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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. 












X. ILLINOIS A COUNTY OF VIRGINIA (1778-1784). . . 58 







TION 79 



1830) 90 


XX. ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840 99 






TION (1846-1853) 126 








BILL 138 





XXXIV. ILLINOIS IN 1860 , 160 

















INDEX 284 



ILLINOIS IN 1834 . . 100 



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 



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 


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- 
tation facilities. 

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 


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. 


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- 


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, 



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 


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, 
and thievish." 

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- 


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. 

Illinois 2 


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 




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 


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 


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- 


fered an easier and shorter route home to Canada, they 
took it. 

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 


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 



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. 





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. 




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 



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- 
lowing winter. 



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. 


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, 



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 


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. 


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 



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, 


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 

Illinois 3 


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. 


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 



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 
Indian make. 

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- 



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 
light-hearted, but 
also light-headed. 
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 
of living. 

The French had a genius for exploration, and yet failed 
to utilize the results of their explorations. They were not 



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. 


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 


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 



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 
the continent. 

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, 



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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 
over Illinois. 

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. 


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 




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 


garrison, for the Mississippi, which for several years had 
eon changing its course toward the eastern bank, washed 


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. 


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. 


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 



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 
first opportunity. 

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 


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 
the fort. 

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 



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 
women screamed, 
and the soldiers ran 
to their quarters. 
But Clark, standing 
unmoved, shouted 
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 



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. 


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 


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 


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, 


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. 


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. 



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, 


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. 


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 



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 


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 


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- 
termination against 
the whites. In this 
movement the In- 
dians of Illinois were 
foremost, and the sit- 
uation of the settlers 
became extremely 
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 

Illinois 5 




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. 


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 


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 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. 


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 



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. 


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. 


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 





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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 



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 territory. 

The constitutional convention met at Kaskaskia, and 


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- 

Illinois 6 


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. 


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 



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 


second election for governor it became the silent though 
real issue. 

The antislavery party nominated for governor a young 
Virginian of polished manners and unimpeachable charac- 
ter, Edward 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 
his friends. 

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 



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 


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 


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 



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 



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 
red men. 

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 
Duncan instead. 


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- 



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 



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 



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 


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 


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 

Illinois 7 


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/~ 

3^4=^' ^1 


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 


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. 


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 




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 


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 
Indian corn." 

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 



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- 


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 


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. 


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. 


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 


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 
were common. 

1 M 


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 
for governor. 

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 



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 
prospective fortunes. 

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 

Illinois 8 


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 


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 



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, 


at which Wendell Phillips delivered his famous speech on 
Love joy. 

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- 


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 


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 



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 


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. 


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 
of erection. 

In return for Smith's political support, the Whigs in the 



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 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 


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 


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. 

ISTRATION (1846-1853) 

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 
was prohibited. 

But the chief peculiarity of the new constitution was its 
principle of rigid economy. This it carried too far. The 


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 


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. 


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 


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, 


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 
in Illinois. 

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 


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 
the Union. 


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 



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 
abolition paper. 

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 


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. 


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- 





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 


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- 


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. ' 


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. 


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 



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 

Illinois 10 


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 


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. 


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 



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, 


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 
perpetuate slavery. 


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" 


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 
President. " 

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 


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. 


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 



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 

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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 
possible candidate. 

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 


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 


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 



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 


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. 


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 
being erected. 


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 


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 



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 


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 



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 


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. 


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. 



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 
the Union. 


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 



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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 



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 


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 
and robbed. 

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 


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 
in danger. 

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 


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 


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 
of boulevards. 

Though removed from the ocean, Chicago's harbors 


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, 


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. 


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 



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 


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 


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 
supreme court. 

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 


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 
Supreme Court. 

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, 


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 

Illinois 13 


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. 


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 



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 following: 

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. 


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- 


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 


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- 


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 


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. 


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- 


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 


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 


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 
its control: 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 

Illinois 14 


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 




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 
pupils annually. 

There are in the state about 13,000 public free schools, 


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." 


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. 


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. 



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. 


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- 


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- 
Governor Oglesby. 

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 


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 



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- 
ippines also. 

In 1899 the legisla- 
ture appropriated 
$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. 



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 


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 
Hamlin Garland. 

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 


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 


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 


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- 

Illinois 15 


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 

at Kaskaskia. 

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. 



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. 


* 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 

Hist. Soc.) 
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. 



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 

French "plaine." 

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. 


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- 
ham Lincoln. 

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. 


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- 
ing fish." 

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 

Savannah River. 

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. 


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. 


Showing Date of Organization, Area, County Seat, and Population 

. in 1900 




County Seat 

Pop. 1900 

Adams ... 
Alexander ... . 

Jan. 13, 1825 
Mar. 4, 1819 
Jan. 4, 1817 
Mar. 4, 1837 
Feb. 1, 1839 






Boone. . 

