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Full text of "Illinois, historical and statistical, comprising the essential facts of its planting and growth as a province, county, territory, and state. Derived from the most authentic sources, including original documents and papers. Together with carefully prepared statistical tables"

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Historical and Statistical 






Derived from the Most Authentic Sources, including Original 

Documents and Papers. Together with Carefully Prepared 

Statistical Tables relating to Population, Financial 

Administration, Industrial Progress, Internal 

Growth, Political and Military Events; 

and Complete Index. 



Ex-County Judge of Scott County; Private Secketary of Gov. Yates; Membbr 

OF THE Twenty-Ninth General Assembly of Illinois; Secretary of 

THK Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners, 

1880-3; Secretary and Librarian of the 

Chicago Historical Society; 

Etc., Etc. 






r: t e o 1 

Copyrighted, 1892. 



List of Illustrations, ix 

Period Sixth. — Under the Second Constitution, 
1848- 1870. 


The Constitutional Convention of 1847, ^^^ its Work — 
Elections of 1848 — Second Administration of Governor 
French — Sixteenth General Assembly — Election of 
Gen. Shields to the U.S. Senate — Laws— Seventeenth 
General Assembly — Free-Banking Law — First Home- 
stead-Exemption Law — Illinois-Central Railroad, 553 


Administration of Gov. Matteson — Eighteenth General 
Assembly — Re-election of Senator Douglas — Laws — 
State and National Politics — New Parties — Nineteenth 
General Assembly — Election of Senator Trumbull — 
Prohibitory Liquor-Law — The Common-School Law, 


chapter XXXIV. 

Formation of New Parties — The Bloomington Convention 
— Elections of 1856 — Administration of Gov. Bissell — 
Twentieth General Assembly — Laws — The Campaign 
of 1858 — Twenty -first General Assembly — Douglas 
again elected to the Senate — Laws — The Matteson 
Embezzlement — Death of Gov. Bissell — Succession of 
Lieut.-Gov. John Wood, 596 

chapter XXXV. 

Review — Conventions and Elections of i860 — Administra- 
tion of Gov. Yates — The Political Situation — Twenty- 
second General A.ssembly — Senator Trumbull's Second 
Election — War - Clouds — Lincoln's Inauguration — 
Attack on Fort Sumter — The War of the RebeUion 
begun — Enlistments under Different Calls — Changed 
Conditions of Public Affairs, . . - - 629 




Results of the First Year of the War— The Constitutional 
Convention of 1862— Further Calls for Troops— Yates' 
Masterly Appeal— Escape from the Draft— The Con- 
ference of Governors at Altoona — Emancipation — 
Elections of 1862— Twenty-third General Assembly- 
Election of U.-S. Senator — Laws— Special Session — 
The Assembly Prorogued 655 


State of Parties— The Northwestern Conspiracy— Threat- 
ened Attacks upon Camp Douglas and Chicago — 
The Political Campaigns of 1864— Party Platforms- 
Results — Progress of the War — Internal Progress — 
State -Debt, 686 


Administration of Gov. Oglesby, 1865-9— Twenty fourth- 
General Assembly — Yates Elected to United-States 
Senate — The Thirteenth Amendment — Laws — Close 
of the War — Assassination of President Lincoln, 714 


The Civil War — Number of Troops Engaged — Battles 
— Losses — Illinois in the War — Quotas — Troops Fur- 
nished by Each County — Bounties Paid — Regimental 
Losses at Fort Donelson — Shiloh — Stone River — 
Chickamauga — Missionary Ridge — Other Battles — 
Percentage of Losses — Officers from Illinois— Work 
of the "Stay-at-Homes" — Sanitary and Christian 
Commissions— Union League— Songs of the War, 725 


Gov. Oglesby's Administration — [Continued] — Changed 
Aspect of Politics — Reconstruction — Conventions and 
Elections of 1866— Twenty -fifth General Assembly — 
Re-election of United-States Senator Trumbull — Laws 
— New State-House — Political Conventions, Nomina- 
tions, and Elections of 1868— State Debt, Receipts, and 
Expenditures, 762 



Governor Palmer's Administration (1869-1873)— Twenty - 
sixth General Assembly — Ratification of the Fifteenth 
Amendment — Special Legislation — Laws and Vetoes — 
Lake -Front Law — Constitution of 1870, . 774 

Period Seventh. — Under the Constitution of 1870. 

chapter xlii. 

Gov. Palmer's Administration [Continued] — State Conven- 
tions, Nominations, and Elections of 1870 — Twenty- 
seventh General Assembly — Election of Gen. Logan 
to the Senate — Laws — Recess and Reassembling of 
the Legislature — Chicago Fire — Controversy between 
Governor Palmer and Mayor Mason — The Liberal- 
Republican Party — Presidential Nominations and 
Elections of 1872, ...... 795 


Administration of Gov. Beveridge — Twenty-eighth General 
Assembly — Election of Oglesby to the Senate — Laws 
—Parties and Platforms in 1874 — Twenty-ninth Gen- 
eral Assembly — Haines Speaker — Laws — The Cen- 
tennial Year — Conventions, Platforms, and Elections 
of 1876, 818 


Administration of Gov. Cullom — Thirtieth General Assem- 
bly — Election of David Davis to the United - States 
Senate — Laws — Labor Strikes — Politics in 1878 — 
Elections — Thirty-first General Assembly, . 841 


Progress — Gov. Cullom's Second Administration — Thirty- 
second General Assembly — Laws — Politics in 1882 — 
Thirty- third General Assembly — Election of Cullom 
to the Senate, 868 


Administration of Gov. John M. Hamilton — Temperance 
Legislation — Laws — Labor Problems — Riots in St. 
Clair and Madison Counties — Conventions, Platforms, 
and Elections of 1884, 882 



Second Administration of Oglesby — Thirty-fourth General 
Assembly — The Logan -Morrison Contest for United- 
States Senate — Special Election in the Thirty-fourth 
District — Laws — Strikes — Conventions and Elections 
of 1886 — Thirty -fifth General Assembly — Election of 
Farwell to the Senate, vice Logan deceased — Laws — 
Conventions and Electioins of 1888, ... 900 


Administration of Gov. Fifer — The Thirty- sixth General 
Assembly — Re-election of Cullom to the Senate — Laws 
— The Drainage Commission — Conventions of 1890 — 
The World's Columbian Exposition — Special Session 
of the Legislature — Laws — Growth — The Press — 
Literature, 924 


The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Departments — 
Politics and Politicians — Party Management— Election 
Statistics, . 954 


Education — The Common Schools — Colleges, . 988 


state Institutions — Penal, Reformatory, Benevolent, 1013 


Railroads in the United States— Illinois— Transportation 
Companies — The Railroad -and -Warehouse Commis- 
sion, . . 1041 


The Religious Denominations in Illinois — Their Classi- 
fication, Growth, and Strength— Secret Benevolent 
Societies, Masons, Odd -Fellows— Knights Templars 
— Knights of Pythias, 1068 


Appendix— Constitution of 1848, .... 1083 

Constitution of 1870, 1105 

Amendments to the Constitution of 1870, . . 1134 
Genesis and Growth of Counties, . . . 1137 
State Officers under Constitutions of 1848 and 1870, 1140 

Judiciary, 1142 

Judges of the Supreme Court, . . . . 1146 
Judges of the Circuit Court, . . . . 1147 
Judges of Cook-County Circuit Court, . . 1152 
Judges of Superior Court of Cook County, . 1152 
Judges of Appellate Courts, .... 1153 
Clerks of the Supreme Court, . . - 1153 

Reporters of the Supreme Court, . - - 1154 
Legislative Apportionments from 1818 to 1882, 1155 
Ivlembers of the General Assembly, ist to 37th, 1163 
Party Strength in Illinois Legislatures since 1855, 1189 
Speakers of the House of Representatives, - 1190 
State Boards of Equalization, . . . 1191 

^Congressional Apportionment of Representatives 

from Illinois, 1195 

United-States Senators, 1198 

■Representatives to Congress, .... 1199 

iPresidential Electors, 1204 

Delegates to Republican National Convention, '60, 12C5 
Delegates to Democratic National Convention, '60, 1205 
Receipts and Expenditures of the State, 1848-90, 1206 
Value of Real and Personal Property, . . 1207 
/Popular Vote of the State by Counties, 1852-90, 1208 
iFopular Vote of the State since 1824, . . 1212 
Commanders during the War of the Rebellion of 
Illinois Regiments and Batteries, aggregate 
strength, and strength at muster out, and date 
of final muster out— Infantry, . . . 1213 

Cavalry, 1225 

Artillery, 1227 


Roll of Illinois Major- Generals, Brevet Major- 
Generals, Brigadier-Generals, and Brevet Brig- 
adier-Generals, 1231 

Losses of Illinois Regiments and Batteries : 

Infantry, 1235 

Cavalry, . . . ' 1238 

Artillery, 1239 

State Banks, 1241 

State Property, 1242 

County Officers for 1891, 1243 

Index, ....... 1247 


Allen, James C. 
Allen, William J. 
Anthony, Elliott 
Arnold, Isaac N. . 
Bateman, Nev/ton, 
Bates, Erastus N. 
Benjamin, Reuben M. 
Beveridge, John L. 
Bissell, William H. . 
Blackstone, Timothy B. 
Blodgett, Henry W. 
Bogue, George M. 
Bross, William 
Browning, Orville H. 
Bushnell, Washington . 
Cable, Ransom R. 
Campbell, Thomas H. . 
Campbell, Thompson 
Campbell, William J, . 
Cannon, Joseph G. . 
Catherwood, Mary H. . 
Caton, John Dean 
Carr, Clark E. 
Colbert, Elias . 
Collins, Loren C, jr. . 
Conkling, James C. . 
Cook, Burton C. . 
Crafts, Clayton E. . 
Cullom, Shelby M. 
Davis, David 
Davis, George R. . 
Dement, Henry D. . 
Dement, John 
Dougherty, John 


.. II. 


Drummond, Thomas 

- 97a 


Dubois, Jesse K. 



Edsall, James K, . 

. 824 


Edwards, Cyrus 



Edwards, Ninian W. 

- 582 


Edwards, Richard 



Farwell, Charles B. 

. 916 


Field, Eugene . 



Fifer, Joseph W. . 

- 924 


Foster, John W. 



Fuller, Allen C. . 

. 650 


Fuller, Melville W. 



Funk, Isaac . 

- - 562 


Grant, Ulysses S. 



Gresham, W^alter Q. . 



Gross, Jacob 

. 892 


Haines, Elisha M. 



Hamilton, John M. 

. 882 


Harlow, George H. . 



Harrison, Carter H, 

. 986 


Hatch, Ozias M. 



Hay, Milton . 

. 788 


Kaynie, Isham N. 



Henderson, Thomas J 

- 986 


Hoffman, Francis A. 



Hughitt, Marvin 



Hunt, George 

- 844 


Hurlbut, Stephen A. 



Ingersoll, Robert G. 

- 650 


James, William A. . 



Judd, Norman B. . 

- 644 


Kirkland, Joseph 



Koerner, Gustavus 

- 582 


Lincoln, Robert T. . 




Lippincott, Charles E. . . 780 

Lockwood, Samuel D. . gSS 

Logan, John A. . . . 798 

Logan, Stephen T. . . 968 

McCartney, James . . ,878 

McClemand, John A. . 650 

McDougall, James A. . 562 

McMullen, James C. . 1042 

Mason, Edward G. . . 948 

Matteson, Joel A. . . 582 

Matthews, Asa C. . . 932 

Medill, Joseph . . .788 
Miller, James ... 626 

Miner, Orlin H. . . . 762 
Moore, John ... 582 

Morrison, William R. . 986 

Moses, John . . . 1046 

Moulton, Samuel W. . . 762 

Needles, Thomas B. . 844 

Oberly, John H. . . . goo 

Oglesby, Richard J. . . 714 

Palmer, John M. . . . 774 

Pearson, Isaac N. . . 932 

Phillips, Jesse J. . . . 650 

Poole, William F. . . 952 

Raab, Henry . . . 878 

Rauch, John H. . . 998 

Ray, Lyman B. . . . 932 

Reynolds, John P. . . 940 

Richardson, William A. . 562 

Ridgway, Thomas S. . 824 

Rinaker, John I. . . goo 

Root, George F. . . 952 

Ripley, Edward P. .. . 1042 

Rummel, Edward . . 780 

Scott, John M. . . . 968 

Shaw, James ... 844 

Shepard, Daniel . . . 932 

Shuman, Andrew . . 844 

Slade, James P. . . . 844 

Smith, George W. . . 824 

Smith, John C. . . . 900 

Springer, William M. . 986 

Swigert, Charles P. . . 878 

Tanner, John R. . . 932 

Thomas, Horace H. . . 892 

Thornton, William F. . 560 

Treat, Samuel H. . . 968 

Tree, Lambert ... 980 

Trumbull, Lyman . . 596 

Turner, Jonathan B. . . 998 

Upton, George P. . . . 952 

Vance, Joseph W. . . 892 

Washburne, Elihu Benj. . gSo 

Wells, W^illiam Harvey . 998 

W^entworth, John ... 562 

Williams, John ... 644 

W^ilson, Edward M. . . 940 

Wines, Frederick H. . 940 

Wood, John .... 626 

W^right, John Stephen . 998 

Yates, Richard ... 636 

Illinois, Historical and Statistical, 


Period VI. — Under the Second Constitu- 
tion, 1 848- 1 870. 


The Constitutional Convention of 1847, and its Work — 
Elections of 1848 — Second Administration of Governor 
French — Sixteenth General Assembly — Election of 
Gen. Shields to the U.S. Senate — Laws— Seventeenth 
General Assembly — Free-Banking Law — First Home- 
stead - Exemption Law — Illinois - Central Railroad. 

ILLINOIS, although in order of time the third State admitted 
into the Union from the Northwest Territory, was the first 
to revise and amend its organic law. Only six years had elapsed 
when it was proposed to call a constitutional convention, but 
the project then, 1824, was voted down in consequence of the 
slavery issue, as has been already explained. Not only was the 
first constitution found to be defective in many essential feat- 
ures when considered as an instrument designed for the govern- 
ment of a growing and transitional commonwealth, but it had 
also come to be regarded with disfavor by the politicians of both 
parties when viewed from a partisan standpoint. Democrats and 
whigs were alike anxious for its revision — the former that they 
might get rid of the obnoxious supreme-court judges; the latter 
that they might restrict the right of suffrage to citizens and 
make all county ofificers elective by the people. 

After the defeat of the call in 1824, although the advocates 
of revision did not cease their efforts, they failed to secure the 
passage of a joint-resolution by the legislature submitting the 
question to the popular vote until the session of 1840-1, and it 
was again defeated at the election of 1842 by the narrow major- 
ity of 1039. 

36 553 


The legislature of 1844-5, submitted another call to be voted 
upon in 1846, at which time the proposition carried by a vote 
of 58,339 to 23,013. 

Delegates were elected on the third Monday in April (19th), 
and the convention, composed of 162 members, assembled at 
Springfield, June 7, 1847. It was an unwieldy body in point 
of numbers, being larger than any of its successors, yet it con- 
tained its full proportion of the best talent which the State 
could furnish. Many of its members had already attained 
merited distinction in the service of the State. Among these 
may be mentioned the follov/ing: Archibald Williams, an able 
lawyer, who had been a valuable member of the legislature and 
was subsequently appointed a judge of the United-States dis- 
trict court in Kansas; Francis C. Sherman, who had also served 
as a law-maker and who afterward became a leading politician 
in and mayor of Chicago; Zadoc Casey, who had been six times 
chosen to congress ; Walter B. Scates, who had formerly occu- 
pied a seat upon the bench of the supreme court of the State; 
Col. John Dement, an old ranger and for many years a member 
of the legislature and more than once appointed state treasurer; 
Cyrus Edwards, a distinguished member of the state senate 
and a leading whig from Madison County. 

Morgan County sent an able delegation composed of Samuel 
D. Lockwood,* William Thomas,f Newton Cloud, and James 

Sangamon County also sent a strong delegation, at the head 
of which was that eminent jurist, Stephen Trigg Logan. The 
others were Ninian W, Edwards — son of Gov. Ninian Edwards 
— an efficient legislator and public officer; James H. Matheny, 
then an able young lawyer and at present the popular judge of 

* J^'^gs Lockwood came to the State from New York with Wm. H. Brown in 
1 818, and for thirty years had occupied a prominent and influential position, having 
been on the supreme bench since 1824; and no man stood higher in respect of purity 
of character, sound judgment, and eminent ability. He retired to private life in 
1849, and died at Batavia, Illinois, April 13, 1874. 

t William Thomas came to Jacksonville, Illinois, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, 
in 1826. His abilities were soon recognized by the people, who frequently returned 
him to the general assembly, where he proved an intelligent, safe, and reliable legis- 
lator. He still (August, 1889,) survives at the age of 86 years, an upright and hon- 
ored citizen, who has accomplished much in his day and generation for the good of 
the State. 


his county to which position he has been four times elected; 
and John Dawson previously a member of four general assem- 

Among other distinguished members may be mentioned: 
Thomas A. Marshall, Richard B. Servant, and John D. White- 
side. Of those who sat in that convention, the following mem- 
bers were afterward elected to congress; James W, Singleton, 
Jesse O. Norton, Stephen A. Hurlbut, James Knox, Abner C. 
Harding, Anthony Thornton, and Willis Allen — also to the 
bench, Thompson Campbell; and the following as circuit judges: 
Henry M. Wead, David M. Woodson, David Davis — later pro- 
moted to the bench of the U.-S. supreme court and still later 
chosen U.-S. senator, Wm. A. Minshall, Alexander M. Jenkins, 
Onslow Peters, and Chas. H. Constable. John M. Palmer of 
Macoupin County, was subsequently elected governor, and David 
L, Gregg, of Cook County, secretary of state. Among the dele- 
gates who afterward became prominent in state politics as mem- 
bers of the legislature were Wm. R. Archer and Wm. A. Grim- 
shaw of Pike County, George W. Armstrong of LaSalle, Nathan 
M. Knapp of Scott, Linus E. Worcester of Greene, Samuel 
Snowden Hayes of White, Selden M. Church of Winnebago, 
and Henry E. Dummer of Cass County. 

Although party lines were not strictly drawn in the selection 
of delegates, the democrats were careful to maintain in the 
convention the supremacy which they held in the State, elect- 
ing 92 out of the 162 members. Newton Cloud was chosen presi- 
dent of the convention, Henry W. Moore, secretary, and John 
A. Wilson, sergeant-at-arms. It soon became apparent that the 
members intended to proceed deliberately and to make a thor- 
ough revision of the old constitution. The declaration of funda- 
mental principles in the Bill of Rights was, however, copied 
almost verbatim from the old instrument — the only changes 
therein being those providing that the military shall be in strict 
subordination to the civil power, that "no soldier in time of 
peace shall be quartered in any house without consent of the 
owner, nor in time of war, except in manner prescribed by law;" 
and the addition of a section prohibiting dueling. 

The tendency of popular thought and sentiment in this coun- 
try has always been to curtail the powers of the legislative 


branch of the government, while enlarging those of the people. 
It is therefore not surprising that the most exciting and inter- 
esting discussions in the convention were those relative to the 
definition of governmental powers and the regulation of the 
elective franchise, these being, as it must be remembered, the 
prevailing issues between the two dominant parties. 

The debates in many instances were somewhat heated and 
the speakers indulged in offensive personalities, notably in the 
discussion between Messrs. Thompson Campbell and O. C. 
Pratt of Jo Daviess County, which resulted in a mutual agree- 
ment between these gentlemen to submit the issue to the arbit- 
rament of the sword or pistol on the field of honor near St. 
Louis. The intervention of the police prevented any effusion 
of blood, but only a miraculous interposition could have checked 
the effervesence of mutual spleen which found an outlet in a 
wordy but harmless correspondence. 

In providing for the election by the people, of the judges of 
the supreme court, as well as of all the state officers, the con- 
vention went much farther than had been anticipated. This 
innovation upon the ancient and stereotyped methods of judi- 
cial appointments by the governor or legislatures of the respec- 
tive states, was initiated by the State of Georgia in an amend- 
ment to her constitution in 1812, providing that the justices of 
the inferior courts should be elected for a term of four years by 
the people, the selection of the judges of the supreme court 
being still confided to the general assembly. The first consti- 
tution of Indiana, 18 16, provided that the judges of the supreme 
court should be appointed by the governor and confirmed by 
the senate; the presidents of the circuit-courts to be chosen by 
the legislature, and the two associate circuit-judges elected by 
the people of the several counties. Georgia, in her second con- 
stitution adopted in 1832, was also the first state to take from 
the governor or general assembly the power of appointing su- 
preme and circuit-court judges and give it to the people. The 
next state to adopt the new system was New York, followed 
by the then, new State of Iowa in 1846. Whether the change 
has been a wise one admits of arguments on both sides, and 
may be still considered a moot question. It has been followed, 
since 1848, in the revisions of twenty-seven states. Virginia, 


however, in her constitution of 1864, returned to the method of 
election by the legislature, as did Mississippi in 186S. The 
judges are still elected by the legislature in the states of Rhode 
Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Georgia — the latter hav- 
ing returned to the old system. In eight states the judges are 
appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the coun- 
cil or senate, as follows: IMaine, Massachusetts, New Hamp- 
shire, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana — and supreme court 
judges only, in Mississippi and New Jersey. 

Another tendency in those states which have adopted the 
popular elective system is, to extend the term of service of the 
judges, especially those of the court of last resort, which has 
been increased in New York from eight to fourteen years, in 
Pennsylvania from fifteen to twenty-one years, in Missouri from 
six to ten years, in California from ten to twelve, and in 
Maryland from ten to fifteen years. 

The powers of the general assembly were further curtailed in 
the following particulars: that divorces should be granted only 
for such causes as might be specified by general law, and not by 
the legislature directly; that no extra compensation should be 
granted to any public officer, agent, servant, or contractor, after 
the service had been rendered or the contract entered into; that 
no lotteries should be authorized for any purpose; that the 
charter of the state bank, or any other bank heretofore exist- 
ing in the State should not be revived or extended. Moreover, 
remembering the financial embarassments into which the body 
politic had been plunged by adopting a hastily-conceived sys- 
tem of internal improvements — the State was prohibited from 
contracting any indebtedness exceeding fifty thousand dollars 
and even that amount only "to meet casual deficits or failures 
in revenue." Neither was the credit of the State "in any man- 
ner to be given to, nor in aid of, any individual association or 

The features of an executive term of four years and the 
ineligibility of the governor to an immediate reelection were 
preserved. The cumbrous appendage of the first constitution, 
called the Council of Revision, adopted from the State of New 
York, was abolished, and in lieu thereof the governor was vested 
with a qualified veto power. 


The advocates of a restricted right of suffrage, Hmiting its 
exercise to white male citizens, as contradistinguished from 
inhabitants, and thus disfranchising unnaturahzed foreigners who 
enjoyed that privilege under the constitution of 1818, succeeded 
in engrafting upon the new instrument their favorite article. The 
laws of the different states have not been at all uniform on this 
subject — new commonwealths have generally extended the priv- 
ilege to all inhabitants. Actual citizenship is required in the 
following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, 
Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, 
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ver- 
mont, Virginia, and West Virginia. In all the others citizen- 
ship or a declaration of intention to become a citizen is neces- 
sary. Kentucky is the only state requiring a residence of two 
years; twenty -six require one year; eight, six months; one, 
four months; and two, Michigan and Maine, three months. 

The cry of economy and retrenchment in administering the 
state government, which had been heard for so many years, led 
the convention into the commission of its gravest error. This 
was in attempting practically to limit the sessions of the general 
assembly arbitrarily to forty-two days; the provision being that 
two dollars per day for the first forty-two days' attendance, and 
one dollar per day for each day's attendance thereafter, should 
be allowed to the members as a compensation for their services, 
"and no more." The time specified for a general session was 
entirely too short, and the amount allowed members was alto- 
gether too little. In fact, so distrustful was the convention of 
the legislature that the former body determined to fix all 
salaries of state-officers and judges in the constitution, and all 
of them at a parsimoniously low figure. Thus the governor was 
given $1500; the supreme-court judges, $1200; circuit-judges, 
$1000; state auditor, $1000; treasurer and secretary of state, 
$800 each. These would have been absurdly low rates to fix 
even by statute, which might have been amended in two years; 
but to place them in the fundamental law, to remain irrevocably 
fixed, was certainly either to invite its evasion or to stimulate a 
desire for an early change. As will be seen hereafter, it was a 
very ill-considered and costly attempt at economy and reform. 

ELECTION IN 1 848. 559 

Thus have been mentioned the principal changes made by the 
convention in the first constitution. It completed its work Aug. 
31. The constitution was submitted to the popular vote at an 
election held March 6, 1848, and ratified by the following vote: 
for the constitution 59,887; against, 15,859. For Article XIV, 
prohibiting free persons of color from immigrating to and 
settling in the State, 49,060; against, 20,883. For Article XV, 
providing for a two-mill tax, 41,017; against, 30,586. The new 
constitution went into effect April i, 1848. 

Perhaps the most important work done by the convention 
was the adoption of Article XV — providing for a two-mill tax, 
the fund arising from which should be exclusively applied to 
the payment of state indebtedness, other than canal and school 

The tendency in the public mind to honorably liquidate the 
vast debt created under the internal - improvement system, 
although there was still an active minority who favored repudia- 
tion in whole or in part, was thus fastened, and the question 
placed beyond the power of legislative tinkering. 

A notable and interesting event relating to the personnel of 
the convention of 1847 was a reunion of its surviving members 
at Springfield on January 3, 1884. Thirty-one were still living 
of whom the following were present at the meeting: David 
Davis, John M. Palmer, Walter B. Scates, Augustus Adams, 
Wm. A. Grimshaw, Wm. R. Archer, Montgomery Blair, M. G. 
Dale, P. W. Deitz, Joseph T. Eccles, N. W. Edwards, Anthony 
Thornton, Samuel Lander, James H. Matheny, W. B. Powers, 
George W. Rives, Oaks Turner, James Tuttle, Edward M. 
West, Linus E. Worcester, Alvin R. Kenner, George W. Arm- 
strong. The following were not present, Wm. Thomas, O. C. 
Pratt, E. O. Smith, John W. Mason, Alfred Lindley, the last 
three of whom were unaccounted for, Harman G. Reynolds, 
the assistant-secretary was also present as was the venerable 
Albert Hale, who officiated as chaplain.* 

There were four general elections held in the state in 1848, 

* It is perhaps not unimportant in this connection to note the farther fact relating 
to the personnel of the convention, namely, that of the members seventy-six v/ere 
farmers, fifty-four lawyers, twelve physicians, nine merchants, four mechanics, three 
clerks, one a professor, one a miller, one a minister, and one an engineer. 


as follows: upon the question of the adoption of the constitu- 
tion, as above stated; the election of state officers in August; 
the election of judges the first Monday in September (3); and 
the presidential election in November; but under the constitu- 
tion of 1848, and ever since that year, all general, state, and 
presidential elections have been held at the same time, namely, 
on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, 

As the power of the people had been extended to the elec- 
tion of all state and county officers, increased interest and im- 
portance was given to county and state conventions and to all 
general elections. Counties had now the selection of their own 
officers — that privilege having been extended heretofore only 
to the offices of sheriff, coroner, and county commissioners. 

A democratic state convention to name "candidates for gov- 
ernor and other state officers" was called to meet at Springfield 
on April 24, which was duly convened and presided over by 
Col, John Moore, There was no controversy over the first 
officer to be nominated; the new constitution having cut short 
the term of Gov, French two years, he was the unanimous 
choice of his party for reelection. Wm, McMurtry of Knox 
County was nominated for lieutenant-governor, the then incum- 
bent, Joseph B. Wells having decided to run for congress in the 
Galena district, where he was opposed and beaten by Col. E, 
D. Baker, Horace S. Cooley of Adams County, was nominated 
for secretary of state; Thomas H, Campbell of Randolph, 
auditor of public accounts; and Milton Carpenter* of Hamil- 
ton, state treasurer — the three last-named candidates being the 
then incumbents of the offices for which they were renominated. 

The whigs, feeling that it would prove a hopeless task to 
undertake the election of a state-ticket, decided not to call a 
convention. Gov. French received 67,453 votes, while scatter- 
ing votes were polled for Pierre Menard, Dr. Charles Volney 
Dyer, and others, and for O. H. Browning, Henry H. Snow, and 
J. L. D. Morrison, for lieutenant-governor. 

■The democratic national convention was held at Baltimore, 
May 22, where Gen. Lewis Cass was nominated for president 
on the fourth ballot, and Gen. Wm. O. Butler for vice-president. 

* Mr. Carpenter died soon after his election and was succeeded by John Moore, 
who was appointed by the governor to the position, August 14. 


The whig national convention — called the "slaughter-house 
convention," because of the defeat of so many great statesmen 
— met at Philadelphia, June 7. The admirers of Clay, Webster, 
and Gen. Winfield Scott had to give way to those of Gen. 
Zachary Taylor, who received the nomination for president on 
the fourth ballot, having steadily gained from the first when, he 
received in votes, to 97 for Clay, 43 for Scott, and 22 for 
Webster. Millard Fillmore of New York was nominated for 
vice-president, on the second ballot. 

The whigs made a determined fight in the State for president 
and came very near being successful — the vote being for Cass 
56,300, Taylor, 53,047 — while Martin Van Buren, the candidate 
of the free democratic convention, who was nominated at Buf- 
falo, August 9, with Charles Francis Adams for vice-president, 
received IS>774 votes. The whigs succeeded, however, in elect- 
ing only one out of seven members of congress — Col. E. D, 
Baker, in the Galena district — the old whig district, the seventh, 
having been carried unexpectedly by Maj. Thomas L. Harris, 
against Judge Stephen T. Logan. At the election for judges 
of the supreme court in September, Lyman Trumbull was elected 
in the southern division, Samuel H. Treat in the central, and 
John Dean Caton in the northern — all democrats. 

Although the constitution fixed the time of holding the 
general election, including that for members of the general 
assembly, on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, it 
was provided by the schedule attached to that instrument that 
the first general election thereunder should be held at the old 
period in August. The whigs having no state ticket in the field 
succeeded in electing but few members of the legislature. 

Under the new constitution the general assembly was com- 
posed of one hundred members — seventy-five in the house and 
twenty-five in the senate; and the time for the meeting of this 
body was fixed for the first Monday in January, biennially. It 
had been found under the old regime that but little business 
was transacted in the month of December, especially during the 
holidays, when most of the members returned to their homes. 
The first Monday in January, 1849, upon which the sixteenth 
general assembly convened, fell upon New- Year's day. There 
was a marked absence of many old-time and familiar hangers- 


on. There were no judges to elect, nor state officers, nor prose- 
cuting attorneys. The people had relieved the legislature from 
the discharge of this duty. 

Zadoc Casey, who had been returned to the house a^ter an 
absence of nearly a quarter of a century, was elected speaker, 
receiving forty-six votes to nineteen cast for Richard Yates. 
Mr. Casey had already had large experience as presiding officer 
of the senate, in which capacity as to voice, impartiality, grace, 
and dignity of bearing, he never had a superior in this State. 

Nathaniel Niles was elected clerk, Harmon G. Reynolds and 
Andrew J. Galloway assistants, and Samuel Ewing doorkeeper. 
William Smith was chosen secretary of the senate, and I. G. 
Davidson sergeant-at-arms. On the roll of the senate were to 
be found the familiar names of Joseph Gillespie, Josiah Mc 
Roberts, John Todd Stuart — after an absence of four years in 
congress, Newton Cloud, Franklin Witt, Hugh L. Sutphin, Wm. 
Reddick, Joel A. Matteson, John Denny, David Markly, and 
Norman B. Judd. J. L. D. Morrison, Uri Manley, and Demp- 
sey Odam had been transferred from a previous service in the 
house. Among the new members were John P. Richmond from 
Schuyler County, Hezekiah H. Gear, from Jo Daviess, and 
William B. Plato from Kane. 

Richard Yates, who had remained out a term, again appears 
as one of the representatives from Morgan County. There were 
also in the house the familar names of Usher F. Linder, Thos. 
Carlin — serving out the unexpired term of John D. Fry, N. W. 
Edwards, Francis C. Sherman, Curtis Blakeman, Wm. Picker- 
ing, and Samuel S. Hayes. The following members, afterward 
conspicuous in congress and in state politics, appeared in this 
session for the first time: William Kellogg, Abner C. Harding, 
Edward Y. Rice, Cyrenius B. Denio, Ozias C. Skinner, Ebene- 
zer Z. Ryan, Richard S. Thomas, John W. Smith, Dr. Philip 
Maxwell, George W. Rives, and Col. Charles F. Keener from 
Scott County. 

One of the first things claiming the attention of the legisla- 
ture after its organization, was to pass resolutions endorsing the 
Mexican War and eulogizing its heroes; the next in order was 
to ratify the choice of a democratic caucus in the election of a 
United-States senator. There had been three candidates, Judge 


Breese to succeed himself, Gen. James Shields, the battle-scarred 
hero of Cerro Gordo, and John A. McClernand, then a member 
of congress. The contest was exceedingly animated and close. 
Judge Breese having largely the advantage at the start, but as 
time wore on the general forged ahead and secured the prize 
upon the second ballot. He received seventy-one votes in the 
joint session on January 13, to twenty-six cast for Gen. W. F. 
Thornton, who had been nominated by the whigs. 

Gen. Shields and his friends celebrated his triumph in a grand 
supper and ball, but as it afterward befell, his ambition "had 
overleaped itself," the refrain to his anthem of joy turning 
into a dolorous discord. 

Upon arriving in Washington he found that a question had 
been raised in regard to his eligibility. Having been born 
in Ireland, he had come into the State when under age, and 
claimed that he became a citizen by the naturalization of his 
father; but a question as to the correctness of this position, hav- 
ing been raised, although he had been a voter and officeholder 
in the State for many years, he concluded to make his final 
declaration and take out his papers regularly under the clause 
permitting minors to do so who had resided three years in the 
State, previous to their arriving at full age. This was on Oct. 
21, 1840, which at the time of his election left him eight months 
short of the nine years citizenship required by the constitution 
for eligibility to a seat in the United-States senate. 

The general concluded at once that his opponent, Judge 
Breese, whom he was in a few days to succeed, was the origina- 
tor of the objection to his eligibility, and thereupon wrote him 
an exceedingly hot, imprudent, and ill-advised private letter, in 
which among other foolish things he stated "that if I had been 
defeated by you on that ground [want of citizenship], I had 
sworn in my heart that you never should have profited by your 
success, and depend upon it, I would have kept that vow regard- 
less of consequences." He concluded his angry effusion as 
follows: "if, however, you persist in your course of injustice 
toward me, and refuse this request, I here give you fair warn- 
ing — let the consequences fall on your own head — I shall hold 
myself accountable both before God and man for the course I 
shall feel bound to pursue toward you." 


The sober, second thought of Gen. Shields told him he had 
been hasty and injudicious in penning such a letter, and he 
authorized two senators to call upon the judge and ask for its with- 
drawal. But to this the latter would not consent, and on Feb. 
26, published the letter with his comments in the National In- 
telligencer. The general published a card in reply, in which he 
endeavored to explain that the warning which had been con- 
strued into a threat of assassination, merely meant an exposure 
of character. 

He having failed to establish the fact of his naturalization 
while he was yet a minor, the committee of the senate to 
whom his credentials had been referred were not long in coming 
to a conclusion that he was ineligible to his seat, and their 
report to that effect was brought in. Thereupon Gen. Shields 
tendered his resignation, which, however was not accepted 
by the senate, but the resolution declaring him ineligible was 
adopted after a long debate without a division, March 15. 

The legislature having adjourned, an interesting controversy 
arose in the public press in regard to the power of the gover- 
nor to fill the vacancy. Gov. French decided not to make any 
appointment, but to call the legislature together again for the 
purpose of choosing a senator. That body was convened Oct. 
22, by which time the disability of Gen. Shields had been 
removed through the lapse of time. The contest between the 
three candidates which had been sufficiently warm in the first 
instance was now renewed and soon became exceedingly bitter; 
the hostility to Shields being greatly aggravated by the publi- 
cation of his intemperate letter to Judge Breese. The candi- 
dates were not far apart in the caucus, the first ballot giving 
Shields 28 votes, Breese 21, and McClernand 18. The general, 
however, succeeded on the twenty- first ballot, which stood. 
Shields 37, Breese 20, and McClernand 12. Of course his 
election by the general assembly followed in due time. 

The prolonged and exciting discussion growing out of the 
new acquisitions of territory under the treaty of Guadaloupe 
Hidalgo began at this session, and the opponents of the exten- 
sion of slavery succeeded in adopting a joint-resolution, by a 
vote of 14 to II in the senate and 38 to 34 in the house, in- 
structing our senators in congress, and requesting our represen- 


tatives, to use all honorable means to procure the enactment of 
such laws by congress as should contain the express declaration 
"that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude 
in said territories, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." The reso- 
lution was supported by all the whigs and a sufficient number 
of democrats in each house to carry it. 

Another subject which occupied the attention of the legisla- 
ture was the controversy between Gov. French and the authori- 
ties of St. Louis in regard to the construction of a dike from 
Bloody Island to the Illinois shore. The formation of sandbars 
in the Mississippi River opposite St. Louis threatened the diver- 
sion of the channel of the river to its left bank and the destruc- 
tion of the harbor of that city. Congress had been invoked 
and had made an appropriation to improve and protect the 
harbor, and St. Louis determined in pursuance of the plans of 
the government, as was alleged, to construct a dike which would 
force the current of the river to the St. Louis side. The gov- 
ernor was induced to regard the work as an infringement upon 
the rights of the people of Illinois. The papers of the period 
were full of the controversy, and proceedings were held in the 
courts to enjoin the prosecution of the work. The matter being 
brought before the legislature and duly considered, the contro- 
versy was finally adjusted by the passage of a resolution, 
mutually satisfactory to the parties concerned, providing that 
the city of St. Louis should be authorized and empowered to 
complete the works then in progress upon condition that it 
should guarantee the construction of a safe and commodious 
highway over the dam or dike, the full right of way over which 
should be secured to the public, and that said city should pro- 
vide for the St. Clair- County Ferry-Company a landing on 
Bloody Island free from all expense or damages. The work 
was completed by Feb. i, 185 1, as stipulated. And thus it 
happened, that the city of St. Louis constructed at its own ex- 
pense, within the jurisdiction of Illinois, a costly work of inter- 
nal improvement — primarily for the benefit of its own citizens 
but ultimately, as the result proved, greatly to the advantage of 
the people of this State, not only without the consent of the 
latter but in the very teeth of their active executive and legal 


opposition, for to this dike is due the growth of the thriving 
and important city of East St. Louis. 

It was at this session of the legislature that the course was 
adopted in reference to internal improvements, which soon 
became known and defended under the name of "State policy." 
This was to refuse the granting of charters for the construction 
of railroads unless the contemplated line began and ended at 
some prominent town or city in the State. The question arose 
upon the presentation of a resolution of the Indiana legislature 
requesting that Illinois would incorporate a company for the 
building of a railroad, to be called the Ohio and Mississippi, 
which was to have its starting point on the Ohio River at Cin- 
cinnati and terminate on the Mississippi River opposite St. 
Louis. A long and exciting contest grew out of the question 
of the adoption of such a policy, which was participated in not 
only by the people living along the route of the proposed rail- 
road, but by the press and capitalists of this and other states 
as well. Meetings were held, at which the exclusive policy was 
denounced in strong terms, and the governor was requested to 
call a special session of the legislature for the purpose of enact- 
ing a general railroad -law, which had failed of passage at the 
regular session. Immense meetings were also held in the interest 
of "State policy" — the one at Hillsboro being attended by 
12,000 people. 

At the special session a general railroad-law was passed, but 
it contained so many defective and objectionable provisions as 
to render it practically inoperative. At the same time, the 
joint-committee on railroads made a formal report which was 
adopted by a vote of 43 to 27 in the house, and with but two 
dissenting votes in the senate, in which this peculiar doctrine 
was set forth, as follows: "that the prosperity of a state con- 
sists not only in the virtue and intelligence of a brave and 
energetic people, in the richness of her soil and natural re- 
sources, but also in the number and extent of her flourishing 
towns, cities, and villages." "That any internal improvement 
tending in its operations to impede the growth and prospects of 
cities, towns, and villages, within our our own borders, ought not 
to be encouraged." "That a railroad commencing at our eastern 
boundary and terminating opposite St. Louis and also uniting 


with continuous lines of railroad extending eastwardly through 
our sister states would be immensely advantageous to St. Louis, 
at the same time that it would impede the growth and prosper- 
ity of the cities, towns, and other localities on the Illinois side 
of the Mississippi River." 

In the meantime. Judge Douglas and others of our public 
men with a clearer vision had urged upon the people a more 
liberal and comprehensive view, and showing that while prefer- 
ence should be given to our own towns and cities, without doing 
injury or injustice to others, the great interest of our State was 
agricultural, and that must not be sacrificed for the smaller inter- 
ests of localities. So that when the legislature of 1851 con- 
vened, the friends of the project succeeded in passing the 
charter of the Ohio-and-Mississippi Railroad. Opposition still 
continued, however, to the proposed line from Terre Haute to 
St. Louis via Vandalia, and the advocates of a more liberal 
policy were not finally successful in securing the desired legis- 
lation until 1854. 

The laws of general interest passed at the first session were 
as follows: to establish the Illinois Institution for the Blind; to 
regulate elections and provide for a return to the mode of 
voting by ballot; for the loan of money at such rate of interest, 
not exceeding ten per cent per annum, as the parties might 
agree upon; for the construction of plank-roads; for the estab- 
lishment of telegraphs; to provide for township and county 
organization — being the first law enacted on the new departure 
in this direction. 

The general assembly adjourned after sitting precisely the 
forty-two days prescribed by the constitution, and the members 
received the commendations of their constituents and the news- 
papers generally for the satisfactory work accomplished by them 
in so short a time. But it was not long before it was discovered 
that a much longer time might have been profitably spent in 
needed legislation; and the legislature was accordingly called 
to meet in special session, Oct. 23 — the governor specifying no 
less than eleven different subjects requiring action, in addition 
to the election of a United-States senator. Its action has been 
already partly anticipated. In addition to the act to provide 
for a general system of railroad incorporations, others of general 


interest were passed as follows: an act to enable the auditor to 
prosecute claims in favor of the State; to establish the juris- 
diction of the circuit court; and amendatory of the revenue 
laws. The extra session was a short one, lasting only from Oct. 
22, to November 7. 

The census of 1850 gave Illinois a population of 851,470, an 
increase of twenty-nine per cent over 1845, and of nearly eighty 
per cent over 1840. She had advanced, in point of numbers at 
least, from the fourteenth State to the eleventh. The Illinois- 
and-Michigan Canal, instead of being a tax upon her resources, 
had been completed and was earning a revenue of over $40,000 
per annum, toward the discharge of the debt created for its 
construction. She had two lines of railroad, the old Northern- 
Cross, now called the Sangamon-and-Morgan, from Meredosia 
to Decatur; and the Galena-and-Chicago Union, from Chicago 
to Elgin. The revenue laws were producing a fund for the 
liquidation of the State debt, and for the first time in over 
twenty years, auditor's warrants were nearly at par, the ordinary 
revenue being sufficient to meet the current demands upon the 
treasury. The electric telegraph, with its miraculous speedy 
flashes of intelligence, began to affect the operations of business 
by the introduction of new methods, stimulating new enter- 
prises, and greater efforts all over the country. 

The only state officer elected in 1850 was John Moore, state 
treasurer, to fill a vacancy. 

The seventeenth general assembly met on Jan. 6, 185 1. John 
M. Palmer, Joseph Gillespie, John Wood, Peter Sweat, and 
Andrew J. Kuykendall were among the new members elected 
to the senate. In the house, Wesley Sloan, Orville Sexton, 
Zadoc Casey, Wm. Pickering, U. F. Linder, Richard G. Murphy, 
Wm. Thomas, Ninian W. Edwards, and Robert F. Barnett,' were 
all the old members, or those who had previously served therein, 
returned. Among those serving for the first time were Isham 
N. Haynie, Sidney Breese, John E. Detrich, Wm. H. Snyder, 
Philip B, Fouke, Samuel A. Buckmaster, Charles D. Hodges, J. 
C. Winter, Nathan M. Knapp, James C. Conkling, Oliver L. 
Davis, Charles Emmerson, Anthony Thornton, Ozias M. Hatch, 
James W. Singleton, Joseph Sibley, John Hise, Jesse O. Nor- 
ton, Aaron Shaw, and Thomas Dyer. 


The democrats had maintained their ascendancy in both 
houses, and Sidney Breese, having received the nomination in 
caucus over A. G. Caldwell, as a recognition of past services in 
the senate, to which he had failed to be renominated, was elected 
speaker; Isaac R. Diller was chosen clerk, Wm. A. J. Sparks, 
assistant-clerk, and Samuel B. Smith, doorkeeper — all by 
acclamation, the whigs not deeming it worth while to make 
any opposition. Wm. Smith was reelected secretary of the 
senate and Edward A. Bedell, sergeant-at-arms. 

The governor in his message referred to the short time allotted 
for the session and the large amount of legislative action de- 
manded. He stated the amount of the State debt, which had 
been nearly all funded under the act of 1847, to be $16,627,509. 
No general assembly can be credited with a greater amount of 
important and far-reaching legislation than the seventeenth. 

To begin with its political action; after no little debating, a 
series of resolutions was adopted early in the session approving 
the adjustment measures passed by congress on the slavery ques- 
tion and especially rescinding the one embodying the Wilmot 
proviso adopted at the last session. The principal acts passed 
were as follows: to exempt homesteads from sale on execution 
— the first law on this subject; to prohibit the retailing of in- 
toxicating drinks — a prohibitory law for the sale of liquors in 
less quantity than one quart, for the entire State; remodeling 
and reenacting the township-organization act; to establish a 
general system of banking, which was in its main features a copy 
of the New York free-banking law, providing for a deposit with 
the auditor of United States or State, stocks as a security for 
their circulation under certain restrictions and limitations. Three 
bank commissioners were provided for with power to examine 
into the management of the banks, and required to render quar- 
terly sworn statements regarding their condition to the auditor. 

In accordance with the requirement of the constitution, this 
law was submitted for popular approval at the November elec- 
tion of 185 1. It was adopted by a vote of 37,626 in favor of, 
to 31,405 against the law — not half the votes of the State, 
however, being polled. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the democratic party had been 
opposed to banks, all the governors since 1834 having made 


that opposition a prominent feature in their messages, and 
although the democrats had control of the legislature by a pre- 
ponderance of two to one, the measure was introduced by a 
democrat and received the support of a majority of democratic 
members. As many whigs, in proportion to their numbers, 
voted against it as democrats. The bill was returned by the 
governor with his objections, in which he very clearly set forth 
its weak points, as they were subsequently admitted to be after 
the law went into practical operation. 

As a system of legitimate banking, it was without proper 
checks and requirements relating to location, capital, and re- 
demption, but as a system for furnishing a safe circulating 
medium, it was well guarded and proved a success up to the 
time of the rebellion in 1861. Although frequently called upon 
to put up margins to make good the depreciated stocks deposited 
as a security for their circulation, they so uniformly responded 
that out of the one hundred and ten banks in operation at the 
close of the year i860, but fourteen had gone out of existence 
either by voluntary withdrawal or forfeiture under the law. And 
of these the securities had been found ample to redeem their 
notes dollar for dollar in specie, with one exception, where there 
was a loss of only three per cent. 

By Jan. i, 1857, fifty banks had gone into operation, with a 
circulation of $6,480,873, and by i860, there were one hundred 
and ten banks, with a circulation of $12,320,964, secured by 
stocks of the par value of $13,979,973. 

The leading argument in favor of the ratification of this law 
by the people was the fact that the only currency in circulation 
was that from other states, whose value could not be so readily 
and certainly ascertained as that of banks which should be 
supervised and whose issues should be guarded by our State 
officers. And whatever the ultimate event, it must be conceded 
that these institutions furnished a currency which was no small 
factor in promoting facilities for trade during the unwonted per- 
iod of prosperity upon which the people of the State now entered. 
The law was subsequently amended in important particulars, and 
curtailed of many of its objectionable features; and it may be 
stated in its defence that the present system of national banking 
— the best that financial skill has been as yet able to devise — 


is the outgrowth, with its defects eliminated, of this free, stock- 
banking system.* 

The financial revulsion of 1857, which followed upon the fail- 
ure of the Ohio Life and Trust Company, while it exhibited 
the worthlessness of the greater portion of the lUinois institu- 
tions as banks of business, did not result in any material losses 
to the people on their circulation. Over $9,5oo,cxdo of the $14,- 
CX)0,ooo of stocks deposited to secure their circulation in i860 
were those of southern states, principally Missouri, Tennessee, 
and Virginia; and when the National crisis of 1861 came, they 
at once began to depreciate. Twenty-two banks were called 
upon in November, i860, to make good their securities. The 
agitation of secessionists and apparent determination of several 
southern states to withdraw from the Union gave rise to a feel- 
ing of financial uncertainty with resulting disorders throughout 
the land. Only the bills of those banks which were based upon 
northern securities passed current, and these were rapidly with- 
drawn from circulation, while those less favorably secured passed 
from hand to hand with "a nervous precipitancy which showed 
the general distrust in their value." Those bills which were 
quoted bankable one day were thrown out the next, and no one 
could tell when he laid down at night whether or not he would 
have enough current money in the morning to pay for his break- 
fast. It was a trying time for bankers, especially those who 
held large deposits, the payment of which was variously com- 
promised by a discount of ten to thirty per cent. By Novem- 
ber, 1862, only twenty-two solvent banks were reported, while 
ninety-three had suspended or gone out of business. The banks 
in liquidation had paid on their circulation all the way from 
par to as little as forty-nine cents on the dollar, the average 
being about sixty, involving a loss of nearly $4,000,000. But 

* It was found, however, that the circulation of the Illinois banks did not afford a 
sufficient volume of currency for business wants. To avoid inconvenient presenta- 
tion of the bills for redemption, they were sent into, and so far as possible circulated 
in other states, while the bills of other states, for the same reason were brought here. 
The great variety of currency afloat in 1855-6 is shown in the amount received by a 
railroad conductor on the C, B. & Q. R. R. during one trip. The total sum was 
$203 which came from twenty-three different banks, of which Georgia furnished 
$115, New York $11, Iowa $5, Virginia $5, Tennessee $5, Indiana $5, Wisconsin 
$6, Ohio 10, Michigan $10, Connecticut $5, Maine $5, Illinois $21. — Andreas' 
" History of Chicago, " I, 547, 


this was so generally distributed and was so amalgamated with 
current trading as not to work any particular hardship or retard 
the prosperity of the people. 

To return to the legislature of 185 1 : It was not only respon- 
sible for the banking law having so important an influence upon 
the financial interests of the State, but on the other hand was en- 
titled to credit for that act, pregnant with vastly more momen- 
tous results, the incorporation of the Illinois- Central Railroad 
Company. The facts and events which preceded and led up 
to this action form an exceedingly interesting chapter in the 
history of the State. 

The building of the Illinois-Central Railroad was first sug- 
gested by William Smith Waite, an old and valued citizen 
of Bond County, and given to the public in a letter setting 
forth its importance and feasibility from Judge Sidney Breese 
to John York Sawyer in October, 1835, and there had been 
no time since the collapse of the internal- improvement scheme 
of 1837, of which it was a part, during which its construc- 
tion had been entirely abandoned. In March, 1843, the 
Great-Western Railroad Company was incorporated, having for 
its object the building of the road as originally contemplated 
upon certain conditions specified in the charter: but the incor- 
porators being unable to effect any satisfactory arrangement 
looking toward successful results, although some work was done 
and considerable money expended, the enterprise was aban- 
doned and the law repealed in 1845. It was in response to a 
memorial from the Great- Western Company that the first bill 
in congress was introduced on the subject by Hon. Wm. Wood- 
bridge, senator from Michigan. It granted to this company not 
only the right of way, but the right of preempting the public 
lands through which the proposed line was to pass. It was 
championed by Judge Breese, and passed the senate May 10, 
1844. Having been sent to the house, the Illinois delegation, 
headed by Judge Douglas and Gen. Mc demand, refused to 
support it, on the ground that the grant of lands, in whatever 
shape made, should be conferred upon the State and not upon 
"an irresponsible private corporation." 

At the next session of congress, Jndge Breese introduced a 
bill granting the right of preemption to the State of Illinois 


instead of to the company; but it being the short session, the 
bill failed to pass. 

On Jan. 15, 1846, Judge Breese, having in the meantime been 
appointed chairman of the committee on public lands, intro- 
duced a bill granting to the State certain alternate sections of 
public lands to aid in the construction, not only of the Illinois- 
Central but the Northern-Cross railroads, in favor of which he 
made an able and interesting report, but did not urge the adop- 
tion of the measure, owing, he said, to a lack of sympathy on 
the part of the Illinois house-members, with the exception of 
Hoge and Baker. 

At the next session, 1847, Judges Breese and Douglas were 
in the senate together, when the former again introduced his 
preemption bill, insisting that capitalists preferred that kind of 
cession rather than an absolute grant to the State. A confer- 
ence between the senators failed to reconcile their views — one 
preferring the preemption, the other, the donation plan. On 
Jan. 20, 1848, Judge Douglas, failing in his effort to persuade 
his colleague to make the proposed changes in his bill, intro- 
duced his own for a grant of land to the State to aid in the con- 
struction of a railroad from Chicago to the Upper Mississippi, 
and from Cairo to Chicago. The latter bill passed the senate 
by a large majority. Judge Breese foregoing his own plan and 
yielding his support to his colleague's bill for the sake of har- 
mony. It was, however, defeated in the house by two majority, 
notwithstanding the earnest efforts of the Illinois members — 
Robert Smith, John A. McClernand, Orlando B. Ficklin, John 
Wentworth, Wm. A. Richardson, Thos. J, Turner, and Abraham 
Lincoln — to secure its passage. 

At the next session — Dec. 20, 1848 — Judge Douglas again 
introduced his measure, which had failed of passage in the house 
at the preceeding session; but the original bill having been 
reinstated on the calendar of that body, its passage was not 
urged in the senate. While the contest was going on in the 
house. Judge Breese again presented his preemption scheme, to 
which Judge Douglas gave his reluctant consent, inasmuch as, 
he said, he was satisfied that in no event could it be carried 
through the house. It passed the senate without serious oppo- 
sition, but when reported in the house it was so violently 


assailed by Samuel F. Vinton of Ohio, that the senate was 
induced to recall it and no farther action was taken in regard 
to it; this ended Judge Breese's connection with the subject as 
a member of congress. 

In the meantime the promoters of and parties interested in 
the Great- Western Railroad Company were not passive obser- 
vers of these several efforts to secure congressional action in 
favor of a grant of Illinois lands, and supposing that the bill 
which had passed the senate in 1848 would certainly succeed in 
the house, proceeded to invoke legislative action at home. On 
Feb. 9, 1849, the old charter was renewed and extended to the 
Cairo City and Canal Company. This was known as the Hol- 
brook charter, and the object of the incorporators was to secure 
the benefit of whatever land-grant congress might make to the 
State. The act was passed on the very day on which the vote 
was taken upon the land-grant bill of Judge Douglas in the 
lower house of congress, its defeat not being anticipated. Sen- 
ator Douglas visited Springfield soon after, and upon an exami- 
nation of the manuscript of the law, it having not yet been 
printed, he discovered the fact that a clause had been surrepti- 
tiously inserted into the bill conveying to the company all the 
lands which should be granted to the State of Illinois to aid in 
the construction of railroads. Upon being interrogated by the 
senator, the governor, secretary of state, and members of the 
legislature all denied any knowledge of the clause in the act, 
and it has always remained a mystery how it came to be inter- 
polated. Douglas denounced the act in unmeasured terms, and 
at the next session of congress, upon being urged by Holbrook 
to reintroduce his bill, threatened that unless his company 
released its charter he would offer a bill providing for an en- 
tirely different route, and make it a condition that the grant 
should not inure to the benefit of any railroad company then in 

All rights under the Holbrook charter were duly released 
and surrendered to the State by the president of the company, 
Dec. 24, 1849; ^^^ subsequently, at the session of 1851, this 
release was accepted by law, and the former act of 1843 repealed. 

To recur again to the action of congress: at the session of 

* Judge Douglas' statement in " The Public Domain, " 362. 


1849, the senate bill having failed in the house, as before stated, 
it was necessary to begin anew; and upon consultation between 
Senators Douglas and Shields and the Illinois members of the 
house, it was determined to disconnect the proposed grant from 
any cross-road, and to confine it to the Illinois Central. The 
bill as finally passed was introduced by Judge Douglas, Jan. 3, 

1850. Having failed so often in the house, new and powerful 
opposition had been aroused against it in the senate — Senators 
Jefferson Davis and Henry S. Foote of Mississippi, and Wm. 
R. King and Jeremiah Clemens of Alabama, had become 
afflicted with constitutional scruples in regard to it and it was 
now necessary to meet this phase of objective effort. Knowing 
that work on the Mobile-and-Ohio Railroad had been stopped 
for want of means. Judge Douglas conceived the idea of includ- 
ing that enterprise with the Illinois Central. On the pretence of 
visiting his children's plantation, he proceeded to Mobile and 
secured an interview with the president and directors of that road 
and then submitted his proposition, which was gladly accepted. 
Douglas then informed them of the opposition of their senators, 
and that to secure the support of the latter it would be necessary 
to have them instructed by the legislatures of their states. Such 
action the parties interested thought they had sufficient influence 
to procure and entered heartily into the project. The instructions 
came by telegraph in due time, first from Alabama and then 
from Mississippi. The senators at first stormed and swore, but 
when letters and written instructions arrived, they came to the 
judge and asked his assistance; he consented to amend the 
bill as they desired, so as to include the Mobile-and-Ohio Rail- 
road, and what might have become a formidable opposition hav- 
ing been thus changed into active support, the bill passed the 
senate and was sent to the house. 

While there had always been more or less opposition to the 
passage of the bill in the senate, which required skilful manage- 
ment to overcome, it was in the house, where a majority had 
always been found against it, that the hardest work was re- 
quired to secure success. The members from Illinois at this 
time were Wm. H. Bissell, John A. Mc Clernand, Timothy R. 
Young, John Wentworth, William A. Richardson, Edward D. 
Baker, and Thomas L. Harris, all of whom did more or less 


earnest and effectual work to secure the passage of the bill. 
Perhaps the most active of all these was John Wentworth. He, 
more than any other, foresaw and realized the great benefit the 
building of this proposed road would be to Illinois and espec- 
ially to the young city of Chicago. He effected trades to secure 
votes and made combinations in its favor, many of which were 
only known to himself, but they were efficient and proved to be 
controlling. It was found that some of the holders of the canal- 
bonds were also holders of other state-bonds, and as they were 
mostly residents of the older states and members of the whig 
party whence came the chief opposition to the proposed grant, it 
occurred to Mr. Wentworth, as he claimed, that he could secure 
the influence of bond-holders in favor of the bill. The cooper- 
ation of the great Webster, then secretary of state, was sought 
and his valuable advice taken. The whigs wanted an increase 
of tariff duties and needed recruits to their numbers. They 
said to Wentworth, who was a democrat but not afraid of the 
tariff, "let us act in concert." He replied, "you know what we 
Illinois men want — lead off." 

The following graphic account of the final passage of the bill 
in the house is given in the words of Judge Douglas:* 

" When the bill stood at the head of the calendar, Mr. Harris 
moved to proceed to clear the speaker's table, which was carried. 
We had counted up and had fifteen majority for the bill, pledged 
to its support. We had gained votes by lending our support 
to many local measures. The house proceeded to clear the 
speaker's table, and the clerk announced 'a bill granting lands 
to the State of Illinois.' A motion was immediately made by 
the opposition which brought on a vote, and we found ourselves 
in a minority of one. I was standing in the lobby, paying 
eager attention, and would have given the world to be at 
Harris' side, but was too far off to get there in time. It was 
all in an instant, and the next moment a motion would have 
been made which would have brought on a decided vote and 
defeated the bill. Harris, quick as thought, pale, and white as 
a sheet, jumped to his feet and moved that the house go into 
committee of the whole on the slavery question. There were 
fifty members ready with speeches on this subject, and the 

* "The Public Domain," 263; see statement attributed to him. 


motion was carried. Harris came to me in the lobby and asked 
me if he had made the right motion, I said, 'yes,' and asked 
him if he knew what was the effect of his motion. He repHed 
that it placed the bill at the foot of the calendar. I asked him 
how long it would be before it came up again. He said not 
this session, that it was impossible, there being ninety-seven 
bills ahead of it. Why not then have suffered defeat ? It 
turned out better that we did not. I then racked my brains 
for many nights to find a way to get at the bill, and at last it 
occurred to me that if the same course was pursued with other 
bills it would place them likewise in turn at the foot of the 
calendar, and thus bring the Illinois bill at the head again. But 
how to do this was the question. The same motions would 
each have to be made ninety-seven times, and while the first 
motion might be made by some of our friends, it would not do 
for us or any warm friend of the bill to make the second. 

" I finally fixed on Mr. ,* a political opponent but per- 
sonal friend, who supported the bill without caring much whether 
it passed or not, as the one to make the second motion — to go 
into committee of the whole — as often as it was necessary. He 

agreed to it as a personal favor to me, provided , whom 

he hated, should have no credit in case of its success. Harris 
then in the house, sometimes twice in the same day, either made 

or caused to be made the first motion, when Mr. would 

immediately make the second. They failed to see the point, 
and the friends of other bills praised us and gave us credit for 
supporting them. Finally by this means the Illinois bill got 
to the head of the docket. Harris that morning made the first 
motion. We had counted noses and found, as we thought, that 
we had twenty-eight majority, all pledged. The clerk an- 
nounced *a bill granting lands to the State of Illinois.' The 
opposition again started, were taken completely by surprise; 
said there must be some mistake, as the bill had gone to the 
foot of the calendar. It was explained and the speaker declared 
it all right. The motion to go into committee of the whole by 
the opposition was negatived by one majority, and the bill 
passed by three majority." -f* 

* George Ashmun of Massachusetts, as suggested by Mr. Wentworth. 

t This is an error. The vote on the passage of the bill was loi yeas to 75 


The bill, which had passed the senate May 2, and thus passed 
the house on Sept. 17, was entitled "An act granting the right 
of way and making a grant of land to the States of Illinois, 
Mississippi, and Alabama, in aid of the construction of a rail- 
road from Chicago to Mobile," became a law Sept, 20, 1850 
This act ceded to the State of Illinois, subject to the disposal 
of the legislature thereof, for the purpose of aiding in the con- 
struction of a railroad "from the southern terminus of the 
Illinois- and- Michigan Canal to a point at or near the junc- 
tion of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, with a branch of the 
same to Chicago, and another via the town of Galena, in said 
State, to Dubuque, Iowa, every alternate section of land desig- 
nated by even numbers, for six sections in width on each side 
of said road and branches." The lands were to be disposed of 
only as the work progressed, and the road was to be completed 
in ten years, or the State must pay the proceeds of all sales to 
the United States and lose the unsold lands. The grant aggre- 
gated 2,595,000 acres, being at the rate of 3700 acres per mile 
of the proposed road. 

Upon the opening of the session of 185 1, Gov. French trans- 
mitted to the legislature the memorial of Robert Schuyler, 
George Griswold, Governeur Morris, Jonathan Sturges, Thomas 
W. Ludlow, and John F. A. Sandford of New- York City, and 
David A. Neal, Franklin Haven, and Robert Rantoul, jr., of 
Boston, proposing to form a company to build the road, on 
certain specified conditions, by July 4, 1854. 

Several bills were introduced on the subject, embodying dif- 
ferent plans, in both houses; but that which finally became the 
law for the construction of the road was introduced by James 
L. D. Morrison, senator from St. Clair County. It passed the 
senate Feb. 6, and the house four days later. The Illinois- 
Central Railroad Company was organized and accepted the 
terms of the law the same day. These were, in brief, that in 
consideration of the cession of the lands granted to the State 
the company would construct the proposed railroad, within a 
specified time, and pay to the State seven per cent of its gross 
annual earnings. 

nays. Mr. Wentworth, in conversing with the author on this subject, did not in 
all respects agree with this account attributed to Judge Douglas, stating that it 
contained inaccuracies which the record failed to support. 


Roswell B Mason* of Bridgeport, Conn., was appointed chief 
engineer, and the first portion of the Hne, from Chicago to 
Kensington, then called Calumet, was placed under contract. 
The main line from Cairo to LaSalle, 300.99 miles, was com- 
pleted June 8, 1855; the Galena branch, from LaSalle to Dunleith, 
146.73 miles, Jan. 12, 1855; the Chicago branch, from Chicago 
to the junction with the main line, 249.78 miles, Sept. 26, 1856. 

The road was laid out through the wildest and most sparsely 
populated portions of the State, where deer and other wild 
game roamed at will; over boundless prairies, where neither 
tree nor house were to be seen sometimes for twenty miles; and 
along the entire route of 705 miles it did not pass through a 
dozen towns of sufficient importance to be known on the map 
of the State. 

While the grant was a munificent one in its direct advantage 
to the State, the indirect benefits resulting therefrom were no 
less marked and apparent. Of the lands donated, there have 
been sold 2,454,214 acres to 32,000 actual settlers, who at a low 
estimate must have added 200,000 persons to the population of 
the State. The sale of railroad lands stimulated also the sale 
of the alternate sections owned by the government, which for 
over twenty years had been on the market without a purchaser. 
The seven per cent of the gross annual earnings, which the 
State receives from the company, amounted in 1856 to $77,631, 
and for the next thirty years to $9,828,649, averaging $327,- 
621 each year; a sum nearly sufficient to pay the ordinary 
expenses of the State government. 

It is an interesting fact to notice that Douglas and Shields in 
the senate, and McClernand and Baker in the house, who were 
in congress when the land-grant bill passed, and Lincoln and 
Robert Smith, who were active supporters of the measure at 
the previous session, were members of the celebrated tenth 
Illinois general assembly, at which was passed the great inter- 
nal-improvement scheme, and for which they all voted. And 
thus it turned out that whatever blame might attach to them 
for errors of judgment and action on that occasion, was nobly 
atoned for by their subsequent efforts in securing the passage 

* Mayor of Chicago, 1869-71, and still living there, (August, 1889,) an honored 


of this law. Already more money has been paid into the State 
treasury by the Illinois-Central Railroad than was taken out by 
the adoption of the old internal-improvement system, and that 
income will not only increase in the future but remain perpetual. 
For this, if for no other public service to his State, the mem- 
ory of the great Douglas was justly entitled to preservation by 
the erection of that splendid monumental column, which, over- 
looking the blue waters of Lake Michigan, also overlooks for 
many miles that iron highway which was in no small degree 
the triumph of his genius and legislative skill. 

A special session of the seventeenth general assembly was 
convened by proclamation of the governor on June 7, 1852. 
Twenty-one different subjects for legislative action were speci- 
fied, the chief of which was the reapportionment of the State 
into districts for the election of the nine congressmen, to which 
it was now entitled. The law for this purpose was passed June 
16. No political chicanery was necessary in arranging the dis- 
tricts, a democratic majority being unquestioned in all but 
possibly one or two. It is interesting to note, however, that 
for the first time the formation of the districts began at the 
north end of the State, running across from Lake County to 
Jo Daviess, and as indicating the shifting of population from 
the southern counties, that four congressmen were given to 
the northern part of the State, two to the central, and three 
to the southern; and that while seven or eight counties in the 
former contained a sufficient number of inhabitants for a con- 
gressman, from nine to eighteen were required in the latter. 

Numerous acts to amend charters of rail and plank-roads, 
and of incorporation, were passed, but no law of any general 
interest, unless it was the act to dispose of the swamp and over- 
flowed lands which had been granted to the State by congress 
in September, 1850. The legislature adjourned June 23. 

Upon the expiration of his gubernatorial term, Gov. French 
was appointed by his successor one of the bank commissioners. 
Removing soon after to St. Clair County, he accepted the pro- 
fessorship of law in McKendree College. In 1862, he was elected 
a member of the constitutional convention, in which was his last 
public service. He gave the people a faithful, business-like 
administration, and retired from the executive chair with their 



confidence and respect. He died at Lebanon, Sept. 4, 1864.* 
The condition of the State treasury at the close of Gov. 
French's term is shown by the following from the State treas- 
urer's report: 


Balance in treasury Dec. i, 
1850, including deaf-and- 
dumb fund, - - $28,578.41 

From collectors, Dec. i,'5o, 
to Nov. 30, '52, inclusive, 443,502.87 

Miscellaneous items, - 6,083.77 

Balance in treasury, 


Revenue warrants canceled 
and deposited with audi- 
tor from Dec. i, 1850, to 
Nov. 30, 1852, - $320,703.18 

Education of deaf and dumb, 10, 706. 89 

Old State- Bank paper and 

interest, - - - 382.62 

Balance, - - - 146,372.36 

Total, - 



Balance Dec. I, 1850, $165,788.81 
Received from Dec. i, 1850, 
to Nov. 30, '52, inclusive, 492,166.53 



Balance of State-debt fund 

in the treasury, - $262,487.38 

Canceled auditor's warrants 

from Dec. i, 1850, to 

Nov. 30, 1852, - $395,467-96 
Balance, - - - 262,487.38 

Total, - 


* On the monument erected to his memory is inscribed the following rather 
unique and perhaps not too eulogistic tribute to his worth: "A man — true, kind, 
and noble; a citizen — just, generous, and honorable; a public officer — upright, 
philanthropic, energetic, and faithful; a husband and father — affectionate, wise, and 
good; a christian — humble, charitable, and trusting." 


Administration of Gov. Matteson — Eighteenth General 
Assembly — Re-election of Senator Douglas — Laws — 
State and National Politics — New Parties — Nineteenth 
General Assembly — Election of Senator Trumbull — 
Prohibitory Liquor-Law — The Common-School Law. 

THE democratic convention for the nomination of State 
officers met at Springfield, April 20, 1852. Besides the 
delegates, there was in attendance a large number of spectators, 
and as a nomination was considered equivalent to an election, 
the candidates for the various offices to be voted for were 
numerous. Seven distinguished citizens signified their willing- 
ness to occupy the highest place on the ticket, and the votes of 
the delegates were distributed among them on the first ballot 
as follows: David L. Gregg of Cook County, then secretary of 
state,* 84 votes; Francis C. Sherman, also of Cook, 23; Joel A. 
Matteson of Will, 56; Col. John Dement, 53; Thomas L. Harris, 
16; L. W. Ross, 7; Col. Daniel P. Bush, 6. Mr. Matteson, after 
a spirited contest, was successful on the eleventh ballot, securing 
130 votes, to ^y for Gregg and 50 for Dement, 

Gustavus Koerner of St. Clair County, was nominated for 
lieutenant-governor on the third ballot, receiving 132 votes to 
113 cast for George T. Brown of Madison County. Alexander 
Starne of Pike County, was nominated for secretary of state on 
the seventh ballot; Thomas H. Campbell for auditor; and John 
Moore for treasurer — the last two for reelection. 

The whigs held their convention — which proved to be their 
last — July 7, having waited until after the holding of the 
national convention, which convened at Baltimore, June 16, 
There was not much enthusiasm manifested among the mem- 
bers, and their candidates were all nominated by acclamation; 
these were: for governor, Edwin B. Webb of White County; 
for lieutenant-governor, James L. D. Morrison of St. Clair; for 
secretary of state, Buckner S. Morris of Cook; for auditor^ 

* Vice Horace S. Cooley, who died April 2, 1S50. 



Charles A. Betts of Stephenson; and for treasurer, Francis 
Arenz of Cass County. 

The free-democrats, or, as they were generally called, aboli- 
tionists, inscribing upon their banner "Free soil; free speech; 
free labor; and free men," also nominated a ticket, with Dexter 
A. Knowlton of Stephenson County, for governor, and Philo 
Carpenter of Cook, for lieutenant-governor. 

Both Webb and Morrison were well and favorably known in 
the State, having served with distinction in the legislature, but 
their party was unable to arouse any enthusiasm for the national 
ticket, headed by Gen. Winfield Scott, against Gen. Franklin 
Pierce, the democratic candidate, and the canvass on their part 
was conducted without vigor or hope. The result in the State 
was as follows: for Matteson, 80,645; Webb, 64,405; Knowlton, 
8809; which was relatively nearly the same as the vote for the 
presidential candidates, Pierce and Scott, and John P. Hale, the 
free- soil candidate. The whigs elected four out of the nine 

Gov. Matteson was a native of New York, where he was born, 
in Jefferson County, August 8, 1808. He had been a resident 
of the State for twenty years, and had been engaged in farming, 
as a contractor on the canal, a dealer in real estate, and a manu- 
facturer. He was essentially a business man, of a practical turn 
of mind, and of sound judgment. Although making no preten- 
sions to state craft, and lacking that qualification deemed essen- 
tial to its exercise in this country, the art of public speaking, he 
was taken up by his party on account of the executive ability 
he had displayed in private affairs, and sent to the State senate. 
His ten years' service in this position had earned for him the 
justly-deserved reputation of being an industrious and capable 
legislator, and through it he had become thoroughly advised 
of the resources, financial condition, and internal politics of the 
State. Among his friends his standing was high, as that of an 
enterprising, public-spirited citizen, of kindly, benevolent im- 
pulses; while his party and indeed the public generally regarded 
both his ability and character with respect. He was large in 
person, and of quiet and agreeable manners. He was not only 
the last democratic governor elected in the State, but the only 
one of either party who, at the time of his election, resided 
north of Bloominerton. 


Lieut.-Gov. Koerner was born in Germany in 1809, and emi- 
grated to this State in 1833. He received a university educa- 
tion, and was a lawyer of the first attainments. He had taken 
a decided part in poHtics as a democrat, and was elected to the 
legislature in 1842. In 1845, he was appointed one of the judges 
of the supreme court. Upon the re-formation of parties in 
1855-6, he became a republican, and when the rebellion broke 
out took a pronounced stand on the side of the Union. He 
served for a short period on the staff of Gen. Fremont, and 
in 1862, was appointed minister to Spain, which position he 
resigned at the close of the war. 

The eighteenth general assembly was convened January 3, 
1853. But one whig, James M. Ruggles of Mason County, had 
been elected out of the thirteen new senators, and he with 
four "hold-overs" gave that party only five votes out of the 
twenty-five in the upper house. Only sixteen whigs had been 
elected to the house, and one "free-soiler," Henry W. Blodgett 
of Lake County; all the rest were democrats. The house was 
composed very largely of new members, only fourteen of those 
who had occupied seats in previous legislatures being returned 
to this. Among the old members elected were ex-Gov. John 
Reynolds, Wm. H, Snyder, Samuel A. Buckmaster, Charles D. 
Hodges, Richard N. Cullom, James W. Singleton, Joseph Sibley, 
Wesley Sloan, and C. B. Denio. In the list of new members 
appear the names of John A. Logan, Judge William Brown of 
Morgan, James N. Brown, Samuel W. Moulton. 

The officers of the house, as designated by the democratic 
caucus, were elected by acclamation. These were: for speaker, 
John Reynolds; clerk, Isaac R. Diller; assistant, F. D. Preston; 
door-keeper, M. R, Owen; R. Eaton Goodell was chosen secre- 
tary of the senate, and Edward A. Bedell, sergeant-at-arms. 

Ex-Gov. Reynolds thus achieved the distinction never before 
or since reached in this State by any other of its public men, of 
having been placed at the head of the executive, judicial, mili- 
tary, and finally of the legislative department of the State 
government, besides serving eight years in congress — an incom- 
parable record of public service. Twenty- seven years had 
elapsed since he had first occupied a seat in the house, and 
on taking the chair he made a feeling allusion to his long and 
varied service, in a few well-chosen remarks. 


The general assembly met on January 3, and on the 5th, 
according to action taken on the 4th, met in joint session for 
the election of a United-States senator. Judge Douglas had 
been a strong candidate for the democratic nomination for 
president, and upon two ballots in the last national convention 
had received the highest number of votes for that position. So 
no time was to be lost, although there were a few grumbling 
objectors, in apprising Illinois' eminent senator of the people's 
continued confidence, by reelecting him to his seat in the senate. 
The whigs cast their few votes for Joseph Gillespie. 

Gov. French submitted his valedictory message on the 4th, 
and the inaugural of Gov. Matteson, read by the clerk of the 
house, was delivered on the loth. It was devoted to the dis- 
cussion of state questions. He recommended the adoption of 
a liberal policy in granting railroad charters, the adoption of the 
free-school system, and the erection of a penitentiary at Joliet. 
He also suggested the amendment of the State constitution in 
the particulars of extending the period of legislative sessions, 
and an increase of the compensation of public officers. 

The principal questions which occupied the attention of the 
legislature related to the subject of temperance, the banking 
law, rival railroad routes, and conflicting claims of companies 
asking incorporation. Four hundred and sixty laws were en- 
acted, the greater portion of which were classed as "private." 
Among the public acts were the following: 

Prohibiting the issue or circulation of bank notes of a less 
denomination than five dollars; which, being against public 
opinion, was generally disregarded. 

To prevent the immigration of free negroes into this State — 
the last lash of the pro-slavery whip over the people of Illinois, 

Repealing the prohibitory quart law of the last session, and 
recnacting all laws for the granting of license for the sale of 

Providing for the purchase of a lot, and the erection thereon 
of the executive mansion, appropriating therefor $15,000, and 
$3000 for furniture. 

To incorporate the state agricultural society. 

To apply any surplus funds in the treasury to the purchase 
of evidences of State indebtedness. 


Providing for the sale by the auditor of the remaining lands 
owned by the State, amounting to 128,954 acres. 

The public debt reached its highest point January i, 1853, 
from which time it began rapidly to diminish. The amount at 
that time according to the governor was as follows: principal 
debt and interest, $9,464,355 ; canal-debt and interest, $7,259,- 
822, total $16,724,177. 

The State had now entered upon the most prosperous period 
of its development and progress, material, social, and political. 
There was not a cloud to dim the sky of its onward career. 
Its canal was in successful operation, railroads were extending 
and opening up new fields of settlement and improvement in 
every direction. Its revenue was rapidly increasing and the 
new banks were affording a sufficient and satisfactory currency 
for the increased demands of business. Three State institu- 
tions — the asylums for the Deaf and Dumb, the Blind, and the 
Hospital for the Insane, all of them at Jacksonville, had been 
successfully established ; education was receiving renewed atten- 
tion from the people; a teeming immigration was pouring in 
the better classes of citizens from other states and lands, 
who brought with them not only large means, but improved 
methods in husbandry, mechanics, and manufactures. New 
farms were opened, and flourishing villages and cities, with 
unwonted industries, sprang up as if by magic, where a few 
short years before were seen only the wolf, the deer, and the 
tall prairie-grass. 

Nor was there a cloud to disturb the peaceful serenity of the 
political sky. The compromise measures of 1850 had passed 
through the fiery ordeal of universal discussion, and had met 
with vindication through the endorsement of the two leading 
parties of the country; and the defeat of the whigs in the late 
presidential election had been so overwhelming as to leave no 
ground for the ambitious hopes of their leaders. Not that the 
popular vote had been so strongly against them, because that 
indicated the existence of a powerful minority opposed to the 
democrats, but the loss of power in twenty-seven states out of 
thirty-one was as discouraging, as its tendency was demoraliz- 
ing to the organization. 

As on previous occasions, it was found that the legislature, 


restricted to a session of forty-two days, had adjourned without 
completing the business before it. The governor, therefore felt 
constrained to reconvene the general assembly on Feb. 9, 1854. 
Although laws sufficient to fill a volume of 259 pages were 
passed at the special session, they were mostly classed as "pri- 
vate" and related chiefly to incorporations. Only three acts 
of public interest were passed: the legislative apportionment 
law; providing for the election of a state superintendent of 
public instruction; and authorizing the construction of the 
"Mississippi and Atlantic Railroad." 

The State steadily continued in its career of unprecedented 
material prosperity and general welfare; and by this time had 
approached the beginning of a new era in politics. The 
democratic party, which had been in the ascendancy for so 
many years, and had so lately secured its greatest victory, 
had received a sudden and violent check in the passage by 
congress of the Kansas -Nebraska bill in May, 1854, This 
bill declared the Missouri Compromise of 1850 by which 
slavery was restricted on the north to the line of 36' 30", 
"inoperative and void," by reason of its alleged inconsist- 
ency with the Compromise measures of 1850, and established 
instead, the principle of popular sovereignty, that is, "that 
congress should not legislate slavery into any territory or 
state, or exclude it therefrom, but leave the people thereof 
perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institu- 
tions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of 
the United States." 

This proposition, originally introduced in the committee on 
territories by Senator Dixon of Kentucky, and accepted by 
Judge Douglas, who as chairman of the committee reported it, 
came upon the country "like a clap of thunder in a clear sky." 

The precipitation of this issue was immediately fatal to all 
party organizations as then formed — the old lines being effaced 
or changed beyond recognition. The whig party existed there- 
after only in name, and the democratic party, with greater cohe- 
sive strength, while still able to maintain its esprit de corps, 
unexpectedly found enrolled within its ranks many old and 
leading whigs, while with equal surprise they found they had 
parted company with many of their honored and trusted lead- 


ers. The free soilers received recruits in large numbers from 
both the old parties. There were hurryings to and fro, yet 
some hesitated wondering where, as patriots, duty called, and 
others as partisans, where it was their interest to go. The 
agitation consequent upon the disturbance of the political 
equilibrium manifested itself in the elections of 1854, and no- 
where more strikingly than in Illinois. 

Judge Douglas was not unaware of the effect which such a 
measure might be expected to produce upon the country. He 
clearly foresaw, indeed, that it would shake the faith of his party 
in the north in his leadership, and imperil its prospects of 
success. His personal friends were divided in opinion in regard 
to the best course to be pursued. President Pierce, however, 
backed by his cabinet, was strongly in favor of the proposed 
action, and it is stated that the celebrated amendment repealing 
the Missouri Compromise was drafted by himself* 

The senator thus found himself placed in this dilemma: he 
must either champion a measure which his judgment did not 
wholly approve, or surrender the leadership of his party. It 
was only after long hesitation that he decided to take the leap 
at this turning point in his political career; but having finally 
reached a conclusion, he espoused the cause of repeal and 
non-intervention with his usual dash and persistency. i* 

On his return to his home in Chicago he sought to allay the 

* Hon. John Wentworth is the authority for this statement. 

+ The following letter to the author from Maj. George M. McConnel, formerly of 
Jacksonville, now residing in Chicago, gives an exceedingly interesting account of 
an interview between Judge Douglas and himself at this time. It even more than 
justifies the position taken in the text. 

Chicago, Aug. 18, '89. 

Hon. John Moses, Dear Sir: — On the evening of the day in January, 1854, 
■when the famous protest by the Republican members of Congress against the " Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill " appeared in the New York papers, Judge Douglas called to see 
Representative (afterward Senator) McDougall of California, and found only myself, 
then a youth acting as a sort of secretary for McDougall. Mr. Douglas had known 
me from my infancy, had been befriended by my father, and was quite on a familiar 
footing in our family for years; hence was under no restraint with me * * and 
talked of the Kansas matter freely and warmly. He said distinctly that he was not 
the author of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, that he believed it to have 
come from a "higher source" but was interjected into the bill by Dixon of Ken- 
tucky, with the support of a majority of the committee, against his strenuous oppo- 
sition. That he opposed it first because he was not willing to extend slavery, was 


feeling roused against him in a carefully prepared address 
defending his course. The meeting called for this purpose in 
front of North Market, was an immense one, comprising many 
of the best citizens. But such was the bitterness of feeling 
against him that he was allowed to speak only a few minutes 
at a time, A tumult of groans and hisses greeted his first 
remark; and this was continued with increased uproar, and 
obstructive demonstrations for over two hours. It was a howl- 
ing mob determined that the judge should not be heard. No 
violence was offered, only that which proceeds from the throat 
and lungs, but it was effective, and after vainly trying for two 
hours to speak the crowd into order, the senator was compelled 
to give way, angry and discomfited. 

It was indeed a critical period for the democratic party, so 
long in the ascendancy, but under the masterly leadership of 
the "Little Giant," such was its splendid discipline, that although 
impaired in numbers and efficiency by the defection of many 
of its leading men both to the Americans and free soilers, its 
organization was preserved intact. 

The State fair was held at Springfield this year the first week 
in October, and the occasion was taken advantage of by all 
parties, to hold conventions and discuss before the large crowds 
assembled the issues of the day. Here, where Judge Douglas 
had always been popular, his friends rallied around him and 

hostile to Ihe institution "on general principles," though believing the slaveholder 
had political rights which the non-slaveholder could not legally question ; and second 
because he feared the policy of repeal would be fatal to the party with whose for- 
tunes he had identified himself all his political life. But he had been over-ruled and 
now found himself placed where he must choose either to champion a measure 
which, though offensive to himself, was approved by the majority of the party of 
which he was the acknowledged leader, or throw away that leadership and with it 
the entire fruit of all his public career. "If I do this" he said, "I lose all hope of 
being of any benefit to my country — to say nothing of sacrificing my personal ambi- 
tions — because no one leader is powerful enough to resist a stampede of his party, 
any more than one buffalo can resist a stampede of his herd. " " It's a terrible posi- 
tion for me, my boy, " he added, " but I'll do what seems to me best for all. " He 
showed strong feeling, rising and walking excitedly about the room, speaking vehe- 
mently, and resenting both the merciless tyranny of his own party and the bad faith 
of his opponents who had asked for delay in introducing the bill ostensibly for fur- 
ther examination, but really, as it proved, to issue a pronunciamento which maligned 
him personally and impugned his motives in a way which he said some of the 
signers of the protest knew to be utterly false. * * G. M. McConnel. 

r-w •' J. »■ ■■ .' i 


gave him a perfect ovation. He made, what was called his 
great speech, October 3. It had been announced that Judge 
Breese and John A. McClernand would be present to answer 
him, but they failed to arrive in time. Mr. Lincoln, while not 
in full sympathy with the methods of the ultra free soilers, was 
as earnestly opposed to the extension of slavery as any of 
them, and anticipating that no one of those advertised to meet 
the Magnus Apollo of the Kansas-Nebraska bill would be pre- 
sent, determined to be prepared to do so himself. He was 
therefore at the judge's meeting, and replied to him the follow- 
ing day, the judge in turn responding to Lincoln. Judges Breese 
and Trumbull spoke the next day and were answered by 
John Calhoun and J. W. Singleton, These were all exciting 
meetings and the enthusiasm of the friends of the respective 
speakers rose to fever heat. 

What was called an anti-Nebraska republican convention was 
held at Springfield October 3. Twenty-six delegates only were 
present, but unfortunately for the success of the movement, it 
was called and managed by such extremists as Owen Lovejoy, 
Ichabod Codding, Erastus Wright, and others, who had been 
known not only as opposed to the extension of slavery, but as 
abolitionists. Mr. Lincoln fearing the effect of this convoca- 
tion, was not present, nor did he participate in its proceed- 
ings, although his name was published as one of its appointees 
upon the State central committee. 

When the nineteenth general assembly convened Jan. i, 1855, 
there were found but seven new names in the senate, and only 
five old ones in the house — Presley Funkhouser, Samuel W. 
Moulton, Stephen T. Logan, John P. Richmond, and John E. 
McClun. Of the lately elected senators, eight of them, John 
H. Addams, Augustus Adams, George Gage, Waite Talcott, 
John D. Arnold, Joseph Gillespie, John M. Palmer, and Wm. 
D. Watson, were classed as anti-Nebraska men, and four, Wm. 
H. Carlin, son of the ex-governor, Jacob C. Davis, Andrew J. 
Kuykendall, and Hugh L. Sutphin, as democrats. James L. 
D. Morrison was elected as a whig and supposed to be anti- 
Nebraska, but after the organization he voted with the demo- 

Never before had it been so difficult to classify politically 


the members of the legislature. There were among them a 
few old whigs, who still adhered to the name, gloried in it, 
and were loath to surrender it; there were also straight demo- 
crats, anti-Nebraska democrats, knownothings, free soilers, and 
abolitionists. On the main question of the Kansas-Nebraska 
issue the senate stood fourteen democrats and eleven anti- 
Nebraska or inchoate republicans; while in the house there 
were thirty- four democrats and forty-one in the opposition. 

Abraham Lincoln had been elected a member of the house, 
but upon ascertaining that a majority of that body would 
be opposed to the election of Gen. Shields, or any regularly 
nominated democrat, to the United -States senate, and that 
their choice would probably fall upon himself, he declined to 
receive his credentials. A special election was ordered and 
although the anti-Nebraska ticket had been successful at the 
general election in Sangamon County by 492 majority, and Mr. 
Lincoln had received 600 majority, through lack of attention 
and over-confidence, a democrat, Jonathan McDaniel, was 
elected in his place. Had not Lincoln, on the advice of friends 
and in accord with his own judgment, taken this course, he 
would probably have been elected senator — upon such slendei 
threads hang the fate of empires. 

Among the new members of the lower house were William 
J. Allen, Wm. R. Morrison, George T. Allen, Henry S. Baker, 
Chauncey L. Higbee, Lewis H. Waters, Amos C. Babcock, 
Henry C. Johns, Thomas J. Henderson, Robert Boal, G. D. A. 
Parks, Owen Lovejoy, Miles S. Henry, Thomas J. Turner, L. 
W. Lawrence. 

Thomas J. Turner of Stephenson County, who had served 
one term in congress from his district, was elected speaker, 
receiving 39 votes to 26 cast for John P. Richmond; Edwin T. 
Bridges was elected clerk and H. S. Thomas, doorkeeper. 

George T. Brown was elected secretary of the senate, Chas. 
H. Ray, enrolling and engrossing clerk, and William J. Heath, 

* List of the members of the nineteenth general assembly: 

Senate: — ^Augustus Adams, Kane; ajohn H. Addams, Stephenson; ajohn D. Arnold, Peoria; 
Silas L. Bryan, Marion; James M. Campbell, McDonough; William H. Carlin, Adams; cBurton 
C. Cook, LaSalle: Anderson P. Corder, Williamson; Jacob C. Davis, Hancock; John E. Detrich, 
Randolph; aGeorge Gage, McHenry; ajoseph Gillespie, Madison; Benjamin Graham, Henry? 


The election of a United -States senator was the principal 
bone of contention, but that question was not reached for some 
time, although frequent attempts had been made in the house 
to fix a day therefor, the democratic majority in the senate 
refusing to concur. Jan. 31, was finally agreed upon, but both 
houses having adjourned over from Jan. 19 to 23, the preval- 
ence of a remarkable snow-storm, which blockaded the roads, 
prevented the return of the absent members and the securing a 
quorum until Feb. 2. The election was then fixed for the 8th. 

As had been anticipated, Mr. Lincoln was the choice of a 
large majority of the anti-Nebraska members for senator. He 
had been among the first, as well as one of the most able and 
fearless opponents of the Kansas- Nebraska legislation to take 
the stump and sound the note of alarm. In October, at Spring- 
field, he had met Senator Douglas in joint discussion and had 
followed him in Peoria and at other points. 

Gen. Shields received the caucus nomination of the demo- 
crats without serious opposition. Ten ballots were had in 
the joint session before a result was reached. The first of 
these gave Lincoln 45 votes, Shields 41, Lyman Trumbull 5, 
Gustavus Koerner 2, and William B. Ogden, Joel A. Matte- 
son, Wm. Kellogg, Cyrus Edwards, Orlando B. Ficklin, and 

Gabriel R. Jernigan, Christian; aNorman B. Judd, Cook; Andrew J. Kuykendall, Johnson; Joseph 
Morton, Morgan: J. L. D. Morrison, St. Clair; Uri Osgood, Will; Mortimer O'Kean, Jasper; ajohn 
M. Palmer, Macoupin; ajames M. Rugglei, Mason; Hugh L. Sutphin, Pike; aWaite Talcott, 
Winneoago; aWllIiam D. Watson, Coles. House: — aGeorge T. Allen, Madison; William J. Allen, 
Williamson; aAmos C. Babcock, Fulton; aHenry S. Baker, Madison; Isaac R. Bennet, Morgan; 
aRobert Boal, Marshall; J. Bradford, Bond; aSamuel W. Brown, Knox; Horace A. Brown. Scott; 
William M. Cline, Fulton; ajames Courtney, Vermilion; a Frederick S. Day, Grundy; Jonathan 
Dearborn, Brown; aW. Diggins, McHenry; «Mathias L. Dunlap, Cook; aRobert H. Foss, Cook; 
cGeorge F. Foster, Cook; Presley Funkhouser, Effingham; George W. Gray, Massac; Hugh Gregg, 
Marion; aHenry Grove, Peoria; aBenjamin Hackney, Kane; Randolph Heath, Crawford: aMiles 
S. Henry, Whiteside; aThomas J. Henderson, Stark; Chauncey L. Higbee, Pike; aErastus O. 
Hills. DuPage; Benjamin P. Hinch, Gallatin; aJohn C. Holbrook, Randolph; George H. Holiday, 
Macoupiin C C. Hopkms, Edwards; P. E. Hosmer, Perry; aHenry C. Johns, Macon; aAlbert 
Jones, Coles; William C. Kinney, St. Clair; "■^. W. Lawrence, Boone; aWilliam L. Lee, Rock 
Island: aWallace A. Little, Jo Daviess; aStephen T. Logan, Sangamon; aOwen Lovejoy, Bureau; 
aWilliam Lyman, Winnebago; aJohn E. McClun, McLean; aThomas R. McClure, Clark; Lafay- 
ette McCriUis, Jersey; Jonathan McDaniel, Sanganion; W. McLean, Edgar; Samuel H. Martin, 
White; S. D. Masters. Cass; William R. Morrison, Monroe; Samuel W. Moulton, Shelby; aSamuel 
C. Parks, Logan; aG. D. A. Parks, Will; aWilliam Patton rigKalb; ^Daniel J. Pinckney, Ogle; 
Finney D. Preston, Richland; J. M. Purseley, Greene; F. M. Kav>-'ings, Alexander; «Henry Rfblett, 
Tazewell; aWilliam C. Rice, Henderson; aThomas Richmond, Cook; Henry Richmond, Mont- 
gomery; John P. Richmond, Schuyler; Thomas M. Sams, Franklin: aPort»: Sargent, Carroll; Eli 
Seehorn, Adams; aDavid Strawn, LaSalle; John Strunk, Kankakee; aHenry Sullivan, Adams; 
«Hulbut Swan, Lake; T. B. Tanner, Jefferson; Albert H. Trapp, St. Clair; aThoma.s J, Turner, 
Stephenson; George Walker, Hancock; aLouis H. Waters, McDonough; aAlanson K. Whceier, 
Kendall. a Anti-Nebraska. 


Wm. A. Denning, one each. Every member was present and 
voted except Randolph Heath of Crawford County, a demo- 
crat, who if present did not vote at any of the ballotings. That 
was the nearest Mr. Lincoln came to being elected. Had the 
five votes given to Trumbull been cast for him his success 
would have been assured, as Gillespie who voted for Edwards, 
and Babcock who voted for Kellogg, would have changed to 
Lincoln and made his total one more than the constitutional 
majority. But this was not to be. The five members who 
had agreed to stand by Judge Trumbull in every emergency as 
long as there was any possibility of his election, were Messrs. 
Palmer, Cook, and Judd of the senate, and Allen and Baker of 
Madison County, of the house — all of them subsequently active 
and leading republicans. 

In the six following ballots Lincoln fell off to 36 votes, Trum- 
bull increased to 10, and Shields reached 42. The friends of 
Lincoln then endeavoured to adjourn the joint-session but 
failed. On the seventh ballot the democrats changed to Gov. 
Matteson giving him 44 votes. On the next ballot Lincoln fell 
off to 27 votes, Trumbull grew to 18, and Matteson had 46, 
The ninth ballot gave the governor 47, Trumbull 35, Lincoln 
15, and Williams i. 

It now becoming apparent that the choice must fall upon 
either Trumbull or Matteson, Mr. Lincoln urged those who were 
inclined to adhere to his waning fortune, to vote for Trumbull; 
and this they did, excepting Waters, giving him on the next 
and last ballot just the required 51 votes, to 47 for Matteson, 
and one (Waters) for Williams. 

Of the senators voting for Trumbull but three resided south 
of Springfield; and of the representatives only six; thus mani- 
festing for the first time the increased growth and preponderat- 
ing influence in politics of the northern portion of the State. 

Lyman Trumbull, who thus carried off the honors in the first 
contest of that political revolution in Illinois out of which grew 
the republican party, was born in Colchester, Conn., October 
12, 1813. His family was among the most eminent in New 
England, distinguished alike in public life, in literature and art. 
His grandfather, Benjamin, was a chaplain and a captain in 
the Revolutionary army; Gov. Jonathan Trumbull was the 


personal friend and trusted adviser of Gen. Washington, and in 
emergencies which called for the exercise of sound judgment 
and rare discretion, the latter was wont to say: "Let us consult 
Brother Jonathan." From this expression is said to have 
originated the popular national designation applied to the gov- 
ernment and citizens of the United States. 

Lyman was educated at Bacon Academy, and set out in 
life as a teacher. At the age of twenty he removed to Georgia, 
and had charge of the Greenville Academy. Here he studied 
law, was admitted to the bar, and decided to enter upon his 
career as a lawyer in Illinois. He had now been prominently 
before the people of the State for fifteen years; and while his 
ability and integrity were generally acknowledged, he had at 
first failed to command that popularity which his intellectual 
preeminence might have secured for him in communities longer 

He was above the medium height, rather sparely built, and 
with his clear cut features, his prominent forehead, made yet 
more so by the constantly worn eye-glasses, had rather the 
appearance of a college professor than of an active, political 
leader. His manners were naturally reserved, his habits abste- 
mious, and he lacked the geniality of temperament generally 
characteristic of, and looked for, in the public men of his day. 

As a representative in the twelfth general assembly, his views 
on pending State issues were not in accord with those of a 
majority of his party; and finally, as secretary of state, led to 
the disruption of his official relations with Gov. Ford. These 
unpropitious circumstances, engendering as they did personal 
antagonisms, doubtless had their influence in retarding his 
political career, he having failed to secure the nomination for 
governor, as heretofore related, and being defeated in the race 
for congress in 1846. In 1848, however, he was elected one of 
judges of the supreme court, in which position he gained the 
reputation of being an able and upright jurist. This office 
he resigned in 1853, on account of failing health. He early 
took a decided stand against the repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise, and had been elected a member of congress in the 
Alton district, as an anti-Nebraska democrat at the last elec- 
tion. As a speaker he was logical rather than eloquent, arrang- 


ing his points with remarkable clearness, and illustrating them 
with a force and vigor at once entertaining and convincing. 

This same legislature which inaugurated a radical change in 
practical politics, by electing to the United-States senate for 
the first time since 1841, a candidate who was not the nominee 
of a democratic caucus, also adopted several sweeping measures 
of political reform. 

One of these was the law prohibiting the manufacture and 
sale of intoxicating liquors — in effect the Maine law on this 
subject. It was however to be inoperative unless ratified by a 
vote of the people at an election called for that purpose in 
June, at which time it was defeated. 

Another of these measures was the "act to establish and 
maintain a uniform system of common schools." Both of these 
laws will be again referred to and commented upon in subse- 
quent chapters. 

Other laws of general importance passed at this session were; 
to preserve the game in the State; to provide for taking the 
census; and requiring railroads to fence their tracks. Over six 
nundred special or local acts were passed, at the rate, toward 
the close of the session, of one hundred and fifty a day. A 
resolution for the call of a convention to amend the constitu- 
tion was adopted and submitted to the people, and by them 

During the administration of Gov. Matteson there was paid 
on the principal and interest of the State debt, the sum of $4,- 
564,840 leaving the amount outstanding on Jan. i, 1857, $12,- 
834,144. The whole accruing interest for the previous six 
months was for the first time paid on Jan. i, and a balance left 
in the treasury to the credit of the interest fund amounting to 
$65,000, besides over $150,000 of surplus revenue. The State 
treasury had never before been in such good condition; the 
receipts therein, on account of revenue for the past two years, 
having been $664,000, and the payments therefrom $530,985; 
and on account of the State debt, the receipts were $1,113,413, 
and the payments $908,820. 

Note. — John Moore, democrat, was reelected State treasurer by 2915 majority, 
but anti-Nebraska congressmen carried the State by nearly 18,000 majority. 


Formation of New Parties — The Bloomington Convention 
— Elections of 1856 — Administration of Gov. Bissell — 
Twentieth General Assembly — Laws — The Campaign 
of 1858 — Twenty -first General Assembly — Douglas 
again elected to the Senate — Laws — The Matteson 
Embezzlement — Death of Gov. Bissell — Succession of 
Lieut. - Gov. John Wood. 

THE question of slavery in some of its aspects prior to the 
war of the rebellion had, either remotely or directly, 
entered into the formation and policy of all leading politi- 
cal parties in the country, and had always been the instigating 
cause of the most violent and threatening discussions in con- 
gress. It was so in 1820 and in 1832. In 1848, upon the 
nomination by the democrats of Gen. Cass for president, an 
influential faction of that party in New York, opposed to the 
extension of slavery, refused to support the nominee and called a 
convention at Utica, at which Martin VanBuren was nominated. 
This was followed by the calling of a national convention at 
Buffalo, to which seventeen states sent delegates, which ratified 
Van Buren's nomination. This ticket, nominated upon a plat- 
form which had for its distinctive principles "free soil, free 
speech, free labor, and free men," received a larger vote in 
New York than did the regular democratic nominees. The 
party strength being thus divided, the electoral vote of the 
state was secured by Gen. Taylor, whose election was thus 

The pacification measures of 1850 had so far impressed 
themselves upon the country as a satisfactory adjustment of 
slavery controversies that at the presidential election of 1852 
the free-soil faction was unable to poll half the vote it had in 
1848, and the democratic ticket, representing a reunited organi- 
zation, was overwhelmingly successful. 

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in 1854 was the 
signal for the outbreak of a storm of agitation, which, as has 






• f 




been shown, obliterated all party-lines and disrupted all party- 
ties. The effect upon the whig party was disastrous in the 
extreme, and its efficient organization as a national party soon 
visibly melted away. The question arose, where were the active 
workers of the old party to go? Certainly not with the demo- 
crats, whom they had persistently fought for twenty years; 
not with the free soilers, whose pronounced views on the slavery 
question they were not ready to accept. Rather would they 
strike out in a new direction and adopt an entirely original 
platform, through which, by embracing a popular measure dis- 
connected from the slavery question, they might draw support 
from dissatisfied democrats, reunite the whigs, and form a new 
party certain to achieve success. This new principle was found 
in the statement that "Americans must rule America"; and 
upon this declaration of their rule of faith the American party 
was formed. It was a secret organization and generally recog- 
nized as the know-nothing party. While it attracted large 
numbers in the free-states, it became the most popular and 
powerful in the slave-holding communities of the South, some 
of which it was able politically to control. 

But in the meantime, the opposition in the free-states to the 
repeal of the Missouri compromise continued to increase in 
strength and aggressiveness. There was an intensity of feeling 
aroused against slavery never before exhibited. Public meet- 
ings were held all over the country, in which this antagonism 
found vent in denunciatory expression. 

The same causes, at work in other Northern States as in 
Illinois, produced results equally disastrous to the democratic 

At one of the earliest anti- Nebraska meetings, held at 
Ripon, Wisconsin, March 29, 1854, Maj. Alvin E. Bovay, a 
local politician of some prominence, first suggested the name 
of Republican as the proper one to be adopted by the new 
party, which it was proposed to form out of the hitherto con- 
flicting elements thus brought together. He wrote to the New- 
York Tribune urging Mr. Greeley to recommend it. The first 
state convention to adopt the name was that of Michigan, at 
Jackson, July 6, 1854. Wisconsin followed July 13, and Ver- 
mont at her state convention the same day. It was adopted in 


Massachusetts at a mass meeting, July 20. In other states, as 
in Illinois, there was a hesitancy in the ranks of the anti-Neb- 
raska party in regard to its adoption. In New York, eight 
different conventions were held in 1854, all of them opposed to 
the democracy, but not sufficiently in harmony with each other 
to agree upon a common name. In Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa, 
although the name Republican was not adopted, a successful 
fusion ticket was nominated. In Illinois, the prejudice extended 
not only to the name but even to many of those who were 
identified with the new party as its leaders. To mention the 
name of Giddings, Chase, or Lovejoy to an old whig was like 
flaunting a red flag in the face of a mad bull. 

