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3 1833 00877 8109 

Publication Number Thirteen 




Illinois State Historical Society 


Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society, Springfield, 111., 
January 30-31, 1908. 

Published by Authority of the 
Board of Trustees of the 



Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 





General Information, Editorial Note V 

1— Officers and committees of the Illinois State Historical Society, 1908 5, 9-11 


1— Minutes of the Society 3-7 

2— Minutes of the Board of Directors 7-11 

3— Report of the Secretary and Treasurer 12-17 

4— Reports of Committees 18-22 


1— Horace White, Abraham Lincoln in 1854 2.5-47 

2— Adlai. E . Stevenson, Stephen A . Douglas 48-73 

3— Joseph B. Lemen, The Jefferson-Lemen A nti-Slavery Pact 74-st 

4— Julia E. Parsons, Lewis Baldwin Parsons 8.5-100 

5— J. Seymour Gurrey, Chicago's North Shore 101-113 

6— Clara Kern Bayliss, The Significant o) tin Piasa 114-122 

7— Isabel Jamison, Lin ralun and Lift rary People of Early Illinois 123-139 

8— Edwin O. Gale, Chicago as It Was and Is 140-144 

9— George M. McConnel, Recollect ions o) tin Northern Cross Railroad 145-152 

10— William T. Davidson, Famous Men I hare Known in tin Military Tract 153-161 

11— Henry Barrett Chamberlain, Elias Kent Kant 162-170 

12— Howard G. Bronsoh, Early Illinois Railroads 171-183 

13— John H. Bumham, Mysterious Indian Butth Grounds in McLean county 184-191 

14— CharlesH. Rammelkamp, lUmoU Collegi and tin Anti-Slavery Movement 192-203 

15— Eliot Callender, Mi mortal to Jlidgt David Met 'ulloch 204-208 

16— James Affleck, William Kinney 209-211 


1— John F. Snyder, James Harvey Ralston | Forgotten Statesman of Illinois) 215-232 

2— Edward Joseph Fortier, The Establish ment of the Tamarois Mission 233-239 

3— Paul Selby, The Lincoln- Conkling Letter, September 3, 1863 240-250 

4 — J. F. Steward, Conflicting A ccou nts Fou nil in Early Illinois History 251-258 

1— An Earnest Invitation to tht Inhabitants o) Illinois by an Inhabitant of Kaskaskia -Translated 

with an Introduction and Notesby I. yd/a Main Brauer 261-268 

3— Samuel R. Brown, The Western Gazetteer, or Emigrants Directory I Extract describing tht Illinois 

Territory) 299-310 

4— The Illinois Monthly Magazine, 1831 [Article on Emigration) 311-316 


1— Robert Bell, 1828-1906 321-322 

2— Mrs. Eliza Kincaid Wilson 323-326 

3— William Vocke 327 

4 — John Berry Orendorff 328 

5— James B . Bradwell 329-33 

6— Peyton Roberts 331-334 

7— Mrs. W. W. Marmon 335 

8— Capt. J. R. Moss 336-337 

9— Index 338-381 

10— List of publications Illinois State Historical Library 382-383 


Record of Official Proceedings. 



Business Meeting, Thursday, January 30, at 10:00 O'Clock. 

The meeting was called to order by the President, Alfred Orendorff, 
who said : 

"The ninth annual meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society 
is in session. The secretary will please proceed to read her annual re- 

The secretary, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, read her report. 

On motion of Mr. Eussel the report was received and adopted and 
ordered placed on file. The report of the secretary was ordered printed 
as a part of the transactions of the society. 

Report of the treasurer being called for, it was read by the treasurer, 
Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

President — "Does the society wish to have the items of expense read ? 
If not what shall be done with this report?" 

On motion the report of the treasurer as read was received and or- 
dered placed on file: 

Eeports of committees being called for, Miss Georgia L. Osborne read 
the report of the Genealogical Committee, which was received and 
adopted and ordered placed on file. 

Mr. H. W. Clendenin made a motion for the appointment of a 
Nominating Committee, which received a second, and on being put to 
vote was carried, and the president appointed as such committee, the 
maker of the motion, 

Mr. Clendenin, as chairman, and Messrs. R. B. Carpenter, Belvidere; Mr. 
John S. Little, Rushville; Mr. James H. Matheny, Springfield; Mr. W. T. 
Norton, Alton. 

President — "The gentlemen have leave, if they wish to retire and con- 
sult about the matter of nominations." 

Mr. Clendenin— "What offices are to be filled?" 

President — "President, three vice presidents and board of directors. 
You can get the list here at the desk." 

The committee retired for consultation. 

President — Is there a report from the publication committee?" 

Professor Greene, the chairman being absent, Mr. C. W. Alvord spoke 
brieflv of the work of the committee. 

President — "Keports from local historical societies are in order. 

"We will be glad to hear the report from the Colored Historical So- 
ciety, by Mrs. Eickrnan." 

Report was read by Mrs. Hickman. 

President — "We would be glad to hear from Captain Burnham if he 
has a report to make or any word to say in regard to local historical 

Reporl of Committee on Local Historical Societies was read by 
Captain J. H. Burnham, chairman of the committee. 

President — "Gentlemen, this report contains several suggestions that 
seem to be of importance. What course shall it take? Will yon discuss 
any of these matters? If not, the report may he adopted. This means 
that recommendations in the report he adopted." 

Report of Captain Burnham was adopted. 

E. ( '. Page — "In the report of the secretary was there not a suggestion 
as to a change in the time for the annual meeting?" 

Secretary — "Under the constitution, any change in the time for the 
annual meeting must he made by making such change in the constitu- 

Mr. Clinton — "To what date was it proposed to change?" 

Secretary — "Two different dates have been suggested, May and Oc- 
tober. I think the concensus of opinion favors a May meeting." 

Mr. J. \Y. Clinton — "I move that the time of the animal meeting C 
left to the Board of Directors, but that they he instructed to fix the 
time somewhere between the loth of May and the 20th of June." 

Mi-. Chas. II. Rammelkamp — "Would the adoption of that motion 
he the proper way to meet the requirements of the constitution as 
to the making of such a change of date for meeting?"' 

President — "I think so." 

Mr. Rammelkamp — "I am in favor of the change." 

Prof. J. A. dames — "Allow me to say that our examinations and 
commene< ments come the latter part of May and early in dune. I 
would suggest that the meetings of the society lie held 'from the 10th 
to the 15th of Mav." 

Miss Rutherford— "Will not that date interfere with the school com- 
mencements ?" 

After some further discussion. Prof, dames moved that the Board of 
Directors he asked to lix the time for the meeting in the month of Mav. 
and Mi-. Clinton accepted the amendment to limit the time to May. 

Captain Burnham — "If this vote is taken, would it take effect at 
once and settle the matter of the date for future meetings?" 

President — "Yes," 

The fact that meetings had been held during the sessions of the 
Legislature was referred to, and Mr. Page said that so far as that made 
any difference the later date would be preferable to the time we have 
been holding the meetings in January. And he also suggested that if the 
time of the week could he changed so as to he more favorable for th • 
attendance of those interested who are engaged in educational work, t 

would accommodate many more teachers. "Say begin the meetings on 
Thursday evening so that practically only one school day would be lost. 
1 make this merely as a suggestion to the Board of Directors/' 

President — "We would be glad to hear from any others on this subject. 
Perhaps the ladies have some suggestions to make as to the time most 
convenient for them." 
• 31 rs. Taylor — "I prefer the month of May." 

Mr. Crowder — "I also prefer May." 

President — "It has been recommended by the Board of Directors that 
Prof. Edwin Erie Sparks, who has been called to a college in another 
state, be made an honorary member of this society." 

Professor James — "Should we not make recognition of Prof. Sparks' 
services to this society by resolution, or have the secretary write him of 
this action?" 

President — "I am sure the secretary will take pleasure in carrying- 
out the wishes of the society and properly notify him of this action." 

It was voted that Professor Sparks he made an honorary member of 
the society and the secretary was directed to so inform him. 

The nominating committee being ready to report, the chairman. Mr. 
Clendenin. said that in accordance with the advice of Mr. Lincoln, thai 
"it is not well to change horses in the middle of the stream/' the corn- 
mil tee had thought besi to recommend practically no changes in the 
officers of the society and read the report of the nominating committee, 
and moved its adoption. 

Mr. Clendenin's motion having received a second. President Oren- 
dorff put the question and the report was adopted ; but in accordance with 
the requirements of the constitution that the election of officers must 
lie by ballot, and upon motion the secretary was instructed to cast the 
ballot in accordance with the repori of the Nominating Committee. 

President — "The secretary has cast the ballot, and I declare the offi- 
cers named elected." 

President, Gen. Alfred Orendorff, Springfield. 
First Vice President, Hon. Clark E. Carr. Galesburg. 
Second Vice President, Hon. Smith D. Atkins, Freeport. 
Third Vice President, Hon. L. Y. Sherman, Springfield. 

Board of Directors, Edmund Janes James, president of the University of 
Illinois, Urbana; M. H. Chamberlin, president of McKendree college, Lebanon; 
Hon. George N. Black, Springfield; J. H. Burnham, Bloomington; Evarts B. 
Greene, University of Illinois, Urbana; Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Spring- 
field; Hon. Wm. H. Collins, Quincy; Hon. J. O. Cunningham, Urbana; Hon. 
Andrew Russel, Jacksonville; George W. Smith, Southern Illinois Normal 
University, Carbondale; W. T. Norton, Alton; Hon. Wm. A. Meese, Moline; 
Hon. Jesse A. Baldwin, Chicago; Mr. J. W. Clinton, Polo; Rev. C. J. Esch- 
mann, Prairie du Rocher. 

Honorary Vice Presidents, The presidents of local Historical societies. 

Captain Burnham inquired if the different localities where the Lin- 
coln-Douglas debates were held were represented. 

Mr. Elliot Callender of Peoria read a paper on the life and services 
of Judge David McCulloch, late a director of the TUinois State Historical 

A paper on the life of Gen: Lewis B. Parsons, to be read by his. 
daughter. Miss Julia E. Parsons, was called for. The secretary reported 

that the paper had been received, but Miss Pasons was unable to be 
present, and owing to lack of time the paper was read by title. 

Professor J. A. James — "Were we not to hear a report from Colonel 
Carr on the plans for the Lincoln-Douglas Debate celebrations?"' 

Colonel Carr being called upon, said : 

"I have visited everyone of the places where the Lincoln-Douglas debates 
were held, Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Alton and 
Quincy, all the places where these debates were held. I notified beforehand, 
the local committeemen about the time that I would be there and they as- 
sembled in each place, representative men of both political parties. 

"The meetings were usually held at some local club of the town. 

"At these meetings I thereupon laid the matter before them to the best of 
my ability, stating that the object desired to be attained was the awakening 
of an interest in the coming anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debate in 
that town. 

"I found it very pleasant work. There were assembled a goodly number, 
from 20 to 30, and they manifested considerable interest, appointed commit- 
tees, usually the permanent local committeeman was made chairman, and 
appointed executive committees to form plans to arrange for initial meeting 
at each place. I gave them the best advice I could as to how to proceed. 
. "We had an especially good meeting at Freeport. Mr. Atkins had made a 
special effort to that end and there were about thirty at the meeting. Mr. 
Atkins was made chairman. 

"We had a good meeting at Jonesboro. All turned out and took an interest. 
Anna is now the town. Jonesboro was then the town, the two are now 
connected by trolley. 

"1 found considerable interest at Charleston. At Charleston they are 
trying to get Senator. Beveridge to be their orator. I saw him in Wash- 
ington and had a little talk with him. He was doubtful whether he could 
be there but he was their choice as he was a Coles county man and they 
want him for their orator. 

"There was a good meeting at Ottawa. Mr. E. C. Swift, chairman. 

"At Alton a great interest was manifested. Mr. Norton, our committee- 
man assembled them there, and they have made arrangements for a large 

"At Quincy, Mr. Wm. H. Collins was the local chairman. 

"At all places much interest was manifested. The great question was to 
get an orator worthy of the occasion. Most of them wanted the President of 
the United States. 

"At Galesburg the arrangements were not made until last week. They 
have already had two celebrations. At one of these Governor John M. 
Palmer was the orator. They also had Chauncey M. Depew and Robert T. 

"The year when McKinley was a candidate for re-election, 1900, they had 
a most extraordinary celebration. The orator was the lately departed 
Charles Emory Smith. President McKinley and Mrs. McKinley were there 
and every member of the President's cabinet except Mr. Lyman S. Gage, Sec- 
retary of the Treasury. Our people are taking a very great interest in the 
approaching anniversary." 

Mr. Eussel — "Has the date been set?" 

Mr. Carr — "It is the intention to have these meetings opened exactly 
upon not only the day, but the hour, when the debates were held, and 
at the place where they were held." 

President — "The people have selected as the place, the spot, where the 
debate was held, on the Galesburg or Knox College grounds." 

Gen. Smith D. Atkins of Freeport said it was expected to have on 
the platform every survivor who was present at the debate fifty years ago. 

President — "We would be glad to hear from local committees wherever 
celebrations are to be held." 

Mr. Atkins spoke of the meetings for Freeport, where committees 
have been appointed. They will probably have two prominent speakers, 
one to speak on Lincoln and the other on Douglas. 

Mr. W. T. Norton of Alton reported that they had great pleasure in 
meeting with Colonel Carr, and that matters were progressing. 

Mr. Collins of Quincy was called for and he being absent, it was sug- 
gested' that perhaps Mr. Ellis would report for Quincy. 

President Orendorff asked if Mr. Ellis was present, but he had left 
the room. 

Prof. Page spoke of the interest taken in these celebrations by Mr. 
Blair, Superintendent of Public Instruction, who has had prepared 
pamphlets which are intended for the use of teachers in drawing the 
attention of pupils to the facts mentioned ; and said the pamphlets re- 
ferred to could be had by anyone interested, on application. 

Mrs. Weber, Chairman of Program Committee, asked for the co- 
operation of the entire society in the matter of the preparation of future 
programs, and for their help in such preparation. 

Prof. James spoke of the work of preparation, which had fallen almost 
entirely upon the secretary and seconded her suggestion, asking assist- 
ance from all members of the society. 

Mr. Carpenter, who had been absent from the room during the meet- 
ing of the Nominating Committee, asked if anything had been done in 
regard to the suggestion in the secretary'- report favoring the printing 
of a quarterly publication. 

President — 'The adoption of the secretary's report carried with it the 
adoption of the suggestions made therein."' 

Mr. Norton, on account of circumstance- which made it necessary 
for him to do so, resigned and nominated in his place, on the Committee 
on Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Mr. E. M. Bowman of Alton. This recom- 
mendation was referred to the Board of Directors. 

On motion, the society adjourned to 1 :30 o'clock, to meet in the liter- 
ary sessions to hear the papers and addresses, according to the program 
of exercises. 


The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met in 
the room of the secretary, Thursday morning, January 30, 1908, at 9:30 
o'clock. Present: 

The President, Gen. Alfred Orendorff, Mr. Andrew Russel, Mr. J. W. 
Clinton, Capt. J. H. Burnham, Mr. W. T. Norton, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

The report of the secretary was read and received. 

The report of the treasurer was read and received. 

Mrs. Weber moved that the board recommend to the society the elec- 
tion of Prof. E. E. Sparks as an honorary member of the society. Prof. 
Sparks having tendered his resignation as a director of the society, owing 
to his removal from the State to take up his duties as President of the 
Pennsylvania State College. 

Mr. Russel seconded this motion, and the motion was carried. 

President Orendorff asked that a like honor be conferred upon Mr. 
Eorace White of New York. This motion was seconded and carried. 

Captain Burnham explained that General A. E. Stevenson was to de- 
liver one of the principal addresses of the annual meeting, and Mr. 
Horace White the other, and that General Stevenson is already an 
honorary member of the society. 

There being no further business, the board of director's meeting ad- 
journed to meet later in the session at a convenient time, and at the call 
of the president. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the secretary's room, Thursday, January 30, at 11:30 a. m. 

Present — Messrs. Burnham, Russel, Clinton, Orendorff and Mis. 

On motion of Captain Burnham, General Orendorff was elected chair- 
man of the Board of Directors, and Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber was 
elected secretary and treasurer. 

It was moved and seconded that the chairman be ex officio a member 
of each committee. The motion was carried. 

The directors' meeting adjourned to meet later in the sessions at the 
call of the president. 


January 31, 1908, at 11:15 A. M. 

Present — Messrs. Orendorff, Burnham, Russel, Xorton, Clinton, and 
Mrs. Weber. 

Captain Burnham spoke at some length about an historical building, 
and the plans of the society for the legislation necessary to secure it. 
Captain Burnham urged the need of a periodical as a journal of in- 
formation, for the society at large. 

General Orendorff said the secretary had recommended such a period- 
ical, and trie recommendation had" been adopted as a part of her report. 

The secretary read a. letter from Prof.- Sparks, in which he spoke of 
the plans for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates ; also of a pamphlet to be dis- 
tributed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which had been 
prepared by a committee from the Historical Manuscripts Commission 
of the Illinois State Historical Library. 

The question of the periodical or bulletin was again discussed, and Mr. 
Xorton moved that Messrs. Orendorff, Russel, Burnham and Mrs. Weber 
be a special committee on the periodical with power to act. This motion 
was seconded and carried. 

It was moved by Captain Burnham, and carried, that the president be 
authorized to call meetings of the directors, their expenses to be paid 
by the society. 

The president and directors conferred at length on the appointment 
of committees. 

Mr. Xorton, of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Committee, at this ses- 
sion elected a director of the society, said that he could not act on the 
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Committee and asked that Mr. E. M. Bowman 
be made the local chairman of the Historical Society for the Alton 
celebration. A motion to that effect was made by Mr. Xorton, and sec- 
onded by Captain Burnham, and on being put to a vote, was carried. 

The following committees were appointed: 

Pobijcation Committee. 

Evarts B. Greene, University of Illinois, Urbana, Chairman. 

Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon. 

J. McCan Davis, Springfield. Geo. W. Smith, Carbondale. 

Geo. A. Dnpuy, Chicago. Stephen L. Spear. Springfield. 

C. W. Alvord, Urbana. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Program Committee. 
Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield, Chairman. 

J. H. Burnham, Bloomington. 
J. A. James, Evanston. 
E. S. Willcox, Peoria. 
"U m. A. Meese, Moline. 
Dr. Otto Schmict, Chicago. 
Cnarles H. Ramraelkamp, Jackson- 

Mrs. Catherine Goss Wheeler, 

Paul Selby, Chicago. 
Charles P. Kane, Springfield. 
F. J. Heinl, Jacksonville. 
Logan Hay, Springfield. 
Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Finance and Auditing Committee. 
George N. Black, Springfield, Chairman.. 

E. J. James, Urbana. 

M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon. 

Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. 
Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Committee ox Legislation. 
M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon, Chairman. 

E. J. James. Urbana. 
E. A. Snively, Springfield. 
O. F. Berry, Carthage. 
Samuel Alschuler, Aurora. 
R. V. Carpenter, Belvidere. 

Henry McCormick, Normal. 
Andrew Russel, Jacksonville. 
Charles E. Hull, Salem. 
R. S. Tuthill, Chicago. 
Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Committee ox Local Historical Societies. 
J. H. Burnham, Bloomington, Chairman. 

J. Seymour Currey, Evanston. 
George W. Smith, Carbondale. 
Elliot Callender, Peoria. 
J. O. Cunningham, Urbana. 
Mrs. Charles A. Webster, Galesburg. 
Horace Hull, Ottawa. 

Mrs. Mary Turner Carriel, Jackson- 
L. J. Freese, Eureka. 
Gen. John I. Rinaker, Carlinville. 
J. W. Clinton, Polo. 
Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Committee ox Membership. 
Judge J "Otis Humphrey, Springfield, Chairman. 

W. H. Stennett, Oak Park. 
Charles L. Capen, Bloomington. 
Daniel Berry, M. D., Carmi. 
John M. Rapp, Fairfield. 
Mrs. E. M. Bacon, Decatur. 
A. W. French, Springfield. 

Mrs. C. C. Brown, Springfield. 
J. Nick Perrin, Belleville. 
Wm. Jayne, M. D., Springfield. 
Geo. E. Dawson, Chicago. 
A. W. Crawford, Girard. 
Alfred Orendorff. ex-offlcio. 

Committee ox the Commemoration of tile Semi-Centennial of the Lincoln- 
Douglas Debates of 1858. 

Hon. Clark E. Carr, Galesburg, Chairman. 

E. C. Swift, Ottawa. Smith D. Atkins, Freeport. 

M. C. Crawford, Jonesboro. Sumner S. Anderson. Charleston. 

Philip S. Post, Galesburg. Wm. H. Collins, Quincy. 

E. M. Bowman, Alton. A. E. Stevenson, Bloomington. 

H. W. Clendenin, Springfield. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Committee on the Marking of Historic Sites in Illinois. 

Mrs. M. T. Scott, Bloomington, Chairman. 

Harry Ainsworth, Moline. J. H. Collins, Springfield. 

Francis G. Blair, Springfield. Charles B. Campbell, Kankakee. 

Reed Green, Cairo. Miss Lottie E. Jones, Danville. 

John E. Miller, East St. Louis. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 
J. S. Little, Rushville. 

Committee on Genealogy and Genealogical Publications. 

Miss Georgia L. Osborne, Springfield, Chairman. 

Mrs. E. S. Walker, Springfield. Mrs. John C. Ames, Streator. 

Mrs. Thomas Worthington. Jack- Miss May Latham, Lincoln. 

sonville. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Committee to Determine the Correct Pronunciation of the Word 

Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield, Chairman. 

Jesse A. Baldwin, Chicago. E. J. James, Urbana-Champaign. 

Francis G. Blair, Springfield. Mrs. Margaret M. Bangs, Chicago. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

Special Committee to Confer With the Illinois State Library Associa- 
tion on Relations Between the Illinois St\te Historical 
Society and Libraries Throughout the State. 

Miss Maude Thayer, Springfield, Chairman. 

E. M. Prince, Bloomington. Mrs. Eliza I. H. Tomlin, Jackson 

T. J. Pitner, M. D., Jacksonville. ville. 

Dr. Grace Dewey, Jacksonville. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 
Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. 

Special Committee to Formulate a Plan for a Periodical Publication for 
the Historical Society. 

Alfred Orendorff, Springfield, Chairman. 

Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. Andrew Russel, Jacksonville. 

J. H. Burnham, Bloomington. 

There being no further business the meeting of the Board of Directors 

Report of the Secretary to tup; Board op Directors of the Illi- 
nois State Historical Society, January 1907 to 
January 1908. 

Springfield. III., January 30, 1908. 

Gentlemen — I beg leave to submit to you my report of the work 
of the society for the year beginning January 24, 1907. and ending 
January 30, 1908. The society has from its organization flourished 
and grown and the report of each year has been that this year has 
been one of greater prosperity than its immediate predecessor. The 
year 190? has been no exception to this rule. The society has grown 
and prospered in every branch of its numerous activities. It has 
increased in membership and in influence. It now has ITT members, 
18 of which are honorary members, three life members and 34 members 
who have joined the society in accordance with our agreement with 
the Illinois State Press Association. I wish to pay a tribute to these 
press association members. Few of our members are in positions to 
he more helpful to the society than are these editors of newspapers 
throughout the State, ami they most generously respond to our requests 
for assistance. We appeal to them for information in regard to matters 
relating to their respective neighborhoods, they insert notices of our 
meetings, and do all they can to extend the usefulness of the society. 
They also send their newspapers to the library and these files will in 
time, in fact they do now. furnish valuable history of the 1 localities in 
which they are published. 

The society has lost by the hand of death nine of its members. 
They are: Judge James B. Bradwell, one of our honorary members: 
Mrs. Eliza Kincaid Wilson, also an honorary member; Judge David 
McCulloch, one of the founders and a director of the society: Mr. 
Charles A. Dilg, Hon. L. H. Kerrick, Mr. John B. Orendorff, Dr. A. 
P. Coulter, Mr. Peyton Roberts and Hon. Win. Yocke, one of our 
vice presidents. Suitable notices of these members will appear in the 
transactions of the society. 

I wish again to ask the members of the society to inform the sec- 
retary of the deaths of any members of the society. Our membership 
is now so large and extends over the entire State, and it sometimes 
happens that deaths occur and that the secretary, not receiving notice 
of them, is unable to record them. 

The president and secretary of the society attended the meeting which 
celebrated the semi-centennial of the Chicago Historical Society on Feb- 


ruary 8, 1907. An interesting historical address was delivered by Mr. 
Franklin H. Head, the president of the Chicago Historical Society and 
interesting letters of greeting and congratulation to this pioneer society 
were read from many individuals and societies. A number of the mem- 
bers of the Illinois State Historical Society arc also members of the 
Chicago Historical Society and we had the pleasure of meeting them on 
this interesting occasion. The president and secretary of the Illinois 
State Historical Society also attended the annual meeting of the Ameri- 
can Historical Association at Madison, Wisconsin, on December 27th and 
28th, 1907. They attended a meeting of the conference of historical 
societies of which Prof. E. B. Greene was the secretary, and on the same 
day attended the meeting of the Association of Mississippi Valley His- 
torical Societies. 

At this latter meeting the subject of cooperation of historical so- 
cities in the collection and publication of historical materials was thor- 
oughly discussed and several plans were suggested for cooperation in 
the collection of source materials from the original records in the 
older states, and foreign countries. The Illinois State Historical So- 
ciety was' represented in this discussion by President Orendorff and 
Prof. ('. W. Alvord. The Illinois State Historical Society is no Longer 
one of the small societies, and there are several societies thai are not 
as old as we are. 1 want to urge the members of this society to take 
some of the work of these important matters in hand. Our com- 
mittees are active, bul as I said to you last year there is still room 
for improvement along tins line. I want each member of the society 
to aid in the collection of local material. If you have a local 
society, and I hope you have, collect first for your local society, 
and if you have no place to store your material urge your 
county authorities, or your city council to help you to secure such a 
place. If you have not a local society, send to the State society local 
imprints, hook- or sermons and addresses printed in your towns, or 
collections of letters, that throw light on the earlier history of the 
State or any part of it. The secretary has since the last annual meeting- 
prepared and placed in the Illinois State building at Jamestown at 
the Ter-Centennial celebration of the settlement of Jamestown an his- 
torical exhibit relating to Illinois and its people, as usual placing 
-tress upon the Lincoln exhibit. The Illinois State commissioners 
were well satisfied with the exhibit and have written me that there 
was no state exhibit at the exposition which approached it in interest, 
and that it was visited by more than ten thousand people during the 
progress id' the exposition. It may not be out of place to speak of the 
work done by the Fort Massac commission in marking the site of of I 
Fort Massac. The secretary of the Historical Society is also secretary 
to the Fort Massac commission. Fort Massac park is the property 
of the State of Illinois and is supported by the State as a free public 
park. The Illinois Daughters of the American Revolution appropriated 
one thousand dollars toward a monument to George Rogers Clark 
and his 154 brave companions in arms who captured Kaskaskia and 
the northwest for the state of Virginia and so for the United States. 


The park is situated on a beautiful bluff of the Ohio river on the 
outskirts of the city of Metropolis in Massac county, Illinois. It is 

a beautiful spot, and the monument lias been erected and is a 
most creditable shaft. The dedicatory exercises of the park and mon- 
ument will occur in the early summer and the commission and the 
Daughters of the American Revolution are most anxious that the His- . 
torical Society take part. I suggest that delegates be sent to the dedi- 
cation of this truly historic spot, which marks an era in the historical 
work of the State. Also at Quincy a monument will be erected to the 
memory and in honor of George Rogers Clark. r ! 'his monument is 
erected from an appropriation by the State Legislature of $5,000. There 
are many more historic spots, which the State should own and preserve. 
Fort Gage. Starved Rock, and other sacred and historic spots should 
receive attention from the society. In this connection i desire to 
suggest that occasional meetings of the society should be held in the 
various localities of the State. Would not a summer meeting at 
Starved Rock in connection with the LaSalle county historical society 
be pleasurable and profitable? I think that the meetings in the several 
towns where the Lincoln-Douglas debates occurred will take the place 
of these local meetings for this year, and while I know that the committee 
for the celebration of the semi-centennial of the debates will call your 
attention to these matters, 1 can not refrain from urging that the 
society give the local committees the fullest sympathy and assistance. 
I think that special committees from the society should be appointed 
for each of these local celebrations. I believe the time is at hand 
when tlie society should publish a regular bulletin or some form of 
serial publication. Through these publications the work of local his- 
torical societies could be greatly facilitated. They may be quarterly, 
or bi-monthly, and they might be bound as a part of the annual transac- 
tions. The papers read or collected by the local societies might form 
a part of these bulletins. 

I have often said that the work of the secretary of the society and the 
librarian of the library go hand in hand and it is hard to separate them 
in a report. The library has increased largely in the past year. Our 
genealogical department' is especially flourishing and our collection of 
genealogical works is a surprise to visitors. The chairman of the 
committee on genealogy will make a report, so it is unnecessary for me to 
speak of it further, except to urge any members of the society who may 
have histories or historical sketches, however brief, of their families to 
donate copies of them to the library. The library purchases general 
works, but of course it can not buy family histories, as their name is 
legion. The librarian will welcome information or suggestions along 
this or other branches of the work of collecting historical material. 
'We are preparing a bibliography of Illinois authors which the library 
board will publish in due time: We ask for information of Illinoisans 
who have written books, poems, songs, magazine or newspaper articles, 
or of books about Illinois people, places or events. The reference 
work of the library and society is constantly growing and I with my 


assistant do our best to meet it, and to respond to all inquiries and do 
the reference work which our correspondence requires. We receive 
dozens of letters each day, to answer which requires considerable labor 
and research. We have no stenographer regularly, but we sometimes 
employ one for short periods. We now have in the library more than 
twenty thousand books and pamphlets. The work of cataloguing and 
classifying them is well kept up and it is of course no light task. Since 
our last meeting the transactions for the year 190(5 have been pub- 
lished. Five thousand copies of this valuable book were issued and 
the demand for it increases every day. It js a matter of deep regret 
to me that the earlier numbers of our transactions are entirely out 
of print. No day passes but we have inquiries from new members 
and others who wish to make their sets of our publications complete. 
It will certainly be necessary to take some steps to have them re- 
printed. Our last year's book is still in the hands of the printers. 
As the affairs of the State grow, so the demands for State printing- 
grow, and it becomes more difficult to hasten the book, but I think 
you will be rewarded for your patience by its excellence when it finally 
reaches your hands. The publication committee deserves the highest 
commendation, and the fact that its chairman, Prof. E. B. Greene, 
gives so much of his valuable time to the editorial supervision of our 
transactions before the manuscript is placed in the hands of the printer 
should be especially appreciated by the society, as it ensures the value 
of the book according to modern historical methods: 

The library has issued Illinois Historical Collections, Vol. 2, of 
which you have all received copies. This is edited by Prof. (_'. W. 
Alvord, whose splendid introduction, which is a history of Illinois as 
a county of Virginia, is a distinct contribution to State history. 

I very much regret that I am obliged to present to you the resig- 
nation of Prof. E. E. Sparks as a director of the society, though he 
will retain his membership and interest in this society for which he 
has labored so untiringly. He goes to the State college of Pennsyl- 
vania, and while we congratulate the Keystone state we are sorry to 
lose him from Illinois. He leaves us as a valedictory work his splendid 
volume, a new edition of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, which the library 
board will shortly publish. 

These, I think, are the most important of the numerous labors in 
our field of State history. I wish to call your attention to the fact 
that next year, 1909, will be the one hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of Abraham Lincoln. The Governor recommended to the State 
Legislature the appointment of a commission to arrange for an ap- 
propriate celebration of this great historic occasion. The Legislature 
by joint resolution authorized the Governor to appoint a commission 
of fifteen citizens of the State to arrange for §l celebration in Spring- 
field on February 12. 1909. This will be one of the great dates of the 
twentieth century. I most earnestly urge that the society take an 
active part in connection with the commission to be appointed by the 
Governor, in making this one of the greatest celebrations that has ever 


been given in this country. We should invite historical societies from 
all the states, from large cities, from other countries, to send delegates 
to Springfield for this great event. It may be that when the subject of 
the change of date for holding our annual meeting is discussed you 
may decide that yon would like to hold it at the time or very near the 
time of this great international celebration. I would like to suggest 
that you each try to make a list of the persons of your acquaintance, or 
of whom you have any knowledge who actually knew Mr. Lincoln or 
Mr. Douglas. We would be very glad to have copies of the reminis- 
cences of these persons in the library. I suggest that you get such 
persons to write, or to dictate their reminiscences, and send copies to 
the secretary of the society. 

The library is now so crowded that a new book becomes a problem.. 
It may be that as the legal department of the State is moving over to 
the new and beautiful temple of justice, that we may obtain more 
room and thus relieve the congestion. 

Once more let me say that the society is growing, rapidly, vigor- 
ously and wholesomely. Teachers, preachers; lawyers, doctors, mer- 
chants, farmers, housewives. Illinoisans from every walk of life are 
taking an interest in your work and trying to help you along. 1 will 
not speak of the local societies for the chairman of the committee for 
that purpose will tell you far better than I can how hopeful and en- 
couraging is that work. 

We are certainly marching on. I congratulate you. but I beg for 
help to secure original manuscripts, letters, etc. 1 am very sensitive 
of our deficiency in this respect. That is our great weakness. We 
have not what Wisconsin and Iowa have as yet, but we will have at 
no distant day. Illinois does not long remain behind in any branch 
of its work. 

May I be pardoned if 1 say a word that may seem too personal. 

1 wish to say to the society that its thanks are due to my assistant. 
Miss Georgia L. Osborne. She lias worked early and late. She has 
never been too ill or too tired to work for the interest of the library 
and the society. She has been.- indeed, my faithful and sympathetic 
right hand. I hope you will pardon me for making this statement a 
part of the records of the society. 


Jessie Palmer Weber, 
Secretary Illinois Shite Historical Society. 


B. F. Shambaugh, expenses 

Bell Miller, supplies.. 

J. C. Newman, supplies 

Mrs. Ellen M. Henrotin, expenses.. 


R. L. Berry, piano 

Rex Underwood, services 

R. Albert Guest, services 

Grace Fish, services 

Jane P. Hubbell, supplies 

Maldaner & Son 

Leland Hotel 

C. R. Coon, postage 

Printing programs 

$34 75 

13 50 
5 25 

15 55 
70 00 

4 00 

5 00 
10 00 

5 00 

3 00 
28 60 

14 60 

4 50 
25 00 

15 00 

-2 H S 



Springfield, III., Jan. 30, 1908. 

Illinois State Historical Society: 

Your committee on local historical societies would respectfully re- 
port that we consider the general condition of the local societies in 
the State as quite satisfactory. Most of these are active; a few however, 
are quite the reverse. 

At the late meeting of the American Historical Association at Mad- 
ison, Wis., our State Historical Society was represented at the con- 
ference of state and local historical societies by our president and 
secretary, and these delegates learned that very few, if any, of the 
states can show a larger number of organized local societies. It is 
very difficult for a committee whose members are remote from the 
State Society's rooms to keep in proper touch with these local societies, 
and the efforts of the committee to foster and assist such organization? 
should, in our opinion, be supplemented by oversight from the State 
Society's headquarters. 

We believe the time has arrived when these local societies should 
be in much closer relation to the State Society. We therefore recom- 
mend that our State secretary call on all of the local societies for the 
addresses of their officers and all of the members, in order that infor- 
mation concerning the State Society with hints and suggestions to the 
local societies may be sent occasionally to such officers and members. 

We also suggest to our own society, in case it is decided to publish 
its proceedings and some other historical material through a quarterly, 
that in each issue there be a department of local history. 

' It may also be a good plan to give notice to such local societies as 
do not possess fireproof buildings, that in case copies of important 
local papers shall be sent to Springfield they will be carefully preserved 
for the benefit of these societies. 

Other suggestions will naturally occur from time to time to the 
officers of the State Society in case closer relations shall be found 
desirable. Respectfully submitted, 





Springfield, III., January 30, 1908. 
To the Officers and Members of the Illinois State Historical Society:' 
. Your Committee on Genealogy and Genealogical Publications, begs 
leave to submit the following report : 

So far as it lias been possible, the works on genealogy recommended 
by the committee in our last report have been, purchased. Owing to the 
illness of Miss Thayer, Librarian of the State Library, nothing has 
been done in the matter of transferring the works on genealogy from the 
State Library to the State Historical Library. The list recommended 
at our last meeting has been submitted to the State Librarian. 

We wish to acknowledge gifts of family histories to the society from 
the following persons: Dr. Leffingwell of Knoxville, 111., Mr. V. C. 
Sanborne of LaGrange, 111., and Mr. Norman G. Flagg of Moro, 111. 

I wish to call the attention of the members of the society to this 
department of the library and its usefulness and growing needs. The 
library has made a fine beginning and now contains a good working 
genealogical collection, which is in constant use. 

We would like the cooperation of the members of the society in 
securing works on genealogy, such as family histories, town histories, 
and of local communities in the State. If you know of any family 
history that has been compiled or is being compiled, and will notify 
us as to the authors, so that we can communicate with them, and by this 
means have a copy of the history deposited in the library, it will be a 
great help along this line, as it would be impossible to purchase family 
histories (save in cases of allied families) and by this means such his- 
tories would be accessible to the public. 

Georgia L. Osborne. 
Chairman of Committee on Genealogy and Genealogical Publications, 

Illinois State Historical Society. 

There has recently been added to the genealogical collection in the 
library the following important works on genealogy : 
Connecticut — Colonial and Revolutionary Records of Connecticut. Published 

by the Connecticut Historical Society. 

History of Wallingford, Conn., from its settlement in 1670 to the 
present time, including Meriden, which was one of its parishes until 
1806, and Chester, which was incorporated in 1780. Davis, Charles 
Stanley, M. D., Meriden, Conn.. 1870. 

Georgia — Colonial Records of Georgia, Vols. 1-17. 1732-1774. Revolutionary 
Records of Georgia, Vols. 1 and 2, 1769-1785; Candler, Allen D., compiler, 
Atlanta, Ga. The Franklin-Turner Co., publishers. 

History of Georgia, 2 vols.; Jones, Charles C, Jr. Houghton Mifflin 

& Co., publishers, Boston, 1883. 
History of Atlanta, Ga.; Reed, Wallace P., Syracuse, N. Y., 1889. 

D. Mason & Co., publishers. 
History of the Midway Church, Georgia; Stacy, James. Newnan, 

Ga., 1903. 
History of Georgia from its discovery by Europeans to the adoption 
of the present constitution in 1798; Stevens, (Rev.) William Bacon, 
M. D., N. Y., 1847. D. Appleton & Co., publishers. 
Kentucky — History of the Presbyterian church in Kentucky, with a prelim- 
inary sketch of the churches in the valley of Virginia; Davidson, (Rev.) 
Robert, D. D., N. Y., 1867. Robert Carter, publisher. 
Maine — Names of Soldiers of the American Revolution who applied for State 
bounty under resolves of March 17, 1835, March 24, 1836, and March 20, 
1838; House, Charles J., compiler. 
Maryland— The Maryland Calendar of Wills from 1635 to 1685, 1685 to 1702. 
Baldwin, Jane (Jane Baldwin Cotton), compiler, Baltimore, Md., 1904-1906. 
Massachusetts — Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth; Davis, William T., Boston, 
1883. S.- Williams & Co., publishers. 

Colonial Society of Massachusetts, publications of, 1895-1900. 
Dedham, Mass., Church Records, 1635-1845; Hill, Don Gleason, editor. 

Dedham, Mass., 1888. 

History of Cape Cod, 2 vols.; Freeman, Frederick, Boston, 1858-1862. 

History of the town of Dtixbury, Mass.; Winsor, Justin, Boston, 1849. 

History of the town of Medford, of Middlesex county, Mass., from its 

first settlement in 1630 to 1855; Usher, James M., compiler, Boston. 

1886. Rand, Avery & Co., publishers. 

New Hampshire — New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, Vols. 1-30, 

New Jersey — Documents relating to the Colonial and Revolutionary History 
of the State of New' Jersey. Archives of New Jersey. Published by the 
New Jersey Historical Society. 

New Jersey as a Colony and as a State, 4 vols.; Francis Bazley, Lee 
Publishing Society of New Jersey, 1903. 
New York— History of New York during the Revolution. DeLancey, Edward 
Floyd, editor; 2 vols. New York Historical Society, publishers, 1879. 

History of Schoharie county and Border Wars of New York; Simms, 
Jeptha R., Albany, N. Y., 1845. 
Pennsylvania — Snyder County Marriages, 1835-1899; Wagenseller, George W., 

A. M., compiler, Middleburg, Pa., 1899. Wagenseller Publishing Co. 
Rhode Island — Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, comprising three 
generations of settlers who came before 1690, with many families carried 
to the fourth generation; Austin, John Osborn, compiler, Albany, N. Y.. 
1887. Joel Munsell's Sons, publishers. 

Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, Vols. 1-15; Arnold, James 
N., compiler, Providence, R. I., 1891-1906. Narragansett Historical 
Publishing Co., publishers. 
South Carolina — Historical Collections of South Carolina, 2 vols. N. Y., 1836. 
Harper Bros., publishers. Carroll, B. R., compiler. 

History of South Carolina under the Proprietary Government, 1670- 
1719; under the Royal Government, 1719-1776. History of South 
Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780; McCrady, Edward, LL. D., 
4 vols. N. Y., 1901-1902, The Macmillan Co., publishers. 
History of South Carolina from its First Settlement in 1670, to the 
year 1808; Ramsay, David, M. D.; 2 vols. Charleston, 1809. Pub- 
lished by David Longworth. 

Vermont — History of Bradford, Vt.; McKeen, (Rev.) Silas, D. D. Mont- 

pelier, Vt., 1875. 
Virginia — Genealogical and Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Va.; Green, 
Raleigh Travers, compiler, Culpeper, Va., 1900. 

Parish Register of Saint Peters, New Kent County, Va., from 1680 
to 1787. Va. National Society of Colonial Dames, publishers, Rich- 
mond, 1904. 
Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Va., from 1653 
to 1812. Virginia National Society of Colonial Dames, publishers, 
Richmond, 1897. 
Some Prominent Virginia Families; Belief, Louise Pecquet du; Rich- 
mond, 1908. 
Virginia County Records, Spotsylvania County, 1721-1800; Crozier, 
William Armstrong, F. R. S., editor. N. Y., 1905, Fox, Duffield & 
Co., publishers. 
Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776; Crozier, William Armstrong, 
F. R. S., editor. N. Y., 1905. 

General Works. 
A List of Emigrant Ministers to America, 1690-1811; Fothergill, Gerald, 

London, 1904. 
Bibliographia Genealogica Americana— An alphabetical index to American 
genealogies and pedigrees, etc.; Durrie, Daniel S., Albany, N. Y., 1886. 
Joel Munsell's Sons, publishers. 
Colonial Families of the United States of America; Mackenzie, George Nor- 
bury, LL. B., editor. N. Y., 1907, The Grafton Press (there will be future 
Society of Colonial Wars, 2 vols., 1899, 1902, 1903, 1906. Published by the 

The American Genealogist, being a catalogue of family histories, etc. Joel 

Munsell's Sons, Albany, N. Y., 1900. 
United States Department of Commerce and Labor; Bureau of the Census. 
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States taken in the 
year 1790 in the following States: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massa- 
chusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode 
Island, Vermont and Virginia. 
The following periodicals: 
Virginia Magazine of Biography and History, Vol. I, 1893 to 1908. Richmond, 

William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. I, 1892 to 1908. Lyon G. Tyler, ed., Wil- 
liamsburg, Va. 
The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, 1898-1908; published in Colum- 
bus, O. 


General Advancement of the Colored People. 

By Martha Hicklin. 

The Illinois Colored Historical Society was organized on June 23, 
1905, by Dr. J. H. Magee, and this paper gives a summary of the work 
of this society and the general progress of the colored race throughout 
the country with particular reference, however, to the city of Spring- 
field, 111. It contained a list of prominent colored men and women with 
some account of the responsible positions they occupy. Colored men 
ind women are entering into the various walks of life' of the professional 
and business world and taking a prominent position therein. The paper 
also contained an account of the charitable and religious activities of 
the race. The writer spoke in the most hopeful maimer of the future 
of the colored people in America. 


Papers Read at the Annual Meeting 




By Horace White. 

When I was asked to address you on some particular event or feature 
of Mr. Lincoln's career, I chose the period of 1854, because I then first 
became acquainted with him and because he then received his first great 
awakening and showed his countrymen what manner of man he was. 
His debate with Douglas in 1858 became more celebrated because it 
focused the attention of a greater audience and led to larger imme- 
diate results, but the latter was merely a continuation of the former. 
The subject of debate was the same in both years, the combatants were 
the same, and the audiences were in part the same. The contest of 
1858 has been more talked about and written about than any other in- 
tellectual encounter in our national annals, and that is perhaps another 
reason why I should address you on the earlier one which was its real 

The Political Situation in 1854. 

The year 1854 began in a period of reaction in our politics. In 1848 
the Free Soil party had polled nearly 300,000 votes for Martin Van 
Buren for President. In 1852 its strength had dwindled to about half 
that number. Franklin Pierce was President, Jefferson Davis, Secretary 
of War, and Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice. Seward, Fish, Sumner, 
Chase, Fessenden, Toombs and Douglas were the only Senators who are 
now generally remembered. Two members of the House, Breckenridge 
and Hendricks became Vice Presidents later; of the remaining 231 
members only Banks, Benton, Grow, and Alexander H. Stephens can 
be readily identified by the present generation. Among the governors 
of states were Seymour of New York, Grimes of Iowa, and Andrew 
Johnson of Tennessee. All the others have dropped below the horizon, 
but it is doubtful if any of them is more obscure now than Abraham 
Lincoln was in 1854. He had been a member of Congress for one term, 
but had been shelved. He had made a speech in the House reviewing 
the acts of President Polk in bringing on the war with Mexico. It was 
a good speech. It contained the Lincolnian marks of logical force and 
felicitous choice of words, but it was not the best speech made on his 


own side of the House on that subject. The best speech was made by 
Alexander Stephens of Georgia. So Lincoln himself said in a letter to 
Herndon dated Washington, February 2, 1848., in these words: 

"Dear William: I just take my pen to say that Mr. Stephens of Georgia, 
a little, thin, pale-faced, consumptive man, with a voice like Logan's has just 
concluded the very best speech of an hour's length I ever heard. My old, 
withered, .dry eyes are full of tears yet." 

Such praise from such a source prompted me to search the pages of 
the Congressional Globe and read that speech of a Southern statesman 
against a war waged in the interest of slavery. I found it replete with 
legal and constitutional lore, with moral grandeur and righteous indig- 
nation, and tinged with such glimpses of battle and death, and needless 
suffering and sorrow, that I wondered not that Abraham Lincoln at the 
age of thirty-nine wept over the picture. -How little did these two men 
then think that they were destined to meet in conference seventeen years 
later, charged with far greater responsibilities in a bloodier conflict. 

Abraham Lincoln and Henry Clay. 

Mr. Lincoln was a follower of Henry Clay. On the 16th of July, 
1852, he delivered in Springfield a funeral oration on the great Ken- 
tuckian in which, among other titles to distinction, he named him as 
the chief actor in framing and passing the Missouri Compromise act of 
1820. The Missouri Compromise was an agreement between the north 
and the south, in Congress assembled, by which Missouri was admitted 
to the Union as a slave-holding state on condition that slavery should 
be forever prohibited in the territory west of Missouri and north of the 
line of 36° 30' north latitude. In his eulogy of Clay, Mr. Lincoln 
quoted a passage of noble eloquence from him in 1827, in which slavery 
was spoken of as a detestable crime in its origin, and as the product 
of fraud and violence against the most unfortunate portion of the globe. 
Then Mr. Lincoln added these words: 

"Pharaoh's country was cursed with plagues and his hosts were lost in 
tne Red Sea for striving to retain a captive people who had already served 
them more than four hundred years. May like disasters never befall us!" 

What a fearful looking for, of judgment to come, was there fore- 
shadowed ! 

In 1852 slavery was not the exciting subject of controversy that it be- 
came a few years later, and a Henry Clay Whig in Central Illinois was 
not likely to catch fire from the torch of Garrison in Boston, or even from 
that of Elijah Lovejoy in Alton. Nevertheless, Mr.. Lincoln's mind 
was brooding over the abyss, as we discover by some loose scraps of his 
handwriting which have escaped the tooth of time, and to which I shall 
allude presently. 

Bepeal of the Missouri Compromise, 

On the 4th of January, 1854, Senator Douglas of Illinois reported 
from the Committee on Territories, a bill to organize the Territory of 
Nebraska, embracing all the country west of the state of Missouri and 


north of 30° 30' north latitude. It provided that said territory, or any 
portion of it, when admitted as a state or states, should be received 
into the Union with or without slavery, as their constitution might pre- 
scribe at the time of their admission. The Missouri Compromise Act 
of 1820 was not repealed by this provision, and it must have been plain 
to everybody that if slavery were excluded from the Territory it would 
not be there when the people should conic together to form a State. 

Three days later a provision was inserted by Douglas that all questions 
pertaining to slavery in the territories, and in the new states to be 
formed therefrom, should be left to the decision of the people residing 
therein by their representatives to be chosen by them for that purpose. 
Even this did not repeal the Missouri Compromise. Although it allowed 
the people while in the territorial condition to talk and vote on slavery 
in the abstract, it did not open the door to any slaves, nor did it fix any 
time when the talking and voting on the abstract question should be 

Twelve days after the Nebraska bill was first reported Senator Dixon 
of Kentucky offered an amendment to repeal the Missouri Compromise 
outright, and after some resistance Douglas accepted it, and a few days 
later he brought in a new bill dividing the territory into two parts, 
Kansas and Nebraska. The object of this division was to give the Mis- 
sourians a chance to make the southernmost one a slave state, if they 
could. ' The Missourians so understood it. In their eyes the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill was a new Missouri Compromise founded upon the ruins 
of the old one. 

The bill passed both Houses of Congress and became a law May 30, 
1854. By its terms it was based npon the principle of "popular sov- 
ereignty," or "sacred right of self-government," or "right of the people 
to govern themselves." Yet it was open -to more than one interpretation, 
since it did not say at what period, or in what manner, the right to ad- 
mit or reject slavery might be exercised. Should this decision be made 
by the first one hundred, or one thousand, or ten thousand settlers in the 
territory? Should the right to determine the question rest with the 
Territorial Legislature or with a Constitutional Convention, and in the 
latter case should the Constitution be submitted to a popular vote for 
ratification or rejection? Only one thing was altogether certain, and 
that was that the barrier which had excluded slavery from the territory 
in question had been swept away. 

Its Effect Upon Lincoln. 

Herndon tells us that with the repeal of the Missouri Compromise his 
office discussions with Lincoln on politics became more animated, Lincoln 
insisting that the differences between freedom and slavery were becom- 
ing sharper — that the one must overcome the other, and that postponing 
the struggle would only make it the more deadly in the end. "The day 
of compromise," he said, "had passed. These two great ideas had been 
kept apart only by the most artful means. They were like two wild 


beasts in sight of each other, but held apart. Some day these deadly 
antagonists would break their bonds and then the question would be 

The repeal of the Missouri Compromise opened Lincoln's eyes to the 
fact that this country could not endure permanently half slave and half 
free. His first public expression of that belief was given in Springfield 
in his speech before the Eepublican State Convention, June 16, 1858, 
but he gave private expression to it in 1854. Mr. Frederick Trevor Hill, 
in his book on Lincoln as a Lawyer, says: 

"Lincoln was attending court on the circuit when the news [of the pass- 
age of the Nebraska bill] reached him, and Judge Dickey, one of his fellow 
practitioners, who was sharing his room in the local tavern at the time, 
reports that .uincoln sat on the edge of his bed and discussed the political 
situation far into the night. At last Dickey fell asleep, but when he awoke 
in the morning Lincoln was sitting up in bed, deeply absorbed in thought. 
'I tell you, Dickey,' he observed, as though continuing the argument of the 
previous evening, 'this nation cannot exist half slave and half free.' " 

Thomas Jefferson said something very like this, but in less sententious 
phrase, in 1820, when the Missouri Compromise was enacted. He then 

"A geographical line coinciding with a marked principle, moral and polit- 
ical, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be 
obliterated, and every irritation will mark it deeper and deeper." 

Lincoln had quoted these very words from Jefferson in his eulogy on 
Clay in 1852, yet they did not cause his heart to burn within him — they 
did not come to him as a revelation — they did not set the American 
Union before him as a house divided against itself until the Missouri 
Compromise was actually repealed. The repeal was like a blow on the 
head, which causes a man to see stars in the daytime. 

Its Effect on the Northern States. 

When the Nebraska bill passed there was an explosion in every North- 
ern state. The old parties were rent asunder and a new one began to 
collect around the nucleus which had supported Hale and Julian in 
1852. These elements, came together in mass conventions in 1854 in 
Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, and voted to form a new party under the 
name Eepublican. In Illinois, however, the movement was slower. The 
elements were too discordant to crystallize readily. Eather more than 
one-half the population of the State was of Southern birth or descent. 
These people, whether classed as Whigs or Democrats, were very sus- 
picious of anything which bore the taint of Abolitionism. Hence the 
men in the northern counties, of New England origin, who were eager 
to follow the example of their co-workers in the neighboring states, were 
obliged to consider the situation of their friends in the central and 
southern counties, and were thus restrained from taking immediate 
steps to form a new party. 

The opponents of the Nebraska bill in Illinois were ranged in three 
camps, as Whigs, Anti-Nebraska Democrats, and Free-Soilers or Eepub- 
licans. Of the first Mr. Lincoln soon became the recognized leader. The 
second was without a distinctive head, but Lyman Trumbull, by the 


promptness and energy he had shown in combating the Nebraska bill in 
the St. Clair district, seemed to be the coming man. The Free-Soilers 
were led by Owen Lovejoy and Ichabod Codding, two Congregational 
clergymen, whose lips had been touched by a live coal from off the altar 
of eternal justice. 

These men were pre-eminently qualified for the tusk of moulding the 
diverse elements of the State into an effective army. At the beginning 
Lovejoy and Codding were the only ones who were entirely foot-loose and 
had a clear view of the course before them. The others were constrained 
by the fogginess of their environment to feel their way and to move with 
caution. They were fitted for their work because they were in true 
sympathy with their following. They were successful because they were 
not precipitate. 

Stephen A. Douglas. 

Yet, highly gifted as they were, they had a hard task before them in 
attempting to unhorse Stephen A. Douglas in Illinois. With him they 
had grown into some local fame and prominence, but he had distanced 
them in the race for public preferment and had reached a position of 
world-wide celebrity, while they were still little known beyond their own 
bailiwicks. He had achieved this distinction without external aid or 
prestige; with no powerful friends to give him a start. Nobody ever be- 
gan the battle of life in humbler surroundings or with smaller pecuniary 
resources. Yet his advance was so rapid that it seemed as though he 
had only to ask anything from his fellow citizens in order to have it 
given to him more abundantly than he desired. He had filled the offices 
of State's Attorney, member of the Legislature, register of the land 
office at Springfield, Secretary of State, Judge of the Supreme Court, 
Representative in Congress. Senator of the United States, and had been 
a formidable candidate for the Presidency in the Democratic National 
Convention of 1852. 

In Congress, he had taken an active part in the annexation of Texas, 
in the Avar with Mexico, in the Oregon boundary dispute, and in the land 
grant for the Illinois Central Railway. In the Democratic party he had 
forged to the front by virtue of boldness in leadership, untiring industry, 
boundless ambition and self-confidence and horse power, engaging man- 
ners, great capacity as a party organizer, and unsurpassed powers as an 
orator and debater. He had a large head, surmounted by an abundant 
mane, which gave him the appearance of a lion prepared to roar or to 
crush his prey, and the resemblance was not seldom confirmed when he 
opened his mouth on the stump or in the Senate chamber. Although 
patriotic beyond a doubt, he was color blind to moral principles in poli- 
tics and stone blind to the evils of slavery. In stature he was only five 
feet four inches high, but he had earned the title of the "Little Giant" 
before he entered Congress, and he kept it with the concurrence of both 
friends and enemies till the day of his death. In 1854 he filled the 
public eye in larger measure than any other American. He was the only 
man then living who could have carried through Congress a bill to re- 
peal the Missouri Compromise. He was the only northern man who 


would have had the audacity to propose it. Douglas and Lincoln had 
been rivals on many occasions and for many things, including the hand 
of Mary Todd, but Douglas had so completely distanced his competitor 
in the race for political honors that he hardly regarded him as a factor 
in the campaign of 1854. He probably considered Lincoln out of poli- 
tics, as indeed he was until he came back on the crest of a great moral 

• Lincoln Collecting His Thoughts. 

I have said that Lincoln's mind was brooding over the abyss which the 
repeal of the Missouri Compromise had disclosed. Some scraps of his 
handwriting have been preserved, to which the date of July, 1854, has 
been assigned in his printed works. They are doubtless part of the con- 
tents of his hat, which Herndon tells us was the handy receptacle of the 
thoughts that he occasionally jotted down and to which he desired to 
have easy reference. Among these fugitive pieces was the following, 
dated July, 1854 : 

"The ant who has toiled and dragged a crumb to his nest will furiously 
defend the fruit of his labor against whatever robber assails him. So plain 
is it that the most dumb and stupid slave that ever toiled for a master does 
constantly know that he is wronged. So plain that no one, high or low, ever 
does mistake it, except in a plainly selfish way; for although volume upon 
volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of a 
man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself." 

Again, same date : 

"We know Southern men declare that their slaves are better off than hired 
laborers among us. How little they know whereof they speak! There is no 
permanent class of hired laborers among us. Twenty-five years ago I was a 
hired laborer. The hired laborer of yesterday labors on his own account to- 
day and will hire others to labor for him to-morrow." 

Again, same date: 

"If A can prove, however conclusively, that he may of right enslave B, 
why may not B snatch the same argument and prove equally that he may 
enslave A? You say A is white and B is black. It is color, then; the 
lighter having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule 
you are to be the slave of the first man you meet with a fairer skin than 
your own. You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are 
intellectually the superiors of the blacks and therefore have the right to 
enslave them? Take care again. By this rule you are to be the slave of 
the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own." 

It happened that the Illinois Legislature was in Bession when Douglas 
introduced bis Nebraska bill. In a letter to Joshua P. Speed, written 
subsequently, Lincoln said that of the one hundred members of the two 
Ileuses, seventy were Democrats and that they held a party caucus to 
consider the measure. It turned out that only three of the whole number 
favored the hill. But a day or two later orders came from Douglas 
directing that resolutions be passed approving it. There was an immed- 
iate "flop" on the part of these dissenting statesmen. The resolutions 
were passed by a large majority, and the party in Illinois thus became 
committed to the measure — a remarkable instance of the throttling power 
of party discipline. Three Democratic Senators, however (Judd, Cook 


and Palmer), refused to endorse the measure. Judd and Cook repre- 
sented northern counties, where public sentiment was overwhelmingly 
hostile to the Nebraska bill. Palmer was in a more difficult position. 
His constitutents were mainly of Southern birth or descent — he was a 
Kentuckian himself and he represented Macoupin in the Legislature. 
To the Kepublican imagination fifty years ago Macoupin was as dark as 
Erebus. A letter from Lincoln to Palmer dated September 7, 1854. 
suggesting that since the latter had determined not to swallow the nau- 
seous Nebraska pill, he should make a few public speeches stating his 
reasons for dissenting, is in the published correspondence of the former. 

The Debates of 1851. 

Senator Douglas made his first appearance in Illinois after the passage 
of his bill on the evening of September 1, 1854, at Chicago. Here he 
attempted to defend his course in repealing the Missouri Compromise. 
He had a chilling reception, and his friends asserted that he had been 
refused a hearing and that the meeting had been broken up by an Aboli- 
tionist mob. I was on the platform as a reporter, and my recollection 
of what happened is still vivid. There was nothing like violence at any 
time, but there was disorder growing out of the fact that the people had 
come prepared to dispute Douglas's sophisms and that Douglas himself 
was far from conciliatory when he found himself facing an unfriendly 
audience. The meeting was certainly a failure, and Douglas decided to 
make no more speeches in that part of the State during the campaign. 

His next appearance was in Springfield during the week of the State 
Pair, where the most notable people of the State were assembled. He 
had announced that he would speak in the large hall of the State House 
on the 3d of October. As soon as the announceihent was made Mr. 
Lincoln decided to reply to him on the following day from the same 

Douglas's justification of his Nebraska bill was that it established the 
principle of popular sovereignty in the territories as it already existed 
in the states. Why, he asked, should not the people of the territories have 
the right to form and regulate their own domestic institutions in their 
own way ? Did they lose any of their rights or capabilities of self-govern- 
ment by migrating from their old homes to new ones? By ringing the 
changes of popular sovereignty and "sacred right of self-government," 
he was able to raise a good deal of dust and to obscure the real issue. 
The fallacy lay in the assumption that property in slaves did not differ 
from other kinds of property, and that taking negroes to the new terri- 
tories and holding them there as slaves, was to be regarded in the same 
way as taking cattle, sheep and swine. 

Lincoln's Speech at Springfield, October 4. 

Mr. Lincoln began his speech with an historical sketch of the events 
leading to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and then took up the 
fallacy of Douglas's "sacred right of self-government," to which he gave 
a merciless exposure, turning it over and over, inside and out, stripping 


off its mask, and presenting it in such light that nobody could fail to see 
the deception embodied in it. Such an exposition necessarily involved a 
discussion of slavery in all its aspects, and here for the first time do we 
find any broad and resounding statement of Mr. Lincoln's own attitude 
toward the institution. Here perhaps was the first distinct occasion for 
his making such a statement. He had voted in Congress some forty 
times for the Wilmot Proviso, so that his opposition to the extension of 
slavery into the territories was not doubtful. As a stump speaker he had 
languidly supported the compromise measures of 1850. But until now 
there had been no occasion which imperatively called upon him to de- 
clare his position on the slavery question as a national political issue. 

Such a call had now come, and he did not hesitate to tell the whole 
truth as he understood it. The telling of it makes this speech one of the 
imperishable political discourses of our history, if not of all time. It is 
superior to Webster's reply to Hayne, because its theme is loftier and its 
scope wider. The keynote of .Webster's speech was patriotism — the 
doctrine of self-government crystallized in the Federal Union; that of 
Lincoln's was patriotism plus humanity, the humanity of the negro whose 
place in the family of man was denied, either openly or tacitly, by the 
supporters of the Nebraska bill. I think also that Lincoln's speech is 
the superior of the two as an example of English style. It lacks some- 
thing of the smooth, compulsive flow which takes the intellect captive 
in the Websterian diction, but it excels in the simplicity, directness and 
lucidity which appeal both to the intellect and to the heart. 

I heard the whole of that speech. It was a warmish day in early 
October, and Mr. Lincoln was in his shirt sleeves when he stepped on the 
platform. I observed that, although awkward, he was not in the least 
embarrassed. He began in a slow and hesitating manner, but without 
any mistakes of language, dates, or facts. It was evident that he had 
mastered his subject, that he knew what he was going to say, and that he 
knew he was right. He had a thin, high-pitched falsetto voice of much 
carrying power, that could be heard a long distance in spite of the bustle 
and tumult of a crowd. He had the accent and pronunciation peculiar 
to his native state, Kentucky. Gradually he warmed up with his subject, 
his angularity disappeared, and he passed into that attitude of uncon- 
scious majesty that is so conspicuous in Saint-Gauden's statue at the 
entrance of Lincoln Park in Chicago. I have often wondered how this 
artist, who never saw the subject of his work, could have divined his 
presence and his dignity as a public speaker so perfectly. 

His Impassioned Utterances. 

Progressing with his theme, his words began to come faster and his 
face to light up with the rays of genius and his body to move in unison 
with his thoughts. His gestures were made with his body and head 
rather than with his arms. They were the natural expression of the mam 
and so perfectly adapted to what he was saying that anything different 
from it would have been .quite' inconceivable. Sometimes his manner 
was very impassioned, and he seemed transfigured with his subject. 

Perspiration would stream from his face, and each particular hair would 
stand on end. Then the inspiration that possessed him took possession 
of his hearers also. His speaking went to the heart because it came from 
the heart. I have heard celebrated orators who could start thunders of 
applause without changing any mans opinion. Mr. Lincoln's eloquence 
was of the higher type, which produced conviction in others because of 
the conviction of the speaker himself. His listeners felt that he believed 
every word he said, and that, like Martin Luther, he would go to the 
stake rather than abate one jot or tittle of it. In such transfigured 
moments as these he was the type of the ancient Hebrew prophet as I 
learned that character at Sunday-school in my childhood. 

That there were, now and then, electrical discharges of high tension in 
Lincoln's eloquence is a fact little remembered, so few persons remain 
who ever came within its range. The most remarkable outburst took 
place at the Bloomington Convention of May 29, 1856, at which the anti- 
Nebraska forces of Illinois were first collected and welded together as one 
party. Mr. John L. Scripps, editor of the Chicago Democratic Press, who 
was present — a man of gravity little likely to be carried off his feet by 
spoken words — said: 

"Never was an audience more completely electrified by human eloquence. 
Again and again during its delivery they sprang to their feet and upon the 
benches and testified by long-continued shouts and the waving of hats how 
deeply the speaker had wrought upon their minds and hearts. It fused the 
mass of hitherto incongruous elements into perfect homogeneity; and from 
that day to the present they have worked together in harmonious and fra- 
ternal union." 

The speech of 1854 made so profound an impression on me that I feel 
under its spell to this day. It is known in history as Mr. Lincoln's 
Peoria speech. Although first delivered in Springfield on October 1, it 
was repeated twelve days later at Peoria. Mr. Lincoln did not use a 
scrap of paper on either occasion, but he wrote it out afterwards at the 
request of friends and published it in successive numbers of the weekly 
Sangamon Journal at Springfield. In like manner were the orations of 
Cicero preserved. In this way has been preserved for us the most mas- 
terly forensic utterance of the whole slavery controversy, as I think. 

The Humanity of the Negko. 

Where the whole is of uniform excellence it is not easy to make ex- 
tracts, but I shall make one or two, the first one touching the theme of 
the humanity of the negro, which the Douglas doctrine of "popular 
sovereignty'' ignored : 

"The great majority, South as well as North (he said), have human sympa- 
thies, of which they can no more divest themselves than they can of their 
sensibility to physical pain. These sympathies, in the bosoms of the South- 
ern people, manifest, in many ways, their sense of the wrong of slavery and 
their consciousness that, after all, there is humanity in the negro. If they 
deny this let me address them a few plain questions. In 1820 you joined 
the North in declaring the African slave trade piracy and annexing to it the 
punishment of death. Why did you do this? If you did not feel that it was 

—3 H S 

wrong why did you join in providing that men should he hung for it? The 
practice was no more than bringing wild negroes from Africa to such as 
would buy them. But you never thought of hanging men for catching and 
selling wild horses, wild buffaloes, or wild cattle. 

"Again, you have among you a sneaking individual of the class of native 
tyrants known as the slave-dealer. He watches your necessities and crawls 
up to buy your slave at a speculating price. If you cannot help it you will 
sell to him, but if you can help it you drive him from your door. You de- 
spise him utterly. You do not recognize him as a friend or even as an 
honest man. Your children must not play v/ith his; they may rollick freely 
with the little negroes, but not with the slave-dealer's children. If you are 
obliged to deal with him, you try to get through with the job without so 
much as touching him. It is common with you to join hands with the men 
you meet, but with the slave-dealer you avoid the ceremony — instinctively 
shrinking from the snaky contact. If he grows rich and retires from busi- 
ness you still remember him and still keep up the ban of non-intercourse up- 
on him and his family. You do not so treat the man who deals in corn, 
cotton, or tobacco. 

"And yet again. There are in the United States and Territories, includ- 
ing the District of Columbia, 433,643 free blacks. At five hundred dollars 
per head they are worth over two hundred millions of dollars. How comes 
this vast amount of property to be running about without owners? We 
do not see free horses or free cattle running at large. How is this? All 
these free blacks are the descendants of slaves or have been slaves them- 
selves; and they would be slaves now but for something which has operated 
on their white owners inducing them at vast pecuniary sacrifice to liberate 
them. Is there any mistaking it? In all these cases it is your sense of 
justice and human sympathy continually telling you that the poor negro has 
some natural right to himself and that those who make mere merchandise 
of him deserve kicking, contempt, and death. 

"And now why will you ask us to deny the humanity of the slave and 
estimate him only as the equal of the hog? "Why ask us to do for nothing 
what two hundred millions of dollars could not induce you to do?" 

Another striking feature of this speech was the spirit of sympathy and 
justice shown toward the Southern whites. He said : 

"They are just what we should be in their situation. If slavery did not 
now exist among them they would not introduce it. If it did now exist 
among us we should not instantly give it up * * * When the Southern 
people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than 
we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists 
and that it is very difficult to get rid of in any satisfactory way, I can 
understand and appreciate the same. I surely will not blame them for not 
duiiig whatr I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power 
weir- gJvan me I should not know what to do with the existing institution. 
My first impulse would be to free all the slaves and send them to Liberia, 
to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me 
that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this, 
in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed 
there iu a day they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are 
not surplus shipping and surplus money enough to carry them there in many 
times ten days. * * * . But all this, to my judgment, furnishes no more 
excuse for permitting slavery to go into our own free territory than it 
would for reviving the African slave trade by law." 

Senator Douglas sat on a front bench within ten or twelve feet of 
Lincoln during the whole of the latter's speech. 

First Steps to Organize the Eepublican Party. 

William H. Herudon was an Abolitionist like Owen Lovejoy. Lovejoy 
himself was present at this State Fair gathering, and he, too, heard the 
Lincoln-Douglas debate. As soon as Lincoln had concluded his speech 
Lovejoy or Codding moved forward from the crowd and announced that 
a meeting of the friends of freedom would be held that evening. The 
object in view was to take steps to organize the Eepublican party in Illi- 
nois as it had already been organized in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. 
Herndon perceived at once that the atmosphere of central Illinois was 
not yet tempered to such a movement. He knew that Lovejoy and the 
fiery souls allied with him could not be restrained, and that they in- 
tended to invite Lincoln personally to come to their, meeting and say 
something cheering to them. He feared also that if Lincoln did not come 
they would be offended and perhaps turn against him in the coming 
contest for the Senatorship. 

So he sought Lincoln at once, and urged him to get into his buggy 
and drive to Tazewell county under pretence of having professional bus- 
iness there, and to stay away from Springfield till this crowd of radicals 
should disperse to the several homes. Lincoln did so. He kept out 
of Springfield until the radicals had finished their work. But they put 
his name on a list of members of a Eepublican State Committee with- 
out consulting him, and a little later Mr. Codding sent him a notice to 
attend a meeting of this committee. Lincoln replied to Codding in a 
letter dated November 27, 1854, asking why his name had been used 
without his consent. He said he supposed that his opposition to slavery 
was as strong as that of any member of the Eepublican party, but that 
the extent to which he was prepared to carry that opposition practically 
was probably not satisfactory to the gentlemen composing the meeting. 
As the leading men who were seeking to organize that party were 
present on the 4th of October at the discussion between Douglas and 
himself, he wished to know whether they had misunderstood him or 
whether he had misunderstood them. What answer Codding made, if 
an}', we are not informed. But we know that Lovejoy was elected a 
member of the Legislature in November and that he voted for Lincoln 
for Senator. 

Lincoln Keeps Out of it in 1854. *-TcU«7HtJ 

Although Lincoln kept out of this pitfall in the manner indicated, 
Douglas met with a mishap in consequence of it. In the Ottawa joint 
debate four years later he began his attack on Lincoln with a reference 
to the meeting which Lovejoy and Codding had brought together im- 
mediately after the Springfield debate of October, 1854. Finding Lin- 
coln's name in the list of members of the Eepublican State Committee 
there appointed, he assumed that Lincoln had been present and had taken 
part in the proceedings. So he wrote to Charles H. Lanphier, editor of 
the Register, the Democratic organ at Springfield, asking for a copy of 
the resolution passed at the meeting. Lanphier renlied by sending him 
two copies of the Register of October 16, 1854, which purported to give a 


brief report of the meeting, including a copy of the resolutions in full. 
But, for some reason, a different set of resolutions had been substituted 
for the real ones in the Register s report. The bogus resolutions de- 
manded, among other things, an entire repeal of the fugitive slave law. 
The real resolutions contained no such demand. There were also other 
material differences. Lincoln came to the conclusion eventually that 
Lanphier himself had made the substitution in order to help Thomas L. 
Harris in his local Congressional campaign against Kichard Yates, and 
that when Douglas, four years later, called for a copy of the resolutions, 
he had forgotten the circumstances of the change. At all events, the 
resolutions were substantially a forgery. They had been passed at some 
irresponsible gathering in Kane county and had been substituted for 
the real resolutions of the Springfield meeting. Douglas was not a party 
to the forgery, but, as it turned out, was the principal victim of it. 

Douglas' Mistake. 

At the Ottawa joint debate (1858) he read the bogus report, and pro- 
ceded with an air of triumph to apply it as a blister upon Lincoln in the 
presence of the assembled thousands. It was easy for Lincoln to reply 
that he was not at the Codding-Lovejoy Convention at all and that he 
had no responsibility for any action taken there. He supposed that the 
resolutions read by Douglas had been actually passed at the Springfield 
meeting. He did not learn the truth until some days later. At the 
Freeport joint debate, however, he came armed with the real facts, and 
Douglas was then thrown on the defensive and made a rather sorry figure. 
He succeeded, however, in clearing his own skirts of any part in the 
forgery, and he promised that on his next visit to Springfield he would 
make a more thorough investigation of the matter. Several weeks passed 
without any further reference to the bogus resolutions on either side. 
Lincoln kept his eye on Douglas' movements, however, and observed that 
the latter made a visit to Springfield early in September. As no report 
of the promised investigation had been made when they met at the Gales- 
burg joint debate (October ?), Lincoln made a scathing resume of the 
whole affair, to the serious discomfiture of his antagonist.* 

*The genuine and the bogus resolutions are subjoined: 


Resolved, That as freedom is national and slavery sectional and local, the 
absence of all law on the subject of slavery presumes the existence of a state 
of freedom, alone, while slavery exists only by virtue of positive law. 

That slavery can exist in a Territory only by usurpation and in violation 
of law, and we believe that Congress has the right and should prohibit its 
extension into such territory, so long as it remains under the guardianship 
of the general government. 


Resolved. That the times imperatively demand the reorganization of par- 
ties, and repudiating all previous party attachments, names and predilections, 
we unite ourselves together in defence of the liberty and Constitution of 


Twelve days after the Springfield debate of 1854 the two champions 
met again at Peoria. Douglas was evidently troubled by the unexpected 
vigor of his opponent, for after the Peoria debate he approached Lincoln 
and flattered him by saying that he was giving him more trouble on the 
territorial and slavery question than the whole United States Senate, and 
therefore proposed that both should abandon the field and return to their 
homes. Lincoln consented. Douglas, however, broke the agreement by 
making a speech at Princeton on the evening of the 18th of October. He 
afterwards said that he didn't want to speak at Princeton, but that Love- 
joy provoked him and forced him to do so in self-defense. Lincoln was 
not satisfied with that explanation, but he considered himself released 
from the agreement, and accordingly spoke at Urbana on the evening of 
the 24th. 

The Urbana Speech. 

Henry C. Whitney heard the Urbana speech. He gives an account of 
it in his book, "Life on the Circuit with Lincoln." Whitney was a resi- 
dent of Urbana. He says that he called at the old Pennsylvania House 
on the east side of the public square on the evening of the 24th, and that 
he there found Mr. Lincoln and David Davis in a plainly furnished bed- 
room with a comfortable wood fire. It was his first meeting with either 
of them. He was received cordially by both. Lincoln was in his story- 
telling humor, and after some time spent in that way they went over to 
the court house opposite, where eleven tallow candles, burning on the 
lower sashes of the windows, gave a sign of something unusual going on 
in the town. The house was full of people, and Lincoln then and there 
made his third speech on the mighty issue of slavery. Whitney was 
impressed, as I had been twenty days earlier, that he had been listening 
to "a mental and moral giant." The three men went back to the hotel 
together, and Lincoln resumed his story-telling at the point where he 
had left off, "as if the making of such a speech as this was his pastime." 

Although speech-making had now come to an end, the campaign con- 
tinued. Lincoln and his friend, Stephen T. Logan, were nominated for 
members of the lower house of the Legislature from Sangamon county. 
Lincoln had protested against the use of his name, but had finally yielded 
to the importunities of his friends, who urged that the party ought to 
bring forward its very strongest men. That this was a sound view was 
shown by what followed. Lincoln and Logan were elected by about 600 
majority. Then Lincoln resigned his seat in order to improve his chances 

* the country, and will hereafter cooperate as the Republican party pledged 
to the accomplishment of the following purposes: To bring the administra- 
tion of the government back to the control of first principles; to restore 
Nebraska and Kansas to the position of free Territories; that as the Consti- 
tution of the United States vests in the States and not in Congress the power 
to legislate for the extradition of fugitives from labor, to repeal and entirely 
abrogate the fugitive slave law; to restrict slavery to those States in which 
it exists; to prohibit tbe admission of any more slave States into the Union; 
to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia; to exclude slavery from all 
the Territories over which the government has exclusive jurisdiction; and to 
resist the acquirement of any more Territories, unless the practice of slavery 
therein forever shall have been prohibited. 


in the coming Senatorial contest. Looking at the large majority cast at 
the regular election for the Whig candidates, he did not doubt that at the 
special election a Whig would be chosen. But the very opposite thing 
happened. The day for voting turned out to be cold and rainy. The 
Democrats pretended to take no interest in the special election, but 
secretly contrived to bring out their full strength, and thus elected their 
candidate by eighty-two votes. This made a difference of two in the 
Legislature, where there were no votes to spare. 

Struggle for the Sexatorship in 1854-5. 

Notwithstanding this mishap, Lincoln made an active canvas for the 
Senatorship. The term of James Shields was expiring, and Douglas was 
moving heaven and earth to secure his re-election. Shields had supported 
the Xebraska bill in a lukewarm way as a Democratic party measure, but 
he professed to take no special interest in it. He was an Irish soldier of 
fortune, and a very winning one personally. He was twice elected Sen- 
ator of the United States after he lost his seat from Illinois — once from 
Minnesota and again from Missouri. It seemed as though he only 
needed to show himself in any state where a Senatorial vacancy existed 
in order to be promptly chosen to fill it. 

As soon as the legislative returns were in, Lincoln made an estimate 
of the chances. He concluded that there was an anti-Xebraska majority 
of one in the State Senate and of thirteen in the House. He wrote let- 
ters to the members whom he personally knew, soliciting their votes, and 
he sought to reach others by the influence of friends, especially Elihu B. 
Washburne and Joseph Gillespie. Ideal justice certainly demanded that 
he be elected if the anti-Xebraska forces had a majority. Such a ma- 
jority existed, but it was heterogeneous. All the varieties and discord- 
ances of opinion that existed in the State cropped up in the Legislature, 
including some whose existence had not been suspected. Some men who 
had been elected on the anti-Xebraska ticket actually voted for Shields 
on grounds of personal friendship. Even that was not the strangest or 
the most baffing element in the mixture, for Lincoln discovered ten days 
before the voting began that Joel A. Matteson, Governor of the State, 
had an ambition to fill Shield's place in the Senate and that he had been 
able to recruit a small third party composed of members from the vicinity 
of the Illinois and Michigan canal who were devoted to his personal 
interests. Any such votes, if obtained, would be detached from Lincoln, 
and their movement would be made comparatively easy by the fact that 
Matteson had never committed himself either for or against the Xebraska 
bill. So his supporters could say or pretend that Matteson was as much 
opposed to it as Lincoln himself. The supporters of Shields, if they 
should find it impossible to re-elect him. would naturally turn to Matte- 
son. Although Lincoln and his friends had ample warning of this Mat- 
teson diversion, they were utterly unable to head it off. 

A Heterogeneous Legislative. 

The Legislature consisted of one hundred members — twenty-five Sen- 
ators and" seventy-five Representatives. Thirteen of the Senators had 
been elected in 1852 for a four years' term and were now holding over. 
"Among these were John M. Palmer of Carlinvill'e, X. B. .Judd of Chi- 
cago, and Burton C. Cook of Ottawa, all of whom had been elected as 
Democrats, but had refused to follow Douglas in support of the Nebraska 
bill. These three men, with two representatives from Madison county, 
named Baker and Allen, voted for Lyman Trumbull on every ballot. 
Trumbull had just been elected a member of Congress in the St. Clair 
district on the anti-Nebraska ticket. The first mention of his name in 
Lincoln's printed correspondence is found in a letter to Joseph Gillespie 
dated December 1, 1S:>J. in which he (Lincoln) asked the question 
"whether Trumbull intends to make a push." Then he adds : "We have 
the Legislature clearly enough on joint ballot, but the Senate is very 
close, and Cullom told me today that the Nebraska men will stave off 
the election if they can. Even if we get into joint vote we shall have 
difficulty to unite our forces." 

The State Senate consisted of nine Whigs, thirteen regular Democrats, 
and the three anti-Nebraska Democrats above named. One of the holding- 
over Senators (Uri Osgood) represented a district which had given an 
anti-Nebraska majority in this election. One of the Whig members (J. 
L. D. Morrison of the St. Clair-Monroe district was elected on the same 
ticket with Trumbull, but he was a man of Southern leanings, and his 
vote on the Senatorial question was considered doubtful. 

The Whig Senators, in order to conciliate the anti-Nebraska Demo- 
crats, voted to give the entire patronage of the Senate to them, includ- 
ing good slices to Osgood and Morrison. In this way they secured an 
agreement to go into joint convention, but they got no other quid pro 
quo; for in the Senatorial election both Osgood and Morrison voted for 
Shields. In the House there were forty-six anti-Nebraska men of all de- 
scriptions and twenty-eight Democrats. One member, Randolph Heath 
of the Lawrence-Crawford district, did not vote in the election for Sen- 
ator at any time. 

In the chaotic condition of parties it was not to be expected that all 
the opponents of Douglas would coalesce at once. The chief obstacle to 
such union was the dividing line between Whigs and Democrats. The 
Whig party was expecting to reap large gains from the split in the Dem- 
ocratic party on the Nebraska question. This was a vain hope, because 
the Whigs were split also, but while it existed it fanned the flame of old 
enmities. Moreover, the anti-Nebraska Democrats in the campaign had 
claimed that they were the true Democracy and that they were purify- 
ing the party in order to preserve it intact and give it new strength and 
vitality. They could not instantly abandon that claim by voting for a 
Whig for the highest office to be filled. 



Trumbull Elected Senatok. 

The two houses met in the hall of Eepresentatives on February 8, 
1855, to choose a Senator. Every inch of space on the floor and lobby 
was occupied by members and their political friends, and the gallery was 
adorned by well-dressed women, including Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Matte- 
son, the Governor's wife, and her fair daughters. The Senatorial elec- 
tion had been the topic of chief concern throughout the State for many 
months and now the interest was centered in a single room not more than 
one hundred feet square. The excitement was all-prevading, for every- 
body knew that the event was fraught with consequences of great pith 
and moment, far transcending the fate of any individual. 

Mr. Lincoln had been designated as the choice of a caucus of forty- 
five members, including all the Whigs except Morrison and most of the 

When the joint convention had been called to order General James 
Shields was nominated by Senator Benjamin Graham, Abraham Lincoln 
by Eepresentative Stephen T. Logan, and Lyman Trumbull by Senator 
John M. Palmer. The first vote resulted as follows : 

Necessary to a choice, 50 — 

Lincoln 45 

Shields 41 

Trumbull = 5 

Scattering 8 

Total .' 99 

Several members of the House, who had been elected as anti-Ne- 
braska Democrats, voted for Lincoln and a few for Shields. The vote 
for Trumbull consisted of Senators Palmer, Judd and Cook, and Eepre- 
sentatives Baker and Allen. 

On the second vote Lincoln had 43 and Trumbull 6, and there were no 
other changes. A third roll call resulted like the second. Thereupon 
Judge Logan moved an adjournment, but this was voted down by 42 to 
56. On the fourth call Lincoln's vote fell to 38 and Trumbull's rose to 
11. On the sixth, Lincoln lost two more and Trumbull dropped eight. 
It now became apparent from the commotion on the Democratic side 
of the chamber that the Matteson flank-movement was in progress, for 
the seventh ballot resulted as follows : 
Necessary to a choice, 50 — 

Matteson 44 

Lincoln -^ 38 

Trumbull ." 9 

Scattering 7 

Total 98 

On the eighth call Matteson gained two votes, Lincoln fell to 27, and 
Trumbull received 18. On the ninth and tenth Matteson had 47, Lin- 
coln dropped to 15, and Trumbull rose to 35. 

The excitement now became intense, for it was believed that the next 
vote would be decisive. Matteson wanted only thrc: c f a majority, and 
the only way to prevent his election was to turn Lincoln's fifteen to. 


Trumbull, or Trumbull's thirty-five to Lincoln. Obviously the former 
proposition was the only safe one, for none of Lincoln's men would go 
to Matteson in any kind of shuffle, whereas three of Trumbull's Demo- 
cratic friends might easily be lost if an attempt were made to transfer 
them to the leader of the Whigs. Lincoln was quick to see the impend- 
ing danger and to apply the remedy. He was the only one who could 
apply it, since the fifteen supporters who still clung to him would never 
have left him except at his own request. He now besought his friends 
to vote for Trumbull. Some natural tears were shed by Judge Logan 
when he yielded to the appeals of his dear friend and former partner. 
Logan said that the demands of principle were superior to those of per- 
sonal attachment, and he transferred his vote to Trumbull. All of the 
remaining fourteen followed his example, and there was a gain of one 
vote that had been previously cast for Archibald Williams. So the tenth 
and final roll call gave Trumbull fift} r -one votes and Matteson forty- 
seven. One member (Waters) still voted for Williams and one (Heath) 
did not vote at all. Thus the one hundred members of the joint con- 
vention were accounted for, and Trumbull became Senator by a majority 
of one. 

This result astounded the Democrats. They were more disappointed 
by it than they would have been by the election of Lincoln. They re- 
garded Trumbull as an arch traitor. That he and his fellow traitors, 
Palmer, Judd and Cook, should have carried off the great prize was an 
unexpected and most bitter pill, but they did not know how bitter it was 
until Trumbull took his seat in the Senate and opened fire on the 
Nebraska iniquity. 

Lincoln Satisfied with the Result. 

Lincoln took his defeat in good part. Later in the evening there was 
a reception given at the house of Mr. Ninian W. Edwards, whose wife was 
a sister of Mrs. Lincoln, and who had been much interested in Lincoln's 
success. He was greatly surprised to hear, just before the guests began 
to arrive, that Trumbull had been elected. He and his family were 
easily reconciled to the result, however, since Mrs. Trumbull had been 
from her girlhood, as Miss Julia Jayne, a favorite in Springfield society. 
When she and Judge Trumbull arrived they were naturally the centre of 
attraction. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln came in a little later. The hostess and 
her husband greeted them most cordially, saying that they had wished 
for his success, and that while he must be disappointed yet he should 
bear in mind that his principles had won. Mr. Lincoln smiled, moved 
toward the newly elected Senator, and saying, "Not too disappointed to 
congratulate my friend Trumbull," shook him warmly by the hand. Mr. 
Lincoln's own testimony as to the facts and his own feelings regarding 
them are set forth at length, and quite minutely, in a letter to Elihu B. 
Washburne, dated February 9, 1855, the next day after the election. 
He says in conclusion : "I regret my defeat moderately, but am not 
nervous about it. I could have headed off everv combination and been 


elected had it not been for Matteson's double game — and his defeat now 
gives me more pleasure than my own gives me pain. On the whole it is 
perhaps as well for our general cause that Trumbull is elected." 

And so it seems to me now. Lincoln's defeat was my first great dis- 
appointment in politics, and I was slow in forgiving Judd, Palmer and 
Cook for their share in bringing it about. But before the campaign of 
1858 came on I was able to see that they had acted wisely and well. 
They had not only satisfied their own constituents, and led many of them 
into the new Republican organization, but they had given a powerful re- 
inforcement to the party of freedom in the nation at large, in the person 
of Lyman Trumbull, whose high, abilities and noble career in the Senate 
paved the way for thousands of recruits from the ranks of the Demo- 
cratic party. 

Personal Association with Lincoln. 

As I have already remarked, my personal acquaintance with Lincoln 
began in 1854. I had just passed my twentieth birthday. I was intro- 
duced to him shortly before he rose to make the speech which has been 
here feebly described. I had studied his countenance a few moments be- 
forehand, when his features were in repose. It was a marked face, but 
so overspread with sadness that I thought that Shakespeare's melancholy 
' Jacques had been translated from the forest of Arden to the capital of 
Illinois. Yet when I was presented to him and we began a few words of 
conversation this expression of sorrow dropped from him instantly. His 
face lighted up with a winning smile, and where I had a moment before 
seen only leaden sorrow I now beheld keen intelligence, genuine kind- 
ness of heart, and the promise of true friendship. 

After this introduction it was my fortune during the next four years 
to meet him several times each year, as his profession brought him fre- 
quently to Chicago, where I was employed in journalism. I became 
Secretary of the Republican State Committee and was thus thrown into 
closer intercourse with him, and thus I learned that he was an exceed- 
ingly shrewd politician. X. B. Judd, Dr. C. H. Pay and Ebenezer Peck 
were the leading party managers, but Lincoln was a frequent visitor at 
the campaign headquarters, and on important occasions he was specially 
sent for. The committee paid the utmost deference to his opinions. In 
fact, lie was nearer to the people than they were. Traveling the circuit, 
lie was constantly brought in contact with the most capable and discern- 
ing men in the rural community. He had a more accurate knowledge of 
public opinion in central Illinois than any other man who visited the 
committee rooms, and he knew better than anybody else what kind of 
arguments would be influential with the voters and what kind of 
men could best present them. 

T learned also by tin's association that he was extremely eager for 
political preferment. This seemed to me then, as it does now. perfectly 
proper. Nor <li<l 1 ever hear any criticism visited upon him on account 
of his persona] ambition. On the contrary, his merits placed him so far 
in advance that nothing was deemed too good for him. Nobody was 
jealous of him. Everybody in the party desired for him all the prefer- 


ment that he could possibly desire for himself. In the great campaign 
of 1858 I travelled with him almost constantly for four months, the 
particulars of which journeying I have related in the second edition of 
Herndon's "Life of Lincoln." After his election as President I was sent 
by my employers to Washington City as correspondent of the Chicago 
Press and Tribune, and thus I had occasional meetings with him until 
very near the day of his death. In short, I was privileged to be within 
the range of his personal influence during the last eleven years of his 
life, when he was making history and when history was making him. 

Lincoln as a Humorist and a Moralist. 

Mr. Lincoln was a many-sided man and one who presented striking- 
contrasts. He was the most humorous being I ever met, and also one 
of the most serious. His humor was of the impromptu and contagious 
kind that takes possession of all parts of the person as well as all the 
parts of speech. As a master of drollery, he surpassed all of his con- 
temporaries in Illinois, and yet his solemnity as a public speaker and a 
political and moral instructor was like that of an Old Testament prophet. 
He was the only public speaker I have ever known thus doubly gifted, 
whose powers of mirth did not submerge or even impair his powers of 
gravity. "He combined within himself," says Mr. Henry C. Whitney, 
"the strangely diverse roles of head of the State in the agony of civil 
war, and also that of the court jester; and was supremely eminent in 
both characters." This sounds like a paradox, but it is quite true. The 
Lincoln who fought Douglas on the stump in 1854 and 1858 took all 
of his jocose as well as his serious traits to Washington in 1861. 

How are we to account for these wonderful turns "from grave to gay, 
from lively to severe ?" Well, he was not the only person thus doubly 
endowed. The same genius that gave us Macbeth, and Lear, and Ham- 
let, gave us Falstaff, and Touchstone, and Dogberry. Shakespeare was 
the superior of Sophocles in tragedy and of Plautus in comedy. Lincoln 
did not have the gift of poetry, but within the range of prose his power 
of expression was akin to that of Shakespeare. I chanced to open the 
other day his Cooper Institute speech. This is one of the few printed 
speeches that I did not hear him deliver in person. As I read the con- 
cluding pages of that speech, the conflict of opinion that preceded the 
conflict of arms then sweeping upon the country like an approaching 
solar eclipse, seemed prefigured like a chapter of the Book of Fate. Here 
again he was the Old Testament prophet, before whom Horace Greeley 
bowed his head, saying that he had never listened to a greater speech, 
although he had heard several of Webster's best. 

As an Anti-Slavery Orator. 

The subject of human slavery, which formed the principal theme of 
Mr. Lincoln's speech, has touched many lips with eloquence and lighted 
many hearts with fire. I listened to most of the great anti-slavery 


orators of the last half century, including Wendell Phillips, Owen Love- 
joy, and Henry Ward Beecher, but I must say that Abraham Lincoln, 
who was not classed as an anti-slavery orator, or even an anti-slavery 
man, before he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, made a stronger 
anti-slavery impression upon me than any of them. 

The reason why he was not reckoned by the anti-slavery men as one 
of themselves was that he made the preservation of the Union, not the 
destruction of slavery, his chief concern. But he held then, as he did 
later, that the Union must be preserved consistently with the Constitution 
and with the rule of the majority. Preserving it by infringing these, 
was, in his view, an agreement to destroy it. 

Mr. Lincoln quickly gained the confidence of strangers, and, if they 
were much with him, their affection as well. I found myself strongly 
drawn to him from the first, and this feeling remains to me now as a 
priceless possession. James Eussell Lowell said that he counted it a 
great gain to have lived at the same time with Abraham Lincoln. How 
much greater the gain to have felt the subtle influence of his presence. 
This personal quality whose influence I saw growing and widening 
among the people of Illinois from day to day, eventually penetrated 
to all the northern states, and after his death, to all the southern states. 
It was this magical personality that commanded all loyal hearts. It was 
this leadership that upheld confidence in the dark hours of the war and 
sent back to the White House the sublime refrain : 

"We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more." 

Could any other man then living have grappled the affections and con- 
fidence of the plain people and held them steadfast and unwavering as 
did this homely giant of the prairies ? He was himself one of the plain 
people. What was in his mind and heart was in theirs. He spoke 
straight into their bosoms. He translated the weightiest political and 
social problems this country has ever dealt with into language that all 
could understand. Nobody was so humble, nobody so high, that he could 
not draw new lessons and fresh inspiration from Abraham Lincoln dur- 
ing that great crisis. 

Looking back upon the whole anti-slavery conflict, is it not a cause for 
wonder that the man who finally led the nation through the Eed Sea and 
gave his own life at the very entrance of the promised land, was born 
in a slave state, of the most humble parents, in crushing poverty, and 
in the depths of ignorance, and had reached the age of fifty before he 
was much known outside of his own state? Was there ever such un- 
promising material from which to fashion the destrover of American 
slavery ? 

Lincoln's Growing Fame. 

Abraham Lincoln has been in his grave more than forty-two years. 
When he was stricken down by an assassin's hand it was said by many 
of his contemporaries, and perhaps believed by most of them, that he 
had passed away at the culminating point of his fame. 

The world's history contains nothing more dramatic than the scene in 
Ford's Theatre. The civil war. Hie emancipation of a race, the salvation 


of our beloved Union, combined to throw the strongest light upon "the 
deep damnation of his taking off." In spite of these blazing accessories, 
we should have expected, before the end of forty-two years, that a con- 
siderable amount of dust would have settled upon his tomb. This is a 
busy world. Each generation has its own problems to grapple with, its 
own joys and sorrows, its own cares and griefs, to absorb its thoughts 
and compel its tears. Time moves on, and while the history of the past 
increases in volume, each particular thing in it dwindles in size, and so 
also do most men. But some men bulk larger as the years recede. 

The most striking fact of our time, of a psychological kind, is the 
growth of Lincoln's fame since the earth closed over his remains. The 
word Lincolniana has been added to our dictionary. This means that a 
kind of literature under that name, extensive enough to be separately 
classified, catalogued, advertised, marketed, and collected into distinct 
libraries, has grown up. There is a Lincolnian cult among us as well as 
a Shakesperian cult, and it is gaining votaries from year to year. The 
first list of Lincoln literature was published by William V. Spencer, in 
Boston, in 1865. It included 231 titles of books and pamphlets pub- 
lished after Lincoln's death, all of which were in the compiler's posses- 
sion. This was followed in 1866 by John Bussell Bartlett's "Literature 
of the Rebellion," including in a separate list 300 titles of Eulogies, 
Sermons, Orations, and Poems, all published after Lincoln's death. In 
1870 Andrew Boyd, a directory publisher of Albany, N. Y., published 
his "Memorial Lincoln Bibliography," an octavo volume of 175 pages, 
in which he gave the title and description of the books, pamphlets, and 
relics then in his own collection. The introduction to this bibliography 
was written by Charles Henry Hart, still living at Philadelphia. This 
collection was sold to Major William H. Lambert of Philadelphia, 
whose collection of Lincolniana is now one of the most important in 
the country, and especially in autograph letters. Major Lambert was a 
soldier in the civil war and is the author of a most interesting address on 
the life and character of Lincoln, delivered before his fellow soldiers of 
the G-. A. B. His collection embraces about 1,200 bound volumes, in- 
cluding separately bound pamphlets, about 100 autograph letters and 
documents of Lincoln, fifty broadsides, and many miscellaneous pieces. 


A Lincoln bibliography was compiled by Mr. Daniel Fish of Minne- 
apolis and published in the year 1900. It was revised, enlarged, and 
republished in 1906, containing 1,080 separate titles. It does not in- 
clude periodical literature, or political writings of the period in which 
Lincoln lived unless they owe their origin to him as an individual. Judge 
Fish has in his own collection of Lincolniana 295 bound volumes, 559 
pamphlets, and 100 portraits. 

Mr. Judd Stewart of Plainfield,' N. J., has a very notable collection of 
Lincolniana, embracing 380 bound volumes, about 1,200 bound pamph- 
let?, several unpublished letters, between 700 and 800 engravings, litho- 
graphs and paintings, and many songs and pieces of sheet music. All 


of these items have been passed upon by .Indue Fish as purely Lincoln- 
iana. Mr. Stewart has more than 100 titles which are not included in 
Fish's bibliography. 

A very remarkable collection is that of John E. Burton of Milwaukee. 
Wis., consisting of 2,360 bound volumes and pamphlets, the collection of 
which, Mr. Burton says, "has been the restful and happy labor of twenty- 
eight years." Among other things he has the original proclamation of 
emancipation signed by Lincoln and Seward and attested by John G. 
Nieolay and John Hay. 

Mr. Charles W. McLellan of Chanrplain, X. Y., has 1,921 bound vol- 
umes. 1,348 pamphlets, eight manuscripts, 138 autographs of Lincoln, 
1,100 engravings, and 579 songs and miscellaneous pieces, in all more 
than 5,000 items. 

Mr. D. H. Newhall of 59 Maiden Lane. New York, has a list of 487 
collectors of Lincolniana, for the most part unknown to each other, who 
are now living; that is, persons who have such collections and who are 
constantly adding to them. 1 have corresponded with some of them. 
Mr. E. M. Bowman of Alton. 111., has 241 titles of bound and unbound 
books and pamphlets; Mr. John S. Little of Bushville, 111., has 257, and 
so on. 

The existence of a demand for Lincolniana creates a supply. There 
are dealers in it, some of whom buy and sell that literature exclusively, 
while others make it a large part of their trade. In the former class is 
Mr. D. H. Newhall, already mentioned. In the latter is Mr. A. S. Clark, 
of Peekskill, X. Y. I have a recent catalogue issued by the latter con- 
taining 496 titles, with the price of each annexed. Mr. Xewhall informs 
me that he has 2,874 titles in his card list of books and pamphlets, i. e., 
that he knows of the existence of that number, not counting periodical 
literature or broadsides. His list is still incomplete, and he believes that 
it will reach 3,000 when finished. Mr. D. 8. Passavant of Zelienople, 
near Pittsburgh. Pa., deals in Lincolniana in foreign languages. Lives 
of Lincoln have been published in the French, German, Dutch, Swedish, 
[talian, Russian, Japanese, Spanish. Portugese, Greek. Welsh, and Ha- 
waiian tongues. There is a dealer in Lincolnian relics at No. 46 West 
Twenty-eighth sheet. New York City. Mr. Oldroyd's great collection 
of such relies, nmv placed in the house where Lincoln died in Washington 
cit\. i- ton well known to need special description. 

Equally significant is the daily citation of Lincoln's name and au- 
thority by public writers ami speakers and in conversation between in- 
dividuals, as an authority in politics and in the conduct of life. Every- 
body seems to think that a quotation from him is a knock-down argu- 
ment. II is sayings are common property. They are quoted as freely by 
Democrats as by Republicans. All help themselves from that storehouse, 
as they make ((notations from Shakespeare, or Burns, or Longfellow. 
He is more quoted today than he was in his lifetime, and more than 
any other American ever Avas. 



So we see that Mr. Lincoln's death did not take place at the culmina- 
tion of his fame, but that it has been rising and widening ever since and 
shows no signs of abatement. Of no other American of our times can 
this be said. Can it be said of any other man of the same period in any 
part of the world? I cannot find in any country a special department 
of literature collecting around the name of any statesman of the nine- 
teenth century like that which celebrates the name of our martyr presi- 
dent. This mass of literature is produced and collected and cherished 
because the hearts of men and women go out to Lincoln. It is not 
mere admiration for his mental and moral qualities, but a silent re- 
sponse to the magnetic influence of his humanity, his unselfish and 
world-embracing charity. And thus though dead he yet speaketh to men. 
women and children who never saw him. and so. I think, he will con- 
tinue to speak to generations yet unborn, world without end. Amen. 


By Adlai E. Stevenson. 

Mr. President, — History has been defined: "The sum of the bio- 
graphies of a few strong men." Much that is of profound and abiding 
interest in American history during the two decades immediately pre- 
ceding our civil war, is bound up in the biography of the strong man of 
whom I speak. Chief among the actors, his place was near the middle 
of the stage, during that eventful and epoch marking period. 

Stephen A. Douglas was born in Brandon, Vt., April 23, 1813, and 
died in Chicago, 111., June 3, 1861. Between the dates given lie the years 
that make up a crowded, eventful life. Left penniless by the death of 
his father, he was at a tender age dependent upon his own exertions for 
maintenance and education. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed him- 
self to a cabinet maker in the town of Middlebury in his native state. 
Naturally of delicate organization, he was unable long to endure the 
physical strain of this calling, and at the close of two years' service he 
returned to his early home. Entering an academy in Brandon, he there 
for a time pursued with reasonable diligence the studies preparatory 
to a higher course. Supplementing the education thus acquired by a 
brief course of study in an academy at Canandaigua, 1ST. Y., at the age 
of twenty, he turned his footsteps westward. 

One of the biographers says : "It is doubtful if among all the thou- 
sands who in those early days were faring westward from New England, 
Virginia and the Carolinas, there ever was a youth more resolutely and 
boldly addressed to opportunity than he. Penniless, broken in health, 
almost diminutive in physical stature, and unknown, he made his way 
successively to Cincinnati. Louisville and St. Louis, in search of employ- 
ment, literally of bread." By a sudden turn in fortune's wheel his lot 
was cast in Central Illinois, where his first vocation was that of teacher 
of a village school. Yet later — after laborious application — admitted to 
the bar. he courageously entered upon his marvelous career. 

His home was Jacksonville, and to the hardy pioneers of Morgan and 
• neighboring counties, it was soon revealed that notwithstanding his 
slight stature and boyish appearance, the youthful Douglas was at once 
to he taken fully into the account. Self reliant to the very verge, he un- 
hesitatingly entered the arena of active professional and political strife 
with "foemen worthy the steel" of veterans at the bar, and upon the 



The issues were sharply drawn between the two political parties then 
struggling for ascendency, and Central Illinois was the home of as bril- 
liant an array of gifted leaders as the Whig party at any time in its 
palmiest days had known. Hardin, Stuart, Browning, Logan, Baker, 
Lincoln, were just then upon the threshold of careers that have given 
their names honored and enduring place upon the pages of our history. 
Into the safe keeping of the leaders just named, were entrusted in large 
degree the advocacy of the principles of the now historic party, and the 
political fortunes of its great chieftain, Henry Clay. 