Brown . . . 

Mt Sterling 


Feb. 28, 1837 
Jan 10, 1825 



Carroll . 

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 


Mt Carroll 




Urbana . , 








Robinson . . 


DeWitt ... 


Douglas. . . . 










Franklin ... 

Benton . . 


Lewistown ... 




Carrollton. . . 












Mt. Vernon 
Jerseyville. . . 

Jo Daviess 





Lake. . 

Yorkville . . . . 

Waukegan . . 

1 From Blue Book of Illinois. 







County Seat 

Pop. 1900 

La Salle 

Jan. 15, 1831 



87 776 


Jan. 16, 1821 





Feb. 27, 1839 



29 894 


Feb. 27, 1837 




Feb 15, 1839 


Lincoln . 

28 680 

Jan. 19, 1829 


Decatur. ... 

44 003 


Jan. 17, 1829 




Sept. 14, 1812 



64 694 

Jan. 24, 1823 




Jan 19, 1839 



16 370 

Jan. 28, 1841 


Havana. . 

17 491 

Feb. 8, 1843 


Metropolis .... 


Jan 25, 1826 



28 412 

Jan. 16, 1836 


Woodstock. . . . 

29 759 

Dec 25, 1830 



67 843 

Feb. 15, 1839 


Petersburg . 

14 336 

Jan. 13, 1825 




Jan 1, 1816 



13 847 

Feb. 12, 1821 


Hillsboro. . 



Jan. 31, 1823 




Feb 16, 1843 



15 224 


Jan. 16, 1836 




Jan 13 1825 



88 608 


Jan. 29, 1827 





Jan. 27, 1841 





Jan 31, 1821 



31 595 

Apr 1, 1816 


Golconda . 


Mar. 3, 1843 


Mound City . . 


Jan 13 1825 



4 746 

Apr 28, 1809 


Chester . . 

28 001 

Feb 24 1841 


16 391 

Feb 9, 1831 


Rock Island 

55 249 

Feb 25 1847 


21 685 

Jan 30 1821 


71 593 

Jan 13, 1825 


Rushville . 



Feb. 16, 1839 





Jan 23 1827 



32 126 


Mar 2, 1839 




St Clair 

Apr 28 1809 



86 685 

Mar 4 1837 



31 288 


Jan 31, 1827 





Jan. 2, 1818 




Jan 18 1826 


Danville . . 


Wabash . 

Dec. 27, 1824 


Mt. Carmel 


Jan 13 1825 




Jan 2, 1818 




Mar 26 1819 



27 626 


Dec 9 1815 


Carmi . . . 



Jan 16, 1836 





Jan 12 1836 


Joliet . 


Feb 28, 1839 




Jan 16 1836 





Feb. 27, 1841 


Eureka . 




of service 



N inian Edwards, Dem 
Jesse B. Thomas, Dem 


. .do 




Resigned, 1824 

Jesse B. Thomas, Dem 

Vice Edwards 

Elias Kent Kane, Dem 





Kaskaskia . . . 
Kaskaskia . . . 

Died Oct 14, 1830 

David J Baker, Dem 

Vice McLean 

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 . . . 

Succeeded himself. 
Dec 12 1835 


Succeeded himself. . . . 

Vandalia . . . 

Vice Kane 

Jonesboro . . . 

Succeeded Ewing .... 

Waterloo .... 

Vice Robinson. 
March 22, 1843. . . . 



Vice McRoberts 

Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . . 
James Shields, Dem . . 

Springfield. . . 

Succeeded Semple. . . . 
Succeeded Breese 

Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . . . 
L. Trumbull, Anti-Neb. Dem. 
Stephen A. Douglas, Dem. . . . 

Lyman Trumbull, Rep 

Succeeded himself. . . . 



Succeeded himself. 
June 3 1861 


Succeeded himself 

Orville H. Browning, Rep.. . 
William A. Richardson, Dem. 
Richard Yates, Rep 
Lyman Trumbull, Rep 
John A Logan, Rep 


Vice Douglas 

. do 

Jacksonville. . 
do . ... 

Succeeded Richardson 
Succeeded himself. . . . 
Succeeded Yates . . 

Richard J. Oglesby, Rep 

Bloomington . 
Springfield. . . 
. . do 

Succeeded Trumbull. . 

John A Logan, Rep 

Succeeded Oglesby 

Shelby M. Cullom, Rep 
John A Logan, Rep . . . 

Died Dec 26, 1886 

Charles B. Farwell, Rep 
Shelby M Cullom Rep . . . 

Vice Logan 

Springfield. . . 
. .do. . . 

John M. Palmer, Dem 

Succeeded Farwel! 

Shelby M Cullom, Rep 



William E. Mason, Rep 
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep 
Albert J. Hopkins. Rep 
Shelby M. Cullom, Rep 


Springfield. . . 
Springfield . . . 

