brought
about the downfall of the Confederacy. In gratitude the
people made him President.
XXXVI. ILLINOIS'S SHARE IN THE STRUGGLE
Besides Abraham Lincoln and U. S. Grant, Illinois fur-
nished the nation during the war eleven major generals,
twenty brevet major generals, twenty-five brigadier
generals, and about one hundred and twenty brevet
brigadier generals. The major generals were: John Pope,
John A. McClernand, Stephen A. Hurlbut, Benjamin M.
Prentiss, John M. Palmer, Richard J. Oglesby, John A.
Logan, John M. Schofield, Napoleon B. Buford, Wesley
Merritt, Benjamin H. Grierson, and Giles A. Smith. Illinois
furnished about 259,000 soldiers in all the largest quota
in proportion to population except those of Kansas and
Nevada. Only New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio sent
more troops into the field.
At the beginning of the war volunteers enlisted faster
than they could be accepted. Prior to February 1, 1864,
Illinois alone of all the states had escaped a draft; and
in 1864 only 3,538 had to be enlisted by compulsion, and
only 55 purchased exemption by commutation a smaller
number than in any other state except Kansas. No draft ^
would have been needed at all had there not been an
inaccurate count of those subject to military duty. Toward
the close of the war it became evident that the state was
furnishing many in excess of what a correct estimate would
have required. Under the last call for troops in a number
of places the quota exceeded the number of able-bodied men.
ILLINOIS'S SHARP] IN THE STRUGGLE 169
Nearly all the troops from this state were employed in
the South. Wherever the fight was the thickest there
were the brave men from Illinois, the first in the charge
and the last to retreat. Illinois troops suffered very heavily
at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Chickamauga, Missionary
Eidge, and Vicksburg. At these places, some of the Illinois
regiments lost from 50 to 63 per cent, in killed and wounded.
The total loss of Illinois troops during the war is reported at
34,834, or one in about every seven of those who enlisted.
Of this number 24,940 died of disease. The total loss is
exceeded only by that of New York and Ohio.
It would be a long story to follow the men of Illinois in
their long marches and hard-fought- battles, in their heroic
sufferings and glorious victories during the four years of
civil strife. None were more gallant than they. Their
deeds of valor would fill volumes. How much the nation
is indebted to them may be inferred from the fact that in
the two great movements which severed the Confederacy
and so hastened its downfall, Illinois was more largely
represented than any other state. Absent for years from
home and everything held most sacred and dear, leading a
strange life, often with no bed but the earth and no tent
but the sky, on scant rations and in much weariness,
exposed to the Southern sun and the rain and sleet, sur-
rounded by scenes of the deepest misery and suffering, beset
on every hand by dangers of every kind; the target of
deadly shot and shell; the prey of still more deadly dis-
ease, such was the price they paid for the preservation of
XXXVII. AT HOME DURING THE WAR
As soon as the news of the battle at Fort Donelson
reached the North, Governor Yates and other state officials
visited the battlefield to encourage the soldiers and care for
the sick and wounded. This they did also after the battle
of Shiloh. The army hospitals were overcrowded, and at
the governor's suggestion about a thousand wounded sol-
diers were brought north on steamboats to be cared for in
the hospitals at Springfield, Peoria, and Quincy. Yates
heartily supported the measures of Lincoln, and his loyalty
and devotion to the Union earned him the title, " the War
Governor of Illinois." His winning manners made him one
of the most popular governors the state ever had. He was
elected to a seat in the United States Senate in 1865, when
Richard J. Oglesby was made governor.
Much credit is due to the State Sanitary Commission,
the Christian Commission, and to various other charitable
organizations of the state for their work in sending clothing,
medicine, and other supplies and means of relief to the sick
and wounded soldiers. Soldiers' aid societies were organ-
ized in nearly every county, and the citizens responded
liberally to the many calls made upon them. The noble
self-sacrifice of the women of the state calls for much
praise. Many of them gave themselves as volunteer
AT HOME DURING THE WAR 171
nurses. The work of the loyal press, of the churches and
ministers, was also of the greatest importance.
In 1862 in Tazewell County there was started a secret
order, known as the Union League of America, which had
for its object the promotion of loyalty and the advancement
of the Union cause by political methods. It spread very
rapidly in this and other states.
Inseparably connected with the history of the war are
the songs written by two citizens of Chicago: George F.
Root, who wrote "The Battle Cry of Freedom," "Just
before the Battle, Mother," and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,
the Boys are Marching"; and Henry Clay Work, author
of "Marching through Georgia," "Kingdom Coming," and
"Brave Boys are They." These songs were sung in every
camp throughout the army, inciting the soldiers to valor,
and stirred the patriotism of those who remained at home,
where they were used at public meetings.
There were some in the state who were in favor of peace
at any price. Nor did all who were in favor of preserving
the Union approve of the way the war was carried on.
Many were opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation
and other measures of Lincoln. Not all Republicans
supported Lincoln, neither did all Democrats oppose him.
In the hour of peril the Democrats laid aside their party
feelings and rallied to the defense of the nation, but after-
ward, because of the administration's policy of appointing
only Republicans to office, many of them came to look
upon the war from a partisan standpoint.
On January 7, 1862, a constitutional convention met in
172 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Springfield to frame & new state constitution. The Demo-
crats were in the majority. After organization, the dele-
gates took the position that the law which had called the
convention was no longer binding, and refused to take the
oath to support the state constitution as the legislature had
prescribed. They claimed that they were the governing
body of the state and assumed the right to dictate and
control all the departments of government. They even
deliberated about electing a United States senator. They
ratified a proposed amendment to the Federal constitution,
and appropriated $500,000 for the relief of the sick and
wounded soldiers. Of course all this was illegal and dicta-
torial. The instrument they formed was a great improve-
ment over the old constitution, yet it was thought that a
certain passage in it upheld states' rights too much and
favored the right of secession. The Republicans opposed
its adoption, as did many others because of the unlawful
proceedings of the convention itself. It was defeated at the
The 23rd General Assembly convened January 5, 1863.
Here again the Democrats were in the majority. The
whole tone of the proceedings of this assembly was decid-
edly opposed to the war and to Lincoln and Yates. By
resolution it declared for a truce, saying that the war had
been a failure. It accomplished little business of impor-
tance. The two houses failed to agree upon a date for
adjournment. In case of such disagreement the constitu-
tion empowered the governor to adjourn the assembly.
It was Yates's opinion that the state and nation would
AT HOME DURING THE WAR 173
be better off if the session were cut short. So on June 10th,
to the consternation of the members, the governor issued a
proclamation proroguing the legislature until December 31,
Excitement was intense during the war, and partisan
feeling ran high. The Republicans called the Democrats
"copperheads" and "traitors," and the Democrats in turn
called them "black abolitionists." The war furnished
opportunity for the lawless element to commit many
misdeeds, now in the name of the Union, now in behalf
of the South. A number of atrocious murders were com-
mitted. Sometimes men would be called to their doors and
shot down. But as a whole the people were law-abiding.
The state was under martial law. The swagger of govern-
ment officers and soldiers home on furlough caused no little
hard feeling. Men grew to distrust each other. An open-
spoken person was always in danger. The government
made numerous arrests for mere utterance of disloyal
sentiments, many times but idle talk.
. On June 1, 1863, the commander of the Department of
the Ohio ordered the military authorities in Chicago to
take possession and suppress the issue of The Chicago
Times, a paper which had been very free in criticising the
policy of the administration and the conduct of the war.
The editor was notified of the order and he at once applied
to the Judge of the United States Court for the Northern
District of Illinois for an injunction to restrain the army
officers from carrying the order into effect. The court
granted a temporary restraining order, but in contempt of
174 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
the civil tribunal the soldiers took possession of the office
of The Times. This clash between the civil and military
authorities aroused the people against what they called
military despotism. A number of prominent men tele-
graphed a petition to President Lincoln asking him to
rescind the order for the good and peace of the city, which
he quickly did.
Armed resistance was sometimes offered to Union officers
attempting to arrest deserters. A certain judge discharged
three deserters, and on a charge of kidnapping arrested the
Union officers who had taken the deserters into custody;
but he was taken by the soldiers from his bench, his court
adjourned by military power, and he himself sent as a
prisoner to another state. Collisions between soldiers
and citizens were frequent the most bloody being at
Charleston, where seven persons were killed and eight
wounded. Armed raids were made upon Jacksonville,
Winchester, Manchester, Greenville, and Vandalia; while
incursions from Confederate bushwhackers were common in
Calhoun, Scott, Pike, Hancock, and Adams counties. At
one time a company of Federal troops had to be sent into
Scott and Greene counties to prevent raids.
The garrison at Cairo suppressed the traffic in lead, arms,
ammunition, and other contraband goods between Galena,
St. Louis, Cincinnati, and the cities on the lower Mississippi.
Suspected steamboats were boarded and searched. In
many counties large numbers of volunteers were temporarily
lodged under the sheds of fair grounds until barracks
could be erected at Camp Butler at Springfield, and Camp
AT HOME DURING THE WAR 175
Douglas at Chicago. These were the principal points for
the rendezvous and instruction of volunteers and for mus-
tering out troops when the war was over, and they became
places of custody for many thousands of Confederates
captured in war.
All through the Northwest there were those who were
disloyal to the Union. They organized themselves into
secret societies, the largest and strongest of which was
known as the Knights of the Order of the Sons of Liberty.
This was a military organization and had for its object the
discouragement of enlistments, the protection of deserters,
the circulation of disloyal publications, the cooperation
with the Confederates in the destruction of government
property and in raids and invasions, and the freeing of
Confederate prisoners of war. Many of the members,
however, were ignorant of the real purpose of the order,
and would not have countenanced any hostility to the gov-
In August, 1864, the leaders of the Sons of Liberty, in
concert with agents of the Confederacy, made plans to
liberate the prisoners of war at Chicago, Springfield, Rock
Island, and Alton; but their plans were discovered by Union
officers and were abandoned. Several times they planned
an attack upon Chicago; the last of these plans included
the burning of the city. But the Union officers arrested the
leaders in their hiding places and the "Camp Douglas
conspiracy" came to naught. -
During the first two years of the war, times were very
hard in Illinois. Corn sold as low as 9 cents a bushel. Many
176 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
women were called upon to do the work of the men on the
farms. But much money was put into circulation by the
expenditures of the war, and prosperity prevailed during
the closing years of the conflict. The price of land ad-
vanced, sometimes as much as 100 per cent., and many
made their fortunes. The population of the state in 1865
was 2,141,510, or nearly 25 per cent, increase since 1860.
Governor Yates in his last message said: "Our prosperity
is as complete and ample as though no tread of armies or
beat of drums had been heard in our borders. "
The end of the war brought great joy to the people of the
North. Friends welcomed home the returning soldiers.
The terrible nervous strain was over. But the rejoicing
was turned into grief by the assassination of the President,
April 14, 1865. His remains were brought to Illinois and
laid at rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery, near his old home in
Springfield. A splendid monument marks the spot where
sleeps Illinois's most illustrious son. He had gone forth an
untried man and returned a martyred hero.
When Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 it had
a population of 4,179, and 492 buildings. The first public
improvement was the system of waterworks built in 1839
a pump of 25 horse power drew water from the lake and
distributed it through wooden pipes.
The building of the Illinois and Michigan Canal greatly
CHICAGO IN 1832
aided the growth of the place. In 1836, when work was
started on the canal, the population was about 4,000; by
1848 it had increased to 20,923. The first schoolhouse was
built in 1835. The Rush Medical School opened in 1843
with 22 students. The Journal was started in 1844; The
Illinois 12 177
178 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Tribune in 1847. Previous to 1844 a few planks had been
laid down for sidewalks, but the prairie soil was the only
roadbed of even the main streets. Ditches were dug along
the sides of the streets to carry off the surplus water. As
late as 1848 the city was sometimes a whole week without
the arrival of a single mail.
From 1848 to 1854 the cholera prevailed. It spread to
almost every cluster of dwellings in the Northwest. In
1854 it appeared in its worst form: the mortality of Chicago
for that year was 3,830, or one in every 17.
In 1849 two companies were given the franchise to light
the city with gas. The first locomotive made in Chicago,
"The Enterprise," was built in 1853. In 1851 a crib was
built out in the lake to supply the city with pure water.
The altitude of the city was only a few feet above the
lake, and when in 1856 the river was deepened and widened
the sand and mud were used to raise the grade of the city.
This was the day of uneven sidewalks: single buildings were
here and there raised to grade and the walks in front lifted
to correspond, while those on either side were on the old
level, a yard or more below. So bad was the condition of
the streets that the baggage of persons coming to the city
by rail would often lie in the depot for days because it
could not be hauled through the mud. The first square
of wooden-block pavement was laid in 1856.
In 1854 the public schools were organized by classify-
ing the pupils by examination. A high school was built.
The Northwestern University was established in 1851.
The old Chicago University was founded in 1855 Stephen
A. Douglas donating the land upon which the buildings
were erected. Previous to 1852 there were only about 60
buildings in the city that were constructed of stone or
brick; but by 1855 building had become almost a mania,
and many of the old wooden buildings were replaced by
more substantial ones. In 1859 the rails were laid for the
first street cars.
The Civil War built up the manufactures and commerce
of the city. The population increased nearly 80,000 during
the five years. The city was an important base of supply,
and was the paradise of speculators. Many splendid build-
ings were erected during this period. The old wooden
sidewalks were replaced by stone, and considerable pave-
ment was laid. In 1863 new waterworks were built at a
cost of a million dollars. In 1869 the first tunnel was built
under the Chicago River.
On the night of October 8, 1871, Chicago was visited by
the most destructive fire that the world had ever witnessed.
By 1871 the city had become the trade center of the lake
region and the West. It was the center of more than a
dozen lines of railroad, and its wharves were visited by
thousands of vessels. The population was 334,270. The
fire started among wooden buildings in a poor quarter of
the city, a mile and a half southwest of the courthouse.
The weather had been very dry, and a brisk wind drove the
fire very rapidly toward the business portion. There were
miles upon miles of wooden buildings in the city, many even
in the down-town district, which burned very quickly.
The fire department was helpless before the fire as it
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
strode through the city. All hope of staying its progress
was abandoned. It disabled the pumping engines at the
waterworks and cut off the water supply. For eighteen
hours it burned all before it: hovels and palaces, churches
and dens of iniquity, splendid public buildings and elegant
) k'The people fled for their lives to the parks and cemeteries,
to the prairies around the city, and in many cases into the
CHICAGO AFTER THE FIRE OF 1871
lake to escape the scorching flames. Stores were thrown
open and all invited to help themselves to the goods that
would soon be burned. The prisoners were relgftsed from
the jail to save their lives. Owners of vehicles charged
enormous sums for hauling families and their goods to
places of safety. All the baser side of human nature was
displayed. All sorts of crimes were committed. Many
plunderers were abroad. Incendiaries set fresh fires for the
sake of plunder. Saloons were thrown open and the free
liquor maddened the vicious. Many citizens hastening
with their treasures to places of refuge were knocked down
Nearly 100,000 were rendered homeless and shelterless.
Families became separated, and friends saw their loved
ones perish in the flames without being able to help them.
People of all classes and conditions huddled together in
places of refuge. A chilly rain set in. Many were without
sufficient clothing, all were destitute of food and more or
less exhausted and terrified. The fire destroyed 17,500
buildings; the burned area amounted to 2,134 acres; and
the pecuniary loss was about $150,000,000. About 250
lost their lives.
The world hastened to the relief of Chicago. Great was
her need, but greater still the help she received. Never
before had such liberality been shown. Carloads of food,
provisions, and clothing were sent in by the hundred
more in fact than \vas sufficient. Cities in this country
and Europe gave about $7,000,000 in money. The state
legislature called together by Governor Palmer refunded
the $3,000,000 which the city had expended on deepening
the Illinois and Michigan Canal.
Under grave apprehensions for the peace and good order
of the city, the mayor turned it over to the United States
troops under General Philip H. Sheridan. Martial law was
proclaimed and good order was maintained. Governor
Palmer protested to the mayor and to President Grant
182 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
against the city's being turned over to the Federal troops,
saying that the state militia should have been called upon
first to furnish protection, and that the military occupation
of the city by Federal troops was in violation of the state
and Federal constitutions. But it was for the best, since
the lives and property and good order of a great city were
Since the fire cleared the ground for better structures,
it has often been spoken of as a blessing in disguise. But
the great hardships it imposed must not be forgotten.
Many of the smaller merchants, especially, were never able
to enter business again, and many whose whole posses-
sions were swept away lived out their lives in poverty.
The fire advertised the city as n'othing else could have
done. With the energy that characterizes its citizens they
set to work to rebuild the vast waste. The work drew
many laborers to the city. Within two years Chicago was
rebuilt, and trade was flowing again in its natural chan-
nels. By an unprecedented growth it became the second
city of the continent. In 1870 Cook County had about
one seventh of the population of the state; in 1900 the
proportion was about two fifths. " From 1870 to 1900 the
state outside of Chicago grew only thirty-six per cent,
in population; but Chicago gained over five hundred per
In 1908 the area of Chicago amounted to more than 190
square miles. It had 118 hotels, 990 miles of street and
elevated railways, about 300 newspapers, 68 banks, over
260 public schools, and over 1,000 churches. The growth
of the city continues unabated. In 1907 permits were
issued for 21,826 buildings to cost nearly $60,000,000.
In 1888 the clubs of Chicago began a campaign to secure
for their city the international celebration of the four hun-
dredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Colum-
bus. New York, St. Louis, and Washington were competing
cities, but after an exciting contest the choice of Congress
fell upon Chicago, and an act establishing the World's
THE WORLD'S FAIR AT CHICAGO
Columbian Exposition at that city was signed by President
Harrison, April 25, 1890. Congress made liberal donations,
and Chicago itself raised ten million dollars. The site
selected was Jackson Park and a strip connecting Jackson
and Washington Parks, called Midway Plaisance. The
grounds were laid out in wonderful beauty. The buildings
184 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
were white, so that the fair was called "The "White City."
The total space under roof was nearly 250 acres. There
were seventeen departmental buildings, such as the Manu-
factures, Fishery, and Electrical. Eighty-six nations were
represented, and every state had its building. The Illinois
state building was the largest of all state structures. The
fair was formally opened May 1, 1903, and closed October
31, of the same year. The total number of admissions was
27,530,460; the largest for any single day being 761,944
on Chicago Day, October 9. The fair brought many resi-
dents to the city and called for the erection of many new
hotels and other buildings.
As might be expected in so great a manufacturing center,
there have been many labor troubles. Chicago is fighting
the industrial battles of the entire West. Notable among
the strikes was that of 1886, which ended in the anarchist
riot in Haymarket Square. In 1894 during a railroad
strike in the city President Cleveland sent the United States
troops to protect the mails. Governor Altgeld thought
this action an infringement of state rights, and protested
against it; but President Cleveland kept the troops in
Chicago till mail trains were again free from molestation.
The Republicans have held six national conventions in
Chicago: that of 1860 which nominated Lincoln for Presi-
dent; 1868, U. S. Grant; 1880, James A. Garfield; 1884,
James G.Blaine; 1888, Benjamin Harrison; 1908, William
H. Taft. The Democrats have held three national conven-
tions there : that of 1864, which nominated George B. McClel-
lan; 1884, Grover Cleveland; and 1896, William J. Bryan.
The year 1900 saw the completion of the great Chicago
Sanitary Canal which reverses the current of the Chicago
River, connects Lake Michigan and the Illinois River, and
furnishes an outlet for the sewerage of Chicago. The entire
length of the canal from its junction with the Chicago
River at Robey Street to its junction with the Des Plaines
at Lockport, is 28 miles. At its widest point it is 290 feet
wide at the water line. At Lockport it becomes a harbor
500 feet wide to accommodate lake vessels. It took 100,000
laborers seven years to build it, at a cost of $33,000,000.
It is the greatest work ever undertaken for the sanitary
betterment of a city. At Lockport the water flows into the
Des Plaines, then into the old Illinois and Michigan Canal
at Joliet, then into the Illinois, and on into the Mississippi
and the Gulf of Mexico. Small boats can now pass from
Lake Michigan to the Gulf, but its value for navigation
depends upon the further improvement of the Des Plaines
and Illinois rivers.
Owing to the lake breeze the climate of Chicago is very
healthful, and the death rate is lower than that of any
other city of over half a million inhabitants. The city is
comparatively free from overcrowded tenements. Over
100 hospitals and asylums take care of the sick. It has
one of the most extensive park systems in the country. It
has six large parks Lincoln Park being the best known
and many smaller ones. The total area of the parks is
about 3,000 acres, and they are connected with 70 miles
Though removed from the ocean, Chicago's harbors
186 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
float a greater tonnage than any other American port ex-
cept New York. Her commerce exceeds that of Boston,
Philadelphia, and Baltimore combined. The Chicago River
and its branches afford a water frontage of nearly 60 miles,
the greater part of which is used for the shipment and
unloading of grain and lumber. Dredging has made the
river navigable for vessels of deep draft.
Chicago is the greatest railway center in the world,
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
whether measured by traffic, or earnings, or mileage. It is
the terminus of 32 trunk lines which operate about thirty
per cent, of the total mileage of the entire country. Nearly
2.000 trains enter and leave Chicago daily. There are about
2,600 miles of tracks within the corporate limits.
Chicago is the largest grain market in the world, the great-
est cattle market, and has the largest packing houses. Only
London and New York surpass her in manufactures. Many
of her factories and stores are among the largest in the
world. She does the largest mail order business, has the
largest trade in ready-made clothing and men's furnishing
goods, and is the largest hardware market in the world.
She sells more furniture and household goods than any other
city, is the greatest market for agricultural machinery, and
the largest producer of electrical supplies. In finance she
ranks fourth among the great cities of the world, being led
by London, New York, and Paris only, which is a remark-
able showing when her age is compared with theirs.
