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SECTION i. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illi- 
nois, represented in the General Assembly : That there be and is 
hereby created a commission to be known as the Illinois Cen- 
tennial Commission. Such commission shall be appointed by 
the Governor and shall consist of fifteen members, who shall 
serve without compensation, but who shall be allowed their 
actual expenses while engaged in official business of the com- 
mission and in attending meetings of the said commission. In 
case any vacancy shall occur on said commission, the Governor 
shall fill the vacancy by appointment. The Governor shall desig- 
nate the member who shall be chairman. The commission shall 
elect from its membership a secretary and may engage such em- 
ployees as shall be deemed necessary. 

SECTION 2. It shall be the duty of the Illinois Centennial 
Commission : 

I To arrange for and conduct a celebration in honor of the 
Centennial of the admission of the State of Illinois into the 
Federal Union. 

2 To compile and publish a commemorative history of the 

3 To report to the Fiftieth General Assembly the arrange- 
ments for such celebration. 

4 To make a complete report to the Fifty-first General As- 

SECTION 3. The Illinois Centennial Commission shall expire 
when it shall have completed its duties and shall have made a 
complete report thereof to the Governor and the Fifty-first Gen- 
eral Assembly, including a complete statement of its receipts and 

SECTION 4. Whereas, an emergency exists; therefore, this 
Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage. 

APPROVED January 21, 1916. 



Many citizens of the state of Illinois urged that the year 1909, 
the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lin- 
coln, be observed with some fitting and permanent memorial ; but, 
though the nation and the state, and indeed many foreign na- 
tions observed the great anniversary with patriotic assemblies, 
and eloquent addresses, Illinois did not erect a permanent memo- 
rial in the form of an impressive temple or shaft to the memory 
of her greatest citizen, nor did she give to the world a complete 
and authoritative history of the life and achievements of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. 

When the Lincoln centennial year had past, thoughtful per- 
sons began to look forward to the centennial anniversary of the 
admission of the state of Illinois into the federal union. Among 
those who early appreciated the significance of the occasion and 
the opportunity which it offers the people of Illinois to show to 
the world the wonderful development of the state in the first one 
hundred years of its existence as a commonwealth of the Amer- 
ican republic, no one was more interested than the late Honorable 
Campbell S. Hearn of Adams county, a senator in the Illinois 
General Assembly. 

Senator Hearn introduced in the Forty-eighth General As- 
sembly a resolution creating a commission, the duty of which 
was to arrange for and prepare plans for a fitting celebration of 
the state's one hundredth birthday. This commission under the 
resolution was to be composed of fifteen members: five state 
senators and five representatives in the General Assembly; E. J. 
James, E. B. Greene, and J. W. Garner of the University of 
Illinois; and Otto L. Schmidt and Jessie Palmer Weber of the 
Illinois State Historical Society. 

The commission met and organized July 23, 1913. Campbell 
S. Hearn was elected chairman and Jessie Palmer Weber, sec- 

Senator Hearn died August 28, 1914. He gave to the com- 
mission during the first year of its organization enthusiastic, 
faithful, and self-sacrificing service, not sparing himself when 


pain and sickness came upon him. During his illness he ofter 
expressed the hope that he might live to participate in the observ- 
ance of the centennial. While this hope was not realized, yet his 
name will ever be associated with the commission, its labors anc 
results, as the originator of the bill creating the commission anc 
its chairman for the first year of its activity. 

Senator Hugh S. Magill, Jr. succeeded Senator Hearn a: 

The commission has been subject to some vicissitudes causec 
by doubt as to the legality in form of the resolution whicl: 
created it. This uncertainty was the result of the fact that th< 
Centennial Commission was one of the state commissions whos< 
legality was questioned by the so-called "Fergus suits." Change; 
in the personnel of the commission were made because in th< 
opinion of the attorney-general of the state, members of th< 
commission appointed as members of the legislature, could no 
serve as members of the Centennial Commission on the expiratioi 
of their legislative terms. A later decision of the attorney-gen 
eral declared that under the constitution of the state, member! 
of the General Assembly are not eligible to appointment to an} 
civil office in the state, and thus are excluded from membershii 
in the Centennial Commission. 

Happily these matters have been adjusted by the passage of i 
law approved by Governor Edward F. Dunne, January 21, 1916 
authorizing the appointment by the governor of a commissior 
of fifteen members. Under this last mentioned act the presenl 
commission was appointed. It held its first meeting February 
26, 1916, and elected its secretary, the chairman having beer 
under the act of organization designated by the governor. 

There have thus been three organizations of the commission. 
The personnel of the first commission 1913-1915 was: State 
Senators Campbell S. Hearn, Hugh S. Magill, Jr., Logan Hay, 
Henry W. Johnson, Kent E. Keller; Representatives John S. 
Burns, John Huston, C. C. Pervier, James F. Morris, George B. 
Baker; President E. J. James, Professor E. B. Greene, Professor 
J. W. Garner of the University of Illinois; Otto L. Schmidt 
and Jessie Palmer Weber of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

The following members composed the second commission: 
State Senators E. S. Smith, chairman, John Dailey, M. W. 
Bailey, Kent E. Keller, Edward J. Hughes; Representatives 
John S. Burns, John Huston, William J. Butler, Thomas Boyer, 
Homer J. Tice, and the same representatives from the Univer- 
sity of Illinois and the State Historical Society. 

The commission under its present organization is composed of 
the following members: Otto L. Schmidt, chairman, Jessie 
Palmer Weber, secretary, Edward Bowe, M. J. Daugherty, Oscar 
W. Eckland, Rev. Royal W. Ennis, Evarts B. Greene, Hugh S. 
Magill, Jr., J. B. McManus, John Schultz, Thomas F. Scully, 
Rev. Frederic Siedenburg, Charles H. Starkel, John E. Traeger, 
Peter A. Waller. 

On its organization in July, 1913, the commission outlined a 
general and comprehensive plan for the centennial observance. 
Committees were appointed which immediately began their work. 
The principal features of the celebration as planned are general 
local celebrations throughout the state, a great official celebra- 
tion at the state capital with impressive exercises and distin- 
guished guests, and a pageant depicting the history of Illinois, 
which will be historically true and artistically beautiful. 

It is hoped that there will be erected a centennial memorial 
building which will be an enduring monument of this great his- 
toric anniversary. It is impossible that this building can be com- 
pleted but the laying of the corner stone of it can be made a part 
of the ceremonies of the centennial celebration. 

One of the greatest and certainly the most enduring of the 
state's observances of the centennial anniversary will be the 
publication of a centennial memorial history, on a scale not 
before attempted by a state of the union. This history will con- 
sist of the volume hereby presented, Illinois in 1818, which is 
preliminary to the Centennial History, which will consist of five 
volumes, namely : 

Volume I. Illinois, Province and Territory, 1673-1818 
Volume II. The Frontier State, 1818-1848 
Volume III. The Era of Transition, 1848-1870 
Volume IV. The Industrial State, 1870-1893 
Volume V. The Modern Commonwealth, 1893-1918 

These volumes are being prepared by several editors espe- 
cially fitted for the work. The whole series has been prepared 
under the supervision of Professor C. W. Alvord. 

The first chairman of the publication committee was Dr. Otto 
L. Schmidt. When Dr. Schmidt was by the governor appointed 
chairman of the Centennial Commission, Professor E. B. Greene 
became chairman of the committee on publications. It is hoped 
that the entire history may be completed and published during the 
centennial year. 

Nations and states best prove their devotion to their ideals by 
the reverence they pay to their history and to the memory of 
their heroes. The Centennial Commission offers to the people 
of Illinois the centennial memorial history with the hope that 
through these volumes the memory of the pioneers of the state, 
those who founded it, and set in motion its official machinery, 
may be forever preserved from oblivion. 

Secretary of the Commission 



A leading purpose of the Illinois Centennial Commission in 
planning for the coming celebration of the one hundredth anni- 
versary of the admission of the state to the union has been to 
mark the year by some work of permanent value. In accord- 
ance with this idea, the General Assembly has been asked to 
appropriate the necessary funds for the erection of a centennial 
memorial building, in which provision may be made for the con- 
centration, safe keeping, and orderly arrangement of the public 
archives and other historical records. Of equal importance is 
the plan for the Centennial History to be issued in five volumes 
covering the history of Illinois from the coming of the first Eu- 
ropeans to the present time. In addition to these five volumes 
of narrative history, it was decided to publish the present pre- 
liminary volume giving a view of the state at the beginning of 
the centennial period. 

In all this series of publications two principles have been kept 
in view. They are intended, first, to tell the story accurately and 
in a scientific spirit. It is needless to say that they do not pre- 
tend to be "definitive;" but they are based on a careful use not 
only of the familiar printed sources, but also of rare newspapers 
and a large amount of manuscript material. In many cases, they 
will change materially the accepted views on the subjects with 
which they deal. For the assistance of serious students who may 
wish to pursue their inquiries further each volume is provided 
with footnotes and a bibliography. A second and not less im- 
portant object agreed upon from the outset is that of making 
books which will have sufficient human interest and literary 
quality to interest the intelligent general reader. In further 
application of this principle, it has been thought necessary to 
limit the number and length of footnotes much more closely 
than would be thought appropriate in a monograph primarily 
intended for students. Generally speaking, citations have been 
given for quotations, but in many other cases when the sources 
of information appeared to be fairly obvious to the special 
student, detailed references have been omitted. For much of 
this information the reader is referred to the bibliography. 


The illness of the general editor, Professor Clarence W. Al- 
vord, and other circumstances alluded to by the author have made 
it necessary for the undersigned, as chairman of the Publication 
Committee, to assume a responsibility as to the final form of the 
manuscript and various other matters involved in the publication 
of this volume which would not otherwise have been required. 
In the discharge of this responsibility, errors of judgment have 
doubtless been made for which neither the editor nor the author 
should be held accountable. It is hoped, however, that the final 
result will be in some measure worthy of the great common- 
wealth whose history it commemorates. 

The Publication Committee is under special obligations to 
certain institutions and individuals. The preparation of this vol- 
ume and of those to follow would not have been possible without 
the cooperation of the State Historical Library and the Illinois 
Historical Survey, a division of the Graduate School of the Uni- 
versity of Illinois. The Trustees of the State Historical Library 
have accepted the centennial publications as a temporary substi- 
tute for their regular series of Collections and the members of 
their editorial staff have devoted themselves largely to the serv- 
ice of the Centennial Commission. 

Other institutions which have responded generously to the 
appeals of the commission by furnishing illustrative material and 
in various other ways, are the following : The Illinois State His- 
torical Library, The Chicago Historical Society, The Missouri 
Historical Society, The Minnesota Historical Society, Harper 
and Brothers, The A. H. Clark Company, and The Bobbs- Mer- 
rill Company. 

The commission is also indebted for similar services to Mr. 
W. O. Converse, Springfield; Mr. Ray I. Barry, Mr. William 
Wilkinson, and Dr. W. H. Smith, Roodhouse; Mr. Thomas M. 
Cisel, St. Francisville ; Mr. Herbert W. Fay, De Kalb; Mr. Wal- 
ter Colyer, Albion ; Hon. W. T. Norton, Alton ; Mr. W. E. Ste- 
vens, Avon; and Judge Frank Perrin, Belleville. 

Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber of the Illinois State Historical 


Library and Miss Caroline M. Mcllvaine of the Chicago His- 
torical Society have been exceedingly helpful in many ways and 
especially in the gathering of illustrative material. 

Miss Lucille M. Allen, historical clerk of the Illinois State His- 
torical Library, Miss Leila O. White of the Centennial Commis- 
sion staff, and Miss Agnes Wright of the Illinois Historical Sur- 
vey have given valuable assistance at various stages of the work. 

To Dr. Theodore C. Pease and Miss Ruth E. Hodsdon, assist- 
ant editor of the Illinois Historical Collections, the committee is 
especially indebted for expert service in seeing the volume 
through the press. 

I desire, finally, to place on record my high appreciation of the 
fine public spirit shown at every stage of our work by the chair- 
man of the commission, Dr. Otto L. Schmidt of Chicago. 

April 9, 1917 



The state of Illinois is about to celebrate the centennial of its 
admission to the union. If the observance of this anniversary is 
to be of any permanent value to the commonwealth, it should 
furnish the occasion for a survey of progress during the century 
that has passed in order that future development may be built 
upon a solid foundation. The full significance of one hundred 
years of statehood cannot be understood without a knowledge of 
the Illinois of 1818, when the state had its beginnings. This 
work is an attempt to portray the social, economic, and political 
life of Illinois at the close of the territorial period, and, in addi- 
tion, to tell the story of the transition from colonial dependence 
to the full dignity of a state in the union. It opens with a de- 
scription of certain elements, then dominant in the whole north- 
ern part of the state, which have long since disappeared from its 
boundaries the Indians and the fur trade. The next chapter 
contains a discussion of the system by which the United States 
disposed of the soil to settlers and a survey of the extent to which 
such disposition had been effected by the close of 1818. An ex- 
amination of the distribution of population, with an attempt to 
locate the extreme frontier of settlement in the year of admis- 
sion, leads to a study of the settlers themselves who and what 
manner of people they were and whence they came. The two 
succeeding chapters deal with economic, social, and intellectual 
conditions, which are depicted principally by means of extracts 
from contemporary newspapers and books of travel. 

The first half of the book is primarily descriptive; the latter 
half, narrative. Chapter 7, which furnishes the transition, con- 
sists of a rapid sketch of political developments during the ter- 
ritorial period designed to bring out the political situation in 
1818. The movement for admission is then narrated from its 
inception under the influence of Daniel Pope Cook to the passage 
of the enabling act by congress. Chapter 9, dealing with the 
campaign for the election of members of the convention, con- 
tains extensive quotations from newspaper communications, and 
finds its principal significance in the slavery issue. The work of 


the convention in framing a constitution for the embryo state 
is then discussed on the basis of a careful study of its journal 
recently rescued from oblivion. The last chapter tells of the 
establishment of the state government the first election and the 
first session of the legislature and finally of the passage by con- 
gress of the act which made Illinois one of the United States of 

When the work on this volume was begun, I was connected 
with the University of Illinois. My departure from the state 
and the assumption of obligations to the University of Minnesota 
and the Minnesota Historical Society delayed and made difficult 
the completion of the work ; and that it has been accomplished at 
all is due largely to the assistance which I have received from 
others. I am especially indebted to Dr. Wayne E. Stevens and 
Mr. Ralph Linton, who furnished most of the material for the 
first chapter ; to Dr. Frances Relf , who served as my assistant in 
the assembling of material and the drafting of the other chap- 
ters; and, above all, to Dr. Otto L. Schmidt, the chairman of the 
Illinois Centennial Commission, whose personal support alone 
made much of the essential material available and enabled the 
work to go on during the interval between the two commissions. 
After the manuscript left my hands it received extensive revision 
at the hands of the editor, Professor Clarence W. Alvord, and 
his staff. Because of the illness of Professor Alvord, the work 
of seeing the book through the press has been supervised by Pro- 
fessor Evarts B. Greene, with the assistance of Dr. Theodore C. 
Pease. The selection of the illustrations and the compilation of 
the bibliography and index have been handled by the editorial 


February, 1917 




One hundred years ago, the Illinois country 
formed the far western edge of the wave of 
American civilization which was slowly ad- 
vancing across the continent from the Atlantic 
seaboard. Less than a third of the area in- 
cluded within the boundaries of the state of 
Illinois, when admitted to the union in 1818, 
was occupied by permanent settlements of 
white men. North of an east and west line 
drawn through the mouth of the Illinois river, 
the vast treeless prairies, interspersed with 
wooded valleys along the streams, were still 
the domain of the Indian and the fur trader. 
The irresistible westward movement of the 
CANADIAN VOY- American people, seeking new homes in the 
[Fr 9 m Haii, Forty wilderness, had carried them across the Alle- 
fmnSis n st J ate H?s e toric b a 3 i ghanies, down the Ohio valley, and into the 
region of mingled forest and prairies in 
southern Illinois. Already extensive cessions of land in the 
northern part of the state had been secured from the Indians; 
and, although they continued to live and hunt in the ceded as 
well as the unceded districts, their elimination as a factor in 
Illinois history was soon to be completed. Nevertheless, no 
account of Illinois in 1818 would be complete without some con- 
sideration of these remnants of the aboriginal inhabitants and 
their relations with the white men. 

When the French explorers first came to the Mississippi valley, 
they found a confederacy of five tribes inhabiting the country 
which was named, after them, the Illinois. During the eighteenth 



century, these tribes were almost annihilated by the surround- 
ing peoples. By 1818, the Cahokia, Michigamea, and Tamaroa 
had disappeared as distinct tribes; the Kaskaskia, much weak- 
ened, lingered on in a reservation of 350 acres left them by the 
whites near the town of Kaskaskia; while the remnants of the 
Peoria still lived near the former habitat of the confederacy on 
the Illinois river. 

Next to the Kaskaskia, the nearest neighbors of the white 
settlers in the south were the Kickapoo, who were scattered 
along the valley of the Sangamon from the headwaters of the 
Kaskaskia river to the Illinois. They also appear to have had 
one or two villages west of the Illinois. Farther north were 
the Sauk and Fox, who although not completely amalgamated, 
mingled with each other a great deal and sometimes lived in 
the same villages. In spite of the nominal cession of all their 
lands in Illinois, the principal villages of these tribes were 
still located near the mouth of Rock river with other villages 
extending along both banks of the Mississippi and into the 
interior. Generally speaking these tribes may be said to have 
occupied the western part of the triangle between the Missis- 
sippi and the Illinois and between the Mississippi and the Rock 
rivers. The greater part of the domain of the Winnebago was 
in what is now Wisconsin, but a small wedge-shaped portion 
of it extended into Illinois between the Rock river and the eastern 
watershed of the Mississippi. Some of the villages of this tribe 
were located on the Rock. The whole northeastern part of Illi- 
nois was occupied by the Potawatomi with the associated bands 
of Ottawa and Chippewa. They had villages on the Rock, the 
Fox, the Kankakee, the Illinois, and also in the interior between 
these streams and in the neighborhood of Chicago. 1 

The best available evidence as to the population of the Indian 
tribes living in Illinois in 1818 is an estimate made by the secre- 
tary of war in 1815, but unfortunately the figures refer to the 
tribes as a whole and not merely to the groups living in Illinois. 

1 For condensed information about the different tribes, consult Hodge, 
Handbook of American Indians. See also American State Papers, Indian 
Affairs, vol. 2; Wisconsin Historical Collections, vols. n and 20; Morse, 
Report on Indian Affairs; Blair, Indian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Val- 
ley; Schoolcraft, Narrative of an Expedition; Brown, Western Gazetteer; 
Michelson in American Anthropologist. 


According to this estimate the Potawatomi were the most numer- 
ous, having forty-eight hundred souls. The Sauk numbered 
thirty-two hundred and the Fox twelve hundred, making a total 
of forty-four hundred for the two tribes. The Winnebago 
were credited with twenty-four hundred souls but only a few of 
these lived south of the boundary line. Nearly all of the sixteen 
hundred Kickapoo, on the other hand, were within the limits 
of Illinois. The Kaskaskia tribe had been reduced to sixty 
souls and the Peoria were not included in the count at all. In 
each instance it was estimated that about one- fourth of the 
members of the tribe were warriors. 

All these tribes belonged to the Algonkin linguistic group with 
the exception of the Winnebago, who were of Dakota stock. 
The material culture, social organization, and religious beliefs 
of the different tribes were fairly uniform. They were people 
neither of the forest nor the plain, but lived along the water 
courses and in the groves much as did the first white settlers. 
Their time was divided about equally between hunting and agri- 
cultural life. "They leave their villages," says Marston, "as 
soon as their corn, beans, etc., is ripe and taken care of, and 
their traders arrive and give out their credits and go to their 
wintering grounds ; it being previously determined on in council 
what particular ground each party shall hunt on. The old men, 
women, and children embark in canoes, and the young men go 
by land with their horses ; on their arrival they immediately com- 
mence their winter's hunt, which last about three months 

They return to their villages in the month of April and after 
putting their lodges in order, commence preparing the ground 
to receive the seed." 2 

a Blair, Indian Tribes, 2:148-151. The most detailed accounts of Illinois 
Indians in the early nineteenth century are to be found in two memoirs 
dealing with the Sauk and Fox, published in this volume. The first is in 
the form of a "Letter to Reverend Dr. Jedidiah Morse, by Major Morrell 
Marston, U.S.A., commanding at Fort Armstrong, 111., November, 1820," and 
was first published in Morse, Report on Indian Affairs. The second is "An 
account of the Manners and Customs of the Sauk and Fox Nations of 
Indians Tradition," by Thomas Forsyth, Indian Agent, January 15, 1827. 
Much of the material in the following paragraphs is drawn from these 
memoirs and from appendix B of the same volume, containing "Notes on 
Indian social Organization, mental and moral Traits, religious Beliefs, etc." 
The volume contains also a very comprehensive annotated bibliography. See 
also Hodge, Handbook of American Indians. 


The principal crop was Indian corn, of which they often had 
extensive fields. Speaking of the Sauk and Fox near Rock 
Island, Major Marston says: "The number of acres cultivated 
by that part of the two nations who reside at their villages in 
this vicinity is supposed to be upwards of three hundred. They 
usually raise from seven to eight thousand bushels of corn, 

besides beans, pumpkins, melons, etc The labor of 

agriculture is confined principally to the women, and this is 
done altogether with the hoe." 3 While corn formed the staple 
of the Indians' diet, they made some use of wild vegetables and 
roots. They ate meat of many varieties, preference being given 
to venison and bear's meat. They cared little for fish but ate 
it when other food was scarce. "They most generally boil 
everything into soup," says Forsyth in his memoir. "I never 
knew them to eat raw meat, and meat seems to disgust them 

when it is not done thoroughly The old women set 

the kettle a boiling in the night, and about day break all eat 
whatever they have got, they eat in the course of the day as 
often as they are hungry, the kettle is on the fire constantly 
suspended from the roof of the lodge, every one has his wooden 
dish or bowl and wooden spoon or as they call it Me-quen which 
they carry along with them when they are invited to feast."* 

The ordinary garments of the Indian men were a shirt reach- 
ing almost to the knees, a breechclout, and leggings which came 
up to the thigh and were fastened to the belt on either side. In 
earliest times all their clothing was made of leather, but by 1818 
this material had been generally replaced by trade cloth. The 
shirt and leggings were often dyed a deep blue or black, while 
the breechclout was usually of red cloth; all were more or less 
elaborately decorated with bead and quill work. The women 
wore a two-piece garment, short leggings reaching to the knees, 
and moccasins; they also employed the customary Indian orna- 
mentation of quills and beads. Both sexes wore the robe, and 
later the trade blanket. The men painted their faces in various 
ways, while the women painted very little or not at all. Except 
when on the warpath the men of most of the tribes let their hair 

*Blair, Indian Tribes, 2:151. 
'Ibid., 2 1229. 


[From the Lewis Portfolio, owned by Chicago Historical Society! 


grow long, wearing the scalp lock braided and a band of otter 
skin or a woven sash bound around the brows. The women 
ordinarily wore their hair in a single braid down the back. 

The principal manufacturing operations of these tribes were 
tanning, weaving, and the making of pottery; although the last 
named industry had practically been given up by 1818. The 
central Algonkin were not familiar with the use of the loom, 
but they twisted a twine from the inner bark of the linden, and 
with this wove excellent bags of various sorts, which they used 
for a great variety of purposes. These were decorated by weav- 
ing in geometric designs and conventional representations of 
animals. They also made reed mats sewed with twine, which 
were used as covering for the floors, and as roofing for the 
winter houses. The pottery was of a rather inferior sort, 
burned in an open fire, or simply sundried, and decorated with a 
few incised lines. With the coming of the whites, this native 
ware was rapidly replaced by the trade kettle. 

All the tribes living in Illinois used two types of houses, one 
for summer, the other for winter. The summer houses as 
described by Forsyth, were "built in the form of an oblong, a 
bench on each of the long sides about three feet high and four 
feet wide, parallel to each other, a door at each end, and a 
passage thro the center of about six feet wide, some of those 
huts are fifty or sixty feet long and capable of lodging fifty or 
sixty persons. Their winter lodges are made by driving long 
poles in the ground in two rows nearly at equal distances from 
each other, bending the tops so as to overlap each other, then 
covering them with mats made of what they call puc-wy a kind 
of rushes or flags, a Bearskin generally serves for a door, which 
is suspended at the top and hangs down, when finished it is not 
unlike an oven with the fire in the center and the smoke omits 
thro the top." 5 

The basis of the social organization and government of these 
Indians was the clan, all the tribes being divided into a large 
number of gentes or groups based on descent in the male line 
and strictly exogamous. Each clan took its name from some 

"Blair, Indian Tribes, 2 :22J. 


special animal or thing to which the members thought them- 
selves related. Thus the gentes of the Kickapoo were Water, 
Bear, Elk, Bald Eagle, Tree, Berry, Fox, Buffalo, Man, Turkey, 
and Thunder. The heads of these clans acted as civil chiefs, 
although the braves or principal men had considerable influence 
in matters of war and peace. The authority of the chiefs was 
hereditary, descending to the oldest male of the family, but it 
was not by any means absolute. So loose was the organization 
of a tribe that the office of chief entailed more trouble than 
advantage and was sometimes refused. Indeed the power of 
an individual chief depended primarily on his personal influence 
rather than on the prestige of his office. The function of the 
council appears to have been not so much judicial as administra- 
tive the determination of matters of tribal policy and in its 
deliberations substantial unanimity was necessary for a decision. 
"There is no such thing," says Forsyth, "as a summary mode 
of coercing the payment of debts, all contracts are made on 
honor, for redress of civil injuries an appeal is made to the old 
people of both parties and their determination is generally 
acceded to." 6 Atonement for murder was made in the manner 
customary among primitive people, usually by payments or 
presents to the relatives of the dead. Even war was a matter 
of individual initiative rather than of tribal concern. Any indi- 
vidual might become a war chief for the time being, if he had 
sufficient influence to induce a party of warriors to follow him. 

Most of the tribes were also divided, without regard to clans, 
into two great phratries, the Blacks and the Whites. This divi- 
sion was applied to both sexes, and the phratry was fixed at the 
time of birth. Usually the first child of a Black was a White, 
the second a Black, and so on, but there was no fixed rule. The 
explanation given by the Indians for this division was that it 
tended to promote emulation within the tribe. The two colors 
always played against each other in athletic games and in 
gambling. They seem to have had some ceremonial significance 
also, for at clan feasts the Whites took the south and the Blacks 

'Blair, Indian Tribes, 2:186. 


the north side of the lodge; and certain offices were definitely 
assigned to each. 

The religion of the Algonkin Indians was essentially a nature 
worship, pure and simple. An object around which associations 
had clustered would become the recipient of adoration, and either 
the object itself or an interpreted manifestation of the object 
would be looked upon as a manitou capable of bringing pleasure 
or inflicting pain. In everyday life the elaborate ritual of the 
Indians' religion centered about the medicine bundle, a collec- 
tion of charms, amulets, or fetishes sometimes thought to have 
a consciousness of its own and to enjoy offerings. Some of 
these bundles were used in clan ceremonies connected with the 
naming of children, others were thought to give magical protec- 
tion and help in battle, while still others were supposed to aid 
their owners in various affairs of life, such as hunting, love, 
friendship, sickness, athletic sports, gambling, and witchcraft. 
Frequently the same bundle would be used for several purposes, 
but there was always an elaborate ritual in connection with it. 

In addition to the cult of the medicine bundles, the Indians 
of Illinois in common with other central Algonkin had the 
society of the Midewin, or grand medicine lodge. This was a 
secret organization, varying in its minor details with the dif- 
ferent tribes, but having certain fundamental features common 
to all. Admission was on the recommendation of some member, 
or in the place of some member who had died. Membership 
was open to both men and women, and in some tribes even chil- 
dren were taken to succeed deceased members. The applicant 
had to pay a certain fixed sum for admission, and at the same 
time buy from some member a certain number of formulae and 
charms. Among several of the tribes the society was divided 
into four degrees, admission to each one of which had to be 
bought. The initiation seems to have been little more than a 
notification to the public that the initiate was qualified to practice 
magic, the scope of his power becoming greater with each suc- 
ceeding degree. The badge of the order was a medicine pouch, 
usually made of the skin of an otter tanned whole, and always 
containing the megus, a small white shell which was supposed 


to be the carrier of the magic power. Usually there were also 
other magicians and witches, not members of the medicine lodge, 
whose powers were supposed to result from some special dispen- 
sation of the manitous. 

It is evident that the Indians had nothing that could be called 
a formal civil government. Most affairs were left to individual 
initiative; the love of freedom was one of the Indians' chief 
characteristics; and they suffered their personal liberty to be 
only slightly limited even by the authority of the chiefs and 
sachems. This lack of political organization among the Indians 
inevitably caused many complications in dealing with the whites, 
complications which were increased by the fact that the whites 
with whom the Indians first came in contact were generally the 
most lawless and unruly representatives of their race. 

The fur traders, who were always the first to penetrate the 
Indian forests, were usually hardy adventurers whose one con- 
cern was to secure as large a profit as they could from their 
traffic with the savages. The Illinois country had long been a 
fertile field for these rovers, and the problem of their control 
had been one of the most serious which had been handed down 
first by the French to the British, and then by the British to the 
Americans. The advent of the pioneer farmer, however, was 
an even more prolific source of friction than the irregularities 
of the fur traders, for the Indians regarded with the most 
jealous disfavor the permanent clearance and settlement of the 
hunting grounds over which their ancestors had roamed in 
perfect freedom. The whites, on the other hand, regarded the 
land as theirs by a sort of racial right and considered that they 
were justified in using every means to wrest it from the abo- 

In 1818, the Indians in Illinois retained but little of the inde- 
pendence and self-sufficiency of their forefathers. Their agri- 
culture was of a rude and primitive sort, and they had come to 
rely upon the white trader for a large number of articles which, 
once unknown, had become necessities of life; and these they 
secured in exchange for the returns of their hunts. Their 
resources not having kept pace with their growing wants, their 


Painted by J. O. Lewis at the great treaty of Prairie du Chien, 1825 
(From the Lewis Portfolio, owned by Chicago Historical Society) 


condition was a rather wretched one ; and they were regarded by 
the government as wards to be cared for as well as possible 
enemies to be feared. Governor Cass of Michigan territory, 
speaking of the Indians in 1816, said: "Since the establishment 
of the National Government provisions have always been 
gratuitously distributed to them, and more recently goods to a 
considerable [amount] have been given. Without these annual 
gratuities, it is difficult to conceive how they could support and 
clothe themselves. And even with all this assistance their con- 
dition is wretched, their wants increasing their feelings dispond- 
ing and their prospects dreary." 7 

While the Indians of Illinois and the adjoining frontier were 
comparatively peaceful and quiet in 1818, there was always a dan- 
ger that they might take up the hatchet and wage war against the 
whites, and this ever-present danger was never lost sight of by the 
United States government. A complicating factor in the situa- 
tion was the influence which the British still exerted over the 
tribes of Illinois and the great lakes region as late as 1818. The 
great majority of these tribes had sided with the British in the 
war of 1812 ; and, after peace was concluded between Great Brit- 
ain and the United States, it was necessary to conclude treaties 
with the Indians likewise. Thomas Forsyth was sent as agent to 
invite various tribes, including the Chippewa, Menominee, 
Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and Sauk and Fox, to send deputations 
to meet with Governor Clark of Missouri territory, Governor 
Ninian Edwards of Illinois territory, and Auguste Chouteau, 
who had been appointed commissioners by the president to con- 
clude treaties of peace and amity. 8 In the course of time, formal 
peace was established between the United States and the various 
tribes which had taken up the hatchet on the British side in the 
war, but the problem of British influence still remained. The 
proposal of the United States government after the close of the 
war to establish military posts at Chicago, Green Bay, and Prai- 
rie du Chien aroused considerable opposition among the Indians ; 
in this they had a certain degree of moral support from the 

T Indian Office Papers, Michigan Letter Book, I (1814-1817) -.362. 
8 Draper manuscripts, 2M. 24, 26, 27, 28, and 29.. 

10 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

British, who naturally were not anxious to see the military forces 
of their late enemy occupy the frontier region resorted to by the 
British traders. 8 

During the period following the war, the British endeavored 
to preserve the good will of the Indians of the northwest by a 
lavish distribution of presents at Drummond's Island, not far 
from Mackinac, and at Maiden, at the mouth of the Detroit 
river. In the summer of 1817, Major Puthuff, agent at Mack- 
inac, reported that a considerable band of Sauk and Fox from 
the lower Mississippi, of Winnebago from the Wisconsin river 
and Prairie du Chien, as well as some Potawatomi and other 
tribes from the Illinois, had visited Mackinac and Drummond's 
Island that season. At the latter post, the British had distributed 
presents, and it was reported that large quantities of arms and 
ammunition had been given out. Two years later, Governor 
Cass said in a letter to Calhoun, then secretary of war: "The 
British Indian headquarters are at Maiden at the mouth of this 
River, and to that place the Indians east of Lake Michigan, 
many west of that Lake, and those upon the Wabash & Miami 
Rivers and their tributary streams make an annual journey to 
receive the presents, which are distributed to them and to confer 
as they express it, with their British father." 10 Needless to 
say, the practice was most objectionable to the United States, 
and in 1819, Calhoun gave Governor Cass instructions to prevent 
any Indians living within the United States from passing into 
Canada, save as individuals. Still, as late as 1820, certain of 
the Sauk and Fox living in the vicinity of Fort Armstrong on 
Rock Island had British medals in their possession and were 
displaying British flags considerably larger than the American 
army standards. 

^Wisconsin Historical Collections, 19 :43O. A smouldering hostility to- 
ward the Americans persisted among certain Indian tribes for some little 
time after the war. When the Illinois fur brigade arrived in the vicinity of 
Peoria lake in 1818, the trader in charge of the expedition informed the 
Indians that Gurdon Hubbard, a young American apprentice just arrived 
in the Indian country, was his adopted son from Montreal. One young 
brave insisted that Hubbard was an American and showed him a number of 
scalps, which he claimed were those of his countrymen. Hubbard, Autobi- 
ography, 48. 

"Indian Office Papers, Michigan Letter Book, 3 (1818-1822) :8o. 


The presence of British traders among the Indians of the 
northwest was also a source of considerable uneasiness to the 
Americans. In 1818, many of the private traders in Illinois, 
as well as throughout the entire great lakes region, were British 
in their political allegiance and in their sympathies; many of 
them had taken an active part against the Americans in the war 
of 1812. The correspondence of the time is filled with com- 
plaints concerning the evil influence of these British traders. 
Jacob Varnum, who had charge of the government trading 
factory at Chicago, in 1818, said: "The indiscriminate admission 
of British subjects to trade with the Indians, is a matter of 
pretty general complaint, throughout this section of the country. 
There are five establishments now within the limits of this 
agency, headed by British subjects." 11 Governor Cass likewise 
had little love for these traders. "They systematically seize 
every opportunity of poisoning the minds of the Indians," he 
wrote. "There is no doubt but they report every occurence of 
any importance to their Indian Department, and the Indians are 
taught to consider our Government as their enemies and the 
British as their friends." 12 It is very probable that American 
army officers and Indian agents somewhat overestimated the 
danger to be anticipated from the influence of British agents 
and traders with the savages. At the same time, in the light 
of experience, and in view of the actual situation of affairs on 
the frontier, the government of the United States was certainly 
justified in exercising the greatest diligence in its efforts to check 
all intercourse between the Indians and the British. 

The United States government had, then, three ends in view 
in its administration of Indian affairs upon the northwestern 
frontier during this period; to preserve peace between the red 
man and the white settler; to destroy British influence and to 
render the Indians dependent upon the United States; and, 
lastly, to improve the condition of the savages or, if possible, to 

"Morse, Report on Indian Affairs, 46. In Nttes* Weekly Register, 8:263 
is printed a list of names of traders who sided with the British in the war 
of 1812. The correspondence in which the list occurs is dated April 29, 1815. 
There are included the names of three traders who formerly resided at 
Peoria; "Mitchell" La Croix, Louis Buisson, and Louis Bennett 

"Indian Office Papers, Michigan Letter Book, I (1814-1817) 1365. 

12 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

civilize them. There was a rather widely spread feeling that 
the whites owed a certain moral obligation to the Indians on 
account of the occupation of so goodly a portion of their best 
hunting grounds. The government sought to carry out its 
policy by means of three separate and distinct agencies; the 
military posts upon the frontier, the Indian department, and the 
system of government fur trading factories. 

The principal military establishments upon the northwestern 
frontier in 1818 were at Detroit, Mackinac, Fort Wayne, Green 
Bay, Prairie du Chien, and Chicago. Fort Dearborn, it will be 
remembered, was destroyed during the war of 1812, but it was 
reestablished in 1816. There were three other posts in Illinois 
in 1818, besides the one at Chicago; Fort Armstrong, on Rock 
Island; Fort Edwards, opposite the mouth of the Des Moines 
river; and Fort Clark, on the Illinois river near the outlet of 
Peoria lake. The last-named post was abandoned, however, in 
the same year. These posts were located at strategic points 
upon the water communications of the northwest and were 
designed to overawe the Indian tribes in their vicinity and to 
act as a check upon foreign interference. In addition, they gave 
aid and protection to the Indian department and to the govern- 
ment trading factories. 

The Indian department, under the supervision and direction 
of the United States department of war, had its agencies at 
Mackinac, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, Chicago, Vincennes, 
Fort Wayne, and Piqua. There was a special agent for the 
Illinois territory, with headquarters at Peoria, besides scattered 
sub-agents. Before Illinois was admitted into the union, Gover- 
nor Edwards was ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs in 
the greater part of the territory and as such directed the adminis- 
tration of affairs at the different agencies within his jurisdic- 
tion. Thus the agent for Illinois territory, as well as the one 
stationed at Prairie du Chien, was prior to 1818 responsible to 
Governor Edwards. The agents at Green Bay and Chicago, 
however, although within Illinois territory, were under the direc- 
tion of Governor Cass of Michigan territory. The reason for 
this arrangement was that Chicago and Green Bay were more 


easily accessible from Detroit by way of the lakes than from 
Kaskaskia. After Illinois became a state, the agency at Prairie 
du Chien and that for Illinois territory became independent estab- 
lishments, responsible directly to the war department; Chicago 
and Green Bay remained under the supervision of Governor 
Cass. 13 In 1818 Charles Jouett was in charge of Indian affairs 
at Chicago, while Richard Graham acted as "agent for Illinois 
Territory;" the two sub-agents within the limits of Illinois were 
Pierre Menard and Maurice Blondeau. 

The Indian agents and sub-agents were entrusted with the 
duty of supervising the political relations between the various 
tribes and the United States. They discharged treaty obliga- 
tions on behalf of the United States government, and acted as 
the medium of communication with the Indians. They granted 
licenses for the Indian trade and generally supervised its conduct. 
One of the most important of the duties regularly performed 
was the payment of the annuities due the Indians. These were 
usually paid in goods and were delivered in accordance with 
treaty stipulations, most often as the price agreed upon for the 
cession of lands by the Indians. The amounts paid over in this 
way, however, were very modest. The annuity due the Kas- 
kaskia in 1818 was one thousand dollars, while an equal amount 
was paid the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi residing upon 
the Illinois river. The Kickapoo received only nine hundred 

Another important service rendered by the Indian agents was 
the distribution of presents, which was of the utmost impor- 
tance as a means of securing the attachment of the savages. 
The lavish distribution of presents by the British agents at 
Maiden and at Drummond's Island dictated a similar policy on 
the part of the United States, for the Indians usually bestowed 
their favor upon the party which bid highest for it. The an- 
nuities were divided among the different villages of the various 
tribes in proportion to their numbers, while the presents were 
usually bestowed upon the principal chiefs and other influential 
individuals. Those familiar with the state of affairs upon the 

"Indian Office Papers, Letter Book, D (1817-1820) 1326 et seq. 

14 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

frontier were almost unanimous in advocating a liberal distribu- 
tion of presents as the most effective and the cheapest means of 
controlling the savages. Governor Edwards in 1816 recom- 
mended that presents be distributed to the Indians of the Illinois 
river and vicinity with a free hand, for a few years at least; 
"nothing less," he said, "can wean them from British influence 
to which they more than any other Indians in those territories 
have long been devoted." 14 The giving of presents may also be 
regarded as the price of peace along the frontiers, and of free- 
dom from petty annoyance, such as cattle and horsethieving. 
A threat to withhold presents was a much more effective argu- 
ment with the Indians than any appeal to their higher sensibil- 
ities. It was also considered necessary to distribute presents 
in order to give dignity and prestige to the agent himself. In- 
voices sent out by Thomas L. McKenney, superintendent of the 
Indian trade, in 1818, indicate that merchandise to the value of 
two thousand dollars was destined for Kaskaskia for distribution 
among the Indians, while equal amounts were sent to Peoria and 
Prairie du Chien. 

Besides the presents which were distributed among the Indians 
each year, it was also customary to feed those who visited the 
various posts from time to time for business or other purposes. 
It took nearly as much food to supply the visiting savages as 
the regular garrisons. Governor Cass described the situation in 
the following words: "A long established custom, a thousand 
wants real or imaginary, and the restlessness and impatience of 
their mode of life send them in upon us. They come with trifling 
articles to barter, they come to get their arms repaired, to get 
their farming utensils, to enquire about their annuities, to com- 
plain of injuries from some of our Citizens and messages of 
every kind from their chiefs. It would [be] equally trouble- 
some for me to enumerate and for you to read the various 
causes which influence them to make these visits. They gener- 
ally bring with them their women & Children, and they are so 

"Letter of Ninian Edwards, September 24, 1816, in Chicago Historical 
Society manuscripts. 


Painted at the Treaty of Fond du Lac by J. O. Lewis 
[From the Lewis Portfolio, owned by Chicago Historical Society 


importunate in their applications, and their necessities so obvi- 
ous, that an Agent must frequently yield to them." 15 

The agents of the Indian department also performed a num- 
ber of small services, often trifling in themselves, but important 
for the maintenance of friendly relations. They received all 
visiting Indians, endeavored to secure such information from 
them as might be of value to the United States; attempted to 
prevent the introduction of liquor into the Indian country, and 
in fact did anything which might operate to secure the good will 
or promote the welfare of the Indians. Blacksmiths were some- 
times maintained at the agencies to repair the tools and weapons 
which the savages brought in from their villages and hunting 
grounds. In 1820, Pierre Menard, sub-agent at Kaskaskia, ex- 
pended thirteen dollars "for ferriage of the Delaware chief and 
his party over the Mississippi;" nineteen dollars and fifty cents 
"for supper and breakfast furnished thirteen Indians, corn and 
hay for their horses;" and twenty-three dollars "for four hun- 
dred pounds of beef, and making a coffin for a Delaware Indian 
who was accidentally killed." 10 In the performance of their 
various duties the agents usually had the assistance of inter- 
preters, whose knowledge of the languages and intimate associa- 
tions with the Indians enabled them to secure information of 
value to the department. 

One of the most important functions of the Indian agents was 
the supervision of the fur trade and the enforcement of such 
regulations as the president or congress might prescribe from 
time to time. In 1816, congress passed an act excluding for- 
eigners from engaging in the fur trade unless granted special 
permission by authority of the president. The power of deter- 
mining who were to receive licenses was delegated by the presi- 
dent to the Indian agents, inasmuch as they were in a better 
position to decide what foreigners might with propriety be 
allowed to trade within the limits of the United States. Since 

"Indian Oince Papers, Michigan Letter Book, 3 (1818-1822) -.105. 

"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 2 1302. 

16 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the American capital employed in the industry was not suffi- 
cient to supply the needs of the Indians, it was not thought wise 
at this time to exclude foreigners entirely, but the agents were 
allowed to grant passes only "under such regulations as shall 
subject them [the traders] to a strict observance of the laws of 
the United States upon this subject; secure their exertions in 
maintaining peace between the Indian tribes, and this govern- 
ment, and between themselves; and present additional induce- 
ments to respect the laws against smuggling." 17 More strin- 
gent regulations were prescribed in 1818, when the president gave 
orders that no foreigners were to be licensed to trade with the 
Indians, nor were American traders to be allowed to take with 
them foreign engages. But as it was almost impossible for 
American traders to dispense with the services of the French- 
Canadian voyageurs and interpreters, there was later a slight 
relaxation from this strict ruling, and permission was given to 
employ foreign engages under certain conditions, one of which 
was that none should be employed who were obnoxious to Amer- 
ican citizens by reason of their conduct during the war of 1812. 
The various agents did not hesitate to refuse licenses to foreign- 
ers on occasion. In 1816, Charles Jouett, agent at Chicago, 
announced that he had refused to one Beauveaux a license to 
trade because of "his having held up to odium those Indians 
who are remarkable for their attachment to the American Gov- 
ernment." 18 In the following year, Governor Ninian Edwards, 
believing that the hostility of the Winnebago and other Indians 
living along the Mississippi was due to the influence of British 
traders, declared his intention of refusing all British traders per- 
mission to enter Illinois territory. The regulations looking to 
the exclusion of foreigners, however, do not appear to have been 
very effective. Licenses were taken out in the names of Amer- 
ican citizens, but often as soon as the outfit in question entered 
the Indian country, a foreign trader who was nominally an 
engage in the expedition took charge and directed the commerce 
with the Indians. 

"Wisconsin Historical Collections, 19:406. 

"Indian Office Papers, Michigan Letter Book, i (1814-1817) -.395. 


As a means of destroying the influence of the private traders, 
particularly the British, and of attaching the Indians to the Amer- 
ican government, the United States placed great confidence in 
a system of government trading factories which had its origin 
as far back as 1795. These factories were not intended to be 
money-making enterprises but were designed rather to supple- 
ment the Indian department in the administration of the frontier. 
Certain provisions of an act of 1811, which was still in force in 
1818, will serve to illustrate the general nature of the plan. The 
president was given authority to establish factories at such places 
on the frontier as he might deem most convenient and to appoint 
a superintendent of Indian trade who should manage the busi- 
ness on behalf of the government. The agents appointed to take 
charge of the various factories were to be responsible to the 
superintendent and render their accounts to him. The prices 
of the goods employed in the trade were to be regulated in such 
a manner that the original capital stock furnished by the United 
States should not be diminished, no effort being made to secure 
a profit in the conduct of the business. The furs, skins, and 
other articles obtained from the Indians in the course of trade 
were to be sold at public auction under the direction of the presi- 
dent at such places as should be deemed most advantageous. 19 

In 1818, the United States maintained four factories in the 
northwest, at Chicago, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, and Fort 
Edwards. Before the war of 1812, there had been government 
trading houses at Mackinac, Chicago, Fort Madison, and San- 
dusky; but during the course of hostilities all were lost to the 
British, together with their buildings, supplies, arid furs. In 
1816, shortly after the close of the war, factories were estab- 
lished at Green Bay and at Prairie du Chien, both of which places 
were within Illinois territory, and at Chicago. This last was 
placed under the supervision of Jacob B. Varnum. Matthew 
Irwin and John W. Johnson were appointed factors at Green Bay 
and Prairie du Chien, respectively. A trading house was built 
at Fort Edwards in 1818, as a branch of the establishment at 
Prairie du Chien, with Robert Belt as the assistant in charge ; but 
the next year this was made an independent establishment. It 

"Statutes at Large, 2:652. 

18 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

was designed to supply the tribes between Prairie du Chien and 
St. Louis, and to drive out the unprincipled private traders oper- 
ating in that quarter, who, the superintendent of trade declared, 
had during the past two years supplied the Sauk and Fox Indians 
with no less than fifty barrels of whiskey. 

The goods used at the government factories were all purchased 
under the direction of the superintendent of Indian trade, Thomas 
L. McKenney, who had his headquarters at Georgetown, Dis- 
trict of Columbia. The articles designed for Fort Edwards 
and Prairie du Chien were generally sent to Pittsburgh to be 
shipped down the Ohio to St. Louis. There they were received 
by James Kennerley, who acted as forwarding agent and sent 
them up the Mississippi to their respective destinations. The 
peltry received from the Indians at Fort Edwards in 1818 
included deer, bear, beaver, otter, raccoon, and muskrat. A por- 
tion of the goods was also traded for lead, obtained by the Indians 
from the mines below Prairie du Chien, and for beeswax, tallow, 
and Indian mats. These furs and other goods were sent to 
Kennerley at St. Louis and forwarded by him up the Ohio to 
Pittsburgh. The trade at Chicago and Green Bay was conducted 
in a manner very similar to that at Fort Edwards and Prairie du 
Chien, with the exception that the goods were forwarded to the 
factories and the returns shipped back by way of the great lakes. 
Not all the goods received at the trading houses in the northwest 
were exchanged directly with the Indians by the factors. At 
times some of them were made up into outfits and sold to private 
traders, who carried them out into the interior. Sometimes the 
factors at the government houses sold the peltry which they 
received to private traders, but in December, 1818, strict orders 
were issued by the superintendent that it was all to be forwarded 
to the Indian trade house at Georgetown. The furs from the 
posts in the northwest were generally disposed of at Georgetown 
by means of annual public sales. 20 

In so far as the object of the government in establishing the 
factory system was to destroy the influence of the private trader 
and attach the Indians to the United States, the plan must be 

M American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 2 :335. 


pronounced a failure. The power of the private trade/ increased 
rather than diminished, while the tribes of the northwest still 
regarded the United States with suspicion and distrust. The 
system was likewise a failure from a business point of view. 
Taking into consideration the cost of maintaining the factory at 
Chicago, the trade there was conducted at a loss estimated, by 
March 31, 1818, at nearly two thousand dollars. In December 
of that year the factor reported that he had hardly done suffi- 
cient business that season to clear the wages of his interpreter. 21 
Two years later the superintendent of trade, in a letter to the 
secretary of war, wrote, "I conceive it proper to make known to 
you for the information of the President that the u. s. factory 
at Chicago has ceased, almost to do business." 22 The trade at 
Fort Edwards in 1818 was somewhat more prosperous than that 
at Chicago, but even there the returns in furs and skins obtained 
by the government factor were probably insignificant in compari- 
son with those secured by the private traders who operated in 
the region. 

Many reasons for the failure of the government factories in 
their competition with private traders were advanced by persons 
supposedly familiar with the situation. The factories were so 
few in number and so widely scattered that it was often neces- 
sary for the Indians who wished to deal with the government 
agents to make long journeys with their furs. The private 
trader, on the other hand, went out into the wilderness, carrying 
his goods to the Indians at their hunting grounds or villages. 
The government factors, moreover, were not allowed to give 
credit in their dealings with the Indians. When cold weather 
approached, the savages were usually without money or furs but 
it was necessary for them to secure many articles, such as guns, 
ammunition, traps, kettles, and blankets, before they could set 
out for their wintering grounds. Since these articles could not 
be obtained at the factories, the Indians were obliged to resort 
to the private traders, who were more than willing to supply 
their needs on credit. The obvious result was that the private 

"Morse, Report on Indian Affairs, 46. 

"Indian Office Papers, Trade Letter Book, E (1818-1820) 1496. 

20 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

trader obtained by far the larger share of the returns of the win- 
ter's hunt. Furthermore it is certain that the private traders 
were able to evade the vigilance of the government agents and 
make extensive use of liquor in their trading operations, and this 
gave them a decided advantage over the factors, although it was 
in the long run injurious to the trade as a whole. The Indian 
would give up everything he possessed, including furs and even 
clothing itself, for a little whiskey. In spite of the fact that it 
was not the intention of the government to derive any profit 
from the trade, it appears that the goods supplied by the factors 
usually sold at prices higher than those charged by the private 
traders and were often of inferior quality. Thus, notwithstand- 
ing the benevolent intentions of the government in establishing 
trading houses, the Indians could derive no advantages from 
dealing with the factories. 

Factors and agents alike complained frequently and loudly of 
the evil influence of foreign traders until one is almost tempted 
to believe that the British were made the scapegoats for all the 
misfortunes which attended the efforts of the United States to 
regulate Indian affairs and to carry on the fur trade. Referring 
to the Chicago factory in 1820, the superintendent of trade 
wrote: "The causes which has so successfully prostrated the 
once flourishing hopes of this establishment, is so notorious, as 
hardly to need refering to. It lies deep in the influence (prin- 
cipally British,) which is spread so generally over that region; 
and in the combinations which have been entered into to do 
away, from amongst the Indians inhabiting that Country, what- 
ever controll the u. s. may essay to acquire over them, either by 
the Factory or any other system." 23 There is no direct evidence, 
however, that the British traders were any more active than the 
American traders in prejudicing the minds of the Indians against 
the government factories. It was the American Fur Company, 
in fact, which finally gave the death blow to the factory system. 

A most important reason for the failure of the factories to 
accomplish their purposes is to be found in the attitude of the 
Indians themselves toward them. Governor Cass, as early as 

"Indian Office Papers, Trade Letter Book, E (1818-1820) :4Q6. 


(Negative owned by Illinois State Historical Library] 


1814, wrote: "Our trading factories, and our economy in 
presents have rendered us contemptible to them. The Govern- 
ment should never come in contact with them but in those cases 
where its dignity, its strength or its liberality will inspire them 
with respect or fear." 24 In fact, the savages seem to have mis- 
conceived entirely the nature of the factory system and the pur- 
pose of the government in inaugurating it. Major Marston, 
who commanded at Fort Armstrong, on Rock Island, revealed 
the attitude of the Indians living in that vicinity. If mention 
were made to them of their Great Father, the president, supply- 
ing them with goods, they would reply, "You are a pash-i-pash- 
i-to, (a fool) our Great Father is certainly no trader; he has sent 
those goods to be given to us, as presents; but his Agents are 
endeavouring to cheat us, by selling them for our peltries." 25 
Needless to say, this attitude was fostered by the private traders 
who did everything in their power to drive the factories out of 
existence. In this opposition the lead was taken by the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, and its influence was strong enough to 
nullify all efforts to strengthen the system, and finally brought 
about its abolition in 1822. 

The government factories are of interest chiefly from the 
political rather than from the commercial point of view, for it 
was in the hands of the private concerns that the fur industry 
attained its highest development. The Indian trader in Illinois 
had a long and varied career and the story of his picturesque 
wilderness traffic constitutes an alluring phase of the history of 
the state. For over a century the smooth-flowing streams of 
Illinois were disturbed by the paddle of the French-Canadian 
voyageur and the hills on either side reechoed his melodious 
songs, while during part of that period the prairies and forests 
recognized the semi-feudal authority of a great fur company. 
Controlled in turn by the French, the English, and finally by the 
Americans, the fur trade, as it was carried on in Illinois in 1818, 
bore traces of both the French and the British regimes. The 

"Indian Office Papers, Michigan Letter Book, I (1814-1817) 7. 
""Blair, Indian Tribes, 2:177. 

22 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

engages who performed the menial labor connected with the in- 
dustry, as well as many of the traders who bartered with the 
Indians, were, in some instances, descendants of the coureurs de 
bois who had come while the fleur-de-lis still waved over the 
region of the great lakes and the Mississippi valley. The influ- 
ence of the British period, on the other hand, may .be traced in 
the business organization of the trade. 

It is difficult for the present inhabitants to realize the extent 
to which wild game once abounded in the state, and the enormous 
quantities of peltry which were annually exported. The valley 
of the Illinois river was, at the dose of the territorial period, one 
of the important fur bearing areas of the northwest. In 1816, 
the furs sent out from the various posts upon the Illinois river 
included ten thousand deer, three hundred bear, ten thousand rac- 
coons, thirty-five thousand muskrat, four hundred otter, three 
hundred pounds of beaver, five hundred cat and fox, and one 
hundred mink. The total value of this peltry was estimated at 
$23,700. The merchandise imported into the region during the 
same year was estimated to be worth $18,000. Chicago was an 
important trade center, and the furs exported thence in the same 
year were estimated to be worth more than $8,ooo. 2< In consid- 
ering the Illinois fur trade, it should be remembered that it con- 
stituted only one part of an industry of enormous proportions, 
covering the great lakes region, and extending westward far 
beyond the Mississippi, an industry which at one time or another 
has made its influence felt in almost every part of the North 
American continent. 

By far the largest and most important of the trading concerns 
operating in Illinois and the northwest in 1818 was the Amer- 
ican Fur Company. At the close of the war of 1812, a large 
part of the trade of the great lakes region was in the hands of 
two associations, the Northwest and Southwest companies. The 
former was a British concern, in which were included a number 
of the most powerful trading firms of Montreal, but it had sev- 
eral posts south of the boundary line, within the territory of the 
United States. The Southwest Company was owned by John 

"The exports from the Illinois river in 1816 also included ten thousand 
pounds of maple sugar. 


Jacob Astor and certain Montreal traders, Astor having a two- 
thirds interest in the trade carried on within the United States. 

The act of congress of 1816 excluding foreigners from the fur 
trade unless specially licensed made it difficult for the Canadian 
firms to operate their trading posts upon American territory. 
Immediately upon the passage of this act, Astor, who cherished 
the design of obtaining control of the entire fur trade within 
the limits of the United States, formed a concern which he called 
the American Fur Company and purchased not only the interest 
of the Montreal merchants in the Southwest Company but a num- 
ber of posts of the Northwest Company on American soil as well 
Besides the posts, Astor was able to secure the services of a large 
number of traders and engages formerly attached to them who 
would otherwise have been thrown out of employment- The 
act of 1816 was interpreted so as not to exclude foreign engages, 
and thus it was possible for the new company to make use of the 
services of these British subjects, without whose assistance, 
indeed, success in an enterprise of such magnitude as was con- 
templated would have been almost impossible." In order that the 
manner of conducting the business might have an appearance of 
legality, licenses were taken out in the names of young American 
clerks, while the actual conduct of the trade was in the hands of 
those who had formerly been in the service of the British mer- 
chants, and who possessed the necessary experience. 

The American Fur Company began operations in 1817, and in 
the following year its trade covered a wide range of territory, 
stretching from the eastern shores of Lake Huron to the Missouri 
river and from the Canadian boundary to the frontier line of 
settlements in Illinois and Indiana. Traders supplied by Aster's 
company were to be found along the shores of Green Bay, in the 
valley of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and also upon the upper 
reaches of the Minnesota river, then called the St. Peter's; they 
coasted along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, 
trading with the Indians from such posts as Milwaukee and Fond 
du Lac; they descended the Mississippi from Prairie du Chien, 

"Chittenden, American Fur Trade, l 310, 311 ; Bancroft, History of the 
Northwest Coast, 1 013. Chittenden says that Astor was largely instru- 
mental in securing the passage of the law referred to. 

24 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

exchanging goods for furs with the Indians living in Illinois and 
Missouri territories; and every year their brigades visited the 
Illinois and Wabash rivers, to reap the rich harvest of peltry in 
their valleys. 28 

Astor and his agents entered upon the conduct of the north- 
west trade with the avowed intention of driving all competitors 
from the field. Such a task necessarily required some time, but 
the spirit of this undertaking is revealed in the words of Ramsay 
Crooks and Robert Stuart, agents of the company who wrote to 
Astor in the summer of 1817 : "Next year our exertions must be 
more general and efforts must be made to embrace every section 
of the trade and not leave the[m] [the competitors] a corner to 
repose in this summer it was impossible to effect every- 
th[ing.]" 29 The following season, Stuart was able to report that 
his colleague had, after much effort, secured the services of nearly 
every good trader in the whole region in the interests of the com- 
pany. He added that while their rivals had carried on a vigor- 
ous competition in every section of the interior, there was good 
reason to believe that they were secretly disheartened. In 1819, 
Astor was considering the advisability of contracting somewhat 
the range of the company's operations but Crooks advised against 
it, pointing out that victory over their rivals was almost within 
their grasp and that to yield any ground at that particular time 
would strengthen the opposition by just so much. 80 

The arbiter of the destinies of the American Fur Company 
was its founder, John Jacob Astor. He directed the general 
policy of the concern, and superintended the conduct of the busi- 
ness at its headquarters in New York. The management of 
affairs in the Indian country itself, as well as along the commun- 
ications to New York and Montreal was entrusted to the two 
young Scotchmen already named, Ramsay Crooks and Robert 
Stuart. These agents gathered merchandise and provisions for 
use in the trade and arranged for transporting them to Mack- 

^An idea of the extent of the company's operations may be readily gained 
from the list of American Fur Company employees, 1818-1819, published in 
the Wisconsin Historical Collections, 12:154. 

**American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820, p. 50. 
"Ibid., p. 109, 260. 


inac Island, the general rendezvous of the company in the north- 
west. It was their business to see that a sufficient number 
of engages was hired to perform the labor of carrying goods and 
furs, as well as enough clerks and traders to carry on the busi- 
ness in the interior. They organized the different departments 
in which the traffic was conducted, assigned the traders and 
engages to their wintering grounds, and directed the preparation 
of the outfits. When the peltries came in from the Indian coun- 
try in the spring, the agents saw to it that they were properly 
sorted and packed and prepared for shipment to the eastern 
market. Ramsay Crooks' headquarters were nominally at New 
York, but he spent a great deal of his time at Mackinac, and occa- 
sionally made visits to the interior. 

Mackinac was in 1818 the great entrepot of the northwest fur 
trade, the place of rendezvous of the traders and engages of the 
region. When the goods from New York and Montreal arrived, 
they were made up into outfits, which were supplied to the traders 
on various terms. Some were turned over to clerks and traders 
in the regular employ of the concern, who were paid a stipulated 
wage and instructed to exchange the goods entrusted to their care 
to the best possible advantage, on the account of the company. 
Other outfits were traded on shares ; that is to say, the company 
received a certain proportion of the returns and the remainder 
belonged to the trader who bartered with the Indians. Still 
other traders purchased their goods outright from the company, 
which had no interest in them thereafter, save to collect the 
amount for which they were sold. 

The three principal regions of fur trading activity of Illinois 
interest were that portion of the Mississippi between Prairie du 
Chien and St. Louis, and the Illinois and Wabash river valleys. 
In 1817, a clerk named Russell Farnham was sent out from 
Mackinac with an assortment of goods to be traded along the 
Mississippi and its tributaries below Prairie du Chien. The 
goods were to be traded on the account of the company, Farn- 
ham being merely a salaried employee. The instructions made it 
clear that while the outfit was nominally under his charge, the 
business of dealing with the Indians was to be supervised by one 

26 , -LINOIS IN 1818 

St. Jean, a trader of long experience, to whose judgment was 
left the choice of a spot in which to spend the winter. Before 
setting out, Farnham was given a license issued by Major Put- 
huff, Indian agent at Mackinac, authorizing him to trade in any 
part of the Indian country. He was instructed to proceed to St. 
Louis, where he was to obtain a territorial and United States 
license, which would permit him to sell goods on both the Illinois 
and Missouri sides of the river, in territory which had been 
ceded by the natives. 31 

Upon arriving at Prairie du Chien, Farnham and Daniel 
Darling, another trader who accompanied the outfit, were ordered 
by Lieutenant Colonel Chambers, who commanded at Fort Craw- 
ford, to have no dealings with the Indians until new licenses had 
been obtained from the governor of Missouri territory. The 
traders defied Colonel Chambers, who thereupon sent them to 
St. Louis under military escort. Though this mishap injured 
the trade to a considerable extent, Farnham succeeded in opening 
up a traffic with certain Indians lying west of the Mississippi, 
and did fairly well, considering his handicap. In the following 
year, 1818, Farnham once more returned to the Mississippi, 
carrying with him an outfit to be traded with the Sauk, in which 
he himself had an interest. Though some further difficulties 
were experienced on this second voyage, the reports indicated 
that the trade in the department was successful. There was at 
this time strenuous competition on the Mississippi between the 
American Fur Company and a group of traders with headquar- 
ters at St. Louis, and this spirit of rivalry may have partially 
accounted for the difficulties which Farnham experienced during 
the course of his operations in that quarter. 82 The department 
of the Mississippi was on the whole quite productive, the Sauk 
and Fox being the principal nations from which returns were 

"American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820, p. 47. 

"Chittenden, American Fur Trade, 1:312. The agents of the company 
made vigorous protests against the interference which their traders met with 
at the hands of the United States officers. The nominal ground for the 
interference appears to have been that Farnham's brigade included foreign 
traders who were excluded from operating in United States territory by the 
law of 1816. 


[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


[Copyright 1900 by Charles Moore! 


The commerce of the department of the Illinois river was 
under the supervision of Antoine Deschamps, an experienced 
trader, who selected the sites for the various posts and assigned 
the clerks and engages to their winter quarters. From a list of 
the employees of the American Fur Company in 1818 and 1819 
it appears that some thirty clerks, traders, interpreters, and boat- 
men were located upon the Illinois river; the reports of Crooks 
to Astor show that the trade of the Illinois posts was fairly suc- 
cessful during this period. The number of men engaged in the 
trade for the company upon the Wabash, according to the same 
list of employees, was sixteen or seventeen, and it is probable 
that some of these occasionally penetrated into Illinois. There 
were also scattered traders of the concern upon the Desplaines 
and Kankakee rivers, and at least two traders at Chicago in 1818, 
James Kinzie and Jean Baptiste Chandonnais were equipped by 
the American Fur Company. Jean Baptiste Beaubien was trans- 
ferred from Milwaukee to Chicago about this time. The Detroit 
firm of Conant and Mack also maintained an establishment at 
a place known as "Hardscrabble" on the south branch of the 
Chicago river. A trader by the name of John Crafts was in 
charge and his strategic position enabled him to intercept the 
Indians on their way to Chicago from the Illinois, the Desplaines, 
and the Kankakee rivers. It is said that Crafts also sent out- 
fits to Rock river and other places within a range of about one 
hundred miles. 83 

The men engaged in the fur trade fell into two distinct classes, 
the voyageurs or engages, who performed the menial labor, 34 
and the traders who directed operations the bourgeois of the 
French regime. Many of the voyageurs were half-breeds, de- 
scendants of the coureurs de bois who had taken to the wilder- 
ness in the early days of French occupation of Canada. Others 

"Andreas, History of Chicago, I :Q2 et seq.; Wisconsin Historical Collec- 
tions, 12:154; American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820, p. 28, 123; 
Hurlbut, Chicago Antiquities, 31. 

* 4 The terms engage and voyageur, as generally used, are almost synony- 
mous, though the former term includes not only the boatmen or voyageurs, 
but also those who performed other forms of labor incidental to the trade. 
The persons employed in the trade were obliged to sign contracts, or engage- 
ments, by which they bound themselves to perform certain stipulated services 
for a definite period of time. There are at the present day a great many of 
these engagements preserved in the archives of the District of Montreal. 

28 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

were native-born Canadians and had left wives and children in 
the little parishes in the neighborhood of far-away Montreal, to 
come into the wilderness and eke out a difficult and precarious 
livelihood. All observers agree in describing the voyageurs as a 
happy, care-free lot, cheerfully performing their arduous labors 
and taking no thought for the morrow with its possible dangers 
and privations. "These people," wrote Crooks, "are indispen- 
sable to the successful prosecution of the trade, their places can- 
not be supplied by Americans, who are for the most part are 
[sic] too independent to submit quietly to a proper controul, and 
who can gain any where a subsistence much superior to a man 
of the interior and although the body of the Yankee can resist 
as much hardship as any man, tis only in the Canadian we find 
that temper of mind, to render him patient docile and persever- 
ing, in short they are a people harmless in themselves whose 
habits of submission fit them peculiarly for our business." 35 
The voyageur stood in a sort of feudal relation to the trader who 
was in command of the brigade, whose word was law, both with 
regard to the property of the company and the persons in its 
employ. James H. Lockwood, a former employee of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company, said of the voyageurs : "They are very 
easily governed by a person who understands something of their 
nature and disposition, but their burgeois or employer must be 
what they consider a gentleman, or superior to themselves, as 
they never feel much respect for a man who has, from an 
engagee, risen to the rank of a clerk." 36 

In spite of the care- free and irresponsible existence which he 
led, the lot of the voyageur was not a particularly happy one. 
His average salary was less than one hundred dollars a year, 
and his daily ration was a soup made of hulled corn seasoned 
with tallow. The yearly outfit furnished him by his employer 
consisted of perhaps two cotton shirts, a triangular blanket, a 
portage collar, and a pair of heavy shoes. All luxuries, such as 
pipes and tobacco, he was obliged to furnish himself. The toil 

"American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820, p. 12. 
"Wisconsin Historical Collections, 2:110. 


to which the voyageur was subjected was arduous in the extreme. 
To drive a heavily laden canoe or Mackinac boat through the 
water was in itself no task for a weakling but this was a trifle 
in comparison with the labor which confronted him at the portage 
or at the rapids or falls which occasionally interrupted the 
streams. Here the craft must be unloaded, and the merchandise 
carried to the point where the expedition was to reembark. The 
older voyageurs were often wrecks, broken down by the labor 
which they were obliged to perform and the exposure to which 
they were subjected. 

The traders in the employ of the American Fur Company in 
1818 were partly experienced hands, many of whom were 
French-Canadians like Antoine Deschamps in charge of the de- 
partment of the Illinois river, and partly young clerks, most of 
whom were Americans. These clerks were carefully watched by 
the agents of the company, for it was upon their initiative and 
industry that the future prosperity of the concern depended. The 
advice which Ramsay Crooks gave to Edward Upham, a young 
clerk located upon the Illinois and Kankakee rivers in 1819 is of 
interest in this connection. He was told to be industrious, cau- 
tious, and enterprising and to spend his time in acquiring a knowl- 
edge of the country and its people rather than in dozing away the 
winter in his hut. 37 The great event in the trader's life was the 
annual voyage to Mackinac. According to one observer who 
visited the rendezvous in 1820, "The trader, or interior clerk, 
who takes his outfit of goods to the Indians, and spends eleven 
months of the year in toil, and want, and petty traffic, appears 
to dissipate his means with a sailor-like improvidence in a few 
weeks, and then returns to his forest wanderings; and boiled 
corn, pork, and wild rice again supply his wants." 38 

The goods which the wilderness trader carried to the Indians 
in exchange for their furs included a great variety of objects, 
and by no means consisted entirely of trinkets designed to satisfy 
the vanity of the savage. The assortment of the trader in the 
Illinois country in 1818 included such goods as blankets, strouds, 

''American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820, p. 169. 
"Schoolcraft, Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi, 69. 

30 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

handkerchiefs, tools of all sorts, guns, ammunition, and kettles 
articles which were really useful or even indispensable to the 
savage in his everyday life. On the other hand, the outfit usually 
contained some luxuries, such as ribbons, jewelry, wampum, 
tobacco, pipes, vermilion, earbobs, and even jew's-harps. 

The craft in which the fur traders conveyed their outfits on 
lakes and streams of the northwest were mainly of two sorts, 
the bateau, or "Mackinac boat," and the canoe. The former 
was a light boat, some thirty feet long, cut away at both bow and 
stern. It was navigated by five men, four of whom propelled it 
with oars, while the fifth steered. The canoe in which one 
employee of the American Fur Company navigated Lake Mich- 
igan in 1818 was made of birch bark and was thirty-three feet 
long by four and a half feet broad, tapering toward the bow 
and stern posts. The bark was sewed with wattap, and pine 
gum was used for the seams. The canoe was propelled by 
paddles, with the occasional assistance of a sail. There were 
eight voyageurs to each canoe, those stationed at the bow and 
stern being men of particular skill, who received double wages. 
Two or more canoes or boats formed a brigade, which was 
under the charge of a guide or brigade commander. Each man 
was allowed to carry a sack containing forty pounds of baggage. 
The entire cargo of the canoe, including goods, provisions, crew, 
and baggage, was about four tons. In propelling these boats, the 
voyageurs moved their oars or paddles to the rhythm of their 
French-Canadian boat songs, in which the bourgeois often took 
the lead. Every five miles or so, the bourgeois might shout 
"Whoop la ! a terre, a terre pour la pipe !" and the whole bri- 
gade would pause to rest while the men smoked a welcome pipe of 
tobacco. Thus distances on the lakes and streams of the interior 
came to be measured in "pipes" rather than miles. 

As the trader advanced into the interior, he gave out goods to 
the savages whom he passed, the Indians promising to bring in 
the returns of their winter's hunt in exchange for them. Arrived 
at the post, the trader unpacked his goods and gave credit to the 
Indians in the vicinity, who thereupon departed for their hunting 
grounds. The average value of the goods advanced to each 


man was about forty or fifty dollars, calculated at cost prices, 
but the honesty and ability of the individual hunter were taken 
into consideration. The amounts were carefully entered in the 
books and the trader aimed to secure in exchange furs valued at 
at least twice the cost of the goods advanced. Of course, bands 
came in from time to time with furs to be bartered on the spot, 
while during the winter the trader usually made occasional visits 
to the Indians at their hunting grounds. In the wilderness trade, 
the unit of exchange was the plus, originally the value of a pound 
of beaver skin, but later the equivalent of one dollar. Whiskey, 
the curse of the fur trade, was used extensively in spite of the 
vigorous efforts of the United States authorities to keep it out 
of the Indian country. When the trader and the Indian came 
together, it was customary to use some liquor to facilitate the 
traffic, with the result that the proceedings at these meetings 
were sometimes rather uproarious. Under the stress of com- 
petition whiskey flowed more freely and the disorder increased. 
The policy of the great company in its dealings with the 
savages is indicated by the advice which Crooks gave to a young 
trader in 1819. He was told to bear in mind that with the Indian 
as with the civilized man, "honesty is the best policy." If the 
Indian could be convinced that the trader was always just, his 
own disposition to cheat would gradually disappear, particularly 
when he discovered that the trader, being just himself, would not 
suffer others to defraud him. Nevertheless, the Indian trade 
was not regarded as an appropriate field for the application of 
idealistic principles. When free from the interference of rival 
traders the Indians could usually be relied upon to fulfill their 
contracts but the presence of competition was always a demor- 
alizing factor. Traders would sometimes induce the Indians to 
steal the credits of their rivals ; that is, they persuaded them to 
give up the furs which they had already pledged to another 
trader in return for goods advanced to them. There was bound 
to be more or less uncertainty in the collection of credits so that 
the traders were obliged to regulate their prices in such a way 
as to compensate themselves for possible losses. On the whole, 
however, when the lack of facilities for communication in the 

32 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Indian country and the roving character of the natives are taken 
into account, the degree of influence which the trader exercised 
over his Indian customers was really most remarkable. 

One of the young American employees of the fur company, 
Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard by name, has left a narrative of his 
experiences with the Illinois brigade which presents a vivid 
picture of the fur trade as it existed in northern Illinois in the 
year in which the state was admitted .to the union. 39 On the 
morning of the thirteenth of May, 1818, the brigade which Hub- 
bard accompanied to Mackinac departed from Lachine, a little 
village just above Montreal, the oars keeping time to the rhythm 
of the Canadian boat song. Nearly two months later, July 4, 
the brigade reached Mackinac where it was warmly welcomed 
by Crooks and Stuart, the agents of the company, together with 
a host of voyageurs and clerks. At Mackinac Hubbard found 
all the traders and their engages from the interior gathered on 
the island, where they added some three thousand to the popula- 
tion. Indians numbering some two or three thousand more lined 
the entire beach with their wigwams. These Indians, he says, 
made day and night hideous with the yells they emitted while 
performing their war dances and other sports. There were also 
frequent fights between the champions or "bullies" of the various 

After the traders had disposed of the returns of the past sea- 
son and secured new outfits, preparations were made for the 
departure of the brigades for the various posts of the interior. 
"A vast multitude assembled at the harbor to witness their de- 
parture, and when all was ready the boats glided from the shore, 
the crews singing some favorite boat song, while the multitude 
shouted their farewells and wishes for a successful trip and a 
safe return; and thus outfit after outfit started on its way for 
Lake Superior, Upper and Lower Mississippi, and other 
posts." 40 The Illinois and Wabash outfits were among the last to 

"The narrative was published first in Incidents and Events in the Life 
of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard (1888). It is also to be found in The Auto- 
biography of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard (1911). For the material on 
which the following paragraphs are based see Incidents and Events, 11-67 or 
the Autobiography, 7-64. 

"Hubbard, Incidents and Events, 25. 


[From A History of Trawl in America, by Seymour Dunbar, used by special 
permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis] 

THE Coureur de Bois AND THE SAVAGE 
[Copyright 1900 by Charles Moore] 


leave, being followed by the smaller expeditions bound for the 
shores of Lakes Huron and Michigan. At about noon on the 
tenth of September, the Illinois brigade left the harbor at Mack- 
inac in twelve boats, with Antoine Deschamps, who was in charge 
of the outfit, leading the boat song. Many of the traders were 
accompanied by their Indian wives, and the brigade must indeed 
have presented a motley appearance. The boats proceeded down 
the east shore of Lake Michigan, making about forty miles a 
day, under oars, but when the wind was favorable, square sails 
were hoisted by means of which it was possible to make seventy 
or seventy-five miles a day. 

On the evening of September 30, just twenty days after the 
departure from Mackinac, the expedition arrived at the mouth 
of the Calumet river, where it was met by a party of Indians 
returning from a visit to Chicago. They were drunk and started 
a fight among themselves in which several of their number were 
killed, necessitating the removal of the trading party to the oppo- 
site side of the river for safety. The members of the brigade 
spent a portion of the night in preparation for their arrival at 
Chicago. "We started at dawn," says Hubbard. "The morn- 
ing was calm and bright, and we, in our holiday attire, with flags 
flying, completed the last twelve miles of our lake voyage." 41 
The brigade spent a few days at Chicago repairing the boats, and 
then passed up the south branch of the Chicago river into Mud 
lake, a sort of marsh, which drained partly into the Chicago 
river and partly into the Desplaines. The boats were half 
dragged, half floated, through this marsh to the waters of the 
Desplaines, while the goods were carried on the backs of the 
engages. After three days of such labor, the portage was 
crossed, the boats were reloaded, and the voyage to the Illinois 
was begun. The water being very low, the progress of the 
brigade was slow and difficult, and it was three weeks before the 
expedition reached the mouth of the Fox river. Two days more 
brought the party to the foot of Starved Rock. 

From this point on, the voyage was less difficult, and the bri- 
gade floated down the river, stopping occasionally to barter 

"Hubbard, Incidents and Events, 31. 

34 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

powder and tobacco for Indian corn. The first trading house was 
located at the mouth of the Bureau river near the present site of 
the town of Hennepin. It was placed in charge of a trader named 
Bibeau, who, though illiterate, had a wide experience in the In- 
dian trade. Hubbard was assigned to this post to keep the ac- 
counts and perform the general duties of clerk. The next post 
was located three miles below Peoria lake and was placed in 
charge of another old trader, who was well acquainted with the 
Indians in the vicinity. The brigade proceeded on down the river, 
establishing posts every sixty miles or so, the last one being some 
fifty miles above the mouth of the stream. 

Deschamps proceeded with one boat to St. Louis to purchase 
certain articles needed in the trade and also to obtain flour and 
tobacco at Cahokia. Hubbard accompanied him on the voyage. 
About November 20, they started back, distributing various por- 
tions of the cargo at the posts along the river. Hubbard reached 
his station at the mouth of the Bureau river about the middle of 
December and was given final instructions concerning the keeping 
of .his accounts. "The accounts," he says, "had heretofore been 
kept in hieroglyphics by Beebeau [Bibeau], my ignorant master, 
who proved to be sickly, cross, and petulant. He spent the 
greater part of his time in bed, attended by a fat, dirty Indian 
woman, a doctress, who made and administered various decoc- 
tions to him." 42 The cabin in which Hubbard spent the winter 
was of logs and very much resembled the cabin of the pioneer 
settler. The duties of the young clerk were to keep the books 
and to be present when sales were made for furs or when credit 
was to be given. Leisure time was spent in hunting, trapping, 
making oars and paddles, chatting and joking with the men at 
the post, and making ready for departure in the spring. During 
the winter, Hubbard made two trading excursions into the inte- 
rior, one to the mouth of the Rock river, and the other to the 
Wabash, the latter being particularly successful. 

Early in March, orders were received from Deschamps to 
have everything in readiness to start for Mackinac on the twen- 
tieth. In the forenoon of the day set, writes Hubbard, "we 

"Hubbard, Incidents and Events, 49. 


heard in the distance the sound of the familiar boat-song and 
recognized the rich tones of Mr. Deschamps' voice, and we 
knew the 'Brigade' was coming. We all ran to the landing and 
soon saw Mr. Deschamps' boat rounding the point about a mile 
below; his ensign floating in the breeze. We shouted with joy 
at their arrival and gave them a hearty welcome." 43 On the fol- 
lowing morning, the brigade, consisting of thirteen boats, started 
on the long return voyage to Mackinac. The same route was 
followed as on the outward trip, and the destination was reached 
without mishap about the middle of May, the brigade being 
among the first to arrive from the Indian country. Thus was 
finished one cycle in the life of an Illinois fur trader. 

"Hubbard, Incidents and Events. 



No more important and interesting story 
can be found in the annals of the human race 
than that of the progress of settlement across 
the North American continent, the transfor- 
mation of successive areas of wilderness into 
highly organized agricultural and industrial 
communities. The significance of this phase 
of American history has been widely 
recognized in recent years, and the 
region undergoing this transformation 
at any particular period has come to 
be known as the frontier. The process 
is a long one, however, with many diff-_j 
erent stages that appear simultaneously A TRAPPER 

in different areas so that the frontier at [From Hail, Forty Etchings, 

. , , . , , , P owned by Illinois State Histor- 

any given time includes a wide belt of icai Library] 
territory whose boundaries shade 

away on one side into the wilderness, on the other into civiliza- 
tion. Using the term as here defined, the whole of Illinois can 
be said to have been frontier country in 1818. The northern part 
of the state had passed through the stage of the explorer's 
frontier and represented the frontier of both the Indian trader 
and the military post, while the southern part had emerged into 
the frontier of the pioneer settler. 

The expression "frontier" may also be used in another but 
closely allied sense, as connoting the extreme limit of progress 
of some phase of the movement. Thus the frontier of explora- 
tion is the line between the territory which has been visited by 
explorers and that which has not, and similarly there are fron- 
tiers of Indian land cessions, government surveys, land sales, 



and actual settlement. The fact that the lines of several of these 
frontiers run through the Illinois of 1818 adds interest to a study 
of the region at that time. Progress along some of these lines 
was always irregular, however; and the frontier in such cases 
can be indicated only approximately, by drawing a line to connect 
up the extreme points. Considering the nation as a whole, these 
frontiers were in the main, north and south lines; but various 
factors, principally geographical, resulted in their running in Illi- 
nois from east to west across the state. 

The southern limit of the Indian country in Illinois in 1818 
was a line drawn east from the mouth of the Illinois river to a 
point about ten miles west of the Wabash and then northward 
bearing slightly to the east to the Vermilion river. The location 
of this line was determined by a series of treaties between the 
United States and the various Indian tribes. By a treaty nego- 
tiated at Vincennes in 1803, the Kaskaskia surrendered to the 
United States all their claims to land in Illinois covering an 
immense tract stretching from the Mississippi on the west to the 
divide between the Kaskaskia and the Wabash on the east, and 
from the Ohio on the south, northward to a line running in a 
northeasterly direction from the mouth of the Illinois river. 
Previous to this the United States had secured, at the treaty of 
Greenville of 1795, which was participated in by most of the 
tribes of the northwest, a recognition of grants made by the 
Indians during the French and British periods of a tract of land 
about Vincennes, part of which lay west of the Wabash. In 
1803 the limits of this grant were defined by another treaty at 
Fort Wayne. Two years later the small tribe of the Piankashaw 
ceded to the United States their claims to the land between the 
Kaskaskia cession on the west and the Wabash river and Vin- 
cennes tract on the east, extending north a short distance beyond 
the thirty-ninth parallel. 44 

"The cessions are listed chronologically, with the essential data, and ex- 
cellent colored maps, in Royce, "Indian Land Cessions" in Bureau of Amer- 
ican Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual Report, pt. 2. The treaties can be found 
in full in Kapper, Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, vol. 2. The two volumes 
of American State Papers, Indian Affairs contain many documents relating 
to the negotiations. 

38 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

In 1809 a narrow strip of land along the boundary between 
Illinois and Indiana, stretching from the Vincennes tract to the 
Vermilion river, was acquired by treaties negotiated by Governor 
William Henry Harrison with various tribes of Illinois and In- 
diana Indians, including the Potawatomi and Kickapoo. The 
purpose of this cession was to open the way for the advance of 
settlement up the Wabash river. When the Illinois tribes had 
been driven out from northern and central Illinois, the territory 
had been occupied by a stream of northern tribes, the Sauk and 
Fox, Kickapoo, Winnebago, and Potawatomi. Mingled with the 
latter were also fragments of the Ottawa and Chippewa. New- 
comers in the region, these various tribes had illy defined hold- 
ings, and a large number of overlapping cessions had to be se- 
cured before their claims were extinguished. In 1804 a treaty 
was made with certain members of the allied Sauk and Fox tribes 
by which the United States claimed to have acquired from these 
tribes the vast stretch of country lying between the Mississippi 
on the west and the Illinois and Fox rivers on the east and 
extending northward into what is now Wisconsin. The validity 
of this cession was denied by the Indians, however, on the ground 
that it was made by men who had no authority to represent the 
tribes; and in 1815 and 1816 when peace was made with the 
Sauk and Fox respectively, after the war of 1812, the United 
States secured confirmations of this grant. The Indians retained 
the privilege of living and hunting on the land so long as it 
remained the property of the government. The region between 
the Mississippi and Illinois rivers having been selected for mili- 
tary bounty land, the United States was desirous of perfecting 
its title in order that the surveys might proceed. For this pur- 
pose it was necessary to secure a relinquishment from the asso- 
ciated Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Chippewa. By a treaty nego- 
tiated at St. Louis in August, i8i6, 45 these tribes gave up their 
claims to the Sauk and Fox cession south of a line drawn due 
west from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the 

"Such tracts, not to "exceed the quantity that would be contained in five 
leagues square" as the president might reserve, were excepted. It was ex- 
pected that these would be so located as to include the Galena lead mines. 
See Wisconsin Historical Collections, 13 :286. 


Mississippi river, while the United States in turn relinquished to 
them its claim to the part of the cession lying north of that line. 
By the same treaty, these Indians also ceded a strip about ten 
miles wide from the Fox river to the Kankakee along the north 
side of the Illinois and about twenty miles wide from the mouth 
of the Kankakee on both sides of the Desplaines river and the 
portage to Lake Michigan. The purpose of this cession was to 
make possible the construction of a canal from Lake Michigan to 
the Illinois river, and the Indians were allowed to continue to 
hunt and fish on the ceded land. 

The title of the United States to the military tract having been 
cleared up, it was expected that settlement would follow rapidly, 
and the desirability of securing a cession of the area between 
that tract and the Kaskaskia cession of 1803 was realized. In 
1817 commissioners were appointed and instructions issued, and 
on September 25, 1818, representatives of all the remnants of 
the Illinois tribes met Governor Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, 
United States commissioners, at Edwardsville and agreed to a 
treaty. The remnant of the Peoria had not been a party to the 
treaty of 1803, and so, in order to quiet any claim which they 
might have, the cession here made included the whole of the 
earlier cession as well as all the land beyond that cession and 
south of the Illinois and Kankakee rivers. A week later the 
Potawatomi ceded their claim to a tract northwest of the 
Wabash, lying mostly in Indiana but including a small triangle 
in Illinois between the Vermilion and the state line. Neither of 
these treaties, however, gave the United States undisputed claim 
to any additional territory in Illinois, for the Kickapoo, a numer- 
ous and powerful tribe, for many years claimed by right of con- 
quest and possession the whole of central Illinois including not 
only all the new area covered by the treaty of 1818 but also all 
the original Kaskaskia cession and the Piankashaw cession north 
of an east and west line through the mouth of the Illinois river. 
Not until July 30, 1819, were the Kickapoo induced to give up 
their claim and to agree to move west of the Mississippi. By this 
cession of 1819 the land claimed by Indians in Illinois was 
reduced to the region north of the canal cession and of an east 

40 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

and west line through the southern extremity of Lake Michigan, 
and a smaller tract along the Indiana line extending south from 
the canal cession and the Kankakee river to the Vermilion. Not 
until the years 1829, 1832, and 1833, were these claims given 
up by the Potawatomi, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Winnebago. 

When Illinois was admitted to the union in November, 1818, 
therefore, the land in the state upon which all Indian claims had 
been extinguished, or, more accurately, of which no further ces- 
sions were made, lay in two detached areas. The first included 
all south of the east and west line through the mouth of the 
Illinois and also a narrow strip along the eastern border of the 
state extending as far north as the Vermilion river; the second 
consisted of the military tract and the strip connecting it with 
Lake Michigan. 

After the Indian title to the land was extinguished, it was 
government land, and the first step in the transition to private 
property was its survey into the familiar rectangular townships 
and sections. By an act of 1804 the surveyor-general in charge 
of this work in the northwest was authorized to arrange for the 
survey of all the land north of the Ohio and east of the Missis- 
sippi to which the Indian titles had been extinguished. 46 The 
system of rectangular surveys based on a principal meridian and 
a base line had already been worked out for the land in Ohio; 
but the tracts to be surveyed in Indiana territory were widely 
separated from this land; and it was necessary to select a new 
point of departure. For the second principal meridian, there- 
fore, the surveyor-general established a line running due north 
and south through the northeast corner of the Vincennes tract, 
as confirmed by the Indians in 1803 ; and this meridian governed 
most of the surveys in Indiana and those in Illinois east of a line 
running north from the mouth of the Wabash. In the rest of 
Illinois south of the Illinois river the surveys were governed by 
the third principal meridian, which was run north from the 
mouth of the Ohio. For both of these systems an east and west 
line, selected because it ran through the westernmost corner of 
Clark's grant on the Ohio, served as the base line. Ranges 

. "Statutes at Large, 2 -.277. 