As is well known, the principal antagonist of the renowned Whig 
chieftain was Andrew Jackson. Earlier in their political careers, both 
had been earnest supporters of the administration of President Monroe, 
but at its close, the leaders last named with Adams and Crawford, were 
aspirants to the great office. No candidates receiving a majority of the 
electoral votes, and the selection by constitutional requirement devolving 
upon the House of Representatives, Mr. Adams was eventually chosen. 
His election over his principal competitor, General Jackson, was largely 
through the influence of Mr. Clay; and the subsequent acceptance by 
the latter of the office of the Secretary of State, gave rise to the un- 
founded but vehement cry of "bargain and corruption" which followed 
the Kentucky statesman through two presidential struggles of later 
periods, and died wholly away only when the clods had fallen upon his 

Triumphant in his candidacy over Adams in 1828, President Jackson, 
four years later encountered as his formidable competitor his colossal 
antagonist — the one man for whom he had no forgiveness, even when 
the shadows were gathering about his own couch. 

"The early and better days of the republic" is by no means an unusual 
expression in the political literature of our day. Possibly all the gener- 
ations of men have realized the significance of the words of the great 
Bard : 

"Past, and to come, seem best; 
Things present — worst. 
We are time's subjects." 

And yet — barring the closing months of the administration of the 
elder Adams — this country has known no period of more intense party 
passion, or of more deadly feuds among political leaders, than was mani- 
fested during the presidential contest of 1832. The Whig party — with 
Henry Clay as its candidate, and its idol — was for the first time in the 
field. Catching something of the spirit of its imperious leader, its 
campaign was relentlessly aggressive. The scabbard was thrown away, 
and all lines of retreat cut off from the beginning. No act of the party 
in power escaped the lime light, no delinquency, real or imaginary, of 
Jackson — its candidate for re-election — but was ruthlessly drawn into the 
open day. Even the domestic hearthstone was invaded and antagonisms 
engendered that knew no surcease until the last of the chief participants 
in the eventful struggle had descended to the tomb. 

—1 II S 

The defeat of Clay but intensified his hostility toward his successful 
rival, and with a following that in personal devotion to its leader has 
scarcely known a parallel, he was at once the peerless front of a power- 
ful opposition to the Jackson administration. 

Such were the existing political conditions throughout the country 
when Stephen A. Douglas at the age of 22 first entered the arena of 
debate. It would not be strange if such environment left its deep im- 
press, and measurably gave direction to his political career. The period of 
probation and training so essential to ordinary men was unneeded by 
him. Fully equipped, and with a self confidence that has rarely had a 
counterpart — he was from the beginning the earnest defender of the 
salient measures of the democratic administration, and the aggressive 
champion of President Jackson. Absolutely fearless, he took no reckon- 
ing of the opposite forces, and regardless of the prowess or ripe exper- 
ience of adversaries he at all times, in and out of season, gladly wel- 
comed the encounter. To this end, he did not await opportunities, but 
eagerly sought them. 

His first contest for public office was with John J. Hardin, by no 
means the least gifted of the brilliant Whig leaders already mentioned. 
Defeated by Douglas in his candidacy for re-election to the office of At- 
torney General, Colonel Hardin at a later day achieved distinction as a 
^Representative in Congress, and at the early age of 37, fell while gal- 
lantly leading his regiment upon the bloody field of Buena Vista. In 
the catalogue of men worthy of remembrance, there is found the name 
of no braver, manlier man, than that of John J. Hardin. 

With well earned laurels as public prosecutor, Mr. Douglas resigned 
after two years incumbency of that office, to accept that of representative 
in the State Legislature. The Tenth General Assembly — to which he 
was chosen, was the most notable in Illinois history. Upon the roll of 
members of the House, in the old capitol at Vandalia, were names insep- 
arably associated with the history of the State and the Nation. From its 
list were yet to be chosen two governors of the Commonwealth, one mem- " 
ber of the Cabinet, three justices of the Supreme Court of the State, eight 
Eepresentatives in Congress, six senators, and one President of the 
TJnited States. That would indeed be a notable assemblage of law 
makers in any country or time, that included in its membership; Mc- 
Clernard, Edwards, Ewing, Semple, Logan, Hardin, Browning, Shields, 
Baker, Stuart, Douglas and Lincoln. 

In this Assembly Mr. Douglas encountered in impassioned debate. 
possibly for the first -time, two men against whom in succession he was 
soon to be opposed upon the hustings as a candidate for Congress; and 
later as an aspirant to yet more exalted stations, another, with whose 
name — now "given to the ages" — his own is linked inseparably for all 

The most brilliant and exciting contest for the National House of 
Eepresentatives the State has known, excepting possibly that of Cook 
and McLean a decade and a half earlier, was that of 1838 between 
John T. Stuart and Stephen A. Douglas. They were the recognized 
champions of their respective parties. The district embraced two-thirds 


of the area of the State, extending from the counties immediately south 
of Sangamon and Morgan, -northward to Lake Michigan and the Wis- 
consin line. Together on horseback, often across unbridged streams, and 
through pathless forest and prairie, they journeyed, holding joint debates 
in all of the county seats of the district-— including the then villages of 
Jacksonville, Springfield, Peoria, Pekin, Bloomington, Quincy, Joliet, 
Galena, and Chicago. It was said of Hon. Richard M. Young, a noted 
lawyer of the early days, that he possessed one eminent qualification 
for the office of Circuit Judge — that of being a good horseback rider. 
It can hardly be doubted that our candidates for Congress three score 
and ten years ago, possessed this qualification in a rare degree. That the 
candidates were well matched in ability and eloquence readily appears 
from the fact that after an active canvas of several months, Major Stuart 
"was elected by a majority of but eight votes. By re-elections he served" 
six years in' the House of Representatives, and was one of its ablest and 
most valuable members. In Congress, he was the political friend and 
associate of Crittenden, Winthrop, Clay and Webster. Major Stuart 
lives in my memory as a splendid type of the Whig statesman of the 
Golden Age. Courteous and kindly, he was at all times, a Kentucky 
gentleman of "the old school" if ever one trod this blessed earth. 

Returning to the bar after his defeat for Congress, Mr. Douglas was 
in quick succession, Secretary of State by appointment of the Governor 
and Judge of the Circuit and Supreme Courts by election of the Legis- 
lature. The courts he held as nisi rius Judge were in the Quincy 
circuit, and the last named city for the time his home. His associates 
upon the supreme bench were Justices Treat, Caton, Ford, Wilson, 
Scates and Lockwood. His opinions, twenty-one in number will be, found 
in Scammon's reports. There was little in any of the causes submitted 
to fully test his capacity as lawyer or logician. Enough, however, ap- 
pears from his clear and concise statements and arguments to justify 
the belief that had his life been unreservedly given to the profession 
of the law — his talents concentrated upon the mastery of its eternal 
principles, he would in the end have been amply rewarded <f by that mis- 
tress who is at the same time so jealous and so just." This, however, 
was not to be, and to a field more alluring his footsteps were soon turned. 

Abandoning the bench to men less ambitious, he was soon embarked 
upon the uncertain and delusive sea of politics. 

His unsuccessful opponent for Congress in 1842 was Hon. Orville H. 
Browning with whom in the State Legislature, he had measured swords 
over a partisan resolution sustaining the financial policy of President 
Jackson. "The whirligig of time brings in his revenges," and it so fell 
out that near two decades later it was the fortune of Mr. Browning to 
occupy a seat in the Senate as the successor to Douglas — "touched by the 
finger of death." At a later day, Mr. Browning as a member of the 
cabinet of President Johnson acquitted himself with honor in the dis- 
charge of the exacting duties of Secretary of the Interior. So long as 
men of high aims, patriotic hearts, and noble achievements are held in 
grateful remembrance, his name will have honored place in our country's 


The career upon which Mr. Douglas now entered was the one for which 
he was pre-eminently fitted, and to which he had aspired from the he- 
ginning. It was a career in which national fame was to he achieved, 
and — by re-elections to the House, and later to the Senate — to continue 
without interruption to the last hour of his life. He took his seat in the 
House of Eepresentatives, December 5, 1843, and among his colleagues, 
were Semple and Breese of the Senate, and Hardin, McClernand, Fick- 
lin and Wentworth of the House. Mr. Stephens of Georgia, with whom 
it was my good fortune to serve in the Forty-fourth and Forty-sixth 
Congresses, told me that he entered the House the same day with Doug- 
las, and that he distinctly recalled the delicate and youthful appearance 
of the latter as he advanced to the Speakers desk to receive the oath 
of office. 

Conspicuous among the leaders of the House in the Twenty-eighth" 
Congress were Hamilton Fish, Washington Hunt, Henry A. Wise, 
Howell Cobb, Joshua E. Giddings, Linn Boyd, John Sidell, Barnwell 
Ehett, Eobert C. Winthrop the Speaker, Hannibal Hamlin elected Vice 
President upon the ticket with Mr. Lincoln in 1860, Andrew Johnson, 
the successor of the lamented president in 1865, and John Quincy Adams 
whose brilliant career as Ambassador, Senator, Secretary of State and 
President, was rounded out by near two decades of faithful service as 
a Eepresentative in Congress. 

The period that witnessed the entrance of Mr. Douglas into the great 
commons was an eventful one in our political history. John Tyler, 
upon the death of President Harrison had succeeded to the great office, 
and was in irreconcilable hostility to the leaders of his party upon the 
vital issues upon which the whig victory of 1840 had been achieved. 
Henry Clay, then at the zenith of his marvelous powers, merciless in 
his arraignment of the Tyler administration, was unwittingly breeding 
the party dissensions that eventually compassed his own defeat in his 
lasl struggle for the presidency. Daniel Webster, regardless of the 
criticism of party associate, and after the retirement of his Whig col- 
leagues from the Tyler cabinet, still remained at the head of the State 
department. His vindication, if needed, abundantly appears in the 
treaty by which our northeastern boundary was definitely adjusted, and 
war with England happily averted. 

In the rush of events, party antagonisms, in the main, soon fade from 
remembrance. One. however, that did not pass with the occasion, but 
lingered even to the shades of the Hermitage, was unrelenting hostility 
to President Jackson. For his declaration of martial law in Xew Or- 
leans just prior to the battle, with which his own name is associated 
for all time — General Jackson had been subjected to a heavy fine by a 
judge of that city. Eepeated attempts in congress looking to his vindi- 
cation and re-imbursement. had been unavailing. Securing the floor for 
the first time. Mr. Douglas, upon the anniversary of the great victory, 
delivered an Impassioned speech in vindication of Jackson which at 
once challenged the attention of the country, and gave him high place 
among the greal debaters of that memorable congress. In reply to the 

demand of an opponent for a precedent for the proposed legislation, 
Douglas quickly responded : "Possibly , sir, no case can be found on any 
page of American history where the commanding officer has been fined 
for an act absolutely necessary to the salvation of his country. As to 
the precedents, let us make one now that will challenge the admiration 
of the world and stand the test of all the ages.** After a graphic descrip- 
tion of conditions existing in New Orleans at the time of Jackson'.-* 
declaration of martial law: "the city filed with traitors, anxious to sur- 
render; spies transmitting information to the camp of the enemy, Brit- 
ish regulars — four fold the number of the American defenders, advanc- 
ing to the attack, in this terrible emergency, necessity became the para- 
mount law, the responsibility was taken, martial law declared, and a 
victory achieved imparalleled in the annals of war; a victory that avenged 
the infamy of the wanton burning of our nation's capitol, fully, and 
for all time." 

The speech was unanswered, the bill passed, and probably Douglas 
knew no prouder moment than when a few months later upon "a visit 
to the Hermitage, he received the earnest thanks of the venerable com- 
mander for his masterly vindication. 

Two of the salient and far reaching questions confronting the states- 
men of that eventful congress pertained to the settlement of the Oregon 
boundary question, and to the annexation of the republic of Texas. The 
first named question — left unsettled by the treaty of Ghent had been 
for two generations the apple of discord between the American and 
British governments. That it, at a critical moment came near involving 
the two nations in war is a Avell known fact in history. The platform 
upon which Mr. Polk had in 1844 been elected to the presidency as- 
serted unequivocally the right of the United States to the whole of the 
Oregon territory. The boundary line of "fifty-four-forty" was in many 
of the states the decisive party watch word in that masterful contest. 

Mr. Douglas, in full accord with his party upon this question, ably 
canvassed Illinois in earnest advocacy of Mr. Polk's election. When at 
a later day, it was determined by the president and his official advisers 
to abandon the party platform demand of "fifty-four degrees and forty 
minutes" as the only settlement of the disputed boundary, and accept 
that of the parallel of forty-nine degrees, reluctantly proposed by Great 
Britain as a peacable final settlement — Mr. Douglas earnestly antagoniz- 
ing any concession, was at once in opposition to the administration he 
had assisted to bring into power. Whether the part of wisdom was a 
strict adherence to the platform dicta of "the whole of Oregon," or a 
reasonable concession in the interest of peaceable adjustment of a dan- 
gerous question, was long a matter of vehement discussion. It suffices 
that the treaty with Great Britain establishing our northwestern bound- 
ary upon the parallel last named, was promptly ratified by the Senate, 
and the once famous "Oregon question" peaceably relegated to the 
realm of history. 

A question — sixty odd years ago — equal in importance witli that of 
the Oregon boundary, was the annexation of Texas. The "Lone Star 


State" had been virtually an independent republic since the decisive 
victory of General Houston over Santa Anna in 1837 at San Jacinto, 
and its independence as such had been acknowledged by our own and 
European governments. The hardy settlers of the new commonwealth 
were in the main emigrants from the United States, and earnestly 
solicitous of admission into the Federal Union. The question of annex- 
ation entered largely into the presidential canvas of 1844, and the "lone 
star" upon democratic banners was an important factor in securing the 
triumph of Mr. Polk in that bitterly contested election. In the closing 
hours of the Tyler administration, annexation was at length effected 
by joint resolution of Congress, and Texas passed at once from an in- 
dependent republic to a state of the American Union. This action of 
Congress, however, gave deep offense to the Mexican government, and 
was the initial in a series of stirring events soon to follow. The Mexi- 
can invasion, the brilliant victories won by American valor, and the 
Treaty of Peace, by which our domain was extended westward to the 
Pacific, constitute a thrilling chapter in the annals of war. Brief in 
duration, the Mexican war was the training school for men whose mili- 
tary achievements were yet to make resplendent the pages of history. 
Under the victorious banners of the great commanders, Taylor and Scott, 
were Thomas and Beauregard, Shields and Hill, Johnston and Sherman, 
McClellan and Longstreet, Hancock and Stonewall Jackson, Lee and 
Grant. In the list of its heroes were eight future candidates for the 
presidency, three of whom, Taylor, Pierce and Grant, were triumphantly 

Meanwhile at the nation's capitol was held high debate over questions 
second in importance to none that have engaged the profound considera- 
tion of statesmen, that literally took hold of the issues of war, conquest, 
diplomacy, peace, empire. From its inception, Mr. Douglas was an un- 
faltering advocate of the project of annexation, and as Chairman of 
the Committee on Territories, bore prominent part in the protracted 
and exciting debates consequent upon the passage of that measure in 
the House of Bepresentatives. In his celebrated colloquy with Mr. 
Adams lie contended that the joint resolution he advocated was in reality 
only for the re-annexation of territory originally ours under the Louis- 
iana purchase of 1803. That something akin to the spirit of '•manifest 
destiny" brooded over the discussion may be gathered frorri the closing 
sentences of his speech: '•'Our Federal system is admirably adapted 
to the whole continent; and while I wQuld not violate the laws of nations 
or treaty stipulations, or in any manner tarnish the national honor, I 
would exert all legal and honorable means to drive Great Britain and 
the Last vestige of royal authority from the continent of North America, 
and extend the limits of the republic from ocean to ocean. I would 
make this an ocean bound republic, and have no more disputes about 
boundaries or red lines on maps." 

Elected to the Senate at the age of thirty-four, Mr. Douglas took his 
seat in that august body in December, 1847. On the same day Abraham 
Lincoln took the oath id' office as a member from Illinois in the House 


of Representatives. The Senate was presided over by the able and ac- 
complished Vice President, George M. Dallas. Seldom has there been a 
more imposing list of great names than that which now included the 
young Senator from Illinois. Conspicuous among the Senators of the 
thirty states represented, were Dix of New York, Dayton of Xew Jersey, 
Hale of Xew Hampshire, Clayton of Delaware, Reverdy Johnson of 
Maryland, Mason of Virginia. King of Alabama, Davis of Mississippi, 
i>( II of Tennessee, Corwin of Ohio. Crittenden of Kentucky, Breese of 
Illinois, Benton of Missouri, Houston of Texas, Calhoun of South Caro- 
lina, and Webster of Massachusetts. It need hardly be said that the 
debates of that and the immediately succeeding Congress have possibly 
never been surpassed in ability and eloquence by any deliberative as- 

The one vital and portentous question, in some one of its many phases, 
then under continuous discussion, was that of human slavery. This in- 
stitution, until its final extinction amid the flames of war, cast its 
ominous shadow over our nation's pathway from the beginning. From 
the establishment of the government under the Federal Constitution 
to the period mentioned, it had been the constant subject of compromise 
and concession. 

Henry Clay was first known as "the great pacificator" by his tireless 
efforts in the exciting struggle of 1820 over the admission of Missouri, 
with its constitution recognizing slavery, into the Federal Union. Bowed 
with the weight of years, the Kentucky statesman from the retirement 
he had sought — in recognition of the general desire of his countrymen — 
again returned to the theatre of his early struggles and triumphs. The 
fires of ambition had burned low by age and bereavement, but with earn- 
est longing that he might again "pour oil upon the troubled waters" 
he presented to the Senate as terms of final peaceable adjustment of the 
slavery question, the once famous "Compromise measures of 1850." 

The sectional agitation then at its height was measurably the result 
of the proposed disposition of territory acquired by the then recent treaty 
with Mexico. The advocates and oponents of slavery extension were at 
once in bitter antagonism and intensity of feeling such as the country 
had rarely known. 

The compromise measures— proposed by Mr. Clay in a general bill — 
embraced the establishment of territorial governments for Utah and New 
Mexico, the settlement of the Texas boundary, an amendment to the 
fugitive slave law, and the admission of California as a free state. In 
entire accord with each proposition. Mr. Douglas had — by direction of 
the Committee on Territories, of which he was the chairman — reported 
a bill providing for the immediate admission of California under its 
recently adopted free state constitution. Separate measures embracing 
the other propositions of the general bill were likewise duly reported. 
These measures were advocated by the Illinois senator in a speech that at 
once won him recognized place among the greal debaters of that illus- 
trious assemblage. After many weeks of earnest, at time vehement de- 
bate, the bills in the form last mentioned, were passed, and received the 
approval of the president. Apart from the significance of these measures 


as a peace offering to the country, their passage closed a memorable era 
in our history. During their discussion Clay, Calhoun and Webster — 
"the illustrious triumvirate" — were heard for the last time in the Senate. 
Greatest of the second generation of our statesman, associated in the 
advocacy of measures that in the early day of the republic had given 
us exalted place among the nations, within brief time of each other, 
"shattered by the contentions of the great hall, they passed to the 
chamber of reconciliation and of silence." 

Chief in importance of his public services to his stair was that of 
Senator Douglas in procuring from Congress a land grant to aid in the 
construction of the Illinois Central railroad. It is but justice to the 
memory of his early colleague, Senator Breese, to say that he had been 
the earnest advocate of a similar measure in a former congress. The bill, 
however, which after persistent opposition finally became a law was in- 
troduced and warmly advocated by Senator Douglas. This act ceded to 
the State of Illinois, subject to the disposal of the Legislature thereof, 
"for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a railroad from the 
southern terminus of the Illinois and Michigan canal to a point at or 
near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, with a branch of 
the same to Chicago, and another to Dubuque, la., every alternate section 
of land designated by even numbers for six sections in width on each 
side of said road and its branches." It is difficult at this day to realize 
the importance of this measure to the then sparsely settled State. The 
grant in aggregate was near three million acres, and was directly to the 
State. After appropriate action by the State Legislature, the Illinois 
Central Eailroad Company was duly organized, and the road eventually 
constructed. The provision for the payment by the company to the State 
of seven per cent of its gross annual earnings, is one, the value of which 
to this and future generations cannot be overstated. By wise constitu- 
tional provision the Legislature is forever prohibited from releasing the 
company from this payment. 

The completion of the Illinois Central Eailroad marked the beginning 
of the era of marvelous development in Illinois. The vast land grant, 
in convenient holdings, was soon in possession of actual settlers, and a 
new impetus quickly given to all projects along the line of material 
progress. During the five years immediately succeeding the passage of 
the bill, the population of Illinois increased from less than nine hundred 
thousand to near a million and a half, the foundations were firmly laid 
for the present unsurpassed prosperity of the great central State. A 
recent historian has truly said "For this, if for no other public service 
to his State, the name of Douglas was justly entitled to preservation by 
the erection of that splendid monumental column which overlooking the 
blue waters of Lake Michigan, also overlooks for long distance that iron 
highway winch was in no small degree the triumph of his legislative 
forecast and genius." 

The measure now to be mentioned aroused deeper attention — more 
anxious concern — throughout the entire country than any with which 
the name of Douglas had yet been closely associated. It pertained di- 
rectly to slavery, the "bone of contention" between the north and the 


south — the one dangerous quantity in our national politics — from the 
establishment of the government. Beginning with its recognition, though 
not in direct terms, in the federal constitution, it had through two gen- 
erations in the interest of peace been the subject of repeated compromise. 

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, Mr. Douglas in 
the early days of 1854 reported, a bill providing for the organization of 
the territories of Nebraska and Kansas. This measure, which so sud- 
denly arrested public attention, is known in our political history as the 
"Kansas-Nebraska bill." Among its provisions was one repealing the 
Missouri Compromise or restriction of 1820. The end sought by the re- 
peal was, as stated by Mr. Douglas, to leave the people of said territories 
respectively to determine the question of the introduction or exclusion 
of slavery for themselves; in other words, "to regulate their domestic 
institutions in their own way subject only to the constitution of the 
t United States." The principle strenuously contended for was that of 
"popular sovereignty" or non-intervention by Congress, in the affairs 
of the territories. In closing the protracted and exciting debate just 
prior to the passage of the bill in the Senate, he said : "There is another 
reason why 1 desire to see this principle recognized as a rule of action 
in all time to come. It will have the effect to destroy all sectional 
parties and sectional agitation. If you withdraw the slavery question 
from the halls of Congress and the political arena, and commit it to the 
arbitrament of those who are immediately interested in,. and alone re- 
sponsible for its consequences there is nothing left out of which sec- 
tional parties can be organized. When the people of the north shall ail 
be rallied under one banner, and the whole south marshalled under 
another banner, and each section excited to frenzy and madness by hos- 
tility to the institutions of the other, then the patriot may well tremble 
for the perpetuity of the Union. Withdraw the slavery question from 
the political arena and remove it to the states and territories, each to 
decide for itself, and such a catastrophe can never happen." 

These utterances of little more, than half a century ago, fall strangely 
upon our ears at this day. In the light of all that has occurred in the 
long reach of years, how significant the words : "No man is wiser than 
events." Likewise, "the actions of men are to be judged by the light 
surrounding them at the time, not by the knowledge that comes after 
the fact." The immediate effect of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska 
hill was directly the reverse of that so confidently predicted by Mr. 
Douglas. The era of concord between the north and the south did not 
return. The slavery question, instead of being relegated to the recently 
organized territories for final settlement, at once assumed the dimensions 
of a great national issue. The country at large, instead of a single ter- 
ritory became the theatre of excited discussion. The final determina- 
tion was to be not that of a territory, but of the entire people. 

One significant effect of the passage of the bill was the immediate dis- 
ruption of the Whig party. As a great national organization, of which 
Clay and Webster had been eminent leaders, and Harrison and Taylor 
successful candidates for the presidency, it now passes into history. 


Upon its ruins, the republican party at once came into being. Under 
the leadership of Fremont as its candidate, and opposition by congres- 
sional intervention to slavery extension as its chief issue, it was a formid- 
able antagonist to the democratic party in the presidential contest of 
L856. Mr. Buchanan had defeated Douglas in the nominating conven- 
tion of his party that year*. His absence from the country, as minister 
to England, during the exciting events just mentioned, it was thought 
would make him a safer candidate than his chief competitor. Mr. Doug- 
las. He had been in no manner identified with the Kansas-Xebraska 
bill, or the stormy events which immediately followed its passage. In 
his letter of acceptance, however, Mr. Buchanan had given his unquali- 
fied approval of his party platform which recognized and adopted the 
principle contained in the organic law establishing the territories of 
Nebraska and Kansas as embodying the only ''sound and safe solution of 
the slavery question." Upon the principle here declared, issue was 
joined by his political opponents, and the battle fought out to the bitter 

Although Mr. Douglas had met personal defeat in his aspiration to 
the presidency', the principle of "non-intervention by congress" in the 
arf'airs of the territories, for which he had so earnestly contended, had 
been triumphant both in the convention of the party, and at the polls. 
This principle, in its application to Kansas, was soon to be put to the 
test. From it£ organization, that territory had been a continuous scene 
of disorder often of violence. In rapid succession three governors ap- 
pointed by the president had resigned and departed the territory, each 
confessing his inability to maintain public order. The struggle for 
mastery between the free state advocates and their adversaries arrested 
the attention of the entire country. It vividly recalled the bloody forays- 
read of in the old chronicles of hostile clans upon the Scottish border. 

The "parting of the ways" between Senator Douglas and President 
Buchanan was now reached. The latter had received the cordial support 
of Mr. Douglas in the election which elevated him to the presidency. 
His determined opposition to the re-election of Douglas became apparent 
as the senatorial canvas progressed. The incidents nmv to be related will 
explain this hostility, as well as bring to the front one of the distinctive 
questions upon which much stress was laid in the subsequent debates 
between Douglas and Lincoln. 

A statesman of national reputation, Hon. Eobert J. Walker, was at 
length appointed Governor of Kansas. During his brief administration, 
a convention assembled without his cooperation at Leeompton. and form- 
ulated a constitution under which application was soon made for the 
admission of Kansas into the Union. Tin"? convention was in part 
composed of < . and in no sense reflected the wishes of the 

majority of the bona fide residents of Ha' territory. The salient feature 
of Ibe constitution was that establishing slavery. The constitution wad 
not submitted by the convention to popular vote, but in due time for- 
warded to the President, and by him laid before Congress accon 
by a recommendation for its approval, and (he early admission of the 
new slate into the Union. 


When the Lecompton constitution came before the Senate, it at once 
encountered the formidable opposition of Mr. Douglas. In unmeasured 
terms he denounced it as fraudulent, as antagonistic to the wishes of 
the people of Kansas, and subversive of the basic principle upon which 
the territory had been organized. In the attitude just assumed, Mr. 
Douglas at once found himself in line with the Kepublieans, and in op- 
position to the administration he had helped to place in power. The 
breach thus created was destined to remain unhealed. Moreover, his 
declaration of hostility to the Lecompton constitution was the beginning 
of the end of years of close political affiliation with southern democratic 
statesmen. From that moment, Mr. Douglas lost prestige as a national 
leader of his party. In more than one-half of the democratic states he 
ceased to be regarded as a probable or even possible candidate for the 
presidential succession. The hostility thus engendered followed him to 
the Charleston convention of 1860, and throughout the exciting presi- 
dential contest which followed. But the humiliation of defeat, brought 
about as he believed by personal hostility to himself, was yet in the 
future. In the attempted admission of Kansas under the Lecompton 
constitution, Mr. Douglas was triumphant over the administration and 
his former political associates from the south. Under what was known 
as the "English Amendment," the obnoxious constitution was referred 
to the people of Kansas, and by them overwhelmingly rejected. 

The close of this controversy in the early months of 1858 left Mr. 
Douglas in a position of much embarrassment. He had incurred the 
active hostility of the president, and in large measure of his- adherents, 
without gaining the future aid of his late associates, in the defeat of the 
Lecompton constitution. His senatorial term was nearing its close, and 
his political life depended upon his re-election. With an united and 
aggressive enemy, ably led, in his front ; his own party hopelessly divided 
— one faction seeking his defeat, it can readily be seen that his political 
pathway was by no means one of peace. Such in brief outline, were the 
political conditions, when upon the adjournment of Congress, Mr. 
Douglas returned to Illinois -in July, 1858, and made public announce- 
ment of his candidacy for re-election. 

In his speech at Springfield, June 17, accepting the* nomination of his 
party for the Senate, Mr. Lincoln had uttered the words which have 
since become historic. They are quoted at length, as they soon furnished 
the text for his severe arraignment by Mr. Douglas in debate. The 
words are: "We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was 
initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end 
to slavery agitation. LTnder the operation of that policy, that agitation 
has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, 
it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A 
house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this country cannot 
endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union 
to be dissolved, I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will 
cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either 
the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it and place it 
where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of 


ultimate extinction or its advocates will push it forward until it shall be- 
come alike lawful in all the states, old as well as new, north as well as 

This, at the time, was a bold utterance, and it was believed by mam- 
would imperil Mr. Lincoln's chances for election. Mr. Blaine, in his 
"Twenty Years of Congress," says: "Mr. Lincoln had been warned by 
intimate friends to whom he had communicated the contents of his 
speech in advance of its ' delivery, that he was treading on dangerous 
ground that he would be misrepresented as a disunionist, and that he 
might fatally damage the republican party by making its existence 
synonymous with a destruction of the government," 

The opening speech of Mr. Douglas at Chicago a few days later, 
sounding the key note of his campaign, was in the main an arraignment 
of his opponent for an attempt to precipitate all internecine conflict, and 
array in deadly hostility the north against the south. He said: "In 
other words, Mr. Lincoln advocates boldly and clearly a war of sections, 
a war of the north against the south, of the free states against the slave 
states, a war of extermination, to be continued relentlessly until the one 
or the other shall be subdued, and all the states snail either become free 
or become slave." 

The two speeches, followed by others of like tenor, aroused public in- 
terest in the State as it had never been before. The desire to hear the 
candidates from the same platform became general. The proposal for 
joint debate came from Mr. Lincoln on the 24th day of July and was 
soon thereafter accepted. Seven joint meetings were agreed upon, the 
first to be at Ottawa, August 21st, and the last at Alton, October 15th. 
The meetings were held in the open, and at each place immense crowds 
were in attendance. The friends of Mr. Lincoln largely preponderated 
in the northern portion of the State, those of Mr. Douglas in the 
southern, while in the center the partisans of the respective candidates 
were apparently equal in numbers. The interest never nagged for a 
moment from the beginning to the close. The debate was upon a high 
plane; each candidate enthusiastically applauded by his friends, and re- 
spectfully heard by his opponents. The speakers were men of dignified 
presence, their bearing such as to challenge respect in any assemblage. 
There was nothing of the "grotesque" about the one, nothing of the 
"political juggler" about the other. Both were deeply impressed with 
the gravity of the questions at issue, and of what might prove their far 
reaching consequence to the country. Kindly reference by each speak- ;■ 
to the other characterized the debates from the beginning. "My friend 
Lincoln," and "My friend, the Judge." were expressions of constant oc- 
currence during the debates. While each mercilessly attacked the polit- 
ical utterances of the other, good feeling in the main prevailed. Some- 
thing being pardoned to the spirit of debate, the amenities were well ob- 
served. They had 1 o personally well known to each other for many 

years, had served together in the Legislature when the State Capital 
was at Vandalia, and at a later date. Lincoln had appeared before the 
Supreme Court when Douglas was one of the judges. The amusing 


allusions to each other were taken* in good part. Mr. Lincoln's pro- 
found humor is now a proverb. It never appeared to better advantage 
than during these debates. In criticising Mr. Lincoln's attack upon 
Chief Justice Taney and his associates for the "Dred Scott decision/' 
Douglas declared it to be an attempt to secure a reversal of the high 
tribunal by an appeal to a town meeting. It reminded him of the say- 
ing of Coloned Strode that the judicial system of Illinois was perfect, 
except that "there should be an appeal allowed from the Supreme Court 
to two justices of the peace." Lincoln replied: "That was when you 
were on the bench, Judge." Eef erring to Douglas' allusion to him as a 
kind, amiable and intelligent gentleman, he said : "Then as the Judge 
has complimented me with these pleasant titles, I was a little taken, 
for it came from a great man. I was not very much accustomed to 
flattery and it came the sweeter to me. I was like the Hoosier with the 
ginger bread, when he said he reckoned he loved it better and got less 
of it than any other man." Mr. Douglas, referring to the alliance be- 
tween the Eepublicans and the federaroffice holders, said: "I shall deal 
with this allied army just as the Russian dealt with the allies at Sebas- 
topol, the Russians when they fired a broadside did not stop to inquire 
whether it hit a Frenchman, an Englishman or a Turk. Xor will I 
stop to inquire whether my Mows hit the Republican leaders or their 
allies who hold the federal offices/' To which Lincoln replied : "I beg 
the Judge will indulge us while we remind 1dm that the allies took 

In opening the debate at Ottawa, Mr. Douglas said: "In the remarks 
I have made on the platform and the position of Mr. Lincoln, I mean 
nothing personally disrespectful or unkind to that gentleman. I have 
known him for twenty-five years. There were many points of sym- 
pathy between us when we first got acquainted. We were both compara- 
tively boys, and both struggling with poverty in a strange land. 1 was 
a school teacher in the town of Winchester, and he a flourishing grocery 
keeper in the town of Salem. He was more successful in his occupation 
than 1 was in mine, and hence more fortunate in this world's goods. 
Lincoln is one of those peculiar men who perform with admirable skill 
everything which they undertake. I made as good a school teacher as 
I could, and when a" cabinet maker I made a good bedstead and table 
although my old boss said I succeeded better with bureaus and secre- 
taries than anything else. I met him in the Legislature and had a sym- 
pathy with him because of the up hill struggle we both had in life. He 
was then just as good at felting an anecdote as now.. He could beat 
any of the boys wrestling, or running a foot race, in pitching quoits or 
tossing a 'copper, and the dignity and impartiality with which he pre- 
sided at a horse race, or a fist fight, excited the admiration and won 
the praise of everybody. I sympathized with him because he was strug- 
gling with difficulties, and so was I." To which Mr. Lincoln replied: 
"The judge is woefully at fault about his friend Lincoln being a grocery 
keeper. I don't know as it would be a sin if I had been ; but he is mis- 


taken. Lincoln never kept a grocery anywhere in the world. It is true 
that Lincoln did work the latter part of one winter in a little still house 
up at the head of a hollow." 

The serious phases of the debates will now be considered. The opening- 
speech was by Mr. Douglas. That he possessed rare power as a debater. 
all who heard him can bear witness. Mr. Blaine in his history says: 
"His mind was fertile in resources. He was master of logic. In that 
peculiar style of debate which in its intensity resembles a physical com- 
bat, he had no equal. He spoke with extraordinary readiness. He used 
good English, terse, pointed, vigorous. He disregarded the adornments 
of rhetoric. He never cited historic precedents except from the domain 
of American politics. Inside that field, his knowledge was comprehen- 
sive, minute, critical. He could lead a crowd almost irresistibly to his 
own conclusions." 

Douglas was, in very truth imbued with little of mere sentiment. 
He gave little time to discussions belonging solely to the realm of the 
speculative or the abstract. He was in no sense a dreamer. What 
Coleridge has defined wisdom: "Common sense, in an uncommon de- 
gree" — was his. In phrase the simplest and most telling, he struck at 
once at the very core of the controversy. Possibly no man was ever less 
inclined "to darken counsel with words without knowledge." Positive, 
and aggressive, to the last degree, he never sought "by indirections to 
find directions out." In statesmanship, in all that pertained to human 
affairs, he was intensely practical. With him, in the words of Macaulay 
"one acre in Middlesex, is worth a principality in Utopia." 

It is a pleasure to recall, after the lapse of half a century, the two men 
as they shook hands upon the speaker's stand, just before the opening 
of the debates that were to mark an epoch in American history. Stephen 
A. Douglas ! Abraham Lincoln ! As they stood side by side and looked 
out upon "the sea of upturned faces" — it was indeed a picture to live 
in the memory of all who witnessed it. The one stood for "the old 
ordering of things," in an emphatic sense for the government as estab- 
lished by the fathers, with all its compromises. The other, recognizing, 
equally 'with his opponent, the binding force of constitutional obligation, 
yet looking away from present surroundings "felt the inspiration of the 
coming of the grander day." As has been well said: "The one faced 
the past — the other the future." 

"Often do the spirits of great events 
Stride on before the events, 
And in today, already walks tomorrow." 

Few survive of the vast assemblages who listened spellbound to the im- • 
passioned words of the masterful debaters. The conditions mentioned 
by Webster as essential to true eloquence had arisen: "The orator and 
the occasion had met." The people of the entire State were aroused, 
the interest profound, the excitement at times intense. The occasion 
was indeed worthy the great orators; the orators worthy the great oc- 
casion. The debaters were to note a mighty epoch in American politics. 

The immediate arena of the struggle was Illinois, and the prize of 
victory, a senatorship. But to those who read the signs, aright, it was 
but the prelude to the contest for the presidency soon to follow. Within 
less than two years from the opening debate, Lincoln and Douglas were 
opposing candidates for the presidency, and the area of the struggle en- 
larged from a state to a nation. And following close upon its determin- 
ation, the momentous questions involved, were transferred from hustings 
and from Senate to find bloody arbitrament on the field. 

The name of Lincoln is now a household word. But little can be 
written of him that is not already known to the world. Nothing that 
•can be uttered or withheld can add to, or detract from, his imperishable 
fame. But it must be remembered that his great opportunity and fame, 
came after the stirring events separated from us by the passing of fifty 
years. It is not the Lincoln of history, but Lincoln, the country lawyer, 
the debater, the candidate of his party for political office, with whom 
we have now to do. Born in Kentucky, much of his early life was spent 
in Indiana, and all of his professional and public life up to his election 
to the presidency, in Illinois. His early opportunities for study, like 
those of Douglas, were meagre indeed. Neither had had the advantage 
of the thorough training of the schools. Of both, it might truly have 
been said: "They knew men rather than books." From his log cabin 
home upon the Sangamon, Mr. Lincoln had in his early manhood volun- 
teered, and was made captain of his company, in what was so well known 
to the early settlers of Illinois, as "the Black Hawk War." Later he 
was surveyor of his county, and three times a member of the State Legis- 
lature. At the time of the debates with Senator Douglas, Mr. Lincoln 
had for many years been a resident of Springfield, and a recognized 
leader of the bar. As an advocate he had probably no superior in the 
State. During the days of the Whig party he was an earnest exponent 
of its principles, and an able champion of its candidates. As such, 
he had in successive contests eloquently presented the claims of Har- 
rison, Clay, Taylor and Scott to the presidency. In 1846, he was elected 
a Eepresentative in Congress, and upon his retirement, he resumed the 
active practice of his profession. "Upon the dissolution of the Whig 
party, he cast in his fortunes with the new political organization, and was 
in very truth one of the builders of the J^epublican party. At its first 
national convention in 1856, he received a large vote for nomination 
to the vice presidency, and during the memorable campaign of that year 
canvassed the State in advocacy of the election of Fremont and Dayton, 
the candidates of the Philadelphia convention. 

In the year 1858, that of the great debates, Mr. Douglas was the better 
known of the opposing candidates in the country at large. In a speech 
then recently delivered in Springfield. Mr. Lincoln said : "There is 
still another disadvantage under which we labor and to which I will ask 
your attention. It arises out of the relative positions of the two persons, 
who stand before the State as candidates for the Senate. 

"Senator Douglas is of world wide renown. All the anxious politicians 
of his party have been looking upon him as certainly at no distant day 

to be the president of the United States. They have seen in his ruddy, 
jolly, fruitful face, postoffices, land offices, marshalships, and cabinet 
appointments, and foreign missions, bursting 'and sprouting out in 
wonderful exuberance, ready to be laid hold of by their greedy hands. 
On the contrary, nobody has ever seen in my poor, lean, lank face that 
any cabbages were sprouting out," 

Both, however, were personally well known in Illinois. Each was by 
unanimous nomination the candidate of his party. Mr. Douglas had 
known sixteen years of continuous service in one or the other House of 
Congress. In the Senate, he had held high debate with Seward, Sumner 
and Chase from the north, and during the last session, since he had as- 
sumed a position of antagonism to the Buchanan administration, had 
repeatedly measured swords with Toombs, Benjamin, and Jefferson Davis, 
chief among the great debaters from the south. 

Mr. Lincoln's services in Congress had been limited to a single term 
in the lower House, and his great fame was yet to be achieved, not as 
a legislator, but as chief executive during the most critical years of our 

Such in brief were the opposing candidates as they entered the lists 
of debate at Ottawa on the* twenty-first day of August, 1858. Both in 
the prime of manhood, thoroughly equipped for the conflict, and sur- 
rounded by throngs of devoted friends. Both gifted with marvelous for- 
ensic powers, and alike hopeful as to the result. Each recognizing fully 
the strength of his opponent, his own powers were constantly at their 
highest tension. 

"The blood more stirs 

To rouse a lion than to start a hare." 

In opening, Mr. Douglas made brief reference to the political con- 
dition of the country prior to the year 1854. He said : "The Whig 
and the Democratic were the two great parties then in existence; both 
national and patriotic, advocating principles that were universal in their 
application; while these parties differed in regard to banks, tariff, and 
sub-treasury, they agreed on the slavery question which now agitates 
the Union. They had adopted the compromise measures of 1850 as the 
basis of a full solution of the slavery question in all its forms, that these 
measures had received the endorsement of both parties in their national 
convention of 1852, thus affinrrfhg the right of the people of each state and 
territory to decide as to their domestic institutions for themselves; that 
this principle was embodied in the bill reported by me in 1854 for the 
organization of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska; in order that 
there might be no misunderstanding, these words were inserted in that 
bill : Tt is the true intent and meaning of this act, not to legislate 
slavery into any state or territory, or to exclude it therefrom, but to 
leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their do- 
mestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the federal con- 
stitution.' " 

Turning then to his opponent, he said : "I desire to know whether 
Mr. Lincoln today stands as he did in 1854 in favor of the uncondi- 
tional repeal of the fugitive slave law; whether he stands pledged today 


as he did in 1854 against the admission of any more slave states into 
•the Union, even if the people want them; whether he stands pledged 
against the admission of a new state into the Union with such a consti- 
tution as the people of that State may see fit to make. I want to know 
whether he stands today pledged to the abolition of slavery in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia; I desire to know whether he stands pledged to pro- 
hibit slavery in all the territories of the United States north as well as 
south of the Missouri Compromise line. I desire him to answer whether 
he is opposed to acquisition of any more territory unless slavery is pro- 
hibited therein. I want his answer to these questions." 

Mr. Douglas then addressed himself to the already quoted words of 
Mr. Lincoln's Springfield speech commencing : "A house divided against 
itself cannot stand." He declared the government had existed for 
seventy years divided into free and slave states as our fathers made it; 
that at the time the Constitution was framed there were thirteen states, 
twelve of which were slave holding, and one a free state ; that if the 
doctrine preached by Mr. Lincoln that all should be free, or all slave 
had prevailed the twelve would have overruled the one, and slavery 
would have been established by the Constitution on every inch of the 
republic, instead, of being left as our fathers wisely left it for each 
state to decide for itself." He then declared that "uniformity in the local 
laws and institutions of the different states is neither possible nor de- 
sirable ; that if uniformity had been adopted when the government was 
established it must inevitably have been the uniformity of slavery every- 
where, or the uniformity of negro citizenship and negro equality every- 
where. I hold that humanity and Christianity both require that the 
negro shall have and enjoy every right and every privilege and every 
immunity consistent with the safety of the society in which he lives. 
The question then arises, what rights and privileges are consistent with 
the public good ? This is a question which each state and each territory 
must decide for itself. Illinois has decided it for herself." 

He then said : "Now, my friends, if we will only act conscientiously 
upon this great principle of popular sovereignty, it guarantees to each 
state and territory the right to do as it pleases on all things local and 
domestic instead of Congress interfering, we will continue at peace one 
with another. This doctrine of Mr. Lincoln of uniformity among the 
institutions of the different states is a new doctrine never dreamed of 
by Washington, Madison or the framers of the government. Mr. Lin- 
coln and his party set themselves up as wiser than the founders of the 
government which has flourished for seventy years under the principle 
of popular sovereignty, recognizing the right of each state to do as it 
pleased. Under that principle, we have grown from a nation of three 
or four millions to one of thirty millions of people. We have crossed the 
mountains and filled up the whole northwest, turning the prairie into a 
garden, and building up churches and schools, thus spreading civilization 
and Christianity where before there was nothing but barbarism. Un- 
der that principle we have become from a feeble nation the most power- 
ful upon the face of the earth, and if we only adhere to that principle 

— 5H S 

we can go forward increasing in territory, in power, in strength and in 
glory until the Eepublic of America shall be the North Star that 
shall guide the friends of freedom throughout the civilized world. I 
believe that this new doctrine preached by Mr. Lincoln will dissolve the 
Union if it succeeds; trying to array all the northern states in one body 
against the southern; to excite a sectional war between the free states 
and the slave states in order that the one or the other may be driven to 
the wall." 

Mr. Lincoln said in reply: "I think and shall try to show that the 
repeal of the Missouri Compromise is wrong; wrong in its direct effect, 
letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska, wrong in its prospective 
principle, allowing it to spread to every other part of the wide world 
where men can be found inclined to take it. This declared indifference, 
but I must think covert zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. 
I. hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it 
because it deprives our republic an example of its just influence in the 
world, enables the enemies of free institutions with plausibility to taunt 
us as hypocrites. I have no prejudices against the southern people ; they 
are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not exist 
among them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst 
us we would not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses north 
and south. When the southern people tell us they are no more respon- 
sible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When 
it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get 
rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the 
same. I surely will not blame them for what I should not know how to 
do myself. If all earthly powers were given me, I should not know what 
to do as to the existing institution." 

Declaring that he did not advocate freeing the negroes, and making 
them our political and social equals, but suggesting that gradual systems 
of emancipation might be adopted by the states, he added : "But for 
their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the 
south. But all this to my judgment furnishes no more excuse for per- 
mitting slavery to go into our free territory than it would for the re- 
viving the African slave trade by law." He then added : "I have no 
purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery 
in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, 
and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce po- 
litical and social equality between the white and black races. 

But I hold that notwithstanding all this there is no reason in the world 
why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the 
Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white 
man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects, 
certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral and intellectual endowment. 
But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody, which 
his own hand earns, he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, 
and tl qual of every living man." 


Referring to the quotation from his Springfield speech of the words: 
"A house divided against itself cannot stand/' he said: "Does the 
Judge say it can stand ? If he does, then there is a question of veracity 
not between him and me, but between the Judge and an authority of 
somewhat higher character. I leave it to you to say whether in the his- 
tory of our government the institution of slavery has not failed to be a 
bond of union, but on the contrary been an apple of discord and an ele- 
ment of division in the house, if so, then I have a right to say, that in 
regard to this question the Union is a house divided against itself; and 
when the Judge reminds me that I have often said to him that the insti- 
tution of slavery has existed for eighty years in some states and yet it 
does not exist in some others, I agree to that fact, and I account for it 
by looking at the position in which our fathers originally placed it, 
restricting it from the new territories where it had not gone, and legis- 
lating to cut off its source by abrogation of the slave trade, thus putting 
the seal of legislation against its spread, the public mind did rest in the 
belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction. Now, I believe 
if we could arrest its spread and place it where Washington and Jeffer- 
son and Madison placed it, it would be in the course of ultimate extinc- 
tion, and the public mind would, as for eighty years past, believe that it 
was in the course of ultimate extinction." 

Referring further to his Springfield speech he declared that he had 
no thought of doing anything to bring about a war between the free 
and slave states ; that he had no thought in the world that he was doing 
anything to bring about social and political equality of the black and 
white races. 

Pursuing this line of argument, he insisted that the first step in the 
conspiracy, the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, followed soon by the 
Dred Scott decision, the latter fitting perfectly into the niche left by 
the former, "in such a case, we feel it impossible not to believe that 
Stephen and Franklin, Roger and James, all understood one another 
from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn 
before the first blow was struck." 

In closing, Mr. Douglas, after indignant denial of the charge of con- 
spiracy, said: "I have lived twenty-five years in Illinois; I have served 
you with all the fidelity and ability which I possess, and Mr. Lincoln 
is at liberty to attack my public action, my votes, and my conduct, but . 
when he dares to attack my moral integrity by a charge of conspiracy 
between myself, Chief Justice Taney, and the Supreme Court and two 
Presidents of the United States, I will repel it." 

At Freeport, Mr. Lincoln, in opening the discussion, at once declared 
his readiness to answer the interrogatories propounded. He said : "I 
do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of 
the fugitive slave law ; I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against 
the admission of any more slave states into the Union; I do not stand 
pledged against the admission of a new state into the Union with such 
a constitution as the people of that state may see fit to make; I do not 
stand today pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Colum- 
bia ; I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between 


the different states; I am impliedly, if not expressly pledged to a belief 
in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United 
States territories." 

Waiving the form of the interrogatory as to being pledged he said : 
"As to the first one in regard to the fugitive slave law, 1 have never 
hesitated to say, and I do not now hesitate to say, that I think under the 
Constitution of the United States the people of the southern states are 
entitled to a congressional fugitive slave law. Having said that, I have 
had nothing to say in regard to the existing fugitive slave law further 
than that I think it should have been framed so as to be free from some 
of the objections that pertain to it without lessening its efficiency. In 
regard to whether I am pledged to the admission of any more slave states 
into the Union, I would be exceedingly glad to know that there would 
never be another slave state admitted into the Union; but I must add 
that if slavery shall be kept out of the territories during the territorial 
existence of any one given territory, and then the people shall, having 
a fair chance and a clear field when they come to adopt the constitution, 
do such an extraordinary thing as to adopt a slavery constitution unin- 
fluenced by the actual presence of the institution among them, I see no 
alternative if we own the country, but to admit them into the Union. 
I -should be exceedingly glad to see slavery abolished in the District of 
Columbia. I believe that Congress possesses constitutional power to 
abolish it. Yet, as a member of Congress, I should not be in favor of 
endeavoring to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia unless it 
would be upon these conditions : First, that the abolition should be 
gradual ; second, that it should be on a vote of the majority of qualified 
voters in the district- third, that compensation should be made unwilling 
owners. With these conditions, I confess I should be exceedingly glad 
to see Congress abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the 
language of Henry Clay. •Swoop from our capitol that foul blot upon 
our nation.' " 

These carefully prepared answers will never cease to be of profound 
interest to the student of human affairs. They indicate unmistakably 
the conservative tendency of Mr. Lincoln, and his position at the time 
as to the legal status of the institution of slavery. But, "Courage mount- 
eth with occasion." Five years later, and from the hand that penned 
the answers given came the great proclamation emancipating a race. 
"The hour had struck", and slavery perished. "The "compromises" 
upon which it rested were in the mighty upheaval, but as the stubble 
before the flame. 

Eecurring to the Freeport debate, Mr. Lincoln propounded to his op- 
ponent four interrogatories as follows: First, if the people of Kansas 
shall by means entirely unobjectionable in all other respects adopt a 
state constitution and ask admission into the Union under it before they 
have the requisite number of inhabitants according to the bill, some 
ninety-throe thousand, will you vote to admit them? Second, can the 
people of a United States territory in any lawful way. against the wish 
of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from its limits 


prior to the formation of a state constitution? Third, if the Supreme 
Court of the United States shall decide that states cannot exclude slavery 
from their limits, are you in favor of acquiescing in, adopting and fol- 
lowing such decision as a rule of political action; fourth, are you in 
favor of acquiring additional territory in disregard of how such acquisi- 
tion may effect the nation on the slavery question ?" 

The questions propounded reached the marrow of the controversy, and 
were yet to have a much wider field for discussion. This was especially 
true of the second of the series. Upon this, widely divergent, irrecon- 
cilable, views were entertained by northern and southern democrats. 
The evidence of this is to be found in the respective national platforms 
upon which Mr. Douglas and Mr. Breckenridge were two years later 
rival candidates of a divided party. The second interrogatory of Mr. 
Lincoln clearly emphasized this conflict of opinion as it existed at the 
time of the debates. It is but just, however, to Mr. Douglas, of whom 
little that is kindly has in late years been spoken, to say, that there was 
nothing in the question to cause him surprise or embarrassment. It 
would be passing strange if during the protracted debates with Senators 
representing extreme and antagonistic views a matter so vital as the in- 
terpretation of the Kansas-Nebraska act, as indicated by the interroga- 
tory, had never been under discussion. Conclusive evidence upon the 
points is to be found in the speech delivered by Senator Douglas at 
Bloomington, July 16th, forty-two days before the Freeport debate, in 
which he said: 'T tell you, my friends it is impossible under our in- 
stitutions to force slavery on an unwilling people. If this principle of 
popular sovereignty, asserted in the Nebraska bill be fairly carried out 
by letting the people decide the question for themselves by a fair vote, 
at a fair election, and with honest returns, slavery will never exist one 
day, or one hour in any territory against the unfriendly legislation of 
an unfriendly people. Hence, if the people of a territory want slavery 
they will encourage it by passing affirmatory laws, and the necessary 
police regulations ; if they do not want it, they will withhold that legis- 
lation, and by withholding it slavery is as dead as if it was prohibited 
by a constitutional prohibition. They could pass such local laws and 
police regulations as would drive slavery out in one day or one hour if 
they were opposqd to it, and therefore, so far as the question of slavery 
in the territories is concerned, so far as the principle of popular sover- 
eignty is concerned in its practical operation, it matters not how the 
Dred Scott case may be decided with reference to the territories. My 
own opinion on that point is well known. It is shown by my vote and 
speeches in Congress." 

Becurring again to the Freeport debate, in reply to the first interroga- 
tory. Mr. Douglas declared that in reference to Kansas it was his opinion 
that if it had population enough to constitute a slave state, it had people 
. enough for a free state ; that he would not make Kansas an exceptional 
case, to the other states of the Union ; that he held it to be a sound rule 
of universal application to require a territory to contain the requisite 


population for a member of Congress before its admission as a state into 
. the Union ; that it having been decided that Kansas has people enough 
for a slave state, I hold it has enough for a free state." 

As to the third interrogatory, he said : "Only one man in the United 
States, ah editor of a paper in Washington had held such view, and that 
he, Douglas, had at the time denounced it on the floor of the Senate. 
That Mr. Lincoln casts an imputation upon the Supreme Court by sup- 
posing that it would violate the constitution; that it would be an act 
of moral treason that no man on the bench could ever descend to. To 
the fourth, which he said was "very ingeniously and cunningly put" 
he answered that: "Whenever it became necessary in our growth and 
progress to acquire more territory he was in favor of it without reference 
to the question of slavery, and when we have acquired it, he would leave 
the people to do as they pleased, either to make it free, or slave territory 
as they preferred." 

The answer to the second interrogatory, of which much has been 
written, was given without hesitation. Language could hardly be more 
clear or effective. He said : "To the next question propounded to me I 
answered emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred 
times, that in my opinion the people of the territory can by lawful means 
exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a state con- 
stitution. It matters not what the Supreme Court may hereafter decide 
as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a 
territory under the constitution, the people have the lawful means to 
introduce it, or exclude it, as they please, for the reason that slavery 
cannot exist a day, or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local 
police regulations. Those police regulations can only be established 
by the local legislatures, and if the people are opposed to slavery they 
will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation 
effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the 
contrary they are for it, their Legislature will favor its extension. 
Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on 
that abstract .question, still the right of the people to make a slave ter- 
ritory or a free territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska 

The trend of thought, the unmeasured achievement of activities look- 
ing to human amelioration, during the fifty intervening years, must be 
taken into the account before uncharitable judgment upon what has been 
declared the indifference of Mr. Douglas to the question of abstract right 
involved in the memorable discussion. It must be remembered that- the 
world has moved apace, and that a mighty gulf separates us from that 
eventful period in which practical statesmen were compelled to deal with 
institutions as then existing. And not to be forgotten are the words of 
the great interpreter of the human heart: 

"But — know thou this, that 
Men are as the time is." 

The great debates between Douglas and Lincoln, the like of which we 
shall not hear again, had ended and passed to the domain of history. 
To the inquiry: "Which of the participants won the victory?" — there 

can be no absolute answer. Judged by the immediate result — the former, 
by consequence more remote and far reaching — the latter. Within three 
years from the first meeting at Ottawa, Mr. Lincoln, having been elected 
and inaugurated president, was upon the threshold of mighty events 
which are now the masterful theme of history ; and his great antagonist 
in the now historic debates — had passed from earthly scenes. 

It has been said that Douglas was ambitious. 

"If 'twere so, it was a grievous fault 
And grievously hath he answered it." 

We may well believe that with like honorable ambition to the two great 
popular leaders of different periods, Clay and Blaine, his goal was the 

In the three last national conventions of his party preceding his death, 
he was presented by the Illinois delegation to be named for the great 
office. The last of these, the Charleston convention of 1860, is now his- 
toric. It assembled amid intense party passion, and after a turbulent 
session, that seemed the omen of its approaching doom, adjourned to 
a later day to Baltimore. Mr. Douglas there received the almost solid 
vote of the northern, and a portion of that of the border states, but the 
hostility of the extreme southern leaders to his candidacy was implacable 
to the end. What had seemed inevitable from the beginning, at length 
occurred, and the great historic party, which had administered the 
government with brief intermissions from the inauguration of Jefferson, 
was hopelessly rent asunder. This startling event, and what it might 
portend, gave pause to thoughtful men of all parties. It was not a mere 
incident, but an epoch in history. Mr. Blaine in his "Twenty years of 
Congress" says: "The situation was the cause of solicitude and even 
grief with thousands to whom the old party was peculiarly endeared. 
The traditions of Jefferson, of Madison, of Jackson, were devoutly 
treasured; and the splendid achievements of the American democracy 
were recounted with the pride which attaches to an honorable family in- 
heritance. The fact was recalled that the republic had grown to its 
imperial dimensions under democratic statesmanship. It was remem- 
bered that Louisiana had been acquired from France, Florida, from 
Spain, the independent republic of Texas annexed, and California, with 
its vast dependencies, and its myriad millions of treasure ceded by 
Mexico, all under democratic administrations, and in spite of the resist- 
ence of their opponents. That a party whose history was interwoven with 
the glory of the republic should now come to its end in a quarrel over the 
status of the negro in a country where his labor was not wanted, was to 
many of its members as incomprehensible as it was sorrowful and ex- 
asperating. They might have restored the party to harmony, but at 
. the very height of the factional contest, the representatives of both sec- 
tions were hurried forward to the national convention of 1860, with 
principle subordinated to passion, with judgment displaced by a desire 
for revenge." 

The withdrawal from the Baltimore convention of a large majority 
of the southern delegates and a small following, led by Caleb Cushing 

and Benjamin F. Butler from the north, resulted in the immediate nom- 
ination by the requisite two-thirds vote of Senator Douglas as the presi- 
dential candidate. The platform upon the question of slavery was in 
substance that contended for by the candidates in the debates with 
Lincoln. The democratic party divided, Breckenridge receiving the sup- 
port of the south, Mr. Douglas' candidacy was hopeless from the be- 
ginning. But his iron will and courage, that knew no faltering, never 
appeared to better advantage than during that eventful canvas. De- 
serted by former political associates, he visited distant states and ad- 
dressed immense audiences in defense of the platform upon which he 
had been nominated, and in advocacy of his own election. His speeches. 
in southern states were of the stormy incidents of a struggle that has 
scarcely known a parallel. Interrogated by a prominent citizen at 
Norfolk, Va. "If Lincoln be elected president, would the southern states 
be justified in seceding from the union?" Douglas instantly replied: 
"I emphatically answer, no. The election of a man to the presidency in 
conformity with the Constitution of the United States would not justify 
an attempt to dissolve the union." 

Defeated in his great ambition, broken in health, the sad witness of 
the unmistakable portents of the coming sectional strife, the few re- 
maining months of his mortal life were enveloped in gloom. Partisan 
feeling vanished, his deep concern was now only for his country. Stand- 
ing by the side of his successful rival whose wondrous career was only 
opening, as his own was nearing its close, he bowed profound assent to 
the imperishaMe utterances of the inaugural address: "I am loath to 
close. We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. 
Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of af- 
fection. The mystic chords of memory stretching from every battlefield 
and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone 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 nature." ' 

Yet later, immediately upon the firing of the fatal shot at Sumpter 
that suddenly summoned millions from peaceful pursuits to arms, by 
invitation of the Illinois Legislature, Mr. Douglas addressed his country- 
men for the last time. "Broken with the storms of State," the fires of 
ambition forever extinguished, standing literally upon the threshold of 
the grave, his soul burdened with the calamities that had befallen his 
country, in tones of deepest pathos he declared: "If war must come, 
if the bayonet must be used to maintain the Constitution, I can say 
before God, my conscience is clear. I have struggled long for a peace- 
ful solution of the trouble. I deprecate war, but if it must come, I am 
with my country, and for my country, in every contingency, and under 
all circumstances. At all hazards our government must be maintained, 
and the shortest pathway to peace is through the most stupendous prep- 
aration for war." Who that heard the last public utterance that fell 
from his lips, can forget his solemn invocation to all who had followed 
his political fortunes, until the banner had fallen from his hand — 
"to know only their country in its hour of peril!" 


The ordinary limit of human life unreached ; his intellectual strength 
unabated; his loftiest aspirations unrealized; at the critical moment of 
his country's sorest need, he .passed to the grave. What reflections and 
regrets may have been his in that hour of awful mystery, we may not 
know. In the words of another: ''What blight and anguish met his 
agonized eyes, whose lips may tell? What brilliant, broken plans, what 
bitter rending of sweet household ties, of strong manhood's friendships !" 

In the light of what has been disclosed, may we not believe that with 
his days prolonged, he would during the perilous years have been the 
safe counselor, the rock, of the great President, in preserving the nation's 
life, and later "in binding up the nation's wounds." 

Worthy of honored and enduring place in history, Stephen A. Doug- 
las, statesman and patriot, lies buried within the great city whose stup- 
endous development is so largely the result of his own wise forecast and 
endeavor, by the majestic lake whose waves break near the base of his 
stately monument and chant his eternal requiem. 


By Joseph B. Lemen. 

At the close of the war for independence, Thomas Jefferson (though 
a slave holder), believing the system to be a curse and being loyal to 
the immortal truth concerning human rights and liberty, which he had 
written for the ages in our chart of independence, resolved to dedicate 
to freedom, the northwestern territory, which Virginia then held. But, 
well knowing that a knowledge of his purpose by the far south would 
defeat its success, as well as his own laudable ambition for future pre- 
ferment, he made the matter a profound secret. At that time a few 
pioneers were settling in the western boundaries, and Jefferson formed 
the purpose to send a capable and confidential agent into the Illinois 
section of the territory to shape events in the new settlements toward 
anti-slavery. For this mission, he selected his young friend, James 
Lemen, living near Harper's Ferry, Va., believing his courage, ability 
and resolute honesty fitted him for a leader. 

Several meetings were held to talk the matter over, and at length, at 
their last meeting, at Annapolis, Maryland, on May 2, 1784, all the 
details in their secret anti-slavery pact or agreement, under which Mr. 
Lemen was to come to Illinois to oppose slavery, were agreed upon; 
and Jefferson shortly after sailed as an envoy to France. Mr. Lemen 
was delayed by illness for some time, but on December 28, 1785, Jef- 
ferson's financial agent gave him some funds for his family in case of 
sickness or emergencies, though they were never used except for other good 
causes, and he and his family came to Illinois in 1786, and finally 
settled at the New Design in Monroe county, where, in due time, they 
made themselves a comfortable home. In 1787, Mr. Lemen was con- 
verted to the Baptist faith, and he immediately set about converting 
others and creating or collecting Baptist churches for the duly author- 
ized Baptist ministers to constitute. He was the founder of the first 
eighl Baptist churches in Illinois, and before each was constituted, he 
held a preliminary meeting, with the proposed members, pledging them, 
among other things, to oppose the doctrine and practice of slavery, thus 
faithfully carrying out the spirit of his anti-slavery pact with Jefferson 
by every means possible. He did not make opposition to slavery an ac- 
tual test for the religious faith of his followers, but by apneals to their 
reason and sense of right, he induced the constituents of every church 
he formed to make a pledge against slavery. 

When Senator Wm. Henry Harrison was made governor of the north- 
western territory, though at heart opposed to slavery, its pressing de- 
mands swept him and his territorial council into its service, and they 
finally plied Congress through several years in several sessions to estab- 
lish slavery in the territory. In his pro-slavery efforts, Governor Har- 
rison recognized Mr. Lemen's leadership in Illinois, made overtures for 
his approval and support ; but he replied, that as good a friend as he was 
to Governor Harrison, "that while his blood ran warm" he would- 
oppose slavery to his latest hour, and to make that declaration good, he 
sent an agent to Indiana, paying him with some of Jefferson's funds, 
to stir up the people there to sign and send anti-slavery petitions to 
Congress to counter-act Governor Harrison's pro-slavery petitions. The 
agent called on Jefferson's anti-slavery agent, whom he had sent into 
Indiana to work for the same purpose, and on the same basis as Mr. 
Lemen's mission to Illinois, but the agent had lost his wife and child 
and, in fact, had proved a disappointment. But other noble workers 
rallied to the cause, and a great anti-slavery petition was circulated, 
signed and sent to Congress, Mr. Lemen securing some signers here. At 
length, that body (Congress) denied and defeated Governor Harrison's 
request and purpose; and it was understood that President Jefferson, 
loyal to the cause for which he had sent Mr. Lemen to Illinois to estab- 
lish, through some of his powerful friends in Congress caused them to 
secure the defeat of Harrison's demands. 

This practically ended the contest in the territory but the tremendous 
pressure under Governor Harrison and his Legislature, gave Mr. Lemen''? 
churches or a controlling element in them, a pro-slavery trend, and he 
determined to bring them back to their original anti-slavery basis, or, 
failing, to call a division and from a new anti-slavery church to lead 
that cause in Illinois. In 1808 President Jefferson was informed of this 
purpose, by their mutual friend, S. H. Biggs, and he, greatly pleased, 
sent a message by this friend to Mr. Lemen to proceed at once to call 
for a division, and make a new anti-slavery church to lead the contest 
for freedom. Dreading the tremendous responsibilities of a division, 
Mr. Lemen, for some months, labored earnestly to recall the churches 
to their former basis, but, failing in this, he prepared to carry forward 
Jefferson's orders, and he called for a division at a great meeting at 
Eichland creek church, on July 8, 1809, which was to consider the 
matter. The movement was taken under advisement until another meet- 
ing was called to act, when the division was granted, and Mr. Lemen and 
his followers withdrew and formed their anti-slavery church the next 
day, December 10, 1809. It was called the Canteen creek church, "The 
Baptized Church of Christ, friends to humanity," now the Bethel Bap- 
tist- church near Collinsville. The division and creation of the new 
church gave the anti-slavery cause such a impetus over all of Illinois, 
that in their confidential letters to Mr. Lemen, Senators Douglas and 
Trumbull and Abraham Lincoln, who, in 1850, had been made familiar 
with all the facts, declared that the event sounded the death knell of 

slavery in Illinois and finally. made it a free State. Had Illinois been a 
slave State, and in the great conflict of 1861-65 had it launched its 
mighty armies against instead of for the Union, what might we have 
been today? 

The persons above named, with Dr. J. M. Peck, and a few others, 
were the only ones to whom Eev. James Lemen, Jr., as long as fifty or 
sixty years ago, had told the facts of the "Jefferson-Lemen anti-slavery 
pact," or who had seen the papers relating to it. It should be added here 
that the above facts are taken from Dr. Peck's history of that pact or 
agreement, which he wrote in 1851, from the old family notes of Eev. 
James Lemen, Jr., when he wrote the history of the Bethel church, and, 
in fact, it comprises a part of the history of that church, as it was or- 
ganized to leaji the anti-slavery contest in Illinois after the first seven 
Baptist churches formed by Bev. James Lemen, Sr., had gone over to 
pro-slavery cause under the pro-slavery influence of Governor Harri- 
son's rule. But that part of the Bethel church history of Dr. Peck, 
included in the history of the "pact," was not then made public, while 
the other part of it was recorded in the old church book of records of 
that period. 

The so-called "Old Lemen Family Notes," embraced the notes of Bev. 
James Lemen, Sr., which he began to keep in Virginia during the war 
for independence, about a dozen of them being made by him during his 
campaign as a soldier in the Yorktown siege, and a little later they de- 
scribed his friendships and meetings with Jefferson and refer to their 
anti-slavery pact of agreement, and he continued them in Illinois down, 
nearly, to the time of his death, which occurred in 1823, at New Design, 
Monroe county, Illinois. In 1805 his son (my father) Bev. James 
Lemen, Jr., began keeping his notes, and as lie was in public life for 
many years, being a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 
1818, and a member of the territorial legislatures in Kas- 
kaskia, "and the State Legislature in Vandalia and Springfield, 
and also a minister of the Gospel, he knew every public man 
in Illinois, down to the time of his death in 1870, and his 
notes comprised sketches, histories, letters and notes of all kinds ; and the 
so-called "family notes" covered a period of nearly a century and a 
quarter from the present, or the whole period of Illinois history, and 
several years of notes in Virginia, counting my father's and his father'? 
notes, all of which finally came into my father's hands and keeping. 

A.s these notes are the foundation of all that has been written on the 
Jefferson-Lemen matter and many other historical matters of general in- 
terest, something should be said of their authenticity. According to 
Governor Beynolds and Dr. J. M. Peck, these "family notes" were the 
only written, connected and authentic set of such notes ever kept in 
Illinois. Both Beynolds and Ford received and used many of them from 
parties who had read them, not wishing to come to Bev. James Lemen. 
Jr., to actually gel them for themselves, for fear of a little cost, though 
he would have charged them nothing. But they sent their work to him 
to examine, and they had gotten so many of the facts wrong that be 
simply marked off, that i>. scratched out the words, "Lemen family 


notes," not wishing them to appear as sponsor for such statements, and 
returned their manuscripts to the writers. Shortly before Dr. Peck's 
death, he had made a little book which he called "an index of errors 
corrected," and he used the family notes to correct them. The errors 
were those in early Illinois histories, but he died before his book was 
published and it was lost, with his papers and some of our family notes, 
which he had borrowed. These notes consist of observations and papers 
written largely by people who were witnesses of or actors in the events 
they describe, and, of course, are more authentic than statements resting 
on mere hearsay, or oral traditions. 

We will now explain a little more fully than we have ever yet cared 
to do in the newspapers the whole Jefferson-Lemen matter, and it will 
divest it of a good deal of the glamor and glory with which people in- 
vest it, that do not know all the inside facts. 

Jefferson was always strangely infatuated with Lemen. When he 
was a little child he made an idol of him and in his young manhood, 
it was his soul's delight to help him. Lemen was a born enthusiast 
against slavery, and he got up his scheme of the "'pact'' and an anti- 
slavery mission to Illinois as much to get Lemen to go as for his own 
ends. He wanted to make the northwest territory free, and as he be- 
lieved, Illinois held grand opportunities for any young man of Lemen's 
tastes and grit and that he would grow into a great leader and would be 
just as likely to do as much toward making the young territory free as 
any of his acquaintances, and his trap worked and Lemen went. And 
that is all there is of it. It was nothing but an incident in Jefferson's 
great love for Lemen, and as this pact was well known in the early days, 
his sons were indifferent about publishing the mere "pact" or facts of 
the agreement. Another reason for their indifference in the matter, 
was that some one, shortly before Mr. Lemen's death, told him that 
Jefferson was or had become an infidel. This greatly distressed him 
and he wept bitterly lest it should be said that in his great life work 
of forming churches he was in alliance with an infidel, for other ends, 
if his "pact" with Jefferson were known, and he exacted a pledge from 
his sons, his brother-in-law, Eev. Benjamin Ogle and S. H. Biggs, the 
only parties then living who knew the facts, except General Harrison, 
that during his life and theirs, the matter should not be published and 
they all kept their pledges in spirit, only a few warm friends, Douglas, 
Trumbull, Lincoln and a few others, being entrusted with the secret. 

The country enjoying all the benefits springing from the "pact," his 
sons finally concluded that the mere matter or agreement itself should 
never be published, but as the pact, or rather its results were a part of 
the history of Bethel church, that church itself being one of the results 
of Lemen's anti-slavery mission under the pact, Rev. James Lemen, Jr., 
had Dr. Peck write a history of it to be kept by his family when he 
wrote the history of Bethel church in 1851. In that history, Dr. Peck 
advised my father to have the pact, with all its facts, published some- 
time, and Lincoln, Douglas, Trumbull and others, a little later on, also 
advised it. Shortly before my father's death, in 1870, he instructed my 


brother, Sylvester, and myself to have the matter published, subject to 
certain conditions, if the family wished, but my brother died soon, and 
it was decided to hold it with some other matter to go into a proposed 
history of our father, Rev. James Lemen, Jr., and his father, and thus- 
several causes have operated to delay publication, with some others not 
yet mentioned. 

Some years ago assisted with information by the family in Illinois, 
Virginia and elsewhere Frank B. Lemen of Collinsville, Illinois, com- 
piled and published "The Lemen Family History," but only brief men- 
tion was made of the fact that Eev. James Lemen Sr., came to Illinois at 
Jefferson's wish to oppose slavery, and the meetings of Abraham Lincoln 
and Eev. James Lemen, Jr., covering a period of nearly twenty years, 
were only briefly alluded to, as it was then our purpose to reserve these 
matters in detail for the proposed history of Eev. James Lemen, Jr., and 
his father, but more recently, our friends insisted on the publication of 
the Jefferson-Lemen pact or matter, and it was published in the news- 
papers, except a few facts of a more personal nature, which have not 
yet been published. Our newspaper men have been the most persistent 
in seeking the publication of these old family papers and notes and have 
even sought to purchase them. Before my father's death in 1870, they 
offered five hundred dollars for the whole stock of old original notes, 
sketches, papers, etc., and would now give more, and would also pay a 
good price for a full copy of them, but we have never sold any. The 
older and more important set, at my father's orders, was placed in a 
safe deposit in St. Louis, before his death. They embraced letters from 
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, Douglas, Trumbull, the martyr 
Lovejoy, Dr. Peck, Dr. Buckley and many others, with brief histories, 
sketches, notes in diaries and much other matter, but full copies of all 
were first made for use, except a sketch by Dr. Peck for the history of 
Eev. James Lemen, Jr., and the letters which were too numerous tq 
copy, but the full facts and extracts of all of them, of any public- im- 
portance were made. All of the old set will remain in St. Louis, until 
after the "Eev. James Lemen, Jr. history" is made and out, and then it is 
expected that all the papers, old, original, later or copies, now in the 
vaults or in the hands of the family, will be collected and placed in a 
safe vault in the keeping of a member of the family, where all can see 
them and get copies, if desired, though that will be unnecessary, as it 
is intended to publish everything of any interest in all the family notes 
in the Eev. James Lemen, Jr. history, now in contemplation. In a 
letter recently, I promised some of our friends to have photographic or 
fac simile copies of some of our most important letters made for the 
book, but I now recall that copies so taken once were said to be scarcely 
readable, as the originals were too much worn to give good impressions 
and that will not be possible, but all will be printed or published in the 

By use and abuse in loaning out the copy of the. family notes made 
before the old set was taken to St. Louis, it was much worn, and the 
steady use of many of the notes in making the "Lemen family history" 


rendered them too indistinct .for use, and a complete new copy of all was 
made, which is to be given to the State Baptist Historical Society when 
that body shall have made for it a safety deposit vault; in the meantime 
the copy will be kept in a safe deposit vault at Collinsville, Illinois, where, 
as different papers are needed in making the Eev. James Lemen, Jr. 
history, it will be convenient to draw them out temporarily. And as 
to the copy made before Eev. James Lemen, Jr., sent the' old notes to 
St. Louis, a part of that is in a safe deposit vault of one of our families, 
while the other notes were taken possession of by friends. It should 
be understood that if the copy made for the Baptist Society is delivered 
before the Eev. James Lemen, Jr., history is out, that such notes as are 
not then published will be withheld until the book is made. 

I should have added that Douglas and Lincoln's letters to my father 
in a paragraph or two, showed that they rather expected that he and his 
brothers might finally determine to never have published the facts of the 
pact, and Jefferson's letter to their father referring to the matter, when 
he wrote him to get counter petitions against Harrison's pro-slavery 
demands before Congress, and that Douglas asked the privilege to print 
the general facts. He knew they had promised their father not to 
publish the facts of the pact during his life time and theirs, and he said 
that he would not print them but just state that Lemen, Sr., had Jef- 
ferson's advice and help in his great anti-slavery contest and that he 
helped Lemen's anti-slavery church which was formed to lead the 
movement, and the matter would be believed by all, as common sense 
would teach that Lemen, single-handed and alone could never have ac- 
complished the results he did without some great power behind him, but 
the request of Douglas was not granted, and Dr. Peck said the same — he 
said if the Lemen brothers would just publish that Jefferson was behind 
their father in the anti-slavery contest, that nobody would doubt it, 
if nothing else were ever said or published as the results were so vast 
and far reaching. He said the inherent evidence of the statement would 
establish it. Douglas said the matter added a new star to Jefferson's 
crown of glory, and all the pioneer Lemens were great admirers of Jef- 
ferson and Lemen, Sr., loved him to his latest hour, but he and his 
sons, by reason of his reputed unbelief did not seem to relish the idea of 
publishing his connection with him in his church work, but my father 
thought he was not quite the confirmed unbeliever as some held him to 
be, and that was Dr. Peck's view of him, and. I might add. the writer's. 

There is something a little misleading in the expression "The Jeffer- 
son-Lemen anti-slavery pact," which Dr. Peck and the other writers on 
that matter used, as it rather conveys the idea of a formal and written 
contract, whereas it was simply a verbal agreement in which Lemen on 
his part was to perform certain specific duties and Jefferson on his part 
was to comply with certain understandings, but there were no formal 
writings on this point. 

Senator Douglas, in one of his letters to James Lemen, Jr., says, sub- 
stantially, that as the pact was necessarily secret to insure its success. 


it was necessarily an oral agreement, as a written contract would imply 
or pre-suppose some means of enforcing it in case of a breach; and this 
would have disclosed and destroyed its secrecy. The nature of the pact 
or agreement and Lemen's anti-slavery mission under it arc fully set 
forth in a note or entry made by James Lemen, in his secret diary in 
which he recorded his several meetings with Jefferson on this matter, and 
its meaning is confirmed by Jefferson's letter to him to get np and send 
anti-slavery petitions to Congress to counteract Harrison's pro-slavery 
demands before that body, and at a later date, by Jefferson's message by 
Biggs to Lemen to call for a division of the churches in Illinois, and 
form a new anti-slavery church to lead the cause in Illinois. Lemen's 
notes and Jefferson's letter and message fully disclose the terms of the 
anti-slavery pact between the two men, but there was no formal written 

There have been some articles in the newspapers relating to the Jef- 
ferson-Lemen matter by writers who wrote from memory or hearsay, that 
were a little in error in some respects. One article says James Lemen 
and his big sons made their voyage on the Ohio river to Illinois, under 
Jefferson's orders to settle here and oppose slavery, with a flag over their 
flat boat bearing the good words "Friends to humanity;" which in spirit 
was pretty nearly true, though the big boys were only babies then, but 
later he had plenty of big boys who helped him battle for freedom. 
And another article says, Jefferson gave James Lemen $30.00 when he 
was to come to Illinois, to give the man who would build the first pro- 
test ant meeting house in the northwestern territory, and this was nearly 
true. When Mr. Lemen was sick in Virginia, in 1785, which, with his 
wife's sickness, prevented him from coming to Illinois in that year, 
Jefferson's financial agent gave him $30.00 to help his family (which 
had no connection with the funds he gave Lemen in December, 1785,) 
(heretofore mentioned) ; he did not want to take it, and, as Lemen had 
said before, he could serve Jefferson's anti-slavery mission better by 
forming churches in Illinois than any other way, if he were a Christian 
or professor of religion. The agent laughingly told him to take the 
$30.00 for the first church he built in Illinois, and so that story was not 
very far from the fact. This story was based on a note made by Rev. 
James Lemen, Sr., when he was ill in Virginia, and the fact is also men- 
tioned in the writings of l>ev. James Lemen, Jr. 

The foregoing facts. I believe, comprise everything of general interest 
which I can now state about the "Jefferson-Lemen anti-slavery pact," 
and the Lemen family notes, until after the Eev. James Lemen, Jr., 
history is out. And I greatly regret that I can put them in no better 
shape for the Historical Society, but my increasing illness makes it im- 

O'Fallon, Illinois. Xovember 19, 1907. 

After considering the matter a little more fully, and recalling that 
this will probably be put on file by the State Historical Society, it has 
occurred to me that some further facts of considerable importance, but 
not. bearing on the Jefferson-Lemen matter should be incorporated in the 


paper. In this connection, it might be of interest to give some of the 
facts and details in what is called the "Lincoln-Lemen interviews," which 
cover a period of about twenty years of the intimate friendship and as- 
sociations and confidences of Abraham Lincoln and Rev. James Lemen, 
Jr. Mr. Lemen was a member of the State Constitutional Convention 
of 1818, being one of the several anti-slavery members who were chosen 
at the secret suggestion of the anti-slavery church (or a council of its 
members) created under the Jefferson-Lemen pact at Jefferson's sugges- 
tion, to lead the movement in Illinois. For many years he was a mem- 
ber of one or the other of the Houses, and sat in the three capitals, Kas- 
kaskia, Vandalia and Springfield. His first meeting with Mr. Lincoln 
was at Vandalia in 1837. The men seemed singularly constituted and 
especially destined and qualified for each other. The first evening they 
met, they sat till midnight with each other and from that on for twenty 
years they were often thrown together for weeks at Vandalia, Springfield 
and elsewhere, and as Lemen was a preacher, Lincoln seemed to make 
him his religious adviser, as he said he found his advice and labors good 
antidotes for his melancholy, which, as I know, was his burden of life, 
and they generally devoted two or three evenings per week to each other's 
company. Lemen's cousins, the older Mathenys and Ward Lemen, would 
often drop in on their interviews at Springfield, but as Lincoln's wish 
was generally to be alone with Mr. Lemen, the others were not late 
sitters, but often Lincoln and Lemen would sit to twelve or two o'clock, 
and at their last meeting at Springfield, in 1856, they sat all night. 
Their talks were chiefly on the bible and kindred subjects, and Lincoln 
often had Lemen offer prayers, t and on several occasions he made prayers 
himself, though, strange to say, it greatly embarrassed him, and he freely 
confessed it. On the last meeting Lincoln made a prayer of such force 
and beauty that Lemen asked if he could repeat it, which he did and he 
[Lemen] made a copy, which the family now have. At their parting 
Lincoln expressed a wish for an agreement that, they should always re- 
member each other in prayer, and another rather singular one, that the 
one surviving, at the other's demise would offer a prayer that his life 
and labors might prove a blessing to the world. After Lincoln's death, 
Mr. Lemen called his family in and made the prayer agreed upon, and 
when the Lemen's made their family history some years ago, they put 
that prayer in it, with a brief mention of the Lincoln-Lemen friendship, 
but did not give the details. In fact, the family did not feel at liberty 
to do that until Robert Lincoln had first seen the matter, as the confi- 
dence of the two men was so profound and their friendship so devoted. 
In 1866, Rev. James Lemen, Jr., who had kept a record of all their 
meetings, made the matter, with his prayer and Lincoln's into quite a 
little history, of nine pages of legal-cap paper, and more recently we 
sent Mr. Robert Lincoln a copy of it, and as he returned our family a 
neatly made typewritten copy and kept one for himself, with a letter of 
warm thanks for our paper, we take it that we can publish the matter 
now with propriety, and we expect to insert it in the Rev. James Lemen, 

—6 H S 

Jr. history. It might be added here, that Ward Lamon, Lincoln's law- 
partner, was James Lemen's cousin, and that he spelled his name 
"Lamon" to retain the old sound of our name in Scotland, twenty-five 
or fifty years ago, but his brothers spelled their name "Lemen." My 
father introduced him to Lincoln, and commended him for his partner. 
"Lemen" (Lamon) was a good, warm friend of Lincoln's but his history 
of him shows he had no correct or adequate idea of Lincoln's true moral 
constitution, nor of his profound views of sacred and holy matters, and 
Lincoln liked him, but on occasion had no reverence nor regard for 
Lamon as a theologian, as on one occasion when he and Lemen were dis- 
cussing a bible theme, Lamon "butted in" so to speak with his observa- 
tion, when Lincoln told him he "knew less about theology than Balaam's 
mule did of Heaven." It will interest our friends to know something 
about the old notes kept by Eev. James Lemen, Sr. His first twelve or 
thirteen notes which have been preserved tell of the progress of our allies 
at the Yorktown siege. He was in that contest and one of his notes 
made on the field tells about his bearing a message from his Colonel to 
Washington whom he personally knew. Another tells of his being de- 
tailed with some others to assault and carry one of the British redoubts 
under LaFayette, where he lost nine killed, and thirty-four wounded. 
At a later date he tells, in several notes, of meeting Jefferson, their 
first meeting, about Lemen coming to Illinois was mentioned in a note 
dated at Harper's Ferry, Va., December 11, 1782, as well as I can make 
out the figures, the purport of which discloses that Jefferson then had a 
secret purpose to dedicate the northwest territory to freedom. Lemen'? 
notes shed a good deal of light indirectly on the causes leading up to the 
anti-slavery clause in the ordinance of 1787. Jefferson's secret hidden 
power and purpose had more to do with that than some people are 
aware of. One of his notes describes their meeting at Annapolis, Mary- 
land, on May 2, 178-1, when Jefferson and he made their anti-slavery 
"pact." Another tells of Jefferson's letter to him, requesting him to get 
counter (anti-slavery) petitions signed and sent to Congress to meet 
Harrison's pro-slavery demands before that body, and another tells of 
Jefferson's letter to him warning him against Aaron Burr's schemes 
and agents, but it says the letter reached him after Burr's agent had 
called and departed, otherwise he would have arrested him. These letters 
are among the old family notes in the vault in St. Louis. In its proper 
connect ion we should have mentioned and corrected an error which, 
by an oversight, was printed in the "Lemen family history," which made 
it appear that Eev. James Lemen, Sr., was curtailed by reason of his 
anti-slavery views and labors, one-half in his land rights as an old Revol- 
utionary, soldier, which was wholly erroneous, as the records will show. 
The statement grew out of the fact that Lemen's wife only shared in 
her father's lands aboul one-half of her equitable interests, as was the 
case with her sisters; and by mistake, her husband was mentioned as 
the sufferer. 

The so-called "Lemen family notes," contain the only true facts of the 
early church histories of both the Baptist and Methodist churches in 


Illinois. Eecently, Dr. Peck's brief early Baptist church history of 
Illinois, which he had collected and arranged from these notes some fifty 
years ago was completed and published in the papers. It was among 
Dr. Peck's last works, and he died before he fully completed the sketch. 
The only correct history of the M. E. churches in Illinois was ob- 
tained from these notes. It tells where, when and by whom the first, 
second and third M. E. churches in Illinois were formed, names their 
class leader, gives the day the first M. E. meeting house was raised and 
here the ladies gave a dinner on the grounds; gives the day that Bishop 
McKendree constituted the first M. E. church in Illinois, and a verbatim 
copy of his address to it, and many other facts about our early churches. 

It was always a mystery how Governor William Henry Harrison got 
hold of the secret that Jefferson sent Lemen to Illinois on an anti-slavery 
mission. Eev. Lemen, Sr., thought that Jefferson might finally have 
given him the matter as a hint not to further press for the pro-slavery 
interests in the territory ; but Lemen said Harrison never gave Jefferson 
away, so far as he could learn. 

A few words about our old family relics would perhaps interest our 
friends. Old spinning wheels, reels, winding blades, looms, bed steads, 
with posts seven feet high, and six inches square, hand cards for carding 
wool or cotton rolls, etc., our family preserved all these, but different 
branches of our family have mostly carried them away. We have an old 
wooden clock, still running, that has been keeping time for ninety years, 
and the clock makers say it will run another hundred years ; also a little 
rude black walnut box, 20 x 12 x 7 inches, with wooden hinges, made 
by Eev. James Lemen, Sr., with axe and hunting knife, in Fort Piggott, 
Monroe county, Illinois, 1787, to hold his papers when our old pioneers 
were collected there on account of Indian threats. It has contained 
some of our family papers for eighty years, as it fell to my father as a 
keepsake. It has also accumulated something more of historical interest 
on account of having held Abraham Lincoln's law papers for a week. 
In 1856 Mr. Lincoln had expressed a wish to read our old family notes 
and papers, and during my father's visit to Springfield in that year, 
he took the papers with him in the little box, and when Lincoln learned 
its history he said, for its association, he would like to keep his papers 
in it and removing our notes, he placed his papers in it and kept it on 
his table in his office for a week. 

At the late Baptist State Convention at Bloomiqgton, our friends up 
there asked us to send some old reminder of Eev. James Lemen, Sr., for 
the people to see, as the Baptists had proposed to make a fund for his 
monument as the founder of their first churches in Illinois, and we sent 
the box, and it received quite an ovation and the convention added 
$300.00 to the monument fund in a few minutes. 

In addition to the leading facts and results of the "Jefferson-Lemen 
anti-slavery pact," mentioned in this paper, some other facts from the 
old "Lemen family notes" have been given. All these facts were hastily 
collected from the "notes" for the purpose of re-writing into a better 
arranged and more methodical address to be read before the Chicago 
Historical Society, but my rapidly increasing illness makes it impossible 


for me to perform the added labor, and I ask my friends just to consider 
it in the nature of 'a long, rambling letter comprising the facts, but not 
intended as a formal or well arranged address. 

I regret very much that I cannot make a good, readable copy of it, 
but I am too ill to attempt it, and as I may not be much better for some 
weeks, I will just send it as it is, to be certain to give the reader time 
to translate or master it before your January meeting. 

I have scarcely been able to make this paper at all, and if there are 
any discrepancies or disagreements in the facts or dates and a line is 
sent to me, I will compare them with the "notes" and correct them. 

O'Fallon, Illinois, December 9, 1907. 


By Julia E. Parsons. 

Among the various causes which have contributed towards giving to 
the great State of Illinois the position which she holds among the first 
of her sister states in the Union, perhaps no single one has had greater 
influence than the character of the men, who, coming from different sec- 
tions of the country, both north and south, during the three decades pre- 
ceding the war, to make their homes within her borders and to in- 
fluence the future, not only of the State of their adoption, but of the 
entire country. In our minds arise at once the names of Lincoln, Grant, 
Trumbull, David Davis, McClernand, Washburne, Palmer and others, 
men who brought honor to their State; and who, in the great struggle 
for human liberty then impending, stood as leaders, whether in the 
councils of the nation of facing the foe on the battle field. 

Among these adopted sons of Illinois, we find the subject of this sketch, 
Lewis Baldwin Parsons, who, with the exception of the period of the 
civil war and a few years preceding and subsequent to that time, was 
a resident of the State from the time of his leaving Harvard Law School 
in 1844, until his death, March 16, 1907. 

Of Puritan ancestry, he was descended, on the paternal side from 
Cornet Joseph Parsons, who came from England with William Pyncheon 
and settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1636; and on the maternal 
side from Charles Hoare of Gloucester, England, whose widow came to 
this country in 1640 and who was the ancestor of the well known Hoare 
family of Quincy and Concord, Massachusetts. Charles Parsons, the 
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a captain in the Revolu- 
tionary army, serving from October 1775, until peace was declared in 
1783, having been with Washington during the terrible winter at Val- 
ley Forge and with him also at the final surrender of Cornwallis at 
Yorktown. His son, Lewis B. Parsons, Sr., emigrated about 1811 to 
Western New York, at that time a remote wilderness, where he soon after 
married Lucina Hoar, who was like himself, a native of Massachusetts. 

The life of these early pioneers was full of hardships, battling with 
the trials incident to the development of a new country and the struggle 
made strong, brave men and women. Into this family, which was both 
by inheritance and training of the most rigid Puritan faith, standing 
"strong for the right as God gave them to see it, "was born on April 


5, 1818, the year which also gave birth to the State of Illinois, a son, 
Lewis B. Parsons, Jr. His early life was spent in Homer, New York, 
but when ten years old his father removed to St. Lawrence county in the 
northern part of the State, which was then but little settled and largely 
a native forest. Here school advantages were very limited but with the 
same earnestness and perseverance which characterized his later life, the 
boy made the best of his opportunities and at the age of sixteen was 
teaching a small country school in what is now known as the Thousand 
Island region. That even then he showed more than ordinary originality 
and force of character, is evidenced by the fact that when visiting that 
section sixty years after, he found two of his former pupils still living, 
who distinctly recalled him and his manner of teaching. 

He continued his studies as best he could, until 1836, when at the 
age of eighteen he started for New Haven to enter Yale college. It was 
at this time he saw a railroad, the first in the State having been recently 
opened from Utica to Albany, from which point, he went by boat to New 
York and thence to New Haven. Entering Yale college with the class 
of 1840, he found himself so poorly prepared that it was only by the 
closest application he was able to keep up with his class, with the result 
that while the end of Sophomore year found him with a good standing, 
the over-study had seriously affected his health. At this time, more- 
over, his father, having now a family of ten children, of whom the subject 
of our sketch was one of the oldest and having only a moderate income, 
became unable to give his son further assistance and advised his giving 
up college and going into business. With characteristic courage and de- 
termination the young man, after careful consideration, decided to finish 
the course, borrowing money from a relative and depending upon his 
Own exertions in the future to repay it. To this end he taught a class- 
ical school in Western New York during the winter of his senior year, 
having among his scholars Thomas Cooley — afterwards Judge Cooley, 
the great authority on Constitutional law, who became a life long friend. 
Of this period, with its struggles, he wrote later in life, "Having de- 
termined to graduate, my ambition sustained me in the effort and though 
I could not secure the standing I desired, yet I believe it was such as to 
gain for me the respect of instructors and classmates, and their kindly 
regard through life. I have never regretted my persistence. The train- 
ing I secured, the tastes then formed, the life long friendships of so 
many men of influence and high character, with many of whom my 
relations have been intimate, have been sources of great enjojonent." 

After graduating from college he and two classmates took passage in 
a sailing vessel for New Orleans to try their fortunes, but yellow fever 
being then of frequent recurrence there, Parsons decided to go farther 
north, where he had other college friends and finally made his way to 
Noxuba county, Mississippi, where he took charge of a classical school, 
remaining for nearly two years. 

His residence there had a very important effect upon his later life, 
as he learned by personal observation more fully to understand the evils 
of slavery. At first, charmed with the agreeable social surroundings and 


with the delightful hospitality then customary on Southern plantations, 
so different from his earlier experiences in the north, he thought of set- 
tling permanently in the south. But as time passed and he learned more ' 
of the injurious effects of slavery upon the individual as well as the com- 
munity, his opinions changed and in 1842, the earnest solicitations of his 
father, added to his own inclinations, decided him to return to the 
north. Although he never regretted his decision, still he always looked 
back upon the time spent in the south as among the happiest years of 
his life and the friendships formed there were a lasting pleasure. 

Going north by way of the Mississippi river, he landed at St. Louis, 
then went on to Galena and by stage across Illinois, which he describes 
as "almost entirely unsettled, but one of the loveliest countries" he had 
ever seen; thence to Milwaukee and around the Lakes to Buffalo. His 
school had proved most successful and he had now accumulated enough 
money to pay his college indebtedness and to enable him to carry out the 
plan formed early in life of studying law. Thus the autumn of 1842 
found him settled at Cambridge and hard at work among the group of 
earnest ycung men, some of whom became life long friends. Judge Story 
of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Greenleaf were then at 
the head of the Harvard law school and to the ambitious young man, 
it was of the greatest value to have the opportunity for training and dis- 
cipline under these eminent lawyers. He often described in later years, 
the impression also upon his mind at this time, by seeing Webster, then 
at the height of his fame; and whom he would turn to follow, as he 
walked along the streets of Boston, seizing every opportunity also, of 
hearing him speak. 

On leaving Cambridge in 1844, Parsons determined to seek his for- 
tunes in the west and, buying a small law library in New York, he 
started out like many other young men of the period, with only such cap- 
ital as came from his natural ability, his education and his determination 
to succeed. Stopping in Washington, he spent some weeks listening to 
the debates in the Senate on the tariff question, which were then exciting 
deep interest and which were led by Webster, Clay, Benton, Silas Wright 
and others of our greatest men. Previous to that time, his political 
opinions had not been fixed, though his father having been a strong 
Whig, it would have seemed natural that the son should have had sim- 
ilar views, but after hearing these discussions he became through con- 
viction a Democrat and having once decided, his principles never 

From Washington he went to Wheeling, Cincinnati, Dayton, where 
he was strongly inclined to settle, and thence to St. Louis, at that time 
a place of 27,000 inhabitants and beginning to attract much attention. 
Here he expected to remain, intending to open an office and begin the 
practice of his profession, but meeting some Yale graduates, he learned 
from one of them, Mr. Hall, that he had recently come from Alton, 
where his former partner, Newton D. Strong was still practicing and, 
having a large business, was anxious to take in a younger man as partner. 
It being a question of necessity with Mr. Parsons to secure as promptly 


as possible some means of support, he accepted the offer of Mr. Hall 
to go up the river and the following day found him in Alton with a 
group of Yale men, Mr. Strong among them, enjoying the reminiscences 
of college days. After a most agreeable evening they separated and on 
the following day, April 5, 1844, Mr. Strong made him an offer of full 
partnership. This, to the young man without experience in the practice 
of law, was most unexpected and he accepted it gladly, being admitted to 
the bar within a few days and at once entering upon the practice of his 
profession with the energy and singleness of purpose characteristic of 
him through life. Of the next ten years, he has left few memoranda, 
for it was a period of intense activity, not only in his private business 
and his profession, but also in affairs pertaining to the general develop- 
ment of the country. 

His partner, Mr. Strong, was of a good old New England family, a 
brother of Justice Strong of the Supreme Court of the United States, 
a man of great natural ability, as well as thorough training in his pro- 
fession and of high moral character and refinement, and the business 
connection thus formed, proved not only advantageous to Mr. Parsons, 
but eminently agreeable and satisfactory to both partners. At the end 
of two years, however, Mr. Strong returned to the east to live and Mr, 
Parsons formed a partnership with Judge Henry W. Billings, which 
continued for several years, until he removed to St. Louis. 

Of his character at this time the history of Madison county says : 
"He had the reputation of being a sound, industrious lawyer; his forte, 
however, consisted in his remarkable business capacity. At the bar, he 
was always confided in, as an enterprising attentive, successful and hon- 
orable member of the profession.'"' During his residence in Alton not 
only was he eminently successful in the practice of law, but he also ac- 
cumulated a competency through the purchase of lands, which could then 
be bought at a very low price, increasing greatly in value in a few years. 
He, moreover, made an acquaintance with the foremost men of his pro- 
fession, as well as with leading men throughout the State and formed 
friendships which gave him great pleasure and which proved of value 
to him later when conducting the duties of his office as chief of trans- 
portation throughout the west. 

In 1847 he married Sarah G. Edwards, the daughter of Dr. Benjamin 
F. Edwards and niece of Governor Ninian Edwards, who died not long 
after, and in 1852 he married her younger sister. 

In 1854 he removed to St. Louis, continuing the practice of his pro- 
fession. Among his clients was the banking firm of Page and Bacon, 
who at that time were engaged in the building of the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi Railroad, now the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern, from St. 
Louis to Cincinnati, and holding a controlling interest in it, they induced 
him to leave his general practice and give his entire attention to their 
affairs. He removed temporarily to Cincinnati, where he became deeply 
interested in the building of the road, as attorney and financial agent, 
and after its completion in 1857 retained his connection with it for many 
years, being at various times, treasurer, director and president. 


It was while traveling on horseback in 1854 over the proposed line 
of this road through southern Illinois, that he first saw the tract of land 
which he bought soon after and which eventually became his home. At 
that time an unbroken prairie, crossed by the old "Vincennes Trace/' 
with deer, prairie chicken and other wild game abounding, it was a 
beautiful sight, and its gradual improvement and cultivation became a 
great source of interest to him. 

Soon after the opening of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, General, 
then Captain George B. McClellan became its vice president and a warm 
attachment between him and Mr. Parsons was formed. 

Having lost his wife in 1857, he planned to give up business as soon 
as he could arrange his affairs and go abroad, but the unsettled condition 
of the country and fears for the future, caused him to change these plans, 
and in 1860 retiring from active connection with the railroad, he re- 
turned to St. Louis to watch the progress of events, later spending the 
winter of 1860-61, in Washington as a deeply interested spectator. His 
letters written during this time show his intense feeling against the 
course pursued by Buchanan and his advisers, together with the fear that 
no way would be found of settling the great question at issue, except 
through a terrible civil war. 

In the spring of 1861 he returned to St. Louis where the secessionists 
were largely in control and aided by the Governor and Legislature, had 
planned to turn the state of Missouri over to the confederacy. This was 
prevented by the prompt action of General Lyon and at the capture of 
Camp Jackson, May 10, 1861, Mr. Parsons was beside General (then 
Colonel) Frank P. Blair, serving as volunteer aide. Eealizing the cer- 
tainty of war, although past the age of military service, he determined as 
he wrote "to give all aid in my power, for the preservation of the govern- 
ment, as my grandfather had given seven years of his life during the 
Revolutionary war," and beginning at once to arrange his private affairs 
so that they could be left, he wrote in the early autumn to General Mc- 
Clellan, offering his services in any position where the general thought 
he could be of use. In response, McClellan desired him to come to 
Washington and on his arrival there, gave him a position on his staff, 
with the rank of captain. Soon finding that this position "involved no 
special duties or responsibilities" and being exceedingly anxious to go 
into active service, Captain Parsons asked permission to resign, that he 
might return to the west and raise a regiment. General McClellan, 
however, having knowledge of his business ability, urged that he could 
be of more service to the government by remaining in the quartermaster's 
department and he was therefore transferred to the west and assigned to 
duty under General Robert Allen, then chief quartermaster in charge at 
St. Louis. 

Here his first service was on a commission with General (then Cap- 
tain) Phil Sheridan and Captain Hoyt, to examine the great mass of 
claims that had arisen under Fremont^ administration. These claims 
proved to be of such irregular and in some cases, fraudulent character. 


involving such large amounts of money and requiring such careful in- 
vestigation, that it was finally decided to turn them over to a civil com- 
mission, composed of Judge David Davis and Joseph Holt, Judge Ad- 
vocate General of the United States. 

Being released from this service, Captain Parsons sought again to be 
permitted to go to the front, but he had already so clearly shown his 
superior business and executive ability, that his personal wishes were not 
heeded, and soon after he received from General Allen the following 
order, dated December 9, 1861 : "You will take charge of all the trans- 
portation pertaining to the department of the Mississippi by river and 
railroad and discharge all employes not required to facilitate this par- 
ticular service." As this department included the Mississippi and its 
tributaries, the territory it covered "extended from the Yellowstone to 
Pittsburg and New Orleans," the lower Mississippi coming under actual 
control, as fast as the Confederates were driven back. 

By the country at large, this vast work of transportation "behind the 
scenes," as it were, in the great drama of war then being enacted, was 
but little known or considered and even after so many years, has never 
yet received its due recognition. John Fiske, the historian, writing to 
General Parsons in January, 1901, said, "I am hoping to make use of 
your reports when I come to treat of the civil war as a whole, which I 
hope to live long enough to do," but not many months later, the pen of 
this gifted writer was laid down forever and this chapter of the history of 
the civil war, still waits to be written. 

