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University of Illinois Library 

L161 O-1096 



Abraham Lincoln 




Illustrated with 'Photograph* 








Who gave me, when a child, my first interest 
in the story of Illinois 













IX THE WAR OF 1812 63 






XV THE BLACK HAWK WAR ....... 110 







CONTENTS Continued 










NOTES 247 

MAPS 257 

INDEX 261 




The Story of the Prairie State 



BEFORE you begin reading the story of Illinois, 
make a picture in your mind of how the land 
lies, with reference to the rest of the United States. 
Perhaps you will need your geography to help you. 
Very well, study the maps carefully. For it is im- 
possible to read history without having geography 
for your foundation. 

You will find, then, that Illinois has a remarka- 
ble location, more than almost any other state in 
the Union. About half-way between the two oceans, 
it is also half-way between north and south. Far 
enough north to escape the enervating southern 
heat, far enough south to escape the very severe 
northern winter, its four seasons offer a variety of 

You will notice, too, how many waterways Illi- 



nois has the rivers that flow across it, plus those 
forming its boundary lines, plus the great lake on 
the northeast. Find on your map a state that has 
no waterways on its boundary, find some that have 
fewer than Illinois ; can you find one that has more ? 
Notice how the rivers all flow southwest, but how 
the land slopes so gradually that there are no rapids. 

And see how nature made it easy to reach Illi- 
nois, joining her to Virginia and the south by the 
Ohio River, and by the Illinois, the link between the 
lakes and the Mississippi, making easy connection 
with the French settlements in Canada. From north 
and east and south have come her people, giving 
richness and variety to her story. Through all the 
years, but especially in the early days, Illinois's many 
waterways have been an important factor in her de- 
velopment. You will find this, over and over, ,as 
you read, so keep it well in mind. 

Now, look at a map showing mines, and see where 
Illinois stands. No gold and silver, but coal ! More 
than three-fourths of the state has strata of this 
black "imprisoned sunshine," made, the wise men 
say, by forests of trees and tall ferns which for 
centuries crystallized the sunbeams into stores of 
future energy. The first coal found in the New 
World was in Illinois, the first use made of it was 
in Tonty's forge in the fort at Starved Rock. 1 Its 
discovery was second in importance only to the find- 


ing of the Mississippi Valley. Yet those early seek- 
ers for mines were disappointed ! 

And over the coal, from ten to two hundred feet 
deep, is the rich soil of the prairies. Treeless, level 
or slightly rolling, extremely fertile, the surface of 
Illinois has made its contribution to her greatness. 

Rich, varied, unusual as are nature's gifts to the 
state, they are equaled only by the romance of her 
history. No other state in the Union has such a 
background of color and adventure. No other has 
given more to the story of the nation. Claimed by 
Spain, explored and occupied by France, held by 
England, conquered by the American forces, the 
record is full of variety and interest. And it is not 
a story merely the wonderful thing is that it is all 



KNG after the voyages of Columbus, long after 
Spain and France and England and Holland 
had planted their colonies in America, the valley of 
the Mississippi was an unknown region. Although 
DeSoto's journey to the "father of waters" gave 
Spain a claim to the Illinois country, and though this 
claim was confirmed by the Pope, the Spanish did 
nothing to explore or colonize it. Not until 1673, 
when the first of the French arrived, does Illinois 
history really begin. 

But back of that, so far back that they are lost 
in the dim past, stretch slender threads of her story. 
For when the French came, they found here traces 
of a vanished people. We call them the "mound 
builders," from the peculiar mounds they raised. 
Were they forts, or altars, or sites of towns, or 
cemeteries, or signal stations ? No one can answer. 

The mounds are scattered over Illinois, along the 
principal waterways. By the shore of Lake Mich- 
igan, along the bluffs of the Mississippi, near the 
Ohio and Rock and Wabash Rivers, you can see to- 



day the remnants of their building. 1 And curious 
they are some as large as seven hundred feet, some 
made of soil brought from miles away, so numerous 
they hint at an enormous number of workmen em- 

The very little we know of these people we learn 
from the mounds themselves, and from the things 
found in them flint spades and hoes, pottery, 
woven cloth, polished stone implements, and others 
of thin, hammered copper, silver, or iron, all show- 
ing a higher stage of development than the Indians 
had reached, yet far behind the civilization of Cen- 
tral America. 2 

But it is all so long ago that we can but guess at 
their history, and only geological words go far 
enough back to tell it. 

Beside these traces of a prehistoric people, the 
first comers found Indians here, belonging to the 
Algonquin family. The Illinois were five tribes in 
a federation Tamaroas, Michigamies, Kaskaskias, 
Cahokias and Peorias like the famous Five Na- 
tions in New York State, but not so well organized. 3 
The name of state and river comes from "Illini," 
as they called themselves, with a French ending. 

The Indians wandered over the prairies, living by 
hunting and fishing and a most primitive agriculture. 
Without knowing the use of iron, without domestic 
animals, without a written language, they were sav- 


ages, and fighting was their principal occupation. 
For all the years they lived here, their story is con- 
stant warfare war that was cruel and cowardly 
and causeless, in which men and women and children 
alike perished. 

And if you argue that the Europeans had no right 
to take away the Indians' land, expelling the red men 
from their hunting grounds, for their own selfish 
advancement, the answer is contained in just those 
words. For the Indians, they were hunting grounds 
and nothing more. For the white men they are per- 
manent fields of grain, sites for great cities, for 
manufacturing and mining, providing a livelihood 
for thousands and even millions of people, where 
only a few hundred Indians could live. They make 
a higher civilization possible, a greater blessing to 
humanity, a greater good to the greatest number. 

And whatever you may say of the white man's 
unfairness and injustice to the red, not an incident 
in their history relates such treatment as one Indian 
tribe frequently gave to another. La Salle tells of 
an Iroquois invasion into Illinois, and the cruel 
death of hundreds of the Illinois tribes. And the 
French accounts show that in fifty-seven years their 
fighting men were reduced from twelve thousand 
to only six hundred warriors. 4 

Our Indian history is picture after picture of 
savage war between the Illinois federation and the 

Cahokia, or "Monk's Mound," Madison Co., 111. 






other tribes living in the state. It is a story of deso- 
lation and extermination, for their aim was always 
to waste and destroy, not to build up. Nearly two 
hundred years passed, after the coming of the 
French, before the Indians were finally banished 
from Illinois. 



YOU have learned, in your study of United 
States history, of the coming of the French to 
America; how they based their claim on the voyage 
of Verrazani, how Cartier started a first settlement 
in Canada, how Champlain founded Quebec and 
made journeys of discovery to the south and west 
for a thousand miles. Their first knowledge of 
Illinois was when Champlain heard from the Lake 
Huron Indians of a people living still farther west, 
"a nation where there is a quantity of buffalo," and 
so he described the prairie country on his map. 1 

The French settlements reached out toward the 
southwest, up the St. Lawrence and along the Great 
Lakes. Little by little they learned the geography 
of this country. Traders and priests frequently 
sent back Indian reports of a great water beyond, 
hinting of an ocean not far away, or a river running 
into some western sea. It was to settle this question 
that the governor in Montreal sent Marquette and 
Joliet on a trip of exploration, whose chief object, 



wrote the Jesuit superior-general in Canada, "was 
to know in what sea emptied the great river of which 
the Indians tell so many stories.'*' 2 Their aim was 
the very same that had sent Columbus, nearly two 
centuries before, across the Atlantic to find a water 
route to India. Their journey was, like his, unsuc- 
cessful, but they did find something fully as impor- 

Born in Quebec, Louis Joliet was a fur-trader. 
In a trip to the copper mines near Lake Superior, 
he had won a reputation for courage and skill. He 
had the prudence necessary for a dangerous voyage, 
the courage to fear nothing where there was every- 
thing to fear. He had enterprise, boldness, deter- 
mination. He knew several Indian languages. 
There was not a man in Canada better fitted to un- 
dertake a great discovery. 3 

Joliet was already acquainted with the good priest, 
Jacques Marquette, who for five years had been a 
missionary on the lakes. The Illinois tribes had vis- 
ited his mission station in 1670, telling of the rich- 
ness of their country, making him eager to visit it, 
to open the way for Christianity. 

Marquette, with face thin and careworn, eyes deep 
set, dressed in a rusty black robe, with crucifix and 
rosary, was a religious enthusiast, fired with zeal. 
Joliet, broad-shouldered, alert, with intelligent face 
and energetic gesture, was a great contrast. The 


Jesuit's one thought, the salvation of souls; the 
trader's ambition, to win glory for himself and for 
France they made a good team, one supplementing 
the other. 4 

"My companion," said Marquette to the Indians, 
"is an envoy of France to discover new countries, 
and I am an ambassador from God to enlighten them 
with the gospel." 

The winter of 1672 Joliet spent in the mission 
station at Mackinac, and the two friends completed 
their plans for the journey. 

"As we were going to seek unknown countries," 
wrote the priest, in a report to his superior, "we took 
all possible precautions that, if our enterprise was 
hazardous, it should not be foolhardy; for this rea- 
son we gathered all possible information from In- 
dians who had frequented those parts, and even from 
their accounts traced a map of all the new country, 
marking down the rivers on which we were to sail, 
the names of the nations and places through which 
we were to pass, the course of the great river, and 
what direction we should take when we got to it. 

"We were not long in preparing our outfit, al- 
though we were embarking on a voyage the duration 
of which we could not foresee. Indian corn, with 
some dried meat, was our whole stock of provisions. 
With this we set out in two bark canoes, M. Jollyet, 
myself, and five men, firmly resolved to do all and 
suffer all for so glorious an enterprise." 5 


Starting in May, crossing the narrow portage 
from the Fox River, they paddled down the Wiscon- 
sin and "safely entered the Mississippi on the 17th 
of June, with a joy that I can not express." Hoist- 
ing the sails on their canoes, they floated down the 
"father of waters," between the "broad plains of 
Illinois and Iowa, all garlanded with majestic for- 
ests and chequered with illimitable prairies and 
island groves." 

"At last, on the 25th of June, we perceived foot- 
prints of men by the water-side, and a beaten path 
entering a beautiful prairie. . . . We stopped to 
examine it, and concluding that it was a path lead- 
ing to some Indian village, we resolved to go and 
reconnoitre. . . . M. Jollyet and I ... fol- 
lowed the little path in silence, and having advanced 
about two leagues, we discovered a village on the 
banks of the river. . . . Then, indeed, we recom- 
mended ourselves to God, with all our hearts; and, 
having implored His help, we passed on undiscov- 
ered, and came so near that we even heard the 
Indians talking. We then deemed it time to an- 
nounce ourselves, as we did by a cry. . . . The 
Indians rushed out of their cabins, and having 
probably recognized us as French, especially seeing 
a black gown, . . . they deputed four old men 
to come and speak with us. ... I ... asked 
them who they were ; they answered that they were 
Ilini, and, in token of peace, they presented their 
pipes to smoke." 


Marquette's report goes on to tell of their enter- 
tainment in that village, and how the chief 

"begged us, on behalf of his whole nation, not to 
proceed further, on account of the great dangers to 
which we exposed ourselves. 

"I replied that I did not fear death/ and that I 
esteemed no happiness greater than that of losing 
my life for the glory of Him who made all. But 
this those poor people could not understand." 


Before they left the Indians 

"made us a present, an all-mysterious calumet, . . . 
than which there is nothing among them more mys- 
terious or more esteemed. Men do not pay to the 
crowns and sceptres of kings the honor they pay to 
it ; it seems to be the god of peace and war. . . . 
Carry it about you and show it, and you can march 
fearlessly amid enemies. . . . Hence the Ilinois 
gave me one, to serve as my safeguard amid all the 
nations that I had to pass on my voyage." 

South they went, past the painted bird of Piasa, 
past the dangerous sweep of the Missouri, where it 
joins its yellow stream to the Mississippi, the peace 
pipe about Marquette's neck probably giving them 
more protection than his cross. And, after a month's 
journey down the Mississippi, satisfied from Indian 
accounts and their own observations that it flowed 
into the Gulf of Mexico, and fearing they might 


fall into the hands of the Spaniards if they reached 
the sea, they decided to return. 

The priest became ill and lay helpless in the bot- 
tom of the canoe for weeks, while the little party 
slowly made their way against the current. Of spe- 
cial interest is their route north, for they left the 
Mississippi and went up the quiet Illinois, the In- 
dians telling them this was a shorter route and 
would bring them on their way with little trouble. 

"We had seen nothing like this river," writes 
Marquette, "for the fertility of the land, its prairies, 
woods, wild cattle, stag, deer, . . . ducks, par- 
rots, and even beaver; its many lakes and rivers." 

By way of Chicago and Lake Michigan, they re- 
turned to Green Bay in September, without losing 
a man or receiving any hurt or injury whatever. 
Joliet, returning to Canada the next spring, was 
within sight of Montreal when his canoe was upset 
in the rapids, and his carefully drawn map and full 
report, telling all that was curious and interesting in 
their voyage, was lost. Marquette thus becomes the 
historian of the French discovery of the Mississippi, 
and the report he wrote from the mission station in 
Wisconsin is Illinois's first historic document. He 
was more interested in converting the savages than 
in explorations, so that his journal is brief, but cor- 
rect and reliable. 8 


The French were astonished at the magnitude of 
their discoveries the soil and its products, the buf- 
falo, the beauty of the country. And we are equally 
astonished at this journey a four months' trip in 
frail canoes, covering twenty-five hundred miles, 
discovering the greatest valley in the world. 

Marquette remained at the Green Bay mission 
for a year, regaining his strength after so many 
hardships, and then started south, to keep his prom- 
ise and establish a mission among the Illinois tribes. 
His party arrived at the site of Chicago early in 
December, describing it as "a snow-covered prairie 
and an ice-bound river." 7 The priest being ill again, 
they determined to spend the winter there, and built 
a rude hut. Though it was cold and bleak, game 
was plentiful, and some friendly Indians were en- 
camped near by. 

By the last of March Marquette was able to travel 
to Kaskaskia, where he was received as an angel 
from Heaven. Five hundred chiefs and old men and 
fifteen hundred youths came to the great council 
where he said mass and took possession of the land 
in the name of Christ. He named the mission "the 
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin," re- 
deeming his vow at the beginning of his voyage 
with Joliet. The mission kept this name, even when 
the village was moved south nearly to the mouth 
of the Kaskaskia River. And the little church and 


parish in New Kaskaskia are to-day called Immacu- 
late Conception. 8 

Very ill, Marquette had to leave in a few months, 
and died on the way to Canada. His was a lovely 
character, and his self-sacrifice endeared him to 
every one. He gave himself up entirely to the most 
severe and dangerous service, not with complaints, 
but with the greatest pleasure. Among all the de- 
vout missionaries he has no equal for piety, for holi- 
ness of purpose, for the great tasks he performed. 

If you would know more about him, read his life, 
by Thwaites, or chapter five in Parkman's Discov- 
ery of the Great West. Read Marquette's own re- 
ports, which you will find translated in Breese's 
Early History of Illinois, and in Shea's Discovery 
and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley; part of 
Shea's translation is reprinted in the first volume 
of the collections of the Illinois State Historical 
Library. You will like especially Marquette's de- 
scription of the buffalo, of their stay in the Illinois 
village, and his unfinished letter telling of his last 
visit to these tribes, the end of the story written 
by one of the French priests who accompanied him. 



THE news of this discovery set all Canada on 
fire, and France, too, caught the fever. Most 
important of the men suddenly enthusiastic for 
western enterprise was Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la 
Salle. The son of wealthy Rouen parents, he had 
joined a brother in Montreal and become a fur- 
trader. He was the first to see how important Mar- 
quette's discovery was, and to make the French gov- 
ernment realize it and give him authority to carry 
out his plan. This was no less than to extend the 
French empire in America into the southwest, to 
explore the Mississippi, open the country to French 
trade, and make the river a highway for the world's 
commerce. 1 

Something of La Salle's difficulties you already 
know : how the king gave him a title, a grant of land, 
command of the forts which he might erect, but 
no funds at all ; how, when Fort Frontenac was fin- 
ished, he built a vessel of forty tons, with great 
white sails and the figurehead of a griffin ; how from 
his trading-post at Mackinac he sent the Griffin east 



across Lake Ontario, with a rich cargo of furs; and 
how then his little party started south. 

Thirty men and three priests it was certainly 
not a military expedition ! The religious leader was 
the ambitious Father Hennepin, more explorer than 
priest. The lieutenant was Henri de Tonty, an 
Italian, who had lost one hand in a battle in Sicily, 
and was called by the Indians "the man with the 
iron hand." They might well have named the leader, 
La Salle, him of the iron will ; for his courage was 
never daunted, no matter what disasters and mis- 
fortunes came to him. Only such a character could 
have made his achievements possible. 

Without waiting for news of the boat's safe ar- 
rival, they went up the St. Joe, crossed the portage, 
down the Kankakee and into Illinois. It was now 
December, and their provisions were very low. 
Reaching an Indian village near Ottawa, they were 
disheartened to find it deserted, the red men away 
on their winter hunt. But they did find some corn, 
stored for seed in the spring, and took what they 

Farther down the river they overtook the Illinois 
tribes, paid for the corn with axes, and received 
permission to build a fort, promising help against 
the Iroquois. The fort was named Crevecoeur, in 
English "broken heart." And many writers have 
thought La Salle chose it because of his disappoint- 


ments and difficulties. Indeed, Father Hennepin 
says : 

"We named it the fort of Crevecoeur, because 
of the desertion of our men, and the other difficulties 
we labored under had almost broke our hearts." 2 

And certainly La Salle had every reason to be 
heavy-hearted. For his little group was far in ad- 
vance of any of the French settlements; the Indians 
were at best uncertain friends; two of his carpen- 
ters had deserted; his men threatened to mutiny, 
and had tried to poison him; most of all, if the 
Griffin were really lost, it meant financial ruin. 

Yet, if La Salle were utterly discouraged and 
heart-broken, would he have told his men? What 
they needed was encouragement. Crevecceur may 
sound romantic, but there must be some explana- 
tion; and recent study has perhaps supplied it. A 
few years before, the army of Louis XIV had cap- 
tured a fort in the Netherlands called Crevecceur, 
and the name may have been a compliment to the 
king. This is the more credible, since we know now 
that Tonty, who was for years a French soldier, 
had taken part in the capture of the Dutch fort. 3 

The American Crevecceur was nearly finished, 
as was the boat they were building, when La Salle 
divided his men. Father Hennepin, who could, 


thought the leader, do more good by exploring than 
by preaching, was sent down the Illinois to its 
mouth, and then up the Mississippi, in the hope that 
it led west to India. The whole country seemed 
so fine and pleasant that the priest says one might 
justly call it "the delight of America." 

At the falls of St. Anthony he and his two men 
were taken prisoners by the Sioux Indians, detained 
several months, and finally reached Canada. Like 
Marquette, Hennepin wrote about his adventures, 
but some of his accounts are not altogether reliable, 
though they reached over twenty editions, in six 
languages. "He writes of what he saw in places 
where he never was," says a contemporary; "the 
name of honor they gave him there (in Canada) 
is the great liar."* 

The second division was to return to Canada, 

"All the wood had been prepared to finish the bark, 
but we had neither rigging nor sails nor iron 
enough," writes Tonty. "La Salle determined in 
this extremity not to wait longer, but to proceed on 
foot to Fort Frontenac, five hundred leagues away, 
for the necessary equipment. The ground was still 
covered with snow. His outfit must contain a blan- 
ket, a kettle, an axe, a gun, powder and lead and 
dressed skins for shoes (our French shoes being of 
no use in these western countries). He must push 
through bushes, walk in marshes and melting snow, 


sometimes waist high for whole days, sometime 
even with nothing to eat, because he must needs d< 
pend for subsistence on what he might shoot an 
drink only the water he might find on the wa; 
Besides this he was constantly exposed to four c 
five Indian nations making war on each other." 

And later Tonty wrote, from his own experience 

"There is no pleasure in meeting warriors o 
one's road, especially when they have been unsu< 
cessful." 5 

In spite of the severe weather, in spite of ston 
and famine and sickness, they arrived safely. Th 
Griffin had not been heard from. La Salle straigh 
ened out his financial affairs, got a new outfit tc 
gether, enlisted twenty-five men, and again set 01 
for Illinois. 

Meantime Tonty, left at Crevecoeur with "thre 
honest men and a dozen plotting knaves," was ha-\ 
ing serious troubles. Ten of his followers desertec 
looted the magazine, took what food they coul 
carry, and cast the rest into the river. Thrown o 
the charity of the Indians, Tonty's little party too 
refuge in their village for six months. Here th 
Illinois Indians were attacked by their old enenr 
the Iroquois. The French tried their best to mat; 
a truce between them, the Illinois tribes retreate 




to the south, and Tonty, forced to leave, returned 
to Mackinac. 

So when La Salle arrived he found the fort ab- 
solutely deserted. The savage Iroquois, the mo- 
ment the French had gone, devastated the village, 
burned the lodges, and left the ground strewn with 
corpses of women and children. La Salle searched 
to see if any Frenchmen were there, turning over 
body after body, relieved to find no trace of them. 6 

Hoping to find them prisoners, he followed the 
Indians down the Illinois River to the Mississippi, 
searching for loyal Tonty. There his men proposed 
going on down the great fiver, but he must find 
his friends first ; so they went north again, and after 
fourteen months' separation La Salle met his lieu- 

"Any one else except him," wrote one of the 
priests, "would have abandoned the enterprise, but 
he, with a firmness and constancy which never had 
its equal, was more resolved than ever to push for- 
ward his work." 7 

The two friends had hardly greeted each other be- 
fore they were planning another expedition ; and in 
1682 La Salle and Tonty finally explored the Mis- 
sissippi clear to the sea. Many were their adven- 
tures on the way, many the strange tribes they met. 
Holding up the calumet, the Italian approached one 


group, who joined their hands in token of friend- 

"But I, who had but one hand, could only tell 
my men do the same in response." 

At the mouth of the Mississippi, with imposing 
ceremony, they erected a column and a cross, with 
the arms of France, and took possession of the 
country, calling it Louisiana. This valley was an 
empire far larger than France had in Europe, and 
extended her American boundary from Niagara to 
the gulf. La Salle saw at once its great resources 
and dreamed of its future. He conceived the idea 
of a New France, controlling the St. Lawrence, the 
chain of lakes and the Mississippi Valley. He 
planned a chain of military stations, which should 
be centers for trade and colonizing, and should hem 
the English in along the Atlantic coast. He himself 
built six of these posts, and his far-seeing plan be- 
came the policy of the French kings, till there were 
sixty forts whose possession determined the history 
of America. 8 

One of these posts, said La Salle, must be in the 
Illinois country, to prevent Iroquois raids. On their 
way north from the Gulf of Mexico, Tonty was 
left to finish fortifying the great rock on the Illi- 
nois River, which nature had begun. Impregnable 
on three sides, the fourth could be approached only 


by a narrow winding path. Here the French made 
additional palisades, felling trees and dragging them 
up the steep path with incredible labor. Almost like 
an eagle's nest, the fort was built on the summit and 
named St. Louis du Rocher. 9 

In the valley far below gathered the Indians, 
nearly fourteen thousand of them. La Salle's plan 
was to protect them, teach them agriculture and 
Christianity, and sell them French goods in ex- 
change for their furs. As governor of the country, 
Tonty held this vast group together, kept his garri- 
son busy and contented, and exerted unbounded in- 
fluence over the Indians. 

Priests, traders, even the Illinois tribes, when the 
Iroquois appeared, found the fort a place of refuge 
in the wilderness. But after twenty years a jealous 
governor in Canada took away Tonty's position, the 
great rock became a trading-post, and later was 
burned by the Indians. The record of the "Jesuit 
Relations" says that Tonty died of yellow fever, at 
Biloxi, in 1704. 10 But the Indian legend is that in 
the summer of 1718 Tonty's canoe once more ar- 
rived at Fort St. Louis, on a sad errand, and here 
died the brave Italian of the iron hand and loyal 
heart. 11 

And there is another tradition of this great rock, 
telling the story of a group of Illinois Indians who 
took refuge here, hoping to escape the general 


slaughter that followed Pontiac's death. The sav- 
age enemy they easily kept at bay, but hunger and 
thirst defeated them. With true Indian fortitude 
they lay down to die, and for years afterward their 
bones whitened the summit of the rock. And in 
memory of this tragedy the site of Tonty's fort is 
called, not St. Louis, but Starved Rock. 

You remember the sad ending of La Salle's ad- 
ventures? How he sailed from France to form a 
settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi, that Illi- 
nois might have a direct connection with the West 
Indies and Europe; how one ship went down in a 
storm, and one was captured by the Spanish; how 
by accident they went too far west and landed in 
Texas ; and how the dauntless leader, starting over- 
land to get help in Illinois or Canada, was murdered 
by one of his jealous men? 

La Salle was a busy, restless spirit, a man of in- 
domitable energy, untiring in his efforts to promote 
the interests of France. He was not a trader nor 
a priest, but an empire builder, seeing beyond his 
time the future of a continent. He was, writes 
Tonty, "one of the greatest men of the age, of 
wonderful ability, and capable of accomplishing any 
enterprise." 12 

Would you like to read more of these two 
friends? Parkman's Discovery of the Great West 


tells their story, much of it translated from old 
French reports, and written in a most fascinating 
style. And you will find, in the first volume of the 
Illinois Historical Collections, Hennepin's narrative 
in English, and a memoir of Tonty, quaintly told 
and full of details. 

You'd rather have a real story? Then read the 
Man with the' Iron Hand, by Parish, and Gather- 
wood's Story of Tonty, where La Salle and his little 
niece, Father Hennepin and Tonty are the charac- 
ters at Fort Frontenac and Starved Rock. 


UNLIKE most European colonies, which began 
with forts and palisades, the French frontier 
settlements were first a group of Indian lodges, then 
missionary stations with chapels, then trading-posts 
with store houses, and finally isolated villages. Vag- 
abond wanderers, voyageurs, as the skilled river 
boatmen were called, and the forest outlaws, cou- 
reurs de bois, mingling with soldiers, priests and 
traders, formed a picturesque population. Little by 
little farmers came, and permanent settlements 
grew up. 

Hunting and fishing supplied a living, the soil 
was very fertile, the climate mild and healthful. 
Best of all, the French were always on friendly 
terms with the Indians. In comparison with the 
English colonies, the early settlements in Illinois had 
few difficulties. There were no taxes to be paid, 
no government to be supported, the priests were the 
leaders of the people. 

But France was having constant war in Europe 
and could not send supplies or men to this distant 



province. So in 1712 the king granted to one of 
his counselors, Antoine Crozat, the commerce of 
Louisiana, which included Illinois. He was to 
search for mines, paying to the crown a fifth of the 
gold and silver and pearls he found, and a tenth 
of any other minerals. 1 For the French, like Eng- 
lishmen and Spaniards, believed the country to be 
fabulously rich. 

For four years Crozat's men dug and bored and 
prospected, finding only the lead mines in Missouri, 
opposite Kaskaskia. Clearly gold and silver were 
not here, and the grant was soon surrendered to 
the king. 

Louisiana was then given to the Company of the 
West, part of John Law's marvelous credit scheme 
to rebuild the finances of France. 2 At the mouth 
of the Mississippi they founded the city of New 
Orleans. To protect the Illinois settlements they 
built Fort Chartres, a few miles above Kaskaskia. 

Where the government's notes had been worth 
only twenty-two per cent., Law's shares were soon 
selling for thirteen hundred, for all France went 
crazy over his bank. The great fortunes made were 
quickly lost, .for the scheme was a bubble that burst. 
The company was wrecked, Louisiana reverted to 
the crown, and the king made a new government 
for this province, separate from Canada, with Illi- 
nois one of its districts. For the first time men 


could secure titles to the lands they had held only 
at the sufferance of the Indians. 3 

From Law's company the Illinois settlements re- 
ceived a new impulse. New Orleans now offered 
a market for all their surplus products. Going in 
convoys for safety, the boats carried flour, buffalo 
meat and venison, lead from the mines, furs and 
hides, and brought back in exchange rice, sugar, and 
cloth from Europe. 

From 1740 to 1750 was the most prosperous dec- 
ade, with perhaps a thousand people living in the 
five French villages. Each settlement had a com- 
mon where all the cattle and horses were pastured, 
and each family kept up its part of the fencing. 
The houses were one story high, made of large tim- 
bers, the cracks filled up with mortar, and white- 
washed inside and out. They were an, honest, de- 
vout people, and their story has few exciting events. 
So far from Europe, so isolated from other settle- 
ments in America, there is little to tell save as Euro- 
pean history touches Illinois. 

Do you remember how James II, driven from his 
English throne in 1688, fled to France, and Louis 
XIV took up arms in his defense, and began a se- 
ries of wars between the two countries? They are 
named for the English rulers, William, Anne, and 
George. You have studied in United States history 
the campaigns in Canada and along the Atlantic 


coast. Both nations recognized that distant posses- 
sions would be easy points of attack. The French 
realized then, if not before, the importance of their 
missions in the west, builded better than the priests 
knew, holding a long frontier for France, keeping 
the Indians as their allies. 

"God alone could have saved Canada this year," 
wrote one governor-general. "But for the missions 
at the west, Illinois would have been abandoned, the 
fort of Mackinaw would have been lost, and a gen- 
eral rising among the natives, have completed the 
ruin of New France." 4 And one of his successors, 
years later, wrote to Paris: "The little colony of 
Illinois ought not to be left to perish. The king 
must sacrifice for its support. The principal ad- 
vantage of the country is its extreme productiveness, 
and its connection with Canada and Louisiana must 
be maintained." 5 

But war or peace in Europe did not touch Illinois 
until the fourth contest began. For by 1750 Illinois 
was no longer isolated. Ever east had gone the line 
of French forts Niagara, Crown Point and Ticon- 
deroga, Vincennes, Massac on the Ohio, Duquesne, 
until they reached the eastern part of the Ohio Val- 
ley just as the English were crossing the Alleghanies 
from the Atlantic slope. The French gave warn- 
ing that their territory was being taken. The Ohio 
Company sent George Washington to warn the 


French off English ground; and with his building 
and surrender of Fort Necessity the war was on. 

In preparation for this conflict the French rebuilt 
Fort Chartres, in Illinois, spending nearly a million 
dollars on a great stone fortification which they 
proudly called "the Gibraltar of the west." 6 Indeed, 
an English engineer described it as "the most com- 
modious and best built fort in North America." 
But it saw no fighting; the battles were all in Can- 
ada, south of the lakes, and at the most eastern of 
the frontier posts. 

Remember, however, that Illinois was French and 
not English, and that soldiers from Fort Chartres 
were fighting, not with Braddock and Wolfe and 
Washington, but under French generals. French 
troops from Illinois watched "Monsieur de Wach- 
enston" capitulate at Fort Necessity, and march back 
to Virginia on the fourth of July. They helped in 
the clever ambush that resulted in Braddock' s de- 
feat. They captured a fort in Pennsylvania. They 
sent men and provisions to Duquesne. Many of 
them were taken prisoners at Fort Niagara. They 
were under Montcalm at Quebec, when both gener- 
als lost their lives in the battle that decided the fu- 
ture of a continent. 7 

And when peace was declared, in 1763, Canada 
and Louisiana east of the Mississippi were surren- 
dered to the English. For ninety years the French 


had labored in Illinois, with never a lack of volun- 
teers, when there fell some trader, explorer, or sol- 
dier of the cross. Yet they left no permanent im- 
press on the country. 

"Our life is passed," said a priest, describing his 
duties, "in rambling through thick woods, in climb- 
ing over hills, in paddling the canoe across lakes and 
rivers, to catch a poor savage who flies from us, 
and whom we can neither tame by teachings nor 
caresses." 8 And years later another sorrowfully 
summed up his labors: "I can not say that my 
little efforts produced fruit. With regard to these 
nations, perhaps some one by a secret effort of grace 
has profited; this God only knows." 9 

All their years of sacrifice and toil came to 
naught, for the Indians never accepted Christianity. 
The Jesuits did, it is true, accumulate some prop- 
erty, for when they were expelled from France and 
French possessions, the commandant at Fort Char- 
tres seized their mills for corn and planks, their 
stone church and chapel, a large stone house, a brew- 
ery, a farm of two hundred acres, and great herds 
of cattle and horses. 

Like their missionaries, the French settlers ac- 
complished little of value. To-day the fact of their 
occupancy of Illinois is scarcely more than a dream. 
For they were not successful colonizers and home 
builders, forming self-governing communities. Be- 


neath the waters of the Mississippi their villages 
disappeared, or through the gradual desertion of 
their people. They were a wedge in the wilderness, 
a foundation for the Americans. But all that France 
did in Illinois is past history; there is no present. 

Old Kaskaskia, by Catherwood, is an interesting 
story of this French settlement. And you will want 
to read the melancholy tale of the heroic D'Arta- 
guette, commandant at Fort Chartres in the seven- 
teen thirties (this you will find in the Historical 
Library volume for 1905). 



IN succeeding to power in 1763 England soon 
discovered that she had not succeeded to the 
French influence over the Indians. The French had 
something which adapted them peculiarly to the hab- 
its and feelings of the red men, something which the 
English did not have and never learned. 

"When the French came hither, they came and 
kissed us," said an old chief; "they called us chil- 
dren, and we found them fathers ; we lived like chil- 
dren in the same lodge." 

Not so the English. When they obtained the 
country dissatisfaction showed immediately among 
the western tribes. "The conduct of the French 
never gave rise to suspicion," commented Pontiac, 
"the conduct of the English never gave rest to it." 
So he planned to drive the "dogs in red clothes" 
into the sea, by uniting the tribes along the whole 
frontier, more than a thousand miles, into a con- 
federacy. 1 

You remember how the Indians determined to 



"shut up the way/' by attacking all the British posts 
on the same day; and how, by a ball game and other 
tricks, they did win eleven forts, taking the English 
wholly by surprise? Their plan seemed near suc- 
cess when word came to Detroit that peace was 
made between French and English, and the red men 
would be given no more ammunition. 

"Our great father," said the French commandant 
at Fort Chartres, "can do no more for his red chil- 
dren; he is beyond the sea and can not hear their 
voices; you must make peace with the English." 2 

Gradually Pontiac's eighteen tribes deserted, he 
abandoned Detroit and went to Illinois, where he 
was murdered by a vagabond Indian, bribed with a 
barrel of whisky. But for two years he was vir- 
tually the ruler in the western country, and England 
made several vain attempts to take possession of 
Illinois. Her officers were waylaid, taken prisoner, 
or killed; the Indians continued to "shut up the 

Not until October, 1765, did a company of kilted 
Highlanders arrive at Fort Chartres. The twenty- 
one French soldiers formally surrendered the "Gi- 
braltar of the west." The white flag of France, 
with the three lilies, came down, and in its place 
was the red cross of St. George. 