For the purpose of reconciling apparent differences and 
amalgamating seemingly conflicting but really congenial ele- 
ments in the election of 1856 in this State, it was decided, after 
careful consultation, that the initiatory movement should be 
made by the press. Accordingly a convention was called by 
the anti-Nebraska editors of the State to meet in Decatur, Feb. 
22, 1856. The following answered to their names: Paul Selby of 
the Jacksonville Journal; Wm. J. Usrey, Decatur Chronicle; V. 
Y. Ralston, Qni?icy Whig; Charles H. Ray, Chicago Tribune; 
O. P. Wharton, Rock Island Advertiser; E. C. Dougherty, Rock- 
ford Register; Thomas J. Pickett, Peoria Republican ; George 
Schneider, Staats-Zeitung, Chicago; Charles Faxton, Princeton 
Post; A. U. Ford, Lacon Gazette; and B. F. Shaw, Dixon 

Paul Selby was elected president, and Wm. J. Usrey, secre- 
tary. Upon the fundamental point of agreement — opposition 
to the Nebraska legislation — strong resolutions were adopted, 
while upon those of disagreement they were silent. They re- 
commended the holding of a state convention at Bloomington, 
for the purpose of nominating candidates for state officers and 
appointing delegates to the national convention. A state cen- 
tral committee, composed of the following members, James C. 
Conkling, Springfield; Asahel Gridley, Bloomington; Burton C. 
Cook, Ottawa; Charles H. Ray and N. B. Judd of Chicago, 
was appointed to issue the call and make the necessary arrange- 
ments for the meeting. 

Although not called as such — the name, indeed, being nowhere 


used in the proceedings — this convention, which was held at 
Bloomington, May 29, 1856, has ever since been designated as 
the first Illinois republican state convention. It was really a 
mass meeting as well as a representative body. 

Thirty counties, principally in the southern portion of the 
State, sent no delegates; and many of those who were present 
from southern and central counties were self-appointed, with no 
constituency behind them. Other counties were represented 
not only by the regular delegates but also by large numbers of 
influential citizens, who were present to cooperate in the en- 
dorsement of the movement by voice and pen, and by giving 
it needed financial support. 

It was a famous gathering and marked the commencement 
of a new era in the politics of the State. All those who sub- 
sequently became leaders of the republican party were there 
— whigs, democrats, know-nothings, and abolitionists. Those 
who had all their lives been opposing and fighting each other 
found themselves for the first time harmoniously sitting side 
by side, consulting and shouting their unanimous and enthu- 
siastic accord. Among these were Lincoln, Palmer, Browning, 
Wentworth, Yates, Lovejoy, Oglesby, and Koerner. John M. 
Palmer was "made president, and Richard Yates, Wm. Ross, 
John H. Bryant, David L. Phillips, James M. Ruggles, G. D. 
A. Parks, John Clark, Abner C. Harding, and J. H. Marshall, 
vice-presidents. The secretaries were Henry S. Baker of Madi- 
son County, Chas. L. Wilson of Cook, John Tillson of Adams, 
Washington Bushnell of LaSalle, and B. J. F. Hanna of Ran- 

The platform adopted embraced the following planks: 

I. Opposition to the democratic administration. 2. That 
congress possessed the power to abolish slavery in the territor- 
ies and should exercise that power to prevent the extension of 
slavery into territories heretofore free. 3. Opposition to the 
repeal of the Missouri compromise and in favor of making 
Kansas and Nebraska free-states. 4. In favor of the Union 
and the Constitution. 5. In favor of the immediate admission 
of Kansas under the free constitution adopted by her people. 
6. In favor of liberty of conscience as well as political free- 
dom, proscribing no one on account of religious opinions or 
in consequence of place of birth. 


The nominees of the convention were as follows; Wm. H. 
Bissell for governor; Francis A. Hoffman, lieutenant-governor; 
Ozias M. Hatch, secretary of state; Jesse K. Dubois, auditor 
of public accounts; James Miller, treasurer; Wm. H. Powell, 
state superintendent of public instruction. It having been 
found that Mr. Hoffman, a native of Germany, was ineligible 
by reason of not having been a citizen fourteen years, as re- 
quired by the constitution, John Wood of Adams County, was 
subsequently named for lieutenant-governor in his place. 

The ticket nominated was a concession to the old whig and 
democratic elements of the convention, no advanced republi- 
can being placed upon it. It was not balloted for in the 
usual way, the first two names being nominated by acclama- 
tion and the others upon the recommendation of a committee 
of which Mr. Lincoln was chairman. The former members of 
the state central committee were continued. 

It was a body in which ideas predominated to the exclusion 
ot personal preferences, and the absorbing interest of the con- 
vention centered upon the discussion of the political pronuncia- 
mentos embraced in the platform. Eloquent speeches were 
made by all the prominent delegates, Palmer from a democratic 
stand-point. Browning from the outlook of an old whig, and 
Lovejoy from a pinnacle of vision to which others had not been 
able hitherto to climb. These were all able, earnest efforts, 
arousing wild enthusiasm; but it was left for Abraham Lincoln, 
in the final address, in what was beyond question the greatest 
forensic effort of his life, to stir the souls of that vast assem- 
blage to their lowest depths. He it was who, by his compre- 
hensive grasp of the momentous subjects which had engrossed 
the attention of the convention, reached the very fountain-head 
of thought and enforced conviction; while by his appeal to 
broader views of the humanitarian aspects of those vital issues 
he awakened such passionate outbursts of demonstration as 
never before were witnessed at a political meeting. The im- 
mense audience rose to its feet and stood upon chairs and 
benches, at times hushed and breathless, with tears filling the 
eye and moistening the cheek; and again, as that weird pres- 
ence, with eyes lit up as with the divine fire of a seer, led them 
on and up to heights of mental vision to which they had never 


before attained, the pent up enthusiasm defied control and 
sought rehef in waving of hats and handkerchiefs, and in wild 
cheers that could not be restrained. 

And thus was born in this State, under auspicious skies, that 
party which in a few months was to take command of the ship 
of state at Springfield, and four years later at Washington, 
and continue at the helm of that mightier and grander craft 
for a quarter of a century, guiding the old ship through a 
bloody civil war of four years, resulting in the restoration of 
the Union sundered by rebellion, and the freeing and enfran- 
chising of four millions of slaves. 

In the meantime, the democrats had already placed their 
ticket in the field — their state convention having been held at 
Springfield, May i, of which Thomas Dyer of Chicago was 
president. The candidates for governor were Wm. A. Rich- 
ardson, Murray McConnel, John Moore, and John Dement. 
Moore was in the lead on the first and second ballots but Rich- 
ardson drew the prize on the third. The remainder of the 
ticket was as follows: for lieutenant-governor, Richard Jones 
Hamilton of Chicago; secretary of state, Wm. H. Snyder of 
St. Clair; auditor, Samuel K. Casey of Franklin; treasurer, 
John Moore, the then incumbent; and J. H. St. Matthew of 
Tazewell, for superintendent of public instruction. 

It was a strong ticket, ably led by Col. Richardson — who 
had represented his district eleven years in congress, since his 
earlier services in the legislature, and had been conspicuous in 
the national house of representatives as the right-hand man of 
Judge Douglas in promoting the Kansas-Nebraska legislation. 

That portion of the American, or know-nothing organization 
which had not been absorbed by the republicans or democrats, 
met in state council at Springfield, May 6, with sadly depleted 
numbers. The nominees at first agreed upon refused to accept 
the empty honors, and after several attempts a ticket was 
finally made up as follows: Buckner S. Morris of Cook County, 
for governor; T. B. Hickman, heutenant-governor; W. H. 

Young for secretary of state; Dr. Barbor for auditor; 

James Miller — afterward nominated by the republicans — for 
treasurer; and E. Jenkins for superintendent of schools. 

The first of the national conventions held this year was that 


of the Americans at Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1856, at which 
Millard Fillmore was nominated for president and Andrew J, 
Donelson for vice-president. 

Judge Douglas was again a candidate for nomination at the 
democratic national convention, which was held at Cincinnati, 
June 2, but had to surrender to James Buchanan on the six- 
teenth ballot. 

The republican national convention was held at Philadel- 
phia, June 17, at which John C. Fremont was nominated for 
president and Wm. L. Dayton for vice-president; Abraham 
Lincoln receiving the next highest number of votes for the 
latter office. 

The campaign of 1856 was one of the most exciting and 
hotly contested ever fought in this State. It was evident that 
as in the Nation so in the State, such was the progress made 
by the republicans, the only hope the democrats had of suc- 
cess was in the divisions of their opponents and in prevent- 
ing their fusion. Their denunciations of abolitionists and 
"black republicans," as they termed their antagonists, were tre- 
mendous. In the southern and central portions of the State 
the supporters of Fremont were "few and far between." In 
the county of Franklin he received only five votes, in Hamil- 
ton nine, in Hardin four, in Johnson two, in Massac five, in 
Pope eleven, in Saline four, and in Williamson ten. These were 
cast by preachers, teachers, and eastern people, who were 
mostly non-combatants, and who, while they were fearless in 
argument, were not inclined to resort to the knife, bludgeon, 
or pistol, in defence of their principles, though frequently 
provoked to do so by the outrageous abuse and overbearing 
conduct of their opponents. But here and there were found 
those who had determined that they would not submit to 
this kind of bulldozing. One of these was John M. Palmer, 
between whom and Maj. Harris, then running for congress in 
his district, there had been considerable ill-feeling. The major 
had written a letter to be read at a democratic meeting at 
which Palmer was present. It was very abusive of the repub- 
licans, and the latter, rising, remarked that the author would 
not dare make such charges to the face of any honest man. 
Harris, hearing of this, gave out word that he would resent it 

CAMPAIGN OF 1 856. 603 

at the first opportunity, which Palmer soon gave him by- 
attending one of his meetings. The major in the course of 
his speech broke out in the most vituperative language against 
abohtionists, caUing them disturbers of the peace, incendiaries, 
and falsifiers, and at length, turning to Palmer and pointing 
his finger at him, said, "I mean you, sir!" Palmer rising to 
his feet, instantly replied, "Well, sir, if you apply that language 
to me you are a dastardly liar!" And drawing a pistol, he 
started toward the speaker's stand. "Now, sir," he continued, 
"when you get through I propose to reply to you." The 
major had not anticipated this turn of affairs, but prudently 
kept his temper and finished his speech. No one interfering, 
Palmer then arose, and laying his weapon before him, cocked, 
proceeded to give the democratic party such a castigation as 
none of those present had ever heard before. 

Fillmore was able to hold a sufficient number of know-noth- 
ing votes to give a plurality of 9159 and the electorial vote of 
the State to Buchanan, but the know-nothing state ticket did 
not do so well and the republicans were successful by a plural- 
ity of 4732 votes.* 

Gov. Bissell came to this State from New York, and entered 
upon the practice of his profession as a physician in Monroe 
County .•!- The practice of medicine was not to his taste and 
he soon evinced a preference for public life. In 1840, he was 
elected to the legislature, where he was soon recognized as 
possessing in the highest degree the qualifications of an orator. 
Upon his return home, so great had been his success as an 
able and efficient public speaker that he determined to abandon 
medicine for the law; he was soon admitted to the bar and 
appointed prosecuting attorney. He at once took a front 
rank among the lawyers in his circuit, it being conceded 
almost a hopeless task to defend where he was prosecuting. 
His style of speaking was at once forcible and elegant, always 
succeeding in carrying his hearers with him. His distinguished 

* The general result in the State was as follows: Buchanan electors 105,348; 
Fremont, 96,189; Fillmore, 37,444. Bissell 111,375; Richardson 106,643; Morris 
19,088. riurality for Hatch 9291; Dubois 3031; Powell 3215; majority fur Miller 
(only two candidates) 2013. The republicans elected four congressmen and the 
democrats five. 

t lie was born in Yates County, New York, April 25, 181 1. 


military services in the Mexican war as colonel of the Second 
Illinois Regiment, have already been adverted to. After his 
return from the war he was, in 1848, elected to congress and 
reelected in 1850 and in 1852; where he took a leading part 
and became noted for his engaging manners, his attention to 
the business before the house, and his eloquence in debate. 

Although a democrat, he was not favorably impressed with 
the blustering manners of and assumption of superiority by the 
southern members of his party. He had already discovered 
the signs of a desire to precipitate a conflict between the two 
sections; and while he supported the pending measures of 
adjustment (1850), he began to perceive that the South was 
inclined to ask for such farther concessions as it would not be 
possible to grant consistently with honor and justice. 

He sat quietly in his seat and listened day after day without 
a word to the arraignment of the North by southern members, 
for its alleged outrages against the institutions of the South, 
until one day a member from Virginia — Jas. A. Seddon — in an 
attempt to exalt the bravery of southern troops over that of 
those from the North, set up the claim that it was the regiment 
from Mississippi which met and repulsed the enemy at the 
battle of Buena Vista at the most critical moment — after the 
northern troops had given way. The indignation of the gallant 
member from Illinois could be no longer restrained. Taking 
the speech of Brown of Mississippi, against the free-states for 
his text, he proceeded to defend the North against the charge 
of aggressions against the rights of the South in a masterly 
effort, bristling with telling points, which commanded the 
marked attention of the house. But when he came to repel 
the unjust claim of the gentleman from Virginia in regard to 
the conduct of our troops at Buena Vista, the silence and atten- 
tion throughout the hall became profound and impressive. He 
gave forth no uncertain sound. "I affirm distinctly, sir," said 
Bissell, "that at the time the Second Indiana Regiment gave 
way, through an unfortunate order of their colonel, the Missis- 
sippi regiment for whom the claim is gratuitously set up, was 
not within a mile and a half of the scene of action, nor yet had 
it fired a gun or pulled a trigger. I affirm further, sir, that the 
troops which at that time met and resisted the enemy and thus, 


to use the gentleman's own language, 'snatched victory from 
the jaws of defeat' were the Second Kentucky, the Second Illi- 
nois, and a portion of the First Illinois regiments. It gives 
me no pleasure, sir, to be compelled to allude to this subject, 
nor can I see the necessity or propriety of its introduction in 
this debate. It having been introduced, however, I could not 
sit in silence and witness the infliction of such cruel injustice 
upon men, living and dead, whose well-earned fame I were a 
monster not to protect. The true, brave hearts of too many 
of them, alas, have already mingled with the soil of a foreign 
country; but their claims upon the justice of their country- 
men can never cease, nor can my obligations to them be ever 
forgotten or disregarded. No, sir, the voice of Hardin, that 
voice which has so often been heard in this hall, as mine now 
is, though far more eloquently, the voice of Hardin, yea, and of 
McKee, and the accomplished Clay — each wrapped now in 
his bloody shroud — their voices would reproach me from the 
grave had I failed in this act of justice to them and to others 
who fought and fell by my side. 

"You will suspect me, Mr. Chairman, of having warm feel- 
ings on this subject. Sir, I have; and have given them utter- 
ance as a matter of duty. In all this, however, I by no means 
detract from the gallant conduct of the Mississippi regiment. 
At other times and places on that bloody field they did all 
that their warmest admirers could desire. But, let me ask 
again, why was this subject introduced into this debate.? Why 
does this gentleman say 'troops of the North' gave way, when 
he means only a single regiment.? Why is all this, but for the 
purpose of disparaging the North for the benefit of the South.? 
Why, but for furnishing materials for that ceaseless, never- 
ending theme of 'Southern chivalry.?' "* 

Neither the logic nor the manner of this speech, in its un- 
flinching boldness, severity, and firmness, could be tolerated, and 
it was at once determined that the honor of the South required 
that Bissell must be silenced or disgraced. Jefferson Davis, 
then a senator from Mississippi, who commanded the regiment 
from that state at Buena Vista, was selected to bring the 
matter to an issue. Professing to be aggrieved and insulted 

• "Cong. Globe," XXII, pt. i, 228. 


at the manner in which Bissell had spoken of his regiment, he 
challenged him to mortal combat. While the bravery of Col. 
Bissell was unquestioned, it was supposed by many that his 
northern education and the unpopularity of the duello in his 
own State would compel him to decline a hostile meeting. 
But in this they had mistaken their man — Bissell promptly 
accepted the challenge and selected, as he had the right to do, 
as the weapon to be used, the army musket, to be loaded with 
a ball and three buckshot, the combatants to be stationed forty 
paces apart with liberty to advance to ten. The mortal issue 
of such a conflict for one or both of the parties had not been 
in the programme, and the question arose how to avoid such 
an inevitable catastrophe. President Taylor, the father-in-law 
of Mr. Davis, having been advised of the situation the evening 
before the contemplated meeting, provided for the arrest of 
the belligerents on the following morning, but the intervention 
of other friends in the meantime led to a satisfactory adjust- 
ment of the quarrel. All that was required of Col. Bissell was 
to say in relation to the conduct of the Mississippi regiment, 
"but I am willing to award to them the credit due to their 
gallant and distinguished services in that battle," which was 
nothing more than to repeat what he had already in effect 
stated in the speech which occasioned the warlike message. 

Gov. Bissell at the time of his nomination and election was 
an invahd, his spine having been injured by a fall, and he was 
unable to walk without the use of crutches. Although his 
lower limbs were partially paralyzed, the powers of his mind 
were not affected. He made only one speech during the 
campaign, and that at his home in Belleville. 

Although the republicans had succeeded in electing their 
state officers and there was shown to be a majority of over 
20,000 votes against the democrats, the latter secured both 
branches of the legislature, although the majority was barely 
one in each, the senate standing thirteen to twelve, and the 
house thirty-eight democrats, thirty- one republicans, and six 
Americans. The seat of the democratic member from Peoria, 
Mr. Shallenberger, was contested by Calvin L. Eastman, who, 
although his claim was denied on a tie vote, was allowed the 
same pay as the sitting member. 


The following senators were reelected: Messrs. Judd, Cook, 
O'Kean, and Bryan. L. E.Worcester of Greene, was returned 
in place of John M. Palmer, resigned. The other new members 
were: Thomas J. Henderson of Bureau, Wm. C. Goudy of 
Fulton, Joel S. Post of Macon, Samuel W. Fuller of Tazewell, 
Wm. H. Underwood of St. Clair, G. A. D. Parks of Will, Cyrus 
W. Vanderin of Sangamon, Samuel H. Martin of White, E. 
C. Coffey of Washington, and Hiram Rose of Henderson, to 
fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Jacob C. Davis. 

In the house, the only members returned who had served 
formerly in that body were: Messrs. Sloan, Boal, O. L. Davis, 
Dougherty, John A. Logan, W. R. Morrison, Pinckney, Denio, 
Lawrence, Preston, Moulton, Isaac N. Arnold, and Burke. 
Among the new members were E. C. Ingersoll, then a demo- 
crat from Gallatin County, Wm. B. Anderson, Wm. A. J. 
Sparks, Shelby M. CuUom, Wm. Lathrop, all of them afterward 
members of congress, Cyrus Epier, Franklin Blades, J. V. Eus- 
tace, all subsequently circuit-judges, Moses M. Bane, Jerome 
R. Gorin, Elmer Baldwin, and L. S. Church. 

The proceedings while a temporary organization was being 
effected were characterized by disorder and violence. E. T, 
Bridges, clerk of the last house, claimed the right to call the 
roll, which was contested by the democrats. Mr. Dougherty 
was elected chairman and Capt. J. L. McConnel of Morgan, 
temporary clerk. Both clerks proceeded to call the roll at the 
same time and both received credentials. Mr. Ingersoll moved 
that Bridges be expelled from the house, which being declared 
carried, he was forcibly ejected from the hall by the sergeant- 
at-arms. Samuel Holmes or Quincy,was finally elected speaker, 
receiving thirty-six votes to twenty-eight for Arnold, four for 
CuUom, and two scattering. Charles Leibwas chosen clerk 
and James M. Blades doorkeeper. Benjamin Bond was elected 
secretary of the senate and David J. Waggoner sergeant-at- 

The valedictory message of Gov. Matteson was a plainly 
written and clear statement of the progress and condition of 
the State at this time, and, containing no reference to politics, 
was well received by all parties. 

Gov. Bissell was inaugurated at the executive mansion, Jan. 


12, and his address was read by Isaac R. Diller at the joint- 
meeting of the general assembly. 

The animosities of the late campaign were carried into the 
legislature and kept alive in the house during the entire ses- 
sion. The governor's inaugural was a straightforward, well- 
written, and dignified state paper in which he referred to the 
administration of his predecessor in highly complimentary 
terms. He concurred in all of his recommendations and sug- 
gested no measures of his own. But although he had com- 
mented but briefly upon the Nebraska controversy, and in mild 
terms, it stirred the ire of the democrats at once. Upon the 
motion to print the address, a virulent attack was made upon 
him, John A. Logan taking the lead. The Davis duel was 
seized upon as a violation of the constitution, it being charged 
that the governor had committed perjury in taking the oath 
of office. Able replies to these attacks were made by Isaac 
N. Arnold, C. B. Denio, and others, in which it was shown 
that the offence charged was committed outside the limits of 
the State and beyond the legal jurisdiction of the constitution 
of Illinois, 

The principal contest, however, was over the apportion- 
ment bills, one from each party having been presented. That 
of the democrats was passed, but the controversy was ended 
only by a decision of the supreme court. It appears that 
when the measure was presented to the governor for his 
signature, it was accompanied by the appropriation bill. The 
former he intended to veto and the latter to approve, but 
by a mistake he signed and returned the apportionment 
bill instead of that for the appropriations. The democrats 
refusing to recall the bill, he managed in some way to obtain 
possession of it, when he erased his signature thereto and sent 
in his veto message. This the house refused to receive, and 
ordered the bill to be filed with the secretary of state. Against 
this action the republicans filed a protest which was, on 
motion, expunged from the journal. The question of the 
legality of the apportionment law having been taken to the 
supreme court upon a ^nandanius proceeding, that body 
decided, that during the ten days in which a bill is construc- 
tively under the control of the executive it has not the force 

NOMINATIONS IN 1 858. 609 

of law, and that he had the right to return the bill to the 
house with his veto, notwithstanding it had once received his 

There were but few laws of general interest passed at this 
session, those to establish a Normal University, and to build an 
additional penitentiary being the most important. 

The session adjourned on the morning ol Feb. 19, the house 
with less than a quorum, most of the members having dis- 
persed the previous night amid darkness, disorder, and con- 

Although there were but two state ofificers to be voted for 
in 1858, it would devolve upon the legislature then chosen to 
elect a United-States senator in the place of Judge Douglas, 
a fact which imparted to the campaign of that year, unusual 
interest and importance. The Kansas-Nebraska controversy 
had by this time assumed an entirely new phase. At a 
convention held at Lecompton in October, 1857, the instru- 
ment historically known as the Lecompton constitution was 
adopted, which was subsequently endorsed by President 
Buchanan and his cabinet, and by the executive submitted 
to congress, February 2, 1858, with the recommendation 
that the territory of Kansas be admitted as a state under its 

Judge Douglas promptly took ground against this constitu- 
tion, declaring that its mode of submission to the people was 
a "mockery and insult," ajid that he would resist it to the last 
as being illegal, unfair, and in contravention of his doctrine 
of popular sovereignty. 

The democratic state convention was held at Springfield, 
April 21, and placed Wm. B. Fondey in nomination for state 
treasurer and ex-Gov. A. C. French for state superintendent of 
public schools. The course of Judge Douglas in congress 
was warmly eulogized, and although his candidacy was not in 
terms endorsed, there was no question but that he was the 
choice of the convention to be his own successor. 

At the same time and place, there was held what was denomi- 
nated the convention of the national democratic party, which 
had been called by the supporters of the Buchanan adminis- 
tration. Only twenty-four counties were represented, and it 


adjourned to reconvene in June, at which time a state ticket was 
nominated with John Dougherty of Union County for state 
treasurer, and ex-Gov, John Reynolds for state superintendent 
of public schools. 

The disagreement between Douglas and the administration 
of Buchanan, and its opposition to his reelection proved a 
benefit to him rather than a disadvantage. While a number 
of former friends, holding federal offices, were arrayed against 
him, the masses of the democratic party were the more firmly 
bound to his fortunes by the disruption. 

At the repubhcan state convention, held at the capitol, June 
i6, in which nearly every county was represented, James Mil- 
ler was renominated as the candidate for state treasurer, and 
Newton Bateman was selected, on the third ballot, for superin- 
tendent of public schools. But one man, who had justly 
earned the undisputed position of leader, was thought of for 
the highest place in view, and the convention, with entire un- 
animity, resolved that Abraham Lincoln was the first and only 
choice of the republicans for the United-States senate. Such 
an endorsement, though without precedent, was not unexpected, 
and yet the honor came at a time when it was considered as 
of doubtful value. The contest of Judge Douglas with the 
Buchanan administration, over the Lecompton constitution, 
had brought him largely into sympathy with the opponents of 
the extension of slavery. William H. Herndon, Lincoln's law 
partner, had been dispatched East to feel the republican 
pulse. He found that many of the leaders, while speaking 
favorably of Lincoln thought that it would be "good poli- 
tics" to permit the reelection of Judge Douglas. Horace Gree- 
ley, in his New-York Tribune, which had a large circulation in 
Illinois, not only endorsed the judge's course but had said of 
him personally, "no public man in our day has earned a nobler 
fidelity and courage;" and that if Lincoln's election was 
to be secured by a coalition between republicans and "a little 
faction of postmasters, tide-waiters, and federal office-seekers, 
who for the sake of their dirty pudding, present and hoped 
for, pretend to approve the Lecompton fraud," it would be 
viewed with regret by the republicans of other states. 

This attitude of the leading paper of his party and of such 

CAMPAIGN OF 1 858. 61I 

men as Seward and Banks, at the opening of the campaign, 
was to Lincoln hke the withdrawal from the field on the 
eve of battle of a tried battalion, relied upon to obtain the 
victory. Its dampening and dispiriting effect upon him was 
plainly to be seen, while it was correspondingly helpful and 
encouraging to Judge Douglas. 

Mr. Lincoln, with unfailing intuition, saw that former posi- 
tions must be exchanged for those of a more radical and far- 
reaching character. That a line must be drawn, upon one side 
or the other of which every one must stand, leaving no place 
for a third party, nor for any one who regarded the question 
of slavery merely as one of property rights and who cared 
not whether it was voted down or voted up by the people, as 
his opponent had declared his own sentiment to be in a speech 
on the Lecompton constitution, 

Mr. Lincoln, with the greatest care and his best thought, pre- 
pared the address afterward delivered to the republican con- 
vention, writing it in fragmentary parts on scraps of paper 
carried in his hat and afterward revised and copied at length.* 

Although so widely copied and commented upon, the follow- 
ing extract from the address is here given: 

" 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' I believe 
this government can not 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 that it will 
cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or the other. 
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread 
of it and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief 
that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates 
will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the 
states, old as well as new, North as well as South." 

Before delivering this speech, Lincoln submitted it to 
the judgment of his friends, not one of whom approved of it, 
except his law-partner. Indeed, the general opinion was strongly 
averse to the sentiment as expressed in the foregoing extract. 
With his usual self-reliance he arose and remarked: "Friends, 
the time has come when these sentiments should be uttered; 
and if it is decreed that I shall go down because of this 

* Herndon's "Lincoln," II, 397, 


speech, then let me go down linked to the truth — let me die 
in the advocacy of what is just and right."* 

The selection of Lincoln by the republicans as their stand- 
ard-bearer in this campaign was due no less to a desire 
to confer upon him what was regarded as a deserved promo- 
tion, than to the fact of his supposed willingness and ability to 
meet his distinguished competitor on the stump. If he was 
not able to cope successfully with the great senator, it would be 
useless for any other man to make the attempt. And as Doug- 
las had never shown any backwardness to meet any foeman in 
debate, it was generally concluded that the great issue between 
the two parties — of opposition to slavery extension on the one 
side and the advocates of the principle of non-intervention on 
the other — was to be publicly fought out by them in the arena 
of joint debate. It was to be an intellectual combat, in which 
giants were the principals and the entire Nation spectators. 

Such political discussions had been introduced in this State 
when it was admitted into the Union and had always been favor- 
ably regarded by the people. Unless a candidate at all accus- 
tomed to public speaking — and few others were selected, was 
able and willing to meet his opponent on the stump, his pros- 
pect of success was slim. The custom had been brought from 
Kentucky and was regarded as a necessity of the times. There 
were no daily and but few weekly newspapers in those pioneer 
days, and in no other way could the people be so well informed 
and placed in possession of reliable current political informa- 
tion as this. In order that no candidate should have an oppor- 
tunity of misleading his constituents and of making misstate- 
ments, it was insisted that both sides should be fairly heard at 
the same time. 

As the election day drew nigh, field days were appointed, at 
which the candidates appeared, took the stand, and set forth 
their claims "by word of mouth." During the holding of the 
circuit-courts, the lawyers, nearly all of whom were politicians 
and good speakers, would deliver speeches on alternate nights. 
In this way Douglas had met Stuart, Browning, and Woodson, 
all of whom had been his competitors for congress, and also 
his present opponent. 

* Ilerndon's "Lincoln," II, 400. 


Now although the reason for these joint discussions had 
mainly passed away through the multiplication of newspapers, 
both daily and weekly, and of magazines, and through the 
establishment of public libraries, there yet remained a feeling 
among the people that perhaps after all the best way of arriv- 
ing at the merits of a political controversy was to hear the 
arguments of able leaders delivered in the presence of each 

When Judge Douglas came home to Chicago in July, Lin- 
coln, knowing that he would signalize his return by making 
a well-prepared opening speech, decided to hear him and take 
the measure of his opponent under the partially changed aspect 
of the issue. The judge's reception by his followers was ex- 
ceedingly gratifying, even enthusiastic. He spoke from the 
balcony of the Tremont House to an immense audience, taking 
for his text the opening sentence of Lincoln's speech at the 
late republican convention. The judge spoke for two hours 
and was loudly cheered throughout. Lincoln replied from 
the same place, where a still larger crowd gathered, on the fol- 
lowing night. His appearance on the stand was greeted with a 
storm of applause which was repeated at every telling point. 
One of these occurred in the beginning of his speech. Judge 
Douglas had said, referring to the alleged alliance existing be- 
tween the republicans and the federal office-holders, that he 
would deal with the unholy alliance as the Russians had with 
the allies in the Crimean war, not stopping to inquire when 
they fired a broadside, whether they hit an Englishman, a 
Frenchman, or a Turk. Mr. Lincoln happily retorted, and, 
while denying that there was any such alliance as that charged, 
continued, "but if he will have it so, and that we stand in the 
attitude of the English, French, and Turks, he occupying the 
position of the Russians, I beg he will indulge us while we 
barely suggest to him that the allies took Sebastopol." 

The senator left Chicago, July 16, for Springfield on a train 
decorated with flags and banners, and was received at the prin- 
cipal stations by large crowds amid the booming of cannon and 
the blare of martial music. He spoke at Bloomington, and 
addressed a large mass-meeting at Springfield on the 17th. Mr. 
Lincoln, who had been on the same train, replied to him again 


at Springfield. By this time although either party had been 
waiting for the other to make the advance, it became apparent 
that a face to face contest must be substituted for this method 
of shooting at long range. Accordingly, on July 24, Mr. Lin- 
coln issued his challenge, and an arrangement for joint discus- 
sions at seven different points in the State was finally con- 
cluded July 31. 

This discussion was regarded with national interest, and the 
fate of parties, as well as that of the principals engaged, if not 
of the Union itself, hung upon the result. 

In point of education and previous experience in debate, 
Douglas undoubtedly had the advantage. He had now been 
in congress fifteen years, and had frequently met in the intellect- 
ual arena Seward, Chase, Trumbull, Hale, and Fessenden, lead- 
ing republicans, and latterly Jefterson Davis, Toombs, Benja- 
min, Green, Mason, and Hunter, of his own party, on the Le- 
compton issue. For a controversy he was always prepared, and 
to be involved in one was ever to him to be in his native 
element. No man was better furnished with the weapons of 
debate or exhibited more skill in their use than he. As a 
popular speaker, in the art of managing a mixed audience and 
in carrying oft" the honors of the hour, in his ability to bridge 
over or avoid hard places in an argument, and to make the 
most of his adversary's weak points, he was the superior of Mr. 
Lincoln or any of his compeers in the senate. 

Lincoln had been known as a public speaker since 1838, 
having been three times a presidential elector, in which capac- 
ity he canvassed the State for Harrison, Clay, and Fremont. 
Neither was he without experience as a debater, a kind of 
contest which he believed in and enjoyed. He had already 
measured swords with his great rival, and each had thus received 
a taste of the other's metal. He was a born logician, and 
sought to reach the point of demonstration in speaking on 
leading public questions; but his controlling advantage in the 
present contest consisted in the fact of the sincerity of his 
belief and the earnestness and fearlessness with which he 
sought to enforce his convictions, that free labor was prefera- 
ble to slave labor, and that slavery in itself was inherently 
wrong; at once appealing to the economic instincts and reach- 
ing the moral sense of the people. 


The contrast between the great champions physically was no 
less striking than that politically and intellectually. Lincoln 
was tall and lank and lean, while Douglas was short, round, 
and robust. The voice of Lincoln was sharp and thin, though 
of large compass, while that of his opponent was sonorous and 
full. Lincoln possessed an inexhaustible stock of anecdotes 
which he told admirably by way of illustration, but although 
humorous, did not possess that readiness of sparkling repartee 
which enabled Douglas to make pointed and happy turns of 
thought against an opponent. The senator was always forci- 
ble, self-asserting, and plausible, while Lincoln, though gener- 
ally confining himself to the closest reasoning, rose at times to 
impassioned bursts of the highest eloquence. 

The questions for discussion all related to slavery, and grew 
out of the repeal of the Missouri compromise and the substitu- 
tion therefor by the democrats, in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, of 
the doctrine of non-intervention by congress with slavery in 
the territories, and leaving the people thereof " perfectly free 
to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own 
way, subject only to the constitution of the United States." To 
this the republicans were opposed, taking the ground that it 
was the duty of congress to prohibit the extension of slavery 
into putative states. On the main question, the respective 
positions of the contestants, as stated by themselves at Alton, 
were as follows: 

Mr. Lincoln said: — "He [Douglas] contends that whatever 
community wants slaves has a right to have them. So they 
have if it is not a wrong. But if it is a wrong, he can not say 
people have a right to do wrong. He says that upon the score 
of equality, slaves should be allowed to go in a new territory 
like other property. This is strictly logical if there is no dif- 
ference between it and other property. If it and other property 
are equal, his argument is entirely logical. But if you insist 
that one is wrong and the other right, there is no use to insti- 
tute a comparison between right and wrong. You may turn 
over everything in the democratic policy from beginning to 
end, whether in the shape it takes on the statute book, in the 
shape it takes in the Dred Scott decision, in the shape it takes 
in conversation, or the shape it takes in short maxim-like argu- 


ments — it everywhere carefully excludes the idea that there is 
anything wrong in it. That is the real issue. That is the issue 
that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of 
Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal 
struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — 
throughout the world. They are the two principles that have 
stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever 
continue to struggle. The one is the common right of human- 
ity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same 
principle in whatever shape it developes itself It is the same 
spirit that says, 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll 
eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the 
mouth of a king, who seeks to bestride the people of his own 
nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of 
men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same 
tyrannical principle." 

To which Judge Douglas replied: — "He [Lincoln] says that 
he looks forward to a time when slavery shall be abolished 
everywhere. I look forward to a time when each state shall 
be allowed to do as it pleases. If it chooses to keep slavery 
forever, it is not my business, but its own; if it chooses to 
abolish slavery, it is its own business — not mine. I care more 
for the great principle of self-government, the right of the peo- 
ple to rule, than I do for all the negroes in Christendom. I 
would not endanger the perpetuity of this Union, I would not 
blot out the great inalienable rights of the white man for all 
the negroes that ever existed." 

The supreme court, in the celebrated Dred Scott case, had 
decided that slaves being property their owners had the right 
to take them to the territories the same as any other property 
and hold them as such; that congress transcended its power 
in the passage of the Missouri compromise, prohibiting slavery 
north of 36" 30', and that "if congress itself could not do this, 
if it is beyond the powers conferred by the federal government, 
it must be admitted that it could not authorize a territorial 
government to exercise them." Douglas had endorsed this 
decision — Lincoln opposed it. 

Under this opinion slavery already existed in Kansas, not- 
withstanding the expressed will of the people, and when the 


judge was asked to reconcile his doctrine of popular sover- 
eignty in its practical workings with the decision, he was forced 
to take the position that slavery required protection by the 
adoption of police regulations, and that it could not exist if 
these were withheld by unfriendly legislation; thus practically 
conceding that it was in the power of territorial legislation to 
accomplish indirectly what the court had declared it had not 
the right to attempt directly. Of course the weak points on 
both sides were thoroughly exposed and ventilated. 

As had been anticipated by Lincoln's friends, when they 
heard his speech on " the house divided against itself," it was 
boldly attacked and dissected by his watchful antagonist in his 
first speech at Chicago, and formed the objective point of his 
subsequent efforts. He charged that Lincoln had committed 
himself to the position that there must be a uniformity of 
institutions of the several states, which would lead to con- 
solidation and despotism, and with great force and vehemence 
insisted that according to Lincoln, the formation by our fathers 
of the Union out of states that were partly free and partly slave 
was in violation of the law of God, and as they could not thus 
exist, the proposition committed his opponent to the duty of 
going into the slave states and making them free. 

These objections were pointed out to Lincoln when the 
speech was delivered, and it was insisted by his friends that to 
utter such a sentiment was to commit a political blunder. But 
it must be remembered that Judge Douglas had been a promi- 
nent candidate for the presidency, and that if he could hold his 
party together, every indication pointed toward his nomina- 
tion and elevation to the executive chair in i860. Keeping 
this fact in view, Lincoln uniformly answered, "Well, per- 
haps it was a mistake so far as the present canvass is con- 
cerned, but in my opinion it will develop in the course of its 
discussion such statements and admissions on the part of 
Douglas as will widen the gap which already exists between 
him and the democrats of the southern states, and make his 
nomination and election as president impossible." What the 
ultimate result would be upon- himself he refrained from stating, 
if, indeed, he had any opinion upon that point at that time. It 
was supposed by some, however, that a vivid conception of the 


possibilities of his own future success was not excluded from 
the view. 

Lincoln's defence of his "divided-house" proposition was that 
our fathers left the institution of slavery in the course of its 
ultimate extinction; that their policy was to prohibit its spread 
into territories where it had not before existed ; that this policy 
was abandoned by the repeal of the Missouri compromise, thus 
placing it on the new basis not only of perpetuity but also of 
practically unlimited extension. 

The first joint discussion was held at Ottawa, August 21. 
The crowd in attendance was estimated at 12,000; the speakers 
were met at the depot on their arrival by their friends, with 
large processions headed by brass bands, firing of cannon, and 
the fluttering of flags, banners, and emblematic devices from 
windows and house-tops on every street. Judge Douglas led 
ofl" in a speech of one hour, Lincoln replying in an hour and 
a half, and the judge closing in thirty minutes. The admirers 
of each were enthusiastic in their demonstrations, Mr. Lincoln 
at the conclusion of the meeting, being seized by a party of 
friends and borne off through the crowd on their shoulders. 

The side issues brought into the discussion attracted as much 
interest as did the main question. These were numerous and 
interesting, and owing to greater care and prudence were gen- 
erally turned by Lincoln in his own favor. Douglas charged, 
for instance, that his opponent was present at the Lovejoy- 
Codding meeting at Springfield, in October, 1854, and read a 
set of resolutions which he alleged Lincoln helped to frame, 
when, in fact, the latter was not present at the meeting, and the 
resolutions alleged to have been passed by it were, in fact, 
adopted at a meeting held in Kane County. Of course no 
little capital was made out of these erroneous statements. 

At Freeport, before an immense throng of listeners, Lincoln 
was the first speaker. He at once proceeded to answer seriatim 
the seven questions propounded to him by his opponent at 
Ottawa, relating to his position on the fugitive-slave law, the 
admission of new states into the Union, the abolition of slavery 
in the District of Columbia, the prohibition of the slave-trade 
between the different states, the prohibition of slavery in the 
territories, and the acquisition of new slave-territory. He then 


in turn propounded four interrogatories to the judge. One of 
these was as follows: "Can the people of a United-States terri- 
tory in any lawful way, against the wish of any citizen of the 
United States, exclude slavery from its limits prior to the for- 
mation of a state constitution.''" which brought out the fatal 
answer, that the local legislature by unfriendly legislation might 
effectually prevent the introduction of slavery into any territory. 
This position being in conflict with the Dred-Scott decision, 
which he had always upheld and defended, was heralded over 
the southern states as evidence that he had been two-faced on 
the subject, contending for the extension of slavery under the 
decision, and for its exclusion under his new doctrine. 

The policy of propounding the question which had brought 
forth the answer had been submitted by Lincoln to some 
confidential friends, who advised against it. They even besieged 
his room the day before the discussion came off and insisted 
that the answer of his opponent would be such as to affect his 
fortunes in the State, without regard to the South, and urged 
him not to risk the interrogatory, saying in chorus, "if you do 
you can never be senator." But Lincoln, persisting in his 
determination to force an answer, replied, "Gentlemen, I am 
killing larger game; if Douglas answers, he can never be presi- 
dent, and the coming battle of i860 is worth a hundred of this."* 

At Jonesboro, Sept. 15, the audience was not so great, only 
about 2000 being present, but the meetings at Charleston, three 
days thereafter, and at Galesburg, Oct. 7, Quincy, Oct. 13, and 
at Alton, Oct. 15, were all attended by large and enthusiastic 

In addition to the joint discussions, both candidates made 
speeches at mass meetings and barbecues, in nearly every 
county in the State, sometimes the appointments clashing, when 
nothing but the intervention of the two champions prevented a 
collision. It was a memorable campaign, abounding in debates, 
full of personalities, and in which individuals and newspapers 
were not over-nice in their choice of epithets. The arguments 
of the principals were taken up by their respective followers and 
repeated and threshed over and over again. Every town had 
its set of the Congressional Globe, and the number of constitu- 

* "Abraham Lincoln: a History," The Century Magazine, XXXIV, 393. 


tional lawyers was limited only by the number of the members 
of the bar. 

The victory in the discussion was claimed by both sides; but 
the immediate result at the polls was, that while the republican 
state ticket was again elected, Douglas once more succeeded, 
under the existing apportionment in carrying the legislature — 
the senate standing fourteen to eleven and the house forty to 
thirty-five in his favor. But there was a more important and far- 
reaching effect, and one which had been partially foreseen by the 
victorious contestant. His utterances during the canvass had 
cleft the democracy of the Nation in twain; thus not only ren- 
dering possible the nomination and election of his great antag- 
onist in i860, but effectually precluding the possibility of a 
united democracy in favor of armed secession. 

James Miller, republican, for state treasurer received 125,430 
votes, and Wm. B. Fondey, 121,609, Dougherty, the administra- 
tion candidate, receiving 5071. Both the ex-governors, Reynolds 
and French, running for superintendent of public instruction, 
were defeated, the latter by only 2143 votes. 

The twenty-first general assembly convened Jan. 3, 1859. 
The new senators were, Henry W. Blodgett, John P. Richmond, 
Samuel A. Buckmaster, Chauncey L. Higbee — these four hav- 
ing formerly served in the house — Richard F. Adams, Zenos 
Applington, George C. Bestor, Anthony L. Knapp, Thomas A. 
Marshall, and Austin Brooks. John H. Addams began his 
second, and Andrew J. Kuykendall his third, term. 

The house was very largely composed of new members, only 
twelve of those who had served previously being returned. 
Among these were Wm. R. Morrison, Wm. B. Anderson, Vital 
Jarrot, Cyrus Epler, M. M. Bane, L. S. Church, and, after a 
long interval, Ebenezer Peck. Among those elected for the 
first time were, Leonard Swett, Alonzo W. Mack, Alex. Camp- 
bell, Stephen A. Hurlbut, VanH. Higgins, Wm. H. Green, 
Wm. A. Hacker, and Elijah M. Haines who then entered upon 
his long and eventful legislative career. John E. Detrich and 
Wm, B. Plato had been members of the eighteenth senate. 

Wm. R. Morrison was elected speaker over Vital Jarrot, and 
James M. Blades, doorkeeper. P'inney D. Preston was chosen 
secretary of the senate and David J. Waggoner for the second 
time, sergeant-at-arms. 


Gov. Bissell's message was a concise yet comprehensive state 
paper, containing many valuable statistics and recommenda- 
tions, among these being the establishment by the State of an 
asylum for imbecile children and a reform school for juvenile 

Knowing that the political issues involved in the last cam- 
paign would have to be again contested in the coming one of 
i860, which the former had simply foreshadowed, the tension of 
feeling created thereby had not been relaxed, nor had its heart- 
burnings and acerbities ceased. Each side, confident of final 
victory, was unyielding, determined, and "ready for the fray." 

The predominant question which the legislature was required 
to settle — the selection of a United-States senator — admitting 
of no delay in the minds of the majority, was brought to a 
speedy conclusion within three days of assembling. The result 
already anticipated was the election of Judge Douglas, who 
received fifty-four votes to forty-six for Mr. Lincoln. 

For a few days after the recording of this great political ver- 
dict, good humor prevailed, the proceedings were peaceable and 
orderly, and the small amount of legislative business of this 
session was transacted. But upon the introduction by the demo- 
crats, on January 27, of their senatorial and representative appor- 
tionment bill, the fight commenced. Still smarting under the 
defeat of this measure in the preceding legislature, they now 
presented a bill still more objectionable to the republicans, and 
with it the alternative of passing this or none. They were met 
by their opponents in the same spirit and with equal determina- 

The republicans claimed that the bill introduced — which 
finally passed both houses — was so framed as to enable the 
democrats to retain their ascendancy in the legislature notwith- 
standing they were in a minority in the popular vote. The 
constitution required that legislative districts should be formed 
out of contiguous and compact territory, while the districts 
created by the bill were in some instances made to extend over 
two degrees of latitude. The republican counties, with a popu- 
lation of 646,748, were allowed thirty -four representatives, 
while the democratic counties, with a population of /^'j'j,6'j^, 
were given forty-one. All other business was made subordi- 


nate to the passage of this measure, every step of its progress 
being contested. 

It was understood that this apportionment bill, if passed, 
would be returned to the house by the governor with his objec- 
tions. It could not be again passed unless a quorum was pres- 
ent, and this the republicans resolved to prevent, rather than to 
permit such a gerrymandering bill to become a law. They 
accordingly, to be prepared for this event, antagonized the 
measure with the general appropriation bill, but were foiled 
in their efforts to secure the latter's passage. 

The bill was passed on the 15th and was retained by the 
governor until the morning of the 22d, when he returned it to 
the house with his veto. The governor's private secretary was 
announced and commenced reading the message amid much 
confusion, the speaker stating that no quorum was present 
and ordering the sergeant-at-arms to remove the private secre- 
tary; but he persisted until he had finished the reading, when 
he handed both bill and message to a page, to be delivered to 
the speaker. That officer directed the page to return the docu- 
ments to the private secretary, who in turn declined to accept 
them, and they fell at his feet, from which position they were 
rescued by a member and placed on the desk of the speaker, 
who at once brushed them off upon the floor. A call of the 
house showed no quorum, and it adjourned amid great excite- 

Messrs. Hurlbut, Swett, Mack, Church, and John A. Davis 
filed a protest against the action of the speaker and house in 
thus refusing to receive the governor's veto, which, although 
objected to, was finally allowed to be entered upon the journal 
together with a democratic protest against the same, signed by 
Messrs. Campbell, Barrett, Detrich, Sloss, James M. Davis, 
and Green. No quorum thereafter appeared during this ses- 
sion. Nearly all the republicans departed for their homes, thus 
not only defeating the apportionment scheme but also prevent- 
ing the passage of the general appropriation bill and many 
other important measures. After waiting two days for the 
return of the recalcitrant members, the legislature adjourned 
sine die. 

Fortunately, however, appropriations for the northern peni- 


tentiary and the state institutions at Jacksonville had been 
passed early in the session, and also a bill for the payment of 
the interest on the state debt, and as the judges could draw 
their salaries under existing law, not very much inconvenience 
or hardship followed. 

Time and opportunity, however, was found by the general 
assembly, five days before its adjournment, to enact a law en- 
titled "an act to indemnify the State of Illinois against loss by 
reason of the unlawful funding of canal indebteness," which 
involves a very curious and interestmg history. 

In May and August, 1839, the trustees of the Illinois-and- 
Michigan Canal, to meet existing necessities, had issued ninety- 
day canal-scrip to the amount of $388,554. These certificates, 
it appears from the reports of the canal-trustees, had all been 
redeemed by 1842-3 except $316. 

In January, 1850, Gen. Jacob Fry, for many years a canal- 
trustee, while on a visit to Springfield, discovered the fact that 
one of these old certificates had been offered for sale in that 
place. He immediately notified the auditor of what he had 
discovered and cautioned him and the other state officers against 
receiving such scrip. Upon examination at the fund com- 
missioners' office, he learned, to his great astonishment, that a 
very large amount had been funded and new bonds issued 
therefor, the sum, as then ascertained, exceeding $224,182. Of 
course this discovery produced a profound sensation, and the 
question arose who had been the successful manipulator of the 
gigantic fraud.-* 

The senate at once instructed its financial committee, com- 
posed of Messrs. Cook, Kuykendall, and Applington, to inquire 
into the matter. They made a thorough investigation, from 
which it appeared that in December, 1856, just before the close 
of his term of office, Gov. Matteson presented $13,000 of the 
scrip above described, for which he received new bonds. That 
during 1857, $93,500 of the same scrip was presented by him, 
for which new bonds were likewise issued, and that, including 
the bonds so issued, there had been paid to him at different 
times since, out of the state treasury on account of said 
canal-scrip, the sum of $223,182. The certificates thus pre- 
sented for refunding and payment were identified by Gens. 


Thornton and Fry, ex-canal-trustees, and Joel Manning, the 
secretary of the board, as the identical scrip issued by them 
in sums of $50 and $100, and subsequently redeemed. They 
also recognized some of the scrip as a portion of that which, 
after being redeemed, had been packed in a large sealed box by 
Gen. Fry and Mr. Manning, which box was deposited in the 
branch state-bank at Chicago in 1840, where it remained until 
it was removed to the canal-office in the same city in 1848. 

It further appeared during the course of the examination, 
that upon the appointment by Gov. Matteson of Josiah Mc 
Roberts as state canal-trustee in 1853, that officer had received 
from ex-Lieut.-Gov. J. B. Wells, his predecessor, the box de- 
scribed by Manning, together with another box with a loose 
cover, containing broken packages of cancelled canal-indebted- 
ness, which in many instances did not contain the amounts 
designated on their wrappers. He advised Gov. Matteson of 
his receipt of the boxes, which were said to contain all the 
books, vouchers, and papers, of the canal-office, and by direc- 
tion of the governor packed all the evidences of canal or other 
state indebtedness which he had received from his predecessor 
in a trunk and ordinary shoe-box, and having securely locked 
and sealed them, addressed the same to the governor at Spring- 
field. He placed them on the railroad at Chicago, and went 
with them in company with Gov. Matteson, then going to 
Springfield, as far as LaSalle, where they were left in charge 
of the governor who directed them to be sent to his address 
at the capitol. 

The trunk was found in a basement room of the capitol, 
and had been opened, but the shoe-box had never been seen 
since that time. The box and trunk which, as the evidence 
showed, contained the redeemed and also the unused canal 
scrip of 1839, were thus directly traced into the possession oi 
Gov. Matteson, it being established also that he subsequently 
appeared with some of the identical scrip in his possession and 
had exchanged the same for new bonds, while he had received 
the cash for other amounts directly from the state treasury. 

The scrip funded by him was not in his own name but in the 
names of unknown or fictitious persons; and while he claimed 
to have purchased the scrip for a valuable consideration and 


witnesses testified to this fact, he was unable to remember or 
identify a single person from whom he had purchased. 

The case thus made out against the ex-governor was a strong 
one and caused great consternation. He had been a popular 
officer and had not only been endorsed by his successor, but had 
been complimented by the legislature upon his retiring from the 
gubernatorial chair, for the efficient, able, and honorable manner 
in which he had discharged its duties. 

Upon the development of the foregoing facts, the governor 
came forward in a communication to the committee, stating 
that he "had unconsciously and innocently been made the in- 
strument through whom a gross fraud upon the State had been 
attempted," and offered to indemnify the State against all loss 
or liability by reason of moneys paid on bonds issued to him 
on account of said scrip. Property was accordingly secured 
by mortgage to the State from which was subsequently realized 
the sum of $238,000 to satisfy a decree against him for $255,- 
000. In the spring of 1859, the crime charged against the gov- 
ernor was investigated by the grand jury of Sangamon County, 
A large number of witnesses were examined and an indictment 
was agreed upon, which on the following day was reconsidered 
and the bill was finally ignored by the close vote of ten for to 
twelve against. 

The committee of investigation, which was authorized to 
hold sessions in vacation, afterward made a careful examination 
of the financial affairs of the State, the results of which are 
embraced in a voluminous and valuable report to the legislature 
of 1861. They found that in addition to the frauds which 
had already come to light, others also had been committed 
during the same period with various kinds of scrip, amounting 
in the aggregate to $165,346. No offer or attempt was ever 
made to secure the State from this loss, the committee saying 
that "whether this scrip thus fraudulently taken from the State 
was the scrip which was in the box and trunk above mentioned 
can not be determined, because no descriptive lists of the scrip 
were kept." 

Gov, Matteson subsequently removed to Chicago, where he 
died January 31, 1873. 

Another attempt illegally to deplete the state treasury came 


near successful' accomplishment under Gov. Bissell. This was 
the funding of one hundred and fourteen of the bonds for $1000 
each hypothecated to Macalister and Stebbins in 184 1. By the 
law of 1849, the State had provided that these bonds might be 
funded at 28.64 cents on the dollar, which amount the holders 
refused to accept. Under a law of 1857, they came forward and 
claimed that the governor was authorized to take them up at 
par, and the supreme court was invoked to sustain their appli- 
cation. But that body declined to give any opinion in the case, 
on the ground that the executive was a coordinate and inde- 
pendent branch of the State government, whose official acts it 
had no power to control. 

Afterward, however, Gov. Bissell ordered the state -transfer 
agent in New- York City to fund these bonds at par, under this 
law, overlooking or forgetting the fact that they had been 
expressly excepted by resolution of the legislature from its 
operation. His attention soon after this being directed to a 
more careful examination of the law, he became satisfied of 
his error, and ordered the funding stopped. The principal, 
$114,000, however, had been already funded when the order 
was received, but not the arrears of interest amounting to 

The auditor and treasurer deciding that they would not pay 
interest on the new bonds, which having been funded as "in- 
scribed" bonds, that is not transferable except upon the books 
of the funding agency, which had been transferred to the audi- 
tor at Springfield, they became valueless and were afterward 
surrendered to the State, which fortunately lost nothing by the 
transaction. The course of the governor, however, at the time 
was severely censured in opposition papers. 

The impaired health of Gov. Bissell, confining him as it did 
almost entirely to the executive mansion, rendered the discharge 
of his official duties difficult and onerous. Contrary to the 
hopes of his friends, the cruel malady which had afflicted him 
for several years grew worse as time rolled on, and he having 
caught cold, a fever set in which terminated his life, on March 
18, i860. He was buried at Springfield; the funeral obsequies 
were solemn and imposing; the burial service of the Roman 
Catholic church was chanted at the grave, and a funeral oration 
was delivered by Rev. Father Smarius of St. Louis. 


In public as in private life, Gov. Bissell was distinguished for 
his many virtues and unblemished character. His manners were 
simple and his intercourse with his fellow-citizens frank and 
unostentatious. He was an orator, a gallant soldier, a states- 
man with large grasp of view, and a conscientious public officer. 
He was the idol of his family, hospitable, benevolent, and 

John Wood, the lieutenant-governor of the State, who suc- 
ceeded to the unexpired term of Gov. Bissell, was born in 
Moravia, Cayuga County, New York, December 20, 1798. His 
father. Dr. Daniel Wood, was a surgeon and captain in the 
war of the Revolution. Having decided to remove to the West, 
young Wood came to Illinois in 1819, and in 1822, built the 
first log-house on the site of the present city of Quincy, at 
which place he continued to reside until his death, June 1 1, 1880. 
A monument was erected to his memory by his fellow-towns- 
men, and dedicated July 4, 1883. 

Gov. Wood was a bluff, large-hearted, enterprising pioneer. 
His education was limited, but he possessed a comprehensive 
mind and a first-rate judgment of men and things. His official 
duties during the few months he occupied the executive chair 
were discharged without removing to Springfield, he kindly 
leaving the occupancy of the executive mansion to the family 
of Gov. Bissell. 

He was appointed by Gov. Yates, who greatly admired "the 
old Roman," as he called him, as one of the delegates to the 
peace-convention at Washington, in February, 1861. Upon his 
return, he was appointed state quartermaster-general, a position 
he continued to hold until the law creating the office was re- 
pealed in 1863, in which capacity he rendered most effective 
and invaluable service to the State. 

Although over sixty-five years of age, in 1864, he raised the 
137th regiment of Illinois infantry — lOO-day men, which he 
led to Memphis, where he soon encountered active service. 

Brave and patriotic in public life, in private he was liberal, 
benevolent, generous, frank, and open-handed. Living until the 
later years of his life in affluence, his memory will be cherished 
by the needy and suffering for his many benefactions, and by 
the State for his devoted sacrifices and services. 


During the four years from December, 1856, to December, 
i860, the public debt was reduced $3,104,374, and the finan- 
cial condition of the State continued to improve. The receipts 
into and payments from the State treasury for the years 1859- 
60, being $300,000 less than for the two previous years, were: 


Paid out. 

Revenue fund, 




State-debt ,. 




Interest n 




School It 




Land u 




Illinois-Central R.R. 




$3,300,035 $3,606,754 

The administration of the offices of the secretary of state, 
auditor, treasurer, and superintendent of schools had been 
clean, efficient, and popular. 


Review— Conventions and Elections of i860— Administra- 
tion of Gov. Yates— The Political Situation— Twenty- 
second General Assembly— Senator Trumbull's Second 
Election — War - Clouds — Lincoln's Inauguration — 
Attack on Fort Sumter — The War of the Rebellion 
begun— Enlistments under Different Calls — Changed 
Conditions of Public Affairs. 

ILLINOIS in i860 had become the fourth state in the Union 
in population and wealth, having in the last decade out- 
stripped the states of Virginia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, 
Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana. In the principal products of 
her fields — wheat and corn, she had now surpassed all other 
states and occupied the foremost position. 

In 1850, she had only 270 miles of railroad, a smaller number 
than the mileage operated in fifteen other states. She now had 
in successful operation 2900 miles, and was surpassed in this 
respect only by Ohio. The acreage of farms had increased from 
a little over 5,000,000 to over 13,000,000; a larger extent of 
cultivated soil than was found in any other state, New York 
excepted. Her mighty city on Lake Michigan, whose gigantic 
strides in population, wealth, and power have been the marvel 
of the world, had made the unparalleled increase in population 
of nearly 400 per cent, that is from 29,963 to 109,206. 

Her advance in power and influence in the councils ot the 
Nation had been no less extraordinary than her local progress. 
From seven congressmen in 1850, she was now entitled to thir- 
teen; and in shaping the policy of the Nation, and directing 
the course of empire, no voice was more potent than that of 
the Prairie State. 

Not in vain had her vast prairies, beautiful as boundless, 
waved their fields of wild grass, nodding their blossoming tops 
to the breeze, and beckoning man, lord of the soil, to possess 
them and transform their limitless products into gold. To the 
primal beauty of her native groves and smiling fields had been 



added the handiwork of their master, under whose touch they 
had yielded the richer fruits of industry, improvement, and 

The reaper and mower and fanning-mill had banished the 
cradle, the sickle, the scythe, and the flail, while the log-cabin 
had given place to more comfortable, convenient, and commodi- 
ous dwellings of frame and brick. Where had been seen the ox- 
team or the springless wagon, were now speeding along splendid 
spans of horses drawing vehicles of comfort and elegance. The 
old log -school -house had very generally given way to more 
spacious structures of brick; while church-steeples, pointing 
to the skies in every city, town, and hamlet, gave evidence that 
the moral world, no less than the intellectual and material, 
had kept pace with and derived benefit from the efforts to 
achieve a superior civilization. 

In the world of politics, there was no less activity than in 
social and business circles. The ferment of discussion upon the 
slavery question had reached a point where some final ad- 
justment of the momentous issue could no longer be avoided. 

The republican state convention of i860 met at Decatur, 
May 9, every county being represented except Pulaski. It was 
held in a wigwam built for the occasion, and in material, enthu- 
siasm, and numbers has not been since equalled. Lincoln, the 
rail-splitter, was there, and Judge Logan, and Browning, and 
Wentworth, Palmer, Hurlbut, Oglesby, and Peck. Judge Joseph 
Gillespie was elected to preside. 

The candidates for governor were Richard Yates of Morgan, 
Norman B. Judd of Cook, and Leonard Swett of McLean. 
Upon the informal ballot Judd had 245 votes, Swett 191, and 
Yates 183. On the formal ballot Yates gained 14 over Swett, 

* The following table, from the census reports, shows the increase in the principal 
cereals and live stock : 


1850 9.414,575 57,646,984 10,087,241 267,653 612,036 1,915.907 

i860 23,837,023 115,147,777 15,220,029 563,736 1,483,813 2,502,308 

Manufactures, which were so insignificant as to be considered hardly worth enum- 
erating by the census taker of 1S50, amounting to but $2,117,887, had now reached 
the respectable figure of $57,580,886. 

The taxable value of all property in 1850 was set down at $119,868,336, in i860, 
at $367,227,742. 


and Judd also gained. The second ballot was likewise damag- 
ing to Swett, both the others gaining from him. The third 
ballot was as follows: Judd 252 — he losing 11 votes, Yates 238, 
Swett 246. Upon the next ballot the friends of Swett went 
to Yates, giving him 363 votes and the nomination. 

Francis A. Hoffman of Cook County was nominated for 
lieutenant-governor; Jesse K. Dubois, auditor; Ozias M. Hatch, 
secretary of state; William Butler, treasurer; and Newton Bate- 
man, state superintendent of public instruction. 

The democratic convention met at Springfield, June 13, and 
was presided over by Hon. Wm. McMurtry. The first ballot 
for governor yielded the following result: for James C. Allen 
of Crawford County, 157 votes; S. A. Buckmaster, 81; J. L. D. 
Morrison, 88; Newton Cloud, 65; Walter B. Scates, 14; and 4 
scattering. On the second ballot. Judge Allen proved to be 
the favorite and was nominated. He had served one term in 
the legislature and two terms in congress, and was known as a 
popular and able canvasser. L. W. Ross was nominated for 
lieutenant-governor; G. H. Campbell, secretary of state; Ber- 
nard Arntzen, auditor; Hugh Maher, treasurer; E. R. Roe as 
superintendent of public instruction — a strong ticket. 

State conventions were also held by the supporters of the 
Buchanan administration and by those who favored the Bell- 
Everett movement. The former placed in nomination for gov- 
ernor, T. M. Hope, and for lieutenant-governor, Thomas Snell. 
The Bell-Everett ticket was headed by John T. Stuart for 
governor, and Henry S. Blackburn for lieutenant - governor. 
These, however, were but side issues, the great contest being 
between the republicans, and the democracy as represented by 
Judge Douglas. 

The national republican convention, held at Chicago, May 
16, resulted in the nomination of Lincoln for president on the 
third ballot. It had become apparent at Decatur, that he was a 
much more formidable candidate than had been supposed. 
Forces were at work in all the free-states, of whose full extent 
he was not aware, which pointed to him as the probable choice 
of the people. He manifested some anxiety on the subject at 
Decatur, especially regarding the selection of delegates. And 
when asked if he would attend the Chicago convention, he 



replied, "Well, I am unable to decide whether I am enough of a 
candidate to stay away, or too much of one to go." 

Of course he narrowly watched the developments at Chicago, 
and was in constant communication with his friends, who kept 
him advised of every movement. While waiting at Spring- 
field for reports, he varied the scene by playing a game of 
house-ball. Upon hearing the result of the second ballot he 
expressed the opinion that he would be nominated,* and 
when the great news came he took the dispatch, and saying 
"there's a little woman down on Eighth Street that would like 
to see this," proceeded to his home amid the booming of can- 
non, the music of the spirit-stirring fife and drum, the loud 
acclaims of the people, and the congratulation of his friends. 
What a contrast between the joyous realization of his hopes 
and ambitions at this hour, and those feelings of despondency, 

* Ballotings for president at the republican convention, Chicago, May i6, i860: 




First ballot. 

Second ballot. 

Third ballot. 




































N. Hampshire 


Rhode Island- 
Connecticut .. 

New York 

New Jersey .. 
Pennsylvania . 
























































































































Texas .. 





Kansas T'y... 
Nebraska T'y. 
D. of Columbia 














22 jiSo 





On the third ballot, Lincoln required but two and a half votes to be nominated, 
and before the result was announced, Ohio changed four votes from Chase to 
Lincoln, which gave him a majority; other states followed, giving him a total of 
354 votes. For Illinois delegates, see page 1205. 


and signs of discouragement which met him four years before 
upon his return from the Bloomington convention. Flushed 
with his forensic triumph there, on arriving at Springfield 
he had notices posted that he would speak at the court- 
house that night. The house was lighted, and every preparation 
made for a large meeting. But no audience appeared. There 
were but three present, himself, his partner — Herndon, and John 
Paine, an old-time free-soiler. Lincoln stood up, and, with 
mingled wit and melancholy, said, "when this meeting was 
called, I knew that you would be here. Will, and you, John 
Paine, but I was not certain that any one else would be present. 
While all seems dead, the age itself is not. It liveth, as surely 
as our Maker liveth, and the time will come when we will be 
heard. Let us be hopeful, and appeal to the people." 

The democratic national convention was held at Charleston, 
S.C, April 23, i860, all the states being represented, with con- 
testing delegations from Illinois and New York. After a session of 
eight days, and the adoption of a platform, the delegates from 
Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Louisiana — except two, 
South Carolina — except three, three from Arkansas, two from 
Delaware — including Senator Bayard, and one from North 
Carolina seceded from the convention. 

The convention then proceeded to ballot for president, with 
the following result: Douglas 145 J^ votes, Guthrie 35, Hunter 
42, Dickinson 7, A. Johnson 12, Lane 6, Jeff Davis i^, Toucy 
2^, F. Pierce i. The fifty-seventh ballot showed 151^ votes 
for Douglas, and lOi^ divided among the other candidates, 
the former still lacking 1 6^ votes of the requisite two-thirds. The 
convention then, on May 3, adjourned to meet in Baltimore, 
June 18. At Baltimore other delegations — those from Virginia, 
Tennessee, Indiana, Delaware, and Kentucky — withdrew. Judge 
Douglas was then nominated by the remaining delegates, re- 
ceiving on the second ballot iSi}4 votes to 13 opposed. 

The seceding delegates nominated John C. Breckinridge for 
president and Joseph Lane for vice-president. 

A convention of delegates from twenty states, claiming to 

represent the "Constitutional Union party," met at Baltimore, 

May 9, and nominated John Bell of Tennessee for president, 

and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for vice-president. And 



thus were presented in the presidential campaign, candidates of 
every shade of political creed. 

In Illinois, the campaign of 1858 was continued and in some 
respects repeated, with the same candidates, but in what differ- 
ent relations ! Douglas, as had been then predicted, was the 
candidate of a segment of the divided democracy, while Lincoln, 
whom he had then defeated, was, by the very notoriety of that 
contest and the masterly manner in which he had presented the 
arguments on his side of the issue then joined, again brought 
to the front against him and made the candidate of the united 
republicans of the entire country for the higher office of presi- 

For the first time in twenty years, during the progress of a 
political campaign in Illinois, the voice of Lincoln was not 
heard. But the record of his former speeches afforded the text 
from which the republican stump- orators in every free-state 
gathered at once their logic and their inspiration. Though 
the orator himself was silent, the potent echo of his voice 
resounded from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

Douglas, on the contrary, ever ready for a fight and fearless 
of the consequences, carried the war of democratic factions 
into every slave-state. For the first time in the history of the 
country, a leading candidate for president went directly before 
the people as his own advocate and the exponent of his own 
views. He knew that his only hope of success was in the union 
of the democratic party, and although that hope was slender, 
he "buckled on his armour and went bravely to the fray;" 
with what disastrous result, is well known. Lincoln, while he 
received no votes in ten Southern States and but a light vote 
in the other five, carried every free-state except New Jersey, 
whose electoral vote was divided between himself and Douglas. 
Breckinridge carried all the Southern States except his own — 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, where Bell received a small 
plurality, and Missouri, where Douglas had a few more votes 
than Bell.* 

The gubernatorial canvas in Illinois was exceedingly brilliant, 

* The popular vote was: Lincoln, 1,866,352; Douglas, i, 375, 157; Breckinridge, 
847,514; Bell, 587,830. Electoral vote: Lincoln, 180; Breckinridge, 72; Bell, 39; 
Douglas, 12. 


and the most exciting since that of 1826, when Edwards was 
elected over Sloo. The two principal candidates had served 
together in congress and were popular with their respective 
parties, as well as eloquent speakers. Their meetings were 
attended by large crowds, who formed processions, with music 
and flying banners. The people recorded their verdict at the 
polls as follows: for Yates, 172,196 votes; Allen, 159,253; T. 
M. Hope, 2049; John T. Stuart, 1626. 

Richard Yates, upon whom the executive mantle of Illinois 
had now fallen, was born in Warsaw, Gallatin County, Ky., on 
Jan. 18, 1815. His family was of English origin, first settling 
in Virginia. His father, Henry, a man of superior mental en- 
dowments, was one of the pioneers of Kentucky, but, being 
fully impressed with the evils of slavery, resolved in 183 1 to 
remove to the free-State of Illinois. Stopping first at Spring- 
field, where he carried on the business of a merchant, he settled 
permanently at Island Grove in the same county. 

Richard completed his scholastic training at Illinois College 
in i835i having been one of the first two graduates of that 
institution, and was the first governor of the State who had 
passed regularly through a college curriculum. Of medium height 
and proportions, the striking feature of the governor was his fine 
head, covered with a thick growth of dark auburn hair. His face 
was expressive at once of power, passion, and amiability. His 
voice was strong and flexible — well adapted to speaking in the 
open air. His address was courteous, and his manners exceed- 
ingly frank and winning. In the opening of his speeches, he 
was so nervous as to excite apprehensions of a failure, but as 
he proceeded he gained confidence, and his embarrassment 
disappeared or was forgotten in the charm of his oratory. This 
timidity or nervousness followed him through life, although in 
his political speeches, as he became familiar with the subject, 
it was not so apparent. 

He read law in the office of Gen. John J, Hardin at Jackson- 
ville, and entered upon its. practice with flattering prospects of 
success. But the wider and more congenial field of the hus- 
tings presented attractions which he was unable to resist. Accord- 
ingly in 1842, he entered the arena of politics and was elected 
to the legislature, where he served three terms in the lower 


house. Here, although always in the minority, he made many 
valuable acquaintances and became a pop"ular member. He 
frequently took part in the debates, and was looked upon as a 
rising young statesman. In 1850, he became the whig candi- 
date for congress in the old seventh district, which had success- 
ively elected Hardin, Baker, and Lincoln to congress, but 
which, in a contest with Judge Logan in 1848, had been wrested 
from the whigs by the gallant Maj, Thomas L. Harris, victori- 
ously returned from the Mexican war. Yates was selected to 
redeem the district. The canvas which followed was able and 
hotly maintained. Joint discussions, in the old-fashioned way, 
were held in every county. Harris was the better debater, but 
Yates the more eloquent speaker, and together they made a 
splendid match. Off the stump, however, Yates had greatly 
the advantage. He possessed a personal magnetism which 
enabled him to attach his friends to his support with hooks of 
steel. Without the unpolished strength and genius of Lincoln 
in argument, or the grace and wit of Baker in oratory, he was 
the superior of either in the personal management of a political 
campaign, Yates was elected by a small majority, and was the 
only whig congressman who achieved success in Illinois that 

Again a candidate in 1852, the democrats made the mistake 
of putting up against him John Calhoun, who was not strong with 
the people, although a man of fine ability, and had large claims on 
his party for past services. The district had been so changed in 
the apportionment that it was supposed any democrat could be 
elected. But in this his opponents had underestimated the 
strength and resources of Yates, who was again successful, 
although the district gave Pierce, for president, 1096 majority. 
In 1854, however, he fell a victim to the changing political 
affiliations consequent upon the Kansas- Nebraska agitation. 
Notwithstanding he ran ahead of his ticket over 1000 votes, 
he was defeated by his old antagonist, Maj. Harris, by 200 
majority. He was a vice-president of the Bloomington con- 
vention in 1856, but was not again actively engaged in politics 
until the great campaign of i860. 

F"rancis A. Hoffman, the lieutenant-governor elect, was born 
at Herford, Prussia, in 1822. On arriving at Chicago in Sept- 



ember, 1839, finding himself without money or friends, he 
first engaged in teaching a German school in Du Page County, 
and subsequently was ordained as a Lutheran minister, in which 
profession he labored faithfully ten years. In 1852, he abandoned 
the ministry and removing to Chicago, studied law. In the 
following year he engaged in the real-estate business, and after- 
ward in that of banking. He soon became actively interested 
in politics, and in 1853 was elected an alderman. He was de- 
cidedly anti-slavery, and among the first to assist in the organi- 
zation of the republican party. Well educated, and an earnest 
American in spirit, as well as by adoption, he had made him- 
self famihar with the forms and proceedings of public bodies, 
and having also a decisive character, quick to learn and observe, 
had qualified himself to become an intelligent, as he was an 
impartial, presiding officer. He was the third foreigner elected 
in this State to preside over the senate. 

The twenty-second general assembly, which convened Jan. 7, 
1861, was republican in both branches — by one majority in the 
senate and seven in the house. In the former body, appeared 
for the first time, Wm. B. Ogden, Richard J. Oglesby, Alonzo 
W. Mack, Washington Bushnell, WiUiam Jayne, and Henry E, 
Dummer. Of those who had formerly served in the house, the 
following had been again elected: Cyrus Edwards, Aaron Shaw, 
James W. Singleton, Franklin Blades, S. P. Cummings, S. A. 
Hurlbut, Wm. H. Green, L. S. Church, and E. M. Haines. 
Among the newly-elected members of the house were: Wm. R. 
Archer, J. Russell Jones, Robert H. McClellan, J. Young Scam- 
mon, Wm. H. Brown, Arthur A. Smith, Lawrence Weldon, 
Robert B. Latham, Thomas W. Harris, Norman M. Broadwell, 
Albert G. Burr, Harvey Hogg, Henry D. Cook, Andrew J. 
Cropsey, Solomon M. Wilson, and John Scholfield. 

Shelby M. Cullom, who had served with distinction in the 
twentieth general assembly, was elected speaker of the house, 
receiving thirty-nine votes to twenty-nine cast for J. W. Single- 
ton. Henry Wayne was chosen clerk, and Caswell P. Ford 
doorkeeper. Campbell W. Waite was made secretary of the 
senate, and Richard T. Gill sergeant-at-arms. 

On January 10, the two houses met in joint-session for the 
purpose of electing a United-States senator. Judge Trumbull, 


having proved himself an able and industrious member, was the 
unanimous choice of the republicans for reelection. The demo- 
crats voted for Samuel S. Marshall, the vote standing for Trum- 
bull 54 to 36 for his opponent; the Nemesis of Fate having 
with exact mathematical accuracy reversed the ballot of two 
years before, which had resulted in the election of Douglas. 

But few laws of public interest were enacted at this session, 
the proceedings and discussions being largely affected by 
paramount national questions and the events daily transpiring. 
Legislative and congressional apportionment bills were passed; 
also an act for the protection of inn-keepers; and one to protect 
married women in their separate property. 

The new governor was inaugurated in the presence of both 
houses of the general assembly, Jan. 14, 1861. 

Meanwhile, events of transcendent importance concerning 
the welfare of the states as such, and their federal relations to 
the Union of states, were transpiring in the South. The clash 
of ideas and resulting conflict of opinion which had, for so 
many years, existed between the North and the South on the 
subject of slavery, and its relations to the general government, 
and which had always been a disturbing element between the two 
sections, was now bearing long-dreaded but hardly-anticipated 
fruit. No sooner was it ascertained that the presidential elec- 
tion had resulted in favor of the republican candidate, than the 
feeling became apparent in the slave-states that the time was 
come, and the pretext furnished, to assert and maintain, by 
force of arms, if necessary, the sovereignty and independence 
of the states as such. This feeling, though heretofore dormant 
in many portions of the South, was now fully aroused and in- 
tensified in public meetings and conventions, and by the action 
of state legislatures, urged on by their leading men; and this 
notwithstanding the fact of the repeated declaration of Lincoln, 
that he had no purpose or intention of interfering, in any way, 
with slavery in the states. 

South Carolina was the first to act, and on December 20, 
passed an ordinance "to dissolve the union between the State 
of South Carolina and the other states united with her u*der 
the compact entitled the constitution of the United States of 
America." The State of Mississippi, on January 9, was the 


first to follow the Palmetto State; then came Florida and 
Alabama, on January 11; Georgia, on January 18; Louisiana, 
on January 26; and Texas, on February i. In Arkansas, North 
Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, such was the strength of the 
Union sentiment that the designs of the revolutionists were, for 
the time being, thwarted; while in Kentucky, Delaware, Mary- 
land, and Missouri, although there was a large number of se- 
cessionists, especially among the office-holders, they were not 
sufficiently strong to carry their states out of the Union by 
formal enactment. 

Early in December, the cabinet of President Buchanan be- 
gan to disintegrate by the resignation of Howell Cobb, secre- 
tary of the treasury, which action was soon followed by the 
venerable Gen. Lewis Cass, secretary of state, and all the other 
members except the secretary of the navy. 

Such was the portentous aspect of public affairs when Gov. 
Yates took the oath of office; although but two states had 
actually passed an ordinance of secession, it was evident that 
the ominous shadow of disunion was to darken every southern 
commonwealth. The inaugural message of the governor was 
mainly devoted to a discussion of that subject. He defended the 
following propositions: First — That obedience to the constitu- 
tion and laws must be insisted upon and enforced as necessary 
to the existence of government; Second — That the election of 
a chief magistrate of the Nation, in strict conformity with the 
constitution, was not sufficient cause for the release of any state 
from any of its obligations to the Union. 

These questions were exhaustively considered in the ablest 
and most scholarly state-paper that had ever been submitted 
to an Illinois legislature. He argued that the valley of the 
Mississippi must forever remain an undivided territory under 
one governmental jurisdiction; and, with keen insight into the 
future, predicted that as a result of the crisis through which the 
country was then passing, the Union would be preserved, and 
the Nation honored throughout the civilized world as "one of 
intelligence and freedom, of justice, industry, and religion, 
science and art. stronger and more glorious, renowned, and free, 
than ever before." 

The action of the people in the South in regard to secession 


naturally called forth public expressions of views in the Northern 
States. Conventions were held in several of these, all looking 
toward a peaceable solution of the difficult political problem 
presented; one of which was a democratic state- convention 
held at Springfield, January 16, attended by five hundred dele- 
gates. Resolutions were adopted counselling compromise and 
conciliation, and declaring that any effort to coerce the seceding 
states would plunge the country into civil war; denying the 
right of secession; and proposing a national convention to 
amend the constitution, so as to produce harmony and frater- 
nity throughout the Union. 

On Feb. 2, in response to an invitation from the state of 
Virginia calling a peace conference to meet at Washington, 
the following commissioners from Illinois were appointed: 
Stephen T. Logan, John M. Palmer, John Wood, Burton C. 
Cook, and Thomas J. Turner. 

The absorbing topic of secession was largely and ably dis- 
cussed in the legislature, and joint-resolutions adopted, declar- 
ing that the State of Illinois was willing to concur in the calling 
of a convention to amend the constitution of the United States, 
but that the present federal Union must be preserved, and the 
present constitution and laws administered "as they are." 

All efforts toward conciliation, through conventions and on 
the part of congress, utterly failed to accomplish the object. 
The intention on the part of Southern leaders to form a separ- 
ate confederacy had been fully formed, and no proposition 
short of making slavery a national institution would have been 
for a moment entertained. 

The seceding states, under the name of the Confederate 
States of America, adopted a constitution at Montgomery, 
Alabama, February 9, 1861, and organized their government by 
the election of Jefferson Davis, president, and Alexander H. 
Stephens, vice-president. 

Two days thereafter, Abraham Lincoln left his old home in 
Springfield for the city of Washington, to assume the duties of 
president of the United States. 

Under no such trying and critical circumstances had any of 
his predecessors ever taken the oath of office. In a hostile 
community, surrounded by conspirators uttering treasonable 



sentiments, with which leading officers of the government and 
its army sympathized, he approached the performance of his 
duty with the greatest anxiety; yet with patriotic clearness of 
vision and firmness of purpose. His inaugural address was 
the end of argument on the question of the sovereignty of the 
United States, and no answer was ever attempted. He was intro- 
duced to the vast audience, on the occasion of its delivery, by 
his old friend, Senator E. D, Baker, and upon the platform 
were ex-President Buchanan, Chief-Justice Taney — author of 
the Dred-Scott decision, and his old competitor, Judge Doug- 
las, who extended toward him every courtesy — even holding his 
hat during the delivery of the address. 

The new administration, now fully organized, stood face to 
face with the government of the seceders at Montgomery. 
The pause which followed was ominous of that fratricidal clash 
of arms soon to shake the continent and be heard around the 
globe. The hour had now arrived, long presaged by the mon- 
archists in the old world, and notably by such writers as Macau- 
ley, who could see in a republican polity nothing stronger than 
a rope of sand ; the hour which had been so often prophesied 
by those social scientists who had constituted themselves the 
apostles of the doctrine of the divine right of kings; the hour 
in which the supporters of despotism exulted and the friends 
of popular liberty turned pale; the hour when democracy, the 
government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," 
was to be tried in a crucible heated seven times. 

The firing of a shell on April 12, 1861, by Gen. Gustave T. 
Beauregard into Fort Sumter, which Gen. Robert Anderson had 
refused to surrender upon rebel demand, was the signal for the 
commencement of "the war of the rebellion." The fort was 
surrendered on the next day, and on Monday morning, April 
15, the president issued his proclamation calling for 75,000 
volunteers to subdue "combinations too powerful to be sup- 
pressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, and to 
cause the laws to be duly executed." 

The wager of battle had been thrown, the first blow struck 
at the sovereignty of the United States, and the issue of dread 
war was thus squarely met. 

Immediately upon the receipt of the president's proclama- 


tion, Gov. Yates convened a special session of the legislature for 
the purpose of enacting laws for a more perfect equipment of 
the militia, and of devising means to render efficient assistance 
to the general government "in preserving the Union, enforcing 
the laws, and protecting the property and rights of the people." 
General order number one was issued by the adjutant-general, 
requiring commandants of state military organizations to take 
immediate steps to perfect their drill and discipline. 

On the same day, a dispatch having been received from the 
secretary of war stating the quota of Illinois under the presi- 
dent's call, the governor issued his call for "six regiments of 

The country was ablaze with military excitement. Meetings 
were held in every town and city, and the fires of the revolu- 
tionary era were kindled afresh. Clergy and laity united in 
the utterance of loyal sentiments, amid the singing of patriotic 
songs and enthusiastic cheers. "The Star Spangled Banner," 
and "The Red, White, and Blue," now that the old flag had 
been assaulted by armed traitors, were shouted forth with a 
zest and fervor which gave to their melody an inspiration hith- 
erto unfelt, and a power never before realized. Women, regard- 
less of what the war might cost them, vied with the men in 
demonstrations of that unflinching courage which is born only 
of loyalty and devotion. 

Indeed, in this turmoil of impending strife, the country pre- 
sented a strange and unwonted aspect. Unless the Mexican 
war, which had been of brief duration, be excepted, there had 
been no general war to arouse the martial spirit of the Nation 
for fifty years. All the knowledge of the onset of armed 
hosts which the present generation possessed had been de- 
rived from books, or from traditions preserved in the memo- 
ries of the few surviving heroes of former wars, and by 
them transmitted to their children. These legends of the 
fathers, telling of the vicissitudes and hardships, the excitement 
and glory of a soldier's life upon the march, in the bivouac, and 
amid the smoke and carnage of battle, while they stirred the 
blood, conveyed but an imperfect idea of the realities of war, 
its horrors, and its sacrifices. But the first gun had fired the 
Anglo-Saxon blood, the time for fighting had come, and he 


who should shrink from the proffered conflict, would be a traitor 
to the name and chivalry of his race. 

In Illinois, there was a union of sentiment among all parties 
as remarkable as it was gratifying. Leading democratic journals 
came out in condemnation of the rebels, and sustaining the gov- 
ernment. Judge Douglas was among the first to call upon Presi- 
dent Lincoln, and tender him his cordial sympathy and support. 
Arriving in Springfield during the session of the legislature, he 
was invited to address that body in joint-session. There was 
great anxiety to hear him, knowing that every utterance would 
be well considered, and that his views would influence the 
actions of thousands of his fellow-citizens. He gave forth no 
uncertain sound, and in his masterly presentation of the issue 
tendered by the South, surpassed all his former efforts in the 
eloquence of his unanswerable logic and in irresistible appeals to 
the people to be loyal to the country. The first duty, he said, 
of an American citizen is obedience to the constitution and 
laws. In the present contest there could be but two parties, 
patriots and traitors. "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." This 
was the last and greatest of the senator's forensic efforts at 
the capital, and, coming from one so well known and justly 
honored in all the states, was worth more to the cause of 
the Union in the call to arms than such words from any 
other living man; and in his sudden death at this critical 
and momentous juncture, the cause of the Union sustained 
a loss greater than that which follows any mere reverse of 

On April 19, the secretary of war telegraphed Gov. Yates to 
take possession of Cairo as an important strategic point. At 
this time there were but few existing military organizations in 
the State, and these chiefly independent companies in the 
larger cities. The most available commanding officer was Brig.- 
Gen. Richard Kellogg Swift of Chicago, who was ordered by 
the governor to proceed to Cairo as speedily as possible with 
such force as he could raise. On April 21, that officer, with 
commendable dispatch, was on his way to the supposed danger 
* He died at the Tremont House, Chicago, after a brief illness, June 3, 1861. 


point with seven companies, numbering 595 men, armed and 

The first company of volunteers tendered in response to the 
governor's call on April 16, was the Zouave Grays of Spring- 
field, Capt. John Cook, and on the same day companies were 
tendered from Richard J. Oglesby, Macon County; Benj. M. 
Prentiss, Adams County; Wilford D. Wyatt, Logan County; 
Geo. W. Rives, Edgar County, two companies; John Lynch, 
Richland County; and by Gustavus Kcerner, five companies 
from St. Clair; and before night of the i8th, fifty companies 
had been tendered. At the same time, $100,000 was offered to 
the governor as a loan, to aid in organizing and equipping the 
troops, by the leading banksfand bankers of Springfield, and 
$500,000 by those:!: of Chicago. 

The general assembly, at its called session, enacted laws 
amending the militia law; providing for the creation of a war- 
fund of $2,000,000, and for a board of three commissioners to 
audit accounts for supplies; to organize six regiments of volun- 
teers; and to authorize the raising of ten additional regiments 
of infantry and one battalion of light artillery — one of said 
regiments from companies then in Springfield, and one from 
each of the nine congressional districts of the State. 

The precipitation of the war of the rebellion wrought a great 
change in the administration of the state government. The 
executive office under the second constitution had so little con- 
nection with the people, except during the sessions of the legis- 
lature, that visitors were but few and far between, so that the 
governor was actually lonesome for the want of callers. The 

* The expedition consisted of the following forces: Brig. -Gen. Swift and staff; 
Chicago Light Artillery, Capt. James Smith; Lockport Light Artillery, Capt. Nor- 
man L. Hawley; Company A, Chicago Zouaves, Capt. James R. Hayden; Company 
B, Chicago Zouaves, Capt. John H. Clybourn; Chicago Light Infantry, Capt. 
Frederick Harding; Turner Union Cadets, Capt. Gustav Kowald; Lincoln Rifles, 
Capt. Geza Mihalotzy; Light Artillery Company, Capt. Caleb Hopkins; Capts. 
Charles Houghteling of Ottawa, Edward McAllister of Plainfield, and Lindsay H. 
Carr of Sandwich, reported for service but did not join the expedition until after- 
ward. These troops served from April 19 to May 3. — Adj't Gen's Report, I, 223. 

+ Jacob Bunn, N. H. Ridgely & Co., and the Marine and Fire Insurance Bank. 

J The Marine Bank, J. Young Scammon; Hoffman and Gelpecke; Merchants Loan 
and Trust Co.; B. F. Carver & Co.; Western Marine and Fire Insurance Co.; H. 
A. Tucker «S: Co. ; and E. I. Tinkham & Co. 


scene now presented in his room was as different as that of a 
quiet country town on ordinary days and when invaded by a 
circus. It was now the busiest and most attractive place at the 
state capitol, and, in conjunction with the adjutant-general's office, 
the center of public interest. Its doors were besieged by anxious> 
crowds of aspiring and patriotic citizens offering their services, 
their influence, and sometimes their money, to aid their country 
in its time of peril. They came singly, and with companies, 
detachments, and squads. With the loyal and deserving there 
came also the speculator, the trader, and the bummer — men 
whose only aim was their own promotion and personal gain. 
All parties and classes and every shade of character were 
represented ; and the demand for places largely exceeded 
the supply. 

Under the laws of congress and regulations of the war de- 
partment, the authority to appoint and commission officers 01 
volunteer regiments, field, staff", and line, was vested in the 
governors of the respective states. Company-officers were gen- 
erally appointed in the first instance upon the recommendation 
or election of the men, and field-officers upon the recommenda- 
tion of the commissioned officers of the regiment. As a rule 
to reward services in the field and personal merit, as well as to 
encourage and stimulate non-commissioned officers and privates, 
promotions were made to field-officers regimentally, and to line- 
officers by companies. 

In making appointments, the first places were usually giver 
to those who had seen service in the Mexican war and to those 
who had become familiar with the manual of arms in the mili- 
tia; others, again, by reason of their standing and influence in 
one party or the other, and supposed military knowledge and 
adaptability to the service, which were frequently taken for 
granted, were as a rule readily provided for. But still others of 
equal standing had to be accommodated, whose previous pur- 
suits and education had given no indication of their fitness for 
an army command. There were few, however, even of the latter, 
who did not attain in the service a distinction which had not 
been anticipated. 

The governor in making appointments and in the adoption of 
war measures consulted with the other state-officers. "Uncle 


Jesse" — as Auditor Dubois was familiarly called, had an exten- 
sive acquaintance in the State, and his judgment of men and 
things could be relied upon with the greatest certainty of its 
correctness. Butler was practical, bluntly honest, brave, and 
faithful. Hatch was earnest, widely known, shrewdly affable, 
and popular. Bateman, though loyal and cultured, as superin- 
tendent of schools, was not so much consulted. 

Among those who found their way to Springfield at this time 
was Capt. U. S. Grant, late of the regular army. He came 
from Galena, bringing with him a letter of recommendation 
from Hon. E. B. Washburne. Major, afterward Colonel, Thomas 
P. Robb of the governor's staff, having observed Grant waiting 
with other strangers in the governor's anteroom, apparently 
for an interview, and learning from him that he was desirous 
of offering his services to the State, introduced him to his 
excellency. Robb was impressed with the modest deportment of 
the visitor, and when the governor made the routine reply to 
Grant's offer, that he knew of no opening just then, that every 
place was filled, and appealed to Robb to confirm his state- 
ment, the latter replied, that he believed they were short ot 
help in the adjutant-general's office; and proposed that Grant 
should be given a desk there for the time being. The governor 
readily consented, and Grant was accordingly set at work 
under Col. Mather — arranging, filing, and copying papers. 

One morning, a few days afterward, Gov. Yates informed Maj. 
Robb that the services of a regular-army officer had become 
indispensable in the camps of rendezvous to perfect organ- 
izations and keep down insubordination; and ordered him to 
proceed to Cincinnati to procure the services of a captain of 
the regular army then there; Capt. John Pope, who had been 
stationed at Camp Yates, having been ordered to St. Louis. 
To this order, Capt. Grant, who had quietly entered the room, 
was a listener. He reminded the governor of his military train- 
ing and former experience in the army, which seemed to have 
been overlooked, and suggested that he could be made much 
more useful in the service than in occupying a subordinate 
clerical position. Yates replied, "Why, Captain, you are just 
the man we want!" And on that day. Grant was installed as 
commandant of Camp Yates. He remained in the state ser- 

grant's appointment. 647 

vice, discharging camp duties and mustering in regiments at 
various points, from May 8 to June 26. 

When, in June, the question arose as to who should succeed 
Col. S. S. Goode — temporarily in command of the twenty-first 
regiment, under whom the men refused to muster for the three 
years' service, on account of his alleged bad habits — several 
names were considered for the position. 

Capt. Grant had been sent to Mattoon to muster in the regi- 
ment, and had made so favorable an impression upon the 
officers and men, that several of the former had written letters 
to the governor, requesting his appointment. Still, other names 
were canvassed. Finally "Uncle Jesse" remarked at the confer- 
ence — "This regiment was raised in my old district, I know its 
situation and the boys who compose it. The man to place at 
its head in my opinion, as well as in that of its officers, is U. S. 
Grant." There was no further hesitation ; the appointment 
was made, and Grant took command June 16.* 

The increase in the duties of the executive office correspond- 
ingly raised the importance of the position of the governor's 
private secretary, who on account of his confidential relations 
with his chief was called upon to exercise rare prudence 
and sound discretion, as well as to possess first-rate clerical 

Hon. Solomon M. Wilson, a member of the house from 
Chicago, was appointed to this position in April. Finding that 
it required more attention than he was able to give, he resigned 
the office in September, and was succeeded by John Moses of 
Scott County. Both of these officers were appointed and com- 
missioned as aides-de-camp and members of the governor's staff 
with the rank of colonel. 

Early in May, Col. and ex-Gov. John W"ood was appointed 
state quartermaster-general, and Col. John Williams, an old 
and honored business man of Springfield, commissary-general. 

The newly-created department of army auditors was organ- 
ized as follows: commissioners, James H. Woodworth, presi- 

* For some of the material statements in the text, the author is indebted to Gen. 
A. L. Chetlain, now residing in Chicago, who entered the service from Galena, in 
May, 1861, as captain of a company, accompanied by Capt. Grant. Col. Robb, 
still living in Chicago, has also been consulted, as well as the records at Springfield. 


dent, Charles H. Lanphier, and William Thomas; secretary* 
George Judd. 

Since the Black-Hawk war, the office of adjutant- general 
had lapsed into a state of "innocuous desuetude." It had been 
without "honor or profit," the people being so absorbed in 
their ordinary pursuits as to have neither time nor inclination 
for cultivating the "martial art which warriors love." Thomas 
S. Mather had been appointed to the office by Gov. Bissell, in 
1858, and had developed a decided fondness and marked apti- 
tude for the organization of military companies. He took a 
just pride in awakening the military spirit among young men 
of his acquaintance in Springfield and other large towns. As 
early as February, he had been sent by the governor on a con- 
fidential mission to Gen. Scott, at Washington, for the purpose 
of procuring arms for the State, and had succeeded in obtain- 
ing an order on the St. Louis arsenal for 10,000 muskets. The 
demand for these guns was not made at the time, owing to 
the grave doubts of those in authority, of their being able 
to execute it in the then disturbed condition of public sentiment 
in St. Louis. In April, Capt. James H. Stokes of Chicago, on 
hearing of the difficulty, volunteered to obtain the arms at all 
hazards. Having received from Gov. Yates the necessary 
authority, he was admitted into the arsenal, and although in- 
formed by the commandant that the secessionists, who were on 
the watch, would not permit him to remove them, he had the 
arms boxed ready for shipment. On the night of April 25, 
he caused the steamer City of Alton to be brought to the arsenal 
wharf, and before daylight steamed up the river for Alton with 
10,000 muskets, 500 new rifle-carbines, 500 revolvers, besides 
some cannon and cartridges. It was a daringly-planned and 
successfully-executed expedition — the first of the war in the 
West, and gave to Illinois the arms she so much needed; 
which, if not transferred at the time, might possibly have been 
seized by the rebels a few days thereafter. 

John B. Wyman was appointed first assistant-adjutant-gen- 
eral, April 19, and on going to the field as colonel of the 
thirteenth infantry, he was succeeded by John S. Loomis, who 
had been acting as second assistant. Daniel L. Gold was 
appointed second assistant, Aug. 17. Charles H. Adams, after- 


ward lieutenant-colonel of the First artillery, Joseph H. Tucker, 
afterward colonel of the Sixty - ninth infantry, John James 
Richards of Chicago, and Edward P, Niles, acted at different 
times as assistant-adjutant-generals. 

The six regiments apportioned to Illinois under the first call 
for volunteers were raised, organized, and sent to Cairo during 
the latter part of April and first part of May. "In token of 
respect to the six Illinois regiments in Mexico," their designated 
numbers were to begin with seven and end with twelve, and 
they were to be known as the "first brigade lUlinois Volunteers." 
Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss was elected brigadier-general over 
Capt. Pope, and was placed in command at Cairo, relieving Gen. 
Swift, These six regiments were at first mustered in for only 
three months, but at the expiration of their term of service, 
2000 out of the 4680 volunteers having reenlisted, they were 
reorganized, and remustered for three years. 

These first regiments were commanded by the following 
officers respectively: Colonels John Cook, Richard J. Oglesby, 
Eleazer A. Paine, James D. Morgan, Wm. H. L. Wallace, and 
John McArthur. 

Under the second call of the president, the ten regiments 
one from each congressional district, for whose formation pro- 
vision had already been made, were organized from the two 
hundred companies immediately tendered, and were mustered 
into service within sixty days.* 

The lairge number of volunteers in excess of what could be 
received in Illinois, enlisted in Missouri and other states, a suffic- 
ient number in some instances to constitute a majority of their 
respective companies and regiments, and which were subse- 
quently changed into Illinois regiments, namely, the Ninth 
Missouri to the Fifty-ninth Illinois, and the Birge sharpshooters 
to the Sixty-sixth Illinois. 

In May, June and July, seventeen additional infantry, and 

* Numbers, places of muster, dates, and colonels of the ten regiments: 

13, Dixon, May 24, John B. Wyman. 18, Anna, May, 29, Michael K. Lawler, 

14, Jacksonville, n 25, John M. Palmer. 19, Chicago, June, 17, John B. Turchin. 

15, Freeport, 1. 24, Thomas J. Turner. 20, Joliet, n 13, Charles C. Marsh. 

16, Quincy, n 24, Robert F. Smith. 21, Mattoon, n 15, Ulysses S. Grant. 

17, Peoria, m 25, Leonard F. Ross. 22, Belleville, n 25, Henry Dougherty. 
The First cavalry regiment. Col. Thomas A. Marshall, was organized June 21. 




five cavalry regiments were authorized by the secretary of war, 
and speedily raised and organized.* 

July 22, the day after the first battle of Bull Run, the presi- 
dent issued a call for 500,000 troops. On the following day 
Gov. Yates responded by tendering thirteen additional infantry 
regiments, three of cavalry, and a battalion of artillery, most of 
them "now ready to rendezvous," and stating that "Illinois 
demands the right to do her full share in the work of preserv- 
ing our glorious Union from the assaults of high-handed 

In the meantime, a change was effected in the office of 
adjutant general. Col. Mather had for some time signified his 
desire to go into active service, and retired from the office 
November i i.J 

The position had been previously tendered to Gen. Allen 
C. Fuller, at that time a judge of the circuit-court and a man 
whose superior executive ability commanded general recogni- 
tion. At the time of the retirement of Gen. Mather, Judge 
Fuller was again urged to accept this responsible position, if 




They were as follows, in their order: Infantry: 
James A. Mulligan. 36, Nicholas Greusel. 

44, Charles Knobelsdorf, 

45, John E. Smith. 
47, John Bryner. 
52, Isaac Grant Wilson. 
55, David Stuart. 

John F. Farns worth. 
Robert G. Ingersoll. 

Frederick Hecker. 37, Julius White. 
Wm. N. Coler. 39, Austin Light. > 

Charles E. Hovey. 40, Stephen G. Hicks. 
Edward N. Kirk. 41, Isaac C. Pugh. 
Gustavus A. Smith. 42, William A. Webb. 
Cavalry: 4. T. Lyle Dickey. 8, 

9, Albert G. Brackett. 11, 

The following batteries were also organized and mustered in July: Capts. Charles 
M. WiTlard's, Ezra Taylor's, Charles Houghteling's, Edward McAllister's, Peter 
Davidson's, Riley Madison's, and Caleb Hopkins'. 

i This tender was at once accepted, and under it the following regiments were 
organized: Infantry, z//z. .• 

Philip B. Fouke. 
John Alex. Logan. 
John Logan. 
Wm. P. Carlin. 

26, John Mason Loomis. 

27, Nap. B. Buford. 

28, Amory K. Johnson. 

29, James S. Reardon. 



Cavalry: 3, Eugene A. Carr. 6. Thos. H. Cavanaugh. 

:J: Col. Mather was appointed colonel of the Second regiment of artillery, commis- 
sioned Feb. 2, 1862, and served through the war; being mustered out as a brevet 
brigadier-general in 1865. He has ever since resided at his old home in Springfield. 

Julius Raith. 

John A. Davis. 

Isham N. Haynie. 

Wm. R. Morrison. 

Moses M. Bane. 

7, Wm. Pitt Kellogg. 



only temporarily. He acceded to the request and entered 
upon the arduous and complicated duties of the post with 
marked industry and energy, and with a zeal born only of 
loyalty — working for months at a time, sixteen hours a day. 
He found the office in a condition verging on chaos, the appro- 
priation therefor having been too meagre to permit the em- 
ployment of a clerical force adequate to the performance of 
the immense labor involved in the speedy organization of 
regiments and their hurried dispatch to the front. 

The position required the exercise of sound judgment, as 
well as great firmness, patience, and discretion. The claims of 
rival applicants for positions had to be carefully and speedily 
weighed, while the amalgamation of squads and detach- 
ments into companies, and the latter into regiments, called for 
rare tact and fine powers of discrimination. The harmoniz- 
ing of incongruous elements and the adjustment of conflicting 
demands were difficult, and yet frequent, tasks. There were 
also constantly arising delicate questions between the State 
and the war department at Washington, relative to quotas 
and enlistments, particularly during the critical period of 
the draft — questions whose handling necessitated the employ- 
ment of both prudence and diplomacy of the highest order. 

The general was always on the side of his State in these 
controversies, and guarded jealously the rights of Illinois 
volunteers. That exasperating circumstances arose, which 
often provoked his endurance, is not surprising. If he treated 
adventurers and hangers-on, and sometimes even friends, 
with the brusqueness of a Stanton, his manner was usu- 
ally hearty and cordial; he was easily approached, and 
always found to be the friend of the soldier. The burden of 
organizing and sending into the field the 175 regiments of vol- 
unteers from Illinois, as well as supervising the subsequent 
changes in their organizations, rested mainly on his shoulders, 
and to him credit is due, not only for valuable assistance ren- 
dered in raising troops in response to the many calls of the 
government upon the State, but also for his tireless energy in 
promptly organizing and sending them to the field. Indeed, 
whether as relates to skill and ability, or the order and system 
in the dispatch of business, the office of adjutant general in no 


Other state was conducted with greater efficiency than that of 

By December 3, 1861, Illinois had in the field, besides the six 
regiments first sent out, 43,000 volunteers and 17,000 in camps 
of instruction. During December, 4160 troops enhsted, and 
were consolidated with old or new organizations and sent to 
the field. And thus nobly had Illinois responded in defense of 
the Union during the first year of the war. 

The battle of Bull Run, on Sunday, July 21, 1861, resulting 
in a signal but unexpected and undeserved victory for the 
rebels, proclaimed the fact that the South had entered upon 
the struggle with superior preparatory advantages, and a 
determination to maintain its position with all the men and 
treasure it could command. It also established the fact that 
if the United-States government was to succeed in overcoming 
the rebellion, every available resource of its greater popula- 
tion and wealth must be brought into requisition. 

Before this first important battle, the confederacy had at- 
tained its full proportions by admitting the states of South 
Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee, making eleven in 
all. Kentucky and Missouri had refused to secede, although 
representatives from both states were admitted to the confed- 
erate congress. Maryland and Delaware had decided also, by 
their respective legislatures, to remain in the Union. 

The population of the seceding states was 9,103,014; that 
of the non-seceding slave-states and the District of Colum- 
bia, from which large supplies in men and means were fur- 
nished to the rebellion, was 3,137,282. The population of the 
free-states was 19,128,143, making a preponderance of numbers 
in favor of the United States of about two to one. The pro- 
portion of wealth and resources was also no less favorable to 
the North. 