But by the leaders in that struggle, the generals in the field, planning 
for battles, where delay in any particular might mean defeat and fearful 
disaster, the importance of the proper management of the transportation 
department was fully understood, and it was most fortunate that the 
officer now put in charge of this department was a man with remarkable 
talent for organization, of great executive ability and the highest in- 
tegrity, united to the most intense loyalty to his country, and devotion 
to duty in her service. 

The army regulations of that time being intended for an army of some 
• 15,000 men in a time of peace, were totally inadequate for the great 
numbers thus suddenly brought into service, who must be transported 
over long distances and who required enormous quantities of supplies 
of every kind, which must be forwarded with utmost promptness and 
dispatch. Great confusion had therefore resulted and Captain Parsons 
first turned his attention to remedying the evils connected with the 
railroad service, where owing to the fact that any officer could give orders 
for transportation, the railroads, though loyally struggling to meet every 
demand upon them, were not able to furnish the large amount of requis- 
ition?. At the same time they held vouchers in great quantities, for 
which they could not receive payment, the consequence being that there 
were endless complaints and general discontent on the part of the rail- 
road?, with constant delays and resulting danger to the armies in the 
field. A few simple, concise regulations and forms fixing responsibility 
were prepared by Captain Parsons, which proved so successful in bring- 
ing about svstom and order and were so satisfactory to the railroad?. 


that they were adopted throughout the west, as the basis of government 
transportation throughout the war; and subsequently, with other regula- 
tions added by General Parsons, became the basis of general rules for 
army transportation, still in use. 

The system thus introduced in railroad transportation proving so 
satisfactory, Captain Parsons next sought a remedy for the evils con- 
nected with the steam-boat transportation, which were even greater than 
those of the railroads. During Fremont's administration large numbers 
of boats had been engaged by charter, and while still receiving pay for 
their services were much of the time lying idle at enormous expense 
to the government, A large majority of both steamboat owners and 
employes on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers were sympathizers with 
the confederacy and with the exception of a few loyal steamboat men in 
St. Louis, were united in their efforts to prevent any change in the system 
of chartering boats, and consequently the effort to remedy the wrong 
existing, involved far greater difficulty than with the railroads. Captain 
Parsons advertised for bids on government transportation on an ordinary 
business basis, and it at once became evident that the opportunity for 
making large profits out of the government service would soon be at an 
end. Hence great antagonism to the new system was aroused, every effort 
being made to prevent its being put into successful operation, as well as 
to secure the removal of Captain Parsons from office. Finding appeals 
to his immediate superiors unsuccessful, a protest was sent to the Sec- 
retary of War, which Mr. Stanton referred to- Quartermaster General 
Meigs and which the latter returned to Captain Parsons for explanation. 
In the meantime the changes made were beginning to bring about such 
great improvement in the service, that when in reply Captain Parsons 
sent a statement of facts, offering to resign if his course met with the 
disapproval of government, the only answer he received was a letter 
from General Meigs in which he said: "I am glad to recognize the 
fidelity with which you have performed your duty to the department and 
to the country." 

From this time Captain Parsons had the increasing confidence of 
Secretary Stanton and General Meigs, and was able to carry through the 
reforms he desired, with the result that the business was done with 
system and order, at a greatly reduced cost to government, and with an 
efficiency and promptness which enabled it to be said that "seldom have 
any requisitions been in this office over two days and the great majority 
have been answered within twenty-four hours." 

The importance of systematic river transportation throughout the 
Mississippi Valley can only be properly estimated by recalling the armies 
operating in that region, the enormous quantities of supplies necessary 
for them and the great battles fought there, wherein "the victories of 
action were made possible by the victories of organization." The diffi- 
culties in the way of such organization seemed almost insurmountable, 
requiring the utmost vigilance and unremitting labor, while even with the 
most carefully prepared rules and regulations and the assistance of effi- 
cient and capable officers there were incessant complaints, rendering the 

position one most distateful to a man of Captain Parsons' temperament, 
who desired the more active duties of field service. He therefore again 
requested to be allowed to resign from the quartermaster's department, 
this time addressing himself to Secretary Stanton in person, who re- 
plied in his emphatic manner: "It is the duty of a good officer to go 
where his superiors think he can be of the most service. You, as well as 
I know where that is, and you must stay there." His retention in this 
department was therefore settled and in April, 1862, he was promoted 
to the rank of colonel and assigned as aide on the staff of General Hal- 
leck, then in command at St. Louis. 

At the opening of the war the government held no point south of 
Cairo and to this place Captain Parsons was ordered in December, 1861, 
to consult with General Grant in person, as to the boats necessary for the 
proposed movement on Forts Henry and Donelson, and on the 2d and 3d 
of February, 15,000 men were put on transports, proceeded to Paducah, 
thence up the Tennessee, and on the 6th, Fort Henry was captured. A 
part of the forces were then re-embarked — moved down the Tennessee 
and up the Cumberland, a distance of one hundred and ten miles and 
joining with the troops that had marched overland, captured Fort 
Donelson on the 16th. After the fall of these forts, the Tennessee and 
Cumberland rivers were opened and the capture of Corinth a few months 
later, opened the Mississippi to Memphis, but it was not until after the 
fall of Vicksburg that the river to New Orleans was passable and even 
until the close of the war, bands of guerillas made transportation dan- 

The great extent of river navigation, as well as the constant diffi- 
culties and dangers under which it was carried on may be shown by an 
extract from General Parsons' final report in 1865 in which he says: 
"From Brownville, the head of navigation on the Monongahela in Penn- 
sylvania, via Pittsburg, down the Ohio to Cairo; up the Mississippi to 
the Missouri, then to Fort Benton, the head of navigation on the Mis- 
souri, a distance of 2,500 miles, the south or west of these rivers has, 
during the war been constantly subject to incursions of the Eebels, or In- 
dian savages, instigated by them to hostility ; while the 400 miles of the 
Tennessee, 300 miles of the Cumberland, 350 miles of the White river, 
650 miles of the Arkansas to Fort Gibson, 150 miles of the Yazoo. 620 
miles of the Bed river, and 1,150 miles of the Mississippi below Cairo. 
were long under their control." 

To give in the space of a brief article any comprehension of the vast 
amount of supplies required for armies thus scattered over thousands 
of miles, or to show the rapidity and safety with which large numbers of 
troops were moved from point, to point is impossible. In a report cover- 
ing the first three years of his service. Colonel Parsons was able to say 
that up to that time, there had been "no accident to any boat in Govern- 
ment service, resulting in any material loss of life, and this too. when 


there was an extended organization for the sole purpose of the destruc- 
tion of river transports." While General Sherman bears testimony to 
the fact "that no military movement in the west has failed or faltered 
for lack of transportation" and that "the wants of armies in the field 
have been anticipated and met with alacrity and dispatch." Again 
quoting from a report of Colonel Parsons, "it will be seen that at this 
time, the large armies of Grant, Sherman, Eosecrans, Banks and Steele 
were almost exclusively dependent upon river transports for their re- 
inforcements and immense supplies." 

In May, 1862, Colonel Parsons accompanied General Halleck south 
as a member of his staff, expecting to see active 'service in the field, 
but was able to remain only long enough to witness the evacuation of 
Corinth, when his duties necessitated his return to St. Louis. 

Early in December, General Grant, then near Oxford, Mississippi, 
made the first order for gathering forces for the attack on Vicksburg 
and on the 11th, Colonel Parsons was ordered to have transportation at 
Memphis by the 18th to move General Sherman's army of 40,000 men, 
with cavalry, artillery and animals, to Vicksburg. Notwithstanding the 
great difficulties involved in collecting the large number of boats neces- 
sary, with fuel sufficient for the movement, in the short space of time 
allowed, the order was carried out, sixty-seven large boats arriving at 
Memphis on the 18th, besides many smaller transports. Within forty 
hours the army was embarked and on its way south and on the 26th" 
was again dis-embarked and ready for the battle of Chickasaw Bayou. 
After a desperate but unsuccessful engagement of two days, the army, 
being in a dangerous position, "was re-embarked within sixteen hours, 
transported more than three hundred miles up the Mississippi and Ar- 
kansas rivers, again landed, fought a successful battle under General 
McClernand, captured the strong fortification of Arkansas Post with 
7,000 prisoners, destroyed the •enemies' works, dispatched its prisoners 
northward, re-embarked, returned more than 300 miles south and com- 
menced the siege of Vicksburg." During all these movements Colonel 
Parsons took personal charge of the transport fleet accompanying the 
army, first as Volunteer Aide on General Sherman's staff, later on the 
staff of General McClernand, who held command at Arkansas Post ; and 
after the commencement of the siege, on General Grant's staff, until he 
was called north at the end of February. 

In connection with his return to the north at this time, an incident 
occurred, illustrative of General Grant's thoughtfulness and kindness 
to his subordinate officers. Colonel Parsons had especially desired to 
serve under General Grant and expressing to him his regret that he was 
called away before Vicksburg was taken, the General quietly answered, 
"that will not be soon. However, if you would really like to be present, 
I will try to let you know, so that if your duties will permit, you can 
come down." Colonel Parsons attached no importance to this remark 
but in the latter part of June, he received a letter from General Grant, 
in which he said, "I think if your duties will permit of your coming; 
clown here soon, you will be in time to see the end of the siege." Greatly 
to Colonel Parsons' regret however, this was not possible. 


A few other brief reports might be given of movements made about 
this time. In June 1863 General Burnsides' army of 10,000 men then 
in jcentral Kentucky, being needed to reinforce General Grant at Vicks- 
burg, "was with its artillery, transported rapidly by rail through a part 
of Kentucky and Ohio, across southern Indiana and Illinois to Cairo, 
where transports were waiting and within lour days reached its destin- 
ation, over 1,000 miles from the point of departure." During this 
same summer of 1863, the Indians being troublesome on the upper 
Missouri, one of the largest expeditions ever fitted out by government, 
was sent against them, consisting of about 5,000 men, with several thou- 
sand tons of stores, under the command of Generals Sully and Sibley, 
being transported some 2,000 miles up the Missouri and the Yellowstone, 
while in the following summer another large body of troops with several 
thousand tons of supplies was sent to the same point. 

During the autumn of 1863, plans began to be made for Sherman's 
march to the sea, and as he had gathered over 100,000 men near Nash- 
ville, the amount of supplies required was enormous, not only for daily 
consumption for men and animals, but to provide for the future, when 
his army should be marching through the enemy's country. This diffi- 
cult problem was given to Colonel Parsons to solve and he at once began 
plans for accumulating at Nashville during the few months in which the 
Cumberland river was navigable, thousands of tons of supplies of every 
kind, so that they could be quickly transported as needed during the 
following summer to other points in eastern Tennessee, Alabama and 
Georgia. There being no light draught boats suitable for use on the 
rivers, saw-mills were fitted up, a machine shop built at Bridgeport, 
Alabama, on the upper Tennessee and within nine months, thirteen 
steamboats, four of which were partially iron-clad, were completed. 
The one line of railroad through this section was repaired and equipped, 
material being brought from the north for the purpose, and large quan- 
tities of lumber were sawed to make sheds in which to store the sup- 
plies as fast as unloaded. In the meantime there had been gathered 
at St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati and other points in the north, im- 
mense quantities of stores, which were pushed forward as soon as naviga- 
tion opened, pouring into Nashville, so that "by the time the season per- 
mitted General Sherman to open the campaign, the store-houses were 
filled, and in addition, immense stores of forage, grain, and hay were 
stacked under shelter of tarpaulins as provision again?! all possible wants." 
As a result General Sherman's Chief Quartermaster reported that in July, 
1864, "the army was 250 miles from Nashville with 100,000 men and 
80,000 animals, but notwithstanding this formidable force and its great 
distance from its base of supplies, connected by a single line of railroad 
running through mountain fastnesses, liable to be cut at any time, it 
never suffered for any essential supply hut had abundance of evervthi ng 
needed, from the moment it left Chattanooga to the fall of Atlanta. " 
Anpther officer writing a few months later to Colonel Parsons, said. 


"But few will know how to trace Sherman's success and present brilliant 
prospects to that problem (of transportation in the solution of which you 
jou were the guiding spirit." 

In August, 1864, Colonel Parsons was given charge of all rail and 
river transportation of the armies of the United States and ordered to 
Washington, where he was stationed during the remainder of the war. 
In January, I860, General Grant desired Colonel Schofield's army 
brought from Mississippi to aid in the movements around Richmond, 
but hesitated to order it, thinking it would be impracticable at that 
season of the year to safely bring so large a body of men over the 
mountains and in sufficient time to answer his purpose, forty to sixty 
days being the shortest period thought possible. Colonel Parsons said 
he thought it could be done in thirty days, but the army of 20,000 men 
with all its artillery and over 1,000 animals was transported a distance 
of nearly 1,400 miles, during the severest cold of the winter, within 
an average time of eleven days, or less than seventeen days from the 
embarkation of the first troops until the arrival of the last in Washing- 
ton, and without loss of property or of a single life. It was this move- 
ment which called forth from Secretary Stanton the remark that "it 
was without a parallel in the history of armies," and which elicited 
highest praise for the marvels of our transportation service, from 
English, French and German writers, while as recently as during the 
Spanish war a newspaper editorial stated that "the American Civil War 
still holds the record for transporting a large body of troops, over a long- 
distance in the shortest time." 

Colonel Parson's services in this department had now extended over 
nearly three years and had been of the most arduous and responsible 
nature, but though uniformly successful, they had received no recog- 
nition from the government in the only way. in which they could be 
recognized — by the promotion which his many friends thought he had 
so richly earned. There had been numerous promotions in his depart- 
ment from the regular army but few from the volunteer service and the 
reason for this was given at a cabinet meeting held about this time, 
an account of which was given to Colonel Parsons as follows : "Recently, 
when the subject of the promotion of a Quartermaster to the rank of 
Bragadier General was being discussed at a cabinet meeting, the Pres- 
ident mentioned Parsons. Some urged that the promotion should be 
given to an officer of the' regular army — that such officers were regularly 
educated and trained up in the service for that sort of position and were 
better fitted by such special training. Mr. Lincoln said, "That may all 
be well as to your stall fed fellows, but Colonel Parsons is about the 
best grass fed Quartermaster we have got. I think he should have the 
promotion now." 

The opinion of President Lincoln thus expressed in his homely, char- 
acteristic manner, was soon put into effect by the following order: 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, March 17, 1865. 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

Dear Sir — I have long thought Col. Lewis B. Parsons ought to be pro- 
moted, and intended it should have been sooner done. His long service and 
the uniform testimony to the ability with which he has discharged his very 

responsible and extended duties render it but just and proper his services 
should be acknowledged, and more especially so, since his great success in 
executing your orders for the recent movement of troops from the west. 

You will therefore at once promote Col. Parsons to the rank of a Brigadier 
General, if there is a vacancy which can be given to the Quartermaster's 
Department, and if not you will so promote him when the first vacancy 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

This resulted soon after in the promotion of Colonel Parsons to the 
rank of Brigadier General. 

After the surrender of Lee, General Parsons being much out of health 
from his long continued and incessant- duties, tendered his resignation, 
which Secretary .Stanton declined to accept, retaining him in his position 
while the enormous army of nearly one million men was disbanded, the • 
soldiers transported -to their homes, and many matters of detail connected 
with his department finally settled. He was also at this time ordered 
to make a draft of army transportation regulations, which subsequently 
became the basis of all army transportation. It may be interesting to 
add, in connection with the more recent discussion in regard to main- 
taining a larger standing army, that the possibility of this was in the 
mind of Secretary Stanton, when in October, 1865, General Parsons was 
requested by the secretary to give his "views as to the proper organiza- 
tion, to adapt the Quartermaster department to the necessities of a per- 
manent army of 100,000 men." 

In May, 1866, when he again tendered his resignation, Secretary 
Stanton offered him the position of Colonel in the regular army, the 
highest position which could be given to a volunteer, saying that Amer- 
icans were naturally brave and it was not difficult to find good soldiers, 
but that it was not always easy to secure men of business capacity and 
talents for organization. General Parsons' health was such that he de- 
clined this offer, when the secretary conferred on him the rank of Brevet 
Major General and he retired after a service of four and a half years 
with only twenty-one days' leave of absence during that time. 

Before leaving this period of General Parsons's life, an extract is here- 
with given from an editorial in the New York Times of July 31, 1865, 
by the celebrated editor, Henry J. Raymond, whom General Parsons 
did not know, but who had been present at the interview between Secre- 
tary Stanton and General Parsons after the. movement of General 
Schofield's army and who therefore probably wrote at the inspiration of 
the secretary himself. Mr. Raymond says, in part, "No officer of the 
United States army could speak with a more correct knowledge than 
General Parsons of the numbers and efficiency of the armies of the 
Union, for no one perhaps had more experience than he in their organ- 
ization, subsistence and handling. We venture the assertion that if 
Secretary Stanton were called on to name the officer who more than 
any other had distinguished himself in the task of wielding the vast 
machinery of the Union armies during all the stages of the conflict, in 
response to the plans and requirements of our generals, he would, with 
little hesitation, designate General Lewis B. Parsons. It is to his match- 


less combinations that must be attributed much of the efficiency and suc- 
cess that almost invariably marked every military movement in the 
west. When the climax of General Grant's western renown was reached 
in the battles before Chattanooga and he was transferred to the com- 
mand of all the armies, with headquarters at Washington, he lost no 
time in bringing General (then Colonel) Parsons to Washington to 
direct from that center the machinery of which he had became so com- 
pletely the master. When every department of the public service during 
the war comes to have its true place in history there will be few with a 
more brilliant and enduring reputation than General Lewis B. Parsons."' 

To this may be added the tribute of General Grant in a farewell letter 
to General Parsons, as he was leaving the service. He says : 

Headquarters Armies of the United States. 

Washington, D. C, May 20, 1865. 

Dear General — I have long contemplated writing yon and expressing my 
satisfaction with the manner in which you have discharged the very respon- 
sible and difficult duties of superintendent of river and railroad transporta- 
tion for the armies both in the west and east. 

The position is second in importance to no other connected with the mili- 
tary service, and to have been appointed to it at the beginning of a war of 
the magnitude and duration of this one and holding it to its close, provid- 
ing transportation for whole armies with all that appertains to them for 
thousands of miles, adjusting accounts involving millions of money and do- 
ing justice to all, never delaying for a moment any military operations de- 
pendent upon you, meriting and receiving the commendation of your superior 
officers and the recognition of Government, for integrity of character and 
for the able and efficient manner in which you have filled it, evidences an 
honesty of purpose, knowledge of men, business intelligence and executive 
ability of the highest order, and of which any man ought to be justly proud. 
Wishing you a speedy return to health and duty, I remain, 

Yours truly, 

U. S. Grant, 

lit. Gen. 

When finally relieved from service, General Parsons' health was found 
to be so seriously affected that his physicians ordered entire rest and 
arranging his private affairs as rapidly as possible, he went abroad in 
the folowing year, accompanied by his oldest daughter. The next two 
years were spent most delightfully in traveling over Europe, as far as 
eastern Eussia, thence to Constantinople; through Egypt and the Holy 
Land, returning to America in the autumn of 1869. 

General Parsons now took up his residerfce in St. Louis and in the 
following winter he married Miss Elizabeth Darrah of New York City. 
He again became interested in business, being a director in the Ohio 
and Mississippi Eailroad, now the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern, 
was also a director in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern, now a 
part of the Wabash system, and for three years also the president of a 
hank in St. Louis. 

In 1873 occurred the death of his oldest daughter in Minnesota after 
a long illness, followed in January, 1875, by the death in Colorado, of his 
oldest son, a young man of great promise, a graduate of Yale in the 
class of 1872 and universally beloved and respected by his classmates 

— 7 H S 


and friends. Crushed by these sorrows, broken in health and having 
experienced business reverses, General Parsons determined to go to the 
country and in the spring of 1875 returned to Illinois making his 
home on the farm at Flora which he had owned since 18.: 5, and where 
he continued to reside during the following thirty-two years. 

His life, though now a quiet one in comparison to that of the previous 
years, was not lacking in occupation. He again became interested in 
politics, having never renounced his Democratic principles, although 
strongly urged to change his party, especially during the administration 
of General Grant, but always responding to such solicitations that "if 
principles counted for anything, they should do so in politics as well 
as elsewhere." .In 1876, he took an active part in the election of Gov- 
ernor Tilden, being on the .State Central Committee and giving his en- 
tire time to conducting the campaign in Illinois and on that eventful 
5th of March, 1877, when Hayes was being sworn in as president, spend- 
ing the morning with Governor Tilden at his home in Xew York. 

In 1877 he was elected president of the Ohio and Mississippi Rail- 
road, but in the following year, when the road passed into the control 
of the Baltimore and Ohio, he retired. 

In 1878 he was urged to accept the nomination for Congress, but 
though his nomination would have been equivalent to an election, he de- 
clined, not caring for public office. Two years later, however, his 
friends throughout Illinois so strongly urged him to accept the nomin- 
ation for Governor that he consented, provided that Judge Lyman 
Trumbull, who was his choice for the nomination should positively re- 
fuse to accept it. When the convention met, Judge Trumbull was nom- 
inated but immediately declined and in a most eulogistic speech nomin- 
ated General Parsons. He, in turn refused the nomination for himself, 
seconding that of Judge Trumbull, who was finally induced to ac- 
cept, Genera] Parsons being then nominated for Lieutenant Governor. 
During the following months of the political campaign they traveled 
together throughout the State and though they were unsuccessful at the 
election, the renewal of a friendship begun in the days when General 
Parsons first commenced to practice law before the Illinois bar, was a 
great pleasure to him, continuing with frequent correspondence until 
the death of Judge Trumbull. 

In L884, General Parsons was much interested in the Presidential 
election, was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention, and it 
was largely through his influence that the Illinois delegation united on 
Cleveland, rendering his nomination possible. In L893 he was a delegate 
to the State Convention which nominated John P. Altgeld for Governor, 
and after the election was appointed president of the Board of Trustees 
of the Soldiers' Home at Quiilcy, an office which broughl him much 
pleasure, recalling as it did, the active military service of earlier years 
and which he retained during the four rears of Governor Aitgeld's ad 
ministrat ion. 

This was the lasi public position with which he was connected, but it 
}>\ no means followed that even a! the age of nearly 80 years he ceased 
to feel an active interest in the affairs of State or Nation, for as long- 
as he Lived his keen mind with its broad comprehensive vision, watched 


the progress of events not only at home, but throughout the world, 
while his firm faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and righteousness 
kept him in sympathy with the younger generations and prevented the 
pessimism natural to old age. 

The development of his large farm from an open uncultivated nrairie. 
had .caused him to take deep interest in everything connected with 
agriculture and in 1877 being then president of the Ohio and Mississippi 
Railroad, he delivered an address before the State Dairymen's Associa- 
tion on "Transportation, as connected with production and exchange," 
for which his large experience in such matters, peculiarly fitted him. 
In the present day when the great question of proper railroad manage- 
ment, either under government supervision or with absolute government 
ownership, is being so earnestly discussed, it is interesting to read the 
remedies then suggested by General Parsons for the evils only beginning, 
but whose increase he foresaw, when he said the time might be coming 
when the question would have to be decided whether the government 
would possess the railroads or the railroads possess the government, 
while the general principles he laid down as a basis for such remedies 
as would prevent either alternative, are so broad and wise that they 
are as applicable to the present situation, as to that of thirty years ago. 
In his own immediate neighborhood he was always interested in every- 
thing that would be of benefit or w T ould tend to improve and beautify 
the country, and he gave to the town of Flora at different times over 
5,000 shade trees raised in his nurseries to be planted along the streets 
of the town, while on his own property he planted many more thousands, 
both of shade and fruit trees. 

In the early days of his first coming to Illinois he had identified him- 
self with the Presbyterian Church in Alton, then under the charge of 
the Pew A. T. Norton, well known as the "Father of Presbyterian ism 
in southern Illinois, ,, and after his removal to Flora in 1875, the Pres- 
byterian Church there became an object of special interest to him. 
and in the absence of a regular pastor, he often conducted the services 
and read the sermon. 

The subject of education had been dear to him since the brave struggle 
he made for it in his own college days and when his father died in 1855, 
leaving his property for founding an educational institution in Iowa, 
the son, with his two brothers, accepted the trust. The college was 
opened in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1875, bearing the family name and from 
that time became to General Parsons an objecl of unremitting care 
through the remainder of his life, and his annual visits were considered 
by him as a sieved duty, as well as a great pleasure. His love for his 
own Alma Mater .Yale, never ceased, and his frequent visits to New 
Haven for class reunions were occasions of much enjoyment, when he 
seemed to renew his youth, while he kept up a correspondence with some 
members of his class until the last year of his life. After meeting him 
at a Yale reunion in 1901, President Hadley wrote him: "Nothing 
in all my visits to Yale Alumni Associations gives me more pleasure in 
the remembrance than your charming speech at the Alumni dinner in 
St. Louis and your vet more charming personal conversation." 


General tarsons also greatly enjoyed the meeting with old army 
friends and was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the 
Loyal Legion and vice president of the Society of the Army of the 
Tennessee, as also a member of the societies of Colonial Wars and of 
the Sons of the Revolution. He had always since the close of the war, 
longed to see a restoration of kindly understanding and sympathy be- 
tween the north and the south. And when a subscription was being 
raised to erect a monument in Chicago to the confederate dead, he sent 
a contribution, accompanied by a letter expressing his deep interest in 
the success of the undertaking. 

The year 1887 brought him a great sorrow in the death of his beloved 
wife, leaving of his family only two children, a daughter who lived with 
him in his home and a son who resided in Colorado, both of whom sur- 
vived him. 

During the last twenty years of his life lie spent his winters largely 
in Florida, varying them with trips to California and Mexico, while the 
summers generally found him at his home in Flora. On New Year's 
day, 1907, at the request of the Grand Army Post in Flora, he met the 
old soldiers at their rooms and for the last time talked over the days 
of the past, when they were all in their different ways working together 
for the same great end. With voice as strong and clear as in his younger 
days and with his old time vigor, he spoke for two hours, of the pari 
he had taken in the struggle, his hearers listening with the deepest in- 
terest and attention and at the close, to Ids surprise and pleasure he 
was presented with a chair in memory of the occasion. Though fully 
retaining his mental vigor, the last few years had brought increasing 
feebleness of body. most, patiently and uncomplainingly borne, and it 
had seemed at times, as if only his indomitable will enabled him to re- 
tain his hold on life. He expressed a wish to live for his 89th birthday 
on April 5th, but on March 16th, after an illness of only a few da\>. 
the brave, tireless soul answered the roll call and freed from the in- 
creasing limitations of the body, passed into the fuller, richer life, which 
he felt assured was awaiting him. 

On one of the last days, his mind wandered back to the past and he 
was again giving directions For the transportation of armies and order- 
iii"' that the trains should not be moved so rapidly, lest the lives of the 
soldiers might be endangered. So it was fitting that in the final simple 
services rendered in his honor, in the town with which he had been so 
long identified, he should res! for a few hours in the church he had so 
faithfully served, watched by representatives of the men who had fought 
with him and covered by the flag he had loved. 


By J. Seymour Currey. 

I. Pioneer Period. 

It is well known that the southern portion of the State of Illinois 
was settled long before the northern portion was. The accessibility 
of the territory lying contiguous to, or within easy reach of, the river 
systems of the Ohio and Mississippi, rendered it easy of access for settlers 
from the east, who arrived mostly by way of routes on those rivers. 
When Illinois was admitted as a State in 1818, the population was 
50,000, largely distributed throughout the southern portion. At this 
time Fort Dearborn had been but recently rebuilt after the dreadful 
massacre of 1812, and the country surrounding it was scarcely known to 
the settler. 

At the time of the Black Hawk war in 1832, the entrance to the 
Chicago river had become a convenient landing place for vessels on the 
lakes, though it was as yet an open roadstead. It was not until some 
years later that the government dredged out the channel so as to permit 
larger vessels to enter the river. Steamers, however, had begun to ply 
the lakes at this period, and a few years later (1839) a regular line of 
steamers was established connecting Buffalo and Chicago. The vear 
1832, in which the Black Hawk war occurred, was an epoch in the "his- 
tory of Chicago and the regions surrounding it, because of the great in- 
flux of troops and supplies at this point, under the direction of the 
government; thus establishing a route from the east which was followed 
by settlers afterwards when seeking entrance to the fertile prairie lands 
and woodlands of this portion of the State of Illinois, and the territory 
of Wisconsin to the north. The war itself was little more than a series 
of skirmishes with the Indians who were finally driven across the Missis- 
sippi, and they troubled the country no more. The accounts of the 
war caused an immense sensation throughout the country, and after 
its conclusion very important consequences followed. The attention of 
the country was called to the advantages in the soil and climate possessed 
by Illinois. The officers and men of the army, on their return from the 
campaign throughout the northern portion of Illinois ami Wiscnn°in, 


brought home with them wonderful accounts of the country. Settlers 
began to arrive shortly alter in a constantly increasing stream which 
soon became a tide. 

The history of Chicago has been told so many times that it is un- 
necessary for me to give more than an outline sufficient for a general 
understanding of the beginnings of pioneer life in the regions surround- 
ing it. After the abandonment of Fort Dearborn on August 15, 1812, 
by order of General Hull then in command of the American forces at 
Detroit — an order given with the .intention of concentrating all avail- 
able forces at Detroit to resist a British attack — the small company of 
troops with their families and a few friendly Indians began their fatal 
retreat. They were pursued by hostile Indians, and at a point about 
two miles south of the fort they were completely overwhelmed, after a 
brave defense; and the greater part, including most of the women and 
children, were killed. Those who survived were tortured and some put 
to death, a few eventually escaping. The fort was burned by the Indians 
and thereafter no white man lived on or near the spot for a space of four 

John Kinzie, an Indian tra'der, came in 1801, but escaped the mas- 
sacre of 1812 by embarking with his family in a small boat on the lake. 
He returned in 1816 after a variety of adventures and soon afterwards 
the government, having meantime made new treaties with the Indians, 
began the erection of the new fort. Few but military people lived here 
during the next ten years; and it was not until 1832 that a few scatter- 
ing houses had been built on the surrounding spaces within cannon shot 
of the stockaded walls of the fort; and a population, outside of the gar- 
rison, .of some 130 persons dwelt and pursued their various occupations. 

The importance of this point as a trading center was as yet dimly 
perceived by the residents, and other places seemed preferable to many. 
There were places north and south of this point which were thought to 
have advantages superior to the wretched little settlement on the low 
flat lands at the mouth of the Chicago river. However, the Black Hawk 
war, showing as it did the great value of Fort Dearborn as a base of 
supplies, clearly indicated that here was the most convenient place from 
which military operations could be carried on. Here was landed the 
force of IT. S. regulars, to the number of 1,000 men under General 
Winfield Scott, to take part in the campaign. After the hostile Indians 
had been driven out of the State the few frightened settlers who had 
taken refuge at the fort returned to their holdings. Chicago then began 
to increase in population, and in 1835 there were sonic 1,500 inhabitants, 
though the importance of the place was much greater than might be 
inferred from its small population. Arriving settlers in most cases did 
not cure to stay in the place; it was "too uninviting" one relates, and they 
moved on to more attractive scenes. Thus the prairie lands to the west 
were rapidly taken up, and in the later "thirties'* settlers began to turn 
their attention to the wooded regions lying to the north. It was about 
1835 that the first pioneers penetrated the wilderness in that direction. 


The term "North Shore" is descriptive of the region bordering the 
shore of Lake Michigan to the north of Chicago. How far the region 
thus described might extend it is difficult to state. In this address I 
will consider that the term applies to the region along the shore of the 
lake as far north as Waukegan which is near the State line. People 
in Boston use the term "North Shore*' to describe the coast as far north 
as Gloucester at least. The expression was not used, so far as I can 
find, by the residents of this region previous to about 1890 ; but start- 
ing as a colloquial expression it has become a most useful addition to 
our local vocabulary and has been utilized in the names of transportation 
and other companies. 

In the "thirties" and "forties" the name of Gross Point served to in- 
dicate the locality situated along the shore generally within the space 
later known as "Kidgeville township." Up to 1850 the locality was 
known as "Gross Point voting district," having no definite boundaries; 
but in that year the township of Kidgeville was organized and the voting 
district passed out of existence. Gross Point is a name that has come 
down to us from the French voyagcurs, who passed and repassed this shore 
for a hundred and fifty years in their batteaux, engaged in the fur trade 
long before the pioneers came. The correct spelling in French would be 
Grosse Pointe, but current usage has settled the spelling as indicated 
above. A point of land forming an obtuse angle projects into the lake 
about thirteen miles north of the mouth of the Chicago river, and here 
the land rises into bluffs of a moderate height. This was called Gross 
Point by the early voyagears, and in common with many other names up 
and down the lakes also of French origin, the name has remained as a 
picturesque remnant of the period when all this extensive lake region 
was a part of the dominions of the French kings. The wooded shores 
of the lake wore a lovely aspect to the passing voyageur or sailor; and 
Gross Point especially loomed up as a most attractive spot and became 
known by the romantic name of "Beauty's Eyebrow." The point, how- 
ever, was a place to be dreaded in storm and darkness, and there is a 
long list of wrecks and loss of life associated with its history. Since 
1874 a tall lighthouse with a revolving light serves as a landmark and 
guide to the mariner. 

In 1836 a small schooner called the "Dolphin' dropped anchor in 
the Chicago river after a stormy voyage from Lake Erie. On board was 
Arunah Hill, his wife and eight children, who with their household 
goods, were landed and soon after placed on a wagon and driven by ox- 
team to their new home, which was a small cabin located on what we 
now call Eidge avenue, directly west of Calvary station with- 
in the present city limits of Evanston. A small clearing in the woods 
surrounded the cabin, which was built of boards, but without windows 
<;r a chimney. The cabin had been built the previous year by 
Major Edward H. Mulford, who had taken up land from the govern- 
ment and had made some slight improvements. Major Mulford. who 
had become a resident of Chicago (where he engaged in the jewelry bus- 
iness), had doubtless begun this improvement with the idea of living 
upon the place. After occupying this place one year. Hill removed some 


three miles to the m nth, west of the present village of Wilmette, where 
he located permanently; and Mulford began living in his cabin and re- 
resided on his place the remainder of his life. 

Hill and his family were among the earliest arrivals in this region, 
and one of his sons, Benjamin F. Hill, who was six years old when the 
family came upon the scene, resided here up to the time of his death 
in 1905. 

B. F. Hill has left on record a very intelligent account of life and 
experiences in the pioneer times of this section. He relates that on ar- 
riving in Chicago he saw groups of Indians, who were a great curiosity 
to the newly arrived settlers; and after reaching their cabin on the Mul- 
ford place they found it in the midst of the forest which after nightfall 
resounded with the cries of wolves and owls. Other settlers soon joined 
them, among whom were Abraham Hathaway, John Carney, George 
and Paul Pratt, Henry Clarke, George W". Huntoon, William Foster, 
Benjamin Emerson — names familiar in the early annals of Evanston, 
and who arrived previous to 184U. During the next decade came John 
O'Leary, Samuel Reed, David Burroughs, Ozro and Charles Crain, Ed- 
ward Murphy. Alexander McDaniel, Eli Garfield, Philo Colvin, Sylvester 
Beckwith, Oliver Jellison. dames Hart ray. Otis Munn and many others. 
The township of Ridgeway was organized in 1850 with a population of 

Previous to 1846 the residents of the Gross Point district were obliged 
to get their letters at Chicago, or at Dutchman's Point, now Xiles. 
December 28, 1846, the post office was kept at the houses of the post- 
masters, and changed its location at each change of the incumbent. Most 
of the homes of the settlers were strung along the Green Bay road, now 
Ridge avenue, extending sonic three miles. The forest was gradually 
cut away by the settlers, who found a ready market for wood at Chicago, 
then growing by leaps and bounds, and by L850 the country was covered 
by well tilled farms. 

The road north from Chicago, instead of being lined by villages and 
towns, as at present, was marked by taverns, or "hotels," as they were 
often rather grandiloquently called in those days, at intervals of a few 
miles. The first of these, after leaving Chicago, was Britton's, which 
was situated about where the old Lake Yiew town hall now stands. The 
next was Baer's tavern at Rosehill ; the next. Traders at Calvary. 
Others along the Green Bay road (which was the general name for the 
road north) were Tillman's tavern. Buckeye hotel. Stebbins' tavern, etc. 
These taverns were later known after the stage coaches began to run. as 
••Seven-mile lionse.** •'Ten-mile house," etc., according to their location. 
The road- followed the low ridges which begin to rise gradually towards 
the north, and were generally sandy; which is the usual characteristic 
of the surface on the higher undulations of the land, though in the low 
portions between the ridges the soil is dark and fertile. 

Tn quite recent geologic times the waters of hake Michigan stood some 
twenty feet higher than at present and poured a flood over the divide 
into the Desplaines river valley, taking the same course through which 
the great drainage canal was cut some years since at immense labor and 


cost. The present site of Chicago was then the bottom of a shallow bay 
extending westward to the higher lands some twelve or fifteen miles from 
the present margin of the lake ; and northward in long tongues of shallow 
water between the ridges which formed low promontories. At that time 
the first land appearing above the surface of the waters was in the 
neighborhood of Kosehill, and from this point northward the land rose 
gradually, until at Waukegan, the bluffs attained a height of fifty or sixty 
feet above the surface of the lake. These facts account for the sandy 
ridges, gravelly sub-soil and old beach marks which are characteristic 
of the region. The glacial action of a more remote period is evident 
in the occurrence of boulders, some of great size. One may be seen 
near the railway station at Waukegan. and one on the campus of the 
Northwestern University at Evanston. 

The settlers arriving previous to 1850 came by boat and by overland 
routes from the east; many of them were former residents of eastern 
states, but German immigants formed a large element. The descend- 
ants of these German settlers remain today as prosperous market gard- 
eners and flower growers occupying the lands on the beautiful rolling 
country a few miles back from the lake shore. Chicago was incorpor- 
ated as a city in 1837, at which time it had attained a population of 
more than 4,000, and was a ready and convenient market for everything 
the settlers had to sell — wood for fuel and cooperage, farm produce, 
etc. Thus there was a larger measure of prosperity among these settlers 
than was usually found in pioneer communities. They began to sur- 
round themselves with a better class of improvements, built frame houses 
to replace the log cabins of the earlier period, and provided better school 
facilities for the young. April 26, 1850, the name of the post office was 
changed from Gross Point to Ridgeville. At this time the places towards 
the north were as follows, and in the adjoining columns is given the 
names they are at present known by: 

Original Name. 

Present name. 

from Chicago. 





Winnetka .... 


Highland P'k. 


Ft. Sheridan.. 
Waukegan.. .. 

Ten -mile House 

Gross Point 1 

The northern limits of Cook county are some twenty-one miles north 
of Chicago, the remainder of the distance along the north shore to the 
State line lying in Lake county. 

The life of the people living along the north shore, as may well be 
imagined, was in an early day closely interwoven with that of Lake 
Michigan, with its vicissitudes of storm and calm, its busv commerce and 
attendant disasters, its navigation and its life afloat. From the shore= 


an illimitable horizon stretched away to the eastward, and fleets of sail- 
ing craft flecked the broad bosom of its waters. Marry families had one 
or more members engaged in the occupation of sailing the lakes, and 
among the older inhabitants are captains and sailors, now retired, 
who spent years of their lives in lake navigation. The last twenty 
years has witnessed a great diminution in the numbers of sailing vessels, 
their places being supplied by the great steamers which carry, in one 
cargo, as much as ten or dozen schooners formerly did. Tales of mari- 
time adventures could be gathered in volumes from the older inhabi- 
tants and their descendants today: and many of the early settlers on this 
shore were attracted thither by the bosky woodlands and pleasant up- 
lands seen from passing vessels. 

Captain Sylvester Beekwith. in command of the schooner "Winslow/' 
which he had sailed fourteen years, was wrecked off the shore where 
Winnetka is now located in 1841 ; and with his crew found shelter at 
Patterson's tavern, then the principal stopping place at that point for 
stages and road travel on the Green Bay road. He abandoned life afloat 
and took up land near old Gross Point and remained there the rest of 
his life, becoming one of our prominent and substantial citizens. Cap- 
tain Fred Canfield and Captain Eobert Kyle likewise settled here after 
many years of sea-faring life. Every mile of the shore has its record of 
wreck and loss of life, and since the life saving station was established 
at Evanston, in 1877, the saving of some four hundred lives during the 
thirty years of its existence gives some idea of the disasters and loss of 
life which must have occurred in previous years, when no record was 
kept. For while the shores are not rock-bound as on many dangerous 
coasts, the peril to navigators when forced on a sandy beach, especially 
when skirted by bluffs approaching close to the margin of the lake, has 
proved to be a very serious one. It was for this reason that the govern- 
ment has established at short intervals along this shore light houses, fog 
horns and life-saving stations. 

In 1850, the population of Chicago was upwards of "is. Odd: and, as by 
that time telegraphic lines had been established between important 
points, the residents of the north shore were well served by the enter- 
prising press of the city. The news of the world was at their command, 
and among the leading events of that time the accounts of gold dis- 
coveries in California attracted wide-spread attention and profoundly 
affected the farmers ami woodsmen of the neighborhood. Already Ozro 
Crain, a man of an adventurous disposition, in the spring of flu 1 previous 
year (1849) had made his way across the plains and returned in the 
fall with glowing accounts from the land of gold. During the following 
winter a party was organized ready for a start westward in the spring, 
the men who composed it planning to be absenl a few years, to try their 
fortunes in the gold mines of the new El Dorado. There were about thirty 
men in the party whose name-, as far as ascertained, wrvr as follows: 


Ozro Cram, leader; Charles Cram, Erwin Crain, Leander Grain, brothers 
of Ozro; Orson Crain, a cousin; Alonzo Burroughs, William Foster and 
his son, John; Oliver Jellison, Alexander McDaniel, Eli Gatheld, Syl- 
vester Beckwith, Andrew Robinson, Benjamin Emerson. James Har- 
tray, Azel Patterson, Joel Stebbins, James Dennis,. George Eeed, Henry 
Pratt, Smith Hill, James Bowman and others whose last names only can 
be given — Hazzard, Eox. Webley, Fluent, Miller, Rice and Aekley, 
There were others who also went across the plains to the same destina- 
tion, but not with the party above mentioned. Some of these were B. 
F. Hill, Samuel Reed, Abraham Hathaway and John O'Leary. 

On the 8th of April, 1850, the party started from the Buckeye hotel, 
a small frame house still standing on Ridge avenue in Evanston. There 
were seven or eight wagons for the party, and a horse for each man. The 
scene at the departure was an animated one, and after the farewells had 
been spoken and the keepsakes exchanged, the party began their long 
journey to California. The "California widows,'' as the wives of the 
adventurers were called, went on with the work of the farms and shops, 
and in most cases managed their affairs well during the absence of their 
husbands. Their conduct affords as fine an example of constancy and 
devotion as can be found in the annals of romance. Just as the crusaders 
of old, rallying from every country in Europe and following the banner 
of the cross to the- far distant land of Palestine, found on their return 
from an absence of years their faithful wives true in their affections 
and to the trusts confided to them, so our California Argonauts found 
on their return the warmth of heartfelt affection and welcome to their 
homes after their long absence in the land of gold. And when we con- 
sider what those homes were, far on the frontier of civilization, devoid 
of many of the comforts and conveniences which we deem so necessary 
in the homes of this day. we can form some idea of the true hearted 
faithfulness of the women of pioneer times. It is to these women who, 
in the pioneer life we have attempted to depict, have maintained the 
honor and purity of these homes of the early times, and to whom are 
due the best elements in the institutions and life we now enjoy. 

We have some interesting records of the long journey of the party 
across the plains. Alexander McDaniel methodically kept a diary during 
the two years of his absence, ami when possible wrote long letters to his 
young wife at home. Letters from Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Laramie and 
Salt Lake City were received, and finally, after a journey of some two 
and one-half months, the party, at least most of them, reached their 
■ lest ination on the western slopes of the Sierras. 

Some members of the party did not remain with their associate:- to 
the end of the journey, preferring to return from various points on the 
way. Those who at last reached the gold diggings took up claims and 
began work in earnest. McDaniel records in his diary the amount of 
"dust" taken out each day. and the .amounts varied from three or four 


dollars to over thirty dollars as the result of the day's work, and some 
exceptional days much larger sums. As last as he accumulated the 
precious metal in sufficient quantities to make shipments, it was sent 
by Wells, Fargo & Company's Express (the same company and name we 
are familiar with today) to his faithful wife at home, who cared for it 
safely until his return some twenty-one months later, having gained some 
three thousand dollars as the result of his trip. The Crains also did 
well, generally speaking, and also many of the other members of the 
party. They mostly all returned within a couple of years, either across 
the plains, the way they had gone, or by the Panama route. Benjamin 
Emerson was robbed of four thousand dollars of his gains while on his 
way home. Oliver Jellison disappeared and was never more heard off; 
Joel Stebbins, Mr. Webley and Azel Patterson never returned. 

A party of California adventurers also started from Waukegan. 
Among those who were members of the party were Isaiah Marsh, George 
Ferguson, George Allen Hibbard, D. H. Sherman, William and James 
Steele, and Jacob Miller with his two sons. Hibbard was frozen to 
death while crossing the mountains, and Jacob Miller died from the 
exposures and .privations suffered on the journey. 

During the fifteen years from 1835, when the first settlers came, in any 
appreciable numbers, to 1850, the land had been cleared of the greater 
part of its forest growth, and farming had become the principal occupa- 
tion of the people. From Chicago north to the State line, a distance of 
some forty-five miles, there had grown up a succession of small com- 
munities, the most important of which was Waukegan, which previous 
to 1849 had been known as Little Fort. This town, in 1850, had a popu- 
lation of over 3,000, possessed a thriving trade in lumber and grain, and 
had become a port of call for a line of steamers. During the year just 
mentioned there had been over a thousand arrivals of lake vessels and 
steamers at the port of Waukegan and the government had begun work 
to improve the harbor. At one time the people of the place regarded it 
as a rival of Chicago, but after the completion of the railroad between 
Chicago and Milwaukee a few years later its commercial importance de- 
clined, though as the county -cat of Lake county it has become an at- 
tractive and well built city and the center of trade for a prosperous 
country population. 

Anion-- flic early residents of Waukegan. were Henry W. Blodgett, 
in later years well known as a federal judge: and Elijah M. Haines, 
who came to kittle Fori as early as 1843. Haines published a history 
of Lake county in 1852, the county being then but thirteen years old. 
Eaines was an industrious and careful historian of the events in which 
lie himself had a large share, and his writings, now scarce and difficult 
to procure, are among the mosl valuable of our pioneer sketches. 

II. Modern Period. 

On the :;ist day of May. L850, a meeting f a few gentlemen was held 
in the office of Granl Goodrich in Chicago, the object of which was 
to take ~te|is towards Founding a university, "to be under the control and 


patronage of the Methodist Episcopal Church/' Among those present 
were Grant Goodrich, Rev. Zadoc Hail, Rev. Richard Haney, Rev. R. H. 
Blanchard, Orrington Lunt, Dr. John Evans, J. K. Botsford, Henry 
W. Clarke and Andrew J. Brown. The result of this meeting was an 
application to the State Legislature for a charter, which was granted in 
an Act passed January 28, 1851. Pursuant to this act the Northwestern 
University was organized June 11, 1851. The president of the first 
Board of Trustees was John Evans, who soon after arranged, on behalf 
of the board, for the purchase of the block of ground in Chicago on 
which now stands the Grand Pacific hotel and the Illinois Trust and 
Savings Bank. The purchase price was eight thousand dollars. The 
purpose in view was the establishment of a preparatory school, though 
this purpose was afterwards abandoned. The land, however, was retained 
and is now a valuable asset of the university. "This was the smartest 
thing we ever did/' said Mr. Lunt many years later. "There was noth- 
ing particularly smart in the purchasing, but the smart thing was in the 
keeping of it, for it is now (1888) worth a million dollars.'"' June 
£2, 1853, Clark T. Hinman was elected the first president of the faculty 
of the university, though no buildings had been erected as yet and no site 
even selected. Several locations were considered and finally a Dart, 
visited the lake shore in the township of Ridgeville and decided on the 
site now occupied by the university. A tract of 380 acres was purchased 
from Dr. John H. Poster in August, 1853, and a part of the land was 
laid out for a campus, a building erected, and the university was opened 
to students November 5, 1855. A year or more before this time 
(October, 1851) Dr. Hinman died and no successor was elected until 
the following year. 

During the winter of 1853-1 a plat of a village was made under the 
superintendence of Rev. Philo Judson, who had been appointed by the 
board of trustees as the business -agent of the university, and the village 
thus platted was named Evanston, in honor of Dr. John Evans, the 
president of the board of trustees. This was on February 3, 1851. The 
plat of the village was recorded July 27, 1851. The name of the post 
office, however, was not changed until August 2]. 1S55, when it ceased 
to be called Ridgeville, and was thereafter officially named by the post 
office department, Evanston. James B. Colvin was appointed the first 
postmaster under the new name. The name of the township of Ridgeville 
was changed to Evanston, February 17, 1857, accompanied by a change 
of boundaries. Lakeview township, formerly a part of Ridgeville town- 
ship, was at the same time created, and has since been included within 
the city limits of Chicago. 

When the Northwestern University decided on locating its campus 
and buildings where they are now situated, the community, thereafter 
known as Evanston, entered upon a new era in its history. It became a 
seat of learning and a center of interest to the large body of Methodists 
throughout the west, and attracted a class of residents who were con- 
nected with the work of the university. The friends and sympathizers 
with the new institution also came in constantly increasing numbers, 


so that a tune and atmosphere was created that vitally influenced the 
later development of the place. The prohibition against the sale of 
liquors within a limit of four miles from the principal buildings of the 
university, such a provision having been included in the charter of the 
institution, guaranteed to the community absolute immunity from the 
evil influences of the liquor traffic. Previous to this time, in the older 
pioneer period, liquor selling had been carried on at all the taverns, 
"■groceries," and road houses scattered along the highways; and these 
places had become a resort for thieves and fugitives from justice, and 
especially counterfeiters, who flourished greatly in those days — to the 
great scandal of the quiet and law abiding settlers of the vicinity. This 
was now dime away with completely; and, since the establishment of the 
university, the prohibition against liquor selling has lent character and 
distinction to the place, and continues to be one of the most carefully 
guarded and cherished institutions of the people. 

The Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston, founded for the purpose 
of preparing young men for the ministry, began its work in 1856. It 
is interesting to note that a part of the endowment of this institution 
consisted of property in Chicago on which was built the "Wigwam" in 
1860. In this building Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presi- 

In 1860 occurred a most appalling steamer disaster off the shore op- 
posite Highland park, resulting in the loss of some 300 lives. The 
steamer "Lady Elgin," a large side wheel steamer, and the finest one on 
the lakes, left Chicago late on the evening of September 7 with some 
400 passengers, most of whom were bound for Milwaukee. While pro- 
ceeding on her course some three hours later, that is, about two o'clock 
in the morning of September 8, the steamer came into collision with 
the schooner "Augusta" bound for Chicago. Immediately after the 
collision the captain of the schooner shouted to the people on the 
steamer inquiring if they had suffered any damage or whether help was 
needed, but receiving an answer that no assistance was needed, the 
schooner proceeded on her course. On its arrival in Chicago harbor next 
morning the captain learned from the papers that the steamer had gone 
down in half an hour after the collision, and a large number of lives were 

When the ill fated steamer sank she was three miles from the shore 
and a gale was blowing from the northeast. Three boats had been 
lowered immediately after the collision, manned by sailors provided with 
mattresses and sail-cloth for the purpose of stopping the hole in her 
side; but the oars were broken in the attempt and the boats drifted 
away, eventually arriving on the neighboring shore with their occu- 
pants in safety. 

Large quantities of wreckage were loosened as the steamer went down, 
and the passengers seized upon any object that would keep them afloat. 
In the cargo was a drove of cattle and the struggling animals were pre- 
cipitated into the water among the passengers. Many found a precarious 
hold on their backs. A large piece of the hurricane deck became de- 
tached at the moment when the steamer went down, and on this the 


heroic Captain Wilson (who himself lost his life) gathered more than 
fifty people and navigated the improvised raft towards the shore at 
Winnetka. The raft ran on a sandbar at some distance from the shore 
and went to pieces, and most of those who had so nearly reached a place of 
safety were lost in the boiling waves. 

The wreckage from the scene of the disaster drifted ashore in great 
quantities at a point near where the Winnetka water tower now stands 
and was scattered along the beach for miles to the south. The bluffs 
at Winnetka are some twenty or thirty feet in height and below them is 
a narrow beach, in some places completely submerged by the surf. When, 
in the gray of the morning, the survivors neared the shore the residents 
of the neighborhood came to the edge of the bluffs in great numbers 
ready to assist in the work of rescue. "The unfortunate passengers 
seemed to come safely to the point where the waves broke on the shore,"' 
relates an eye witness of the scene, "but unless assistance was then at 
■hand they were carried. back by the undertow. The only persons I saw 
rescued were saved by some one from the shore running out into the 
surf with long branches hastily cut from trees near at hand. These 
branches would be grasped by the ones in distress, and. once over the 
critical spot, they were safe." * 

All that day portions of the wreck, with the unfortunate survivors 
clinging to them, continued to come within view of the hundreds of 
spectators who lined the bluffs. Often a survivor was seen holding to 
some support which was torn from his grasp in the surf, and he would 
be immediately swept back and drowned. At some places the -waves beat 
directly against the face of the bluffs, and the survivors could be seen 
helplessly drifting to almost certain death. It was at such points that 
some of the brave rescuers would let themselves down by ropes held *by 
those above, and when possible seize a person as he came within reach, 
too often in vain. Many of the students from the Northwestern Univer- 
sity and Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston joined in the work of 
rescue. One of them, Edward W. Spencer, was successful in saying the 
lives of seventeen men and women. Others among the students and 
townspeople performed heroic deeds in this rescue work. 

For days floating debris and bodies from the wreck continued to be 
washed up on the beach, and such of the latter as were not claimed by 
friends were given a decent burial. Out of 400 passengers 
who left Chicago the night before only about one-fourth of 
the whole numbei were saved. Mr. Spencer, whose daring- 
deeds of rescue attracted the attention of the whole country at the 
time, is still living in California in broken health, never Inning re- 
covered from the terrible strain of that day's work. That was before the 
days when medals for life saving were given by the government, and Mr. 
Spencer received no other recognition than the applause of his friends 
and neighbors. But lately a movement has been started by Evanston 
people having for its object the passage of an Act of Congress to bestow 
a medal, even at this Late daw on Mr. Spencer tor his heroic work. 

112 ; 

In the early "fifties" the people everywhere were immensely inter- 
ested in railroad building. Their' imaginations were all on lire when 
considering the future development of the country, and railroads proposed 
were to be built over the great routes of trade. In the previous decade 
lines had been opened in various parts of the State, and the pioneer resi- 
dents of the North Shore were anxiously looking forward to the time when 
a line would be built from Chicago to the north. Major Mulford used 
to stand at the door of his house, and, looking towards the flats between 
his house and the opposite ridge, would say to his neighbors, "'Some day, 
nry friends, you will see the iron horse following the path along this 
valley." In fact the line was built precisely where he had indicated. 
Mens minds were keyed up expectantly for the advent of the railroad. 
Few had seen one in operation, but the people longed passionately for 
its arrival among them. The enthusiasm with which every project for 
railroad building was received by the people is scarcely conceivable in 
these days when railroads, their managers and their affairs generally, 
are the targets for every man's abuse and criticism. Counties all over 
the State freely issued bonds in aid of new railroad projects, and the 
National government granted to the Illinois Central Railroad every 
alternate section of land along its entire line from one end of the State 
to the other. Late in the fall of 1854 the Chicago & Milwaukee Rail- 
road was completed as far as Waukegan, and in the following year 
trains were running over the entire distance from Chicago to Milwaukee. 
This road and others were merged many years later and became a part 
of the great system of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. 

Lake Forest began its existence in 1850. In the previous year a 
number of Chicago gentlemen, among whom were H. M. Thompson, 
Dr. C. H. Quinlan, David J. Lake, Rev. R. W. Patterson, and others, had 
formed an association to establish at some point in the vicinity of Chi- 
cago, a college and other kindred institutions under the auspices of the 
Fresbyterian denomination. A location was decided upon and the Lake 
Foresi Association was organized February "is. L856. The beautiful 
situation of Lake Foresi attracted a line class of residents, ami in the 
year ls">; a building was erected for the academy the purpose of which 
■..I- i be preparation of young men for college. "Ferry Hall.** for a young 
helie-' seminary, was completed in 1869. and a building for Lake Foresi 
College was completed in 1876. These three institutions, the Academy, 
. Ferry Hall and Lake Forest College, are affiliated under the name of 
Lake Forest University. 

Lake Foreei is laid out on a plan similar to a public park with many 
winding driveways, and is the place of residence of a large number if 
Chicago's well-to-do business and professional men. The height of the 
1. lull's there is at some points eighty feel above the lake and are inter- 
sected by picturesque ravines. Like Evanston the University is for- 
tunate in being provided with a charter which prohibits the liquor traffic 
within the limits of the city of Lake Forest. 

I have not space within the limits of this address to speak of the 
glorious record made by the people of the North Shore in that period of 
their history covered by the four years of the Civil war. when the martial 


spirit was awakened among them and great numbers of their young men 
flocked to the standard of their country. It would be interesting to treat 
of this period and to give some account of the young soldiers who honor- 
ably bore their part in many campaigns and on many battle fields. 

The life and activities of our people in the succeeding "piping times 
of peace," the growth of movements, religious and intellectual, that here 
found a fruitful soil — are worthy of extended historical treatment. The 
men and women who have been identified with causes of world-wide fame 
and importance, and who have attained to eminence and renown in 
scholarship, reform, literature and statesmanship, might well occupy 
our attention and interest. But we have seen enough in this brief and 
inadequate sketch to demonstrate that whatever of success we have had, 
and our measure has been by no means insignificant, is due, not only to 
the courage and determination of the men of these pioneer times, but 
far more to the fortitude and constancy of those noble women, who, 
in the formative period of our community life, distinguished themselves 
by their unshrinking loyalty and devotion. 

H S 



(By Frederick Oakes Slyvester.) 

A Romantic Spot on the Mississippi. 


By Clara Kern Bayliss. 


[The writer thinks it entirely possible that Douay may have been right in 
saying that Marquette's description of the Piasa was exaggerated, — although 
Douay was bitterly hostile to the Jesuits. She also thinks it highly probable 
that the modern pictures of this Bird-Serpent are more detailed and perfect 
than the original etching by the Indians, although Marquette is reported by 
Hennepin as saying of the original "our best painters could hardly do better." 
But, making allowance for all embellishments, both ancient and modern 
writers agree that such an image was depicted on the rocks and that it was 
an object of awe and of sacrifice among the Indians. This being conceded, 
and the mythology of the Algonkins taken into the account, it seems im- 
possible to escape the conclusion arrived at in this article, (in which smooth- 
ness and literary form have been sacrificed to scientific explicitness).] 

On the Mississippi Eiver between Alton and the mouth of the Illinois 
River a small stream known as the Piasa Creek empties into the Father 
of Waters. At its mouth, on a lofty sandstone cliff at a height of eighty 
feet above the river, there were in the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury and until well into the nineteenth century two carved and painted 
representations of a monster known to the Indians as the Piasa or Piasau. 
the "man-devouring-bird." It was a combination of bird and serpent. 

Father Marquette, the first white man known to descend the Father 
of Waters to the Mis.-ouri. saw these figures in August. 1673, when he 
made his first trip; and in his "Discoveries of the Mississippi," published 
in Paris in 1861. he says of them: 


"As we were descending the river we saw high rocks with hideous 
monsters painted upon them, and upon which the bravest Indian dare not 
look. They are as large as a calf, with heads and horns like a goat; their 
eyes are red, beard like a tiger's, and face like a man's. Their tails are 
so long that they pass over their heads and between their legs under their 
bodies, ending like a fish's tail. They are painted red, green, and black." 

Again lie says : 

"Passing the mouth of the Illinois River we soon fell into the shadow of a 
tall piomontory and with great astonishment beheld the representations of 
two monsters painted on the lofty limestone front. Each of these frightful 
figures had the face of a man, the horns of a deer, the beard of a tiger, and 
tne tail of a fish, so long that it passed around the body, over the head, and 
between the legs. It was an object of Indian worship." 

Hennepin, in his "jS'ew discover}- of a vast country in America." pub- 
lished in 1698, mentions "a horse and some other beasts painted in red 
upon a very steep rock on the river where the Illini said a great 
number of Miamis had been driven into the river by the Mestchegamis 
and drowned. And since that time the Savages going by the rock use to 
smoke and offer tobacco to the beasts to appease the Manitou." 

Hennepin says that he asked M. Joliet if he had ever seen these rep- 
resentations and he replied that the Outtaouats had often spoken to him 
of these monsters but he had never gone so far down the river. 

Hennepin also asked Marquette about them and the latter described 
them in the language already quoted from his book, with this addition : 
"Their body is covered with scales, their tail is so long that it goes over 
their heads and then turns between their fore-legs under the belly, ending 
like a fish-tail. They are well drawn, and the rock is so steep that it is 
a wonder how it was possible to draw these figures." 

St. Cosme, in his "Voyage down the Mississippi/' says that he saw 
them in 1699, but that they were then much effaced. Douay and Joutel 
saw nothing terrible in them, but say that the Indians made sacrifices to 

Such is the testimony of the early explorers.* 

Miami Traditions. 

The Miamis claimed that long ago they lived near the present site 
of Alton, and were one of the tribes composing the great Illini con- 
federacy. About the year 1827, Hon. P. A. Armstrong obtained from 
them the following legend, published by him in 1887 in his monograph 
on the Piasa. 

"Many thousand moons before the coming of the white man, in the caves 
of the Piasa bluffs lived two monsters with wings of an eagle only much 
larger, and with claws of an alligator. (Otherwise as already described.) 
T^iey spent the greater part of their time resting and dozing on the rocks 
or flying over the country. The voice of one was like the roaring of a 
buffalo bull; of the other like the scream of a panther. They swooped down 
and carried off young deer and elk, which they bore to their cavern home 
to devour at their leisure. But they never molested the Indians until one 

* These figures were incised into the rock and painted, thus lessening the wear 
of the elements. McAdams tells of other petroglyphs farther up the river, sim- 
ilarly treated, which, though dim, showed no deterioration in thirty years. 

t Michigamis. 


morning when the Miamis and Mestchegamist met in battle array in the 
Piasa canyon to do each other to death. In the midst of the carnage, just 
when the Mestchegamis were wavering and about to fly, these two horrible 
monsters came flying down the canyon uttering bellowings and shrieks, while 
the flapping of their wings roared out like so many thunder claps. Passing 
close over the heads of the combatants, each picked up a Miami chieftain 
and bore him, struggling, aloft, leaving the tribe terrified and demoralized. 

"The Mestchegamis, thinking the Great Spirit had sent the monsters to aid 
them against their enemies, gave a great war-whoop and renewed the battle, 
which now became a rout and massacre. The Miamis fled across the country 
and dared not stop until they had crossed the Wabash river. 

"Long after, when they had helped to nearly exterminate the Mestchega- 
mis at Starved Rock, they visited the scene of their ancient defeat, and there 
on the rocks were the petroglyphs of the monsters." 

Illini Tradition. 

A. D. Jones, in his "Illinois and the West" published in 1838, give* the 
Illini tradition, which says that the "Man-destroying-bird" which took 
up its home in the lofty peaks near Alton, had "wings clothed with 
thunder, making a most fearful noise in its heavy flight; its talons, four 
in number, were like the eagle's; its tail was of huge dimensions. It 
one day descended into their midst and carried off one of their bravest 
warriors, and thereafter, other braves, squaws, and papooses. They* lived 
in terror, until their chieftain, Waw-to-go, obeying a dream he bad bad. 
offered himself as a sacrifice, and stood out in full view of the cliff to 
tempt the bird. It soon swooped down upon him, but was pierced to 
the heart by the arrows of twenty concealed warriors. All had expected 
that Wawtogo as well as the bird would be slain, but he miraculously 
escaped without a scratch. 

Then they cut the image of the bird on the cliffs and painted it : and 
thereafter no Indian passed the spot without discharging Ins arrows at it. 

Later Testimony. 

Marquette, Hennepin, St. Cosme, Douay. and Joutel mention two 
birds and rock pictures. When A. D. Jones visited the spot in 1838 
there was but one remaining. By this time the Indians had obtained 
firearms from the whites, and Jones says : 

"I visited the place in June, 1838, and the ten thousand bullet marks on 
the cliff seemed to corroborate the tradition of the neighborhood. So lately 
as the passage of the Sac and Fox delegations down the river on their way to 
Washington, there was a general discharge of rifles at the Piasau Bird. On 
arriving at Alton they went ashore in a body and proceeded to the bluff 
where they held a solemn war-council, concluding the whole with a splendid 

Professor John Russell of Jersey county, Illinois, visited the bluff m 
March 1848, and in July of that year published in the "Evangelical 
Magazine and Gospel Advocate*" of CPtica, X. V. the description of the 
image and the Illini tradition as given above. Be says: 

"No human art could reach the elevation of the figure on the smooth face 
of the cliff. * * * Even at this day an Indian never passes the spot 
without firing his gun at the figure of the bird. The marks of the balls are 
almost innumerable. 

PAW £ " : f : 


"My curiosity was principally directed to the examination of a cave con- 
nected with the tradition as one of those to which the bird had carried its 
victims. * * * After long and perilous clambering, we reached the en- 
trance, about fifty feet above the river. * * * The shape of the cave 
was irregular, but so far as I could juuge, the bottom would average about 
twenty by thirty feet. The floor of the cave throughout its whole extent 
was one mass of human bones."* 

And he adds this significant remark: "The Mississippi was rolling in silent 
grandeur beneath us; high over our heads a single cedar hung its branches 
over the cliff, on the blasted top of which was seated a bald eagle. No other 
sound or sign of life was near." 

Hon. P. A. Armstrong, from whom we already have quoted exten- 
sively, says that there were petroglyphs of two monsters, not exactly 
alike, cut into bluish gray sandstone overlying the limestone which 
Marquette mentions; that they were in horizontal line, heads east; were 
thirty feet long and twelve feet high, (Marquette not taking into ac- 
count the distance of his canoe from them) ; that they had the wings 
of a bat but shaped like an eagle's, and elevated, not extended: four 
legs, each supplied with claws like an eagle's ; that the figures were 
quite distinct when white people first settled in the locality, and that 
traces of them remained until the rock was quarried away by the con- 
victs of the penitentiary about the year 1856. As to the Lnaecesible situa- 
tion of the figures the same gentleman suggests that when they were 
made there probably was at the base of the cliff a slope of talus which 
has since been carried away by some of the many changes in the course 
oi the river. 

The late Win. McAdams of Alton, perhaps the greatest archeologist 
of Illinois during the nineteenth century, furnished to the Smithsonian 
Institution at Washington the picture of the Piasa used in this article, 
and made by Win. Dennis, April :>. L825; and also another less elaborate 
•one made by H. Lewis, and published in Dusseldorff, Germany, in 1839, 
which shows a ragged crevice as of a fracture in the bluff, just behind 
the rather dim head of a second Piasa. He says, "Part of the bluff's 
face might have fallen, and thus destroyed one of the images, for in 
later years writers speak of but one figure," (Ethnolooical Report, X. 
p. .78.") 

Parkman, the historian, says that a drawing of the two beasts made 
by Marquette has been lost; but that he (Parkman) has a map decorated 
with a representation of the Piasa which he believes to have been copied 
from Marquette's drawing. 

Thus much to prove the existence of the Piasa petroglyph. 

But what of its signiiieance? 

Was this bird-serpent with its human face a combination of the 
thunder-bird and lightning-serpent in which all the Algonkin tribes 
believed ? 

In support of this theory we give fads gathered from many different 
sources, beginning with those from such unquestioned authority as the 
Jcxuii Relations, hut first stating that the Indians thought the clouds 
were some kind of huge birds because they soared in the air like birds. 

, though it has been sug- 


The black storm-clouds of summer were thunder-birds or their shadow, 
and the zigzag lightning was a serpent darting like a snake from out the 

"The myth of the Thunderbird was common to all North American tribes 
from Mexico to Hudson's Bay, and from the St. Lawrence to Behring's 
Straits; and it is still current among most of the northern and western 
tribes. They explain the thunderstorm as proceeding from an immense bird, 
so large that its shadow darkens the heavens. The thunder is the sound 
made by the flapping of its wings; the lightning is the winking of its eyes; 
and the deadly thunderbolts are arrows sent forth by the bird against its 
enemies. The Indians dread this bird, often addressing prayers to it dur- 
ing a thunderstorm. The tribes around Puget Sound and in Alaska perform 
a thunderbird ceremony." (Reuben Gold Thwaites in Jesuit Relations, X. 

The Montagnais say the thunder is a bird ; and when a Frenchman 
answered "Yes" to their question whether thunderbirds were captured 
in France, they begged him to bring them a French one — but a very 
little one because a large one would frighten them. (J. E., V. 57.) 

The Hurons believe the thunder to be a very large bird ; but the 
Montagnais clo not know what kind of an animal it is only it eats snakes 
and sometimes trees. (VI, 225.) 

Another Huron said the thunder was a man like a turkey-cock. The 
sky is his palace, but when the clouds are rumbling he comes down to 
earth to get his supply of reptiles. (X. 195.) 

The Hurons east of Lake Huron say there is a serpent like an armored 
fish which pierces everything that it meets on the way. trees, bears, and 
even rocks, without ever deviating from its course or being stopped by 
anything. (XXXIII. 213, note 68.) 

A savage told Father Buteau that the thunder was caused by the 
(storm) Manitou trying to vomit up a serpent he had swallowed. One 
could know that by the sinuous lines stamped on the trees when one 
of these spewed-up serpents struck a tree in its fall to earth. (XII, 27.) 

The Ojibwas, Illinois, and many oilier northern tribes relate legends 
of lightning serpents that an 1 fond for the thunderbirds — the thunder- 
bird being perhaps the most general of any of our aboriginal myths re- 
garding the thunderstorms. (XII, 270. Thwaites.) 

The Objibwas of LaPointe worship the sun and the thunder. They 
say tlw sun or (he thunder has said this or thai to (hem. ( LI Y, 187.) 

During a storm on Menominee River the chief medicine man (priest), 
ran about in the woods naked, crying aloud and invoking the (bunder, 
who. be said, was a powerful divinity. (LVIII, "279.) 

'I'll- [ndians of Bay'de Puants offer sacrifices to (lie sun. the thunder, 
and various animals. (LXI, 1 I'.).) 

Father Jacques Gravier of (he Illinois mission saw three or four 
snakeskins and several birdskins hung up in (lie cabin of a medicine 
man. and at another time a little dog suspended from (he top of a pole, 
the latter to appease the lightning. (LXIV, 187.) 

Tn the myths of many people a greai bird is the agent of the chief 
deity if not the deity himself. The sweep of his wings is the thunder; 
the -lance of his eve is the lightning. (Bancroft. Native Races, TIL 


The Ahts of Vancouver's Island call their thunderbird, Tootooch. 
The flapping of her wings shakes the hills with thunder and when she 
puts out her forked tongue lightning quivers across the sky. (Ibid, 96.) 
The Tlinkits say that once during a flood the thuncler-and-lightning- 
man parted from his sister telling her she never would see him more, 
but would hear his voire. He clothed himself in the skin of a great 
bird and flew toward the southwest. She never has seen him since; 
but whenever a tempest sweeps over the land the lightning of his eyes 
gleams down on her, and the thunder of his wings re-echoes through the 
subterranean caves. 

The Tinneh say that before man existed the world was a great ocean 
fiequented by an immense bird, the beating of whose wings was thunder, 
the glance of whose eve was lightning. (Ibid, 104-5.) 

The flash of thunderbird's eye breaks sticks. ( Algic Researches, 111 ) 
The Passamaquoildv of Maine think the thunderbirds are very like to 
human beings only they have wings. They say that the thunder and 
lightning are two spirits, young men of great beauty but of awful mien, 
who dwell in Mt. Kataehdin, whence they fly out among the clouds every 
few days, shooting arrows at their enemies. (Algonkin Legends. 261.) 
They relate that once an Indian was whirled up in a roaring wind, 
taken up in a thunderstorm and set down in the village of the thund- 
erers, whom he found very like human beings only they had wings which 
could be taken off and laid aside. They carry bows and arrows. The 
crash of thunder is the sound made by their wings. The low rolling of 
the thunder is the sound made by their ball-playing. And sometimes 
when the thunder-boys are playing, they drop tin' stone. The Indians 
have picked up these fallen "thunder-bullets." 

Some years after the wind carried the Indian up to dwell with the 
thunder-boys he came down again on a streak of lightning. 

The giant bird. Kaloo, of the Micmacs of Nova Scotia could catch a 
man in his talons and soar to the stars with him. ( Ibid. ) 

Badawk, the thunderer who makes the loud crash, and his sister who 
makes the lightning, live in a high mountain with their father. Badawk 
married a woman who had given birth to twelve serpents. She bore 
him a son to whom the grandfather fastened wings ; and with these 
wings the little lad makes the distant, rolling thunder which greatly 
pleases the old man. 

The Algonkins on the north shore of the St. Lawrence Paver believed 
in the thunderbird. 

At Scugog, Ontario, an old Mississanga woman said the thunderbird 
lived and hatched in the sky. The young birds flew ail about, restless 
and squawking, causing great thunder and lightning storms. 

The Ottawas east of Lake Huron believed the thunder was caused by 
a great bird. 

The Ojibwas (Chippewas) of Wisconsin say the thunderbird is a 
god in the form of an eagle, which feeds on serpents, and lives in a high 
mountain where it lays its eggs and hatches its young. It sallies forth, 
shooting its arrows and snatching up reptiles in a flash of lightning. 
An Indian once climbed to its nest and found bones of serpents scattered 

about. They say that a party of Indians once found a tlmnderbird's 
nest on the plain and destroyed the young birds. The old birds re- 
turned and killed all but one Indian. 

The Tetons of Dakota say the thunderbirds live in the sky; have 
curved beaks like buffalo humps; loud voices; and wings. They make 
lightning by opening their eyes wide. They can kill human beings. 
The rattlesnakes were their ancient Joes, and the bones of the latter are 
now found on the bluffs in Nebraska and Dakota, whither the birds 
carried the reptiles to devour them. 

The Omahas. Poncas, and Sioux of Dakota and Minnesota have 
thunderbirds and thundermen, and tell of a visit to the tlmnderbird's 
nest. (Chamberlain in Am. Anthropologist, II, 329.) 

The Five Thunders (that is. the thunder that rolls and reverberates 
from the hills, now almost dying out, not renewing its volume) are 
brothers living in an earth lodge. They bring home as food, human be- 
ings struck by the lightning. The Dakota picture the Five Thunders 
as five streaks of lightning issuing from the mouth of the thunderhird. 

The Modocs of southwestern Oregon in their Marten myth, say that 
Skelamatch exterminated the wind and hid a woman from the Five 
Thunders. He entered their hut and found them and the two old thund- 
ers feasting on human flesh. He killed them all and destroyed their 
hut. (Gatschett, Contrib. Am. Eth. II, Ft. 1, 114.) 

The Arapaho say that the summer storms are made by the thunder- 
bird, the winter ones by the White Owl. (Traditions of the Arapaho, 

The Wichita say that the thunderhird always carries two black and 
two red arrows. They tell of a thunderbird-woman who went to the 
south and called herself the rain woman. (Mythology of the Witchita, 
103, 123.)' 

The Tupis, Iroquois, Athapascas, and perhaps all the families of the 
red race believe in a bird that causes the thunder and lightning; and 
with most of the Indians the easde is the emblem of that mystic bird. 
(Brinton, 104.) 

The Acachemerj worshiped a species of vulture and sacrificed one 
annually in the sweathouse (sacred chamber) of each village, "yet 
believed it was the same bird sacrificed each year in each of the villages." 
says Father Boscana, (not perceiving that the natives were as metaphy- 
sical as he. ) ( Brinton, 105.) 

In Mexico, tin' god Quetzalcoatl was called the bird-serpent. 

At. Palenque is a cross (indicating the four winds and four points 
of the compass) surmounted by a bird and supported by the head of a 
serpent, | [bid, lis.) 

Among the Algonkin tribes of the east, the Sioux, Cheyenne. Arapaho. 
Kiowa. Comanche, and prairie tribes generally, as well as among those 
of the northwest coasl and some parts of Mexico, thunder and lightning 
are supposed to he produced by a huge bird whose shadow is the 
thunder-cloud, the flapping of whose wings makes the thunder, and the 
dashing of whose eyes repeatedly opening and closing, sends forth the 


Within the territory of the myth there are several places designated 
as the thunder's nest. Thunder Bay in lower Michigan derives its name 
in this way. The Pottawottomies say that when they lived there they 
found a nest of young tlmnderbirds on a high peak on the shore of the 
bay. Such a place within the old territory of the Sisseton Sioux is in 
the neighborhood of Big Stone Lake in southeastern Dakota. Near 
there, a number of large round bowlders are pointed out as the eggs of 
the thunderbird. The Comanche know a place on the upper Eed Paver 
where a thunderbird once alighted on the ground, the spot being still 
identified by the grass being burned oil' over a space having the outline 
of a bird with outstretched wings. 

The same tell of a hunter wounding a bird and. being afraid to attack 
it alone, he went for help; but when the party approached the spot they 
heard thunder rolling and saw flashes of lightning shooting out of the 
ravine where the wounded bird lay. On coming nearer, the lightning- 
blinded them so that they could not see the bird, and a flash killed a 
hunter. The frightened Indians fled 'back to camp, for they knew then 
that it was the thunderbird. (Ethnological Rep't. XIV, 968.) 

The Tlinkets have a thunderbird. (Eth. XVII, 459.) 

The Indians of the lower Yukon say that long ago there were many 
giant eagles and tlmnderbirds in the mountains, but they all disappeared 
except a single pair which made their home in the mountaintop over- 
looking the Yukon near Sabotnisky, whence they soared like clouds in 
the sky, or swooped down carrying off reindeer and even fishermen and 
their boats, to the nests of their young. (Eth. Pep't. XVIII, 486.) 

The Haida of Alaska and Queen Charlotte's Isle have tlmnderbirds 
tattooed on each hand. The two are not exactly alike, one having a cap 
•or crest probably denoting the male. The" colors of the tattoo are red, 
blue and black. The name of their thunderbird is Skamson, and they 
have a carving of it grasping a whale. (Eth. X., 479.) 

The Xavahoes of Arizona in their wonderful Mountain Chant, have a 
song lo the thunderbird. 

* * * 

Some tribes have separate images and carvings to represent the 
lightning serpent. On the walls of the sacred chambers of the ancient 
cliff-dwellers in New Mexico and Arizona are found etchings of the 
lightning serpent : and their descendents, the Moki and Zuni. still have 
rain ceremonies in which wooden effigies of this serpent are used. 

In Zuni, a large effigy of Koloowisi, the plumed serpent, with its 
head thrust through a tablet ornamented with cloud symbols, is borne 
through the village and thrust in at the opening of the ceremonial 
chamber. Behind it comes a bird effigy ; and a conch shell is constantly 
blown to make it appear that the serpent is keeping up a continual roar- 
ing. Live reptiles used to figure in this ceremony. 

The Moki of Arizona, in their rain ceremony, still carry live, ven- 
omous serpents dangling from their mouths, grasping the animal just 
behind its head so that it cannot strike. They, too, have a large effigy 
of the lightning serpent, which they call Baho-li-kong-ya. 


The Moki have also a Kwataka or Man-Eagle which closely resem- 
bles our Piasa. (.See Eth. XVII, Part II, 692.) A representation of it, 
carved on the rocks near Walpi has the same position as the Piasa. wings 
elevated, body covered with scales or arrow markings, head round with 
feathers or horns on top, legs with three talons; and in one claw it is 
grasping a serpent-like animal which it seems about to devour. It : s 
-aid In live in the sky and to surely trouble people. 

There is a great serpent mound in Adams county; Ohio; others have 
been reported in Warreu county, Ohio, and in British America. (Rec- 
the Past, Oct. 1908.) There are many bird mounds in 
Wisconsin and many thunderbird mounds on the coast around Puget 
Sound. Mound-effigies, pietographs, petroglyphs, tattoos, carvings, 
and textile representations of the thunderbird and lightning - ;- 
pent are found among the Micmacs of Nova Scotia, the Ojibwas of the 
Great Lakes, the Sioux of the Dakotas, the Kwakiutl of the Sound, the 
Centra] Eskimo, Tlinkets, and Haida of Alaska, the Crees of the Can- 
adian northwest, the Wichitas, Arapaho, and other tribes of the western 
plains, the Pueblos of Ww Mexico and Arizona, and the Aztecs of 


Among the Chippewas, Dakotas, and Arapaho of the United States, 
and the Indians of Vancouver and Alaska the eagle was taken as the 
representative of the thunderbird.* Observations of the habits of i agles, 
living in pairs, building nests in the crag-, screaming, and swooping 
down to carry off animals and children to feed their young, undoubtedly 
lent details to the myth of the thunderbird which was said to do all these 
things. One can easily see how the Miami and Illini legends given 
above, may have grown out of the depredations of eagles and of death 
by lightning stroke, always m mysterious to the'redman. 

We have traced this myth from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from 
Behring's Straits to the Isthmus of Panama. The tribes of Illinois 
belonged to the same great Algonkin family as the Micmacs, Passimo- 
quoddy, Ojibwas, and Sioux. They had the same myths. And in all 
human probability the image with the face of a man. the wing- and 
claws of an eagle, and the tail of a serpent, carved on the rocks at Alton, 
was the great thunderbird or storm-spirit of the Illini. 

* The writer is the possessor of a Thunderbird carved in wood by Klalis, a 
Kwakiutl Indian from Vancouver. The carving clearly represents an eagle. Klalis 
saiil that tin- Tbunderbird formerly lived with his family on the top of a high 
mountain near 1'imet Sound. He could be a man or a bird at will. When he 
wished to fly down the mountain side, he pulled down the visor of his cap, making 
it a beak. By pushing it up he returned to human form. 


By Isabel Jamison. 

The advance guard of daring souls who have, in all ages, followed the 
star of empire westward, has been made up. to a large extent, of minds 
whose initial impulses were to i'eel and to act; instead of to reflect and 
to study; to whose hands the ax and rifle were more accustomed, and, in 
the circumstances, more practical, implements than the pen. Many of 
our sturdiest pioneers, hanging hardily upon the outermost fringe of 
civilization, were unable to either read or write: and, with, the great, 
wonderful book of nature always open before them, they probably did 
not greatly feel the deprivation of being without literature manufac- 
tured by mere men. 

It was not the day of cheap editions, dime magazines, quick mail 
service, and a life that makes reading a habit ; books were luxuries ; an 
occasional magazine, a novelty — something to be looked forward to, and 
to be treasured afterwards as a triumph of mind over matter ; and the 
long, toilsome journey by wagon or flat boat, to the "western wilderness" 
did not admit of any unnecessary impedimenta. Therefore the average 
family coming over the mountains in the day of which I write, did 
well if they managed to reach the promised land, with the family bible, 
Pilgrim's Progress and last year's almanac intact. 

The early explorers who pushed ever southward to the gulf, wrote 
accounts of the country in their official reports. The Jesuit "Relations" 
present a fruitful field to the student of Illinois history, for this reason. 
Father Hennepin published his first volume in 1683, and LaSalle sub- 
mitted concise sketches of the important features of the expedition, 
while Tonti also published a small book on the subject. When Charle- 
voix descended the Mississippi in 1721, he also left an interesting sketch 
of what he observed in passing through the Illinois Country. Charles 
Phillippe Aubry wrote of the forts, but all this belongs to the literature 
of France. In 1770 Captain Pittman published a detailed account of 
his investigation of the European settlements on the Mississippi, which 
he had undertaken for the Colonial Government, the forts in the Illinois 
Country being included among them ; and Judge Brackenridge also re- 
viewed them, in his book, in connection with other matters. Later on, 
in 1823, Lewis C. Beck published his Gazetteer of Missouri and Illinois, 
which was considered quite a valuable work, and the "Historical sketches 
of Louisiana," published by Maj. Amos Stoddard, in 1804, contained 
some excellent descriptions of the Illinois. 


Morris Birkbeck was not only a pioneer, he was a literary pioneer, and 
one of the first and most important contributions to the literature of the 
new territory, was his "Xotes on a Journey in America/' begun in 181? 
on board the " 'good ship," America.*' in the shape of a journal in which 
he jotted down his impressions and observations. These "Notes" pub- 
lished in London in 1818, had a wide circulation in his native country 
and there is no question that they, m connection with his "Letter- From 
Illinois'* published later in the year, had much influence upon emigra- 
tion to Illinois. In fact, if Mr. Birkbeck had no other claims to the 
laurel wreath of fame, he might have won honorable recognition as a 
good press agent. He not only boomed his adopted country in true 
western style, but he gave to it, the beginnings of a literature, as a swarm 
of Englishmen immediately set sail for the newly-discovered "land of 
milk and honey," to investigate, and evidently to discredit, if possible, 
Mr. Birkbeck's reports. 

Among the fir&t of these to publish a criticism of Mr. Birkbeek's nar- 
ratives, was Henry Bradshaw Fearon, who gave to the public the result 
of his observations in a book entitled, "Sketches of America*' in 1819. 
It contained, among other things, extremely adverse criticism of Mr. 
BirkbeckV publications, polite abuse of him personally, and laborious 
satires upon America generally, with all the telling points carefully 
italicized, so the public would not miss any of them. But, as he was not 
writing for the American public, it is hardly worth while to quarrel with 
hi in about that. 

Criticisms of various degrees of virulence were also published by 
William Cobbett, W. Faux, A. S. Farrall, Dr. C. B. Johnson, Adam 
Eodgson and Adlard Welby, in books of titles "long drawn out," and all 
appear to agree that he is a visionary, or worse. 

On the other hand, James Stuart, in his "Three Years in America," 
and John Wood-, in his "Two Years Besidence' in the Settlement on the 
English Prairie in the Illinois Country," bear witness to Mr. Birk- 
beek's honesty of purpose; and the latter work, written by an actual 
colonist and practical farmer, may lie regarded as especially valuable 

It i- true thai person§ coming from a country possessing an old and 
settled state of society, febored under many misapprehensions in regard 
to the American people, for which they were not wholly to blame. Mr. 
Birkbeck evidently did not wholly understand the situation, himself, 
when first he wrote of his neighbors and their limitations. He spoke 
regretfully of their lack of interest in scientific pursuits, being himself 
greatly interested in chemical experiments, and lamented the Tact thai 
their reading was confined principally to history, politics and poetry. 
Apparently he had not yet arrived at a realization of the fact that men 
and women who were engaged in raising a family and subduing a stub- 
born wilderness, might be too busy to cultivate the arts and sciences. 
Shooting bear and deer, tanning their skin- and making them into 
clothing, spinning, weaving, building, farming, fencing, grinding corn, 


dipping candles and fighting Indians in the pauses of more absorbing 
occupations, did not leave our forefathers and mothers very much time 
in which to improve their minds along the lines Mr. Birkbeck indicated. 

Another discovery which he claims to have made in regard to the 
character of the Americans generally, is that indolence was their beset- 
ting sin. A few pages farther along, he desired to call attention to the 
"get-rich-quick" character of the Illinois country, and cites the case of 
a farmer who had, at the start, nothing but his two hands, his little 
family, and an uncleared quarter-section of land. At the end of three 
years, this farmer had thirty to forty acres of land cleared and fenced, 
a cabin, barn, stables, with horses, cows, hogs, implements, furniture, 
grain and other provisions — all of which would seem to indicate that 
somebody on that quarter-section had been busy. 

Morris Birkbeck was a radical on the question of slavery, and is said 
to have selected Illinois as his "place of residence because it was a free 
State. Later, when the attempt was made to make a slave state of it, 
his articles against slavery, published in the newspapers and in pamphlet, 
form, both over his own signature and his nom-de-plume of "Jonathan 
Freeman," exerted an enormous influence. His untimely death in 1825, 
when he was drowned while returning from a visit to Mr. Owen at New 
Harmony, was an irreparable loss to the new state. 

Although George Flower, Mr. Birkbeck's associate at the English 
Settlement, did not publish his history until Illinois literature could no 
longer be considered as "early," yet I cannot pass it without a mere 
mention of this valuable work. Biehard Flower, the father of George, 
is said to have been the founder of the public library at Albion, Illinois 
in 1818, the books therein being a donation from the Flower family 
and their friends in England. It was kept in one end of a brick build- 
ing that was used as a market place, and was open Sunday afternoons. 

James Hall, born in Philadelphia, August 19, 1793, was one of the 
most prolific western writers, and appears to have inherited his literary 
talents from his mother, Sarah Hall, a woman of great erudition and 
fine intelligence, who was one of the chief contributors to the "Portfolio," 
established by Dennie in 1800 ; and she afterwards aided her son Har- 
rison in its publication. James Hall emigrated west, and in 1820, began 
contributing articles descriptive of the west and its people, to the "Port- 
folio." About 1828, he became interested in the "Illinois Intelligencer," 
at Vandalia; and in October, 1829, he, with Mr. Robert Blackwell, issued 
the first number of the "Illinois Monthly Magazine," the first attempt at 
periodical literature in the state. This magazine ran for two years, 
but, owing to the difficulty of getting labor and material at Vandalia, 
the second volume of the magazine was published partly at St. Louis 
and partly at Cincinnati ; and in January, 1833. Judge Hall removed 
it to Cincinnati, where it was continued for three years under the 
name, "The Western Monthly Magazine, A Continuation of The Illinois 
Monthly Magazine." 

As a writer. Judge Hall was both fluent and entertaining, but as his 
contributions to literature are considered in detail in another paper, 
I will not dwell upon them here. 


Robert S. Blackwell, who was associated with Judge' Hail in the pub- 
lication of the Illinois Monthly Magazine, and who died at the age of 
38, was the author of a noted legal work, "Blackwell on Tax Titles,'" 
which was considered an excellent work, and was a standard treatise 
throughout the United States. 

A small volume entitled, '"Observations made upon a Journey Through 
the Interior of the United States of North America in the Year 1819,"" 
was published in the German language by Ferdinand Ernst, in 1823 ; 
and in 1821, John Messinger. whom Governor Reynolds characterized 
as the most profound mathematician and best land surveyor in Illinois, 
published a text book on surveying. He lived at Clinton Hill, a few 
miles northeast of Belleville, and surveyed much of the public domain 
in Randolph and St. Clair counties. 

Dr. David Nelson, born at Jonesboro, Term., September 24, 1793. 
was the author of the religious poems, "The Shining Shore," "A 
Fairer Land," '"Rest in Heaven," and, in 1836, wrote a work entitled. 
"The Cause and Cure of Infidelity," which was followed later by another 
book, "Wealth and Honor." He died near Quincy, Illinois in 1844. 

In 1805, Col. Donaldson came to Illinois from Baltimore, to investi- 
gate land titles at St. Louis. With him came his sister, a young lady 
of a romantic turn of mind, whose fancy had been caught by reports of 
the western wilderness, and, while sojourning upon the prairies, she met 
and married Robert Morrison, an official of the Territorial Government, 
residing at Kaskaskia. Mrs. Morrison had received an excellent educa- 
tion, and possessed a strong, original and cultured mind. She remod- 
eled in verse the orthodox Psalms of David, and presented the volume 
for the consideration of the church dignitaries in Philadelphia, pro- 
posing its use in the church. After a critical examination, her work 
was rejected ; more, it was said, on account of the obscurity of the author 
than from lack of merit. She wrote many poems of high order, and her 
contributions to the scientific publications of Mr. Walsh in Philadelphia. 
were numerous and popular. At the request of her friends, she often 
wrote petitions and memorials to Congress and to the President, which 
were not only of a high order of composition, but were sound in judg- 
ment as well. She died in Belleville in 1843. 

In 1828, Timothy Flint, a missionary stationed at St. Louis, who 
traveled through the Illinois country, and who resided for a time on the 
Cahokia prairie, wrote a romantic novel in which the hero and heroine 
were shipwrecked in the southern ocean, and after various wanderings 
and adventures, settled down to rural felicity on the Illinois prairies. 
Soon after this, he wrote "George Mason, the Young Backwoodsman;" 
and in 1833. published "Flint's History and Geography of the Missis- 
sippi Valley." in which he refers to the valley of the Sangamon as "an 
Arcadian region in which nature has delighted to bring together her 
happiest combinations of landscape." 

Dr. J. M. Peck, born in 1787, in the parish of South Farms, Conn., 
received the rudiments of education in the free schools of his native 
parish, laboring with his parents on their farm in the long vacations. 


Neither the means of the family nor the leisure of the boy afforded oppor- 
tunity for a collegiate education, and the high school, or academy of the 
same parish, finished his course of schooling. But with his vigorous 
mental endowments and unceasing energy and industry, he overcame 
the lack of college training, and. became one of the most intellectual 
men of his age. 

After making an early marriage, Dr. Peck moved west and settled for 
a time in New York, removing some years later to what was then called 
"the Far West," and which was rather indefinitely located "somewhere 
on the banks of the Mississippi," according to Governor Eeynolds. After 
some years spent in teaching school, Dr. Peck entered the ministry of 
the Baptist church, and continued preaching the gospel for nearly a 
half century. Governor Reynolds considers it worthy of note that Dr. 
Peck never allowed politics or any other irrelevant matter to enter into 
his sermons, which he declares were "masterly efforts of pulpit preach- 

It was late in the fall of 1817, when Dr. Peck, his wife, and probably 
one child, reached Shawneetown, Illinois from New York, part of the 
journey having been accomplished in a small wagon with one horse. 
Later in the season, the family arrived in St. Louis, where Dr. Peck 
began teaching and preaching. He was also appointed agent of a bible 
society, and traversed the settled parts of Missouri in every direction 
in pursuit of his labors. He is described as never being idle a moment, 
and his journals and the sketches of his travels testify to his energy and 
activity. He thus became personally acquainted with many of the pion- 
eers of the country, and collected much of the history of Daniel Boone 
from the lips of Boone himself. In later years he put this material into 
the shape of a biography. The sketches of Dr. Peck on the early settle- 
ment of Missouri, were published in the Western Watchman and other 

By nature, Dr. Peck was strong and robust, more than six feet tail 
and possessing a remarkably muscular frame. He was lean and athletic, 
weighing about 180 pounds. His head was large and well-developed, his 
complexion fair, eyes blue, and his habitual dress was that of a "neat, 
well-informed agriculturist," according to his friend, Governor Eey- 

In 1821, Dr. Peck established a seminary of learning at Eock Spring. 
Illinois in St. Clair county, cutting the timber of which it was con- 
structed, in the dead of winter, with the assistance of his hired men. 
On New Year's day, he gave a dinner to those of his friends who were 
interested in education, and at this dinner was founded the "Theological 
Seminary and High School" of Rock Spring. The land around Eock 
Spring, Dr. Peck entered in 1821, and built his home seven or eight 
miles northeast of Belleville, on the old Vincennes Post Eoad. To the 
literature of Illinois, Dr. Peck contributed many articles on agriculture 
and aborginal and western history. He also published a "Guide for 
Emigrants" and a "Gazetteer of Illinois," and edited Perkins "Annals 
of the West" with so much energy and thoroughness that it was practi- 
cally a new work when he had finished with it. 


Dr. Peck died at Eock Spring, Illinois in 1858 and was interred in 
Bellefontaine cemetery, St. Louis. After his death, Governor Eeynolds 
published at Belleville, a pamphlet entitled, "Friendship's Offering, a 
Sketch of the Life of John Mason Peck," in which he relates the early 
struggles of Dr. Peck, both before and after coming to Illinois. In his 
sketch, Governor Eeynolds expressed regret that Dr. Peck's duties as a 
teacher and preacher had so sadly interferred with his possibilities as 
an author. He also touched lightly upon the fact that Dr. Peck was so 
absorbed in his zeal for the education of the general public that he over- 
looked the needs of his own family in that direction, and as a result, 
his children shared the traditional fate of "blacksmiths' horses and 
shoemakers' wives," receiving only a common school education, "be- 
cause," as Governor Eeynolds quaintly puts it, "the doctor was so in- 
tensely occupied in his other avocations that he did not take time to at- 
tend to his own family." 

When repeatedly solicited by Governor Eeynolds, to write a history 
of Illinois, Dr. Peck urged the objection that he had been unable to 
collect sufficient authentic material for a history. He was, however, 
named as chief historian of an association formed in 1837 for the purpose 
of compiling a history of Illinois, to be written without prejudice, poli- 
tical, religious or local. A number of sub-historians were appointed to 
assist in the collection of historical data, and as we may conclude that 
these names embraced the cream of Illinois' literary talent, I will give 
them : Sidney Breese, Nathaniel Pope, William Brown, James Lemen, 
William Kinney, Samuel McEoberts, Samuel D. Lockwood, Zadoc Casey, 
Thomas Ford, Cyrus Edwards, John Eeynolds, Prof. John Eussell, 
John Hay, Richard M. Young, James M. Eobinson, Pierre Menard, 
John Mckenzie, William Thomas and Eev. Gideon Blackburn. Unfor- 
tunately this magnificent enterprise perished for lack of financial sup- 

Dr. Peck is said by Governor Eeynolds, to have been engaged upon a 
more ambitious work than any he had yet produced. "The Progress of 
the Mississippi valley" — when death claimed him, and it remained un- 
finished. "The reason I urged Dr. Peck to write more and preach less, 
was because I thought he could do the human race more service by 
presenting his great and extraordinary fund of knowledge in an im- 
perishable form in books/' Governor Eeynolds explained in his memorial, 
and adds that in all Dr. Peek's works. Ids statements may be accepted 
as standards. 

The first edition of Dr. Peck's "Gazetteer." was published by the 
pioneer publishing house of E. Goudy, of Jacksonville, Illinois, which 
concern also issued a greatly-prized edition of the ubiouitous household 
almanac of those days. 

Professor .John Russell, an associate of Dr. Peck at Eock Spring, who 
lived at a beautiful spot called Bluff Dale, was a finished and elegant, 
though not a voluminous writer, and many of his articles were published 
anonymously. This latter fact made possible the pirating of his storv 


of the legend of the Piasa Bird, by a Frenchman, living in this country, 
and which attracted quite a little attention in the literary world at that 

In 1826, William Biggs, who was one of George Eogers Clark's 
soldiers, and was granted three sections of land in recognition of his ser- 
vices, wrote an account of an adventure with the Indians, in which his 
companion was killed and he was taken prisoner. Biggs secured his 
liberty by paying a ransom of $260.00. Another narrative of an Indian 
captive, was Mrs. Jane Lewis' capture by a band of Sac and Fox Indians, 
supposed to be commanded by Black Hawk. 

In the next few years, several books relating to Black Hawk were 
published, among them being that of John Wakefield, printed at Jack- 
sonville, Illinois in 1831, in which the writer posed Judge Sidney Breese 
as a hero. On the strength of this favorable mention, it is said that 
Wakefield afterwards solicited a particular favor at the hands of Judge 
Breese. On being refused, Mr. Wakefield indignantly assured the Judge 
that he would re-write the history of the Black Hawk war, and that he 
would figure very differently in the revised edition. 

In 1839, Benjamin Drake published a "Life and Adventures of Black 
Hawk, with Sketches of Keokuk and the Sac and Fox Indians," fol- 
lowed in 1848 by. another book on the same subject, published by George 
Conclin, while in the same year a poem by E. H. Smith appeared, en- 
titled, "Black Hawk, and Scenes in the West." 

As a result of his tour of the prairies in 1833, the well known writer, 
Charles Fenno Hoffman produced a book entitled, "A Winter in the 
West," which obtained wide popularity both in America and England. 
About the same time, Francis Parkman, the historian, made a tour of 
the prairies on his way to the Eocky Mountains, which lie described in 
his own style of easy narration ; and a few years later, Harriet Martineau 
published a book on "Strange Early Days in Chicago." 

"Illinois in 1837" published in Philadelphia by S: Augustus Mitchell, 
containing a letter on "The Cultivation of the Prairies," by Hon. H. 
L. Ellsworth, and "Letters from a Eambler in the West," acknowledges 
its author's obligation for information contained therein, to such un- 
deniable authorities as Eev. J. M. Peck, Flint's "Geography and Gazet- 
teer," Beck's "Gazetteer," Schoolcraft, and others; in spite of which, 
we find A. D. Jones publishing the following year, a little volume 
entitled, 'Illinois and the West,'" in which he solemnly warns the 
public to beware of "a book bearing on its covers the title, "Illinois in 
1837; it is full of high-wrought and false colored descriptions, and can- 
not safely be relied upon as a gazetteer." The same author pays a very 
florid compliment to the literary and classical attainments of a large 
number of the inhabitants of Illinois. 

Elijah Parrish Lovejoy. who removed to Alton with his anti-slavery 
paper, "The Observer," in 1836, was an earnest and forcible political 

—9 H S 

writer, as well as being the author of several poems, one of which, en- 
titled, "My Mother," was much admired. After his tragic death at the 
hands of the mob, his brothers, Joseph C. and Owen Love joy, prepared 
and published his memoirs in 1888. 

Philander Chase, the pioneer Bishop of the Mississippi valley, pub- 
lished his "Reminiscences" in 1848, besides many letters and pamphlets. 
Another clerical writer, William Henry Milburn, known as "the blind 
preacher," was twelve years old when he came to Jacksonville, Illinois 
with his father. He achieved considerable prominence by his lectures 
and writings. Among the latters were : "Ten years of Preacher Life" 
(1858) ; "Rifle, Ax and Saddle-bags" (1856) ; "Pioneers, Preachers and 
People of the Mississippi Valley" (1860). 

Sidney Breese, who had resided in the State since 1818, compiled 
the first volume of State law reports in 1831, which is said to have been 
the first book printed in Illinois. His discourse upon the history of 
the State, delivered by request, before the General Assembly in 1842. 
was afterwards made the basis of a history of Illinois, published after 
his death. 

II en rv Brown's "History of Illinois^ from its Discovery to the Present 
Time," was' published in 1844, and is a readable book, although not 
possessing for the general reader the charm of Governor Thomas Ford's 
"History of Illinois'" published ten years later, and which, next to 
Reynold's "Pioneer History" is probably quoted more frequently than 
any other authority on the history of the State. 

In 1857 Gerhard published a sort of history and gazetteer combined, 
intended for the encouragement and guidance of prospective settlers, 
entitled, "Illinois As It Is" ; and in 1856, "Waubun, or Early Day in the 
Northwest," by Mrs. J. II. Kinzie, made a notable addition to both the 
history and the literature of the State, being one of the most interesting 
accounts that has ever appeared of pioneer life. 

In 1850, Daniel S. Curtiss published a little volume entitled, "West- 
ern Portraiture;" Dewitt S. Drown followed with his "Record and His- 
torical View of Peoria, from the Discovery by French Jesuits to 
." and his "Almanac for 1851, Calculated for the Latitude and 
Longitude of Peoria;" and a little later, Mrs. Sarah Marshall Haydcn, 
daughter of John Marshall, published "Florence" and "Early Engage- 
ments/' the first books written by an Illinois woman. 