Her library facilities are second to none in the country.
She has the Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library,
the John Crerar Library, Chicago Historical Library,
besides numerous other large public and private collections.
She is the home of many famous schools: the University
of Chicago, Northwestern University and Lake Forest Col-
lege, Armour Institute, Rush Medical College, and many
other schools and colleges of all kinds.
Perhaps every nationality of the world is represented in
Chicago. In 1900 more than three fourths of her citizens
were either foreign born or the children of foreign parents.
XXXIX. UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870
The chief object of the constitution of 1848 had been
to provide for an economical administration of government
and to free the state from debt. But by 1870 it had served
its purpose. Great abuses had grown up under its opera-
tion. Governor Palmer said of it: "The history of the
American states presents no example of a government more
defective or vicious than that of the state of Illinois."
The constitutional convention that met in Springfield in
December, 1869, was one of the ablest deliberative bodies
that ever convened in the state, and the instrument it
framed has proved a model for state government. The new
constitution has been effective in preventing hasty and
fraudulent legislation. It limits the power of the legislature
on almost every subject of action. It provides that where
a general law can be made applicable no special law shall
be enacted. The legislature is prohibited from granting
special privileges to cities and corporations, as they are
regulated by general laws. Railways are declared to be
public highways, and parallel or competing lines are pro-
hibited from consolidating. The legislature is required to
prevent unjust discrimination and to regulate railroad rates.
Counties, cities, and other local governments are limited
in the amount of money they can borrow. The new con-
stitution gives the governor the veto power and provides
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870 189
that no bill can pass over his veto without a two-thirds
majority in each house. It renders the judiciary uniform,
establishes appellate courts, and provides a special judiciary
for the great population of Chicago. It requires the
general assembly to provide an efficient system of free
schools where all the children of the state can secure a good
common school education.
The state government is composed of three departments
the executive, judicial, and legislative. The executive
department consists of the governor, lieutenant governor,
secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, treasurer,
superintendent of public instruction, and attorney-general.
All hold office for four years with the exception of the
treasurer, who is elected for two years and who when his
term is over is ineligible for reelection until the expiration
of two years.
The governor is vested with the supreme executive power
of the state, and it is his peculiar duty "to take care that
the laws be faithfully executed." He must be at least 30
years of age, and have been for five years a citizen of the
United States and Illinois. As commander-in-chief of
the military and naval forces he may call them into service
to execute the laws, 'suppress insurrection, and repel
invasion. At the beginning of each session of the legislature
and at the close of his term of office it is his duty to send a
message to the general assembly in which he informs them
of the condition of the affairs of the state and recommends
needed legislation. By proclamation he may convene the
general assembly in extraofdinary session, or adjourn it
190 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
in case of disagreement between the two houses, and he
may approve or veto the bills the assembly passes. He
may make requisition upon the governors of other states
for the return of fugitives from justice, and offer rewards
for the apprehension of offenders against the laws of the
state, and he may pardon criminals or lessen their sentences.
The lieutenant governor presides over the senate and has
the power to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie. He
succeeds to the office of governor in case of the death,
absence, resignation, conviction, or impeachment, or other
disability of the governor.
-''The secretary of state is charged with the safe keeping of
all original laws, resolutions, documents, and papers of the
state. It is his duty to countersign and affix the seal of
the state to all proclamations and commissions issued by
the governor, and to supervise the printing and distribution
of laws and public documents. Reissues charters to cor-
porations, towns, villages, and cities; he calls the house of
representatives together at the beginning of each general
assembly and presides until the election of a speaker. He
has charge of the capitol buildings and grounds and is the
keeper of the great seal and the standard weights and
The auditor is required to keep all the accounts of the
state, and without his order or warrant no money can be
received or paid out by the treasurer, who is the custodian
of the money of the state.
It is the duty of the superintendent of public instruction
to exercise a general supervision over all the public schools
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870 191
of the state; to be the adviser of the county superintendents;
to grant state certificates to teachers; and visit such state
charitable institutions as are educational in character.
He must report to the governor the general condition of
the schools and the school funds.
The attorney-general is the legal adviser of the state
officials and the general assembly, and it is his duty to
represent the state in the supreme court of Illinois in all
cases in which the state is interested.
The judicial department of the state government is made
up of the circuit courts, the appellate courts, and the
The circuit courts have "original jurisdiction of all cases
of law and equity," and they hear appeals from county and
other local courts. At present the state is divided into 18
judicial circuits; Cook County makes a circuit by itself, but
elsewhere three or more counties are combined. Cook
County has fourteen circuit judges, and each of the other
circuits three judges; all these judges are elected by the
people once in six years. Sessions of the circuit court are
held in each county, and each court is presided over by one
of the circuit judges.
The state is divided into four appellate court districts,
Cook County, the northern, central, and southern portions
of the state. In each appellate district the supreme court
chooses and sets apart three circuit judges to be appellate
judges. They hear certain appeals from circuit and county
courts, and their decision is final in all cases in which the
amount in dispute is less than $1,000. They do not have
192 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
jurisdiction in criminal cases, nor in cases where the validity
of the law is in question, as such cases must be appealed
directly to the supreme court.
The supreme court the highest state court consists
of seven judges elected for a term of nine years. The office
of chief justice is held in turn by the different members. It
holds its sessions in the capitol. Four judges must agree in
order to decide a case. It is the court of appeal from the
appellate, circuit, and county courts, and its decision is final
except in cases involving a state law which conflicts with a
Federal law; such cases may be carried to the United States
On account of its great population Cook County has
need of extra courts. Instead of three circuit judges it has
fourteen. Two special courts the superior court of Cook
County, and the criminal court of Cook County do part
of the work of the circuit courts. It also has an extra
or branch appellate court.
The general assembly or legislature consists of two
houses, the senate and the house of representatives. To it
belongs every power in state affairs, not especially denied it
by the constitution or delegated to some other department.
For the election of its members the state is divided every
ten years by the legislature into 51 senatorial districts of
equal population. These districts generally include more
than one county, but Cook County has 18 senatorial dis-
tricts, or more than one third the whole number. The
people of each senatorial district elect one senator and three
representatives. The senators are elected for four years,
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870 193
the representatives for two years. The three representa-
tives are chosen by the plan of minority representation.
That is, each voter casts three votes for representatives;
he may cast all for one candidate, or give one and a half
votes to each of two, or one vote to each of the three; thus
any party supported by more than one fourth of the votes
of the district can, usually, by uniting on one candidate
secure his election.
The regular session of the general assembly begins on
the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January of
the odd-numbered years. A majority of all the members
elected in each house constitutes a quorum. Each house
is judge of the right of its members to their places, and may
expel members by a two-thirds vote. While in attendance
members cannot be arrested except for "treason, felony,
or breach of peace." They cannot be held to account else-
where for anything said by them in either house. The
lieutenant governor presides over the senate and has the
right to vote only in case of a tie. The house of repre-
sentatives chooses one of its members for speaker or presid-
ing officer. He has a vote on all questions, signs all bills
passed by the house, and appoints nearly all the commit-
tees. The committees practically control legislation, and
since the speaker appoints them and may recognize or ignore
members on the floor of the house according as he approves
or disapproves of their measures, his influence is great.
Bills may originate in either house and may be amended
or rejected by the other. When a bill is introduced it is
referred to some committee for consideration. If the
194 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
committee favorably reports on the bill, it is read three
times in full on different days and printed before the final
vote is taken. No bill becomes a law unless it is voted for
by a majority of all members of each house. When it
passes both houses it is sent to the governor, who signs it
if he approves of it, or returns it with his veto if he does
not wish it to become a law. A two-thirds vote of both
houses is needed to pass a bill over the governor's veto.
The constitution requires each house to keep a journal of
its proceedings, which is published, and in which is recorded
the vote of each member on the passage of all bills.
The house of representatives has the power of impeach-
ing any state officer. But all impeachments must be tried
by the senate, and no person can be convicted without the
concurrence of two thirds of all the senators elected.
The governor has the power of appointing a large num-
ber of state officers. Among them are the following: the
adjutant general, who next to the governor is the chief
officer of the militia, and other officers of the militia; a
state veterinarian; justices of the peace for Chicago; nota-
ries public in all places in Illinois ; a superintendent of bank-
ing, who supervises the savings banks of the state; a state
entomologist who studies the insects of the state, par-
ticularly those injurious to the farmer and gardener; a chief
grain inspector; a printer expert, who assists in letting the
contracts for state printing; an insurance superintendent,
who supervises all insurance companies doing business in
the state; and officers for the prevention of cruelty to ani-
mals in Cook County, in East St. Louis, and Peoria.
XL. STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS
Much of the executive work of the state government is
done -by boards or commissions, the members of which are
nominated by the governor and confirmed by the senate.
The number of commissioners and the term of office vary
in the different commissions, and some of the commissions
serve without pay.
The following boards look after the public safety:
The State Board of Health, established in 1877, has gen-
eral supervision of the health of the people of the state. Its
duty is to prevent the introduction and spread of -all conta-
gious diseases. It must examine all persons desiring to
practice medicine in Illinois and issue certificates to those
found competent. It is also charged with the examining
and licensing of embalmers. It must record all births and
deaths in the state. Among the features of its work of late
have been the investigation of the water supply and sew-
age disposal of the towns and cities of Illinois, its campaign
against unsanitary lodging houses, and its battle against
tuberculosis. The State Board of Pharmacy, established in
1881, is charged with the duty of examining all who desire
to practice pharmacy in the state, and issuing certificates
to such as are found qualified. It is the duty of the State
Board of Dental Examiners, established in 1881, to secure a
uniform standard of instruction in the dental schools, and
196 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
to examine and license the dentists of the state. The
State Board of Examiners of Architects, established in 1897,
licenses those who are qualified to practice as architects.
To prevent fraud and to protect the public health, laws
have been passed against the sale and manufacture of un-
clean, adulterated, or misbranded food stuffs. Prepared
food stuffs must not be labeled in a manner that deceives
the purchaser as to their ingredients. Dairy products
especially must not be unhealthful or adulterated. It is
the duty of the State Food Commissioners to enforce these
pure food laws and prevent so far as possible adulterations
and frauds in the manufacture and sale of food stuffs. The
commission must inspect all places where food is manu-
factured, and examine such articles of food as it may
suspect are impure, unhealthful, or counterfeit, and bring
about the prosecution of such persons as are found violating
the pure food laws of the state. It has been successful in
exposing and driving from the state many frauds.
The agricultural interests of the state are cared for by
The Department of Agriculture (created in 1872), which
is administered by the State Board of Agriculture made up
of members from each congressional district of the state,
has sole control of the state fairs which are held each year
at Springfield. The fair grounds consist of 156 acres and
are as well equipped as any in the Union. The buildings
are modern and substantial, and the annual exhibit of live
stock, farm products, vehicles, and farming implements is
the largest of its kind in the country.
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 197
In 1895 an important act was passed by the legislature,
creating the Illinois Farmers' Institute, the purpose of
which is to assist and encourage useful education among
the farmers, and to develop the agricultural resources of
Illinois. Under the supervision of the Board of Directors
the Institute holds an annual public meeting of delegates
from the county institutes and of the farmers of the state.
This meeting is of at least three days' duration, and is for
the purpose of public discussion of such subjects as the
cultivation of crops, the care and breeding of domestic
animals, dairy husbandry, horticulture, farm drainage,
improved highways, and general farm management. The
state makes appropriations for the expenses of the Institute
and prints for distribution among the farmers the addresses
given at the annual meeting on practical and scientific
agriculture. It is the purpose of the Institute to dissemi-
nate and popularize the results of the experiments of the
State College of Agriculture and the Experimental Station
at Urbana. State and county domestic science associa-
tions are affiliated with the Institute. Care is also taken to
have the children of the public schools instructed in
agriculture. The increasing interest of the farmers of
Illinois in the adoption of a more scientific attitude toward
crop production and allied subjects is in large measure due
to the work and influence of the Farmers' Institute, and it
has materially enhanced the grand total of agricultural
wealth in the state during the past decade.
The Lire Stock Commission, created in 1885, seeks to
prevent the introduction and spread of contagious and in-
198 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
fectious diseases among cattle, horses, sheep, and other
domestic animals. To this end the state veterinarian and
about fifty assistants in different parts of the state are
working under the direction of the board.
The office of state entomologist was established in 1867.
This official is required to study the entomology of Illinois,
and particularly to investigate all insects injurious to
agriculture and horticulture, to the vegetable garden and
shade trees, to the products of mills and the contents of
warehouses and all other valuable property. He is charged
with the annual inspection of all nurseries of fruit trees in
Illinois. He is required to investigate and conduct exper-
iments for the arrest and control of insects injurious to
person and property and public health, and report his dis-
coveries to the people.
The commercial and industrial welfare of the state is
looked after by the following commissions:
The Railroad and Warehouse Commission has general
supervision and jurisdiction over the railroads and public
warehouses of Illinois. It is required to make inspection
of the railroads of the state as regards the safety of
the bridges, trestles, tracks, and crossings; to compel the
railroads to comply with the recommendations of the
commission relating to switches, signals, and safety appli-
ances; and in all ways to see that the railroads are managed
for the safety and accommodation of the public and accord-
ing to state law. It fixes the maximum rate of charges
for the transportation of passengers and freight within the
state, and requires a comprehensive report annually from
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 199
every railroad doing business in the state. It has the
same supervision over interurban electric roads that it
has over steam roads. The commissioners are required
to see to the accommodation and security of all public
warehouses, and all grain inspection is under their control.
The Insurance Department of the State of Illinois was
created by act of the legislature in 1893. It is administered
by the insurance superintendent, whose duty it is to enforce
the laws regarding life, fire, accident, and other kinds of in-
surance, and protect the policy holders from fraud and loss.
The department is charged with the examination of the
condition and affairs of all insurance companies operating
in the state, the collection of all taxes and fees from com-
panies, the examination and custody of all securities re-
quired by the state law to be deposited by the companies.
Many of the questions that have been before the people
of the state for settlement have sprung out of the vast and
rapid development of industry. Since Illinois has exten-
sive railroad and manufacturing interests, the contest be-
tween labor and capital has been at times very sharp here.
Among the most serious of the many strikes may be men-
tioned the following, in which state troops were called out
and lives lost: the railroad strike of 1877 at Chicago, East
St. Louis, and elsewhere, when United States troops were
called upon to preserve order in Chicago; riots in the min-
ing districts of the state, 1883; railroad strikes in Chi-
cago and East St. Louis, the strike at the McCormick
Harvester works, and the Haymarket riot, Chicago, 1886;
the railroad strike of 1894 at Chicago, the worst in the his-
200 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
tory of Illinois, in which twelve lives were lost and more
than half a million dollars' worth of property was destroyed.
Among the coal miners' strikes especially notable were those
at Pana and Virden, 1897-98. To adjust such differences
between employers and employees tlje State Board of Arbi-
tration was created in 1895. It is the duty of the board to
investigate strikes and lockouts upon the joint petition of
the parties in disagreement and legally to enforce its ruling
and decision ; or to investigate strikes and lockouts upon the
petition of one of the parties or upon its own motion, with-
out petition from either of the parties directly involved, and
to attempt to adjust such strikes and lockouts by media-
tion or conciliation.
* In many ways the state seeks to protect the interest of
the laboring classes. Laws have been passed for factory
inspection and have brought about more sanitary work-
shops. The state also seeks to protect child laborers and
as much as possible to prevent child labor. No child under
14 years can lawfully be employed in a factory or elsewhere
for wages during the time the public schools are in session
nor at any time for more than eight hours a day. No child
between 14 and 16 years is allowed to labor for wages with-
out the consent of the parents and permission from the
school authorities. Children under 16 years are prohibited
from working in such places as are injurious to their health
or morals. In 1893 was established a Board of Factory
and Workshop Inspectors, consisting of a chief inspector
and nineteen assistants, whose duty it is to enforce the
child labor law, and the laws regulating the manufacture
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 201
of garments and wearing apparel, and to inspect the general
conditions of the factories of the state. The inspectors,
working with other organizations and societies, have
effected a greatly increased school attendance and an
improved condition among juvenile workers. About 50,000
establishments are inspected annually.
In 1879 the Bureau of Labor Statistics was established.
The members of the bureau, called the Commissioners of
Labor, collect statistics on the industrial, social, educational,
and sanitary conditions of the laboring classes of Illi-
nois, and on the prosperity of the manufacturing and
productive industries. The commissioners of labor have
supervision over the three free employment agencies in
Chicago and the agency at Peoria. Many thousands have
found situations through these free agencies. The com-
missioners of labor also appoint the members of the State
Mining Board (created in 1883), whose duty is to examine
and license mine inspectors, mine managers, mine examin-
ers, and hoisting engineers. Through the influence of the
mining board, a great advance has been made in the
management, operation, and safety of the mines of the
The State Board of Equalization was established in 1867
and consists of one member from each of the senatorial dis-
tricts of the state. The duty of the board is to examine the
abstracts of assessments returned to the state auditor
from the several counties and to equalize the assessments
between the counties so that property of like value shall
be taxed the same in all parts of the state.
202 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
The Court of Claims, created in 1877, consists of three
lawyers whose duty is to hear and determine all unad-
justed claims against the state, of whatever nature.
As early as 1851 there was a state geologist whose duty
it was to make a geological and mineralogical survey of the
state, but it was not until 1905 that there was established
at the University of Illinois a bureau known as the State
Geological Survey, under the direction of the State Geo-
logical Commission composed of the governor of Illinois,
the president of the University of Illinois, and one other
competent person appointed by the governor. The com-
mission appoints a director who, with his assistants and
deputies, makes a scientific survey and study of the geo-
logical formation of the state with special reference to
coals, ores, clays, building stones, cement, materials for
use in the construction of roads, gas, mineral and arte-
sian waters, and other mineral resources, and who pre-
pares geological and other necessary maps and reports.
The Illinois State Museum at Springfield is under this
The duties of the State Highway Commission (established
in 1905) are, according to the law, "to investigate and to
carry on such experimental work in road building, different
methods of road construction, kinds of material and
system of drainage as will enable it to determine upon the
various methods of road construction best adapted to the
various sections and soils of the state, the cost of the same,
and recommend standards for the construction of high-
ways in the various sections of the state. It may be con-
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 203
suited by county, city, or village officers having authority
over highways and bridges, and shall, when requested,
advise and give, without charge, information to such officers
relative to the construction, repairing, alteration, and main-
tenance of said highways and bridges."
At the head of the Building Department of Illinois is the
state or supervising architect, who has supervisory power
over the planning and construction of state buildings.
The various canals of the state are under the supervision
of boards and commissions appointed by the governor.
In recent years many laws have been passed looking
toward the protection and increase of the fish and game of
the state. It is unlawful to fish with a net or seine during
certain seasons, or without a license. It is unlawful to
place such obstructions in streams as will prevent the
free passage of fish up and down the water ways within the
jurisdiction of the state. Except at certain specified times
it is not lawful to hunt, kill, or entrap partridges, prairie
chickens, quails, snipe, plovers, wild geese, ducks, or other
water fowl. It is unlawful to destroy the nest or remove
the eggs from the nest of any birds mentioned above.
Squirrels may be killed only during certain times. It is
unlawful at any time to take or kill any deer, wild turkey,
pheasant, or other bird except game birds, crows, English
sparrows, and hawks. Except upon his own farm land or
land which he rents it is unlawful for any one to hunt
without a license. To the State Game Commissioner is
committed the enforcement of the game laws. In this he
is assisted by ten game wardens and one or more deputy
204 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
game wardens in each county. It is his duty to seek to
introduce new varieties of game into the state, as well as
to increase the native varieties. To this end as many as
20,000 quails have been brought into the state from the
South in one year. In Sangamon County there is a pros-
perous state game propagating farm where thousands of
such birds as pheasants, quails, and prairie chickens are
hatched for distribution throughout the state. The State
Board of Fish Commissioners was created in 1879. It is the
duty of the commission to establish fish hatcheries, and to
take all necessary measures for the propagation of native
food fishes as well as for the introduction of new varieties
into the waters of the state, and to enforce the statutes re-
lating to the protection of fish.
One of the most important of the state commissions is
the Board of Public Charities. It was established in 1869
upon the recommendation of Governor Oglesby. It con-
sists of five members appointed by the governor for five
years. They serve without pay, but have an allowance for
expenses. It is the duty of the board to visit and inspect
twice each year all state charitable and correctional institu-
tions and all private institutions receiving state aid, and
to inspect annually all county almshouses and jails. It is
given unlimited authority in investigation, recommenda-
tion, and report, but no authority in administration or
correction of abuses. The board has power to fix the
boundaries of districts for the several insane hospitals. It
is required to report annually to the governor upon the
institutions under its supervision as regards *the methods
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 205
of instruction in use, the government and management of
the inmates, the official conduct of the officers, the condition
of the buildings and grounds, the financial management,
the efficiency of each institution in accomplishing the
object of its creation, and all matters pertaining to the
usefulness and good management of each of the institu-
tions. In 1905 the board had under its supervision seven-
teen state charitable institutions with an aggregate of
14,500 inmates. The following are the institutions under
The state has seven institutions for the insane. Miss
Dorothea L. Dix, the famous philanthropist, in 1846 visited
Illinois and appealed to the state legislature to establish a
hospital for the insane of the state, and the following year
an asylum was ^established at Jacksonville, now called the
Central Hospital for the Insane. The other institutions were
established as follows : Southern Hospital for the Insane, at
Anna, 1869 ; Eastern Hospital for the Insane, Kankakee, 1877 ;
Northern Hospital for the Insane, Elgin, 1869; Western Hos-
pital for the Insane, Watertown, 1895; Asylum for the
Incurable Insane, Peoria, 1895; Asylum for Insane Crim-
inals, Chester, 1889. These seven asylums have a total
of about 9,000 inmates. They are well equipped with
buildings and accommodations, and could carry on their
existence in a large measure independent of the outside
world, with their water and sewerage systems, carpenter,
machine, and shoe shops, libraries, amusement halls, print-
ing offices, and the like.
The Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children, at Lincoln-, has
206 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
been established since 1865. The object of the institution
is to furnish such training and education to the feeble-
minded children of the state as they are capable of receiv-
ing, and to fit them as far as possible for future usefulness.
The School for the Deaf, at Jacksonville, is the oldest of
the state charitable institutions, as the act creating it was
passed in 1839. Besides giving the deaf-mutes a common
school education and teaching them means of communica-
tion with others, the school instructs them in such arts
and industries as woodworking, photography, shoemaking,
printing, painting, gardening, and the domestic sciences.
The School for the Blind, at Jacksonville, established in
1849, has over 200 pupils. Without charge or expense they
are given intellectual training and are taught to work with
their hands, so that many of them become self-supporting.
The Industrial Home for the Blind, at Chicago (founded in
1887), besides affording a home for the blind, provides in-
struction for them in self-supporting trades.
The Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, at Chicago, was
established in 1858 as a private institution, and became a
state institution in 1871. Its object is to provide free
board, medical and surgical treatment for all poor residents
of Illinois who are afflicted with diseases of the eye, ear,
nose, and throat.
The Training School for Girls at Geneva, established in
1893, and the Home for Boys at St. Charles (1901), are re-
formatory and educational in character.
"The Soldiers and Sailors' Home at Quincy was established
in 1885 for the purpose of furnishing a home for Illinois's
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 207
ex-soldiers and sailors who by reason of old age or other
disability have become unable to earn a livelihood. The
Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Normal has been in existence
since 1865. Besides furnishing a home it has given intel-
lectual and industrial training to an average of about 400
children a year. The Soldiers' Widows' Home, at Wilming-
ton, has since 1896 furnished a home for such mothers,
wives, widows, and daughters of soldiers and sailors as are
homeless, friendless, or helpless.
In 1899 the legislature provided for the establishment
of the Illinois State Colony of Epileptics.
The charitable institutions of the state are under the
direct supervision and management of superintendents
and boards of trustees appointed by the governor. In
1905 the State Civil' Service Commission was created. It
examines all those desiring employment in the charitable
institutions, and more than 2,000 employees in these
institutions are under state civil service regulations.
The state penal and reformatory institutions are the
State Penitentiary at Joliet, the Southern Penitentiary at
Chester, and the State Reformatory at Pontiac. The first
state penitentiary was established in 1827 at Alton. It
consisted of 25 cells. The site and buildings were sold in
1857 when the new penitentiary was located at Joliet. The
last of the criminals were removed to Joliet in 1860. During
the Civil War the old institution was used by the Federal
government as a military prison, but since then it has been
torn down. The State Penitentiary at Joliet is located on a
tract of 172 acres. The cell house contains 900 cells with
208 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
capacity for 1,800 inmates. The Southern Penitentiary, lo-
cated at Chester, near the old town of Kaskaskia, was
^created by act of 1877. The cost of the buildings and
grounds was about $800,000. It has capacity for 1,600.
Each penitentiary is under the supervision of a board of
trustees and a warden appointed by the governor. The
State Reformatory at Pontiac was established in 1867. A
regular military organization and drill is maintained. The
curriculum includes all branches of common school educa-
tion and instruction in manual and industrial training.
Substantially all the inmates of the reformatory institutions
are employed in some useful occupation. The Board of
- Prison Industries has direction and supervision of the man-
ufacture and sale of prison products.
73* Many laws have been passed looking toward the better-
ment of the condition and the moral reformation of the
prisoners in the penitentiaries. They are the wards of the
state, and more and more it is becoming the conviction that
it is the duty of the state to make them better men and
women so far as possible and not merely to punish them for
their crimes. In 1872 an act was passed whereby every
convict in the state prisons against whom is recorded no
infraction of the rules and regulations of the penitentiary
or the state laws, and who performs in a faithful and or-
derly manner the duties assigned him, is entitled to a cer-
tain diminution of time from his sentence. In 1886 the
following amendment became a part of the state consti-
tution: "Hereafter it shall be unlawful for the commis-
sioners of any penitentiary or other reformatory institution
STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 209
in the state of Illinois to let by contract to any person or
persons or corporation the labor of any convict within said
The law provides that the labor of the prisons shall be
directed so far as possible with reference to fitting the pris-
oners to maintain themselves by honest industry after their
discharge from prison, and that it shall be the duty of the
penitentiary commissioners to adopt such rules concerning
all prisoners as shall not only prevent them from returning
to criminal courses, but help them to accomplish their
reformation. An act of 1899 established a parole system
whereby prisoners, except those guilty of such crimes as
murder and treason, may after a certain time, provided
their behavior has been good in the penitentiary, be al-
lowed to go upon parole outside of the prison. But all such
may be imprisoned again without trial if they do not lead
temperate and law-abiding lives.
In 1897 a Board of Pardons was created, consisting of
three members whose duty it is to receive and thoroughly
investigate all applications for pardons and commuta-
tions of sentences, and make a report upon each case to the
governor with their conclusions and recommendations.
Before the board was organized all petitions for pardon
or commutation were presented directly to the governor,
but as there were a large number of such petitions it was
impossible for him to give them the careful investigation
that their importance warranted. The board of pardons
administers the parole law also.
In 1899 an act was passed providing that circuit courts
210 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
shall have jurisdiction over dependent, neglected, and
delinquent children. In Cook County one or more of the
circuit judges are chosen to hear all cases relating to such
children, and a special court room is provided for this
purpose. These Juvenile Courts may commit dependent
and neglected children to some training or industrial
school or to some association whose object is to care for
such children. Delinquent children that is, those who
show a disposition to crime may be committed to the
supervision of probation officers or sent to a state home or
The schools of Illinois which are supported by public
taxation and which furnish free instruction to the children
and youth of the state are. the University of Illinois, the
five State Normal Schools, the high schools, and the district
At the head of the public school system is the University
of Illinois located at Urbana. It was chartered in 1867 to
teach such branches of learning as related to agriculture
and the mechanical arts, as well as scientific and classical
studies. For the first twenty years the growth of the
university was slow, but since 1888 the legislature has
granted large appropriations for current expenses and new
buildings, and its growth has been rapid. For instance, in
1905 the total sum granted by the legislature was nearly
$1,000,000. It has twenty-three buildings, over 400 in-
structors, and more than 4,000 students.
The state maintains five normal schools to prepare
teachers for the schools of Illinois. The Illinois State
Normal, located at Normal, was established in 1857, and
was the first state normal- school in the Mississippi valley.
The Southern Illinois Normal at Carbondale is the second
oldest; it was created by the general assembly in 1869.
The Eastern Illinois Normal at Charleston was estab-
lished in 1895, the Northern Illinois Normdl at De Kalb
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
in 1895, and the Western Illinois Normal at Macomb in
In 1906 there were 425 public high schools in Illinois,
with about 50,000 students. They graduate about 5,500
There are in the state about 13,000 public free schools,
NORMAL SCHOOL AT NORMAL
requiring the services of about 27,500 teachers, of whom
over 21,000 are women. According to the school census
of 1906 there were 987,036 pupils enrolled in the public
schools, or about two thirds of the population of the state
between the ages of six and twenty-one years. The total
cost of the public schools is about $23,000,000 a year. In
1900 the. total number of illiterates in Illinois was 157,958,
of whom 86,668 were foreign born. Thus about one
thirtieth of the entire population were illiterate.
'" Since 1883 there has been a compulsory education law
in Illinois. The law as amended in 1907 reads as follows:
"Every person having control of any child between the
ages of seven and sixteen years, shall annually cause such
child to attend some public or private school for the
entire time during which the school attended is in session,
which period shall not be less than 110 days of actual
teaching: Provided, however, that this Act shall not
apply in any case where the child has been or is being
instructed for a like period of time in each and every year
in the elementary branches of education by a person or
persons competent to give such instruction, or where
the child's physical or mental condition renders his or her
attendance impracticable or inexpedient, or where the child
is excused for temporary absence for cause by the principal
or teacher of the school which the child attends, or where
the child is between the ages of fourteen and sixteen
years and is necessarily and lawfully employed during the
hours when the public school is in session."
With a view to securing a more unified and simple scheme
of school laws, the legislature in 1907 created an Educa-
tional Commission, composed of the superintendent of pub-
lic instruction and six persons representing the various
phases of educational work within the state, whose duty it
is to make "a thorough investigation of the common
school system of Illinois, and the laws under which it is
organized; to make a comparative study of such other
school systems as may seem advisable, an<j to submit to
the 46th General Assembly a report including such sugges-
tions, recommendations, revisions, additions, corrections
and amendments as the commission shall deem necessary."
214 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Besides the public school system of the state there are
many private institutions of learning. There are 31 uni-
versities, colleges, and technological schools in Illinois,
with over 1,700 instructors and 18,000 students.
Closely connected with the educational life of the state
are the public libraries. The state maintains two libraries
at Springfield, the State Library, and the State Law Library,
which together contain about 65,000 volumes. There
are more than 400 public, school, and society libraries in
Illinois containing more than 1,000 volumes each, and with
a total of about four million volumes.
XLII. ILLINOIS SINCE 1870
The history of Illinois since the Civil War is largely
the history of the Union of which it is so prominent a
member. It has shared in the marvelous progress, pros-
perity, and material development of the nation. What
affects the welfare of Illinois affects the welfare of the other
states, and the prosperity of the other states aids the
prosperity of Illinois.
The population of Illinois has nearly doubled since 1870.
In 1900 the native-born population was 3,854,803, and the
foreign-born population 966,747. The negro population
was 85,078. The following, for 1900, may help us under-
stand the make-up of our foreign population :
Total No. Natives of Germany, Belgium, & Holland . . 328,479
" England, Ireland, Scotland, & Wales 203,338
" " " " Sweden, Norway, Denmark . . . 144,812
" " " " Russia and Poland 96,657
" Austria and Bohemia 56,782
" " " " Canada . 50,595
" " " " Italy . 23,523
" " " " France and Switzerland .... 16,820
" " " " Greece 1,570
" " " " China 1,462
" " " " Japan 102
Of late years the Slavic immigration has been on the
increase. More than half of the present population are
children of foreign parents.
216 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
In 1873 Major-General John M. Palmer was succeeded
as governor by Richard J. Oglesby, who had been chief
executive of the state from 1865 to 1869. But after
serving about ten days of his second term Oglesby re-
signed to become United States senator from Illinois to
succeed Lyman Trumbull, and Lieutenant-Go vernor John
L. Beveridge became governor for nearly the full term,
1873-77. During his term of office (1875) a bill was passed
establishing a three-cent railroad fare.
Illinois has passed through several exciting contests over
the United States senatorship. One of these was in 1877,
when the two great parties were about evenly divided in
the state legislature. After many ballots the Republicans
elected as senator David Davis, whom President Lincoln
in 1863 had appointed Associate Justice of the United
States Supreme Court.
In 1877 Shelby M. Cullom became governor, and being
reflected in 1880 served the state as chief executive until
1883, when he resigned to become United States senator.
Besides having the rare honor of being elected to succeed
himself as governor of Illinois, Cullom was afterwards five
times elected to the United States Senate. Lieutenant-
Go vernor John M. Hamilton served as governor from 1883
to 1885. In 1881 the state debt was paid off. In 1883
the Harper High License Law was passed. This measure
raised the license of dram shops to not less than $500 a
year. The law closed many places where liquor was sold,
and the discussion incident to its adoption led to a wider
knowledge of the liquor business in the state.
ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 217
A unique political event occurred on January 30, 1885,
when Richard J. Oglesby was inaugurated governor of
Illinois for the third time, an honor that has come to no
one else. His opponent in this campaign was Carter H.
Harrison, well known as mayor of Chicago for many years.
The same year, after a prolonged contest, the Republicans
elected General John A. Logan to the United States Senate.
During the first two years of Oglesby's administration there
were many labor troubles, among which were the Joliet
and Lemont quarrymen's strike, a strike at the McCormick
Harvester works, a railroad strike at East St. Louis, an
anarchist riot in Haymarket Square, Chicago, and the
Union Stock Yards strike. It was necessary for the
governor to call out the state troops to suppress these
strikes. In 1887 provision was made for the observance of
Arbor Day in Illinois.
The present state capitol was completed in 1888, twenty
years after the corner stone was laid. It was first occupied
in 1876 while in an unfinished condition. For some time
there was strong opposition to making appropriations
sufficient to complete it, and work was suspended. The
extreme length of the capitol from north to south is 379
feet, and 268 feet from east to west. It measures 361 feet
from the ground to the top of the dome. Its outer walls
are built of Niagara limestone from the quarries of Joliet
and Lemont. It is three stories high and contains the offices
of the governor and other state officials, the supreme court
room, the two halls of the general assembly, the state
libraries, the offices of the different state boards and com-
218 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
missions, and various committee rooms. It cost about four
and one-half million dollars. At the time it was finished
there was no other state building in the nation to compare
with it in size and cost, and even now there are few that
surpass it in beauty.
General John M: Palmer, whom the Republicans had
elected in 1869, came to differ with his party on the tariff
and state rights questions, and was nominated by the
Democrats for governor in 1888. He was defeated at the
polls by Joseph W. Fifer, who had served in the Civil War
as -a private soldier. General Palmer in 1891, after one of
the most exciting contests ever held in Illinois, was elected
United States senator over the Republican candidate, Ex-
In 1891 the legal rate of interest was reduced to 5 per
cent. The same year the legislature voted means for re-
moving the dead from the old Kaskaskia cemetery, which
the Mississippi River was threatening to wash away, and
for the erection of a suitable monument at the new burying
place of these first settlers of the commonwealth. In 1891,
also, the Australian system of balloting at all general
elections was adopted. Under this system the state pre-
pares official ballots which alone may be voted. It secures
for the voter secrecy of the ballot, and tends to free elec-
tions from political dictation.
In 1892 occurred the dedication of the World's Columbian
Exposition at Chicago. The same year Illinois was hon-
ored by having Adlai E. Stevenson, a lawyer of Blooming-
ton, elected Vice President of the United States on the
ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 219
Democratic ticket. Among other citizens of the state who
have served the Federal government in positions of trust
and honor are: Melville W. Fuller, of Chicago, appointed
by President Cleveland eighth Chief Justice of the United
States Supreme Court; Walter Q. Gresham, Postmaster-
General under President Arthur, and Secretary of State
under President Cleveland; Lyman J. Gage, Secretary of
the Treasury under President McKinley; and Joseph G.
Cannon, Speaker of the United States House of Repre-
John P. Altgeld, governor in 1893-97, was the first
Democrat since the Civil War to serve Illinois as chief
executive. He was born in Prussia, came to this country
when a boy, and served in the Union ranks during the
Civil War. He was the author of several books on live
issues, such as reform in the penal machinery of the state.
He was severely censured for pardoning three anarchists
who were in prison for participating in the Haymarket
Riot, of 1886. The chief events of his administration were
the World's Fair, Chicago, 1893, and the strike of railway
employees, 1894. The national campaign of 1896, when
William Jennings Bryan (who was born and educated
in the state) advocated the adoption of the free and unlim-
ited coinage of silver, was one of unprecedented activity
in Illinois. Both Republicans and Democrats established
their chief headquarters in Chicago, making that city the
center of the nation's political life for the time being.
In 1898, during the administration of John R. Tanner
(1897-1901), occurred the Spanish- American War. Illinois
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
took a prominent part in this struggle. As soon as war
was declared an extra session of the state legislature was
called, and Illinois was the first of all the states to offer aid
to the Federal government. Camp Tanner, at Springfield,
was used as a rendezvous for troops. The state furnished
nine regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and one battery
of light artillery. One of the regiments of infantry was
made up of colored troops. Part of the Illinois troops
saw service in Cuba and Porto Rico, and not a few met
their death in battle or
through disease. Many
soldiers from Illinois
saw service in the Phil-
In 1899 the legisla-
$100,000 to rebuild the
Lincoln Monument at
Oak Ridge Cemetery,
Springfield. The mon-
ument, which originally
cost $200,000, had been
dedicated in 1874; Presi-
dent Grant was present and spoke on the occasion. The
monument had settled unevenly and was otherwise dis-
integrating, and it was necessary to take it down and
rebuild it. A temporary vault was built to contain Presi-
dent Lincoln's remains. The monument, rebuilt on the old
plan, was finished in 1901.
LINCOLN MONUMENT AT SPRINGFIELD
ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 221
In 1901 Richard Yates, son of Illinois's famous War
Governor, became chief executive. He was the first gov-
ernor of Illinois born in the state. In 1902 Illinois's war
claim of over one million dollars against the Federal gov-
ernment was paid. In 1903 the site of old Fort Massac, on
the Ohio River, became the property of the state and was
turned into a public park. On December 30, 1903, occurred
one of the greatest catastrophes that ever befell the state,
when 591 persons lost their lives in the Iroquois Theater fire,
Chicago. Illinois was properly represented by a splendid
building and display of products at the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition held at St. Louis, 1904. Toward the close of
Governor Yates's term he announced his name for renomi-
nation subject to the action of the Republican state con-
vention. The convention met at Springfield, May 12, 1904,
but there were many otter names before that body and it
was unable to make a choice even after 58 ballots had been
taken. So on May 20 a recess was taken. The convention
reassembled May 31- and on June 3 closed the most pro-
longed state convention ever held in Illinois by nominating
Charles S. Deneen, of Chicago, who was chosen governor at
the following election. He was reflected in 1908.
In 1905, in the statuary hall of the Capitol at Washington
a statue to Miss Frances E. Willard of Illinois was erected.
She was the first woman in the history of the nation to re-
ceive this form of recognition. Among other Illinoisans
who have been the means of uplifting humanity and who
have stood for the best in their different lines of work are :
Eugene Field, the poet of childhood and one of the best
222 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
known of the poets of America, who spent most of his life
in Chicago and wrote most of his verse there; Professor
David Swing, religious leader and thinker, whose memory
and work are cherished by many; Dwight L. Moody, who
lived as a young man in Chicago and began his religious
work there; Bishop John L. Spalding of Peoria, the eminent
Roman Catholic divine, famous for his oratory and his in-
terest in education; Theodore Thomas, founder and late
conductor of the Thomas Orchestra of Chicago, who did
much to foster the art of music in Illinois; Mary A. Bicker-
dyke, a well-known nurse during the Civil War, to whom a
monument has lately been erected at Galesburg; Mary A.
Livermore, the coworker of Miss Willard; Miss Jane Ad-
dams, the well-known settlement worker and head of Hull
House, Chicago; the late President Harper of the Univer-
sity of Chicago, whose lofty ideals and genius for organiza-
tion find a lasting monument in the university itself.
Among the novelists of Illinois may be mentioned Mary
Hartwell Catherwood, Frank Norris, Randall Parrish, and
The Illinois State Historical Society was incorporated
in 1906, for the purpose of encouraging the study of the
history of Illinois, and collecting and preserving historical
data and material relating to the state. The Society holds
annual meetings at Springfield and publishes in book form
the addresses given before each meeting. The work of the
Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois State
Historical Library are nearly identical, but the Library is
the older, having been established in 1889. The Library
ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 223
has about 20,000 volumes, pamphlets, and documents bear-
ing upon the political, physical, religious, and social history
of Illinois, the Mississippi valley, and the old Northwest
Territory. It is especially rich in books, pictures, man-
uscripts, and other material on the early life of Abraham
Lincoln. The Library has published several volumes
dealing with early Illinois history.
During recent years there has been much dissatisfaction
with the electing of United States senators by the state
legislatures, and it has been urged that the senators should
be directly answerable to the people. In 1907 the Illinois
General Assembly passed a joint resolution "That applica-
tion is hereby made to the Congress under the provisions
of Article 5 of the Constitution of the United States for the
calling of a convention to propose an amendment to the
Constitution of the United States making United States
senators elective in the several states by direct vote of the
In 1907 the legislature passed a bill making it unlawful
for any railroad to charge more than two cents a mile for
carrying passengers between points within the state, pro-
vided the passengers buy tickets before entering the car;
otherwise three cents a mile may be charged.
Following the example of many other states, Illinois in
1907 passed a local option law which provides that town-
ships as a whole may vote on the question whether they
shall become anti-saloon territory or not. In the eighteen
counties of the state not having township organization the
people of a voting precinct (which is about the same size
224 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
as the township) may vote on whether the precinct shall
become anti-saloon territory. Thus the farmers who have
to help pay the taxes are given a vote on the saloon question.
The law provides that the vote of the people on this
matter, which before was advisory, shall be binding upon
the municipal governing body. The question whether the
township, or village, or city shall become anti-saloon ter-
ritory is voted upon at the annual election of the town-
ship, or the village, or the city, as the case may be. But
before the question can be submitted to the voters, a
petition, asking for such submission and containing the
names of at least one fourth of the total number of voters
of the political subdivision, must be filed with the clerk of
the political subdivision, at least 60 days before the elec-
tion. All territory thus created anti-saloon territory shall
so continue until the legal voters again file the required
petition asking for another vote on the question. But the
question cannot be resubmitted after it has been voted upon
until eighteen months have passed, and since it must be
voted upon at a regular annual election the vote decides
the question for two years. Much interest has been taken
in the working of the law, which the state supreme court
has upheld. On May 1, 1908, mainly through the passage
of the law, about 2,500,000 people in Illinois were living in
prohibition districts, 36 counties had voted out the saloon
completely, 16 counties were dry with the exception of one
township, and 7 counties were dry except for two townships.