Illinois was now an English colony, part of the 


province of Quebec, governed by George III. Un- 
der orders from General Gage, commander-in-chief 
of all the British forces in America, the same Gen- 
eral Gage who was afterward in Boston, a royal 
proclamation was read at Kaskaskia, promising re- 
ligious freedom to the French, who were Roman 
Catholics. 3 Even with this assurance the inhabi- 
tants so dreaded English rule that fully a third of 
.them left their homes, crossing to the Spanish at 
St. Louis or going down the river to New Orleans. 
So the newcomers did no more than keep the popu- 
lation even. 

A small English garrison was stationed at Fort 
Chartres. When the Mississippi, suddenly rising 
one spring, washed away one side of the stone fort, 
the troops were moved to Kaskaskia, where they 
surrounded the old Jesuit building with a stockade 
and called it Fort Gage. 4 

The thirteen years of British rule in Illinois are 
singularly eventless, especially when you remember 
the remarkable happenings of these years along the 
coast. For during this time Parliament was tax- 
ing the colonies without giving them representation. 
The great debt following the French wars was in- 
curred, said the English, for your defense, and you 
must help pay. 

Not in that way, said the colonies. The tax on 


tea, the Boston party, the shots fired at Lexington, 
the battle of Bunker Hill, brought on the Revolu- 
tionary War. But, just as during the French wars, 
Illinois was far away from the actual fighting. 



WHILE the thirteen colonies were righting the 
armies of George III the first settlements 
were being made on the frontier. From Virginia 
and North Carolina the newcomers advanced into 
Kentucky to take possession of the land. 

Immediately there was trouble with the Indians. 
Stirred up by the English traders and by Hamilton, 
the governor at Detroit, known as "the hair-buying 
general," because he paid in advance for scalps, the 
red men began their attacks. And the Americans 
banded together to defend their homes. 

One of the leaders was a young Virginian, who, 
like Washington, was a backwoods surveyor. Placed 
at the head of Kentucky's militia, George Rogers 
Clark was planning how best the settlements could 
be defended. The Indian raids he traced directly 
back to the English, who were furnishing guns and 
ammunition to the savages, from Kaskaskia, Vin- 
cennes and Detroit. Taking these posts from the 
British, he determined, was the one possible way of 
ending these barbarous attacks. 



That Clark was right in thinking the English were 
the cause of the whole trouble we know now, posi- 
tively, from many letters found in the British rec- 
ords in Canada. This is a sample: 

"It is the King's command," the colonial secretary 
at London wrote to the governor-general at Quebec, 
"that you direct Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton of 
Detroit to assemble as many of the Indians of his 
district as he conveniently can, and placing a proper 
person at their head to ... employ them in 
making a diversion and exciting alarm on the fron- 
tiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania." 1 

And Hamilton, while marching from Detroit to 
Vincennes, writes back to Quebec : 

"It will be practicable to establish a post and build 
a fort . . . but for this, aids of men and mer- 
chandise will be necessary, to support what may be 
undertaken and to keep up the good disposition of 
the Indians. Those of this nation have promised 
to raise all their warriors next spring, and to spread 
themselves in all directions on the frontier." 2 

In his long surveying trips Clark had become well 
acquainted with the various settlements west of the 
Alleghanies. He was the first to appreciate the ad- 
vantages of extending the colonies' western bound- 
ary to the Mississippi. Like La Salle, he planned 
for the future. 


In the summer of 1777 he sent two spies to the 
forts on the Wabash and the Illinois; and they re- 
ported to him that the militia were well organized, 
but the English kept a loose guard, and though the 
French had been told that the Kentuckians were 
more cruel than the Indians, many of them were 
plainly in sympathy with the colonies. 

Back to Virginia hastened Clark, to lay his plan 
before the governor, Patrick Henry. The Ameri- 
cans had just won the battle of Saratoga, and Bur- 
goyne's surrender made the suggestion for a vigor- 
ous campaign in the west especially opportune. The 
scheme, bold and well thought out, was enthusias- 
tically received, when Clark put it before the gov- 
ernor and his advisers. They saw its vast possibil- 
ities, as well as its enormous difficulties. 

"What will you do," asked Thomas Jefferson, "in 
case you are defeated?" 

"Cross the Mississippi," came the prompt reply, 
"and seek the protection of the Spaniards!" 3 

And with the foresight which later marked his 
purchase of Louisiana, Jefferson said to Clark that 
his campaign "would, if successful, have an impor- 
tant bearing ultimately in establishing the north- 
western boundary." 4 

The plan was regarded as extremely hazardous; 
its one chance of success, absolute secrecy; so the 
legislature was asked to send an expedition for the 


defense of Kentucky. And true that was Clark's 
primary object was to end the Indian raids ! 

Virginia, using her every energy to help Wash- 
ington, gave what aid she could twelve hundred 
pounds in paper money, far below par ; authority to 
raise seven companies, of fifty men each, wherever 
Clark could find them ; and a promise to each soldier 
of three hundred acres of land in the conquered ter- 
ritory. 3 

But the secrecy made it difficult to find the seven 
companies. And it was not until May that Clark's 
boats, with less than two hundred men, started west 
from Fort Pitt. The usual route to Kaskaskia was, 
of course, all the way by water, down the Ohio and 
up the Mississippi. But there must be no advance 
news of their coming. Learning that French and 
Indian scouts were watching the river, Clark deter- 
mined to march overland. 

Two things occurred to make them more certain 
of success. A letter came from the east with the 
good news that France had joined with the colonies 
in their war against England, and was sending her 
fleet and an army. This would make a favorable im- 
pression on the French inhabitants, thought Clark, 
and also on the Indians. 

Then they met some hunters who had lately been 
at Kaskaskia. All that the spies had reported, a 


year before, they confirmed, adding, writes the 
leader in his journal : 

"that if they received timely notice of us, they 
would collect and give us a warm reception, as they 
were taught to harbor a most horrid idea of the bar- 
barity of Rebels, especially the Virginians; but that 
if we could surprise the place, which they were in 
hopes we might, they made no doubt of our being 
able to do as we pleased." 

"No part of their information pleased me more," 
Clark goes on, "than that of the inhabitants view- 
ing us as more savage than their neighbors, the In- 
dians. I was determined to improve upon this, if 
I was fortunate enough to get them into my pos- 
session ; as 1 conceived the greater the shock I could 
give them at first, the more sensibly would they feel 
my lenity, and become more valuable friends." 6 

With these hunters as guides the Virginians 
struck across country, a distance of a hundred and 
twenty miles from Fort Massac, where the Amer- 
ican flag was first unfurled in Illinois, to "the an- 
cient French village of Kaskaskia." It was not 
an easy journey at best, for it was a wild region, 
with streams to be forded and many swamps. With 
great caution they pushed through the forest and 
over "those level plains that is frequent through- 
out this extensive country, . . . much afraid 


of being discovered in these meadows, as we might 
be seen in many places for several miles." 7 Secrecy 
was so important that Clark was afraid to send out 
hunting parties in search of game, lest they be dis- 

Such an army as they were! They had left be- 
hind all unnecessary baggage, and traveled as light 
as Indians. They had no uniforms other than the 
fringed hunting shirt, homespun trousers, and moc- 
casins which made the usual dress of the backwoods- 
man. Their clothes were torn and soiled from the 
rough usage given them. Their beards were three 
weeks long. The officers could not be distinguished 
from their men ! 

On the afternoon of the fourth of July they 
reached the Kaskaskia River, three miles from the 
town. Hiding in the woods till dusk, they took pos- 
session of a farmhouse and learned from the family 
that the day before the soldiers were all under arms, 
but had concluded there was no cause for alarm and 
were off their guard. 

Like Stark at the battle of Bennington, Clark 
made a speech to his men, brief, but conveying the 
precise idea, he intended : 

"The town is to be taken at all events." 8 

"I immediately divided my little army into two 
divisions. With one of the divisions I marched to 


the fort, and ordered the others into different quar- 
ters of the town. If I met with no resistance, at 
a given signal, a general shout was to be given, 
. . . and men of each detachment, who could 
speak the French language, were to run through 
every street and proclaim what had happened; and 
inform the inhabitants that every person that ap- 
peared in the streets would be shot down. . . . 
"In a very little time we had complete possession 
and every avenue was guarded, to prevent any es- 
cape to give the alarm to the other villages. . . . 
I don't suppose greater silence ever reigned among 
the inhabitants of a place than did at this at present ; 
not a person to be seen, not a word to be heard by 
them for some time, but designedly, the greatest 
noise kept up by our troops through every quarter 
of the town, and patroles continually the whole night 
round it." 9 

One of Clark's men describes the attack, telling 
how they found the gate of Fort Gage open, pushed 
on in the dark to the commandant's house, found 
the unsuspecting governor, Rocheblave, up-stairs in 
bed, brought him down a prisoner, and then gave a 
loud huzza., answered by the others. The French 
began screaming, "The Long Knives! The Long 
Knives!" (the name used for the Virginians by 
both French and Indians) and the Americans, yell- 
ing like mad, easily overpowered the garrison, and 
in fifteen minutes were masters of the place, with- 
out firing a gun. A bloodless conquest, surely ! 


Clark raised the terror of the French inhabitants 
to a painful height. He arrested the principal men 
of the village, for talking earnestly together, and 
put them in irons without allowing them to say a 
word in their defense. He forbade the people to 
have any intercourse between themselves or with 
the soldiers. Remembering the fate of their coun- 
trymen in Acadia, the poor creatures expected nei- 
ther mercy nor compassion. 

The priest, Pierre Gibault, with five or six elderly 
citizens, asked for an audience with Clark. In a 
low submissive voice he begged permission for them 
all "to assemble once more in the church to take 
final leave of each other, as they expected to be 
separated, never to meet again on earth." The 
American assented, but said they must not venture 
out of the town. 

"They remained a considerable time in the 
church," goes on his journal, "after which the priest 
and many of the principal men came to me to re- 
turn thanks for the indulgence shown them, and 
begged permission to address me further on the 
subject that was more dear to them than anything 
else; that their present situation was the fate of 
war; that the loss of their property they could rec- 
oncile; but were in hopes that I would not part 
them from their families; and that the women and 
children might be allowed to keep some of their 
clothes and a small quantity of provisions." 10 


Clark now threw off his disguise and said to the 
committee, who listened in utter amazement, afraid 
to trust their ears : 

"Do you mistake us for savages? Do you think 
that Americans intend to strip the women and chil- 
dren, or take the bread out of their mouths? My 
countrymen disdain to make war upon helpless in- 
nocence. It was to prevent the horrors of Indian 
butchery upon our own wives and children that we 
have taken arms and penetrated into this remote 
stronghold of British and Indian barbarity. . . . 
And now, to prove my sincerity, you will please in- 
form your fellow citizens that they are quite at 
liberty to go wherever they please, without the least 
apprehension. . . . And your friends who are 
in confinement shall be immediately released." 11 

The joy of the inhabitants was so intense on hear- 
ing this message that it is difficult adequately to de- 
scribe it. The bells rang, the little church was 
immediately crowded, and thanks returned to God 
for the miraculous manner in which He had subdued 
the minds of their conquerors. 

"Joy sparkled in their eyes," writes Clark, "and 
they fell into transports that really surprised me. 
. . . In a few minutes the scene of mourning and 
distress was turned into an excess of joy, nothing 
else was seen nor heard. Adorning the streets with 


flowers, pavilians (flags) of different colors, com- 
pleting their happiness by singing, &c." 12 

Every one of the inhabitants took the oath of 
loyalty to the commonwealth of Virginia. And 
when soldiers were sent to take possession of Ca- 
hokia, a company of Frenchmen volunteered to join 
them, to persuade their relatives and friends to fol- 
low their example. As one man, Cahokia went over 
to the Americans. There was, however, one ex- 
ception, the commander of the garrison at Kaskas- 
kia, who was violent and insulting. So Clark, des- 
patching a report to Patrick Henry, sent him along 
to Virginia as a prisoner, sold his slaves for two 
thousand five hundred dollars and divided the 
money among his men. 

Thus a country larger than the British Isles was 
added to the colonies, by the energy of one man, 
commanding four companies of militia. 

But Clark recognized the difficulties of his situa- 
tion. With so few soldiers, he was surrounded by 
French, Spanish and numerous bands of savages on 
every quarter. "Every nation of Indians could 
raise three or four times our number," and they 
were "savages, whose minds had long been poisoned 
by the English." 13 The sudden arrival of the "Long 
Knives" had thrown the red men into the greatest 
consternation. They did not know which side to 


stand by. But they sought advice from their old 
friends, the French traders, who counseled them to 
"come and solicit for peace, and did not doubt but 
we might be good friends." 

"I am a man and warrior, not a councilor," said 
Clark to the Indians. "I carry war in my right 
hand, peace in my left. I am sent by the great coun- 
cil of the Long Knives and their friends, to take 
possession of all the towns occupied by the English 
in this country, and to watch the red people; to 
bloody the paths of those who attempt to stop the 
course of the rivers, and to clear the roads for those 
who desire to be in peace. . . . Here is a bloody 
belt, and a peace belt; take which you please; be- 
have like men, and do not let your being surrounded 
by Long Knives cause you to take up one belt with 
your hands while your hearts take up the other. If 
you take the bloody path, you can go in safety and 
join your friends, the English. We will try then 
like warriors who can stain our clothes the longest 
with blood." 14 

If, on the other hand, they took the path of peace, 
they would be received as brothers to the Big Knives 
with their friends, the French. An alliance was 
formed with various chiefs, and these tribes re- 
mained the faithful friends of the Americans. 

Clark realized that he must have also the good 


will of the Spanish just across the Mississippi at 
St. Louis. His advances were well received, "our 
friends the Spaniards doing everything in their 
power to convince me of their friendship." In- 
deed, their governor formed an attachment for the 
tall Virginian, who on his side writes that, as he 
"was never before in company with any Spanish 
Gent, I was much surprised in my expectations, for 
instead of finding that reserve thought peculiar to 
that nation, . . . freedom almost to excess gave 
the greatest pleasure." 15 

Meantime there was the English post at Vin- 
cennes, between Kaskaskia and Virginia, threaten- 
ing to stop all communication, making their position 
unsafe in the extreme. Clark planned an expedition 
against the fort on the Wabash, and sent for Father 

"He had great influence over the people at this 
period, and Post Vincennes was under his jurisdic- 
tion. I made no doubt of his integrity to us." 

Indeed, the "patriot priest of the Northwest" was 
Clark's zealous friend, after he was told that an 
American officer had "nothing to do with churches 
more than to defend them from insult, that by the 
laws of the state of Virginia his religion had as 
great privileges as any other." 

"In answer to all my inquiries," says Clark's jour- 
nal, "he informed me that he did not think it worth 
while to cause any military preparation to be made 
. . . for the attack of Post Vincennes, although 
the place was strong and a great number of Indians 
in its neighborhood . . . that he expected that 
when the inhabitants were fully acquainted with 
what had passed at the Illinois, and the present hap- 
piness of their friends, and made fully acquainted 
with the nature of the war, that their sentiments 
would greatly change . . . that if it was agree- 
able to me he would take this business on himself, 
and had no doubt of his being able to bring that 
place over to the American interest, without my be- 
ing at the trouble of marching against it." 

So the troops stayed quietly at Kaskaskia, while 
the priest's party set out, on the fourteenth of July, 

"arrived safe, and after spending a day or two in 
explaining matters to the people, they universally 
acceded to the proposal, and went in a body to the 
church, where the oath of allegiance was adminis- 
tered to them in the most solemn manner. An of- 
ficer was elected, the fort immediately garrisoned, 
and the American flag displayed, to the astonishment 
of the Indians, and everything settled far beyond 
our most sanguine hopes." 16 

But Vincennes was too important for the English 
to lose so easily. General Hamilton was greatly an- 
noyed at the news, raised an army at Detroit, and, 


heading it himself, set out to recapture the town. 
Delayed at the portage by their great amount of 
baggage, and by the ice on the streams, they did 
not arrive till December. 

Only two Americans were in the fort, but a splen- 
did resistance they made. A cannon, well charged, 
was placed in the open gate, and Captain Helm stood 
by it, with a lighted match in his hand. When the 
English came within hailing distance he called out 
in a loud voice, "Halt !" 

Hamilton stopped and demanded the surrender of 
the fort. 

"No man shall enter until I know the terms," was 
the reply. 

The English answered, "You shall have the hon- 
ors of war," and the garrison surrendered, one of- 
ficer and one man! 

Over a month passed before this news reached 
Clark in Kaskaskia, with the further report that 
Hamilton was planning a great spring campaign in 
Illinois, after which he would make a clean sweep 
of the Kentucky settlements. Had the English 
pushed forward at once to Kaskaskia, the Ameri- 
cans would have had to surrender, or cross the 
Mississippi, giving up what they had gained. 

"I knew that if I did not take him, he would take 
me," wrote Clark in his journal, and made a bold 
plan to attack first, by a march overland. And the 


story of that attack is most interesting, but too long 
for more than a hint at its dramatic events: how 
Clark sent the St. Louis merchant, Francis Vigo, 
to find out the strength of the troops at Vincennes; 
and how Vigo, arrested as a spy, kept his parole 
to Hamilton, and yet brought the needed informa- 
tion ; 17 how the Americans fitted out a boat to carry 
their supplies and cannon, but it arrived three days 
too late; how the force of a hundred and seventy 
men marched two hundred and thirty miles in Feb- 
ruary, when the rivers were all out of their banks, 
and they often had to cross in water up to their 
shoulders; how Clark, six feet tall, red-headed, al- 
ways dashed into the cold water first, encouraging 
the weak, starting a gay song, alternately sternly 
commanding and teasing his men; how for four 
days they were near enough to hear the morning 
guns at Vincennes, without fires at night, for two 
days with no food; how Clark marched his men 
back and forth, with all their flags showing, in sight 
of the town, but partly hidden by the rising ground, 
till the Vincennes people thought they were at least 
a thousand ; how the inhabitants were won over by 
a clever letter; how they fired on the English gun- 
ners through the loopholes, until Hamilton could 
no longer keep them at their posts ; how Clark forced 
the British to accept his terms of surrender, and the 
whole garrison, thirteen cannon, and all the military 


stores, fell into the hands of the Americans. All 
this you must read for yourself, for this capture of 
Vincennes is one of the most notable and heroic 
achievements in the nation's history a bold scheme, 
well planned and skilfully carried out, by a small 
party of ragged and half-famished soldiers. 18 

Hamilton, the hair-buying general, you may be 
glad to know, was sent to Virginia as a prisoner, 
and kept in close confinement. Despite the many 
protests of the English, that state, because of the 
cruel practises he had encouraged, "refused to ex- 
change him on any terms," until near the close of 
the Revolution. 

While they were still at Vincennes word came 
from Governor Henry, thanking the troops for their 
capture of Kaskaskia. The Virginia legislature 
made all the territory west and north of the Ohio 
River into Illinois County, the largest county in the 
world. John Todd of Kentucky was appointed 
county lieutenant, to take charge of the civil de- 
partment, so that Clark could give all his time to 
military affairs. 

"I was anxious for his arrival, and happy in his 
appointment, as the greatest intimacy and friendship 
subsisted between us; and in May had the pleasure 
of seeing him safely landed at Kaskaskia, to the 
joy of every person. I now saw myself happily rid 
of a piece of trouble that I had no delight in." 19 


The civil government and the courts well started 
under Colonel Todd, Clark returned to Virginia. 
He wanted to attack Detroit, to push the American 
frontier farther north, and frightened the British 
by his preparations. But the colonies could not give 
him the men and money he required, and, much to 
his disappointment, he never undertook what would 
have been the crowning achievement of his career. 

But he had made a great reputation, and in 1783 
Thomas Jefferson wrote him, proposing another ex- 
pedition to the west. 

"I find," says his letter to Clark, "they have 
subscribed a very large sum of money in England 
for exploring the country from the Mississippi to 
California. They pretend it is only to promote 
knowledge. I am afraid they have thoughts of col- 
onizing into that quarter. Some of us have been 
talking here . . .of making the attempt to 
search that country. . . . How would you like 
to lead such a party?" 20 

This plan, however, came to nothing. But Jef- 
ferson never forgot it. And just twenty years later, 
Clark's younger brother William set out, with Meri- 
wether Lewis, on a similar expedition, under orders 
from Jefferson, who was then president. They 
traced the Missouri to its source and went down 
the Columbia to the Pacific. So both the Clarks 
added a large and rich district to the United States. 


For the remainder of the Revolutionary War Vir- 
ginia held- the Illinois country, and the Indians were 
friendly. Clark was the one man whose personal 
influence, plus a small force of soldiers, could keep 
the people in order. The French respected him, the 
border men adored him, the red men feared him. 

In discussing terms of peace, in 1782 and '83, 
the English commissioners claimed this territory as 
a part of Canada. But Jay and Franklin persisted 
in demanding for the colonies the country Clark had 
won and Virginia was then holding. England 
yielded, less because of the garrisons then in pos- 
session than because of Benjamin Franklin's argu- 
ment that there could be no permanent peace unless 
the United States had room for growth; that the 
westward movement over the mountains could not 
be stopped, the rough border men could not be re- 
strained from constant encroachment on the wilder- 
ness, and that the frontier, on any other terms, 
would provide an endless fight. 21 

Of course you will want to read the story of 
Clark's conquest in detail. Thwaites's How George 
Rogers Clark Won the Northwest is a brief ac- 
count, very interesting. Butterfield's Clark's Con- 
quest of the Northwest is a longer narrative, giv- 
ing Bowman's journal and Clark's memoir and 
letter. These you will find, also, in volume one of 


the Illinois Historical Collections; and volume eight 
is wholly Clark papers letters and journals and 
memoirs, often with no changes in the quaint spell- 
ing and punctuation of the Virginian officer. The 
Conquest is a Clark story, written by Dye. 



SO the Revolutionary War ended by England's 
recognizing the independence of the United 
States, and fixing the boundary at the Mississippi 

The Illinois country was claimed by Virginia, 
because the grant of James I to the London Com- 
pany included all the land westward to the Pacific 
Ocean, and because of Clark's conquest. Had not 
the French inhabitants sworn allegiance to the com- 
monwealth of Virginia? Were not her soldiers in 
the frontier garrisons? Were net the courts of jus- 
tice administering her laws? 

But New York claimed part of the land, because 
of her treaty with the Five Nations. And Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut claimed parts of the coun- 
try, because their grants from the King of England 
ran to the Pacific. And a splendid quarrel threat- 

It was a patriotic and wise plan, first proposed 
by Maryland, and in time agreed to by all four 
states, that each should yield to the federal govern- 



ment its western land claims. 1 Like Hamilton's plan 
to establish the tariff and take over the state debts, 
this gave each state a direct interest in the success 
of the national government. The Northwest Ter- 
ritory, as it \vas now called, thus became property 
held in common, for the benefit of all the states. 
The gradual sale of the land would help pay the 
Revolutionary debt. 

Not until 1786 did the last state make its tardy 
cession, and the following year Congress passed an 
ordinance establishing a government for the new 

"We are accustomed," said Daniel Webster, "to 
praise the law-givers of antiquity; we help to per- 
petuate the fame of Solon and Lycurgus, but I doubt 
that one single law, ancient or modern, has produced 
effects of more distinct, marked and lasting char- 
acter than the ordinance of 1787." 2 

For it did more than meet the immediate needs, 
it planned for the future, providing government by 
Congress for the whole territory, then semi-self- 
government, and finally admission to the Union as 
three or five states. Special provisions were made, 
"to remain forever unalterable, unless by common 
consent," guaranteeing freedom of worship, trial by 
jury, the encouragement of schools, and no slavery. 

This ordinance has been called "the great Amer- 


ican charter," for it determined the destiny of the 
states formed from the Northwest Territory, and 
was a powerful factor in settling two great national 
questions slavery and state sovereignty. It was 
passed unanimously, by men building better than 
they knew. And it is interesting to note that of 
the eight states represented that day in Congress, 
seven were slave states. 3 Perhaps they agreed to 
the "no slavery" clause because in 1787 slavery was 
not a political issue. Indeed, one Virginian voted 
for it, saying that this would prevent raising tobacco 
and indigo and cotton north of the Ohio River. 4 

For thirteen years the people in the Northwest 
Territory had no share in the government. Con- 
gress appointed the governor and secretary, and 
established a court with three judges, who, with 
the governor, adopted such laws of the other states 
as were needed. The first governor was Arthur St. 
Clair, who had been an officer in the Revolution. 
His was a difficult position, for his people were 
widely scattered and the Indians unfriendly. The 
peace of 1783 had not included the red men, and 
they were constantly attacking the new settlements. 

Both English and French traders had wanted 
furs, furs, furs ; they wished the country to remain 
a wilderness. But these Americans, crossing the 
Alleghanies, spread over their hunting grounds and 


made farms along the rivers. The Indians saw 
themselves driven from the land, like leaves before 
the autumn wind. And always there was the Brit- 
ish agent, at the posts still held in the northwest, 
stirring up trouble : 

"Your father, King George, loves his red chil- 
dren, and wishes his red children supplied with 
everything they want. He is not like the Ameri- 
cans, who are continually blinding your eyes, and 
stopping your ears with good words, that taste sweet 
as sugar, while they get all your lands from you." 5 

The Americans suggested a treaty, giving a fair 
equivalent for the land, but the Indians refused 
every proposal. The raids must be stopped, and 
soldiers were sent to the frontier. A first army was 
driven back by the savages, the next met a Brad- 
dock's defeat; then Wayne, the "Mad Anthony 
Wayne" who captured Stony Point, won a great 
victory, laid waste their cabins and corn fields for 
fifty miles, and the Indians made a treaty giving up 
a large tract of land. If it was ever broken, threat- 
ened Wayne, he would rise from his grave to fight 
them again. This quieted the excitement along the 
whole frontier, and Wayne's treaty was kept until 

When this news spread abroad, with life and 


property secured, settlers began to pour into the ter- 
ritory in a steadily increasing stream. The frontier 
was pushed back by the hardy pioneers. 

In 1800 Congress divided the unwieldy North- 
west Territory into two parts: Ohio, and all the 
rest, called Indiana Territory. William Henry Har- 
rison was appointed governor of Indiana, with Vin- 
cennes as the capital; and for nine years Illinois 
was a part of Indiana, without even a name of its 

As settlements increased in the neighborhood of 
the Mississippi, the sentiment in favor of separating 
from Indiana grew. For between them and Vin- 
cennes the country was a wilderness, the journey to 
the capital full of hardship and danger. In 1806 
and '07 and '08, memorials were sent to Congress, 
asking that Illinois be separated from Indiana, and 
the following year Washington made the division. 6 

On the recommendation of Henry Clay, Ninian 
Edwards of Kentucky was appointed as governor 
of Illinois Territory; and Nathaniel Pope was made 

In a brief three years Illinois grew so rapidly that 
it was advanced from the first to the second stage 
of territorial government. The governor was ap- 
pointed as before, but the laws were now made by 
the legislature seven representatives and five coun- 




cilors elected by the people. They also elected a 
delegate to Congress. 

The first territorial legislature of Illinois met at 
Kaskaskia in November, 1812, in an old building of 
rough limestone, with steep roof and gables of un- 
painted boards. The first floor, a low cheerless 
room, was for the house of representatives. A small 
room up-stairs served for the council. There was 
one doorkeeper for both houses. The twelve mem- 
bers boarded with the same family, and lodged, it 
is said, all in one room! And it is an interesting 
little fact that of these dozen legislators, not one was 
a lawyer, and each one had been a soldier. 

Unlike the old French regime, the government 
had to be financed. The funds for the territory 
were raised by a tax on land: a dollar for every 
hundred acres of bottom land, seventy-five cents 
for the uplands. The county revenue was a dollar 
tax on slaves, fifteen dollars for merchants, ten dol- 
lars for a ferry, a small tax on houses worth two 
hundred dollars or more; horses fifty cents, and 
cattle a dime. 7 

Some of the old laws of the territory of Illinois 
are especially interesting. Treason and murder, ar- 
son and horse stealing were punished by death. For 
stealing a hog a man was fined from fifty to a hun- 
dred dollars, and given from twenty-five to thirty- 


nine lashes on his bare back. Altering the brand 
on a horse meant a hundred and forty lashes. And 
a man who received a stolen horse, knowing it to 
be stolen, was declared as guilty as the thief. 8 

Other punishments were confinement in the pil- 
lory and stocks and heavy fines. If unable to pay, 
the culprit was hired out by the sheriff to any one 
who would pay his fine; if a man ran away, his 
penalty was double time. You see, the territory of 
Illinois was almost as puritanic as New England. 


THE WAR OF 1812 

WHILE Illinois was taking the first steps in 
self-government the War of 1812 began. 
You remember how England kept the forts in the 
northwest, in spite of the treaty of peace, and abused 
our sailors on the high seas? There was no fight- 
ing in Illinois between British and American troops, 
just as in the previous wars. The battles, you know, 
were on the ocean, in Canada, and near New Or- 

But the war came directly to Illinois, on account 
of the Indian attacks incited by English agents all 
through the northwest. The great leader of the red 
men was Tecumseh, who with his brother, the 
Prophet, joined many tribes in a conspiracy, like 
Pontiac's, to drive the white men east over the 
mountains, away from the hunting grounds of the 
whole Mississippi Valley. 

In his interviews with Harrison, who had fol- 
lowed Wayne's plan of securing land by treaties, 
Tecumseh insisted that none of these agreements 
was binding, as they had been made by individual 



tribes, instead of with the consent of all the tribes. 
He offered an alliance, if the Americans would give 
up all the lands they held by treaty or purchase. 
But Harrison replied "that the president would put 
his warriors in petticoats, sooner than give up the 
country he had fairly acquired, or to suffer his peo- 
ple to be murdered with impunity." 1 

"Then the Great Spirit," said Tecumseh, "must 
decide the matter. It is true the president is so far 
off that he will not be injured by the war. He 
may sit still in his town, and drink his wine, while 
you and I will have to fight it out." 2 

And fight it out they did, in the battle of Tippe- 
canoe, a famous Harrison victory. 

When war was finally declared, the Americans 
wanted to conquer Canada, just as in the early days 
of the Revolution. General Hull crossed at Detroit 
and encamped on Canadian soil, but soon withdrew 
his force and surrendered Detroit and the whole ter- 
ritory of Michigan, while his men wept at the dis- 
grace. Other posts suffered, too, miserably pro- 
vided for, through Hull's incompetence, or because 
his requests for men and supplies were not met at 

Chief of these was the little fort on the Chicago 
River, which had been built eight years before, "to 
supply the Indians' wants and to control the In- 
dians' policy." It consisted of two blockhouses, 

THE WAR OF 1812 65 

surrounded by a stockade, a subterranean passage 
from the parade to the river, and three pieces of 
light artillery. It was named Fort Dearborn, after 
a general in the United States Army. 

This summer of 1812 it had a garrison of seventy- 
five men under Captain Heald. Hull, commanding 
the entire northwest, sent a friendly Indian to 
Heald, with orders "to evacuate the fort at Chi- 
cago if practicable, and in that event, to distribute 
all of the United States property contained in the 
fort, and the United States factory, or agency, 
among the Indians of the neighborhood, and repair 
to Fort Wayne." 3 

If the garrison was not to be reinforced, leaving 
this isolated fort was perhaps a wise move. Not so, 
the indiscriminate giving to the Indians ! 

The messenger urged that the Americans, if they 
were going, should go without a moment's delay, 
leaving all things standing, and make their retreat 
while the savages were busy dividing the spoils. 
Several of the officers remonstrated with Heald, 
saying it was little short of madness, urging him 
to stay in the fort, for they had provisions and am- 
munition for six months, and it was better to fall 
into the hands of the English than become the vic- 
tims of the savages. But Heald was a soldier, with 
orders from his general, and disregarded this pru- 
dent advice. 


The! Indians were showing distinct signs of un- 
friendliness, walking boldly into the fort without 
answering the sentinels. Yet Heald called them to 
a council and asked their escort to Fort Wayne, 
promising large rewards on their arrival, in addition 
to the presents he would give them immediately. 
To this the red men agreed. 

The next day all the goods and provisions in the 
government store were distributed among the In- 
dians blankets, broadcloths, calicoes, paints. But 
even Captain Heald was struck with the folly of 
giving them arms and ammunition, and liquor to 
fire their brains. At night, with the greatest silence 
and secrecy, the barrels of whisky were rolled 
through the underground passage and emptied into 
the stream, the guns and powder thrown into a well. 

But the Indians, suspecting the game, approached 
as near as possible, heard the knocking in of the 
barrel heads, and saw the whole affair. The river 
tasted "like strong grog," they said the next morn- 
ing. Murmurs and threats were heard on every 
side. They bitterly reproached the Americans for 
not keeping their pledge. Years later Black Hawk 
insisted that Heald's broken promise brought on the 
massacre. 4 

But some of the Indians were truly the friends 
of the white men. One chief warned them that the 
Pottawatomies could not be trusted. Another, 

THE WAR OF 1812 67 

Black Partridge, went to Captain Heald after the 
council, saying, "Father, I am come to deliver up 
to you the medal I wear. It was given me by your 
countrymen, and I have long worn it, as a token 
of our friendship. Our young men are resolved to 
imbrue their hands in the blood of the whites. I 
can not restrain them, and will not wear a token of 
peace when compelled to act as an enemy." 5 

Notwithstanding all these warnings, on the morn- 
ing of the fifteenth of August, Captain Heald 
marched out of the fort at the head of his troops, 
their families and baggage, and bringing up the rear 
was a force of five hundred Indians, the escort to 
Fort Wayne. The long line started down the beach 
road, near the lake. A mile and a half from the fort, 
the Indians changed to the prairie road, with sand 
dunes intervening between them and the Americans. 

Suddenly a volley of musketry poured in upon 
the soldiers. Brought into line, the troops charged 
up the bank, and the battle at once became general. 
The Americans behaved most gallantly, and though 
they were few in number, sold their lives dearly. 
But when two-thirds of them had been killed, the 
remainder surrendered, stipulating for their own 
safety, and the safety of the women and children. 

The wounded soldiers were not specifically men- 
tioned, and the Indians, insisting they had not been 
included, tomahawked them during the night. The 


dozen children in one of the baggage wagons were 
killed. The fort was plundered and burned to the 
ground. The prisoners were distributed among the 
savages, and not till a year later ransomed at De- 
troit. 6 

This massacre at Fort Dearborn was the greatest 
that ever occurred in Illinois. Troops were at once 
enlisted for expeditions against the tribes that had 
taken part, several of their villages were destroyed 
and their fields laid waste. 

For the rest of the war the frontier was put in a 
state of defense. Blockhouses and stockade forts 
were repaired and strengthened. Remote settlers 
and garrisons were moved to the villages. New 
companies of "rangers," mounted militia, patroled 
the border. 

In spite of these precautions, the frontier reached 
so far that the greatest diligence in ranging could 
not give perfect security. Raids and murders in- 
creased as the war went on, for the Indians were 
given additional incentives by the British, who kept 
up their work of "setting the red men like dogs 
upon the whites." Perry's victory on Lake Erie 
and Harrison's at the Thames forced the savages to 
retreat from Canada, and center their attacks on the 
Mississippi settlements. North of the Illinois River 
the Indians kept the upper hand until peace finally 
brought them to terms. 