In 1842 Illinois was honored with a visit by diaries Dickens, at that 
time an eager, intolerant young man of thirty years, possessing de- 
cided opinions upon many subjects, and a trenchant pen with which 
to disseminate them. His "American Notes" aroused a storm of criti- 
cism, particularly his diatribes against the then honorable institution of 
slavery. As he only penetrated Illinois as far as "Looking Glass 
Prairie," which he characterized as disappointing in comparison with 
the English Downs, and teeming with miasma, mud and pigs, he was 
manifestly unable to form a correct idea of the real beauties of the 
Illinois prairie under favorable conditions. The subject nearest the 
American heart and most frequently upon the American tongue, of 


'"dollars., dollars, dollars/"' and the American tendency to expectorate 
upon all occasions ; the ceaseless "chirping" of the frogs and the equally 
unceasing attentions of bugs and mosquitos, developed in the young 
traveler an honest nostalgia that expressed itself in his letters in the 
form of a hearty disgust of most things American, although he admits 
that his hosts fed him upon "wheat bread and chicken fixings" instead 
of "corn bread and common doings," and is more than once betrayed 
into a grudging commendation of the cuisine. Looking back upon 
those strenuous days, we can now afford to admit that Dickens probably 
saw things, and described them, very much as they were, not with the 
eye of faith in the great west, hope of the day when those desolate muddy 
prairies should blossom with the result of their own hardy labors/ and 
charity for the unlovely aspects of pioneer life that we may be proud 
to claim* as the foremost attributes of our American forefathers, and 
which has made the Illinois of today one of the greatest states of the 

Turning to the Mormon invasion of the State in 1839, we find that 
they contributed little to our early literature, outside of their religious 
works. An- American edition of the Book of Mormon, revised to date, 
was published at Nauvoo in 1842, and the "Millennial Star" published 
the autobiography of the Prophet on the installment plan, while many 
of his addresses to his followers appeared in "Times and Seasons," a paper 
published at Nauvoo. "General" J. Arlington Bennett, of the Nauvoo 
Legion, who expected to be elected Governor of the State with the aid 
of the Mormons, was a writer of some note, and mentions in a letter 
to Joseph Smith, having received two thousand dollars from the 
Harpers' publishing house for his articles. Eemoving to New York 
where he engaged in law practice about 1844, he wrote much for the 
New York papers, and also published a book exposing the iniquities of 
his former friend, Joseph Smith. Orson T. Pratt, emigration agent at 
Liverpool for the Mormon church, contributed a •little volume entitled, 
"Eemarkable Visions," and about 1852 an English writer who had made 
a tour of the west, published a little volume entitled, "The Mormons," 
in which the correspondence between Joseph Smith and Henry Clay is 
made a feature. W. W. Phelps, a Mormon journalist, wrote many letters 
and pamphlets explaining the religious tenets of the sect. After the 
murder of Smith, an eye witness of the affair named Daniels, published 
a small book giving the particulars. 

The Icarians appear to have been still more chary of leaving any 
literary remains in Illinois, although there must have been many bril- 
liant minds among the little group of men and women who had come to 
the new world in search of their ideals. Their official organ, "The 
Icarian," which was issued somewhat irregularly, was the medium through 
which they communicated their ideas to the world, among the names 
of the contributors being those of Pierrot, Mourot and Cottet, although 
Etienne Cabet was, of course, the chief contributor. 

Hooper Warren, for some years publisher of the Edivardsvilh Spec- 
tator, at which time it was considered the best newspaper in the State, 


was a writer of marked ability, and during the slavery controversy, 
exerted a great and far-reaching influence upon the minds of the people 
through his newspaper articles. 

John Ludlam McConnel, born at Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1826, was 
a brilliant writer as well as a lawyer of marked ability. His father, 
Murray McConnel was a pioneer of the State, having fought in the 
Black Hawk war and served in both branches of the State Legislature. 
The son studied law in his father's office, and later, graduated from the 
law school of Transylvania University, at Lexington, Ivy. He enlisted 
as a private in the Mexican war in 1846, and rose from the ranks until 
his appointment as captain of his company after the battle of Buena 
Vista, at which time he was twice wounded. After the close of the war. 
he returned to Jacksonville, where he practiced law until his death in 
1862, of an illness resulting from his Mexican campaign. He wrote 
a number of books illustrating western life and character, among them 
being "Talbott and Vernon" (New York, 1850) ; "The Glenns" (1851) ; 
and •"Western Characters or Types of Border Life" (Boston, 1853.) 
At the time of his death he was engaged upon a work to be entitled, 
•'History of Early Explorations in America," having reference especially 
to the labors and heroism of the early Catholic Missionaries. 

A man who made some of the most important contributions to the 
historical literature of Illinois, was John Reynolds, fourth Governor 
of the State. In an article published in the Western Advocate, the 
authorship of which was unacknowledged, but which was generally con- 
sidered to be from the pen of Governor Reynolds, himself — the writer 
says : "No man in the State ever possessed so much personal popularity 
with the masses as Governor Reynolds did." At the same time, the 
article states positively that the Governor has no taste for politics. 

Referring to his Pioneer History of Illinois, the article continues: 
"This book, and, in truth, all his works, are written in that singular, 
unpretending style of'naiveness that makes his writings so acceptable 
to all classes of people. In his style and composition there are no 
labored nor rounded paragraphs to show the reader what an elegant 
writer he is; but he moves straight on with his thoughts like a person 
narrating the truth from the heart." The Pioneer History is without 
any doubt, very interesting reading, although some of his political rivals 
have hinted that sundry of the statements contained therein should be 
taken with a grain of salt. 

Bis next book was a collection o'f sketches of a journey from Belle- 
ville to New York, and a visit to the Crystal Palace; and, in the 
Belleville JSagle of August 1, 1853, sandwiched between a marriage an- 
noimeement and a lurid advertisement of Mustang Liniment, we find 
the following: 


A few copies of the "Life and Adventures of John Kelly" are for sale at 
the bookstore of Harvey Walker & Co., Belleville. 

Get a copy before they are all sold. The perusal of the pamphlet will im- 
prove you. 

July 27, 1853." 

This small pamphlet, however, did not meet with the success that 
Governor Reynolds anticipated. 

Again quoting from the article in the Advocate, and referring to his 
recent book, "My Own Times," the writer says : "On this work, the ex- 
Governor has labored with energy and activity, and his efforts have been 
crowned with, success. Having resided in Illinois since 1800, the 
author was able to give a history of the country from his own personal 
observations. His memory is remarkably retentive, and it has, together 
with his sound judgment, given him the power to relate the history of 
the times through half a century, with all the details and circumstances. 
No one knew the western people better than the 'Old Banger' himself, as 
he was one of them. * * * Although this work is just out of the 
press, it is hailed as the best history of the subject of which it treats, that 
has yet been published. There is little doubt that 20,000 copies of this 
work, and perhaps more, will be sold in the State of Illinois alone." 

If Governor Reynolds really was his own biographer in this instance, 
he certainly gives every evidence of a hearty appreciation of his own 
merits. "My Own Times," was published in 1855, an edition of prob- 
ably not more than 400 volumes being printed at a job office in Belle- 
ville, and it was taken for sale by a single bookseller of Chicago, at the 
author's suggestion. Before it had fairly been placed on the market, 
the entire stock at Chicago was destroyed by fire, and for a time it be- 
came one of the lost books of literature. Fortunately, a few copies were 
afloat through the State, and many years later a reprint was issued. 

In, 1860, Governor Reynolds published at Belleville, a rather remark- 
able pamphlet entitled, "Balm of Gilead," which he termed "An In- 
quiry into the Right of Human Slavery.''* In his introduction, he states 
that he deems it his duty to present the question to the public, and 
asserts that 'slave' property, like other property, must be sustained 
both by public opinion and the power of the government, or otherwise, 
the Union cannot, and will not, be continued. No reasonable man who 
is not blinded by fanaticism, or who is not riding fanaticism into office, 
will believe that four millions of slaves can be emancipated in the 
southern states in direct violation of the Constitution, and the Union 
withstand the shock." He asserts further, in his opening chapter that 
"The laws and Constitution protect slave property more firmly than 
any other property; but, notwithstanding the government protection of 
this species of property, the right of slavery stands on moral, virtuous 
and equitable principles." He goes back to the ancient philosophers of 
Greece and Rome to prove that the greatest good to the greatest number 
should be the basic principle upon which the fabric of society should 
rest. He brings forward many ingenious arguments to prove that the 
people of the African race are only grownup children, and that, having 
remained stationery in the scale of civilization for so many ages, nature 
evidently prescribed these limits for them. He compares the cohesion 
of the Abolitionists to the religious organization of the Mormons, and 
the followers of John Brown are declared to be of the same class as 
those in the French Revolution, who "fiaternized on pikes, and feasted 


on blood." His conclusion is that "we, in the United States at this 
day, with slavery, enjoy the most perfect and the most free government 
on earth, and I pray that it may be continued forever !" 

There were many other writers whose productions were given to the 
public in the form of pamphlets and hand-bills, which, although 
meritorious were too unsubstantial to survive the wear and tear of time. 
Other brilliant minds were too busily engaged in making history, to stop 
to write it. Consequently this paper does not pretend to even make 
mention of all the vigorous and intellectual sons of the State who helped 
to build an empire upon the Illinois prairies. But having considered in 
a brief manner, some of the prose writers whose works are most avail- 
able for study at the present day, I will pass on to the poets. 

Prior to 1845, newspapers and infrequent magazines were the only 
vehicles for embarking the poetical effusions of pioneer Illinois upon the 
troubled sea of literature. During the time Judge Hall was publishing 
the Illinois Monthly Magazine at Vandalia, Anna P. Dinnies, a native 
of South Carolina, who was then living in St. Louis, became a contrib- 
utor to the magazine under the nom-de-plume of "Moina." Her poems 
were most devoted to portraying the domestic affections. 

In 1825, Micah P. Flint, son of Timothy Flint, wrote a poem on "The 
Mounds of Cahokia," which his father deemed worthy of being incor- 
porated in his own book, "Ten Years in the Mississippi Valley." Dur- 
ing the short time which the family spent in a farmhouse on the Ca- 
hokia prairie, young Micah Flint, being at an impressionable age, fell 
under the spell of the virgin prairies of Illinois, and wrote several other 
poems suggested by his novel surroundings, one of which was of un- 
usual merit for a youth, and was entitled, "The Silent Monks." The 
poem had for its subject the "Trappist Fathers," who had their resi- 
dence near the largest of the Indian Mounds in the American bottom, 
and who were vowed to a perpetual silence that might be broken only 
when the angel of death came to summon them. The mystery of their 
quietly-tragic lives touched a sympathetic chord in the heart of the boy, 
and he pondered much over their somber existence, and the probable 
reasons for this death-in-life. 

" 'Twas said around 
That they had deeply sinned beyond the seas. 
Haply they thought to fly from their dark hearts; 
And they came o'er the billow, wandering still, 
Far to the West; here, amidst a boundless waste 
Of rank and gaudy flowers, and o'er the bones 
Of unknown races of the past, they dwelt." 
The first volume of poems by one author, published in Illinois, was 
printed in Chicago by James Campbell & Co. in January, 1845. It 
was a small book of 208 pages, entitled. "Miscellaneous Poems," to 
which were added prose sketches on various subjects. The author, 
William Asbury Kenyon, was a native of Hingham, Mass., who had 
taught school in the rural districts of Illinois, and traveled quite ex- 
tensively through the State. The poems refer mainly to prairie scenes, 
but also contain a number of satires on such of the local backwoods 
customs as had impressed this scion of the effete and cultured east. 


It is painful to be obliged to chronicle the fact that the poetical merit 
of the satires is quite as open to ridicule as were the customs they 

Elijah Evan Edwards, born in Delaware. Ohio in 1831, came to 
Illinois as principal of Lamont Seminary, in Cook county, and his 
writing both prose and verse, were published in the magazines and news- 
papers of the day. Frances A. Shaw, a native of Maine, who taught 
in the schools of Galena, contributed occasional poems to the newspapers 
in the early fifties. Her best known poem was "■Minnehaha," printed 
in 1855. Luella Clark, a teacher in the Northwestern Female College at 
Evanston, in 1860, wrote a number of miscellaneous poems for the 
papers. Emma Alice Brown, of Bloomington, a blood relative' of Felicia 
Hemans, is said to have composed poems before she possessed the ability 
to put them into writing. Another schoolmaster who came west to train 
the young intellects of pioneer Illinois, and who, like Silas Wegg, "often 
dropped into poetry," was William Dana Emerson, a native of Ohio. 
He became, as a matter of course, thoroughly acquainted with the ups 
and downs of pioneer life on the prairies, a fact that exerted a marked 
influence upon his writings. In 1850, he gathered these scattered off- 
spring of his brain into a volume entitled, "Occasional Thoughts in 
Verse," which he had printed for private circulation, only. 

William H. Bushnell, born in Hudson, N. Y., made his debut as a 
poet before the Junior Lyceum of Chicago, on the anniversary of Wash- 
ington's birthday, in 1843. Later he wrote graphic sketches of Indian 
life under the nom-de-plume of "Frank Webber," and also a novel en- 
titled, "Prairie Fire." 

Journalism and literature proper, were so closely connected in the 
early days of Illinois, that it was but a step from one to the other, with 
journalism, in most cases, figuring ' as the stepping-stone. Thomas 
Gregg, a native of Ohio, was for some years connected with the Warsaw 
Signal; later he moved to Hamilton, Illinois, and during his residence 
in the State, he was the author of a. number of short poems, those best 
known being "Tha Winds," and "The Whippoorwill." He also wrote, a 
book entitled "The Prophet of Palmyra." 

. In 1850, Benjamin F. Taylor came to Chicago from New York, to en- 
gage in newspaper work. In 1855 he published a volume of poems and 
sketches entitled, "January and June." He was also in much demand as 
a lecturer, and his newspaper articles written at his home in Wheaton, 
Illinois were widely copied in contemporary papers. One, at least, of 
his poems — "God Bless Our Stars !" — will recall to the minds of some, 
the little, unpainted schoolhouse, riding, desolately at anchor in a sea 
of billowing prairie grass, and an uneasy line of trowsered and aproned 
pupils painfully toeing a crack in the rough, plank floor, as they firmly 
grasped their Sanders readers, and droned in concert: 

"Oh, long ago at Lexington, 

And above the minute-men, 

The old Thirteen were blazing bright, — 

There were only thirteen then! — 

God's own stars are shining through it,— 

Stars not woven in its thread; 

Unfurl it, and that flag will gleam 

"With the Heaven overhead!" 


They used to rub patriotism in, five days in the week, in the old dis- 
trict schoolhouse. 

It was early in 1831, when John Howard Bryant, a brother of William 
Cullen Bryant, became a squatter on Illinois lands in Bureau county; 
and when the public lands of the State came into the market, he pur- 
chased a large farm. He was twice sent to the Legislature from Bureau 
count}', and while he was devoted to agriculture even more than to 
politics, he still found time to exercise the poetic bent of mind which 
he, like his talented brother, had inherited from a literary father. In his 
work on the "Poets and Poetry of America/' Eufus Wilmot Griswold 
said of him : "His poems have the same characteristics as those of his 
brother. He is a lover of nature, and describes effectively and minutely 
what he sees. To him the wind and stream are ever musical, and the 
forests and prairie" clothed in beauty.*'" Mr. Bryant collected his poems 
in a volume of 93 pages, in 1855. 

To anyone who possessed a scrap of poetic fire in his nature, Illinois 
offered one attraction that never failed to inspire a song of tribute to 
those far-reaching stretches of verdure set with myriad gems of wild 
flowers in spring; waving in blue-green, sinuous billows beneath a 
fervent summer sky; writhing and roaring in the clutch of an autumn 
prairie-fire; or, -lying cold and white under the pitiless light of the 
winter moon, silent, except for the quivering howl of some prowling 

"These are the gardens of the desert; these 
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, 
For which the speech of England has no name,— 
The Prairies." 

"I behold them for the first, 
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight 
Takes in the encircling vastness." 
Thus sang William Cullen Bryant, after his first visit to the Illinois 
prairies. In the earlier days of travel in Illinois, there was necessarily, 
much stage-coaching, which gave the traveler an opportunity of enjoy- 
ing the beauties of nature — always providing the condition of the roads 
left him in a proper frame of mind to do so — and that the valley of the 
Sangamon in its early summer garment of leaf and flower, must have 
been a rarely beautiful sight, is evidenced by Bryant's little poem. 
"The Painted Cup/' 

"The fresh savannas of the Sangamon, 
Here rise in gentle swells, and the long grass 
Is mixed with rustling hazels; scarlet tufts 
Are glowing in the green like flakes of fire. 
The wanderers of the Prairie know them well, 
And call that flower the Painted Cup." 
The "Judaid," a classic detailing the Bise and Decline of the Jews from 
the Exodus from Egypt to the destruction of their temple by the 
Romans, was published in 1844 by Prof. Johnson Pierson, of McKendree 
College, Lebanon, Illinois, of which he was one of the first graduates. 
He was born in Virginia in 1813. In his introduction, the author states 
that his poem was not begun with a view to publication, a part of it 


having been composed and recited as an exercise at the Commencement 
at McKendree in 1838, under the title, "The Destruction of Jerusalem.". 
He adds, "The subject is one I have loved from my boyhood. The 
events connected with the fortunes of the Jewish nation are of such a 
character as to endear their history to every individual of the human 
family." The poem recites the history of the Jewish nation in excellent 
verse, closing with the fall of Jerusalem before the invading Romans: 

"Ah, mitred Queen, whose scepter, and whose throne 

Has made the Eastern empire all thine own, 

How art thou fallen! — in the dust laid low, 

And all thy splendor wrapped in weeds of woe! 

"All, all is gone, for ruin widely now 
Lifts his grim visage o'er thy princely brow; 
Nor aught remains of all thy pride, to tell 
Where thou once was, or where thy glory fell. 
But yet shall thou among thy wastes arise, 
And clear the night of ages from thy skies!" 

Edward Reynolds Roe, who published in 1852, in the Altcn Courier, 
a serial story entitled, "Virginia Rose," later published several volumes 
of prose and poetry, one of them being "Prairie-land and Other Poems," 
while Dr. Edward Taylor wrote a volume of poems which were pub- 
lished under the title of "Moods, and Other Verses." Sarah Rumsey, 
of Springfield was a writer of both prose and poetry under the nom-de- 
plume of "Catherine Gordon" and "Evangeline," but death cut short 
her literary career. Her poems were collected in a volume after her death. 
In* 1857, Benjamin F. W. Stribling, second son of Benjamin Strib- 
ling, of Virginia, Illinois, published a little volume of poems on various 
subjects, which was printed at the office of the Beardstown Illinoisan. 
Frank Stribling, as he was called, possessed a limited education, but 
considerable poetic energy as well as matrimonial enterprise, he having 
been married three times. His little book of 238 pages, embraces a wide 
range of subjects. That he was inclined to be progressive is shown by 
his poem, "The Railroad Song," in which he advocates the construction 
of a railroad to carry their wheat to market. 

"Then let us join and build a road 

That's good when dry and when there's mud. 

Come, rise up, boys, no more delay! 

Procrastination will not pay. 

Let's pledge our faith and yellow dust 

To build the road — we can, we must!" 

Generally speaking, his poetry would indicate that he was the pos- 
sessor of a religious mind, yet we are told .that he was not a church 
member. Like a number of other unfortunates, who, in their day have 
been cursed with a poetical temperament of no commercial value, Mr. 
Stribling lived and died in an atmosphere of respectable poverty, as his 
closing poem would indicate : 

"Now I must work for daily bread, 

"While thoughts poetic fill my head, — 

Imagination's work. 

And in my pockets not a cent 

But what has been already spent — 

As poor as Job's old turk!" 


About the same, time, in the northern end of the State, another poet 
was sighing over the sad fate that condemned her to live and die un- 
appreciated. Sarah Lett was born in Chatham, Ontario, in 1824, 
afflicted with a frail body, and, in her early years, an impediment in 
speech. Nevertheless she possessed an intelligent mind and a poetic 
nature, as the sequel showed. Having lost both father and mother, 
the remnant of the family, after various wanderings, drifted to the 
northern part of LaSalle county, where Sara married a young farmer 
named Cotteau, whose family had settled a short distance from the Lett 

Being of a sensitive disposition, she lived among her books and flowers, 
as quiet a life as was compatible with the manifold duties of a pioneer 
fanner's wife; reading her weekly newspaper at night by the light of 
fire-place and tallow candle. And all the while, she was singing blithely 
or sadly, her own little songs, almost as soontaneously and uncon- 
sciously as the birds sang in the trees about her door. Some of these 
little poems found a haven in the columns of the weekly newspapers 
of the day, and a few were set to music, that she never heard sung. 

She sang of the e very-day things that hedged her in — of her joys and 
sorrows, but most of all she sang of patriotism — of the heroes of her 
own Canadian home, of her adopted country's flag, of the gallant deeds 
of the boys in blue, of the sorrow and pity of slavery and oppression 
everywhere. That she longed for a larger audience and more intelli- 
gent appreciation, is shown by her half-ironical, half-sad author's pre- 
face : 

"Oh, isn't it hard to he a poet, 
And live and die, and let nobody know it! 
To sing your songs to the passing breeze, 
Or jot them down when nobody sees, — 
Poor little pitiful things like these!" 

Years after her death, her poems were painstakingly gathered from 
hither and yon, by her daughter, Ida Cotteau, of whom she sang, as a 
child : 

"She stood by the pasture bars, 
And she looked so pretty and sweet; 
Her eyes were like luminous stars; 
There was dust on her little bare feet." 

The problem of finding a publisher for the little old-fashioned songs, 
was solved by means of an advertisement in a Chicago paper; and, after 
half a lifetime, Ida Cotteau had the satisfaction of completing her labor 
of love, and only just in time, for, a few weeks ago, she, too, passed away. 

The poetry of early Illinois may need an occasional twist in the pro- 
nunciation to help out a rhyme, or it may now and then be necessary 
to use artificial means to keep its metrical feet from "interfering," but 
three characteristics it undoubtedly possessed — religious fervor, patriot- 
ism and appreciation of the beauties of nature. 

That some of our early Illinois poets were crude in their manner of 
expressing the message that clamored "to be heard of mankind," there '.s 
no use denying; but, when all is said and done, I doubt very much 

whether the newspaper jingles of the present day will stand very much 
higher in the estimation of coming generations than those perpetrated 
by our forefathers and mothers. Our aim nowadays, seems to be solely 
to amuse, but these pioneer verses, almost without exception, bring in 
their hands some underlying admonition, precept or moral to justify 
their presence upon the sea of literature. It may be more practical to 
hitch your Pegasus to a fence-post, but even the frustrated attempt to 
hitch him to a star ought to be more uplifting. 



By Edwin 0. Gale. 

It was a beautiful morning on the twenty-fifth of May, 1835, when 
the brig Illinois cast its anchor some half a mile from Fort Dearborn, 
and birch bark canoes, yawls and lighters assembled to transfer from the 
tiresome craft to the uninviting shore the timid immigrants and their 
household treasures. As the first vessel of the season, our modest sail 
excited a 'great deal of interest, especially among the Indians, who 
succeeded in inducing a few fearless whites to accept their services. 
Their light canoes scarcely ruffled the placid lake as their dextrous 
paddles brought them swiftly to the shore. 

The writer, being but a triflle over three years of age at this eventful 
period, does not recall the landing nor does he distinctly remember many 
of the circumstances that occurred while the mass of the Indians still 
lived in Chicago, for the majority of the red men moved, under the 
terms of their treaty, to Iowa in the fall of 1835 and 183G. But for a 
number of years straggling bands from Wisconsin and Michigan fre- 
quently arrived to sell pelts, maple sugar and the ornamented handi- 
work of the skillful squaws, which surviving girls and boys of that 
period joyfully remember. As we pass from these happy exper- 
iences of our childhood and recall the floating years of three quarters of 
the century, which mark the marvelous progress of that early Chicago 
with its six hundred, venturesome whites and eight times that number 
of its passing aborigines, it seems like a fairy tale or a fabulous story 
conceived by some gifted romancer. 

Among the most prominent young people of our earliest days were the 
families of Jean Baptiste Beaubien, familiarly known as Col. John 
Beaubien, and his younger brother Mark, the children of whom were 
among our most constant playmates. Alexander, the son of John, was 
born January 28, 1822. Although ten years the senior of the writer, 
yet time on its fleeting wing commenced in a few years to obliterate the 
difference in our ages, and so mutual and earnest a friendship had been 
established that when he died, as an honorary pall-bearer I served my 

It was on the twenty-seventh of March, 1907, that this veteran of 
85 years closed his eyes upon the marvelous city — the fifth in size of the 
world — which claims some two and a half million citizens, while when iio 



first beheld the light of day the hamlet contained but one white family — 
the Kinzies — beside his own. His cherished mother, Josette Laf ram- 
boise, saved from the Fort Dearborn massacre, had been a useful and 
esteemed member of John Kinzie's household. She had an Indian 
mother, but, as the second wife of John Beaubien was beloved and 
venerated by their children. Our friend inherited the tastes and at- 
tributes of his mothers progenitors, and he told me that in 1833, at the 
age of 11, he shot and killed a black bear in the timber where Franklin 
street and Jackson boulevard now are. By 1840, game became too 
scarce in Chicago to suit the tastes of the Beaubiens, and the family 
removed to the Des Plaines, returning to the city in 1855. 

One bright Sunday morning in 1814, Alexander, with his brother 
Philip and four other comrades, chased a gray wolf through the Des 
Plaines timber for a long distance. When the foaming horses, panting 
dogs and nearly exhausted victim at length reached my father's farm, ■ 
now the site of Galewood, I hastily mounted a horse and joined in the 
chase with a fresh, powerful dog. We soon had the wolf killed, and I, 
being the youngest boy there, Aleck gave me the -brush," much to my 
pride and delight. Years ago that farm was taken into the city. 

But to return to the advancement of Chicago and vicinity. 

Schoolcraft, who attended the Indian council in 1821, in the north 
side grove, opposite the fort as a protection, states that "all the white 
men living between Chicago and the Mississippi as far north as Green 
Bay were present, and there were less than twenty in attendance." Even 
as late as 1825, there were but thirteen taxpayers in the place, their ag- 
gregate possessions being estimated at $8,947, upon which they were as- 
sessed one per cent, yielding the munificent sum of $89.17. That prac- 
tically included most of the personal possessions held in our ■ present 
county of Cook, organized in 1831. Today, the wealth is placed by the 
Board of Eeview at over two and one-third billion dollars ($2,375,- 

The county of Cook previous to 1831, included the present counties 
of Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake and McHenry. 

The thirteen illustrious patriots who grandly paid $89.47 taxes in 
1825, took great pride in organizing ' the county in 1831. Two years 
after that commendable event, they felt that it would be a proud duty 
to stimulate their fellow voters to convert the modest trading post into 
a legal town. Therefore, on the 10th of August, 1833, twenty-eight of 
our energetic fathers met in Peter Pruyne & Co.'s drug store on W r ater 
street and in spite of one opposing the measure, twenty-seven favored it, 
and five days after the incorporation every man of them again assembled 
and of the patriotic number thirteen were so earnest in the good cause 
that they were willing candidates for office. J. V. Owen, Medore Beau- 
bien, John Miller and Dr. E. S. Kimberly were elected as trustees. 

It required four years after the organization of the town and two 
years succeeding our arrival before Chi-ca-GO, blossomed out as a city. 

When the town first dawned upon us there was not a foot of side- 
walk in the place nor anything to denote a street excepting the stakes 
of the surveyor, James Thompson, who wfis appointed in 1829, by the 
canal commissioners to survey the section of canal land one mile square 


bounded by Chicago avenue, Madison, State and Halsted streets. 
Thompson reported that he only found seven families in the place out- 
side of the garrison, and he naturally concluded it would not require so 
much land for such a town so he placed the limits between State, Des 
Plaines, Madison and Kinzie streets. In locating the lots, which the 
commissioners considered of more importance than indicating where the 
streets would ultimately be, should they ever be needed — Thompson 
was so successful in surveying that in the following year on September 
27, 1830, 126 of the plated lots, 80 by 180 feet, were sold by the com- 
missioners, bringing from $10.00 to $60.00 each, the average price being 
$31.00, making in the aggregate $4,284.00. (The sales of 190 ; were 
about $175,000,000 in the city.) 

Nor did the closing sale of canal lots add much to the construction of 
the canal, the establishing of our highways or the improvement of our 
unfortunate streets even in the canal section. Nor can we today say that 
we ever felt exalted on account of the condition of our mirey streets and 
alleys. Our present superintendent of streets, Michael J. Doherty has 
prepared a table showing that where we had no streets nor alleys in early 
days, we now have 4,100 miles, of which only about a third are paved, 
while of the paved streets and alleys only a little over a third are in good 
repair. He estimates that $700,000.00 or $800,000.00 is needed at once 
for repairs. "If the Legislature will give Chicago a chance to raise the 
money the improvement will begin soon," he says in his report. In order 
that the legislative body might form some opinion as to the volume of 
the city traffic, the mayor and the street superintendent, one day put 
men on eleven of the sixty-four city bridges to count the number of 
vehicles that passed over them between 7:00 o'clock a. m. and 7:00 
o'clock p. m. The number was 56,349. Of these 10,916 were street 
cars, 2,070 automobiles, leaving a total of 43,363 vehicles drawn by horses. 
Of the latter 28,213 were one horse teams and 15,150 two horse teams, 
without a single Indian pony and its rider to remind us of the early 
thirties, when our floating log bridges were used mostly by them. 

Before we cross any of the bridges that we have had our attention 
drawn to we are naturally inclined to view in memory the river with its 
modest charms as its old time mirrored surface reflected the beautiful 
trees and bowing flowers that clustered along its banks, while the inno- 
cent waters flowed for many years down stream e*re the Gnthries edu-" 
cated them to flow up. Previous to that event it was the custom of a few 
useful water men to drive their two wheeled one horse carts into the 
river and load their reclining hogsheads with long handled wooden 
pails as they stood on the shafts. They usually obtained their supply for 
the scattered settlers from the most convenient places in the stream, 
delivering to their customers, as a rule, for ten cents a barrel. That 
the treacherous winds roiled the lake water was the usual plea for fur- 
nishing from the river. 

But those useful, watermen, horses and carts no longer meet the re- 
quirements of the people. Even the little. hydraulic mill at the foot of 
Lake street, with its twenty-four horse power engine, pumping 1,250 
barrels in fifty minutes, and its ten foot cedar logs with three and one- 


half inch bore that supplanted the faithful watermen in 1840, in spite of 
our admiration, soon failed to meet the wonderful demand of our rapidly 
growing city. The constantly increasing consumption of water seems 
incredible. In the month of August, 1900, more than ten and one-half 
billions (10,685,709,442) gallons of water were used. It is estimated that 
the quantity taken in that month would fill a square quarter of a mile 
in the lake to the depth of one-eighth of a mile. In 1905 there were 
pumped more than 150 billion (150,254,419,682) gallons yielding a 
revenue of nearly five millions of dollars ($4,092,559.24.) In 1907, 
165 billions of gallons were pumped, with the expenditure of nearly 
three hundred million pounds of coal (272,218,300.) The collection 
amounted to more than four and one-half million dollars ($4,510,000.) 
The Stock Yards alone require nearly one billion gallons a year. And 
what is of more importance, the city health department reports that 
"Chicago's water supply is now among the best and purest of any large 
city on earth." 

The canal that we previously referred to has long since retired from 
business, but its successor, the drainage canal, is inclined to take still 
another step in advance, as Lyman E. Cooley, one of' the country's lead- 
ing authorities on canal construction and costs, shows with statistics ac- 
cumulated during a life time of experience with canal work that the 
deep water way now so earnestly considered would secure to the city of 
Chicago by the power to be developed eighty millions of dollars, beside 
the value of the canal from a sanitary point of view and as a commercial 

Those who have lived in Chicago three-fourths of a century are not 
inclined to doubt any statement of the future progress of our city. And 
if some of us may have forgotten our glorious canal celebration of July 
4, 1836, and do not at this hour feel like saying much about canals, they 
may wish us briefly to say something about Chicago railroads. 

Let us consider the first railroad that ventured in Chicago, the Galena 
and Chicago Union, (consider the significance of that Union) which 
was chartered by the State Legislature in 1836, when railroads were 
hardly known, and about the time when no one could pay five miles fare. 
But how proud we were on July 10, 1848, when the first strap rail was 
laid. It is true that we were greatly afraid of railroads and the city 
council made the terrible thing go outside of the city limits, clear out 
to Halsted street (now claimed to be the longest street in any city), to 
protect us from probable catastrophes. It was treated as dangerous as 
shooting prairie chickens would have been on State and Twelfth street a 
few years before. How we hurrahed when the engine pioneer showed 
that it could actually move, and on October 26, 1848, drew two cars 
seven miles, to Sand Eidge, now Austin. 

Our friend, W. H. Stennett has for years been making a profound 
study of the development of that road, now called the Chicago and North- 
western, and has given us in the perfect history. "Yesterday and Today," 
1905, many statistics, from which we learn that the system proper 
"covers over nine thousand miles of main track; that it has cost $335,- 
000,000.00 ; that it earns $65,000,000.00 per year ; that it furnishes work 


for nearly 40,000 employes, and promptly and generously pays them In 
wages about $30,000,000.00 per year, and sustains at least 225,000 
souls. A pretty good growth from strap iron, and this is yet more im- 
pressive when we consider that with the other railroads entering here 
"the records of Dec. 31, 1902 proved Chicago to be the greatest railroad 
center in the world, and the statistics compiled by the Railway Age show 
that 1,839 trains enter and leave the city every 24 hours, 1,190 passengers 
and 649 freight. 

With the freight is included much material for the stock yards. Bear- 
ing in mind that our city claims to be the greatest grain, lumber and 
wholesale dry goods market on earth, it may surprise our people engaged 
in those lines to know that it is maintained by the men doing business in 
the Stock Yards that they do more and handle a larger volume than all 
of the others put together. I am not prepared to prove this statement, 
but $650,000,000.00 a year is a pretty good mark. They also say that 
they employ 75,000 men. If that be true, allowing that each employe" 
represents a family of four persons, it follows that the number who de- 
rive support from that 320 acres is greater than the population of the 
entire State at the time of my arrival, which in 1835, was 272,427. 
Their records show that from 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 creatures are 
slaughtered there annually for the collection of which more than 250,000 
ears are sent all over the country. 

Archibald Clybourn, avIio supplied the northern garrison and the people 
of Chicago in early days with meat drove his cattle in on foot. As 
sheep, hogs and calves could not be driven any distance, the neighboring 
farmers brought in the few they had in wagons, but the Hoosiers, as the 
Indiana husbandmen were called, were mostly depended upon for these 
supplies, as well as for hams, bacon, poultry, eggs, butter, lard, cheese 
and the fruit, which they brought in their covered wagons many of 
them being the old time Pennsylvania mountain wagons drawn by eight 
or ten yoke of oxen, or five or six span of horses. These prairie schooners 
as they were called, were especially attractive to the boys when loaded 
with enticing peaches and apples, as was frequently the case. 

But Prairie Schooners all have left, they sail our streets no more, 

They came with centers downward swayed, curved up both aft and fore. 

Their sunburnt owners, lank and tall, no more we see today; 

The snap of their loud-cracking whips, forever's passed away. 

And on the lake shore, where at night their flickering fires glowed, 

And care upon their homely fare was earnestly bestowed, 

Where we the frying bacon heard, the coarse corn dodgers saw, 

Where we the fragrant coffee smelt and heard the horses paw, 

That spot by them deserted is, yet those familiar scenes 

By pioneers will cherished be, though scarce then in their teens. 



By George M. McConnel. 

It is not possible for rue to adequately put in words my deep regret that 
a removal from my native State of Illinois, determined upon after the 
receipt of. the Historical Society's flattering invitation to put on record 
my recollections of the Northern Cross Railroad, has so engrossed ray 
time that 1 have been unable to comply and at almost the last Hay find 
myself obliged to merely write down a few of them in disjointed fashion. 

Let me first express my mosi grateful sense of the distinction implied 
in the invitation and repeat my keen regret that circumstances have pre- 
vented me so entirely from doing even my small best to comply. 

To any observant visitor from older countries who looks now at the 
"Central west."' the five states north of the Ohio river that Virginia 
gave to the nation, and their neighbors on the west, it may well seem 
amazing that they have changed to what they now are from almost un- 
broken wilderness within little more than a -ingle lifetime. It will seem 
even more incredible that men now living cau remember the time when 
the wild shriek of the locomotive steam whistle hist woke the echoes of 
Ohio forests or shook the long lances of the grass on Illinois prairies. 

Yet such is the fact, and the rate of the world's development within 
this life time as compared with what it was in the past, rise- at once 
into a conspicuous wonder as one thinks of it. From the far away age- 
when what we call a "'great civilization"' arose in the narrow valley of 
the Euphrates of the Nil'' or the Tiber, and each in its turn dominated 
human destiny, the mosi conspicuous fact has been the steady westward 
trend of these successive waves of civilization: Poets and historian- and 
philosophers have seen it ami spoken of it till "westward the course of 
empire takes its way" has grown a commonplace for all who read or 

But not so many have remarked the fact that from the birth of civil- 
ization — so far as we know of its birth — in the Euphrates valley, where 
at least, three or four successive civilizations lie buried under each other 
in the hundred or two hundred feet of surface earth, the theater over 
which each successive civilization dominated has steadily expanded in 
area, and its influences widened in scope. Babylon looms large in ancient 
history, but the stage on which it played its part was Little larger than 
itself. Borne boasted that it ruled the world, hut its "world" was but a 

—10 H S 


principality in comparison with the empire ruled by the English speak- 
ing race of today. From the scope of Babylon to that of Rome was a 
long stride in expansion, but it must be a far longer one from Eome's 
world-influence to that of the civilization which will govern the historic 
drama of the next few centuries whose stage will be the world, and its 
great central scene be bounded by the eastern and western shores of the 
Pacific ocean. 

In the great historic movement this increasing area of stage has been 
a fact scarcely less conspicuous than its westward drift. From Assyrian 
to Roman dominance its growth was slow. With Eome's rule of the 
Mediterranean, ocean navigation by oar and sail entered on accelerating 
growth. Steam navigation still further contributed to the rate of growth, 
but not until land transportation by steam did man acquire the real 
power to rule the world. He held, indeed, the sea coasts and the river 
shores, but until the advent of the railroad the vast interior empires and 
granaries of the continents as we know them, were impossible. 

The railway has been by far the largest single factor in the tremendous 
acceleration and expansion of the civilization of the past century and 
if we may argue "from the past to the future the civilization whose stage 
center will be the Pacific, will be greater than was that of the Mediter- 
ranean by as much as the huge western ocean is greater than the little 
sea, land locked between Europe and Africa. 

In the light of these reflections the historic development of the railway 
becomes of exceeding interest and of as great significance in the develop- 
ment of any particular region. No doubt wooden tramways, tracks of 
rails, of one kind or another, were in some kind of use for moving certain 
articles in many parts of the world, long before the railway — distinc- 
tively so called — was born, but the crucial pang in the evolution of the 
railway, as it has come to be known, was the application of steam 
power. George Stephenson brought this about when he put 
in operation the Hetton coal railway in 1822 and crowned 
that achievement by opening for business the Stockton and 
Darlington Passenger Eailway less than three years later. Less than a 
year later than this General Van Eensselaer and others of New York 
obtained authority from that state to build the Mohawk and Hudson 
Eailway running from Albany to Schenectady in New York on practi- 
cally the same line now occupied by part of the New York Central line. 
And this was opened for business in 1831. only six years after the birth 
in England, much of which time was taken up in solving new problems 
not known in England. 

Illinois had been a State only since 1818, was territorially a very 
considerable empire, over the southern one-third or one-half of which 
was scattered a population scarcely numerous enough to make a tenth 
rate city of today. Yet even then its people were agitating questions 
of a canal from Lake Michigan to the Illinois river and a lew prophetic 
souls were hinting at railways though with little conception of that where- 
of they hinted. In a certain sense it was not a wilderness or frontier 
population, but one nearly all of whose members bad been born in far 


older states, and were mentally in close touch with the people of the 
Atlantic states from Boston to Florida and along the gulf beyond to 
New Orleans. And among all these, in Massachusetts, in New York, 
in Maryland, in South Carolina and in Louisiana, there were projects 
of railways of one kind or another very soon after Stephenson's English 
achievement. ^ 

The Illinois people were too weak financially to do more than talk 
until in February, 1837, the state as such took up the work on its own 
credit and struck out a great system of "internal improvements," in- 
cluding the building of eight distinct lines of railway; first, the" Cen- 
tral from Cairo to Galena; second, a branch of same from Hillsboro 
eastward to the Indiana state line; third, the Southern Cross road from 
Alton to Mt. Carmel; fourth, the Northern Cross road from Quincy, 
via Jacksonville, Springfield and Decatur, to the Indiana state line 
nearly due west from Indianapolis ; fifth, from Peoria to Warsaw ; sixth, 
from Alton eastward to intersect the Central, though there seems now 
some doubt whether this was not included in the Mt. Carmel-Alton pro- 
ject; seventh, from Belleville to intersect the Southern Cross, and eighth, 
from Bloomington to Mackinaw with branches to Peoria and to Pekin, 
all of which it was estimated would cost nearly ten million dollars. 

While the bill was pending, Senator Vance of Vermilion county, one 
of the strong opponents of the whole scheme down to that time, sud- 
denly declared, for some unknown reason, that if the friends of the bill 
would insert a provision that the Northern Cross road should be built 
first of all, he would support the bill and this was accordingly done, 
though the result showed that the bill would have passed without his 

It seems absurd, now, that a road from Quincy eastward through 
Spring-field should be called the Northern Cross, but the fact that it was 
so named is clear proof of where the vast preponderance of the population 
of the State then lay. Except for the little lead mining city of Galena, 
the trading post at Peoria and a few other isolated communities, the 
great mass of the State's people then dwelt south of the Springfield 
line of latitude. 

Early in March, 1837, the Legislature elected a "board of public 
works," one member from each judicial district, to carry out this scheme, 
relatively more vast than it would now be for the present State to under- 
take the construction of three or four Panama canals. The member 
chosen by the Legislature from the Jacksonville district was Murray 
McConnel, a lawyer, then in the prime of life, full of fire and energy, 
active and tireless. He took instant action and within two months of 
his election had employed James M. Bucklin as chief engineer, drew 
from near his old boyhood home in New York near the Pennsylvania 
line, two or three of his own relations who had some knowledge of what 
had been done in New York, and within another two months had com- 
pleted the survey and location of the whole fifty-five miles from Merc- 
dosia to Springfield and had closed contracts for its construction. 

Within a year after the survey was begun, and it is to be remembered 
that the builders had no advantage of any kind of connection with or 


access to any railroad already built, and so everything had to be, so io 
speak, "hand made," within a year, or on May 9, 1838, the first rail 
was laid and early in November of the same year "the first locomotive 
that ever turned a wheel in the Mississippi valley'* was put in operation. 
The tremendous difficulties and discouragements overcome by these 
pioneers in Illinois railway building can hardly be imagined by those 
who know only the railway building of today. They not only had no 
proper tools for such work but most of them knew only theoretically and 
by hearsay as it were, of what the work they had undertaken was. 

Only a few weeks after construction began in is:};, the great financial 
panic of that year broke out and thence forth the work was urged against 
an increasing sea of difficulties that might have appalled the managers 
had they better known the real proportions of their task. So great were 
they that though the western half of the fifty-five miles, or nearly half, 
was in active operation earlv in 1839, the road was not completed to 
Springfield till in May. 1842. 

In the enthusiasm of May. 1837, Commissioner McConnel had or- 
dered iron, ears, a locomotive and other needed equipment, through the 
fund commissioners appointed by the State to raise money for the work, 
and reported that they had been bought agreeably to his requisition, but 
it is one of the strange facts of that time of delirium, beginning in 
enthusiasm and ending in financial panic and crushing debt, the loco- 
motive bought by the fund commissioners and shipped from New York 
by sea to Xew Orleans, thence to come to St. Louis and thence by Illinois 
river boat to Meredosia, was never heard of more. Somehow or other, 
how, probably nobody now can ever know, it was "lost in its passage" 
as one of the fund commissioners afterwards reported to the Legislature. 
Tt is another curious fact that though this locomotive was so mysteri- 
ously lost in transit. Commissioner McConnel of the board of works 
received a locomotive which was said to have been bought by the fund 
commissioners for the Bloomington-Mackinaw mad. though that road 
did not then, and probably never did. have any use for a locomotive. 
And this alleged 15. & M. Locomotive was rolled from a steamboat at 
Meredosia on to the Northern Cross tracks and set to work. 

Unless greatly misled by memory it is a mistake, however, to say, as 
some Illinois historians have said, that this old railroad never had but 

this one locomotive. Whether the one reported to have I n "losl in 

transit" afterwards "turned up" in some way. or it another was bought, 
recollection now i> that during part of 1839, L840 and two or three 
years more, there were two locomotives used more or Less regularly, and 
this appears to he made quite certain from two facts, neither of which, 
it would seem, memory could err about. These locomotives, whether 
one or two. were many hundreds of miles away from any other railways 
ami equally distant from any repair shops. As they fell the wear and 
tear of use Little repairing could be done on them save such as might 
be worked out in any ordinary country blacksmith's shop. Accordingly 
by 1844, or thereabouts, they had become incapable of more than 
crawling about. They were put out of use, the cattle guards at the 
different farm lines were floored so that nude- could travel on the trade. 


and for two or three years the flat cars — I incline to think but very few, 
if any, box cars — were used for carrying freight from Meredosia to 
Springfield and intermediate points, drawn by three or four mules 
driven tandem. 

When so put out of use, one locomotive was turned over by the State 
to James M. Semple, then one of the XJ. S. Senators from Illinois, to 
experiment with in carrying out a dream he indulged of Constructing 
a huge prairie steam wagon, with long drums faced with planks for driv- 
ing wheels, with which he planned to carry passengers over the then un- 
occupied prairies of the State, so little did even so able a man as he, 
dream of the short time it would be before those prairies would be 
practically filled with occupied farms. 

This was turned over to him near Berlin in the western edge of San- 
gamon county, where after many strange experiences by him, some of 
them amusing, some of them pathetic and all of them costly and dis- 
astrous, it was abandoned by him within a few yards of the railway 
track, and gradually went to pieces under the wear of weather and the 
appropriation of those who wanted a bit of metal or of wood which they 
could- pick out of the wreck. I often saw its dwindling carcase lying 
there for some years after. 

But memory says there was another locomotive, which went to Mr. 
Ridgely of Springfield, when in 1847, he bought from the State at 
public auction the road and all its belongings. This, it is remembered, 
w r as rebuilt in the Springfield shops, after the re-organization effected 
by Mr. Ridgely, under the careful direction of Mr. Tilton, who for some 
years managed the rehabilitated road, was named the "Phoenix," a queer 
looking machine even for fifty and more years ago, and was used for 
doing a variety of light work through several years. 

The road was built by laying parallel lines of mud sills, eight or ten 
inches square, under where the rails would come, save where the earth 
bottom was judged firm enough to lay cross ties much as is now done, 
only much further apart than now. On these ties were laid "stringers" 
of oak probably 4x6, or 4x8 inches, notched and pinned together and on 
these were spiked flat strap iron rails, some 2% inches wide, five-eighths 
of an inch thick and probably twelve or fifteen feet long, with ends 
mitred, or slanted, so as to take the weight of a wheel on each rail before 
it had quite left the other. The frequent result may be easily imagined. 
These ends gradually curled up as the wheels rolled over them, till the 
points, rising higher than the wheel center, became what were called 
"snake heads," were under-run by the wheels and shot up through the 
car and sometimes through an unfortunate passenger or employe. 

The only passenger coaches the road possessed were about of the size 
and "build" of the big omnibuses of the past generation. The seats 
ran along each side, like those of the omnibus, and the coaches were 
equally destitute of any and every other appliance for the comfort or 
convience of the traveler, other than to sit down and "hang on" — if he 
could. The speed of the trains was very low, as speed is now measured, 
but it was. relatively to that to which that generation was accustomed, 
nearly as high as we now habituallv know, the roadway was very uneven. 


there were no straps to hang to and the lurching about of passengers 
unfortunate enough to be obliged to stand, their stumbling over and 
trampling upon the feet of the seated travelers, into whose surprised 
embraces they not infrequently stumbled and sprawled, were often vastly 
amusing to onlookers howsoever exasperating to the participants. It was 
often equally disagreeable when passengers were few. There were no 
divisions of any kind in the seats. Along each wall of the coach ran a 
smooth stretch of bench like seat and a sudden lurch of the coach would 
often slide a sitter half the length of the coach and land him, or her, 
with a gruesome bump in the middle of the floor. 

These were specimen inconveniences for travelers, while the want of 
some of the simplest of the railway devices of the past twenty years 
brought serious hardships and hazards to the employes. Cars were 
coupled only with the long link and pin, operated by hand and result- 
ing in any train of a number of cars suddenly stretching or shrinking in 
length with sudden changes of speed as much as a score or more of feet, 
with sudden jars and hazards unknown on modern trains. There was no 
means then known for warming the water in the tank of the locomotive 
tender and the only known means of conveying it from the tank to the 
boiler was by ordinary leathern hose swinging freely enough between 
the two to assure immunity from breaking in any one of these sudden 
elongations of the train. Often a stop of two or three minutes at any 
station exposed to the bitter cold blasts of winter would suffice to freeze 
the water in these hose, tying up the train for from a few minutes to 
several hours, destitute of any means of informing anybody of the cause 
and probable duration of the delay. A few minutes of delay in pushing 
through a snow-drift far from any station would bring the same frozen 
hose, far from even the useless but sympathetic knowledge of the den- 
izens of a bit of prairie station. 

Then it became necessary for the train crew to take wood from the 
locomotive tender — the art of burning coal in a locomotive furnace had 
not then been discovered — and carefully build a fire on the ground be- 
tween the rails and under the hose where it passed in festoons from tank 
to boiler, watching it like a hawk lest it scorch the leather, in which case 
the hose would crack and burst and the locomotive be left hopelessly 
'•dead," till drawn away by some force other than its own. 

What this task must be for two or three men crouched in the narrow 
space under a. locomotive cab, with a maniac-like northwest wind howl- 
ing like a legion of devils across the. open prairie, driving clouds of 
stinging snow before it. may be partly guessed by those who have seen 
a prairie blizzard but can never be fairly appreciated save by him who 
has taken part in the torturing task. 

The facilities for supplying locomotives with fuel and water were 
very meagre, and when the train stopped at any "wooding" station, the 
whole train crew and not infrequently some of the passengers, joined in 
throwing the sawed wood into the great box of the tender, sometimes 
even having to add to the labors of the sawyers to fill the needed quan- 
titv." In many cases some slight accident has caused a stop at some point 


remote from the scanty water stations, and lines of disgusted passengers 
trudged back and forth for hours between the impotent train and the 
nearest creek or farm well, often a distance of miles, each with one or 
two pails of some kind, carrying water to put into the tank. 

These are but a few of the embarrassments of railroading in those 
days. There were scores of others, for the signal code, the air brake, 
the automatic coupler, the toilet devices of today, the sleeping car, the 
dining car, steam heated cars, all lights save candles alone, the use of the 
telegraph in operating trains, these and many another commonplace of 
today, were as yet undreamed of. I speak only of such as I saw some- 
thing of in my boyhood. 

The observer of today, if he stops to think, will feel a new respect 
for the general sagacity of the men who projected the eight lines of road 
before spoken of. Little of the vast area covered was much beyond the 
wilderness stage, most of it not at all beyond. Yet the majority of the 
lines they laid down are now literally or substantially parts of more or 
less important railway routes. The main line of the Wabash railway of 
today, pushed southwestward from the head of Lake Erie, intersects 
the line of the old Northern Cross about at Decatur, and follows it 
almost foot by foot westward to the Mississippi. 

The sound judgment of those green railway builders of 1837 is cur- 
iously witnessed by the fact that the line they surveyed and located from 
Meredosia to Springfield is followed in detail to this day by the great 
railway before mentioned. 

One incident I recall witnesses the human quality of that day not a 
wdiit different from that of our day. As surveyed by Engineer Bucklin 
under the official supervision of Commissioner McConnel, the railway 
line passed along the northern verge of the village of Jacksonville, pre- 
cisely where the line of the Wabash now passes. But certain of Commis- 
sioner McConnel's townsmen insisted that this was because McConnel 
"owned property on that side of towm," and they were highly indignant 
that he was thus benefiting himself. "The whole town," they said, 
"should be benefited by locating the road right through the middle of 
town, along State street and through the public square !" 

"Why! bless you," said McConnel, though he may not have used the 
word "bless," but its next door neighbor on the theory that "extremes 
meet," — "the engineers did not know I owned any property when they 
located the line. You can have it on State street if you wish and see 
how you like it." 

And so, to the disgust of the engineers two long transverse curves 
were interjected into an otherwise straight road, turning it into West 
State street over the ground where the high school now stands, and send- 
ing along the chief street and through the central square of the town, 
the locomotives belching their smoke in the aristocratic front windows 
of Col, John J. Hardin as the road left State street on the eastern 
verge of town and went back again to the surveyed line. 

The indignant citizens who thought they should share in a "graft" 
that existed only in their imaginations, were glad enough to get the 


track back again on the survey ten years later after the sale to '. 
but none of them ever made public acknowledgement that the Commis- 
sioner and the engineers were in the right from the first. 

Once more let me remark that the fact that along these fifty-five miles 
of road the line of today follows foot by foot the survey of seventy years 
ago, is no small testimony to the sagacity, the foresight, the sincerity, 
the intelligence of the men who established these lines when there was 
yet no historic past in railway building by which they could guide their 
footsteps. They broke a way for civilization in the Mississippi valley, 
and a way whose fashion was yet wholly new to mankind. 



By William T. Davidson. 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen — Permit a personal explanation 
of my relation to this subject. I was taken to Lewistown by my family 
when I was eighteen months old, in 1838. My father, as a minor official, 
was a good deal about the court house in those days during the circuit 
court terms. As a frail little chap I was much with him during court 
and from my fifth year was permitted very often to stand or sit near 
the presiding judge, the first of whom was Judge Stephen A. Douglas. 
From childhood 1 was thrilled by oratory rather than music or painting; 
so I ever haunted the court house to hear the mighty men of the Illinois 
bar who traveled the circuit sixty to seventy years ago. In 1844 my 
older brother, the late James M. Davidson, of the Carthage Republican, 
became a publisher and an editor, and thus I came in touch with the 
types, and ink, and exchanges, and so conversant with the shop talk 
relating to politicians and the prominant Whigs and Democrats of that 
time. In- 1852 I belonged to a quartette of singers who attended all 
the democratic rallies in our section of the military tract for Franklin 
Pierce. The following April I entered a printing office as "devil" and 
was helping to "edit" the paper the next week. In 1855 I became as- 
sociated with the Fulton Democrat at Lewistown. Three years later I 
became its sole editor and proprietor, as I am today. 

Thus from childhood I have been in close touch with the prominent 
men of Illinois, particularly those of the military tract, a few of whom 
I shall reverently, lovingly and briefly allude to in this paper. 

Edward Dickinson Baker (the famed "Silver-tongued Ned Baker"). 
First of all I remember him as the most dashing and brilliant young 
orator who ever appeared in our court house. He was born in London. 
England, in 1811, and early in the thirties was reading law and entering 
upon its practice in this city of Springfield. Here in 1837 he was 
elected to the Legislature, in 1840 to the State Senate, in 1X11 to Con- 
gress. During these later years he was following- Douelas and Lincoln 
about the court circuits, appearing in Lewistown in many court terms up 
to the Mexican war, when he raised a regiment in this Springfield coun- 
try and in the military tract. From my sixth or seventh year I vividly 
recall that splendid specimen of young manhood as he appeared in the 
old court house, always crowded by the people of the county to meet 


their favorite party leaders and to feast upon their oratory. But Ned 
Baker was in a class by himself. If he only spoke for five minutes to 
the court on some point of law, the crowded court room was all atten- 
tion. But if in a murder case he spoke for hours, his audience was 
thrilled to the verge of collapse. Two-thirds of a century has passed, 
but I can see that straight, lithe, graceful, blond youth as he swayed 
his audience, jurors, the bar and even the judge upon the bench, with 
the music of his voice, his word pictures, his irresistable logic and illus- 
trations, and the unconscious, spontaneous, prefervid oratory that come 
as fresh to me as when a child, like the musk of the ancient queen that 
fills her apartments an age since she is dead. Glorious Ned Baker, who 
led our Illinois troops from victory to victory in Mexico, and, while an 
United States Senator from Oregon, was shot dead at Balls Bluff, in 
1861, while leading a brigade in that heroic battle for the Union. 

James Shields, the distinguished orator and soldier, was often in our 
town before and after the Mexican war in which he won, with Marshal 
Nov. the soubrequet of "Bravest of the brave."' He was elected United 
States Senator as a Democrat from three different states — Oregon, Min- 
nesota and Missouri, an honor achieved by no other American citizen. 
He was also a conspicuous and brilliant general in our Civil war and 
held many distinguished posts of honor in our civil service. I recall as 
if it were yesterday his strong, fine, impressive Irish face and oratory 
as he spoke in our old court house of the achievements of the Illinois 
soldiers in the Mexican war. 

Peter Cartwright was often a guest at my father's home, both in 
Petersburg and Lewistown, ever the Methodist preacher's hotel. In 
1856 the Illinois Methodist Conference was held in our village. I had 
been absent some weeks, but suddenly went home on a steamer from 
Peoria to Liverpool, and walked thence on a dark night ten miles to 
my home in Lewistown. I thought I would give my people the surprise 
of their lives by slipping into our always unlocked home, going to my 
room, and having them find me in my own bed next morning. All went 
well in the midnight darkness as I entered the house and was softly 
walking to my bedroom. But I struck a heavy satchel lying on the floor 
and down I went like a hod full of brick. 

"What in God's name has broken loose?" howled the hoarsest and 
most terrifying voice T had ever heard, and from my bedroom!" 

"Oh Peter/' replied a gentle, pleading voice. "It's only someone mov- 
ing about the house." 

"Say it's a herd of Texas steers on a stampede, and I'll believe you!" 
snorted the other. 

I knew T was having a nightmare 1 or had broken into the wrong house. 
pnd wmdd be shot for a burglar. I cot to my feet and made a bolt in 
the direction of the door as best T could guess it on" in my terror and the 
pitch d'irkness. Agflin I sprawled over the obstruction with a bigger 
bang linn before. There was an alarming creaking of the corded bed- 
stead — the monster was tumbling out with a louder roar: "Til see! 
rt's Sat -in unchained. Whoof!" 


In the nick of time my mother in her nightrobe opened the door with 
a lighted candle in her Hand, i was cowering m a dark corner, she 
could not see me. But in tnat sweetest mortal voice i ever heard, she 
said : 

"It's all right, Uncle Peter, it's only my buy come home." 

"lour boy! fearah Ann, its nothing but a mustang pony hitched to 
a harrow cavorting around here \" 

Peter Cartwright and dear old presiding elder Henry Summers, the 
latter as sweet and gentle as a woman, the former a holy cyclone in 
pantaloons, both occupying my room and bed. I knew Uncle Peter 
fifty-two years ago as a stout, heavily-built man with a head as round as 
a base ball. Prom all appearances, he could wear a derby hat put on 
any side to the front ana it would ht him perfectly, lie then wore a 
rather rusty and close-fitting black suit. He was in an eternal roar of 
debate through the conference, stamping up and down the aisle and 
swinging his arms like hails at threshing. Morning, noon and night, 
mother was sewing up the rips in the back, shoulders and elbows of 
Uncle Peters coat. And Peter Cartwright was the greatest and most 
successful pioneer minister in the annals of Illinois. 

Hezekiah M. Wead was one of the strongest earlier sledge-hammer 
lawyers of our Fulton county bar, and very able and effective as a 
Democratic speaker, in the early hfties he -was elected circuit judge 
and was one of the ablest and most useful men of that time. He after- 
wards occupied a high place in the Peoria bar and in that city died, 
revered by the bar and judiciary. 

William Kellogg located in Canton, also in the early forties, and as 
a Whig, and a very brilliant and polished orator, became Judge Wead's 
friendly but ever-active opponent politically and as an attorney. Mr. 
Kellogg followed Judge Wead as circuit judge in the Pulton circuit 
court, retiring to enter Congress in 185 T where he served three terms, 
closing his brilliant and distinguished congressional career in 1863, 
when he followed his earlier competitor to Peoria where he died full 
of honors and midst the lamentations of all who knew him. He was 
one of the handsomest men I ever knew, and among the most forceful, 
brilliant, and effective orators. There is one event in Judge Kellogg's 
public life that is known to few. He was Abraham Lincoln's closest 
friend and adviser from the birth of the Eepublican party until Judge 
Kellogg quit Congress. They were in frequent correspondence during 
the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, and during the presidential cam- 
paign of 1860, and many of Mr. Lincoln's letters to him are still pre- 
served by one of Judge Kellogg's daughters. It will be recalled that 
after Mr. Lincoln's election and previous to his inauguration, many 
plans of compromise were submitted to Congress to heal the breach be- 
tween the sections of the Union, each in its turn to meet ignominious 
defeat. Among these were a very able set of resolutions presented by 
Judge Kellogg and for which he made one of the very great speeches 
of that Congress, ever memorable for the mighty forensic debates that 
characterized both houses. At the close of Judge Kellogg's speech, 

General John A. MeClernand, then Democratic member for your Spring- 
field district, arose and complimented his Republican colleague from 
Illinois upon the able, just and patriotic tenor of his resolutions, in- 
ferring that, because of Judge Kellogg's close personal relations with 
the president elect the compromise resolutions certainly were "inspired" 
and therefore were of transcendant importance as voicing the views 
and wishes of the coming administration. Judge Kellogg courteously 
interrupted General MeClernand, (as the Congressional record shows) 
with the declaration that he (Kellogg) was absolutely alone in the 
preparation of that plan of compromise — was alone responsible for its 
presentation to Congress. And yet I have the highest authority for the 
statement that this plan of compromise was suggested by Mr. Lincoln 
in all its terms. . 

Establishing this interesting fact, the following autograph letter is 
still in the possession of one of Judge Kellogg's daughters: 

"Springfield, III., December 11, 1860. 
"Hon. Williavi Kellogg: 

My Dear Sir — Entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the 
extension of slavery. The instant you do, they have us under again; all our 
labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. Douglas is said to be 
again trying to swing (or ring) in his 'Pop Sov.' Have none of it. The tug 
has to come and better now than later. 

"You know I think the fugitive slave clause of the Constitution ought to 
be enforced — to put it in the mildest form, ought not to be resisted. In haste, 

"Yours as ever, 

"A. Lincoln." 

The Kellogg plan of compromise, like all other suggestions to that 
end, was howled down by the radicals in Congress with fierce denuncia- 
tions of their author. Mr. Lincoln promptly notified Judge Kellogg 
that he would assume responsibility for this plan of compromise and 
face the radicals with the fact at any cost. But the equally great-souled 
Kellogg assumed the sole responsibility in his reply to General Me- 
Clernand — sacrificed himself — went to the staki — gave up forever his 
political lil'< — rather than permit the great President-elect to become 
the target of popular denunciation and abuse that might have disrupted 
the Eepublican party and assured the success of secession and the down- 
fall of the Eepublic. 

Colonel Lewis W. Koss was the son of Ossian M. Ross who came From 
New York to the site of Lewistown in 1821, who laid out and organized 
Fulton county and Lewistown as its county sent in L823, the town being 
named Lewistown for the son. Colonel Ross was educated at Jackson- 
ville College and became one of our earliest and most distinguished 
attorneys and Democratic politicians. He was a popular officer in the 
Mexican war, was a member of the Legislature several times, was one of 
the distinguished and broad-minded members of our last Slate consti- 
tutional convention, and served two terms in Congress during the Civil 

war with greal ho • to his constitutents and the Shite of Illinois. He 

was a fine lawyer, an impassioned orator and one of the greatest and 
most highly honored men of the military tract. 


General Leonard F. Ross, a younger brother of Lewis W., was born 
in Lewistown in 1823 and was a brilliant and intrepid commander both in 
the Mexican and Civil wars. He preferred the vocation of the farmer 
and raiser of fine stock to politics or the legal profession. A more 
widely-known or more highly-honored or more useful citizen never was 
produced in the Military Tract. 

William C. Goiulv came to Lewistown in the forties, a penniless school 
teacher from the east, and here he studied law under Judge Wead, ulti- 
mately locating in Chicago where he became the ablest lawyer in that 
city and of national renown. He was peculiar as a cold and unimpas- 
sioned speaker and was wholly lacking in the power to win warm friends 
and admirers, and could not succeed as a politician. 

William Pitt Kellogg came to Canton, perhaps in 1856, from the east, 
and formed a law partnership with Judge William Kellogg, to whom J 
have alluded. There was only a remote relationship between the two. 
"Pitt," as he was familiarly known, was a very handsome and elegantly- 
d-ressed young man. lie probably was a fair office lawyer, but he de- 
spised tlie court room and the drudgery of trying cases. In 1858-60 
he would regularly drive to Lewistown during circuit court terms, but 
during the sessions spent his time in the Fulton Democrat office or in 
his room at the hotel. He had a singular fondness, although himself 
a radical Republican, for telling the young editor of the Democrat all 
the secret plottings of the Canton Republican leaders and editors — 
startling exposures that greatly mystified and annoyed the victims of 
Pitt's jokes, for the Democrat gave plenty of space to the stories. Pitt 
in all such ways seemed to be indifferent and negligent of every duty as 
an attorney or politician. But in I860 he became a Lincoln elector 
for our district and held a joint debate with the distinguished S. Corn- 
ing Judd. the Douglas elector, in which Mr. Kellogg surprised all who 
knew him by the lode wit and power of his speeches. He was. there- 
fore, made governor of the territory of Nebraska, and. later on. 
reconstruction governor of. and then United States Senator from 
Louisiana. In the meantime he became a millionaire and is now living 
in Washington City with his boyhood wife, a noble Canton girl of fifty 
vears ago. Ex-Senator William Pitt Kellogg is one of the few living 
"delegates to the famous Bloomington Convention of 1856 and in which 
Mr. Lincoln delivered the celebrated "Lost Speech." 

I have also a vivid recollection of the scholarly lawyer and states- 
man, 0. H. Browning of Quincv : of that grand pioneer lawyer of Knox- 
vill'e, Julius Manning, revered by all pioneers who knew him: the 
erratic and brilliant Willhm O'Brien of Peoria, who was a strong and 
popular attorney at our court terms — each of them worthy of larger 

Colonel Robert C Ingersoll was a radical Democrat up to the opening 
of the war in 1861. having in I860 been Judge Kellogg's unsuccessful 
opponent f,, r his se at in Congress. They held joint debates through the 
dietrict. and Judge Kellogg more than held his own with tin 1 brilliant 
and audacious Bob. who never had his superior on the platform of this 


or any land. Colonel IngersolFs Democratic speeches were the fiercest 
and most vicious ever heard on the stump of Illinois. But after his 
conversion to Bepublicanism, Bob didn't do anything else for the rest 
of his brilliant and remarkable career except to abuse God and the 
Democratic party. Yet my friend Colonel Ingersoll was one of the 
gentlest and truest of friends, with a heart as sweet and loving as a 

Judge Chauncey L. Higbee of Pittsfield from early in the Civil war 
and for nearly a score of years later presided on the circuit bench in the 
old fifth judicial district covering the lower part of the Military Tract, 
including Fulton county. He was a very able Democrat of the old. con- 
servative school and a very able speaker. But after he became judge he 
never permitted himself to take a part in politics, except as he was 
nominated for judge in Democratic conventions. After his first term 
the Bepublicans declined to nominate a candidate against him. Judge 
Higbee was the ablest and most universally adored judge we have 
ever had in western Illinois. No man was more universally respected 
in this section by men of all parties, even in that time of very bitter 
political alignments. When Higbee decided a case, with very rare 
exceptions it was accepted by all sides as law and justice. Very seldom 
was there an appeal from his decisions — more rarely was he reversed. 
No mortal had more devoted friends, but he did not know them on the' 
bench. He was not only the just judge, but he was almost infallible in 
his decisions. He was very peculiar in having no fear x>f the Supreme 
Court, no dread of reversals. Hence he was ever prompt in his decisions. 
He could handle more court business in a week than any other judge 
I have known could handle in twice the time. He has been dead many 
years, but no man is remembered in the Military Tract with sincerer 
affection than Judge Chauncey L. Higbee. 

These men, and many others of earlier days in the Military Tract 
quite worthy of honored mention in this paper, were in the main peculiar 
and honored friends of this boy editor who now has no words at his 
command to paint them in the glowing colors they deserve. 

But in closing I must not fail to speak of a few of our old-time bril- 
liant and brave editors of the Military Tract who were to me as older 
and beloved brothers. 

S. S. Brooks, the boyhood editorial friend of Douglas in Jacksonville 
in the early thirties and father to Austin Brooks, sixty years ago the 
famous editor of the Quincy Herald, came to Lewistown in 1840 and 
here started the Fulton County Ledger which, in 1853, was moved to 
Canton and is still edited there by my friend, Hon. S. Y. Thornton, who 
lias had the sole control of it for over fifty years. 

Austin Brooks was one of the great editors of the Military Tract, fifty 
to sixty years ago. His Quincy Herald became 1 famous for its warlike 
and impetuous attacks upon the Whigs, and later the Bepublican 
politicians and editors of that time. Many were the physical combats 
that Austin had and stonnv was his editorial career, but he came out 
victorious in every battle. In 1860 he was a member of the Illinois 
Senate, but resigned his seat in a sudden passion over some partisan 


question and returned home to make the Quincy Herald a trifle hotter 
than before. As I remember at this distant day, the remarkable thing 
happened to my friend Austin that he was converted in a Methodist 
revival and thereupon lost his grip as a Democratic editor. 

Among the other great editors of the Military Tract of that time, all 
of them gone to their rest, were: 

George W. Scripps, of the Rushville Citizen. 

J. Merrick Bush, of the Pike County Democrat. 

Zachariah Beatty, of the Knoxville (later Galesburg) Republican. 

George W. Raney, who started Peoria's first daily paper, The Herald, in 

Mr. Prickett, of the Peoria Republican. 

Enoch Emery, of the Peoria Transcript. 

The elder Patterson, of the Oquawka Spectator. 

Joseph Sharpe, of the Carthage Gazette. 

James M. Davidson, of the Lewistown Gazette in 1844, the Fulton County 
Democrat in 1855, and later of the Carthage Republican. 

Charles H. Whitaker, of the Macomb Eagle. 

Benjamin Hampton of the Macomb By-Stander, 

And other very able editors who profoundly impressed upon their con- 
stituents their noble citizenship, learning and unspotted patriotism. 
These men were Whigs (afterwards Eepublicans) and Democrats, ac- 
cording to their varying temperament and environments, each as firm 
in his political faith as the crusader in his religious faith. No one of 
them had a collegiate education; few of them more than a meagre 
acquaintance with the three R's of the "pay" country school. But each 
of them had his printing office equipment, and, to any bright and re- 
ceptive mind, that is practically a liberal education. That was Horace 
Greeley's only equipment, and he was America's very greatest editor. 
Very seriously I affirm that the editors named, and scores more of them 
in the Military Tract and in Illinois, knew all of the politics of their 
time that Lincoln, Douglas, Seward, Trumbull, Toombs, Palmer or 
Alexander Stephens knew. They printed the speeches of these statesmen 
in full. They knew by heart the famous arguments and epigrams of 
each. The yellow old files of their papers today are the wonder of the 
average provincial editor of this time with his lazy man's patent sheets 
and boiler plates. Local news ! a man had to commit murder, steal a 
horse or break his leg to get his name into the paper. Painting barns, 
mending chicken-coops, "Sundaying" in some neighboring hamlet — 
never a line of it. But the editorial page was ever so bright and virile 
as to even challenge debate with the biggest papers in New York and all 
the cities; and they wonderfully molded or confirmed public sentiment 
among the pioneers as did no other power in the land. Aside from 
their political features, the pages reserved for reprint selections blos- 
somed weekly like gardens in June with the classical prose and poetry 
of that golden age when Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, George D. Pren- 
tice, "Fanny Fern" and N. P. Willis were in their prime. Family ob- 
ligations and untoward environments kept these men away from the 
great cities and great opportunities that gave the Greeleys. Bennett?. "Ray- 


monds, Danas, Medills, Storeys and Wattersons their pre-eminence ; 
but my brother provincial editors did their part well in developing 
Illinois from the wilderness of one hundred years ago into the imperial 
commonwealth of today that challenges the wonder and admiration of 
every sister state. 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. 

The fact that you are to have special papers respectively on Lincoln 
and Douglas, makes it superfluous for me to allude to them, although I 
was in close touch with Douglas, particularly, from 1854 until his death, 
and also knew Mr. Lincoln only a little less familiarly. But since above 
paper was written, the following item relating to this honored Historical 
Society has come to my notice: 

"A special volume will be issued by tbe library commemorating tbe semi- 
centennial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. This will consist' of the debates 
themselves, of historical material explanatory of the times, of the two great 
contestants, and of reprints of interesting documents relating to the debates 
and the times, photographs and maps illustrative of the subject matter. The 
book will be handsomely printed and bound, and a very large edition will be 
printed. The book will be edited by Dr. Edwin Erie Sparks, and the editor 
hopes to have it ready for distribution in a very short time." 

I fear that our honored Illinoisan, former Vice President Stevenson, 
who addresses this society tomorrow night on Douglas, may not be aware 
of the important fact I beg permission to lay before you. I have little 
doubt that it will be a new and valuable addition to the side-lights of 
that great debate. In the files of my humble paper, the Fulton County 
Democrat, in its issue of June 23, 1860, I find tin's letter from Senator 
Douglas : 

(From The Fulton Democrat of June 23, 18G0.) 


Letter from Mr. Douglas. 

The Ohio Statesman, printed at Columbus, Ohio, has published the follow- 
ing important letter addressed by Mr. Douglas to the publishers of the 
"Douglas and Lincoln Debates:" 

Washington, June 9, 18(30. 

Gentlemen — I have received by the express one dozen copies of your pub- 
lication of the joint debates between Mr. Lincoln and myself in 1858, sent 
by the order of Mr. Cox, who will pay you the amount of your bill. I feel it 
my duty to protest against the unfairness of this publication, and especially 
against the alterations and mutilations in the reports as published in the 
Chicago Times, which, although intended to be fair and just, were necessarily 
imperfect, and in some respects erroneous. 

The speeches were all delivered in the open air, to immense crowds of peo- 
ple, and in some instances in stormy and boisterous weather, when it was 
impossible for the-reporters to hear distinctly and report literally. The re- 
ports of my speeches were not submitted to me or any friend of mine for 
inspection or corroboration before publication; nor did I have the opportunity 
of reading more than one or two of them afterwards, until the election was 
over, and all interest in the subject had passed away. 

In short, I regard your publication as partial and unfair, and designed to 
do me injustice, by placing me in a false position. I saw in the preface to 
the first edition of your publication, which is omitted in the copy sent to 
me, a correspondence between Mr. Lincoln and the Ohio Republican commit- 

tee, from which it appears that Mr. Lincoln furnished his speeches and mine 
for publication — his in the revised and corrected form, and mine as they 
came from the hand of the reporter, without revision. Being thus notified 
that his speeches had been revised and corrected, this fact ought to have re- 
minded you that common fairness and justice required that I should have an 
opportunity of revising and correcting mine. But to deny me that privilege, 
and then to change and mutilate the reports as they appeared in the news- 
papers from which they were taken, is an act of injustice against which I 
must he permitted to enter my protest. In order that the injustice which you 
have done me may be in some degree diminished, I respectfully request that 
this letter, together with the correspondence between Mr. Lincoln and the 
committee, which led to the publication, may be inserted as a preface to all 
future editions of these debates. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servant, 

S. A. Douglas. 

Messrs. Follet, Foster & Co., Columbus, Ohio. 

I call your attention to these facts : The "Debates" were printed as a 
partisan campaign document; first, to aid in Mr. Lincoln's nomination 
for the presidency, and then to aid in his election over Senator Douglas. 
It was printed in vast numbers in cheap and crude pamphlet form for 
free circulation by an obscure job printing firm in Columbus, Ohio, 
weeks or months before Mr. Lincoln was nominated at Chicago, as the 
date of above letter shows. It could not have been expected in the 
heated partisan campaign of 1860, nor even in any milder campaign 
of recent years, that a Bepublican or Democratic campaign committee 
would go out of its way to help, or even do justice to an opponent. As 
"campaign literature," if honestly labeled, I would not object to the 
only text available of those great debates. But to embalm the Columbus 
version of them as history, the soul of fair play and truth must revolt 
against it. 

I would not take one star from the deathless diadem of Abraham 
Lincoln. His was the gentlest, sweetest, truest soul the earth has known 
since Christ. His fame fills all civilized lands and grows brighter with 
the fleeting years. 

I am only courteously asking this great and honored Illinois His- 
torical Society to grant to the dead Douglas the fair play and justice 
he implored in vain forty-eight years ago; that your beautiful edition of 
the "Lincoln-Douglas Debates" shall bear as a preface the above courtly 
letter from one of Illinois' noblest sons and one of the nation's very 
ureal est statesmen and patriots. 

-11 H S 



[United States Senator from Illinois, and Author of its First Constitution.] 

By Henry Barrett Chamberlin. 

In old Kaskaskia, the first capital, and the abiding place of seven 
state makers whose names have heen given to as many counties, rest 
the mortal remains of him whoso influence upon the commonwealth 
was most pronounced. A graduate of Yale, he brought culture to a 
pioneer community. An able lawyer, he played a most prominent part 
in its formative political movements and gave dignity to the bench as 
judge of the territorial circuit court. As a member of the first consti- 
tutional convention, he is credited with the authorship of the basic law 
and was influential in dictating the thought and the policy of Illinois as 
a territory and for many years after it had reached statehood. As first 
Secretary of State, he left his impress upon the administration of Gov- 
ernor Bond to the advantage of the people. As a member of the upper 
house of the General Assembly, he was a factor in determining legisla- 
tion. As a Senator of the United States, his concise, accurate quality of 
mind commanded respect and attention from a body including such 
men as Benton of Missouri, Randolph of Virginia, Hayne of South 
Carolina, Johnson of Kentucky, Cobb of Georgia, Calhoun of South 
Carolina and Webster of Massachusetts. He was associated with and 
held the respect of John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, 
Eoger B. Taney, Levi Woodbury, John H. Eaton, Amos Kendall, B. 
F. Butler and Lewis Cass. He was one of the really great representative 
men of his time, and the prestige of Illinois was enhanced because of his 
service to her people. 

Elias Kent Kane, United States Senator from Illinois, was the 
youngest son of Captain John Kane, in his youth, an Irish sailor, after- 
wards a successful and wealthy merchant until his business was ruined 
by the war of 1812. The family connections were of the best, including 
such well known personages of the Empire state as the great Chancellor 
James Kent, whose name the senator bore, the Van Rensselaers, the Mor- 
rises and the Yateses. Elisha Kent Kane, the famous Arctic explorer, 
was a cousin, though of a younger generation, his lather having been a 
college mate of the senator. The exact date of Elias Kent Kane's birth 
is still a matter of dispute, the latest authority upon that subject, George 
W. Smith, giving it as 1794. In an address before the Illinois State 
Bar Association, January 24, 1895, Mr. Smith quoted a letter written by 


a cousin of Senator Kane dated at Yale College, April 28, 1814, also 
another letter dated at Albany, September 20, 1814, from the senator's 
father and addressed to him at Kaskaskia, Tennessee, in support of his 
contention that the birth year of the senator was 1794, and not 1786, 
1791 or 1796, as has been variously stated. 

Elias Kent Kane was graduated from Yale in 1812. At this time 
his father and his uncles were extensive merchants at New York w T ith 
branch stores at Utica, Whitesboro and Albany. They were all educated 
men and possessed of ample means. Elias, after graduation, prompted 
by a spirit of adventure and enterprise, mingled with political ambition, 
left his comfortable home on the Hudson and turned his face toward 
the territory of Illinois. In 1813 or 1814, he appears to have reached 
Tennessee, but the period of his residence there was short, and as early 
as 1814 he located at Kaskaskia, then the capital of the Territory of 
Illinois and the metropolis of the upper Mississippi valley for half a 

When the young Yale graduate arrived at Kaskaskia. the town, 
originally a French-Indian village, had already assumed a decidedly 
American aspect. ' The second war with Great Britain was well on. 
The British forces had taken Detroit and Mackinaw, and their Pottawat- 
tomie Indian allies from the St. Joseph, Calumet, Kankakee, DuPage 
and Illinois rivers, had massacred many Tvdiites and burned Fort Pear- 
born, at the present site of Chicago. Ninian Edwards, at one time chief 
justice of the court of appeals in Kentucky, was the territorial governor. 
The pre-emption act for Illinois had been passed by Congress and Kane 
took an immediately active part in affairs in his new home. 

He was considered a son of Illinois when Fort Dearborn was rebuilt 
in 1816, the same year that the law was enacted establishing banks at 
Shawneetown and Edwardsville. He saw the first steamboat, the General 
Pike, which ascended the Mississippi river above Cairo, and was active 
in politics when — April 18, 1818 — Congress passed the act enabling the 
people of Illinois to form a constitution. In August of the same year 
the constitutional convention, which had been elected in July, adopted 
and proclaimed a constitution. 

The population had been increasing rapidly and the territorial Legis- 
lature, when in session at Kaskaskia during January of 1818, prepared 
and sent to Nathaniel Pope, delegate in Congress and one of the seven 
Kaskaskians having counties named for them — the others being Ninian 
Edwards, territorial governor and afterward Governor of the State ; 
Shadrach Bond, first Governor of Illinois as a State; John Edgar, in 
whose house Lafayette was entertained; Daniel P. Cook, member of 
Congress; Peter Menard, first lieutenant governor, and Elias Kent 
Kane — a petition praying for the admission of Illinois into the Union 
on an equal footing with the original states. 

The petition was presented, and in time the Committee on Territories 
reported a bill for the admission of Illinois with a population of 40,000. 
This was considered a very audacious proceeding, for the ordinance of 
1787 required a population of at least 60,000. Mr. Pope, however, 
was a shrewd and able statesman, and not only succeeded in carrying his 


point regarding the mere admission of the territory as a State, but also 
succeeded in amending several important features of the bill as it came 
from the committee. He was a man of great foresight : he saw the future 
of the State and he worked to make possible the ureal commonwealth of 
the present day. 

One of his amendments contemplated the extension of the northern 
boundary of the State to the parallel of forty-two degrees, thirty minutes 
north latitude. The fifth section of the ordinance of 1781 required that 
at least three states should be formed from the northwest territory. 
The section denned the boundary of the western states as the Mississippi 
river, the Ohio and the Wabash and a line running due north from 
Vincennes to Canada. This included the present states of Wisconsin 
and Illinois. There was a proviso, however, which said "'that if the 
Congress shad hereafter find it expedient they shall have authority to 
form one- or two states in that part of said territory which lies north 
of an east and west line drawn through the southern bend of Lake 

The line of forty-two degrees, thirty minutes extended the boundary 
line fifty miles farther north and enabled the state to secure a part of 
the coast of Lake Michigan. Had it not been for the vigilance of 
Nathaniel Pope the city of Chicago would have been the metropolis of 
Wisconsin ami Milwaukee would not have had the proud distinction of 
being the commercial capital of the Badger state. Not only that, Illi- 
nois would have missed the northern terminus >d' the Illinois and 
Michigan canal and the lead mines of Galena, for all of them come 
within the extension secured by the finesse of Mr. Pope. It was. how- 
ever, upon the language of the ordinance of 1787, which was declared 
a compact to remain unalterable forever, that Wisconsin afterward 
based hei' claim to the fourteen northern counties of Illinois — Jo Daviess, 
Stephenson, Winnebago. Boone, McHenry, Lake. Carroll, DeKalb. Kane, 
DuP'age, Whiteside, Cook, Ogle and Lee. To Nathaniel Pope the people 
of Illinois owe a debt of gratitude. An able lawyer, he was the soul 
of integrity in his official relations and ever faithful to bis trusts. He 
was one time secretary of the territory and in 1816 was elected delegate 
to Congress. After procuring the enabling act for the admission of 
Illinois as a State, be was appointed United States district judge, in 
which capacity he served lor many years, his residence being Springfield. 
He died in 1870. 

Judge Pope foresaw the possibilities. His amendment made Illinois 
fbc key in the western arch of states. The southern extremity pene- 
trated far between the slave states down to the Mississippi, affording 
an outlet to the null' all the year; she was skirted with hundreds of 
miles of navigable rivers on either side. Given a fair coast on the lake, 
she was enabled to unite her interests, through the strong bonds of trade 
and commerce, with the north and east. Thus bound to the north and 
south in hei - geographical position, she lias ever been enabled to exert 
a controlling influence upon the nation. 


'The question of the northern boundary agitated the people- of the 
section concerned for many years. It entered into their political con- 
flicts and exercised a most important influence upon their local affairs. 
Many of the settlers condemned this striking departure, which fixed the 
boundary line fifty miles farther north than the ordinance of 1787. 
Boundary meetings at various places in the fourteen counties were held 
from time to time showing that the feeling was deep and widespread. 
One important meeting, largely attended, was held at Oregon City, 
January 22, 1842, the purpose of the people being to transfer their al- 
legiance to Wisconsin or carve out a commonwealth for themselves. Tins 
resolution was adopted : 

"Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting that part of the northern 
territory which lies north of an east and west line through the southerly 
bend or extreme of Lake Michigan belongs to and of right ought to be a 
part of the- state or states which have been or may be formed north of said 

Wisconsin was si ill a territory; the people favorable to her preten- 
sions resolved further that the ordinance of 1787 could not be altered 
or changed without the consent of the people of the original states and 
of the northwest territory ; that as part of the people of the 
territory they would not so consent; that the lines designated in the 
ordinance were better suited to the geographical situation and local 
interests of their region ; that they were decidedly opposed to placing 
any of the territory north of the line within the jurisdiction of a state 
south of it; that they recommended the legislature of Wisconsin to apply 
for admission to the union, claiming the line of the ordinance as their 
southern boundary; that they disclaimed any intention to absolve them- 
selves from any pecuniary responsibility created by the Legislature of 
Illinois on account of the internal improvements, etc. 

The resolution being unanimously adopted, a committee of nine was 
appointed to proceed to Madison, with full power to consult with the 
governor and the legislature of the territory of Wisconsin. Governor 
Doty and the legislature gave the committee their assurance of hearty 
cooperation in petitioning Congress toward the end of the view. Noth- 
ing, however, came of all the clamor. The essential point was whether 
the Acts of the Congress of the confederate states are of such binding 
force that a Congress of the United States cannot amend or annul 
them — whether the former possessed a higher power than the latter. 

When the first constitutional convention of Illinois was assembled ;il 
Kaskaskia in July. 1818. the counties represented were: St. Clair. 
Randolph, Madison, Gallatin, Johnson. Edwards, White, Monroe, Pope. 
Jackson. Crawford. Bond. Union, Washington and Franklin. Jesse B. 
Thomas was chosen president and William C. Greenup secretary of the 
convention, but to Elias Kent Kane the delegates looked for advice. He 
had been a judge of the territory by virtue of an appointment from 
the President of the United States, and was one of the five lawyers 
among the delegates. His ability and learning were recognized, and he 
had been in cases where he opposed Webster, Clay and other of the grcaf 


legal luminaries of the day. He was perhaps the chief spirit in the fram- 
ing of the constitution, and is credited with stamping the document with 
many excellencies. 

The constitution was not submitted to the people for their approval 
cr rejection. The people had very little to do with the election -of 
officers under its provisions and could vote only for governor, members 
of the General Assembly, sheriffs and coroners. The trainers of the 
constitution evidently did not trust the people to any considerable ex- 
tent. The people had nothing to say with reference to the appointment 
of their judges, supreme, circuit or probate. They could not elect their 
prosecuting attorneys,- county or circuit clerks, recorders or justices 
of the peace. The appointment of nearly every officer of the State was 
vested in the General Assembly, and that body was not slow to avail 
itself of the powers conferred, to the very fullest extent. Here is the 
language of the appointing power: ."An Auditor of public accounts, 
an attorney general, and such other officers of the state as may be neces- 
sary may be appointed by the General Assembly, whose duties may be 
regulated by law." It was a question for many years as to what consti- 
tuted an officer of the State. 

From time to time the governors were permitted to appoint State's 
attorneys, recorders, State commissioners, bank directors and the like, 
but the legislators finally took over all these appointments. Now and 
then, when in full political accord, a governor would be given consider- 
able appointing power, to be shorn of it by a succeeding Legislature. 
In the administration of Governor Duncan, who had broken away from 
Jackson and the dominant party, he was stripped of all patronage and 
his appointing power confined to notaries public and public adminis- . 

Those days were the days of place hunters and the chief occupation 
of the members of the General Assembly was to pacify the hordes of 
office seekers. Intrigues, corruption for place and power and the game 
below the surface were the order of the day. It was a situation which 
would warm the cockles of the heart of any gray wolf. Politics as 
played today is simply angelic compared to the days when the times were 
good for the grafter under the first constitution. 

The Governor did not have the veto power in those days, but he, 
with the four judges of the Supreme Court, revised all bill- passed by the 
Genera] Assembly before they became laws. For this purpose the judges 
were required to attend the sessions of the Legislature without compen- 
sation. This scheme was a good one in a way. It lessened litigation, 
for the validity of all laws was decided in advance. 

This constitution was the first organic law of any state to abolish 
imprisonment for debt. It did not prohibit the legislature from grant- 
ing divorces, and this was a fruitful source of legislation, as the old 
statutes will abundantly testify. Against the advice of Kane, this and 
other features, which were afterward cured, became the law of the new 
state. Perhaps its worst feature was the lack of limitation against the 
legislature loaning or pledging the credit and faith of the state in aid 


of any public or private enterprise. Because of this the state was re- 
peatedly connected with banking schemes, undertook a vast system of in- 
ternal improvements in 1837, and finally became so harassed and in- 
volved that repudiation was openly advocated and became an issue which 
narrowly escaped ruining the credit and good faith of the common- 

All this, however, was not the fault of Kane. He did all that man 
could to make the constitution a safe-guard and was credited with fram- 
ing the really good sections as well as combating the adoption of those 
clauses which afterward worked to the disadvantage of the people. 

One of the interesting incidents of the first constitutional conten- 
tion is told by Governor Ford. "During the sitting of the convention, 
the Eeverend Mr. Wiley and congregation of a sect called Covenanters, 
in Eandolph county, sent in their petition asking that body to declare 
in the constitution that 'Jesus Christ was the head of .the government 
and that the Holy Scriptures were the only rule of faith and practice/ 
The petition was not given much attention, whereupon the Covenanters 
refused to recognize the state government and declared it to be a ^heathen 
and unbaptized government.' For a long time they refused to vote, 
and did not until 1824, when the question was whether Illinois should 
be made a slave State. Then they voted for the first time against 
slavery. Before that time they constantly refused to work the roads, 
serve on juries, hold office or do any act which might be construed as a 
recognition of the government of the State. 

On the seventeenth of September, 1818, was held the first election 
for State officers. October 5 of the same year the first General Assembly 
. met at Kaskaskia, and on the day following Shadrach Bond was inaugur- 
ated as the first governor. By gubernatorial appointment, Judge Kane 
became the first Secretary of the State and was an able assistant to the 
new Governor, a man without school training. In 1819 the Legislature 
provided for the selection of a new capital, and in 1820 removed the 
State office to Vandalia. The political pot began to boil at a lively rate. 
The Legislature chartered the State Bank of Illinois in 1821 and the 
financial condition became so bad that in 1823 a resolution was passed 
by the General Assembly calling a constitutional convention. It was in 
December of this year that the State House was destroyed by fire. 

It was on August 2, 1824, that the pro-slavery men attempted to call a 
convention to amend the constitution. The ordinance of 1787 prohibited 
slavery or involutary servitude in the northwest territory, but the deed 
of cession from Virginia, executed in 1784, provided that the inhabi- 
tants who had been Virginia citizens should have their possessions and 
titles confirmed to them. It was early contended that the deed of cession 
from Virginia guaranteed to the holders of slaves a right of property 
in them. Article six of the constitution of 1818, which provided that 
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude should be introduced in the 
State, tacitly recognized the rights of the slave holders, resident of Illi- 
nois at the time. But this was not sufficient for the pro-slavery men. 
They wished to make possible the recognition of slavery as an institution 


in the State. They controlled the Legislature and succeeded in having 
adopted a resolution authorizing a constitutional convention. But under 
the constitution the vote of the people on the convention resolution could 
not take place until the following election for members of the General 
Assembly, a period of eighteen months. This gave ample time for dis- 
cussion and both parties threw themselves into the contest with vigor. 
Not only the leaders, but the rank and file of the people entered into the 
struggle. Governor Ford says: 

"The anti-convention party established newspapers to oppose the conven- 
tion, one at Shawneetown, edited by Henry Eddy; one at Edwardsville, edited 
by Hooper Warren, with Governor Coles, Thomas Lippincott, George Churchill 
and Judge Lockwood for its principal contributors; and finally, one at Van- 
dalia, edited by David Blackwell, the Secretary of State. The slave party had 
established a newspaper at Kaskaskia, under the direction of Mr. Kane and 
Chief Justice Reynolds; and one at Edwardsville, edited by Judge Smith; 
and both parties prepared to appeal to the interests, the passions and the 
intelligence of the people. The contest was mixed up with much personal 
abuse; and now was poured forth a perfect lava of detraction, which, if it 
were not for the knowledge of the people that such matters are generally 
false or greatly exaggerated, would have overwhelmed and consumed all 
men's reputations. * * * The principal partisans in favor of a convention 
were Judges Phillips, Brown and John Reynolds, Jesse B. Thomas and Gover- 
nor Edwards, our senators in congress. Lieutenant Governor Kinney, Judge 
Smith, Chief Justice Thomas Reynolds, John McLean, Judge McRoberts, 
Governor Bond and Elias K. Kane. And the principal men opposed to a 
convention and slavery were Morris Birkbeck, Governor Coles, Daniel P. Cook, 
our member of congress, David Blackwell, George Churchill, Samuel D. Lock- 
wood, Thomas Lippincott, Hooper Warren, George Forquer, Thomas Mather 
and Henry Eddy. The odds in the array of great names seemed to be in 
favor of the convention party. The question of slavery was thoroughly dis- 
cussed. The people took an undivided and absorbing interest in it; they 
were made to understand it completely; and as this was long before the 
Abolition excitement of modern times, the introduction of slavery was re- 
sisted, not so much upon the ground of opposition to it in general, as sim- 
ply upon the grounds of policy and expediency. The people decided, by 
about 2,000 majority, in favor of a free state." 

The attempt to introduce slavery into Illinois was not afterward re- 
vived to the extent of trying to make it constitutional provision, although 
the pro-slavery people were a wonderful factor in politics and remained 
strong until the time of the civil war. They demonstrated their strength 
by electing Elias Kent Kane, one of the principal leaders of the de- 
feated convention movement. United States Senator, November 30, 
1824, for the term commencing March -I. 1825, and terminating March 
3, 1831, to succeed Senator McLean. 

Senator Kane's attitude toward slavery may have 'been somewhat de- 
termined by his marriage to Felicite Peltier, a woman of French ex- 
traction and an owner of slaves. It is certain that the first constitution, 
framed largely by him, showed a spirit of sympathy with free institu- 
tions quite at variance with the part he played in the later convention 

At the tii »f Senator Kane'- election, Senator McLean was a can- 
didate for the long term. He had 1 o elected i<> serve the three months' 

unexpired term of Senator Edwards and. confidenl of his re-election, had 


departed fur Washington but seven days before the Legislature acted. 
But a new candidate appeared in the field and after a protracted struggle 
Senator McLean failed to succeed himself, and Elias Kent Kane was 
elected. This was on the tenth ballot, when Kane received twenty-eight 
votes and Samuel D. Lockwood, the next highest, twenty-three votes. 

Senator Kane took his seat March 1, 1825, and on that day he wrote 
to his wife : "Whilst the whole world seems to have pressed into the 
capital to hear John Quincy Adams make his inaugural speech, I have re- 
tired to the Senate chamber." 

If 1794 be accepted as the date of his birth, Senator Kane was at 
this time but thirty-one years of age and therefore one of the youngest 
men to have won the toga. The late Senator Bryan, appointed by Gov- 
ernor Broward of Florida to complete the unexpired term of Stephen 
E. Mallory, and who was thirty-two years old, has been described as the 
youngest man to enter the senate since Henry Clay, but it is a distinction 
which he must perhaps yield to his predecessor from Illinois. 

The records of the senate show that Senator Kane was an active 
member. He was an accurate thinker, and although his speeches indicate 
no nights of oratory, he was earnest and eloquent. A man of good judg- 
ment, kindly, courteous, and in debates at times when party spirit rau 
high, he was not drawn into acrimonious discussion and personalities. 
December 11, 1830, he was re-elected to the senate by the General As- 
sembly on the first ballot, J. M. Robinson, his principal opponent, receiv- 
ing six votes. Before the expiration of his second term his health, 
which had long been poor, gave way, and he died at Washington, De- 
cember 12, 1835. The National Intelligencer of the fourteenth of the 
same month had this editorial comment concerning him : 

"It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce the decease 
of another member of the national legislature, being the third whose 
departure from life we have been called upon to deplore within the brief 
space of five days after the assembling of congress. Honorable Elias 
Kent Kane, a senator from the State of Illinois, expired at the residence 
of his father in this city Friday last, after a severe illness of a few days, 
aged forty-three years. He was an urbane and amiable gentleman, 
estimable in his domestic and social relations and a useful and respected 
member of the senate, in which elevated body he had held a seat for ten 
years, the strongest proof of the high respect in which he Avas held by 
his fellow citizens at home." 

His funeral was held in the old senate chamber, now the Supreme 
Court, and was attended by the President and heads of departments. 
The committee of arrangements consisted of Senators Benton of Mis- 
souri, Clayton of Delaware, Hendricks of Indiana, Crittendon of Ken- 
tucky and Wright of New York. 

In the dedication of the first volume of the reports of the Supreme 
Court of Illinois, known as "Breese," the author, Judge Sidney Breese, 
afterward to sit in the seat occupied by Senator Kane in the Senate, 
speaks of him as his early legal instructor and friend, "one who had 
always held the first rank at the bar of the State," and one with whom 
he had been associated in the practice of an honorable profession for 


several years; who had never proved deficient in answering any require- 
ments that had been made upon his abilities and against whose integrity 
as a man and a lawyer no imputation had ever been made. 

Governor Thomas Ford, noted for the bitterness and scathing quality 
of his writings, says of him in his history of Illinois : "His talents were 
both solid and brilliant." Says George W. Smith: "Tall, florid, of a 
kindly expression, scholarly and affable, Mr. Kane was deservedly pop- 
ular, even to the degree of commanding the support of his political ene- 
mies. For the lawyer, legislator and man let there be a revival of recol- 
lection, and to his memory let further honor be given." 



The Place of the Illinois Central Railroad in Illinois History 
Prior to the Civil War. 

By Howard G. Bronson, Ph. D. 

From the time of LaSalle and the early French traders down to the 
present the history of Illinois, in both its political and social aspects, 
has been closely connected with the economic development of the State. 
The peculiar geographic location of the commonwealth, the growth of 
certain industries, the extension of commerce and trade, and, above all, 
the creation of adequate means of inland transportation have left a deep 
impress on the thought of the people, their social customs and even their 
attitude towards political movements. Likewise, these conditions of 
thought, custom and politics have affected the industrial growth of the 

In this interplay of economic, social and political influences the ques- 
tion of internal transportation has held first place among the many 
problems confronting the people in the long period from 1830 to the 
. close of the Granger agitation. A glance at the map shows that while 
Illinois is practically encircled by natural waterways, the interior of the 
State, which is by far the most fertile portion, is without means of 
transportation except that provided by man. Before the introduction of 
the railroad the central counties such as Coles, McLean, Macon and 
Champaign, were practically isolated from the remainder of the country 
and were entirely dependent upon the local highways for any communi- 
cation with the outside world. 

The condition of these early country roads was wretched to an extent 
almost beyond description. There were a few old corduroy roads and 
three or four government turnpikes, but they were short and ill kept. 
Elsewhere, former Indian trails or newly made section roads were the 
only semblances of highways that existed. In summer these roads were 
little better than the surrounding prairies, often worse; in winter they 
were mere mud holes. Fortunate, indeed, was the traveler who was not 
compelled to help pry the coach out of the deep mud or wait until morn- 
ing for a yoke of oxen to pull him out of some worse than ordinary 


slough. Mails were often delayed and, during the winter storms and 
spring rains, not only farm houses, but even large towns were entirely 
isolated. Moreover, the State had shown itself utterly unable to remedy 
these evils. The statute books were covered with enactments declaring 
certain trails or mud roads public turnpikes, but even a sovereign state 
cannot legislate a mud hole into a turnpike Charters, almost without 
number, were granted private corporations, but without tangible results 
of any importance. 1 Local enterprise was equally fruitless and the 
efforts of the counties to improve the public roads had generally failed. 

This absence of good highway Facilities greatly retarded the economic 
development of the State and especially the central portion. The cost 
of carrying freight over ordinary country roads or even on well-built 
highways under the most favorable circumstances is very great. 2 On 
such roads as existed in Illinois prior to the civil war the expense of 
moving heavy freight for any distance was practically prohibitive and 
ten to twenty miles was as far as grain or other bulky goods could be 
hauled with any degree of profit. As nearly all the products of the 
interior counties consisted of articles of small value compared with their 
bulk, this meant that an extensive network of railroads or canals was 
necessary to the proper economic development of the State. Instead 
of such a system of internal transportation Illinois had nothing but 
execrable country roads, supplemented to only a slight extent by the 
few navigable or semi-navigable streams. The farmer living in the in- 
terior of the State could carry only a small part of his crop of wheat 
or corn to market to be exchanged for "store goods" and the total amount 
of grain received at Chicago, St. Louis and Peoria from the interior 
counties of Illinois was insignificant. 

The great hulk of the population in the forties and fifties was engaged 
in agriculture and the inadequate system of transportation had a de- 
pressing influence on that occupation. Farmers living near the water- 
ways found good markets for their produce, but those not so favorably 
situated shipped little grain or meat outside the State. Only slight 
cultivation was necessary to have the rich prairie soil bring forth abun- 
dant crops and the immediate needs of the farmer and his family were 
easil} supplied. Labor saving machinery was not in general use and 
the work of gathering the crops had to be performed by hand, with farm 
labor scarce and commanding high wages. As a result, there was no in- 
centive to raise large crops, while the amount of physical work involved 
made it impossible for the farmer to plant or gather more than a mod- 
erate yield. Shiftless methods of farming were the natural consequence 
and only a small portion of the arable land was under cultivation. 
Out of a total area of thirty-five million acres, slightly over three mil- 
lion were planted iii (lie live staples, wheal, corn. oats, rye and potatoes. 3 
One third of the entire area, or eleven and a half million acres, was 

iSeSsicm l/iws of Illinois. is;:i: to 1850. 

2 The cost m|' r;iiTv'nm a inn of freight from Hut'talo Id Xew York by wagon was 
$100. or about 20 rents per ton per mile. (Bosart. Kconomie History of the United 
States, page 191.) This was over good roads, and the cost per ton, per mile, for 
carrying grain in Illinois must have averaged considerably more. 