For several years past there has been a demand for a
direct primary election law, and the state legislature
ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 225
passed several bills which were either unconstitutional or
unsatisfactory. But in 1908 a special meeting of the legis-
lature was called and a Direct Primary Law was passed, the
object of which is to give to the voters a larger share in
selecting the candidates of their parties. According to its
provisions all candidates for all elective state, congressional,
senatorial, county, city, village, town, and judicial offices,
are nominated by the direct vote of the people, except that
the state conventions have the power to nominate pres-
idential electors, candidates for university trustees, and to
choose delegates to the national conventions. The pri-
maries are held at the regular polling places and under the
general election laws. The names of the candidates are
printed in a single column, and the person securing the
highest number of votes at a primary as candidate for an
office is the candidate of that party for such office and his
name is placed on the official ballot. Any party casting
more than two per cent, of the total vote for state and
county officers at the preceding election must make its
nominations according to this law. The people by this
method may also nominate the United States senators to
be elected by the state legislature.
Illinois is comparatively a new country, and of necessity
men have been very busy providing for their physical
needs and comforts. Yet the higher and better things of
life have not been neglected. The churches are prosper-
ous and well attended. The colleges and universities are
progressive and well endowed. Many organizations of the
state are doing much to alleviate the condition of the unfor-
226 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
tunate and to uplift the lowly. There is a beginning of art
and literature. Music is coming to take a large place in the
life of the people. We have a population of readers. The
libraries are fast) growing in importance, and many new
buildings have lately been erected. In spite of the fact
that with many the struggle for livelihood is stern and all-
absorbing, the world has never known a more happy, pros-
perous, and progressive people.
1673. Illinois River explored by Joliet and Marquette.
1675. Marquette founds Mission of the Immaculate Conception
1680. La Salle builds Ft. Crevecoeur.
1682. Ft. St. Louis of the Rock built by La Salle.
1700. Kaskaskia mission removes to present site of town. Ca-
hokia mission established.
1717. Illinois under the Company of the West.
1718. Building of Ft. Chartres.
1754. Beginning of the French and Indian War.
1763. Illinois country ceded to England.
1765. Ft. Chartres surrendered to British by St. Ange.
French at Kaskaskia ask representative form of government.
1778. Expedition of George Rogers Clark.
Illinois becomes a county of Virginia.
1784. Illinois ceded to Federal government by Virginia.
1787. Ordinance for government of Northwest Territory.
1790. St. Clair County organized.
1800. Illinois becomes part of Indiana Territory.
1809. Illinois Territory organized.
1812. Illinois becomes territory of second grade.
Ft. Dearborn Massacre.
1818. Illinois admitted to the Union. Kaskaskia the capital
1820. Capital removed to Vandalia (1820-1837).
1824. Attempt to make Illinois a slave state.
1829. Illinois College founded the first in the state.
1832. Black Hawk War.
228 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
1837. Springfield becomes capital of the state.
Internal Improvement System.
Love joy killed at Alton.
1839. Completion of first railroad in the state the Northern
1844. Mormon imbroglio.
1848. New state constitution adopted.
Illinois and Michigan Canal completed.
1855. General Education Act, basis of school system.
1856. Beginning of Republican party in Illinois.
Completion of Illinois Central Railroad from Centralia to
East Dubuque, and from Cairo to Chicago.
1858. Lincoln-Douglas Debates.
1860. Lincoln nominated for President.
1861. Beginning of Civil War.
Death of Douglas.
Grant takes command at Cairo.
1863. Yates prorogues the legislature.
1865. Illinois the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.
Death of Lincoln.
1867. Establishment of Illinois Industrial University, now the
University of Illinois.
1870. Present constitution adopted.
1871. Chicago Fire.
1876. New statehouse occupied.
1886. Haymarket riot.
1891. Australian Ballot System adopted.
Chicago University opened.
1893. World's Columbian Exposition.
1900. Chicago Drainage Canal opened.
1903. Iroquois Theater Fire.
1907. Local Option Law.
1908. Direct Primary Law.
2. REFERENCE BOOKS
* Publications of the Illinois State Historical Society; Reports of
the Illinois State Historical Society; Illinois Historical Col-
lections, Vols. I, II, and III.
* Fergus Historical Series, and other Chicago Historical Society
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Bateman and Selby.
* Early History of Illinois. Sidney Breese.
History of Illinois, 1673-1884. Davidson and Stuve.
* Illinois, Historical and Statistical, 2 vols. John Moses.
* Chapters from Illinois History. Edward G. Mason.
* Illinois and Louisiana Under the French. Joseph Wallace.
Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, and Life
of George Rogers Clark, 2 vols. William H. English.
History of George Rogers Clark. C. W. Butterfield. (Pub. Ohio
How George Rogers Clark Won the Northwest. R. C. Thwaites.
* History of Illinois, 1818-1847. Gov. Thomas Ford.
Pioneer History of Illinois. Gov. John Reynolds.
My Own Times. Gov. John Reynolds.
The Illini. Clark E. Carr.
Historic Illinois. Randall Parrish.
The Government of Illinois. E. B. Greene.
Life of Coles. Washburne.
* The History of Negro Servitude in Illinois, 1719-1864. N. Dwight
The various biographies of Abraham Lincoln.
The Patriotism of Illinois (in Civil War), 2 vols. T. M. Eddy.
A very extensive bibliography of Illinois history can be found in
a circular called An Outline For The Study of Illinois State History,
issued for free distribution by the Illinois State Historical Library.
Address: Librarian, Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, 111.
* Books marked thus are of special value.
3. ORIGIN OF CERTAIN ILLINOIS NAMES *
Abingdon: from Abingdon, Md., birthplace of one of its founders.
Adams (county) : for Pres. John Quincy Adams.
Alexander (county) : for William M. Alexander.
Alton: named by Rufus Easton, the founder, for his son.
Amboy : Indian, "hollow inside."
Arcola : from Arcola, Italy.
Astoria : from the Astor family.
Athens: from Athens, Greece.
Aurora: Latin, "morning," "dawn."
Batavia : from town in New York.
Beardstown : from founder, Thomas Beard.
Belleville: French, "beautiful town."
Bloomington: from Bloomington Grove, so called from its pro-
fusion of wild flowers.
Bond (county) : for Shadrach Bond, first governor of Illinois.
Boone (county) : for Daniel Boone.
Breese : for Lieut. Gov. Sidney 3reese.
Brown (county) : for Maj. Gen. Jacob Brown, U. S. A.
Bureau (county) : for first French trader, Pierre de Beuro.
Cairo : from Cairo, Egypt.
Calhoun (county) : for John C. Calhoun.
Calumet: Indian, "little reed," "pipe of peace."
Canton: from Canton, China.
Carlinville: for Gov. Thomas Carlin.
Carroll (county) : for Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, Maryland.
Carterville : for Laban Carter, the first settler.
Casey ville : for Lieut. Gov. Badock Casey.
Cass (county) : for Gen. Lewis Cass.
Centralia : from junction of railroads at that point.
Cerro Gordo: from Mexican battlefield.
Champaign (county) : from the county in Ohio.
Charleston : for Charles Morton, one of its founders.
* For other place names see " The Origin of Certain Place Names
in the United States," U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 258.
Chenoa : Indian, " white dove."
Chicago: Indian, "wild onion place," "bad smell."
Chillicothe: Indian, "man made perfect."
Christian (county) : from the county in Kentucky.
Clark (county) : for George Rogers Clark.
Clay (county) : for Henry Clay.
Clinton (county) : for DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York.
Coles (county) : for Gov. Edward Coles. .
Colfax: for Vice Pres. Schuyler Colfax.
Collinsville : from early settlers, four brothers named Collins.
Cook (county) : for Daniel P. Cook, member of Congress.
Crawford (county) : for Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury.
Cumberland (county) : from proposed Cumberland Road.
Danville: for Indian trader, Dan Beckwith.
Decatur: for Commodore Stephen Decatur.
De Kalb (county) : for Baron De Kalb, Revolutionary general.
Des Plaines : from the presence of a species of maple called by the
DeWitt (county) : for DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York.
Dixon: from founder, John Dixon.
Douglas (county) : for Stephen A. Douglas.
Downers Grove : for early settler, Pierce Downer.
DuPage (county and river) : for a French Indian, DuPage, who
lived on the river before 1800.
Duquoin : from a Kaskaskian chief.
Edgar (county): for Gen. John Edgar, early pioneer.
Edwards (county)-: for Gov. Ninian Edwards.
Edwardsville : for Gov. Ninian Edwards.
Effingham (county) : either for a surveyor, Gen. Edward Effingham,
or for Lord Effingham.
Elgin: for Earl of Elgin.
El Paso: from the passing or crossing of two railroads.
Evanston : for John Evans, governor of Colorado.
Farmington: from Farmington, Conn.
Fayette (county) : for Marquis de la Fayette.
Fever (river): early French, "the river of the bean," because of
large number of wild beans upon its banks.
232 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Fitch (stream) : for early settler, George Fitch.
Ford (county) : for Gov. Thomas Ford.
Fort Sheridan: for Gen. P. H. Sheridan.
Franklin (county) : for Benj. Franklin.
Freeport : from the hospitality of the home of an early settler.
Fulton (county) : for Robert Fulton.
Galena: from the presence of lead ore.
Galesburg: for Rev. George W. Gale, early settler.
Gallatin (county) : for Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury.
Galva: from a town in Sweden.
Geneseo: Indian, "beautiful valley" or "shining valley."
Girard : for Stephen Girard.
Golconda : from city in India.
Greene (county) : for Gen. Nathanael Greene, Revolutionary soldier.
Greenville : from town in North Carolina.
Grundy (county) : for Felix Grundy, U. S. Senator from Tenn.
Hamilton (county) : for Alexander Hamilton.
Hancock (county): for Gov. John Hancock, of Massachusetts.
Hardin (county) : for Gen. John J. Hardin, of Mexican War.
Harrisburg : from family of first settlers.
Havana : from city in Cuba.
Henderson (county) : for Col. Richard Henderson, of Kentucky.
Henry (county) : for Patrick Henry.
Henry (city) : for Gen. James D. Henry, of Black Hawk War.
Hoopeston : for founder, Thomas Hoopes.
Illinois : from Illini Indians, name means "men."
Iroquois (county and river) : from Iroquois Indians.
Jackson (county) : for Andrew Jackson.
Jacksonville : for prominent colored preacher.
Jasper (county) : for Sergt. Wm. Jasper, Revolutionary soldier.
Jefferson (county) : for Pres. Thomas Jefferson.
Jersey (county) : for the state of New Jersey.
Jerseyville : for the state of Xew Jersey.
Jo Daviess (county) : for Col. Joseph H. Daviess, of Kentucky.
Johnson (county) : for Vice Pres. Richard Johnson.
Joliet: for French explorer, Louis Joliet.
Jonesboro : for Dr. Jones, prominent settler.
Kane (county) : for Elias Kent Kane, U. S. Senator from Illinois.
Kankakee (county and river) : an Indian name.
Kaskaskia : from Kaskaskia tribe of Illinois Indians.
Kendall (county) : for Postmaster-General Amos Kendall.
Kewanee: Indian, "prairie hen" or "wild duck."
Kishwaukee: Indian, "sycamore tree."
Knox (county) : for Gen. Henry Knox.
La Harpe: for French explorer, Bernard de la Harpe.
Lake (county) : from presence of lakes.
Lanark : from town in Scotland.
La Salle (county) : for Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle.
Lawrence (county) : for Capt. James Lawrence, War of 1812.
Lawrenceville: same as above.
Lee (county) : for Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia.
Lewistown : for Lewis Ross, son of founder.
Livingston (county) : for Edward Livingston, Secretary of State.
Lockport: from location on locks of Illinois and Michigan Canal.
Logan (county) : for Judge Samuel T. Logan, law partner of Abra-
McDonough (county) : for Com. Thomas McDonough, War of 1812.
McHenry (county) : for Gen. Wm. McHenry, of Black Hawk War.
McLean (county) : for John McLean, U. S. Senator.
Macomb: for Gen. Alexander Macomb, War of 1812.
Macon (county) : for Col. Nathaniel Macon, Senator from N. C.
Macoupin (county): Indian, "white potato," found in region.
Madison (county) : for Pres. James Madison.
Marengo : battlefield in Italy.
Marion (county) : for Gen. Francis Marion.
Maroa : Indian tribe.
Marshall (county) : for Chief Justice John Marshall.
Mascoutah: Indian, "prairie" or "grassy plain."
Mason (county) : from Mason County, Kentucky.
Massac (county) : from old fort named for Monsieur Massiac, French
minister of marine during French and Indian War.
Menard (county) : for Pierre Menard, first lieutenant governor of
Mendota: Indian, meaning crossing of two trails.
234 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Mercer (county) : for Gen. Hugh Mercer, of the Revolution.
Meredosia: French, either "willow marsh," or Lake (mer) d'Osea,
the name of a French priest who lived in the vicinity.
Michigan (lake): Indian, meaning "big lake" or "place for catch-
Mississippi: Indian, "great river," "gathering in of all the waters."
Moline: Spanish, meaning "mill."
Monmouth: from Revolutionary battle at Monmouth, N. J.
Monroe (county) : for Pres. James Monroe.
Montgomery (county) : for Gen. Richard Montgomery.
Monticello: from home of Jefferson in Virginia.
Morgan (county) : for Gen. Daniel Morgan, of the Revolution.
Moultrie (county) : for Gen. Wm. Moultrie, of the Revolution.
Mound City : from Indian mounds in the vicinity.
Mount Carmel : from mountain in Palestine.
Mount Carroll : for Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, Maryland.
Mount Pulaski: for Count Pulaski, Revolutionary general.
Mount Vernon : from home of Washington.
Moweaqua: Indian, "weeping woman," "wolf woman."
Movestar: French, "bad land."
Murphy sboro : from one of its founders.
Nameoki: Indian, "fishing place."
Naperville: from founder, Joseph Naper.
Nashville : from city in Tennessee.
Nauvoo: so named by Joseph Smith, the Mormon.
Neoga: Indian, "place of the Deity."
Newton : for Sergt. John Newton, of the Revolution.
Nokomis: Indian, "grandmother."
Normal: so called from State Normal School there.
Ogle (county) : for Capt. Joseph Ogle, an Indian fighter.
Ohio: from the state of Ohio.
Olney: for Nathan Olney.
Onarga: Indian, "place of rocky hills."
Oneida: Indian, an Iroquois tribe, "granite people."
Oquawka: Indian, "yellow."
Ottawa: name of Indian tribe.
Paloma: Spanish, "dove."
Pana: from Indian tribe, Pani.
Paris: from Paris, Kentucky.
Paxton : for Sir Joseph Paxton, who promoted emigration to Illinois.
Peeatonica: Indian, a species of fish.
Peoria (county and city): Indian, "carriers," name of tribe.
Peotone: Indian, "bring here."
Perry (county) : for Commodore Oliver H. Perry.
Peru : from town in New York.
Petersburg : for Peter Lukins, a founder.
Piasa: Indian name of a huge animal figure chiseled on a ledge of
rocks on banks of the Mississippi.
Piatt (county) : for James Andrew Piatt, first white settler.
Pike (county) : for Gen. Zebulon M. Pike, the explorer.
Pontiac : from town in Michigan whence many of the settlers came.
Pope (county) : for Nathaniel Pope, delegate to Congress.
Prairie du Rocher: French, "meadow of the rock."
Prophetstown : from the "Shawnee Prophet," brother of Tecumseh.
Pulaski (county) : for Count Pulaski, of the Revolution.
Putnam (county) : for Gen. Israel Putnam, of the Revolution.
Quincy: for Pres. John Quincy Adams.
Randolph (county) : for Beverly Randolph, governor of Virginia.
Richland (county) : from Richland County, Ohio.
Robinson : for John M. Robinson, U. S. Senator from Illinois.
Rock Falls : from location at falls in Rock River.
Rockford : from its situation on both sides of Rock River.
Rock Island (county and city) : from island in the Mississippi.
Rushville : for Dr. Richard Rush, Secretary of the Treasury.
Saint Clair (county) : for Gen. Arthur St. Clair, governor.
Saline (county and river) : from presence of salt deposits.
Sandwich : from town in Massachusetts.
Sangamon (county and river): Indian, "good hunting ground."
Savanna: Indian tribe, the Shawnee, who formerly lived upon the
Schuyler (county) : for Gen. Philip Schuyler, of the Revolution.
Scott (county) : from Scott County, Kentucky.
Shawnee town : named for the Shawnee tribe.
Shelby (county) : for Gen. Isaac Shelby, governor of Kentucky.
236 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Shelby ville: for Gen. Isaac Shelby, governor of Kentucky.
Somonauk: Indian, "papaw tree."
Sparta : from Sparta in Greece.
Stark (county) : for Gen. John Stark, of the Revolution.
Stephenson (county) : for Col. Benj. Stephenson, War of 1812.
Sterling : for Colonel Sterling, of Pennsylvania.
Streator: for W. S. Streator, of Cleveland, Ohio.
Tamaroa : from tribe of Illinois Indians.
Taylorville : for John Taylor, one of its founders.
Tazewell (county) : for Gov. L. W. Tazewell, of Virginia.
Tonti: for La Salle's companion, Henri de Tonti (Henry de Tonty).
Toulon : from a place in Tennessee.
Tuscola: Indian, "level place."
Union (county) : so named from union meeting held in vicinity
about 1817 by two preachers of different denominations.
Urbana : from city in Ohio.
Vermilion (county and river) : French, "red earth."
Wabash (county and river): Indian, "white water."
Warren (county) : for Joseph Warren who fell at Bunker Hill.
Warsaw: from Warsaw in Poland.
Washington (county) : for George Washington.
Watseka: Indian, "pretty woman."
Waukegan: Indian, "little fort."
Wayne (county) : for Gen. Anthony Wayne, of the Revolution.
Wenona: Indian, "first-born daughter."
Wheaton : named for first settlers.
White (county) : for Col. Isaac White, killed at Tippecanoe.
Whiteside (county) : for Gen. Sam. Whiteside, War of 1812.
Will (county) : for Dr. Conrad Will, member of state legislature,
Williamson (county) : from county of same name in Tennessee.
Wilmington: from Wilmington, Ohio.
Winnebago (county) : Indian tribe, "people of the stinking waters."
Winnetka: Indian, "beautiful place."
Woodford (county) : from county in Kentucky.
Woodstock: from town in Vermont.
Wyoming : from valley in Pennsylvania.
4. LIST OF COUNTIES l
Showing Date of Organization, Area, County Seat, and Population
. in 1900
Alexander ... .
Jan. 13, 1825
Mar. 4, 1819
Jan. 4, 1817
Mar. 4, 1837
Feb. 1, 1839
Brown . . .
Feb. 28, 1837
Jan 10, 1825
Feb. 22, 1839
Mar. 3, 1837
Feb. 20, 1833
Feb. 15, 1839
Mar. 22, 1819*
Dec. 23, 1824
Dec. 27, 1824
Dec. 25, 1830
Jan. 15, 1831
Dec. 31, 1816
May 1, 1843
Mar. 4, 1837
Mar. 1, 1839
Feb. 13, 1857
Feb. 9, 1839
Jan. 3, 1823
Nov. 28, 1814
Feb. 15, 1831
Feb. 14, 1821
Feb. 17, 1859
Jan. 2, 1818
Jan. 28, 1823
Sept. 14, 1812
Jan. 28, 1821
Feb. 17, 1841
Feb. 8, 1821
Jan. 13, 1825
Mar. 2, 1839
Jan. 20, 1841
Jan. 13, 1825
Feb. 26, 1833
Jan. 10, 1816
Feb. 15, 1831
Mar. 26, 1819
Feb. 28, 1839
Feb. 17, 1817
Feb. 14, 1812
Jan. 16, 1836
Feb. 11, 1851
Feb. 19, 1841
Jan. 13, 1825
Mar. 1, 1839
Urbana . ,
Robinson . .
Douglas. . . .
Benton . .
Carrollton. . .
Jerseyville. . .
Yorkville . . . .
Waukegan . .
1 From Blue Book of Illinois.
HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
LIST OF COUNTIES Concluded
Jan. 15, 1831
Jan. 16, 1821
Feb. 27, 1839
Feb. 27, 1837
Feb 15, 1839
Jan. 19, 1829
Jan. 17, 1829
Sept. 14, 1812
Jan. 24, 1823
Jan 19, 1839
Jan. 28, 1841
Feb. 8, 1843
Jan 25, 1826
Jan. 16, 1836
Woodstock. . . .
Dec 25, 1830
Feb. 15, 1839
Jan. 13, 1825
Jan 1, 1816
Feb. 12, 1821
Jan. 31, 1823
Feb 16, 1843
Jan. 16, 1836
Jan 13 1825
Jan. 29, 1827
Jan. 27, 1841
Jan 31, 1821
Apr 1, 1816
Mar. 3, 1843
Mound City . .
Jan 13 1825
Apr 28, 1809
Chester . .
Feb 24 1841
Feb 9, 1831
Feb 25 1847
Jan 30 1821
Jan 13, 1825
Feb. 16, 1839
Jan 23 1827
Mar 2, 1839
Apr 28 1809
Mar 4 1837
Jan 31, 1827
Jan. 2, 1818
Jan 18 1826
Danville . .
Dec. 27, 1824
Jan 13 1825
Jan 2, 1818
Mar 26 1819
Dec 9 1815
Carmi . . .
Jan 16, 1836
Jan 12 1836
Feb 28, 1839
Jan 16 1836
Feb. 27, 1841
5. U. S. SENATORS FROM ILLINOIS
N inian Edwards, Dem
Jesse B. Thomas, Dem
Jesse B. Thomas, Dem
Elias Kent Kane, Dem
Kaskaskia . . .
Kaskaskia . . .