THE WAR OF 1812 69 

Mrs. Kinzie, whose family were among the first 
settlers at Fort Dearborn, wrote a most interesting 
story called Waubun, the Early Day in the North- 
west. You will enjoy her account of the massacre, 
told partly in the words of an eye-witness, the wife 
of one of the officers, who was saved by Black Par- 
tridge. The Wentworth essays, published in the 
Fergus historical series, and Quaife's Chicago and 
the Old Northwest are other interesting accounts; 
and you will find a good chapter in Parrish's His- 
toric Illinois. 



PROVINCE, county, territory, Illinois was soon 
ready to ask for a final form of government. 
After the War of 1812 the number of settlers in- 
creased very rapidly. The fertility of the soil and 
the healthful climate attracted many immigrants. 
The cessation of Indian attacks made life and prop- 
erty secure. The introduction of steamboats on 
lakes and rivers made the journey far easier. Best 
of all, Congress passed an act giving settlers the 
right of preemption on public lands, protecting them 
against speculators. 1 In ten years the population 
increased nearly five hundred per cent. 

Early in 1818 the legislature of the territory sent 
a petition to Nathaniel Pope, their delegate at Wash- 
ington, asking for the admission of Illinois to the 
Union. A bill for this purpose was introduced in 
Congress in April. 

Pope, looking to the future, suggested two amend- 
ments. In the other states formed from the North- 
west Territory three per cent, of the public land 



money was given to the states for building roads 
and bridges. But in Illinois this was to be used for 
schools. 2 

Still more important was the question of the 
boundary, which had been fixed by the ordinance 
of 1787; but Pope suggested that the line from the 
Mississippi to Lake Michigan should be moved far- 
ther north. Illinois, said he, is the keystone in the 
arch of western states. Her size and the oppor- 
tunity afforded for supporting a large population 
will make her an influential state. She will be an 
important factor in preserving or dissolving the 
Union, should that question arise. Geography ties 
her closely to south and west, because of the river 
commerce on the Mississippi and its tributaries. 
Now, if we give Illinois a frontage on Lake Mich- 
igan, where the steamboats will soon increase trade, 
she will have equally strong business ties with the 
eastern states. Linked to both south and east, her 
interests would be conservative, and she will support 
the federal union. 3 

Congress agreed unanimously with Pope, and the 
line was fixed at 42 30'. Wisconsin made repeated 
efforts to have her land restored; but her petitions 
to Congress were tabled and she was admitted to 
the Union in 1848 with no change in the boundary. 

This moving of the northern line and the pro- 
vision for the support of schools were urged by 


Pope without special instructions from the legisla- 
ture. Illinois was being built better than the people 
knew. Without Pope's line the entire history of 
state and nation would have to be changed. For it 
added to Illinois a strip of land, sixty-one miles 
wide, from which fourteen counties were made. It 
gave her the lead mines of Galena, a generous share 
of the lake front, the site of Chicago. It made pos- 
sible the Illinois-Michigan Canal and the Illinois 
Central railroad. 

And when you learn that the vote of these north- 
ern counties, in later years, kept Illinois a free state, 
carried the state Republican in 1856 and made Lin- 
coln a presidential possibility, and gave him the vote 
of Illinois in 1860, you may well marvel at Pope's 
suggestion as that of a prophet, foreseeing the dan- 
ger to the nation in slavery and state sovereignty, 
and placing Illinois squarely in the right. Forty- 
two years later the prophecy was fulfilled. The 
south did secede, but Illinois remained in the Union, 
setting an example of loyalty to Missouri and Ken- 
tucky, her neighbors on the border. 

During the summer of 1818 a convention met at 
Kaskaskia, to make a constitution for the new state 
of Illinois. It divided the government into three 
parts, just like the federal plan : legislative, with two 
branches, executive and judicial. The governor, 
lieutenant-governor and senators were to be elected 


every four years, the representatives every two. The 
supreme court was to have four judges, who heard 
cases in the circuit courts also. 

The governor must be at least thirty years of age, 
a resident of the United States for thirty years and 
of Illinois for two years before his election. The 
same requirements were made for the lieutenant- 
governor, but after the constitution was completed 
and signed by the delegates, this was changed. The 
clause, "a citizen of the United States for thirty 
years," was stricken out from the qualifications for 
lieutenant-governor, that Pierre Menard, a French- 
man in Kaskaskia who had just been naturalized, 
might hold this office. 4 

This first constitution for Illinois had several pe- 
culiar features. The legislature, not the governor, 
appointed almost all the officials for counties and 
state. Hordes of place hunters went to the capital 
at every session and besieged members for offices. 
The legislature had the right to grant divorces. 
Worst of all, it could pledge the state's credit with- 
out limit, a fact that later brought Illinois to the 
verge of bankruptcy. It had one splendid provi- 
sion no imprisonment for debt, Illinois being one / 
of the first states to do away with this practise. 

A draft of the new constitution was sent to Con- 
gress and that body passed a resolution on the third 


of December, 1818, declaring Illinois to be "one of 
the United States of America, and admitted to the 
Union on an equal footing with the original states 
in all respects." 



OUR state history begins, then, in the winter 
of 1818, with Kaskaskia as the capital. But 
almost the first thing done by the legislature, follow- 
ing the example of Congress in making Washington 
the capital of the nation, was to choose a new cap- 
ital for Illinois. 

Congress, when petitioned, granted the state four 
sections of land, and commissioners were appointed 
to select the site and lay out a town, to be the capital 
for twenty years. They were considering Carlyle, 
a place on the river just above Kaskaskia, and a 
high bluff belonging to Nathaniel Pope, when a 
noted hunter and trapper named Reeves came into 
town. Still farther up the river, twenty miles from 
any settlement, he had a cabin, and spoke in the 
most glowing terms of the beauty of the country 
there. "Pope's bluff nor Carlyle wasn't a primin' 
to his bluff !" and that won over the commissioners, 
who voted for Reeves's home. 1 

Though in the midst of a wilderness, it was a 
beautiful spot, covered with gigantic trees. The 



site selected, the commissioners must have a name, 
euphonious and historic. The story goes that a wag 
said the Vandals were once a powerful nation of 
Indians on the Kaskaskia River. Without troubling 
themselves about history the officials adopted this 
suggestion and the new capital was named Van- 
dalia. 2 

A town was laid out, with a handsome public 
square and broad streets. Lots were sold at auction, 
for fabulous prices, as high as seven hundred and 
eighty dollars. The people proved themselves Van- 
dals indeed, for their first act was to cut down the 
forest trees ! The plans for a fine state house ended 
in a plain two-story frame building, with a rough 
stone foundation, set in the center of the square. 

In December, 1820, the archives of Illinois were 
moved from Kaskaskia to Vandalia, making one 
wagon load. It was indeed a pioneer trip, for part 
of the way the clerk of the secretary of state had to 
cut a road through the woods. 

Three years later the state house burned in the 
night, not a piece of furniture being saved. Imme- 
diately the citizens of Vandalia started a subscrip- 
tion to rebuild it, and raised three thousand dollars 
in three days. Using this sum, and state funds in 
addition, a large brick building was erected, serving 
as the capitol till 1839 and since then as the county 


And now, what kind of place was Illinois, what 
people lived here, in those early days? What were 
their occupations and their interests? 

The settlements were all in the south, below Al- 
ton, and near the rivers. There were large tracts 
of wilderness country inhabited only by the wolves 
and Indians. But there was constant change, the 
number of people increasing with phenomenal ra- 
pidity. See what the census reported each decade 
12,000 people, 57,000, 72,000, 157,000, and then 
480,000, with an increase in wealth in nearly the 
same proportion. 

Immigration came in waves, flowing in in a great 
tide, ebbing, and flooding in again. After Wayne's 
treaty, after the conflict with England, after the 
election in 1824, after the Black Hawk war, large 
numbers of people arrived to settle in Illinois. In 
1825 the current set toward the center of the state. 
In Vandalia alone, in three weeks' time, two hun- 
dred and fifty wagons were counted, all going north- 
ward. 3 And one fortnight saw four hundred immi- 
grants passing through the capital, bound for the 
Sangamo country. Five years more saw people liv- 
ing as far north as Peoria, and by 1840 practically 
the whole state was settled. 

Scarcely a twentieth part of the inhabitants of 
Illinois were of French descent. Nineteen-twenti- 
eths were American, first Clark's sturdy soldiers, 


then groups from Kentucky and Virginia, stamping 
the social customs of the south on all of southern 
Illinois. The settlers in the north were Yankees 
so enterprising, so restless, so industrious that the 
north soon went ahead in farms and villages, in 
roads and bridges, in churches and schools. For 
a while the southern part of the state, being older 
and better cultivated, "gathered corn as the sand 
of the sea." And people in the center and north, 
after the manner of the children of Israel, went 
"thither to buy and bring from thence that they 
might live and not die." And so the southern part 
of Illinois was named Egypt, and is so called to this 
day. 4 

But the fame of the agricultural advantages of 
Illinois had spread far beyond the Atlantic states. 
It had attracted the attention of Europeans. 5 A 
German colony called "Dutch Hollow" was started 
in St. Clair County. A Swiss colony was planted 
near by. * And in Edwards County was the flourish- 
ing town of Albion, founded by two Englishmen, 
Flower and Birkbeck. From the British Isles they 
brought out several hundred families artisans, la- 
borers and farmers and this community became 
one of the most prosperous in the state. Morris 
Birkbeck had met Edward Coles in London. Two 
years later they were both in Illinois, where one 
became governor, the other secretary of state. 

Many men of the East, hearing tales of the western country, 
made extensive journeys through the interior on horseback, 
by boat, or on foot, in order to see the region for themselves 
or to pick out future homes for themselves and their families 




These settlers from the east brought money with 
them. This was quite a novelty in Illinois. 6 Deer 
and raccoon skins had been the standard of ex- 
change, and answered every need-. Three pounds 
of shaved deer skin was considered a dollar. 

The people were farmers and hunters and stock- 
men. They raised their own provisions and supplied 
most of their own wants. Every settler was his 
own carpenter. The houses were mostly log cab- 
ins, with no glass, nails, hinges or locks. The fur- 
niture was made by hand, as were the carts and 
wagons, yokes for the oxen, harness for the horses. 
Though they were often rough and unrefined, these 
pioneers had sterling qualities ; they were brave and 
energetic and hospitable. 

Nearly all of the immigrants had come to this 
new country to acquire some property. But among 
them were adventurers and fugitives from justice. 
For a year or two the state was overrun with bands 
of horse thieves, so numerous and so well organized 
that they defied the authority of the law. Indeed, 
many of the police, the sheriffs and justices of the 
peace, even some judges, were connected with the 
thieves. If they were arrested they would be let 
off by some friends on the jury or through false 
witnesses. In one county the rogues, by voting all 
one way, even elected their own sheriff! 7 

Finally the citizens became so enraged that they 


organized companies called "regulators." Despair- 
ing of enforcing the laws in the customary way, 
judges, and even the governor, gave them every 
possible encouragement unofficially. Armed, the 
regulators would assemble at night, march to a 
thief's house, arrest him, thrash him soundly and 
expel him from the state. And gradually Illinois 
was rid of the scoundrels. 

The courts were very simple. The people did not 
require the judges to be men of great learning, but 
of good common sense. Court was held in a log 
house, in a store or an inn, with temporary seats 
for judge, lawyers and jurors. At the opening of 
the first circuit court held by Judge Reynolds, who 
was afterward governor of the state, the sheriff, 
sitting astride a rude bench, called out, "Boys, come 
in our John is going to hold court." 

And another judge said to the lawyers, asking 
for instructions to the jury, "Why, gentlemen, the 
jury understand the case. No doubt they will do 
justice between the parties." 8 

Some of the legislators were simple, uneducated 
men. One of them, John Grammar, was chosen first 
to the territorial, then to the state legislature, for 
nearly twenty years. When first elected, being ut- 
terly destitute of civilized clothing, he and his sons 
gathered a large quantity of hickory nuts which they 
traded for blue strouding. The women of the neigh- 

Pioneer Life in the West. 

Type of early Illinois cabin dweller's home 

Preparing a meal over the camp fire 





borhood met to make up the garments he needed, 
but' found that he had picked too few nuts. In every 
possible way they tried the pattern. The cloth was 
too scant! So they made a bob-tailed coat and a 
long pair of leggings, and arrayed in these he ap- 
peared at Kaskaskia, and patiently waited for the 
passing of a bill for the members' salaries. Then 
he set out to buy a pair of fashionable "unmention- 

Here is the speech of an early candidate : 

"Fellow citizens, I offer myself as a candidate 
before you for the office of governor. I do not pre- 
tend to be a man of extraordinary talents; nor do 
I claim to be equal to Julius Caesar or Napoleon 
Bonaparte, nor yet to as great a man as my oppo- 
nent, Governor Edwards. Nevertheless, I think I 
can govern you pretty well. I do not think it will 
require a very extraordinary smart man to govern 
you; for to tell you the truth, fellow citizens, I do 
not believe you will be very hard to govern, no 
how." 9 

But Ninian Edwards, who had been governor of 
Illinois Territory, arrayed in his broadcloth coat, 
ruffled shirt and high-topped boots, made his canvass 
over the state, traveling in his carriage or on horse- 
back attended by his colored servant. His friends 
feared people would be driven away by his aristo- 
cratic appearance. But this attracted them, and they 


thought it an honor to support "such a high-toned, 
elegant old gentleman." So Edwards was elected, 
for in that early day personal considerations counted 
as all-important with the voters. 

The legislature re-enacted the territorial laws, 
with all the old punishments. But until 1827 they 
were changed at every session, and men said it was 
"a good thing that the Holy Scriptures did not have 
to come before the legislature, for that body would 
be certain to alter or amend them, so that no one 
could tell what was or was not the word of God, 
any more than could be told what was or was not 
the law of the state." 10 

The very word tax was odious to the people; 
and when a bill was passed levying a tax on prop- 
erty, to support the schools and repair the roads, 
it was promptly repealed. For men said they'd 
rather work on the roads themselves and let their 
children grow up in ignorance! 

Indeed, the people were parsimonious with state 
funds. In 1824 provision was made for five cir- 
cuit judges, to receive six hundred dollars a year, 
while the supreme court judges were to have eight 
hundred. This was considered a most extravagant 
outlay of public moneys, practically pensioning the 
supreme court judges. And such a clamor was 
raised that the next legislature repealed the act and 


ordered the supreme court judges to hold both 

Would you like to read more about these early 
days ? George Flower, when an old man, wrote the 
story of the English colony in Edwards County. It 
is full of picturesque descriptions of scenes and 
events, of the struggles and labors of the early set- 
tlers. You will especially enjoy his account of their 
journey on horseback from Pittsburgh to Vincennes 
and the ever-receding prairies; of how Albion was 
located; of their blooded English cattle and sheep; 
of the pioneer churches and the camp meeting; and 
the beauty of the prairies in different seasons. 

In other books you may read of interesting types 
among the early settlers : the Yankees, cordially dis- 
liked in the southern part of the state; the Irish 
school-teacher; the singing master; the circuit-rid- 
ing lawyers ; and the pioneer missionaries, like John 
Mason Peck and the eccentric Peter Cartright. 



YOU remember that the ordinance of 1787 ex- 
pressly states that there should be no slavery 
in the Northwest Territory ? But the question came 
up constantly. Settlers from the southern states, 
coming into Illinois, were allowed to bring their 
slaves with them. The constitution prohibited the 
further introduction of slaves, but "indentured serv- 
ants" could be held for the whole term of their con- 
tracts and this was generally ninety-nine years! 1 

And in 1819 the legislature passed the famous 
"black laws," which were not repealed until 1865. 
No negro could settle in the state unless he had a 
certificate -of freedom with the court's seal; and this 
he must register in the county where he proposed 
to live. This was to discourage free blacks from 
coming to Illinois. Every negro without this cer- 
tificate was considered a runaway slave. To har- 
bor a fugitive slave, or hinder his owner from re- 
taking him, was punished by a heavy fine and thirty 
stripes ! 

But the most odious feature of this law was that 



no adequate provision was made for punishing kid- 
nappers. Capturing free blacks, running them south, 
and there selling them into slavery was for years 
a common crime; and southern Illinois afforded a 
safe retreat for the kidnappers, who made this a 
regular business, profitable and almost respectable. 
Thus the free state of Illinois was given a com- 
plete slave code, 2 as severe as in any southern state, 
where the number of negroes equaled or was greater 
than the number of whites while in Illinois the 
slaves made up a very small percentage of the pop- 

The question of slavery was uppermost then all 
over the country, because of the frenzied agitation 
when Missouri was admitted to the Union. The 
Missouri compromise line, which, it was hoped, 
would settle the question forever, was in fact sug- 
gested by an Illinois senator. The new state on the 
west was well advertised by this nation-wide discus- 
sion, and many people from the southern states emi- 
grated there, often from the wealthiest and best- 
educated classes. For some time there had been 
comparatively few new settlers in Illinois, and few 
sales of land. 

"Many of our people who had farms to sell looked 
upon the good fortune of Missouri with envy ; whilst 
the lordly immigrant, as he passed along with his 
money and droves of negroes, took a malicious 


pleasure in increasing it, by pretending to regret 
the short-sighted policy of Illinois, which excluded 
him from settling with his slaves among us, and 
from purchasing the lands of our people." 3 

Even uneducated immigrants argued in the same 
way. One of them, asked why he did not stop in 
Illinois, replied, "Well, sir, your sile is mighty far- 
til, but a man can't own niggers here ; gol durn ye." 4 

Governor Coles, who had freed his negroes on 
the journey from Virginia to Illinois, urged the leg- 
islature to revise the "black laws," to emancipate 
the old French slaves, and to punish kidnapping ade- 
quately. These paragraphs in his message were 
enough to fan into a t>laze the embers that had been 
smoldering. The slave owners determined to legal- 
ize slavery in Illinois. 

Now this meant a complicated procedure it was 
necessary to amend the constitution in a convention 
called for that purpose. The people must vote 
whether the convention should be called or not, and 
a two-thirds majority in both houses of the legisla- 
ture was necessary to submit the question to the 

Now the legislature was strongly pro-slavery, and 
the resolution was sure of a two-thirds vote in the 
senate. But only a trick passed it in the house of 
representatives. In one of the northern counties 
there had been a contested election, and the house 


decided the matter, seating one of the two claimants. 
But some nine weeks later the slavery party found 
that they needed one more vote to make a two- 
thirds majority for the convention. Desperate, they 
determined to have this contested election reconsid- 
ered and seat the other man. In gratitude to their 
party for putting him into the legislature he would, 
of course, vote their way. 

This scheme they actually carried out, unseating 
a representative who had served more than two 
months of his term, and sending a special messenger 
over a hundred miles to notify his opponent, created 
a member of the house for this one purpose. With 
relays of horses, the new representative made the 
trip in four days, arriving in time to vote for the 
convention resolution, which was thus carried. 5 
Against this outrage there was a storm of protest, 
for the manner in which it was done, for the ob- 
ject for which it was done. It proved to be a strong 
argument to plague its inventors. When the elec- 
tion took place it recoiled on their own heads like 
a boomerang. 

The passing of the convention resolution the 
slavery party considered equal to a victory at the 
polls. Public dinners were held, with toasts wel- 
coming slavery to Illinois. They celebrated with a 
torchlight procession in Vandalia. The mob, wild 
and indecorous, marched to the residence of Gov- 


ernor Coles, with all the horrid paraphernalia of 
the old-time charivari, thus described by Ford: 

"The night after the resolution passed, the con- 
vention party assembled to triumph in a great ca- 
rousal. They formed themselves into a noisy, dis- 
orderly and tumultuous procession, headed by" 
and he calls the leaders by name "followed by 
the majority of the legislature, and the hangers-on 
and rabble about the seat of government; and they 
marched with the blowing of tin horns and the beat- 
ing of drums and tin pans, to the residence of Gov- 
ernor Coles, and to the boarding-houses of their 
principal opponents, toward whom they manifested 
their contempt and displeasure by a confused medley 
of groans, wailings and lamentations. Their object 
was to intimidate and crush all opposition at once." 6 

The anti-convention party, defeated in the leg- 
islature, was determined to win before the people. 
Fortunately, voices could not be stifled, as in the 
house of representatives, where all debate was shut 
off. And the election was eighteen months away, 
giving the "friends of freedom" time to make a 
thorough canvass throughout the state, and save Il- 
linois from this shame and disaster. 

Never was there such a campaign ! Newspapers 
were established for one side or the other. Fiery 
handbills and pamphlets were printed and circu- 
lated broadcast in every county. The governor 


worked whole-heartedly against the convention with 
all his official and personal influence, giving his en- 
tire salary to the cause. The pioneer preacher, Peck, 
organized anti-slavery societies along with his Sun- 
day-schools, distributing Bibles and tracts crusading 
against slavery. Ministers and teachers helped. 
Stump speakers held forth. The rank and file of the 
people did scarcely anything but read handbills and 
papers, and wrangle and argue constantly, while 
industry was almost at a standstill. 7 

The convention party had on its side many of 
the ablest men in the state. But a great cause will 
produce earnest and effective leaders. The anti- 
slavery men were better organized and made up for 
their Jack of wealth and influence and talents in 
energy and zeal. They made direct attacks on the 
merits of slavery, while their opponents avoided the 
issue, saying that the constitution needed changes 
in several particulars; and if slavery was established 
it would doubtless be for a limited number of years. 
The people and the state were financially embar- 
rassed, and they painted golden pictures of the pros- 
perity which would come with slave labor. 8 

These arguments religious, benevolent, political, 
expedient were answered by Peck and Coles and 
Birkbeck, the founder of the Edwards County col- 
ony. He was the financier of the "friends of free- 
dom," and wrote constantly against slavery. Some- 


times he would issue a scholarly paper, with telling 
arguments and statistics showing the actual results 
of slavery in other states and countries, how it 
checked immigration and impeded manufacturing 
and hurt agriculture. Again, under the nom de 
plume of Jonathan Freeman, he would write to the 
newspapers a letter so simple and full of such 
homely illustrations that the most ignorant voter 
could not fail to understand his points. Here is a 
part of one : 

"To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"SiR I am a poor man ; that is to say I have no 
money. But I have a house to cover me and the 
rest of us, a stable for my horses, and a little barn, 
on a quarter of good land paid up at the land office, 
with a middling fine clearing upon it and a good 
fence. I have about thirty head of cattle, and a 
good chance of hogs; and by the labors of my boys, 
we make a shift to get along. We help our neigh- 
bors, who are generally as poor as ourselves some 
that are newcomers are not so well fixed. They 
help us in turn; and as it is the fashion to be in- 
dustrious, I discover that we are all by degrees 
growing wealthy, not in money to be sure, but in 

"There is a great stir among the land-jobbers and 
politicians to get slaves into the country; because, 
as they say, we are in great distress ; and I have been 
thinking how it would act with me and my neigh- 


bors . . . four citizens out of five in the state. 
I have already seen people from Kentucky, and some 
of the neighbors have been traveling in that country. 
They all agree in one story, that the Kentuckians 
are as bad off for money as we, some say worse. 
People that have been to New Orleans say it is the 
same all down the river ; no money. ... I don't 
see how those slave-gentry are to make it plenty, 
unless sending more produce to New Orleans would 
raise the price; as to our neighbors, give me plain 
farmers, working with their own hands, or the 
hands of free workmen. Not great planters and 
their negroes; for negroes are middling light-fin- 
gered, and I suspect we should have to lock up our 
cabins when we left home, and if we were to leave 
our linen out all night, we might chance to miss it 
in the morning. The planters are great men, and 
will ride about mighty grand, with umbrellas over 
their heads, when I and my boys are working per- 
haps bareheaded in the hot sun. Neighbors indeed ! 
They would have it all their own way, and rule 
over us like little kings; we should have fo patrol 
round the country to keep their negroes under, in- 
stead of minding our own business; but if we 
lacked to raise a building, or a dollar, never a bit 
would they help us. 

"This is what I have been thinking, and so I sus- 
pect we all think, but they who want to sell out; 
and they that want to sell, will find themselves mis- 
taken if they expect the Kentuckians to buy their 
improvements, when they can get Congress-land at 
a dollar and a quarter an acre. It is men who come 


from Free states, with money in their pockets, and 
no workhands about them, that buy improvements. 

Election day, the first Monday in August, 1824, 
finally came. The aged, the crippled, the chronic 
invalids, everybody that could be carried to the 
polls, was brought in to cast his vote, for or against 
the convention. The ballots more than doubled the 
number at the presidential election a few months 
later. The result was a majority of some sixteen 
hundred against the convention. This was the most 
important, the most excited and angry election in 
the early history of the state. But it was regarded 
as final. Once for all the question of slavery was 
settled for Illinois. 

If you are interested in this chapter and want to 
know more about the slavery campaign in Illinois, 
read Washburne's Sketch of Edward Coles. Flow- 
er's story of the English settlement in Edwards 
County gives a fine account of Birkbeck's share in 
carrying the election for the "friends of freedom." 



A PLEAS ANT episode occurred in 1825 to vary 
the monotony of western life. Lafayette, the 
brilliant young Frenchman who fought under Wash- 
ington in the Revolution, paid a second visit to 
America, as the guest of the nation. 

As soon as he reached New York the legislature 
sent him an address of welcome, and earnestly in- 
vited him to visit Illinois. With their letter was 
sent an affectionate note from Governor Coles, who 
had known Lafayette in Paris; and the Frenchman 
replied from Washington : 

"It has ever been my eager desire, and it is now 
my earnest intention, to visit the western States 
and particularly the State of Illinois. The feelings 
which your distant welcome could not fail to excite 
have increased that patriotic eagerness. ... I 
shall, after the celebration of the 22d of February 
anniversary day, leave this place for a journey to 
the southern, and from New Orleans to the western 
states, so as to return to Boston on the 14th of June, 
when the cornerstone of Bunker's Hill monument 



is to be laid, a ceremony sacred to the whole Union, 
and in which I have been engaged to act a peculiar 
and honorable part." 1 

The whole journey was a series of receptions and 
ovations, of which his secretary kept a charming 
record, writing "that he gives the details of a tri- 
umph which honors as well the nation which be- 
stowed it as the man who received it." But as La- 
fayette's trip progressed he found it impossible to 
visit all the places that were inviting him and re- 
turn to Boston in June. So in April he writes to 
Governor Coles, from New Orleans : 

"I don't doubt that by rapid movements, can 
gratify my ardent desire to see every one of the 
Western States, and yet to fulfill a sacred duty as the 
representative of the Revolutionary Army, on the 
half secular jubilee of Bunker Hill. But to do it, 
my dear sir, I must avail myself of the kind, indul- 
gent proposal made by several friends to meet me 
on some point near the river, in the State of Illinois. 
... I will say, could Kaskaskia or Shawneetown 
suit you to pass one day with me ? I expect to leave 
St. Louis on the 29th of April. . . . Excuse the 
hurry of my writing, as the post is going, and re- 
ceive in this private letter, for indeed to the Gov- 
ernor, I would not know how to apologize for so 
polite proposals, receive, I say, my high and affec- 
tionate regard. LAFAYETTE." 2 


Accordingly Illinois received the great French 
general, not at Vandalia, the capital, but at Kas- 
kaskia. Writes the secretary: 

"It was decided that we should stop at Kaskaskia, 
a large village of that state, and although nearly 
eighty miles distant, we arrived there a little while 
before noon, so fortunate and rapid was our navi- 
gation. Since the application of steam to naviga- 
tion, the changes produced in the relations of the 
towns on the Mississippi is prodigious. Formerly 
the voyage from New Orleans to St. Louis required 
three or four months of the most painful toil that 
can be imagined; the action of the oar was not al- 
ways sufficient to overcome the resistance of the 
current. They were often obliged to warp the boat 
by hand, advancing from time to time with a small 
boat to tie a rope to a tree or stone on the shore. 
... At present the same passage, which is nearly 
fifteen hundred miles, is made in ten days, without 
fatigue." 8 

The Illinois legislature had appropriated $6,475 
for the entertainment of the guests, almost a third 
of the state's income for the year. About noon, 
April thirtieth, the boat, gaily decorated for the oc- 
casion, arrived at the wharf in Kaskaskia. Governor 
Coles had sent his aid-de-camp, Colonel William 
Stephen Hamilton, "the son of your old and particu- 
lar friend, Alexander Hamilton," to meet Lafayette 
en route, and himself joined the party in St. Louis. 


Evidently there was no way to notify the village of 
their coming, so that the success of this impromptu 
reception is the more remarkable. 

"General Lafayette was not expected at Kaskas- 
kia, and nothing had been prepared for this unfore- 
seen visit. While we were landing some one ran to 
the village, which stands a quarter of a mile from 
the shore, and quickly returned with a carriage for 
the general, who, an instant after, was surrounded 
by many citizens, who ran before to receive him. In 
the escort which formed itself to accompany him 
we saw neither military apparel nor the splendid 
triumphs we had perceived in the rich cities; but 
accents of joy and republican gratitude which broke 
upon his ear, was grateful to his heart. . . . We 
followed the general on foot, and arrived almost at 
the same time at the house of General Edgar, a ven- 
erable soldier of the Revolution, who received him 
with affectionate warmth, and ordered all the doors 
to be kept open, that his fellow citizens might enjoy, 
as well as himself, the pleasure of shaking hands 
with the adopted son of America." 

A great multitude of patriotic people assembled. 
From the steps of the Edgar house the governor 
gave an address of welcome, to which Lafayette re- 
plied in very good English, expressing their grati- 
fication for the honor done them. Men who were 
there differ widely in their descriptions of the hero; 


one says he was "tall and slender, with a florid com- 
plexion," another "inclining to corpulency." 

"Age had bent his form a little," narrates a pio- 
neer, "but he was still gay and cheerful. It seemed 
that his lameness added to his noble bearing, as it 
told to the heart the story of the Revolution." 4 And 
another comments : "He limped slightly, the result 
of a wound he received on achieving our liberties, 
which added much interest to his character." But 
he was still the courtly, affable French nobleman, 
enthusiastic for liberty, who had won Washington's 
heart half a century before. 

"During an instance of profound silence," writes 
the secretary, "I cast a glance at the assembly, in 
the midst of which I found myself, and was struck 
with astonishment in remarking their variety and 
fantastic appearance. Beside men whose dignity of 
countenance, the patriotic exaltation of expression, 
readily indicated them to be Americans, were others 
whose coarse dresses, vivacity, petulance of move- 
ment, and the expansive joy of their visages, 
strongly recalled to me the peasantry of my own 
country; behind these, near to the door, and on the 
piazza which surrounded the house, stood some im- 
movable, impassable, large, red, half-naked figures, 
leaning on a bow or a long rifle ; these were the In- 
dians of the neighborhood." 

While the general was resting, before the ban- 
quet, his son George Washington Lafayette and the 


secretary visited the encampment of the Indians, 
come to Kaskaskia for the yearly sale of their furs. 
The record gives many more pages to their interest 
in the red men than to the Illinois entertainment. 

But we do know that there was a public reception, 
where some soldiers who had fought under him at 
Brandywine and Yorktown advanced from the 
crowd to shake hands with their old general. Then 
came a dinner at the tavern, the big, square banquet 
room decorated with laurel, while the guest table 
had a rainbow canopy of roses and other flowers. 

Lafayette proposed this toast to Kaskaskia and 
Illinois : "May their joint prosperity more and more 
evince ^the blessings of congenial industry and free- 

Governor Coles followed with one to the inmates 
of La Grange (Lafayette's home in France) : "Let 
them not be anxious ; for although their father is a 
thousand miles in the interior of America, he is yet 
in the midst of his affectionate children." 

When Ex-governor Bond proposed "To General 
Lafayette : may he live to see that liberty established 
in his native country which he helped to establish in 
his adopted country," the general rose and observed 
that he would drink the latter part of the toast 
standing. 5 

Following this was a ball, where Lafayette led the 
grand march with a granddaughter of Pierre Men- 


ard, and the weary visitors left at midnight on their 
steamer. This ball was a great occasion; women 
who were honored with an invitation preserved as 
souvenirs their white gloves, the slippers in which 
they danced, and their fans with the hero's picture. 

During the ball an uninvited guest arrived an 
Indian squaw whose father, Louis DuQuoin, a chief 
of the Six Nations, had fought under Lafayette 
during the Revolution. Hearing that the great 
White Chief was to be in Kaskaskia, she came to 
see the man with whose name she had been familiar 
since childhood. To identify herself, she brought 
an old worn letter that Lafayette had written to her 
father, who had preserved it with the greatest care 
and had bequeathed it to her as a most precious 
legacy. 6 

The weekly newspaper published in Vandalia, in 
its last issue for May, 1825, reports another enter- 
tainment given for Lafayette in Illinois. Going up 
the Ohio River, en route for Pittsburgh, the party 
stopped at Shawneetown. 

"A salute of twenty- four rounds was fired as the 
Steam-Boat approached the landing," reads the ac- 
count in the faded, yellow paper. "The citizens of 
Shawneetown and the neighboring country were 
then formed in two lines extending from Mr. Rawl- 
ings' Hotel to the water's edge. The Committee of 
Arrangement and the Trustees of the Town passed 


down the line of citizens and received the 
NATION'S GUEST at the Steam-Boat. ... As 
he passed up the line, the citizens uncovered them- 
selves, and observed the most perfect silence," 
while little girls showered flowers upon him. 

There was an address of welcome, the orator of 
the day comparing their reception with the elaborate 
ceremony of other places. 

" 'You find our state in its infancy, our country 
thinly populated, our people destitute of the luxu- 
ries and elegancies of life. In your reception we de- 
part not from the domestic simplicity of a seques- 
tered people. We erect no triumphal arches, we offer 
no exotic delicacies. We receive you to our humble 
dwellings, and our homely fare. . . . We take 
you to our arms and our hearts.' 

"The reply of Lafayette was short and unpre- 
meditated, and was delivered in a voice which 
seemed tremulous rather with emotion than with 

After the reception, a collation and many toasts, 

"General Lafayette was conducted to the Steam- 
Boat by the Committee, through lines formed by the 
citizens as before. . . . Another salute was fired at 
their departure. Throughout the whole of this in- 
teresting scene the citizens evinced by their respect- 
ful and kind deportment the warmest attachment 
for the person and the most exalted veneration for 


the character of this truly great man. The General, 
although apparently too frail to support the fatigue 
of such an interview, received the congratulations 
of the people with ease and cheerfulness, and seemed 
to be deeply touched by this humble though sincere 
display of national gratitude." 

The book written by Levasseur, Lafayette's sec- 
retary, is very rare; but the tenth and twelfth vol- 
umes of the Illinois Historical Society have the 
story of this visit, told in detail. Davidson and 
Stuve's history gives it an interesting chapter. 