Indian Land Cessions 

in Illinois 


42 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

were numbered east and west from the principal meridians and 
townships north and south from the base line. Each township 
was divided into thirty-six sections one mile square. 47 

While the work of locating the main township lines in Illinois 
was begun in 1804, the same year in which the surveys were 
authorized, the principal work of the surveyors for a number 
of years was the marking out of the numerous private claims. 
Not until about 1810 was the detail work in the townships taken 
up in earnest, and then it progressed so slowly that much was 
uncompleted when the sales began in 1814. With the close of 
the war of 1812, however, the surveys proceeded more rapidly; 
in 1816 a surveyor-general for Illinois and Missouri territories 
was appointed ; and at the close of the territorial period most of 
the land to which the Indian titles had been extinguished was 
surveyed. 48 The frontier of government survey then, in 1818, 
started on the Mississippi near Alton and ran east to the third 
principal meridian, then south thirty miles to the base line, east 
again to the southwest corner of the Vincennes tract and then 
northeastwardly along the boundaries of that tract and the Har- 
rison purchase to the Indiana line near the boundary between the 
present Vermilion and Edgar counties. West of the meridian, 
the line was only a few miles below the frontier of Indian ces- 
sions but between the meridian and the Vincennes tract the two 
frontiers were thirty-six miles apart. 49 

In this statement of the extent of surveys, the triangle be- 
tween the Mississippi and the Illinois rivers has been left out of 
consideration. When this land was purchased from the Indians 
in 1804, it was apparently intended that it should be disposed 

"Treat, National Land System, ch. 8; Niles' Weekly Register, 12:97-99; 
16 -.362. 

"Land records in the auditor's office at Springfield ; Statutes at Large, 
3 :32S- 

** Additional surveys were frequently urged by the land officers and dur- 
ing the late summer of 1818, thirty-six townships above township 5 north, 
and west of the third principal meridian were surveyed. This land was not 
offered for sale, however, until 1819, and the line described above is for 
convenience referred tc as the "frontier line of survey in 1818." Orders 
were issued September 26, 1818, for the survey of the tract north of the base 
line and east of the meridian, and the work was completed the following 
year. Land records in the auditor's office, Springfield ; Intelligencer, Octo- 
ber 21, 1818. 


of in the ordinary way, for an act of congress of March 3, 1805 
attached it to the Kaskaskia land district. At the beginning of 
the war of 1812, however, congress, by the act of May 6, 1812, 
directed that two million acres of this land with like quantities 
in Michigan and Louisiana territories be reserved for the pur- 
pose of satisfying the bounties of land promised to soldiers, 
1 60 acres to each, by acts of December 24, 1811, and January 
ii, 1812. The surveys of the "military tracts," as they were 
called, were delayed by Indian hostilities but they were under 
way in the summer of 1815. As the work progressed, the offi- 
cials reached the conclusion that the Michigan lands were not 
suitable for the purpose, and so congress was induced to pass the 
act of April 29, 1816, substituting for the Michigan lands an 
additional million and a half acres in Illinois and an additional 
half million acres in Missouri. 50 This increased the amount of 
bounty land in Illinois to three and a half million acres, and car- 
ried the northern boundary of the tract to a line from the Illinois 
river at the mouth of the Vermilion due west to the Mississippi. 
As this region was wholly separated from the other surveys in 
Illinois, it was necessary to run a fourth principal meridian, fixed 
by the mouth of the Illinois river, with a base line run due west 
from the point where the meridian crossed the Illinois in the 
vicinity of the site of Beardstown. 

The survey of the Illinois bounty lands progressed rapidly 
during the winter of 1816-17; and on September 25, 1817, the 
commissioner of the general land office announced that the sur- 
veys had all been received and that the distribution of the land 
by lot as provided by law would begin on the first Monday in 
October. Warrants had been issued to the soldiers entitled to 
bounties, or to their heirs, and between October 6, 1817 and 
January 28, 1819, some eighteen thousand of these warrants 
were exchanged at the general land office for patents to quarter 
sections of land in Illinois, covering the greater part of the mili- 
tary tract. While the warrants were non-transferable there was 
no requirement that the patentee settle upon the land and nothing 

'"American State Papers, Public Lands, 3:162-164; Statutes at Large, 
2:344, 669, 672, 728; 3:332; Niles' Weekly Register, 9:15. 

44 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

to prevent him from disposing of the patent as soon as received. 
As a matter of fact the title to most of this land passed at once 
into the hands of eastern speculators ; and no settlement appears 
to have resulted from this wholesale distribution of land until 
after the admission of the state to the union. 61 

The regular procedure in the disposition of the public lands at 
this time was sale by the government without distinction between 
settlers and speculators. To facilitate its sale, the region in 
which the land was located was divided into districts, in each of 
which was established a local land office. In 1818 there were 
three such land offices with their corresponding districts wholly 
in Illinois, while the strip along the eastern border north of the 
base line was included in the Vincennes district, the greater part 
of which lay in Indiana. Land offices had been established at 
Vincennes and Kaskaskia as early as 1804; but their only work 
for many years was the settlement of claims, of which there 
were a large number, based on the rights of the old French inhab- 
itants and on various donations by congress to the early settlers. 
It was obviously desirable that the validity of each of these claims 
and the location and limits of those which stood the test should 
be determined before the remainder of the land was offered for 
sale. The process of settlement dragged on from year to year, 
however, and it was not until 1814, only four years before the 
state entered the union, that land could be purchased from the 
government in Illinois. In the meantime another land office had 
been authorized at Shawneetown in 1812, the boundary between 
the two Illinois districts being the third principal meridian. 
With the beginning of sales and the progress of the surveys the 
need for another land office in the west, north of Kaskaskia, 
was apparent, and in 1816 one was established at Edwardsville 
for the sale of the land north of the base line and west of the 
meridian. This left in the Kaskaskia district the triangle be- 
tween the Mississippi, the meridian, and the base line. While 
the acts establishing the Shawneetown and Edwardsville districts 

""Lands in Illinois to soldiers of late war," Executive Documents, 26 con- 
gress, i session, no. 262; Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1910, 
p. 151; Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 52:29, 177; 53:59; Intelligen- 
cer, November 6, 1817. 


[From A History of Travel in America, by Seymour Dunbar, used by special 

permission of the publishers. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis) 

[From A History of Trawl in America, by Seymour Dunbar, used by special 
permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis] 


had not definitely fixed their northern boundaries, these coin- 
cided in practice with the frontier of survey; that is, the base 
line for the Shawneetown district, and a line five townships or 
thirty miles farther north for the Edwardsville district. The 
Kaskaskia district, then, contained approximately 2,188,800 
acres or ninety-five townships, the Shawneetown, 3,018,240 acres 
or 131 townships, and the Edwardsville, 1,059,840 acres or 
forty-six townships. 62 

The system of public land sales in operation in Illinois in 1818 
was that inaugurated by the act of congress of May 10, 1800, 
with some modifications by later acts. The land was first offered 
at public sales on dates fixed by proclamations of the president ; 
all land for which two dollars or more an acre was offered was 
sold to the highest bidder. After land had once been offered 
at public sale without finding a purchaser, it could then be bought 
at private sale for the minimum price. Under the act of 1800 
all the land was to be sold in half sections or 320 acre tracts ; but 
in 1804, the sale of quarter sections was authorized and an act 
of 1817 permitted six specified sections in each township to be 
sold in half-quarter sections or eighty acre tracts. Of the pur- 
chase money, one-twentieth had to be paid down to hold the 
land, and enough more to amount to twenty-five per cent was due 
in forty days. The remainder was due in three equal install- 
ments at the end of two, three, and four years from the date of 
entry. No interest was charged if payments were promptly 
made; but if not, they drew six per cent from the date of sale. 
A discount of eight per cent was allowed, however, on all advance 
payments, which reduced the minimum cash price to $1.64 an 
acre. If the installments were not all paid at the end of five 
years from the date of entry, the land reverted to the United 
States and was offered at public auction. Should it then bring 
more than the amount still due with interest, the balance went to 
the original purchaser. As a rule, in Illinois, only a small pro- 
portion of the land offered was disposed of at the public sales, 
and the bulk of that brought only the minimum price. It was 

"Statutes at Large, 2:277, 684; 3:323; American State Papers, Public 
Lands, 3 :3i2. 

46 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

possible, therefore, for anyone with eighty dollars to enter a 
quarter section of land, "looking to the land to reward your pains 
with the means of discharging the other three-fourths as they 
become due," as Morris Birkbeck expressed it. 53 From the 
records of land sales in Illinois it appears that practically all the 
purchasers took advantage of the credit system and most of them 
bought only the minimum amount. 

The protracted delay in the opening of the land sales resulted 
in a situation which is well described in a memorial addressed to 
congress by the first territorial legislature in 1812. This de- 
clared that, "from the establishment of a land office in the Terri- 
tory several years ago, a general opinion prevailed that the public 
land would shortly thereafter be offered for sale, whereby the 
great majority of the citizens now residing in the Territory were 
induced to move into it and settle themselves, hoping that they 
would have an opportunity of purchasing the land they occupied 
before they had made such ameliorations thereon as would 
tempt the competition of avaricious speculators, in which reason- 
able expectation they have been hitherto disappointed in conse- 
quence of the unexampled postponement of the sales owing to 
canses [sic] which are well understood and which it is unneces- 
sary to detail ; . . . . those good people have made valuable and 
permanent improvements on the land they thus occupied (at the 
same time that they have risked their lives in defending it against 
the barbarous savages who invaded it), but are now in danger of 
losing the whole value of their labor by competition at the sales 
or by the holders of unlocated claims beirfg permitted to locate 
on their improvements." 54 

In the eyes of the law these settlers on the public domain were 
intruders with no legal rights to their "improvements," and con- 
gress had in the past usually refused to recognize the claim of 
such settlers, on the ground that to do so would encourage illegal 
settlement. The sales in Illinois had been so long postponed, 
however, that the justice of some measure of relief was obvious, 

"Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois, 97; Statutes at Large, 2:73, 277; 3:346; 
Niles' Weekly Register, 12 :gg. 

"James, Territorial Records, 109. 



and on February 5, 1813, congress passed an act of great im- 
portance to the people of that territory. By the terms of this 
measure, settlers who had "actually inhabited and cultivated a 
tract of land, lying in either of the districts established for the 
sale of public lands, in the Illinois territory" before the passage 
of the act, were granted a preemption right to not more than 
the quarter section on which they had located ; that is, they were 
allowed to purchase the tract at the minimum price at any time 
up to within two weeks of the opening of the public sales in the 
district. The terms were the same as for other purchases at 
private sales, but the settler was relieved from any danger of 

[Original owned by Chicago Historical Society] 

having to bid against others for the land which he had occupied. 
About a year later, before any sales had been made in the Kas- 
kaskia district, congress passed another act, dated April 16, 1814, 
which enlarged and extended preemption rights in that section of 
the territory. The greater part of the Kaskaskia district, includ- 
ing what was later set off as the Edwardsville district, was 
designated as a reserved tract in which the numerous confirmed 
unlocated claims must be located. Settlers within this tract who 
had established themselves before February 5, 1813, the date 
of the original preemption law, were allowed preemption rights 

48 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

to not less than a quarter nor more than a whole section, appli- 
cation to be made on or before October i, 1814. Settlers holding 
confirmed unlocated claims were allowed to use them as pay- 
ments for the land to which they had preemption rights while 
other holders of such claims might locate them within the tract 
between October I, 1814 and May i, 1815. It was expected, 
apparently, that the situation would thus be cleared up by May i, 
1815, so that the public sales could take place; but another act 
of February 27, 1815, extended the time for preemptions to 
May i, 1816; and an act of April 27, 1816, made a further 
extension in certain cases to October i, 1816. By this last act, 
also, holders of unlocated confirmed claims were allowed to 
locate them in the tract up to the same date. 65 

These various acts relating to preemption rights created dis- 
tinctions in different parts of Illinois, the reasons for which are 
not apparent. Thus in the Shawneetown district those who had 
settled on the land before February 5, 1813, were given the 
preference in the purchase of a quarter section only, while within 
the reserved tract, the preference was extended to a whole sec- 
tion. Especial provision was made in the Kaskaskia district, 
moreover, for settlers on fractional sections; but the law was so 
interpreted as to allow such settlers no preemption rights in the 
Shawneetown district, with the result that a few had to pay 
advanced prices for their lands at the public sales. The worst 
discrimination, however, was with reference to that part of 
Illinois within the Vincennes district. The act of 1813 was in- 
terpreted as not applying to this tract at all and the settlers 
there were left to compete with speculators in the public sales 
for the lands on which they had made improvements. The legis- 
lature of Illinois territory, at its session of 1816-17, after the 
sales had taken place, forwarded to congress a long memorial 
devoted to proving that the preemption act had not been correctly 
interpreted in this particular, and asking for some measure of 
redress for those settlers who had lost their land or had been 
forced to pay advanced prices for it. This memorial, together 
with a petition from the settlers themselves drawn up in 1818, 

K Statutes at Large, 2:797; 3:125, 218; Treat, National Land System, 


From A History nf Travel in America, by Seymour Dunbar, used by special 
permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis] 


[From a copy owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


was referred and re-referred to the house committee on public 
lands until finally congress passed the relief act of May n, 1820. 
By this act all settlers who would have been entitled to preemp- 
tion rights, had the act been interpreted to apply to the part of 
Vincennes district in Illinois, were given credit certificates for 
the sums above the minimum price which they had paid; or, if 
they had not purchased, they were allowed to exercise a preemp- 
tion right on any land in Illinois which might be surveyed before 
September i, i82O. 56 

The first government sales of land in Illinois took place, as 
has already been stated, in 1814. During the year ending Sep- 
tember 30, 1814, the only sales were 8,837 acres in the Shawnee- 
town district; these were all made to settlers in accordance with 
the preemption act of 1813, and consequently at the minimum 
price. The first public sale in the territory took place in the 
same district in October of 1814 and included the sale of town 
lots in Shawneetown, which had been laid out for that purpose 
by the government surveyors under acts of April 30, 1810, and 
March 28, 1814. Only a part of the land in the district could be 
offered at this sale because the surveys were incomplete, and 
only a little over fifty thousand acres were sold in the district 
in the year ending September 30, 1815. Sales under the pre- 
emption acts began in the Kaskaskia district in the fall of 1814, 
and about thirty thousand acres were disposed of during the 
fiscal year. During the year ending September 30, 1816, the 
sales were still smaller, amounting to less than thirty-four thou- 
sand acres in the Shawneetown and less than thirteen thousand 
in the Kaskaskia districts. The bulk of the Shawneetown sales 
must have been of land which had been offered in 1814 and 
which was now available at private sales at the minimum price, 
while at Kaskaskia land could still be purchased only by pre- 

The largest offerings of land at public sales in Illinois, prior 
to the admission of the state to the union, took place in October 
and November, 1816, when sales were held at all three of the 

'"Legislative memorial in Intelligencer, January 22, 1817 ; petition of James 
McFarland and others, November, 1818, and petition of inhabitants of Craw- 
ford countv. December 25, 1818 in House Files; Statutes at Large, 3:573. 



offices in tlie territory. 57 The intention was that the government 
land in the respective districts, not hitherto offered and not 
reserved for schools or other special purposes, should be offered 
at these sales ; but the officers at Kaskaskia reported that certain 
townships could not be sold because descriptions had not been 
received from the surveyor-general, while certain sections in 
fifteen townships in the Shawneetown district were not actually 
offered until October, 1818. Nineteen townships and fractional 
townships, comprising about two-thirds of the part of the Vin- 
cennes district in Illinois, were offered at public sale in Septem- 
ber of the same year. So much of the best land in the Kaskaskia 
and Edwardsville districts had been covered by private claims 
and preemption rights that only small amounts were disposed 
of at these sales. In Edwardsville the bidding could not have 
been very brisk for none of the sixty or seventy tracts sold 
brought more than the minimum price, while at Kaskaskia only 
five or six tracts which were located near the mouth of the 
Ohio, and were bought up by town-site speculators sold for 
an advanced price, the highest being five dollars an acre. 58 The 
significance of the public sales, however, lay not in the amounts 

87 The following table gives the acreage of land sales in the three Illinois 
districts for the periods indicated, with amounts of reversions deducted from 
the sales. It is compiled from statistics in Reports of the Secretary of the 
Treasury, 1:550; 2:68, 97, 135, 137, 157; American State Papers, Public 
Lands, 3 :3I2 ; Executive Documents, 16 congress, 2 session, no. 8, p. 19. 






Years ending 
Sept. 30 





1818 239,01 1 

1819 161,654 

Total 562,296 

Total to Sept. 30, 1818 400,642 

Est. total to Dec. 31, 1818 440,000 

Area of districts 3,018,240 

Proportion sold Dec. 31, 1818 14^% 

See also Statutes at Large, 2:591; 3:113; president's proclamation, April 
5, in land records, auditor's office, Springfield. 

"President's proclamations in Intelligencer, June 12, 1816; August 5, 1818; 
Letter Book A, 109-111, 115, and land record, Palestine district, auditor's 
office, Springfield ; Intelligencer, November 20, 1816 ; House Documents, 15 
congress, 2 session, no. 46, p. 6. 































of land disposed of but in the fact that after they were over 
extensive tracts of land in all parts of Illinois below the frontier 
line of survey were available for purchase at private sale at the 
minimum price. 

With the return of peace on the frontier after the war of 
1812, immigrants poured into the territory, and the sales in- 
creased by leaps and bounds. During the year ending Septem- 
ber 30, 1817, almost a quarter of a million acres of land were 
sold in the three districts wholly within Illinois, Edwardsville 
leading with over a hundred thousand acres. This was nearly 
twice as much as had been sold in all the previous years, but the 
amount was again doubled in the next fiscal year, the total being 
nearly six hundred thousand acres. This time the Shawneetown 
district led with about two hundred and forty thousand acres. 
The fiscal year ending September 30, 1819, shows a falling off 
in the total sales to less than four hundred thousand acres, due 
in part to the fact that the choicest tracts had already been 
selected, and in part to the financial panic of 1819. The total 
sales of public land in these districts to September 30, 1818, 
amounted to 980,698 acres. Approximately the sales to the end 
of 1818 amounted to about 1,080,000 acres, of which 440,000 
were in the Shawneetown, 320,000 in the Kaskaskia, and 320,000 
in the Edwardsville districts. Thirty per cent of the Edwards- 
ville district had been sold but only fourteen and a half per cent 
of the Shawneetown and Kaskaskia districts. Taking the three 
districts together, only about seventeen per cent of the available 
land had passed out of the possession of the government. 59 

The actual location of the land in Illinois which had become 
private property by the end of 1818, is indicated on the accom- 
panying map. 60 From this it appears that the largest solid blocks 
of private holdings were in the present Madison and St. Clair 
counties. In the American bottom, also, stretching along the 
Mississippi above Kaskaskia, practically all the land had been 
taken up. On the opposite side of the territory a tract equivalent 

"See table in note 57. 

"Compiled from records in the auditor's office at Springfield, and in the 
general land office in Washington. 

U. Of ILL U3. 

52 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

to about two and a half townships had been entered in Edwards 
county, where the English settlement was located. There was 
a smaller block in the neighborhood of Shawneetown, and along 
the lower Ohio an extensive tract had been purchased by firms 
of speculators who hoped that great commercial cities would 
spring up on their holdings. The map brings out in a striking 
way the importance of streams in giving value to land in their 
vicinity. Along the Kaskaskia river and its tributaries, as far 
as the surveys extended, along the Big Muddy in Jackson county, 
and the Cache in Union county, extended ribbons of purchased 
land. On the eastern side of the state, the land along the Saline 
river was all in the United States reservation, but the influence 
of the Little Wabash is clearly seen. Another factor in giving 
value to land was its location along the main roads which crossed 
the state. Thus the lines of the roads from Shawneetown to 
Carlyle, Shawneetown to Kaskaskia, and Golconda to Kaskaskia, 
are clearly indicated by the holdings, although these are more 
broken than those along the streams. Between these roads in 
the interior of the state were tracts containing ten or a dozen 
townships in each of which scarcely a single section of land had 
been sold. 

Significant as is the distribution of purchased land, it is not 
a definitive index of the progress of settlement for two reasons; 
in the first place much land was purchased for speculation rather 
than for settlement, and in the second place many settlers lived 
on land which still belonged to the government. 

Before land could be purchased from the government, the 
speculators had been obliged to confine their operations to the 
field of private claims; but many of the original French and 
American holders of these claims were readily induced to dis- 
pose of them to the more enterprising men with capital, and as 
a result thousands of acres passed into the possession of such 
men as John Edgar and William Morrison. When the govern- 
ment land sales began, speculators were always on hand to pick 
up the choice tracts which, because of their supposedly favorable 
location, were expected to rise in value rapidly. As has already 
been noted much of the land along the lower Ohio was pur- 


chased in large tracts by firms of eastern men. The resident 
speculators wisely devoted themselves largely to land in the 
Edwardsville district which was settling up rapidly, while on the 
eastern side of the territory, Morris Birkbeck entered 26,400 
acres of land in Edwards county during 1817 and 1818. Birk- 
beck's purchases were made in part to secure the land for the 
English immigrants whom he was inducing to come to Illinois, 
but it is undoubtedly true that he and the other leaders in the 
English settlement hoped for great personal returns from the 
rise in value of the land. The effects on settlement of the exten- 
sive purchase of land by speculators were very great. Desirable 
tracts in the neighborhood of settlements were held at prices too 
high for most of the immigrants to pay, and consequently they 
were forced to go farther afield or take up less desirable land. 
The result of this and of the uniform price of government land, 
regardless of quality, was a wide spread scattering of the 
settlers over a vast extent of territory instead of an orderly pro- 
gression along a definite frontier. 61 

The occupation of the public lands by settlers long before 
they could purchase and the measures which were taken for 
their relief have already been noted. The preemption acts did 
not entirely solve the problem, however, for no provision was 
made for those who settled after February 5, 1813; and many 
who had established themselves before that were too poor to 
exercise their preemption rights. Nor were these people inclined 
to surrender the land when it was purchased by others. The 
situation is well described in a letter written by the register 
of the Shawneetown land office to his superior in Washington 
in 1815. "Several persons," he wrote, "have called on me as 
the public Agent, to give them peaceable possession of their Lands 
persons who are residing on them now, & were previously 
to the sale, refuse .to give them up a[n]d the rightfull owner 
is kept out of possession, who thinks his case a very hard one 
to be compelled after paying the Government for a tract of land 
to be reduced to the necessity of commencing a suit at Law to 

"Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 11:277; Birkbeck, Letters from Illi- 
nois, 37, 81, 85, 120; Dana, Geographical Sketches, 143; Intelligencer, Novem- 
ber 20, 1816. 

54 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

obtain his just right There are nearly a thousand improved 
places in this district that are not located, and if the Government 
does not adopt some energetic measures to nip this conduct in 
the bud it will retard the Sale of all those places which are or 
may be improved hereafter I hope this subject will present 
itself forcibly to your mind as it will materially affect the public 
sales." 62 The situation was so serious that the matter was taken 
up with the secretary of state, and the president issued a proc- 
lamation directing that after a certain day in March, 1816, all 
squatters on the public lands should be removed. Against the 
execution of this proclamation, Benjamin Stephenson, the dele- 
gate from Illinois territory, protested vigorously. "Should this 
order be inforced," he wrote to the secretary of state, "it [wi]ll 

be distressing to many Citizens and not beneficial 

to the interest of the government, My object in addressing you, 
is, to solicit that a time may be set for the removal of the above 
settlers one or two months after they shall have an oppertunity 
of purchasing the land on which they have setted and made 
improvements." The marshal of Illinois territory actually made 
preparations to remove the intruders; but the secretary of the 
treasury wrote him on May n, 1816, recommending "a prudent 
and conciliatory course ;" and nothing seems to have been accom- 
plished. Two months earlier congress had passed an act author- 
izing the land officers to issue to settlers on unsold public lands 
permits to remain as tenants at will on condition of their agree- 
ing to "give quiet possession" whenever required to do so; but 
very few applications for such permits appear to have been 
received. 68 

The situation in Illinois at this time is typical of the history 
of the American frontier. Although large quantities of govern- 
ment land were on the market, the attraction of the wilderness 
and the desire to secure the choicest locations regularly led to 

"Extract from Sloo to Meigs, March II, 1815, in United States State 
Department, Bureau of Indexes and Archives, "Miscellaneous Letters." 

"Stephenson to Monroe, January 19, 1816; Dallas to Fouke, May n, 
1816; Fouke to Pope, January 5, 1817; all in United States State Department, 
Bureau of Indexes and Archives, "Miscellaneous Letters" ; Statutes at Large, 
3 1260 ; Intelligencer, June 5, 1816 ; correspondence in auditor's office, Spring- 


settlement in advance of the purchase of the land; and this was 
true regardless of whether or not the land sales were delayed. 
Often, indeed, the frontier line of settlement was beyond the 
line of survey and even beyond that of the Indian cessions. 



The historian rarely has the aid of written records when he 
undertakes to determine the spread of population in a primitive 
region. In America, for instance, it is only with great difficulty 
that the location of the aborigines can be traced, because they 
migrated frequently and left very few records of their stay in any 
district. With the advent of Europeans, however, the problem 
assumes a very different aspect. From the first, their settle- 
ments had a permanency beyond the dreams of the savages ; and 
the settlers, products of a mature civilization, kept definite 
written records of their activities. Instead of an evolution from 
a nebulous origin in prehistoric times, therefore, the settlement 
of the white race in America has been a well documented and 
comparatively orderly progress, like the advance of multitudi- 
nous chessmen across a gigantic board. 

Just how far the game had progressed into Illinois by the 
year in which the state was admitted to the union it is possible 
to determine with considerable accuracy from the records avail- 
able. In 1818 the legislature of the territory ordered a census 
to be taken, in order to substantiate the claim that the population 
was large enough to be organized as a state. The original law 
required the enumeration to be made between April I and June 
i, but a later act allowed the commissioners to draw up supple- 
mentary schedules listing settlers who came in after June i. 
That there was some padding of the lists is certain, but the 
greater part of this was probably in the supplementary schedules ; 
most of these appear to have been lost. 64 

"For an abstract of the census of 1818, see appendix, p. 318. 



Commissioners appointed for the purpose canvassed each of 
the fifteen counties, recording the names of the heads of families 
and the number of individuals in each household. The commis- 
sioner for Franklin county was the only one who noted loca- 
tions of settlers; but since as a rule the other commissioners 
appear to have gone through the county from settlement to set- 
tlement, entering the information in the order in which they 
received it, the arrangement of names furnishes a good clew; 
having learned from county histories and similar sources the 
location of a few of the settlers, it is easy to fix, at least roughly, 
the location of the rest. 65 It is chiefly on the basis of the results 
thus worked out that the accompanying map of settlement has 
been constructed. 66 

The frontier of extreme settlement, it will be noted, may be 
roughly indicated by a line drawn from outpost to outpost across 
the state. Starting at the Indiana boundary in the southeastern 
part of Edgar county, the line runs in a southwestern direction 
to the northeastern corner of Jasper county, then drops down 
to the Vincennes road, and follows that west to the third prin- 
cipal meridian. From there it curves back to take in the settle- 
ments on the Kaskaskia in northern Fayette county, crosses 
Hurricane creek in the southeastern part of Montgomery, and 
Shoal creek in the vicinity of Hillsboro, and then drops back 
to the settlements on Silver creek in northern Madison county. 
Curving northward again to the settlements of Macoupin county, 
it crosses the northeastern corner of Jersey, takes in the south- 
western part of Greene, and crosses Calhoun to the Mississippi 
river. Doubtless there were unrecorded establishments above 
this line in some places but in general it can be taken to indicate 
the extreme limit of the progress of settlement in 1818. Not 
all the region below the line, however, can be considered as 
settled territory. "In the year 1818," writes Ford, "the settled 

"This procedure has been impossible in the case of St. Clair and Craw- 
ford counties, the names for which are arranged alphabetically. The sched- 
ules for Randolph and the principal part of Edwards have not been found. 

"No attempt has been made to give specific references to the many county 
histories and biographical collections which have been consulted. A bibliogra- 
phy of these and a discussion of their value will be found in Buck, Travel and 
Description of Illinois, 253-382. 

58 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

part of the State extended a little north of Edwardsville and 
Alton; south, along the Mississippi to the mouth of the Ohio; 
east, in the direction of Carlysle to the Wabash; and down the 
Wabash and the Ohio, to the mouth of the last-named river. 
But there was yet a very large unsettled wilderness tract of 
country, within these boundaries, lying between the Kaskaskia 
river and the Wabash; and between the Kaskaskia and the 
Ohio, of three days' journey across it." 67 

From a study of the census schedules, it appears that what 
may properly be termed the settled area lay in two widely sepa- 
rated tracts. The larger of these was in the west and consisted 
of the triangle bounded by the Mississippi and Kaskaskia rivers, 
Shoal creek, and the frontier line of survey. In this region of 
less than two thousand square miles dwelt about fifteen thousand 
people, more than a third of the population of the state, and 
the average density was not far from eight to the square mile. 
The other settled district lay along the Wabash river on the 
eastern side of the state, extending from the site of York in 
southeastern Clark county to Saline creek and having an aver- 
age width of about fifteen miles. Nearly another third of the 
population, approximately twelve thousand, dwelt in this region 
of some fifteen hundred square miles, thus giving it a density 
about equal to that of the settled area in the west. Between 
these two districts and north of the one on the Mississippi lived 
the remaining third of the inhabitants in an immense area of 
at least seven thousand square miles. The density of the popula- 
tion in this region averaged less than two to the square mile, the 
number used by the United States census bureau in delimiting 
the frontier of settlement. 

Despite the multitude of town-site projects in the state, there 
were only two places of sufficient size and importance to justify 
their being termed towns Kaskaskia, the capital, and Shawnee- 
town, the port of entry. These were located at the southern 
ends of the western and eastern settled districts, respectively, 
and each had an office for the sale of public lands. Edwards- 
ville, the third land office town, though destined to grow rapidly 

"Ford, History of Illinois, 38. 


Illinois in 1818 

Extent of settlement, counties, gen 

eral location of Indian tribes, 

and principal roads 

Counties in 1818 BON D 

Modern counties BOND 

County lines in 1818 
Modern county lines 
Roads in 1818 

County seals in 1818 o 

Populations of 50 or major 

fractions thereof and small 
distinct settlements . . 

60 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

in the next few years, was a mere village in 1818, while Cahokia, 
the former rival of Kaskaskia, was declining in population. Each 
of the fifteen counties, with the exception of Franklin, had a 
county seat; but these towns as a rule contained little more than 
a courthouse, jail, and tavern, and possibly a general store. 
That they depended for their existence on the county business is 
evident from the number of them which failed to survive the 
loss of their position as county seat : Palmyra, Brownsville, Cov- 
ington, Perryville, and even Kaskaskia, are now to be found 
only in the records of the past. 

The distribution of the people in 1818 can be indicated more 
fully by a survey of the population, location of settlements, and 
towns and villages in each of the fifteen counties. 

The largest county in Illinois in 1818 was Crawford, which 
included the whole northeastern part of the state east of the 
third principal meridian and north of a line cutting across the 
modern Marion, Clay, Richland, and Lawrence counties eighteen 
miles above the base line, to the Embarras river and down that 
stream to the Wabash. In this immense area of over twenty 
thousand square miles there were living 2,839 people, according 
to the final report of the census of 1818. The figures do not 
quite agree, however, with returns on the schedules. For the 
first census, these show a population of 2,069 f whom 78 
were free negroes and 20 servants or slaves. There were 397 
families averaging about five members each. For the supple- 
mentary census the commissioner was able to list 121 additional 
families with 877 souls. The two schedules together, therefore, 
show a total population of 2,946. The greater part of the Craw- 
ford county of 1818 was still Indian land, and the only part in 
which the land had been surveyed and offered for sale was a 
strip in the southeast averaging about ten miles in width which 
extended along the Wabash and the eastern boundary of the 
state to near the southern boundary of Vermilion county. In 
this restricted region of about seven hundred square miles lived 
nearly all of the population, making an average density of about 
four to the square mile. 

Beyond the survey, there was at least one settler in the south- 


east corner of Jasper county, and there may have been others 
who had pushed into the interior from the east. On the opposite 
side of the county, in what is now Fayette, a few settlers are 
said to have been located on the Kaskaskia above the site of 
Vandalia, but they were too far away to be listed by the census 
commissioner. Within the surveyed tract settlers had pushed 
as far north as the present Edgar county, where about a dozen 
families were established in Hunter and Stratton townships. In 
Clark county settlement was confined principally to the three 
eastern townships and was densest in the southeastern parts. 
Similarly in the modern Crawford, practically all the settlers 
whose location can be determined were in the three townships 
along the Wabash with considerable concentration in La Motte, 

[Original owned by R. I. Barry, Roodhouse] 

the middle of the three. The part of Lawrence county which 
was then included in Crawford was across the Wabash from 
Vincennes and a considerable number of allotments under old 
grants were located opposite the town, but there seems to have 
been no settlement here except such as was connected with the 
ferry. Some Frenchmen and a few American pioneers estab- 
lished themselves in the district at the beginning of the century, 
and after the war of 1812 was over settlers pushed in rapidly so 
that by 1818 they were scattered over all the townships east of 
the line of survey. On the site of Russellville in the southeastern 
part of Lawrence county a little frontier fort had been built at 
the beginning of the Indian troubles, and in this vicinity settle- 
ment had progressed most rapidly. A ferry was established 
at this point in 1818^. The county seat and only town of Craw- 
ford county was Palestine, located a mile and a half from the 

62 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Wabash, on La Motte's prairie. Settlement began here in i8u> 
and as soon as the war was over the town was laid out in antici- 
pation of the organization of the county in 1816, but this town 
appears to have been very small until after the establishment of 
a land office there in 1820. 

South of Crawford and, like it, stretching from the Wabash 
to the third principal meridian, lay Edwards county. With its 
southern boundary on a line with the southern boundaries of the 
present Wayne and Edwards, the dimensions of the county were 
thirty-three miles from north to south and seventy-five on an 
average from east to west. Its area, therefore, was approxi- 
mately 2,475 square miles, and within its boundaries were all 
of the present Wabash, Edwards, and Wayne counties, and parts 
of Lawrence, Richland, Clay, Marion, and Jefferson. Within 
this area, according to the census of 1818 as reported to the 
convention, there were only 2,243 inhabitants, an average of less 
than one to the square mile. The original schedule made by the 
census commissioner for Edwards county has not been found, 
but the secretary of the territory reported on June 17, 1818, 
that it listed a population of 1,948. This appears to have cov- 
ered only the eastern part of the county, however, for later in 
the summer the commissioner for Washington county crossed 
over into the western part of Edwards, "the detached part," he 
called it, and listed forty-two additional families containing 298 
souls. No supplementary count appears to have been made in 
the eastern section, although the population there, especially on 
the English prairie, increased rapidly during the summer months. 

Through the center of the county, east and west, ran the base 
line, north of which none of the land was surveyed and open 
to purchase, except that in the Vincennes tract along the Wa- 
bash. Across this unsurveyed region ran the newly laid-out 
road from Vincennes to St. Louis, and on this road were 
located a number of tavern keepers at points about twenty miles 
apart, and also a few other settlers. In the present Richland 
county, it is doubtful if there were more than two or three 
families, while in Clay there may have been five or six including 
three tavern keepers on the road. In Marion county, however, 


a little settlement of ten or a dozen families had sprung up in 
and around the site of Salem and there were three or four 
families located about Walnut Hill where the "Goshen Road," 
from Shawneetown to Carlyle, crossed the trail branching from 
the Vincennes-St. Louis road. Scattered in the southern part 
of Marion county were possibly five additional families. In 
the limits of the present Jefferson county were about fourteen 
families, most of whom lived along the Goshen road. Included 
in this number were at least two tavern keepers; there was also 
the nucleus of a settlement at Mt. Vernon. East of these settle- 
ments in Marion and Jefferson counties and south of the Vin- 
cennes road lay a wide stretch of country apparently without 
any inhabitants. 08 

Fully two-thirds of the population of the Edwards county 
of 1818 lived in the triangle between the Wabash and Bon Pas 
creek, the present Wabash county and the southern part of 
Lawrence. Settlement was begun in this region as early as 
1800 by a number of Frenchmen who came over from Vincennes 
to locate their allotments on the west side of the river. The 
first American settlers made their appearance a few years later 
but there was little advance into the interior until after the war 
of 1812 was over, and even in 1818 the bulk of the settlers lived 
within six or eight miles of the Wabash or the Embarras. Be- 
tween Bon Pas creek and the Little Wabash in the part of the 
modern Edwards county below the base line was located the 
famous English settlement. American backwoodsmen began to 
establish their isolated settlements in this region immediately 
after the close of the war of 1812, and by the end of 1817 there 
were perhaps twenty-five families located on the edges of the 
prairies in the district. Some of these moved away as the Eng- 
lish came in, but others took their places, and it is probable that 
there were more American than English families in the region 
when Illinois became a state. The English settlement, which in 
October, 1818, numbered about 200, had doubled by August of 

M No attempt has been made to include in the footnotes all the material 
on which this survey of local conditions is based. For further information 
regarding any particular locality the reader is referred to the bibliography, 
p. 321 below, and to the lists in Buck, Travel and Description. 

64 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the following year, but there were then about 700 Americans 
in the region. 60 The greater number of the settlers in 1818 
lived in the central and southern parts of the modern Edwards 
county, but there were settlements as far north as the base line 
with possibly two or three families above the line. In the modern 
Wayne county lived some twenty or thirty families, mostly in 
the southeastern part on or near the Little Wabash. 

The oldest town in Edwards county, and the county seat, was 
Palmyra, which had been laid out in 1815. The site selected, 
a low and swampy spot on a sluggish bend of the Wabash, 
proved to be unhealthful; and in 1818 the town of Mt. Carmel 
was started about three miles farther down the river. In Octo- 
ber of the same year Albion was laid out in the center of the 
English settlement; and in 1821 it became the county seat, after 
which Palmyra soon disappeared from the map. It is doubt- 
ful if any one of these embryo towns contained a dozen houses 
at the end of the year 1818. 

South of Edwards lay White county, covering the territory 
included in the present White and Hamilton counties and a strip 
nine miles wide of the southern part of Jefferson running west 
to the third principal meridian. Its area was approximately 
1,150 square miles and its population, according to the final 
report of the census of 1818, was 3,832. The density was thus 
between three and four to the square mile. Before the supple- 
mentary census was taken the population was reported as 3,539 
and the schedule shows 572 families with an average of a little 
above six to a family. Eleven free people of color and fifty- 
seven servants or slaves were noted in the schedule. Although 
all the land in White county, except the usual reservations, was 
open for entry, only a small proportion of it had been taken 
up, and settlers were few and far between in the western section. 
Apparently the only settlement in the area of the present Jeffer- 
son which was included in White was in the southeastern town- 
ship, Moore's prairie, where some twenty families had established 

**Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 236 ; Thwaites, Early Western Trav- 
els, 10:104; see map in Fearon, Sketches of America, 443, and in Oge, Ford- 
ham's Personal Narrative, 1 13 ; for Palmyra see Thwaites, Early Western 
Travels, 10:328. 



themselves. Through Hamilton county, diagonally from north- 
west to southeast, ran the Goshen road, which was a good draw- 
ing card for settlers; but it is doubtful if there were a hundred 
families in the county. The principal settlements appear to have 
been in the central township in which McLeansboro is now lo- 
cated and in Knight's prairie, the township directly west; but 
there were isolated settlements scattered throughout the county. 
At least three- fourths of the inhabitants of the White county 
of 1818 lived within the territory of the modern White county, 
and here the region of densest settlement was along the Wabash, 
on both sides of the Little Wabash, and between the two streams. 
In the southwestern part of the county there was a considerable 


[Original owned by R. I. Barry, Roodhottse] 

number of settlers, but the northwestern townships were prac- 
tically unoccupied. On the Little Wabash near the center of 
the modern White county was located the county seat, Carmi, 
the second largest town on the eastern side of the territory. 
According to George Flower it was "a very small place" in 1818, 
and the statement is doubtless correct, for three years before 
there had been nothing but a mill on the site. The town was laid 
out in 1816 and in the same year a store was started and a ferry 
established. The sale of lots was advertised for July 15, 1816; 
and in December the county officials were advertising for bids 
for the construction of a two-story brick courthouse, 30 by 36 
feet in size. By 1818 two doctors had located in Carmi and a 
traveler who passed through the town the next year reported 
that it "conducts rather lively trade in wares." 70 

''Flower, English Settlement, 109; Intelligencer, June 12, December 4, 
1816; Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1903, p. 150. 

66 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The oldest county on the east side of the state is Gallatin, 
established by executive proclamation in 1812. By 1818, through 
the formation of other counties, it had been reduced to an area 
of about eight hundred square miles including the present Gal- 
latin and Saline counties and the northeastern half of Hardin. 
The schedule of the first census of 1818 for Gallatin county lists 
541 families with a total of 3,440 souls including 83 free negroes 
and 218 servants or slaves, the largest number of each of these 
classes to be found in any of the counties. The additional census, 
taken during June and July, added 511 to the roll, of whom 8 
were free negroes and 81 servants or slaves. These were 
grouped in 75 families. According to the schedules, therefore, 
the total was 3,951, while the total reported to the convention 
was 3,849. Inasmuch as this latter figure is larger by 694 than 
the population reported for Gallatin county, with the same area, 
by the United States census of 1820, it becomes apparent that 
the census of 1818 is not reliable. From a study of the sched- 
ules it is evident that many who were passing through to locate 
elsewhere in the state or even in Missouri were counted; and 
the permanent population in the fall of 1818 was probably less 
than three thousand. 

A most important factor in the development of Gallatin 
county was the salt works on Saline creek and the government 
reservation which surrounded them. A rectangle, ten by thir- 
teen miles in the center of the county, together with an irregular 
strip of land extending from the southeastern corner of the 
rectangle along the creek to its mouth, had been set aside by 
the United States government for the support of the salt works. 
No land could be sold in the reservation, but it is not to be 
inferred that there was no settlement there. The operation of 
the salt works gave employment to a considerable number, in- 
cluding probably a majority of the slaves in the county. These 
were, of course, entitled to reside on the reservation, and there 
they formed a little settlement which later became the town of 
Equality. There were others living on the reservation, how- 
ever, who had no connection with the salt works but who refused 
to be deterred by the impossibility of purchasing the land. As 


early as 1816 the manager of the saline complained to the 
general land office that "the intruders on this tract increase, 
and experience convinces me that their improvements must be 
destroyed before they will leave it. In fact, if one set leaves 
it, another comes on it immediately, and they no longer pay any 
attention to a threat from me." 71 Had the land covered by the 
reservation been open to entry, the settlements upon it would 
undoubtedly have been much more extensive, for it was located 
near the land office, and through it ran the road from Shawnee- 
town to Kaskaskia. In December, 1816, a number of inhabitants 
of the county in a petition to congress complained that "there 
has been none but temporary nor is there encouragement for 
buildings and improvements, within the reservation for a public 
House for the accommodation of Travellers, and persons who 
have to resort to that place on business." They pointed out that 
"the road is much travelled and from the great emigration to 
the westward must increase every year" and requested that the 
tavern keeper might be allowed to enter a quarter section of 
land which he would improve "with permanent and convenient 
buildings, [sic] Grass Lotts & c so as to make it a public conven- 
ience." 72 Congress rejected the petition, however, and when the 
state was admitted to the union the reservation was turned over 
to it intact. 

In what is now Saline county, outside the reservation, there 
were probably not more than ninety families, a considerable pro- 
portion of whom, to judge from the land entries, lived along the 
road to Kaskaskia. There were scattered establishments in 
various parts of the county, as well as in the part of Hardin then 
included, and in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the 
modern Gallatin. There was some concentration of settlement 
in the vicinity of the ferry over the Little Wabash in the north- 
eastern part of the county the beginnings of New Haven : but 
certainly a half, and probably two-thirds of the permanent popu- 
lation of Gallatin county lived in the region between the Ohio 

n American State Papers, Public Lands, 3 -.273. 
"Petition, December 10, 1816, in House Files. 

68 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

river and the reservation and within a radius of six or eight 
miles of Shawneetown. 

The first white settlement in this region is said to have been 
made in 1800; it is certain that Shawneetown contained a few 
scattered houses in 1804. Cuming, a traveler who visited the 
place in 1809 reported: "The town now contains about twenty- 
four cabins, and is a place of considerable resort on account of 
the saline salt-works about twelve miles distant, which supply 
with salt all the settlements within one hundred miles, and I 
believe even the whole of Upper Louisiana .... There were 
several trading boats at the landing, and more appearance of 
business than I had seen on this side Pittsburgh." 73 When 
Gallatin county was established, Shawneetown became the county 
seat; a jail was erected in 1810 and a courthouse in 1815. Until 
1814 the land on which the town was located belonged to the 
United States but in that year the lots were sold at auction. The 
bidding appears to have been brisk and the lots sold for good 
prices. Two years later, however, the bubble had collapsed. 
The purchasers of lots then drew up a petition to congress which 
brings out the serious disadvantages of the town as well as the 
principal cause of its development. The petitioners, having pur- 
chased lots "at an excessive high price," set forth : "That within 
a few months after the sales of the said lots, our town was visited 
by a most destructive epidemic, which nearly depopulated the 
place; and immediately after in the same winter the whole of the 
town on the River was inundated, the water being from 10 to 
20 feet over the whole of that part of the town .... That 
alarmed and disheartened many persons have ceased to improve, 
and have abandoned the place, and others have been detered from 
settling here. That under these unfortunate combinations the im- 
provements have languished, and at length appear to have ceased 
entirely, the lots have depreciated so much in value, that very 
few of your petitioners can venture to make the remaining three 
payments into the land office ; . . . . That at the time the sales 
of lots in Shawneetown took place, in consequence of the War, 
salt was commanding a very high price, and the Saline was in 

"Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 4:271. 


[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society! 


[From Wild, Ka//ey o/ the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


extensive operation. Peace has brought down the price of salt, 
mismanagement has made the Saline of little comparitive value, 
and consequently cut off the best branch of the trade which here- 
tofore has centered at Shawneetown. That the then promising 
prospects of our town, drew to the sales of lots a vast number of 
distant adventurers, which together with an unhappy spirit of 
opposition amongst ourselves combined to run up the lots to the 
astonishing prices for which they were sold; prices far greater 
than they would now bring if again offered for sale." In view 
of this doleful situation, the purchasers asked to be relieved from 
further payments; but congress, needless to say, rejected the 
petition. 7 * 

Besides the salt works, there were two other factors of im- 
portance in the development of Shawneetown. It was the prin- 
cipal port of entry for emigrants whose destination was farther 
north in White and Edwards counties, and also for the even 
greater numbers bound for western Illinois and Missouri. 
Closely connected with this was the fact that the land office for 
the southeastern part of the state was located here. These 
factors, however, contributed to the transient rather than to the 
permanent population of the town, which even in 1818 was 
described by one traveler as "a handful of log cabins." Another 
visitor pictured it "an inconsiderable place .... [containing] 
several taverns, a bake-house, and a few huts." A more definite 
writer counted "about 30 houses (log.) The chief occupation 
of the inhabitants is the salt trade. There is here a 'United 
States' Land-office/ and a log bank is just established. The 
chief cashier of this establishment was engaged in cutting logs at 
the moment of my arrival." 75 William Tell Harris, who passed 
through Shawneetown in September, 1818, on his way from the 
English settlement to Kentucky, after commenting on the annual 
floods and the unhealth fulness of the site, noted "considerable 
business being done here, as it is on the road from the southern 
States to St. Louis, and the Missouri, and the land-office is here. 

"Petition referred December 24, 1816, and committee report, December 30, 
1816, in House Files. 

"Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 8:291; 13:70; Fearon, Sketches of 

America, 258. 

70 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The number of waggons, horses, and passengers crossing, and 
waiting to cross the Ohio, was so great, that a great part of the 
morning was spent in waiting for my turn; at length I grew 
impatient, and taking the opportunity of a skiff, turned my back 
on Illinois, and landed in the State of Kentucky." 78 Such was 
the metropolis of eastern Illinois and the chief town on the 
Ohio below Louisville in 1818. 

Pope county included, besides the present county of that name, 
the southwestern half of Hardin and the part of Massac east of 
the western boundary of the modern Pope extending south to the 
Ohio river. In this territory of about 600 square miles according 
to the final census figures there lived 2,069 people, an average of 
a little above three to the square mile. The schedule of the first 
census totals 1,944, including 64 servants or slaves. There were 
322 families with an average of six members. Little informa- 
tion is available as to the location of these people but it is probable 
that most of them lived along or near the road leading west from 
Golconda to Kaskaskia or along the Ohio. Golconda itself, the 
county seat, consisted of only a handful of houses and a tavern 
clustered about the ferry near the mouth of Lusk creek. About 
twenty-five miles farther up the Ohio a promoter had laid out a 
paper town to which he gave the breezy name of Hurricane, and 
the sale of lots was advertised for the last Thursday in May, 
1818. There is no evidence of any special settlement here; but 
there may have been a ferry, for the place was announced as 
on the "great crossway from the southern and western states, 
to the principal towns upon the Mississippi river." 77 

West of Pope lay Johnson county, embracing the present John- 
son and the parts of Pulaski and Massac between it and the Ohio 
river. With the exception of Monroe, Johnson was the smallest 
county in the state, having an area of only about four hundred 
square miles; and its population was less than that of any other 
county. Only 678 people including I free negro and 24 servants 
or slaves, grouped in 117 families, were counted in the first census 
report of 1818. To these the supplementary census added 89, 

"Harris, Remarks made during a Tour, 139. 
"Intelligencer, April 15, 1818. 


making a total of 767. Circling through the western part of 
the county ran the Cache river with tributaries flowing in from 
the north, and along these streams and the Golconda-Kaskaskia 
road which crossed them, in the precincts of Elvira, Bloomfield, 
and Vienna were located the bulk of the settlers. The county 
seat was at Elvira until Union county was set off in January, 
1818; it was then changed to Vienna. Very few settlers appear 
to have located along the Ohio, although much of the land there 
had been bought by speculators, and lots in "Waterloo .... 
on the western bank of the Ohio .... nine miles below the 
mouth of Tennessee river," were advertised to be sold on April 
10, i8i8. 78 This location must have been at or near the present 
site of Metropolis, a town which was not started until 1839. 

Franklin county, one of the two counties which nowhere 
touched the boundaries of the state, included the modern Frank- 
lin and Williamson, an area of about 860 square miles. It was 
one of the three new counties established in January, 1818. The 
census in Franklin, which was not completed until July II, shows 
a population, according to the schedule, of 1,228 or less than two 
to the square mile. 79 The number of families was 171. There 
were 1 5 slaves and 52 free negroes, the latter including five whole 
families living near together on Saline creek. The modern 
Franklin county is drained principally by the Big Muddy and 
its forks, while through Williamson flows Crab Orchard creek, 
a branch of the Big Muddy, and Saline creek, the waters of which 
reach the Wabash through the Saline river. Across the southern 
tier of townships of the modern Franklin ran the new road from 
Shawneetown to Kaskaskia, which was under construction in 
1818, while the route of the old road between the same places, 
crossed Williamson. The people appear to have located princi- 
pally in the vicinity of these streams and roads, with some con- 
centration in Frankfort precinct. There was nothing in the 
county that could be called a town ; and the county records, until 

^Intelligencer, February n, 1818. Another Waterloo in Monroe county 
which is still in existence, was laid out the same year. See p. 78, 79. 

"The final report to the convention was 1,281. There was no supplemen- 
tary census, however, and the discrepancy was probably caused by an error in 

72 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

1826, were kept at the tavern of Moses Garrett on the old road 
about three miles east of the site of Frankfort. 

Union county was another of the three established in January, 
1818. At that time its boundaries were fixed exactly as they 
are now, but the region south from these boundaries to the 
Mississippi and Ohio, including the modern Alexander and the 
greater part of Pulaski was "attached to" and made "a part of" 
Union county until it should be formed into a separate county. 
This whole area, comprising about eight hundred square miles, 
had a population of 2,709 according to the final report of the 
census of 1818. This made an average density of between three 
and four to the square mile. The schedules of the census as 
first taken show 2,492 inhabitants grouped in 392 families. 
There were 33 servants or slaves but no free negroes. At least 
two-thirds of these settlers were located within the modern Union 
county, and of these the greater number lived some eight or ten 
miles back from the Mississippi river on the divide separating 
the creeks flowing into the Mississippi from those that entered 
the Cache. There were a few settlers along the Mississippi, 
however, and in the eastern part of the county, especially in 
Stokes precinct, through which passed the road from Golconda 
to Kaskaskia. The few families living in Alexander county and 
the part of Pulaski contained in Union were located along or a 
few miles back from the Ohio and on or near the Cache. 

Although Union county was liberally supplied with paper 
towns in 1818, of real towns there was only a beginning. The 
principal concentration of settlement appears to have been near 
the center of the modern Union; and here in March, 1818, the 
commissioners located the county seat, to which was given the 
name of Jonesboro. The first sale of lots took place in July, and 
some of them are said to have brought over a hundred dollars. 
On the Mississippi twelve miles above Cape Girardeau, a group of 
speculators had laid out the town of "Hamburg," named doubt- 
less with a view to attracting the trade of the "Dutch settle- 
ment" an industrious community located in the northeastern part 


of Meisenheimer precinct. 80 There was a ferry here and lots 
were advertised to be sold at auction on September i, but no 
town has ever developed on the site. It was along the Ohio 
that town-site projects flourished most luxuriantly. The greater 
part of the land here was purchased by speculators as soon as 
it was offered by the government and about 1817 a town called 
Trinity was laid out just above the mouth of the Cache. No 
lots appear to have been sold but a joint tavern and store was 
established; and the place was a point of transshipment for river 
traffic for a few years, until a growing sand bar put an end to its 
prosperity. Several of the men connected with Trinity were also 
interested in a town six miles farther up the river, called America, 
"which was laid out with much pomp and parade as the future 
great metropolis in 1818." In advertising a sale of lots to take 
place on the third Monday in November, the proprietors modestly 
observed that "the obvious advantages of its local situation 
.... and its general notoriety, are such as to render all com- 
ment on its merits, superfluous." The first house appears to 
have been built by Dr. W. M. Alexander in the winter of 
1818-19; and when Alexander county was established America 
became its county seat. The county business kept the town alive 
for a few years 81 . 

The most interesting of all the schemes for towus in Union 
county was "The City and Bank of Cairo" which was incorpo- 
rated by an act of the territorial legislature, January 9, 1818. 
Five months earlier John G. Comegys of Baltimore had entered 
about eighteen hundred acres of land on the narrow peninsula 
between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, but not including the 
extreme point. This land was now deeded to the company of 

"Perrin, History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, 287, 358,^ 435. 
W. M. Alexander, one of the proprietors of America, proposed to build a 
bridge across the Cache "so as to draw the trade of the Dutch in Union 
county." Ibid., 270. None of the names of members of this settlement given 
in the county history are to be found in the census schedule. Possibly they 
were included in the supplementary census. 

"Ibid., 67-72, 269, 448-453 ; Intelligencer, October 21, 1818. 

74 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

which Comegys was the moving spirit; an elaborate plat was 
prepared ; and plans were laid for the sale of lots and the estab- 
lishment of the bank, which was to be located temporarily at 
Kaskaskia. The act of incorporation provided for two thousand 
lots which were to be sold at $150 each. One-third of the 
proceeds was to be used in constructing levees to protect the city 
from floods, and for other improvements. The remaining two- 
thirds was to constitute the capital stock of the bank, one-half 
of which should belong to Comegys and his associates and one- 
half to the purchasers of the lots. The death of Comegys in 
1819 was followed by the collapse of the entire scheme; the land 
reverted to the government, and Cairo remained unborn for 
another twenty years. 

Advancing up the Mississippi, the next county above Union 
was Jackson, which, in 1818, included the territory of the present 
Jackson and a strip six miles wide off the south of Perry about 
730 square miles in all. The population of the county according 
to the final report of the census of 1818 was 1,619, making the 
density only a little above two to the square mile. There were 
240 families, and 53 of the inhabitants were servants or slaves. 
The first census report gave the population as 1,295, but 38 addi- 
tional families were discovered by the supplementary census. 
The principal attractions to settlement in the county were the Big 
Muddy river and its tributaries flowing in from the north. Along 
these streams and the Mississippi, and to a smaller extent along 
the several roads which crossed the county, were located the 
greater number of settlers, although there were isolated estab- 
lishments throughout the county. The largest groups of settle- 
ments were on the Big Muddy near the center of the modern 
Jackson county. Here were located the salt works of Dr. 
Conrad Will and the county seat, Brownsville. This town, which 
has now entirely disappeared, was situated on the north bank 
of the river about four miles west of the site of Murphysboro. 
It was laid out by Dr. Will when the county was organized in 
1816, the sale of lots being advertised for July 15. By 1818 it 
had a frame courthouse and log jail, a store, and a blacksmith 
shop. For a number of years Brownsville was a flourishing 


[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


town, but ihe closing of the saline and the removal of the county 
seat to Murphysboro in 1843 sealed its fate. 

Randolph county, lying north of Jackson and stretching from 
the Mississippi to the third principal meridian, included besides 
the present Randolph, the northern two-thirds of Perry county 
a total area of about 875 square miles. Unfortunately the 
schedule of the first census of 1818 for Randolph county has not 
been found, but the population as reported by the secretary of the 
territory in June was 2,939. The supplementary census added 
sixteen families with forty-five souls, which would make a total 
of 2,984, but the final report to the convention was 2,974. The 
average density in the county, therefore, was between three and 
four to the square mile. The population was very unevenly 
distributed, however, for it is doubtful if there were two hundred 
people living in the part now included in Perry county and the 
western tier of townships in Randolph. The region of densest 
settlement was in the American bottom along the Mississippi and 
up the Kaskaskia river, and nearly half the population of the 
county was to be found in the two towns of Kaskaskia and 
Prairie du Rocher. 

Although Kaskaskia was over a hundred years old and had 
been for many years the metropolis of the upper Mississippi 
valley, it impressed a visitor in 1819 as "not very important." 
From 1765 on, Kaskaskia had declined steadily in population 
until in 1807 it was reported to consist of not more than fifty 
families. 82 In 1809, however, it became the capital of the new 
territory of Illinois, and that event, together with the acquisition 
of the land office, gave it a new lease on life. Its population in 
1810 was reported as 622. By the close of the territorial period 
it must have had nearly a thousand inhabitants, and Governor 
Edwards had sufficient faith in its future to announce his inten- 
tion of applying to the court for an order to add to the town an 
adjoining tract of thirty-four and three-fourths acres. 83 Samuel 
Brown in his Western Gazetteer (1817) describes the town as 
"situated on the right shore of the river of the same name, 

"Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1903, p. 152; Schultz, 
Travels, 2 74. 

"Darby, Emigrant's Guide, 213; Intelligencer, April i, 1818. 

76 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

eleven miles from its mouth, and six from the Mississippi, in a 
direct line. It is at present the seat of the territorial govern- 
ment and chief town of Randolph county contains 160 houses, 
scattered over an extensive plain; some of them are of stone. 
Almost every house has a spacious picketed garden in its rear. 
The houses have a clumsy appearance; it is 150 miles south-west 
of Vincennes, and 900 from the city of Washington. The inhab- 
itants are more than half French, they raise large stocks of 
horned cattle, horses, swine, poultry, &c. There is a postoffice, 
a land office for the sale of the public lands, and a printing office, 
from which is issued a weekly newspaper entitled the 'Illinois 
Herald.' This place was settled upwards of 100 years, ago, by 
the French of Lower Canada. The surrounding lands are in a 
good state of cultivation." Dana, in his Geographical Sketches 
(1819), waxes enthusiastic over Kaskaskia: "Placed near the 
mouth of a river extensively navigable, and in the vicinity of 
some of the richest lands of the western country, connected with 
a convenient position for commerce, this place assumes that 
degree of importance which must eventually attract wealth and 
numbers. It has a good harbor for boats, contains a land office, 
a printing-office, and a bank, and is now in a flourishing condi- 
tion." An eastern traveler who visited the town in November, 
1819, presents quite a different picture: "Remained in this 
inconsiderable village this day. Much disappointed in the appear- 
ance of the long-talked-of Kaskaskia. It is situated on the Okaw 
or Kaskaskia river, three miles from the Mississippi. It never 
can be a place of much business. The land office is kept at this 
place. There are some neat buildings, but they are generally old, 
ugly and inconvenient. Their streets are irregular and of bad 
widths. The inhabitants are all generals, colonels, majors, land 
speculators or adventurers, with now and then a robber and a 

Nevertheless Kaskaskia must have been a place of considerable 
commercial importance in 1818, for its weekly newspaper con- 
tained advertisements of nine general stores, an establishment 
for the manufacture and sale of hats, and three tailor shops. 
There was only one tavern, however, the famous Bennett's, and 


its accommodations were severely taxed by the constitutional 
convention of thirty-three members. John Mason Peck, the 
Baptist missionary, who stopped there while the convention was 
in session, was informed that "every room was occupied, and 
every bed had two or more lodgers." 84 Kaskaskia was not in a 
position to profit by the immigration which was surging through 
Shawneetown and up the Mississippi to the northwestern coun- 
ties, and with the removal of the capital and the newspaper to 
Vandalia in 1820 it began to decline again. Following a flood 
in 1844, the county seat was removed to Chester and during a 
subsequent inundation the Mississippi cut a new channel to the 
Kaskaskia just above the town, so that all there is left today of 
the first capital of Illinois is a building or two on an island in 
the Mississippi. 

Fifteen miles farther up the American bottom, near the north- 
western corner of the county, was the old French village of 
Prairie du Rocher, nestling under the bluffs which gave it the 
name. Schultz found about forty Catholic families there in 
1807. Brown's Western Gazetteer (1817) reported "sixty to 
seventy French families ; the streets are narrow there is a cath- 
olic chapel." The village was on the road from Kaskaskia to St. 
Louis, and in 1816 Archibald M'Nabb advertised the opening 
there of a "house of private entertainment." The best-known 
tavern, however, was that of Pierre La Compte, which, after his 
death in 1818, was carried on by his widow. There were no 
other towns in Randolph county when Illinois became a state, 
although a couple of speculators were advertising the town of 
Blenheim "situated about thirteen miles from the town of 
Kaskaskia, at the junction of Horse creek and the Kaskaskia 
river .... it lies immediately on the direct line from Kaskaskia 
to Belleville, Edwardsville and St. Louis, on a road exempt from 
the unavoidable inconveniences connected with the present route 
to those places." 85 

M The descriptions of Kaskaskia from which quotations have been made 
are found in Brown, Western Gazetteer, 27; Dana, Geographical Sketches, 
154; Mason, Narrative, 56; Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 97. 

"Intelligencer, October 2, 1816, April 22, May 13, 1818. 

78 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The smallest county in Illinois in 1818 and the only one which 
is larger today than it was then, was Monroe, situated on the 
Mississippi just above Randolph. Its boundaries at that time did 
not include the township which now projects to the eastward. 
With an area of about 340 square miles, Monroe county had a 
population of 1,371 according to the schedule of the first census 
of 1818. The number of families was 227, and there were 41 
servants or slaves and 6 free negroes. After the supplementary 
census was taken, the total population was reported as 1,517, 
giving the county an average density of nearly six to the square 
mile. While there were settlers in all parts of the county, the 
regions of greatest density were the Mississippi bottom and the 
higher lands in the north central part extending from the New 
Design settlement near the center beyond the site of Waterloo. 
From New Design southward, John Mason Peck traveled in 
1818 "for sixteen miles, without a house, to the French village 
of Prairie du Rocher," while Mason, the following year "saw 
only three houses" from Waterloo to Prairie du Rocher. 88 When 
the county was organized in 1816 the seat of justice was fixed 
at Harrisonville on the Mississippi about midway between the 
northern and southern boundaries, and a dinner was held at 
M'Clure's tavern in celebration of the event. A few months 
later M'Night and Brady were advertising a sale of lots in 
Carthage, "formerly Harrisonville," but the latter name was 
restored by legislative enactment in December, 1816. In 1818 
the county commissioners advertised the sale of a number of 
lots in the town. There were probably about fifty families in 
Harrisonville and its vicinity when the census was taken. Water- 
loo, the present county seat was laid out in 1818 by Daniel P. 
Cook and George Forquer "at the well known stand of Mrs. 
Ford, on the road leading from Kaskaskia to St. Louis, 36 miles 
from the former, and 24 from the latter place. It is surrounded 
by a beautiful and fertile country and a population of 50 families 
within 5 or 6 miles." The public sale of lots took place at Har- 
risonville, the first Monday in April, after which the "few lots" 
remaining unsold were to be purchased from Forquer "on the 

"Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 97 ; Mason, Narrative, 55. 


premises." There is no evidence, however, of any influx of set- 
tlers before the census was taken, and as late as November, 1819, 
a traveler reported that he "lodged at Waterloo, a town without 
houses. Only two families in the place. Every land speculator 
produces one or more of these dirt-cabin villages." 87 

St. Clair, the oldest county in Illinois, had been reduced by 
1818 to its present boundaries with the exception of Prairie du 
Long precinct which has since been transferred to Monroe 
county. Within this area of about 725 square miles there dwelt 
5,039 people, according to the final report, making the density 
about seven to the square mile, higher than that of any other 
county. The schedule of the first census has been burned in part 
while that of the supplementary census, which added 520 to the 
original figure of 4,519, has not been found, but it is evident from 
what is available that the families averaged between six and seven 
members. Even in this most densely populated part of the state, 
therefore, there was only about one family to each square mile, 
and as part of the population lived in the villages the statement 
of the county historian that "the settlements were so sparse that 
seldom did neighbors live nearer than two miles to each other" 
is probably not far from the truth. St. Clair county was one of 
the first regions to attract the American pioneers in considerable 
numbers, and some years before the close of the territorial period 
settlements had been established in all parts of the county. The 
metropolis of the county was the old French village of Cahokia 
which at one time had rivaled Kaskaskia, the capital. Schultz 
found "about a hundred and thirty houses" there in 1807, "one 
dozen of which may be inhabited by Americans." The county 
seat was at Cahokia at that time, and after this was removed in 
1814, there was probably a decline in population. Brown in his 
Western Gazetteer (1817) describes the village as "situated on 
a small stream, about one mile east of the Mississippi, nearly 
opposite to St. Louis. It contains about 160 houses, mostly 
French." Dana's Geographical Sketches (1819) also mentions 

"Intelligencer, June 12, October 2, 1816, February 4, March u, May 13, 
1818 ; Laws of Illinois Territory, 1816-1817, p. 3. 

80 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

one hundred and sixty houses but in another place gives the popu- 
lation as about five hundred. Mason, a pessimistic traveler who 
passed through in 1819 speaks of it as "a small village called 
Cahokia, a miserable, dirty little hole" and again as "a small and 
unimproving village." 88 

As the American settlers in the interior of the county increased 
in numbers, the desire grew to have the county seat in a more 
central location and in 1813 commissioners were appointed by 
the legislature to select a new site. In March, 1814, the commis- 
sioners decided in favor of the cornfield of one George Blair, 
and in accordance with the usual practice in such cases Blair 
agreed to donate to the county an acre of land for the county 
buildings and one-fifth of the lots in the town, to be laid out in 
the adjoining twenty-five acres. The survey was made at once 
and the June term of court was held at Blair's house. The plat 
was not recorded, however, until a few years later when Gov- 
ernor Edwards had become the proprietor. In December, 1817, 
he was offering lots at sixty dollars until the end of the year, 
after which date they were to be a hundred dollars each. By 
the time Illinois became a state Belleville had a courthouse, jail, 
general store, one or two taverns and possibly other establish- 
ments. Dana described it as "a flourishing new town" but it is 
doubtful if it had 150 inhabitants. 89 

A still smaller place was Illinoistown, though now, under an- 
other name, it has become the largest city in the county. As 
early as 1815 the advantages of the site directly across the Missis- 
sippi from St. Louis were observed and it was platted as a town 
with the name of "Jacksonville." The property soon changed 
hands and was replatted as the "Town of Illinois," the lots being 
sold at auction in St. Louis, November 3, 1817. The following 
March, Simon Vanorsdal gave notice of his intention to apply 
"for an order to establish a Town . . . . on a tract of land con- 
taining 100 acres, lying on the Mississippi river, opposite St. 
Louis." Whether this was to be a rival or an addition to Illinois- 
town does not appear. A tavern and a store existed near the 

"Schultz, Travels, 2 139 ; Brown, Western Gazetteer, 27 ; Dana, Geo- 
graphical Sketches, 150, 154; Mason, Narrative, 53, 62. 

"History of St. Clair County (1881), 183-185; Intelligencer, May 22, 1816, 
December n, 1817; Dana, Geographical Sketches, 154. 

[From original owned by H. W. Fay, De Kalb] 


From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society 


east end of the ferry to St. Louis as early as 1815, and a traveler 
who passed that way in November, 1819, speaks of "the town of 
Illinois, on the Mississippi, a little village opposite St. Louis." 90 

Before 1818 St. Clair county had extended east to the third 
principal meridian, but in January of that year the eastern part 
including the modern Washington and all of Clinton except the 
northern tier of townships was set off as Washington county. 
In this area of 900 square miles, there dwelt, according to the 
final report, 1,819 people, an average of about two to the square 
mile. There were 265 families, 16 with 113 souls having been 
added by the supplementary census. The number of free negroes 
was 19 and there were 28 servants or slaves. This small popu- 
lation was very unevenly distributed over the county, however, 
probably nine-tenths being in what is now Clinton county. Set- 
tlement had progressed eastward and northward up the Kas- 
kaskia and the streams flowing into it from the north until by the 
close of 1818 there were a few inhabitants in each of the town- 
ships of this region. The northeastern township, however, being 
mostly prairie, had only two or three families of settlers. South 
of the Kaskaskia and of Crooked creek, in the modern Washing- 
ton county, it is doubtful if there were 200 people. A few fam- 
ilies were living along the river, there were the beginnings of a 
settlement in Plumb Hill precinct near the center, and two or 
three families had established themselves on the road from Vin- 
cennes to Kaskaskia. Most of the precincts of the county, how- 
ever, did not receive their first settlers until near the middle of 
the next decade. 

When Washington county was organized there was no town 
within its boundaries, and the county seat was fixed at a place 
on the south side of the Kaskaskia near the center of the county 
where an old trail from Kaskaskia to Peoria crossed the river. 
The town of Covington was immediately platted on the site "on 
a very extensive and liberal plan," and an attempt was made in 
the convention to have it selected for the capital of the state. 
The advantages of the place were advertised in glowing terms 

"History of Si. Clair County (1881), 298; Intelligencer, April I, 1818; Ma- 
son, Narrative. 51. 

82 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

in the Intelligencer of July I, and on July 29, the county com- 
missioners gave notice of a public sale of lots on the first Monday 
in September. The town appears to have had very few settlers, 
however, and with the division of the county and the removal 
of the county seat it disappeared from the map. A more prom- 
ising venture was Carlyle, "beautifully situated on the west bank 
of the Kaskaskia river, at the well known crossing of PI ill's Ferry 
.... having the great United States road from Vincennes to 
St. Louis, the roads from Shawneetown, the Saline and the 
Ferries on the lower Ohio, to the mouth of Missouri and the 
great Sangamo country passing thro' its principal street." 
The town was "laid off in squares of two acres, having its main- 
street 75 and its other streets 66 feet in width, each square having 
an alley 20 feet in width passing through its center. A public 
square, church lots, &c." 91 The public sale of lots was advertised 
to begin on September 29, 1818, and the following year Dana 
reported the town "in a flourishing condition." A sale of lots 
in the rival "Town of Donaldson" laid out on the opposite side 
of the river "just at the point where the two leading roads from 
the east to the west, unite" was advertised for the first Monday 
in November, 1818; but Donaldson appears to have been stillborn. 
Carlyle and Donaldson, like Covington, aspired to become the 
capital of the new state. 

North of St. Clair lay Madison county, with its present south- 
ern and western boundaries ; the west line, however, extended to 
the northern boundary of the state. All the immense region 
between this line and the Mississippi river was nominally a part 
of the county but in only the three southern tiers of townships, 
about 570 square miles, was land available for purchase before 
1819. The schedule of the first census of 1818 lists 717 families 
in Madison county with 4,516 souls, of whom 34 were free 
negroes and 77 servants or slaves. This is only three less than' 
the population of St. Clair as reported in June ; and including the 
supplementary census of 847 as compared with 520 for St. Clair, 
Madison becomes the most populous county in the state. The 
final report to the convention was 6,303, but this includes 980 

"Intelligencer, September 9, 1818. 


reputed residents at the forts in the Indian country. The part of 
this population residing south of the line of survey may be placed 
conservatively at 4,500, which would give to that region a density 
of about 8 to the square mile, slightly more than that of St. Clair 
county. While settlers were to be found in all parts of these 
townships, the areas of greatest density were along the Missis- 
sippi, and southwest of Edwardsville where the so-called Goshen 
settlement was located. Toward the eastern boundary settlers 
were less numerous and were located mainly in the vicinity of 
Silver creek and its branches and along the road to Shawneetown. 

Of especial interest are the settlements above the line of 
survey, for these illustrate the way in which the frontier popu- 
lation pushed out and squatted on land which was not yet in the 
market and which in some cases had not yet been cleared of the 
Indian title. The census schedules indicated that about seventy 
families were living in this region in the early summer of 1818, 
but the number was probably doubled before the end of the year. 
As usual on the extreme frontier, the settlers were to be found 
principally along the rivers and creeks. Even the military tract 
between the Mississippi and Illinois had a few inhabitants on the 
southern point, extending north to about the middle of Calhoun 
county, though it is doubtful if any of them had secured title 
to the soil. Major Stephen H. Long, on a trip down the Missis- 
sippi, "took an excursion" across this peninsula in August, 1817, 
and reported : 92 "There are five settlements at this place, including 
two immediately upon the Mississippi at Little Cape Gris." This 
point was about twenty miles up the river from the mouth of the 

On the eastern side of the Illinois adventurous spirits had 
pushed as far north as Apple creek in Greene county and also 
up the tributaries flowing in from the east, Macoupin creek with 
Phill's creek, its branch, and Otter creek in Jersey county. The 
census schedule indicated several families on Macoupin ancl 
Phill's creeks in the southeastern part of Greene and the north- 
eastern part of Jersey counties and at least one settler on the 

"Minnesota Historical Collections, 2 182. On the location of Cape au Gris 
see Wisconsin Historical Collections, 2 1209. 

84 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

headwaters of Macoupin creek in what is now Macoupin county. 
There was probably a considerable increase during the summer; 
and, if local tradition is reliable, Macoupin county contained ten 
families when Illinois became a state. Edmund Dana, who 
visited this region in the late summer of 1818, speaks of rinding 
sixty families in the tract drained by Macoupin, Apple, and Otter 
creeks "in the sickly months of 1818." In another place, referring 
to the whole region from Piasa creek, which enters the Missis- 
sippi near the boundary between Madison and Jersey counties, 
to and including the Macoupin county, he states that "nearly 
120 families had settled here before the lands were surveyed," 
which would be before the spring of iSip. 93 On Wood river, 
which enters the Mississippi a couple of miles below Alton, the 
settlements had extended north only a mile or so above the line 
of survey, and there appear to have been no establishments on the 
branches of Cahokia creek above this line when the census 
schedule was compiled. Farther east, however, on Silver creek 
there were settlers within a mile or two of the present northern 
boundary of Madison county. 

When Governor Edwards issued the proclamation establishing 
Madison county in 1812, he appointed "the house of Thomas 
Kirkpatrick to be the seat of justice of said county." Not until 
1816 was a town laid out and given the name of Edwardsville. 
The establishment of a land office there in the same year made 
it an important place, but its population probably did not exceed 
two hundred when the census was taken in the early summer of 
1818. The eighteen households listed which can definitely be 
assigned to Edwardsville comprised 166 souls. The composition 
of this population indicates something of the character of the 
place and the influence of the land office. There were 74 men, 
only 71 women and children, including all under twenty-one, 17 
servants or slaves, and 4 free negroes. Eight of the slaves 
belonged to Benjamin Stephenson, register of the land office, 
and four to Governor Edwards, who had established his resi- 
dence in the town named for him. At least three of the house- 

M Dana, Geographical Sketches, 139-144. For another statement on the set- 
tlements in this region in 1819, see Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 155. 


[From a copy owned by H. W. Fay, De Kalb] 


[Used by permission of Walter Colyer, Albion] 


holds, and probably four, were taverns at which dwelt over half 
of the men. The town grew rapidly during the summer; and 
Edmund Dana, whose name appears in the Edwardsville group 
in the census schedule, wrote of it the following year as a "flour- 
ishing town, containing 60 or 70 houses, a court house, jail, 
public bank, printing office, which issues a weekly newspaper, 
and a United States land office." The bank and the printing 
office did not exist in 1818, however. In November, 1819, a 
traveler described the place as "a small but flourishing little 
village." 94 

The city of Alton also had its beginnings during the territorial 
period, these being in the form of some four or five town-site 
projects. Alton proper was laid out in 1817 by Colonel Easton, 
a St. Louis speculator; but Reverend Thomas Lippincott found 
there in December, 1818, only one cabin besides the ferry house. 
About the same time Upper Alton was laid out on the bluff and 
soon afterward "Alton on the river" or Hunterstown, was 
platted, all now parts of the city of Alton. Larger than any of 
these in 1818, however, was Milton, about three miles back from 
the Mississippi on Wood river. Here were to be found a store, 
two sawmills, a gristmill, and a distillery. John Mason Peck, 
who visited Upper Alton in February, 1819, in search of a loca- 
tion for a boarding school found "between forty and fifty fam- 
ilies, living in log-cabins, shanties, covered wagons, and camps. 
Probably not less than twenty families were destitute of houses ; 
but were getting out materials and getting up shelters with indus- 
try and enterprise." Mason, who was here in December, 1819, 
was struck by the fact that "within five miles there are five 
towns, as they are called, but all insignificant and improperly 
placed. Their names are Milton, Alton, Middle Alton, Lower 
Alton and Sales." In another place, however, he refers to 
Milton as "a flourishing little village only one and a half years 
old." Dana, in his Geographical Sketches (1819) writes of 
Alton, not specifying which village he meant: "Nearly 100 

"History of Madison County (1882), 333; Dana, Geographical Sketches, 
143 ; Mason, Narrative, 63 ; James, Territorial Records, 26. 

86 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

decent houses are already erected. The spirit of enterprise dis- 
played by the settlers, who are mostly from the eastern states, 
and the natural advantages attached to the place, point out this 
town as a stand where small capitals in trade may be profitably 
vested." Milton he describes as containing "about 50 houses, 
and although it seems to flourish, it is considered an unhealthy 
situation. The creek here drives both a grist and saw mill ; each 
of which do great business." 95 

Filling in the gap of 24 miles between Madison and Craw- 
ford counties was Bond county, which stretched like a ribbon 
from six miles south of the modern Bond county northward to 
the state line. Here also only the three southern tiers of town- 
ships, an area of 432 square miles, were within the line of survey. 
The number of families living in the county in the early summer 
of 1818, according to the census schedule, was 212, and the total 
population was 1,384, of whom 15 were servants or slaves. No 
supplementary census appears to have been taken, but the final 
report to the convention was 1,398. Nearly all these people 
were living along the southward flowing streams in the southern 
part of the county. About four-fifths of them appear to have 
been within the surveyed district, which would make the density 
of this tract less than three to the square mile. Above the line 
of survey from forty to fifty families established themselves, 
mainly on Shoal and Hurricane creeks. Up the former the set- 
lers had pushed as far north as the vicinity of Hillsboro in Mont- 
gomery county, and on Hurricane creek there was a group of 
settlements in what is now Fayette county and another in the 
southeastern part of Montgomery. 

When Bond county was established in 1817, a site "on the 
Harricane [sic] Fork of the Kaskaskia river, one mile from its 
junction, and 2% miles from Pope's Bluff" was selected for the 
seat of justice. This was in the southeastern corner of Fayette 
county. In October according to the Intelligencer, the county 
commissioners advertised a sale of lots at the proposed town of 
Perryville, but there was probably no settlement there at the time, 
for the sale was to take place "at Hill's Station on Shoal creek." 

"Lippincott, "Early Days in Madison County," nos. 2-4; History of Madi- 
son County (1881), 374-376; Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 154; Mason, Narra- 
tive. 64, 66 ; Dana, Geographical Sketches, 142. 


Pope's Bluff was projected at a site on the Kaskaskia a mile or 
two above the mouth of Hurricane creek and aspired to be the 
capital of the state. Another paper town was Ripley "situated 
on Shoal creek, a navigable stream of the Kaskaskia river, and 
about 33 miles from the great river Mississippi .... There 
is near this town several valuable mills, a grist mill and saw 
mill, which will do business nearly the whole year." The sale 
of lots was to take place May 30, 1818. Ripley was also a can- 
didate for the location of the state capital. None of these places 
had enough settlers in 1818 to justify its being termed a village. 
There may have been a log courthouse and a jail and a few houses 
in Perryville but the establishment of Fayette county in 1821 
necessitated the removal of the county seat, and the town faded 



The first settlers within the limits of the present 
state of Illinois were Frenchmen, mainly from Can- 
ada, who, about the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, established themselves in a number of vil- 
lages on the American bottom along 
the Mississippi river. During the 
French regime these people consisted 
of two classes, the habitants, igno- 
rant and improvident, engaged largely 
in the fur trade as voyageurs, and the 
gentry, as George Rogers Clark called 
them, many of whom had come from 
the better classes in France and Can- 
ada, who had acquired considerable 
property, either before or after com- 
ing to Illinois, and who lived lives of refinement despite their 
wilderness surroundings. The disordered conditions in the Illi- 
nois country from the time of the British occupation in 1765 
until about the close of the century caused nearly all the more 
enterprising among the French to cross the Mississippi to Span- 
ish territory. It is doubtful if there were more than fifteen hun- 
dred people of French descent living in Illinois in 1818 and 
practically all these belonged to the habitant class. Most of them 
were natives of the country for there had been very little immi- 
gration of Frenchmen after 1760. Besides those living in and 
about the towns of Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, and Kaskaskia, 
there were a few on the eastern side of the territory, in what is 



[From Hall, Forty Etchings, 
owned by Illinois State Histor- 
ical Library] 


now Lawrence county, who had crossed over the Wabash from 
the Vincennes settlement. 96 

A traveler from Philadelphia, who visited the villages in the 
American bottom in 1819, described the residents of Cahokia 
as "half French, half Indian, retaining part of the manners of 
both." To him the French in general appeared "to be a wretched 
set of beings. Their great-coats are made out of a blanket, with 
a cap or hood out of the same piece. Then moccasins and leggins 
complete the suit. Uncover a Frenchman's head and his friends 
are immediately alarmed for his health. The pig pens in Penn- 
sylvania are generally as clean and much better built than the 
miserable huts occupied by these lazy people. In a state of 
almost starvation they hold their Gumbo balls twice a week. 
For nimbleness of foot and lightness of heart the French have 
never been surpassed." In Prairie du Rocher, the traveler 
found the houses of "the most antique and mean appearance, 
built of the barks of trees and puncheons, slabs, etc., often with- 
out doors. Their windows are without sashes, but small pieces 
of broken glasses of all shapes pasted ingeniously together with 
paper serve to admit the light upon a motley family, between 
white, red and black. Many of those wretched hovels are ready 
to tumble down on the heads of starving Indians, French and 
negroes, all mixed together. Negro-French is the common lan- 
guage of this town. Indeed, unless you can speak some French 
it is with much difficulty you can find any person who can under- 
stand you." The writer was given to looking on the dark side 
of the picture, and in concluding his narrative, he felt it neces- 
sary to add : "When I have expressed an opinion which appears 
not to have been liberal, it is intended to apply to the lower 
clar^s, of whom there is a large majority .... although some 
of the French are rich, liberal and gentlemanly men, yet this 

"Alvord, Cahokia Records, xv-xxi; Alvord, Illinois: the Origins, 9-12, 18. 
The estimates of the number of French in Illinois are usually exaggerations. 
One reminiscent writer states that in 1818 they comprised "nearly a fourth 
part of the inhabitants." Brown, "Early History of Illinois," in Fergus His- 
torical Series, no. 14:82. Daniel Pope Cook asserted in 1817, however, that 
they made up only a tenth of the population, which would be between three 
and four thousand, Intelligencer, November 27, 1817; while Governor Ford 
estimates them at "some two thousand." History of Illinois, 35. 

90 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

memorandum is strictly correct when applied to the general 
mass." 91 

Governor Ford, who lived in Monroe county from 1805 on, 
and who was thus in a position to observe the French inhabitants, 
has left an excellent picture of these people as he remembered 
them. "The original settlers had many of them intermarried 
with the native Indians," he writes, "and some of the descend- 
ants of these partook of the wild, roving disposition of the 
savage, united to the politeness and courtesy of the Frenchman. 
In the year 1818, and for many years before, the crews of keel 
boats on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers were furnished from 
the Frenchmen of this stock. Many of them spent a great part 
of their time, in the spring and fall seasons, in paddling their 
canoes up and down the rivers and lakes in the river bottoms, 
on hunting excursions, in pursuit of deer, fur, and wild fowl, 
and generally returned home well loaded with skins, fur, and 
feathers, which were with them the great staples of trade. 
Those who stayed at home, contented themselves with cultivating 
a few acres of Indian corn, in their common fields, for bread, 
and providing a supply of prairie hay for their cattle and horses. 
No genuine Frenchman, in those days, ever wore a hat, cap, or 
coat. The heads of both men and women were covered with 
Madras cotton handkerchiefs, which were tied around, in the 
fashion of night-caps. For an upper covering of the body the 
men wore a blanket garment, called a 'capot,' (pronounced 
cappo) with a cap to it at the back of the neck, to be drawn over 
the head for a protection in cold weather, or in warm weather 
to be thrown back upon the shoulders in the fashion of a cape. 
Notwithstanding this people had been so long separated by an 
immense wilderness from civilized society, they still retained all 
the suavity and politeness of their race. And it is a remarkable 
fact, that the roughest hunter and boatman amongst them could 
at any time appear in a ballroom, or other polite and gay 
assembly, with the carriage and behavior of a well-bred gentle- 
man. The French women were remarkable for the sprightliness 
of their conversation and the grace and elegance of their manners. 

"Mason, Narrative, 53-56, 74. 


And the whole population lived lives of alternate toil, pleasure, 
innocent amusement, and gaity. 

"Their horses and cattle, for want of proper care and food for 
many generations, had degenerated in size, but had acquired addi- 
tional vigor and toughness ; so that a French pony was a proverb 
for strength and endurance. These ponies were made to draw, 
sometimes one alone, sometimes two together, one hitched before 
the other, to the plough, or to carts made entirely of wood, the 
bodies of which held about double the contents of the body of a 
common large wheel-barrow. The oxen were yoked by the 
horns instead of the neck, and in this mode were made to draw 
the plough and cart. Nothing like reins were ever used in driv- 
ing; the whip of the driver, with a handle about two feet, and a 
lash two yards long, stopped or guided the horse as effectually 
as the strongest reins. 

"The French houses were mostly built of hewn timber, set 
upright in the ground, or upon plates laid upon a wall, the inter- 
vals between the upright pieces being filled with stone and mortar. 
Scarcely any of them were more than one story high, with a 
porch on one or two sides, and sometimes all around, with low 
roofs extending with slopes of different steepness from the comb 
in the centre to the lowest part of the porch. These houses were 
generally placed in gardens, surrounded by fruit-trees of apples, 
pears, cherries, and peaches; and in the villages each enclosure 
for a house and garden occupied a whole block or square, or the 
greater part of one. Each village had its Catholic church and 
priest. The church was the great place of gay resort on Sun- 
days and holidays, and the priest was the adviser and director 
and companion of all his flock." 

Unlike the American settlers, most of whom lived on isolated 
farms, the French lived close together in their village commu- 
nities, where they could enjoy the society of their fellows and the 
privileges of their religion. Despite the abundance of land, the 
common field system of agriculture had been transplanted from 
France, and outside each village was to be found the commons 
of woodland and pasture for the whole village and the common 
field with its long narrow strips of arable land allotted to the 

92 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

individual inhabitants of the village. Originally the conduct of 
agricultural operations had been regulated by village assemblies, 
held usually on Sundays before the door of the church and 
presided over by a syndic elected by the inhabitants. By 1818, 
however, the influx of Americans in some of the villages and the 
purchase by them of allotments had introduced an element of 
confusion, and legislative enactments were necessary to adjust 
the system to the changed conditions. 98 

Forming as they did so small a proportion of the population, it 
is not to be expected that the French would play any considerable 
part in the political and economic development of Illinois. The 
conflict between the two elements, French and American, for the 
control of the Illinois country had ended a generation before 1818 ; 
and the unprogressive French, who remained in the American bot- 
tom after that contest was over, understood little of American 
ideals and took practically no part in the successive territorial 
governments." Only one French name is to be found in the lists 
of officeholders during this period, that of Pierre Menard ; and he 
was a recent arrival from Canada. Although their influence 
upon the development of the state was so slight that it may be 
disregarded, the French continued to form for many years a 
picturesque element in the population of Illinois. 100 

The American occupation of Illinois may be said to have begun 
with the advent of traders and land speculators from the eastern 
colonies during the British regime, 1765 to 1778. The occupa- 
tion of the French villages by George Rogers Clark and his 
troops during the revolution introduced a new element, for a 
number of Virginians became permanent settlers in the country. 
It was only very slowly that emigrants drifted in from the east 
during the last decade of the eighteenth century; and while 
there was a decided increase in population from 1800 to 1810, 
2,458 to 12,282, the outbreak of Indian hostilities in 1811, fol- 

"Brown, "Early History of Illinois," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 14: 
83; Thorpe, Constitutions, 2:981-982; Laws of 1819, p. 122; American State 
Papers, Public Lands, 3 1432 ; Ford, History of Illinois, 36-37. 

"Alvord, Cahokia Records, introduction ; Dunn, Indiana, 270. 