* Under supplemental authority from the secretary of war, August 14, 1861, the 
following regiments were raised : Infantry : 

51, Gilbert Cummings. 57, Silas D. Baldwin. 62, James M. True. 

53, Wm. H. W. Cushman. 58, Wm. F. Lynch. 63, Francis Mora. 

54, Thomas W. Harris. 60, Silas C. Toler. 64, D. D. Williamf^ 
56, Robert Kirkham. 61, Jacob Fry. 65, Daniel Cameron. 

Cavalry: 5, John J. Updegraff. 12, Arno Voss. 

10, James A. Barrett. 13, Joseph B. Bell- 


On the other hand, the people of the South had manifested 
a much more warHke disposition than those of the North, in 
all previous wars since that of the Revolution. In that struggle, 
however, of the troops enlisted, including continental soldiers 
and miUtia, the seven Northern States, with a population only 
slightly exceeding that of the six Southern, furnished over 
twenty-seven per cent the most men.* 

In the war of 18 12, which was never popular in New Eng- 
land because its prosecution on the sea was regarded as sub- 
versive of the commercial interests of that section, although no 
reliable data has ever been officially promulgated, it is no doubt 
true, as claimed by Pollard, that the South furnished a much 
larger number of soldiers than the North. So also in the Mexican 
war, New England, fearing that it would result in the acquisi- 
tion of more slave-territory and the consequent preponderance 
of the Southern States in the national councils, was scarcely 
represented, while out of the 71,776 volunteers from the entire 
country, the South furnished 47,649.-)- 

The 4,000,000 slaves included in the population of the 
revolted states, although not available as soldiers, could* 
especially in the interior, cultivate cotton, which would 
form a valuable medium of exchange with foreign nations, as 
well as sugar, corn, and other necessary supplies; so that each 
slave rendered as effective and valuable service in the cause of 
the rebellion as though he had been a free white man per- 
forming the same labor. 

The conspirators had not made a leap in the dark, but had 
acted upon well-matured plans. Leading men of the South 
had been the most prominent and influential in shaping 
the affairs of the Nation, in all of its public departments, for 
the past ten years. They had also inoculated nearly all the 
leading officers of the army from the Southern States with the 
virus of secession, so that when the test came they "went Avith 

• Troops sent from each state during the Revolution: — Am. State Papers, i, 14. 

N. H. 18,349 





N. C. 


Mass. 92,562 


, 29,843 



S. C. 


Conn. 42,831 







Pa. 34,995 




t See table, Vol. i, 

p. 499. 


their states," to which they had been taught to beheve they 
owed a higher allegiance than to the government which had 
educated, commissioned, and supported them. It is true that 
many Southern leaders, both in civil and military life, like 
Stephens and Lee, had at first opposed secession, yet their 
subsequent adherence to the principle when adopted, carried 
them to the extent of fighting for it, beyond which they could 
not be expected to go. A few, indeed, hesitated to the last, as 
did Lieut-Col. J. B. Magruder, who said to Lincoln, "Every one 
else may desert you, Mr. President, but I never will." Yet 
within two days thereafter, when the test came, he left his 
post and took service with the rebels. 

Not only did they have the advantage of a president whose 
superior military training had been acquired at a national 
school, but for the last four years they had been in possession 
and control of the departments of the treasury, war, navy, and 
interior, which they had contrived so to cripple and demora- 
lize, as to reduce their efficiency to the lowest possible point. 

Through these advantages and prior dispositions and ar- 
rangements, even before the inauguration of Lincoln, they 
had become masters, through surrenders by subservient and 
sympathizing army officers, of the defensive fortifications of the 
United States located in the South, about thirty in number, and 
mounting 3000 guns, which had cost the government over 

They had dispersed the army, leaving in Washington a 
force of only 653 men, including sappers and miners, and had 
so scattered the navy, sending the vessels in commission into 
foreign waters, as to leave but 2007 men in all the ports and 
receiving-ships on the Atlantic seaboard to manoeuvre vessels 
and protect the coast. 

They left an empty treasury, after reducing the credit of 
the government so low that it had to pay ten per cent interest 
for money borrowed to meet ordinary expenses. Such were 
the advantages on the side of the revolutionists at the begin- 
ning: of the war. 

Greeley's "American Conflict," i, 413. 



Results of the First Year of the War — The Constitutional 
Convention of 1862 — Further Calls for Troops — Yates' 
Masterly Appeal — Escape from the Draft — The Con- 
ference of Governors at Altoona — Emancipation — 
Elections of 1862 — Twenty-third General Assembly — 
Election of U.-S. Senator — Laws — Special Session — 
The Assembly Prorogued. 

THE military results following the great uprising of the 
people in the spring and summer of 1861 were not such 
as to encourage hopes of immediate success. 

It early became apparent that the spontaneity with which the 
first calls for troops had been responded to could not be main- 
tained. The course of the administration in removing officials 
of disloyal proclivities was approved, but when the process of 
decapitation was extended to loyal democrats, there was an 
ominous muttering of dissent which was neither unnatural nor 
wholly unjustifiable. The democratic party in large numbers 
had rallied to the standard of the Union, and it was not agree- 
able to reflect that they were to be excluded from a fair partici- 
pation in the administration of the government. To revive 
party feelings under these circumstances was not difficult. Such 
action also afforded a pretext for that large body of southern 
sympathizers in all the Western States, who had been silenced 
by the first outbreak of patriotic furor, to assert themselves and 
become outspoken in their efforts to mould a public sentiment 
averse to a successful prosecution of the war. 

So absorbed had been the people generally in the enlistment 
of troops, and in considering the great issues at stake, that 
when the election for members of a constitutional convention 
occurred in November, 1861, but little attention was paid to 
the selection of delegates. The result was that of the seventy- 
five members elected, the democrats, whose leading men were 
watchful of their advantage, secured forty-five, and the repub- 
licans only twenty-one, while seven were classed as fusionists, 
and two as doubtful. 



The convention met in Springfield, January 7, 1862, and was 
organized by the election of Wm. A. Hacker as president, Wm. 
M. Springer as secretary, John W. Merritt as assistant-secretary, 
and John Schell as sergeant-at-arms.* 

It was hoped and expected that under the changed aspect of 
national affairs, the members would make some few needed 
amendments to the constitution, which all admitted to be neces- 
sary, and, without any attempt to disturb the position of affairs 
by fundamental changes, bring their deliberations to a speedy 
close. But in this reasonable expectation the people were dis- 

The potential voice of Douglas could be no longer heard, and 
taking counsel of their own partisan views and ambitions, 
they sat at the capital for nearly three months, like an incubus 
upon the well-being of the State and Nation. They began their 
work by refusing to take the oath to support the constitution 
of the State, prescribed by the law calling the convention into 
existence. Having thus taken a stand outside of and above 
the instrument they were elected to amend, it was easy for them 
to proceed still further, and assume to dictate to and control 
the executive and other departments of the state government, 
including the courts. They even seriously deliberated whether 
they had not the power to elect a United-States senator, to 
succeed O. H. Browning. They called for reports-f* from the 

* The leading democratic members were : Wm. J. Allen, ex-Gov. French, J. B, 
Underwood, S. A. Buckmaster, Timothy R. Young, Anthony Thornton, H. M. 
Vandeveer, John M. Woodson, Melville W. Fuller, Albert G. Burr, O. B. Ficklin, 
B. S. Edwards, Alexander Starne, A. A. Glenn, J. W. Singleton, Austin Brooks, 
Lewis W. Ross, John Dement, Julius Manning, H. K. S. Omelveny, A. D. Duff, 
N. H. Purple, Thomas W. McNeeley, and John P. Richmond. 

Among the leading republicans were: John Wentworth, Elliott Anthony, A. J. 
Joslyn, Geo. W. Pleasants, Alexander Campbell, Elisha P. Ferry, Luther W. Law- 
rence, S. B. Stinson, H. B, Childs, and W. W. Orme. 

+ They "resolved that the committee on military affairs be instructed to inquire 
whether the soldiers sent into the field from the State have been and continue to be 
provided for, in all respects, as the troops sent into the field from other states," and, 
if not, whether the neglect was chargeable to " any persons holding office under this 

The replies generally received were anything but satisfactory to the convention — 
one of these was as follows: Paducah, Ky., Feb. 16, 1862. 

James W. Singleton, Esq., Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, Spring- 
field, III. — Dear Sir: — Your circular dated Jan. 23, 1862, inclosing a resolution of 


governor and other heads of state departments, and assumed 
to take supervisory care of Illinois troops in the field. 

They asserted not only their supremacy over the constitu- 
tion, but their independence of existing laws as well, by in- 
structing the state auditor in regard to his official duties in 
issuing bank-notes; by ratifying a proposed amendment to the 
constitution of the United States, denying the power of con- 
gress to abolish or interfere with slavery in any state, notwith- 
standing the amendment had been submitted by congress to the 
state legislature; and finally, to cap the climax of their absurd 
pretensions, by adopting an ordinance appropriating $500,000 
for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers. This measure, how- 
ever, was passed only after the echoes of the thunder that re- 
verberated from the bloody field of Donelson had reached 
them, and to allay the feeling of indignation and contempt with 
which their proceedings were held in every portion of the State. 

The governor had borne with them a long time, and as he 
had nothing to conceal had furnished reports as called for; but 
at last becoming convinced of the existence of a determination 
to annoy and embarrass the state government, in a short mes- 
sage, sent in response to a communication in reference to the 
claims of the Illinois-Central Railroad, flatly refused to comply 
with their request, and asserted his independence by stating that 
"he did not acknowledge the right of the convention to instruct 
him in the performance of his duty." 

the Illinois Constitutional Convention, came to hand today. Should I give you the 
information the resolution calls for, I should make as great an ass of myself as the 
convention has of you, by asking you to attend to that which is none of your busi- 
ness, and which is also not the business of the convention. If I am rightly informed, 
you were elected to make a constitution for the State of Illinois. Why in h — don't 
you do it? Comparing the equipments of the soldiers of the several states is about 
as much your business as it would be my business to inquire into the sanity of the 
members of the convention. Suppose the facts are as your resolution would seem 
to imply — that we are not so well equipped and armed as soldiers from the other 
states — can you, as a member of the convention, be of any service to us? But I know 
and you know that the resolution was offered for a different purpose — a purpose for 
which every member of the convention should blush with shame — to make political 

If the Committee on Military Affairs are so very anxious to exhibit their ability in 
inquiring into war matters, I would suggest — as the resolution permits me to make 
suggestions — that it inquire into the history of the Mormon war, in which its vener- 
able chairman played so conspicuous a part. I have the honor to be, sir, your 
obedient servant, QuiNCY McNeil, Major, Second Illinois Cavalry. 


When the vote was taken in convention upon the adoption of 
the constitution prepared, on March 22, there were but forty- 
eight members present, forty-four of whom voted in the affirm- 
ative and four in the negative. But fifty -four names were 
signed to the instrument, and some of these only by way of 
authentication — Mr. Underwood remarking, that "as long as he 
had control of his arm he would never sign such a constitution 
as that." Messrs. Wentworth, Sheldon, and Anthony were the 
only republicans who affixed their names — the two latter by 
proxy. Mr. Simpson signed only "by. way of authentication." 
After the convention adjourned, an organization was effected 
between some leading republicans and democrats, equally op- 
posed to the newly-drafted instrument, who proposed to defeat 
its ratification by the people. And this, not so much because of 
the inherent defects of the instrument itself — although there 
were grave objections to many of its provisions, especially the 
proposed innovation of abolishing investigation by a grand- 
jury, except in cases of felony — but because it shortened the 
term of the governor and other state-officers, and introduced 
the disturbing element of a general election in the midst of a 
domestic war.* 

The defeat of the instrument by over 16,000 votes, not in- 
cluding those of the soldiers, whose opposition to it, so far as 
known, was practically unanimous, was as gratifying to its 
opponents as it was a terrible rebuke to those who had so 
plainly misunderstood the public temper and misrepresented 
the popular will. 

The year 1862, so far as military operations were concerned, 
opened with a discouraging outlook, which was only dispelled 
by the first decisive victory of the war at Fort Donelson on 
Feb. 15, and the results of the terrible two days conflict at 
Shiloh, April 6 and 7. These successes in the West, however, 
were counterbalanced by reverses in the East. Washington was 

* Among the means determined upon to defeat the instrument was the publishing 
of a pamphlet setting forth in brief the objections to its adoption. The question arose, 
who was to write this; one name was suggested and another, but no one could be 
agreed upon. At length, "Uncle Jesse" said, "Why, set your man Moses at it — 
what's the matter with him? He can do it;" and so it was arranged. The pamphlet 
"Reasons why the proposed new constitution should not be adopted," was prepared 
in two days and over two hundred thousand copies effectively circulated. 

xUE CALL FOR TROOPS IN 1 862. 659 

threatened, and our army was unable to make that headway 
against the rebellion which was expected from so vast an out- 
lay of men and means. 

On July 6, another call was made for 300,000 additional vol- 
unteers; but the people were despondent, and enlistments were 
at first slow and half-hearted. Gov. Yates felt that the time 
had come for the Nation to avail itself of the services of 
colored men and slaves, and believed that by offering this class 
proper inducements, a strong diversion against the rebellion 
would be made in the slave-states. On July 11, he dispatched 
an open letter to the president, urging him to summon all men 
to the defense of the government, lo3'alty alone being the divid- 
ing line between the Nation and its foes. His closing words 
were: "in any event, Illinois will respond to your call; but 
adopt this policy, and she will spring like a flaming giant 
into the fight." 

On August 5, such were the supposed necessities of the gov- 
ernment, a call was issued for 300,000 men to serve nine months, 
any deficiency in response to which was to be filled through a 
draft. The quota of Illinois on these two calls was 52,296, but 
as she had already furnished 16,198 men in excess of former 
quotas, the claim was made that the total would only be 35,320. 
This claim, however, was not allowed by the government, and 
the full number was insisted upon. The State was given until 
September i to raise this number of men, and thus avoid a draft. 

The floating population had already been swept into the 
army; the new levies, therefore, must come from the better 
classes — the permanent, influential, and prosperous citizens. 
The country was aroused as never before. Meetings were held 
throughout the State, which were addressed by the governor 
and others. The patriotic furor was as intense as it was conta- 
gious, all classes being affected and moved as by a common 
impulse. The farmer left his plow in the furrow, the mechanic 
his tools on the bench, the merchant his counter — lawyers, doc- 
tors, ministers, and laborers, all animated by the same spirit, 
rallied to enroll themselves among their country's defenders. 

So spontaneous was the response to the president's calls that 
before eleven days had elapsed both quotas had been more than 
filled — a rally to the country's standard as remarkable as it was 


unexampled In the world's history. Six of the new regiments 
organized were sent to the field in August, twenty-two in Sep- 
tember, thirteen in October, fifteen in November, and three in 
December, making an aggregate, with artillery, of fifty-nine 
regiments and four batteries, numbering 53,819 enlisted men 
and officers. In addition to the above, 2753 men were enlisted 
and sent to old regiments. With these and the cavalry regi- 
ments organized, the whole number of enlistments under the 
two calls was 68,416, making a grand total in the field under 
all calls, at the close of the year 1862, of 135,440 volunteers. 

The army of the United States was made up from enlist- 
ments through the agencies of the several states. The respon- 
sibility and duty of this vast work devolved mostly upon their 
respective executives. It was through them and their military 
departments that the primary but indispensable work of organi- 
zation was to be accomplished; and without their active and 
earnest cooperation the patriotism of the people could not be 
fully and fairly expressed. The general conduct of the war 
by the administration of President Lincoln had frequently 
been the subject of animadversion, if not of strong censure, even 
among his friends and supporters. For the purpose of consult- 
ing in regard to the general good and agreeing upon measures 
to be recommended for adoption, a meeting of the governors 
of the loyal states was called by the executives of Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and Ohio, to meet at Altoona, Pa., Sept. 24. 

Gov. Yates was accompanied by state- officers Dubois and 
Hatch, Private-Secretary Moses, and Gen, Mc demand. There 
were also present, Andrew G. Curtin of Pennsylvania; David 
Tod, Ohio; Francis H. Pierpont, Virginia; John A. Andrew, 
Massachusetts; Austin Blair, Michigan; Samuel J. Kirkwood, 
Iowa; Edward Salomon, Wisconsin; Augustus W. Bradford, 
Maryland; Nathaniel S. Berry, New Hampshire; and William 
Sprague, Rhode Island. 

The conference was held with closed doors, and the discus- 
sions of the grave questions — conducted with the earnestness 
befitting the occasion — covered a wide field, as was understood 
at the time, but no report of the proceedings was ever made 
public. One question of absorbing interest, however, that relat- 
ing to slavery, had been disposed of in advance by the presi- 


dent's preliminary proclamation of emancipation, which met 
them at Altoona, and the promulgation of which, it was sug- 
gested, was hastened to forestall contemplated action by the 
governors in that direction. 

The distinguished party arrived in Washington on Sept. 26, 
and were received by the president at twelve o'clock. The con- 
ference was strictly private, the only person present not a 
member being the private secretary of Gov. Yates. Gov. An- 
drew, as chairman of the executives, delivered the address, 
which had evidently been carefully prepared, and was read 
from manuscript. 

He assured the president of the personal and official respect 
of his visitors, and of their determination under all circumstances 
to aid in the maintainance of his constitutional authority; pledg- 
ing their support of all measures tending toward a speedy 
termination of the war; and congratulating him upon the 
proclamation of emancipation. 

The president, without hesitation or embarrassment, and with 
the familiarity of one who had thoroughly studied the subject, 
replied, taking up each topic treated upon in the governors' 

The formalities of the conference being concluded, there fol- 
lowed an unbending of official stiffness, and a free interchange 
of views upon the conduct of the war. Some of the gov- 
ernors had evidently sought this interview for the purpose of 
informing the chief executive how much they knew about war, 
and suggesting easy methods of solving what had been consid- 
ered difficult problems. But the knowledge and depth of 
thought disclosed by Lincoln in conversing, not only upon 
the various points referred to in the address, but also upon 
such questions as the exchange of prisoners, the removal of 
McClellan, and the effect of proposed emancipation, convinced 
every one present that the president had nothing to learn 
from them. 

The result of the conference was decidedly beneficial to the 
country. The governors returned to their states with reassured 
hope, with convictions of the righteousness of the national 
cause intensified, and with reestablished confidence in the 
judgment and wisdom of the president and his cabinet. 


The democratic state-convention was held September lO, 
over forty counties being unrepresented. James C. Allen 
was nominated for congressman at large, Alexander Starne for 
state treasurer, and John P. Brooks for superintendent of public 

The first resolution in the platform adopted placed the de- 
mocracy squarely in favor of the war, and was as follows: 
"Resolved, that the constitution and laws made in pursuance 
thereof, are and must remain the supreme law of the land; and 
as such must be preserved and maintained in their proper and 
rightful supremacy; that the rebellion now in arms must be 
suppressed; and it is the duty of all good citizens to aid the 
general government in all legal and constitutional measures, 
necessary and proper to the accomplishment of this end." This 
was the position of war democrats. 

The second resolution denounced "the doctrines of Southern 
and Northern extremists as alike inconsistent with the federal 

In advance of the issuance of the proclamation of emancipa- 
tion, it was declared that "we protest in the name of ourselves 
and of our children, and in the name of all we hold dear, against 
the resolution of congress pledging the Nation to pay for all 
negroes which may be emancipated by authority of any South- 
ern States;" and that it was the duty of all good citizens to 
sustain the president against the purpose of the radical repub- 
licans, to induce him to "pervert the effort to suppress a wicked 
rebellion into a war for the emancipation of slaves, and for the 
overthrow of the constitution." They also declared against the 
entrance of free negroes into the State; against the illegal 
arrest of citizens; and all unjust interference with the freedom 
of speech and of the press. 

The republican, or Union convention, as it was called, was 
held Sept. 24. Eben C. IngersoU was nominated for congress- 
man at large, and the then incumbents, Wm. Butler and New- 
ton Bateman, respectively, for state treasurer and superintend- 
ent of public instruction. 

The platform fully endorsed the administration in its efforts 
to suppress the rebellion, including the "proclamation of free- 
dom and confiscation, issued by the president, Sept. 22, 1862^ 


as a great and imperative war measure, essential to the salva- 
tion of the Union." 

A consideration of the events which, in their natural and in- 
evitable sequence, led to the ultimate extinction of slavery may- 
serve to show, more clearly than does any other page of the 
history of the American civil war, how deeply that cancer 
upon the civilization of the nineteenth century had thrust its 
roots into the intellectual convictions, if not into the affections, 
of the people. Even in the free-soil states, and among those 
who denounced the system in the abstract, there could be found 
a large and influential element who were ready, reluctantly, to 
admit the inviolability of its legal environment; while among 
those whose life-long affiliations had been with the party in 
whose counsels southern influence had dominated, there were 
not a few who were disposed to regard any interference with it, 
even in time of war, as an indefensible violation of vested 
rights, if not an act of downright sacrilege. Whatever might 
be thought of the effect of rebellion upon other property rights, 
human chattels formed an exception, and the slaveholder, as 
such, was hedged about with a sort of kingly divinity. Even 
commanders of the Union forces would without hesitation use 
any other description of captured property for the benefit of 
their armies, but if a negro slave chanced to come into their 
possession, he was returned to his master, soldiers being detailed 
and the march delayed, if necessary, for that purpose. 

The first legislative action which tended toward the emanci- 
pation of the slaves was an amendment to the first confiscation 
act, introduced by Senator Trumbull, and passed by congress, 
August 6, 1 86 1, the design of which was to obviate, in part, the 
sensitive scruples of Union officers in the discharge of this sup- 
posedly delicate duty. It provided that the claim of the owner 
to the labor of any slave, whom he should require or permit to 
take up arms, or to work or be employed in any military service 
against the United States, should be forfeited. But this enter- 
ing wedge only reached a little way, and the unfortunate slaves, 
who flocked to the headquarters of our armies in the belief 
that they would be liberated, found, as a rule, their hopes 
blasted and themselves relegated to servitude. 

The sentimental views of such army officers, however, found 


no response in the hearts of the great body of union-loving 
citizens in the free -states, and, after several premonitory- 
motions, congress, on March 13, 1862, passed an act ordaining 
an additional article of war, by which all officers or persons in 
the military or naval service of the United States were pro- 
hibited "from employing any of the forces under their com- 
mand for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or 
labor, who may have escaped from any persons to whom such 
service or labor is claimed to be due;" and any officer who 
might "be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this 
article," was to "be dismissed from the service." 

A farther and important step forward was taken on April 16, 
in the passage by congress of a law abolishing slavery in the 
District of Columbia. This was followed, in July, 1862, by the 
celebrated "confiscation act," by which it was provided that all 
slaves of rebels escaping to the lines of the Union army, or 
captured from or deserted by such rebels, or within any place 
occupied by rebel forces and afterward occupied by the forces 
of the United States, should be forever free. This same con- 
gress also practically repealed the fugitive-slave law, and pro- 
hibited the introduction of slavery into the territories of the 
United States. 

The passage of these various measures placed President Lin- 
coln between two fires. He was urged, on the one side, to 
hasten emancipation, and on the other, to avoid a policy which 
might alienate the support of Union slave-holders. When Gen. 
Fremont, commanding the department of Missouri, in August, 
1 861, had issued his proclamation declaring that the slaves of 
all persons in Missouri who had taken an active part with the 
enemies of the government should be free, the president, against 
the protest of the general, issued an order so modifying the 
proclamation as to make it apply only to such slaves as were 
actually employed in military service. 

At the request of the president, who was still hopeful of de- 
taching the slave-holders of the border states from any sympa- 
thy with the rebellion, congress, on April 10, passed a resolu- 
tion declaring that the United States ought to cooperate with, 
and affi^rd pecuniary aid to, any state which might adopt 
gradual emancipation; and on July 12, Lincoln held, by his 


own invitation, a conference with the congressmen from those 
states, in which he urged. upon them the wisdom and expediency 
of their cooperation in effecting such a result. But so far from 
yielding to his solicitation, the majority of those present plainly 
advised him to "avoid all interference, direct or indirect, with 
slavery in the Southern States." 

In all of his dealings with this subject, the president had 
manifested the soundest judgment as well as remarkable fore- 
sight. Before the war he had been convinced that the way to 
abolish slavery was not to attack it in the states, but to educate 
the public mind to the belief that it was wrong, and should not 
be permitted to go into the territories. So now, well knowing 
that the rebellion could be most surely overthrown by under- 
mining its corner-stone, and that every Union victory was also 
a blow for freedom, he shifted the ground of his action against 
slavery, from that of its inherent wrong and injustice, to that of 
the expediency of emancipation as a war measure and its 
necessity as a means of saving the Union. In his letter to 
Horace Greeley, August, 1862, he declared that his paramount 
object was to save the Union and not either to preserve or 
destroy slavery. 

"If I could save the Union without freeing a slave, I would 
do it," he said; and continued, "if I could save it by freeing all 
the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some 
and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do 
about slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps to save 
the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not be- 
lieve it would help to save the Union." Knowing, however, 
better than congress or any of his advisers, the feeling of the 
people of the Western States upon this question, and the effect 
which the adoption of a policy of emancipation, even as a 
military necessity, would have upon them, he long hesitated 
to take the initiatory step of promulgating his first proclama- 
tion of September 22, 1862. 

The preliminary proclamation was not favorably received by 
the country generally. While it served to "fire the southern 
heart," and intensify the rebellious feeling in the seceding states, 
it called forth no encouraging response, nor was it followed by 
any indications of reviving loyalty, in view of compensated 


emancipation, in the border states. While many strong friends 
of the Union in this State regretted the step the president had 
taken, some thinking he had not gone far enough and others 
that he had acted prematurely, the issuance of the proclama- 
tion afforded opportunity for a large and influential faction to 
crystalize and concentrate their hostility to the administration 
and to the prosecution of the war. While their opposition had 
previously been confined to a criticism of the civil adminis- 
tration, including appointments, they eagerly seized upon this 
avowal of the president's policy, and made it the occasion 
for speaking more plainly and positively, alleging that the 
war was being waged for the subjugation of the South and the 
abolition of slavery, and demanding that it should cease. Some 
of these objectors expressed their sincere convictions, but with 
a large majority it was mainly a partisan cry. They supposed 
they saw an opportunity to overthrow the party in power, 
obtain possession of the state government, and thus pave the 
way for the election of a president in 1864. This was the in- 
tended program, and it came near consummation. 

Repugnance to a threatened draft — the continued and in- 
creasing depreciation of the state-currency — the low wages paid 
the soldiers — the president's proposition of compensated eman- 
cipation — the uncertainty of the final outcome of the war — were 
reasons urged at the November election in this State with much 
plausibility and decided effect against the party in power. The 
result was all that the opposition could have wished. On state 
officers the administration was defeated by over sixteen thou- 
sand majority.* There was a falling off, however, in the aggre- 
gate vote polled, of over 75,000, representing the absent vol- 

* Comparative table of election returns in nine states in the fall of 1862: 



. CONG., E 





New York, 





New Jersey, 

- 58,324 




Pennsylvania, - 





Ohio, - 

- 231,610 




Illinois, • 






- 139,033 

133. "o 








Wisconsin, - 

- 86,110 










unteers, three-fourths of whom would doubtless have voted the 
Union ticket. The opposition secured a like success in New 
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, while 
Michigan and Wisconsin were carried by the republicans by a 
small majority only. 

The final proclamation of emancipation was issued, as prom- 
ised, on January i, 1863. No state-paper ever produced an 
effect so momentous upon the Nation as this. To the patriot, 
it was the harbinger of a restored Union, whose foundations 
were to rest upon human freedom; to the disloyal, it was 
at once a menace and a blow. Hundreds of thousands of 
slaves had already been freed under the laws of congress 
and the operations of war; and whether the proclamation, 
extending beyond the lines of military occupation in the 
rebel states designated as such, had the effect of emancipating 
any slaves, was happily a question which culminating events 
left it unnecessary to decide. But as an exercise of the war 
powers of the executive in supplementing the anti-slavery legis- 
lation of congress, and as a formal announcement of a policy of 
emancipation which the military and naval authorities of the 
United States must recognize and maintain, no less than as an 
authorization of the employment of former slaves in the army 
and navy, its moral effect was as far-reaching as it was benefi- 
cent. It strengthened the arm and imparted fresh vigor to the 
efforts of the patriot at home, while it gave the country a posi- 
tion among the nations of the world higher than it could have 
hoped to attain in centuries of traffic in the bodies and souls 
of men. 

The revolution of the ballot in Illinois was complete. The 
democrats not only elected their state officers, but carried the 
legislature also, securing a majority of one in the senate and 
twenty-eight in the house. 

The twenty-third general assembly convened Jan. 5, 1863.* 

* Members of the twenty-third general assembly : 

Senate: Democrats — William Berry. McDonough; Israel Blanchard, Jackson; Wm. H. Green, 
Massac; Hugh Gregg, Williamson; Colby Knapp, Logan; John T. Lindsay, Peoria; Albert C. 
Mason, Knox; Samuel Moffit, Effingham; James M. Rodgers, Clinton; William A. J. Sparks, suc- 
cessor to Rodgers; Bryant T. Scofield, Hancock; William H. Underwood, St. Clair; Horatio M. 
Vandeveer, Christian; Linus E. Worcester, Greene. Republicans — John H. Addams, Stephenson; 
Edward B.Allen, Kane; Washington Bushnell, La Salle; Henry E. Dummer, Cass; Isaac Funk, 
McLean; Cornelius Lansing, Mc Henry; Alonzo W. Mack, Kankakee; William B. Ogden, Cook; 


Samuel A. Buckmaster of Madison County was elected speaker, 
receiving fifty-two votes to twenty-five for Luther W. Lawrence 
of Boone, and one for Selden M. Church. John Q. Harmon 
was chosen clerk, and Charles Walsh, door-keeper. Manning 
Mayfield was the choice of the senate for secretary, and David 
J. Waggoner for sergeant-at-arms. 

Mr. Buckmaster had already served two terms in the senate 
and four years in the house. He had also been a member of 
the state constitutional convention. He was a gentleman of 
popular manners and fine address. His remarks on taking the 
chair sounded the keynote of the future reactionary proceed- 
ings of this afterward notorious legislature. Among other 
things, he said: "I trust that you will feel it your duty to enter 
the solemn protest of the people of Illinois against the impolicy 
and imbecility which, after such heroic and long - continued 
sacrifices, still leaves this unholy rebellion not only not subdued, 
but without any immediate prospect of termination, and I trust 
that your action may have a potent influence in restoring to 
our distracted country the peace and tmion of by-gone days!' 

On the evening of the day the legislature convened, a large 
and enthusiastic meeting of those opposed to the administra- 

Joseph Peters, Vermilion; Thomas J. Pickett, Rock Island; Daniel Richards, Whiteside; Jasper 
D. Ward, Cook. 

House: Democrats — Perry A. Armstrong, Grundy; Charles C. Boyer, Will; Michael Brandt, 
Cook; William J. Brown, Adams; Samuel A. Buckmaster, Madison; Albert G. Burr, Scott; John 
S. Busey, Champaign; Thomas B. Cabeen, Mercer; Gustavus F. Coffeen, Montgomery; Chauncey 
L. Conger, White; Philander Dougherty, Clark; Jefferson A. Davis, Woodford; John O. Dent, La 
Salle; George Dent, Putnam; John N. English, Jersey; James M. Epler, Cass; Jesse R. Ford, 
Clinton; Melville W. Fuller, Cook; John Gerrard, Edgar; Theodore C. Gilson, LaSalle; John G. 
Graham, Fulton; James M. Herd, Wayne; Thomas B. Hicks, Massac; James Holgate, Stark; 
Charles A. Keyes, Sangamon; John Kistler, Rock Island; Lyman Lacy, Menard; Robert H. Mc 
Cann, Fayette; Edward Menard, Randolph; John W. Merritt, Marion; Ambrose M. Miller, Logan; 
Stephen W. Miles, Monroe; John Monroe, Vermilion; Milton M. Morrell, Hancock; William W. 
O'Brien, Peoria; David W. Odell, Crawford; Mercy B. Patty, Livingston; Henry K. Peffer, War- 
ren; Lewis G Reid, McDonough; Reuben Roessler, Shelby; Joseph Sharon, Schuyler; James M. 
Sharp, Wabash; Simeon P. Shope, Fulton; James H, Smith, Union; John T. Springer, Morgan; 
John Ten Brook, Edgar; James B, Turner, Gallatin; Charles A. Walker, Macoupin; James M. 
Washburn, Williamson; William Watkins, Bond; Ellas Wenger, Tazewell; John W. Wescott, Clay; 
Alexander E. Wheat, Adams; Scott Wike, Pike; William B. Witt, Greene; Henry M. Williams, 
Jefferson. Republicans — Jacob P. Black, Kendall; Lorenz Brentano, Cook; Horatio C. Burchard; 
Stephenson: Joseph F. Chapman, Carroll; Selden M. Church, Winnebago; Ansell B. Cook, Cook; 
Francis A. Eastman, Cook; James Elder, Macon; George W. Gage, Cook; James V. Gale, Ogle; 
Wm. E. Ginther, Cook; Addison Goodell, Iroquois; Henry Greene, Jo Daviess; Elijah M. Haines, 
Lake, Demas L. Harris, Lee; Joseph N. Holyoke, Knox; Daniel R. Howe, Bureau; Chauncey A, 
Lake, Kankakee; Nelson Lay, Henry; Luther W. Lawrence, Boone; Sylvester S. Mann, Kane; 
John W. Newport, Grundy; Westel W. Sedgwick, DeKalb; Leander Smith, Whiteside; Boyington 
Tenney, DeWitt; John Thomas, St. Clair; Amos G. Throop, Cook; Joseph B. Underwood, Sl 
Clair; Thadeus B. Wakeman, Mc Henry. 


tion was held in the hall of the house for the purpose of hear- 
ing from the several democratic candidates for the United- 
States senate. Speeches were made by Wm. A. Richardson, 
Samuel S. Marshall, Richard T. Merrick, and Wm. C. Goudy. 
The speakers vied with each other in denouncing the president 
as a usurper, and in characterizing the war as barbarous and 
disgraceful. A resolution was unanimously adopted, declaring 
"That the emancipation proclamation of the president is as un- 
warrantable in military as in civil law, a gigantic usurpation, at 
once converting the war, professedly commenced by the admin- 
istration for the vindication of the authority of the constitu- 
tion, into the crusade for the budden, unconditional, and violent 
liberation of 3,000,000 of negro slaves; a result which would not 
only be a total subversion of the federal Union, but a revo- 
lution in the social organization of the Southern States. * * 
The proclamation invites servile insurrection as an element in 
this emancipation crusade, a means of warfare, the inhumanity 
and diabolism of which are without example in civilized war- 
fare, and which we denounce, and which the civilized world will 
denounce, as an ineffaceable disgrace to the American name." 

Gov. Yates, in his message delivered on the next day, made 
a full report of the part taken by Illinois in the war, including 
provision made for the sick and wounded, and amounts ex- 
pended therefor. He also, notwithstanding the adverse major- 
ity against him in the body addressed, discussed the overshad- 
owing issues of the war, calmly and fearlessly, insisting upon 
the patriotic duty of every citizen to stand by the government 
to the last. 

He justified the attitude of the administration by the follow- 
ing arguments: "After years of deliberate premeditation and 
secret preparation, they [the states in rebellion] perpetrated the 
act of secession, denied their allegiance to the constitution, 
set up an independent government, despoiled the Nation of its 
money, its arms, and munitions of war, seized upon our forts, 
insulted our flag, fired upon our soldiers at Sumter, plunged 
our hitherto peaceful people into a sanguinary, fratricidal war, 
filled every homestead with grief, and covered the land with 
two hundred thousand fresh-made graves." 

He defended the proclamation of emancipation, expressing 


views in advance even of those of the president. He said, 
"but now the necessity of emancipation is forced upon us by 
the inevitable events of the war, and is made constitutional by 
the act of the rebels themselves; and the only road out of this 
war is by blows aimed at the heart of the rebellion, in the entire 
demolition of the evil which is the cause of all our present 
fearful complications. * The rebellion, which was designed to 
perpetuate slavery and plant it upon an enduring basis, is now, 
under a righteous providence, being made the instrument to 
destroy it. * I demand the removal of slavery. In the name 
of my country, whose peace it has disturbed, and which it has 
plunged into civil war; in the name of the heroes it has slain; 
in the name of justice, whose highest tribunals it has corrupted 
and prostituted to its basest ends and purposes; in the name of 
Washington and Jefferson, and all the old patriots who struggled 
round about the camps of liberty, and who looked forward to 
its early extinction; in the name of progress, civilization, and 
liberty; and in the name of God himself, I demand the utter 
and entire demolition of this heaven-cursed wrong of human 

Having made these clear and unmistakable utterances on 
the main question, he approached by no roundabout method 
the attitude of those opposed to the administration. He said, 
"the secessionists have hoped for success on three grounds: First, 
upon our supposed inferior valor; second, upon foreign aid; and 
third, upon a divided North. The two first have failed them. 
They now despair of any foreign intervention, and on many 
battle-fields the cool bravery of our northern troops has proved 
an overmatch for the fiery, impetuous valor of the South. But 
can I truthfully say that their strongest hope and main reliance, 
a divided North, has failed them.-*" Proceeding to amplify this 
danger, he remarked: "when the North shall present an undi- 
vided front — a stern and unfaltering purpose to exhaust every 
available means to suppress the rebellion, then the last strong 
prop of the latter will have fallen from under it, and it will 
succumb and be for peace. Should division mark our counsels, 
or any considerable portion of our people give signs of hesita- 
tion, then a shout of exultation will go up throughout all the 
hosts of rebeldom, and bonfires and illuminations be kindled 


in every southern city, hailing our divisions as the sure harbin- 
gers of their success. Can we," he continued, "consent to send a 
keen and fatal pang to the heart of every Illinois soldier, now 
fighting for his country, by ill-timed party- strife at home?" 
Speaking of the appeals which were made in some newspapers 
for a separation from New England, he said, "Not a drop of New- 
England blood courses in my veins. * I propose not to be the 
eulogist of New England, but she is indissolubly bound to us 
by all the bright memories of the past, by all the glory of the 
present, by all our hopes of the future. I shall always glory in 
the fact that I belong to a republic in the galaxy of whose 
shining stars New England's is among the brightest and best. 
Palsied be the hand that would sever the ties which bind the 
East and West." 

This singularly bold and able state-paper, while it was hailed 
with joy by friends of the Union, fell upon the hitherto trium- 
phant majority in the legislature like a bomb-shell from an un- 
expected battery. No attempt was made to answer or even to 
meet its arguments, but opposition might be aroused against 
the cause which the governor so eloquently advocated, and by 
the adoption of a policy of obstruction his resources might be 
crippled and his hands virtually tied. 

On January 12, the two houses met for the purpose of elect- 
ing a United-States senator to fill the unexpired term of Judge 
Douglas, in which O. H. Browning was now serving. Wm. A. 
Richardson, having been nominated in caucus, was elected, re- 
ceiving sixty-five votes to thirty-eight cast for Richard Yates. 

The several resolutions on the subject of the rebellion intro- 
duced by those opposed to the administration as well as by its 
supporters having been referred to the committee on federal 
relations, majority and minority reports were presented on Feb- 
ruary 4 and 5. That of the majority, the adoption of which 
by the house was merely a question of time, embraced two 
general propositions — opposition to the further prosecution of 
the war under present administration methods, recommending 
an armistice, the calling of a national convention to conclude 
terms of peace, and appointing commissioners to secure these 

The preamble to these resolutions, after denouncing the sus- 


pension of the writ of habeas corpus and the arrest of citizens not 
subject to military law, declared that "the attempted enforce- 
ment of compensated emancipation, the proposed taxation of the 
laboring white man to purchase the freedom and secure the ele- 
vation of the negro; the transportation of negroes into the State 
of Illinois in defiance of the repeatedly-expressed will of the 
people; the arrest and imprisonment of the representatives of 
a free and sovereign state; the dismemberment of the State of 
Virginia, erecting within her boundaries a new state, without 
the consent of her legislature, are, each and all, arbitrary and un- 
constitutional, a usurpation of the legislative functions, and a 
suspension of the judicial departments of the state and federal 
governments, subverting the constitution — state and federal — 
invading the reserved rights of the people and the sovereignty 
of the states, and, if sanctioned, destructive of the Union — 
establishing upon the common ruins of the liberties of the 
people and the sovereignty of the state a consolidated military 

The first resolution declared "that the war having been 
diverted from its first avowed object to that of subjugation and 
the abolition of slavery, a fraud, both legal and moral, had 
been perpetrated upon the brave sons of Illinois, who have so 
nobly gone forth to battle for the constitution and laws." 

The second resolution declared "that we believe the further 
prosecution of the present war can not result in the restoration 
of the Union and the preservation of the constitution as our 
fathers made it, unless the president's emancipation proclama- 
tion be withdrawn." 

The third resolution declared "that we are unalterably opposed 
to a severance of the Union." 

The fourth favored assembling a national convention "to so 
adjust our national difficulties, that the states may hereafter live 
together in harmony." 

The fiftfi memorialized congress, the administration at Wash- 
ington, and the executives and legislatures of the several states 
"to take such immediate action as shall secure an armistice, in 
which the rights and safety of the government shall be fully 
protected, for such length of time as may be necessary to en- 
able the people to meet in convention as aforesaid." 


The sixth provided for appointing commissioners to confer 
with congress and otherwise aid in securing the above results, 
as follows: Stephen T, Logan, Samuel S. Marshall, H, K. S. 
Omelveny, Wm. C. Goudy, Anthony Thornton, and John D. 
Caton, all of them, except the first named, being in sympathy 
with the sentiments expressed in the resolutions. 

No one not present at the time can imagine the bitterness, 
even ferocity of temper, with which these resolutions were dis- 
cussed. They absorbed the entire attention of the members to 
the exclusion of all regular business, until February 12, when 
they were adopted by the strictly party- vote of 52 to 28. 

The political program marked out by the majority included 
the taking of a recess from Feb. 14 to June 2, in order that 
the report of the peace commissioners, named in the foregoing 
resolution, might be, by that time, received and acted upon. 
The recess-resolution passed both houses, after repeated delays 
and the employment by the minority of all known parliamen- 
tary tactics; but the armistice-resolutions, owing to the death 
of Senator Rogers, failed to pass the senate. It was during 
this period of mental collision and fiery debate, that the ven- 
erable Isaac Funk, the sturdy, patriotic senator from McLean 
County, astonished the opposition in the senate by a speech as 
unlocked for as it was powerful and crushing in its expression 
of his own sentiments and those of the supporters of the 
administration generally. It was his first and only speech, 
but his plain, blunt words, spoken under intense excitement, 
proved at once the most startling and the most effective speech 
of the session. In vain did the presiding officer call for order, 
vain was all effort to check him. To restrain the enthusiasm 
of the public who filled the galleries was as impossible as to 
dam a mountain torrent, and to call the old man to order was 
as idle as to attempt to turn the raging whirlwind from its 
course. He spoke as follows: 

"J/r. Speaker: — I can sit in my chair no longer and see 
so much by-playing going on. These men are trifling with 
the best interests of the country. They should have asses' 
ears to set off their heads, or they are traitors and seces- 
sionists at heart in this senate. Their actions prove it. Their 
speeches prove it. Their gibes and laughter and cheers 


here nightly, when their speakers get up to denounce the war 
and the administration, prove it. I can sit here no longer and 
not tell these traitors what I think of them; and while so tell- 
ing them, I am responsible, myself, for what I say. I stand upon 
my own bottom. I am ready to meet any man on this floor in 
any manner, from a pin's point to the mouth of a cannon, upon 
this charge against these traitors. [Great applause from the 
gallery.] I am an old man of sixty-five. I came to Illinois a 
poor boy; I have a little something for myself and family. I 
pay $3000 a year in taxes. I am willing to pay $6000; aye 
$12,000! [Striking his desk a tremendous blow, sending the 
ink whirling in the air.] Aye, I am willing to pay my whole 
fortune, and then give my life to save my country from these 
traitors that are seeking to destroy it. 

''Mr. Speaker, you must excuse me; I could sit no longer in 
my seat and calmly listen to these traitors. My heart, that 
feels for my poor country, would not let me. My heart, that 
cries out for the lives of our brave volunteers in the field, that 
these traitors at home are destroying by thousands, would not 
let me. My heart, that bleeds for the widows and orphans at 
home, would not let me. Yes, these traitors and villains in the 
senate [striking the desk a blow with his clenched fist, that 
made the chamber resound] are kiUing my neighbors' boys, 
now fighting in the field. I dare to say this to these traitors 
right here, and I am responsible for what I say to any or all of 
them. [Cheers.] Let them come on now, right here. I am 
sixty-five years old, and I have made up my mind to risk my 
life right here, on this floor, for my country. [This announce- 
ment was received with great cheering. Here the crowd 
gathered around him — his seat being near the railing — to pro- 
tect him from violence, while many sympathetic eyes flashed 
defiance.] These men sneered at Col. Mack, a few days since. 
He is a small man, but I am a large man. I am ready to meet 
any of them in place of Col. Mack. I am large enough for 
any of them, and I hold myself ready for them now and at 
any time, [Cheering from the galleries.] 

''Mr. Speaker, these traitors on this floor should be provided 
with hempen collars. They deserve them. They deserve 
hanging, I say. [Raising his voice and striking the desk with 

SENATOR funk's SPEECH. 6/5 

great violence.] The country would be the better of swinging 
them up. I go for hanging them, and I dare to tell them so, 
right here, to their traitorous faces. Traitors should be hung. 
It would be the salvation of the country to hang them. For 
that reason I must rejoice at it. [Cheers.] 

"Mr. Speaker-, I must beg the pardon of the gentlemen in 
this senate who are not traitors, but true, loyal men, for what 
I have said. I only intend it and mean it for secessionists at 
heart. They are here in this senate. I see them gibe, and 
smirk, and grin at a true Union man. Must I defy them,!* I 
stand here ready for them and dare them to come on. [Cheer- 
ing,] What man, with the heart of a patriot, could stand this 
treason any longer.^ I have stood it long enough. I will 
stand it no longer. [Cheers.] I denounce these men and their 
aiders and abettors as rank traitors and secessionists. Hell 
itself could not spew out a more traitorous crew than some 
of the men that disgrace this legislature, this State, and this 
country. For myself, I protest against and denounce their 
treasonable acts. I have voted against their measures; I will 
do so to the end. I will denounce them as long as God gives 
me breath; and I am ready to meet the traitors themselves 
here or anywhere, and fight them to the death. [Prolonged 
cheers,] I said I paid $3000 a year taxes. I do not say it to 
brag of it. It is my duty, yes, Mr. Speaker, my privilege to 
do it. But some of these traitors here, who are working night 
and day to put some of their miserable httle bills and claims 
through the legislature, to take money out of the pockets of 
the people, are talking about high taxes. They are hypocrites 
as well as traitors. I heard some of them talking about high 
taxes in this way, who did not pay $5 to the support of the 
government. I denounce them as hypocrites as well as trai- 
tors. [Cheers.] 

"The reason they pretend to be afraid of high taxes is that 
they do not want to vote money for the relief of the soldiers. 
They want to embarrass the government and stop the war. 
They want to aid the secessionists to conquer our boys in the 
field. They care about high taxes! They are picayune men 
anyway, and never hope or expect to. This is the excuse of 
the traitors, [Cheers.] Mr. Speaker, excuse me, I feel for 


my country, in this, her hour of danger, from the tips of my 
toes to the ends of my hair. That is the reason I speak as I 
do. I can not help it. I am bound to tell these men to their 
teeth what they are, and what the people, the brave, loyal 
people, think of them. [Cheering, which the speaker vainly 
attempted to stop by rapping on his desk, but really aided, 
not unwillingly.] 

^^ Mr. Speaker, I have said my say. I am no speaker. This 
is the only speech I have ever made, and I do n't know that it 
deserves to be called a speech. But I could not sit still any 
longer and see these scoundrels and traitors work out their 
hellish schemes to destroy the Union. They have my senti- 
ments; let them one and all make the most of them. I am 
ready to back up all I say, and I repeat it, to meet these trai- 
tors in any manner they may choose, from a pin's point to 
the mouth of a cannon."* 

With a parting whack on his desk, the loyal old gentleman 
resumed his seat, amidst the wildest cheering and the clapping 
of hands. 

One of the first of the few laws passed at this session was 
that appropriating $io,ooo for the relief of Illinois volunteers 
wounded at Vicksburg and Murfreesborough. The commis- 
sioners appointed by the legislature — Lewis D. Erwin, Wm. 
W. Anderson, and Ezekiel Boyden — had distributed the amount 
where most needed, faithfully and efficiently. Those reached 
by this appropriation were but a few of the many needing 
like assistance. Accordingly, Gov. Yates made a most elo- 
quent appeal in a special message to the legislature, February 
2, for further aid, and urged the appointment of a state-agent 
for this purpose. General appropriation bills were introduced 
in both houses. In the senate -bill, numbered 202, was con- 
tained, among other items, an appropriation of $10,000 as a 
governor's contingent fund, and one of $50,000 to be partly 
disbursed in aid of sick and wounded soldiers. Another bill, 
numbered 203, contained the same provisions as No. 202, ex- 
cept these items. The democrats were in favor of bill 203 but 
opposed to bill 202. On the last day of the session, Feb. 14, 
these appropriation bills were called up in the house, together 

* Illinois Stale Journal, February 26, 1 863. 


with a house-bill "to provide for certain expenses not otherwise 
provided for by law," which was passed. Senate-bill number 
203 was then taken up, as appears by the record,* and also passed. 
The chief clerk, having been out of the chamber, returned when 
the roll was being called, and was told that he must make 
haste and report the passage of the bill to the senate as it was 
about to adjourn. He sat down and wrote his report, and 
immediately proceeded with it to the senate. But, as is alleged, 
bill 202 was, in some unexplained or unknown way, substituted 
for 203, and having been reported by the clerk as passed, was 
returned to the governor for his signature, and thus became a 
law. It was certainly a shrewd piece of legislative legerde- 
main, which no circumstances or public exigency could justify 
or excuse. A protest of forty members was entered upon the 
journal, in which it was stated that the bill which really passed 
was numbered 203, which had been twice read at length in the 
house and did not contain either of the obnoxious appropria- 
tions. The state treasurer having refused to pay out any 
money on this appropriation, the question of the validity of 
the act was brought before the supreme court, which decided 
that it had not been legally passed, and was, therefore, null 
and void. 

When the legislature adjourned on February 14, for the 
June recess, it was found that no laws of any public import- 
ance had been passed, and that, by reason of a providential 
interference in the senate, all proposed political measures, even, 
such as the congressional apportionment and the armistice- 
resolutions, had also failed. The proposed law to allow the 
soldiers to vote was defeated, and nearly all the war measures 
passed by the legislature of 1861, including "an act to^prepare 
the State of Illinois to protect its own territory against inva- 
sion, and render efficient and prompt assistance to the United 
States if demanded," were repealed. 

The passage of the peace-resolutions in the house was as 
much a surprise to the people of the State generally, as they 
were uncalled for. The members had been elected on no issue 
calling for any such pronounced opinions; no considerable 
portion of their constituents had demanded any expression 

* House Journal, 637. 


of sentiment whatever on that subject. It was a rare spectacle, 
the legislative machinery of the State falling unexpectedly into 
the hands of representatives, mostly young and inexperienced 
in public affairs, who, in a period of profound national soHcitude, 
permitted the supposed exigencies of party success to have 
higher claims upon their action than the needs of their country 
when in the throes of an armed revolution. The object was so 
to manufacture public opinion as to place the administrations 
of Lincoln and Yates in the wrong before the people, and thus 
secure control of public affairs in the State and Nation. And 
while they antagonized all war measures they were careful to 
eulogize the soldiers in the field, and sought to persuade them 
that they were their truest friends. 

The proposed armistice, with its correlative national conven- 
tion, was palpably impracticable. Its suggestion contemplated 
a change of mind on the part of the president and congress, 
and in the executives of the states, of which they had given 
no evidence, and a departure from a policy of whose wisdom 
they were fully convinced. Nearly every northern governor 
had pronounced in favor of emancipation, and although the 
opposition thereto had been more pronounced than the presi- 
dent had anticipated, time had served only to deepen and 
strengthen his conviction of the wisdom and necessity of such 
a policy. 

Assuming, however, that the peace-measures of the twenty- 
third general assembly had been the outgrowth of a well-de- 
fined and clearly - expressed public opinion and had been 
entirely practicable, does any one believe that in the then condi- 
tion of affairs, with Vicksburg still in the hands of the seces- 
sionists and Gettysburg not yet fought, any peace could have 
been concluded other than on such terms as the South might 
have seen fit to dictate .-* What these would have been can 
only be inferred from the unbending attitude of her leading 
men. We know certainly that they would not have abandoned 
their "peculiar institution" of slavery, and would have proba- 
bly insisted upon other conditions, such as a guarantee of the 
right of secession, as destructive to the Union as they would 
have been disgraceful and humiliating to the North. Indeed, 
as indicating the trend of public sentiment in the South at 


this time in view of the supposed growth of pubHc sentiment 
in the North in favor of peace, it may be called to mind that 
Henry S. Foote of Mississippi introduced a series of resolu- 
tions in the confederate congress in January, 1863, in which, 
while a willingness was professed to make peace with one or 
more northern states, it was expressly declared that the gov- 
ernment at Richmond would form no commercial treaty with 
the New-England States "with whose people, and in whose 
ignoble love of gold and brutifying fanaticism, this disgraceful 
war has mainly originated." 

Moreover, as the war progressed, the people of either sec- 
tion had become but the more firmly convinced of the right- 
eousness of their own cause and of the possibility of ulti- 
mate success. Victory had encouraged confidence and defeat 
had strengthened determination. To have suspended hos- 
tilities during the pendency of peace-negotiations at this junc- 
ture, could have had practically but one result. Both sides 
would have secured a "breathing spell," always most advan- 
tageous to the weaker contestant; and an opportunity would 
have been afforded each to strengthen its armies in the field, 
thus indefinitely prolonging the struggle beyond the period of 
its actual duration, at an added cost of blood and treasure, the 
amount of which it would be hard to estimate. Nor is it un- 
likely that the proposing or granting an armistice by the North 
would have been construed by foreign governments as an admis- 
sion of wavering purpose, if not of actual weakness, which 
might easily have been made the pretext, not unhoped for, for a 
recognition of the confederacy, thus furnishing moral and 
material aid to the rebellion, the value of which can not be 

As a matter of fact, it is more than doubtful whether the 
originators of the armistice - convention scheme themselves 
believed that there was the slightest probability of its being 
adopted. Their aim was to antagonize what was in many 
respects an unpopular policy, with one to which they might 
afterward point, in event of the failure of the government in 
the conduct of the war, and claim that, had it been followed, 
other and more favorable results would have been achieved. 

The effect of the passage of the pacification resolutions upon 


the people of the State and the soldiers in the field became 
apparent before the legislature adjourned, and was still more 
palpable thereafter. Meetings were held in various portions of 
the State in which men of all classes united in denouncing the 
action of the legislature in strong terms. As a specimen of the 
resolutions adopted, the following by the Douglas Club at 
Vienna, may be given: "Resolved, that as citizens of Illinois and 
as democrats, we are in favor of the continued and vigorous 
prosecution of the war until the supremacy of the constitution 
is acknowledged in every state in the Union. That we are in 
favor of the administration using every constitutional means 
for the purpose of crushing the rebellion and restoring the 
Union. That the errors of the administration, while they 
should not be adopted by the people, form no excuse for any 
loyal citizen to withhold his support from the government. 
We are inflexibly opposed to the secession heresy of a north- 
western confederacy, and will resist it with our lives, our fort- 
unes, and our sacred honor." 

At a Union meeting at Alton, February 13, resolutions of a 
more radical tendency were adopted, as follows: "That we 
approve the president's proclamation, and will maintain it 
against its northern defamers, who predict failure because the 
wish is father to the thought. That the efforts made by the 
heretofore disguised but now open enemies of the country, to 
call a convention at Louisville, Ky., for rebels north to treat 
with rebels south, be spurned by all honest men,- as those of 
the vilest and most treasonable enemy." 

The response from the army was still more emphatic. Illinois 
regiments, wherever situated, were called together, and with 
singular unanimity expressed themselves, either through their 
officers, or by the combined action of officers and men; in some 
instances polls were opened, the better to permit the men to ex- 
press their feelings, and the papers of the State were flooded with 
their resolutions. A quotation from some of these will indicate 
to the reader in what estimation these peace efforts were held 
by the boys in blue. "Resolved, that the Sixty-second Illinois 
infantry will follow the flag that waved over the battles of our 
fathers, wherever it may go, whether it be in the many fields of 
the South, or against the miscreants, vile and perjured abettors 


of the North; and for the honor of that banner we pledge our 
lives, our property, and our sacred honor." 

"Resolved, that we view with abhorrence the conduct of those 
holding office in our county and district, who, by their speeches, 
writings, votes, and influence, are endeavoring to force a de- 
grading peace policy upon the government, and that we see 
nothing in the present situation of affairs to indicate the neces- 
sity of an armistice, and that we regard the proposition to 
enter into such an arrangement as in the highest degree treach- 
erous, dishonorable, and cowardly."* 

Gen. John A. Logan, in an address to the 17th army corps 
in February, 1863, alluded thus pointedly to the "falsification 
of public sentiment at home: "I am aware that influence of 
the most treasonable and discouraging character, well calculated 
and designed to render you dissatisfied, have recently been 
brought to bear upon some of you by professed friends. News- 
papers containing treasonable articles, artfully falsifying public 
sentiment at your homes, have been circulated in your camps. 
Intriguing political tricksters, demagogues, and time-servers, 
whose corrupt deeds are but a faint reflex of their corrupt 
hearts, seem determined to drive our people on to anarchy and 
destruction. They have hoped, by magnifying the reverses of 
our army, basely misrepresenting the conduct of our soldiers in 
the field, and boldly denouncing the acts of the constituted 
authorities of the government as unconstitutional usurpation, 
to produce general demoralization in the army, and thereby 
reap their reward,- weaken the cause we have espoused, and aid 
those arch-traitors of the South to dismember our mighty 
republic and trail in the dust the emblem of our national unity, 
greatness and glory." Letters equally condemnatory of the 
armistice-convention policy were written by Gens. McClernand, 
Haynie, Brayman, Carlin, and many other democratic officers 
from Illinois. 

Here and there a disappointed soldier would write home 
commending the action of the legislature, but the sentiment of 
mine-tenths of the volunteers from Illinois was identical with 
that expressed in the foregoing resolutions. 

The general assembly came together again, in accordance 

* Resolutions Company D, i6th Illinois Infantry. 



with the resolution of adjournment, on June 2, and while that 
body had no peace commissioners to hear from, as had been 
expected when the recess-resolution was adopted, the anti-war 
majority found themselves confronted by a public opinion, 
voiced by their constituents and by the men at the front, which 
was anything but complimentary to their political prescience in 
supporting the peace-resolutions. The latter's passage was not 
again urged in the senate, but a milder form of expression of 
opposition to the war and dissent from the administration was 
found in the introduction of resolutions denouncing the sup- 
pression, by Gen. Burnside of the Chicago Times, as "a direct 
violation of the constitution of the United States and of this 
State, and destructive of those God -given principles whose 
existence and recognition, for centuries before written constitu- 
tions were, have made them as much a part of our rights as the 
air we breathe or the life which sustains us." 

Resolutions were also passed tendering the thanks of the 
people of the State "to all the gallant sons of Illinois, who, by 
their indomitable bravery and noble daring [at Vicksburg], 
have inscribed the name of Illinois high upon the roll of fame." 

Bills were introduced into both houses, on the first day of 
the session, appropriating $100,000 for the relief of sick and 
wounded soldiers, to be distributed by commissioners designated 
— John T. Stuart, Charles H. Lanphier, and Wm. A. Turney — 
all well-known and respected citizens but opposed to the war 
measures of the administration. A difference of opinion at 
once arose between the two houses in regard to the composi- 
tion of the commission. 

In the meantime, it had come to be the decided opinion of 
the governor and the other state-officers that the State and 
country would receive a greater benefit from the adjournment 
of this legislature than from the passage of any measure in 
favor of the soldiers or of the prosecution of the war which 
might be extorted from their reluctant action. Accordingly, 
on June 4, Senator Bushnell introduced a resolution to adjourn 
sine die on June 10, the consideration of which was postponed 
until the 8th. On that day the resolution was taken up and on 
motion of Mr. Vandeveer was amended by inserting in place 
of the loth, "six o'clock this day," which motion prevailed by a 


vote of 14 to 7. The resolution was sent to the house and 
there amended by inserting June 22, as the day for final ad- 
journment, and being returned to the senate that body refused 
to concur in the amendment by a vote of 12 to 11. There 
followed an ominous pause. The house adjourned over to the 
loth. The senate met as usual the next day but transacted 
little business. There was a marked feeling of uneasiness and 
a latent suspicion that something was going to happen, although 
no one could tell what. Rumors of threatened executive inter- 
ference filled the air. The democratic members of the house 
went into caucus to consider the situation. 

The morning of the loth came, and republicans and demo- 
crats alike were in their seats in the house at nine o'clock. 
The democrats were grouped in little knots with anxious faces, 
discussing in low tones the grave conjuncture of circumstances 
by which they were confronted; while the few republicans 
present — only sixteen — were serious and watchful. 

A conference committee was appointed to meet with a like 
committee from the senate on the bill for the relief of Illinois 

Mr. Lawrence of Boone moved to dispense with the regular 
order and take up the bill providing for the ordinary and con- 
tingent expenses of the state government, which, on motion of 
Mr. Fuller of Cook, was laid on the table. There was appar- 
ently no immediate prospect of the passage of this or the relief 
bill. At noon, the governor's private secretary was announced 
by the door-keeper, and without recognition from the chair — 
occupied temporarily by Mr. Burr; — proceeded to read, some- 
what hurriedly, but in a clear, loud voice, a proclamation from 
the governor* adjourning the twenty-third general assembly to 

* Message — To the General Assembly oj the State of Illinois: — Whereas on the 8th 
day of June, 1863, the senate adopted a joint-resolution to adjourn sine die, on said 
day at 6 o'clock, p.m., which resolution, on being submitted to the house of repre- 
sentatives, was by them amended, by substituting the 22nd day of June, at 12 o'clock, 
in which amendment the senate thereupon refused to concur; and whereas the consti- 
tution of this State contains the following provision, to -wit: 

"Sec. 13, Art. 4. In case of a disagreement between the two houses with respect 
to the time of adjournment, the governor shall have power to adjourn the general 
assembly to such time as he thinks proper, provided it be not to a period beyond the 
next constitutional meeting of the same." 

And whereas I believe that the interests of the people of the State will be best 


the Saturday next preceeding the first Monday in January, 1865. 
Before the opposition, looking up from their desks and papers, 
fairly comprehended what had occurred, they found themselves 
functus officio. 

The utmost confusion followed. The republican members at 
once retired. An informal recess was taken, but upon calling 
the roll subsequently 47 members failed to respond to their 

In the senate, Lieut.-Gov. Hoffman read the governor's mes- 
sage proroguing the general assembly, and immediately there- 
after declared the senate adjourned and left the chamber. Mr. 
Underwood was called to the chair, but only eight senators 
answered to their names. The governor's fiat had been as 
effectually executed as was Cromwell's order dissolving the 
long parliament, two hundred years before; and it was urged by 
many of his friends that he would have been justified in adding 
to the statement of his reasons for his action the well-known 
address of the great protector on a like occasion, as follows: 
"But now, I say, your time hath come. The Lord hath dis- 
owned you. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob hath done 
with you. He hath no need of you any more; so He hath 
judged you and cast you forth, and chosen fitter instruments to 
execute that work in which you have dishonored Him." 

The majority at once took the ground that the action of the 
governor was illegal, and after preparing a long protest, which 
was entered upon the house-journal, although the governor's 
message was not permitted so to appear, continued to meet for 
several days. A joint- resolution was adopted inviting the 
republicans to return and make a quorum and aid in passing 
the soldiers'-relief bill, but to this invitation no attention was 
paid. On June 24, the governor was waited upon by a joint- 
subserved by a speedy adjournment, the past history of the assembly holding out no 
reasonable hope of beneficial results to the citizens of the State, or any in the field, 
from its further continuance; 

Now, therefore, in consideration of the existing disagreement between the two 
houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, and by virtue of the power vested 
in me by the constitution as aforesaid, I, Richard Yates, governor of the State of 
Illinois, do hereby adjourn the general assembly now in session, to the Saturday next 
preceding the first Monday in January, A.D. 1865. 

Given at Springfield, this 10th day of June, A.U. 1863. 

Richard Yates, Governor. 

peace-advocates' fortunes. 685 

committee, and asked if he had any further communications to 
lay before the legislature, to which he replied that he did not 
recognize their legal existence. Both houses then adjourned to 
the Tuesday after the first Monday in January, 1864. But 
before that time, the question having been raised in the supreme 
court, the legality and validity of the governor's action in the 
premises was fully sustained. 

Although the course of the leaders of this general assembly 
was at the time, and has since been, so severely criticised, they 
did not after all misjudge the temper and feelings of their local 
constituencies, nor were they altogether mistaken in their esti- 
mate of tne political changes which the "whirligig of time" 
might bring about in their favor. Albert G. Burr was there- 
after twice elected to congress and twice to a seat on the circuit- 
court bench. Scott Wike was returned as a member of the 
twenty-fourth general assembly, was elected to congress in 1874, 
and is now (1889) a member of that body. James M. Epler 
represented his district in the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh 
senates. Simeon P. Shope was twice elected judge of his cir- 
cuit and is now one of the justices of the supreme court. Mel- 
ville W. Fuller, after twenty years of official inactivity, other 
than that involved in attendance as a delegate upon democratic 
national conventions, now occupies the seat once filled by John 
Marshall, as chief-justice of the supreme court of the United 


State of Parties— The Northwestern Conspiracy — Threat- 
ened Attacks upon Camp Douglas and Chicago — 
The Political Campaigns of 1864— Party Platforms — 
Results — Progress of the War — Internal Progress — 
State -Debt. 

POLITICAL parties had been affected by the events of the 
war and the action of the legislature to such an extent 
that their lines had been materially readjusted. Neither did all 
the republicans heartily support the administration of Lincoln, 
nor were all the democrats opposed to it. While the former 
were unitedly in favor of the war, a respectable minority were 
of opinion that the failure to bring it to a successful termi- 
nation had been owing to mismanagement, in not selecting 
the best means, men, and measures. 

The war-democrats, who supported the administration, were 
but few in number but strong in influence. The great body 
of the party was composed of those who adhered to its organ- 
ization principally for the purpose of accomplishing political 
results. While they negatively disapproved of the methods and 
measures of the administration, they were opposed to the 
doctrine of secession and the attempt to sever the Union by 
the sword. They were in favor of sustaining the soldiers in 
the field, of suppressing the rebellion, and of restoring the 
Union as it was. They would neither encourage desertions 
nor countenance resistance to the draft. Their friends and 
relatives formed a part of the Union army, whose defeat would 
not only prolong the struggle but at the same time increase 
the chances of dismembering the Union, a result which they 
would have heartily deplored. 

But the democratic party embraced also another element, 
which sympathized with the Southern States in their efforts 
to establish a separate government. This faction not only 
opposed the policy of emancipation, but would rather have seen 
the success of the South than the restoration of the Union 



without slavery. In the event of the triumph of the secession- 
ists, they would have preferred a still farther division of the 
Union and the separate organization of the Northwestern 
States, rather than remain in a federation which included New 
England. This element, during the first year of the war, con- 
tented itself with passive opposition to the government, but 
as time wore on, it became more outspoken and even demon- 
strative in its efforts until finally, as will be seen, it took a bold 
and resolute stand against the war and in favor of compromise 
and peace. It was stronger in the personnel of its influential 
leaders than at the polls, and succeeded in drawing to its quasi- 
support many of those who were not at heart in sympathy 
with the extreme views of its master spirits. 

The leaders of the democratic party in this State, with the 
exception of a few in the northern portion, had been born and 
raised in the slave-states and had a strong bias in favor of the 
"peculiar institution," and a detestation of abolitionists still 
stronger; and it must be admitted that nine-tenths of these 
leaders, who remained at home from the war and to whom 
the rank and file of the party looked for advice and guidance, 
were at this time endeavoring to shape the policy of their 
party in favor of peace at almost any price. 

Before the final dispersion of the legislature, and while the 
opposition members were endeavoring to prolong its question- 
able existence, there was held at Springfield, June 17, 1863, in 
pursuance of a call issued by the democratic state central com- 
mittee, a mass convention of those opposed to the administra- 
tion, which in numbers — estimated at 40,000, respectability, 
enthusiasm, and unanimity of views and purpose, was perhaps 
the most remarkable gathering of its kind ever held in the 
State. Senator William A. Richardson presided, supported 
by the following vice-presidents: Charles A. Constable, Peter 
Sweat, Aaron Shaw, Orlando B. Ficklin, William F. Thornton, 
J. W. Merritt, H. M. Vandeveer, B. F. Prettyman, Charles D. 
Hodges, Virgil Hickox, James E. Ewing, Edmund Dick Tay- 
lor, J. P. Rogers, David A. Gage, John Cunningham, Benjamin 
S. Edwards, S. S.Taylor, C. L. Higbee, R.T.. Merrick, Samuel 
S. Hayes, Cyrus Epler, John D. Wood, Saml. A. Buckmaster, 
J. M. Epler, W. A. J. Sparks, James L. D. Morrison, James C. 


Robinson, Francis C. Sherman, C. A. Walker, Dr. N. S Davis, 
and others. The principal speakers were Messrs. Richardson, 
S. S. Marshall, J. R. Eden, J. C. Allen, J. C. Robinson, T. E. 
Merritt, W. M. Springer, and ex-Gov. John Reynolds from this 
State, D. W. Voorhees from Indiana, and S. S. Cox from Ohio. 

The resolutions adopted declared in favor of the supremacy 
of the constitution of the United States in times of war as 
well as in peace; they arraigned the administration for violat- 
ing the bill of rights; condemned the arrest and banishment 
of C. L. Vallandigham, demanding his restoration; denounced 
the arrest of Judge Constable and W. H. Carlin; condemned 
the suppression of the Chicago Times; favored the freedom of 
elections; affirmed the doctrine of state sovereignty; opposed 
martial law; and stigmatized the late proroguing of the legis- 
lature by Gov. Yates as an act of usurpation. 

The twenty- third resolution was as follows: "Resolved, that 
the further offensive prosecution of this war tends to subvert 
the constitution and the government, and entail upon this 
Nation all the disastrous consequences of misrule and anarchy. 
That we are in favor of peace upon the basis of a restoration 
of the Union, and for the accomplishment of which we propose 
a national convention to settle upon terms of peace, which 
shall have in view the restoration of the Union as it was, and 
the securing, by constitutional amendments, such rights to the 
several states and the people thereof as honor and justice 

The twenty-fourth resolution denied that the democratic 
party was wanting in sympathy for the soldiers in the field, 
and earnestly requested "the president of the United States 
to withdraw the proclamation of emancipation, and permit 
the brave sons of Illinois to fight only for the "Union, the 
constitution, and the enforcement of the laws." 

As an evidence of the sincerity of their declarations in favor 
of the soldiers, they raised at the meeting, by subscription and 
pledges, $47,000 to be used in aid of the sick and wounded 
Illinois volunteers. Col. W. R. Morrison being appointed to 
superintend its distribution. 

On September 3, a Union mass meeting was held in Spring- 
field, attended by an immense concourse of people from all 


portions of the State and representing all shades of political 
opinion opposed to a peace-policy. Speeches were made from 
five different stands by Gov. Henry S. Lane of Indiana, Judge 
J. R. Doolittle of Wisconsin, Senator Zachary Chandler of Mich- 
igan, and Gov. Yates, Gens. John A. McClernand, Haynie, and 
Prentiss, and many others from this State. The letter from 
President Lincoln to Hon. James C. Conkling, defending the 
emancipation proclamation, which has since been so often re- 
ferred to, was first made public at this meeting. This assem- 
blage was regarded as a highly successful demonstration, full of 
encouragement to the soldiers and the cause of the Union. 

There was no general election in 1863, but the returns for 
county and township officers showed heavy Union gains 
throughout the State. 

All through the Northwest, however, there existed, during 
the entire period of the war, an element of considerable nu- 
merical strength, which, while openly avowing only its anxiety 
for peace, was in fact disloyal in sentiment and reactionary in 
its aims. In order the more sedulously to foster this sentiment 
and more effectually to accomplish purposes which they did 
not dare to confide to the public at large, the leaders perceived 
the necessity for organization. Accordingly, secret societies, 
variously known as Circles of Honor and Mutual Protection 
Societies, were formed in those states where this treasonable 
element existed in any strength, and notably in Kentucky, 
Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Actuated by a common 
purpose, these separate associations soon amalgamated into one 
general organization known as the Knights of the Golden 
Circle, whose objects were political rather than military. This 
order formed a rallying point for many of the disaffected and 
for all southern sympathizers, but it had no active policy 
beyond discouraging enlistments and influencing elections. 
As compared with the guasi-secret but unwaveringly loyal 
organization — the Union League — -which it opposed, it was 
insignificant in respect of both number? and influence. 

Owing to the partial exposure of its secrets, it ceased to 
exist, being succeeded, in the summer of 1863, by the Order 
of American Knights, whose purposes were somewhat more 
aggressive; and after the latter's methods were revealed, still 


another reorganization was found necessary, and the Knights of 
the Order of the Sons of Liberty became the residuary legatee 
of its amended ritual and took up the prosecution of its nefari- 
ous designs. 

This new order came into existence in Indiana and soon 
spread over the Northwest. Its organization was more perfect, 
its scope broader, its attitude more defiant, and its methods 
bolder than those of any of its predecessors. The sovereign 
power of the body was vested in a supreme council, whose 
officers were a supreme commander, secretary of state, and 
treasurer. Each state had its deputy grand commander, sec- 
retary, and treasurer, and each military district its major- 
general. County lodges were known as temples. 

The most significant feature of this order was its pseudo- 
military character, which was relied upon to give it its greatest 
strength. It was virtually an organized, officered army. The 
supreme commander was commander-in-chief, while each 
deputy grand commander was at the head of all divisions in 
his own state. Subordinate to these were major- and brigadier- 
generals, colonels, and captains. In Illinois, the members in 
each congressional district constituted a brigade, and those in 
a county, if sufficiently numerous, formed a regiment 

The ritual provided for three degrees — the temple, grand 
and supreme councils; and the candidate for promotion was 
required at each step to furnish additional proof of trust- 
worthiness before assuming graver responsibilities and being 
entrusted with more important secrets. Initiation into each 
of the higher degrees involved the taking of a new oath, each 
more solemn in its terms and more stringent in its penalties 
than the one which preceded it; and the obligations thus taken 
were to be held paramount, surpassing in binding force any 
oath administered by a court of justice and of higher sanctity 
than the oath of allegiance itself 

The fundamental doctrines of the order, as laid down in its 
constitution, may be thus summarized: that human slavery 
should be maintained; that the Union is a mere compact and 
that the federal government has no right to attempt to coerce 
a sovereign state; that any attempt on the part of the United 
States to exercise powers not delegated is a usurpation and 


should be resisted as such; that a refusal or failure of the 
national executive to administer the government in accordance 
with the letter of the constitution renders it the solemn duty 
of the people to exercise their inherent right of an appeal to 

To the support of these principles the "knights" were sworn, 
promising that "our swords shall be unsheathed whenever the 
great principles which we aim to inculcate and have sworn to 
maintain and defend are assailed;" and "that I will at all 
times, if needs be, take up arms in the cause of the oppressed, 
in my own country first of all, against any power or govern- 
ment usurped, which may be found in arms and waging war 
against a people or peoples who are endeavoring to establish, 
or have inaugurated a government for themselves of their own 
free choice." They also promised, "in furtherance of this design, 
at all times to implicitly obey, without remonstrance or ques- 
tion, all rightful commands of the constituted authority of the 

It will be observed that the declaration of principles out- 
lined above does not in specific terms avow the intention to 
give aid and comfort to the seceded states; but the conduct 
of the members of the order clearly showed that it was their 
purpose to accomplish this result by what might be called 
indirect means. The methods chosen may be grouped under 
five distinct heads: i. Discouraging enlistments and resisting 
any proposed draft. 2. Conniving at desertions and protect- 
ing deserters. 3. Circulating disloyal and treasonable publica- 
tions. 4. Communicating and acting in concert with the enemy 
in the destruction of government property. 5. Cooperating 
with the enemy in raids, invasions, and the freeing of rebel 
prisoners of war. 

At the head of the order, through all its shifting phases, 
was Clement L. Vallandigham, who, after his banishment from 
the Union lines in 1863, visited Richmond, where he held 
repeated conferences with Jefferson Davis and other high 
officers of the rebel government. A comparison of the word- 
ing of the declaration of principles of the Sons of Liberty 
and the language employed by Davis, not only in his messages 
but also, and more particularly, in his "Rise and Fall of the 


Confederate Government," can not fail to disclose a similarity 
of expression which sometimes approaches identity, forcing 
upon the mind of the reader the conviction that the source 
and inspiration of both were the same. 

It is but just to say, that the membership of the society 
included thousands who were ignorant of the real ulterior pur- 
poses of the leaders, being induced to connect themselves with 
it through the endorsement of the order by so many represen- 
tative party-leaders. Among the rank and file were many 
who, while honestly opposed to the further prosecution of the 
war, were willing to affiliate themselves with a secret organiza- 
tion for the accomplishment of political ends, but would have 
discountenanced overt, armed hostility to the government. And, 
as a matter of fact, political results were the only ones achieved, 
the attainment of military success being found impossible by 
the leaders of the order since "it could not be handled like an 

According to Vallandigham, the numerical strength of this 
organization, in 1864, was 300,000, of which 85,000 were in 
Illinois, 50,000 in Indiana, and 110,000 in Ohio. 

The first arrest made in Illinois was in March, 1863, when 
Judge C. H. Constable was taken into custody while holding 
court in Coles County, because of his release of four deserters 
and holding to bail for kidnapping the two Union officers who 
arrested them. He was subsequently discharged after a hear- 
ing before United-States District-Judge Samuel H. Treat. The 
work of the Sons of Liberty now became apparent. Other 
arrests at Springfield followed of persons alleged to be in 
sympathy with the rebellion or in treasonable correspondence 
with its agents. Forcible resistance was offered to Union 
officers, secret camps formed, frequent assaults and even occa- 
sional murders committed, and armed raids successfully ex- 
ecuted in various counties, especially in those of Union, 
Williamson, Richland, Clark, Coles, Fayette, Montgomery, 
Green, Scott, Pike, Fulton, and Tazewell. Collisions between 
the soldiers and citizens were of not infrequent occurence, the 
most sanguinary being that at Charleston, March 22, when 
four soldiers and three citizens were killed outright and eight 
wounded. Raids were made upon Jacksonville, Winchester, 


Manchester, Greenville, and Vandalia, while incursions from 
rebel bushwhackers under the protection of the Sons of 
Liberty were common in Calhoun, Scott, Pike, Hancock, and 
Adams counties. 

A company of United-States troops sent into Scott and 
Greene counties did good service in preventing other and more 
formidable raids, and aided in breaking up camps and dispers- 
ing the would-be raiders. 

In the spring of 1864, such had been the progress made by 
the peace-party in the Northwest that Jefferson Davis con- 
cluded that the time had come to avail himself of the cooper- 
ation which the organization of the Sons of Liberty might 
afford. "The aspect of the peace-party," he says, *"was quite 
encouraging." A commission composed of Jacob Thompson, 
C. C, Clay, and J. P. Holcombe was appointed to meet in 
Canada to negotiate for peace and to make judicious use of 
any political opportunity that might be presented. The com- 
mission had repeated interviews at Windsor, Canada, with 
Vallandigham, and other "Sons" from Illinois and Indiana, as 
the result of which Thompson, in his letter of August, 
1864, to Mason and Slidell, says, that he was directed "to 
utilize the prejudices existing against the conduct of the war, 
for the advancement of the interests of the confederate states." 
Through the active cooperation of the Sons of Liberty in 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, he proposed "to take possession of 
the present organized governments of these three states and 
organize provisional governments for the purpose of establish- 
ing a Northwestern confederacy." He remarked farther: "In 
order to arouse the people, political meetings, called 'peace- 
meetings,' have been held and inflammatory addresses delivered, 
and whenever orators have expressed themselves for peace with 
a restoration of the Union, and if that can not be, then for 
peace on any terms, the cheers and clamor of the masses have 
known no bounds." This program was fully carried out, so 
far as the leaders were concerned, at Peoria and Springfield, 
where speeches advocating peace and compromise were made 
to enthusiastic crowds. 

In order to conduct the military operations which formed 

•"Rise and Fall," II, 611. 


a part of the scheme, in connection with the peace-efforts of 
the commissioners, Capt. T. Henry Hines, Confederate States 
of America, formerly of Morgan's command, was, in March, 
1864, directed to proceed to Canada through the United 
States, conferring with any who were advocates of peace; 
and was further authorized to employ such soldiers as he 
might collect in "effecting any fair and appropriate enter- 
prise of war," by which was particularly meant the release of 
the rebel prisoners at Chicago, Rock Island, and other points. 
He was to report to Commissioner Thompson, in the further- 
ance of whose plans he was to cooperate. After viewing the 
situation, it was agreed that the Sons of Liberty were to be 
encouraged to an armed resistance of the draft in July. To 
this end, Thompson offered material aid in the form of money 
and arms. Vallandigham returned to Ohio in June and under 
his leadership, July 20 was fixed upon as the date for an armed 
uprising against the general government. The want of a 
thorough understanding, which prevented concert of action, 
and more especially the lack of military discipline, compelled 
the postponement of the time for action to the month of August. 

Both Thompson and Hines labored intelligently and inde- 
fatigably, each in the particular line assigned him. Thompson 
devoted his energies chiefly to the "peace-party" and to mis- 
sionary work among the "weak-kneed" members of the Sons 
of Liberty, whose preference was for ballots rather than bullets 
as the means for effecting political changes. His chief agencies 
were the free circulation of incendiary rebel literature and a 
lavish use of money, of which, both he and Hines had an abun- 
dant supply. A considerable portion of the latter came from 
New-York City, $30,000 being sent at one time. Candidates for 
office received liberal pecuniary assistance upon the assurance 
that if elected they would faithfully execute a prescribed policy. 
It was not always deemed expedient to inform the recipient as 
to the source from which the funds were derived. In such a 
case, however, the candidate was required to bind himself by a 
written stipulation to carry out the measures indicated. 

A certain candidate for governor in one of the Western 
States, in order to be assured of the necessary financial assis- 
tance, was required to write a letter stating that, if he was 


elected, state sovereignty should be maintained in his state, 
the laws regarding arrests enforced, even by calling out the 
militia if necessary, and that in organizing the militia "he 
would be happy to avail himself of the council and aid of the 
executive committee of the peace-party of the state."* A 
large sum of money, says Hines, was distributed in the West- 
ern States in this way. 

It is a fact worthy of note, in this connection, that it was 
found necessary to distribute less literature throughout Illinois 
than Missouri, the opposition press of this State furnishing 
precisely the sort of material desired, and in abundant quan- 

Capt. Hines met with considerable success. He conferred 
with leading Southern sympathizers throughout the North- 
west and for a time made Chicago his headquarters. He dis- 
tributed money and himself superintended the purchase of 
arms. His selection of agents, however, was not always for- 
tunate, he having lost $5000 through a reverend gentleman 
from Logan County, who reported that his funds had been 
taken from him upon his arrest while en route to Cincinnati, 
although he himself had contrived to escape! 

The number and distribution of rebel prisoners of war in 
Illinois in August — during which month, it will be remembered, 
the attempt to effect their release was to be made — were: at 
Chicago, 8000; Springfield, 7554; Rock Island, about 6000; 
and Alton, about 5000. 

One feature of the program was an attack on Chicago from 
the lake, and Capt. John B. Castleman was associated with 
Capt. Hines to carry out "an expedition against the United- 
States prisons in the Northwestern States, and such other ser- 
vice as you and he have verbally been instructed about."-f- 

August 29, 1864, the day of the assembling of the national 
democratic convention, was also the date finally determined 
upon for the execution of the plot. The reason for the selec- 
tion of this particular occasion was undoubtedly the fact that 
in the numerous throng which always flocks to a national con- 
vention, the presence of the large number of the Sons of 

* T. H. Hines in "Southern Bivouac," II, 568. 

+ Thompson to Hines — "Southern Bivouac," II, 209. 


Liberty, who were expected to come from other points to par- 
ticipate in the attack, would not excite comment. The 
prisoners at Camp Douglas, who were guarded by only 900 
troops, were to be set at liberty by the combined effort of the 
4000 knights in Chicago, the immense visiting contingent of 
the order expected, and a horde of Canadian refugees. 

With the ranks of the malcontents thus augmented by the 
prisoners set at liberty at Chicago, an army would have been 
placed at the command of the conspirators which, if some- 
what motley as regarded its elements, would have certainly 
been of no mean proportions; and the 15,000 to 20,000 men 
thus gathered would have formed but the nucleus of a still 
more formidable host, reinforced as it was to have been by 
rebel prisoners released from the prison camps at Rock Island, 
Springfield, and Alton, and by the more timorous "knights," 
whose flagging courage might be revived by such an imposing 
demonstration. These accessions would, it was thought, swell 
the numbers of the insurgent horde to 50,000, certainly a for- 
midable body of men, when it is remembered that there was 
no available force to oppose their march of devastation, the 
effective soldiery of the State having gone to distant fields. 

The confederates — not all of whom, as Capt. Hines remarks, 
were "mere adventurers" — were on the ground, ready, even 
eager, for action; neither arms, supplies, nor money were want- 
ing; the time was auspicious. "Among the crowd," says the 
same chronicler, "were many of the county officers of the 
secret organization on whom we relied for assistance — men 
well known in their localities." "Every thing was arranged for 
prompt action, and for the concentration and organization" of 
the assembled "Sons" and rebel soldiers. 

In the meantime, cautious and secret as were the conspira- 
tors they had been unable to complete their arrangements 
entirely in the dark. Their designs had been to some extent 
discovered by the watchful eyes of loyal citizens and officers, 
who had communicated their suspicions to Brig.-Gen. Benj. J. 
Sweet in command of Camp Douglas. He immediately tele- 
graphed for reinforcements, and a regiment of infantry and 
a battery, numbering in all over 1200 men, were sent to his 
assistance. The guards were increased and details of troops 
posted at various points, as a precaution against surprise. 


No attack was made, and the failure of the plot is thus 
accounted for by Capt. Hines: "* * It soon developed that 
the men employed for gathering the members of the order 
had not faithfully performed their duties, and that the prepar- 
ation for immediate and open hostility to the administration 
had destroyed the confidence or dissipated the courage of some 
of the men whose leadership was necessary. This criticism, 
however, can not be applied to all, for many of these North- 
western men were men of nerve and pupose, who had con- 
sidered well the whole subject, and were prepared to dare 
anything with the hope of successfully resisting further 
encroachment of the administration. From reports made at 
this meeting, it did not appear that the notice to move county 
organizations had been properly given, or that sufficient pre- 
paration had been made, and it was evident that even the men 
who had come to Chicago were not kept in hand so as to be 
promptly available in organization. It was shown that such 
counties as were represented had their forces scattered gener- 
ally over the city, intermingled with a vast number of strangers. 
Thus, while a large number of the order were present, they 
were not present in controllable shape, and were therefore not 
useful as a military body. * ^' The evening of August 29 
came, but on the part of the timid, timidity became more 
apparent, and those who were resolute could not show the 
strength needed to give confident hope of success. The rein- 
forcement sent by the administration to strengthen the Chi- 
cago garrison had been vastly exaggerated, and seven thousand 
men was the rumor brought to the ears of the Sons of Liberty. 
Care had been taken to keep informed as to what troops came 
to Camp Douglas, but the statement made by Hines and Cas- 
tleman, to the effect that only 3000 were present, did not 
counteract the effect produced by the rumor that the Federal 
forces there numbered more than double that number." 

"Inside the prison some organization had been effected. 
Information had been conveyed to prudent prisoners that aid 
from outside would come, and they were watchful for the attack 
without as a signal for resistance within. The small force, 
composed even of the Confederates present, could have 
secured the release of the prisoners, because any assault from 


the outside would have led to a simultaneous one on the part 
of the prisoners, and the escape of most of them would have 
been certain. Their control, however, was necessary for their 
protection, and this could not be secured except by such a 
force as would overwhelm the garrison and promptly organize 
the prisoners. * * When, therefore, a count was taken of 
the number of the Sons of Liberty on whom we could rely, 
it seemed worse than folly to attempt to use them. There 
was not enough to justify any movement which would commit 
the Northwestern people to open resistance, and not even 
enough to secure the release and control of the organization 
of the prisoners at Camp Douglas as the nucleus of an army 
which could give possible relief to the Confederacy." 

The captain also found that the war-democrats exerted a 
strong influence against his plans, and that the nomination of 
Gen. McClellan had a demoralizing effect upon his copperhead 
confreres. Still, nothing daunted, although the main object of 
his expedition had to be abandoned, minor results, he thought, 
ought to be accomplished. He therefore proposed to the 
officers of the Sons of Liberty to furnish a detail of 500 men, 
to be accompanied and controlled by their own officers, for the 
purpose of liberating the prisoners at Rock Island, and taking 
possession of both that city and Springfield. Castleman was 
to have the principal command of the force, which was to take 
possession of the Rock-Island train, and, cutting the telegraph 
wires, reach the city and capture the garrison there, which 
had been lately weakened to strengthen Chicago, and thus 
complete an easy conquest. "But," says the captain in his 
account of the conspiracy, "the responsibility of turning one's 
back on home and business seemed to impress many of these 
men as more serious than the risk of the draft and the danger 
of further infringement on their personal liberties; and although 
the promise 'we think we certainly can' was given, the resolute 
assertion, *we will have the men and be there ourselves,' was 

The plan was, after the release of the prisoners at Rock 
Island, hastily to organize them and throw them down to 
Springfield, and effect a like result there. But the disloyal 
Sons of Liberty could not be depended upon. They had 


eagerly accepted Confederate gold, had vaunted of their prow- 
ess, and had vaingloriously avowed their warHke purpose. But 
when the critical moment arrived, the Southern leaders, who 
had ventured under the very shadow of the gallows to lead 
these invertebrate insurgents, discovered that they had trusted 
to a rope of sand; too late they realized that faith can not 
repose on dishonor, and that treason and treachery go hand in 
hand. To inaugurate neighborhood raids, to rescue and hide 
deserters, to interfere with the draft in their respective locali- 
ties — these were the limits of the valor of the "Sons of Liberty," 
beyond which they dared not venture. To attend peace-meet- 
ings and shout themselves hoarse at each utterance of a 
disloyal sentiment — this they found an easy and congenial 
task. But to risk their lives by openly facing men with arms 
in their hands was another and vastly different matter, and one 
which had never seriously entered into their calculations. Men 
of this calibre found in the enthusiasm with which the anti- 
war speeches at Chicago were received and in the peace-plat- 
form there adopted by the national democratic convention, en- 
couragement to hope that political success, both state and 
national, might be secured by means fraught with less peril to 
themselves. "All hope of success in this direction had to be 
abandoned also," remarks the captain, "at least for the time 
being," and the confederate schemers deemed it wise to depart 
from the city. 

The success of the Union armies, however, and the failure of 
encouraging prospects at the polls had the effect of stimulating 
the activity of the conspirators, who determined to organize 
another attempt to liberate the prisoners at Camp Douglas, 
on November 8, the day of the presidential election. 

The same preliminary arrangements were made and the 
same Confederate officers were on the ground, together with 
the most reckless and determined Sons of Liberty, Interfer- 
ence with the election, not only, but the burning and flooding 
of the city were now included as a part of the infamous pro- 
gram. Different parties were designated, some to set fires and 
others to open plugs, attack banks, and levy arms. In the 
meantime, every detail of their plans had become known. 
Agents of the government had joined the secret order, had 


been acting with them in all their lodges, and were thoroughly 
informed of every movement. The utmost vigilance and pru- 
dence, as well as activity, were exercised by Gen. Sweet, who 
had now only a force of 796 men to guard 8352 prisoners. 
Having matured his plans, on the evening of November 6, he, 
with the provost-guard, made simultaneous descents upon the 
hiding places of the leaders. Capt. Cantrill and Charles Tra- 
verse were found together at the residence of "Brigadier-Gen- 
eral" Charles Walsh, in whose house and barn were found 349 
revolvers, 142 shotguns, and a large quantity of arms and 
military stores. Col. St. Leger Grenfell, Vincent Marmaduke, 
Col. J. T. Shanks were arrested at the Richmond House, and 
Buckner S. Morris at his residence. 

They were tried at Cincinnati for conspiracy for the release 
of the prisoners at Camp Douglas, and for "laying waste to 
and destroying" the city of Chicago. Walsh, R. T. Semmes, 
and Charles T. Daniel were found guilty and sent to the peni- 
tentiary. Col. W. R. Anderson committed suicide during the 
trial. Marmaduke and Morris were acquitted. Col. Grenfell 
was sentenced to be hung. After remaining in prison less than 
a year the convicts were all pardoned, except Grenfell, whose 
sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life.* 

Taking up the thread of events in their regular order, the 
year 1864 opened with a decidedly encouraging outlook for 
the success of the Union cause. The battles in which the con- 

* St. Leger Grenfell was a remarkable character. An English soldier of fortune, he 
had served in the French army and with the Algerines against the French ; he there 
enlisted with the Turks against the pirates, tiring of which he joined his fortunes 
with those of Garibaldi's South- American legion. He then, for a change, returned 
home, procured a commission in the British army, and served throughout the Crimean 
war, and afterward in India during the Sepoy rebellion. The civil war in the United 
States brought him to this country, where he enlisted on the Confederate side, serv- 
ing under Morgan. After a short time, he left the Confederacy and went to Wash- 
ington, where he declared himself as a neutral, but finally became interested in the 
scheme to release rebel prisoners, many of whom had been his old companions in 
arms. This escapade ended his career. He was as reckless as he was daring, and 
feared " neither God, man, nor the devil. " 

Authorities consulted in regard to the Conspiracy : " Report of Judge- Advocate 
General Joseph Holt," to Congress; "The Southern Bivouac," numbers 52 to 55; 
"Biographical Sketch of Gen. B. J. Sweet," by Hon. Wm. Bross; a collection of 
pamphlets bound together, entitled "The Camp-Douglas Conspiracy, " in the Chicago 
Historical Society's library. 


tending armies had been engaged during the latter portion of 
the year 1863 had resulted in the signal defeat of the insur- 
gents, and in their being driven from important positions with 
great losses. Vicksburg — that southern Gibraltar — had been 
surrendered with 30,000 prisoners to the victorious Grant, who 
had reenforced the beleagured army at Chattanooga and 
hurled back the enemy from Missionary Ridge. Union troops 
now held the fortresses of Tennessee, and the way was opened 
for Sherman to Atlanta and the sea. Lee's invading hosts 
had been routed and driven back from the glorious field of 
Gettysburg, where he had lost the flower of his army. 

To every call made by the government for troops, Illinois 
had "promptly and patriotically responded" beyond the quota 
required. Alone of all the states of the Union, prior to Feb. 
I, 1864, she presented the proud record of having escaped a 
draft.* By February i, forty-four of the seventy-one regiments 
first organized had reenlisted as veterans, thus furnishing a 
striking evidence of attachment to the service, a belief in the 
righteousness of their cause, and unshaken confidence in the 
commanders under whom they fought. 

Between October i, 1863, and July i, 1864, the enlistments 
in the State, including 16,186 reenlisted volunteers, amounted 
to 37,092, making a total up to the latter date of 181,178 
troops furnished by Illinois."f This number, however, did not 
include the 11,328 volunteers embraced in the thirteen regi- 
ments of one hundred days' men, who were neither allowed 
bounties nor credited against a draft. These regiments, ex- 
cepting the 144th, which enlisted for one year, numbered 
from 132 to 145 inclusive, and were raised at the suggestion of 
Gov. Yates, in connection with Governors Morton, Brough, and 
Stone, who raised a similar force in their respective states, to 
serve in fortifications, thus releasing an equal number of 
regular troops for more important duty in the field. The 
order for their enlistment was issued from the adjutant-general's 
office, April 26, 1864, and they were mustered into the United- 
States service between May 31 and June 21 — the camps of ren- 
dezvous being at Chicago, Springfield, Ottawa, Mattoon, Cen- 
tralia, Dixon, Joliet, Quincy, and Peoria; and departed for the 

* Gov. Yates' in " Adjutant -Generals's Report," I, 44. + Ibid, I, 54. 



field during the month of June. They performed "indispensable 
and invaluable" services in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri.* 

In the meantime, while Grant was hammering away at Lee's 
army in Virginia and Sherman was crowding Johnson toward 
Atlanta, the various political forces in the State were far from 
being inactive. It was no less important that the army should 
be sustained by public sentiment at home than that it should 
win victories in the field; and so the war of ballots was as 
fiercely contested as that of bullets. The newspapers of the 
period published calls for political conventions and calls for 
troops in the same columns. Reports of elections won or lost 
were set forth with the same glaring head -lines as those of 
battles, and there was a strange, if not incongruous, mingling 
of rolls of delegates with lists of the killed and wounded. 

The Union party, including the republicans — which name 
had been dropped — and all others who were "unconditionally 
in favor of maintaining the supremacy of the constitution of 
the United States, of the full, final, and complete suppression 
and overthrow of the existing rebellion," was first in the field 
to call a convention, which was held at Springfield, May 25. 
It was attended by a full set of delegates, with thousands of 
visitors earnestly cooperating and advising. Adopting for 
their catchword the famous sentence of Grant's report from 
Spottsylvania, "We will fight it out on this line if it takes all 
summer," they were confident, enthusiastic, and defiant. 
* Hundred -Day Regiments : 






Col. Thomas C. Pickett, 

Camp Fry, 



Col. Thaddeus Phillips, 

Camp Butler, 

- 851 


Col. Waters W. McChesney, 

Camp Fry, 



Col. John S. Wolfe, 


- 852 


Col. P'rederick A. Johns, 




Col. John Wood, - 


- 849 


Col. John W. Goodwin, 




Col. Peter Davidson, 


- 878 


Col. Lorenzo H. Whitney, - 

Camp Butler, 

. 871 


Col. Stephen Bronson, 

Elgin, - 

- 842 


Col. Rollin V. Ankney, 

Camp Butler, ■ 



Col. Dudley C. Smith, 


- 865 


Col. George W. Lackey, 

Camp Butler, 



Capt. John Curtis, - 

Camp Butler, 

• 91 


Capt. Simon J. Stookey, 

Camp Butler, 



Andrew J. Kuykendall, a war-democrat from "Egypt," was 
called to preside. Burton C. Cook, chairman of the state cen- 
tral committee, when the convention came together, announced 
that Grant had driven Lee across the North Anna River with 
severe loss, and that the rebels were retreating. This was 
received with wild shouts and cheers of triumph. 

Four names were presented for the office of governor — that 
of a gallant soldier, still suffering from wounds received in 
battle; of the adjutant-general, who had been complimented 
.by Gov. Yates for the energy, efficiency, and ability with which 
he had discharged the varied and complicated duties of his 
office; of a patriotic, honest, and faithful state officer; and 
of another gallant soldier still in the field. The first ballot 
disclosed the following indications of choice: for Richard J. 
Oglesby 283, Allen C. Fuller 220, Jesse K. Dubois 103, and 
John M. Palmer 75. On the second ballot, the tide set in 
toward Gen. Oglesby, who received 358 votes and the nomina- 
tion, which was made unanimous. 

Candidates for other state-officers carried off the honors as 
follows: for lieutenant-governor, William Bross; secretary of 
state, Sharon Tyndale; auditor, Orlin H. Miner; treasurer, 
James H. Beveridge; superintendent of public instruction, 
Newton Bateman. Samuel W. Moulton was nominated for 
congressman at large. 

The resolutions reported by the committee on platform, in 
their endorsement of President Lincoln and the measures of his 
administration, entirely failed to come up to the expectation 
or meet the demands of the delegates and vast audience 
present. A large and respectable faction of unionists in the 
State had sympathized to a considerable extent with the oppo- 
sition movement led by Secretary Chase and Gen. Fremont, and 
they impressed their views upon the committee. Burton C. 
Cook boldly and eloquently attacked the report. He aroused 
such a feelmg of loyalty and state pride that his motion to 
refer the report to a new committee was adopted with an 
overwhelming hurrah. The amended platform, which was 
carried with shouts of approval, declared that the first and 
most sacred duty of every citizen is to sustain the government 
and preserve the Union; that the institution of human slavery 


in our country was the cause of the rebellion and should be ex- 
tirpated; that the Monroe doctrine should be the compass by 
which to regulate our foreign policy; endorsed the administra- 
tion of Gov. Yates; thanked our soldiers for their heroic ser- 
vices; and in regard to Lincoln, instead of the half-hearted 
promise of conditional support in case of his renomination, 
which the original committee had drafted, the amended plat- 
form contained this plank: 

"Resolved, that we are proud of Abraham Lincoln, the 
president of the United States; that we heartily endorse his 
administration; that we honor him for the upright and faithful 
manner in which he has administered the government in times 
of peril and perplexity before unknown in the history of our 
Nation; that we deem his reelection to be demanded by the 
best interests of the country, and that our delegates to Balti- 
more are hereby instructed to use all honorable means to 
secure his renomination, and to vote as a unit on all questions 
which may arise in that convention." 

The Union national convention was held at Baltimore, June 
7.* There was no opposition to the renomination of Lincoln 
except from the Missouri delegation, which voted for Gen. 
Grant. Andrew Johnson was nominated for vice-president. 

The first democratic state convention of the year was held at 
Springfield, June 15. It was presided over by Wm. A. Hacker; 
R. E. Goodell and S. Corning Judd acting as secretaries. 
Speeches were made by Amos Green, M. Y. Johnson, O. B. 
Ficklin, and A. G. Burr. On motion of R. P. Tansey, it was 
resolved, that inasmuch as the national democratic convention 
was soon to assemble, it would be inexpedient for the state con- 
vention to make any declaration of principles on that occasion. 

No resolutions touching the peace-question were introduced, 
but one, pledging the democratic party to stand by Vallandig- 

* The delegates from Illinois were : at large, Burton C. Cook, Leonard Swett, 
Dr. J. A. Powell, Augustus H. Burley, Henry Dummer, John Huegly; ist district, 
J. Young Scammon, Lorenzo Brentano; and, George Bangs, E. P. Ferry; 3d, J. 
Wilson Shaffer, James McCoy; 4th, Harrison Dills, Solon Burroughs; 5th, Henry 
F. Royce, Clark E, Carr; 6th, Joseph L. Braden, Washington Bushnell; 7th, Geo. 
W. Rives, Dr. James Cone; 8th, R. K. Fell, James Brown; 9th, Wm. A. Grim- 
shaw, W. B. Green; loth, Isaac L. Morrison, J. T. Alexander; nth, William H. 
Robinson, Dr. T. H. Sams; 12th, John Thomas, Wm. Copp; 13th, F. S. Rhodes, 
Morris P. Brown. 


ham, was adopted amid a perfect whirlwind of huzzas and 
swinging of hats, and three cheers were given for the return 
of the idoHzed martyr from banishment. Delegates to the 
national convention and presidential electors were appointed,* 
but no ticket nominated. 

The proceedings at this convention were far from being 
satisfactory to the peace-wing of the democratic party. Its 
leaders had taken such strong and open ground in favor of peace 
at almost any price, that in their opinion to show the least sign 
of receding from their position would be construed as a "change 
of heart" which none of them had experienced. They had gone 
too far and had received too much encouragement to abandon 
their views or abate, in the slightest degree, their advocacy of 
the peace-policy. Accordingly, in pursuance of a call signed 
by J. W. Singleton. Amos Green, A. D. Duff, S. C. Judd, M. Y. 
Johnson, Dr. T. M. Hope, H. K. S. Omelveny, R. W. Davis, 
Wm. M. Springer, and others, a "democratic" mass meeting 
was held at Peoria, August 3, over which Gen. Singleton pre- 
sided. A large crowd attended, but none of the speakers from 
abroad, who had been advertised, were present. The general 
temper of the meeting was the same in character as that of the 
previous year at Springfield, but intensified in degree. Resolu- 
tions were adopted declaring against coercion and the subjuga- 
tion of sovereign states; that war, as a means of restoring the 
Union, had proved a failure and a delusion, and "(3) that the 
repeal and revocation of all unconstitutional edicts and pre- 
tended laws, an armistice, and a national convention, for the 
peaceful adjustment of our troubles, are the only means of 
saving our Nation from unlimited calamity and ruin." 