WHEN immigration set in toward Illinois the 
settlers from the eastern states brought 
money with them. And the presence of money 
made a radical change in the condition of the peo- 
ple. It created new desires, the principal one being 
a mad wish to speculate in land. The national gov- 
ernment charged two dollars an acre, one- fourth to 
be paid in cash, the balance in five years. At that 
price everybody was eager to buy, thinking he could 
sell to the settlers who were sure to arrive and thus 
make a handsome profit. This they called "develop- 
ing the infant resources of a new country." 1 

Paper money was abundant. Every man's credit 
was good. Property rose rapidly in value. A spirit 
of speculation was rife. Towns were laid out, on 
paper. Lots bought, on time. Houses built, on 
promises. Everybody invested to the limit of his 
credit, expecting to make a fortune before his notes 
fell due. Everybody was in debt, inextricably, to 
everybody else. 



A day of reckoning was coming, before their 
dreams could come true. Paper towns ' failed to 
flourish. There was no commerce to bring money 
into the country. Contracts, wildly entered into, ma- 
tured. When the notes to the federal government 
came due, people could not pay them. 

To put an end to these evils, in 1821 the legisla- 
ture created a state bank, whose only support was 
the credit of Illinois; its sole capital, plates for mak- 
ing paper money. And paper money the state bank 
proceeded to make, issuing large quantities of notes 
payable in ten years. The bank was enormously 
popular at first, for it loaned to any citizen a hun- 
dred dollars on personal property, and a thousand 
on real estate. People imagined because the state 
had issued these notes they would be worth par. 
They could be used for taxes, and if any creditor 
refused to accept them he must wait three years to 
collect his debt. 2 

Thinking that laws could give paper money a 
specified value, the legislature even passed a resolu- 
tion that these notes could be used in payment for 
land at the federal office. When the question came 
up in the senate, the lieutenant-governor, the 
Frenchman Menard, said : 

"Gentlemen of de senate, it is moved and sec- 
onded dat de notes of dis bank be made land office 
money. All in favor of dat motion say aye; all 


against it, say no. It is decided in de affirmative. 
And now; gentlemen, I bet you $100 he never be 
made land office money." 

And he never was ! For the national government 
accepted only cash. 

People had the impression that paper money 
could be made to supply every financial want. Soon 
notes for three hundred thousand dollars were in 
circulation. But the remedy was worse than the dis- 
ease, the new bills only made matters worse. Notes 
had to be cut in halves and quarters to serve as 
change, for there was no specie at all. Scarcely had 
the bank begun business when its bills fell below par 
first down to eighty, then down, down, down, till 
it took three dollars to buy one dollar's worth of 
goods. Instead of increasing its income, the state 
had to spend three times as much for current ex- 

In 1831 the notes came due, and to save the honor 
of Illinois a large loan was taken, and with this 
money the notes were redeemed. This banking folly 
cost the state half a million dollars, but her financial 
standing was preserved. 3 

Without profiting by this expensive lesson, the 
legislature of 1835 chartered a new state bank, in 
which the state held stock. The mania for land 
speculation, asleep for a time, broke out with re- 
newed strength. It commenced at Chicago, and in 


two years that place grew from a village of a few 
houses to a city of several thousand people. Quick 
fortunes were made, their stories arousing first 
amazement, then a gambling spirit of adventure, 
then an absorbing desire for sudden wealth. 
Throughout the state this example spread. Maps 
of paper towns were sent to Chicago and lots for 
a hundred miles around were auctioned off. Maps 
were even sent to New York and Boston, a ship 
freighted with land costing less than a barrel of 
flour. Indeed there was said to be a danger of 
crowding the state with towns and leaving no room 
for farming! 

As there were more lots than could be sold, men 
said that if the country could be rapidly settled, they 
would all find a market; and to attract settlers, the 
one thing needed was a system of internal improve- 
ments. Illinois is a great state, ran their argument; 
rich soil, fine climate, great extent of territory. All 
she needs is people and enterprise. Improvements 
would invite both. 

And this was not confined to Illinois. The whole 
country was possessed by a mania for improved 
transportation. New York had built the Erie Canal ; 
Pennsylvania miles of railroads; Kentucky macad- 
amized roads ; Indiana and Illinois, because of their 
level surfaces, went in for railroads. People and 
legislators alike lost their heads, and surrendered 


their sober judgment to arguments of the wildest 
imaginations. No scheme was so extravagant that 
it lacked plausibility. The most impossible calcula- 
tions were made of the advantages that would fol- 
low the construction of these improvements; the 
state had resources enough, men said, to meet all 
expenditures. All debts could be met without taxa- 
tion. Once made, they would pay for themselves; 
nay, more, in time they would provide the running 
expenses of the state ! 4 

The legislature voted eight million dollars, to be 
used for railroads in various parts of Illinois, run- 
ning from east to west, north to south, criss-cross 
back and forth, a total of thirteen hundred miles. 
Five rivers were to have their channels deepened. 
And finally the sum of two hundred thousand dol- 
lars was voted to those counties in which no rail- 
roads were to be built or no rivers improved. As a 
crowning act of folly, it was enacted that work- 
should commence on all the roads, at each end, and 
from the crossings of all the rivers, simultaneously ! 

This wholesale system of improvements had to be 
adopted in order to get any one voted through. 
The friends of the canal had to agree to the others, 
to succeed with their measure. Politicians anxious 
to move the capital to Springfield would support 
any other scheme in exchange for votes. And in 
this way each section of the state was won over. 


Like Napoleon giving away thrones, the people 
voted millions. But only one of these improve- 
ments was ever completed a little railroad fifty- 
one miles long, of no advantage to the state, and its 
income was not enough to keep it in repair. 5 

The next legislature not only refused the gov- 
ernor's suggestion to repeal or modify the system, 
but actually voted an additional eight hundred thou- 
sand dollars. And for three years the infatuated 
people of Illinois continued this ruinous policy, until 
the whole scheme tumbled about their ears. In the 
spring of 1837 banks throughout the United States 
stopped specie payments, including banks in Illinois. 
It was a period of national hard times. The loans 
made by the state could not be obtained at par. 
Bonds were sold on credit. A London firm, agents 
for the bonds, failed and the state lost heavily. Fin- 
ally the people, recovering their sanity, were aston- 
ished at their own folly. 

Their internal improvement system was discon- 
tinued. But in 1841 Illinois could not meet the in- 
terest charges on her debt. The next year the state 
bank failed and completed the general distress. 
There was a debt of nearly fourteen millions. The 
treasury was empty, there was not enough money 
to pay postage on the state's letters. Heavy taxes 
would only drive the people away. Illinois had bor- 
rowed beyond her means and had no credit. The 


people owed the merchants, who in turn owed for- 
eign merchants or the banks, the banks owed every- 
body, and nobody could pay! 

The state must repudiate her debt, said some. 
She never can nor will pay. Every one ought to see 
that and stop discussing it; that won't charm it 
away. But under the management of Governor 
Ford, a man of great skill and integrity, Illinois 
sold some of her lands, received back her bonds 
held by the state banks, and withdrew from circula- 
tion the worthless "bank rags" and "wildcat 
money." 6 The affairs of the bank were wound up 
in an honorable manner. A special tax was levied 
for interest charges. And in three months' time the 
credit of the state was so good that it was possible 
to sell a new issue of canal bonds. But the people, 
like France with John Law's scheme, paid dearly 
for their lesson in high finance. Forty years later 
they redeemed the last of these bonds ! 

To make impossible a repetition of these financial 
troubles, the revised constitution of 1848 greatly 
curtailed the power of the legislature. 7 It could 
pledge the credit of Illinois to the amount of fifty 
thousand dollars, for state expenses only. It could 
not create a state bank. The strictest economy was 
insisted on in the matter of salaries, the sum for 
each being fixed at a stated amount "and no more." 
Even the length of the legislature's session was 


fixed, but these provisions proved a false economy 
and as time went on they were notoriously evaded. 
The governor's salary, for example, was one thou- 
sand five hundred dollars, so an additional four 
thousand five hundred dollars was voted him "for 
fuel and lights for the executive mansion." Only 
the letter of the law was kept, and these abuses 
sapped the integrity of the public service and les- 
sened respect for the laws. In 1870 the constitution 
was again revised, "by the finest deliberative body 
that ever sat in a state," and this penurious system 

To two of her early governors Illinois owes a 
great debt: to Edward Coles, who kept her free 
from the blight of slavery; and to Thomas Ford, 
who brought her out of her distress and maintained 
her financial integrity without repudiation. Each 
of them so fully and so decisively met the situation 
that pro-slavery men and repudiators never raised 
the question again. 



IN 1804 William Henry Harrison made a treaty 
with the Sacs and Pox Tndians", giving the Amer- 
icans a tract of land near Rock River. The red men 
were to have the use of it until it was sold to indi- 
viduals. This was confirmed by later treaties in 
1815, '19, '22 and '25. But one of the Sac chiefs, 
Black Hawk, said, like Tecumseh, that the treaty 
had been made without the consent of all the tribe, 
and was not binding. 1 

The whites, he insisted, "squatted" on the In- 
dians' lands and tried to steal their village. When 
they returned from the winter's hunt, they found 
the Americans had practically taken possession of 
their fields, had burned many of their lodges, and 
even plowed up their graveyards. The land is ours, 
said Black Hawk, establishing himself on the ter- 
ritory in dispute with a party of warriors; and if 
any one must withdraw, it must be the interloping 

The forty settlers accordingly appealed to Gov- 



ernor Reynolds, who called out seven hundred of 
tHe militia and asked the cooperation of the regular 
army as well. Double the number of volunteers re- 
ported for duty; some thirsting to avenge their 
losses from Indian raids, some eager for excitement 
and adventure, some anticipating plunder, others 
with whom money was scarce, delighted with the 
promise of a large expenditure of gold by the gov- 
ernment: Twenty-five hundred soldiers appeared at 
Saukenuk, the principal Indian village. But Black 
Hawk, who had only three hundred men, slipped 
away in the night and crossed the Mississippi. The 
Americans burned the deserted town and announced 
that the fugitives would be pursued. This had the 
desired effect of bringing Black Hawk to the gen- 
eral's headquarters, where he signed an agreement 
to stay on the west side of the Mississippi. 

The Indians were promised corn, to make up for 
the abandoned fields. Many of the soldiers ridiculed 
this, calling it a corn treaty, and said, "We give 
them food when it should have been lead." 2 The 
winter's supply was not sufficient, however, and a 
new series of troubles began immediately. Black 
Hawk briefly described it, years later : "In this state 
of things, the Indians went over the river to steal 
corn from their own land." In April, 1832, the 
tribe crossed the Mississippi, and the war was on 


_ Governor Rejmolds called out the troops militia, 
rangers and some companies of the regular army 
under Zachary Taylor, In the volunteer regiments 
E. D. Baker was a lieutenant, and Abraham Lin- 
""coETa captain, re-enlisting as a "private horseman." 
This was the frontier method of selecting a captain, 
as described by Lincoln: each candidate made a 
speech to the men, telling how gallant he was, in 
what wars he had fought, bled and died, and how 
he was ready to lead them to glory. And when the 
speech-making was over, the soldiers formed in line 
behind their favorite. The fellow who had the long- 
est tail to his kite was elected captain. It was a 
good way, no chance for a stuffed ballot box or a 
false count ! s 

"I can not tell you," said Lincoln, nearly twenty 
years later, "how much the idea of being the cap- 
tain of that company pleased me!" And while he 
was president he referred to it again as "a success 
which gave me more pleasure than any I have had 
since." 4 

One day when Lincoln was drilling his men they 
were marching across a field, twenty abreast, and 
the captain saw a fence ahead. "I could not for the 
life of me remember the proper word of command 
for getting my company endwise so that I could 
get them through the gate, so as we came near I 
shouted 'Halt ! This company is dismissed for two 

Stephen A. Douglas 


minutes, when it will fall in again on the other side 
of the fence. Break ranks !' ' 

Among the regular soldiers were two young 
lieutenants, Jefferson Davis and Robert Anderson, 
the latter detailed as inspector-general of the Illi- 
nois militia. Nearly thirty years later__Lincoln met 
Anderson in Washington. After the president had 
thanked him for his gallant conduct at Fort Sumter, 
he asked : 

" 'Major, do you remember of ever meeting me 

" 'No, Mr. President, I have no recollection of 
ever having had the pleasure before/ 

" 'My memory is better than yours,' said Lincoln ; 
'you mustered me into the service of the United 
States, in 1832, at Dixon's Ferry, in the Black 
Hawk war.' " 5 

Besides these troops for service against the In- 
dians, there were two hundred and seventy-five 
rangers under Stillman, an independent force who 
refused to fight under the main body, but begged for 
some dangerous service. They were ordered up 
Rock River to spy out the enemy. Encamping at 
sundown, they saw five Indians on a mound at a 
distance. Without orders or a commander, some 
men whose horses were not yet unsaddled gave 
chase. The others followed in confusion, stringing 
along for a quarter of a mile, pursuing the red men 


into the edge of the forest. Here_Black Hawk with 
a party of forty warriors rushed on the rangers, 
with a war whoop aad a volley. 

In consternation, without returning the fire, the 
Americans began a disorderly flight. Reaching their 
camp, the panic spread to the men who had remained 
there. All of them, some without saddles, some 
without bridles, joined in the flight. They left their 
tents, camp equipment, provisions, ammunition. 
Neither swamps nor swollen streams could check 
them, till they reached Dixon's Ferry, thirty miles 
away; and some of them continued their mad gallop 
forty miles farther to their homes. The first fugi- 
tives arrived about midnight; from then till morn- 
ing they continued to come, by threes and fours 
or singly, each reporting that the Indians were just 
behind. Black Hawk, at the head of two thousand 
braves, they said, was advancing on the unprotected 
settlers. People took refuge in the forts. His name 
became a dread in every household. Consternation 
filled the whole country, after the battle (?) of 
Stillman's Run. 6 

The governor issued a fiery proclamation, calling 
for three thousand more militia, "to subdue the In- 
dians and drive them out of the state." More fed- 
eral troops were asked for, and General Winfield 
Scott came from the Atlantic coast to take com- 
mand. The savages boldly committed depredations 


everywhere, attacking small settlements, cutting off 
communication between towns, murdering scattered 
groups of soldiers or citizens. 

For three months the troops were pursuing the 
Indians, who took refuge in the unexplored swamps 
of the north. They were delayed by the jealousies 
of regular and militia officers, by the expiration of 
the volunteers' time, by their ignorance of the coun- 
try, and their lack of confidence in their Indian 
guides. By the middle of July, however, they were 
on the trail of Black Hawk and his braves. They 
left their baggage, marched fifty miles one day in 
a storm, and crossed the river, hot in pursuit. The 
ground was strewn with kettles and blankets, thrown 
away for the sake of speed. And on the twenty- 
first they came up with the rear guard of twenty 
Indians, who made a bold stand and gave the main 
band time to retreat. The next morning the Amer- 
icans found the enemy had escaped during the night. 

Over wooded hills, marshy ravines, swollen 
streams went the fugitives, the followers slowly 
gaining as they neared the Mississippi. When the 
Americans appeared the Indians raised a hideous 
yell. "Stillman is not here!" was the answering 
cry, and the disgrace of the flight was wiped out 
by a splendid charge. In the battle of the Bad Axe 
the whites showed no mercy. They charged with 
the bayonet. The sharpshooters picked off war- 


riors, women and children, all alike, in the tall grass. 
The transport fired on those who tried to cross the 
river. Over three hundred Indians perished in three 
hours. 7 

Black Hawk and his two sons escaped, only to 
be captured by some Winnebagoes, who, wanting 
the friendship of the Americans, surrendered them 
to the United States Indian agent. The former 
chief made this speech : 


"My warriors fell around me; it began to look 
dismal. I saw my evil day at hand. . . . This 
was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. He is 
now a prisoner to the white man. But he can stand 
the torture. He is not afraid. of death. He is no 
coward. Black Hawk is an Indian; he has done 
nothing of which an Indian need to be ashamed. 
He has fought the battles of his country against 
the white men, who came, year after year, to cheat 
them and take away their lands. You know the 
cause of our making war it is known to all white 
men they ought to be ashamed of it. The white 
men despise the Indians, and drive them from their 
homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. The 
white men speak bad of the Indian, and look at him 
spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies ; Indians 
do not steal. Black Hawk is satisfied. He will go 
to the world of spirits contented. He has done his 
duty his Father will meet him and reward him. 
. . . Farewell to my nation ! Farewell to Black 


The volunteers were disbanded, and a treaty made 1 
with the Indians in September, for which the chief 
and his sons were held as hostages. Under charge 
of Lieutenant Jefferson Davis they were taken to 
St. Louis; and later were transferred to Washing- 
ton. Black Hawk had an interview with President 
Jackson, greeting him with "I am a man, and you 
are another." At the close of his speech he said : 

"We did not expect to conquer the whites they 
had too many houses, too many men. I took up the 
hatchet, for my part, to revenge injuries which my 
people could no longer endure. Had I borne them 
longer without striking my people would have said, 
'Black Hawk is a woman he is too old to be a 
chief he is no Sac.' These reflections caused me 
to raise the war-whoop. I say no more of it. . . . 
Black Hawk expects that, like Keokuk, we shall be 
permitted to return." 8 

Jackson replied that when peace was secured they 
might return. And when they had been at Fortress 
Monroe for three months his order released them. 
They went to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York 
and other cities, that the Indians might see the great- 
ness of the country. Crowds collected everywhere 
to see Black Hawk. The Indians even- divided pub- 
lic curiosity and attention with Jackson, who was 
then making a tour of the northern states. The 
ladies especially sought his acquaintance, and in re- 


turn for their polite sympathy, Black Hawk said 
they were "very pretty squaws." 

The broken-hearted warrior died five years later 
on an Iowa reservation. In comparison with Philip, 
or Pontiac, or Tecumseh, he was not an extraordi- 
nary Indian, not a great leader, not great in plan- 
ning a course of action. He was restless and am- 
bitious, brave and resentful. 

The importance of this war, the last stand of 
the red men against the white settlers in Illinois, 
has been greatly exaggerated. It cost the Ameri- 
cans over two hundred lives, three months' time, 
and two million dollars. Yet it was fought against 
four hundred Indians, with perhaps a thousand 
women and children. Fortunately for her finances, 
almost the total expense was borne by the national 
government, for the state would have had great dif- 
ficulty in meeting this bill. But it is Illinois's one 
and only war, distinctly native. 

Black Hawk is a unique character. What can 
you find about his connection with the War of 1812 ? 
In Thwaites's How George Rogers Clark Won the 
Northwest there is ah account of "The Black -Hawk 
war. Ford's history tells about it. Perhaps you 
can secure a copy of Drake's Life of Black Hawk. 
And Frank Stevens's The Black Hawk War will 
give you a detailed account-o'f these battles (?) and 


of the old Indian chief. Do not fail to read Black 
Hawk's Autobiography, transcribed by an Indian 
trader. It will give you the inside view of an 



V AND ALIA had become the capital of Illinois 
in 1820, with the understanding that this was 
only temporary. Long before the twenty years were 
over the question of a new capital was being dis- 
cussed. The movement of population was wholly 
toward the center of Illinois. This was before the 
era of railroads, and travel to and from the capital 
made distance an object to be seriously considered. 

The legislature of 1833 submitted the question 
to the people, and the election the following year 
gave Alton the highest number of votes, with 
Springfield standing third. But no appropriation 
was made to second this choice, and the matter came 
to nothing. 

Now when the question came up again in the 
legislature, bills for the Illinois-Michigan Canal and 
for internal improvements were being considered. 
Sangamon had become, in fifteen years, the most 
populous county in the state. She had two senators 
and seven representatives, called the "Long Nine," 



because they averaged six feet in height. Their 
one object was to Obtain the capital for Springfield. 
Dexterous in the handling of men, and led by Abra- 
ham Lincoln, perhaps the most skilful of all the 
politic statesmen of his day, they voted as a unit 
from the very beginning of the session. For every 
local measure introduced they had nine votes, for or 
against, but always bargaining for votes for Spring- 
field. They gave "a long pull, a strong pull, and 
a pull all together." Like a snowball, the "Long 
Nine" gathered accessions of strength with every 
roll call; and when the location of the capital was 
finally decided, though twenty-nine places were 
voted for, Springfield won on the fourth ballot. 1 
The legislature appropriated fifty thousand dollars 
for the erection of a state house, on condition that 
the citizens of Springfield give a like sum and two 
acres of ground. 

The Sangamo country, meaning in the Indian 
tongue "the country where there is plenty to eat," 
in Biblical phrase "the land flowing with milk and 
honey," was first known to Americans through the 
reports of the rangers. In the autumn of 1819 a 
weary immigrant family who had traveled from 
North Carolina encamped on the bank of Spring 
Creek. Lighting their campfire, they gathered about 
the frugal supper, on the site of their new home in 
the wilderness. The next morning the ring of the 


ax resounded in the forest. And in a few days John 
Kelly's family had a rough log cabin, where now 
Jefferson and First Streets cross in the capital city. 2 

This was the nucleus of a town, named Spring- 
field in honor of Spring Creek and Kelly's field. Set- 
tlers came in large numbers, for the "St. Gamo 
Kedentry," as Sangamon County was called in the 
vernacular, soon became famous. A town was laid 
off and plotted, called Calhoun, but to this people 
objected, and the name Springfield was revived. 

When the capital was moved here the town had 
about eleven hundred inhabitants. The houses were 
mostly frame and poorly constructed. Springfield 
could boast but little wealth, and many of the citi- 
zens were greatly embarrassed through their efforts 
to raise the fifty thousand dollars required for the 
new state house. The streets were unpaved; there 
were no sidewalks in many places ; in spring and au- 
tumn the mud was unfathomable. For many years 
the town was crude in appearance and in fact. 

Lincoln had a favorite story illustrating this. The 
secretary of state had the care and letting of the 
assembly chamber, and one day had a request from 
a meek-looking man with a white necktie to use the 
room to deliver a course of lectures. Asked the 
subject, he replied, with a very solemn expression 
of countenance, "The second coming of our Lord." 

"It is of no use," said the secretary, "if you will 


take my advice, you will not waste your time in this 
city. It is my private opinion that if the Lord has 
been in Springfield once, he will not come the sec- 
ond time." 3 

But the capital city did not long remain uninvit- 
ing. Her citizens had enterprise and industry. Out- 
side capital came in; factories were established; 
railroads developed her coal mines; streets were 
paved; prosperity arrived and stayed. 

The cornerstone of the state house was laid on 
the fourth of July, 1837, with an address by the 
brilliant orator, E. D. Baker. It was estimated that 
the cost would be one hundred thirty thousand dol- 
lars, but this was only half the sum needed. Before 
the new building was ready the governor called a 
special session of the legislature; the house of rep- 
resentatives met in the Presbyterian church, the sen- 
ate in the Methodist church, and the supreme court 
in the Episcopal. 

Erected in the center of the public square, the 
state house was built of cut stone from a quarry 
ten miles away, brought to the city by ox teams. 
With its two porticos and massive columns, spacious 
halls and generous rooms for legislature, supreme 
court and committees, it was the wonder of the 
country round. It was admired as a model of archi- 
tectural beauty, and supposed to be ample for the 
needs of Illinois for all time to come. 


But so rapid was the progress of the state that 
in less than a quarter of a century this building was 
regarded as no longer adequate. Many departments 
had to occupy rented rooms. The capitol was called 
"a squat and unshapely pile," not suited to the pride 
and pretensions of the people of the fourth state in 
the Union. It ought, said many, to represent the 
greatness and dignity of Illinois. 

In 1865 a bill was introduced 'in the legislature 
to remove the capital to Peoria. Springfield's hotel 
accommodations were inferior, the charges exorbi- 
tant. This bill was finally tabled, but it made the 
citizens of Springfield anxious. They recognized 
the consequences that might follow. Immediately 
they built a new hotel, and made plans for a new 
state house. The county agreed to buy the old 
building and the square for two hundred thousand 
dollars. The city gave eight acres as the site for a 
new capitol, and a bill was introduced for an initial 
appropriation. 4 

There were, of course, other cities wanting the 
state house. But, as before, many other bills were 
being considered. One county was asking for the 
state university, another section for a penitentiary, 
Chicago was eager to have park and canal bills 
passed. And with so many interests, not combined 
against her, Springfield won. As the final argument 
it was urged that the residence of Abraham Lincoln 


had made the city historic ground, sanctified by his 

The new capitol was limited to a cost of three 
million dollars. A prize of three thousand dollars 
was offered for the best design, and twenty-one were 
submitted. The one chosen was a blending of classic 
and modern architecture, in the form of a great 
cross with a stately dome. The plan to have statues 
of Lincoln and Douglas at the north and south por- 
ticos was never carried out. The cornerstone was 
laid in October, 1868, but work went along very 

Three years later Peoria offered to reimburse the 
state for the full amount expended, nearly a million 
dollars, and donate ten acres for a site, if the capital 
was moved to that city. Springfield, however, of- 
fered additional ground, and finally succeeded in 
getting the appropriations for the state house passed, 
despite Peoria's lobbying and the free excursion to 
that city given to the legislature. 5 

Completed with an additional expenditure of 
nearly a million and a half, the building was occu- 
pied in 1876, although it was not finally finished 
till twelve years later. One of the most beautiful 
of the state capitols, its dignity and strength fitly 
symbolize the resources and power and pride of 
Illinois. The growth of the state's business, dur- 
ing the last decades, has made what seemed most 


generous quarters crowded and cramped. But in- 
stead of a new state house, the plan is to erect addi- 
tional buildings near by, making a beautiful archi- 
tectural unit. The arsenal, the supreme court 
building, and the new centennial building, with the 
state house, are an earnest of a civic center of which 
Illinois will be justly proud. 



Englander, a Presbyterian minister, who 
moved to Illinois in 1836. For three years he had 
been editing a religious newspaper in St. Louis. 
Many of his editorials were strong arguments 
against slavery, and, published in a slave state, they 
excited unfavorable comment. When a group of 
influential citizens counseled him "to pass over in 
silence everything connected with the subject," he 
refused in an article on the liberty of the press. Re- 
quested then to resign, he announced his intention 
of removing the paper to Alton. 

On the eve of his departure a mob entered his 
office and most of the press was destroyed. The 
remnants, shipped to Alton, arrived on Sunday. 
Love joy planned to leave the press on the wharf 
till the next day; but that night it was broken in 
pieces and thrown into the river. Men said it was 
disrespectful to the city of Alton to permit the press 
to be established there when the paper could not be 
published in Cincinnati or Louisville or St. Louis. 



They feared that an abolition journal so near Mis- 
souri, a slave state, would do the town a serious 
injury and prevent its growth. 

But the people of Alton were excited by this 
cowardly destruction of property, and a public meet- 
ing was called, where Love joy made a speech. He 
stated that, though he was opposed to slavery and 
thought it wrong, he was not an abolitionist, and 
had indeed been frequently denounced by Garrison 
because he did not favor their extreme measures. 
He said that "he was now removed from slavery 
and could publish a newspaper without discussing 
it, and that it looked like cowardice to flee from the 
place where the evil existed and come to a place 
where it did not exist to oppose it." 1 He wished to 
establish, not an abolition paper, but a religious 
weekly. Funds were raised for a new press, and 
copies of the Alton Observer appeared. 

Begun solely as a religious journal, Love joy's edi- 
torials soon changed. Slavery was very moderately 
referred to, then denounced mildly, but presently 
the fiercest and most rabid abolition doctrines were 
being preached. Religion was pressed into service 
as a mere auxiliary to the cause. Here, for exam- 
ple, is a Love joy paragraph on the fourth of July : 

"This day reproaches us for our sloth and inac- 
tivity. It is the day of our nation's birth. Even 
as we write crowds are hurrying past our window 


in eager anticipation to the appointed bower, to 
listen to the declaration that 'All men are created 
equal'; to hear the eloquent orator denounce, in 
strains of manly indignation, the attempt of Eng- 
land to lay a yoke on the shoulders of our fathers 
which neither they nor their children could bear. 
Alas! what bitter mockery is this! We assemble 
to thank God for our own freedom, and to eat with 
joy and gladness of heart while our feet are on 
the necks of nearly three million of our fellow men. 
Not all our shouts of self -congratulation can drown 
their groans; even that very flag which waves over 
our head is formed from material cultivated by 
slaves, on a soil moistened by their blood, drawn 
from them by the whip of a republican task-mas- 
ter." 2 

The citizens, not wishing to see the public peace 
disturbed, sent a deputation to call on Love joy, to 
remind him of his first plans for the Observer, and 
urging him to desist from his course. He denied 
having made any promise and contended for the 
liberty of the press. The people assembled, quietly 
took press and type, and threw them into the Mis- 

It was now apparent to all rational men that the 
Observer could no longer be published in Alton as 
an abolition paper. 3 The more reasonable of Love- 
joy's party thought it useless to try again, and dis- 
cussed going to Quincy or some other city. Some 


of the group, however, seemed to think the salvation 
of the black race depended on continuing publication 
of the Observer. Sustain the press at all hazards! 
Others said it was madness to make the attempt, 
that already their efforts had come near destroying 
the religious feeling of the community. 

Perhaps not more than fifty men upheld Lovejoy 
in this crisis, when he said, "I will start another 
paper, no matter what the consequences may be." 
Far from being discouraged, he was more deter- 
mined than ever to publish his sheet in Alton, at 
the point of the bayonet, if necessary. Another 
press was ordered, arrived in a few weeks, and was 
promptly cast into the river. Still another was sent 
and destroyed, the excitement assuming a spirit of 
frenzy, increasing to a perfect tornado. 

An outbreak was now confidently looked for. All 
business was suspended. Nothing was talked of but 
the efforts of the abolitionists. 4 Love joy's followers 
formed themselves into a military company and kept 
guard at the wharf. When the next press arrived, 
on the night of November sixth, they removed it 
to a warehouse and kept watch about the building 
all the following day. But in the evening every- 
thing was' quiet, and all but nineteen of the fatigued 
party left. 

The citizens were goaded on to madness by the 
taunts and threats of the abolitionists that they 


did not dare touch the press, that powder and lead 
were not mere playthings, that they had thirty 
rounds of cartridges and the mob should feel their 
virtue! Soon after nine o'clock a group of thirty 
men assembled in front of the warehouse and de- 
manded that the press be given up to them. The 
night was so clear that both parties were distinctly 
visible during the parley. The men within replied 
that they were well provided with arms and ammu- 
nition and would defend the press to the last ex- 
tremity rather than surrender it. With stones and 
brickbats the assailants attacked the building, trying 
to carry it by storm. Some one in the warehouse 
fired from the second floor, killing one of the crowd. 
Loud and bitter imprecations were heard, and the 
death of all in the defending group was boldly 

The party outside scattered. Some went to get 
powder, to blow up the stone building; some for 
ladders, to set the roof on fire ; the bells of the city 
were rung, and horns blown to assemble a greater 
multitude. 5 Armed men came rushing to the scene 
of action. One side of the warehouse had no win- 
dows; and here, safe from shots from within, a 
man ascended a ladder with a burning torch in his 
hand. When volunteers were called for to dislodge 
him, Love joy and two others responded, stepped out 
on the levee, and aimed at the figure on the ladder. 


The fire was returned by several men hidden behind 
a pile of lumber, and Lovejoy was hit by five bul- 
lets. Running into the warehouse, he exclaimed, 
"My God! I am shot!" and died in the arms of a 

The crowd continued to fire at the building until 
the defenders surrendered the press, which was 
broken up and thrown into the river. The fire com- 
pany extinguished the flames on the warehouse roof, 
and all quieted down into darkness and oblivion. 
Several men on both sides were indicted in cases 
arising from this riot, but none was found guilty. 
Both parties judged it advisable to forgive and for- 
get the whole transaction. Indeed, it was made a 
matter of court record that the abolitionists had not 
provoked an assault, that there had been no mob, 
and that no one was killed or wounded ! 

The day after the tragedy, without ceremony, 
Lovejoy's body was buried on a high bluff in the 
south part of Alton. 6 Some years later this site was 
chosen for a cemetery, and the main avenue chanced 
to pass over his grave. His ashes were moved to 
another place, and on the sixtieth anniversary of his 
death a monument, erected half by the state and 
half by public subscription, was dedicated "in grat- 
itude to God, and in the love of liberty." 

A man of talent and extraordinary energy and 
pertinacity, Lovejoy's life was aggressive, his death 


tragic. Like all true reformers, he had a grasp of 
intellect enabling him to see and act ahead of his 
time. His convictions were deep-seated, but his 
course was needlessly irritating and offensive to his 
fellow citizens. In pursuing his end he lost sight 
of the best means for its attainment. 

Because it concerned slavery, the Alton riot 
caused immense excitement throughout the country. 7 
It was discussed at public meetings and in the press 
and pulpit. Some papers came out in mourning. 
Ministers preached on Love joy as a martyr. The 
voice of condemnation was almost universal. Love- 
joy had found his grave, it was said, in the bosom 
of a free state, and his death would kindle a flame 
which years could not extinguish. Indeed, it took 
a costly civil war to wipe out the stain. 

But Lovejoy was not a member of the abolition 
party. He was fighting for the freedom of the press 
and for free speech. 

Besides the accounts in the various histories, you 
will be interested in the Memoir of Lovejoy, writ- 
ten by his two brothers. 



IN 1839 there came to Illinois a group of settlers 
whose career is one of the most unusual in his- 
tory, whose few years in our state make one of its 
most unique stories. These people were the Mor- 
mons, or, as they called themselves, "the Latter-Day 
Saints," and their leader was Joseph Smith. 

Some years before he had started a church in 
western New York, preaching from the Bible, and, 
like Mahomet, adding to it. His Book of Mor- 
mon gives a long account of the lost ten tribes of 
Israel and tells how they settled in America. By 
means of two crystal stones Smith translated this 
from the gold plates he discovered, where it was 
written in peculiar characters. His church had 
power over the consciences and spiritual affairs of 
its members, and also over their persons and prop- 
erty. The Jesuit organization was not more com- 
plete. 1 

From New York the group moved to Ohio and 
then to Missouri, their numbers constantly increas- 
ing. Organized as a community, they said that the 



Lord had given them all that country, as they were 
His Saints. They refused to acknowledge the au- 
thority of the state of Missouri, plundered near-by 
towns, and at last the militia was called out against 
them. The Mormons surrendered, were ordered to 
leave the state, and sought refuge in Illinois. 

Though it was known that they had left Ohio be- 
cause of the questionable failure of Smith's bank, 
though Missouri had found them such undesirable 
citizens, they were welcomed in Illinois. Several 
counties vied with one another in their offers of hos- 
pitality, and tried to get the strangers to settle with- 
in their boundaries. The Mormons told a romantic 
story of the cruel treatment of their enemies, of 
their escape through perils of field and flood. They 
made themselves out as the weaker, persecuted 
party. And the good people of Illinois expressed 
much sympathy for these men who suffered in the 
cause of their religion. 2 After wandering about for 
some time, they selected a place on the Mississippi 
River in Hancock County, and started a town which 
they called Nauvoo, meaning peaceable or pleasant. 