3 Letter of Rolit. Uantoul. Documents Relating to the Organization of the Illinois 
Central Railroad. 


still unoccupied government land, 1 and much of the remainder had never 
been broken by the plough. 2 At the same time, the yield per acre was 
much less than could have been expected from the almost virgin soil of 
the prairies. 3 

Inadequate transportation and backward agricultural conditions 
greatly retarded the settlement of the commonwealth and influenced the 
social' and political life of those within its borders. The earliest settle- 
ments were made by the French at Cahokia and Kaskaskia near the 
Mississippi river and until the end of the third decade nearly all subse- 
quent settlements were also near the banks of the Ohio, the Mississippi 
and Illinois rivers, especially in the southern counties. At the begin- 
ning of the fourth decade the majority of the population were immi- 
grants from Kentucky, Tennessee and other parts of the south, or their 
descendants. 4 Then, from 1830 to 1850, there occurred a heavy immigra- 
tion into the northern and central counties; most of the new settlers 
coming from the eastern states or Europe. 5 By 1850 Illinois had a 
population of eight hundred and fifty thousand and three-fourths of the 
inhabitants were living north of Vandalia and were of northern or 
European stock. 6 Furthermore, despite the absence of good transporta- 
tion, three hundred and seventy-five thousand people were in the thirty- 
six counties which possessed neither a canal, a river nor a railroad ; and 
the number living more than ten miles from such means of communica- 
tion must have been considerably larger. 7 

In the very earliest white settlements in Illinois the lack of good 
highways' and the economic isolation of the interior proved a serious 
check to the growth of the community, but as the population was small 
and distributed along the few navigable rivers slight attention was given 
to the matter of transportation. Nor did the heavy immigration from 
the southern states make necessary a radical improvement. 

The settlers had always been accustomed to poor roads; they were 
settled near the Ohio, the Mississippi and the Illinois: and the number 
of people of the State was still small. s However, the enormous growth 
of population from 1830 on — the increase was from a hundred and fifty 
thousand in the former year to eight hundred thousand in 1850 — made 
necessary the solution of problems which before had been borne' as an 
unavoidable accompaniment of frontier life. 

This was particularly true of the central counties. In 1830 a few 
thousand log huts scattered over the heart of the State were the onlv 

Ubid Seventh Census of the United States (1850), page 730. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Compenlum TJ. S. Census, 1850, page 170. Average yield per acre was: Wheat, 
11 : rve. 14; corn. 33; oats. 29; barley, 40. bushels. 

4 Sixth Census of the United States C1830) ; Greene, Government of Illinois, page 
26: cf. various essavs of Prof. C. W. Alvord, of the University of Illinois, on this 
subiect in publications of Illinois State Historical Library. 

5 Seventh Census of the United States (18501. 

6 Seventh Census (1850), pp. 117, 118. The 30 counties south of Vandalia had a 
population of 219.863 : the 69 north of that town, 631,607. Tip foreign born popu- 
lation was as follows: England, 18,628; Scotland. 4.661: Wales, 572: Ireland. 
27,786 ; British America, 10,699 ; Germany, 38,446 ; total, 110,593. Native born 
of foreign parents not given. 

7 Seventh Census. The 36 counties without railroads, canals or navigable rivers 
had a population of 375,529 in 1850, or 44.1 per cent of the total. 

8 Cf., page 3 and 4. 


signs of civilization. But every succeeding year witnessed an increase 
in the number of homestead entries, the thickening of settlements and 
the rapid extension of cultivated land. The settlers were no lunger 
shiftless, easy going trappers or their hardly less shiftless companions on 
the clearings; in their place were energetic and progressive newcomers 
from New York, New England and even Ireland, Germany and old 
England. x\s population and wealth grew and the disadvantages of the 
isolated economic conditions became mure burdensome, greater and 
greater attention was given to the question of local and through trans- 
portation which could do away with the unbearable frontier life. The 
demands of the interior counties for a closer economic connection with 
the remainder of the State found a natural expression in the political 
Held and for some fifteen years from 1835 to 1851 the solution of this 
problem was the subject of political debate, legislative action and popu- 
lar vote. The center of the held was occupied by plans for some form of 
a central railroad and it is the political aspects of this project that 
forms the theme of the remainder of this paper. 

A great central highway connecting the northern and southern coun- 
ties of Illinois had always been a favorite project with the legislatures 
and executives of the State. As early as 1830 Governor Coles suggested 
that Lake Michigan might easily be tapped and the water taken by 
canals not only into the Illinois, but on the dividing line between that 
river and the Wabash down through the center of the. State. 1 Only two 
years later, Lieutenant Governor A. M. Jenkins proposed in the Senate 
that a survey be made for a central railroad from Cairo to Peru 2 and, 
though somewhat premature, the proposal created- considerable discus- 
sion, both in and out of the Legislature. By 1835, the building of the' 
"Central" had become one of the important issues in State politics. 
The project was ably advocated by such newspapers as the Sangamon 
Journal 3 and also a number of leading citizens, prominent among them 
being Sidney Breese, whose fifteen years of service in promoting the 
undertaking entitles him to be called the "Father of the Illinois Central 
Railroad." 4 

With such support it was not long before definite measures were un- 
dertaken and on January 18, 1836, the Illinois Legislature incorporated 
the (Illinois) Central Railroad Company to construct a railroad from 
"the mouth of the Ohio" to a point on the Illinois river at or near the 
termination of the Illinois-Michigan canal. 5 Darius B. Holbrook, a New 
York speculator and promoter who had lately come to the west, was the 
leading spirit in the company and with him were associated Governor 
Reynolds, Lieutenant Governors A. M. Jenkins and Pierre Menard, 
Judge Sidney Breese, and Albert K. Snyder, 6 besides fifty-three others 
of less note. These gentlemen constituted the first board of directors 

1 Illinois Monthly Magazine, Vol. I, No. 1, October, 1830. 

2 Newton, Early Railroad Legislation in Illinois, page 7 ; Ackerman, Historical 
Sketch of the Illinois Central R. R., pp. 6 and 7. 

3 Sangamon Journal, October 31st, 1835. 

4 Cf. Appendix, Early History of Illinois, by Sidney Breese. 

5 Laws of Illinois, Session, 1835-36, pp. 129ff. 

6 Ibid. 


and a capital of two and a half million dollars was authorized. From 
the first this road was regarded as a peculiar state institution and, lest 
its policy should be dominated by a foreign monopoly, provision was 
made that no person could subscribe to more than five shares of stock 
and that at least one-fifth of the capital should be offered for sale in the 
State. 1 - Provision was also made that whenever the company earned 
more than twelve per cent on the cost of construction for a period of ten 
years the Legislature could so reduce earnings and tolls for the next ten 
years that the earnings would not exceed that amount; reports being 
made to the State to show cost of construction and gross and net re- 
ceipts. 2 In return for this restriction on the powers of the company 
the Legislature inserted a clause in the charter agreeing not to incor- 
porate any competitive railroad for a period of fifty years. 3 

While not a direct issue in State politics the incorporation of the 
Central Company shows the strong hold the project had upon the minds 
of the people. The incorporators were leading politicians and men of 
affairs of the community and the company itself enjoyed many privil- 
eges not usually granted to a "foreign" company. At the same time, 
like most western corporations, it was without financial backing and its 
incorporation is only an evidence of popular interest. 

Hardly was the company organized when it was swept aside by a move- 
ment of far greater general interest. So long as canals' were the only 
artificial means of cheap land transportation their prohibitive cost pre- 
vented the people of the western states from making any attempt to 
create a general system of internal improvements. The introduction 
of the locomotive into England and soon after into the eastern states 
provided a cheap yet efficient means of inland communication. As if an 
accompaniment of this invention there took place in the United States 
a period of unprecedented financial prosperity, while the speculative 
spirit among the State legislatures was fostered by the treasury dis- 
tribution act of 1837 and other fiscal measures of the national govern- 
ment. Thus, the financial and technical difficulties in the way of an 
extensive system of internal improvements were apparently removed. 

Like one of her own prairie fires the demand for State construction of 
an extensive system of internal improvements spread over the State of 
Illinois. Mass meetings, conventions, parades were held in all parts of 
the State ; the newspapers took up the movement and their columns were 
filled with editorials and contributed articles ; finallv, the politicians 
seized it as a means of personal and party popularity, and the Legis- 
lature passed the celebrated Internal Improvement Act of 1837. The 
political "deals," log rollings and tricks adopted to secure the passage 
of the measure, even by such men as Douglas, Logan and Lincoln, are 
familiar to every reader and need not be repeated. 4 It is interesting to 

lLaws of Illinois, Session, 1835-36, p. 134. 

2 Ibid., p. 133. 

3 Ibid., section 6. 

i Cf. the accounts of the passage of the Internal Improvement Act as given in 
Davidson and Stuve's History of Illinois ; also Moses, Illinois Historical and Sta- 


note, however, that it was the influence of the central portions of the 
State, i. e. the portions most in need of railroads, which finally secured 
the passage of the measure. 

The system of internal improvements provided for by the act extended 
to all parts of the State and was a worthy conception of the strongest 
General Assembly ever held in Illinois. The backbone of the system was 
a central railroad from Cairo northward, via Vandalia, Shelbyville, De- 
catur, Bloomington and Savannah, to Galena, at the time the most im- 
portant city in the State. 1 In addition there were several cross lines ex- 
tending from the main stem to the important cities on the eastern or 
western boundaries. The entire system amounted to about twelve hun- 
dred miles, but the estimates as to cost of construction were surprisingly 
low. Three and a half million dollars was regarded as sufficient to build 
the four hundred and fifty miles of the main line, while the Shelbyville 
and Alton branches were to. cost $650,000.00 and $600,000.00, respec- 
tively, or from seven to ten thousand dollars per mile; less than one- 
fourth what it cost the present company fifteen years later. 2 A loan, 
based on the credit of the State, was to provide the funds, while a board 
of seven commissioners was appointed to manage the enterprise during 
its construction and after completion. 3 

From the political viewpoint the internal improvement plan is inter- 
esting as the first and fullest expression of the celebrated Illinois "State 
policy." With a narrow State loyalty, almost inconceivable now, the 
central and northern parts of the State insisted that every railroad 
passing through the territory of Illinois should terminate at an Illinois 
city. In other words outside or "foreign" centers should not be built 
up at the expense of local towns with a deep seated ambition to be the 
London or Xew York of the west. The internal improvement system 
was the ideal of these narrow seetionalists ; and Galena. Quincy, Alton, 
Cairo and Mount Carroll were made the termini of the railroads and 
were established as the commercial centers of the State in so far as the 
Legislature could do so by enactment. 

Despite the enthusiasm of the populace: despite the reckless generosity 
of the Legislature — with other people's money, despite the strict adher- 
ence to the Illinois State policy, the project was doomed to failure. Im- 
mediately after the passage of the act, the commissioners commenced 
work and for a while it seemed as if this collossal undertaking might be 
finished. Grading was commenced at Cairo, Galena and intermediate 
points; tens of thousands of dollars was expended on the dikes and 
levees at Cairo: large quantities of rail were purchased; about forty 
miles of embankment north of Cairo completed : and. altogether, some- 
thing like a million dollars was expended on the central route and 
branches, although certainly not in the most effectual manner. 4 But the 
task was entirely beyond the ability of the Stale: financial difficulties 

1 Laws of Illinois, Session 1836-1837, p. 121; Newton, Early Railway Legislation 
in Illinois, pp. 21-23. 

■■ Laws <>t' Illinois, Session 1 SMC.-l S3T, p. 121; Bronson, History of the Illinois 
Central Railroad, page 181 (in mss.). 

3 Ibid. 

4 Chicago Daily Democrat, December 24, 1849. Editorial. 


prevented the floating of the necessary bonds, while extravagance, graft 
and mismanagement exhausted the money already procured, and a hun- 
dred miles of grading and a few thousand tons, of iron were the only 
tangible results of this second attempt to construct a railroad through 
the center of Illinois. 1 

Even this failure did not deter the State or its citizens from endeavor- 
ing to complete the project, and on March 6, 1843, only six years after 
the passage of the Internal Improvement Act, the Legislature incor- 
porated the Great Western Railway Company, better known as the 
Holbrook Company. 2 To understand this act it is necessary to go back 
six years to March 4, 1837. 

On that date, the Cairo City and Canal Company was incorporated 
with power to hold real estate in Alexander county, especially the tract 
of land now included in the corporate limits of Cairo, and to carry on 
general industrial enterprises. 3 Mr. Darius B. Holbrook, of New York, 
the promoter of the company of 1836, was elected president and for 
twenty years the enterprise was dominated by his masterful personality 
until the two became synonymous. 4 During the prosperous period just be- 
fore the panic the company borrowed between two and three million dol- 
lars, largely from English capitalists ; purchased several thousand acres of 
land at the mouth of the Ohio river; established industries of all kinds; 
laid out an extensive city at what is now Cairo, protected it by em- 
bankments and levees, carried on a general mercantile business, and 
enacted ordinances for the government of the citizens of Cairo. 5 How- 
ever, the resources of the company were not equal to the demands made 
upon it and the failure of the internal ■ improvement policy in 1840, 
following closely after the severe panic of 1837, forced the enterprise 
into bankruptcy. English investors refused further financial support 
and the stoppage of work on the State railroad destroyed the unde- 
veloped industries at Cairo. The directors neglected the undertaking; 
the property in and near the city was abandoned, and for a time the 
place was occupied only by squatters and disreputable characters from 
the river boats. 6 

The extreme depression existing in Illinois after the panic of 1837 
and the failure of the State policy prevented Mr. Holbrook from doing 
anything with the Cairo City and Canal Company until 1843. Realiz- 
ing the possibilities of the "Central" railroad he induced the Legislature 
to pass the Great Western Eailway Act of that year. According to the 
charter the president and directors of the Cairo City and Canal Com- 
pany were incorporated as the Great Western Eailway Company and 
were given authority to construct a railway from Cairo to the Illinois- 
Michigan Canal. 7 In many ways this act was quite favorable to the 

1 Ibid. 

2 Laws of Illinois, Session 1843-4, pp. 199-200; Newton, Early Railway Legislation 
in Illinois, p. 33 ; Ackerman, Earlv Illinois Railroads. 

3 Laws of Illinois, Session 1837-8. March 4, 1837. 

4 Cf. Newspaper reports of the time, especially in 1850 and 1851. 

5 Anon. History of Cairo. Publications of the Cairo City and Canal Company; 
Henry Long, History and Prospe'cts of Cairo. 

6 Ibid. 

7 Laws of Illinois, Session 1842-43, pp. 199 ff. 

—12 H S 


State. The otherwise worthless grading done in 1837 and 1840 was to 
be purchased at a fair valuation ; twenty-five per cent of the net receipts 
from operation, after a twelve per cent dividend had been paid on the 
stock, were to go to the State ; and the Legislature could alter the charter 
of both the Great Western and Cairo City and Canal Companies after 
all the indebtedness of the former was paid. But, for half a dozen years 
the Cairo company had been known as a flagrant example of speculative 
and corrupt corporate management, and to turn over to such a company, 
without reasonable compensation or even adequate safeguards as to the 
completion of the work, the most important industrial enterprise within 
the State, was, to say the least, a short sighted policy. Moreover, a 
clause was inserted in the closing section of the act surrendering to the 
company any public lands which might come into the possession of the 
State of Illinois during the life of the charter. Not even a guarantee 
was demanded that such lands should be used for the construction of 
the railroad. This legislation shows the wretched financial condition the 
State was in in 1843 and illustrates the lack of foresight characteristic 
of the General Assemblies during the period. 1 

For a time it seemed as if the company was seriously determined to 
proceed with the "Central" railroad. Large sums were borrowed and 
expended in finishing the original State surveys and completing the 
grading. Numerous buildings were erected at Cairo and an extensive 
system of levees was planned and partially constructed. 2 But conditions 
were not favorable and the company could not obtain capital to continue 
the work. Several millions had already been expended by the Cairo 
company without dividend paying results; all Illinois credit, both State 
and private, was under suspicion on account of the partial repudiation 
of the State debt, and eastern and European capitalists refused to risk 
further investments in Illinois. 3 Lack of funds stopped all construction 
within a few months after the charter was secured and the directors 
finally gave up in despair. On March 3, 1845, with the consent of 
the company, the charter was repealed by special act of the Legislature ; 
all work done by the company reverted to the State, 4 and the third and 
most promising attempt to construct the "Central" railroad ended with 
heavy loss to the promoters and no profit to the State. 

For six years after the incorporation of the Great Western no further 
attempt was made to build the railroad and the energies of the sup- 
porters of the project were spent in various attempts to secure aid from 
the national government, but without success. 5 However, it seemed 
reasonably certain that the difficulties would be removed and a definite 
grant of land made in some session of the 30th or 31st Congresses. 
Any measure would undoubtedly be of considerable value to the State 
of Illinois or to private parties who might build the road and the Cairo 
City and Canal Company determined to make use of the apparently 
favorable conditions. Accordingly, after the failure of the land grant 
bill in the first session of the Thirtieth Congress the Cairo City and 

lLaws of Illinois, Session 1843-44. pp. 199 ff ; page 203, section 18. 
JAckerman, Historical Sketch of the Illinois Central R. R., p. 10. 

3 Laws of Illinois, March 3, 1845. 

4 Cf. Sanborn, Congressional Grants of Land in Aid of Railways. 

5 Laws of Illinois, Session 1849-50, February 10, 1849. 


Canal Company petitioned the Legislature for a renewal of their previous 
rights, which had been lost by the act of March 3, 1845. Although the 
Holbrook companies were disliked throughout the State they represented 
the wealthiest aggregation of capital in Illinois and apparently were the 
best able to complete the Illinois Central Railroad. In recognition of 
this fact the Legislature on February 10, 1819, re-incorporated the Great 
Western Railway Company, with all its former privileges, including the 
obnoxious clause surrendering to the company whatever lands the federal 
government should grant the State. Moreover, this was done without 
any restriction of importance being placed on the disposal of these 
lands. 1 

Such action by the Illinois Legislature was almost fatal to any federal 
land grant and Senator Douglas at once attempted to have the charter 
repealed. With the assistance of his colleagues at Washington and 
prominent citizens of the State he was able to induce the president and 
directors of the Cairo City and Canal Company to execute a release of 
the Great Western .charter. However, the surrender was conditioned 
upon acceptance of the release by the Legislature at its next session and 
the incorporation of another company to carry on the project. 2 

At the following session of Congress the Illinois delegation secured a 
grant of land to the State of Illinois to assist in the construction of the 
railroad, the total amount of land thus given varying from two and a 
half to three million acres. The mere passage of the federal land grant 
act was the least difficult of the many problems confronting the friends 
of the Illinois Central. For some years the questions connected with this 
railroad had been before the Legislature and the citizens of the State, 
and, now that success was probable, all the previous conflicts were re- 
newed with additional strength. The most troublesome of these con- 
flicts involved the method of construction and the route. 

There were four possible ways of utilizing the land grant, each of 
which had its vigorous adherents. (1) State construction of the rail- 
road by means of the grant, along the line of the internal improvement 
plan of 1837. (2) Surrender of the grant to the bondholders and con- 
struction by them on terms similar to those made by the holders of 
canal bonds in 1840. (3) Completion by the Great Western Rail- 
way Company under its charter of 1849, including the retention of all 
State lands. (4) Creation of an entirely new private corpora- 
tion and the transfer to it of the land grant under certain restrictions 
and with certain payments to the State. 

To many citizens State construction was still a feasible project. From 
1831 to 1843 the various plans for the railroad depended on govern- 
ment support and despite the collapse of the Internal Improvement Plan 
of 1837 there was considerable talk of direct construction by the Legis- 
lature. The cost of building the road was under-estimated, while the 
value of the land was over-estimated. It was thought possible to build 
the road without recourse to bond issues and the profits from operation 


would then quickly retire the old State debt. 1 But the panic of 1840 
and the depressing influence of the debt was still vivid in the minds of 
the citizens of Illinois and they generally condemned any further work 
by the State. 

Another form of semi-legislative management was contained in the so- 
called ''bond-holders" plan, which was submitted to the Legislature in 
January, 1851. As a result of the internal improvement legislation a 
debt of some fifteen million dollars had been accumulated and the 
State was unable to meet the full interest charges. In fact bankruptcy 
or repudiation had been barely escaped and the creditors supposed there 
would be difficulty in attracting capital for the construction of the road. 
Under the circumstances, certain eastern bond-holders suggested an 
arrangement somewhat similar to the one under which the Illinois- 
Michigan canal was built. A company, composed largely of bond- 
holders, was to be chartered and given power to construct the railroad. 
Four dollars of stock or three dollars of bonds, entitled "new internal 
improvement stock/' was to be given for each dollar of cash paid in. 
The State was to receive stock of a par value equal to the value of the 
land sold, and in addition pay all expenses of surveys, etc. The stock 
belonging to the State must be set apart to retire the State debt. The 
stock of the new company, in addition, could be made the basis for State 
banking. 2 On the whole, the terms were about as onerous as could be 
imposed on a bankrupt state and are in striking contrast to the Illinois 
Central charter. The project never received serious attention from 
either the newspapers or the Legislature. 3 

Construction by the Great Western was of much greater importance. 
The charter of 1849 was evidently obtained with the distinct object of 
securing the federal land grant and no work was done on the railroad 
until it was almost certain Congress would pass the act. Then con- 
struction work was started and it was stated that large quantities of 
rail were purchased in England. At the same time active efforts were 
made to defeat any bill repealing the charter. 4 It is uncertain whether 
this company intended to carry on the work, or, as Senator Douglas 
alleged, merely sell the charter in Europe. 5 At any rate the opposition 
to the Great Western, especially in the southern part of the State Waa 
bitter and deep seated. 

The last plan was to turn the grant over to a private corporation, other 
than the Cairo City and Canal Company, under proper restrictions. The 
memorial of the Boston capitalists (they -later built the road) was the 
first direct proposition of the kind, but it is probable that the memor- 
ialists had suggested to the leading Legislators of the State a plan along 
the lines of their memorial. In all probability, other capitalists were 

1 For instance, Mr. J. S. Wright of Chicago published a pamphlet in which he took 
the ground (hat tlio grant being of such immense value, the State should hold the 
lands and again attempt the construction of the road. Ackerman, Early Illinois 
Railroads, p. 35. 

2 Cf. Newspaper reports for October and November, 1850. 

3 Chicago Daily Democrat, January 11, 1861. 

4 Illinois Weekly Journal, January 29. 1851. Editorial. 

5 Letters of Douglas to Breese, Springfield Daily Register, January 20, 1851. 


also deeply interested in the railroad. However, there was no definite 
project of the kind before the people during November and December, 

Congress passed the land grant act in September, 1850, and the Legis- 
lature was elected the following November. On account of the release 
of the Great Western charter it was necessary to settle the matter at the 
first session of the General Assembly and the selection of proper repre- 
sentatives and senators was of vital importance. As soon as it became 
evident that the federal Congress would act favorably on the Illinois 
Central bill the advocates of State construction and the friends and 
opponents of the Cairo City and Canal Company commenced an active 
campaign to secure a majority of the members of the Legislature. Other 
State issues were consigned to the background and the question of the 
land grant and the acceptance of the Great Western release were the 
important factors in the election of members to the Fifteenth General 
Assembly. The newspapers of the State had numerous editorials and 
contributed articles defending or opposing the respective plans, or else 
emphasizing the importance of one route over another. Mass meetings 
and conventions were held at various points along the line of the pro- 
posed railroad and the excitement often was at fever heat. By November 
the controversy had become bitter and personal. Individual motives 
were impugned; the character of some of the leading newspaper editors, 
of Mr. Holbrook, Senator Douglas, Judge Breese and others, was ma- 
ligned, and charges of bribery and fraud were frequent. By the time the 
Legislature convened in January the whole discussion had degenerated 
into a typical Illinois political fight. On the whole, the opponents of 
both State ownership and the Holbrook company had much the better 
of the argument. Only a few newspapers, such as the Benton Standard 
and the Cairo Times, and a few politicians, the most prominent of them 
being Sidney Breese, openly defended the Cairo City and Canal Com- 
pany, or its subsidiary company, the Great Western. However, the latter 
company was already in possession of the desired charter and, condi- 
tionally, of the land grant. Thus, inaction on the part of the Legisla- 
ture meant success for the Holbrook party and the Cairo City and 
Canal Company exerted every effort to block legislation and prevent the 
incorporation of a rival company. On account of the many minor fights 
it was not at such a disadvantage as indicated by newspaper editorials. 

Many of the plans had been thoroughly discussed during the campaign 
and when the Legislature met the first day of January, 1851, its mem- 
bers were well acquainted with the main points at issue. In the organiz- 
ation of the house the Holbrook faction secured a temporary advantage 
by the election of Judge Breese as speaker and during the first two weeks 
of the session they were strong enough to prevent radical action. Bills 
were presented in both houses repealing the charter of the Great West- 
ern, but both were strongly opposed. The senate passed a bill in re- 
gard to the Illinois Central, though it did not accept the release; the 
house passed a bill accepting the release and refused to adopt the senate 


measure. 1 A large majority of the members of each body favored ac- 
cepting the repeal of the Great Western charter, but so far in the session 
the Holbrook proposition was the only reasonable measure before the 
Legislature and many preferred to retain the Cairo company rather 
than to be entirely without a means of building the road. 

At this stage of the contest affairs were entirely altered by a business- 
like memorial presented by Mr. Bobert Eantoul of Massachusetts, acting 
in the interest of a group of wealthy New York and Boston capitalists. 
In brief the plan of the memorialists was as follows : The Legislature 
should create a corporation and surrender to it the federal land grant. 
In return the incorporators agreed to build a railroad "equal in all re- 
spects to the railroad running between Boston and Albany with such 
improvements thereon as experience has shown to be desirable and ex- 
pedient; to complete the road by July 1854, and to pay the State 

per cent of the gross receipts in return for the land." 2 The memorialists 
were men of considerable capital and had had experience with railroad 
promotion in other parts of the country. On the whole they made a 
more favorable offer than could have been expected. 

Coincident with the transmission of this memorial Mr. Gridley intro- 
duced in the senate a bill "for an act to incorporate the Illinois Central 
Railroad." 3 On February 5th Mr. J. L. D. Morrison offered a substitute 
for the original bill 4 and on the next day it passed by a vote of 23 to 3. 5 
Four days later it passed the house by an almost unanimous vote of 
seventy-two to two, 6 and was immediately signed by Governor French. 7 

The passage of the charter through both houses was not as easy as 
the vote indicates. Shortly after the receipt of the memorial the whole 
matter was referred to a committee and the members, in connection with 
Mr. Eantoul and Colonel Bissell, the representatives of the promoters 
spent considerable time in preparing the measure. As the duration of 
the session was limited to forty days the Holbrook interests made every 
effort to delay the bill and during the last week of January and the 
first of February it looked as if their efforts would meet with success. 
At last, as noticed above, the bill was passed by both houses only a few 
days before the close of the session. The main difficulty came in the 
selection of a route and the Legislature was finally forced to leave the 
exact location of the road to the incorporators. 8 The other point of 
conflict was the percentage to be paid the State. This was finally fixed 
at seven per cent of the gross receipts, but, at the same time, the com- 
pany was freed from paying any State or local taxes. 9 

1 Illinois Daily Register, January 15, 1851. 

2 Documetns relating to the Organization of the Illinois Central R. R. 

3 Aekerman, Early Illinois Railroads, page 39. 

4 Ibid. 

5 Illinois Weekly Journal, February 12, 1851. 

6 Ibid. 

7 Ibid. 

8 Ibid. 

9 In the original memorial the amount paid to the State was left vacant. It was 
proposed in the House that 10 per cent be given, but the company, through the 
efforts of Robert Rantoul and Representative Bissell. manag"d to reduce the per- 
centage to 7. The real reasons for the action of the Regisluture in this matter are 
not known and in his campaign for election as Governor Colonel Bissell was accused 
of having obtained the reduction to the disadvantage of the State. 


With the incorporation and construction of the Illinois Central ended 
the long struggle to secure railway communication for the interior of 
the State. The way was blazed for new railroads in all sections of Illi- 
nois and their completion opened up to settlement the hitherto un- 
occupied counties. The economic isolation of the interior ceased and the 
State became an economic whole. 

Politically, the effects were equally far reaching. The construction 
of the "Central" and the chartering of other companies satisfied the need 
of good transportation and the demands of the interior counties for 
internal improvements carried on by the State died away as the need 
became less and less. The important, and at times dominating, issue 
of State construction of canals and railroads, which entered so deeply 
into the political life of the commonwealth from 1830 to 1850, ceased 
to be of popular interest. The construction of the railroads and the 
broadening influence of improved communication also eliminated from 
the field the celebrated question of "State policy," for twenty-five years 
a bone for contention between the northern and southern counties. In 
brief the chartering of the Illinois Central marks the close of the polit- 
ical agitation for State internal improvements. After 1851 these 
matters which had repeatedly agitated the community disappeared and 
their places were taken by other questions. 



By John H. Burnham. 

I. Indian Old Town. 

Historical students are now taking a very deep interest in all that per- 
tains to early Illinois history, whether it be early Indian, early French, 
British, Virginian or later American history. New light is occasionally 
thrown on obscure events and we may hope that a few rays may yet 
shine brightly on many more dim, puzzling, mysterious, past occurrences. 

Two of the most interesting and most wonderful events of our un- 
recorded past took place within the present limits of McLean county, and 
it is in the hope that the attention of some of our acutest and ablest 
historical investigators may be attracted, that this brief sketch is under- 

In the central eastern part of McLean county is a large grove about 
fifteen miles in length from east to west, which was called Old Town 
timber before our first settlers arrived. At its eastern end had long 
existed an ancient Indian town called Old Town. On some of the early • 
maps it is called the Great Kickapoo Village. The site of the town has 
never yet been cultivated, and it still bears many evidences of Indian 
occupation, though it needs our early settlers or their children to trace 
the remains. Here were locations of cabins or wigwams where even yet ' 
may be dug up occasional fragments of copper kettles or other Indian 
implements. A large burying ground was plainly to be seen original^, 
in the immediate neighborhood, and very many bones have been disin- 
terred, together with silver brooches and Indian ornaments. A silver 
cross was once found which may be taken as a proof of the conscientious 
work of some French missionary. A few years before the first settlers 
arrived, the town is said to have been practically annihilated by a ter- 
rible visitation of smallpox and it had been abandoned. One, and per- 
haps two, circular foot race tracks, existed just outside the village. 
These were called foot race tracks by our early settlers, but were most 
likely the levelled sites of Indian war dances, which have been described 
by more than one traveler conversanl with early Indian villages. There 
can be little doubt this was for a long time the headquarters of a large 
Indian tribe. 


This Kickapoo Indian town was a well known point when those ter- 
rible Indian raids were made into Kentucky, and authentic evidence 
exists concerning the imprisonment here of whites captured in these 

Tradition informs us that about eighty years ago a Iventuckian visited 
Old Town and identified the site as the place where he was confined 
by the Kickapoo Indians sometime between 1780 and. 1812. His story 
was to the effect that he made his escape in company with a young white 
woman and her father, having in the flight killed several Indians, that 
the father died, the young man and the young woman escaped, married 
and lived happily together. The story was published in a Peoria or 
Springfield paper many years ago, but we are unable to state whether 
it was given as a fact or as fiction in the "story corner" of the enter- 
prising journal, but true or false, there is no doubt that romantic as well 
as tragic and horrible incidents occurred at the mysterious Indian 
capital. , 

A little to the east of the Indian village site outside of the timber 
line, our first settlers found the remains of a stockaded Indian fort. The 
area of this structure' was about two acres. The lower ends of a row 
of timber posts or pickets had been set in the ground and a ridge of 
prairie dirt from one to three feet high had been thrown up against the 
row of posts. Pieces of the pickets were still left in the ground and the 
whole ridge of earth indicated the outline of the fort. An opening or 
gateway had apparently been left at one corner. Some burials had 
evidently taken place within the fort but not near as many as in the 
•large burying ground in the vicinity. The site was on very high land 
overlooking a large extent of prairie, and may very well have been used 
as an outpost to the Indian town half a mile distant. No spring or well 
of water has ever been discovered inside of the fort. Very few bullets 
or arrow heads have been found in the fort or its neighborhood. It is 
difficult to imagine that this fort could have possessed any military 
value, although our lack of knowledge of Indian methods of fighting may 
lead us to form wrong conclusions. It is possible that the inhabitants of 
the village near-by could have been transferred on short notice to the fort, 
where it would have been possible for the Indian defenders to have de- 
tained an attacking party until the slight provisions of such a party 
would have been wasted, forcing an abandonment of the seige. The 
general opinion of modern white men has been that this fort was a mili- 
tary failure. 

At the time of the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, the Indians were said 
to have occupied this fort and it may have been used earlier than 1811. 
Soldiers who were at the battle of Tippecanoe have asserted that after 
the battle, General Harrison sent out a cavalry expedition as far as this 
fort, which found there only a few sick and aged Indians, the rest hav- 
ing departed towards the northwest. 

This statement is no doubt correct, as General Joseph Bartholomew, 
one of the early settlers of McLean county, who was second in command 
at the battle of Tippecanoe, has given this explanation. 


In the political campaign of 1840, at which time General Harrison 
was elected president, it is stated that a large Whig delegation contain- 
ing some survivors of the battle of Tippecanoe, on their way to a con- 
vention at Springfield, stopped at the site of this fort where they talked 
over the events of 1811, and were addressed by General Bartholomew. 

The late Hiram W. Beckwith, the first president of the Illinois State 
Historical Society, was greatly interested in this relic. On June 30, 
1880, he brought a civil engineer from Danville and in company with the 
Hon. S. H. West of Leroy, myself, and several others, surveyed the 
dim, rapidly disappearing earthen outlines of this fort, and made a care- 
ful surveyor's record of its metes and bounds. 

In the fall of 1905 the McLean County Histrical Society, at the 

urgent solicitation of the Hon. S. H. West, placed a granite monument 

near the center of this ancient earth work on which is this inscription: 

"Site of Ancient Kickapoo Indian Fokt. 

Erected by the McLean County Historical Society. 

* 1905." 

The Hon. Geo. W. Funk deeded to the McLean county board of super- 
visors four square rods of ground, and the county record of this tract 
gives the metes and bounds of the site of the fort as surveyed in 1880. 

2. The Arrowsmith Battle Ground. 

At the time Mr. Beckwith and others made this survey it was not 
generally known, excepting in its immediate neighborhood, that about 
seven miles northeast of these remains, were still more remarkable traces 
' of an Indian battle ground, though a few of the early settlers had pre- 
served the tradition of a great Indian battle having been fought not far 
from Cheney's Grove. 

About ten years ago, owing to the increasing interest in historical in- 
vestigations, public attention was directed to this Indian battle site, 
and an effort was made to learn something more of its situation and 

In the present town of Arrowsmith, McLean county, Illinois almost 
exactly at the center of section 24, about one mile and a half west of 
the western extremity of Cheney's Grove, is a small tract of timber or 
woodland, formerly known as Little, now Smith's Grove. In order to 
distinguish this from the site of the fort just described we call this the 
Arrowsmith Indian battle ground. 

Originally there were about fifteen acres covered with trees, nearly 
one-half of which is still in this condition, mostly small trees, of the 
second growth. The first settlers of this county noticed that about an 
acre of this space, centrally situated on a rounding knoll, about twentv- 
five feet in height above the level of the surrounding low ground near 
the Sangamon, contained ridges and depressions of rather peculiar ap- 
pearance, which were said by the Indians or early settlers, or by common 
report, to be the remains of pits or caches where the Indians had at 
different, times buried their corn or other valuables. The first appear- 
ance of these ridges or depressions, as near as I have been able to ascer- 
tain, seemed to be circular, irregularly shaped and irregularly placed, 


with edges or sides which were sloping, inclined to be steep in some 
places, but generally very sloping at the sides ; and in depth, not over 
one and one-half to two and one-half feet from the tops of the ridges 
to the lowest parts of the depressions. 

About fifty rods toward the northeast, in the prairie, just where the 
same commences to decline or to roll off to the lower ground, our first 
settlers noticed some military appearing earthworks, or zig-zag rifle-pits. 
They extended about ten rods from north to south, and there were about 
ten or a dozen of them after the fashion of a Virginia rail fence. They 
were not dug very deeply into the earth, were evidently hastily thrown 
up, and while plainly to be seen before the prairie sod had been broken, 
they have now disappeared. From all accounts these must have been 
designed after the plan of military rifle pits such as are used in military 
approaches to an entrenchment. 

While we cannot help regretting that these markings have not been 
more carefully noted, we must bear in mind the fact that until the 
prairie all around this locality had been broken, no one supposed any 
of the traces I have tried to describe had any relation to an ancient 
battle field. About fifty years ago, it began to be noticed, after the land 
had been cultivated, that great numbers of bullets were found, mostly 
outside of the peculiar pits at the location in the center of the grove, 
and generally at a distance of about a gun-shot therefrom. 

One beautiful day in May, 1897, a party consisting of several pioneers 
of eastern McLean county and a few of the members of the McLean 
County Historical Society made a very interesting exploration of the 
central attraction of the grove, and we shall never forget our intense 
interest as we made our discoveries. We dug into four or five of 
the dozen or fifteen of the pits or depressions, which were scattered ir- 
regularly over the acre of land at the top of the little knoll, and found 
the apparent bottoms of these pits at depths not exceeding three feet, 
and mostly two feet from the apparent average natural level of the 
ground. The largest was about fifteen feet in diameter at the top, and 
eight or ten feet at the bottom. Bones were found in nearly all of them, 
but they nearly all appeared to be bones of animals, and most of them 
perished rapidly on exposure to air. We found no bullets, and learned, 
that but few bullets or arrow heads have ever been found in the pits, 
most of the bullets having been picked up east and south of the knoll; 
and many even across the present channel of the Sangamon, on the 
level ground beyond. Very few balls have been found west, north or 
northeast of the knoll, which circumstance seems to indicate the main 
attack was made from other directions. 

It does not appear at first sight quite plain why I call this a fortifi- 
cation, but I think a little reflection, taken in connection with the find- 
ing of the bullets, and our explanation of the situation, will show that 
the?e pits and the ridges surrounding them, formed a real fortification. 
It will be seen that if holes or pits were dug about two feet deep and 
from ten to fifteen feet in diameter, that the loose dirt thrown up would 


surround these pits or holes with walls which could easily be three or 
four feet in height, counting from the bottom of the holes to the top 
of the ridges. Within these pits, thus surrounded, quite a large number 
of men, by keeping close to the bottoms, would be entirely safe from 
musket balls. 

We are told in a French official report, that in 1712 at the siege of 
Detroit, the Foxes and Mascoutens resisted, "In a wooden fort, for nine- 
teen days, the attack of a much larger force of French and Indians. In 
order to avoid the fire of the French, they dug holes four or five feet deep 
in the bottom of their fort." Here we have a record of an occurrence 
where Fox Indians, who inhabited this region of northern Illinois and 
were sometimes allied with the Kickapoos, in 1712, actually resorted to 
digging holes for protection, and it is entirely safe, from what we know 
now, to assume this little knoll to have been used as a fortification in 
a similar manner ; though we have as yet, no right to assume that a real 
fort with wooden walls surrounded these excavations. 

The list of the articles which were found, or presented to us, mostly 
at the time of our visit is as follows: A few arrowheads or points; 
200 bullets, of four different calibers, some of which appear to have 
been hacked with knives, either to form them out of bar lead, or to cut 
down large bullets to a smaller calibre, charcoal and ashes from the 
bottoms of the larger pits; pieces of knife blades, which may have been 
scalping or dirk knives, or may have been applied to ordinary uses, 
pieces of copper ornaments, a piece of pistol barrel, pieces of nearly 
straight deer-horn prongs, part of a link of an iron chain, a peculiar 
pieces of iron, flattened at each end, looking as if it might have been used 
on deer skins as a scraper, it is apparently of rude Indian or European 
blacksmithing ; a section of a gun barrel a foot long flattened at each 
end by blacksmithing curved like a letter "S" and each of these ends 
formed into a sort of a spoon or scraper, another section, of gunbarrel, 
open at one end and flattened at other end as above described, a gun 
lock of the kind known as flint-lock, part of a steel blade, possibly the 
blade of a dirk knife, but more likely a razor blade on which the maker's 
name, Pierre Minan, can be read while the other letters can not yet be 
deciphered, but further examination may reveal the name of the city 
where it was manufactured. 

In addition to these, I have made inquiries and find that at different 
times in the past, various other articles have been found, either around 
the site of these excavations, or within the distance of a gun-shot, among 
which were several flint gun-locks, pieces of brass or copper kettles ; iron 
pot-hooks used to hang kettles over the fire; a piece of lead ore, prop- 
erly called Galena, a piece of bar lead, said to have weighed three pounds 
and a half; knife blades, which may have been scalping knives, iron 
hatchets called tomahawk? : several silver trinkets ; a piece of sword 
blade; several pieces of gun barrels and large numbers of bullets. At 
first T considered the estimate of five or six hundred as probablv an exag- 
geration, but later inquiries have convinced me that one thousand is much 


more likely to be near the number. I have heard of seventy-five bullets 
being found at one time, and there is plenty of evidence of the finding of 
a very large number. 

The fact that some of the bullets have been cut or hacked has given 
the impression that they were cut out of bar lead with knives, but I 
consider it much more probable that the calibres of the muskets varied, 
and that some of the bullet moulds were so large that the balls had to 
be cut down to enter the rifle, as I find this was once a common practice, 
especially on the frontier, or among the Indians who were glad to obtain • 
guns of almost any calibre. 

It is quite remarkable, if we consider this as an ancient Indian 
battle ground, that so few arrow heads have been discovered. It is true 
that in the aggregate quite a number of these have been picked up, but 
the proportion preserved is not one-tenth as many as have been found 
of leaden bullets. 

Enough bullets have been found to indicate that a very severe struggle 
must have taken place, as we must infer that a very large number of the 
bullets used must still remain in the soil. We must bear in mind that 
at the time this event occurred, powder and balls, and even arrows, were 
too valuable to be wasted after the style of modern battles, and we thus 
have good reason to believe that more than a mere skirmish took place, 
though this is again entering the region of conjecture, and after all, 
the skulking Indian was likely to keep himself so well concealed during 
an action, that very few fatalities occurred until the combat took place 
at close quarters, when the carnage was usually fearful.* 

We need not consider that it was beyond the ability of the Indians to 
dig these holes or pits, and throw up the dirt for protection, during or 
before an attack, because the reference I have made to acts of similar 
Indians at Detroit in 1712, proves them to have been adepts in this kind 
of defense. 

Neither are we surprised at evidences of regular rifle pits or ap- 
proaches within gunshot of the works to the northeast, because the 
Indian tribes after the introduction of fire arms, nearly always contained 
more or less French or English hunters, often called renegade whites, 
and also half breed Indians, who taught the Indians as much as they 
could of the modern or European methods of fighting, as has been re- 
.peatedly shown in the history of border warfare. 

When Mr. Beckwith was informed of these investigations at the Ar- 
rowsmith battle ground he became deeply interested, and was inclined 
to believe that the engagement had taken place between French and 
Indians and called my attention to the following from one of his valu- 
able French records : 

"Confirmatory of this is a reference in a letter written by M. de Longueil, 
the French commander at Detroit in 1752, where, referring to the difficulties, 
the French were encountering with their Indian subjects between the Illinois 
and Wabash rivers, it is stated among other matters of grievance the "Pianke- 
shaws, Illinois and Osages were to assemble at the prairies of the Mascoutens, 
the place where Messrs. de Villiers, and M. de Noyelle attacked the Foxes 
about twenty years previous, and when they had built a fort to secure their 
families, they were to make a general attack on all the French. M. de Vil- 
liers and M. de Noyelle, as is well known, were officers at Fort Chartes." 


This would indicate if the time was twenty years previous to 1752, 
that somewhere about 1730, at a time when hostilities existed, French 
troops from the Kaskaskia region attacked the Foxes at some point 
between the Illinois and Wabash rivers. Possibly the attack may have 
been at this very place, but at present we have no definite knowledge 
of the result of the engagement or whether the engagement actually took 
place here. A few months before his death, Mr. Beckwith informed me 
that he had, through French sources, obtained what he believed to be 
' fairly good proof that the French and the Indian tribes had fought at 
this remarkable battle site, and thrit the French had there overcome the 
Indians. I was endeavoring to meet him with a stenographer to obtain 
his historical evidence, but in a very few weeks his useful life came to 
its final conclusion. Let us hope that whatever proof he found will again 
be brought to light. 

There appears to be, to my mind, fairly good evidence that these ex- 
cavations were made by Indians, and that a battle between Indian tribes 
was fought there, probably between 1712, the time of the siege of Detroit, 
and the coming of the British in 1765. In Long's expedition, published 
about sixty years ago, Vol. I, page 121, we find the following remark- 
able reference which was furnished me by Mr. Beckwith : 

"With a view to collect as much information as possible on the subject of 
Indian antiquities, we inquired of Robinson (a Pottawotame half breed of 
superior intelligence) whether any traditions on this subject were current 
among the Indians. He observed that these ancient fortifications were fre- 
quent subjects of conversation, and especially those in the nature of excava- 
tions, made in the ground. He had heard of one made by the Kickapoo and 
Fox Indians on the Sangamo river, a stream running into the Illinois. The 
fortification is distinguished by the name of Btnataek. It is known to have 
served as an intrenchment to the Kickapoos and Foxes, who were met there 
and defeated by the Pottawatomies, the Ottawas and the Chippewas. No 
date is assigned to this transaction. We understood that the Etnataek was 
near the Kickapoo village on the Sangamo."* 

The half breed, Eobinson, referred to here, lived in northern Illinois 
and was a very intelligent and reliable man, as we are told, but we must 
not allow ourselves to rely implicitly on any Indian traditions. We shall 
find, however, on examination, that this tradition fits well into all the 
circumstances of the case in hand, and that the best historical authori- 
ties never have been able to assign any other location to this traditional 
Indian battle between tribes. 

The history of this central Illinois region, as given by the French 
authorities, seems to show that from about 1769 down to the settlement 
of this State it was inhabited by Kickapoo Indians who were on friendly 
terms with the. Foxes of northern Illinois ; and also that the Pottawa- 
tomies, Ottawas and Chippeways, who lived in Michigan, and the ad- 
jacent country, were apt to be affiliated during wars, and were liable to 

* I examined a book in Mr. Beckwith's historical library and verified the above 
quotation, but regret, I must confess, that owing to some unexplainable blunder I 
failed to make, or lost, the proper title of the book. An attempt lately to again 
verify this quotation by reference to "Long's Expedition" has shown my careless- 
ness, and I am giving this lame explanation in the hope that the quotation which 
is here given correctly, may enable some careful student to identify the proper 
volume. Were Mr. Beckwith living he would certainlv lie ashamed of his pupil. — 
J. H. B. 


fight against the Foxes combined with the Kickapoos who held this 
region, which was then the great buffalo hunting ground coveted by ail 
the eastern and northeastern Indian tribes. 

I consider it, therefore, as very highly probable that the half breed 
Robinson's tradition, as quoted, referring to a battle between the Kick- 
apoos and Foxes on one side who were defeated bv a union of the Potta- 
watomies, Ottawas and Chippewas on the other side, at the site of cer- 
tain excavations on the headwaters of the Sangamon river, is the true 
solution of the problem under consideration. 

In saying this I feel that 1 am perhaps not giving proper credence 
to Mr. Beekwith's belief that a battle between French and Indians oc- 
curred at this point, but as I have never heard of any other Indian 
excavations made in the ground on the Sangamo river, I feel that it is 
at least a fair assumption that here was the site of some great Indian 
battle, and I most earnestly hope that competent historians will in- 
vestigate all possible sources of information, and then take pains there- 
after to give as great publicity as possible to the result of their examin- 

It is quite possible that either at New Orleans, which was the French 
headquarters for this territory for many years, or' at Montreal, or Quebec, 
or perhaps in Paris, may even yet be discovered official or clerical reports 
which will prove that at the site in question a conflict took place between 
the French and Indians. Careful researches should be made by his- 
torical students, as all has not yet been published concerning the French 
occupation of the northwest. These records are as likely to throw light 
upon the recent Indian history of Illinois, as upon the operations of the 
French. History teaches us that tribe after tribe of the Indians who 
occupied this region were barbarously and murderously annihilated and 
destroyed, that these fair and fertile regions were again and again bathed 
and deluged in human blood. Could we possess a correct history of the 
horrible scenes and terrible massacres witnessed here, we should doubt- 
less consider it a mercy that a kind providence has drawn a veil of im- 
penetrable obscurity over the centuries of blood-shed these prairies 
have witnessed. 

It is highly probable, judging from our knowledge of the Indian 
character and of their ancient methods of warfare, that the vanquished 
in the engagement, if vanquished, in the places under consideration, 
were literally bathed in their own blood in the bottoms of these exca- 
vations, and that in spite of our irrepressible curiosity, it is a mercy to 
us that we are not able to learn any or all of the particulars of the un- 
known event. 



By Charles H. Rammelkamp. 

The role which Illinois College played in the anti-slavery movement 
has always been a story of vital interest to the alumni of the college 
and the people of Jacksonville. But the relation of Illinois College to 
the great struggle over the slavery question possesses more than a merely 
temporary or local interest. The importance of the issues involved, 
the prominence of the men who participated in the struggle, the bitter- 
ness of the dispute in a community where people from New England 
and the South met face to face, give the story a significance that extends 
beyond the walls of the college and the limits of the city of Jacksonville. 
Some of the leaders in the local conflict, notably President Edward 
Beecher, Professor Julian M. Sturtevant and Professor Jonathan B. 
Turner, were men of such pronounced influence upon the moral and 
educational development of Illinois that any movement with which 
they were connected at once becomes generally important. 

The characteristics of the early population of Illinois are well known. 
The fertile prairies of the State invited the ambitious Yankee to seek 
his fortune in their soil. Furthermore, the fact that Illinois was for- 
ever dedicated to freedom by the ordinance of 1787 also may have in- 
fluenced the pioneer from New England to settle within the bounds of 
the State. The New Englander naturally brought with him his antag- 
onism to the system of slavery. But these fertile fields were just as 
attractive to people from the slave states of Kentucky and Missouri. 
Although the Southerners could not bring their slaves to till the free 
prairies of Illinois, and although some left the south because they de- 
sired to escape direct contact with slavery ;* they could not entirely 
shake off their pro-slavery sympathies. Indeed many of them had 
hoped to see Illinois eventually become a slave state, 2 the South- 
erners, as might be expected, settled chiefly in the southern counties of 
the State while the New England ers selected farms in the northern and 
central counties. It happened that Jacksonville, where the college had 
been established, was situated in the borderland region where the streams 

1 E. g. Mr. Joseph Capps left his father's plantation in Kentucky and settled in 
Jacksonville, chiefly on account of his opposition to slavery ; David Smith freed hi3 
slaves in Alabama and came north to Jncksonvi 1 !^. C. P. Koford. Puritan Influ- 
ences in Illinois before 1860 in Trans, of 111. State Hist. Society. No. 10. 

2 Recall the contest in 1823 to amend the state constitution so as to permit 



of migration from the north and south met. Mingling waters are 
usually turbulent. The conflicts over the slavery issue in this region 
were, therefore, numerous and bitter. 

The men who had founded Illinois College and were directing its 
policy belonged mainly to the New England element. The result was 
that the college although placed in a community where a large pro- 
portion of the inhabitants were opposed to the abolition of slavery, be- 
came identified with the anti-slavery movement. This attitude of the in- 
stitution tended to check its growth and prosperity. Indeed, there are 
those who assert that had it not been for the anti-slavery position of the 
college, it would have grown into one of the largest colleges in the state. 
Whatever may be the truth in this assumption, certain it is that a strong 
opposition to the school developed. Since the college was receiving some 
of its students from families of southern sympathies, the anti-slavery 
attitude of the faculty drove away patronage. William . H. Herndon, 
later to become the law partner of Lincoln, was a student at the college 
and has testified in his biography of the great Emancipator regarding the 
anti-slavery influence of the college, and its effect in leading pro-slavery 
families to withdraw their sons from the institution. Mr. Herndon is 
writing of the death of Lovejoy in 1837 and continues : "This cruel and 
uncalled for murder had aroused the anti-slavery sentiment everywhere. 
It penetrated the college and both faculty and students were loud and 
unrestrained in their denunciation of the crime. My father, who was 
thoroughly pro-slavery in his ideas, believing that the college was too 
strongly permeated with the virus of abolitionism, forced me to with- 
draw from the institution and return home. But it was too late. My 
soul had absorbed too much of what my father believed was rank 
poison." 1 Very similar was the experience and testimony of the oldest 
living alumnus of the college, Judge T. J. C. Eagg, of Louisiana, Mis- 
souri, who was graduated in 1842. He entered college from a town in 
southern Missouri. His father was not only intensely pro-slavery in 
sentiment but owned a large number of slaves. As Judge Fagg writes 
he had imbibed most of his father's sentiments and feeling on the sub- 
ject of slavery, but his career in Illinois College materially changed the 
young man's views. 

He remarked on one occasion to the author : "The greatest opposition 
I had to contend with in my professional, political and social life here 
in Missouri was the fact that I had graduated from Illinois College." 

At a meeting of the candidates for the Legislature at the town of 
Prairieville, Missouri, in July, 1850, Mr. Fagg announced himself as 
an independent Benton candidate for the Legislature. His enemies at 
once denounced him as an "abolition emmisary from Illinois College 
sent over to Missouri to run negro slaves out of the state." "The only 
thing that prevented personal violence to me," writes Judge Fagg, "was 
the fact that I had a small number of resolute and determined friends in 
the crowd who would have stood by me to the death." 2 Further evidence 

—13 H S 


of the anti-slavery influence of the college and the consequent unpopu- 
larity of the institution among its pro-slavery patrons will become ap- 
parent as our story proceeds. 

It will be interesting to examine somewhat more- in detail the atti- 
tude of the faculty and founders of the college. The story of the Yale 
band, 1 the company of seven consecrated Christian student- of Yale 
Seminary, who entered into a compact with one another and with certain 
missionaries in Illinois to found a college on the western frontier is 
well known to every student of Illinois history. They were young men 
whose training and inheritance fitted them to become leaders in any 
movement for the betterment of their fellowinen,- either white or black. 
Kirby, Baldwin, Sturtevant and Asa Turner, all became more or less 
identified with the anti-slavery movement of the middle west. The 
president of the college, a member of that family famous in American 
history for the vigorous blows which it struck at the institution of 
slavery, allied himself with the anti-slavery cause. It would indeed 
have been strange if Edward Beecher, 2 brother of Henry Ward and 
Harriet Beecher, had not taken the side of freedom. However, the presi- 
dent of this pioneer college of the middle west, anxious for the welfare 
ot the struggling institution, could not fail to perceive that his conduct 
on the slavery question would involve more interests than his own. He 
had left the pastorate of a flourishing church in comfortable Boston to 
help organize this college in the undeveloped west. He had sacrificed 
much and worked hard to build solid foundations for the college. Should 
he endanger the prosperity of the school by assuming a position on the 
slavery question that would antagonize many of its patrons? 3 AVhen 
he came to the State in 1830, and for several years after, Beecher was 
opposed to the idea of immediate emancipation. He wanted a "cool, 
dispassionate" discussion of the subject and he preferred himself to re- 
main rather passive in the discussion. "I had up to this time," he 
writes, "not participated at all in the public discussion which was so 
deeply exciting the nation, but had been merely an attentive and thought- 
ful spectator. Such was the magnitude of the subject, and such the 
consequences involved in its proper management, that, until the provi- 
dence of God should make it my duty I was glad to retire from the con- 
flict, and spend my time in preparing for the hour, should it ever arrive, 
in which duty would allow me to be silent no longer. My views, when 
I came to this state, were decidedly hostile to the doctrines of immediate 
emancipation; and it was not until the year 1835 that I became satis- 
fied, from a careful examination of the history of experiments on this 
subject, that the doctrine of gradual emancipation was fallacious, and 
that of immediate emancipation was philosophical and safe. From that 
time I felt it to be a matter of immense importance that measures should 
be taken, kindly, but thoroughly, to convince the slave states 
of the fact, and to urge claims of duty. Still, however, con- 
sidering the magnitude and importance of the subject; and the in- 

1 This was known originally by its members as the "Illinois Band." J. M. Sturte- 
vant, Autobiography, 136. 

2 He was not a member -of the "Yale Band." 

3 E. Beecher. Narrative of Riots at Alton, 36, 37. 


terest, ignorance and prejudice to be encountered, I felt that more was to 
be hoped from deep and thorough discussions in a cool and dispassionate 
style, than from popular appeals and excitement." 1 

Few men connected with Illinois College have been more progressive 
or exerted a profounder influence upon the institution that did Professor 
Julian M. Sturtevant. From the cold January morning of 1830, when 
standing before nine young students in the unfinished room of Beecher 
Hall, he began the work of instruction, to the last days of his life, Mr. 
Sturtevant constantly exerted a strong influence upon the policy of the 
college. He was one of the leading intellects of his day in the middle 
west. Naturally he was closely associated with President Beecher in the 
days of conflict over the slavery question but he probably was less radical 
than the president. Like Mr. Beecher he appreciated the delicate posi- 
tion of the college in a somewhat pro-slavery community, although no 
one could imagine Mr. Sturtevant ever permitting mere expediency to 
control either his views or actions. He was inclined, however, even more 
than Beecher, to counsel moderation. This will be evident especially 
when we discuss the relation of the college to the murder of Elijah P. 
Lovejoy. As Sturtevant himself remarks in his autobiography, "1 wen: 
too far against slavery to win the favor of its advocates and not far 
enough to gain the approbation of its opponents." 2 Sturtevant was an 
intimate friend, of Abraham Lincoln. 3 He belonged to that large class 
who hesitated to advocate total and immediate abolition in the slave 
states themselves but who looked with fear and abhorrence upon the 
threatened spread of' slavery to free territory and the attempt of the 
"slavocracy" to stifle free speech. Mr. Sturtevant very soon came to 
regard the slavery question as. the paramount political issue before the 
country. For years he refused to unite with either of the two great 
political parties because neither Whigs nor Democrats would frankly 
oppose the system of slavery; in fact, it was not until 1848. when he had 
reached the age of forty-three years, that he cast his first ballot in a pres- 
idential election. Not until the Free Soil party nominated a candidate 
could Mr. Sturtevant find a political party worthy of his suffrage. 4 

Much more radical than either President Beecher or Professor Sturte- 
vant was a third member of the faculty, Professor Jonathan B. Turner. 
He was the most versatile and independent member of the faculty. 
The term abolitionist might much more appropriately be applied to 
him than either of the others. Both in the expression of his views and 
his activity on the Underground Eailway, Mr. Turner showed himself 
a most determined opponent of slavery. When others hesitated on oc- 
count of natural conservatism or expediency, Turner moved forward 
with a decisive step. As we shall see, he frequently united with the 
abolitionists of the city in helping some poor slave on the way to freedom. 
Truman Marcellus Post was another New England scholar, graduate of 
Middlebury College and student at Andover Theological Seminary, who 

IE. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 21, 22. 

2 J. M. Sturtevant, Autobiography, 223. 

3 J. M. Sturtevant, Ibil, 286. 

4 J. M. Sturtevant, Autobiography, 279. 


had joined the college faculty in 1833 as Profesor of Ancient Lan- 
guages. His convictions were strongly in favor of the anti-slavery cause 
although he hesitated, perhaps more than the other members of the 
faculty, frankly to express his opinions. Professor Post, speaking on the 
same platform with President Beecher, declared, years before Lincoln 
made his famous speech, that "American slavery and American liberty 
cannot co-exist on the same soil." When the excitement over the 
murder of Lovejoy was at its height, Post sent an anonymous commun- 
ication, "An address to the people of Alton," to the New York Emanci- 
pator. The article was a lengthy and severe arraignment of the people 
of Alton for the murder of Lovejoy and their outrageous attack upon 
the freedom of the press. We must not judge Dr. Post too severely 
for his failure to sign the article. The annoyance and even physical 
violence which a signed article would probably have brought upon the 
head of the author, made him hesitate to sign his name. He 
remarks: "I had to keep the whole matter as secret as the 
grave." 2 Dr. Post was later called to the pastorate of the 
First Congregational Church of St. Louis where he did heroic service 
for the Union cause during the trying times at the outbreak of the war. 
Most of the early trustees of the college, such as the Honorable Samuel 
D. Lockwood, the Reverend Gideon Blackburn, Thomas Lippincott, and 
David A. Smith, not to mention the members of the Yale band, who were 
trustees of the college, were in general opposed to slavery. 

Eeference has already been made incidentally to the relation of the 
institution to the Lovejoy tragedy at Alton. A "fuller account of the 
connection of the college with this event which stirred so deeply the ani- 
mosities of people not only in Illinois but in other parts of the Union 
ought to be given. We noted President Beecher's inclination "to retire 
from the conflict" and spend his "time in preparing for the hour, should 
it ever arrive, in Avhich duty would allow" him to be silent no longer. 
That hour apparently arrived when the slave power began to attack 
freedom of speech and the press. Mr. Beecher was a warm friend of 
Elijah P. Lovejoy. He often corresponded with Lovejoy and 
when the latter was advocating the calling of a convention to 
found an anti-slavery society in Illinois, he wrote Beecher ask- 
ing his advice and urging him to 'lend his name to the call. 3 Beecher, 
however, hesitated preferring decidedly to stand on his own ground, 
"to join no society, and to speak as an individual," if he spoke at all. 
At the college commencement of 1837, Lovejoy was the guest of the 
president and the college; indeed the resolution to re-establish the press 
of the Observer at Alton after its second destruction was re-enforced 
by a conference of friends at Jacksonville on that occasion. It was un- 
animously the opinion of his college friends gathered at that conference 
that "in order to maintain the principles of free discussion, it was of 
great importance that the paper should be again established at Alton 
with Mr. Lovejoy as its editor." 4 On the occasion of this friendly visit 
the head of the college and Mr. Lovejoy discussed at greater length the 

IT. A. Post, Biog. of T. M. Post, 94. 

2 T. A. Post, Ibid, 96. 

3 E. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 21. 

4 E. Beecher. Narrative of Riots at Alton, 24. 


project for a state anti-slavery society. Mr. Beecher was anxious that 
the plans for the proposed convention should be changed so far as to 
permit all friends of free discussion, including even those who were not 
in favor of organizing an anti-slavery society, to attend. A better name 
for the organization, he suggested, would be "the society of inquiry on 
the subject of slavery." He wanted to remove as effectually as possible 
"causes of irritation" and danger of violence. Love joy did not sym- 
pathize with the president's opinions, but he apparently was convinced . 
by some of his arguments. At any rate he yielded consent to the broad- 
ened scope of the convention, although he would not change the name of 
the proposed society. On these conditions, President Beecher was will- 
ing that his name should be used in the call for the convention at Alton. 1 
It seems that when Lovejoy actually issued the call, he did nevertheless 
limit the invitation to those who believed "the system of American 
slavery to be sinful." This action was a disappointment to Mr. Beecher, 
and he went to Alton to remonstrate. Again he urged his friend to 
call all who believed in a frank discussion of the slavery issue into the 
conference. Friends of the movement seem to have been persuaded to 
adopt Beecher's point of view, and he accordingly ventured to publish 
in the "Alton Telegraph," notwithstanding the terms of the official in- 
vitation, an article suggesting that "all friends of free inquiry" should 
come. 2 Beecher held a nice theory, but the actual meeting of the con- 
vention demonstrated that calm, deliberate discussion of the slavery 
issue was impossible. 

Meanwhile the State Synod of the Presbyterian Church held its meet- 
ing % at Springfield. The delegates must have been vitally interested in 
the issue raised at Alton. Of the college faculty. Beecher and Professor 
Sturtevant were in attendance. The latter, although a warm friend 
and admirer of Lovejoy, did not approve of the establishment of his 
press at Alton, and when the subject was under discussion at an in- 
formal meeting of the delegates he was about the only person who advo- 
cated "the more moderate and cautious view of the situation." 3 Sturte- 
vant argued, to quote his exact words, "that the bringing of another 
anti-slavery press to Alton would produce nothing but disaster." Pres- 
ident Beecher was anxious to get a unanimous protest against the in- 
terference with the right of free discussion at Alton, but when it was ap- 
parent that some delegates would not favor such a vote, he withdrew 
the resolution. 4 Beecher advised all who could to attend the Alton 

A detailed account of the Alton convention and the events which led 
to the murder of Lovejoy, would be foreign to the purpose of this paper, 
hut we are interested in the actions of the president of the college. 
Events proved the utter futility of his plans for the convention. That 
body had already convened when Mr. Beecher arrived in Alton. 
When he stepped into the meeting he discovered that the con- 
vention had been virtually "captured" by the opponents of Lovejoy. The 

IE. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 25. 

2E. Beecher, Ibid, 27. 

3 J. M. Sturtevant, Autobiography, 223. 

4E. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 28. 


'"friends of free inquiry" were mostly pro-slavery sympathizers, and thay 
were claiming seats in the convention principally on the ground of 
Beecher's article in the Alton Telegraph. Dr. Gideon Blackburn, a trus- 
tee of the college, was chairman of the meeting. A committee on resolu- 
tions, consisting of Mr. Beecher, the Eev. Asa Turner, and W. F. Linder, 
a representative of the "free inquiry" element, was appointed. 1 When, 
however, the report of the committee was brought in, the convention re- 
fused to adopt the suggestions of the majority. On the contrary, it 
adopted a minority report in favor of pro-slavery views and adjourned 
sine die. 2 The hopes of the president of the college had not been real- 
ized. Disgusted with the tactics of the opponents of free discussion, he 
now became less compromising and exerted himself more strenuously to 
maintain the cause of a free press. At a meeting held at a private house, 
the State Anti-Slavery Society was organized. Mr. Beecher prepared the 
declaration of sentiments, 3 while Elihu Wolcott, a resident of Jackson- 
ville, who was closely associated with the faculty of the college was 
elected president of the society. Among those elected vice presidents of 
the organization were the Eev. Asa Turner and Wm. Kirby, founders of 
the college. On Sunday, by special request of the newly organized 
society, Mr. Beecher preached a sermon on the subject of slavery. Again 
on Monday and Wednesday he preached to the citizens of Alton. Al- 
though the St. Louis papers called the addresses abolition sermons, their 
main thought seems to have been not so much the evils of slavery as the 
evils of a muzzled public opinion. Some violence was attempted during 
the delivery of the third sermon, but no serious outbreak occurred. 4 

President Beecher remained in Alton until the day of the tragedy. 
He went down to the warehouse with his friend in the early morning 
of the fatal seventh of November to witness the storing of the press. 
The two remained on guard until daylight, when they returned to the 
home of Mr. Lovejoy. After very solemn family prayer, Mr. Beecher 
bade good-bye to his friends and returned to Jacksonville. 

The tragic culmination of the troubles at Alton demonstrated the 
serious nature of the conflict and brought into prominence many of the 
friends of the martyr. Through the activity of its president, the college 
was closely associated with the controversy, especially in the mind of the 
pro-slavery element. Criticism and vituperation were aimed at Mr. 
Beecher and vigorous protests made against the anti-slavery influence 
of the college faculty. The papers of St. Louis were violent in their at- 
tacks upon the president and the college. The Missouri Republican 
was particularly outspoken in its denunciations of Beecher and most 
frank in its advice to the college. Even before the death of Lovejoy 

1 Notes by Samuel Willard in H. Tanner's Martyrdom of Lovejoy, 221, 222. 
2E. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 28; Mo. Republican, Nov. 4, 1837. 

3 E. Beecher, Narrative of Riots at Alton, 38 ; Notes by Samuel Willard in H. 
Tanner's Martyrdom of Lovejoy, 222, 223. 

4 Mo. Republican, Nov. 4, 1837; H. Tanner's Martyrdom of Lovejoy, 136. "Mr. 
Beecher's discourse was interrupted for a short time in consequence of a stone 
being cast through one of the church windows, and he probably would have been 
mobbed then but for the fact that the mayor was in the meeting and we had made 
provision to repel any attack." See, also, testimony of Mayor J. M. Crum in W. S. 
Lincoln's Alton Trials, 37. 

19 U 

it had regretted "that the head of Jacksonville college had become iden- 
tified with the course of these fanatics." Policy and propriety, in the 
opinion of this newspaper, "should have induced the reverend gentle- 
man to have been at least a silent spectator, rather than a busy partici- 
pator in the movements of a party, whose every step is viewed with 
jealousy and every act attended with more or less excitement." 1 Beecher 
was held responsible for the trouble. Love joy would never have held 
out as he did if Beecher and others had not urged him to maintain his 
ground. 2 The paper published a communication signed by "a sucker" 
who claimed that he had heard Edward Beecher and his father, Lyman, 
pleading for funds in the East and that they had both argued that con- 
tributions to western colleges would advance the cause of abolitionism. 
The communication was headed : 

"Edward Beecher — Abolitionism — Illinois College/' — The 
writer was convinced that "Messrs. Beechers were at heart abolitionists" 
and that they deserved "the execration of every friend of the American 
union." The writer was sure that "the people of the east, and particu- 
larly of New England, had been grossly humbugged in relation to the in- 
tellectual and religious wants of the West and by no individuals more 
effectually than the Messrs. Beechers." The public voice should speak 
to Beecher "in terms of thunder to vacate the presidency of the college." 3 

Friends of President Beecher in Jacksonville naturally resented these 
attacks upon the president of the college and "the Jacksonville News" 
insinuated that the attacks of the Missouri Bepublican were due to 
jealousy. According to the News, it was "the first opportunity the Be- 
publican has had -to show its disappointment in consequence of seeing 
Illinois College go ahead of the St. Louis University, notwithstanding 
the latter institution receives so much patronage from "the Pope and 
the Popish clergy in St. Loui^." 4 This insinuation from a Jacksonville 
paper led the Bepublican to devote another editorial to Mr. Beecher 
and his college. "The doctor is now esteemed by every one as an aboli-. 
tionist and by the mass in a much more odious light than was the con- 
duct of the deceased Lovejoy. Upon him rests the censure clue for the 
late violent proceedings, and morally and politically he stands answer- 
able for the fatal consequences which have followed. His conduct in 
the late meeting, on the second and third instant, shows that under the 
specious pretext of maintaining abstract principles, he was pushing 
forward his friend and co-laborer to certain and inevitable destruction. 
We have ever with pride and pleasure marked the advance of the Illi- 
nois College. Not that State but this and the whole West are interested 
in its prosperity and the sentiments and professions of those who may 
preside over its destiny. Many of the young men of Missouri have been 
sent there for their education, and under proper auspices, we trust this 
would continue to be the case; but with one so deeply identified with the 
abolition cause as the Bev. E. Beecher now is esteemed by all to be, it 

1 Mo. Republican, Nov. 4, 1837. 

2 Ibid., Nov. 18, 1837. 

3 Mo. Republican, Nov. 18, 1837. 

4 Ibid., Nov. 18, 1837. 


cannot expect either a continuance of the support of the citizens of this 
or of many of that state. For ourselves, we would much rather see a 
host of such men, as we esteem the president to be, sacrificed than that 
the prosperity of the college should in the least be affected by retaining 
him at its head/' 1 

But these criticisms did not alter the views of the faculty or frighten 
all of the members into silence. Professor Turner, as already indicated, 
took a very prominent part in the activities of the Underground Rail- 
way in Jacksonville. Together with certain students and radical aboli- 
tionists of the town, he helped several escaping slaves on their way Lo 
freedom. He tells in a reminiscent article in the Daily Journal of 
August 2, 1884, of his part in aiding three colored women to escape in 
1846. 2 The women had run away from St. Louis in order to avoid being 
sold and shipped away from relatives and friends to a southern planta- 
tion. It was "a bitterly cold night in December'' that Mr. Henry Irv- 
ing came to Professor Turner's house and told him "that there were 
three colored women escaped from the St. Louis slave market whom 
their friends had secreted and concealed in an old abandoned cabin" on 
the outskirts of the town Turner cutting "a heavy hickory bludgeon 
from the wood pile" went forth to aid the escaping slaves. With much 
difficulty he piloted them to the house of a certain Azel Pierson whence 
they were eventually taken north to the Canadian line. When Pro- 
fessor Turner somewhat later in a prayer meeting boldly confessed his 
part in this affair an effort was made to secure his arrest but the matter 
apparently was not pressed. 

Among the students, Samuel Willard, 2 William C. Carter and J. A. 
Coleman were strongly abolitionist in their sympathies; in fact, ail 
three belonged to families prominent on the Underground Eailway. 
One episode may be mentioned to illustrate student activity in the aboli- 
tionist cause. A southern lady, Mrs. Lisle, from Louisiana, came to 
Jacksonville to visit relatives. She brought with her a child and its 
nurse, a negro slave of about eighteen years. Illinois being free terri- 
tory, the slave, it was contended, could legally claim her freedom. 
Probably through the assistance of friendly abolitionists, the colored 
girl' became aware of this fact. Young Samuel Willard took her to the 
home of his college mate, W. C. Carter, and arrangements were made 
by Julius A. Willard, father of the student, to pilot the girl northward 
on the Underground Eailway. The elder Willard had actually started 
with her towards Greenfield when the two were overtaken and brousrht 
back to Jacksonville. The girl was sent to St. Louis to be restored to her 
mistress who had proceeded to that place on her way home. But before 
the men who were conducting the fugitive back to her mistress arrived at 
their destination, they were overtaken by Mr. Parvin and the student 
J. A. Coleman, who shrewdly obtained a writ for the arrest of the men 
in charge of the girl. The men gave bond, however, and were allowed to 

lMo. Republican, Nov. 18, 1837. 

2 Jacksonville Daily Journal, Aug. 2, 1884. 

3 Willard's father was an intimate friend of E. P. Lovejoy. The family lived in 
Alton at the time of the tragedy. 


proceed with the slave to St. Louis. The episode aroused great excite- 
ment in Jacksonville. A notice signed by thirty-six citizens called a 
public meeting "for the purpose of expressing their feeling in relation 
to the late outrage committed upon the property of a widow lady visit- 
ing our town by one of the citizens." 1 The meeting was held at the 
Court House February 23, 1843, and resolutions were passed reciting the 
details of the "abduction." The citizens gathered at this meeting feared 
that the public might imagine the town as a whole indorsed the action 
of the abolitionists and therefore took pains to rehearse the facts. The 
sentiments of the meeting were expressed in the following four resolu- 
tions : 

"Resolved, That although a judicial investigation will be had upon the mat- 
ter we feel it our privilege and our duty to say, that we do not consider this 
is a question of slavery or anti-slavery, or abolition or anti-abolition, but a 
flagrant and high-handed infraction of one of the penal laws of our land. 
Many of us believe that slavery as an institution is one which has been, and 
will be a curse upon the nation. Many of us have been raised in the midst 
of it, and from an honest conviction of its evils, have come out from among 
it. Yet we all admit that it is an institution recognized and protected by 
the laws of our common country; that it is an institution honored and re- 
spected by many persons whom we know to be as honest men, as patriotic 
citizens, and as devoted christians as the world can produce. The modus 
operandi of abating the evil of slavery is not the province of this meeting 
to point out. We only know that stealing them is not the most honest way. 

Resolved, That the citizens of Jacksonville will at all times extend the 
hand of friendship and hospitality to their acquaintances in the South, and 
will be pleased to reciprocate the friendly relations of neighbors, ready at 
all times and on all occasions, promptly and efficiently to aid and protect them 
in the enjoyment of their property. And to that end, having reasons to be- 
lieve that there are regular bands of abolitionists, organized with depots and 
relays of horses to run negroes through our State to Canada, and that one 
of them is in this town, we will form an Anti-Negro Stealing Society, as we 
heretofore formed an Anti-Horse Stealing Society, and that we will, in this 
neighborhood, break up the one as we broke up the other. 

Resolved, That although young Willard who stole the negro, and young 
Carter who assisted to conceal the negro, and Coleman who pursued Messrs. 
Branson and Neely, are all students of Illinois College, and as yet have not 
been dealt with by said College; yet it may be proper for this meeting to 
abstain from any action in relation to the case, leaving it to the College to 
defend her own reputation. 

Resolved, That these proceedings be signed by the President and Secretary, 
and that they be published in the Illinoisan, Missouri Republican, and that 
the Southern papers generally be requested to copy the same. "2 

The faculty of the college took no action against the students. How- 
ever, Julius A. Willard and his son Samuel were indicted by the grand 
jury for a "misdemeanor for knowingly harboring and secreting a slave.'' 3 

1 Broadside in possession of Mrs. W. C. Carter. Mrs. Carter, a venerable lady 
now living in Jacksonville, is the widow of the student mentioned above. She has 
on several occasions spoken to my class in American history and has written a very 
interesting paper on the "Underground Railway" for the Morgan County Historical 

2 Broadside in possession of Mrs. W. C. Carter of Jacksonville. 

3 S. Willard in letter to author, Feb. 9, 1908. Mr. Willard writes that it was 
suggested to him that since he was injuring the college, he should leave, but Prof. 
Post "warmly protested that such action on my part was not to be thought of; that 
he should be very sorry to have mo leave the college, and that he was sure all his 
colleagues agreed with him." 


The attorneys of the elder Willard filed a demurer to the indictment. 
Among other reasons mentioned in the demurer, it was claimed that 
the act under which the indictment was framed was in conflict with the 
constitution and laws of the United States, the Constitution of Illinois, 
and the ordinance of 1787, and therefore void. It was claimed further 
that by the law of the State, the negro was not a slave and therefore it 
was no violation of the criminal code to secret or harbor her. The court 
allowed the demurer except on one unessential point. 1 The State's At- 
torney did not prosecute the indictment in the case of the son. 2 A few 
years later, after he had graduated from college, young Willard was 
again indicted for secreting a slave. This time he pled guilty and the 
court entered a fine against him of one dollar and costs. 3 

It may he imagined that under these circumstances opposition to the 
college from the pro-slavery party did not decrease. Members 
of the faculty continued to suffer the criticisms that were the 
common lot of abolitionists or suspected abolitionists. Professor 
Sturtevant in a letter to a friend in 1844 laments the trou- 
bles of the faculty of the college. 4 "It was to the college," he 
writes, "a time of great and sore trial and especially to the faculty, ii 
is certain that from that time to the present the faculty have passed few 
days which have not been rendered more or less unquiet by the relations 
of the college to the slavery question; while at some times our anxiety 
has been extreme. I would not consent to suffer what I have suffered 
on that subject in the last seven years, and am still suffering, for any 
other consideration than the most imperious sense of duty. When and 
how the Lord is to send us deliverance I know not. I think it can never 
come until God shall have taken some good (?) men to Heaven or made 
them ashamed of their complaisance to such a monstrous system rs 
American slavery." The bitterness of the opposition to the college is 
further evident from a very threatening anonymous letter sent to Pro- 
fessor Turner from Louisville, Kentucky in 1842. 5 The letter came 
from a person who professed sympathy with the anti-slavery views of 
Mr. Turner. It warned him that an association of the slave holders in 
Missouri were conspiring to kidnap him and destroy the college. If 
kidnaping failed, the professor was comforted with the assurance that 
"a little poison, or a hemp cord on your necks, or a messenger of lead, 
or a bowie knife, would be certain in time." There may have been ab- 
solutely no ground for such a warning but the mere existence of the 
letter is an indication of the hostility towards the college. 

We must avoid over-estimating the anti-slavery influence of the col- 
lege. The pro-slavery element in Illinois and the South, always super- 
sensitive to criticism may have exaggerated the active opposition of the 
college faculty to the institution of slavery. Furthermore, with the 

1 Mss. Records of Circuit Court of Morgan County. Indictment. The People v. 
Julius A. Willard, filed March 17, 1843 ; Ibid., The People v. Samuel Willard, filed 
March 18. 1843. 

2 Mss. Records, Oct. 24, 1843. People v. Samuel Willard. "This day came the 
State's attorney and entered a nolli prosequi to the indictment in this cause." 

3 Ibid., May 29, 1845. 

4 Mss. Letter. J. M. Sturtevant to Thos. Lippincott, March 13, 1844. 

5 Mss. Letter to Prof. J. B. Turner, dated Louisville, Ky., Sept. 10, 1842. 


resignation of President Beecher and the accession of Professor Sturte- 
vant to the presidency, the college possibly became more conservative 
on the slavery issue. Some persons now alive who are familiar with 
the attitude of the public towards the college before and during the war, 
do not recall it as an '•'abolition institution."' 1 On the other hand, they 
may simply have been disappointed because the college did not maintain 
a more radical position on the slavery question. From the facts pre- 
sented it is clear that Illinois College was one of the potent anti-slavery 
forces in the State. In spite of severe criticism and the loss of patron- 
age, the college maintained its anti-slavery attitude. Through its faculty 
and the young men who had studied within its walls, like Herndon, 
Willard, Fagg, Yates, and a host of others, the college exerted an in- 
fluence that powerfully molded the public opinion of the State on the 
slavery issue. 

1 E. g., Mrs. W. C. Carter in a letter to the author, dated Jacksonville, January 
17, 1908, seems "greatly surprised to learn that Illinois College was ever at any 
time, anywhere, called an 'abolition college,' as Judge Fagg describes." 


By Eliot Callender. 

As an almost next door neighbor for thirty-five years, of Judge David 
McCulloch, and as a brother-officer for the same length of time, in tbe 
church of which he was such a leading and devoted member, I find it 
almost impossible to frame a memorial that will do justice, in the time 
assigned me, to this most distinguished and remarkable man. And so, 
for the sake of condensation, and to free this paper from possible charge 
of bias born of a generation's friendship and intimacy, I have not hesi- 
tated to draw freely from the proceedings of the United States and Peoria 
circuit courts, relative to Judge McCulloch's death. 


David McCulloch was born near Big Spring, Cumberland county, 
Pennsylvania, January 25, 1832; received his early education in one of 
the primitive log school-houses of that period; entered Marshall College, 
Mercerberg, Pennsylvania in 1848. 

In 1852", he opened a classical school in the basement of the old First 
Methodist Church at Peoria, Illinois. Two years later, he studied law 
in the office of Manning & Merriam, two of the most celebrated lawyers 
of the State. In the fall of 1855, he was elected school commissioner 
for Peoria county, a position he filled for two terms, six years. 

Admitted to the bar September 2, 1858; appointed prosecuting at- 
torney by the judge, to fill out Charles P. Taggart's term of office 1865 
and 1866. Elected circuit judge, and re-elected in 1879. Assigned to 
duty on the appellate bench, serving for six years. In 1880, elected 
President of the State Bar Association. In 1883, he was an unsuccess- 
ful candidate for Judge of the Supreme Court in opposition to Justice 
A. M. Craig. Eesumed the practice of law in 1895. In 1898 Judge 
McCulloch was appointed by Judge Grosscup of the United States Dis- 
trict Court, referee in bankruptcy for Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Mar- 
shall, Stark and Putnam counties. Reappointed in December, 1900 by 
Judge Kohlsaat, which position be held up to the time of his death. 

A memorial to Judge McCulloch must necessarily chronicle the fact 
that in his death there passed from the pale of human existence, a most 
unique and impressive character "Whether we consider his as a citizen, 
or as a judge, or as a lawyer, in his social life or religious life ; it can be 


truthfully said, his was a striking figure amongst those that were just 
and feared not, and all the ends they aimed at, were their country's, 
their God's and truth." Early in his youth he set his face towards 
righteousness, and ever afterward through a long life he hewed to that 
line, let the chips fall where they may. To those who really knew him, 
the thought that temptation of any kind or character or strength could 
make him falter or turn from the straight and narrow path, an iota, 
seemed simply impossible. Our nearest and best loved friends, those 
we admire, respect and love, frequently pain us by acts of weakness or 
•thoughtlessness — Judge McCulloch, never. He passed away at a ripe 
old age, without one blot on his escutcheon that his nearest friends were 
ever able to discover. A peer amongst the few that "face life manfully 
and live as best they can a life in harmony with God's wishes." He 
absolutely knew no such thing as compromise. He did not seek friends, 
nor did he avoid them. 

A close and hard student, an incessant worker, he seemed to have 
neither time nor disposition for social pleasures. Yet, no one ever ap- 
proached him for help or advice, that did not only receive it, but dis- 
covered that his apparently cold exterior but masked a kind and tender 
heart. At the memorial exercises in Peoria, one after another of 
the younger attorneys arose and gave testimony to the debt of gratitude 
they owed him for advice and counsel he gave them unrecompensed, when 
they were in difficulty with their cases. Often he would put in days of 
his valuable time, looking up law points for others, in which he was 
not interested a penny's worth; and when remonstrated with by those 
who had raised the question, he would reply, "But I want to know, my- 
self, what the law says on this point." 

He was as far removed as the east is from the west, from that class 
of attorneys that see nothing but the fees in the case. He seemed to care 
nothing for money, and died a comparatively poor man, when his talents 
and experience would have yielded large returns if he had not been so 
utterly devoid of the spirit of commercialism that controls at the present 
time. What was right as the law defined it, not how much money there 
was in it, ruled this great jurist all his life. He scorned to mislead a 
jury, and had no consideration or patience for a Pettifogger. The law 
and the Gospel settled everything with him. If his opinion conflicted 
with the law, it was no longer his opinion ; he must be wrong. With the 
unadulterated Calvinism born in him, no rule of faith or practice was too 
trying to be accepted by him, if he was satisfied that a "Thus saith the 
Lord" was behind it. 

He early found himself out of touch with the rising generation, both 
at the bar and in the church ; but while his warm personal friends might 
have been few, he had the universal respect of all. Consistency even with 
those with whom we differ, challenges our respect. Judge McCulloch's 
life, like the magnetic needle, pointed but one undeviating way, and 
hypocracy, vacillation and uncertainty w T ere unknown to him. Like 
Enoch of old, he walked with God and feared not. 

It has been well stated, that while Judge McCulloch was upon the 
appellate bench of the third district, no court in the State of Illinois 

ever commanded higher respect for its decisions than that court with 
Judges McCulloch, Davis and Higbee of the bench. They were, per- 
haps, three of the most independent judges that ever sat on any bench — 
utterly and absolutely fearless every one of them, of consequences. Not 
one of those- three judges ever held out his finger when cases were pre- 
sented before him either upon the circuit court bench or upon the appel- 
late court bench, to take the pulse of the public to see whether a de- 
cision would be popular or otherwise. It was "Thus saith the law" and 
that was enough for them. 

Judge McCulloclrs life was one of incessant activity, I never knew, 
so busy a man, and at the same time one who had so much time to 
devote to any matter that came up that was of interest to him. He was 
at work always. As Hon. Geo. T. Page in the memorial meeting of the 
Peoria County Bar states: "The lines and work of his life did not 
end in the practice of the law, but like some great river that runs on to 
the sea watering on its way, the flocks and the fields — quietly and un- 
ostentatiously, Judge McCulloch went about this life touching, in an 
undercurrent if you please, the lives of many men and the lives of many 
institutions. He was, as stated by Dr. A. M. Little who preached his 
funeral sermon, "deeply interested in many things which many of us 
know nothing about, but which lifted up and strengthened the lives of 
many men in different walks of life." 

The temperance cause, early and late, in this State had a defender 
in him without fear and without reproach. , His love for research soon 
allied him with the Illinois State Historical Society. He was a con- 
tributor to General Palmer's ''Bench and Bar of Illinois." His history 
extending over fifty years of the Second Presbyterian Church of Peoria, 
its members and its work, was the labor of years of painstaking research. 
His history of Peoria county is a monument that will perpetuate his 
memory as long as time shall last. 

But this long and busy life ended, and who shall come up to fill its 
place ? Our loss, as we reflect on all he was and all he did, seems irre- 

As Judge Slemmons, in the proceedings in the United States Circuit 
Court says : "The weight of advancing years, makes many men sluggish, 
and creates an aversion to study and investigation — a tendency to rely on 
knowledge previously acquired, rather than labor necessary to keep 
abreast of the latest and best thought. Not so with Judge McCulloch. 
He was as careful and methodical in his research in later years, as when 
he was in the vigor of his earlier manhood. He was a man of diversified 
talents, a learned and upright judge, an historian of unusual ability and 
an authority on church and ecclesiastical history and procedure. 

"He was called home in the bright sunshine of the morning, before 
the sun had reached its meridian glory, talking cheerfully of the future 
and his plans to resume the activities of life. Yet he was, and always 
was, prepared for the summons — however suddenly it might come. 


"It may be forgotten in the future that Judge McCulloch ever held 
a judicial position or other places of honor and trust, but it can never 
be forgotten by anyone who ever knew him, that he died without a blot 
on his character/ 

How beautiful it is for a man to die 

Upon the walls of Zion; to be called 

Like a watchworn and weary sentinel 

To put his armor off and rest in Heaven. 
It seems to me appropriate to add to this memorial, the touching 
tribute of the Peoria County Bar penned by the Hon. John S. Stevens. 

Memorial by the Bar to Judge David McCulloch. 

Death has again invaded our ranks and removed from our midst Judge 
David McCulloch, the oldest member of our bar. It came to him in 
the full possession of the strength of his stalwart manhood, and in the 
possession of undimmed, unimpaired mental powers, all of which he 
was over-using in the practice of his chosen profession. 

Tor more than forty-five years Judge McCulloch devoted himself to 
the study and practice of law in this community, and to judicial duties 
upon the bench, which be ornamented and honored. He belonged to 
that class of lawyers who "loved justice and loved the law as the means 
by which justice is done/' He cared very little for the commercial as- 
pects of his profession, but had a profound respect for the law, and 
an earnest honest desire to see it administered in all its purity and 
effectiveness in the interest of justice. He was an ardent, diligent stu- 
dent, and an indefatigable worker, often finding his only compensation 
in the satisfaction resulting from his increased knowledge of law, and its 
enforcement in the interests of humanity. 

In his profession be was a man of the highest probity, never stooping 
to or countenancing any of the so-called tricks of the profession, seek- 
ing to win only in the open, fair and righteous administration of law. 
He was above, and abhorred trickery in every form. His sensitiveness 
in this direction often made him seem intolerant of and impatient 
with the conduct of some of his professional brethren. But he was 
never actuated by personal malice, or by jealousy of any of his associ- 
ates. He was intolerant of success won in any other way than by the 
administration of the law, righteously and justly, in vindicating the 
right and punishing the wrong. 

As a judge, both upon the Nisi Prius and Appellate Benches, he won 
the esteem, confidence and love of the local bar, and of the entire bar of 
the State, with which, as judge, he was brought in contact. 

A few years ago he was touched by an unutterable sorrow in the loss 
of his beloved wife and his only daughter — a sorrow to be borne quietly 
and silently only by one possessed of his abiding and unalterable faith 
in the religion which he had professed and embodied in his life and acts 
during all the years. Sustained by that faith in a reunion, and made 
more humane and tolerant by the things he suffered, he turned his face 
to the front, and resolutely and uncomplainingly devoted all his ener- 


gies to the practice of his profession, an,d so continued until death came 
to him suddenly and painlessly, opening to him the reunion to which 
he constantly looked and for which he hoped. 

Our bar has lost a profound, upright, honest and honorable lawyer; 
the city a man in every sense of the word — one who always stood for what 
was best in its social, civic and political life; the church of his choice 
a faithful, devoted Christian, whose faith in its teachings was always 
unwavering, and who adorned in his consistent life its belief and its 

We, the surviving members of the bar, here now place of record this 
sincere testimonial to the life, character and work of our 


By James Affleck. 

William Kinney was born near Louisville, Kentucky, in 1781, and 
came to Illinois with his father and mother in 1793, the family settling 
at New Design, in Monroe county. He was the eldest himself. Mrs. 
James Marney, Mrs. Postlewait, and Mrs. Joseph Lemen were three of 
his sisters. Mrs. Lemen, much to the credit of her husband, was sent to 
school after she was married, and learned to read and write, and be- 
came an intelligent woman; and died the mother of a large and re- 
spectable family. William Kinney was a gay, wild boy, with good 
natural abilities but illiterate, and with his brothers and sisters, all grew 
up to maturity without any schooling whatever; for the principal reason, 
perhaps, that' there were no schools for them to attend. Mr. Kinney 
was married at the age of nineteen. After this event he discovered the 
need of some education, having sobered down and gone to work for a 
living. His wife, with some assistance from John Messenger, taught 
him to read, write and cipher as far as the "rule of three," and from that 
.beginning he became very intelligent and one of the most influential 
characters of the day. 

In 1803 he selected a beautiful site for a home, four miles northeast 
of Belleville, on the road to Lebanon, and to the eighty acres of land 
he first entered there, he gradually added more until his home farm 
comprised six hundred and forty acres. Gov. Reynolds says, in his 
"Pioneer history of Illinois," "in 1809, Mr. VonPhul (a merchant of 
St. Louis) persuaded Kinney to take some few articles of merchandise 
and sell them ; if he could not sell them he might return them to VonPhul 
again. After some hesitation, he took the goods. They consisted of a 
few bolts of domestic manufactured cotton cloth, and Kinney packed 
them before him on his horse from St. Louis to his farm." From this 
modest commencement, his mercantile business grew to large propor- 
tions. He built a storeroom on his place and stocked it with a large as- 
sortment of such goods as were then mostly in demand. He traded in 
everything that had any value in it, and always at a profit. He lived 
well and his hospitality was known far and near ; and lie kept an ample 
supply of liquor on his sideboard, his house was well patronized and often 
crowded with social friends. About the time he commenced merchan- 
dising he experienced a change of heart and joined the Baptist church ; 

—14 H S 


and soon thereafter became a Baptist preacher. He was a very effective 
speaker and had a good deal of strong natural uncultured eloquence. 
As he grew in prosperity and popularity, his zeal for the church sub- 
sided and was replaced by a mania for official position. He went into 
politics with all the zest of his ardent nature ; and was elected senator 
to represent St. Clair county in the first General Assembly in 1818. 
James Lemen, Jr. succeeded him in the second General Assembly; and 
he was again elected to the Senate in 1822 to represent St. Clair county 
in the third General Assembly, and James Lemen again succeeded him 
in the fourth, in 1824. In 1826, Mr. Kinney was elected Lieutenant 
Governor at the same time that Ninian Edwards was elected (the third) 
Governor of Illinois. Mr. Kinney's success in politics proved ultimately 
his greatest misfortune, as it inflamed his aspirations and at the same 
time caused him to contract habits of dissipation that undermined his 
energies, impaired his intellect and finally wrought his social and finan- 
cial ruin. In politics he was ultra pro-slavery in sentiment and a local 
leader of the party then styling itself Democratic-Republican, the pro- 
genitor of the Jackson Democracy of later years. In 1830 Mr. Kinney 
was a candidate for Governor in opposition to John Eaynolds, and was 
defeated. In 183-1 he was again a candidate for Governor against Gen- 
eral Joseph Duncan and suffered a far worse defeat than in 1830. 

But for his exuberant convivial disposition and consequent unfortunate 
habits, Mr. Kinney would probably have been the wealthiest citizen 
of St. Clair county and one of its most, popular men. He was a slave- 
holder and extensive farmer, and shipped (by wagons) large amounts of 
produce to Cahokia and St. Louis. His domestic relations were all that 
one in his social position could desire. He had an amiable and intelli- 
gent wife and six children; three sons and three daughters. His eldest 
son, Samuel Kinney graduated from West Point, having chosen the 
military profession; but shortly afterwards died of consumption. His 
second son, George D., a bright and promising young man, died a short 
time after the close of the Black Hawk war, in which he served as a 
member of Capt. Adam W. Snyder's company. His third son, William 
C. Kinney, studied law, and practiced that profession in Belleville until 
his death. He, at one time, represented his native county in the Legis- 
lature. His wife was the daughter of Hon. Elias K. Kane who died 
while representing Illinois in the United States Senate. Col. Kinney's 
eldest daughter was the wife of Col. John Thomas one of St. Clair 
county's wealthiest men, a thorough business man and active politician, 
having represented St. Clair county repeatedly in both branches of the 
Legislature. Gov. Kinney's second daughter married John Adams, a 
neighbor farmer; and after his death she married his brother, Parker 
Adams. The youngest daughter married Mr. George A. Bradford a 
merchant of Belleville, and died but two years ago, the last survivor of 
Gov. Kinney's family. 

Another great misfortune that befell Gov. Kinney was' his election by 
the Legislature, in 1836-7 as a member of the Board of Public Works ; 
and by the board on its organization to its presidency. The habits lie 


had contracted totally unfitted him for the grave responsibilities of that 
important position, ^nd he became the easy prey and dupe of shrewd, 
designing scoundrels. During his incumbency in this office, several 
millions of dollars were expended in public works — particularly the Cen- 
tral Eailroad, as then known, which were all abandoned, almost bank- 
rupting the State, and casting all over it a general financial blight. 
While president of the Board of Public Works, Mr. Kinney was instru- 
mental in bringing Lyman Trumbull to Illinois from Connecticut and 
installing him in a subordinate position in the office of the board. In 
the liquidation and settlement of the board, after the crash and collapse 
Gov. Kinney was sued by the State for funds that he could not account 
for satisfactorily. This litigation was continued until after his death, 
and even after the death of his son, William C. Kinney, the executor 
of his estate, resulting in its total bankruptcy, without reimbursing any 
of the State's losses. With age, Gov. Kinney's habits of dissipation be- 
came more and more confirmed. He was wanting in moral courage to 
overcome his disappointments and reverses. Death kindly relieved him 
of his unhappy conditions, at his home, in St. Clair county, on the first 
day of October, 1843. 

January 1, 1900, Belleville, 111. 


Contributions to State History. 




James Harvey Ralston. 

By Dr. J. F. Snyder. 

Early in the eighteenth century the Ralston and Neely families emi- 
grated to the United States from Londonderry, one of the nine counties 
constituting the province of Ulster, in the northern part of Ireland. 
They stopped temporarily in the state of New York; then moving to 
the western wilderness settled permanently in the region now known as 
Bourbon county in Kentucky. They were the progeny of intermingled 
Scotch and Irish — the Ealstons tracing their descent, according to their 
family records, "from Ealph, son of MacDuff who slew Macbeth and re- 
stored the rightful monarch to the throne of Scotland,"' while the Neely'-s 
"sprung from the Clan MacNeil, known in Scottish history and romance 
as the 'Lords of the Isles,' the histories of these families filling a large 
space in the annals of Scotland. Many marriages have occurred between 
them in succeeding generations, and their kinship and clanship are 
marked by strong physical resemblances, and similar trails of character." 
Among the products of the American interblending of those families 
in our recent history were Gen. John J. Neely, Judge James H. Ralston. 
J. Neely Johnson who was elected Governor of California in 1854, and 
others who served their country with distinction both in civil and 
military life. 

One of the several intermarriages mentioned of members of those 
noted families was that of John Ralston, a young Kentucky farmer and 
Miss Elizabeth Neely, who were united in Wedlock, in Bourbon county, 
near the close of the eighteenth century. Though environed from their 
birth by the institution of slavery, young Ealston- and wife were not of 
the patrician class, or included in the blue-grass aristocracy, as they 
owned no slaves, or possessed, besides their farm, little more than sound 
health, industry, and contentment. From their prolific union were born, 
as the years went by, fourteen children — four sons and ten daughters — 
an exuberant fulfillment of their sole mission of life. To rear and 
properly train that swarm severely taxed the resources of the parents; 
but the youngsters, as they grew up, scattered away to search out for 
themselves their destined spheres in the world wherein to achieve their 


individual fortunes. Occupying no higher station himself than that of 
an ordinary farmer, John Ralston seems to have been ambitious that 
his sons should rise to a higher intellectual level than mere tillers of the 
soil. Or, it may be that he perceived in them indications of superior 
talents that he considered it his duty to develop at the cost of any reason- 
able sacrifice to himself it might involve. Possibly, and very probably, 
he may have been influenced in so doing by the boys giving free expres- 
sion to their aspirations to higher mental culture, and more refined 
vocations than his. At any rate, after duly discussing the matter with 
his wife, he determined to give his son, Thomas Keely Ealston, a thor- 
ough education which would prepare him for the ministry. In that 
course he was doubtless guided by the boy's natural predilection for the 
church, inherited from some far-back Scotch Presbyterian ancestor. In 
his limited financial circumstances, with a rapidly increasing family, 
principally of girls, to give the boy a collegiate education was really 
a grave undertaking for John Ealston. However, by diligent labor, 
economy and frugality, he accomplished it. Thomas graduated at Tran- 
sylvania, was ordained, attained the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and 
for many years was a famous pulpit orator and divine of Lexington, 
Kentucky. Another son, Joseph Keely Ealston, born January 25th, 
1801, .was also educated at Transylvania University, choosing for his 
calling in life the profession of medicine. He left Kentucky in 1832 
and located in Quincy, Illinois, where he continued the practice of medi- 
cine until his death, in June, 1876. Of Dr. Ealston, Hon. Wm. A. 
Eichardson says, "He was one of my patron saints, a fine gentleman and 
noble man, respected and loved by every one." He is thus mentioned in 
the History of Adams County, Illinois, published in 1876, "Of his emi- 
nence in the profession it is sufficient to say that for more than forty 
years he held a leading position among the physicians of Quincy and 
Adams county. He was one of the founders, and the first president of 
the Adams County Medical Society, and was at several subsequent periods 
re-elected to that position. Weighed down through his long life with the 
cares and anxieties of the most exacting of professions he never forgot 
the duties of a citizen, maintaining to the last his interest in public af- 
fairs. Identified with every movement promising to promote the public 
welfare, he was keenly alive to the educational interests of his adopted 
"home, enjoying a leading social position, and maintaining always a large 
practice. He was rather tall and spare in figure, dignified in carriage, 
courteous almost to punctiliousness in manner, clean and precise in 
speech, self-poised, quick in his perceptions, steadfast in his convictions, 
sagacious in counsel — the sturdy virtues which commanded for him uni- 
versal respect and confidence." 

William H. Ealston, a third, and younger son of John and Elizabeth 
(Ncely) Ealston, was a lawyer, who also resided for awhile in Quincy, 
then moved to Leavenworth, in Kansas, where he became quite eminent 
in his profession, and was a very prominent citizen. 

James Harvey Ealston, the subject of this sketch, was born in Bour- 
bon county, Kentucky, on the 12th of October. 1807. His boyhood 

years were passed on his father's farm, not in luxury and idleness; but, 
early initiated in the arts and toil of agriculture, he grew up to man- 
hood as an ordinary farm laborer, industrious, energetic and self-reliant. 
A prominent trait of his youth was pride of character, inciting a desire 
to learn, in order to improve his mental and social condition. But he 
could only occasionally be spared from his post on the farm for a few 
weeks in the winter time to attend the country schools in his neighbor- 
hood, where little more than the simplest rudimentary branches were 
taught. What he acquired there increased his yearning for more learn- 
ing; but he understood his father's situation well enough to know that 
the paternal resources would be totally exhausted by the heavy expenses 
incurred in educating his brothers, Thomas and Joseph, so that no as- 
sistance for himself could be expected from that quarter, or cessation of 
his farm work be permitted, to advance his own schooling. Driven, 
therefore, to depend upon his own efforts, he resolutely applied himself 
to study at home, taking advantage of every spare moment — by fire-light 
at early dawn, and aid of the grease lamp, or tallow dip, at night when 
the day's drudgery was ended — to enlarge his store of knowledge from 
the few books within his reach. With such restricted opportunities, and 
no systematic instruction, his education was necessarily very defective. 
That drawback, -however, occasioned no depression of his ambition, or 
of faith in his own abilities. Having one brother in the ministry and 
another in the medical profession, neither of whom, in his estimation, 
was his superior, notwithstanding their higher education, and unwilling 
that he should in any way cast discredit upon the family, he aspired to 
rank with them in literary and social position. Thereupon, without the 
essential foundation of scholastic training he embarked in the study of 

Arriving at the age of legal emancipation from servitude to his father, 
he left Kentucky in the fall of 1828, and made his way to Quincy, Illi- 
nois to begin there the shaping and upbuilding of his own career. One 
of his sisters, married to a Kentuckian named Stamper, who had pre- 
ceded him to Quincy, was probably the influence that induced him to 
settle in that frontier village. History is silent regarding the occupation 
he engaged in for the first two years after getting there — if in any ; but 
that during that time he steadfastly kept his high aims in view, and per- 
sistently continued his legal studies there, must be inferred from the 
following record in Vol. B. of- the Law, Chancery and People's Eecorcls in 
the circuit clerk's office of Adams county, Illinois ; "At a circuit court 
begun and held at the court house in Quincy for the county of Adams and 
State of Illinois on Thursday, the twenty-first day of October in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and thirty. Present, the 
Hon. Eichard M. Young, judge of the fifth judicial circuit of the State 
of Illinois. • On motion of George Logan, Esq., an attorney of this court, 
James H. Balston, Esq., appeared and was sworn as an attorney and 
counsellor at law, he having presented a license according to law, signed 
by two of the judges of the Supreme Court." 