Died Oct 14, 1830
David J Baker, Dem
John M. Robinson, Dem
Elias Kent Kane, Dem
John M. Robinson, Dem
William L. D. Ewing, Dem.. .
Richard M. Young, Dem
Samuel McRoberts, Dem. . . .
Kaskaskia . . .
Dec 12 1835
Succeeded himself. . . .
Vandalia . . .
Jonesboro . . .
Succeeded Ewing ....
March 22, 1843. . . .
Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . .
James Shields, Dem . .
Springfield. . .
Succeeded Semple. . . .
Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . . .
L. Trumbull, Anti-Neb. Dem.
Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . . .
Lyman Trumbull, Rep
Succeeded himself. . . .
June 3 1861
Orville H. Browning, Rep.. .
William A. Richardson, Dem.
Richard Yates, Rep
Lyman Trumbull, Rep
John A Logan, Rep
do . ...
Succeeded himself. . . .
Succeeded Yates . .
Richard J. Oglesby, Rep
Springfield. . .
. . do
Succeeded Trumbull. .
John A Logan, Rep
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep
John A Logan, Rep . . .
Died Dec 26, 1886
Charles B. Farwell, Rep
Shelby M Cullom Rep . . .
Springfield. . .
. .do. . .
John M. Palmer, Dem
Shelby M Cullom, Rep
William E. Mason, Rep
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep
Albert J. Hopkins. Rep
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep
Springfield. . .
Springfield . . .
Succeeded himself. . . .
Succeeded Mason ....
Succeeded himself. . . .
1 From Blue Book of Illinois.
6. LIST OF GOVERNORS OF ILLINOIS 1
Nnmp 1 When in- 1 From
piame | augurate( i | what county
Shadrach Bond, Dem
Oct. 6, 1818
Dec. 5, 1822
Dec. 6, 1826
Kdward Coles, Dem
.N inian Kdwards, Dem
. . do
John Reynolds, Dem
Dec. 6, 1830
Nov. 17, 1834
Dec. 3, 1834
Resigned; elected U.
Wm. L. D. Ewing, Dem.. . .
Joseph Duncan, Dem
Thomas Carlin, Dem
Thomas Ford, Dem
Dec. 7, 1838
Dec. 8, 1842
Dec. 9, 1846
Jan. 8, 1849
Jan. 10, 1853
Jan. 12, 1857
Mar. 21, 1860
Jan. 14, 1861
Jan 16, 1865
Augustus C. French, Dem. .
Augustus C. French, Dem. .
Joel A. Matteson, Dem
Wm. H. Bissell, Rep
John Wood, Rep
. .do . .
Monroe . .
Died March 15, 1860.
Richard Yates, Rep
Richard J Oglesby Rep
Macon. . . .
John M. Palmer, Rep
Richard J. Oglesby, Rep. . .
John L. Beveridge, Rep
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep
Shelby M Cullom Rep
Jan. 11, 1869
Jan. 13, 1873
Jan. 23, 1873
Jan. 8, 1877
Jan 10, 1881
Resigned; elected U.
Resigned; elected U.
John M. Hamilton, Rep. . . .
Richard J. Oglesby, Rep.. .
Joseph W Fifer, Rep
Feb. 6, 1883
Jan. 30, 1885
Jan 14, 1889
Vice Cullom . . .
John P Altgeld Dem
Jan 9 1893
Cook . . .
John R. Tanner, Rep
Richard Yates, Rep
Charles S. Deneen, Rep . . .
Charles S. Deneen, Rep ....
Jan. 11, 1897
Jan. 14, 1901
Jan. 9, 1905
Jan. 11, 1909
1 From Blue Book of Illinois.
7. CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS, 1870
We, the People of the State of Illinois grateful to Almighty God
for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long
permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our
endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding
generations in order to form a more perfect government, establish
justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to our-
selves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for
the State of Illinois.
The boundaries and jurisdiction of the State shall be as follows,
to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash river, thence up the
same, and with the line of Indiana to the northwest corner of said
State; thence east with the line of the same State, to the middle of
Lake Michigan; thence north along the middle of said lake to north
latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes, thence west to the
middle of the Mississippi river, and thence down along the middle
of that river to its confluence with the Ohio river, and thence up the
latter river along its northwestern shore to the place of beginning:
Provided, that this State shall exercise such jurisdiction upon the
Ohio river as she is now entitled to, or such as may hereafter be agreed
upon by this State and the State of Kentucky.
BILL OF RIGHTS
SECTION 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have
certain inherent and inalienable rights among these are life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights and the protec-
tion of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed.
2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property with-
out due process of law.
Illinois 16 241
242 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and wor-
ship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed; and no per-
son shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity on
account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby
secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations,
excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the
peace or safety of the State. No person shall be required to attend
or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent, nor
shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination
or mode of worship.
4. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all sub-
jects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials
for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth when published with good
motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.
5. The right of trial by jury, as heretofore enjoyed, shall remain
inviolate; but the trial of civil cases before justices of the peace, by
a jury of less than twelve men, may be authorized by law.
6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not
be violated; and no warrant shall issue without probable cause, sup-
ported by affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the person or things to be seized.
7. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for
capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presumption great;
and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may
8. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, unless
on indictment of a grand jury, except in cases in which the punish-
ment is by fine, or imprisonment otherwise than in the penitentiary,
in cases of impeachment, and in cases arising in the army and navy,
or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public dan-
ger: Provided, that the grand jury may be abolished by law in all
9. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right
to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature
and cause of the accusation, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the
witnesses face to face, and to have process to compel the attendance
of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial
jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 243
10. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evi-
dence against himself, or to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
11. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense;
and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate;
nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any offense
committed within the same.
12. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless upon refusal
to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner
as shall be prescribed by law; or in cases where there is strong presump-
tion of fraud.
13. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public
use without just compensation. Such compensation, when not made
by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, as shall be prescribed
by law. The fee of land taken for railroad tracks, without consent
of the owners thereof, shall remain in such owners, subject to the use
for which it is taken.
14. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of con-
tracts, or making any irrevocable grant of special privilege or im-
munities, shall be passed.
15. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
16. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house
without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war except in the
manner prescribed by law.
17. The people have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner
to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their
representatives, and to apply for redress of grievances.
18. All elections shall be free and equal.
19. Every person ought to find a certain remedy in the laws for
all injuries and wrongs which he may receive in his person, property
or reputation; he ought to obtain by law, right and justice freely, and
without being obliged to purchase it, completely and without denial,
promptly and without delay.
20. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of civil
government is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS
The powers of the government of this State are divided into three
distinct departments the legislative, executive and judicial; and no
person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall
exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except
as hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
244 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
1. The legislative power shall be vested in a General Assembly,
which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, both
to be elected by the people.
2. An election for members of the General Assembly shall be
held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, and every
two years thereafter, in each county, at such places therein as may be
provided by law. When vacancies occur in either house, the Governor,
or person exercising the powers of Governor, shall issue writs of elec-
tion to fill such vacancies.
ELIGIBILITY AND OATH
3. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the
age of 25 years, or a Representative who shall not have attained the
age of 21 years. No person shall be a Senator or a Representative who
shall not be a citizen of the United States and who shall not have been
for five years a resident of this State, and for two years next preceding
his election a resident within the territory forming the district from
which he is elected. No judge or clerk of any court, Secretary of State,
Attorney General, State's attorney, recorder, sheriff, or collector of
public revenue, members of either house of congress, or persons holding
any lucrative office under the United States or this State, or any foreign
government, shall have a seat in the General Assembly: Provided, that
appointments in the militia, and the offices of notary public and justice
of the peace, shall not be considered lucrative. Nor shall any person
holding any office of honor or profit under any foreign government, or
under the government of the United States (except postmasters whose
annual compensation does not exceed the sum of $300.00), hold any
office of honor or profit under the authority of this State.
4. No person who has been, or hereafter shall be convicted of
bribery, perjury or other infamous crime, nor any person who has
been or may be a collector or holder of public moneys, who shall not
have accounted for and paid over, according to law, all such moneys
due from him, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, or to any
office of profit or trust in this State.
5. Members of the General Assembly, before they enter upon
their official duties, shall take and subscribe the following oath or
. CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 245
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the
United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and will faithfully
discharge the duties of Senator (or Representative) according to the best of my
ability; and that I have not knowingly or intentionally paid or contributed any-
thing, or made any promise in the nature of a bribe to directry or indirectly in-
fluence any vote at the election at which I was chosen to fill the said office, and
have not accepted, nor will I accept or receive, directly or indirectly, any money
or other valuable thing from any corporation, company or person for any vote
or influence I may give or withhold on any bill, resolution or appropriation, or
for any other official act."
This oath shall be administered by a judge of the supreme or circuit
court in the hall of the house to which the member is elected, and the
Secretary of State shall record and file the oath subscribed by each
member. Any member who shall refuse to take the oath herein pre-
scribed shall forfeit his office, and every member who shall be con-
victed of having sworn falsely to, or of violating, his said oath, shall
forfeit his office and be disqualified thereafter from holding any office
of profit or trust in this State.
6. The General Assembly shall apportion the State every ten
years, beginning with the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-
one, by dividing the population of the State, as ascertained by the
federal census, by the number fifty-one, and the quotient shall be the
ratio of representation in the Senate. The State shall be divided into
fifty-one Senatorial districts, each of which shall elect one Senator,
whose term of office shall be four years. The Senators elected in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, in
districts bearing odd numbers, shall vacate their offices at the end of
two years, and those elected in districts bearing even numbers at the
end of four years, and vacancies occurring by the expiration of term
shall be filled by the election of Senators for the full term. Senatorial
districts shall be formed of contiguous and compact territory, bounded
by county lines, and contain as nearly as practicable an equal number
of inhabitants; but no district shall contain less than four fifths of
the senatorial ratio. Counties containing not less than the ratio and
three fourths may be divided into separate districts, and shall be
entitled to two Senators, and to one additional Senator for each num-
ber of inhabitants equal to the ratio contained by such counties in
excess of twice the number of said ratio.
REPRESENTATIVES; MINORITY REPRESENTATION
7 and 8. The House of Representatives shall consist of three times
the number of the members of the Senate, and the term of office shall
be two years. Three representatives shall be elected in each senatorial
district at the general election in the year of our Lord one thousand
246 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
eight hundred and seventy-two, and every two years thereafter. In
all elections of representatives aforesaid, each qualified voter may
cast as many votes for one candidate as there are representatives to
be elected, or may distribute the same, or equal parts thereof, among
the candidates, as he shall see fit; and the candidates highest in votes
shall be declared elected.
TIME OF MEETING AND GENERAL RULES
9. The sessions of the General Assembly shall commence at 12:00
o'clock noon, on the Wednesday next after the first Monday in Janu-
ary, in the year next ensuing the election of members thereof, and at
no other time, unless as provided by this Constitution. A majority
of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum.
Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings, and be the
judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members; shall
choose its own officers ; and the Senate shall choose a temporary presi-
dent to preside when the Lieutenant Governor shall not attend as
president, or shall act as Governor. The Secretary of State shall call
the House of Representatives to order at the opening of each new
assembly, and preside over it until a temporary presiding officer thereof
shall have been chosen and shall have taken his seat. No member
shall be expelled by either house, except by a vote of two thirds of
all the members elected to that house, and no member shall be twice
expelled for the same offense. Each house may punish by imprison-
ment any person not a member who shall be guilty of disrespect to
the house by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence.
But no such imprisonment shall extend beyond twenty-four hours at
one time, unless the person shall persist in such disorderly or con-
10. The door of each house and of committees of the whole shall
be kept open, except in such cases as, in the opinion of the house, re-
quire secrecy. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other,
adjourn for more than two days, or to any other place than that in
which the two houses shall be sitting. Each house shall keep a journal
of its proceedings, which shall be published. In the senate, at the
request of two members, and in the House at the request of five mem-
bers, the yeas and nays shall be taken on any question, and entered
upon the journal. Any two members of either house shall have liberty
to dissent from and protest, in respectful language, against any act
or resolution which they think injurious to the public or to any in-
dividual, and have the reasons of their dissent entered upon the journals.
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 247
STYLE OF LAWS AND PASSAGE OF BILLS
11. The style of the laws of this State shall be: "Be it enacted by
the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly."
12. Bills may originate in either house, but may be altered, amended
or rejected by the other; and, on the final passage of all bills, the vote
shall be by yeas and nays, upon each bill separately, and shall be
entered upon the journal; and no bill shall become a law without the
concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each house.
13. Every bill shall be read at large on three different days, in
each house; and the bill and all amendments thereto shall be printed
before the vote is taken on its final passage; and every bill, having
passed both houses, shall be signed by the speakers thereof. No act
hereafter passed shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall
be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an
act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void
only as to so much thereof as shall not be so expressed; and no law
shall be revived or amended by reference to its title only, but the law
revived, or the section amended, shall be inserted at length in the
new act. And no act of the General Assembly shall take effect until
the first day of July next after its passage, unless, in case of emergency
(which emergency shall be expressed in the preamble or body of the act),
the General Assembly shall, by a vote of two thirds of all the members
elected to each house, otherwise direct.
PRIVILEGES AND DISABILITIES
14. Senators and Representatives shall, in all cases, except treason,
felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the
session of the General Assembly, and in going to and returning from
the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not
be questioned in any other place.
15. No person elected to the General Assembly shall receive any
civil appointment within this State from the Governor, the Governor
and Senate, or from the General Assembly, during the term for which
he shall have been elected; and all such appointments, and all votes
given for any such members for any such office or appointment, shall
be void; nor shall any member of the General Assembly be interested,
either directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, or any
county thereof, authorized by any law passed during the term for
which he shall have been elected, or within one year after the expira-
248 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
PUBLIC MONEYS AND APPROPRIATIONS
16. The General Assembly shall make no appropriation of money
out of the treasury in any private law. Bills making appropriations
for the pay of members and officers of the General Assembly, and for
the salaries of the officers of the government shall contain no pro-
vision on any other subject.
17. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except in pur-
suance of an appropriation made by law, and on the presentation of
a warrant issued by the Auditor thereon; and no money shall be di-
verted from any appropriation made for any purpose, or taken from
any fund whatever, either by joint or separate resolution. The Auditor
shall, within sixty days after the adjournment of each session of the
General Assembly, prepare and publish a full statement of all money
expended at such session, specifying the amount of each item, and
to whom and for what paid.
18. Each General Assembly shall provide for all the appropriations
necessary for the ordinary and contingent expenses of the govern-
ment until the expiration of the first fiscal quarter after the adjourn-
ment of the next regular session, the aggregate amount of which shall
not be increased without a vote of two thirds of the members elected
to each house, nor exceed the amount of revenue authorized by law
to be raised in such time, and all appropriations, general or special,
requiring money to be paid out of the State treasury, from funds be-
longing to the State, shall end with such fiscal quarter: Provided, the
State may, to meet casual deficits or failures in revenues, contract
debts, never to exceed in the aggregate two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars, and moneys thus borrowed shall be applied to the purpose
for which they were obtained, or to pay the debt thus created, and to
no other purpose; and no other debt, except for the purpose of repel-
ling invasion, suppressing insurrection, or defending the State in war
(for payment of which the faith of the State shall be pledged), shall
be contracted, unless the law authorizing the same shall, at a general
election, have been submitted to the people and have received a ma-
jority of the votes cast for members of the General Assembly at such
election. The General Assembly shall provide for the publication of
said law for three months, at least, before the vote of the people shall
be taken upon the same; and provision shall be made, at the time, for
the payment of the interest annually, as it shall accrue, by a tax levied
for the purpose, or from other sources of revenue; which law, providing
for the payment of such interest by such tax, shall be irrepealable until
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 249
such debt be paid: And, provided further, that the law levying the tax
shall be submitted to the people with the law authorizing the debt to be
19. The General Assembly shall never grant or authorize extra
compensation, fee or allowance to any public officer, agent, servant or
contractor, after service has been rendered or a contract made, nor au-
thorize the payment of any claim, or part thereof, hereafter created
against the State under any agreement or contract made without ex-
press authority of law; and all such unauthorized agreements or con-
tracts shall be null and void : Provided, the General Assembly may make
appropriations for expenditures incurred in suppressing insurrection or
20. The State shall never pay, assume or become responsible for
the debts or liabilities of, or in any manner give, loan or extend its
credit to, or in aid of, any public or other corporation, association or
PAY OF MEMBERS
21. The members of the General Assembly shall receive for their
services the sum of five dollars per day, during the first session held
under this Constitution, and ten cents for each mile necessarily traveled
in going to and returning from the seat of government, to be computed
by the Auditor of Public Accounts; and thereafter such compensation
as shall be prescribed by law, and no other allowance or emolument,
directly or indirectly, for any purpose whatever, except the sum of
fifty dollars per session to each member, which shall be in full for post-
age, stationery, newspaper and all other incidental expenses and per-
quisites; but no change shall be made in the compensation of the
General Assembly during the term for which they may have been
elected. The pay and mileage allowed to each member of the General
Assembly shall be certified by the speakers of their respective houses,
and entered on .the journals, and published at the close of each ses-
SPECIAL LEGISLATION PROHIBITED
22. The General Assembly shall not pass local or special laws in
any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: for
Changing the names of persons or places;
Laying out, opening, altering and working roads or highways;
Vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys, and public grounds;
Locating or changing county seats;
250 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Regulating county and township affairs;
Regulating the practice in courts of justice;
Regulating the jurisdiction and duties of justices of the peace, police
magistrates and constables;
Providing for changes of venue in civil and criminal cases;
Incorporating cities, towns or villages, or changing or amending the
charter of any town, city or village;
Providing for the election of members of the board of supervisors in
townships, incorporated towns or cities;
Summoning and impaneling grand or petit juries;
Providing for the management of common schools;
Regulating the rate of interest on money;
The opening and conducting of any election, or designating the place
The sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors or others
Protection of game or fish;
Chartering or licensing ferries or toll-bridges;
Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures;
Creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentage or allowances of
public officers, during the term for w r hich said officers are elected or
Changing the law of descent;
Granting to any corporation, association, or individual, the right to
lay down railroad tracks, or amending existing charters for such pur-
Granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or
exclusive privilege, immunity or franchise whatever;
In all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, no
special law shall be enacted;
23. The General Assembly shall have no power to release or ex-
tinguish, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation
of any corporation or individual to this State or to any municipal cor-
24. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of
impeachment; but a majority of all the members elected must concur
therein. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and when
sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation
to do justice according to law and evidence. When the Governor of
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 251
the State is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. No person shall be
convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the Senators elected.
But judgment, in such cases, shall not extend further than removal
from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, profit or
trust under the government of this State. The party, whether con-
victed or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to prosecution, trial,
judgment and punishment according to law.
25. The General Assembly shall provide, by law, that the fuel,
stationery and printing paper furnished for the use of the State; the
copying, printing, binding and distributing the laws and journals, and
all other printing ordered by the General Assembly, shall be let by
contract to the lowest responsible bidder; but the General Assembly
shall fix a maximum price, and no member thereof, or other officer of
the State, shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in such contract.
But all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor,
and if he disapproves the same, there shall be a reletting of the con-
tract, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
26. The State of Illinois shall never be made defendant in any
court of law or equity.
27. The General Assembly shall have no power to authorize lotteries
or gift enterprises, for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the
sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets in this State.
28. No law shall be passed which shall operate to extend the term
of any public officer after his election or appointment.
29. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such laws
as may be necessary for the protection of operative miners, by providing
for ventilation, when the same may be required, and the construction of
escapement shafts, or such other appliances as may secure safety in all
coal mines, and to provide for the enforcement of said laws by such
penalties and punishment as may be deemed proper.
30. The General Assembly may provide for establishing and open-
ing roads and cartways, connected with a public road, for private and
31. (Amended in 1878.) The General Assembly may pass laws per-
mitting the owners of lands to construct drains, ditches and leyees for
agricultural, sanitary or mining purposes, across the lands of others, and
provide for the organization of drainage districts, and vest the corporate
authorities thereof with power to construct and maintain levees, drains
and ditches, and to keep in repair all drains, ditches and levees hereto-
252 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
fore constructed under the laws of this State, by special assessments
upon the property benefited thereby.
32. The General Assembly shall pass liberal homestead and exemp-
33. The General Assembly shall not appropriate out of the State
treasury, or expend on account of the new capitol grounds, and con-
struction, completion and furnishing of the State house, a sum exceed-
ing in the aggregate $3,500,000.00, inclusive of all appropriations here-
tofore made, without first submitting the proposition for an additional
expenditure to the legal voters of the State at a general election; nor
unless a majority of all the votes cast at such election shall be for the
proposed additional expenditure.