Here they planned to build a great city and tem- 
ple, as the place for the gathering to Zion. In two 
years they had put up more than two thousand 
houses, and Nauvoo, with sixteen thousand people, 
was the largest town in the state. Into the county 
people poured, from every part of the world. The 


discontented from all other sects, men who loved 
the new and the mysterious, men who saw in Mor- 
monism a stepping stone to power and wealth; vi- 
sionary, enthusiast, scoundrel, dupe, made up the 
members, all fanatical followers of the prophet, Joe 
Smith. 3 

The great temple is said to have cost a million dol- 
lars in money and labor. The people worked on it, 
every tenth day, or gave money to pay a mason or 
carpenter. Placed on the river bluff in a command- 
ing position, it overlooked the country in Illinois 
and Iowa for twenty miles. It was not planned 
after any order of architecture, unless we call it 
Mormonic. Indeed, the Saints themselves said it 
was begun without a plan, and from day to day the 
master builder received directions directly from 

"And really," says a contemporary writer, "it 
looks as if it was the result of such frequent change 
as would be produced by a daily accession of new 
ideas. It has been said that the church architecture 
of a sect indicates the genius and spirit of a reli- 
gion." He goes on to describe the characteristic 
Catholic and Methodist and Presbyterian church, 
and concludes, "If the genius of Mormonism were 
tried by this test, as exhibited in the temple, we 
could only pronounce that it was a piece of patch- 
work, variable, strange, and incongruous." 4 



But interesting as the Mormons were, had they 
remained an unobtrusive religious community, their 
place in Illinois history would be no more important 
than any other group of settlers, far less than the 
English colony in Edwards County. But the Mor- 
mons almost immediately mixed in Illinois politics, 
and became an important factor for the years they 
lived in the state. At that time party feeling ran 
high, and the contest between Whigs and Democrats 
was close and bitter. Both sides wanted the Mor- 
mon vote, which Smith seemed to hold in the hollow 
of his hand. He announced that his people should 
vote 'for this man or that, with the same assurance 
as when he told of an angel's message about the 
Book of Mormon. And, like a Jesuit leader's, his 
power was absolute. 

From the legislature the Mormons asked a char- 
ter for the town of Nauvoo. Both parties, flattered 
with the hope of Mormon votes, hurried its passage. 
In the senate, the ayes and noes were not called for ; 
in the house it was read only by title. It was rushed 
through, at the opening of the session, even before 
the "poetry bill," which provided for the members' 
salaries ! 

And such powers as this charter gave Nauvoo ! 5 
A government within a government a city council 
with power to pass ordinances contrary to the laws 
of the state ; a court sitting in all cases arising under 


the city laws; a military force, called the Nauvoo 
Legion, governed by its own ordinances, supplied 
with arms by the state, but subject only to the gov- 
ernor. The legislature granted another charter for 
a great tavern, the Nauvoo House, where the 
prophet and his heirs were to have a suite of rooms 

Smith was, at one and the same time, prophet, 
priest, merchant, president, elder, editor, general of 
the Nauvoo Legion, mayor, legislator in the council, 
judge in one court and chief justice in another, real 
estate agent for the town, and tavern keeper. 6 He 
was a fugitive from justice in Missouri, but repeated 
warrants issued for his arrest were not served. The 
council of Nauvoo passed a law making it illegal to 
serve a warrant in that city, unless it had been ap- 
proved by the mayor Smith himself. And another 
ordinance made it lawful to arrest any man who 
comes "to arrest Joseph Smith with process growing 
out of the Missouri difficulties." 

It was impossible to serve writs in Hancock 
County. The Mormons became more and more ar- 
rogant and insolent. They petitioned Congress to 
establish a separate government for them in Nau- 
voo. Smith announced himself as a candidate for 
the presidency of the United States. The people 
became embittered against the Saints, saying that 


they voted in a body and thus held the balance of 
power, for no election was possible in the county 
without their influence and ballots. It was said that 
they were about to set up a government of their 
own; that they made counterfeit money; that be- 
lieving they were entitled to all the goodly farms in 
the country, it was no moral offense to anticipate 
God's putting them in possession by stealing when 
opportunity offered; that Nauvoo sheltered outlaws 
and murderers and thieves, making religion a cloak 
for crime; and that under the name of "spiritual 
wives" Smith encouraged polygamy and immoral- 
ity. 7 

So it is not surprising that when a schism oc- 
curred in the church, led by a man named Law, num- 
bers of outsiders joined his group against the des- 
potic prophet. Law started a newspaper, to put his 
cause before the people, to expose Smith's iniquities 
and fight his doctrine of polygamy. But only one 
number was published, when the Mormons scattered 
the press to the four winds and expelled Law and his 
friends from the church. Warrants against Smith 
were discharged in his court. An appeal was then 
sent to Governor Ford, asking him to send the mili- 
tia to arrest the offenders. The assailing of the lib- 
erty of the press was of course a powerful argu- 


When troops were called out to serve as a con- 
stable's posse, Smith assembled the Nauvoo Legion 
and declared martial law. The governor himself 
went up to Carthage. The prophet and his brother 
surrendered at his request, and were locked up in 
jail on a charge of riot. The Legion gave up their 
arms. Now Ford knew that the troops were only 
waiting for some excuse to attack the Mormons. 
When he learned of a plan to fire on the soldiers and 
accuse the Saints of the deed, he promptly disbanded 
all the militia except a guard for the Carthage jail. 

Going over to Nauvoo, the governor addressed 
the Mormons, explaining the situation and receiving 
their pledge to abide by the laws, even against the 
orders of their church. This would probably have 
postponed any collision, but while the governor was 
absent on this mission, an armed mob was taking 
charge of affairs in Carthage. And this mob was 
none other than some of the disbanded soldiers of 
the state ! 

"About two hundred of these men," says Ford's 
account of this event, "many of them disguised by 
blacking their faces with powder and mud, hastened 
immediately to Carthage. There they encamped, at 
some distance from the village, and soon learned 
that one of the companies left as a guard had dis- 
banded and returned to their homes ; the other com- 
pany, the Carthage Greys, was stationed by the cap- 
tain in the public square, a hundred and fifty yards 


from the jail. Whilst eight men were detailed to 
guard the prisoners. 

"A communication was soon established between 
the conspirators and the company; and it was ar- 
ranged that the guard should have their guns 
charged with blank cartridges and fire at the assail- 
ants when they attempted to enter the jail. . . . 
The conspirators came up, jumped the slight fence 
around the jail, were fired upon by the guard, which, 
according to arrangement, was overpowered imme- 
diately, and the assailants entered the prison, to the 
door of the room where the two prisoners were con- 
fined, with two of their friends, who voluntarily 
bore them company. 

"An attempt was made to break open the door; 
but Joe Smith, being armed with a six-barreled pis- 
tol, furnished by his friends, fired several times as 
the door was bursted open, and wounded three of 
the assailants. At the same time several shots were 
fired into the room, . . . and Hiram Smith was 
instantly killed. Joe Smith now attempted to es- 
cape by jumping out of the second-story window; 
but the fall so stunned him that he was unable to 
rise ; and being placed in a sitting posture by the con- 
spirators below, they dispatched him with four balls 
shot through his body. Thus fell Joe Smith, the 
most successful impostor in modern times." 8 

But his death, instead of ending the sect, gave the 
Mormons a new confidence in their faith, an in- 
creased fanaticism, and many more members. Their 
vote was sought by both parties in the presidential 


election of 1844. The anti-Mormon group grew 
more and more bitter. In spite of the governor's 
resolution to have the assassins of the two Smiths 
punished with the utmost rigor of the law, it was im- 
possible to convict them ; for the anti-Mormons had 
a jury of their friends. Neither was it possible to 
convict the men guilty of destroying the printing 
press, for the Mormons were tried before a Mormon 

"No leading man on either side could be arrested 
without the aid of an army. . . . No one would 
be convicted of any crime in Hancock; and this put 
an end to the administration of civil law in that dis- 
tracted county. Government was at an end there, 
and the whole community were delivered up to the 
dominion of a frightful anarchy." There was little 
but riot and warfare. In the autumn of 1845 the 
Mormons in one village were told to leave, but re- 
fused. A mob burned their houses, and the inmates 
in utter destitution fled to Nauvoo. The Mormon 
sheriff there promptly raised a posse, drove the anti- 
Mormons out of the county, and burned their homes, 
plundering and laying waste with fire and sword. 

The soldiers were called out again. The Mormon 
elders, convinced by now that they could not remain 
longer in the state, bargained that they would leave 
in the spring, if they were not molested during the 


winter. A small garrison stayed in Nauvoo. Meet- 
ings of more than four men were prohibited. The 
strictest military order was kept and peace main- 

All the houses in Nauvoo, even the great temple, 
were transformed into workshops. By spring more 
than twelve thousand wagons had been made, to 
carry the people and their goods to the Pacific coast. 9 
In February, while the river was covered with ice 
and the ground with deep snow, the twelve apostles 
and a few followers started the story is, to avoid 
arrest for counterfeiting. And in May about six- 
teen thousand Mormons set out together, but a diffi- 
cult journey they had to their promised land. 

Forcibly ejected from Missouri, they had to make 
a roundabout trip through Iowa. They spent the 
winter near Council Bluffs, where they had cholera 
and fever. The Indians hovered about, ready to 
plunder them. Not till July did they reach the val- 
ley of the Great Salt Lake, where they remained. In 
that desert country there was, for a long time, no 
anti-Mormon party, and the Latter-Day Saints pros- 
pered greatly. 

Thus into Illinois and out of the state passed this 
sect, based on delusion and imposture, led by a man 
of so little education that he read indifferently and 
wrote and spelled badly, who nevertheless main- 


tained his authority as spiritual and temporal and 
political leader of an ever-increasing group of 

But the Mormons were not through with Illinois. 
There were two young men, law partners in Spring- 
field, who had seen the evils of polygamy during the 
Mormon residence in Illinois. 10 In 1865 one of them, 
a representative in Congress, introduced a bill pro- 
hibiting plural marriages. It passed the house but 
failed in the senate. Eighteen years later, as senator 
from Illinois, Cullom introduced the same bill and 
secured its passage. His former law partner was 
appointed federal judge in Utah, then a territory 
governed by Congress, and the law was enforced 
strictly and fearlessly. The Mormons themselves 
appreciated the justice and high-mindedness of this 
Illinoisan, and when Utah was admitted as a state, 
their vote elected Zane as their chief justice. 

A group of Mormon wagons and a herd of live stock crossing 
The Missouri River at Council Bluffs ferry 



IN the very month when the Mormons left, an- 
other group of men were preparing to start from 
Illinois, but for a far different reason. The annexa- 
tion of Texas in May, 1845, was made an excuse for 
the war with Mexico, and just a year later the presi- 
dent called for volunteers. Illinois's apportionment 
was four regiments. 

A wave of patriotism swept over the state. Men 
were enlisting everywhere. The women formed 
sewing societies to make uniforms, for each soldier 
provided his own, and was later reimbursed for his 
outlay. By the middle of June nine regiments were 
enrolled, but only the four asked for could be ac- 

The United States had at that time a very small 
regular army, and the brunt of the war fell on the 
volunteers. The quickness of their assembling, their 
prodigious journeys, their splendid esprit de corps, 
are among the wonderful incidents of the war. 
They made long marches over mountainous and des- 



olate country, over arid prairies under a tropical sun. 
They reached the enervating southern climate in the 
very heat of midsummer. There was an unprece- 
dented amount of sickness. 

"Heat heat heat ;" wrote home one Illinois sol- 
dier, "rain rain rain; mud mud mud, inter- 
mingled with spots of sand gravel, form the prin- 
cipal features of the route from Levacca to San 
Antonio. Loaded wagons, of course, moved slowly 
over the roads, and our troops were scourged on the 
route by the mumps and measles." 1 

The Illinois regiments missed Palo Alto and 
Monterey, but did arrive in time to fight at Buena 
Vista, to help invest Vera Cruz, and to storm the 
last stronghold of the- Mexicans at Cerro Gordo. 

Special praise they won at Buena Vista, a narrow 
pass in the mountains, called "a perfect Thermopy- 
lae." Santa Anna, with a force of twenty thousand 
men, entered the valley on the twenty-second of Feb- 
ruary. In honor of the day the American watch- 
word was "the memory of Washington." The Mex- 
icans sent Taylor a flag of truce, assuring him he 
would be cut to pieces and summoning him to sur- 
render. The answer was, "General Taylor never 
surrenders," though his force was less than five 
thousand. That night the Americans bivouacked on 
the field, without fires, resting on their arms. It was 


cold and dreary, with rain and gusts of wind. Santa 
Anna made a speech to his soldiers, telling in burn- 
ing words the wrongs heaped on Mexico by the bar- 
barians from the north, who could plainly hear the 
vivas greeting him. They could hear the Mexican 
band playing till late in the night. 2 

The next morning the battle began, lasting till 
dark. Because of the deep gullies and gorges, only 
a limited number of men could fight at one place. 
And in some of the attacks the Mexicans charged 
six to one, eight to one, even ten to one. But the 
Americans stubbornly resisted, no matter how over- 
whelming the numbers of the enemy. Illinois vol- 
unteers, never under fire before, made a gallant 
twenty-minute charge that practically won the day, 
and during the night Santa Anna withdrew from the 
field. This was the most stubborn battle of the war, 
and its turning point. 

"The first and second Illinois and the Kentucky 
regiments," wrote Taylor in his official report, 
"served immediately under my eye, and I bear a will- 
ing testimony to their excellent conduct throughout 
the day. The spirit and gallantry with which the 
First Illinois and Second Kentucky engaged the en- 
emy in the morning, restored confidence to that part 
of the field, while the list of casualties will show how 
much these three regiments suffered in sustaining 
the heavy charge of the enemy in the afternoon." 3 


In every battle the officers and men of Illinois 
distinguished themselves. Their daring courage and 
intrepid valor won honor for themselves and glory 
for the state. Nobly Illinois acted her part, gain- 
ing character and standing by the extraordinary ef- 
forts of her soldiers. Because of the few men en- 
gaged the victories of Scott and Taylor were the 
more brilliant. Indeed, it has been said that the 
only battles in history to be compared with these 
in the Mexican War are the stories in the Old Tes- 

The Illinois troops, enlisted for one year, were 
mustered out in May, 1847. Two more regiments 
were sent to Mexico, but they had only skirmishes 
with guerrillas, and heavy losses from sickness. For 
the war was practically over, and peace was made 
early in 1848. 

The troops brought home as a trophy a cannon 
which they captured at Cerro Gordo and turned on 
the enemy. Charging, there on the retreating Mex- 
icans, they came on the carriage of Santa Anna. 
Only a few moments before he had escaped on one 
of the mules, cut from the traces. Among the ef- 
fects found in the carriage was the general's wooden 
leg. It was held up to the view of the soldiers, and 
brought back to Illinois. 4 And to this day it is one 
of the treasures in Memorial Hall in the state house. 



THE practise of dueling, an inheritance from 
the French, was never so popular in Illinois 
as in many other states. But her history tells of 
some interesting challenges, and she took a leading 
part in abolishing this custom. 

The first duel in Illinois was in 1765, when the 
British troops came to take possession of Fort Char- 
tres. Two young officers, one French, the other 
English, were rival suitors for the hand of a young 
lady in the neighborhood. 1 A quarrel arose which 
led to a challenge. One Sunday morning they 
fought with small swords near the fort and the 
English officer was killed. The Frenchman made 
haste to go down the Mississippi to New Orleans, 
showing how the public of that early day felt to- 
ward dueling. 

When the separation of Illinois and Indiana was 
being excitedly discussed, a personal controversy 
developed between Rice Jones, a promising young 
lawyer, and Shadrach Bond. A challenge and ac- 
ceptance followed. They met on an island near 



Kaskaskia. The weapons were hair-trigger pistols, 
and Jones's was discharged prematurely. Bond's 
second claimed that, according to the code, it was 
now his turn to fire. But Bond, unwilling to take 
such a murderous advantage of his adversary, cried 
out, "No, it was an accident!" and refused. To 
conduct so noble Jones responded, their difficulty 
was reconciled, and they left the field together. But 
later the second quarreled with Jones, and assassi- 
nated him in the street, while he was talking to a 
lady. The murderer escaped to Texas, but public 
opinion was aroused. The following year Governor 
Edwards and the judges adopted a law that a fatal 
duel was murder. The men aiding the principals 
were equally guilty. 2 Sending or accepting a chal- 
lenge prevented a man from holding any office of 
honor or trust. This was an important step in sup- 
pressing dueling. 

In 1819 occurred the first and last fatal duel in 
the state. At a carousal in Belleville two men quar- 
reled, and a sham duel was proposed, to provide 
some rare sport for the crowd. The weapons were 
to be rifles, loaded with powder only. The com- 
batants took their places, forty steps apart, and at 
the signal both fired. One man fell, mortally 
wounded, and died in a few minutes. His opponent, 
suspecting a cheat, had secretly slipped a ball into 
his rifle. 


Arrested, the murderer escaped from jail. Two 
years later he was discovered in Arkansas, brought 
back to Belleville by a trick, tried and convicted. 
Governor Bond was besieged with petitions for his 
pardon. But the man who had refused twelve years 
before to take advantage of his foe would not yield 
in this case and the murderer was hanged. Bond's 
firmness in insisting on the execution of the law 
had much to do with making dueling unpopular and 
discredited. 3 

A few years later an unusual duel took place in 
a mining camp near Galena. Two men fell out and 
agreed to fight a duel with rocks. Two piles of 
stones, alike in number and size, were arranged ten 
paces apart by the seconds, and the coni^atants sta- 
tioned by them. Stones flew thick and last for a 
time, but one man was so strong and so expert in 
throwing that the other had to flee to save his life. 
So this duel was of short duration. 

During the legislature of 1840 so many "affairs 
of honor" were threatened among the members that 
one senator proposed the dueling law should be sus- 
pended for a fortnight, to give full opportunity for 
the settling of all personal d'fficulties. One case, be- 
tween a youthful member of the house and a su- 
preme court judge, actually went so far that time 
and place and weapons had been agreed upon, when 
a complaint was lodged by the attorney-general of 


Illinois. A warrant was issued, the judge arrested, 
and placed under bond to keep the peace. 4 This was 
the end compassed by mutual friends in several of 
these "affairs." 

The most famous duel in Illinois was the one 
where Shields challenged Lincoln. The state treas- 
urer and Shields, the auditor, had issued a procla- 
mation that taxes must be paid in specie, not in paper 
money. This was the year when the state bank 
failed, the very worst of the hard times. Lincoln 
wrote a letter to a Springfield newspaper, dated 
from "Lost Township," a dialogue between Aunt 
Rebecca and a neighbor who had 

"been tugging ever since harvest getting out wheat 
and hauling it to the river to raise State Bank 
paper enough to pay my tax this year and a little 
school debt I owe ; and now, just as I've got it, here 
I open this infernal EXTRA REGISTER, expect- 
ing to find it full of 'Glorious Democratic Victories' 
and 'High Comb'd Cocks,' when, lo and behold! 
I find a set of fellows, calling themselves officers of 
the State, have forbidden the tax collectors and 
school commissioners to receive State paper at all; 
and so here it is dead on my hands." 

"Shields is a fool as well as a liar. With him 
truth is out of the question; and as for getting a 
good, bright, passable lie out of him, you might as 
well try to strike fire from a cake of tallow. . . . 


He's a Whig, and no mistake; nobody but a Whig 
could make such a conceity dunce of himself. . . . 
And now, Mr. Printer, will you be sure to let us 
know in your next paper whether this Shields is a 
Whig or a Democrat? ... I know well enough 
how it is already; but I want to convince Jeff. It 
may do some good to let him, and others like him, 
know who and what these officers of State are. It 
may help to send the present hypocritical set to 
where they belong, and to fill the places they now 
disgrace with men who will do more work for less 
pay, and take a fewer airs while they are doing it." 5 

A week later a second letter was published, and 
then Rebecca sent a third in rhyme. These were 
written, not by Lincoln, but by two young ladies in 
Springfield, one of whom he afterward married, 
while the other became Mrs. Lyman Trumbull. 
These publications subjected the vain and irascible 
Irish auditor of Illinois to merriment and ridicule 
on every side. Instead of laughing at the satire, he 
demanded of the editor the name of the author who 
was attacking his "private character and standing 
as a man." 

"Give him my name," said Lincoln, "and say not 
a word about the young ladies." 

Shields demanded a full, positive and absolute 
retraction and apology for the insults. Lincoln 
could not in honor say that the second and third 
letters were written by two estimable ladies. And 


Shields was not satisfied by his saying that in writ- 
ing the first letter he was concerned only with its 
political effect and had no thought of anything per- 
sonal. He was promptly challenged to a duel and 

"I am wholly opposed to dueling, and will do 
anything to avoid it," he said, "that will not de- 
grade me in the estimation of myself and friends; 
but if degradation or a fight are the alternatives, I 
shall fight." 6 

As the challenged party had the privilege of 
choosing weapons and position, Lincoln selected 
cavalry broadswords of the largest size; and stipu- 
lated that a board should be set up between him and 
Shields, over which they were to hack away at each 
other, at a distance of three feet more than the 
length of the sword. In spite of the length of Lin- 
coln's arms, this placed them both out of harm's 

Lincoln insisted that as dueling was against the 
law in Illinois, the meeting should be in Missouri. 
The affair went so far that the combatants actually 
left the state, their seconds provided with the two 
swords, but mutual friends patched up a reconcilia- 
tion and the ludicrous duel never came off. Later 
Shields challenged one of Lincoln's seconds, and a 
third duel was threatened between two of the 
"friends"; but these, like the original one, came to 


nothing. And the whole affair, which Lincoln used 
to call "my scrape with Shields," through ridicule 
and derision, tended the more to discredit dueling. 

Outside the state there were three duels where 
Illinoisans were involved. Two on the Pacific coast 
resulted fatally, and E. D. Baker, pronouncing the 
funeral oration, launched a marvelous philippic 
against dueling, which stirred the nation. "The 
code of honor is a delusion and a snare ... a 
shield, blazoned with the name of chivalry, to cover 
the malignity of murder." 7 

The third was in Washington, during the long 
discussions before the compromise of 1850 was 
adopted, when southern congressmen vaunted their 
chivalry and disparaged northern courage by fre- 
quent reference to the Mexican War. A Virginian 
tried to award the whole credit for the battle of 
Buena Vista to a Mississippi regiment, commanded 
by Jefferson Davis, then United States senator. Ex- 
ception was taken by a member from Illinois, Colo- 
nel Bissell, whose regiment had charged and snatched 
victory from defeat. His brilliant reply vindicated 
the courage of the northerners and pricked the vain 
assumption of the south. Davis at once challenged 
him as if a duel could vary the facts of history 
and move his regiment a mile and a half nearer the 
scene of action ! 

All Washington was on the qui vive. K 


"Will he accept? Will Bissell stand fire?" they 

Daniel Webster came over from the senate to the 
floor of the house, and asked to be introduced to 
him. "He will do, the south has mistaken its man," 
was his comment. 

Promptly the challenge was accepted. Bissell 
selected the common army musket, loaded with a 
ball and three buckshot, the combatants to be sta- 
tioned at forty paces, with liberty to advance to 
ten. This showed his purpose to fight to the death, 
and the southerners were amazed. 

"But an army musket is not the weapon of a 
gentleman," protested Davis. 

"No real gentleman settles a difference by fight- 
ing a duel," was Bissell's reply. 

The meeting was to take place on the last day of 
February. The evening before, the president, who 
was the father-in-law of Jefferson Davis, took le- 
gal steps to stop the duel. But after midnight mu- 
tual friends effected a reconciliation, the challenge 
was withdrawn, and the affair ended, a source of no 
little pride to Illinoisans. 8 



ILLINOIS found, by bitter experience, that im- 
provements in transportation could not be wisely 
and economically made by the state. But the fail- 
ure of the internal improvement system could not 
long delay the canal. 

A water connection between Lake Michigan and 
the Illinois River had been suggested by Joliet in 
1673. The following year Father Dablon wrote : 

"According to the researches and explorations of 
Joliet, we can easily go to Florida in boats, and by 
a very good navigation, with slight improvements. 
There will be but one canal to make and that by 
cutting only one-half a league of prairie from the 
lake of the Illinois (Michigan) into the St. Louis 
river (the Illinois), which empties into the Missis- 
sippi. . . . The bark, having entered this river, 
could easily sail to the Gulf of Mexico." 1 

La Salle mentions it, then silence until 1795, 
when the Indians by treaty gave "a free passage 
by .land and by water, as one and the other shall 



be found convenient, through their country, from 
the mouth of the Chicago to the commencement of 
the portage between that river and the Illinois, and 
down the Illinois river to the Mississippi." 

From that time on it was frequently discussed, 
as the link between east and west, important for 
military and commercial purposes. Governor Ed- 
wards, urging the construction of the canal, made 
a treaty with the Indians for a tract of land ten 
miles wide on either side of the suggested route 
from the lake to the Illinois River. The red men 
received "a considerable quantity of merchandise" 
and a promise of goods to the value of a thousand 
dollars a year for twelve years the amount so small 
because the Indians were assured of the canal's ad- 
- vantages to them: they could ply their canoes on 
its surface, and seek their game! 

Beginning in 1818, with Governor Bond, each 
governor in his message to the legislature urged the 
canal. Because the portage was so short it was re- 
garded as easily accomplished. More than once the 
state gave money for a survey. An early estimate 
of the cost was six hundred forty thousand dollars. 
The legislature in 1826 asked Congress for aid in 
building the canal. Through the efforts of Daniel 
P. Cook, one of the Illinois representatives, the fed- 
eral government gave to the state alternate sections 
of land on both sides of the canal for five miles. 


This totaled nearly three hundred thousand acres, 
and included the original site of Chicago. 2 People 
called it "the sheet anchor of the canal." 

At one time the plans were abandoned entirely 
and it was decided to build a railroad instead of 
the canal, as this would cost only one million in- 
stead of four. An attempt to have a private corpo- 
ration build the canal was made and a charter se- 
cured, but no stock was sold. Finally, when the 
internal improvement craze was on, the friends of 
the canal, in the general log-rolling of that session 
of the legislature, by voting for railroads all over 
the state, secured votes for their measure, and canal 
bonds were issued. This expense of a million and 
a half was not included in the eight millions of in- 
ternal improvements, for the canal was always kept 

Ground was broken on the fourth of July, 1836, 
and at this time the cost was estimated at nearly 
nine million dollars four times the cost of the Erie 
Canal, but its dimensions were larger. Much of 
the route lay through marshy lands, flooded in 
spring and autumn, difficult of access. The first 
year forty thousand was spent on roads leading to 
the canal site ! The excavating through rock proved 
enormously expensive. The country bordering the 
canal was settled scatteringly, and afforded no shel- 
ter and no provisions for the laborers. All supplies 


had to be brought from abroad. Workmen were 
paid from twenty to thirty dollars a month, plus 
board. Potatoes cost in Chicago seventy-five cents 
a bushel, flour twelve dollars a barrel, and other 
articles in proportion. 3 So the high cost of living in 
1836 made the canal an expensive undertaking. 

The grand muddle of the state's finances, follow- 
ing the failure of the banks and the internal im- 
provement system, involved the canal in temporary 
difficulties. There were no funds to meet the in- 
terest on the canal bonds. All work stopped for 
two or three years. Illinois investments were uni- 
versally discredited. A Chicago lawyer proposed 
that the state give the canal in trust to the bond- 
holders : they to finish it, manage the property, and 
receive the tolls, in return for taking additional 
bonds for one million six hundred thousand dollars. 
The canal to be their property until all the bonds 
were redeemed. This plan was adopted by the leg- 
islature, and the day was saved for the canal. For 
the primary object of the state was to open this ave- 
nue of commerce for the benefit of the public, not 
to have the income it might yield. 

Finally the canal was completed and the first boat 
passed through in April, 1848, celebrated with en- 
thusiastic demonstrations along the entire route. It 
remained the property of the trustees for the bond- 


holders for twenty-six years and then reverted to 
the state. 

In 1865 sanitary reasons made it imperative to 
deepen the canal to turn the pure waters of the 
lake into the shallow, disease-breeding Qhicago 
River and reverse its current into the Illinois.! Since 
the opening of the Panama Canal plans are fbrming 
to make Illinois's waterway deep enough for ocean 
vessels, that can then load their grain at Chicago, go 
down the Mississippi to the gulf, and cross to South 
America or Europe, or through the isthmus into 
the Pacific. 

The total cost of the canal has been twenty times 
the original estimate, but the sales of land paid 
nearly half of this. Contrary to the hopes of its 
early supporters, its income has failed to pay the 
expenses of the state government. But, through 
the leases of water power and land and ice, the sales 
of clay an<i stone, and the tolls, it is no longer an 
expense to Illinois. 

But more than the canal Illinois needed railroads 
to market her surplus products. They must be built 
by private companies, not by the state. The first 
railroad in the United States was in use by 1830, 
and just six years later the first one in Illinois, a 
road six miles long, to carry coal to the Mississippi 
River opposite St. Louis. Next a road was planned 


/from Chicago to Galena, and a part of it was actu- 
/ally built. The third was one of the internal im- 
f provements, which the state was glad to sell for a 
tenth of its cost. 4 

And then came the Illinois Central, called "the 
most splendid and most magnificent road in Amer- 
ica" ; and to-day Illinois has more miles of railroads 
than any other state in the Union. In October, 
1835, Sidney Breese, in a newspaper letter, called 
attention to the importance of a railroad connecting 
the canal with the lower Mississippi, by a route that 
would never be obstructed by low water or ice. The 
grand scheme to join Cairo and Chicago was part 
of the internal improvement craze, and the sum of 
six hundred thousand dollars was voted for this 
road. Some work was actually done, but it was 
abandoned with the collapse of the system. 

Various plans were made during the next decade, 
and a bill introduced in Congress granting land for 
railroad purposes. This twice passed the senate, 
but failed in the house, once by two votes. It finally 
succeeded in 1850, largely through the efforts of 
Stephen A. Douglas. 5 The people and newspapers 
of the state hailed the news with joyful demonstra- 
tions. Chicago celebrated with the firing of can- 
non and a public dinner to Douglas, but he modestly 
insisted that his colleagues in the house should be 


The grant from Congress gave to Illinois a right 
of way two hundred feet wide from Cairo to the 
south end of the canal, branching there to Chicago 
and Galena; and the even numbered sections of 
land on each side of this right of way for six miles 
a total of nearly three million acres. The state 
chartered the Illinois Central Railroad Company, 
giving to this corporation the lands granted by Con- 
gress, with the provision that, instead of taxes, the 
road should pay seven per cent, of its gross income 
each year to the state treasurer. 

With the land as security, stock and bonds for 
the new road sold at par, sales of land paid the 
interest charges and yielded so much more that the 
road almost paid for itself ! Work began in north 
and south in 1852 and continued with little inter- 
ruption. The main line was completed by June 
of 1855, the branches by September of the follow- 
ing year, though trains began running as soon as 
any one portion was finished. 

Through the wildest and most sparsely settled 
sections of the state this road was laid out. Deer 
and wild game roamed at will. Neither house nor 
tree was to be seen, frequently, on the boundless 
prairies. And in the entire route of seven hundred 
miles it did not pass through a dozen towns large 
enough to be on the map. 6 

But the national government did not lose by this 


generous grant to Illinois. Its land had been on 
the market for twenty years, at a dollar and a quar- 
ter an acre, yet found no purchasers. With the rail- 
road a certainty, this same land sold for an average 
price of five dollars an acre; and the federal govern- 
ment, by casting its bread on the waters, made some- 
thing over nine millions. 

And the results to the state were no less marked. 
The unsettled interior was opened to immigrants. 
The rich soil was brought into cultivation. Almost 
overnight ten million acres in private hands in- 
creased in value and added forty millions to the 
taxable wealth of Illinois. The rich agricultural 
and mineral products of the newly developed region 
found ready markets. Chicago had another "boost" 
in her marvelous growth. 7 

Best of all, in forty years the state treasury re- 
ceived more money from the Illinois Central than 
was appropriated for the whole internal improve- 
ment system. Lest the railroad might try to have 
this seven per cent, provision changed, and some 
legislature yield to the demand, in 1870 this was 
written into the state constitution. And this income 
for the state, constantly increasing, is now perpetual. 

But more than the canal and more than the rail- 
roads the prairie-breaking plow is responsible for 
the prosperity of Illinois. It is the realest of her in- 
ternal improvements. For it made the prairie coun- 

A train entering the Chicago railway station of the Illinois 
Central and Michigan Central roads. Date, 1857 


Style of passenger car most frequently used during the decade 
from 1840 to 1850. The windows of this vehicle were not 
raised, but the entire panels were dropped bodily down into 
the sides of the car 


try, covering about two-thirds of the state, available 
for farms. It opened an avenue of wealth greater 
than all the mines of gold and silver in the nation. 
^The earliest settlers cleared the timber land with 
axes and broke its soil with a wooden plow banded 
with iron. The prairies they used only for pas- 
turage. A beautiful wilderness it was covered 
with waving grass, taller than a man on horseback ; 
with rosin weed, gay with yellow blooms; with 
many bushes and flowering shrubs, with acres and 
acres of wild strawberries. But it was so infested 
with swarms of yellow-headed flies, mosquitoes and 
buffalo gnats that in the summer-time travelers 
journeyed only at night. 8 The pioneers ridiculed 
the idea that the tough prairie sod would ever yield 
to the civilizing plow, and would produce greater 
crops than the timber land. 

In 1826 Oramel Clark, a Connecticut blacksmith 
who had settled in Sangamon County, made a sod 
plow. It was drawn by oxen and held to the fur- 
rows by a man walking behind it, grasping its han- 
dles. But when the share struck a red-root, the 
toughest of the prairie grasses, the handles would 
strike the man, and usually knocked him flat. Clark, / 
however, was patient and persisted; and in 1830 a ? - 
prairie-breaking plow was achieved rude and j 
clumsy and awkward, but efficient. 9 

Fastened to a six-inch beam of oak was the iron 


share, with edge of steel. There were wooden 
trucks, one wheel at the side and one in the fur- 
row, and a very heavy frame, so that the whole 
weighed about a thousand pounds and was five times 
as large as the plows of to-day. But it had a tough 
work to accomplish and must needs be massive and 
heavy, to stay in the furrow. Improvements in 
Clark's plow followed, and soon the crack of the 
ox-whip announced a new day for Illinois. With 
five or six, or even eight yoke of oxen, the prairie 
soil was broken up; but so tough and thick was the 
grass that if corn was to be planted the same year 
holes had to be chopped with an ax or hatchet for 
the kernels to be dropped in. By twelve months 
later the grass had begun to rot. 