100 For a description of the French villages and their inhabitants in 1836, 
see Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 27:19-121. 


lowed by the war of 1812, almost completely checked emigra- 
tion to the whole northwestern frontier. With the advent of 
peace in 1815 and the opening of the land sales in 1814 and 
1816, immigration received a great impetus, and Illinois expe- 
rienced her first real "boom." By this time the choice loca- 
tions in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky had either been rilled by 
settlers or bought up by speculators, and consequently Illinois 
and Missouri became a veritable promised land for emigrants. 
From a population of approximately 15,000 in 1815 Illinois 
had by midsummer of 1818 increased to a population of about 
35,000, and by the end of the year she had almost if not quite 
40,000. The Illinois of 1818 was, then, a very new community. 
Less than half the inhabitants had lived there three years, and not 
quite a third had been in the region as long as ten years. For 
only four years had it been possible to purchase government 
land in the territory and for only two years had such land been 
available to newcomers outside the Shawneetown district. 101 

Who were these people who flocked to southern Illinois in 
such numbers in the last years of the territorial period? Where 
did they come from and what manner of people were they? 
Why did they leave their former homes and why did they select 
Illinois for their new home? To none of these questions can 
simple definite answers be given, but some evidence can be 
brought to bear upon them. From the schedules of the census 
of 1818, supplemented by poll lists, petitions, and other reliable 
records, it has been possible to compile a list of the names of 
6,020 people resident in Illinois in the year 1818, nearly all of 
whom were heads of families. 102 From county histories and all 
other available sources, information about the birthplace or 
former residence of 716, or nearly twelve per cent of those thus 
listed, has been secured. Generalization based upon so small a 
proportion cannot be altogether reliable, but it is believed that 
the figures throw some light on the antecedents of the people 
who were living in Illinois in the year in which it became a 

m Boggess, Settlement of Illinois, chs. 3, 4. On the land sales see above, 
P- 49-54- 

|*It is expected that this list with such data as is available about the in- 
dividuals will be published shortly by the Illinois State Historical Library. 

94 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Combining data as to nativity with that for earliest known 
residence when birthplace is unknown, it appears that 273 or 
thirty-eight per cent of those of known antecedents came from 
the southern states, Virginia being credited with 94, North Caro- 
lina with 84, South Carolina with 40, Georgia with 29, and 
Maryland with 26. Almost the same number, 267, or thirty- 
seven per cent, were from the western states. One hundred 
and fifty, or over half of them came from Kentucky; this is a 


[Originals owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 

larger number than is credited to any other state. Tennessee 
contributed 82, Ohio 23, Indiana 9, and Illinois 3. 103 From the 
middle states came 91 or thirteen per cent; 47 from Pennsyl- 
vania, 36 from New York, 6 from New Jersey, and 2 from 
Delaware. Only 19, or three per cent, were from New Eng- 
land, Massachusetts and Vermont being credited with 6 each, 
Connecticut and New Hampshire with 3 each, and Rhode 
Island with i. The remaining 66, or nine per cent, were for- 
eign born, 40 coming from England, 10 from Ireland, 5 each 

""Obviously the proportion of 3 to 716 is too small for the native born 
if the French are taken into consideration. Very few of them are included 
in the list, however, because specific information about individuals is lacking. 


from Germany and Canada, 4 from France, and 2 from Scot- 
land. Including Kentucky and Tennessee with the southern 
states, the totals show that 505 or seventy-one per cent came 
from south of Mason and Dixon's line and the Ohio river, as 
compared with the 142 or twenty per cent who came from the 
north and northwest. 

A study of the movements of individual immigrants dis- 
closes the fact that a surprisingly large number had made one 
or two other moves before coming to Illinois. If there are 
added to those counted above as coming from the western 
states those who came to Illinois from these states but are 
known to have been born elsewhere, the total becomes 385 or 
fifty-four per cent. Of this number only 60 are known to have 
been born in the west; 118 are known to have been born else- 
where; 89 in the southern states; 16 in the north; and 13 abroad. 
Assigning the remaining 207, whose birthplace is unknown, to 
the respective sections in the same proportions produces the fol- 
lowing revised figures: from the old south, fifty-three per cent; 
from the west, eighteen per cent; from the north, eighteen per 
cent; and from abroad, eleven per cent. This may be taken 
as representing roughly the nativity of the 716 inhabitants of 
known antecedents, and therefore as an indication of the sources 
of the population of Illinois in 1818. 

The outstanding conclusions from this investigation are : first, 
that about half .the heads of families in Illinois in 1818 had been 
born in the five states of Maryland, Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, and Georgia; and secondly, that about the same pro- 
portion had come to Illinois directly from the four western 
states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, principally 
from the latter two. Most of the immigrants from Kentucky 
and Tennessee who had been born there, moreover, were de- 
scendants of natives of the old southern states. It would prob- 
ably be a safe generalization, therefore, to say that two-thirds of 
the people of Illinois at this time belonged to southern stock, 
while the numbers with New England or middle states ante- 
cedents only slightly exceeded those of foreign birth. This coin- 
cides with the impression to be gained from contemporary and 

96 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

reminiscent writers. Two of the correspondents to the Intelli- 
gencer during the convention campaign indicate that, in their 
opinion, immigration up to that time had been principally from 
the southern states. 104 William H. Brown states that "the 
early inhabitants of Illinois were composed of the French Cana- 
dians .... and immigrants from Kentucky, Tennessee, and 
North Carolina," while Governor Ford speaks of the American 
inhabitants as "chiefly from Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsyl- 
vania." Reynolds states that they "were almost entirely emi- 
grants from the Western States; Tennessee, Kentucky, Vir- 
ginia, and some from Pennsylvania and Maryland." Accord- 
ing to Robert W. Patterson, "the families in the country, were 
generally of Southern origin, many of them having come orig- 
inally from Virginia and the Carolinas to Tennessee, Kentucky, 
and Ohio, and thence to Illinois." 105 Later writers, also, have 
reached the same conclusion, adducing as evidence, in addition to 
the testimony of contemporaries, the fact that most of the po- 
litical leaders during the territorial period and the early years 
of statehood were natives of the south. 108 

It is not a sufficient identification of these people, however, to 
say that they came from the south, for the south was far from 
being a homogeneous section. Westward of the tidewater 
and plantation area along the Atlantic coast was a region of 
uplands and mountain valleys stretching across state boundaries 
from Pennsylvania to Georgia, the population of which differed 
materially in origin and characteristics from the occupants of 
the tidewater section; it was from this stock that the bulk of 
the "southern" people in Illinois came. The evidence for this is 
to be found not only in the biographical and genealogical data 
available in the county histories, but also in the names of heads 
of families in the schedules of the census of 1818. A large 

1<H "A republican," Daniel P. Cook, in Intelligencer, April i, 1818, and "Cau- 
tion," in ibid., April 15, 1818. 

""Brown, "An Historical Sketch of the Early Movement in Illinois for 
the Legalization of Slavery," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 4:9; Reynolds, 
My Own Times, 65 ; Patterson, "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fer- 
gus Historical Series, no. 14:105. 

lM Johns Hopkins University Studies, I :pt. 3, p. 9 ; Illinois State Historical 
Society, Transactions, 1903, p. 75; Boggess, Settlement of Illinois, 145; 
Mathews, Expansion of New England, 206-207. 


proportion of these names are typically Scotch-Irish, Welsh, or 
German, with Scotch-Irish predominating; and thus they are 
indicative of the connection of the people with that stream of 
non-English immigrants which poured into Pennsylvania during 
the eighteenth century and thence up the valleys and through 
the gaps to the back country of Virginia, the Carolinas, and 
Georgia. By the time of the revolution, the occupation of this 
region had been completed and the stream began to flow into 
Kentucky and Tennessee. In the early decades of the nine- 
teenth century it progressed into southern Indiana, Illinois, and 

A striking characteristic of these people was their love of 
the frontier. From the time it appeared on the continent their 
strain had been in the vanguard of settlement. As frontier 
conditions passed away in one place, they packed up their few 
possessions and pushed farther into the interior. Few sons 
were born in the same locality that their fathers had been; few 
men died near where they had been born. Probably a majority 
of those in Illinois in 1818 had made at least one move before 
coming to the territory, and many, located near the border of 
settled area, had advanced from more southern locations 
within the territory. These people were true pioneers; they 
had become experts in grappling with frontier conditions. As 
Morris Birkbeck wrote of them, "to struggle with privations 
has now become the habit of their lives, most of them having 
made several successive plunges into the wilderness." 107 They 
blazed the trail for the more permanent settlers who were to 
follow; always, of course, a part of them dropped out of the 
procession and became permanent settlers themselves. Essen- 
tially, then, these people were westerners rather than south- 

Neglecting to make this distinction, various writers have 
sought for the causes of this migration from the south to the 
northwest in the social and economic conditions of the south. 
Opposition to slavery, the pressure of the plantation system on 
the small farms, and the desire for social equality, have been 

"'Birkbeck, Notes on a Journey, 121. 

98 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

assigned as causes; and doubtless these were factors which 
prompted many individuals. But in general the real explana- 
tion is to be found in the irresistible attraction which the wilder- 
ness exerted upon these people. They were essentially frontiers- 
men; they preferred life in the woods to that in the busy haunts 
of men; and they felt themselves cramped and crowded in any 
except the most thinly populated regions. Then, too, they had 
a restless hope of finding something better a little farther on; 
they were always ready to take a sportsman's chance on the un- 
known. As Morris Birkbeck, the Englishman, wrote : "They are 
also a migrating people; and even when in prosperous circum- 
stances, can contemplate a change of situation, which under our 
old establishments and fixed habits, none, but the most enterpris- 
ing, would venture upon, when urged by adversity." 108 It was not 
so much positive dissatisfaction with conditions existing in their 
old communities, then, as the force of habit and the hope of 
bettering themselves economically, that prompted the migration. 

No description of these pioneers from the south can be ade- 
quate unless it takes into account the existence of different types 
among them. Although possessing some characteristics in com- 
mon, even these varied in degree; and statements of contem- 
porary writers who have a particular class in mind can not be 
applied indiscriminately to all the pioneers. Among the best 
observers of pioneer settlers were some of the leaders of the 
English settlement, who were careful to discriminate between 
the different types. Fordham divided the people on the frontier 
into four classes, "not perfectly distinct yet easily distinguish- 
able." 109 To the first two of these classes belonged the bulk of 
the element under consideration. 

"i st . The hunters, a daring, hardy, race of men, who live 
in miserable cabins, which they fortify in times of War with 
the Indians, whom they hate but much resemble in dress and 
manners. They are unpolished, but hospitable, kind to 
Strangers, honest and trustworthy. They raise a little Indian 
corn, pumpkins, hogs, and sometimes have a Cow or two, and two 

**Birkbeck, Notes on a Journey, 36. 
10 *Ogg, Fordham' 's Personal Narrative, 125. 


or three horses belonging to each family : But their rifle is their 
principal means of support. They are the best marksmen in the 
world, and such is their dexterity that they will shoot an apple 
off the head of a companion. Some few use the bow and arrow. 
I have spent 7 or 8 weeks with these men, have had opportuni- 
ties of trying them, and believe they would sooner give me the 
last shirt off their backs, than rob me of a charge of powder. 
Their wars with the Indians have made them vindictive. This 
class cannot be called first Settlers, for they move every year 
or two. 

"2 d class. First settlers; a mixed set of hunters and 
farmers. They possess more property and comforts than the 
first class, yet they are a half barbarous race. They follow the 
range pretty much; selling out when the Country begins to be 
well settled, and their cattle cannot be entirely kept in the woods." 

The description and classification of these people by George 
Flower is especially interesting. "These original backwoods- 
men," he writes, "look upon all new-comers as obtruders on 
their especial manorial rights. The old hunters' rule is: when 
you hear the sound of a neighbor's gun, it is time to move away." 
He found "all of this class of men, who live in solitude and 
commune so much with nature, relying on their own efforts to 
support themselves and their families, to be calm, deliberate, and 
self-possessed whenever they are sober. The best breeding in 
society could not impart to them more self-possession or give 
them greater ease of manner or more dignified and courteous 
bearing." Flower acknowledges the services of representatives 
of this class to the English settlers : "Dextrous with the ax, they 
built all our first log-cabins, and supplied us with venison. In a 
year or two, they moved into less-peopled regions, or to where 
there were no people at all, and were entirely lost to this part 
of the country." These men derived their means of livelihood 
principally from hunting, and devoted very little attention to 
farming. Some, however, says Flower, "follow a different des- 
tiny. Their little corn-patch increases to a field, their first shanty 
to a small log-house, which, in turn, gives place to a double- 
cabin, in which the loom and spinning-wheel are installed. A 


neighbourhood is hu u, SSSKmES? " ^ 

a more extensive tract of land, or commence far 
on a larger scale than formerly. The next occupier is a 

"Flower, English Settlement, 67-72 
m Thwaites, 


[From original owned by Chicago Historical Society 


italist, who immediately builds a larger barn than the former, 
and then a brick or a frame house. He either pulls down the 
dwelling of his predecessor, or converts it into a stable. He erects 
better fences, and enlarges the quantity of cultivated land ; sows 
down pasture fields, introduces an improved stock of horses, cat- 
tle, sheep, and these probably of the Merino breed. He fattens 
cattle for the market, and perhaps erects a flour-mill, or a saw- 
mill, or a distillery. Farmers of this description are frequently 
partners in the banks; members of the State assembly, or of 
Congress, or Justices of the Peace The three con- 
ditions of settlers described, are not to be understood as uni- 
formly distinct; for there are intermediate stages, from which 
individuals of one class pass, as it were, into another. The first 
invaders of the forest frequently become farmers of the second 
order; and there are examples of individuals acting their parts 
in all the three gradations." 

While it is true that some of the backwoodsmen or their de- 
scendants occasionally became men of prominence and of in- 
fluence in the community, as a rule the leaders in the movements 
for the political and economic development of the territory be- 
longed to a different class. The majority of them were south- 
erners also, but their antecedents went back usually to the planter 
class of the tidewater region. As was the case with the frontiers- 
men, many of them had lived in Kentucky, Tennessee, or In- 
diana, before locating in Illinois. A few migrated because of a 
dislike of the institution of slavery, many were brought in to 
fill appointive offices during the territorial period, others sought 
opportunity for political advancement and the practice of their 
professions in a new country, while all of them expected to make 
fortunes by speculating in land. A smaller number of the lead- 
ers were from the middle states and New England and their in- 
fluence was slowly increasing. These men of influence were 
usually fairly well educated and possessed of a moderate amount 
of property; but, above all, they were ambitious for themselves 
and for the country. They formed the third group of Ford- 
ham's classification "composed of enterprising men from 
Kentucky and the Atlantic States. This class consists of Young 

102 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Doctors, Lawyers, Storekeepers, farmers, mechanics, &c., who 
found towns, trade, speculate in land, and begin the fabric of So- 
ciety." 112 Most of them lived in or near one of the land office 
towns, Kaskaskia, Shawneetown, or Edwardsville, but a few 
were to be found located in the smaller settlements. 

Besides the settlers of German antecedents who had come to 
Illinois by way of the south, there were a number of Germans 
who had come directly from Pennsylvania. One early writer, 
indeed, classified the settlers as "French, Pennsylvania Dutch 
and native American." As a matter of fact the French and 
the "Dutch" were practically all native born Americans, but the 
classification is a rather significant commentary on those Ger- 
mans who, by isolating themselves, kept for so long their pe- 
culiar characteristics. Even when they migrated to Illinois 
they manifested a tendency to keep together. The principal set- 
tlement of Pennsylvania Germans was in and near Brownsville 
in Jackson county where Dr. Conrad Will, their leading repre- 
sentative, established himself in 1815. A number of families 
from Somerset county, Pennsylvania, came under the leadership 
of Singleton Kimmel in 1817; and John Ankeny, a relative of 
Kimmel, brought out eight or ten families early in 1818. Of 
these people, the writer before referred to, says: "They were 
industrious, though not enterprising people, usually farmers of 
moderate means, who lived comfortably, and kept their associa- 
tions mainly among themselves." 118 As for the real foreigners, 
there were a few scattered in all parts of the settled area. With 
the exception of the English, who will be considered later, they 
had generally been in America for some time before coming to 
Illinois; and being mainly Scotch-Irish and Germans, they were 

m Fordham lists a fourth class, also, not clearly distinguishable from the 
third : "old settlers, rich, independent, farmers, wealthy merchants, possess- 
ing a good deal of information, a knowledge of the world, and an enterprising 
spirit. Such are the Ohio men, Western Pennsylvanians, Kentuckians and 

Tennessee men They undertake with facility, and carry on with 

unconquerable ardour, any business or speculation that promises great profit, 
and sustain the greatest losses with a firmness that resembles indifference." 
Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 126. 

M *Patterson, "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus Historical 
Series, no. 14:104; Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1905, p. 351- 
377; P. Kimmel to Pope, December 22, 1817, in United States State Depart- 
ment, Bureau of Indexes and Archives, "Miscellaneous Letters." 


scarcely distinguishable from the frontiersmen already described. 
Robert Reynolds, for example, emigrated from Ireland to Penn- 
sylvania in 1785, moved to Tennessee in 1788, and from there to 
Illinois in 1800. George Barnsback came from Germany to 
America in 1797, and had lived in Philadelphia and in Kentucky 
before moving to Illinois in 1809."* 

The closing years of the territorial period saw the beginning of 
a settlement of foreigners that was unique not only in Illinois 
but in the whole west the English settlement in Edwards 
county. The men who planned this enterprise, selected the site, 
directed the emigration, and established the settlement, were 
George Flower and Morris Birkbeck. Men of education and 
means, their purpose was partly philanthropic to provide bet- 
ter opportunities for English laborers. Economic and political 
conditions in England following the close of the Napoleonic wars 
were such that emigration to the United States began to assume 
large proportions and these men planned to point the way for 
their countrymen and to assist them in establishing themselves 
in the new world. The reasons which led them, after a careful 
survey of the United States, to select the prairie land between 
Bon Pas creek and the Little Wabash river for their place of 
settlement are of considerable interest. 

When Morris Birkbeck arrived in the United States in May, 
1817, he had made up his mind to locate in western Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois ; farther north he would not go be- 
cause of the climate, and the south had no attractions for him 
because of his abhorrence of the institution of slavery. 115 In 
Richmond, Virginia, Birkbeck was joined by Flower, who had 
been traveling in the United States for about a year; and the 
two men, accompanied by Birkbeck's family, started on a tour of 
exploration to the west. 116 The rough conditions of the frontier 
had no such attraction for the English emigrants as they had 
for the American pioneers, but the opportunity to purchase land 

"'Reynolds, My Own Times, 6-7, 24, 31 ; Illustrated Encyclopedia of Madi- 
son County (1873), 47. 

""Birkbeck, Notes on a Journey, 6-7. 

"'For accounts of this tour, see ibid.; Flower, English Settlement, ch. 3. 
Elias Pym Fordham, a cousin of Flower, joined the party at Cincinnati. 
Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 94-99. 

104 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

in unlimited quantities at a low price appealed to them very much. 
Land ownership was the measure of social and political position 
in England ; and, to Birkbeck and Flower, who although men of 
considerable means had in England only been tenants of their 
farms on long-time leases, the possibility of possessing large 
estates of their own had been one of the principal reasons for 
their coming to America. The prospect of more liberal political 
institutions held forth considerable attractions, especially to 
Birkbeck, but the leading motive in the formation of the settle- 
ment was the desire to enjoy, not so much the political liberty of 
the United States, as the liberty to be "found in its great space 
and small population. Good land dog-cheap everywhere, and for 
nothing, if you will go far enough for it." 117 

The part which the land situation played in inducing Flower 
and Birkbeck to select a site on the frontier in Illinois instead of 
in one of the more settled states to the eastward is explained by 
Birkbeck in a letter written in November, 1817, a few months 
after the decision had been made. "Had we remained in the 
state of Ohio," he wrote, "we must have paid from twenty to 
fifty dollars per acre for land which is technically called 'im- 
proved/ but is in fact deteriorated ; or have purchased, at an ad- 
vance of 1000 or 1500 per cent, unimproved land from specula- 
tors: and in either case should have laboured under the incon- 
venience of settling detached from society of our own choice, and 
without the advantage of choice as to soil or situation. We saw 
many eligible sites and fine tracts of country, but these were 
precisely the sites and the tracts which had secured the attach- 
ment of their possessors. 

"It was in fact impossible to obtain for ourselves a good posi- 
tion, and the neighbourhood of our friends, in the state of Ohio, 
at a price which common prudence would justify, or indeed at 
any price. Having given up the Ohio, we found nothing attrac- 
tive on the eastern side of Indiana; and situations to the south, 
on the Ohio river bounding that state, were so well culled as to 
be in the predicament above described ; offering no room for us 

"'Flower, English Settlement, 29. See also Birkbeck, Letters from Illi- 
nois, 46-50; Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 122, 226; Thwaites, Early 
Western Travels, 9:174; 11:231. 


[From original owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


without great sacrifices of money and society. The western 
side of Indiana, on the banks of the Wabash, is liable to the same 
and other objections. The northern part of Indiana is still in 
possession of the Indians. 

"But a few miles farther west opened our way into a country 
preferable in itself to any we had seen, where we could choose 
for ourselves, and to which we could invite our friends; and 
where, in regard to communication with Europe, we could com- 
mand equal facilities, and foresee greater, than in the state of 
Ohio, being so much nearer the grand outlet at New Orleans." 118 

The amount and cheapness of available land was a motive in 
bringing American settlers as well as the English to Illinois ; but 
there was another motive, more idealistic, which influenced the 
English much more than the Americans the desire to locate on 
nrairie land. George Flower was especially attracted by the 
'ries. When traveling in the west in 1816 he sought dili- 
jt ly for information about them. "I had read of them in 
Im y's work," 119 he says, "and his vivid description had struck 
me ,'orcibly. All the country that I had passed through was 
heavily timbered. I shrank from the idea of settling in the 
midst of a wood of heavy timber, to hack and hew my way to a 

little farm, ever bounded by a wall of gloomy forest 

It was at Governor Shelby's house [in Kentucky] that I met the 
first person who confirmed me in the existence of the prairies. 
It was Mr. Shelby's brother. He had just come from some point 
on the Mississippi, across the prairies of Illinois to the Ohio 
River, about Shawneetown. 

"This was enough; I felt assured of where they were, and 
that, when sought for, they could be found. It was then too 
late in the season for me to go to explore them." 120 The follow- 
ing spring when Flower met Birkbeck, he led the party without 
hesitation or deviation, toward the prairies of his vision. Ro- 
mantic as it may appear, this longing of Flower's for the open 
prairies which he had never seen was to have a very practical 

"'Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois, 18-19. 

"The first edition of Imlay's Topog 
itory of North America, was publisl 

"Flower, English Settlement, 36, 38. 

"'The first edition of Imlay's Topographical Description of the Western 
Territory of North America, was published in London in 1792. 

106 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

effect on the development of Illinois. The American settlers 
had shunned the prairie partly because of their belief that the 
best land was to be found where the tallest timber grew and 
partly because of a number of real obstacles such as the lack 
of water, lack of wood for buildings, fences, fuel, and difficul- 
ties of transportation. These men, with their larger means, 
were able to overcome some of these difficulties and to demon- 
strate the value of prairie land for farming. 

Knowing how his imagination had been stirred, one can share 
with Flower the adventure of his first sight of the prairies in 
reality. Having established the rest of the party temporarily 
at Princeton in Indiana, Birkbeck, Flower, and one of the for- 
mer's sons, "mounted again, determined to find these ever- 
receding prairies." Crossing the Wabash near New Harmony, 

they came first to "the settlement of the Big-Prairie 

It was being settled exclusively by small corn- farmers from the 
slave-states. This prairie, not more than six miles long and two 
broad, was level, rather pondy, and aguish. Its verdure and 
open space was grateful to the eye, but it did not fulfil our ex- 
pectations." Inquiring "the way to the Boltenhouse Prairie, so- 
called from the name of a man who had built a small cabin on 
its edge, near the spot where his brother had been killed by the 
Indians the year before," they were directed to follow a light 
trail through the woods, which they did "for seven mortal hours 
. . . . in doubt and difficulty. 

"Bruised by the brushwood and exhausted by the extreme heat 
we almost despaired, when a small cabin and a low fence greeted 
our eyes. A few steps more, and a beautiful prairie suddenly 
opened to our view. At first, we only received the impressions 
of its general beauty. With longer gaze, all its distinctive 
features were revealed, lying in profound repose under the warm 
light of an afternoon's summer sun. Its indented and irregular 
outline of wood, its varied surface interspersed with clumps of 
oaks of centuries' growth, its tall grass, with seed stalks from 
six to ten feet high, like tall and slender reeds waving in a gentle 
breeze, the whole presenting a magnificence of park-scenery, 
complete from the hand of Nature, and unrivalled by the same 


sort of scenery by European art. For once, the reality came 
up to the picture of imagination. Our station was in the wood, 
on rising ground; from it, a descent of about a hundred yards 
to the valley of the prairie, about a-quarter of a mile wide, ex- 
tending to the base of the majestic slope, rising upward for a full 
half-mile, crowned by groves of noble oaks. A little to the left, 
the eye wandered up a long stretch of prairie for three miles, 
into which projected hills and slopes, covered with rich grass 
and decorated with compact clumps of full-grown trees, from 
four to eight in each clump. From beneath the broken shade of 
the wood, with our arms raised above our brows, we gazed long 
and steadily, drinking in the beauties of the scene which had been 
so long the object of our search." 

After spending several days exploring the prairies, they started 
on the return journey to Princeton. "Before leaving Illinois, 
night overtook us," continues Flower, "We halted by the side 
of a fallen log, at a point of timber that stretched into the prairie. 
A fire being kindled, we sat down on the grass, talked over and 
decided what was to be done. ... . The result of our de- 
cision was this: After clubbing together all the money we 
could then command, Mr. Birkbeck was to go to Shawneetown 
and enter all the woodland around the Boltenhouse Prairie. We 
had not money enough with us to purchase the whole prairie. I 
was to return to England to remit him money as soon as pos- 
sible, take with me and publish the manuscript of his book con- 
taining the record of our journey from Richmond to the prairies; 
bring out my father's family ; and spread the information ; point 
out the road to it; and facilitate emigration generally. He was 
on the home department to purchase more land and make the 
necessary preparations in building. I on the foreign mission, to 
bring in the people. As will be seen hereafter, he did his duty 
and I did mine." 121 

The first purchase of land for the settlement was made at 
Shawneetown before Flower left for England; the tract bought 
consisted of about three thousand acres. During 1817 and 1818 
Birkbeck entered forty-one and a quarter sections or 26,400 

m Flower, English Settlement, 60-74. 

108 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

acres in all; and Flower, after his return, also made addi- 
tional purchases. Not having sufficient funds available at first 
to enter all the land desired for the settlement, and fearing exten- 
sive purchases by speculators, which would defeat the purposes of 
the project, Birkbeck determined to apply to congress for a 
"grant by purchase" of a large tract of land in the unsurveyed 
district beyond the base line, which ran only six miles north of 
the first purchases. His memorial, dated November 20, 1817, set 
forth, "that a number of his Countrymen, chiefly Yeomen, 
Farmers, Farming labourers, and rural Mechanics are desirous 
of removing with their families And Capital into this Country, 
provided that, by having situations prepared for them, they might 
escape the wearisome & expensive travel in quest of a settlement 
which has broken the Spirits & drained the purses of many of 
their emigrant brethren, terminating too frequently in disappoint- 
ment." No reference was made in the memorial to amount of 
land or terms of purchase, but it appears from correspondence 
between Birkbeck and Nathaniel Pope, the territorial delegate, 
that what was desired was the privilege of purchasing so much as 
might be needed for the purpose "not exceeding twenty, thirty, 
or forty thousand acres," at the minimum price and with "such 
an extension of time of payment as might preclude embarrass- 
ment or disappointment." The proposition failed to meet with 
the approval of congress, however, for it was felt that such 
grants would be "liable to be abused by speculators," and that it 
was not desirable "to encourage the settlement of foreigners in 
distinct masses." The leaders were obliged to content them- 
selves, therefore, with making plans for the reception of their 
countrymen "on a contracted scale." 122 

In the spring of 1818 Birkbeck moved his family from Prince- 
ton to the new home on the prairie. His Notes on a Journey had 
been published in Philadelphia as well as in London, and coming 
to the hands of a number of English people already in this 
country, induced them to join him. By June the colony con- 
tained, according to Fordham, "between 40 and 50 persons, be- 

ia *The chief authorities for the English settlement of Edwards county are 
Flower, English Settlement, Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, Birkbeck, 
Letters from Illinois, and land office records, auditor's office, Springfield. The 
memorial is in Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois, 147-149. 


[From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


sides American settlers in the neighbourhood;" and Birkbeck 
was having difficulty in getting cabins erected by the backwoods- 
men rapidly enough to supply the demand. 

Flower started his first party from England in March, 1818. 
It consisted of "forty- four men and one married woman. . . 
The men were chiefly farm-laborers and mechanics from Surrey. 
Many of them had for years worked for Mr. Birkbeck, others 
were from his neighborhood, and were either personally ac- 
quainted or knew him by reputation. This party was under the 
especial care and leadership of Mr. Trimmer. Another party, of 
about equal number, composed of London mechanics, and 
tradesmen from various parts of England formed another party 
that sailed in the same ship. These were under the guidance and 
direction of Mr. James Lawrence, merchant tailor, of Hatton 
Garden, London. Neither Mr. Lawrence nor any one of his party 
had any personal acquaintance with either Mr. Birkbeck or my- 
self, but received their impulse from our published expositions." 
According to Flower's account these parties arrived at Shaw- 
neetown in August, but it must have been late in July for the 
names of both Trimmer and Lawrence appear in the schedule 
for the additional census of Gallatin county, which was closed 
July 28. Trimmer appears in the schedule as the head of a fam- 
ily of fifty, thirty of whom were entered as men over twenty-one. 
Only eight men are credited to Lawrence, which may indicate that 
some of the mechanics and tradesmen had remained in the east, 
although some of them may have been entered under their own 

These first parties, says Flower, included only three women, 
but his own party of "three score and more" which sailed in 
April in a chartered ship, contained a number of families. All 
the spare room on the deck of the ship was occupied by Flower's 
"live-stock of cows, hogs, and sheep, of the choicest breeds of 
England." This was doubtless the party referred to in the fol- 
lowing item from a New York paper : "We learn that a gentle- 
man has lately arrived in this city from England, whose object is 
to settle in the Illinois territory that his family and settlers 
brought over with him amount to fifty-one persons that he has 
furnished himself with agricultural instruments, seeds of various 

110 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

kinds, some cows, sheep and hogs, for breeding, and about 
100,000 pounds sterling in money." 128 

In October, Fordham wrote: "We have now 200 English on 
[sic] our Settlement. Many are discontented; but the strong- 
minded regret that they did not'come out sooner." In August, 
when the first shipload arrived, "the village of Wanborough was 
laid off by Mr. Birkbeck in five-acre lots. On these were built 
cabins, rented by some, bought by others. A good ox-mill and 
blacksmith' s-shop were soon after added to the village." Flower 
gives a graphic description of the development of the settlement 
and of the founding in October, of a village which grew into a 
town : 12 * 

"Emigrants were continually flowing in. They first visited 
Mr. Birkbeck, who had but small accommodations ; then came to 
me, who, at that time, had still less. At this stage, we were ex- 
periencing many of the inconveniences of a population in the 
wilderness, in advance of necessary food and shelter. Do as you 
will, if you are the very first in the wilderness, there are many 
inconveniences, privations, hardships, and sufferings that can not 
be avoided. My own family, one day, were so close run for pro- 
visions, that a dish of the tenderest buds and shoots of the hazle 
was our only resort. 

"Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Trimmer, who led the first shipload, 
made their settlement in the Village Prairie, a beautiful and ex- 
tensive prairie, so-called from the Piankeshaw Indians, there 
formerly located. It was situated due north of my cabin in the 
Boltenhouse Prairie, about three miles, the intervening space 
covered by timber and underbrush, untouched by the hand of 
man. Emigrants kept coming in, some on foot, some on horse- 
back, and some in wagons. Some sought employment, and took 
up with such labor as they could find. Others struck out and 
made small beginnings for themselves. Some, with feelings of 
petulence, went farther and fared worse; others dropped back 
into the towns and settlements in Indiana. At first, I had as 
much as I could do to build a few cabins for the workmen I then 

'"Flower, English Settlement, 95-102 ; Niks' Weekly Register, 14 :256. 

m Ogg, Fordham' s Personal Narrative, 236; Flower, English Settlement, 
100, 124-126, 130. 


[Original painting by George Flower. Made from copy in possession of Walter Colyer, Albion] 


[From Ellis, Indian Wars of the United Stales,, by courtesy of Sears, Roebuck and Company] 


employed, and in erecting a large farmyard, a hundred feet 
square, enclosed by log-buildings, two stories high ; also in build- 
ing for my father's family a house of considerable size, and ap- 
pointed with somewhat more of comforts than is generally 
found in new settlements, to be ready for their reception on the 
following summer. I had as yet done nothing in erecting build- 
ings for the public in general, as there had been no time. One 
evening Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Ronalds, and I think, Mr. Fordham, 
called at my cabin, and, after their horses were cared for and 
supper over, we discussed the measures that should be taken to 
form some village or town, as a centre for those useful arts nec- 
essary to agriculture. Every person wanted the services of a car- 
penter and blacksmith. But every farmer could not build work- 
shops at his own door. Daylight ceased, darkness followed. We 
had no candles, nor any means of making artificial light. On a 
pallet, mattress, or blanket, each one took to his couch, and car- 
ried on the discussion. After much talk, we decided that what we 
did do should be done in order, and with a view to the future 
settlement, as well as our own present convenience. The tract of 
forest lying between Mr. Lawrence's settlement in the Village 
Prairie, on its southern border, and mine at the north of the 
Boltenhouse Prairie, was about three-and-a-half miles through. 
Somewhere in the centre of this tract of woodland seemed to 
be the place. To the right of this spot, eastward, lay, about a 
mile distant, several prairies running north and south for many 
miles, and others east and west to the Bonpas Creek, from three 
to five miles distant. North-eastward from Mr. Lawrence's 
cabin, prairies of every form and size continued on indefinitely. 
About two miles west, and beyond Wanborough, were numerous 
small and fertile prairies, extending to the Little Wabash, from 
six to ten miles distant. On the south was my own beautiful 
prairie. Thus the spot for our town in a central situation was de- 
cided upon. Now for a name. We were long at fault. At last 
we did what almost all emigrants do, pitched on a name that had 
its association with the land of our birth. Albion was then and 
there located, built, and peopled in imagination. We dropped 
off, one by one, to sleep, to confirm in dreams the wanderings 
of our waking fancies." 

112 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The English settlement in 1818 was too young and too much 
occupied with its own problems to exert any considerable in- 
fluence upon the affairs of the territory and state, but its influ- 
ence was destined to be very considerable in later years. The 
leaders were men of superior intelligence and education and took 
an active share in public life. Especially in the struggle over the 
admission of slavery in 1823 and 1824 their influence was to be 
felt on the side of freedom. The settlement was destined to pro- 
mote also the agricultural development of the state. The lead- 
ers were well instructed in the theory and practice of agriculture, 
and the farmers whom they brought over were "accustomed to 
continuous labor." Their capital enabled them to carry on opera- 
tions on a scale hitherto unknown upon the frontier, and the 
blooded stock which they introduced was a valuable asset to the 
community. The English settlement, moreover, was to give to 
Illinois unlimited advertising, not only in England, but on the 
continent and in the United States as well. 

Eleven editions in English of Birkbeck's Notes on a Journey 
were issued during 1817, 1818, and 1819 in Philadelphia, Lon- 
don, Dublin, and Cork, while a German translation was pub- 
lished at Jena in 1818. His Letters from Illinois were published 
in seven editions in English in 1818, and the following year 
were translated into both French and German. Birkbeck wrote 
a number of other pamphlets containing advice to emigrants, and 
several of the other members of the settlement published ac- 
counts of their experiences. Nearly all the foreign travelers who 
made tours of the United States during the years 1818 to 1820 
visited the settlement and published accounts of it in their books. 
Some of these were unfavorable, and an extensive literary contro- 
versy followed in which the leading English and American re- 
views participated. 125 All this served to call attention not only to 
the settlement itself but to Illinois and the west as a whole, and 
undoubtedly helped to promote emigration both from abroad 
and from the eastern states. 

^See Buck, Travel and Description, 58-91, passim, for bibliographical 
notes on these publications. 



The industrial development of a region on the frontier has 
always depended to a very large extent on its facilities for trans- 
portation. In recent times the settlement of the western plains 
has followed the lines of the pioneer railroads, usually resisting 
every attempt to deflect it to regions not traversed by them. 
When the Mississippi valley was first settled, however, the rail- 
roads had not yet begun to play their part as a major economic 
factor; and accordingly it was the waterways, as offering an 
obvious and easy means of communication, which exerted the 
most decisive influence upon the early settlement and develop- 
ment of the middle west. 

Illinois in particular owed much to her abundance of navigable 
streams. With an easy means of communication between the 
great lakes and the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois river 
and its tributaries, and in touch with the east by way of the 
Ohio, the Illinois country occupied a strategic position in rela- 
tion to the outside world. In the interior, the Illinois, the 
Wabash, and the Kaskaskia, with their numerous tributaries, 
afforded unusually good transportation facilities ; even such lesser 
streams as the Little Wabash, the Embarrass, the Big Muddy, 
and some of the so-called creeks could be navigated by the 
barges, flatboats, arks, and keel boats in use on the western 
waters. As has already been indicated, the first settlers naturally 
located along these waterways; had it not been for the consid- 
erable number of streams, the country could never have been 
developed as rapidly as it was. 

The era of the steamboat, destined to bring about a great in- 
crease in the speed and reduction in the cost of transportation, 


114 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

was just beginning at the time when Illinois became a state. The 
first steamboat trip down the Ohio and Mississippi was in 1811, 
but not until four years later was the first trip up the river to 
Louisville accomplished, while August 2, 1817, was the date of 
the first arrival at St. Louis. The following January, however, 
Morris Birkbeck reported: "Steam-boats already navigate the 
Wabash: a vessel of that description has this winter made its 
way up from New Orleans to within a few miles of our settle- 
ment. They are about building one at Harmony." Two months 
later he wrote to a prospective emigrant : "Your voyage up from 
New Orleans, by steam, will be about a month. Steam-boats are 
passing continually. A gentleman who is just come down the 
Ohio, saw ten new ones on the stocks at different ports of the 
river." 128 

Important as was river transportation, especially as icgards 
connection with the outside world, the improvement of facilities 
for travel and transportation on land was also necessary for the 
development of the territory and state. Often the distance from 
point to point by water was several times as great as that by 
land, while much of the most desirable land lay in the interior be- 
tween the streams. From early territorial times travelers and 
emigrants had made their way overland from various points on 
the Ohio to the settlements on the Mississippi, and by 1818 a 
number of main lines of travel were clearly marked out. The 
earlier route from Fort Massac, a short distance below the mouth 
of the Tennessee, to Kaskaskia had been largely superseded by 
the roads leading from Golconda and Shawneetown to the cap- 
ital. From Kaskaskia northward an old road wound up the 
American bottom through Prairie du Rocher and Cahokia to 
Illinoistown opposite St. Louis and to the mouth of Wood river. 
The rapid growth of the country north of Kaskaskia, in St. Clair 
and Madison counties, led to the development of a direct route 
of travel from Shawneetown through Carlyle to Edwardsville 
and Alton, to which was given the name "Goshen Road." From 
Vincennes to St. Louis ran another trail which joined the Goshen 

""Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois, 55, 113; Preble, History of Steam Navi- 
gation, 66-72. 


road near Carlyle and coincided with it for a few miles; and a 
branch of this Vincennes road, leaving the main line near the 
center of the state, led southwestwardly to Kaskaskia. Other im- 
portant lines of travel were from Shawneetown northward 
through Carmi to the English settlement and from Kaskaskia by 
way of Belleville to Edwardsville. 

Although there was considerable travel on these main routes 
during certain seasons of the year, they were in the main little 
more than trails worn by use. They were made, as George 
Flower expresses it "by one man on horseback following in the 
track of another, every rider making the way a little easier to 
find, until you came to some slush, or swampy place, where all 
trace was lost, and you got through as others had done, by 
guessing at the direction, often riding at hazard for miles until 
you stumbled on the track again." To guide the traveler through 
the wilderness, "the tracks or roads from one settlement to an- 
other in the woods, are marked by one notch in the bark of the 
trees for a foot-path, two for a bridle-road, and three for a wag- 
gon route." 127 

The need of improvement was obvious, but efforts directed 
toward making better roads had many practical difficulties to 
overcome. At the very first session of the territorial legislature 
in December, 1812, congress was appealed to for an appropria- 
tion "to open a road from Shawneetown on the Ohio river to 
the Saline and ' from thence, the most direct way, to Kas- 
kaskia." 128 Two years later an attempt was made in the lower 
house of the legislature to provide for the laying out of a number 
of main highways at the expense of the territory. Although the 
bill for this purpose was "postponed untill next Session of the 
Legislature" it is significant for the information which it contains 
as to prevailing conditions and as to the roads desired. 129 It 
reads : 

"Whereas it is essential to the prosperity of this Territory that 

^Flower, English Settlement, 120; Harris, Remarks made during a Tour, 
139; see also Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 10:260. 

""James, Territorial Records, 119. 

^Original in "Miscellaneous Assembly Papers" in secretary of state's 



Roads should be laid out & established thro' the same in such di- 
rections as will tend most effectually to facilitate & render more 
safe the intercourse between the two populous extremes of the 


"And whereas a Road from the Ohio Saline to Kaskaskia the 
nearest & best rout and one from this to begin at a point on the 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 

West side of Little Muddy & to run the nearest and best rout to 
the Court-House of S'Clair County at Bellville & also one from 
Lusk's Ferry 130 on the Ohio to intersect the Road leading from 
the Saline to Kaskaskia at a point to be ascertain'd & fix'd upon 
by the Viewers would be of the utmost importance to the Coun- 
try & greatly advantageous to the People of the Territory & 
those moving to & through the same. 

"The many advantages resulting from this measure are obvious 
Instead of a Wilderness of nearly one hundred Miles thro' 
which the present intercourse is carried of the bad roads which 
in the wet season of the year are rendered impassable Rafting or 
or [sic] swimming the several turbulent streams which often ex- 
tend some miles beyond their Beds of being obliged to encamp 



for Weeks in woods, wanting often the necessary Sustenance for 
Man & Horse these several established routs would ere long be 
found crouded with Farms on each side Ferrys & Toll Bridges 
established provisions for Travellers in abundance >& all the 
difficulties & obstacles greatly lessened or entirely removed and 
would render the conveyance of the mails the marching of 
Troops from one populous extreme of the Terr y to the other 
the conveyance of Salt more safe easy & less expensive To the 
end therefore that the best ground may be selected on or as near 
these several Routs as the ground will admit of & to the end 
also that these may be permanently established & opened either 
as Turnpikes or otherwise by the proper authority Be it Enacted 
that Philip Trammil Enock Moore & Thomas Jordan be and 
are hereby appointed viewers with Power & authority to pro- 
ceed to view & select the ground most suitable, & cause a survey 
to be made of the same & to note the obstacles that may present 
themselves on the several Routs which, together with their 
opinion of the probable sum necessary for opening the said 
Roads, the said viewers shall report to the Legislature at the 
Commencement of their next Session." 

Nothing further is heard of this territorial project, but in 
April, 1816, congress passed "An Act to authorize the survey- 
ing and making a road in the territory of Illinois," which led 
ultimately to a material improvement of the facilities for travel 
between Shawneetown and Kaskaskia. Commissioners were to 
be appointed by the president to "explore, survey, and mark in 
the most eligible course, a road" between these two places, and 
eight thousand dollars was appropriated for the expense of open- 
ing and marking the road in such manner as the president might 
direct. On February 5, 1817, the Intelligencer reported that the 
commissioners had completed their survey of the road. "They 
have taken it from where it at present runs for the longest part 
of the distance, by doing which they have formed as they state 
themselves an infinitely better road and have shortened the dis- 
tance about eighteen miles. At the crossing of all those streams 
between the Saline and Kaskaskia in the neighborhood of which, 
so many difficulties were presented in consequence of the marches 

118 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

and quagmires, the present rout will be entirely exempt from 

them It is expected that the road will be opened in 

the spring and so soon as there are houses of entertainment 
established on it, it will no doubt be traveled by every person." 

The expectation that the new road would soon be opened 
was not fulfilled. The summer and autumn of 1817 passed 
without further developments and November 6 the Intelligencer 
declared: "It is to be regretted very much that the road has 
not been opened, or the old one improved, families coming to 
the country have been detained a week by high water and muddy 
roads, which is extremely discouraging to emigrants. Had not 
the $8,000 better be laid out in erecting bridges and improving 
the old road? That sum properly expended on the old road 
would make it one of the best roads in the western country. 
Unless the new road is completed or the other improved, it will 
almost be impossible for waggons [sic] to travel it, as it is becom- 
ing worse and worse every day, and especially at this season of 
the year." 

Finally in the following April, two years after the passage 
of the act, announcement was made that the survey had received 
the approval of the president, and in August proposals were 
invited "for Cutting and Clearing out the road as laid out by 
the commissioners, from Kaskaskia to Demint's 181 a distance 
of about 50 miles. The road to be cut 33 feet wide and all the 
timber taken off, the stumps to be very low." The progress of 
the work during the fall and winter is described by Governor 
Bond in a communication to the legislature delivered March 4, 
1819. "It has been ascertained," he wrote, "that the appropria- 
tions made by congress for laying off and completing a road 
from Shawneetown to Kaskaskia, will not be sufficient for the 
completion of that object. 

"The road has been cut out, and the timber removed from a 
part thereof. And it is believed that with the money yet remain- 
ing, the road can be made passible, with this exception; the 
principal creeks and rivers between Kaskaskia and Muddy river, 
cannot be bridged without an additional appropriation. 

This was where the road crossed the Big Muddy in the southwestern 
part of what is now Franklin county. Intelligencer, August 5, 1818. 


"From the information I have received, it is not probable 
that a further grant of money will be made by Congress for the 

"I therefore, recommend the propriety of passing a law author- 
ising the building of toll bridges over such creeks and rivers by 
individuals." The legislature decided that no legislation was 
necessary as the county commissioners already had authority to 
grant such privileges. 

Particular interest attaches to the road from Vincennes 
to St. Louis because for a considerable distance it lay beyond 
the frontier of survey and itself marked the frontier line of 
extreme settlement. This was just becoming an established 
route of travel in 1818. Three years earlier Edward Coles had 
been "assured at Vincennes that there were no houses of accom- 
modation on the way, and moreover, that it was not safe from 
Indian massacre, to go from there directly west to St. Louis* 
but that I would have to go by way of Shawneetown and Kas- 
kaskia." 132 By 1817, however, there was a "trace" across the 
prairies but "to ride that alone was then thought to be a 
perilous affair." 133 Two years later it was still considered "a 
perilous affair" to travel the route alone but the danger appears 
to have been less from Indians than from white men. There 
were at that time some six or more road houses along the way 
between the Embarras river on the east and the Kaskaskia on 
the west, the limits of settlement ; but the hospitality of some of 
these appears to have been of a very dubious character. An 
eastern tenderfoot, who made the trip in 1819 gives an account 
of his experiences, which were so startling that it would be 
difficult to regard his story as anything but pure fiction, were 
it not for corroborative evidence. 134 

This traveler, Richard Lee Mason by name, "obtained a list 
of cutthroats and murderers, whose names are as follows on 
the list: Gatewood, Rutherford, Grimberry, Cain, Young, Por- 
tlethwaite, etc. This chain of villains extended for eighty miles 

""Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 3:110. 3, p. 62. 
"'Flower, English Settlement, 53. 

1M Mason, Narrative, 40-50; History of Wayne and Clay Counties, 428; 
Dana, Geographical Sketches, 310. 

120 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

through all the dreary and lonesome prairies. We were informed 
that when they were not engaged in robbing or murdering they 
were very industriously employed in manufacturing bank notes, 
which they imposed on travelers at every opportunity. It may 
be worthy of remark that all the country for forty miles around 
where these banditti have taken possession belongs to the United 
States. For the convenience of travelers, a new road has been 
made through this country, instead of going by Shawneetown, 
and those villains have posted themselves along the road under 
the name of tavernkeepers, watching for their prey whenever it 
may pass. Indeed, I conceive it impossible for any man who 
has cash enough to make him worth killing to travel this road 
alone. Called to see Gatewood, the first man on the list of cut- 
throats. He was from home. Saw his wife, a handsome, young 
dejected-looking woman, who appeared very uneasy at her hus- 
band's being inquired for by a man almost as well armed and 
not much out of the style of Robinson Crusoe. Saw a bloody 
cravat on the end of the log of which his house was built. We 
intend to call and see the balance of the fraternity out of curi- 
osity Crossed a prairie twelve miles broad and arrived 

at the house of Rutherford, the second man on the cutthroat 
list. We had time enough to pass this house, but having a list 
of desperadoes, and being disappointed in seeing Gatewood, 
curiosity induced us to spend the night. This was a piece of 
comedy for information which was near ending in tragedy. 
Our traveling party consisted of four persons, Dr. Hill, myself 
and two young men, strangers, from Kentucky. As we trav- 
eled in a little carriage, and with a pair of horses, we placed 
our fellow-travelers' baggage with our own, which made a 
considerable show. On our arrival a man dressed like a Quaker 
pretended to be hostler until he ascertained the quantity of our 
baggage. I recognized him as an engraver from Philadelphia, 
who had been a candidate for the penitentiary for forgery. We 
called for the landlord, and were informed by Mrs. Rutherford 
that he was from home, but we could be well entertained and 

made comfortable in every way We were suddenly 

startled by the shrill Indian warwhoop, which proceeded from 
a thicket near the house We were not kept long -in a 


state of suspense. Rutherford and three sturdy fellows, armed, 
entered the house, all half -drunk. They took no notice of us, 
but eyed our baggage, which was heaped on the floor. They 
drank freely of whisky, and appeared in fine spirits. As one 
of our companions was passing a small log house, in which food 
was kept, he heard men whispering, which he informed me of. 
I immediately got a candle. Searched the house, but did not see 
any person. However, as I was returning, I found two tall men 
hid in the chimney, who, on being spoken to, went into the house, 
making six altogether, and most of them very tall. They were 
armed with rifles and butcher knives, without coats or hats, their 
sleeves rolled up, their beards long and their faces smutted, such 
as the bravos are represented in the play of 'The Foundling of 
the Forest.' We had been anxious to see some of these banditti, 
but we did not contemplate seeing so large a company or having 
so full a visit from the fraternity. Rutherford disguised himself 
and denied that he was landlord, or that he lived at the place. It 
was not long before we were informed of the business of those 
devil-like looking visitors. Some of their private consultations 
were overheard. Robbery and murder was contemplated. 
They would frequently whisper and pinch each other, wink, eye 
us, then hunch each other and give a number of private signals 
which we did not understand. One observed 'the trap door was 
too open/ 'that the boards were too wide apart/ in a loud tone 

of voice. The reply was: 'By G , it should be screwed up 

tight enough before morning !' They often mentioned the names 
of the cut-throats we had on our list as their particular friends 
and associates. They also spoke of the two men who had been 
murdered the day before, and acknowledged that they ate their 
last meal in the house we were in. Laughed at the manner in 
which the throats of one of these unfortunate men was cut, and 
many other circumstances which would swell this memorandum 
too much. Convinced us beyond a doubt they were of the ban- 
ditti that had been described to us. Our own safety now 
became a matter of serious consideration, and our party of four 
held a consultation after the robbers' consultation was over 
(which was held in the dark a little way from the house) .... 

122 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The hour of 9 o'clock had now arrived, the night uncommonly 
dark and cloudy. On our going into the house one of the stran- 
gers went into the yard and gave the Indian warwhoop three 
times very loud. About 10 o'clock they took their six rifles, went 
into the yard with a candle and shot them off one by one, snuffing 
the candle at forty yards every shot. They then loaded afresh, 
primed and picked their flints. A large horn was then taken 
from the loft and blown distinctly three times very loud. All 
those signals (which we had been told of) brought no more of 
the company. They then dispatched two of their own party, 
who were gone until 12 o'clock. They stated to their comrades 
'they could not be had/ It may be readily imagined, after what 
we had overheard, seeing such preparations and observing many 
of their private signals, being warned of our danger previous to 
stopping at the house, together with the recent and cruel murders 
which had been committed, in a strange country, where every 
man made and executed his own law to suit himself I say it 
cannot be a matter of wonder that our situation began to put 
on a character of the most unpleasant kind. However, we were 
well armed, having pistols, dirks, knives and a gun, and were 
determined, if necessity should require, to be murdered in the 
house, and not to be dragged into the woods, there to have our 
throats cut. It being a little after 12 o'clock the bravos proposed 
to take a drink and lie down on the floor to rest, which they did, 
and upon their arms. The house being very small they almost 
covered the floor of one room. The small back room was 
intended for us. There was no door to the partition, and the 
logs were about six inches apart. We were under some appre- 
hension that in case of an attack they would be able to fire on 
us through the logs. After they were all still, myself and com- 
panions lay down in reach of each other, our clothes on, our 
dirks unsheathed, the guards off our pistols and three extra 
bullets in our gun, and agreed if a signal was given to fight the 

good fight Knowing those fellows were expert at cutting 

throats, from their conversation on that subject, I determined to 
put them to as much trouble as possible. Took off my cravat 
and twisted my silk handkerchief and tied it round my neck. In 


this situation we spent the night. We lay on our arms ready 
for the word. But little sleep. When they would move we did 
the same. If they coughed we followed the example. In this 
dreadful way the night was spent. I have no hesitation of 
declaring that if we had not been well armed or kept a 
strict watch we should have been robbed and murdered, and 
nothing but the fear of our killing a part of them kept their 
hands off. Could they have added to their numbers by their 
signals, our fate would have been certain. It is probable the 
balance of their party was engaged in some other enterprise. 
About the break of day the signal of rising was given by our 
visitors. We were on our feet in a minute, and our hands upon 
our arms. Three of them examined their rifles, and, after 
having some conversation with their comrades, proceeded up the 
road we had to travel. I presumed to place themselves behind 
trees and fire upon us without the risk of being killed. We lost 
no time in placing our baggage in our carriage and getting ready 
to leave this robbers' den. After paying our bill and being ready 
for a start, one of the brotherhood begged I would take my sad- 
dlebags into the house again; that he wanted a dose of medicine 
for one who was very sick. This I declined doing, suspecting 
his object, and advised him to call on some person with whom he 
was better acquainted. We then bid adieu to Mr. Rutherford, 
his family, the banditti and the edge of the twelve-mile prairie. 
We had not traveled more than half a mile when we fell in with 
four travelers going to St. Louis, which increased our number 
to eight persons, and placed us out of danger. In making a 
memorandum of this unpleasant transaction, many important cir- 
cumstances and some facts have been omitted. To have given 
a full detail would have taken more time than is in my power to 
devote at this time." 

Besides the main highways crossing the state there were, of 
course, numerous local lines of travel radiating out from the 
towns through the surrounding country or connecting the settle- 
ments with the through roads or with navigable streams. "Most 
of the settlements" it was reported in 1817, "are connected by 
practicable roads, at least for packers and travellers on horse- 

124 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

back." 185 Jurisdiction over these local roads rested with the 
county courts. Whenever anything more than a natural trail 
was desired, viewers were appointed to select a route. That 
having been accomplished, overseers or supervisors of each road 
were appointed to see that it was opened up and maintained. A 
certain amount of work on the roads or the payment of a tax in 
lieu thereof was an obligation imposed upon all the adult male 
inhabitants. In some cases the overseers were given "power to 
call out all the hands on each side of said road within six miles 
of it, to cut it out and keep it in repair;" but the more usual proce- 
dure appears to have been for the county court to compile a 
"list of persons subject to road labor," in which each individual 
would be assigned to a specific road. 

The provision of means for crossing the many streams was 
the most difficult problem which these pioneer road makers had 
to face. Whenever possible a ford was used but there were 
many streams which could not be forded. The problem was 
usually solved by granting to some individual the right to estab- 
lish a ferry or erect a toll bridge. Charges for the use of these 
conveniences were fixed by the county court, and the proprietor 
was usually protected in his monopoly of the business. It is 
doubtful if many of the proprietors had as much confidence in 
the traveling public as one John Flack who, in December, 1818, 
advertised his "Boucoup Bridge" in the Intelligencer as follows : 
"I have opened a road from my house, 4 miles west of Boucoup, 
on a straight line to the old crossing of Little Muddy, at Jackson's 
bridge, and have erected an excellent bridge across Boucoup 
this is the direct route from Kaskaskia to Shawneetown; and 
the way opened by my bridge is three miles nearer, and much 
better than the old road. I have not yet established a toll house 
at the bridge, but any person may cross, and in that case, I will 
thank them to call at my house and make me some compensa- 
tion */ they please" 

Another essential accommodation for travelers making jour- 
neys of any considerable length was the road house or tavern, 
and establishments of this sort were to be found at frequent 

"*Brown, Western Gazetteer, 28; see also History of Gallatin, Hamilton, 
Franklin, and Williamson Counties, 53-58; History of Madison County, 82. 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 


intervals on all the main highways. From the many descriptions 
of these taverns which have been preserved it is evident that the 
accommodations were usually very crude even in the best of 
them. A tavern establishment in Harrisonville, for example, 
which was offered for sale in 1818, was described as consisting 
of "the house containing Four commodious Rooms, a Kitchen, 
Smoke-House, Corncrib and a Stable, and a Garden attached 
thereto, at present under cultivation." A good-natured German 
who was in Illinois in 1819 reports that "after a journey of 22 
miles through these prairies we reached the tavern; it was full 
of travelers. Nevertheless each one was served well enough, the 
horses were well cared for, and only with respect to the lodgings 
was the comfort not great. Each one had to prepare his own 
bed upon the floor as well as he could, and even here the Ameri- 
can shows a peculiar ease which is the result of his noble freedom. 
Everything is done without ado and without ceremony. This 
manner of living, which was to me at first very strange and dis- 
agreeable, soon received my entire approval little by little one 
feels himself free among free, honest people." 188 An English 
traveler recounts his experience in the tavern at Albion in the 
same year as follows : "I supped and went to bed in a hog-stye 
of a room, containing four filthy beds and eight mean persons; 
the sheets stinking and dirty ; scarcity of water is, I suppose, the 
cause. The beds lie on boards, not cords, and are so hard that 
I could not sleep. Three in one bed, all filth, no comfort, and 
yet this is an English tavern; no whiskey, no milk, and vile tea, 
in this land of prairies." 137 It is apparent that both of these 
descriptions are colored by the personality and point of view of 
the writers. 

Closely connected with the subject of transportation was that 
of postal service. Although the number of post offices in Illinois 
was increased from nine in 1814 to sixteen in 1817 and new 
"post-roads" were established at nearly every session of congress, 
there was constant demand for further expansion of the service. 
The same session of congress which passed the enabling act for 

'"Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1903, p. 156. 
UT Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 11:252. 

126 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Illinois established, by act of April 20, 1818, what appears to 
have been the first route across the territory "from Belleville, 
by William Padfield's and the seat of justice of Bond county 
[Perryville], to Palmyra." The mail from the east destined 
for the settlements on the west side of Illinois and in Missouri 
was still carried down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to Kas- 
kaskia, and thence via Prairie du Rocher and Cahokia to St. 
Louis, although the Missouri legislature as early as February 16, 
1816 had petitioned for direct service overland from Vincennes. 
Not until March 3, 1819 was a mail route established "from 
Vincennes, by Carlisle and Belville, in Illinois, to St. Louis." 
The same act established three other frontier postal routes: 
"From Edwardsville, by Alton, to S. Charles, in the Missouri 
territory, and from Edwardsville, by Ripley, to Perrysville 
.... From Vincennes by Palestine, to York, in Illinois." 138 

The difficulties experienced by new settlements in the interior 
with reference to postal facilities are indicated by a petition 
drawn up in the English settlement probably soon after the estab- 
lishment of Wanborough in August, 1818. After stating that 
"our correspondence is extensive and constant," the petitioners 
declared "that more than usual difficulties exist in the communi- 
cation with our present Office of deposit at Princeton [Indiana], 
which is nearly forty miles from us, often consuming as much 
time in the transmission thence as from the Eastern States." 
They asked, therefore, for the establishment of a post office in 
the settlement "to communicate with a route now existing be- 
tween Vincennes and Shawnee Town, on the Western side of 
the Wabash," and congress in the following year deflected this 
route to "pass by the English Prairie." 

During the later years of the territorial period the mail was 
supposed to be carried once a week on the main routes and once 
in two weeks in the interior. It was a very frequent occurrence, 
however, for the newspapers to announce "No eastern mail this 
week," the principal cause of delays being floods on the Ohio 

""Seybert, Statistical Annals, 379; Table of Post Offices in the United 
States (1817); Statutes at Large, 2:584; 3:132, 222, 337, 457, 507; House 
Files, February 16, 1816; see also Intelligencer, December II, 1818, January 
22, November 6, 1817, and at dates indicated in the text. 


river. In its issue of November 20, 1817, for example, the 
Intelligencer expressed "regret that our readers are again com- 
pelled to take hold of a barren paper, but the floods which have 
been so unseasonably and unexpectedly poured upon us of late, 
have prevented the usual arrivals of the eastern mails; three 
weeks have now expired since we have had a mail." There was 
also complaint of "unpardonable neglect of post masters to for- 
ward papers by the first opportunity." From Kaskaskia the 
mail was forwarded to points north and west; consequently the 
weekly mail to that place was particularly heavy; its volume 
appears to have been so great that at times "a large portion of 
the letters and papers intended for that quarter is necessarily 
delayed, or probably entirely thrown out at Shawnoetown, and 
either does not come on at all, or comes on after the information 
contained is stale and no longer useful." In consequence of this 
situation John Scott, the delegate from Missouri territory 
appealed to the postmaster-general in December, 1816, for a 
semi-weekly service to Kaskaskia, St. Louis, and other points in 
Missouri. It was not until April 22, 1818, however, that the 
Intelligencer was able to announce that "a contract has been 
entered into for the conveyance of the mail twice a week from 
Shawnoetown to this place, and on to Saint Louis, which goes 
into operation on the first of May next. We therefore expect 
that all communications by mail may with some certainty be 
relied on. It is also designed that the eastern mail shall arrive 
at Shawnoetown twice in each week." 

It appears to have been in connection with the transportation 
of the mail that the first stage service in Illinois began. No 
record has been found of stage lines in operation during the 
territorial period and it is probable that the mail was usually 
carried on horseback. The advertisement of the general post 
office for proposals for carrying the mail over the new routes 
established in Illinois in 1818 announces that "where the pro- 
poser intends to convey the mail in the body of a stage carriage, 
he is desired to state it in his proposals." A few months later, 
January 20, 1819, James Watson informed the public through 
the columns of the Intelligencer "that he can accommodate four 

128 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

stage passengers each trip he makes with the mail, to St. Louis. 
He starts from Kaskaskia every Sunday morning, and arrives 
at St. Louis the next day at 2 o'clock, p. m. Returning, he 
leaves St. Louis every Tuesday morning, and arrives at Kas- 
kaskia the ensuing evening. Fare $4 each passenger, payable 
in advance." This probably marks the beginning of regular 
stage service in Illinois. Before that time, travelers were obliged 
to make special arrangements or provide their own means of 

With such inadequate means of transportation by land it is 
small wonder that the farmers in Illinois in 1818 found it dif- 
ficult to market their produce profitably. As an English observer 
wrote (November 4, 1819) : "Mr. Nicholls, a cunning Cale- 
donian, says, that farming, except near the rivers, cannot 
answer." 189 Certainly his remark was not intended as a reflec- 
tion on the productivity of the soil, for from all accounts the 
land was extraordinarily fertile. 

One visitor in Illinois in 1817 wrote home: "The common 
productions of the country are much the same as those of Ken- 
tucky, Indian corn, wheat, rye, oats, tobacco and hemp are raised 
with as much facility and ease as in the neighborhood of Lex- 
ington, where I was raised; and judging from information and 
appearances of the last crops I am persuaded that the productions 
in the American bottom in particular, are greater and reared 
with more ease than in the neighbourhood of my nativity Such 
is its luxuriancy that one acre of land in that bottom has yielded 
its industrious cultivator no bushels of Indian corn in a season, 
but this is uncommon, the average is estimated at from 60 to 
70. A more congenial soil for general cultivation I believe no 
where exists, it may be called the Elysium of America." 140 The 
"American bottom" to which the writer referred extended along 
the Mississippi from the Wood river to the Kaskaskia; it was 
about 80 or 90 miles in length and from 4 to 7 in width, with 
nearly equal portions of prairie and timbered land. The editors 
of the Intelligencer made the same claims for this country as 

"*Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 11:218. 
""Intelligencer, May 14, 1817. 


the writer of the letter already quoted, but added : "The upper 
part of the territory, we learn is equally abundant in the produc- 
tions of the soil." 141 A letter descriptive of the western country 
written early in 1818 and printed in the Lynchburg Press had the 
following to say: "The Illinois Territory, I have no doubt, 
furnishes greater inducements to emigration, than any other 
Territory belonging to the United States, to such men as are not 
holders of Slaves. I have no hesitation in saying, that one hand 
there can make as much annually, as any three in any other part 
with which I am acquainted. It is far the most fertile soil in 
the U. States; and quantity of prairie gives it advantages over 
and above what it would enjoy, from fertility alone. In the 
general, the farmer has nothing to do, but fence in his fields: 
plough his ground and plant his crop. He may then expect, 
from an acre, from 50 to 100 bushels corn; and from 10 to 50 
of wheat; the quality of both which articles is superior to that 
of any I ever saw. Moreover, much less labor than usual is 
requisite. A farm of any size may be gotten, free from grubs, 
stones, roots and every obstruction to the plough. In no 
instance is ploughing required more than twice and hoeing never : 
with these, the farmer keeps his fields cleaner, than they are 
where 4 or 5 ploughings, and 2 or 3 hoeings are customary. One 
man can cultivate 40 acres in corn ; which quantity of ground, he 
can in the fall, sow in wheat." 142 

This writer's testimony regarding the ease with which the 
ground was worked is confirmed by a settler from Vermont. 
Under date of September 12, 1818 Gershom Flagg wrote from 
Edwardsville : 148 "The method of Raising Corn here is to 
plough the ground once then furrow it both ways and plant the 
Corn 4 feet each way and plough between it 3 or 4 times in the 
Summer but never hoe it at all." Yet the corn grew "from 12 
to 15 feet high on an average." 

Regarding the price paid for corn Flagg wrote : "The price 
of Corn last harvest was 33 1/3 cents in the spring 50 cents in 

'"Intelligencer, September 18, 1817. 

Ibid., March 25, 1818. 

""Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1910, p. 162. 

130 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the summer 75 cents." From the other side of the territory a 
young farmer wrote home: "Corn is worth in this settlement 
75 cents in other places around us they have had the [conscience ?] 
to take a dollar per bushel I do not think there is is [sic] 
grain enough in the country to supply it oweing to the rapid settle- 
ment." 144 Yet this farmer was concerned, not with raising for 
the market, but only for his own use. "Our corn," he wrote, 
"we must not neglect under the penalty of starving." The atti- 
tude of this man seems to' have been the prevalent one at that 
time; each and all raised produce not primarily to sell, but 
to save themselves from being obliged to buy. Accordingly the 
newcomers who reached Illinois too late in the season to plant 
found that the settlers took advantage of their extremity. An 
early settler in Jefferson county, according to the local histo- 
rian, "long followed the business of going to Carmi, a distance 
of forty miles, with two or three pack-horses, and bringing back 
meal to sell to these 'movers.' This," comments the writer, 
"would seem a small business in this day of railroads, as he 
could only bring two or three sacks of meal at a time, but as he 
sold it at $2 a bushel, it was a lucrative business for that early 
day." 145 It is probable that the surplus meal for sale came almost 
entirely from the miller who received it in payment for grinding. 
The payment was regulated by law and was entirely in kind. 
By the law of 1819 the charge at a water mill for grinding 
wheat, rye, malt, or choppings was one-eighth of the whole, for 
corn, oats, barley, or buckwheat one-seventh. At a horse-mill, 
the charge was doubled unless the farmer's horse furnished the 
motive power. Using the term farmer to include all those who 
raised only for their own consumption, there is probably no 
exaggeration in the statement made during the campaign of 
1818 that ninety-nine in a hundred of the men in Illinois were 

This meant that there was little division of labor. It meant 
also that though nearly every man farmed, he did not spend his 
whole time at it. The frontiersmen, who made up so large a 

144 G. Knight to C. Knight, Palmyra, June 21, 1818. 
145 Perrin, History of Jefferson County, 124. See also 127. 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield 


Original owned by \V. O. Converse, Springfield] 


part of the population, spent the remainder of their time in hunt- 
ing or idleness. They felt no need for the things with which 
they could not furnish themselves by their own labor. Many 
detailed pictures of this pioneer life have been recorded; the 
following is an interesting example. 146 "The pursuits of the 
people were agricultural. A very few merchants supplied them 
with the few necessaries which could not be produced or manu- 
factured at home. The farmer raised his own provisions; tea 
and coffee were scarcely used, except on some grand occasions. 
The farmer's sheep furnished wool for his winter clothing; he 
raised cotton and flax for his summer clothing. His wife and 
daughters spun, wove, and made it into garments. A little 
copperas and indigo, with the bark of trees, furnished dye stuffs 
for coloring. The fur of the raccoon, made him a hat or a cap. 
The skins of deer or of his cattle, tanned at a neighboring tan- 
yard, or dressed by himself, made him shoes or moccasins. 
Boots were rarely seen, even in the towns. And a log cabin, 
made entirely of wood, without glass, nails, hinges, or locks, 
furnished the residence of many a contented and happy family. 
The people were quick and ingenious to supply by invention, and 
with their own hands, the lack of mechanics and artificers. Each 
farmer, as a general thing, built his own house, made his own 
ploughs and harness, bedsteads, chairs, stools, cupboards, and 
tables. The carts and wagons for hauling, were generally made 
without iron, without tires, or boxes, and were run without tar, 
and might be heard creaking as they lumbered along the roads, 
for the distance of a mile or more. 

"As an example of the talents of this people to supply all 
deficiencies, and provide against accidents by a ready invention, 
the following anecdote is related of James Lemon, one of the 
old sort of Baptist preachers, formerly of Monroe county, but 
now deceased. Mr. Lemon was a farmer, and made all his own 
harness. The collars for his horses were made of straw or corn 
husks, plaited and sewed together by himself. Being engaged 
in breaking a piece of stubble ground, and having turned out 
for dinner, he left his harness on the beam of his plough. His 

""Ford, History of Illinois, 41-42. 

132 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

son, a wild youth, who was employed with a pitchfork to clear 
the plough of the accumulating stubble, staid behind, and hid one 
of the horse collars. This he did that he might rest whilst his 
father made a new collar. But the old man, returning in the 
afternoon and missing his collar, mused for a few minutes, and 
then, very much to the disappointment of his truant son, he 
deliberately pulled off his leather breeches, stuffed the legs of 
them with stubble, straddled them across the neck of his horse 
for a collar, and ploughed the remainder of the day, as bare- 
legged as he came into the world. In a more civilized country, 
where the people are better acquainted with the great laws which 
control the division of labor, a half day would have been lost in 
providing for such a mishap." 

Under these economic conditions women had a heavy and 
versatile role to play. "The wool, the flax and the cotton were 
raised on the farms by the men, but this material passed in its 
raw state into the hands of the women and came out cloth ready 
for the making, and the making was done by the women, and 
in many instances, the clothing for an entire family was made 
from the raw material, to its finishing stitch, by the one woman, 
who was cook, laundress, nurse, and gardner [sic], as well as 
housekeeper and wife; and who made her own soap, or did with- 
out, and in the intervals of resting, knit all the hosiery for a large 

family The old lady that picked up her knitting to do 

a few rounds while the crowd gathered at her husband's funeral, 
may have been an extreme type, but the anecdote illustrates the 
industry that had become a fixed habit of their lives." 147 

Of ready money there was little, and little was needed. "Many 
a family lived a whole year without the possession or use of 
fifty dollars in cash. Personal property, therefore, during many 
years, consisted almost exclusively of the products of the farm 
and of articles manufactured by the citizens at their own homes. 
The farms, in those days, were worked chiefly by the use of oxen, 
horses being employed mainly for riding, and for ploughing after 
the corn came up in the spring. Even wagons and carts were 
generally drawn by oxen, not only for the hauling of corn, hay, 

"'Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1904, p. 509-510. 


wood, rails, etc., but for church-going and traveling. The pro- 
ductions of the farms were very few, such as a little fall or 
spring wheat, oats, Indian corn, cotton, flax, in some cases castor- 
beans, and as to fruits, scarcely anything but apples and some 
peaches. But wild plums and grapes, of good quality, were 
produced in large quantities in the timbered districts, especially 
at the edges of the prairies. There was no machinery used on 
the farms before 1835 or 1840. There were no corn-planters, 
no reaping or threshing machines, or fanning-mills. Corn was 
planted by hand, wheat, oats, and grass were cut with sickles 
or scythes by hand, cotton was gathered and picked by hand, flax 
was broken and scutched by hand, cotton and wool were carded 
into rolls by hand, and spinning and weaving were done by hand. 
Grain was trodden out by horses or beaten out with flails, and 
winnowed by the breezes or with sheets used like so many great 
fans. The only articles employed by the farmers that could 
properly be called machines, were flax-breaks, hackles, looms, 
hand-mills, and possibly an occasional cider-mill. There were, 
however, at intervals of ten or twenty miles, water-mills and 
horse-mills for grinding corn, wheat, rye, and barley; and from 
the earliest settlement of the country there were not wanting 
distilleries for the manufacture of whiskey, to minister to the 
cravings of the thirsty people, who claimed that they could not 
keep warm in winter or cool in summer, or perform their hard 
work without fainting, unless they could be assisted by the free 
use of the 'good creature.' But there were no breweries to be 
found, unless among the few Germans. 

"The clothing of the people, especially in the first settlement 
of the country, consisted almost wholly of materials prepared 
by the several families for themselves. The most frequent excep- 
tion to this remark was found in the leather used for shoes, 
which was often tanned and dressed by some one man in a 
neighborhood, who gave a part of his time to a small tannery, 
of which he was the proprietor. But many were at once tan- 
ners, shoe-makers, and farmers; and their wives and daughters 
manufactured the flax and cotton, raised by them, into garments 
f6r the family. For during the first quarter of the century, 

134 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

cotton as well as flax was produced on many farms, and spin- 
ning-wheels were manufactured in almost every neighborhood 
for the use of the families, which were purchased from the 
makers by an exchange of various productions from the farms 
around. As lately as eleven or twelve years ago [about 1868], I 
found, on visiting Bond County, an old wheel-wright still devoted 
to his former work, making spinning-wheels, both large and 
small, not to sell as curiosities, but to supply an actual demand 
from families that yet preferred to manufacture their own cloth- 
ing as in former times. Not only were the materials and the cloth 
prepared, but the dyeing was done in the family; the bark of 
trees, especially of the butter-nut, and indigo raised on the farm, 
being used for this purpose. And then the mother made up the 
clothing for the household. In many cases, deer-skins were 
dressed by the men, and made into hunting-shirts, pantaloons, 
and moccasons [sic] by the women, all in the same family. The 
hunting-shirts were frequently ornamented with a fringe on the 
lower edge of the cape and at the bottom of the garment, which 
presented a not unpleasing appearance. Shoes were often con- 
fined, except in cold weather, to the adult females; the men and 
children going barefoot in spring, summer, and fall, unless they 
had occasion to appear in a public assembly. I have many a 
time seen even young women carry their shoes in their hands 
until they came near to church, and then put them on before 
coming to the door and entering. The men's hats for the sum- 
mer were commonly made of wheat straw, rudely platted and 
sewed together by the women. Winter hats, usually of wool, 
were, of necessity, purchased from a manufacturer, who could 
almost always be found in some village not far distant. The 
clothes of the women, like those of the men, were almost entirely 
of home manufacture, except in the older villages. Their bon- 
nets were occasionally purchased from the stores, but more 
commonly they were of the simple Virginia style, made of 
domestic materials, and kept in place either by pasteboard or 
wooden ribs."" 8 

'"Patterson, "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus Historical 
Series, no. 14:109-111. 


When the English farmers came to Illinois they expected, with 
plenty of land and capital, to be able to carry on farming on a 
large scale. They soon found to their surprise that their plans 
were impracticable owing to the difficulty of securing laborers. 
Accustomed as they were to a social system in which there was 
a numerous class of laborers who accepted their humble posi- 
tion as a matter of course and seldom aspired to raise themselves 
above it, these Englishmen had great difficulty in adjusting them- 
selves to a society in which there was no definite and permanent 
servant class. "No white man or woman," wrote one of the 
Englishmen, "will bear being called a servant, but they will gladly 
do your work. Your hirelings must be spoken to with Civility 
and cheerfulness." Then, in a tone which suggests that he 
expected incredulity from his English readers, the writer added : 
"Respectable families from Kentucky .... do all their domestic 
work, except washing, with their own hands." The reason for 
this absence of a laboring class was not hard to find. To quote 
from the same writer : "A man used to work will earn in one 
day what will suffice for the simple wants of a Backwoodsman a 
whole week. If he be sober and industrious, in two years he 
can enter a quarter section of land, buy a horse, a plough, and 
tools. The lowest price for labour now is -13$ per month with 
board and lodging. I will give two years net proceeds in figures. 


12 months at 13$ 156$ Clothing for two years say 100 

12 months at 13 156 One quarter of land 80 

One horse and harness and plough 100 

$312 Axe grubbing hoe &c IO 

Gun and powder &c 15 


"After putting in his crop of maize, he can supply himself with 
meat and some money by hunting, or he can earn $i per day in 
splitting rails for his neighbours. Many men begin as independ- 
ent farmers with half the above mentioned sum, but they are 
thorough Backwoodsmen. 

"Now, is it not evident that while land can be bought, no matter 
how far from navigable rivers, at $2 per acre, and when there 
are tracts they may 'squat' upon for nothing, that labour will 
be for many years limited in price only by the ability of those 

136 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

who want it, to pay for it. It is indeed the only expence ; but is 
so overwhelming that I would rather farm in old England with 
a capital of 2 or 3ooof than on the North West of the Ohio. If 
we consider the immense territory to the North West of us, and 
the roving spirit of the Americans, we may wonder that any 
work can be hired. The truth is, none are to be hired but Emi- 
grants from the Eastern States, who intend to be land owners in 
one, two, or three years. And these are few in number : for the 
steady and prudent earn the money at home and bring it with 
them." 149 For the English, the first solution of the difficulty 
was to import labor. While still at Princeton, Indiana, Birkbeck 
wrote to a prospective settler: "A single settler may get his 
labour done by the piece on moderate terms, not higher than in 
some parts of England; but if many families settle together, all 
requiring this article, and none supplying it, they must obtain it 
from elsewhere. Let them import English labourers, or make 
advantageous proposals to such as are continually arriving at the 
eastern ports." Flower's scheme was to import those being 
paid poor rates in England ; and he offered to pay to the parishes 
half the expense of getting them to Illinois. 150 But importa- 
tion was soon found to be only a very temporary solution of 
the problem. As early as June, 1818, Fordham wrote of Birk- 
beck's colony : "His English labourers have already caught the 
desire to be land owners." 151 

Before many months the English were forced to the conclu- 
sion that Illinois was a good location only for the small farmer 
who was willing to work his land without hired labor. There 
was only one alternative; that was to use slaves. Fordham 
shows by what process of reasoning an Englishman could reach 
this conclusion. In June, 1818 he wrote: "I would not have 
upon my conscience the moral guilt of extending Slavery over 
countries now free from it, for the whole North Western Ter- 
ritory. But, if it should take place, I do not see why I should 
not make use of it. If I do not have servants I cannot farm; 

14 *Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 124-125, 210-211. 
""Fearon, Sketches of America, 335; Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 
II -.279. 

, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 212. 


and there are no free labourers here, except a few so worth- 
less, and yet so haughty, that an English Gentleman can do 
nothing with them." Two months later he wrote at even greater 
length: "I cannot think that any elderly man, especially if he 
have a family delicately brought up, would live comfortably in 
a free state. In a slave State, if he have wealth, say, 5ooc 
and upwards, he may raise upon his own farm all the food and 
raiment, the latter manufactured at home, necessary to supply 
the wants of his own family. 

"This has been, till lately, the universal economy of the first 
Kentucky families. Thus, without living more expensively than 
in a free state, a family may have the comforts of domestic 
services, and yet find plenty of employment within doors; not 
sordid slavery that wears out the health, and depresses the spirits 
of Ohio, but useful yet light labours, that may be remitted and 
resumed at pleasure. 

"There is more difference between the manners of the female 
sex on the East and West sides of the Ohio River than on the 
East and West shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Servitude in any 
form is an evil, but the structure of civilized society is raised 
upon it. If the minds of women are left unimproved, their 
morals will be at the mercy of any man. It is much worse where 
there is no superior rank to influence them by example, or to 
awe them by disapprobation. I am conscious that I repeat again 
and again the same arguments or rather I state similar facts; 
but it is an important subject. 

"Society may suffer more by the abjectness of Slaves than by 
the want of servants, and a father of a family would prefer to 
live where there are good free servants as in Europe, or where 
slaves have more liberty of action than servants, as in Kentucky. 
The question in these wildernesses is this : Shall we have civili- 
zation and refinement, or sordid manners and semi-barbarism, 
till time shall produce so much inequality of condition that the 
poor man must serve the rich man for his daily bread ?" 152 

Not having the Englishman's prejudices to overcome, many 

""Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 210, 228-229. 

138 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Americans had arrived much more readily at the same conclu- 
sion. The result was that the provision of the northwest ordi- 
nance prohibiting slavery was in practice continually evaded 
under cloak of the indenture law, which made it possible to 
indenture negroes under conditions amounting to slavery. In 
1818 the indentured servants in the territory amounted to one- 
fortieth of the population : a large proportion when one consid- 
ers the extreme poverty of most of the settlers. That the inden- 
ture system was virtually identical with slavery is readily seen 
in the form of indenture drawn up when a negro was trans- 
ferred from one master to another. One is headed : "General 
Indenture concerning sale of negro girl." Another, more de- 
tailed, reads as follows : 163 

THIS INDENTURE made this twenty second day of 
June in the year of our Lord, one thousand Eight hun- 
dred and fifteen, between Silvey a Negroe Woman 
about the age of twenty four years, last out of the State 
of Kaintuck and Livingston County, of the one part, 
and John Morris of the Illinois Territory and Gallaton 
County of the other part, WITNESSETH, that the said 
Silvey for and in consideration of the sum of four 
hundred Dollars, to me paid in hand courant Money of 
the United States, at or before the signing and deliv- 
ery of these presents, the Receipt whereof She doth 
hereby acknoledge, and in conformity to a law of the 
said Teritory respecting the Introduction of Negroes 
and Melattoes into the saim, hath put placed and bind 
himself to the said Morris, to serve him from the date 
hereof, during the Term and in full of forty years 
next enshuing, or in other words from the date hereoff 
untill the twenty second day of June, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five, during 
all which Term, the said Silvey, the said John Morris 
shall well and truly serve, and all his lawfull commands 
every whair obey, and that She shall not embezzel or 
waiste her said Masters Goods nor lend them to any 
person without her said Masters consent, or leave. 
Nor shall She at any time absent herself from her said 
Masters Service, or leave, but as a good and faith full 
servant, shall and will at all times demean herself 
towards her said Master, during the Term aforesaid. 

"*Deed record. A. pp. 2-3, in Pope county. 

[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society 


[Copied from Thwaites, Early Western Travels, vol. 12, by permission of the publishers, 
The Arthur H. Clark Company] 


And the said John Morrice covenants and agrees too 
and with the said Silvey, that he will furnish her with 
good and suficient Meat, Drink, lodging and apparell, 
together with all other needful conveniences fit for such 
a Servant, during the said Term. And for the true 
performance of each of the above and aforementioned, 
Covenants, and . Agreements, each of the above and 
aforementioned parties, bind themselves each to the 
other, firmly by these presents. 

In testimony whereof the aforementioned parties, 
have hereunto set their hands and Seals the date first 

above written. Silvey mar k Executed and ac- 

knoledged in presence of Samuel Omelveny 

Deputy Clerk, for Joseph M. Street, Clerk of the John 

Court, of Common pleas for Gallatin County ) Morris 

June 25th 1816. Attest Johna Scott Recorder of 
Pope County. 

Accompanying the above Indenture, is the following 
Bond, To wit, 

United States Illinois Territory, Gallatin County, 
'Know all men by these presents, that we John Morris 
and Isom Harrison of the Illinois Teritory and County 
of Gallaton, are held and firmly bound, unto Ninian 
Edwards Governor of the Illinois Teritory, and his 
Successors in Office, in the sum of four hundred Dol- 
lars, lawfull Money of the United States, to the pay- 
ment of the sum aforesaid, to be well and truly made 
and dun we bind ourselves our heirs Executors and 
Administrators and Assigns, Jointly and severally, by 
these presents Given under our hands and Seals this 
22 nd day of June 1815. 

The Condition of the above obligation is such, 
whereas on this day an Indenture was made and entered 
into by and between, John Morrice [?] and silvey a 
Negroe Woman aged about twenty four years, and 
the above named, John Morrice, by which the said 
Indenture, the said Silvey agrees, to serve the said 
John Morrice the Term of forty years, pursuant to a 
law of the Teritory, respecting the Introduction of 
Negroes and Melatoes into the saim, at the expiration 
of the said Term the said Silvey will exceed the age of 
forty years. Now if the said John Morrice doth not 
suffer or permit the said Silvey to become a County 

140 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

charge, after the expiration of the said Sum, then this 
obligation to be voide, otherwise to remain in full force 
and virtue in law. Given under our hands and Seals, 
this 22 nd of June 1815. 

John Morris (Seal) 
I. Harrison (Seal) 

Executed in presence of Samuel Omelveny ) 
Deputy Clark for Joseph M. Street Clark ) 

Indenture seems to have been recorded June 25, 1816. 

From this it is seen that the price paid for the negro was 
equal to that paid at an out and out sale, the period of the in- 
denture was made to cover the lifetime of the slave, the condi- 
tions under which the indentured servant was obliged to work 
and live did not differ from the conditions of bondage south of 
the Ohio river. Although the indenture law made it possible for 
slave owners to settle in Illinois, many hesitated to do so for fear 
conditions would be changed when Illinois became a state, as it 
was bound soon to do. For that reason they preferred to cross 
Illinois and locate in Missouri, which was free from the restric- 
tion contained in the northwest ordinance. Between 1810 and 
1820, according to the United States census, the slave popula- 
tion of Missouri increased from 3,011 to 10,222; and many 
settlers in Illinois regarded with jealous eyes the great economic 
advantage which Missouri was gaining over their state. 

In 1818, then, Illinois was suffering economically from two 
handicaps; the lack of adequate transportation facilities and the 
lack of a laboring class. To the greater part of the population, 
however, these handicaps were of no serious concern. The 
frontiersman was economically independent; he might exchange 
with his neighbors in a spirit of friendliness, but he did not buy 
or sell commodities or labor. The effort to raise Illinois to a 
higher economic plane was made by only a small class those 
whom Fordham called the "enterprising men." "This class," he 
states, "consists of Young Doctors, Lawyers, Storekeepers, 
farmers, mechanics etc., who found towns, trade, speculate in 
land, and begin the fabric of Society." 15 * The work of this class 
merits consideration. 

m Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 126. 


The farmer who wished to do more than produce for his own 
consumption turned to stock raising. It involved very little ad- 
ditional labor, and the only expense was the initial cost. "Cows," 
states one writer, "are generally suffered to run in the woods, 
and return to their calves mornings and evenings." "Hogs," 
wrote another settler, "will live & get fat in the Woods and 
Prairies. I have seen some as fat upon Hickorynuts, Acorns, 
Pecons & Walnuts, as ever I did those that were fat[t]ed upon 
Corn." 155 According to the same writer, horses and cattle could 
live all winter along the rivers without feeding. Even where 
this was not possible, the wild grass could be gathered as hay. 
"The grass on the Prairies," wrote one farmer, "is now [June 
2 1st] about waist high and looks beautiful we shall cut what 
hay we shall want whenever we get through with our corn." 
Of the quality of this hay Faux says: "What is gathered, is 
green and fragrant, but not so sweet as fine English hay. It is 
hard, harsh, and dry." Yet another maintained that the cattle 
came out in the spring "as fat as sheep from coleseed." 158 

The profits to be made were temptingly large, considering the 
purchasing power of money at the time. Richard Flower, for 
instance, writes of buying bullocks at sixteen or seventeen dol- 
lars and selling them the next year, at the Albion market, for 
twenty-eight to thirty-one dollars each. The profits had to be 
large, however, in order to cover the heavy risks incurred in 
raising live stock in such a wild country. Many animals strayed 
away into the woods, or were shot, accidentally or maliciously, 
by hunters. Wolves were a constant menace, particularly to 
'sheep and hogs. On one occasion they killed fifty of Flower's 
sheep in one raid, in spite of all the shepherd could do. Of con- 
ditions in Madison county Gershom Flagg wrote : "All that pre- 
vents this country being as full of Wild hogs as of Deer is the 
Wolves which kill the pigs when the sows are not shut up til the 
pigs are a few weeks old." 157 Flies were more than merely a nui- 
sance. To quote from the preceding writer: "Cattle & horses 

1M Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 10:281; Illinois State Historical 
Society, Transactions, 1910, p. 158. 

""G. Knight to C. Knight, June 21, 1818; Thwaites, Early Western Trav- 
els, 10:122-123; 11:258. 

m lllinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1910, p. 15$. 

142 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

do very well in this Country they get very fat by the middle of 
June. They do not gain much after this being so harrassed by 
swarms of flies which prevent their feeding any in the heat of 
the day. They were so bad upon horses that it is almost impos- 
sible to travel from the 15 June til the ist Sept unles [sic] a horse 
is covered with blankets. Where ever a fly lights upon a horse a 
drop of blood starts. I have seen white horses red with blood 
that these flies had drawn out of him. As the Country becomes 
settled these flies disappear." 