For the purpose of counteracting the effect of the extreme 
views promulgated at Peoria, reconciling the antagonisms in the 
party, and especially of endorsing in advance the nominee of 

* The names of the delegates were as follows : at large, John M. Douglas, John 
Dean Caton, S. S. Marshall, O. B. Ficklin, Peter Sweat, Samuel A. Buckmaster; 
1st district, Melville W. Fuller, Bernard G. Caulfield; 2nd, Augustus M. Herring- 
ton, J. S. Ticknor; 3d, David Shaw, J. B. Smith; 4th, Thomas Redmon, Azro 
Patterson; 5th, Wm. W. O'Brien, Justus Stevens; 6th, R. W. Murrey, Lewis 
Stewart, 7th, Joseph Bodman, Henry Prather; 8th, Dr. Thomas P. Rogers, Virgil 
Hickox; 9th, H. L. Bryant, W. R. Archer; loth, John T. Springer, Robert W. 
Davis; nth, J. H. Turney, John Schofield; 12th, Amos Watts, R. P. Tansey; 
13th, Wm. H. Green, John D. Richardson. 


the democratic national convention, another mass meeting of 
the democracy was called to meet at Springfield, August i8. 

This was a larger gathering than that at Peoria. Two stands 
were erected, at one of which Gen. Singleton presided, claiming 
that this was a continuation of the Peoria meeting. 

After speeches by Henry Clay Dean of Iowa, Wm. Corry of 
Ohio, Wm. J. Allen, Wm. M. Springer, C. L. Highbee, H. M. 
Vandeveer, and others, the Peoria resolutions, with some modi- 
fications, and those of June 17, 1863, were presented at stand 
number one and declared by the chair adopted. 

A resolution prepared by a preliminary caucus, pledging the 
support of the democratic party of Illinois to the Chicago 
nominee for president, whoever he might be, after a sharp debate 
was laid upon the table. The same proceedings were had at 
stand number two, but not with the same results. The same 
peace resolutions were adopted as at the first stand, but 
after an angry and tempestuous discussion the resolution in 
favor of the unconditional support of the prospective nominee 
of the Chicago convention was declared adopted. The same 
resolution being again offered at stand number one, after an 
exciting debate abounding in gross personalities, was finally 
declared adopted amid great confusion, the president retiring 
discomfited from the chair. 

Inconsistent as was the action of this meeting, it foreshad- 
owed the policy adapted at the democratic national convention, 
which was to nom' late a Union officer, in the hope of securing 
the support of the soldiers and war- democrats, upon a plat- 
form designated to attract the votes of the pacification wing 
of the party. 

The democratic na'. onal convention was first called to meet 
at Chicago on July 4, but was postponed to August 29. The 
peace element was evidently in the ascendant and dictated the 
platform, which was reported by a committee of which C. L. 
Vallandigham was a member and leading spirit. Their views 
on the absorbing question of the prosecution of the war were 
expressed in the second resolut'ci, as follows: 

"Resolved, that this convention does explicitly declare, as 
the sense of the American people, that after four years of fail- 
ure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during 


which, under the pretence of a military necessity or power 
higher than the constitution, the constitution itself has been 
disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private rights 
alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the countr}- 
essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public 
welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for the 
cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention 
of all the states, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at 
the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the 
basis of the federal union of the states." 

The sentiments uttered by the principal speakers were all in 
the line of this resolution and were vociferously applauded b}' 
the enormous crowds of visitors, estimated at over 20,000. 
"Peace was the watchword of every orator and the responses 
of the immense crowd who listened proved that the predomi- 
nant feeling in every heart was a desire for peace."* Lincoln 
was ferociously assailed, as a tyrant and usurper, to reelect 
whom would bring upon the country four years more of war, 
disaster, and woe. It was declared that for less offences 
than those of which he had been guilty "the English people 
had chopped off the head of Charles the First;" and as be- 
tween Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln the former was no 
greater enemy to the constitution than the latter.-f- War- 
democrats were denounced with equal severity. "There is,',' 
said Trainor of Ohio, "no difference between a war-democrat 
and an abolitionist. They are both links in the same sausage 
made out of the same dog." It was with great difficulty that 
some of the extremists could be brought to the support of the 
nominee, who had been charged with having been the first to 
recommend a draft and to make arbitrary arrests. The nomi- 
nation of Gen. Geo. B. McClellan was indeed a bitter pill for them 
to swallow and the assurance of their support was only secured 
by the promise of permitting the candidate for vice-president 
to be named by the advocates of peace. The choice with 
great unanimity fell upon George H. Pendleton of Ohio. 

That the temper and general drift of the convention was dis- 
tasteful to Gen. McClellan and the more conservative members 
of the party, there can be no question; he accordingly, as far 

* Chicago Times. t Speech of S. S. Cox. 


as it was possible for a candidate to compass that object, modi- 
fied the platform upon which he was nominated by declaring in 
his letter of acceptance that: "the reestablishment of the Union 
in all its integrity is and must continue to be the indispensable 
condition in any settlement. * * The Union must be pre- 
served at all hazards. I could not look in the face of my gallant 
comrades of the army and navy, who have survived so many 
bloody battles, and tell them that their labors and the sacrifices 
of so many of our slain and wounded brethren had been in 
vain — that we had abandoned that Union for which we have so 
often periled our lives. No peace can be permanent without 

The democratic state convention for nominating candidates 
for state offices met at Springfield, September 6. The national 
platform adopted at Chicago was reaffirmed, and the following 
ticket placed in the field: for governor, James C. Robinson; 
for lieutenant-governor, S. Corning Judd; state auditor, John 
Hise; state treasurer, Alexander Starne; secretary of state, 
Wm. A, Turney; superintendent of public instruction, John 
P. Brooks; congressman at large, James C. Allen. 

Robinson and Allen were members of congress, filling un- 
expired terms, and had uniformly voted with Pendleton, as had 
all the democratic members from Illinois, in favor of all propo- 
sitions for compromise and peace. Starne and Brooks were the 
then incumbents of the offices to which they were renominated. 
No representative of the wr -wing of the party was placed upon 
the ticket. 

The political campaign of 1864 will be long remembered for 
the vehemence and bitterness of the speeches made, for the 
transcendent interest awakened, and the intense feelings of the 
people regarding the result. The candidates on both sides 
traversed the State from one end to the other, filling appoint- 
ments to address mass meetings. Gens. Logan and Haynie, Col. 
R. G. Ingersoll, and other war-democrats were granted leave of 
absence and entered into the exciting scenes of the home con- 
test with as much zeal and determination as they had upon those 
where stern and resolute men arrayed in war's panoply had met 
each other face to face. Copperheads, as northern sympathizers 
with the South were designated, were lashed and denounced by 


the Union speakers with a savage fierceness which roused them 
to fury; while the black aboHtionists, and Lincoln hirelin^^s, 
as they were called, and alleged usurpations by the government 
were held up to execration with hardly less bitterness and fiery 
invective by the democrats. Notwithstanding the progress of 
the draft, the greatest enthusiasm was aroused on the Union 
side, which was increased to fever heat whenever the news came 
that a victory had been won by the "brave boys in blue." 

The general result in the country at large was that out of 
twenty-five states voting, Lincoln carried all but three — New 
Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky; the popular vote being for 
Lincoln 2,216,067, McClellan 1,808,725. To this may be added 
the soldiers' vote so far as returned, being only those from 
twelve states, viz: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, 
Kansas, and California, which was for Lincoln 119,754, and for 
McClellan 34,291; Mr. Lincoln receiving a majority in all the 
regiments except those from Kentucky.* 

The Union, or republican ticket, was successful in Illinois by 
a majority of 30,736, showing an increase in the republican vote 
over 1862 of 69,000 and in the democratic vote of 22,000; the 
aggregate vote being for Lincoln, 50 counties, 189,496; for Mc 
Clellan, 52 counties, 158,730. Eleven union congressmen were 
elected out of fourteen, being a gain of five. 

Had this political campaign been conducted solely on the 
issue joined in the platforms of the respective parties, this 
result, apparently showing so comparatively small a majority 
in favor of the Union, would have been as surprising as dis- 
couraging. But such was not the fact. While all the southern 
sympathizers, secessionists, and peace-men voted for McClellan, 
he also received the support of many war - democrats, who 
earnestly believed that, if elected, he would prosecute the war 
to a speedier and more satisfactory conclusion than would the 
administration of Lincoln. Others again, especially in the 
strong democratic counties, voted for McClellan in order to 
maintain their party organization and retain power, without 
looking particularly to the effect of such a vote upon the war. 

The results of this election, as affecting the Nation, were of 
* "American Conflict," II, 673. 


the most momentous importance. The people of the loyal 
states, after a thorough canvass and discussion, in which the 
most unlimited freedom of speech was indulged and per- 
mitted, in the face of heavy taxes, of an enormous and steadily 
increasing national debt, amid stupendous losses of life in 
battles, and all the trials, stress, storms, and sacrifices of an 
internal war, including the enforced recruiting of armies, had 
deliberately, and emphatically, and loyally, recorded their ver- 
dict at the polls against the dogma of the sovereignty of the 
states, out of which grew the theory of secession; against 
slavery, as the principal cause of the rebellion; sustaining the 
government in the arrest of disloyal citizens and in the suspension 
of the writ of habeas corpus; and, above all, in favor of the 
vigorous prosecution of the war, including the drafting of 
soldiers — until the last insurgent should lay down his arms 
and return to his allegiance. 

This was not only the logical result, but that which was 
acquiesced in by the people. It was indeed such a fatal blow 
to the efforts of the peace-compromise advocates, that thence- 
forth they were compelled to nurse their wrath in impotent 
silence and sullen chagrin. 

The influence of this verdict was no less helpful and stimu- 
lating to the Union armies than discouraging and demoralizing 
to the Confederates, who could not fail to see that their greatest 
triumph would have come with the defeat of Lincoln. The end 
of the rebellion was now evidently not far off. 

This election also fixed the status of the democratic party^ 
which found itself reduced to a hopeless minority in nearly 
every loyal state, and rendered impossible the election of a 
president by that party, even though reinforced by the electoral 
vote of all the seceding states, until 1884. 

Lincoln referred to some of these results when, in response 
to a congratulatory call upon him a few days after the election, 
among other things he said: "but the election, along with its 
incidental and undesired strife, has done good too. It has 
demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national 
election in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not 
been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows, 
also, how sound and how strong we still are. It shows that 


even among candidates of the same party, he who is most 
devoted to the Union and most opposed to treason can receive 
most of the people's vote. * * While I am duly sensible 
to the high compliment of a reelection, and duly grateful, as I 
trust, to Almighty God for having directed my countrymen to a 
right conclusion, as I think for their own good, it adds nothing 
to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed or 
pained by the result." 

The administration of Gov. Yates was the fruitful theme of 
heartfelt commendation among all Union-loving citizens. He 
had been a firm, consistent, and unfaltering supporter of the 
Union in its struggle for existence from the beginning of the 
rebellion. He had shown himself the unfailing friend of the 
volunteer, following him to the field with State assistance, 
wherever practicable, and had lauded his heroic deeds on every 
occasion; and by the devotion of his voice, his pen, and his 
best energies to the cause of freedom and its defenders, he had 
earned that title which he so worthily wore, of the "War- 
Governor of Illinois." 

In his farewell message to the legislature, he pointed with 
not unbecoming pride to the favorably changed conditions^ 
looking to the early triumph of the Union cause, as follows: 
"Grant has driven the enemy step by step from its siege of 
Washington to the gates of Richmond. Sheridan has swept 
the valley of the Shenandoah, driving Early backward no more 
to lay waste our borders. Farragut remains undisputed con- 
queror of the seas. Sherman dashes with Napoleonic tread, 
unrestrained from city to city through the very heart of the 
Confederacy, unfurling our flag defiantly in the face of Charles- 
ton; while Thomas and his brave army at Nashville have lately 
achieved perhaps the most glorious victory of the war; * * 
and our Nation today stands under brighter skies than have 
smiled upon us since the inauguration of the president on the 
4th of March, 1861." 

Illinois up to December i, 1864, had furnished 197,260 men 
for the war, barely one hundred less than the quotas of the 
State under all calls from the government, including only 3062 
drafted men. 

The State debt, although the sum of $1,195,280 had been 


paid thereon, had increased during the administration of Gov. 
Yates by reason of the war-bonds issued, and was on Novem- 
ber 30, 1864: 

Internal-improvement stock and scrip $1,940,978 

Liquidation bonds - - - - 234,650 

Interest bonds - - - - 1,909,244 

Refunded stock - - . - 1,837,000 

Normal-University bonds - - - 65,000 

Thornton-loan bonds and balance - 185,625 

War-bonds 1,679,100 

lUinois-and-Michigan Canal bonds - 3,269,967 

121 McAllister and Stebbins bonds - 57,000 


The whole amount expended by the State through the army 
auditor's office up to December i, 1864, was $3,812,525, which 
was subsequently adjusted and refunded by the general govern- 

While during the past four years there had been an increase 
of property, corresponding to the increased volume and accu- 
mulations of business, its value as returned by the county 
assessors had decreased from $367,227,742 in i860, to $331,- 
999,871 in 1863. This undervaluation was insisted upon in 
each county on the ground that other counties were assessed 
lower, which would consequently increase its proportionate 
share of state taxes. The taxes collected for the years 1861-2 
exceeded in amount those for the years 1863-4. 

The treasurer's statement for the years 1863-4, is as follows: 



NAME OF FUND. ^^.^^ j_ j8g2_ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^gg^^ RECEIPTS. 

Revenue fund $374,697.19 $497,616.11 $872,313.30 

State-debt fund - 589,128.94 589,128.94 

Interest fund - 360,983.00 1,390,269.42 1,751,252.42 

State school-fund - 73.903.13 212,810.20 286,713.33 

Central railroad fund 222,493.76 774,947.71 997,441.47 

Delinquent land-tax fund 338.26 338.26 

War-fund - - 15,101.33 348,874.84 363,976.17 

$1,047,516.67 $3,813,647.22 $4,861,163.89 



DEC. I, 1862. TO NOV. 30, 1864 DEC. I, 1864. EXPENDITURES. 




Revenue fund - $869,049.80 $3,263.50 $872,313.30 

State-debt fund - 4.50 589,124.44 589,128.94 

Interest fund - 1,441,995.84 309,256.58 1,751,252.42 

State school-fund - 174,637.39 112,075.94 286,713.33 

Central railroad fund 798,573.27 198,868.20 997,441.47 

Delinquent land-tax fund 7.20 331.06 338.26 

War-fund 363,965.41 10.76 363,976.17 

$3,648,233.41 $1,212,930.48 $4,861,163.89 

Total amount in the treasury, Dec. i, 1864, $1,212,930.48 

Notwithstanding the withdrawal of 200,000 of her citizens to 
the scene of war, the population of the State had steadily- 
increased during the last four years — over 10,000 more votes 
having been polled in 1864 than in i860. Although, for the 
first months of the war, the channels of trade were interrupted 
and all plans for improvement were deranged by the withering 
pall of civil strife which hung over the country, the people 
gradually arose to the demands of the hour and with renewed 
energies had developed the natural resources of the State to an 
unprecedented degree. Agriculture, with increasing demands 
from the army and aided by the improved machinery which the 
inventive genius of her people had supplied to take the place 
of manual labor withdrawn to her armies, received a new and 
marvellous impetus. Prices had steadily advanced each year* 
and farmers were never before so prosperous. Currency, was 
now abundant — greenbacks and national- bank notes — and 
although gold was high, being at a premium of $1.40, quoted 
at $2.40, manufactures increased and every department of 
business was active and remunerative. 


1861, $.8510 .90 $.2510 .30 $2.25104.00 $4.00 to 4.50 

1862, .90101.02 -35 to .40 2.00104.50 4.00 to 4.50 

1863, 1. 10 to 1. 15 .80 to .90 4.25 to 5.25 5.00 to 6.50 

1864, 1.30101.75 1. 00 to 1.05 6.00 to 8.00 10.00 to 12.00 



Administration of Gov. Oglesby, 1865-9— Twenty -fourth 
General Assembly — Yates Elected to United-States 
Senate — The Thirteenth Amendment — Laws — Close 
of the War — Assassination of President Lincoln. 

RICHARD James Oglesby, the governor elect, was born in 
Oldham County, Kentucky, July 25, 1824. He came to 
Illinois with an uncle in 1836, and was apprenticed to the car- 
penter's trade, which, with farming and rope-making, engaged 
his attention until he became of age. Having studied law during 
his leisure hours, he was admitted to the bar and began the 
practice of his profession at Sullivan, Moultrie County. No 
advantages of a liberal education or family influence contributed 
to his subsequent success in life. He began his political 
career in 1852, as a Scott elector, and in 1858 was an unsuc- 
cessful candidate for congress in the Decatur district. He 
took an active part in the campaign of i860 and was elected to 
the State senate. When the civil war broke out, resigning his 
office, he tendered his services to the government the very day 
on which the president issued his first call for troops. Having 
had a previous and valuable experience as lieutenant of an 
Illinois company in the Mexican war, his promotion from the 
colonelcy of the Eighth regiment to the rank of major-general 
was as rapid as it was deserved by faithful service and gallant 
conduct in the field. At the bloody battle of Corinth, while 
leading a charge against the enemy, he was shot through the left 
lung so severely that he was reported to be fatally injured. 
Partially recovering from his wound, he was appointed comman- 
der of a corps, but finding himself physically unable to dis- 
charge the duties of the arduous position he resigned his 
command in May, 1864. 

He was the first fruit of the war in this State garnered into 
the great harvest of politics. His naturally strong mind had 
been enriched and broadened by travel in Europe, as well as 
by military experience ; and the inartificial but impetuous 



eloquence of his speeches throughout the State during the late 
canvass had aroused an enthusiasm which was equally bene- 
ficial to his party and to the cause of the Union. His strong 
feelings and resonant voice, his homely metaphors and vigor- 
ous denunciations, his humorous sallies, forcible reasoning, and 
earnest, even passionate manner, carried his hearers along the 
current of his thoughts as does the Mississippi's flood the drift- 
wood floating upon its surface. He entered into no glove con- 
tests but with bare hands administered effective "punishment" 
to his antagonists. 

His mobile features, his clean-shaven, expressive face, and 
his bluff, hearty, western manner combined to impart to his ap- 
pearance a charm, which was heightened by a physique of sym- 
metrical and commanding proportions. With this combination 
of intellectual and physical gifts, it must be conceded that a 
man of no ordinary powers had been placed in the chair of 

William Bross,* the lieutenant-governor elect, was selected as 
a representative of the loyal press, as a deserved recognition of 
its powerful influence in upholding the cause of the Union and 
sustaining the army in the field. He was born in Sussex 
County, New Jersey, Nov. 4, 18 13. At the age of nine years, 
his family removed to Pennsylvania, where he lived until the 
attainment of his majority. After graduating with honor from 
Williams College in 1838, he enlisted in the great army of 
teachers, in whose ranks he worthily served for many years. 
Soon after his removal to Chicago in 1848, he entered upon 
his life-work, as one of the conductors of the Democratic 
Press, subsequently and now the Chicago Tribune. His experi- 
ence in this responsible position had made him so familiar with 
the political questions of the day that he was called to the 
stump in 1856, where facts and figures were handled by him 
with such ability as to contribute very largely to the success of 
the republican party. He also spoke effectively in the great 

* Gov. Bross died in Chicago, Jan. 27, 1890. Up to the time of his decease, he 
was a hale and hearty veteran of the busy past. After his retirement from public 
and official life, he devoted himself largely to literature, and published many valu- 
able papers, some of which were read before the Chicago Historical Society. He 
was the author, among other works, of a brief " History of Chicago, " " History of 
Camp Douglas," and of "Tom Quick." 


campaign of i860; and, as a candidate, made a thorough and 
very acceptable canvass of the State in 1864. With his sturdy 
frame and massive face, he presided over the senate with marked 
fairness, affabiHty, and dignity. It was remarked, at the close 
of the session, upon the passage of the resolution thanking the 
lieutenant-governor for "the highly impartial and prompt man- 
ner in which he had discharged his duties," that this had been 
the first session in many years, during which no appeal had 
been taken from the decisions of the presiding officer. 

The republicans in the late election had secured a majority 
in both houses of the general assembly, the senate standing 14 
to 1 1 and the house 5 1 to 34. The latter body was composed 
very largely of new material, only 14 out of the 85 members 
having had any previous legislative experience. Among these 
were H. C. Burchard, John Thomas, Scott Wike, M. M. Morrill, 
Harrison Noble, D. J. Pinckney, A. M. Miller, Ansel B. Cook, 
and John T. Springer. 

On the list of new members of the lower house appeared for 
the first time the names of Franklin Corwin, Wm. K. Murphy, 
Henry D. Cook, Isaac C. Pugh, Maiden Jones, M. L. Josslyn, 
Edward S. Isham, Nathaniel Niles, William H. Neece, Henry 
C. Childs, and Allen C. Fuller. Among the new senators were 
Murray McConnel, Andrew W. Metcalf, John B. Cohrs, Alfred 
Webster, and Francis A. Eastman. 

Allen C. Fuller of Boone County was elected speaker of the 
house, receiving 48 votes to 23 for A. M. Miller of Logan 
County. This was an honor not often conferred upon new 
members, but was conceded to Gen. Fuller in consequence of 
the able and faithful manner in which he had discharged the 
duties of the office of adjutant -general, as well also, as on 
account of the flattering support he had received before the 
republican state-convention as a candidate for governor. 

Walter S. Frazier was elected clerk of the house, Charles 
Turner assistant-clerk, and Gershom Martin doorkeeper. John 
F. Nash was chosen secretary of the senate, George H. Harlow 
assistant-secretary, and Caswell P. Ford sergeant -at- arms. 

The last message of Gov. Yates was delivered on January 2, 
1865, the day upon which the twenty-fourth general assembly 
convened. It was an exhaustive, ably-prepared, and carefully- 


digested document, in which were reviewed the principal events 
of his administration. He recommended the enactment of a 
registry law, of one permitting soldiers to vote in the field, and 
the repeal of the black laws. 

The oath of office was administered to Gov. Oglesby and the 
other newly-elected state-officers, January 17, when the gov- 
ernor delivered his inaugural address. The key-note of this 
patriotic state- paper is found in one of the opening sentences, 
as follows: "With our eyes open and our hearts full of devotion 
to the flag of our country, we declare before the world that the 
rebellion and human slavery shall fall and perish together." 

In discussing the then proposed thirteenth amendment, he 
disposed of the question so frequently asked by its opponents, 
"what is to become of the negro after he is set free.''" in the 
following way — "It might be better asked, what may not be- 
come of him.-* He can labor — he can learn — he can fight, 
improve, aspire; and if, after we shall have tried for as long to 
make him a useful, free man, as we have a useless slave, we 
shall fail, and he shall fail, there will be time enough left in 
which to solve this persistent question. If there were no higher 
motive for emancipation, I would still fervently advocate it as a 
punishment to traitors for the crime of treason." 

He referred to the administration of his predecessor in terms 
of warm commendation, and united with him in urging the 
passage of a law allowing soldiers to vote, as well as of an 
amendment to the militia law.* 

The first work of the general assembly was to meet in joint- 
session on January 5, for the purpose of electing a United-States 
senator in the place of Wm. A. Richardson. Ex-Gov. Yates 
was the leading republican candidate, and had been so generally 
accepted by the people for the position that no organized oppo- 
sition appeared against him up to the time of the meeting of 
the legislature. It was then found that several members pre- 
ferred that the choice should fall upon some one else, this 

* The staff appointments of the governor were made as follows: Brig.-Gen. Isham 
N. Haynie, adjutant-general and chief-of-staff — vice A. C. Fuller, resigned; Lt.-Col. 
Edward P. Niles, assistant-adjutant-general; Col. John Wood, quartermaster-general; 
Col. John Williams, paymaster-general; Col. Wm. D. Crowell, chief of ordnance; 
Cols. James H. Bowen and D. B. James, aides-de-camp; Col. George H. Harlow, 


sentiment finally focusing upon Hon. EHhu B. Washburnc, The 
latter appeared in person on the ground, and an animated and 
somewhat acrimonious contest ensued. Some old political sores 
were reopened, and damaging charges made by each party 
against the other. But when the caucus met it was found that 
the "Yates phalanx" was too strong to be broken, he receiving 
38 votes to 22 for Washburne, two each being cast for Palmer 
and Logan. His election by the general assembly followed in 
course — the democrats casting their votes for Jas. C. Robinson. 

Gov. Yates* served in the senate through the trying period of 
reconstruction and showed himself a debater of marked power. 
His political career ended with the close of his senatorial term. 

No public man in the State ever had so large a personal fol- 
lowing as the "War-Governor." His manners were as winning 
as those of a charming woman bent on conquests. In conver- 
sation, his language was chaste and his style captivating, con- 
veying an impression of superior ability and native good- 
ness of heart. A more entertaining and hospitable host never 
occupied the executive mansion. All were made welcome, with- 
out stiffness, formality, or offensive discrimination. He had 
devoted friends all over the State and, singular as it may appear, 
some of the warmest of these, who never failed to stand by 
him, were found among the democrats. They followed his 
personal fortunes with a devotion which never faltered, con- 

* He died suddenly at Bamum's Hotel, St. Louis, Nov. 27, 1873, on his return 
from a visit to Arkansas, where, as a United-States commissioner, he had been ex- 
amining a railroad. 

Hon. N. Bateman, superintendent of public instruction, having been requested 
to surrender the room he then occupied adjoining the governor's for the latter 's use, 
on leaving it, left behind the following eloquent letter. It is here given by courtesy 
of E. F. Leonard, Esq., to show the estimate in which Gov. Yates was held by this 
distinguished state-officer : 

"Department of Public Instruction, 
"Gov. Yates, Springfield, III., July 24, 1862. 

Dear Sir: — This office is now at your service. Take it my dear friend — my 
noble, patriotic, glorious young Governor. May it be the place whence shall issue 
ciders, messages, appeals, and invocations, even more magnetic and thrilling if 
possible, than those which have already fired the souls of the loyal hosts of I llinois. 
Who knows but that you too 'were brought to the Kingdom for such a time as this.' 
Be of good courage, falter not, and your name and memory will be green and 
blessed, ages after the traitors and the treason against which you now battle shall 
have sunk to execration and oblivion. God be with you, N. Bateman," 


tributing, by desirable information, by sacrifices, and personal 
influence to his success; and this without the slighest conces- 
sion of principle on the part of either. 

His faults and weaknesses — the too common heritage of the 
great — were those which grew out of his affectionate generosity 
and impulsive warm-heartedness; that they cast a cloud over 
his otherwise fair fame can not be denied; but if ever there 
was a statesman whose high qualities and official record justified 
the application of the proverb " De mortuis nil nisi bomim" it 
was Richard Yates. 

The first official act of the twenty-fourth general assembly, 
within three days of its meeting, was the reenactment of the 
appropriation bill of the last legislature, which the supreme 
court, on account of the manner of its passage, had declared 
null and void. 

Other laws of a general nature, important in their character, 
were passed at this session, as follows : 

An act for the registry of electors, and to prevent fraudulent 
voting, being the first of the many laws enacted in this State 
on that subject. 

To organize an experimental school for the instruction and 
training of idiots and feeble-minded children. 

To establish a home for the children of deceased soldiers. 

Providing for the completion of the Illinois -and -Michigan 
Canal, with such modifications as would "most effectually 
secure the thorough cleansing of the Chicago River," and leasing 
the former to the city of Chicago. 

Authorizing the governor to appoint military state agents. 

Creating the office of adjutant-general and fixing the rank 
and defining the duties of that officer.* 

An act providing that stock and grain shall be forwarded by 
railroads in order as delivered — the first step in the direction of 
the subsequent "granger" legislation in this State. 

The most important action of this general assembly, however, 
viewed from a national standpoint, was the ratification of the 
thirteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States. 
Neither the acts of congress nor the president's proclamation 

* Previous incumbents of this position had been simply executive appointees, serv- 
ing as chief-of-staff of the governor as commander-in-chief. 


had laid their hand upon slavery in the border states. The 
progress of the war, however, had made it apparent that the 
"peculiar institution" was doomed, whichever way the great 
insurrection might end. Preliminary steps in favor of eman- 
cipation through state action had been taken in Missouri and 
Maryland in 1863. 

Believing that the time had come for a national movement in 
that direction, Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri, on Jan. 
13, 1864, introduced a joint-resolution proposing an amendment 
to the constitution to the effect that slavery should not thereafter 
exist in the Un ted Scates. A similar proposition was submitted 
soon after by Senator Charles Sumner, and both were referred to 
the senate judiciary committee. On February 10, Lyman Trum- 
bull, chairman of the committee, reported back what was sub- 
sequently adopted as the thirteenth amendment. It passed 
the senate April 8, 1864,* but failed at the time to secure the 
requisite two-thirds in the house. At the reassembling of con- 
gress in December, 1864, the president urged the passage of 
this amendment, and on January 6, 1865, on motion of James M. 
Ashley of Ohio, it was called up for reconsideration; but a 
vote was not reached until January 31, when the resolution was 
adopted by a vote of 119 yeas to 56 nays. This result, when 
announced by Speaker Colfax, "was received by the house and 
spectators with an outburst of enthusiasm. The members on 
the republican side instantly sprang to their feet, and, regard- 
less of parliamentary rules, applauded with cheers and clapping 
of hands. The example was followed by the male spectators 
in the galleries, which were crowded to excess, who tossed up 
their hats and cheered loud and long, while the ladies, hundreds 
of whom were present, rose in their seats and waved their hand- 
kerchiefs, participating in and adding to the general excitement. 
This lasted for several minutes." ■)* 

The resolution was reported to the senate and received the 
presidential sanction on Feb. i, and the same day the fact was 
telegraphed by Senator Trumbull to Gov. Oglesby, who immedi- 
ately communicated the same in a message to the legislature^ 
in which he said: "Let Illinois be the first state in the Union 
to ratify by act of her legislature this proposed amendment. It 

• Congressional Globe, 1863-4, part 2, 1490. i Ibid., 1865, part i, 531. 


is just, it is humane, it is right to do so. * * It is a fit occa- 
sion to speak out to the world upon a question of such magni- 
tude, and the whole civilized world will joyously ratify the deed; 
the proud soldier in the field will shout 'amen' and march on 
to new victories with a firmer and more confident step." 

In the senate, on motion of A. W. Mack, the rules were sus- 
pended, and he presented the joint-resolution for ratification, 
which was read and referred to the committee on federal rela- 
tions. Afterward, on the same day, the resolution was called 
up and its adoption moved. Senators Green and Cohrs made 
speeches against the measure, and Gen. Murray McConnel, "the 
Nestor of the senate," the friend of Douglas, and for over a 
quarter of a century a leading and influential democrat, made 
a most able, eloquent, and patriotic speech in its favor.* Senator 
Vandeveer moved to lay the resolution on the table, which was 
negatived by the close vote of 12 to ii. The previous question 
having been moved and carried, the joint-resolution was adopted 
by a vote of 18 to 6. 

Those voting in the affirmative were: Senators Addams, 
Allen, Bushnell, Eastman, Green of Marion, Lansing, Lindsay 
(democrat), Mack, Mason (democrat), McConnel (democrat), 
Metcalf, Peters, Richards, Strain, Schofield (democrat), Ward, 
Webster, and Worcester (democrat). Those voting in the nega- 
tive were: Senators Cohrs, Green of Alexander, Hunter, Riley, 
Vanderveer, and Wescott, all democrats. Senator Funk (repub- 
lican) absent. 

This action of the senate having been reported to the house, 
Alexander McCoy moved that the latter body concur. The 
previous question having been moved by Merritt L. Josslyn and 
carried, the joint-resolution was adopted by a vote of 58 to 28. 
Six democrats did not record their votes, all the others voted 
in opposition. 

And thus it transpired that Illinois was the first to act, in 
advance of all other states, in ratifying this amendment which 
secured freedom to the slave.f The proceedings, unlike those 

* Gov. Bross' "Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment." 

+ Rhode Island and Michigan were the next states to adopt the amendment, on 

February 2— the last of the requisite twenty-five states being Georgia, Dec. 6, 1865. 

Oregon, California, and Florida subsequently ratified the amendment, while the 

states of Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey rejected it. 


in congress, were characterized by great solemnity and decorum. 
Following this action came the repeal of the black laws 
which had for so many years darkened the pages of our State 

The twenty-fourth general assembly adjourned on February 
1 6, after a session of 46 days. As a body, its proceedings were 
in striking contrast to those of its immediate predecessor. 
There were no angry discussions, no personalities, no charges 
of disloyalty. The work it accomplished was as diverse as it 
was far reaching. As summarized by Speaker Fuller in his 
closing remarks, 533 senate and 336 house-bills were passed. 
Of these, only 91 were general in their character, 155 related 
to incorporations of towns, 102 to legalizing taxes for bounty 
purposes, 84 insurance charters, 61 railroad charters and amend- 
ments, 52 relating to school-laws and education, and the bal- 
ance to miscellaneous and local incorporations, relief bills, and 

Under the last call of the president for troops, lUinois had 
furnished 18,500 men before March 6, and recruiting was pro- 
gressing favorably when, on April 13, it was brought to an 
abrupt close by order of the secretary of war. 

The surrender of Lee at Appomattox, on April 9; of John- 
son, on April 26; and of Jones, Thompson, and Kirby Smith, 
all in the same month — by which over 100,000 combatants had 
laid down their arms — brought the great war of the rebellion 
to a successful termination.* 

Lee had remained too long in his entrenchments before Rich- 
mond and Petersburg to find it possible successfully to retreat. 
Had he succeeded in retiring sooner and in effecting a junction 
with Johnson — if such were his desire — he might have still 
remained at the head of a formidable army, and the struggle 
might, perhaps, have been prolonged another year. But destiny 
had ordered otherwise, and the collapse of the confederacy, 
after its downfall had begun, was as swift and complete as its 
rise had been sudden and widespread. 

The tidings of the fall of Richmond — assuring, as it did, the 

* The respective commands of the Southern leaders named who thus became 
prisoners of war numbered as follows: I>ee's, 26,000; Johnson's, 29,924; Taylor's, 
10,000; Jones', 8000; Thompson's, 7454; Smith's, 20,000, 


ultimate triumph of the cause of the Union — thrilled the great 
popular heart of the North with a joy almost delirious in its 
intensity, and which found expression in modes as multiform as 
they were felt to be inadequate. 

From the chimes hanging in the massive temples of the 
metropolis, and from the modest belfry that surmounted the 
humble meeting-house of the country village, pealed forth the 
bells whose iron tongues sounded sweetly in ears to which they 
chanted their tale of ended strife; of a people now, for the first 
time, really free, and of a Union to be forever indissoluble. 
From crowded thoroughfares leaped forth the flames of blazing 
bonfires, in whose light rejoiced exultant crowds whose eyes 
were lifted with a love and veneration never felt before toward 
the ensign of a new and perpetual republic, whose stars shone 
with a fresh lustre, since their light no longer fell upon the 
shackles of a slave. And the silent thanksgiving that welled 
up in every breast found voice in public utterances of praise to 
Him to whom our forefathers had commended the^^infant Union 
of States. 

But the gladness of the hour was suddenh^ transformed into 
a grief as bitter as the joy had been exultant. The telegraph- 
wires, on the morning of April 15, flashed across the continent 
the intelligence that blanched the cheeks of those who heard it 
as though touched by the icy hand of death, and brought into 
every home a sense of desolation akin to that which comes with 
a sudden personal bereavement. 

On Good Friday evening, April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, 
a mad actor, of rebel sympathies and associates, entered the 
private box of the president at Ford's Theatre in Washington, 
and placing a pistol at the back of his victim's head fired a ball 
which pierced his brain. The president lingered, though un- 
conscious, until the next morning when his great soul passed 
from time to eternity. The chants of victory were changed into 
cries of woe; the peans of triumph into the saddest of requiems. 

But there remained a great consolation. Not in vain had 
Abraham Lincoln offered on the altar of patriotism the best 
3'ears of his manhood, the highest powers of his mind — even 
the life-blood of that great heart which had never throbbed with 
a selfish impulse. Ke had lived to see the fetters fall from 


4,000,000 bondmen; to witness the triumphant termination of 
that gigantic struggle in which for four years he had been the 
central figure, and which triumph his sagacity, his patience, his 
unwearying devotion had rendered possible. His eyes had 
beheld the flag, for whose supremacy he had died, floating over 
the capital of the rebellion. His life had been devoted to the 
presentation before the bar of public opinion the cause of 
human freedom and equal rights; that life did not close until 
he had seen the glorious success of that cause in the court of 
ultimate resort — the appeal to arms. 

And it must be conceded, that if it had been ordained that 
that great life was to end by the hand of an assassin, no hour 
could have been selected which would more surely bestow upon 
the victim the crown of martyrdom. Abraham Lincoln died 
in the zenith of his fame. His grand work was finished. It 
was not his destiny to be called upon to grapple with the 
perplexing problems of reconstruction, nor to participate in the 
feuds to which these disturbing and yet unsettled problems 
gave birth. His fame abides unsullied and unquestioned; and 
before his shrine, in the hearts of his countrymen, there passes 
no cloud. 

The sombre shadow of grief which overcast the land at his 
death did not begin to lift until, after continuous and imposing 
funeral ceremonies, extending from Washington for over sixteen 
hundred miles, his remains were laid at rest in Oak -Ridge 
Cemetery, near his old home in Springfield, May 4, 1865. 

An association was organized on May 11, of which Governor 
Oglesby was president, for the purpose of erecting a monument 
to his memory. Nearly $200,000 was raised for this purpose, 
of which $50,000 was contributed by the State of Illinois, 
$10,000 by New York, $1000 by Missouri, and $500 by Nevada; 
the balance was made up of individual subscriptions from 
soldiers and sailors, Sunday-school scholars, churches, and 
benevolent societies. The monument having been completed, the 
ceremonies of dedication occurred Oct. 15, 1874, in the presence 
of an immense concourse. Gen. John M. Palmer presided and 
Gov. Oglesby delivered the oration. President Grant, Vice- 
President Henry Wilson, and Gen. Wm. T. Sherman, with many 
other distinguished guests, were present and made addresses. 


The Civil War — Number of Troops Engaged — Battles 
—Losses— Illinois in the War — Quotas — Troops Fur- 
nished by Each County — Bounties Paid — Regimental 
Losses at Fort Donelson — Shiloh — Stone River — 
Chickamauga — Missionary Ridge — Other Battles — 
Percentage of Losses — Officers from Illinois — Work 
of the "Stay -at -Homes " — Sanitary and Christian 
Commissions— Union League— Songs of the War. 

THE war of the rebellion will take its place in history 
among the greater wars of modern times. It was remarkable 
not only on account of the magnitude of the issues involved, 
but also for the numbers engaged, the length of its duration, 
and the valor displayed by the soldiers of both sides, on many 
hotly-contested fields. 

The number of volunteers given in the table on the next page 
includes the enlistments for all terms of service except those 
for less than ninety days. In addition, during the war there 
were recruited for the regular army about 67,000 men, not 
more than two-thirds of whom were credited to the respective 
states from which they came. The following totals also in- 
clude all veterans and others whose names appear twice on the 
rolls. The number of colored troops in the table embraces 
only those who were organized in the confederate states — the 
whole number enlisted being 186,097, 

The total number of officers and men in the Union army, if 
reduced to a standard of three years' service for each man, 
would be 2,326,168, who were organized into: 

Artillery, - - 78 regiments and 2 companies. 
Cavalry, - - 272 n n 2 m 

Infantry, - - 1696 m h 6 n 

Total, 2047 regiments.* 

•"Statistical Record," by Capt. Frederick Phisterer; "Regimental Losses," by 
William F. Fox. 




Population, Quota, Troops actually Furnished, and Number of those 
WHO paid Commutation in each of the United States during the 
War of the Rebellion: 





IN iS6o 





Maine, ... 





II. 2 

New Hampshire, . 

. 326,073 


33,937 . 



Vermont, . - . 

3 1 5.098 










II. I 

Rhode Island, . 







. 460,147 





New York, 





II. 6 

New Jersey, 

- 672,035 




II. 4 






II. 6 

Delaware, . 

. 112,216 











West Virginia, 

- 393.234 




District of Columbia, 






Ohio, . 
























Wisconsin, _ 

- 775.881 




II. 8 







Iowa, . - . 

- 674,913 





Missouri, ... 





Kentucky, _ 






Kansas, - . . 



20, 149 



Tennessee, . 










North Carolina, 

. 992,622 











Oregon, . . . 




Washington Territory, 




Nebraska Territory, . 




Colorado Territory, 

- 34,277 



Dakota Territory, 
New Mexico Territory, 


- 93,516 










Mississippi, . 


Texas, . 



Indian Nation, 
Colored troops. 



Total, . - 2,763,670 
* Nuniiber included in whole number furnished. 

2,778,304 86,724 


The strength of the Union army at various periods* was: 


Jan. I, 





July I, 

1861, - 

- 183,588 



Jan. I, 





Jan. I, 

1863, - 

- 698,802 



Jan. I, 





Jan. I, 

1865, - 

- 620,924 



Mar. 3 

I, 1865, - 




May I, 

, 1865, - 

- 797,807 



During the war 2261 engagements took place — of which 156 
were in 1861, 564 in 1862, 627 in 1863, 779 in 1864, and 135 in 
1865. Of these, 519 occurred in Virginia, 298 in Tennessee, 
244 in Missouri, 186 in Mississippi, 167 in Arkansas, 138 in 
Kentucky, 85 in North Carolina, 50 in West Virginia, 78 in 
Alabama, and 60 in South Carolina. 

The table on the following page, prepared from authentic 
sources of information, exhibits the numbers engaged and the 
killed, wounded, captured, and missing, in some of the principal 
battles of the war. 

The difficulties in the way of attaining absolute accuracy as 
to particulars in regard to most of these engagements appear 
to be insuperable. At Antietam for instance, Colonel Walter 
H. Taylor, in his "Four Years with General Lee," insists that 
the confederate force numbered only 35,255. The RicJimond 
Enquirer, in its account of the battle, places Lee's strength at 
60,000; while Pollard, in his southern history, says, that Lee 
had 45,000 when the battle commenced and that this number 
was increased to 70,000 before its close. The official returns 
of the army of Virginia on September 22, only five days after 
the battle, showed present for duty 36,187, infantry and artil- 
lery.-f- The number here given is obtained by adding to this 
admitted return, the conceded losses — 12,601, and the cavalry, 
after deducting 2000 for incoming stragglers. 

Gen. McClellan's force in this engagement, as stated by him- 
self, was 87,164; but it must be borne in mind, in all these 
estimates, that the returns of Union officers differed from those 

* " Provost- Marshal General's Report." t Davis' "Rise and Fall," II, 343. 



of the confederates in this respect, that while the former reck- 
oned as present for duty all those who received pay, including 
musicians, teamsters, special details, and artificers, the latter 

Name, Date, Number Engaged, Killed, Wounded, Captured, and Miss- 


T, „ c Union 
Bull Run, (,^^f^j 

Ft. Donelson, ^' 

( Grant 
C.1.-1 1. ) Wallace 
2^'^°^ ) Bud 

( Confed. 


Perryville, - 
Stone's River, 
Gettysburg, - 
Wilderness, - 

July 21, i86i 

Feb. 13-6, 1862 

Apr. 6, 7, 1862 
II 7, (I 

II 7> " 

II 6, 7, II 

Sept. 17, 1862 

Oct. 8, 1862 

Dec. 31, 1862, 
and Jan. 2, 1863 

July 1, 2, 3, 1863 
Sep. 18-9, 1863 
May 5, 7, 1864 













































































































k. & w. 



U Q 

y o 

K < 















* James B. Fry in Cetttury Magazine, xxix, 31 ; "Rebellion Record," II, no. 

+ "From Fort Henry to Corinth," M. F. Force, 60-2; "War of the Rebellion," 
Official Reports, Ser. i, x; Grant's and Sherman's "Memoirs"; "Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War, " in Century Magazbie, xxix to xxxiv. It is evident that 
the confederate losses at Shiloh as above are not placed high enough. Reports 
of colonels show this; and indeed William P. Johnson admits a loss of 218 killed in 
addition to those reported. 

J "The Antietam and Fredericksburg," by F, W. Palfrey; William Swinton's 
"Campaigns"; Official Reports in "Rebellion Record" and "War of the Rebellion." 

§ Official Reports; "Chickamauga," by John B. Turchin, 240; Century Magazine; 
"The Army of the Cumberland," by Henry M. Cist. At Perryville, the principal 
fighting was done by the corps of Gen. Alexander McD. McCook which numbered 
14,000, and lost in killed and wounded 3299 — over 23 per cent. 

II " Gettysburg, " by Henry J. Hunt, Century Magazine, xxxiii; Swinton, supra; 
Pollard's "Southern History of the War"; Davis' " Rise and Fall of the Southern 
Confederate Government"; and Taylor's " Four Years with Gen. Lee." The con- 
federate losses at Gettysburg, as here given, are also undoubtedly much too small, as 
appears by the table of reports in "Rebellion Records," Vol. XXVII. They lost 
also more in prisoners than they admitted. 


reported only actual combatants. Estimating the Union army, 
after the confederate method, the number of troops engaged 
did not exceed 70,000; and of these the fifth and sixth corps 
and cavalry division — numbering 20,000 effectives — being held 
in reserve, lost only 596 — less than three per cent of their 

The battle of Gettysburg affords another illustration — Gen. 
Meade, in his testimony on the conduct of the war, stated that 
his army numbered 94,000. The return of those "present for 
duty" on the morning of June 30, 1863, showed 77,208 infan- 
try.* If to these figures be added the cavalry and artillery, the 
aggregate will approach very closely the number given by him. 
The Comte de Paris, however, in his history of the war, esti- 
mates that Meade had only 82,000 actually on the field. 

In respect to the strength of the confederates, Lee had 6S,ooo 
infantry in his command at the end of May and admitted that 
his effective force at Chambersburg, a few days before the bat- 
tle, was 70,000. Davis, in his "Rise and Fall," gives the rebel 
strength at Gettysburg at only 62,000. This estimate, however, 
undoubtedly too low, excludes the cavalry, only a portion of 
which was engaged and which is included in the table. 

The same difficulty exists with regard to the number of 
killed and wounded. Gen. Grant insists that at Shiloh the 
confederate estimate as given in the table "must be incorrect," 
and says that "We found by actual count more of the enemy's 
dead in front of the divisions of McClernand and Sherman 
alone than here reported (i728).-f- 

The confederate loss in killed at Corinth was reported to be 
505, and yet Gen. Rosecrans, in his report at the time and 
reiterated in a late account of the battle by him in the Century 
Magazine, states the number to have been 1423.:}: 

The severity of the fighting in these sanguinary engagements 
in comparison with other celebrated battles, in our own and 
other countries, is shown in the following table compiled from 
the most trustworthy sources of information. The losses given 
in the tables are generally those presented in the official reports 
of either side. 

* Swinton's "Campaigns," 310. + Grant's "Memoirs," i, 367. 

X Century Magazine, vol. xxxii, 901. "War of the Rebellion," xvii, 170. 




Name, Date, Number Engaged, Killed, Wounded, Captured, and Miss- 
ing, AND Per Cent Killed and Wounded in Celebrated Battles, 



Blenheim, Marlborough 
II French and Bavarians 
Fred'k II 










Bunker Hill, ^ 



Eutaw Springs, 


Lundy's Lane, 

New Orleans, 

Buena Vista, 

Moleno del Rey, 


- Napoleon 

- Napoleon 

- Napoleon 

- Russians 
• Napoleon 




French and S. 


- Prussians 


• Prussians 











- British 
. British 

- British 




Aug. 13, 1704 
Aug. 25, 1758 
June 14, 1800 
Dec. 2, 1805 
Sept. 7, 1812 
June 18, 1815 
Sept. 20, 1854 
June 24, 1859 
July 3, 1866 
Aug. 18, 1870 
June 17, 1775 
Oct. 4, 1777 
June 28, 1778 
Sept. 8, 1 781 
July 5, 1814 
July 25, 1814 
Jan. 8, 1815 
Feb. 23, 1847 
Sept. 8, 1847 

NO. EN- 


















k., w., 

& miss. 


















































k. &w. 




























k. &w. 























































































k., w.. 









12. 1 















* Authorities consulted: — Mulhall's "Dictionary of Statistics;" Abbott's " Frederick 
the Great"; "Haydn's Dictionary of Dates"; "New American Cyclopaedia"; Ali- 
son's "History of Europe"; Creasy's "Fifteen Decisive Battles"; " Encyclopasdia 
Britannica"; Gordon's "History of the American War"; Marshall's and Irving's 
"Washington"; Carrington's "Battles of the American Revolution"; ",Bunker-Hill 
Battle," by Geo. E. Ellis; Butler's and Graham's "History of the United States"; 
Niks' Register; Lossing's "War of 1812"; Armstrong's "Notices of the War of 
1 812"; James' "Military Occurrences of the Late War" [1812]; Parton's and 
Eaton's " Andrew Jackson. " 

The following table shows the total losses in the Union Army 
during the war of the rebellion from all causes: 



Losses in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion from 
ALL Causes : 



Maine, ... 

- 64,973 






New Hampshire, . 







Vermont, ... 

- 32,549 













Rhode Island, 

- 19,521 













New York, 







New Jersey, . . _ 














Delaware, _ . _ 








- 33,995 






West Virginia, 







District of Columbia, . 

. 11,912 






Ohio, .... 







Indiana, ... 







Illinois, ... 







Michigan, - . . 

- 85,479 






Wisconsin, ... 








- 23,913 






Iowa, . . - - 







Missouri, ... 

. 100,616 






Kentucky, ... 







Kansas, ... 

. 18,069 






Tennessee, ... 








. 8,289 






Other Southern States, . 








- 15,725 






Oregon, ... 







Colorado, . . - 

- 4,903 






Nebraska, ... 








. 8,8u 






Colored troops, 






Regular army, etc.. 













Xlll^iC&llOj _ >■ s 

Total 2,494,592* 67,077 42,993 224,854 24,904 359,528 

The figures given include both regulars and volunteers, but 
do not embrace sailors, negroes, or those who purchased com- 
mutation. The period of service covered in the regular army- 
is from April 15, 1861, to Aug. i, 1865; that of the volunteers 
from the date of their muster in, until their final discharge. 
Prisoners of war, who died after the mustering out of their 

* Exclusive of colored troops, 178,975; sailors, 101,207; and commutations, 86,- 
724; the returns relating to white troops alone. 


respective regiments, have been counted so far as ascertained. 
By far the greater portion of the volunteer army was disbanded 
in the summer and fall of 1865, but the process of mustering 
out continued gradually until November, 1867 — the last white 
organization being discharged on the i8th, and the last negro 
company on the 20th. 

In regard to these losses generally, there is a discrepancy 
between the reports of the adjutant-general, quartermaster- 
general, and surgeon-general. In the preparation of this table, 
that of the adjutant-general, having been corrected to May 22, 
1885, has been followed. 

If from the entire enlisted force of 2,865,028 there be deducted 
an allowance of one third for duplications in enrolment and 
desertions, there would remain an effective force, likely to have 
been actively engaged, of 1,910,000 troops. The deaths by disease 
and the total number of deaths may be placed upon the whole 
number of men furnished by the states and territories during 
the war — 2,494,592.* Upon this basis of computation the losses 
may be apportioned, under the different categories enumerated 
in the table, as follows: one out of every 17.3 was killed or died 
of wounds received in battle; one out of every 11 of the total 
troops furnished died of disease or other causes; and one man 
out of every 7.71, or 13 per cent, died while in service. 

The rates of mortality from casualties in battle and from 
wounds was larger among New England troops than among 
those from the West; the latter, however, sustained a larger 
proportionate loss through disease and other causes. 

As regards the losses among Illinois troops, the computation 
being made on the same basis: one in 20 was killed in battle or 
died of wounds; one in 11. 2 died of disease; and one out of 
every 7.3 died from all causes while in the service. 

Before the invention of gunpowder and the employment of 
fire-arms in warfare, a battle was an aggregation of close per- 
sonal encounters. In these hand-to-hand conflicts with sword 
or lance or spear, individual strength, dexterity, bravery, and 
endurance were the principal factors in deciding the issue, and 
the results were often sanguinary beyond anything witnessed in 

* Estimate of Capt. F. Phisterer in his "Statistical Record," sailors and colored 
troops not included. 


modern times. At the battle of Cannae, where the Roman 
eagles were trailed in the dust beneath the feet of Hannibal, 
out of a force of 80,000 foot and 6000 horse, the vanquished left 
70,000 either killed or wounded on the field, while the Cartha- 
ginian loss was 5700 out of 40,000 foot and 10,000 horse. 

Under the system of today, the opposing armies are, more or 
less, separated by the carrying distance of a bullet, ball, or shell, 
and the probability of being slain is more a question of tactical 
manoeuvring and of the doctrine of chances than of personal 
prowess — the shot of a man who is neither skilful nor brave may 
prove as deadly as that of the most courageous veteran. 

Rarely does modern warfare approach that of ancient times 
in fatality. Yet at those critical periods when the issue of a 
battle hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, to be turned by 
the resolute daring of a heroic dash in the face of bristling 

"With cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, 
Stormed at with shot and shell," 

personal valor and individual prowess often decide the supremacy 
of the bloody field. So also when the exigencies of the mo- 
ment call for the display of that unflinching determination, that 
cool courage, which nerves devoted men to stand to their guns 
until cut down, one by one, by the sabres of the charging foe, 
the carnage becomes frightful; and when it becomes essential 
that a troop should "stand in the gap," to be made a target for 
the shot and shell of the enemy in order that a strategic point 
may be held, and gallant men are cut down as the bending 
grass before the mower's scythe, the loss of life is appalling. 

Another point of difference between ancient and modern 
warfare is found in regard to the vanquished. In Sparta and 
other Greek states, it was an inviolable law never to fly nor to 
surrender.* All prisoners taken were enslaved by the conqueror 
and those who escaped were banished or degraded; so that the 
only alternative placed before a defeated army was death or 
disgrace. The vanquished now lay down their arms and sur- 

The part which Illinois took in the war of the rebellion was 

* RoUin's "History of Greece," II, 435. 


no less patriotic than glorious. As has already been shown, in 
the enlistment of volunteers, the State was nearly always in 
advance of the quota allotted to her by the general government. 
No draft was found necessary in 1863; only 3538 men had to 
be secured by the compulsory process in 1864; and but 55 
citizens purchased exemption by commutation, a smaller num- 
ber than in any other state except Kansas. 

The accounts of Illinois of quotas required and men fur- 
nished differed very considerably from those of the United 
States, as is shown by the annexed table: 

^ QUOTAS. ^ , FURNISHED. — -^ 


1861 47,785 April - 4,683 74,160 86,772 

May, July 47,785 

1862 32,685 July - 26,148 62,108 58,089 

August 26,148 4,373 4,696 
1863-4 64,833 64,833 3,445 

1864 (militia) 20,000 38,428 25,055 

1864 52,057 July - 21,997 16,082 11,328 

December 32,902 15,465 

1865 34-128 27,996 28,324 

231,488 244,496 226,592 285,147 

According to the regimental returns in the adjutant-general's 
office, the number was: 

151 9/10 regiments of infantry, 185,941 

17 regiments of cavalry, and 32,082 

2 4/5 regiments of artillery, 7,277 225,300 

The United - States account gives 157 infantry regiments, 
which includes the first six mustered out in July and reenlisted. 

Reducing the aggregate to a three years' standard, the num- 
ber of men furnished by the State, according to the Federal 
statement, was 214,133. The foregoing table of volunteers 
from the different states places Illinois in the proud position of 
having furnished a greater number, in proportion to the popula- 
tion of i860, than any other state in the Union except Kansas, 


which, being a new state, had a preponderance of male inhabi- 
tants of mihtary age. 

Population, Quota, Troops Furnished, Bounties and War Expenses 
Paid by each County of Illinois during the War of Rebellion: 


IN i860 







- 41.144 


- 9,767 

- 9,919 

- 5,143 

- ",313 

- 10,475 

- 9,309 

- 14,174 

- ",529 


- 19,079 

- 7,109 

. 16,888 

- 5,379 

- 7,805 

- 1.979 

- 9,367 

- 33,289 


. 16,067 


- 9,849 

- 3,704 

. 20,658 

- 9,560 

- 12,931 




1. 177 



















































Boone, . 



Calhoun, . 





Champaign, . 
Christian, . 
Clark, . 






Cook, . 
Crawford, . 
Cumberland, . 
DeKalb, . 



Douglas, _ 

















Hardin, « 


Henderson, . 
Jackson, ' . 
Jefferson, _ 
Jersey, . 







, AND 



IN i860 







- 27,147 










- 30,024 











Kendall, . 

- 13,073 





Knox, . 







. 18,248 











Lawrence, . 













. 11,632 












- 13,655 











Madison, . 

- 30,689 






- 12,730 







. 10,929 









. 20,061 



Mc Henry, 






McLean, . 

. 28,580 












- 15,037 






- 13,881 











- 6,384 









Ogle, - - 




- 36,475 





Perry, . 












Pike, . 







- 6,546 






- 5,579 













Richland, . 

- 9,709 





Rock Island, 












Sangamon, _ 




Schuyler, . 

. 14,670 





Scott, - 







- 14,590 




Stark, . 






St. Clair, . 

- 37,169 





Stephenson, . 



3, 1 68 





IN i860 






Tazewell, . 

. 21,427 











- 19,779 


















- 13,725 







- 12,274 










Williamson, . 

. 29,264 








- 24,457 











Total 1,704,327 231,488 226,592 5,715 819 $15,307,074 

Nearly all the Illinois regiments were employed in the South 
and Southwest. Wherever the heaviest fighting was to be done, 
there were found the brave men from the Prairie State — the 
first in the deadly charge and the last to retreat or surrender. 

The first battle in which any considerable number of Illinois 
troops were engaged was that of Belmont, Nov. 7, 1861, under 
Gen. Grant. All the troops engaged were from Illinois except 
the 7th Iowa. Gen. John A. McClernand commanded a brigade, 
as did Col. Henry Doughtery, of the 22d regiment, who was 
severely wounded and captured. The losses were as follows : 


22d, Lt.-Col. Harrison E. Hart, - 23 74 37 134 

27th, Col. Napoleon B. Buford, - - 11 42 28 81 

30th, Col. Philip B. Fouke, - - 8 27 8 44 

31st, Col. John A. Logan, - - - 10 61 iS 89 

Battery B, ist Artillery, Capt. Ezra Taylor, — 5 — 5 

2d Cavalry, Capt. J. J. Dollius, 12— 3 

At the battle of Fort Donelson, Feb. 15, 1862, the first signal 
success of the war, the commander-in-chief, Gen. Grant; Gen. 
McClernand who commanded the first division; 7 command- 
ers of brigades, namely: Cols. Wm. H. L. Wallace, Richard J. 
Oglesby, Wm. R. Morrison — wounded, Leonard F. Ross, John 
McArthur, John Cook, and Isham N. Haynie; and Chief-of-staff 
Col. J. D. Webster, were from Illinois; as were also 19 of the 36 
infantry regiments engaged; besides batteries B — Taylor's, and 


D — McAllister's of the ist, and D — Dresser's and E — Schwartz's 
of the 2d Illinois Artillery; and 4 companies of the 2d — Col. 
Silas Noble, and the 4th — Col.T. L.Dickey — Cavalry, and Birge's 
Sharpshooters. Of the six regiments which sustained the 
greatest losses in killed and wounded, five were from the same 
State, as follows: 


nth, Lt.-Col. Thomas E. G. Ransom, 

8th, Lt.-Col. Frank L. Rhoads, 
1 8th, Col. Michael K. Lawler, wounded, 
, (Col. Augustus Mersy, ) 

^'^^'ICapt. S. B. Marks, j 

31 st, Col. John A. Logan, wounded. 

The other Illinois regiments which lost heavily were: 

1 2th, Lt.-Col. Augustus Louis Chetlain, 

17th, Maj. Francis M. Smith, 

20th, Col. C. Carroll Marsh, 

29th, Col. James Reardon, 

30th, Lt.-Col. Elias S. Dennis, 

41 st, Col. Isaac C. Pugh, 

49th, Lt.-Col. Phineas Pease, 

Other Illinois losses were: 

7th, Lt.-Col. Andrew J. Babcock, 
45th, Col. John E. Smith, 
46th, Col. John A. Davis, 
48th, Lt.-Col. Thomas H. Smith, killed, 
50th, Col. Moses M. Bane, 
57th, Col. Silas D. Baldwin, 
58th, Col. William F. Lynch, 

Lt.-Cols. Wm. Irwin of the 20th, and John H. White of the 
31st Illinois were killed while bravely leading their men. 

Then came the news from the wilds of Arkansas where the 
troops from Illinois had been gloriously engaged in the hotly- 
contested battle of Pea Ridge, March 6, 7, 8, 1862; and where 
Col. Eugene A. Carr commanded a division, and Cols. Julius 
White and Nicholas Greusel, all from Illinois, brigades. Among 






















/ily were: 





















































the regiments which suffered the greatest losses were the 
following from that State: 


25th, Col. William N. Coler, - 

35th, Col. Gustavus A. Smith, 

36th, Capt. Silas Miller, - 

37th, Lt-Col. Myron S. Barnes, 

59th, Lt.-Col. C. H. Frederick, 

^d Cavalrv f Major John McConnell, \ 
3a, uavairy, j ^^^.^^ j^^^^ ^ Ruggles, j 

























In the sanguinary and stubborn conflict of Shiloh, April 6-y, 
1862, the commander-in-chief, and 4 of the 5 division-com- 
manders, on the first day, when the greatest losses were sus- 
tained, namely, Gens. McClernand.Wm. H. L.Wallace — mortally 
wounded, Stephen A. Hurlbut, and Benj. M. Prentiss — captured; 
and nine commanders of brigades, namely, Brig.-Gen. John Mc 
Arthur, Colonels C. C. Marsh, Julius Raith — mortally wounded, 
Edward N. Kirk — wounded, Thomas W. Sweeney — wounded, 
David Stuart — wounded, Isaac C. Pugh, Silas D. Baldwin, and 
Lt.-Col. Enos P. Wood, were from Illinois; also 27 of the 65 
infantry regiments,* and 10 batteries out of 27 engaged, and por- 
tions of the 2d, 4th, and nth cavalry. Of the 14 regiments 
which suffered the most, 8 were from the same State, as follows :•(• 


9th, Col. August Mersy, 
55th, Lt.-Col. Oscar Malmborg, 
28th, Col. Amory K. Johnson, 
40th, Col. Stephen G. Hicks, 
45th, Col. John E. Smith, _ 
43d, Lt.-Col. Adolph Engelmann, 

C Col. Edward F. Ellis, killed, ) 
1 5th, ^ Maj. Wm. G. Goddard, killed, |- 49 117 — 166 

(, Capt. Louis D. Kelley, J 

^, ( Col. Cyrus Hall, ) -- /; ^r- 

^4th,|Lt.-Col.WilIiamCam, I " 35 126 4 165 

* The others being from Missouri 5; Iowa ii; Ohio 10; Indiana 3; Kentucky 2; 
Wisconsin 3; Michigan 2. 

t It should be farther noted that of the 2830 prisoners captured by the enemy, 
only 401 were from Illinois. 


























The losses of other Illinois regiments, every one of which 
participated in the fiery struggle, though not so large, were 
severe : 


7th, Major Richard Rowett, - 17 8 1 i 99 

{Capt. Jas. M. Ashmore, wounded, ) 
Capt. William H. Harvey, killed, V 30 91 3 124 
Capt. Robert H. Sturgiss, ) 

nth, Lt.-Col. Thomas E. G. Ransom, 17 69 17 loi 

j2th I ^^•■^^^•^"SustusLouisChetlain, j 22 76 -z loi 
'( Maj. James R. Hugunin, 2nd day, \ ' ^ 

17th, Lt.-Col. Enos P. Wood, 15 118 5 138 

20th, Lt.-Col. Evan Richards, wounded, 22 107 7 136 
29th, Lt.-Col. Charles M. Ferrill, _ 12 73 4 89 
32d, Col. John A. Logan, _ 39 114 5 158 

4^ ^'^'JMaj. John Warner, . | 21 73 3 97 

^., (■ Col. John A. Davis, wounded, ) ^_ ^^^ ^ ,^^ 

4^^h'|Lt.-Col.JohnJ.Jones, | "^ I34 i 160 

48th, Col. Isham N. Haynie, _ 18 112 3 133 

49th, Lt.-Col. Phineas Pease, _ 19 83 8 no 

50th, Col. Moses M. Bane, _ 12 63 4 84 

, J- Maj. Henry Stark, ) 

5^*^' ( Capt. Edwin A. Bowen, j ^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^ 

^„^u f Col. Silas D. Baldwin, 1st day, / ., ^^^ . ^^o 
57th. I Lt.-Col. Frederick J. Hurlbut, ^ 2, no 3 13b 

5^^^' \ Capt. R. W. Healy, \ ' -^ 47 223 290 

6ist, Col. Jacob Fry, . . 12 45 18 75 

Birge's Sharpshooters, _ _ _ 26 — 8 

The 34th Illinois, of Buell's army. Major Charles Levenway, 
killed, succeeded by Capt. Hiram W. Bristol, took part in the 
second day's battle and met with a loss of 15 killed and n2 

The battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4, 1862, though not so 
large in the numbers engaged, was nearly equal in destructive 
results with those of the most sanguinary. Six of the com- 
manders of brigades, namely, Gens. Oglesby — severely wounded, 





1 1 









1 1 































McArthur — wounded, and Buford, and Cols. Sweeney, Mersy, 
and Baldwin — wounded, belonged to Illinois, as did 10 out of the 
44 infantry regiments engaged. The losses sustained by these 
troops were heavy, as will be seen in the following table: 


7th, Col, A. J. Babcock, 
9th, Col. Augustus Mersy, 
1 2th, Col. Augustus L. Chetlain, 
26th, Major Robert A. Gilmore, 

rU.-Col. Wm. A. Thrush, killed, 
47th, < Capt. Harmon Andrews, killed, 

C Capt. Samuel R. Baker, 
50th, Lt.-Col, William Swarthout, 
5 2d, Lt.-Col. John S. Wilcox, 
56th, Lt.-Col. Green B. Raum, 

j^ j Lt.-Col. F.J. Hurlbut, 
-'' 'I Major Eric Forsse, 
58th, Detachment, 
64th, Capt. John Morrill, 

The 7th and nth Illinois cavalry were also engaged in this 
battle, meeting with a total loss of 14. 

In the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, Oct. 8, 1862, Colonels 
William P. Carlin and Nicholas Greusel commanded brigades. 
Nine Illinois regiments were actively engaged and generally 
sustained heavy losses, as follows: 


24th, Capt. August Mauflf, 

36th, Col. Nicholas Greusel, 

59th, Major Joshua C. Winters, 

75th, Lt.-Col. John E. Bennett, 

80th, Col. Thomas G. Allen, 

85th, Col. Robert S. Moore, 

86th, Col. David D. Irons, - 

88th, Col. Francis T. Sherman, 

123d, Col. James Monroe, 

At the battle of Stone's River, Dec. 31, 1862 to Jan. 2, 1863, 
Gen. John M. Palmer was in command of a division and Generals 
Edward N. Kirk — mortally wounded, Jas. D, Morgan, and Cols. 


























































William P. Carlin, P. Sidney Post, Nicholas Greusel, and George 
W. Roberts — killed, were in command of brigades. Out of the 
106 volunteer regiments engaged 24 were from Illinois;* and of 
the 17 regiments whose casualty lists were the largest, six were 
from this State, as follows: 


^ { Col. John W. S. Alexander, } ^^ ^n„ ^^ ^^, 

^'''' \ Lieut-Col. Warren E. Mackin. 1 57 ^^7 59 303 

^ , f Maj. Silas Miller, wounded, ) 
^^^^' ( Capt. Porter C. Olson, | 

84th, Col. Louis H. Waters, 
38th, Lt.-Col. Daniel H. Gilmer, 
44th, Capt. Wallace W, Barrett, 
J f Lt.-Col, Francis Swanwick, \ 
' \ Capt. Samuel Johnson, j 

The losses in the other Illinois regiments, all of which were 
in the thickest of the fight — except the 24th, 4 wounded, and 
the 85th no loss reported — were: 


,^«.u f Col. Jos. R.Scott, mortallywou'd, \ ^^ o, ^, ^^o 
^9th, I Lt.-Col. Alexander W.Raffen, T^ S3 11 108 

{Col. Thomas D. WilHams, killed, "^ 
Maj. Richard H. Nodine, V16 75 5 96 

Capt. Westford Taggart, J 

,, ( Col. Fazillo A. Harrington, killed, ") ^ ^^ „, ,^, 

27th. I Maj. William A. Schmidt, 1 ^ 69 24 103 

, J Lt.-Col. Hiram W. Bristol, \ 
34^"' I Maj. Alexander P. Dysart, j 
35th, Lt.-Col. William P. Chandler, 
42d, Lt.-Col. Nathan H. Walworth, 
^^^ J Col. Luther P. Bradley, ) 

^ ' \ Capt. Henry F. Wescott, \ 

59th, Capt. Hendrick E. Paine, 
73d, Maj. William A. Presson, 
74th, Col. Jason Marsh, 
75th, Lt.-Col. John E. Bennett, 

, I Col. Sheridan P. Read, killed. ■) ^^ _^ ^^^ ^^^ 
79^^' t Maj. Allen Buckner, | ^^ 7i 124 219 

• Ohio being represented by 29; Indiana 25; Kentucky ii; Wisconsin 5 ; Michigan 
4; Pennsylvania 3; Tennessee 3; Missouri 2. 











































88th, Col. Francis T, Sherman, 14 50 

89th, Lt.-Col. Chas. Truman Hotchkiss, 10 46 

1 00th, Lt.-Col. Frederick A, Bartleson, 7 39 

iioth. Col. Thomas S. Casey, _ 7 49 

At the two days' bloody conflict of Chickamauga, Sept. 19- 
20, 1863, Illinois was represented by two commanders of divi- 
sions, namely, Maj.-Gen. John M. Palmer and Brig.-Gen. James 
D. Morgan; 7 commanders of brigades, namely, Generals John 
Basil Turchin, William P. Carlin, and Colonels P. Sydney Post, 
Silas Miller, Robert F. Smith, Luther P. Bradley, wounded, and 
Nathan H. Walworth; among the staff"-officers was Major Johr 
C. Smith of the 96th Illinois, since Heutenant-governor of the 
State, serving with Gen. Jas. B. Steedman; and by 28 infantry 
regiments.* Of the 20 regiments which met with the greatest 
loss, 5 of them were from Illinois, namely: 


96th, Col. Thomas E. Champion, 

f Col.John W.S.Alexander, killed, \ 
^^^^' \ Capt. Chester K. Knight, j 

2 j^ ( Maj. Samuel D. Wall, ) 
^ ' \ Capt. Westford Taggart, J 
115th, Col. Jesse H. Moore, 
35th, Lt-Col. William P. Chandler, 

The losses of the other Illinois regiments engaged, nearly 
all of them severe, were as follows: 


^^ ( Lt.-Col. Alexander W. Raffen, 
" ' \ Capt. Presley Neville Guthrie, 
22d, Lt.-Col. Francis Swanwick, 

, { Col. Geza Mihalotzv, wounded, 
^'^^"' I Maj. George A. Guenther, „ 
27th, Lt.-Col. Jonathan R. Miles, 
,^., r Col. Silas Miller, ) 

2^^^' I Lt.-Col. Porter C. Olson, j 





















Q., I Col. Daniel H. Gilmer, killed, \ 
3^^^' \ Capt. Willis G. Whitehurst, j 

























* Ohio was represented by 44; Indiana 26; Kentucky 15; Wisconsin 7; Michigan 
6; Pennsylvania 4; Tennessee and Missouri 2 each; Minnesota and Kansas i each. 



, f Col. Nathan H. Walworth, \ 
^ ' \ Lt.-Col. John A. Hottenstein, j 

78th, I 

44th, Lt.-Col. Wallace W. Barrett, 
51st, Lt.-Col. Samuel B. Raymond, 
73d, Col. James F. Jaquess, 

Lt.-Col. Carter VanVleck, \ 
Lt. George Green, j 

79th, Col. Allen Buckner, 
84th, Col. Louis H. Waters, 
85th, Col. Caleb J. Dilworth, 
86th, Lt.-Col. David W. Magee, 
88th, Lt.-Col. Alexander S.Chadbourne, 12 

r Col. Charles Truman Hotchkiss, "| 
89th, ^ Lt.-Col. Duncan J. Hall, killed, [> 14 %Z 30 132 

( Maj. William D. Williams, j 

92d, Col. Smith D. Atkins, _ 2 22 2 26 

^o^\. f Col. John J. Funkhouser, ) . .,/r 

9^^^' I Lt.-Col. Edward Kitchen, | 5 3^ 2 43 

,, J Col. Frederick A. Bartleson, ) 
'°°^"' \ Maj. Charles M. Hammond, j 

















































104th, Lt.-Col. Douglas Hapeman, 

123d, Col. James Monroe, 

125th, Col. Oscar F. Harmon, _ * — — — — 

At the battle of Missionary Ridge, Nov. 25, 1863, Gen. John 
M. Palmer commanded the 14th corps, Gen. John E. Smith a 
division, and Generals Morgan, Turchin, Carlin, Giles A. Smith, 
and Colonels Hecker, Loomis, Silas Miller, Francis T. Sherman, 
Walworth, Raum, and Tupper, brigades; 38 Illinois regiments 
were engaged, 6 of which were among the heaviest losers, viz:. 


Col. Timothy O'Meara, killed, ) 

Lt.-Col. Owen Stuart, i ^° 94 I3 ii7 

26th, Col, Robert A. Gilmore, _ 10 82 i 93 

103d, Col. Willard A. Dickerman, 15 74 — 89 

^^ , f Col. Holden Putnam, killed, ) ^ 

93d' \ Lt.-Col. Nicholas C. Buswell, i ^^ ^6 27 93 

25th, Col. Richard H. Nodine, . 9 58 — 67 

27th, Col. Jonathan R. Miles, _ 8 70 — yZ 

* Losses not reported. 

90th, I 


In all these statements of casualties, at this time it must be 
remembered that nearly every regiment had become much de- 
pleted in numbers in consequence of formei losses. For instance, 
In the reports of this battle, it appears that the 19th had only 
195 officers and men; the 25th, 260; the 59th, 286; the 75th, 
266; the 84th, 305; and the 96th, 272. 

The other Illinois regiments, all hotly engaged in achieving 
this great victory or in its attending conflicts, met with the 
following serious losses: 


C Lt.-Col. Frederick W. Partridge, 'I wounded, 
l3th,-< Maj. Douglas Bushnell, killed, |- 4 58 i 63 

V Capt. George P. Brown, J 

19th, Lt.-Col. Alexander W. Raffen, 
22d, Lt.-Col. Francis Swanwick, 
35 th, Lt.-Col. William P. Chandler, 
36th, Lt.-Col. Porter C. Olson, 
40th, Maj. Hiram W. Hall, 
42d, Capt. Edgar D. Swain, 
44th, Col. Wallace W. Barrett, 

. \ Maj. Charles W. Davis, wounded, 
5^^^' } Capt. Albert M. Tilton, 
56th, Maj. Pinckney J. Welch, wounded, 
59th, Maj. Clayton Hale, 

, { Col. James F. Jaquess, } 

' -^ ' \ Maj. Jas. I. Davidson, wounded, \ 
74th, Col. Jason Marsh, 
78th, Lt.-Col. Carter VanVleck, _ 
79th, Col. Allen Buckner, 
80th, Capt. James Neville, 
82d, Lt.-Col. Edward S. Salomon, 
88th, Lt.-Col. George W. Chandler, 
89th, Lt.-Col. William D. Williams, 
^ , { Col. Thomas E. Champion, ) 
9^^"' I Maj. George Hicks, \ 

looth, Maj. Charles M. Hammond, 
104th, Col. Douglas Hapeman, 

The following regiments being upon outpost duty, on special 
details, or held in reserve, suffered but slightly; namely: the 


24 - 



16 - 



48 - 



26 - 



43 1 

^ 50 


46 - 



18 - 



13 - 



18 - 



17 - 



24 - 



46 - 



4 - 



5 - 



7 - 



I — 



46 - 



SO — 



14 - 



31 - 



17 - 



loth, 34th, 55th, 75th, 80th, 84th, 85th, 86th, 98th, loist, ii6th, 
125th, and 127th, 

In the various engagements during the docisive campaign 
against Vicksburg under Gen. Grant, Gen. McClernand com- 
manded a corps, Gens. John A. Logan and Eugene A. Carr, 
divisions, and Gens. Lawler, John E. Smith, McArthur, Wm. 
W. Orme, EHas S. Dennis, and Colonels Loomis, Hicks, Pugh, 
Cyrus Hall, A. K. Johnson, A. Engleman, Raum, Putnam, D. 
Stuart, and W. W. Sanford, brigades. The following are some 
of the heaviest regimental losses: 


13th, Col. John B. Wyman, chicSwEayou, V 107 39 173 

20th, L.-Col. Evan Richards, killed, Raymond, 17 6^ I 86 

55th, Col. Oscar Malmborg, - - 10 58 — 6"^ 

93d, Col.HoldenPutnam,Champion'sHill 38 113 11 162 

nth, Lt.-Col. Garrett Nevins, killed,* 3 42 9 53 

xiA ^ Col. John Logan, ) tc? en _ 72 

32*^' / Lt.-Col. William Hunter, \ I3 59 — 72 

72d, Col. Frederick A. Starring, - 20 71 5 96 

--i^i^ \ Col. David P. Grier, ) 19 85 26 130 

' ' ' \ Lt.-Col. James C. Wright, mortally \ wounded, 

8ist, Col. Jas. J. Dollins, killed, - 11 96 — 107 

95th, Col. Thomas W. Humphrey, - 18 83 8 109 

, , ( Col. Geo. W. K. Bailey, wounded, 
99^^' \ Lt.-Col. Lemuel Parke, 

TT^fl. 5 Col. George B. Hoge, |^ 
^^3^"' i Maj. George R. Clarke, / 

^^1 ( Col. N. W. Tupper, ) ^ ^. 

^^^^^MLt-Col. James P. Boyd, } " 6 64 i 71 

127th, Col. H. N. Eldridge, - - 8 31 i 40 

The following table exhibits the casualties sustained by the 
Illinois regiments in other famous battles of the war. It must 
be remembered, however, that the killed and wounded in any 
given contest, or as relating to any given regiment, is not always 
to be relied upon as evidence of its superior bravery or effi- 
ciency. The losses may have resulted from the bad handling 
by incompetent or rash commanders, unnecessarily exposing 

• The losses in the nth, 32d, 72d, 77th, 8ist, 95th, 99th, 113th, ii6th, and 127th, 
respectively, were caused in the assault on Vicksburg, May 22, 1863. 

j 19 77 6 


20 — 27 


their commands, or failing to retire in time from untenable 
positions. Other regiments by reason of having been detailed 
to guard posts, or railroad lines, or placed on other detached 
service, where they rendered efficient and important aid to the 
cause, oftentimes had not the opportunity of showing what 
they could do in a regular-pitched battle. 

Losses of Illinois regiments in other battles: 


7th, Col. Richard Rowett, Allatoona, 35 

1 2th, Capt. Robt. Koehler, Allatoona Pass, 17 

28th, Col. Amory K. Johnson, \ ^atchie, 13 

( Jackson, o 
30th, Col. Warren Shedd, Atlanta, 24 

31st, Col. Edwin S. McCook, Atlanta, 28 

34th, Lt.-Col. Oscar Van Tassel, Bentonville, 8 
36th, Lt.-Col. Peter C.Olson, killed, Franklin, 6 

r Drury's Bluff, 1 1 
39th, Lt.-Col. O. L. Mann, < Petersburg, 15 

I Deep Bottom, 20 y6 
41st, Maj. Francis M. Long, killed, Jackson, 27 135 
42d, Col.EdgarD. Swain, Spring Hill, Tenn. 16 
51st, Col. Charles W. Davis, FrankHn, 11 

J ( Capt. John W. McClanahan, Hatchie, 9 
" ' 1 Col. Seth C. Earl, killed, Jackson, 33 
55th, Capt. Jacob M.Augustine, killed, Kenesaw, 14 
58th, Lt.-Col. Robt. W. Healy, Ezra Chapel, 29 
59th, Lt.-Col. Clayton Hale, Nashville, 8 

C Col. John Morrill, - Kenesaw, 19 

64th,] Col. John Morrill vvounded, j ^^,^^^^^ g ^^ 

(, Lt.-C. Michael W. Manning, ^ » / / i- 

C Lt.-Col. Jos. R. Stockton, ^ wounded, 
72d, < Maj. William James, l Franklin, 15 97 38 150 

( Capt. James A. Sexton, J 
76th, Col. Samuel T. Bussey, Jackson, 16 

78th, Col. Carter VanVleck, Jonesboro, 13 

79th, Lt.-C. Maris Vernon, Liberty Gap, Tenn. 6 
80th, Lt. Herman Steinecke, Kenesaw, 16 

Q. l£'^-?''^-S'p^?V'''""'^''^' , , Ichancelorville, 
82d, ■< Maj. Ferd.H.Rolshausen, wounded, >- ' 

( Capt. Jacob LaSalle, j 29 88 38 155 





















































































































83d, Col.A. C.Harding, attack Ft. Donelson, 13 

86th, Lt.-Col. Allen L. Fahnestock,Kenesaw, 26 

89th, Col. Charles T. Hotchkiss, Picketts, 16 

93d, Col. Nicholas C. Buswell, Atlanta, 21 

I02d, Col. Franklin C. Smith, Resaca, 24 

103d, Lt.-C. Geo. W. Wright, wn'd, Kenesaw, 23 

r Col. A. B. Moore, captured, Hartsville, 25 131 568 

104th, -^ T ^ /- 1 -n> 1 \J Peach Tree ,^ 

( Lt.-Col. Douglas Hapeman, CxQ^k ^" 
I nth, Maj. William H. Mabry, Atlanta, 18 

^1- /- 1 -ru T Tj J r Knoxville, 18 

ii2th, Col.Thos. J. Henderson, -^ ^ ^ 

^ (Etoy Creek, 12 

I22d, Col. John I. Rinaker, wounded,* 23 

125th, Col.OscarF. Harmon, killed, Kenesaw, 54 
129th, Lt.-C.Thos.H.Flynn, Peach Tree Creek, 9 

Many subordinate, field, staff, and line officers, in addition to 
those already mentioned, fell gallantly upon the field of battle. 
In the present imperfect state of the war-records, it is impossible 
to state them all but the following list, relating to field-officers 
of infantry regiments, is supposed to be nearly complete: 


24th, Col. Geza Mihalotzy, March 11, 1864. 

28th, Lt-Col. Thos. M. Killpatrick, At Shiloh. 

30th, Maj. Thomas McClurken, At Belmont. 

31st, Lt.-Col. John D.Reese, Of wounds, July i, 1863. 

32d, Lt.-Col. John W. Ross, Of wounds received at Shiloh. 

35th, Maj. John Mcllwain, Near Kenesaw, 1864. 

36th, Col. Silas Miller, Mortally wounded at Kenesaw, 1864. 

, j Lt-Col. Rigdon S. Barnhill, In battle, June 27, 1864. 
't Maj. Francis M. Long, In battle, July 12, 1863. 

J j Maj. James Leighton, In battle, Sept. 2, 1863. 

' t Maj. David W. Norton, In battle, June 2, 1864. 

{Lt.-Col. Melancthon Smith, In battle, June 25, 1863. 
Maj. Luther N. Cowan, In battle, May 22, 1863. 

Maj. Leander B. Fisk, In battle, June 25, 1863. 

46th, Col, John A. Davis, Mortally wounded at Hatchie. 

7th S ^^^' ^^^^ ^' Cromwell, At Jackson, May, 1863. 

' ( Lt.-Col. David L. Miles, At Farmington. 

* Engagement at Parker's Cross- Road. 



48th, Col. Lucien Greathouse, In battle, July 22, 1864. 

57th, Maj. Norman B. Page, At Shiloh. 

66th, Col. Patrick E. Burke, Of wounds at Resaca. 

J f Maj. Wm. E. Smith, At Chickamauga. 

\ Maj. Thomas Motherspaw, Of wounds, Dec. 18, 1864. 

74th, Lt.-Col. James B. Kerr, Of wounds at Atlanta. 

77th, Lt.-Col. Lysander R. Webb, In battle, April 8, 1864. 

78th, Maj. William L. Broddus, At Chickamauga. 

88th, Lt.-Col. George W. Chandler, At Atlanta. 

95th, Col. Thomas W. Humphrey, In battle, June 10, 1864. 

96th, Lt.-Col. Isaac L. Clark, In battle, Sept. 20, 1863. 

looth, Col. Frederick A. Bartleson, At Kenesaw. 

103d, Col. Willliam A. Dickerman, At Resaca. 
107th, Col. Francis H. Lowry, Mortally wounded at Franklin. 

115th, Lt.-Col. William Kinnan, At Chickamauga. 

ii6th, Lt.-Col. Anderson Froman, Of wounds, June 15, 1864. 

123d, Col. James Monroe, At Farmington, 

125th, Col. Oscar F. Harmon, At. Kenesaw. 

Col'd infantry, Col. John A. Bross, At Petersburg. 

The 9th Infantry lost the most men killed in action of any 
other Illinois regiment. As shown before, it lost at the battle 
of Fort Donelson, 36 killed, 165 wounded, and 9 missing — a total 
of 210. The same regiment lost at Shiloh, 61 killed, 300 wounded, 
and 5 missing — a total of 366. That a new regiment should 
lose in less than 50 days 577 men is one of the most remark- 
able events in the annals of war — especially when the fact is 
taken into the account that this was done in the wilds ot 
Southern forests and swamps and only 14 of the number 
missing. This regiment was commanded most of the time by 
Colonels August Mersy and Jesse J. Phillips; who, at different 
times, also commanded brigades or divisions and were fre- 
quently wounded, but although confessedly among the most 
gallant officers of the service were never promoted brigadier- 

The following organizations served in the departments of 
the East, namely, the 23d, 39th, and 82d infantry, and the 8th 
and 1 2th cavalry. The 8th suffered the heaviest loss in killed 
and wounded of any Illinois cavalry regiment. From its ranks 


came the gallant Elon J. Farnsworth whose commission as a 
brigadier-general bore the date of his heroic death at Gettys- 

The rough and heavily-timbered country in the South, where 
nearly all the cavalry regiments principally served did not 
afford much scope for use in large bodies and close fighting. 
They performed, however, very efficient and valuable service in 
scouting and in various raids. Perhaps the most damaging of 
the latter was that commanded by Gen. Grierson of Illinois 
through the entire state of Mississippi and part of Louisiana, 
during the Vicksburg campaign, performed solely by Illinois 
regiments, namely, the 6th and /th cavalry. Col, Dudley 
Wickersham of the loth, performed distinguished services in 
Missouri and Arkansas in command of a brigade, and as com- 
mander of FayetteviUe. Col. Benj. F. Marsh, jr., commanded 
the 2d Cavalry after its consolidation in 1864, and rendered 
conspicuous service. 

Gen. John L. Beveridge, who was elected lieutenant-governor 
of the State in 1872, and served the full term of four years as 
governor, vice Gen. Oglesby elected to the senate, served at first 
as a major in the 8th Cavalry, but was subsequently transferred 
to and commissioned colonel of the 17th. This regiment was 
ordered to Missouri, where it was kept busily employed in skir- 
mishes and engagements, doing valiant service; Col. Beveridge 
most of the time being in command of a brigade. The 12th, 
under Col. Hasbrouck Davis, was engaged in some of the most 
noted of the successful raids in Virginia. 

Maj. Zenas Applington of the 7th, was killed near Corinth 
in 1862; Lt.-Col. Harvey Hogg of the 2d cavalry, fell while 
leading a charge at Bolivar, Aug. 29, 1862; Col. John J. Mudd, 
of the same regiment, was killed on Red River, May 3, 1864; 
Lt.-Col. William McCullough, 4th, was killed in battle, Dec. 5, 
1862; Col. Matthew H. Starr, 6th, was mortally wounded, Octo- 
ber, 1864; Lt.-Col. Reuben Loomis, 6th, killed, Nov. 2, 1863 
Lt.-Col. Wm. D. Blackburn, 7th, died of wounds. May 17, 1863 
Maj. William H. Medill, 8th, died of wounds, July 16, 1863 
Col. Warren Stewart, 15th, killed near Vicksburg, June 23, 1863 
and Maj. Frederick Schaumbeck, i6th cavalry, killed in action, 
August 3, 1864, 


The 1 6th cavalry lost the remarkable number of 157 men 
who died in confederate prisons.* 

In most or all of the engagements of which lists of the killed 
and wounded are presented in this chapter, some one or more of 
the Illinois artillery companies performed gallant and efficient 
services, often stemming the tide of rebel charges and saving the 
day. The heaviest loss in killed and mortally wounded of any 
Illinois battery during the war was 15 each, in Wood's Battery 
A and Houghtaling's C. These batteries, also lost the most in 
particular engagements, the former at Shiloh, 4 killed and 26 
wounded; the latter at Stone's River, 5 killed and 20 wounded. 
Bridge's Battery at Chickamauga lost 6 killed, 16 wounded, and 
4 missing. Taylor's Battery B was renowned all through the 
South for its efficiency, and the same is true of the famous De 
Gress's Battery of twenty- pound Parrot-guns, captured and 
recaptured so bravely at Atlanta.* 

The three infantry regiments which sustained the greatest nu- 
merical losses in battles were the following: 5th New Hampshire, 
18 officers, 277 men; the 83d Pennsylvania, 11 officers, 271 men; 
the 7th Wisconsin, 10 officers, 271 men. Many other regiments 
suffisred nearly equal losses, that of the 9th Illinois, which heads 
the list of this State, having 5 officers who were either killed or 
died of wounds and 211 men; the 36th Illinois, with a loss of 
II officers and 193 men, not being far behind. 

The largest percentage of loss in killed and mortally wounded 
in any infantry regiment was sustained by the 2d Wisconsin, 
which, out of 1203 names enrolled, lost 238 or 19.7 per cent. 
The 57th Massachusetts sustained the next heaviest percentage 
of loss. The heaviest losers among Illinois regiments in killed 
and mortally wounded were as follows: that of the 55th, 15; 
the 93d, 14.9; the 36th, 14.8; the 9th, 14.4; and several others 
reaching to between 10 and 14 per cent. 

The greatest percentage of killed, wounded, and missing, the 
latter supposed to be killed or wounded, in any infantry regi- 
ment in any single engagement, was that of the ist Minnesota 
at Gettysburg, where, out of 262 engaged, 47 were killed and 
168 wounded, equal to 82 per cent. The 141st Pennsylvania lost 

• Tables containing the losses of all the Illinois cavalry regiments and batteries 
will be found in the Appendix. 


75.7 per cent in the same battle; the loist New York, 73.8 per 
cent at Manassas. In a list, prepared by Lt.-Col. William F. 
Fox, of 62 regiments, which sustained a loss in particular 
engagements of 50 per cent and over, were the following from 
















Chickamauga, « 




























Fort Donelson, 






To which may be added the following: 


Stone's River, 







Stone's River, 













The following Illinois regiments participated in the celebrated 
campaign of Gen. Sherman from Atlanta to the sea:"f 

keg't colokw. lt.-colonel major 

7th, Richard Rowett, _ Hector Perrin, . Edward S. Johnson. 

9th, . Samuel T. Hughes, William Padon. 

lOth, John Tillson, _ David Gillespie, George A. Race. 

12th, _ Henry Van Sellar, Wheelock S, Merriman. 

TCth' [ George C. Rogers, Lemuel O. Oilman, Carlos C. Cox. 

1 6th, Robert F. Smith, James A. Chapman, Charles Petrie. 

* The greatest percentage of confederate losses sustained in particular engagements 
— on the same authority — were as follows : 


1st Texas, Antietam, 226 45 141 — 82 

2ist Georgia, - Manasses, _ 242 38 146 — 76 

26th North Carolina, Gettysburg, 820 86 502 ^ — 71 

^120 missing, many of whom were supposed to have been killed. 

6th Mississippi, Shiloh, . 425 61 239 — 70 

8th Tennessee, Chickamauga, 328 44 180 — 68 

and so on. According to the very imcomplete and imperfect confederate returns 42 
regiments are reported to have lost from 50 to 82 per cent in single battles. 

+ A table showing the name of the colonel of each regiment, date of organization, 
strength, and date of final muster out, with name of officer then commanding and 
strength; and also, in order that full justice may be done, a complete list of casual- 
ties in each regiment, as prepared by Col. Fox in his "Regimental Losses," will be 
found in the Appendix. 








1 1 0th, 
I nth, 

Daniel Bradley, 
Warren Shedd, 

Stephen G. Plicks, 
Robert P. Sealy, 
William Hanna, 
John W. McClanahan, 

Green B. Raum, 

William B. Anderson, 
Joseph B. McCown, 
John Morrill, 
Andrew K. Campbell, 

Edward S. Salomon, 
Caleb J. Dilworth, 

Owen Stuart, 
Smith D. Atkins, 
Nicholas C. Buswell, 
John B. LaSage, 
Franklin C. Smith, 
George W. Wright, 
Douglas Hapeman, . 
Daniel Dustin, 


Ira J. Bloomfield, 
William C. Rhodes, 
Robert N. Pearson, 
George H. English, 
Peter Ege, 
Hiram W. Hall, 

Ashley T. Galbraith, 

Jerome D. Davis, 

John P. Hall, 
Frederick J. Hurlbut, 
George W. Evans, 
James Isaminger, 
Michael W. Manning, 

Maris R. Vernon, 

Allen L. Fahnestock, 

Mathew VanBuskirk, 

Isaac McManus, 
Asias Willison, 


George W. Kennard. 
John B. Harris. 
John P. Davis. 

Henry Davidson. 
Peter F. Walker. 

R. H. McFadden. 
John O. Duer. 
Edward Adams. 
Horace L. Burnham. 
Albert C. Perry. 
Roland H. Allison. 

James P. Files. 
Frederick A. Battey. 
James H. McDonald. 
Joseph F. Lemen. 
Joseph S. Reynolds. 

George Green. 
Ferd H. Rolshanson» 
Robert G. Rider. 

Patrick Flynn. 
Albert Woodcock. 
James M. Fisher. 
Napoleon B. Brown. 
Hiland H. Clay. 
Charles W. Wills. 
John H. Widmer. 
Henry D. Brown. 
Green M. Cantrell, 
William H. Mabry. 
John S. Windsor. 
John B. Lee. 
Frank C. Gillette. 
John A. Hoskins. 

Everell F. Dutton, 

. Ebenezer H. Topping, 

James S. Martin, . Joseph F. Black, . 

. John E. Madux, 

. James W. Langley, 

. Frank S. Curtiss, . 

Henry Case, . Thomas H. Flynn, 

Artillery : — ist Regiment Company C, Capt. Joseph R. Channel. 

1st Regiment Company H, Capt. Francis DeGress. 

2d Regiment Company I, Capt. Judson Rich. 
Cavalry: — nth Regiment Company G, Capt. Stephen S. Tripp. 
In all, 45 regiments and 4 companies. — "Adjutant-General's Report," I, 103. 

The splendid record made by the volunteers from Illinois 
could not have been accomplished, however, but for their 
gallant and able leadership. 


Our State gave to the Nation and the world not only the 
illustrious Lincoln, but the great commander-in-chief, General 
Grant, who led her armed hosts to final victory. Eleven other 
of the major-generals of volunteers were credited to Illinois, 
namely: 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. 

Twenty of those who started out as commanders of regi- 
ments were promoted to brevet major-generalship; fifty-three 
— excluding those named above — rose to be brigadier-generals, 
and 120 attained the rank of brevet brigadier-generals. To 
award to each of these gallant leaders his just meed of praise 
would be impossible without prolixity; to select a chosen few 
for special encomium would be invidious.* 

The State was equally well served by the staff-officers and 
aides-de-camp appointed therefrom, headed by the brave and 
efficient Gen. John A. Rawlins. 

To confine the history of the part taken by Illinois in the 
war to a recital of the meritorious services of her brave volun- 
teers, would be as incomplete as it would be unjust, to that 
portion of her citizens who, for personal, domestic, or official 
reasons, did not go to the war and who might be properly 
classified as the "stay-at-homes." 

It was just as essential to the success of the Union cause 
that trade should be carried on, manufactures continued, and 
that civil and ^//^i-z-military offices should be loyally filled and 
faithfully administered, as it was that armies should be recruited 
and equipped for the struggle in the field. Many of those who 
would have distinguished themselves in the military service and 
would have shared with others in the renown of their heroic 
achievements, wisely and nobly decided to perform their duties 
as public officers or private citizens in their several stations at 

The backbone of the Union army was the unfaltering support 
it received from the loyal people who helped to raise and main- 
tain it; who followed it with their sympathy and aid; who in 

* A complete list of brevet major-generals, brigadier and brevet brigadier-gen- 
erals, will be found in the Appendix. 


fact furnished the sinews of war and made its glorious success 
possible. To counteract the adverse influences of the disloyal 
element, which was ever active and untiring; to uncover and 
defeat their secret machinations; to respond to the frequent 
calls of sanitary and christian commissions; and to keep brightly 
burning the flame of patriotism on every home altar — these 
were the claims and demands which were continually pressing 
upon the time, purse, and devotion to the Union of the "stay- 

As soon as news had been received of the engagement at 
Fort Donelson, the governor and state officers visited the battle- 
field, not only for the purpose of rejoicing with the brave volun- 
teers over the first great victory of the Union arms, but also, 
and chiefly, to look after and care for the sick and wounded. 

It had been seen long before this that the facilities of the 
war department were inadequate to the proper care of the sick 
and disabled soldiers of so vast and hastily-equipped an army. 
To alleviate the suffering and reduce the mortality consequent 
upon the imperfect methods of the government, supplementary 
organizations, sanitary commissions, both national and state, 
were formed. Through the unwearying zeal of these efforts, 
large quantities of medical and surgical as well as other supplies 
were collected and distributed among the wounded and suffer- 
ing, both in hospitals and camps. Devoted, self-sacrificing, 
courageous women volunteered their services as nurses and 
nobly performed their part, not only by the couch of pain in 
the hospital or tent, but even in the midst of a pitiless leaden 
hail upon the field. 

Following close upon the victory at Fort Donelson, came 
the sanguinary battle of Shiloh, with its appalling list of 7882 
wounded Union soldiers, besides the multitude of confederates 
left helpless upon the field. The army -hospitals were over- 
crowded, and in pursuance of the recominendation of Governor 
Yates, hospitals were established at Springfield, Peoria, and 

Within twenty-four hours after the guns of Shiloh had ceased 
to reverberate among the mountains of Tennessee, Gov. Yates 
had chartered a .steamboat, from the Chicago Burlington and 
Quincy Railroad, commanded by Col. Charles Goodrich Ham- 


mond, and was on his way to the scene of carnage, with sur- 
geons, nurses, and all necessary medico-surgical appliances and 

Arriving just a week after the battle, the dreadful evidences 
of the havoc of war were to be seen on every side. Dead bodies 
were lying on the ground awaiting burial, while others had been 
hurriedly thrown into shallow graves and were but partially 
covered with the cold earth. The condition of the wounded was 
most deplorable. The accommodations of the hastily - impro- 
vised field-hospitals were insufficient to provide for the dying 
and those whose wounds were most serious. Hundreds of brave 
men were lying where they had fallen, their wounds as yet un- 
dressed, while other hundreds were dying from disease induced 
by nervous prostration and exposure. They had neither sup- 
plies nor medical attention. 

The governor's coming was most opportune and was hailed 
by the suffering soldiers and their friends with unspeakable 
satisfaction. In a few hours the boat was laden with about 300 
of the most severely wounded and had started on its homeward 
way. As soon as its precious human cargo had been disposed 
of in Illinois hospitals, Adj't-Gen. Fuller was dispatched with 
the same boat for another load to be cared for in a like manner. 
Two other similar and equally successful expeditions followed; 
the number of wounded soldiers thus brought to northern hos- 
pitals and within the reach of friends and home exceeded 
1000; and the number of lives thus saved, which would have 
been lost if left to such surgical treatment as could have been 
given them by regulation methods, can hardly be estimated. 

Gov. Yates had said, "we must not let our brave boys think 
that they are forgotten, but follow them in their many marches, 
with such things as they need for their comfort, which the gov- 
ernment can not supply, and with messages of love and encour- 
agement from home, wherever they go and at whatever cost." 

To carry out this purpose involved the outlay of immense 
sums and the labor of many patriotic hands. In order that the 
work might be properly systematized and intelligently directed, 
the governor determined to establish a State sanitary bureau 
and appointed Col. John Williams, state commissary-general, its 
chief. A board of directors was appointed, consisting of Col. John 


Williams, William Butler, John P. Reynolds, Robert Irwin, and 
E. B. Hawley; Col. John R. Woods acted as secretary. State 
agents, for the purpose of dispensing relief and distributing 
supplies, were appointed at the places named as follows: C. T. 
Chase and Capt. C. W. Webster at Cairo, J. C. McCoy and A. 
A. Dunseth at Louisville, Col. Thomas P. Robb at Memphis, 
Edward I. Eno at Nashville, Dr. J. Weeks and M. E. Worrall at 
Chattanooga, E. C. Hackett at Duvalls Bluffs, Maj. John H. 
Woods at St. Louis, and E. Ransom in the home field. 

So efficient and popular had been the work of these officers, 
that the legislature of 1865 passed a law authorizing the gov- 
ernor to appoint "military state agents" and providing for their 
compensation. Under this law, with the rank of colonel, were 
appointed: Walter D. B. Morrill, Selah W. King, Jackson M. 
Sheets, Thomas P. Robb, B, F. Bumgardner, Harry D. Cook, 
John H. Wickiser, Owen M. Long, M.D., and Newton Craw- 
ford, all of whom performed arduous and efficient services. 

Auxiliary sanitary associations and soldiers aid-societies were 
formed, and fairs held in aid of the work in nearly every county 
in the State, the citizens responding with great liberality to all 
of the many calls made upon them. 

The labors of the state commission were of incalculable value. 
It formed the connecting link between the needy, suffering soldier 
and those dear to him at home. In his privations it brought 
solace and not infrequently its ministrations called him back to 
life from the brink of the grave. Thousands were saved to their 
families and country through this instrumentality, who but for 
the assistance thus rendered would have been sacrificed. They, 
wasted and bleeding from wounds, were met returning by warm 
hearts and restored to home and health. Those incapacitated 
for service were furloughed or discharged and sent home to 
their families and friends. Their papers were properly made 
out and their pay collected and sent to them — over $300,000 
passing in this way through the hands of the commission. They 
were lodged on their way in Soldiers' homes and were supplied 
with meals, rations, and clothing, and furnished with transpor- 
tation when able to travel. 

The United-States sanitary commission, organized April 25, 
1861, with Rev. Henry W. Bellows of New York at its head, 


embraced in its field of operations the entire army. The Chi- 
cago commission was organized Oct. 17, 1861. Its principal 
officers and self-sacrificing and indefatigable managers were 
Isaac Newton Arnold, Mark Skinner, Ezra Butler McCagg, 
William Hubbard Brown, Dr. Ralph N. Isham, E. W. Blatch- 
ford, John W. Foster, James Ward, Cyrus Bentley, Benjamin 
Wright Raymond, Ira G. Munn, Wesley Munger, Jabez Kent 
Botsford, James B. Bradwell, Charles Goodrich Hammond, and 
Thomas Butler Bryan. The service rendered by these societies 
and kindred organizations was second only to that of our im- 
mense armies, which they supplemented. 

Soldiers' homes and relief associations and hospitals were 
established, and agents appointed. Immense sums of money and 
large quantities of supplies were collected, partly by direct 
contribution and partly through sanitary fairs and other agencies 
— the total aggregating $1,056,192, of which $411,027 was in 
cash. This enormous fund was administered with rigid econ- 
omy and scrupulous fidelity, being applied, almost in its entirety, 
to the relief of sick and wounded soldiers. 