A short time before his admission to the bar, Mr. Ealston was elected 
a justice of the peace in and for the county of Adams, and served in 
that capacity for three or four years, or until he became well established 
as a lawyer in the higher courts. Responding, in the spring of 1832, to 
the call of Gov. Eeynolds for a force of armed men to repel the hostile 
incursion of Black Hawk and his band, Mr. Ealston at once volunteered 
and was enrolled, along with Orville H. Browning, a brother attorney 
of Quincy, as a private in Captain Wm. G. Flood's company of mounted 
riflemen, which subsequently was incorporated in the second brigade com- 
manded by Brigadier General Sam. Whiteside. On the company's roster 
he is reported, "Absent on duty," and was honorably mustered out of 
service, at the mouth of Fox river, on the 28th of May, 1832. His career 
as an Indian fighter was brief and not very eventful, but from* another 
record at Quincy it is learned that a few months later he again enlisted, 
in a more peaceful cause and for a longer period of service. That record 
states that on the 11th day of October, 1832, James H. Ealston was 
united in marriage with Miss Jane Alexander, daughter of Col. Sam. 
Alexander, a well known substantial citizen of Adams county. She 
was born on the 6th day of October, 1811, and was at the time of her 
marriage, a sprightly, intelligent, and very attractive girl. Before the 
approaching winter had set in, Attorney Ealston and bride were settled 
down to housekeeping on their own account in a modest home near the 
northeast corner of Eighth and Hampshire streets, in Quincy, where the 
residence of Mr. Nehemiah Bushnell now stands, adjacent to the post 
office. They were, for the following fourteen years among the most con- 
spicuous and highly esteemed members of Quincy's best society, taking 
a leading part in all social gaieties and entertainments, as well as in 
every public movement for the improvement of the town and welfare of 
its citizens. 

Esq. Ealston began the practice of law in the courts presided over by 
Judge Richard M. Young, whose circuit originally embraced all the ter- 
ritory between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers from the mouth of the 
latter to Lake Michigan. Of that bar he was for many years, excepting 
when in public office, one of its busiest and most successful practitioners. 
For some time he was in partnership with Almeron Wheat, and later 
with Joseph Warren, Quincy lawyers of marked ability. In the terrible 
epidemic of Asiatic cholera brought west by General Winfield Scott's 
troops about the close of the Black Hawk war. which visited Quincy as 
it spread swiftly down the Mississippi the next year (1833) with ap- 
palling fatality, about its first victim in that village was Mrs. Sarah 
Stamper, sister of Dr. Joseph and J. H. Ealston. 

In August. 1836, James H. Ealston and George Galbraith were elected 
to represent Adams county in the lower house of the tenth General As- 
sembly — that historic legislature made famous by its enactment of the 
wild system of internal improvements that proved such a disastrous 
failure. Mr. Galbraith died during the first session, (which convened 
at Vandalia on December 5, L836, and adjourned March (i. 183; >. and 
his vacancy was supplied by election of Archibald Williams at a special 


election in the spring. That legislature is also famous for the number 
of its talented members who later achieved high distinction in the public 
affairs of Illinois and of the nation. In the senate were Orville H. 
Browning, Cyrus Edwards, Wm. J. Gatewood, Archer G. Herndon, Henry 
I. Mills, William Thomas, John D. Whiteside and John D. Wood. 
With Mr. Ealston in the house were James Semple, James Shields. 
Robert Smith, Edward D. Baker, Milton Carpenter, Xewton Cloud, 
Richard M. Cullom, John Dougherty, Stephen A. Douglas, Jesse K. 
Dubois, Ninian W. Edwards, Abraham Lincoln, Augustus C. French, 
Wm. L. D. Ewing, Wm. A. Richardson, John A. McClernand, Usher F. 
Binder and John Moore; names interwoven everlastingly in the fabric 
of our State and national history, an aggregation of intellectual strength 
seldom, if ever, equalled and never surpassed, in any other legislative as- 
sembly of Illinois. And yet, the State, with all its immense resources, 
was forty years in recovering from results of the stupendous folly of their 
legislation in that one session. 

Mr. Ralston, of course, voted for the internal improvement measures. 
He would have been ostracized by his party and by the community he 
represented had he opposed them. As was the result with all his em- 
inent associates in that legislature who voted, as he did, for the crazy 
scheme, its total and disastrous failure subjected him to no public cen- 
sure or loss of popularity. On the 14th of December, 1836, the tenth 
General Assembly in joint session elected Hon. Richard M. Young U. 
S. Senator for the full term of six years to succeed Hon. W. L. D. Ewing 
who was elected by the preceding legislature -for the unexpired term of 
Hon. Elias K. Kane deceased. Up to the time of his promotion to the 
national senate Judge Young had presided over the old fifth, or Quincy, 
judicial circuit since his election to that position in 1828. His resigna- 
tion immediately after the senatorial election left the Judgeship vacant, 
which the Legislature proceeded to supply, by ballot, in joint session on 
the 14th of January, 1837, with the following result: Sixty-three bal- 
lots were cast for James H. Ralston, forty-two for Wm. A. Minshall, and 
nineteen for George P. W. Maxwell. The commission for Judge Ral- 
ston's new office, the duties of which he at once entered upon, was dated 
February 4, 1837. If he resigned his seat in the legislature when ele- 
vated to the circuit bench no record of that fact can be found ; no one was 
elected to succeed him in that General Assembly, and his name does not 
appear in the house journal of its second session, held for the purpose of 
legalizing suspension by the banks of specie payments, which met at 
Yandalia on the 10th and adjourned on the 22d of July, 1837. 

Judge Ralston was but twenty-nine years and three months old when 
elected to the Judgeship — a young man of striking personality, six feet 
tall, straight and well-formed, with auburn hair, blue eves and faultless 
features. Polite and agreeable in address, he was as courtly and digni- 
fied in bearing and manners as the Virginia gentleman of colonial days. 
In disposition he was sociable, kind and generous, though impulsive. 
spirited and ambitious. Strictly honest in personal affairs and the dis- 
charge of public duties, actuated in every relation of life by a high sense 


of honor, he was an eminently respectable citizen, moral, sober, and of 
unblemished character. In some instances, no doubt, his judgment was 
at fault, but in the main his motives were pure, and he perhaps never 
wilfully violated his conceptions of right and justice. He was a plaus- 
ible, showy, man in public, entertaining in conversation, and a fluent, 
impressive speaker, though not invariably grammatical in his language, 
or exactly correct in his logic or rhetoric. As before stated, his early 
education was only rudimentary, and tho greatly improved in after years 
by promiscuous reading and desultory study, he probably never was a 
student of close, systematic application, consequently his learning in 
some directions had advanced little beyond general principles and com- 
mon-sense deductions. A prominent characteristic of Judge Ealston is 
said to have been his firmness and determination of purpose ; yet, he was 
weak in resisting flattery and blandishments ; and was easily influenced 
by those in whom he had implicit confidence. 

He was a member of the Masonic Order, but not attached to any 
church, having very liberal views on the subject of man's so-called spiri- 
tual nature and future responsibilities. He was fond of music, of gay, 
lively society, and had quite a taste for literature; poetry particularly, 
which he often quoted. One of his favorite quotations, consonant with 
his own sentiments, from the tragedy entitled "Pizarro," was this : 

'"Should the scales of justice poise doubtfully, let mercy touch the 
beam and turn the balance to the gentler side." 

As all contemporaries of Judge Ealston of that period have long since 
gone to their final rest, the only means accessible for forming an estimate 
of his ability as a jurist are the records of his court. The unavoidable 
inference to be drawn from them, notwithstanding the scurrilous criti- 
cism of Gov. Ford, 1 is that he acquitted himself as a judge with credit 
and honor. During the two and a half years he presided over the Quincy 
circuit very few of his decisions were taken to the Supreme Court om 
error or appeal and of those few, only two were reversed. 2 He may in 
some instances have erred too inflexible adherence to forms and techni- 
calities ; but certainly nothing can now be found in the history of the old 
fifth judicial circuit to sustain the malignant strictures of Gov. Ford. 
The annual salary of circuit judges at that time was seven hundred dol- 
lars, a sum less than the wages received by some of the skilled mechanics. 
Dissatisfied with that meagre pay, and assuming that he could earn a 
larger revenue by the practice of his profession, Judge Ealston resigned 
his position on the bench, on the 31st of August, 1839, and resumed his 
place at the bar. 

Gov. Ford's vilification of Judge Ealston evidently did not express the 
estimate placed upon him, at the time, by the people of Adams county. 
His judicial services, instead of disparaging him in public opinion, seem 
to have increased his popularity in that community. In 183S a majority 
of Whigs were elected in both branches of the Illinois Legislature, and 
that party came nearer electing its State ticket than it ever did before 
or afterwards. Thomas Carlin. the candidate of the Democrats for Gov- 


ernor, being elected over Cyrus Edwards the Whig, by the majority of 
only 996. Two years later, in 1840, the Whigs made stupendous efforts 
to retain their ascendency gained in 1838, and also to carry the State 
for their national ticket, Harrison and Tyler. The Democrats were as 
equally determined to regain their lost supremacy in the Legislature and 
to secure the electoral vote of the State for their presidential candidate, 
YanBuren. In order to sway the people in their favor both parties pre- 
sented their strongest and most available men for local candidates in each 
of the several counties. In Adams county the Whigs brought out Archi- 
bald Williams to head their county ticket as their candidate for State 
Senator. He was an able man, well known all over the Military Tract; 
was a volunteer in the Black Hawk war, stood high in the esteem and 
confidence of the people of Adams county whom he had served well as 
Senator in the eighth and ninth General Assemblies and as a member of 
the House in the tenth General Assembly in which he received a respec- 
table vote for U. S. Senator, but was defeated by Hon. Richard M. 

After mature deliberation the Democrats of Adams county selected 
Judge Ralston to oppose him. The political campaign of 1840 far sur- 
passed any in the previous history of the State for strenuous exertions 
and excitement, for expensive and spectacular displays, and impassioned 
oratory, particularly by the Whigs. In Adams county the fury of the 
contest centered in the race for -State Senator. In their eagerness to 
elect Williams the Whigs exceeded all bounds of legitimate party con- 
tention, carrying their opposition to Judge Ralston to the extreme of 
personal enmity. He was invulnerable however, to all their attacks, and 
at the election, on Aug. 3, 1840, was elected, receiving 1,546 votes to 
1,447 cast for Williams, a clear majority of 99. At the November elec- 
tion of that year he was also elected presidential Elector for that district. 

The first, or called, session of the twelfth General Assembly convened 
at Springfield on the 23d of November, and adjourned December 5th. 
The second, or regular sessiori commenced on the following Monday. 
December 7th, and adjourned March 1, 1841. Judge Ralston was there 
again in company with many of the leading politicians and statesmen 
of the State, some of whom, as himself, had been promoted since their 
service in the House, four years before, to seats in the upper chamber. 
With him .in the Senate were Edward D. Baker, Richard M. Cullom, 
Wm. J. Gatewood, John Moore, Archer G. Herndon, Wm. A. Richard- 
son, Adam W. Snyder and John D. Wood. Among the great commoners 
in the House were Wm. H. Bissell, John J. Hardin, John Dougherty, 
Cyrus Edwards, Joseph Gillespie, W. L. D. Ewing, Wickliffe Kitchell, 
Abraham Lincoln. John A. McClernand, Lewis W. Ross, Lyman Trum- 
bull and David M. Woodson. There was in each branch of the Legisla- 
ture a decided majority of Democrats. The Governor, Thomas Carlin, 
and Lieutenant Governor, Stinson H. Anderson, were Democrats, and of 
that party General W. L. D. Ewing w r as elected Speaker of the House 
defeating Abraham Lincoln the Whig candidate. Three of the justices 
of the Supreme Court, however, were Whigs, and but one a Democrat. 


In the seventy working days of that regular session of the twelfth 
General Assembly a surprising amount of legislation was enacted, 
which comprised some measures of weighty importance to the public, 
and others of questionable policy. Political parties at that time were 
divided chiefly upon the bank question. As a part of the great internal 
improvement scheme of 183(3 the State was made a stock holder in the 
State bank to the amount of $3,100,000. 1 The banks were prohibited 
by law from issuing notes of less denomination than live dollars; and 
the law of 1838 provided that any bank having suspended specie pay- 
ments, and failed to resume such payments before adjournment of the 
next session of the Legislature thereafter, would forfeit its charter and 
close its doors unless that session of the Legislature sanctioned the sus- 
pension and permitted it to continue. All the banks had suspended 
specie payments, and had not resume the paving of specie when the 
twelfth Legislature came together. The Democrats, supreme in that 
body, were divided on the State banking system. The radicals among 
them favored enforcing tin.- forfeiture penalty and closing up the banks 
at once; but the other faction, known by the radicals as the "week-kneed'* 
voted with the Whigs 7 not only to legalize suspension of the banks, but 
to permit them to issue bills of less denomination than five dollars. Judge 
Ealston was one of the "week-kiieed" and in that matter voted with the 

Though really hostile to the banks, and loyal to all the main princi- 
ples of the party. Judge Ealston and the other "bolting" Democrats very 
plausibly justified their course by the reason that the woeful depression 
of business, extreme scarcity of money, and unprecedented hard times 
generally, rendered the leniency they extended to the banks absolutely 
necessary for relief of the commercial interests of the country, and for 
averting further hardships to the people. And the end, in that emerg- 
ency, certainly did justify the means. 

Party lines were not observed in much that was accomplished by the 
Legislature at that session. The member of both parties voted together 
in desperate attempts to provide ways and means for paying the semi- 
annual interest on the enormous State debt, and for trying to devise 
plans to extricate the State from its crushing embarrassments. They 
were also united, actively or passively, in granting the infamous Mormon 
charters, neither party daring, by its opposition, to offend that new 
powerful voting element. 2 The crucial test of party fealty, however, was 
presented in support of the bill concocted by Democratic leaders for 
"Reorganizing the judiciary,''* an audacious scheme for converting the 
Supreme Court from a Whig to a Democratic tribunal by an addition to 
it of five Democratic justices, and legislating the circuit judges out of 
office, which was passed by a constitutional majority of both houses, and 
passed again over the Council of Revision's veto. There is no better 
proof of Judge Ralston's fidelity to his party than the fact that he voted 

llinois History. 1906. Pp. 406-408 et 


. with it throughout for that high-handed revolutionary measure. He was 
an active, vigilant and influential senator, a member of the judiciary 
committee and chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts and 
Expenditures, on all occasions watchful of his constituents interests as 
well as those of the public. 

At that time the State was apportioned into three Congressional dis- 
tricts, the first comprising the western half, and the second the eastern 
half, of southern Illinois, the third embracing the balance of the State 
north of Greene county, from the Mississippi to the Wabash. In the 
third district the numerical strength of the parties was very nearly equal, 
Major John T. Stuart, the Whig candidate, having defeated Stephen A. 
Douglas for Congress at the August, 1838, election by only thirty-five' 
majority, receiving 18,248 votes to 18,213 for Douglas. The act of 
February 15, 1839, changed the date of the next Congressional election 
from its regular biennial time in 1840 to August 2, 1841, and biennially 
thereafter. It was known that Major Stuart would be a candidate for 
re-election. Douglas could not again be his competitor, having been 
elevated by the "Eeorganization of the judiciary" to the Supreme Court 
bench. Upon consultation, the Democrats choose Judge Kalston for their 
candidate to oppose Stuart. He made the race, and was defeated by the 
surprising plurality of 2,164, with 19,562 votes for him in the district, 
21,726 for Stuart, 507 for Frederick Collins (Abolitionist), and twenty- 
six scattering. 

Governor Ford attributes that overwhelming defeat of Ealston to his 
course in ignoring the Democratic policy regarding banks, and voting in 
the Senate with the Whigs to legalize the bank suspensions. 1 That ex- 
planation is in part correct, but only in part. Opposition to banks was 
a Democratic article of faith, fixed and sacred as the dogma of a high 
protective tariff is with the ^Republican party of today. But there was 
another, and far more potent, factor responsible for the failure of Eal- 
ston's election, overlooked, or purposely ignored by Governor Ford. That 
was the votes of the Mormons given as a unit for the Whig ticket. In 
the three years, from 1838, when a total of 36,461 votes were polled in 
the district, to 1841, when the number of votes was 41,821, an increase 
of 5,360 — there had been an astonishing influx of Mormons into Hancock 
and adjoning counties of the district. They had been driven out of Mis- 
souri by the Democrats in power, and on coming to Illinois voted solidly 
for the Whigs in retaliation. All white males among them, over the 
age of 21, voted (constitutionally) after a residence here of six months. 
and many voted in less than six weeks after their arrival, as none were 
challenged, and all voted for Major Stuart. Hence Judge Ealstou';- 

At the general election in August, 1842, the Democrats, aided by the 
Mormons who then had turned against the Whigs, swept the State, elect- 
ing the Governor, Thomas Ford, with a plurality of 8,317, the entire 
State ticket, and a large majority in both houses of the Legislature. 
In the thirteenth General Assembly, that met at Springfield on December 

l Ford's History of Illinois, p. 30o 


6th, Judge Ralston, not having resigned to run Congress, was, with E. 
D. Baker, Richard M. Cullom and others, one of hold-over senators in- 
dustriously attentive to his duties, as before. The earnest work of that 
session, proving of inestimable value to the people, marked the begin- 
ning of a new era for Illinois. 

The law-makers had recovered from their lunacy of 1836, and returned 
to methods of sanity and sound common sense. Getting together, re- 
gardless of party differences, they passed a bank adjustment bill, a bill 
for completion of the canal, one for securing the State's portion of pro- 
ceeds of public lands sales, another for redemption of outstanding Macal- 
lister and Stebbins bonds; they appointed the Governor the State Fund 
Commissioner, and, as a crowning act of wisdom, provided a "two mill" 
tax (20 cents on the $100.00) on all property, which ensured the prompt 
payment of maturing interest, and placed the gigantic State debt in pro- 
cess of ultimate honorable extinction. The bank adjustment bill was a 
"compromise''' entered into by Gov. Ford and the bank directors, where- 
by the banks agreed to go into liquidation, call in their circulating "shin 
plasters" and surrender to the State their bonds to the amount of $2,050,- 
000.00 in exchange for an equal amount of bank stock held by the State. 
That was Gov. Ford's pet measure. He claimed that he wrote the bill, 
and that it was passed by his personal influence. 

Although it was adopted by the Legislature almost unanimously, for 
some reason not now apparent, Judge Ralston opposed it. Lyman Trum- 
bull, then Secretary of State, did all he could to defeat it, and Stephen 
A. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice, as one of the Council of Revision, 
voted to veto it after it had passed both houses. 

Governor Ford was one of the ablest jurists in the State, a man of 
singularly clear, philosophical mind, largely endowed by nature with 
vigorous, comprehensive intellect which was reinforced by a fair educa- 
tion and much study. In stature he was small with thin, homely fea- 
tures, deep-set gray eyes, and long, sharp nose turned slightly at the 
point to one side. Well supplied with vanity and self-esteem, his preju- 
dices were invincible, and his arrogance at times, intolerable and ludi- 
crous. As insignificant in body and soul as he was admirable in mental 
power, lacking in physical and moral courage, vindictive, obstinate and 
spiteful, he hated those whom he could not control, and, when oppor- 
tunity offered, caused them to feel the sting of his resentment. His 
spirit of vengeance outlived the lapse of time. He might forget a bene- 
faction, but never forgave an injury. Of those who opposed his bank 
compromise bill, Douglas was beyond his reach, but Trumbull who was 
at his mercy, was immediately dismissed from the office of Secretary of 
State and replaced by Thompson Campbell. Having no chance to punish 
Judge Ralston he "nursed his wrath to keep it warm" until he wrote his 
History of Illinois several years later, in which he fully vented his pent- 
up malice. However, expecting to publish the book soon, and knowing 
that Judge Ralston was still living, he was too cowardly to designate 
him by name in his contemptible villification. 1 When General Shields 

1 Ford's History of Illinois, pp. 307-308. 


published Fords History in 1854, Ralston was on the Pacific slope, and 
probably never saw in what terms his fellow Democrat, whom he had 
helped to make Governor of Illinois, had so meanly maligned him. 

When the Legislature adjourned Judge Ralston again took his ac- 
customed place at the Quincy bar, giving to his profession his undivided 
attention. It is not to be presumed, however, that he abjured further in- 
terest in politics, or renounced all political ambition. Few. indeed, in 
this great Democratic republic who have once enjoyed the subtle charm 
of office-holding voluntarily relijiquish it, or lose the ardent desire to 
regain it. The Judge was doubtless at all times, as all politicians are, 
in a receptive mood, willing to "make the sacrifice for the public good," 
but was not openly a candidate for any position. Yet, he was accused in 
1845 of coquetting with the Mormons, his erstwhile foes, who still voted 
the Democratic ticket, and held the balance of power in that district, 
but he stoutly denied the (Whig) impeachment. 1 It is though, alto- 
gether probable that his hold on popular favor had waned, and the fickle 
public was fawning upon new idols, as it often does. 

To the class of "has been," or of "would like to be," politicians, the war 
with Mexico in 1846 opened up grand vistas of glowing opportunities. 
It also stirred the martial spirit of thousands of worthy citizens who 
only saw that their country's honor was at stake. Of that multitude 
Judge Ralston's patriotism was so aroused that he offered his services 
to the Polk administration, which were accepted by his appointment, 
June 26, 1846, to the position of Assistant Quartermaster General for 
the Illinois Volunteers, with the rank of Captain, and he was ordered to 
San Antonio, Texas. Closing up his business at Quincy, he left Illinois 
and arrived at his destination on the 13th of October. After resting a 
few days he started for the seat of war in Mexico, but his train was 
overtaken before it had gone far by an order from headquarters, at 
Washington, assigning him to duty at San Antonio. Returning there 
he relieved Captain Wall, the officer in charge, and remained there until 
the war closed. Though never within three hundred miles of the fight- 
ing line, the work Captain Ralston did was of more value to the army, 
and the cause it was engaged in. than the services of many officers in the 
field of higher rank. Vast quantities of supplies obtained upon his 
requisitions from Xew Orleans and elsewhere, droves of beef cattle, hun- 
dreds of horses, mules and oxen, wagons, harness, and other property 
ry for the subsistence and tranportation of the northern division 
of our army in Mexico, purchased by his disbursement of many thousands 
of dollars, were forwarded from his post and distributed to the soldiers 
beyond the Rio Grande. 

He employed for his chief clerk Mr. Edward Everett, a young man of 
education and very superior business qualifications, a nephew of the dis- 
tinguished Massachusetts statesman of the same name, and at the time 
a sergeant in Captain Morgan's Quincy riflemen in Colonel Hardin's 
regiment, who was then incapacitated from active military service by a 

l Quincy Whig of Sept. 24th, 1845. 

—15 H S 

severe wound in tlie knee inflicted by a drunken Texan ruffian. Quarter- 
master Ealston took possession of the historic Alamo buildings, then iu 
a ruinous condition, and converted them into a depot for supplies, store- 
houses, quarters for his men, and offices for himself and clerks. As- 
suming that he would probably be stationed at that post for some time, 
he sent for his wife who joined him there early in March, 1847 1 . Xot 
of robust constitution, her health failed as the heat of summer advanced, 
and she soon fell a victim of that enervating climate. She died on the 
3rd of July, 1847, at the age of 35 years, eight months and twenty-seven 
days, and was buried there. She had lost four children in their in- 
fancy, there remaining but one left to her, a daughter named Elizabeth, 
who subsequently married Marcel lus Tilden, a lawyer of Sacramento, 

Captain Ealston's clerk, Mr. Everett, was, in politics, as his illustrious 
uncle, a staunch Whig, passing in later years by easy transition into the 
ranks of Illinois Eepublicans. In his highly interesting ''Military Ex- 
perience" — donated by him to the ^uincy (Illinois) Historical Society, 
he says of his superior, "Captain James H. Ealston was a Kentuckian 
who had settled in Illinois, tall in, person, and sallow complexion, with 
that formality of address, and assumed dignity so often seen in the 
western lawyer. In politics he was a Democrat, and as he termed it, a 
strict constructionist, though moderate and non-partisan in his views. 
He was mild and pleasant in his intercourse, and was quite popular with 
the citizens of the place, and no unkind word ever passed between us — 
though- on occasion, as a delinquent once observed after a reprimand, 'he 
could use a fellow up in very few words.' " From this last sentence it 
must be inferred that the Captain when provoked employed harsh ex- 
pletives to emphasize his utterances; yet, he was not usually profane in 
conversation. He was addicted to the use of tobacco, as all Kentuckians 
are; but, though a native of Bourbon county, very seldom tasted liquor 
of any description. Mr. Everett adds, "He was occasionally called on 
to make speeches on public occasions, as his delivery was good and his 
manner impressive, but as his early education had been very deficient, 
he would make out a rough draft of what he had to say. and then hand 
it to. me to improve the language, and write it out clearly. His letters 
and reports to the heads of the departments at Washington were gotten 
up in the same manner." 1 

In November, 1848, 2 Captain Ealston was relieved of his duties as 
Assistant Quartermaster at San Antonio by Captain M. Morris, A. Q. 
M., II. S. A. Then followed for several weeks the work incident to 
turning over to the new officer the military stores, and settling up the 
business of the post. That transfer and settlements completed, Captain 
Ealston, with Mr. Everett, departed for Port Lavacca ; thence took 
steamer to New Orleans, from there up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to 
Wheeling, Virginia, and on to Washington. "Here." says Mr. Everett, 
"we made our final accounts, and explained such points as were objected 

State Historical Society, p. 216. 

to by the auditors. The sum of public money expended by Captain 
Ealston while in Texas was a very large one, besides which the property, 
mostly means of transportation, passing through our hands, not included 
in the above, was very considerable. The accounts passed a very rigid 
examination and everything was finally allowed and Captain Ealston and 
myself honorably discharged." In the meantime the gold discovered 
by Jim Marshall in the tail-race of Capt. Sutter's mill at Coloma, Cali- 
fornia, Jan. 4, 1848, had frenzied the nation with the lust for riches. 
Captain Ealston received his discharge from military service on the 3d 
of March, 1849, and hastened back to Quincy. He was much disheart- 
ened by the changes time had wrought there in his former domestic and 
social surroundings during his absence of almost three years. His wife 
dead, his home desolate, his law business gone, many old and cherished 
friends passed away and replaced by strangers, saddened and discour- 
aged, he concluded to join the mad rush of argonauts for the New Eldo- 
rado, and there commence life anew. Quickly disposing of his property, 
and making provision for his daughter, he set out on the long and un- 
known journey. Arriving there at the age of forty-two, in the prime 
and vigor of manhood, he found himself in a strange world of infinite 
possibilities, teeming with people of all races and stations, wildly 
scrambling for sudden wealth. Shunning the gold mines, so attractive 
to the multitude of immigrants, the Judge located at Sacramento City, 
where, in partnership with Thomas Sunderland, he engaged in the 
practice of such law as was then recognized to be in force. Making a 
specialty of protecting and defending the rights of miners and squatters 
against those who claimed titles to their properties by virtue of Spanish 
grants, he gained wide popularity and prospered. 

The civil government of California was at that period in chaotic con- 
dition, with no one in authority, and without so much as territorial or- 
ganization. Its American population 1 was daily increasing by thousands, 
and already a horde of hungry politicians were clamoring for its admis- 
sion as a state into the union. In pursuance of a call issued, they selected 
delegates who met in convention in Colton's hall at Monterey, on Sept. 
1, 1849, and framed a State constitution which expressly excluded the 
institution of slavery. By its provision a legislature was elected which 
convened at San Jose on December 15th, and petitioned Congress for- a 
State government. In response to their appeal Mr. Clay, early in that 
winter, introduced in the U. S. Senate his celebrated omnibus bill, or 
"Compromise/ by the terms of which California was admitted as a state, 
and New Mexico and Utah were organized as territories. That measure 
pas-ed the lower house of Congress on the 7th. and was approved by 
President Fillmore on the 9th of September, 1850. 

The political turmoil preceding and attending the birth of the new 
state (Sept. 9, 1850), awakened in Judge Ealston the old office-seeking 
instinct that for a few years past had been semi-quiescent. He was again 
an active politician, keenly interested in watching the machinery of the 


young state set in motion, and also watching incidentally for his oppor- 
tunity. It came in 1852, when he was nominated and elected by the 
Democrats to represent Sacramento county in the State Senate, that 
county constituting a senatorial district. The legislature of California 
then met annually. Representatives were elected for one year, and 
senators for two. The state's capitol had not yet been located, the several 
towns were making strenuous efforts to secure it, occasioning much 
jealousy and ill-feeling, with some scandal. The third General Assembly, 
to which Judge Ralston was elected, convened at Vallejo on the 5th of 
January, 1852, and on the 12th of that month moved to Sacramento, 
remaining there until it adjourned on the 1th of May. Senator Ralston 
was made chairman of the Standing Committee on Corporations, and a 
member of the Committees on State Library and Enrolled Bills. 

In its then formative stage the infant state required much careful 
legislation to regulate its many diversified interests, define its land ten- 
ures, and establish constitutional government in place of the capricious 
exercise of authority by Alcaldes and priests to which as a province of 
Mexico it had long been subjected. Judge Ralston was one of the most 
attentive members of the Senate, taking an active and conspicuous part 
in all the important work of the session. The estimate in which he was 
held by that body may be inferred by the fact that in the election by 
joint ballot of a IT. S. Senator, though not a candidate for the position, 
he received eight votes on the first and second ballots, and nine votes on 
the third, when he withdrew his name. The contest then narrowed 
down to David C. Broderick and John B. Weller, with selection of the 
latter on the eighth ballot. 

The extraordinary amount of rain that fell in upper California during 
the winter of 1851-52, by raising the Sacramento river over its banks, 
inundated a large area of its valley. No levee having then been thrown 
up to. protect Sacramento City from the annual overflows of the river, 
it was for several weeks another Venice, its traffic and business carried 
on by boats over the streets covered with water from two to six feet deep. 
The writer of this sketch went down to Sacramento from the mines in 
March, 1852, and while there visited the legislature on several occasions 
in a canoe or skiff, the means of transportation employed by the legisla- 
tors, state officials, and others, from their hotels or residences to the 
building used temporarily for a state house. 

The fourth general assembly of California was convoked at Vallejo 
on the 3d of January. 1853. and moved from that place to Benecia on 
the 4th of February, continuing there its deliberations until it adjourned 
on the 19th of May. Those towns, built on low sand flats on Napa Bay. 
are six miles apart, and twenty-three miles northeast of San Francisco. 
Each town was in succession made the State capital. General Vallejo's 
offering to the state a large quantity of land and $350,000.00 in money 
as an inducement to locate it in his town, Vallejo; but, it was totally 
unsuitable and without houses or other requisites in either town for a 
state capitol, the seat of government was, in 1854, permanently fixed at 
Sacramento, a more central point, seventy-five miles in direct line east 


of San Francisco. Upon organization of the legislature, in recognition 
of iSenator Ralston's ability and party leadership, he was given the post 
of highest honor and responsibility, that of Chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee. He was also placed on the important committees on Finance 
and Corporations. For fidelity to his duties, for industry, capability, 
and influence, during that session he was not surpassed by any member 
of either branch of that assembly. 

He was not an applicant for olfice that year having in consideration a 
matter of much weightier concern to engage his personal attention. For 
seven years he was a widower, solaced in a measure for his great loss by 
the care and affection of his only child, his daughter Elizabeth. But 
the inevitable occurred. A rising young lawyer of Sacramento found 
favor in her eyes, married her, and took her to a new home. Eealizing 
then the dreary loneliness of his situation, he decided that the wisest 
course to pursue would be to look around for another life companion to 
replace the one taken from him by death in Texas. With that view he 
went to New York City, having doubtless arranged all necessary pre- 
liminaries by correspondence, and there, on the 20th of October, 1853, 
was united in marriage with Miss Harriet 1ST. Jackson, daughter of Rev. 
Aaron Jackson, a Baptist minister of that city, who several years before 
had been stationed in charge of a church at Quincy, Illinois. 

Returning with his bride to Sacramento he applied himself with re- 
newed diligence to his profession, having apparently exorcised for all 
time the ignis fatuus of political ambition he had so long been chasing. 
Its fascination was, however, too strongly intrenched in his nature to 
be permanently shaken off by such a trivial affair as marriage. Yield- 
ing to the persuasion of friends, he again entered the arena in 1850 as 
a candidate for chief justice of the Supreme Court on the Democratic 
ticket. Up to that time the old-line Democrats had dominated Cali- 
fornia politically; but the disaffection, and disintegration, of the party 
in the eastern states, owing to repeal of the Missouri Compromise and its 
consequences, in 1854, had spread to the Pacific slope with tin' result 
of arraying against it the united elements of all opposition, including 
the Whigs, Free-Soilers and Know-Nothings. Still, the Democrats car- 
ried the state for Buchanan in 1856 though routed in many of the coun- 
ties and for most of the state offices. Judge Balston was one of the vic- 
tims of the Douglas heresies, and went down in defeat before the forces 
of the political revolution that, rapidly gaining strength, in a few years 
swept the country. In 1860 and 1864 California gave its electorial vote 
to Lincoln, and assumed its place in the column of Republican states. 

That disaster to his party was intolerable to Judge Ralston. On re- 
ceiving the official returns of the 1860 election he immediately settled 
up his business and left the state, going over the mountains to Virginia 
City in Nevada, where he once more established himself in the practice 
of law. Nevada then had a population of about 15,000, which, upon 
development of the amazing deposits of silver and gold in the Comstock 
and other mines, quickly grew to nearly 50,000. Politicians were there 


early and in force, having some time before begun, and continued, agita- 
tion for territorial organization, which Congress granted in March, 1861. 
That act, instead of allaying political ebulition, stimulated it to in- 
creased activity in the direction of a demand for admission of the terri- 
tory into the union as a state. In furtherance of that object a call was 
issued in 1863 for a convention to frame a state constitution. In that 
call was presented to Judge Ealston a tempting opportunity he could not 
resist. Offering his services to the people he was elected a delegate to 
represent Storey county, of which Virginia City is the county seat, in that 
convention. In a private letter received from Mr. Wm. Epler, at present 
a citizen of Jacksonville, Illinois, he says, "During the fall of 1863 it 
was my good fortune to become intimately acquainted with Judge James 
H. Ealston. We first met as members of the first constitutional conven- 
tion of Nevada, he a delegate from 'Storey county, and I a delegate from 
Humboldt county. For the forty days of the convention we occupied 
seats and desks within arms length of each other. 

"The fact that he formerly resided in Quincy, Illinois, and I in Jack- 
sonville, brought us in close touch at once. In that convention Judge 
Ealston won the respect and esteem of the entire body by his dignified, 
modest and gentlemanly manners, his evident ability, and close attention 
to business. He came over to Nevada territory from California, as did 
nearly all the other members, my own case being an exception, as I never 
lived in California before becoming a citizen of Nevada. Not long after 
adjournment of the convention, early in 1864, he moved from Virginia 
City to Austin, in Lander county, near the center of the territory, and 
there resumed his practice of law ; but, which was destined not to con- 
tinue long." 

At that period Judge Ealston was physically and mentally vigorous 
and active, with every prospect of many years of exertion and usefulness 
in store for him. Of optimistic temperament he looked forward with 
cheerful expectancy to the admission of Nevada into the Union in the 
near future, and perhaps was planning to play an important part in the 
political affairs of the new state. The human familv surely has few 
greater blessings than that impenetrable veil excluding the future from 
its vision. Nevada was made a state by Act of Congress in October of 
that year (1861) ; but five months before that event the public was 
shocked and saddened by the melancholy death of Judge Ealston. The 
mournful story of its occurrence, learned from various sources, was pub- 
lished in full in the Quincy Wing (Illinois) of June 26, 1864. and is in 
substance as follows: 

"About the 1st of May (1864) the Judge, with another man, left Austin on 
horseback to visit his ranch in Smoky Valley, thirty miles distant. They 
soon separated, his companion going to some other point, and he went on 
alone. Mrs. Ralston says 'he was caught in a blinding snow storm on the 
desert,' and no doubt lost his way. When he did not return after the lapse 
of two or three days, his family and friends, apprehensive that he may have 
met with some accident, organized a party to go in search of him, but with- 
out success, having ascertained at his ranch that he had not been there. A 
number of experienced plainsmen then, with a skillful Indian guide, starting 
from Austin, upon going some distance 'struck his trail, and followed it in 


the direction of San Antonio for a distance of ninety miles, then crossing 
Smoky Valley at the Indian Wells opposite Coyote Springs, keeping a 
southern course, passing Link Barnes' ranch, a few miles farther fell, in with 
some Indians who told them that Judge Ralston was dead, and directed them 
to his body which they found but eight miles northeast of San Antonio, and 
five miles from the Barnes' ranch.' Lost and bewildered he traveled for 
days without food or water until finally he fell from his horse exhausted, 
and there expired. From all the 'signs' and circumstances observed it was 
concluded that his tragic death occurred on the 8th of May (1864), when 
56 years, 6 months and 26 days of age. 

Some Shoshone Indians (Root Diggers) were the first to discover the dead 
body, which was considerably mutilated by the coyotes. To prevent its 
further mutilation by those little wolves, the Indians in accordance with their 
tribal custom of cremating their dead, piled dry sage brush over the remains 
and burned them. The searching party gathered up all that remained of the 
dead statesman and jurist, placing them in, a sack for transportation on 
horseback, and conveyed them to his home in Austin. With his remains were 
found some gold coins he had in his pockets, together with his spectacles 
and watch, the latter ruined, of course, by the fire, 'but valuable as melan- 
choly relics of his sad fate.' 

"His body upon its arrival in town was taken in charge by his brother 
Masons, of which order he had attained the rank of Knight Templar. At 
an early hour yesterday, the members of the legal fraternity met at the 
court house and resolved to attend in a body the funeral of the honored de- 
ceased. The procession formed in front of the court house at one o'clock 
and, headed by the Austin brass band, followed by the Masons in regalia, 
members of the bar, firemen, hearse, the family of the deceased, citizens on 
horseback and in carriages, the cortege marched to the cemetery. This was 
the most imposing funeral that has yet occurred in Austin. The worth, 
position and high esteem, the melancholy circumstances attending the death 
of Judge Ralston, gave a solemn and universal interest to the occasion. Af- 
ter the interment the procession returned, marching to a lively tune, to the 
court house, and dispersed."* 

In publishing the foregoing account, the Quincij Herald of June 29, 
1864, said: "The old settlers of this part of the State, and, indeed, of 
the whole State, will regret to learn of the death of Judge Ralston. The 
particulars concerning his death we give in this article below, copied 
from the Whig. He was one of the early settlers of this part of the 
State, where he earned a high reputation as a lawyer, and achieved dis- 
tinction as a leading politician. He was universally respected for his 
integrity and candor, both as a public man and private citizen, and was 
sincerely beloved as a citizen and neighbor." The dreary, sandy waste 
in which Judge Ralston so wretchedly died was then named "Ralston's 
Desert," a name it still bears, and is so designated on the government 

From the marriage of Judge Ralston and Miss Jackson two children 
were born, a daughter, Mary Aurora Ralston, who died in early life, and 
a son, Jackson H. Ralston, now and for several years past, an eminent 
attorney of Washington, D. C, "who was counsel representing the United 
States in the Pious Fund case, the first tried before the Hague tribunal. 
He was also the umpire between Italy and Venezuela in the Court of Ar- 
bitration at Caracas a few years ago.'' Mrs. Harriet X. Ralston, the 
Judge's widow, is also at present (1908 ) a resident of Washington. 

* Austin Star, May 12th, 1864. 


It is not certain that any relationship existed between Judge Ealston 
and William Chapman Ealston of San Francisco, though Mrs. Harriet 
1ST. Ealston asserts they were second cousins. Wm, C. Ealston, a native of 
Plymouth, Ohio, and a "Napoleon of Finance/' it may be remembered, 
was for three years president of the great Bank of California at San Fran- 
cisco, until deposed from that position by the directors, and the bank 
closed its doors about noon on the 26th of August, 1875. That afternoon 
the dethroned president took his customary bath in the Bay at North 
Beach. Swimming far out from shore he "seemed to be taken with a fit" 
and drowned before a boat could reach him. The cause of the bank's sus- 
pension, it was soon known, was the abstraction of four and a half millions 
or its funds by President Ealston, which he converted to his own use and 
lost it all in wild speculation. 1 

[To Mrs. Harriet N. Ealston of Washington, Hon. Wm. A. Eichard- 
son of Quincy, Illinois, and Hon. James A. Johnson of Oakland, Cali- 
fornia, I am greatly indebted for special information, without which the 
foregoing biographical sketch of Judge Ealston could not have been 
written— J. F. S.] 

l History of San Francisco. By John S. Hittell. 1877, pp. 407-40! 



By Edward Joseph Fortier. 

The time of the founding of Tamarois or Cahokia has been a disputed 
question, the date given varying from the time of LaSalle in 1683 to 
1699. 1 Never has the exact date of the establishment of the mission been 
determined. The letters which follow prove that the event fell within 
the year 1699, sometime between March 28 and May 20. 

It may be well, without going into too many details, to review the his- 
tory of the Illinois missions before taking up the letters which help 
more particularly to determine the date of the Tamarois mission. It is 
not necessary to give the history of the struggle between the Jesuits and 
the Seminary of Quebec as that has been done elsewhere, 2 but to speak 
ot the struggle only in so far as it will help clear up the matter in hand. 

The care of the Illinois mission was first confided to Marquette and 
at his death it was committed to Father Allouez also a Jesuit. When he 
died exhausted by the great hardships he had undergone, Father Jacques 
Gravier, of the same society, was appointed Yicar General about 1690. 

Evidently Gravier planned a mission among the Tamarois, for he 
writes : 3 "About the middle of May the deputies of the savages of this 
village (Illinois) accompanied by two Frenchmen went to seek the alli- 
ance of the Missouri and of the Osages. These French merchants, with 
the view of carrying on an advantageous trade with those tribes, made 
some proposals of peace to them ; to these they agreed solely out of 
complaisance to the French, through consideration for whom they be- 
came reconciled with the Osages. I would willingly have performed 
that journey to see for myself whether anything could be clone there for 
the glory of God among Tamaroa and the Kaoukia who are Illinois ; and 
to sound the Missouri and Osages in order to ascertain what could be 
obtained from them in respect to Christianity ; for I have no doubt that 
I would have found many dying children and adults to baptize. I con- 
tented myself with telling them that I would cheerfully have undertaken 
the journey with them, as its difficulties and fatigues would have been 

1 Peck, J. M., Gazetteer of Illinois, etc., 2d edition, Philadelphia, 1837, p. 85; 
Beck, L. C, Gazetteer of Illinois, etc., Albany, 1823, pp. 52, 94 ; Baird, Robert, View 
of the Valley of the Mississippi, etc., Philadelphia, 1834, p. 47 ; Winsor, Mississippi 
Basin, p. 5. 

2 Shea, The Catholic Church in Colonial Days, New York, 1886, pp. 536-544. 

3 Thwaites, Jesuit Relations, LXIV Letter by Father Jacques Gravier in the form 
of a Journal of the Mission of 1' Immacule Conception de Notre Dame in the Illi- 
nois Country, February 15, 1694, p. 161. 


agreeable to me while working for the interests of God." Further in 
the journal he says: 1 "But, as I am alone, I cannot assist or visit the 
other village of the Illinois, which are on the banks of the Mississippi. '' 

The Seminary of Quebec, an outgrowth of the "Missions Etrangeres," 
at Paris felt that it also, would like to do something for the faith and 
establish missions in New France. 2 M. de St. Valier, Bishop of Quebec, 
approved their plans for founding a mission in the Tamarois country 
and May 1, 1698 gave his authorization to the Seminary, The Seminary 
was to send a superior who would be Vicar General over the field in- 
habited by nations on both banks of the Mississippi and its tributaries. 
They wished to plant their first mission at the Tamarois ; but, when the 
Society of Jesus heard of this, an objection was raised as the Society 
considered this tribe, since it belonged to the Illinois, already in their 
care. The Seminary of Quebec, however, looked upon the Tamarois ter- 
ritory, "as the key and necessary passage to reach the more distant 
nations." By letters patent of July 17, 1698, the very Eeverend Francis 
Jolliet de Montigny, Eeverend Anthony Davion and Eeverend John 
Francis Buisson de Saint Cosme were empowered to go to the Missis- 
sippi and establish .a residence among the Tamarois, the V. Eev. Mon- 
tigny was to be Vicar-General and helped defray the expenses of the 

The party set out and reached Michillimackinac from which they set 
out on September 14, 3 accompanied by Tonty who was to be their guide 
for the greater part of their journey. On the 4th of October they came 
to a small Peoria village where Father Marest had planted a cross. 4 They 
then stopped in Chicago at the mission of Father Pinet. 5 "I cannot ex- 
plain to you, Monseigneur, with what cordiality and marks of esteem 
those reverend Jesuit Fathers received and caressed us during the time 
that we had the consolation of staying with them. Their house is built 
on the banks of a small lake on one side and a fine prairie on the 
other. If we may judge of the future by the little while that Father 
Pinet has been on this mission, we may say that God blesses the labors 
and zeal of this holy missionary."' 

On November 19 they arrived at Fort Peoria where they found the 
Reverend Father Marest. 6 "All the reverend fathers gave us all possible 
welcome" and Father Marest says : 7 "Three gentlemen of the Quebec 
Seminary sent by Monseigneur the Bishop to establish missions on the 
Mississippi, passed through here. We received them as well as we were 
able, lodging them in our own house, and sharing with them what we 
could possess amid a scarcity as great as that which prevailed in the 
village throughout the year. On leaving, we also induced them to take 

1 Thwaites, vol. LXIV, p. 171. 

2 Shea, Catholic Church, etc., p. 538 ; Abbe Gosselin, in Congres des Americanistes. 
Vol. 1, p. 31. 

3 Shea, Early Voyages Up and Down the Mississippi, New York, 1861. Letter of 
J. F. St. Cosme to the Bishop (of Quebec), p. 46. 

4 Ibid., p. 50. 

5 Ibid., p. 53. 

6 Ibid., p. 59. 

7 Thwaites. Jesuit Relations LXV, p. 83. Letter of F. G. Marest, Illinois Country, 
April 29, 1699. 


seven sacks of corn that we had left, concealing our poverty from them, 
so that they might have less objection to receiving what we offered them. 
In another of our missions, we also fed two of their people. 

"As the gentlemen did not know the Illinois language, we gave them 
a collection of prayers, and a translation of the catechism, with the notes 
that we have been able to make upon that language, in order to help 
them to learn it. In fine, we showed them every possible attention and 

About noon of December 7, 1698, St. Cosme's party arrived at Tam- 
arois. 1 '"The Tamarois were cabined on an island lower down than their 
village, perhaps to get wood more easily, from which their village, which 
is on the edge of a prairie is somewhat distant, perhaps too for fear of 
their enemies. We could not well see whether they were numerous. 
They seemed to us quite so, although the greater part of their people 
were hunting. There was wherewith to form a fine mission by bringing 
the Kahokias, who are quite near, and the Michiagamias who are a little 
lower down on .the Mississippi, and said to be quite numerous." The 
party left Tamarois on the 8th of December and finally arrived at the 
Arkansas where Mr. de Montigny remained for some time. 

I have dealt at some length upon St. Cosme's voyage so as to give an 
idea of the causes at work for the founding of the Tamarois mission. 
I have also shown the good feelings with which the Jesuits received the 
Seminary priests. There was soon to be such friction between the two 
orders that the Y. Eev. M. de Montigny was compelled to give up his 
Vicar- Generalship and go to France with clTberville. Let us now turn 
to the letters. 

Letter No. I. 2 — This extract dated at the Tamarois March, 1700, is 
written by. St. Cosme in answer to a letter written him by Mgr. Laval. 
The letter was sent by the Kev. Mr. Bergier and young M. de St. Cosme 
who had not yet taken the priestly vows. In order to give the Missis- 
sippi mission more effective force, the Seminary at Quebec had sent out 
the Rev. M. Bergier and the Rev. M. B. Boutteville in 1699. Young M. de 
St. Cosme accompanied Mr. Bergier. 

M. de Montigny in a letter from the Arkansas in 1699 says : 3 "As for 
Mr. de St. Cosme he remains at the Tamarois.' 4 Thaumur de La Source 
writing also from Arkansas says: 4 "Mr. de St. Cosme is at the Tam- 
arois, which is eight leagues from the Illinois. It is the largest village 
we have seen. There are about three hundred cabins there." 5 

It is seen then in reading the letter that both Montigny and St. Cosme 
are at Tamarois and as the former speaks of what he did during the 

1 Shea, St. Cosme's letter, p. 66. 

2 These letters from the archives of Laval University, Quehec, were called to 
my attention by Prof. Alvord. I thank M. l'Abbe Amedee Gosselin of Laval Uni- 
versity for furnishing us with a copy of them. 

3 Shea, Voyage Up and Down. Montigny's letter, p. 76. 

4 Ibid., La Source's letter, p. 79. 

5 Abbe Gosselin, Americaniste. I, p. 34. Note 1 says that according to the Quebec 
census there must have been 1,500 people or five people to a hut, and he says 
further : "This La Source is not the missionary Thaumur de La Source as com- 
monly supposed, but one of the twelve men who accompanied the missionaries who 
left in 1698. La Source, the priest, went to the Mississippi in 1718. 


absence of Montigny who had left for Chicago on March 28, 1699 and 
returned May 20 of the same year, it may be said that the real founding 
took place between March 28 and May 20, 1G99. 

The letter ends: "I was very much surprised at Father Bineteau's 
arrival. He had left Peoria to come and settle in this mission. Father 
Bineteau and Father Marest were stationed on the Illinois river. Bine- 
teau in his letter of January, 1699 says: 1 "I am at present spending 
the winter with a portion of our savages who are scattered about. I have 
recently been with the Tamarois, to visit a band of them on the banks 
of one of the largest rivers in the world, which for this reason we call 
the Mississippi or 'the great river.' I am to return to the Illinois of 
Tamaroa in the spring." 

"Extracts from a letter of Mr. de St. Cosme to Mgr. de Laval dated 
at Tamarois, March, 1700." 

"I have received that (letter) which your highness has done me the 
honor of sending by Mr. Bergier and my brother who have arrived here the 
seventh of February. It would be useless for me to describe the difficulties 
which they have encounterd during their journey. Mr. Bergier will tell you 
about it at some length. I will inform you simply of that which took place 
in this mission since our arrival from the Arkansas, and since Mr. de Mon- 
tigny left it to go to Chicago, March 28 of the preceding year 1699. He left 
me here with two men. I worked toward having my house built and had 
wood gathered for my chapel. I baptized several children and upon Mr. de 
Montigny's return from Chicago I had baptized thirty. Upon his arrival, 
May 20, 1699, he found my house built and the lumber for my chapel all 
ready. We had it (chapel) completed and erected a fine cross. But I was 
very much surprised at Father Bineteaus arrival. He had left Peoria to 
come and settle this mission." 

Letter No. 2. 2 — Shortly after the arrival of Bergier and young St. 
Cosme, the older St. Cosme descended to Natchez. 3 M. de Montigny left 
for France not long after as we have said and Bergier became Vicar- 
General. The Eev. M. Bergier remained at the Tamarois post with La 
Source who in his letter says : 4 "M. de Montigny inclines to put me at 
the Tamarois with M. de St. Cosme I should not be displeased." 

M. Bergier wrote the Bishop of Quebec during the latter part of Feb- 
ruary, 1700: 

"I related to your highness our trip to the Illinois, from which place I 
wrote you all I had found out about the condition of the missions and that 
which concerns the government of your church. There remains but to in- 
form you of the condition of the latter. 

"I arrived there the 7th of this month with young Mr. de St. Cosme. I have 
counted there a hundred cabins in all, or thereabouts, of which nearly half 
are vacant because the greater part of the Cahokias are still in winter quar- 
ters twenty or twenty-five leagues from here up the Mississippi. 

"The village is composed of Tamarois, Cahokias, some Michigans and 
Peorias. There are also some Missouri cabins, and shortly, there are to 
come about thirty-five cabins of this last named nation who are winterquar- 
tering some ten or fifteen leagues from here below the village, on the river. 

1 Thwaites, Jesuit Relations. LXV, p. 71. Letter of Father Julian Bineteau, of 
the Society of Jesus, to a father of the same society. 

2 Part of this letter has been quoted by Abbe Gosselin in Congres des Ameri- 
canistes, 1906, Vol. I, p. 34. 

3 Bernard de la Harpe, Journal Historique, in Margry, V, p. 404. 

4 Shea, Voyages Up and Down, La Source's Letter, p. 85. 


We must not, however, count this nation as forming part of the village and 
of the Tamarois mission, because it remains there only a few months to make 
its Indian wheat, while awaiting a day to return to its village, which is more 
than a hundred leagues away, upon the shores of the Missouri river. This 
it has not dared to undertake for the last few years for fear of being sur- 
prised and defeated on the way by some other hostile nation. 

"The Tamarois and the Cahokias are the only ones that really form part 
of this mission. The Tamarois have about thirty cabins and the Cahokias 
have nearly twice that number. Although the Tamarois are at present less 
numerous than the Cahokias, the village is still called Tamaroa, gallicized 
"Des Tamarois," because the Tamarois have been the first and are still the 
oldest inhabitants and have first lit a fire there, to use the Indian expression. 
All the other nations who have joined them afterwards have not caused the 
name of the village to change, butjaave been known under the name Tamarois 
although they were not Tamarois." 

Letter iSTo. 3. : — Bergiers second letter is a description of the condi- 
tions at the Tamarois post. Father Pinet 1 mentioned here is the one 
who received St. Cosme at the Chicago mission. He founded the Guar- 
dian Angel at Chicago. He had to give it up through Frontenac's hos- 
tility and resumed it through Laval's influence. He probably went to 
Tamarois in 1700 where he labored with Father Bergier. Gravier says : 2 
Father Pinet discharges peaceably all the functions of missionary and 
M. Bergier, who gets along very well with us, has care only of the French, 
and this is a great relief for Father Pinet." 

In a letter without address dated at the Tamarois. June 14. 1700, 
Mr. Bergier says : 

"We have frequent alarms here and we have several times been obliged to 
receive within our walls nearly all the women and children of the village. 
Pentecost Sunaay there was one [alarm] which was not without consequences. 
Four Sioux on the edge of the woods of the Tamarois, in plain sight of the 
village, cut off the neck of a slave belonging to a Frenchman; stabbed two 
women to death and scalped them; wounded a girl with a knife and crushed 
another under foot. They were all picking strawberries. We were about to 
finish singing compline when the chief ran to our door to warn us that the 
Sioux were killing them. He threw himself into Mr. de St. Cosme's canoe, 
with some Indians and "Frenchmen to reconnoitre, partly by water and then 
by land. Great excitement prevailed. Finally the Sioux were discovered and 
three were captured, killed, burned and eaten. This is a horrible detail. 
It partakes less of man than of the wolf, the tiger and the demon. The 
last of these three Sioux, who was burned only the next day was baptized by 
F. Pinet who made use of the "Lorrain" as an interpreter. He (Sioux) was 
the nephew of Ouakantape chief of the Sioux, and because of this everyone is 
very much afraid that the Sioux will want to avenge this' death and destroy 
the village some day. On the other hand the Shawnee who are enemies 
of the Illinois are feared. 

"One may say that we are "inter lupos, in medio nationes pravae et per- 
versae." Their greatest and most universal passion is to destroy, scalp and 
eat men, that, is all their ambition, their glory; an essential drawback to 
Christianity, as long as it will last. But the mercy of Jesus Christ is all 
powerful. Beseech him that he diffuse it very abundantly over this mission 
and over the missionaries and that he make them 'Prudentes ut serpentes, 
simplices ut comumbat. — Amen.' " 

Letter Xo. 4. — M. Bergier' s letter of April 13, L701, gives us the story 
of the separation of the tribes. The news of the settling of the French 


at the mouth of the river doubtless had great influence upon them as 
they thought they might get refuge from their enemies. Father Pinet 
became the Missionary of some of the Tamarois and was followed by the 
Eev. Bineteau. 1 Bergier and La Source remained at the Tamarois who 
as Bergier says "will leave soon and there will remain only Cahokia." 2 

Letter of Mr. Bergier, without address, but dated April 13, 1701, 
Extract : 

"If I did not wish to assure you -of the continuance of my respect it would 
not be necessary to write to tell you what is happening here, because the 
French will not fail to tell you all I have to say on the subject. 

"1. The Kats to the extent of about thirty cabins have established their 
new village two leagues below this one on the other side of the Mississippi. 
They have built a fort there and nearly all the French hastened there. 

"2. The chief of the Tamarois followed by some cabins joined the Kats, 
attracted by Rouensse who promises them much and makes them believe him 
saying that he is called by the great chief of the French, Mr. dTberville, as 
Father Marest has told him. 

"3. The remainder of the Tamarois numbering about twenty cabins are 
shortly going to join their chief, already settled at the Kats. So there will 
remain here only the Cahokias numbering 60 or 70 cabins. They are now 
cutting stakes to build a fort."3 

Letter No. 5. — The following passage having no date, address or au- 
thor's name is an interesting description of the Tamarois or Cahokia 
country. It has been impossible for me to date it but I would place it 
shortly after 1720 after the completion of Fort Chartres. 


"The Tamarois or Cahokias are situated about fifteen leagues above the 
establishment of the French fort of the Illinois called Fort Chartres, and 
five leagues below the mouth of the Missouri. The Mississippi flows nearly 
to the north and south in a plain which is enclosed between mountains on 
both sides, which slope differently from the river, because to the west, upon 
ascending the course of this river, it runs along more closely. 

"One usually counts twelve leagues, by land, from the establishment of 
Fort Chartres to the Cahokias, by going by way of the heights, so as to 
shorten the journey, which is too difficult to allow vehicles conveying pro- 
visions to pass. This one may hope to develop in time by work, so that it 
would seem more necessary to establish communications from one place to 
the other by the valley than by traveling over the heights. One could build 
bridges there to facilitate the passage of some drained rivers which come 
together at that point. These rivers are filled with water when the Mis- 
sissippi overflows. One could also establish different habitations in this 
space where there are a number of prairies which become larger or smaller, 
as the river is nearer the eastern side. 

"The woods % which we usually see upon the bank of the river from the" 
establishment of the French up to the Cahokias are possibly, in their great- 
est width, three-quarters of a league wide, and about a quarter of a league 
in width in the narrowest places. They are good for building and heating 
(sic) and must be better husbanded for the establishments than those of the 
coasts which are slender, crooked, and of medium height, the greater part 
being red tortuous oaks. 

lThwaites, Jesuit Relations, LXV, 263. 

2 Jesuit Relations, LXV. Gravier's Journal, p. 101. 

3 For further references see: Thwaites, Jesuit Relations. LXIV, 161, 264; LXV, 
262, 264; LXVI, 339, 348; LXX, 310; Margry, Vol. IV, 431; Margry, Vol. V, 444, 
490, 634; Magazine of American History, Vol. 6, 160; Shea, Voyages Up and Down, 
Le Sueur, 87 ; Wisconsin Hist. Collections, Vol. XVI, 179, 180, 181, 331, 332. 

4 Copy without author's name or date. 


"The edge of these coasts is filled with rocks from which one can extract 
freestones, grindstones and millstones. Numerous springs gush from this 
place at the base of which it would be easy to build watermills. These 
springs form marshes which are found for nearly the whole length at the 
base of the mountains where the land seems to be lower than elsewhere. 

From the source of these marshes to the edges of the woods which are 
found along the river banks, one from time to time sees prairies, which are 
more or less long or wide depending upon the river, as has already been 

"The real prairie of the Cahokias, (where the gentlemen of the missions 
are established, as well as the Illinois who have named the village of the 
Cahokias), is about two leagues long from the southwest to the northeast, 
by three-quarters of a league wide in the most prominent place, so that it 
nearly forms a long square. It is bounded to the northeast by a small 
fringe of woods about half a league wide. This projects from an arm of the 
Mississippi nearly up to the heights, beyond which there is another prairie 
at least as extensive as the preceding, but I have never seen it. 

"The soil of the Cahokia is very easy to cultivate, being at least two feet 
deep where it is found to be black, fertile and light. Then there is found a 
reddish soil which forms a fine sand mixed with light earth. This soil may 
without great cultivation produce French wheat, tobacco, corn and in season 
a variety of vegetables in abundance. It may be used as pasture for a num- 
ber of cattle, which are -not hard to care for in winter because only those 
which are actually working are enclosed in stables or stalls. The others are 
left to pasture in the open in summer as well as in winter. An island about 
a league in length by a half league in width has already been determined 
upon for a "commune." This island forms the arm of the Mississippi upon 
which are established the gentlemen of the missions and the savages. This, 
to prevent the cattle from harming the dwellings which may be put up later. 

"The prairie of which we have just spoken may abundantly furnish lands 
for 150 good workmen. 

"Between this prairie and another to the south there is still another fringe 
of woods about half a league in extent. A little river which sometimes dries 
up divides it. This prairie may be also from two leages or thereabouts in 
length, by three-quarters of a league in width situated between the moun- 
tains and the fringe of woods, by the banks of the river. It is like the 
preceding and is about the same shape. It may also hold 50 good inhabitants 
and serve as pasture for all the cattle they may need. The inhabitants, how- 
ever, will have a little further to haul their possessions upon the river bank. 

"The soil found upon the heights varies. Some of it is in extended prairies 
and others are covered with woods, the greater part of which are red oaks. 
Good settlements may be developed there in the future, either to gather wheat 
or to plant vines granting that some may be had from Europe which are 
already rooted cuttings. It seems, however, more proper to settle on the 
banks of the river because of the convenience of transportation. There 
are already at Kaskaskias, at the settlement of Fort Chartres and at the Caho- 
kias more than 1500 horned animals and 150 horses, without counting those 
belonging to the Indians. 

"The distance from Kaskaskia to Cahokia is reckoned as being 21 leagues 
by land, so that one will be able to establish settlements in this space suf- 
ficient to sustain many inhabitants and to shelter oneself from the outrages 
of the Indians. 

"The flour and other provisions (sic) can be carried down the river to" 
give the inhabitants who are there more commodities for their livelihood, 
and will give returns to those of the Illinois for their subsistence as well as 
the necessary provisions." 


Read Before a Union Mass-Meeting at Springfield, III., Sept. 3. 
1863 — An Explanation of Lincoln's Most Famous Epistle. 1 

By Paul Selby. 

Following is the title of the article as it appeared in the Chicago 
Tribune, Sunday. June 23, 1S95 : 


What the Martyr President Really Meant in His Epistle to James C. Conkling. 

Popular opinion has been practically unanimous, for the last thirty years, 
in the sentiment that the most noteworthy speech of an unofficial character 
ever uttered by Abraham Lincoln, was delivered by him in the old Represen- 
tatives Hall of the Illinois State Capitol at Springfield, June 16, 1858, when, 
in response to the resolution of the Republican State convention declaring 
him the choice of his party 'for United States Senator, he announced the doc- 
trine of a "house divided against itself" as applied to the institution of 
slavery. While his two inaugurals were accorded a greater importance and 
commanded a more profound attention, both at home and abroad, by virtue 
of their official character and their appearance during a great national crisis, 
and his brief speech at Gettysburg took rank beside the noblest specimens of 
Athenian eloquence belonging to the age of Pericles and Demosthenes, be- 
cause of the simplicity of its diction and the touching pathos which went 
directly to the heart of a nation already bowed at the bier of its patriotic 
dead, the Springfield speech startled the country with the first clear-cut and 
incisive statement of the issue opening up before it, and foreshadowing the 
result which was to follow the coming struggle. It thus assumed at once the 
character of admonition and prophecy, and furnished the keynote to the 
remarkable forensic contest of the same year between its author and his bril- 
liant rivaL Stephen A. Douglas. It ante-dated the "irrepressible conflict" of 
Seward and indicated more clearly what might be expected as the outcome. 

Among the letters of Mr. Lincoln on public topics there is one which is 
likely to be regarded, as time advances, as most unique and characteristic 
of the man and displaying the peculiar sublety of his intellect in a most 
striking manner. Reference is had here to what is known as the "Lincoln- 

l The original article, of which the one herewith presented is a copy, was pub- 
lished in the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune June 23, 1895, accompanied by a 
portrait of President Lincoln and an editorial endorsement which will b? found 
quoted on a following page. To the original text as it appears in this issue, have 
been added some facts relating to the event of which it treats — some of them being 
incorporated in the body of the article and others added as foot notes. 



Conkling letter," written by Mr. Lincoln on the 26th of August, 1863, to be 
read before a State mass-meeting of "unconditional Union men," held at 
Springfield, 111., Sept. 3 of that year. Some of its expressions border so 
closely on the enigmatic as to have given rise to some controversy as to its 
proper construction, when read with different predilections and degrees of 

This is more remarkable in view of the fact that Mr. Lincoln is one of the 
most lucid, as well as logical, of writers on any subject on which he chooses 
to express himself with clearness and accuracy. That this difference of 
construction is due to careless reading is, I think, capable of demonstration 
from the context of the letter itself, as well as from the circumstances which 
called it out and the relation of its writer to the man through whom it was 
addressed to the public. 

This letter was written at a critical period in the history of the war. 
The final proclamation of emancipation had been before the country for a 
period of eight months, and had, during that time, been the object of per- 
sistent attack from the opponents of the administration. 

Although Vicksburg had fallen and the bloody battle of Gettysburg had 
been won during the last few months, the government was in serious finan- 
cial straits, the drafts had been forcibly resisted in some of the states, and 
the enemies of the Union cause in the North were more than usually active 
and defiant, as shown by the "peace meetings" held at various points, espe- 
cially at Springfield on the 17th of June previous.i The elections of the pre- 
vious year had resulted disastrously to the administration, and many of its 
most earnest supporters were becoming disheartened, as they saw the fate of 
the republic trembling in the balance. It was in this condition of affairs 
that Mr. Lincoln's personal and political friends, at his old home, conceived 
the idea of calling a "grand mass-meeting of the unconditional Union men of 
the State, without regard to former party associations, who are in favor of 
a vigorous prosecution of the War," the object being to counteract the effect 
of the peace meetings already referred to, and sustain the hands of the gov- 
ernment in its efforts to subdue the rebellion. 

The interest taken in the meeting, as well as its State character, is shown 
by the fact that the call received the signatures of several hundred citizens, 
including representatives of two-thirds of the counties of the State, and in 
order to make the occasion the more impressive, President Lincoln was 
invited to be present, besides a score or more of the most distinguished 
orators of the Nation. 2 

1 At the Springfield meeting, held under the leadership of Gen. J. W. Singleton, a 
series of twenty-four resolutions was adopted, of which the twenty-third aroused 
special criticism on the part of the supporters of the government war policy. This, 
among other things, declared that "a further offensive prosecution of this war tends 
to subvert the Constitution and entails upon this nation all the disastrous conse- 
quences of misrule and anarchy." and proposed that there be held "a national con- 
vention to settle upon terms of peace, which should have in view the restoration of 
the Union as it was, and the securing, by constitutional amendment, of such rights 
of the several states and people thereof, as honor and justice" (in the estimation of 
its advocates) "demand." As this was after the issue of the Emancipation Procla- 
mation of Jan. 1, 1863, it amounted practically to a proposition to rescind that 
measure and re-establish slavery under conditions that would perpetuate its ex- 
istence for an indefinite period. In the light of this feature, it is not difficult to un- 
derstand to what class Lincoln meant to apply his argument while addressing a 
meeting of "unconditional Union men." 

2 The list of signatures to the call, as published in the Illinois State Journal at 
the time, occupied one and a quarter columns of the paper in solid agate type, con- 
taining the names of citizens of sixty-six out of one hundred and two counties of 
the State, and ranging from one to fifty-five names from each countv. Pike i-oimty 
taking the lead with the larger number and being followed by Grundy county with 
fifty-three signers, Morgan with fifty-one, McLean with forty-five, DeKalb with 
forty-three and Sangamon with forty-one — making a total of 1,000 to 1.200 names 
for the whole State and indicating the wide interest in the meeting. The call re- 
quested that all loyal men rally together from the remotest parts of the State; 
"from the farm and the workshop, the office and the counting-room;" that "the 
farmer leave his plow, the mechanic his tools, the merchant his store, the profes- 
sional man his business, and devote a few hours to th.- interests of his country 
and the demands of the government." That it was answered in tin- spirit in which 
it was expressed, is shown by the fact that, in spite of the absence of 150.000 of 

—16 H S 


We have the assurances of Mr. Lincoln's biographers, Messrs. Nicolay and 
Hay — who, as his private secretaries at the time, must have been aware of 
his purposes and desires — that for a time he "cherished the hope of going to 
Springfield, and once more in his life renew the sensation, so dear to politi- 
cians, of personal contact with great and enthusiastic masses," but that he 
was compelled to forego this pleasure in consequence of the demands of 
public business. Instead he ient a letter addressed to the Hon. James C. 
Conkling, of Springfield (who, as Chairman of the Committee of Arrange- 
ments, had written the letter of invitation), which letter he requested Mr. 
Conkling to read to the assembled thousands who would compose the meet- 
ing.i It is to be presumed that, understanding thoroughly the existing emer- 
gency in the Nation and the momentous character of the occasion when this 

the stalwart citizens of the State in the field struggling for the perpetuity of the 
Union, citizens came from a distance of fifty to sixty miles from Springfield on 
horseback or in wagons, many bringing their wives and children with them, while 
many single individuals came from the remotest parts of the State or from other 
states. The streets were crowded, and in the absence of hotel or other accommoda- 
tions, many were compelled to sleep in their wagons or on the streets — the crowd 
being confessedly the largest that, up to that time, had ever assembled in the State 
on any public occasion, and being estimated by opponents of the movement as high 
as 40,000, and by its friends from 60,000 to 75,000, and by some even higher. 

The meeting w r as held in what is now the western part of the city of Springfield, 
on the ground on which the first State fairs were held, but which, during the first 
year, of the war, was a recruiting camp and drilling field under the name of "Camp 
Yates." An imposing procession marched through the principal streets and to the 
ground und°r the direction of Col. John Williams as chief marshal, and speeches 
were delivered from half a dozen different stands with a presiding officer at each — 
among these being Hon. S. M. Cullom, Col. John Dougherty, Hon. S. W. Moulton 
and Judge Mark Bangs, the fifth stand being occupied entirely by German speak- 
ers. After the firing of a national salute, the first business was the reading of 
President Lincoln's letter from each stand, followed by letters and telegrams from 
those who had been unable to accept invitations to be present and participate in 
the proceedings. These included responses from Edward Everett of Massachusetts, 
Senator Dickinson of New York, Governor Blair of Michigan. Schuyler Colfax of 
Indiana. Congressman Bingham of Ohio, General Benj. F. Butler, and General 
John A. Logan and Owen Lovejoy of Illinois, both of whom were prevented from 
being present on account of illness. Speeches were delivered from the various 
stands by Senators Chandler of Michigan and Doolittle of Wisconsin, Henry S. 
Lane of Indiana, Governor Yates, General R. J. Oglesby, General Isham N. Haynie, 
General John A. McClernand, General B. M. Prentiss. Colonel John Dougherty, 
Congressman E. C. Ingersoll, Hon. Isaac N. Arnold and many other home speakers. 
The principal speakers at the German stand were Hon. Casper Butz of Chicago, 
H. Goedeking of Belleville, and Emil Pretorius of St. Louis. This, however, does 
not exhaust the list of orators who stirred the hearts of their hearers by their 
patriotic eloquence, appealing for the preservation of the Union without regard to 
party. A stirring meeting was also held in the evening in the public square in 
front of the court house. 
, 1 The correspondence with Mr. Lincoln by telegraph and otherwise, while he was 
considering the possibility of visiting Springfield in compliance with the invitation to 
be present at the Union mass meeting, and the final announcement of his intention 
to send a letter instead, includes the following, the first being a message by tele- 
graph written on a blank of the old "Illinois and Mississippi Company — Caton 
Lines" (the predecessor of the "Western Union"), of which the late Colonel J. J. S. 
Wilson was superintendent, with headquarters at Springfield, and which is care- 
fully preserved with the other papers : 

"Springfield, III., Aug. 20, 1S63. — (By telegraph from Washington. 10:30 a. m.. 
Aug. 20. 1863.) — The Hon. James C. Conkling: Your letter of the 14th is received. 
I think I will go or send a letter — probably the latter. 

"A. Lincoln. President." 
On the lower left-hand corner of the message appears the following note from 
the operator, which may serve to indicate the means then thought advisable to keep 
the plans and movements of the President from becoming matter of public noto- 
riety : 

"Mr. C. — Mr. Wilson got this in cypher. Operator." 

A few days before the date of the meeting, Mr. Conkling received the following 
letter from Mr. Lincoln, written on a War Department letterhead, and enclosing 
his letter designed to be read at the meeting: 

"War Department, Washington City. D. C. Aug. 27. 1863. — My Dear Conkling: 
I cannot leave here now. Herewith is a letter instead. I have but one suggestion — 
read it very slowly. And now, God bless you and all good Union men. 

"Yours as ever, 
"[Private.]" "A. Lincoln." 

On the bottom of this letter Mr. Conkling added the following memorandum : 
"The above letter was sent with the letter published in Holland's 'Life of Lin- 
coln,' on page (420-21). and which was intendedno be read at the Republican con- 
vention held at Springfield, September (3), 1863, and which was read at that time. 

"James C. Conkling." 


■letter was to be made public, he threw into it all the power of persuasion and 
logical argument, of which he was so capable a master. Some of the pass- 
ages in it, upon which have hinged the differences of construction alluded to 
in the opening part of this article, are as follows: 

"You desire peace, and you blame me that we do not have it."i 

"You are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely there is a dif- 
ference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject." 

"You dislike the emancipation proclamation and perhaps would have it re- 
tracted. You say it is unconstitutional. . . . Some of you profess to 
think its retraction would operate favorably for the Union." 

"You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to 
fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union." 

It has been claimed — not generally, it is true, but in a few instances — 
that these passages were addressed primarily and mainly to the active pro- 
moters (Mr. Conkling and his associates) of this meeting of unconditional 
"Union men," called for the avowed and express purpose of sustaining the 
hands of the government in its struggle for the preservation of the Union, 
and that such extracts as these prove that Mr. Lincoln regarded these men 
as, in some way, hostile to his war policy and meant to rebuke them for their 
position, while' using them as a medium to reach the Nation. That so dis- 
tinguished an author as George Bancroft erred on this point is shown by 
the fact that, in his eloquent and inspiring address delivered before a joint 
session of the two Houses of Congress on February 12, 1866, in celebration 
of the first anniversary of Lincoln's birth after the date of his assassination, 
in introducing some extracts from the Lincoln-Conkling letter, he said: "He 
(Lincoln) wrote in reply to another cavileri — implying that Mr. Conkling, 
to whom the letter was addressed, was a "caviler," or unfair critic of Lin- 
coln's policy. That he had found reason to change his opinion on this sub- 
ject is shown by the modification of his language when this address appeared 
a few months later in book form, then saying, "He (Lincoln) wrote in reply 
to other cavils"- 1 — indicating that the brilliant author had then learned that 
Lincoln's reply to his critics was not intended as a rebuke to Mr. Conkling 
and his associates connected with the Union mass meeting of September 3, 
1863, but to his own enemies who were clamoring for "peace at any price" 
without regard to the preservation of the Union. 

Indeed, it has been charged that there was a conspiracy among leading 
Republican politicians of Illinois, including those intimately connected with 
the State administration at that time, "to remove Mr. Lincoln by fair means 
or foul from his exalted position as leader of the political and military forces 
of the country and replace him with one of its own creatures," of which 
this meeting constituted a part: and it has been claimed that Mr. Lincoln 
used the occasion successfully to circumvent these schemes of his enemies 
within his own party. 

To state such a proposition as to Mr. Lincoln and his most intimate and 
trusted personal and political friends, is to disprove it. Among the score or 
more of authors who, attracted by Mr. Lincoln's great name and illustrious 
career, have attempted to write his biography — all of whom, with a few 
unimportant exceptions, quote this remarkable letter and recognize the 
wonderful sweep and power of its argument — I have met with only one who 
takes the view of its purpose here controverted. This author goes to the 
point of speaking of the promoters of this meeting as "posing for the moment 
as unconditional Union men," and charges them with sending Mr. Lincoln "a 
written invitation to be present and hear himself discussed." 

In order to give the color of plausibility to the construction of Mr. Lin- 
coln's letter for which these writers contend, they are compelled not only to 
disregard the well-known character of Mr. Lincoln's friends in his own 

1 "Congressional Globe" (1866), First session Thirty-ninth Congress (p. 804). 

2 "Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln" (in book 
form, p. 29). 


State, who had steadily adhered to his political fortunes a quarter of a cen- 
tury, but to ignore the opening paragraphs of the letter itself, which furnish 
the keynote of its spirit and meaning as a whole. The letter is addressed 
to the Hon. James C. Conkling, one of Mr. Lincoln's most intimate personal 
and political friends, who had been a member of the Republican State Cen- 
tral committee and candidate for Presidential Elector for Mr. Lincoln's own 
district in 1860, as he was again for the same position in 1864. These facts 
indicate clearly the relations existing between him and the President. As 
already stated, he was Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements for the 
Springfield meeting, and in this capacity had written the letter inviting Mr. 
Lincoln to be present. In this letter, as quoted by Messrs. Nicolay and Hay 
in their Life of Lincoln, Mr. Conkling, in urging Mr. Lincoln's acceptance, 
had said: 

"There is a bad element in this State as well as in others, and every public 
demonstration in favor of law and order and constitutional government will 
have a favorable influence. The importance of our meeting, therefore, at the 
capital of a State which has sent so many soldiers into the army and which 
exercises such a controlling power in the West cannot be overestimated." 

Mr. Lincoln's reply was not only addressed to Mr. Conkling, but was ac- 
companied with a request that he should read it to the approaching mass- 
meeting. In the opening paragraphs, after expressing the satisfaction it 
would give him to meet his "old friends" at his "own home," which he is 
precluded from doing by the exigencies of the public business, and after 
recognizing the character of the proposed meeting in the fact that it was 
"to be composed of all those who maintain unconditional devotion to the 
Union," to whom he tenders "the Nation's gratitude," as he does to those 
"other noble men whom no partisan malice or partisan hope can make false 
to the Nation's life," he says: "There are those who are dissatisfied with me. 
To such I would say." 

Then follows that marvelous argument in proof that the only hope of 
peace with preservation of the Union is to suppress the rebellion by force of 
arms — in defense of the emancipation proclamation, the employment of 
negroes as soldiers, and of the war policy of the administration in general, 
closing with an encouraging enumeration of the signs of final triumph and 
an appeal to the patriotism of all — that stirred the hearts of Union men 
throughout the Nation. How absurd to say of the argument in defense of 
the emancipation proclamation that it was intended for those who, if they 
differed with Mr. Lincoln at all on this question, did so because it was 
not issued as early as they desired. And so of the rest. 

It is evident that Mr. Lincoln had in mind, first of all, the objectors to his 
policy who were obstructing the measures taken for the preservation of the 
Union, and meant, after answering them, to arouse all alike to the duty of 
preserving the Nation's life. And that it had the desired effect is shown in 
the response it evoked wherever the national flag gave protection to com- 
plete freedom of opinion. i 

But this construction of Mr. Lincoln's intention in penning this memorable 
letter is not dependent upon the opinion of any single latter-day reader. The 
Hon. James C. Conkling, who received it and by special request of Mr. Lin- 

l Other examples of Lincoln's peculiar style of argument, aiming at his opponents 
while addressing his friends, might be cited, one of the most noticeable being in a 
speech delivered bv him at Galena during the Fremont campaign in 1856, a "frag- 
ment" of which is preserved in the Nicolay and Hay edition of the Lincoln "Ad- 
dresses and Letters," (Vol. I, pp. 220-221). In this he says: 

"We, the maim-itv, would not strive to destroy the Union: and if any attempt is 
made, it must he vou. who so loudlv stigmatize us as disuni. mists. But the Union 
in anv event will not be dissolved. We don't want to dissolve it, and if you attempt 
it. we won't let you. . . . All this talk about the dissolution of the Union is 
humbug — nothing but folly. We don't want to dissolve the Union ; you shall not." 

The same sentiments, and almost the same language — whether accurately or 
not — are used in the Whitney report of the "Lost Speech.'' as delivered at Bloom- 
ington on May 29, 1856. 


coin, read it at the meeting of September, 1863, and who still lives i at his 
old home and that of his friend, the martyred President, should of all living 
men be best qualified to state what was the true meaning of its author. In 
a letter to the writer of this article during the present year, with the original 
of Mr. Lincoln's letter lying before him, Mr. Conkling wrote as follows: 

"Springfield, III.. March 16, 1895. 
Paul Selby, Esq.: 

My Dear Sir — Your esteemed favor of the 15th inst., is received. There 
seems to be some misunderstanding as to the meaning and intent of a por- 
tion of President Lincoln's letter to me dated August 26, 1863. I have the 
original letter now in my desk before me. 

"A charge is now made that, although the letter was addressed to those 
who promoted or composed the mass-meeting, yet some of its leaders were 
conspirators against Mr. Lincoln and opposed his aspirations for the Pres- 
idency a second time, and that they assumed the title of unconditional Union 
men when, in fact, they were dissatisfied and criticised the policy of the ad- 
ministration. This charge is perfectly absurd. The Executive Committee 
and leaders of the movement would not stultify themselves by assuming a 
name to which they were not entitled. At that period the great mass of the 
Republican party were terribly in earnest. They needed no concealment of 
their plans and purposes. Our armies had recently achieved glorious vic- 
tories. Vicksburg had fallen and the battle of Gettysburg had been won. 
The emancipation proclamation had been issued and the rebellion was being 
crushed. The rifle was placed in the hands of the ex-slave and he became 
an efficient part of our armies and bravely fought for the preservation of the 
Union and his own liberty. This was one of the grandest measures of the 
administration and Mr. Lincoln naturally felt solicitous for its complete 
success. After acknowledging the receipt of the invitation to attend the 
mass-meeting of unconditional Union men on the 3d of September, 1863, he 
immediately commences an argument, not with the unconditional Union men, 
but with others who criticised his policy and attempted to defeat his plans. 
He rebuked those who were for peace at any price and denounced those who 
proclaimed their treasonable utterances so boldly at that period and claimed 
the war to be a failure. Mr. Lincoln's letter opens as follows: 

"'The Hon. James C. Conkling — My Dear Sir: Your letter inviting me to 
attend a mass-meeting of unconditional Union men to be held at the capital 
of Illinois on the third day of September has been received. It would be 
very agreeable to me to there meet my old friends at my own home, but I 
cannot just now be absent from here so long as a visit there would require. 

" 'The meeting is to be of all those who maintain unconditional devo- 
tion to the Union, and I am sure my old political friends will thank me 
for tendering, as I do, the national gratitude to those other noble men whom 
no partisan malice or partisan hope can make false to the Nation's life.' 

"From this it can be seen that Mr. Lincoln knew he was invited to address 
men who preferred the preservation of the Union to every other considera- 
tion. They had no criticisms to make upon his policy. They submitted to 
his superior wisdom and judgment. They were gratified with his success 
and were willing to trust him for the future. There was no necessity for 
arguing with such men. They were already convinced that Mr. Lincoln was 
right, and they were willing to adopt his policy unconditionally and with- 
out any objection. 

"But Mr. Lincoln proceeds: 'There are those who are dissatisfied with me. 
To such I would say. you desire peace and you blame me that we do not 
have it.' 

"But these persons did not belong to said convention. They had no 
sympathy with it. They wanted peace at any price. They preferred the dis- 
solution of the Union to the abolition of slavery. They gave aid and com- 

l Mr. Conkling died in his home at Springfield, March 1. 1899. 


fort to the enemy. They strove to make the rebellion triumphant over the 
Union. Yet Mr. Lincoln reasoned with them fairly and honestly and en- 
deavored to convince them of their errors and their folly. 

"The argument was made for their benefit, although the letter was read to 
a mass-meeting of unconditional Union men. Yours truly, 

James C. Coxklixg-" 

Testimony like this, coming from the man to whom this historical paper 
was addressed and who knew the spirit, and motives of the men whom he 
had represented in penning the invitation which called it forth; who had 
been the close political ally and personal friend of Mr. Lincoln through his 
whole public career, and was familiar with all his modes of thought arid ac- 
tion, and who twice cast the vote for Lincoln's own district in the Electoral 
College of Illinois for his friend, should be conclusive on this purpose. It 
would be the height of absurdity to charge. Mr. Lincoln, even by implication, 
with using an occasion of such transcendent importance to the Union cause, 
when the fate of the Nation was at stake, to promote the chances of his 
renomination for the Presidency one year later, and with offering a scarcely 
veiled insult to his "old friends" in his "own home," by asking one of them 
to read a paper intended to be a rebuke and a reproach of the reader and his 
associates. Abraham Lincoln was neither a political trickster seeking his 
own advancement by the arts of the demagogue, uor was he an ungrateful 
friend seeking to humiliate his most earnest supporters. 

If any further evidence were needed on this point, it is furnished in the 
closing sentence of the private letter (quoted in a footnote on a preceding 
page of this paper), in which he enclosed the letter, to be read at the Union 
mass-meeting. In that letter, speaking with an earnestness and emphasis 
that seemed almost impassioned, he said: 'God bless you and all good 
Union men.' " 

That the importance of this letter has not been overestimated is capable 
of demonstration, from contemporaneous and subsequent tributes to it, 
Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, in their "Life of Lincoln," say of it: 

"Among all the state papers of Mr. Lincoln from his nomination to his 
death this letter is unique. It may be called his last stump speech; the only 
one made during his Presidency. We find in it all the qualities that made 
him in Illinois the incomparable political leader of his party for a generation. 
There is the same close, unerring logic, the same innate perception of polit- 
ical conduct, the same wit and sarcasm, the same touch of picturesque elo- 
quence, which abounded in his earlier and more careless oratory, but all 
wonderfully heightened, strengthened, and chastened by a sense of weighty 
responsibility. ... It was, like most of his speeches, addressed mostly 
to his opponents, and in this short space he appealed successively to their 
reason, to their sympathies, and to their fears. . . . The style . . . 
is as remarkable as its matter; each sentence, like a trained athlete, is 
divested of every superfluous word and syllable, yet nowhere is there a word 
lacking any more than a word too much." 

It met instant approval alike from the ablest politicians, statesmen, and 
rhetoricians. Charles Sumner wrote, indorsing it as "a noble letter," "a 
historical document," and declared "it cannot be answered." Henry Wilson 
spoke of it as "noble, patriotic, and Christian," and predicted that it would 
be "on the lips and in the hearts of hundreds and thousands this day." The 
venerable and scholarly Josiah Quincy pronounced it "happy, timely, con- 
clusive, and effective," and declared, in view of the assaults made upon Mr. 
Lincoln's character, "the development is an imperishable monument of wis- 
dom and virtue."i 

1 Nicolay and Hay's "Abraham Lincoln— A History" (pp. 379-385). 


It is due, not alone to Mr. Lincoln's personal and political friends in his 
own State, who, whatever might have been their differences on minor details 
of policy, always stood true in support of his great measures, but to the 
memory of Mr. Lincoln himself, that this now famous letter should be under- 
stood as its sagacious and illustrious author intended. 

Paul Selby. 

Tribune Comment. 

The original communication of which the preceding article is a copy. 
with some added facts in foot-notes, was published in the Chicago Trib- 
une of June 23, 1895, under the title, "Light on a Famous Lincoln 
Letter — What the Martyr President Eeally Meant in his Epistle to 
James C' Conkling.'" 'On the editorial-page of the' same issue appeared 
the following paragraph from the pen of the late Joseph Medill, then 
editor-in-chief of the paper : 

"The Tribune prints on another page of today's paper, the notable or 
"unique" letter written by Abraham Lincoln, to James C. Conkling. of Spring- 
field, in 1863, and read at the mass-meeting of. Union men held at the State 
capital September 3 of that year. This is accompanied by a communication 
from Paul Selby, in which he controverts successfully the claim. which has 
been made sometimes that some of the passages of Mr. Lincoln's letter were 
addressed primarily to some of the promoters of the mass-meeting in ques- 
tion, who, it has been alleged, were unfriendly to Mr, Lincoln and were con- 
spiring against him. Mr. Selby shows that the passages of the letter on 
which this claim has been based — such as "You desire peace, and you blame 
me that we do not have it," or, "You dislike the emancipation proclamation, 
and perhaps would have it retracted" — were not intended for the benefit of 
the Union men who called, or who attended, the mass-meeting, but were ad- 
dressed to a very different constituency — that is, to those who were openly 
and avowedly opposed to his policy. The letter was a stump speech of re- 
markable ability, and which had a wonderful effect. It is worth reading as 
an admirable example of Mr. Lincoln's political sagacity, his logical and 
argumentative powers, and his terse, forcible English." 


James Cook Conkling- was horn in New York City. Oct. 13, 1816 
from Princeton College, New Jersey, in 1835; studied law and was adn.iu.-'l to the 
bar at Morristown, Now Jersey, in 1838, When he removed to Springfield, 111., and 
had for his first partner in the practice of his profession Cyrus Walker, an eminent 
lawyer of his time, later being associated in the same capacity with General James 
Shields, a soldier of the Mexican War, who also served as United States Senator 
at different periods from Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. Always a political and 
personal friend of Abraham Lincoln after coming to Illinois, Mr. Conkling served 
one term as mayor of the citv of Springfield (1844-45), and two terms as Represen- 
tative in the General Assembly from Sangamon county (1851-52 and 1867-68) ; 
was a member of the Committee on Resolutions in the Republican State convention 
at Bloomington in 1856, and by the same convention was appointed a member of 
the State Central Committee; also, in 1860 and again in 1864, was chosen Presi- 
dential Elector for the Springfield District, on both occasions casting his vote in 
the Electoral College for Abraham Lincoln for PresiU in. P.. -sides holding various 
appointive offices during the war period, for the the last thirty years of his life 
he served as a member of the Lincoln Monument Association and as Postmaster of 
the city of Springfield from 1890 to 1894. His death occurred March 1. 1899. 


Full Text of the Document Writtex to James C. Coxklixg ix 1863. 

Executive Maxsiox, 
Washingtox, D. C, August 26, 1863. 
Hon. James C. Conkling: 

Dear Sir — Your letter inviting me to attend a mass-meeting of uncondi- 
tional Union men, to be held at the capital of Illinois on the 3d day of Sep- 
tember, has been received. It would be very agreeable for me thus to meet 
my old friends at my own home, but I cannot just now be absent from here 
so long as a visit there would require. 

The meeting is to be of all those who maintain unconditional devotion to 
the Union, and I am sure that my old political friends will thank me for 
tendering, as I do, the Nation's gratitude to those noble men whom no par- 
tisan malice or partisan hope can make false to the Nation's life. 

There are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say: You 
desire peace and you blame me that we do not have it. But how can we 
attain it? There are but three conceivable ways: First — to suppress the 
rebellion by force of arms. This I am trying to do. Are you for it? If you 
are, so far we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is to give up 
the Union. I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say 
so plainly. If you are not for fo'rce, nor yet for dissolution, there only re- 
mains some imaginable compromise. 

I do not believe that any compromise embracing the maintenance of the 
Union is now possible. All that I learn leads to a directly opposite belief. 
The strength of the rebellion is its military, its army. That army dominates 
all the country and all the people within its range. Any offer of terms made 
by any man or men within that range in opposition to that army is simply 
nothing for the present, because such man or men have no power whatever 
to enforce their side of a compromise if one were made with them. 

To illustrate: Suppose refugees from the South and peace men of the 
North get together in convention and frame and proclaim a compromise em- 
bracing a restoration of the Union. In what way can that compromise be 
used to keep Lee's army out of Pennsylvania? Meade's army can keep Lee's 
army out of Pennsylvania and, I think, can ultimately drive it out of exist- 
ence. But no paper compromise to which the controllers of Lee's army are 
not agreed can at all affect that army. In an effort at such compromise we 
would waste time, which the enemy would improve to our disadvantage, and 
that would be all. 

A compromise to be effective must be made either with the rebel 
army or with the people first liberated from the domination of that army by 
the success of our own army. Now allow me to assure you that no word or 
intimation from the rebel army, or from any of the men controlling it, in 
relation to any peace compromise has ever come to my knowledge or belief. 
All charges and insinuations to the contrary are deceptive and groundless. 
And I promise you that, if any such proposition shall hereafter come, it shall 
not be rejected and kept a secret from you. I freely acknowledge myself 
to be the servant of the people according to the bond of service, the United 
States Constitution, and that, as such, I am responsible to them. 

But to be plain. You are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite 
likely there is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that 
subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free, while you, I suppose, 
do not. Yet I have neither adopted nor proposed any measure which is not 
consistent even with your view, provided that you are for the Union. I sug- 
gested compensated emancipation, to which you replied you wished not to 
be taxed to buy negroes. But I had not asked you to be taxed to buy negroes, 
except in such a way as to save you from greater taxation to save the Union 
exclusively by other means. 


You dislike the emancipation proclamation, and perhaps would have it 
retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently. I think the 
Constitution invests its Commander-in-Chief with the law of war in time 
of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is, that slaves are property. 
Is there, has there ever been, any question that, by the law of war, property, 
both of enemies and friends, may be taken when needed? And is it not 
needed whenever it helps us and hurts the enemy? Armies the world over 
destroy enemies' property when they cannot use it, and even destroy their 
own to keep it from the enemy. Civilized belligerents do all in their power 
to help themselves or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as bar- 
barous or cruel. Among the exceptions are the massacre of vanquished foes 
and non-combatants, male and female. 

But the proclamation, as a law, either is valid or is not valid. If it is not 
valid it needs no retraction. If it is valid it cannot be retracted any more 
than the dead can be brought to life. Some of you profess to think its 
retraction would operate unfavorably for the Union. Why better after the 
retraction than before the issue? There was more than a year and a half 
of trial to suppress the rebellion before the proclamation was issued, the last 
100 days of which passed under an explicit notice that it was coming unless 
averted by those in revolt returning to their allegiance. The war has cer- 
tainly progressed as favorably for us since the issue of the proclamation as 

I know, as fully as one can know the opinion of others, that some of the 
commanders of our armies in the field, who have given us our most import- 
ant victories, believe the emancipation policy and the use of colored troops 
constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt to the rebellion, and that at least 
one of those important successes could not have been achieved when it was 
but for the aid of the black soldiers. 

Among the commanders who hold these views are some who have never 
had an affinity with what is called "abolitionism" or with "Republican party 
politics," but who hold them purely as military opinions. I submit their 
opinions as entitled to some weight against the objections, often urged, that 
emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures and 
were not adopted as such in good faith. 

You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing 
to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the 
Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the 
Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union if I 
shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to 
declare you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that in your struggle 
for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes shall cease helping the enemy, 
to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think 
differently? I thought whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers leaves 
just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it ap- 
pear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. 
Why should they do anything for us if we will do nothing for them? If 
they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motives, 
even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept. 

The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the 
sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for it; nor yet wholly to them. Three 
hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone and Jersey, hew- 
ing their way right and left. The sunny South, too, in more colors than one, 
also lent a helping hand". On the spot, their part of the history was jotted 
down in black and white. The job was a great national one, and let none 
be slighted who bore an honorable part in it. And while those who have 
cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard 
to say that anything has been more bravely and well done than at Antietam. 
Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and -on many fields of less note. Nor must Uncle 
Sam's web feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been 
present, not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but 
also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little 

damp they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all. For the great 
republic — for the principle it lives by and keeps alive — for man's vast future 
— thanks to all. 

Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon and 
come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It 
will then have been proved that among freemen there can be no successful 
appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take such appeal 
are sure to lose their case and pay the costs. And there will be some black 
men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clinched teeth, and 
.steady eye, and well poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this 
great consummation, while I fear there will be some white ones unable to 
forget that, with malignant heart and deceitful speech, they have striven to 
hinder it. 

Still let us not be oversanguine of a speedy, final triumph. Let us be quite 
sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, 
in his own good time, will give us the rightful result. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 



! 'By J. F. Steward. 

So many are the conflicting statements left by the trappers, traders 
and explorers of the Illinois country that only by years of research can 
the exact facts be sifted out of the accumulation of historical rubbish. 
Often the events that were recorded in the early accounts found their way 
into print only after passing from mouth to mouth, the result of which 
was that the time of events and the definite places became lost, and the 
facts became decidedly mixed. 

No less is it true that the early map makers were often guided by 
vague descriptions ; the errors once delineated were often for a long time 
repeated by other cartographers. The attempt of Franquelin, in 1684, 
to delineate the Illinois country, may well be considered to have resulted 
in a map which, in general outline, was more nearly correct than those 
of many who came after. 

LaSalle had planned and partly perfected his "Colonie du Sieur de 
LaSalle," had passed several times from his newly built Ft. St. Louis, 
on what is now known as Starved Wink, to the Chicago portage, by way 
of the trail that touched Fox river at its many bends, and had given to 
Franquelin the only details available; hence the tortuous river shown, 
the Pestecuoy — the river of the Buffalo. 

The "Great village of Maramech," as referred to by the French offi- 
cials, the Miami town, is found on the map near what is now known as 
Sylvan Spring, in Kendall county. Over the borders of this beautiful 
stream, then as now, the great trees interlocked their densely clothed 
branches, and 'neath these, near the spring, no doubt, were the principal 
cabins of the town so often referred to by Parrot, the official represen- 
tative of New France, among the middle western tribes. Here, quite 
likely, was one of his trading posts. Be that as it may, the trinkets of 
French make, found in the graves, on the sunny bluff bordering the 
stream, tell of the nearness of the French traders. La Potherie, in his 
"Histoire de L'Amerique Septentrionale," 1722, tells us much about the 
Miami town ; and the accounts found in the New York "Colonial docu- 
ments" often refer to "that great village," where, in 1094, "Na-nan- 
gous-sis-ta and Ma-ci-ton-ga" were the chiefs. The dread of the "five 
nations," the Iroquois, more than that of any other, prompted measures 
of defense among the tribes of the west, and the villages located near 
strategic points were usually well stockaded. 


Near the site of the Miami village a great rounded wooded island-like 
hill rises between two small streams on the east and south, and on the 
west and north is bounded by a swamp. My researches, during the last 
thirty years, have resulted in the accumulation of details that have 
enabled me to restore much of the lost history of the region. The graves 
have also yielded up their secrets, and the plows that have turned over the 
fields of Maramech have turned to the eyes of eager collectors the treas- 
ures that speak, though without a tongue. By common consent the 
eminence above referred to is now called "Maramech Hill." By what 
names the smaller streams that add their mites to the greater one along 
whose banks were the cabins and iields, we shall not know. The prairies 
through which course those beautifully wooded streams, more than else- 
where in the west, were the homes of the buffalo before the arrival of the 
French. This true, very naturally we find the river to have been named 
after that majestic beast. We now know it as Fox river, and it is of one 
of the most sanguinary tragedies of our State, of which I write, that led to 
the name it now bears. 

From the northmost height of Maramech Hill, a little more than two 
miles down the greater stream (a little less than an old French league, 
2.42 miles) rise beside the river two great rounded rocky mounds, thirty- 
five feet above the stream, the larger an acre in extent. After came the 
traders in canoes, both from the north and the south, the stream was 
christened anew, as "Eiviere du Eocher" — Eiver of the rock — while what 
we know as Eock river retained its original Algonquin name Assinnisipi, 
Stony river. 

The new name given to our river, by the French, was adopted by some 
of the English map makers, as late as 1756. 

It was only prominent characteristics and important events that led 
to changes of names long used. A little more than a hundred miles to 
the north is another river known by the French, from the beginning, as 
"Eiviere des Eenards," which name translated into our language is Fox 
river. It seems clear to me that it could have been but an event of great 
importance that led the French to duplicate a river's name, the name of 
a river so near by and in their own dominion. 

With all of the above in mind, I am now prepared to repeat, notwith- 
standing newly discovered proofs to the contrary, that the slaughter of 
1730, by the French and their Indian allies, here took place. "Eiviere 
des Eenards," river of the slaughter of the Fox tribe. How appropriate 
the name the French last gave it! Well may it be so known until some 
greater event warants a change. 

When the fragment of history I am correcting was being written the 
rock which still characterizes it, despite the quarryman's labors, was 
considered a landmark. Our river, a few miles below, washes the bases 
of cliffs, the planes of which pass off far inland beneath the wooded river 
border and prairies beyond. The French word "rocher" refers to high 
rounded rocky eminences. 

Tt applies well to Starved Eock, within about eight miles of which 
our river enters the Illinois. Educated Frenchmen confirm rav inter- 


I ;i station of the term vvLich as applied to our river has reference to a river 
characterized by a rock, rather than to a river the course of which is 
somewhat near another landmark known as "the Rock/' 

Aside from the obscure military reports, many of which I unearthed 
in Paris, and for the first time translated into our language, the fact 
that a second "rock" existed other than that about thirty miles to the 
southwest, on which Fort St. Louis stood, might long have remained 
unknown. This accounts for the fact that the place of the tragedy of 
1730; partly told of by Ferland, merely referred to by three other well- 
known writers, has not been known until my discoveries, ripened during 
the last thirty years. 

Davidson, in ••Unnamed Wisconsin," says "the worst of the war oc- 
curred near Rock St. Louis, on the Illinois river." He does not say how 
near the rock, nor do the military accounts say that the defeat of the 
Foxes, September 9th, took place near the Illinois river. It was the 
burning of the son of the chief of the Illinois tribe, some time before the 
preceding July, that occurred near the Illinois river. (Correspondent 
General, 1732, CLYII, p. 316, quoted in "Lost Maramech and Earliest 
Chicago," p. 375). All of the Illinois tribe were at first called Illinois of 
the Rock, because as early as 1673, when Joliet and Marquette passed up 
the river, the principal Illinois village, Kaskaskia. was located opposite 
the landmark we know as Starved Rock. They were driven away by the 
Iroquois to the new Kaskaskia, on the Mississippi river; the Peoria 
branch of the tribe remained in the vicinity and were known as the Illi- 
nois of the Rock, while the branch that fled to the south were known 
principally as the Cohokia branch. 

If, by any construction, the account can be inferred to mean that the 
tragedy was enacted near the Rock on the Illinois river, then I say twelve 
leagues between it and Maramech Hill is not far if the distance DeLery 
places the site of the fort, fifty leagues away, is "near," as he states. 
Hebbard, in "Wisconsin under French Dominion," speaks of the tragedy, 
but makes no mention of the place. Parkman, in his "Half century of 
conflict," says : "The account of the affair is obscure and not very trust- 
worthy. It seems that the Ontagamies (Foxes) began the affair by an 
attack on the Illinois at LaSalle's old station, "LeRocher," on the Illi- 
nois river." I admit that the accounts are confusing, which fact calls 
for this article, but I can say that it is clear that Parkman has no au- 
thority for saying that the affair, as he terms it. took place at the "Rock." 
It seems that, for the moment, when writing the above, he did not recall 
the fact that the Illinois had long before 1730 abandoned their old home. 
For a number of years the region had been no-man's-land : it was merely 
a hunting ground into which only the brave dared to step. 

In order to make clear my interpretation of the accounts. I have pre- 
pared a map of Maramech Hill, and vicinity, which the reader will see, 
checks up with every detail found in the military reports that is in any 
way descriptive. We read that there had been fighting between several 
tribes and the Foxes, and that on August 22, 1730, a letter was written 
by the commandant at Detroit, saying fighting had taken place "be- 


tween the Rock and the Ouatonons." (Miamis, on the Wabash.) The 
Foxes had endeavored to pass on eastward but were compelled to retreat 
to a sate place. 