Even these disadvantages, however, were not severe enough 
to counterbalance the advantage of the slight expense; another 
advantage of weight was the sureness of the market. In 1818 
the farmers were beginning "to raise stock for exportation 
.... money flowed into the country .... to repay many fold 

the farmer The Ohio drovers expended considerable 

money in the country for cattle." 158 Taking into consideration 
the labor conditions in Illinois it is easy to understand why the 
"enterprising" farmers put their capital into live stock and why 
Birkbeck wrote: "It is on the boundless scope for rearing and 
fattening hogs and cattle, that the farmers place their chief re- 
liance." 159 

. A second class that Fordham included among the enterprising 
men were the mechanics. There seems to have been a great 
scarcity of skilled laborers, and many towns made strenuous 
efforts to attract them. In most advertisements of town lots, 
for instance, lower rates were offered to "skilled mechanics."' 
During the early part of 1818, the following advertisement ap- 
peared repeatedly in the Intelligencer: 100 


MECHANICS of every description are much wanted at 
Edwardsville : more particularly the following, a Tay- 

"*Reynolds, My Own Times, 176. 
1M Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois, 68. 
^Intelligencer, March 18, 1818. 


lor, Shoemaker, Waggon Maker, Hatter, Saddler, 
Tanner and Currier. From jour to six Carpenters and 
Joiners, and from four to six ax-men, and from six 
to eight farming labourers, will find immediate employ- 
ment and good wages; for further particulars enquire 
of col. Benjamin Stephenson and Doctor Jos. Bowers, 
at Edwardsville, or James Mason at St. Louis. 

Edwardsville is the seat of justice for Madison 
county, Illinois territory, and has the land-office estab- 
lished there for the district of Edwardsville; and is 
surrounded on three sides by the Goshen settlement, 
which is one of the best settlements in the territory; 
besides the adjacent country in every direction, is equal 
in point of fertility of soil, to any other in the western 

March 8 

On April 22 appeared for the first time a notice to bridge 
builders which reads as follows: 

To Bridge Builders. 

A Man is wanted to build a bridge over the Little 
Wabash river, at Carmi, Illinois territory. The river, 
when low, is about 130 feet wide, one foot deep, bottom 
smooth rock-banks about 35 feet high, The water rises 
to the depth of 32 feet The above mentioned bridge 
will be let or contracted for on the first Monday in May 
next. As a good bridge is more our object than a 
cheap one, a skilful bridge builder will meet with lib- 
eral encouragement. 

Leonard White, ) 

Benja White, ) 

Will. M'Henry, ) Commissioners. 

W. Hargrave, ) 

Lowry Hay, ) 

James Casey, ) 
Carmi, April 2 

But, as has already been pointed out, few towns had actually 
reached a stage of development that would attract specialized 
labor. Fordham advised mechanics to locate "always in the most 
settled parts of the Western Country, and generally in the Slave 

144 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

However it may have been with mechanics, there can be no 
doubt that the towns were beginning in 1818 to attract mer- 
chants. The character of the stores can easily be judged from 
the advertisements. The following from the Intelligencer of 
January I is characteristic: 


The Subscriber has just received from New York 
and Philadelphia A LARGE AND HANDSOME AS- 


Superfine, Fine and 
Coarse Broad 
Cloths, Casimeres, 
Coatings, Flannels, 
Silk Shawls, 
Cotton do. 


Fancy Muslins, lace 
British Cottons, 
Linens, Domestic, 
Stripes, Plaids and 
Plains, Saddles, 
Bridles, Hats and 

A Large Assortment of Ladies and Gentlemen's 



Which, with his former stock he offers low for 
Cash, or on a short and approved credit. 

He continues to receive in exchange for Goods, 
Wheat, Pork, Butter, Furs, Peltries, &c. &c. 

Kaskaskia, Nov. 5 

Six of the stores which advertised in the Intelligencer were 
located in Kaskaskia; one of them, Thomas Cox's, had goods 
"lately imported from Europe" besides those of domestic manu- 
facture. Benjamin Stephenson of Edwardsville and the Rey- 
nolds brothers of Goshen advertised their wares in the Intelli- 
gencer; Missouri merchants also thought it worth while to 
advertise in the Kaskaskia paper. From both St. Louis and St. 
Genevieve the merchants were bidding for Illinois trade. For 


the eastern side of the country the advertisements appeared in 
the Illinois Emigrant of Shawneetown. The following is the 
list of goods that John Grant of Carmi, White county, presented 
for sale at either wholesale or retail. 161 

Carmi, White County, Illinois. 
The subscriber has opened a choice assortment of the 
following Goods, which he has selected with care and 
attention in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and which 
he will sell on reasonable terms, wholesale and retail : 
Domestick & imported superfine Cloths and 


Sattinets, Cassinets, and Kerseys, 
Pelisse Cloths, Lion Skins and Coatings, 
Velveteens and vestings, 
Printed Calicoes, 
Furniture ditto. 
Domestick and imported Ginghams and 

Chambrays plain and twilled, 

White and coloured Flannels, 
Rose and point Blankets, 
Steam-loom and domestick Shirtings, 
Sheeting Muslins and Bedticks, 
Men's and women's worsted and cotton Hose, 
Men's and women's Gloves, 
Waterloo Shawls and silk Handkerchiefs, 
Cambrick, Jaconet and book Muslins, 
Insertion Trimmings and Ribbons, 
Scots Thread and cotton Balls white and 


Mantuas and Sevantines, 
India Muslins, 
Men's, women's and children's Boots and 


Looking-Glasses and Jap'd. Trays, 
Tortoise, ivory and common Combs, 
Hand Vices, 

Millsaw and handsaw Files, 
Pitt and cross-cut Saws, 
German steel Handsaws, 

^Illinois Emigrant, January 23, 1819. 

146 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Thumb Latches, Hinges and Locks, 

Spades, Shovels, Hoes, Axes, Frying-pans, Pots, 

Teakettles, Dutch Ovens, Smoothing-irons, with a great 

variety of Cutlery, Cast, & Hollow Ware, 

Bakewell's manufacture Window Glass, 
School Books and Stationary, 
English Crowley Mellinton Steel, 
Juniatta Bar-iron, 
Sieves and Riddles, 
Grind Stones of the best quality. 

Carmi, Dec. 31, 1818 
N. B. A liberal allowance shall be made to 

J. G. 

From the wording of the advertisements, it is evident that the 
merchants were trying to entice the farmers into town to ex- 
change their produce for store goods. A Shawneetown mer- 
chant 182 even offered to give the highest price in cash for any 
quantity of the following articles : 

or SOFT FLAX, for 










There could be no trade until the people were roused from their 
contentment with goods of home manufacture; an effort in this 
direction was the attempt to bring the market nearer to the 
farmer. Augusta held out this lure to merchants to influence 
their choice of location. 163 

THIS town is situate on the east side of Silver 
creek, Illinois territory, where the great roads cross 
leading from Vincennes and Shawnoetown to St. 

Tllittnie fiminmtit Tunnarv n tRm 

^Illinois Emigrant, January 9, 
^Intelligencer, May 20, 1818. 


Louis, Edwardsville & Boon's lick. It is an interior 
central point, distant from St. Louis, 22 miles, from 
Edwardsville, 12, from Belleville, 20, from Perry- 
ville 40, from Ripley, 25, and from Covington, 30, sur- 
rounded by a fertile country, surpassed by none in the 
west, and calculated to support a crowded agricultural 

It is most probably at this time the best populated 
section of country in the territory, and will shortly be 
almost wholly under the finest state of cultivation. The 
distance from market, the strength and wealth of the 
population, the fertility of the soil, and the great mass 
of surplus produce of the farmer, strongly require the 
establishment of a place for the transaction of business, 
where the industrious husbandman can make sale of the 
rich harvest of his farm, and carry home to his family 
the reward of his labor without having to consume the 
whole of his profits in transporting to remote markets. 
This place then holds out strong inducements to the me- 
chanic, the merchant, the professional gentleman, and 
all the necessary branches of a well organised society. 

It is fair to say that 1818 marks the beginnings of trade in Illi- 
nois. Reynolds is authority for the statement that "the factory 
goods, from New England and Kentucky, reached Illinois about 
1818, and then looms, cotton &c., disappeared spinning also 
ceased then." 164 There can be no doubt that this change was 
the result of the great influx of population at that time; among 
the new population were many who were accustomed to buying 
what they needed, and furthermore, they brought with them the 
money necessary for trade. The change that was brought about 
has been depicted by Ford as follows : 165 "Upon the conclusion of 
the war of 1812 the people from the old States began to come in, 
and settle in the country. They brought some money and prop- 
erty with them, and introduced some changes in the customs and 
modes of living. Before the war, such a thing as money was 
scarcely ever seen in the country, the skins of the deer and rac- 
coon supplying the place of a circulating medium. The money 
which was now brought in, and which had before been paid by 

'"Reynolds, My Own Times, 71. 
1M Ford, History of Illinois, 43. 

148 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the United States to the militia during the war, turned the heads 
of all the people, and gave them new ideas and aspirations; so 
that by 1819 the whole country was in a rage for speculating in 
lands and town lots. The States of Ohio and Kentucky, a little 
before, had each incorporated a batch of about forty independent 
banks. The Illinois territory had incorporated two at home, one 
at Edwardsville and the other at Shawneetown ; and the territory 
of Missouri added two more, at St. Louis. These banks made 
money very plenty; emigrants brought it to the State in great 
abundance. The owners of it had to use it in some way ; and as 
it could not be used in legitimate commerce in a State where the 
material for commerce did not exist, the most of it was used to 
build houses in towns which the limited business of the country 
did not require, and to purchase land which the labor of the 
country was not sufficient to cultivate. This was called 'develop- 
ing the infant resources of a new country.' ' 

The law establishing the Shawneetown bank was approved 
December 26, 1816, that for the one at Edwardsville a year 
later. Each was to have a capital stock of $300,000, one-third 
subscribed by the legislature, the rest by individuals. A share in 
the Shawneetown bank was put at $100, in the Edwardsville at 
$50. Of the $30,000 subscribed to the Edwardsville bank as the 
first installment, $22,625 came from Kentucky, $10,000 was 
given by one man, $1,800 came from St. Louis, $100 from New 
York. Only the remaining $5,475 came from within Illinois. 
The subscribers there were confined to Madison and St. Clair 
counties ; few contributed more than $50. The bank opened for 
business when the first installment of one-tenth had been paid 
in. 166 The following editorial in the Intelligencer for January I, 
1817, reflects the general enthusiasm over the new enterprise. 


The bill establishing a Bank at Shawnoetown has at 
length received the approbation and signature of the 
governor, and has consequently become a law. What- 
ever may be our opinion as to the ultimate effects that 

Intelligencer, January 15, 1817; House Journal, I general assembly, 2 ses- 
sion. 105, 106. 


[From original in Chicago Historical Society 


are likely to result from the extensive banking system 
adopted in the United States, we are inclined to think, 
that much advantage will result from this particular in- 
stitution to our infant territory. The great scarcity of 
the precious metals that prevails, has rendered it neces- 
sary that some substituted circulating medium should be 
furnished ; and bank paper is certainly the most conven- 
ient. But the remoteness of our situation, from the 
banks in the respective states has hither to rendered its 
circulation in many instances tardy and doubtful and 
indeed the many frauds, and deceptions, that have been 
practiced in the country, by the circulation of spurious 
paper, purporting to be on banks at a distance, has very 
justly awakened the suspicion of those, to whom such 
paper was offered, and consequently cramped its circula- 
tion. But to the circulation of our own, there will not 
be the same objection the people in general will soon 
become acquainted with it, and any attempts at fraud or 
imposition, will be much sooner detected. But at Shaw- 
noetown, a place of growing prospects characterized by 
its commercial activity, & the eligibility of its situation, 
more essentially required a bank, than we ourselves, as 
well as many others, at first supposed The fertility of 
the neighboring country on both sides of the Ohio river, 
and on the Wabash, gives rise to a great redundancy of 
produce of every description, and Shawnoetown is the 
only place of deposit for a considerable distance around. 
It is from that place that such produce must embark, for 
home as well as foreign markets. And it is there where 
the industrious farmer, will in future receive the price 
of his produce. Those engaged in commercial employ- 
ments will meet at that place, the rich crops of the yeo- 
manry of the country, ready to be wafted to the best 
markets, and the facilities of the bank, will enable them 
to procure on reasonable terms, the means of paying for 
their cargoes in advance. And thus the farmer, as well 
as the merchant, will experience at once the benefits of 
the bank. 

But the advantages of the bank will be more happily 
felt at the present time by those who are purchasing 
lands from the United States; many forfeitures of in- 
stalments already paid will no doubt be saved by the 
means derivable from the banks of securing the funds 


necessary to prevent such forfeitures. And if even for- 
feitures should not be prevented, it will be the means of 
preventing great individual sacrifices, such as would re- 
sult from a necessity of selling lands already entered to 
secure payment. And this advantage need not be con- 
firmed to the neighborhood of Shawnoetown, but may 
be co-extensive with the territory. There is also an ex- 
tensive and fertile country in Kentucky, that is contig- 
ious [sic] to Shawnoetown and from it we may expect 
to derive a neighborly advantage it will be the means 
of drawing its produce in a great degree to that place as 
the point of delivery; indeed, as is the case in every new 
country where the resources of the country are not de- 
veloped, new advantages will be hourly unfolding them- 
selves. New inducements to industry will be furnished 
and individual wealth which always forms public 
wealth, will characterize the whole neighboring country. 
The salt trade will also be an additional source of wealth 
to the stockholders ; many thousand bushels of salt are 
annually taken from the neighboring salines. And the 
bank will be rendered an easy means of facilitating that 
commerce. The local situation of the bank being thus 
eligible, and the prospects of its utility being thus flat- 
tering, we have no doubt but the whole of the stock sub- 
ject to individual subscription, will be immediately 
taken ; and as the territory will not likely in any short 
time be in a situation to subscribe, neither for the whole 
nor any part of the shares reserved to itself if the 
commercial growth of that place, and the demands of 
the country should justify it, we see no reason why the 
legislature might not pass some act to authorize ap- 
propriations of the public shares, by individuals until 
the territory can raise the stock for its own use. 

The craze for wildcat banking did not come until after Illi- 
nois became a state. Into a consideration of the conditions in 
Illinois attending that catastrophe it is scarcely necessary to enter. 
But the discussion over the establishment of a state bank at the 
second session of the first legislature produced an editorial bear- 
ing so directly on the economic conditions as to merit insertion 
here. After announcing the passage of the bill by both houses, 
the editor of the Illinois Emigrant clipped from the Illinois In- 


telligencer the following words of conditional approbation and 
then added his own scathing comment. 

An act incorporating A STATE BANK, so much desired 
by the people, has been passed by both branches of the 
General Assembly upon the principles heretofore pub- 
lished in a former number, except the duration of the 
charter which is reduced from fifty to twenty-five 
years. If a board of directors, known to be friendly 
to the institution shall be elected, we again say, as we 
have before said, that we believe much publick good will 
result from it. We believe the people will have great 
reason (should that be the case) to congratulate them- 
selves on the occasion, and to welcome home their rep- 
resentatives with smiles of approbation. But should 
the management of the institution be confided to a di- 
rectory unfriendly to its prosperity, the salutary exer- 
tions of the Legislature will have been of no avail. It 
will indeed be creating a light, and then putting it un- 
der a bushel, (ib. [Illinois Intelligencer] ) 

Thus we see, that while the legislatures of almost every 
other state in the Union are taking measures to repress 
that species of swindling, known by the term banking, 
the general assembly of Illinois, (we dare say from the 
most considerate, pure and patriotick motives} are cre- 
ating a state Bank, with ten branches and a capital of 
three millions of dollars ! It would be curious to know, 
what part of this stock is to be subscribed by the state, 
and out of what other bank it intends to borrow money 
to make the instalments ? For is it not known that our 
treasury is bankrupt, and that, as a state, we have not 
the fee-simple of one inch of territory upon the globe 
that our population (including men, women and chil- 
dren) does not exceed, by an unit, 40,000 souls that 
perhaps one seventh part of this population may be men, 
above 21 years of age and that, probably, one fourth 
part of this small number, may have paid for their pos- 
sessions, and are able to purchase stock, tho' not to a 
great amount! What business, then, have we, (who, 
in addition to all, are not a commercial people, 
and whose great commercial towns, Cairo and Amer- 
ica, to use a quaint phrase, cannot be seen for the 
trees) with banks? Because the constitution has given 
the legislature power to create a state bank, does it follow 

152 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

that it must be done now? that no regard should be paid 
to the expediency of the thing? "So much desired by 
the people!" Tis false ! the people never desired it it is 
a gross insult to the good sense of the community the 
people know that some citizens of Kaskaskia, and none 
else, desired it and that there was not virtue enough in 
their representatives to preserve the state from disgrace, 
and themselves from the imputation of trifling with their 
powers and the wishes of the people. But, it is asked 
will the governour and counsel give their sanction to this 
bill? For our parts, we think they will not we cannot 
believe that Mr. Bond will so far forget the sacred duty 
he owes the good people of this state, as to assign them 
over to the management of a set of bank directors ; as in 
fact he will, if this bank go into operation with his consent 
So fraught is banking with every evil consequence so 
truly is it "the offspring of ignorance, chicanery, and a 
spirit of speculation." 167 

"The spirit of speculation" was pushing Illinois beyond the 
point of discretion, not only in its banking ventures, but more 
particularly in its attempts to stimulate the growth of towns. 
Speculation in land was the only outlet for any considerable 
amount of capital. But it was more than that it was prac- 
tically the only activity in which men could give free scope to 
their business ability, could take the chances of success or failure 
which make the game worth playing. The limitations in farm- 
ing and trade have been pointed out. The development of the 
lead mines in the north had not begun. The manufacture of salt, 
which was conducted on a larger scale than any other industry 
in the territory, was owned by the United States. Milling was 
necessarily on a small scale, for grain was not raised for export. 
There was very little manufacturing outside the homes. 168 No 
one's business was on a large enough scale to occupy his whole 
time, and consequently land speculation was universally in- 
dulged in. 

Among the leaders in land speculation in Illinois were to be 

^"Illinois Emigrant, March 20, 1819. 

168 In November, 1817, Birkbeck wrote to Fearon : "The manufactures 
you mention may hereafter be eligible ; cotton, woollen, linen, stockings, &c., 
Certainly not at present." Letters from Illinois, 32. In 1818, Jesse B. 
Thomas advertised that by June he would have in operation two carding 
machines; this was the first establishment of its kind in Illinois. Intelli- 
gencer, January i, June 3, 1818. 


found all the principal politicians. In a previous chapter atten- 
tion was called to Governor Ninian Edwards' activities at Ed- 
wardsville. According to an early settler at Upper Alton, he 
held land there also. There was scarcely an issue of the Intel- 
ligencer which did not contain an advertisement signed by him. 
Under date of January 13, 1818, he ran the following notice: 


I SHALL continue to sell LOTS in Belville (the seat of 
justice for St. Clair county) at $60 a lot, until the 1st 
January next, after which time, I do not intend to take 
less than $100 for any lot, unless it should be to ac- 
commodate some respectable mechanck [sic] who may 
be desirous of settling in that village. 


Kaskaskia, Dec. 8, 1127, [sic] 

A little later this notice appeared: 


I WILL sell upon liberal terms, ONE HUNDRED 
ACRES OF LAND, including a very valuable mill seat 
on Mary's river, ten miles below this, place and about 
three miles from the Mississippi. 

The proximity of this situation to a great extent of 
fertile country, already, much improved, and rapidly 
improving its being surrounded with a great abundance 
of poplar and other timber suitable for making plank, 
the facility of transporting grain and timber to it and 
a practicable and safe navigation to and from it all 
combine to render it a most eligible seat for water 
works of any kind. A complete dam has been recently 
erected that has withstood all the late floods, and a very 
inconsiderable sum would be sufficient to put a saw mill 
into operation within a short time, that would most 
probably yield a profit of two thousand dollars a year. 

If 1 should not sell shortly, I shall wish to employ 
workmen to build me both a sawmill and merchant mill. 

I have also for sale, several HORSES and MULES. 

Kaskaskia, Dec. 20. 

154 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

While this notice was still running, Edwards began to adver- 
tise an addition to Kaskaskia as follows : 


is hereby given, that I shall make application to the 
circuit court for Randolph county, at its next August 
term, for an order to add to the village of Kas- 
kaskia, a tract of land adjoining said villiage [sic], con- 
taining thirty four acres and three quarters ; which was 
conveyed by John Edgar to Benjamin Stephenson, and 
by said Stephenson to myself, as by reference to both 
deeds now on record, will more fully appear. 

Ninian Edwards. 
March 30, 1818 

That he had land in the northern settlements as well is shown 
from this advertisement : 

I HAVE for Sale several valuable Tracts of Land near 
Belleville, and in other parts of Saint Clair county 
Two quarter sections on Cahokia creek, in the vicinity 
of Edwardsville and three quarter sections on Shoal 
creek, near Mr. Swearingen's ; all of which, Mr. 
Thomas Estes of St. Louis, is fully empowered to sell. 

Ninian Edwards. 9 
March 30, 1818 

Not far behind Edwards in land speculation were his political 
coworkers Stephenson and Cook. The former has already been 
spoken of; his interest centered in Edwardsville, where he was 
receiver of the land office as well as merchant and president of 
the bank. Cook advertised land in localities as far apart as 
Madison and Edwards counties. To him, as to most other law- 
yers, land speculation held out peculiar charms. Most of the 
average lawyer's work was in connection with disputed claims to 
land; it was an easy and natural step for the lawyer who had 
capital to buy up claims which came under his notice and ad- 
vance them for himself instead of for a client. The following 
letter from John Reynolds to Ninian Edwards gives a good 
picture of a lawyer's interest in land claims. 170 

^Intelligencer, January I, April 15, April 29, 1818. 

"Reynolds to Edwards, December 4, 1818, in Chicago Historical Society 
manuscripts, 50:294. 


Cahokia 4th Decemb 1818 
Dear Sir 

Permit me to trouble you on my private business ; and 
the greatest excuse I have to say in my favor is: that 
my claims of Government are just, and of course, 
should you befriend me therein; you will have the sen- 
sations of a person who knows he has done right. 

In the first place; Mr Pope concluded the affair of 
the Piasa Land. I have executed to him an equal fifth 
of the claim; and has made the same contract in writ- 
ing to you. Mr. Pope is to endeavor to send the Pat- 
ent Certificate to the Commissioner of the General Land 
office but of this, no doubt, he will let you know in a 
more ample manner than I can do : so you can nourish 
the Claim in the hands of Mr. Meigs. as to the value 
of the Land it is immense. Major Hunter of St. Louis 
(so reports say) gave Meachan $10.000 for half of one 
quarter sec. of the Denegan Entry; that Bates had. 
this is to shew, that this Piasa Claim will justify great 

industry to gain it 

I have this day bo't a claim on the United States for 
100 Acres of Land from a certain Jean Baptiste Ladu- 
cier who was Subject to militia duty in the Illinois 
Country on the ist Aug.t 1790 but neglected to claim 
and prove it before the board of Commissioners in 
proper time, he had it proved by Mr. Arundale and 
others to the satisfaction of the Kaskaskia Register and 
Receiver and they reported to the Congress at the last 
session to the same effect, there is no doubt ; this man 
was and is entitled to a hundred Acres from the Act of 
Congress. The proof were so late giting [sic] before 
the Land Committee last term ; that there was no report 
made. Joseph A. Baird and myself bo't and paid for 
three hundred Acres of Land in the same situation. 
When we bo't ; we thought his Donation was confirmed 
to him ; but on examination, it was not. this right was 
proved by the most of the old people of our Village, 
this went on with the Claim of Laducier this person, 
whose name is Jacques Miotte, had a militia right of 
loo Acres confirmed to him; there then remains to him 
300 to make his Donation of 400. where the proof of 
these two Claims have lain since last Congress, I know 
not. and I suppose it requires some friendly hand to 
put it operation [sic] again. Some years past, there 

156 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

were given by Congress Claims to Land in the same sit- 
uation reported favorably on by the Kaskaskia Register 
and Receiver. I see no reason, why Congress will not 
extend its favors in similar cases, they are just; If you 
see the host of testimony, you will say, they are just 
even should "Doctor" "Doubty" himself be in Congress ; 
he would not doubt. I bo't a soldier's right of 160 Acres 
of Land his name is Enoch Jones and got his discharge 
from Kennedy commanding there at "PASS CHRIS- 
TIONNE" below New Orleans, this Discharge was sent 
too late to Mr. Pope last year. I wrote Mr. Pope how I 
should git his old letters ; one of which contained Jone's 
Discharge, and to let you know ; I wrote our Represen- 
tative McLean to manage this affair, If you or he could 
git the Discharge. 

I have with Major Whiteside a pre emption right on 
the Mississippi out of the tract reserved for preemp- 
tions, yet I believe the first act of congress meant to 
embrace all settlers in the Territory : but Col. Stephen- 
son had instructions to the Contrary, there were but a 
few out of the survey, and in good conscience are as 
much entitled to this previliage [sic] as other settlers, 
when any of them first settled there were no surveys 
made. I will If you please send this Claim with the 
proof to support it by the next mail to you. It is of 
considerable magnitude to me. you can, If you please, 
as with the above Claims, present it before the proper 
tribunal for Justice. I want no more. I fear by this 
time you are much tired with me and my claims but 
treat them and me as your feelings and Judgement may 
dictate and I shall be satisfied. I will write the other 
members on the above. I was lately at Ed wards ville 
when I understood your family were well, no news. 
Pope is Register. 

May God preserve you and 
family for ever and longer. 

John Reynolds. 
The Honorable N. Edwards.) 

So generally was this combination of law and land specula- 
tion understood that from an Albany lawyer Kane received the 
following query: "Can an attorney expect to succeed [in Illi- 
nois] without Some capital to embark in Speculations, and what 
is the Smallest Sum which will be requisite? .... I have 


.... from i to 2000 dollars. Will such funds justify the 
adventure?" 171 It was inevitable that the widespread specula- 
tion in land should make itself felt in politics. The entrepreneurs 
who had placed the heaviest stakes in the new territory were 
naturally the most keenly interested in its political development; 
few of them had any scruples against using every political 
weapon available for the furtherance of their undertakings. The 
territorial laws on labor and on the opening up of the country 
bear unmistakable evidence of the work of interested individuals ; 
the Cairo scheme is not an unfair example of the kind of legis- 
lation that was passed. Undoubtedly the legislature merited the 
caricature which appeared in the Intelligencer for September 9, 
1818. The writer, "Nemo," tells of a marvelous vision. 

After passing Cape ne plus ultra, on the east, I saw in 
lat. 39 N. and Long. 8 W. in the open Prairie, above 
the head of the Little Wabash in the Illinois territory, 
another GREAT SEA SERPENT. As these monsters are 
now filling the world with wonder, I was determined to 
ascertain the size, nature, and if possible, to what tribe 
of animals this monster belonged. I therefore, hauled 
to my ship for that purpose, and I found this serpent to 
be exactly two hundred and seventy-five .poles in length ; 
and in thickness, different, as seemed to be necessary 
for the ends of creating that animal. On one part of 
the back of this monster, there was a territorial legisla- 
ture in full session at a small distance from the legis- 
lature, there was for the governor an house made very 
strong with absolute vetos. This legislature then, was 
discussing, whether nature had designed such and such 
rivers to be navigable or not. 

1 saw another place of bustle and business on this 
sea serpent, bearing from the legislature N. E. about 
one hundred poles. I made easy sale towards this place, 
and discovered its inhabitants to be very short men, 
with knocked knees, and crossed-eyes, fabricating new 
cities. I could distinctly perceive the stocks, where 
were built the famous cities of "Cairo," city of "Amer- 
ica," city of "Illinois," "Covington," "St. Mary," and 
many others; these creators of cities, were all stamped 
on the forehead with the word "moneyism." 

"'January n, 1819, in Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 52:179. 

158 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

On a sudden, I saw this huge being in a great agita- 
tion of body, and on sailing to the S. W. towards the 
head of this serpent, I could discover very piainly [sic] , 
that this monster was swallowing, and thereby exter- 
minating the several banks of the Illinois Territory. 
This appeared to be a fatal day on banks. The bank at 
EDWARDSVILLE, the Kaskaskia bank, and that of Cairo, 
and of the Little Wabash Company, were utterly anni- 
hilated with all the others of the above territory. This 
extermination of banks was not a difficult matter, as the 
people of the Illinois had learnt by experience, that 
banks without any capital, created for private specula- 
tion, were injurious to the public. After the serpent 
finished this necessary work, it changed its course to the 
S. E. and made great head away for the Floridas, to aid 
general Jackson in conquering those Spanish provinces 
in time of peace. This serpent had a head of a great 
size, and when its mouth was open, it appeared within 
a fiery furnace. NEMO. 

Dated on board the ship 

Prairie, 28 Aug. 1818. 



On each of the successive American 
frontiers, pioneer life has advanced 
HANDMADE SPECTACLE CASE b th stages first a relapse to 

[Original owned by W. Wilk- * 

inson, Roodhouse] primitive conditions, followed by the 

gradual development of a more complex civilization. Illinois was 
no exception to the rule. Even the pioneer who came to the Illi- 
nois wilderness from a region only recently advanced out of the 
frontier stage encountered inconveniences and privations; the 
immigrant from New England or from across the water must 
have found this adjustment to the new conditions very difficult. 
Fortunately, however, a spirit of hospitality and neighborliness 
usually accompanied the early settlers and helped them to over- 
come the difficulties. "When a new-comer, arrived in the coun- 
try," wrote a man who came to Illinois in 1817, "the settlers, 
without distinction or ceremony, went at once to pay him a visit, 
whom they usually found in a tent or camp. The warmest senti- 
ments of friendship and good-will were interchanged, the old 
settlers assuring their new neighbor, that every thing they pos- 
sessed, in the way of tools, teams, wagons, provisions, and their 
own personal services, were entirely at his command. Hence, in 
a few days, all hands, as the phrase then was, turned out, and built 
the new-comer a house, cut and split his rails, hauled them out, 
put them up in fence around the land he wished to cultivate, and 
then his land was broken up for him ready for the seed. Thus, in 
the space of a few days, the new-comer was in a comfortable con- 
dition, well acquainted, and upon the best terms of friendship, 
with the whole neighborhood. And to conclude these friendly 
attentions to the new-comer, a most joyous and convivial occasion 


160 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

was enjoyed, when the younger portion of the company would 
trip the light, fantastic toe, over some rough puncheon floor. 
Thus would be formed the most warm and enduring friendships 
such as no ordinary circumstances could disturb." 172 

The spirit of cooperation did not disappear once the new- 
comer was established. Whenever a task was to be performed 
which required many hands, the neighbors would gather from 
all directions. Most of the social gatherings in the country "had 
their origin in utility. Apple parings, quiltings, corn huskings 
and barn raisings, and often there was a combination of these 
entertainments, a barn raising, or a corn husking would be held, 
and at the same time and place there would be a quilting party, 
and the women guests would help to cook and serve the dinner 
for the men who were doing the rougher work ; and at night the 
young people stayed to dance, the more opulent ladies going 
and coming on their own horses with habits and side saddles. 
The less fortunate (or were they less fortunate?) riding behind 
their husbands, brothers or sweet-hearts on the same horse. 
Even when neighbors went visiting they carried their knitting 
or sewing 'calling' in its present sense, there was not." 178 

But though the frontier men and women managed to com- 
bine some pleasure with their work, it was at best a hard life 
that they led. "There are in England," wrote Fordham, "com- 
forts, nay, sources of happiness, which will for ages be denied 
to these half savage countries, good houses, good roads, a mild 
and healthy climate, healthy, because the country is old, society, 
the arts of life carried almost to perfection, and Laws well 
administered." There is abundant testimony to the prevalence 
of disease, especially among the newcomers, who had not be- 
come acclimated. In February, 1819, Gershom Flagg wrote 
from Edwardsville : "The principal objection I have to this 
Country is its unhealthiness the months of Aug. & Sept. are 
generally very Sickly. I was taken sick with the feever & ague 
the 15 Sept. which lasted me nearly two months. I shall try it 
one season more and if I do not have my health better than I 

^Wisconsin Historical Collections, 2:327-328. 

"Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1904, p. 510. 


have the season past I shall sell my property and leave the 
Country." 174 

Flower gives a more detailed description of his encounter 
with this disease: "The summer had been very hot and latterly 
wet. Thunder showers of daily occurrence sent mosquitoes in 
swarms. My cabin, recently built, of course, of green logs, un- 
furnished, with rank vegetation growing all around it and up 
to its very sides, was in its situation and in itself a sufficient 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 

cause of disease. My shepherd and his family came, bringing 
a few choice sheep and an English high-bred cow. His whole 
family, in a few days, all fell sick, lying in a small cabin just 
built about a hundred yards from my own.' Mr. White, car- 
penter, from London, wife, and two children, occupied a two- 
horse wagon and a soldier's tent. There was no house for him ; 
they all fell sick. My two sons were speedily taken with fever 
and ague, to us then a new disease. Miss Fordham, who shared 
our cabin, was attacked with the same disease. My constitu- 
tion, strong and good, yielding from exposure to heat and rain, 
took another form of disease. Boils and irritable sores broke 
out on both my legs, from knee to ankle, incapacitating me, for 
a time, from walking. Thus we were situated for two or three 
weeks, without the slightest assistance from any source, or sup- 
plies other than from my own wagons, as they slowly arrived 
from Shawneetown, giving us sufficient bedding with flour and 
bacon. All the other merchandise and furniture did but add 
to our present embarrassment, in attempts to protect them from 
the weather, and in endeavoring to dry what was wet. 

" 4 Ogg, Fordham 's Personal Narrative, 227 ; Illinois State Historical Society, 
Transactions, 1910, p. 163-164. 

162 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

"We were carried through this period of trial by the unremit- 
ting labor and self-sacrifice of my wife. She alone prepared 
all our food and bedding, and attended to the wants of the sick 
and the suffering by night and day. To all this was added a 
fatigue that a strong man might have shrunk from, in bringing 
water from that distant well. Sustained in her unremitting 
labors by unbounded devotion to her family, and a high sense 
of duty to all within her reach, her spirit and her power seemed 
to rise above the manifold trials by which she was surrounded. 
And thus we were saved from probable death or certain disper- 
sion. The incessant labor of the mother told on the infant at 
the breast; it sickened and died. With returning health we 
worked our way unaided through our difficulties." 

As Flower indicated, the principal cause of ill health was the 
stagnant water and decaying vegetation. In October, 1820, Flagg 
wrote: "Several towns in this state have been very sickly this 
season especially those situated contiguous to Rivers or mill- 
Ponds. The waters are very low and in many places covered 
with a green poison looking skum. The fogs arising from this 
[sic] stagnated waters makes the air very unwholesome." 175 As 
the country became more thickly settled, and more land was 
brought under cultivation, this condition was ameliorated. Ap- 
parently some of the more enterprising people were not content to 
leave the remedy to time, but proposed to take action themselves ; 
for in November, 1819, Morris Birkbeck "returned from a tour 
through Illinois, by way of Kascasky, where he was chosen 
President of the agricultural society of Illinois, one grand object 
of which will be, to rid the state of stagnant waters." 178 

Various other factors doubtless contributed to the poor health 
of the people in the early days. Fordham reached the conclusion 
that "there is, upon the whole, a superiority in the Climate of 
the western Country to that of England ; though not so great as 
I at first imagined, or as you would expect from the latitude. 
Consumptions are almost unknown here. Bilious fevers are 
rather prevalent, but not dangerous when early attended to. 

""Flower, English Settlement, 122-123; Illinois State Historical Society, 
Transactions, 1910, p. 166. 

1T 'Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 11:162. 


Women have not such good health as the men have; but that 
is to be attributed to their mode of life, being always in the 
house, usually without shoes and stockings, and roasting them- 
selves over large fires. 

"People are not so long-lived here as in England, and they 
look old sooner. This I think may be justly attributed to 

I st - The universal use of spirituous liquors. 

2 di y . The di sre g ar( i o f personal comfort and cleanliness, 
exposure to bad air near swamps &c, and want of good Clothing. 

3 dly - The great stimulus and excitement of the mental pas- 
sions, which adventurers and first settlers are, by their situation, 
subject to. 

4 thly - (Perhaps) violent religious enthusiasm. 

5 thly< In some instances, very early marriages." 177 

While the task of hewing out and developing a farm in the 
wilderness was undoubtedly an arduous one, many of the pio- 
neers were quite willing to progress slowly. In a land where the 
soil was fertile and the woods -full of game, it was not difficult 
to make a bare living; and for most of the settlers, this was 
enough. Gershom Flagg wrote in 1818: "The people of This 
Territory are from all parts of the United States & do the least 
work I believe of any people in the world." 178 This is corrobo- 
rated by Daniel M. Parkinson. "The surrounding country, how- 
ever," he wrote, with reference to Madison county in 1817, 
"was quite sparsely settled, and destitute of any energy or enter- 
prise among the people ; their labors and attention being chiefly 
confined to the hunting of game, which then abounded, and till- 
ing a small patch of corn for bread, relying on game for the 
remaining supplies of the table. The inhabitants were of the 
most generous and hospitable character, and were principally 
from the southern States ; harmony and the utmost good feeling 
prevailed throughout the country." 179 

Such descriptions, apply particularly to the first comers; and 
Flagg hastens to add that "these kind of People as soon as the 

1IT Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 200-201. 

"'Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, IQIO, p. 162. 

""Wisconsin Historical Collections, 2:327. 

164 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

settlements become thick Clear out and go further into the new 
Country." Even their successors, however, often took their 
farming operations very casually, and found plenty of time to 
devote to hunting and recreation of various sorts. 

In the villages a favorite form of diversion was the celebra- 
tion of anniversaries, participated in by the people of the sur- 
rounding country. Thus the Fourth of July, 1818, was marked 
at Kaskaskia by a dinner to which all the people were invited 
and which was followed by an oration by one of the local lawyers. 
At Edwardsville, a year later, the day was ushered in by dis- 
charges of artillery, while "the American Flag waved trium- 
phantly from the top of a lofty liberty pole." At noon a proces- 
sion formed and marched through the main streets. After the 
Declaration of Independence had been read on the public square, 
dinner was served, followed by appropriate toasts. The Masonic 
lodge at Kaskaskia was accustomed to celebrate the anniversaries 
of St. John the Baptist in June and of St. John the Evangelist 
in December, usually with a dinner and an oration. The annual 
inspection and review of militia and the occasional elections and 
court sessions at the county seats also furnished occasions for 
amusements of various sorts. Horse racing, cockfighting, and 
gambling were favorite diversions, although attempts were made 
to suppress them by laws and ordinances. Everybody played 
cards, and to play for money was both fashionable and honor- 
able. Another and a somewhat more refined form of recreation 
was the singing school. There was a singing society in Edwards- 
ville in 1819 which was called to meet at the courthouse for 
the purpose of organizing a singing school for the coming winter. 
Three dozen of the "most choice selection of Music Books" had 
recently been received from Boston. 180 

Facilities for education were extremely limited in Illinois at 
the close of the territorial period. A system of public schools 
was scarcely dreamed of, and the few private schools in exist- 
ence were very rudimentary in character. Although surveying 
and bookkeeping were taught in a school near Belleville as early 
as 1806 and a Mr. Sturgess in 1816 advertised a school at 

^Spectator, October 30, 1819; Reynolds, My Own Times, 82-86. 



[Original in Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis] 


Prairie du Rocher where grammar, geography, surveying, 
astronomy, Greek, and Latin would be taught, instruction was 
generally confined to the "three R's." John Mason Peck, the 
Baptist missionary, and one of the best informed men on the 
frontier in all that pertained to matters of culture, after a sur- 
vey of educational conditions in the neighboring state of 
Missouri, where the frontier life was similar to that across the 
river, reached the conclusion "that at least one-third of the 
schools were really a public nuisance, and did the people more 
harm than good; another third about balanced the account, by 
doing about as much harm as good, and perhaps one-third were 
advantageous to the community in various degrees." 181 

The conditions in Illinois were thus described : "During the 
early history of Illinois, schools were almost unknown in 
some neighborhoods, and in the most favored districts they 
were kept up solely by subscription, and only in the winter 
season, each subscriber agreeing to pay for one or more 
scholar, or stipulating to pay for his children pro rata for the 
number of days they should be in attendance. The teacher 
usually drew up articles of agreement, which stipulated 
that the school should commence when a specified num- 
ber of scholars should be subscribed, at the rate of $2, 
$2.50, or $3 per scholar for the quarter. In these written 
articles he bound himself to teach spelling, reading, writ- 
ing, and arithmetic, as far as the double rule of three, Occa- 
sionally a teacher would venture to include English grammar. 
But in the earlier years of my youth, I knew of no teacher who 
attempted to give instruction in grammar or geography. And 
such branches as history, natural philosophy, or astronomy, 
were not thought of. Many parents were unwilling that their 
children should study arithmetic, contending that it was quite 
unnecessary for farmers. And what was the use of grammar 
to a person who could talk so as to be understood by every- 
body? I studied English grammar, and all the latter rules of 
arithmetic, when about twelve years old, without the aid of a 
teacher, and geography at a later age, after I had begun to 
prepare for college. 

18I Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 123 ; Ford, History of Illinois, 38 ; Reynolds, 
My Own Times, 95 ; Intelligencer, September 5, 1816. 

166 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

"The mode of conducting schools was peculiar. All the pupils 
studied their lessons, by spelling or reading aloud simultaneously, 
while the teacher usually heard each scholar recite alone; 
although, in the opening of the school, a chapter of the Bible was 
read by the older scholars by verses, in turn, and at the close 
in the evening, the whole school, except the beginners, stood 
up and spelled words in turn, as given out by the master." 182 

It would naturally be expected that schools of a somewhat 
better sort would be found in the capital of the territory, but 
such does not appear to have been the case. As late as Novem- 
ber, 1816, the Intelligencer published a long editorial bewailing 
the lack of a school in Kaskaskia, "a place which must at some 
day be a towering city." About a year later one J. Cheek pub- 
lished a card "To the Patrons of Literature" in which he 

INFORMS the friends and the guardians of erudition 
that he has opened a SCHOOL in the town of Kaskaskia, 
for the instruction of youth, in the different depart- 
ments of English literature. He will extend the sphere 
of instruction, so as to include the following sciences, 
viz. Reading, Writing, Orthography, Arithmetic, Eng- 
lish Grammar, Geography, History, Rhetorick, Compo- 
sition, Elocution, ect. He flatters himself that from 
his attention of the morals and scientifick avocations of 
his pupils, he will share no inconsiderable portion of the 
patronage of a judicious and descerning people. 183 

A teacher who arrived in Kaskaskia in 1818 appears to have 
aspired to the role of public entertainer. The paper of Decem- 
ber 2. published a notice in which "Mr. Cross respectfully 
informs his fellow citizens of Kaskaskia, that he will, this even- 
ing, ascend the Rostrum, in the Representatives' chamber, and 
exert his best efforts for their moral amusement." In the next 
issue of the paper, 

MR. CROSS respectfully informs the citizens of Kas- 
kaskia, and its vicinage, that he intends, should suffi- 
cient patronage be afforded, to open a SCHOOL in this 
town, for the instruction of youth, in Orthography, 

"'Patterson, "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus Historical 
Series, no. 14:121-122. 

^Intelligencer, January i, 1818. 


Orthoepy, Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Arith- 
metic, and Elocution. 

Scholars who shall have graduated in these branches 
of tuition, will be instructed in the rudiments of His- 
tory, Geography, Natural Philosophy, and Mathe- 

Mr. C. will endeavor to instill into the minds of his 
scholars, the vital importance of sound moral principle, 
and correct manners, which he will elucidate, by a regu- 
lar course of lectures, every Saturday. As soon as he 
can procure the necessary appendages his school will 
be Lancasterian. No advance payment will be re- 
quired, but a punctual compliance with the terms of sub- 
scription, at the expiration of each quarter, is confi- 
dently calculated upon. 

Mr. C. will, this evening, in the Representative cham- 
ber, give various specimens of Elocution, Instructive 
and amusing, original and selected. Tickets to be had 
at Burr and Christy's Hotel, and at this office. 18 * 

An entertaining side light on the character of the man who 
thus proposed to instruct the children of the community and to 
furnish "moral amusement" for his fellow citizens may be 
learned from the opening paragraphs of a "Masonic Oration" 
which he delivered a few weeks later and which, printed in full 
at the request of the committee, filled nine columns of the paper. 

"THAT the rostrum has been assigned to me on this august 
festival, excites feelings which language faulters to impart, and 
I address you with sensations too strong for entire suppression. 
Oh permit me, your homeless, healthless brother, an exile from 
domestic enjoyment, to claim all the indulgence which our sacred 
relationship affords. 

"With a resolution and perseverance which I hope will win 
for the meridian of my life, the esteem and respect of society, 
and in obedience to my duty as a Mason, I have, under the bless- 
ing of the Great Architect,, regained the narrow, but Heavenward 
path of temperance. No longer succumbing to the pressure of 
misfortune and far superior to the blandishments of indolence 
and dissipation with which the profession of arms and my san- 
guine nature have seduced me, I returned towards Missouri, of 

"'Intelligencer, December 9, 1818. 



Used in a machine 
shop in St. Clair 
county in 1818. 
[Original owned by 

which I am a citizen, in the hope & belief that domestic happiness 

would reward my self -conquest, and that a friendship, which had 

proved as sincere and magnanimous as 

my delight in looking at the bright side 

of human nature induced me to believe 

it would have honored the Grecian Pyth- 

yas, awaited my embrace. You know, 

brethren, how my dearest earthly hopes 

have been blasted, and how little my 

heart deserved the remediless infliction. 

"I stand before you with a lacerated 
bosom, endeavoring to act with that for- 
titude and resignation which the prin- 
ciples of our order enjoins. Believe me, 
therefore, that I acknowledge with grati- 
tude the influence of the oil and wine 
which, with the brethren of Columbia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, 
Indiana, Tennessee and Illinois, you have poured into my 
wounds; and, though you have much over- rated my talents by 
this honorable distinction, gratitude to the fraternity, and my 
ardent love of the soul-redeeming science of Masonry, must, at 
least for this day, absorb my individual sufferings." 185 

These rudimentary attempts at academic instruction were not 
supplemented to any considerable extent by reading. There were 
few books among the people of the frontier. A dozen years be- 
fore Illinois became a state, according to Reynolds, "not a man 
in the country, professional, or otherwise, had any collection of 
books, that could acquire the name of library. There were some 
books scattered through the country, but they were not plenty. 
Although my father was a reading man, and possessed a strong 
mind, yet as far as I recollect, he brought to the country with 
him no books, except the Bible. Many of the immigrants acted 
in the same manner as to books." 188 

By 1818, some of the lawyers possessed fair collections of 
books. In that year, one of the rooms of the market house erected 

^Intelligencer, January 6, 1819. 
""Reynolds, My Own Times, 93. 


in the English settlement of Albion, "was fitted up for the recep- 
tion of books, that were given by individuals in England, as a 
nucleus for a public-library, and was used for public-meetings, 
and public- worship." The credit for the establishment of this 
institution is due to Richard Flower, and something of its devel- 
opment and of the attitude of the American frontiersmen toward 
books may be seen in an extract from a letter which Flower 
wrote in January, 1820, to friends in England. 187 

"You would have been much amused if you had been with 
us a few weeks since, when I had a visit from Captain Burke, 
a sensible and intelligent backwoodsman. He paid me a short 
visit, put off his business that he might fetch his wife, which 
he did; we thought we saw through the plan; he returned with 
her the next day, and we felt disposed to gratify their curiosity. 
'There wife/ said he, 'did you ever see such fixings?' He felt 
the paper, looked in a mirror over our chimney-piece which 
reflected the cattle grazing in the field before the house, and 
gazed with amazement. But turning from these sights to the 
library, 'Now/ said he to my wife, 'does your old gentleman' 
(for that is my title here) 'read those books?' 'Yes/ said she, 
'he has read most of them/ 'Why if I was to read half of 
them, I should drive all the little sense in my head out of it.' 
I replied that we read to increase our sense and our knowl- 
edge; but this untutored son of nature could not conceive of 
this till I took down a volume of Shaw's Zoology. 'You, Mr. 
Burke, are an old hunter, and have met with many snakes in 
your time. I never saw above one in my life; now if I can 
tell you about your snakes and deer, and bears and wolves, as 
much or more than you know, you will see the use of books.' 
I read to him a description of the rattle-snake, and then showed 
him the plate, and so on. His attention was arrested, and his 
thirst for knowledge fast increasing. 'I never saw an Indian 
in my life, and yet/ said I, 'I can tell you all about them.' I 
read again and shewed him a coloured plate. 'There/ said he, 
'wife, is it not wonderful, that this gentleman, coming so many 
miles, should know these things from books only? See ye/ 

"'Flower, English Settlement, 133; Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 
10:126-128; Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6:248. 

170 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

said he, pointing to the Indian, 'got him to a turn.' In short, I 
never felt more interested for an hour or two, to see how this 
man's mind thirsted after knowledge; and though he dreaded 
the appearance of so many books, he seemed, before he left us, 
as if he could spend his life amongst them. 

"Our library is now consolidated ; and that the kind intentions 
of yourself and others may not be lost, and that your names may 
live in our memories and be perpetuated to future generations, I 
have conveyed all the books presented to us, in trust to the 
proprietors of the town, for the use of the Albion Library ; writ- 
ing the names of the donors in them; and in my next letter I 
shall, pro forma, be able to convey to you our united thanks 
for the books presented. Our little library is the admiration of 
travellers, and Americans say we have accomplished more in 
one year, than many new settlements have effected in fifty a 
well supplied market, a neat place of worship, and a good 

This first public library in Illinois owed its existence to the 
unusual character of the founders of Albion and cannot be 
considered as typical of frontier Illinois. Less than a year after 
it was founded, however, a subscription library was organized 
in Edwardsville, though the funds for it evidently were collected 
with some difficulty. On August 7, 1819, the "Director" gave 
notice through the Spectator that the books ordered from Boston 
had arrived, and urged those who were in arrears to pay their 
subscriptions, so that they might entitle "themselves and families 
to the use of one of the best collections of books in the country." 
Fortunately a catalog of the books in this library in November, 
1819, has been preserved; it is worthy of reproduction in full 
as evidence of the books which were available for reading in 
this pioneer American community. 

"American State Papers, in 12 Volumes; Adams' Defense; 
Burns' Poems ; Blair's Lectures ; Brydon's Tour ; Butler's Hudi- 
bras; Beauties of History; Bartram's Travels; Belknap's Amer- 
ican Biography; Coeleb's in Search of a Wife; Cowper's Homer, 
4 volumes ; Campaign in Russia ; Carvel's Travels ; Camilla, or a 
Picture of Youth; Clarke's Travels; Christian Researches in 
Asia; Clarkson's History; Clark's Naval History; Depom's 


Voyage; Domestic Encyclopedia; Ely's Journal; Elements of 
Criticism; Ferguson's Roman Republic; The Federalist; Guy 
Mannering; Gibbon's Rome, 4 volumes; Goldsmith's Works, 6 
volumes; Grand Pre's Voyage; Gil Bias, 4 volumes; History of 
Carraccas; History of Chili; History of Greece; History of 
Charles Fifth; History of England; Hawkworth's Voyages; 
Humboldt's New Spain; Jefferson's Notes; Letters of Junius; 
Marshall's Life of Washington; McFingal, a Modern Epic 
Poem; Mayo's Ancient Geography and History; Modern 
Europe; McLeod on the Revelation; McKenzie's Voyage; 
Moore's Poems; McNevins' Switzerland; Ossian's Poems; 
Practical Education; Plutarch's Lives; Porter's Travels; Ram- 
say's Washington; Rob Roy; Rollin's Ancient History, with 
atlas, 8 volumes; Rumford's Essays; Robertson's America; 
Scottish Chiefs; Sterne's Works, 5 volumes; Scott's Works, 4 
volumes; Salmagundi, 2 volumes; Shakespeare's Plays, 6 
volumes; Spectator, 10 volumes; Tales of My Landlord; Telem- 
achus; Warsaw; Travels of Anacharsis; Thompson's Seasons; 
Turnbull's Voyages; Universal Gazetteer; Vicissitudes Abroad, 
6 volumes ; Volney's America ; Virginia Debates ; Vicar of Wake- 
field; Views of Louisiana; Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry; Watt's 
Logic; Wealth of Nations; Young's Night Thoughts; Zimmer- 
man on National Pride." 188 

A century ago, a considerable part of the reading of the people 
was furnished by newspapers, just as it is now. Besides outside 
publications, which were probably taken in considerable number, 
two weekly papers printed in Illinois at the time it became a state, 
were available. The older of these was established at Kas- 
kaskia in 1814 by Matthew Duncan, with the name of Illinois 
Herald. Its publication was made possible by both federal and 
territorial patronage, for it was paid liberally for printing the 
United States laws and proclamations, and had in addition a 
monopoly of the public printing for the territory. In 1816, prob- 
ably in April, the paper was sold to "Daniel P. Cook and Co." 
and the name was changed to Western Intelligencer. Late in 
May the firm name was changed to "Cook and Blackwell," in 

"'Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6 -.246-247. 

172 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

September it became "Berry and Cook," and in October it 
changed once more, this time to "Berry and Blackwell." With 
the issue of May 27, 1818 the title was changed to Illinois Intel- 

Under a United States law of November 21, 1814, the secre- 
tary of state was "authorized to cause the laws of the United 
States, passed, or to be passed, during the present or any future 
session of congress, to be published in two of the public news- 
papers within each and every territory of the United States; 
Provided, In his opinion, it shall become necessary and expe- 
dient." 190 With only one paper printed in the territory it would 
seem that an opportunity was being missed, and this probably 
explains the establishment of the second paper in Illinois in the 
summer of 1818. The promoters of the enterprise were Henry 
Eddy, a young lawyer, and Peter Kimmel and his sons, printers, 
all of Pittsburgh. With the aid of Nathaniel Pope, the territo- 
rial delegate in congress, they secured before leaving Pittsburgh 
authorization for printing the United States laws. Loading a 
press on a flatboat, they floated down the Ohio to Shawneetown, 
set up their establishment, and began to publish the Illinois 
Emigrant. The firm name was Eddy and Kimmel, and it is 
probable that the editorial work was done by Eddy while the 
Kimmels, who were somewhat illiterate, ran the printing estab- 
lishment. 191 

The weekly issues of both papers consisted of four small pages 
of four columns each. Rarely were more than two columns 
devoted to local news and editorial comment. Often a full page 
or more was required for the printing of national or territorial 
laws, and further space was occupied by official notices and proc- 
lamations. W r hen congress was in session its proceedings and 
debates, copied from a Washington paper, were printed at great 

"*Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals, xxvm, 211-212; Intelligencer, 

""Statutes at Large, 3:145. 

'"Kimmel to Pope, December 22, 1817; Pope to Adams, January 22, 1818; 
Adams to Pope, January 23, 1818, in United States State Department, Bureau 
of Indexes and Archives, "Miscellaneous Letters;" Scott, Newspapers and 
Periodicals, xxix, 314. The Shazvnec Chief listed by Scott is a myth. The 
paper was called the Illinois Emigrant, from the beginning. There appears to 
be no evidence that the two papers were the organs of rival parties in 1818. 


[Loaned by her granddaughter, Martha Heald Johnson, to Chicago Historical Society. 
Reproduced from negative in possession of the Society) 


[Original owned by Chicago Historical Society) 


length, while the proceedings of the territorial legislature and 
the convention, reported briefly in the Intelligencer, were copied 
in the Emigrant. The remaining space was rilled with foreign 
news and literary productions in both prose and poetry reprinted 
from other publications. As a rule about one fourth of each 
issue was occupied with advertisements of various sorts. Local 
merchants called attention to their wares in notices which ran 
for months without the change of a word ; lawyers and physicians 
published their cards ; and those who wanted to buy feather beds, 
provisions, law books, or servants were told to "enquire of the 
printer." During a political campaign and occasionally at other 
times much space was given over to lengthy communications. 
Often these were published in series and sometimes they took 
the form of a debate which would drag on and on until the 
issue under discussion would become almost wholly obscured 
by personalities. 192 

The spiritual welfare of the Illinois pioneers was not neglected. 
The religious observances, with the exception of those of the 
French Catholics, were of the familiar frontier type. The prin- 
cipal Protestant denominations at the close of the territorial 
period were the Methodists and the Baptists, the latter classified 
as "regular," or "hardshell," and separating. Presbyterian- 
ism was just beginning to get a foothold. The ministers were 
of two types the circuit rider, who covered wide stretches of 
country and devoted all his time to religious work, and the occa- 
sional preacher who supplemented his meager income from the 
church by farming or some other occupation. Governor Ford 
has left an account of the unlearned but zealous frontier preach- 
ers, of their sermons, and of the results of their work, which 
cannot easily be improved upon. "Preachers of the gospel fre- 
quently sprung up from the body of the people at home, without 
previous training, except in religious exercises and in the study 
of the Holy Scriptures. In those primitive times it was not 
thought to be necessary that a teacher of religion should be a 
scholar. It was thought to be his business to preach from a 
knowledge of the Scriptures alone, to make appeals warm from 

m For examples of the above see chs. 5, 8, 9. 

174 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the heart, to paint heaven and hell to the imagination of the 
sinner, to terrify him with the one, and to promise the other 
as a reward for a life of righteousness. However ignorant these 
first preachers may have been, they could be at no loss to find 
congregations still more ignorant, so that they were still capable 
of instructing some one. Many of them added to their knowl- 
edge of the Bible, a diligent perusal of Young's Night Thoughts, 
Watts' hymns, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Hervey's Meditations, 
a knowledge of which gave more compass to their thoughts, to 
be expressed in a profuse, flowery language, and raised their 
feelings to the utmost height of poetical enthusiasm. 

"Sometimes their sermons turned upon matters of controversy ; 
unlearned arguments on the subject of free grace, baptism, free 
will, election, faith, good works, justification, sanctification, and 
the final perseverance of the saints. But that in which they 
excelled, was the earnestness of their words and manner, leaving 
no doubt of the strongest conviction in their own minds, and in 
the vividness of the pictures which they drew of the ineffable 
blessedness of heaven, and the awful torments of the wicked in 
the fire and brimstone appointed for eternal punishment. These, 
with the love of God to sinful men, the sufferings of the Saviour, 
the dangerous apathy of sinners, and exhortations to repentance, 
furnished themes for the most vehement and passionate decla- 
mations. But above all, they continually inculcated the great 
principles of justice and sound morality. 

"As many of these preachers were nearly destitute of learning 
and knowledge, they made up in loud hallooing and violent 
action what they lacked in information. And it was a matter 
of astonishment to what length they could spin out a sermon 
embracing only a few ideas. The merit of a sermon was meas- 
ured somewhat by the length of it, by the flowery language of the 
speaker, and by his vociferation and violent gestures. Neverthe- 
less, these first preachers were of incalculable benefit to the 
country. They inculcated justice and morality, and to the sanc- 
tion of the highest human motives to regard them, added those 
which arise from a belief of the greatest conceivable amount of 
future rewards and punishments. They were truly patriotic 
also; for at a time when the country was so poor that no other 


kind of ministry could have been maintained in it, they preached 
without charge to the people, working week days to aid the scanty 
charities of their flocks, in furnishing themselves with a scantier 
living. They believed with a positive certainty that they saw 
the souls of men rushing to perdition ; and they stepped forward 
to warn and to save, with all the enthusiasm and self-devotion of 
a generous man who risks his own life to save his neighbor from 
drowning. And to them are we indebted for the first Christian 
character of the Protestant portion of this people." 198 

The Methodist church was very active during the later ter- 
ritorial period, under the leadership of such vigorous characters 
as Jesse Walker and Peter Cartwright. In 1818 there were five 
circuits in the Illinois district, one with three preachers; four 
with one preacher each. In addition there was a presiding elder 
for the district. A contemporary account of one of the rounds 
of Jesse Walker, and John Scripps, as written by the latter, will 
serve to illustrate the character of the work and the difficulties 

"He commenced this round at Goshen meeting-house, near 
the site of the present town of Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday, 
the ist of April. Closing his meeting on -Monday, the 4th, he 
traveled a zigzag route, filling daily and nightly appointments 
in different neighborhoods in the Illinois Circuit, till he arrived 
at the Big Spring meeting-house on Friday, the 8th, where, 
in a protracted meeting, he labored till Monday, the nth. A 
second week of similar services, through otherwise destitute set- 
tlements, brought him to Davis's school-house, below the con- 
fluence of the Big Muddy River with the Mississippi, probably 
one hundred miles south of his starting-point. I found him here 
on Saturday, the i6th, accompanied by Jacob Whitesides (then 
just putting on the itinerant harness). At this place there were 
some conversions, and a class of sixteen persons was formed. 
Jacob Whitesides was sent back to labor in the field of the last 
week's operations, with directions to form a new circuit, which 
was eventually effected, and it was denominated the Okaw 

"'Ford, History of Illinois, 38-40. 

176 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

"On Monday, the i8th, Jesse Walker, J. Patterson, and myself 
set out for the Massac camp-meeting, to be held at the Rock and 
Cave, on the Ohio River. We traveled this day in an easterly 
direction, through a generally uninhabited country and almost 
pathless woods, thirty-two miles, to Thomas Standard's, where 
a congregation, previously notified by Brother Patterson, awaited 
our arrival. The exercises of the evening were thrillingly inter- 
esting, and continued till midnight. About noon the next day 
we separated, still tending onward in devious paths to hold night- 
meetings six or eight miles apart, to meet again the next day, 
probably again to part for the night, to hold as many meetings 
as our numbers and the localities of the neighborhood would 
admit of. On Friday, the 22d, we arrived at the camp-ground. 
Services commenced immediately upon our arrival, and during 
the entire progress of the meeting we had precious seasons of 
refreshing from the presence of the Lord, several conversions, 
and many accessions to the Church. Brother J. Johnson was 
with us one of the nights, and preached for us. This meeting 
broke on Monday. Brother Walker closed the services with an 
interesting discourse ; but Monday night found him several miles 
on his way to his next appointment, again holding forth to a 
large congregation in Proctor's meeting-house. But to particu- 
larize his labors would swell this account to too great an extent. 
Suffice it to say that, crossing the Big Wabash near its mouth, 
we ascended that river in the then Territory of Indiana, crossed 
the Black River, Patoka and White Rivers, to Brother Johnson's, 
about twelve miles from Vincennes. By the next Friday, April 
29th, the quarterly-meeting for Vincennes Circuit was held. It 
was a time of power, and closed Monday morning. We made 
a short travel that day of six or eight miles, and held a night- 
meeting at Dr. Messick's ; the next day, noon, at Harrington's 
Tavern; at night at Anthony Griffin's, on Black River. We 
recrossed the Wabash, and commenced the Wabash Quarterly- 
meeting, Friday, May 6th, at Brother Hannah's, in a block-house, 
from which our next appointment was one hundred and seventy 
or eighty miles south-west across the Mississippi, to New Madrid 
Circuit, Missouri Territory, commencing Friday, the I3th; 


[From picture owned by Illinois State Historical Library] 


[Original in Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 


thence sixty miles north to Cape Girardeau Circuit, May 2oth. 
At both these appointments, and all subsequent to them through 
the Summer, camp-meetings were held, the necessity for which 
grew out of the fact that no one-room, or even two-room, log- 
cabin (and we had no other sort of houses) was capable of enter- 
taining one-half or even one-fourth of Jesse Walker's quarterly- 
meetings; for his regular Sabbath congregations collected, far 
and near, from ten, twenty, or thirty miles around, to these 
attractive centers of religious services. From Cape Girardeau 
Brother Walker proceeded, by himself, to hold a camp and quar- 
terly meeting on Saline Circuit, commencing Friday, 2/th; on 
the Maramec Circuit, June 3d; Cold Water, loth; and Missouri 
Circuit, June I7th; to which appointment, following the cir- 
cuitous route he had to travel, it was upwards of two hundred 
miles north; and here, on Monday, the 2Oth of June, he con- 
cluded his second round of meetings, about eighty miles north- 
west of home, and sixty from Goshen, the commencement of this 
round, where he again preached in returning to his family, there 
to enjoy a few day's respite, to repair his itinerant gear, and 
prepare for the still more extensive operations of the Summer 
campaign, under the more favorable auspices of shallow streams, 
better roads, longer days, and the sweltering fervor of a July sun. 
"Such labors as I have recounted would, in these times of good 
roads, bridged waters, wealthy friends, comfortable accommoda- 
tions, and table luxuries, be deemed great ; but the circumstances 
under which Jesse Walker performed them were characterized 
by difficulties, dangers, privations, and sufferings almost incon- 
ceivable in the present improved state of things. Our roads were 
narrow, winding horse-paths, sometimes scarcely perceptible, and 
frequently for miles no path at all, amid tangled brushwood, over 
fallen timber, rocky glens, mountainous precipices; through 
swamps and low grounds, overflowed or saturated with water 
for miles together, and consequently muddy, which the breaking 
up of the Winter and the continued rains gave a continued supply 
of; the streams some of them large and rapid, swollen to over- 
flowing, we had to swim on our horses, carrying our saddle-bags 

178 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

on our shoulders. It was a common occurrence, in our journey- 
ing, to close our day's ride drenched to the skin by continually 
descending rains, for which that Spring was remarkable. Our 
nights were spent, not in two but in one room log-cabins, each 
generally constituting our evening meeting-house, kitchen, nurs- 
ery, parlor, dining and bed room, all within the dimensions of 
sixteen feet square, and not unfrequently a loom occupying one- 
fourth of it, together with spinning-wheels and other apparatus 
for manufacturing their apparel our congregations requiring 
our services till ten or twelve o'clock; our supper after dismis- 
sion, not of select, but of just such aliment as our hospitable 
entertainers could provide (for hospitable, in the highest sense 
of the word, they were) ; corn-cakes, fried bacon, sometimes 
butter, with milk or herb-tea, or some substitute for coffee. At 
the Rock and Cave camp-meeting, the measles being very preva- 
lent in the congregation, I took them. Very high fevers were the 
first symptom; but, unconscious of the cause and nature of my 
affliction, I continued traveling through all weathers for upwards 
of two weeks, before the complaint developed its character. My 
stomach became very delicate, and through a populous part of 
our journey I inquired for coffee at every house we passed, and 
was invariably directed to Mr. L.'s, several miles ahead, as the 
only probable place for the procurement of the grateful beverage. 
On making known my wants to Mrs. L., she searched and found 
a few scattered grains at the bottom of a chest, of which she 
made us two cupfuls. 

"We have sometimes sat in the large fire-place, occupying the 
entire end of a log cabin, and plucked from out the smoke of the 
chimney above us pieces of dried and smoked venison, or jerk, 
the only provision the place could afford us, and the only food 
the inmates had to sustain themselves, till they could obtain it 
by the cultivation of the soil. Our horses fared worse, in muddy 
pens, or tied up to saplings or corners of the cabin, regaled with 
the refuse of the Winter's fodder, sometimes (when we could 
not restrain over-liberality) with seed-corn, purchased in Ken- 
tucky at a dollar per bushel, and brought in small quantities, 
according to the circumstances of the purchaser, one hundred 
miles or more at some expense and trouble. This, when they 

. . .,,. 

[From Wild, Valley of the Mississippi (1841), owned by Chicago Historical Society] 

[From copy in possession of Illinois State Historical Library] 


had it, our remonstrances to the contrary could not prevent being 
pounded in mortars to make us bread. Our lodgings were on 
beds of various qualities, generally feather-beds, but not unfre- 
quently fodder, chaff, shucks, straw, and sometimes only deer- 
skins, but always the best the house afforded, either spread on 
the rough puncheon floor before the fire (from which we must 
rise early to make room for breakfast operations), or on a 
patched-up platform attached to the wall, which not unfrequently 
would fall down, sometimes in the night, with its triplicate burden 
of three in a bed. Such incidents would occasion a little mirth 
among us, but we would soon fix up and be asleep again. Now, 
I would here remark, that many of these privations could have 
been avoided by keeping a more direct course from one quarterly- 
meeting to another, and selecting, with a view to comfort, our 
lodging-places. But Brother Walker sought not personal com- 
fort so much as the good of souls, and he sought the most desti- 
tute, in their most retired recesses, and in their earliest settle- 
ments." 194 

In spite of the tremendous exertions of the pioneer preachers, 
many of the remote settlements must have been practically devoid 
of religious observances, and even in the older settlements the 
influence of occasional visitations, however inspiring they might 
be, was often lacking in permanence. "The American inhabit- 
ants in the Vilages," wrote John Messinger in 1815, "appear to 
have very little reverence for Christianity or serious things in 
any point of view." 105 Reynolds is authority for the statement 
that, "in early times, in many settlements of Illinois, Sunday was 
observed by the Americans only as a day of rest from work. 
They generally were employed in hunting, fishing, getting up 
their stock, hunting bees, breaking young horses, shooting at 
marks, horse and foot racing and the like. When the Americans 
were to make an important journey they generally started on 
Sunday and never on Friday they often said 'The better the 
day the better the deed.' " 196 

m Leaton, Methodism in Illinois, 110-115, 151. 

""Messinger to Lee, June 30, 1815, Messinger manuscripts. 

""Reynolds, My Own Times, 80. 

180 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

In view of the inadequate facilities for educational and reli- 
gious developments, the mental quality of the Illinois pioneers was 
surprisingly high, according to the recollections of Robert W. 
Patterson. "But in spite of the prejudices and illiteracy of many 
of our early citizens," he states, "they were by no means an un- 
thinking people, their minds were stimulated by the necessity of 
invention imposed upon them by their peculiar circumstances; 
by the political discussions in which they became interested from 
one election to another ; by the moral questions that were debated 
among them ; and, above all, by the religious discourses to which 
they often listened, and the controversies between the adherents 
of different sects, in which almost everybody sympathized with 
one party or another. It was surprising to find men and women 
of little or no reading, ready to defend their opinions on almost 
every subject, with plausible, and sometimes exceedingly forcible, 
reasons. Women, especially, were even more accustomed then 
than now to discuss grave questions which required thought and 
provoked earnest reflection. Often a woman of unpromising 
appearance and manners would prove more than a match for a 
well-educated man in a religious dispute. In one sense the people 
were intelligent, while they had little of such knowledge as read- 
ers usually derive from books. Their intelligence consisted 
mainly in the results of reflection, and conversations one with 
another, and in varied information derived from their ancestors 
by tradition. In respect to knowledge of human nature and 
judgments upon the characters of men, they were far in advance 
of many who were learned in literature, science, art, and history ; 
and, accordingly, many men of inferior education in those days 
competed successfully with rivals who had enjoyed the best early 
advantages. This was often witnessed in the political conflicts 
of the times, and in the ministerial, legal, and medical profes- 
sion." 197 

'"Patterson, "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus Historical 
Series, no. 14:124-125. 



At the beginning of 1818 the region now included in the state 
of Illinois together with the extensive area to the northward 
stretching to the international boundary comprised the territory 
of Illinois. After the occupation of the French villages in the 
Illinois country by Virginia troops under George Rogers Clark, 
the region was organized as a county of Virginia, 198 but in 1784 
Virginia ceded her claims to the federal government. The act 
by which this cession was accomplished contained one clause of 
great importance for the future of the Illinois country. This 
provided, "that the French and Canadian inhabitants, and other 
settlers of the Kaskaskies, Saint Vincents, and the neighboring 
villages, who have professed themselves citizens of Virginia, shall 
have their possessions and titles confirmed to them, and be pro- 
tected in the enjoyment of their rights and liberties." 199 At 
the moment this provision confirmed to the inhabitants their 
titles to a few negro slaves ; in future years it was to be invoked 
as a guarantee of the institution of slavery in the state. 

The claims of other states to jurisdiction over the northwest 
also having been surrendered to the federal government, the con- 
gress of the confederation, as one of its last acts, passed the Ordi- 
nance of 1787, by which was organized the "territory of the 
United States northwest of the river Ohio." 200 This ordinance 
laid the foundation of the American colonial or territorial 
system ; and the political and governmental conditions in Illinois 
territory cannot be understood without a consideration of its 

W8 Alvord, Cahokia Records, LII. 
'"Thorpe, Constitutions, 2:956. 
**Ibid., 2 1957-962. 





[Original owned by William Wilkinson, 

essential provisions. The government of the territory was 
vested for the time being in a governor, a secretary, and three 
judges, to be appointed by congress. 201 The governor and judges 
sitting as a legislature were authorized to adopt such laws of 
the original states as might be necessary ; the 
governor singly was given the power to 
appoint all local magistrates and other civil 
officers and also all militia officers below 
the rank of general officers, the 
last being appointed by con- 
gress. It will thus be seen that 
the people of the territory 
were given no voice whatever 
in their government, either 
general or local. This was only 
a temporary arrangement ; 
whenever there should "be five 
thousand free male inhabitants, 
of full age, in the district" a 
legislature was to be established consisting of the governor, rep- 
resentatives elected by the freeholders, and a council of five 
members selected by congress from ten nominated by the terri- 
torial house of representatives. This legislature was to have 
authority to make laws not repugnant to the ordinance; but to 
the governor was given the power to convene, prorogue, and dis- 
solve the legislature, as well as an absolute veto over all its acts. 
The legislature, by joint ballot, was to elect a delegate to con- 
gress, who should have the right to speak but not to vote. Among 
the qualifications required of members of the legislature was the 
possession of a freehold of two hundred acres of land for a rep- 
resentative and five hundred for a councilor. 

The last section of the ordinance consisted of six "articles of 
compact, between the original States and the people and States 
in the said territory" which were forever to "remain unalter- 
able, unless by common consent." It should be noted, however, 

""When the new government under the constitution was established, it 
was provided that the appointments should be made by the president instead 
of by congress. Thorpe, Constitutions, 2 -.963-964. 


that this was a one-sided compact, as the consent of the people 
residing in the district was never asked or secured. Two of 
these articles are of special significance in connection with a 
study of Illinois in 1818. One of these, the fifth, provided that 
"there shall be formed in the said territory not less than three, 
nor more than five States." The boundary between the two 
western states was to be the Wabash as far north as "Post Vin- 
cents" and thence a direct line drawn from the Wabash and 
"Post Vincents," due north, to the territorial line between the 
United States and Canada. Should the establishment of more 
than three states seem expedient, congress was to "have au- 
thority to form one or two States in that part of the said terri- 
tory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through 
the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan." Each of 
these states was to be admitted into the union whenever there 
should be sixty thousand free inhabitants within its limits. 

The most famous feature of the ordinance was that con- 
tained in the sixth of the articles of compact, which provided 
that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in 
the said territory, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." This would 
seem to be a positive prohibition of the continuance of slavery 
northwest of the Ohio ; but, in view of the guarantee in the Vir- 
gina act of cession, it was interpreted from the beginning as 
applying only to the future introduction of slavery; and slaves 
continued to be held in the region for half a century. 

The government provided for by the ordinance was estab- 
lished at Marietta in 1788 and two years later it was extended 
to the Illinois country, which was organized as St. Clair county. 
Knox county, formed the same year with its seat at Vincennes, 
included the eastern half of what is now the state of Illinois. 202 
In 1 795 Randolph county was established from the southern part 
of St. Clair. In accordance with the provisions of the ordi- 
nance, all the officials in these counties were appointed by the 

""In 1801 the boundaries of St. Clair and Randolph counties were ex- 
tended nearly to the Wabash, and the remainder of Knox county in what 
became Illinois was incorporated with them when the division took place in 
1809. Illinois Blue Book, 1905, p. 376. 



governor. Aften ten years of rule by the governor and judges, 
the territory passed to the second grade; and the first legisla- 
ture met in Cincinnati in 1799. St. 
Clair and Randolph counties were rep- 
resented in the house by Shadrach 
Bond and John Edgar respectively. 
William Henry Harrison, recently ap- 
pointed secretary of the territory, was 
elected by this legislature as the dele- 
gate to congress and there in 1800 
secured the passage of an act dividing 
the northwest territory and establish- 
ing the western part as Indiana terri- 
tory. He also secured his own appoint- 
ment as governor of the new territory. 
The provisions for the government of 
Indiana territory were practically 
identical with those contained in the 
Ordinance of 1787, with the exception 
that it might pass to the second grade 
whenever the governor should be con- 
vinced that the majority of the people 
desired the change. 
During the period from 1800 to 1809, when Illinois was a 
part of Indiana territory, the principal issues of a political char- 
acter were the passage to the second grade and the division of 
the territory; and inextricably bound up with these was the 
question of the admission of slavery. There is no evidence that 
national politics affected to any appreciable extent the politics 
of the territory during this period, but the people and their 
political leaders divided on the above issues and also to some 
extent into personal factions. The more influential of the new 
settlers in the Illinois country as well as the old French inhab- 
itants were strongly in favor of the repeal or at least the sus- 
pension of the slavery article in the ordinance, probably be- 
cause they believed it hampered the development of the territory. 
So early as 1796 a petition was sent to congress praying for the 


[Original owned by William 
Wilkinson, Roodhouse] 


repeal of the article, signed by John Edgar, William Morrison, 
William St. Clair, and John Dumoulin, leading men in St. Clair 
and Randolph counties. These men professed to sign "for and 
on behalf of the inhabitants" of the counties and there is little 
doubt that they expressed the sentiments of a large majority of 
those inhabitants; but they presented no evidence to that effect 
and the petition was rejected. 208 

When Indiana territory was established it is probable that a 
majority of its inhabitants were in favor of a change in the 
slavery article. The Illinois people at once prepared another 
petition to congress praying for such a change and for the ex- 
tinction of the Indian title in southern Illinois. This document, 
dated October i, 1800, bears 270 signatures, mostly French, but 
including the names of such leading Americans as John Edgar, 
John Rice Jones, William Morrison, Robert Morrison, and 
Shadrach Bond. The fact that congress ignored the petition was 
probably a factor in inducing the Illinois leaders the following 
year to agitate for advance to the second grade, in order that 
the territory might have a delegate to urge the desired measure 
in congress. In this action, however, they met with the opposi- 
tion of Governor Harrison who had no desire to give up so soon 
a part of his extensive power. The governor had a numerous 
coterie of followers in Knox county and by means of the pat- 
ronage exerted a powerful influence throughout the territory. 
He had little difficulty, therefore, in suppressing the movement 
by issuing a letter in which attention was called to the increased 
expenses which would be involved. 

Harrison and his party differed with what may for conven- 
ience be called the Edgar and Morrison party as to methods 
rather than ends, for both factions were in favor of the in- 
troduction of more slaves. The method selected by the governor 
was the calling of an extralegal convention which met in Vin- 
cennes in 1802 and petitioned congress for a suspension of the 

best account of the politics of Indiana territory from 1800 to 1809 
is in Dunn, Indiana, chs. 8-10. The originals of the petitions and memorials 
referred to below are in the House and Senate Files. Some of them have 
been printed in Indiana Historical Society, Publications, 2 -.447-529. See also 
Woollen, Biographical^ and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana, 4-5 ; Amer- 
ican State Papers, Miscellaneous, I -.450, 467, 477, 484-485, 922, 945. 

186 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

slavery article for a term of ten years. Neither Edgar nor 
William Morrison were among the six Illinois men in this con- 
vention although Robert Morrison, a brother of William, was 
one of them. In the national house of representatives this peti- 
tion was referred to a committee, which through its chairman, 
John Randolph, presented an adverse report. In later sessions 
other committees reported in favor of suspension, but no action 
was ever taken. 

Having failed in this direction the governor and judges pro- 
ceeded in 1803 to pass "A Law Concerning Servants" which 
provided that a person coming into the territory "under contract 
to serve another in any trade or occupation shall be compelled 
to perform such contract specifically during the term thereof." 
The purpose of this act was to introduce a form of slavery in 
the guise of indentured servitude, but the legislative powers of 
the governor and judges were so limited that the Harrison fac- 
tion executed an about face on the question of advancing to sec- 
ond grade; for it was believed that an unrestricted legislature 
could pass a more satisfactory indenture law. On August 4, 
1804, therefore, the governor issued a proclamation for an 
election to be held September 1 1 to determine the wishes of the 
people on the subject. 

Meanwhile the members of the Edgar and Morrison faction in 
Illinois, probably because of dissatisfaction with the distribution 
of the patronage, were becoming more and more hostile to the 
governor and his supporters, and in 1803 they grasped at what 
appeared to be an opportunity at once of escaping from his con- 
trol and of securing the coveted admission of slavery. Learning 
of the purchase of Louisiana, they prepared petitions asking 
congress to join the Illinois country to the new territory to be 
formed west of the river. Congress instead placed the new dis- 
trict of Louisiana temporarily under the governor and judges 
of Indiana territory but not as a part of that territory. 

In spite of the advantages for the proslavery advocates 
which the advance to second grade offered, the Edgar and Mor- 
rison faction reversed their former position and opposed the 
change, apparently for no other reason than their hostility to 
the governor and his faction. They were able to carry St. Clair 


county against the measure, the vote being 22 to 59, but Harri- 
son's friends and appointees in Randolph, led by Dr. George 
Fisher and Pierre Menard, carried that county by a vote of 40 
to 21. Knox county voted overwhelmingly for the change, but 
the attitude of Dearborn county in eastern Indiana, where all the 
26 votes were cast against the measure, indicates the appearance 
of a new faction in Indiana politics, a faction strongly opposed 
to the introduction of slavery. The totals were 269 to 131, 
making a majority on the face of the returns of 138 in favor 
of the change. No election was held in Wayne county (De- 
troit) however, and the light vote cast would indicate that 
there was some truth in the charge that the whole affair was a 
snap election. 

Governor Harrison at once issued a proclamation for an elec- 
tion of nine representatives; these assembled in Vincennes in 
1805 and proceeded to nominate councilors to the president. The 
representatives from the Illinois counties were Shadrach Bond 
and William Biggs of St. Clair and Dr. George Fisher of Ran- 
dolph, while Jesse B. Thomas, later of Illinois, represented 
Dearborn county. Of the five councilors selected by Harrison 
from the ten nominated by the house for the president secretly 
delegated his power of choice to the governor two, Pierre 
Menard and John Hay were from the Illinois country. The leg- 
islature selected Benjamin Parke of Vincennes, a personal and 
political friend of the governor, as delegate to congress, and 
then proceeded to the passage of an indenture law. This act 
of 1805, which was revised and reenacted in 1807, provided that 
a slave over fifteen years of age might be brought into the ter- 
ritory and within thirty days enter into a formal agreement to 
serve as an indentured servant for a certain number of years. 
The agreement was to be made a matter of record, and should 
the slave refuse to bind himself, the master was allowed sixty 
days in which to remove him from the territory. Children born 
of indentured servants were to serve the master of the mother, 
males to the age of thirty, and females, of twenty-eight. Slaves 
under fifteen might be brought in and simply registered to serve, 
males until thirty-five and females until thirty-two years of age. 

It is useless at this date to raise the question as to whether 

188 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the indentured servitude established by this act was or was 
not "slavery or involuntary servitude" and thus in viola- 
tion of the ordinance. Certain it is that the ends sought by the 
act were approved by a majority of the people in Illinois and 
in the western part of what came to be the state of Indiana. 
Only in Dearborn and Clark counties of Indiana was there any 
considerable opposition to it. 

During the summer of 1805 the anti-Harrison faction in Illi- 
nois circulated a petition for the division of Indiana territory. 
In this they were probably actuated principally by the belief that 
such a division would improve their political fortunes and would 
be distasteful to their opponents, the Harrison faction; but they 
may have been influenced also by a feeling that a separate Illi- 
nois might secure complete and unrestricted slavery and also by 
a fear that the growing antislavery population of eastern In- 
diana would put in jeopardy the indenture system. Besides pray- 
ing for division they asked that the slavery article might be 
repealed or modified so far as it affected the proposed new terri- 
tory. Among the grievances alleged by the petitioners was 
their "having been unwarrantably precipitated into the second 
grade of territorial government," and the story of that trans- 
action was recounted at some length. 

Knowing that such a petition was in circulation, the supporters 
of Harrison introduced in the legislative session of 1805 a memo- 
rial to congress, praying among other things for the introduction 
of slavery and protesting against the proposed division of the 
territory. A proposition was also embodied in this memorial 
for the admission of the territory as a state before division, to- 
gether with a suggestion that division when it should come might 
well be by an east and west instead of a north and south line. 
Obviously such a division would be greatly to the advantage of 
Vincennes. The memorial was not adopted by the legislature 
but was sent to congress as a "Petition of the subscribers, mem- 
bers of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of 
the Indiana Territory, and constituting a majority of the two 
Houses, respectively." The five members whose names do not 
appear on the petition were the councilors and representatives 
from St. Clair and Clark counties. Councilor Menard and Repre- 


sentative Fisher of Randolph, both followers of Harrison, signed 
as did also Representative Jesse B. Thomas of Dearborn. The 
name of another Dearborn man, Benjamin Chambers, presi- 
dent of the council appears; but he afterwards denied that he 
signed the petition. Both Thomas and Chambers, if Chambers 
signed, probably misrepresented their constituents. The people 
of Dearborn county the same year prepared a petition to con- 
gress complaining of the advance to second grade, protesting 
against the indenture law, and praying that they might be 
joined to the state of Ohio. 204 

These three documents emanating from three distinct factions 
and representing the views of three distinct sections of the ter- 
ritory reached congress in December, 1805, and on the eighteenth 
were referred to a select committee, of which the delegate from 
Indiana territory was a member. A month later a number of 
additional documents from the Illinois counties were referred to 
the same committee. They consisted of a memorial prepared 
by "a Committee from the Several Townships in the Counties" 
and the minutes of the committee, including a series of resolu- 
tions. It would seem that the anti-Harrison faction felt some 
further action to be necessary to counteract the effect of the leg- 
islative petition. The resolutions, after calling for a division of 
the territory, express the respect of the people for the ordinance 
and call attention to "the Violation thereof By the late act of 
the Legislature of this Territory Authorizing the importation 
of Slaves, and involuntary servitude for a term of years." From 
this it might be inferred that the committee was hostile to the 
introduction of slaves, but the succeeding sentences show that 
this was for political effect entirely. "And altho' this Committee 
entertain no doubt but that the Act in Question will render serv- 
ice, by adding a Spring to the Growth of this Country, They 
express the disapprobation of a people, who never will Consent 
to a Violation of that ordinance, for this privilege of slavery. 
When Congress should deem a Change of the Ordinance expe- 
dient, they will Cheerfully agree to the measure." The memo- 
rial itself sets forth many reasons for desiring a division of the 

^Indiana Historical Society, Publications, 2:476-483, 492-494^ American 
State Papers, Miscellaneous, 1:485; Dunn, Indiana, 336-341. 345- 

190 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

territory, condemns the petition of the members of the legis- 
lature, and asks for the permission to hold slaves as "promotive 
of the prosperity of this Country." No mention is made of the 
indenture law in the memorial, but other acts of the legislature 
are denounced because they increased the power of the gov- 
ernor. Accompanying the memorial and the minutes was a 
census estimate by Robert Morrison, who had taken a census 
in 1 80 1 ; he reckoned the population of St. Clair and Randolph 
counties at 4,311. 

The special committee, in its report of February 14, 1806, to 
the house of representatives, opposed the admission of the terri- 
tory as a state before the division and also the proposals for 
immediate division, but favored the suspension of the slavery 
article for ten years. No action was ever taken on the report, 
but it was clear that congress would never authorize the admis- 
sion of the territory as a single state. The result was a momen- 
tary truce between the two proslavery factions in the legisla- 
tive session of November, 1806, and the adoption by unanimous 
vote of a series of resolutions asking for a suspension of the 
"sixth article." Benjamin Parke, the delegate from Indiana, 
was chairman of the committee of the house of representatives, 
to which these resolutions were referred; and on February 12, 
1807, he presented a report favoring suspension of the slavery 
article. This report was referred to the committee of the whole 
house but was never considered. 

Meanwhile the advocates of division in Illinois were continu- 
ing their campaign and on February 20, 1807, another memorial 
from their committee was referred to the same committee of the 
house of representatives which had reported on the legislative 
resolutions. At the same time a counter petition from Ran- 
dolph county was received which denied the representative char- 
acter of the Illinois committee and opposed division. This peti- 
tion bears one hundred and two signatures, but nearly all the 
names are French and forty-two are signed with a mark. 
Among recognized supporters of Harrison who signed were Dr. 
George Fisher, James Gilbreath, and two of the Menards. Six 
days after receiving these petitions the committee reported to 


the house a resolution declaring the expediency of division. This 
resolution was adopted, but no further action followed. 

The election of the second house of representatives of the 
Indiana territorial legislature in February, 1807, showed an in- 
crease in the strength of the factions opposed to Harrison, but 
all three of the Illinois representatives were reflected. At the 
first session of the legislature, in August, 1807, the principal 
matters of interest were the reelection of Parke to congress and 
the adoption of another memorial asking for the suspension of 
the slavery article. Between the first and the second sessions 
of the second territorial legislature the political situation 
changed materially. John Rice Jones, member of the council 
from Knox county, broke with Harrison, probably on a matter 
of patronage, and joined the opposition. Menard and Hay 
resigned from the council, and Fisher and Bond 205 were pro- 
moted to their places, thus necessitating the election of a repre- 
sentative in each of the Illinois counties. These elections re- 
sulted, after a bitter contest between the factions, in victories for 
the anti-Harrison party in both cases, the successful candidates 
being Rice Jones, a son of the councilor, in Randolph, and John 
Messinger, the first "Yankee" in Illinois politics, in St. Clair. 
As a result of these changes the anti-Harrison factions had a 
majority in the legislative session of 1808 and were able to 
effect a combination on the question of division. This was 
possible in spite of their radical differences on the slavery issue 
because the elimination of the Illinois counties would in all 
probability give the antislavery forces a majority in Indiana 
proper. Early in the session resolutions in favor of division 
were adopted and forwarded to congress, but it took several 
weeks for the two factions to agree on a delegate to take the 
place of Parke, who had resigned. The man finally selected was 
Jesse B. Thomas, of Dearborn county, who pledged himself to 
work for division. The Harrison men supported Michael 
Jones, register of the land office at Kaskaskia, possibly with the 

Bond was the nephew of the Shadrach Bond who served in the 
legislature of the Northwest territory. He was sometimes known as "Shad- 
rach Bond, Jr." 