In this great work the women of the State were not found 
wanting, and its success was in no small degree due to their 
unwearying devotion and noble self-sacrifice. Among those 
prominently identified with the movement in Chicago and who 
lent it invaluable aid were Mesdames Daniel P. Livermore, 
Abram H. Hoge, Henry Sayrs, Jeremiah Porter, Oliver E. Hos- 

mer, Christopher C, Webster, E. W. Blatchford, Sloan, 

Beaubien, Myra Bradwell, C. P. Dickinson, Misses 

Culver, Elizabeth Hawley, Elizabeth Blakie, and Jeanie E. Mc 
Laren. Through their efforts, in addition to other work for the 
commission, a female- nurse association was formed, the object 
of which was to furnish to military hospitals trained nurses. 
At the head of this department were Mrs. Mary Bickerdyke, 

Mrs. Edgerton, Miss Jane A. Babcock, Miss Mary E. M. 

Foster, and Mrs. D. M. Brundage. 

In 1863, was also formed, in Chicago, the Ladies Relief 
Society to care for the families of soldiers. It was managed 
by Mesdames Abram H. Hoge, Edward I. Tinkham, C. A. 
Lamb, and Henry D. Smith, 

Another association of the "stay-at-homes" was the Christian 


Commission, at the head of which, in Chicago, were John V. 
Farwell, Tuthill King, Benjamin F. Jacobs, Dwight L. Moody, 
Samuel P. Farrington, Jas. L. Reynolds, and Phineas L, Under- 
wood. Through this branch, $139,019 in cash, stores, and 
publications, were distributed. The branch at Peoria distrib- 
uted $54,863, and that at Springfield, $33,7S^- 

But the efforts of patriotic citizens to mitigate the horrors of 
war and alleviate distressed soldiers were not confined to any 
one city or town. In every county either branch associations 
existed or fairs were held, and loyal men and women gave from 
their own home store-house the best they had, and all that 
could be spared to minister to the wants of their husbands and 
fathers, their sons, brothers, and neighbors in the field. It was 
a day of willing sacrifices and hearty offerings upon the altar of 
their country's liberty and unity. 

The "stay-at-homes," in addition to the societies above 
named, formed another organization totally dissimilar to these 
in its aims and methods, but which wielded a mighty influence 
for good in its own chosen field. It was the secret political 
order known as the Union League of America, and had for its 
object countervailing results against the efforts of the secret 
orders of southern sympathizers. It came into existence in the 
summer of 1862, in Tazewell County, and rapidly spread over 
this and other states, attaining the proportions of a national 
organization within a year. In 1864, it embraced 1300 councils 
and had a membership of 175,000. Col. George H. Harlow, 
afterward secretary of state, was one of its chief promoters, and 
for many years grand secretary of the Illinois council. The 
order still exists, though in a modified form. 

The favorable influence of the loyal press has already been 
adverted to and can not be too strongly emphasized. Many of 
those who have since become distinguished as editors and 
writers, gained their first laurels as war correspondents of 
leading daily papers. Among those in this State, who attained 
a well-earned reputation as being one of the ablest, was Joseph 
K. C. Forrest. He was a great friend of Gov. Yates, who 
honored him by appointing him a member of his staff with the 
rank of colonel. He was the leading Springfield correspondent 
during the war and subsequently followed the ex-governor, now 


senator, to Washington. He is an entertaining and brilliant 
writer, and, at the age of seventy, still resides in Chicago and 
wields the pen with undiminished power. 

The universally conceded influence of Song upon public senti- 
ment first found recognition in the historic saying of Andrew 
Fletcher, of Saltoun, two centuries ago, "give me the making 
of the ballads and I care not who makes the laws of a nation". 

In no single direction, perhaps, were the contributions of 
Illinoisans to the success of the war more powerful and con- 
spicuous than in that of the songs of the war furnished by two 
of her citizens. "The Battle-Cry of Freedom," "Just Before 
the Battle, Mother," and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are 
Marching," were composed by George F. Root, who at the age 
of seventy is still an esteemed and influential citizen of Chi- 
cago. "Marching Through Georgia," "Kingdom Coming," and 
"Brave Boys are They," were the inspired strains of Henry Clay 
Work, who at the time and for many years afterward was also 
a resident of Chicago. 

A confederate general, a few days after the surrender of Lee, 
on hearing these and other songs for the first time, sung by a 
Union quartette, exclaimed, "Gentlemen, if we'd had your 
songs, we'd have licked you out of your boots. Who couldn't 
have marched or fought with such songs?" Another one re- 
marked: "I shall never forget the first time I heard 'Rally 
Round the Flag.' T'was a nasty night during the 'Seven-days 
Fight,' I was on picket, when just before taps, some fellow on 
the other side struck up that song and others joined in the 
chorus. Tom B. sung out, 'Good heavens. Cap., what are those 
fellows made of.-* Here we've licked them six days running, 
and now on the eve of the seventh they 're singing 'Rally Round 
the Flag.' I tell you that song sounded to me like the 'knell 
of doom' and my heart went down into my boots, and it has 
been an up-hill fight with me ever since that night."* 

It is stated that after the battle of Stone's River a great 
many officers had become discouraged and being opposed to 
the proclamation of emancipation, tendered their resignations. 
A few days afterward a glee-club visited them from Chicago 
and they heard the new song "The Battle -Cry of Freedom," 

• Century Magazine, XXXV, 478. 


and the effect was little short of miraculous. It rang through 
the camp like wildfire, inspiring fresh courage and hope and 
enthusiasm. Day and night, from every tent in lusty harmony 
might be heard the chorus: 

"The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah! 
Down with the traitor, up with the Stars; 
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again, 
Shouting the battle-cry of freedom." 

And thus through these songs, simple in melody but powerful 
in their appeal to the patriotic soul, the voice of Illinois was 
heard in every camp throughout the army — in the swamps of 
Virginia, on the sand-hills of Arkansas, along the bayous of the 
delta of the Mississippi, upon the mountains of Tennessee and 
Georgia, — recalling to the minds of the boys in blue, the prin- 
ciples which they were risking their lives to maintain, reanimat- 
ing their drooping spirits in the hour of defeat and inciting their 
loyal hearts to new acts of valor. They not only brought fresh 
cheer to the troops on tented fields, but stirred the patriotism 
and nerved the loyal heart at home. At every Union meeting, 
whether it was to recruit the army, to organize fresh bodies 
of troops, to raise funds for war purposes, or arouse enthusiasm 
at political meetings, that song and others, especially "Marching 
Through Georgia," and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are 
Marching," were sung by the entire audience, with electrical 
effect. Nor in these later days when the Angel of Peace 
spreads her wings over a reunited country has the echo of these 
Songs yet died away. As long as the Union shall endure, these 
cherished melodies will be sung around the "camp-fires" of 
veterans, in the family circle, and on national holidays; not in 
vindictive memory but rather in a spirit of loyal enthusiasm 
and of thanksgiving to the Power which has made us one people. 

Thus in brief has been given a glance only at the part borne 
by Illinois in the great war of the rebellion. 

The author is indebted to Hon. I.ucien B. Crooker, of Mendota, author of " The 
Story of the 55th Illinois," for his assistance and many valuable suggestions in the 
preparation of the tables of losses in this chapter. 



Gov. Oglesby's Administration — [Continued] — Changed 
Aspect of Politics— Reconstruction — Conventions and 
Elections of 1866— Twenty -fifth General Assembly- 
Re-election of United-States Senator Trumbull — Laws 
— New State-House — Political Conventions, Nomina- 
tions, and Elections of 1868 — State Debt, Receipts, and 

WITH the close of the war and the incoming of a new 
national administration, with Vice-President Andrew 
Johnson at its head, new questions and political problems of 
grave import presented themselves. It very early became ap- 
parent that upon the questions growing out of the restoration 
of the states lately in rebellion to their forfeited place in the 
Union, and establishing the status of the newly- emancipated 
slaves, there was a radical divergence of opinions between the 
new executive and the great majority of the party whose 
suffrages had rendered possible his accidental elevation to the 
presidential chair. 

The public utterances of President Johnson upon assuming 
the seat made vacant by the bullet of the assassin, were of 
such a character as to induce some leading, conservative repub- 
licans to fear that the catholic charity of the martyred Lincoln 
was to be replaced by a spirit of vindictive rancor. Johnson 
was loud voiced in his declaration that "traitors must be hanged 
and treason made odious," and offered a reward of $icx),ooo 
for the apprehension of Jefferson Davis and of $25,0CX) each 
for the arrest of other noted confederate leaders, and fears were 
expressed at the North that in the treatment of the late insur- 
gents, justice might be supplanted by revenge. Not many 
months passed, however, before all dread of the possibility of 
such a catastrophe was effectually dissipated. On May 29, 
1865, the president issued a proclamation of amnesty and par- 
don, and during the two months succeeding, the wheels of civil 
government were set in motion in the seceded states by the 




appointment of provisional governors. These governments 
were controlled by men who for four years had devoted all 
their energies to the destruction of the Union, and openly 
avowed that their only regret was the failure of the cause which 
they had espoused. Their hatred of the national government 
was equalled in intensity only by their devotion to the memory 
of the defunct confederacy. The arbitrament of arms had not 
altered their convictions, and their every act was inspired by a 
determination to accomplish, by indirect means, at least a por- 
tion of those results which they had failed to achieve by the 
sword. With their consent, if not at their instigation, the "old 
flag" was openly and repeatedly insulted. Although the thir- 
teenth amendment to the constitution was formally ratified, 
state legislation was so shaped as virtually to deprive the freed- 
men of all the benefits of liberty. Unrepentant leaders of the 
rebellion appeared as claimants of seats in the halls of congress 
and arrogantly demanded the repeal of the test oath. 

Such were the fruits of the presidential policy with which 
congress found itself confronted when called upon to grapple 
with the perplexing problems of reconstruction. Vastly differ- 
ent from the views of Johnson were the sentiments of the 
majority of both houses of the national legislature. What was 
at first a difference of opinion soon widened into an irreparable 
breach, and the rupture between the executive and legislative 
branches of the government was well nigh completed by the 
presidential vetoes of the measures popularly known as the 
Freedmen's-Bureau bill and the Civil-Rights bill of which Lyman 
Trumbull was the author. The open and uncompromising warfare 
between the president and congress that followed formed one 
of the most exciting eras of American political history. The 
president favored the immediate readmission of the states with 
full representation in congress, while the latter body contended 
that the lately - revolted states should not be admitted to a 
participation in the government of the country without first 
providing such constitutional guarantees as would secure the 
civil rights of all citizens of the republic, insure a just equality 
of representation, protection against claims founded in the 
rebellion, and the exclusion from positions of public trust of 
certain leading confederates. The attitude of the administra- 


tion, supported as it was by the entire democratic party and 
press, inflamed partisan resentment to fever-heat. The country 
was fairly ablaze with excitement and constitutional lawyers 
were as plentiful as voters. The fourteenth amendment to the 
constitution having been rejected by the states lately in rebel- 
lion, congress evolved a new plan for reconstruction, which was 
engrafted upon the national statute-book, despite the president's 
veto, and the conflict between privilege and prerogative con- 
tinued until its culmination was reached in the world-famous 
impeachment of the chief magistrate, and the failure of the 
managers on the part of the house to secure the constitutional 
majority in the senate. 

The republican state-convention met at Springfield, on Aug. 
8, 1866, and was presided over by General Green B. Raum, 
James P. Root acting as the principal secretary. Gen. John A. 
Logan was nominated for congressman at large; Newton Bate- 
man, the then incumbent, was renominated by acclamation for 
superintendent of public instruction, and Gen. George W. 
Smith of Chicago, who had served as an officer with great 
gallantry and distinction in the 88th — Board of Trade — regi- 
ment, was selected for the state treasurership on the second 

The platform adopted endorsed the congressional policy of 
reconstruction as in contradistinction to that of the president; 
approved the 13th amendment to the constitution; denied the 
right of the executive to encroach upon, or even to interfere 
with, the constitutional power vested in a coordinate branch of 
the government; endorsed the congressional test- oath; ex- 
pressed "unfeigned and heartfelt thanks to the soldiers and 
sailors for the achievements and triumphs which forever im- 
mortalize them and the Nation whose government they saved;" 
paid a tribute to the memory of the martyred Lincoln; and 
favored shorter hours of labor for the workingman. 

The democratic state-convention assembled at Springfield, 
August 29, over which Gen. John A. McClernand presided. 
Col. T. Lyle Dickey was nominated for congressman at large 
on the second ballot; Gen. Jesse J. Phillips for state treasurer 
by acclamation, and Col. John M. Crebs for state superintend- 
ent of public instruction. This was essentially a soldier's ticket, 


being made up of officers who had performed gallant services 
in the late war. The platform adopted contained planks favor- 
ing the reduction of hours of labor, as had that of the republi- 
cans; declaring sympathy with Ireland; and reaffirming alle- 
giance to the Monroe doctrine. The points as to which an issue 
was raised between the two parties were indicated in the resolu- 
tions which pronounced in favor of the taxation of all property, 
including United-States bonds, and of the substitution of green- 
backs for national-bank notes as a medium of circulation. 

A "national union" convention of the supporters of President 
Johnson having been held at Philadelphia, August 17, the plat- 
form of that body on the subject of reconstruction was adopted. 
They declared that "slavery was abolished and forever pro- 
hibited," and that the enfranchised slaves should receive, in 
common with all other inhabitants, equal protection in every 
right of person and property; that the debt of the Nation was 
sacred and inviolable; recognized the services of the federal 
soldiers; and endorsed President Johnson and the policy of 
his administration. 

On the issues thus raised joint-discussions were held by can- 
didates for congress in nearly every congressional district; 
notably between Gen. Raum and W. J. Allen, in the thirteenth; 
H. P. H. Bromwell and Gen. J. C. Black in the seventh; and 

between S. M. Cullom and Dr. Edwin S. Fowler in the eig-hth- 


while Gen. Logan and Col. Dickey met each other at Carbon- 
dale, McComb, and Decatur, at each of which places large 
crowds gathered to hear the debate. The republicans carried 
the State by an increased majority — that of Logan being 55,- 
987. They elected 1 1 out of 14 congressmen and secured the 
legislature by an overwhelming majority — the senate standing 
16 republicans to 9 democrats, and the house, 6 O republicans 
to 2 5 democrats. It was apparent, however, that the returned 
soldiers had divided their vote very nearly impartially between 
the two parties. 

There were three sessions of the twenty-fifth general assem- 
bly; the first from Jan. 7, to Feb. 28, l^6y; the second from 
June II, to June 13; and the third, from June 14, to June 28. 

Gen. A. C. Fuller had been transferred from the house to the 
senate, as had Daniel J. Pinckney; and with them appeared in 


that body for the first time, Thomas A. Boyd, Greenberry L. 
Fort, Daniel W. Munn, and William Shepard, 

To the house but i8 former members had been returned. 
Among these were Hugh Gregg, Wm. K. Murphy, Jas. C. Conk- 
ling, Jas. M. Epler, Maiden Jones, T. C. Moore, Elmer Baldwin, 
Franklin Corwin, Stephen A. Hurlbut, E. B. Payne, and H. C. 
Childs. Among the new names on the roll were those of 
Erastus N, Bates, Robert P. Hanna, John H. Yeager, J. F. 
Alexander, James M. True, Edwin Harlan, J. B. Ricks, H. C. 
Withers, Robert M. Knapp, J. G. Fonda, Wm. M. Smith, Henry 
S. Greene, A. B. Bunn, Wm. Strawn, James Dinsmore, Joseph 
M. Bailey, Henry M. Shepard, Edward S. Taylor, Lester L. 
Bond, Joseph S. Reynolds, and Horace M. Singer. 

The house was organized by the election of Franklin Corwin 
of LaSalle, speaker, who received 58 votes to 24 cast for New- 
ton R. Casey. Stephen G. Paddock was elected clerk of the 
house and Charles E. Lippincott secretary of the senate. 

The governor's message was read to both houses on January 
7. He congratulated the people upon the cessation of war and 
referred to the death of the president in the following well- 
chosen words: "Prompt to war, we were overjoyed at the return 
of peace. Our noble soldiers who sought the field and defied 
the conflict — who stood at the helm until the tempest subsided 
— have returned to all the employments of peaceful life, so 
naturally, and so rapidly, that but for the mangled forms of 
those we meet every day, and the noble and honored dead, who 
sleep behind, the dark hours of the four mad years would 
scarcely sadden us. 

"Inspired by solemn duty and unalloyed respect for his high 
character as a citizen and statesman, I but respond to a natural 
and just expectation in recalling your thoughts to the death of 
Abraham Lincoln, the late president of the United States. In 
the maturity of life, at the moment of greatest usefulness to 
his country, when the gilded rays of the morning of peace were 
just beginning to dawn upon our distracted country, and the 
first impressions of joy to throb in his great heart over the 
august results of our own great struggle, and his own herculean 
efforts, for the peace, the security, and the perpetuity of the 
Union, he fell by the hand of a remorseless assassin. Our State 


was his loved home and here he sleeps in death. Illinois, justly- 
proud of his imperishable fame, can not regret that he belonged 
to our whole county, and by our whole country shall be forever 
honored and mourned." 

He exhibited a detailed statement of the public debt and of 
the receipts and expenditures of the State government; referred 
to the State census taken in 1865, which, although incomplete, 
showed a decided increase of products and manufacturing, as 
compared with i860, and a marked growth in population, 
which was given as 2,141,510; referred to the condition of the 
state institutions; and recommended a revision of the State 

The first work of the legislature, after effecting the organiza- 
tion of the two houses, was the election of a successor to Judge 
Trumbull whose term as United-States senator was to expire 
on March 4, Considerable hostility to Trumbull's reelection 
was developed, many republicans thinking that the honor should 
be conferred upon one of the heroes of the war. The opposi- 
tion finally concentrated in favor of John M. Palmer, and the 
claims of each candidate were discussed with no little warmth, 
there having been raised the issue of fact as to the source from 
which emanated the idea of citizenship embodied in the civil- 
rights bill introduced by Judge Trumbull, which both contest- 
ants claimed to have originated. Gen. Palmer was supported 
by Generals Oglesby and Logan on the ground that the ofSce 
ought to go to a soldier. 

The strength of the candidates was tested on a preliminary 
ballot in the caucus and found to be 48 to 28 in favor of Trum- 
bull. The friends of Palmer thereupon withdrew his name, 
when the judge was renominated by acclamation and his elec- 
tion followed on January 16; the democrats voting for Colonel 
T. Lyle Dickey. 

On January 15, the fourteenth amendment to the Nation's 
constitution, conferring citizenship upon all persons born or 
naturalized in the United States — without regard to color — was 
ratified by a strict party- vote; the roll call in the senate show- 
ing 17 in its favor to 8 negatives, and in the house 60 to 25. 

Having disposed of these political questions, both houses 
now gave their undivided attention to the consideration of those 


subjects of public interest, the discussion and settlement of which 
made this an unusually interesting and exciting session. 

The first of these topics to receive attention was the question 
of the construction and location of an agricultural or industrial 
college, for the building and maintenance of which a donation 
of land had been made to the several states by act of congress 
of July 2, 1862; Illinois' share being equivalent to 480,000 acres. 
The condition of the grant was that the states should provide 
for the erection of these institutions within five years, which 
period would expire on the second day of the succeeding July. 
Among the cities and towns competing to secure the location 
were Jacksonville, Lincoln, Pekin, Bloomington, and Champaign, 
or Urbana. The latter city having made what was considered 
the best offer, consisting of lands and buildings estimated to be 
worth $550,400, won the prize, and the bill for the construction 
of the college was passed and duly approved. 

Another question, still more absorbing, and which was con- 
sidered in the same connection, was that of the erection of a 
new State-house. The State had manifestly outgrown the old 
structure, magnificent and complete as it was considered to be 
when built. The building did not now contain sufficient room 
to accommodate the public officers and there was a demand for a 
larger and more convenient edifice. With this question, how- 
ever, and growing out of it, was sprung that of the removal of 
the capital. Anticipating the movement for a new building, a 
bill had been introduced in the senate in 1865, for the removal 
of the capital to Peoria, which had been rather favorably re- 
ceived in many portions of the State and advocated by some 
of the leading newspapers. M. L. Jossyln of McHenry, had at 
the same session introduced a bill for the removal of the seat 
of government to Chicago, but this had been subsequently laid 
upon the table by a vote of 48 to 31.* 

At the present session, a bill providing for the erection of a 
new state-house — limiting its cost to $3,000,000 and appropri- 
ating $450,000 to begin the work — was introduced in the sen- 
ate and ably managed there by Cohrs, and skilfully championed 
in the house by Conkling from Sangamon, who found an able 
coadjutor in Gen. Hurlbut. Almost simultaneously, Decatur 

• " House Journal, " 537. 


now came to the front with a proposition, to donate to the 
State a beautiful site, comprising about ten acres of land, and 
$1,000,000 in cash, for the location of the capital in that city. 
But munificent as was the offer, it failed to make any decided 
impression upon the legislative mind, and the bill of Senator 
Cohrs became a law February 25, 1867. 

An attempt was made subsequently to obstruct the action of 
the state-house commissioners — by legal proceedings on the 
ground that being public officers, under the constitution they 
should have been appointed by the governor instead of being 
named by the legislature, and that, therefore, they had no right- 
ful authority to act; but the court of ultimate resort finally 
decided that the position of the petitioners was not well taken. 

The following additional laws of public importance were also 
passed at this session: 

To locate, construct, and carry on the southern Illinois peni- 
tentiary; to establish a state board for the equalization of as- 
sessments; to create the office of attorney-general; an act pro- 
viding for the regulation of warehousemen and authorizing con- 
nections of railroads with warehouses; an act relating to the 
competency of witnesses, removing the disqualification thereto- 
fore attaching through interest in the event of the suit or 
because of previous conviction of crime, thus changing the rules 
of the common law in this respect; also acts for canal-and- 
river improvement; making eight hours a legal day's work, 
except in farm employments; authorizing juries in cases of 
murder to fix the punishment by either death or imprisonment 
in the penitentiary. 

The question of state supervision of railroads and the regu- 
lation of rates was freely discussed at this session, and a bill 
for that purpose passed the senate but failed to secure a major- 
ity in the house. 

The laws of public and general interest passed at this session, 
important and far-reaching as they were, are contained in a 
modest volume of 205 printed-octavo pages; while those de- 
nominated "private," relating chiefly to corporations, required 
three large volumes containing over 2500 octavo pages. 

The general assembly adjourned February 28, but the body 
was convened in special session June 11, by the governor, at 


which time laws were passed regulating the assessment and 
collection of taxes upon the shares of capital stock in banks, 
and amendatory of "an act to incorporate the Mississippi-River- 
and-Wisconsin-State-Line Railroad Company" of Feb. 28, 1867, 

A second special session was called June 14 — the first having 
adjourned on that day — to provide for the management of the 
penitentiary at Joliet, the lessee having surrendered his lease 
without previous notice. A law was passed providing for the 
appointment of commissioners, a warden, and for the letting of 
the convict's labor on contract. This being done, the legislature 
finally adjourned June 28. 

The troubling of the political waters in Illinois by the two 
great parties, preparatory to the quadrennial commotions pre- 
ceding the first presidential election after the war, was inaugu- 
rated by the democrats. Their state convention met at Spring- 
field, April 15, and was presided over by Anthony L. Thornton. 
It was declared in the platform adopted that the democratic 
party was unalterably opposed to the reconstruction measures of 
congress; that the right of suffrage should be limited to the 
white race, but that the people in each state should determine 
the question for themselves; that the public debt should be 
paid in legal tenders, except when a different standard had 
been stipulated for; in favor of abolishing the present national- 
bank system and supplying legal tenders in the place of bank- 
notes; that all government securities should be taxed; con- 
demning the existing tariff system and demanding that trade 
should be left entirely free, subject only to the imperative 
necessities of the government; denouncing the impeachment of 
President Johnson; acknowledging the Nation's debt of grati- 
tude to the soldiers and sailors; and, finally, pronouncing in 
favor of Geo. H. Pendleton as the choice of the party in Illinois 
for president* 

* The following were appointed delegates to the national convention : at large, 
Wm. J. Allen, Wm. R. Morrison, George W. Shutt, W. T. Dowdall, Wilbur F. 
Storey Wm. A. Richardson; ist district, Thomas Hoyne, W. C. Goudy; 2d, R. S. 
Molony, A. M. Herrington; 3d, William P. Malburn, Bernard H. Truesdale; 4th, 
Charles Buford, Geo. Edmunds; 5th, W. W. O'Brien, James S. Eckles; 6th, Chas. 
E. Beyer, J. H. McConnel; 7th, John Doulon, Thomas Brewer; 8th, R. B. M. 
Wilson, Charles A. Keyes; 9th, Lyman Lacy, Henry L. Bryant; loth, Edward Y. 
Rice, David M. Woodson; nth, Samuel K. Casey, Joseph Cooper; I2th, Timothy 
Greaze, W. A. J. Sparks; 13th, William H. Green, George W. WaU. 


This platform was not adopted without strong opposition, 
many of the delegates being in favor of the payment of the 
5-20 bonds in gold and many also were opposed to the nomina- 
tion of Pendleton. 

The ticket nominated was John R. Eden for governor; Wm, 
H. Van Epps for lieutenant-governor; Gustavus VanHornbecke 
for secretary of state; Gen. Jesse J, Phillips for state treasurer; 
John R. Shannon for auditor; John W. Connett, Dr. W. G. 
Garrard, and Volney Zarley for commissioners of the peniten- 
tiary; William W. O'Brien was nominated for congressman at 

The republican state convention was held at Peoria, May 6. 
Franklin Corwin acted as president and James P. Root as prin- 
cipal secretary. 

Peoria was the home of Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, then 
attorney-general,* whose name had been favorably mentioned 
in connection with the governorship, in case General Palmer 
who had been brought most prominently before the public as a 
candidate should decline the honor, as it had been authorita- 
tively stated he would do. A dispatch was sent to the general 
when the convention assembled asking him if he would accept 
the nomination, to which he replied, "Do not permit me to be 
nominated, I can not accept. "i* But the convention "would not 
take no for an answer," and his nomination, which would have 
been by acclamation had there not been doubts of his accept- 
ance, was made on the second ballot, the vote standing as fol- 
lows: first ballot — Palmer 263, Ingersoll 117, S. W. Moulton 82, 
Dubois 42; second ballot — Palmer 317, Ingersoll 118, Moulton 
52, Dubois 17. The nomination was then made unanimous. It 
was evident that his selection voiced the spontaneous choice of 
the party; the nomination came to him without effort on his 
part, and his election was, perhaps, the first instance in Illinois 
politics of "the office seeking the man rather than the man the 

The other nominations were as follows: for lieutenant-gover- 
nor, John Dougherty of Union County without serious opposi- 
tion; for secretary of state, Edward Rummel on the third 

* Appointed Feb. 28, 1867, by Gov. Oglesby under the law of the last legislature. 
t Springfield S/aU' Journars report. 


ballot; for auditor, Charles E. Lippincott on the first ballot; for 
state treasurer, Erastus N. Bates on the first ballot, the race 
being close between him and the then incumbent, George 
W. Smith. There was also an animated contest over the nomi- 
nation for attorney-general between Washington Bushnell and 
Gen, S. A. Hurlbut, resulting in the choice of the former; for 
penitentiary commissioners, Andrew Shuman, Robert E. Logan, 
and John Reid were nominated; and John A. Logan for con- 
gressman at large, by acclamation. 

The platform adopted supported the reconstruction policy of 
congress; denounced repudiation and favored paying the public 
debt according to the letter and spirit of the law; demanded 
the equalization and reduction of taxes; recognized the rights 
of labor — "an honest day's wages for a faithful day's work;" 
endorsed Gen. U, S. Grant for president; and expressed grati- 
tude to the soldiers and sailors for their services in the late war,* 

At the republican national convention which met in Chicago, 
May 21, Ulysses S, Grant was nominated for president by gen- 
eral consent; and Schuyler Colfax for vice-president, after a 
close contest — on the fifth ballot, the other principal candidates 
being Benj. F, Wade, Reuben E. Fenton, and Henry Wilson. 

The democratic national convention was held in New-York 
City, beginning on July 4, The first ballot exhibited the 
strength of the various candidates for nomination as follows: 
George H. Pendleton 105, Andrew Johnson 65, Winfield S. 
Hancock 33>^, Sanford E, Church 33, Asa Packer 26, Pendle- 
ton dropped out on the nineteenth ballot, when Hancock 
received ISSH votes, Thomas Hendricks 107^, with 73 scat- 
tering. On the twenty-second ballot, a stampede was made 
in the direction of Horatio Seymour, the president of the con- 
vention, who received 317 votes and was nominated despite his 
oft-quoted protestation, "Gentlemen, your candidate I can not 

* The delegates chosen to the republican national convention were: at large, John 
A, Logan, B. J. Sweet, A. C. Babcock, J. K. Dubois, E. A. Storrs; 1st district, 
J, R. Jones, Herman Raster; 2d, M. L. Josslyn, Wm. Hullin; 3d, James L. Camp, 
N. D. Swift; 4th, Calvin Truesdale, Ira D. Chamberlin; 5th, Mark Bangs, W. L, 
Wiley; 6th, Henry Fish, Calhoun Grant; 7th, J. W. Langley, James H. Steele; 8th, 
Giles A, Smith, I. S. Whitmore; 9th, Hugh L. Fullerton, C. N, Whitney; loth, 
John Logan, A. C. Vanderwater; nth, J. A. Powell, William H, Robinson; 12th, 
P, E. Hosmer, Philip Isenmeyer; 13th, B, G, Roots, Thomas S, Ridgway. 


be." F. p. Blair of Missouri was nominated for vice-president. 

All other questions in this celebrated campaign were made 
subordinate to that of the maintenance or overthrow of the 
congressional policy of reconstruction, including what was 
popularly known as impartial suffrage, and the payment of the 
public debt "not only according to the letter but the spirit of 
the laws under which it was contracted" as demanded by the 
republicans and opposed by the democrats; the latter insist- 
ing upon the adoption of the Johnsonian policy of reconstruc- 
tion and the payment of the public debt in "lawful money," by 
which was meant the depreciated legal tenders. 

The issue being thus made up, the popular verdict was again 
rendered in favor of the republicans. Grant carried 26 states 
and received 214 electoral votes; Seymour 8 states, including 
New York, with 80 electoral votes; three states not voting. 
Grant's majority of the popular vote was 305,458; his majority 
in Illinois was 51,150; while Palmer's was 50,099. The republi- 
cans succeeded also in securing an increased legislative majority. 

The receipts into the treasury for the two years ending Nov. 
30, 1868, were $2,276,763, and the payments for special pur- 
poses $1,050,882, and for ordinary expenses, including state 
institutions, $1,075,726 — leaving a balance, including amount 
brought forward, in the treasury of $216,751. 

The state-debt was reduced during Gov. Oglesby's adminis- 
tration as follows: 

Amount Dec. I, 1864, - $11,246,210 

Penitentiary bonds, - - 50,000 11,296,210 

Paid on same in four years, - - - 5>307,757 

Balance Dec. i, 1868, - $5,988,453 

Paid on account of interest, - - - $2,314,514 

Gov. Oglesby was abundantly justified in saying at the close of 
his term, in his last message, that "looking back over the four 
years that have passed, since by the generous confidence of the 
people I was honored with the administration of the executive 
department of the State government, one unbroken chain of 
general and reasonable prosperity marks the whole period of 
our history and progressive march up to the commencement 
of the present year." 


Governor Palmer's Administration (1869-1873)— Twenty - 
sixth General Assembly— Ratification of the Fifteenth 
Amendment — Special Legislation — Laws and Vetoes. 

THE name of John McAuley Palmer, the sixteenth governor 
of the State, at the time of his nomination and election 
had become distinguished as that of one of the leaders of the 
republican party. Like his predecessor — as well as many others 
in this country who have won fame and honor — his early educa- 
tional advantages were limited to such as were afforded by the 
common schools to be found in the country settlements of his 
native state, Kentucky, where he was born September 13, 18 17. 
Removing to Illinois in 1831, after spending two years on his 
father's farm, he enjoyed for a brief time the benefit of attend- 
ing Shurtliff College, at Upper Alton. Leaving the academic 
shades, however, at an early age, he donned the garb and 
grasped the ferule of the pedagogue. While thus employed, as 
his limited means afforded him opportunity, being encouraged 
thereto by Judge Douglas — who took an interest in his welfare, 
he pursued the study of the law and was admitted to the bar 
in 1839. His natural inclination soon led him to enter the 
arena of politics, where he made a favorable impression. His 
first of^ce was that of probate judge of Macoupin County, his 
residence being at Carlinville, the county-seat. From this time 
forward his advancement was rapid. He was a member of the 
constitutional convention of 1847; was elected to the state 
senate in 1852, to fill a vacancy, and was reelected in 1854. 
Having been, under all circumstances, and without regard to 
political affiliations, a consistent opponent of slavery, as was his 
father before him, he separated from the democratic party, to 
which he had hitherto belonged, in consequence of its attitude 
on the questions arising under the Kansas-Nebraska legislation 
of congress and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. His 
action as a member of the nineteenth general assembly in sup- 
porting Judge Trumbull, and afterward in assisting to organize 



the republican party, has already been adverted to. In 1859, he 
was an unsuccessful candidate for congress against General Mc 
demand; in i860, he was a republican presidential elector; 
and in 1861, was one of the commissioners from Illinois to the 
peace- congress at Washington. When the war broke out, he 
tendered his services to the government and was commissioned 
colonel of the 14th Regiment. Discovering an unexpected 
aptitude for military afifairs, he rose rapidly to the positions 
of brigadier- and major-general, successively. His record as a 
division -commander, especially at Stone's River and Chicka- 
mauga, was exceptionally brilliant. Having asked to be relieved 
from the command of the 14th army corps before Atlanta, 
because of the assignment over him by Gen. Sherman of Gen. 
Howard, a junior officer, to command the Army of the Tennes- 
see, President Lincoln, who well knew Palmer's superior quali- 
fications for such a position, appointed him to the command of 
the military district of Kentucky. His discharge of the respon- 
sible, complicated, and delicate duties thereto attaching, was 
such as to command the approval and endorsement of the 
administration and of loyal citizens generally. 

Gen. Palmer is a devoted follower of his profession, the law. 
in which he has been successful to a high degree. No ath lete 
enters into a contest of physical strength and dexterity with 
greater ardor or keener enjoyment than does the general into 
a legal contest before a court and jury. Here the full powers 
of his mind have free scope, and no intricacy of facts or inge- 
nuity of opposing counsel can dampen his enthusiasm or 
lessen his devotion to the interests of his client. As a speaker,^ 
he is interesting and forcible rather than eloquent. Yet when 
he becomes fully aroused and the magnitude of the question is 
such as to bring into full play his strong reasoning faculties, his 
keen wit, and biting sarcasm, there are few speakers, however 
fluent or eloquent, who covet the opportunity of facing him on 
the other side. Of robust frame, sanguine temperament, gen- 
ial disposition, and a superior mental organization, his seventy 
odd years, the greater portion of which have been spent in 
active public life, rest upon him as lightly as do two score 
years and ten upon the majority of men whose vital powers have 
not been submitted to so severe a strain. On his elevation to 


the executive chair of the State, he entered upon a larger and 
measurably untried field of service, and at the commencement 
of one of the most important eras in the civil history of Illinois.* 

Col. John Dougherty, the lieutenant-governor elect, had been, 
until the outbreak of the civil war, a leading democrat. He had 
served four consecutive terms in the Illinois house of representa- 
tives, beginning in 1834; and had been twice thereafter elected 
to the state senate — 1842-46. He was a fair parliamentarian 
and a courteous gentleman of the old school."}* 

The twenty-sixth general assembly, the last under the consti- 
tution of 1848, convened Jan. 4, 1869. The names of the new 
senators were J. J. R. Turney of Wayne County, Samuel K. 
Casey of Jefferson, John P. VanDorston of Fayette, Willard C. 
Flagg of Madison, Edwin Harlan of Clark, John McNulta of 
McLean, Aaron B. Nicholson of Logan, James M. Epler of 
Cass, Isaac McManus of Mercer, Jason W. Strevell of Living- 
ston, Henry Snapp of Will, Andrew Crawford of Henry, and 
John C. Dore of Cook. In the house, less than one-fifth of the 
old members had been returned. Among these were Newton 
R. Casey, David M. Woodson, Charles Voris, William M. 
Smith, Franklin Corwin, James Dinsmore, Ansel B. Cook, 
Henry C. Childs; and Messrs. Bond, Reynolds, and Taylor, 
from Cook County. 

Among the new members, there came for the first time, Silas 
Beason, John Cook, Irus Coy, Calvin H. Frew, Joshua C. 
Knickerbocker, John Landrigan, Edward Laning, Thomas E. 
Merritt, WiUiam E. Phelps, and Lorenzo D. Whiting. The 
senate stood 18 republicans, 7 democrats; the house, 58 repub- 
licans, 27 democrats.:}: 

Franklin Corwin was elected speaker, James P. Root clerk, 

* Herbert Dilger was appointed adj't-general and E. B. Harlan private secretary. 

+ He was born of Irish parentage, in Washington County, Ohio, May 6, 1806. 

X The occupations and nativity of the members were as follows : 

Senate: lawyers 12, farmers 6, merchants 3, miller, trader, banker, and physician 
one each; 6 were from New York, 4 New England, 3 Pennsylvania, 3 Illinois, 2 
Ohio, one each from Scotland and England, 2 Indiana, 2 Kentucky, i Tennessee. 

House: lawyers 22, farmers 30, physicians 11, merchants and traders 10, manu- 
facturers 5, bankers 3, printers 2, and one architect and one editor; 20 were from 
Ohio, 18 New York, 10 Illinois, 10 Kentucky, 10 New England, 4 Pennsylvania, 
3 Virginia, i Tennessee, and 8 foreigners. 


James K. Magie assistant clerk, James V. Mahoney enrolling 
and engrossing clerk, and Francis Sequin doorkeeper. Chauncey 
Elvvood was chosen secretary of the senate and John M. Wall 

Gov. Palmer took the oath of office and delivered his inaugu- 
ral address in person before the joint- session of the general 
assembly on January ii. A prominent feature in this document 
was the discussion, for the first time by an executive, before 
the legislature, of the relative rights and duties of railroad cor- 
porations and the government of the State, involving the right 
of the latter to exercise legislative control over the franchises of 
common carriers. The extraordinary multiplication and ex- 
tension of these highways of trade and the growing influence 
which they exerted upon the commerce of the State, together 
with their alleged encroachments upon the rights of the public 
in making inequitable and unequal charges for transportation 
of freight and passengers, had evoked a wide-spread feeling of 
alarm and anxiety among the people, who had demanded legis- 
lative action at the previous session, but which, as has been 
seen, although attempted, had failed. 

The governor remarked: "In my judgment, all express grants 
to a railway corporation of the power to fix the rates of com- 
pensation which it will demand for its services, however ex- 
pressed, is always attended by the inseparable condition that it 
shall be exercised in a just and reasonable manner. * * * 
Fixed tolls are permitted, not to authorize unreasonable rates to 
be demanded, but that reasonable charges may be conveniently 
ascertained and collected; while the whole matter must, in the 
nature of things, be subject to the final control of the State." 

In this connection, and in opposition to the project to create 
railroad corporations by act of the general government — under 
the clause of the United- States constitution conferring upon 
congress the power to regulate commerce between the several 
states — the governor took occasion to discuss the question of 
state-rights, as follows: "Such corporations would embarrass the 
operations of those already created by the States; they would 
be exempt from taxation by state authority; in short, the State 
would have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, 
burthen, or in any manner control the operations of such incor- 


porations. It is essential to the usefulness of state govern- 
ments that their just authority should be respected by that of 
the Nation. Already the authority of the states is, in a meas- 
ure, paralyzed by a growing conviction that all their powers are, 
in some sense, derivative and subordinate, and not original and 
independent. The state governments are a part of the Ameri- 
can system of government. They fill a well-defined place, and 
their just authority must be respected by the federal govern- 
ment, if it is expected that the laws will be obeyed. * * It is 
the clear duty of the national government to decline the exer- 
cise of all doubtful powers when the neglect to do so would be 
to bring it into fields of legislation already occupied by the 
states, thereby raising embarrassing questions and presenting 
a singular and dangerous instance of two jurisdictions claiming 
the right to control the same class of subjects and creating 
rival corporations with different powers." 

This reference to the doctrine of state sovereignty was re- 
garded by the republicans as uncalled for by the situation, but 
was warmly approved and heartily endorsed by the democrats. 

In response to the demand for legislative action on the sub- 
ject of rates. Senator Fuller, chairman of the senate committee 
on railroads, early in the session, introduced a bill for "An act 
concerning railroad rates for passengers in Illinois." It provided, 
among other things, that no railroad corporation doing business 
in this State should charge or receive for the conveyance of any 
passenger over its line of road more than three cents per mile. 
The bill passed both houses, but was returned to the senate by 
the governor with his veto, on the following grounds: that the 
charter of every railroad company constitutes a contract, the 
validity of which can not be impaired by the legislature — the 
respective rights of the State and the corporators being fixed 
beyond recall and the contract being susceptible of interpreta- 
tion only by the judiciary; the bill as passed, the governor said, 
was an assumption of judicial powers by the legislative depart- 
ment. He remarked, in his message: "In fact, the bill is based 
upon a misconception both of the rights of the corporators and 
of the public. The rights of all are secured by the contract be- 
tween the proprietors of the corporate franchise and the state. 
* * What is reasonable for the transportation of passengers, 


under any given circumstances, must, in the nature of things, be 
dependent upon the facts that can only be investigated in 
tribunals organized for that purpose. * * The bill under con- 
sideration, then, so far as it proposes to establish a rate of com- 
pensation to railroad corporations for the transportation of 
passengers, founded alone upon the authority of the general 
assembly, irrespective of the exact measure of reason and right, 
impairs the obligation of the contracts of the State, and if it 
rests for its support upon any claim of the general assembly of 
a right to interpret this class of contracts, it invades the consti- 
tutional power of the judicial department, and would be void 
even if clothed by my approval with the forms of law." 

The senate having refused to pass the bill over the governor's 
veto, Gen. Fuller introduced a new measure, drafted in accord- 
ance with the governor's views, which became a law March lo. 
The first section provided that all railroads in this State should 
be "hmited to a just, reasonable, and uniform rate, fare, toll, 
and compensation for the transportation of passengers and 
freight." Other sections provided for establishing, printing, and 
posting of all railroad tariffs, and fixed penalties for violations. 
In this shape it simply reaffirmed the principles of the common 
law on the subject of railroad charges, and came far short of 
what the people demanded. It was superseded by subsequent 
legislation under the constitution of 1870. 

Other laws of public interest were enacted at this session, 
as follows: to provide for the appointment of a board of com- 
missioners of public charities and defining their duties and 
powers; to erect and carry on an asylum for the insane — the 
northern; to establish and maintain the southern Illinois normal 
university; to fund and provide for paying the railroad debts of 
counties, townships, cities, and towns, sometimes referred to 
as the "tax-grabbing law." It provided that whenever any 
county, township, city, or town had contracted a debt to aid in 
the construction of any railroad running near to, into, or 
through said locality, the state treasurer should place to the 
credit of such county, city, or town, annually, for and during 
the term of ten years, all the state taxes collected and paid into 
the State treasury on the increased valuation of the taxable 
property of said county, city, or town, as shown by the annual 


assessment rolls, over and above the amount of the assessment 
roll for i863 — excepting the school and two-mill tax — which 
funds should be "deemed as pledged and appropriated" to the 
payment of the principal and interest of the bonds issued for 
the payment of said railroad debt. 

It was an ingenious, even if questionable, scheme, which was 
supposed to be destined to benefit counties and towns in their 
efforts to extend their railroad facilities. The governor inter- 
posed his veto to the bill, on the ground that it contemplated 
the assumption by the State of the obligation to pay the debts 
of counties incurred by individual cities and towns to aid rail- 
roads already completed; and for the additional reason that it 
violated the principle of the equality of taxation. The assem- 
bly, however, passed it despite the governor's protest. The 
amount of bonds filed under the law amounted to over $15,- 
000,000 and the State taxes devoted to their payment amounted 
to about $60,000 per annum. 

The law aroused no little opposition in some portions of the 
State, and in 1874, the question of its constitutionality having 
been brought before the supreme court, that tribunal sustained 
the position of the executive.* 

By act of 1875, provision was made for the refunding of the 
taxes of 1873, illegally collected under the law. 

Another law, which attracted a good deal of attention at the 
time, and the controversy over the subject matter of which has 
only lately been concluded in the courts, was entitled: "An act 
in relation to a portion of the submerged lands and lake-park 
grounds lying on and adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan, 
on the eastern frontage of the City of Chicago;" otherwise 
known as the "Lake- Front bill." 

By this act the State ceded to the City of Chicago, in fee, a 
strip of land in section 15, township 39, range 14, lying east of 
Michigan Avenue, north of Park Row, south of the south line 
of Monroe Street, and west of a line running parallel with and 
400 feet east of the west line of said Michigan Avenue, being 
a strip of land 400 feet in width, including said avenue, and 
comprising about 32 acres — known as the Lake- Front Park. 
While, however, the city was granted full power and authority 

* Ramsey vs. lloeger, 6 Illinois, 432. 



to sell and convey the same, the proceeds of said sale were to 
be set aside and to constitute what was termed the Park Fund. 

The act also confirmed the property rights of the Illinois- 
Central Railroad Company, under the grant from the State in 
its charter, and recognized "the riparian ownership incident to 
such grant, appropriation, occupancy, use, and control, in and 
to the lands submerged, or otherwise lying east of the said line 
running parallel with and 400 feet east of the west line of Mich- 
igan Avenue in fractional sections 10 and 15, township and range 
as aforesaid." The most important clause in the act, however, 
was that expressed in the following terms: "All the right and 
title of the State of Illinois, in and to the submerged lands 
constituting the bed of Lake Michigan, and lying east of the 
tracks and breakwater of the Illinois-Central Railroad Company 
for the distance of one mile, and between the south line of the 
south pier extended eastwardly, and a line extended eastward 
from the south line of lot 21, south of and near to the round- 
house and machine-shops of said company in the south division 
of the said City of Chicago, are hereby granted in fee to the 
said Illinois- Central Railroad Company," upon certain condi- 
tions and uses. Another important clause was as follows: "All 
the right and title of the State in and to the lands, submerged or 
otherwise, lying north of the south line of Monroe Street, and 
south of the south line of Randolph Street, and between the 
east line of Michigan Avenue and the track and roadway of the 
Illinois-Central Railroad Company were granted in fee to the 
Illinois-Central Railroad Company, the Chicago-Burlington-and 
-Quincy Railroad Company, and the Michigan-Central Rail- 
road Company," for the erection thereon of a passenger depot, 
and for such other purposes as the business of said companies 
might require; in consideration of which grant the said rail- 
road companies were to pay to the City of Chicago $800,000. 

Again the governor interposed his veto. In regard to the 
lots sold for depot purposes, he claimed that they were worth 
$2,600,000 instead of $800,000. He further took the ground 
that the grant to the Illinois-Central Railroad Company of the 
submerged lands was not sufficiently defined, nor could it be 
easily understood. The company, he said, should moreover be 
required to begin the work of improvement within a reasonable 


time; and the net profits derived from improvements made for 
the relief of commerce should be limited, and the property- 
made subject to taxation. 

Notwithstanding these well-founded objections and despite 
the strong opposition of citizens of Chicago, the bill was passed 
over the governor's veto by the constitutional majority. 

It was not long before litigation grew out of the enactment 
of this law. An injunction was granted by the United-States 
circuit-court, restraining the city from releasing, or the railway 
companies from occupying, the land granted for depot purposes; 
and so determined and aggressive had become the opposition 
to the provisions of the act, that it was repealed by the legisla- 
ture of 1873. 

The legal controversy was continued in the form of a tri- 
angular fight, involving the respective rights of the State, the 
railroad company, and the city of Chicago, until February, 
1888, when the same were judicially determined in the circuit- 
court of the United States for the nothern district of Illinois. 

The decision of that tribunal held that the Illinois - Central 
Railroad, under grants from the State, acquired title in fee to all 
the water-lots in the Fort Dearborn addition to Chicago north 
of Randolph Street, and that what had been done by that 
company in the way of filling in the lake and constructing 
wharves, slips, piers, tracks, and warehouses between the Chicago 
River and Randolph Street, as well as its occupancy and use 
of the two triangular pieces of ground immediately south of 
Randolph Street, were justified by its riparian ownership, by 
its charter, and by the city ordinances of 1855-6; that the 
structures erected by the company east of the exterior line 
designated by the city ordinance of 1852, granting the right of 
way, and of those built in 1867 — apart from the confirmatory 
act of 1869 — was justifiable on the ground that they were neces- 
sary for the complete operation of the road for the purpose 
designated in the charter. Upon the same ground, the court 
held, that the structures erected by the company south of Park 
Row and north of Sixteenth Street had been legally built, 
and its title thereto was confirmed. But the opinion went 
further, declaring that even if the court was in error in so 
holding, the action oi the railroad company in these particu- 


lars had been legalized by the confirmatory clause of the third 
section of the act of 1869. In regard to the grant of the 
submerged lands as described in the third section of the act 
of 1869, the court held that the effect of the repealing act of 
1873 was to abrogate the cession of the same to the railway 
company, and to revoke the additional powers therein con- 
ferred upon it, by implication, to construct and maintain 
wharves, piers, and docks for the benefit of commerce and 
navigation generally, rather than in the prosecution of its 
business as defined and limited by its original charter; saving 
to the company the right to hold and use, as a part of its 
right of way, the small part of the submerged lands, outside its 
breakwater of 1869, between Monroe and Washington streets, 
extending eastwardly, which had been reclaimed from the lake 
in 1873. Such repeal, it was held, was attended by the further 
result that while the city of Chicago might, under its charter, 
preserve the harbor, prevent obstructions being placed therein, 
and make wharves and slips, at the ends of the streets, the 
exercise of these powers and the whole subject of the improve- 
ment of the harbor by a system of wharves, docks, piers, and 
other structures, remained with the State, subject only to the 
paramount authority of the United States under the power of 
congress to regulate commerce. 

In regard to the lot granted to the railroads for depot pur- 
poses, it was held that the return to them of the money de- 
posited with the comptroller as a condition precedent, at their 
request, deprived them of whatever benefit might have accrued 
from that tender, "leaving them in the attitude of never having 
performed the conditions upon which they were to acquire the 
title to these lands. So that the title remains just where it was 
before the passage of the act of 1869, namely in the city of 

During this session, the question of the completion of the 
new State-house again loomed up into prominence. The first 
measure introduced making an appropriation for the continuance 
of the work failed, but a bill was finally passed, amending 
former laws on the subject and appropriating $650,000 for 
that purpose. 

The fifteenth amendment to the constitution of the United 


States, providing that "The right of citizens of the United 
States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United 
States, or by any state, on account of race, color, or previous 
condition of servitude," was ratified by a strictly party-vote in 
each house on March 5, 

It having been decided to call a convention to amend the 
constitution, there was a general scramble to take advantage of 
the brief period which seemed likely to afford the last oppor- 
tunity for the passage of private laws and special acts of incor- 
poration. The "third house" was out in force and its members 
were influential and aggressive, besides being plethoric of means. 
The charge was repeatedly made that money was being used 
to procure the passage of certain bills; and the clerk, James P. 
Root, reported to the house at one time, that $400 having come 
into his possession which he "knew of no law which authorizes 
an action in the name of any party to recover," he had dis- 
tributed the same among four deserving charities, which he 
named; and his action was approved by a unanimous vote of 
the body. 

The preceding general assembly, as has been shown, had been 
by no means backward in special legislation, but the twenty- 
sixth was conspicuous above all others for its prodigality in the 
passage of bills of a local and private character "as pernicious 
in principle, as they were contrary to public policy," They 
embraced every conceivable subject, from the incorporation of 
private manufacturing concerns, hotels, and banking establish- 
ments to the creation of land companies and benevolent loan 
associations, whose sole aim was to blossom out into huge 
monopolies for private gain. 

No less than 1700 private laws were enacted at this session, 
filling four large octavo volumes — so many, indeed, that when 
the legislature had concluded its business on March 1 1, at the 
end of the longest session ever held under the constitution of 
1848, Gov. Palmer had only been able to examine 300 01 them, 
and a recess, until April 14, had to be taken to give him time 
to read the remaining 1400. This he did with considerable 
care, and when the two houses again assembled, he fulminated 
his veto against eighty odd of these enactments — most of which, 
nevertheless, were passed. It was in contemplation of the pro- 


ceedings of this general assembly that the cynical remark was 
made, that "the legislature meets in ignorance, sits in corrup- 
tion, and dissolves in disgrace regularly every two years." 

A state constitution may be defined to be an authoritative 
statement in writing by the people in their sovereign capacity 
of those fundamental principles which shall be the absolute rule 
of action and decision for all departments of the government 
in respect to all subjects and matters covered by it, which must 
dominate and control, subject to the constitution of the United 
States, until it shall be changed by the authority which estab- 
lished it.* 

As a criminal code, court-houses, and jails are necessary in the 
most free and enlightened communities to preserve order and 
secure to the people their personal rights and liberties, so are 
the permanent declarations and restrictions of constitutions 
necessary to guard against that hasty, inconsiderate, or corrupt 
legislation which might arise from the exercise of uncontrolled 

The first constitution of Illinois, following those of most of 
the older states, was a brief document, in which the powers, 
duties, and functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial 
departments were concisely defined in eight articles, including 
the bill of rights. With the schedule, it covered only fifteen 
octavo pages. The law-making power was untrammelled by 
any restrictive provisions. It was under this constitution that 
the internal-improvement system was passed, under which the 
already- recited evils of an enormous state debt were entailed 
upon the commonwealth, retarding its growth and embarrassing- 
its citizens for more than a decade. 

Then came the constitution of 1848, which was adopted dur- 
ing an era of burdensome public and private obligations, when 
property possessed but a nominal value, and before the great 
natural resources of the State had been developed or even 
imagined. The chief object of its framers was to provide for 
an economical administration of the government, to render 
comparatively easy the extrication of the commonwealth from 
debt, and to guard against the possibility of an increase in the 

* Cooley's "Constitutional Limit.," 3; Hitcock's "American State Constitution,** 
8; Webster's "Dictionary." 


public burdens by prohibiting the incurring of any indebted- 
ness on account of the State to an amount exceeding $50,000. 
It was also deemed best to curtail the power of the legislature 
in other directions: the granting of divorces except under general 
law was inhibited; extra compensation to public officers was 
forbidden; and the creation of state-banks, or of any corpora- 
tion with banking powers, unless the same should be ratified by 
the people, was made illegal. Neither was the credit of the 
State to be given in aid of any individual, association, or cor- 
poration. It was, indeed, provided, — article X, — that corporations 
should not be created by special acts, except — and the excep- 
tion, as has been seen, proved to be the rule — in cases where, 
in the judgment of the general assembly, the objects of the 
corporation could not be attained under general laws. The 
latter provision resembled that other article, which required 
every bill to be read on three different days in each house 
before its passage, unless, in case of urgency, three-fourths of 
the house deemed it expedient to dispense with the rule. The 
cases of urgency were found to be as frequent as were the 
desires of the members to secure the prompt passage of their 
private bills. 

Perhaps one reason why specific restrictions upon legislative 
action in the organic law of 1848 were not more numerous was 
to be found in the confidence felt in the limitation of the time 
of the session to forty- two days and the small compensation 
allowed to the members. It was doubtless thought that no 
very great amount of mischief could be wrought in so short a 
time and that no one would care to stay longer at one dollar per 
day for his services. 

The reasons for adopting a new constitution at this time, 1869, 
were obvious and undisputed, if not imperative. The old instru- 
ment had served its day. Under its operations great abuses 
had grown up, especially in the direction of special legislation, 
as heretofore shown, until, in the language of Gov. Palmer, in 
his message of 1871, "the history of the American States pre- 
sented no example of a government more defective or vicious 
than that of the State of Illinois." Under the constitution of 
1848, "the limitations placed upon the powers of the various 
governmental departments had become obsolete, so that there 


remained no effective rule by which their respective responsibili- 
ties could be defined or enforced." Legislation thereunder had 
grown to be hasty and improvident and the feeling was general 
that public and private rights were unsafe. Public officers re- 
ceived as a compensation for their services, under authority of 
law, sums which were well known to be inconsistent with, and 
in violation of, the express provisions of the constitution; and 
what were intended by its framers as provisions for an economi- 
cal government became in their administration the source of 
reckless extravagance. Numerous instances might be cited, but 
a few will suffice: the governor's salary of $1500, which was not 
to be "increased or diminished," had, for instance, for many 
years been made equivalent to $6000 by an appropriation in his 
favor of $4500 per annum, "for fuel and lights for the executive 
mansion, to defray the expenses of caring for the same, and 
keeping the grounds attached thereto in repair." The sum of 
"two dollars per day and ten cents for each necessary mile's 
travel," as a compensation for forty-two days attendance by the 
members upon the sessions of the general assembly, "and no 
more," was stretched out to a per diem of seven dollars for a 
seventy-four days' session by the twenty-sixth general assembly; 
the sum of "$300 for extra expenses" being voted by the mem- 
bers to themselves in one fell lump. Other equally illegal 
appropriations followed, so that the legislative and executive 
expenditures of the State government, which had been $225,121 
for the years 1858-60 and $256,878 for 1862-64, had risen 
to $617,011 for 1864-66; to $740,304 for 1866-68, and to 
$840,360 for 1868-70. 

The legislature of 1867 adopted a resolution recommending 
that the electors of the State, at the ensuing election of the 
members of the general assembly, vote for or against calling a 
convention to frame a new constitution for the State. Although 
there were but few votes against the proposition, the popular 
indifference to the subject was such that it only received a 
majority of 704 of all those cast. 

Pursuant to a law passed by the twenty-sixth general assem- 
bly, the members elect met at Springfield, December 13, 1869 
and organized the convention by the election of Charles Hitch- 
cock, president; John O. Harmon, secretary; and Daniel Shep- 


ard first and A. H.Swain second assistants. The roll contained 
the names of eighty-five members, of whom, although fifteen 
had been elected as independents, forty-four were republicans 
and forty-one democrats. It was unquestionably the ablest 
deliberative body that ever convened in the State, a majority 
of the delegates being men of ripe experience, some on the 
bench or at the bar, others in various responsible positions in 
public life — as congressmen, members of the legislature, and 
representatives of the press, while there was a fair sprinkling of 
men who had attained distinction in the walks of finance, 
agriculture, and trade.* 

Where so many were distinguished, it may be invidious to 
draw distinctions; yet perhaps it is not too much to say that 
the leaders of the body were: Wm. J. and J. C. Allen, Elliott 
Anthony, William R. Archer, Reuben M. Benjamin, Orville H. 
Browning, Silas L. Bryan, Alfred M. Craig, Samuel P. Cum- 
mings, John Dement, Miles A. Fuller, Milton Hay, S. Snowden 
Hayes, Jesse S. Hildrup, Joseph Medill, Samuel C. Parks, 
Edward Y. Rice, Lewis W. Ross, John Scholfield, Onias C. 
Skinner, William H. Snyder, William H. Underwood, Henry 
W. Wells, and George R. Wendling. 

Naturally, when the convention had fairly commenced work, 
its attention was primarily directed toward correcting the evils 
which had grown up in the legislative branch of the government 
under the old instrument. In this direction, many important 
changes were effected, which experience had proved to be 
desirable and many of which have been since adopted 
in other states. Not only is all special legislation prohibited in 
general terms where a general law can be made applicable, but 
in addition to the subjects of lotteries and divorces, which had 
been the only ones specifically named in the former instrument, 
twenty-two new items are especially enumerated, in regard to 
which, no local or special law should be passed. Included among 
these are roads, names of persons and places; vacating towns 

* A complete list of these names will be found with the constitution of 1870 in 
the Appendix. Occupations : 53 were lawyers, 14 farmers, 13 merchants, bankers, 
and traders, 4 physicians, 1 editor. By birth, 19 were from New York, 17 from 
New England, 11 from Illinois, 11 from Ohio, 12 from Kentucky and Tennessee, 
5 from Virginia and Maryland, 4 from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 2 from Indi- 
ana, and 4 from England and Scotland. 

gy^y --a. cc 


and alleys; county-seats; township affairs; practice in courts; 
justices-of-the-peace and constables; chan| as of venue; incor- 
porating towns or cities; elections of superi'isors; juries; com- 
mon schools; interest; elections; sale of real estate of minors; 
protection of game or fish; ferries or toll-bridges; remitting 
fines, penalties, or forfeitures; changing fees of public officers 
during the term for which elected; the law of descent; railroad 
charters; the granting to any corporation, association, or indi- 
vidual any special or exclusive privileges. It was under some 
one of these heads that the great bulk of private acts passed 
by the preceding legislature might be included. 

The general assembly was also prohibited from releasing or 
discharging any county, city, township, town, or district from 
its proportionate share of taxes levied for state purposes; it 
should not impose taxes upon municipal corporations for cor- 
porate purposes; neither should it have power to release or 
extinguish the indebtedness of any corporation or individual to 
the state, or any municipal corporation therein. 

Thus far, nothing original had been attempted, nearly all of 
the prohibited subjects for legislative action having been in- 
cluded in the same article in the constitution of Indiana in 
185 1, and in the revised constitutions of Maryland in 1864, 
Missouri in 1865, and Florida in 1868. 

While, however, the restrictive provisions of the constitution 
of 1870 are more extensive and complete than those engrafted 
upon the fundamental law of any other state prior to the time 
of its enactment, the preeminently distinguishing feature of that 
instrument is to be found in the new departure made in com- 
manding the legislature to enact laws upon certain subjects 
specifically designated. These were : for the protection of 
miners; for the construction of drains; liberal homestead and 
exemption laws; and, yet still more important, in regard to cor- 
porations, railroads being declared public highways, and the gen- 
eral assembly being directed to pass laws regulating the same 
ai d to establish reasonable maximum rates of charges for the 
tr< isportation of passengers and freight thereby. Another 
ori^ 'nal and important article was that relating to elevators and 
sto houses, declaring them to be public warehouses, defining 
the bligations and responsibilities of their owners, and provid- 


ing for their regulation by legislative authority. The same j| 
article also directs the general assembly to pass laws for the 
inspection of grain, "for the protection of producers, shippers, 
and receivers of grain and produce." 

The adoption of these mandatory provisions was opposed by 
the leading lawyers of the convention, who contended, strenu- 
ously, that they were properly subjects exclusively for consider- 
ation by the legislature, which needed no prompting, and that 
the incorporation of such provisions into the fundamental law was 
ill-advised. Their adoption, however, was demanded by many 
and numerously- signed petitions, which were supplemented 
by agitation on the part of the agricultural community, out of 
which ultimately grew the celebrated "granger" legislation with 
its resultant litigation in the courts. 

Such was the condition of the public mind on the subject of 
the alleged extortions and unjust discriminations of railroads 
and the unfair treatment to which farmers were subjected by 
handlers of produce, that the legislation required by these 
mandatory provisions, in the direction of curing the evils com- 
plained of, would have followed whether they had been incor- 
porated in the instrument or not. But what would have been 
the result in case the succeeding legislature had been antag- 
onistic to the policy thus marked out for it to pursue, and had 
refused to pass the laws required, is an open question which 
did not present itself. Of course the members would take 
the prescribed oath to support the constitution, but, having 
before them the example of Gen. Jackson, who claimed the 
right, as president, to interpret the constitution of the United 
States for himself, each one might place a different construction 
upon the duties required and no resulting action follow. A 
constitutional enactment can confer no power upon the legisla- 
ture which it does not already possess, neither could penalties 
be enforced against a member for non-compliance with its 
requirements any more than against a juror who, having taken 
an oath to well and truly try the issue joined in a given case, 
fails to agree with his fellow-jurors upon a verdict. The utmost 
that can be done against a legislator whose action has tended 
to defeat a mandatory provision of the constitution, even 
though it has been endorsed and ratified by the people, is to 


refer his conduct back to his constituents for such future action 
as may be deemed advisable. 

By the action of this convention, the State of Illinois, for the 
first time, followed the example of several other states in making 
the establishment and maintenance of "an efficient system of 
public schools" by the general assembly a constitutional require- 
ment. Indeed it went much farther than most states in declar- 
ing that neither the legislature nor any city, town, or district 
should ever make any appropriation from the public fund in aid 
of any church or sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain 
any school, academy, or college controlled by any church or 
sectarian denomination. 

Besides the foregoing, the new instrument contained the fol- 
lowing original provisions: declaring that the Illinois-Central 
Railroad should never be released from its obligation or liability 
to the State under its charter; that the Illinois-and-Michigan 
Canal should never be sold or leased without a vote of the 
people authorizing the same; prohibiting any city, town, or 
other municipality from ever becoming a subscriber to the capi- 
tal stock of any railroad or private corporation; establishing 
the principle of minority representation, under the operation of 
which each elector may cast as many votes for one candidate 
for the general assembly as there are representatives to be 
chosen in any one senatorial district, or may distribute the 
same, or equal parts thereof, among such candidates as he 
may prefer. The same principle is extended also to the election 
of directors or managers of incorporated companies in this State. 

This innovation upon former methods of electing representa- 
tives originated with John Stuart Mill — the eminent English 
sociologist — and was fathered in the convention by Joseph 
Medill, for so many years the able and distinguished editor of 
the Chicago Tribune. 

Under the old constitution, there was a period when nearly 
all the representatives in the legislature from the southern por- 
tion of the State were democrats, and all from the northern, 
republicans. Under this provision, representatives from both 
parties could be elected from all portions of the State. Although 
efforts have been made to adopt the same principle in other 
states, they have not succeeded, except that in its application 


to the election of directors by corporations it has been adopted 
in the states of Pennsylvania, Nebraska, California, West Vir- 
ginia, and Missouri. 

The constitution of 1870 also interposed more effective bar- 
riers against the inconsiderate passage of bills. The require- 
ment that every bill shall be read at large on three different 
days can not be dispensed with by a three-fourths vote as in 
the former constitution, and all bills and amendments are 
required to be printed before the vote is taken on their final 
passage; only one subject can be embraced in each bill. These 
provisions have been strictly complied with and have been 
effective in preventing an untold amount of hasty, ill-considered, 
and fraudulent legislation. 

In the oath required to be taken by the members of the 
general assembly, an obligation against bribery is substituted 
for that against duelling, prescribed in the constitution of 
1848 — the latter practice having "fallen into innocuous desue- 
tude" as the "code" waned in influence before the advance of a 
higher civilization. 

In the administration of the executive department some 
radical changes were made: the restrictive provision which 
rendered a governor ineligible to reelection for a second consec- 
utive term was omitted; the influence of the veto power was 
extended by requiring a two-thirds vote of both houses to over- 
ride the objections of the executive, instead of a bare majority 
as before. An attorney-general and a superintendent of public 
instruction were added to the list of state-oflicers. 

In the judicial department, in addition to the supreme and 
circuit - courts already established — the bench of the former 
being increased by the addition of four judges — appellate and 
county-courts of record were provided for. 

Other changes, as important as they were judicious, consisted 
in leaving the compensation allowed to members of the general 
assembly, the governor and other state-officers, and judges to 
be fixed by the legislature; and in providing for the readjust- 
ment and regulation of the fees and salaries of county-officers. 
The reasons for this step have been already indicated. 

Another alteration, the reason of which is not so apparent, 
was that which left the sessions of the general assembly un- 


limited as to length. As will be seen by reference to the 
following table, a majority of states have thought it wise to 
adopt a different rule. 

The first general assembly — the twenty-seventh — which con- 
vened after the adoption of the new constitution held one regular, 
two special, and one adjourned session, extending in all over 
three hundred days. While much extraordinary work was 
thrown upon the body by the new instrument under which they 
were acting, it must be admitted that the time consumed in 
doing it was unnecessarily prolonged, entailing great expense 
upon the State. 

The next legislature, with the labor of completing the revi- 
sion of the statutes on their hands, continued in session 204 
days; and since then, with the exception of the 100 days' session 
of the twenty-ninth, the sessions have been continued from 140 
to 170 days. 

With all power of special legislation taken away and the 
passage of general laws covering every conceivable subject of 
legislative action, there does not seem to be any good reason 
for these long sessions, exceeding those of nearly every other 
state. It may be questioned whether there has been a session 
of the general assembly since the twenty-ninth, where the work 
could not have been just as well accomplished in 100 days. 
As a matter of fact, if allowance be made for the absenteeism 
of members — without loss of pay — which has not infrequently 
amounted to two and three days per week, the actual work has 
been performed in a much less time than that. 

These unnecessarily protracted sessions tend not only to open 
the door of corruption and greatly to increase the rate of taxa- 
tion, but also to deter the better class of citizens from seeking 
or accepting seats in a body, service in which requires so great 
a sacrifice of time that they might more profitably employ in 
their ordinary business or professional avocations. 

The people generally express their satisfaction when the 
legislature adjourns, and congratulate themselves upon their 
escape from the possibility of legislative evils for at least two 
years to come. 

Forty-eight new constitutions have been proposed since the 
rebellion, forty three of which were prepared by regular con- 



ventions. Eighteen of these were reconstruction instruments, 
of which eleven only were adopted and approved by congress. 
Of the thirty others, three were rejected, leaving twenty-seven 
new constitutions adopted since 1864, exclusive of those in the 
reconstruction states. 

The annexed, comparative table of the constitutions of the 
several states will be found as useful for reference as it is inter- 





Dates of Constltntlons 






Kleeted or 


Last One in Force 


How Filed 



Appointed by 



1819, '65, '67, '75 



Const. $4 




the people 



1836, '64, '68, '74 







the people 



1849, 1879 






the people 









the people 



1776, 1818* 









1776, 1792, 1831* 





no veto 




1838, 1865. 1868 



C, $500 






1777, '89, 1865, '68 















the people 



1818, 1848, 1870* 






the people 



1816, 1851* 






the people 



1846, 1857* 






the people 



1855. '57. '5S, '59* 



C, $150 



the people 



1792, 1799, 1850* 






the people 



i8i2,'4S, '52/64, '68 















the people 



1776, 1851. '64, '67 






the people 








gov. and council 



1835. 1850* 






the {>cople 









the people 



1817, 1832. 1868 









1820, *45. '65, '75 






the people 









the people 



1866, 1875 






the people 









the people 


N H. 

1776, 1792* 






gov. and council 



1776, 1844* 



C, $500 





N. Y. 

1777, 1821, 1846* 



C. $1500 



the people 


N. C. 

1776, 1868, 1876 





no veto 

the people 


N. D. 







the peiiple 



1803. 1851* 





no veto 

the people 









the people 



1776, '90, 1838, '73 





the people 


R. I. 

1663, 1842* 



C, $1 


no veto 













S. D. 




C, $5 




the people 



1796, 1834, 1870 
1845, '66, '68, '76 



C, $4 




the people 









the people 



1777, 1786, 1793* 























C, $5 




the people 


W. Va. 

1862, 1872 







the people 





C. $500 




the people 










the people 


• Amended. 

Period VI I. — Under the Constitution 
OF 1870. 


Gov. Palmer's Administration [Continued] — State Conven- 
tions, Nominations, and Elections of 1870 — Twenty- 
seventh General Assembly — Election of Gen. Logan 
to the Senate — Laws — Recess and Reassembling of 
the Legislature — Chicago Fire — Controversy between 
Governor Palmer and Mayor Mason — The Liberal- 
Republican Party — Presidential Nominations and 
Elections of 1872. 

ILLINOIS, in 1870, had advanced in population from the 
position of the eleventh — her rank in i860 — to that of the 
fourth in the sisterhood of states. Within the decade, over 
1,000,000 acres had been added to her fields of wheat whose 
annual yield was 27,115,000 bushels, while her acerage of 
golden corn had risen from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 — producing 
200,000,000 bushels. Property, as listed for taxation at only 
about a fourth of its value, which amounted in i860 to $367,- 
227,742, now footed up $480,664,058. The actual valuations, 
more correctly estimated in the census returns, showed the pro- 
digious increase of 138 per cent, having risen from $871,860,282 
to $2,121,680,579. Then she had 2727 miles of railroad, valued 
for taxation at $12,085,472; now, the returns showed the 
remarkable increase of 1906 miles with a valuation of $19,242,- 
141. Her state-debt, which in i860 was $10,300,000, had been 
reduced to $4,890,937, and there were sufficient funds in the 
state-treasury, available for the purpose, to extinguish nearly^ 
one-half of it. ^,^,.-- 

Her principal cities had kept pace with this marvellous 
growth, showing an increase as follows: Aurora from 60 11 in 
i860, to 11,162; Bloomington, 7075, to 14.590; Galesburg, 
4953 to 10,158; Jacksonville, 5528 to 9203; Peoria, 14,045 to 
22,849; Quincy, 13,718 to 24,052; Rockford, 6,979 to 11,049; 



Springfield, 9320 to 17,364; and last of all, with the most 
gigantic strides toward the first rank of American cities, the 
population of Chicago had increased from 112,172 to 298,977 — 
a growth unparalleled by any of the great cities of the Union. 

Although 1870 was what is commonly designated as an "off 
year" in politics, there was no lack of activity in political 
Circles. At the republican state-convention, held in Springfield, 
Sept. I, 1870, Gen. Logan was renominated for congressman-at- 
large, and Gen. Bates for state treasurer, both by acclamation. 
Newton Bateman was also renominated for superintendent of 
public instruction on the first ballot. Elmer Washburn and 
Casper Butz received the nomination for commissioners of the 

The platform reported by the committee on resolutions, of 
which Horace White was chairman, contained at least two 
remarkable planks. After heartily endorsing the administra- 
tion of Gen. Grant and congratulating the people upon the 
adoption of a new constitution, the following deliverance was 
made upon the subject of internal revenue and the tariff: "That 
it is wrongful and oppressive for congress to enact revenue laws 
for the special advantage of one branch of business at the 
expense of another; and that the best system of protection 
to industry is that which imposes the lightest burdens and the 
fewest restrictions on the property and business of the people." 
The other extraordinary resolution related to the removal of the 
national capital and ran as follows: "That as the natural and 
inevitable place for the capital of the republic is in the heart 
of the Mississippi Valley, and as its removal from its present 
inconvenient and exposed locality is only a question of time; 
we oppose all further expenditure of public money for the 
enlargement of old government - buildings or the erection of 
new ones as a useless waste of the treasury of the people." 

No republican state-convention has ever gone so far in the 
direction of a tariff for revenue merely; and the project for the 
removal of the capital received its first and only favorable 
mention at this convention. 

At the democratic state-convention, which met at Springfield, 
September 14, Gen. Wm. B. Anderson was nominated for con- 
gressman-at-large; Charles Ridgely for treasurer, Charles Feinz 


for superintendent of public instruction; and Frank T. Sher- 
man and Thomas Redmon for penitentiary commissioners. 

Melville W. Fuller was chairman of the committee on resolu- 
tions, which reported a platform, that was unanimously adopted 
and whose provisions were substantially as follows: demanding 
the overthrow of the party in power because of its committal 
to the policy of the destruction of the rights of the states; 
because of its policy of protection and its onerous and aggra- 
vating system of internal revenue; "because it is extravagant, 
wasteful, and corrupt," and "being destitute of principle is held 
together solely by the cohesive power of public plunder." It 
declared, "That the present administration of state affairs has 
been more reckless in the expenditure of public money than 
any that ever exercised the power of the State. On the subject 
of the tariff, it was unmistakably outspoken, as follows: "That 
we are in favor of free«trade on principle, and while conced- 
ing the legality of a tariff for revenue simply, we denounce a 
protective tariff as not authorized under the federal constitu- 
tion, as destructive to the best interests of the people, and as 
enriching the few at the expense of the many." 

The republicans carried the State, as usual, but by a consider- 
ably-reduced majority, that of Logan, who received the largest 
vote of all the candidates, being 24,672. A prohibition state- 
ticket, the first side issue of the kind since the days of the 
old liberal party, received 3756 votes. 

The twenty-seventh general assembly convened Jan. 4, 1871. 
It not only held more and longer sessions but had a larger 
membership than any previous legislature of the State. It was 
composed of 50 senators and 177 representatives of whom 75 
were democrats. Being considered too large a body for con- 
venient accommodation in the state-house, the senate occupied 
the hall formerly used by the house and the latter body sat in 
the audience-room of the Second Presbyterian Church, then 
recently erected, which had been fitted up for the occasion. 

In the senate, there were only eleven members holding over, 
Messrs. Casey, VanDorston, Flagg, Harlan, McNulta, Nichol- 
son, Epler, Strevell, Snapp, Crawford, and Dore. The following 
had been reelected : Messrs. Boyd, Fuller, Shepard, and Tincher. 
J. F. Alexander, Wm. H. Underwood, Lewis Solomon, John 


Landrigan, James M. Washburn, Wm. B. Anderson, Charles 
Voris, Alexander Starne, Edward Laning, Charles W. Marsh, 
Winfield S. Wilkinson, Lorenzo D. Whiting, Wallace A. Little, 
had formerly occupied seats in the house, and Wm. Reddick in 
the senate. Among the members serving for the first time were 
Mark Bangs, James K. Edsall, John Early, John N. Jewett, 
Willard Woodward, John L. Beveridge, and J. Merrick Bush. 

A still smaller number of former members was returned to 
this than the preceding house, only i6 in all; namely: George 
W. Armstrong, Newton Cloud, Philip Collins, Samuel P. Cum- 
mings, Robert H. Foss, Calvin H. Frew, Addison Goodell, 
Elijah M. Haines, Thomas E. Merritt, James R. Miller, Milton 
M. Morrill, Wm. R. Morrison, Timothy M. Morse, Wm. H. 
Neece, William M. Smith, Thomas J. Turner, and Halstead H. 
Townsend. William Cary, Jesse S. Hildrup, and William M. 
Springer had been members of the late constitutional conven- 
tion. Among other new members may be mentioned: William 

A. Lemma, George W. Herdman, Thomas H. Boyd, James M. 
Riggs,* William H. Barnes, John C. Short, Maurice Kelley, 
Edward R. Roe, John S. Lee, Levi North, James Shaw — the 
delegates from Cook County being Henry W. Austin, Hardin 

B. Brayton, Augustus Harris Burley, Richard P. Derrickson, 
James L. Campbell, Arthur Dixon, Wiley M Egan, John D. 
Easter, Andrew J. Galloway, John W. Heafield, John Humph- 
rey, William H, King, Carlisle Mason, Simon D. Phelps, James 
P. Root, Henry C. Senne, William K. Sullivan, William Vocke, 
Horace F. Waite, Rollin S. Williamson.-f- 

William M. Smith of McLean County was elected speaker 

* Mr. Riggs represented Scott County; he was elected to the forty- eighth and 
forty- ninth congresses, and is a grandson of Scott Riggs, who was a member of the 
first general assembly of Illinois and who died in Scott County, Feb. 24, 1872, at 
the age of ninety-three years. He was a native of North Carolina and removed to 
Crawford County, Illinois, in 1815, and in 1825 to Scott County, an honored and 
influential pioneer. 

+ Occupation of senators : lawyers 22, farmers 10, merchants 5, physicians 2, 
bankers 2, agents and mechanics 9. Nativity: New York 14, New England 7, 
Pennsylvania 5, Kentucky and Tennessee 5, Ohio 7, Illinois 4, Indiana 2, foreigners 6. 

House: farmers 62, lawyers 61, merchants 21, bankers 6, manufacturers 5, physi- 
cians 4, agents 4, ministers and engineers 2 each; retired, et cetera 10. Nativity: 
New York 33, Illinois 27, Ohio 21, New England 19, Pennsylvania 13, Indiana 6, 
Kentucky 20, Virginia and Tennessee 8, foreigners 17, other 13. 


of the house, his opponent being ex-Speaker William R. Morri- 
son; the vote on his election stood loi to 75. Daniel Shepard 
was chosen clerk of the house and E. H. Griggs secretary of 
the senate. 

The governor's message, an able, comprehensive, but some- 
what lengthy, document, was delivered on January 6. 

The election of a United-States senator, to succeed ex-Gov. 
Yates, was fixed for January 17. The contest for nomination 
by the dominant party between the two principal aspirants 
was conducted in a perfectly friendly spirit, and the caucus 
was harmonious. Gen. Logan, in accepting the nomination as 
congressman-at-large, had frankly declared before the conven- 
tion that he did so with the express understanding that the 
position should not interfere with his candidacy for the senate. 
The friends of General Oglesby were of opinion, however, that 
the honor was due to him and they made an ardent canvass 
but without success — the vote in the caucus standing 98 for 
Logan to 23 for Oglesby and 8 for Koerner. 

The democrats conferred the honor of their suffrages upon 
Col. Thomas J. Turner. The vote in the senate was, Logan 32, 
Turner 18; in the house, Logan 99, Turner 71, and William H. 
Snyder 2. 

Gen. John Alexander Logan had long before this attained a 
national reputation by reason of his services in the war of the 
rebellion and as a member of congress. He was the most 
successful and distinguished of all the volunteer generals in the 
Union army who served from the beginning to the end of the 
war. He had not exercised an independent command, but as a 
division and corps commander, he had made a record conspicu- 
ous for good judgment, coolness, and daring. 

Having before the war been an active, uncompromising demo- 
crat in the southern portion of the State, where he was born 
and raised, and where anything savoring of abolitionism was 
held in the greatest abhorrence, his early and determined stand 
for the Union against secession was as beneficial to the country 
as it was unexpected. Such was his popularity and influence 
in the district which he then represented in congress that had 
he, as indeed it was falsely charged he intended to do, cast 
in his lot with the South he might have taken with him an army 


of no mean proportions. But he having ranged himself on the 
side of the Union, a large majority of his old friends and 
neighbors followed his example; and no regiments from any 
portion of the State fought more fiercely or victoriously than 
those from "Egypt." 

When the war was over the current of events had carried him 
into the ranks of the republican party, as whose candidate he 
had been continuously reelected to congress ever since he laid 
aside the sword. His career in congress had been characterized 
by a zealous and unfaltering support of the reconstruction 
measures introduced and championed by the republican party. 
He had taken a prominent part in advocating all the constitu- 
tional amendments and been active in upholding those measures 
of financial and internal policy for which his party had con- 
tended. Without his untiring aid, the republicans would never 
have succeeded in carrying the twelfth and thirteenth congress- 
ional districts under the old, or the sixteenth and eighteenth 
districts under the new apportionments. 

While destitute of that learning and polish which are generally 
derived from a scholastic training, he possessed a fertility of 
resources joined to a quickness of perception and a dogged per- 
sistence which stood him in better stead in the turmoil of 
public life than did the refinement of culture and grace of 
diction of more than one of his college-bred compeers. These 
qualities earned for him the distinction of being one of the 
strongest and most effective stump-speakers in the State. 

Possessing neither the logical power of Douglas, the legal 
ability of Palmer, the eloquence of Yates, nor the invective of 
Oglesby, he was endowed with a certain intellectual dash and 
force of character which enabled him to appeal to the people 
with a directness, a power of personal conviction, and a vigor of 
illustration which challenged the attention and admiration, even 
if it did not always command the approval, of his audiences. 
These qualities were conspicuously exemplified in his debate 
with Col. Dickey. While the latter enjoyed the advantage of 
a superior mental equipment, the general was always able to 
carry the crowd with him and to bear off the popular honors 
of the discussion. 

When it is remembered that the general's public and private 


life were alike irreproachable, that as soldier and civilian his 
character was unsmirched, the honor conferred upon him in his 
election to the United-States senate may be regarded as simply 
a recognition of his ability as a leader and his worth as a man. 

Under a law of the preceding legislature, Harvey B. Hurd, 
Michael Schaeffer, and William E. Nelson had been constituted 
a board to revise the public laws, and required to report to the 
twenty- seventh general assembly. The adoption of the new 
constitution had rendered it impracticable for the commissioners 
to draft and complete an entire code and they had been 
instructed by the judiciary committees of both houses to prepare 
bills to be acted upon separately. Nelson having been elected 
to a seat in the house, the work devolved upon the other two 
members after the meeting of the legislature. The commission 
accordingly from time to time reported for legislative action 
bills of revision for various laws. It also assisted in framing 
some new statutes. Those measures whose passage was required 
by the new constitution, regarding the regulation of railroads 
and warehouses, first claimed attention. 

The proposition of the governor at the previous session, as 
stated in his veto of the bill "establishing fixed rates for railroads," 
that a railroad charter "in all essential circumstances takes upon 
itself the qualities of a contract, and at that instant passes from 
legislative and becomes subject to judicial control," that such a 
contract can not be impaired; and that "what is reasonable 
for the transportation of passengers under any given circum- 
stances, must, in the nature of things, be dependent upon facts 
that can be investigated only in tribunals organized for that 
purpose," was now restated in his message, in the following 
form: "The denial that the State has the power, acting through 
the appropriate department as determined by its constitution, 
to control the management of railway corporations and to 
regulate the rates imposed by them as public common carriers 
so as to prevent extortion, oppression, favoritism, and unjust 
discriminations against or in favor of localities and individuals 
— or to investigate their management and prevent the employ- 
ment of the vast sums of money under their control for the 
purpose of corruption — is to assert that a power has grown up 
in the State greater than the State itself, and makes an issue 


that the representatives of a free people can not, without the 
most palpable disregard of their duty, avoid." 

The new measures on this subject were promptly taken up in 
the senate and passed. These were as follows: to establish a 
board of railroad-and-warehouse commissioners, passed Feb. 13; 
an act to prevent unjust discriminations and extortions in the 
rates to be charged by the different railroads in this State, 
passed March 3. 

Large bodies move slowly. Both parties in the house seemed 
to lack distinct aggressive leadership. Refusing to agree with 
the senate in its bill establishing reasonable maximum rates of 
railroad charges, on January 30, that body substituted for it one 
of its own which was passed, March 21. The other bills from 
the senate were not finally acted upon until just before the 
adjournment. There was no controversy over either of these 
measures, one of them passing the senate with no votes recorded 
against it, while the number of negative votes in the house did 
not on either measure exceed ten. 

The only one of the laws reported by the revision commission 
adopted at this session, was that relating to attachments. In 
addition to the usual appropriations, however, a few new laws 
of importance were passed, as follows: to create a department 
of agriculture; to make the Illinois Eye-and-Ear Infirmary at 
Chicago a state institution — the trustees having transferred their 
property to the State for this purpose; and to provide for the 
construction and protection of drains, ditches, and levees. 

The limitation as to the length of the sessions of the general 
assembly having been removed, the impression seemed to be 
that they were to last as long as the convenience of the mem- 
bers might dictate. On April 7, it was resolved by the house, 
and afterward concurred in by the senate, that the general 
assembly should take a recess from April 17 to November 15. 
In anticipation of this action, the mayor and common council 
of Chicago, backed up by a meeting of the citizens, invited 
the legislature to hold its adjourned session in that city, 
guaranteeing that "ample and suitable provision should be 
made for the accommodation of both houses of the legislature 
and the executive, free of expense to the State." Extraordinary 
as the proposition was, involving in effect the removal of the 

Jl^r/^ X ^-e^>6^^^^^M: 


state - capital and being in violation of an express statute 
declaring that all sessions of the general assembly should be 
holden at Springfield, such was the temper of the members in 
relation to pending legislation and such their local surroundings, 
that it was carried — in the house by a vote of 97 to 44 and in 
the senate by 22 to 18. Nineteen senators filed a protest, setting 
forth, at length, their reasons for opposing this action. Both 
houses adjourned for the seven months' recess on April 17. 

The subject which excited the greatest interest and strong- 
est feeling at this session, and which doubtless largely influ- 
enced the action above mentioned, was that of the removal of 
the capital, which question had been again reopened by the 
introduction of a bill appropriating $600,000 to carry forward 
the work on the new building. Opposition to its passage sprang 
up, as extensive and powerful as it was unlooked for. The city 
of Peoria came forward with a proposition to remove the seat of 
government to that city offering to reimburse the State the 
amount already expended — over $800,000 — to donate an eligible 
and attractive plat of ground, containing ten acres, as a site for 
a new building, and to furnish free of rent for five years accom- 
modations for the meetings of the general assembly. The offer 
was so munificient, and so lavish was the hospitality extended 
to the members who had accepted an invitation to make a free 
excursion to the proposed new capital and see for themselves 
the advantages of the suggested location, that a sentiment in 
favor of removal was developed which proved as formidable as 
it was persistent. The fight was made against the appropria- 
tion bill, which must be first defeated, and so successfully was 
it conducted that the recess was reached without the appro- 
priation being made. 

Not only had this measure failed, but others equally impor- 
tant, which demanded early action, among them that providing 
for the ordinary and contingent expenses of the state govern- 
ment, as well as those fixing the salaries of the judges of the 
circuit - courts and regulating the compensation by fees or by 
salaries of all state, county, and township officers; and provid- 
ing for the government and management of the state penitenti- 
ary. The expenses of this institution had exceeded its revenue, 
and it was largely in debt. Its management had been the 


subject of investigation, and whether it was better to adopt the 
lease system or one of State control were questions calling for 
serious and early consideration. 

The members had hardly had time to salute their families 
and friends at home before they were confronted by the gover- 
nor's proclamation calling the general assembly to meet in special 
session on May 24, to consider the subjects above mentioned 
with others enumerated in the call. Although the question of 
the power of the executive to call a special session during a 
legal interregnum of the legislature had been raised by leading 
newspapers, the legality of his action was not questioned by 
the body itself. 

The governor, in his message, took ground in favor of state 
control of the labor of the convicts in the penitentiary, remark- 
ing that: "The only practicable system for the successful man- 
agement of the penitentiary, in my judgment, is that which 
combines the retention of complete control of the discipline 
and government of the convicts with the lease of their labor to 
persons engaged in special pursuits." The governor's views 
were adopted in the bill which passed. 

In regard to the state capital, the governor strongly favored 
retaining Springfield as the seat of government and the passage 
of the appropriation for the completion of the state - house. 
He contended that the great body of the people took but very 
little interest in the disputes over thp question of location; that 
while there were many places which offered nearly, if not quite, 
equal advantages with Springfield, the tax-payers would not 
be willing to lose the million of dollars already expended nor 
to the waste of the four years consumed in the construction 
of the present building without any hope of advantage. Never- 
theless, this measure continued to be the absorbing topic of 
discussion from the time of the convening of the special session 
until the vote was reached, at ten o'clock on the night of June 
7, when the bill finally passed the house by a vote of 100 to 74. 
It met with equally good fortune in the senate the day follow- 
ing and became a law. Nor does it seem probable that any 
further effort will be made to remove the capital from the home 
of Abraham Lincoln. 

Other laws were passed at the special session, as follows: 


an act to compensate members, officers, and employes of the 
general assembly; for park purposes, to enable corporate towns 
to levy a tax to improve public parks and boulevards, and 
regulating the duty of park-commissioners; to provide for the 
ordinary and contingent expenses of the state government. 

Other subjects, however, the consideration of which was 
recommended in the governor's proclamation, namely, the 
regulation of fees and salaries; in regard to eminent domain; 
and to amend the revenue laws, were left untouched. The 
special session adjourned June 22. 

Gen. Logan having been elected to the senate, a republican 
state-convention was convened at Springfield, Sept. 20, 1871, 
to nominate his successor as congressman-at-large. Gen. John 
L. Beveridge carried off the prize on the first formal ballot and 
was elected — the democrats having nominated Samuel Snowden 
Hayes as his opponent at their convention held on October 4 — 
by 19,000 majority. The election being a special one, a full 
vote was not called out. 

The second special session convened October 13, The occa- 
sion necessitating the gathering of the general assembly at 
that time was the great Chicago holocaust of 1871 which 
calamitous event occurred October 8 and 9 of that year. The 
entire area burned over in the city, including streets, covered 
2124 acres, on which stood 18,000 buildings, of which 13,500 
were consumed; the dwelling places of 100,000 citizens were 
destroyed, 92,000 persons being rendered homeless. The loss 
of life was estimated at 250 — the remains of 107 bodies hav- 
ing been collected and buried by the coroner. The total 
pecuniary loss reached the sum of $187,927,000. The State 
being powerless to afford direct aid to the stricken city, an act 
was passed redeeming the canal from the lien thereon for the 
cost of its improvement by Chicago, and the amount of the 
same, $2,955,340, was appropriated to reimburse that city for 
the amount so expended. 

An interesting episode, growing out of this great calamity, 
was the controversy which sprang up between Gov, Palmer on 
the one hand, and Col. R. B Mason, then mayor of Chicago, 
and the United-States authorities on the other, in regard to the 
employment of federal troops under command of Gen. Philip 


H. Sheridan to preserve order and protect the lives and prop- 
erty of the citizens. The mayor invoked such assistance and 
his action in this regard was warmly resented by the governor 
as an illegal, unwarrantable, and unnecessary interference with 
the rights and prerogatives of the State. 

Col. Thomas W. Grosvenor having been fatally shot by one 
of the cadets in a regiment of United-States troops organized 
to act as guards, for refusing to give the countersign while on 
his way home, the governor addressed letters to the attorney 
general and to the state's attorney of Cook-Gsunty, in which 
he strongly animadverted upon what he termed the lawless 
acts of those who had "atta^cked and insulted the dignity and 
authority of the State," and demanded that not only the 
soldier who inflicted the wound upon Col. Grosvenor, but also 
Gen. Sheridan, Mayor Mason, and Col. Frank T. Sherman, who 
commanded the regiment, should be indicted and tried for 

The conduct of Mayor Mason, during the trying period of 
the fire, had been characterized by prompt and vigorous action, 
as well as humanity and courage. On Monday morning he 
had proceeded directly to his office in the court-house, and 
having leared the extent of the fire he telegraphed to Milwau- 
kee, Joliet, Springfield, and Detroit for fire-engines; and then 
issued an order to the fire- marshal for the blowing up of build- 
ings. He remained in the old court-house building until it took 
fire and the roof fell in; after issuing an order for the release 
of the prisoners in jail, whose lives were then threatened, he 
endeavored to reach the lake shore, but was unable to get 
through either Randolph, Lake, or South-Water Streets. He 
then turned back and crossed the Wells -Street bridge and 
from thence, over Rush -Street bridge, he reached Michigan 
Avenue. He next personally directed the tearing down and 
blowing up of buildings on Wabash Avenue and Harrison 
Street, by which the progress of the fire in that direction was 
ultimately checked. It was not in the power of human agencies 
to put out the flames so fierce was the wind, nor stop its advance 
in any other way.* He had used his best judgment in every try- 
ing emergency, and when he received a communication from 

* Chicago Tri/mne, October 15, 187 1. 


the state executive protesting against his employment of United 
States troops, in violation of the State law, he replied with equal 
sharpness and clearness as follows: "Had your excellency, when 
in Chicago on the nth and 12th of this month, informed me, 
or Lt.-Gen. Sheridan, of your disapprobation of the course that 
I had thought proper to pursue, in having on the loth inst. 
solicited his aid in preserving the peace and order of the city, 
and protecting the lives and property of its inhabitants, satis- 
factory reasons could have been given your excellency for so 
doing, many of which, it would, even now, be unwise to make 
public. In the performance of my official duties, I believed 
that the emergency required me to take the step that I did. 
I do not believe when the lives and property of the people — 
the peace and good order of a large city — are in danger, that 
it is time to stop and consider any questions of policy; but 
that if the United States, by the strong arm of its military, 
can give the instantly-required protection of life, property, and 
order, it is the duty of those in power to avail themselves of 
such assistance. Before the receipt of your communication, I 
had already, upon consultation with other city officers, decided 
to dispense with military aid in a day or two; and I am happy 
to inform your excellency, that on Monday the 23d inst. [Oct.] 
your excellency will be relieved of all anxiety on account of 
the assistance of the military in protecting the lives and property 
of the people." 

The governor also addressed President Grant on the subject, 
enlarging particularly upon the ordering by Gen. Sherman of 
four com.panies of the 8th United-States Infantry to Chicago; 
inquiring of the president whether said troops were intended or 
instructed to obey the call of the State or city authorities; 
and stating that the authorities of the State of Illinois were 
abundantly able to protect every interest of the people that 
depended upon its internal peace and good order. In reply to 
that communication. President Grant, enclosed copies of the 
orders sent, and wrote as follows: "I will only add that no 
thought here ever contemplated distrust of the state authorities 
of the State of Illinois, or lack of ability on their part to do all 
that was necessary, or expected of them, for the maintenance 
of law and order within the limits of the State. The only thing 


thought of was how to benefit a people stricken by a calamity- 
greater than had ever befallen a community of the same num- 
ber before in this country. The aid was of a hke nature with 
that given in any emergency requiring immediate action. No 
reflection was contemplated or thought of, affecting the integ- 
rity or ability of any state - officer or city official, within the 
State of Illinois, to perform his whole duty." 

When the adjourned session of the general assembly con- 
vened Nov. 15, 1871, Gov. Palmer in his message presented a 
full statement of the facts of the alleged military usurpation, 
accompanied by the voluminous correspondence which had 
ensued, and other documents. The message was read in the 
house and referred to a special committee, consisting of E. M. 
Haines, George W. Rives, H. Watson Webb, Charles H. Rice, 
John N. McMillan, Oscar F. Price, and Andrew J. Galloway. 
A majority of the committee, the four first named, brought in 
a report sustaining the views of the governor and condemning 
the action of the mayor in transferring the government of the 
city to General Sheridan, censuring the latter for accepting 
the trust as "illegal and a dangerous example," cordially 
approving the action of the governor "in protesting against 
the use of United-States troops in Chicago, and his course in 
endeavoring to enforce civil authority in said city." The report 
of the minority of the committee heartily endorsed the action 
of the mayor and Gen. Sheridan under the circumstances, and, 
while admitting that much that had been done at the time 
referred to, was in violation of law, affirmed that justice, weigh- 
ing the pure motives that prompted the commission of the 
unlawful acts complained of, should withhold her sentence of 

The reports coming up for action on January 24, the follow- 
ing resolutions, embodying the views of the house, were 
adopted by a vote of 59 to 52: "Resolved, that we declare as 
unlawful, and an infraction of the constitution both of the 
State and the United States the so-called military occupation, 
yet in view of the trying circumstances and the great calamity 
existing, when this military power was exercised, we exonerate 
the federal government and federal military authorities from 
intent to wilfully trespass upon the constitutional rights of this 


State, or to interfere with its properly constituted authorities 
during the emergency created by the recent fire. 

"Resolved, that the protest of the executive of this State 
against a violation of the constitution, was the performance of 
a duty imposed upon him by his office, and establishes a valu- 
able precedent, which is hereby approved." 

The senate refused to take any action on the subject, and thus 
the matter ended so far as the legislature was concerned; but 
the question had a further hearing in Chicago with a decidedly 
different result. The grand-jury of Cook County which made 
its report November 20, expressed its views, and no doubt those 
of the people of the city generally, in the following language: 

"We fully endorse and commend the action of his honor 
Mayor Mason in calling to his aid the services of Lt.-Gen. 
Sheridan; that we honor the wise discretion of our mayor in 
thrusting aside the petty vanity of place and position, and 
summoning to his aid the wisest counsels in our midst;" and 
in regard to the killing of Col. Thomas Grosvenor, it remarked: 
"We have given this sad case a patient and careful examina- 
tion. We have had before us all those who had the slightest 
knowledge of the affair, and our deliberations have resulted in 
setting at liberty the young man who was the cause of the 
unfortunate occurrence." This report, signed by all the mem- 
bers of the grand-jury, was regarded not only as an end of the 
investigation but a complete vindication of his honor, Mayor 

The great fire set at rest the question of the place of meet- 
ing of the adjourned session of the general assembly and the 
resolution to meet in Chicago was rescinded at the October 
special session. The body finally adjourned April 9, having 
been in session altogether ten months. 

Commendable progress was made at the adjourned session 
toward the revision of the laws, twenty-five titles having passed. 
Apportionment laws were also passed, as well as acts relating 
to the subjects of eminent domain, evidence and depositions, 
public libraries, fees and salaries, and the duties of the attorney- 
general and state's attorneys, besides a new practice-act. 

On July 3, 1 87 1, the governor appointed Gustavus Koerner, 
Richard P Morgan, jr., and David S. Hammond as the first 


board of railroad and warehouse commissioners; and Wm. F. 
Tompkins the first inspector of grain. All of the appointees 
were confirmed by the senate, January ii, 1872. 

At the close of the session, the governor transmitted a com- 
munication to the house in which he remarked, "That the 
twenty-seventh general assembly had been distinguished for its 
patient industry, for its fidelity to constitutional principles, for 
its freedom from the slightest suspicion of corruption, and for 
an independence of action that looked only for the maintenance 
of its just authority, without interfering with the proper func- 
tions of other departments of the government," a merited com- 
pliment, so far as the personal integrity of the members was 
concerned, but that there was wide-spread dissatisfaction among 
the tax-payers in regard to the prolonged sessions of the body, 
is evidenced by the comments of the press of the period. 

In political affairs, the year 1872 was remarkable, not only 
for the changes which occurred in the personal leadership of 
the republican party, but also for the consolidation of the demo- 
cratic party with a powerful seceding element from the ranks 
of the former. 

The administration of Grant had given dissatisfaction to a 
very respectable minority of the party which had placed him 
in power. The first mutterings of discontent were heard in 
Missouri, where a movement was set on foot for the repeal 
of a constitutional provision disfranchising rebels. The move- 
ment was headed by Carl Schurz and B. Gratz Brown, and 
was supported by such journals as the New-Orleans Democrat 
and the New- York Tribune, and a number of other leading 
republican papers. Although the original scope of the move- 
ment was local in character, the sentiment which prompted it 
soon proved infectious, and, spreading to other states, resulted 
in the formal organization of what was designated as the 
Liberal Republican Party. This body, through its speakers and 
organs, savagely arraigned the party in power for alleged des- 
potic treatment of the people of the states lately in rebellion, 
for the corruption of the executive and legislative branches of 
the government, for the introduction of nepotism into and the 
general degradation of the civil service. 

The movement soon assumed the proportions of a serious 



and wide-spread revolt, headed by a powerful combination of 
many old and trusted republican leaders. The particular 
object of its animadversion was the administration of General 
Grant, although if successful, it threatened the complete over- 
throw of republican ascendency in national affairs. 

Among leading republicans in Illinois who became its 
supporters and advisers were Senator Trumbull, Gov. Palmer, 
Superintendent-of-Public-Instruction Newton Bateman, Secre- 
tary-of-State Edward Rummel; ex-state officers, Francis A. 
Hoffman, William Bross, Gustavus Koerner, Jesse K. Dubois, 
O. M. Hatch, O. H. Miner, Washington Bushnell, Wm. Butler; 
ex-congressmen, John Wentworth, S. W. Moulton, Jesse O. 
Norton; besides Judge David Davis, Leonard Swett, Lawrence 
Weldon, Dayid L. Phillips, Horace White, Wm. K. Sullivan, 
S. W. Munn, Richard Rowett, R. B. Latham, and many others. 
To one conversant with the political history of the State, this 
list presents a truly formidable array of familiar and influential 
names, embracing, as it does, those of many who had been 
identified with the republican party as leaders ever since its 
organization. Following in their wake came the Chicago 
Tribune, which vied with its New - York prototype in the 
bitterness of its denunciations of the administration. 

The national convention of the Liberal Party — the first to 
throw down the gauntlet — met at Cincinnati, May i, and con- 
tinued in session three days. It can hardly be said to have 
been a gathering of regularly-chosen delegates, in the sense in 
which this term is generally applied. It was rather^a mass 
meeting of the odds and ends of every party or clique in the 
country opposed to Grant and the regular republicans. Among 
its members were many incongruous elements; embracing "all 
sorts and conditions of men" who had a grievance. Ex-repub- 
licans sat, cheek by jowl, with democrats of every complex- 
ion of belief, and ex-knownothings hob-nobbed with green- 
backers and grangers. Illinois had a strong representation, 
divided, however, in presidential preferences as follows: for 
David Davis came Leonard Swett, Jesse W. Fell, A. Gridley, 
Wirt Dexter, Wm. Kellogg, N. G. Wilcox, Wm. Fithian, N. K. 
Fairbank, J. O. Norton, David T. Littler, S. C. Parks, Stephen K. 
Moore, Thomas S. Mather, and G. W. Minier. Lyman Trum- 


bull was the choice of Koerner, Hatch, White, and Wm. Jayne; 
Gov. Palmer's claims were urged by Rowett, Gen. John Cook, 
Casper Butz, E. M. Haines, and A. W. Edwards. The votes of 
Dubois, Gens. Smith, Hecker, Kueffner, Bushnell, Phillips, 
Miner, and John H, Bryant were distributed among the three 

The contest over the nomination, as might have been ex- 
pected under such circumstances, was exciting and bitter. It 
was found impossible to harmonize so many conflicting elements 
— the delegation from Illinois being more pronounced in its 
dissensions than that from any other state. The first ballot 
disclosed the following result: Horace Greeley 147, Charles 
Francis Adams 205, Lyman Trumbull no, David Davis 92^, 
B. Gratz Brown 95, and Andrew Curtin 62. Greeley developed 
more and more strength, until on the sixth ballot, he secured 
the nomination; the vote standing, before any changes had 
been made, 332 for Greeley to 320 for Adams. B. Gratz Brown 
was nominated for vice-president on the second ballot. 