One of the picturesque characters of the day was 
the old ox driver, carrying his great whip, with a 
handle six feet long and a twelve- foot lash. He 
could wield it so skilfully that, twenty feet distant, 
he could flick a prairie fly off the back of a certain 
ox. The oxen were trained to come under the yoke, 
to turn to right or left. They went slowly but stead- 
ily up and down the field, turning a two- foot fur- 
row, often half a mile long. The plowman usually 
owned his oxen and offered the service of himself, 
his heavy implement, and his patient animals, charg- 
ing from two to three dollars an acre. People 
complained at paying double the initial cost to have 


the land made ready for a crop. But timber land, 
cleared, was worth twenty dollars an acre, and 
though they were perhaps equally rich, the prairie 
land retained its fertility longer. 

This conquest of Illinois, begun in the thirties, 
lasted for thirty years; a bloodless conquest, not 
less deserving of renown than victories in war. Its 
results were a revolution in western farming, a 
movement and shift of population seldom equaled 
in the history of the world. It changed millions 
of acres from trackless wilderness into prosperous 
farms. People from the eastern states and immi- 
grants from Europe flocked to Illinois, and in the 
fifties, the principal decade of the subjugation, the 
population more than doubled. 

But after the prairies began to be cultivated and 
prolific crops produced, there was no market for 
corn and wheat, flax and tobacco. The farmers 
fed their corn to cattle and hogs and drove them 
to St. Louis and Cincinnati and Chicago, sometimes 
even over the mountains to New York and Phila- 

Clark's prairie-breaking plow was a John the Bap- 
tist in the Illinois wilderness, heralding a new order 
of things. For -just in the years when, perfected, 
it was being widely used, began the success of rail- 
roads and farm machinery in the west. The very 
decade which saw the prairies conquered saw the 


building of the Illinois Central, and miles and miles 
of other roads for the prosperity of the farms and 
the success of railroads are interdependent. The 
same years saw, too, the invention of agricultural 
machinery as we know it to-day planters and cul- 
tivators, reapers and threshers. Rapid transporta- 
tion, underground drainage, a wise rotation of 
crops, seed selection, good roads, have added to 
the agricultural resources of Illinois. To-day the 
scientist is among us. The soil chemist, trained at 
a state agricultural college, is teaching the farmers 
of Illinois how to preserve the fertility_pf their 
fields, how to use and not abuse the land. Wko-can 
foretell what future improvements will be? 



UP to now the story of Illinois has been all her 
own, touching the history of the nation only 
incidentally. But for the next few years events, in 
Illinois are not a part of the country's history, rather 
they are the story of the nation. Take away from 
United States history these incidents and you have 
nothing left. 

During her early years as a state the politics of 
Illinois were personal and confused, with no clear- 
cut issues. The slavery campaign in 1824 is the one 
exception, but this was not related to any national 
event. Beginning in the early thirties, however, 
Illinois had definitely organized political parties. 
There were regular conventions held by Whigs and 
Democrats. And for twenty- four years one party 
carried the day, for Illinois was a Democratic 
stronghold, with only an occasional Whig to vary 
the monotony of her delegations in Congress. By 
1850 one of her senators was a recognized national 
leader in his party, and was even talked of for the 



On the question of slavery, the people of Illinois 
were very conservative. They had, you remember, 
voted against establishing slavery in their own state. 
But they were not in favor of interfering with it 
elsewhere. You already know, from the Lovej.oy 
story, how strong the feeling was against abolition. 
And this was true, not only in Alton, but among 
most of the responsible leaders in the state. Illinois 
congressmen voted as a unit against the Wilmot 
proviso. 1 

But the slavery question, like Banquo's ghost, 
would not down. And gradually a change was 
coming. The underground railroad became well 
organized in certain Illinois towns. The law made 
every citizen a slave-catcher, and against this the 
lovers of freedom rebelled and secretly helped fugi- 
tives on their way north. Canada was their -Mecca, 
especially after the proclamation of Queen Victoria 
"that every fugitive from United States slavery 
should be recognized and protected as a British sub- 
ject the moment his foot touched the soil of her 
domain." 2 

Negroes were hidden in barns and garrets, even 
in the cupola of a church. Supplies of clothing were 
kept in readiness. And on dark and stormy nights 
this human freight was forwarded from one station 
to another. Being a conductor on this railroad 
meant great labor and expense, the risk of a heavy 


fine or six months in prison, and social ostracism. 
But resistance to the law increased, and when one 
house became too well known as a stopping place, 
the station was changed. 

Chicago was the great railroad center in Illinois, 
for slaves could be sent by boat to Detroit and then 
slip over to Canada. Ottawa, Quincy and Jackson- 
ville were stations, while a runaway slave was as 
safe on the streets of Galesburg as if he were al- 
ready in a free land. 

Politically, too, a change was at hand. The Free 
Soil vote in 1848 was a straw showing how the wind 
blew. And the turn of the tide was clearly indicated 
by the criticism poured on the head of Senator 
Douglas, denouncing him for his vote on the fugi- 
tive slave bill in 1850. Both Whigs and Democrats 
had worked for this measure and approved of the 
compromise. The presidential election two years 
later made the Democratic party seem well-nigh in- 

But suddenly public opinion changed. The slav- 
ery question came up again, more violent and bitter 
than ever before. The cause was the Kansas-Ne- 
braska bill, which canceled the Missouri line by 
saying, "Instead of having an arbitrary division be- 
tween free and slave states, we will leave this to 
the people of each territory to decide for them- 
selves." Douglas called it "non-intervention"; the 


people named it "squatter sovereignty." Though 
it was suggested by a Whig senator from a southern 
state, the credit or blame for the measure centered 
wholly on Stephen A. Douglas, who was chairman 
of the committee on territories and fathered it 
through Congress. 3 

Like a clap of thunder in a clear sky the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill came on the country. Its passage 
was greeted by salvos of artillery in Washington, 
announcing a triumph. But the booming of these 
cannon wakened the echoes and aroused the north, 
filling the people with indignation. It caused a 
spontaneous combustion, kindling the fires of free- 
dom and forming a new group in politics. Every- 
where it made fatal changes in the old party lines. 
The Whigs became a name only. The Free Soilers 
and the American party, with many ardent ex- 
Democrats and zealous ex- Whigs, plus citizens of 
foreign birth, joined to create the Republican party. 
These odds and ends, incongruous, heterogeneous, 
largely through the shrewd advice of Abraham Lin- 
coln, were fused into harmony and union. The 
members disagreed on almost every question, but 
did agree in this one thing : opposition to the repeal 
of the Missouri Compromise. 4 The Republicans 
were wise in selecting their time, Lincoln skilful in 
choosing this one issue. 

In the local elections in 1854 Illinois went anti- 


Nebraska, and the new party had votes enough in 
the legislature to elect a senator. But they had two 
candidates, Lincoln, almost their unanimous choice, 
and Lyman Trumbull, an ex-Democrat. The ex- 
citement became intense as the balloting continued 
and the Democratic candidate crept up within three 
of a majority. Quick to see the impending danger, 
Lincoln, placing principle above self, besought his 
friends to support Trumbull. Judge Logan trans- 
ferred his vote with tears, the others followed, and 
Trumbull, strongly anti-Nebraska, became senator. 5 
Two years later the Republicans, like an infant Her- 
cules, were strong enough to secure the governor- 
ship, though the legislature was Democratic. 

Meanwhile the Nebraska matter had assumed a 
new phase. Douglas's principle of squatter sov- 
ereignty, if honestly applied and fairly carried out 
in a new territory, offered the chance of a peaceful 
solution of this burning question. But to Kansas 
and Nebraska armed immigrants were promptly sent 
by the north, while armed slave holders pressed 
over the Missouri border. Naturally collision fol- 
lowed and border war. The Lecompton constitu- 
tion, forcing slavery on an unwilling people, voted 
through by fraud, was opposed by Douglas. Its 
submission to the people, he said, was a mockery 
and an insult, and he would resist it to the last, 
as illegal and unfair. 6 He became the champion of 


the people of Kansas, standing with the "black Re- 
publicans" against his Democratic friends. He dis- 
regarded party ties, he opposed the wish of Presi- 
dent Buchanan, though he knew the slave power 
would not forgive him. And the Republican news- 
papers heartily praised his course. 

Another event changed the temper of the peo- 
ple. This was the famous Dred Scott decision, 
making it legal for a slave owner to take his negroes 
into a free state and still own them as personal 
property. Look up this test case and see how Illi- 
nois touches the story of Dred Scott and his wife 
Harriet. Look up, too, the members of the supreme 
court, and see how many of them were southerners, 
and you can then understand their decision about 
the slaves of this army surgeon. 7 Douglas upheld 
the court, Lincoln opposed it. 

As regards the slavery question, Lincoln saw that 
men must now stand on one side or the other, with 
no middle ground and no third party. He was to 
make a speech in a Republican state convention, and 
submitted this paragraph to his friends : 

" 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' 
I believe this government can not endure perma- 
nently half slave and half free. I do not expect 
the Union to be dissolved I do not expect the house 
to fall but I do expect that it will cease to be di- 


vided. It will become all one thing or all the 
other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest 
the further spread of it and place it where the pub- 
lic mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the 
course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will 
push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in 
all the states, old as well as new, north as well as 

His friends were startled at this radical sugges- 
tion. Only one of them approved. 

" 'It will never do for you to make that speech,' 
they urged. 'What you say is true, but the time 
has not come for you to say it. It will defeat your 
election. It will ruin the party.' 

" 'My friends,' Lincoln replied, 'the time has come 
when these sentiments should be uttered; and if 
it is decreed that I should go down because of this 
speech, then let me go down linked to the truth let 
me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.' " 8 

And after the speech was made and he had been 
nominated as candidate for senator, he wrote to a 
pessimistic friend, "If I had to draw my pen across 
my record and erase my whole life from sight, and 
if I had one poor choice left as to what I should 
save from the wreck, I should choose that speech 
and leave it to the world as it is." 

Lincoln and Douglas were the standard bearers 


of their parties. They spoke at Chicago, on suc- 
cessive days, and again in Springfield, and then Lin- 
coln challenged Douglas to a series of joint debates. 
This method of presenting a political issue had come 
to Illinois from Kentucky, and the people had al- 
ways favored it. Candidates must be accustomed 
to public speaking and willing to meet their oppo- 
nents on the stump or they had no chance of success 
at the polls. There were no daily papers and few 
weeklies in the pioneer days. And a public debate 
was the best way to tell the people about political 
matters. A candidate could not mislead his hearers 
when both were heard at one meeting. By 1858, 
of course, the reason for debates, through the mul- 
tiplication of papers and magazines, had disap- 
peared. Yet people still felt that hearing the leaders 
argue was the best way to arrive at the merits of 
any political controversy. 9 

Douglas accepted the challenge, and it was ar- 
ranged that they should have seven debates an 
hour's opening, followed by a ninety-minute speech, 
the first speaker to have a half hour to reply. Doug- 
las's friends called him the "little giant." Physically 
and intellectually Lincoln was the big giant. The 
Democrats, from the senator down, were confident. 
They boasted that "the little giant would use up 
Old Abe and utterly demolish him." So noisy and 
demonstrative were they, so absolutely sure of sue- 


cess, that some of the Republicans became alarmed. 
One of Lincoln's friends spoke to him of their 

"Sit down," was his reply, "let me tell you a story. 
You and I, as we have traveled the circuit together 
attending court, have often seen two men about to 
fight. One of them, the big or the little giant, as 
the case may be, is noisy and boastful. He jumps 
high in the air, strikes his feet together, smites his 
fists, brags about what he is going to do, and tries 
hard to skeer the other man, who says not a word. 
His arms hang down, his fists are clenched, his 
teeth set, his head settled firmly on his shoulders, 
he saves his breath and strength for the struggle. 
This man will whip, just as sure as the fight comes 
off. Good-by, and remember what I say." 10 

The friends of Douglas managed his campaign 
well. A special train, decorated with flags and ban- 
ners, carried him from city to city like a conquering 
hero. Its arrival was announced with the booming 
of cannon, bands playing, ladies waving their hand- 
kerchiefs, and air-splitting cheers. At night there 
were fireworks. Lincoln traveled alone, with no 
trumpeter to herald his coming. 

And now blazed forth in full splendor the most 
remarkable canvass ever made in Illinois. The very 
prairies seemed alive with political discussions. The 
people talked of little else. The railroads did an 


enormous business, for excursions were the order 
of the day. From five to twenty thousand people 
heard each of the debates, held out-of-doors because 
no halls were large enough to accommodate the au- 
diences. Men went in wagons, with supplies of 
food, and camped out in the groves at night. They 
were aglow with the fire of the two leaders, as up 
and down the state, through its length and breadth, 
raged the great political battle of these Illinois 

Far beyond the mere personal success of one can- 
didate or the other, the debates arrested public at- 
tention in every part of the Union. Many leading 
newspapers in St. Louis, Cincinnati and New York 
had their own correspondents on the ground. The 
speeches were taken down, printed, and scattered 
broadcast. They were so widely read that the whole 
nation heard the debates and paused to watch this 
contest for an Illinois senatorship. 11 

Douglas was a popular speaker, able to manage 
a mixed audience, to bridge over a hard place in an 
argument, to make the most of a weak point in his 
opponent's armor. But Lincoln was a born logician 
and could demonstrate a public question with mathe- 
matical clearness and certainty. His chief advan- 
tage was the sincerity of his belief, the earnestness 
and fearlessness with which he spoke his conviction : 


free labor is preferable to slave labor, and slavery 
is inherently wrong. 

Politically and intellectually different, their phys- 
ical contrast was no less striking. Lincoln, tall, 
lank, lean ; Douglas, short, round, robust. The voice 
of Douglas, sonorous and full; Lincoln's sharp and 
thin, though of large compass. Lincoln with an 
inexhaustible store of wit and humor, and apt anec- 
dotes to illustrate his points ; Douglas with sparkling 
repartee which helped him to make happy turns of 
thought against his rival. Lincoln, with unpolished 
strength, closely reasoning, at times highly eloquent, 
using simple, homely, accurate words ; Douglas bold, 
decided, magnetic, plausible. Douglas carried away 
the more popular applause ; Lincoln made a deeper, 
more lasting impression. 

"Somehow," said a man who heard the debates, 
"while Douglas was greeted with constant cheers, 
when Lincoln closed the people seemed serious and 
thoughtful, and could be heard all through the 
crowd gravely and anxiously discussing the subjects 
on which he had been speaking." 12 

"Why don't you tell funny stories and make the 
people laugh and cheer you?" a friend asked Lin- 

"The occasion is too serious, and the issue too 
grave. I do not seek applause, or to amuse the 
people, but to convince them." 


Lincoln was frank and fair and courteous, an- 
swering every question, always good humored; 
Douglas was arrogant, at times evasive, when hard 
pressed irritable, once almost brutal. Douglas had 
the advantage of education and fifteen years' expe- 
rience in Congress. To offset this Lincoln had two 
things in his favor : he had a more familiar knowl- 
edge of the slavery question than any other states- 
man of the day; and he was on the right side, the 
side of liberty, toward which the tide of popular 
feeling was setting, with tremendous force. Con- 
scious of the greatness of his cause, he spoke with 
an energy, ability and power which rapidly gave him 
a national reputation. 

There was but one real issue between them the 
question of slavery : the repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise, the theory of squatter sovereignty, the duty 
of Congress to prohibit slavery in future states. 

Said Douglas : 

"Lincoln says that he looks forward to a time 
when slavery shall be abolished everywhere. I look 
forward to a time when each state shall be allowed 
to do as it pleases. If it chooses to keep slavery 
forever, it is not my business, but its own; if it 
chooses to abolish slavery, it is its own business 
not mine. I care more for the great principle of 
self-government, the right of the people to rule, 
than I do for all the negroes in Christendom." 

Said Lincoln : 

"Douglas contends that whatever community 
wants slaves has a right to have them. So they 
have if it is not a wrong. But if it is a wrong, 
he can not say that people have a right to do wrong. 
He says that, upon the score of equality, slaves 
should be allowed to go in a new territory like other 
property. This is strictly logical if there is no dif- 
ference between it and other property. . . . But 
if you insist that one is wrong and the other right, 
there is no use to institute a comparison between 
right and wrong. . . . 

"That is the real issue. That is the issue that 
will continue in this country when these poor 
tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. 
It is the eternal struggle between these two princi- 
ples right and wrong throughout the world." 13 

The wisdom of putting one question was dis- 
cussed by Lincoln with his friends. They advised 
against it. They insisted that an answer from 
Douglas would help his fortunes in Illinois, with- 
out hurting him in the south. They urged him not 
to ask the question, saying, "If you do, you can 
never be senator." 

But Lincoln, persisting in his determination to 
force an answer, replied : "Gentlemen, I am killing 
larger game; if Douglas answers, he can never be 
president, and the coming battle of 1860 is worth 
a hundred of this." 


So the question was put : How can you reconcile 
the Dred Scott decision with your popular sover- 
eignty theory? You are holding that a thing may 
lawfully be driven away from a place where it has 
a lawful right to go! At once the southern states 
charged that Douglas was two-faced on this point, 
contending for the extension of slavery under the 
decision, and for its exclusion under the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill. 14 

The debates ended, a drawn battle. The victory 
was claimed by Lincoln and by Douglas. The im- 
mediate result was the election of Republican state 
officers and a Democratic legislature, so that Doug- 
las became senator. But this campaign simply fore- 
shadowed the presidential election. That was 
fought out on the same principles. As Lincoln 
prophesied, Douglas had made it impossible for the 
south to support him; he did indeed win the nom- 
ination of the northern Democrats, but this split in 
the party assured the election of a Republican pres- 

For during these two years, tension of feel- 
ing had not relaxed, and the bitterness was in- 
creased. Both north and south, for or against 
slavery, were unyielding and determined. Lincoln, 
defeated for the senate, was now brought to the 
front as candidate for the much higher office of 
president. The notoriety of his contest with Doug- 


las, the masterly presentation of his side, his vig- 
orous logic, his love of liberty, had made him 
friends all through the north. Introduced to the 
east by his famous speech at Cooper Union, he was 
by no means an unknown candidate. 15 

The Republicans were to meet at Chicago in na- 
tional convention. Asked if he should be present, 
Lincoln replied: "Well, I am unable to decide 
whether I am enough of a candidate to stay away, 
or too much of one to go." He determined, how- 
ever, to remain in Springfield, and a special wire 
from the "Wigwam" kept him in touch with every 
happening. While waiting for telegrams Lincoln 
played ball with some friends. And when a mes- 
sage came that he had been nominated on the third 
ballot, he read it through to himself, then aloud, 
adding: "There's a little woman down on Eighth 
Street that would like to hear this. I'll go down and 
tell her." Without waiting for the congratulations 
of his friends he took the news to Mrs. Lincoln. 

In the exciting campaign that followed Lincoln 
took no active part. But Douglas, ever ready for 
a fight, spoke in every slave state almost the first 
time in our history that a candidate for the presi- 
dency went directly before the people. But Douglas 
knew that his one chance of success was in the union 
of his party. In ten southern states Lincoln received 
no vote at all. But he carried every free state but 


one; and in the electoral college he had a hundred 
and eighty votes, to seventy-two and twelve for the 
two Democratic candidates. 

As soon as the result of the election was known 
the south realized that her long supremacy in na- 
tional affairs was at an end. She must submit to 
Republican rule or put in practise her often re- 
peated threats to dissolve the Union. During the 
four months between Lincoln's election and inaugu- 
ration, while Buchanan did nothing, the southern 
states seceded and organized a separate government 
with slavery as its cornerstone. Douglas, in his 
last speech in Congress, made a powerful argument 
against this right of secession, and the whole Illinois 
delegation united in condemning it. 16 

In February, 1861, Lincoln left his old home at 
Springfield for* the journey to Washington. A large 
number of his friends assembled at the station to 
bid him God-speed. Standing on the platform of 
the train in the falling snow, Lincoln said : 

"My friends, no one, not in my position, can 
appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To 
this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived 
more than a quarter of a century. ... I know 
not how soon I will see you again. A duty devolves 
upon me which is perhaps greater than that which 
has rested upon any other man since the day of 
Washington. He would never have succeeded ex- 


cept for the aid of Divine Providence, on which he 
at all times relied. I feel that I can not succeed 
without the same divine aid which sustained him. 
On the same Almighty Being I place my reliance 
for support, and I hope you, my friends, will pray 
that I may receive that divine assistance, without 
which I can not succeed, but with which success is 
certain. Again I bid you an affectionate farewell." 

And with him, as he started forth on his great 
mission, went the hearts and the prayers of the peo- 
ple of Illinois. 

Stopping in many towns on his way east, Lincoln 
spoke to the loyal citizens who greeted him, ex- 
pressing his devotion to the Union and his desire 
to maintain it without resort to arms. Warned of 
many plots against his life, he made the last part 
of the journey in secret. 

On the fourth of March, on the steps of the cap- 
itol at Washington, Abraham Lincoln was inaugu- 
rated president, sworn in by a chief justice known 
in history for his Dred Scott decision, while Stephen 
A. Douglas held his hat. With a clear and distinct 
voice he read his address, an earnest plea for peace, 
on the verge of war, closing with these beautiful 
words : 

"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow country- 
men, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil 
war. . . . We are not enemies, but friends. 


We must not be enemies. Though passion may have 
strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. 
The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every 
battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart 
and hearth-stone all over this broad land, will yet 
swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, 
as surely they will be, by the better angels of our 



THE inauguration of Lincoln, whom Illinois 
gave to the nation, was the signal for a life- 
and-death struggle, testing whether or no the Union 
could endure. The outcome depended wholly on the 
loyalty of the states. And as always, Illinois came 
proudly to the front, and did her share and more. 
After the attack on Fort Sumter, Lincoln called 
for volunteers. Illinois's quota was six regiments. 
In ten days, ten thousand men had offered their serv- 
ice. Nearly a million dollars was tendered to Gov- 
ernor Yates, by private citizens, as in the sudden 
emergency the state had no funds available to organ- 
ize and equip her troops. The prairies blazed with 
excitement. 1 Every town and village held meetings. 
The spirit of '76 was kindled afresh. Ministers of 
all denominations preached against secession, join- 
ing Christianity and freedom and the maintaining of 
the Union, just as Peck and his associates a genera- 
tion before had joined religion with the anti-slavery 

All through the state, democratic newspapers con- 



demned the south and sustained the president. 
Among the first to call on Lincoln was Stephen A. 
Douglas, tendering his cordial sympathy and sup- 
port. Reaching Springfield during the called session 
of the legislature, the "little giant" was invited to 
address the members. With all his influence and 
eloquence, he now stood loyally by his former oppo- 
nent, saying that the first duty of every citizen was 
obedience to the constitution and the laws, that there 
could be now only two parties not Republican or 
Democrat, but patriot or traitor. 

"It is a duty we owe to ourselves, and our chil- 
dren, and our God," he said in closing, "to protect 
this government and the flag from every assailant, 
be he who he may." 

This speech sent thousands of northern Demo- 
crats into the army, and the sudden death of Doug- 
las in June was a greater loss to the Union cause 
than a defeat in battle. 2 

In honor of the six regiments that had served in 
the Mexican War, the new troops of Illinois were 
numbered from seven to twelve, for no more than 
the quota could be accepted. This first call was but 
a beginning, and by the end of the war the infantry 
regiments had reached one hundred and fifty-six, 
with seventeen of cavalry, and artillery besides. 

The legislature, anticipating that more troops 


would be needed, authorized ten additional regi- 
ments; and when double the number of men volun- 
teered, they were organized at once and put in train- 
ing. The second call, however, gave Illinois another 
quota of only six regiments. A special messenger 
was sent to Washington, to urge the War Depart- 
ment to accept a larger force, and his errand was 
successful. Hundreds of Illinoisans, denied the 
privilege of serving in their own state, enlisted in 
Missouri, and in two cases their numbers made up 
a majority of the regiment, and the name was later 
changed to Illinois. 

After the battle of Bull Run, Lincoln asked for 
still another army of half a million. The following 
day, Yates offered him sixteen regiments, most of 
them "now ready to rendezvous t " and added, "Illi- 
nois demands the right to do her full share in the 
work of preserving our glorious Union from the as- 
saults of high-handed rebellion." July of 1862 saw 
another army called for, and still another in August, 
each state given a quota and ordered to draft if the 
number of volunteers was too small. 

This new levy took a different class of citizens 
farmers from the midst of harvest, mechanics and 
merchants, lawyers and doctors and ministers, the 
influential and prosperous men of each community. 
The people were aroused as never before. Meetings 
were held throughout the state, and in eleven days 


Illinois had made up the required number a rally- 
ing to the flag unexampled in history. 3 

When their time expired, forty-four of her regi- 
ments re-enlisted as veterans, and not until the last 
call for volunteers was made, at the end of 1864, 
did the state resort to compulsory service, and then 
only three thousand men were drafted, of the two 
hundred fifty-six thousand Illinois gave to save the 
Union. She sent ten thousand in excess of the va- 
rious quotas, nearly a tenth of the whole army. 4 
Only one state in the Union gave a greater propor- 
tion of her population, and that was Kansas, a new 
state with an unusually large percentage of men of 
military age. 

The Illinois regiments were sent to the front in 
the south and southwest. At Donelson, the first sig- 
nal success of the war; Pea Ridge, hotly contested; 
the sanguinary and stubborn conflict on Sunday 
morning, near the Shiloh meeting-house; Corinth, 
where, though Oglesby was wounded, his men with- 
stood a bayonet charge till the enemy fled; Stone 
River, where five color bearers laid down their lives 
to save a regimental standard; in the monotonous 
routine in the siege of Vicksburg, till the stars and 
stripes floated over the city, on the fourth of July; 
Chickamauga, where Palmer anticipated Grant's 
orders and won his hearty approval ; in the amazing 
charge up Missionary Ridge ; at Atlanta, where the 


popular Logan, seizing the mantle of the fallen Mc- 
Pherson, galloped hatless along the front and turned 
apparent defeat into a brilliant victory; and finally 
the march across Georgia to the sea list the en- 
gagements in the campaigns near the Mississippi, 
and you list the battle-fields where Illinois soldiers 
rallied round the flag. Take her men out of these 
battles, and the story of the war would have to be 

The Union army was made up of enlistments 
through the agency of the loyal states. The respon- 
sibility for this fell on the governor and adjutant- 
general; and here Yates and Fuller did splendid 
service. The year 1861 found the north unprepared. 
Securing uniforms and tents and food and medical 
supplies for thousands of soldiers, on short notice, 
involved no small task. Those who worked at home 
deserve their share of praise, for making possible 
the efficiency of the soldiers in the field. 

Two rendezvous were established in Illinois 
Camp Douglas, at Chicago, and Camp Butler, near 
Springfield; and here the boys in blue were trained 
for military duties. After the victory at Fort Don- 
elson, Confederate prisoners were sent here, and 
during the war thirty thousand Johnny Rebs were 
held in these two camps and at Rock Island and 

At the beginning of the conflict, Illinois had 


plenty of men, but no muskets. A messenger sent 
to Washington returned, not with the coveted arms, 
but with an order on the arsenal at St. Louis. But 
it was known that traitors were watching, and a mob 
was ready to seize the arms if any attempt was made 
to remove them. Captain Stokes volunteered to 
bring them up to Springfield. He found batteries 
erected near the arsenal and on the levee. Hundreds 
of spies were around the building, and its com- 
mander questioned if it was possible to take the mus- 
kets, though he gave permission to make the at- 

Stokes telegraphed to Alton to have a steamer 
come down the river and land opposite the arsenal at 
midnight. To divert attention he openly put five 
hundred unserviceable muskets in another boat. The 
crowd soon detected this, and with shouts and ex- 
citement left the arsenal. Stokes and his men loaded 
the steamer, being given more arms than their order 
called for. 

"Which way?" asked the captain of the boat. 

"Straight in the regular channel for Alton." 

"What if we are attacked?" 

"We'll fight." 

"But what if we're overpowered?" 

"Run your boat to the deepest part of the river 
and sink her." 

"Aye, aye, sir!", and past the rebel battery went 


the steamer with its precious burden, reaching Alton 
at five o'clock in the morning. 

Stokes ran to the market and rang the fire bell. 
In all sorts of dress the citizens came flocking down 
to the river. The captain told his story and pointed 
to the freight cars. Men, women and children 
boarded the boat, seized the heavy boxes, and tugged 
and pulled with might and main. In two hours the 
muskets were all aboard and the train started to 
Springfield amid rousing cheers. A day later, two 
thousand southerners arrived to attack the arsenal, 
but by that time these arms were equipping the 
troops of Illinois. 5 

The governor's rooms were crowded, in the first 
days of the war, with men eager to give their serv- 
ices, insisting on commissions, offering funds. In 
the crowd was a quiet man from Galena, who had 
been a captain in the regular army. Like many 
others, he, too, offered his service, only to learn that 
every place was filled. A major on the governor's 
staff said he believed they were short of men in the 
adjutant-general's office. The modest man from 
Galena was given a desk there, and put to work 
sorting and filing papers. 

A few days later, Yates told his major that he 
must have a regular army officer to perfect the or- 
ganization of the new camps. There had come 
quietly into the room the new clerk. Reminding the 


governor of his army training and experience, he 
suggested that he could be more useful in this service 
than at a desk. 

"Why, Captain, you are just the man we want!" 
exclaimed Yates. 6 

And that very day he was made commandant in 
the training camp. Seven weeks later, he was colo- 
nel of a*n Illinois regiment. In a few months, he 
was brigadier-general. Donelson gave him a major- 
generalship and his nickname of "Unconditional 
Surrender." He led his men from victory to vic- 
tory, even though it took all summer, till the "father 
of waters" went unvexed to the sea. And in the 
spring of 1864 Lincoln borrowed him for the east- 
ern army, to carry the flag to Richmond. When Lee 
surrendered to the quiet man from Galena the Union 
was saved. 

But soldiers were not the only contribution Illi- 
nois made. Stay-at-homes are always needed, to 
carry on trade and manufacturing, to administer 
civil offices, to make possible the work of the sol- 
diers. The backbone of the army was the unfalter- 
ing support of the loyal people at home, who helped 
raise and maintain it, who followed it with aid and 

Perhaps the brightest page in the story is the con- 
tribution of Illinois women. They sent their men to 
the front. They formed relief societies, to supply 


food, clothing, medicine, hospital delicacies. And 
as the war continued and the needs increased, their 
efforts increased also and were better organized. 7 
Not as a substitute for the work of national and 
state governments, but as a supplement, these sol- 
diers' aid societies looked after the families of the 
men in blue ; they established soldiers' homes, where 
convalescents invalided north were provided with 
board and lodging. Fairs were held to raise money. 

An army so vast and so hurriedly collected could 
not but have inadequate facilities for the care of the 
sick and wounded. After the victory at Donelson, 
the "war governor," with other state officers, went 
down to the battle-field, to look after the wounded 
Illinoisans. Immediately after this came the news 
from Shiloh, with its appalling list of wounded sol- 
diers. Before twenty-four hours had passed, Yates 
had chartered a steamboat and was on his way, with 
doctors and nurses and medical supplies. The hastily 
improvised army hospitals were not sufficient to pro- 
vide for the most serious cases even. Hundreds 
of men were lying where they had fallen, hundreds 
more were dying from disease and exposure. 

No wonder Yates received the name of "the sol- 
diers' friend." His coming was most opportune. 
In a few hours the boat had started north, with three 
hundred of the most severely wounded. State hos- 
pitals were established at Quincy and Peoria and 


Springfield. Two more trips this steamer made, 
bringing over a thousand men back to homes and 

"We must not let our brave boys think they are 
forgotten," the governor used to say, "but follow 
them in their many marches, with such things as 
they need for their comfort which the government 
can not supply, . . . wherever they go and at 
whatever cost." 

But you must not think that the long war, with all 
the delays and defeats of the first years, had no crit- 
ics in Illinois. She was, indeed, a strong Union 
state; but there were "copperheads" not a few men 
who believed in the Union but not in Lincoln's meth- 
ods ; who opposed the administration at every point ; 
who were bitter at the issuing of the Emancipation 
Proclamation; who welcomed every opportunity to 
talk peace, peace, even with slavery; who suggested 
that if the south was to be a separate country, the 
northwest should organize its own government, 
without New England. 

Disloyal at heart, some of them formed a secret 
society called the "Sons of Liberty," 8 to discourage 
enlisting, resist the draft, and cooperate with the 
rebels. They planned to release the Confederate 
prisoners at Chicago and Rock Island, but the plot 
was discovered in time and failed entirely. 


The opponents of the administration were strong 
enough, during the progress of the rebellion, to elect 
a legislature almost wholly Democratic, embarrass- 
ing the government by the resolutions passed against 
Lincoln and the war, and in favor of peace. These 
resolutions were promptly repudiated by both citi- 
zens and soldiers, and the legislature prorogued by 
Yates. 9 

Two other men in Illinois made notable contribu- 
tion to the Union cause. The truth of the old say- 
ing, "Let me make the ballads of a nation, and I care 
not who makes its laws," was never more apparent 
than during the war. After the battle of Stone 
River, a Chicago glee club went down to visit the 
Illinois regiments in camp, with a new song by 
George F. Root, who lived in that city. It rang 
through camp like wildfire, inspiring the discour- 
aged men with fresh courage and hope and en- 
thusiasm, its effect electric: 

"The Union forever, hurrah ! boys, hurrah ! 
Down with the traitor, up with the stars ; 
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once 

Shouting the battle-cry of freedom !" 10 

Root was also the author of Just Before the Bat- 
tle, Mother, and Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys 
Are Marching; while another Chicagoan wrote 


Marching Through Georgia. The songs of Illinois 
were heard at every Union campfire. They nerved 
the troops at the front, and stirred the people at 
home. At meetings to raise funds or recruits, these 
songs, simple in melody, powerful in their appeal, 
were sung with a will by the entire audience. 
After Lee's surrender a Confederate soldier said : 

"I shall never forget the first time I heard Rally 
Round the Flag. It was a nasty night during the 
seven-days' fight, when just before taps some fellow 
on the other side struck up that song and others 
joined in the chorus. Tom sung out, 'Good heavens, 
Cap, what are those fellows made of? Here we've 
licked them seven days running, and now, on the 
eve of the seventh, they're singing Rally Round the 
Flag!' I tell you that song sounded to me like the 
knell of doom, and my heart went down into my 
boots, and it's been an uphill fight with me ever 
since that night." 

And a southern officer, hearing these Illinois 
songs for the first time, remarked, "Gentlemen, if 
we'd had your songs, we'd have licked you out of 
your boots !" 

And to-day these war melodies are sung, with a 
spirit of thanksgiving that we are one people, with 
loyal devotion to the Union. 



GRANT'S victories in Virginia and the fall of 
Richmond were welcomed throughout the 
north as the last steps in the triumph of freedom. 
Bells in city churches and in country meeting-houses 
pealed forth the news, to a people really free, of a 
Union forever indissoluble. Bonfires were lighted, 
and meetings of rejoicing held. 