"Les Eenards sont dans un islet de bois," wrote Beauharnois, October 
10, 1730. (The Foxes are in an islet of woods, that is, in a wooded 
island, or at least a bunch of woods.) As a matter of fact, Maramech 
Hill is an island, as stated, and on its summit was, until a few years past, 
a grove of large fine trees, so that, whichever the interpretation, it will 

The letter written by Hoquart. enclosing a copy of a letter previously 
written by him ami Beauharnois, dated January 16, 1731, informs us 
that the Foxes were to go to the Iroquois, from their home on the Wis- 
consin river, by the way of Ouatanons. Now, to the Rock on the Illinois 
would have taken them out of their way. 

The Kickapous, Mascoutins and Illinois of the Rock, we read, had in- 
tercepted the Foxes and the latter '"had constructed a fort at the Rock. 
a league below them.'' This statement must mean one of two things : 
either that the Rock was a league from the place of the warriors of the 
three tribes named, or that the Fox fort was a league from the Rock. 
In either case DeLery's statement, to which I shall soon refer, is over 
forty-eight fiftieths in error, if we credit the military officers who were on 
the spot, while the map maker was at Quebec, a thousand miles away. 

We are told that St. Ange was informed by one of his scouts, on the 
12th of August, that he had counted one hundred and eleven cabins where 
the Foxes were located. If the Foxes were on the "gentle slope," as we 
gather from the accounts, then they were easily counted from any place 
southeast thereof. The march, we read, was continued through covered 
country for three days. This true, the French and allies from Cahokia 
and Kaskaskia, must have followed the trails along the Illinois and Fox 

Except small groves on the prairies, no timberlancl is found but cover- 
ing the bluffs and valleys of streams. Forty hunters were 'driven into 
their fort. "It was a thicket," etc. "A trench was dug on the following 
night, and each worked to fortify himself at the post assigned him." 
Made in one night, and each to protect himself, we may well conclude 
that the trenches were irregular, as are the scars of trenches in the sod on 
the north part of Maramech Hill. 

As the main trench on Maramech Hill approaches the site of the en- 
closure diagonally, relative thereto, it becomes more regular, as if later 
dug as an approach, which we read was attempted. 

De Noyelle arrived with the Miamis. He was in command of the 
French on the Wabash, which river at its nearest point is about fifty 
French leagues, 120 miles, from the Rock on the Illinois river and also 
the Rock on Fox river. 

He was southeastward from one, or in fact, both of these places, where 
if the attack was made, as told De Lery, the Foxes had placed themselves 
in too close proximity to the French troops, on the Wabash, for their own 
safety, which is not reasonable. 

We read in the reports that St. Ange constructed a small fort at the 
distance of two pistol shots, which was to cut them off from communica- 
tion with the river. 

■Now, this fits Maramech Hill well, where, on its southern summit, to 
which the "gentle slope" reaches, is a semi-circular ditch, in places three 
feet deep, and a ridge that, with the brow of the hill, completes a circle. 
This enclosure must have been palasaded as was the custom of the sav- 
ages. After the hill was stripped of the great trees (where oft 1 sou -lit 
the summer shade) with nothing left to check the flow resulting from 
heavy storms, the abrupt hillside became gullied. Where now the gravel 
is laid bare was plainly seen a continuation of the ditch yet so plain upon 
the hill. Until turned by the hand of man, to turn his wheels, the smaller 
creek ran at the foot of the hill, and there the ditch leading to the water 
met it. In the wide gully, cut out by the heavy rains, a French axe. such 
as was exchanged for furs, was found. This axe, no doubt, was used in 
constructing the nalasade and covering over the waterway, of which the. 
accounts speak. 

About two pistol shots southward from the foot of the hill, where the 
ditch terminated, is a point of bluff, and here, it seems, must have been 
St. Ange's little fort. 

The accounts also say that the Foxes escaped during a cold, stormy 
night, were followed at dawn and soon overtaken. Upon a hill, across 
the valley and a mile to the northeast, in a plowed field, where, not many 
years ago was heavy timber, I found arrow points more abundant than 
ever elsewhere. No evidence of a village site is there seen, and T can 


in no other way account for the many arrows than that there must have 
been an engagement, or that there some or all of the captives, a thousand 
or more, may have been shot to death. 

The letter written by Marupas, December 18. 1731, says: "They (the 
Foxes) had gained a bunch of woods, where they had fortified themselves." 
De Lery's map, however, shows the fort on the open prairie. 

On the 10th of August, we are informed, De Villiers left his post, on 
the St. Joseph river (where is now South Bend) and arrived on the 
scene on the 20th. Now. if the Foxes were near Bock on the Illinois 
river, or the Rock on the Fox river, then, even though he carried the two 
small pieces of artillery, he must have made exceedingly slow progress, 
for the distance is about 120 miles, from either place. But if the Foxes 
were fifty leagues, 120 miles, east, southeast, of either of the Bocks, then 
the distance traveled by De Villiers was not far from half as great, a five 
mile rate of travel, per day is ridiculously small. 

The military reports put the fort in a bunch of woods in a vast prairie, 
but, De Lery places it on a prairie. We read that St. Ange had camped 
on the left of the river, and De' Villiers on the right, but De Lery re- 
verses the positions. 

About two years ago I learned that somewhere might be found two 
maps purporting to show the location of the fort where the Foxes were 
defeated, and at once began efforts to find them, with the result that I 
am able to here present them. 

Upon the margin of the map is a legend. With reference to this 
French, it looks as though it had been written by an ignorant man, in ad- 
dition to the fact that it was written some two centuries ago. The trans- 
lation reads: 

"The three sides B C, B D and D E were enclosed with two rows of 
stakes planted in the earth. The rows six feet apart were leaning like- 
wise and crossed at the upper ends. The interval formed in the profile 
was filled with earth which formed a sloping wall on the outside and one 
inside supported by stakes that they had covered with earth and sod to 
protect them from fire and there appeared outside only the ends of the 
stakes above the place where they crossed. All this parapet erected on the 
the plat of ground was about twelve or fourteen feet in height marked 
on profile F. "Without these three sides there was a ditch adjoining 
marked (! of about five or six feet wide and five feet in depth of which 
the earth served to fill the interval between the stakes forming the en- 
closure. The Foxes came out of the fort into the ditch by small passage 
descents underground four feet in height marked H. whose entrance into 
the fort passed under the parapet and went to the bottom of the ditch 
to permit shooting over the esplanade in such a way that they were not 
seen. On the side of the river B E there were only two rows of stakes 
on the edge which is steep. At this place about fifteen feet high they 
had made underground passages, marked 1, 1. 1, in order to go after 
water in safety. They began in the cellars at the fort and went to the 
river ; they were made like the passages in the ditch. There is a height 
marked K which commanded the fort, they had made an underground 
gallery marked L which had its entrance in the fort and the exit went to 
the top of the height which they had occupied, of a parapet like that of 


the fort. In the fort they dug several ditches like cellars marked in the 
profile M seven or eight feet in depth and of different shapes with com- 
munications among themselves. The whole was covered with pieces of 
wood with dirt on top and above each ditch there was a roof with different 
slopes covered with dirt and sods provided with holes. Their design was 
to make use of the ditch outside to retard the approach (of the enemy), 
the parapet to prevent the entrance into the fort, if they were obliged 
to shut themselves under the roofs to shoot, and not being able to hold 
out there, to escape by the passages underground which go to the river 
that is ford able." 

If the reader will consider the De Lery maps carefully, he will find 
them to correspond in no respect, except as to the prairie country gener- 
ally, and the date of the escape, with the reports of the military writers, 
all of whom agree in some details and do not contradict each other in any 
particular. De Lery, the map maker, was a military engineer, at Quebec, 
and it is quite likely that the details from which he worked were given 
him by some irresponsible person : the military reports are dated later 
than tlie maps, which show October 15, 1 730. 

Beauharnois and Hoquart, at Quebec, on November 2. 1730, reported 
to the minister saying that the son of De Yilliers "had just arrived, de- 
spatched by his father, to bring us the news of the almost total defeat of 
the Foxes," etc. They say that the report was hastily prepared as the 
vessel by which it was to be sent was about to depart. Neither this nor 
any military report I have been able to find has reference to any maps 
or plans. 

Now, although De Lery's map is dated October 15, we see that the offi- 
cial information had just arrived, before the writing of the report. De 
Lery's maps are full of details, and large as they are (the copies here- 
with being very much reduced) must have required several days" time to 
make, and hence it is unreasonable to suppose that De Lery had gotten 
his information a month, more or less, before the official report was re- 
ceived. All this confirms my belief that the map maker worked hastily 
from incorrect accounts, or that he got two or more stories mixed. 

Now, De Lery tells us that the fort was fifty leagues (a little over 120 
miles) cast, southeast of the Rock, and shows it as located on an abrupt 
bluff along a little river. Referring to the fort, one of the official reports 
savs: "It was a little thicket of woods enclosed [merely] with stakes, 
and situated upon "a gentle slope which rose in the direction of the west 
and northwest along a little river; so that, from the south and southeast 
one saw them plainly." 

DeLery places the fort by a "Little river near the Macopin." Be- 
ferring to French maps of that day. we find that the Macopin (the name 
on some of them spelled Masopin) was where it now is, near the mouth A 
the Illinois river, over one hundred miles southwestward from one of 
the Bocks I am considering, and about thirty miles farther from the 
other. St. Ange knew the river well, as it enters the Illinois less than 
one hundred miles above his old station, at Fort Chartres, and his report 
—17 H S 


does not mention it as being naar the fort. Its mouth was a landmark on 
two of the routes between Canada and Louisiana so often followed by the 
French, which shows the confusion to have been in De Lery's mind only. 

De Lery's abrupt bluff rises in- but one direction, while the reports re- 
fer to the gentle slope rising in two directions, "west and northwest." 

Now. a sloping piece of land cannot rise in two directions unless the 
hill is part of an amphitheater, as, lor instance, the curve in Maramech 

De Lery's maps show his little river running due east along an abrupt 
bluff, while the military reports indicate, clearly', that the little river 
must run southeast along the slope, a, as the larger creek of the Rock 
runs, shown on the map of Maramech Hill and vicinity, which I have 

The scars at c, in the sod of the northern summit of the hill show 
where the French trenches were made. The ditch h. is still about two 
feet deep, at its eastern terminus. The rirlle pits, at </. on the southern 
brow of the hill are plain. The ditch e to the little creek was plain until 
gullied out. The enclosure until recent years was a grove of large trees. 
In the gully, in the clean gravel, was found a fine French axe. a French 
gun flint was found nearby. 

Fox river, at the time of the affair, was called river of the Rock. Now, 
may it not be that De Lery's informant, in his confusion, gave the river 
nearby the wrong name ? 

It will be seen that De Lery's plan of the fort is minute in every detail, 
although the accounts say it was merely a staked enclosure, the style 
of the fortification being well shown. If DeLery may be relied upon, 
the Fox fort must have equalled anything in modern warfare. The 
bomb-proofs, as we well may call them, were very spacious, and the entire 
underground work of immense capacity, the whole very unlike what the 
military accounts refer to. "mere holes, like the dens of foxes." 

A- a matter of fact, the Foxes laid but recently been driven to their 
place of defense and could not have built works so extensive in so short a 
time. Furthermore, no work.- equalling those shown were ever found, 
made by the Indians, in any part of the country. The Iroquois fort 
shown by Champlain is comparatively insignificant. 

De Lery was a military engineer, as stated, and. it seems probable, was 
desirous of making a good showing. It may be. however, that it was his 
informant that overdrew. 


Translations and Reprints. 



Translated with Introduction by Lydia Marie Brauer. 

[Only one copy of the pamphlet, — translated below, is known to have been 
preserved, and is to be found in the Ridgeway branch of the Philadelphia 
Library Company. On this copy has been printed by Du Simitiere, in whose 
library it formerly was, the date 1772 and the name of Philadelphia as the 
place of publication. Further information in regard to the pamphlet is not 
evident on title page or cover. 

In 1908, Messrs. C. W. Alvord and C. E. Carter edited the pamphlet for 
the Club of Colonial Reprints of Providence, Rhode Island. By a careful 
study of the conditions existing in Illinois at the time, they concluded that 
the pamphlet was written by a member of the French party of Illinois, that 
was attempting to persuade the British ministry to establish some form of 
civil government in this country. 

By the famous proclamation of 1763, the King of Great Britain had re- 
served for the hunting grounds of the Indians the land west of the Alle- 
ghanies, so that the French villages on the Great Lakes and in the Illinois 
country were left without any form of civil administration. There were 
several attempts in the succeeding years to persuade the ministry to create 
a colony in Illinois; but by 1768, a decision that seemed final was reached 
that no settlements west of the Indian boundary line established during that 
and the following years, should be allowed for the present. 

This decision of the British government left the French in the West in a 
hopeless condition, all the more aggravating on account of the petty tyranny 
of Major Wilkins, the military commandant. The leading French citizens, 
therefore, took the matter into their own hands, instead of trusting to the 
American traders on whom they had hitherto leaned. In 1770 they ap- 
pointed one of their number, Daniel Blouin to represent their grievances to 
General Gage and through him to the ministry. It was while Blouin was in 
New York petitioning Gage, that this pamphlet was printed in Philadelphia; 
and it is possible that it was written by the French agent, but there is no 
decisive proof of this fact. 

The only result of this agitation was that the British ministry realized 
more fully the injustice that had been done the French in the West, so that 
when, at last, the conditions in Canada came under consideration, the sub- 
ject of the West was also, taken up. The consequence was the Quebec Act of 
1774, by which the Old Northwest with its French population was added to 
Canada and assured the protection in civil cases of the French law, to which 
they had been accustomed. The outbreak of the American Revolution pro- 
hibited, however, the inauguration of the civil government in Illinois, that 
had been planned.] 



By An Inhabitant of Kaskaskia. 

My Brothers. Knowledge is of little use when it is restricted to mere 

speculation ; but when speculative truths are reduced to practical ones, 
when theories based upon experience are applied to the habits of life, 
and when, by this means, agriculture is perfected, commerce extended,. 
the facilities of life rendered more easy and more agreeable, and conse- 
quently, the development and welfare of the human race is augmented, 
then knowledge is advantageous. 

All the members of a society who have the ability and the power are, 
without doubt, under obligations to contribute to the advancement of 
knowledge. Those who cannot by the communication of their ideas and 
of their experiences, do this, ought to listen carefully to the instruction of 
those who can and do contribute with truth and goodness of heart, par- 
ticularly, the inhabitants of new settlements in order that they may ob- 
tain the necessary knowledge : and by this means, the perfection of their 

The inhabitants of Illinois suffer from great difficulties on account of 
the disadvantages and the great discouragements which oppose their ef- 
forts in trying to improve their agriculture, their commerce and all the 
other necessary arts. But if each one of us, according to his state and 
power, wishes to strive to improve our situation, and our country, we 
could, in a few years, render this colon}", the happiest of the continent. 

For that purpose, let us unite heart and interest in order to encourage 
the agriculture and commerce of our native land throughout its extent; 
let us unite to oppose also, the introduction of all foreign things with 
which we could dispense with ease and without inconvenience or which 
we could manufacture ourselves. The following articles could immedi- 
ately be removed from our list of imports, and in a few years, we should 
be in a condition to do without a number of others which we shall be able 
to procure for ourselves and which we are, at present, obliged to import 
from Europe, or from some American colony. 

1. Sheet Lead for Bullets and Shot. 

2. Salt. 

3. French Brandy, rum and Strong Liquors of all Kinds. 

4. Wine, and 

5. Sugar. 

For a Long time, we have complained of the lack of money, and of our 
inability to pay the debts which we have contracted for the above men- 
tioned articles and although we appear to be convinced that we could 
avoid importing them, nevertheless, we continue to do it. and therefore, 
are obliged to contract new debts ; without making the least effort to rid 
ourselves of thai dangerous disadvantage. It is true, that a number of 
good and virtuous inhabitants of Kaskaskia have already seen their mis- 
take and have commenced to remedy it: in order to avoid the dangers, 


which menace their negligence, 1 myself do no1 doubt, that in a short 
time, we will unite in our efforts to encourage and to improve everything 
that can be cultivated or manufactured in our colony. 

In order to contribute to this, and to render the inhabitants of Illinois 
as rich and happy as they are affectionate and humane, I purpose to con- 
vince those among us who have not already attentively considered this 

First — That we are in a position where we can cultivate or manufac- 
ture each of the above mentioned articles of as good a quality and perhaps 
better than those which we import. 

Second — That, the sum saved or the profit which that would give to 
the few inhabitants who are at present in Illinois would amount in the 
beginning to two hundred and twenty-five thousand livres a year, which 
in the course of fifty years will amount to the sum of eleven million, two 
hundred and fifty thousand livres : such a sum would render us the richest 
and most flourishing colony of America and would place, our posterity 
in a position, either to retire to Europe in a condition to establish them- 
selves comfortably or better to settle down in this happy country to enjoy 
here the fruits of our industry in exploiting with care the resources which 
we actually have in our power. 

Some of us are in truth advanced in age and it is often difficult to per- 
suade ourselves to abandon a path marked out and frequented by our 
fathers and ourselves: others, for want of knowing better, are prejudiced 
in favor of methods in which they have been raised and, as savages who 
do not wish to be instructed, persist in their foolish ignorance, but as I 
flatter myself, that there are only a very few of that last number among 
ii- and that the others have a sincere desire to improve our situation and 
that of our posterity, let us work then I pray you conjointly to inspire in 
all the inhabitants without distinction, the necessary knowledge for that 
happy end; and I have not the least doubt of the most fortunate success, 
Because : 

First — We have many lead mine- which without much work would 
give us all more of this metal than would be necessary for the use of all 
the inhabitants, and for the commerce with the Indians: and in the 
course of a few years, we would be in a position to furnish it not only 
to all the ports of America but even to a great part of Europe if they re- 
quire it. Thus, I hope that we will agree without difficulty that we were 
wrong in introducing into this colony sheet lead for bullets and shot, 
besides, some of this ore is mixed with silver and we have every reason 
to believe that within a few years, we will be able to procure workmen 
who will be capable of separating this precious metal to our great ad- 
vantage. The same investigations which those mines would occasion us, 
would lead us to the knowledge of the iron and copper ones, metals of a 
value more real than the gold and silver of Peru. 

Second — Our country abounds in salt springs, from which we could 
extract more than twice the quantity of salt necessary for our consump- 
tion at a much better price than we could buy it. and almost equal in 
quality : we could then do without salt from Europe and other places. 


Third — From wines made from our raisins and from our cultivated 
grains, we could make brandy, equal as to quality and flavor to the best 
of cognac, and rum much superior to that which we import from New 
Orleans, and other places ; and at less than half the price which we pay 
for those articles. Of this, we have a convincing proof in the manufac- 
tury lately established at Kaskaskia which if it were supported without 
jealousy or prejudice among the proprietors would have been of great 
benefit to us. It is in truth to be desired that we could do without all 
spirituous liquors, but as that is almost impossible and since the best and 
the most learned doctors are agreed that the liquor extracted from good 
grains, in the manner which is actually practiced in France, in Holland 
and in North America, is the most wholesome and the best of all, we 
ought certainly to follow that happy plan which we could do with so much 
ease, and distil our spirituous liquors ourselves ; without buying them 
either from New Orleans, Philadelphia, or other places : Mr. Tissot, a 
celebrated French doctor, and author of many estimable and very valu- 
able works, in his instructions for the preservation of health, says : "The 
liquors extracted from grains are nourishing and strengthening, and 
could be of great benefit, rich and stimulating as wine, much more nour- 
ishing, capable of serving for food and drink." Boerhaave, whose name is 
everywhere famous in medicine, says : "The liquor extracted from grains 
is the most stimulating and the most useful." 

The industrious English have introduced among us, a drink for ordin- 
ary use, which was not known to us, except for the little which the Eev- 
erend Jesuit Fathers made for themselves; you perceive that I speak of 
beer, they sell it to us very cheaply, and offer to instruct our families 
how to make it of a much better quality, and at a very small expense; 
that is not the only necessary art which they have introduced among us; 
one of them has brought here at considerable expense, a large number 
of fruit trees, of almost all kinds, and besides hemp, flax, barley, sweet- 
potatoes, turnips, and many other things which we have never seen here 
before, which he has distributed to all those who wished to take the 
trouble to cultivate and propagate these things, so necessary and ad- 
vantageous to this part of the world. 

There is not the least doubt, that many of the individuals who carry 
on the commerce from here with New Orleans, and Philadelphia are 
angry at the English, our benefactors, and seek to injure their commerce, 
by decrying the worth and the quality of their wares, because their little 
commerce is in some way injured by the distillery and the brewery estab- 
lished here ; but let us not listen at all to what those people say, whose 
interest it is to hold us in ignorance upon which they wish to establish 
their advantage. For certainly, no reasonable man can say that we should 
introduce brandy or rum from New Orleans, Philadelphia or other places, 
since we are able to make better ourselves, and in sufficient ouantity for 
our consumption and for the commerce with the Indians without im- 
poverishing our country by the exportation of the money necessary to 
purchase those articles, which have cost, up to the present, more than a 
hundred million livres per year. 


Fourth — In regard to foreign wines of all kinds, we have no need of a 
single cask, if we wish to take the trouble to cultivate the different species 
of vines which grow naturally in this country and to introduce the shoots 
from France and from other places, which could be done at very little 
expense. Besides, since the cold and length of winter increases, the far- 
ther we ascend the Mississippi, and the farther we descend, the cold and 
the length of winter are more moderate, we could choose the most suit- 
able climate for the culture of the different species of vines, without fear 
of lack of suitable and excellent ground for that purpose, for we all 
know, that there is no stretch of bad land on either side of the Missis- 
sippi, from the sea up to the Falls of St. Anthony, a distance more than 
800 leagues along the great river. Numerous hills are not lacking, nor 
suitable plains for that cultivation, Divine providence has given us all 
those precious advantages which might be regarded as a recompense for 
the distance at which we are situated from the sea. and for our difficulty 
in communicating with other peoples. 

Despite the difficulties which we undergo in the gathering of raisins, 
the lack of necessary vessels and the most suitable method, experience 
has shown us that in our various villages, we could make annually of wild 
vines, 150 casks of red wine of good quality and of good strength; and 
if we wish to be careful not to cut or destroy the vines as we do" in pick- 
ing the raisins, with a view to doing it quickly, we could in a few years, 
make a quantity very much larger and of a better quality. Pieason does 
not dictate that, in this wa}', we should destroy or do great injury to a 
number of vines and hinder their growth, but if instead of breaking and 
destroying them in that manner, we wish to take the trouble to cut them 
with care, their yield would advantageously recompense us. Our hills, 
our valleys and our plains are filled with vines which are native, they 
grow in all soils and are adapted to all climates, without being cul- 
tivated they are loaded with fruits in abundance, many of them a rich' 
and excellent flavor, by which nature unites with reason to show us. 

That if we wish to take the trouble to plant small vineyards and give 
them the necessary care, within a few years, their produce would be of 
great advantage to us; and by means of some small compensation, we 
could find persons to instruct us in the management of the vintage, and 
the way to make the wine which would be much more profitable" to us. 
which we could make better than that we import and as cheaplv as 
one drinks it in Paris; we could even in the course of time, send it to 
the English and to their colonies. 

Some Europeans may mock at that which I have here advanced, and 
will say that I have proposed an impossibility: if we ask them upon what 
they base those opinions, they will say that the Creoles [a name which 
they apply to us in derision] are too ignorant and too indolent, to take 
such trouble, that we have no experience in such affairs, that labor is verv 
expensive among us. and a number of similar reasons, which in my 
opinion, have not the least weight, force or foundation. 

It is in fact but too true that up to the present, we have been held 
in great ignorance, but that does not prove that we should continue it. 

We must also confess, that we have very much neglected the pursuit of 
knowledge necessary for our welfare and that of our future posterity, let 
us determine then to no longer abandon ourselves to that indolence, and 
as we have already demonstrated, in the various campaigns of the past 
war, that we are equal and in many cases superior to the Europeans, in 
the same way, let us vie with them, by our industry and by our efforts 
to procure for ourselves the wealth and knowledge necessary for our wel- 
fare and thai of our posterity and instead of passing our lime smoking 
tobacco in vanity and indolence with which they reproach us, let us de- 
termine at once to regulate our conduct in quite a different manner. 

Fifth — Sugar is an article of which we have no need, tins country here 
being tilled with sugar-makers from whom many of the families are al- 
ready drawing sufficient quantities for their consumption, and even to sell 
to others. A few of the people by moderate work during the course of a 
month, could make a quantity sufficient for the consumption of all the 
inhabitants of Illinois and besides, we have reason to believe that the 
tree from which in the Indies they make Arrack, is the same as our maple 
from which we obtain sugar, if it is so, the syrup which we get would be 
a spirit, much superior to all those that we have ever seen in this part of 
the world. In the western part of Virginia, they obtain all the sugar 
which they consume from the maple, although they are but a very short 
distance from the sea. 

Besides the above mentioned articles, we should also give attention to 
the cultivation of hemp, of flax and of the cotton-herb. All those articles 
grow here very much better than in any of the New England colonies; 
from these products, our wives and our daughters could make all the linen 
accessary for the household, for our use and that of our domestics, stock- 
ings and other articles of our clothing; that would be a very considerable 
economy for us, I have not the least doubt that the women would be in- 
clined with much satisfaction to the success of a project so advantageous. 

Another article which seems well adapted to this country and to this, 
climate is silk; from that manufacture if properly established, we could 
hereafter hope for immense wealth. The inhabitants of both Carolinas 
and of .Pennsylvania have commenced it and found it already a consider- 
able profit although those provinces are not in any way as suitable as this 
one here, the quantity of mulberry trees in which our country abounds, 
clearly proving it to us. 

1 ought not to omit to inform my country that the cultivation of to- 
bacco in Virginia [which is only a small colony in the country which we 
call New England] yields annually to the king of England a revenue of 
three hundred thousand pounds sterling, equal to six million,' six hundred 
thousand livres of our money: besides the principal sum which belongs 
to the cultivators and to the traders who buy it and are reimbursed with 
greal profit by the French to whom they sell the goods; besides that ad- 
vantage, this commerce employs at the least, four million sailors to trans- 
port that article to Europe in their vessels; if then the little isle and city 
of New Orleans should belong to Great Britain [which could not fail to 
happen in case of a new war with Spain] tobacco would he a very consid- 
erable and advantageous article for those who wish to cultivate it on the 


banks of the Mississippi, for the soil of Virginia is almost exhausted and 
could not continue long to produce that commodity as it lias done before. 
Moreover, the lands on the Mississippi are by their quantity and quality, 
so much superior for the production of tobacco that if the English come 
to possess it. we could in a short time become the most flourishing colony 
of the world; and by prudent conduct and obedience to the laws of Eng- 
land, to the duties of our sacred Catholic religion and maintaining uni- 
versal charity towards all men. we ought to be the most bappy people of 
the human race. It is true that up to the present, we have received little 
advantage from having become English subjects, although we have formed 
the most advantageous ideas of the moderation, of the Liberty and the 
wisdom of the laws of that brave nation; but we should attribute that 
disappointment to the distance at which we are situated from the sover- 
eign and from the Parliament of Great Britain who. if they were fully 
informed of the importance and consequence of this colony to their em- 
pire, would have without doubt before this time granted a civil govern- 
ment, by means of which we would not have been subjected to the impos- 
itions and oppressions of our past tyrants. Nevertheless, we ought to 
acknowledge with gratitude that we are fortunate to have a commander 1 
who detests all unjust action or arbitrary deeds and consequently we 
ought to convince him that we are the true and zealous subjects of his 
Britannic majesty and we doubt not at all that in a short time, the enjoy- 
ment of our religious rights will be confirmed to us and the administra- 
tion of civil government will be established among us. We are able at 
present only to desire these happy results; and at the same time, I strive 
to prove the advantages which will result if we cease hereafter to import 
the following articles to-wit : Lead, salt, brandy, rum. wine and sugar, 
and use only those same articles, produced and made among us to-wit, 
20,000 pounds of sheet lead for bullets and shot: 

This I suppose will sell on the average at 15 sous 15,000 

1,000 lb. box of salt at 15 livres 15,000 

2,000 jugs of brandy at 7 livres 10 sous 15,000 

20,000 jugs of English and French rum at 5 livres 100,000 

150 casks of wine at 400 livres + 60,000 

10,000 lbs. of sugar at 40 sous 20,000 

It appears by this calculation which is very moderate, that we dispense 
225,000 livres a year for those six articles which we could at a very 
small price, manufacture ourselves, that in the course of fifty years, those 
same articles will cost us the siim of 11,250,000 livres, which we could 
save and remit to England or to France, in accordance with our inclina- 
tions. If to that sum. we add that which we could saw by the culture 
and manufacture of flax, hemp and cotton, we could not estimate that 
sum at less than 15,000,000 livres, that is to say, that at the end of fifty 
years we would be richer than we now are by 15,000,000 livres, provided 
we cease to import the said articles and commence to manufacture them 
ourselves, unless we persist in our present conduct. Let us all resolve 

l Major Isaac Hamilton. 


then with courage and affection to shun evil and choose the good 
while we have it still in our power, and let us cease at last to be a re- 
proach among our European brothers that they with just reason cease to 
sneer at our indolence and our folly. 

Before taking leave of you, permit me, my dear brothers, with the most 
sincere affection for you, lastly to remind you again of our posterity, that 
it is an absolute duty to procure for them the most beneficial and the 
most extended knowledge. That being the case, how can we permit our- 
selves to see them loitering in our streets more like vagabonds and savages 
than like Christians. We have already had a long experience in the com- 
passion and the exemplary virtue of ou.r venerable fathers Murrain and 
Gibeault, let us then employ a school-master in each of our villages and 
ask those respectable superiors to inspect their conduct. We are all ready 
and I flatter myself animated by good intentions, to have a school built 
in the midst of every village and to pay the masters to their satisfaction; 
the strangers who have come among us have observed that the value of 
tobacco which we smoke in idleness would suffice for that sum ; but there 
is not a doubt that we could pay the sum in the produce of the country 
which would be equally as suitable for a school-master who has a family : 
I would wish then to propose that all the young people be taught to read 
and write correctly their mother tongue, and elementary arithmetic at 
least. It would be also in my opinion necessary that some and even all if 
it were possible should study the English language, which would be a 
very great advantage to them. 

I wish with all my heart that the opinions above given should be ac- 
cepted by my country-men with the same sincerity and the same affection 
as I give them and I flatter myself that after maturely considering them, 
they will lead to their advantage and to the foundation of their future 
happiness. — An Inhabitant of EasMsJcia. 


[The writer of the following account of Illinois first saw America during 
the time of the American Revolution, when he was on the staff of the French 
army under Marshal Rochambeau. At that time he desired to make a tour 
of the country, but the opportunity was not given him. 

Collot sided with the party of the revolution in France, was rapidly ad- 
vanced in the army, and was finally appointed governor of Guadeloupe, 
which he governed until its capture by the British, by whom he was sent to 
the United States. Scarcely had he arrived in the United States, when he 
was arrested at the suit of a merchant of that city on a charge connected 
with certain condemnation proceedings at Guadeloupe, and Gollot was forced 
to promise on his honor to remain in this country until the suit was decided. 

According to his introduction, the French minister to the United States 
proposed that he make a tour of the West and write a report on the political, 
• commercial, and military situation. At this time, 1796. France was partic- 
ularly interested in the conditions of the great valley. This proposal suited 
his inclination and the results of his journey were afterwards published in 
French and in an English translation. Before the book was ready for the 
market Collot died, and the administration of his estate determined to in- 
crease the value of the book by destroying all copies except three hundred 
French and one hundred English. The consequence is that copies are ex- 
ceedingly rare and expensive. There was printed at the same time a volume 
of maps and other plates, which are counted among the most valuable 
early maps of the west. 

The passages here reprinted are taken from the English edition of 1826, 
beginning at page 175 and continuing through chapter XVII, with the 
omission of chapter XIV. The title of the reprinted passage was the choice 
of the editors. — Ed.] 

A Visit to Illinois in 1796. 

We proceeded seven miles and a half, and reached the mouth of Wa- 
bash River, opposite which is situated a great island, called Wabash Island, 
two miles and a half long, and which is high and well wooded. 

Both passages are equally good, we choose that on the right, in order 
to inspect the mouths of this river. The depth of water in the right 
channel is from ten to fifteen feet. 

The mouth of the Wabash is situated thirty-seven degrees forty-one 
minutes north. It is about seven hundred yards wide, and continues the 
same breadth as far as Post St. Vincent's; the distance from the mouth of 
the Wabash 1 to Post St. Vincent's is computed at sixty leagues, though 
in a straight line it is not forty. In the whole of this space there are 
only two rapids, one twelve leagues from St. Vincent's, and half a mile 

i by a barge-master, who made this voy- 


above White river, and the other fifteen leagues from the mouth of this 
last river, called the Great Chain, where may be seen, when the waters are 
very low, a long line of rocks, which at a certain distance resembles a 
mill-dyke. This chain of rocks has forced the waters to form a channel 
on the left side, where boats may pass at all times, excepting the winter 
and during the ice. 

From Post St. Vincent's to the High Land is forty leagues, and the 
navigation excellent. From the High Land to Vermilion River is reck- 
oned twenty leagues, and the navigation continues good. From theme 
to Ouiah is twenty leagues, and the navigation improves. 

From Ouiah to the river Tipiconow are six leagues- of excellent naviga- 
tion, and from thence to Pisse Vache two leagues. At this place is a 
rapid, about ten fathoms in Length, and which sometimes has not ten 
inches of water. This is the first point where the navigation becomes 

Four leagues higher is another rapid from fifteen to twenty fathoms 
in length, with eight inches of water; the channel is always on the left 
side in ascending. Six leagues beyond this last rapid is Little Eock 
River. There is a rapid at this spot, extremely violent, but with sufficient 
water. About this place the river is sometimes shallow and sometimes 
deep, according to the depot of sand which the waters have left or washed 

From thence to Eel river are two leagues of good navigation, and a 
league higher is the Great Rapid ; its length is twenty fathom, with six. 
seven and eight inches of water at most ; and above is a shallow, half a 
league long, with six inches of water. 

Four leagues beyond the great rapid is the river of the Great Calumet. 
Here is another rapid, ten fathoms in length, with a sufficient depth of 

From the river of the Great Calumet to a small island, without a 
name, is one league; this island must be left on the right in ascending, 
and above is a shallow with six inches of water. 

From this small island to the rapid St. Cyr is three leagues: this rapid 
is half a league in length, and with sufficient water. 

From this rapid to the river Mussissinoe is two leagues, lien' is 
another rapid, twelve fathoms long, with twelve inches of water. 

From hence to l'ildpital is seven Leagues, during which there is very 
little water; the barks are obliged to onload during the space of a League. 
At this spot is a rock of enormous size, situated on the northern side. 

From lTIopital to the river Salaminique is three leagues. Here is a 
small island, the passage is on the southern side, and there is a rapid of 
three fathoms length, with sufficient water. 

From thence to Bended Maple one league. From Bended Maple to 
the Little River four league-. 

Leaving here the Wabash, we followed the course of the Little River. 
From its mouth to the village of the Miamis. situated at its source, ^s 
twelve leagues; in this place is a portage of three Leagues, and a half to 


reach the sources of the river Miamis from thence to Wolf Eapid is fifty- 
one leagues, during which there are a great number of small rapids, but 
with sufficient water to leave the navigation free. From Wolf Rapid the 
boats unload only in dry seasons. To Roche-de-bout is three leagues; 
here is another rapid three leagues long, but every where sufficient depth 
of water. 

Prom Roche-de-bout to Lake Erie is six leagues. From thence to the 
river Detroit twelve leagues, and to Detroit Fort six leagues. 

In the season of the high waters, as in the months of March, April 
raid May, there is sufficient water at the portage of the Miamis. It is 
in this place that the waters divide, and run on one side into Lake Erie, 
and on the other into the Wabash. It is to be noted that all the depths 
of the rapids and shallows have been calculated when the waters were at 
the lowest during the year, none of the rapids being seen or felt when the 
waters are high. 

From the mouth of the Wabash great barges are used, which carry from 
twenty to thirty thousand weight, as far as St. Vincent's; but from this" 
post barks are employed in carrying four, five and six thousand weight. 

St. Vincent's is a small mean village, containing one hundred families, 
the greater part French, ruined by General ('lark during the last war, as 
were also the Illinois. A bad wooden fort, in the usual mode of construc- 
tion, is built here. 

The course of the Wabash is in general slow; it traverses a*fine country 
sufficiently elevated, and less liable to inundations than any other parts 
of this continent. Vast natural meadows form a part of this country. 
The Wabash rolls over a bed of sand and gravel, in which precious stones 
are often found; the emerald and topaz have been observed to be of the 
number. The banks are clothed with line woods of the same kind as those 
of the Beautiful RiveT w the Ohio, and the black and white mulberry 
grow in the greatest profusion on this spot. Salt springs and coal mines 
have also been discovered. 

The inhabitants of Post St. Vincent's cultivate in general wheat, 
maize, and tobacco equal to that of Virginia ; but hunting and trading 
with the Indians are their principal occupations. The exportation of fine 
furs and skins of roebucks amounts annually, on an average, to one hun- 
dred and twenty thousand livres. 

Hemp grows naturally, and the vine is also in great abundance, and of 
a very peculiar kind; the grape is black, small, and the skin extremely 
delicate. The inhabitants make a kind of wine which is agreeable to the 
taste, bui cannot long be preserved. 

One hundred and ten miles above Post St. Vincent's is a small French 
establishment, called Ouia, or Ouiatanon, containing ten or twelve fam- 
ilies, of which the occupations are also hunting, trading, and a little 
fanning; but as this settlement lies further hack than that of Post St. 
Vincent's trading is the most lucrative employment of the inhabitants. 
The exportation from Quiatanon in furs and roebuck skins was estimated 
upon an average at one hundred and ninety-two thousand francs a year: 
hut this branch of commerce diminishes sensibly because as the adjacent 
country becomes populous, the game retreats further back into the coun- 


slough. Mails were often delayed and, during the winter storms and 
spring rains, not only farm houses, but even large towns were entirely 
isolated. Moreover, the State had shown itself utterly unable to remedy 
these evils. The statute books were covered with enactments declaring 
certain trails or mud roads public turnpikes, but even a sovereign state 
cannot legislate a mud hole into a turnpike. Charters, almost without 
number, were granted private corporations, but without tangible results 
of any importance. 1 Local enterprise was equally fruitless and the 
efforts of the counties to improve the public roads had generally failed. 

This absence of good highway facilities greatly retarded the economic 
development of the State and especially the central portion. The cost 
of carrying freight over ordinary country roads or even on well-built 
highways under the most favorable circumstances is very great. 2 On 
such roads as existed in Illinois prior to the civil war the expense of 
moving heavy freight for any distance was practically prohibitive and 
ten to twenty miles was as far as grain or other bulky goods could be 
hauled with any degree of profit. As nearly all the products of the 
interior counties consisted of articles of small value compared with their 
bulk, this meant that an extensive network of railroads or canals was 
necessary to the proper economic development of the State. Instead 
of such a system of internal transportation Illinois had nothing but 
execrable country roads, supplemented to only a slight extent by the 
few navigable or semi-navigable streams. The farmer living in the in- 
terior of the State could carry only a small part of his crop of wheat 
or corn to market to be exchanged for "store goods" and the total amount 
of grain received at Chicago, St. Louis and Peoria from the interior 
counties of Illinois was insignificant. 

The great bulk of the population in the forties and fifties was engaged 
in agriculture and the inadequate system of transportation had a de- 
pressing influence on that occupation. Farmers living near the water- 
ways found good markets for their produce, but those not so favorably 
situated shipped little grain or meat outside the State. Only slight 
cultivation was necessary to have the rich prairie soil bring forth abun- 
dant crops and the immediate needs of the farmer and his family were 
easily supplied. Labor saving machinery was not in general use and 
the work of gathering the crops had to be performed by hand, with farm 
labor scarce and commanding high wages. As a result, there was no in- 
centive to raise large crops, while the amount of physical work involved 
made it impossible for the farmer to plant or gather more than a mod- 
erate yield. Shiftless methods of farming were the natural consequence 
and only a small portion of the arable land was under cultivation. 
Out of a total area of thirty-five million acres, slightly over three mil- 
lion were planted in the five staples, wheat, corn. oats, rye and potatoes. 3 
One third of the entire area, or eleven and a half million acres, was 

1 Session Laws of Illinois, 1837 to 1S50. 

2 The cost of carrying a ton of freight from Buffalo to New York by wagon was 
$100, or about 20 cents per ton per mile. (Bogart, Economic History of the United 
States, page 191.) This was over good roads, and the cost per ton, per mile, for 
carrying grain in Illinois must have averaged considerably more. 

3 Letter of Robt. Rantoul. Documents Relating- to the Organization of the Illinois 
Central Railroad. 


still unoccupied government land. 1 and much of the remainder had never 
been broken by the plough.- At the same time, the yield per acre was 
much less than could have been expected from the almost virgin soil of 
the prairies. 3 

Inadequate transportation and backward agricultural conditions 
greatly retarded the settlement of the commonwealth and influenced the 
social and political life of those within its borders. The earliest settle- 
ments were made by the French at Cahokia and Kaskaskia near the 
Mississippi river and until the end of the third decade nearly all subse- 
quent settlements were also near the banks of the Ohio, the Mississippi 
and Illinois rivers, especially in the southern counties. At the begin- 
ning of the fourth decade the majority of the population were immi- 
grants from Kentucky, Tennessee and other parts of the south, or their 
descendants. 4 Then, from 1830 to 1850, there occurred a heavy immigra- 
tion into the northern and central counties; most of the new settlers 
coming from the eastern states or Europe. 5 By 1850 Illinois had a 
population of eight hundred and fifty thousand and three-fourths of the 
inhabitants were living north of Vandalia and were of northern or 
European stock. 6 Furthermore, despite the absence of good transporta- 
tion, three hundred and seventy-five thousand people were in the thirty- 
six counties which possessed neither a canal, a river nor a railroad; and 
the number living more than ten miles from such means of communica- 
tion must have been considerably larger. 7 

In the very earliest white settlements in Illinois the lack of good 
highways' and the economic isolation of the interior proved a serious 
check to the growth of the community, but as the population was small 
and distributed along the few navigable rivers slight attention was given 
to the matter of transportation. IS T or did the heavy immigration from 
the southern states make necessary a radical improvement. 

The settlers had always been accustomed to poor roads ; they were 
settled near the Ohio, the Mississippi and the Illinois : and the number 
of people of the State was still small. 8 However, the enormous growth 
of population from 1830 on — the increase was from a hundred and fifty 
thousand in the former year to eight hundred thousand in 1850 — made 
necessary the solution of problems which before had been borne' as an 
unavoidable accompaniment of frontier life. 

This was particularly true of the central counties. In 1830 a few 
thousand log but* scattered over the heart of the State were the only 

llbkl Seventh Census of the United States (1850), page 730. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Compenlum U. S. Census, 1850, page 170. Average yield per acre was: Wheat, 
11 ; ry e - 14 ; corn, 33 ; oats. 29 ; barley, 40. bushels. 

4 Sixth Census of the United States (1830) : Greene, Government of Illinois, page 
26 : of. various essays of Prof. C. W. Alvord, of the University of Illinois, on this 
subiect in publications of Illinois State Historical Library. 

5 Seventh Census of th° United States r 1850). 

6 Seventh Census (1850), pp. 117, 118. The 30 counties south of Vandalia had a 
population of 219.863: the 69 north of that town. 631,607. Tb - foreign born popu- 
lation was as follows: England, 18.628: Scotland. 4.661: VValps. 572: Ireland. 
27,786 : British America, 10,699 ; Germany. 38,446 ; total, 110.593. Native born 
of foreign parents not given. 

7 Seventh Census. The 36 counties without railroads, canals or navigable rivers 
had a population of 375.529 in 1850, or 44.1 per cent of the total. 

8 Cf., page 3 and 4. 


and opposite the end of the island. The passage is very difficult. We 
left the island and the first two sand-banks on our left, and the two others 
on our right. 

It is ehiefhy between the second and third of these banks that the 
greatest skill of the mariner is requisite ; the channel, in this place, makes 
several windings, and is not more than three or four feet in its greatest 

After passing the island, the heights close upon the banks on the right 
side; they are no longer rocky, but consist of rich lands covered with 
very fine wood. 

Five miles from the last island, not comprising its length, which is 
three miles and a half, we found on the left a large creek, delineated too 
much to the west in the American charts. It is navigable ten miles at 
all seasons for canoes. 

Opposite to this creek is a great sand-bank on the right side, and which 
is half dry; we avoided it by steering to the left. Care must be taken 
also not to approach too near to this side, to avoid an eddy which is found 
immediately after the creek, and which occupies a space of four hundred 

A mile and a half lower, on the same side, is a second creek, not de- 
scribed in any chart. 

A mile and a half below this last creek we perceived an island, which is 
separated from the main land only by a small channel. We left this 
island on our right, and three miles lower, including the length of the 
island, we reached another, marked five miles too much to the westward 
on all the American charts ; we took the channel on the right, that on the 
left being full of sand-banks, and choked by driftwood. In the channel 
we had taken we found ten, fifteen and eighteen feet of water, the nav- 
igation from the great island to this place is good. 

The aspect of this country continues the same, both sides are lined 
with heights. 

At a short distance from this island, we left a defile on the right, and 
■ three miles lower, reckoning from the head of this island, we found three 
others, which follow each other at nearly equal distances. The two first 
are connected by a great sand-bank, and take up a space of nearly four 
miles. We passed these three islands on our left, as well as a great sand- 
bank, which is at the end of the third, and which is a mile in length 
under water. Opposite to this sand-bank, and to the last of these islands, 
we perceived on the right two creeks, neither of which are navigable. 
The channel on the left is altogether impracticable ; that on the right has 
from fifteen to twenty feet of water. 

Two miles below the sand-bank we found an island, situated in the 
midst of the river, very high, which we passed on our left : and three 
miles lower than the head of this island, Ave found a second of the same 
elevation: we left it on our right, the channel on the left being the only 
practicable. Three miles further down than this last island we found a 
third, situated exactly opposite Cumberland river: we passed it on the 


left, the channel between the island and the mouth of Cumberland river 
being often filled with driftwood, brought down by that river, which ren- 
ders the passage on that side sometimes difficult. 

From the three small islands above mentioned to Cumberland river, 
which is nearly fifteen miles, the navigation with little attention is every- 
where good. The soundings gave fifteen, eighteen, twenty and twenty- 
five feet of water. 

After passing the last of these three small islands, the country 
changes its aspect, the heights on the right side disappear altogether, and 
we perceived nothing but a vast extent of low and swampy ground. 

Cumberland River is from six hundred to seven hundred yards wide at 
its mouth, it is navigable for boats of all sizes one hundred and eighty 
miles, and its banks are already inhabited. The mouth of this river :s 
surrounded by small eminences very advantageously situated for protect- 
ing the entrance. 

Ten miles below Cumberland Eiver, we reached Tennessee River, the 
entrance of which is marked by two islands, situated so close to each 
other, that without great attention we should have passed without perceiv- 
ing that they were separated. 

On the left side, between Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, we ob- 
served a small wooden fort, the object of which was the protection of the 
navigation of those two rivers, and also of the Ohio, during the war with 
the Indians; but the fort is placed at too great a distance to answer this 
triple view, and is really useful only for the Ohio. From Cumberland 
Eiver to Tennessee the navigation is excellent, the height of the water is 
from twelve to sixteen and eighteen feet. The lands are low and swampy 
on both sides. Tennessee River is nearly of the same breadth as Cumber- 
land River, and is navigable for all kinds of boats as high as Muscle 

After passing Tennessee River, the bed of the Ohio widens considerably, 
and at the end of eleven miles, leaving several defiles on both sides, with 
the navigation uninterrupted, we reached Fort Massac. The depth of 
water in this distance is sixteen, eighteen and twenty feet. The lands 
on both sides are low and swampy. 

Fort Massac, so called by the Americans, and Fort Massacre by the 
Canadians, 1 is a post anciently established by the French, and abandoned 
at the time of the cession of Louisiana : it has lately been repaired, and 
has been occupied two years past by the Americans. 

This fort is erected on a small promontory, it is built with wood, and 
has four bastions surrounded with palisadoes, of the same form and con- 
struction as all those mentioned in the course of this work. The garrison 
is composed of an hundred men. commanded by a captain : the batteries 
are mounted with eight pieces of twelve. The fault of this position, with 
respect to the navigation of the Ohio, is, that the channel being on the 
opposite side, the passage may be effected, especially during the night, 
without any fear of the batteries. 

It is, nevertheless, very important to keep this point, because it com- 
municates by two different roads with the country of the Illinois. One 

1 The Canadians informed us that the Indians having one day surprised and mas- 
sacred all the French who were within the fort, it was on that acount called Fort 


of these, called the lower road, and which is the shortest, is practicable 
only in very dry seasons, and when the waters are very low, because there 
are several creeks to pass, which are not f ordable in high waters ; in this 
case, the other, called the upper road, must be taken, which is much 
longer, and which leads along the heights, crossing the creeks or rivers 
at their sources. This road is passable for carriages, whilst the lower 
road is practicable only for horse or foot passengers. The distance from 
hence to Kaskaskias by the lower road is reckoned eighty miles, that by 
the upper road one hundred and fifty. 

The platform, on which the fort is erected, is about seventy feet above 
the level of low water, and has consequently nothing to fear from inun- 
dations. But the bank being perpendicular, and the fort placed very 
near the precipice, which is daily giving way, two of the bastions that 
face the river are in danger of being borne off by the first floods ; the ditch 
and palisadoes having already shared that fate. 

Near the fort are seven or eight houses or huts inhabited by Canadians, 
whose sole occupations are hunting, or dragging boats ; they appeared poor 
and miserable. 

The commander of this fort was Captain Pike, who treated us with 
great hospitality during the two days which we spent with him; but at 
the moment of our departure, whether from reflection, or whether he 
had received orders to that effect, as he told me verbally, he thought it 
prudent to arrest us. At five in the morning, Capt. Pikje, attended by 
four fusileers and the whole of his staff, including the surgeon, planted 
himself in my boat, declaring to me with an air of dignity, that he 
thought himself obliged in conscience to arrest us, having been informed 
that I was indefatigable in taking the survey of the Ohio, and of all the 
Western States. I immediately showed him the whole of my manuscripts, 
observing that they contained nothing but geographical notes and a few 
local remarks, which were more fitted to benefit than injure his fellow- 
citizens. He advised with his council, but neither any of its members or 
himself could read French, and there was a moment of suspense with 
respect to his decision ; when an idea, which alarmed me extremely, pre- 
sented itself to him ; that of sending my papers to Philadelphia, and tak- 
ing the orders of government. The distance from Fort Massac to Phil« 
adelphia is at least a thousand miles. Fortunately, the surgeon, who was 
a man of sense, observed, that eight months must elapse before we could 
obtain an answer, and that it would be cruel to detain me and my sufft 
during the whole of the winter, if, as he belived, I had nothing contrary 
to the laws of the country; since every one had a right to travel in the 
United States, and even without a passport. Captain Pike was struck 
with the wisdom of this observation, and it was unanimously resolved 
that I might continue my journey, taking, however, on board an officer 
to attend me as long as I should remain in the territory of the United 
States; this commission was entrusted to Captain Taylor. Of Captain 
Pike's conduct we had upon the whole no great reason to complain : he 
appeared to be a good man; and this little adventure proceeded rather 
from the jealous suggestions of some persons who surrounded him, than 
any hostile intention of his own. 


Two miles below Fort Massac, on the left, we found a creek, called 
Massac's Creek, which is not navigable. 

Immediately below Fort Massac the Ohio widens still more, and its 
course becomes slower, flowing along a low country. On the right we 
perceived a kind of -natural dyke, which runs parallel with the banks of 
the river, but the lands behind are in general low and swampy. 

We proceeded without finding any variation in the soil twenty-three 
miles. In this space the Ohio, which had run for some time towards the 
west, takes a sudden bend towards the south. We reached Cash Island, 
after having passed two creeks on our right and left, neither of which 
are navigable. The navigation during these twenty-three miles is per- 
fectly good, and the depth of water from fifteen to twenty-five feet. 

Passing Cash Island on our left, we took the channel on the right; care- 
fully steering, however, as close as possible to the island, to avoid a sand- 
bank jutting out from the right. 

Three miles below Cash Island, we left on the right Cash Creek, and 
six miles below this creek we reached the mouth of the Ohio. The coun- 
try continues low and swampy, the navigation regularly good, and the 
depth of the river scarcely ever varies from twenty to twenty-five feet. 

The Ohio at its mouth offers nothing remarkable, its breadth is nearly 
the same as that of the Mississippi, and its banks are low and marshy, 
as well as the country on each side. 

Opposite to its mouth the Ohio has deposited a great quantity of sand, 
which, forming a very considerable bank, bars a part of the Mississippi, 
and renders this passage extremely difficult ; this we shall explain in the 
chapter that treats of -the navigation of this river. 

In general the distances marked in Hutchins' charts, and others, are 
too great, particularly from the rapids to the mouth of the Ohio. 

Chapter XV. 

Military Description of Part of the Mississippi, from the Mouth of the 
Ohio to the Illinois Country. — Important Remark. — Buffalo Island. — 
Temperature. — Elk Island. — Pointe a la Perche. — Charpon Islands. — 
Courcy Islands. — Unlucky Accident. — English Islands. — Vines. — Chains 
of Rocks. — Rapidity of the Current. — Cape a la Cruche. — Quicksands. 
— Pelicans. — Cape Girardot. — Observations Respecting the Beavers. — 
Du Verrier Islands. — False Bays. — Marl River. — Apple River. — Muddy 
River. — The Tower. — Wandering Indians. — Necessary Precautions. — 
Winged Islands. — Five Men Cape. — Dung Islands. — St. Mary's River. — 
Recapitulation of the Distances. — Reasons why a good map of the course 
of the river can never be obtained. 

Before we speak of the Mississippi, that great artery of North America, 
it is necessary to make an observation. 

Obliged, on leaving the Ohio and entering the Mississippi to ascend a 
part of this last river, in order to gain the Missouri ; and anxious to give 
a successive view of objects such as we beheld them, our account of the 
Mississippi will necessarily be interrupted; that is to say, we shall first 
treat of the Mississippi from the Ohio to the Missouri, and shall not re- 
sume our account of that river as far as New Orleans, till we have finished 
our expedition into the country of the Illinois and the Missouri. 


We began our course on the Mississippi the second of August. This 
day was one of the hottest we had felt in North America; Earenheit's 
thermometer had risen to ninety-seven. An hatchet exposed to the sun 
during an hour had acquired such a degree of heat, that we would not 
hold it in our hands. The wind was south, and the weather thick and 

Immediately on entering the Mississippi, and after doubling the nor- 
thern point which separates the waters of this river from those of the 
Ohio, we passed on the left a great sand-bank, called in the language 
oi the country batture, formed by this last river. The sand-bank is 
long, flat, and covered with young poplars. At this point both 
sides of the river are low and swampy, and we saw nothing on the hori- 
zon which indicated that there were any lands more elevated within a 
certain distance. For this reason, the right side of the river, opposite 
to the mouth of the Ohio, will never be proper for the construction of 
any works, unless at an expense which would be useless in a country that 
is yet a desert. 

Three miles from the mouth of the Ohio, in ascending the river, is 
an island on the left, called Buffalo Island, which is about a mile in 
length, well wooded, and high, with a blackish soil. We observed on 
both sides of the river, ranks of willows, all of the same height, resem- 
bling the finest Lombardy poplars, and arranged with so much symmetry 
that each tree seemed placed at equal distances, which viewed from the 
water produced a most beautiful effect. 

After doubling Buffalo Point, we reached, at the distance of half a 
mile, Elk Island, which is newly formed. The willows we saw on this 
spot were not more than from two to three years growth. Both passages 
are equally good; nevertheless, when the waters are low, and in going 
up the river, the right side is to be preferred, leaving the island on the 

We rowed by Elk Island, a mile, and a mile and a half higher we 
reached on the right Point a la Perche, so called on account of the great 
quantity of willows with which it is bordered; these willows are still 
loftier than those we have just mentioned, some of them being sixty feet 
in height. 

Between Elk Island and Pointe a la Perche the current is more gentle 
than from this island to the mouth of the Ohio, where it is so strong that 
we proceeded scarcely more than a mile in two hours ; .and this with such 
difficulty, that the best Canadian rower could not handle his oar more 
than a quarter of an hour without resting. 

Half a mile higher than Pointe a la Perche, we reached on the right 
Charpon Islands; these are three in number, and they follow each other 
in succession, each is about a mile long, including the canals by which 
they are separated. The lands continue low and swampy to a very great 
distance on both sides, but they are of a fine quality, having from twelve 
to eighteen feet of vegetable earth. 

Three miles above those islands we reached Courcy Islands; these are 
four in number, and occupy a space of two miles. The towing line is 
used for these three miles. 1 

i The towing line is made use of when the waters are low and the sand-hanks 
dry ; in high waters, or when the banks are steep, this mode is impracticable. 


Before we reached Courcy Islands, we passed between two great banks, 
in order to gain the right side, leaving the islands on the right. This 
is the only side practicable for the towing line, the other being perpen- 
dicular and encumbered with trees, which renders this passage extremely 
difficult. With a line of fifty fathoms, though the waters are low, we 
found no bottom. 

Immediately after passing the last of Courcy Islands, we steered to the 
left, in order to avoid a very dangerous sand-bank; there is a passage on 
the right, but tne current is so strong, that it is practicable only in de- 
scending the river. 

In crossing over, we met with a disagreeable accident; our boatmen, 
exhausted in striving to master the current stopped on a sudden, when 
the boat drove with such violence and with so much force on a stump, 
which broke in its ribs, that we had only time to throw ourselves on the 
nearest of one of the islands, where we passed the rest of the day to re- 
pair the damage. 

We learned with certainty, on leaving the Ohio, that from thence to 
the Missouri, we could never proceed faster than three leagues in a day, 
and sometimes only two. Although our boat had twentv oars, the rap- 
idity of the current, the immense quantity of trees heaped together on 
both sides the river, and which sometimes filled half its bed ; the trans- 
versal position of these trees, which changes the current of the river and 
increases its rapidity, render this navigation very difficult and dangerous ; 
we were continually in the alternative of breaking on the trees, or strik- 
ing on the sand-banks. 

We estimated the current of the river in this place at six or seven miles 
an hour, and often nine in channels formed by the islands. The country 
continues to be low and swampy. 

We proceeded nine miles and reached the English Islands, cRlled by 
the Canadians Great Courcy Islands, and by the Indians Taiouwapeti. 
These islands occupy a space of six miles, and are twelve in number, 
ranged in groups of different sizes, and each affording; a passage ; it is, 
however, safest to leave them all on the right ; not only because the cur- 
rent is less strong, but that nearly six miles are gained bv taking the 
channel on the left. The navigation from Little Courev Islands hither 
is good, the banks which are formed between them, and which are dry, 
make it very easy for towing. 

We saw a great quantity of game of everv kind on these islands, roe- 
bucks, bears and buffaloes: we killed one of the latter. From the mouth 
of the Ohio to this spot we found neither creek nor river, nor saw any 
source whatever. 

After passing the English Islands, we perceived that the lands began 
to rise, and cease to be swanky : the soil, nevertheless, is poor, being 
either rocky or gravelly, mixed with reddish earth. At a distance we 
perceived a chain of heights, called Taiouwapeti Mountain, which runs 
north and south, parallel to the river. 

The whole of this quarter is covered with vines of the large kind, 
which differs, however, from that which we found in the north, the wood 
not being so thick: the fruit is less, of a deeper red and sweeter: these 
vines climb to the tops of the loftiest trees. 


At half a mile distance from the last of the English Islands, we found 
on the left side a chain of rocks, called the Little Chain. We kept to 
the right, and two miles higher we found a second, called the Great 
Chain, which extends into the middle of the river, and is a mile in length. 
The rocks that form this last chain being detached from each other, 
leave a number of small passages, which, although perilous, may be 
passed with less danger, aided by a good pilot, than the channel alto- 
gether on the right, where there is a current so strong, that it cannot 
be stemmed without much loss of time and considerable efforts, while 
amidst the rocks the water is almost stagnant. 

After passing the Great Chain of rocks, keeping constantly to the left, 
the navigation continues gentle and easy. We sometimes proceeded a 
mile and a half an hour. 

Here the ground on both sides rises in gentle slopes, and is no longer 
swampy; it is a mixture of rocks, gravel, and good soil. We beheld at 
intervals small rivulets, which take their sources in the heights of 
Taiouwapeti. The quality of their waters is very inferior to that of the 

The banks of the river are extremely dangerous in this place, from the 
quicksands which often shift, and on which no one can step without the 
risk of being swallowed up ; our hunter had nearly perished in this 
manner, and was saved only by placing his fowling piece in a cross direc- 
tion, when we instantly threw out cords and hawled him on board the 
vessel. These quicksands may easily be known by their lustre, which 
have the polish of glass, and by their humidity which resists the hottest 
beams of the sun. 

We proceeded six miles, and reached, on the left side, Cape a la Cruche ; 
it is a very elevated and perpendicular point, in front of which, and level 
with the water, is a nest of rocks which extends to some distance, and 
which is very dangerous. These rocks may easily be distinguished by 
the breakers. 

The navigation during these six miles is good, if care be taken to keep 
on the left side. 

Having reached Cape a la Cruche, we crossed a part of the river to 
gain an island on the opposite side, which it bordered by a great sand- 
bank, very conveniently situated for towing. We thus avoided a very 
strong current on the left, and which beoins after doubling Cape a la 

Three miles above Cape a la Cruche, we passed on the left the small 
island of La Ferriere. 

Towards four o'clock in the afternoon, we perceived in the horizon a 
kind of white riband of great length, which was a flock of pelicans, called 
by the Canadians great throats, coming from the north in their passage 
to the southward. They begin to arrive in this latitude, in the month 
of June, as the cold approaches. In the month of December, therefore- 
an innumerable quantity are seen at New Orleans, where they generally 
pass the winter, and hatch their young. These birds travel always in 
•flocks, when they reach any great river, they range themselves all in one 
line, their heads turned against the stream, and thus suffer themselves 
•to be carried down; they swallow all the fish that come in their way. and 


deposit them in the great bag. When the river is too narrow to contain 
a whole nock, they place themselves in a line of two deep; they prefer 
the Mississippi and the Missouri to every other river, on account of their 
Muddy waters. 

At the distance of a mile and a half above the island of La Ferriere, 
we reached Cape Girardot. We kept to the left side, to take advantage 
of a very strong eddy that reaches from this last island to Cape Girardot, 
which is the first military point on the river, from the mouth of the 
Ohio, 1 both sides being either swampy or broken by rocks. 

Cape Girardot, on the contrary, is a block of granite, covered with a 
vegetable earth, about a foot in depth; it commands the whole river, 
which by means of a point, or very considerable alluvion, on the opposite 
side, is narrowed to the breadth of a mile at most. In order to avoid 
the shallows with which this alluvion is surrounded, all vessels that pass 
are obliged to keep very near the right side, which is within half cannon 
shot of the Cape. 

The upper part of the block or eminence A, is commanded by no 
height: that part which fronts the river is steep and inaccessible; a large 
and deep defile surrounds it to the north and east, on the south is a gentle 
declivity, which finishes in low and sometimes marshy lands. The foot 
of the cliff affords shelter and excellent mooring for vessels. 

Cape Girardot is, therefore, so situated as to supply what is* wanting 
on the right bank of the Mississippi, at the point which corresponds to 
the mouth of the Ohio. Placed at forty-three miles and a half only above 
its mouth, this point commands whatever issues from that river, and 
covers perfectly on this side the place of St. Louis, from which it could 
receive succour in twenty-four hours. This leads us to think that the 
true station of the gallies is at this spot, where there is a fort respectable 
enough to protect them. 

The importance of this post did not escape M. Laurimier, a French- 
man in the Spanish service, whose military talents and great influence 
with the Indian nations are very useful to this power. He has estab- 
lished himself there with the Chawanons and the Loups, whom he com- 
mands, and has a very fine farm, on which he resides. 

The river in great floods rises here as high as seventy feet. 

In one of the villages of the Loups which I visited whilst I remained 
at Cape Girardot, I found a white who had formed an establishment. 
This planter in clearing had destroyed a settlement of beavers ; on exam- 
ining, with the proprietor, the devastation which had been made in the 
dwellings and dikes of these industrious animals, we were struck with the 
appearance of one among those we had killed, the skin of which was 
totally without hair, and his body covered with scars. I conjectured 
at first that this was the effect of some malady natural to this species 
of animal ; but my host, to whom I made the remark, informed me that 
he was the slave of the family, and that a similar one was found in al- 
most every habitation of the beavers. 

"In each family," said he, "there is one, which on his entrance into 
the world is destined to be the slave. The most servile and laborious 

l It will be seen at the end of this survey, that this is also the first point on the 
west side of the river from New Orleans, which renders it so much the more im- 


occupations are his lot, among- which is that of his serving as a traineau 
for the conveyance of wood. When the heavers have resolved on cutting 
wood, and it remains only to be carried off, the slave takes the stick be- 
tween his fore feet; the free beavers, seizing him by the tail, drag him 
in this manner, nor is he permitted to quit his hold till he reaches home." 

If this be a fact, and I relate it with the same simplicity that it was 
recounted to me, it is not astonishing that the body of this animal should 
be scarified and deprived of its hair, by the continued friction he must 
have undergone, when dragged through briars, over stones and rocks. 
This at least is certain, that the beaver I saw was without hair, and 
covered with scars both old and newly made. 

At the distance of half a mile from Cape Girardot, and on the left 
side, is a creek which is almost dry during the summer ; and half a mile 
higher is the island Du Yerrier, which .he left on the right. The naviga- 
tion during this mile is easy, but the island being very large, and nar- 
rowing the bed of the river, there is a very strong current in both chan- 
nels. We quitted the left side, and crossed to gain the island, which is 
surrounded with banks, that facilitate the use of the towing line. 1 The 
left side of the river, independents of its extreme rapidity, is also 
rilled with a considerable quantity of drift-wood, which chokes up half 
the channel ; but these kinds of obstacles are but momentary ; the next 
year they may totally disappear, and may probably embarrass some other 
point of the river. 

After rowing by the island Du Verrier, which is two miles long, and 
proceeding three miles further, we reached False Bays, situated on the 
right side ; we crossed again a part of the river, to gain a great sand-bank 
which is dry, and where the current is less strong. We left on the right, 
a mile from False Bavs, an island without a name, which has been onlv 
formed within these two years. Two miles and a half above this island, 
we nassed another on the right, of which the name is also unknown. 

The current during these last two miles and a half is moderate, and 
the navigation easv : we kept to the right side, which is bordered with 
flat rocks, and convenient for mooring boats. A mile above this last 
island, perpendicular rocks rise on the right bank to the height of two 
hundred feet: the left side, on the contrarv. is swampy. 

We rowed the length of a mile along this iron rarrmart. and reached 
on the same side Marl river, (Riviere de (liaise), which is full of a clav 
of this nature. The river is about fortv or fiftv.vards wide at its month, 
runs through low and swampy lands, and is almost dry during the 

Four miles above, and on the same side, Annie river ("Riviere aux 
Pommes) empties itself. This river is from eiffhtv to ninetv vards in 
breadth at its month, and though its waters are low in dry seasons, there 
is nevertheless enough for the navigation of canoes. 

Directlv onnosite to Anple River, Mud River (Riviere aux A^ase^ 1 flows 
into the Mississippi. Its month is concealed bv a verv considerable 
island, which forms two passages: the first, in ascending the river, is the 

1 These crossings are made with extreme difficulty 
one and two miles are often lost in the passage 
avoided as much as possible. 


best. This river is navigable sixty miles for canoes, during the whole 
year; the country through which it flows is extremely fertile, but swampy 
to a great distance. 

Four miles above Mud river, and on the right side of the Mississippi, 
is the Tower; a name given to a great mass of rocks, at nearly fifty yards 
distance from the right bank, its round form, isolated siuation, and 
lofty height, led the first navigators to give it this appelation. This rock 
offers nothing curious, 1 excepting the immense quantities of birds of 
every kind to which it affords an asylum. Six weeks previous to our 
arrival here, an American family, composed of twelve persons, were all 
massacred. They had taken their station, at the close of the evening, 
opposite to the tower, on the left side of the river. Soon after their 
landing, two Chickasaws came to visit them with a friendly air, asking 
them for provisions and rum, which were given to them, and they ap- 
peared to go away highly satisfied. But at daybreak a troop of twenty 
Indians fell upon this unfortunate family, and massacred men, women 
and children, without mercy. These murders are very common, and are 
committed almost always by Indians proscribed and driven from their 
tribes of robbery or some bad action; the vagabonds then wander 
through the woods, and rob and kill all they meet. These depredations 
are in general committed by the Chickasaws ; sometimes, however, massa- 
cres take place by way of reprisal. If an Indian be killed by a White, 
as soon as the news reaches the tribe, the whole nation swears vengeance, 
and that the same quantity of blood which has been taken shall be shed ; 
after which, the first White that presents himself, whether a stranger 
or not, becomes their victim. When such attacks are to be apprehended, 
it is prudent to encamp in one of the small islands, after having well 
examined it; or what is still better to anchor always at a little distance 
from the shore To this precaution which we cannot too strongly recom- 
mend to those who travel in these deserts we owe the preservation of our 
own lives 

Leaving the Tower, we proceeded three miles and a half, and reached 
Winged Island (Isle aux Ailes), which we left on the right. In this 
space there are several eddies on the left side, which favor the ascent of 
the river ; the current is very strong on the right. 

Four miles and a half above Winged Island is Five Men Cape (Cap 
des cinq Hommes) , situated on the left side, it is known by the long line 
of rocks which precedes it, and which though joined to the bank, extends 
far into the river. These rocks form very violent currents, but beyond 
them the navigation becomes smooth and easy. 

Three miles above Five Men Cape are Dung Islands (Isles a la 
Merde) ; 2 these are four in number, and extend nearly three miles. We 
passed them on the left, and half a mile higher we reached the river 
St. Mary, situated on the same side. Opposite its mouth is a little island, 
called Perch Island (Isle a la Perche). which we left on our right. 

A mile and a half above Perch Island, we reached the Island of Kas- 

1 If this rock were not commanded by the right bank, it would form a very im- 
portant military point. 

2 The disgusting appellations seem to characterize the state of the people. 


From Five Men Cape the navigation is good, and even easy, but care 
must be taken when at Perch Island, to cross the river and gain the 
right side, where the current is much more gentle than on the left. 

A mile above the island of Kaskaskias, we reached the mouth of the 
" river which bears this name. 

The appearance of the country from Cape Girardot to this place, 
varies but little, every where we find small rocky heights, intersected by 
valleys, which are often over-flowed. Excepting Cape Girardot, the^ 
whole of this country, from the Ohio to Kaskaskias, is uninhabited. 

The river Kaskaskias is nearly one hundred and twenty yards broad 
at its mouth, and affords in every season a gentle and safe navigation for 
all kinds of boats. The village of Kaskaskias, situated ten miles from 
the mouth of the river, is the first settlement in the country of the Illi- 

From Kaskaskias to Salt River is reckoned ten miles; from thence to 
St. Genevieve, four; from St. Genevieve to Fort Chartres, twenty; to 
Joachim Paver, eighteen; to Marimeck River, fifteen; to the village of 
Carondelet, fifteen; to St. Louis, ten; and to the Missouri, four. 1 

The whole navigation from the river Kaskaskias is excellent, and tra- 
verses a country very well inhabited, called the Illinois. 


From the mouth of the Ohio to that of the Missouri. 

From the mouth of the Ohio to Miles. 
Buffalo Island 3 

Its length 1 

Elk Island Y 2 

Its length 1 

Point a la Perche .' 1% 

Charpon Islands % 

Their length 3 

Courcy Islands 3 

Their length . 2 

English Islands 9 

Their length 6 

Little Chain of Rocks V 2 

Great Chain 2 

Cape a la Cruche 6 

Island a la Ferriere 3 

Cape Girardot 1% 

Island du Vertier 1 

Its length 2 

False Bays 3 

Marl River 5% 

Apple River 4 

The Tower 4 

Winged Island 3^ 

Five Men Cape 4% 

Dung Islands 3 

Their length 3 

River St. Mary 1 

Kaskaskia Island lV-j 

Salt River 10 

St. Genevieve 4 

l See the description of the country of the Illinois, Vol. I. 

Fort Chartres 20 

Joachim River 18 

Marimeck River 15 

Carondelet Village 15 

St. Lewis 10 

The mouth of the Missouri 5 


The most valuable information which we acquired during this short 
passage, respecting the navigation of this river, as well from our own ob- 
servations as the different accounts which we could procure, was, that 
whatever talents, patience, and courage may be exercised in undertaking 
this expedition, there are obstacles which will forever render it impos- 
sible to obtain either charts or any certain details respecting the course 
of this river, which can serve either as a guide or instruction to travelers. 

The Mississippi has not only the inconvenience of being of an im- 
mense extent, of winding in a thousand different directions, and of being 
intercepted by numberless islands; its current is likewise extremely un- 
equal, sometimes gentle, sometimes rapid; at other times motionless; 
which circumstances will prevent as long as both sides remain unin- 
habited, the possibility of obtaining just data with respect to distances. 
But an insurmountable obstacle will always be found in the instability 
of the bed of this river, which changes every year; here a sharp point 
becomes a bay, there an island disappears altogether. Further on, new 
islands are formed, sand-banks change their spots and directions, and 
are replaced by deep channels ; the sinuosities of the river are no longer 
the same; here where it once made a bend it now takes a right direction, 
and there the straight line becomes a curve ; here -ravages and disorders 
cannot be arrested or mastered by the hand of man, and it would be ex- 
treme folly to undertake to describe them, or pretend to give a faithful 
chart of this vast extent of waters, as we have done of the course of the 
Ohio, since it would not only be* useless but dangerous. It is for these 
reasons that we shall confine ourselves, as we proceed, to general ideas 
with respect to the navigation of this river, and treat in detail only of 
the most striking military points situated on its current. If from the 
Ohio to the river Kaskaskias we have deviated from this rule, it is be- 
cause that part of the river is reckoned the most difficult, and also varies 
less on account of the two chains of heights which bound its banks, and 
which fix and master its course. 


Country of the Illinois. — Period at Which the French Established 
Themselves. — Character of the Inhabitants. — Sketch of the Country. — 
Observations on the Mountains. — Conjectures. — Objections. ^Communi- 
cations. — Meadow of the Rock. — Fort St. Charles.- — St. Philip. — New 
Design. — Hull's Station. — Salt Works. — Bound Station. — Indian Tombs. 
— Meadow of the Bridge. — Observations. — Kaokias. — Singular Coun- 
try. — St. Lewis. — Fort. — Military Position of St. Lewis. — Florissant. — 
Marais des Liards. — St. Genevieve. — Lusiere. — Mines. — Water Carriage. 
— Nomenclature of Different Gramine. — Plan of an Intrenched Camp. 

The country of the Illinois is situated between the thirty-seventh and 
forty-fifth degree of northern latitude. The French took possession of 
this province in 1681, at the same period that William Penn laid the 
foundation of Pennsylvania. 

The settlements on the Spanish side begin from Salt Eiver and termin- 
ate at the Missouri, on the right bank of the Mississippi; those on the 
American side begin at the river Kankaskias, and end at Dog's Meadow 
(Prairie du Chien.) 

The French settlements which still remain, situated on the Spanish 
side, are St. Genivieve, St. Lewis, Florissant, and St. Charles. This 
last is formed on the left side of the Missouri. 

On the American side there are still some French at Kaskaskias, the 
Meadow of the Eock (Prairie du Eocher), St. Philips, Kaokias, Piorias, 
on the Eed river, at Dog's Meadow, near the Ouisconsin, Chicagou, on 
the Lake Michigan, and at Post St. Vincent's, on the Wabash. 

These people are, for the most part, traffickers, adventurers, hunters, 
rowers and warriors ; ignorant superstitious and obstinate ; accustomed to 
fatigue and privations, and stopped by no sense of danger in the under- 
takings they form, and which they usually accomplish. 

In domestic life, their characters and dispositions are similar to those 
of the Indians with whom they live; indolent, careless and addicted to 
drunkenness, they cultivate little or no ground, speak a French jargon, 
and have forgotten the division of time and months. If they are asked 
at what time such an event took place, they answer, "in the time of the 
great waters, of the strawberries, of the maize, of potatoes ;" if they are 
advised to change any practice which is evidently wrong, or if observa- 
tions are made to them respecting the amelioration of agriculture, or the 
augmentation of any branch of commerce, the only answer they give is 
this: "It is the custom, our fathers did so, I have done well, my children 
will do the same." They love France, and speak of their country with 

The province of the Illinois is perhaps the only spot respecting which 
travelers have given no exaggerated accounts; it is superior to any de- 
scription which has been made, for local beauty, fertility, climate, and 
the means of every kind which nature has lavished upon it for the facility 
of commerce. 

This country is a delightful valley, where winds one of the most ma- 
jestic rivers on the globe, and which, after receiving the vast Missouri, 
is still augmented by an infinite number of smaller rivers and creeks, all 
navigable, and fitted for the construction of mills and machinery of al- 
most everv kind. 

This valley is full of small lakes and villages, and interspersed with 
woods and natural meadows, strewed ' with medicinal and odoriferous 
plants. Across these meadows flow numerous rivulets, sometimes mur- 
muring beneath the flowers, and sometimes displaying their silver beds 
and their transparent waters, pure as the air which is breathed amidst 
those romantic spots. On each side of these vast meadows, which are 
level as the surface of the calm ocean, rise lofty and venerable forests, 
which serve as boundaries, while their thick and mysterious shades fill 
the mind with reverential awe and enthusiastic contemplation. 

This valley is bounded on the right and left by two small chains of 
. mountains running parallel with the -banks of the river, but never more 
distant than four or five miles. 

The chain on the east begins to be perceived from the mouth of the 
river Kaskaskias, and runs in the same direction as far as the Dog"s 
Meadow, situated two hundred and forty leagues higher. 

The western chain is visible from Cape Girardot. and runs in the same 
direction, nearly at the same height, and following the same bendings as 
that of the east". 

These small chains rise commonly one hundred and fifty and some- 
times two hundred feet above the level of the lands which separate them 
from the waters of the river. These masses of rock' are composed some- 
times of greystone, flint, with which the Indians tip their arrows, or mill- 
stone, but most frequently of limestone. 

The lands which run along between these chains and the bed of the 
river, form, as I have already observed, vast meadows intersected with 
small woods ; the whole of these lands are the product of successive depots, 
occasioned by the overflowings of the river. Trees half burnt are often 
found in digging, together with pieces of earthen and iron utensils. The 
whole is a bed of sand, the surface of which is covered by a vegetable 
layer, four or five feet in thickness. 

It is probably that both these chains have been washed by the river ; 
the different shells which are found incrusted, the constant parallelism 
of their layers with the horizon, and which is seen marked in the rocks, 
lying in the same direction, "and the correspondent angles of these chains, 
are indications which support this conjecture. Here, nevertheless, a 
great difficulty presents itself; which is that of knowing how the river 
could at once have covered these two chains. 

Many persons, and we were of the number, perplexed at the idea of 
the quantity. of water necessary to cover this surface, suppose that the 
Mississippi may several times have changed its bed, and have flowed at 
different epochs over certain parts of these two chains ; but the corres- 
pondence of the angles, the constant opposition of the concave with the 
convex parts, which so well demonstrate the course of the waters, oppose 
this hypothesis, and we are brought back almost irrestibly to believe 
that these two chains were once the two banks of the river. 

In fact, had not the Mississippi washed at the same time both these 
chains, they would not always have run parallel and without interrup- 
tion, and breaks would have been found at intervals, such as are ob- 
served in the current of the Ohio. 


It may be inquired what is become of all the water which was neces- 
sary to till so broad and deep a bed. The following is the most satis- 
factory solution which we could find of this difficult question. 

When in descending the Mississippi we consider with attention the 
direction of these two chains of mountains, we observe that the nearer 
we approach the sea, the further they fall back from each other; till, at 
length, that on the western side flies off, and disappears altogether to- 
wards the Attakapas; whilst that on the east directs itself towards the 
mountains in the south of Florida. 

From the point where these two chains are no longer visible, we find 
a prodigious extent of productive land, sometimes fifty leagues in 

At thirty leagues from the mouth of the river is situated New Orleans, 
which is distant from the Gulf of Mexico on the right and left, only 
two leagues. In the midst of this peninsula runs, in different channels, 
the Mississippi, by which alone it could have been formed. 

We know, also, that formerly this town was very near the mouth of 
the river, and consequently at a small distance from the sea shore. Ad- 
mitting this to be the case, if we could carry back in our imaginations, 
above the Illinois, all the earth which has been washed down and de- 
posited by the current in the stretch of land, which is now below New 
Orleans, we shall be convinced that the quantity of water necessary to 
fill and cover the space which then existed between the two chains, could 
not be immense, and that its volume appears insufficient at present, only 
from the changes which the water has itself rtroduced. Besides, in the 
month of April, 1784, when a considerable inundation took place, the 
river reached from one chain to the other, and carried a barge from 
Kaskaskias to Kaokia, across the meadows and low lands which were 
under water. There are, moreover, strong conjectures that the lakes 
Michigan and Superior emptied their waters formerly into this river. 
The evidence for this conjecture is, that when the waters are high. ' 
carrying from fifteen to twenty thousand weight pass from the Illinois 
river to the Lake Michigan, without portage, by traversing a marsh which 
joins the sources of the river Illinois with those of the river Chicago, 
which now discharges itself into the Lake Michigan. The Ouiscousin 
affords a similar proof. 

No one is ignorant that Canada has suffered very considerable earth- 
quakes; such, for example, as happened in 1663, when in a single night 
twenty-six shocks took place. The history of this colony informs us, that 
these earthquakes were felt over an extent of country more than one 
hundred leagues in breadth, and three hundred in length, from the mouth 
of the river St. Lawrence running to the West. 

It is very probable, therefore, that the bed of granite which forms the 
cataract of the Niagara has been sunk in one of these violent commo- 
tions, and that previous to this convulsion of nature the waters of the 
lake emptied themselves into the Mississippi, this hypothesis explains 
easily how the waters of the river might have washed at the same time 
both the chains which filled the vast void that now exists; since the 
greater part of these waters at present discharge themselves into the 
river St. Lawrence. 


But I offer this solution as the opinion of an individual little enlight- 
ened on a subject so abstruse, and which I leave to the meditation of 
those who are more conversant than myself with the secrets of nature. 

There are two communications by land from Kaskaskias to Kaokia, 
one called the lower road, the other the upper. The first is practicable 
only during the summer, the second the whole year. 

From Kaskaskias to the Meadow of the Eock is reckoned fifty miles, 
and the road lies across natural meadows and a soil extremely loamy, 
which renders it impracticable in rainy seasons. The vegetation of this 
soil is so luxuriant, that a man on horseback is covered by the height of 
the grass; we measured some stalks, which were twenty-one feet high. 

The Meadow of the Eock is a small village situated at the foot of the 
chain of rocks, of which we have given the description; its population 
is composed of eighty or a hundred inhabitants at most, and the greater 
part are the produce of a mixture with the Indians. 

At the Meadow of the Eock are two roads ; that on the right goes across 
the heights; the left, which is the continuation of the lower road, tra- 
verses the meadows. A mile beyond the Meadow of the Eock, on the left, 
is a path now covered with grass, the track of which is scarcely to be 
seen. This path leads to F.ort Charles, situated on the banks of the river, 
at the distance of a mile; its ruins are the only vestiges that remain 
of the power by which it was erected. This fort was begun by the French 
India Company in 1754, and finished in 1762, precisely at the period of 
the peace by which we lost our territorial possessions on this continent. 
Its form is square, with four bastions finely proportioned and covered 
with freestone. A wall surrounds it six feet thick and twenty high, with 
crannies and embrasures; opposite and parallel to the curtains are four 
large and magnificent buildings, one of which was destined for officers, 
one for the garrison, and the two others for military stores. The whole 
of these buildings are made of freestone, and raised on arches. This 
establishment was constructed with so much solidity and care, that .in 
spite of time and the neglect in which it is left, the wall and buildings 
are still in good preservation; the timber has been taken away. 

In front of the curtain which faces the river, are seen the remains of 
a very fine battery of six pieces of twelve that defended the passage of 
the river, by means of an island which is opposite, and narrows its bed. 
At a quarter of a mile from the fort, on the left, are the ruins of Char- 
tres, covered with wild herbs. 

Proceeding seven miles by the road on the right, reckoning from the 
point where it separates, leading to St. Charles, we reached St. Philip, 
which is a new settlement, and contains seven or eight families, among 
which are a few Americans. This space is intersected with woods, with 
natural meadows, and some marshes, which render St. Philip's unhealthy. 

Two miles from thence is another crossway ; the road on the right goes 
to New Design, and meets that which leads to the Meadow of the Eock; 
the road on the left goes into the valley. 

Five miles further we reached Hull's Station, which is agreeably situ- 
ated at the foot of the chain of mountains, on a small platform, high 

—19 H S 


enough nut to be incommoded by the thick and foggy air which spreads 
over the meadows. This station is composed as yet but of two houses, 
inhabited by Americans. 

Eight miles beyond Hull's Station are the Salt Works ; two roads lead 
to this place; that on the right is the most direct and the best, follow- 
ing the base of the mountain; the left leads through the meadows. 

From the Salt Works to Bounds Station is a distance of five miles, 
which lie across a country alternately wood 'and meadow ground. On 
the left is a very considerable pond, tilled with an innumerable quantity 
of water fowl of all kinds; this point is unhealthy during the summer. 

A few miles beyond Bound's Station we passed some small huts on the 
left, newly constructed. Sixteen miles farther, following the course of 
the meadows, which are of an immense extent, we found several small 
mounds regularly ranged in a circular form: these were ancient Indian 

Three miles further we reached the meadow of the bridge, leaving on 
the right a road which leads to the heights. The whole of this space is 
intersected with large ponds, some of which are three or four miles long, 
and one broad ; these stagnant waters occasion, by their exhalations, 
many fevers in the autumn, and on this account the Meadow of the 
Bridge is very little peopled, the greater part of the inhabitants having 
gone over to the Spanish side. 

Observing the level of the waters of the river, when it is low. and 
that of the waters of the lakes, we perceived that it would be very easy 
to dry up the latter by means of a few draining?, which might be cut 
across the meadows; but indolence and the want of population are im- 
pediments to this measure, and the inhabitants prefer changing their 
settlements to the labor of ameliorating those they already occupy. 

From the Meadow of the Bridge to Kaokia is only a mile. 


Of the Distances of the Lower Road. 


From Kaskaskias to the Meadow of the Rock 14 

To St. Philip 8 

Hull's Station 7 

Salt Works - 7 

Bound's Station 5 

Indian Tombs 16 

Meadow of the Bridge 3 

Kaokia 1 

Leaving the Meadow (if the Rock, the road turns short to the right, 
passing a hollow which is very narrow, and following on the left a riv- 
ulet which is fordable at the distance of two miles. After climbing dur- 
ing a mile a very steep ascent, we reached a platform, which presents 
the view of a very singular country. 

This country can neither be termed wood nor meadow ; the trees with 
which it appears to lie covered, are so thinly scattered, that the intervals 
are so large as not to intercept the light. Neither a thorn nor a shrub 


are to be seen, and only one kind of wood, the post oak, the trees of which 
are all of the same size and height. The ground is covered with grass 
of an excellent quality for cattle. 

The singular aspect of this country can he attributed only to a custom 
among the Indians of setting fire every autumn to the grass and dead 
leaves of the forests, which destroys the whole, except this kind of oak. 1 
It is to be observed also, that this oak is smaller, and not so lofty as 
those of other forests, where this accident has not taken place, and its 
bark is almost black. It is clear of branches, both great and small, to 
the height of twenty or twenty-five feet. The principal use of this timber 
is for inclosures or barriers, and it is as serviceable as cedar for these 

The whole of this country is a gentle undulation, not a single rivulet 
is to be found, but there are a great number of springs of pure and lim- 
pid water. 

The quality of the land is excellent; its vegetable layer is about three 
feet in depth. Great holes of a singular form are frequently seen, which 
have the figure of a cone reversed, or kind of funnel, the upper part of 
which is about one hundred yards broad, and thirty, forty and fifty feet 
in depth. Several of these have very plentiful springs of water: others 
are entirely dry during the summer: the issue cannot be traced by which 
the waters run off. 

The same country and the same aspect continues without any varia- 
tion till within three miles of Kaokia, when the upper road falls into 
the plain at Pickset's Station, and yours six miles further on the lower 

The upper road is very good except for carriages; it is military, not 
only as it holds the summit of the whole country, hut that by means of 
it- undulations, every movement may be kept out of sight of the enemy. 


From Kaskaskias to the Meadow of the Rock 14 

To New Design 20 

Belle Fontaine 2 

Pickset's Station 16% 

Kaokia 12 

Independently of these two roads, there is another which communi- 
cates from Kaskaskias with Post St. Vincent's, and leads almost con- 
tinually across fine natural meadows. Idle distance is computed at one 
hundred and fifty miles, which may be passed in five days on horseback; 
but this road is impassable for any carriage. 

l When a traveler is surprised by one of these fires, which happens commonly in 
the autumn, and sees the conflagration advance, which generally spreading over 
the whole extent of the meadow, runs rapidly on when aided by the wind, the only 
measure to adopt, in order to preserve himself from a danger so immeinent. is to 
light a fire behind him : by this means the grass is already burnt when the de- 
vouring flame reaches the spot, where finding nothing more to consume, it stops 
and is necessarily extinguished. For this reason every one who travels in the 
autumn, amidst these plains, cannot be too strongly recommended to provide him- 
self with a tinder-box, which the inhabitants of the country are careful to do, 
since their lives are so nearly concerned. 


These natural meadows are highly agreeable to the traveler, who passes 
them without suffering any of the inconveniences which he finds in the 
forests, such as reptiles and insects, since it is well known that the mos- 
chettoes, with which the woods are filled, and which are so troublesome, 
cannot bear the light ; much less the rays of the" sun, by which they perish ; 
they can only exist amidst damps and darkness. With respect to rep- 
tiles, they must be extremely rare in these meadows, which are consumed 
every autumn by the Indians. 

Two miles above Kaokia, and on the right bank of the river, is situ- 
ated the town of St. Lewis, or Pincour. on a platform high enough to 
be at all times out of the reach of inundations. 

The population of this town is estimated at six hundred inhabitants, 
of whom two hundred, all French, 1 are capable of bearing arms. 

Kaokia is situated at the extremity of this immense and beautiful 
valley, it contains about three hundred families, of which there are a 
hundred men capable of bearing arms. 

These men are less degenerate than the race which dwell on the Amer- 
. ican side; we found among them that sentiment of attachment to their 
country which characterise the French nation ; they appeared to be excel- 
lent patriots, whose lives and fortunes are devoted to France; families 
of laborers in easy circumstances, and prosperous merchants. The 
people in general would be happy, were it not for the viciousness of the 
administration, which grants exclusive privileges to strangers for the fur 
trade : privileges always odious to the people and ruinous for the states, 
since they annihilate industry and destroy emulation. 

It might easily be presumed from the situation in which we found the 
forts, and the weakness of the garrison, which consisted of seventeen 
men, that Spain had the intention of abandoning Upper Louisiana. 

At the time this post was menaced by Genet's expedition, ill combined 
and still worse directed, a paltry square redoubt was constructed, flanked 
by four bastions, the sides of which were preeiselv two feet and a half, 
(the space of a single man) and surrounded with a ditch two feet deep 
and six in breadth, with an inclosure of crannied planks. A garrison of 
seventeen men and the inhabitants, all devoted to France, were charged 
with the defense of this post. 

lA circumstance worthy of notice, with respect to our .national character, is. 
that we never incorporate, generally speaking-, with any other nation : wherever we 
go. we wish to plant ourselves, to introduce our own tastes, manners, customs, and 
language. It is to this .srenerous pride that we must attribute that marked differ- 
ence which exists in the mode of our forming settlements in foreigri countries, from 
that of oth»r emigrants. The French unite, and form themselves into towns and 
villages, whilst others disperse and melt into the mass of the people amongst whom 
they dwell, as may be observed in the United States. 

This love of our country, this national prejudice, far from being a subject of 
ridicule, as it has been treated by some modern writers, ought rather to b" regarded 
as a virtue, of which wise governments know how to take advantage. Who knows 
if Louisiana and Canada would not have balanced the immense influence which 
England has obtained in the United States, if France had supported her colonies, 
as those of the English have been protected by their government. England owes 
her influence to the introduction of her manners, her customs, her language, her 
religion, and her marine : I say, her marine, because to be master of the world, it 
is necessary to be sovereign of the sea. This political axiom is of ancient date: 
the Greeks transmitted it to the Romans, and it his since been adopted by everv 
nation: it is in this sense that one of our tragic writers (Lemierrel says: 
"Le trident de Neptune est le sceptre du monde." 


The order of the commander was the only thing reasonable in this 
extraordinary defense of Upper Louisiana; it stated in substance, that 
immediately on the appearance of the enemy, the garrison should retreat 
to New Madrid. We shall speak of that place at the end of the work. 

The position of St. Lewis, five leagues from the mouth of the Mis- 
souri, and eight from that of the Illinois, considered in a military point 
of view, is one of the best on the river Mississippi. If it were put into a 
respectable state of defense, it would cover Upper Louisiana, and prevent 
every irruption by the Upper Mississippi, the Illinois and the Missouri; 
commanding, at the same time, the Western States and Upper Canada, 
each of which might be invaded by three different roads; the first in as- 
cending the Mississippi, and the Ouiscousin, from whence a carrying- 
place of three miles leads to Fox Eiver and Green Bay, which makes pait 
of Lage Michigan, the second by ascending the Illinois river, and gain- 
ing by Chickago the sources of the river Kennomick. which empties it- 
self likewise into the same lake ; this may be effected in high waters with- 
out carriage, by traversing a marsh where there is four or five feet of 
water; and the third, in proceeding from Kaskaskias, and gaining the 
post of St. Vincent's by a fine communication of one hundred and fifty 
or one hundred and sixty miles across a country of natural meadows. 
and afterwards ascending the Wabash as far as the sources of the river 
Miamis, the waters of which fall into Lake Erie. 1 

St. Lewis can also oppose every irruption by the Ohio against New 
Madrid; that town being situated above the mouth of the river at the 
distance only of fifty leagues, this space might be run in thirty-six hours 
with gallies ; the advantages of being master of the current, in the naviga- 
tion of a river, are still more decisive than having the wind at sea. 

If we consider St. Lewis in a commercial point of view, we shall find 
its position still more fortunate. This place will stand in the same re- 
lation to New Orleans, as Albany to New York; it is there that will be 
collected all the produce transported by the great rivers which meet near 
this point, after traversing such fine and fertile countries. It is there 
that the traders would bring all the fine furs of the Missouri, and other 
adjacent rivers; a source of inexhaustible riches for more than a century. 

It is at St. Lewis that a stop may be put to the invasions and usurpa- 
tions of England. St. Lewis will become the military point for the de- 
fense of the head of the Mississippi, and the mouth of the Missouri, and 
to support the different posts which might be formed upon this river; it 
will be the central point for all internal administrations, and from which 
the traders will take their departure. 2 Upon the whole, it will be by St. 
Lewis that the communication will be opened with the Southern Ocean, 
and its waters connected with those of the Gulf of Mexico; and this may 
be effected with more facility, more safety, and with more economy for 
trade and navigation, than in any other given point in North America. 3 

These considerations, which even the peace cannot annul, decided the 
French plenipotentiary to propose to the Spanish minister on my return 

lSee the particular description of each of those rivers. 

lThose who are here called traders, are persons who traffic with the Indians 
for furs. 

2See'the description of the Missouri. 


in the month of January. 1797, the plan of defence which will be found 
at the end of this chapter; a jDian which may be considered as only tem- 
porary, but which may one day serve as the basis of a plan of defence 
more mature and complete, when circumstances, time, and experience 
shall have furnished easier means of examination, and more exact details 
than those which could be collected in a situation so delicate as that in 
which we undertook the survey of this place. 

Four leagues to the north of St. Lewis, and a league from the mouth 
of the Missouri, a new settlement has been formed, called Florissant, 
which contains already thirty families, the greater part American, and 
all good farmers. 

A mile west of Florissant is another settlement formed by the French, 
called Marais des Lairds, which contains an hundred families. Two 
leagues and a half farther on towards the northwest, and on the left of 
the Missouri, is situated the last settlement of civilized men, called St. 
Charles, containing two hundred families, all traders or hunters. 

Twenty-four leagues to the south of St. Lewis, and on the same side, 
is situated the small town of St. Genevieve, vulgarly called by the people 
Misere. It was originally built on the banks of the river, but the fre- 
quency of the inundations forced the inhabitants to transport their settle- 
ment two miles back at the foot of a small height; there are still a few 
huts remaining, inhabited by the traders of the old village. 

This little town contains at present twelve hundred inhabitants of both 
sexes, whites and blacks, slaves and freemen, of which two hundred and 
forty bear arms ; but out of that number, sixty only can be considered as 
soldiers. ■ 

On the upper part of the platform on which St. Genevieve is situated, 
stands a small fort, of the same form and constructed with the same kind 
, of materials as that of St. Lewis ; that is to say, square, and surrounded 
with planks to support the earth, and serve at the same time for palisa- 
does. Two pieces of iron cannon of two pounders, a corporal and two 
soldiers, were at this time the sole defence of the place. 

This position on the whole is extremely bad, being much too distant 
from the river to protect its navigation. The fort on the southeast is 
entirely under the command of the platform on which it is built, the far- 
ther you go to the back of this position, the more the ground rises grad- 
ually ; and these heights being connected with each other a great length of 
space, and commanding each other successively, it is impossible to occupy 
them all at once. This situation ought therefore to be abandoned as an 
intermediary point between St. Lewis and the Ohio, as had been once 
projected. We shall take occasion to point out another far superior in 
all respects. 

Two miles to the southeast of St. Genevieve, on the height, is an in- 
creasing settlement, called Lusiere; this is a concession which has lately 
been made by the government to a French refugee of this name, who fled, 
like many others, from assassins and executioners. 

Two leagues from St. Genevieve, towards the sources of a rivulet which 
empties itself into the Mississippi, is a lead mine and a lime quarry, both 


of which are at present worked, on the heights of Marimeek. An iron 
mine, extremely rich, has been lately discovered, but is not worked for 
want of hands and means. Mr. Burd, an inhabitant of Xew Jersey, and 
in partnership with Robert Morris, has visited it and extracted several 
pieces of ore, which have been found by professional men to be of the first 
quality; this mine is so much the more precious, as it is the only one of 
the kind hitherto known in Upper Louisiana. We brought away speci- 
mens of these various minerals. 

All conveyances from St. Genevieve to St. Lewis are made by water; 
no communication by land for carriages having yet been opened ; the road 
at present is practicable only for horsemen and foot passengers. 

The passage of the river, in the communication of St. Lewis with 
Kaokia, either from St. Genevieve to Kaskaskias, or across the Missouri 
from St. Lewis to St. Charles, is made with canoes of different sizes ; but 
these boats are not large enough to carry either borses or carriages; the 
horses are commonly made to swim across the stream. 

From St. Lewis to the Neighbouring Villages. 
Spanish Side. Leagues, 

From St. Lewis to Florissant 4 

To Marais des Liards 4% 

To St. Charles 6 

To St. Genevieve 24 

Independently of the description which we shall give under the article' 
of agriculture, of the vegetation that clothes and the productions that en- 
rich this fine country, we deem it necessary to add, that it abounds in all 
kinds of gramen, from dog's grass to reeds thirty feet high ; the great 
and lesser kinds of mallows, violets, nettles, dandelions, maiden hair, 
ferns, horsetail, thistles, briars, squinant, iris, cresses, milfoil, St. John's 
wort, centaury, hen bane, pellitory, of the wall, vervain, mint, thyme, 
burdock, endive, hops storksbill, purslain, sowthistle, woodsorrell, melilot, 
trefoil, luzerne, Venus-navel, ginger, gentian, the second and fourth 
species of ipecacuanha, the bastard senna, the bastard indigo, three kinds 
of sensitives, camomile, bugioss, comfrey, wild marjaram, sage, mother 
wort, wormwood, poppy, terragon, pumpkin sorrel, strawberry plant, as- 
paragus, golden rod, scabious, the winter cherry, lilac, palma-ehristi, In- 
dian fig-tree, rosemary, marjoram, several of the flowers cultivated in 
Europe, the great blind nettle, blind oats, white root, red root, the spindle 
tree, the liana, dragon's blood, geranium, and fumitory, friendsroot, 
white meadow wood, the tea-tree of Labrador, and the Obelia. 

The trees most common are five or six kinds of walnuts trees and of 
oaks, the mulberry tree, apple tree, pear, plumb and cherry trees; the 
ash. the willow, the elm, the hawthorn, the poplar, the beech, laurels, 
acacias, plane trees, pines, firs, red and white cedars, the cypress, peach 
trees, fig trees and chestnuts : pomegranates, the thorny ash. the small 
cotton tree, and the little oak. We found also, the orange, lemon and 
lime trees, with every other production of the most favored climes. 

Every season presents its peculiar vegetable productions; it would, 
therefore, be almost impossible for a single individual to examine and 
give an exact enumeration of the whole. We collected our information 
on this subject from Mr. Perron, who had resided in Upper Louisiana ten 
years, and who had been continually employed in the study of natural 


Description of the River of the Illinois. 

The river of the Illinois is situated towards the thirty-ninth degree 
thirty minutes northern latitude, and six leagues above the Missouri, 
on the eastern side of the Mississippi. This river is about five hundred 
yards wide at its mouth. 

The chain of rocks and high monies which begins at the mouth of the 
Kaskaskias, and which runs parallel with the Mississippi, passing be- 
hind the Meadow of the Eock, St. Philips, Kaokia, and de Piasas, turns 
near the mouth of the river of the Illinois, and keeps at greater or less 
remote distances, on its eastern side, the same direction as this river. 

After ascending the river eighteen miles, on the eastern side, we 
reached a small river, called Macopin, which signifies in the Indian lan- 
guage White Yam. This river is about twenty yards broad at its mouth, 
and is navigable nine miles. 

In this space, the maple or sugar tree, the ash and other wood fit for 
construction, are very common. 

At slight distances on each side of the river, are fine natural meadows ; 
the earth on these banks does not break off like those of the Mississippi. 
We passed several islands, some of which were from nine to twelve miles 
long and three miles broad; after which the breadth of the river con- 
tinues to be about four hundred yards, and runs N. N. W. 

Thirty-six miles above the Macopin is the village of the Priorias, sit- 
uated at one mile distance from the left bank, and behind which are 
several small lakes, that communicate with each other, and are sur- 
rounded with natural meadows of great extent. The passage which these 
lakes have opened to the river is very narrow, and practicable only for 
small canoes. The high chain, which follows the river, falls back here to 
a considerable distance. 

Twenty-seven miles farther up the river are several small islands, cov- 
ered with a great quantity of animals, and eighteen miles beyond is 
another island of some extent, called Pierre a fleches. Near this island 
mountains not lofty, border the western side of the river ; on these heights 
the Indians find the stones with which they point their arrows. 

The eastern side is bordered by natural meadows to a great extent ; the 
land is very fertile, and watered by a multitude of small rivulets which 
are never dry. The heights are covered with the tallest ash trees ; the 
banks of the river are high, its waters are limpid, rolling over a bed of 
sand and white clay. 

Eighteen miles farther up is Mine River, called by the Canadians Bad 
Land (Mauvaise Terre.) During this space, the aspect of the country 


continues the same ; on the east lie natural meadows, which are sometimes 
nine, twelve and fifteen miles broad; on the west is the chain of small 
hills, that runs parallel with the course of the river. 