The platform adopted by the Liberals favored: i, the equal- 
ity of all men; 2, pronounced in favor of emancipation and 
enfranchisement, and opposed any re-opening of the questions 
settled by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments; 3, demanded 
the removal of all disabilities incurred by participation in the 
rebellion; 4, advocated local self-government and impartial 
suffrage; 5, took strong ground in favor of reform of the civil 
service; 6, called for the relegation of the subject of the tariff 
directly to the people of the several congressional districts; 7, 
denounced repudiation, and demanded a speedy return to 
specie payments; 8, remembered the soldiers with gratitude; 
and 9, avowed hostility to all further grants of public lands to 

The democratic national convention, which met at Baltimore, 
July 9, ratified the nomination of Greeley and Brown, and 
adopted the same platform of principles. 

Separate state - conventions of the liberal and democratic 
party were held at Springfield, June 26. Gen. Palmer presided 
over the former and James C. Allen over the latter. The state- 
ticket, made up of representative candidates from both of these 
parties nominated by a conference committee appointed by 


the two conventions and confirmed by each, was as follows: for 
governor, Gustavus Koerner; lieutenant-governor, John C. 
Black; secretary of state, Edward Rummel; auditor, Daniel O' 
Hara; treasurer, C. H. Lanphier; attorney-general, Lawrence 
Welden. Both conventions were addressed by Gov. Palmer, 
Senator Trumbull, and Gen. Shields. 

In the meantime, the republican party, although somewhat 
apprehensive of the effect of a secession from its ranks, so 
extensive and influential, proceeded with its ordinary political 
work precisely as though nothing had occurred to dampen the 
ardor of its members or awaken fears of defeat. The state 
convention was held at Springfield, May 22. The venerable 
and life-long friend of Abraham Lincoln, Judge Stephen T. 
Logan, was called upon to preside. The proceedings were 
characterized by harmony and unwonted enthusiasm. Up 
to the time of issuing the formal call for the convention, by 
the state central committee it was generally supposed, and so 
authoritatively announced in the State Journal, that Governor 
Palmer would ask for a renomination; it being also generally 
understood that Gen. Richard J. Oglesby would be a candidate 
before the next legislature for United-States senator to succeed 
Judge Trumbull. Early in April, however, there appeared in 
the daily papers a recommendation, signed by twenty -two 
members of the general assembly, inviting Gen. Oglesby to be- 
come a candidate for the governorship; to which he replied, that 
he had "had no expectation or wish to become the candidate;" 
and that "it would be far more compatible with his feelings to 
give a hearty support to some one else," but that if tendered, 
he would not feel at liberty to decline. About a week after this, 
Gov. Palmer addressed a letter to his home-paper — the Carlin- 
ville Democrat — in which he announced that he would not be a 
candidate for renomination before the republican state-conven- 
tion, and stating as his reason, that he was opposed to the re- 
nomination of Gen. Grant, and "would not consent to canvass 
the State to promote his re-election unless the candidate placed 
in the field against him was more objectionable." The objec- 
tion to Grant, as stated in the communication, was that he 
"could not justify the opinion acted upon by Gen. Grant when 
he ordered four companies of infantry into the State to act as 


police, and that dictated his approval of the acts of General 
Sheridan in raising troops by his own authority in this State 
subjecting Chicago to military rule whereby a peaceable citizen 
of the State was unlawfully killed." This course of the gov- 
ernor simplified matters for the convention and insured the 
renomination of Gen. Oglesby for governor without a dissenting 
voice. Gen. John L. Beveridge carried off the honor of the 
second place, receiving 390 votes on the first ballot. The other 
nominees were as follows: secretary of state, George H. Har- 
low; auditor of public accounts, Charles E. Lippincott, renomi- 
nated; state treasurer, Edward Rutz; attorney-general, James 
K. Edsall. 

The platform abounded in declarations which "pointed with 
pride" to what the party had accomplished in the past but was 
rather chary in making promises as to the future. The rela- 
tions between national and state sovereignty were defined, and 
it was stated, in general terms, that the fundamental principles 
underlying this issue had been previously enunciated and that 
the attitude of the party in relation thereto had been abun- 
dantly justified. It was further resolved, that it was the right 
and duty of every republican "to condemn every existing abuse 
in national, state, and municipal governments, and to zealously 
advocate all needful reforms;" also, "that the republican party 
is the party of progress and human rights and duties." The 
platform further advocated a protective tariff"; declared against 
"all unconstitutional legislation for the cure of any of the dis- 
orders of society, whether irreligion, intemperance, or any 
other evil;" endorsed Gen. Grant's administration and instructed 
the Illinois delegates to vote for his renomination at the coming 
national convention.* 

The national republican convention was held at Philadelphia, 

* The following were chosen delegates to the national convention : at large, 
Stephen T. Logan, Emery A. Storrs, Leonard F. Ross, Jasper Partridge; districts, 
J. Young Scammon, Lewis Ellsworth; Herman Raster, James L. Campbell; Clark 
W. Upton, William Vocke; J. H. Maybum, A. B. Coon; John C. Smith, Edward 
B. Warner; Andrew Crawford, J. W, Templeton; Lyman B. Ray, W. M. Sweet- 
land; W. R. Hickox, N. E. Stevens; Enoch Emery, Edwin Butler; John McKenney, 
sr., Henry Tubbs; George W. Burns, David Pierson; Shelby M. Cullom, John 
Moses; William McGalliard, Thomas Snell; Joseph R. Mosser, James Knight; T. A. 
Apperson, James Steele; H. C. Goodnow, J. F. Alexander; Russell Hinckley, A. 
W. Metcalf; George Waters, T. H. Burgess; D. W. Lusk, and Israel A. Powell. 


June 5» 1872. Gen. Grant was the unanimous choice of the 
delegates for renomination for the presidency, but the selection 
of a candidate for vice - president was a close and spirited 
contest between Schuyler Colfax, the then incumbent, and 
Henry Wilson of Massachusetts. It resulted in the success of 
Wilson by a majority of only a few votes. 

The national platform advocated reform in the civil service; 
favored the extension of amnesty to those lately in rebellion; 
reendorsed the recently-ratified amendments to the constitution; 
called for the abolition of the franking privilege; expressed a 
confidence that "our excellent national currency" would be per- 
fected by a speedy resumption of specie payments; favored the 
encouragement of American commerce and shipping; de- 
nounced repudiation; opposed further grants of public lands to 
corporations and monopolies; and following the example set 
by the State of Illinois in this respect, disapproved of the 
resort to unconstitutional laws for the purpose of removing 
evils by interfering with rights not surrendered by the people 
to either the state or national government. 

At a convention of labor reformers held Feb. 22, 1872, 
David Davis was nominated as their candidate for president. 
The nominee duly and courteously thanked the body "for the 
unexpected honor" conferred upon him, but four months later 
forwarded a formal declinature. 

Charles O' Connor of New York, was the candidate of the 
straight democrats who refused to support Horace Greeley. 

As the campaign progressed, it became more and more 
evident that the apprehensions of those republicans who had 
adhered to the party organization had been groundless. The 
revolt of so many leaders had awakened no little fear, but it 
was soon apparent that the latter would not be able to carry 
their following with them into the democratic camp. A leader 
of a political revolt, stripped of his adherents, is as powerless 
for evil as is a major-general in the army who, in a fit of pique, 
tenders his resignation. In the latter case, the rank and file are 
not affected, nor is the effective working force of the army inter- 
fered with. In the case of the former, the great mass of voters 
are likely to adhere to their former party affiliations, especially 
when they can see that the motives which actuate the conduct 


of the men whom they have been accustomed to follow are of a 
nature strictly personal. Under such circumstances as these, it 
is not easy to loosen the foundations of party fealty. At the 
same time, there can be no question that the bitter hostility to 
the candidacy of Gen. Grant was in great part founded in good 
faith. Many of those who opposed him were as sincere in 
their criticism of the methods of his administration as they had 
been unwavering in their fidelity to the country in its hour of 
sorest need. On the other hand, among the promoters of the 
secession movement there were many who were technically 
known, in political parlance, as sore-heads; men who had been 
disappointed in their aspirations, or had been supplanted by 
more popular competitors for party favor. The latter class was 
so numerous as to alienate the republican support which the 
movement might otherwise have commanded. As for the old- 
time, dyed-in-the-wool, straight-out, Bourbon democrats, Mr, 
Greeley was too bitter a pill for them to swallow even though 
sugar-coated with a national democratic nomination. The 
practical result was that the rallying cry of the opposition soon 
became "anything to beat Grant," and principles were forgotten 
in a campaign which was probably the most bitter personally 
of any in the history of American politics. 

Nevertheless, Greeley found supporters in many old - line 
whigs, who had been influenced by his Tribune for thirty years, 
and among many others, who sincerely believed him to be a 
better republican than was Gen. Grant. But as has been said, his 
name and record were exceedingly distasteful to the democrats, 
who, in the past, had always found him their most powerful, 
unflinching, and uncompromising foe. Still many of the latter 
accorded him a half-hearted support, and always under pro- 
test. Had the Cincinnati convention nominated Senator Trum- 
bull or Judge Davis for president, and had Gen. Palmer been 
nominated for governor in Illinois, the vote in this State might 
have been much closer, even had not the result been doubtful 
in both the State and Nation. Many, indeed, of those who 
went to Cincinnati did so solely to nominate Trumbull or Davis 
as against Grant; Greeley they did not want and would not 
support, and accordingly availed themselves of the first oppor- 
tunity to get back into the republican fold, where most of them 


now remain. Others gave the Cincinnati ticket only a very 
feeble, practical endorsement. As it turned out, after the first 
few weeks, all the enthusiasm and vigor of the campaign was 
on the side of the republicans, who carried the State and Nation 
by an overwhelming majority. So far as Illinois was concerned, 
however, the majority was much larger for president than for 
governor and other state-officers.* 

The amount of the State debt, including an addition of 
$250,cxx> on account of the canal, was, on Dec. i, 1872, $2,060- 
150 — showing a decrease during the preceding four years of 
$3,928,303. Gov. Palmer, in his concluding message to the 
legislature, called attention to the fact, with pardonable pride, 
and pointed out that, notwithstanding the low prices ruling for 
leading farm - products, and the unsettled state of business 
throughout the country, the growth of the cities and towns 
of the State had been as extraordinary as had been the increase 
and multiplication of its manufacturing interests, and as were 
the evidences of development and progress which were in- 
dicated by the condition of the people during and at the 
close of his term of office. The governor had met with, 
and even courted, many antagonisms during his term. He had 
had to encounter the difficulties attendant upon carrying the 
ship of state over the reefs and shoals of a defective and 
often-violated constitution into the fairer and safer, yet untried, 
harbor provided by the new organic law. He had found it 
necessary, frequently, to differ with the legislature, with his own 
party, and with the president — he had not, indeed, always been 
able to be consistent with himself — but he came out of the 
trial unscathed, so far as his honor was concerned, generally 
retaining the respect of his opponents and the good-will of the 
people of the State. 

• The following are the figures for Illinois: for the Grant electors, 241,237; for 
the Greeley electors, 184,772; for the O'Connor electors, 3,138. For Oglesby, 
237,774; Koemer, 197,084; B. G. Wright, 2,185. Beveridge, 235,101; Black, 
199,767; Starr, 2,459. For state-officers, majority, 48,790. 

The result in the Nation was that Grant received 286 electoral votes; liberal and 
democratic parties, 63; and 17 not counted. 


Administration of Gov. Beveridge — Twenty-eighth General 
Assembly — Election of Oglesby to the Senate — Laws 
— Parties and Platforms in 1874 — Twenty-ninth Gen- 
eral Assembly — Haines Speaker — Laws — The Cen- 
tennial Year — Conventions, Platforms, and Elections 
of 1876. 

GOVERNOR OGLESBY was inaugurated Jan. 13, 1873, 
and delivered the usual address. He availed himself of the 
opportunity, as his predecessor had done, to refer to the ques- 
tion of state-rights, observing that "our character as citizen of 
the United States is at least equal to our character as citizen 
of a state," and that as all power emanated from the people, 
"he who is thoroughly imbued with respect for and confidence 
in their patriotism, intelligence, and good sense, need take no 
special uneasiness to himself as to whether this or that grant 
of political power will trench upon, eat up, or devour all others 
in the common country." The governor treated the subject in 
a popular way and received the approving smiles of his political 

The ceremony of inaugurating the governor elect, however, 
was a mere matter of form — as before that he had received 
the unanimous and enthusiastic nomination of the republican 
members of the legislature as their candidate for the United- 
States senate, which was equivalent to his subsequent election, 
January 21. His opponent, selected by the democrats, was 
Judge Trumbull, the then incumbent, whose place he was 
chosen to fill — the final vote being, in the senate, Oglesby 33, 
Trumbull 16, Coolbaugh 2; in the house, Oglesby 84, Trumbull 

Protests, signed by 16 senators and 48 members of the house, 
were filed against the election of Gov. Oglesby to the senate 
on the ground of his ineligibility, citing that section of the State 
constitution which provides that "neither the governor, lieuten- 
ant-governor, auditor, secretary of state, superintendent of 



public instruction, nor attorney-general, shall be eligible to any- 
other office during the period for which he shall have been 
elected." Of course, this claim was intended only to affect 
political results at home; it produced no effect in the United- 
States senate, that body being the sole judge of the election 
and qualification of its own members. 

The faithful and able services of Lyman Trumbull as a 
senator from Illinois for eighteen years were thus terminated. 
His estrangement from the republican party, which he had done 
so much to create and sustain, began with his opposition to the 
impeachment of President Andrew Johnson — an act for which 
all reflecting and right-thinking citizens now honor and applaud 
him. Political parties have no gratitude and poHtical sins are 
hardly ever condoned. A revolt from a party, like that of 
the Liberals in 1872, is suicidal unless it is successful, and the 
senator reaped only the results of his own sowing. 

The governor having, in consequence of his election to 
the senate, resigned the executive office on January 23, "the 
powers, duties, and emoluments of the office" devolved upon 
the lieutenant-governor. 

John Lowrie Beveridge, who thus succeeded to the guberna- 
torial chair, was born in Greenwich, Washington County, New 
York, July 6, 1824. His ancestors were from Scotland and he 
was raised a Scotch Presbyterian, inured to hard work on a 
farm in the summer and attending the district-school in the 
winter. In 1842, he removed with his father's family to De 
Kalb County in this State. Here he was enabled partially to 
gratify his desire for a higher education by attending one term 
at Granville Academy in Putnam County, and, during 1843 to 
1845, several terms at the Rock-River Seminary at Mt. Morris, 
in Ogle County. Following the example of Gov. Seward of 
New York, and Senators Trumbull and Kane of this State, 
when he came of age, he concluded to try his fortune in the 
South, and emigrated to Tennessee, where he engaged in teach- 
ing. While thus employed, he studied law and was admitted 
to the bar. He returned to Illinois for a wife — Miss Helen M. 
Judson — to whom he was married in 1848, after which he 
resumed the practice of his profession in Tennessee. 

Not meeting with the success he expected, he resolved in 


1 85 1, richer in experience only, to return to Illinois and make 
that State his permanent home. He resided at Sycamore until 
1854, when he removed to Evanston, at the same time opening 
a law-office in Chicago. Having recruited a company for the 
8th Illinois Cavalry, which his law-partner, Gen. John F. Farns- 
worth, had been authorized to raise, he was mustered into the 
Union service in September, 1861. He was soon afterward 
promoted to the majority of, and, indeed, frequently commanded 
the regiment during its valiant services with the Army of 
the Potomac. 

In 1863, he succeeded in raising and organizing the 17th 
Illinois Cavalry of which he was commissioned colonel. This 
regiment was ordered to Missouri and did most gallant and 
effective service in the border warfare of that region during 
1864. In 1865, he commanded several sub-districts in south- 
east Missouri and was mustered out of the service, Feb. 6, 1866, 
with the rank of brevet brigadier-general, having proved him- 
self a brave, as he was certainly a popular, officer. 

Previous to his entering the army, Gov. Beveridge had never 
held an office. In 1866, he was elected sheriff of Cook County, 
and from that time his political advancement was extraordinarily 
rapid. In 1870, he was elevated to the state senate, his seat in 
which body he resigned to accept the nomination for congress- 
man-at-large — vice Logan elected to the senate — in 1871; and 
this position he resigned to make the race for lieutenant-governor 
in 1872; so that, in fact, within three weeks, he held the offices 
of congressman, lieutenant-governor, and governor of the State. 
He had satisfied public expectation in each of these posi- 
tions. He stood especially high in popular esteem at the time 
of his nomination for lieutenant-governor, when, in responding to 
a call in the state-convention for a speech, amid great excitement 
and confusion, he disclosed unexpected abilities as a speaker. 
His well-proportioned physique, his dignified bearing, his 
venerable appearance, indicated by his silver hair and beard, 
rather than by any symptom of mental or physical infirmity, 
with his well- chosen words, grouped in appropriate sentences, 
favorably impressed his audience. 

The temperate life of the new governor and the religious 
tone of his mind were not such as to recommend him to the 


favor of saloon politicians, neither was he "all things to all 
men." He possessed the courage of his convictions and never 
dreamed of sacrificing principle to popularity. He lacked 
indeed that vigor of mind which is self-asserting and brings a 
personal following within party-lines to promote personal ends. 
Of all who have occupied the executive chair in this State, 
probably he was least known among the people at large, a 
circumstance which may be at least partially explained by the 
fact that his public life, outside of Cook County, had extended 
over a period scarcely exceeding two years. But he was heartily 
in accord with his party and earnestly desired to discharge 
the duties of his high office for the best interests of all the 
citizens of the State.* 

The twenty-eighth general assembly convened Jan. 8, 1873, 
with 51 senators and 153 representatives, the number fixed by 
the new constitution and which has not since been changed. 
The republicans had a majority of 17 in the upper and 19 in 
the lower house. 

The senate came nearer being composed of new material 
than at any other session since the first. There were only eight 
hold-over members, namely. Early, Whiting, Nicholson, Dono- 
hue, Voris, Starne, Kelley, and Murphy. Joseph S. Reynolds, 
Horace F. Waite, Rollin S. Williamson, Henry Green, Patrick 
H. Sanford, John S. Lee, William R. Archer, Beatty T. Burke, 
John H. Yager, Thomas S. Casey, William K. Murphy, and 
John Hinchcliffe, had formerly served in the house. Among 
the new members were: George P. Jacobs of Ogle County; 
Miles B. Castle of DeKalb; Eugene Canfield of Kane; Elmer 
Baldwin of LaSalle; Edward A. Wilcox of Woodford; Samuel 
P. Cummings of Fulton; John C. Short of Vermilion; Charles 
B. Steele of Edgar; A. A. Glenn of Brown; William Brownf of 
Morgan; Miles Kehoe, Samuel K. Dow, Richard S.Thompson, 
of Cook; Clark W. Upton of Lake; Jas. G. Strong of Living- 
ston; Francis M. Youngblood of Franklin; and Charles M. 
Ferrell of Hardin. 

In the house, there were but nineteen old members, namely, 

* Edward L. Higgins was appointed adjutant-general and Philo L. Beveridge the 
governor's private secretary. 
+ Nephew of Judge William Brown, deceased, who served in the eighteenth house. 


Senne, Hildrup, Shaw, Efner, P. A. Armstrong, Mann, Julius A. 
Carpenter, Herrington, George W. Armstrong, Mofifet, Cullom, 
Easley, Dresser, Forth, Dolan, Austin, James, John Thomas, 
Lemma, and Newton R. Casey. 

Among the new members may be mentioned: Messrs. Isaac 
Rice of Ogle County; Alfred M. Jones of Jo Daviess; Henry 
D. Dement of Lee; Charles Dunham of Henry; Lyman B. 
Ray — the present lieutenant-governor — of Grundy; Alson J. 
Streeter of Mercer; David Rankin of Henderson; Julius Starr 
of Peoria; C. P. Davis of Piatt; F. K. Granger of McHenry; 
Richard F. Crawford of Winnebago; Frederick H. Marsh of 
Ogle; James A. Connolly of Coles; Benson Wood of Effing- 
ham; James M. Truitt and Hiram P. Shumway of Christian; 
Milton Hay and Alfred Orendorf of Sangamon; Nathaniel W. 
Branson of Menard; N. Bushnell and John Tillson of Adams; 
M. D. Massie of Pike; Jerome B. Nulton of Green; John 
Gordon of Morgan; Charles D. Hoiles and AndrewG. Henry 
of Bond; E. J. C. Alexander and James M. Truitt of Mont- 
gomery; Matthew Inscore of Union; and John H. Oberly 
of Alexander. Cook County was represented by: James B. 
Bradwell, John A. Lomax, William Wayman, Solomon P'. 
Hopkins, Frank T. Sherman, Charles G. Wicker, Edward F. 
Cullerton, C. Kann, Thomas M. Halpin, John F, Scanlon, 
Thomas E. Ferrier, William H. Condon, William A. Hert- 
ing, Ingwell Oleson, Otto Peltzer, Hugh McLaughlin, John M. 
Rountree, George E. Washburn, Daniel Booth, C. H, Dalton, 
and Henry C. Senne. 

Shelby M. Cullom was, for the second time, elected speaker 
of the house, his opponent being Newton R. Casey; and Daniel 
Shepard was chosen clerk, both by a party-vote. John Early 
of Winnebago County, was made president pro tempore of the 
senate and Daniel A. Ray, secretary. 

A foretaste of the coming storm, which was to deprive the 
republican party of the control of the legislature, was had in 
the action of the senate upon the nominations by the governor 
of a board of railroad -and -warehouse commissioners. The 
names first sent in were S. H. McCrea, Wm. H. Robinson, and 
John Stillvvell, the senate committee reporting in favor of con- 
firming only the one first named. This compelled the nomina- 


tion of a new board, namely, D. A. Brown, John M. Pearson, 
and H. D. Cook — the first two farmers and the first named a 
democrat — who were subsequently confirmed. 

Among the acts of a public nature passed at this session, 
were: to organize agricultural societies; to authorize the build- 
ing of a lock and dam at Copperas Creek; appropriating one 
million of dollars for the purpose of carrying on the work on 
the new state-house; for the suppression of the trade in and 
circulation of indecent or immoral literature; to repeal the 
Lake- Front law of 1869; also, an act amending the act of the 
last session "to prevent extortion and unjust discrimination in 
the rates charged for the transportation of passengers and 
freight." This was the law which was framed in accordance 
with the suggestions of the supreme court in the "Lexington 
Case," the opinion being delivered by Judge Lawrence, by 
which the charging of a greater compensation for a less distance 
or for the same distance was made prima-facie instead of con- 
clusive evidence of unjust discrimination. 

The ordinary legislation of the twenty-eighth general assem- 
bly having been completed, it adjourned on May 6, 1873, until 
Jan. 8, 1874, for the purpose of completing the revision of the 
laws, only about half of the bills having been finished by the 
last legislature. A joint-committee, composed of Clark W. 
Upton and Charles B. Steele of the senate, and Milton Hay, 
John M. Rountree, and Charles Dunham of the house, was 
appointed, to which all revision bills that had not been acted 
upon by either house were referred. They were authorized to 
continue in session during the recess, and, in conjunction with 
Commissioner Hurd, to prepare all bills necessary to complete 
the revision and report to the adjourned session. The laborious 
work of this commission was most faithfully and ably performed, 
and nearly all the titles reported by it were passed. The 
legislature finally adjourned, March 31, 1874, having been in 
session, altogether, two hundred and four days. 

The year 1874 will long be remembered as remarkable for 
the extraordinary upheaval of sentiment and opinion which it 
witnessed in social, religious, and political circles. It was the 
year of the great temperance crusade, which, inaugurated by 
the women in Ohio, gradually spread over the country. The 


Beecher-Tilton scandal rent the mind of the American pubh'c 
in twain. In Chicago, Prof. David Swing was tried before his 
presbytery for heresy. It was a period of low prices for the 
products of the farm, and of depression in business. Party- 
lines, as theretofore drawn, were again seriously strained in the 
agitation of important economic questions relating to transpor- 
tation by railroads, and the currency. The division of public 
sentiment upon the question of the "granger" railroad legisla- 
tion, which had been precipitated u-pon the country by the 
farming community, pervaded all political parties. The Grange, 
or patrons of husbandry, a secret society organized in 1869 for 
the promotion of the interests of the cultivators of the soil, had 
rapidly grown in numbers and influence; and although the 
accomplishment of political results was not primarily one of its 
objects, from its ranks had been organized farmer's clubs which 
met in county and state conventions for the purpose of discuss- 
ing and taking action in reference to these political questions. 
State meetings were held at Decatur and Bloomington in 1872 
and 1873, and a state convention at Springfield on April 2, 1873. 
The determination of the railroads to disregard the restrictive 
legislation of 1871, and the decision of the supreme court in 

1873, declaring a portion of the law against discrimination in 
the rates for freight inoperative, intensified the feeling in favor 
of this movement which found expression in the defeat of Judge 
Lawrence, who prepared the opinion, as a candidate for re-elec- 
tion to the bench of the supreme court. 

As might have been foreseen, the outgrowth, if not the origi- 
nal intention of this agitation, was the organization of a new 
political party. It was the first to clear the decks for action by 
calling a state convention under the name of the "Illinois State 
Independent Reform" party, to meet at Springfield, June 10, 

1874. It was to be composed of "farmers, mechanics, laboring 
men and other citizens." J. M, Allen of Henry County was 
selected to preside, and there were present representatives from 
all existing political organizations, among them: ex-Gov. John 
M. Palmer, John H. Bryant, L. F. Ross, A. J. Streeter, H. C. 
Withers, D. W. Smith, J. B. Turner, G. W. Minier, Richard 
Rowett, W. C. Flagg, John Landrigan, William B. Anderson, S. 
F. Crews, and A. C. Hesing. Gen. Palmer was the principal 


speaker, taking the ground, that "political parties had accom- 
plished their work and it was time for them to give way. That 
whatever these parties might have been in the past, certain it 
was they had outlived their usefulness." He spoke against 
"grinding monopolies" and declared that now was the time for 
the people to assert themselves. 

During a lull in the proceedings, A, C. Hesing of Chicago 
was called out, and frankly expressed himself in favor of hard 
money, against inflation of the currency, and opposed to all 
sumptuary laws. He, however, voiced the sentiments of only 
a small minority of the delegates. 

The platform, in substance, was as follows: i, in favor of 
retrenchment and reform; 2, reform of abuses in the civil ser- 
vice; 3, in favor of improving the navigation of lakes and 
rivers; 4, opposed to any further grants of lands or loans 
to corporations; 5, demanding the repeal of the national bank- 
ing law, and the issue of legal-tender currency direct from the 
treasury, interchangeable for government bonds bearing the 
lowest possible interest; 6, for the revision of the patent laws; 
7, opposed to annual instead of biennial sessions of the legis- 
lature; 8, in favor of the existing railroad legislation; 9, in 
favor of the right of the legislature to regulate and control 
railroads; 10, condemning the practice of public officials 
receiving railroad passes; 11, opposed to the principle of pro- 
tection — for a tariff for revenue only; 12, recommending that 
the independent voters organize; 13, opposed to the contract 
system in the construction of public works; 14, inviting every- 
body to unite with the Independent Reform Party. 

Gen. Rowett offered a resolution "uncompromisingly oppos- 
ing any further inflation, and demanding a return to a uniform 
standard of value," which he warmly defended, but which was 
received with jeers and hisses. Later on, ex-Senator Flagg 
proposed a resolution in favor of paying the debt of the 
country in good faith, as the pledges of the Nation required, 
and that the convention scorned the imputation that the 
industrial population desired to avoid payment of its just 
debts. An exciting debate followed and the resolution was 
referred to the committee on. the platform, who reported 
against its adoption. 


David Gore was nominated for state treasurer and Samuel 
M. Etter for superintendent of public instruction. 

The republican state-convention met in Springfield, June 17. 
Speaker Cullom was selected to preside and Daniel Shepard \ 
to act as secretary. There was an exciting and extremely 
close contest, between Thomas S. Ridgway and George A. 
Sanders, over the state treasurership, which, after three ballots, 
was decided in favor of the former as appeared by the an- 
nouncement of the vote. The correctness of this was ques- 
tioned; but the official declaration showed 301 to 297, 299 votes 
being required to nominate. Three ballots were also taken 
upon the nomination of a candidate for superintendent of 
public instruction, among the names presented being that of 
Miss Frances Willard of Evanston, who received the largest 
vote on the first ballot; but the final result was in favor of 
William H. Powell of Kane County, who received 302 votes 
to 294 for Elijah L. Wells of Ogle. 

But the contest over these nominations was trifling as com- 
pared with that which arose over the construction of the plat- 
form. It began in the committee on resolutions, where the 
plank relating to the currency was debated for over five hours. 
It was finally reported by the committee, as follows: 

"Resolved, that we reaffirm the declaration of the national 
republican convention of 1872 in favor of a return to specie 
payments at the earliest practicable day; that we are opposed 
to any increase in the amount of legal-tender notes, and favor 
the gradual reduction of the same as the volume of the 
national-bank notes shall be increased." It was moved to strike 
out that portion of the resolution which opposed the increase 
in the volume of legal-tender notes, upon which an animated 
debate sprung up, the motion being ultimately carried by the 
close vote of 298 to 234. 

The other planks in the platform adopted covered the fol- 
lowing points: reaffirming the faith of Illinois republicans in 
the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments: opposed to the retiring 
of $382,000,000 United-States treasury notes; favoring free 
national banking; favoring the election of president and vice- 
president by a direct vote of the people; denouncing the 
interference by law with the habits, tastes, or customs of indi- 


viduals, except to suppress licentiousness or to preserve the 
peace and safety of the citizens of the State; demanding for 
the people "reasonable railway charges, and rigid impartiality 
in the transportation of passengers and freights." 

Still another state convention, called the "Democratic Liberal 
Convention," composed principally of democrats, assembled at 
Springfield, August 26. Ex-Governor Palmer again appeared 
prominently at the front, was selected to preside over the body, 
and formally returned to the democratic fold. The same ques- 
tions relating to the currency, resumption, and payment of the 
United-States 5-20 bonds, which had disturbed the harmony 
of the two preceding conventions, were the subject here also of 
a prolonged and acrimonious discussion. "Honest money" 
and the payment of the bonds in gold gained the day by a 
vote of 311 to 241. The platform, somewhat abridged, was 
as follows: in favor of "the restoration of gold and silver as 
the basis of currency; the resumption of specie payments "as 
soon as possible without disaster to the business 'interests of 
the country, by steadily opposing inflation and by the payment 
of the national indebtedness in the money of the civilized 
world." "Free commerce and no tariff except for revenue pur- 
poses" were also demanded; individual liberty and opposition 
to sumptuary laws were favored; monopolies and privileged 
classes were denounced; "the right and duty of a State to 
protect its citizens from extortion and unjust discrimination 
by chartered monopolies" were affirmed; and the convention 
pronounced in favor of increased pensions to crippled soldiers. 

Charles Carroll was nominated for state treasurer; and S. 
M. Etter, the nominee of the independent reformers, for state 
superintendent of public instruction. 

The mutability of the principles of a political party may be 
profitably studied from the shifting kaleidoscope of these 
changing views. 

The relative strength of these different organizations, as 
shown at the polls, was: 

Thos. S. Ridgway, republican, for treasurer, received 162,974 
Charles Carroll, democrat, for treasurer, - 128,169 

David Gore, independent reform, for treasurer, - 75, 580 
S. M. Etter, fusion, for superintendent public instruction, 197,490 
Wm. B. Powell, republican, n it ir 166,984 


The republicans elected only six members of congress. A 
like defeat followed them in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and in other 
republican states, and in the loss of the lower house of con- 

The extent to which party-lines had been obliterated in 
the State at this time is well illustrated by the political com- 
plexion of the legislature. No party had a majority, but the 
republicans had secured the largest number of members, who 
were classified as follows: in the senate, republicans 24, demo- 
crats 19, independents, liberals, and reformers 9. The house 
contained 69 repubHcans, 42 democrats, and 41 caUing them- 
selves independents, reformers, oppositionists, or "mixed." 
One member elect, Robert Theim from Cook County, failed to 
make his appearance. 

Of the 5 1 members of the senate, 26 were elected this year 
— the others being "hold overs." Miles Kehoe, John Early, 
Miles B. Castle, and Lorenzo D. Whiting were reelected. 
Among the new members were John C. Haines of Cook, 
Fawcett Plumb of LaSalle, E. C. Moderwell of Henry, Albert 
O. Marshall of Will, George Hunt of Edgar, Wm. E. Shutt of 
Sangamon, Bernard Arntzen of Adams, and Chas. D. Hodges 
of Greene. 

In the house, 32 members had been reelected and among 
them were, James B. Bradwell, Solomon P. Hopkins, and John 
Hise of Cook, and Elijah M. Haines, Flavel K. Granger, 
Richard F. Crawford, E. L. Cronkrite, A. M. Jones, Henry D. 
Dement, Isaac Rice, Frederick H. Marsh, Philip Collins, James 
Herrington, George W. Parker, George W. Armstrong, S. P. 
Cummings, Stephen Y, Thornton, Julius S. Starr, Thomas P. 
Rogers, James A. Connolly, Shelby M. Cullom, Nathaniel W. 
Branson, John Gordon, A. G. Henry, Thomas E. Merritt, John 
Landrigan, John Thomas, David Rankin, and Matthew J. 

Among the new members may be mentioned the names of 
Lincoln Dubois, then of Cook County, now of Springfield, 
Moses J. Wentworth, George M. Bogue, Conrad L. Niehoff, 
Orrin L. Mann, and John C. Barker from Cook; Wm. A. James 
from Lake; James F. Claflin of DuPage; Wm. Mooney, H. H. 
Stasson, jr., and Luke H. Goodrich of Will; A. G. Hammond 


of Stark; J. H. Moore, and J. J. Herron of Bureau; John T. 
Browning of Rock Island; John H. Lewis of Knox; C. W. 
Boydston of Warren; James DeWitt of Schuyler; Patrick W. 
Dunn of Peoria; John F. Winter of McLean; Samuel S. Jack 
of Macon; James Callins and John Moses of Scott; Samuel 
S. Gilbert of Macoupin; Oliver P. Powell of Jersey; Ethelbert 
Callahan of Crawford; Amos B. Barrett of Jefferson; John 
N. Wasson of Gallatin; F. E. Albright of Jackson; Benjamin 
O. Jones of Massac; and Lewis F. Plater of Hardin. The full 
roll of both houses may be found in the appendix.* 

The members of the opposition to the hitherto dominant 
party differed as much from each other as they did from the 
republicans, and the question was how to utilize their power 
in order to secure supremacy — the one thing upon which they 
were united. To arrange for a satisfactory division of the 
spoils of office, frequent consultations were held which failed 
to bring about an agreement. CuUom had received the nomi- 
nation of the republicans for speaker, and it was hoped that 
he would be able to carry enough strength from the liberals — 
former republicans — to be elected. The independents stood 
firmly by E. M. Haines, their own candidate for the speaker- 
ship, but who was very objectionable to a few democrats, who 
declared that they would not support him under any circum- 
stances. But it soon became apparent that their choice must 
be between the champion of the independent reformers and a 
republican. When the first ballot was taken, 73 members were 
found to be for Haines, 68 for Cullom, 6 for Dr. J. L. Wilcox 
of Sangamon, straight democrat, and 4 scattering, Haines 
lacked only 4 votes, and the field was anxiously scanned to see 
who would make the break and for whose benefit. It came 

* Of the senators, 8 were bom in New York, 8 in New England, 8 in Ohio; 7 of 
foreign birth, 6 in Illinois, 4 in Kentucky, 3 in Indiana, and 7 in Virginia, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Connecticut. Lawyers 27, farmers 14, bankers 6, and 4 traders, etc. 

Of the members of the house of representatives, 21 were bom in foreign lands, 21 
in New York, 22 in Illinois, 13 in New England, 16 in Ohio, 16 in Pennsylvania, 9 
in Kentucky, 3 in New Jersey, and 31 in Virginia, Tennessee, etc. 72 were farmers, 
36 lawyers, 13 merchants, 6 bankers, 4 physicians, 3 mechanics, and 18 various 
dealers. The oldest senator was B. T. Burke — 65 years, the youngest, Miles Kehoe 
— 30. The oldest member of the house was John Thomas — 75 years, and the 
youngest, Moses J. Wentworth, Curtis K. Harvey, and Wm. H. Skelly, jr., — each 
26 years. 


from the democrats, who gave the Waukegan statesman enough 
votes to secure his election and four to spare. Jeremiah J. 
Crowley, a democrat from Chicago, was elected clerk of the 
house, and the other offices were fairly distributed between 
the democrats and independents. 

Senator Archibald A, Glenn, a democrat, was elected presi- 
dent of the senate, who thus became acting lieutenant-gover- 
nor, and R. R. Townes secretary. 

As might have been expected, the deliberations of a body 
composed of elements so heterogeneous and conglomerate as 
was the house were anything but harmonious. The working 
of the newly- cemented union between elements so diverse 
proved anything but satisfactory, even to its component parts. 

E. M. Haines, the speaker elect, came to Illinois from New 
York when he was a small boy. Having been admitted to the 
bar, he opened a law-office at Waukegan, and soon began to 
meddle with politics. He was elected to the 21st, (1858), 22d, 
23d, and 27th general assemblies, and had also been a member 
of the constitutional convention of 1869. He had been at first ■ 
a democrat, then a republican, and was now an independent 
reformer. Being a thorough parliamentarian and not particu- 
larly attached to either of the old parties, he was well qualified 
in certain respects to fill the speaker's chair. But it is safe to 
say that there was never a time after the first two weeks of 
the session when a majority of the members would not have 
willingly seen him displaced. There was scarcely a day that 
did not bring with it wranglings over the speaker's rulings, and 
discordant disputes. Though a professed independent, he was 
never found in favor of any of the proposed measures of his 
party, and ruled as regularly against them as against the 
propositions of republicans or democrats to which he was 
opposed. He was generally cool, calm, and collected in his 
demeanor, and amidst the wildest excitement, when actual 
personal collisions seemed imminent, he filled the chair with . 
provoking self-control, even with exasperating nonchalance. It 
was exceedingly difficult for any member to secure recognition, 
especially if he was suspected of an intention to speak in favor 
of any measure which the speaker opposed — only the most 
persistent among the republicans were allowed this privilege 


and they were generally declared to be out of order. To say 
that his rulings were arbitrary, is but feebly to express the 
despotic and aggressive manner in which he exercised the 
great power which parliamentary law confers upon a speaker. 

As the days of the sessions passed, antagonisms intensified 
and angry disputations became more frequent and acrimonious 
until the final culmination was reached on April 10 in a dis- 
graceful row, the occasion of which was the speaker's adjourn- 
ment of the house during the afternoon session against the 
manifest and declared sense of a majority of the members 
present. The squabble originated upon the presentation and 
reading, by Connolly, of a protest against the action of the 
house on the Louisiana political resolutions and against the 
rulings of the speaker. Fiery speeches were made by Cum- 
mings, Merritt, and others, against receiving the protest, and 
the democrats left the hall to break a quorum. Jones of Jo 
Daviess, who was chairman of the republican caucus and 
"steering committee," by virtue of which positions he assumed 
a leadership for which he was poorly qualified in such an 
emergency, and who had made himself as obnoxious to the 
speaker as the latter had been to republicans, opened the 
ball, when on being interrupted in his remarks by Plater, 
an offensively chronic objector, he grasped a book lying on 
his desk and flung it at the head of his interlocutor. The 
compliment was returned and "confusion worse confounded" 
reigned. There was a general uproar and threats of violence 
were heard on all sides, everybody taking a hand in the mel/e. 
It was then that the speaker, a motion to adjourn having 
been made, declared it carried, although the vote stood two 
to one against it, and throwing down his gavel, left the chair. 
Thereupon Connolly moved that Jones of Jo Daviess be 
elected speaker /r^ tempore, put the motion and declared it car- 
ried. A rush was then made by both sides for the vacant chair 
which was reached first by Cummings, who took possession. 
The members ranged themselves on each side and with such 
weapons as they could secure prepared for a bloody struggle. 
In the meantime, every possible effort had been made by a few 
of the cooler-headed members to restore order and put an end 
to the disgraceful proceedings. Jones was seized by his friends 


and pulled back. Cummings vacated the chair. Haines 
returned to the speaker's desk, and the gavel, which had been 
held by Bogue, was restored to its place. Major Connolly- 
jumped upon his desk and advised the republicans to withdraw, 
the democrats having agreed that they should have a fair show 
on Monday. Jones also helped to calm the troubled waters by 
apologizing to Plater; and finally, amid cheers and applause, 
the members left the house.* 

The laws passed by the twenty -ninth general assembly, 
which adjourned April 15, 1875, are contained in a volume Ox 
118 pages — smaller than that of any of its predecessors for the 
last forty years. A general revision of the laws had just been 
completed and no new questions of any pressing importance 
had arisen. A few statutes were amended and the following 
new laws, among others, were passed: to provide for the re- 
organization of cities; for the trial of the right of property in 
the county court; for operating elevated ways and conveyors, 
to prevent frauds upon travelers, generally called the "scalper's 
act;" the tax-refunding law; and an act to regulate and con- 
solidate the State charitable institutions. 

The twenty-eighth general assembly having provided for the 
appointment of a board of managers to represent the interests 
of Illinois at the Centennial exposition at Philadelphia in 
1876, an appropriation of $10,000, all that could be secured, 
was made to defray the expenses of the commission. The 
board was composed of John P. Reynolds,"|- president, John C. 

* The following head-lines of leading papers show how the s\Tair was regarded at 
the time : 

Chicago Tribune: — The sublime altitude of obloquy attained in the Illinois house 
Saturday. The tumult precipitated by efforts to exclude a republican protest. A 
splenetive and rash republican hurls a book at Plater. Whereat that incomparable 
idiot flounders like an acephalous rooster. Drawn up in a plug-ugly affray, coward- 
ice and not shame prevents a Tipperary head-smashing. 

Chicago Times: — Hell broke loose. Successful performance of the spectacular 
drama of that name at Springfield. Introducing Plater, Jo Daviess' Jones, 'Lige 
Haines, and Tom Merritt, in their great bear-dance. During great confusion the 
show is declared adjourned. 

t John Parker Reynolds, who for over a quarter of a century has been so promi- 
nently and favorably connected with the agricultural and industrial interests of the 
State, was born March i, 1820, in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, of parents who 
were natives of eastern New York. He was educated at Miami University, Oxford, 
Ohio, graduating with the class of 1838. Studied law and was graduated from the 


Smith, secretary, and Carlisle Mason of Chicago, Francis Col- 
ton of Galesburg, A. C. Spofiford of Rockford, Lawrence Wel- 
don of Bloomington, and F. L. Matthews of Carlinville. They 
succeeded in making a very creditable display of the agricultu- 
ral products and manufactures, mineral resources, commercial 
prominence, and educational advantages of Illinois, the State 
ranking sixth in respect of the number of exhibitors and the 
amount of space occupied. 

This much in favor of the twenty-ninth general assembly 
may be said, that it was the most economical in expenditures 
of any since 1865, the amount charged up against it by the 
auditor on account of the legislature being $221,810, as against 
$539,390 for the twenty-eighth, and $693,062 for the twenty- 
seventh general assembly. 

The centennial year of 1876 is notable for its presidential 
and other heated political contests. The seceding states had 
all been restored to the Union in full possession of their sov- 
ereignty and free from all interference in their domestic affairs 
on the part of the general government. They were now, 
notwithstanding the constitutional amendments, principally 
under the control of what was called the "rebel element" which 
was in full fellowship with the democratic party of the 
north, under whose flag and upon whose platforms all state 
officers and members of the legislature were elected. Under 
their peculiar method of conducting elections, by which the 
colored vote was not permitted to effect the result, it soon be- 

Cincinnati law-school with the class of 1840. Entered upon the practice in 1S41 as 
the partner of Gov. William Bebb. Removed to Winnebago County, Illinois, in 
1850, thence to Marion County, Illinois, in 1854, thence to Springfield in i860, and 
thence to Chicago in 1S69. From 1860-70, he held the position of secretary of the 
State Agricultural Society. Was first president of the State Board of Agriculture 
in 1 87 1 and was a member of the society and board from i860 until his resignation 
in 1888. He was president of the Illinois State Sanitary Commission throughout the 
civil war. Was the only state commissioner and also delegate of the State Agricul- 
tural Society and one of the United - States commissioners to the universal 
exposition of 1867 in Paris, in attendance upon which he spent five months as com- 
missioner and juryman. In 1873, he became the first secretary of the Inter-State 
Industrial Exposition of Chicago and has continued to hold that position until the 
present time. He also held the position of state inspector of grain from 1878-82. 
In all of these positions, Mr. Reynolds has exhibited great ability as an organizer 
and administrative ofiicer. 


came an easy task to cement and hold together a "soHd South." 

The prospects for the success of the repubhcan party were 
further imperiled by the increasing strength of the Greenback- 
Granger element, especially in Illinois, where, although not 
polling the vote its leaders expected, it had nevertheless elected 
a portion of its ticket and held the balance of power in the 
legislature. The financial stringency which had followed the 
failures and bankruptcies of 1873 still continued, and the pass- 
age of tlie specie resumption law of January, 1875, in the face 
of a demand from the West for more currency, had tended to 
strengthen the opposition to republican ascendency, rather 
than to conciliate the friends and supporters of the party in 

The Greenback, or Independent Reform, party was the first 
to move, meeting in state convention at Decatur, and nominat- 
ing the following ticket: for governor, Lewis Steward of 
Kendall County; lieutenant-governor, James H. Pickrell of 
Sangamon; secretary of state, M. M. Hooton; auditor of 
public accounts, John Hise; treasurer, Henry T. Aspern; 
attorney-general, Winfield S. Coy. 

The national convention of this party was held at Indianap- 
olis, May 17. Peter Cooper of New York, was nominated for 
president, and Samuel F. Cary of Ohio, for vice - president. 
The platform, relating almost exclusively to the currency, was 
comprised in four planks, as follows: demanding the immedi- 
ate and unconditional repeal of the resumption act; recom- 
mending the issue of United-States legal-tender notes as the 
circulating medium of the country; protesting against the 
further issue of gold-bonds and agakist the sale of government 
bonds for the purpose of purchasing silver to be used as a 
substitute for fractional currency; and declaring against sub- 
sidies to railroads. 

The republican state-convention met at Springfield, May 
24, 1876, and was presided over by Henry S. Baker of Madi- 
son County; Daniel Shepard acting as the principal secretary. 
The candidates for governor were Shelby M. Cullom, John L. 
Beveridge, and Thomas S. Ridgway; and upon the first ballot 
the former carried off the prize, the vote standing for Cullom 
387, Beveridge 142, Ridgway 87. Gov. Beveridge made 


a good showing considering the opposition to him in his own 
county, Cook, which he was unable to overcome owing to the 
formidable and persistent hostility of the Chicago Tribune^ 
which had lately returned to the support of the republican 

The strength of the numerous candidates for lieutenant-gov- 
ernor was shown on the first ballot to be as follows: Andrew 
Shuman of Cook received 186 votes; A. M.Jones of Jo Daviess, 
170; Reuben M. Benjamin of McLean, Zi\ David Pierson* of 
Greene, 36; Patrick H. Sanford of Knox, 47; George W.Vinton 
of Rock Island, 47; J. W. Kitchell of Christian, 31 ; F. A. Leitz 
of Clinton 16. The elevation of the last lieutenant-governor 
to the executive chair had evidently increased the importance 
of this position in the eyes of the politicians. Shuman suc- 
ceeded in carrying off the nomination on the second ballot. 

George H. Harlow was re-nominated for secretary of state 
on the first ballot, his principal opponent being George Scroggs 
of Vermilion; William H. Edgar of Jersey and John Moses 
of Scott being also candidates for the nomination. Thomas B. 
Needles of Washington County was nominated for auditor 
against the then incumbent Charles E. Lippincott, who was 
seeking a third term. Edward Rutz was made the candidate 
the second time for treasurer. James K. Edsall was renomin- 
ated for attorney-general, the other candidates being Charles 
B. Steele of Edgar and Ethelbert Callahan of Crawford. 

The platform adopted embraced the following points : con- 
demning the policy of leniency toward the people of the South 
lately in rebellion; favoring a lower rate of interest for United- 
States bonds; the payment of the public debt in good faith, 
and endorsing the present system of paper currency as the 

* David Pierson, the old pioneer here mentioned, was bom in Cazenovia, New 
York, July 9, 1806, and was one of the very earliest settlers in Green County, where 
he removed with his father's family in 1821. He was an old whig, and thoroughly 
believed that all the evils that ever befell this country could be traced to Andrew 
Jackson and the rule of the democratic party. He was strongly anti-slavery and 
helped to organize the republican party, and has been one of its most influential 
supporters ever since. He has been a successful merchant, miller, and banker, 
and as a leading member of the Baptist church conspicuous for his benevolence 
and charity. He is still (June, 1890) living at his old home in Carrollton and has 
forgotten nothing of his politics or religion. 


best ever devised; the purification of the public service — "let 
no guilty man escape;" remembering the soldiers with grati- 
tude and their preference in appointments to office.* 

The candidates for governor were called out at the close of 
the proceedings and handsomely responded. The speech of 
Gov. Beveridge, toward whom as the defeated candidate the 
sympathies of the delegates had gone out, was most happily 
conceived and eloquently delivered. It was well received by 
an enthusiastic audience, and it was remarked that if the cir- 
cumstances ha J justified the making of such an effort before 
the balloting, the result might have been different. He closed 
by referring to the candidates for president and, out of place 
as it was, offered a resolution instructing the delegates to sup- 
port James G. Blaine for president, which was adopted by a 
standing vote, with three cheers. If the convention had had 
any other honors to bestow, Gov. Beveridge would have re- 
ceived his full share. 

The republican national convention was held at Cincinnati, 
beginning on June 14. The candidates for president, put in 
nomination by their friends, were James G. Blaine of Maine, 
Benjamin H. Bristow of Kentucky, Roscoe Conkling of New 
York, John A. Hartranft of Pennsylvania, Rutherford B. Hayes 
of Ohio, Marshall Jewell of Connecticut, and Oliver P. Morton 
of Indiana. Gen. Hayes was nominated on the seventh ballot, 
receiving 384 votes to 351 for Blaine and 21 for Bristow, and 
his nomination made unanimous; William A.Wheeler of New 
York was named for vice-president. 

The platform recognized the pacification of the South and 
demanded protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment 
of all their rights as a sacred duty; enjoined the enforcement 

* The following were appointed delegates to the republican national convention : 
at large, Robert G. Ingersoll, Joseph W. Robbins, Green B. Raum, and George D. 
Banks. From districts, in their numerical order — two from each, Sidney Smith, 
George M. Bogue; John Mc Arthur, S. K. Dow; Frank W. Palmer, Charles B. 
Farwell; Wm. Coffin, E. E. Ayres; L. Burchell, Alexander Walker; A. R. Mack, 
J. W. Hopkins; J. Everts, G. N. Chittenden; J. F. Culver, A. Burk; Thomas A. 
Boyd, Enoch Emery; D. Mack, D. McDill; J. M. Davis, George W. Ware; Wm. 
Prescott, N. W. Branson; C. R. Cummings, R. B. Latham; D. D. Evans, L. J. 
Bond; Benson Wood, Thomas L. Golden; James S. Martin, George C. McCord; 
John I. Rinaker, H. L. Baker; William M. Adams, Isaac C. Clements; F. D, 
Ham, Wm. K. Robinson. 


of the constitutional amendments; endorsed the public-credit 
act of 1869, pledging the faith of the government to make 
provision, at the earliest practicable period, for the redemption 
of the United- States notes in coin; opposing the dictation of 
appointments by United - States senators and favoring civil 
service; endorsing the public- school system of the United 
States as the bulwark of the American Republic; favoring the 
imposition of custom duties to promote the interests of Ameri- 
can labor; opposing the further grant of public lands to cor- 
porations and monopolies; approving the substantial advances 
recently made toward the establishment of equal rights for 
women and in favor of their appointment and election to the 
superintendence of education, charities, and other public trusts; 
demanding the extirpation of polygamy; and arraigning "the 
democratic party as the same in character and spirit as when 
it sympathized with treason." 

The democrats held two state-conventions this year, both at 
Springfield, the first, for the purpose of appointing delegates 
to the national convention at St. Louis, and the second, to 
nominate a state-ticket, July 27.* 

The democratic national convention which met at St. Louis, 
June 27, was presided over by Gen. J. A. McClernand of Illinois. 
Samuel J. Tilden of New York was nominated for president 
on the second ballot receiving 508 votes to 220 for all others. 
The Illinois delegation on the first ballot stood 23 for Hen- 
dricks and 19 for Tilden; on the second ballot 26 for Tilden 
and 16 for Hendricks. Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana was 
the nearly unanimous choice of the convention for vice-presi- 

The platform of the democrats, which was supposed to have 
been prepared by Mr. Tilden, was a very able and elaborate . 

* The delegates from Illinois were as follows : at large, W. J. Allen, F. H. Wins- 
ton, C. L. Higbee, Charles Dunham; from districts, Melville W. Fuller, John 
Forsyth, S. S. Hayes, John C. Richberg, Perry H. Smith, Herman Lieb, Thomas 
Butterworth, A. M. Herrington, W. H. Mitchell, M. W. Hathaway, W. H. Mes- 
senhop, J. S. Drake, William Reddick, D. H. Phiney, J. Duff, J. E. Ong, John S. 
Lee, S. P. Cummings, David Ellis, C. H. Whittaker, Linus E. Worcester, S. R. 
Chittenden, John A. Mc Clernand, James M. Epler, James T. Ewing, James T. 
Hoblet, E. S. Terry, T. H. Macaughtery, Wm. M. Garrard, Wm. T. O'Hair, T. 
B. Murray, G. Van Hombecke, William R. Walsh, G. Koerner, George W. Wall, 
T. C. Crawford, W. Duff Green, S. F. Cheney. 


document of which the key-note was "reform is necessary." 
It was an arraignment of the republican party for its alleged 
mis-government and mal-administration for the past eleven 
years. It accepted the constitutional amendments; denounced 
the present tariff for its unjustice and inequality; and although 
favoring resumption, denounced the act providing therefor, and 
demanded its repeal. 

At the democratic state-convention, July 27, Lewis Steward, 
the nominee of the Independent Greenback-Reformers, was 
endorsed as a candidate for governor, and for the remainder 
of the ticket: A. A. Glenn of Brown County for lieutenant- 
governor; S. Y. Thornton of Fulton, for secretary of state; 
John Hise, fusion, auditor; George Gundlack for treasurer; 
and Edmund Lynch for attorney-general. 

The platform of the national convention was reaffirmed, and 
a separate resolution adopted against the employment of con- 
vict labor where it comes into competition with free labor. 

The nomination of Gen. Hayes was not such as to awaken 
enthusiasm among the republicans. He was not the choice of 
the representatives of the party, except as a compromise, nor 
of the mass of the people. In Illinois particularly, the popu- 
lar idol, as described by Colonel Ingersoll in his nominating" 
speech, was James G. Blaine, who "like a warrior, like a plumed 
knight, marched down the halls of the American congress, and 
threw his shining lance full and fair against the brazen fore- 
head of every defamer of his country and maligner of its 
honor." On the other hand, the nomination of ex-Governor 
Tilden of New York, a man of marked ability and character 
who had the credit of being largely instrumental in exposing 
the frauds and corruptions of the notorious Tweed-ring in 
New-York city and in denouncing the extravagant manage- 
ment of the New- York canals, struck a popular chord which 
increased in strength as the canvass progressed. The demo- 
cratic platform, also, was well designed to arrest the thought 
and command the attention of those who were not strongly 
attached to any particular party, and of those republicans 
who had begun to think that a change in the national govern- 
ment would be wise and beneficial. 

The campaign on the part of the democrats was under the 


special conduct and control of Tilden himself, while tliat 
of the republicans was solely managed by that "old wheel- 
horse" of the party, Senator Zachariah Chandler. As the reports 
came in on the night of the election, that the democrats had 
carried New York, Indiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey, all 
the doubtful states, it was generally supposed that with the 
electoral vote of the solid South, Tilden's election was assured; 
but the resolute and determined old senator had received 
favorable news from South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, 
and on the next morning he sent over the country that historic 
dispatch, "Rutherford B. Hayes has received one hundred and 
eighty-five electoral votes and is elected." 

The subsequent controversy over the returns from these 
states and the hearing before the "eight-to-seven" electoral 
commission, resulting in favor of Gen. Hayes, confirmed the 
stand taken by the republicans. Gov. Tilden's plurality on the 
popular vote over Gen. Hayes was 250,970. 

The combined opposition to the republicans in Illinois failed 
because of the weakness of their ticket no less than of the 
strength of that headed by S. M. Cullom, and the able and 
thorough canvass made by him and the party leaders. The 
general tendency of the floating and undecided vote toward 
the democrats was hard to restrain or control. The republican 
electors received 277,227 votes, the democratic 2^8,44$, and 
the Peter Cooper 17,232, leaving only the small majority of 
1560 in favor of Gen. Hayes. 

When the returns first began to come in, as the opposition 
was united upon Steward, it was thought that Cullom was 
beaten. Cook County, which had always been relied upon for 
from 8,000 to 15,000 republican majority, gave Steward a 
majority of 181; Champaign, which gave Hayes over 1400 
gave Cullom only 800. Hayes carried DeWitt by over 700^ 
and Cullom by only 28; Livingston gave Hayes 1416 major- 
ity and Cullom 182. In the county of McLean, Cullom fell 
short nearly 600 and in Will nearly 700. Hamilton County, 
which gave only 806 majority for Tilden, gave Steward 1445 
majority; but in other counties, Cullom ran ahead of his 
ticket. The full returns in the State showing: Cullom for 
governor 279,263, Steward 272,465, scattering 365; Shuman 


for lieutenant-governor 278,167; Glenn 255,970; Pickrell 18,- 
053. Harlow's plurality was 22,467; Rutz's 22,744, Edsall's 
21,419, Needles' majority 5,198. 

Gov. Beveridge left the chair of state with its finances and 
various benevolent and reformatory institutions in a most grati- 
fying condition. The public debt, which amounted to $2,060,- 
150, December i, 1872, had been paid off as fast as it fell due, 
reducing the same up to Dec. i, 1876, to $1,480,600. He had 
been patient, conservative, and faithful in the administration 
of the state government during a period of unusual political 
agitation, of depression in business, of controversies over the 
railroad-transportation question, and other disturbing elements 
growing up under the adjusting period after the war. 

The concluding message of the governor was devoted en- 
tirely to state affairs, excepting at its close, when in view of 
the pending efforts to adjust the presidential election contro- 
versy, he remarked, as follows: "I advise moderation, invoke 
wise councils, and supplicate peace. We want no more war. 
The blood of the late fratricidal strife still reddens the earth; 
the graves of the fallen are yet fresh and visible; their widows 
and orphans are still among us; the griefs and sorrows of the 
heart are yet unassuaged. Keeping in grateful remembrance 
the heroic sacrifice for our Country, let us lay aside all 
animosity and bitterness, heal the broken hearts, build up the 
waste places, and bind all sections of our beloved Country 
forever together by the bonds of prosperity and love. No 
matter how the presidential question may be eventually decided 
by the proper authorities, for one I shall willingly submit to 
the decision, and join all persons of every party for the 
maintenance of law, the preservation of public order, and 
the protection of all citizens of every race, color, and condi- 
tion in the full and peaceable enjoyment and exercise of all 
their rights, privileges, and immunities under the laws." 

In 1881, ex-Gov. Beveridge was appointed assistant United- 
States treasurer at Chicago which position he held four years. 
He has now retired from politics and gives his entire attention 
to his private business. 


Administration of Gov. Cullom — Thirtieth General Assem- 
bly — Election of David Davis to the United - States 
Senate — Laws — Labor Strikes — Politics in 1878 — 
Elections — Thirty-first General Assembly. 

SHELBY MOORE CULLOM was the fourth consecutively- 
elected governor of the State of Illinois who was a native 
of the neighboring State of Kentucky, where he was born at 
Monticello in Wayne County, November 22, 1829. He was so 
young, however, less than two years of age, when his parents 
removed to Tazewell County in this State, that he might 
almost consider himself a native Illinoisan. 

Richard Northcut Cullom, his father, was a leading and influ- 
ential whig in his day, and acceptably represented his district 
in the tenth, twelfth, thirteenth, and eighteenth Illinois general 

It was a singular coincidence, and so interesting that the 
reader will pardon the digression, that the father of General 
Logan, Dr. John Logan, after whom the county of Logan was 
named, also represented his district in the tenth and twelfth 
general assemblies. It thus happened that Illinois at one time 
was represented in the United-States senate by two members 
whose fathers had formerly sat side by side in the State 

The governor's father was a farmer, and the future states- 
man was early accustomed to the homely fare and training 
incident to farm -life in a new country. He learned to swing 
the ax and guide the plow; and thus laid up a store of physical 
strength needed in a sedentary life. In those early days, 
educational advantages were of a limited description and 
generally confined to such as were afforded by the public school. 
Shelby Cullom, however, feeling the need of a broader culture, 
was not content with these, and, though hampered by the want 
of means, was enabled to spend two years in study at the 
Rock- River Seminary at Mount Morris, though in order to 
54 841 


maintain himself, he found it necessary, as did Garfield and 
Blaine, to devote some time to teaching. 

Having determined to follow a professional life, in 1853, he 
entered the office of Stuart and Edwards in Springfield to 
study law. He was admitted to the bar and began to prac- 
tise in 1855. Soon after this, he was elected city attorney and 
from the trial of the smaller class of municipal cases in the 
justice's court, soon entered upon a larger and more lucrative 
practice, his studious and abstemious habits and faithful atten- 
tion to the interests of his clients being such as to recommend 
him to the business community. In the upper courts, he fre- 
quently found himself confronting some of the foremost lawyers 
in the State, in which contests his habits of close application 
stood him in good stead. 

Before the era of railroad building and of the growth of 
corporations, the practice of law in this and other western 
states was not a lucrative occupation, as large fees were the 
exception. It is hardly to be wondered at, therefore, that the 
best lawyers in the State, during this early period, should be 
unable to resist the temptation to enter the field of politics, 
where the opportunity was presented not only for bettering 
their worldly fortunes but also for bringing an increase of 
fame and gratifying a pardonable ambition. 

In 1856, as has been already shown. Gov. Cullom made his 
first appearance in the political arena by entering the race for 
membership of the lower house of the legislature. Influenced 
by his early training and a warm admiration for Millard 
Fillmore, he owed his election to his alliance with the Ameri- 
can party. His sympathies, however, had always been with 
the republicans, and being a warm personal friend of Abraham 
Lincoln, he gave him his cordial support in his contest with 
Judge Douglas for the United-States senate in 1858. Thence- 
forth his pohtical fortunes were linked with those of the repub- 
lican party and he was the only one of its candidates for the 
legislature elected in i860 in Sangamon County, which gave 
Douglas a small majority. His election to the speakership of 
the twenty-second general assembly was a compliment not 
only to his success but to his ability. The chair of the house, 
although it had been graced by Zadoc Casey, Newton Cloud, 


and Sydney Breese with such distinguished ability, had never 
been more worthily occupied. 

In 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln on an im- 
portant claims commission upon which were also Gov. Bout- 
well of Massachusetts, and Chas. A, Dana of New York. This 
same year he was prevailed upon to become a candidate for 
the state senate, but owing to the unpopularity of the war at 
this its darkest period, he suffered his first and only defeat. 

In 1864, he received the republican nomination for congress 
in the old eighth district and defeated his former preceptor, 
John T. Stuart. He was reelected in 1866 and 1868, the time 
of service embracing that eventful period when the questions 
of reconstruction, the funding and payment of the national 
debt, and the readjustment of the currency, were under con- 
sideration. In shaping the national policy upon all these vital 
questions in congress, he occupied a leading position, taking 
an aggressive and influential part in the debates and proceed- 
ings. He was specially conspicuous in securing the passage 
through the lower house of the first anti-polygamy bill. 

He failed to receive a renomination for a fourth term in con- 
gress, and with a new candidate the district was lost to the 
republicans. Returning home, he was again honored with a 
seat in the legislature, 1873, and for the second time was elected 
speaker of the house. He was also returned as a member of 
the twenty - ninth general assembly, and would have been 
again called to the speaker's chair but for a coalition of demo- 
crats and independents, who together outnumbered the repub- 
licans. It was with such an experience in public life, broader 
and more varied than any of his predecessors, that Governor 
Cullom came to occupy the executive chair of state. 

Although his many years of public life have made him so 
well known to the present generation, it may not be out of the 
way to remark that in person he is tall and spare; his hair is 
black, his forehead high and massive; his features clearly cut 
and expressive. In general contour of face and figure, he 
reminds those who knew them both of Abraham Lincoln, whom 
indeed he resembles in many of his mental characteristics. 
Unlike that great man, however, the senator possesses a natu- 
ral ease of carriage and grace of manner which have in no 
small degree contributed to his popularity. 


His cast of mind is solid rather than showy, and his oratory- 
convincing rather than ornate. His rhetoric is unpolished and 
his illustrations homely, drawn indeed, from subjects familiar 
to his audiences, with whom he establishes a friendly feeling 
conducive to conviction — the end of oratory. He is greatly 
assisted in his speeches by the possession of a full, round 
voice, of large compass, and that sympathetic quality which 
captivates attention. 

As a politician. Gov. Cullom has proved himself one of the 
most astute and far-seeing which the State has yet produced; 
and his public career has demonstrated the fact that he pos- 
sesses those higher attributes which belong to statesmanship. 
To a judgment of men and affairs far above the average, he 
unites that plain, hard common-sense which formed one of the 
prominent traits in the character of Lincoln. His political 
sagacity has been demonstrated in many ways, but especially 
in the fact that he alone of all those aspirants for public 
honors in the State, who were unable to appeal to the people 
on the score of heroic service in the civil war, has thus far 
enjoyed a career of uninterrupted success. 

Andrew Shuman, whose name followed that of Shelby M. 
Cullom on the republican state-ticket elected in November, 
1876, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in Novem- 
ber, 1830. Thrown upon his own resources at an early age, 
his literary education was begun in the composing-room of 
the Lancaster Times and Sentinel, which he entered at the 
age of fifteen years. His business life was devoted to journal- 
ism, his earliest editorial venture having been made when he 
was but nineteen years old, when he published a small literary 
sheet known as the Aiiburnian, of which he was at once the 
editor, foreman, typo, devil, and pressman. Feeling the want 
of the education which circumstances had prevented his acquir- 
ing in boyhood, he abandoned editorial work to enter Hamil- 
ton College, becoming a freshman at the — now-a-day's mature 
— age of twenty-one, and supporting himself through his 
college course by desultory literary labor and working at the 
case during vacation. He came to Illinois in 1S56 and began 
his career as a western journalist in the chair of assistant- 
editor of the Chicago Daily Joicrnal, becoming editor in chief 
in 1861, and subsequently part owner of the paper. 


His political affiliations from his earliest manhood had been 
republican, his first venture into the field of partisan journalism 
having been in the control of the Syracuse, New York, Daily 
Journal, a position which he assumed at the earnest request 
of the friends of William H. Seward. 

Gov. Shuman's first public office in Illinois was that of com- 
missioner of the Illinois penitentiary, to which he was elected 
in 1864 and which he resigned in 1871. His nomination to the 
office of lieutenant-governor in 1876 was in recognition of long 
and faithful service to his party. His record as presiding officer 
of the senate can not be assailed; to dignity he united courtesy, 
and while himself an ardent partisan, the impartiality of his 
rulings commanded the respect of his political opponents.* 

The thirtieth general assembly convened in the new state- 
house, now nearly completed, January 3, 1877. In the senate, 
there were 21 republicans, 22 democrats, and 8 independents. 
The new senators were: Daniel N. Bash, Francis A. Riddle, 
Martin A. DeLany of Cook County, Merritt L. Josslyn of Mc 
Henry, Robert H. McClellan of Jo Daviess, Henry D. Dement 
of Lee, Joseph H. Mayborne of Kane, Thomas P. Bonfield of 
Kankakee, Samuel T. Fosdick of Livingston, Henry J, Frantz 
of Woodford, Benjamin C. Talliaferro of Mercer, Wm. Scott 
of Hancock, John M. Hamilton of Mc Lean, Chester P. Davis 
of Piatt, Maiden Jones of Douglas, Elizur Southworth of Mont- 
gomery, Luther Dearborn of Mason, George W. Herdman of 
Jersey, F. E. W. Brink of Washington, Robert P. Hanna of 
Wayne, Charles E. McDowell of White, and Ambrose Hoener 
of Monroe. All the others were either "hold-overs" or re- 
elected. Fawcett Plumb was elected president/;'^ tempore, and 
James H. Paddock, secretary. 

In the house, 79 were counted as republicans, 6^ as demo- 
crats, and 7 as independents. Twenty-nine members had been 
reelected or had served in former legislatures, namely: Moses J. 
Wentworth, Solomon P. Hopkins, and Michael J. Dunne from 

* After the expiration of his term of service as lieutenant-governor, he devoted 
himself to the editorship of the yournal. In 1889, his health having become 
impaired by overvi^ork, he made a visit to Europe, returning in the summer much 
improved. He, however, did not again resume the active management of his paper, 
though retaining the presidency of the Journal Company. He died suddenly iu 
Chicago on the evening of May 6, 1890. 


Cook; F. K. Granger from McHenry; W. A. James, Lake; 
Andrew Ashton, Winnebago; Edward L. Cronkrite, Lee; James 
Shaw, Carroll; James Herrington, Kane; Luke H. Goodrich, 
Will; Geo. W. Armstrong, LaSalle; James J. Herron, Bureau; 
John T. Browning, John P. Fox, Rufus M. Grennel, the three 
members elected from the twenty-first district — an unusual 
occurrence — Joseph F. Latimer, Knox; C. W. Boydston, War- 
ren; E. K. Westfall, McDonough; John F. Winter and T. P. ; 
Rogers, McLean; Samuel S.Jack, Macon; Jacob H. Oakwood, 
Vermilion; John N. English, Jersey; Samuel A. Buckmaster, | 
Madison; Frederick Remann, Fayette; Thomas E. Merritt, 
Marion; John H. Hally, Jasper; James M. Washburn, Will- 
iamson; Fontaine E. Albright, Jackson. fl 

Among the new members were the following: W. H. Thomp- 
son, Charles L. Easton, J. W. E. Thomas, Joseph E. Smith, 
James B. Taylor, Henry F. Sheridan, Elijah B. Sherman, Jos. 
J. Kearney, John A. Roche, Peter Kiolbassa, Eugene A. Sittig, 
Arno Voss, Austin O. Sexton, John H. Kedzie, and George C. 
Klehm of Cook; Bernard H. Truesdell, Lee; Henry H. Evans, 
Kane; James G. Wright, DuPage; Conrad Secrest, Iroquois; 
Lucien B. Crooker, LaSalle; Charles Baldwin, Bureau; Charles 
F. Robison, Fulton; Detrich C. Smith, Tazewell; Thomas F. 
Mitchell, McLean; Robert L. M cKinlay, Edgar; Henry A. 
Neal, Coles; John Mayo Palmer, and DeWitt W. Smith, San- 
gomon; Jacob Wheeler, Mason; Thomas G. Black, Adams; Asa 
C. Matthews, Pike; Isaac L. Morrison, and William P. Callon, 
Morgan; Richard Rowett, Macoupin; Ross Graham, White; 
Theophilus T. Fountain, Perry; William S. Morris, Hardin.* 

James Shaw, a leading lawyer of Carroll County, who had 
served with distinction in the twenty-eighth general assembly, 
was elected speaker, receiving y8 votes to 65 for S. A. Buck- 
master, and 8 for Andrew Ashton. E. F. Button was elected 

Mr. Shaw was born in Ireland, May 3, 1832, and was brought 
to this State in infancy, where he was raised on a farm in Cass 
County. After graduating from Illinois College, he was admitted 
to the bar, and removed to Mt. Carroll, where he has since 

* In the senate, there were 27 lawyers, 11 farmers, and 6 bankers. In the house, 
41 lawyers, 33 farmers, 25 merchants, besides bankers, physicians, etc. 


resided. He was a presidential elector in 1872, and has been 
a member of the state central committee. Mr. Shaw filled the 
speaker's chair with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of 
his friends. 

The formal ceremonies of inauguration attending a change 
of state administration resemble each other. This year, 1877, 
this event occurred on January 8, and to "preserve the record" 
may be briefly summarized as follows: The governor and other 
state- officers elect were escorted to the capitol by a civic and 
military procession headed by a brass-band. At one o'clock, 
the house was called to order by the speaker, and in a few 
minutes thereafter, the members rising, the senate, preceded by 
its president — Fawcett Plumb, was received and seated. Then 
came the members of the supreme court, headed by the vener- 
able Sidney Breese, who were assigned places on the rostrum. 
In the meantime, a brilliant audience, composed of the elite of 
the capital and other large cities, had been admitted by tickets 
to seats in the spacious gallery and on the floor. At two o' 
clock. Governor-elect CuUom, accompanied by state-officers and 
Senator Logan, entered the hall. Prayer was offered by Rev. 
Albert Hale, the oldest minister in Springfield. The oath of 
office was then administered by Chief-Justice Sheldon. Ex-Gov. 
Beveridge next advanced to the speaker's desk and delivered 
a brief valedictory address, handing over to hir successor the 
keys of the executive chamber and insignia of office. The 
inaugural address of Gov. Cullom followed in order; at the 
close of which the senate retired to its chamber where Lieu- 
tenant-Governor Shuman was duly installed, and also delivered 
a brief address. 

Gov. Cullom's address gave evidence of statesmanlike quali- 
ties and as an able state paper was generally commended. A 
considerable portion of it was devoted to the discussion of the 
revenue law, pointing out its defects and suggesting amend- 
ments. He also dwelt at some length upon the pending presi- 
dential controversy, advising a peaceable acquiescence in what- 
ever result might be constitutionally and legally reached. 

Edward F. Leonard, who had been connected with the 
auditor's department for many years and had filled several 
positions of trust and confidence with marked ability, was 


honored by the governor with the appointment of private secre- 

There is never much business done in either house of the 
legislature until after the selection and appointment of the 
committees, which usually consumes nearly two weeks' time. 
The interval at this session was employed by the members 
in discussing the pending election of a United -States senator 
to succeed Gen. Logan, whose term would expire March 4. 

The independents, of whom there were eight in the senate 
and seven in the house, held the balance of power, their vote 
combined with that of the democrats giving an majority of four. 
There was no serious opposition among regular republicans to 
the reelection of Gen. Logan, although it was considered im- 
politic to make the fight in his favor as if he were the only 
member of the party who could be elected. A few members 
remained out of the caucus on this account. 

The democratic members selected John M. Palmer as their 
candidate with great unanimity. The independents, though 
comparatively so insignificant in numbers, could not agree upon 
a candidate — those of the senate having decided in favor of 
Gen. William B. Anderson, while those of the house preferred 
Judge David Davis. 

The election of a United- States senator is governed by a law 
of congress,-f- which provides that on the second Tuesday after 
the meeting and organization of any state legislature, "each 
house shall openly, by a viva-voce vote of each member present, 
name one person for senator in congress from such state, and 
the name of the person so voted for, who receives a majority of 
the whole number of votes cast in each house, shall be entered 
on the journal of that house by the clerk or secretary thereof; 
or if either house fails to give such majority to any person on 
that day, the fact shall be entered on the journal. At twelve 
o'clock meridian of the day following that on which proceed- 
ings are required to take place as aforesaid, the members of the 

* Mr. Leonard was born in Connecticut in 1836. He graduated at Union College, 
N.Y. ; was admitted to the bar, and removed to Springfield in 1858, where he has 
since resided. He has of late years devoted his energies to railroad interests and 
is now president of the Toledo, -Peoria, -and- Western Railway. 

t Revised Statutes of United States, 1875 — P^ge 3. 


two houses shall convene in joint assembly, and the journal of 
each house shall then be read, and if the same person has 
received a majority of the votes in each house, he shall be 
declared duly elected senator. But if the same person has not 
received a majority of the votes in each house, or if either 
house has failed to take proceedings as herein required, the 
joint assembly shall then proceed to choose, by a viva-voce 
vote of each meinber present, a person for senator, and the 
person who receives a majoriry of all the votes of the joint- 
assembly, a majority of all the members elected to both houses 
being present and voting, shall be declared duly elected. If no 
person receives such majority on the first day, the joint assem- 
bly shall meet at twelve o'clock meridian of each succeeding 
day during the session of the legislature, and shall take at least 
one vote, until a senator is elecled." 

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1877, the vote required by the above 
law was taken by each house and resulted as follows: in the 
senate, John A. Logan received 20 votes, John M. Palmer 22, 
William B. Anderson 7, Elihu Benjamin Washburne i, and one 
blank. The vote in the house was for Logan yy. Palmer 6y, 
David Davis 7, William Lathrop i. No one having received a 
majority, the two houses met in joint-session on the 17th and 
proceeded to vote with the following result: 

Logan, 20 senators, y^ representatives = 98 

Palmer, 22 senators, 66 representatives = 88 

Anderson, 7 senators, = 7 

Davis, , 6 representatives = 6 

Senator Buehler voted for Elihu B. Washburne and Senator 
Haines for W. H. Parrish. 

Twelve ballots were had with but little change when the 
joint-session adjourned. On the following day, six ballots were 
taken with about the same results; and on Friday five efforts 
were made, the independents uniting their strength on Ander- 
son thus giving him 13 votes. On Monday the 22d, Palmer's 
name was withdrawn and the democrats began to vote for 
Anderson, who received 62 votes on the 24th ballot, which 
were increased to 85 on the 25th. Logan's vote continued the 
same, and the balance were scattering. On the morning of the 


24th, it becoming evident that General Logan could not obtain 
the 4 votes required to elect, his name was reluctantly with- 
drawn, the bulk of the republicans voting for Judge C. B. Law- 
rence, and the democrats having failed to effect a union upon 
Anderson began to vote for Davis; the 35th ballot standing as 
follows: for Lawrence 81, Davis 98, John C. Haines 15, and 4 
scattering. The vote of Haines at one time reached 69. The 
contest continued until January 25, when it was terminated by 
the election of Judge Davis on the 40th ballot which resulted as 
follows: Davis 10 1, Lawrence 94, Haines 3, Logan i, Parish i. 
No inducements could bring the independents to the support of 
either of the other parties, while the democrats preferred to 
accept Davis rather than prolong the struggle at the risk of a 
republican success. 

David Davis, thus transferred from the United-States supreme 
court to the senate, was a native of Maryland, where he was 
born in Cecil County, March 9, 1815. He graduated at Kenyon 
College, Ohio, in 1832, studied law in Massachusetts, and re- 
moved to McLean County in this State in 1835. He was a 
member of the fourteenth general assembly, 1844, and of the 
constitutional convention of 1847. ^^ 1848, he was elected 
judge of the eighth judicial circuit, and reelected in 1855, and 
in 1 861. He was an old whig and warm personal friend of 
Abraham Lincoln, who appointed him to a seat on the bench 
of the United-States supreme court in 1862. 

He was neither a greenbacker, nor an anti-monopolist in the 
political sense in which those terms were used, but having 
separated from the republican party on the question of the 
impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, he was regarded 
as sufficiently independent to serve as the candidate of that 
party. He acted in the senate as much with the republicans as 
with the democrats, and upon the death of President Garfield, 
was elected president of the senate in 1880, which position he 
continued to fill until the close of his term. In 1884, he sup- 
ported Blaine and Logan.* 

The thirtieth general assembly remained in session until May 
24, and passed, among others, the following laws: to provide 
the manner of proposing amendments to the state constitution; 

* He died at his old home in Bloomington, June 26, 1SS6. 


providing for voluntary assignments and conferring jurisdiction 
therein upon county-courts; to provide for the organization of 
the state militia; to create a commission of claims; changing 
the fiscal year, and time of making reports to the governor to 
November i; to create and establish a state board of health; 
to regulate the practice of medicine; to compel railroad com- 
panies to build and maintain depots for the comfort of passen- 
gers; for the protection of passengers on railroads; to establish 
appellate courts. This measure, provided for in the new consti- 
tution, had become a necessity in order to relieve the over- 
crowded docket of the supreme court. Four courts, composed 
of three circuit-judges each, were formed to sit respectively at 
Chicago, Springfield, Ottawa, and Mt. Vernon. 

On February 21, there was appointed by the governor and 
confirmed by the senate a new board of railroad-ahd-warehouse 
commissioners, as follows: Wm. M. Smith, George M. Bogue, 
and John H. Oberly. The first-named was selected as president 
of the board and Mat H. Chamberlain of Beardstown appointed 

The governor had hardly been comfortably seated in the 
executive chair, when the great railroad strike of July, 1877, 
was inaugurated. The continued hard times and depreciation 
in values had naturally effected prices and wages. Manufact- 
urers, miners, and railroad companies felt compelled to reduce 
their expenses, and to make a corresponding reduction in 
the compensation paid their employes. Laboring men, not 
only in Illinois but throughout the country, became restless, 
dissatisfied, and aggressive in their demands. That antago- 
nism between capital and labor arose which always becomes 
the most pronounced when the former finds itself doing busi- 
ness at a loss, and the latter is able to earn barely the necessa- 
ries of life. A general strike, organized at Pittsburg, was 
ordered. This was an opportunity which the wilfully idle, 
the vagrant, and the turbulent anarchist seized upon for the 
purposes of plunder and destruction. In July, the ferment 
culminated. Riotous and uncontrollable meetings were held in 
various portions of the country, and mobs prompted by a 
wild frenzy took forcible possession of manufactories, mines, 
and railroads. Riots followed, with calamitous fires and the 


destruction of millions of dollars worth of property. Business 
was prostrated. Cars loaded with grain, flour, and live-stock, 
were side-tracked and not a wheel allowed to turn. Railway- 
trains, machine-shops, yards, and factories, at Chicago, Peoria, 
Galesburg, Decatur, East St. Louis, and at some minor points, 
were in the hands of furious mobs, as also were the mines at" 
Braidwood, La Salle, and other places. Hostilities began in 
Chicago on July 25, by a desperate conflict between the rioters 
and the police. 

The governor was called upon for troops to aid the civil 
authorities. Under the new law, which had only been in force 
a few weeks, but little had been done toward the reorganization 
of the militia, but the entire military force of the State under 
command of Major- General Arthur C. Ducat was called out. 
The three brigades were respectively commanded by Brigadier- 
Generals, J. T. Torrence, E. N. Bates, and C. W. Pavey — Hiram 
Hilliard being the state adjutant -general. To the force at 
Chicago, were added six companies of United -States troops 
which had been stopped on their way east by the request of the 

The presence of the troops and their distribution at threat- 
ened points over the city soon wrought a favorable change. 
The unlawful crowds were dispersed and business returned to 
its ordinary channels. Gen. Ducat with the 3d regiment. Col. 
Joseph W. R. Stambough, and the loth battalion of infantry 
under Lt.-Col. J, B. Parsons, proceeded to Braidwood, where 
there had been serious disturbances; order was soon restored 
here also. 

The 2d and 3d brigades had been ordered to East St. Louis, 
where the mob, estimated at 10,000, was terrorizing the citizens 
and setting the civil authorities at defiance. The governor 
appeared upon the scene in person and directed the manoeuvr- 
ing of the troops. The ringleaders of the mob were arrested 
and the trains were successfully guarded out of the city. So 
wise and judicious had been the arrangements that by July 31, 
the trouble was at an end. While the destruction of property 
was not so great in this State as in some others, the loss by the 
stoppage of trade was immense, necessitating the suspension 
and failure of many banks and business houses. 



In the meantime, the agitation of those political questions, in 
-which it was supposed the public welfare was most involved, 
continued with unabated interest in congress and among the 

The democrats and independent reformers were generally 
agreed in favor of a demand for the repeal of the resumption 
law but were unable to come together upon other questions. 
The last-named party were the first to throw down the political 
gauntlet for the biennial contest of 1878, calling their state 
convention to meet at Springfield, March 27. About 150 dele- 
gates reported. Gen. Erastus N. Bates was nominated for state 
treasurer and Frank H. Hall of Kane County for superinten- 
dent of public instruction. The platform contained the usual 
utterances in favor of the exclusive function of the government 
to coin and create money and regulate its value; the suppression 
of all banks of issue; the supply of all needed money by con- 
gress; of the taxation of government bonds and money; and 
against the contract system of labor in prisons and reformatory 

The democratic state -convention followed next in order 
April II. All efifort'j to effect a junction with the greenbackers 
had signally failed and indeed did not seem to be desired by 
either party. Edward L. Cronkrite, of Lee County, received 
the nomination for state treasurer on the third ballot, and S. M. 
Etter, the then incumbent, that for state superintendent of 
public instruction on the first ballot. The platform was reported 
by W, C. Goudy of Chicago, and upon the principal questions 
at issue contained the following planks: in favor of a tariff for 
revenue only; of the taxation of United- States bonds and 
treasury notes, the same as other property; "of the immediate 
and unconditional repeal of the resumption act;" of the re- 
monetization of silver; of the substitution of treasury notes — 
greenbacks — in the place of national-bank notes; of the imme- 
diate repeal of the bankrupt law; against any further reduction 
of the principal of the public debt at present; and that it is the 
exclusive prerogative of the United States to issue all bills to 
circulate as money. Comparing this political deliverance with 
that of the same party two years before, a wide divergence 
will be observed, so great indeed, that the state organ of the 


party at Springfield, the State Register, then understood to be 
conducted by ex- Gov. Palmer, came out strongly in denuncia- 
tion of some of the resolutions. That paper said, "The resolu- 
tion which looks to the postponement of all further payments 
on the public debt, rests upon the false theory that the public 
debt may, without mischief, be perpetuated. Sound policy 
demands that the public debt be paid as rapidly as possible, 
without improperly burdening the people." * * It farther 
stated that if the result of democratic success would be to 
establish the theory that the United States had the power to 
issue paper bills to circulate as money, "then the success of 
the party would not be a success but a calamity." 

The republican state-convention met at Springfield, June 26, 
and although it was an off year, it was the largest ever held in 
the State. W. A. James, of Lake County, was the temporary 
and Charles E. Lippincott the permanent president, and Daniel 
Shepard, secretary. There was an animated contest over both 
the nominations to be made. For state treasurer, the principal 
candidates were Gen. John C. Smith, Thomas S. Ridgway, and 
E. C. Hamburger. The informal ballot disclosed the following 
result, Ridgway 206, Smith 174, Hamburger 150, and 113 scat- 
tering. Smith was nominated on the third ballot. James P. 
Slade, of St. Clair County, was nominated for superintendent 
of public instruction on the second ballot, his principal competi- 
tor being W. H. Powell of Kane County. 

The platform adopted was short and non-committal on nearly 
all national questions. The discussions of the day and supposed 
tendency of the government to reduce the volume of green- 
backs in circulation, were not without its effect, as the following 
concession to that sentiment shows: "We are also opposed to 
any farther contraction of the greenback currency, and are in 
favor of such currency as can be maintained at par with, and 
convertible into coin at the will of the holder. We are in favor 
of such currency being received for impost duties." Speeches 
were made by Generals Oglesby, Logan, and Hurlbut, and by 
E. A. Storrs — the address of the latter having been carefully 
prepared for the occasion, was delivered with telling effect and 
published in the papers at length. 

The election resulted in the success of the republican candi- 


dates, although that party was in a minority in the State of 
about 30,000. The following are the figures: 


Smith, republican, 206,458 Slade, republican, 205,461 

Cronkrite, democrat, 170,085 Etter, democrat, 171,336 

Bates, greenbacker, 65,689 Hall, greenbacker, 65,487 

Jerome A. Gorin, prohibit. 2,228 Kate Hopkins, prohibit. 2,109 

The republicans not only elected their state ticket and eleven 
out of the nineteen members of congress, but succeeded also, 
for the first time in six years, in securing a majority in both 
houses of the general assembly, which convened Jan. 8, 1879. 

The new senators were, Sylvester Artley, William J. Camp- 
bell, William T. Johnson, and George E. White, from Cook 
County; Charles Bent, Whiteside; William P. Gallon, Morgan; 
Milton M. Ford, Henry; Chas. E. Fuller, Boone; Geo. Hunt, 
and L. D. Whiting, reelected; Maurice Kelley, Adams; An- 
drew J. Kuykendall, Johnson; Samuel R. Lewis, LaSalle; John 
R. Marshall, Kendall; Abram Mayfield, Logan; Thomas E. 
Merritt, Marion; Willam T. Moffett, Macon; Sylvester W. Munn, 
Will; William H. Neece, McDonough; Alfred J. Parkinson, 
Madison; Erastus N. Rinehart, Effingham; John Thomas, St. 
Clair; Meredith Walker, Fulton; William C. Wilson, Crawford ; 
Samuel L. Cheney, Saline. John M. Hamilton was elected 
president /re? tempore, and James H. Paddock, secretary. 

Among former members returned to the house were the fol- 
lowing: E. B. Sherman, Austin O. Sexton, Wm. H. Thompson, 
Moses J. Wentworth, and Solomon P. Hopkins of Cook; F. K. 
Granger, W. A. James, James Shaw, F. N. Tice, B. H. Trues- 
dell, J. G. Wright, James Herrington, Conrad Secrest, Lucien 
B. Crooker, C. H. Frew, S. F. Otman, Charles Fosbender, J. F. 
Latimer, John J. Reaburn, C. F. Robison, William T. McCreery, 
Thomas F. Mitchell, T. P. Rogers, R. L. McKinlay, Orlando B. 
Ficklin, Henry A. Neal, Jacob Wheeler, Asa C. Matthews, Isaac 
L. Morrison, J. N. English, and Andrew J. Reavell. The follow- 
ing, among others, appeared for the first time: David W. Clark, 
Benjamin M. Wilson, Patrick T. Barry, Lewis H. Bisbee, Wm. 
E. Mason, C. Meyer, Horace H. Thomas, Lorin C. Collins, jr., 
and Geo. G. Struckman from Cook County; Omar H. Wright, 


Boone; Thomas Butterworth, Winnebago; James I. Neff, Lee; 
W. H. Allen, Whiteside; M. H. Peters, Iroquois; Anthony R. 
Mock and Jas. W. Simonson, Henry; David H. Harts, Lincoln; 
Henry A. Ewing, McLean; Bradford K. Durfee, Macon; Wm. 
A. Day, George Scroggs, and James Core, Champaign; John 
G. Holden, Vermilion; William L. Gross, Sangamon; John 
F. Snyder, Cass; Joseph N. Carter, Adams; George E, Warren, 
Jersey; Wm. R. Prickett, John M. Pearson, Madison; Charles 
Churchill, Edwards; John M. Gregg, Saline; John T. McBride, 
John R. McFie, Randolph; Joseph Veile, St. Clair; Charles H, 
La3^man, Jackson; Thomas W. Halliday, Alexander. 

The contest for the speakership among the republicans, con- 
nected as it was with the election of a United-States senator to 
succeed Gov. Oglesby, was one of more than ordinary interest. 
Isaac L. Morrison of Morgan, an eminent lawyer and leading 
member of the last house, and a pronounced supporter of Gen. 
Logan, had the largest following and was supposed to have 
the inside track. The other candidates were Col. William A. 
James of Lake, having large business interests in Chicago, and 
who had served four years with distinction in the late war; 
Thomas F. Mitchell, a lumber merchant of Bloomington, who 
had made a creditable record in the last house for efficient ser- 
vice and as a parliamentarian; and ex- Speaker James Shaw. 
The strength of the candidates in the caucus was shown to be 
as follows: for Morrison, the highest vote, 28, James 26, Mit- 
chell 17, Shaw 9. Morrison was unable to combine the Logan 
strength upon himself, it appearing afterward, indeed, that 
James, who was supposed to be for Oglesby or Farwell, was a 
supporter of Logan. The colonel was selected on the fifth 
ballot. The nominee of the democrats was James Herrington, 
the vote in the house standing 81 for James, 59 for Herrington, 
and 9 for Calvin H. Frew, independent reformer. Col. James 
made a fine appearance in the speaker's chair and was a fairly 
good presiding officer.* The secretaryship fell to W. B. Taylor. 

The governor's message was devoted exclusively to state 

* He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1837, and received a common- 
school education. He served four years as a captain and major in the late war, 
and was brevetted colonel at its close. He resides at Highland Park, and does 
business in Chicago as a dealer in machinery. 


affairs. He recommended an amendment to the revenue 
system and the passage of a law reducing the maximum rate 
of interest to eight per cent per annum. 

The election of a United-States senator to succeed Governor 
Oglesby was the prominent subject ol discussion until the event 
was disposed of Gov. Oglesby was again a candidate as was 
also Gen. Logan. Their respective friends were active and 
earnest in their support, but the contest was conducted generally 
in a friendly spirit. Gov. Oglcsby's service in the senate had 
not added to his fame, nor gained him any friends. He had 
not been conspicuous for the introduction or advocacy of any 
measure bearing upon any national issue during his term of six 
years. It was insisted, indeed, that he had not exercised that 
influence, nor risen to that prominence which a senator from 
the great State of Illinois .should command. Whether his nega- 
tive position was not the wisest amid the multiplicity of meas- 
ures introduced to "mend the times," and his silence golden, was 
hardly considered ; and it became evident, early in the contest, 
that the dashing, aggressive Logan would for the time being, at 
least, retire the gallant ex-governor to private life. Such was 
the result in the republican caucus; and although there was 
considerable reluctance in some quarters to voting for him, 
Logan received 80 votes to 26 for his opponent. 

The nominee of the democrats was Gen. John Charles Black; 
and the election, which was held January 21, resulted as follows; 
in the senate, for Logan 26, Black 24, McAuliffe i ; in the house, 
Logan 80, Black 60, Alexander Campbell 10, McAuliffe 3, 
giving Logan eight majority on joint ballot. 

The session, of the thirty-first general assembly, was not only 
a long one, but was characterized by its keen debates, its per- 
sonal wrangles, and at times, tempestuous proceedings. It con- 
tained many talented, earnest, and trustworthy members; and 
had also its element of schemers, bargainers, and obstruction- 
ists. Of the 1400 bills introduced into both houses, only 207 
became laws, 51 of which were appropriation bills. Over 50 
bills were introduced on the subject of insurance, only one of 
which, of general interest, became a law. 

Among the most important of the laws enacted were the 
following: for the protection of bank depositors, providing that 


if any bank shall receive deposits while is is, insolvent, it shall 
be deemed guilty of embezzlement; a comprehensive law on 
the subject of farm drainage; revising the interest law, substi- 
tuting eight for ten per cent as the rate per annum; a new and 
comprehensive law on the subject of the militia; creating a 
bureau of labor statistics; to establish houses of correction; 
regulating the manner of applying for pardons; regulating 
appeals to the appellate court in criminal cases; revising the 
law relating to roads and bridges; making important amend- 
ments to the revenue law; abolishing the board of state-house 
commissioners; for the regulation of pawnbrokers. A joint- 
resolution was also adopted, submitting to the voters an amend- 
ment to the constitution, providing for the extension of the 
term of the county treasurer, sheriff, and coroner to four years, 
and making the two former ineligible to reelection, which was 
subsequently ratified by the people at the polls. 

A question of considerable practical importance at this 
session grew out of the proceedings of the house upon the 
report of a committee, April 3, appointed to investigate charges 
of corruption, against certain members for receiving bribes to 
abandon alleged schemes of legislation, made by the Chicago 
Tribune. A correspondent of that paper, with whom the 
charges originated, having been summoned to appear before the 
committee as a witness, refused to answer specific questions 
and especially to give the names of members from whom he 
had received the information which was the foundation of the 
charges. The correspondent was then summoned to appear 
before the bar of the house, when still refusing to testify, a 
resolution was adopted, by a vote of 96 to 35, requiring the 
door-keeper to commit the correspondent to the county -jail 
of Sangamon County, "there to remain until he shall signify 
his willingness to answer such questions as may be put to him 
by direction of the house." 

The correspondent, having been committed to jail, was brought 
before Circuit-Judge Chas. S. Zane, by writ oi habeas corpus, and 
the legality of his detention fully discussed, the attorney-gen- 
eral appearing for the house, and Gen. John M. Palmer for the 
prisoner. After a lengthy hearing, the motion to discharge the 
prisoner was overruled and he was remanded to the custody of 


the jailor. On April i6, the investigating committee having 
reported that the charge of corruption had been based upon 
mere rumor, and, that after examining many witnesses, it 
believed that said rumors were not true; on motion of Lewis 
H. Bisbee, the committee was discharged from further service 
and the correspondent was ordered to be "released from further 

The effect of these proceedings has been to make sometimes 
reckless correspondents more careful in their statements and to 
rely more upon facts than upon unfounded rumors — a course 
which so far from lessening their importance, increases their 
effectiveness and admitted power. 

The legislature adjourned ]\Iay 31.'^ 

* One of those amusing episodes occurred at this session which have sometimes 
broken in upon the regular proceedings of the house as unexpected as they were 
found to be agreeable. George Scroggs, a popular representative from Champaign, 
who was also a bright member of the press, had received the appointment of consul 
to the free German city of Hamburg. His many friends determined to celebrate 
the event by presenting him, while the house was in session, with what was consid- 
ered the appropriate gift of a pair of wooden shoes. Lucien B. Crooker, the witty 
member from La Salle and one of the leaders of the republican side, was selected 
to make the presentation speech. The entire performance was a surprise to Scroggs, 
and his reply to the speech in broken German was not the least amusing part of the 

Crooker, jolly and rotund, made the following impromptu speech: 
" J/r. Speaker: I rise to a question of high and I might add holy privilege, and as 
the occasion is a momentous one, I will beg the right of occupying the speaker's 
platform, so I may shine from borrowed light, and, if possible, equal the occasion. 
We are sometimes rent asunder by politics and divided upon questions of policy, but 
when it comes to a question of admiration, we are united; and, as one of our mem- 
bers is about to leave our shores and depart to foreign climes, we propose to give 
him an appropriate send-off. Nations have always honored their dead but not 
always their living. Hence 

'Seven cities claimed illustrious Homer, dead. 
Through which a living Homer begged his bread.' 

It is left for American people to adequately honor her great men while living. 

" We made Mr. Grant a major-general, and we made General Grant president. We 
gave him houses, lands, horses, and bull -pups, [laughter]; and now the great State 
of Illinois, through the thirty -first general assembly, and it through me, its most 
humble and obese member, proposes to follow this illustrious example and appropri- 
ately deck this member who is so soon to be taken from us and transplanted to foreign 
shores as a representative of American greatness. Among the early and verdant 
products of Illinois soil, none were more thriving or verdant than our hero, [laughter]. 
Some men are born to greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. In 
this case, our favorite son inherited greatness from a long- indigent, but prolific line 


The political events of 1880 are among the most memorable 
in this State. The claim of the democrats that they had been 
unjustly deprived of the fruits of their victory in 1876 brought 
them some supporters outside of their organization and tended 
to strengthen their party-lines. With the electoral votes of the 
eleven reconstructed states now assured them, together with 

of ancestors, and also inherited the melodious surname of Scroggs. When he arrived 
at manhood, he also had greatness thrust upon him and was, so to speak, stabbed 
or prodded with it, and, in commemoration of this metaphorical assassination, we 
propose to pay tribute to his large understanding, [laughter]. His birth was ushered 
in by peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, and, as he laid puling in his mother's 
arms, frowns of ambition wrinkled his two eyebrows, and as he doffed his swaddling- 
cloths and put on his first pair of pants, and went forth, common urchins were made 
to respect his greatness. 

" His mud-pies were always the largest, and he insisted on having all the mud. 
If any common youth interfered, he at once got a dab of mud over his right eye, and 
all the satisfaction he got was to let it dry on and take it home to his mother, 
(laughter]. Years passed by, limb and brain expanded, until the people wondered 

much — 

'And still the wonder grew 
That one small head should carry all he knew.* 

"Most men are obliged to address the people orally or to embalm their thoughts 
in Arnold's writing-fluid, but Scroggs possessed dual elements of greatness. His 
tongue was silver-tipped and his pen diamond-pointed. He could write like a poet 
and talk like a statesman, or he could talk like a poet and write like a statesman, 
and sometimes both, [more laughter]. He taught Illinois true provincial journalism. 
He mounted the stump and dropped solid chunks of political wisdom. He made 
Frew fume furiously. He made Harlow halloo horribly, and finally, in recognition 
of his greatness, the people arose majestically and elected him a member of the 
thirty-first general assembly, [more laughter]. Here ordinary ambition would have 
been rewarded; but we were not to remain long in possession of this intellectual 
bonanza. The mighty executive has reached out from Washington and metaphori- 
cally held our Scroggs up before an admiring United- States senate, and they, with 
one accord, shouted: "That's the fellow we are after! That's the chap to represent 
us abroad ! That's the galoot to teach those degenerate Dutchmen true respect for 
American greatness! [renewed guffaws,] and with one accord they confirmed him 
consul to Hamburg, while the whole legislature of Illinois stood up and shouted 
back, 'bully!' [tremendous laughter.] Now, friend Scroggs, as you are about to 
leave our shores and be rocked in the cradle of the deep, we propose to make you 
an appropriate and useful present as a testimony of our esteem, [here the speaker 
held up a ponderous pair of wooden shoes, amidst shouts of laughter.] These are 
not, as some inspired idiot would assume, gun-boats, [laughter.] They are not, as 
some wayward lunatic would assert, coal-shoots, [laughter.] They are plain wooden 
shoes. Take them, Scroggs, and wear them, but not on ordinary occasions. Poor, 
plain leather must do for every day, but, when kings put on their crowns, then put 
on these fragile pedal appendages and stamp your feet till the earth shakes, and till 
the crowns tumble from off effete kings, and until thrones are shattered to their very 

crooker's speech and scroggs' reply. 86 1 

their ascendency in both houses of congress, their chances of 
success had been wonderfully improved. While the republicans 
could appeal to the successful accomplishment of their financial 
measures with the fair expectation of gaining back those mem- 
bers of the party who had gone over to greenbackism, it was 
nevertheless incumbent upon them to nominate their strong- 
foundations. If any unregenerated Dutchman dares to wink at the Stars and 
Stripes, place one of these canoes in close proximity to his posterior and elevate him, 
and when he comes to, a week or so after, if he opens his mouth make it painful for 
him again, and teach them to respect American greatness, [irrepressible laughter]; 
and, when you shall have done your duty, as we know you will; when you can eat 
limburger like a true Hamburger; when you shall be revivified, enlarged, and revised 
by the use of foaming lager, return to us full-breasted and the people will receive 
you with open arms. We, the citizens of Illinois, will meet you upon the hostile 
borders of Indiana, [laughter]. We will escort you to your humble home. We will 
sound the loud hew-gag. We will whack the dumb buzzy and beat the tom-tom. 
And when life's fitful dream shall be o'er, when the last fleeting breath shall have 
passed your pallid lips, and when you shall become a sorrel-topped angel, we will 
mournfully and sorrowfully open the bosom of our loved prairies, and lay you away 
to judgment. With suitable mechanical appliances, we will erect these wooden shoes 
— one at your head and one at your feet — and write upon them an epitaph as com- 
plete as the tongue of poets can utter, so that, when posterity goes hurrying by, 
they will pause and say, 'There were giants in those days, '" [prolonged applause 
and laughter.] 