34. (Amendment of 1904.) The General Assembly shall have
power, subject to the conditions and limitations hereinafter contained,
to pass any law (local, special or general) providing a scheme or charter
of local municipal government for the territory now or hereafter em-
braced within the limits of the city of Chicago. The law or laws so
passed may provide for consolidating (in whole or in part) in the
municipal government of the city of Chicago, the powers now vested in
the city, board of education, township, park and other local govern-
ments and authorities having jurisdiction confined to or within said
territory, or any part thereof, and for the assumption by the city of
Chicago of the debts and liabilities (in whole or in part) of the govern-
ments or corporate authorities whose functions within its territory shall
be vested in said city of Chicago, and may authorize said city, in the
event of its becoming liable for the indebtedness of two or more of the
existing municipal corporations lying wholly within said city of Chicago,
to become indebted to an amount (including its existing indebtedness
and the indebtedness of all municipal corporations lying wholly within
the limits of said city, and said city's proportionate share of the indebt-
edness of said county and sanitary district, which share shall be deter-
mined in such manner as the General Assembly shall prescribe) in the
aggregate not exceeding 5 per centum of the full value of the taxable
property within its limits, as ascertained by the last assessment either
for State or municipal purposes previous to the incurring of such in-
debtedness (but no new bonded indebtedness, other than for refunding
purposes, shall be incurred until the proposition therefor shall be con-
sented to by a majority of the legal voters of said city voting on the
question at any election, general, municipal or special) ; and may pro-
vide for the assessment of property and the levy and collection of taxes
within said city for corporate purposes in accordance with the principles
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 253
of equality and uniformity prescribed by this Constitution; and may
abolish all offices, the functions of which shall be otherwise provided for;
and may provide for the annexation of territory to or disconnection of
territory from said city of Chicago by the consent of a majority of the
legal voters (voting on the question at any election, general, municipal
or special) of the said city and of a majority of the voters of such ter-
ritory, voting on the question at any election, general, municipal or
special ; and in case the General Assembly shall create municipal courts
in the city of Chicago it may abolish the offices of justices of the peace,
police magistrates and constables in and for the territory within said
city, and may limit the jurisdiction of justices of the peace in the terri-
tory of said county of Cook outside of said city to that territory, and in
such case the jurisdiction and practice of said municipal courts shall be
such as the General Assembly shall prescribe; and the General Assembly
may pass all laws which it may deem requisite to effectually provide a
complete system of local municipal government in and for the city of
No law based upon this amendment to the Constitution, affecting the
municipal government of the city of Chicago, shall take effect until such
law shall be consented to by a majority of the legal voters of said city
voting on the question at any election, general, municipal or special;
and no local or special law based upon this amendment affecting spe-
cially any part of the city of Chicago shall take effect until consented to
by a majority of the legal voters of such part of said city voting on the
question at any election, general, municipal or special. Nothing in this
section contained shall be construed to repeal, amend or affect section
four (4) of Article XI of the Constitution of this State.
1. The executive department shall consist of a Governor, Lieuten-
ant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, Treas-
urer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Attorney General, who
shall each, with the exception of the Treasurer, hold his office for the
term of four years from the second Monday of January next after his
election and until his successor is elected and qualified. They shall, ex-
cept the Lieutenant Governor, reside at the seat of government during
their term of office, and keep the public records, books and papers there,
and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law.
2. The Treasurer shall hold his office for the term of two years, and
until his successor is elected and qualified ; and shall be ineligible to said
254 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
office for two years next after the end of the term for which he was
elected. He may be required by the Governor to give reasonable ad-
ditional security, and in default of so doing his office shall be deemed
3. An election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of
State, Auditor of Public Accounts and Attorney General shall be held
on the Tuesday next after the first Monday of November, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, and every four
years thereafter; for Superintendent of Public Instruction, on the Tues-
day next after the first Monday of November in the year one thousand
eight hundred and seventy, and every two years thereafter; and for
Treasurer on the day last above mentioned, and every two years there-
after, at such places and in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
4. The returns of every election for the above named officers shall be
sealed up and transmitted by the returning officers to the Secretary of
State directed to the "Speaker of the House of Representatives," who
shall, immediately after the organization of the House and before pro-
ceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of
a majority of each house of the General Assembly, who shall, for that
purpose, assemble in the hall of the House of Representatives. The
person having the highest number of votes for either of said offices
shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more have an equal, and the
highest number of votes, the General Assembly shall, by joint ballot,
choose one of such persons for said office. Contested elections for all
of said offices shall be determined by both houses of the General As-
sembly, by joint ballot, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
5. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor or Lieutenant
Governor who shall not have attained the age of 30 years, and been, for
five years next preceding his election, a citizen of the United States and
of this State. Neither the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor of
Public Accounts, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruc-
tion, nor Attorney General shall be eligible to any other office during
the period for which he shall have been elected.
6. The supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor,
who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
7. The Governor shall, at the commencement of each session and at
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 255
the close of his term of office, give to the General Assembly information,
by message, of the condition of the State, and shall recommend such
measures as he shall deem expedient. He shall account to the General
Assembly, and accompany his message with a statement of all moneys
received and paid out by him from any funo^s subject to his order, with
vouchers, and at the commencement of each regular session, present
estimates of the amount of money required to be raised by* taxation for
8. The Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the
General Assembly, by proclamation, stating therein the purpose for
which they are convened, and the General Assembly shall enter upon no
business except that for which they were called together.
9. In case of a disagreement between the two houses with respect
to the time of adjournment, the Governor may, on the same being certi-
fied to him by the house first moving the adjournment, adjourn the
General Assembly to such time as he thinks proper, not beyond the first
day of the next regular session.
10. The Governor shall nominate, and by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate (a majority of all the Senators elected concurring
by yeas and nays) , appoint all officers whose offices are established by
this Constitution, or which may be created by law, and whose appoint-
ment or election is not otherwise provided for; and no such officer shall
be appointed or elected by the General Assembly.
11. In case of a vacancy, during the recess of the Senate, in any
office which is not elective, the Governor shall make a temporary ap-
pointment until the next meeting of the Senate, when he shall nominate
some person to fill such office; and any person so nominated who is con-
firmed by the Senate (a majority of all the Senators elected concurring
by yeas and nays), shall hold his office during the remainder of the term,
and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. No person,
after being rejected by the Senate, shall be again nominated for the
same office at the same session, unless at the request of the Senate, or be
appointed to the same office during the recess of the General Assembly.
12. The Governor shall have power to remove any officer whom he
may appoint, in case of incompetency, neglect of duty or malfeasance
in office ; and he may declare his office vacant and fill the same as is
herein provided in other cases of vacancy.
13. The Governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commuta-
tions and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, subject to such regu-
lations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying
256 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
14. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and
naval forces of the State (except when they shall be called into the
service of the United States), and may call out the same to execute
laws, suppress insurrection and repel invasion.
15. The Governor and all civil officers of the State shall be liable to
impeachment for any misdemeanor in office.
16. (Amended in 1884.) Every bill passed by the General As-
sembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor.
If he approve, he shall sign it, and thereupon it shall become a law; but
if he do not approve, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house
in which it shall have originated, which house shall enter the objections
at large upon its journal and proceed to reconsider the bill. If then two
thirds of the members elected agree to pass the same, it shall be sent,
together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall like-
wise be reconsidered; and if approved by two thirds of the members
elected to that house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objec-
tions of the Governor; but in all such cases the vote of each house shall
be determined by yeas and nays, to be entered upon the journal. Bills
making appropriations of money out of the treasury shall specify the
objects and purposes for which the same are made, and appropriate to
them respectively their several amounts in distinct items and sections.
And if the Governor shall not approve any one or more of the items or
sections contained in any bill, but shall approve the residue thereof, it
shall become a Jaw, as to the residue, in like manner as if he had signed
it. The Governor shall then return the bill, with his objections to the
items or sections of the same not approved by him, to the house in which
the bill shall have originated, which house shall enter the objections at
large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider so much of said bill as is
not approved by the Governor. The same proceedings shall be had in
both houses in reconsidering the same as is hereinbefore provided in case
of an entire bill returned by the Governor with his objections; and if any
item or section of said bill not approved by the Governor shall be passed
by two thirds of the members elected to each of the two houses of the
General Assembly, it shall become part of said law, notwithstanding the
objections of the Governor. Any bill which shall not be returned by the
Governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been
presented to him, shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed
it, unless the General Assembly shall by their adjournment prevent its
return, in which case it shall be filed with his objections in the office of
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 257
the Secretary of State, within ten days after such adjournment, or be-
come a law.
17. In case of the death, conviction on impeachment, failure to
qualify, resignation, absence from the State, or other disability of the
Governor, the powers, duties and emoluments of the office for the residue
of the term, or until the disability shall be removed, shall devolve upon
the Lieutenant Governor.
18. The Lieutenant Governor shall be President of the Senate, and
shall vote only when the Senate is equally divided. The Senate shall
choose a president, pro tempore, to preside in case of the absence or im-
peachment of the Lieutenant Governor, or when he shall hold office of
19. If there be no Lieutenant Governor, or if the Lieutenant Gov-
ernor shall, for any of the causes specified in section seventeen of this
article, become incapable of performing the duties of the office, the
President of the Senate shall act as Governor until the vacancy is filled
or the disability removed; and if the President of the Senate, for any of
the above named causes, shall become incapable of performing the
duties of Governor, the same shall devolve upon the Speaker of the
House of Representatives.
OTHER STATE OFFICERS
20. If the office of Auditor of Public Accounts, Treasurer, Secretary
of State, Attorney General, or Superintendent of Public Instruction
shall be vacated by death, resignation or otherwise, it shall be the duty
of the Governor to fill the same by appointment, and the appointee shall
hold his office until his successor shall be elected and qualified in such a
manner as provided by law. An account shall be kept by the officers of
the executive department, and of all the public institutions of the State,
of all moneys received or disbursed by them, severally, from all sources,
and for every service performed, and a semiannual report thereof bo
made to the Governor, under oath; and any officer who makes a false
report shall be guilty of perjury, and punished accordingly.
21. The officers of the executive department, and all the public in-
stitutions of the State, shall, at least ten days preceding each regular
session of the General Assembly, severally report to the Governor, who
shall transmit such reports to the General Assembly together with the
reports of the judge of the Supreme Court of defects in the Constitution
and laws; and the Governor may at any time require information, in
writing, under oath, from tbe officers of the executive department, and
258 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
all officers and managers of State institutions, upon any subject relating
to the condition, management and expenses of their respective offices.
THE SEAL OF STATE
22. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be called the
"Great Seal of the State of Illinois," which shall be kept by the Secre-
tary of State, and used by him, officially, as directed by law.
FEES AND SALARIES
23. The officers named in this article shall receive for their services
a salary, to be established by law, which shall not be increased or dimin-
ished during their official terms, and they shall not, after the expiration
of the terms of those in office at the adoption of this Constitution, re-
ceive to their own use any fees, costs, perquisites of office, or other com-
pensation. And all fees that may hereafter be payable by law for any
services performed by any officer provided for in this article of the
Constitution, shall be paid in advance into the State treasury.
DEFINITION AND OATH OF OFFICE
24. An office is a public position created by the Constitution or law,
continuing during the pleasure of the appointing power, or for a fixed
time, with a successor elected or appointed. An employment is an
agency, for a temporary purpose, which ceases when that purpose is ac-
25. All civil officers, except members of the General Assembly and
such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter
on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following
oath or affirmation:
" I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Con-
stitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and that
I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of according to the best of
And no other oath, declaration or test shall be required as a qualifica-
1. The judicial powers, except as in this article is otherwise pro-
vided, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, circuit courts, county
courts, justices of the peace, police magistrates, and in such courts as
may be created by law in and for cities and incorporated towns.
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 259
2. The Supreme Court shall consist of seven judges, and shall have
original jurisdiction in cases relating to the revenue, in mandamus and
habeas corpus, and appellate jurisdiction in all other cases. One of said
judges shall be Chief Justice; four shall constitute a quorum, and the
concurrence of four shall be necessary to every decision.
3. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the Supreme
Court unless he shall be at least thirty years of age, and a citizen of the
United States, nor unless he shall have resided in this State five years
next preceding his election, and be a resident of the district in which he
shall be elected.
4. Terms of the Supreme Court shall continue to be held in the pres-
ent grand divisions at the several places now provided for holding the
same; and until otherwise provided by law, one or more terms of said
court shall be held, for the Northern division, in the city of Chicago each
year, at such times as said court may appoint, whenever said city or the
county of Cook shall provide appropriate rooms therefor, and the use of
a suitable library, without expense to the State. The judicial divisions
may be altered, increased or diminished in number, and the times and
places of holding said court may be changed by law.
5. The present grand divisions shall be preserved, and be denomi-
nated Southern, Central and Northern, until otherwise provided by law.
The State shall be divided into seven districts for the election of judges,
and, until otherwise provided by law they shall be as follows:
First District. The counties of St. Clair, Clinton, Washington, Jeffer-
son, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, White, Hamilton, Franklin, Perry,
Randolph, Monroe, Jackson, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Hardin,
Pope, Union, Alexander, Pulaski and Massac.
Second District. The counties of Madison, Bond, Marion, Clay, Rich-
land, Lawrence, Crawford, Jasper, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery,
Macoupin, Shelby, Cumberland, Clark, Greene, Jersey, Calhoun and
Third District. The counties of Sangamon, Macon, Logan, DeWitt,
Piatt, Douglas, Champaign, Vermilion, McLean, Livingston, Ford,
Iroquois, Coles, Edgar, Moultrie and Tazewell.
Fourth District. The counties of Fulton, McDonough. Hancock,
Schuyler, Brown, Adams, Pike, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Cass and
Fifth District. The counties of Knox, Warren, Henderson, Mercer,
Henry, Stark, Peoria, Marshall, Putnam, Bureau, La Salle, Grundy and
260 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
Sixth District. The counties of Whiteside, Carroll, Jo Daviess,
Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, DeKalb,
Lee, Ogle and Rock Island.
Seventh District. The counties of Lake, Cook, Will, Kankakee and
The boundaries of the districts may be changed at the session of the
General Assembly next preceding the election of judges therein, and at
no other time; but whenever such alterations shall be made the same
shall be upon the rule of equality of population, as nearly as county
boundaries will allow, and the districts shall be composed of contiguous
counties, in as nearly compact form as circumstances will permit. The
alteration of the districts shall not affect the tenure of office of any judge.
6. At the time of voting on the adoption of this Constitution, one
judge of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the electors thereof, in
each of said districts numbered two, three, six and seven, who shall
hold his office for the term of nine years from tha first Monday of June,
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The
term of office of judges of the Supreme Court, elected after the adoption
of this Constitution, shall be nine years, and on the first Monday of June
of the year in which the term of any of the judges in office at the adoption
of this Constitution, or of the judges then elected, shall expire, and
every nine years thereafter, there shall be an election for the successor
or successors of such judges in the respective districts wherein the term
of such judges shall expire. The Chief Justice shall continue to act as
such until the expiration of the term for which he was elected, after
which the judges shall choose one of their number Chief Justice.
7. From and after the adoption of this Constitution, the judges of
the Supreme Court shall each receive a salary of four thousand dollars
per annum, payable quarterly, until otherwise provided by law. And
after said salaries shall be fixed by law, the salaries of the judges in office
shall not be increased or diminished during the terms for which said
judges shall have been elected.
8. Appeals and writs of error may be taken to the Supreme Court
held in the grand division in which the case is decided, or by consent of
the parties, to any other grand division.
9. The Supreme Court shall appoint one reporter of its decisions,
who shall hold his office for six years, subject to removal by the court.
10. At the time of the election of Representatives in the General
Assembly, happening next preceding the expiration of the terms of
office of the present clerks of said court, one clerk of said court for each
division shall be elected, whose term of office shall be six years from said
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 261
election, but who shall not enter upon the duties of his office until the
expiration of the term of his predecessor, and every six years thereafter
one clerk of said court for each division shall be elected.
11. After the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
seventy-four, inferior appellate courts, of uniform organization and ju-
risdiction, may be created in districts formed for that purpose, to which
such appeals and writs of error as the General Assembly may pro-
vide, may be prosecuted from circuit and other courts, and from which
appeals and writs of error shall lie to the Supreme Court, in all criminal
cases, and cases in which a franchise, or freehold, or the validity of a
statute is involved, and in such other cases as may be provided by law.
Such appellate courts shall be held by such number of judges of the
circuit courts, and at such times and places, and in such manner as may
be provided by law; but no judge shall sit in review upon cases decided
by him; nor shall said judges receive any additional compensation for
12. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction of all causes
in law and equity, and such appellate jurisdiction as is or may be pro-
vided by law, and shall hold two or more terms each year in every
county. The terms of office of judges of circuit courts shall be six years.
13. The State exclusive of the county of Cook and other counties
having a 'population of 100,000, shall be divided into judicial circuits,
prior to the expiration of the terms of office of the present judges of the
circuit courts. Such circuits shall be formed of contiguous counties, in
as nearly compact form and as nearly equal as circumstances will per-
mit, having due regard to business, territory and population, and shall
not exceed in number one circuit for every 100,000 of population of the
State. One judge shall be elected for each of said circuits by the
electors thereof. New circuits may be formed and the boundaries of
circuits changed by the General Assembly, at its session next preceding
the election for circuit judges, but at no other time: Provided, that the
circuits may be equalized or changed at the first session of the General
Assembly after the adoption of this Constitution. The creation, altera-
tion or change of any circuit shall not affect the tenure of office of any
judge. Whenever the business of the circuit court of any one, or of two
or more contiguous counties, containing a population exceeding 50,000,
shall occupy nine months of the year, the General Assembly may make
262 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
of such county, or counties, a separate circuit. Whenever additional
circuits are created, the foregoing limitations shall be observed.
14. The General Assembly shall provide for the times of holding
court in each county; which shall not be changed, except by the General
Assembly next preceding the general election for judges of said courts;
but additional terms may be provided for in any county. The election
for judges of the circuit courts shall be held on the first Monday in June
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three,
and every six years thereafter.
15. The General Assembly may divide the State into judicial cir-
cuits of greater population and territory, in lieu of the circuits provided
for in section 13 of this article, and provide for the election therein,
severally, by the electors thereof, by general ticket, of not exceeding
four judges, who shall hold the circuit courts in the circuit for which
they shall be elected, in such manner as may be provided by law.
16. From and after the adoption of this Constitution, judges of the
circuit courts shall receive a salary of $3,000.00 per annum, payable
quarterly until otherwise provided by law, and after their salaries shall
be fixed by law they shall not be increased or diminished during the
terms for which said judges shall be, respectively, elected; and from and
after the adoption of this Constitution, no judge of the Supreme or cir-
cuit court shall receive any other compensation, perquisite or benefit,
in any form whatsoever, nor perform any other than judicial duties to
which may belong any emoluments.
17. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit or
any inferior court, or to membership in the " board of county commis-
sioners," unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age and a citizen
of the United States, nor unless he shall have resided in this State five
years next preceding his election, and be a resident of the circuit, county,
city, cities or incorporated town in which he shall be elected.
18. There shall be elected in and for each county one county judge
and one clerk of the county court, whose term of office shall be four
years. But the General Assembly may create districts of two or more
contiguous counties, in each of which shall be elected one judge, who
shall take the place of and exercise the powers and jurisdiction of county
judges in such districts. County courts shall be courts of record, and
shall have original jurisdiction in all matters of probate, settlement of
estates of deceased persons, appointment of guardians and conservators
and settlement of their accounts, in all matters relating to apprentices,
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 263
and in proceedings for the collection of taxes and assessments, and such
other jurisdiction as may be provided for by general law.
19. Appeals and writs of error shall be allowed from final determina-
tions of county courts, as may be provided by law.
20. The General Assembly may provide for the establishment of a
probate court in each county having a population of over 50,000, and
for the election of a judge thereof, whose term of office shall be the
same as that of the county judge, and who shall be elected at the same
time and in the same manner. Said courts, when established, shall
have original jurisdiction of all probate matters, the settlement of es-
tates of deceased persons, the appointment of guardians and con-
servators, and settlement of their accounts; in all matters relating to
apprentices, and in cases of sales of real estate of deceased persons for
the payment of debts.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE AND CONSTABLES
21. Justices of the peace, police magistrates and constables shall be
elected in and for such districts as are, or may be provided by law, and
the jurisdiction of such justices of the peace and police magistrates shall
22. At the election for members of the General Assembly in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, and
every four years thereafter, there shall be elected a State's attorney in
and for each county, in lieu of the State's attorneys now provided by
law, whose term of office shall be four years.
COURTS OF COOK COUNTY
23. The county of Cook shall be one judicial circuit. The circuit
court of Cook county shall consist of five judges, until their number
shall be increased as herein provided. The present judge of the re-
corder's court of the city of Chicago, and the present j udge of the circuit
court of Cook county, shall be two of said judges, and shall remain in
office for the terms for which they were respectively elected, and until
their successors shall be elected and qualified. The superior court of
Chicago shall be continued, and called the "Superior Court of Cook
County." The General Assembly may increase the number of said
judges, by adding one to either of said courts for every additional fifty
thousand inhabitants in said county over and above a population of
264 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
four hundred thousand. The terms of office of the judges of said courts,
hereafter elected, shall be six years.
24. The judge having the shortest unexpired term shall be Chief
Justice of the court of which he is a judge. In case there are two or more
whose terms expire at the same time, it may be determined by lot
which shall be Chief Justice. Any judge of either of said courts shall
have all the powers of a circuit judge, and may hold the court of which
he is a member. Each of them may hold a different branch thereof at
the same time.
25. The judges of the superior and circuit courts, and the State's
attorney, in said county, shall receive the same salaries, payable out of
the State treasury, as is or may be paid from said treasury to the circuit
judges and State's attorneys of the State, and such further compensa-
tion, to be paid by the county of Cook, as is or may be provided by
law. Such compensation shall not be changed during their continuance
26. The recorder's court of the city of Chicago shall be continued,
and shall be called the " Criminal Court of Cook County." It shall have
the jurisdiction of a circuit court in all cases of criminal and quasi
criminal nature, arising in the county of Cook, or that may be brought
before said court pursuant to law; and all recognizances and appeals
taken in said county, in criminal and quasi criminal cases shall be re-
turnable and taken to said court. It shall have no jurisdiction in civil
cases, except in those on behalf of the people, and incident to such
criminal or quasi criminal matters, and to dispose of unfinished busi-
ness. The terms of said criminal court of Cook county shall be held by
one or more of the judges of the circuit or superior court of Cook county,
as nearly as may be in alteration, as may be determined by said judges,
or provided by law. Said judges shall be ex officio judges of said court.