But the exultant gladness of Easter was suddenly 
changed to a bitter grief. On the morning of the 
fifteenth of April, news came that the president had 
been assassinated in Washington. The best years 
of his manhood, the highest powers of his 'mind, 
even the lifeblood of his great heart, Lincoln gave 
unselfishly, for the Union and the cause of human 

A regiment of colored soldiers formed the escort 
of his funeral procession from the White House to 
the capitol, where the body lay in state. There was 
some talk of burying the president in Washington, 
in a vault under the dome of the capitol which had 



been prepared for the body of the first president, but 
never used. But Illinois claimed his last resting 
place. 1 

He who had left Springfield asking for the pray- 
ers of his friends at home was now to return amid the 
tears of the nation. Army and navy officers, sen- 
ators and representatives, formed his guard of 
honor. The route taken by the funeral train was the 
same Mr. Lincoln had traveled in 1861, but now the 
people were all in mourning. States and cities and 
villages paid homage to his greatness. Hundreds 
gathered, to catch a glimpse of the passing train. 
Countless throngs filed by, where the body lay in 
state. For sixteen hundred miles the sad pilgrimage 

In Springfield a burial place near the state house 
was suggested, but Mrs. Lincoln preferred Oak 
Ridge Cemetery, because it was more retired. And 
in that beautiful spot his remains were placed. The 
ceremonies were very simple ; a hymn and prayer, a 
brief address and the reading of his second inaugu- 
ral. All the world laid wreaths upon the grave of 
this man who had malice for none and charity for 

Since his death the nations of the earth have 
joined in magnifying his fame. Lincoln is to-day 
more in the minds and hearts of the world than any 
other human character. In May of 1865 an associa- 


tion was formed, with Governor Oglesby as its 
president, to erect a monument to his memory. Illi- 
nois gave a fourth of the sum needed; and contri- 
butions came from every state, from sailors and 
soldiers, from churches and societies, from many 
children. The monument was dedicated in 1874, 
with Grant and Sherman among the speakers. 2 

And it is to-day one of the hallowed spots of 
America, sought by "men of all faiths and tongues 
and races and backgrounds, who are become one and 
indivisible in their love and honor for the memory 
of Abraham Lincoln." 3 It is a shrine which north 
and east and south and west visit, to rekindle their 
patriotism and their devotion to that cause for 
which he gave the last full measure of devotion. 



THE story of Chicago begins long ago with the 
Indian tribes who hunted there. From them 
came its name, for Checaqua was the title of a suc- 
cession of chiefs, like the Pharaohs of Egypt. We 
know that Marquette spent a winter here, that La 
Salle and Tonty passed through it more than once, 
that it was the site of a French fort, mentioned in 
Wayne's treaty with the Indians. 

In 1796 a West Indian negro, Jean Baptiste Point 
au Sable, built a rude cabin at the mouth of the Che- 
kajo River, so that the red men used to say, "The 
first white settler was a negro!" His claim was 
"jumped" by a Frenchman, who sold out to John 
Kinzie, an Indian trader and agent for the American 
Fur Company. 1 In the year when Fort Dearborn 
was built, Kinzie brought his family out, and im- 
proved Baptiste's cabin into "a tasteful dwelling." 
They lived across from the fort, and at the time of 
the massacre were saved by some friendly Indians. 

Rebuilt in 1816, the blockhouse was occupied for 
some thirty years. But the massacre kept settlers 



and traders away from Fort Dearborn. In 1827 
there were only three families here, all living in log 
cabins. The future city was due to Daniel Pope 
Cook, for whom Cook County was named; and its 
foundation was the grant of land from Congress for 
the building of the canal. 2 Long before it was com- 
pleted, in fact before it was begun, public attention 
was attracted to Chicago, and the commercial ad- 
vantages of this site, as the terminus of the canal, 
were emphasized. Geography made it a natural 
depot for the receiving and forwarding of western 
products, and for the distributing of eastern manu- 
factures to the entire northwest. Its citizens, seeing 
this natural advantage and foreseeing its future, ac- 
complished the rest through their energy and enter- 

But in comparison with the story of other Amer- 
ican cities, Chicago's is wholly recent. Thanks to 
Nathaniel Pope, the site was secured for Illinois. 
First platted and named in connection with the sur- 
vey for the canal route in 1830, the town covered 
three-eighths of a square mile. The following year 
three vessels arrived in its harbor. When incorpo- 
rated in 1837, its population was only forty-one 

Winfield Scott, ordered west to take charge of the 
campaign against Black Hawk, was delayed in Chi- 
cago by an outbreak of cholera among his troops 


and so took no part in the war. But he returned 
east with such glowing accounts of the place that 
general attraction was drawn to it. And on his rec- 
ommendation Congress appropriated money to im- 
prove the harbor. 3 

Then came a period of inflation, when Chicago 
was the Mecca of speculators. Nothing was dis- 
cussed but the price of corner lots. Every one was 
rich, on paper. Men talked in millions who had no 
cash to pay their board bills. A hundred new citi- 
zens came in ten days. Half a million dollars' worth 
of property was sold in six months. The people 
multiplied by eight in a year. And it must be said 
for these promoters that everything they prophesied 
was later carried out. The trouble was, they wanted 
to go too fast, they were a generation ahead of their 

The year 1837 and its panic brought stagnation. 4 
The one thing that kept Chicago alive was the canal 
project. Even though all work stopped, it was 
never allowed to die out. Real estate was, to be 
sure, offered at a twentieth of former prices. But 
Chicago people had real grit, and gradually industry 
took the place of speculative idling. During these 
lean years, two of the city's greatest enterprises be- 
gan the packing business, and the exporting of 
grain, which began in a small venture with thirty- 
nine bags of wheat. 





After 1842 came a steady sure growth, with only 
a temporary check at the panic of '57. During this 
time the canal was finished, the Illinois Central com- 
pleted and other roads to east and west. Not the 
canal, as its friends anticipated, but the dozen roads 
centering at Chicago, carried its products and made 
its greatness. Manufacturing developed locomo- 
tives and cars, brick, carriages and wagons, furni- 
ture, stoves, agricultural implements, leather goods, 
to mention only a few of the many things made in 

The Civil War gave a remarkable stimulus to the 
city, for it became immediately an important base 
of supplies. 5 Far enough from the front to be abso- 
lutely safe, closely connected by rail with every part 
of the country, supplies and men could be moved 
easily. Large amounts of corn and pork, of cloth- 
ing and saddlery, thousands of horses and wagons, 
were sent from Chicago to the Union armies. Dur- 
ing the sixties, her population more than kept pace 
with the increase in the nation. Her growth and 
prosperity were without precedent. She was the 
pride of Illinois, the wonder of the world. 

And this prosperity continued until a sudden 
check came in the autumn of 1871. One Sunday 
night in October, as people were going home from 
church, the alarm of fire was sounded by the court- 
house bell. 6 A poor woman, living in the poorest 


quarter of the town, had gone out late to milk her 
cow. The restless cow kicked over the kerosene 
lamp, the hay in the shed caught fire, and in a mo- 
ment the flames had spread. It was a section of one- 
story houses, stables and sheds, each within a few 
feet of its neighbor, and all of wood. They burned 
like so much kindling. There had been no rain for 
weeks. A high wind was blowing. The nearest 
alarm box was several blocks away. And the cow, 
and Mrs. O'Leary, who lived in a little frame shanty 
without even a street number, won a place in the his- 
tory of Chicago. 

The firemen had been hard at work all Saturday 
night and most of Sunday, fighting a big down-town 
fire. But they responded promptly and tried to 
stay the progress of the flames. Days later the ruins 
of the engine were found in the street. The wind 
had become a gale. Directly in its path was a four- 
mile line of wooden buildings. The intense heat 
made it impossible for the department to work. By 
midnight the fire had reached the densely populated 
section. Wider streets will keep it from spreading,- 
said the onlookers. But the flames jumped across 
and blazed more fiercely. . 

Well, the burned district of last night will stop it. 
But no. 

At any rate, the river will limit it. But with a 
hop, skip and jump, the flames were across the 


bridge, at place after place, sweeping all before 
them. Flanking columns were sent off to each 
side, devastating a wide swath of business blocks. 
Buildings of stone and brick and iron, supposed to 
be fireproof, crumbled and melted down before the 
awful heat. They ignited suddenly all over, just as 
a sheet of paper, held to the fire, is scorched and 
breaks out in flame. 

From ten o'clock till morning, till noon, till night, 
the fire raged. Miserable hovels, splendid public 
buildings, beautiful homes, stores, churches, all fell 
before it, like ripe wheat before the reaper. The 
pumping engines at the water-works were disabled, 
set on fire when a burning roof fell on the tower. 
And with the lake at hand, three hundred and sixty 
miles long and seven hundred feet deep, the supply 
of water was cut off and the people were helpless. 7 
In some places counter-fires were started, and build- 
ings blown up with gunpowder, but against the gale 
nothing was accomplished. It was a vast ocean of 
flame, sweeping over the city in mile-long billows 
and breakers. 

The streets were as light as day, and were 
crowded with people, first as spectators, later as 
refugees. Goods piled up in the street to be carted 
away were frequently carried off. Draymen charged 
enormous prices for taking loads. Some hackmen, 
extorting a poor woman's all, threw off her goods at 


the next corner and repeated the process upon an- 
other customer. Frequently the owner was reas- 
sessed, half-way to safety. And payment must be 
in cash. 

"What's your check worth?" one driver asked. 
"The bank's already burned !" 

In the confusion and turmoil streets were gorged 
with crowds of people and passing vehicles. Dazed 
animals dashed about. There were thrilling rescues, 
sad separation of families, heroism on every side, 
baser passions breaking out insults, robbery, as- 
sassination. Prisoners, released to save their lives, 
promptly pillaged a jewelry store. 

"The scene was indescribable," said an onlooker 
the next day. ". . . The great, dazzling, mount- 
ing light, the crash and roar of the conflagration, 
and the desperate flight of the crowd. . . . They 
stood transfixed, with a mingled feeling of horror 
and admiration, and while they often exclaimed at 
the beauty of the scene, they all devoutly prayed that 
they might never see such another. 

"To the roar which the simple process of com- 
bustion always makes, magnified here to so grand an 
extent, was added the crash of falling buildings and 
the constant explosions of stores of oil. The noise 
of the crowd was nothing compared with this chaos 
of sound. . . . 

"I saw men, women, and children, in every vari- 
ety of dress, with the motley collection of effects 


which they sought to save. Some had silver, some 
valuable papers, some pictures, carpets, beds, etc. 
One little child had her doll tenderly pressed in her 
arms. An old Irish woman was cherishing a grunt- 
ing pig. There was a singular mixture of the awful, 
the ludicrous, and the pathetic. . . . 

"A torrent of humanity was pouring over the 
bridge. . . . Drays, express wagons, trucks, and 
conveyances of every conceivable species and size, 
crowded across in indiscriminate haste. Collisions 
happened almost every moment. The same long line 
of men dragging trunks was here, many of them 
tugging over the ground with loads which a horse 
would strain at. Women were there, staggering 
under weights upon their backs. Now and then a 
stray schooner came up, and the bridge must be 
opened. Then arose a howl of indignation along 
the line, audible above the tumult. . . . 

"I saw an undertaker rushing over the bridge 
with his mournful stock. He had taken a dray, but 
was unable to load all of his goods into the vehicle. 
So he employed half a dozen boys, gave each of 
them a coffin, took a large one himself, and headed 
the weird procession. The sight of those coffins, 
upright, and bobbing along just above the heads of 
the crowd, without any apparent help, was startling, 
and we laughed quite merrily." 8 

Crowds collected on the beaches, and were fre- 
quently driven into the lake for refuge against the 
scorching flames. People gathered in an old ceme- 
tery, and on the bleak prairie back of the city. Sick 


and helpless, young and old, rich and poor, the 
vicious and the good, were huddled together, with- 
out food. 

The Chicago fire had no precedent in history. It 
is the most overwhelming that ever visited a com- 
munity. The city had been built up by persistent 
energy, daring enterprise, and far-reaching plans. 
Now, a hundred thousand people were homeless and 
out of employment, twenty thousand buildings were 
destroyed, and property worth nearly two hundred 
millions. 9 

Prostrate as the city was, Monday saw deter- 
mined efforts to bring order out of the chaos. The 
mayor had telegraphed to Joliet and Springfield, 
even to Milwaukee and Detroit, for fire engines. He 
now asked for carloads of bread. He issued a proc- 
lamation fixing the price for a loaf and for drayage, 
telling people where to apply for food, and warning 
them of the danger of falling walls. 

Theft and arson were frequently reported. 
"Roughs" from all parts of Chicago and neighbor- 
ing towns invaded the scene, plundering the suffer- 
ers. Two thousand extra police were sworn in, state 
troops were called out, and Sheridan, with several 
companies of the regular army, took charge in the 

The mayor organized bureaus to give out relief 
with system and efficiency. Carloads of provisions 


and clothing were received. A wave of sympathy 
and practical benevolence set in toward Chicago, 
from every part of the world. Such a going forth 
of help, instant and mighty, was never known be- 
fore in human history. While the fire was still 
burning, cities great and small, in every state, sent 
messages telling how much they felt for the suffer- 
ers, in dollars. St. Louis and Cincinnati, Chicago's 
two competitors in trade, gave generously, their 
charity forgetting all rivalry. 

And while temporary help was being given, plans 
were making to rebuild. No one said, "The town 
is gone up. Our capital's wiped out of existence. 
There will not be an insurance company left. The 
city's trade must go to St. Louis and Cincinnati. If 
we had any customers we couldn't do business, for 
we've no place to transact it. We may as well leave 
at once." Instead, merchants ordered new stocks of 
goods from the east, the moment the telegraph wires 
were repaired. Long before the ruins had cooled 
one man put up a shingle on the site of his store, 
which read, "All gone but wife, children, and en- 
ergy" and he was typical of the others. 

Instead of losing heart and being overwhelmed 
by the loss, Chicago undismayed planned a greater 
city. For the fire had destroyed the results, not the 
causes, of her success the lake, the canal, the rail- 
roads, the inherent vitality and buoyant spirits of 


her people. The fire could take in a night what had 
been forty-four years in building. It could par- 
alyze the city's energy for a day, it could not burn 
her indomitable pluck and elastic hope. On the con- 
trary, she gained a great stimulus to activity and 
resolutely faced the task of rebuilding. With noth- 
ing but the future greatness of their city as security, 
her bankers borrowed millions from eastern capital- 

Like the phcenix of old, in three short years there 
rose beside the lake a new Chicago, a monument to 
the energy and faith of her citizens. And to-day she 
is the metropolis not only of Illinois, but of the Mis- 
sissippi Valley and the northwest. . With the an- 
nexation of suburban towns, she is now the fifth 
city in the world, with a larger area than Berlin or 
Paris, than New York or London. 10 Her market for 
livestock and grain is the greatest in the land. She 
is the largest railroad center. Her system of parks 
and connecting boulevards is the most magnificent in 
the world. 

And only twenty years after the great fire, Con- 
gress chose Chicago as the site for the "White 
City," to house the world's fair celebrating the four 
hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America. 

Currey's History of Chicago and Quaife's Chi- 
cago and the Old Northwest will tell you more of 


the city by the lake. Chicago and the Great Con- 
flagration, written by Colbert and Chamberlin, is 
a detailed story of the fire, with many individual 



"T THANK God there are in Virginia no free 
A schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not 
have; for learning hath brought disobedience and 
heresy into the world," wrote Governor Berkeley in 
1670. And a century later this same state of Vir- 
ginia was surveying the Illinois territory, on the new 
township system, and reserving every section six- 
teen for the use of schools ! 

One of the stipulations in the ordinance of 1787, 
you remember, was that "schools and the means of 
education shall forever be encouraged," for knowl- 
edge and religion and morality were declared "nec- 
essary to the good government and happiness of 
mankind." 1 

The far-seeing Nathaniel Pope, who accomplished 
so much for Illinois in changing the northern bound- 
ary, did perhaps an equal service in putting through 
his suggestion that three per cent, of the land office 
sales should be used for educational purposes, and 
a sixth of this sum for a college or university. In 
1819 the state transferred the school lands to the 



various townships, with power to lease, and later 
to sell them. 2 The money from these sales was kept 
as a permanent and separate fund and loaned at 
interest to the state. But if the land had been hus- 
banded, as was done in Texas, it would be worth 
many millions to-day, and its income would make 
the school tax a nominal sum. 

The very first schools in Illinois were taught by 
the French priests, but little is known of them. 
Among the early American settlers, schools were 
established soon after their arrival, the first of 
which we have record in Monroe County in 1783. 3 
They were not very good schools, it is true, but the 
best possible under pioneer conditions. The marvel 
is that with land to be cleared and houses raised, 
men had a moment to give to education. But early 
a start was made and the work endured. 

The first schools were private. Each teacher 
worked up his own, by a house-to-house visit, carry- 
ing his subscription paper and getting pupils signed 
up. Tuition was a dollar and a half or two dollars 
for a term of eleven weeks, in rare cases, three dol- 
lars. Often a parent would subscribe for a half- 
pupil: this meant that his child would go half the 
time. Where there were several children in one 
family and a scarcity of money, it was a common 
custom to pay for two and divide the term among 
the whole number. "You can imagine the uphill 


work of getting any schooling," says a great-grand- 
mother, telling of her pioneer childhood. 4 

The teacher was usually Irish or Scotch; some- 
times a surveyor or mechanic, who taught in the 
winter and took up his craft again when spring 
opened. In most schools it was a sufficient qualifi- 
cation if he knew the three R's; he must be able to 
make a quill pen that would not scratch; he must 
also have the ability to wield the birch well, for 
"larnin' and lickin' " were inseparable. Some teach- 
ers whipped every pupil on Friday afternoons, 
whether it was deserved or not, on the general prin- 
ciple that it was good for the school. One teacher 
was described as "a worthy man and an excellent 
scholar, but so easy with children in regard to dis- 
cipline that his school was considered as defective." 

The schoolhouse was a log cabin, fourteen by six- 
teen feet, occasionally eighteen by twenty. The 
space between the logs was "chinked" with clay. 
Sometimes greased paper was used for window 
glass ; sometimes one log was left out for the entire 
length of the building, and a row of small panes of 
glass inserted. The cabin had a clapboard roof, kept 
down by "weight poles" ; a puncheon floor, seats 
made of slabs sawed from the sides of logs, without 
backs of any kind. There was always a great fire- 
place, but most of the heat went up the chimney. 
On the opposite side of the room children suffered 

The old log school house 

A rural community centre with its consolidated school and church 





from the cold. There were two or three shelves for 
spare books and dinner baskets, a small puncheon 
table and splint-bottomed chair for the teacher. 

Text-books were few in number, and uninterest- 
ing; always a speller, and reader often this was 
gossipy Parson Weems's Life of Washington, 
which Lincoln shared with many a frontier child. 
Writing books were made at home, of unruled pa- 
per, the teacher ruling lines as needed, with a bit of 
lead. The slates had no frames, and to prevent their 
being dropped and broken, a hole was made in one 
side, a string put through it, and the slate hung 
round the pupil's neck. 

What was known as the "loud school" was not 
uncommon. "Pupils will study spelling," the 
teacher would announce. And they would all begin 
aloud, each for himself, without trying to keep to- 
gether. When a lull came after a while, the teacher 
would stamp on the floor and say, "Study harder!" 
The noise, of course, was terrific, but it sounded as 
if something was being accomplished. 

In 1824 Joseph Duncan, who was afterward gov- 
ernor, introduced into the senate a bill for establish- 
ing free schools, and this was passed. It provided 
for a school or schools in every county, for trustees 
and the examination of teachers, and a school tax, 
which could be paid in cash or in good merchantable 
produce at the market price. 5 Ford says that the law 


worked admirably well; but such a storm of disap- 
proval and clamoring opposition as went up over 
the school tax ! 

"Poor people found that their children would 
be educated and wholly unfitted for work on the 
farm." The very class it was planned to benefit op- 
posed it most bitterly, though their wealthier neigh- 
bors bore the brunt of the expense. At the very next 
session of the legislature, the law was so amended 
that its usefulness was gone. Peck complained that 
its short life was due to designing and selfish poli- 
ticians who "seized hold of it to raise popular fer- 

Duncan's was a good measure, how good you may 
judge when you learn that to-day's law embodies the 
very same fundamental principles and many of its 
details. 6 But it was in advance of the age, and the 
circumstances of the common people; and of the 
teachers, too! Very few applicants could meet the 
requirement for history, geography and grammar, 
in addition to the three R's ; and as late as 1847 cer- 
tificates were given for one or more subjects. 

But some people did not lose sight of the Duncan 
plan, and the question of better schools was agi- 
tated. This was especially true after the settlers 
from the eastern states and New England began 
coming to Illinois in large numbers. In 1840 an 
association was formed to secure a better system of 


common schools. For years it kept up a persistent 
campaign of education, through meetings, a mag- 
azine, local societies and memorials to the legisla- 
ture. 7 

They found throughout the state a listless apathy, 
far worse than fiery opposition ; but slowly they won 
public opinion to see the need for free schools. 
Educating popular sentiment to a higher standard is 
never an easy task overcoming old and deep- 
rooted prejudices, opposing false ideas of economy 
in state affairs, convincing men that it is both a right 
and a duty to tax every man's property and spend 
the money to educate every child. For this is a pub- 
lic benefit, they urged, as necessary as courts or 
highroads. It is cheaper to sustain schools than 
poorhouses and prisons! 8 

The legislature in 1845 voted to have a state 
superintendent of schools; but for the sake of econ- 
omy the secretary of state was given this work, in 
addition to his own. Nine years later it was made 
a separate office, first held by Ninian W. Edwards. 
The year 1855 marks the commencement of the 
wonderful school system which to-day is the state's 
pride. The average cost for a pupil is now thirteen 
times the sum spent in the fifties. The permanent 
school funds provide about a tenth of the amount re- 
quired each year, and the balance is raised by taxa- 
tion. Illinois now ranks fourth among the states 


for the money spent each year for public 

Immediately after the passage of the Edwards 
law providing for this school tax, one county re- 
ported, "As common sense would teach, it has put 
life into the system, and shows at once, as the old 
proverb says, 'Money makes the mare go.' So does 
it make the schools go, and without it they wouldn't 
go." But the report continues, "Our teachers are 
deficient both in literary attainments and practical 
experience, but even of such as are to be had, the 
supply is by no means sufficient." 9 This was the 
complaint everywhere, and in 1857 a normal school 
was opened, the first in the middle west; and so 
great was its success, so great the demand for 
trained teachers, that Illinois now has five normal 

Education in the cities has made steady progress, 
with improved buildings, more and better trained 
teachers, better books, and the establishment of high 
schools. But the improvements in the rural schools 
have been even more marked. Attractive buildings 
and grounds, careful grading and regular promo- 
tion, and consolidated schools, have banished the un- 
inviting "little red schoolhouse." 

The seminary of learning for which Pope made 
provision did not materialize for nearly half a cen- 
tury, though thirty-six sections of land were re- 


served for this purpose. Congress in 1$62 made a 
donation of land to the several states, for agricul- 
tural and industrial colleges. Illinois's share was 
four hundred eighty thousand acres. When the leg- 
islature offered the new institution to the highest 
bidder, Champaign won the prize. And the Uni- 
versity of Illinois has now six thousand students. 

But you must not think that the pioneers were in- 
terested only in schools for children, and that no 
plans were made for higher education. John Mason 
Peck was sent west in 1817, to establish headquar- 
ters for the frontier work of a missionary society, 
whose expressed purpose was "to spread the gospel 
and promote schools." He traveled through the 
Mississippi Valley, starting a church and a school 
side by side. 10 Visiting Vandalia, he secured the 
promise of many public men, to help in starting an 
institution of learning. Their help, however, 
amounted to little more than a board of trustees. 
Peck did the work and carried the burdens. 

A stranger on horseback came along the road 
running from St. Louis to Vincennes, where he was 
chopping logs. 

"What are you doing here?" 

"I am building a seminary." 

Opened in 1827, with teachers from the east, 
Rock Spring Seminary was the pioneer of higher 
education in the west. Later it was moved to Upper 


Alton, and the name changed to Shurtleff College, 
because of the generous gift of Doctor Shurtleff, of 
Boston. 11 A strong friendship grew up between 
Peck and the traveler on horseback, who afterward 
founded Illinois College at Jacksonville. McKen- 
dree had opened at Lebanon ; and these three pioneer 
colleges, chartered by the legislature in 1835, are 
still educating the young people of Illinois. 

Meanwhile the number of colleges and universities 
in the state has increased to thirty-two. Illinois 
has thus exemplified her belief that the sure founda- 
tions of the state are laid in knowledge and not in 

And much of this progress in education is indi- 
rectly due to the churches of Illinois. From the 
French priests to the itinerant preachers of the pio- 
neerperiod, and on to the highly educated ministers 
of to-day, the promotion of schools and colleges has" 
been conspicuous among church activities. For re- 
ligion and learning advance among a people with 
equal strides. And the churches of Illinois have 
always recognized that education makes a valuable 
contribution to the best type of Christian service. 



CENTURIES ago nature began a generous pol- 
icy with Illinois. Waterways and mines and 
rich, rich soil she provided with unstinted hand. 
And, thanks to her gifts and to the wise conserva- 
tion that is now being adopted, she promises to be a 
great mining and agricultural state for generations 
to come. In the production of coal and in manu- 
facturing, she stands third in the list of states; 
fourth for wheat ; second for oats, first for railroads 
and meat packing and for corn. Of the eight banner 
agricultural counties in the nation, four are in Illi- 

But these are her material wealth. And among 
the states she ranks high in other lines. One of these 
is the special care she gives to her wards. In the 
early days, the number of such citizens was very 
small. In one county, Pope and Bond dispensed 
public charity, their yearly duty being to farm out to 
the lowest bidder the care of one old man who was 
both poor and blind. 1 From this beginning came the 



present splendid system of state charity, which cares 
for twenty-one thousand persons and costs six mil- 
lions a year^ 

In the early days, law breakers were punished by 
public flogging; but soon imprisonment was substi- 
tuted. Instead of the whipping-post and stocks, the 
community built a rude log jail. Prisoners often 
escaped, and better places of confinement were 
needed. But the people were poor and bitterly op- 
posed to taxation for any purpose; so they would 
never consider a special tax for a prison. How raise 
the funds? 

The legislature again asked Congress to help, 
and some forty thousand acres of saline lands were 
granted, and part of the money from their sale used 
for a state prison at Alton. This first penitentiary, 
opened in 1833, had twenty-four cells, and for 
twenty- four years more were built as needed. But 
the accommodations were entirely inadequate, as the 
population increased, and a new prison was built at 
Joliet. The last convicts were sent from Alton in 
1860. But in less than ten years this building, too, 
was overcrowded and another was planned for 
Chester. 2 

Illinois was one of the first states to experiment 
in prison reform. The indeterminate sentence, the 
wearing of stripes only as a special punishment, the 


honor and merit systems, are some of the steps taken 
in recent years for a more intelligent and humane 
care of these people. 

Aside from actual convicts, the only citizens re- 
ceiving public care, in the early days, were the pau- 
pers. But attention was called to the fact that n.any 
of these so-called paupers might become self-sup- 
porting, if they could be given some education. For 
deaf and dumb children a special school was planned 
in Jacksonville. Beginning in 1842 with four pupils, 
it is now the largest of its kind in the world. About 
this time and in the same city, a blind man started 
a school for blind children. Supported at first by 
private subscription, it soon became a state school, 
with this same man as its head. These two schools 
train into useful citizens children who would other- 
wise be only a burden to society. 3 

To Dorothea L. Dix Illinois owes the beginning 
of her care for the insane. She traveled over the 
state, addressing meetings everywhere in behalf of 
these unfortunates. She visited Springfield and ad- 
dressed the legislature; and as a result of her ef- 
forts a state hospital was opened in 1851. This 
work has greatly increased, with the growth of pop- 
ulation and of city life, with its constant strain and 
stress. To provide for these patients, Illinois has 
added hospital after hospital till she now has seven, 


and an eighth for insane criminals. The one in 
Kankakee, built on the cottage plan, has been widely 
copied in other states. 

Illinois has also an institution for feeble-minded 
children, a colony for epileptics, a home for soldiers 
and sailors, for soldiers' orphans, for soldiers' wid- 
ows, and reform schools for juvenile offenders. 
Each year a larger number of persons is cared for, 
but the per capita cost has decreased in the last dec- 
ades. Much of this is due to an effort to take the 
state institutions out of politics, making merit and 
not party service the reason for all appointments, 
and putting the management for all the twenty-one 
into the hands of a central organization. Instead of 
one hundred and twenty-five boards and commis- 
sions, Illinois now has nine men in charge of this 
work, a department of public service planned for a 
businesslike and efficient administration of the care 
of her wards. 

But great as is Illinois for her natural resources 
and her state institutions, her true greatness is her 
people. Therein rests the greatness of any state. 
She has a varied population, the richer for this 
mingling and mixing, this combining of many peo- 

The French, the earliest comers, contributed a 
strain of romance and gaiety. . The soldiers of 
Clark's expedition were a sturdy backwoods type, 


hardy pioneers, adventurous and boldly daring, self- 
reliant. Then came settlers from the southern 
states, from the Carolinas, from Virginia and Ken- 
tucky, giving 'a southern flavor to society and poli- 
tics that lasted for more than two generations. Fol- 
lowing them were the New Englanders and men 
from New York and Pennsylvania, energetic and 
enterprising Yankees, good business men, starting 
schools and churches as soon as their own cabins 
were under way. And all of these, with a wonder- 
ful pride in the state, loyal and faithful to Illinois. 

Last of our settlers are the immigrants from 
Europe, citizens of the old world, come to find in 
the new, social and religious and political liberty; 
the chance to improve, to forge ahead if they have 
ability, instead of staying always in the class where 
they were born. In the American melting pot Illi- 
nois does her share of the fusing process ; for only 
two states have a larger number of foreigners. 

In the middle of the century men from Ireland 
and Scotland, from Germany and Scandinavia, fol- 
lowing the parallels of latitude, came to Illinois and 
settled in the country, taking up government land. 
Of late years there has been a decided change in 
the character of our immigrants. They now come 
from the south of Europe, Italians and Russians 
and Hungarians. The growth of manufacturing 
and the absence of cheap land have planted these 


newcomers in the cities instead of on the farms. 
On the streets of Chicago every other man you meet 
is a foreigner or the son of a foreigner. The city 
has become a great distributing station for all the 
northwest. Its immigrant population is constantly 
changing: the newcomers live there a few years, 
to be near their friends, to learn English, to get 
adjusted to life in a new country. 

Many of these foreigners need our help during 
the slow process of adjustment and assimilation. 
They need a background of American history, and 
the American "feel." They need to be told of the 
educational advantages open to them, of help easily 
secured. They need to be warned of dangers and 
pitfalls, that they may see the best and not the 
worst of our communities. Their coming to us is 
a responsibility, creating, it is true, many problems 
in our social and industrial and political life, in- 
creasingly important. But it is a responsibility well 
worth while. For they provide material for loyal 
citizens. They add a variety and richness to the 
nation, if we will use and not abuse their presence 
among us. 

Illinois is, you realize, a great state, with a past 
rich and interesting, a present proud and promising. 
What of the future? That rests with us, her chil- 
dren, to build it worthily. It is to him that hath 


that much is given. Reverently we guard, tenderly 
we treasure the memory of our forefathers. In- 
heritors of such a past, we have a great responsi- 
bility, inescapable, nor would we escape it if we 

To belong to Illinois, to the state of Lincoln, 
spells duty and privilege and high obligation. For 
he is the vindication of American democracy, of 
the dignity and nobility of the common people. 
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, 
with firmness in the right as God gives us to see 
the right, let us strive on to finish" worthily the 
work we are in to achieve in Illinois a true democ- 
racy, a government of and by and for the people. 


SUCH, briefly told, is the story of Illinois. But 
this book will have failed of its purpose if you 
read it and no more. What it has tried to do is 
to arouse your interest in the great story of a great 
state, and make you want to find out more for your- 

Did you know that John Todd's record book tells 
of an incident in Illinois paralleling the Salem witch- 
craft? 1 That the tragedy at Mararnech duplicates 
the story of the Pequot war? 2 That in the dead of 
winter an Illinois soldier made a Paul Revere ride, 
galloping across seven counties to warn the Fort 
Armstrong garrison to be up and to arm? 3 

Did you know that one Illinois governor was 
secretary to a president and went to Europe on a 
diplomatic mission to the Czar? 4 That one governor 
was inaugurated in the executive mansion, instead 
of in the state house? He was, by the way, the 
colonel who almost killed (?) Jefferson Davis in 
the duel. 

Did you know that Illinois touches the story of 
Aaron Burr and the Blennerhassets ? 5 Have you 
read the thrilling tale of the 1814 rangers under 



Stephen Rector, who so gallantly and coolly rescued 
their comrades from Black Hawk's band at Camp- 
bell's Island, "as heroic a deed of daring as was 
ever performed in war"? 8 There are so many in- 
teresting incidents ! 

To name only a few among the many whose sto- 
ries you will greatly enjoy, find out something about 
Shabona, "the white man's friend," 7 and Baker, 
"the modern knight-errant." 8 Look up the lives of 
Francis Vigo 9 and D'Artaguette, 10 of John Mason 
Peck 11 and Jean Gabriel Cerre. 12 What can you 
learn of Edgar, 13 of Pierre Menard and his salt, 14 
of Fort Massac? 15 Of the Bishop Hill colony, 16 
the Spanish invasion, 17 the lead mines at Fever 
River, 18 the soldier of fortune, St. Leger Grenfell? 19 

Did you know that after the Mormons left Nau- 
voo, the Icarians settled there, and developed a 
community life which was for a time most success- 
ful? 20 There is an interesting story about their 
leader, Etienne Cabet, the son of a cooper, who was 
at one time attorney-general of France for Corsica. 
With his followers, men of six countries, he came to 
America, not expecting to make people perfect, but 
to establish a colony which should be a practical im- 
provement of society. Can you find out where they 
got their name? Trace their journey from France. 
Why did so few of them reach Nauvoo? How 
many Icarians made up this single family, where 


all property belonged to the community, and each 
one worked for all? Could they produce every- 
thing they needed? What trades did they follow, 
and where did they sell their surplus goods? How 
many hours made a day's work in summer; in win- 
ter? How were they governed? You must read 
about the Mormon temple, converted into a great 
dining-hall, with tracks laid from the kitchen and 
cars of food running to the different tables. Did 
they really live well on seven cents a day ? Perhaps 
this will interest you in other community experi- 
ments in Illinois. 

What governors, beginning with St. Clair, owe 
their positions in part to their war records? How 
many limped into office on Santa Anna's wooden 
leg? Is this more or less than the number of war- 
record presidents? How many of our governors 
were born in Illinois? Which state has furnished 
us the most? Can you think why? 

Reminders of her history Illinois has preserved 
in the names chosen for villages and towns and 
cities, for townships and counties. Go over these 
lists and see how many you can find that are French 
in origin, like Fayette and Joliet. How many sug- 
gest New England, like Warren; or Virginia, like 
Henry? How many are named for some natural 
feature, like Island Grove or Buffalo Hart? How 
many are Indian, like Peoria ? How many can you 


find commemorating the public service of some dis- 
tinguished man, like Edwards or Pulaski? 