Scroggs was loudly called for, and made the following speech which was inter- 
rupted by repeated applause and cheers : 

'■'■ Meine Freunde unci ftiein kleiner dicker Freund von JLaSalle: — Ich kann nicht 
sagen shoo fly, aber ich kann sagen ich bin sehr gluecklick, und bin Ihnen sehr 
verbunden fuer dieses schcene Geschenk, diese Holzschuhe, [laughter and applause.] 
Es sind solche, wie ich vermuthe, die Engel tragen wenn sie die goldene Leiter 
hinaufsteigen, [laughter]. Ich werde diese Schuhe am Sonntag tragen, wenn ich in 
der Stadt Hamburg spazieren gehe. Sie werden mir niemals wehe thun, und desshalb 
werde ich dem Gebrn stets dankbar sein, [applause]. Leben Sie wohl, meine Freude, 
und ich wuensche Ihnen Erfolg fuer 1880, und stimme fuer U. S. Grant fuer Prassi- 
dent, und meinen Kleinen Dicken Freund von Mendota, fuer Governeur von Illinois. 
Adieu leben Sie wohl. " 

[Translation : " My friends and my little fat friend from LaSalle : — I can not say 
shoo fly but I can say that I am very happy, and very much pleased with this present 
— these wooden shoes, [laughter and applause]. They are such, as I suspect, the 
angels carried when they climbed the golden ladder, [laughter]. I will wear them on 
Sundays when I promenade in the streets of Hamburg. I shall always feel thankful to 
the donors — for they will never hurt my feet, [applause]. May you live well, my 
friends, and I wish you success for 1880, and vote for U. S. Grant for president and 
my little fat friend from Mendota for governor of Illinois. Again may you long live, 
farewell. "] 

Poor Scroggs, who was in bad health at the time, returned to his native land, 
and died at home, October 15, 1880. 


est man for president. Upon this subject, the party was about 
equally divided between the supporters of General Grant and 
those of James G. Blaine. The strife for ascendency between 
warring factions in the various states was fierce and exciting, 
especially in Illinois, where the great chieftain had his nominal 
home, but where the statesman from Maine had a following as 
strong as it was enthusiastic. 

When the republican state-convention met at Springfield, 
May 19, 1880, the political caldron was at white heat. General 
Logan, ably seconded by Emory A. Storrs, was the champion 
of "the silent soldier," while the opposing forces were led with 
equal ability and tenacity by Gen. Hurlbut, Kirk Hawes, Sena- 
tor George Hunt, Dr. J. W. Robbins, and others. Gen. Green 
B. Raum, ex-congressman from the 17th district, and then com- 
missioner of internal revenue, was the temporary as well as the 
permanent president, and although it was understood that he 
was a "third termer," he discharged the arduous duties of his 
position with remarkable promptness, courtesy, and impartiality. 

The fight began over the contesting delegates from the 1st, 
3d, and 4th senatorial districts of Cook County. The Grant 
delegates were admitted by a vote of 341 to 261. The second 
day was consumed in debating the question of the appointment 
of delegates to the national convention. The invariable custom 
had been in former conventions for the delegates from the sev- 
eral congressional districts to assemble in separate conventions 
and nominate members of the various committees, electors, and 
delegates to national conventions from their respective districts. 
It was now proposed that a committee to select delegates should 
be appointed by the president. The debate which followed 
lasted all day and nearly all night. Gen. Logan arose to address 
the convention at 9 o'clock p. m. The hall of the house of 
representatives was packed to its utmost capacity and the 
galleries filled with ladies many of whom were interested spec- 
tators. The night was warm ; the general stood upon a chair, 
took oft" his coat, and began his speech. He continued amid 
great excitement, interruptions, applause, and hisses. But he 
kept his temper and gained the attention of his vast audience. 
The debate was continued by Charles Thomas, Kirk Hawes, 
and J. M. Beardsley, against the proposed change; and A. W. 


Metcair, Richard Rowett, and Isaac Clements in favor of. The 
vote was not reached until 2 o'clock in the morning. It was in 
favor of the Grant men by 389 to 304. The vote, instructing 
for Gen. Grant, stood 399 to 285.* 

The nominations for state-officers were not made until the 
third day. The candidates for governor were, Shelby M. Cullom, 
for a second term, General John I. Rinaker, General John B. 
Havvley, Colonel Greenbury L. Fort, Colonel Thomas S. Ridg- 
way. Colonel Clark E. Carr, and General John C. Smith; and, 
with exception of the first - named, as was shown by the 
first ballot, the preferences of the delegates were about equally 
distributed among them. It was as follows: Cullom 219}^, 
Rinaker 108^, Hawley 96, Fort 87, Ridgway ']6, Carr 55, 
Smith 51. The second ballot showed a gain for Cullom of 15 
votes, Rinaker 13, Hawley 2, Carr i, and small losses for the 
others. It was far from indicating any decided change of opin- 
ion and so far "it was any body's race." The third ballot still 
left the result an open question — the delegates were evidently 
slow in coming to a conclusion; it was as follows: Cullom 241, 
Rinaker 150, Hawley 104, Fort 82, Carr 55, Ridgway 45, Smith 
24. It was one of those critical periods which sometimes occur 
in the proceedings of deliberative bodies, when a trifling incident 
might precipitate the result. The calling of the roll for the 
fourth time began amid breathless excitement; as it proceeded 
both Cullom and Rinaker showed gains, and it was evident that 

* The delegates ^ appointed were as follows: from the state at-large, J. A. Logan, 
Emory A. Storrs, G. B. Raum, D. T. Littler. By the committee of the convention, 
1st district, John Wentworth, Stephen A. Douglas; 2nd, A. M. Wright, Richard 
S. Tuthill; 3d, John L. Beveridge, L. J. Kadish; 4th, N. C. Thompson, N. N. 
Ravlin; 5th, J. B. Brown, Miles White; 6th, Henry T. Noble, W. H. Shepard; 
7th, E. F. Bull, E. W. Willard; 8th, J. B. Wilson, R. J. Hanna; 9th, Joel Mer- 
shon, William Jackson; loth, Hosea Davis, F. P. Burgett; nth, O. B. Hamilton, 
M. D. Massie; 12th, George M. Brinkerhoff, C. M. tames; 13th, John McNulta, 
V. Warren; 14th, James Heyworth, J. B. Harris; 15th, W. H. Barlow, A* P. 
Greene; i6th, J. M. Truitt, Lewis Krughoff; 17th, A. W. Metcalf, Richard Rowett; 
l8th, C. O. Patier, J. M. Davis; 19th, C. W. Pavey, W. H. Williams, 

The contesting delegates appointed by the districts, ignored by the convention, 
were: ist, W, J. Campbell, Elbridge G. Keith; 3d, Elliott Anthony, Washington 
Hessing; 4th, C. W. Marsh, Lot B. Smith; sth, Robert E. Logan, W. H. Hol- 
combe; 6th, James K. Edsall, John P. Hand; 9th, John A. Gray, W. S. Gale; 
loth, Henry Tubbs, John Fletcher; 13th, E. D. Blinn, F. B. Low; 17th, William 
C. Kueffner, Emil Guelich. 


the contest was narrowed down between those two. At its 
close, before the result was announced, Pulaski County, which 
had voted for CuUora, changed to Rinaker, but before that well- 
planned arrangement was followed up by other similar coups as 
was expected, changes of a still more important bearing were 
announced against the general. Jo Davies withdrew Smith and 
cast its vote for Cullom, followed by Stephenson. Before the 
Rinaker men were able to make themselves heard, Cullom came 
within forty votes of being nominated. But then Boone and 
Lake went to Rinaker, and each side having exhausted their 
strength with an undetermined result, there followed another 
pause during which the fate of Rinaker was decided. Kanka- 
kee and Grundy, followed by Marion and the fifth senatorial 
district of Cook County, announced their vote for Cullom. 
Adams changed to Rinaker, but it was too late, Cullom had by 
this time received 376 votes and was nominated. Gen. Rinaker 
made an unexpectedly gallant fight, having received forty votes 
more than had been conceded to him; but, with an experience in 
public life and with public men which his opponent lacked, with 
a trained body of experienced workers behind him to marshal 
his forces, and with the aid of the state patronage, the advan- 
tages on the side of the governor, notwithstanding he was ask- 
ing the unusual preferment of a second consecutive term, were 
too great to be overcome. 

John M. Hamilton of McLean County, was nominated for 
lieutenant-governor on the first ballot. 

The principal candidates for secretary of state were Geo. H. 
Harlow for a third term, Senator Henry D. Dement, and Gen. 
Jasper N. Reece. The contest was very close and animated, 
the first ballot being, Reese 244, Dement 211, Harlow 148, 
scattering 90; but Dement was nominated on the second ballot. 

For auditor, Thomas B. Needles, the then incumbent, whose 
administration of the office had been eminently satisfactory, 
had no opponent up to the meeting of the convention and it 
was not supposed that he could be beaten. But the name 
of Charles B. Swigert, "a one-armed soldier" from Kankakee, 
was presented, and although at one time Needles had undoubt- 
edly received enough votes to nominate him, before it could 
be announced changes continued to be made until the finaj 
vote was announced as 1']'] for Swigert and 316 for Needles. 


What, more than anything else, contributed to this result, was 
the fact that "Long" John Wentworth, not too old to forget 
how easily a great convention can be manipulated and impressed 
by the production of startling effects, when the fatal changing 
began against Needles, grasped Swigert, a small man, by the 
waist and holding him up in his large arms, and dangling before 
the delegates his empty sleeve, exclaimed "Boys! give the one- 
armed soldier a chance!" 

Edward Rutz, a former incumbent, after a close contest was 
nominated for state treasurer over Major R. W. McClaughry. 

There was also an exciting contest for attorney - general 
between James McCartney of Wayne County, and Col. Asa C. 
Matthews of Pike which resulted in the success of the former. 

The democratic state-convention was held at Springfield, 
June 10. S. S. Marshall presided. Judge Trumbull was nomi- 
nated for governor by acclamation; Lewis B. Parsons for lieu- 
tenant-governor; John H. Oberly for secretary of state; Louis 
C. Starkel for auditor; Thomas Butterworth for treasurer; and 
Lawrence Harmon for attorney-general.* 

The platform adopted was: no tariff for protection; for 
reform in the civil service; for a constitutional currency of gold 
and silver, and of paper convertible into coin; no more "8 to 7 
frauds;" protection of laborers in the prompt and certain col- 
lection of their wages. 

The nominations of the greenback- reform party were: for 
governor, Alson J. Streeter; lieutenant-governor, A, M. Adair; 
secretary of state, J, M, Thompson; auditor, W. T. Ingram; 
treasurer, J. W. Evans; attorney-general, H. G. Whitlock. 

The republican national convention met at Chicago, June 2, 
1880. The scenes of heated contention which had charac- 
terized the state convention were here repeated with fourfold 

* The delegates to the national convention were: at large, .Melville W. l'"uller, 
iohn A. McClernanil, S. S. Marshall, and W. T. Dowdall. From the districts in 
their order, two Irom each: John K. llo.xie. Henry F. Sheridan; Perry II. Smith, 
F. L. Chase; A. M. Herrington, J. F. Glidden; J. W. I'otter, J. M. Stowell; Chas. 
Duniiarn, O. J>. IJuford; William Keddick, Andrew Welsh; (j. C. Herrington, D, 
Haling; Lyle James, L. W. Ross; J. M. .Stewart, A. Montgomery; W. E. Carlan, 
Scott Wike; H. M. Vandeveer, H. II. Barnes; Benjamin Howard, Luther Dear- 
born; W. A. D.ay, J. W. Craig; \V. M. Garrard, S. S. Whitehead; Jacob Fouke, 
W. S. Forman; (ieorge Boyle, .Seymour Wilcox; W. H. Green, W. K. Murphy; 
J. M. Cvebs, G. B. Hobbins. 


intensity before a national audience of 15,000 listeners. After 
an exhaustive discussion of the points involved, lasting two 
days, the convention decided in favor of admitting the contest- 
ing delegates from Illinois by the close vote of 385 to 353. The 
platform was adopted on Saturday, the fourth day of the con- 
vention, and the candidates placed in nomination. The ballot- 
ing began on Monday which continued with very little variation 
in the result all that day until 10 o'clock, p. m., which closed 
with the 28th ballot: Grant's vote was 306; Blaine's 284; the 
balance scattering. On the 34th ballot, Gen. James A. Garfield 
received 17 votes — one delegate from Pennsylvania having con- 
tinued to vote for him since the 19th. On the next ballot, he 
received 50 votes and was nominated on the 36th, the Blaine 
strength going to him. Gen. Grant's vote remaining 306. Gar- 
field occupied his seat as delegate from Ohio during the ballot- 
ing. Chester A. Arthur of New York, was nominated for 
vice-president on the first ballot. 

The national greenback party met at Chicago, June 9. James 
B. Weaver of Iowa, was nominated for president, and E. J. 
Chambers of Texas, for vice-president. Among other declara- 
tions of principles adopted were the following: all money, 
metallic or paper, should be issued and its volume controlled 
by the government; the bonds should be paid as soon as 
possible according to contract; to enable the government to 
meet their obligations, legal -tender currency should be substi- 
tuted for the notes of national banks, and the latter abolished, 
and unlimited coinage of gold and silver; the duty of congress 
to regulate inter-state commerce — in all 14 planks. 

The national democratic convention met at Cincinnati, June 
22. The name of Samuel J. Tilden of New York, having been 
withdrawn, the principal candidates for president were Gen. 
Winfield Scott Hancock of Pennsylvania, and James A. Bay- 
ard of Delaware — Illinois voting for Col. William R. Morrison. 
The former carried off the prize on the second ballot. Wm. 
H. English of Indiana, was nominated for vice-president. 

The platform covered the following points: opposition to 
centralization and to sumptuary laws; favoring home-rule, hon- 
est money consisting of gold and silver and paper convertible 
into coin on demand; against the great fraud of 1877; for free 


ships and a living chance for American commerce; no discrimi- 
nation in favor of transportation lines, corporations, or monopo- 

The campaign of 1880 was full of life and "large endeavors." 
It was the eloquent and able statesman and soldier Garfield 
against a distinguished son of Pennsylvania and one of the 
bravest and most successful generals of the regular army. The 
pivotal point then, as it has been since, was New York which 
was carried for the republicans by a plurality of over 20,000. 

The result in Illinois was as follows: Garfield electors 317,- 
879, Hancock 277,314, Weaver 26,191, scattering 493. For 
governor, Cullom 314,565, Trumbull 277,532, Streeter 28,898, 
scattering 1075; for secretary of state. Dement 317,421, Oberly 
277,122, Thompson 26,687. The other state-officers received 
about the same aggregate vote. 



Progress— Gov. Cullom's Second Administration— Thirty- 
second General Assembly— Laws— Politics in 1882— 
Thirty- third General Assembly— Election of Cullom 
to the Senate. 

IN 1880, Illinois had fairly assumed the position of an old 
state, whose land had all been taken up, and whose popula- 
tion no longer increased at the rapid rate incident to a new 
commonwealth. The percentage of increase throughout the 
entire country was 30.08 per cent; while in Illinois, it was only 
21.18, about the same as in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, 
though exceeding that of New York and Ohio. A greater pro- 
portionate growth had, indeed, been shown by the returns from 
several southern states, notably Texas, Arkansas, and even 
South Carolina, which exhibited an increase somewhat in excess 
of the average. Illinois, however, had contributed a by-no- 
means insignificant quota of her hardy sons and daughters to 
swell the growth of more recently-settled communities. She 
had helped to raise the percentage of the increase of popula- 
tion of Kansas to the phenomenal figure of 173.35, and of 
Nebraska to 267.82, and besides had aided in the wonderful 
augmentation of that of the western territories. Illinois, never- 
theless, maintained her position as the fourth State in the 
Union, and gained an additional representative in congress. 

But while she had fallen behind in the relative percentage of 
increase of population, she had exhibited an amazing growth in 
the development of her material resources — in agricultural 
improvement, in manufactures, in the accumulation of wealth; 
and in her moral and educational facilities. Of her 35,840,000 
acres of land, over 15,000,000 acres were by this time planted 
in corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, flax, and hay, and 500,000 in 
other crops; 4,500,000 acres were in pastures, 5,500,000 in wood- 
lands and uncultivated, and 300,000 in city and village lots.* 

* Agricultural report, 1881, leaving in round numbers over 9,000,000 acres un- 
accounted for. 


ILLINOIS' PROGRESS, 1870 TO 1880. 869 

The yield of the principal cereal crops of the State for the 
years i860, 1870, and 1880, as computed in the census returns, 
which very nearly agrees with our State agricultural reports, is 
shown in the followinsf table: 












42,780,85 I 






51,1 10,502 
















As may be seen from an examination of these figures, while 
there was an increase between i860 and 1870 of 33 per cent, 
the succeeding decade showed the remarkable expansion of 114 
per cent. In the yield of the four principal cereals, corn, wheat, 
rye, and oats, Illinois led all the other American states.* 

The money value of the farm-and-orchard products of Illinois 
— as estimated by the department of agriculture at Washington 
and of the State board of agriculture for this year, 1880 — 
assumes the following magnificent proportions, exceeding five 
times the gold-and-silver product of all the mines of the entire 


Corn, $86,563,043 Buckwheat, $213,069 Pastures, $14,491,114 

Wheat, 57,910,819 Potatoes, 6,156,562 Dairy prod't, 27,000,000 

Rye, 2,226,398 Sorghum, 676,630 Poultry, eggs, 6,000,000 

Oats, 18,254,488 Hay, 22,589,691 Live stock, 50,182,654 

Barley, 77^,597 Orchards, 8,176,480 Total, $301,217,545 

The Prairie State also outranked all her sisters in the number 
of its horses, which was 1,078,000, a gain of 22 per cent; and 
stood next to Missouri and Texas in the number of mules, 133,- 
900, an increase of 44 per cent. It had 695,400 milch-cows, and 
was the fourth state in the number of its oxen and cattle, 
1,235,300, a decennial gain of 26 per cent.-f* 

Immense, however, as was the growth of the agricultural 

* " The West, " by Robert P. Porter. Census Returns. 

+ Her hogs numbered 3,202,600; the number of sheep had decreased. — Robt. P. 
Porter's "The West," 174. 


interests of the State, it was exceeded by that of manufactures. 
Let the subjoined table tell tersely the wonderful story:* 



1850 3,162 $6,217,765 11,599 $3,204,336 $8,559,327 $16,534,272 

i860 4,268 27,548,663 22,968 7,637,921 35,558,782 57,580,886 

1870 12,597 94,368,057 82,979 31,100,244 127,600,077 205,620,672 

1880 13,347 117,273,585 135,419 53.693,461 234,778,273 346,454»393 

Illinois led all the other states in the manufacture of agricult- 
ural implements, in flour-milling, in distilling, and in slaughter- 
ing and packing meat; other great industries were the manu- 
facture of iron, carriages and wagons, men's clothing, doors 
and planed lumber, furniture, boots and shoes, malt, and print- 
ing and publishing. In Chicago, where were situated the 
greater number of her plants, over 1 10,000 hands were employed. 

Her miles of railroads, which had been 4633 in 1870, had 
been extended to 7955 — exceeding the mileage of the six New 
England States by 1958, and surpassing that of New York, 
Ohio, and Pennsylvania by nearly as much — but four counties 
in the State — Calhoun, Hardin, Massac, and Pope — remaining 
untouched by the iron-horse. 

Corresponding with her growth, manufactures, and railroads, 
had been the development of her mines of coal, which had 
increased from 3,000,000 of tons in 1870, to 6,115,377 tons, a 
greater output than that of any other state except Pennsyl- 

The commerce of Illinois can be measured only by her 
enormous resources. The transactions of the Chicago clearing- 
house, for 1880, aggregated $1,725,684,898 — much more than 
double those of 1870. But while the grain, live-stock, and 
other products handled in that great city assume such immense 
proportions, the cities of Peoria, Quincy, Springfield, Bloom- 
ington, and others show correspondingly rapid strides in both 
manufactures and commerce. 

The assessed value of property, real and personal, in Illinois 
in 1880, was $786,616,394, being an increase over 1870 of over 
70 per cent. This assessed value, however, represented only 
about one-fourth of its actual worth. 

* As compiled in the "Second Report of Illinois Labor Statistics," by Col. John 
S. Lord, secretary. 


As stated by Gov. Cullom in his message to the legislature, 
Jan. 7, 1 88 1, "On the first Monday of the present month, the 
last dollar of the state debt was paid." There was yet and 
still is, however, outstanding an apparent indebtedness, purely 
nominal, of $1,165,407, which represents the amount of school- 
moneys formerly used by the State for revenue purposes. The 
faith of the State is pledged to forever pay six per cent on the 
above sum for the maintainance of public schools. There were 
also evidences of indebtedness, amounting to $23,600, which 
had been due for several years, but as they had not been pre- 
sented, the presumption was that they had been lost or de- 

The period of resumption had indeed brought with it a pe- 
riod of great prosperity and growth, not only to the people of 
this State but to those of the entire Union. Business was now 
transacted upon the basis of a sound and uniform currency. 
The supply of money on hand, instead of being reduced, as 
had been feared, had been enormously increased by the addition 
of the bullion product of the country, and the enlargement of 
the circulation of the national banks. 

The thirty-second general assembly convened Jan. 5, 1881. 
The new senators were: George E. Adams, William R. Archer 
(reelected), Andrew J, Bell, August W. Berggren, Horace S. 
Clark, Leander D. Condee, Frederick C. DeLang, to fill the 
unexpired term of W. T. Johnson, John C. Edwards, Joseph 
W. Fifer, John Fletcher, Louis Ihorn, George Kirk, William A. 
Lemma, Christopher Mamer, Thomas B. Needles — late state 
auditor, Henry H. Evans, Edward Laning, Isaac Rice, Conrad 
Secrest, Charles A. Walker who had formerly served in the 
house, Thomas M. Shaw, David H. Sunderland, John R. Tan- 
ner, George Torrance, William T. Vandeveer, and James b. 

Only thirty- one of the members elected to the house had 
formerly served in either branch of the legislature, namely: 
William H. Allen, Charles Baldwin, Joseph N. Carter, John A 
Collier, Loren C. Collins, jr., Edward L. Cronkrite, Bradford K. 
Durfee, Alexander P. Dysart, John N. English, sr., James M. 
Gregg, James Herrington, John G. Holden, Thomas F, Mit- 

* Governor's message, 1883. 


chell, Anthony R. Mock, Wm. S. Morris, William K. Murphy, 
John L. Nichols, S. F. Otman, John M. Pearson, S. R. Powell, 
Austin O. Sexton, J. W. Simonson, Devvitt W. Smith, George 
G. Struckman, Horace H. Thomas, James T. Thornton, Joseph 
Veile, B. F. Weber, J. G. Wright, Omar H. Wright, and Francis 
M. Youngblood. The sharp, staccato voice of the veteran and 
sturdy member James Herrington was again heard, but the 
reader will look in vain for the names of Isaac L. Morrison, 

A, C. Matthews, Lucien B. Crooker, B. H. Truesdell, and C. 
F. Robison, "who made Rome howl" during the two previous 

Among the new members whose names most frequently 
appear as having taken a leading part in the proceedings may 
be mentioned the following: Henry O. Billings of Madison 
County; Thomas E. Bundy of Douglas; George D. Chafee, 
Shelby; Oliver P. Chisholm, Kane; John R. Cook and Orrin 
S. Cook, Cook; Oliver Coultas, Morgan; Balfour Cowen, Macou- 
pin; A. N. J. Crook, Sangamon; MiloErwin, Williamson; James 
M. Garland, Sangamon; Albert G. Goodspeed, Livingston; 
Madison R. Harris, Cook; George W. Kroll, Cook; David T. 
Linegar, Alexander; Lewis Ludington, DeWitt; Joseph B. 
Mann, Vermilion; Robert McWilliams, Montgomery; George 

B. Okeson, McLean; Jacob C. Olwin, Crawford; Patrick O' 
Mara, Rock Island; John L. Parish, Cook; Daniel D. Parry, 
Warren; Robert N. Pierson, Cook; John N. Perrin, St. Clair; 
Herbert D. Peters, Piatt; Alexander P. Petrie, Mercer; Oman 
Pierson, Greene; James Pollock, Lake; Wm. A. Richardson, 
son 'of the ex-senator of that name, Adams; Jason Rogers, 
Macon; J. Henry Shaw, Cass; E. B. Shumway, Will; Charles 
T. Strattan, Jefferson; Edward B. Sumner, Winnebago; John 
L Underwood, Pike; John H. Welsh, Bureau: Randall H. 
White, Cook; Robert A. D. Wilbanks, Jefferson; Hannibal P. 
Wood, Knox; Henry Wood, De Kalb; .^schylus N. Yancy, 

The senate was organized by the election of William J. 
Campbell of Cook, president p7'o tempore, over Major William 
P Gallon of Morgan, by a vote of 33 to 18; James H. Pad- 
dock being reelected secretary. 

A number of names were canvassed for the speakership, but 

GOV. cullom's message. 873 

when the republican caucus met only one was presented, that 
of Horace H. Thomas, who was nominated by acclamation and 
subsequently elected, receiving 81 votes to 71 for Bradford K. 
Durfee of Macon County, the nominee of the democrats. W. 
B. Taylor was again chosen clerk. 

The city of Chicago was, for the first time, honored with 
the speakership of the house of representatives. General 
Horace H. Thomas is a native of Vermont and was educated 
at Middlebury College. After his admission to the bar in 
1859, he took up his residence in Chicago. He entered the 
army in 1861 as assistant -adjutant -general of the army of 
the Ohio, and served in that capacity until the close of the 
war. He then removed to Tennessee, where he was appointed 
upon the staff of Gov. Brownlow as quartermaster-general. He 
returned to Chicago in 1867, and was elected to the thirty-first 
and thirty-second general assemblies. He is a good parliamen- 
tarian, and made an enviable record in the speaker's chair. He 
is at present a member of the state senate from the sixth 

The biennial executive message was read to both houses on 
January 7. It was devoted to state affairs, and recommended 
the passage of a law providing for the enlargement of the 
Illinois-and- Michigan Canal, its extension to the Mississippi 
River as a national waterway, and its cession to the general 
government. Governor Cullom was inaugurated for the second 
time and entered upon his second term of ervice on January 
10. His inaugural address touched upon the subject of the 
benefits of a republican form of government in contrast with 
the monarchical constitutions of the old world, and a consider- 
able space was devoted to a discussion of questions relating to 
education and labor. Upon the latter topic, he remarked: "To 
the laboring class we look for the energy and perserverance 
which conquers all difificulties, overcomes all obstacles, and 
beautifies the path of life with the flowers of peace and pros- 
perity; labor feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, subdues the 
wilds and woods, builds our houses and cities, constructs our 
highways, lifts upon a higher plane our civilization, and makes 
the world richer, wiser, and better. Who shall decry labor or 
fail to honor him who labors.? The rail-splitter, the tailor, and 


the tanner have by labor made their homes in the White House; 
the tow-path of the canal leads today in the same direction. 
Labor to be most successful must be intelligent. It was not 
alone because these men who came from the humbler walks of 
hfe, and who achieved renown, worked with their hands, that 
honors came to them. These honors came because they fitted 
themselves for great responsibilities by labor and by mental 
training, which qualified them for any emergency. Labor 
marks the path of the world's progress." 

The thirty-second general assembly has been noted for the 
small amount of legitimate legislative work transacted, for its 
prolonged and unprofitable discussions of questions unimportant 
in themselves and promising no practical solution or result, 
and for the wholly uncalled-for length of time to which its first 
session was prolonged. The example set by preceding legisla- 
tures, regarding Saturday and Monday absenteeism, was faith- 
fully followed and even thrown into the shade. There being 
no call for any legislation on any particular subject, other than 
those of reapportionment and the canal, the taxpayers generally 
expected that the session would be a short one; but this very 
absence of any need for special action seemed to open the door 
for a greater number of vicious schemes of legislation than 
usual. There was never a session of the legislature without a 
proposed amendment to the school-law, the revenue-law, and 
the township-organization law. These all claimed attention at 
this time, besides the temperance question, the consolidation 
of the supreme court, propositions to abolish the board of 
railroad - and - warehouse commissioners, the anti -pooling bill, 
and that to regulate the rate of charges of sleeping-car com- 
panies. Fortunately, however, there was a sufficient number of 
members opposed to the various "schemes" presented to pre- 
vent their ultimate insertion in the statute-book, although there 
were times when the result seemed doubtful. 

An investigation into the actions and doings of the board of 
railroad -and -warehouse commissioners, by a legislative com- 
mittee, occupied the attention of the assembly for several 
weeks, forming an exciting side-issue which affected also other 

The investigation pertained principally to the management 


of the grain-inspection department at Chicago, and was mainly- 
directed against Commissioner Bogue. The defence of the 
commission by that gentleman was unexpectedly able, and on 
most points conclusive. He showed a thorough acquaintance 
with the questions involved, and made the way clear for a report 
from a majority of the committee sustaining the administration 
of his board. William H. Robinson, who had been appointed 
commissioner as successor to John H. Oberly, whose term had 
expired, was confirmed February 1 1 ; Smith and Bogue, reap- 
pointed, were not confirmed until March 25. 

The legislature continued in session until May 30, and as the 
outcome of its lengthy deliberations, besides the appropriation 
bills, passed the following laws; to regulate the traffic in deadly 
weapons and prevent the sale of them to minors; to prevent 
the adulteration of butter and cheese, and articles of food, 
drink, or medicine; to regulate the practice of dentistry; in- 
cluding February 22, and May 30 among the legal hoHdays; to 
regulate the practice of pharmacy; for the regulation and 
inspection of tenement houses; requiring officers to publish 
annual statements of the public funds on hand. 

Having failed to pass the apportionment bills and the nec- 
essary legislation for the proposed cession of the Illinois-and- 
Michigan Canal to the United States, the governor reconvened 
the general assembly in special session, March 23, 1882, for 
these purposes. The apportionment laws were duly passed,* as 
was also that relating to the cession of the canal, which was, as 
by law required, submitted for approval to a vote of the people 
at the November election, 1882, when it was duly ratified. 

The governor had also recommended a revision of the crimi- 
nal code, and made that one of the subjects to be acted upon 
at the called session, but after a prolonged and heated contest 
the proposition was defeated in the house. 

The republican state-convention of 1882 was held at Spring- 
field, June 28, Senator George Hunt presiding. Gen. John C. 
Smith was nominated for treasurer the second time without 
serious opposition. The contest over the nomination for state 
superintendent of public instruction, however, between James 
P. Slade, who then held the office, and Charles T. Strattan of 
* See table on next page. 



Jefiferson County, was very close, the latter being successful on 
the fourth ballot. 

The state convention of the democrats was also held at 
Springfield, September 7, ex-Gov, John M. Palmer occupying 
the chair. Alfred Orendorf of Sangamon County was nomi- 
nated for state treasurer, there being no other aspirant for the 
honor. Efforts were made to unite on the greenback ticket for 
state superintendent of public instruction but they proved un- 
successful; and although there was considerable diversity of 
opinion among the delegates, Henry Raab of St. Clair County, 
received the nomination on the second ballot. 

The platform contained the usual planks againt the extrava- 
gance of the republican party, against the tariff, and sumptuary 

Illinois Legislative Apportionment. 

The following is the party -vote of each district in l\ 
each as shown by the census of that year : 

3, and the population of 

DIS'T ^^''- 




DlS'T ^A''- "AN- 










I 5,863 





5,863 4,880 



2 6,471 





7,317 5,202 



3 7,06s 





6,176 5,756 



4 5,907 





8,586 6,895 



5 3,434 





7,8x6 6,410 


67, 104 

6 7,504 





6,274 6,157 



7 6,767 





4-611 7,373 



8 8,438 





5,402 7,114 



9 4,730 





4,987 6,113 



10 8,671 





4,481 6,413 



II 3,309 





4,248 6,555 



12 8,971 





7,103 7,793 



13 3,888 





5,476 6,196 



14 8,507 



64, 143 


5,389 6,519 



15 5,776 





5,024 4,677 



16 7,329 





5,569 5,427 



17 8,165 





5,896 6,900 



18 5,628 





6,423 6,175 



19 7,277 





4,625 6,052 



20 6,610 





5,244 6,990 



21 8,494 





5,847 5,877 



22 9,031 





5,628 5,861 



23 6,941 





6,067 4,639 



24 7,237 





4,870 5,777 



25 6,185 





5,834 5,070 



26 5,105 




— Chicago Tribune, 

May ; 

5, 1882, 


legislation, and in favor of the election of the railroad -and - 
warehouse commissioners. 

The nominees of the greenbackers were as follows: for 
treasurer Daniel McLaughlin, for superintendent of public in- 
struction Frank H. Hall. 

Still another state- ticket was in the field this year, that of 
the prohibitionists, which contained the following names: John 
G. Irwin for treasurer, and Elizabeth B. Brown for superintend- 
ent of public instruction. 

The strength of these various parties, as shown by the elec- 
tion returns, was as follows: for state treasurer, Smith 250,722, 
Orendorf 244,5,85, McLaughlin 15,511, Irwin 11,130. For state 
superintendent, Strattan 250,276, Raab 253,145, Hall 14,306, 
Brown 11,202 — Smiths plurality 6,137; Raab's 2,869; the 
republicans being in a mihority of 20,504. Strattan ran behind 
his ticket for the reason that as a member of the last legisla- 
ture, he had favored the proposition to submit to the people a 
prohibitory liquor-law. 

But while the republicans were in a minority in the State, 
they again succeeded in electing a majority of the members of 
the legislature, which was to be called upon to elect a United- 
States senator to succeed David Davis. 

The thirty-third general assembly convened January 2, 1883. 
The new senators were: George E. White, John H. Clough, W. 
H. Ruger, William J. Campbell (reelected), Wiiliam E. Mason, 
Thomas Cloonan, Millard B. Hereley, all of Coot£ County; E. 
B. Shumway of Will; Lyman B. Ray, Grundy; ^William C. 
Snyder, Fulton; Henry A. Ainsworth, Rock -^JB^^. W. 
Duncan, La Salle; Lorenzo D. Whiting, Bureau^^^^cted ; 
Henry Tubbs, Knox; Jason Rogers, Macon; Georg^Hunt, 
reelected, Edgar; Erastus N. Rinehart, reelected, Efiingham; 
Maurice Kelly, reelected, Adams; Frank M. Bridges, Greene; 
Lloyd F. Hamilton, Sangamon; David B. Gillham, Madison; 
Thomas E. Merritt, reelected, Marion; W. H. McNary, Clark; 
Henry Seiter, St. Clair; William S. Morris, Pope; and Daniel 
Hogan, Pulaski. 

Those returned to the house, who had previously served in 
that body or in the senate, were as follows: Austin O. Sexton, 
L. C. Collins, jr., George G. Struckman, and David Sullivan, of 


Cook; Charles E. Fuller, Boone; E. M. Haines, Lake; E. B. 
Sumner, Winnebago; E, L. Cronkrite, Stephenson; James 
Herrington, Kane; Henry Wood, DeKalb; J. A. Collier, Ford; 
A. G. Goodspeed, Livingston; Patrick O'Mara, Rock Island; 
David Rankin, Henderson; James T, Thornton, Putnam; John 
H. Welch, Bureau; Joseph Gallup, Marshall; Thomas F. Mit- 
chell, Mc Lean; F. M. Richardson, Cumberland; Isaac L. 
Morrison, Morgan; A. N. Yancy, Macoupin; John B. Ricks, 
Christian; John M. Pearson and Henry O. Billings, Madison; 
John L. Nichols, Clinton; F. E. W. Brink, Washington; James 
R. McFie, Randolph; James M. Gregg, Saline; David T. Line- 
gar, Alexander; Milo Exwin, Williamson; and Michael C. 
Quinn, Peoria. 

Among the new members, whose names most frequently 
appear as having taken a part in the proceedings, were: Wm. 
H. Harper, Hilon A. Parker, J. F. Lawrence, James A. Taylor, 
Edward D. Cooke, Clayton E. Crafts, Peter Sundelius, all of 
Cook County; Luther L. Hiatt, DuPage; Andrew Welsh, Ken- 
dall; William H. Emmerson, Fulton; A. S. Curtis and F. A. 
Willoughby, Knox; Wright Adams, LaSalle; Isaac N. Pearson 
McDonough; Lafayette Funk, Mc Lean; William F. Calhoun, 
DeWitt; William A. Day, Champaign; William J. Calhoun, 
and E. R. E. Kimbrough, Vermilion; T. L. Matthews, and H. C. 
Thompson, Cass; Thomas G. Black, Adams; Thomas Worth- 
ington, jr.. Pike; John H. Coats, Scott; Walter E. Carlin, Jer- 
sey; E. M. Kinman Morgan; David T. Littler, B. F. Caldwell, 
and G. W. Murray, Sangamon; E. E. Cowperthwait, Christian; 
Seth F. Crews, and G. F. Varnell, Jefferson; J. B. Messick, St.- 
Clair; R. W. McCartney, Massac; William H. Boyer, Saline; 
and William W. Hoskinson, Franklin. 

William J. Campbell was again honored with the election of 
president pro tempore of the senate, though not without a 
struggle. The republican caucus, at which he was declared the 
nominee, was held before all the senators were present, and six 
refused to be bound by its decision. Sixty- one ballots were 
taken in the senate before a result was reached in favor of 
Campbell. The democrats conferred the honor of their suffrages 
upon Thomas M. Shaw, while Isaac Rice received the votes of 
the six dissenting republicans. Campbell had made an entirely 


satisfactory presiding officer, eminently dignified and impartial, 
and the objection to him was not personal, but was intended as 
a protest against what was regarded as the premature and 
hasty action of the caucus. L. F. Watson was elected secretary 
of the senate. 

The house was organized by the election of Loren C. Col- 
lins, jr., of Cook, as speaker, over Austin O. Sexton, by a vote 
of /8 to 75, and John A. Reeve of Alexander, clerk. 

Judge Collins, one of the youngest men who had filled the 
speaker's chair in this State, was born in Windsor, Conn., Aug. 
I, 1848, and became a resident of Illinois with his father's family 
in 1866. He was graduated with honor from the Northwestern 
University at Evanston in 1872, and was shortly after admitted 
to the bar and became a successful practitioner. At the time 
of his elevation to the speaker's chair, he was serving his third 
term as a member of the house, where he had proved himself 
to be a ready debater, an excellent parliamentarian, and a 
sagacious party-leader. He was appointed one of the circuit- 
judges of Cook County in 1884, to fill a vacancy, and elected 
to a full six years' term, as his own successor, in 1885. 

The governor's message, presented January 4, embodied a 
clear and concise statement of the state finances, and of the 
satisfactory condition of the various public departments. The 
revision of the criminal code was again strongly urged upon 
the legislature and also an amendment to the state constitution 
which would give the executive the power of vetoing individual 
items or sections of appropriation bills. 

The preliminary contest among the republican candidates for 
the nomination of a United-States senator before the meeting of 
the republican caucus was active and earnest. But for the fact 
that Governor Cullom was only half through his gubernatorial 
term of four years, there would have been but little opposition 
to his selection. It was testing the fidelity of his friends to the 
utmost to ask them to help elect him to this office when he had 
two years to serve as governor; especially was this true in view 
of the fact that his election would seat in the executive chair 
one whom the party leaders would not originally have selected 
to fill that post, and whose elevation, it was found, might, in 
some instances, prove to be the occasion of their own downfall 


through the nomination of others to fill the places then held by 
them. The complications of the situation were increased and 
the prospect of Cullom by no means improved by the introduc- 
tion into the house, from the democratic side, of a resolution 
declaring that under article five of section five of the state con- 
stitution, neither of the state officers were eligible to the office 
of a senator in congress. It was so timed as to come up for 
discussion on the very day upon which the republican caucus 
was called to meet. Contrary to what, at the time, was con- 
sidered "good politics," a number of republicans voted in favor 
of the resolution, instead of for its reference to a committee, 
and thus secured its adoption. 

The caucus met on the evening of Jan. ii, 1883. The candi- 
dates besides Cullom were: ex-Gov. Oglesby, Gen. G. B. Raum, 
and Gen. Thos. J. Henderson. As already stated, Oglesby had 
not been generally considered a popular senator; Raum, while he 
had served acceptably in congress and with marked distinction 
as commissioner of internal revenue, had not gone through any 
preliminary training in the state legislature and lacked that 
official acquaintance with those who make senators, which is so 
indispensable to success. No one, indeed, except Judge Breese, 
had been sent to the senate, who had not passed through the 
general assembly. General Henderson had served with dis- 
tinguished ability in both houses of the legislature, but his last 
term of service had been before the war. Since that time, he 
had served eight years in congress making an excellent record. 

The first ballot showed the following result: Cullom 44, 
Oglesby 39, Raum 22, Henderson 9, scattering 3, necessary to 
a choice 54. The second ballot showed a change of one vote 
only, from Raum to Oglesby; on the third, Cullom gained 
three; the fourth gave him 51 votes, Oglesby 31, Raum 15, 
Henderson 9, Rinaker and Payson one each. That the tide 
had turned in the direction of Cullom was proved by the next, 
and last, ballot, he receiving 63 votes, Oglesby 23, Raum 13, 
and Henderson 7, thus securing his nomination. 

Ex-Gov. John M. Palmer was again the choice of the demo- 
crats — the honor, however, being an empty one, as there was 
no possible chance for success. The election occurred Jan. 16. 
In the senate, Cullom received 30 votes — the full party strength 


with the exception of George E. Adams, who refused to vote — 
and Palmer 20. In the house, each received 75 votes; two 
repubhcans, Emmerson and Rankin, declining to vote, there not 
being a majority in both houses, a joint-session was required 
on the next day, when Cullom received 107 votes — including 
Emmerson and Rankin, but not Adams — and Palmer 95. 

The senator-elect resigned his office as governor, February 7, 
His record of six year's continuous service, longer than any 
other governor except French, had been one of the best. Pru- 
dent, careful, and conservative in his general administration of 
affairs, he had shown vigorous, prompt, and intelligent action 
where circumstances demanded it. To the state institutions, 
the economical and efficient management of which steadily 
improved during his term, had been added the penitentiary at 
Chester, and the eastern hospital for the insane at Kankakee, 
both of them splendid structures, furnished with all improved 
appliances which modern science had discovered and approved 
for the purposes for which they were erected. Several of the 
state - bureaus were created upon his recommendation, while 
those already in operation found their sphere of usefulness 
enlarged and their dignity increased. 

As a senator in congress, his ability and activity early won 
for him both influence and prominence. His speeches attract 
attention not through their brilliancy, but rather by their prac- 
tical, business-like common-sense, and clear statement. His 
natural industry is equaled by his effective work in committees 
and by his close attention to the proceedings of the senate. 
His name is closely connected with the inter- state commerce 
law, and much of his reputation as a statesman will depend 
upon the final success of national legislation in that direction. 


Administration of Gov. John M. Hamilton — Temperance 
Legislation — Laws — Labor Problems — Riots in St. 
Clair and Madison Counties — Conventions, Platforms, 
and Elections of 1884. 

JOHN MARSHALL HAMILTON, who succeeded to the 
office of governor upon the resignation of Shelby M. Cullom, 
was born in Union County, Ohio, May 28, 1847, His father, 
Samuel Hamilton, removed to a farm in Marshall County, 
Illinois, in 1854. Though but seventeen years of age in 1864, 
he enlisted as a private in the 141st Illinois Regiment of infan- 
try, then being recruited for 100 days, and served until the regi- 
ment was mustered out. He received a classical education at 
the Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was graduated in 1868. 
He engaged in teaching at Henry, Illinois, in 1869, and was 
subsequently appointed a professor of languages in the Illinois 
Wesleyan University at Bloomington. Having been admitted 
to the bar in 1870, he entered upon the active and successful 
practice of his profession. In 1876, he was elected to the state 
senate from McLean County, and lieutenant-governor in 1880, 
as already stated. In appearance. Gov. Hamilton is tall, with 
clean-cut features, and light, sandy hair. As a public speaker, 
he is effective rather than popular or eloquent. Some of his 
forensic efforts before a jury, however, have received high 
encomiums from his fellow- practitioners. He was the young- 
est occupant of the executive chair in this State. William J. 
Campbell, president /;'<? tempore of the senate, became, ex-officio, 

Although the thirty-third general assembly continued in 
session, with the usual absenteeism of Saturday and Monday, 
until June 18, the laws of any importance enacted were few 
indeed in proportion to the length of time consumed in their 
consideration. Among the acts passed, however, was that 
commonly known as the Harper high- license law, which at- 
tracted wide attention. No subject has, perhaps, giyen rise 



to such a great variety of tentative legislation as that relating 
to the use and sale of intoxicating liquors. 

The desire, indeed, to solve the grave problem of intemper- 
ance has stimulated the most profound thought, and called forth 
the most earnest effort alike of the philanthropist and states- 
man; yet the practical result thus far attained would seem to 
leave it doubtful whether the sociologist is much nearer reaching 
a satisfactory solution than when the agitation first began. 
The evil is still present; its baleful ramihcations are as far- 
reaching as ever; and if not positively increasing, it certainly 
can not be said to be on the decline. As regards the remedy — 
if, indeed, there be one — there is a strange lack of unanimity 
of sentiment among either moralists or legislators. The dis- 
cussion of the question, however, can scarcely fail to prove 
beneficial, and may yet lead to radical and much-needed reforms 
through a harmonizing of the divergent views of the champions 
of prohibition, the supporters of local-option and high license, 
and the advocates of unrestricted personal liberty. 

The first law on the subject, passed by the first general assem- 
bly, Feb. 27, 18 19, provided for the licensing of "taverns, ale- 
houses, or dram-shops, or public-houses of entertainment" by 
county commissioners upon the payment of a sum of not ex- 
ceeding twelve dollars a year, according to location. The appli- 
cant was required to give a bond of $300, conditioned that he 
was "to be of good behavior, and observe all the laws and 
ordinances relating to inn-keepers." The commissioners were 
authorized to fix rates or prices for entertainment, and the selling 
of liquors;* to "suppress" the license of any person who should 
suffer any disorder or drunkenness or unlawful game in his 
house; he was not to harbor or trust any minors or slaves, and 
was required to furnish good entertainment for man and horse 
under the penalty of five dollars to be recovered before any 
justice of the peace. 

This law, with some minor changes, remained on the statute- 
book for twenty years. From 1838 to 1840, the subject of temper- 
ance awakened unusual attention in the State, and at the session 

* These charges in 1819 were fixed as follows: Breakfast, 25 cents; dinner, 37^ 
cents; supper, 25 cents; lodging, I2|^ cents; French brandy, 50 cents per half-pint; 
whiskey, I2_J^ cents; taffia or rum, 27 H cents; peach brandy, 25 cents. 


of the eleventh general assembly, a petition was presented from 
fourteen counties praying for the repeal of all laws permitting 
the retailing of ardent spirits; this was referred to the com- 
mittee on the judiciary, of which Colonel John J, Hardin was 
chairman. He made a lengthy and able report on the subject 
from which, to show the condition of public sentiment at that 
time, the following extracts are given: 

"To the legislator, the subject of intemperance is replete with 
interest. The moralist regards it as it affects the conduct and 
social happiness of individuals; the divine, as it influences its 
victims to disregard the thought of eternity; but it is for the 
legislator to consider it in its tendency to 'ead to a breach of 
the good order of society, to the violation of law, to crime, to 
insanity, and to pauperism. 

"There are some forms of intemperance in which its victims 
may indulge, which it does not appear to your committee that 
it is in the power of legislative enactment to prevent. If a man 
will purchase his barrel of whisky, and at home, or in solitude, 
will drink to drunkenness and thus render himself more grovel- 
ling than a beast — it has not been considered in the United 
States that this was a case which would authorize the interven- 
tion of law — here the man was abusing himself, not injuring 
the peace of society. His appropriate adviser is the moralist 
and the divine. 

"When we reflect, however, that the laws of our State, as 
they now stand, and are interpreted by those whose province it 
is to carry them into effect, not only permit, but rather to invite 
the retail of intoxicating liquors, it is surely time for the legis- 
lature of our State to consider whether there should not be a 
remedy applied to eradicate th's evil. 

"At this day, when the public mind has become so well aware 
of the paternal connection which exists between intemperance 
and crime, we will not stop to argue that question anew. Con- 
stituted, however, as the great majority of your committee is, 
of practising lawyers from various quarters of our State, we 
feel bound to add our testimony to the mass of evidence already 
given on the subject. In the large majority of the violations 
of criminal law, which have come under our observation in the 
courts of this State, the original cause of the commission of 
the crime was the use of intoxicating liquors; and in that large 
class of cases of violation of personal rights of individuals, as 
affrays, assault and battery, riots, assaults with deadly weapons, 
manslaughter and murder, we are fully convinced, from our 
observation, that from three-fourths to nine-tenths have their 
origin in the same unfortunate source. 


"Some of your committee have paid attention to this subject; 
and they are fully convinced, from the result of their inquiries, 
that not less than three-fourths of the paupers in Illinois have 
become so from the use of intoxicating liquors obtained at 
groceries. * * * 

"The reports of lunatic asylums exhibit the fact that a large 
majority of the cases of lunacy and insanity, are produced by 
this same fruitful source of misery. * * * In all countries, 
and especially in our own, insane persons are considered as 
deserving the especial protection and support of the goverment. 
How very important it is, then, to prevent the spread of this 
dreadful malady, and thus relieve an incalculable amount of 
wretchedness and misery. 

"The amount of injury which is thus shown to be produced 
on the inhabitants of this State, by the combined causes of 
crime, pauperism, and insanity, which not only effect the moral 
and social happiness of individuals, but also furnish a severe 
drain on the revenues of the State, afford conclusive proof that 
there is an evil in our system of permitting the retailing of 
spirituous liquors, which requires prompt and efficient legisla- 
tion. * * * 

"They further recommend that entire discretion be granted 
to the officers authorized to issue licenses," to grant or refuse 
them at pleasure. By giving this discretion, the people of a 
county or town may elect officers to carry out their wishes, 
either by wholly refusing to grant licenses or otherwise, as to 
them may seem proper. They would also suggest that whilst 
it is right that the power of grantirig licenses for counties be 
continued in ttie county commissioner's court, yet it does seem 
to them to be more proper to give the power of granting 
licenses in incorporated towns to the president and board of 
trustees of such towns. * * * 

"Every man has the natural right to carry arms — to sell 
poisons — to loan his money as he please — to erect a mill and 
charge any price for the use of it — to carry travelers across 
rivers and charge any price for the same he can get; yet we 
find in nearly all countries there are laws preventing the carry- 
ing of concealed weapons — preventing the sale of arsenic and 
other poisons — regulating the interest of money, the tolls of 
millers, and the rates of ferriage; and we hear but little com- 
plaint, in these cases, of depriving man of his natural rights. 
The present is precisely a case of similar character; it is for 
the legislature to determine whether the good of the many 
requires the surrender of the natural rights of the few who may 
wish to exercise this right of retailing a slow but certain poison. 
And it is not only the right of the legislature, but it is the duty. 


whenever it becomes satified that the opinions and feelings of 
the people of the State will sanction and demand it, to utterly 
abolish this practice from tJie land. 

"It will be seen that your committee have not gone, in their 
recommendation, to the extent prayed for by the petitioners; 
so as to repeal all laws authorizing the sale of intoxicating 
drinks. The reason of this is, that they have not sufficient 
evidence to induce them to believe that such is the desire of a 
majority of the citizens of the State; and whilst it is their dis- 
position to go as far as public opinion will certainly warrant, 
they can not doubt but that it is better to fall somewhat short 
of the wishes of the ardent friends of temperance, than, by 
going too far, risk the reaction of public sentiment and the 
consequent repeal of whatever law might be adopted. 

"In all moral and political movement, nothing is more to be 
dreaded than a reaction. It is better that the moralist and 
politician should rather be behind public opinion in the binding 
measures he may propose, than, by an eager zeal, rush forward 
and hazard the whole object in view, when there was no occa- 
sion for the risk. The practice of permitting the retail of 
ardent spirits has been handed down for years, and the custom 
of seeing it retailed is so habitual with many excellent citizens, 
who are not in the habit of usijag it to excess, that the proposi- 
tion to abolish all license laws, connected with the unkmd 
manner in which it is sometimes urged, seems to them an 
innovation proposed by a rash and improper spirit. It must be 
recollected, however, that the great increase of groceries is a 
practice of modern times; and in consequence of the abuses of" 
these licensed groceries, the great spirit of temperance reform 
has sprung into existence. Already are its beneficial effects 
seen pervading the length and breadth of the land, bearing with 
it peace and prosperity wherever it prevails; and whilst it uses 
arguments based on facts and depends on the influences of 
moral suasion, there is no friend of this country, and no philan- 
thropist, but what must wish it success." 

As the outgrowth of the above report, a new license-law was 
passed at this session with the following provisions: county 
commissioners were authorized to grant licenses upon the pay- 
ment of not less than $25 nor more than $300 per year; the 
court being authorized to reject any application for cause, and 
to revoke any license whenever it was satisfied the privilege 
was abused. Groceries were defined to be places where spirit- 
uous or vinous liquors were retailed in less quantities than one 
quart. In incorporated towns, the exclusive privilege of grant- 
ing licenses was given to the trustees. 

killpatrick's report, 1847. 887 

The peculiar feature of the law, establishing at this early 
date the principle of "local option," was brought out in section 
eight, which provided that "If a majority of the legal voters 
in any county, justice's district, incorporated town, or ward in 
any city, shall petition the county commissioner's court or other 
authority, authorized to grant licenses, desiring that spirituous 
liquors shall not be retailed within the bounds of said county 
district, town or city, then and in that case it shall not be law- 
ful to grant any grocery license in said county, town or ward,, 
until a majority of the legal voters of said county, district, 
town, or ward, shall in like manner petition for the granting o£ 
said licenses." 

The above-cited section eight was repealed in 1841, and the 
law otherwise amended by enlarging the definition of the word 
"grocery," and providing for the indictment of all violators of 
the law and for the imposition of a fine of ten dollars upon 
such conviction. 

No further changes in the law were made for several years, 
although the question was frequently under discussion. In 
1847, the friends of no license succeeded in procuring a favor- 
able report from a select senate committee, of which Senator 
Thomas M. Killpatrick was chairman. The following extract 
from his report shows that the committee entertained some 
advanced views on the subject: 

"Ihtt object in granting license in the first place, no doubt, 
was, to secure a revenue from the sale of liquors, upon the same 
principle that men paid for the privilege of selling dry-goods, 
or engaging in any other branch of trade. But when the evils 
accruing from the use of intoxicating drinks became manifest 
and alarming, the price to be paid for the privilege of selling 
was increased, not to operate as a tax, but as a check on the 
widespread evil growing out of the sale and use. With this 
object in view, our present license was enacted; and many of 
the most devoted friends of temperance are of opinion that if 
the consideration paid for license was increased, it would have 
a tendency to diminish the sale and use of the article. Experi- 
ence has taught us that although but few, comparatively, have 
obtained license to sell liquor in less quantity than a quart, yet 
the places where liquor is sold have been multiplied rather than 
diminished. * * * 

"The committee would take another view of this question, 
and ask, are there any evils growing out of the sale and use of 


intoxicating liquors? If so, is it right to grant by law license 
and special or exclusive privileges to any individual to engage 
in a business the tendency of which is evil and only evil. To 
answer this question, it is not necessary in this enlightened day, 
to dwell on the effects of intoxicating liquor on the intel- 
lectual, moral, or physical man. This subject is so manifest 
that all are convinced of the deadly, withering effect it has on 
the whole man. To remove this evil and restore human nature 
to the elevated position assigned it by its Maker has enlisted 
the prayer of the christian and the individual effort of the 

"As statesmen, your committee would consider it as a state 
or national evil. And first, as to revenue, the use of intoxicat- 
ing liquors has a tendency to diminish the amount of revenue 
and to increase the demand for it. The unfortunate drunkard 
is usually poor and pays no taxes; not that there is any natural 
impediment in the way of his accumulating or holding property, 
but that his habits of intemperance are such that what he 
accumulates is squandered to gratify an unnatural and ruinous 
appetite. His time and property thus wasted, he accumulates 
nothing as the basis of taxation — hence the reason why so 
many of our fellow-citizens pay nothing to defray the ordinary 
expenses of our state government. 

"That the use of intoxicating liquors increases the demand 
for revenue, the statistics of our poor-houses, alms-houses, 
insane- and mad-houses, and our jails and penitentiaries, but 
too clearly prove — a careful and impartial investigation has 
demonstrated that a large majority of the inmates of these 
retreats for the wretched and the criminal have been brought 
there by the use of intoxicating liquor. 

"The testimony of our oldest and most experienced jurists, 
together with every day's experience and observation, demon- 
strates that more than two-thirds of all the crime committed in 
the country has its origin in the same prolific source, and indeed 
it is not to be wondered at, when the use of the article has a 
tendency to stupefy and benumb the senses, to arouse all the 
angry passions of our nature, and turn the man into a demon. 
The expenses of our jails and poor-houses, as well as criminal 
prosecutions, have to be paid by the people; the property, as 
well as the benevolence and charity of the sober community, 
has to be taxed to support and maintain drunkenness among 
us. * * * 

"Such being the effects of the use of intoxicating liquors, 
whether taken in large or small quantities, the committee are 
of opinion that, to legalize the sale of ardent spirits, to grant 
license to any one to sell liquor, is, in effect, to license crime; 


or, in other words, it is granting a permit, sanctioned and sus- 
tained by law, to deal out indiscriminately an article that pro- 
duces all the evils above enumerated. The committee are not 
of opinion that the license law operates as a check to the 
evils complained of. If the law was repealed there would be 
more persons selling by the small quantity but not so many by 
the large; there would nerhaps be more money made by the 
traffic but not so much liquor sold or so many drunkards made. 
* * Your committee can not but concede to the people, 
in their associated capacity, the right to manage this matter, to 
rid themselves, if they wish it, of a traffic that has and is pro- 
ducing so much evil without any accompanying good. The 
people are the source of all power — laws should be enacted for 
their special benefit; but in a population like ours, a general 
law, obligatory alike on all, would not be safe. Some communi- 
ties may wish to continue the traffic while others may not. A 
law to prohibit the sale of the article would be in advance of 
public sentiment in many places; consequently would be disre- 
garded and rendered useless, and worse than no law. So a law 
allowing liquor to be sold where the popular voice has decided 
against it would be oppressive and wrong; hence the necessity 
of leaving it to the voice of the people in those small localities. 
If they decide in favor of selling it, let it be sold; if they 
decide against it, let the law sustain them in that decision. 
Nor can it be argued that the rights of any individual are 
invaded by this arrangement. In a government of laws, many 
of our natural rights have to be mutually surrendered for the 
public good. This principle is recognized throughout our 
statutes; hence ferries are regulated to prevent extortion; the 
sale of poison and tainted meats is prohibited to guard life and 
health; murder, robbery, theft, and counterfeiting, together 
with the whole catalogue of crime, are prohibited and the 
offenders punished to secure the public good. So let it be with 
the sale of intoxicating liquors, the great source of these evils, 
when the public sentiment has decided against it. To say that 
the people are not qualified to consider this matter is to doubt 
their ability for self-government and to distrust the essential 
principle upon which our government is founded. In the great 
state of New York, where the experiment has been tried, it 
works well and promises ultimate success. The committee, 
however, in accordance with the prayer of several petitions 
referred to them, report a bill." 

What would have been the opinions of these distinguished 

legislators in the light of the fifty years of experience on this 

subject, which have followed these reports, with the failures to 

execute prohibitory laws in localities opposed to them, and the 



demoralization of the public mind living in the daily violation 
of a statutory provision, can be only conjectured. 

No immediate result followed this report but it bore fruit at 
the session of 185 1, when an act was passed "to prohibit the 
retailing of intoxicating drinks" in a less quantity than one 
quart. The fine for violating the law was fixed at not less than 
thirty, nor more than one hundred dollars. The war between 
the temperance men and the liquor dealers, with its never- 
ceasing litigation, was violently waged for the next two years, 
when the prohibitory law was repealed and the old -license 
system restored.* 

In 1855, such had been the progress made by the opponents 
of the sale of intoxicating liquors, that they succeeded in pass- 
ing the celebrated bill entitled "an act for the suppression of 
intemperance," which in its main features was the prohibitory 
law of the state of Maine. This law was submitted to the 
people at an election held on the first Monday in June, 1855^ 
and rejected by a large majority. 

The license law thenceforth remained without material change 
until 1872, when "an act to provide against the evils resulting 
from the sale of intoxicating liquors in the State of Illinois" 
was enacted, requiring that the licensee should give a bond in 
the penal sum of $3000, with two good sureties, conditioned 
that he would "pay all damages to any person or persons which 
may be inflicted upon them, either in person or property, or 
means of support, by reason of the person so obtaining a 
license." Section five provided that the husband, wife, child, 
parent or guardian, who should be injured in person or property, 
or means of support, by any intoxicated person, or in con- 
sequence of the intoxication, habitual or otherwise, of any 
person, should have a right of action in his or her own name, 
severally or joirrtly, against any person or persons who should, 
by selling or giving intoxicating liquors, have caused the intoxi- 
cation, in whole or in part, of such person or persons; and any 
person or persons owning, renting, leasing, or permitting the 
occupation of any building or premises, and having knowledge 
that intoxicating liquors were to be sold therein, or who having 
leased the same for other purposes, shoi^ld knowingly permit 

* Laws of 1853, P'^S^ 9^- 


therein the sale of any intoxicating liquors that caused, in 
whole or in part, the intoxication of any person, should be 
liable, severally or jointly, with the person or persons selling or 
giving intoxicating liquors aforesaid, for all damages sustained 
and for exemplary damages. Other stringent provisions relat- 
ing to indictments and penalties were also contained in this law. 

All the acts on the subject were revised under the title of 
"dram-shops," in "an act to provide for the licensing of and 
against the evils arising from the sale of intoxicating liquors," 
in 1874. The provisions of the act of 1872 were reenacted, the 
sum to be paid for licenses advanced to not less than $50 nor 
more than $300, and the number of dram-shops in any county 
limited to so many as the "public good may require, the license 
therefor to be issued upon the filing of a petition signed by a 
majority of the legal voters in the town or precinct where the 
same is proposed to be located" — thus reviving the principle of 
local option. 

At the session of 1879, a petition, containing 175,000 names, 
80,000 of whom, it was stated, were voters, was presented 
praying for the requisite legislation — so that the question of 
licensing the sale of intoxicating liquors in any locality in this 
State should be submitted to, and determined by, the ballot of 
the electors thereof, in which women of lawful age should be 
allowed to vote. Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Foster of Iowa, 
and Mrs. St. John of Eureka, Illinois, on motion were invited 
to and addressed both houses in favor of the prayer of the 
petition; the senate taking a recess for tha purpose, the 
house hearing the addresses while in session. 

A bill was introduced by Representative Hinds in accordance 
with the request of the petitioners which failed to pass, receiv- 
ing 53 to 55 votes against it. A bill, containing similar pro- 
visions, failed of passage also at the session of 1881. 

Petitions, praying for a constitutional amendment, prohibit- 
ing the manufacture and sale of intoxicants in the State have 
been presented to the legislature at nearly every session since 
1875. Greater progress was reached in the nature of legislative 
action at the session of 1883, than any other, at which time, 
a resolution, introduced by Representative Manahan, providing 


for the amendment was reported back from the judiciary com- 
mittee without recommendation. A m.otion made to suspend 
the rules to consider the same was voted down by yeas 55, 
nays 61. Subsequently, the consideration of the question was 
postponed "until July 4th next" by a vote of 47 to 46, which 
disposed of it for that session. 

No further changes were made in the law until the session of 
1883, when the bill entitled "an act to restrict the powers of 
counties, cities, towns, and villages in licensing dram-shops," 
was introduced by William H. Harper, February 7. The 
change proposed by this measure, as outlined in the first sec- 
tion, is to prohibit the granting of licenses for the keeping of 
dram-shops except upon the payment of not less than at the 
rate of $500 per annum; and where malt liquors alone are sold 
$150 per annum. The bill was generally supported by the 
republicans and ably advocated, in the house where the fight 
was made, by Messrs. Harper, Morrison, W. F. Calhoun, W. J. 
Calhoun, Fuller, Littler, Parker, Adams, Mc Cartney, Worth- 
ington, and others; while it was generally opposed by the 
democrats, the following members of that party gave it their 
cordial and influential support: Messrs, Willoughby, Gregg, 
Kimbrough, Day, Felker, Welch, Greathouse, Moore, and Grear. 
It was not finally passed until June 15. The same principle of 
high license has since been adopted in Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas, 
Ohio, Minnesota, and some other states. 

That the effect of the law has been greatly to reduce the 
number of saloons, in all the larger cities, and at the same time 
largely to augment the municipal revenues, there can be no 
question — the increased receipts from this source in Chicago 
being over a million of dollars. Objectional "dives" and places 
of low resort have undoubtedly been driven out of existence, 
and it has been more difficult for their vicious patrons to gratify 
their deprived appetites than before. The character of the 
saloon has also doubtless been improved; but that any great 
number who drank before have ceased to indulge in consequence 
of the operations of this law is at least questionable. 

An incident of more than ordinary interest, connected as it 
was with the passage of the Harper high -license law, was the 


contested-election case of James B. Bradvvell, republican, versus 
Thos. J. McNally, democrat, who had received the certificate as a 
member from the third senatorial district which is made up of 
the first, second, and third wards of Chicago. Judge Bradwell 
was well known to be in favor of the high-license law, while Mc 
Nally was opposed to it. On April 19, the commiti-ee on 
elections brought in two reports, the majority being in favor of 
Bradwell and the minority supporting the sitting member. It 
required every republican vote to adopt the majority report. 
This the opponents of high- license determined, if possible, to 
prevent. By the most corrupt influences, including the use of 
money, Jesse J. Rook, elected as a republican from a Chicago 
district, permitted himself to be debauched for this purpose. 
He was generally kept out of the way, or if present, as he was 
persuaded to be on one or two occasions, although he was aware 
that his bribery had been exposed, he stubbornly refused to 
cast his vote in favor of the republican member. As a result, 
Judge Bradwell lost his seat, but the end, which it was supposed 
would be prevented by retaining the contestee, was accom- 
plished nevertheless.* 

A few other laws of general interest were enacted at this ses- 
sion, among them a revision of the statutes relating to "roads, 
highways, and bridges;" the first compulsory-education law; 
and "an act to provide for and aid training-schools for boys." 

A joint-resolution was adopted submitting an amendment to 
the constitution providing for the exercise by the executive of 
a partial veto in case of appropriation bills — which was ratified 
by the people at the election of Nov. 4, 1884, by an overwhelm- 
ing majority. 

In May, 1883, there was another outbreak among the miners 
at and near Collinsville, Madison County. The working miners, 
it was alleged by the owners of the mines, were being abused 
and maltreated by the strikers, and there was danger of a 
serious disturbance which would be disastrous to life and 
property. Upon the request of the sheriff of the county, 

* Rook, on his return home, was shunned by his former friends and late confreres 
alike. He soon after left Chicago and became a wanderer for a time without friends 
or any regular avocation. He finally became a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, where 
in July, 1890, he fell from a third-story window and received injuries from which 
he died in a few hours. 


based upon the statement that he was unable to control the 
rioters through the civil authorities, the Fifth Regiment of the 
Illinois National Guards, commanded by Col. J. H. Barkley, 
was despatched to the threatened locality, May 25. Brig.-Gen. 
Reece, commanding the second brigade, arrived on the ground 
the following day. Upon the arrival of the militia the rioters 
at Collinsville dispersed and congregated at Marissa in St. Clair 
County. At the Reinecke mine about 300 men and 50 women 
had gathered, took possession, and defied the civil authorities. 
Col. Barkley proceeded thither with his entire command. His 
troops were fired on by the rioters as they were leaving the 
cars, and the fire was returned, several volleys were exchanged, 
and one of the mob killed. Twenty- six rioters were arrested 
and the remainder dispersed. This ended the outbreak and 
peace being restored, the troops were ordered home. 

Preparations for the political conflict of the presidential year 
of 1884 began in February, when the republican state-central 
committee, as had been the custom in many previous campaigns, 
was called together for conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel 
in Chicago. As is usual on such occasions, the leading men of 
the party throughout the State were invited to attend and 
participate in the proceedings by reporting the condition of the 
party in their several congressional districts. Candidates for 
the various ofSces to be filled were also invited, and given an 
opportunity to present their best side to these "heads of messes" 
and to feel the public pulse. 

The state convention was called to meet at Peoria on April 
16 — an earlier date than ever before — and Col. Jas. A. Connolly, 
United- States district-attorney for the southern district, was 
selected to preside. Gov. Hamilton had been a candidate for 
the nomination for governor, under the mistaken idea that 
because the of^ce fell to him as lieutenant-governor in conse- 
quence of the promotion of the governor to the senatorship and 
he had discharged its duties "faithfully and conscientiously,"* 

* Extract from his public letter to the republicans of the State on withdrawing 
from the contest — "I have endeavored to discharge the grave duty of the office 
faithfully and conscientiously ever since. Under these circumstances, I thought in 
justice I ought to have one full term in the office unless the people were able to find 
some grave fault with my administration. " — Davidson and Stuve's " History of Illi- 
nois," 1004. 

CONVENTIONS, 1 884. 895 

unless the people could find "some grave fault" with his admin- 
istration, he was entitled to an election to a full term. An 
office is a public trust freely bestowed by the people, and can 
not be claimed as a right by an incumbent who has been so 
fortunate as to fill it with general approval, let alone by one 
who can only lay claim to the negative qualification of not 
having committed grave faults. Perceiving that public senti- 
ment unmistakably tended in favor of another, he wisely with- 
drew from the contest. The favorite was ex -Gov. Oglesby, 
the veteran of 1864, who, although "his hair was silvered o'er 
and there was that in him which smacked of the age and s?,lt- 
ness of time," possessed a spirit yet young and a vigor of 
intellect yet unimpaired. His nomination was made by accla- 
mation. General John C. Smith was the choice for lieutenant- 
governor, receiving 511 votes to 236 for Gen. John I. Rinaker, 
and 43 scattering. Henry D. Dement was renominated for 
secretary of state with but slight opposition. The candidates 
for treasurer were Jacob Gross of Cook, Frederick Becker of 
St. Clair, D. T. Littler of Sangamon, and Frederick Remann of 
Fayette. The contest was a close one, after the withdrawal 
of the others, between the two first named, resulting in the 
success of Gross by a vote of 425 to 338 for Becker. There 
was also an animated struggle over the nomination of attorney- 
general between James McCartney, the then incumbent, and 
Senator George Hunt, the latter carrying off the prize by the 
close vote of 421 to 352. Charles P. Swigert was renominated 
for auditor of public accounts by acclamation. 

The enthusiastic choice of the convention for president was 
expressed in favor of Illinois' distinguished son. Gen. John A. 
Logan, and a nearly unanimous delegation in his favor was sent 
to the national convention.* 

* At large: Shelby M. Cullom, John M. Hamilton, Burton C. Cook, Clark E. 
Carr; ist district, J. L. Woodward, Abner Taylor; 2d, W. H. Ruger, C. E. Piper; 
3d, George R. Davis, J. R. Wheeler; 4th, Samuel B. Raymond, L. C. Collins, jr.; 
5th, L. M. Kelley, Charles E. Fuller; 6th, Norman Lewis, O. C. Town; 7th, I. G. 
Baldwin, H. T. Noble; 8th, R. W. Willett, A. J. Bell; 9th, S. T. Rogers, Thomas 
Vennum; loth, W. W. Wright, R. H. Whiting; nth, C. V. Chandler, C. A. 
Ballard; I2th, A. C. Matthews, William W. Berry; 13th, Dr. Wm. Jayne, D. C. 
Smith; 14th, Jos. W. Fifer, George K. Ingham; 15th, Charles G. Eckhart, L. S. 
Wilson; i6th, Charles Churchill, Harrison Black; 17th, John I. Rinaker, J. M. 
Truett; i8th, R. A. Halbert, H. Reuter; 19th, Thomas S. Ridgway, C. T. Strattan; 
20th, T. M. Simpson. W. McAdams. 


The platform contained several new planks, as follows: in 
favor of a readjustment of the revenue law; and of a revision 
of the criminal code; the duty of state and national legislators 
to enact laws in the interest and for the protection of labor; 
favoring laws to promote the fidelity and efficiency of the civil 

The republican national convention met at Chicago, June 3, ' 
1884. James G. Blaine was nominated for president on the 
fourth ballot, and John Alexander Logan for vice-president by 
a unanimous vote.* ^ 

The democratic state-convention met at Peoria on July 2. "J 
Judge Monroe C. Crawford was selected as the permanent 
president, and William J. Mize, secretary. 

Upon the presentation of the platform, a heated discussion 
was precipitated by Carter H. Harrison on the question of 
instructing the delegates to the national convention to vote as 
a unit in favor of a tariff for revenue only, which he moved to 
strike out. The debate was continued amid great confusion 
and excitement by Gen. Palmer, Col. W. R. Morrison, opposing 
the motion, and others. The motion to strike out the instruc- 
tions was carried by a vote of 753 to 623. 

Carter H. Harrison was nominated for governor and Henry 
Seiter for lieutenant-governor by general consent. The other 
nominees were as follows: Michael J. Dougherty for secretary 
of state, Alfred Orendorf for treasurer; Walter E. Carlin for 
auditor, and Robert L. McKinlay for attorney general. 

The platform contained strong resolutions against the tariff, 
all sumptuary legislation, and the republican party, and in 
favor of the rights of labor, wage-workers, honest money, and 
home rule.f 

* Ballotings for republican candidate for president, 1884: 






























t The delegates appointed to the national convention were, as follows: at large, 
John M. Palmer, William R. Morrison, John C. Black, Lambert Tree; ist district, 
Joseph C. Mackin, W. C. Seipp; 2d, E. F. Cullerton, J. H. Hildreth; 3d, Carter 
H. Harrison, Christian Casselman; 4th, Harry Reubens, Frederick H. Winston; 
5th, J. F. Glidden, G. W. Renwick; 6th, T. J. Shehan, F. H. Marsh; 7th, C. H. 


The nominees of the greenback party were, as follows: for 
governor, Jesse Harper; lieutenant-governor, A. C. Vander- 
water; secretary of state, H. E. Baldwin; treasurer, Benjamin 
W. Goodhue; auditor, E. F. Reeves; attorney-general, John N. 
Gwin. Their convention was held at Springfield in July. 

The prohibition state-convention was held again at Bloom- 
ington, June 18, and nominated the following ticket: for gov- 
ernor, J. B. Hobbs; lieutenant-governor, James L. Ferryman; 
secretary of state, C. W. Enos; treasurer, Uriah Copp; auditor, 
A. B. Irwin; attorney-general. Hale Johnson. 

The democratic national convention met, also at Chicago, 
July 10, Gov. Grover Cleveland of New York was nominated 
for president on the second ballot, and ex-Senator Thomas A, 
Hendricks of Indiana for vice-president. 

The nominees of the "greenback national" party at their 
convention held at Indianapolis, May 28, were Gen. Benjamin 
F. Butler of Massachusetts for president, and Gen. A. M. West 
of Mississippi for vice-president. 

The "prohibition, home protection" party nominated its 
ticket at Pittsbuig, July 23, as follows: for president, John P. 
St. John of Kansas, and for vice-president William Daniel of 

The national battle-ground in 1884, as it had been in 1880, 
was New York, where the contest was so evenly waged that for 
two weeks after the election the result was still in doubt, both 
parties claiming success. The official count, however, gave the 
state to Cleveland by the small plurality of 1047 votes; and for 
the first time in twenty- eight years, the democrats succeeded 
in electing their candidate for president. 

In Illinois, the returns showed the following result: 
For the Blaine electors, 337,469 Cleveland electors, 312,3151 
For St. John, - 12,074 Butler, - 10,776 

McCouthre, Sherwood Dixon; 8th, A. J. O'Connor, J. R. S. Scoville; 9th, Andrew 
Kerr, W. R. Dunn; loth, S. P. Shope, Strother Givens; nth, B. T. Cable, John 
Hungate; 12th, Ellis Briggs, W. L. Vandeventer; 13, W. P. Callon, Benjamin 
Prettyman; 14th, A. E. Stevens, Charles A. Ewing; 15th, J B. Mann, William A. 
Day; i6th, W. B. Parsons, J. H. Hawley; 17th, Anthony Thornton, Jesse J. 
Phillips; i8th. William H. Kane, Douglas Haile; 19th, Charles E. McDowell, W. 
A. J. Sparks; 20th, William J. Allen, William H. Green. 


On state officers, it was as follows: 

Governor, - \ . 

( Harrison, 

Secretary of State \ ' 

I Dougherty, 






















The figures for the other state-officers were about the same 
as those for auditor. 

A new and important question was presented to Governor 
Hamilton growing out of the election of a senator in the sixth 
district of Cook County. The returns showed that Rudolph 
Brand received 6696 and Henry W. Leman 6686 votes, but the 
state board of canvassers reported to the governor that from 
the statements and affidavits presented with the returns, Leman 
in fact had received a majority of 390 votes; the board reported 
further that being in doubt as to who did receive the highest 
number of votes they declined to certify the election of either 

Upon this state of facts, the governor took the ground that, 
under the circumstances, he had a right to go behind the 
returns, and becoming satisfied upon careful investigation that 
the original returns as made out were fraudulent, and that 
Leman had received a majority of the votes polled, he assumed 
the responsibility and issued to him the certificate of his election. 
And by this determined and unprecedented action, the governor 
thwarted that scheme, conceived after the election, when it was 
discovered that this one vote in the senate would secure a 
democratic majority in the legislature and the election of a 
democratic United-States senator in the place of Gen. Logan. 

The action of the governor in thus converting a merely minis- 
terial act into a judicial enquiry was severely criticised at the 
time, but he was sustained by the legislature, by the press, 
and by the public generally.* 

The message of Gov. Hamilton to the thirty- fourth general 

* The perpetrators of the fraud were indicted and three of them convicted in the 
United-States district-court, and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of two 
years and to pay a fine of five thousand dollars. The case being removed to the 
United-States circuit-court, the defendants were admitted to bail, and upon the 


assembly was an intelligent and business-like statement of the 
financial and institutional interests of the State. Of the old 
bonds which had been supposed lost or destroyed one for $500 
had been presented for payment. It now amounted to $1145. 

In view of the frauds in the sixth senatorial district, the 
governor recommended that the election law be amended so 
that election precincts should not contain more than 300 voters; 
and that the registry of voters be completed ten days before 
the election. 

Owing to the failure of the house to organize, Gov. Oglesby 
was not sworn in until January 30, 1885. Soon afterward, ex- 
Gov. Hamilton removed to Chicago, where he now resides, 
practising his profession. 

hearing, before Judges Harlan and Gresham, a divided oprnion was certified to the 
supreme court of the United States. Joseph C. Mackin, one of the defendants, 
•was subsequently tried, in the criminal court of Cook County, on a charge of perjury- 
for swearing falsely as a witness in the case, and sent to the penitentiary for four 

Another event of this period, the Haymarket riots of May 4, 1886, although 
local to Chicago in its immediate bearings, was of national importance. The 
communistic element in the city, confined mostly to foreigners, took advantage of 
the eight-hour labor strike of May I, 1886, to precipitate the fearful catastrophe 
which had been long premeditated. It is impossible within the limits here pre- 
scribed to set forth the injurious extent to which this element of anarchy carried 
its defiance of law and order in their meetings and through their press. 

At one of these meetings at the Haymarket, on the evening of May 4, every 
means to aggravate an already- excited populace was resorted to, including the 
circulation of hand -bills inciting the people "To arms! We call you to arms!" 
A great crowd assembled, which became frenzied with excitement, and when the 
police approached the wagon used for a stand, to order the people to disperse, a 
speaker said: "There are the bloodhounds coming; do your duty and I will do 
mine. " As the police came up a bomb was thrown and exploded in their midst, 
followed by the sharp report of fire-arms. Seven policemen were killed and sixty 
wounded. The number of casualties among the rioters, certainly very large, has 
never been ascertained. August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Albert R. 
Parsons, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, and Samuel Fielden, leaders of the mob, 
were arrested and tried for murder, and all found guilty; the four first named 
being hung, November 11, 18S7; Lingg committed suicide, and the sentences ol 
Schwab and Fielden were commuted to life -terms in the penitentiary. 


Second Administratic/n of Oglesby — Thirty-fourth General 
Assembly — The Logan -Morrison Contest for United- 
States Senate — Special Election in the Thirty-fourth 
District — Laws — Strikes — Conventions and Elections 
of 1886 — Thirty -fifth General Assembly — Election of 
Farwell to the Senate, vice Logan deceased — Laws — 
Conventions and Elections of 1888. 

THE nomination and election of Gen. Oglesby to the office 
of governor for the third term, an interval of twenty 
years having elapsed between the first and last event, was a 
political triumph as creditable to the party to which he had 
been always steadfast as it was personally gratifying to him. 
Perhaps no other similar instance of gubernatorial preferment 
can be found in the history of the states. The record of his 
first term had been without a stain; his second term had 
scarcely begun when he was elected to the United-States senate, 
as a candidate for which office, during the interim between his 
second and third terms, he was twice defeated; and it was 
asserted in some quarters that the governor had been relegated 
to the category of "back numbers." But when the republican 
convention of 1884 was called, remembering the telling blows 
which he had dealt the opposition during previous campaigns, 
all eyes were turned toward the favorite of 1864, who had 
never disappointed their expectations.* 

Gen. John Corson Smith, the lieutenant-governor elect, was 
born in Philadelphia, Penn., February 13, 1832. He became a 
resident of Illinois in 1854, and being a practical carpenter, suc- 
cessfully engaged in the business of a builder and contractor at 
Galena. He enlisted as a private in what was afterward known 
as Company I, 96th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and was 
elected captain. Upon the organization of the regiment, he 
was chosen major and for gallant service on the staff of Gen. 

* H. J. Caldwell was appointed the governor's private secretary, having acted in 
that capacity while he was senator. 



James B. Steedman at Chickamauga was promoted lieutenant- 
colonel. He commanded his regiment at the battles of Resaca 
and New Hope; and at Kenesaw, where he commanded a bri- 
gade, he was severely wounded. At the close of the war, he 
was brevetted a brigadier-general "for meritorious services." 

After the war, Gen. Smith removed to Chicago and engaged 
in business on the board of trade. In 1877, he was appointed 
chief grain-inspector, and as has been shown, was elected state 
treasurer in 1878, and reelected in 1882. In all of these posi- 
tions, as in that of lieutenant-governor, the general acquitted 
himself as a competent, obliging, and trustworthy officer, enjoy- 
ing the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. 

The campaign of 1884 showed some surprising features. 
The republicans carried the State by a small majority for their 
presidential ticket and for all the state officers except governor, 
Oglesby running considerably behind in Cook County. This 
fact may be explained by the circumstance that his opponent, 
Carter H. Harrison, through personal popularity and the opera- 
tion of local influences, succeeded in carrying that county by 
a majority of 103, although the same county gave Blaine a 
plurality of 8622 over Cleveland. Notwithstanding its suc- 
cess upon the state and presidential tickets, however, the party 
failed to secure a majority of the thirty- fourth general assem- 
bly, which was chosen at the same election. 

The senate stood 26 republicans, 24 democrats, and one 
greenback-democrat. In the house, the two leading parties 
numbered ^6 members each, with E. M. Haines calling himself 
an independent, holding the balance of power. 

The new members of the senate were: Charles H. Crawford, 
Thos. A. Cantwell, and Henry W. Leman from Cook County; 
Ira R. Curtis, Mc Henry; Edward B. Sumner, Winnebago; 
James S. Cochran, Stephenson; Henry H. Evans, reelected, 
Kane; Hamilton K. Wheeler, Kankakee; George Torrence, 
reelected, Livingston; Green P. Orendorff, Tazewell; August 
W. Berggren, reelected, Knox; Alson J. Streeter, Mercer; 
Andrew J. Bell, Peoria; Lafayette Funk, McLean; Martin B. 
Thompson, Champaign; Henry Van Sellar, to fill out the term 
of Geo. Hunt, resigned, Edgar; Wm. B. Galbraith, Coles; John 
M. Darnell, Schuyler; James W Johnson, Pike; David Gore, 


Macoupin; Elizur South worth, Montgomery; Wm. S. Foreman, 
Washington; Robley D. Adams, Wayne; Richard L. Organ, 
White; John J. Higgins, Perry; and George W. Hill, Jackson. 

The following members of the house had served previously: 
Robert B. Kennedy, William H. Harper, Hilon A. Parker, 
John W. E. Thomas, John Humphrey, George G. Struckman, 
Clayton E. Crafts, Charles E. Fuller, E. M. Haines, Albert F. 
Brown, E. L. Cronkrite, P. A. Sundelius, Luther L. Hiatt, 
Andrew Welch, Albert G. Goodspeed, Henry C. Cleveland, 
Thomas Nowers, jr., Albert W. Boyden, S. H. West, William 
F. Calhoun, E. R. E. Kimbrough, John W. Moore, Benjamin F. 
Caldwell, Charles A. Keyes, George H. Varnell, Joseph B. 
Messick, and David T. Linegar. Among the new members, 
taking leading parts, may be mentioned the following: Abner 
Taylor, Thomas C. Mc Millan, Henry S. Boutell, Francis W. 
Parker, James Pollock, Frederick S. Baird, John Stewart, 
Henry C. Whittemore, William M. Hanna, Charles Bogardus, 
Robert E. Logan, Orrin P. Cooley, Clarence R. Gittings, James 
H. Miller, S. B. Kinsey, Ivory H. Pike, Virgil S. Ruby, Perry 
Logsdon, J. Henry Shaw, Frederick P. Taylor, James M. Dill, 
Samuel Mileham, William H. Collins, William H. Breckenridge, 
Byron McEvers, Theodore S. Chapman, Edward L. McDonald, 
Charles Kerr, Wilham R. Prickett, and John Yost.* 

The republicans organized the senate on the first day of the 
meeting of the general assembly, Jan. 7, 1885, by the election 
of William J. Campbell president pro te7npore. The eminent 
fitness of Mr. Campbell for this position is evidenced by his elec- 
tion for a third term. Although born in Philadelphia in 1850, 
his father removed to Cook County in this State, when his son 
was but two years of age and there he has resided ever since. 
His attendance at the Chicago public schools was supplemented 
by two years study at the University of Pennsylvania. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1875, and is now among the leading 
members of his profession in Chicago. Mr. Campbell is not 
distinguished as a public speaker, but he possesses executive 
abilities of the highest order. His smooth and clean adminis- 
tration of affairs in the senate was the theme of just encomium 
on all sides. Lorenzo D. Watson was reelected secretary. 

* A complete list of all the members will be found in the Legislative Record. 


The organization of the house was not so easily effected. 
The republican caucus nominated Charles E. Fuller of Boone 
for speaker, and the democratic, Edward L. Cronkrite of 
Stephenson. The candidates for temporary speaker were E. 
M. Haines and Joseph B. Messick of St. Clair, the former being 
elected on January 8. Other temporary officers, the democratic 
nominees, were elected on the same day. 

The time of the house was occupied in preliminary motions 
— which were usually declared out of order by the speaker — in 
appeals from his decisions, and in calling the roll on motions to 
adjourn until January 21, when Haines resigned the chair. He 
was succeeded by E. L. Cronkrite, who occupied the position of 
temporary speaker until January 29, when the democrats find- 
ing it impossible to elect their own candidate, concluded once 
more to accept Haines as the lesser of two evils. The ballot 
stood y8 for Haines, who received the vote of his opponent and 
of E. A. Sittig, republican, of Cook; and 74 for Fuller; and one, 
Haines, for Cronkrite. The other permanent officers upon the 
democratic slate, including Robert A. D. Wilbanks as clerk, 
were also elected. The new state-officers were inaugurated on 
January 30. 

The public interest taken in the work of the organization of 
the general assembly was intense. Yet it dwindled into insig- 
nificance in comparison with the excitation of feeling aroused 
by the subsequent contest over that far more important event, 
the election of a United-States senator, which was regarded as 
fraught with such momentous consequences as to lead to the 
perpetration of a grave crime with a view to controlling the 

Had the conspiracy to seat Rudolph Brand as a member of 
the senate been successful, the election of a democrat as the 
successor of Gen. Logan would have followed with reasonable 
certainty, which event would probably have changed the politi- 
cal complexion of the United-States senate. The first part of 
the scheme had failed as hereinbefore related, but should Haines 
— who had just been chosen speaker by democratic votes — act 
with the party which had elevated him to that office, Logan's 
defeat was assured. 

The choice of the democrats for senator, as shown in their 


caucus was unmistakably Col. William R. Morrison, although 
his selection was not so unanimous as was that by the republi- 
cans of Gen. Logan. In the case of the latter, it was admitted 
that there were two or three representatives, whose preference 
was for somebody else; while the number of those of his 
fellow- democrats who would probably refuse to support Col. 
Morrison was still larger. 

On February lo, the day fixed by law for the taking of the 
first ballot, no vote was had in the senate and but an informal 
one in the house. The contending parties did not meet face to 
face in joint-session until the i8th, when there were present 51 
senators and 151 representatives, and the first complete ballot 
disclosed the following result: for Logan loi, Morrison 94, 
Haines 4, and 3 scattering — Logan lacking one vote of an elec- 
tion. On the 19th and 20th, every member of both houses 
was present and the balloting was continued with about the 
same results. These were the only days that both parties met 
in joint-session and voted during the months of February, 
March, and April. Sometimes one side, sometimes the other, 
sometimes both sides refrained from voting, the object being to 
break a quorum. 

Had it entered the head of Speaker Haines, who was in- 
clined to take original and striking views, to rule as did Speaker 
Reed in the fifty-first congress, that the speaker had a right to 
count those as present who had been considered constructively 
absent because they refused to vote, a conclusion must inevitably 
have been reached long before it was. 

To lend additional complications to the contest during its 
pendency, the seats of two members of the house and one 
senator became vacant by death. These events occurred in 
the following order: Robert E. Logan, republican, of the nine- 
teenth district, died February 26; Senator Frank M. Bridges, 
democrat, of the thirty - seventh district, March 20; and J. 
Henry Shaw, democrat, of the thirty-fourth district, April 13. 
Elections were called by the governor, and these vacancies filled 
as soon as possible — Dwight S. Spafibrd, republican, succeeded 
Logan; and Robert H. Davis, democrat, succeeded Bridges. It 
was the masterly capture of the thirty-fourth district, which 
had given Cleveland a plurality of 2060 votes, by the republi- 


cans which changed the aspect of the struggle and secured the 
success of Logan. 

When the death of Robt. E. Logan occurred, there were some 
hints thrown out that the democrats intended to elect his suc- 
cessor on the "still-hunt" plan, but the district was so over- 
whelmingly republican and well organized that it was found 
impracticable to make the attempt. The same thing occurred 
on the demise of Senator Bridges, but the democratic majority- 
was so large in his district that it was considered useless to 
undertake to overcome it. Gen. Logan, however, was not of 
this opinion and when, soon after the death of Shaw, he received 
a letter, from Henry Craske of Rushville, suggesting a plan to 
carry the district, followed soon after by other letters from 
other counties, the question began to receive serious considera- 
tion. Several schemes were presented, one of which was the 
use of money, another to work through the grand army, and 
others equally wild and untenable. At length, a conference 
was held between the general, Daniel Shepard, secretary of the 
republican state- central committee, Samuel H. Jones, an old 
and skilful wire-puller, who remembered how the democrats had 
elected the successor of Abraham Lincoln in 1854 under similar 
circumstances, and Jacob Wheeler, a former resident of the 
thirty-fourth district and then United States marshal, which led 
to the adoption of the plan which was crowned with success. 

John T. Beekman of Schuyler County was first mentioned as 
the candidate but upon further consultation, the name of Capt. 
William H. Weaver of Menard County was substituted — a 
change which owing to the delay in delivering the tickets in 
Schuyler County, where the name of Beekman had been used 
and tickets sent to some precincts, had well-nigh proved fatal 
to the whole scheme. The tickets were printed and sent to the 
different counties by Wells Corey of the Mason City Journal, 

The plan to contest the district was sacredly kept in the 
breasts of a few men in each county, and only communicated 
to those whom it was necessary to employ to distribute the 
tickets, the day before the election. The instruments selected 
for this work were insurance, lightning-rod, and sewing-machine 
agents, and cattle and hog buyers, who religiously discharged 
the trust committed to their hands. 


Everything was done according to the program. Voters were 
instructed not to go to the polls before three o'clock and not to 
excite suspicion by displaying their printed tickets. In a few 
instances only, the democrats discovered that something unusual 
was going on but it was too late in the day to rally the party 
strength. Everything "worked together" to help out the plan. 
Speaker Haines and a large number of the members of the legis- 
lature had accepted an invitation to visit the exposition at New 
Orleans on May i, and between that period and the 6th — the 
day of the election — "the bugles sounded a truce" in the sena- 
torial fight, and the meetings of the two houses of the general 
assembly were merely perfunctory. Morrison took advantage 
of the situation to pay a visit to Washington feeling assured 
that there was no danger of surprise. It is true, however, that 
there were not wanting democrats outside of the district who 
were anxiously observing the situation and warned leading men 
to be watchful and wary. So secret had every arrangement 
been carried out that Judge Bagby, a leading democrat of Rush- 
ville, feeling that all was right, left home for St. Louis on the 
6th without voting, although he had received a dispatch that 
morning from Scott Wike stating that he had heard rumors of 
a movement to beat Leeper, the democratic candidate, and 
advising him to "sound the alarm." Similar notes of warning 
were sent into other counties all of which were unheeded. 

So well had the plans been executed that it was not until 
the votes were counted that the extent of the republican 
victory was known. Weaver carried three out of the four 
counties — Menard, Mason, and Schuyler, and was elected by 
336 majority. The astonishment and chagrin of the democrats 
over their defeat is indiscribable and was only equalled by the 
exuberant joy of the republicans. Of course all the time the 
law allowed was consumed in canvassing the returns, but no 
unnecessary or unusual impediments in the way of seating 
Capt. Weaver were interposed and he was sworn in on May 15. 

On May 14, knowing it would be the last opportunity, a 
supreme effort was made by the friends of Morrison to secure 
his election. Every democrat was present, and he received loi 
votes — the republicans not voting — lacking two votes of a 
majority. It was his last chance, and on the fourth ballot, the 


democrats began to concentrate on ex-Judge Lambert Tree of 
Chicago, who, on the sixth ballot also received loi votes. No 
further ballots were taken until the i8th, when upon the meet- 
ing of the joint-assembly every member was present, and Gen. 
Logan, receiving 103 votes to 96 for Judge Tree and 5 scatter- 
ing, was duly elected. Prolonged cheers and shouts greeted 
the announcement of this result, and Gen. Logan was brought 
to the rostrum and made a happy address. The struggle on 
the part of the principal contestants had been conducted in 
perfect good feeling, with a chivalrous regard for fair play on 
the part of each, and ended with no bitterness other than that 
disappointment which usually follows defeat. Telegrams, con- 
gratulating the general on his great victory, poured in from 
Washington and all the leading cities of the Union. 

Up to the time of the election of senator, although over 
four months of the session had passed, but little legislative 
business had been consummated — of the 400 and more bills 
introduced in the senate and 600 in the house, two or three only 
had been enacted into laws. 

The new board of railroad -and -warehouse commissioners 
was appointed and confirmed on April 2, as follows: John L 
Rinaker, William T. Johnson, and Benjamin F. Marsh. The 
grain -inspector, Frank Drake, appointed by Gov. Hamilton, 
was confirmed, February 24. The new board of canal-com- 
missioners, although their names were sent to the senate April 
20, were not confirmed until May 28; they were, as follows: 
George F. Brown, Isaac Taylor, and A. Lieberknecht. 

A determined effort was now made to go to work in earnest 
and complete the appropriation bills and perfect such other 
measures as might be deemed desirable. Then followed the 
usual contentions over conflicting schemes, including squabbles 
with the speaker who had not grown in popularity since his 
occupancy of the chair in 1875 and who shaped his rulings with 
a view to the success of the measures in whose passage he took 
an interest. An attempt was made, June 4, to suspend the 
rules, for the purpose of introducing a resolution to depose the 
speaker and elect another in his place, which failed. But out 
of the heated discussion which the effort brought forth grew an 
investigation of charges against certain members of bribery 


and corruption, A committee was appointed, but the testimony- 
was conflicting and no tangible result was reached. It seemed 
to clear the legislative atmosphere, however, as from this time 
forth the proceedings of both houses were characterized by 
diligent attention to business, resulting in the passage of many 
commendable laws. The speaker having vacated the chair on 
the last afternoon of the session, June 26, Charles E, Fuller 
filled the place until the final adjournment, receiving the thanks 
of the body for his courtesy and the successful dispatch of 

During the closing hours. Gov, Oglesby visited both houses 
and a speech from him was demanded — an innovation which 
called forth happy responses, his excellency stating that the 
verdict of the people would be that the thirty- fourth was "a 
respectable and honorable general assembly." 

Among the laws passed were the following: appropriating 
^531,712 for the completion of the state-house, under the law 
passed by the thirty-third general assembly and ratified by the 
people, Nov. 4, 1884; revising the law in relation to contagious 
■diseases of animals, and providing for a live-stock commission; 
to establish a soldiers' and sailors' home, subsequently located 
at Quincy; to protect all citizens in their civil rights; requiring 
judges of the appellate court to file written opinions in all cases 
upon final hearing; to regulate the granting of continuances in 
criminal cases, so that it shall not be required to admit the 
absolute truth of the matter set up in the affidavit for continuance, 
but that only such absent witness, if present, would testify as 
alleged in the affidavit; to provide for drainage for agricultural 
and sanitary purposes; the Curtis election law, regulating the 
holding of elections in cities, for election commissioners, et cetera 
— the law now in force in Chicago and other large cities; the 
Crawford law to regulate primary elections of volunteer politi- 
cal associations; relating to fire-escapes for buildings; new laws 
on the subjects of fish and game, and mines and mining; to 
increase the powers of railroad corporations, authorizing con- 
solidations of connecting lines and to borrow money. 

A joint -resolution was adopted submitting an amendment 
to the constitution providing that "hereafter it shall be un- 
lawful for the commissioners of any penitentiary or other 


reformatory institution in the State of Illinois, to let by con- 
tract to any person, or persons, or corporations, the labor of any 
convict confined within said institution," This was ratified by 
the people at the November election, 1886, by a majority of 
19,525 on a total vote cast of 574,080. 

A joint-resolution was also adopted providing for the appoint- 
ment of a committee of twelve men, to be equally divided 
between the two leading political parties of the State, with 
authority to propose and frame a new revenue code. They 
were to meet on the first Wednesday in September, 1885, ^^ 
Springfield, and to furnish a copy of their report to the secre- 
tary of state by the first of March, 1886. This committee was 
made up of the following distinguished citizens: Milton Hay, 
Sangamon County, chairman; Andrew D. Duff, Jackson; Hora- 
tio C. Burchard, Stephenson; W. Selden Gale, Knox; E, B. 
Green, Wabash; Charles D. Waller, Frank P. Crandon, and 
George Trumbull, Cook; Charles A. Ewing, Macon; William 
C. Wilson, Crawford; Charles W. Thomas, St. Clair; and Benj. 
Warren, sr., Hancock. 

The political events of 1886 were of the usual off-year de- 
scription. The democrats, being in power in the national gov- 
ernment, were the first to call their state convention which met 
at Springfield, August 26. Henry Francis J. Ricker, of Adams 
County, was nominated for treasurer, and Franklin T. Oldt, of 
Carroll, for state superintendent of public instruction. The 
platform, read by Melville W. Fuller, in addition to former 
utterances on the tariff and cognate subjects, embraced the 
following points: opposition to the ownership of real estate by 
foreigners, and to the importation of foreign labor; hostility to 
the prohibition, by the constitution or general laws, of the man- 
ufacture or sale of vinous, malt, or spirituous liquors as being 
in violation of individual and personal right and contrary to 
the fundamental principles of a free government; favoring the 
proposed constitutional amendment regarding the letting of 
convict labor on contract. 

The republican state-convention met September i, and nomi- 
nated the following ticket: Senator John R. Tanner, Clay 
County, for state treasurer, and Richard Edwards, of Bureau 
County, for state superintendent of public instruction. 


A departure from the ordinary custom of republican state- 
conventions was made in the refusal to appoint any members 
of the state central committee from the State at large. The 
platform adopted agreed with that of the democrats in oppos- 
ing land ownership by non-resident aliens and in endorsing the 
proposed constitutional amendment regarding contract labor. 
It also approved of the inter-state commerce law as championed 
by Senator Cullom, and recommended a revision of the state 
revenue system, to relieve small property holders who con- 
tributed more than their pro-rata share to the public burdens 
of taxation. 

The nominees of the greenback -labor party were John Bud- 
long for treasurer, and Daniel L, Braucher for superintendent 
of public instruction; while those of the prohibitionists were 
Henry W, Austin for the former office, and Ulrich Z. Gilmer 
for the latter. The result at the polls of these various candi- 
dacies was as follows: for state treasurer. Tanner 276,680, 
Ricker 240,864, Budlong 34,821, Austin 19,766 For superin- 
tendent of public instruction: Edwards 276,710, Oldt 246,782, 
Braucher 34,701, Gilmer 19,402; showing that while the repub- 
licans elected their state ticket by a plurality of over 35,000, 
they were in a minority in the state of over 18,000. 

Serious labor troubles, followed by strikes and disturbances 
of the peace, occurred in 1885 and 1886. The first of these 
was at Joliet and Lemont, May i and 4, among the stone- 
quarrymen, where the outbreak assumed such character as to 
justify, in the opinion of the sheriffs of Will and Cook counties, 
a call upon the governor for military assistance. Gen, Joseph 
W. Vance, state adjutant- general, having been despatched by 
the governor to visit the disturbed localities, called upon Col. 
Frederick Bennett of the 4th Infantry, on May i, to report 
with four companies to the sheriff of Will County. The strik- 
ing workmen occupied the quarries and insisted upon driving 
away any employes offering to take their place. A mob of 250 
strikers being ordered to disperse peaceably, refused, and bran- 
dishing clubs and crying "On to Joliet, no man shall work" 
endeavored to proceed on their way, when they were closed in 
upon by the militia and seventy of the rioters arrested and sent 
as prisoners to Joliet. Gen. Vance, who was on the ground. 


thinks this would have ended the difficulty at this time, had 
not the sheriff of Will County released the prisoners instead of 
taking them before the courts for trial. However this may be, 
the trouble broke out afresh at Lemont on May 4, when the 
troops were ordered to that point, where a mob of over 500 
ex-workmen were threateningly assembled. Instead of dis- 
persing when so ordered by the deputy-sheriff, they rushed upon 
the militia and assaulted them with stones. The troops fired 
in return, killing three of the rioters and wounding eleven 
others. Several soldiers, all of whom, with their officers, acted 
with great coolness and bravery, were wounded. This ended 
the outbreak, although the troops were not ordered home until 
May 13. 

A strike of the railroad switchmen at East St. Louis in April, 
1886, was the occasion of again calling out the state military. 
Not feeling satisfied from the representations of the sheriff of 
St. Clair County that he would be justified in rendering the 
assistance asked. Gov. Oglesby visited the scene of disturbance 
in person for the purpose of acquainting himself with all the 
facts. The governor felt assured from this personal investiga- 
tion that the power of the civil arm of the government and of 
the posse-comitatiis had not been exhausted, and declined to issue 
the call for the militia. Gen. Vance was left on the ground to 
watch the turn of events. The sheriff finding that he was 
unable to preserve the peace and afford needed protection to 
property with \vi^ posse of 150 men, again, on April 9, requested 
the intervention of the troops. The governor being now con- 
vinced of the necessity, made the call on that day, appointing 
Col. R. M. Smith, 8th Infantry, in command. On this same 
day, a force of deputies fired upon a crowd of strikers, killing 
four and wounding five. Gen. J. N. Reece, of the 2d Brigade, 
was ordered forward on the next day. The presence of so large 
a body of troops, 17 companies in all, soon brought order out 
of confusion, and business was again resumed without further 

The militia was subsequently called out at the request of the 
sheriff of Cook County, Seth F. Hanchett, Nov. 8, 1886, to aid 
in preserving the peace and protecting property in consequence 
of a strike among' the hands at the Union Stock- Yards. The 


troops here were in command of Erig.-Gen. Charles FitzSimons. 
Order was restored and they were withdrawn November 20. 

The governor was criticised in the first instance for calling 
out the troops in these disturbances before a proper foundation 
had been laid therefor by the civil authorities; and in the second 
place for not calling them out sooner at East St. Louis, where 
it was alleged the wholesale slaughter by the deputies before 
alluded to might have been prevented had that been done. 

The governor, in his message to the thirty - fifth general 
assembly, replies to these objections, it must be admitted, with 
considerable force, as follows: 

"It was equally plain that the sheriff had not made much 
use of the ample means at his command to arrest the disorder 
that the law confers upon him. I felt an occasion had arisen 
when the civil power of the State should be tested, and, if 
possible, fairly tested, before resorting to military power. 

"The law of the State empowers the sheriff of any county 
to appoint and arm deputies; to call out the entire male popu- 
lation of the entire county and arm it. St, Clair County con- 
tains a population of more than 60,000 people. It would seem 
that if ever the posse- coniitatus of the county, or indeed any 
county, was to be made available, an occasion had arisen in the 
wealthy and densely-populated county of St. Clair to test the 
reliability and utility of such a force. I therefore insisted, in 
several interviews with the sheriff, that he should appoint a 
large number of deputies and call out the power of his county, 
and at least make an earnest effort to restore order, preserve 
the peace, execute the law, and assert its supremacy, before 
calling on the governor to aid him with a military force. The 
sheriff assured me he would make the best effort he could, and 
also repeatedly expressed to me his opinion and gave me his 
assurance that there would be no occasion for calling out the 
militia. Upon such assurance, I returned to Springfield, after, 
however, directing the sheriff to keep me advised by telegraph 
several times daily of affairs under his charge. 