27. The present clerk of the recorder's court of the city of Chicago
shall be the clerk of the criminal court of Cook county during the term
for which he was elected. The present clerks of the superior court of
Chicago, and the present clerk of the circuit court of Cook county, shall
continue in office during the terms for which they were respectively
elected ; and thereafter there shall be but one clerk of the superior court,
to be elected by the qualified electors of said county, who shall hold his
office for the term of four years, and until his successor is elected and
28. All justices of the peace in the city of Chicago shall be ap-
pointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate (but only upon the recommendation of a majority of the judges
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 265
of the circuit, superior and county courts), and for such districts as are
now or shall hereafter be provided by law. They shall hold their office
for four years, and until their successors have been commissioned and
qualified, but they may be removed by summary proceeding in the
circuit or superior court, for extortion or other malfeasance. Existing
justices of the peace and police magistrates may hold their offices until
the expiration of their respective terms.
29. All judicial officers shall be commissioned by the Governor.
All laws relating to courts shall be general and of uniform operation,
and the organization, jurisdiction, powers, proceedings and practice of
all courts of the same class or grade, so far as regulated by law, and the
force and effect of the process, judgments and decrees of such courts,
severally, shall be uniform.
30. The General Assembly may, for cause entered on the journals,
upon due notice and opportunity of defense, remove from office any
judge, upon concurrence of three fourths of all the members elected, of
each house. All other officers in this article mentioned shall be re-
moved from office on prosecution and final conviction for misdemeanor
31. All judges of courts of record, inferior to the Supreme Court,
shall, on or before the first day of June of each year, report in writing
to the judges of the Supreme Court such defects and omissions in the
laws as their experience may suggest; and the judges of the Supreme
Court shall, on or before the first day of January of each year, report in
writing to the Governor such defects and omissions in the Constitution
and laws as they may find to exist, together with appropriate forms of
bills to cure such defects and omissions in the laws. And the judges
of the several circuit courts shall report to the next General Assembly
the number of days they have held court in the several counties com-
posing their respective circuits, the preceding two years.
32. All officers provided for in this article shall hold their offices
until their successors shall be qualified, and they shall, respectively,
reside in the division, circuit, county or district for which they may be
elected or appointed. The terms of office of all such officers, where not
otherwise prescribed in this article, shall be four years. All officers,
where not otherwise provided for in this article, shall perform such
duties and receive such compensation as is or may be provided by law.
Vacancies in such elective offices shall be filled by election; but where
the unexpired term does no't exceed one year the vacancy shall be
266 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
filled by appointment, as follows: Of judges, by the Governor; of clerks
of courts, by the court to which the office appertains, or by the judge
or judges thereof; and of all such other offices, by the board of super-
visors, or board of county commissioners, in the county where the
33. All process shall run: In the name of the People of the State of
Illinois; and all prosecutions shall be carried on: In the name and by
the authority of the People of the State of Illinois; and conclude: Against
the peace and dignity of the same. " Population," whenever used in this
article, shall be determined by the next preceding census of this State
or of the United States.
1 . Every person having resided in this State one year, in the county
ninety days and in the election district thirty days next preceding any
election therein; who was an elector in this State on the first day of
April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-
eight, or obtained a certificate of naturalization, before any court of
record in this State, prior to the first day of January, in the year of our
Lord, one thousand eight hundred and seventy, or who shall be a male
citizen of the United States, above the age of 21 years, shall be entitled
to vote at such election.
2. All votes shall be by ballot.
3. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the
peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections and
in going to and returning from the same. And no elector shall be re-
quired to do military duty on the days of election, except in time of war
or public danger.
4. No elector shall be deemed to have lost his residence in this
State by reason of his absence on business of the United States or of this
State, or in the military or naval service of the United States.
5. No soldier, seaman or marine in the army or navy of the United
States shall be deemed a resident of this State in consequence of being
6. No person shall be elected or appointed to any office in this
State, civil or military, who is not a citizen of the United States, and
who shall not have resided in this State one year next preceding the
election or appointment.
7. The General Assembly shall pass laws excluding from the right
of suffrage persons convicted of infamous crimes.
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 267
1. The General Assembly shall provide a thorough and efficient
system of free schools whereby all children of this State' may receive a
good common school education.
2. All lands, moneys or other property, donated, granted or re-
ceived for school, college, seminary or university purposes, and the
proceeds thereof shall be faithfully applied to the objects for which such
gifts or grants were made.
3. Neither the General Assembly nor any county, city, town, town-
ship, school district or other public corporation shall ever make any
appropriation, or pay from any public fund whatever, anything in aid
of any church or sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any
school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or
scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomina-
tion whatever; nor shall any grant or donation of land, money or other
personal property ever be made by the State or any such public cor-
poration to any church or for any sectarian purpose.
4. No teacher, State, county, township or district school officer
shall be interested in the sale, proceeds or profits of any book, apparatus
or furniture, used or to be used in any school in this State, with which
such officer or teacher may be connected, under such penalties as may
be provided by the General Assembly.
5. There may be a county superintendent of schools in each county,
whose qualifications, powers, duties, compensation and time and man-
ner of election and term of office shall be prescribed by law.
1 . The General Assembly shall provide such revenue as may be
needful by levying a tax, by valuation, so that every person and corpo-
ration shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his, her or its prop-
erty such value to be ascertained by some person or persons to be
elected or appointed in such manner as the General Assembly shall
direct, and not otherwise; but the General Assembly shall have power
to tax peddlers, auctioneers, brokers, hawkers, merchants, commission
merchants, showmen, jugglers, inn-keepers, grocery-keepers, liquor
dealers, toll-bridges, ferries, insurance, telegraph and express interests
or business, venders of patents and persons or corporations owning or
using franchises and privileges, in such manner as it shall from time to
268 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
time direct by general law, uniform as to the class upon which it
2. The specification of the objects and subjects of taxation shall not
deprive the General Assembly of the power to require other subjects or
objects to be taxed, in such manner as may be consistent with the
principles of taxation fixed in this Constitution.
3. The property of the State, counties, and other municipal corpo-
rations, both real and personal, and such other property as may be used
exclusively for agricultural and horticultural societies, for school,
religious, cemetery and charitable purposes, may be exempted from
taxation; but such exemption shall be only by general law. In the as-
sessment of real estate incumbered by public easement, any deprecia-
tion occasioned by such easement may be deducted in the valuation of
4. The General Assembly shall provide, in all cases where it may be
necessary to sell real estate for the non-payment of taxes or special
assessments, for State, county, municipal or other purposes, that a
return of such unpaid taxes or assessments shall be made to some gen-
eral officer of the county having authority to receive State and county
taxes; and there shall be no sale of said property for any of said taxes
or assessments but by said officer, upon the order or j udgment of some
court of record.
5. The right of redemption from all sales of real estate for the non-
payment of taxes or special assessments of any character whatever,
shall exist in favor of owners and persons interested in such real estate
for a period of not less than two years from such sales thereof. And
the General Assembly shall provide, by law, for reasonable notice to be
given to the owners or parties interested, by publication or otherwise,
of the fact of the sale of the property for such taxes or assessments; and
when the time of redemption shall expire: Provided, that occupants
shall in all cases be served with personal notice before the time of re-
6. The General Assembly shall have no power to release or dis-
charge any county, city, township, town or district whatever, or the
inhabitants thereof, or the property therein, from their or its propor-
tionate share of taxes to be levied for State purposes, nor shall com-
mutation for such taxes be authorized in any form whatsoever.
7. All taxes levied for State purposes shall be paid into the State
8. County authorities shall never assess taxes the aggregate of
which shall exceed seventy-five cents per one hundred dollars valuation
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS. 269
except for the payment of indebtedness existing at the adoption of
this Constitution, unless authorized by a vote of the people of the
9. The General Assembly may vest the corporate authorities of
cities, towns and villages with power to make local improvements by
special assessment or by special taxation of contiguous property, or
otherwise. For all other corporate purposes, all municipal corporations
may be vested with authority to assess and collect taxes; but such taxes
shall be uniform in respect to persons and property within the jurisdic-
tion of the body imposing the same.
10. The General Assembly shall not impose taxes upon municipal
corporations, or the inhabitants or property thereof, for corporate pur-
poses, but shall require that all the taxable property within the limits
of municipal corporations shall be taxed for the payment of debts con-
tracted under authority of law, such taxes to be uniform in respect to
persons and property within the jurisdiction of the body imposing the
same. Private property shall not be liable to be taken or sold for the
payment of the corporate debts of a municipal corporation.
11. No person who is in default, as collector or custodian of money
or property belonging to a municipal corporation, shall be eligible to
any office in or under such corporation. The fees, salary or compensa-
tion of no municipal officer who is elected or appointed for a definite
term of office shall be increased or diminished during such term.
12. No county, city, township, school district or other municipal
corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner or
for any purpose to an amount, including existing indebtedness in
the aggregate exceeding five per centum on the value of the taxable
property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for State
and county taxes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness. Any
county, city, school district or other municipal corporation incurring
any indebtedness as aforesaid, shall before, or at the time of doing so,
provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the
interest of such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the
principal thereof within twenty years from the time of contracting
the same. This section shall not be construed to prevent any county,
city, township, school district, or other municipal corporation, from is-
suing their bonds in compliance with any vote of the people which may
have been had prior to the adoption of this Constitution in pursuance
of any law providing therefor.
13. (Amendment of 1890.) The corporate authorities of the rity
of Chicago are hereby authorized to issue interest-bearing bonds of said
270 HISTORY OP ILLINOIS
city to an amount not exceeding five million dollars, at a rate of interest
not to exceed five per centum per annum, the principal payable within
thirty years from the date of their issue, and the proceeds thereof shall
be paid to the treasurer of the World's Columbian Exposition, and used
and disbursed by him under the direction and control of the directors,
in aid of the World's Columbian Exposition, to be held in the city of
Chicago, in pursuance of an act of Congress of the United States.
Provided, That if at an election for the adoption of this amendment
to the Constitution, a majority of the votes cast within the limits of the
city of Chicago, shall be against its adoption, then no bonds shall be
issued under this amendment.
And said corporate authorities shall be repaid as large a proportionate
amount of the aid given by them as is repaid to the stockholders on the
sums subscribed and paid by them, and the money so received shall be
used in the redemption of the bonds issued as aforesaid, provided that
said authorities may take in whole or in part of the sum coming to
them any permanent improvements placed on land held or controlled
And, provided further, That no such indebtedness so created shall in
any part thereof be paid by the State, or from any State revenue, tax
or fund, but the same shall be paid by the said city of Chicago alone.
1. No new county shall be formed or established by the General
Assembly which will reduce the county or counties, or either of them,
from which it shall be taken to less contents than four hundred square
miles ; nor shall any county be formed of less contents ; nor shall any line
thereof pass within less than ten miles of any county seat of the county
or counties proposed to be divided.
2. No county shall be divided, or have any part stricken therefrom
without submitting the question to a vote of the people of the county,
nor unless a majority of all the legal voters of the county voting on the
question shall vote for the same.
3. There shall be no territory stricken from any county, unless a
majority of the voters living in such territory shall petition for such di-
vision; and no territory shall be added to any county without the con-
sent of the majority of the voters of the county to which it is proposed
to be added. But the portion so stricken off and added to another
county, or formed in whole or in part into a new county, shall be holden
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 271
for, and obliged to pay its proportion of, the indebtedness of the county
from which it has been taken.
4. No county seat shall be removed until the point to which it is
proposed to remove shall be fixed in pursuance of law, and three fifths
of the voters of the county, to be ascertained in such manner as shall be
provided by general law, shall have voted in favor of its removal to such
point ; and no person shall vote on such question who has not resided in
the county six months, and in the election precinct ninety days next
preceding such election. The question of the removal of a county seat
shall not be oftener submitted than once in ten years, to a vote of the
people. But when an attempt is made to remove a county seat to a
point nearer to the center of the county, then a majority vote only shall
5. The General Assembly shall provide, by general law, for town-
ship organization, under which any county may organize whenever a
majority of the legal voters of such county, voting at any general elec-
tion, shall so determine ; and whenever any county shall adopt township
organization, so much of this Constitution as provides for the manage-
ment of the fiscal concerns of the said county by the board of county
commissioners, may be dispensed with, and the affairs of said county
may be transacted in such manner as the General Assembly may pro-
vide. And in any county that shall have adopted a township organiza-
tion, the question of continuing the same may be submitted to a vote
of the electors of such county, at a general election, in the manner that
now is or may be provided by law; and if a majority of all the votes cast
upon that question shall be against township organization, then such
organization shall cease in said county; and all laws in force in relation
to counties not having township organization, shall immediately take
effect and be in force in such county. No two townships shall have the
same name, and the day of holding the annual township meeting shall
be uniform throughout the State.
6. At the first election of county judges under this Constitution,
there shall be elected in each of the counties in this State, not under
township organization, three officers, who shall be styled, "The Board
of County Commissioners," who shall hold sessions for the transaction
of county business as shall be provided by law. One of said commis-
sioners shall hold his office for one year, one for two years, and one for
three years, to be determined by lot ; and every year thereafter one such
272 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
officer shall be elected in each of said counties for the term of three
7. The county affairs of Cook county shall be managed by a board of
commissioners of fifteen persons, ten of whom shall be elected from the
city of Chicago and five from towns outside of said city, in such manner
as may be provided by law.
COUNTY OFFICERS AND THEIR COMPENSATION
8. (Amended in 1880.) In each county there shall be elected the
following county officers, at the general election to be held on the Tues-
day after the first Monday in November, A. D. 1882: A county judge,
county clerk, sheriff and treasurer, and at the election to be held on the
Tuesday after the first Monday in November, A. D. 1884, a coroner and
clerk of the circuit court (who may be ex officio recorder of deeds, except
in counties having 60,000 and more inhabitants, in which counties a
recorder of deeds shall be elected at the general election in 1884). Each
of said officers shall enter upon the duties of his office, respectively, on
the first Monday of December after his election, and they shall hold
their respective offices for the term of four years, and until their suc-
cessors are elected and qualified: Provided, that no person having once
been elected to the office of sheriff or treasurer, shall be eligible to re-
election to said office for four years after the expiration of the term for
which he shall have been elected.
9. The clerks of all courts of record, the treasurer, sheriff, coroner
and recorder of deeds of Cook county, shall receive as their only com-
pensation for their services, salaries to be fixed by law, which shall in
no case be as much as the lawful compensation of a judge of the circuit
court of said county and shall be paid respectively, only out of the fees
of the office actually collected. All fees, perquisites and emoluments
(above the amount of said salaries) shall be paid into the county treas-
ury. The number of the deputies and assistants of such officers shall be
determined by rule of the circuit court, to be entered of record, and
their compensation shall be determined by the county board.
10. The county board, except as provided in section nine of this
article, shall fix the compensation of all county officers, with the amount
of their necessary clerk hire, stationery, fuel, and other expenses, and in
all cases where fees are provided for, said compensation shall be paid
only out of, and shall in no instance exceed, the fees actually collected;
they shall not allow either of them more per annum than fifteen hundred
dollars, in counties not exceeding twenty thousand inhabitants; two
thousand dollars, in counties containing twenty thousand and not ex-
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 273
ceeding thirty thousand inhabitants; twenty-five hundred dollars, in
counties containing thirty thousand and not exceeding fifty thousand in-
habitants; three thousand dollars, in counties containing fifty thousand
and not exceeding seventy thousand inhabitants; thirty-five hundred
dollars, in counties containing seventy thousand and not exceeding one
hundred thousand inhabitants; and four thousand dollars, in counties
containing over one hundred thousand, and not exceeding two hundred
and fifty thousand inhabitants; and not more than one thousand dollars
additional compensation for each additional one hundred thousand in-
habitants; Provided, that the compensation of no officer shall be in-
creased or diminished during his term of office. All fees or allowances
by them received, in excess of their said compensation, shall be paid into
the county treasury.
11. The fees of township officers, and of each class of county officers,
shall be uniform in the class of counties to which they respectively be-
long. The compensation herein provided for shall apply only to officers
hereafter elected, but all fees established by special laws shall cease at
the adoption of this Constitution, and such officers shall receive only
such fees as are provided by general law.
12. All laws fixing the fees of State, county and township officers,
shall terminate with the terms respectively of those who may be in
office at the meeting of the first General Assembly after the adoption of
this Constitution; and the General Assembly shall, by general law, uni-
form in its operation, provide for and regulate the fees of said officers
and their successors, so as to reduce the same to a reasonable com-
pensation for services actually rendered. But the General Assembly
may, by general law, classify the counties by population into not more
than three classes, and regulate the fees according to class. This article
shall not be construed as depriving the General Assembly of the power
to reduce the fees of existing officers.
13. Every person who is elected or appointed to any office in this
State, who shall be paid in whole or in part by fees, shall be required by
law to make a semi-annual report, under oath, to some officer to be
designated by law, of all his fees and emoluments. '
1. No corporation shall be created by special laws, or its charter ex-
tended, changed or amended, except those for charitable, educational,
penal or reformatory purposes, which are to be and remain under the
patronage and control of the State, but the General Assembly shall pro-
274 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
vide, by general laws, for the organization of all corporations hereafter
to be created.
2. All existing charters or grants of special or exclusive privileges,
under which organization shall not have taken place, or which shall not
have been in operation within ten days from the time this Constitution
takes effect, shall thereafter have no validity or effect whatever.
3. The General Assembly shall provide, by law, that in all elections
for directors or managers of incorporated companies, every stockholder
shall have the right to vote, in person or by proxy, for the number of
shares of stock owned by him, for as many persons as there are directors
or managers to be elected, or to cumulate said shares, and give one
candidate as many votes as the number of directors multiplied by the
number of his shares of stock shall equal, or to distribute them on the
same principle among as many candidates as he shall think fit ; and such
directors or managers shall not be elected in any other manner.
4. No law shall be passed by the General Assembly granting the
right to construct and operate a street railroad within any city, town
or incorporated village, without requiring the consent of the local au-
thorities having the control of the street or highway proposed to be occu-
pied by such street railroad.
5. No State bank shall hereafter be created, nor shall the State own
or be liable for any stock in any corporation or joint-stock company or
association for banking purposes now created, or to be hereafter created.
No act of the General Assembly authorizing or creating corporations or
associations with banking powers, whether of issue, deposit or discount,
nor amendments thereto, shall go into effect or in any manner be in
force, unless the same shall be submitted to a vote of the people at the
general election next succeeding the passage of the same, and be ap-
proved by a majority of all the votes cast at such election for or against
6. Every stockholder in a banking corporation or institution shall
be individually responsible and liable to its creditors, over and above
the amount of stock by him or her held, to an amount equal to his or her
respective shares so held, for all its liabilities accruing while he or she
remains such stockholder.
7. The suspension of specie payments by banking institutions, on
their circulation, created by the laws of this State, shall never be per-
mitted or sanctioned. Every banking association now, or which may
hereafter be, organized under the laws of this State, shall make and pub-
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 275
lish a full and accurate quarterly statement of its affairs (which shall be
certified to, under oath, by one or more of its officers) as may be pro-
vided by law.
8. If a general banking law shall be enacted, it shall provide for the
registry and countersigning, by an officer of State, of all bills or paper
credit designed to circulate as money, and require security, to the full
amount thereof, to be deposited with the State Treasurer, in United
States or Illinois State stocks, to be rated at 10 per cent below their par
value; and in case of a depreciation of said stocks to the amount of ten
per cent below par, the bank or banks owing said stocks shall be required
to make up said deficiency by depositing additional stocks. And said
law shall also provide for the recording of the names of all stockholders
in such corporations, the amount of stock held by each, the time of any
transfer thereof, and to whom such transfer is made.
9. Every railroad corporation organized or doing business in this
State, under the laws or authority thereof, shall have and maintain a
public office or place in this State for the transaction of its business,
where transfers of stock shall be made, and in which shall be kept
for public inspection, books in which shall be recorded the amount of
capital stock subscribed, and by whom; the names of the owners of its
stock, and the amounts owned by them respectively; the amount of
stock paid in, and by whom ; the transfers of said stock, the amount of
its assets and liabilities, and the names and place of residence of its
officers. The directors of every railroad corporation shall annually
make a report, under oath, to the Auditor of Public Accounts, or some
officer to be designated by law, of all their acts and doings, which
report shall include such matters relating to railroads as may be pre-
scribed by law. And the General Assembly shall pass laws enforcing
by suitable penalties the provisions of this section.
10. The rolling stock, and all other movable property belonging to
any railroad company or corporation in this State, shall be considered
personal property, and shall be liable to execution and sale in the same
manner as the personal property of individuals, and the General
Assembly shall pass no law exempting any such property from execu-
tion and sale.
11. No railroad corporation shall consolidate its stock, property or
franchises with any other railroad corporation owning a parallel or
competing line; and in no case shall any consolidation take place except
upon public notice given, of at least 60 days, to all stockholders, in such
276 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
manner as may be provided by law. A majority of the directors of any
railroad corporation, now incorporated or hereafter to be incorporated
by the laws of this State, shall be citizens and residents of this State.
12. Railways heretofore constructed or that may hereafter be con-
structed in this State, are hereby declared public highways, and shall
be free to all persons for the transportation of their persons and prop-
erty thereon, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.
And the General Assembly shall, from time to time, pass laws establish-
ing reasonable maximum rates of charges for the transportation of
passengers and freight on the different railroads in this State.
13. No railroad corporation shall issue any stock or bonds, except
for money, labor or property actually received and applied to the
purposes for which such corporation was created; and all stock divi-
dends, and other fictitious increase of capital stock or indebtedness of
any such corporations, shall be void. The capital stock of no railroad
corporation shall be increased for any purpose, except upon giving
60 days' public notice, in such manner as may be provided by law.
14. The exercise of power and the right of eminent domain shall
never be so construed or abridged as to prevent the taking, by the
General Assembly, of the property and franchises of incorporated com-
panies already organized, and subjecting them to the public necessity
the same as of individuals. The right of trial by jury shall be held in-
violate in all trials of claims for compensation, when, in the exercise of
the said right of eminent domain, any incorporated company shall be
interested either for or against the exercise of said right.