Mine river is not more than fifty yards wide at its mouth ; its current is 
very rapid, and its banks on each side are low, but rise afterwards gradu- 
ally. The lands along this river are of a very fine quality, particularly 
for corn and pasturage. 

Twenty-one miles above Mine river is the Sagamond, situated on the 
western side, at the extremity of the chain of small mornes. This river is 
about one hundred yards broad, and is navigable one hundred- and eighty 
miles for small canoes, the right side is very low, and the left bordered 
during a space of six or nine miles by small mornes. 

Twenty miles from the Sagamond is the river Demi Quain, on the same 
side. This river is fifty yards broad, and is navigable one hundred and 
twenty miles. 

Nine miles above this river is Demi Quain Lake situated on the western 
side. This lake, of a circular form, is at least six miles in diameter, and 
empties itself into the Illinois river by a smallchannel, which is always 
four feet deep. The banks are bordered by natural meadows, especially 
on the western side, where the view is unbounded. This part of the coun- 
try has little wood, the lands are fine in every direction, and the waters of 
the river and lake perfectly limpid. The course of the river, preceding 
from the lake, is eastward, and the navigation excellent. - 

Twelve miles above the lake, and on the same side, is the river of 
Sesme Quain. This river is forty yards broad, is navigable for canoes 
sixty miles, and flows through a very fertile country. 

Nine miles higher, and on the same side, is the river March, thirty 
yards broad, and navigable nine miles only for small skiffs. The country 
here begins to rise gradually towards the west. 

Nine miles higher, on the eastern side, is the river Michilimackinac. 
fifty yards broad, and navigable ninety miles. There are thirty or forty 
small islands at its mouth, which at a distance have the appearance of a 
village. On the banks of this river there is excellent timber ; the red and 
white cedar, the pine, the maple and walnut tree. The land is high on 
TDoth sides, and the woods are intersected at certain distances by fine 
natural meadows, covered with grass of the best quality for cattle. 

The river Michilimackinac 'forms the line of separation of the counties 
of St. Clair and Knox from the state of the Northwest Territory. 

Twelve miles above the Michilimackinac is the village of Pioria, called 
also by the Canadians the Piss ; it is inhabited by fifteen Canadian fam- 
ilies, who till the land and trade with the Indians. There is an old fort 
situated at the southern extremity of a considerable lake, called the Illi- 
nois lake. In this lake there is neither rock, shoal, nor current. The ruins 
of the block house that formed the fort are still seen. On the north the 
lake*opens in its whole extent ; on the west vast natural meadows close the 
horizon, and towards the east of the lake terminates the chain of rocks, 
which taking its rise behind the Kaskaskias, the Kaokia, etc., follows con- 
stantly the same direction as the Illinois River. 


From the mouth of the Mississippi to Miles. 

The River Macopin 18 

Priorias 36 

Several Small Islands 27 

Island Pierre a Fleche 18 

Mine River IS 

The Sangamond 21 

Demi Quain River 21 

Demi Lake * . . . !> 

Semi Quain River 12 

March River 9 

Michilimackinac River 9 

Piss Village 12 



By Samuel R. Brown, Auburn, N. Y., 1817. Pages 17-35. 

Illinois Territory. 

The boundaries of the Illinois territory are defined by law — the Ohio 
washes its southern border, extending from the mouth (if the Wabash to 
its junction with the Mississippi, a distance of 160 miles; the Mississippi 
constitutes the western boundary from the mouth of the Ohio to the Rocky 
Hills, in north latitude 41.50, a distance, measuring- the meanderings of 
that river, of more than 600 miles; a line due east from the Rocky Hills 
(not yet run) divides it from the Northwestern Territory: the Wabash 
separates it from Indiana, from its mouth to within sixteen miles of Fort 
Harrison, where the division line leaves the river, running north until it 
intersects the northern boundary line in N lat. 41.50. The length 
of the territory in a direct line from north to south is 347 miles — its 
mean breadth 206. Its southern extremity is in 36.57 N. lat. It 
contains 52,000 square miles, or 33,280,000 acres. 

The form of this extensive country is that of an imperfect triangle — 
its base being the northern boundary of the territory, or the parallel of the 
southern extremity of lake Michigan ; and the Mississippi its hypothenuse. 

The present population is estimated at 20,000 souls; all white. It in- 
creases, it is supposed, in the ratio of thirty per cent, annually, which is 
accellerating. Slavery is not admitted. The inhabitants principally re- 
side on the Wabash below A 7 incennes, on the Mississippi, Ohio and Kas- 

No state or territory in North America can boast of superior facilities 
or internal navigation. Nearly 1,000 miles, or, in other words, two-thirds 
of its frontier is washed by the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi. The placid 
Illinois traverses this territory in a southwestern direction, nearly 400 
miles. This noble river is formed by the junction of the rivers Theakaki 
and Plein in N. lat. 41.48. Unlike the other great rivers of the western 
country, its current is mild and unbroken by rapids, meandering at leizure 
through one of the finest countries in the world. It enters the Mississippi 
about. 200 miles above its confluence with the Ohio and IS above the 
mouth of the Missouri, in 38.42 N. lat. Is upwards of 400 yards wide 
at its mouth, bearing from the Mississippi N. 7 5 dog. west. The tribu- 
taries of this river entering from the north or right bank, are 1. The 
Mine, 70 miles long, falls into the Illinois about 75 miles 


from its mouth. 2. The Sagamond, a crooked river, enters the Illinois 
130 miles from the Mississippi. It is 100 yards wide at its entrance, and 
navigable 150 miles for small craft — general course southeast. 3. t)emi 
Quain, enters twenty-eight miles above the mouth of the Sagamond; its 
course nearly southeast, and it is said to be navigable 120 miles. On the 
northern bank of this river is an extensive morass called Demi Quain 
Swamp. 4. Sesme Quain is the next river entering from the northwest, 
thirty miles above the mouth of Demi Quain, sixty yards wide and boat- 
able sixty miles. The land on its banks is represented to be of superior 
excellence. 5. La Marche, a little river from the north — navigable but a 
short distance. 6. Fox river comes in nearly equi-distant between the 
Illinois lake and the junction of the Plein and Theakaki rivers, is 130 
yards wide — heads near the sources of Rocky river (of the Mississippi), 
and pursues a northeastern course for the first 50 miles, as though mak- 
ing effort to get into Lake Michigan, approaches to within two miles of 
Plein river, it then takes a southern direction and is navigable 130 miles. 
7. Plein. or Kickapoo river, interlocks in a singular manner, with the 
Chicago ; running into Lake Michigan ; 60 miles -from its head it expands 
and forms Lake Depage. five miles below which it joins the Theakaki 
from the northeast. Those streams united, are to the Illinois what the 
Alleghany and Monongahela, are to the Ohio — they water parts of In- 
diana and the X. W. Territory. 

The rivers of the left branch of the Illinois fall in the following order : 
1. The Macopin, a small river, twenty-five yards wide, twenty miles 
from the Mississippi : boatable 9 miles to the hills. 2. The Little 
Michilimackinac. 200 miles from the Mississippi; navigable 90 miles, 
comes from the S. E. It interweaves its branches with the Kaskaskia — 
has several considerable forks. 3. Crow Meadow river, heads in the 
Knobs, near the head waters of the Vermilion (of the Wabash), its course 
is N". W.. is but 20 yards wide at its mouth, and navigable about 15 miles. 
4. Vermilion River, from the S. E.. 30 yards wide, rocky and unnavig- 
able, falls into the Illinois 160 miles from the Mississippi, near the S. E. 
end of the Little Rocks. 5. Rainy Island River, from the S. E. narrow 
ami navigable but a few miles. 

'The banks of the Illinois are generally high. ' The bed of the river being 
a white marble, or clay, or sand, the waters are remarkably clear. It 
abounds with beautiful islands, one of which is ten miles long; and adjoin- 
ing or near to it, are many coal mines, salt ponds, and small lakes. It 
passes through one lake, two hundred and ten miles from its mouth, which 
is twenty miles in length, and three or four miles in breadth, called Illinois 
lake."— A Late Officer of the U. S. Army. 

The Kaskaskia is the next river in magnitude. It heads in the exten- 
sive prairies south of Lake Michigan, its course is nearly north. In enters 
the Mississippi 100 miles above the mouth of the Ohio, and 84 
below the Illinois, and is navigable 130 miles. Its tributaries from the 
west and northwest are Water-cress and Lalande creeks, those entering 
from the east are Blind river, Bighill creek, Beaver, Yellow creek and 
Copper mine creek. 


A respectable correspondent, residing on the Kaskaskia, gives the fol- 
lowing interesting sketch, under date of January 20, 1817: 

"The Kaskaskia river waters the finest country I have ever seen — it is 
neither flat or mountainous, but maintains a happy undulating medium be- 
tween the extremes — it is suited to the growth of Indian corn, wheat, rye, 
oats, barley, hemp, tobacco, etc., etc. The climate is too cold for cotton, as 
a staple, or for sugar. On the streams of this river there are already built, 
and now building a great number of mills — it is navigable at least 150 
miles on a straight line — it is generally conceded that the permanent seat 
of government for the State, will be fixed on this river, near a direct line 
from the mouth of Missouri to Vincennes, in the State of Indiana. The in- 
habitants residing on this river and its waters, may not be as polished as 
some; but I" will say, without fear of contradiction that no people have a 
more abundant stock of hospitality, morality, and religion. On the bank of 
this river, a few miles above its mouth, is situated the town of Kaskaskia, 
the present seat of government. Here is a fine harbor for boats. 

The great American bottom of the Mississippi begins at the mouth of the 
Kaskaskia river, extending nearly to the mouth of the Illinois river, sup- 
posed to contain six hundred square miLes. No land can be more fertile. 
Some of it has been in cultivation one hundred and twenty years, and still 
no deterioration has yet manifested itself — it is unquestionably tbe Delta 
of America. Great numbers of cattle are bought in that country for the 
Philadelphia and Baltimore markets — it is undoubtedly a very fine stock 

Au Vase river empties into the Mississippi fifty-five miles above the 
mouth of the Ohio; it is boatable 60 miles, through a fine prairie 
country. It drains a district 70 by 25 miles. The little river 
Marie waters a district between the Au Vase and Kaskaskia. Wood river 
is the principal stream between the mouths of the Kaskaskia and Illinois. 

Rocky river waters the northwest corner of the territory. It heads in 
the hills west of the south end of Lake Michigan, and is 300 yards wide 
at its entrance into the Mississippi — it bears from the Mississippi almost 
due east — about three miles up this river is an old Indian town, belonging 
to the Sac nation. Sand Bay river discharges itself into the Mississippi 
between the mouths of Rocky and Illinois rivers. 

The streams falling into the Ohio, from this territory, below the mouth 
of the Wabash, are few and inconsiderable in size. The Saline is the 
first — it empties -its waters 26 miles below the mouth of the Wabash. 
It is 150 yards wide at its mouth — navigable for keels and batteaux 
for 30 miles. The famous U. S. Salt-Works, are upon this stream, 
twenty miles up by the windings of the river, but not more than ten in 
a direct line. Sandy Creek between this and Fort Massac; and Cash 
River, 15 miles below Wilkinsonville, are the only ones deserving men- 
tion, though there are others sufficiently large to afford mill seats. 

In addition to the rivers and rivulets already described, the eastern 
part of the territory is watered by several respectable rivers running into 
the Wabash. 1. Little Wabash River, from the northwest — 60 yards 
wide. 2. Fox river, which interlocks with eastern branches of the Kas- 
kaskia — enters the Wabash about 50 miles below Vincennes. 3. The 
Embarras or river of Embarrasment, enters the Wabash a little below 
Vincennes — course southeast. 4. Mascoutin, from the north-west, 50 
yards wide. 5. St. Germain, from the west; a mere rivulet. Tortue, 


from the west, a crooked, long river. The three last mentioned rivers 
enter the Wabash, in the order named, between Vincennes and Fort Har- 
rison. 7. Broutte. 8. Duchat. 9. Erabliere. 10. Rejoicing. These 
rivers all head in the Illinois territory, and enter the Wabash, between 
Fort Harrison and Tippecanoe. The last is 100 yards wide at its mouth. 
There are many small lakes in this territory. Several of the rivers have 
their sources in them. They abound with wild fowl and fish. On the left 
bank of the Illinois. 40 miles from its mouth, are a chain of small lakes 
communicating by narrow channels, with each other, one of them dis- 
charges into the Illinois. The prairies bordering these lakes constitute the 
Peorias' wintering ground. Illinois and Depage lakes are merely ex- 
pansions of the Illinois and Plein rivers. Demiquain lake is situated on 
the right bank of the Illinois, above the mouth of the river of the same 
name — it is of a circular form; six miles across; and empties its waters 
into the Illinois. There are also several small lakes in the American 
Bottom, such as Marrodizua, five miles long, twenty-two miles below the 
mouth of Wood River; Bond lake three miles further down : their outlets 
discharge into the Mississippi. On their margins are delightful plan- 

Face of the Country. 

There are six distinct kinds of land in Illinois. 1. Bottoms, bearing 
-honey locust, pecan. Mack walnut, beach, sugar maple, buckeye, pawpaw, 
etc. This land is of the first quality, and may lie said to be ripe alluvion, 
and is found in greater or less quantities, on all the rivers before enum- 
erated. It is called the first bottom. It is almost invariably covered with 
a pretty heavy growth of the foregoing trees, grape vines, etc.. and in au- 
tumn tbe aii' (if these bottoms is agreeably impregnated with an aromatic 
smell, caused no doubt by the fruit and leaves of the black 
walnut. This land is inexhaustible in fecundity, as is proved by its 
present fertility, where it has been annually cultivated without manure, 
for more than a century. Tt varies in width from 50 rods to two miles 
and upwards. 2. The newly formed or unripe alluvion : this kind of land 
is always found at the mouths and confluences of rivers; it produces syca- 
more, cotton wood, water maple, water ash, elm. willow oak. willow, etc. 
and is covered in autumn with a luxuriant growth of weeds. These bot- 
toms are subject to inundations, the banks being several feet below high 
water mark. There are many thousand acres of this land at the mouth 
of the Wabash, and at the confluence of the Mississippi. Woe be to the 
settler, who locates himself upon this deleterious soil. 3. Dry prairie, 
bordering all the rivers, lies immediately in the rear of the bottoms; from 
30 to 100 feet higher: and from one to ten miles wide, a dry rich soil. 
and most happily adapted to the purposes of cultivation, as it bears- 
drought and rain with equal success. These prairies are destitute of trees. 
unless where they are crossed by streams and occasional islands of wood 
land. The prairies of the Illinois river are the most extensive of any east 
of the Mississippi, and have alone been estimated at 1,200,000 acres. This 
soil is some place- black, in others of the colour of iron rust interspersed 


with a light white sand. In point of productiveness, it is not inferior 
to the first rate river bottoms, and in some respects superior. 
I. Wet prairie, which are found remote from streams, or at their sources, 
the soil is generally cold and barren, abounding with swamps, ponds, and 
covered with a tall coarse grass. 5. Timbered land, moderately hilly, 
well watered, and of a rich soil. 6. Hills, of a sterile soil and destitute of 
timber, or covered with stinted oaks and pines. 

Between the mouths of the Wabash and the Ohio, the right bank of the 
Ohio, in many places presents the rugged appearance of bold projecting 
rocks. The banks of the Kaskaskia and Illinois in some places present a 
sublime and picturesque scenery. Several of their tributary streams have 
excavated for themselves deep and frightful gulfs, particularly, those of 
the first named river, the banks of which near the junction of Big Hill 
creek, present a perpendicular front of 140 feet high, of solid limestone. 
The northwestern part of the territory is a hilly, broken country, in 
which most of the rivers emptying into the Wabash from the north, have 
their heads. A great part of the territory is open prairie, some of which 
are of such vast extent that the sun apparently rises and sets within their 
widely extended borders. 

"The large tract of country through which the Illinois river and its 
branches meander, is said not to be exceeded in beauty, levelness, richness 
and fertility of soil, by any tract of land, of equal extent, in the United 
States. From the Illinois to the Wabash, excepting some little distance 
from the rivers, is almost one continued prairie, or natural meadow, inter- 
mixed with groves, or copses of wood, and some swamps and small lakes. 
These beautiful, and to the eye of the beholder, unlimited fields, are cov- 
ered with a luxuriant growth of grass, and other vegetable productions/' 

Travelers describe the scenery skirting the Illinois as beautiful beyond 
description. There is a constant succession of prairies, stretching in 
many places, from the river farther than the eye can reach, and elegant 
groves of woodland. The trees are represented as peculiarly handsome ; 
having their branches overspread with rich covering of the vine. Never- 
theless, it is the empire of solitude, for the cheering voice of civilized men 
is seldom heard on this delightful stream. 

According to the late General Pike, the east shore of the Mississippi, 
from the mouth of the Missouri to that of the Illinois (20 miles) i> 
bordered by hills from Si) to 100 feet high; above, they are of gentle 
ascent, alternately presenting beautiful cedar clifts and distant ridges. 
The bottoms afford many eligible situations for settlements. Above and 
below the mouth of Rocky river are beautiful prairies. 

Trees. Plants. Minerals. 

The oak family may he -aid to ho the prevailing forest tree of Illinois. 
There are four species of white oak; two of chestnut oak, mountain and 
Illinois; three of willow oak, upland, swamp and shingle, so called from 
its being an excellent material for shingles, and which is used 
for that purpose by the inhabitants. It is found on all the rivers 
of the territorv. Its height is from 40 to 50 feet, grey hark, straight 


branches, large, sessile, dark green leaves, a little downy underneath; 
spherical acorns. Black jack, black oak, swamp oak, scarlet oak, so called 
from its scarlet colored leaves in autumn; grows to the height of 80 
feet, useful for rails. The honey locust is found in all the swails, bot- 
toms and rich hills of the west, from the lakes to the latitude of Natchez. 
It invariably rejects a poor soil, grows to the height of 40 or 60 feet, 
dividing into many branches, which together with the trunk, are armed 
with long, sharp, pithy spines of the size of goose quills, .from five to ten 
inches in length, and frequently so thick as to prevent the ascent of a 
squirrel. The branches are garnished with winged leaves, composed of 
ten or more pair of small lobes, sitting close to the midrib, of a lucid green 
colour. The flowers come out from the sides of the young branches, in 
form of katkins, of an herbaceous colour, and are succeeded by crooked, 
compressed pods, from nine or ten to sixteen or eighteen inches in length, 
and about an inch and a half or two inches in breadth, of which near one- 
half is filled with a sweet pulp, the other containing many seeds in sep- 
arate cells. The pods, from the sweetness of their pulp, are used to brew 
beer, and afford for hogs and many other animals a nutritious and abund- 
ant food. I have myself been in situations, when I was obliged to resort 
to them as a substitute for something better, and always found them to 
allay hunger, and renew almost exhausted strength. The black walnut is 
found on the bottoms and rich hills — it often rises to the height of 70 
feet; large trunk, dark, furrowed bark; winged leaves, which emit an 
aromatic flavor when bruised ; fruit round and nearly as large as a peach. 
The wood is light and durable. Butternut is a companion of the black 
walnut. Besides all the species of hickory found in the northern states, 
the pecan or Illinois nut grows plentifully in the rich swails and bottoms ; 
the nuts are small and thin shelled. The banks of the Illinois are the 
favorite soil of the mulberry, and of the plum. Sugar maple, blue and 
white oak, black locust, elm, basswood, beech, buckeye, hackberry, coffee- 
nut tree, and sycamore, are found in their congenial soils, throughout the 
territory. White pine is found on the head branches of the Illinois. 
Spice wood sassafras, black and white haws, crab apple, wild cherry, cu- 
cumber and pawpaw, are common to the best soils. The last yields a 
fruit of the size of a cucumber, of a yellow colour, in taste resembling the 
pine apple. They grow in clusters of three, four and five, in the crotches 
of a soft straight and beautiful shrub from ten to twenty-five feet high, 
it is rarely found on the hills however rich their soil. The forests and 
banks of the streams abound with grape vines, of which there are several 
species ; some valuable. The herbage of the woods varies little from that 
of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. 

Copper and lead are found in several parts of the territory. I am not 
informed as to the existence of iron ore. Travellers speak of an allum 
hill a considerable distance up Mine river, and of another hill, produc- 
ing the fleche or arrow stone. The French while in possession of the 
country, procured millstones above the Illinois lake. Coal is found upon 
the banks of the Au Yase or Muddy River, and Illinois 50 miles above 
Peoria Lake; the latter mine extends for half a mile along the right bank 
of the river. A little below the coal mines are two salt ponds one hundred 
3^ards in circumference, and several feet in depth ; the water is stagnant, 


and of a yellowish colour. The French inhabitants and Indians make 
good salt from them. Between two and three hundred thousand bushels 
of salt are annually made at the l". S. Saline, 26 miles below the 
mouth of the Wabash. These works supply the settlements of Indiana 
and Illinois. The salt is sold at the works at from fifty to seventy-five 
cents a bushel. Government have leased the works to Messrs. Wilkins and 
Morrison of Lexington. Beds of white clay are Found on the rivers Illi- 
nois and Tortile. The prevailing stone is lime. 

Villages., Roads and Settlements. 

There are several old French villages on both hank.- of the Illinois, 
which are antique in appearance, inhabited by a people inured to the 
habits of savage life. 

Cahokia i.- situated on a small stream, aboul one mile east of the ZNIis- 
KisH|)]ii. nearly opposite to St. Louis, it contains about Kin houses, 
mostly French, who were it< founders. "This town, although apparently 
of considerable elevation, is still a damp and disagreeable situation, owing 
to its being too level to permit the rains to run oil' very easily.'* It form- 
erly enjoyed a considerable share of the fur trade. At present the in- 
habitants confine their attention chiefly to agriculture, but not with much 
spirit. There is a postoffice and a chape] for the Roman Catholic wor- 
ship; and is the seat of justice for St. Clair county. 

Si. Philippe — In the American bottom, C> miles below Cahokia. 
a pleasant old French village. 

Prairie du Rochers — Twenty miles below St. Phillippe, contains from 
sixty to seventy French families; the streets are narrow; there i- a Cath- 
olic chapel. The country below and above is a continued prairie of the 
richesl soil. 

Kaskaskia — Situated on the right shore of the river of the same name, 
eleven miles from it- mouth, and six from the Mississippi, in a direct line. 
It is at preseni the seat of the territorial government -and chief town of 
Randolph county: contains Hit) houses, scattered over an extensive plain; 

son f them are of stone. Almost every house has a spacious picketed 

garden in it.- rear. The houses have a clumsy appearance; it is 150 miles 
southwe-t of Vincennes, and '.mid from the city of Washington. The in- 
habitants are more than half French; they raise large stocks of horned 
cattle, horses, swine, poultry, etc. There i- a postoffice, a land office for 
the sale of the public lands, and a planting office, from which is issued a 
weekly newspaper entitled the "Illinois Herald.'* 'this place was settled 
upwards of 100 years ago, by the French of lower Canada. The surround- 
ing lands are in a good state of cultivation. 

The villages on the Ohio, below the Wabash are: Shawneetown, above 
tin- mouth of the Saline, containing 30 or 40 log buildings; the in- 
habitants live by the profits of the salt trade. The growth of the town 
has keen greatly retarded in consequence of the United States having; re- 
served to themselves the property of the cite of this place, the .-alt licks, 
as well as the intermediate tract between this and Saline river. 9 miles 

—20 H S 


distant. It is a place of great resort for boats, and in time will no doubt 
become a place of consequence, as the lands in its vicinity are of a good 
quality. Here formerly stood an Indian village of the Shawannoe nation. 

Wilkinsonville — About half way between Fort Massac and the mouth of 
the Ohio, stands upon a beautiful savanna of 100 acres, 60 or 70 
feet above the river. It is a place of little or no trade at present, and 
has sensibly declined since it lost the governmental patronage of a garri- 
son. It has a fine eddy for boats. 

There are several other small villages, such as Belle Fontaine, L'Aigle, 
Edwardville, etc. A new village is about to be laid out at the mouth of 
Cash. There are two roads leading through the Ohio to Kaskaskia. The 
first leaves the Ohio at Robin's ferry, 17 miles below the Saline ; 
distance to Kaskaskia, 135 miles. The other leaves the river at Lusk's 
ferry, 15 miles above the mouth of Cumberland. This is the shortest 
route by 15 or 20 miles. A post route passes from Vincennes to Kas- 
kaskia, about 150 miles long — travellers are obliged to camp out two 
or three nights. Government have leased out a number of lots upon these 
. roads, and receive the rents in repairs of a given distance of road. There 
is a tolerable roail between the mouth of Au Vase and Wood river, passing 
through Kaskaskia, Prairie du Eochers, St. Philippe and Cahokia. Most 
of the settlements are connected by practicable roads, at least for packers 
and travellers on horseback. The bulk of the population is settled upon 
the Mississippi, Kaskaskia and its branches. There are a few detached 
settlements on the Wabash, and some of the streams entering the west 
bank, and detached ones on the Ohio. Those on the Illinois are small, 
insulated and sometimes 50 miles apart. The American and Turky 
hill settlements, between the Illinois and Wood rivers, are flourishing; 
the inhabitants are mostly from Kentucky and the southern states. 

Natural Curiosities, Antiquities. 

The "Cave-in-Bock," nineteen miles below Saline, has been often vis- 
ited and described by travelers. The entrance into this cave is of a semi- 
circular form, twenty feet above the ordinary level of the river, in a per- 
pendicular rock, thirty feet high. A few yards from the mouth you enter 
a spacious room, sixty paces in length, and nearly as wide. Near the 
centre of the roof is an aperture resembling the funnel of a chimney, 
which, according to Ash, the British traveler, leads to an upper room, 
"not unlike a Gothic Cathedral." At one end of this vault, our traveler 
found an opening, which served as a descent to another vault, of very 
great depth, as he judged, since "a stone cast in, whose reverbration was 
not returned for the space of several seconds." Our adventurer, who is 
always full of the marvelous, found the remains of several human skele- 
tons, in this "drear abode ;" while searching for others, he got bewildered, 
and was unable to find the place of his descent. He fired his pistol, as 
a signal of distress — its effect was "terrific" — its report "tremendous." 
"No thunder could exceed the explosion, no echo return so strong a 


voice I" 1 Mason's gang of robbers made this cave their principal rendez- 
vous, in 1797, where they frequently plundered or murdered the crews of 
boats descending the Ohio. 

The Battery Bocks, so called from their resemblance to a range of forts 
and batteries, are noticed by travelers, as a natural curiosity. They are 
nothing more than the perpendicular bank of the river, seven miles above 
the Cave-in-Bock. The Devil's Oven is situated upon an elevated rocky 
point, projecting into the Mississippi, fifteen miles below the mouth of 
Au Vase. It has a close resemblance to an oven. On the large prairies 
are frequently found sink-holes, some of which are 150 feet across, cir- 
cular at the top, gradually narrowing to the bottom, and frequently so 
steep as to make the descent difficult. At the bottom, the traveler finds 
a handsome subterranean brook, in which he can conveniently allay his 
thirst. These sinks have, doubtless, been formed by the waters' under- 
mining the earth, the weight of which produces successive excavations. 

Ancient fortifications and mounds, similar to those found in Kentucky, 
Ohio and Indiana, are also met with in Illinois. Four miles above the 
Prairie du Bochers, are the ruins of Fort Chartres, built by the French, 
at the expense of one hundred thousand dollars. At the period of its 
construction, it was one quarter of a mile from the river, but at present ; s 
nearly undermined by the Mississippi. Fort Massac, forty-five miles 
above the mouth of the Ohio, built by the French about the middle of the 
last century, and occupied by the Americans for many years after the 
close of the revolutionary war, is at present dismantled. 

Animals, Birds, Fish, Serpents. 

The buffaloe, which formerly roamed at will, and in vast numbers, 
through the immense prairies of Illinois, have lately disappeared, prefer- 
ring the more distant plains of the Missouri. Deer, elk, bear, wolves, 
foxes, oposum and raccoon, remain in considerable numbers. (The in- 
habitants of a fine breed of horses from the Spanish stock.) Their cattle 
have a lively and sleek appearance. Hogs are easily raised. 

Wild turkies abound in the hilly districts. Quails are plenty; pheas- 
ants, scarce. Greese and ducks frequent the ponds, lakes and rivers, par- 
ticularly the head branches of the Illinois, and small lakes towards Lake 
Michigan, whither they are attracted in prodigious numbers, in quest of 
the wild rice, which furnishes an abundant and favorite ailment. Buz- 
zards, pigeons, black birds, paroquets and several species of hawks, abound 
in the same numbers, as in other parts of the western country. 

Most kinds of fish which are found in the Mississippi and the great 
norther lakes, frequent the rivers of this territory. Sturgeon are found 
in Peoria or Illinois lake. 

The only venomous serpents, are the common and prairie rattlesnakes, 
and copper-heads. 

l See Ash's Travels, page 234. 


The Sacs or Saukies, inhabit the country bordering on Sand Bay and 
Rocky rivers — they have three villages. A part of this tribe reside on the 
west side of the Mississippi. Tike give the total number of souls at 
2,850. Four miles below Sand Bay, the U. S. had an agricultural estab- 
lishment, under the direction of a Mr. Ewing. It did not succeed, be- 
cause these Indians hold labor in the greatest contempt. The Kaskaskias, 
Cahokias and Peorias, are remnants of formidable tribes. They have been 
nearly annihilated in their wars with the Saukies and Foxes, originally 
provoked by the assassination of the Saukie chief Pontiac. They are re- 
duced to 250 warriors — reside principally between the Kaskaskia and Illi- 
nois. The Delewares and Shawanese have a summer residence four miles 
hclow An A'ase river. The Piankashaws and Mascontins mostly inhabit 
the Mascontin, Tortue and Rejoicing branches of the Wabash ; their total 
number of souls about 600. 

Age i cu i tike Products. 

Corn is at present the staple — no country produces finer. The traveler 
often meets with cornfields containing from 100 to 1,000 acres, these are 
cultivated in common by the people of a whole village or a settlement. 
By this method the inhabitants obviate the expense of division fences, 
where it would he necessary to haul timber several miles to the centre of 
a vast prairie. Cotton is raised for domestic use There is no doubt, that 
ultimately, considerable quantities will be produced for exportation. To- 
bacco grows to great perfection. Wheat does well, when properly man- 
aged, except on the bottoms where the -oil is too rich. Flax. hemp. oats. 
Irish and sweet potatoes do as well as in Kentucky. Notwithstanding the 
abundance of wild grapes to be found in the forests, it is very doubtful, 
I think, whether the French inhabitant- ever made SO hogsheads of 
good wine, in any single year. The successful experiment at Yevay. in 
Indiana, warrants the belief that vineyards, at no remote period, will em- 
bellish the hills of the southern half of this territory. 


The-,, are all of the domestic kind. In 1810, according to the Mar- 
shall's returns, there were ; 

Spinning wheels 630 

Looms 460 

Cloth produced, (vards) 90,039 

Value, ( dollars) 90,028 

Tanneries 9 

Value of leather dressed 7,750 

Distilleries 19 

Produced (gallons) 102,000 7,500 

Flour, 6,440 barrels— value (dollars) 32,200 

Maple sugar, 15,600 lbs.— value (dollars) 1,980 

The population has nearly doubled since that period, and the manufac- 
tures have advanced in a corresponding ratio. 

Military Bounty Lands. 

The lands in this territory appropriated to reward the valor of our 

soldiers, during the late war, amount to 3,500,000 acres. This tract li-s 
on the north hank Of the Illinois, near its junction with the Missippi. it 
has never been particularly described. Mr. Tiffin, commissioner of the 
general land office, declares it to be of the first quality. A gentleman, 
high in office in that territory, writes: "1 have never been on the north 
side of the Illinois river, but my information authorizes me to saw that d 
is a very good country." Another correspondent writes: "This tract is 
of good quality, and desirable to settlers, it is inferior t,i none of the 
public lands of the United States."" The l'. S. are now engaged in survey- 
ing them. They are watered by seyeral respectable streams, and are ad- 
vantageously situated, either for the lake or Orleans trade, having the 
Mississippi west; Illinois south: .Mine river east: and lands belonging to 
the Sac and Fox Indians, north. The growth of vegetation is so luxuriant 
that the surveyors can make no progress in summer. 

Lands, Titles, Prices. 

The public lands have rarely sold for more than $5.00 per acre, it 
auction. Those sold at Edwardsville in October, 1816, averaged $4.00. 
Private sales at the land office, are fixed by law, at $2.00 per acre. The 
old French locations command various prices from $1:00 to $50.00. 
Titles derived from the United States government are always valid, and 
those from individuals rarely false. 

There are upwards of sixteen milions of acres belonging to the United 
States, obtained at different cessions from the Indians, ami consequently 
a wide field open for purchase and selection. 

The lands belonging to the aboriginal proprietors lie principally be- 
tween the Wabash and the Illinois, north of the head of the ivaskaskia. 
They have large reservations north of the Illinois, upon Pocky river, Sag- 
amond, etc. The United States have obtained a cession of six miles 
square at the easi m*\ of Peoria lake, north of the Illinois river. 

Future Population. 

The territorial population being at this moment 20,000 souls, and the 
ratio of increase thirty per cent per annum, it will require ten years to 
give Illinois the necessary qualifications for being admitted into the 
Union. It is capable of sustaining a denser population than Xew York, 
and contains nearly as man)- acres. Comparatively speaking, there are 
no waste lands. It would, therefore, allowing twenty souls to the square 
mile, conveniently sustain a population of 1,000,000. But on the ratio 
of fifty-four square miles, which was that of Connecticut, at the 'census 
of 1810, it would contain, in time, 2,600,000. 

Extent of Xavigable Waters. 

Xature has been peculiarly bountiful to Illinois, for not only has she 
blessed this favored region with a temperate climate, and highly produc- 


tive soil, but has prepared convenient channels of communication, for the 
transportation of products to market, and to facilitate settlement and in- 
ternal intercourse. The Illinois, which hitherto has been little navigated, 
except by the Northwest company's boats, must in a few years become the 
theatre of an active commerce. American enterprise will force its way 
thither. The tide of navigation, like water, will overspread the fine vallies 
of Illinois, Mine and Demi-Quain. A trifling expense, comparatively to 
the importance of the undertaking, will unite the Illinois to the Chicago 
in all seasons of the year. Then the lead of Missouri, and the cotton of 
Tennessee will find their way to Detroit and Buffalo. The following 
rough estimate, which does not exceed the actual distance, will enable 
uninformed readers to form a pretty correct idea of the extent of frontier 
and internal navigation, for boats, which the future State of Illinois will 



Wabash 240 

Ohio 164 

Mississippi G20 




Illinois, navigable 320 

Tributaries from the N. W 550 

Ditto, from the S. E 200 

Kaskaskia, and branches 300 

Tributaries of the "Wabash 500 

Minor rivers, such as Au Vase, Marie, Cash, etc 200 

Internal 2,070 

Frontier 1,024 

Total 3,094 

The distance by water, from the mouth of the Illinois to New Orleans, 
is 1,174 miles, and to Buffalo, through the lakes, 1,400. 


[Taken from Illinois Monthly Magazine, Vol. I., Edited by James Hall, Van- 
daiia, 1831, pages 417-423.] 

James Hall. The editor of the Illinois Monthly Magazine, James Hall, 
was a prominent man of letters in the first half of last century, although 
the pursuit of literature was but an incident in his busy life. He was born 
in Philadelphia. August 19. 1793; and during his early days was surrounded 
with the influences of a family engaged in literary and educational pur- 
suits. The law was his chosen profession, but this he abandoned for a time 
to enter the army as a volunteer in the war of 1812. He saw hard service 
and was promoted to a lieutenancy in the 2d U. S. artillery. After the war 
he accompanied Decatur to Algiers. 

In 1818 he resigned from the army and was admitted to the Illinois bar 
and opened an office in Shawneetown in 1820. His advance in his profes- 
sion was rapid and he was shortly appointed judge of the circuit court. In 
1827 he removed to Vandalia where he held the office of State Treasurer. 

From the first he devoted a portion of his time to literary pursuits. While 
at Shawneetown he was editor of the Illinois Gazette, and after his removal 
to Vandalia, he edited the Illinois Intelligencer and in 1831 the Illinois 
Monthly Magazine. The latter had but a short life, for James Hall moved 
in 1835 to Cincinnati to become cashier of the Commercial bank and later 
its president. The name of the Illinois Monthly Magazine was now changed 
to that of the Western Monthly Magazine. Besides his editorial work, he 
wrote many books on western history, which have preserved many facts and 
traditions. He died July 5, 1868.] 

We have heard lately of several colonies which have been formed in the 
eastern states, for the purpose of emigrating to Illinois ; and always hear 
such information with regret. Not that we have any objection to emigra- 
tion in itself; on the contrary few have done more than we, to encourage 
and promote it. We ardently long to see the fertile plains of Illinois cov- 
ered with an industrious, an enterprising, and an intelligent population; 
we shall always be among the first to welcome the farmer, the mechanic, 
the school teacher, the working man, in short, of any trade, mystery or 
profession, and we care not from what point of the compass he may come. 
With the unrivaled natural advantages presented by our state, we need 
nothing but human ingenuity and labor, directed by a wholesome moral 
sentiment, in order to assume the first rank among our sister republics; 
and every patriotic man is bound to lend his aid, to accelerate by all 
proper means the consumation of the greatness of his country. Our ob- 
jection lies to the plan of colonization, fraught as it is in our opinion, 
with evil to the country, and to those who adopt it. We shall endeavor 


to explain our views on this subject, abstractly, without any reference to 
individuals who may differ from us in opinion or who may have en- 
gaged in schemes at variance with our sentiments. 

So far as our personal observation has extended, emigrating societies 
have not been successful in the western country : and it will not be difficult 
to show that such associations are generally injudicious. When composed 
of foreigners, they have almost uniformly failed: while individuals and 
families, who have come untrammelled by such connections, have gener- 
ally prospered in proportion to their means and their industry. We would 
>et down the following, as some of the operating causes of these results. 
Foreigners who emigrate, must leave behind them all their prejudices, 
and many of their customs: the former would be odious to their new 
neighbors , and the latter inappropriate to their newly adopted situation. 
Their language, their feelings, their habits, are so many trammels, that 
must be shaken oil'. They must not only conform to the laws of the coun- 
try to which they go, hut must adapt their labors, ami mode of living, 
to the exigencies of a state of society which is novel to them. A farmer 
from England. France or Germany, finds his agricultural skill of little 
avail in Illinois, and the only plan by which he can succeed, is to forget 
his own husbandry, and adopt that of his new neighbors. When such 
persons come in societies, they associate too much with each other, and too 
little with the other residents of the country, and thus deprive themselves 
of the opportunity of profiting by the example of older settlers. The very 
object of forming a society of this description, is, that ks members shall 
mutually aid each other in their business, and form a circle for the pur- 
poses of social intercourse. In this manner they preserve their own 
language and instead of having their prejudices and customs worn off 
by collision with the people of the country, they keep alive those very cus- 
tom- and prejudices, by the countenance and encouragement which they 
afford to each other, and even feel a pride in retaining this distinctive 
character. Their settlement gets a nana — it is called the Dutch, or the 
English settlement — they lay off a village, and call it after the place of 
their nativity, and become attached to every little vestige of their nation- 
ality, which recalls their early homes. The difference of character be- 
tween themselves and the people around them, creates of itself a line 
which for a time would keep them asunder but they have adopted a plan 
by which that imaginary line is distinctly traced out. marked, and pub- 
lished. Their neighbors view them with jealousy and distrust — for every 
society or combination of men, which is exclusive in its character, excites 
these feelings. The new comers have every thing to lose, and nothing to 
gain, from a state of rivalry and ill will with their neighbors; but such 
feeling's will invariably be created by any set of people who emigrate in 
large bodies, and attempt to organize a community of their own, in the 
bosom of a settled country. They remain ignorant of all they ought to 
learn, adhere tenaciously to their own habits, repel the advice, hospitality 
and aid, of those who came before them, and axe reduced to beggary before 
they learn that their mode of cultivation is wrong, their manners unpop- 
ular, and their prejudices unwise. They then dissolve their bonds of 


union, scatter themselves over the country in which they live. From these 
observations the Harmonites form the only except ion 'within our knowl- 
edge; hut they form also an exception from all general rules. 

If what we have said, is true in reference to foreigners, it is not less 
so in relation to people emigrating from their older states. It will be 
easily seen that they too, have their peculiarities, though they may not 
he so strongly marked; and that a company of New Englanders or Vir- 
ginians, removing into a new country, and settling as such, will be less 
welcome, and less prosperous, than the same number of persons, coming 
separately, and dropping all local distinctions. Although they speak our 
language, and have been accustomed to tin' same general system of civil 
government with ourselves, there are a number of points <>i' minor import- 
ance, but which are intimately interwoven with the business of life, and 
the happiness of social intercourse, in which they differ from us mater- 
ially. It is worthy of remark, that parties, and party dissentions, do not 
always grow out of differences of opinion about important matters, but 
more frequently arise out of the veriest trifles; and the reason for this, 
may perhaps be, that men may be induced to reflect and to act rationally, 
about matters of moment, while those little peculiarities of belief or prac- 
tice winch are non-essential, are not submitted to the test of reason, yet 
are tenaciously adhered to on one side, and contemptuously spurned on 
the other. 

Many persons who emigrate from older to younger states, set out with 
the spirit of reformers; and aware of the superior advantages which they 
have enjoyed, and of the higher degree of civilization and improvement 
to which they have been accustomed, fondly imagine that they can easily 
transplant these to their nvw places of residence. One thing is forgotten; 
if any improvement which is proposed to be introduced is new to the 
western people, they must first be convinced of its value before they will 
consent to adopt it, and such conviction can only be produced by persons 
who have conciliated their kindness, and won their confidence. People 
do not, in general adopt the sentiments of those to whom they are hostile, 
nor will the}' learn much from any except those with whom they, live on 
terms of amicable intercourse. When a company of people therefore, set 
down in a country in such a way as to excite unpleasant feelings in those 
around them, they will not be apt to exert any salutary influence upon 
their neighbors. There is an appearance of arrogance in the conduct 
of those who settle in the heart of a civilized community of their own 
countrymen, but yet in a new country to them, and bring with them their 
own society, their own mechanics, their own customs, and affect a kind of 
independence of the civil community already organized. If a colony of 
backwoodsmen should settle in Massachusetts, and resolutely determine 
to raise nothing but corn and tobacco, to wear blanket coats and leggins, 
and to make stump speeches, there would be a sad outcry about it, yet 
they would do no greater violence to the feelings of that people, than a 
colony coming from the east, who should pertinaciously resolve upon 
planting all their own customs among us, would do to ours. 


We desire not to be understood, as throwing out, in the above remarks, 
any sneer at those patriotic individuals, or institutions, in the older states, 
through whose exertions such noble streams of benevolence have been 
poured into our country. Our known sentiments, as expressed on many 
occasions, must redeem us from being thus misconceived. We honor every 
man who from patriotic or christian principles, endeavors to improve the 
condition of his country, or species. We know that there are thousands 
beyond the mountains, who consider our great valley as destined to become 
the center of population and power, and who see the policy of planting 
literature, science, morality and religion here, as in the future heart of 
the republic. Our remarks are addressed to individuals, in reference to 
their personal comfort, prosperity, and influence. We wish to see them 
come to Illinois, with a manly confidence in us, and with the feelings, 
not of New Englanders, or Pennsylvanians, but Americans. The bane of 
society and improvement in a new country is found in those sectional dis- 
tinctions, which keep men asunder and create parties — by which the best 
men in our country are thrown into hostile ranks, and prevented from act- 
ing together for the common good. No one cause contributes so much, 
in our opinion, to keep alive such jealousies, as the imprudence of emi- 
grants in adhering to those very distinctions which mark them as stran- 
gers, instead of sacrificing every peculiarity, which is non-essential, to 
the promotion of harmony. 

Especially is it unnecessary for mechanics, and wealthy farmers, to 
come thus in herds. The farmer who brings with him the means to pur- 
chase and stock a farm, is the most independent man in our country. 
Nature is so prolific here, that a man thus provided, may securely calcu- 
late upon competence, and even abundance, with but little labor. Me- 
chanics of all kinds are so much needed, as to be sure of a welcome re- 
ception, and profitable employment. They require no other associates 
but health, skill and industry. 

If the object of any emigrant is to be useful to the country, by dissem- 
inating knowledge, piety, or any valuable art, and we know that there are 
many such — can they hope to accomplish that design by confining their 
labors and affections within the bounds of a circle of select friends ? We 
apprehend not; and that such individuals especially, should throw aside 
every weight, cast off all the trammels that would embarrass them, and 
gain that kind of influence which springs from companionship and con- 

But the fact is, that persons who emigrate to the west, have to learn 
from our people here, a vast deal more than they can possibly teach them. 
This is especially true in respect to farmers. Our climate, soil, and 
products are new to them, and they are obliged to remodel their whole 
system of agriculture, in order to adapt it to the circumstances in which 
they are placed. On their arrival here they will not find skillful me- 
chanics, ready to build up their houses, and provide for all their wants. 
"But we will bring them," says the colonist; sir, you cannot bring them. 
You may fetch your carpenters, your blacksmiths, and a few more, but 
the wants of human life are so numerous, that you would find yourself 
continually obliged to step out of your own circle of chosen associates, and 


to claim assistance from others. Your carpenters and blacksmiths would 
have their own houses to build, and their own wants to provide for, and 
you would have to shiver in the cold and starve, until their wants were 
supplied, their families fed, and their dwellings finished. In the mean 
while, the people around would be laughing in their sleeces at the ill- 
contrived, ill-managed, ill-sorted combination, which, though perfectly 
ignorant and helpless, in regard to all practical and useful knowledge in 
relation to the getting of a livelihood, yet affected a kind of independence. 

The truth is that the man who removes into a strange country with the 
intention of making it his home, should determine to abandon at once his 
predelictions, prejudices and local attachments, and conform himself 
without reserve to the customs of the land of his adoption. Instead of 
bringing society with him, he should cultivate the intimacy of the inhabi- 
tants, and by imbibing their feelings and sentiments learn to relish their 
society. Those who come here with minds predisposed against us, who 
have already resolved in their own hearts that they cannot find suitable 
associates, in this country, will be always "'strangers in a far land." They 
will never feel at home in Illinois. We feel "proud when we see a young 
man strolling into our State, on foot, with one shirt on his back and 
another in his pocket. He brings neither money, nor friends, but expects 
to find both here. That man intends to stay. He will soon forget when 
he speaks of home, to turn his face to the east. He will not give as a 
reason for every opinion that he advances, "we do so in Connecticut," ' 
"we say so in Massachusetts," but will discover that he has a great deal 
to learn from backwoodsmen, and that our own manners and customs 
may in many cases be best suited to our circumstances. Such a man is of 
more value to the country, than any colony which ingenuity can devise. 
He throws himself into the bosom of our society — adopts it, for better and 
for worse, and soon loses all perception of any difference between it and 
that to which he has been accustomed ; while .their whole enterprise is 
founded on distrust, and local prejudice. 

There are other objections to this kind of social system, which will 
strike every reflecting mind. One man will be industrious and another 
indolent — one peaceful, another litigious— one honest, another dishonest; 
and however guarded may be their bond of union, there must exist to a 
certain extent, a joint interest and responsibility, and the whole com- 
munity will be affected, more or less, by the misdeeds, or misfortunes, of 
each of its members. However, much therefore, any man may fancy that 
he multiplies the chances of success, and the sources of leizure, by bring- 
ing his friends with him, he certainly increases, in at least an equal ratio 
the chances of failure, and the sources of unnanpiness. An individual 
knows how to make calculations for himself, and his own household he 
knows what they can do and suffer; but he ventures into the regions of 
conjecture, and brings many contingencies to bear on his fate, when he 
unites it with the uncertain fortunes of others. Men were not made for 
such confederacies: they arc too narrow for patriotic feeling and christian 
benevolence, too wide for domestic security and comfort. Thev are built 
on a wrong basis. A man has one set of affections and responsibilities for 
his own fireside, another for his country and human nature. These are 


natural, and whatever, is attempted to be compounded out of them, and 
aside from them, is artificial.- The ordinary ties of kindred country, 
neighborhood and benevolence, are strong enough, without forming those 
artificial confederacies which sooner or later always crumble into their 
original elements. The industrious member of such a society gets tired 
of helping his lazy neighbor, the peaceable man grows sick of the quarrels 
of his litigious friend, and the whole society feels degraded if one of its 
members happens to fall into the hands of the sheriff for an unlucky 
felony. After all every one is the best manager of his own business, and 
the best judge of what is good for his own family; and he who emigrates 
will consult his own happiness and interest, by trusting to Providence, to 
his own exertions, and to the hospitality of those among whom his lot 
may be cast. 


In Memoriam. 

Members Illinois State Historical Society, deceased, January, 1907 to 
January, 1908. 

Eobert Bell, James B. Bradwell, 

Eliza Kincaid Wilson, A. B. Coulter, 

William Vocke, L. H. Iverrick, 

John Berry Orendorff, Peyton Boberts, 

David McCulloch, Mary A. Cheney Marmon. 


ROBERT BELL, 1828-1906. 

Judge Bobert Bell, Mt. CarmePs most widely known citizen, passed 
away at 7 :25 Sunday evening, Sept. 30, 1906, at the home of his son, Mr. 
Collins S. Bell, after a brief illness of heart trouble. But slight mention 
had been made of Judge Bell's illness, and the news of his demise came 
in the nature of a surprise and shock to the majority of the people of the 
city. He had been able to be about during the day Sunday, but in the 
evening suddenly complained of feeling worse. He was assisted to his 
bed and in a few moments his life had passed away. 

Robert Bell was the son of General Hiram Bell, who came to this state 
from Virginia in 1818, and who held the office of circuit clerk of Wabash 
county continuously from 1824 to 1860. The son, Bobert Bell was born 
in Lawrence county, Illinois in 1828. After receiving his education in 
the schools and the Indiana state university he studied law with his 
brother Victor B. Bell, a prominent lawyer of that time, and embarked 
upon a career in law and politics which made him for a period of many 
years one of the foremost citizens of southern Illinois. He commenced 
practice in Fairfield in 1855, but in 1857 returned to Mt. Carmel, and in 
1864 formed a partnership with Judge E. B. Green, then a rising young 
attorney. Their association continued for a third of a century, and Bell 
and Green were known everywhere as one of the strong law firms of the 

Judge Bell was originally a Democrat, but when the war came on his 
union sentiment led him into the Republican party, with which he affili- 
ated until his death, being for many years one of its leading members in 
this portion of the State. In 1869 he was appointed county judge to fill 
the vacancy caused by the death of Judge T. J. Buchanan. From 1868 
to 1872 he was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and 
in 1878 was the candidate of his party for Congress in the Nineteenth 
District. In 1879 he was sent to California by the treasury department 
to investigate alleged frauds, and in 1881 President Garfield appointed 
him special commissioner to examine into railroad matters in the far 
west. He was on intimate terms with the leading politicians of the 
country, and was a close friend of General John A. Logan, who, had he 
lived, would no doubt have conferred much higher favors upon him. For 
the past several years he had been serving as city attorney for the city 

-21 H S 

of Mt. Carmel, having been three times elected to that position in spite of 
the strongest opposition. His death created a vacancy in the office. 

Judge Bell was married November 17, 1858 to Miss Sarah E. Shepard, 
in Madison, Conn. She was a woman of great brilliance and until her 
death in August, 1903, she played a leading part in the intellectual life of 
Mt. Carmel. Nine children were born to Judge and Mrs. Bell, of whom 
only two, Mrs. J. D. Beemer and Mr. Collins S. Bell, an engineer on the 
Cairo division, now survive. Two sisters are living, Mrs. B. B. Cravath 
of Denver and Mrs. Pillsbury of Fremont, Neb. 

Mt. Carmel never possessed a more progressive citizen, and he was 
always an enthusiastic supporter of every public enterprise, being gener- 
ous both as to time and means. He did much to secure the building of 
the Cairo division, and as president of the old air line, now the southern, 
succeeded in having the line extended from Princeton to Albion. Bell- 
mont was named after him, and Maud takes its name from one of his 
daughters, who died in 1880. 

As an orator Judge Bell enjoyed almost a national reputation, and 
many of his word pictures have become classics, rivaling the best efforts 
of the most noted writers and speakers. 

In disposition he was one of the most generous of men. He had a 
good word for every one and made friends of all with whom he came in 
contact. He was kind to the poor in his days of prosperity, and many 
have cause to remember him with gratitude. In losing him, Mt. Carmel 
loses a man whose memory is inseparably associated with its growth. Its 
progress was his pride, and its sincere advocate he always was. 

The funeral was held from the residence and the services were con- 
ducted by Bev. G. J. E. Bichards, and was under the auspices of the 
Masonic fraternity, of which Judge Bell was almost a life long member. 
The interment was in Bose Hill cemetery. 


An Honorary Member or the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Born at Sharpsburg, Kv., May 13, 1813; died at Sterling, 111., March 
5, 1907. 

Mrs. Eliza J. Wilson, widow of Colonel Eobert L. Wilson, passed away 
at her home in Sterling, Illinois, March 5, 190T. Dissolution came 
quietly and peacefully and the aged lady fell asleep, her death was as 
beautiful and calm as was her life. For many years she enjoyed splendid 
health, although for the past ten years she spent the greater portion of 
her time at the borne where she had resided for over a half a century. 

The funeral services were held at the historic Wilson home. The ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. Charles Gorman Eichards of the Presbyterian 
church and the remains were laid away in the Wilson vault in Riverside 
cemetery beside those of the husband. 

Eliza 3. Kincaid was a daughter of Scotch-Irish parents, and she was 
born May 13, 1813, at Sharpsburg, Ky., where she grew to womanhood. 
She attended the school of that place and on March 28, 1833, she was mar- 
ried to Robert L. Wilson, and immediately after the marriage they moved 
to Indian Point, Sangamon county, now Menard county, Illinois. At that 
time Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were among the pioneer settlers of Illinois. 
They became fast friends of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Wilson served in the 
State Legislature with Lincoln and was a member of the famous "Long 
Nine" who went to the Legislature for the purpose of moving the capital 
of Illinois from Vandalia to Springfield, and this they accomplished. In 
order to accomplish this great task, it was necessary for the seven repre- 
- sentatives and the two senators to make combinations and they succeeded. 
They participated in the famous "internal improvement" act of Illinois. 
When Mr. Lincoln made his famous campaign for the Legislature in 
1836, he became the fast friend of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. Lincoln not 
being possessed of a great amount of this world's goods at the time, bor- 
rowed Mrs. Wilson's saddle horse and rode it over Sangamon county 
during that famous campaign electioneering, making speeches from the 
saddle, and at the conclusion of the fight he returned the horse to Mrs. 
Wilson. On scores of occasions Mr. Lincoln was entertained at the 
Wilson home in Sangamon county. 

As elsewhere stated in this article. Mr. Wilson moved to Sterling in 
1840, and in 1816 in March they moved into the present quaint and now 

324 , ' 

historic home. It was through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson that 
Abraham Lincoln was induced to go to Sterling to deliver a speech in the 
famous campaign of 1856, the historic spot being now marked by a 
bowlder on the Sterling school grounds. 

Mrs. Wilson was making elaborate preparations to entertain the dis- 
tinguished speaker, but four days before Lincoln arrived here she met 
with an accident resulting in a severe injury to her neck. For eleven 
months she was confined to her bed, hovering between life and death. 
Nature alone was relied upon, and while she was bed-fast the muscles and 
cords of the neck became almost like iron and when she finally recovered 
nature performed its work hardening the muscles and tissues, and after 
that time her neck was rigid. 

History has it that Mrs. Wilson entertained Lincoln at her home here 
in 1856, but this was not done on account of the serious illness of the 
lady. When Mrs. Wilson was seventy years of age she journeyed to 
Clarke, South Dakota, where she took and proved a soldier's widow's 
claim, going months without seeing a woman and days without looking 
upon a human being. 

When Mr. Wilson was appointed paymaster in the army Mrs. Wilson 
remained here the greater portion of the time, although she visited him 
at St. Louis and Nashville. Mrs. Wilson's life, it will be seen, circled 
around the home she loved so dearly. 

To mourn the death of this illustrious woman, two children, ten 
grandchildren and three great grandchildren are left, a worthy legacy. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Wilson six children were born, they being Mary Jane, 
who died in childhood; Silas E., who passed away in 18T0; Dr. Anne W. 
Nixon, Mrs. Emma W. Edwards, both of Los Angeles, Cal. ; Robert H., 
who died at Nashville, Tenn., and Lee, who died at the age of sixteen 
years. Dr. Nixon, her daughter, came from California in 1905 to remain 
with her mother during the remainder of her life. Anne E. Edwards, a 
granddaughter, has been here for the past week, constantly at the bedside 
of the aged lady. 

The State Historical Society at its last annual meeting took cognizance 
of Mrs. Wilson and she became an honorary member of the society, to- 
gether with Senator Cullom, Jane Addams and others. 

The passing of this venerable woman closes an epoch for Sterling in 
several phases. She was the last representative of the men and women 
who marched into the wilderness of the west and through their efforts 
and those who followed in their footsteps, made the desert into a garden 
and the wild places tame, subject to the dominion of men. She came a 
mother — at the head of a family, and took her place as a member of the 
community — one of the workers at once. 

As has been said, Robert L. Wilson and Eliza J. Kincaid were united 
in marriage at Sharpsburg, Ky., on March 28, 1833, and in the autumn 
of the same year they emigrated to Illinois where they established their 
home in Sangamon county where they made their home for six year-. 
During this time the husband came into prominence and served his 
county in the State Legislature for two terms. He was contemporary 


with Lincoln and other great Illinoisans of his day and lived to see the 
greater part of his old friends gathered into their last homes beneath 
the sod in the State they had served so well. The Kincaid family fol- 
lowed the daughter and her husband from Kentucky to the young state 
and settled in Sangamon county where the seven children spent the re- 
mainder of their lives. All of these, save one, with their parents sleep 
there. The aged mother of Mrs. "Wilson did not die until after she had 
seen her ninety-second birthday anniversary'. 

In 1840 Judge Brown offered Mr. Wilson the position of county clerk — 
an appointive office at the time — in either of several counties in the 
northern part of the State and Whiteside was chosen. Mr. Wilson came 
to Sterling in that year and in the year following his family arrived. 
For twenty years Mr. Wilson was the county clerk, and he was also the 
registrar of deeds for sixteen years and probate judge for eight years. 
Nearly all of the documents relating to the transfer of lands in the 
twenty years that followed the settlement of the Wilson family in the 
county bear his signature in some official capacity. 

During these years the Wilson home was almost an open house and the 
fame of its hospitality spread throughout the northern part of the State. 
It was in 1846 that the brick house in which she spent the remaining 
sixty-one years of her life was built on the prairie north of the strangling 
village that stretched along the banks of Bock river. As befitted the 
most prominent citizen, it was the most pretentious house in the com- 
munity and it stands today almost as it was when it was first erected. 
Much of the material in it was brought from Chicago by teams, for it 
was not until nine years had elapsed after its building that the first train 
steamed into Sterling. 

When the Presbyterian church of Sterling was organized in November, 
1844, Mrs. Wilson was one of the charter members, and is the last of that 
devoted nine to answer the call of the Master of life. In all the many 
years that followed she was devoted to her church, and even after the 
weight of years had pressed heavily upon her, was regular in her attend- 
ance at all of the services of her church. Mrs. Maria Gait was for many 
years the only other of this little band that kept company with her sister 
in the faith, but she passed into the shadow nine years ago past ninety 
years of age. 

Mrs. Wilson had the manner of the grand dames of the southland ami 
the warmth and cordial hospitality for which the chivalrous people of 
Kentucky have been noted. Her tall figure was the personification of 
dignity and the warmth of her smile won all who came in contact with 
her even to the end of her days. She was one of the finest types of the 
women of her day and of the section of the country in which she was 
born. She was a deeply religious woman all of the days of her life and 
up to the time when she was stricken with the weakness that came by 
reason of her great age, was active in the work for all mission effort, both 
at home and abroad. 

Those who knew her in her prime remember her for many graces as 
a hostess and the open generosity and ready sympathy of her kindly 
nature. She held her friends with bands as strong as steel, and in the 


years since she has been unable to leave her home, old and young who 
had come to love her were frequent callers at the low brick mansion 
which for sixty-one years she has called her home. 

Many will regret her passing, biit none can say that she has not filled 
her place in life to the fullest. On march 7, 1880. she was widowed, and 
her obsequies were held one day previous to the twenty-seventh anni- 
versarv of that event. 



Vice President of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Born in Minden, Westphalia, Germany, April 4, 1839; died in Chi- 
cago, May 13, 1907. 

Captain Vocke was born- in Minden, Westphalia, Germany, on April 
4, 1839, and landed in New York in 1856. A year later he settled in 
Chicago and obtained employment as a newspaper carrier. W T hen the 
civil war broke out he enlisted as a private in the Twenty-fourth Illinois 
Infantry and was mustered out of the service at the close of the war as 
captain of Company K. 

Subsequently he became city editor and then editorial writer on the 
Staats-Zeitung. In 1865 he was made clerk of the police court, and dur- 
ing his four years' service studied law and was admitted to practice. In 
1870 he was elected a member of the Legislature, previous to which, time 
he had been a member of the board of education. Captain Vocke was an 
active Republican and one of the leading German campaign orators. 

Despite the fact that his later years were taken up mostly with the 
practice of law, he kept in close touch with literary men and affairs, and 
was noted as a writer of historical sketches, especially those pertaining to 
the doings of the Loyal Legion, with which he was identified. 

As a member of the Legislature he was the author of the "Burnt 
Record Law." Under it those who lost deeds to property through the 
great fire of 1871 were privileged to establish proof of their holdings and 
after a term of years this proof became conclusive and then full title was 
given by the court. 

Captain Vocke lost all his possessions in the fire, but later accumulated 
considerable wealth. At the time of his death he owned a large tract near 
Chicago Heights and also other property in Cook county. 

He was married in 1867. The surviving members of the family are 
Mrs. Elizabeth Wahl Vocke, his widow; four daughters and two sons. 
They are Mrs. Olivia Bopp, wife of Franz Bopp, German Consul at San 
Francisco ; Mrs. Fredia Doak, wife of D. P. Doak, president of the 
Pan-American railway of Klamath Falls, Oregon; Mrs. Elsa McMynn, 
wife of John C. McMynn of Chicago; Mrs. Bella Bird, wife of T. A. 
Bird, a newspaper man of Chicago; Fred Vocke of Chicago, and William 
Vocke of Oklahoma. 



John Berry Orendorff was born in Blooming Grove, May 3, 1827. His 
father was Thomas Orendorff, one of the first settlers of Blooming Grove, 
who came in 1823, the next year after the very few first families arrived. 
Mr. Thomas Orendorff was one of the leading men of the new county of 
McLean, having been selected in 1830 to go to Vandalia to secure the 
passage of the special act for the organization of McLean county. 

Mr. John Berry Orendorff was vice president of the McLean County 
Historical Society for the last six years of his life. He took a very deep 
interest in local history, wrote articles for the society himself, and as- 
sisted many other writers to acquire an accurate knowledge of pioneer 

He was one of the first members of the Illinois State Historical Society 
and was deeply interested in its welfare. He was a cousin of General 
Alfred Orendorff, the president of our society. He died in August, 1907, 
at tbe age of eighty years. 


An Honorary Member oe the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Born in Loughborough, England, April 16, 1828; died Chicago, 111.. 
Nov. 30, 1907. 

James B. Bradwell was born April 16, 1828, at Loughborough, Eng- 
land, and came to this country with his parents when he was two years 
old. The family first settled at Utica, N. Y., and three years later started 
for the Illinois frontier. They remained for a short time at Jacksonville, 
111., and then came to Chicago, then a mere frontier military and trading 
post. Judge Bradwell often recited the tale of the journey and the first 
entrance to Chicago. 

"Our journey from Jacksonville was made in a prairie schooner drawn 
by two horses and two oxen," he was wont to begin. "Though we trav- 
eled every hour, sleeping in the wagon, we were twenty-one days en route. 
The spring was late, the trail was all mud, and the prairies were mostly 
under water. It was May 20 when we arrived in Chicago and made our 
camp on the lake shore at what is now Kandolph street." 

The Bradwells located at Wheeling, near the Desplaines river, and 
took up a claim of government land. Often Judge Bradwell has de- 
scribed his boyhood days and the difficulties of frontier life. 

"Wolves would howl outside the log cabin during the winter. We had 
hard work to keep from starving. Once the presiding elder of the district 
came to beg some provisions. We had none to give him. I was only a 
small boy. but believed in the efficacy of prayer. There were two prairie 
chickens on the fence near the house. I prayed that I might kill them both 
with one shot, promising to give the fattest to the minister. The prayer was 
answered, and the elder was a long time picking out the fattest bird." 

"Once a band of drunken Indians attempted to break into our cabin. My 
father armed himself with his rifle, my mother with a shotgun, and I had a 
redhot poker. Just as the door gave way an interpreter appeared and pre- 
vented bloodshed. I never pass an Indian cigar sign that I don't feel re- 

When he had reached the age of sixteen he came to Chicago. Ship- 
building and blacksmithing occupied his efforts until he entered Knox 
college at Galesburg, where he took the full college course. Then he 
wont to Belvidere to study law and teach school. He was admitted to the 
bar in 1854 and began legal practice. Two years before that date he 
married Miss Myra Colby, who lived in Schaumberg township. In 1861 
he was elected county judge with jurisdiction in all probate cases. 


It was during his term as judge that the civil war broke out, and in 
connection with the "great rebellion" many thrilling stories of Judge 
Bradwell's loyalty and devotion to the union cause are told. 

Illinois swarmed with secessionists and "copperheads." Judge Brad- 
well daringly organized the Home Defense Association, the only officer, 
the only member. Whenever he heard of a "copperhead" the Judge 
wrote him in the association's name, signing himself secretary, com- 
manding the man to come to take the oath of allegiance. A prominent 
merchant, a personal friend, was summoned. He begged the Judge to 
state the penalty for refusing to swear. 

"I have no idea what this powerful association will do with you/' im- 
pressively replied the Judge. They may tar and feather you, they may 
burn your home or destroy your business. In any event your life and 
liberty are in peril if you decline to take the oath." 

"But, Judge," said the merchant, "it will be a serious reflection on my 
character were it known that I was forced to come here and take the oath. 
Let me see some of the other officers and try to prevail on them to make 
me an exception." 

"None of the officers," replied the Judge, "except the secretary of this 
association is ever known to the world, unless it is necessary to force its 
decrees. There is no choice but for you to take the oath or suffer the 

The merchant, white with terror, held up his hand and was sworn. 

During the war time he gained the reputation and title of which he 
always has been most proud, that of the "sweet singer of Cook county." 
Through his songs and impassioned addresses he gained many lukewarms 
over to the union cause. 

After eight years on the bench Judge Bradwell returned to the practice 
of law and formed a partnership with Gen. John L. Beveridge, afterward 
Governor of Illinois. Gradually he yielded up his legal practice and pro- 
fession to take up the larger questions of good citizenship in a rapidly 
growing city. He became a founder and president of the board of direc- 
tors of the Union League Club, for several years president of the Chi- 
cago Bar x\ssociation, president of the Chicago Press Club, and he was 
president of the convention held in Cleveland, Ohio, which resulted in 
the American Woman Suffrage Society. Later he was elected president 
of the Illinois Bar Association in recognition of his legal attainments. 

In his legal practice and works on law Judge Bradwell had the assist- 
ance of Mrs. Bradwell, herself a talented lawyer and the founder of the 
Chicago Legal News in 1868. Of this journal she was editor until her 
death in 1894, when Judge Bradwell succeeded her in the position and 
also became a publisher. In the work he had as assistant, his daughter, 
Mrs. Bessie Bradwell Helmer, a graduate of the Chicago high schools and 
the University of Chicago. 

With the aid of his daughter Judge Bradwell edited and published the 
revised statutes of the State of Illinois and a number of volumes of the 
Illinois Appellate Court records. The edition is said to be one of the 
finest of which any state can boast. Judge Bradwell also served as a 
member of the State Legislature from 1873 to 1877. 



In the long procession of men and women who have lived in the world 
for a time and passed on, there are some whose lives stand out like guid- 
ing stars for humanity ,and leave an impress for good thatjs ineradic- 
able. They prove the worth of a life rightly lived. Peyton Roberts was 
one of these. He was distinguished for his nobility of character, his un- 
blemished morality, his generous and kindly nature. He achieved suc- 
cess worthily and honorably, and entirely by his own efforts. His battle 
with the world was heroic. His conservative judgment, absolute integ- 
rity and unswerving honor in all things, won the respect and confidence 
of all with whom he came in contact, and formed the capital which made 
his business life a success. He was proud of being a native of Illinois, 
proud of having lived his whole life in the State, almost every acre of 
which he knew and loved. 

The Roberts family were of Welsh ancestry, and left Wales in the fif- 
teenth century because of religious persecution. They settled in Switzer- 
land, where James Roberts, great grandfather of Peyton Roberts, was 
born in 1754. James and his brother John came to Wythe county, Vir- 
ginia in 1775. John enlisted in the English army and was never heard 
of afterwards. James joined the Continental forces, and was wounded at 
the battle of King's Mountain, in 1780. He recovered, remained in the 
army, and was present at the surrender of Cornwalls at Yorktown. He 
married Nancy McKelvey, a native of Ireland, and their eldest son John 
was born in 1781. John lived in Campbell county, Tennessee, and there 
his eldest son, James Esmon, was born Aug. 28, 1807. The family moved 
to Breckenridge county, Kentucky, in 1827, and October 30, 1830, James 
E. was married to Sallie M. Cox, whose English ancestors settled in 
Switzerland in 1675, and came to Pennsylvania in 1712. John Roberts 
and his family, with the exception of the eldest son, moved to Fountain 
Green, Hancock county, Illinois, in June, 1835. James E. followed with 
his family in June, 1837. His children were Elbridge, Bainbridge, Ad- 
dison, Adaline, Peyton. Chauneey and Elmore. 

Peyton Roberts was born at Fountain Green, Hancock county. Illinois, 
January 21, 1839. His boyhood days were spent upon the farm, his 
evenings occupied in eagerly devouring every book he could secure. He 
attended school in the village of Tennessee, and in order to obtain money 
for a college education, learned the shoemaker's trade, at which he worked 
in the evenings and on Saturdays. When he had earned and saved six 


hundred dollars in gold, he entered Hedding College at Abingdon, Illi- 
nois. He made his home with the family of Henry Frey, and did the 
chores for his board. During his college course he secured the agency 
for a fife insurance company, and by soliciting business after school 
hours, and clerking on Saturdays, paid the entire expense of his educa- 

On January 1, 1861, he went to Monmouth and made that city his 
headquarters during the two years he acted as special agent for an insur- 
ance company. On April 3, 1866, he began a general insurance and loan 
business, opening an office on the south side of the square, which he oc- 
cupied continuously for forty-two years, until the time of his death. His 
industry and ambition soon built up the largest business of its kind in 
western Illinois. To secure the agency of an insurance company was a 
difficult matter in those days, but with characteristic vim, Mr. Roberts 
went east and applied in person for a number of the strongest companies. 
Many of these remained with him throughout his life, making him the 
oldest agent in point of service in the State. 

During his forty-four years residence in Monmouth, he was interested 
in and worked for every movement tending to the betterment and devel- 
opment of the city. He gave much time and energy to founding Mon- 
mouth Hospital and was its first president. He was one of the founders 
of the Second National Bank of Monmouth, and of the bank of Biggs- 
ville, and a stock holder in the former from the time of its organization 
until his death. He was a stock holder of the National Bank of the Re- 
public of Chicago, of the Monmouth Mining and Manufacturing Com- 
pany and the Monmouth Plow Company. 

He was one of the active Republicans of the State, having served thirty 
years on the county central committee, and six years on the State Cen- 
tral Committee. 

He was a devoted member of many of the secret orders and found much 
happiness in their work. He was made a member of the Masonic Order 
on April 11. 1861, by Abingdon (Illinois) Lodge No. 185, transferring , 
his membership later to Lodge No. :!;. A. P. & A. M.. at Monmouth. He 
was also a member of Galesburg Commandery Xo. 8, Knights Templar, 
Medinah Temple Lodge of the Mystic Shrine of Chicago, Oriental Con- 
sistory of Chicago, Monmouth Lodge Xo. 577, I. 0. 0. F., Monmouth 
Lodge Xo. 397, B. P. 0. E., Monmouth Lodge Xo. 277, 0. E. S., and 
Maple City Lodge Knights of Pythias. 

Mr. Roberts was known as the friend of the poor, the widow and the 
orphan, for scores of these went to him for assistance, and not one Avas 
turned away without being helped. Many of them placed their business 
affairs unrestrictedly in his hands, and although this meant much labor 
and oftentimes great expense to him, the work was always done gratis. 
His numberless acts of kindness and generosity will never lie known ex- 
cept to those he helped. His sunny, happy disposition, his breadth of 
view, his keen intellect and wise judgment, were inherent in a man whoso 
life was the gospel of brotherly love. One of his associates said of him: 
"I never saw Mr. Roberts discouraged or looking on the dark side of 


things. AYhen business men would get together and deplore unsettled 
conditions and hard times, Mr. Roberts was always looking on the bright 
side. He was a continual inspiration to all of us." 

Although prevented by ill-health from taking part in the civil war, 
Mr. Eoberts was a close student of all matters relating to it, and pos- 
sessed an extensive private library on that subject. He was- familiar with 
the details of all the important battles and enjoyed visiting the battle 
fields, and recalling the scenes he knew by heart. 

Peyton Eoberts was married May 8, 1866, to Elizabeth Katherine Cox, 
and to them three children were born; Emily, the wife of Lee J. Hubble; 
and Corinne, the wife of C. L. Miller. The third daughter died in in- 
fancy. Mr. Eoberts' love for and devotion to his family were the most 
beautiful traits of his character. Although he was as affectionate and 
tender as a child, he possessed the courage, strength and force which con- 
tribute to a fearless life. During the last few years of his life, although 
in rapidly failing health, he gave unremitting attention to business, often 
raying he wished to die "in harness." This wish was realized. On the 
evening of January 12, 1908, he returned from an absence of two weeks 
at Excelsion Springs, Missouri, for the benefit of his health. A large 
amount of mail had accumulated during his absence, which he took to 
his home. This he read through and arranged in the order in which he 
wished to take it up the next morning; then with a smile, he lay down up- 
on his couch and passed into his last deep sleep, as sweetly and gently as he 
had lived. The funeral was held in the Presbyterian church on January 
16, and was in charge of the Masonic brothers he loved so well. The fol- 
lowing tribute is taken from the Monmouth Atlas of that date: 

The Maple City, fraternal brothers and scores of warm, personal friends 
paid their last tribute of love and respect to the memory of Peyton Roberts, 
one of Monmouth's foremost citizens. 

And this tribute to the dead was most fitting; it was typical of the man 
whom city, brothers and friends mourn today — quiet, simple and unos- 
tentatious, yet sincere and heartfelt. All that was mortal of a beloved man 
they consigned to the tomb, but in the citadel of everlasting friendship and 
honor his memory remains sacred. 

Seldom has the Maple City witnessed such tribute of sorrow as was paid 
the memory of her late resident this afternoon at the Presbyterian church, 
in the silent cortege which followed the body to the cemetery, and in the 
simple, but effective Masonic ritual with which the body was lowered into 
its last resting place — the tomb. 

Everywhere, in accordance with the wish of the family, which would have 
been the wish of the deceased himself, the utmost simplicity prevailed. The 
services at the church, conducted by Rev. D. E. Hughes, assisted by Dr. W. 
R. King, were simple in the extreme. Dr. Hughes referred with feeling to 
the life of the deceased, but briefly for the life of the departed needed no 

Fraternal Representation. 

And yet the scene at the church, and as the funeral cortege wended its 
way to the cemetery, was almost without parallel in the Maple City. The 
deceased had been a well known member of the Masons and other lodges. 
All were represented at the funeral. 

From Galesburg came a large delegation of Knights Templar in the full 
regalia of their rank. In this commandery Mr. Roberts had been an es- 
teemed member. His home Masonic lodge, No. 37, was present en masse, 


paying with sorrow the last tribute within its power. The Knights of 
Pythias and Elks, also mourning the deceased as a brother, were repre- 
sented, as were the Eastern Stars, and other organizations of which Mr. 
Roberts had long been a member. 

Services at the Grave. 

From the church at the close of the services the funeral party, com- 
posed of the family, scores of friends and the representatives of the different 
orders, wended its way to the cemetery. There the Masons were in full 
charge and the casket was consigned to the tomb with the beautiful Masonic 

The pallbearers were all Masonic brothers and were Rufus Scott, Frank 
W. Harding, D. D. Dunkle, V. H. Webb, John S. Brown and Arnold Bruner. 


Mrs. Mar}* Ann Cheney Marmon was among the very first to join the 
Illinois State Historical Society, and was very deeply interested in its 
welfare. She will be remembered by many who attended the State So- 
ciety's session at Bloomington in 1904, as one of the ladies who assisted 
so generously in the local arrangements. 

She came of pioneer ancestry on both the paternal and maternal sides. 
Her grandfather was John Wells Dawson who came to Bloomington in 
1822 with the only other family of the country's first settlers. Mrs. 
Dawson's little daughter Maria, afterwards the mother of Mrs. Marmon, 
was a great favorite with the Indians of Blooming Grove and was often 
borrowed by the Indian squaws as a charming visitor at their wigwams. 
She lived with her daughter Mrs. Marmon for many of the last years of 
her life and died in 1906 at the age of eighty-nine years. 

Mrs. Marmon's maiden name was Mary Ann Cheney and her father 
was Owen T. Cheney, son of Jonathan Cheney who came to McLean 
county in 1824, and from him the well known township of Cheney's 
Grove took its name. Mrs. Marmon was a lady of culture and refine- 
ment and contributed valuable articles on social life of pioneers for the 
McLean Countv Historical Society of which she was a charter member. 
She died Jan. 25, 1908. 



Capt. John Eiley Moss died at the home of his son. Dr. Harry Moss, 
in Albion, Illinois, on the afternoon of October 2. He was born in Jeffer- 
son county, May 13, 1830, and had always made that county his home. 

He was the son of Eansom and Annie Moss. A farmer by birth, he 
continued along the line of farming and stock raising for many years, 
and imported from Canada the first Cotswold sheep ever brought to this 
county. He delighted in raising fine stock, and when he lived on a farm 
he had fine Jersey cattle and Berkshire hogs. The farm on which Capt. 
Moss lived was in Shiloh township, and was the homestead first settled 
by ex-Governor Casey. 

His home life was simple, but systematic. When he had a duty to per- 
form it was performed, and performed well. He was married Jan. 30, 
1853, to Parmelia C. Allen, and the marriage was blessed with six child- 
ren, as follows : Angus, Norman H., Adda M., Anna E., Harry C, and 
Grace S. The children, with one exception survive him. He was pre- 
ceded to the great beyond by his loving wife, who departed on the 16th 
of March, 1908. Fifty-five years of happy married life were enjoyed by 
Capt. Moss and his wife. They celebrated their golden wedding five 
years ago. 

A more public-spirited man than Mr. Moss never lived in Jefferson 
county, and it was his desire to see Jefferson county and Mi. Vernon 
excel in everything. He was several times honored by being elected 
supervisor from Shiloh township and was a member of the first board 
after the township organization became effective. He was a member of 
the building committee that contracted for the construction of the court 
house that was destroyed by the cyclone. 

In politics he was a Eepublican. In 1878 he was elected to the Thirty- 
first General Assembly of the Illinois Legislature, having been elected 
on the Independent ticket. 

October 10, 1861, Capt. Moss enlisted in Company C, 60th Illinois 
Infantry, and was made captain of the company, hence the title. He was 
discharged in 1863, on account of physical disability, and appointed pro- 
vost marshal for the 11th district, comprising all of southern Illinois, 
and remained in the service until the close of the war. With a detach- 
ment of soldiers he arrested a party of men who resisted draft, in a 
fort they had built of logs, on Skillet Fork. The men were taken to 01- 
ney and turned over to the authorities. He was supervisor of enrollment 
and draft for southern Illinois. He was a member of Coleman Post, 


G. A. R., and was prominently identified in G. A. R. circles. Religiously 
he clung to the Methodist church, and through his efforts, churches have 
been built and Sunday schools started. In the pioneer movement he took 
a great interest and was president of the Jefferson County Pioneer As- 
sociation. In state history he took a decided interest and was a member 
of the State Historical Society. There was no man who ever lived in 
Jefferson county who was more familiar with the early history than Capt. 
Moss, and he could tell in an interesting manner what he knew. 

The funeral was held at the First M. E. Church at Mt. A r ernon, and 
the service was attended by a large concourse of the friends of the de- 
ceased. The service was in charge of Rev. C. D. Shumard, and he was 
assisted by Rev. E. B. Surface, Rev. J. T. Payne and W. Duff Piercy. 

Capt. Moss took great pride in Shiloh township, and from a literary 
sense, it was the leading township for many years. This was largely due 
to the efforts of Mr. Moss. He organized a debating society and among- 
the members were : Z. T. Galbraith, J. B. Piercy, C. P. Harper, J. M. 
Galbraith, Jas. R. Driver, L. C. Johnson and J. T. Payne; some of the 
members have gone on before Later this society developed into a liter- 
ary society, and among the members were: Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, Francis G. Blair, W. Duff Piercy, W. C. Blair, J. T. Ellis, 
and Norman H. Moss. These men have been heard from in the prom- 
inent walks of life. 

The pall bearers were six nephews, W. S. Maxey, Henry Maxey, R. 1ST. 
Hinman, W. D. Moss, J. R. Piercy and W. A. Piercy. Coleman Post, 
G. A. R. formed an escort from the residence to the church. The body 
was laid to rest in Oakwood beside the loving wife who' preceded him 
just a few months. 

-22 H S 



Abolitionism— mention 28 , 249 

Missouri Republican Nov. 18, 1837. Ex- 
tract from communication in, on 
Edward Beecher, Abolitionism and 

Illinois College 199 

Abolit ionist 223 

Abolil ionists 133 

Abraham Lincoln in 1854- address before the 
Illinois State Historical Society, 1908, by 

Horace White 25-47 

Acachemen, Indians — customs of 120 

Ackerman, Win. K — Early Illinois railroads, 

quoted— foot notes 174, 177, 178, 182 

Acklev— anions the gold seekers from Evans- 
ton, 111. to California, 1850 107 

Adam W. Snyder, and His Period in Illinois 

History— quoted— foot note 222 

Adams County, 111., History of— published in 

1876— quoted 216 

Medical Societ y 216 

mention .' 218, 221 

Volume B, of the Law Chancery and 
People's Records, Adams county, 111. — 

quoted 217 

Adams County, Ohio — (Ireat Serpent Mound 

in — reference to 122 

Adams, John, of Illinois— son-in-law of Gov. 

Wm. Kinney 210 

Adams 54 

Adams, John Quiney— Ambassador, Senator, 
Secretary of State, President, and Congress- 


President of the United Stat 

Adams, Parker 210 

Addams, Jane 324 

Affleck, .lames- write- biographical sketch of 

\\ in . Kinney 209-211 

Africa 146 

African Slave Trade 33 , 34, 66 

Agricultural Products in the Illinois Territory 308 
Agriculture— population of Illinois in lsio to 

1850, generally engaged in 172 

Ahts— Indians of Vancouver Island 119 

Ainsworth, Harry 7 — member committee 11 

Alabama, State— foot note 192 

mention 55, 94 

Alamo Building, San Antonio, Texas 226 

Alaska— Indian tribes in, perform a thunder- 
bird ceremony 118 

mention 121 , 122 

Albany, N . Y.— foot note 233 

mention ...20, 21, 45, 86, 146, 163, 182, 293 
Albion, 111— mention 322 . 33ti 

Richard Flower, founder of the public 


Algiers , Africa 311 

Algonkin Indians— mention 122 

legends of, quoted 119 

mythology of 114 

tribes of, in the east 120 

" Alleghanies " < The Mountains) 261 

Alleghany river 300 

Allen, G. T.- (Madison county, 111.) his vote 

on the United State. Senatorship in 1855. ..39,40 
Allen, Parmelia C. — wife of Capt. John Riley 

Moss .336 

Allen, (Gen.) Robert-Chief Quartermaster, 
War of the Rebellion, in charge at St. Louis 89 

mention 90 

Alloues (Allouez), Father Claude .lean, Jesuit 
Priest— born i probably i Province Toulouse, 
France, 1620. Died, Fort St. Joseph, 1690.. 233 
Allouez, Father Claude .lean- Illinois Mission 

in care of 233 

Almanac for 1851— for Peoria and vicinity — 

by Dewitt S . Drown— reference to 130 

Alschuler, Samuel —member committee 10 

Altgeld, John P.— nominated for Governor of 

Illinois 98 

Alton, 111.— address to the people of Alton, on 
the murder of Lovejoy— by T. M. Post— in 
the New York Emancipator— reference to.. 196 

Courier (newspaper) 137 

foot note 200 

Mention 3, 5, 6, 

7, 9, 11, 26, 46, til), 87, 114, 115, 116, 117, 122 
Narrative „f Lints at Alton by Edward 
Beecher reference to foot notes ..194-198 

d— foot 

, Vol. 2 


mi- des 

Stuart reference 10 . '. 124 

"America" 4 he Ship 124 

Ymerieau \ nt hropologisl . Vol. 2— writings of 

Chamberlain in quoted 120 

American Lotlom mf the MLdssippi begin 

at the mouth of the Ka-kaskia river 301 

Delta (The ) of America 301 

Indian mounds in 134 

mention 302, 305 

I American charts 274 

Index — Continued. 

American colony 262 

American Democracy— achievements of 71 

American Ethnology— vol. 2, part 1, Gaschett 

—quoted in 120 

American Familv— massacred— by Chickasaw 

Indians .283 

American Forefathers— attributes of 131 

American Government 53 

American Historical Association— annual 
meeting of 1907. at Madison, Wisconsin— ref- 
erence to 13 , 18 

American History 48, 53, 184 

"American Notes"— by Charles Dickens— ref- 
erence to 130, 131 

American People. 124 

American Politics 62 

American Revolution 20, 261 , 269 

American Settlement— between the Illinois 

and Wood rivers 306 

American Traders— Illinois country 261 

American Union 54 

American Valor 54 

American Woman .Suffrage Society 330 

Americanistes ( Congres des)— vol. 1,— by Abbe 

Gosselin— foot notes 234, 235 

Americans 275, 289, 290, 314 

Ames, (Mrs.) John C— member committee. . . 11 

Anderson, (Lieut. Gov.) Stinson H 221 

Anderson, Sumner S — member committee... 11 

Andover Theological Seminary 195 

Anna, 111 6 

Annapolis, Md 74, S2 

Antietam, Battlefield — reference to 249 

Anti-Horse Stealing Society 201 

Anti-Nebraska Democrats in Illinois— opposed 

to the Nebraska bill 28 

Anti-Nebraska Democrats in Illinois Legisla- 
ture 38, 39, 40 

Anti-Negro Stealing Society 201 

Anti-Slaverv. Church-Canteen Creek Church 

formed Dec. 10, 1809 75 

JeSerson-Lemen Anti-Slavery Pact— ad- 
dress before the Illinois State Historical 
Society, 1908— by Joseph B. Lemen ... 74-84 

Petitions to Congress 80 , 82 

Society in Illinois— plans for, officers of, 

etc . 

Apple river ( Riviere aux Pommes) .277, 282, 284 

Appleton, D. & Co.— publishers 20 

Arapaho Indians— mention 120 , 122 

traditions of — quoted 120 

Arden, Forest of— reference to 42 

Arizona 121 , 122 

Arkansas Mission— Illinois country 235 

Arkansas Post— Gen. Jno. A. McClernand in 

command at 93 

Arkansas River 92 

Army of the Tennessee i Society of) 100 

Armstrong, (Hon.) P. A.— mention 117 

Monograph on the I'iasa -quoted 115-116 

Arnold , (Hon.) Isaac N .—foot note 242 

Arnold, James N.—comp. vital records of R. I. 20 
Arrack— made from a tree in the East Indies 

—reference to 266 

Arrowsmith, McLean County, 111., Battle 
Ground — French and Indians probably 
fought at between the years 1712 and 1765 

186, 190, 191 

Ash A<he . Th 'in as British traveler — men- 

-in Rack on Ohio river 306, 307 

Ashe. Thomas Travels in America— London, 

, 111.. 

S33 . . 

Atkins, i Cen.) Smith I).— mention 6, 7, 

Atkins, i Hon. i Smith D — second vice presi- 
dent Illinois State Historical Society 

Atlanta, Ga., Fall of— reference to 94 


Atlantic Ocean 122 

Attakapas— name applied to a portion of 

Louisiana from name of an Indian tribe 288 

Aubry, Charles Phillipe— French officer, 

builds Fort Massac 123 

"Augusta" (The) Schooner 110 

Aurora, 111 10 

Austin, 111 143 

Austin, John Osborn — comp. genealogical 

books 20 

Austin, Nevada (Lander Co.)— mention. 230, 231 
Austin, Nevada — "Star" (newspaper), May 

12, 1864— quoted— foot note 231 

Autobiography of J. M. Sturtevant— quoted 

" 194, 195, 197 

footnotes 194, 195, 197 

Au Vase River 301, 304, 306, 308, 310 

Aztec Indians— of Mexico 122 ' 

Babylon, Ancient City of— reference to. . .145, 146 

Bacon, (Mrs.) E. M.— member committee 10 

"Badger State," (The) Wisconsin 164 

Baer's Tavern at Rosehill, Cook Co., Ill 104 

"Baho-li-kong-ya"— Lightning Serpent of the 

Moki Indians 121 

Baird, Robert— View of the Valley of the 
Mississippi, etc., Philadelphia, 1S34*— quoted 

—foot note 233 

Baker, Edward Dickinson— biographical 

sketch of 153-154 

brilliant orator, called "silver tongued 

Ned Baker" 153 

member Tenth General Assembly, State 

of Illinois, 1836-37 50, 219 

mention 49, 221 , 224 

Baker, Henry S— (Madison Co.) vote on the 

United States Senatorship, 1855 39, 40 

Baldwin, Jane (Jane Baldwin Cotton)— com- 
piler genealogical book 20 

Baldwin, (Hon.) Jesse A.— member of Board 
of Directors, Illinois State Historical Society 5 

mention— member committee 11 

Baldwin, Theron — identified with the Anti- 
Slavery movement of the middle west 194 

"Balm of Gilead"— pamphlet— by Governor 

John Reynolds 133-134 

Baltimore," Md— mention 20, 126. 301 

National Democratic Convention held 

in 71-72 

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 98 

Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad. 88, 97 
Bancroft, George— Memorial Address on the 
Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln — 

quoted— foot note 243 

quoted on the Lincoln-Conkling letter... 243 
Bancroft, Hubert Howe— Native Races of the 

Pacific Coast, vol. 3— quoted '.118, 119 

Bangs, (Mrs.) Margaret M— member com- 
mittee 11 

Bangs, (Judge) Mark— foot note 242 

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss— member of Con- 
gress, soldier and twentieth governor of 
'Mass., born at Waltham, Middlesex county, 
Mass., Jan. 30, 1816: died, Waltham, Mass., 

Sept. 1, 1894 25 

Banks, Nathaniel P— Union Major-General, 

War of the Rebellion 93 

Baptist Church— Bet lid Baptist Church, near 

< ollinsville, 111 7.3-76, 77 

mention 127, 209 

Baptist Churches in Illinois (Early) 74 

Baptist. Churches in Illinois, Earlv History 
of— contained in the Lemen Family Notes. .82-83 


Index — Continued. 

inois State— 
tes to be given 

Baptist State Convention— held at Blooming- 
ton, 111 83 

Barley— mention 301 

foot note— amount raided in Illinois 173 

Barnes' (Link i Ranch, Nevada 231 

Bartholomew, (Gen,) Joseph— second in com- 
mand ai the Rattle of Tippecanoe 185, 186 

, Bartlett, John Russell— "literature of the 

Rebellion"— quoted 45 

Battery Rocks- on the Ohio river 307 

Battle of Ball's Blufl— Edward Dickinson 

Baker, killed at 154 

Battle of Buena Vista 132 

Battle of Gettysburg — reference to. . .241 , 2 1~> , 2i!t 
Battle of Lexington -reference to (old poem). 135 
Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811— reference to 185, 186 

Bay de Puants (Green Bay) Indians 118 

Bavliss, Clara Kern— owner of an image of the 
fhunderbird carved by a Kwa-Kiutl Indian 

from Vancouver— foot note 122 

"The Significance of the Piasa,"— address 
before the Illinois State Historical Soci- 
ety, 1908 114-122 

118, 124, 273, 307 

Bear Hunting 

" Beardstown Illinoisan "—newspaper 137 

Beatty, Zachariah— editor of the Knoxville 

(later Galesburg i Republican 159 

Beaubien, Alexander 140 , 141 

Beaubien, Jean Baptiste — known as Col. John 

Beaubien 140 

Beaubien, (Col.) John— (see Jean Baptiste 

Beaubien) 140 

Beaubien, Mark 140 

Beaubien, Medore— early trustee of Chicago.. 141 

Beaubien, Philip 141 

Beauharnois, M.Le Marquis-al Quebec makes 

French commandant : 


vith Fox 

Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant— 

confederate general 

"Beauty's Eyebrow"— romantic name given 

to Gross Point, Cook Co., Ill 1 

Beaver Creek— tributarv Kaskaskia river 3' 

Beavers 277, 281, 2 

Beck, Lewis C— Gazetteer of Missouri and 
Illinois, published in 1S23— reference to. 123, 1 

foot note 2 

Beekwith, Hiram W— first president Illinois 

State Historical Society 1 

investigations at Indian Fort, McLean 

county, 111 1 

mention— foot notes 190, 1 

quoted on the probability of the French 
and Indians having fought at or near the 

Anow-mith Battle Ground 1 

valuable French records of— quoted 1 

Beekwith, Sylvester — among the Evanston 

gold seeker-' to California, 1850 1 

hicago, 111.. 

—in command of 


Anti-Slavery lead- 

Beck with. I p1 
the schooner "' 
Beecher, (Pres.) 
er President 1 
Beecher, Kdward -Attitude on the Anti- 
Slavery Society in Illinois... 194, 195, 196, 1 
in Alton, 111'.— witnesses the storing of 

Lovejoy's press 1 

Missouri Republican, Nov. 18, 1837— ex- 
tract from communication in, on Ed- 
ward Beecher— Abolitionism and Illi- 
nois College 1 

Missouri Republican of Nov. 4, 1S37 — 
quoted on ' ' 

Beecher, Edward— Condu ded. Page. 

Alton, 111.— foot note 198, 199 

Narrative of Riots at Alton— quoted— 

foot notes 194-198 

personal friend of Klijah P. Lovejov ..196-197 
President of Illinois College— his a'ttitude 

toward slavery 194-195 

resigns as President of Illinois College. .202-203 
Sermons on Slavery— preached in Alton, 

111— reference to 198, 199 

Beecher, Harriet 194 

Beecher, Henry Ward t4, 194 

Beecher, Lyman 199 

Beemer, (Mrs.) J. I) 322 

Behring Straits 118, 122 

Bell and Green law firm, Mt. Carmel, 111 321 

Bell, Collins S 321 , 322 

Bell, (Gen.) Hiram * 321 

Bell, John— United States Senator from Ten- 
nessee 55 

Bell, Robert — biographical sketch of 321-322 

Bell, (Mrs.) Robert (Sarah K. Shepard) 322 

Bell, Victor B 321 

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St . Louis, Mo 128 

Belle Fontaine, 111 ... ". 291 , 306 

Bellet, Louise Pecquet du—comp. genealogical 

•'Belleville Eagle" (newspaper) 132 

Belleville, 111— foot note 242 

mention . . 10 , 126 ,127,1 28 , 1 32 . 1 33 , 209 , 210 , 21 1 
railroad projected to be built from, to 

intersect the Southern Cross 147 

Bellmont, 111— named in honor of Judge 

Robert S. Bell 322 

Belvideiv, 111 3, 10, 329 

Bench and Bar of Illinois— by Gen. John M. 

Palmer— quoted 206 

Bended Maple in Illinois country 270 

Benecia, Cal. at one time eapital of California 22s 
General Assembly of California convened 

at, 1853 .' 228 

Benjamin, Judah P 64 

Bennett, (General) J. Arlington— Mormon 

writer of note 131 

Bennet, James Gordon 159 

"Benton Standard"— newspaper 1S1 

Benton, Thomas Hart— statesman. Born 
near Hillsboro, < >range county, N. C, March 
14, 17X2; died in Washington, D. C, April 

10,1858 2.5 

Benton, Thomas H— statesman of Missouri 

55, 87, 162, 169 

Bergier (Berger), (Rev.) Jean— Seminary 
Priest, Superior of Mississippi Missions- 
arrives at Illinois mission 235 

letter to the Bishop of (Quebec, dated Feb- 
ruary, 1700— concerning the Illinois 

missions 230-237 

letter from Tamarois, dated June 14, 1700. 237 
letter dated April 13, 1701, without ad- 
dress 237, 238 

letter of, from Tamarois mi-. ion April 13, 


ment ion 235-238 

Vicar-General Tamarois mission 236 

Berlin, 111 149 

Berry, (Dr.) Daniel— member committee 10 

Berry, Orville F— member committee 10 

Berry, R. L 17 

Bethel Baptist Church near Collinsville, 111 

75, 76, 77 

Bethel Church, History of -by Dr. J. M. Peck 

76, 77 

Beveridge, (I'nited States Senator) Allien 

Jeremiah, of Indiana 6 

Beveridge, Mien.) John L— Governor of Illi- 
nois.. 330 

Bible 81, 82, 123 

Bible Society 12 7 

Index — Continued. 


Big Cave 272, 273 

Biggs, S. H — Knowledge of the Jefferson 

Lemen Anti-Slavery Pact 75, 77, SO 

Biggs, William— narrative of his capture by 

the Indians -reference to 129 

Biggsville, 111 332 

Bit; Hill Creek 303 

Bighill Creek tributary Kaskaskia river 

300 , 303 

Big Spring, Cumberland county, IVnn 204 

Big Stone Lake, Southeastern Dakota 121 

Billings, (Judge) Henry W 88 

Bineteau ( Bin not can. I '.in loan ), father Julien 
—Jesuit. Born at LaFleehe, Match 13, 1653; 
died at the Illinois Minion, Dec. 24, 1699... 236 
Bineteau, (Father) Julien— extract from a let- 
ter of, January, 1699 236 

foot note— reference to 236 

Binneteau, Father— missionary to the Tama- 

rois Indians 238 

Bingham, John A.— (Congressman) of Ohio- 
foot note 242 

Bird, (Mrs.) Bella 327 

Bird, T. A 327 

Birkbeck, Morris— attitude on the slavery 

question 125, 168 

Pioneer of Illinois Literal tire, works of 124 

Bissell, (Gov.) Wm. H.— foot note 182 

mention 221 

Blackburn, (Rev.) Gideon— mention 128, 198 

opposed to slavery 196 

Black, (Hon.) (ieorge N— member of Board of 
Directors, Illinois State Historical Society.. 5 

mention— member committee 10 

Black Hawk books relating to, mentioned... 129 
Black Hawk War Abraham Lincoln, captain 

in 63 

mention 101, 102, 132, 210, 218, 221 

Wakefield's History of the Black Hawk 

War, published iii ls'U reference to 129 

Blackwell, David-editor; Secretary of State 

of Illinois 168 

Blackwell, Robert s.~ editor, with James Hall 
of The Illinois Monthly Magazine -reference 

to 125 

"Blackwell on Tax Titles"— reference to. 126 
Blaine, James G.— quoted on Stephen A. 

Douglas 62 

"Twenty Years of Congress"— quoted. 60, 71 
Blair, (Gov.) Austin, of Michigan— foot note. . 242 
Blair, Francis G — Superintendent of Public 

Instruction, State of Illinois 7, 9, 11, 337 

Blair, (Gen.) Frank P., of Missouri 89 

Blair, W.C 337 

Blanchard, (Rev.) R. H 109 

Blind River tributary, Kaskaskia river 300 

Blodgett, Henry W — early resident of Wau- 

kegan 108 

Blooming drove, 111 328, 335 

Bloomington, 111.— Baptist State Convention, 

heldat 83 

Lincoln's "Lost Speech" at— reference to 

—foot note 244 

Bloomington-Mackinaw Railroad 147, 148 

Bloomington— mention 

5, 10, 11, 51, 69, 135, 176, 335 
railroad from Bloomington to Mackinaw, 

projected 147 

State convent ion of 1856 held at 33, 157 

Blouin, Daniel French agent to represent 
citizens Illinois country in petition to Gen. 

Thos. Gage 261 

Bluff Dale, 111.— home of Prof. John Russell. 128 
Boerhaave, Herman— Dutch physician and 
philosopher. Born at Voorhoiit near Ley- 
den, Dec. 31, 1668. Died Sept. 23, 1738 264 

Bogart, Ernest Ludlow— Economic History 
of the United States— quoted— see foot note 172 


Bond Count v, 111 165 

Bond Lake/Ill ' 302 

Bond, Shadrach— first Governor of Illinois 

under statehood 163 , 167 

mention 162, 168 

Boone County, 111 164 

Boone, Daniel- biography of, by Dr. John M. 

Peck — reference to 127 

Bopp, Franz— German consul at San Fran- 
cisco 327 

Bopp, (Mrs.) Olivia 327 

Boscana, Father 120 

Boston, Mass.— capitalists. Memorial to Illi- 
nois Legislature on Railroad proposition.. 

180, 181, 182 

mention 20, 26, 45, 87, 103, 132, 147 

Botsford, J. K 109 

Bound Station 286 

Bound's Station 290 

Bourbon County, Ky 215, 216, 226 

Boutteville, (Rev.) B.— Seminary Priest at 

Quebec, sent to the Mississippi Mission 235 

Bowman, E. M— Lincolniana Collection of... 46 
local chairman Lincoln-Douglas debates 

celebration, Alton, 111 9 

member of committee on celebration 

Lincoln-Douglas debates, Alton 7 

mention 11 

Bowman, James among the Kvanston, 111. 

gold seekers to ( 'alifomia , 1850 107 

Boyd, Andrew — "Memorial Lincoln Bibli- 
ography," quoted 45 

Boyd, Linn— member H. R. U. S. 28th Con- 
gress 52 

Brackenridge, H. M. — early writer on western 

history— reference to 123 

Bradford, George A 210 

Bradford, Vt 21 

Bradwell, James B. biographical sketch of.. 


Bradwell, (Judge) James B — honorary mem- 
ber Illinois State Historical Society, de- 
ceased 12 

Bradwell, (Mrs.) James B. (Myra Bradwell).. 330 

Brandon, Vermont 48 

Branson of Jacksonville, 111.— connected with 

the attempted abuduction slave nurse girl.. 201 
Brauer, Lvdia Marie—translation and intro- 
duction 'to the Earnest Invitation to the 
Inhabitants of Illinois, by an inhabitant of 

Kaskaskia 261-268 

Breekenridge County, Ky 331 

Breckenridge, John Cabell— vice president of 
the United States. Born near Lexington, 
Ky., Jan. 21, 1821; died in Lexington, Ky., 

May 17, 1875 25 

mention 69 , 72 

Breese, Sidney— called "Father of the Illinois 

Central Railroad" 174 

Historian of Illinois 128 

History of Illinois— quoted— foot note 174 

letter of Judge Douglas to, published in 
Springfield Daily Register, Jan. 20, 1851 

— reference to — foot note 180 

menber Board of Directors, Illinois Cen- 
tral Railroad 174-175 

member, Senate United States, from Illi- 
nois 52, 55, 169 

mention 129, 181 

Supreme Court of Illinois, reports of 169 

United States Senator from Illinois 55, 169 

work in behalf of the Illinois Central R. 

R., United States Congress 56