Succeeded Palmer 

Succeeded himself. . . . 

Succeeded Mason .... 
Succeeded himself. . . . 

1 From Blue Book of Illinois. 



Nnmp 1 When in- 1 From 
piame | augurate( i | what county 


Shadrach Bond, Dem 

Oct. 6, 1818 
Dec. 5, 1822 
Dec. 6, 1826 

St. Clair 

Kdward Coles, Dem 


.N inian Kdwards, Dem 

. . do 

John Reynolds, Dem 

Dec. 6, 1830 

Nov. 17, 1834 
Dec. 3, 1834 

St. Clair 

Resigned; elected U. 


Wm. L. D. Ewing, Dem.. . . 
Joseph Duncan, Dem 


Vice Reynolds 

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 

Crawford .... 

. .do . . 


Monroe . . 

Died March 15, 1860. 
Vice Bissell 


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 

Macoupin .... 


Resigned; elected U. 


Vice Oglesby 


. .do 

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. 


Including Amendments 


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. 


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 


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 
require it. 

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 
been committed. 


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. 


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. 



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. 


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 


"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. 


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 


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. 


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- 
temptuous behavior. 

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. 



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. 


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- 
tion thereof, 



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 


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 
repelling invasion. 

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 


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- 


22. The General Assembly shall not pass local or special laws in 
any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: for 
Granting divorces; 

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; 


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 
of voting; 

The sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors or others 
under disability; 

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- 
poration therein. 


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 


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 
public use. 

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- 


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- 
tion laws. 

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 


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 


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 


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 
all purposes. 

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 


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 


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. 


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 
Illinois 17 


all officers and managers of State institutions, upon any subject relating 
to the condition, management and expenses of their respective offices. 


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. 


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. 


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 
my ability." 

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. 



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 


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 


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 
such services. 


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 


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, 


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. 


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 
be uniform. 


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. 


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 


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 
in office. 

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 


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 
in office. 

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 


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 
vacancy occurs. 

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 
stationed therein. 

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. 



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 


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 
such property. 

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- 
demption expires. 

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 


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 


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 
by them. 

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 


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 
be necessary. 


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 


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. 


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- 


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- 
Illinois 18 


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 
such law. 

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- 


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 


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 
United States. 


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. 


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 
and produce. 


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, 


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. 


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.] 

No county, city, town, township, or other municipality, shall ever 


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 


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 


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 


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 
force immediately. 


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. 


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, 


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. 


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.] 


Abolitionists, 135-137 

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 
Attorney-general, 191 
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 

Arbitration, 200 

Dental Examiners, 195 

Equalization, 201 

Examiners of Architects, 196 

Factory and Workshop In- 
spectors, 200, 201 

Health, 195 

Pardons, 209 

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, 

173, 174 




Chicago University, 178, 179, 187 
Church, first Protestant, 76, 77 
Circuit riders, 103 
Civil Service Commission, 207 
Civil War, Illinois's share in, 163- 

176, 179 

Clark, George Rogers, 49-57 
Coal, 11, 12 
Coles, Edward, 85-89 
Colleges, 103, 161, 187, 214 
Commercial interests of the state, 

98, 199 

Commissioners, Educational, of 
1907, 213 

Fish, 204 

Food, 196 

Game, 203 

Highway, 202, 203 

Labor, 201 

Live stock^ 197, 198 

Railroad and Warehouse, 

198, 199 

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 
for, 205 

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 

Galena, 91 

Game Commissioner, 203 

Game Laws, 203, 204 

General Assembly, organization 
and powers of, 193, 194 

Generals in Civil War, from Illi- 
nois, 168 

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 

century, 73-78 
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, 

222, 223 
Indiana Territory, Illinois a part 

of, 67 

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, 

119, 120 
Minerals, 12 
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, 

177, 178 

Nicolet, Jean, 18 
Normal Schools, 211 
Northwest Territory, 64-66 
Northwestern University, 178, 



Oglesby, Richard, 152, 154, 216, 

217, 218 
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, 

190, 191 

Quincy, 101 



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 

1904, 221 

Reynolds, John, 92, 94 
Root, George F., 171 


St. Ange, Louis, 42-44 

St. Clair, General, 64-66 

School for Blind, 206 
Deaf, 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- 
nois, 57 

Spanish-American War, 219, 220 

Springfield, 117, 162 

Starved Rock, 29 

State boards and institutions, 
195-210, 211 

State Capitol, 116, 117,217 

"State Policy," 132, 133 

Steamboats, 104-108 

Stevenson, Vice President, 218 

Strikes and labor troubles, 184, 
199, 200, 217 

Supt. of Public Instruction, 130, 

190, 191 

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, 
183, 184 

Yates, Richard, ST., 159, 170, 172, 

Yates, Richard, Jr., 221 



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