192 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

object of inducing the Illinois representatives to support an Illi- 
nois man, but Jones received only three of the ten votes. 

Sometime in the spring of 1808 the Illinois advocates of di- 
vision had prepared three petitions to congress which on April 
16 were referred to a committee of the house of representatives 
of which Parke was a member. The first of these petitions points 
out the weakness of the counter petition presented in 1807, as 
signed by so large a proportion of illiterate Frenchmen, and as- 
serts that the committee which signed the memorials of 1806 and 
1807 was tru ly representative of the sentiment of the counties; 
the second contains an elaborate series of charges against Gov- 
ernor Harrison including among them his sanctioning of the in- 
denture law "which may properly be entitled 'A Law for the 
Establishment of disguised slavery in opposition to the Na- 
tional Will';" while the third was merely a brief request for 
division. Inasmuch as the names of John Edgar and William 
Morrison appear at the head of the signatures to the second 
petition it is clear that the reference to the indenture law was 
not an indication of antislavery sentiment. 

Parke failed to secure a favorable report on these petitions, 
although he had agreed to support the division movement, and 
in December, 1808, they were referred to a new committee ap- 
pointed to enquire into the expediency of dividing the Indiana 
territory, and headed by Jesse B. Thomas. This committee had 
various other documents before it the legislative resolution 
already mentioned, a petition from the grand jury of St. Clair 
county praying for division, presented December 2, depositions 
denying their signatures from men whose names appeared on 
the petition containing the attack on Harrison, and a petition 
from Harrison's followers in Knox county, including Benjamin 
Parke, opposing division. Thomas appears to have had little 
difficulty in securing a report favorable to division, and the 
passage of an act, approved February 9, 1809, for the establish- 
ment of the territory of Illinois. 

From the foregoing account of politics in Indiana territory it 
is evident that there were in Illinois in 1809 two parties or fac- 
tions which had been working at cross purposes for a number of 
years. These may be classified as the Harrison and anti-Harri- 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 


[From original owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


son parties, the former comprising most of the holders of office 
and the latter headed by a number of men of considerable 
wealth and influence. It is doubtful if the great majority of the 
people owned affiliations with either of the factions and on the 
rare occasions when elections were held the voters were doubt- 
less influenced as much by the personality of the candidates as 
by their party alignments or their positions on the issues of the 
day. In the struggle over division, the anti-Harrison party had 
been victorious, but that struggle was only an incident in the 
hostility between the two groups, which persisted for a number 
of years and exerted an appreciable influence upon the politics 
of Illinois territory. 

The Ordinance of 1787 again formed the basis of the con- 
stituent act of the new territory and for the third time the people 
of Illinois found themselves under the rule of a governor and 
judges. 208 The faction which had favored division apparently ex- 
pected to secure the offices, and Jesse B. Thomas, who as dele- 
gate had brought about the separation, did succeed in securing 
one of the judgeships for himself. For governor, however, the 
president selected Ninian Edwards, chief justice of the court of 
appeals of Kentucky, who endeavored to hold himself aloof 
from both of the factions. Both of the other judges were from 
outside the territory, while the secretary was Nathaniel Pope, 
also of Kentucky, and a personal and political friend of the gov- 
ernor. Around these two men there gradually grew up a new 
party composed largely of importations but receiving, on the 
whole, more supporters from the ranks of the old anti-Harrison 
faction than from those of their opponents. 

Had Edwards accepted the suggestions made to him that 
none but advocates of division should be appointed to office, he 
would doubtless have received the complete support of the anti- 
Harrison men, and the old factions would have been continued 
as the "ins" and the "outs." With reference to the patronage, 
however, the governor adopted the policy of refusing to remove 
men who were giving satisfactory service and of following the 
wishes of the people concerned, so far as they could be ascer- 
tained, in such appointments as were made. Thus the militia 

"""Thorpe, Constitutions, 2 :g66. 

194 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

companies were allowed to select their own officers, and civil ap- 
pointments were frequently based on recommendations or peti- 
tions from the township or county. Occasionally, however, per- 
sonal factions played a part; as when Benjamin Stephenson, a 
newcomer from Kentucky, was appointed sheriff of Randolph 
county in iSoo,. 207 Stephenson was soon recognized as one of the 
leaders of the Edwards party and in 1814 was sent as delegate 
to congress, a position which enabled him to secure an appoint- 
ment as receiver of the new land office at Edwardsville. 

For the first three years of the territory the attorney general- 
ship was the chief piece of territorial patronage at the governor's 
disposal, but after the passage to second grade he had the ap- 
pointment of a territorial treasurer and an auditor of public 
accounts as well. In 1816 Edwards appointed to the latter office 
Daniel Pope Cook of Kentucky, a young nephew of Nathaniel 
Pope, the secretary. 208 At the close of the territorial period Cook 
was a close personal and political friend of the governor and later 
became his son-in-law. 

The principal local officers in 1809, all of whom were ap- 
pointed by the governor, were three judges and a clerk of the 
court of common pleas, sheriff, coroner, surveyor, treasurer, re- 
corder, and as many justices of the peace as might be needed in 
each of the counties. By the Indiana law in force at the time of 
the division, the court of common pleas conducted the adminis- 
trative business of the county, heard appeals from justices' 
courts, and had original jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases, 
with appeal to the general court of the territory. These courts 
of common pleas were notoriously inefficient so far as their 
judicial functions were concerned, for the compensation was too 
low to induce men trained in the law to serve as judges ; and by 
a series of laws adopted by the governor and judges in June 
and July, 1809, the systems of judicature and local administra- 
tion were reorganized. The courts of common pleas were 
abolished. Their administrative functions were transferred to 
courts made up of the justices of the peace of the county, which 

"'Edwards, History of Illinois, 28-41 ; Washburne, Edwards Papers, 42-46, 
76 ; James, Territorial Records, 8. 

., 40. 


were also empowered to hear appeals from decisions of indi- 
vidual justices of the peace in cases of judgments not exceeding 
twenty dollars. All other jurisdiction of the courts of common 
pleas, both civil and criminal, was transferred to the "general 
court," composed of the United States judges, which was re- 
quired to hold two terms annually in each of the two counties. 
This simple system was doubtless satisfactory to all parties con- 
cerned, so long as the amount of litigation was small and there 
were only two counties. In January, 1811, however, possibly in 
anticipation of the increase in the number of counties which 
came the following year, the governor and judges passed an act 
restoring the courts of common pleas in the place of the county 
courts made up of justices, but from the phraseology of the act 
it would appear that the jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases 
transferred to the general court in 1809 was not at this time re- 
stored to the courts of common pleas.* 09 

The advance of Illinois to the second grade of territorial gov- 
ernment took place in 1812, apparently without any opposition. 
As had been the case with Indiana territory the governor was 
authorized to make the change whenever convinced that a ma- 
jority of the freeholders desired it. On March 14 he issued a 
proclamation calling for a vote on the question on the second 
Monday in April. The result of the election was favorable, and 
in the normal course of events a restricted form of popular gov- 
ernment would have been established in Illinois similar to that 
set up in the northwest territory in 1798 and in Indiana in 1805. 
A strong sentiment had been developing, however, especially in 
the west, in favor of greater participation by the people in their 
governments. Several of the state constitutions recently adopted 
had dropped all property qualifications for suffrage; and con- 
gress, by an act of 1809, had liberalized the government of In- 
diana territory to the extent of providing for the election of the 
delegate and the councilors by the people, although the suffrage 
qualification remained unchanged. 

In Illinois the restriction of suffrage and office holding to free- 
holders would have been especially objectionable in 1812, for 

*"Alvord, Laws of the Territory, 2-6, 28. 

196 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

there were no sales of land until 1814 and the great majority of 
the inhabitants were squatters waiting patiently for the oppor- 
tunity to purchase the land on which they had located. On the 
very day on which he issued the proclamation for the election, 
Governor Edwards wrote a long letter to Colonel Richard M. 
Johnson, congressman from Kentucky, explaining the situation 
and asking for his assistance in securing an act removing the 
property qualification for suffrage and providing for the election 
of the delegate by popular vote. Should the provisions of the 
ordinance remain in force, he claimed, a majority of the present 
freeholders, who constituted less than one-tenth of the male pop- 
ulation of voting age, would be able to control the government 
for at least five years. The establishment of new counties, more- 
over, would be hampered by the impossibility of finding men 
with requisite qualifications to represent them in the legislature. 
Two weeks later, March 30, Edwards transmitted to the 
speaker of the house of representatives two petitions numerously 
signed, praying for the extension of the suffrage and the privi- 
lege of electing the delegate by popular vote. 210 One of these 
petitions from "Inhabitants of the Land district East of Kaskas- 
kia," in which the squatters comprised practically the whole 
population, rehearsed the arguments presented in Edwards' let- 
ter to Johnson. The other, from "citizens of the Territory," was 
signed by many of the leading residents of Kaskaskia. Colonel 
Johnson secured prompt action by congress, and on May 20 the 
president approved a law which enabled the people of Illinois 
to establish the most democratic form of territorial government 
to be found in the United States at that time. By the terms of 
this act suffrage was granted to all free white males, twenty- 
one years of age, who had paid a county or territorial tax, no 
matter how small, and had resided in the territory one year. It 
was further provided that the five councilors should be elected 
in five districts to be designated by the governor, and finally the 
delegate to congress was to be elected by the people instead of 
by the legislature. 

""Edwards, History of Illinois, 306-309. The original of this letter and 
the petitions noted in the following paragraph, are in the House Files. 


On September 14, 1812, Governor Edwards issued two im- 
portant proclamations. The first of these established three new 
counties, Madison, Gallatin, and Johnson, making five in all, to 
serve as the districts for the five members of the council. The 
second proclamation made provision for an election to be held 
October 8-10, for delegate, members of the council, and rep- 
resentatives. Two representatives each were assigned to St. 
Clair and Gallatin counties and one each to the other three. The 
returns of this election are not known to be in existence, but 
Shadrach Bond, who had been both representative and councilor 
in the Indiana territorial legislature before the division, with 
leanings toward the Harrison party, was elected delegate to con- 
gress. Apparently there was some opposition to his election, for 
on November n a petition from Benjamin M. Piatt, attorney 
general of the territory and an appointee of Governor Edwards, 
was presented to congress "complaining of the undue election" 
of Bond and praying for an investigation. No investigation 
appears to have followed and Bond took his seat on December 
3, 1812. 

Aside from the patronage the only political issue of a general 
nature during the existence of Illinois territory had to do with 
the judiciary system. As has already been seen, several changes 
were made in this system during the period when the governor 
and judges had complete control. With the assembling of the 
first territorial legislature on November 25, 1812, the question 
came before the representatives of the people. The establish- 
ment of the three new counties made some readjustment neces- 
sary, and the outcome was the complete restoration to the courts 
of common pleas of the jurisdiction which they had exercised 
under the laws of Indiana territory. This of course relieved the 
general court of the local work which had been imposed upon it 
in 1809 and in fact left it with very little to do, a situation which 
appears to have been quite satisfactory to the judges. All of 
them were absent from the territory for long periods of time 
much to the dissatisfaction of the people. "The grand jury of 
St. Clair and Randolph counties," wrote Bond to Edwards, 
August 17, 1813, "presented all our judges for non-residence 
and non-attendance, but before they [the presentments] arrived 

198 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

judge Stuart resigned." This resignation did not, however, im- 
prove conditions, for William Sprigg, who was appointed to 
take the place of Stuart, absolutely refused to recognize the 
right of the legislature to regulate the court. On February 23, 
1814, Bond wrote that he was "trying to get a law passed to 
compel our judges to perform such duties as our Legislature 
have required of them." 211 

Two years experience with the courts of common pleas ap- 
parently convinced the people of the necessity of having trained 
judges, and in December, 1814, the legislature reversed its action 
of 1812. The court of common pleas was again abolished and 
its administrative functions transferred to a county court of 
three men, while the United States judges were organized as a 
supreme court and directed to hold two courts annually in each 
county and a court of appeals at the capital. Upon the former 
devolved the judicial functions formerly exercised by the courts 
of common pleas. It was expected that the judges would divide 
up the counties into circuits and hold the local courts individually, 
but these were to be termed sessions of the supreme court in or- 
der to avoid objections which the judges had raised to any 
breaking up of the unity of their court. There was nothing in 
the act to prevent all or several of the judges from holding court 
jointly in each county if they so desired, as had been done when 
there were only two counties. Judges Thomas and Sprigg, 
however, at once addressed a letter to the legislature protesting 
against the change and denying the authority of the legislature 
over them. They took the position that the supreme court estab- 
lished by the act was a new court to which "the court established 
by the ordinance" was to be subjected, and asserted that "an ap- 
peal from the same court to the same is a solecism." 

The legislature forwarded the letter to Governor Edwards 
and requested of him an opinion upon the subject, which he fur- 
nished at great length in a communication of December 12, 1814. 
The governor explained that the words of the ordinance "are 
that 'there shall be appointed a court, to consist of three judges, 
who shall have a common law jurisdiction,' but how, when or 

""House Files, March 14, 30, 1812; Laws of 1812, p. 15-16, 46-48; Pope's 
Digest, 2:311-312; Washburne, Edwards Papers, 103, no. 


where that jurisdiction is to be exercised is not pointed out, and 
therefore it is subjected to the modification and direction of the 
Territorial Legislature." 212 The judges still refused to acknowl- 
edge the validity of the law, and on December 21 the legislature 
forwarded all the documents to congress together with a memo- 
rial praying for relief. One sentence of this memorial reads: 
"There being no intermixture of party spirit or individual hos- 
tility with this proceeding, the objections of the Judges to exe- 
cuting the law doubtless arise, more from a conviction in their 
own minds of the want of Power in the Legislature to pass it, 
than from any indisposition on their part to perform the duties 
therein assigned to them." This was probably a bit of subtle 
sarcasm, for the judges were certainly not anxious to assume any 
additional burdens and the politicians were certainly grouping 
themselves into supporters and opponents of Governor Edwards, 
of whom the former upheld the judiciary law and the latter 
supported the judges. Together with these documents in the 
house files is a long letter from Edwards, dated January 2, 1815, 
and recounting the arguments in favor of the validity of the law. 

The result of this appeal to congress was the passage of an 
act "regulating and defining the duties of the United States 
Judges for the territory of Illinois" which required them to hold 
circuit courts in each county. That this victory of the Edwards 
party was not won without opposition is evident from Benjamin 
Stephenson's review of his work as a delegate in congress, in 
which he says: "With regard to our judiciary system, I should 
at all times, have been happy to see such a one established, as 
would, if possible, have been agreeable to the judges, and con- 
venient to the people. But I felt it my duty to oppose, and I did 
oppose with success, the attempt that was made when this sub- 
ject was before the last congress, to destroy the circuit system, 
and to have a general court to sit in two or three places only." 218 

Just at this point in the fight, Griswold, the one judge who 
had not actively opposed the territorial law, died ; and the efforts 
of the two factions to get their respective candidates appointed 

'"A Law Establishing a Supreme Court and Documents (Kaskaskia, 
1814) ; Edwards, History of Illinois, 86-92. 

""Statutes at Large, 3 -.237-239 ; Intelligencer, June 19, 1816. 

200 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

throw light on the alignment of men in 1815, particularly in Gal- 
latin county. Griswokl died in Shawneetown, August 2 1 ; and 
four days later a meeting was held there at which a petition was 
circulated in favor of Thomas Towles of Kentucky as his suc- 
cessor. The men present at this meeting were Towles himself, 
Leonard White, Benjamin Talbott, Thomas Sloo, and John 
Caldwell. The opposition at once put up Jeptha Hardin, a Ken- 
tuckian, who had been practicing law in Gallatin county since 
1813 and a man who, according to John Reynolds "possessed a 
strong original mind, and seemed to disdain scholastic educa- 
tion." Hardin's chief support came from Judge Thomas; and 
his political manager in the campaign appears to have been 
Joseph M. Street, clerk of both the county and circuit courts of 
Gallatin county. Towles, however secured the appointment. 

The victorious faction at Shawneetown in this contest was 
composed largely of men connected with the United States saline, 
and in that way closely associated with Edwards, who had been 
appointed superintendent of the saline in 1809. Leonard White 
was United States agent at the saline, while Sloo and Caldwell 
were register and receiver of the Shawneetown land office and 
thus concerned with the reservation. Towles himself, accord- 
ing to information given to Hardin by Caldwell, "was at the lick" 
with White and Talbott when Griswold died, and may have been 
connected with the saline in a private capacity. The men op- 
posed to Towles were also opposed to the management of the 
saline, and in 1816 they sent two petitions to congress against 
the renewal of the lease of John Bate. Street's name is first 
on one of these and Hardin's on the other. It would seem prob- 
able, therefore, that the saline was a considerable factor in Illi- 
nois politics. It added a business interest to the struggles over 
the patronage. 

Among the members of the anti-Edwards faction at this time 
was Elias Kent Kane of Kaskaskia, one of the most promising 
of the younger lawyers, and a "keen, shrewd, talented politician." 
Born in New York and educated at Yale, he began practice in 
Illinois in 1814 when only twenty years of age. From the first 
he seems to have been on terms of intimacy with Judges Thomas 
and Sprigg, and Street considered him a person of influence in 
1815. Another member of this faction and an intimate friend 


[From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society 


of Kane was John McLean, a young Kentuckian, who came to 
Shawneetown in 1815 and was admitted to the bar the following 
year. Mention should also be made of Thomas C. Browne, an- 
other lawyer from Kentucky, who located in Shawneetown in 
1812 and who threw in his lot with the Edwards men. In 1815 
Browne was one of the leaders in an attempt to deprive Street 
of his position as clerk of the circuit court. 

The usual alignment of party leaders during the territorial 
period runs Edwards, Pope, Cook, White, and Browne on one 
side and Bond, Thomas, Michael Jones, Kane, and McLean on 
the other. This is derived from a statement of John Reynolds, 
who began to take an interest in politics about 1818, and it is in 
the main correct. 214 The Michael Jones referred to may have 
been the young lawyer who was located in Shawneetown as early 
as 1812 and who played a prominent part in politics after the ad- 
mission of the state. He was a half brother of Jesse B. Thomas 
and a brother-in-law of Hardin so that his family affiliations 
were with the anti-Edwards party. There was another Michael 
Jones, however, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Kas- 
kaskia in 1804 as register of the land office, and held his position 
there throughout the territorial period. He had been the candi- 
date of the Harrison faction against Thomas for delegate from 
Indiana territory in 1808 and served for a time as lieutenant- 
colonel of the militia, from which position Edwards removed him 
in 1811. There was bitter feeling between him and the gov- 
ernor over the settlement of land claims also, and he could doubt- 
less be included as a member of the faction opposed to the gov- 
ernor. 215 

a *Street to Kane, March 26, 1815 and Hardin to Kane, September 29, 
1815, in Chicago Historical Society manuscripts; Lippincott, "Early Days in 
Madison County," no. 13 ; Reynolds, Pioneer History, 330 ; Reynolds, My 
Own Times, 210. 

""Illinois Gazette, August 5, 1826; James, Territorial Records, 18, 28; 
Washburne, Edwards Papers, 71-78; Reynolds, Pioneer History, 351. 

The secondary writers have all treated these two men as one, the usual 
statement being that he moved from Kaskaskia to Shawneetown in 1814. 
The conclusion that there were two men of this name was first based on 
a comparison of signatures and on a cumulation of circumstantial evidence. 
Finally, however, positive proof was found in a letter from Edward Humph- 
reys, receiver of the land office at Kaskaskia, to the commissioner of the 
general land office, dated November 30, 1822, which announces the death 
of "Col. Mich. Jones Regr. of the Land Office at this place" on the twenty- 
sixth. Land records in the auditor's office, Springfield. 

202 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The placing of Bond's name first in Reynolds' list has led 
many local historians to speak of the opposition to Edwards as 
the Bond party. The real leaders of this faction, however, at 
the close of the territorial period were Thomas and Kane; and 
there is no strictly contemporary evidence to indicate that Bond 
was counted as a member of the party until, as first governor of 
the state, he fell under the influence of Kane, the secretary of 
state. Bond had been considered a member of the Harrison 
faction in the Indiana territorial legislature, and in 1809 he ob- 
jected strenuously to Edwards' proposition that he go into an 
election with William B. Whiteside for the position of colonel 
of the militia, then held by Bond. Whiteside received the ap- 
pointment. In 1812, however, as has been seen, Bond was 
elected delegate to congress, and his letters to the governor dur- 
ing his term indicate that at that time they were working in per- 
fect harmony. Bond came back from Washington in 1814 with 
an appointment as receiver of the land office at Kaskaskia. Two 
years later when Nathaniel Pope resigned the secretaryship to 
run for the position of delegate to congress, Bond secured Pope's 
support for the position of secretary and wrote confidentially 
to the governor: "I now ask, and flatter myself, that you will 
support my view." 216 The appointment went to Captain Joseph 
B. Phillips of Tennessee, who was the first chief justice of the 
supreme court of the state and the candidate of the Thomas 
and Kane party for governor in 1822, but there is no evidence 
that Edwards was in any way responsible. 

The truth seems to be that Bond and many of the other men, 
such as Pierre Menard and Dr. George Fisher, who had been 
prominent in politics during the period when Illinois was a part 
of Indiana territory, held aloof from both of the new factions 
and relied upon their popularity with the voters for political 
preferment. Menard represented Randolph county in all three 
sessions of the legislature of Illinois territory, serving as presi- 
dent of the council, while Fisher was the representative from the 
same county and speaker of the house in the first and third 
legislatures. In 1816 these two men had only to announce their 

"'Lippincott, "Early Days in Madison County," no. 13; Washburne, Ed- 
wards Papers, 42-46, 93-98, 101-117, 126, 150. 


candidacy in order to assure their elections, and the same ap- 
pears to have been true of Bond whenever he aspired to an elec- 
tive office. 

On the whole, it would appear that the political factions dur- 
ing the last years of Illinois territory may be characterized as 
combinations of men for the purpose of holding or seeking ap- 
pointive offices, either local or territorial. The people as a whole 
played little part in politics, for the only elections were those for 
delegate and members of the legislature every two years. It is 
doubtful if any considerable number of voters considered them- 
selves as members of either of the political parties, and in the 
elections they were concerned less with questions of policy re- 
garding the territory as a whole than with what the representa- 
tives whom they sent to the legislature could procure for their 
particular county. This local interest was often a desire for a 
dam, a ferry, a road, or some other public improvement ; and in 
1818 the legislature was satirized as "discussing, whether nature 
had designed such and such rivers to be navigable or not." In 
1816 the important issue of the judiciary system was pend- 
ing, but the fight in St. Clair county centered around the purely 
local issue of the division of the county, and the candidates 
pledged themselves to give primary consideration to local inter- 
ests. In Randolph, as has been noted, the popular candidates 
-had little opposition, regardless of their stand on territorial is- 
sues, and such seems to have been the situation wherever no local 
issue was at stake. 217 

The action of the third territorial legislature on the judiciary 
question illustrates the lack of political convictions on the part 
of the members and the absence of strict party affiliation. 218 

Intelligencer, September 9, 1818, July 9, 24, 1816. 

*"The'list of representatives in this legislature in the Illinois Blue Book, 
I9I3-I9J4I P- 133. is inaccurate and incomplete. It is supplemented in the 
following list from a vote reported in the Intelligencer of December 25, 
1817. All of these men were elected in 1816 and all were present at the 
second session. Davenport may not have attended the first session but there 
is evidence that all the others were present, in the issues of the Intelligencer 
for December 4, n, 18, 25, 1816, and January 22, 1817. George Fisher 
(Speaker), Randolph; C. R. Matheny, St. Clair; William H. Bradsby, St. 
Clair ; Nathan Davis, Jackson ; M. S. Davenport, Gallatin ; Joseph Palmer, 
Johnson ; Seth Card, Edwards ; Samuel Omelveny, Pope ; Willis Hargrave, 

White ; John Mordock, Monroe ; Gilham, Madison ; Edward N. Cullom, 


204 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

The United States law of 1815 having proved unsatisfactory in 
some of its details, the legislature of 1816 asked congress to 
make certain changes and also to give to the legislature the 
power to make such changes as might be required in the future. 
This request was granted by a law of April 29, 1816, but un- 
fortunately the phraseology of the act was such that the judges 
could claim that it would be of no effect after the close of the 
following session of the legislature, although the obvious intent 
of congress was merely to limit those parts of the law making 
specific provisions for the time being and to leave the legislature 
absolutely free to regulate the judicial system of the territory 
in the future. The interpretation of the judges, if accepted, 
would have had the effect of throwing the question back into 
the same situation as before the passage of the United States 
law of 1815, with only the brief and doubtful language of the 
Ordinance of 1787 to fall back upon. 

At the first session of the third territorial legislature, a com- 
mittee of the house on the "state of the Judiciary" reported a 
bill "to establish circuit courts of their own creation; to give a 
salary of about $800 to have two judges; and to hold three 
courts in each county." This bill, if enacted, would have relieved 
the United States judges of circuit work entirely, but the mem- 
bers of the legislature felt that the people of the territory should 
not be called upon to pay for service which they had a right to 
demand of the United States judges. Another bill was substi- 
tuted, therefore, which practically continued the system then in 
force under the United States statute, and this was enacted into 
a law. Judges Thomas and Towles held courts in their circuits 
in accordance with this act although the former expressed doubts 
of its validity, but Judge Sprigg absolutely refused to recognize 
the act on the ground that the United States law had expired 
and that the territorial act was a violation of the ordinance. In 
March when he should have been making his first round of 
counties, he was on his way to Maryland. He returned to the 
territory in October and shortly afterward announced his re- 
fusal to obey the law. As a result the people of the circuit as- 
signed to him were deprived of facilities for the determination 






[Originals of these weapons in Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis] 


of lawsuits, and criminals went untried. 219 

When the same legislature met for its second session in Decem- 
ber, 1817, it was obvious that something must be done to relieve 
the situation. Representatives Bradsby and Matheny of St. 
Clair opposed any concession to the judges and advocated "an 
appeal to that tribunal which is competent for that purpose." 
This would have meant more delay, however, and the majority 
of the legislature appears to have been governed by expediency. 
The first bill considered would have reestablished the old courts 
of common pleas but this was killed in committee of the whole 
house and a measure was adopted similar to the one which failed 
to pass in the first session. This provided for two circuit judges 
appointed by the governor, with salaries of a thousand dollars a 
year- The United States judges were relieved of all circuit duty 
and required to hold only four general courts a year, two at 
Kaskaskia and two at Shawneetown. "The object of this act," 
commented the editors of the Intelligencer, "is to remove the in- 
conveniences under which the people labor, in consequence of 
the refusal of one of the U. States Judges to act, and because it 
is believed to be a better system than to allow the same Judges 
to hold courts of original jurisdiction, and of appellate jurisdic- 
tion also." 220 That the legislature was not entirely subservient 
to the judges is indicated by the fact that it adopted resolutions 
requesting the delegate in congress to lay before the house of 
representatives charges against Judge Sprigg for his refusal to 
hold courts as required by the territorial law and for absenting 
himself from the territory "for an unreasonable time." 221 

'"Street to Kane, March 31, 1817, in Chicago Historical Society manu- 
scripts, 52:167; Intelligencer, December 4, n, 18, 1816, October 23, Novem- 
ber 6, 1817. 

^Intelligencer, January 13, 1818. See also, Ibid., December 25, 1817; 
Laws of Illinois Territory, 1817-1818, p. 90-98. This act also restored the 
"Justices' Court" composed of all the justices of the peace in each of the 
counties, such as had existed from 1809 to 1811. 

"^Intelligencer, January 13, 1818. According to Edwards, History of 
Illinois (28), Richard Graham was appointed judge April 20, 1818. If this 
is correct Sprigg must either have resigned or have been removed. At the 
first session of the first general assembly of the state in October, 1818, he 
failed in an attempt to secure a nomination for the office of United States 
district judge for Illinois. House Journal, I general assembly, I session, 28 

206 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

When in November, 1817, the question of advance to state- 
hood was suddenly thrust before the people of Illinois, the polit- 
ical situation may be summed up as follows : two coteries of poli- 
ticians, the one led by Edwards and the other by Thomas and 
Kane, were opposing each other in a contest of several years 
standing over the patronage and the judiciary; Menard, Bond, 
and others of the old established politicians, relying on their 
personal popularity, refused to align themselves with either of 
the factions; while the people, a simple people concerned prin- 
cipally with local interests and the advancement of material 
prosperity, readily gave their votes to any man who had won 
their personal liking. Besides these there was a small band of 
antislavery men watching and waiting for the opportune mo- 
ment in which to free Illinois from any semblance of slavery. 



The undemocratic features of the American territorial sys- 
tem have frequently proved unpalatable to the people of the 
territories. Thus the house of representatives of Indiana terri- 
tory on October n, 1808, adopted resolutions requesting con- 
gress to permit the delegate and members of the council to be 
elected by the people and to repeal "that part of the Ordinance 
which vests in the Governor of this Territory an absolute nega- 
tive on all acts; and also that part which confers on him the 
power of proroguing and dissolving the General Assembly." 222 
As has been already noted congress passed an act in 1809 grant- 
ing the first plea of the petitioners, but leaving the powers of 
the governor unchanged. 

The still more democratic form of government allowed to 
Illinois territory by the act of 1812 was unsatisfactory to the 
members of the legislature, and in 1814 a memorial was drawn 
up praying for the repeal of the clause in the ordinance which 
gave the governor an absolute veto. "To freemen," it reads, 
"this clause wears the aspect of slavery vesting our Executive 
with a Despotism that can frustrate the most deliberate and 
well digested measures of our Council and House of Repre- 
sentatives. . . . The good people of this Territory have the 
privilege, the trouble and the vast expense of electing and send- 
ing Representatives in a Legislative Capacity to convene and to 
consult together for the public good but by their mutual and 
most elaborate exertions they become not law-makers but only 

"'House Files, October 19, 1808. 


208 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

recommenders of laws." 228 Two years later, January 13, 1816, 
another memorial, much more moderate in tone but to the same 
effect was sent to congress. This asked not only that the execu- 
tive veto be abolished, but also that the legislature might have a 
part in the appointive power. Congress denied the request, and 
the issue reappeared in the campaign of the following summer. 
A writer in the Intelligencer, who signed himself "Aristides" de- 
plored "the colonial and degraded state of this country, under 
the government of the Ordinance, that accursed badge of des- 
potism, which withholds from the people, the only true source 
of all power, a participation in those rights guaranteed by the 
constitutions of every state in the union." The voters of the 
territory were urged to see to it that the delegate to be elected 
should "advocate a redress of colonial grievances, and honestly 
exert his influence to obtain that change (so long withholden) 
which will place us on that proud eminence of freemen." 224 

Apparently "Aristides" had in mind merely a modification of 
the territorial government for the time being; but he went on 
to state that "the present rapid influx of population, that grow- 
ing and prosperous state of the country, justifies the belief that 
it will not be more than 3 or 4 years before we will burst the 
chains of despotism, by which we are now bound, and stand a 
sovereign and independent state." The people were urged, 
therefore, "to begin to think and talk about that form^of state 
government that so soon must take place." 

The editors of the Intelligencer apparently considered that "a 
redress of colonial grievances" could come only with transition 
to statehood, for in their comment on the communication they 
declared that they considered "the question not very important 
at present, as the population of the territory will not in all prob- 
ability, within the time for which the present delegate is to be 
elected, entitle us to the redress alluded to. So soon as the pop- 
ulation is sufficient we hope that those evils will be obviated by 
a state government." 225 There is, however, no evidence that 

""Miscellaneous Assembly Papers, December 19, 1814, secretary of state's 

""Intelligencer, August 21, 1816. 


the question of statehood was an issue in the election of this 
year, when Nathaniel Pope was selected to represent the terri- 
tory in congress. 

About a year and a half later, in November, 1817, a move- 
ment for immediate transition to statehood was suddenly inau- 
gurated, and the man who was responsible was Daniel Pope 
Cook. Cook, who at this time was only twenty years old, had 
been appointed auditor of public accounts by the governor in 
January, 1816. About the same time he had purchased from 
Matthew Duncan the only newspaper then published in the ter- 
ritory, The Illinois Herald, and changed its name to The West- 
ern Intelligencer. Nominally he had continued as one of the 
editors of the paper until October, 1817, when it appeared under 
the names of Berry and Black well, each of whom in turn had 
been associated with Cook in its management. 226 In February, 
1817, Cook had gone to Washington, expecting to return in 
April, but while there he was offered an appointment to carry 
dispatches to John Quincy Adams in London and had accepted 
in the hopes that a sea voyage would improve his health. 227 Re- 
turning to the United States in September, he had remained in 
Washington a few weeks on the lookout for a political opening. 
On September 25, he wrote to Governor Edwards : "As yet I do 
not know what I am to engage in. I can get a clerkship in the 
State department with a good salary, but I won't go into it; it 
is too confining. I shall know in a few days whether I go as 
Secretary of Alabama Territory or not. The President, it is 
feared, has made up his mind ; if so, I shall fail ; there is no situa- 
tion vacant at present for me but that." Then in a postscript he 
added: "I am not yet well. May it not be better for me to re- 
turn to Kaskaskia and wait for prospects in that country if I 
don't go to Alabama?" 228 

""James, Territorial Records, 40; Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals, 211- 
212; Intelligencer, October 23, 1817. 

* 2T \Vashburne, Edwards Papers, 128; Cook to Edwards, March 6, 1817, 
in Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 49:303. On April 5, Cook's part- 
ner, Robert Blackwell was appointed auditor in his place. James, Territorial 
Records, 47. 

^Washburne, Edwards Papers, 135-141. 

210 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Failing to get the appointment desired, Cook returned to Illi- 
nois, arriving in Kaskaskia on November 18, 1817. There, in- 
stead of waiting for "prospects," he proceeded to make them. 
Two days after his arrival the following editorial appeared in 
the Intelligencer: "While we are laboring under so many of 
the grievances of a territorial, or semi-monarchial government, 
might not our claims to a state government be justly urged? 
That part of our territory which must ultimately form a state, 
will no doubt be willing to take the burthen of a state govern- 


[Original owned by W. O. Converse, Springfield] 

ment upon themselves at this time, rather than submit any 
longer to those degredations [sic] , which they have so long been 
compelled to put up with. We hope in our next to present to our 
readers, such a view of the subject as will induce our fellow citi- 
zens, as well as the legislature, to take such measures as will bring 
it before the national legislature, at their approaching season. 
We invite a discussion of the measure by such gentlemen as 
have, or will reflect on the subject." 

This utterance, whether inspired by Cook or not was the 
prelude to a discussion of the subject in which he took the lead- 
ing part. In the next issue of the paper there appeared the ex- 
pected "view of the subject," written by Cook over the signature 


"A republican." 223 Asserting that the population of the territory 
had "increased to a sufficient number to enable us to take into 
our own hands the reins of self-government" he proceeded "to 
enquire into the policy of our doing so, as well as the practicabil- 
ity of obtaining the sanction of the general government, to such 
a measure." Possible objections were first considered, one of 
which was the additional expense to the people which statehood 
would involve. The national government was paying salaries 
for Illinois territory to the amount of $6,200, a sum which in 
that day of small things was worthy of serious consideration. 
Cook could only hold out the forlorn hope that under state gov- 
ernment, officials might be prevailed upon to accept smaller sal- 
aries at first. Another objection considered was the ignorance 
of the population, which, he maintained, was based on the as- 
sumption that a large proportion of the people were French. 
This assumption he controverted by the claim that nine-tenths 
of the voters were Americans who, previous to coming to Illi- 
nois, had taken part in state government. 

Turning from negative to positive arguments, the writer dwelt 
upon the advantages of state government. Not only would the 
legislature be freed from the absolute veto of the governor but 
it would become supreme in the internal affairs of the state. The 
reference here was to the inability of the territorial government 
to enforce the judicial act, the results of which were painted in 
lurid colors. "Crimes of the blackest dye, (even murder itself,) 
have defied its feeble powers and laughed in guilty triumph, at 
their suffering victims. Honest labor has had its bread taken 
out of its mouth, and injuries of all kinds have implored relief 
in vain." As Cook professed, in the following April, the de- 
moralized condition of the judiciary "was alone a sufficient rea- 
son for wishing for a state government." 280 

As to "the practicability of obtaining the sanction of the gen- 
eral government" for admission with a population less than the 
sixty thousand which under the ordinance would have given a 

^Intelligencer, November 27, 1817. For evidence of authorship see ed- 
itorial in ibid., April 15, 1818. 

Ibid., April 22, 1818. 

212 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

right to statehood to Illinois, Cook was very sanguine. Such ad- 
mission would not, he maintained, "be inconsistent with the gen- 
eral interest of the confederacy." It would, moreover, have the 
positive advantage of relieving congress of the burden of legis- 
lating for the local concerns of the territory, while "the strength 
and respectability of the nation would be greatly augmented" by 
the opening up of "a new field for the enlargement of the human 
understanding." This was merely an oratorical way of stating 
that the change would give an added impetus to immigration. 
This Cook believed to be true because, "at present it is doubtful 
whether slavery will be tolerated when a state government is 
formed. And many on both sides of the question are remaining 
in the anxiety of suspense, to know how it will be settled. It is 
therefore desirable to settle the question at as early a period as 
possible, for the purpose of giving relief to those who are want- 
ing to emigrate to the territory." 

Three days after this communication appeared in the Intelli- 
gencer, the legislature assembled in Kaskaskia; and on the fol- 
lowing day, December 2, 1817, Governor Edwards delivered his 
message to the two houses. 231 The members "and the citizens at 
large" were congratulated "upon the flattering prospects which 
our astonishingly rapid increase of population affords that our 
present temporary government must soon give place to one more 
congenial to the principles of natural liberty." The governor's 
recommendation "for the purpose of facilitating this desirable 
event, and as preparatory thereto" was "to provide by law for 
taking the census of all the inhabitants of this territory, so that 
it may be laid before the legislature at its next session." 

This would have been the ordinary procedure, but it was alto- 
gether too leisurely for those who were eager for immediate 
statehood. Daniel Pope Cook, having been elected clerk of the 
house of representatives was in a position to exert considerable 
influence; and on the same day upon which the governor's mes- 
sage was delivered, the house resolved, upon the motion of 
Bradsby of St. Clair, "that a committee be appointed to draft a 
memorial to congress praying for this territory to be admitted 

'"Intelligencer, December 4, 1817. 


into the union, with all the rights and privileges of a state gov- 
ernment." Four days later, December 6, the memorial was 
adopted by the house, and on the tenth it received the approval 
of the council and was laid before the governor. The rapidity 
of its passage was possible only because of the lack of opposition, 
it being the "unanimous voice of our representatives from every 
part of the territory, that are desirous to enter into a state gov- 
ernment." 232 

The memorial consists of two long paragraphs, of which the 
first has many points of similarity with the communication of "A 
republican" in the paper of November 27, and may well have 
been written by Cook. The territorial government is character- 
ized as "a species of despotism in direct hostility with the prin- 
ciples of a republican government" which "ought to exist no 
longer than absolute necessity may require it." The population 
is estimated at "not less than forty thousand souls" and the fit- 
ness for self-government of the citizens of the territory "mostly 
composed of those who have imigrated [sic] hither from the 
atlantic and western states" is pointed out. The second paragraph, 
probably the work of some mind more practical than Cook's, 
suggested a solution of the financial difficulty. Congress was 
asked "for a grant to the inhabitants of the state of the Lead 
Mines and Salt Springs; together with the lands adjoining, 
which have been reserved from sale within the limits of the 
state; also that section sixteen in each township reserved from 
sale, may be granted to the inhabitants of the township for the 
use of schools also that a part of the net proceeds of the lands 
lying within the state, which may be sold by the authority of 
your honorable body may be appropriated to the laying out and 
making public roads ; and finally for all such gifts and privileges 
as were made and given by the congress of the United States to 
the states of Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi, and upon the like con- 

Two points of special interest present themselves in connection 
with this memorial. Would congress accept the unsupported 
statement that the territory had a population of forty thousand 

^Intelligencer, December 4, n, 1817; manuscript journal of the legislative 
council, 1817-1818, in secretary of state's office. 

214 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

souls? Was the step contemplated really desired by the people 
of the territory? In answer to the first of these questions, Cook 
wrote in the Intelligencer of December 1 1 : "The census not hav- 
ing been taken certainly can make no difference, when, the rep- 
resentatives of the people from each county agree that there are 
40,000 inhabitants their information is the best except that 
which would be derived from actual enumeration. The willing- 
ness of the people, with this strong evidence of their numbers, 
ought to secure the privilege prayed for." This tone of confi- 
dence in the young man just from Washington and high in the 
esteem of officials there, was probably an important factor in 
securing the immediate adoption of the memorial. On the sec- 
ond question, the memorial itself states that among the whole 
people "there is an unusual coincidence of sentiment as to the 
propriety of forming a state government," while the editors of 
the Intelligencer declared it to be "the first wish of the people." 
Yet the initiative certainly did not come from the people. The 
members of the legislature had all been elected in 1816, when 
the question of statehood was not an issue; and in 1817 the sub- 
ject was not broached in time for any adequate public discussion. 
Three weeks from the time of Cook's return to Kaskaskia and 
the first intimation of the movement in the newspaper, the 
memorial was ready to be sent to Washington. 

The usual procedure would have been for this legislature to 
have provided for a census to be laid before the next legislative 
session, as recommended by the governor. The question of 
statehood would then have been an issue in the election of 1818, 
and the members of the next legislature could have acted on the 
subject with adequate knowledge of the population of the terri- 
tory and of the wishes of their constituents. Was there any 
reason for the haste with which the movement was put through 
other than the feverish energy of its youthful promoter and the 
desire for a "redress of colonial grievances?" The answer to 
this question may be sought in a study of the attempt made dur- 
ing this session to brand the system of indentured servitude in 
force in the territory as a violation of the Ordinance of 1787. 

The indenture act of Indiana as revised in 1807 had continued 


[From original owned by Chicago Historical Socieyt) 


in effect in Illinois by virtue of the resolution adopted by the 
governor and judges of Illinois territory in 1809, that "the laws 
of Indiana Territory of a general nature .... are still in 
force in this Territory." 233 Although in Indiana the act had been 
repealed shortly after the separation, no attempt seems to have 
been made to repeal it in Illinois prior to the legislative session 
of 1817-1818. During the territorial period, however, especially 
as the northwestern counties filled up in the years after 1815, 
there was certainly a growing sentiment against the institution as 
it existed in the territory. 28 * 

To the men who represented that sentiment it may well have 
seemed in 1817 that the time had come to strike for freedom. 
A month or two before the inauguration of the movement for 
statehood in Illinois, petitions asking for admission to the union 
began to be circulated in Missouri. There was every reason to 
believe that Missouri would come in as a slave state, and if that 
should happen before Illinois was admitted, the existence of 
slavery there would be the strongest argument for allowing it 
in Illinois also. The passage of the slaveholding immigrants 
across Illinois to locate in Missouri was always galling to the 
people of Illinois, anxious as they were for the rapid develop- 
ment of the country. The opponents of slavery maintained, 
however, that its exclusion did not retard the development of 
the state, and it is quite possible that they felt that if Illinois 
could achieve statehood before her rival across the river, it 
would strengthen their argument. It was important, therefore, 
from the point of view of the antislavery men, that Illinois 
should become a state with a free constitution as provided by 
the ordinance before the constitution of Missouri should become 
a subject for discussion. 

But these men could not be content with merely the oppor- 
tunity for Illinois to frame a constitution in accord with the 
ordinance as it was then interpreted. That would permit the 
continuance indefinitely of such slavery as existed prior to the 
adoption of the ordinance and especially of the system of in- 
dentured servitude. This, it is believed, is the explanation of 

""Alvord, Laws of the Territory, i. See above, p. 187. 
'"See appendix, p. 319. 

216 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the introduction in the house of representatives on December 
10, the day before the final passage by the council of the memo- 
rial asking for statehood, of a bill, not only for the repeal of 
the law establishing the indenture system, but containing also 
a preamble declaring that law to be in contravention to the para- 
mount law of the land. Apparently the intention was to estab- 
lish the invalidity of the law in such a way and at such a time 
as to make it impossible for the constitutional convention to 
ignore the action. The bill, when introduced by Matheny, "gave 
rise to some warmth and animation of argument on both sides." 
Bradsby and Matheny, both of whom had been members of 
the committee of four which framed the statehood memorial, 
defended it and Dr. Fisher, the speaker, opposed it. 

Bradsby was careful to ask that the question be considered 
as "envolving the enquiry, whether the legislature which passed 
the law which it is the object of this bill to repeal, exercised its 
legislative power within constitutional limits." The argument 
was, of course, that the action of a slave in indenturing himself 
to his master could not be considered as voluntary and conse- 
quently the whole system was "involuntary servitude" and a vio- 
lation of the ordinance. Emphasis was laid also upon the fact 
that this provision of the ordinance was one of the articles of 
compact "intended 'to fix and establish those principles as the 
basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments which forever 
hereafter shall be formed in this Territory.' ' Fisher in reply 
contended that it was outside the province of the legislature to 
pass upon the constitutionality of a law. "If it be unconstitu- 
tional there is no necessity of our repealing it, it is of itself void, 
and requires no annulling act of the legislature. . . . The law 
was passed by a former legislature, and whether it is constitu- 
tional or not is for the judiciary to determine, and even if we 
believe it so, it is no violation of our oaths, to leave it to a tri- 
bunal having the power and authority to determine upon it. As 
it has stood so long I see no impropriety in leaving it to be settled 
by the convention who shall frame our constitution, which will 
not be long hence." Matheny in his reply to Fisher took the curi- 


ous position that the bill if passed, although it declared the in- 
denture act a violation of the ordinance, would "have no influ- 
ence on contracts that have been heretofore made, if such were 
its intended operation, it would be an expost facto law, and 
therefore unconstitutional." 

Unfortunately the vote by which this bill passed the house 
is not available. On December 13, the bill was sent to the coun- 
cil, where it was twice debated in committee of the whole; and, 
on the seventeenth that body concurred without amendment. 
Those voting in favor of the measure were Amos of St. Clair, 
Grammar of Johnson, and Lofton of Madison; against it were 
Browne of Gallatin, and Menard of Randolph. 285 

Whatever may have been the attitude of Governor Edwards 
toward the institution of slavery, he was unwilling to approve 
the measure in the form which it had taken; and on January i, 
1818, he returned the bill to the house in which it had originated, 
accompanied by his objections: "passing over minor objections 
to the preamble of the bill, and considering that the law, which 
I suppose it was intended to repeal, was enacted first, by the 
legislature of the Indiana Territory that it was subsequently 
modified by the Governor and Judges of this Territory that 
being so modified, it was re-enacted unanimously, by our general 
assembly, at its first session and has been acquiesced in, and 
sanctioned at every subsequent session: I cannot think it either 
proper, or necessary, to impute to our predecessors, a total disre- 
gard of their oaths, and an intentional violation of their duty; 
which I think is done by the preamble in question, and which also 
implies a great reproach and censure upon ourselves for having 
neglected to act upon the subject at our last session; for if we 
then entertained such sentiments, how can we answer it to our 
country? to our consciences? to our God, before whom we sol- 
emnly swore to endeavor to fulfil our duties? for not having 
attempted at least, to arrest an evil, which under insidious 'pre- 
tences, it was intended,' to fix upon our territory, to its great 
detriment, 'contrary to the ordinance, and to the feelings and 

"This whole discussion may be followed in the Intelligencer for Decem- 
ber, 1817, and January, 1818, and in the manuscript journal of the legislative 
council, 1817-1818, in the secretary of state's office. 

218 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

wishes of our fellow citizens.' ' After declaring that questions 
of the validity of laws "ought rather to be left to the decision 
of the judiciary, to whose province it more peculiarly belongs," 
he proceeded to a long disquisition intended to prove that the 
indenture law in question was not a violation of the ordinance. 
In conclusion he pointed out that his remarks were "intended 
to apply to the question of legislative power, and not to the 
propriety, or expediency of its exercise, in the particular instance 
alluded to;" and finally, he declared himself "no advocate for 
slavery, and if it depended upon my vote alone, it should never 
be admitted in any state or Territory, not already cursed with 
so great an evil. I have no objection to the repeal which I sup- 
pose was intended." 

Two weeks later, in his speech proroguing the legislature, the 
governor felt it necessary "for the purpose of preventing all 
possible misapprehension" to discuss the subject again. After 
stating that he had not desired to "defeat the measure, that was 
intended to be adopted," he pointed out that the "particular 
friends of the measure" might after his veto "have introduced 
and passed a bill less objectionable, and better calculated to 
effect the object that seemed to be so greatly desired." Or, he 
continued, "the object could have been completely effected by 
the passage of a bill to amend the law alluded to, by limiting 
the period of service to one year only." 286 Such a measure would 
have confirmed the validity of the indenture system, and the 
failure of the legislature to take any further action after the 
veto indicates clearly that it was the preamble of the bill, the 
very part to which the governor objected, that the antislavery 
men had at heart. 

The result of this antislavery movement in the last territorial 
legislative session, and of its failure, was the establishment of 
slavery as the dominant issue in the forthcoming campaign for 
delegates to the constitutional convention. In this the proslavery 
men had the advantage, for the extreme antislavery men by de- 
claring themselves so positively at the very beginning, left the 
whole of the middle ground to their opponents. They made it 

"'Intelligencer, January i, 13, 1818. 


necessary for those who sought only to keep conditions as they 
were to work together with advocates of unrestricted slavery. 
The line of argument to be followed was already indicated by 
Fisher in his speech against the repeal of the indenture law. 
Referring to the constitutional convention, he said: "We then 
perhaps may do something which will lead to a gradual emanci- 
pation of slavery in a partial degree, and so ultimately benefit 
them [the slaves] in their condition. For although I am opposed 
to slavery upon principle, yet I think if we can better their condi- 
tion and gradually emancipate them, by bringing them to our 
Territory, we are doing a laudable thing." 237 

Although the legislature had decided in favor of an appeal 
to congress for admission to the union without waiting for a 
census, some doubts were entertained apparently as to the will- 
ingness of congress to allow the movement to proceed without 
positive evidence as to the population of the territory. Toward 
the close of the session a law was enacted providing for a census 
of all the inhabitants. The enumeration was to begin April first 
and the returns, instead of being laid before the next legislature, 
as the governor had suggested, were to be deposited in the office 
of the secretary on or before June first. The commissioners were 
instructed "to take a list of all citizens, of all ages, sexes and 
colour, within their respective counties, particularly noting wheth- 
er white or black, and also noting particularly free male inhab- 
itants above the age of twenty-one years." 238 

Realizing apparently that its optimistic predictions as to popu- 
lation might not be fulfilled at so early a date as June first, the 
legislature enacted a supplementary law, the preamble of which 
suggested that "a great increase of population may be expected 
between the first day of next June and December following." 
In accordance with this preamble the act directed the commis- 
sioners to "continue to take the census of all persons who may 
remove into their respective counties between the first day of 
June and the first day of December next, succeeding; of which 
additional returns shall be made to the secretary's office, within 

^"Intelligencer, December 18, 1817. 

""Laws of Illinois Territory, 1817-1818, p. 42-44. 

220 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the first week in December next." In order to prevent unneces- 
sary expenditure, a provision was added "that no such addi- 
tional service shall be performed if congress should authorize 
the citizens of this territory to form a state government with- 
out it/' 289 

One other action of this legislature is of interest in connec- 
tion with the movement for statehood. Between 1812 and 1818, 
seven counties, Edwards, White, Jackson, Pope, Monroe, Craw- 
ford, and Bond had been added by the legislature to the five 
existing when the second stage of territorial government was 
adopted. By acts of January 2, 1818, three new counties, Wash- 
ington, Franklin, and Union, were established, making a total 
of fifteen counties in Illinois in the year of admission. The 
significance of the establishment of new counties in 1818 lies 
in its bearing on the question of apportionment of delegates to 
the convention, for the practice had grown up in Illinois terri- 
tory of ignoring population to a considerable extent in the ap- 
portionment of members of the legislature. About the same 
time that bills for the new counties were passed by the two 
houses, a joint resolution was adopted authorizing representa- 
tives to be apportioned for a convention to form a permanent 
constitution. No copy of this resolution has been found, but it 
is probable that the apportionment section of the enabling act 
embodied its provisions. 

The legislative memorial praying for statehood was doubtless 
dispatched to Washington immediately after its adoption by the 
council on December 10, 1817. Once there, its fate depended 
upon the exertions of Nathaniel Pope, the delegate from the 
territory in the house of representatives. Pope must have left 
Illinois before the return of Cook to Kaskaskia, 240 and it is quite 
improbable, therefore, that he had any part in the inception 
of the movement for statehood. During the campaign for the 
election of members of the convention the editor of the Intel- 

'"Laws of Illinois Territory, 1817-1818, p. 44-45. 

*He arrived in Washington, December 6; see Intelligencer, January 21, 
1818. For action of the Illinois legislative council see, Laws of Illinois Ter- 
ritory, 1817-1818, p. 11-17, 39-41 ; manuscript journal of the legislative coun- 
cil, 1817-1818, in the secretary of state's office. 


IFrom original picture owned by Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 


ligencer said of Pope : "It is well known that he had no agency 
in putting on foot the application to congress for a state govern- 
ment." 241 However that may have been, he must have been in 
complete sympathy with it; and the rapidity with which matters 
were pushed along would indicate that he, too, realized the im- 
portance of getting in ahead of Missouri. 

The Illinois memorial was laid before the house by Pope on 
January 16, 1818, and was immediately referred to a select 
committee of which the Illinois delegate was chairman. Clai- 
borne of Tennessee, Johnson of Kentucky, Spencer of New 
York, and Whitman of Massachusetts were the other members 
of the committee. Five days later Pope wrote a letter to the 
editors of the Intelligencer which throws light on the attitude 
of the committee: "The only difficulty I have to overcome is, 
whether we have the population supposed by the Legislature; 
no enumeration of the inhabitants having lately been taken. In 
order to evade that objection the bill contains a proviso, that 
the census shall be taken previously to the meeting of the Con- 
vention I hope however to have that feature of the bill struck 
out before its final passage, if it passes at all, of which I have 

strong hopes If it were certain that we had even 

thirty-five thousand inhabitants, no objection I think would be 
made to our admission." 242 Thirty-five thousand inhabitants 
was the ratio of congressional apportionment at that time, and 
it would appear that some member of the committee possibly 
Spencer, who made a similar point the following November 
felt that positive evidence of at least that many should be insisted 

Pope's letter of January 21, just referred to, states his inten- 
tion of reporting the bill that day; but it was not brought in 
until the twenty-third, one week after the committee was ap- 
pointed. For this bill "To enable the people of Illinois Territory, 
to form a Constitution and state government, and for the admis- 
sion of such state into the union, on an equal footing with the 
original states," the Indiana enabling act of 1816 served as a 

^Intelligencer, June 24, 1818. 
Ibid., March 4, 1818. 

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224 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

should remain exempt from taxation for six years after date 
of sale. They differed from the grants to Indiana only in the 
inclusion of lead mines, as requested by the Illinois memorial, 
and the exclusion of a grant of four sections of land "for the 
purpose of fixing their seat of government thereon." The failure 
to ask for land for a capital site was probably an oversight on 
the part of the men who drew up the memorial. Had it been 
included among the grants in the enabling act, the question of 
the location of the capital would doubtless have been an issue 
in the pre-convention campaign, as it was later in the conven- 
tion itself. 

This completes the enumeration of the provisions finally com- 
prised in the enabling act. The remaining sections of the bill 
numbered seven to eleven inclusive provided for the establish- 
ment of a United States court for the Illinois district, with all 
its attendant officials. Nothing comparable to these sections 
is to be found in the enabling act of any other state, and they 
were dropped from the bill before it was passed. The objection 
to them doubtless was that they were out of place in the bill, 
for at the next session of congress they were enacted word for 
word as "An Act to provide for the due execution of the laws 
of the United States within the state of Illinois." 245 

This enabling bill, introduced by Pope for the committee on 
Friday, January 23, "was read twice, and committed to a Com- 
mittee of the Whole, on Monday next." Not until April ^4, 
however, was it taken up for consideration, "in consequence 
of the great number of bills which were introduced before and 
claimed a prior [i]ty." 246 

When the bill finally came up in the house, Pope at once intro- 
duced an amendment to fix the northern boundary on the line 
of forty-two degrees and thirty minutes north latitude about 
forty-one miles north of the line fixed in the bill and fifty- 
one miles north of the dividing line proposed in the ordin- 
ance. So early as January 27, four days after the bill was 

'"Statutes at Large, 3:502. It might be noted in passing that Nathaniel 
Pope was the first United States judge appointed under this act. 

Annals of Congress, 15 congress, i session, 1:814; 2:1677; Intelligencer, 
April 15, 1818. 


introduced, Pope had reached the conclusion that such a change 
was desirable for, in his letter of that date forwarding a copy 
of the bill to the Intelligencer, he wrote : "You will remark that 
the northern line is ten miles north of the southernly extremity 
of Lake Michigan Indiana goes as far north. When the bill 
is taken up, I will endeavour to procure twenty or thirty miles 
farther north, and make Lake Michigan a part of our eastern 
boundary. I shall not attempt to explain the importance of such 
an accession of territory; it is too obvious to every man who 
looks to the prospective weight and influence of the state of 
Illinois." In support of the amendment, Pope said that its object 
"was to gain, for the proposed State, a coast on Lake Michigan. 
This would afford additional security to the perpetuity of the 
Union, inasmuch as the State would thereby be connected with 
the States of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, 
through the Lakes. The facility of opening a canal between 
Lake Michigan and the Illinois river, said Mr. P., is acknowl- 
edged by every one who has visited the place. Giving to the 
proposed State the port of Chicago, (embraced in the proposed 
limits,) will draw its attention to the opening of the communi- 
cation between the Illinois river and that place, and the improve- 
ment of that harbor." Since the line proposed by the ordinance 
had not been adopted in the case of Indiana nor in the bill itself 
to which this amendment was proposed, it was difficult to object 
to the change on the grounds of a violation of that document, and 
the motion to amend "was agreed to without a division." 241 

The advantages of this change, from the point of view of 
those who desired that Illinois should ultimately be a free instead 
of a slave state, are obvious; and Pope's argument might be 
taken as an indication that he had those advantages in mind. 248 
Whatever may have been the real motives back of the amend- 
ment, and however it may have originated, it appears to have 
aroused little interest in Illinois at the time. It was mentioned 
without comment in an article in the Intelligencer of April 29, 
based on a letter from Pope dated April 6; while an editorial 

*" Intelligencer, March u, 1818; Annals of Congress, 15 congress, i ses- 
sion, 2:1677. 

^'See appendix, p. 319-320. 

226 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

on the enabling act as finally passed, in the issue of May 20, 
recounts many of its advantageous features and expresses deep 
appreciation of Pope's services but makes no mention of the 
change in boundary. The important consequences which have 
flowed from this change, not only for Illinois but for the coun- 
try as a whole have often been pointed out and need not be 
dwelt upon here. 249 It added to Illinois a region of over 8,000 
square miles in which lie the greater part of fourteen counties 
containing, with the city of Chicago, over half the population of 
the state. 

A second amendment proposed by Pope on April 4 provided 
that three of the five per cent 250 of the proceeds of federal land 
sales in Illinois, should be used, not for roads and canals in 
the state as provided in the bill and in previous enabling acts, 
but "for the encouragement of learning, of which one [-sixth] 
part shall be exclusively bestowed on a college or university." 
In explaining this amendment Pope pointed out that the applica- 
tion of this fund to roads in the other states had "not been pro- 
ductive of the good anticipated; on the contrary, it had been 
exhausted on local and neighborhood objects, by its distribution 
among the counties." The statement that "nature had left little 
to be done in the proposed State of Illinois, in order to have the 
finest roads in the world" would hardly be concurred in by one 
familiar w r ith the roads in the central part of the state nearly 
a century later; but no exception need be taken to the emphasis 
upon the "importance of education in a Republic." Moreover, 
"that no immediate aid could be derived in new count [r]ies 
from waste lands was not less obvious; and that no active fund 
would be provided in a new State, the history of the Western 
States too clearly proved." This amendment too was accepted 
without a division. 

"Some further amendments" were then agreed to, including 
one moved by Taylor of New York adding a proviso "that the 
bounty-lands granted, or hereafter to be granted, for military 

"*For a discussion of this subject and an account of the attempts made 
later in the region affected, and in Wisconsin to restore the ordinance boun- 
dary, see Moses, Illinois, i -.278-282. 

^The other two per cent was to be used "under the direction of Con- 
gress, in making roads leading to the State." 


services during the late war, shall, while they continue to be held 
by the patentees, or their heirs, remain exempt, as aforesaid, 
from all taxes, for the term of three years, from and after the 
date of the patents respectively; and that all the lands belonging 
to the citizens of the United States, residing without the said 
State, shall never be taxed higher than lands belonging to per- 
sons residing therein." 251 Pope does not appear to have opposed 
this amendment although it must have been unpalatable to him. 
Early in the session a resolution had been introduced to exempt 
the bounty-lands from taxation for five years, a proposition 
which Pope believed "would enable speculators to hold up their 
lands from market, and prevent the territory from taxing three 
and a half millions of acres of land, and most of that belonging 
to individuals, who obtained it at less than fifty cents per acre." 
On January 21, he wrote that he had no fears that the measure 
would succeed, "so that we may calculate upon a handsome 
revenue from that quarter." The provision introduced in the 
enabling act was less objectionable because it was restricted to 
three years and then applied only if the land was retained by 
the patentees or their heirs. "We shall not," the editors of the 
Intelligencer consoled the people, "lose much by that, because 
most of it will pass into the hands of others." 282 

It must have been at this time that the grant of lead mines 
was stricken out and the provision relative to the census changed. 
Pope did not succeed in getting the census feature eliminated 
from the bill; but section twelve, which provided that the count 
should be made by the marshal, was stricken out and section 
four modified to allow the convention to rely upon "the enumera- 
tion directed to be made by the legislature of the said Territory." 
The blank for the population to be required was filled in as forty 
thousand, the number claimed in the memorial from the legis- 
lature. The apportionment of delegates in the convention was 
set at three each to Madison, St. Clair, and Gallatin counties and 
two each to the others, including the three counties established 
in January, 1818. No statistics as to the population of the 

K * Annals of Congress, 15 congress, I session, 2:1677; Thorpe, Constitu- 
tions, 2 1969-970. 

^'Intelligencer, January 21, March 4, April 29, 1818. 

228 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

counties were at hand, of course, and it is probable that the 
legislative resolution on the subject was followed. 268 A fair 
apportionment of the same number of representatives thirty- 
three on the basis of the census of 1818 would have given five 
to Madison county; four to St. Clair; three each to Randolph, 
Gallatin, and White; two each to Washington, Union, Pope, 
Edwards, and Crawford; and one each to Bond, Monroe, Jack- 
son, Johnson, and Franklin. 

Some of the amendments were adopted in the house itself 
after the committee rose and reported the bill. It was then 
"ordered to be engrossed, as amended, and read a third time, 
nemine contradicente." The third reading and final passage of 
the bill in the house took place on April 6, also, apparently, with- 
out opposition ; and it was transmitted to the senate the following 
day. There the bill was given its first and second readings at 
once and then referred to the committee on public lands. 

The senate committee reported the bill with amendments the 
day after it was received, and on the thirteenth it was taken up 
in committee of the whole. Here the measure met with opposi- 
tion from Tait of Georgia who moved "to postpone the further 
consideration thereof until the fourth day of July next." His 
objection, he explained, was not due to any opposition to "the 
admission of this State into the Union, but on the ground that 
there was not sufficiently authentic information that its popula- 
tion was forty thousand, as stated from conjecture, or even that 
its population was sufficient to entitle it to a representative in 
Congress." Morrow of Ohio, Talbot of Kentucky, and Barbour 
of Virginia "replied, and opposed the postponement, believing 
the evidence on this head to be so strong as to admit of no 
doubt." This motion produced the only record vote on the bill 
in either house, but only four senators, Daggett of Connecticut, 
King and Sanford of New York, and Tait voted in favor of 

According to Pope, "the application of the three per cent, 
to schools instead of roads, was violently opposed in the Senate, 
as being altogether for the benefit of the state, and not for that 

^Thorpe, Constitutions, 2 :<p68. See also above, p. 220. 



U "" 


of the United States. That it gave to Illinois greater advantages 
than was ever allowed to any other state admitted into the union. 
It was urged that we had no claims to such preference, that 
that fund was granted to the other states with a view of raising 
the price of the public lands." These objections were answered 
by the Kentucky senators, Crittenden and Talbot, by Burrill of 
Rhode Island, and by Morrow, their arguments being along lines 
similar to those followed by Pope in his support of this feature 
in the house. The "one great objection to emigrating to new 
countries," they contended, "was the want of the means of edu- 
cation. Apply this money to schools and that objection will be 
removed, and then thousands will go who would otherwise stay. 
In this manner they proved that the United States would gain 
rather than lose." The provision in question, Pope wrote, 
"passed by a great majority, and has given a character to Illi- 
nois that nothing else could have effected. Almost every man 
agrees that it will greatly promote our prosperity." 254 

The question of the northern boundary was also raised in the 
senate apparently, for Pope wrote that "some jealousy was felt 
against our gaining so much territory north, say sixty miles." 
This opposition could not have been very extensive, however, 
for there is no record of a vote on the question. Just which of 
the differences between the final act and the original bill were 
embodied in the senate amendments cannot be determined, but 
Pope wrote that these amendments were unimportant. Possibly 
it was at this time that a section was added providing that the 
part of Illinois territory not included in the boundaries of the 
proposed state should be attached to the territory of Michigan. 
At the close of the discussion the committee rose and reported 
the bill with the amendments, and on the following day, April 14, 
it was read the third time and passed without division. In the 
house, the senate amendments were referred to a select com- 
mittee headed by Pope which on the fifteenth "reported the 
agreement of the committee to the said amendments, and the 
amendments were then concurred in by the House." The bill 
then went to the president, who approved it on April 18, 1818. 

""Intelligencer, May 6, 1818. 


230 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

If the hypothesis be correct that those behind the movement 
were trying to outrun Missouri in the race for statehood, they 
had won the first heat. The first petitions from Missouri asking 
for statehood were received in the house on January 8, eight 
days before Pope presented the Illinois memorial. These, with 
a petition presented February 2, were laid on the table; but 
when still more petitions were received on March 6, they were 
all referred to a select committee of which Scott, the Missouri 
delegate, was chairman. Not until April 3 did this committee 
report a bill for an enabling act and it was then too late to hope 
for its passage at that session. If the proponents of statehood 
in Illinois were to keep the lead, however, it was necessary that 
the census returns show a population of forty thousand. Fur- 
thermore if the antislavery men were to obtain a constitution 
such as they wished, they had next to secure a majority of dele- 
gates to the convention who would be favorable to their views. 
Illinois had a lively campaign in prospect. 



When the movement for admission to statehood was inaugu- 
rated in Illinois, in November, 1817, it was "at first little thought 
of" and Cook himself says that his early remarks on the subject 
"were thought to be the effusions of visionary hopes." It is 
quite possible that this attitude, together with the suddenness 
with which the proposition was sprung upon them, explains the 
unanimity of the members of the legislature in voting for the 
memorial. As time passed, however, and favorable news began 
to arrive from Washington, the movement attracted more atten- 
tion and as will be seen, more opposition as well. 

At first the prospect of statehood evoked some pleasurable 
anticipations. At the Washington's birthday celebration in Ben- 
nett's tavern at Kaskaskia, February 22, 1818, one of the toasts 
was to "The Territory of Illinois May she rise refulgent from 
the shackles of a colonial government, and shine in the Federal 
Union." The Intelligencer, which gave an account of this din- 
ner, noted in the usual reprint of the proceedings of congress, 
that the Illinois bill had been introduced in the house of repre- 
sentatives. Commenting on this measure "so important to the 
citizens of this territory," the editors declared that it "will in 
all probability finally pass." One week later, March 4, the 
Intelligencer published Pope's letter of January 21, expressing 
"strong hopes" of the passage of the bill. "A moment of enjoy- 
ment is grateful to an anxious people," said the editors. "Let us 
therefore enjoy the pleasing intelligence which Mr. Pope's letter 
communicates relative to our obtaining a state government. His 
hopes that the bill will pass, which we find has been read a second 


232 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

time, certainly is cheering to us all who are friendly to a free 
government." 256 

March u, the bill itself was published in the paper, with the 
comment that it "will pass, we have no doubt." Six weeks later, 
April 2Q. the readers were informed that the measure had passed 
the house and that the elections for representatives in the con- 
vention were fixed for the first Monday in July and the two fol- 
lowing days, while the convention itself was to meet the first 
Monday in August. The next issue of the paper announced 
the passage of the bill in the senate, and the act as finally approved 
by the president was published in full in the issue of May 20. 
Commenting upon the measure in one of his letters, Pope wrote : 
"Its success will have a great influence on the emigration to 
that country. I cannot describe the interest Illinois awakens in 
the minds of the Atlantic people. I have no hesitation in hazard- 
ing the opinion that next season will add greatly to our popula- 
tion." The act attracted attention in a neighboring state also. 
The Kentucky Argus, in announcing its passage said: "The 
agricultural and mercantile advantages of this state will render 
it a star of the first magnitude in our constellation of free 

states We hail thee, sister Illinois, and are ready to 

welcome thee into our happy Union." The editors of the Kas- 
kaskia paper celebrated the passage of the enabling act by chang- 
ing its name from The Western Intelligencer to The Illinois In- 
telligencer. "We have made this change," they wrote, "believ- 
ing it to be a more appropriate name, in as much as it is the 
same establishment from which the first paper eminated in the 
territory, and more particularly as we shall soon go into a state 
under the name of Illinois." 258 

The same issue of the paper which contained information on 
the passage of the enabling bill by the senate, announced the can- 
didacy of Elias K. Kane "for the Convention from the county of 
Randolph" and that of Daniel P. Cook "for Congress to represent 
us in the Lower House." The convention campaign began at 
least two months earlier, however, for the Intelligencer of March 

^Intelligencer, February 25, March 4, April 22, 1818. 
**Ibid., April 22 to May 27, 1818. 


ii, in which the bill was first printed, contained an editorial on 
the importance of the election of members of the convention : "In 
this election, party and private feeling should alike be suspended, 
and the public interest alone should be the polestar of every voter. 
.... Let not a difference of opinion on one particular and 
unimportant point, influence you to reject men, whose reading, 
and whose experience, qualifies them for so arduous and impor- 
tant an undertaking ; for although you may find men enough who 
will agree to support any measure to secure their election ; yet it is 
not on any one measure alone, that the public interest will depend. 
No! it depend [s] on many. Then let us urge you to elect those 
men, who are best qualified to decide on all measures and not 
suffer the ambitious, without merit, to use their flexibility, to 
the injury of intelligent men, and the public weal." 257 

The advice of the editors as to party feeling may have been 
heeded, for there is no evidence that the political factions played 
even as slight a part in this election as they had in the territorial 
elections ; but the "one particular and unimportant point," which 
was doubtless the slavery question, was the only real issue of 
the campaign. Because of the existing situation, however, this 
was not the clear-cut issue as to whether Illinois should be a 
free or a slave state. It involved also the questions of what to 
do with existing slavery, of the validity of the indentures based 
on the territorial law, and of the continuance of the indenture 
system. Congress, moreover, in the enabling act, directed that 
the constitution of the new state should not be repugnant to 
the Ordinance of 1787, and this enabled some of the leaders, 
ignoring all questions of interpretation, to claim that the matter 
was settled. As a result, no simple classification can cover the 
situation with reference to the slavery question. There were some 
who favored unrestricted slavery for the new state, there were 
some who would at once wipe out every vestige of the institu- 
tion, but most of the politicians and voters appear to have occu- 
pied a variety of positions between these two extremes. 

The campaign of the extreme proslavery men was a quiet one 

m Intelligencer, May 6, March 1 1, 1818. 

234 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

and took the form of urging delay, doubtless with the expecta- 
tion that congress could be induced to remove the restriction, 
Some, however, feeling that they could not be bound by an ordi- 
nance in the making of which they had had no part, would have 
ignored the slavery article. "The United States," wrote an 
Englishman familiar with the eastern part of the territory, 
" . . . . has forbidden Slavery, according to its Ordinance for 
the Government of the North Western Territory. But the 
people here are utterly regardless of ordinances, and will take 
the subject into their own hands, and say they will make a treaty 
with Congress as an independent State." 258 No communications 
openly advocating unrestricted slavery were published in the 
Intelligencer during the campaign, and arguments in favor of 
the institution put forth by this faction can only be inferred 
from the answers of those opposed to it. 

The campaign over slavery really began, as has been seen, 
with the attempt to repeal the indenture law in the last sessjon 
of the territorial legislature, but it was only as the passage of 
the enabling bill became a probability that the issue came to be 
connected with the selection of representatives to the convention. 
As early as Aj)ril I, o>k opened up the subject in the Intelli- 
gencer with a communication over the signature '^ 

"The certainty," he wrote, "of our obtaining leave to form a state 
government, in a short time, induces me to call the public atten- 
tion to that question which some call the 'great desideratum' 
with the people, I mean the question of slavery. This question, 
which is now convulsing the public mind, presents itself hi differ- 
ent shapes, to different characters ..... Our country is thinly 
settled, and the great desire is, to see it filled. The cry is, 'admit 
slavery and the forests will immediately be converted into the 
cultivated habitations of men.' The beast of prey will relinquish 
his abode to that of domestic utility. Such is the beguiling lan- 
guage of sophistry, and such the fanaticism of her followers. 
But where the calm voice of reason has reached the intellectual 
ear, sophistry has been invariably disarmed, and an opposition 
to slavery has been universally excited. And first, the assertion 
'that slavery would increase the tide of emigration/ is flatly 

""Ogg, Fordham's Personal Narrative, 221. 

The Illinois Intelligencer. , . , . .-, 

i./. HIM!, r im !i..i.-l t'v ,,iv 
..I V\ 1 ,i*iii|-, this *ii!i t< 

X. MM. 


Hy IW |-t. .i,|. ...i- 41_lO 

I. >-.! Ml MK.K1S. 

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I'll.., (.< I. J mir^ M,xirec, P. 

Hit : J UK- l'ni:t,l Stjtts, dl> <*. 
, I ,rr ,.i,,t nuke known, l!wl pub- 
!. % i ,: {lie clisftoul ot certain 
^ 'inli 1.1 ilic 'IVmitiaet FIYCT 
MIL- .liitiicKOUInoacmmtr. 
h,- l K kl i HnnuvUk in id 

i in. lir-i Mondny in July nest, 
- v,l.- .,1 ih, I,,)-, ui rmgn 1.2, 

,/, J'lJ At hub in n^* 6. 
l'i. II, I-'. 1?, H 1-xci-ptmn 

,.', ,..,:,,1 |T.-> 1,1 

i .,n:. nil ,!f \V.,U- 
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[Original owned by St. Louis Mercantile Library] 


denied. We all know that the emigration from the Eastern 
and Northern states has been far greater to every part of the 
Western country, than from the Southern. We know that those 
states are possessed of a greater population, and will therefore 
admit of greater emigration; and our emigration has been 
mostly from the former Many are in favor of admit- 
ting slavery because it is already admitted in some of our sister 
states they say that it will render them less dangerous if they 
are dispersed all over the nation. Such may be the fact for a 
moment. But who can reason and deny that they will ultimately 
become more dangerous than if concentrated to narrow limits." 

After presenting at some length the economic and social dis- 
advantages of slavery, "for the purpose of attempting to prove 
the impolicy of wishing to have slavery in our state," the writer 
declared that "the friends of this measure must doubtless fail. 
By the compact between Virginia and Congress, it is provided 
expressly, that 'there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude in the territory,' and this provision is made 'unalter- 
able/ except with the consent, both of congress and the people 

and this state After the expression of the policy, both 

of Congress and Virginia, can we suppose that a change of that 
policy is likely to be affected? It seems improbable. Let us 
then drop the hobby let us all unite in trying to obtain the 
best constitution we can, and put the question of slavery to 
rest." 259 - It is significant that the communication contains no 
reference to indentured servitude or to the slavery already exist- 
ing in Illinois. 

Commenting on this communication the editors declared slav- 
ery to be "a subject which the people are greatly interested in 
they should examine it deliberately and thoroughly before they 
form an opinion. Some would oppose it from popular motives, 
and others, doubtless, from principle. And on the other hand, 
we believe that the most of the advocates for the admission of 
slavery in this territory, are candidly of the opinion that it would 
tend very much to draw the tide of emigration hither. What- 
ever the people shall dispassionately say on the subject, we will 

J5 *Cqok evidently confused the Ordinance of 1787 with the Virginia act 
of cession. See above, p. 181, 183. 

236 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

acquiesce in without a murmur, and for that purpose, we invite 
investigation. Our columns will be open as well to the friends 
of the measure, as the opponents." 280 

Two weeks later appeared a communication signed "Caution" 
and dated at "Silver creek, St. Clair county, March 29th, 1818," 
before the appearance of Cook's article. This writer, though 
opposed to slavery, apparently differed with the other antislav- 
ery leaders as to the expediency of bringing on the contest at that 
time. Besides expressing doubts as to the "sufficiency of men of 
talents and political experience to form a constitution" and as to 
the benefits of statehood in general under existing circumstances, 
he propounded the following query: "In equity ought not our 
constitution to be formed as well for the future emigrant, as for 
the present settler ? And does not the influx begin to flow from 
a different channel than it did formerly? I mean from the 
northern states and of people opposed to a certain toleration, 
which will be the grand question at the election for members of 
the convention ..... Whether would members chosen now, 
or members chosen in 1823 be most in favor of the toleration of 
slavery?" Answering his own question, he declared that: 
"Our future population will be principally from the northern 
states, and avowed enemies to slavery. The wealthy southern 
planter, will not part with the plantation Gods, which he wor- 
ships, starves and whips, for the blessings of the western woods, 
while we are a territory, and doubtful as to the future toleration 
of slavery. To those that are uninterested, I need not say a 
word as to the horrors of slavery, and to those who are, they 
would be words thrown away. Butjl^ caution the enemies of 
this hellish system against the fascinating bate of 'state govern- 
ment' at present, although, it might be doubtful if at this time 
a majority could be had in favor of the barter of human flesh, 
and placing a part of mankind on an equality with brutes; yet, 
a few years patience, in our present state, will certainly prepon- 
derate the scale in favor of humanity and freedom." 261 

^Intelligencer, April 

Ibid., April I5,j8i8. 


The editors of the Intelligencer replied to "Caution" in the 
same number, and Cook answered in the issue of the following 
week. In both replies the advantages of statehood were set 
forth, stress being laid on the opportunity it offered for securing 
internal improvements and for putting an end to the judiciary 
troubles. Cook made no reference, however, to that part of the 
argument relating to slavery and the prospects of the increase of 
antislavery sentiment by immigration, while the editors merely 
said that, in spite of the disastrous results of the judiciary diffi- 
culties, "friend Caution would beseech us to wait five years, till 
his brothers of the north could come in with their notions and 
make a constitution for us. We like the northern emigration, 
but we don't think it proper to wait for them exclusively to 
frame our constitution." 

A statement made by Cook in his reply to "Caution" throws 
light on the form which the campaign was taking : "The oppo- 
sition which some are making to our going into a state govern- 
ment, is as I understand it, for the purpose of preventing the elec- 
tion of men to the convention, who are in favor of our now 
framing a constitution, but to promote the election of men who 
will decide in favor of postponing that work to a future period. 
It is as I remarked in the commencement to oppose this idea that 
I venture before the public. If we should have it in our power 
to elect a convention, we should certainly know beforehand what 
the elected will do on this subject. If the advantages of a state 
government are worth struggling for, I should certainly recom- 
mend the election of men who will favor such a decision when 
in the convention. And if our bill do not pass, I should also 
recommend the election of a Delegate who will favor its pas- 
sage at the next session of congress." The advocates of delay 
whom Cook had in mind, as will appear later, were probably the 
proslavery rather than the antislavery men. 

Another opponent of slavery from St. Clair county, writing 
under the signature of "Candor," in a communication dated April 
25, took exception to Cook's theory that the slavery question was 
settled by the ordinance. This, he contended, w^>uld be a "sure 

238 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

plan to lull the people to sleep, and conteract the principle for 
which he [Cook] would seem to contend." "Candor's" position 
was that "the Ordinance of Congress and cession of Virginia 
could only govern us whilst a territory. . . . The principle 
was never doubted in forming the constitutions for the states 
of Ohio and Indiana, that they might either tolerate or prohibit 
slavery; and that if the matter were passed over in silence, slaves 
might then be imported with impunity ; for the ordinance for the 
government of the north western territory would no longer be 
binding, but merely a dead letter, superceded by the constitution. 
In this manner it would be decided in a court of law or equity. 
The last named states made the exclusion of slaves, leading fea- 
tures of their constitutions : We doubt the f ramers of these were 
as wise and as capable of explaining our jurisprudence, as we 
could expect to find men in this territory. Yet here in this 
secluded corner, we find people start up and gravely tell us, that 
it would be unnecessary trouble; that these men did not under- 
stand the matter as well as they do." A great majority of the 
people, he contended, were "opposed to the toleration of slavery; 
yet I fear this majority will be defeated, by the cunning of those 
who have a contrary interest ; and where interest is opposed, the 
public good is too often forgotten. On people of this descrip- 
tion, I would advise to be kept a scrutinizing eye." The writer 
was opposed, therefore, to dropping the hobby, for he considered 
it to be "the hobby by which we, and our posterity, are either to 
be happy or miserable. In electing men to form a constitution, 
we may find those as capable among the opposers, as among the 
friends of slavery." 262 

The best opportunity for those favorable to delay, whether for 
or against slavery, came in June, when the results of the census 
were made known. Governor Edwards appointed the first com- 
missioners for the taking of the census on January 9, two days 
after the act was passed, and by the nineteenth they had been 
appointed in all but three counties. On March n and 13, ap- 
pointments were made for Washington and Jackson, and on May 
1 8 for Franklin, but the man selected for Franklin refused to 

""Intelligencer, April 22, May 6, 1818. 

fr 4 

? ^ 



serve, and the final appointment was not made until June 14, 
two weeks after the returns were due. The pay was small, and 
most of the men appointed were local politicians, men who had 
held nothing higher than county offices. The only one of greater 
prominence was Samuel Omelveny of Pope, a member of the 
house of representatives at the time of his appointment. Two 
were young men who had held no offices themselves but whose 
fathers were in politics William Cullom of Crawford and 
William Moore of St. Clair. For them and a number of others 
the taking of the census was the beginning of a political career. 

There were not enough returns in by the tenth of June for 
the Intelligencer to give an estimate of the territorial population. 
A week later, however, the paper published a statement supplied 
by the secretary, showing a total population, for all the counties 
except Franklin, of only 34,620. It was obvious that the returns 
from Franklin county would not bring the total up to forty 
thousand. There was a chance, however, that the supplementary 
act might yet save the day, and the editors of the paper expressed 
the hope that("the honest vigilance of the Commissioners author- 
[i]sed to take the census will not be suffered to sleep so long 
as our population is found increasing.'^ Four weeks later, July 
15, the paper contained another communication from the secre- 
tary dated July 6, which indicates that the reliability of even 
these meager returns was open to question. "It appears," he 
wrote, "that we have not yet the population required to form 
a constitution and state government, which with the repeated 
reports of official abuse on the part of some of the commissioners 
employed in taking our territorial census, induces me to renew 
to them your just request, that they proceed in the discharge 
of their duties with honest vigilance, and make additional 
returns to my office on or before the first Monday in August 
next. We are told that some commissioners have neglected to 
take even the citizens of their respective counties; while others 
with a zeal unbecoming their situation, have taken some people 
two or three times, and have placed on their lists the mere pas- 
sengers through their counties, and even the territory." 

The secretary expressed disbelief in these reports, but a com- 
parison of the returns with those of the United States census 

240 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of 1820 bears out, to some extent, the charge of padding. The 
return for Gallatin county was 3,256 which is 101 more than the 
United States census figures for the same county. Undoubtedly 
the permanent population of the county increased during the two 
years, and, as Shawneetown was a port of entry for emigrants, 
it is probable that many were included in the census who were 
merely passing through. In Washington county also, a similar 
situation appears, the return of a population of 1,707 being 190 
above the figures of the United States census of 1820. This 
county even more than Gallatin was attracting permanent settlers 
during the two years and there is ample reason for believing that 
many travelers along the Vincennes road, which passed through 
the county, were included in the census. The returns for Madi- 
son county were padded in a different way. To his regular 
report the commissioner added, by way of postscript, that "from 
good information," there were 680 souls at Fort Crawford, 70 
at Fort Edwards, and 80 at Fort Clark, "making in the whole 
5466 souls within the boundary of Madison County." Fort 
Crawford was located at the mouth of the Wisconsin river and 
thus north of the Illinois boundary. 263 The enabling act had 
stipulated that there should be forty thousand inhabitants 
"within the proposed state;" yet these figures were included in 
the secretary's statement. 

Even before the returns were published, a cor respondent jwho 
wrote over the signature of "Anticipator" sent a communica- 
tion to the Intelligencer, in which he maintained "that it is the 
spirit of the law for the members of the body, to be the judges 
of the fact that if we have not the population called for, it will 
be in the power of the convention, not only to form an ordinance, 
but a constitution for the consideration of the people." In the 
same issue in which the statement of population was published, 
the editors announced that, "the fact that our population will not 
amount to 40,000, having become generally known, we under- 
stand that some doubts are entertained as to the propriety of 
electing members of the Convention. The diversity of opinions 

**The original schedules are found in the secretary of state's office, but see 
appendix, p. 318-319. See James, Territorial Records, 54-58. 


which prevailed on this subject, was such, as to induce us to 
enquire of Mr. Pope, upon his arrival, as to what were his views 
on the subject; and he gives it as his opinion, that it will be 
proper to elect a convention, and for them to meet. And if it 
should appear from the returns made, that we have not 40,000, 
then for the Convention to pass an Ordinance, authorising an 
election for members of convention after the last returns shall 
be made, which are to be in the first week of December next. 
And if we then have 40,000 souls, that such Convention will 
have the right to frame a Constitution." 26 * 

Pope's opinion was not allowed to pass unchallenged. The 
next issue of the Intelligencer contained a communication from 
"A friend to enquiry" which maintained not only that no special 
weight should be attached to that opinion but "that his [Pope's] 
connexion with the law itself, however correct his opinions are 
in the general, would lead him more readily into false reasoning, 
than an individual less interested." The writer reached the con- 
clusion, therefore, "that the people are in the present instance 
to enquire and judge for themselves in relation to their powers ; 
and that their enquiries may enable them to know, and to act 
within the provisions of the law is my most earnest wish. For, 
I do consider it a matter of much doubt whether a constitution, 
not within the law established for our guide, would be anything 
more than a dead letter, though it should receive a subsequent 
ratification by congress." From the reply of the editors in the 
same issue and from a second communication from "A friend 
to enquiry," which was published after the elections had taken 
place, it appears that the points at issue in the controversy were : 
whether the enabling act required a population of forty thousand 
at the time of deciding the question of the expediency of form- 
ing a state government or merely when the constitution was 
framed; and whether or not any action contrary to the enabling 
act would be binding on the people of the state, even if accepted 
by congress. A third article from the same correspondent, pub- 
lished on July 22, shows his opposition to the exclusion of slav- 
ery, which may explain his advocacy of delay. 

"^Intelligencer, June 10, June 17, 1818. 

242 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Before taking up the arguments on slavery advanced by "A 
friend to enquiry" it will be well to consider those of another 
writer which appeared in the Intelligencer for June_l7 and July 
r._ By far the ablest communications which appeared in this 
campaign were those sent in from Madison county under date of 
May, 1818, by a writer who signed himself "Agis." The author 
was evidently a man of culture and of wide experience, not only 
in different parts of the United States but in England as well, and 
his point of view was clearly that of an outsider. All this 
establishes the probability that the writer was none other than 
Edward_Cole_s, destined to be the second governor of the state 
and a leader of the antislavery forces in the struggle of 1824. 
Coles was a Virginian, an owner of slaves by inheritance, and 
yet an abolitionist of the extreme type. From 1809 to 1815 he 
served as private secretary to President Madison; when he 
resigned in the latter year, he intended to take his slaves to the 
northwest and set them free. In the following spring, however, 
he was selected by the president for a special mission to Russia ; 
later he traveled in Germany, France, and England. On April 
13, 1818, he received from Madison a letter of introduction to 
Governor Edwards and probably he set out for Illinois at once. 
If so he could easily have been in Edwardsville, his future home, 
by the middle of May. It is certain that he visited Kaskaskia 
in July, during the session of the convention and interested him- 
self in the contest over slavery at that time. 

The first of the communications of "Agis" begins as fol- 
lows: 205 

Fellow Citizens As the period cannot now be very 
distant when you will be called upon to form, by your 
representatives, a constitution of government for your- 
selves and for your posterity, I trust you will not deem 
it premature or improper for one, whose interests are 
united with yours, and whose warmest wishes are for 
your welfare, to call your attention to a subject of 
the utmost importance to individual and national hap- 
piness I mean the momentous question whether this 

^Intelligencer, June 17, 1818. See also Washburne, Edward, Coles, 13-45; 
extract from a letter from Coles to Lippincott about 1860, copied as a manu- 
script note in the latter's set of clippings of his "Conflict of the Century." 


[From original owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


shall be a free or a slave state. Already have the advo- 
cates of slavery taken the field ; and one may frequently 
hear them descanting upon the advantages which would 
attend the admission of slavery, and murmuring 
because this territory is not permitted to enjoy this 
inestimable blessing as well as some other states and 
territories. "Were slavery admitted," say they, "the 
territory would be immediately settled; mills, manu- 
factories and bridges, would be erected, and the whole 
country would wear a new appearance." 