Make friends with the pioneers of your commu- 
nity. All too quickly they are passing. From such 
stories and reminiscences as theirs, and from their 
old letters, history is made to-morrow. And to 
you, in becoming more familiar with the story of 
Illinois, the author wishes half the keen pleasure 
found in the preparation of this book. 

It would not be possible to tell you all the people 
who have helped in its making. But needs must 
be mentioned the generous service of the state his- 
torical library; and the indebtedness of the author 
to many writers of histories of Illinois, to newspa- 
per files and magazine articles, to pamphlets and 
books on special subjects, and last but not least, to 
the invaluable publications of the state historical 

Among the books consulted, which have proved 
of especial help, are : 

Arnold, Isaac N. The Life of Abraham Lincoln. 

Bateman and Selby Historical Encyclopedia of Il- 

Birkbeck, Morris Letters from Illinois (1817). 
Notes on a Journey in America (1818). 

Breese, Sidney The Early History of Illinois 

Brown, Henry History of Illinois (to 1844). 


Brown, William H. Early Movement in Illinois 
for the Legalisation of Slavery. 

Butterfield, Consul Willshire History of George 
Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illinois and Wa- 
bash Towns. 

Catherwood, Mary Hartwell Old Kaskaskia. The 
Story of Tonty. 

Coffin, Charles Carleton- Abraham Lincoln. 

Colbert and Chamberlin Chicago and the Great 

Cook, John W. History of Education in Illinois. 

Currey, Josiah Seymour History of Chicago. 

Davidson and Stuve A Complete History of Illi- 
nois (1673-1873). 

Dillon, John B. History of Indiana. 

Drake, Benjamin Life and Adventures of Black 

Dye, Eva The Conquest. 

Edwards, Ninian Wirt History of Illinois (1778- 
1833) and Life and Times of Ninian Edwards. 

English, William Hayden Conquest of the Coun- 
try Northwest of the River Ohio and Life of 
George Rogers Clark. 

Farnum, Eliza W. Life in Prairie Land. 

Fergus Historical Series. 

Flower, George History of the English Settlement 
in Edzvards County. 

Foi;d, Thomas History of Illinois (1818-1847). 

Gerhard, Frederic Illinois as It Is (to 1857). 

Green, E. B. The Government of Illinois. 

Harris, N. Dwight The History of Negro Servi- 
tude in Illinois. 


Herndon, William Henry, and Weik, Jesse Abra- 
ham Lincoln, the True Story of a Great Life. 

Illinois Historical Collections. 

Illinois State Historical Society Transactions, 
Publications, Journals. 

Kinzie, Mrs. John H. Waubun, the Early Day in 
the Northwest. 

Levasseur, A. Lafayette in America. 

Lincoln, William S. Alton Trials. 

Lovejoy, Joseph and Owen Memoir of Elijah P. 
Love joy. 

Mason, Edward G. Chapters from Illinois His- 

Mather, Irwin F. The Making of Illinois. 

Meese, William A. The Battle of Campbell's Is- 
land. The Beginnings of Illinois. 

Moses, John Illinois, Historical and Statistical. 

Nicolay and Hay Abraham Lincoln, a History. 

Nida, William Lewis The Story of Illinois and 
Its People. 

Ogg, Frederick Austin (Ed.) Personal Narrative 
of a Residence in the Illinois Territory, 1817- 
1818, by Elias Pym Fordham. 

Parish, John Carl The Man with the Iron Hand. 

Parkman, Francis The Conspiracy of Pontiac. La 
Salle and the Discovery of the Great West. The 
Struggle for a Continent. 

Parrish, Randall Historic Illinois. 

Patterson, J. B. (Ed.) Autobiography of Black 

Ouaife, Milo Milton Chicago and the Old North- 
west (1673-1835). 


Reynolds, John My Own Times. The Pioneer 
History of Illinois (to 1818). 

Roosevelt, Theodore The Winning of the West. 

Shaw, Albert Icaria, a Study in Communistic His- 

Shea, John G. Discovery and Exploration of the 
Mississippi Valley. 

Smith, George Washington A Student's History 
of Illinois. 

Thwaites, Reuben Gold (Ed.) Jesuit Relations. 

Thwaites, Reuben Gold Early Western Travels 
(1748-1846). How George Rogers Clark Won 
the Northwest, and Other Essays in Western His- 
tory. Life of Marquette. 

Wallace, Joseph Life and Public Services of Ed- 
ward D. Baker. 

Washburne, E. B. A Sketch of Edward Coles. 




Where are mounds found in Illinois? 

What suggestions can you give for their probable use? 

What do the articles found in the mounds indicate about the 
builders ? 

Why was Illinois so named? 

What has been the gain to civilization in the white men's 
taking the land from the Indians? 

What was the basis of the French claim to Illinois? 
Why was the first exploring party sent out? 
Describe their journey. What record have we of it? 
Why did Marquette return to Illinois? 


Why is La Salle called the seventeenth-century imperialist? 
What difficulties did he meet, and overcome? 
How did his work affect American history? 
Why was Fort St. Louis an important post? 
How did it get its present name? 


What result did Law's schemes have for Illinois? 

Describe life in a French village. 

What part did the French in Illinois have in the colonial 

What are the dates for the beginning and end of French 
rule in Illinois? 




Why was there a delay in England's taking possession? 
Describe the arrival of the Highlanders. 
How long did the British govern Illinois? 


What were Clark's qualifications for leading this expedi- 

What was the reason for secrecy? 

What was his policy with the French? 

Is Gibault appropriately named "the patriot priest of the 
northwest" ? 

Describe the journey to Vincennes and its surrender. 

Why was Clark's conquest important in making the peace 
of 1783? 


What states claimed Illinois, and on what grounds? 

Name the important provisions of the ordinance of 1787. 

What was the fundamental difficulty between the Americans 
and the Indians ? 

Name the governors of Illinois, up to 1818. 

What changes in government were made in 1800, in 1809, in 


Why did the War of 1812 touch Illinois more closely than 
the previous wars ? 

Why was a fort built at the mouth of the Chicago River? 

Describe the evacuation of Fort Dearborn. 

How was the frontier protected, for the remainder of the 


What two great provisions did Nathaniel Pope make for 
Illinois ? 

How did the northern boundary affect future history? 

What were the important features of the first state consti- 
tution ? 

What were its peculiar features? 

What is the date for the admission of Illinois as a state? 



Why was the capital changed from Kaskaskia? 

Where did most of the settlers live? Why? 

Whence did they come? 

What were their occupations? 

Name some of the foreign colonies in Illinois. 

Why were the regulators needed? 


What were the "black laws" ? 

Why was it proposed to amend the constitution? 

What were the necessary steps? 

What trick passed the resolution in the house? 

Who were the leaders on each side? 

What was the result of the election? 


Why was Lafayette entertained at Kaskaskia ? 

Describe the reception and dinner. 

Who were the guests at the ball? 

How was Lafayette received at Shawneetown? 


What were the effects of paper money in Illinois? 

Can you account for the speculation in land? 

Why were internal improvements urged? 

Why was it necessary to vote such a large sum? 

How did Ford meet the arguments for repudiating the 
state's debt? 

How was a repetition of this financial trouble made impos- 


What was the American pretext for the Black Hawk War? 
What was the Indian argument? 

Name some soldiers in this war who became prominent later. 
Describe Stillman's Run and the battle of the Bad Axe. 
What can you tell of Black Hawk's life, after the war? 



What was the "Long Nine" ? 
How was the capitol secured for Springfield? 
Describe conditions in the pioneer Springfield. Compare 
with the city of to-day. 
Compare the two state houses in Springfield. 


Why did Love joy move to Alton? 

For what was he contending? 

What were the arguments against his course? 

Tell the story of the tragedy at the warehouse. 


Where did the Mormons live before they settled in Illinois? 
Describe the building of the Mormon temple. 
How did the Mormons, who were nominally a religious 
group, come into Illinois politics? 

What favors did they receive from the legislature? Why? 
Why were troops sent against the Mormons? 
Tell of Smith's death. 

Trace the journey of the Mormons to Utah. 
How did Illinois influence their course there? 


In what battles of the Mexican War did Illinois troops take 

Tell of their service at Buena Vista. 
What trophies did they bring home? 


Tell the story of the Bond-Jones duel. 
What law concerning dueling was adopted? 
How did Bond enforce it? 

Tell about Lincoln's scrape with Shields, of Baker's great 
speech against dueling, and of the challenge to Bissell. 



How many years elapsed between the first suggestion for 
the Illinois-Michigan Canal and its completion? 
Why was it so expensive? 
How was the canal financed? 
When and why was it deepened? 
Who proposed the Illinois Central? 
To whose efforts was the congressional grant due? 
Compare the financing of the railroad and of the canal. 
What were the results for the state? 
Why did the first settlers live in the timber country? 
Describe Clark's plow. 
Name other agricultural improvements. 


Why were early politics in Illinois personal and not party? 

Tell about the underground railroad in Illinois. 

What changed the attitude of Illinois people on the question 
of slavery? 

Who made up the Republican party? 

Tell of Trumbull's election to the senate. 

Compare Lincoln and Douglas. What was the real issue 
between them? Why were the debates a matter of national 
importance? What was the immediate outcome? The final 


What was Douglas's attitude when war was declared ? 

How many regiments did Illinois send to the war? 

Where did they fight? 

Where were the training camps? 

Tell of the great general Illinois gave to the nation. 

What contribution did the women make? 

How did Yates win the name of "the soldiers' friend"? 

Tell of the efforts of the copperheads and the Sons of Liberty. 

What songs were written by Illinois men? 


Compare Lincoln's journey to Washington in 1861 with the 
return in 1865. 


Describe the services in the various towns and in Springfield. 
How was the sum for the monument secured? 
Why is his grave a shrine for all Americans? 


To what was the early importance of Chicago due? 

Trace the steps in its growth. 

How did the great fire start? Why did it spread so rapidly? 

Tell of the relief work. 

To what was attributable the rebuilding of Chicago? 


What was Pope's service to the cause of education? 

How were the early schools financed? 

Describe a pioneer school. 

What was the Duncan law? Why was it unpopular? 

What was the result of the Edwards law? 

Tell the story of the first college in Illinois. 


What was the first state charity? 

Why was a penitentiary needed ? 

Why were the schools for special classes of children opened ? 

Who initiated the work for the insane? 

Tell of the recent changes in penitentiary methods, and in 
the administration of the state institutions. 

Name the various groups who settled in Illinois. What did 
each contribute? 

What is our responsibility to-day? 



1 111. Hist. Lib. No. 11; pp. .209-210. 


1 Parrish, 18. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, ch. 3. 
3 Davidson and Stuve, 32-35. 
4 Parrish, 30-32. 


1 Mason, 1. 
2 Breese, 78. 
3 Mason, 8-12. 
4 Parrish, 42^3. 

5 111. Hist. Collections, I, 10; and for the following quo- 
tations, pp. 17, 20-21, 23, 27 and 40. 
6 Mason, 27-29. 
7 Mason, 32. 
8111. Hist. Lib. No. 20, p. 110. 


1 Mason, 46. 

2 Breese, 115. 

3 Mason, 67 ; 111. Hist. Lib. No. 7, p. 183. 

4 Brown's History, 130, note 4. 

5111. Hist. Collections, I, 146. 

6 Parrish, 61-64; Mason, 112-117. 

7 Davidson and Stuve, 93. 

8111. Hist. Lib. No. 11, p. 207. 

9 Moses, I, 66, 69. 
10 Jesuit Relations, 63 : 305. 
11 Moses, I, 75-76; Parrish, 87. 
12 Mason, 187. 


248 NOTES 


1 Breese, 160, 161. 

2 Breese, 165-168; Davidson and Stuve, 115-119; Brown's 

History, 164-168. 
3 Breese, 170. 
4 Davidson and Stuve, 109. 
5 Mason, 227. 
6 Parrish, 182 ; Mason, 228. 
7111. Hist. Lib. No. 10, p. 137; Mason, 228-231. 
8 Davidson and Stuve, 110. 
9 Parrish, 92. 


1 Brown's History, 196-198. 

2 Mason, 235. 

3 Moses, I, 135-136; Brown's History, 212-213. 

4 Moses, I, 150; Mason, 241. 


1 111. Hist. Collections, I, 174. 

2111. Hist. Collections, I, 224. 

3 Brown's History, 230. 

4 Davidson and Stuve, 199. 

5 Thwaites, How George Rogers Clark Won the North- 
west, 18, 19. 

6111. Hist. Collections, I, 197-198. 

7 Thwaites, 26. 

8 Brown's History, 235. 

9111. Hist. Collections, I, 200. 
10111. Hist. Lib. No. 10, p. 25. 
11111. Hist. Collections, I, 202. 
12 Thwaites, 32, 33. 
13 Thwaites, 34. 
14 Brown's History, 246. 
15 Thwaites, 37, 38. 
16111. Hist. Collections, 1, 203-204. 
17111. Hist. Collections, 1, 238. 
18 Thwaites, 45-63. 
19 Mason, 256. 
20 Thwaites, 67, 68. 
21 Thwaites, 71-72 ; Davidson and Stuve, 200. 

NOTES 249 


1 Meese, Beginnings of Illinois, 2, 3. 
2 Moses, I, 187. 
3 Moses, I, 186. 
4 Meese, 8. 

5 Brown's History, 275. 
6 Thwaites, 82-93. 
7 Moses, I, 259. 

8 Davidson and Stuve, 286, 287; 111. Hist. Soc. Journal, 8, 
No. 4, p. 539. 


1 Gerhard, 43. 

2 Brown's History, 278. 

3 Brown's History, 306. 

4 Moses, I, 249. 

5 Brown's History, 310. 

6 Gerhard, 47-49. 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 291. 

2 Brown's History, 345. 

3 Moses, I, 277-279 ; Meese, Beginnings of Illinois, 13-15. 

4 Brown's History, 351. 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 915. 
2 Ford, 35. 

3 Davidson and Stuve, 330. 
A Davidson and Stuve, 351. 
5 Davidson and Stuve, 349-350. 
6 Gerhard, 54. 

7 Gerhard, 92-95, 122, 123 ; Ford, 232-234. 
8 Gerhard, 69-70. 
9 Ford, 61. 
10 Ford, 32. 

1 Harris, 32. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, 317-319. 
3 Davidson and Stuve, 321. 

250 NOTES 

4 Moses, I, 323, note. 

5_Washburne, 89-91. 

6 Ford, 53. 

7 Davidson and Stuve, 326. 

8 Ford, 53-55. 

9 Flower, 210, 211. 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 322. 

2_Washburne, 233, 234. 

3 Levasseur, II, 129-130. 

4 Reynolds, My Own Times, 164 ; 111. Hist. Lib. No. 12, p. 81. 

5 Davidson and Stuve, 333. 

6 Levasseur, II, 147; 111. Hist. Lib. No. 10, p. 137. 


1 Gerhard, 58. 

2 Ford, 43-46. 

3 Davidson and Stuve, 367. 

4 Moses, 1, 409 ; Ford, 184-189. 

5 Moses, 1, 434. 

6 Ford, 291-295. 

7 Davidson and Stuve, 546-549. 


1 Ford, 108-110. 

2 Reynolds, My Own Times, 220. 

3 Stevens, 280 ; ed. Rice, Reminiscences of Lincoln, 464, 465. 

4 Arnold, 34; Nicolay, Abraham Lincoln, 32. 

5 Arnold, 36. 

6 Davidson and Stuve, 385-388; Patterson, 96-101, 155-158; 

Brown's History, 361-364. 
7 Parrish, 265-269. 
8 Brown's History, 372-376. 


1 Ford, 186-187 ; Davidson and Stuve, 916-918. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, 918-919. 

3 Moses, I, 431^32. 

4 Davidson and Stuve, 919-920. 

5 Davidson and Stuve, 923. 

NOTES 251 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 428, 429. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, 429. 

3 Ford, 235-237. 

4- -Moses, 1, 419. \ 

5 Ford, 242-245. 

6 Parrish, 331-332. 

7 Moses, 1, 420 ; Davidson and Stuve, 432. 


1 Reynolds, My Own Times, 363 ; Moses, I, 469-472. 

2 Ford, 259-261 ; Davidson and Stuve, 495. 

3 Ford, 313 ; Moses, I, 474-475 ; Brown's History, 399. 

4 Ford, 404; Davidson and Stuve, 516. 

5 Ford, 262-265 ; Brown's History, 395 ; Davidson and 

Stuve, 496. 

6 Brown's History, 386, 398. 
7 Gerhard, 100, 110; Reynolds, 368, 370; Ford, 268, 319- 

322, 327 ; Davidson and Stuve, 501. 
8 Ford, 335-337, 352-353, 369. 
9 Ford, 410-412. 
10111. Hist. Lib. No. 20, pp. 58, 70. 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 527. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, 532-536. 

3 Moses, I, 495^96. 

4111. Hist. Lib. No. 10, p. 213 ; Davidson and Stuve, 539, note. 


1 Mason, 237. 

2 Davidson and Stuve, 618-619 ; Parrish, 334, 335. 
3 Davidson and Stuve, 620 ; Ford, 48, 49. 
4 Davidson and Stuve, 622 ; Parrish, 337. 
5 Herndon, II, 231-239. 
6 Coffin, 120-121. 
7 Wallace, 58. 

8 Parrish, 343; Moses, II, 604, 606; Davidson and Stuve, 

252 NOTES 


1 111. Hist. Lib. No. 11, pp. 153, 154. 

2 Moses, I, 463-464; Ford, 179; Reynolds, My Own Times, 


3 Davidson and Stuve, 475-479. 
4 Moses, II, 1043-1046; Reynolds, 321-322. 
5 Moses, 11,572-578; Davidson and Stuve, 571. 
6 Moses, II, 579. 
7 Davidson and Stuve, 581-583. 
8 Farnum, 237, 295 ; Bateman and Selby, II, 778. 
9 Bateman and Selby, II, 779-780. 


1 Davidson and Stuve, 635. 

2 Chapman, History of Knox County, 203. 

3 Davidson and Stuve, 637-639. 

4 Davidson and Stuve, 650-654. 

5 Davidson and Stuve, 689 ; Moses, II, 593; Horace White, 
Life of Lyman Trumbull, 43-45. 

6 Moses, II, 609 ; Davidson and Stuve, 692-695. 

7 Coffin, 153, 154. 

8 Coffin, 165, 166. 

9 Moses, II, 612, 613. 
10 Arnold, 147. 

11 Arnold, 142; Davidson and Stuve, 709, 710. 
12 Coffin, 169. 
13 Moses, 11,615,616. 
14 Moses, II, 619. 
15 Coffin, 175, 176. 
16 Davidson and Stuve, 726. 


1 Moses, II, 642-644. 

2 Moses, II, 643 ; Davidson and Stuve, 870. 
3 Moses, II, 639 ; Davidson and Stuve, 736. 
4 Moses, II, 701, 734. 

5 Moses, II, 648 ; Davidson and Stuve, 744-745. 
6 Moses, II, 646-647. 

7 Moses, II, 755-757 ; Davidson and Stuve, 741-742. 
8 Moses, II, 691-699. 

9 Moses, II, 681, 683, 684 ; Davidson and Stuve, 878, 897. 
10 Moses, II, 760-761. 

NOTES 253 


1 Arnold, 435. 

2 Moses, II, 724. 

3 Stephen Wise, Lincoln, Ma*" and American, 66. 


1 Colbert and Chamberlin, 17, 18. 
2 Davidson and Stuve, 486, note. 
3 Colbert and Chamberlin, 27-30. 
4 Colbert and Chamoerlin, 49-51. 
5 Colbert and Chamberlin, 107. 

6 Colbert and Chamberlin, 201-205 ; Davidson and Stuve, 939. 
7 Davidson and Stuve, 940. 
8 Colbert and Chamberlin, 230-233. 
9 Moses, II, 805. 
10 Moses, II, 940. 


1 Moses, II, 988, 989 ; Davidson and Stuve, 609. 

2 Ford, 59, 60 ; Davidson and Stuve, 610. 

3 Cook, 59 ; Moses, II, 993. 

4 Cook, 60-65 ; Bateman and Selby, II, 791-793. 

5 Moses, II, 994; Ford, 58, 59. 

6 Davidson and Stuve, 611, 612. 

7 Cook, 44, 45 ; Moses, II, 995. 

8 Davidson and Stuve, 609-612. 

9 Bateman and Selby, 11,796; Moses, II, 998, 999. 
10111. Hist. Lib. No. 12, p. 145. 
11 Moses, I, 393; Reynolds, My Own Times, 125. 


1 Moses, II, 1013. 

2 Moses, II, 1013 ; Davidson and Stuve, 924-926. 

3 Moses, II, 1015-1019. 


1 Moses, I, 161, 162 ; Mason, 264-266. 

2 Parrish, 144-149 ; 111. Hist. Lib. No. 7, p. 148. 

3 Parrish, 125-126. 

4111. Hist. Lib. No. 8, p. 97. 

254 NOTES 

5 Parrish, 185. 

6 Parrish, 248-251; Patterson, 46-48; Meese, Battle of 
Campbell's Island. 

7 Matson, Memories of Shabona. 

8 Matheny, The Modern Knight-Errant. 

9 Reynolds, Pioneer History, appendix. 
10111. Hist. Lib. No. 10, p. 135. 
11111. Hist. Lib. No. 12, p. 145 ; Moses, 1, 321. 
12111. Hist. Lib. No. 8, p. 275. 
13111. Hist. Lib. No. 12, p. 64. 
14 Moses, I, 289, 290. 
15111. Hist. Lib. No. 8, p. 38. 
16111. Hist. Lib. No. 7, p. 101 ; Parrish, 347-353. 
17 Mason, 293-311. 
18 Parrish, 162-173. 
19 Moses, II, 700. 

20 Shaw; Reynolds, My Own Times, 371-376; 111. Hist. Lib. 
No, 11, p. 103. 



Do you like to make maps? There are such interesting 
ones to do for the story of Illinois. 

First, on a map of the United States, color Illinois solid 
and trace in colors the waterways connecting it with Canada 
and Virginia and New Orleans. See what an important place 
Illinois has in the geography of the nation. 

Trace on a map which shows the Great Lakes and the 
Mississippi Valley the route of Marquette and Joliet, from 
Wisconsin to Arkansas and their return. Mark the mission 
station whence they started, the portage, Piasa, and the two 

. Trace on a similar map the journeys of La Salle and Tonty. 
Mark Fort Crevecoeur and Fort St. Louis. The frontispiece 
of Parkman's La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West 
will help you. On anothef map indicate all the French forts 
in America (look at page 37 of Thwaites's France in Amer- 
ica). You will want to make a distinctive mark for the six 
posts built by La Salle Frontenac, Conti, Miami, Crevecoeur, 
Prudhomme and St. Louis. 

Make a map showing Clark's route from Pittsburgh to 
Kaskaskia, and then to Vincennes. You will find an ex- 
cellent sketch in Thwaites's How George Rogers Clark Won 
the Northwest, facing page 26. 

Do a series of sketch maps showing the various changes 
in the territory of which Illinois was a part the entire 
Northwest Territory, the change made in 1800, and the sep- 
aration from Indiana in 1809 (see pages 79, 83 and 92 in 
Thwaites's How George Rogers Clark Won the Northwest). 
And last but not least a map showing the northern boundary 
change. Facing page 118 in Jones's Decisive Dates in Illinois 
History is a map showing Pope's line; but continue your 
map to the east, showing the extreme southern end of Lake 
Michigan, and extend the dotted line to meet it. Sketch in 
the boundary lines of the fourteen northern counties. 

Make a population map for Illinois in 1812, like the one 
on page 59 of Buck's Illinois in 1818. 

Make a map showing all the internal improvements sug- 
gested, like the one facing page 410 in volume one of Moses" 
Illinois Historical and Statistical. Draw the canal very dis- 




Abolitionists, 130, 132, 170. 
Admission to Union, 73, 74. 
Agriculture, 3, 165, 167, 168, 223. 
Albion, 78, 83. 

Alton, 120, 127-30, 132, 170, 192, 193, 224. 
Alton Observer, 128-30. 
Anderson, Robert, 113. 
Armstrong, Fort, 230. 

Bad Axe, battle, 115, 116. 

Baker, Edward D., 112, 123, 155, 231. 

Berkeley, Governor, 214. 

Birkbeck, Morris, 78, 89-92. 

Bishop Hill Colony, 231. 

Bissell, Colonel, 155, 156, 230. 

Black Hawk, 66, 110, 111, 114-9, 203, 231. 

Black Hawk War, 77, 110-8. 

Black laws, 84-6. 

Black Partridge, 67, 69. 

Blennerhasset, 230. 

Bond, Shadrach, 98, 149-51, 158, 223. 

Boundary, northern, 71. 

Breese, Sidney, 15, 162. 

Buena Vista, battle, 146, 147, 155. 

Burr, Aaron, 230. 

Cabet, Etienne, 231. 

Cahokia, 46. 

Cahokia Indians, 5. 

Calumet, 12, 21. 

Campbell's Island, battle, 231. 

Camp Butler, 191. 

Camp Douglas, 191. 

Canal, Illinois-Michigan, 157-61, 203-5. 

Capital moved to Springfield, 106, 120, 121. 

Cartright, Peter, 83. 

Cerre, Jean Gabriel, 231. 

Cerro Gordo, 146, 148. 


262 INDEX 

Chartres, Fort, 27, 30-2, 34, 35, 149. 

Chicago, 13, 14, 72, 164, 167, 171, 202-5, 228. 

Chicago fire, 205-13. 

Churches, 83, 89, 187, 222. 

Clark, George Rogers, 37-56, 226, 227. 

Clark, Oramel, 165-7. 

Clark, William, 53. 

Clay, Henry, 60. 

Coal, 2, 223. 

Coles, Edward, 78, 86-9, 92-5, 98, 109. 

Company of the West, 27. 

Congressional grants of land, 158, 159, 162-4, 224. 

Constitution of 1818, 72, 73. 

Constitution of 1848, 108. 

Constitution of 1870, 109. 

Cook, Daniel Pope, 158, 203. 

Copperheads, 196. 

Coureurs de bois, 26. 

Courts, early, 58, 80, 82, 83. 

Crevecceur, Fort, 17, 18, 20, 21. 

Crozat, Antoine, 27. 

Cullom, Shelby M., 144. 

D'Artaguette, 32, 231. 

Davis, Jefferson, 113, 117, 155, 156, 230. 

Dearborn, Fort, 64, 65, 202. 

Dearborn, Fort, massacre, 66-8. 

Democratic party, 169, 171, 197. 

Detroit, 37, 53, 64, 68. 

Dix, Dorothea L., 225. 

Dixon's Ferry, 113, 114. 

Douglas, Stephen A., 125, 162, 171-85, 188. 

Dred Scott decision, 174, 182, 185. 

Dueling, 149-56. 

Duncan, Joseph, 217, 218. 

Dutch Hollow, 78. 

Edgar, General, 96, 231. 

Educational association, 218, 219. 

Edwards, Ninian, 60, 81, 82, 150, 158, 233. 

Edwards, Ninian W., 219, 220. 

Egypt, 78. 

Election of 1824, 92, 169. 

Election of 1860, 183, 184. 

English colony, 78, 83, 137. 

INDEX 263 

Fever River, 231. 

Flower, George, 78, 83. 

Ford, Thomas, 88, 108, 109, 139-42, 217, 218. 

Franklin, Benjamin, 54. 

Freeman, Jonathan, 90-2. 

Free Soil party, 171, 172. 

Friends of freedom, 88, 89. 

Frontenac, Fort, 16, 19. 

Fuller, Adjutant-General, 191. 

Gage, Fort, 35, 43. 

Gage, Thomas, 35. 

Galesburg, 171, 

German colony, 78. 

Gibault, Pierre, 44, 48, 49. 

Grammar, John, 80, 81. 

Grant, U. S., 190, 193, 194, 199, 201. 

Grenfell, St. Leger, 231. 

Griffin, 16, 18, 20. 

Hamilton, General, 37, 38, 49-52. 

Hamilton, William Stephen, 95. 

Harrison, William Henry, 60, 63, 64, 68, 110. 

Heald, Captain, 65-7. 

Helm, Captain, 50. 

Hennepin, Father, 17-9. 

Henry, Patrick, 39, 46, 52, 232. 

Hull, General, 64, 65. 

Icarians, 231, 232. 

Illini, 5. 

Illinois Central Railroad, 72, 162-4, 168, 205. 

Illinois College, 222. 

Illinois County, 52. 

Illinois federation, 5-7. 

Illinois-Michigan Canal, 72, 120, 157-61, 203-5. 

Illinois River, 13, 157, 158, 161. 

Illinois territory, 60-2. 

Immigrants, 77, 78, 167, 226-8. 

Indentured servants, 84. 

Indiana territory, 60. 

Indians, 5-7, 97, 98. 

Insane, hospitals for, 225, 226. 

Internal improvements, 105-7, 159. 

Iroquois Indians, 6, 17, 20-3. 

264 INDEX 

Jackson, Andrew, 117. 

Jacksonville, 171, 222, 225. 

Jay, John, 54. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 39, 53. 

Jesuits, 10, 31. 

Joliet, Louis, 8-14, 157, 232. 

Jones, Rice, 149, 150. 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 171-3, 182. 

Kaskaskia, 14, 27, 35, 37, 40-3, 48-50, 52, 61, 72, 75, 76, 95. 

Kaskaskia Indians, 5. 

Kidnapping, 85, 86. 

Kinzie, John, 202. 

Kinzie, Mrs., 69. 

Lafayette, 93-101. 

Lafayette, George Washington, 97. 

La Salle, 6, 16^5, 38, 157, 202. 

Latter-Day Saints, 134. 

Law, John, 27, 28, 108. 

Laws of Illinois territory, 61, 62. 

Lebanon, 222. 

Lecompton constitution, 173, 174. 

Levasseur, A., 94-8, 101. 

Lewis, Meriwether, 53. 

Lieutenant-governorship, 73. 

Lincoln, Abraham, 72, 112, 113, 121-5, 152-5, 172-88, 199-201, 


Logan, John A., 191. 
Logan, Judge, 173. 
Long Knives, 43, 46, 47. 
Long Nine, 120, 121. 
Louisiana, 22, 27, 29, 30. 
Lovejoy, Elijah P., 127-33, 170. 

McKendree College, 222. 

Manufacturing, 205, 223. 

Maramech, 230. 

Marquette, Jacques, 8-16, 202. 

Massac, Fort, 29, 41, 231. 

Meat packing, 204, 223. 

Menard, Pierre, 73, 103, 104, 231. 

Mexican War, 145-8. 

Michigamie Indians, 5. 

Mines, 2, 72, 223, 231. 

INDEX 265 

Mississippi River, 2, 4, 11-3, 16, 21, 22, 32. 

Missouri compromise, 85, 172, 180. 

Missouri River, 12. 

Money, 79, 102. 

Mormons, 134-44, 231. 

Mormon temple, 135, 136, 143, 232. 

Mound builders, 4, 5. 

Nauvoo, 135, 231. 
Necessity, Fort, 30. 
New Orleans, 27, 28, 35, 91. 
Niagara, Fort, 29, 30. 
Normal schools, 220. 
Northern boundary, 71. 
Northwest territory, 57, 58, 70. 

Oglesby, Richard, 190, 201. 
O'Leary, Mrs., 206. 
Ordinance of 1787, 57, 58, 84, 214. 
Ottawa, 17, 171. 

Palmer, John M., 190. 

Paper money, 102-4. 

Peck, John Mason, 83, 89, 187, 218, 221, 222, 231. 

Penitentiaries, 224, 225. 

Peoria, 77, 124, 125, 232. 

Peoria Indians, 5. 

Piasa bird, 12. 

Point au Sable, Jean Baptiste, 202. 

Polygamy, 139, 144. 

Pontiac, 24, 33, 34, 118. 

Pope, Nathaniel, 60, 70-2, 75, 203, 214, 220, 223. 

Population of Chicago, 203-5. 

Population of Illinois, 77. 

Prairie plow, 164-7. 

Prairies, 3, 83, 165. 

Pulaski, 233. 

Quincy, 129, 171. 

Railroads, 105-7, 159, 161-4, 168. 
Rangers, 68, 113, 230. 
Rector, Stephen, 231. 
Regiments in Civil War, 188-91. 
Regiments in Mexican War, 145, 148. 

266 INDEX 

Regulators, 79, 80. 
Republican party, 72, 172, 173. 
Repudiation, 108, 109. 
Reynolds, John, 80, 111, 112. 
Riot at Alton, 130-3. 
Rocheblave, 43, 46. 
Rock Spring Seminary, 221, 222. 
Root, George F., 197, 198. 

St. Clair, Arthur 58, 232. 

St. Louis du Rocher, Fort, 23. 

Sacs and Fox Indians, 110. 

Sangamon County, 77, 120-2. 

Santa Anna, 146-8, 232. 

Saukenuk, 111. 

School lands, 214, 215. 

Schools, 71, 215-8. 

Schools for blind, for deaf and dumb, 225. 

Scott, Winfield, 114, 148, 203, 204. 

Secession, 184-7. 

Shabona, 231. 

Shawneetown, 99-101. 

Sheridan, Philip, 210. 

Shields, James, 152-5. 

Shurtleff College, 222. 

Slave code, 84, 85. 

Slavery, 58, 72, 84-92, 109, 127-9, 133, 170, 171, 173-5, 179-82, 

Smith, Joseph, 134-41, 143, 144. 

Sons of Liberty, 196. 

Spaniards, 4, 13, 24, 39, 48, 231. 

Speculation in land, 102, 104, 105, 204. 

Springfield, 120-3. 

Squatter sovereignty, 172. 

Starved Rock, 2, 23, 24. 

State bank, 103, 104, 107, 108, 152. 

State houses in Springfield, 123-6. 

State house in Vandalia, 76. 

State institutions, 224-6. 

Stillman's Run, 113-5. 

Stokes, Captain, 192, 193. 

Swiss colony, 78. 

INDEX 267 

Tamaroa Indians, 5. 
Taylor, Zachary, 112, 146-8. 
Tecumseh, 63, 64, 110, 118. 
Territorial legislature, 61. 
Todd, John, 52, 53, 230. 
Tonty Henri, 2, 17-25, 202. 
Trumbull, Lyman, 173. 

Underground railroad, 170, 171. 
Union, admission to, 70, 73, 74. 
University of Illinois, 221. 

Vandalia, 76, 77, 87, 88, 120. 
Vigo, Francis, 51, 231. 
Vincennes, 29, 37, 48-52, 60. 
Voyageurs, 26. 

War of 1812, 63-70, 77. 
Washington, George, 29, 30, 37. 
Waterways, 1, 2, 161. 
Wayne, Anthony, 59, 63, 77. 
Webster, Daniel, 57. 
Whigs, 169, 172. 


Yankees, 78, 83, 227. 

Yates, Richard, 189, 191, 193-6. 

Zane, 144.