"The sheriff did increase the number of his deputies and did 
summon the posse of his county, and made some additional 
effort to restore the supremacy of the law. 

"Finally, on the 9th of April, after such effort as had been 


made to restore peace and order, he again made formal request 
for aid and I thereupon immediately ordered a necessary mili- 
tary force to report to him. * * 

"It would seem but reasonable, having conferred the power 
upon the executive department to see that the laws be faithfully 
executed, that some provision should have been made for the 
execution of so grave a trust. It has not been done. The law 
has up to this time remained silent upon this important subject. 

"If it is to be understood that the power to see the laws faith- 
fully executed resides in that other power that he shall be com- 
mander-in-chief of the military and naval forces, and may call 
out the same to execute the law, how and in what cases, and 
upon what conditions, shall this power be exercised? Can the 
governor, upon his own suggestion, call out the militia and send 
it to any county, township, or ci^y in this State, at his pleasure.^ 
Can he, upon mere rumor or the invitation of private citizens, 
do so.-* Or ought he only to do so upon official information 
laid before him by the sheriff of a county or the mayor of a 
city, and a request or demand from such official source for 
military assistance .'' And if upon such request or demand from 
such civil officers he must do so, may he, in any case of mob, 
riot, or unlawful assembly in any part of the State, decline to 
do so until such request or demand be made for aid by such 
civil officer.'' These are important inquiries and, in my opinion, 
require legislative action for their satisfactory settlement. Espe- 
cially do they become important inquiries when taken in con- 
nection with section 15, article 2, of the state constitution, 
which declares: 'The military shall be in strict subordination 
to the civil power.' If in any case the militia may be called 
out to aid the civil officers of the State to execute the law, how, 
I ask, in strict subordination to the civil power, in the absence 
of any statute upon the subject, can the military be used except 
it report to the sheriff or mayor under orders from the governor 
to aid such civil power .^ I do not object to the provision of 
the constitution; on the contrary, I hold it to be a wise restraint 
upon the military powers of the State. Without legislation 
upon the subject, however, the governor of the State will 
always experience perplexity in endeavoring to execute the 
law by this agency." 


The thirty-fifth general assembly convened Jan. 5, 1887. Of 
the 27 new senators, Daniel Hogan of Pulaski was the only one 
reelected, although William E. Shutt had formerly served in 
that body eight years. The following had previously been 
members of the house: John Humphrey of Cook; Joseph 
Reinhardt of LaSalle; Isaac N.Pearson of Macomb; Theodore 
S. Chapman of Jersey; Andrew J. Reavill of Crawford; and 
John Yost of Gallatin. The following were new in legislative 
service: Bernard A. Eckhart, George A. Gibbs, Jas. Monahan, 
Philip Knopf, R. M. Burke, M. F. Garrity, Cook; Chas. H. Bacon, 
of Will; Charles F. Greenwood, DeKalb; John D. Crabtree, 
Lee; John H. Pierce, Henry; Edward A. Washburn, Bureau; 
Wm. C. Johns, Macon; George E. Bacon, Edgar; Thomas L, 
McGrath, to fill vacancy, Coles; Lloyd B. Stephenson, Shelby; 
Geo. W. Dean, Adams; Wm. F. L. Hadley, Madison; Augustus 
M. Strattan, Jefferson; and Henry Seiter, St. Clair — 32 were 
republicans, 17 democrats, one greenback-democrat — Streeter, 
and one labor — Burke. 

August W. Berggren was elected president pro tempore; and 
the list of republican officers, headed by L. F. Watson as 
secretary. August Berggren is a native of Sweden. He had 
served four times as sheriff of his county, Knox, and had now 
entered upon his second term as senator. In 1889, he succeeded 
Maj. R. W. McClaughry as warden of the northern penitentiary 
which position he is acceptably filling at present. 

About one-fifth of the members of the lower house had seen 
service therein before. Among these may be mentioned: Chas. 
A. Allen, Wm. R. Archer (in the senate), John H. Baker, Charles 
Bogardus, Alfred Brown, William F. Calhoun, James R. Camp- 
bell, David W. Clark, William H. Collins, Orrin P. Cooley, 
Clayton E. Crafts, Robert H. Davis in the senate, Charles E. 
Fuller, John L. Hamilton, James Herrington, W. W. Hoskinson, 
Caleb C. Johnson, Samuel B. Kinsey, Robert L. Mc Kinlay, 
Daniel McLaughlin, Thomas C. McMillan, Joseph P. Mahoney, 
Samuel P. Marshall, Thomas E. Merritt, Joseph B. Messick, 
James H. Miller, Virgil S. Ruby, Jas. M. Ruggles in the senate, 
1853-5, Charles E. Scharlau, John Stewart, Jos. Veile. Among 
the new members, who took the most active part in the pro- 
ceedings, were the following: Francis A. Brokoski, Bryan Con- 


way, Henry Decker, Charles G Dixon, Leo P Dwyer, Michael 
J. Dwyer, Kirk N. Eastman, John W. Farley, James H. Farrell, 
John S. Ford, John J. Furlong, James F. Gleason, Orrigen W. 
Herrick, Victor Karlouski, Thomas G. McEUigott, Thomas J. 
Moran, James O'Connor, Stephen A. Reynolds, George F. 
Rohrbach, Frank E. Schoenwald,and William P. Wright, all of 
Cook County; John J. Brown of Fayette; Richard G. Breeden, 
McDonough; William H. Bundy, Williamson; Charles B. Cole 
and Everett J. Murphy, Randolph; Joseph P, Condo, Effing- 
ham; Albert L, Converse, Wiley E. Jones, and David T. 
Littler, Sangamon; John W. Coppinger and Isaac Cox, Madi- 
son; William F. Crawford, Rock Island; Charles Curtiss, Du 
Page; William S. Day, Union; Edgar W. Faxon, Kendall; 
Clarence R. Gittings, Henderson; Coleman C. George and 
Robt. A. Gay, Christian; Michael D. Halpin, Cass; Thomas L. 
Hamer, Fulton; Frank Y. Hamilton, McLean; John M. Hart, 
Nelson D. Jay, and James Kenny, Peoria; Dwight Haven, 
Will; David Hunter, Winnebago; Alexander K. Lowry, Brown; 
Charles F. Nellis, Alexander; Charles A. Partridge, Lake; 
Francis M. Peel, Piatt; George W. Pepoon, Jo Daviess; Hiram 
L. Pierce, Logan; O. W. Pollard, Livingston; Sterling Pomeroy, 
Bureau; Thomas H. Reiley, Will; Eugene Rice and Westford 
Taggart, Douglas; Lewis M. Sawyer and James P. T rench, 
La Salle; George W. Smith, Morgan; Ira Taylor and Albert 
W. Wells, Adams; George Wait, Lake; William M. Ward, 
Greene; John Wedig, Madison; John W. White, Whiteside; 
Frederick Wilkinson, Menard; Wesley C. Williams, Hancock; 
James B. Wilson, Macoupin; James P. Wilson, Ogle; Samuel 
F. Wilson, Cumberland; Thomas A. Wilson, Clay; John E. 
Wright, Morgan; Reuben S. Yocum, Alexander. The house 
was divided politically as follows: republicans "jS, democrats 
66, labor-reform 8, prohibition i — Lament. 

The candidates before the republican caucus for speaker were 
Dr. William F. Calhoun of DeWitt County; Joseph B. Messick 
of St. Clair; David T. Littler of Sangamon, and Charles E. 
Fuller of Boone. It required several ballots to decide the con- 
test, which resulted in the success of the first- named. Judge 
Messick receiving the nomination for the temporary speaker- 
ship. The nominee of the democrats was Clayton E. Crafts, 


and of the labor party Chafles G. Dixon — both of Cook. The 
vote in the house was as follows: Calhoun 78, Crafts 6^, Dixon 
8, Lamont i. Two members were absent and one had deceased. 
John A. Reeve was reelected clerk. 

Dr. Calhoun is a native of Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, where 
he was born Nov. 21, 1844. He received a common-school 
education, which was bravely supplemented by a three years' 
service in the late civil war as a volunteer from his native state. 
He removed to Illinois and studied the profession of a dentist 
which he now practises with success in Clinton, the city of his 
residence. His service of two terms in the thirty-third and 
thirty-fourth general assemblies had amply qualified him for 
the successful discharge of the complicated and responsible 
duties of presiding officer of the house. 

The governor in his message called especial attention to the 
work and report of the revenue commission, which he remarked 
was composed of "able, experienced, and responsible citizens, 
familiar with our revenue system and deeply interested in the 
subject;" that they had diligently applied themselves to a study 
of the whole question of taxation and revenue, and that he 
hoped that at least a portion, if not all, of the new code sub- 
mitted by them would be adopted. 

He also called attention to the new phase of managing con- 
vict labor under the late constitutional amendment on that 
subject, stating that the question was beset with no inconsider- 
able difficulty, and that large appropriations would be required 
if the State was to become a competitor in the field of trade 
and commerce with individual enterprise. 

The governor gave a highly encouraging account of the con- 
dition of the several state institutions, the healthy aspect of its 
finances, and closed by making the official announcement of 
the death of Senator Logan, 'which occurred Dec. 26, 1886, 
and that it would become the duty of the legislature to elect 
his successor. This was the fifth time that the general assem- 
bly had been called upon to fill a vacancy in the United-States 
senate from Illinois, occasioned by death. 

As the republican party had a large majority in the senate 
and a safe one in the house, the choice of a senator depended 
upon its action, to be determined in a caucus of the members, 


which was called to meet Jan. 13, 1887. Charles B. Farwell, 
of Cook, had the largest following as a candidate, exclusive of 
the delegation from his own county — all of whom gave him 
their support. But there were several candidates, and if it had 
been possible for them to combine against the one in the lead, 
they might have named the man. This they were unable to do, 
Mr. Farwell being the second choice of most of them. The 
several candidates, with the number of votes received by each 
on the first ballot, were as follows: Charles B. Farwell "i^y, John 
M. Hamilton 14, L. E. Payson 12, J. G. Cannon 11, Thomas J. 
Henderson 10, Clark E. Carr 8, Green B. Raum 7, H. C. Bur- 
chard 5, and scattering 6, Such changes were made during the 
progress of the second ballot that before its completion, Farwell 
had received a large majority and his nomination was made 
unanimous. William R. Morrison was again the nominee of 
the democrats, and Benjamin W. Goodhue was the candidate 
of the labor party. 

The selection of the republican caucus was confirmed by the 
general assembly, January 18, and the announcement of the 
election of the nominee made in joint-session on the day fol- 
lowing. Senator Farwell, being introduced, returned thanks for 
the honor done him in a short address. When he concluded. 
Gov. Oglesby, who was present, was also called upon and briefly 

Charles Benjamin Farwell, son of Henry and Nancy Farwell, 
was born in Steuben County, New York, July i, 1823, where 
the first fifteen years of his life were spent. He was educated 
in the common schools and in the Elmira Academy. With his 
father's family, he became a resident of Ogle County, Illinois, 
in 1838, where he resided, working on the farm and surveying, 
until Jan. 10, 1844, when he removed to Chicago. His life here 
for the first few years was that of all energetic young men 
struggling for maintenance and position without capital, except 
that he was more than ordinarily successful. In 1853, he was 
elected county clerk of Cook County and reelected in 1857. 
He was also twice elected as one of the board of super- 
visors, and once a member of the state board of equalization. 
In 1864, he became a partner in the great mercantile firm of 
Farwell, Field and Company, since and now, John V. Farwell 


and Company, to the management of whose extensive trans- 
actions, he gave his close attention. 

In 1870, he entered upon the broader field of national politics 
as a candidate for congress, and was elected over John Went- 
worth by a decisive majority. He was reelected to the forty- 
third congress and being again a candidate in 1874, received 
the certificate of election — but his seat was contested by his 
opponent, John V. LeMoyne, to whom it was awarded by con- 
gress. Mr. Farwell was also elected to the forty- seventh 
congress, his opponent being Perry H. Smith, jr. He was 
the first senator elected from this State who was not a lawyer, 
or who had not been a state officer, or a member of the judici- 
ary, or of the legislature. 

In congress, Mr. Farwell was regarded as an industrious and 
influential member. He makes no pretentions as a public 
speaker, even from manuscript, and his views upon all questions 
other than party are ascertained at home only by the record of 
his vote and not by any speech, oral or written. Notwithstand- 
ing the lack of this generally-considered, requisite qualification 
of a public man in this country, Mr. Farwell has maintained a 
controlling position in congress and has made himself a leading 
power in state and national politics for a quarter of a century, 
no one having contributed to the success of his party to a 
greater extent than he. 

Senator Farwell is of large build, with square, expressive 
features, a graceful carriage, and commanding appearance. 
Reposeful in demeanor, he is an attractive, though quiet, con- 
versationist, reading and judging men by what they do rather 
than by what they say. As a citizen, he is public spirited and 
enterprising; and as a man, loyal to his party, firmly attached 
to his friends, and true to his convictions. 

The proceedings of the thirty-fifth general assembly, charac- 
terized as they were by industry, intelligence, and practical 
common -sense, were more satisfactory to the people of the 
State than those of any of its predecessors under the present 
constitution. This was not only in the value and importance 
of the laws passed, but in the negative work of refusing to give 
assent to the passage of bad bills. The work of the session 
may be summarized as follows: there were introduced into the 

LAWS PASSED, 1 887. 919 

senate 426 bills of which 146 passed that body and 93 became 
laws. In the house, 859 bills were presented, 168 of which 
being passed and 72 becoming laws. 

Among those of general interest were the following: restrict- 
ing the right of aliens to acquire and hold real and personal 
estate — a fruitage of the platform of both political parties; 
Senator Funk's bill, amending the law to prevent the spread of 
contagious diseases among domestic animals; providing for 
the election by the people of the trustees of the University of 
Illinois; appropriating $50,000 to erect a monument to General 
John A. Logan; Reynold's bill, providing for the organization 
of saving's societies; an act concerning corporations with bank- 
ing powers — a new state-banking system, submitted to the 
people; the Chase bill, prohibiting book-making and pool- 
selling; to create a fireman's pension-fund; providing for a 
police pension-fund; to enable corporations to transact a surety 
business; Craft's bill, providing for and regulating the adminis- 
tration of trusts by trust companies; prohibiting the inter- 
marriage of first cousins; a new road-law for counties not under 
township organization; and making election day a legal holiday. 

The following laws have more especial reference to Chicago 
and Cook County: redistricting Chicago into twenty-four wards; 
extending police jurisdiction to the surrounding surburban 
towns; the mob-and-riot law, making cities and counties respon- 
sible for three-fourths of the damages; the Merritt conspiracy 
bill, holding the fomenters and inciters of crime equally punish- 
able with the dupes; the "little drainage-bill;" providing for 
the election of a county-board each year; the Crawford-County 
budget-bill; the Gibb's jury- commission bill; to suppress 
bucket-shops and gambling in grain. 

Much time and attention were bestowed upon the subjects 
both of revenue and convict labor, but no law was passed in 
regard to either except an appropriation to the northern peni- 
tentiary of $136,000 to enable the trustees of that institution 
to employ the prisoners as they might see proper. 

A proceeding by this general assembly of extraordinary 
interest, and for which there was no precedent, was the setting 
aside of February 22 for a joint memorial service of both houses 
in honor of "our deceased, distinguished citizens, Gen, John A. 


Logan and Judge David Davis." The ceremonies were impres- 
sive and the addresses eloquent and interesting. 

The legislature adjourned June 15, 1887. 

The political events of the year 1888 were as follows: the 
republican state-convention met at Springfield, May 2, and was 
presided over by Congressman Lewis E. Payson. 

The number of candidates for the various places to be filled 
was larger than usual. The names of seven gentlemen were 
presented by their friends who desired to see them occupy the 
executive chair. These, with the number of votes received by 
each on the first ballot, were as follows: Joseph W. Fifer 288, 
John McNulta 136, Clark E. Carr 115, James A. Connolly 100, 
John I. RinakerQS, John C. Smith 58, Francis M. Wright 48. In 
the succeeding ballots, the column of Fifer steadily grew larger 
at the expense of all the other candidates about equally, Mc 
Nulta losing the least, when, upon the fifth ballot, he received 
606 votes and with them the nomination. 

Lyman B. Ray, of Morris, Grundy County, was nominated 
for lieutenant - governor on the second ballot, his principal 
opponents being William H. Collins of Quincy, and James S. 
Cochran of Freeport. The most exciting contest was that for 
the nomination of secretary of state between Senator Isaac N. 
Pearson of Macomb, General Jasper N. Reece of Sangamon, 
Speaker W. F. Calhoun of Dewitt, and Representative Thomas 
C. McMillan of Chicago. They started in with about the same 
number of votes each. Reece drew out on the third ballot, 
leaving the others as follows: McMillan 317, Calhoun 267, 
Pearson 252. McMillan gained strength from both of his com- 
petitors on the next ballot but could not muster enough to 
succeed. Cook County then decided to go to Pearson which 
secured him the nomination on the next ballot. There were 
ten candidates for the auditorship and it required six exciting 
ballots to make the selection. On the fifth, all had dropped 
out of the race except Pavey with 409 votes, Berggren 279, 
Lewis 159. Pavey came out ahead on the next ballot. George 
Hunt, as a candidate for reelection as attorney-general, had 
almost no opposition and was nominated by acclamation; as 
was Charles Becker for state treasurer. 

The platform consisted, mainly, in an arraignment of the ad- 


ministration of President Cleveland for its violation of promises. 

General Walter Q. Gresham was enthusiastically endorsed as 
the favorite candidate of Illinois for the presidency.* 

The democratic state-convention met at Springfield, May 23, 
Gen Jesse J. Phillips in the chair. There was but little friction 
among the delegates in agreeing upon a ticket, which was as 
follows: John M. Palmer for governor; Andrew J. Bell, lieu- 
tenant-governor; N. Douglas Ricks, secretary of state; Andrew 
Welch, auditor; Chas. H. Wacker, treasurer; Jacob R. Creigh- 
ton, attorney-general. 

The democrats were asking a good deal of Gen. Palmer to 
make this race for them at the age of three score years and 
ten; especially after a faithful service of fourteen years which 
had only been rewarded by the empty honor of nominations to 
offices to which he could not expect to be elected. His name 
had, indeed, hardly been mentioned for a cabinet or other 
important appointment, which it was in the power of his party 
to give him under the Cleveland administration. Yet he will- 
ingly accepted the place assigned him and made a most vigor- 
ous campaign, coming out 2000 votes nearer success than Carter 
H. Harrison had four years before. 

The administration of Grover Cleveland was heartily endorsed 
and he was thanked for the nomination of Melville W. Fuller 
of Illinois to the office of chief-justice of the supreme court of 
the United States.-f- 

* The list of delegates appointed to the national republican convention was as 
follows: at large, Charles B. Farwell, George R. Davis, Horace S. Clark, William 
F. L. Hadley. Districts, ist, William J. Campbell, Eugene Cary; 2d, William E. 
Kent, Henry Scherer; 3d, John A Roche, Leonard Swett; 4th, William Bolden- 
weck, Canute R. Matson; 5th, Isaac L. Elwood, Homer Cook; 6th, Charles A. 
Works, William Spenseley; 7th, Thomas E. Milchrist, Josiah Little; 8th, Henry 
Mayo, L. E. Bennett; 9th, James E. Morrow, John H. Jones; loth, Julius S. Starr, 
Clarence E. Snively; nth, Benjamin F. Marsh, John M. TurnbuU; 12th, William 
L. Distin, Richard W. Mills; 13th, John A. Ayres, William Brown; 14th, James 
Milliken, B. F. Funk; 15th, Frank K. Robinson, Charles P. Hitch; i6th, Thomas 
W. Scott, D. B. Green; 17th, R. T, Higgins, Benson Wood; i8th, WQliam A. 
Haskill, Cicero J. Lindley; 19th, Jasper Partridge, George C. Ross; 20th William 
R. Brown, Edward E. Mitchell. 

t The following is a list of the delegates to the democratic national convention : at 
large, William R. Morrison, James S. Ewing, Nicholas E. Worthington, William 
C. Goudy. Districts, 1st, William Fitzgerald, Thomas J. Gahan; 2d, Daniel 
Corkery, George P. Bunker; 3d, Michael Ryan, John A. King; 4th, Francis A. 



The democratic national convention was held at St. Louis, 
June 6, 1888. Grover Cleveland was renominated for president 
with great unanimity and enthusiasm, and Allan G. Thurman 
of Ohio, for vice-president. The platform consisted in the 
making of a favorable contrast of the administration of Presi- 
dent Cleveland with the policy of the republican party. 

The republican national convention convened in Chicago, 
June 20, continuing in session until the 25th. Gen, Benjamin 
Harrison of Indiana, was nominated for president on the eighth 
ballot. The following table of ballotings shows the names 
of the principal candidates and the various changes which 
occurred before the final result was reached: 


Benjamin Harrison, 85 93 94 217 213 231 278 544 

John Sherman, - 229 249 244 235 224 244 231 118 

Walter Q. Gresham, 109 108 123 98 87 91 91 59 

Chauncey M. Depew, 99 99 91 withdrawn. 

Russell A. Alger, - 84 116 122 135 142 137 115 100 

William B. AUison, 72 75 88 88 99 72 76 • — 

Scattering, - - 153 92 68 56 62 54 35 9 

Levi P. Morton of New York, was nominated for vice-presi- 

The election in this State resulted as follows: 


Benjamin Harrison, 370,473 Joseph W. Fifer, 367,860 

Grover Cleveland, 348,378 John M. Palmer, 355,313 

Clinton B. Fisk,prob'n, 21,695 David H. Harts, prob. 18,874 

A. J. Streeter, labor, 7,090 Willis J. Jones, labor, 6,394 

The vote on the other state-officers was about the same as 
for president. Gov. Fifer fell behind Harrison in Cook County 
2344 votes, running about even with him in the other counties; 

Hoffman, jr., William M. Devine; 5th, Philip Scheckler, A. J. Denison; 6th, James 
McNamara, John Lake; 7th, Caleb C. Johnson, Charles Dunham; 8th, P. C. Haley, 
James Duncan; 9th, James Smith, Z. E. Patrick; loth, Matthew Henneberry, 
Forest Cook; nth, Quintin C. Ward, Delos P. Phelps; 12th, John Jones, J. M. 
Bush; 13th, J. W. Patton, Don M. Maus; 14th, James T. Hoblett, Jas. P. Lillard; 
ISth, H. S. Tanner, E. R. E. Kimbrough; i6th, James K. Dickinson, W. F. 
Beck; 17th, T. B. Murphy, Thomas M. Thornton; i8th, A. S. Wilderman, W. E, 
Wheeler; 19th, W, S. Cantrell, T. E. Merritt; 20th, William H. Green, George W. 


while Palmer ran ahead of Cleveland in Cook County 2969, 
and in the other counties 3966, receiving in the State 6935 the 
most votes. The greater part of this gain evidently came from 
the prohibitionist and union -labor voters, their candidates for 
governor falling nearly this much behind their nominees for 

Gov. Oglesby retired from a second term of four years' ser- 
vice in the executive chair, January 14, 1889, and perhaps no 
better commentary can be given of his administration than that 
uttered by his successor in his inaugural address, as follows: 
"For more than a third of a century, Richard J. Oglesby has 
been prominent in the civic and military history of Illinois. In 
all that time, no call of patriotic duty remained unheeded; no 
cause, embracing the public weal, found him a laggard. In 
wars, his heroic breast stood a bulwark between the great 
republic and her enemies. To cement the Union of the fathers, 
he shed his blood. As a member of the state and national 
senate, and as governor of this Commonwealth — to which 
latter office, he received the rare compliment of three elections 
— he proved himself well able by wise statesmanship to pre- 
serve in council, what his intrepid valor helped him to win in 
the field. Strong in attachment to party and living in times of 
partisan strife, his career yet exemplifies the maxim that 'He 
serves his party best who serves his country best.' Retiring 
voluntarily from the scenes of his public labors and triumphs, 
he goes from us crowned with honors and followed by the grati- 
tude and affection of his fellow-citizens." 


Administration of Gov. Fifer— The Thirty -sixth General 
Assembly — Re-election of Cullom to the Senate — Laws 
— The Drainage Commission — Conventions of 1890 — 
The World's Columbian Exposition — Special Session 
of the Legislature — Laws — Growth — The Press — 

JOSEPH WILSON FIFER, the governor elected in 1888, 
is of German descent, and was born in Stanton, Augusta 
County, Virginia, October 28, 1840. His father was a brick- 
and stone-mason, and also a farmer. The latter removed to 
McLean County, Illinois, in 1857, where he purchased land, 
which Joseph helped to improve, at the same time aiding him 
in the manufacture and laying of brick. When the civil war 
broke out, his youthful patriotism was aroused, and he enlisted 
as a private in Company C, of the 33d Regiment of lUinois 
Infantry, sometimes known as the Normal Regiment. In the 
assault on Jackson, in 1863, a minie-ball passed entirely through 
his body, inflicting a wound which was at first considered mortal. 
He recovered slowly, and when again able to walk, returned 
to his regiment despite the remonstrance of friends; and ren- 
dered faithful and valiant service until the expiration of the 
three years for which he had enlisted. 

Up to this time, his only opportunities for an education had 
been such as were offered by an attendance upon the common- 
schools, which was rendered more or less intermittent owing 
to the fact that his time was required to help the family 
to a living. He had, however, saved a goodly proportion of his 
meagre pay, and determined to devote this sum toward obtain- 
ing an education, the need of which he more and more keenly 
felt. Accordingly, he entered the Wesleyan University at Bloom- 
ington, maintaining himself frugally by the labor of his hands, as 
opportunity offered, where he remained until he was graduated 
in 1868. The following year, after finishing his study of the 
law with the firm of Prince and Bloomfield, he was admitted to 
the bar. Success came to him as the reward of indomitable 





pluck, studious habits, close application to business, and un- 
swerving integrity. 

In 1 87 1, he was elected corporation-counsel of Bloomington, 
at that time, an important position, which he so ably filled, that, 
in the following year, he received the almost unanimous nomi- 
nation of the republicans of his county for state's attorney. 
He served two terms of four years each in this office, and proved 
himself one of the most efficient public prosecutors in the State. 
It was in this office that he gained a high reputation as a criminal 
lawyer, and prepared the way for his nomination to the state 
senate which came to him by the general acclaim of his party. 

A service of four years in the upper branch of the legislature 
affiDrds to a public man an excellent opportunity to show his 
calibre. Fifer was a popular member and soon took rank with 
the foremost of his compeers, serving on several of the most 
important committees. It was now that his name began to be 
mentioned in connection with the office of governor, and the 
friends whom he made while senator were among his strongest 
supporters. His nomination and election followed in due course 
as heretofore related. 

And thus was added one more name to that long list of 
statesmen of whom Illinois is justly proud, who, through honest 
toil and by their own unaided effiDrts, have lifted themselves 
from the privations of the log-cabin to the highest state office 
within the people's gift. 

It had been charged against the republicans that in honoring 
the soldiers of the late war with official preferment, they had been 
careful to discriminate in favor of those who had gained not only 
fame but rank; in the nomination of "Private Joe" however, 
honor was conferred upon one who was "commissioned only 
with the oath of allegiance," and who had worn neither sword 
nor shoulder-straps — carrying only the badge of that patriot- 
ism, which, through three years of exposure, self-sacrifice, and 
danger, nerved his arm to the service of his country in her days 
of peril. 

As a speaker, Governor Fifer is ready and effective. Having 
first thoroughly mastered his subject, he depends upon the 
inspiration of the moment for the arrangement and clothing of 
his thoughts. Yet no opponent, who has felt the power of his 


impassioned but well - turned periods, delivered with telling 
intellectual vigor and force, covets a renewal of debate. He 
still suffers from the effects of the well-nigh fatal wound in his 
lungs, and it was feared that he would not be able to endure 
the strain incident to a thorough canvass during the guberna- 
torial campaign, but while he was compelled to husband his 
strength, he was able to meet all his appointments and to satisfy 
his friends. 

The governor is nearly six feet in height, but spare and wiry 
rather than muscular. He has a swarthy complexion, keen 
eyes, and straight black hair, slightly tinged with gray. His 
temperament is nervous, Ws movements quick, and his nature 
frank and sympathetic. He was married in 1870 to Gertrude, 
daughter of William J. Lewis, and has two children, a boy and 
a girl. 

Lyman Beecher Ray, of Grundy County, the lieutenant- 
governor elected on the same ticket, is a native of Crittenden 
County, Vermont; where he was born in August 17, 183 1. 
He has been a resident of Illinois since 1852, and has been 
extensively engaged in mercantile pursuits. He has filled many 
local offices and was elected in 1872 as a member of the lower 
house of the twenty- eighth general assembly, when he was 
chairman of the committee on mines and mining. In 1882, he 
was chosen state senator, and served with marked distinction 
during the sessions of 1883 and 1885. As a presiding officer, 
his ability and popularity are unquestioned. 

Isaac N. Pearson, secretary of state, was born in Centreville, 
Pennsylvania, July 27, 1842. He has resided in Macomb, Mc- 
Donough County, since 1858. He was elected circuit- clerk of 
his county in 1872 and reelected in 1876. He subsequently 
engaged in banking, and in the purchase and sale of real estate. 
His later career, as a member of the legislature, has already 
been mentioned. 

Gen. C. W. Pavey, state auditor, was born at Hillsboro, Ohio, 
in 183,5. Coming to Illinois he became a farmer and stock- 
raiser. He enlisted early in the late war and was very severely 
wounded at the battle of Sand Mountain; he was taken prisoner 
and was incarcerated two years and nine months in Libby 
Prison. After being exchanged, he served as assistant inspec- 


tor-general at Rousseau's head-quarters at Nashville until the 
close of the war. He was appointed collector of internal 
revenue of the northern Illinois district by President Arthur, 

Charles Becker, state treasurer, was born in Germany, June 
14, 1840, and came with his parents to the United States in 
185 1. He was a soldier in the Twelfth Missouri Infantry, 
and at the battle of Pea Ridge was so severely wounded in the 
leg that amputation was necessary in order to save his life. 
He was elected sheriff of his county, St. Clair, in 1866, and 
circuit- clerk in 1872, and a second time in 1876. He has also 
frequently served as a member of the city council of Belleville. 

George Plunt, the attorney-general, chosen on the same ticket 
and who now entered upon his second term, was born in Knox 
County, Ohio, in 1841. He enlisted in Company E, of the 12th 
Illinois- Infantry, in July, 1861, as a private, reenlisted in the 
same organization as a veteran and came out at the close of 
the war as its captain. As already noted, he served two terms 
of four years each in the state senate — from 1876 to 1884. As 
a soldier, legislator, and lawyer, Attorney- General Hunt has 
made a worthy record. 

The thirty-sixth general assembly convened January 7, 1889. 
The republicans had a greater preponderance in the senate 
than ever before, and a larger majority on joint -ballot than at 
any session since 1871. 

The senators elect were Charles H. Crawford, reelected, 
Thos. C. Mac Millan, Horace H. Thomas,* all of Cook County; 
Charles E. Fuller,* who had been a member of every general 
assembly since the thirtieth, Boone; Benjamin F. Sheets, Ogle; 
Robert H. Wiles, Stephenson; Henry H. Evans,* Kane, re- 
elected; Conrad Secrest,* a member of the thirty- second and 
thirty-third senates, Iroquois; Charles Bogardus,* Ford; Mar- 
tin L. Newell, Woodford; Thomas Hamer,* Fulton; Orville F. 
Berry, Hancock; Mark M. Bassett, Peoria; Thomas C. Kerrick, 
McLean; Wilton W. Matthews, Champaign; Arthur A. Leeper, 
Cass; Harry Higbee, Pike; Edward L. McDonald, Morgan; 
Hiram P. Shum way,* Christian; F. E. W. Brink,* Washington; 
Dios C. Hagle, Clay; James R. Campbell,* Hamilton; Joseph 
W. Rickert, Monroe; David W. Karraker, Union; Charles A. 

* Those marked with a * had previously served in the house. 


Griswold, Whiteside, successor to J. D, Crabtree, resigned; Wm. 
J. Frisbee, Mc Donough, as successor to Isaac N. Pearson, re- 
signed; and Lewis J. Lehman, Coles, successor to T. L. Mc- 
Grath, deceased. Theodore S. Chapman, of Jersey County, 
was elected president pro tempore, and L. F. Watson, secre- 
tary, for the third time. 

In the house, there was a much larger proportion of members 
who had previously served in one or more of the general assem- 
blies than usual. Among these, were the following from Cook 
County: George S. Baker, Francis A. Brokoski, Clayton E. 
Crafts, George F. Ecton, James H. Farrell, John S. Ford, Thos. 
G. Mc Elligott, Joseph P. Mahoney, John Meyer, Stephen A. 
Reynolds, and Peter A, Sundelius; also the following: Charles 
A, Allen, Henry W. Allen, Benjamin H, Bradshaw, Richard 
G. Breeden, Edgar S. Browne, Albert L. Converse, Orrin P. 
Cooley, William W. Crawford, Robert H. Davis, John Eddy, 
Hendrick V. Fisher, Hugh C. Gregg, the veteran — Elijah M. 
Haines, John M. Hart, Daniel D. Hunt, David Hunter, Wiley 
E. Jones, James Kenney, Wm. H. Kretzinger, Perry Logsden, 
Charles M. Lyon, William T, McCreery, Daniel McLaughlin, 
Samuel H. Martin, Asa C. Matthews, Thomas E, Merritt, James 
H. Miller, Wm. Mooney, Anthony Morassy, Chas. A. Partridge, 
George W, Pepoon, O. W. Pollard, Eugene Rice, William G. 
Sloan, Ira Tyler, Albert W. Wells, and John W. White. 

Among the new members, the names most frequently appear- 
ing in the records of the proceedings were the following: Syl- 
vester Allen, Scott County; James O. Anderson, Henderson; 
Jonas T. Ball, Marshall; Eugene K. Blair, Morgan; William H. 
Bowler, St. Clair; Jasmes N. Buchanan, Wm. Buckley, Quida J. 
Chott, Jethro M. Getman, Samuel C. Hayes, Bushrod E. Hoppin, 
Wm. E. Kent, Wm. H. Lyman, Jacob Miller, Jos. A. O'Donnell, 
James F. Ouinn, Edward C. Whitehead, William F. Wilk, and 
Frank J. Wisner, all of Cook County; John S. Cochenour, 
Richland; Isaac B. Craig, Coles; Sherwood Dixon, Lee; Edwin 
A. Doolittle, Greene; James M. Fowler, Marion; James W. 
Hunter, Knox; Elmore W. Hurst, Rock Island; Robert M. 
Ireland, Kane; David P. Keller, Macon; Royal R. Lacey, 
Hardin; Milton Lee, Vermilion; Andrew J. Lester, Sangamon; 
John P. McClanahan, Warren; Andrew S. McDowell, Adams; 


James P. McGee, Douglas; Thos. A. Marshall, Mercer; Samuel 
H. Martin, White; Free P. Morris, Iroquois; Joseph C. Meyers 
and Wm. H. Oglevee, DeWitt; Daniel H. Paddock, Kankakee; 
Frederick B. Phillips and Samuel C. Smiley, St. Clair; George 
W. Prince, Knox; Thomas T. Ramey, Madison; David Ross, 
LaSalle; Gardner S. Southworth, McHenry; David R. Sparks, 
Madison; Robert B. Stinson, Union; Michael Stoskopf, Stephen- 
son; Henry L. Terpening, McLean; George R. Tilton, Vermil- 
ion; Watson A. Towse, Macoupin; James P. Trench, LaSalle; 
Pierson P. Updike, Montgomery; Frederick Wilke, Will; 
Reuben W. Willett, Kendall* 

Colonel Asa C. Matthews of Pike County, who had been 
unanimously endorsed by the republican caucus, was elected 
speaker, receiving 79 votes to 71 for Clayton E. Crafts of 
Chicago, the nominee of the democrats. 

Colonel Matthews was born and raised on a farm in Pike 
County. After attending the common schools.^- he was matricu- 
lated at McKendree College, and later became a student at the 
Illinois College, from which institution he was graduated in 
1855. Having studied law with Hon. Milton Hay, who then 
resided in Pittsfield, he was admitted to the bar in 1858. He 
was building up a lucrative practice at the time of the outbreak 
of the war, soon after which event he enlisted as a volunteer in 
Company C, of the 99th Illinois Infantry, and was elected 
captain. This was a fighting regiment as the list of casualties 
shows. In that terrible assault of May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg, 
out of 300 men engaged, 103 were either killed or wounded, 
including all the field-officers, when the command devolved 
upon Capt. Matthews. When the regiment was consolidated 
into a battalion of five companies in 1864, he was commissioned 
its lieutenant-colonel, and subsequently its colonel and as such 
brought it home for muster out. 

* Of the members, 33 were foreigners, 23 were bom in New York, 10 in New 
England, 25 Ohio, 70 Illinois, 10 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the remainder 
in the West and South. There were 58 lawyers, 53 farmers, 26 merchants and deal- 
ers, 10 editors and publishers, 11 belonging to professions other than the law, 10 
mechanics and laborers, 9 insurance and real estate, and the remainder bankers, 
capitalists, contractors, et cetera. Only one member was classed as a liquor -dealer, 
although there were several, one of whom called himself a teamster. 

t One of which was taught by the Author. 


In 1869, Col. Matthews was appointed collector of internal 
revenue for his district, the duties of which position he dis- 
charged so satisfactorily that he was retained in office until 
1875, when he was made supervisor of internal revenue, in 
which capacity he rendered efficient service in the prosecution 
of the Chicago whisky-ring. This position he resigned in 1876, 
and was elected to the legislature, reelected in 1878, entering 
now upon service in that body for the third term. 

The colonel had not in the meantime neglected his law prac- 
tice, and in 18S6, a vacancy occurring on the bench of the cir- 
cuit-court of the sixth district, his eminent fitness for the posi- 
tion led to his appointment as judge by Gov. Hamilton. He 
discharged the responsible and arduous duties of this high office 
with distinguished fidelity. 

Colonel Matthews is a speaker of no mean powers and is 
frequently called upon in his district to take the stump. He 
is rather under the medium size, but compactly built. His com- 
plexion is dark and his manners are characterized by a frankness 
and a geniality truly western. His former experience in the 
general assembly, wherein he was a leading member, his famili- 
arity with the rules, his sense of fairness, and his unvarying 
good nature, all combine to make him a popular and effective 

His name was strongly urged upon President Harrison for the 
position of commissioner of internal revenue. While there were 
obstacles in the way of his appointment to that position, the 
strength of his endorsements so impressed the mind of the 
president that the latter named him first comptroller of the 
United -States treasury. When the news of his appointment 
reached the house, May 9, that body did the speaker the unusual 
honor of taking a recess and publicly congratulating him, a pro- 
ceeding in which leading democrats took part equally with the 

Governor Fifer and the other state officers were inaugurated 
January 14, 1889. 

* Asa C. Matthews, son of Benjamin L. and Minerva Carrington Matthews, 
was bom near Perry, Pike County, Illinois, March 22, 1833. In 1858, he was 
married to Anna, daughter of Col. William Ross of Pittsfield, who had been an 
officer in the war of 1812, and whose name frequently appears in the early legislative 
history of this State. He was a most estimable and leading citizen in his day. 

cullom's second election to the senate. 931 

In his address, the governor spoke upon the topics of the 
ballot, the labor question, and education. "Political power," 
he said, "resides with the people, and is expressed only at the 
ballot-box; therefore the man who refuses acquiescence com- 
mits an oftence of the same grade as he who seeks to falsify 
the result by corrupt methods at the polls. The consequences 
of ordinary crimes are usually confined to a few victims, while 
he who by any means robs the citizen of his constitutional 
right of casting his one vote, and having that vote fairly counted 
and its effect fairly registered in the declared result, violates the 
fundamental principle of free government, corrupts and poisons 
political authority in its very sources, and should receive speedy 
and severe punishment." He recommended that the laws 
relating to bribery be so amended that the giver should be held 
equally guilty with the receiver. 

On the subject of labor, as to which he advanced enlightened 
and comprehensive views, he recommended such amendments to 
existing laws as should secure the better protection of miners 
and factory operatives, and provide an equitable method for the 
arbitration of all controversies arising between employers and 
employes in regard to wages and hours of labor. 

In respect to education, the governor recommended a more 
thorough preparation, and a higher standard of attainments 
for those intending to become teachers; and advised such a 
change in the compulsory education law as might render it 
more effective. 

For the first time in the history of the State, a United-States 
senator was reelected without a dissenting voice being raised 
against him in caucus, and without leaving his seat in the senate 
to make a canvass. This high honor came to Shelby M. 
Cullom, whose first term would expire March 4. The election 
was held in each house January 22 — the nominee of the demo- 
crats being once more Gen. John M. Palmer. Each candidate 
received the full vote of his party. Senator Cullom telegraphed 
his thanks from Washington. 

Col. Matthews resigned the speakership on May 10, in order 
to enter upon his new and broader field of duty. He was 
succeeded by James H. Miller, of Stark County, a leading 
member of the bar in his section of the State, whose judicial 


mind and familiarity with the principles of parliamentary law 
eminently qualified him for the position. 

The thirty- sixth general assembly was a fairly industrious 
and intelligent body, and consumed less time in its deliberations 
than any of its predecessors under the new constitution except 
the twenty-ninth. It was conspicuous for the large number of 
bills which passed one house but failed in the other, some of 
which were really meritorious, for instance: the measure estab- 
lishing the jury-commission; that providing for the employment 
of prison labor; and the pure -food bill. 

714 bills were introduced in the house and 401 in the senate, 
of which 159 became laws — 48 of these relating to appropria- 
tions, and most of the others being merely amendatory of 
existing statutes. 

The school-law was revised, and the perennially recurring sub- 
jects of corporations, courts, elections, fish and game, insurance, 
mines and mining, roads, highways and bridges, and township 
organization, received due attention. He would, indeed, be 
a rash legislator, who would venture to face his constituents 
upon his return from Springfield and tell them that he had 
neither said nor done anything in reference to these weighty 

Among the most important new measures of legislation were 
the following: the drainage law, being "an act to create sanitary 
districts, and to remove obstructions in the Desplaines and 
Illinois rivers; providing for the annexation of cities, incorpor- 
ated towns and villages, or parts of same, to cities, incorporated 
towns and villages; to regulate primary elections, repealing the 
former law on the subject; to provide for pleasure driveways; 
authorizing cities to convey real estate; prohibiting the em- 
ployment of other than native born or naturalized citizens or 
those who have declared their intention to become such, in the 
public service; providing for the location, erection, and organi- 
zation of an asylum for insane criminals; to suppress selling, 
lending, giving away, or showing obscene and immoral news- 
papers to minors; and a new law on compulsory education. 

The drainage law was intended primarily for the benefit of 
the city of Chicago, and contemplates the improvement of the 
Desplaines and Illinois rivers, and the enlargement of a water- 


way from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, The act 
ceding the locks and dams at Henry and Copperas Creek to the 
United States was repealed, and provision made for their 
removal "whenever the depth now available for navigation can 
be secured and maintained by channel improvement without 
the aid of dams." A joint- resolution was adopted requesting 
the United States to aid in the construction of a channel not 
less than 160 feet wide and 22 feet deep, with such grade as to 
give a velocity of three miles per hour, from Chicago to Lake 
Joliet, and to project a channel of similar capacity, and not less 
than 14 feet deep from Lake Joliet to La Salle. 

The sanitary district of Chicago having been duly created 
under the act, the following board of 9 trustees, to hold office 
until the first Monday of December, 1896, was duly elected 
on Dec. 12, 1889: John J. Altpeter, Dr. Arnold P. Gillmore, 
Christopher Hotz, John A. King, Murry Nelson, Judge Richard 
Prendergast, William H. Russell, Frank Wenter, and Henry J. 
Willing. The board was organized by the election of the follow- 
ing officers: Murry Nelson, president; Byron L. Smith, treas- 
urer; Charles Bary, secretary; L. E. Cooley was appointed chief- 
engineer; General George W. Smith, attorney; and Thomas F. 
Judge, clerk. 

The commission is limited in its expenditures to the sum of 
$15,000,000. Preliminary surveys have already been made and 
work begun. 

Congress, having in obedience to a loudly expressed, popular 
desire, determined to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary 
of the discovery of America, by the holding of a great inter- 
national exposition; and Chicago, after an exciting contest, 
having been selected as the location for the same, it became 
necessary to call a special session of the thirty-sixth general 
assembly for the purpose of enacting certain measures which 
the situation had rendered necessary. A petition, requesting 
the same, having been forwarded to Gov. Fifer from the local 
directory and the authorities of the city of Chicago, the governor 
issued his call for the legislature to convene on July 24, 1890. 
Four days before the assembling of the body, the speaker of the 
house, James H. Miller, died at Manitou Springs, Colorado. Wm. 
G. Cochran, of Moultrie County, was elected speaker, and Geo. 
T. Buckingham, clerk, vice John A. Reeve, resigned. 


A law was passed granting to the World's Columbian Expo- 
sition the use and occupation of all the lands of the state of 
Illinois within, or adjacent to Chicago, submerged or otherwise, 
as a site, the use to continue one year after the close of the 
exposition; also the use and employment of any public or park 
grounds belonging to Chicago, said city consenting thereto; 
and express authority was given to park commissioners, having 
the control or management of public parks, to allow the use of 
the same or any part thereof for the purposes of the exposition. 

A joint-resolution was also adopted providing for the sub- 
mission of an amendment to the constitution empowering the 
city of Chicago, upon consent of a majority of the voters 
therein, to issue interest-bearing bonds to the amount of 
$5,000,000, the proceeds thereof to be paid to the managers of 
the World's Columbian Exposition to be used and disbursed for 
its benefit. 

The special session adjourned August i. 

The credit of originating this great enterprise seems to 
belong to the Chicago Inter- State Exposition. As early as 
Nov. 14, 1885, the following resolution, suggested by George 
Mason, was introduced by Edwin Lee Brown, at a meeting of 
the board of directors of that organization: 

"Resolved, that it is the sense of this meeting that a great 
World's Fair should be held in Chicago in the year 1892, the 
four hundredth anniversary of the landing of Columbus in 

This resolution was referred to the executive committee, who, 
recognizing the imperative necessity of the cooperation of the 
business interests of Chicago, instructed its secretary, John P. 
Reynolds, to lay the same before the Commercial Club for its 
approval and endorsement. That influential body having its 
attention occupied in securing a site for Fort Sheridan, at the 
time, no action was then taken. But the subject was not per- 
mitted to drop out of discussion, and at a meeting of the 
Iroquois Club on May i, 1888, on motion of Judge Kenry M. 
Shepard, a conference was invited between that club, and the 
Union League, Commercial, University, Illinois, Kenwood, and 
Standard clubs of the city, at which, on July 6, a resolution was 
adopted favoring organization and the taking of action to secure 


"the location of an international celebration of the four hun- 
dredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, 
at Chicago." 

Although the movement was thus fairly inaugurated, no 
organized action was taken until July of the following year, 
when, under direction of the city council, the mayor, DeWitt 
Clinton Cregier, appointed a committee of 100, which was 
afterward increased to 250, who were charged with the duty of 
using "all honorable means" to secure the World's Fair for 

A location for active operations was obtained, a corporation 
was formed with a capital of $5,000,000, afterward doubled, and 
the country generally flooded with carefully-prepared reasons 
why the proposed celebration should be held in Chicago. 
Head-quarters were opened in Washington in September, and 
on December 19, Senator CuUom introduced a bill providing 
for the necessary legislation by congress. This was referred to 
a committee, and the name of the particular locality at which 
the fair should be held having been left blank, to be filled in 
after hearing and weighing the inducements and arguments 
offered by competing points, Chicago, New York, Washington, 
and St. Louis all being bidders for the prize. The spirited con- 
test which followed attracted the attention of the entire Nation, 
and wassettled in the house of representatives on Feb. 14, 1890. 
Eight ballots were taken, Chicago and New York gaining in each 
at the expense of Washington and St. Louis, the final result 
being Chicago 157, New York 107, St. Louis 25, and Washington 
18, the Illinois metropolis receiving a majority of 7 votes. 

The bill providing for the exposition passed the house April 
II, the senate April 21, and became a law by the signature of 
the president, Benjamin Harrison, April 25, 1890. 

The law provided for the appointment by the president of 
two commissioners and alternates from each state and eight 
commissioners at large. Those from Illinois are: Adlai T. 
Ewing of Chicago, Charles H Deere of Moline, and their 
alternates Lafayette Funk of Mc Lean County, and Dewit W. 
Smith of Springfield. The commission was organized June 
27, 1890, with Thomas W. Palmer of Michigan as president, 
and John T. Dickinson of Texas as secretary. George R. 


Davis of Chicago, upon the recommendation of the local 
directors, was elected director-general. 

The corporation organized under the laws of the state of 
Illinois, upon which largely devolves the local management and 
control of the exposition, the selection of a site, and the erec- 
tion of buildings, is governed by a board of forty- five direc- 
tors, which organized with the following officers: Lyman J. 
Gage president, Thomas B. Bryan first vice-president. Potter 
Palmer second vice-president, Benjamin Butterworth secretary, 
Anthony F. Seeberger treasurer, and William K. Ackerman 

Each section of the city presented its claims, and the task of 
making a selection from the many eligible locations offered 
was one which required not only sound judgment but also rare 
tact. After carefully weighing the respective merits of all the 
sites tendered, the choice of the directors finally rested upon 
that which seemed to combine the essentially desirable elements 
of ample room and easy access. They chose a portion of the 
Lake- Front and Jackson Park, where the principal buildings 
will be located, and the tract known as the Midway Plaisance. 

Preparations for the biennial political campaign were inaugu- 
rated in 1890 much earlier than usual. The democrats led off 
with their state convention, which was held at Springfield, 
June 3, Hon. Joseph B. Mann of Danville in the chair. Judge 
Edward S. Wilson of Richland County was nominated for state 
treasurer, receiving a majority of votes over William Fitzgerald 
of Chicago; and Henry Raab of St. Clair County, who had 
formerly occupied the same position, was named by acclamation 
the candidate for state superintendent of public instruction. 

A departure from the usual course was made in the nomina- 
tion by a state convention of a candidate for the United-States 
senate. Gen. John M. Palmer, who had been repeatedly there- 
tofore the nominee of his party in the legislative caucus, 
received this distinction. To invest this action with an air of 
consistency, a resolution was incorporated in the platform favor- 
ing the election of United-States senator by a direct vote of 
the people. Other new planks were as follows: favoring a 
change in the compulsory school - law ; in favor of the 
Australian ballot system; requiring the state treasurer to pay 


to the State all interest received on deposits; and in favor of 
the preparation and publishing of school-books and furnishing 
them to the children at cost. 

The republican state-convention met at the same place, June 
24. Ex-Senator Horace S. Clark of Coles County was elected 
temporary, and Gen. John Mc Nulta of Mc Lean permanent, 
president. Two ballots were had for state treasurer, resulting 
in the nomination of Franz Amberg of Chicago, the other 
principal candidates being Senator Conrad Secrest of Iroquois 
County, and Judge Cicero J. Lindley of Bond. Dr. Richard 
Edwards, the then incumbent, was, without opposition, nomi- 
nated for superintendent of public instruction. 

The platform adopted agreed with that of the democrats in 
declaring in favor of the Australian ballot system, and in amend- 
ing the compulsory school-law, and reaffirmed the principles of 
the national republican convention of 1888. Strong resolutions 
were also adopted in favor of the rights of the workingman. 

The democrats, for the first time in 27 years, succeeded in 
electing their state ticket; the state treasurer by a majority of 
9847 and the superintendent of public instruction by 34,042. 

The causes which led to this result have been variously 
attributed to the passage by a republican congress of the so- 
called McKinley tariff bill, the agitation of the compulsory 
education law, and general dissatisfaction with the national 
administration. It was certainly presuming a great deal upon 
the power of party organization to precipitate an issue of 
so great importance as an entirely new tariff- law upon the 
people, with only a three-weeks' canvass in which to counteract 
the unfavorable impressions created against it by the opposition. 
Whether true or not, the argument that it would induce high 
prices so industriously circulated against it, both during the 
pendency of the bill and after its passage, had their undoubted 
effect. But whether it was unwise tariff legislation, the adverse 
vote of many republican farmers, the indifference of others, or 
the revolt of a portion of the German republicans as shown in 
the vote against Edwards, the party suffered a still more disas- 
trous reverse than in 1874, not only in Illinois, but throughout 
the country. 

But although successful on the popular vote, the democrats, 


notwithstanding they elected their candidates in all of the close 
and doubtful senatorial districts carried by the republicans in 
1886, failed to secure a majority of the legislature; the senate 
standing 27 republicans and 24 democrats; the house 73 repub- 
licans, JJ democrats, and three third-party members, candidates 
elected by the Farmers' Mutual Benevolent Alliance — the demo- 
crats lacking two of a majority on joint-ballot, and the farmers 
holding the balance of power.* 

The close of this History before the results of the eleventh 
census have been compiled and published must necessarily 
curtail those comparisons and contrasts of relative growth and 
improvements which the reader will be enabled, more satisfac- 
torily, to make for himself when the data for the same shall 
have been brought more fully to light by the press. Enough, 
however, is already known to justify the statement that the 
hopes of the citizens of Illinois have been abundantly realized, 
and that the march of the Prairie State, in all those respects 
which go to make a commonwealth great and powerful, has 
been no less steadily onward and upward during the last decade 
than through the years which preceded it. 

While the population of the Nation, as fixed by the last 
census, 62,622,250, is less than was generally anticipated, that 
of Illinois, reaching 3,818,536, has shown a greater relative 
increase in the last ten years — 24.6 per cent — than from 1870 
to 1880 — 21.18. She has grown faster, relatively, than New 
York or Pennsylvania; and has finally succeeded in outstrip- 
ing Ohio in the race for the position of the third State in the 
American Union. 

Chicago, her wonderful metropolis, by the legitimate annexa- 
tion of the suburban cities and towns of Lake View, Hyde 
Park, Lake, Jefferson, and Cicero, aggregating 128 square miles, 
and embracing a population of 225,000, is now a city of 1,099,- 
133 inhabitants, having passed Philadelphia, her only rival, and 
ranking as the second city in the country. 

Illinois' other chief cities have also shown a greater increase 
from 1880 to 1890 than during the previous ten years, as may 
be seen by the following comparison of the population of cities 
of 10,000 inhabitants and over for 1870, 1880, and 1890: 

* For list of members, see page 1163. 

growth of illinois. 939 

Comparison of Illinois' Cities of 10,000: 

NAME COUNTY 1870 1880 1890 

Alton, - Madison, 8,665 8,975 10,294 

Aurora, - Kane, 11,162 11,873 19,688 

Belleville, St. Clair, 8,146 10,683 15.361 

Bloomington, McLean, 14,590 17,180 20,484 

Cairo, - Alexander, 6,267 9,0ii 10,324 

Chicago, - Cook, 298,977 503,185 1,099,850 

Danville, Vermilion, 4,75 1 7,733 11,491 

Decatur, - Macon, 7, 161 9-547 16,841 

E. St. Louis, St. Clair, 5,644 9,185 15,169 

Elgin, - Kane, 5,441 8,787 17,823 ■ 

Freeport, Stephenson, 7,889 8,516 10,189 

Galesburg, - Knox, 10,158 1 1,437 15,264 

Jacksonville, Morgan, 9,203 10,927 12,935 

Joliet, - - Will, 7,263 11,657 23,264 

Kankakee, Kankakee, 5,651 9,025 

La Salle, - La Salle, 7,847 9,855 

Moline, Rock Island, 4,166 7,800 12,000 

Ottawa, - La Salle, 7,73o 7,834 9,985 

Peoria, - Peoria, 22,849 29,259 41,024 

Quincy, - Adams, 24,052 27,268 31,494 

Rockford, Winnebago, 11,049 13,129 23,584 

Rock Island, Rock Isl., 7,890 11,659 13,634 

Springfield, Sangamon, 17,364 19,743 24,963 

Indeed, the increased growth of the State is mainlj^ confined 
to her principal centres of population, 35 of the best agricultural 
counties showing a falling off in the number of inhabitants. 
This fact may be accounted for in various ways; many of those 
bred to the soil have emigrated toward the setting sun, influenced 
by the prospect of cheaper lands, taking with them the wives of 
their youth, there to build themselves homes in a new country, 
as did their fathers before them. Others, not content with the 
moderate enjoyments and gains derived from country and 
village homes, and attracted by the allurements of a city life 
with its constant whirl of excitement and its glittering promise 
of easily acquired wealth, have been drawn into the maelstrom 
of trade, manufactures, or the professions, the greater portion 


of whom, it is grievous to reflect, doomed to disappointment 
and utter failure, will swell the already- increasing ranks of the 
unfortunate, the unsuccessful, or the criminal classes. 

Gratifying in most respects as has been the growth of the 
large cities of Illinois, that of her imperial metropolis by Lake 
Michigan has been the marvel of the world; and it is to its 
unprecedented expansion that Illinois owes her proud position 
of third in rank among the forty -four sovereign states of the 

The original plat of Chicago — only 60 years old on August 
4, 1890 — covered less than half a square mile. In 1835, with a 
population of 3265, it had grown to 2.55 square miles. When 
the city was incorporated, March 4, 1837, its area aggregated 
II square miles, and it could boast of 4179 inhabitants. 
Subsequent accessions, between the last- mentioned date and 
June I, 1889, increased its area to 44 square miles. The sub- 
urban districts, amounting to 128 square miles, were then 
annexed — making a total city area of 172.24 square miles, 
extending 24 miles north and south, and from 45^ to 10^ 
miles east and west. While Chicago has not yet overtaken the 
other great cities of the world, numerically, she embraces a 
larger area than Berlin which has only 25 square miles, than 
Paris with 30, New York with 413^, or London with 123. 

From 1876 to 1889, there were erected in the city 37,042 
buildings, at a cost of $176,460,779, and covering a frontage of 
172 miles. During the year 1890, not yet expired, 10,947 
buildings, with a frontage of 48 miles, have been erected, the 
cost of construction being $47,407,149. 

There are 2040 miles of sidewalk in the city, of which 286 
were laid the past year. The total number of miles of streets 
is 2047, o^ which 578 are improved.* 

The area of her magnificent parks is 1974 acres. 

Thirty-four different railroad lines, controlling over 30,000 miles 
of road, enter the city with a trackage therein of 1090 miles; and 
the number of passenger-trains, which arrive and depart daily, 
is 960, as against 260 in 1880 — thus constituting Chicago the 
greatest railway center on the continent. 

* For these figures, the Author is chiefly indebted to the report for 1889, of Geo. 
F. Stone, secretary of the Board of Trade. 

Theatres, - lo 


Hotels, - 140 


Steam fire-engines, 34 


Police, employes, 473 


Churches, - 187 



Other comparisons, between 1880 and 1890, may be made as 
' follows: 

1880 1890 1880 iSqo 

Public schools, - 73 207 

Public-school teachers, 869 2800 

Banks, - - - 37 79 

Fire dep't, employes, 369 917 

Street railroads, miles, 140 387 

The receipts of grain, flour, and provisions in 1889, were 
largely in excess of those of 1888; and the receipts of live- 
stock during the same year, valued at $203,331,924, was the 
highest in valuation of like receipts ever recorded. 

The number of cattle received for the year ending October 
I, 1890, was 3,563,000, and of hogs 7,265,000 — in both cases 
breaking all former records; and the Union Stock-Yards is the 
largest live-stock market in the world. 

Receipts also of meats, lard, butter, and hides, during this 
period, reached their maximum, while those of coal were much 
larger than in 1880. 

Chicago is, also, the largest lumber market on the continent, 
over $80,000,000 being invested in the business, and a dock 
frontage of 12 miles being required along which to handle the 

The manufactures of the city have arisen to a stupendous 
figure, as shown by the fact that in 1889 there were 3100 differ- 
ent firms or establishments, having an aggregate capital of over 
$134,000,000, employing 150,000 hands, who received as wages 
$84,500,000, and the total product of whose business was valued 
at over $450,000,000.* 

The total assessed valuation of property, real and personal, 
in the city for 1879, was $117,970,035, and the tax levied $3,- 
776,220; the valuation, in 1889, was $201,104,019, and the tax 

The bonded city-debt, $13,606,900, remains about the same 
as it was in 1872. 

Turning from these grand aggregates, the small space left to 
this review will be given to the business of a few leading firms: 

The firm of Armour and Company, of which Philip D. 

* Chicago Tribune's review, January i, 1890. 


Armour is the head, made sales, for the year ending October i, 
1890, amounting to the sum of $65,000,000. They slaughtered 
1,450,000 hogs, 650,000 cattle, and 350,000 sheep. 7000 hands 
receive employment, to whom are paid as wages $3,500,000 per 
annum. Their buildings cover 50 acres, with a floor area of 
140 acres. The statement of these facts suggests its own com- 

The dry -goods houses of Marshall Field and Company, 
wholesale and retail, do a business of over $30,000,000 per 
annum. Their granite building, erected for their wholesale trade 
at a cost of over $1,000,000, exclusive of the ground, is the finest 
structure of the kind in this or any other country. Their retail 
store, splendid and palatial in all of its appointments, employs 
2000 hands, while 1500 are engaged in manufacturing. 

The wholesale dry-goods firm of John V. Farwell and Com- 
pany, established in 1855 and the oldest in the city, does a 
business amounting to $23,000,000 a year and employs 1400 

The business of these two houses of princely merchants is 
not exceeded in New York or Philadelphia, and being large 
importers, they are as well known in London, Paris, and Berlin, 
as in Chicago, 

The firm of D. B. Fisk and Company, wholesale dealers in 
millinery and straw goods, established in 1853, and the first 
west of the Alleghanies, is the largest of its kind in the world. 
They import extensively, employ 500 hands, and sell to the 
amount of $2,000,000 a year. 

The Tobey Furniture Company, the largest retail furniture 
establishment in the West, if not in the United States, has 
customers from and ship its goods to 29 different states, includ- 
ing the cities of New York and even to London. 

Perhaps the most important, widely known, as well as ex- 
tensive manufacturing concern, is that of the McCormick Har- 
vesting Machine Company, of which Cyrus Hall McCorm.ick, jr. 
is the president. Established here in 1848, and now located 
on the south branch of the Chicago River, with a fourth of a 
mile of dockage, it has steadily grown up to the present time. 
The number of machines manufactured, during the past season 
was 120,000, including harvesters, binders, reapers, and mowers, 


and the number of hands employed at the works is 2000. Their 
books show that 10,782 cars of freight were handled during the 
season ending August i, 1890. 

The soap manufactory of Jas. S. Kirk and Company, estab- 
lished in Utica, New York, in 1839, and removed to Chicago 
in 1859, and now conducted by the seven sons of the founder,* 
is also the largest in the world. They have over 800 employes, 
and sell their products — soap, perfumes, and glycerine — through- 
out America. Their annual production of soap is over 70,000,- 
000 pounds."!* 

Chicago is also passing to the front in the business of pub- 
lishing, especially in the printing of books sold only by sub- 
scription, and text-books, globes, and novelties, for public and 
higher schools. The firms of S. C. Griggs and Company, estab- 
lished in 1848, and publishers of Ford's "History of Illinois," in 
1853; and the Fergus Printing Company, established in 1840 
by Robert Fergus, publishers of the noted "Fergus Historical 
Series," are still, Jan. i, 1891, engaged in business. The leading 
firms at present are Alexander C. McClurg and Company, and 
Rand, McNally and Company; the former is also the largest 
book and stationery house in the United States, and through 
its senior member. Gen, McClurg, himself a writer of no mean 
ability, has done much to encourage and promote home talent. 

* James Smith Kirk died South Evanston, Illinois, June 16, 1SS6, aged 68; bom 
Glasgow, Scotland, September 11, 181 8. 

+ In view of these figures, it will be interesting to turn to a picture of the city by 
Governor John Reynolds in his work entitled "'Sketches of the Country," published 
at Belleville, in 1854. After speaking of its growth from 1840 to 1S53, from a popu- 
lation of 4479 to 60,652, he remarks : "All the elements of greatness and grandeur 
of Chicago are in progress, and will ultimately produce the result as above stated: 
that the Garden City will be one amongst the greatest empoiiums in the Union. * 
Within this city, there are 159 miles of planked sidewalks, and 27 of planked streets. 
And also the young city can boast of four miles of wharfs, and six miles of sewers 
already put down. * * Omnibuses, with all other improvements, have found their 
way into the city, 18 are in daily operation, and make 408 trips in the day. The 
whole omnibus corps travel in a day 802 miles. 

"Gas is used in this city to a great amount, and a company is organized with a 
capital of $207,400 to furnish it. This is another evidence," remarks the quaint old 
governor, "that the people of Chicago prefer light to darkness. Five miles and 2978 
feet of large gas-pipes have been laid under ground in this city the last year, and the 
total of the smaller pipes laid throughout the city is 13 miles and 638 feet. * * 
[Pages 129-30.] 


Illinois, which was the seventh in 1880, now ranks as the 
fourth in her iron -and -steel industries, and is only surpassed 
by Pennsylvania in the production of Bessamer steel. 

The first place among the influences which have been at work 
to produce these great results in Illinois must be conceded to 
the press, which has stimulated the enterprise, quickened the 
energies, and encouraged the ambition of her citizens. Their 
determination to reach the front has been kept steadily in view, 
and every hindering cause deprecated. No city, indeed, in the 
Union can boast a more able and aggressive daily press than 
that of Chicago; while the management of her weekly papers, 
in their several religious, commercial, and literary departments, 
is equally distinguished. The growth of journalism in Illinois 
has kept, indeed, more than fully abreast of the State's develop- 
ment, the press having formed one of the chief factors and 
exponents of its expansion. 

The five papers — all weekly — in 1824, which had increased 
to 14 in 1834, had grown to 107 in 1850, including several 
dailies. In 1870, the number had risen to 505, embracing 
periodicals; and, in 1880, it had grown to 900; and, in 1890, to 
1200 — of these, 300 are classed as republican in politics, 170 as 

"Ninety- two trains enter and leave the city each day except Sunday. There are 
more than 1000 miles of railroad now completed in this State, almost all of which 
have their termini in this city. [Page 121.] 

"The assessed real and personal property for Chicago, for 1853, was $16,841,831, 
and the city tax $135,662. 

" Like all the branches of industry in the West, the manufactories of Chicago are 
advancing with astonishing rapidity. * Why can not this city become as famous for 
its manufactures as it is already for its extraordinary commerce?" 

The governor describes several manufacturing establishments, and among them, he 
says, "Charles Cleaver, on the lake, south of the city, does a 'bully business,' manu- 
facturing candles and soap. He imported last year 350 tons of rosin and soda. 

"McCormick alone, the last year, manufactured 15CX) reapers and sold them at 
$130 each, amounting in all to $195,000. 

"The receipts of flour last year were 131,130 barrels, being 7000 more than in 
1852. Wheat received was 1,687,465 bushels, corn 2,869,339 bushels. Lumber, 
212,111,198 feet." [Page 142.] 

The governor remarks, on page 120, with prophetic vision, "And I deem it not a 
wild prediction to say, when the West contains 20,000,000 of inhabitants, Chicago 
will then embrace 1,000,000 of souls within her limits." 

If the governor could have beheld the gigantic strides which the Garden City was 
destined to make from that time to the present, his vocabulary of adjectives would 
have been exhausted. 


democratic, and 335 as independent. The remainder are devoted 
to commerce, literature, the professions, or are the organs of 
churches or special societies. One fourth of the entire number 
are pubHshed in Chicago, 

The oldest paper is the State Journal at Springfield, estab- 
lished in 183 1 — the Jacksonville Journal having been founded 
about the same time. These, with the Galena Gazette issued in 
1834 the State Register first published at Vandalia in 1835 by- 
William Walters, and removed with tire capital to Springfield 
in 1839, ^J^d the Alton TelegrapJi established by Richard M. 
Treadway and Lawson A. Parks in 1836, have all been uninter- 
ruptedly published to the present time. 

The State Journal is organized with Clarence R. Paul as 
president and editor-in-chief, and Harry F. Dorwin as secre- 
tary and business manager. Henry W. Clendenin is president 
and general manager of the Register Company, and Thomas 
Rees, treasurer. 

Among those associated with the early press in central Illinois 
who stand out prominently in that connection and who have 
achieved more than a local fame, not heretofore mentioned in 
that connection, are Hooper Warren, Rev. John M. Peck, John 
Bailhache, Robert Blackwell, Robert Goudy, George T. Brown, 
Charles H. Lanphier, George Walker, Edward L. Baker, Wm. 
H. Bailhache, John G. Nicolay, John W. Merritt, Edward L. 
Merritt, David L. Phillips, Thomas W. S. Kidd, Enoch Emery, 
John H. Oberly, and the veteran, Paul Selby, who has been 
continuously identified with the press as an editorial writer for 
nearly forty years. 

The earliest paper published in Chicago was the CJiiago 
De7nocrat, the first number of which bears the date of November 
23, 1833. Its founder and proprietor was John Calhoun, a 
native of New York. In 1836, he sold the paper to John Went- 
worth, whose name thenceforward became identified with Illinois 
journalism in all that tended to make it progressive and inde- 
pendent, who continued it until July 27, 1861, when he trans- 
ferred the subscription list to the Tribune. 

The Chicago American, established June 8, 1835, by Thomas 
O. Davis, was the second paper in Chicago and the first paper 
in the State to issue a daily edition, which it did on April 9, 


1839, being then edited by Wm. Stuart of Binghamton, New 
York. The A 7Hencan wa.s succeeded October 24, 1842, by the 
Chicago Express, William H. Brackett editor and proprietor, 
continuing until April 20, 1844; when on April 22, i8zJ4, the 
first number of the Chicago Daily Journal was issued, of which 
paper Richard L. Wilson was editor. About 1852, it became 
an evening paper. The Chicago Evening Journal was incorpor- 
ated July, 1873, by Charles L. Wilson, Henry W. Farrar, and 
John R. Wilson. Charles L. Wilson died March 9, 1878, two 
years later, the paper was leased to Shuman and Wilson, and 
eighteen months later John R. Wilson bought the controlling 
interest. Gov. Shuman retired from the editorial management 
about two years before his death. 

The Chicago Commercial Advertiser, weekly, was established 
Oct. II, 1836, by Hooper Warren; and lived about one year. 

TJie Tribune, the first newspaper of this name in America, 
appeared in Chicago April 4, 1840. Edward George Ryan, 
subsequently chief-justice of Wisconsin, was the editor while it 
existed — about eighteen months. 

The Quid Nunc, the first penny daily west of the Alleghanies, 
was commenced July 5, 1842, by Ellis and Fergus, printers and 
publisliers; David S. Griswold, editor; and was issued only a 
short time. 

The Democratic Advocate and Commercial Advertiser, weekly, 
commenced February 3, 1844, by Ellis and Fergus, printers and 
publishers; editor, James Curtiss — mayor of Chicago in 1847. 
It ceased to exist January, 1846. 

On May 20, 1S44, appeared the first number of the Gem of 
the Prairie, weekly, of which Kiler Kent Jones and Jas. Sterling 
Beach were the editors and proprietors. 

The Chicago Tribmie, reviving the name which had first 
appeared in Chicago in 1840, was established July 10, 1847, by 
James Kelly, Joseph K. C. Forrest, and John E. Wheeler. The 
Gem, after several changes, was purchased by and for a time 
was the weekly edition of the Tribune. The Tribune was the 
first paper to arrange, on December 6, 1849, for the daily 
receipt and publication of telegraphic dispatches. Joseph 
Medill from Cleveland, Ohio, .became a part proprietor in 
June, 1855, and Dr. Charles H, Ray and Alfred Cowles in 


July, 1855. The Democratic Argus, daily and weekly, estab- 
lished August 12, 1850, by S. D. McDonald and Company 
— the company being Judge Ebenezer Peck, was sold to John 
Locke Scripps from Rushville, Illinois, and William Bross, and 
on September 16, 1852, they issued the first number of the 
Deviocratic Press, which was consolidated with the Tribune in 
1858, and for a time was called the Press and Tribune. This 
union brought together what was undoubtedly the ablest corps 
of editorial writers and managers, at that time, or since, com- 
bined on any single paper in the country. Of these, Joseph 
Medill, the editor and principal owner of the Tribune, and still 
wielding the pen of a master, alone survives. 

The dates of the establishment of other leading daily papers 
now existing in Chicago, with the names of their founders and 
proprietors, are as follows: 

The Illinois Slants Zeitung, the most influential German paper 
in the Northwest, was established in April, 1848, by Robert B. 
Hoefifgen, Arno Voss being the editor. It was at first issued 
as a weekly paper, and changed to a daily upon the assumption 
of the editorial management by George Schneider in 185 1. In 
1 86 1, Lorenz Brentano became owner of the paper, who sold 
an interest therein to Anton C. Hesing in 1862, Hesing 
became sole proprietor in 1867, and retained the chief manage- 
ment and control until it was transferred to his son, Washington 
Hesing, who is still at its head. 

The Chicago Times was founded, Aug. 20, 1854, by James W. 
Sheahan, Isaac Cook, and Daniel Cameron. In 1861, Wilbur F, 
Storey became the principal owner and manager, and so con- 
tinued until his death in 1884. Since that date, the paper has 
passed through various vicissitudes previous to the present man- 
agement's obtaining control. 

The Inter Ocean, which succeeded to the press-franchises and 
patronage of the Chicago Republican, was established, in 1872, 
by J. Young Scammon; Wm. Penn Nixon was its first general 
manager, assisted in the editorial department by E. W. Halford 
and Gilbert A. Pierce. P^rank W. Palmer became its principal 
editor in 1873. A reorganization of the directory was effected 
in 1875, when Dr. Oliver W. Nixon was elected president and 
William Penn Nixon controlling manager, and they remain at 
the head of the paper to the present time. 


The Neue Freie Presse, an independent German daily, pub- 
lished morning and evening, was established in 1871. 

The Chicago Daily Nezvs was founded by Melville E. Stone, 
Dec. 25, 1875; Victor F. Lawson became controlling owner and 
business manager the following year. Stone continued to be 
the editor-in-chief until 1888, when he transferred his interest 
to Lawson, who is now the sole proprietor. The paper com- 
prises two distinct publications, the Morning News and the 
Evening Nezvs, each with its own editorial staff, and the two 
papers combined issue eight different editions daily. 

The Chicago Herald \wdiS established in May 10, 1881, by the 
Chicago Herald Company — Frank W. Palmer, James W. Scott, 
A. M. Jones, and Daniel Shepard — as a stalwart -republican 
paper, with Frank W. Palmer as editor, and James W, Scott, 
secretary and treasurer, and business manager. It was the 
successor of the Daily Telegraph, founded in 1878, and managed 
by William T. Collins, formerly of Winchester, Illinois. In 
the spring of 1883, John R, Walsh bought the controlling 
interest in the company, when Martin J. Russell became the 
editor, who was succeeded in 1887 by Horatio W. Seymour. 
The paper now is democratic, owned by Walsh and Scott alone. 

The Chicago Evening Post, controlled by John R. Walsh and 
Jas. W. Scott, who own the stock, was established May i, 1890, 

The evening papers of the city, besides the Journal, Nezvs, 
and Post, are the Mail, and the Globe. 

Notwithstanding the giant strides taken by Illinois in material 
progress — in commerce, agriculture, and manufactures; despite 
her advance in education; and although the influence of her 
voice in the national councils has grown until her delegates in 
both houses of congress stand in the foremost rank, it must, 
nevertheless, be admitted that in the world of letters she has 
by no means overtaken the older commonwealths of the East. 
During the war, her troops were among the most valiant, her 
generals — notably "the old commander," — the most renowned; 
in the learned professions not a few of her sons have attained 
national, and some of them world-wide fame; in the money 
markets of two continents, her credit stands unquestioned and 
unassailable; yet she has given to the world no author of com- 
manding influence and few of national reputation. 


Various causes may be assigned for the existence of this fact. 
In every new community, the brain power is necessarily exer- 
cised in the direction of the accomphshment of material, as 
contradistinguished from intellectual, results. The first struggle 
of a new state, as of man, is for subsistence; its next for com- 
petence. Not until these two ends have been attained, does 
the mind turn toward less utilitarian fields in which talent, as 
well as genius, seeks to find vent. In a community recently 
formed, where a bare existence is the "chief end of man," mere 
thinkers, whose thought turns itself toward no present practical 
result, are, not unjustly, regarded as dreamers and drones. 
And as population grows and wealth increases, thought finds a 
more remunerative market in the fields of practical research than 
in those of abstract speculation, on the one hand, or of imagi- 
native flights on the other. In other words — in a fresh settle- 
ment, the plough is worth more than the pen; in a young city, 
the expert accountant rises to prosperity, while the savant 
starves in a garret. 

Yet, even in the early history of the State, there were not 
wanting men like James Hall, whose Illinois Monthly Magazine 
compared favorably, in point of painstaking research, of variety 
of matter, and of grace of diction, with similar magazines in 
older and better settled localities. To the name of Judge Hall, 
in addition to other writers already mentioned, may be added 
that of John L. Mc Connel, a native of Jacksonville, Illinois, 
whose series of novels and sketches, especially his "Western 
Characters or Types of Border Life," published in 1850-3, 
attracted wide attention, and were favorably received by the 

It may be asserted, however, without successful controversion 
that, even in these later days, no western writer not connected 
more or less closely with journalism, has been able to earn a 
livelihood by his pen. No Illinois author, certainly, has ever 
received from a single work, any financial return adequate to 
the time, research, thought, and labor involved in its prepara- 
tion. It is true that certain books of ephemeral reputation and 
doubtful value have made fortunes for their publishers, but the 
fact remains that Illinois has produced but few works which 
may properly classed in the category of standard literature. 


The general reading public of the West is not yet sufficiently 
and keenly alive to the value of literary works of high merit. 
The sense of discrimination is lacking. Over and over again, 
the imprimatur of a well-known publishing house serves, like 
charity, to "cover a multitude of [literary] sins." Even period- 
ical literature languishes in the West, if it be of local origin. 
The "great magazines" are able to "point with pride" to the 
vast proportions of their subscription lists in Chicago alone. 
Yet the encouragement held out to writers, who are peculiarly 
identified with local and home production, is of the most languid 
and half-hearted sort. 

Illinois, however, is not without men of letters, whose con- 
tributions would adorn any periodical in the land. These 
writers, nevertheless, find themselves compelled, as a rule, to 
seek a market for the product of their pens in eastern cities 
rather than in the metropolis of their own State. Why should 
not Chicago and its tributary territory afford support to a dis- 
tinctively literary journal of the highest order of excellence.'* 
The legal and medical professions have their journals, which 
command the attention of the entire country. The weekly 
issues of the religious press rank with the best publications of 
that description in the land. Trade-journalism finds there some 
of the best and most widely-circulated exponents of commercial 
interests. Why should not the guild of authors "go and do 

Among distinctively Illinois authors, whose works have found 
a permanent and honored place in literature, may be mentioned, 
as the oldest in the field of historical research, next to Judge 
James Hall and John M. Peck, the name of Henry Brown, who 
wrote the first history of the State in 1844. Perhaps the fore- 
most name of those who followed him is that of Isaac Newton 
Arnold, whose "Life of Lincoln," "Lincoln and Slavery," and 
"Life of Benedict Arnold," are regarded as standard works. 

Elihu B. Washburne, in addition to his able editorial work 
upon the "Edwards Papers" and "History of Edwards County," 
was also the author of a life of Governor Coles; his most elab- 
orate work being "Recollections of a Minister to France." 

John G. Nicolay and John Hay, who, notwithstanding their 
long official residence at Washington, may well be claimed as 


citizens of Illinois, the State of their early manhood and start 
in life, have gained well -merited fame as the authors of the 
fjreat work "Abraham Lincoln, a History," as well as for other 
valuable contributions to history and literature.* 

Edward Gay Mason has made many valuable contributions to 
the early history of Illinois, a branch of study of which he has 
made a specialty. Among these are "Illinois in the i8th Cen- 
tury," "Kaskaskia and its Parish Records," and papers on La- 
Salle, the first settlers of Chicago, and "The Story of James 
Willing — An Episode of the Revolution." He is also the 
editor of "Early Chicago and Illinois," published by the Chicago 
Historical Society, of which he is president, having succeeded 
E. B. Washburne, who followed Isaac N. Arnold. 

George P. Upton, who has been known for many years as an 
author, besides his editorial work on the Chicago Tribune and 
contributions to the press under the pseudonyme of "Peregrine 
Pickle," has risen to a higher plane in the field of technical 
literature through his biographies of Haydn, Wagner, and 
Liszt, and his four volumes upon the standard operas, and 
other musical works. 

John W. Foster, a long time resident of Chicago,-f- was a dis- 
tinguished geologist, and his works, "The Mississippi Valley, 
its Physical Geography," and "Prehistoric Races of the United 
States," have found an honored place upon the shelves of the 
best libraries in the United States and Great Britain. 

Elias Colbert, also a writer on the Chicago Tribune, is the 
author of those valuable scientific works, "Astronomy with the 
Telescope," "Star Studies," and also a "History of Chicago." 

William Mathews, a resident of Chicago from 1856 to 1880, 
and for many years professor of rhetoric and English literature 
in the University of Chicago, is the author of those well-known 
and popular works, "Getting on in the World" — reprinted in 
London, and translated into Swedish and Magyar — "The Great 
Conversers," "Words, their Use and Abuse," and "Hours with 
Men and Books," and several others of equal merit. 

Dr. William F. Poole, the Nestor of western librarians, in 

* In a note to the author, Mr. Nicolay says, "The title of citizen of Illinois is one 
of which I have always been proud, and have no present wish to change. " 
+ Where he died in June, 1S73. 


addition to his great work of "An Index to Periodical Litera- 
ture," is the author of many valuable and scholarly papers 
illustrating western history, notably "The West" contributed 
to Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of America," "The 
Ordinance of 1787," and "Anti- Slavery Opinions before the 
Year 1800." 

Bishop Samuel Fallows, distinguished as a soldier, divine, 
and scholar, has added to his fame by the authorship of 
his valuable works of reference entitled "Supplementary Dic- 
tionary," "Handbook of Abbreviations," and "A Complete 
Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms." 

Benjamin F. Taylor was not only a popular war-correspon- 
dent of the Chicago Evejiing Journal, and contributor to war- 
literature in his "Campaign and Field" and "Missionary Ridge 
and Lookout Mountain," but is better known as the author of 
"The World on Wheels," and as a poet of rare genius and 
great versatility. 

Franc B. Wilkie, for many years a leading editorial writer on 
the Chicago Times, has done some very strong work under the 
nom de plume of "Polutio," and is the author of valuable studies 
in his "Walks about Chicago" and his "History of the Great 

Other writers, not heretofore mentioned, Avho have contributed 
carefully- prepared volumes relating to the history of the West 
and Chicago, may be mentioned as follows: Mrs. John H. Kin- 
zie, author of "Wau-Bun;" John S. Wright, Henry H. Hurlbut, 
Rev. Wm. H. Milburn, the "blind preacher; Hiram W. Beckwith, 
Rufus Blanchard, L. D. Ingersoll, Rev. James B. McClure, and 
George S. Phillips — "January Searle." 

In the domain of fiction and poetry, while the number of 
those who have plumed their wings for ambitious flights is 
legion, but few can be said to have reached the lofty height at 
which they had aimed. 

Eugene Field, widely known as one of the wittiest writers on 
the western press, has found an appreciative public for his two 
volumes a "Little Book of Profitable Tales," and a "Little Book 
of Western Verse." They have attracted not only admiring 
readers in this country but have been approvingly read and 
reviewed in Europe. 


Major Joseph Kirkland, literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, 
has achieved success in his three stories "Zury," "Phil," and 
"The Captain of Company K," At present, he is engaged upon 
an historical work, "The Story of Chicago," to appear in 1891. 

Mrs. Mary Hartwell Catherwood has struck a popular chord 
in her novels, "The Romance of Dollard," the "Story of Tonty," 
and the "Lady of Fort St. Johns," illustrating the romantic 
period of the old French regime in a style singularly picturesque 
and graceful. 

Among other authors, aside from those who have distin- 
guished themselves as writers upon subjects connected with 
their professions of the law, medicine, and theology, whose works 
either already have achieved or are destined to acquire a repu- 
tation not ephemeral in its character, may be named the follow- 
ing: David Swing, Carter H. Harrison, William H. Bushnell, 
Wm. Henry Smith, VanBuren Denslow, John J. Lalor, Chas. H. 
Ham, William S. B. Matthews, Opie P. Reed, John McGovern, 
Eugene A. Hall, Elwyn A. Barron, Stanley Waterloo, Fred. 
H. Hall, Harry B. Smith, W. D. Eaton, George M. McConnel, 
Col. Frederick C. Pierce, John F. Finerty, Mrs. Hattie Tyng 
Griswold, Gen. John Basil Turchin, Howard L. Conard, Henry 
G. Cutler, Mrs. Celia P. Woolley, Frances E. Willard, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Reed, Alice B. Stockham, Mrs. Caroline F. Corbin, 
Mrs. Margaret F. Sullivan, Mary Allen West, Ida Scott Taylor, 
Elizabeth S. Kirkland, Helen E. Starrett, and Frank Gilbert. 



The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Departments — 
Politics and Politicians — Party Management — Election 

WITH one exception, the record of the executive adminis- 
trations of the state government of Illinois has been of 
a character alike satisfactory to the people and creditable to 
the occupants of the gubernatorial chair. 

In the early days, when the first constitution proved adequate 
to the needs of a primitive people, candidates for official 
honors were selected on the score of availability, rather than 
because of intellectual qualifications or broad influence. Among 
the governors of those days, only Edwards and Reynolds made 
any pretensions to oratory Since 1856, however, nominees for 
this office have been chosen from among the leading — although 
not always the most distinguished — members of the respective 
political parties. Of the fifteen chief executives chosen by the 
people, ten have been lawyers, four farmers, and one a business 
man. None of them have been native Illinoisans, although 
Governors Reynolds and Ford, while born in Pennsylvania, 
came to this State in their early years. Matteson and Bissell 
first saw the light in New York. Of the rest, ten were natives 
of Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky, while one, French, traced 
his descent from New England's sturdy stock. All of them 
had been members of the legislature except Coles and Ford; 
Edwards having served in the general assembly of Kentucky, 
Nine have been members of congress. No scandal, impugning 
his personal integrity, has ever been attached to any governor 
of Illinois save Matteson. None of them, unless Matteson may 
have been an exception, ever made any money out of the office, 
having generally in fact left it poorer than when they entered 
upon its duties. 

Under the first constitution, the duties of the office were 
light and easily performed; but they have gradually become 
more onerous as well as important with the growth of the State 



and the increase in the number of state-institutions and depart- 
mental bureaus, until at present they tax to the utmost the 
time, the ability, and the industry of the incumbent. The 
powers committed to the executive of passing upon all the laws 
enacted by the legislature, of taking "care that the laws be 
faithfully executed," of calling special sessions, of appointments 
to and removals from office, are large, and demand at times the 
exercise of the highest order of legal and executive talent. 

Four of those elected to the office of lieutenant-governor have, 
in consequence of the resignation or death of the governor, 
succeeded to that position, namely: William L. D. Ewing, John 
Wood, John L. Beveridge, and John M. Hamilton. 

The other offices of state, constituting the executive depart- 
ment, have generally been filled by men of high character and 
distinguished administrative ability, nearly all of whom under 
the last and present constitution have received a second nomin- 
ation and election, which they had justly earned. 

The offices of secretary of state and auditor, under the first 
constitution, were considered worthy the ambition of such 
men as Douglas, Trumbull, and Shields; but in later years 
they have been given to business men, the greater portion of 
whom would have been much better off today had they "kept 
out of politics." 

In no other department of the state government have so 
many changes been effected as in the legislative. Under the 
first constitution, the general assembly had the selection of all 
the judges, the state treasurer, auditor, attorney-general, public 
printer, and prosecuting attorneys. To be a member of a body 
exercising so much power as this excited the aspirations of the 
most able and influential citizens in every county. Its sessions 
were attended by all the leading men of the State as interested 
on-lookers, or as applicants for positions for themselves, or for 
their friends, and the state capital became the focus of political 
interest and power. The national government, with which com- 
munication was so seldom and difficult, and the direct effect of 
whose laws was hardly ever felt by the people of the State, 
was virtually shut out of public notice by the predominating 
interest taken in the transactions of the state legislature. 

The proceedings were simple and direct, as were the dresses 


and habits of the members. Much of the business was determined 
by action on petitions and resolutions. There were at first only- 
seven committees, namely: those on the judiciary, finance, elec- 
tions, petitions, propositions and grievances, militia, and internal 
improvements. Bills were introduced on motion for leave, and 
were sometimes negatived when their titles were made known. 
The change by which the law-making power is virtually con- 
trolled by committees has been gradual, yet complete. The 
rules of the thirty-sixth general assembly provide for forty- 
nine committees for the house and thirty-five for the senate. 
The appointment of these committees by the speaker, which 
work was formerly done within three days, now requires as many 
weeks. The chairmanships of certain committees, such as the 
judiciary, railroads, corporations, appropriations, insurance, print- 
ing, and others, are coveted by reason of the power which 
these positions confer. All bills introduced are now required 
to be printed and referred to "the proper committee" for con- 
sideration. They are in charge of the chairman, upon whom 
the duty of calling the committee together for agreeing upon a 
report devolves. He may hasten or retard its action at his 
pleasure; and only direct interference of the general body by 
resolution, the adoption of which may be diflficult to secure, can 
compel action contrary to his own will. Woe be to that bill 
which falls into the hands of an unfriendly chairman, as an ad- 
verse or even delayed report from the committee generally kills 
it. Inexperienced members frequently become impatient over 
the failure of a committee to report upon their favorite meas- 
ure, and are unable to find out what the matter is until they find 
their bill, though reported upon favorably, so far down on the 
calendar as to render its passage hopeless. Their eyes are then 

A bill in itself unobjectionable is also frequently delayed in 
committee by the preference given to more favored or important 
measures, or by its reference to a sub-committee which holds 
it back. Sometimes, indeed, when, after repeated failures to do 
so on request, a chairman has at length felt compelled to call 
his committee together to consider a particular bill, finding 
there is no other way to compass its defeat, he reports that the 
bill has been mislaid or lost — thus still practically controlling 


The committees on the judiciary and judicial department are 
the most important, and upon their proper constitution depends 
the hindrance or defeat of the many foolish, absurd, and vicious 
measures introduced. They should be the legislative charnel- 
houses of all bad bills; and their chairmen should be not only 
judicially-minded law-makers but incorruptible citizens. They 
ought to be appointed solely upon their merits and fitness for 
the position; but, instead of this, their selection is too often 
made dependent upon how many votes they can command in 
caucus to secure the nomination of the speaker. Their attitude 
with regard to contending factions in the party and the desira- 
bility of contributing to the success or failure of either, also 
not infrequently affect the result. Sometimes, indeed, in cases 
of sharp conflicts over the speakership, leading chairmanships 
have been "farmed out," by reason of which method of dis- 
position, inefficient, if not incompetent, members have received 
the best places, to the exclusion of those possessing the neces- 
sary qualifications to fill them. 

The lack of spoils to distribute, under the second constitu- 
tion, and the reduced powers granted to the legislature, together 
with the vastly- increasing interests of internal growth, which 
occupied the attention of the people, caused a diminished 
attendance upon the sessions of the general assembly until the 
important question of corporation privileges brought about the 
era of special legislation. The lobby began to make its influ- 
ence felt as early as 1855, and from that time until the adoption 
of the constitution of 1870 increased in power. The number 
of bills enacted into laws was in direct proportion to the influ- 
ence which it exerted. That money was sometimes shamelessly 
used, as well as the promise of the rewards of office, there can 
be no doubt. Yet so carefully were the tracks of the go-betweens 
covered that but few of their transactions have ever come to 
light — really none of them in tangible form. 

Under the admirable provision of our present constitution, 
prohibiting special legislation, venality has taken a new direc- 
tion. The many rich and powerful corporations which have 
grown up in the State within the past few years are made the 
subject of attack by the introduction of propositions to impose 
certain legislative burthens upon them or in some way to restrict 


their power. In some instances, doubtless, meritorious amend- 
ments are intended, but more frequently the object of the 
author of the bill, if he acts with the majority and is influential, 
is a menace which can be satisfied only by the inducement ot 
a consideration. 

Perhaps the contrast between former general assembhes and 
those of the present is in no way more distinctly presented than 
in their personal composition. As a general thing, the best men 
of a district are not now, as in former years, selected — especially 
in the large cities. The leading lawyers, many of whom are 
the salaried attorneys of large corporations, or are in the enjoy- 
ment of a practice which will not admit of being neglected, find 
no longer any inducement to surrender their business for the 
equivocal honor of going to the legislature. Wealthy merchants, 
manufacturers, traders, large farmers and dealers in stock, are 
too much absorbed by the demands of an exacting occupation 
to devote either time or attention to the afi"airs of state, other 
than as they may personally affect them. 

The influence of congressional enactments has been more 
directly felt in Illinois during the last two decades than ever 
before. This accession of influence may be attributed to several 
causes — the extension and improvement of transportation facili- 
ties have practically reduced the distance between the state and 
national capitals; the war of the rebellion demonstrated the 
necessity for a strong central authority; and the increase in the 
number of states has rendered more concentration of power 
in a federal head desirable for the facilitation of commerce, the 
adjustment of conflicting claims, and the advancement of the 
common good. Problems relating to trade, revenue, currency, 
taxation, and transportation are no longer confined, as regards 
either their discussion or their solution, to the contracted inter- 
ests of any particular state. These considerations, in connection 
with the fact that general statutes have been enacted covering 
almost every conceivable subject, and that consequently little 
new legislation outside of appropriation bills is required, are 
urged by leading citizens as an excuse for their indisposition to 
legislative service. This leaves the field open — notably in the 
larger cities — to the occupation of ward politicians, sm.all ofifice- 
holders, and saloon - keepers, who seek political preferment 
either for themselves or their friends. 


Another noticeable feature in the composition of today's 
general assemblies consists in the proportion of members of 
foreign birth. Prior to the war, they could be numbered on the 
fingers of one hand, and were confined to those who had been 
long resident in the State and had become distinguished for 
their services. In the legislature of 1S69, the number had 
increased to ten, while in that of 1875 it had arisen to twenty- 
eight, and in that of 1889 to thirty-three. At the same time, 
even this number is not out of proportion to the naturalized 
voters in the State, who naturally claim the right of selecting 
a fair share of representatives from their own class. 

Although special legislation is now prohibited, the number of 
bills introduced is so large that only about one in ten has any 
chance of becoming a law. The most of these are in the nature 
of amendments, often very trifling ones, to existing statutes. 
Others are ventures in new fields or efforts toward additional 
restrictions upon corporations, by which the author expects to 
reap some personal advantage or to please his constituents, 
rather than to benefit the people of the State. A new member 
often presumes that it is essential to his influence in his district 
that his constituents shall frequently see his name in the papers, 
as the author of particular bills, whereas the greatest service he 
could render them, and his surest step toward fame, would be 
to refrain from posing as a would-be statesman. 

Another notable contrast between legislatures of the present 
and those of the earlier periods is to be observed in the relative 
influence of speech- making. Formerly, the merits of a con- 
tested measure were fully and oftentimes eloquently discussed 
on the floor of both houses by the ablest talent the State could 
furnish. That time has gone by. Very little debate is now 
heard, and the speeches which are attempted are generally 
short and far from being rhetorical. 

Before the days of the telegraph and daily press, the pro- 
ceedings of the general assembly were only to be gathered from 
crude and incomplete letters published in weekly newspapers 
or from the member's own report on his return home; in which 
case, doubtless, the part taken by himself was not underesti- 
mated. Nowadays, in the voluminous reports furnished by 
reporters and special correspondents, the member is not only 


relieved from all trouble on this account but is frequently con- 
fronted with a record which he would have preferred to suppress. 
Indeed, the recollection that the eye of the reporter is upon him 
and that his action may be the subject of caustic criticism 
undoubtedly operates as a wholesome restraint upon the con- 
duct of one who might otherwise be inclined entirely to "break 
over the traces." The correspondent himself is subject to 
surveillance, and is held to a strict account by his employer; 
but while there is abundant opportunity for false coloring, and 
a strong temptation toward misrepresentation in certain cases 
by a splenetic, disgruntled, or subsidized writer, the general 
tendency of legislative reports in leading newspapers is toward 
the support of laudable measures, the exposure of incompetency^ 
and the checkmating of venality and corruption. 

While it will doubtless be conceded that the legislators of a 
generation ago had a finer sense of honor and appreciated more 
highly the dignity of their position than their successors now 
do, whether their moral honesty was of a higher type than that 
of later days is, at least, questionable. The action of the third 
general assembly in the election contest of Shaw versus Han- 
son, by which a member was seated at the opening of the 
session for one purpose and replaced by his opponent at the 
close for another, was the consummation of a political outrage 
which has never since been paralleled in this State, Had the 
proceedings been subject to the censorship of the daily press, it 
could hardly have occurred. That the measure for internal 
improvements and the bill for the removal of the capital to 
Springfield could only have been passed by the tenth general 
assembly as the result of innumerable trades, there is no doubt, 
although the latter were made for the benefit of localities rather 
than of individual members. 

While votes, in these early days, were susceptible to influence, 
transactions into which the use of money actually entered for 
personal benefit were unknown. Indeed, in a young commu- 
nity the temptation to offer or receive bribes was naturally far 
less than in later days, when the rapid development of material 
interests aroused a cupidity which only the possession of wealth 
could satisfy. What earlier members would have done when 
log-rolling came to be practised for pecuniary gain or political 


advancement, can be inferred only from what they did in analo- 
gous situations. The reflection, however, that notwithstanding 
the admitted increase of education, culture, and wealth, there 
has not been a corresponding improvement in either the morals 
or intellectual strength of our law- makers, is not flattering to 
the progress of the race. 

In the earlier periods of the State's history, all those who ex- 
pected to be at all distinguished in public life served a novitiate 
in the legislature if theycould secure an election. Membership was 
regarded as the stepping-stone to political preferment, and the 
list embraced the names of Lincoln, Douglas, Browning, Kane, 
Robinson, Young, Mc Clernand, Mc Roberts, Shields, Semple, 
Trumbull, Reynolds, Bissell, Yates, Logan, Palmer,^ Richardson, 
Arnold, David Davis, Oglesby, and Cullom. While many of 
these were soon transferred to more important positions, others 
served during several sessions. 

The honor of the longest service in the general assembly is 
equally divided between Andrew J. Kuykendall, a republican, of 
Vienna, Johnson County, and Thomas E. Merritt, a democrat, 
of Salem, Marion County — who each served through ten ses- 
sions. The period of service of the former extended from the 
thirteenth general assembly, 1842-3, to the thirty-second, 1881; 
and that of the latter from the twenty-sixth, 1869, to the thirty- 
sixth, 1889. Major Kuykendall was in the 13th and 14th 
house, and in the 17th, i8th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, 31st, and 32d 
senate. "Tom" Merritt, as he is familiarly called, served in 
the 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 35th, and 36th house, and in the 
31st, 32d, 33d, and 34th senate. 

Conrad Will of Jackson County, who served in the first 
nine general assemblies, and Lorenzo D. Whiting of Tiskilwa, 
Bureau County, whose service reached from the 26th house to 
the 34th senate, are entitled to the distinction of the longest 
continuous service — eighteen years each; and Whiting for the 
longest consecutive membership in the senate, having occupied 
a seat in that body from 1871 to 1887 — sixteen years. Newton 
Cloud of Morgan County, also served eighteen years, beginning 
with the seventh house and ending with the twenty-seventh; 
forty years having elapsed between the first and last service. 

It is a singular fact that two members bearing the same patro- 


nymic, Archer, and nearly the same christian names, William B,, 
from Clark County (1824 to 1848), and William R., from Pike 
County (1861 to 1887), should have each served the same num- 
ber of years — sixteen, partly in the senate and partly in the 
house. George Churchill, of Madison, also served sixteen years 
beginning with the third house. 

Norman B. Judd of Cook County, served sixteen years, 1844 
to i860, continuously in the senate, as did John H. Addams of 
Stephenson, from 1855 to 1871. James Herrington, of Geneva, 
Kane County, and Elijah M. Haines, of Waukegan, Lake County 
— but whose place of business was in Chicago — life-long antag- 
onists yet life- long friends, each served through eight sessions 
of the house; the latter being a member of the thirty- sixth 
general assembly at the time of his decease, April 25, 1889, the 
former in July, 1890, following him to the roll-call in the 
"undiscovered country." 

Among the earlier members, Zadoc Casey served eight years 
— four sessions — in the house, and, including his term of three 
years as lieutenant-governor — having resigned before its expira- 
tion — nine years in the senate, making an entire service of 
seventeen years; he also served ten years in the lower house 
of congress. Gov. Casey, William L. D. Ewing, and Alexander 
M. Jenkins were the only members who had the honor of pre- 
siding, at different times, over both the house and senate. Joseph 
Gillespie from Madison County, afterward for many years a 
judge of the circuit-court, served twelve years in the senate and 
two in the house; John Henry of Morgan, six years in the house 
and eight in the senate, John Harris of Macoupin, the same 
period — each seven sessions. Henry H. Evans of Aurora, Kane 
County, and Charles E. Fuller of Belvidere, Boone County, will 
each also have served fourteen years consecutively at the com- 
pletion of their present terms in the senate. Samuel Alexander 
of Union, Edwin B. Webb of White, and Peter Warren of Shelby, 
each served twelve years. 

John McLean and William L. D. Ewing were each three times 
elected speaker of the house, and James Semple, Shelby M. 
Cullom, Franklin Corwin, and Elijah M. Haines, twice each.* 

* The family of Smiths leads numerically all others having 32 members; the Jones' 
follow with 23, while the Brown's and Davis' tie at 21 each. The Miller's and 


The longest continuous session of the general assembly was 
that of the twenty-seventh — 293 days; the shortest, that of the 
first — 37 days. 

As suggested in another place, many of the legislative evils 
of the State have arisen from the unlimited length of the ses- 
sions of the assembly. No satisfactory reason can be urged in 
favor of long sessions and all experience contradicts either 
their necessity or value. The reform most needed in this 
State is the adoption of a constitutional amendment restricting 
the length of sessions to one hundred days. 

The proper constitution of the judicial department has en- 
grossed the attention of the best minds in each of the three 
constitutional conventions of the State. When the article 
in the first constitution, relating to the supreme court, was 
adopted, although the principle of life tenures was recognized, 
so careful were the delegates that the rights of the people might 
not be jeopardized in the selections made, on account of the 
small number of lawyers then in the State from whom to 
choose, that it was provided that a new election should be 
held by the legislature in 1825. After this period, they held 
their offices during good behavior, as did also the circuit-judges, 
subsequently created. 

The four supreme judges, first elected, performed circuit-court 
duties until 1824, when they were relieved by the appointment 
of five circuit-court judges. This arrangement, however, lasted 
only until January, 1827, when the latter office was abolished 
and the supreme-court judges resumed their circuit duties. In 
January, 1829, a circuit-judge was elected by the general assem- 
bly to hold court on the north side of the Illinois River. In 
1835, a law was passed providing for the election of five circuit- 
judges, in addition to the one already appointed, who should 
hold the several circuit - courts, and once more relieve the 
supreme bench from the performance of that duty. 

In 1841, the judiciary was reorganized by the repeal of the 
circuit- court act, the new law providing for the election by the 
legislature of five additional associate justices of the supreme 

Moore's are not far behind with 19 each. Then come the Allen's with 18, the 
Johnson's and Thompson's with 14 each; Wilson's 15, Campbell's and Walker's 13, 
Green's and White's 12, Marshall's 11, and Adams' 10, 


court, who, together with the chief-justice and associates then in 
office, were once more required to hold the circuit-courts. This 
system continued until the adoption of the constitution of 1848. 

This method of election by the people was adopted in the 
constitutions of 1848 and 1870, a change which has worked to the 
satisfaction of the electors; as has also the division of the duties 
of the supreme and circuit-judges, and the lengthening of the 
term of the former from six to nine years. No scandals have 
been connected with the judiciary department under either of 
these constitutions. The provision that the judicial elections 
shall be held at a different date from those fo