Believing, however, that the question should be considered 
from the standpoint of right rather than from that of expe- 
diency, the writer maintains with cogent arguments the injustice 
of slavery. Moreover he declares himself to be "one of those 
who consider the present [l]aws of this territory, admitting 
slavery under* certain restrictions & regulations, as not only 
unjust, but as plainly inconsistent with the law of Congress 
which declares that there shall be 'neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude' in this territory." The arguments of Governor Ed- 
wards in favor of the validity of the indenture law, are ably 
refuted. "It must be a subject of regret to every lover of lib- 
erty," the writer concludes, "that although our last legislature 
passed an act to repeal the odious law for the admission of 
slavery, yet the repealing act has been defeated by the veto of 
his excellency the governor. Let us hail the approach of that 
period when we shall be delivered from the trammels and 
shackles of territorial bondage when it shall not be in the 
power of an individual, in whose appointment we have no voice, 
to set aside the will of the people, as expressed by their repre- 

In his second number, printed five days before the begin- 
ning of the election, 266 "Agis" proceeded "to show that no solid 
reason can be produced in favor of the expediency of slavery." 
His principal points were; the danger of insurrection, the cor- 
ruption of public and private morals, and the discouragement of 
free labor. 

But were slavery admitted, many emigrants, who 
now pass through our territory, on their way to Boon's 

^Intelligencer, July i, 1818. 

244 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

lick, and other parts of the Missouri territory, followed 
by a long concourse of slaves, might settle in Illinois. 
Perhaps they might; and this is the most plausible 
argument which has been adduced in favor of the 
admission of slavery. Yet for my own part, I would 
rather see our rich meadows and fertile woodlands 
inhabited alone by the wild beasts and birds of the air, 
than that they should ever echo the sound of the slave 
driver's scourge, or resound with the cries of the 
oppressed African I would rather that our citizens 
should live fearlessly and contentedly in their peace- 
ful and modest cabins, than that, surrounded by a host 
of slaves, and inhabiting splendid palaces and gilded 
domes, they should live in constant apprehensions of 
an attack from those who are, and who ought to be, 
their mortal enemies. 

People of Illinois! to you belongs the decision of 
the important question ; important as it relates to your- 
selves, but doubly so as it regards your posterity. Do 
not give them occasion to say, that through indolence, 
or through a mistaken zeal for public improvements, 
you have fixed upon them the curse of slavery a 
curse which, when once fastened upon your land, can- 
not be removed. To you it belongs to say, whether 
this territory shal [sic] be inhabited by freemen or by 
slaves whether all its inhabitants shall live in simple 
and happy freedom, or one half of them shall be reduced 
to abject and cruel servitude to support the splendid 
misery and sickly pomp of the other half. 

As the love of liberty is dear to your hearts as you 
would preserve yourselves and your posterity from the 
miserable fate of the once opulent inhabitants of St. 
Domingo as you would respect the commands of 
Heaven and the dictates of your own consciences, let 
me beseach you be cautious to what persons you con- 
fide the important trust of framing your state consti- 
tution. Let no friend to slavery, however great his 
talents, enjoy your confidence. In particular, beware 
of those who, while they pretend opposition to slavery, 
are still desirous to uphold the present method of intro- 
ducing slaves by indenturing. . This half-way measure 
is satisfactory neither to the advocates of slavery, nor 
to the friends of liberty. Let no one enjoy your con- 
fidence who will not zealously advocate the entire 


exclusion of slavery from the state. Disregard the 
clamor by which the friends of slavery hope to divert 
your attention from the great question of slavery or 
freedom. Place your confidence in men who are in 
practice, as well as in theory, friends to liberty men 
whose interests are blended with your own who have 
no aristocratical desires to gratify; and whose infor- 
mation and talents enable them to act with benefit to 
their constituents, and with honor to themselves. 

The third communication of "A friend to enquiry," pub- 
lished July 22, after the elections but before the meeting of 
the convention, is an argument against the exclusion of slav- 
ery from Illinois as " a principle fraught with cruelty and 
injustice." Admitting "the abominable principles of slavery" 
the writer desires "to call the attention solely to the most effec- 
tual mode of remedying this just stain in the political institU' 
tions of our common country. That this is the end to which 
our enquiries should at present be directed, and not to the mere 
policy of excluding slavery from this territory, will not, I pre- 
sume be denied, by a single friend to humanity." Replying to 
"a modern writer of some celebrity" probably "Agis," he points 
out that "the mere act of exclusion, will not emancipate a sin- 
gle slave" and advocates a plan "which in itself, by remunirat- 
ing [sic] the owner, and preparing the slave, for the right exer- 
cise of his liberty, would give to the system appearance of perfect 
justice and equity? That a plan of gradual emancipation might 
be rendered subservient to this purpose, will not be questioned 
after a moment's enquiry. And I have no hesitation in declar- 
ing, notwithstanding the opposition I may receive from a host of 
policy scriblers [sic], that under proper regulations, I would 
sooner see limited slavery introduced into our territory, though 
the limit should not take effect during the existence of the first 
generation, than this exclusion policy so much spoken of at pres- 
ent." After quoting Dr. James Beattie in favor of gradual 
emancipation, he concludes: 

Let us then, instead of excluding the slave from our 
territory, for surely that cannot be good policy which 
is not in unison with religion and humanity let us, 

246 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

I say, provide by our political regulations, for his intro- 
duction and emancipation, under some such plan as 
that proposed by Beattie. And let it be remembered 
that it is no excuse for a dereliction of duty in this 
particular, to say that we have never yet tolerated 
slavery in our territory, and that the plan for its aboli- 
tion has not been adopted by the slave holding states. 
On the contrary, may we not hope, if we set the 
example, it will become general. And would it not be 
a proud triumph to our posterity, after the business 
of universal emancipation shall have been effected, in 
tracing the effect to the cause, to find its origin in the 
benevolent policy of our territory? 

In recommending the communication of "Agis" to their read- 
ers the editors of the paper declared, "they are well worth, to 
those who are opposed to the toleration of slavery in this ter- 
ritory, an attentive perusal; and more especially, to those who 
are in favor of it." 267 This impartial attitude which the paper 
had endeavored to hold on the slavery issue was lost, however, 
in the comment on the third number of "A friend to enquiry." 
The arguments of this writer in favor of delaying the move- 
ment for statehood had been vigorously controverted by the 
editors, but his plan for the toleration of slavery met with 
their entire approval. "Our readers," the editorial runs, "are 
respectfully solicited to give the foregoing essay written by *A 
friend to enquiry', an attentive and candid perusal. It breathes 
the language of philanthropy, and is fraught with much mean- 
ing and benevolence of soul, and must flash conviction upon 
the mind of every person who feels a disposition to palliate 
the condition of the oppressed African, with so little injury to 
those, who by the laws of our government, have unfortunately 
become the owners of slaves. He pleads not for an everlasting 
bondage of the blacks he pleads not for the perpetual security 
of that property guaranteed to him by the laws of the Union. 
No he pleads for justice, in the emancipation of those unfor- 
tunate beings It would reflect much to the honor and 

humanity of the generous sons of Illinois, when the grand object 
of universal emancipation shall be effected, to hear it sounded 

""Intelligencer, July I, 1818. 



from abroad, that this godlike and benevolent act of humanity 
originated with them." 268 

Not all of the readers of the communications from "A friend 
to enquiry" were so easily convinced that his motives were 
purely philanthropic, and the next issue of the Intelligencer 
contains two replies. "Prudence" could see no good reason for 
bringing "among us this class of men [negroes], to the exclu- 
sion of those more beneficial to society as well might 


The lower receptacle was filled with grease, a wick was inserted through 

the small opening, and it was the up-to-date lamp of 1818. 

[Original owned by Judge Perrin, Belleville] 

we attempt to transplant all the vices and diseases of the east- 
ern states, that we might have the credit of curing them as 
to bring in these dusky sons of Africa, to where the citizens 
do not want them, and too where they are prohibited by the 
laws of the U. States." Especially significant is the statement 
that: "But few, I think who read the labored essay of 'A 
Friend to Enquiry' will think, him actuated alone by humanity. 
It is the dernier resort of an expiring party, who finding that 
the naked hook of unconditional slavery, will not be swallowed 
by the people, have adroitly enough, gilded it over with the form 
of general humanity." In conclusion the writer expressed the 

"Intelligencer, July 22, 1818. 

248 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

wish that "the people in general, the convention, and the con- 
vention's dictator, in particular," would "take into view the 
serious evils arising from admitting among us a host of free 
negroes; and that with their schemes of humanity they would 
mix a little PRUDENCE." 

The other reply, by "Independence," was devoted mainly to 
a rebuttal of the contention that the failure 'to show a popula- 
tion of forty thousand in June necessitated the abandonment of 
the movement for statehood. It contained one passage, however, 
significant of the motives of the opposition: "Who are the 
'disinterested' so much spoken of in a former piece by 'a friend 
to enquiry?' Who have excited so much feeling in public as 
the advocates for the continuance of our territorial dependency? 
What is the object in abandoning the privileges of the act of 
Congress? Is it not for the purpose of delay? Will delay ben- 
efit the many or the few? As for 'conclusive argument,' we 
have not heard any from the other side Of declamation, we 
have heard considerable." Another writer, who signed him- 
self "A citizen," makes a statement in the Intelligencer of June 
24, which throws additional light on what was going on behind 
the scenes. "Some think," he declares, "that the ordinance of 
Congress, and the law for our admission into the union, ex- 
cludes us forever, from being a slave state. Others, and men 
of considerable investigation, think differently, and say that 
this obnoxious feature, in our bill of rights, may be expunged 

by our next delegate I am thus particular,, because 

I am one of those unbelieving few, who do not think that all, 
now, depends on the convention." Obviously "A citizen" was 
not in favor of the exclusion of slavery and was in favor of 

Some of those who advocated dropping the statehood move- 
ment for the time being may have hoped to discourage the 
voters from attending the elections. A letter from Shawnee- 
town, dated June 17, indicates not only that this was the case 
and that the attempt met with little success, but also that the 
lack of forty thousand inhabitants must have been fully recog- 
nized some time before the returns were published. "I have 


made all the enquiry possible," the writer states, "as to the 
determination of the people on the subject of a convention; and 
from the best information I am able to get, the elections on 
this side will be general. The additional returns from some 
counties will be considerable and a disposition is evinced by 
some, to form a constitution at all events." Two weeks after 
this letter was written and in the last issue before the elections, 
the Intelligencer announced a hopeful situation as concerned the 
census: "We are happy to learn from a respectable source, 
that the commissioner for taking the census in the county of 
Franklin, will probably return the number of two thousand in- 
habitants. We are also credibly informed, that the county of 
Gallatin contains one thousand inhabitants, not yet returned; 
and that the emigration to the eastern counties is astonishingly 
rapid. From the information we have received, it is probable, 
that if the commissioners for the several counties will be vig- 
ilant, that our numbers will increase to forty thousand by the 
first of August. We would therefore recommend to the com- 
missioners to be industrious, and make returns of the addi- 
tional settlers on the first Monday in August, that the conven- 
tion may be enabled, if possible, to proceed to the formation 
of a constitution." 

While slavery was without doubt the one great issue, it was by 
no means the only subject discussed in the convention campaign. 
These discussions as reflected in communications in the Intelli- 
gencer are of interest not only for the part which they played 
in the campaign, but also because of the effect which they may 
have had on the deliberations of the convention. Some time in 
May, while the campaign was in progress, a second paper was 
established, at Shawneetown, in which doubtless appeared simi^ 
lar communications affecting and reflecting the campaign in the 
eastern part of the territory. Unfortunately no issues of this 
paper earlier than October 17, 1818, are known to have been 

The Intelligencer, in its editorial of March n, urged the im- 
portance of electing to the convention "men who are versed in 
the science of government; men who have correct opinions of 

250 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

human nature, and who have an extensive acquaintance with 
the effects which the various forms of government have had 
upon the happiness of the human family." This opened up a 
long drawn out discussion of the qualifications which candidates 
should have and of the sort of men who should be sent to frame 
the constitution. Cook, as has been seen, urged the election of 
men of talents regardless of their position on the slavery ques- 
tion, while "Caution" thought there were not enough such men 
in the territory to frame the constitution and hold the offices. 
The most persistent writer on this subject, however, was "One 
of the people" whose first communication appeared on May 6. 
Urging the importance of having a constitution so framed "that 
no one class of citizens could be burdened by a future legislature 
more than any other class of citizens," a constitution that "should 
provide for an equitable and just system of taxation, which 
would prevent the poor from being taxed or burdened more 
than the rich, as they are in fact at present in this territory," he 
pointed out the necessity, in order to secure such a constitution, 
of having it "framed by men of intelligence, whose minds are 
expanded, whose views are liberal and who will be able to dis- 
cover the practical operation of those things which may be en- 
grafted into that important instrument." The tendency of un- 
qualified candidates to come forward as volunteers was deplored 
and they were advised to give way and solicit others more quali- 
fied to accept the position. 

In a second number, published May 13, the same writer de- 
clared that some opposed sending men of talents to the conven- 
tion because " 'they could not be trusted.' .... If they are 
not of the same calling, that is another objection. 'Their interest' 
they say, 'may be different from ours.' Therefore, 'let us send 
men of our own calling, who will be governed by interest' That 
is coming to the point at once. And here it might be said with 
propriety, that the pay appears to be an object with some of 
them; for some have been known to enquire, whether the con- 
ventioners would receive any pay! before they offered to volun- 
teer their services. Men of narrow contracted minds, who will 
be governed by the corrupting principle of self-interest, are the 


last men in the world, who ought to be elected to form a happy 
constitution for a free people. Yet such it is believed, are many 
of the persons who claim the right to form for us a constitution. 
They claim it upon the ground that they are the oldest settlers. 
Many old settlers of the class of candidates, appear to consider 
all who have not been here quite so long as themselves, as aliens; 
who have no more rights here than aliens enjoy under the Eng- 
lish Monarchy." Still a third number, appearing the following 
week, presented a series of searching questions beginning with 
"Can I do anything more in a convention than to give my vote?" 
which each of the would-be candidates was advised not only to 
answer but to submit to the "best informed men in the county" 
before deciding to stand for election. 

Immediately after these articles were published, another writer, 
who called himself "Anticipator" appeared on the scene with a 
number of concrete suggestions as to articles which should be 
included in the constitution. Among these were provisions 
against plural office holding, against a religious test for office- 
holders, for the punishment of bribery or the soliciting of 
votes, and for allowing "all widows and unmarried females 
over the age of 21 years .... to vote at popular elections." 
The argument in favor of this latter provision has quite a modern 
ring, although few advocates of women's suffrage today would 
confine it to "widows and unmarried females." "We frequently 
see widows," he wrote, "administering on estates and having 
charge of large families. It is reasonable to suppose that they 
are some times interested in the passage of particular laws, 
which affect themselves, their children, or their property. They 
know before an election, who will and who will not advocate 
particular measures. A single vote may preponderate the elec- 
tion either way. Why deprive them of acting in this case, where 
they are particularly interested, when their peculiar circumstances 
had made it necessary for them to act in others, which arbitrary 
habit, has made the province of men?" In a second number 
"Anticipator" took occasion to condemn "the old ritual of the 
English common law, handed down with little variation, from 



the barbarous age of Edward IV," and to advocate the substitu- 
tion of arbitration of disputes for trial by jury in all civil cases. 268 
About the same time appeared two communications from "A 
friend to equal justice" who considered the existing system of 
taxation, together with the requirements of road work and mus- 
ter service, very oppressive to poor men and to young men. A 
rich man with a thousand acres of valuable land paid only ten 

A kind of vise that held barrel staves, axe 
handles, etc., for the knife. 

[Original owned by W. 0. Converse, Springfield] 

dollars taxes a year, he claimed, while the poor man was obliged 
to contribute the equivalent of $28.50 in money or service. This 
he believed to be due to the fact that the wealthy farmers "have 
heretofore been our law makers" and now they "are offering to 
go and adopt a constitution for us." Congress having given the 
vote to all without regard to property qualifications, the young 
men and the poor men were urged to improve the opportunity 

by sending "enlightened men" to the convention instead of "ig- 


^Intelligencer, May 27, June 10, 1818. 


norant wealthy men" who would insist on a property qualifica- 
tion for members of the legislature and thus ensure the contin- 
uance of the "oppressive system of taxation." 

The arguments of "One of the people" and "A friend to equal 
justice" called out a reply from "An old farmer" who believed 
that the articles over these signatures were written by the same 
hand. The protest against "unqualified candidates," he consid- 
ered "to be a recommendation to the old men of the different 
counties of the territory, farmers in particular, who had for- 
merly been representatives, 'to stay at home, and let the young 
ones (who are always the wisest) go and make a constitution for 
them.' Much as I admire the modesty of this young stranger, I 
cannot, altogether, come into his measures. I presume he means 
that it is lawyers who ought to represent us. I agree that the 
avocations of the bar, and a classical education, particular the 
latter, (which some of them may have,) contribute greatly to 
store the mind with extraneous knowledge ; but that the continual 
practice of chicanery, will qualify a man for forming laws, I 
deny. Certainly, the constant habit of public speaking, will give 
the muscles of his mouth more elasticity, and he can learn to 
associate his ideas with more ease. But, at the same time, the 
little, dirty quarrels, and disputes, which his profession impels 
him continually to take part in, or starve, will have a tendency 
to contract and Yankeefy a mind that might be otherwise liberal 
and generous." The complicated system of the law was then 
attacked and the writer declared himself "for trusting to the 
enlighted [sic] farmers and others, who have the same object in 
view, to simplify our laws, and lop off from them that load of 
technicalities which make pack horses of our memories." To 
the "two lamentable tales about taxation" he replied only with 
ridicule. 270 

Still another writer, who used the name of "Erin," in the pa- 
per of June 24, called upon "One of the people" to cease harping 
on the self-evident proposition that able men should be sent to 
the convention and instead to discuss the principles which should 
be incorporated into the constitution; "then let the people find 

""Intelligencer, June 17, 1818. 

254 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

men enough learned in those principles to adopt them into being." 
One of the subjects which he wanted discussed was "whether 
the preachers of the gospel of Christ ought to have a seat in the 
convention or not. Whether in all respects, good men, merely 
for their entering on that most interesting business to mankind, 
should be excluded from a seat in the convention, and the legis- 
latures arising therefrom. Or whether men, who say often 
themselves, they are called to the pulpit by the Almighty God, 
ought to degrade themselves by entering into politics." Another 
"subject of much concern to the territory" was that of slavery: 
"whether it would not be most consonant to true religion and 
freedom, to allow the half starved blacks of the south to par- 
take of Illinois plenty; and whether it would not be to the ad- 
vantage of the new state to permit those unfortunate subjects 
of the southern states a place in the 'land of promise :' and de- 
vise some mode of their gradual emancipation; or whether it 
would not be better for the negroes of the United States, and 
our new state to stay as they are." 

"One of the people" decided to ignore the challenge of "Erin" 
because it was "too late to reply, in time to answer any of those 
purposes which he appears to have had in view" the elections 
then being over. To "An old farmer," however, he replied with 
vigor, accusing him of being no farmer at all but a doctor who 
had "been in the territory about six or eight weeks." Denying 
that he had written the articles signed "A friend to equal jus- 
tice," he accused "An old farmer" of having written those signed 
"Anticipator," and of having "commenced 'anticipating' a con- 
stitution for us" two weeks after he came to Illinois. So much 
of this reply as was not devoted to ridicule and personalities, was 
a defense of the law and lawyers. 271 The character and value of 
the common law, however, were much more ably discussed in a 
communication signed "Common Sense" which appeared in the 
previous issue of the paper: 

Let us enquire what this law is, so much detested by 
the learned Anticipator. It is in the words of an able 
judge the perfection of reason; it has for its founda- 

* l lntelligencer, July 8, 1818. 


tion the general customs of the kingdom, the law of 
nature and the law of God; it is founded upon reason 
and is said to be the perfection of reason acquired by 
long study, observation, and experience, and refined by 

learned men in all ages Its continuance, 

therefore, the warmth with which it has always been 
supported, and its general adoption throughout the 
U. States is the best evidence of its utility and excel- 
lence; it is the birthright of every citizen, the only 
safeguard he hath for the protection, not only of his 
property but his family. 272 

(All these various communications, considered together, would 
indicate that there were in Illinois in 1818, two sorts of poli- 
ticians. One type consisted of young ambitious lawyers, with a 
fair amount of education, many of whom had come to the terri- 
tory only a few years before in the hope of finding there a road to 
wealth and political preferment. The other class, more nu- 
merous, was made up of those among the old established citi- 
zens who, having come in the front ranks of the pioneers, had 
acquired a competence by land operations or business enterprises 
and had become the social and political leaders of their fellows. 
Lacking the advantages of education and wide experience, the 
men of this latter class were provincial in their views and igno- 
rant of the science of government, but they were in no hurry 
to withdraw in favor of the more competent newcomers. 

In spite of theQmportance of the issue of slavery in the elec- 
tion of members of the convention/ it seems probable that per- 
sonal popularity played a very large part in determining the 
outcome, just as had been the case with territorial elections. 
Relying on this popularity, some of the candidates evidently 
tritd to evade the issue. In the Intelligencer of May 27, a writer 
who signed himself "The people" declared : "The object which 
most interests the public mind, with regard to the approaching 
election, for members to the convention, is to know whether 
they are in favor of the toleration or the prohibition of slavery. 
Several have offered, in different parts of the territory, who 
have made their sentiments known on that head, and pledge 

^Intelligencer, July i, 1818. 

256 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

themselves to one or other of the parties to support their favorite 
measure: Others again conceal their real opinions, and meas- 
urably give both, parties hopes of being successful through their 
means." Still more objectionable to this writer were those who 
claimed to be ready to obey the instructions of their constituents 
regardless of their own views and thus made "so light of their 
opinions as to barter them for an office." This communication 
was probably from an opponent of the toleration of slavery, 
but a month later "A citizen," who seems to have been on the 
other side, called for the "candid and impartial sentiments" of 
the candidates on the subject. "On this important point," he 
wrote, "it will be well for every man to inquire before he gives 
his vote and to enquire of the candidate, in the presence of those 
of an opposite opinion to himself, so that he may not flinch, and 
act the camelion, as, I fear, some of our candidates are doing." 273 
The complicated nature of the slavery question doubtless en- 
abled many of the candidates to evade the vital issues of existing 
slavery and the indenture system by merely declaring themselves 
opposed to the admission of slavery. In Madison county, ac- 
cording to a contemporary writer many years later, the "candi- 
dates all professed to be opposed to slavery. One of them said 
he was opposed to it because he believed it would be a disadvan- 
tage to the State, if he had thought it an advantage, he would 
have been in favor of it." One of the successful candidates in 
this county was Benjamin Stephenson, who in the convention 
voted for all the proslavery clauses. Probably he had, declared 
himself opposed to the introduction of slavery but did not feel 
under any obligation to aid in wiping out existing slavery or the 
indenture system. For the attitude of candidates in the other 
counties little evidence is available except the votes in the con- 
vention of those who were successful. The representatives of 
three counties, Union, Johnson, and Edwards all voted on the 
antislavery side at every opportunity, and it is quite likely that 
the slavery issue played a considerable part in their elections. 
Of the four unsuccessful candidates in Union county, two held 
slaves. In Johnson, the only known candidate who was not 

^Intelligencer, May 27, June 24, 1818. 

IN A SteH/JU:* of v :I:K\VH. 

IEtJffd '},> * Jn' 

Si. IJOU.IK. ]Mo. 

TITLE-PAGE OF WILD'S, Fa//e> of i/te Mississippi, WITH PRAIRIE SCENE 
(Original owned by Chicago Historical Society) 


elected was a slaveholder and an active advocate of the tolera- 
tion of slavery in Illinois. He is said to have been defeated by 
only a few votes. 274 In Edwards it is possible that Birkbeck 
may have exerted an influence against slavery even as early as 
this election. 

All the representatives from Gallatin, Randolph, and Jack- 
son counties voted consistently for the recognition of the inden- 
ture system and existing slavery. The importance of the saline, 
the operation of which depended upon slave labor, is sufficient 
to explain the situation in Gallatin. In Randolph, Kane is said 
to have declared that "if Doctor Fisher should be elected as his 
colleague, he, Mr. Kane, would consider himself instructed to 
vote for the introduction of slavery, but if Mr. McFerron was 
elected as his colleague, then he would consider himself in- 
structed to vote against slavery." 276 

From this it would seem that Kane expected to be elected 
himself, regardless of the issue, because of his prominence in 
the county. The situation was somewhat similar in Jackson 
county, where it was only a question of whom the voters should 
"select as the other delegate to accompany Conrad Will ; for the 
doctor's ability and prominence made him pre-eminent in all 
their public affairs. Their choice fell upon James Hall, Jr., an 
intelligent and enterprising citizen, though having but moderate 
education." R. E. Heacock, a lawyer who in 1816 ran against 
Pope for the position of delegate, was the only one of the five 
known candidates in this county who was not a slaveholder. 
Here again the salt works were an influential factor. The 
election in the other counties of men who opposed each other 
on the slavery issue indicates that the question was not the de- 
termining factor in these cases. 

The methods of campaigning adopted by the candidates in 
this election were those customary on the frontier at the time. 
The two newspapers must have reached only a small proportion 

m His name was John Copeland. See Biographical Review of Johnson, 
Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, 354 ; Churchill, "Annotations," no. 7. 

""Ibid.; see also p. 200. For the situation in Jackson county see Illinois 
State Historical Society, Transactions, 1905, p. 358-359; Patterson, "Early 
Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 14:122. 

258 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of the voters but it is probable that handbills were circulated and 
these may have been more specific in their discussion of the 
merits of the respective candidates than were the articles in the 
Intelligencer. To a large extent, however, the campaign prob- 
ably took the form of a house to house canvass, the character 
of which is admirably delineated in a poem entitled "Candidates" 
which was published in the Intelligencer of July I, five days be- 
fore the elections began: 

In dreary woods, remote from social walks 

I dwell. From year to year, no friendly steps 

Approach my cot, save near election days, 

When throngs of busy, bustling candidates 

Cheer me with their conversation so soft and sweet 

I list' with patience to their charming tales, 

Whilst gingerbread and whisky they disperse, 

To me, my wife and all the children round. 

Some bring a store of little penny books 

And trinkets rare for all my infants young. 

My health and crops appear their utmost care, 

Fraternal squeezes from their hands I get 

As tho' they lov'd me from their very souls : 

Then "Will you vote for me my dearest friend? 

Your laws I'll alter, and lop taxes off; 

'Tis for the public weal I stand the test, 

And leave my home, sorely against my will : 

But knowing that the people's good require 

An old substantial hand I quit my farm 

For patriotism's sake, and public good;" 

Then fresh embraces close the friendly scene, 

With protestations firm, of how they love. 

But what most rarely does my good wife pleate, 

Is that the snot nos'd baby gets a buss ! ! 

O that conventions ev'ry day were call'd, 

That social converse might forever reign. 

It would seem that those candidates who most diligently fol- 
lowed this method of house to house canvass were the most 
likely to be elected. No one had a better opportunity for such a 
canvass than the commissioners who took the census, and five 
of them or one-third of their number, were elected to the con- 
vention. Among the other successful candidates were the 
father of one and the brother of another of the commissioners. 


Doubtless the latter had availed themselves of the opportunity to 
speak a good word for their relatives while collecting the census 

In such a campaign it is probable that personalities played a 
large part. One of the candidates in Monroe county was Andey 
Kinney, an early settler in the country. His opponents first 
charged him with "offering to purchase votes on such and such 
terms" and then dug up an old charge that he had once rebelled 
against his country "and had taken a captain's commission under 
a French officer." They specified, moreover, that he "had been 
tried by a court of justice, fined in a sum of forty dollars, and 
never to hold a commission in the territory afterwards." 

Kinney denied the charge in the Intelligencer of June 10, and 
presented several certificates to prove that he had been acquitted 
at the trial. He also pointed to the fact that he had "valiently 
[sic] assisted in defending my country . . . . in an engage- 
ment above Cahokia, under the Bluff .... where we killed 
seven men, and wounded some more, in the year 1794." The sole 
cause of his "embarking in this important case of the convention, 
was for the express purpose of being an advocate for our inherent 
rights which naturally belong to a free and independent peo- 
ple. Slavery is an abomination which we ought to guard against 
in every sense of the word. High salaries which are oppressive 
to the people, ought never to be sanctioned. So I shall conclude, 
stating that i'f I should be elected, that according to the best of 
my abilities, I will use every exertion in my power, to promote 
the general interest of the people." Kinney was not elected. 

The elections took place on July 6, 7, and 8. The only polls 
in each county were held at the county seat and the voting was 
viva voce. The vote of each elector was recorded and pro- 
claimed aloud by the sheriff. This system, which was used in 
several of the southern states had been substituted for election 
by ballot by a law passed by the territorial legislature on Decem- 
ber 8, 1813. The preamble of this act declared: "Whereas 
voters have hitherto been obliged to vote by ballot, and the 
ignorant as well as those in embarrassed circumstances are 
thereby subject to be imposed upon by electioneering zealots. 

260 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

"And whereas it is inconsistent with the spirit of a representa- 
tive republican government since the opening for bribery and 
corruption is so manifest, which should ever be opposed and 
suppressed in such a government, for remedy whereof." One of 
the communications of "Agis," published July I, 1818, was a 
protest against the viva voce system of voting and against the 
regulation requiring "all the electors of a county to give their 
votes in one place." The writer showed that voting by ballot, 
instead of giving opportunity for corruption and undue influence, 
was the best means of preventing it. "These hints," he con- 
cluded, "are suggested at this time in order that, when the all- 
important selection of members of the convention for framing 
your state constitution, your choice may be directed to such men 
as will support the equal rights of the people." 276 

No statistics are available regarding the number of ballots cast 
in any of the counties except Madison. The census shows 1,012 
men of voting age in that county, and there were 517 votes cast 
in the election. 277 Taking into consideration the fact that only 
those who had been in the territory since the first of the year 
were qualified to vote and the long distances which many of the 
voters must have had to travel, this indicates a very active in- 
terest on the part of the electorate. 

News of the result of the election was slow in coming in. On 
July 15, the Intelligencer printed the names of the successful 
candidates in Randolph and the near-by counties of Monroe, St. 
Clair, Madison, and Jackson. The next week the list- was com- 
pleted for all except Bond, Edwards, and Crawford counties, 
but the names of the representatives from these counties were 
not printed until August 5, two days after the convention as- 

The issue of the Intelligencer in which were printed the first 
proceedings of the convention, contained the following address : 

The undersigned happening to meet at the St. Clair 
Circuit Court have united in submitting the fol- 
lowing address to the friends of Freedom in the 
state of Illinois : 

""Pope's Digest, i:i54-i55; Intelligencer, July i, 1818. 
"Churchill, "Annotations," no. 7. 


Feeling it a duty in those who are sincere in their 
opposition to the toleration of slavery in this territory, 
to use all fair and laudable means to effect that subject, 
we therefore, beg leave to present to our fellow-citi- 
zens at large, the sentiments which prevail in this 
section of our country on that subject. In the coun- 
ties of Madison and St. Clair, the most populous 
counties in the territory, a sentiment approaching that 
of unanimity against it seems to prevail. In the coun- 
ties of Bond, Washington and Monroe, a similar senti- 
ment also prevails. We are informed that strong exer- 
tions will be made in the Convention to give sanction 
to that deplorable evil in our state; and least such 
should be the result at too late a period for any thing 
like concert to take place among the friends of free- 
dom in trying to defeat it; we therefore, earnestly so- 
licit all true friends to freedom in every section of the 
territory, to unite in opposing it, both by the election of 
a Delegate to Congress who will oppose it, and by 
forming meetings and preparing remonstrances to 
Congress against it. Indeed, so important is this ques- 
tion considered, that no exertion of a fair character 
should be omitted to defeat the plan of those who either 
wish a temporary or unlimited slavery. Let us also se- 
lect men to the Legislature who will unite in remon- 
strating to the general government against ratifying 
such a constitution. At a crisis like this, thinking will 
not do, acting is necessary. 278 

In this address, the leaders of the extreme antislavery party 
acknowledged their defeat. 

m Intelligencer, August 5, 1818. The address was signed by Risdon Moore, 
Benjamin Watts, Jacob Ogle, Joshua Oglesby, William Scott, Sr, William 
Biggs, George Blair, Charles Matheny, James Garretson, and William Kin- 
ney from St. Clair county; William Whiteside from Madison; James Lemen 
from Monroe; and William Bradsby from Washington. 



It must have been a 
great event for the 
quaint old town of Kas- 
kaskia when the con- 
stitutional con- 

[Original owned by William Wilk- ^^*llMlfc VCntion 

inson, Roodhouse] -^p 

bled on the first 

Monday in August, 1818. Composed of thirty-three members, 
this body was almost twice as large as the council and house 
of representatives combined of the last territorial legislature. 
Doubtless many who were not members of the convention 
but were interested in the outcome of its deliberations vis- 
ited Kaskaskia during the session; Bennett's tavern was filled 
to overflowing. Among the distinguished men known to have 
been present were the Reverend John Mason Peck, Baptist mis- 
sionary, who disclaims any business with the convention, and 
Edward Coles, afterwards governor and leader of the anti- 
slavery party, who asserts that he not only attended the conven- 
tion but also "made the acquaintance and learned the opinions, 
views and wishes of many of its prominent members.'-' Neither 
of these men, unfortunately, left any detailed account of his 
observations, and practically the only available sources, of in- 
formation about the convention are the recently discovered 
"Journal" and the very inadequate and colorless reports in the 
Intelligencer* 119 

^Babcock, Memoir of Peck, 97; Washburne, Edward Coles, 44; Coles 
to Lippincott (n. d.), copied as a manuscript note in Lippincott's copy of 
his "Conflict of the Century." The only copy of the "Journal" of the conven- 
tion known to be in existence, was presented to the secretary of state in 1005 
by J. W. Kitchell, a nephew of Joseph Kitchell, one of the members of the 
convention from Crawford county. A page for page reprint of this copy can 
be found in the Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6:355-424. [The 



All the representatives elected to the convention except the 
four from the near-by counties of Washington and Jackson 
were present on August 3, the date set by the enabling act for 
assembling. A temporary organization having been effected, 
the "representatives from the several counties were then called" 
and the members present took their seats. Permanent organ- 
ization followed immediately; Jesse B. Thomas was elected 
president, William C. Greenup, secretary, and Ezra Owen, ser- 
geant at arms. Judge Thomas was the most prominent man who 
had been elected to the convention so that his choice as president 
was a natural one and may have had no political significance. 
Greenup had held various clerkships in the territorial legislature 
and in the courts of Randolph county, and in spite of his hos- 
tility to the governor had been appointed clerk of the circuit 
court and reappointed clerk of the county court the preceding 
January. Doubtless he was one of the few men available who 
were qualified for the position. The "Journal" gives no in- 
formation about the balloting for officers, except the names of 
the men elected but it is clear that, if there was any contest be- 
tween the old political factions over the organization of the con- 
vention, the Edwards faction certainly was not in control. 280 
The only other business transacted the first day was the appoint- 
ment of three committees, one to examine the credentials of the 
members, one to frame a set of rules, and one to secure a min- 
ister to open the next meeting with prayer. 

The first real work of the convention was necessarily to ascer- 
tain officially the result of the census in order that it might know 
whether or not it was authorized, under the enabling act, to 
proceed with the framing of a constitution. On the second day, 
August 4, after the representatives from Jackson and Washing- 
ton counties had been admitted, Mr. Kane moved the appoint- 
ment of a committee "to examine the returns made to the secre- 
tary's office of this territory .... and make report thereon. 

following narrative is based mainly on this "Jpurnal" and on the text of the 
constitution. Since both are comparatively brief documents, it has not been 
thought necessary to give detailed citations, except in a few cases where it 
seemed advisable to fix the source of the quotation. Ed.] 

280 "Journal," p. 3, in Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6 1355 ; 
James, Territorial Records, 55 ; letter of Edwards, January 18, 1818, and 
one with no date in Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 49 1235 ; 51 :484. 

264 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

And also, to receive and report such other evidence of the actual 
population of the territory as to them shall seem proper." Kane 
himself was made chairman of this committee as he had been 
also of the credentials committee. On the following day he re- 
ported first for the latter committee, a simple matter as there 
appear to have been no contests over seats, and then presented 
the census returns by counties as ascertained from the secretary's 
office. The lists totaled 40,258, an increase of 5,638 over the 
first reports in Jjine. Besides the 1,281 for Franklin county 
which had not been reported on before, this increase was divided 
among the different counties in numbers varying from 16 to 
1,847. I* 1 Bond, Randolph, Johnson, and Pope the increments 
were less than a hundred, while in Madison, St. Clair, Gallatin, 
and Crawford they were above five hundred. These . additions 
were, in general, the results of the supplementary census which 
appears to have been taken in all but two counties at least. 281 
Only four of these additional returns are now available but 
they throw some light on the character of the census. The Wash- 
ington county commissioner evidently went into outlying dis- 
tricts where the people had not previously been counted, and even 
visited and counted those in the western part of Edwards county, 
who were widely separated from the main settlements near the 
Wabash. In the returns from Jackson, Gallatin, and Crawford, 
however, it is clear that it was the newcomers who were being 
counted, and the fact that very few among the additional names 
are to be found in the lists of old settlers in the county histories 
would indicate that many were included who were merely pass- 
ing through the county. Among the names in the additional 
census of Gallatin is that of C. Trimmer, who figures as the 
head of a family of fifty. This entry refers to a party of Eng- 
lish emigrants on its way to Birkbeck's colony in Edwards 
county. The discrepancy for several of the counties between 
this census and that of the United States in 1820 is of" course 
increased by the supplementary figures. 

""In 1819 the legislature passed "AN ACT for the relief of persons taking 
additional census," which provided extra payment ranging from five to thirty 
dollars for the commissioners of all the counties except Bond, Johncon, and 
Edwards. Laws of 1819, p. 347. 


The convention appears to have raised no question as to the 
adequacy of the census. At any rate, the "report was read, con- 
sidered and concurred in." After postponing the consideration 
of rules until the following day, the convention was ready to 
decide the all important question of the expediency of advancing 
to statehood. Mr. Prickett offered a resolution declaring that 
as "there are upwards of 40,000 inhabitants" in the territory, "it 
is expedient to form a constitution and state government." A 
motion by Kane to postpone consideration of the resolution until 
the following day was voted down; the resolution was then 
considered and passed. Judging from this prompt action it would 
seem that the opponents of statehood, if there were any in the 
convention, must have numbered only a small minority and 
must have recognized the futility of any opposition. It is doubt- 
ful if Kane's motion to postpone consideration of the resolution 
for a day was due to any desire to check the statehood program. 
Had he entertained any such designs, he was too shrewd to have 
missed the opportunity afforded by the character of the census 
and especially by the inclusion of the estimated population at 
Prairie du Chien. Had these figures been omitted, as they 
should have been under the provisions of the enabling act, the 
totals would have been below the requisite forty thousand. 282 As 
chairman of the committee on the census, Kane might, had he 
so desired, have presented a report which at least would have 
made the convention hesitate. 

The alternative procedure of providing for a second conven- 
tion to frame the constitution does not appear to have been con- 
sidered at all, for immediately after the adoption of the "ex- 
pediency" resolution, provision was made for "a committee of 
fifteen, one from each county .... to frame and report to 
this convention a constitution for the people of the territory of 
Illinois." The chairman of this committee was Leonard White 
of Gallatin but, according to all the evidence, the directing spirit 
was Elias Kent Kane. The report of the committee, however, 
certainly did not represent the latter's wishes in all particulars. 
The committee took a week in which to prepare its draft of the 

282 On this whole discussion of the census see above, p. 238-241 ; compare 
"Journal," p. 6, 7, and Flower, English Settlement, 96, 99. 

266 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

constitution; the convention in the interval considered and 
adopted an elaborate body of rules of procedure, provided for the 
printing of the journal and the draft, and contracted for sta- 
tionary. 288 On the sixth Mr. Card offered a resolution for a com- 
mittee "to draft an ordinance to establish the bounds of the 
state of Illinois and for other purposes;" and Mr. Hubbard 
offered another for a committee "to draft an ordinance acknowl- 
edging and ratifying the donations made by an act of congress 
passed in April, 1818." On motion of Mr. Kane consideration 
of both of these resolutions was postponed until the following 
day when the first was dropped and for the second was substi- 
tuted, again on motion of Mr. Kane, another resolution directing 
the committee of fifteen "to consider the expediency of accept- 
ing or rejecting the propositions made to this convention by the 
congress of the United States, and if in their opinion it shall be 
expedient to accept the same, it shall be their further duty to 
draft an ordinance irrevocable, complying with the conditions 
annexed to the acceptance of such propositions in the act for the 
admission of this territory in the union, and report thereon." 28 * 

On the same day, the seventh, "Mr. Kane presented two peti- 
tions signed by sundry inhabitants of Randolph county, one 
praying that this convention shall declare in the constitution to 
be formed that the moral law is the basis of its structure, and 
acknowledge therein an universal parent. The other praying 
that this convention may declare the scriptures to be the word 
of God, and that the constitution is founded upon the same." 
These petitions emanated from a sect of Covenanters, who had 
established themselves in Randolph county. They were referred 
to a select committee but no attention was paid to them in the 
framing of the constitution and, according to Governor Ford, 

^Reynolds, My Own Times, 211; Ford, History of Illinois, 24; Brown, 
"Early History of Illinois," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 14 186-87 > John F. 
Snyder is an authority for the statement that "Judge Breese, who was then 
a law student in Elias K. Kane's office in Kaskaskia, said the Constitution 

was written in Mr. Kane's office some time before the meeting of the 

convention." Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1905, p. 360 note. 
Breese did not arrive in Illinois, however, until several months later. Samuel 
Breese to Kane, October 20, 1818, in Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 
52 :33 ; Moses, Illinois, 1 1455. 

""'Journal," p . 13, hi Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6 -.365. 


the Covenanters for many years "refused to work the roads un- 
der the laws, serve on juries, hold any office, or do any other act 
showing that they recognize the government." The only excep- 
tion was in the convention election of 1824 "when they voted for 
the first time, and unanimously against slavery." 285 

On Saturday and Monday, the eighth and tenth, the conven- 
tion marked time. On the eleventh Mr. Bankson announced 
the death that morning of his colleague, John K. Mangham of 
Washington. The members of the convention agreed to wear 
crape on the left arm for thirty days in testimony of their respect 
for Mr. Mangham' s memory, and a committee was appointed 
to make arrangements for the funeral. This took place late in 
the afternoon "attended by the members of the Convention and 
the citizens of the place generally." Two days later a committee 
was appointed to inquire into the expediency of ordering an 
election to fill the vacancy but the committee reported "that an 
election could not be effected in time to answer the purpose of 
giving the said county their full representation in this conven- 
tion before the same will have risen." This report was con- 
curred in by the convention and no election was held. 

The draft of the constitution was finally reported by the com- 
mittee of fifteen on Wednesday the twelfth. It consisted of a 
preamble and eight articles, the greater part of which had been 
copied from the constitutions of neighboring states. Periods of 
time, ages, and amounts of salary were left blank to be filled in 
by the convention. Accompanying the draft was an ordinance 
accepting. the federal donations and agreeing to comply with the 
requisite conditions; this was adopted by the convention with- 
out change. The day after the introduction of the draft of the 
constitution the convention took it up for consideration, section 
by section, and made various changes. This "first reading" took 
two and a half days and at its conclusion a committee of five 
was appointed, none of whom had served on the committee of 
fifteen, to suggest additional articles or sections which it might 
consider necessary to complete the draft of the constitution. The 

Tord, ^History of Illinois, 25 ; "Journal," p. 13, in Illinois State His- 
torical Society, Journal, 6:365. See also p. 66 of the "Journal" on a similar 
petition, presented near the close of the session of the convention. 

268 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

work of this committee was primarily to prepare a schedule for 
putting the new government into operation and that same day 
presented its first report on the temporary apportionment of 
senators and representatives. 

On Monday the seventeenth, the second reading of the consti- 
tution was begun and the first five articles were considered. 
Tuesday morning the apportionment proposed by the committee 
of five was read the second and third times, amended, and 
adopted, after which the second reading of the constitution was 
continued and completed. A schedule of sixteen sections was 
then reported by the committee, read the first time, and consid- 
ered section by section. The committee also presented at this 
time a "separate report relative to a permanent seat of govern- 
ment." The morning of the nineteenth was taken up with various 
reconsiderations, and in the afternoon the convention began the 
third reading of the draft "as amended and engrossed." Some 
time was spent the next morning considering resolutions relative 
to the location of the capital, after which the third reading of 
the constitution was continued and completed. Various addi- 
tional sections proposed from the floor were then considered. 
On August 21 a "committee of enrolments" was appointed, con- 
sisting of Kane, Stephenson, and Cullom, the schedule received 
its second and third readings, and various resolutions relating to 
qualifications for voting at the first election and to the location 
of the seat of government were considered. "A committee of 
revision" consisting of Lemen, Omelveny, and Kane was ap- 
pointed the next day, Saturday, the twenty-second, "to examine 
the draft of the constitution as amended and passed, and make 
report to this convention on next Monday morning." This com- 
mittee "corrected sundry inaccuracies" and recommended the 
expunging of one entire section. Its report, presented by Kane, 
was concurred in by the convention, but even after that several 
changes were made in different sections by reconsideration. A 
resolution relative to the seat of government was adopted on the 
twenty-fourth, and finally on Wednesday, the twenty-sixth, the 
constitution was signed and the convention adjourned. 

The preamble of the draft and article one, which deal with the 


[From original owned by Illinois State Historical Library] 


distribution of the powers of government into three departments, 
follow in the main the wording of the constitutions of Indiana 
and Kentucky; the preamble contains the statement of tto 
boundaries assigned by congress. These sections were adopted 
by the convention with only slight changes. 

The second article, dealing with the legislative department fol- 
lows very closely the constitution of Ohio. Section one provides 
for a bicameral legislature, and sections two to six inclusive deal 
with the election and qualifications of members. At the first 
reading the blanks were filled in to make the elections biennial 
on the first Monday in August but this necessitated a special pro- 
vision for the date of the first election. At the second reading 
the first Thursday of September, 1818 was selected, but some 
of the members felt that this was too early. As a compromise 
the third Thursday was finally adopted almost unanimously. 
Representatives were required to be twenty-one years of age, 
citizens of the United States, and residents in the district repre- 
sented for twelve months preceding the election. For senators, 
the requirements were the same except that the age limit was 
twenty-five and they were required to "have paid a state or 
county tax." The convention added the latter qualification for 
representatives also, at the third reading. The terms of senators 
were fixed at four years, one-half to be elected biennially. Both 
senators and representatives were to be apportioned according to 
the number of white inhabitants. The number of representatives 
was to be not less than twenty-seven nor more than thirty-six 
until the population should reach a hundred thousand, and the 
number of senators was never to be less than one-third more than 
one-half the number of representatives. 

The seventh section of article two originally provided that 
each house should choose a speaker, but this was changed on 
third reading to except the senate, after sections establishing the 
office of lieutenant governor had been added to another article. 
Sections eight to seventeen, inclusive, dealing with procedure 
in the legislature were of the usual sort and received only verbal 
changes at the hands of the convention. Section eighteen, how- 
ever, which dealt with salaries caused a bitter contest. After the 

270 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

blanks had been filled, at first reading, the section prohibited tne 
legislature from allowing, before 1824, annual salaries greater 
than $1,250 for the governor and $500 for the secretary of state, 
while the pay of members of the legislature was not to exceed 
two dollars per day. On a second reading the limit for the sec- 
retary of state was raised to $600 and that for the members of 
the legislature to three dollars per day, but at third reading, on 
motion of Kane and Messinger, all reference to the salaries of 
members of the legislature was dropped. Had it not been for a 
controversy over the salaries of justices of the supreme court, 
provided for in section five of article four, it is probable that no 
further changes would have been made in this section. At sec- 
ond reading the salaries of justices were fixed at $1,250, the 
same amount as had been allowed the governor, but at third 
reading this sum was reduced to $1,000. The following day a 
motion for reconsideration of the section limiting the governor's 
salary was defeated by a tie vote but three days later it was car- 
ried, 16 to 14. The limit was then reduced from $1,250 to 
$1,000 by a vote of 17 to 14. That this action was taken in re- 
taliation for the reduction of the salaries of justices is evident 
from the fact that nine men who voted for reduction in each 
case opposed it in the other. Enough other members, however, 
were in favor of economy to carry both votes. 

Two sections of article two of the draft dealing with "min- 
isters of the gospel" are of special interest because of the exten- 
sive discussion of the political activities of clergymen, in the 
Intelligencer during the later territorial period. A writer who 
signed himself "A foe to religious tyranny" had roundly de- 
nounced the political sermons of certain ministers and their 
theory that only "professors of religion" should be elected to of- 
fice. In the first draft of the constitution, section twenty-six 
provided that: "Whereas, the ministers of the gospel are by 
their professions, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and 
ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions : 
Therefore, no minister of the gospel or priest of any denomina- 
tion whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the 
legislature." As a corollary to this was section thirty-three: 


"No minister of the gospel, or priest of any denomination what- 
ever, shall be compelled to do militia duty, work on roads or serve 
on juries." The introduction of these sections called forth a 
communication in the paper of August 12, addressed to "The 
members of the Illinois Convention, now in session." "It is with 
peculiar pleasure," said the writer, "I learn that the committee 
appointed to draft a Constitution have embodied in it a pro- 
vision to exempt ministers of the Gospel from the servile and 
arduous drudgery of legislation, and of electioneering to procure 
themselves seats in the legislature. This provision is extremely 
humane and is not without precedent in other constitutions. 288 
The flesh of many of these preachers is very willing but their 
spirit is truly weak There did appear amongst them a spirit 
that would have enabled the people to have filled the Convention 
with ministers, MINISTERS of the GOSPEL!! .... But I 
would humbly suggest that said provision is not sufficiently ex- 
tensive to administer complete relief Why not dis- 
qualify preachers of the gospel from holding any civil office?" 
A motion to strike out section twenty-six which was made dur- 
ing the first reading was voted down, but later on reconsideration 
both sections were dropped from the constitution. 

Another section of the second article of the draft which failed 
to meet with the approval of the convention was number thirty- 
five. This prohibited the removal of county seats without "full 
compensation .... to the persons injuried [sic] by such re- 
moval" and also prohibited the organization of new counties "un- 
less a petition shall be presented to the legislature, signed by at 
least two hundred qualified voters, residing in the bounds of the 
district applying to be laid off." At the first reading this whole 
section was stricken out, and an attempt later to introduce into 
the schedule a section dealing with the organization of counties 
was also a failure. 

Section twenty-four of article two as originally drawn pro- 
vided for annual sessions of the legislature but at second reading 
these were changed to biennial. The first session was to begin 

288 Similar sections are to be found in the New York constitution of 1777, 
section thirty-nine, and the Kentucky constitution of 1799, article eight, sec- 
tion one. Thorpe, Constitutions, 5:2637; 3:1280. 

272 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

"on the first Monday of October next" and others "on the first 
Monday of December next ensuing the election." Reasons 
which may have influenced the convention to decide on biennial 
instead of annual sessions are indicated in a "letter from an in- 
habitant of St. Clair county, to a Member of the Convention," 
an extract from which was published in the Intelligencer of 
August 19. After declaring "that the lapse of a few months 
will not furnish a sufficient test of the qualities of the theory or 
practicable operation of the laws passed at any one session," the 
writer illustrated his point by calling attention to the activity of 
the territorial legislature "enacting at one session and repealing 
at the next, until our laws on some subjects have become so 
confused, that to use a common adage, 'a Philadelphia lawyer' 
could not tell what these acts mean, nor even how much of them 
is in force." Another advantage pointed out was the saving of 
expense and this was probably the one which appealed most 
strongly to the members of the convention. 

A census of all "white male inhabitants above the age of 
twenty-one years" to be taken periodically, was ordered by sec- 
tion thirty-two of article two of the draft. At first reading this 
provision was amended so as to require an enumeration in 1825 
"and every fifth year thereafter . . . . of all the free white 
inhabitants." At second reading, 1820 was substituted for 1825 
as the date of the first census, and the superfluous word "free" 
before "white" was stricken out. In this form the section be- 
came number thirty-one of the final constitution. Just why the 
convention chose to order a duplication of the decennial census 
of the United States it is difficult to understand. 

Two other sections of article two dealing with elections are of 
special interest. Section twenty-eight gave the suffrage to "all 
white male inhabitants, above the age of twenty-one years, hav- 
ing resided in the state six months next preceding the election ;" 
the second provided that "all votes shall be given vive voce until 
altered by the legislature." Opposition to viva voce voting on 
the part of "Agis" has already been noted and the adoption of 
this section was followed by appeals to the legislature to change 
the system to voting by ballot appeals which were heeded at 


the second session of the first general assembly in 1819. The 
provision allowing "inhabitants" to vote regardless of whether 
or not they were citizens may have been a result of thoughtless 
copying of the Ohio constitution. Indiana two years before had 
limited the franchise to citizens, probably as a result of the in- 
crease in the number of foreign-born inhabitants in the fourteen 
years which had passed since the Ohio constitution was drawn 
up. Aliens had been allowed to vote and even to hold office in 
Illinois during the territorial period and it is possible that the 
convention deliberately decided to continue the practice. The 
adoption of this section stored up trouble for the future, and 
called forth the following request from a critic of the conven- 
tion: "We would wish every member of the late convention of 
Illinois to declare publicly in some newspaper printed in the 
state whether it was his intention to extend the elective franchise 
in this state to the subjects of foreign powers who had never 
complied with the naturalization laws of the U. S." 287 

Article three of the constitution, dealing with the executive, 
was also copied largely from the constitution of Ohio. Sections 
two and three as finally adopted provided that the governor 
should "be chosen by the electors of the members of the general 
assembly," and should hold office four years but be ineligible for 
"more than four years in any term of eight years." He was re- 
quired to be thirty years of age, a citizen of the United States for 
thirty years, and a resident of the state for two years preceding 
the elections. When the blanks were filled in at the first reading 
the period during which the governor must have been a citizen 
was fixed at ten years but at second reading this was lengthened 
to thirty years. Sections four to ten inclusive, giving to the gov- 
ernor the usual powers and duties, remained essentially as they 
were in the draft. 

Section eleven of article three provided for a sheriff and a 
coroner in each county to be elected biennially by those "quali- 
fied to vote for members of the general assembly." The draft 
provided that no sheriff should be eligible for more than "four 

'""Journal," p. 21, in Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6:373; 
Intelligencer, October 14, November u, 1818. 

274 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

years in any term of six years," but this feature was stricken 
out at third reading. 

The "speaker of the senate" was empowered by section thir- 
teen of article three of the draft to exercise the powers of gov- 
ernor in case of a vacancy in that office, "unless the general as- 
sembly shall provide by law for the election of a governor to 
fill the vacancy." When the committee of five drew up its sched- 
ule, however, it embodied therein five sections copied from the 
Indiana constitution providing for a lieutenant governor who 
should be elected in the same manner and have the same qualifi- 
cations as the governor, and who should be speaker of the senate. 
An unusual provision allowed him to debate and vote in com- 
mittee of the whole, "and whenever the senate are equally di- 
vided, to give the casting vote." On motion of Mr. Kane, these 
sections were taken from the schedule and inserted in article 
three just before section thirteen. That section was then renum- 
bered eighteen and the words "lieutenant-governor" substituted 
for "speaker of the senate." 

Instead of giving a veto power to the governor as had been 
done in most other state constitutions, the draft provided in sec- 
tion fifteen of article three for a council made up of "the judges 
of the supreme court or a major part of them together with the 
governor," which should "revise all bills about to be passed into 
laws" and return those of which it disapproved, together with 
its objections, to the house in which they had originated. This 
section was copied almost verbatim from section three of the 
New York constitution of 1777. At first reading a substitute 
was adopted by which the veto power was given to the governor 
with the provision that bills might be passed by a two-thirds 
vote in spite of his objections. Between the first and second 
readings, however, the convention was won over to the New 
York system and at second reading the original section was 
restored with a provision allowing bills to be passed over the 
objections of the council of revision "by a majority of all the 
members elected." This was an important departure from the 
New York arrangement, which required a two-thirds vote and 
thus allowed the judges to interfere seriously with legislation. 


The incorporation of this system in the Illinois constitution prob- 
ably reflects the feeling against the absolute veto power of the 
territorial governors. The suggestion doubtless came from 
Kane, who was a native of New York and must have been 
familiar with its constitution. 

The last section of article three of the draft directed the 
governor to "nominate and by and with the advice and consent 
of the senate appoint a secretary of state." It was accepted 
without a change by the convention, and at the close of the third 
reading, two other sections, twenty-one and twenty-two were 
added providing for additional officers. The state treasurer and 
public printer were to be elected biennially by joint vote of both 
houses of the legislature. All other officers whose appointments 
were not otherwise provided for, were to be appointed by the 
governor, except that "inferior officers whose jurisdiction may 
be confined within the limits of the county, shall be appointed 
in such manner as the general assembly shall prescribe." With 
the exception of the provision for a public printer, all these sec- 
tions were copied from the Kentucky constitution. The general 
appointive power granted to the governor by section twenty- 
two was largely nullified by section ten of the schedule, which 
as amended and adopted the following day, provided that : "An 
auditor of public accounts, and an attorney general and such 
other officers as may be necessary may be appointed by the 
general assembly, whose duties may be regulated by law." The 
effect of this provision was to allow the legislature to play 
fast and loose with the appointive power of the governor. The 
explanation, according to Governor Ford, is that "the Conven- 
tion wished to have Elijah C. Berry for the first auditor of 
public accounts, but it was believed that Governor Bond [whose 
election was assured] would not appoint him to office." 288 

The subject of the judiciary had been so extensively discussed 
during the territorial period, that the committee of fifteen appar- 
ently felt competent to draft article four dealing with it without 
reference to other state constitutions. The judicial power was 

^"Journal," p. 63, in Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6:415; 
Ford, History of Illinois, 26. 

276 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

vested in a supreme court and such inferior courts as the legis- 
lature might establish. The supreme court, consisting of a chief 
justice and three associate justices, 289 was to have appellate juris- 
diction only, except in certain special cases. All justices and 
judges were to be appointed by joint ballot of the two houses 
of the legislature. The first appointees were to hold office dur- 
ing good behavior until the end of the first legislative session 
begun in 1824, and until that time the supreme court judges 
were to "hold circuit courts in the several counties." After that 
period the justices were to "be commissioned during good be- 
havior" and were not to "hold circuit courts unless required 
by law." The provision for new elections by the legislature of 
1824 was doubtless inserted in order that advantage might be 
taken of "any accession of talent" during the interval. 290 The 
salaries of justices during the temporary appointment were 
first fixed at $1,250 and then reduced to $1,000. For the later 
permanent appointments, all the judges were to "have adequate 
and competent salaries." Apart from the question of salaries 
the only change made by the convention in the article on the 
judiciary was in the last section. This provided in the draft, 
that the governor should "nominate, and by and with the advice 
and consent of the senate, appoint a competent number of jus- 
tices of the peace in each county." At the third reading, how- 
ever, the section was stricken out and a substitute was finally 
adopted providing for the election of justices of the peace in 
each county. Four days later, August 24, this action was recon- 
sidered, "on the motion of mr. Kane" and another substitute 
adopted arranging for the justices to "be appointed in each 
county in such manner .... as the general assembly may 

Article five dealing with the militia directed that it should 
consist of "all free male able bodied persons, negroes, mulattoes 
and Indians excepted, resident in the state, between the ages 
of 1 8 and 45 years, except such persons as now are or hereafter 
may be exempted by the laws of the United States, or of this 

""The number of associate judges might be increased after 1824. 
^Intelligencer, August 26, 1818. 


state." Persons "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" 
were not to "be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace, 
provided such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such 
exemption." Regimental officers and all officers below them, 
staff officers excepted, were to be elected by the men of their 
several organizations, and brigadier and major generals "by the 
officers of their brigades and divisions respectively." This ar- 
ticle, which was abridged from the militia article of the Indiana 
constitution, received only verbal changes at the hands of the 
convention, with the exception of the addition at the third reading 
of a section declaring the militia except in certain cases exempt 
"from arrest during their attendance at musters and elections 
of officers, and in going to and returning from the same." 

The article of the draft which suffered the most radical 
changes at the hands of the convention w r as the sixth, dealing 
with slavery, and in view of the character of the campaign 
for members of the convention and the great importance of the 
issue, the consideration of this article is of special interest. The 
discussions of slavery in the Intelligencer had not ceased with 
the elections, nor even with the assembling of the convention. 
The issue of August 12, the day on which the draft was reported, 
contained a long communication from "Pacificus" addressed "To 
the honorable members of the convention of the Illinois Terri- 
tory." This writer professed to be opposed to absolute slavery 
but was very solicitous about the welfare of "a large and respect- 
able portion of the inhabitants of this territory who are anxious 
to be permitted to live as they have hitherto done to retain 
in their families those whom they have brought with them into 
the country, perhaps raised among their children, or purchased 
with their money for the purpose of relieving the toils and bur- 
dens of domestic life." After dwelling upon "the blessing of 
being surrounded by good and faithful servants," he proceeded 
to suggest "the outlines of a plan which might gratify the wishes 
of those who are in favor of slavery, and not materially, if at 
all, affect the future prosperity of our infant state." This plan 
contemplated the toleration of a modified form of slavery. All 
slaves introduced were to be registered by their owners, taught 

278 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

to read, and given "correct ideas of the general principles of the 
Christian religion." Then they were to become free, males at 
the age of forty and females at thirty-five. Children of slaves 
and indentured servants were also to be registered and should 
be freed, males at thirty-two and females at twenty-eight. "The 
constitution also to declare, that from and after the first day 
of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty, slavery of 
every kind or character should then and from thenceforth cease : 
the proprietors being liable upon their bonds, that no slave at 
that time, infirm or over fifty years of age, should become in 
any manner chargeable to the public." 

The members of the Illinois convention had before them the 
slavery provisions of two constitutions framed for states which, 
like Illinois had been under the obligation of making their con- 
stitutions harmonize with the Ordinance of 1787. Section two 
of article eight the bill of rights of the Ohio constitution of 
1802 reads : "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary ser- 
vitude in this State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; nor shall any 
male person, arrived at the age of twenty-one years, nor female 
person, arrived at the age of eighteen years, be held to serve 
any person as a servant, under the pretense of indenture or other- 
wise unless such person shall enter into such indenture while in 
a state of perfect freedom and on condition of a bona-fide con- 
sideration, received, or to be received, for their service, except 
as before excepted. Nor shall any indenture of any negro or mu- 
latto, hereafter made and executed out of the State, or, if made 
in the State, where the term of service exceeds one year, be of 
the least validity, except those given in the case of apprentice- 
ships." The Indiana constitution of 1816 ignored the question 
of existing indentures and merely declared: "There shall be 
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise 
than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have 
been duly convicted, nor shall any indenture of any negro or 
mulatto, hereafter made and executed out of the bounds of this 
State be of any validity within the State." Both constitutions, 
moreover, declared that no alteration should ever be made so as 


to introduce slavery or involuntary servitude, the Indiana consti- 
tution stating as reason therefore that "the holding any part of 
the human creation in slavery or involuntary servitude can only 
originate in usurpation and tyranny." 291 

The members of the committee of fifteen which framed the 
draft of the Illinois constitution appear to have been unwilling 
to leave the question of existing indentures to the courts and 
so they selected the provision from the Ohio constitution, leaving 
blanks to be filled in for the age limits. Instead of inserting 
the section in the bill of rights, however, it was presented as the 
single section of a separate article numbered six. This might 
be taken to indicate that the committee expected additional sec- 
tions to be added by the convention. At the first reading of this 
article the blanks were filled as they had been in the Ohio section 
and "further consideration was postponed until the second read- 
ing." The first real consideration of the question took place 
on August 1 8. The issue of the Intelligencer for the nineteenth, 
which doubtless went to press before any action had been taken, 
stated that "the question of slavery is not yet decided; a majority 
however, are said to be opposed to it." The same issue contains 
also a communication which indicates the kind of argument which 
was being brought to bear upon the members of the convention. 
After lamenting the burden of taxation which would be neces- 
sary in order to carry on the state government "even upon as 
economical a scale as can safely be established," the writer 
declared : "It is thought the exclusion of slavery will annihilate 
a lucrative source of public revenue. I mean the United States' 
salines, as white men cannot be procured in sufficient numbers 
to convert these salines to any extensively valuable purposes." 
Undoubtedly the problem of the salines was a considerable factor 
in determining the convention's attitude on the slavery question. 

When article six came up for second reading, on August 18, 
the first clause was changed to read : "Neither slavery nor invol- 
untary servitude shall hereafter be introduced into this state;" 
for the words "under pretence of indenture or otherwise" were 
substituted "under any indenture hereafter made ;" and a second 

""Thorpe, Constitutions, 5:2909; 2:1070, 1068. 

280 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

section was added as follows: "Nor shall any person bound 
to labor in any other state, be hired to labor in this state, except 
within the tract reserved for the salt works near Shawneetown, 
nor even at that place for a longer period than one year at one 
time ; nor shall it be allowed there, after the year any violation 
of this article, shall effect the emancipation of such person from 
his obligation to service." 292 The changes in the first section and 
the additional section appear to have been proposed together but 
they were voted on separately. The vote on the amendments to 
the first section would appear to be the most significant of any 
of the votes on the slavery question in the convention. Those 
in favor of the changes were Morse of Bond; Borough, 
Prickett, and Stephenson of Madison; Messinger of St. 
Clair; Cairns of Monroe; Fisher and Kane of Randolph, 
Hall and Will of Jackson; Omelveny of Pope; Harrison of 
Franklin; Jones, White, and Hubbard of Gallatin; and Cullom 
and Kitchell of Crawford seventeen. Opposed to them were 
Kirkpatrick of Bond; Lemen of St. Clair; Bankson, the sole 
representative from Washington ; Moore of Monroe ; M'Fatridge 
and West of Johnson ; Ferguson of Pope ; Echols and Whiteaker 
of Union; Roberts of Franklin; Hargrave and McHenry of 
White; and Card and Compton of Edwards fourteen. This 
vote would indicate that the issue was by no means a sectional 
one between the northern and southern parts of the settled area. 
The object of the changes in section one of the slavery article 
was undoubtedly to prevent the section from being interpreted in 
such a way as to interfere either with the so-called "French 
slaves" or with the indentured servants who had been introduced 
during the territorial period. After the adoption of these 
changes, the proposed second section was accepted without a 
division. There were some members of the convention, how- 
ever, who were not satisfied with a merely negative position on 
the existing indentures, and on the following day, without wait- 
ing for the third reading of the article, Leonard White of Galla- 
tin offered an additional section declaring that "each and every 

**An act passed by the territorial legislature, December 22, 1814 had per- 
mitted the hiring of slaves anywhere in the territory for periods not to 
exceed one year. Pope's Digest, 2:472. 


person who has been bound to service by contract or indenture, 
in virtue of the laws of the Illinois territory, heretofore existing, 
and in conformity with the provisions of the same, without fraud 
or collusion, shall be held to a specific performance of their con- 
tracts or indentures; and such negroes and mulattoes as have 
been registered in conformity with the aforesaid laws, shall serve 
out the time appointed by said laws: Provided however, that 
the descendants of such persons, negroes and mulattoes, shall 
become free at the age of twenty-five years." This section 
was adopted by the same vote as that on the amendments to sec- 
tion one, 17 to 14, but the alignment was not the same. Four 
men, Ferguson of Pope, Hargrave and McHenry of White, and 
Roberts of Franklin, who had opposed the changes in section one 
voted for this additional section; and four others, Borough and 
Prickett of Madison, Cairns of Monroe, and Cullom of Craw- 
ford, who had supported the changes opposed this section. 
What the motives of these men were can only be conjectured, but 
one of them, Prickett, had apparently experienced a change of 
heart for he at once moved a reconsideration of the whole article. 
The motion was defeated, however, without a division. 

When article six came up for third reading, the first section 
was adopted, apparently without protest. An attempt was made, 
however, to strike out the second section, permitting the hiring 
of slaves in the salines, but this was defeated by a vote of 10 
to 21. Among the ten were three of the men who had voted 
for the changes in section one and against section three 
Borough, Cairns, and Prickett. All four of the men who had 
voted against the changes in section one and for section three 
opposed striking out section two as did also three who had voted 
on the antislavery side on each of the other propositions 
Bankson of Washington, Kirkpatrick of Bond, and Moore of 
Monroe. The conclusion of section three was amended to read : 
"Provided, however, that the children thereafter born of such 
persons, negroes and mulattoes, shall become free; the males at 
the age of twenty-one years, the females at the age of eighteen 
years. Each and every child born of indentured parents shall 
be entered with the clerk of the county in which they reside, by 

282 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

their owners within six months after the birth of said child." 
The section was then adopted without a division. 

The article on slavery as a whole is not easy to interpret. It 
would seem to have been the purpose of the convention to make 
Illinois ultimately a free state and to wipe out the territorial 
indenture system for the future, but to interfere in no way with 
existing property rights in slaves or indentured servants. 293 The 
only vestige of the indenture system left was the right to bind 
negroes "while in a state of perfect freedom, and on condition of 
a bona fide consideration" to serve for not to exceed one year, 
and such indentures were to be valid only if made within the state. 
The action of the convention has usually been represented as an 
antislavery victory but the members who are known to have 
favored slavery were on the winning side in all three of the record 
votes. It has also been called a compromise between the oppo- 
nents and the advocates of slavery but it would probably be more 
accurate to consider it a victory for those who occupied middle 
ground on the subject. The solution may well have embodied 
the views of a majority of the convention and also of a majority 
of the people of the state as well. On the other hand the possibil- 
ity of the refusal of congress to admit the state if the constitu- 
tion should lean too strongly toward the proslavery side was 
doubtless kept in mind. In this connection it should be noted 
that the section on amendment contained no prohibition of a 
change in the constitution to allow the introduction of slavery, 
as had been the case in the constitutions of Ohio and Indiana. 
This may be significant of the hopes and expectations of some of 
the members of the convention. 

The method of amending the constitution was set forth in 
article seven and was copied from the Ohio constitution. It 
provided, in the draft, that two-thirds of the general assembly 
might recommend to the electors "to vote for or against a con- 
vention." If "a majority of all the citizens of the state voting 
for representatives" voted in the affirmative the next legislature 
was to call such a convention consisting of the same number of 

"*The constitution did reduce the age to which children of indentured 
servants could be held, from 30 and 28 to 21 and 18 for males and females 
respectively. See Pope's Digest, 2:472. 


members as there were in the general assembly, which should 
meet within three months after the election, "for the purpose of 
revising, amending or changing the constitution." At first read- 
ing, a provision was inserted requiring two-thirds of all the mem- 
bers elected to the general assembly to join in ordering 
the election. The last article of the constitution, number eight, 
was the usual bill of rights. Here again the Ohio consti- 
tution was followed in the main, with occasional preferences 
shown for sections in the constitutions of Kentucky, Tennessee, 
or Indiana. A section which appears to have been original is 
number twenty; it provided "that the mode of levying a tax 
shall be by valuation, so that every person shall pay a tax in 
proportion to the value of the property, he or she has in his or 
her possession." Possibly this section was inserted in response 
to the complaints of "A friend to equal justice" about the 
"oppressive system of taxation" in existence in the territory. 
Section twenty-one also dealt with a matter of vital interest a* 
the time not only in Illinois but throughout the country and espe- 
cially in the west the subject of banking. There had been 
much discussion of this subject in the paper during the latter 
years of the territorial period, a number of banks had been char- 
tered by the legislature, and one had actually been established. 294 
The section in the draft, provided "that there shall be no other 
banks nor monied institutions in this state, but those already pro- 
vided for by law, except a state bank and its branches, which 
shall be established and regulated by the legislature of said state, 
as they may think best." The convention at first reading 
changed the second "shall" to "may." It is possible that one ob- 
ject of this section was to prevent the establishment in Illinois of a 
branch of the United States bank. Section twenty-two of the 
draft of the bill of rights declared that "to guard against the 
transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we 

^"Journal," p. 28, 40, 49, 60. The words added to the article on amend- 
ments do not appear in the enrolled copy of the constitution in the office of 
the secretary of state. They must have been stricken out shortly before the 
convention adjourned, and the action upon it was doubtless recorded on one 
of the last pages of the "Journal," which unfortunately are lacking in the 
only available copy. See also Dowrie, Development of Banking in Illinois, 
1817-1863, ch. 2; "Journal," p. 31, 40; Intelligencer, October 28, 1818. 

284 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

declare that all powers not hereby delegated, or well understood, 
remain with the people." After having run the gauntlet of 
three readings, this section, for some unknown reason, was 
stricken out on the recommendation of Kane's committee on 
revision. At the close of third reading, two sections, number 
twenty-two and twenty-three of the final constitution, were added 
to article eight. These were taken from the Indiana constitu- 
tion and provided for freedom of the press and of opinions and 
for the right to offer the truth of the charges as evidence "in 
prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the offi- 
cial conduct of officers, or of men acting in a public capacity, or 
where the matter published is proper for public information." 

The deliberations of the convention on the schedule and on 
various resolutions which were ultimately incorporated in it 
occupied a large amount of time and are of considerable interest, 
but unfortunately they are difficult to follow because the reports 
of the committee of five were not printed in full as was the 
draft of the constitution proper. The principal purpose of the 
schedule was to provide for the transition from territorial to 
state government. Thus it directed that the governor and all 
other territorial officers should continue to exercise their func- 
tions until superseded, and that all suits should be continued "as 
if no change had taken place." One of the sections which was 
evidently the subject of dispute in the convention was number 
twelve dealing with the qualifications of voters at the first elec- 
tion. Section twenty-seven of article two, as has been noted, 
restricted the franchise to those who had "resided in the State 
six months next preceding the election." The schedule reported 
by the committee apparently proposed no modification of this for 
the first election, but on August 21, Borough of Madison offered 
a resolution to extend the right to vote on that occasion to all 
those "who are actually residing in the state at the time." This 
resolution received its second reading the following day and was 
then rejected by vote of 3 to 28. It is significant that the affirm- 
ative votes were cast by the three delegates from Madison, the 
county which was growing most rapidly and was thus most inter- 
ested in the proposed concession. Three days later Borough 


[From original owned by Illinois State Historical Library] 


made another attempt with a resolution extending the franchise 
at the first election to those "who shall be actual residents of 
this state at the signing of this constitution," a three weeks resi- 
dence. The Madison county delegation must have won over 
many of the members to their views in the interval for this reso- 
lution was carried by vote of 18 to 12. The affirmative votes 
were cast, in the main, by the representatives from those counties 
in which the population was increasing most rapidly. 

The question of apportioning members of the legislature until 
the first state census should be taken was the subject of the first 
report of the committee of five, presented August 15; it ulti- 
mately became section eight of the schedule. This provided for 
fourteen senators and twenty-six representatives specifically 
assigned to the different counties. One senator was allowed to 
each of the counties except Johnson and Jackson, which were to 
form a single senatorial district. An analysis of the apportion- 
ment of representatives, however, shows that it was based on the 
retunis of the census just taken. One representative only was 
given to each county having less than two thousand inhabitants, 
two to each having between two and three thousand, three to 
each having over three thousand. When this report was finally 
adopted on the eighteenth, the only change was to link Johnson 
county with Franklin instead of Jackson for the election of a 
senator. This was a logical change as Franklin, next to John- 
son had the smallest population and, moreover, was contiguous 
to Johnson, whereas Jackson was not. The schedule contained 
also four sections of a miscellaneous character, which might more 
logically have been incorporated in the constitution proper. One 
of these, relating to appointments, has already been considered. 
Another, section fourteen, also nullified one of the provisions of 
the constitution proper the provision requiring the lieutenant 
governor to have the same qualifications as the governor, includ- 
ing citizenship for thirty years. The section reads "any 
person of thirty years of age who is a citizen of the United States 
and has resided within the limits of this State two years next 
preceding his election, shall be eligible to the office of lieutenant- 
governor; anything in the thirteenth section of the third article 

286 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of this constitution contained to the contrary notwithstanding." 295 
Governor Ford's explanation of this section, doubtless correct, 
is that "Col. Pierre Menard, a Frenchman, and an old settler in 
the country, was generally looked to to fill the office of lieutenant 
governor; but .... he had not been naturalized until a year 
or so before." 298 The legal complications which might have 
arisen, had Menard been called upon to fill the governor's office, 
would be an interesting subject for speculation. 

Section four of the schedule determined the form of county 
government, which had been subject to frequent change during 
the territorial period ; 297 it directed that "there shall be elected in 
each county three county commissioners for the purpose of trans- 
acting all county business, whose time of service, power, and 
duties shall be regulated and defined by law." Section eleven 
made it obligatory upon the legislature "to enact such laws as 
may be necessary and proper to prevent the practice of duelling." 
This was proposed by Mr. Cairns in the form of a resolution on 
August 20 and later was incorporated in the schedule. Earlier 
in the same day Cairns had proposed another resolution directing 
the legislature to pass laws permitting the decision of differences 
by arbitrators. The settlement of all civil disputes in this man- 
ner had been advocated in one of the communications published 
in the Intelligencer before the convention assembled, but the reso- 
lution was rejected without a division. In this connection it is 
interesting to note that the first general assembly not only com- 
plied with the direction of the convention by passing a stringent 
law to prevent dueling, but also enacted another law "authorizing 
and regulating Arbitrations" 298 

The subject of the location of the capital of the state, which 
was dealt with in section thirteen of the schedule as finally 

""Thorpe, Constitutions, 2 :g8s. This section must have been incorporated 
just at the close of the convention as there is no record of it in the only 
available copy of the "Journal." 

^Ford, History of Illinois, 26. 
'"See ch. 7, above, p. 194-195, 197-198. 

Ki Laws of 1819, p. 32, 71-73. The former was modeled on an act passed 
by the governor and judges, April 7, 1810; the latter was copied from the 
Indiana code of 1807. Alvord, Laws of the Territory, 25-27; Laws of the 
Indiana Territory, 1807, p. 175-179; Pope's Digest, 1:122-127; Intelligencer, 
July 10, 1818. 


adopted, occupied a large amount of the convention's time and 
was more bitterly contested than any other question, excepting 
that of slavery. The decision of this question was no necessary 
part of the convention's work and might well have been left to 
the future. As has been noted the memorial asking for state- 
hood failed to request, and the enabling act failed to grant land 
for a capital site, and there is no evidence that the question was 
raised at all during the convention campaign. A writer well 
versed in the traditions which have come down from that period 
of Illinois history claims that "there was no demand for that 
change at that time by the people, or by any public exigency. It 
was premature and unnecessary, and was concocted and consum- 
mated by a lot of speculators who expected to reap large profits 
in building up the new capital." 299 The question appears to have 
come up as a result of "sundry propositions in writing, offering 
donations to the state of land &c. from the proprietors of Pope's 
bluff, Hill's ferry, and Covington." 800 These places were all sit- 
uated on the Kaskaskia river and north of the base line of the 
government surveys. No attempt was made in the convention 
to remove the capital to any other specific place, although the 
proprietors of other towns undoubtedly entertained, or had enter- 
tained designs upon it. An example is Ripley, situated in Bond 
county on Shoal creek, a branch of the Kaskaskia, which had 
been advertising its advantages in the Intelligencer. Among the 
attractions enumerated was this : "Its central and eligible situa- 
tion in the territory gives rise to a strong presumption, that it 
will at no distant period become the seat of government." 801 
Ripley appears to have withdrawn in favor of Hill's Ferry, for 
one of the men connected with the speculation was Abraham 
Prickett, the member of the convention who proposed that Hill's 
Ferry be selected as the capital site. 

Of the three towns presenting proposals, the only one which 
apparently had any population at the time was Covington, the 
county seat of the recently organized Washington county. Since 

*"Snyder, Adam W. Snyder, 39-40. 

"""Journal," p. 51, in Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 6:403. 

^Intelligencer, June 3, 1818. 

288 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

May a prospective sale of town lots had been advertised by the 
proprietors, who called attention especially to the situation of 
the town "near the centre of the territorial population, and 
.... surrounded by a rich beautiful and extensive tract of 
country ; the site is high, dry and healthy, extending one mile on 
the margin of the Kaskaskia river, the navigation of which, is 
good from thence to its confluence with the Mississippi, a distance 
of one hundred and twenty miles. The roads from any landings 
on the Ohio river, between the mouth of the Wabash and 
Frazier's ferry to Edwardsville, St. Louis, and the principal set- 
tlements in the Missouri territory, must inevitably pass through 
this town, by which the advantage of excellent roads will be 
obtained, and the distance in comparison with the roads now in 
use diminished more than 15 miles." With the issue of the 
Intelligencer of July 29, the advertisement announced that an 
auction of town lots would begin the fourth Monday in Septem- 
ber. No mention was made, however, of any possibility that 
the town might be selected for the state capital. 

Hill's Ferry was located where the Vincennes road crossed 
the Kaskaskia river in what is now Clinton county the site 
of the present town of Carlyle. In 1818, the log cabin of the 
man who kept the ferry is said to have been the only house 
on the site. The desirability of the location had been recog- 
nized, however, and the land on both sides of the river had been 
entered by non-resident speculators. In 1816 Charles Slade 
bought from John Hill the quarter section on which the ferry 
was located and before 1818 he entered the remainder of that 
section and a large part of the adjoining one. Not until Septem- 
ber was the place advertised under the name Carlyle. Then its 
attractions were set forth as follows: 

THIS TOWN is beautifully situated on the west 
bank of the Kaskaskia river, at the well known crossing 
of Hill's Ferry The great notoriety of this situation 
renders it necessary for the proprietors to state but a 
few facts relative thereto That the site is singularly 
advantageous, being at the head of navigation for boats 
of any considerable burthen, the river diminishing in 
size after losing the Hurricane and east forks which 


empty themselves into the Kaskaskia a few miles above, 
having the great United States road from Vincennes to 
St. Louis, the roads from Shawaneetown, the Saline 
and the Ferries on the lower Ohio, to the mouth of 
Missouri and the great Sangamo country passing thro' 
its principal street, being high and airy, affording most 
excellent spring and well water, and being surrounded 
by a country so rich and so equally diversified with 
wood and prairie as at once to invite and insure a 
crouded populatron [ sic] . 302 

Pope's Bluff was still farther north on the Kaskaskia river, in 
the southwestern part of Bond county. The southern half of the 
section was entered in 1816 by Nathaniel Pope, and just two days 
after the site was proposed for the capital in the convention, 
sections thirteen and fourteen and the remainder of section fifteen 
were entered by the firm of "Pope, Messenger and Stephen- 
son." The motion to accept the propositions of the proprietors 
of Pope's Bluff came from Leonard White, who, though a repre- 
sentative from Gallatin county, was in close touch with these 
members of the Edwards faction. The place was not adver- 
tised in the Intelligencer either before or after the convention. 

The offers of land from the proprietors of each of these three 
places were laid before the convention by the committee of five 
on Tuesday, August 18. At the opening of the session on 
Thursday, it was resolved, on motion of Mr. Kitchell, "that it is 
expedient at this time to remove the seat of government from 
the town of Kaskaskia." Mr. Card of Edwards county at once 
offered a resolution for the appointment of a committee of five 
"to view the sites on the Kaskaskia river, above the base line, and 
report .... to the next general assembly." The convention 
had no intention of leaving the decision to the legislature, how- 
ever, and the resolution was voted down. Bankson of Washing- 
ton then offered a resolution for the location of the capital at 
Covington but that also was rejected. Then Kane proposed, 
with no more success, "that the seat of government be located 
at the town of Kaskaskia five years." After resolutions in favor 

*" 'History of Marion and Clinton Counties, 52, 174; land office records in 
Springfield ; Intelligencer, September 9, 1818. 

290 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of Pope's Bluff and Hill's Ferry had been offered and rejected, 
Kane tried again with a resolution "that the seat of government 
be located for four years at the town of Kaskaskia, after which 
time, the general assembly shall have power to remove the same." 
This was also rejected as was another resolution, proposed by 
Hubbard for the appointment of commissioners "to examine the 
geographical situation of the state, taking into view the popula- 
tion thereof, and the eligibility of the most prominent, and as 
they may conceive the most convenient places and report the same 
to the next session of the general assembly, who may either reject 
the whole or select some one from among the places reported, for 
the seat of government for this state." It seemed to be impos- 
sible to reach an agreement and the convention, in desperation, 
postponed further consideration of the question. 

The next day, Friday the twenty-first, Gard offered a resolu- 
tion evidently designed to take the whole question of the location 
of the capital out of the field of private speculation. He pro- 
posed to make it "the duty of the general assembly at their first 
session to petition congress for the right of pre-emption of four 
sections of land on the Kaskaskia river as near as may be, east 
of the third principal meridian on said river, to be selected by 
five commissioners. If the grant should be made, it shall be the 
duty of the aforesaid assembly, at their next session after the 
grant is made, to lay out a town, which shall be the permanent 
seat of government for the state of Illinois, but if the grant 
should not be made by congress, in that case it shall be the duty 
of the general assembly to fix on some other place, that they shall 
think best for that seat." This resolution was carried by vote 
of 1 8 to 13, and on Saturday it passed second reading without a 
division. At third reading on Monday Gard offered a substitute 
elaborating some of the details and directing that congress be 
requested either to grant the land to the state or to allow it the 
right of preemption. White then moved to strike out all except 
the first sentence of the substitute, which read: "The seat of 
government for the State shall be at Kaskaskia until the general 
assembly shall otherwise provide." This would have given the 
speculators another chance before the legislature, but the motion 


was lost by vote of 15 to 16, "the president refusing to vote in 
the affirmative." Kane then moved to amend the substitute so 
as to make the proposed site the seat of government for twenty 
years, instead of permanently, and this was carried by vote of 
25 to 6, after which the substitute was adopted and incorporated 
in the schedule without a division. 

The reason for requiring the proposed site of the capital to be 
located east of the meridian seems to have been to get it on unsur- 
veyed and unentered lands so that the state instead of individuals 
might reap the profits from the sale of lots. Such a location 
would be far from the settled parts of the state for some time, 
however, and it is not strange that the scheme called forth pro- 
tests. One of these took the form of a remonstrance counter to 
the petition which the first legislature sent to congress in con- 
formity with the instructions of the convention. This declared 
that "the proposed seat of government is not in a central situa- 
tion. Neither is it in the centre of the population, nor is there 
any probability that it ever will be so. Situated on the Kas- 
kaskia river, far above the head of navigation, in a part of the 
country, which, as we are credibly informed, is naturally un- 
healthy, the only inducements which people can have to settle in 
such a town must be derived from a biennial session of a General 
Assembly composed of forty-two members! Is it possible, we 
ask, that the legislature can be accommodated at such a place 
and under such circumstances, without putting the state to an 
expense which will greatly outweigh all the profits to be derived 
from a beggarly speculation in village lots?" 808 

The contest in the convention over the location of the capital 
is the only one in which the territorial factions appear to have 
played a part. An examination of the votes does not show, as 
might have been expected, an alignment of the northern against 
the southern counties. It shows, on the other hand, such men 
as White, Stephenson, and Messinger, recognized members of 
the Edwards faction, working together to promote a scheme for 
land speculation, in which they were defeated by the votes of 
such men as Kane, Thomas, and Jones, well-known opponents 

""House Files, December 9, 1818. 

292 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of the Edwards group. The contest moreover, illustrates clearly 
the fact that the leaders of one of these factions at least were 
bound to each other by business as well as by political ties. 

When the first constitutional convention of Illinois completed 
its work on August 26, 1818, it had been in session twenty-one 
days. Nine days had passed before the draft of the constitution 
was available for consideration. In the twelve remaining days 
much time was devoted to a question which did not concern the 
frame of government, yet in that short period the representatives 
of the people of Illinois discussed and determined the varied fea- 
tures of the instrument which was to be the fundamental basis of 
the government of the state for thirty years. It was not custom- 
ary at that time to submit constitutions to a vote of the people 
and no suggestion of such a procedure appears to have been 
made. On the whole, however, the people were probably satis- 
fied with the work of the convention. The inhabitants of Kas- 
kaskia indicated their approval by a celebration which the Intel- 
ligencer of September 2 described as follows: 

On Wednesday last, the constitution for the state of 
Illinois, was signed, and the convention adjourned sine 
die. On this important occasion, the citizens of the 
town assembled to fire a federal salute to perpetuate 
the remembrance of the day when our constitution was 
signed and sealed. As many of the independent com- 
pany of the town as were requisite to man the field 
piece, appeared at the capitol, in uniform, with their 
colours flying, (being the flag of the union as adopted 
by the last act of congress,) accompanied by the prin- 
cipal field officers. Upon the signing of the constitu- 
tion, and the convention being about to adjourn they 
were invited by the committee of arrangements to join 
in the feu de joie. 

The field piece was placed in front of the capitol, the 
military officers a few paces in its rear the governor, 
secretary, delegate to congress, and most of the terri- 
torial officers, accompanying the members of the con- 
vention, took their positions a few paces in the rear: 
The salute was commenced 20 rounds were fired, and 
one for the new state of Illinois, which was accom- 
panied by the following pledge, from the independent 


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(Photograph from the original text of the Constitution in office of the Secretary of State, Springfield] 


'Under these colours, we pledge ourselves to support 
the constitution of Illinois.' 

This was truly a proud day for the citizens of Illinois 
a day on which hung the prosperity and hopes of 
thousands yet to follow a day which will long be 
remembered & spoken of with enthusiastic pride; as a 
day connected with the permanent prosperity of our 
literary, political and religious institutions as the 
main pillar in the edifice of our state independence, and 
justly the basis of our future greatness. 

The united exertions of our representatives have fur- 
nished us with a wise and republican constitution 
distributing to all classes their just rights. It now 
behoves us as faithful citizens to protect it from 
encroachment: And in the language of the immortal 
Washington, to cherish a cordial and immovable attach- 
ment to it accustoming ourselves to think and speak 
of it as the palladium of our political safety & prosper- 
ity watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety 
discountenancing whatever may suggest even a sus- 
picion that it can in any event be abandoned. 