15. The General Assembly shall pass laws to correct abuses and
prevent unjust discrimination and extortion in the rates of freight and
passenger tariffs on the different railroads in this State, and enforce
such laws by adequate penalties, to the extent, if necessary for that
purpose, of forfeiture of their property and franchises.
1. The militia of the State of Illinois shall consist of all able-bodied
male persons, resident in the State, between the ages of 18 and 45,
except such persons as now are or hereafter may be exempted by the
laws of the United States or of this State.
2. The General Assembly, in providing for the organization,
equipment and discipline of the militia, shall conform as nearly as
practicable to the regulations for the government of the armies of the
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 277
3. All militia officers shall be commissioned by the Governor, and
may hold their commissions for such time as the General Assembly may
4. The militia shall, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of
the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at musters
and elections, and in going to and returning from the same.
5. The military records, banners and relics of the State shall be
preserved as an enduring memorial of the patriotism and valor of Illi-
nois, and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by law
for the safe-keeping of the same.
6. No persons having conscientious scruples against bearing arms
shall be compelled to do militia duty in the time of peace: Provided,
such person shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.
1. All elevators or storehouses where grain or other property is
stored for a compensation, whether the property stored be kept separate
or not, are declared to be public warehouses.
2. The owner, lessee or manager of each and every public warehouse
situated in any town or city of not less than 100,000 inhabitants, shall
make weekly statements under oath, before some officer to be designated
-by law, and keep the same posted in some conspicuous place in the
office of such warehouse, and shall also file a copy for public examination
in such place as shall be designated by law, which statement shall cor-
rectly set forth the amount and grade of each and every kind of grain in
such warehouse, together with such other property as may be stored
therein, and what warehouse receipts have been issued, and are, at the
time of making such statement, outstanding therefor; and shall, on the
copy posted in the warehouse, note daily such changes as may be made
in the quantity and grade of gram in such warehouse; and the different
grades of grain shipped in separate lots shall not be mixed with inferior
or superior grades without the consent of the owner or consignee thereof.
3. The owners of property stored in any warehouse, or holder of a
receipt for the same, shall always be at liberty to examine such property
stored, and all the books and records of the warehouse, in regard to such
4. All railroad companies and other common carriers on railroads
shall weigh or measure grain at points where it is shipped and, receipt
for the full amount, and shall be responsible for the delivery of sueli
amount to the owner or consignee thereof, at the place of destination.
278 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
5. All railroad companies receiving and transporting grain in bulk
or otherwise, shall deliver the same to any consignee thereof, or any
elevator or public warehouse to which it may be consigned, provided
such consignee or the elevator or public warehouse can be reached by any
track owned, leased or used, or which can be used, by such railroad com-
panies; and all railroad companies shall permit connections to be made
with their track, so that any such consignee and any public warehouse,
coal bank or coal yard may be reached by the cars on said railroad.
6. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass all neces-
sary laws to prevent the issue of false and fraudulent warehouse re-
ceipts, and to give full effect to this article of the Constitution, which
shall be liberally construed so as to protect producers and shippers.
And the enumeration of the remedies herein named shall not be con-
strued to deny to the General Assembly the power to prescribe by law
such other and further remedies as may be found expedient, or to de-
prive any person of existing common-law remedies.
7. The General Assembly shall pass laws for the inspection of
grain, for the protection of producers, shippers and receivers of grain
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
1. Whenever two thirds of the members of each house of the Gen-
eral Assembly shall, by a vote entered upon the journals thereof, concur
that a convention is necessary to revise, alter or amend the Constitu-
tion, the question shall be submitted to the electors at the next general
election. If a majority voting at the election vote for a convention, the
General Assembly shall, at the next session, provide for a convention, to
consist of double the number of members of the Senate, to be elected in
the same manner, at the same places, and in the same districts. The
General Assembly shall, in the act catting the convention, designate the
day, hour and place of its meeting, fix the pay of its members and
officers, and provide for the payment of the same, together with the
expenses necessarily incurred by the convention in the performance of
its duties. Before proceeding, the members shall take an oath to sup-
port the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois, and
to faithfully discharge their duties as members of the convention. The
qualification of members shall be the same as that of members of the
Senate, and vacancies occurring shall be filled in the manner provided for
filling vacancies in the General Assembly. Said convention shall meet
within three months after such election, and prepare such revision,
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 279
alteration or amendments of the Constitution as shall be deemed neces-
sary, which shall be submitted to the electors for their ratification or
rejection at an election appointed by the convention for that purpose,
not less than two or more than six months after the adjournment
thereof; and unless so submitted, and approved by a majority of the
electors voting at the election, no such revision, alteration or amend-
ments shall take effect.
2. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either
house of the General Assembly, and if the same shall be voted for by
two thirds of all the members elected to each of the two houses, such
proposed amendments, together with the ayes and nays of each house
thereon, shall be entered in full on their respective journals, and said
amendments shall be submitted to the electors of this State for adop-
tion or rejection, at the next election of members of the General As-
sembly, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. The proposed
amendments shall be published in full at least three months preceding
the election, and if a majority of the electors voting at said election shall
vote for the proposed amendments, they shall become a part of this
Constitution. But the General Assembly shall have no power to pro-
pose amendments to more than one article of this Constitution at the
same session nor to the same article oftener than once in four years.
SECTIONS SEPARATELY SUBMITTED
ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD
No contract, obligation or liability whatever, of the Illinois Central
Railroad Company to pay any money into the State treasury, nor any
lien of the State upon, or right to tax property of said company, in
accordance with the provisions of the charter of said company, ap-
proved February tenth, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-one, shall ever be released, suspended, modified,
altered, remitted, or in any manner diminished or impaired by legislative
or other authority; and all moneys derived from said company, after
the payment of the State debt, shall be appropriated and set apart for
the payment of the ordinary expenses of the State government, and
for no other purposes whatever.
[See Sections 7 and 8, Article IV, pages 245 and 246.]
MUNICIPAL SUBSCRIPTIONS TO RAILROADS OR PRIVATE CORPORATIONS
No county, city, town, township, or other municipality, shall ever
280 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
become subscriber to the capital stock of any railroad or private corpo-
ration, or make donation to or loan its credit in aid of such corpora-
tion: Provided, however, that the adoption of this article shall not be
construed as affecting the right of any such municipality to make such
subscriptions where the same have been authorized, under existing
laws, by a vote of the people of such municipalities prior to such
CANAL [RAILROAD STATE AID PROHIBITED]
The Illinois and Michigan Canal shall never be sold or leased until the
specific proposition for the sale or lease thereof shall first have been
submitted to a vote of the people of the State, at a general election, and
have been approved by a majority of all the votes polled at such elec-
tion. The General Assembly shall never loan the credit of the State,
or make appropriations from the treasury thereof, in aid of railroads or
canals: Provided, that any surplus earnings of any canal may be ap-
propriated for its enlargement or extension.
That no inconveniences may arise from the alterations and amend-
ments made in the Constitution of this State, and to carry the same into
complete effect, it is hereby ordained and declared:
1. That all laws in force at the adoption of this Constitution, not
inconsistent therewith, and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims and
contracts of the State, individuals or bodies corporate, shall continue to
-be as valid as if this Constitution had not been adopted.
2. That all fines, taxes, penalties and forfeitures, due and owing to
the State of Illinois under the present Constitution and laws, shall inure
to the use of the people of the State of Illinois, under this Constitution.
3. Recognizances, bonds, obligations, and other instruments en-
tered into or executed before the adoption of this Constitution, to the
people of the State of Illinois, to any State or county officer, or public
body, shall remain binding and valid ; and rights and liabilities upon the
same shall continue, and all crimes and misdemeanors shall be tried and
punished as though no change had been made in the Constitution of this
4. County courts for the transaction of county business in counties
not having adopted township organization shall continue in existence,
and exercise their present jurisdiction until the board of county commis-
sioners provided in this Constitution is organized in pursuance of an act
of the General Assembly; and the county courts in all other counties
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 281
shall have the same power and jurisdiction they now possess until
otherwise provided by law.
5. All existing courts which are not in this Constitution specifically
enumerated shall continue in existence and exercise their present juris-
diction until otherwise provided by law.
6. All persons now filling any office or appointment shall continue
in the exercise of the duties thereof according to their respective com-
missions or appointments, unless by this Constitution it is otherwise
[Sections 7 to 17, both inclusive, providing for the submission of this Constitu-
tion and voting thereon by the people, and for the first elections under the Con-
stitution, are omitted as .of no further effect.]
18. All laws of the State of Illinois and all official writings, and the
executive, legislative and judicial proceedings, shall be conducted,
preserved and published in no other than the English language.
19. The General Assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry
into effect the provisions of this Constitution.
20. The circuit clerks of the different counties having a population
over 60,000 shall continue to be recorders (ex officio) for their respective
counties, under this Constitution, until the expiration of their respective
21. The judges of all courts of record in Cook county shall, in lieu of
any salary provided for in this Constitution, receive the compensation
provided by law until the adjournment of the first session of the General
Assembly after the adoption of this Constitution.
22. The present judge of the circuit court of Cook county shall
continue to hold the circuit court of Lake county until otherwise pro-
vided by law.
23. When this Constitution shall be adopted and take effect as the
supreme law of the State of Illinois, the two-mill tax provided to be
annually assessed and collected upon each dollar's worth of taxable
property, in addition to all other taxes, as set forth in article fifteen of
the now existing Constitution, shall cease to be assessed after the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy.
24. Nothing contained in this Constitution shall be so construed as
to deprive the General Assembly of power to authorize the city of
Quincy to create any indebtedness for railroad or municipal purposes
for which the people of said city shall have voted and to which they shall
have given, by such vote, their assent, prior to the thirteenth day of
December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
sixty-nine: Provided, that no such indebtedness so created shall, in any
part thereof, be paid by the State or from any State revenue tax or
282 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS
fund, but the same shall be paid, if at all, by the city of Quincy alone,
and by taxes to be levied upon the taxable property thereof: And,
provided further, that the General Assembly shall have no power in the
premises that it could not exercise under the present Constitution of the
25. In case this Constitution, and the articles and sections sub-
mitted separately to be adopted, the existing Constitution shall cease
in all its provisions; and in case this Constitution be adopted, and any
one or more of the articles or sections submitted separately be defeated,
the provisions of the existing Constitution, if any, on the same subject
shall remain in force.
26. The provisions of this Constitution required to be executed
prior to the adoption or rejection thereof, shall take effect and be in
Done in convention at the Capitol in the city of Springfield, on the
thirteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun-
dred and seventy, and of the independence of the United States of
America the ninety-fourth.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.
CHARLES HITCHCOCK, President.
William J. Allen, Robert J. Cross,
John Abbott, Samuel P. Cummings,
James C. Allen, John Dement,
Elliott Anthony, G. S. Eldridge,
Wm. R. Archer, James W. English,
Henry I. Atkins, David Ellis,
James G. Bayne, Ferris Forman,
R. M. Benjamin, Jesse C. Fox,
H. P. H. Bromwell, M^iles A. Fuller,
O. H. Browning, John P. Gamble,
Wm. G. Bowman, Addison Goodell,
Silas L. Bryan, John C. Haines,
H. P. Buxton, Elijah M. Haines,
Daniel Cameron, John W. Hankins,
William Gary, R. P. Hanna,
Lawrence S. Church, Joseph Hart,
Hiram H. Cody, Abel Harwood,
W. F. Coolbaugh, Milton Hay,
Alfred M. Craig, Samuel Snowden Hayes,
CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS 283
Jesse S. Hildrup, Wm. H. Snyder,
Jas. McCoy, O. C. Skinner,
Charles E. McDowell, Westel W. Sedgwick,
William C. Goodhue, Charles F. Springer,
Joseph Medill, John L. Tincher,
Clifton H. Moore, C. Truesdale,
Jonathan Merriam, Henry Tubbs,
Joseph Parker, Thomas J. Turner,
Samuel C. Parker, Wm. H. Underwood,
Peleg S. Perley, Wm. L. Vande venter,
J. S. Poage, ' Henry W. Wells,
Edward Y. Rice, George E. Wait,
James P. Robinson, George W. Wall,
Lewis W. Ross, R. B. Sutherland,
Robert A. King, D. C. Wagner,
William P. Pierce, George R. Wendling,
N. J. Pillsbury, Chas. Wheaton,
John Scholfield, L. D. Whiting,
James M. Sharp, John H. Wilson,
Henry Sherell, Orlando H. Wright.
ATTEST: John Q. Harmon, Secretary.
Daniel Shepherd, First Assistant Secretary.
A. H. Swain, Second Assistant Secretary.
AMENDMENT OF 1886
CONTRACT CONVICT LABOR
Hereafter it shall be unlawful for the commissioners of any peni-
tentiary or other reformatory institution in the State of Illinois to let
by contract to any person or persons, or corporations, the labor of any
convict confined within said institution.
|For other amendments, see Art. IV, 31, 34; Art. V, 16; Art. IX, 13;
Art. X, 8.]
Addams, Jane, 222
Agricultural interests of the state,
Allouez, Father, 31
Altgeld, Governor, 184, 219
Alton, 101, 113, 132
Animals of Illinois, 109-111, 203,
Arbitration, Board of, 200
Asylums, state, 205, 206
Auditor, state, 190
Australian ballot system, 218
Beveridge, Governor, 216
Bickerdyke, Mary A., 222
Birkbeck, Moses, 77, 88, 89
Bissell, Governor, 146, 147
Black Hawk War, 92-98
Board of Agriculture, 196
Dental Examiners, 195
Examiners of Architects, 196
Factory and Workshop In-
spectors, 200, 201
Board of Pharmacy, 195
Prison Industries, 208
Public Charities, 204, 205
Boards and institutions, state,
Bond, Shadrach, 66, 81
Brady, Tom, 48
British rule in Illinois, 45-48
Bryan, Wm. J., 219
Cahokia, 14, 32
Cairo, 164, 166
Camp Douglas conspiracy, 175
Camp meetings, 103
Cannon, Joseph G., 219
Capitol, state, 116, 117, 217
Carlin, Governor, 118
Cartright, Peter, 103
Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary,
Charitable institutions, state, 204-
Chase, Philander, 103
Chicago, 70, 80, 101, 102, 113, 154,
156, 175, 177-187
Chicago, 'commerce of, 185
Chicago Fire, 179-182
Chicago Sanitary Canal, 185
Chicago Times, suppression of,
Chicago University, 178, 179, 187
Church, first Protestant, 76, 77
Circuit riders, 103
Civil Service Commission, 207
Civil War, Illinois's share in, 163-
Clark, George Rogers, 49-57
Coal, 11, 12
Coles, Edward, 85-89
Colleges, 103, 161, 187, 214
Commercial interests of the state,
Commissioners, Educational, of
Highway, 202, 203
Live stock^ 197, 198
Railroad and Warehouse,
Company of the West, 33, 34
Compulsory Education Law, 212,
Constitution, state, first, 80, 81, 83
second, 126, 127 .
of 1870, 188-194
Constitutional convention of
1862, 171, 172
Cook, Daniel P., 88, 91
Counties of Illinois, 237
origin of names, 230
Court of Claims, 202
Courts, 191, 192
Crozat's Grant, 32, 33
Cullom, Shelby M., 216
Davis, David, 216
Deneen, Governor, 221
Direct Primary Law, 224, 225
Dix, Dorothea L., 205
Douglas, Stephen A., 133, 138-
142, 148-153, 163, 164
Duncan, Governor, 91, 112-117
Educational Commission, 213
Edwards, Ninian, 68, 69, 81, 90,
Entomologist, state, 198
Factory and Workshop Inspect-
ors, 200, 201
Farmers' Institutes, 197
Feeble-Minded Children, Asylum
Field, Eugene, 221
Fifer, Governor, 218
First settlements, 31-34
Fish Commissioners, 204
Food Commissioners, 196
Ford, Governor, 118, 119, 124, 125
Fort Chartres, 34, 35, 40-44, 46, 47
Fort Clark, 69
Fort Crevecceur, 27
Fort Dearborn massacre, 70-72
Fort Massac, 40, 41, 221
Fort Russell, 69
Fort Saint Louis of the Rock, 29
Freeport, debate at, 151
French, Governor, 127
French and Indian War, 39-44
French life in Illinois, 35-38, 104-
French protest against British
misrule in Illinois, 47
Fuller, Melville W., 219
Gage, Lyman J., 219
Game Commissioner, 203
Game Laws, 203, 204
General Assembly, organization
and powers of, 193, 194
Generals in Civil War, from Illi-
Geological Survey, 202
Gibault, Father, 54, 55
Governor, duties of the, 189, 190,
Governors, list of, 240
Grant, General U. S., 164-167, 220
Gresham, W. Q., 219
Hamilton, Governor, 216
Harper, Pres. W. R., 222
Harper High License Law, 216
Harrison, Carter H., Sr., 217
Harrison, William Henry, 67, 72
Haymarket Riot, 184, 217, 219
Hennepin, Father, 12, 26
Highway Commissioners, 202, 203
Illinois, admitted to Union, 79-82
as a territory, 68-69
at beginning of nineteenth
in 1830-1840, 99-103
in 1860, 160, 161
since 1870, 215-226
Illinois and Michigan Canal, 80,
91, 112, 177, 185
Illinois Central Railroad, 133, 134,
Illinois State Historical Society,
Indiana Territory, Illinois a part
Indians, 14-17, 65, 67, 69, 102
Industrial Home for Blind, 206
Insane, state asylums for, 205
Insurance Department, 199
Internal Improvement System,
112, 113, 118
Jesuits in Illinois, 23
Joliet, Louis, 18-21
Judd, Norman A., 154, 157
Judicial system, 191, 192
Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 138-140
Kaskaskia, 31, 32, 47, 51, 81, 101,
Kaskaskia mission, 21, 22, 31
LaBalme, 56, 57
Labor, Commissioners of, 201
Labor troubles, 184, 199, 200
Lafayette, General, 88
La Salle, Sieur de, 24-30
Libraries, 187, 214
Libraries of Chicago, 187
Lieutenant governor, 190
Lincoln, Abraham, 96, 117, 141,
144-159, 162, 176
Lincoln-Douglas debates, 148-
Lincoln Monument, 220
Live Stock Commission, 197, 198
Livermore, Mary A., 222
Local Option Law, 223
Logan, John A., 217
Louisiana, named, 29
Illinois a part of, 32
Lovejoy, Elijah P., 113-116, 135
Lundy, Benj., 135, 136
Macarty, Chevalier, 40, 42
Mail routes, early, 78
Manufactures, 10, 11
Marquette, Father, 18-23
Matteson, Governor, 130
Membre 1 , Father, 26, 29
Menard, Pierre, 81
Mexican War, Illinois's share in,
Mining Board, 201
Mississippi River, 20, 104-108
Moody, D. L., 222
Mormon trouble, 102, 121-125
Mound builders, 13, 14
National conventions at Chicago,
list of, 184
Nauvoo, 102, 121-125
Newspapers, early, 78, 102, 103,
Nicolet, Jean, 18
Normal Schools, 211
Northwest Territory, 64-66
Northwestern University, 178,
Oglesby, Richard, 152, 154, 216,
Ordinance of 1787, 61-63
Palmer, John M., 146, 181, 216,
Pardons, Board of, 209
Parole system, 209
Peck, Rev. John Mason, 88
Penitentiaries, state, 207, 208
Peoria, 26, 27, 48, 69, 101, 142
Pharmacy, Board of, 195
Physical geography of Illinois, 7,
8, 11, 12
Pioneer life, 73-78, 101-103
Pontiac, Chief, 43
Pope, Nathaniel, 79, 80
Population, 9, 10, 215
Prairies, 8, 9
Prison Industries, Board of, 208
Prisoners, betterment of condition
of, 208, 209
Prominent citizens of the state,
list of, 218, 219, 221, 222
Public Charities, Board of, 204,
Public Instruction, Supt. of, 130,
Railroad and Warehouse Commis-
sion, 198, 199
Railroads, 113, 132-134, 186, 198
Reformatory, state, 207, 208
Republican Party, beginning of,
Republican state convention of
Reynolds, John, 92, 94
Root, George F., 171
St. Ange, Louis, 42-44
St. Clair, General, 64-66
School for Blind, 206
Schools, public, 129-131, 211-213
Secretary of State, 190
Senators, U. S., from Illinois,
Slavery in Illinois, 83-89
Smith, Joseph, 121
Soldiers and Sailors' Home, 206,
Soldiers' Orphans' Home, 207
Soldiers' Widows' Home, 207
Sons of Liberty, 175
Spalding, Bishop J. L., 222
Spaniards, march of, across Illi-
Spanish-American War, 219, 220
Springfield, 117, 162
Starved Rock, 29
State boards and institutions,
State Capitol, 116, 117,217
"State Policy," 132, 133
Stevenson, Vice President, 218
Strikes and labor troubles, 184,
199, 200, 217
Supt. of Public Instruction, 130,
Supreme Court, 192
Swing, David, 222
Tanner, Governor, 219, 220
Thomas, Jesse B., 81
Thomas, Theodore, 222
Todd, Col. John, 58
Tonty, Henry de, 24-29
Trumbull, Lyman, 144, 147, 152
Underground Railroad, 136, 137
Union League of America, 171
University of Illinois, 211
Vandalia, 82, 88, 117
Vincennes, 55, 56, 67
Virginia, Illinois a part of, 58-60
War of 1812, Illinois in, 68-72
Washburne, E. B., 143, 166
Willard, Frances E., 221
Work, Henry Clay, 171
World's Columbian Exposition,
Yates, Richard, ST., 159, 170, 172,
Yates, Richard, Jr., 221