The first election of state and county officers in Illinois took 
place on September 17-19, 1818, as provided for in the consti- 
tution. The campaign for state officers was necessarily a brief 
one, for not until the convention met was it known whether or 
not it could or would proceed to form a state government, and 
not until the convention had accomplished its work was it known 
just what officers were to be elected. The interest in the elec- 
tion, however, centered not in the choice of state and county 
officers but in that of a representative to congress, and for this 
there had been a long campaign. The Intelligencer of April 22, 
1818, announced for Mr. Pope "his determination to retire 
from public life." Two weeks later, May 6, the paper 
announced Daniel P. Cook "a candidate for Congress to repre- 
sent us in the Lower House," and on May 20 it stated that 
John McLean of Shawneetown was "a Candidate for Congress 
to represent the people of this territory in the next Congress of 
the United States." The form of the announcements would 
indicate that these men were candidates for either territorial 
delegate or state representative as events might determine, and 
on June 10, when it was very doubtful if the requisite population 
for statehood could be found, the paper made an authorized 
statement that Cook would "cheerfully serve" in the capacity 
of delegate. The following week Shadrach Bond was announced 
as "a Candidate for Delegate to Congress from this territory." 

Cook and McLean, although they had been in the territory 
but three or four years, were identified with the Edwards and 
anti-Edwards factions respectively. Both were young and 
clever lawyers. Bond, on the other hand, was at least twenty 




years older than either of his opponents and had been in Illinois 
for twenty-four years. He was a farmer, with only average 
education and ability, but from an early period he had been 
popular with the voters. They had kept him in the Indiana 
legislature as long as Illinois was a part of that territory, and 
at the first election in Illinois they gave him the highest office 
in their power, that of delegate to congress. Although identi- 
fied with neither of the territorial factions, he was better known 
on both sides of the territory than either Cook or McLean and 
his chances for election were very good. Cook's address "to 


[Drawing owned by Chicago Historical Society] 

the electors of Illinois," written July first, indicates that he 
considered Bond the most dangerous rival. In one place he 
says: "You are gravely told, fellow citizens, that I am too 
young to represent you .... if men who have but just 
passed the age of 25, are better qualified than men of 45, the 
public interest is consulted and promoted by their election," and 
in another: "A distinction fellow citizens, is attempted to be 
made, between farmers and lawyers." A month later he wrote 
to Edwards from Golconda : "McLean it is said, will beat Bond 
four to one in Crawford, Edwards, White, and Gallatin." 804 
Evidently the wish was father to the thought and Cook preferred 

^Intelligencer, July 8, 1818; Washburne, Edwards Papers, 145. 

296 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

that the voters of the eastern counties, where he could expect 
little support, should cast their ballots for McLean rather than 
for Bond. 

In the middle of August, when statehood was practically 
assured, election to congress became much more desirable. Yet 
it was just at this time that Bond dropped o'ut of the race. In 
the Intelligencer of August 19 he addressed "The Citizens of 
the Illinois Territory" as follows: "The formation of a con- 
stitution, and the organization of a state government, will put 
an end to the office of delegate to the Congress of the United 
States : I wish therefore, no longer to be considered a candidate 
for that appointment. Repeated and numerous applications have 
been made to be [sic} me, to become a candidate for the office 
of Governor of the NEW STATE. It is my pleasure and duty 
to yield to this expression of the public wish. Should my fellow- 
citizens, therefore, think proper to elect me to this important 
station, I promise them diligence and fidelity in the performance 
of the duties thereby enjoined." While no positive evidence is 
available on the subject, it is fair, to assume that the "repeated 
and numerous applications" came in part at least from friends 
of Cook and McLean who were anxious to get Bond out of the 
race for congress. The failure of either of the factions to put 
up a candidate for governor against Bond would indicate that 
there was an understanding on the subject. 

With Bond out of the race, the congressional campaign became 
not only a contest between the rival factions but also one between 
the east and west. This was due not so much to antagonism 
between the two sections as to the propensity of the voters to cast 
their ballots for the man they knew personally. Neither candi- 
date was well known except on the side of the territory in which 
he resided. 805 

Earlier in the campaign the slavery question had played a 
considerable part. Cook's opposition to slavery as an institu- 
tion was made known by his communications in the Intelligencer 

"""On June 12, John Law of Vincennes wrote Kane: "Is there a prob- 
ability of McLeans election .... he is considered as a popular candidate 
on this side of the Territory." Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 
54 -57- 


of February 4 and April i, over the recognized signature of "A 
republican," while McLean was at a later period an out and out 
proslavery man and doubtless favored the institution at this time. 
In the Intelligencer of June 24, however, "A citizen" expressed 
a desire to know the "candid and impartial sentiments" of the 
candidates for congress "as it respects the toleration of slavery." 
"On this important point," he continued, "it will be well for every 
man to inquire before he gives his vote and to enquire of the 
candidate, in the presence of those of an opposite opinion to him- 
self, so that he may not flinch, and act the camelion, as, I fear, 
some of our candidates are doing." Late in July Cook issued 
a statement over his own name, which begins: "In pursuance 
of a wish expressed by many who are opposed to slavery, and 
who wish for an expression of the public sentiment on that sub- 
ject in the Congressional election, I beg leave to state through 
the medium of the Intelligencer, that I am decidedly opposed to 
the toleration of slavery in this territory." In his letter of 
August 3 from Golconda, already referred to, Cook wrote : tf l 
made a speech and excited warm opposition from slavemen, but 
still warmer support from freemen" 506 

The action of the convention narrowed the slavery issue in 
the congressional campaign to the question of whether or not 
the candidates, if elected, would support the application for state- 
hood under the constitution as adopted. The antislavery men, 
in their address to the "friends of freedom" published just as 
the convention was assembling, appealed to them to elect a dele- 
gate opposed to slavery and to use every possible means to prevent 
the ratification by congress of a proslavery constitution. The 
more radical of these men undoubtedly considered the slavery 
article of the constitution unsatisfactory and would gladly have 
voted for a candidate who would oppose ratification. On the 
day after the constitution was signed, Cook prepared a statement 
in which he said: "It is questioned by some, whether I will 

""Intelligencer, June 24, July 29, 1818; Washburne, Edwards Papers, 145. 
Lippincott in his "Early Days in Madison County," no. 13, says: "All I 
knew or heard of the candidates in their first canvas was that Mr. McLean 
was in favor of slavery and Mr. Cook opposed to it." See also Churchill, 
"Annotations," no. 3. 

298 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

support the constitution of our state in congress if elected. 
When it is known that I was the first person in the state who 
urged the propriety of petitioning congress for leave to form a 
state government, by an address to the legislature thro' the public 
print; it can scarcely be supposed that I am unfriendly to a 
change of the government." He would, he declared, use his 
"best exertions to procure a ratification of the constitution." 307 

That the opposition of the Edwards men to the plan adopted 
by the convention for locating the state capital was being used 
against Cook is indicated by another part of the same statement. 
"It is insinuated," he wrote, "that I will not wish the seat of 
government to be fixed as the Convention has provided; to this 
insinuation I will remark that it can only have grown out of a 
wish to defeat my election. I shall endeavor if elected, to pro- 
cure the grant which it is made the duty of the legislature to peti- 
tion for." In this connection it is interesting to note that when 
Edwards came up for reelection to the United States senate in 
1819, he was charged with being opposed to the donation of land 
for a capital site. 

When the election was over, it was found that McLean had 
carried two western counties, Randolph and Washington. In 
the eastern counties where Cook thought that McLean would beat 
Bond four to one, he beat Cook himself eight to one. Yet so 
large was Cook's vote in the populous counties of the northwest 
that McLean's total majority was only fourteen. 808 The man 
who more than any other is entitled to the credit for the achieve- 
ment of statehood by Illinois in 1818 was obliged to content him- 
self for the time being with a minor state office. 

In the election of state and county officers there was no general 
issue and there is no evidence that the political factions p^ed 
any considerable part. The principal factor was doubtless the 
personal popularity of the respective candidates. An editorial 
in the Intelligencer of September 16, emphasized the importance 
of the election as "one which combines greater interest than any 

*" Intelligencer, August 5, September 2, 1818. 

**Ibid., September 23, October 7, 1818; Illinois Emigrant, October 17, 1818; 
Niles' Register, 15:192. The Intelligencer of October 14, gives McLean's 
majority as six. Compare Washburne, Edwards Papers, 155. 


[From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


heretofore, or which may shortly follow .... Seven differ- 
ent grades of civil officers are to be elected In this election, we 
are all vitally interested. The convention has left much for the 
legislature to do, and independent of the selections they have to 
make, of other officers, to fill highly responsible stations, their 
task will be no easy one. It will be such a one as will require 
the first talents in the state to perform; as it may be supposed, 
that they will not only go into the work of general legislation, 
but make a complete revision of our territorial laws. Who that 
possesses the smallest spark of public spirit can withhold his 
suffrage when so much is at stake?" 

As has been seen, Shadrach Bond had a clear field for the 
important post of governor. Only in Madison county, so far 
as is known from the incomplete returns available, were any 
ballots cast against him. There nineteen voters indicated their 
preference for Henry Reavis, of whom nothing is known except 
that his name appears in the census schedule for Madison county. 
It would seem as though their only object must have been to 
show opposition to Bond. It may be significant also that in St. 
Clair county the ballots cast for governor numbered 117 less than 
the total vote for sheriff. 809 

For the office of lieutenant governor there were three candi- 
dates, Pierre Menard, William L. Reynolds, and Edward N. 
Cullom. Menard was a French-Canadian who had settled in 
Kaskaskia about 1791. Like Bond he had been popular with 
the voters. He had represented Randolph county in the legis- 
lature of Indiana territory, and in every session of the Illinois 
territorial legislature he had presided over the council. It was 
natural that he should be chosen to fill a similar position under 
the state government, and, as has been seen, a section had been 
inserted in the schedule of the constitution for the sole purpose 
of making that possible. Reynolds was a physician from Ken- 
tucky who located in Kaskaskia in 1809. In December, 1817, he 
gave up his practice on account of ill health, but the next July 
he announced his return to Kaskaskia and the resumption of 
his profession. He had never held any political office in the 

""Churchill, "Annotations," no. 7; History of St. Clair County (1881), 72. 

300 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

territory. Cullom was one of the foremost men of Crawford 
county. Coming from Kentucky, he had settled at Palestine in 
1814 and had served in the territorial legislature and in the con- 
vention. Neither of these men had the slightest chance against 
Menard. Cullom carried his own county, Reynolds carried 
White and Pope, but both together received less than half the 
total vote. This result indicates what might have happened in 
the contest for representative to congress, had Bond remained 
in the race. 

The number of candidates for seats in the legislature, judging 
from the counties for which returns are available, was generally 
about twice the number of positions to be filled. 310 Conspicuous 
among these candidates were at least thirteen members of the 
convention, twelve of whom were elected, five to the senate and 
seven to the house. The thirteenth was Dr. Fisher of Randolph, 
who was defeated for the senatorship by McFerron, over whom 
he had been victorious in the convention election. Thomas Cox, 
an unsuccessful candidate for the convention in Union county, 
was elected to the senate, while the three representatives of the 
county in the convention were returned to the lower house. 
Similarly, in Madison county, George Cadwell, who had received 
only a light vote in the convention election, secured the senator- 
ship. Green B. Field, elected to the house of representatives in 
Pope county, had also been an unsuccessful candidate for a seat 
in the convention. 

The most surprising thing about the personnel of the first state 
legislature is the fact that only two of its members had served 
in the legislature of Illinois territory, Willis Hargrave of White 
and Risdon Moore of St. Clair. Among the unsuccessful candi- 
dates who had been members of the territorial legislature was 
John Grammar of Union county. Two of the men elected, John 
Messinger of St. Clair and George Cadwell of Madison, had been 
members of the Indiana legislature before the division. Another 

"'For Menard, Reynolds, and Cullom see Mason, Early Chicago and 
Illinois, 142-161 ; Reynolds, Pioneer History, 291, 368 ; Intelligencer, January 
i July I5 1818; Perrin, History of Crawford and Clark Counties, 32. For 
announcements of candidates and election returns, see Intelligencer, July 15, 
August 12, August 19, August 26, September 9, September 23, October 7, 1818; 
Churchill, "Annotations," no. 7; History of St. Clair County (1881), 72. 


candidate who had served in the Indiana legislature was William 
Biggs of St. Clair county, who ran for the senate; he was 
defeated, however, by William Kinney, a Baptist minister, who 
had never held office in Illinois before. 811 The election of Kin- 
ney and of another clergyman, Scott Riggs of Crawford county, 
is an interesting commentary on the action of the convention in 
rejecting the proposed section of the constitution which would 
have made ministers ineligible to seats in the legislature. Kinney 
was the only member of the senate who had not previously held 
some office of more or less importance, but there were eleven 
such men in the house. On the whole it would seem that the 
first state legislature was made up largely of men with little or 
no experience which would tend to fit them for the important 
work to be done. Even Nathaniel Pope, who in spite of his 
announced determination to retire from public life had been a 
candidate for the house in Randolph county, was defeated by 
two men without political experience. 812 It may be that the 
people believed in rotation in office, and this explanation would 
also serve to account for the fact that only eight of the twenty- 
eight members of this house of representatives were reflected 
during the next ten years. 

The first general assembly of the state of Illinois convened at 
Kaskaskia on Monday, October 5, 1818. The governor and 
lieutenant governor were qualified the following day and the 
governor then delivered his message. Before outlining the work 
to be done by the legislature he pleaded for an abatement of 
party spirit. "If the minds of any of us," he said, "have here- 
tofore been infected with a spirit of division which had not its 
foundation in a difference of principle; if the conduct of any 
has been hitherto influenced by unmerited partially [sic] or unjust 
resentment, let it be remembered that the period has now arrived 
when the public good and public justice imperiously require the 

""Kinney took a prominent part in politics thereafter and was a candidate 
for governor against John Reynolds in 1830. 

'"Two months later, Pope was^ appointed by the president register of the 
land office at Edwardsville and in March, 1810, he was appointed United 
States judge for the district of Illinois, a position which he held until his 
death in 1850. Intelligencer, December 9, 1818 ; Moses, Illinois, 1 1237. 



extinguishment of that spirit, and the pursuance of a course of 
conduct that will do justice and do good." 

On the same day, "the governor nominated and the senate 
confirmed the appointment of Elias Kent Kane, Esq. to the 
office of secretary of state." 813 Although Kane was a leader 
of one of the political factions, his selection was probably due to 
a recognition of his qualifications for the office. In the con- 
vention Kane had demonstrated his ability to do the sort of 
work that would be required of him as secretary of state. He 
had been especially useful in proposing changes to bring the vari- 
ous sections of the constitution into harmony with each other 


[Drawing owned by Chicago Historical Society] 

and to improve the English of the document. Just such a man 
was needed by Governor Bond, who was, to quote, an early 
writer, "to a considerable degree, destitute of the advantages of 
education but, possessing a strong mind, and a popular address, 
was successful in the administration of the duties of his office. 
His State papers were usually attributed to his Secretary of 
State." 814 Whatever may have been Bond's motive in choosing 
Kane for secretary, there can be little doubt about the result 
from a political point of view. Kane was soon in a position to 
dominate the administration. Although "Shadrach Bond was 
our first State Governor," wrote a contemporary, "I believe it 
was conceded that Mr. Kane was chief ruler at the opening of 

'"Intelligencer, October 7, 1818. 

"'Brown, "Early History of Illinois," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 14:88. 


our history." Party feeling, instead of subsiding, increased, 
and the governor found it impossible to maintain a neutral posi- 
tion. "You believe Gov. Bond to be your friend " wrote Cook 
to Edwards the following February, "I do not. The nest which 
float around him are all against you." 815 

The third day of the session was spent in electing the two 
United States senators. The candidates were Ninian Edwards, 
Jesse B. Thomas, Leonard White, Michael Jones of Kaskaskia, 
Joseph M. Street, and Robert Morrison. The last-named was 
a Pennsylvanian who had lived in Kaskaskia since 1798 and 
who had been active in politics before the separation from 
Indiana. After 1809 he was clerk of the general or supreme 
court at Kaskaskia. 818 Edwards was elected on the first ballot, 
having received the vote of thirty-two of the forty members 
present. White came second with seventeen votes, Thomas third 
with fifteen. Jones had ten while Street and Morrison received 
only three votes each and were dropped. On the second ballot 
White led with sixteen votes, Thomas had fourteen and Jones 
ten. Then the contest narrowed down to White and Thomas 
with the advantage with Thomas for he could hope to win over 
more of the Jones supporters than could White. On the third 
ballot White ha 1 eighteen votes and Thomas nineteen. On the 
fourth ballot Thomas received twenty-one votes, barely the num- 
ber necessary to elect. The difference in the attitude of the mem- 
bers of the legislature towards Edwards and towards the other 
candidates is especially significant, if contrasted with the vote 
of the same assembly in the following February, when Edwards, 
who had drawn the short term, was up for reelection. Then 
Edwards was selected over a single competitor, Michael Jones, by 
the narrow margin of 23 to 19, a striking commentary on the 
height to which the events of four months had raised party 

M! Lippincott, "Early Days in Madison County," no. 13; Washburne, Ed- 
wards Papers, 150. 

""Reynolds, Pioneer History, 165 ; James, Territorial Records, 7, 35. The 
following account of elections by the legislature is based on Senate Journal, 

1 general assembly, i session, 17, 18, 28; House Journal, i general assembly, 

2 session, 48; Intelligencer, October 14, 1818; Illinois Emigrant, October 17, 

304 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

feeling. The change was ascribed by Cook, in the letter already 
quoted, to the influence wielded by Kane. 

On October 8, the legislature again met in joint session, this 
time for the election of justices of the supreme court. The 
Intelligencer of the preceding day contained an open letter to 
the general assembly from "A friend to an able judiciary" in 
which the importance of "the selection of proper Judges" was 
emphasized. Unfortunately, however, the salaries fixed by the 
constitution were not such as to attract "the best talents of the 
state" which this writer thought "should be called into the ser- 
vice." According to Reynolds, "the material for the bench was 
not as good as it might be. Human nature is easier persuaded to 
mount upwards than to remain on the common level." The can- 
didates for supreme judge were Joseph Phillips, secretary under 
the territorial government, Thomas Browne, a Shawneetown 
lawyer belonging to the Edwards party, and Henry S. Dodge, 
a Kaskaskia lawyer and real estate dealer. Phillips received 
thirty-four of the forty-one votes cast. The assembly then pro- 
ceeded to elect three associate judges. There were nine candi- 
dates. John Reynolds, at that time a young lawyer, gives this 
account of how he happened to become one of them : "At the 
time of the session of the first legislature I resided in Cahokia, 
and had not the least intention to visit the seat of Government 
at all. I cared very little who was elected to any office one 
thing was certain, I courted nothing myself. My friends urged 
me to visit, with them, the General Assembly in session at Kas- 
kaskia, and I did so. When we reached the legislature, there was 
great excitement and turmoil in relation to the election of officers 
by the General Assembly. I had not been in Kaskaskia only a 
few days, when it was urged on me to know if I would accept 
of a judgeship, if I was elected. This broke in on me like a 
clap of thunder. I was in truth persuaded to become a candi- 
date for the office. I had a great many personal friends both 
in and out of the legislature who urged me much to consent to 

The other candidates were Thomas C. Browne; William 
P. Foster, a man "of winning, polished manners" who had been 


in the state about two months; 317 Henry S. Dodge; William 
Wilson, clerk and recorder of Jackson county; C. R. Matheny, 
the antislavery advocate of the last territorial legislature, and 
circuit attorney of the first district ; Joseph Kitchell, senator from 
Crawford county; John Warnock, whom Edwards had appointed 
in June as judge of the western circuit in place of Cook; and J. 
W. Whitney, of whom nothing is known except that he lived 
in St. Clair county. Browne and Foster were elected on the 
first ballot, Reynolds on the third. The choice of Foster proved 
an unfortunate one. The following May, A. F. Hubbard wrote 
to Kane, "I have just been in the upper Country of Fosters Cir- 
cuit [White, Edwards, and Crawford counties]. He did not 
hold any Court. The people are much enranged [sic] at him in- 
deed and every man all most has made it his own case and have 
joined in complaint. I saw Judge Foster in Vincennes he told me 
the water was too high that he was too unwell to get to Palestine 
on time, and that his Son was to unwell to stay from him till 
after Edwards Court [?]." This confirms what Ford wrote of 
him : "he was no lawyer, never having either studied or practiced 
law ; but .... withal a very gentlemanly swindler .... He 
was believed to be a clever fellow, in the American sense of the 
phrase, and a good-hearted soul. He was assigned to hold courts 
in the circuit on the Wabash ; but being fearful of exposing his 
utter incompetency, he never went near any of them. In the 
course of one year he resigned his high office, but took care first 
to pocket his salary, and then removed out of the State." 818 

On the following day, October 9, the general assembly com- 
pleted the elections by choosing Daniel P. Cook, attorney-general ; 
E. C. Berry, auditor; John Thomas, treasurer, and Blackwell 
and Berry, public printers. With the exception of Cook, it was 
but the reappointment of territorial officers and in no case were 
there more than five votes cast against the successful candidate. 

m Reyno1ds, My Own Times, 212; Ford, History of Illinois, 29. Ford 
states that he had been in Illinois about two weeks but he registered a slave 
in Randolph county on August 14, 1818. 

t *"Chicago Historical Society manuscripts, 52:185; Ford, History of Illi- 
nois, 29. 

306 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

When, the elections over, the general assembly turned to law- 
making, there appeared to be some doubt as to its power to legis- 
late before congress had ratified the constitution. Was Illinois 
a state? The enabling act had conferred the power "to form a 
constitution and State government;" the people, through their 
representatives in the convention had adopted a constitution ; and 
by the election and installation of officers a state government had 
been formed. Congress, however, had not yet accepted the 
constitution and admitted the state to the union. There is every 
indication that, when the legislature assembled, an extensive 
program of legislation was contemplated. The governor's mes- 
sage recommended a thorough revision of the territorial code 
and the enactment of laws relating to education, the salines, the 
courts, and the militia. The house appointed committees on 
military affairs and on schools, both of which were directed to re- 
port "by bill." On October 9, however, the same day the elections 
were completed, the senate adopted a resolution "that a commit- 
tee of two be appointed by the senate to confer with such com- 
mittee as may be appointed by the house of representatives, 
to enquire into the expediency of an adjournment of the gen- 
eral assembly until a time sufficient for information to be re- 
ceived of the ratification of the constitution by the congress of 
the United States; and if an adjournment is expedient, to en- 
quire what particular important business is necessary for the 
general assembly to provide for before such an adjournment." 
In this resolution the house concurred after changing .it to direct 
the committees to confer with the governor on the subject, an 
amendment which was accepted by the senate. 

On the following day a report of "the committee appointed 
to confer with the governor on the expediency of an adjourn- 
ment" was adopted by the house in the form of a resolution 
that the general assembly "will not, at this present session, pro- 
ceed to the enaction of any laws of a public or private nature. 
but it being in the opinion of this legislature, necessary that a 
special meeting thereof ought to be held as soon as possible 
after this state has been regularly admitted into the union. 

"Be it therefore, and it is further resolved, that the governor 


[From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


of the state be, and he is hereby requested, as soon as he shall 
ascertain that this state has been so admitted into the union, to 
issue his proclamation for calling a special meeting of the general 
assembly of the state, at a convenient time thereafter." 

This resolution was at once sent in a message to the senate 
which amended it by inserting after the word "nature" the 
words "except such as may be recommended by the joint com- 
mittee appointed to confer with the governor." The house ac- 
cepted the amendment. Later in the day, however, when the 
joint committee presented its second report, a majority in both 
houses was found to be opposed to any legislation whatever. 
The report in question recommended the enactment of a law "to 
organize the supreme court" but considered it "advisable to fix 
the first terms of the courts at a period so far distant as to give 
time for the ratification of the constitution to be made known." 
A law to continue in force the territorial laws and another "to 
authorize the secretary of this state to receive into his posses- 
sion the books, papers and records appertaining to the office 
of the late secretary of the Illinois territory" were also consid- 
ered necessary. The senate refused to concur in this report, by 
a vote of six to eight, while in the house it was laid on the table. 
On Monday, October 12, the house adopted by a vote of six- 
teen to ten a resolution for immediate adjournment until the 
first Monday in January, 1819. Two unsuccessful attempts 
were made the next day to take the report of the joint com- 
mittee from the table, but the senate adopted the resolution for 
adjournment after amending it by striking out the date for 
reassembling. The house concurred in the amendment and on 
Tuesday, October 13, at 4 p. m. the first general assembly stood 
adjourned to await the call of the governor. 

While there seems to have been little or no opposition to post- 
poning the program of general legislation to a later session, 
there was clearly a difference of opinion among the members of 
the general assembly as to the advisability of enacting the special 
laws thought necessary by the joint committee. A large minority 
in both houses appears to have favored such legislation but the 
general assembly adjourned without enacting a single law. This 
whole proceeding is probably to be explained by the existence 

308 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

of a fear that congress might not consider the constitution with 
its article on slavery in accord with the ordinance and the en- 
abling act and might therefore refuse to admit the state to the 
union ; there seems to have been no serious doubts as to the legal- 
ity of passing laws before congress acted, if only its action 
should prove to be favorable. 819 

Although the general assembly placed no laws upon the statute 
books at this first session it did transact some other business of 
importance besides the election of officers. Of special interest 
is the action concerning the seat of government. The opponents 
of the plan adopted by the convention had by no means given 
up hope. The proprietors of Carlyle declared in their advertise- 
ment which appeared in the Intelligencer during September that 
they felt "assured notwithstanding the late decision of the Con- 
vention, that so soon as the lower counties can reconcile it to 
themselves to part with the legislature from the town of Kaskas- 
kia, the seat of government will be fixed at this place, they 
having been creditably informed that there is no place above, 
that has the advantage of navigation, and a site sufficiently 
eligible for a town; for in every instance where a bluff puts in, 
an extensive bottom is opposite." Just across the Kaskaskia 
from the site of Carlyle, William and Robert Morrison had laid 
out on paper the town of Donaldson and in an advertisement 
dated October 3, 1818, they declared: "The site is high, dry 
and commanding, and from its central position to the popula- 
tion, and its manifest advantages, holds out as fair a promise 
of its becoming the future capital of the state, as any 'other that 
can be mentioned." 820 

The legislature, however, obeyed the instructions of the con- 
vention and drew up a petition asking congress "to grant and 

give gratuitously to this state the said four sections 

The said General Assembly do further present; that all the 
Land near the Above four Sections of Land belong to the United 

"'Churchill, "Annotations," no. 7. The foregoing account of the proceed- 
ings of the legislature is based on the Senate Journal, I general assembly, I 
session, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 39, 40, 41 ; House Journal, I general assembly, i ses- 
sion, 7-10, 21, 23", 25-28, 32-36; Intelligencer, October 14,21, 1818. 

""Intelligencer, September 9, October 14, 1818. 


States, And that by establishing a seat of Government on the 
Land so granted it would enhance the Value of the Adjoining 
Unsold Lands of the United States that the United States 
would not be injured by such donation ; but should the congress 
of the United States be of a contrary Opinion from the General 
Assembly of this state, in making the Above donation: the 
said General Assembly do petition the congress of the United 
States, to give to this state the preemption in the purchase at 
two dollars per Acre of the said four sections of Land." From 
the phraseology of the petition, it would seem that it repre- 
sented not merely a formal compliance with the directions of 
the convention but also the real wishes of the legislature. 821 

The petition was presented to the house of representatives in 
Washington December 7, 1818 and was referred to the com- 
mittee on public lands. Two days later a remonstrance counter 
to this petition was received and referred to the same committee. 
The document bore the signatures of fifty-three "inhabitants of 
the state of Illinois" and protested against the granting of the 
petition on the ground that "the location of the seat of govern- 
ment upon the Kaskaskia river, was not the act of a majority 
of the People." In the first place, it was maintained, "the mem- 
bers of the Convention were apportioned among the several coun- 
ties, without any regard to the actual population of the same" 
with the result that the six members from Madison and St. 
Clair represented a larger population than fourteen members 
from seven other counties. Secondly, the provisions for fixing 
the seat of government "passed the Convention by the votes of 
only sixteen members out of the thirty-three members elected 
one member having deceased, and another refusing to vote." 
Especial emphasis was laid upon the fact that should the petition 
be granted the location of the capital could not be changed for 
twenty years, except by the "intricate, expensive, and inconven- 
ient" process of amending the constitution. "By rejecting the 
said petition" it was asserted, "your honorable body will leave 
in the hands of the people of this state a power of which they 

^Intelligencer, October 21, 1818; original petition in House Files, De- 
cember 7, 1818. 

310 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

never ought to be divested that of locating their seat of gov- 
ernment where it shall be most convenient to them, and of re- 
moving it, when the public interests shall require its removal." 
A majority of the signers of this remonstrance were residents 
or owners of lots in the town of Upper Alton, a fact which 
raises a suspicion that that place also was in the race for the 

When the general assembly came together for its second ses- 
sion in January, 1819, congress had not acted on the petition for 
a land grant for the capital. On February 25 Senator Thomas 
introduced a bill for the grant and just before the close of the 
session of congress it passed both houses, receiving the approval 
of the president on March 3. News of this action was several 
weeks in reaching Illinois, however, and some of the members 
of the state senate were becoming impatient. On March 16 they 
passed, by the casting vote of the lieutenant governor, a resolu- 
tion to receive proposals for gifts to the state of land and money 
in return for the location of the capital "on the Kaskaskia river, 
at some point at or above Carlyle." The house refused to con- 
sider the resolution before hearing of the action of congress, 
and the receipt of information from Washington put an end to 
the fight. An act for the location of the grant and the removal 
of the capital thereto passed both houses and was approved by 
the governor on March 30, 1819. 

Another petition to congress drawn up by the general assem- 
bly at its first session urged certain extensions in the right of 
preemption. A resolution further instructed the Illinois senators 
to endeavor to procure the passage of laws establishing the office 
of surveyor of the public lands in the state and authorizing the 
sale of land in eighty acre lots. On the last day of the session 
reports were received from the territorial auditor and treasurer 
which show the financial status of the state of Illinois at the 
beginning of its career. In his message the governor announced 
that "the treasury will be found in a state of present embarrass- 
ment," and the house refused to consider a report "from the 
committee to procure stationary .... till a committee of 
ways and means be appointed to enquire into the state of the 
finances." The treasurer's report showed that from December 


2, 1817 to October i, 1818 the receipts were $3,979.72, the ex- 
penditures $4,039.25, leaving a deficit of $59.53. The auditor 
reported that the income expected up to December from various 
sources amounted to $8,771.20, from which were to be paid out- 
standing warrants for $7,588. This would leave a possible 
$183.20 with which to meet the deficit and start the new gov- 
ernment. That an important source of revenue would be avail- 
able when the state was admitted, however, is indicated in a 
report presented to the house on October 10 from a joint com- 
mittee appointed to confer with the lessees of the salines. From 
this it appears that the lessees of the Ohio saline were willing to 
pay the state ten thousand dollars a year if allowed to sell salt at 
a dollar and fifty cents a bushel, and eight thousand, if the max- 
imum price were fixed at a dollar and twenty-five cents. The 
committee favored the latter proposition but no action was taken 
on the report. 322 

Shortly after the convention adjourned, the constitution was 
printed at Kaskaskia, and on September n, 1818, Greenup, the 
secretary forwarded a copy to Henry Clay, speaker of the na- 
tional house of representatives. Congress met on November 16, 
more than a month after the adjournment of the first legislative 
session, and on the first day Speaker Clay laid the Illinois con- 
stitution before the house, where it was tabled. Three days later 
McLean appeared in the house and asked to be sworn in, but the 
speaker, in doubt about "the propriety of administering the oath 
to him, in consequence of Congress not having concluded the act 
of admission," submitted the question to the house. Poindexter 
of Mississippi thought it necessary "to see, first, whether the 
requisitions of the act of last session were complied with; and, 

'"House Journal, I general assembly, I session, 7, 14, 32-36; Intelligencer, 
October 14, 21, 1818. That one of the counties at least was in an embarrassed 
financial condition, also, is seen from a note which the census enumerator 
for Johnson county appended to his returns. After showing that the annual 
revenue from taxes on taverns, slaves, and horses, would be $138.50, for 
which must be deducted $80.00 for sheriff's and clerk's fees, he continued : 
"Johnson County oweth at present $2000 which at an Average will take 
some more than thirty-six years to Discharge the old Debt Poor Little John- 
son But is not yet on the Parish the territorial tax in Johnson County 
this year is near about 48 or 50 Dollars from the Lands Returned to me for 
tax as will be seen more correct when I Draw off ray Book in alpabetacle 
[sic] order." 

312 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

secondly, whether the form of government established was re- 
publican," while Pitkin of Connecticut insisted that the presence 
in the territory of the population required by the enabling act 
should first "be officially established, .... and the resolution 
of admission passed." Harrison of Ohio claimed that there was 
precedent for immediate admission, but "it was decided appar- 
ently by a large majority that the SPEAKER should not at this 
time administer the oath of office." This event probably has- 
tened matters, however, for the constitution was at once referred 
to a select committee consisting of Anderson of Kentucky, Poin- 
dexter of Mississippi, and Hendricks of Indiana, all western 

On the following day, November 20, the committee reported a 
resolution for the admission of Illinois "on an equal footing with 
the original States." The preamble declared the constitution 
and state government framed by the convention to be republican 
and "in conformity to the principles of the articles of compact" 
of the Ordinance of 1787. After the resolution had been read 
twice, the question of population was again raised, this time by 
Spencer of New York, who wished to know if any documentary 
evidence on the subject had been transmitted. Anderson replied 
for the committee that the preamble of the constitution stated 
"that the requisitions of the act of Congress had been complied 
with .... the committee," he said, "had considered that evi- 
dence sufficient; and he had, in addition, himself seen, in the 
newspapers, evidence sufficient to satisfy him of the fact, that 
the population did amount to forty thousand souls, the number 
required." The resolution "was then ordered to be engrossed 
for a third reading." 323 

The principal debate took place in the house on November 23 
when the resolution came up for final action. As a prelude to 
the controversy over the admission of Missouri, which opened a 
few months later, this debate and the vote which followed have 
an importance even greater for national history than for the 

m Annals of Congress, 15 congress, 2 session, 1 :2g6-2g8. The resolution 
is printed in the appendix to the Annals of Congress, 15 congress, 2 session, 
2 12548. Senator Edwards had asked Governor Bond for a statement of 
the population as returned to the convention. Washburne, Edwards Papers, 


(From original painting owned by Chicago Historical Society] 


history of Illinois an importance which has not, as a rule, been 
recognized by historians. 

The discussion was opened by Tallmadge of New York, the 
same man who was to lead the fight against the admission of 
Missouri with a constitution permitting slavery. Although he 
was inclined to demand further evidence that Illinois had the 
requisite population, he preferred to rest his opposition upon an- 
other point. "The principle of slavery, if not adopted in the 
constitution, was at least not sufficiently prohibited," After 
citing the provision against slavery in the Ordinance of 1787, 
he declared that: "The sixth article of the constitution of the 
new State of Illinois, in each of its three sections .... con- 
travened this stipulation, either in the letter or the spirit. These 
sections he separately examined, as to their construction and 
bearing, and felt himself constrained to come to the conclusion 
that they embraced a complete recognition of existing slavery, if 
not provisions for its future introduction and toleration; partic- 
ularly in the passage wherein they permit the hiring of slaves, 
the property of non-residents, for any number of years consecu- 
tively. If Congress would observe in good faith the terms of 
the convention, he said, they were bound, under this circum- 
stance, to reject the constitution of Illinois, or at least this fea- 
ture of it." He had no desire, the speaker said, "to invade the 
rights of the slaveholding States, or to assail their prerogatives, 
he believed they were equally sensible with him of the evils of 
slavery, and did what they could to control and regulate them." 
After referring to the excellent provisions of the Indiana consti- 
tution relative to slavery, he declared : 82 * "Our interest and our 
honor .... calls on us rigidly to insist on the observance of 
good faith under the article of the ordinance I have referred to, 
so far as that no involuntary service be permitted to be recog- 
nised in the constitution of any State to be formed out of that 

In replying to Tallmadge, Poindexter (whether deliberately 
or not it is impossible to say) misrepresented the facts. After 
expressing his concurrence in the "solicitude to expel from our 

debate is reported in the Annals of Congress, 15 congress, 2 ses- 
sion. i : 305-3 1 1. It is summarized in the Intelligencer, December 23, 1818. 

314 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

country, whenever practicable, anything like slavery," he de- 
clared, "that the article on the subject of slaves was almost lit- 
erally copied from the constitution of Ohio into that of Illinois. 
The third section of the article in question, in the latter, was the 
only variation, and the necessity of that additional provision 
would be obvious to any gentleman who would examine and 
reflect upon the subject. By an antecedent law of the Territorial 
government, all persons, slaves or under indenture, in the Terri- 
tory, were required to be registered, as the only way in which 
they could be discriminated from fugitives, &c. The constitu- 
tion directs that their children also shall be registered, that they 
may be secure of enjoying their freedom, when by the constitu- 
tion they become entitled. From their color, (being prima facie 
slaves in other States,) was it not more secure to the freedom of 
the people of color, that their births, parentage, &c., should be 
recorded in the new State, than otherwise ? So far from consti- 
tuting an objection to it, Mr. P. said, he considered this a valu- 
able part of the constitution of Illinois." The speaker also main- 
tained, with more truth, that "it would be found impracticable, 
after admitting the independence of a State, to prevent it from 
framing or shaping its constitution as it thought proper. As to 
a constitution like that of Indiana, prohibiting the introduction 
of an amendment to it, of whatever nature, if the people were 
to form a convention to-morrow, that provision would be of no 
force: the whole power would be with the people, whom, in 
their sovereign capacity, no provision of that nature can con- 
trol. Nor would Congress prevent them." 

Anderson, another member of the committee, not only agreed 
with Poindexter, but maintained that there was nothing binding 
about the so-called articles of compact in the ordinance, since 
"the people of the Northwestern Territory" were not "repre- 
sented at all, nor consulted on the occasion." In his opinion 
"there was nothing unconstitutional, in any view, in Congress 
accepting what the people of Illinois have done, if they thought 
proper; since the consent of the two contracting parties (sup- 
posing the ordinance to be a compact) would thus be given." 
"Are we," asked Tallmadge in reply, "to be drawn into a dis- 


cussion of slavery, its merits and demerits, on abstract prin- 
ciples? He would not enter into such a discussion; but must 
persist in stating it as his opinion, that the interest, honor, and 
faith of the nation, required it scrupulously to guard against 
slavery's passing into a territory where they have power to pre- 
vent its entrance." Nor would he admit that a state could 
change its constitution at will. He believed that it would "cease, 
by the very act, to be a component part of the Union" should it 
"violate the condition on which it was admitted." 

William Henry Harrison "as a Representative of Ohio" pro- 
tested against this doctrine. The "people of that State," he said, 
"were fully aware of their privileges, and would never come to 
this House, or to the State of New York, for permission so to 
alter their constitution as to admit the introduction of slavery, 
the object of the gentleman's abhorrence, as, said Mr. H., it is 
of mine. They had entered into no compact which had shorn 
the people of their sovereign authority .... he sincerely 
wished that Illinois had either emancipated its slaves, or followed 
the example of Indiana" and left "the question relating to this 
description of property .... for the decision of the courts 
of justice .... In regard to the supposed compact, how- 
ever, and its efficacy, Mr. H. said, he had always considered it a 
dead letter." 

The yeas and nays having been requested by Livermore of 
New Hampshire, who was opposed to the resolution, the vote 
was taken and the resolution carried 117 to 34. The followers 
of Tallmadge in this vote were few as compared to those who 
supported him in the Missouri contest three months later, due 
probably to the fact that the issue was not so clear. It is signifi- 
cant, however, that only one of the thirty-four, Reed of Mary- 
land, voted against the Tallmadge amendment to the enabling 
act for Missouri. With the exception of Reed, all of those who 
opposed the Illinois resolution were from the five New England 
states, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. They in- 
cluded a majority of the representatives from New England. 
Clearly the opposition to the admission of Illinois was due to the 
provisions relative to slavery in the constitution and clearly, also, 

316 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

the extension of slavery was already a sectional issue in the 
United States in November, 1818. 

The resolution for the admission of Illinois was received in 
the senate on November 25 and was referred to the committee 
on public lands. The following day the committee "reported the 
same without amendment." It was considered in committee of 
the whole on November 28 and 30, but if there was any debate, 
it was not reported. On December I the resolution passed the 
senate without a division, and on the third it received the ap- 
proval of the president. Illinois was now a state in the union. 
The next day "NINIAN EDWARDS and JESSE B. THOMAS, re- 
spectively appointed Senators by the Legislature of the State of 

Illinois took their seats in the Senate." In the house, 

"MR. JOHN MCLEAN . . . .took his seat as the Represent- 
ative of the State of Illinois." 325 

By December 16, news of the action taken in the house had 
been received in Illinois. That news allayed any fear there had 
been that the state might not be admitted. In announcing it, the 
editors of the Intelligencer commented : "As the senate will act 
speedily on this subject, we may expect early information of our 
complete emancipation from territorial government." That in- 
formation arrived in time for the governor to issue on December 
22, the following proclamation: 

"Whereas information has been received that by a resolution 
of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in congress Assembled the State of Illinois has been 
declared to be one of the United States of America and has been 
admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original 
States in all respects whatever 

"Therefore I Shadrach Bond Governor of the said State, by 
virtue of the power vested in me by the constitution do appoint 
the third monday in the month of January next for a meeting of 
the General Assembly of said state and I do hereby require all 

'"'Annals of Congress, 15 congress, 2 session, 1 123, 26, 31, 32, 38, 342. The 
proclamation was printed in the Intelligencer, December 23, 1818. It is here 
copied from the manuscript "Executive Register" in the secretary of state's 


the members of each branch thereof to convene on said day at 
Kaskaskia the seat of Government. 

"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and pri- 
vate seal (there being no State seal provided) this twenty second 
day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and eighteen and of the Independence of the United 
States of America the forty-third." 


Report to 


00 O\ co M ON Q\ tx co t"x ON ^t_Ov ON &\ 01 -" 
O\fO^J*OO "^ -< VO O HH\O f^T~co O -H co 

cooo M woovo t^foioo ONO txoooo 

* ft vl M *Q *H \OMO<C^*OC4MCO 


Total in 

Tj" \O OQ OO M d OQ "O H ^J* *O H *\| 00 Ov 
CO O\ ^ 04 O\ fO ^O ^O **O CX ^ ^J* CO *O 

MO) *H CO W ^t* **( ^1 CVj C^ H-I f\rj 


txCO -Mtx- . .10. . M . 









oo -o\o - o -o . 



Free People 
of Color 


All Other 






s ' 


Free White 



Males of 



Heads of 


Report of 
the Secre- 
tary in 




Total in 

1 : !iPli ; !i!i 




Servants or 

too lOCOONftxHirt" "t>.r')c*Jr>. 
HI N HI HI Tf W tx 1-VO Ov CO N 10 



Free People 
of Color 






All Other 




Free White 
Males of 



Fleads of 

wO\ 'txrfOniHi^c^ OxON^'rN. 
NCO .HiloOHitN01CO \J-tOO<lO 







:_. :*: 

w^g-jrtOtSy : o,.i5 >W) 








The figures in the foregoing table, except where otherwise indicated, are 
the result of a careful checking up of extant schedules. Most of the com- 
missioners who attempted to foot up the totals made errors of addition. The 
census of Franklin county had not been taken when the secretary made his 
report in June. The enumerator for Madison county appended to his 
schedule the following statements : . "I beg leave further to state from good 
information that there are at 

Fort Crawford 680 Souls 

Fort Armstrong 150 Souls 

Fort Edwards 70 " 

do. Clark 80 

Makeing in the whole 5466 Souls within the boundury of Madison County." 
These 980 reputed inhabitants are not included in the schedule total but 
are included in the secretary's report and presumably in the final report 
to the convention. The schedule for St. Clair county has been burned in 
part and the figures given represent only what remains intact. Italics are 
used to indicate incomplete totals due to missing or incomplete schedules. 
The total of the secretary's report is a correct addition of the figures and 
is ten less than his total of the same figures as given in Intelligencer, June 
17, 1818. The report to the convention is printed in the Illinois State His- 
torical Society, Journal, 6:359. 

"JEFFERSON-LEMEN COMPACT/' pages 242 et seq. 

Edward Coles, in 1865, wrote that slavery "formed a prominent topic in 
the political discussions of Illinois previous to its becoming a State" and "at 
a very early period in the settlement of Illinois, the question was warmly 
agitated by zealous advocates and opponents of slavery." Letter quoted by 
Lippincott in his "Early Days in Madison County," no. 28. 

The claim has been made that James Lemen, a Virginian, having made 
a secret compact with Jefferson to work for the exclusion of slavery in 
Illinois, came out for that purpose in 1786 and founded the settlement of 
New Design. During the Indiana period he is said to have exerted himself 
to prevent the success of the advocates of the introduction of slavery. From 
1796 on, Lemen "was active in the promotion of Baptist churches and a 
Baptist Association." In 1808 he was licensed as a preacher and in the fol- 
lowing year led a movement which resulted in the disruption of the asso- 
ciation on the slavery question and the organization of "Bethel Baptist 
Church" on a strict antislavery basis. A document purporting to be a copy 
of an account, written by Reverend John Mason Peck in 1851, states that 
the members of this church "formed what they called 'The Illinois Anti- 
Slavery League,' and it was this body that conducted the anti-slavery contest. 
It always kept one of its members and several of its friends in the Territorial 
Legislature, and five years before the constitutional election in 1818 it had 
fifty resident agents men of like sympathies in the several settlements 
throughout the territory quietly at work, and the masterly manner in which 
they did their duty was shown by a poll which they made of the voters some 
few weeks before the election, which, on their side only varied a few votes 
from the official count after the election." MacNaul, Jefferson-Letnen Com- 
pact, 7-25, 36. 

The authenticity of this document and of all the so-called "Lemen fam- 
ily notes," only transcripts of which appear to be in existence, is very doubt- 
ful; and no other evidence has been found of the existence of an "Illinois 
Anti-Slavery League" in the territorial period. 

LEMEN AND COOK, page 225 

The claim has been made in a document purporting to have been writ- 
ten by Reverend John Mason Peck in 1857, that the plan was first suggested 
by Reverend James Lemen, Sr., reputed to have been an influential champion 
of freedom during the territorial period. It is said that he "had a govern- 
ment surveyor make a map showing the great advantages and gave them to 

320 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Nathaniel Pope." MacNaul, Jefferson-Lemen Compact, 37*38, 55. Until 
more authentic evidence is presented the credit for the amendment must 
remain with Pope. If the slavery question was a factor in the matter, it is 
quite possible that Pope's nephew, Daniel Pope Cook may have had a hand 
in it. As early as February 4, 1818, in a communication over the signature 
"A Republican" in the Intelligencer he took a strong antislavery position 
not merely with reference to Illinois, but for the nation as a whole; and in 
the issue of April I, he presented a strong argument against the expediency 
or legality of providing for the toleration of slavery in the new constitution. 
Cook may have conferred with Pope in Washington in February or March, 
1818, for, on January 6, he announced his intention of leaving Kaskaskia in 
the course of fifteen or twenty days for Richmond, Washington, Philadelphia, 
and possibly New York. He could not have reached Washington, however, 
before the date of Pope's letter announcing his intention to work for the 
northern extension. 


No attempt has been made to make this a complete bibliography of the 
subject It is primarily a list of works referred to in the notes, and is 
included for the purpose of enabling the reader to identify those works and 
to determine the editions used. 


American Fur Company Letter Book, 1816-1820. Manuscript at Mackinac. 
Photostatic copy in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Auditor of Public Accounts, Springfield. Land Office Records. 

Chicago Historical Society manuscripts: vols. 49, 50, 51, Edwards papers; 
vols. 52, 53, E. K. Kane papers. 

Deed Record, A, in Pope County. 

Draper Manuscripts, 1816-20. Originals in library of State Historical Society 
of Wisconsin. Photostatic copies of documents used, in Illinois His- 
torical Survey. 

Eddy Manuscripts, Shawneetown, Illinois. Transcripts in Illinois Historical 

George Knight to Charles Knight, June 21, 1818. Transcript in the Illinois 
Historical Survey. 

House Files. Archives of the United States House of RepresentativeSj Wash- 
ington. Photostatic copies of documents used in Illinois Historical 

Indian Office Papers. Archives of the United States Indian Office, Wash- 
ington. Photostatic copies of documents used in Illinois Historical 

Messinger Manuscripts. Transcripts in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Secretary of State, Springfield, Census Schedules; Correspondence; Executive 
Files, 1790-1821; "Executive Register," 1818-1832; manuscript journal of 
the Legislative Council, 1817-1818; Miscellaneous Assembly Papers. 

United States State Department, Bureau of Indexes and Archives, Miscel- 
laneous Letters; Bureau of Rolls and Library, Papers and Records. 
Photostatic copies of documents used in Illinois Historical Survey. 


Alvord, Clarence W. (ed.), Cahokia Records (Illinois State Historical Li- 
brary, Collections, vol. 2. Springfield, 1907). 

Alvord, Clarence W., Illinois: The Origins (Military Tract Papers, no. 3. 
Pontiac, 1910). 

Alvord, Clarence W. (ed.), Laws of the Territory of Illinois, 1809-1811 
(Illinois State Historical Library, Bulletin, i: no. 2. Springfield, 1906). 

American State Papers, 38 volumes (Washington, 1832-1861). 

Andreas, A. T., History of Chicago, from the Earliest Period to the Prtttnt 
Time, 3 volumes (Chicago, 1884). 

Annals of Congress, 42 volumes (Washington, 1834-1856). 

Babcock, Rufus (ed.), Memoir of John Mason Peck, D. D. (Philadelphia, 


322 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Bailey, John R., Mackinac, formerly Michilimackinac (Lansing, 1895). 

Bancroft, Hubert H., History of the Northwest Coast, 2 volumes (San Fran- 
cisco, 1884). 

Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois 
(Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1893). 

Birkbeck, Morris, Letters from Illinois (Philadelphia, 1818). 

Birkbeck, Morris, Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Vir- 
ginia to the Territory of Illinois (London, 1818). 

Blair, Emma H. (ed.), The I.idian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley 
and Region of the Great Lakes as described by Nicholas Perrot, French 
commandant in the Northwest; Bacqueville de la Potherie, French royal 
commissioner to Canada; Morrell Marston, American army officer; and 
Thomas Forsyth, United States agent at Fort Armstrong, 2 volumes 
(Cleveland, 1911-1912). 

Boggess, Arthur, C, The Settlement of Illinois, 1778-1830 (Chicago Historical 
Society's Collection, vol. 5. Chicago, 1908). 

Brown, Samuel R., The Western Gazetteer; or Emigrant's Directory, con- 
taining a geographical description of the Western States and Territories 
(Auburn, N. Y., 1817). 

Brown, William H., "Early History of Illinois," in Fergus Historical Series, 
no. 14. 

Brown, William H., "An Historical Sketch of the Early Movement in Illinois 
for the Legalization of Slavery," in Fergus Historical Series, no. 4 (Chi- 
cago, 1876). 

Buck, Solon J., Travel and Description 1765-1865; Together -with a List of 
County Histories, Atlases, and Biographical Collections and a List of 
Territorial and State Laws (Illinois State Historical Library, Collections, 
vol. 9. Springfield, 1914). 

Chittenden, Hiram M., The American Fur Trade of the Far West. A His- 
tory of the Pioneer Trading Posts and Early Fur Companies of the 
Missouri Valley and the Rocky Mountains and of the Overland Com- 
merce with Santa Fe, 3 volumes (New York, 1902). 

Churchill, George, "Annotations" on Rev. Thomas Lippincott's "Early Days 
in Madison County," published in the Alton Telegraph in 1865. Scrap- 
book in possession of W. T. Norton of Alton. Transcripts in Illinois His- 
torical Survey. 

Dana, Edmund, Geographical Sketches of the Western Country: designed 
for Emigrants and Settlers: Being the Result of Extensive Researches 
and Remarks (Cincinnati, 1819). 

Darby, William, The Emigrant's Guide to the Western and Southwestern 
States and Territories: comprising a Geographical and Statistical De- 
scription of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, 
and Ohio; the Territories of Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan 
(New York, 1818). 

Dowrie, George W., The Development of Banking in Illinois, 1817-1863 (Uni- 
versity of Illinois, Studies in the Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 4. Urbana, 

Dunn, Jacob P. Jr., Indiana, A Redemption from Slavery (American Com- 
monwealth series, Boston, 1905). 

Edwards, Ninian W., History of Illinois, from 1778 to 1833; and Life and 
Times of Ninian Edwards (Springfield, 1870). 


Edwardsville Spectator, 1819-1826, Edwardsville, Illinois. Files in Library 
of Congress. Photostatic copies in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Erwin, Milo, History of Williamson County, Illinois, from the Earliest Times, 
down to the Present, 1876 (Marion, Illinois, 1876). 

Fearon, Henry B., Sketches of America. A Narrative of a Journey of Five 
Thousand Miles through the Eastern and Western States of America 
(London, 1819). 

Flower, George, History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Illi- 
nois. With Preface and Foot-notes by E. B. Washburne (Chicago His- 
torical Society's Collection, vol. I. Chicago, 1882). 

Ford, Thomas, A History of Illinois, from its Commencement as a State in 

1818 to 1847 (Chicago, 1854). 

Harris, Norman D., History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery 
Agitation in that State (Chicago, 1906). 

Harris, William T., Remarks Made during a Tour through the United States 
of America in the Years, 1817, 1818, and 1819 (London, 1821). 

History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, 
Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887). 

History of Madison County, Illinois (Edwardsville, Illinois: W. R. Brink & 
Co., 1882). 

History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, Mc- 
Donough & Co. 1881). 

History of St. Clair County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough & 
Co., 1881). 

History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Globe Publishing 
Co., 1884). 

Hodge, Frederick W. (ed.), Hand-book of American Indians North of 
Mexico, 2 volumes (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin, 30. Wash- 
ington, 1907-1910). 

Hubbard, Gurdon S., Incidents and events in the life of Gurdon Saltonstall 
Hubbard. Collected from Personal Narrations and Other Sources and 
Arranged by his Nephew, Henry E. Hamilton (Chicago, 1888). 

Hubbard, Gurdon S., The Autobiography of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard, 
Pa-pa-ma-ta-be "The Swift Walker" (Chicago, 1911). 

Hurlbut, Henry H., Chicago Antiquities: comprising original Items and Rela- 
tions, Letters, Extracts, and Notes, Pertaining to early Chicago (Chicago, 

Illinois Emigrant, December, i8i8-September, 1819. ( Shawneetown, Illinois) 
[Continued as Illinois Gazette, 1819-1830] Files in Library of Congress, 
Washington, D. C. and American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts. Photostatic copies in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Illinois, Bluebook, 1905 (Springfield, 1906); 1913-1914 (Danville, 1914). 

Illinois, Journal of the Convention, 1818. The only known copy, in the office 
of the secretary of state, Springfield, contains pages 3 to 72 inclusive 
only, the title-page and a few pages at the end having been torn out. It 
is reprinted, with an introduction by Richard V. Carpenter, in Illinois 
State Historical Society, Journal, 6 1327-425. 

Illinois, Journal of the House of Representatives, 1818 (Kaskaskia, 1818) ; 

1819 (Kaskaskia. 1810). 

324 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Illinois, Journal of the Senate, 1818 (Kaskaskia, 1818) ; 1819 (Kaskaskia, 

Illinois, Laws, 1819 (Kaskaskia, 1819) ; 1820-1821 (Vandalia, 1821). 
Illinois Gazette, see Illinois Emigrant. 
Illinois Intelligencer, see Western Intelligencer. 

Illinois State Historical Library, Collections, II volumes (Springfield, 1903- 

Illinois State Historical Society, Journal, 8 volumes (Springfield, 1908-1916). 

Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1900-1915, 16 volumes (Illi- 
nois State Historical Library, Publications, nos. 4, 6-17, 19-21. Springfield, 

Illinois Territory, A Law Establishing a Supreme Court and Documents 
(Kaskaskia, 1814). 

Illinois Territory, Laws, 1812 (Russelville, Kentucky, 1813) ; "Pope's Digest," 
1813-1814, 2 volumes (Kaskaskia, 1815) ; 1815-1816 (Kaskaskia, 1816) ; 
1816-1817 (Kaskaskia, 1817) ; 1817-1818 (Kaskaskia, 1818). The last 
three are available in page for page reprints (Springfield, 1898). 

Illustrated Encyclopedia and Atlas Map of Madison County, Illinois (St. 
Louis: Brink, McDonough Co., 1873). 

Indiana Historical Society, Publications, 5 volumes (Indianapolis, 1897-1915). 
Indiana Territory, Laws, 1805 (Vincennes, n. d.) ; 1807 (Vincennes, 1807). 
Intelligencer, see Western Intelligencer. 

James, Edmund J. (ed.), The Territorial Records of Illinois (Illinois State 
Historical Library, Publications, no. 3. Springfield, 1901). 

Kapper, Charles J., Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, 2 volumes (Wash- 
ington, 1904). 

Kinzie, Mrs. John H., Wau-Bun, The Early Day in the Northwest (Phila- 
delphia, 1873). 

Lansden, John M. f A History of the City of Cairo, Illinois (Chicago, 1910). 

Leaton, James, History of Methodism in Illinois, from 1793 to 1832 (Cin- 
cinnati, 1883). 

Lippincott, Thomas, "Conflict of the Century," published in the Henry Weekly 
Courier, 1860. Transcripts in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Lippincott, Thomas, "Early Days in Madison County," published in the Alton 
Telegraph [i864]-i86s. Transcripts in Illinois Historical Survey. 

MacNaul, Willard C., Jefferson-Lemen Compact. The Relations of Thomas 
Jefferson and James Lemen in the Exclusion of Slavery from Illinois and 
the Northwest Territory with Related Documents, 1781-1818 (Chicago, 

Mcllwain, Charles H. (ed.), An Abridgment of the Indian Affairs Contained 
in four folio volumes transacted in the Colony of New York from the 
year 1678 to the year 1756. By Peter Wraxall (Cambridge, 1915). 

Mason, Edward G. (ed.), Early Chicago and Illinois (Chicago Historical 
Society's Collection, vol. 4. Chicago, 1890). 

Mason, Richard L., Narrative of Richard Lee Mason in the Pioneer West 
(New York, [1915]). 

Mathews, Lois K., The Expansion of New England. The Spread of New 
England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 
(Boston. 1000). 


Michelson, Truman, "Contributions to Algonquian Grammar," in American 
Anthropologist, 15:470-477. 

Minnesota Historical Society, Collections, 15 volumes (St. Paul, 1850-1915). 

Morse, Jedidiah, A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States, 
on Indian Affairs, comprising a narrative of a tour (New Haven, 1822). 

Moses, John, Illinois Historical and Statistical, comprising the Essential 
Facts of its Planting and Growth as a Province, County, Territory, and 
State, 2 volumes (Chicago, 1892). 

Nlles* Weekly Register, 75 volumes (Baltimore, 1811-1849). 

Ogg, Frederic A. (ed.), Personal Narrative of Travels in Virginia, Mary- 
land, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky; and of a Residence in the 
Illinois Territory: 1817-1818. By Elias Pym Fordham (Cleveland, 1906). 

Patterson, Robert W., "Early Society in Southern Illinois," in Fergus His- 
torical Series, no. 14. 

Perrin, William H. (ed.), History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Coun- 
ties, Illinois (Chicago, 1883). 

Perrin, William H. (ed.), History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois 
(Chicago, 1883). 

Perrin. William H. (ed.), History of Jefferson County, Illinois (Chicago, 

Pope's Digest, see Illinois Territory, Laws. 

Preble, George H., A Chronological History of the Origin and Development 
of Steam Navigation, 1543-1882 (Philadelphia, 1883). 

Quaife, Milo M., Chicago and the Old Northwest 1673-1835. A Study of 
the Evolution of the Northwestern Frontier, Together with a History 
of Fort Dearborn (Chicago, 1913). 

Reynolds, John, My Own Times, embracing also, the History of My Life 
(Illinois, 1855). 

Reynolds, John, The Pioneer History of Illinois containing the Discovery 
in 1673 and the History of the Country to the Year 1818, when the State 
Government was Organised (Chicago, 1887). 

Royce, Charles C. (ed.), Indian Land Cessions in the United States (Bureau 
of American Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual Report, pt. 2. Washington, 

Schoolcraft, Henry R., Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years 
.with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers: with Brief Notices 
of Passing Events, Facts, and Opinions, A. D. 1812 to A. D. 1842 (Phila- 
delphia, 1851). 

Schoolcraft, Henry R., Summary Narrative of an Exploratory Expedition 
to the Sources of the Mississippi River, in 1820: resumed and completed, 
by the discovery of its origin in Itasca Lake, in 1832 (Philadelphia, 1855). 

Schultz, Christian, Travels On An Inland Voyage through the States of 
New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
through the Territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and New 
Orleans, 2 volumes (New York, 1810). 

Scott, Franklin W, Newspapers and Periodicals of IllinoiSj 1814-1879 (Illi- 
nois State Historical Library, Collections, vol. 6. Springfield, 1910). 

Seybert, Adam, Statistical Annals Embracing Views of the Population, Com- 
merce, Navigation . . . of the United States of America Founded on 
Official Documents 1789-1818 (Philadelphia, 1818). 

326 ILLINOIS IN 1818 

Shoemaker, Floyd C, Missouri's Struggle for Statehood, 1804-1821 (Jeffer- 
son City, 1916). 

Smith, William H. (ed.), St. Clair Papers. The Life and Public Services 
of Arthur St. Clair, soldier of the Revolutionary War; President of 
the Continental Congress; and Governor of the North Western Terri- 
tory with his Correspondence and Other Papers (Cincinnati, 1882). 

Snyder, John F., Adam W. Snyder, and his period in Illinois History, 1817- 
1824 (Virginia, Illinois, 1906). 

Snyder, John F., "Forgotten Statesmen of Illinois. Conrad Will," in Illinois 
State Historical Society, Transactions, 1905, p. 349-377. 

Spectator, see Edwardsville Spectator. 

Table of Post-Offices in the United States, with the Names of the Post- 
Masters, and Counties and States in which they are situated, and the 
Distances from the City of Washington (Washington, 1817). 

Thorpe, Francis N. (ed.), The^ Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial 
Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Col- 
onies now or heretofore forming the United States of America, ^ volumes 
(Washington, 1909). 

Thwaites, Reuben G. (ed.), Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, A Series of 
Annotated Reprints of some of the best and rarest contemporary volumes 
of travel, descriptive of the Aborigines and Social and Economic Con- 
ditions in the Middle and Far West, during the Period of Early Ameri- 
can Settlement, 32 volumes (Cleveland, 1904-1907). 

Treat, Payson J., The National Land System, 1785-1820 (New York, 1910). 

United States Public Documents, Executive Papers, 16 congress, 2 session, 
no. 8 ; House Documents, 15 congress, 2 session, vol. i, no. I ; vol. 2, no. 
46; House Documents, 26 congress, i session, vol. 7, no. 262; House 
Journal, 15 congress, i session ; House Journal, 15 congress, 2 session ; 
Senate Journal, 15 congress, i session. 

United States, Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury, 2 volumes (Wash- 
ington, 1828-1829). 

United States, Statutes at Large, 38 volumes (Boston and Washington, 1850- 

Walker, Charles A. (ed.), History of Macoupin County, Illinois, 2 volumes 

(Chicago, 1911). 

Washburne, Elihu B. (ed.), The Edwards Papers; Being a Portion of the 
Collection of the Letters, Papers, and Manuscripts of Ninian Edwards 
(Chicago Historical Society's Collection, vol. 3. Chicago, 1884). 

Washburne, Elihu B., Sketch of Edward Coles, Second Governor of Illinois, 
and of the Slavery Struggle of 1823-4 (Chicago, 1882). 

Western Intelligencer, 1816-1818. (Kaskaskia, Illinois) [Continued as Illi- 
nois Intelligencer, 1818-1819] Files in Mercantile Library, St. Louis, 
Missouri. Photostatic copies in Illinois Historical Survey. 

Wisconsin Historical Society, Collections, 23 volumes (Madison, 1855-1916). 

Woollen, William W., Biographical and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana 
(Indianapolis, 1883). 


Adams, John Quincy, 209. 

"Agis," objected to viva voce voting, 
272; opinion of, on slavery, 242-245, 
246; probably Edward Coles, 242. 

Agriculture, benefits of banks to, 149- 
150; Birkbeck president of the so- 
ciety for, 164; effect of English set- 
tlement on, 112; French method of, 
91-92; Indian products of, 3-4; lim- 
itations to, 152; methods of carrying 
on, 129, 133; products of, 128-133. 

Alabama territory, 209, 222. 
Albany [N. Y.], 156. 

Albion, 141 ; county seat of Edwards 
county after 1821, p. 64; description 
of a tavern at, 125 ; laid out in the 
English settlement, 64, in; library 
established at, 169, 170. 

Alexander, Dr. W[illiam] M., located 
in America, 73, 

Alexander county, America county 
seat of, 73; formed from part of 
Union, 72. 

Algonkin, manufactures of, 5 ', religion 
of, 7-8; tribes belonging to group 
of, 3. See Indians. 

Alleghanies, i. 

Alton, 58, 84; Dana describes, 85; 
Goshen road ran to, 1 14 ; government 
survey started near, 42; laid out by 
Easton, 85; mail route through, 126. 

"Alton on the river," see Upper Alton. 

America, 151, 157; county seat of 
Alexander, 73; establishment of, 73. 

American bottom, 89; description and 
location of, 128-129; extent of set- 
tlement in, 75-77; French settlement 
in, 88, 92 ; land purchases in, 51 ; 
products of, 128-129; road through, 

American Fur Company, activity of, 
24-35 5 Astor dominated, 24-25 ; Brit- 
ish employed by, 23; Crooks and 
Stuart agents of, 24-25; Crooks sets 
forth policy of, 31 ; 

description of: Deschamps' expe- 
dition by Hubbard employee of, 32- 
35; methods of, 29-35; traders in, 

effect of, on factory system, 20, 21 ; 
encountered competition with trad- 
ers from St. Louis, 26; 

employees of : at Chicago, 27 ; on 
Desplaines, Illinois, Kankakee, and 
Wabash rivers, 27; 

formed by Astor, 23; headquar- 
ters at New York, 24; importance 
of, in fur trading, 22; Mackinac Is- 
land northwest headquarters of, 24- 

Amos [Abraham], councilor from St. 
Clair, 217; voted for the repeal of 
the indenture law, 217. 

Anderson [Richard C, Jr.], member 
of congressional committee to con- 
sider constitution, 312; opinion of, 
on slavery article, 314-315; represent- 
ative from Kentucky, 312. 

Ankeny, John, led number of Ger- 
mans west, 102. 

"Anticipator," 254; opinion of, on 
framing a constitution, 240; suggests 
articles for the constitution, 251-252. 

Anti-Edwards faction, description and 
members of, 200-203 ; formation of, 
193 ; Kane leader of, 302 ; McLean 
member of, 294; opposed speculation, 
291 ; point of contest of, with the 
Edwards faction, 206. 

Anti-Harrison faction, attitude of, to- 
ward slavery set forth in resolutions, 
189-190 ; characterization of, 192-193 ; 
defeated indenture law in 1803, p. 




Anti-Harrison (cont.) 

186; formation of, in opposition to 
Harrison, 185; influence of, in terri- 
torial politics, 191, 193; opposed ad- 
vance to second grade, 186-187; 

petitioned : congress to join Illinois 
country to Louisiana, 186; for the 
division of Indiana, and repeal of 
slavery article in 1805, p. 188-189; 
three times in 1808, p. 192. 

Apple creek, settlement along, 83, 84. 

"Aristides," wrote against government 
under the ordinance, 208. 

Armstrong, Fort, 10; Marston com- 
mander at, 21 ; population at, 319 ; 
post at, 12. 

Arundale [William Arundel], 155. 

Astor, John Jacob, 27 ; aim of, in form- 
ing American Fur Company, 24; 
American Fur Company formed and 
dominated by, 23, 24-25 ; influence of, 
in securing law permitting employ- 
ment of British traders, 23 n ; in- 
terest of, in Southwest Company, 23. 

Augusta, advertisement of advantages 
to merchants, 146-147 ; description of, 

Baird, Joseph, 155. 

Baltimore [Md.], Comegys from, 73. 

Banks, comments on the establishment 
of the state bank, 151-152; editorial 
encouraging, 148-150; 

incorporated at: Edwardsville, 
148; Shawneetown, 69, 148; Kaskas- 
kia, 76; 

"Nemo's" mention of, 157-158; 
provisions of constitution affecting, 

Bankson [Andrew], convention dele- 
gate from Washington, 280; favored 
location of capital site at Coving- 
ton, 289; opposed changes in slavery 
article, 280; voted against striking 

Bankson (cont.) 

out section two of slavery article, 

Baptists, antislavery activity of, 319; 
extent of influence of, 173 ; Lemen's 
activity in behalf of, 131, 319. 

Barbour [James], senator from Vir- 
ginia opposed postponing passage of 
the enabling act, 228. 

Barnsback, George, typical example of 
an immigrant, 103. 

Bate, John, lease of, on the Shawnee- 
town salt works, 200. 

Bates, , 155. 

Beardstown, 43. 
Beattie, Dr. James, 245. 

Beaubien, Jean Baptiste, transferred 
to Chicago, 27. 


-, license refused to, 

Belleville (Bellville, Belville), 77; 
bookkeeping taught in school near, 
164 ; distance of Augusta from, 147 ; 
Edwards advertises land in, 153, 154; 
foundation of, as county seat of St. 
Clair, 80-; mail route through, 126; 
on road from Kaskaskia to Edwards- 
ville, 115-116. 

Belt, Robert, factor at Fort Edwards, 

Bennett, Louis, n n. 

Bennett's tavern, 231 ; crowded during 
the constitutional convention, 262; 
located at Kaskaskia, 76. 

Berry, Elijah C, auditor of public ac- 
counts, 275, 305. See "Berry and 
Blackwell" and "Berry and Cook." 

"Berry and Blackwell," 209; firm pub- 
lishing Western Intelligencer, 172. 

"Berry and Cook," firm publishing 
Western Intelligencer, 172. 



Bibeau, , description of, 34; super- 
vised trading house at mouth of Bu- 
reau river, 34. 

Biggs, William, defeated for state sen- 
ator by Kinney, 301 ; opposed slavery, 
261 n; representative of St. Clair at 
Vincennes in 1805, p. 187. 

Big Muddy river, 118 n, 175; drains 
Franklin county, 71 ; extent of settle- 
ment along, in Jackson county, 74; 
influence of, on transportation, 113; 
purchases along, 52. 

Big prairie, Birkbeck's party reached, 

Big Spring, 175. 

Big Wabash river, see Wabash river. 

Birkbeck, Morris, 46, 264; antislavery 
influence of, in Edwards county, 257 ; 
author of Letters from Illinois and 
Notes on a Journey, 112; book of, 
published in Philadelphia and Lon- 
don, 108; characterizes the pioneers, 
97, 98; comments on small demand 
for manufactures, 152 n; declares 
farmers place chief reliance on stock, 
142; describes steamboat activity on 
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 114; 
failure of petition of, to purchase 
large grant, 107-108; Flower accom- 
panied on western tour, 103; gives 
reason for locating in Illinois, 104- 
105; influence of book of, 112; jour- 
neys into Illinois in search of prairie 
land, 105-106; laid off Wanborough, 
no; moved family to Boltenhouse 
prairie, 108; plans to import English 
laborers, 136; president of the agri- 
cultural society of Illinois, 162; pur- 
chased land in Edwards county for 
English settlement, 53; purpose of 
Flower and, in planning English set- 
tlement, 103; to enter land claim at 
Shawneetown for Boltenhouse prai- 
rie, 107; toured country to find suit- 
able site for English settlement, 103- 

Black river, 176. 

Blackwell, Robert, auditor of public 
accounts, 209 n. See "Berry and 
Blackwell" and "Cook and Black- 

Blackwell and Berry, elected public 
printers, 305. 

Blair, George, Belleville located on 
land of, 80; opposed slavery, 261 n. 

Blenheim, proposed town of, 77. 

Blondeau, Maurice, Indian sub-agent, 

Bloomfield precinct, 71. 

Boltenhouse prairie, Birkbeck: and 
party reach, 106-107 ; moved his fam- 
ily to, 108; to enter land claim for, 
English settlement on, 110-112. 

Bond, Shadrach, 152, 198, 275, 298, 300, 
312; addresses general assembly, 301- 
302, 310-311; candidate for territo- 
rial delegate, 294; characterization 
of, 303; communication of, relative 
to road from Shawneetown to Kas- 
kaskia, 118-119; convenes general as- 
sembly, 316-317; delegate to con- 
gress from Indiana, 202; dominated 
by Kane, 302-303; governor of Illi- 
nois, 296, 299; member of the anti- 
Edwards faction, 201 ; nephew of, 
placed on the Indiana council, 1808, 
p. 191 n ; opposition to the election 
of, as delegate to congress, 197 ; pro- 
claims Illinois a state, 316-317; race 
of, for congress, 294-296; receiver 
of the land office at Kaskaskia, 202; 
refused to join any faction, 206; rep- 
resentative from St. Clair county to 
Vincennes in 1805, p. 187 ; represent- 
ed St. Clair county at Cincinnati, 
184; signed petition for the repeal 
of the slavery article in 1800, p. 185 ; 
sketch of the political life of, 202, 
295 ; territorial delegate to congress, 



Bond, Shadrach, Jr., nephew of Shad- 
rach Bond, 191 n ; placed on the In- 
diana council, 191. 

Bond county, 134, 281 ; census report 
from, 264, 318; convention delegates 
not elected before August, 260; de- 
scription and population of, 86-87; 
establishment of, 220; Kirkpatrick 
and Morse convention delegates, 280 ; 
one senator apportioned to, 285 ; op- 
posed to slavery, 261 ; Pope's Bluff 
located in, 289 ; postal service in, 126 ; 
Ripley situated in, 287 ; two delegates 
for the constitutional convention ap- 
portioned to, 228. See Fayette and 
Montgomery counties. 

Bon Pas creek (Bonpas), ill; Eng- 
lish settlement between Little Wa- 
bash river and, 63, 103. 

Boon's lick, 147, 243-244. 

Borough [Joseph], convention delegate 
from Madison, 280; opposed White's 
section on slavery, 281 ; suggestions 
of, relative to the extension of fran- 
chise, 284-285 ; voted for changes in 
slavery article, 280. 

Boston [Mass.], 164, 170. 
Boucoup creek, 124. 

Bowers, Jos[eph], advertises for labor- 
ers, 143. 

Bradsby, William, introduced bill for 
the repeal of the law permitting in- 
dentured servitude, 216; opposed 
concessions to the judges, 205 ; pro- 
posed admission of territory as a 
state, 212-213 ; representative from 
St. Clair, 203 n; signed address 
against slavery, 261 n. 

Brady, , advertised lots in Har- 

risonville, 78. 

Breese, Sidney, law student in Kane's 
office, 266 n. 

British, aided by American pioneers, 
99; American Fur Company employ- 

British (cont.) 

ed, 23; connection of, with fur trade, 
8; frontier life did not attract, 103; 
included in census of Gallatin coun- 
ty, 264; Indian grants to, 37; 

influence: of Birkbeck's book on, 
108-109; on Indians, 9-11, 13-14; on 
method of fur trading, 21-22; trad- 
ers, 20; 

lose trading houses, 17; own 
Northwest Company, 22; regime of, 
92; trading licenses refused to, 16; 
traveler describes tavern, 125. See 
also English settlement. 

Browne, Thomas C, candidate for su- 
preme judge, 304; councilor from 
Gallatin, 217; elected associate judge, 
305; lawyer at Shawneetown, 201; 
member of the Edwards faction, 201, 
304; voted against the repeal of the 
indenture law, 217. 

Brown [Samuel], author of Western 
Gazetteer, 75; 

visited: Cahokia, 79; Kaskaskia, 
75-76; Prairie du Rocher, 77. 

Brownsville, county seat of Jackson, 
74; decline of, after removal of 
county seat, 60; description of, 74- 
75; settlement of Pennsylvania Ger- 
mans at, 102. 

Buisson, Louis, nn. 

Bureau river, trading house situated 
at mouth of, 34. 

Burke, Captain, 169. 

Burrill [James Jr.], opinion of, on 
educational provision of constitu- 
tion, 229; senator from Rhode Is- 
land, 229. 

Cache river, extent of settlement 
along, 71, 72; purchases along, 52; 
Trinity and America located on, 73. 

Cadwell, George, state senator from 
Madison county, 300. 



Cahokia, 88, 259; county seat of St. 
Clair until 1814, p. 79; decline of, 
60; Deschamps' brigade purchases 
supplies at, 34; description of, 79- 
80; on postal route from Kaskaskia, 
126; residents described, 89; Rey- 
nolds lived at, 304; road through, 

Cahokia creek, 84 ; Edwards advertised 
land on, 154. 

Cahokia Indians, disappearance of, as 
distinct tribe, 2. 

Cain, , 121. 

Cairns [Caldwell], convention delegate 
from Monroe, 280; opposed White's 
section on slavery, 281 ; suggestions 
made by, relative to arbitration, 286; 
voted for changes in slavery article, 

Cairo, 151, 157, 158; failure of Co- 

megys' scheme for, 73-74. 
Caldwell, John, receiver of the Shaw- 

neetown land office, 200. 

Calhoun [John C], instructions of, 
concerning Indians, 10. 

Calhoun county, 57; extent of settle- 
ment in, 83; formed from part of 
Madison, 83. 

Calumet river, Deschamps' brigade at, 

Canada, 10, 23, 28, 183; French emi- 
grated from, 76, 88, 95; Menard 
from, 92. 

"Candor," opinion of,, on slavery, 237- 

Cape Girardeau, 177. 

Carlyle (Carlisle, Carlysle), 52, 58; as- 
pired to be state capital, 82, 308, 310; 
founding of, 82; Goshen road ran 
through, 63, 114, 115; Hill's Ferry 
advertised as, 288; mail route 
through, 126. See also Hill's Ferry. 

Cartni, 130; bridge builder wanted at, 
143; county seat of White, 65; de- 

Carmi (cont.) 

scription of, 65 ; Grant of, adver- 
tises merchandise in the Illinois Emi- 
grant, 145-146; on road from Shaw- 
neetown to English settlement, 115. 

Carthage, see Harrisonville. 

Cartwright, Peter, influence of, in the 
Methodist church, 175. 

Casey, James, commissioner at Carmi, 

Cass [Lewis], comments on influence 
of British among Indians, 10-11; 
describes visitation of Indians to a 
garrison, 14-15 ; dislikes factory sys- 
tem, 20-21 ; governor of Michigan 
territory, 9; instructions for In- 
dians sent to, 10; opinion of, on the 
Indians' dependence, 9; supervised 
agents at Green Bay and Chicago, 

"Caution," opinion of, on selection of 
men to the convention, 250; opposed 
slavery, 236-237. 

Census, abstract of census of 1818, p. 
318-319; congress wishes, 221; coir- 
vention considers returns of, -263- 
266; Cook did not wish to retard 
movement for statehood until after 
taking of, 214; counted English- in 
Gallatin, 109; Edwards recommend- 
ed taking of, 212; effects of the 
slavery controversy on, 238-241 ; en- 
abling act provides for, 227-228; im- 
portant to secure report of forty 
thousand inhabitants, 230, 249; Mor- 
rison's report, 190; names of pio- 
neers taken from reports of, 93, 96; 
report of: Bond county, 86, 318; 
Crawford county, 60-62, 318; Ed- 
wards county, 62-64, 318; Franklin 
county, 71-72, 318; Gallatin county, 
66-70, 109, 318; Jackson county, 74, 
318; Johnson county, 70-71, 311 n, 
318; Madison county, 82-86, 318, 319; 
Monroe county, 78-79, 318; Pope 
county, 70, 318; Randolph county, 



Census (cont.) 

75-77, 3i8; St. Clair county, 79-81, 
318; Union county, 72-73, 318; 
Washington county, 81-82, 318; 
White county, 64-65, 318; 

reports in Missouri territory re- 
veal increase in population due to 
toleration of slavery, 140; represent- 
atives apportioned according to, 
taken prior to convention, 285 ; state 
constitution provides for, 272; ter- 
ritorial legislature in 1818, orders, 56- 
57, 219-220. 

Chambers, Benjamin, president of the 
Indiana council, 189; signed petition 
of 1805, p. 189. 

Chambers. Lieutenant Colonel, com- 
mander at Fort Crawford, 26. 

Chandonnais, Jean Baptiste, American 
Fur Company trader at Chicago, 27. 

Cheek, J., advertised school in Kaskas- 
kia, 166. 

Chester, made county seat of Randolph 
in 1844, P- 77- 

Chicago, agency of Indian department 
at, 12; agent at, under Cass, 12-13; 
Beaubien transferred to, 27; Des- 
champs' brigade at, 33; factory at, 
17; importance of, as a lake port, 
225, 226; Jouett agent at, 16; Mc- 
Kenney*s opinion of British influence 
at, 20; method of conducting trade 
at, 18; military establishment at, 12; 
Potawatomi located near, 2; pro- 
posed military post at, 9; trade re- 
turns at, 19; traders at, equipped by 
American Fur Company, 27 ; trading 
house at, before war of 1812, p. 17 ; 
value of furs exported from, 22; 
Varnum head of factory at, n, 17. 

Chicago river, Conant and Mack's es- 
tablishment on branch of, 27; Des- 
champs* brigade went up branch of, 

Chippewa, annuity paid to, 13; Clark 
to conclude treaty with, 9; location 
of, 2; make land cessions, 38, 40. 

Chouteau, Auguste, member of com- 
mission to conclude treaty with In- 
dians, 9; negotiates treaty with In- 
dians at Edwardsville in 1818, p. 39; 
United States commissioner, 39. 

Cincinnati, first legislature of north- 
west territory met at, 184; Fordham 
joined Birkbeck and Flower at, 103 n. 

"A citizen," opinion of, on slavery, 
248, 256, 297. 

Claiborne [Thomas], member of the 
congressional committee considering 
memorial for statehood, 221 ; repre- 
sentative from Tennessee, 221. 

Clark, George Rogers, 40, 88; occupied 
French villages, 92, 181. 

Clark [William], governor of Missouri 
territory, 9; member of commission 
to conclude treaty with Indians, 9. 

Clark county, Illinois: 58; formed 
from part of Crawford, 60; settle- 
ment in, 6l ; 

Indiana: opposed indenture law, 
188; representatives from, did not 
sign legislative petition of 1805, p. 

Clark, Fort, population at, 240, 319; 
post at, 12. 

Clay, Henry, laid Illinois constitution 
before national house, 311. 

Clay county, extent of settlement in, 

formed from part of: Crawford, 
60; Edwards, 62. 

Clinton county, Carlyle in, 288; ex- 
tent of population in, 81 ; formed 
from part of St. Clair, 81. 

Clothing, description of: French, 89, 
90; Indians', 4-5; pioneers', 132-134. 



Coles, Edward, 119; at Kaskaskia at 
time of the convention, 242, 262; 
opinion of, on prominence of slavery 
in political discussions, 319; probably 
wrote under name of "Agis" on slav- 
ery, 242-245; second governor, 242; 
sketch of life of, 242. 

Columbia, 168. 

Comegys, John G., failure of scheme 
of, for Cairo, 73-74- 

"Common Sense," discusses common 
law, 254-255. 

Compton [Levi], convention delegate 
from Edwards, 280; voted against 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Conant [Shubael], see Conant and 

Conant and Mack, establishment of, on 
branch of Chicago river, 27-28. 

Connecticut, Daggett senator from, 
228; number of emigrants from, 94; 
Pitkin representative from, 312. 

Cook, Daniel, attorney-general, 305; 

auditor of public accounts, 194, 209; 

Duncan sold the Intelligencer to, 209 ; 

candidate for: congress, 232, 294; 

territorial delegate, 294; 

Edwards' son-in-law, 194; esti- 
mates number of French inhabi- 
tants, 89 n; elected clerk of the 
house, 1817, p. 212; from Kentucky, 
194; inaugurated movement for 
statehood and interest in, 209-214, 
220, 223, 231, 237; interested in land 
in Madison and Edwards counties, 
154; laid out Waterloo, with For- 
quer, 78-79; member of the Edwards 
faction, 201, 294; nephew of Pope's, 


opinion of : on Bond's friendship 
for Edwards, 303 ; on Kane's influ- 
ence, 304; on merits of men for the 
convention, 236, 250; 

Pope left Kaskaskia before the re- 
turn of, 220; race of, for congress, 
294-298; wrote against slavery, 234- 
236, 296-297, 319-320; wrote under 

Cook (cont.) 

the name of "A republican," 210-213, 
234. See "Berry and Cook," "Cook 
and Blackwell," and "Daniel P. Cook 
and Co." 

"Cook, Daniel P. and Co.," estab- 
lished Western Intelligencer, 171. 

"Cook and Blackwell," firm publish- 
ing the Western Intelligencer, 171. 

Copeland, John, pro slavery advocate, 
257 n. 

Cork [Ireland], Birkbeck's book pub- 
lished in, 112. 

Covenanters, Kane presented petitions 
of, to convention, 266-267. 

Covington, 157; county seat of Wash- 
ington, 81, 287; decline of, after 
removal of county seat, 60; descrip- 
tion and location of, 287-288; dis- 
tance of Augusta from, 147; entered 
race for capital site, 82, 287, 289. 

Cox, Thomas, advertised merchandise 
in Intelligencer, 144; state senator 
from Union county, 300. 

Cowles, Edward, advertised merchan- 
dise in Intelligencer, 144. 

Crab Orchard creek, drains William- 
son county, 71. 

Crafts, John, trader of Conant and 

Mack's, 27. 

Crawford county, 49 n, 57 n, 86, 281 ; 
census report from, 264, 318; con- 
vention delegates not elected before 
August, 260; 

Cullom : census commissioner in, 
239; convention delegate from, 280; 
prominent in, 300; representative 
from, 200 n; 

description and population of, 60- 
62; establishment of, 220; 

Kitchell: convention delegate 
from, 262 n, 280 ; senator from, 305 ; 

McLean expected to beat Bond 
in, 295; one senator apportioned to, 
285; Palestine county seat of, 61; 
part of Foster's circuit, 305; Riggs 


O !' ( 



from, 301; 

*1 to, 228. Stt 

mis* Clark, Oar. Edgar, Fayette, Jas- 
per, Lawrence, Ifarion, and Rkh- 

.. r~- ~ : : n r : n. 

Lfobn Jordan], 

provision, 229; 
from Kentucky, 229. 

. r :; i : ~ -. -. '. ,~ 

Crooks, Ramsay, 32; advises 

~ -.~ . -~. ~-~ : ic" :i Arr.;~r2^i r -ir 



traders, 28; headquarters of, 

York ami Ifackmac, 25; reports on 


mats, 27. 

. .l.i ..ill .ri jrjlu_rJ 

, aovertiseo, scnoot m 

^ ^ - V^ . *** - - fju- ** 

^_-^ - -^ ^.r _ r _- 

:;_in: j: i_ :r ^:: :;-ve-r:- 
it iri:t :r:~ _n~ :;"i M ~t~- 

starery, 281 ; prominent in Crawford 

Crawford onmlj, 203 n ; son of, cen- 
239; voted for 
in slavery ailkle, 280. 

Dana (cont) 

name appears in Edwardsvffle 
?_; 5: : 

visited: Alton, 85-86; Cabokia, 79; 
Carljle, 82; Kaska^fcia, 76. 

Darfing. Daniel, for trader, 26. 
Davenport, H[annadnke] S, repre- 

SduZuVC XTOO1 \x3LU2tm COGUtV 

203 n. 

Davis, Nathan, icacutntJliwc. from 
Jackson coanty, 203 n. 

Dearborn connty [Indiana J, protested 
agamst mdentnre law ami petitioned 
to be joined to Ohio, 188, 189; 

petition of 1805, p. 189; elected dale- 
gate to congress from Indiana, 191 ; 
at Yincennes in 1805. p. 

advance to second 
grade, 187. 

Dearborn, Fort, 



Sketches, 76; 

, 84, 85; 

Delaware, number of emigrants 
from, 04. 

~ ~ i r~. t 5 . I ~. - 

Deschamps, Antoine, Hnbbard de- 
scribes journey of fur brigade of, 
33-35; ffiinob river for trade super- 
vised by, 27, 29. 

DCS \foinfs nver. Fort Edwards op- 
posite month of, 12. 

pany's qupluaces on, 27; DCS- 
cnamps brigade reacnes, 33 ***"""* 
cede land on, 39. 

Detroit, 13, 187; firm of Conant and 
lark at, 27; nuntarjr estabfisfament 
at. 12. 

TEpfigil rrrer, 10, 
District of Colombia, i& 

Dodge, Henry SL, candidate for: asso- 
305 ; sopreme judge, 304, 



Donaldson, aspired to be state capital, 
82, 308; laid out by William and 
Robert Morrison, 308. 

DrmniDOfUA s JJB9BBL jPntisn ffistriuPtc 
presents at, 10, 13. 

Dublin [Ireland], Birkbeck's book 
published in, 112. 

Dmnoulin, John, signed petition for 
the repeal of the slavery article, 185. 

Duncan, Matthew, sold InteUigeiuer to 
Cook, 171, 209. 

Dakota, Whmebago belong to stock 
of, 3- 

Easton, Colonel, laid out Alton, 85. 

East St. Louis, see Dlinoistown. 

Echols [William], convention delegate. 
from Union, 280; voted against 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Eddy, Henry, established the 
Emigrant in conjunction with the 
Kimmels, 172-173; lawyer from 
Pittsburgh, 172. See Eddy and Kim- 

Eddv and Kimmel, firm publishing Ac 
Illinois Emigrant, 172. 

Edgar, John, land speculator, 52; not 
ember of the \ incomes conven- 
tion, 186; represented Pindofrh 

signed petition : a c*f""ff ' 
law, 192; for repeal of the slavery 
article in 1796 and 1800, p. 185 ; 

transferred land to Stephenson in 
Kaskaskia, 154. See anri-UJmimi 

Edgar and Morrison faction, see anti- 
Harrison faction. 

Edgar comity, 57; formed from part 
of Crawford, 60; government survey 
ran near boundary between Ver- 
milion county and, 42; settlement 
in. 6l. 

Edwards, Ninian, 139, 209, 296, 

238; became proprietor of BefleviDe, 
80 ; chief justice of Ac court of. ap- 
peals of Kentucky, 193; 

Cook: gives opinion of Bond's 
friendship for, 303; son-in-law of, 
194; writes, relative to election of 
representative to congress, 295; 

established: Madison county 
1812, p. 84; ttirrf counties in "frf^. 
p. 196-197: 

ef ofcio Indian superintendent in 
Illinois territory, 12; fjatttmtr of 
Illinois teiiiior>, 9, 193; held four 
slaves, 84; Indian policy of, 14; in- 
terest of, in land speculation, 75, 80, 
153-156. 200; leader of Edwards fac- 
tion, 206; member of commission to 
conclude treaty with Indians, after 
war of 1812, p. 9; members of the 
faction of, 201; negotiates treaty 
with Indians at Edwardsville in 1818, 
P- 39; objections of, to the bin for 
the repeal of the indenture law, 217- 
218; opinion of, on the legislative 
control of the j"*^ff*^, 198-199; pro- 
posed taking of the cn-nqi^ 212; re- 
fused British traders admission to 
tenilory, 16; relation of Bond to, 
202; Reynolds writes, in regard to 
lawyer's interest m land claims, 154- 
156; senator, 303,316; soperinteiMient 
of the salt works in 1809, p. 200; 
L, mtcd jt^Tts TTMBiiiiSSMUmv 39 
wished to remove piupeitj qualifica- 
tion for suffrage, 196. See also Ed- 
" in 5 :a:t: :~ 

Edwards county, 57 n, 69, 289 ; antislav- 
ery mfinence of Bnkbeck, m, 257* 
Btrkbeck purchased land m, for 
English settlement, 52-53; census re- 
port from. 264, 318; 

convention delegates: not elected 
before August 260; voted on anti- 
slavery side, 256; 

Cook's interest in land in, 154; de- 
scription and population of, 62-64 ; 



Edwards (cont.) 

description of the English settlement 
in, 103-113; English colonists for, in- 
cluded in Gallatin county census, 
264; establishment of, 220; Card 
representative from, 203 n ; McLean 
expected to beat Bond in, 295; one 
senator apportioned to, 285 ; Palmyra 
county seat of, 64; part of Foster's 
circuit, 305 ; two delegates for the 
constitutional convention appor- 
tioned to, 228. See also Clay, Jeffer- 
son, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, 
Wabash, and Wayne counties. 

Edwards faction, Browne member of, 
304; Cook member of, 294; descrip- 
tion and members of, 200-203; did 
not control organization of the con- 
vention, 263; formation of, 193; in- 
terest of, in speculation, 289, 291; 
interested in moving the capital site 
to Pope's Bluff, 289; opinion of, on 
location of capital site, 298; points 
of contest of, with the anti-Edwards 
faction, 206; Stephenson one of the 
leaders of, 194; victory of, on the 
duties of the judges, 199-200. 

Edwards, Fort, Belt factor at, 17 ; fac- 
tory at, 17; method of conducting 
trade at, 18; population at, 240, 319; 
post at, 12; trade returns at, 19. 

Edwardsville, 77, 83, 158, 160, 175, 
288; acreage of land office sales in 
district of, 49-51 ; attracts settlers, 
102; bank incorporated at, 148; 
boundary and area of district of, 
44-45 ; Chouteau and Edwards nego- 
tiate Indian treaty at, in 1818, p. 39; 
Coles' home in, 242; county seat of 
Madison county, 84, 143; description 
of, 84-85, 143; distance of Augusta 
from, 147; Edwards' land specula- 
tion in, 153-154; farmers and me- 
chanics advertised for in, 142 ; Flagg 
wrote from, 129; Goshen road ran 
to, 114; land office located at, 44, 58, 
84-85, 143; list of library books at, 

Edwardsville (cont.) 

170-171; merchants of, advertised in 
the Intelligencer, 144; part of Kas- 
kaskia district added to district of, 
47; Pope register of land office at, 
301 n ; postal routes start from, 126 ; 
Reynolds visited, 156; road from 
Kaskaskia to, 115; singing society at, 
164 ; speculation in district of, 53 ; 

Stephenson: interest of, in land 
in, 154; receiver of land office at, 
194; register of land office at, 84; 

subscription library erected at, 170. 
See also land offices. 

Edwardsville Spectator, 170. 

Elvira, county seat of Johnson county, 

Elvira precinct, 71. 

Embarras river, 60, 119; extent of set- 
tlement along, in Edwards, 63; in- 
fluence of, on transportation, 113. 

Emigrant, see Illinois Emigrant. 

England, 160, 162, 163; books sent 
from, 169; Coles traveled in, 242; 
conditions in, leading to emigration, 
104; description of Flower's parties 
from, 109-110; Flower to return to, 
for settlers, 107; Illinois advertised 
in, 112; number of settlers from, in 
1818, p. 94; plans to import labor- 
ers from, 136-137; settlers arrive 
from, 109. 

English, see British. 

English prairie, increase of population 
on, 62. 

English settlement, 98; description of 
founding of, 103-112; difficulty of 
securing labor in, 136-137; Flower 
describes development of, 110-112; 
founding of Wanborough in, no; 
influence of, on public affairs, 112; 
library established at Albion in, 169; 
located in Illinois because of Flow- 
er's preference for prairie land, 105- 
107; petition of, for better postal 



English (cont.) 

service, 126; purpose of Birkbeck 
and Flower in planning, 103 ; road 
from Shawneetown to, 115; view of 
slavery in, 136-137. 

Equality, establishment of, 66. 

"Erin," suggests subjects for discus- 
sion by the convention, 254. 

Estes, Thomas, 154. 

Factories, affected by activity of 
American Fur Company, 21-23; 
Cass comments on, 20-21 ; failure of, 
19-22; location of, 17-18; manage- 
ment of trade at, 18-19; Marston 
comments on system of, 21 ; mili- 
tary posts to protect, 12; purpose 
of, 12; system of, established, 17. 

Farnham, Russell, opened up trade 
west of the Mississippi, 26; sent 
on trading expedition, 25-26; traded 
with Sauk and Fox, 26. 

Fayette county, 57; established in 
1821, p. 87; 

formed from part of: Bond, 86; 
Crawford, 60; 
settlement in, 61, 86. 

Fearon [Henry B.], 152 n. 

Ferguson [Hamlet], convention dele- 
gate from Pope, 280; opposed 
changes in slavery article, 280; voted 
for White's section on slavery, 281. 

Field, Green B., state representative 
from Pope county, 300. 

Fisher, George, attitude of, on slavery, 
219; candidate as delegate to con- 
vention, 257; convention delegate 
from Randolph, 280; defeated for 
state senatorship by McFerron, 300; 
favored advance to second grade, 
187; opposed the repeal of the inden- 
ture law in the territory, 216-217; 
placed on the Indiana council, 191 ; 
representative from Randolph county 
to Vincennes in 1805, p. 187; signed 

Fisher (cont.) 

petitions of 1805 and 1807, p. 188-189, 
190 ; speaker in the house, 202, 203 n ; 
voted for changes in slavery article, 

Flack, John, 124. 

Flagg, Gershom, 163; 

describes : conditions for raising 
stock in Madison county, 141; 
method of raising corn, 129; 
unhealthfulness of the country, 160, 

estimates value of corn, 129-130; 
settler from Vermont, 129. 

Flint, John, classifies the pioneers, 


Flower, George, accompanied Birk- 
beck and his family on western tour, 

describes: and classifies the pio- 
neers, 99-100; attitude of pioneers 
toward books, 169-170; Carmi, 65; 
development of English settlement, 
110-112; early roads, 115; unhealth- 
fulness of the country, 161-162 ; 

description of immigrants of, 109- 
110; desire of, to locate on prairie 
land, 105-107; Fordham, cousin of, 
joined him at Cincinnati, 103 n ; 
plans to import English laborers, 
136; purpose of Birkbeck and, in 
planning the English settlement, 103. 

Flower, Richard, describes profits in 

raising stock, 141; established 

library at Albion, 169. 
"A foe to religious tyranny," wrote 

on election of ministers to political 

office, 270. 

Fond du Lac, American Fur Company 
traded with Indians from, 23. 

Ford, Mrs., Waterloo laid out at tav- 
ern of, 78. 

Ford, Thomas, describes French in- 
habitants, 00-91 ; estimated French 
population, 89 n ; lived in Monroe 
county, 90. 



Fordham, Elias, 160; advice of, to 
mechanics, 143 ; classifies the 
pioneers, 98-99, 101-102, 140, 142; 
cousin of Flower, joined him at Cin- 
cinnati, 103 n ; 

describes: desire of English to 
hold land, 136 ; founding of the Eng- 
lish settlement, 1 10 ; 

discusses plans for English settle- 
ment, in; estimates population of 
English settlement, 108-109; gives 
reasons for ill health of pioneers, 
162; view of, on the slavery question, 

Fordham, Miss , 161. 

Forquer, George, laid out Waterloo in 
conjunction with Cook, 78-79. 

Forsyth, Thomas, agent to various In- 
dian tribes, 9; 

describes : Indian houses, 5 ; some 
Indian customs, 4, 6. 

Foster, William P., candidate for as- 
sociate judge, 304-305; characteriza- 
tion of, 305 ; elected associate judge, 

Fox, see Sauk and Fox. 

Fox river, American Fur Company's 
traders in valley of, 23 ; Deschamps' 
brigade reaches, 33; Indians cede 
land on, 38, 39; Potawatomi located 
on, 2. 

France, Coles traveled in, 242; num- 
ber of settlers from, in 1818, p. 95. 

Frankfort, 72. 
Frankfort precinct, 71. 

Franklin county, 1 18 n, 281 ; 

census : commissioner appointed 
in, 238-239 ; commissioner noted loca- 
tion of settlers in, 57; report for, 
249, 264, 318, 319; 

description and population of, 71- 
72; establishment of, in 1818, p. 220; 
Harrison and Roberts convention 
delegates from, 280; no county seat 
in, 60; one senator apportioned to 

Franklin (cont.) 

Johnson county and, 285; two dele- 
gates for the constitutional conven- 
tion apportioned to, 228. See Wil- 
liamson county. 

Frazier's Ferry, 288. 

French, 102, 192, 211, 280; agricultural 
methods of, 91-92; Birkbeck's book 
translated into, 112; Clark occupied 
villages of, 92, 181 ; description of, 
89; desired suspension of the slav- 
ery article in the ordinance, 184; ex- 
tent of settlement of, 61, 63, 76, 79, 
88, 89 n, 92, 94 n; find confederacy of 
five Indian tribes in Illinois, 1-2; 
Ford describes manners and cus- 
toms of, 90-91 ; founded town of 
Cahokia, 79; influence on method of 
fur trading, 8, 21-22, 27-28; Indian 
grants to, 37 ; Kinney accused of tak- 
ing command under, 259 ; land claims 
of, 44; migrated south from Canada, 
88; number of, at Kaskaskia, 76; 
signers of the petition of 1807 from 
Randolph county, 190; sign petition 
for extinction of Indian title, 185; 
speculators obtained land from, 52. 
See French-Canadians. 

French-Canadians, 30; Crook's de- 
scription of, 28; extent of trading 
of, 21 ; Menard, 299; number of, 
forming early population, 96; value 
of services of, 16. 

"A friend to an able judiciary," 304. 

"A friend to enquiry," opinion of, on 
framing a constitution, 241 ; opposed 
to slavery, 241, 245-246, 247. 

"A friend to equal justice," opinions 
of, on taxation, 252-254, 283. 

Galena, lead mines of, located in In- 
dian cession, 38 n. 

Gallatin county, 139, 228, 281, 289; 
Browne of, voted against the repeal 
of the indenture law, 217; census 



Gallatin (cont.) 

report from, 240, 264, 318; conven- 
tion delegates from, voted on slavery 
side, 257 ; Davenport representative 
from, 203 n ; description and popu- 
lation of, 66-70; English counted in 
census of, 109; established in 1812, 
p. 197 ; Hardin lawyer in, 200 ; Hub- 
bard, Jones, and White convention 
delegates from, 280; McLean ex- 
pected to beat Bond in, 295 ; Morris 
inhabitant of, 138; one senator ap- 
portioned to, 285 ; population of, 
249; question in, over the successor 
of Griswold, 199-200; Shawneetown 
county seat of, 68; Street clerk of 
the court of, 200; two representa- 
tives assigned to, 197; three dele- 
gates to the constitutional conven- 
tion apportioned to, 227; White of, 
chairman of constitution committee, 
265. See Hardin and Saline coun- 
ties and also salt works. 

Gallotin county, see Gallatin county. 

Card, Seth, 266; convention delegate 
from Edwards, 280; representative 
from Edwards county, 203 n; sug- 
gestions of, for location of capital 
site, 289-290; voted against changes 
in slavery article, 280. 

Garrett, Moses, tavern keeper, 72. 

Garretson, James, opposed slavery, 
261 n. 

Gatewood, , cutthroat of Mason's 

narrative, 119, 120. 

General assembly, action of regarding 
capital seat, 308-310; adjourned, 
306-307; Bond's speech to, 301-302; 
considers financial matters, 310-311; 
convened by Bond, 317; 

elects : justices of the supreme 
court, 304-305 ; United States sena- 
tors, 303-304; 

met at Kaskaskia, 301. 

Georgetown [District of Columbia], 
McKenney's headquarters at, 18. 

Georgia, 96; non-English immigration 
into, 97 ; number of emigrants from, 
94, 95 J Tait senator from, 228. 

Germans, 125, 133 ; came west under 
Ankeny and Kimmel, 102; character- 
ization of, 102; influence of Birk- 
beck's book on, 112; number of, from 
Pennsylvania, 102; population of, in 
territory, 97; settlement of, at 
Brownsville, 102. 

Germany, Barnsback from, 103 ; Coles 
traveled in, 242; number of settlers 
from, in 1818, p. 95. 

Gilbreath, James, signed petition of 
Randolph county in 1807, p. 190. 

Gilham, , representative from 

Madison county, 203 n. 

Golconda (Lusk's Ferry), 116, 295, 
297; county seat of Pope, 70; road 
from, to Shawneetown supersedes 
old route from Fort Massac, 114; 
road to Kaskaskia, 52, 70, 71, 72. 

Goshen, 177; location of, in Madison 
county, 83, 143; merchants of, ad- 
vertised merchandise in the Intelli- 
gencer, 144; Walker started on cir- 
cuit from, 175. 

Goshen road, development of, 114-115; 
settlement along, 63, 65 ; Vincennes 
road joined, 114. 

Goshen settlement, see Goshen. 

Graham, Richard, appointed judge, 
205 n ; Indian agent for Illinois ter- 
ritory, 13. 

Grammar [John], 300; councilor from 
Johnson, 217; voted for the repeal 
of the indenture law, 217. 

Grant, John, advertises merchandise in 
the Illinois Emigrant, 145-146. 

Green Bay, American Fur Company's 
traders along shores of, 23. 

Green Bay, agency of Indian depart- 
ment at, 12-13; factory at, 17; Irwin 



Green (cent.) 

factor at, 17; method of conducting 
trade at, 18; military establishment 
at, 12; proposed military post at, 9. 

Greene county, 57; formed from part 
of Madison, 83; settlement in, 83. 

Greenville, Indians surrendered land 
at, in 1795, P- 37- 

Greenup, William C, forwarded copy 
of constitution to Clay, 311; posi- 
tions held by, in Randolph county, 
263; secretary of the convention, 

Griffin, Anthony, 176. 

Grimberry, , cutthroat of Mason's 

narrative, 119. 

Griswold [Stanley], Towles succeeded, 
as judge, 199-200. 

Gulf of Mexico, easy access to, 113. 

Hall, James, Jr., convention delegate 
from Jackson, 257, 280; voted for 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Hamburg, 72. 

Hamilton county, extent of settlement 
in, 65 ; formed from part of White, 

Hardin, Jeptha, Jones of Shawnee- 
town brother-in-law of, 201 ; pro- 
posed as successor of Griswold, 200. 

T -Tardin county, extent of settlement 
in, 67-68; 

formed from part of: Gallatin, 
66; Pope, 70. 

"Hardscrabble," Conant and Mack's 
establishment at, 27. 

Hargrave, Willis, commissioner at 
Carmi, 143; convention delegate 
from White, 280, 300; opposed 
changes in slavery article, 280; rep- 
resentative from White, 203 n ; voted 
for White's section on slavery, 281. 

Harmony, 114. 

Harricane Fork, see Hurricane creek. 

Harrington's tavern, 176. 

Harris, William Tell, describes Shaw- 
neetown, 69-70. 

Harrison [Isham], convention delegate 
from Franklin, 280; voted for 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Harrison, Isom, 139, 140. 

Harrison, William Henry, called con- 
vention which petitioned for the 
suspension of slavery article, 185- 
186; charges against, on account of 
the indenture law, 192; Edgar and 
Morrison faction opposed, 185 ; fa- 
vored indentured servitude, 186; 
Fisher and Menard followers of, 
189; government survey ran along 
purchase of, 42 ; governor of Indiana 
territory, 184; increase in opposition 
to, in 1807, p. 191 ; Indiana delegate 
to congress, 184; Indians cede land 
by treaties negotiated by, in 1809, p. 
38; opinion of, on article of slavery, 
315 ; opposed Illinois leaders in ac- 
tion for advance to second grade, 
185; Parke friend of, elected dele- 
gate to congress, 187; proposed ad- 
vance to second grade, 186; repre- 
sentative from Ohio, 312; secretary 
of the northwest territory, 184; se- 
cured act establishing Indiana terri- 
tory, 184. See Harrison faction. 

Harrison faction, approved indenture 
act, 186, 187-188; Bond leaned to- 
ward, 197, 202; characterization of, 
192-193; Jones candidate of, in 1808, 
p. 201 ; opposed division of Indiana, 
188; petitioned for the repeal of the 
slavery article in 1805 and for ad- 
mission as a state, 187-188; sup- 
ported Michael Jones as delegate to 
congress from Indiana', 191, 201 ; 
supporters of the governor, 185. See 
also anti-Harrison faction. 



Harrisonville, advertised as Carthage, 
78; county seat of Monroe, 78; de- 
scription of tavern at, 125. 

Hatton Garden [London], 109. 

Hay, John, resigned from the Indiana 
council, 191; selected councilor of 
Indiana, 187. 

Hay, Lowry, commissioner at Carmi, 

Heacock, Russel E., candidate against 
Hall as convention delegate from 
Jackson county, 257. 

Hendricks [William], member of con- 
gressional committee to consider 
constitution, 312 ; representative from 
Indiana, 312. 

Hennepin, 34. 

Hill, Dr. , 120. 

Hill, John, 288. 
Hillsboro, 57, 86. 

Hill's Ferry, advertised as Carlyle, 
288; Carlyle located at, 82; descrip- 
tion of and location on present site 
of Carlyle, 288-289; entered race for 
capital site, 287 ; Prickett's interest 
in, 287 ; resolutions favoring, for 
capital site, 290. See also Carlyle. 

Hill's Station, 86. 
Horse creek, 77. 

Houses, description of a tavern, 125; 
English, in; French, 76, 89, 91; In- 
dian, 5; pioneer, 131, 178-179. 

Hubbard [Adolphus F.], 266; char- 
acterizes Foster, 305 ; convention 
delegate from Gallatin, 280; pro- 
posed that capital sites be examined 
by commissioners, 290; voted for 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Hubbard, Gurdon S., ion; clerk at 
trading house at mouth of Bureau 
river, 34; employee of American 
Fur Company, 32 ; narrative of, about 
Deschamps' brigade, 32-35. 

Humphreys, Edward, receiver of the 
land office at Kaskaskia, 201 n. 

Hunter, Major , 155. 

Hunterstown, see Upper Alton. 

Hunter township, located in Edgar 
county, 61. 

Huron, Lake, 33; activity of Ameri- 
can Fur Company on east shore of, 

Hurricane, foundation of, 70. 

Hurricane creek, 57, 86, 288. 

"Illinois," city of, see Illinoistown. 

Illinois Indians, country named after 
five tribes of the, I ; location of 
tribes of, 2. See also Cahokia, Kas- 
kaskia, Michigamea, Peoria, and 

Illinois Emigrant, 145 ; commented on 
banking, 150-152; established by 
Eddy and the Kimmels, 172-173. 

Illinois Herald, 209 ; issued in Kaskas- 
kia, 76; name changed to Western 
Intelligencer under "Daniel P. Cook 
and Co.," 171 ; published by Duncaa 

Illinois Intelligencer, see Western In- 

Illinois river, 14, 32, 37, 40, 43 ; Ameri- 
can Fur Company traded along, 24; 
annuities paid Indians on, 13; canal 
proposed from, to Lake Michigan, 
39, 225 ; Deschamps supervised trade 
in valley of, 27, 29; Fort Clark on, 
12; fur trade region in valley of, 22, 
25; Indians cede land on, 38-39; in- 
fluence of, on transportation, 113; 
maple sugar exported from, 22 n; 
Peoria located on, 2; Potawatomi 
located on, 2; settlement in valley 
of, 83. 

Illinoistown (East St. Louis), 157; 
first plotted under name Jackson- 



Illinoistown (cont.) 

ville, 80; founding of, opposite St. 
Louis, 80-81 ; road to, from Kaskas- 
kia, 114. 

"Independence," opinion of, on slavery, 

Indiana, 38, 40, 57, 126, 136, 168, 176, 
194, 195, 202, 213, 217, 224, 225, 300, 
319; American Fur Company ex- 
tends activity to, 23 ; Birkbeck's rea- 
sons for not locating in, 103-105 ; 
Bond in legislature of, 295; Bond's 
activity in, 197; choice locations in, 
bought up, 93 ; connection of slavery 
issue with the division of, 184-192; 
constitution patterned after that of, 
269, 276, 282, 283, 284; delegate to 
congress and councilors elected by 
the people in, 207 ; enabling act of, 
served as model for territory, 221- 
222; English located in, no; faction 
in eastern, opposed to slavery, 187; 
government survey ran along line 
of, 42; Hendricks representative 
from, 312; indenture law passed in, 
186-188 ; issues in, from 1800 to 1809, 
p. 184-192 ; law of indentured servi- 
tude of, carried into the territory 
with the other laws, 214-215; Loui- 
siana placed under, 186 ; Menard rep- 
resented Randolph in legislature of, 
299; Menard's and Fisher's activity 
in politics of, 202; non-English im- 
migration into, 97; number of emi- 
grants from, 94, 95; petitions to be 
admitted as a state, 188-189 ; pioneers 
from, 101 ; Potawatomi cede land in, 
39; Princeton located in, 106; pro- 
vision relating to slavery in consti- 
tution of, 278-279, 314, 315; question 
of slavery in, 238; reaches second 
grade, 187-188; resolutions favoring 
division of, accepted in 1808, p. 191- 
192; territory of, established with 
Harrison as governor, 184; Thomas 
and Jones candidates as delegates to 
congress from, 201 ; western counties 

Indiana (cont.) 

of, wanted slavery article repealed, 

Indians, agriculture of, 8; British in- 
fluence among, 9-1 1; crops of, 4; 
danger from, to public roads, 119; 
dependence of, on traders, 8-9 ; dress 
of, 4-5 ; extent of American Fur 
Company's trade among, 23-24; fac- 
tory system affects, 15-22; hostility 
of, toward Americans, ion; houses 
of, 5; influenced by fur traders, 20; 
kinds of goods traded with, 29-30; 
land cessions from, I ; location of 
tribes of, 2; manufactures of, 5; 
method of trading with, 30-32; mili- 
tary posts to be established among, 
9-10, 12; organization of department 
of, 12-15 ,' peace established between 
United States and, 9; people of Illi- 
nois country wanted title of, extin- 
guished, 185; phratries of the Blacks 
and Whites of, 6-7; population of 
tribes of, 2-3; possessions of, in 
Crawford county, 60 ; presence of, in 
Indiana, 105; religion of, 7-8; retard 
survey of bounty lands, 43; title of, 
to land in Madison county, 83; 
trade of, at Fort Edwards, 18; tribal 
organization of, 5-6, 8. See Cahokia, 
Chippewa, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Me- 
nominee, Michigamea, Ottawa, 
Peoria, Potawatomi, .Sauk and Fox, 
Tamaroa, and Winnebago. 

Intelligencer, see Western Intelligencer. 

Ireland, number of settlers from, in 
1818, p. 94 ; Reynolds from, 103. 

Irwin, Mathew, factor at Green Bay, 

Jackson county, Brownsville county 
seat of, 74; census commissioner 
appointed in, 238; census report 
from, 264, 318; convention delegates 
voted on slavery side, 257; Davis 
representative from, 203 n ; delegates 



Jackson (cont.) 

from, admitted to the convention, 
263; description and population of, 
74-75; establishment of, 220; Ger- 
man settlement in, 102 ; Hall conven- 
tion delegate from, 280; names of 
convention delegates reported by 
July 15, p. 260; one senator appor- 
tioned to, 285 ; purchases in, 52 ; two 
delegates for the constitutional con- 
vention apportioned to, 228; Will 
convention delegate from, 257; Wil- 
son clerk and recorder of, 305. See 
also Perry county. 

Jacksonville, see Illinoistown. 

Jasper county, 57; formed from part 
of Crawford, 60; settlement in, 61. 

Jefferson [Thomas], slavery compact 
of, with Lemen, 319. 

Jefferson county, 130; extent of set- 
tlement in, 63, 65; 

formed from part of: Edwards, 
62; White, 64. 

Jena [Saxony], Birkbeck's book pub- 
lished in, 112. 

Jersey county, 57, 84; formed from 
part of Madison, 82; settlement in, 

Johnson, John W., factor at Prairie 
du Chien, 17. 

Johnson, Richard M., Edwards asks 
cooperation of, 196; member of the 
committee considering the memorial 
for statehood, 221 ; representative 
from Kentucky, 221. 

Johnson county, census report from, 
264, 311 n, 318; convention delegates 
from, voted on antislavery side, 
256; county seat changed from El- 
vira to Vienna, 71 ; description and 
population of, 70-71 ; established in 
1812, p. 197; Grammar of, voted for 
the repeal of the indenture law, 217; 
M'Fatridge and West delegates 
from, 280; one representative as- 

Johnson (cont.) 

signed to, 197; one senator appor- 
tioned to Franklin county and, 285; 
Palmer representative from, 203 n; 
two delegates for the constitutional 
convention apportioned to, 228. See 
Massac, Pulaski, and Union counties. 

Jones, Enoch, 156. 

Jones, John Rice, joined opposition to 
Harrison, 191 ; signed petition for 
repeal of slavery article in 1800, p. 
185; son of, elected representative 
from Randolph county, in 1808, p. 

Jones, Michael (Kaskaskia), candidate 
for United States senate, 303; con- 
fusion of, with Jones of Shawnee- 
town, 201 n ; convention delegate 
from Gallatin, 280 ; defeated as dele- 
gate to congress from Indiana, 191- 
192; member of the anti-Edwards 
faction, 201, 291 ; opposed to specu- 
lation, 291; register of the land of- 
fice at Kaskaskia, 191 ; voted for 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Jones, Michael (Shawneetown), con- 
fusion of, with Jones of Kaskaskia, 
201 n ; lawyer at Shawneetown, half 
brother of Thomas, and brother-in- 
law of Hardin, 201 ; member of the 
anti-Edwards faction, 201. 

Jones, Rice, elected representative of 
Randolph county, in 1808, p. 191 ; 
son of John Rice Jones, 191. 

Jonesboro, county seat of Union 
county, 72. 

Jordan, Thomas, 117. 

Jouett, Charles, controlled Indian af- 
fairs at Chicago, 13 ; refused license 
to French-Canadian trader, 16. 

Kaintuck, see Kentucky. 

Kane, Elias K., 270, 273, 275, 276, 284, 
305 ; Breese student in office of, 



Kane (cont.) 

266 n; candidate for the convention 
from Randolph county, 232; chair- 
man of committee on census returns, 
263-264; constitution reported writ- 
ten in office of, 266 n; convention 
delegate from Randolph, 280; ex- 
pected election to convention, 257; 
friend of McLean, 201 ; influence of, 
202, 265, 302-303, 304; lawyer at Kas- 
kaskia, 200; leader, with Thomas, of 
the anti-Edwards faction, 200, 201, 
206, 291 ; member of committees of 
revision and enrollments, 268; op- 
posed to speculation, 291 ; presented 
petitions from Covenanters, 266-267; 
received query about speculation, 
156-157; secretary of state, 202, 302; 
suggestions of, relative to capital 
site, 289, 290; voted for changes in 
slavery article, 280. 

Kankakee river, 29; American Fur 
Company's employees on, 27; In- 
dians cede land on, 39; Potawatomi 
located on, 2. 

Kaskaskia (Kaskaskies, Kascasky), 
13, 88, 115, 117, 118, 119, 124, 152, 
155, 156, 158, 162, 181, 214, 220, 303, 
320; acreage of land office sales in 
district of, 49-51 ; advertisements of 
merchandise in stores in, 144; an- 
ticipation at, of prospects of state- 
hood, 231; attracts settlers, 102; 
bank of Cairo located temporarily 
at, 74; Bond receiver of the land 
office at, 202; boundary and area of 
district of, 44-45; Breese student in 
Kane's office at, 266 n; Cahokia rival 
of, 79; capital of territory, 58, 75; 
celebrations in, 164, 232, 292-293 ; 
Check advertised school in, 166; 
Coles visited at time of the conven- 
tion, 242; constitution printed at, 
311 ; constitutional convention assem- 
bled at, 262; Cook returned to, 209- 
210; Cross advertised school in, 166- 
167; description and location of, 58- 

Kaskaskia (cont) 

60, 75-77; destroyed by Mississippi 
river flood, 77 ; discussion of moving 
the capital from, 286-292; Dodge 
lawyer in, 304; Edwards advertised 
from, 153; general assembly met at, 
212, 317; Humphreys receiver of the 
land office at, 201 n ; importance of 
roads to, 116; insufficient appropri- 
ations for road from Shawneetown 
to, 118-119; Jones register of the 
land office at, 191, 201 ; Kane lawyer 
at, 200 ; land office at, 58, 75 ; land on 
Mississippi attached to land district 
of, 43; made capital site for twenty 
years, 291; Menard lived at, 15, 299; 
Morrison lived at, 303; newspaper 
established at, by Duncan, 171 ; pe- 
titions from inhabitants of, for ex- 
tention of suffrage, 196; population 
of, 3J postal routes from, 126-127; 
preemption rights granted in district 
of, 47-48; proposal to retain capital 
at, 290-291 ; proposed addition adver- 
tised by Edwards, 154; William 
Reynolds a physician in, 299-300; 
Reynolds visited at time of general 
assembly, 304; 

road to: Edwardsville, 115; Fort 
Massac, 114; Golconda, 52, 70, 71, 
72; Illinoistown, 114; Shawneetown, 
52, 67, 71 ; St. Louis, 77 ; Vincennes, 
81, 115; 

travel improved between Shawnee- 
town and, 117; tribe of, located near 
town of, 2; two general courts a 
year held at, 205; value of Indian 
presents sent to, 14; Watson car- 
ried mail and passengers from, to 
St. Louis, 127-128. See land offices. 

Kaskaskia Indians, 39; annuity paid 
to, 13; location of, near town of, 2; 
surrendered land at Vincennes in 
1803, p. 37- 

Kaskaskia river (Okaw), 2, 37, 40, 57, 
76, 77, 86, 118, 128, 287, 290, 291, 310; 
consideration of capital sites on, 
289; Donaldson located on, 308; ex- 



Kaskaskia (cont.) 

tent of settlement between Missis- 
sippi river and, 58; Hill's Ferry lo- 
cated on, 288; influence of, on trans- 
portation, 113; land purchases along, 
52 ; Pope's Bluff located on, 87, 289 ; 
proposed capital sites on, 309; set- 
tlement along, 61, 75, 81. 

Kascasky, see Kaskaskia. 

Kennerley, James, managed trade at 
St. Louis, 18. 

Kennerly, , 156. 

Kentucky, 69, 70, 102, 120, 128, 135, 
137, 138, 150, 168; Anderson repre- 
sentative from, 312; arrival of fac- 
tory goods from, 147; Barnsback 
lived in, 103 ; Browne from, 201 ; 
choice locations in, bought up, 93; 
comments in, on the passage of the 
Illinois enabling act, 232 ; Cook from, 
194; cost of seed corn in, 178; con- 
stitution patterned after that of, 269, 
271 n, 275, 283 ; Crittenden senator 
from, 229; Cullom from, 300; Ed- 
wards chief justice of the court of 
appeals of, 193 ; emigrants from, 94, 
95, 96, 101 ; Flower at Shelby's, gov- 
ernor of, 106; furnished funds for 
Edwardsville bank, 148; Hardin 
from, 200; Johnson representative 
of, 196, 221; McLean from, 200; 
non-English immigration into, 97; 
number of banks incorporated in, 
148; Pope from, 193; Reynolds 
from, 299; Stephenson from, 194; 
Talbot senator from, 228, 229; 
To .vies from, 200. 

Kentucky Argus, 232. 

Kickapoo, annuity paid to, 13; cede 
land in 1809, p. 38 ; cede land in 1819 
and move west of Mississippi, 39; 
Clark to conclude treaty with, 9; 
gentes of, 6; location of, 2, 3; popu- 
lation of, 3. 

Kimmel, Peter, established the Illinois 
Emigrant in conjunction with Eddy, 

Kimmel (cont.) 

172-173; printer from Pittsburgh, 
172. See Eddy and Kimmel. 

Kimmel, Singleton, led Germans west, 

King [Rufus], senator from New 
York voted in favor of postponing 
the passage of the enabling act, 228. 

Kinney, Andey, accusations against, as 
convention delegate, 259. 

Kinney, William, elected state senator 
from St. Clair county, 301 ; opposed 
slavery, 261 n. 

Kinzie, James, American Fur Company 
trader at Chicago, 27. 

Kirkpatrick, Thomas, convention dele- 
gate from Madison, 280; Edwards- 
ville laid out on land of, 84 ; opposed 
changes in slavery article, 280 ; voted 
against striking out section two of 
slavery article, 281. 

Kitchell, Joseph, candidate for asso- 
ciate judge, 305; convention delegate 
from Crawford, 262 n, 280; moved 
change in capital site, 289; senator 
from Crawford county, 305 ; voted 
for changes in slavery article, 280. 

Knight's prairie, 65. 

Knox county, Indiana: Harrison's 
following in, 185; Jones representa- 
tive from, 191 ; petition from, oppos- 
ing division, 192; voted for advance 
to second grade, 187; 

Northwest territory: territory 
about Vincennes in 1788, p. 183. 

Lachine, Hubbard left, 32. 
La Compte, Pierre, tavern keeper, 77. 
La Croix, "Mitchell," nn. 
Laducier, Jean Baptiste, 155. 

La Motte's prairie, Palestine located 
on, 62. 



La Motte township, in Crawford 
count}', 61. 

Land offices, acreage of the sales 
conducted by, 49-52; began sale of 
land in 1814, p. 44, 49 ; boundaries 
and areas of the three offices in ter- 
ritory, 45; Edwardsville, 44, 58, 84, 
85, 143, 194, 301 n ; Kaskaskia, 44, 
75. 76, 191, 201, 202; manager of 
salt works complained to, of intrud- 
ers on reservation, 67 ; method of 
conducting public land sales through, 
44-45 ; Palestine, 62 ; Shawneetown, 
44 53, 67, 69-70, 200; towns of, 
attract settlers, 102; Vincennes, 44; 
warrants issued at general, for 
bounty lands, 43. 

Law, John, opinion of McLean's popu- 
larity, 296 n. 

Lawrence, James, discusses plans for 
settlement, no-iu ; led one of Flow- 
er's parties, 109. 

Lawrence county, extent of settlement 
in, 61, 63 ; 

formed from part of : Crawford, 
60; Edwards, 62; 

French settlements in, 89. 

Lemen, James, 132; activity of, in 
Baptist church, 131, 319; convention 
delegate from St. Clair, 280; from 
Virginia, 319; member of commit- 
tee of revision, 268 ; opposed to slav- 
ery, 261 n, 320 ; slavery compact of, 
with Jefferson, 319; voted against 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Lemon, James, see Lemen. 
Lexington [Ky.], 128. 
Little Cape Gris, 83. 
Little Muddy river, 116, 124. 
Little Wabash Company, 158. 

Little Wabash river, in, 157; bridge 
to be built over, at Carmi, 143 ; ex- 
tent of settlement along, 64, 65, 67; 
influence of, on transportation, 113; 

Little (cont.) 

land between, and Bon Pas creek 
selected for English settlement, 63, 
103 ; purchases along, 52. 

Lippincott, Reverend Thomas, visted 
Alton, 85. 

Livermore [Arthur], representative 
from New Hampshire, 315 ; re- 
quested vote on constitution, 315. 

Livingston county, 138. 

Lockwood, James H., describes fur 
trader, 28. 

Lofton [John G.], councilor from 
Madison, 217; voted for the repeal 
of the indenture law, 217. 

London [England], 161, 209; Birk- 
beck's book published in, 108, 112; 
settlers from, for English settlement, 

Long, Major Stephen H., 83. 

Louisiana territory, anti-Harrison fac- 
tion petitions union of Illinois coun- 
try with, 186; bounty lands reserved 
in, 43 > placed under Indiana terri- 
tory temporarily, 186. 

Louisville, 70, 114. 

Lower Alton, 85. 

Lusk Creek, 70. 

Lusk's Ferry, see Golconda. 

Lynchburg Press, 129. 

McFarland, James, 49 n. 

McFerron [John], candidate as dele- 
gate to convention from Randolph, 
257; defeated Fisher for state sena- 
torship, 300. 

McClure's tavern, 78. 

McHenry, William, commissioner at 
Carmi, 143 ; convention delegate 
from White, 280; opposed changes 
in slavery article, 280; voted for 
White's eection on slavery, 281. 



McKenney, Thomas, directed purchase 
of supplies for factories, 18; opin- 
ion of, of British influence at Chi- 
cago, 20; superintendent of Indian 
trade, 14, 18. 

McLean, John, appearance of, in con- 
gress, 311; appointed representative 
to congress, 158, 298, 316; Cook's 
opinion of prospects of, 295-296; fa- 
vored slavery, 297; friend of Kane, 
201 ; Law's opinion of popularity of, 
296 n ; lawyer at Shawneetown, 201 ; 
member of the anti-Edwards fac- 
tion, 201, 294; race of, for congress, 

McLeansboro, 65. 

M'Fatridge, W[illiam], convention 

delegate from Johnson, 280; voted 

against changes in slavery article, 


M'Nabb, Archibald, tavern keeper, 77. 
M'Night, , advertised lots in Har- 

risonville, 78. 
Mack [Stephen], see Conant and Mack. 

Mackinac, agency of Indian depart- 
ment at, 12; Crooks virtual head- 
quarters at, 25; depot for northwest 
fur trade, 25; Deschamps' brigade 
at, 33, 34; Hubbard arrived at, 32; 
interest of traders' annual voyage 
to, 29; military establishment at, 12; 
Puthuff agent at, 10, 26; trading 
house at, before war of 1812, p. 17. 

Mackinac Island, American Fur Com- 
pany's headquarters in northwest, 

Macoupin county, 57; formed from 
part of Madison, 82; settlement in, 

Macoupin creek, settlement along, 83, 

Madison [James], Coles private sec- 
retary to, 242. 

Madison county, 57, 163, 228, 281, 284, 
309; Borough, Prickett, and Stephen- 

Madison (cont.) 

son convention delegates from, 280; 
Cadwell elected to legislature from, 
300; Cadwell state senator from, 
300; census report of, 240, 260, 264, 
318, 319; conditions in, for raising 
stock, 141; convention candidates 
of, opposed to slavery, 256; Cook's 
interest in land in, 154; delegation 
from, desirous of extension of fran- 
chise, 285; demand for roads in, 114; 
description and population of, 82-86; 
Edwards established in 1812, p. 84, 
197; Edwardsville county seat of, 
84, 143; Gilham representative from, 
203 n; large land holdings in, 51; 
Lofton voted for the repeal of the 
indenture law, 217; names of con- 
vention delegates reported by July 
15, p. 260; one representative as- 
signed to, 197; one senator appor- 
tioned to, 285; opposed to slavery, 
261 ; opposition in, to Bond in favor 
of Reavis, 299; subscriptions from, 
to the Edwardsville bank, 148; three 
delegates to the constitutional con- 
vention apportioned to, 227. See 
Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, and Ma- 
coupin counties. 

Madison, Fort, trading house at, be- 
fore war of 1812, p. 17. 

Maiden, British distribute presents at, 
10, 13. 

Mangham [John K.], convention dele- 
gate from Washington, 267; death 
of, 267. 

Manufactures, extent of, among pio- 
neers, 131-134; Indian, 5; of Kas- 
kaskia, 76; pioneers preferred their 
own, 146; trade encouraged by east- 
ern, 147. 

Marietta, seat of government of the 
northwest territory, 183. 

Marion county, extent of settlement 
in, 62-63 ; 

formed from part of: Crawford, 
60; Edwards, 62. 



Marston, Major Morrell, commander 
at Fort Armstrong, 21 ; comment of, 
on life of Indians, 3; describes 
crops of Sauk and Fox, 4; reports 
attitude of Indians toward factory 
system, 21. 

Maryland, number of emigrants from, 
94. 95. 96; Reed representative from, 
315 ; Sprigg in, 204. 

Mary's river, 153. 

Mason, James, advertises for labor- 
ers, 143. 

Mason, Richard Lee, 78, 80; describes 
experiences on an early road, 119- 
123; describes towns near Alton, 85. 

Mason and Dixon's line, number of 
settlers from south of, 95. 

Massac county, formed from part of: 
Johnson, 70; Pope, 70. 

Massac, Fort, route between Kaskas- 
kia and, 114. 

Massachusetts, number of emigrants 
from, 04; Whitman representative 
from, 221. 

Matheny, Charles R., candidate for 
associate judge, 305 ; circuit attor- 
ney of the first district, 305; op- 
posed concessions to the judges, 205 ; 
representative from St. Clair county, 
203 n ; signed address against slavery, 
261 n ; stood for the repeal of the 
indenture law, 216-217. 

Meachan, , 155. 

Meigs, , 155. 

Meisenheimer precinct, 73. 

Menard, Pierre, Cullom and Reynolds 
had no chance for lieutenant gover- 
norship against, 300; elected lieuten- 
ant governor, 299; expected to be 
the lieutenant governor, 286; favored 
advance to second grade, 187; 
Frenchman, 92; political activity of, 
202; refused to join any faction, 
206; representative of Randolph 

Menard (cont.) 

county, 202; resigned from the In- 
diana council, 191 ; selected coun- 
cilor of Indiana, 187; signed peti- 
tions in 1805 and 1807, p. 188, 190; 
sub-agent at Kaskaskia, 13, 15; voted 
against the repeal of the indenture 
law, 217. 

Menominee, Clark to conclude treaty 
with, 9. 

Messenger, John, see Messinger. 
Messick, Dr. , 176. 

Messinger, John, 270; comments on 
religious observances, 179; conven- 
tion delegate from St. Clair, 280; 
elected to state legislature from St. 
Clair, 300; interested in speculation, 
291 ; member of Edwards faction, 
291 ; representative from St. Clair 
county, 1808, p. 191 ; voted for 
changes in slavery article, 280. See 
also "Pope, Messenger and Stephen- 

Methodists, extent of influence of, 
173 ; influence of, spread under the 
leadership of Cartwright and Walker, 

Metropolis, 71. 

Miami river, 10. 

Michigamea, disappearance of, as dis- 
tinct tribe, 2. 

Michigan, Lake, 10, 30, 33, 38, 40, 183, 
222 ; American Fur Company's trad- 
ers on shores of, 23; made part of 
the eastern boundary, 225 ; proposed 
canal between Illinois river and, 39, 

Michigan territory, 12, 229; bounty 

land reserved in, 43 ; Cass governor 

of, 9. 

Middle Alton, 85. 
Milton, descriptions of, 85-86. 
Milwaukee, American Fur Company 

traded with Indians from, 23; Beau- 

bien transferred from, 27. 



Minnesota river (St. Peter's), Ameri- 
can Fur Company's traders in valley 
of, 23. 

Miotte, Jacques, 155. 

Mississippi, 213 ; Poindexter represent- 
ative from, 311. 

Mississippi river, 10, 15, 16, 18, 22, 32, 
37, 38, 43, 44, 57, 7O, 76, 79, 84, 85, 
105, H3, 153, 156, 175, 176, 288; 
American Fur Company traded along 
shores of, 23; Comegys held land 
on, 73; destroyed Kaskaskia, 77; 
extensive land purchases along, 51 ; 
extent of American bottom along, 

extent of settlement : along, 72, 74, 
75, 78, 82, 83; between Kaskaskia 
river and, 58; 

Farnham opens up trade west of, 
26; French crews on, 90; French 
pioneers settled along, 88; fur trade 
on, 25 ; government survey started 
on, near Alton, 42; Illinoistown 
located on, 80; Kickapoo move west 
of, 39; mail carried on, 126; Sauk 
and Fox located on, 2; steamboat 
traffic on, 114; survey of land east 
of, 40. 

Missouri river, 82, 289; American Fur 
Company extends activity to, 23. 

Missouri territory, 66, 69, 167, 176, 222, 
244, 288, 312; American Fur Com- 
pany traded with Indians in, 24; 
asks for better postal service, 127; 
banks incorporated in, 148; bounty 
lands reserved in, 43 ; Clark governor 
of, 9; emigration into, 93; first peti- 
tions for statehood received from, 
230; importance of Illinois becoming 
a state before, 221 ; increase of popu- 
lation due to toleration of slavery 
in, 140; mail to, carried down the 
Ohio, 126; merchants of, advertised 
merchandise in the Intelligencer, 144 ; 
non-English immigration into, 97; 
Peck characterizes educational condi- 
tions in, 165 ; petitions circulated for 

Missouri (cont.) 

union of territory with, 215 ; prosper- 
ity of, due to existence of slavery in, 
215; Scott delegate from, 127, 230; 
surveyor-general appointed for, 42; 
Tallmadge opposed to admission of, 
318; trade to be extended to, 26. 

Monroe county, 70, 281 ; accusations 
against Kinney as convention dele- 
gate from, 259; Cairns and Moore 
convention delegates from, 280; cen- 
sus report from, 318; description and 
population of, 78-79; establishment 
of, 220; Ford lived in, 90; formed 
from part of St. Clair, 79 ; Harrison- 
ville county seat of, 78; Lemen 
inhabitant of, 131 ; Mordock repre- 
sentative from, 203; names of con- 
vention delegates reported by July 15, 
p. 260; one senator apportioned to, 
285 ; opposed to slavery, 261 ; two 
delegates for the constitutional con- 
vention apportioned to, 228; Water- 
loo located in, 71 n. 

Montgomery county, 57; extent of 
settlement in, 86-87 ; formed from 
part of Bond, 86. 

Montreal, 10 n, 25, 28, 32; American 
Fur Company depot at, 24 ; influence 
of trading firms of, 23. 

Moore, Enoch, 117; convention dele- 
gate from Monroe, 280; opposed 
changes in slavery article, 280; voted 
against striking out section two of 
the slavery article, 281. 

Moore, Risdon, member of legislature 
from St. Clair, 300; opposed slav- 
ery, 261 n. 

Moore, William, census commissioner 
in St. Clair, 239. 

Moore's prairie, extent of settlement 
on, 64. 

Mordock, John, representative from 

Monroe county, 203 n. 
Morrice, John, see John Morris. 



Morris, John, indenture of negro girl 
Silvey bought by, 136-140. 

Morrison, Robert, candidate for United 
States senator, 303; census estimate 
of, 190; clerk of court at Kaskaskia, 
303; laid out town of Donaldson, 
308; member of the Vincennes con- 
vention, 186; signed petition for the 
repeal of the slavery article in 1800, 
p. 185. 

Morrison, William, bought up private 
holdings, 52; laid out town of Don- 
aldson, 308; land speculator, 52; not 
member of the Vincennes conven- 
tion, 186; signed petition for the 
repeal of the slavery article in 1796 
and 1800, p. 185; signed petition of 
charges against Harrison, 192. See 
also anti-Harrison faction. 

Morrow [Jeremiah], opinion of, on 
educational provision, 229; senator 
of Ohio opposed postponing the pass- 
age of the enabling act, 228. 

Morse, Samuel G., convention delegate 
from Bond, 280; voted for changes 
in slavery article, 280. 

Mt. Carmel, founded in 1818, p. 64. 

Mt. Vernon, 63. 

Muddy river, 118. 

Mud lake, 33. 

Murphysboro, rival of Brownsville, 75. 

"Nemo," writing of, in Intelligencer, 

New Design, location of, 78; Lemen 
founded, 319; slavery prohibited in, 

New England, 159; arrival of factory 
goods from, 147; number of emi- 
grants from, 94, 95, 101 ; opposition 
from representatives of, to Illinois 
constitution, 315. 

New Hampshire, Livermore represent- 
ative from, 315; number of emi- 
grants from, 94. 

New Harmony, 106. 

New Haven county, foundation of, 67. 

New Jersey, number of emigrants 
from, 94; opposition of representa- 
tives from, to Illinois constitution, 

New Orleans, 105, 156; steamboat con- 
nection with, 114. 

New York, constitution patterned after 
that of, 271 n, 274-275 ; Kane born 
in, 200; King and Sanford senators 
from, 228; number of emigrants 
from, 94; opposition of representa- 
tives from, to Illinois constitution, 
315 ; Spencer representative from, 
221 ; Tallmadge representative from, 
313; Taylor representative from, 226. 

New York City, 320; advertisement of 
merchandise received from, 144; 
American Fur Company headquar- 
ters at, 24; arrival in, of Flower's 
parties, 109 ; furnished funds for the 
Edwardsville bank, 148; Illinois con- 
nected with, by water, 225. 

Nicholls, , 128. 

North Carolina, non-English immigra- 
tion into, 97; number of emigrants 
from, 94, 95, 96. 

Northwest Company, activity of, 22- 
23; owned by British, 22. 

Northwest ordinance, see Ordinance 
of 1787. 

Northwest territory, Bond represented 
St. Clair county in legislature of, 
184; Edgar represented Randolph 
county in legislature of, 184; Harri- 
son delegate to congress from, 184; 
organization of, under the ordinance, 
181-184; territory of Indiana created 
in, 184. 

Ogle, Jacob, opposes slavery, 261 n. 
Oglesby, Joshua, opposes slavery, 261 n. 



Ohio, 102 n, 137, 142, 168, 213; Birk- 
beck's reasons for not locating in, 
103-105 ; choice locations in, bought 
up, 93; constitution patterned after 
that of, 269, 273, 279, 282, 283, 314; 
Dearborn county petitioned to be 
joined to 189; Harrison representa- 
tive from, 312; Illinois connected 
with, by water, 225 ; Morrow senator 
from, 228; number of banks incor- 
porated in, 148 ; number of emigrants 
from, 94, 95, 96; prohibition of slav- 
ery in constitution of, 278-279 ; ques- 
tion of slavery in, 238; salt works in, 
116, 311; territory employed system 
of surveys worked out in, 40. 

Ohio river, i, 37, 58, 72, 82, 105, 115, 
116, 136, 137, 140, 149, 172, 176, 183, 
288, 289; choice sites on, bought up, 
104; Comegys held land on, 73; ex- 
tent of settlement along, 67-68, 70, 
71 ; extent of speculation along 
lower, 52, 73-74; floods of, delay 
mails, 126; French crews on, 90; in- 
fluence of, on transportation, 113; 
number of settlers from south of, 
95 ; mail carried down for the west- 
ern settlements, 126; organization of 
the territory northwest of, under the 
ordinance, 181-184; speculators 
bought land on, 50 ; steamboat traffic 
on, 114; supplies shipped down, 18; 
survey of land north of, 40; trans- 
portation across, 70. 

Okaw river, see Kaskaskia river. 

"An old farmer," opinions of, on qual- 
ifications of convention delegates, 
253, 254. 

Omelveny, Samuel, census commission- 
er from Pope county, 239; conven- 
tion delegate from Pope, 280; mem- 
ber of committee of revision, 268; 
representative from Pope county, 
203 n; signs indenture of Morris' 
servant, 139, 140; voted for changes 
in slavery article, 280. 

"One of the people," opinion of, on 
selection of men to convention, 250- 
251, 253 ; replied to "An old fanner," 


Ordinance of 1787, agitation over in- 
dentured servitude as violation of, 
214-218; attitude of anti-Harrison 
faction, 189-190; constitution of Illi- 
nois not to violate, 233, 278, 312; Illi- 
nois organized under, 193 ; indenture 
law circumvents prohibition of slav- 
ery by, 138-140, 186, 187-188, 214- 
218 ; Indiana established under, 184 ; 
organization of the territory north- 
west of the Ohio under, 181-184; 
petitions for the repeal of the slav- 
ery article of, 184-192; territories 
bound by provisions of, 207-208; pro- 
hibits slavery, 183, 234, 313 ; 

provisions : for boundaries in, 222- 
223, 226 n; for the judiciary system 
in, 198, 204; for regulating suffrage 
in, 196; 

slavery article of constitution to 
conform with, 278. 

Ottawa, annuity paid to, 13 ; cede land, 
38, 40; location of, 2. 

Otter creek, settlement along, 83, 84. 

Owen, Ezra, sergeant at arms of the 
convention, 263. 

"Pacificus," opinion of, on slavery, 

Padfield, William, 126. 

Palestine, 305; county seat of Craw- 
ford, 61-62; Cullom settled in, 300; 
land office at, in 1820, p. 62; mail 
route through, 126. 

Palmer, Joseph, representative from 
Johnson county, 203 n. 

Palmyra, county seat of Edwards, 64; 
decline of, after removal of county 
seat, 60, 64; postal service to, 126. 



Parke, Benjamin, chairman of com- 
mittee considering suspension of 
slavery article, 190; delegate from 
Indiana to congress, 187; opposed 
division of Indiana, 192; reflected 
to congress, 191 ; resigned as In- 
diana delegate to congress, 191. 

Parkinson, Daniel M., 163. 
"Pass Christionne," 156. 
Patoka river, 176. 
Patterson, J. f 176. 
Patterson, Robert, 180. 

Peck, John Mason, 320; characterizes 
educational conditions in Missouri 
territory, 165 ; 

describes: Bennett's tavern, 77; 
settlement in Monroe county, 78; 
Upper Alton, 85 ; 

present at the constitutional con- 
vention, 262. 

Pennsylvania, 89; Birkbeck thought of 
locating in, 103; Illinois connected 
with, by water, 225; Jones of Kas- 
kaskia native of, 201 ; Morrison 
from, 303; 

number of: Germans from, 102; 
emigrants from, 94, 96; non-English 
immigrants pouring into, 97; 

opposition from representatives of, 
to Illinois constitution, 315; Rey- 
nolds lived in, 103. 

"The people," opinion of, on slavery 
issue, 255-256. 

Peoria, 3, I in, 81 ; agent for Indian 
department at, 12 ; cede land in 1818, 
p. 39 ; location of tribe of, 2 ; value of 
Indian presents sent to, 14. 

Peoria lake, ion, 12, 34. 

Perry county, formed from part of: 
Jackson, 74; Randolph, 75. 

Perryville (Perrysville), decline of, 
after loss of county seat, 60; disap- 
peared, 87; distance of Augusta 
from, 147; mail route to, 126; postal 

Perryville (cont.) 

service to, 126; proposed for county 
seat, 86. 

Philadelphia, 120, 272, 320; advertise- 
ment of merchandise from, 144-145 ; 
Barnsback lived in, 103; Birkbeck's 
book published in, 108, 112. 

Phillips, Joseph, candidate for supreme 
judge, 304; elected supreme judge, 
304; political activity of, 202; secre- 
tary of the territory, 202. 

Phill's creek, settlement along, 83. 

Piankashaw (Piankeshaw), 39; cede 
land in 1805, p. 37 ; land cession from, 

1 10. 

Piasa, 155. 

Piasa creek, extent of settlement 
along, 84. 

Piatt, Benjamin M., protested against 
the election of Bond delegate to con- 
gress, 197. 

Pitkin [Timothy], insisted on authentic 
information about population, 312; 
representative from Connecticut, 312. 

Pittsburgh, 68; advertisement of mer- 
chandise from, 145; Eddy and Kim- 
mel from, 172; shipping port for 
western supplies, 18. 

Piqua, agency of Indian department 
at, 12. 

Plumb Hill precinct, 81. 

Poindexter [George], attitude of, to- 
ward slavery article, 313-314; mem- 
ber of committee to consider consti- 
tution, 312; representative from Mis- 
sissippi, 311. 

Pope, Nathaniel, 257; assisted Eddy 
and Kimmel in securing permission 
to print federal laws, 172; Birkbeck 
in correspondence with, 108; com- 
ments on the results of the passage 
of the enabling act, 231-232; Cook a 
nephew of, 194; defeated for reprc- 



Pope (cont.) 

sentative in legislature, 301 ; entered 
land at Pope's Bluff, 289 ; from Ken- 
tucky, 193; head of committee on 
amendments proposed by the senate, 
229; interest of, in land, 155 ; intro- 
duced the enabling bill in January, 
1818, p. 224; laid the memorial for 
statehood before congress, 220-221 ; 
member of the Edwards faction, 201 ; 
objected to the exemption of the 
bounty lands from taxation, 227; 
opinion of, on calling constitutional 
convention, 241 ; register of land of- 
fice at Edwardsville, 146, 301 n; re- 
port of, on provision for education, 
228-229; resigned as secretary and 
gave his support to Bond, 202; re- 
tired from public life, 294; secretary 
of the territory, 193 ; secured the ex- 
tension of the northern boundary, 
224-226, 320; secured money for an 
institution of learning, 226; terri- 
torial delegate, 108, 172, 209; United 
States judge, 224 n, 301 n. 

Pope's Bluff, 86; aspired to be capital 
of state, 87, 287, 289; located on 
the Kaskaskia, 87, 289; resolutions 
favoring, for capital site, 290. 

Pope county, 281 ; census report from, 
264, 318; description and population 
of, 70-71 ; establishment of, 220; Fer- 
guson and Omelveny convention 
delegates from, 280; Field elected 
house representative from, 300; Gol- 
conda county seat of, 70; Omelveny 
census commissioner from, 239; 
Omelveny representative from, 203 n ; 
Reynolds carried, in election for 
lieutenant governor, 300; two dele- 
gates for the constitutional conven- 
tion apportioned to, 228. See Har- 
din and Massac counties. 

"Pope, Messenger and Stephenson," 
owned land at Pope's Bluff, 289. 

Portlethwaite, , 119. 

Post Vincents, see Vincennes. 

Potawatomi, annuity paid to, 13 ; Brit- 
ish presents distributed to, 10 ; Clark 
to conclude treaty with, 9; location 
of, 2; make land cessions, 38, 39, 
40; population of, 3. 

Prairie du Chien, 10, 18, 23 ; agency of 
Indian department at, 12; becomes 
independent military establishment, 
13; factory at, 17; Johnson factor 
at, 17; inclusion of population of, in 
census, 265; military establishment 
at, 9, 12 ; trading activity at, 25 ; 
value of Indian presents sent to, 14. 

Prairie du Long precinct, 79. 

Prairie du Rocher, 78, 88; description 
of, 77, 89 ; on postal route from Kas- 
kaskia, 126 ; population of, 75 ; road 
through, 114; Sturgess advertised 
school at, 165. 

Presbyterians, extent of influence of, 

Prickett [Abraham], moved the fram- 
ing of a constitution, 265 ; opposed 
White's section on slavery, 281 ; sug- 
gested Hill's Ferry as a capital site, 
287 ; voted for changes in slavery ar- 
ticle, 280. 

Princeton, 126, 136; 

Birkbeck's party: return to, :o7; 
temporarily left at, in Indiana, 106. 

"Prudence," opinion of, on slavery, 

Pulaski county, formed from part of: 
Johnson, 70; Union, 72. 

Puthuff, Major [William Henry], 
agent at Mackinac, 10; issues license 
to Farnham, 26; reports British in- 
fluence on Indians, 10. 

Randolph, John, presented adverse re- 
port to the petition of the Vincennes 
convention, 186. 

Randolph county, 57 n, 154; 

Illinois: census report from, 264, 
318; condition of courts in, 197-198; 



Randolph (cont.) 

delegates from, voted on slavery side, 
257; description and population of, 
75-77; Fisher and Kane convention 
delegates from, 257, 280; Fisher 
from, 202; Foster had slave regis- 
tered in, 305 n; Kane candidate for 
the convention from, 232; McFerron 
state senator from, 300; McLean 
carried, in congressional election, 
298; Menard of, voted against the 
repeal of the indenture law, 217; 
Menard representative of, 202; 
names of convention delegates 
reported by July 15, p. 260; one rep- 
resentative assigned to, 197 ; one sen- 
ator apportioned to, 285; petitions 
presented by Kane from Covenanters 
in, 266; political issue in, in 1816, p. 
203 ; Pope defeated as legislative rep- 
resentative from, 301 ; positions held 
by Greenup in, 263; represented by 
Fisher in third legislature, 203 n ; two 
delegates to the constitutional con- 
vention apportioned to, 228. See 
Perry county. 

Indiana: Fisher and Menard of, 
signed petition of 1805, p. 188-189; 
Menard represented, in Indiana leg- 
islature, 299; men from, signed peti- 
tion for repeal of slavery article in 
1800, p. 185 ; Morrison's estimate of 
population of, 190; petition from, in 
1807 opposing division of Indiana, 
190; represented by Fisher at Vin- 
cennes, in 1805, p. 187; voted for 
advance to second grade, 187 ; 

Northwest territory: Edgar rep- 
resented, at Cincinnati, 184; estab- 
lished in 1795, p. 183; men from, 
signed petition for repeal of slavery 
article in 1796, p. 185. 

Reavis, Henry, candidate against Bond 
for governor in Madison county, 299. 

Reed [Philip], representative from 
Maryland, 315. 

"A republican," advocated advance to 
statehood, 211-212; Cook writes un- 
der name of, 210-211^234; memorial 
for statehood embodied suggestions 
of, 213; opposed slavery, 234-235, 
296-297, 320. 

Reynolds, John, 147, 301 n; advertised 
merchandise in the Intelligencer, 
144; characterizes Hardin, 200; com- 
ments on scarcity of books, 168-169; 
describes religious observances, 179; 
elected associate judge, 304, 305; 
lists members of factions in 1818, p. 
201; gives sources of early settlers, 
96; opinion of, on "material for the 
bench," 304; writes Edwards about 
lawyer's interest in land claims, 154- 

Reynolds, Robert, typical example of 
an immigrant, 103. 

Reynolds [Thomas], advertised mer- 
chandise in the Intelligencer, 144. 

Reynolds, William L., candidate for 
lieutenant governor, 299; physician 
from Kentucky, 299. 

Rhode Island, Burrill from, 229; num- 
ber of emigrants from, 94. 

Richland county, extent of settlement 
in, 62; 

formed from part of: Crawford, 
60; Edwards, 62. 

Richmond [Va.], 107, 320; Flower 
joined Birkbeck in, 103. 

Riggs, Scott, elected to state legisla- 
ture from Crawford county, 301. 

Ripley, aspired to be state capital, 87, 
287; distance of Augusta from, 147; 
mail route through, 126; proposed 
town of, 87. 

Roads, accommodations along, 124- 
125; comment on the condition of, 
226; Covenanters refused to work 
on, 267; crossed at Carlyle and Cov- 
ington, 288-289; development of, 114- 
119, 125-128; Edwardsville to Kas- 



Roads (cont.) 

kaskia, 115; extent of settlement 
along, 74, 240; Flower describes, 115; 
Fort Massac to Kaskaskia, 114; give 
value to land, 52; Golconda to Kas- 
kaskia, 52, 70, 71, 72, 114; Goshen, 63, 
65, 114; Illinoistown to Kaskaskia, 
114; importance of, to salt works, 
117; Kaskaskia to St. Louis, 77, 78; 
local 123-124 ; Mason describes expe- 
riences on early, 120-123 ; memorial 
for statehood embodies needs for 
good, 213, 228; ministers not to work 
on, 271 ; oppressive system of work 
on, 252; petition for betterment of, 
115-117; St. Louis to Vincennes, 62, 
82, 114, 115, 119; Shawneetown, 52, 
82, 83, 115, 126, 146; Shawneetown 
to Kaskaskia, 52, 67, Ji, 114, "8, 119; 
taxation for, set forth in the memo- 
rial, 223; Vincennes, 57, 146; Vin- 
cennes to Kaskaskia, 81. 

Roberts [Thomas], convention dele- 
gate from Franklin, 280; opposed 
changes in slavery article, 280 ; voted 
for White's section on slavery, 281. 

Rock and Cave, 176, 178. 

Rock Island, 4, 10; Fort Armstrong 
on, 12, 21. 

Rock river, Crafts sent trading outfits 
to, 27; Hubbard visits, 34; Potawa- 
tomi located on, 2; Sauk and Fox 
located near mouth of, 2; Winneba- 
go located on, 2. 

Ronalds, , discusses plans for Eng- 
lish settlement, in. 

Rutherford, , cutthroat of Mason's 

narrative, 119, 120, 121. 

Russellville, fort located at, 61-62. 
Russia, Coles sent on mission to, 242. 

St. Charles (S. Charles), mail route 
to, 126. 

St. Clair, William, signed petition for 
the repeal of the slavery article, 165. 

St. Clair county, 57 n, 83, 116, 153, 
228, 236, 237, 270, 272, 309; 

Illinois: admission to statehood 
proposed by Bradsby, 212; Amos of, 
voted for the repeal of the indenture 
law, 217 ; Belleville supersedes Caho- 
kia as county seat in, 79-80; Bradsby 
representative from, 203 n, 205; 
census report from, 264, 318, 319; 
condition of the courts in, 197- 
198; demand for roads in, 114; de- 
scription and population of, 79-82; 
Edwards advertised land in, 154; is- 
sues in, in 1816, p. 203; Kinney 
elected state senator from, 300 ; large 
land holdings in, 51; Lemen, Mess- 
inger [and Thomas], convention 
delegates from, 280; Matheny repre- 
sentative from, 203 n, 205 ; Messinger 
elected to legislature from, 300; 
Moore held offices in, 239, 300 ; names 
of convention delegates reported by 
July 15, p. 260; one senator appor- 
tioned to, 285; opposed to slavery, 
261; subscriptions from, to the 
Edwardsville bank, 148; three dele- 
gates to the constitutional convention 
appertained to, 227; two representa- 
tives assigned to, 197; vote in, for 
governor, 299. See Clinton, Monroe, 
and Washington counties. 

Indiana: Bond and Biggs repre- 
sentatives from, at Vincennes in 
1805, p. 187; men from, signed peti- 
tion for repeal of slavery article in 
1800, p. 185; Morrison's estimate of 
population of, 190; petition from, for 
division of Indiana, 192; represent- 
atives from, did not sign legislative 
petition of 1805, p. 188; voted against 
advance to second grade, 186-187; 

Northwest territory: Bond repre- 
sented, at Cincinnati, 184; name of 
Illinois country under government by 
the ordinance, 183 ; men from, signed 
petition for repeal of slavery article 
in 1796, p. 185. 



St. Genevieve, merchants from, bid 
for Illinois trade, 144. 

St. Jean, , 26. 

St. Louis, 18, 62, 63, 69, 77, 79, 81, 114, 
123, 127, 154, 155, 288, 289; American 
Fur Company encounters competi- 
tion with traders from, 26 ; banks in- 
corporated in, 148; Deschamps' bri- 
gade reaches, 34; description of road 
from Vincennes to, 119; distance of 
Augusta from, 147 ; Easton from, 85 ; 
farmers and mechanics advertised 
for in, 143 ; Farnham to trade at, 26 ; 
furnished funds for Edwardsville 
bank, 148; Goshen road joined road 
from Vincennes to, 114-115; Illi- 
noistown located opposite, 80; 
Indians cede land at, in 1816, p. 38; 
merchants from, bid for Illinois 
trade, 144; post for receiving sup- 
plies, 18; postal service to, 126, 127- 
128 ; road to Kaskaskia, 77 ; road to 
Vincennes, 82; trading activity at, 

St. Peter's river, see Minnesota river. 

Saint Vincents, see Vincennes. 

Saline, see salt works. 

Saline county, extent of settlement in, 
67; formed from part of Gallatin, 66. 

Saline creek, 58; extent of settlement 
along, 71 ; salt works on, 66. 

Saline river, 71, 115; United States 
reservation along, 52. 

Salem, 63. 
Sales, 85. 

Salt works, 82, 289; benefits to, from 
banks, 150; closing of Will's, in Jack- 
son county, 74-75; cost of salt from, 
311; government controlled, 66, 152; 
importance of roads to, 117; influ- 
ence of, on slavery, 280; in Ohio, 
116; location and importance of, in 
Gallatin, 66-67; operation of, during 
war of 1812, p. 68-69; proslavery in- 

Salt works (cont.) 
fluence of, 257 ; Shawneetown, factor 
in politics, 200; slavery permitted 
in, 280. 

Sandusky, trading house at, before war 
of 1812, p. 17. 

Sanford [Nathan], senator from New 
York voted in favor of postponement 
in passing enabling act, 228. 

Sangamo country, 82. 

Sangamon river, Kickapoo located 
on, 2. 

Sauk and Fox, British influence 
among, 10; cede land, 38-39; Clark 
to conclude treaty with, 9; crops of, 
4; Farnham traded with, 26; liquor 
supplied to, by private traders, 18; 
location of, 2; population of, 3. 

Schultz [Christian], visited: Cahokia, 
79; Prairie du Rocher, 77. 

S. Charles, see St. Charles. 

Scotch-Irish, number of, in territory, 
97, 103. 

Scotland, number of settlers from, in 
1818, p. 95. 

Scott, John, delegate from Missouri 
territory, 230;. petitions for better 
postal service, 127. 

Scott, Johna, signs indenture, 139. 

Scott, William, Sr., opposes slavery, 
261 n. 

Scripps, John, account of one of the 
circuits of, 175-179. 

Sha-wnee Chief, 17211. 

Shawneetown (Shawnee Town, Shaw- 
noetown), 53, 77, 82, 83, 105, 119, 
120, 124, 161, 240, 248, 280; acreage 
of land office sales in district of, 
49-51; advertisements of merchan- 
dise in paper of, 145-146; arrival in, 
of Flower's parties, 109; attracts set- 
tlers, 102; bank incorporated at, 148; 



Shawneetown (cont.) 
Birkbeck to enter land claim at, 107 ; 
boundary and area of district of, 44- 
45; Browne lawyer in, 201, 304; 
county seat of Gallatin, 68; descrip- 
tion and location of, 58-60, 68-70; 
Eddy and Kimmel established paper 
in, 172 ; enthusiasm for bank at, 148- 
150; Goshen road extended from, to 
Carlyle, 63, 114; Griswold died in. 
200; holdings on roads between, and 
Carlyle and Kaskaskia, 52; influ- 
ence of the salt works at, in politics, 
200; insufficient appropriations for 
road, from Kaskaskia to, 118-119; 
Jones lawyer in, 201 ; land office 
established at, in 1812, p. 44, 58, 200 ; 
land purchased near, for speculation, 
52; McLean lawyer in, 201, 294; pos- 
tal route to, 126-127; preemption 
rights in district of, 48 ; 

road: 289; from Golconda super- 
cedes old route from Fort Massac, 
114; to Kaskaskia, 67, 71; to St. 
Louis, 146 ; to the English settlement, 


sale of land at, since 1816, p. 93; 
second paper established at, 250 ; Sloo 
and Caldwell connected with land 
office at, 200 ; tract bought at, for the 
English settlement, 107; travel 
improved between Kaskaskia and, 
117; two general courts a year held 
at, 205. See land offices. 
Shelby, Governor [Isaac], Flower 
heard of prairies at house of, in 
Kentucky, 106. 

Shoal creek, 57; Edwards advertised 
land on, 154; extent of settlement 
along, 58, 86; Ripley located on, 87, 

Silver creek, 57, 236; Augusta located 
on, 146; extent of settlement along, 
83, 84. 

Silvey, indenture of sale of, 138-140. 

Slade, Charles, bought land from John 
Hill, 288. 

Slavery, "A friend to enquiry's" oppo- 
sition to, 241, 245-246, 247, 248; at- 
tempted interpretation of article on, 
282; attempt to repeal the indenture 
law, 215-218, 234; Baptists formed 
"The Illinois Anti-Slavery League," 
319; becomes the dominant issue in 
the constitutional convention cam- 
paign, 218-219, 243-249, 255-258, 
296-297; Birkbeck's dislike for, 103; 
"Candor" writes on, 237-238; "Cau- 
tion" writes against, 236-237; cen- 
sus affects controversy on, 238; 
Coles' opinion on, under name of 
"Agis," 242-245, 246, 319; 

connection of: with extension of 
northern boundary, 225, 320; with 
the division of Indiana, 184-192; 

convention considers proposed ar- 
ticle on, 277-282; Cook's opposition 
to, 212, 234-236, 296-298, 320; Cove- 
nanters voted against, 267; effect of, 
on population of Missouri territory, 
140; English view of, 136-138; exist- 
ence of party against, in Illinois, 206; 

extent of: 138; in Bond, 86; in 
Crawford, 60; in Franklin, 71; in 
Gallatin, 66 ; in Jackson, 74 ; in John- 
son, 70-71; in Madison, 82, 84; in 
Monroe, 78 ; in Pope, 70 ; in St. Clair, 
81 ; in Union, 72 ; in White, 64 ; 

faction in eastern Indiana opposed 
to, 187; indenture law circumvents 
ordinance's prohibition of, 138-140, 
186, 187-188, 212-218; Indiana ar- 
ticle on, 279-280; influence of Eng- 
lish settlement on, 112; issue in cam- 
paign for representative to congress, 
296-298 ; Jefferson-Lemen compact 
relative to, 319; Kinney opposed, 
259; leaders of antislavery party 
acknowledge defeat, 261 ; McLean 
in favor of, 297; objections to Illi- 
nois article of, in congress, 313-316; 
Ohio article on, 278; opinions of 
"Independence" on, 248; ordinance 
prohibited, 183 ; permitted in the salt 
works, 280; petitions for the repeal 



Slavery (cont.) 

of the ordinance's article on, 184- 
192; provisions for, under Virginia 
act of cession, 181, 182; "Prudence" 
writes on, 247-248; salt works an 
influence for, 257, 280; supposed 
cause for migration from south, 97, 
101 ; variety of positions on the ques- 
tion of, after the passage of the 
enabling act, 233; votes cast for 
changes in article on, 280. 

Sloo, Thomas, register of the Shaw- 
neetown land office, 200. 

Somerset county, Germans from, in 
Pennsylvania, 102. 

South Carolina, non-English immigra- 
tion into, 97; number of emigrants 
from, 94, 95, 96. 

Southwest Company, activity of, 22- 
23; Astor's interest in, 23. 

Spectator, see Edwardsville Spectator. 

Speculation, 58; advent of speculators, 
92 ; appealed to early settlers, 101 ; 
Birkbeck feared effect of, in Eng- 
lish settlement, 108; Blenheim a 
town of, 77; bounty lands used in, 
44, 227; Edgar's interest in, 52; en- 
tered into discussion of change of 
capital site, 291 ; extent of, S2-53 
85, 86-87, 73-74, 104; increase ot 
money fosters, 148; land purchased 
for, on lower Ohio, 50, 52; more land 
purchased for, than for settlement, 
52; Morrison's interest in, 52; pre- 
emption rights perverted in interest 
of, 48; Prickett's interest in, 287; 
town of Waterloo in Monroe coun- 
ty, 79 ; universal interest in land, 152- 

Spencer [John C], member of the 
committee considering the memorial 
for statehood, 221 ; representative 
from New York, 221. 

Sprigg, William, did not recognize 
right of legislature to regulate 

Sprigg (cont.) 

courts, 198; friend of Kane, 200; re- 
fused to hold courts in accordance 
with United States act, 204, 205. 

Stokes precinct, 72. 
Standard, Thomas, 176. 

Starved Rock, Deschamps' brigade 
reaches, 33. 

Stephenson, Benjamin, 156; advertised 
merchandise in the Intelligencer, 
144 ; advertises for laborers, 143 ; 
comments on the judiciary system, 
199; convention delegate from Mad- 
ison, 256, 280; delegate from Illi- 
nois territory, 54, 194; from Ken- 
tucky, 194 ; held slaves, 84 ; interested 
in speculation, 154, 291 ; leader of 
the Edwards faction, 194, 291 ; mem- 
ber of committee of enrollments, 
268; opposed changes in slavery 
article, 280; protests against removal 
of settlers from improved land, 54; 
receiver of the land office in 
Edwardsville, 194; sheriff of Ran- 
dolph county, 194; transferred land 
to Edwards in Kaskaskia, 154 ; voted 
for proslavery measures in conven- 
tion, 256. See also "Pope, Messen- 
ger and Stephenson." 

Stratton township, located in Edgar 
county, 61. 

Street, Joseph M., 139,- 140; candidate 
for United States senator, 303 ; clerk 
of the courts in Gallatin county, 200; 
Hardin's political manager, 200; 
opinion of Kane, 200. 

Stuart, Robert, 32; agent of American 
Fur Company, 24-25 ; reports on in- 
fluence of American Fur Company, 

Stuart [Alexander], resigned judge- 
ship, 198. 
Stock, extent of raising of, 141-142. 

Sturgess, , advertised school at 

Prairie du Rocher, 164-165. 



Superior, Lake, 32; American Fur 
Company's traders on shores of, 23. 

Surrey [England], settlers for English 
settlement from, 109. 

Swearingen, , 154. 

Tait [Charles], senator of Georgia, 
proposed delay till census returns 
were made, 228. 

Talbot [I sham], opinion of, on the 
educational provision in the Illinois 
constitution, 229; opposed postpone- 
ment of passing enabling act, 228; 
senator from Kentucky, 229. 

Talbott, Benjamin, connection of, with 
the saline, 200. 

Tallmadge [James, Jr.], representa- 
tive from New York, 313 ; rested op- 
position to constitution on slavery 
article, 313-314. 315- 

Tamaroa, disappearance of, as dis- 
tinct tribe, 2. 

Taylor [John W.], representative from 
New York, 226; secures an amend- 
ment relative to bounty lands, 226- 

Tennessee, 102 n, 168; Claiborne of, 
221 ; constitution patterned after 
that of, 283; non-English immigra- 
tion into, 97; number of emigrants 
from, 94, 95, 96; Phillips from, 202; 
pioneers from, 101 ; Reynolds lived 
in, 103. 

Tennessee river, 71, 114. 

Thomas, Jesse B., candidate for United 
States senator, 303; established first 
carding machines, 152 n; friend of 
Kane, 200; headed movement for 
division of Indiana, 192; held courts 
in accordance with United States 
act, 204 ; introduced bill for grant for 
capital site, 310; Jones of Kaskaskia 
candidate against, as delegate to con- 
gress in 1808, p. 201 ; Jones of Shaw- 

Thomas (cont.) 

neetown half brother of, 201 ; leader, 
with Kane, of the anti-Edwards fac- 
tion, 201, 291 ; objected to the au- 
thority of the legislature over the 
judges, 198; opposed to speculation, 
206, 291 ; president of convention, 
263 ; represented Dearborn county at 
Vincennes in 1805, p. 187; secured 
office of judgeship, 192 ; senator, 303, 
316; signed petition of 1805, p. 189; 
succeeded Parke as Indiana delegate 
to congress, 191 ; supporter of Har- 
din, 200. 

Thomas, John, elected treasurer, 305; 
report of, 310. 

Towles [Thomas], held courts in ac- 
cordance with the United States act, 
204; succeeded Griswold as judge, 

Trade, American Fur Company con- 
ducts, 22-35 ; amount of, at Carmi, 
65; articles of French, 90; beginning 
of, with introduction of eastern man- 
ufactures, 147; effect of waterways 
on, 113; 

extent of : among pioneers, 131 ; 
at Kaskaskia, 76; British, with 
Indians, 9, 1 1 ; 

Indians' dependence on white peo- 
ple for, 8-9; introduction of more 
money increases, 147-148; limitations 
of, 152 ; merchants advertise for, 144- 
146; organization of factory system 
for Indians, 15-22. See also facto- 

Trammil, Philip, 117. 

Trimmer, , discusses plans for set- 
tlement, iio-ni ; led one of Flower's 
parties, 109; mentioned in Gallatin 
county census report, 264. 

Trinity, foundation of, 73. 

Union county, 300; census report 
from, 318; convention delegates 
from, voted on antislavery side, 256; 



Union (cont.) 

Cox state senator from, 300 ; descrip- 
tion and population of, 72-74 ; Echols 
and Whiteaker convention delegates 
from, 280; establishment of, in 1818, 
p. 220; formed from part of John- 
son county, 71; Jonesboro county 
seat of, 72; purchases in, 52; two 
delegates for the constitutional con- 
vention apportioned to, 228. See 
Alexander and Pulaski counties. 

Upham, Edward, Crooks gives advice 
to, 29. 

Upper Alton, called "Alton on the 
river" or Hunterstown, 85 ; Edwards 
held land in, 153 ; in race for capital 
site, 310; Peck describes, 85. 

Vandalia, 61. 

Vanorsdal, Simon, advertised lots in 
Illinoistown, 80. 

Varnum, Jacob, comments on British 
influence on Indians, n; factor at 
Chicago, II, 17. 

Vermilion county, 60; government sur- 
vey ran near boundary between Ed- 
gar county and, 42. 

Vermilion river, 37, 38, 40, 43; land 
ceded on, 39. 

Vermont, Flagg from, 129; number of 
emigrants from, 94. 

Vienna, made county sett of Johnson 
county, 71. 

Vienna precinct, 71. 

Village prairie, location of English set- 
tlement on, in. 

Vincennes (Post Vincents, Saint Vin- 
cents), 38, 40, 50, 61, 176, 181, 183; 
advantage of an east and west divi- 
sion to, 188 ; agency of Indian depart- 
ment at, 12; convention held at, 
in 1802 petitioning for the suspen- 
sion of the slavery article, 185; dis- 

Vincennes (cont) 

tance of Kaskaskia from, 76; Fos- 
ter in, 305; French crossed Wabash 
from, 63, 89 ; government survey ran 
through tract of, 42 ; Hill's Ferry lo- 
cated on road from, 288; Kaskaskia 
ceded land at, in 1803, p. 37 ; Kaskas- 
kia on road from, 8, 115; land office 
at, 44; Law from, 296 n; mail route 
established from, to St. Louis, 126; 
Parke from, 187; preemption rights 
in district of, 48-49; representatives 
assembled at, to elect delegate to con- 
gress and councilors, 187; road to 
St. Louis, 57, 62, 63, 82, 114-115, 119, 
146, 240, 289; seat of government of 
Knox county in 1788, p. 183. 

Virginia, 103, 134, 168, 235, 238; Bar- 
bour senator from, 228 ; ceded claims 
to Illinois country to federal gov- 
ernment, 181 ; Coles from, 242 ; emi- 
gration from, 92 ; Illinois country or- 
ganized as county of, 181; Lemen 
from, 319; non-English immigration 
into, 97; number of emigrants from, 
94, 95, 96. 

Wabash county, extent of settlement 
in, 63; formed from part of Ed- 
wards, 62. 

Wabash river, 10, 32, 37, 40, 60, 62, 
71, 89, 106, 126, 149, 176, 264, 288, 
305 ; American Fur Company traded 
along, 24; boundary established by 
the ordinance, 183; choice sites on, 
bought up, 105; extent of settle- 
ment along, 58, 61, 63, 65 ; fur trade 
region in valley of, 25 ; Hubbard vis- 
its, 34; influence of, on transporta- 
tion, 1 13 ; land ceded on, 39 ; number 
of American Fur Company em- 
ployees engaged on, 27; Palmyra 
located on, 64; part of Foster's cir- 
cuit, 305 ; Randolph and St. Clair 
counties extended to, in 1801, p. 
183 n; steamboat activity on, 114; 
settlement extended up, 38. 



Walker, Jesse, account of one of the 
circuits of, 175-179; influence of, in 
the Methodist church, 175. 

Walnut Hill, 63. 

Wanborough, in, 126; founding of, 

Warnock, John, appointed judge of 
western circuit, 305; candidate for 
associate judge, 305. 

War of 1812, p. 38, 68 ; activity of fur 
traders against Americans in, n; 
attitude of French-Canadians dur- 
ing, 16 ; bounty land reserved to sol- 
diers of, 43 ; British influence with 
Indians during, 9-10; emigration re- 
tarded by, 93; Fort Dearborn de- 
stroyed during, 12; fur traders sid- 
ing with British in, II n; location of 
trading houses before, 17 ; Northwest 
and Southwest companies controlled 
trade at close of, 22 ; settlement pro- 
gressed after, 61, 62, 63, 147; sur- 
veys proceeded quickly after, 42. 

Washington [D. C], 53, 76, 172, 202, 
209, 214, 220, 309, 310, 320. 

Washington county, 62, 281, 289 ; Bank- 
son convention delegate from, 280; 
census commissioner appointed in, 
238; census report of, 240, 264, 318; 
Covington county seat of, 81, 287; 
delegates from, admitted to the con- 
vention, 263; establishment of, in 
1818, p. 220; extent of settlement 
in, 81 ; formation of, from St. 
Clair, 81 ; McLean carried, in con- 
gressional election, 298; one senator 
apportioned to, 285 ; opposed to 
slavery, 261 ; organization of, 81 ; 
two delegates for the constitutional 
convention apportioned to, 228. 

Waterloo, located in Johnson county, 

Waterloo, foundation of, 78-79 ; located 
in Monroe county, 71 n, 78, 79 ; pres- 
ent county seat of Monroe, 78. 

Watson, James, carried mail and pas- 
sengers from Kaskaskia to St. Louis, 

Watts, Benjamin, opposed slavery, 261 

Wayne county, Illinois : extent of set- 
tlement in, 64; formed from part of 
Edwards, 62. 
Indiana : 167. 

Wayne, Fort, agency of Indian depart- 
ment at, 12; Indians define limits of 
grant of land surrendered at Green- 
ville at, 37; military establishment 
at, 12. 

Welsh, number of, in territory, 97. 

West [Hezekiah], convention delegate 
from Johnson, 280; voted against 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

Western Intelligencer, 86, 117, 118, 124, 
127, 128, 142, 144, 148, 150-151, 153, 
154, 157, 166, 203 n, 205, 208, 209, 

2IO, 212, 217, 217 n, 22O-22I, 222, 225, 

227, 231, 234, 237, 239, 240, 241, 242, 

247, 248, 249, 255, 258, 200, 262, 272, 
277, 288, 292, 294, 296, 297, 298, 304, 

308; name changed to Illinois Intel- 
ligencer, 172, 232; printed territorial 
and federal laws and proclamations, 
172-173. See also contributions by 
"Agis," "Anticipator," "Aristides," 
"Candor," "Caution," "A Citizen," 
"Common Sense," "Erin," "A friend 
to an able judiciary," "A foe to re- 
ligious tyranny," "A friend to en- 
quiry," "A friend to equal justice," 
"Independence," "Nemo," "An old 
farmer," "One of the people," "Pa- 
cificus," "The people," "Prudence," 
"A republican." 

Whiteaker [John], convention delegate 
from Union, 280; voted against 
changes in slavery article, 280. 

White, Benjamin, commissioner at 
Carmi, 143. 

White, Leonard, 161, 290; agent at the 
Shawneetown saline, 200; candidate 



White (cont.) 

for United States senator, 303 ; chair- 
man of committee to frame con- 
stitution, 265; commissioner at 
Carmi, 143; convention delegate 
from Gallatin, 280; interested in 
speculation, 291 ; member of the Ed- 
wards faction, 201, 291 ; proposed 
section for slavery article, 280-281 ; 
urged moving the capital to Pope's 
Bluff, 289 ; voted for changes in slav- 
ery article, 280. 

White county, 69, 281 ; Carmi county 
seat of, 65; census report from, 318; 
description and population of, 64-65 ; 
establishment of, 220 ; Hargrave rep- 
resentative from, 2O3n, 300; 
McHenry and Hargrave convention 
delegates from, 280; McLean 
expected to beat Bond in, 295; one 
senator apportioned to, 285; Rey- 
nolds carried, in election for lieuten- 
ant governor, 300; two delegates for 
the constitutional convention appor- 
tioned to, 228. See Hamilton county. 

White river, 176. 
Whitesides, Jacob, 175. 

Whiteside, William B., 156; appointed 
colonel of the militia, 202; opposed 
slavery, 261 n. 

Whitman [Ezekiel], member of the 
committee considering the memorial 
for statehood, 221 ; representative 
from Massachusetts, 221. 

Whitney, J. W., candidate for asso- 
ciate judge, 305. 

Will, Conrad, convention delegate 
from Jackson, 257, 280; leading rep- 
resentative of Germans, 102; owned 
salt works in Brownsville, 74; voted 
for changes in slavery articte, 280. 

Williamson county, formed from part 
of Franklin county, 71. 

Wilson, William, candidate for asso- 
ciate judge, 305; clerk and recorder 
of Jackson county, 305. 

Winnebago, 38; British presents dis- 
tributed to, 10 ; cede land, 40; hostil- 
ity of, due to British influence, 16; 
location of, 2, 3; origin of Dakota 
stock, 3; population of, 3. 

Wisconsin, 38; attempts to restore 
ordinance boundary, 226 n; Winne- 
bago located in, 2. 

Wisconsin river, 10; American Fur 
Company's traders in valley of, 23; 
Fort Crawford located on, 240. 

Wood river, 85, 128; road to mouth 
of, 114; settlements along, 84. 

Yale, Kane educated at, 200. 
York, 58; mail route to, 126. 
Young, , 119. 


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